Memory Thieves news and Furthermoor cover reveal – it’s a blog-post bonanza!

Hello, peeps. Thought I’d squeeze in a blog post before the end of the year. How the heck are we already on the cusp of Christmas?

Anyhow, I have news on not one but two books today.

Firstly, a little update on The Memory Thieves, which – since my last post – I’m chuffed to say was a Book of the Month in both the Observer and Guardian! Space for children’s books is very limited in physical newspapers, so I’m feeling blessed to have seen The Memory Thieves in both. Thank you to Kitty Empire and Imogen Russell Williams for writing such kind reviews, which you can find online here and here.

It’s not just the press that counts, of course; putting out book is all about readers, schools and libraries. So I’m pleased to report that The Memory Thieves has been longlisted for the 2022 Redbridge Children’s Book Award and – drum roll, please – nominated for the 2022 CILIP Carnegie Medal! Wowsers. I have no idea whether I’ll make the longlist, but either way, this is a huge honour for me, as the Carnegie Medal is one of the most prestigious and coveted awards in young people’s fiction. Cross your fingers and toes for me, gang!

Now for news on the second book I mentioned – which is nothing less than the cover reveal for my next novel! Feast your greedy peepers:

Isn’t this amazing? The cover was illustrated and designed by Anna Kuptsova and Will Steele, and animated by Usborne’s Penelope Mazza. Here it is in all its most glorious of glories:

And here’s the book’s blurb:

Enter a world as vast and dark as your imagination, in this unforgettable coming-of-age story about courage, friendship and finding your voice.

The real world is a hostile place for twelve-year-old Bren, his schooldays stalked by vicious bully, Shaun, and his family life fractured at home. Ever since his sister Evie died in an accident, Bren’s only safe space is Furthermoor, an imagined world of mechanised trees and clockwork animals, where Evie is still alive. In Furthermoor, no one can hurt Bren…until the mysterious Featherly arrives. Now Bren is forced to confront his deepest fears and decide if his place in the real world is worth fighting for.

Furthermoor was announced by Usborne during Anti-Bullying Week, which is incredibly apt, since bullying is one of the novel’s central themes, alongside the blurred lines between reality and imagination. Hence its dedication reads, For the wallflowers, and for those who refuse to look the other way.

Furthermoor will be released on 3 March – which just happens to be World Book Day! It’s already available on NetGalley for teachers, reviewers, librarians and anyone else keen on an early read. You can pre-order a copy from bookshop.org, your local bookshop and the usual online places.

Hey ho, that’s more than enough guff from me now. So I’ll wish you all the best for the rest of 2021, and good luck for 2022. Times are still strange, so hang in there, be nice, and be sure to lose yourself in lots of good stories.

Much love,
Darren