As I write this, The Bookseller is reporting on “submissions fatigue” due to the backlog of titles impacted by the pandemic. I keep resolving not to comment on the size of my previews, but the volume of new titles publishing really is unprecedented. My April preview comes in at around 160 titles, putting it on a par with October; it’s 60 books more than I featured in April 2020. Bear in mind, this is by no means everything that will be published.
It is, however, one of those high-calibre months where any one of my Editor’s Choices would be a worthy Book of the Month. I’ve gone for the sheer entertainment and escapism of Jonathan Stroud’s The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, first in a series, and the perfect tonic to January lockdown. Other Fiction highlights include David Almond’s ethereal Bone Music and Starboard from rising star Nicola Skinner.
Picture book fans are particularly well served this month. The inimitable Jon Klassen returns with The Rock from the Sky; Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie’s The Boys is full of heart and wisdom; and Nadia Shireen deftly captures the nation’s mood in Barbara Throws a Wobbler. Look out too for much-needed disability representation in What Happened to You? by James Catchpole and Karen George.
Please note, given the present COVID-19 situation, all publication dates are subject to change.