Holiday Reading Pleasure with Edward Tsumele CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

Books galore for young adults and children are here

There holidays are around the corner and many an adult is planning for holidays for their family that is for those who can still manage to travel after the devastating Covid-19 in the past three years. This global pandemic, did not only destroy lives literally, but it decimated the global economy, with some industries affected more than others. Some such sectors such as the tourism sector and the creative sectors did not have it easy during this time.

However some industries despite this tragedy were resilient, and managed to navigate the difficulties associated with the advent of Covid-19. Some new industries even even emerged during this time as entrepreneurs found a new way of connecting with their customers and still be able to do business differently in the face of this disease. And therefore yes, some people will be able to travel this time around, especially with restrictions generally scaled down around the world.

However, whether you are travelling or you will spend the holidays at home, there is one thing that you will need to have as a companion. That is a good read. CITYLIFE/ARTS is starting a new series called Holidays Reading Pleasure. This is when our team of writers and editors will guide you through some of the books that may well keep  you in company during the holidays, whether you are spending the holidays relaxing at home or travelling, there will always be that moment when you will need to sit down, relax with a good book in your hands.

What better way than to kick off this series with a selection of young adults and children’s books to consider during the holidays. The following books are our selection this week:

Children of the Stone City

Author: Beverley Naidoo

Readership Children / juvenile (From c8 years to 12 years.)

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, Glasgow, UK.

Genre: Children’s Fiction

A thrilling, resonant and inspiring novel about justice, privilege and the power of the young to strive for change. Set in a world where Adam and Leila and their friend Zak live as Nons under the Permitted ruling class. Then, when Adam and Leila’s father dies unexpectedly, their mother faces losing her permit to live in the Stone City with deportation to where she was born. Before music-loving Adam can implement his plan to save Mama, Zak is arrested for a bold prank that goes wrong, with far-reaching repercussions for them all.


Readership Children / juvenile (From 8years.)

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Genre: Children’s fiction

Go back to the Space Race with No.1 bestselling author David Walliams for a breathless cinematic adventure full of mystery, action, laughs and surprises – and a secret that could change the course of history…America. The 1960s. Ruth loves climbing trees, making a mess and throwing stones. But the thing she loves most is SPACE.

The girl is OBSESSED. She spends her days reading comics about alien invasions, doodling UFOs, watching B-movies about Earth being invaded by creatures from Mars… and gazing at the stars through her old, battered telescope. Until one night, Ruth creeps out of bed in the attic room of her rickety old farmhouse to watch the stars – and is just dozing off when she spots something blazing across the sky. Something that looks like a flying saucer! Is she dreaming? No! And the flying saucer is on fire…

But when the UFO crash-lands in the cornfield, and Ruth rushes to help, she finds a mystery – and an adventure – beyond her wildest dreams…

David Walliams was most recently Children’s #1 bestseller with The World’s Worst Pets (TCM chart:30 April 2022)

• Go back in time to the Space Race with multi-million bestselling author David Walliams, whose bookshave sold more than 45 million copies

 • Gloriously illustrated throughout by Adam Stower

Title: Prey Zone

Author: Wilbur Smith

Publisher: Bonnier Books UK Limited

Readership: Perfect reading for adventurous 11-14 year olds who enjoy high action, high drama and high stakes;

Introducing the world of Wilbur Smith for the next generation! A new series for teen readers with high action and high stakes – starring Ralph and Robyn Ballantyne.


A thrilling new Wilbur Smith series for the next generation with high action and high stakes – starring teen protagonists Ralph and Robyn Ballantyne.

Ralph and Robyn live at Crocodile Lodge, their family ranch in South Africa, where they help with the animals, aid the conservation effort and learn the land. That is, until a mysterious predator starts terrorising the reserve.

On the trail for answers, the siblings discover the fearsome culprit: the largest crocodile they’ve ever seen, uncannily similar to the long-extinct Sarchosuchus Ralph recognises from his favourite game, Predasaur. And when a nearby village is ravaged by a deadly disease, seemingly stemming from a millennia-old animal, the stakes are higher than ever.

As Ralph and Robyn follow the clues, all roads lead them to Crocodile Lodge’s infamous neighbour: millionaire tech giant and hunting enthusiast Josef Gerhard. Could it really be that Gerhard is bringing the beastly creatures of Predasaur to life -and at what cost?

The reason to consider this book for your holiday reading pleasure: Global bestselling author Wilbur Smith for the next generation Series launch – with 3 books focusing on the young Ballantyne family Contemporary adventure set in South Africa, with a sci-fi twist sure to appeal to gaming fans Wilbur’s books have sold 140 million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-six languages.

Title: Lightlark (Book 1)

Author: Alex Aster

Publisher: Barnes & Noble

Reason to consider this book for your Holiday Reading Pleasure: AUTHOR ON THE RISE: Aster’s middle-grade debut, Emblem Island: Curse of the

Night Witch, was one of Amazon’s “20 Best Children’s Books of the Year So Far,” received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, won an International Latino Book Award, was featured on Good Morning America, and was designated a Barnes & Noble paperback of the month. This page-turning YA fantasy is full of twists and high stakes, and features a distinct heroine and compelling romance.

SOCIAL MEDIA REACH: Aster has 100 million views and 450,000 fans on TikTok, as well as more than 50,000 followers on Instagram.

#BookTok phenomenon and award-winning author Alex Aster delivers readers a masterfully written, utterly gripping YA fantasy novel Welcome to the Centennial.

Every 100 years, the island of Lightlark appears to host the Centennial, a deadly game that only the rulers of six realms are invited to play. The invitation is a summons—a call to embrace victory and ruin, baubles and blood. The Centennial offers the six rulers one final chance to break the curses that have plagued their realms for centuries. Each ruler has something to hide. Each realm’s curse is uniquely wicked. To destroy the curses, one ruler must die.

Isla Crown is the young ruler of Wildling—a realm of temptresses cursed to kill anyone they fall in love with. They are feared and despised, and are counting on Isla to end their suffering by succeeding at the Centennial.

To survive, Isla must lie, cheat, and betray…even as love complicates everything.

Filled with secrets, deception, romance, and twists worthy of the darkest thrillers, Lightlark is a must-read for fans of legendary fantasy writers Marie

Lu, Marissa Meyer, and Leigh Bardugo.

About the author

 Alex Aster is an author of YA fiction as well as award-winning middle grade fiction, including the Emblem Island series, which was published to critical acclaim. Alex graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied creative writing. Find out more on TikTok (@alex.aster) or Instagram (@byalexaster).

.The good news is that all these books featured here are now available in all good bookstores in South Africa.

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