1776. The early days of the Revolutionary War. It supposedly began with Thomas Hickey, a private in the Continental Army, and New York governor William Tryon. In an astonishing power grab, they plotted to kill Hickey’s boss: a man by the name of George Washington. But to this day, nobody knows for sure if this story is true. In The First Conspiracy, Brad Meltzer sheds light on the close-kept secrets and compelling details surrounding this story and exposes the history of how the assassination plot catalyzed the creation of the CIA and FBI.
Hello readers! I write this sitting in the British Library, surrounded by girls’ comics from the 1950s. One day I want to be able to write this newsletter sitting in the kitchen sink (in tribute to I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith) but in the meanwhile, this is a pretty good alternative. I mean, how can you resist a comic about how teenage Angela desperately wants to be a bank clerk? Amazing.
Here’s your new releases for the week of January 21, 2020 (and there’s one title that isn’t released this week but is something that I really want to get on your radar…)
Lawrence: The Bunny Who Wanted To Be Naked by Vern Kousky
The search for independence is a difficult thing, particularly if you’re a bun with a mom who insists on dressing you up in increasingly elaborate costumes whilst all the other bunnies are free to go naked. Charming, gentle and very, very cute, this is a lovely tale of learning to let your baby bunny go – in whatever they’re wearing. Or not wearing…
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl by Megan Reid and Laura Freeman
I’m increasingly aware of the necessity to tell women’s history (and to do it well!) for each new generation of history makers. Althea Gibson was the first Black French and US open tennis champion, and the first ever Black person to win a trophy at Wimbledon. This is a vibrant, spirited look at her life and how she fought back against the impact of segregation and prejudice.
In a Jar by Deborah Marcero
(I seem to be on a bunny theme this week!). Llewellyn likes collecting – and one day he makes a friend called Evelyn. Together they collect wonderful things that remind them of their time together, until Evelyn comes with news: her family is moving away. How can a collection – and a friendship – survive? This is another very lovely picture book to add to your collection (sometimes I think picture books are the best of all the books…). Marcero’s artwork is divine; whimsical, distinct and deeply, deeply lovely.
Green Lantern : Legacy by Minh Lê and artist Andy Tong
This is the story of the first Asian American Green Lantern, thirteen year old Tai Pham who inherits his grandmother’s jade ring and a whole lot more besides. The dynamic and accessible art makes it perfect for middle grade readers, and Lê’s script also works to celebrates the heroes found within our own homes.
The Highland Falcon Thief by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman
I know I’m telling you about this one early (it’s released at the end of the month in the UK and on July 28 in the US) but it’s so. much. fun. Get it on your pre-orders now! Harrison Beck and Marlene Singh solve a mystery on a steam train – there’s royalty, a pack of adorable Samoyeds, and some incredibly thrilling train based exploits. It’s a really great classic mystery story and I loved it.
Alright, so there we are! I’m going to head back to the 1950s now to learn more about Judy who wishes to be a dancing teacher (“she has been attending classes in ballet since she was quite small”) and I’ll be back in touch with you next week with some more of my picks. In the meanwhile, you can catch up with me on Novel Gazing – a podcast devoted to literary fiction – or say hello online @chaletfan. Let me know what you’re reading!