Children’s Book of the Week… and the Month!
My new book Space Oddity is out now and, with the country in lockdown and the doors of bricks-and-mortar bookshops shut, it's safe to say that Thursday 7th January was a publication day unlike any I've ever experienced before. With so many people suffering at the moment and the endless tide of grimness on the news, it can lead one to question whether it's even worth sending another story out into the world, but as this eloquent tweet from the brilliant children's author Jonathan Meres wisely states, stories are what we need now more than ever. I really hope Space Oddity is a story that will help young readers to look up at the stars with a smile, which feels important right now.
As it's my first story for slightly younger readers, I really hope it's a book that parents and children will enjoy reading together, so I was thrilled to see Booktrust describe Space Oddity as "a perfect read for children and parents to share, and a great book with which to encourage children who usually only like funny stories to read something with more emotional depth." Picking it out as one of the best new books published this month, Booktrust go on to say, "it reads like a quiet classic."
It was also wonderful to see The Times name Space Oddity as their Children's Book of the Week and in the review, Alex O'Connell described it as "a bright, brainy book ... spiced with a good pinch of humour and lashings of emotional intelligence." You can read the full review here.
As well as being a Children's Book of the Week, I'm very proud to let you know that Space Oddity is a Children's Book of the Month too! Blackwell's have chosen Space Oddity as their Children's Book of the Month for January and I filmed this video for their YouTube channel to say thank you and introduce readers to the story. It would've been lovely to have visited the wondrous Blackwell's bookshop on Broad Street in Oxford to celebrate this fact - probably by buying armfuls of books! - but unfortunately the lockdown means this just isn't possible. I really hope though that you might visit Blackwell's online to buy Space Oddity there and I look forward to sunnier days ahead when we can all visit bricks-and-mortar bookshops again.
Finally, as you might know, I love creating soundtracks for all of my novels and Space Oddity is no exception! You can listen to the all-David Bowie playlist I've created for the book on Spotify below and I was absolutely thrilled to be invited onto Chris Hawkins BBC 6 Music show to talk about how David Bowie's life and music helped to inspire the story. You can listen to the show again here and my interview with Chris appears at the 1-hour 42-minute mark. At the close of the interview, Chris described Space Oddity as " a wonderful cosmic adventure" and "a real joy of a read" and it was real thrill for me to speak to Chris and then hear the opening chords of 'Space Oddity' the song fade in at the end of the interview.