2 Guest editorial: Remembering Jonny Zucker with Strikerboy


3 Mary Roche on the ways picture books open up the world for children

6 Two Children Tell: a tribute to Peter Spier and relational reasoning


guest editorial

Well-known children’s author Jonny Zucker, took his own life last year after struggling with depression for twenty years. 2Simple

are _________________________________________

8 How to write poetry: in advance of National Poetry Day, inspiration from Joseph Coelho


10 Windows into Illustration: Francesca Sanna winner of the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize

12 Authorgraph: Sally Nicholls interviewed by Michelle Pauli

16 Pam Dix, chair of Ibby UK reports on BIB, the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava 2017

18 Philip Reeve interviewed by Philip Womack

21 I Wish I’d Written… A.F. Harrold chooses

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14 Ten of the Best historical novels chosen by Tony Bradman

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21 Reviewers and reviews Under 5s (Pre-School/ Nursery/Infant) + New Talent 5-8 (Infant/Junior) 8-10 (Junior/Middle) 10-14 (Middle/Secondary) + Editor’s Choice 14+ (Secondary/Adult)


32 Classics in Short No. 125 Children of the New Forest

_________________________________________ COVER STORY

This issue’s cover illustration is from Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls.

Thanks to Andersen Press for their help with this September cover.

republishing a special edition of his most popular novel, Striker Boy, which was first published 2010.

All of

the proceeds of this book will go directly to Jonny’s family and the mental health charity, Mind.

Jonny was a primary school teacher before he became a children’s book author. He committed his life to getting kids reading. He and his wife, Fiona Starr, had three young sons.

Fiona says ‘The Striker Boy campaign gives me hope and comfort that his death wasn’t in vain, that even in death Jonny can still inspire thousands of children all over the world through his words.’

One in four people live with a mental health problem and every year it is the biggest killer of men under 50.

The Striker Boy campaign is raising awareness of mental health issues in adults and children. 2Simple have designed a range of free teacher resources packs for schools, including an ‘emotional resilience resource’ to help primary school teachers promote positive mental health.

The republished Striker Boy will be available from for £6.99 and £1.40 from every copy sold will be donated to Mind, a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 219830). Jonny was supported by the charity in his life and therefore the family decided to work with them.

Mind’s Chief Executive, Paul Farmer, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for Striker Boy by the Zucker family. Their support will mean that Mind can continue providing vital services, like our Infoline, so people can make their own choices and access the treatment and support that is right for them. This partnership will help us to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.”

Fiona says: “My best friend and my husband, amazing dad, son, brother, uncle, witty, intelligent and generally inspirational human being, took his own life at the end of November 2016. If you didn’t know Jonny you may be thinking, ‘well she would say that wouldn’t she? She is his wife’, but you don’t have to look far to find out that this is the truth for all who came across him… He had the capacity to make everyone feel as if they were special. If only he knew how special he was.”

During his life Jonny wrote hundreds of books including the Striker Boy series, the Max Flash series, the Monster Swap series, Venus Spring Stunt Girl, Dan and the Mudman, One Girl Two Decks, Mystical Magic and many more titles for both children and adults.

Books for Keeps

September 2017 No.226 ISSN 0143-909X © Books for Keeps CIC 2016 Editor: Ferelith Hordon Assistant Editor: Ruth Williams Editorial assistant Grace Hebditch Managing Editor: Andrea Reece Design: Louise Millar Editorial correspondence should be sent to Books for Keeps,

c/o The Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG

2 Books for Keeps No.226 September 2017

Books for Keeps is available online at A regular BfK Newsletter can also be sent by email. To sign up for the Newsletter, go to and follow the Newsletter link. If any difficulty is experienced, email addresses can also be sent to*


Website: *Email addresses will be used by Books for Keeps only for the purpose of emailing the Newsletter and will not be disclosed to third parties.

In the lead up to publication, Fiona says: “the buzz is contagious. People are offering football contacts, school and library events, promotions through the media – we have even had the offer of a musical! If anyone has any ideas of how to make Striker Boy happen on a grand scale to continue the joy of Jonny and raise awareness of mental health and suicide, then do get in touch.”

You can buy the special edition of Striker Boy through the strikerboy. com website, Amazon and some bookshops.

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