Five Leaves Publications- Young Adults


Them and Us
by Bali Rai
ISBN: 978-1910170380, 90 pages

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Because of him we’d spent the last three years just moving from one crappy flat to another. We’d lived all over the city and I’d been to so many different schools that I couldn’t even remember them all. I was always the new kid thanks to him. I hated him.

When David and his mother move to a predominantly Asian part of town to escape his abusive dad, he braces himself for starting at another new school. He makes a couple of friends, but finds himself the victim of racist bullies who hate him because he's white. On top of that, it looks like his dad might have figured out where he lives.

Them and Us tackles issues relevant to young adults today – racism, friendship, broken families – and does not gloss over the messiness of real life.

Bali Rai has won the Angus, Stockport, Leicester and North East Book Awards. His books include The Last Taboo, Killing Honour and The Gun. Bali Rai is Britain's leading Asian writer for teenage readers, and has been published in ten languages.

Tarzan and the Blackshirts
by Andy Croft
ISBN: 978-1910170397, 90 pages

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Sam and Alf are friends. Even though they are only 14, they work together for 60 hours a week. This is London’s East End in the 1930s, and issues such as racial tension, gang crime and right-wing antagonism were as relevant then as they are today. At first it doesn’t matter that Sam is Jewish and Alf is Irish, but Alf joins Mosley’s Blackshirts and a friendship turns to hate. Previously published by Barrington Stoke as They Shall Not Pass, this is a powerful story that reaches its climax in the 1936 Battle of Cable Street.

Andy Croft's books include Red Letter Days, Out of the Old Earth, and A Weapon in the Struggle. He has written five novels, and forty-two books for teenagers, mostly about football. He has edited many anthologies and published his own collections of poetry.

What's Your Problem?
by Bali Rai
ISBN: 978-1907869556, 82 pages

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Jaspal's family moves from the inner city to a Midlands village when his dad opens a shop. He's the only Asian teenager in the village and this new life just isn't for him. Though he quickly becomes friends with some school students, the insults from others begin. Jaspal's dad tells him that everything will be OK, but the racism gets worse. Soon it gets much worse and Jaspal's life will never be the same again.

Bali Rai has won the Angus, Stockport, Leicester and North East Book Awards. His books include The Last Taboo, Killing Honour and The Gun. He is currently writer-in-residence at the Book Trust. Bali Rai is Britain's leading Asian writer for teenage readers. He lives in Leicester.

Dark Thread
by Pauline Chandler
ISBN: 978-1907869563, 96 pages

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Kate is a weaver, like her mother. When her mother is killed Kate is convinced it's her fault. Tiredness, grieving and guilt come together in a visit back in time to the mill, where Kate must learn to weave the dark thread in her life into the overall picture and make sense of her life.

A moving time slip story, alternating life in the 18th century and today. The setting is Cromford Mill in Derbyshire, which is still standing, part of the Derwent Mills World Heritage Site.

Pauline Chandler has published several books set in
different historical periods. These include Warrior Girl,
set in the France of Joan of Arc, Viking Girl and The Mark
of Edain, in which Aoife (Ee-fa) a Druid princess, kidnaps
a Roman war elephant. She lives in Derbyshire, the
setting for Dark Thread.

Street of Tall People
by Alan Gibbons
ISBN: 978-1907869235, 121 pages

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Set in the East End of London in 1936, this is the story of an unlikely friendship between a Jewish and a Gentile boy during the upsurge of fascist violence led by Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts.

Jimmy lives in a tenement with his newly widowed mother; Benny comes from a large Orthodox Jewish family. The discovery that Jimmy's mother's new friend Mr Searle is a Blackshirt places Jimmy in an agonizing dilemma. A vivid and compelling story that raises issues with many parallels today.

Alan Gibbons is the author of more than fifty books for older children and young adults. His many awards include the Blue Peter Book Award, Catalyst Award, Leicester Book Award, Stockport Book Award, Angus Book Award, Birmingham Chills Award, Salford KS4 Book of the Year, Salford Special Award, Hackney Short Novels Award. He has undertaken hundreds of school visits here and overseas.

His books include: Shadow of the Minotaur, The Edge, Caught in the Crossfire, the Booked Up choice The Dying Photo and the non-fiction picture book Darwin. He is the organiser of the Campaign for the Book.

Out of Towners
by Dan Tunstall
ISBN: 978-1907869259, 160 pages

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GCSEs are over and Chris and his mates are heading to the south coast for their first lads’ holiday. Their parents don’t know they’ve gone, but they’re not worried. What could possibly go wrong on a trip to the seaside? Even a run-in with some local lads who don’t like out of towners can’t spoil the anticipation. Things start well when they meet the girls. The sun comes out and Chris thinks his luck might be in with Steph. But Whitbourne’s a small place when you’ve pissed off the local hard cases…

Out of Towners delivers another dose of Dan Tunstall’s tough, funny, page-turning fiction.

"Brilliantly captures teenage life" – LoveReading

"For once the words 'gritty' and 'real' are not wasted" – Armadillo

"Original, well-written and hugely thought-provoking" – WriteAway

Dan Tunstall lives in Leicester where he is now a full time writer. His
previous jobs range from school teaching to market trader. He is now
regularly visiting schools, often with Bali Rai.

Dan Tunstall's Big and Clever was shortlisted for the 2010 Branford
Boase Award - the major award for first novels for children

by Maxine Linnell
ISBN: 978-1907869266, 196 pages

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You wouldn’t mess with Mel. She doesn't care about much, but when things go wrong at home, she cares. She has to find out what’s going on. It’s not a choice. And when she finds out, everything in her life falls apart. And everything has to change.

Closer is a difficult story that needs to be told, a story about what happens when a dad gets too close. But most of all, it’s a story about Mel – funny, outrageous, emotional, brave. You won’t forget her.

Maxine Linnell's first novel, Vintage, was published by Five
Leaves last year and was chosen for promotion by LoveReading.
She is a psychotherapist in practice in Leicester, which has been
her home since 2000.

The Golem of Old Prague
by Michael Rosen,
Illustrated by Brian Simons
ISBN: 978-1905512911, 360 pages

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Times were dangerous for the Jews of Old Prague. Rabbi Loeb needed help to save people from his enemies. Out of mud he fashioned a Golem, a creature of great strength who could perform impossible tasks, but could also cause disaster if the he got out of control. The Golem tales are as mysteriously eerie as the streets were in the old Prague ghetto, but the realism of the humour gives a reassuring earthiness.

Michael Rosen’s work for radio and television includes writing and presenting for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and for the BBC World Service, including the Treasure Islands, Best Words, Meridian Books and Word of Mouth programmes. He won a Sony Radio Gold Award for his series On Saying Goodbye. He is a prolific writer and a fellow of the English Association and the Royal Society of Literature. He was appointed Children’s Laureate for 2007-2009. Brian Simons is a teacher and illustrator who lives on Stamford Hill in London.

Follow A Shadow
by Robert Swindells
ISBN: 978-1905512867, 148 pages

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Tim South is fifteen and finding real life uncomfortable compared to his imagination. Hanging round with tough guys only makes things worse. At home he finds an old picture that looks like him and becomes obsessed with discovering who was in the picture, sparking off a life changing series of events.

"This wonderful book... makes adolescent problems real, the Brontës human, and book-reading delightful, in a style which is sustaining, intriguing, yet easy and memorable." - SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

"a fine yarn, full of humour, insight and well-observed detail" - TES

Robert Swindells is a past winner of the Carnegie Medal, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and he won the Children’s Book Award twice, with Brothers in the Land and Room 13. He lives on the Yorkshire Moors and is a full time writer.

The Ivy Crown
by Gill Vickery
ISBN: 978-1905512850, 198 pages

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Staying with their father in a bizarre Gothic house in a sinister wood - land, Megan and her younger brother, Brand, are struggling to come to terms with their grief and guilt over their mother’s recent death. But the house harbours its own secrets, and soon Megan and Brand find themselves on a quest to find a priceless violin, and the truth about a young woman wrongly accused of witchcraft three centuries ago. Mega and Brand discover they can put right the mistakes of the past – but only if they choose to accept a dangerous bargain.

Winner of the Fidler First Novel Award, shortlisted for the Sheffield children’s book prize.

Gill Vickery lives in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. This is her début novel. She has worked as a teacher, an auxiliary nurse and a packer in a chocolate factory. She is currently working on a follow up novel to The Ivy Crown.

"a satisfying cake of a story with some rich ingredients." - CAROUSEL

The Tolpuddle Boy
Transported to Hell and Back
by Alan James Brown
ISBN: 978-1905512782, 128 pages

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It is 1834 and James Brine is bound for Australia on a convict ship. His crime is joining with other men to ask for fair pay. His punishment is transportation – seven long years far from everything he knows and loves. Can James survive the hardships of convict life? And will he ever see his beloved Elizabeth again?

"I really enjoyed reading this novel" - TEEN TITLES

Alan James Brown is the author of several children’s books for
different ages, including I Am a Dog (Red Fox) and Sword and
Sorcery (Hodder). He lives with the children’s writer Berlie
Doherty in Derbyshire, where he also plays folk music. He
regularly leads creative writing classes for children.

by Maxine Linnell
ISBN: 978-1905512874, 148 pages

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Holly and Marilyn are both 16. Holly is dissatisfied with life. She hangs round with her gay best friend Kyle and tries to avoid her mother as much as possible. Meanwhile Marilyn sleeps in rollers and dresses like her mother and does what she is told. Holly fancies the guy who has just moved in opposite, but Marilyn is not sure about sex at all. Holly lives in 2009, Marilyn lives in 1962 – the same house. Just suppose they swapped places...

A fresh and funny début novel about freedom, expectations and how, just maybe, you can be what you want to be

Maxine Linnell trained as a psychotherapist and later gained at distinction in the Nottingham Trent University MA in Creative Writing. She lives in Leicester where she chairs Leicester Writers Club, an organisation of published writers.

by Sherry Ashworth
ISBN: 978-1905512881, 156 pages

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How far would you go to be a hero? Beth is appalled when she discovers that her school is going to be closed down, against the wishes of the students and parents. Nate, the new boy, thinks that the students could take over the school and run it themselves, just as a protest. But things get out of hand and some of the other students have less than idealistic reasons for taking part in “the revolution”. Nate and Beth fall for one another, but will their teen love affair survive?

Revolution is Sherry Ashworth’s ninth book for young adults. She
has also written for younger children and has had several books
for adults published. Her previous young adult books have won
the North East Book Award, the Leicester Book of the Year
Award and the South Lanarkshire Book Award. She teaches
creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Bows Against the Barons
by Geoffrey Trease, illus. C. Walter Hodges
ISBN: 978-1905512720, 154 pages

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A children’s classic, illustrated by a Kate Greenaway award winning illustrator.

“He had killed one of the King’s deer!

A cold sweat started out on his forehead, where his hand left a smear of blood. He stood as though petrified, wondering what to do.

Everything in the forest was sacred to the King. To fell a tree was a crime, even to cut a branch. ... As for shooting one of the deer!... Only in the forest would he be safe. ...Fold said it was full of outlaws, old soldiers who had no work, escaped serfs and men who had broken the law...”

A rousing tale of Robin Hood – the clash of rich and poor in medieval England.

"A seminal work of socialist literature for children… an inspirational read" - Allan Gibbons

Geoffrey Trease wrote more than 90 books, his first, Bows against the Barons, being published in 1934. His books were translated into 20 languages. He was Chair of the Society of Authors and a member of the Royal Society of Literature.

Love lessons
by David Belbin
ISBN: 978-1905512706, 254 pages

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"A bold and powerfully written tale." - David Almond

A fifteen year old girl has a crush on her young English teacher. During a production of 'Romeo and Juliet', Rachel and Mike begin a sexual relationship. They think they're in love, but they're really in trouble.

The star-crossed lovers are always afraid of discovery as a school-girl fantasy turns into an X-rated nightmare.

Love Lessons was the first novel for young adults to address the sensitive issue of pupil/teacher relationships.

A gripping novel about one of the last great taboos: a teacher-pupil affair.

"A brave novel…a thoughtful study of young love." - Books for Keeps

Big and clever
by Dan Tunstall
ISBN: 978-1905512683, 288 pages

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Tom’s whole life is straight out of CrapTowns. Mum died. Dad’s a waster. School is tough.

Tom and Raks are at the bottom of the pecking order - and it just shouldn’t be that way - but then they befriend ‘ASBO boy’, Ryan, and go to a Letchford Town football game with him.

When it kicks off outside the ground with the Castleton fans, Tom and Raks are ready and up for it - it ain’t football - but Tom is hooked and can’t wait for the next home game!

Suddenly everyone at school notices Tom and Raks: they have an identity, they have power — but at what cost?

"...Ten times better than the usual teenage crap. It's about the lifestyle that wannabes like The Streets and Guy Ritchie can only dream about." - Bali Rai

Dan Tunstall has worked as a gardener, in marketing and in teaching. He lives in Leicester and is a season ticket holder for Leicester City FC.

by Claire Tulloch
ISBN: 978-1905512713, 240 pages

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Tony Barber finds the body of his best friend, Jimmy, in a river. At the funeral Tony meets Cora, who helps him follow clues, which indicate that Jimmy’s death was no accident.

Tony suspects that Jimmy’s uncle – Tom - holds vital information about the death. But, then Tom is found dead, by Tony and Cora…

When Cora leaves for England, these losses - compounded by guilt around Tom’s death - send Tony to find solace from the ‘Hermit on the Hill’,overlooking his village – Barley Cove.

A terrific novel by a writer unafraid to take on big issues.

A moving story of love and loss set in rural Ireland in the 1970s.

A novel of family secrets and lies for young adult readers.

Claire Tulloch is a graduate from the MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University. She now works in the NHS. This is her first novel, which draws on her Irish background.

by Janna Eliot
ISBN: 978-1905512473, 160 pages

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A scarlet wheel on a blue and green flag, bright against the grey sky. Gisela leaned against the stone balustrade, tired after the journey. She'd forgotten how hectic London was, and wondered how she'd ever managed to cope with the daily commute... But she was glad she'd come. Glad she'd brought Andrej. It was important for her young son to know his roots.

Spokes is made up of stories from across the Traveller world featuring British Gypsies, settled and still travelling; Irish Travellers; East European Roma; and people whose Romani background has remained under wraps in the face of a hostile world. There's an old violinist, a middle-aged mechanic, a young radio presenter, a schoolboy, a retired banker, a tea-lady, and a teacher. Sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, every story is based on real incidents.

Janna Eliot is a member of the Gypsy Council, the Roma Support Group and plays guitar with the London Gypsy Orchestra.
The Secret World of Polly Flint
by Helen Cresswell
ISBN: 978-1905512485, 148 pages

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"Have they told you?" His voice was lowered now, he was speaking of secrets to be told.
"Told me? What?"
"Of the lost village..."

As soon as she arrives in Wellow, Polly Flint knows there is magic in the place. And she should know because she is an unusual girl who can see things others can't.

Polly Flint seems to be able to call up a village that had disappeared from the face of the earth - and the people who lived in it, as they slip in and out of time.

Helen Cresswell, who also wrote Lizzie Dripping and the Bagthorpe series, was runner up for the Carnegie award four times. The Secret World of Polly Flint was runner up for the Whitbread award and was televised by Central Television. The book is set in Nottinghamshire, where she lived.
A Beautiful Place for a Murder
by Berlie Doherty
ISBN: 978-1905512454, 160 pages

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It was the first time my mum had left me on my own. Five days of glorious freedom stretched in front of me. “Enjoy yourself,” I shouted, waving her off. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine!”
I danced back into the house, whooping with delight. And half an hour after she’d gone, I was plunged into the worst experience of my life.

Shaun Parker is a suspect in a murder at a lonely cottage near his house – only Caroline, his girlfriend, believes in his innocence. Can they find the real murderer before the police charge Shaun?

Berlie Doherty is the author of Dear Nobody and Granny Was a Buffer Girl, both of which won the Carnegie Prize. She has written over fifty books. She lives in Derbyshire, the setting for A Beautiful Place for Murder. You can read more about her on

Berlie Doherty gave me a copy of her new novel A BEAUTIFUL PLACE FOR A MURDER (Five Leaves) when I went to her cottage for lunch in early June. It’s a thriller set around her home in Edale and one of the best things about it is the way it brings the landscape to life. You know exactly what everything looks like in a novel by Berlie and she understands the countryside very well. The story is a thriller for young adults with a plot which is exciting enough to keep you turning the pages and yet quite believable. There’s only a certain kind of crime you can envisage taking place in this setting and with these characters and Berlie has got the tone just right. - Adele Geras
Nick's Blues
by John Harvey
ISBN: 978-1905512461, 200 pages

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Four days after Nick Harman’s seventh birthday, his father climbed onto a bridge high above four lanes of traffic, paused, then threw himself to his death on the road below. That was a little over nine years ago. Today Nick was sixteen. The clock alongside his bed read 7:59.

Nick lives with his mother on a tough housing estate in north London. On his sixteenth birthday, his mother gives him a box of things left by his father all those years ago. The contents lead Nick to try and discover what led his father from being a successful blues singer to the point where he took his own life.

Against a background of shifting allegiances, involving both the violent gangs on the estate and his first serious involvement with a girl, Nick is forced to come to terms, not only with who his father was but who he is himself.

“A fine novel about growing up by one of the masters of British crime fiction.” - Le Monde

John Harvey has written many books of crime fiction and won the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for Sustained Excellence in Crime Writing. You can read more about him on
The Naming of William Rutherford
by Linda Kempton
ISBN: 978-1905512447, 160 pages

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The little cradle creaked on curved rockers, creak, creak on the flagstone floor; a tiny cradle of dark brown wood, with carved acorns on each of the corners of the square wooden hood. Figures in long dresses and white bonnets surrounded it. One of them turned her face to Jack. "Jack, please help us!"

Jack's dream is frightening and confusing. It is so vivid that it seems almost true and he senses that it contains some sort of message for him.

Jack's intuition is correct, and the cradle comes to play an important part in his life, for in mysterious ways it links him with the past - so much so that he begins to live in two worlds; his ordinary, everyday time and one in Eyam, an isolated village in Derbyshire in the year 1665.

As the story unfolds Jack learns his destiny. It seems he is the only one who can help.

The Naming of William Rutherford was short-listed for the Sheffield Children's Book Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

"...a writer who knows how to weave plot, character, and major themes into a haunting, wonderful story. Ten out of ten..."
Weekend Telegraph
Did I Hear You Write?
by Michael Rosen
ISBN: 0907123767, 200 pages

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Michael Rosen children's poet laureate draws on his visits to thousands of schools to explore the writing culture of children. This second edition of a useful book for teachers and parents includes a new bibliography of recommended books for children.

"The job of laureate might have been custom-built for Mr Rosen, and it is something of a surprise that it has taken so long to come his way."
- The Guardian

"...both perceptive and informative... The text is peppered with lively anecdotes and insights." - Junior Education

"...a classic text that is still 'alive' and useful in contemporary classrooms. Did I Hear You Write is a superb book. It begins with a discussion and plea for the 'voice' of the child to be heard through the medium of their own writing and continues with a series of ideas to encourage children to write from their own experiences. inspirational book worthy of all staffroom collections."
- The Primary English Magazine

Also by Michael Rosen:

The Golem Of Old Prague
The Skin Of Your Back
You Are, Aren't You?
Dead Teachers Don't Talk
by David Belbin
ISBN: 0907123694, 140 pages


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David Belbin is one of Britain's best selling young adult crime writers and is the author of Last Virgin, Love Lessons, and Festival.

"The headteacher's body lay sprawled across the desk. Her head was soaked in blood... "

In Dead Teachers Don't Talk Beechwood Grange school is full of secrets - nothing is quite what it seems. And the shootings have only just begun...

Here's what the reviewers said about David Belbin's last Five Leaves' title Dead Guilty (which was shortlisted for the 2001 Waterstone's North East Book Award, and is still available):

"An enjoyable whodunit which plants some red herrings and leaves the real surprises for the end" - Books for Keeps

"This novel is pacey and direct and will appeal to readers who like a fast-moving and gripping murder mystery" - Carousel

"A gripping thriller" - Achuka

"Highly recommended" - Reading Matters

Xenophobia... and all stops in between.

David Belbin is a long-established name in young adult fiction. He also writes regularly for magazines including Secondary English and teaches young adult fiction at Nottingham Trent University.
In the Frame
by Rowena Edlin-White (ed.)
ISBN: 1905512090 , 176 pages

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In the Frame is one of a set of anthologies being published to celebrate the tenth birthday of Five Leaves Publications.

The thirteen stories address the transitional moment when we pass from the last stage of our childhood into the first stage of our adulthood. The stories illustrate how a key event in our lives can force us to change our understanding of the world.

Amongst the stories on offer Berlie Doherty gives us a glimpse of the start of a murder mystery. B K Mahal shows the way people cope in places alien to them as well as to us. Gwen Grant gives us the reactions when we are witness to others secrets. David Belbin's character finds that being gay brings an unexpected danger. Nick Mann frames adult hypocrisy for us all to see.

With Chris D’Lacey we are taken on the ride of our lives. Sylvia Hall shows us the moment when the tormented turns and faces off the bully.

Each story gives a voice to the feelings we experience when changing from child to adult.


Gill Vickery, Linda Kempton, Chris D'Lacey, Nick Manns, Sylvia Hall, B.K.Mahal, Gwen Grant, Pauline Chandler, Lynne Markham, Berlie Doherty, Bette Paul, Caroline Pitcher.