Andrea Reece - Editorial Expert

About Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.

She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.

She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Latest Reviews By Andrea Reece

In a nutshell: passionate love story continues – in hell  |    Zoe and X are soulmates, even though she’s a 21st century teenager and he’s a bounty hunter from the Lowlands, ie Hell.  They were brought together in The Edge of Everything, but separated at the end when he sacrificed himself for her and returned to the Lowlands.  But never say forever – in this equally torrid and thrilling episode the two are reunited, Zoe recklessly plunging into the underworld to find X, now involved in a search for his missing ... View Full Review
In a nutshell: YA psychological thriller, as twisty as they come |    This story begins in a spiritual retreat. 17 year old Nora is there to recover from an accident and promises readers she will describe the chain of events that brought her there. It will, she says, be a true story, before immediately admitting that she hasn’t always told the truth. This is putting it mildly: Nora’s whole life is a series of lies and deceptions. She has a library of stories to explain her father’s death for example, and in an ... View Full Review
In a nutshell: girl loves boy/supernatural bounty hunter  |   When star-crossed lovers Zoe and the boy she nicknames X meet the circumstances are hardly promising: stranded in a blizzard Zoe has fallen into the hands of a psychotic murderer and X, there in his capacity as supernatural bounty hunter responsible for dragging wicked souls to Hell, saves her. When Zoe persuades him to let the man go, her fate and X’s intertwine but as the plot unfolds, we begin to realise that maybe they were part of a bigger story all along. Sassy, fast-talking Zoe ... View Full Review
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gripping YA thriller  |  Two damaged young people are the central characters in this gripping novel.  Rev, who lives with his adopted parents, still bears the scars inflicted by his abusive father, and fears that he may one day meet the man again or, even worse, turn into him.  Em’s homelife is toxic, her parents argue all the time and her mother often attacks Em too. She takes refuge online, but that space stops feeling safe when one of the vile trolls who target her (mostly for ... View Full Review
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award  | In a Nutshell: how to hope for the best even when you’ve been through the worst |   Susin Nielsen puts her protagonists through the most terrible situations, but always manages to keep the tone of her novels light, positive and ultimately uplifting. Teenager Petula’s little sister died in tragic circumstances and the effect on the family has been shattering: her parents are both coping in their own way, but growing further apart, while Petula sees danger and threats in everything. Because of her terrible anxiety she’s ... View Full Review
February 2018 Debut of the Month  |  In a nutshell: angry, witty and ultimately life-affirming coming-of-age story The Taste of Blue Light establishes Lydia Ruffles as an exciting and original new voice in YA. We first meet her central character Lux Langley at her school’s end of year party, the kind of wild, uninhibited bacchanal that Richdene Art School is famous for. She seems to be everything many teens long to be – bold, confident, popular. But something happens that turns her summer bad, so that ever after it tastes to Lux ‘of tequila and ash’. ... View Full Review
February 2018 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: sci-fi and fantasy blend in high-action, thought-provoking adventure Musician and entertainer will.i.am has collaborated with science of the future specialist Brian David Johnson to create an epic adventure. WaR seamlessly combines fantasy favourites wizards with robots, long beloved in sci-fi but now accepted as a crucial part of all our futures. Flipping back and forth in time, it stars feisty teenager Sara, whose mother is creating the first fully intelligent robot. This puts Sara at the centre of a power struggle, spanning centuries, between wizards and robots. As the story ... View Full Review
In a nutshell: unputdownable story, beautifully told |   Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan are two of our most garlanded YA authors: she won the 2016 Carnegie Medal, the UK’s top children’s book award; he has just been awarded the 2016 Costa Children’s Book Award. In this fine and extremely moving novel, they share the writing honours. The narrative is split between two young protagonists, English Jess, whose lines are written by Crossan, and Nicu, newly arrived from Romania, voiced by Conaghan. The two meet on a programme for young offenders and secretly, necessarily without the ... View Full Review
January 2018 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: bewitching tale of love, suspense and witchery Adriana Mather’s story of a young girl overcoming a centuries old supernatural feud is a heady combination of intrigue, romance and ghostly goings-on. The central character is descended from Cotton Mather (as is the author), notorious for his part in the Salem Witch Trials, and when she returns to the town, Sam’s presence reawakens an old curse; soon people are dying. New York-raised Sam won’t stand for any kind of bullying – human or paranormal – and is ... View Full Review
In a nutshell: dark, spellbinding fantasy from a master of the form Holly Black’s new series stars a girl caught between the human and the Faerie worlds. Jude was just a child when she witnessed the murder of her parents by Madoc, a Faerie lord. Madoc took Jude and her sisters back to Elfhame with him and brought them up as his own. Jude is reminded constantly of her position as an outsider and a rivalry with the arrogant Prince Cardan seems to offer the means to prove herself as she desperately wants; instead it leads her into ... View Full Review
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2017, Costa Children's Book Award Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award In a nutshell: beautifully told story of courage and hope and an unforgettable setting Kiran Millwood Hargrave follows up her award-winning debut The Girl of Ink and Stars with a story set in the real world, though one still filled with a sense of wonder and the extraordinary. Set in the Philippines at the beginning of the last century it tells the story of a girl forcibly removed from her mother, as many were, because her mother has leprosy, or as those with ... View Full Review
In any Enid Blyton book you can guarantee that at some point there’ll be a lip-smacking description of food. Allega McEvedy takes inspiration from Blyton’s best-loved stories to create recipes for every time of the day: starting with breakfasts that would be enjoyed by the Naughtiest Girl in the School, her book then lists elevenses for the Secret Seven, Famous Five inspired picnics (yes of course ginger beer is included), teatime treats from the Faraway Tree, Secret Island suppers and Malory Towers midnight feasts – heaven! The recipes are excellent and each section begins with an ... View Full Review