A while ago I published my first book (sounds so hopeful and arrogant, doesn't it 'my first book')... anyway, naturally I was thrilled to bits.
My publisher opened up a children's imprint and for a while I've been the only author on it - so I was delighted to hear that Grimoire Books are publishing a second book in January; Rebecca Emin's New Beginnings, indicating that perhaps the first time round wasn't such a bad idea after all... perhaps...
I've never met Rebecca but she's a fellow blogger and a keen writer and we got in touch via Twitter; turns out she's lovely as well. She has recently interviewed me for both her blogs (I confess to being a terrible interviewee) here; if you want to read it.
I think that our publisher may have a thing for new beginnings because Rebecca's book, like my own, deals with the subject of change; of someone moving somewhere new and making new friends, trying to fit in. New Beginnings however deals with the weighty and ever-current subject of bullying and does so in a sensitive and readable way.
Sam, the heroine of the story, moves to a new school and finds herself the subject of bullying which not only knocks her confidence, but escalates from verbal threats and abuse to physical violence. The story of how it affects her and how she overcomes it is handled in a very practical way and written absolutely appropriately for the reading level (I'd say 8-13 on this). The glitteringly triumphant ending is satisfying not only because right wins out over wrong, but because wrong, in the form of the bully, is given an even and fair study
As someone who was bullied through much of my school life, I recall incidents and feelings similar to some of those in the book. The subject is well handled and the story offers practical solutions as well as hope for anyone in that situation. The book isn't just for those who have been or are being bullied however; it's a good, pacey read with plenty of storylines to appeal; including a 'Glee' type happy ending.
Children need to know that school is just a small part of life and that there is hope, if it's bad; Emin gets this message across subtly in a readable and way suitable for the target age-group. It's a great book and I'm proud to share a shelf. You can pre-order a copy from Grimoire Books on their website here.
PS, apologies for anyone reading this on RSS and getting it twice; I lost half the original text in some sort of blogger hell moment; hence the re-write.