The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Indie Books of the Month for November announced

01/11/2023
The Booksellers Association has today announced Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward as Fiction Book of the Month, and The Big Dreaming by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus as Children’s Book of the Month for November.
 
Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting Let Us Descend and The Big Dreaming throughout November on social media and in-store. The Booksellers Association will be supporting the promotion of the Indie Books of the Month through social media and promotional material.
 
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
 
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
 
Let Us Descend is published by Bloomsbury on 24 October and is available to buy in bookshops now.
 
 
 
 
Jesmyn Ward said: I would not be the writer that I am, and the reader that I am, without librarians and booksellers. Thank you for doing the work that you do, and for bringing the books that readers need to readers when they need them.”
 
Lindsay Warren, from the Book Warren & Café and member of the selection panel commented: "I loved Let Us Descend. Harrowing yet beautifully written, Jesmyn Ward has created a breathtaking novel where the cruelty and horror of slavery in pre-civil war America casts long shadows across every page. I found that each character evoked in me a different, almost visceral need to stop the brutality or save the repressed. A moving, heartbreaking story that both devastated and enlightened and I'm sure that this will be a book that will long live in my memory."
 
The Big Dreaming is a resonant tale from a master storyteller, exploring what it means to seek comfort in dreams – perfect bedtime reading for all little ones looking for reassurance before going to sleep.
 
The Cold is coming, and it’s time for Big Bear and Little Bear to get ready for the Big Sleep: for bears sleep all winter long and wake up in the spring. But Little Bear is worried. What if they run out of dreams during the Big Sleep? And so, Little Bear sets out bravely to find enough dreams to see them through the long winter. On his journey, he discovers dreams of happiness; dreams of homecoming; and dreams of hope. But with the Cold approaching fast, will Little Bear make it back home in time for the Big Dreaming?
 
The Big Dreaming is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books on 26 October and is available to buy in bookshops now.
 
Michael Rosen said: “I am over the moon that The Big Dreaming has been selected as the Children’s Indie Book of the Month for November. Independents are at the living heart of the book industry and after years of being published I know the massive devotion and effort they put in to bringing books to readers and readers to books.”
 
Daniel Egnéus commented: “I’m so pleased to be selected as Children’s Indie Book of the Month which is especially pleasing for me as I see indies as wonderfully individual voices and little islands of charming quirkiness.”
 
The Indie Book of the Month titles are selected by panels of booksellers from publisher submissions. The Children’s panel for November comprised members from Kibworth Books, The Little Bookshop Leeds, The Alligator’s Mouth, Little Box of Books, The Edinburgh Bookshop and Through the Wardrobe Books. The Fiction panel were from DRAKE – The Bookshop, Bridge Books, Dromore and The Book Warren and Café.
 
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