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This Issue shines a spotlight on books for children and young adults. Featuring vivid and memorable voices across fiction, poetry, music and design, this Issue takes you through history, across continents, into fantastical otherworlds and even outer space!

Street Song by multi award-winning Irish author Sheena Wilkinson is one of the first titles to kick off the new Young Adult fiction imprint Ink Road. In this extract we meet 18-year-old RyLee whose career as a teen pop sensation is over after battles with addiction and constant media scrutiny. Can he put his life back on track or will the past catch up with him?

Extract from Street Song By Sheena Wilkinson Published by Ink Road

I woke early – it had been a weird night even by our standards; we’d passed out mid-fight – and there was Kelly, curled round my duvet with her back to me. Her hair, all smoke and hairspray, clogged my mouth, and through the thin sweaty cotton of her green top you could count each of her vertebra. I stretched out my finger and placed it between two of the green cotton bumps and shuddered. She whimpered and wriggled and turned round. Her eyelids cracked open the layers of mascara and eyeliner.

‘Ryan?’ she murmured. ‘Iss not morning?’

I shook my head. I couldn’t trust myself to speak because when she opened her mouth I caught a reek of last night’s vomit, drink, smoke and, somewhere in the mix, the pizza we’d had on the walk between the pub and the club – she only ate when she was stoned. I half-turned my head away and focused on the far corner of my bedroom. The cold dawn light slanting through the slats of the wooden blind showed the dust on my guitar. If I looked above it I’d see the photo of me the night I won PopIcon, but I didn’t look up.

Kelly smiled dopily and reached her hand out towards me.

I drew away. ‘You have to go.’

Her face crumpled.

‘I said last night – I can’t do this any m...

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David Robinson delves into the fantastical world of Young Adult fiction by casting an eye over Dragon’s Green, the hotly anticipated first Young Adult novel by acclaimed author Scarlett Thomas. With narrative action centered around the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange and the mysterious Otherworld, David finds Dragon’s Green to be magical and metafictional but – above all – an energetic and imaginative celebration of books and reading.

David Robinson Reviews: Dragon’s Green By Scarlett Thomas Published by Canongate

“The most exciting debut in children’s fiction since Harry Potter.” No, I’m not going to count the number of children...

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ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Ella Fitzgerald: First Discovery Music click

Ella Fitzgerald: First Discovery Music

‘She dreams of being able to perform at the Savoy Ballroom’

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Robert J Harris: Writing for the Young Protagonist click

Robert J Harris: Writing for the Young Protagonist

‘It is moral courage as much as physical courage that wins the day for our young heroes’

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Spontaneous click

Spontaneous

‘The janitor probably figured he’d only have to scrub guts off one whiteboard this year’

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The First Men on Mercury click

The First Men on Mercury

Edwin Morgan’s science fiction poem as a comic strip

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Kathrine Sowerby: A Book of Beginnings click

Kathrine Sowerby: A Book of Beginnings

‘The locations of the stories go unnamed but are a patchwork of formative places in my life’

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Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize Ceremony click

Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize Ceremony

Celebrating the 2017 Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize Awards Ceremony

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