We’ve been blogging about Scottish children’s books for almost three years now, and have been lucky to read many, many wonderful stories, and they just keep getting better. Next year promises to be packed with literary treats, with particular treasures for young readers who love stories that celebrate Scotland’s history, wildlife and countryside.
Here’s our pick of the middle grade (and/or upper primary age) titles that we’re most look forward to in 2022. We can’t wait to get reading.
Talking History, 150 years of Speakers and Speeches, by Joan Haig and Joan Lennon, illustrated by Andre Ducci (Templar)
Abraham Lincoln inspired a nation, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti fought for women’s rights and Greta Thunberg made her voice heard on global warming.
This non-fiction title explores how the stirring words of 16 speakers have formed milestones in modern history and engaged generations on issues including war, women’s rights, climate change and civil rights. It considers the background to each speech and the impact it made. Set to inspire young talkers and listeners alike.
The Sky Beneath the Stone, by Alex Mullarky (Kelpies)
Thirteen-year-old Ivy North is an adventurer. She can pitch a tent in four minutes flat, knows the local landscape like the back of her hand, and she’s an expert map reader. There’s just one problem. She’s afraid to go outside. When her little brother is transformed into a kestrel by a powerful sorcerer, Ivy follows him through a mysterious hole in the garden wall, and emerges in Underfell – an enchanted realm that seems like the Lake District she knows, but is dangerously different.
We love a fantasy inspired by local folklore and can’t wait to get our hands on this intriguing debut.
The Rewilders, by Lindsay Littleson (Cranachan)
When Esmé’s gran accidentally steals a lynx kitten, Esmé and school ‘bad boy’ Calum, take on a dangerous mission to return it to the wild in the Scottish Highlands in this thrilling tale with themes of rewilding, conservation, growing up and friendship.
Lindsay Littleson has a magical ability to bring Scotland’s landscape to life, and we’re longing to get immersed in this new adventure.
A Gathering Storm, by Tamsin Mori (UCLAN)
Once a year, weather weavers from all over the globe come together at the Gathering, to trade weather magic and stories. Stella and her cloud friend Nimbus can’t wait to meet others like them, but they’re in for a frosty welcome.
The Weather Weaver was one of our favourite reads of last year, it was powerful and funny and left us wanting to spend time more time with its quirky characters – we’re excited that soon we can.
Wrath, by Marcus Sedgwick (Barrington Stoke)
Cassie Cotton has always been a bit different – but this only makes her more intriguing to her classmate Fitz. Cassie can hear a noise that most people don’t notice, and she believes it’s a sound that shows the Earth is in distress, damaged by human activity. When this belief leads to her being bullied, Cassie disappears. Fitz is determined to find her, but will he be in time to help?
Set against iconic Scottish landscapes, we’ve had a sneak peek at the start of this and it’s gripping.
Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chu, by Maisie Chan
Twelve-year-old Lizzie Chu lives with her grandad Jimmy, and he’s been acting strangely lately. He spends a lot of time talking to his statue of Guan Yin – the Chinese goddess of compassion, kindness and mercy. Even the shared passion he and Lizzie have for dancing seems to be tailing off. Lizzie is worried about Jimmy, but doesn’t know how to help – until a fancy dress mix-up provides a perfect opportunity.
2021 has been an impressive year for Maisie Chan, whose debut Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. 2022 looks set to be equally productive, with the third of her Tiger Warrior chapter book series coming in the new year too.
Callum and the Mountain 2, by Alan McLure (Beaten Track)
We’re waiting for more details on this new project (title to be confirmed) which sees Callum and his quirky friends resume their adventures in the scenic village of Skerrils. The first book was packed with surprises and rich with Scots language and culture, and we’re expecting more of the same.
Publication date to be confirmed.
A new historical novel from Barbara Henderson
Details are not available yet, but we have loved all our journeys into the past with Barbara Henderson so far (from Fir to Luck, to Punch, to the Chessmen Thief) so we know we can look forward to a cracking character-led story, meticulously researched.