Highlighting the best independent publications in fiction and non-fiction. Your new favorite author is right here.

Kathryn Rose Newey

Kathryn Rose Newey writes science fiction and environmental fiction for middle-grade kids and young teens.

Having lived in both hemispheres of this planet, she feels compelled to write books to save the Earth. After all, she’s experienced at least two parts of it far removed from each other.

Her science fiction novels are meant to be fun, first and foremost. More like ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, but for kids, than ‘Star Wars’, they’re full of unique universal creatures you wouldn’t want to meet in the dark, humans who try hard to be of this planet but really aren’t, and original puzzles and poems for readers to solve.

Her environmental fiction novels turn stories upside-down, by writing from the animals’ points of view. Like the literature classic ‘Watership Down’, only lighter and shorter, the novels give voices to animals. The stories focus on how animals might actually feel in the face of human interference, if only they could speak. Through connecting with the animals in the books, Kathryn hopes you might be fired up to help animals. At the back of each novel, there is a non-fiction section with information, tips and website links, for reader inspiration.

Being an educator as well as an author, Kathryn has created a range of educational worksheets and posters, based on the environmental, language, mathematics and science themes in her novels, available for free from her website.

When she’s not writing, you might find her in her ‘unruly’, ‘wildlife-friendly’ garden with Jessie the Jack Russell, who’s so feisty, she has her own website too.

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Animals in the Forest: The Day Terrible Things Came (Eco-Fiction, Middle-Grade, Young Adult)

Fans of the literature classic, Watership Down, will be glad animals have a voice again. Those who love realistic wildlife stories, and stories highlighting the plight of animals in their interactions with humans, will be engaged by this humorous and tragic forest animal adventure story.

A unique wildlife and nature conservation story, told from the animals’ point of view…

Extinction, habitat destruction, deforestation… How would you feel if your home was flattened to make space for others?

Countless wild animals, great and small, experience this every day.

This is their story.

“A beautifully illustrated, environmentally themed animal story…
This text is a pleasure to read due to the superb descriptive detail and wide-ranging vocabulary, but also as it is delightfully written in ‘proper English’.

The characters’ personalities come to life in each chapter as they try to make sense of what is going on, to the point that you desperately hope for a happy ending…

‘Animals in the Forest’ is a really lovely, thought-provoking addition to your child’s reading and English curriculum which I am sure all children will enjoy and be inspired by.” ~ Review by EducationOtherwise.org, EO Newsletter, Spring 2018.

Dakota the Deer, Flint the Fox, Bentley the Bat and other animals live in a forest, co-existing in an uneasy truce with some nearby humans. Then a strange animal, Whanganui the Weasel, arrives, having fled something too frightening to speak of. Just as he fears, the humans come and their actions threaten to destroy the animals’ lives.

When one of the animals goes missing, it’s the final straw. The animals decide to do something they’ve never attempted before. As they’re swept up in a terrible chain of events they can’t control, will they have what it takes to defeat forces they have no name for?

More than an eco-story: The animal characters honour young environmental activists, nature conservation campaigns and indigenous tribes across the globe, including the Dakota Access Pipe Line water protectors in the USA and the Moxateteu uncontacted tribe in the Amazon. These and related green issues, with website links, are included at the end of the book, so readers come away armed with knowledge.

Can a story save the Earth?

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The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream: Special Edition with Bonus Chapter (Eco-Fiction, Middle-Grade, Young Adult)

“A touching, beautifully written story with a heart-warming cast of zoo characters. The story makes you laugh and sigh, while also urging you to stop and think about the plight of many zoo animals in our world.” ~ Sonia Faruqi, author of Project Animal Farm (an award-winning investigation of the truth behind factory farming) and The Oyster Thief (an underwater odyssey).

If you’re into stories about zoo animals, wildlife, endangered species, nature conservation and animal welfare, you’ll love both the story and facts in this animal rights fiction novel.

This second edition of The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream includes a bonus chapter.

Readers are invited to consider the reality of living in confinement through a story with two endings, one happy, one sad.

What does it feel like to live in a cage all your life?

Imagine, for a moment, you’re a zoo animal, perhaps a mongoose, living with a horde of others, tightly packed inside a zoo enclosure, never knowing the freedom of life in the wild. If, like Shiro the mongoose, you’ve always lived in a zoo, you’d think that’s where you’re meant to be.

But what if a stranger appeared, claiming that many wild animals lived out of cages, free to go where they wanted to, what would you do?

The Zoo Animals’ Faraway Dream (Special Edition) is a book to save caged animals.

At the end of the book, there is also a non-fiction section, with facts, statistics and website links so teens and adult readers can find out more. For example, did you know that most zoo elephants are caught from the wild, and taken from their herds as babies, to live a life of captivity?

Readers who appreciate the bold sassiness of Persimmon Takes on Humanity by Christopher Locke, the classic literary tale Watership Down by Richard Adams, and the ironic reality of George Orwell’s Animal Farm will love this.

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Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves (Children’s Fiction, Middle-Grade, Science Fiction)

Wacky and fun like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but especially for kids!

Ilnoblet Elmer is an ordinary boy. Except for one thing; he’s from another planet – and his family, friends and teachers don’t know.

This human-alien superhero has lots of adventures trying to defeat tricky and sticky aliens, including the Mootilokygogrifies (that’s a mouthful to say – and they’re even worse when hiding in your garden shed).

All between going to school and handing in his homework on time!

The novel is full of science, maths, space travel, planets, extraterrestrials, and some unique word and number patterns that have an interesting effect on aliens! There’s even a glossary to help with understanding Ilnoblet’s Gapitonian language – you’ll be speaking it in no time!

“Children’s literature that makes learning fun is always a joy to read. ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves’ by Kathryn Rose Newey is one such joy…

There’s plenty of action to keep kids interested, and alongside, there’s a fantastic message about fitting in…

I love Newey’s use of letters and words in [Ilnoblet’s] confrontation with the Mootilokygogrifies. It’s such a unique take on the humans vs. extraterrestrials trope…

With great pleasure, I rate ‘Ilnoblet Elmer and the Alien Water Thieves’ 4 out of 4 stars. This adventure story is fit for both kids and kids at heart…

Science fiction readers who want a little fun with their science would enjoy this book… This book is absolutely awesome.” [Official review by OnlineBookClub.org.]

This book has now been made into the ‘Science Fiction Station’ educational video series! Perfect as a complete set of lessons for home-schooling, with free worksheets to accompany the author reading videos, available from the author’s website.

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