Upper Middle Grade Books (Readers 8+)


Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Month (February 2019)

A Books For Topics Book of the Month (February 2019)

Longlisted for the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) Book Award 2020

Nominated for the Cartwheel Book Prize 2021

Shortlisted for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Award 2020

The Star-Spun Web Front Cover
Front cover of The Star-Spun Web, art by Sara Mulvanny, designed by Sophie Bransby, published by Stripes Books February 2019.

Tess de Sousa has lived all her life in the confines of Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings, knowing nothing about her origins. That is, until the day a mysterious man named Norton F. Cleat comes calling, seeking to take her away from everyone and everything she knows and loves. Instead of fleeing from Cleat, however, Tess decides to go with him; she wants to get to the bottom of why he chose her, of all orphans, to claim as his own. Does he know something about her parents? And what is his interest in the inexplicable object Tess is given the day she leaves Ackerbee’s – an object, she learns, which arrived with her the night she was found on the Home’s front step? What unfolds is a story of family lost and found, choices which ripple in unexpected and unimaginable ways, and a girl who finds herself caught between two worlds with war on the horizon…

Available Here! Or Here! Or Here! Or Here! Or, indeed, Here! Or, of course, through your local bookshop.


Winner of the European Science Fiction Society Chrysalis Award 2018 (Ireland)

Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week (February 2018)

Longlisted for the Northern Ireland Book Award (NIBA) 2019

Longlisted for the Dudley Children’s Book Award (2019)

Inaugural #PrimarySchoolBookClub Book of the Month (March 2018)

Cover image for THE EYE OF THE NORTH, US/Canada edition (Knopf BFYR, 2017), artist Jeff Nentrup.

Emmeline Widget has never left Widget Manor – and that’s the way she likes it. But when her scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself being packed off on a ship to France, heading for a safe house in Paris. Onboard she is befriended by an urchin stowaway called Thing. But before she can reach her destination she is kidnapped by the sinister Dr Siegfried Bauer.
Dr Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland to summon a legendary monster from the deep. And he isn’t the only one determined to unleash the creature. The Northwitch has laid claim to the beast, too.
Can Emmeline and Thing stop their fiendish plans and save the world?
A dazzling fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of ROOFTOPPERS, THE UNCOMMONERS and A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.

Available here, and here, and here – and you could also be a darling and order it through your local bookshop. If you don’t use ’em, you lose ’em…

THE EYE OF THE NORTH front cover, UK edition (Stripes Publishing, 2018), artist Sara Mulvanny, designer Sophie Bransby

Lower Middle Grade Books (Readers 5+)


The cover of The Ravens’ Call, illustrated by Maria Brzozowska, photograph (c) Maria Brzozowska 2020

Alys is Apprentice Ravenkeeper, living near the Rookery Tower with her father. When Alys’s ravens begin to turn white, she knows they’re trying to tell her something important – the kingdom must be in danger. Can she reach the King in time to pass on the warning in the Ravens’ Call?

A Lime Plus Banded Reader from Harper Collins Children’s Books, as part of their Big Cat reading series, The Ravens’ Call was published in January 2021. Its beautiful cover illustration, and illustrations throughout, are by Maria Brzozowska.

Click HERE to access the Harper Collins website to learn more about The Ravens’ Call and/or to purchase it. It’s also available via Waterstones, or any book retail outlet of your choice.




4 thoughts on “Books

  1. Pingback: One Girl Went to Mo, Went to NaNoWriMo… | SJ O'Hart

  2. Pingback: The Eye of the North Comes Home | SJ O'Hart

  3. Pingback: The Eye of the North Book Launch | SJ O'Hart

  4. Pingback: What I’ve Been Up To | SJ O'Hart

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