New Term!

It’s the start of the school year, new term, new pencil case, new you. We won’t eat as much chocolate, we’ll exercise, we’ll organise, prioritise, MAXIMISE…our potential….. OR shall we just start with something a little gentler….? A little more fun? Here at Young City Reads we’ve launched our NEW blog and our first post is all about the NEW things to expect from both us and the booky community this school term – go on have a read put your feet up and have a bar of chocolate.


BOOKS to look out for…

The Young City Reads team like to read A LOT and we know that you do too. Between us we’ve probably ploughed through about 200 books already this year…and you’ll often find us in a Brighton & Hove library, The Book Nook, or Waterstones seeking out exciting new titles… here’s what we’re looking forward to getting our mitts on in the coming months…

Sarah: I hope I’m allowed THREE choices. (we think this is OK!)

1.Firstly, I’m hugely excited to read Canday Gourlay’s book: Bone Talk Samkad lives in a tribe deep in the Philippine jungle at the end of the nineteenth century, and has never encountered anyone from outside his own tribe before. However, Samkad’s world is about to change utterly. A strange man with white skin arrives in his village, and Samkad discovers the brother he never knew he had. A brother who tells him of people called ‘Americans’. Americans who are bringing war, and burning, to Samuel’s home. Described by The Bookseller as: ‘A soulful coming-of-age story rich in Filipino myth and tradition, combined with a thrilling adventure of headhunters and invaders, asking powerful questions about community, colonialism and what it means to be a man.’

2. My next choice would be the eagerly awaited new book from Carnegie winner Melvin Burgess, The Lost Witch, which has just been published. ‘Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can – creatures, voices, visions. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help. Melvin Burgess returns with a powerful, thrilling fantasy for young adults about magic, myth and following your instincts.’

3. Lastly I’m a HUGE fan of Shaun Tan’s work, and am very keen to get my hands on a copy of Cicada, his new picture book described as ‘…a meditation on belonging and bullying in pictures’ by the Guardian. Published in HB 15 Nov 2018.


Vicky: I can’t wait to read Ross Montgomery’s new book, Max and the Millions. From what I’ve heard it’s an extremely original story and knowing Ross, will be incredibly moving and thought-provoking too!

Marina:  I am super excited to read The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton. This is Jessie’s first work of children’s fiction after penning her brilliant bestselling The Minaturist and The Muse. It’s being billed as a ‘dazzling, feminist work of short fiction’, reinterpreting a classic fairytale – the Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brother’s Grimm.

Here’s what Jessie says of her interpretation:

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm was always a longtime favourite of mine – ​I loved the idea of twelve sisters, of a secret door to an underground world, full of shining forests and a dancefloor where they whiled away the entire night in secret before returning to the palace at dawn. But when I re-read it as an adult there was a lot about it that enraged me. Firstly, why don’t the girls have names? Secondly, why should the girls’ fun be spoiled because their father doesn’t like them having a secret? Thirdly, why should a random man be able to don a cloak of invisibility – essentially stalking and spying on them – and reveal their secret, thus ruining their happiness and their lives? Fourthly, why should his reward for this be the hand in marriage of any one of the daughters he chooses, whether or not she wants it? Oh, and the kingdom to boot! FIFTHLY, why, if this is a story about twelve dancing princesses, do we never hear from the princesses themselves?

So I changed it a bit. Which was very, very fun. In fact, the most fun writing I’ve had since I was twelve.

The dancing’s still there, the underground worlds, the sisterhood, the fun and excitement. But let’s just say that this time round, the girls are more ingenious, determined, and fiery than the Brothers Grimm might ever have imagined. Add a talking lioness, a peacock maitre d’, some toucan waiters and a monkey on the saxophone, and you get the idea. I can’t wait for younger readers to get their hands on it.”

Here’s a little synopsis of the novel below:

For her twelve daughters, Queen Laurelia’s death in a motor car accident is a disaster beyond losing a mother. Their father, King Alberto, cannot bear the idea of the princesses ever being in danger and decides his daughters must be kept safe at all costs. Those costs include their lessons, their possessions and, most importantly, their freedom. But the eldest, Princess Frida, will not bend to his will without a fight and she still has one possession her father can’t take – the power of her imagination. And so with little but wits and ingenuity to rely on, Frida and her sisters begin their fight to be allowed to live.

There’s also some great cultural events happening across the city….


6th September – Bookworms: Lucy Mangan & Daniel Hahn in Conversation.

Our friends over at Little Green Pig are hosting an evening of celebration of childhood reading with writer Lucy Mangan. More info here:


15th September – Snail Space

We’re so excited to see all the snails, but particularly those designed by local primaries!


13th September – 13th October – Brighton Digital Festival

The Brighton Digital Festival is always such a blast, with tons of exciting workshops and events exploring digital culture across the City. From coding for kids to Brighton Got’s Tech Talent, there’s something for everyone – look out for the tiny disco’s popping up in little spaces across town!


29th September – The Wizard of Oz – Brighton Open Air Theatre

You’re invited to dress up and sing-a-long to the classic film The Wizard of Oz at Brighton’s Open Air Theatre. Follow the yellow-brick road for best costume prizes, and a free serving of popcorn for all.



25th – 29th October – Mexican day of the Dead – sugar skull making workshop

Learn about the Mexican festival Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a festival which remembers and honours loved ones who have died and make your very own Mexican Day of The Dead sugar skulls at this family friendly sewing workshop.

This workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities. Hand sewing only and all materials are provided!


26th October – Harry Hill – How to be Funny for Kids at The Theatre Royal Brighton

Harry Hill’s KIDZ SHOW: How To Be Funny – For KIDS! will offer hints, tips and anecdotes for children who fancy themselves as a bit of a joker, with the self-styled floppy-collared loon Harry Hill on hand to run through his dos and do-nots, as well as offering kids the chance to try out their comedy skills.


3rd – 4th November – The Brighton Illustration Fair – University of Brighton

We are super excited about the Brighton Illustration Fair (BIF), which comes back for a 4th consecutive year to the University of Brighton’s Sallis Benney Theatre & gallery spaces.

2 days of exhibitors, guests, talks, exhibitions and much more, we can’t wait to make new discoveries and catch up with old favourites in what is always a fantastic event.

Confirmed guests so far include Atelier Bingo, Maria Midttun, Laurie Rowan and Ryan Gillett.




19th March 2019 – Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman at the Theatre Royal


From one of our favourite YA authors, this gripping Romeo and Juliet story by acclaimed writer Malorie Blackman and adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz is a captivating drama of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world.


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