3 4 Friday: Grotesques, Gatekeepers and Grisly Tales, signed (but not in blood!)

Yesterday we took part in the annual Oxfordshire Book Award, one of the highlights of our year. A full report shortly - but at left is a sneaky pic of the attending authors signing books for pupils from the ten schools that attended.

That's Patrick Ness at the far end, then Nadia Shireen, Tony Ross, Katherine Langrish, Sally Nicholls and Jo Cotterill signing away.

Full blog post - involving author interviews and cake (!) - shortly, but for today's '3 4 Friday' #FridayReads we thought telling you about some very special signed editions was very much in order...

Firstly, you would have to have been at the South Pole not to notice that there is a new David Walliams book out. 'Ratburger' is another gross, grotesque and very funny tale involving our hero Zoe, her pet rat, and a very nasty burger restaurant owner. Inspired (if that's the correct word) by a late-night trip to a burger van, the book contains fantastic illustration by Tony Ross.

And as we were very honoured to meet Tony Ross yesterday, we were extremely pleased to arrange things on the signed copy front. What this means is that - for a limited time only - we have copies of Ratburger signed by both David Walliams and Tony Ross...how cool is that?

Of course, someone who has recently been to the South Pole (well, Antarctica) researching his latest book is 'Stormbreaker' and 'Power of Five' author Anthony Horowitz. To the many children (and some adults) who have been coming into Mostly Books since book four was published, we can now categorically confirm that book five 'Oblivion' is out...

We were lucky enough to meet Anthony Horowitz at an event in Abingdon last year, and we are even luckier to have a (very few) signed copies of 'Oblivion' in stock. The cover is a work of beauty, and the book will certainly not disappoint fans who have waited quite a while. Epic in its scope, with suitably apocalyptic battles and the same strong characterisation that has had fans chomping at the bit for its publication (and boy, do we know), it ensures the Power of Five series finishes on a definite high.

Finally, we have some beautiful, signed hard back editions of one of our favourite books of the year: 'Wolf Princess' by Cathryn Constable. In this beguiling tale, orphan Sophie dreams about ice and snow, dreams in which she is running away. Always fascinated by Russia, the chance of visiting on a school exchange is irresistible. But where they are staying isn’t quite what she and her schoolfriends expect. They find themselves in a winter palace, an atmospheric place mostly derelict, but with only a few very sumptuous rooms, where the few servants are badly treated in a bizarre mix of poverty and majesty, presided over by a wicked princess who tells them bloody stories of the last days of the Tsar. And when she starts to act particularly strangely towards Sophie, the girls realise their adventure is putting them in danger...

The atmosphere is fantastically created and it’s good to find a teen read that’s set in the present day, but with such a great historical context.

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