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The Light in Everything


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From the author of October, October, winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022, comes a life-affirming story about blended families and learning to find room in your heart for new life and new love.

About the Author

Katya Balen is an award-winning author of books for children. Katya's debut novel, The Space We’re In, was published in 2019 and was highly commended for the Branford Boase Award. Her second, October, October, won the Yoto Carnegie Medal. Her third novel, The Light in Everything, was published in 2022. When she’s not writing books, Katya likes to scroll through dog-rescue websites, bake, and attempt to keep all her house plants alive. She lives in London with her partner and their dogs Raffi and Mouse. Sydney Smith is a children's book illustrator. He lives in Canada with his wife and two sons. His picture books have won numerous awards, including the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, which he has now won twice.


I love Katya Balen’s clear-eyed, poetic writing style, first encountered in The Space We’re In and October, October. She has a special ability to dig deep into the emotional lives of the children she writes about; she is always privy to their darkest thoughts, always on their side. Original, compulsive, uplifting: this is another triumph for Balen.
*The Times Children's Book of the Week*

This is Balen's best book yet: ambitious, funny, spirited, moving, heartfelt and bold all at once. She's a force to be reckoned with
*Ross Montgomery*

This story literally took me by storm. A brave heart-dive into the deep emotions of Tom and Zofia, it’s beautifully told with care and tenderness
*Jasbinder Bilan*

I loved this book. The deftness with which Katya creates such passionate, funny, broken, brave characters. What an achievement. Katya Balen can break your heart and make you snort with laughter in the same sentence
*Natasha Farrant*

Katya Balen is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. This is a beautiful book that will capture you from the first page. An incredible book by an incredible writer. I loved it
*Lisa Thompson*

A bold, bright story of blended families, and how two remarkable children cope when their lives change dramatically. Katya Balen’s writing fizzes with her trademark originality and voice. This is another stunningly good read from one of my favourite authors
*Emma Carroll*

I loved this book
*Hilary McKay*

Heartbreaking and heart-warming in equal measure – warm, compassionate, insightful, lyrical, beautiful and uplifting
*Catherine Bruton*

I absolutely LOVE all Katya's writing and I adored reading this book. It's such a beautiful, subtle story which just transported me into the worlds of Zofia and Tom and like all the very finest stories, it has left a little shard of those lives within it lodged deep in my heart
*Sophie Kirtley*

A sensitive story about stitching a new family together from frayed pieces. So vividly imagined you can taste the salt in the air
*Aisha Bushby*

The Light in Everything is a moving, truthful, unflinching close up of a story, that proves how difficult it can be being a human among other humans, but how rewarding too when you allow yourself the space to breathe
*A.F. Harrold*

Katya Balen’s October, October is a very special new addition to the shelf and deserves classic status
*Times Children's Book of the Week*

Quite simply one of the most beautiful books I've ever read
*Kiran Millwood Hargrave on OCTOBER, OCTOBER*

October, October is fierce with a wild love. It draws you in to its heart, shakes you with a fury, wraps you in a spell of storytelling. In lyrical prose, Katya Balen gives us a modern day heroine filled with courage. I loved every page
*Jackie Morris*

Wise and bright - I loved it.
*Hilary McKay on OCTOBER, OCTOBER*

It's EXQUISITE. Read it. Wild yourself. Open your heart to it. Written with the pen of a poet and the soul of Mother Earth. Glorious. It's like nothing else I've ever read. Liz Hyder on OCTOBER, OCTOBER

The most wonderful, original treasure of a story
*Emma Carroll on OCTOBER, OCTOBER*

I’ve also just been introduced to the first two stunning children’s books by Katya Balen, both published by Bloomsbury: The Space We’re In and October, October. If you have a middle-grader, or know one, or are one ... treat yourself
*Books of the Year, The Spectator*

One of the most beautiful children’s books I’ve ever read
*Natasha Farrant on OCTOBER, OCTOBER*

A tear-jerker about family that shows us things that are important and true, and promotes compassion
*The Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week*

This sensitive, heartbreaking story boasts a wonderful narrative voice and secret codes that add another layer of intrigue
*Guardian on THE SPACE WE'RE IN*

Now and then, and only now and then, a book changes us. The Space We’re In does that. It’s ferocious and it’s visionary
*Kevin Crossley-Holland*

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