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June Book Club by Camilla Leask

Camilla Leask, our brilliant Book Club guru, gives us her top picks for June!

Freelance books publicist and mum of two, Camilla has worked predominantly with children’s authors for 14 years. There’s nothing she doesn’t know about books, hot off the press new releases and what our members and their families will enjoy reading.


Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker, £9.99
One of Obama’s favourite books, Hidden Valley Road is a heart-wrenching look at the lives of Don and Mimi Galvin and their twelve children, six of whom go on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force took his burgeoning family to Colorado, apparently living the American Dream the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. The Galvins subscribed to the time’s middle class script of aspiration, hard work, upward mobility and domestic harmony. But behind the scenes, a terrible picture was playing out of psychological breakdown, shocking violence and hidden abuse. Kolker marries forensic story-telling with compassion, uncovering this gripping story of one family’s extraordinary legacy that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand schizophrenia.


This Book Is Feminist by Janmia Wilson, £8.99
There is a strong demand for activist titles as we seek to educate ourselves and our children about many issues, especially gender equality and narratives surrounding violence against women, consent and safety. This new book by 42-year old ‘icon’ Jamia Wilson is a really accessible look at what feminism means and how it benefits us all, our family and wider community. Chapters focus on social issues that inform feminism, such as race, justice, education, money, power, health, wellness, relationships and media. Primarily written for a 12+ reader, This Book Is Feminism is just as interesting – if not important for older readers wanting to better understand endemic systems of discrimination.


The Swallow’s Flight by Hilary McKay, £12.99 
Hilary McKay brings us the eagerly awaited companion novel to The Skylarks’ War, her stunning story of the Penrose family’s journey through the First World War. The Swallows’ Flight features the next generation of characters as they move from carefree childhoods to adulthood amid the chaos and conflict of the Second World War. Erik and Hans admire swallows over the rooftops of Berlin, never imagining that one day they will be flying above England in the war. Ruby and Kate, great friends despite their differences, find themselves racing towards inconceivable danger, as older family members, ravaged by the Great War, look helplessly on. McKay’s extraordinary, unflinching storytelling weaves together characters from different countries and backgrounds, united by the chaos of the 1930s/1940s.

Camilla Leask has worked with literary giants including Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate 2019-2022 Cressida Cowell, the late Michael Bond and Paddington Bear, Enid Blyton Entertainment and the Narnia Estate among many others.

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