What are this year’s best reads so far for children and young adults? FT reviewers Suzi Feay and James Lovegrove will be online on Saturday July 4 at 12-1pm London time to take your questions. Go to this story to get involved
Akala, Hodder, RRP£12.99
Magic and history mingle as Henry, a mixed-race urchin with dreams of being a poet, pilfers his way through a vividly imagined Elizabethan London. Secrets he uncovers involve Doctor Dee and Shakespeare himself. A meticulously researched adventure with social justice at its heart.
James Goodhand, Penguin, RRP£7.99
Narrator Ollie has gone to school with a pipe-bomb in his backpack, determined to wreak revenge on indifferent teachers, class bullies and a former friend. Suspense builds as the home-made timer ticks on; but is Ollie seeing clearly? A powerfully charged study in empathy.
Danielle Jawando, Simon & Schuster, RRP£7.99
Nathan’s elder brother Al, a gifted artist, has committed suicide with no warning signs and the 15-year-old is determined to find out why. Social media and Al’s supposed friends provide the clues. A gripping, Manchester-set tale of troubled young masculinity.
e. lockhart, Hot Key Books, RRP£7.99
Various permutations of romance play out as teenage dog walker Adelaide negotiates heartbreak and desire in alternate universes. Is there one in which she will enthral the mysterious Jack? A tale that’s formally inventive, melancholic yet hopeful.
David Owen, Atom, RRP£7.99
Two intertwined stories, told in two different styles. Bereaved new boy Owen makes friends with Duncan, who has issues he can’t share with other peers. Periodically Owen is whipped off to a mysterious otherworld by winged beings. Half realistic, half mystical, wholly successful.
All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too. Explore the series here
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