Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Hot Key Lunch and Other Book News

So much has happened lately that we've made a bit of a change to today's Sunday post. It still includes the books we received but also a whole bunch of news from us and the book world. We hope you think it's as exciting as we do.  

Lydia Syson, author of a World Between Us

Hot Key Books Lunch - we're charmed indeed

On 30 June, we attended the first ever Hot Key Bloggers Lunch. Everything about this new young people’s publishing imprint oozes charm: their personalities, their converted print press offices, their distinctive inhouse designed launch covers, their fantastically collectible proof copy covers (Little M turned down a finished copy in preference for a 008 proof!), their extensive and intriguing book library, their Hot Key Ring which provides clever content guidance, and a launch list that looks like it’ll leave a lot of readers spoilt for choice.  Of course, I haven’t read much from the list yet, but I’m looking forward to doing that.

Particular highlights of the afternoon included meeting Sally Gardner, Little M linking up with another young book blogger and for me, finally meeting Lydia Syson whose book, A World Between Us is part of the Hot Key launch list.

Little M also said, “I found Lydia Syson very interesting. The story about her grandparents got me intrigued and I want to know more about them. I can’t wait to read her book which is about someone who falls in love with someone during the Spanish Civil War. Angel Dust (a book by Sarah Mussi) also looks very good. I like the idea of an angel who has been told to go down to earth and take a gangster to the afterlife – but she falls in love.”

Thank you, Hot Key for inviting us, and we wish you every success for the future.

Sally Gardner, author of Maggot Moon

New things coming up for We Sat Down

In August, Vintage is launching a new Children’s Classics series and we’ve got a month full of fun happening on the blog with that.  Yes, it includes something we’ve never done before…

In October, We Sat Down will be Spreading the Book Love on 7 October at the Ilkley Literature Festival Wordfest. This is a programmed part of the Festival and is an afternoon of literature workshops and creative fun especially for young people aged 12-18. Amongst other things, we’ll be talking to people about our top reads this year. We’ll be telling you more about this closer to the time.


We’ve hosted our first book giveaway this week.  It’s for A Stallion Called Midnight by Victoria Eveleigh (Orion).  Entries close on Friday 6 July.

We have a few more giveaways coming up soon for Uncommon Criminals (by Ally Carter, Orchard Books) and some Codename Quicksilver sets (by Allan Jones, Orion Children’s Books).

And, did you know it’s 15 years since Harry Potter was published? To celebrate, Bloomsbury launched a new competition last week. They're looking for the UK and Ireland's biggest Harry Potter fan.

Books we’ve received this week 

From Hot Key Books event

Other books

We won:

The Great Escape by Megan Rix (from Girls Heart Books blog; published by Puffin) – a story about some pets who were left behind during World War II.

For review:

A World Between Us – Lydia Syson (Hot Key): we’ve wanted this since we first heard about it; an epic political romance set during the Spanish Civil War that explores all sorts of idealism; inspired by stories from the author’s grandparents’ lives.

Maggot Moon – Sally Gardner (Hot Key): set 10 years before the first moon landing, Gardner draws on current moon landing conspiracy theories to weave a dystopian tale about a dyslexic teen who has a vision to make a sacrifice for a greater good. It’s described as narratively unusual.

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars – Katherine Marsh (Hot Key): sounds very intriguing (which is a good start).  It’s based on the true story of dwarf who was kept by an astronomer.

Angel Dust – Sarah Mussi (Hot Key): the author describes this story as a metaphor for first love where you’re prepared to strip away your whole belief system.

Billie Templar’s War – Ellie Irving (Bodley Head): an eleven year old girl wants the Queen to send her dad home from the war because she doesn’t want him to get killed; wonderful cover.

Silence – Simon Packham (Piccadilly Press): his best friend’s died in a car accident and now Chris can’t speak.  He’s become mute.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M Valente (Corsair): a fantasy; 12 year old September is lonely and is given the adventure of a lifetime where she has to save Fairyland; has received favourable reviews from Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow so I think it’s worth a look.

Codename Quicksilver Books 1 & 2: In the Zone and The Tyrant Kin (Orion): spies, spies, spies for the younger reader.


  1. Glad you had a good time at Hot Key! :)

    I really want to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - I've heard so many great things about it.

    1. TGWCFIASOHOM - even like that, it's a long title. I like the title a lot. It's stands out as a bit supercalafragalistic out there in a sea of single word titles.

  2. I got a lovely big box of hot key books a couple of weeks ago and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they have to offer as they sound like a fantastic new publisher.

    I hope you enjoy reading all your books and if you get a chance here is my IMM -

    Happy reading,

  3. This all sounds so interesting and exciting. Have fun reading all these books that look so good.

    1. Thanks Alex, there really is a wonderful mix of stuff out there at the moment.

  4. I love the sound of the books on the Hot Key launch love and I love how the proof's are 'collectable'. It sounds like the event was fab!

    Some great books in there as well :)


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