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The City Kid goes to Uganda

Author Clive Lewis visited Uganda recently. He says: “I took over 30 copies of The City Kid with me on our recent trip to Uganda, distributing them to various people with an interest in youth work. Dickens Zziwa [CEO of SU Uganda] was very pleased to receive 12 copies as well as the modest proceeds from another dozen that I ‘sold’ for a donation to Scripture Union Uganda.”

The City Kid in Uganda

We are delighted that young people in Uganda will have access to this excellent book. Please pray for those who will read it! 🙂 The City Kid is a ‘prodigal’ style story about a young lad who gets involved in corruption and tries to end his own life. But he is spared, and finds Jesus. That’s a very short summary! Why not buy a copy, see if it might be suitable for the young people in your life?

N.B. It’s a gritty book, not for the faint-hearted. You can read the first chapter here. Click on the link, then scroll down!

Faith, Hope and Love

Book Launch

We had a wonderful time at the book launch of Rebecca and Jade: Choices last month. Thanks to all who prayed! Thanks also to author Eleanor and all at Bethesda Evangelical Church in Hay-on-Wye for hosting this lovely event. Lots of people came, ate cake, bought books (including Beech Bank Girls books) and talked!

Eleanor Watkins

The book was sold in the Hay Festival Bookshop. Please pray for the girls who will be reading this book, making choices of their own.

Rebecca and Jade: Choices in the Hay Festival Bookshop

Rebecca and Jade: Choices in the Hay Festival Bookshop

Death and Grief, Life and Hope

News of so many tragedies involving young people have hit our screens recently, and have left us all reeling. The terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, the forest fire in Portugal. Grief, shock, pain, fear uncertainty, homelessness, lives that will never be the same again.

Even young people who don’t know anyone directly affected are shaken, and many don’t know where to turn. Most have never had to think about death and grief before; now many are thrown into a new reality.

We are trying to get as many books into young people’s hands as possible, to sow seeds of life and hope. I know you will be trying to do the same.


All our books hold out the seeds of faith, hope and love.

The first review I ever received via email, was about The Treasure Hunt, from a girl called Emily, and was just one short sentence: “This is the best book I ever read!” I knew then we were on to something. Not because The Treasure Hunt is the best written, most brilliant, most entertaining, thrilling book in the world, but it has a secret ingredient . . . it’s not just entertainment . . . it holds faith, hope and love. As do all our books. And there’s nothing greater than these three things.


We had our own individual tragedy, as the day after we returned from holiday our cat, Terence, was hit by a car in the road. We buried him in the garden, where he loved to play. Sweet, fun little kitty, full of mischief and adventure. I know many people not far away have lost loved ones, and he was only a cat, but we still miss him.

Cat helping to pack Dernier books!

From a Children’s Worker:

I gave them [books] to the children I work with on a Wednesday. Noah (9) said ‘Hey! This is a Christian book!’ with a big smile on his face.”

Delighted to hear stories like these. So many children, even from church families, don’t have the opportunity to enjoy books that will encourage them in their faith and feed them good things. Thanks to Wendy, who gave these books away. Who knows what the Lord might do through them?

Revenge of the Flying Carpet Cover

Drum roll, please! Fresh from the designer, here’s the front cover of Revenge of the Flying Carpet. Thanks to illustrator Lorraine and designer Gill!

Revenge of the Flying Carpet

Please pray we will have the finances to bring this book out as planned in the autumn. We give a lot of books away, but the costs involved in production generally include the cover illustrator, designer, editor, proofreader, typesetter, and the cost of actually printing the book. As we have low print runs, the cost per copy is high. It’s a dream to sell thousands of copies, so we can lower prices and reach more children (there are 1.9 billion children in the world – the dream is to reach as many as we can, as long as we can!). Please pray with us, because we know the Lord is able to do way more than we can ask for or even imagine. 🙂

Thanks for reaching the end of the newsletter! Bless you for putting up with me for this long. 🙂 Here’s a win/win offer . . . 10 books for £50, to help you with your clubs, camps, end of terms and parties. Any books you like . . . just contact me if you’d like to take up the offer!

May the Lord bless you,


Croatian Translations

Look what came in the post!

Croatian books

The Treasure Hunt (left) and Beech Bank Girls 3 (right) – both in Croatian.

Let’s pray they touch many young hearts!

25 reasons to give Christian books to all the young people you know:

1. Stories stick in your mind (Jesus told stories for a reason!)
2. Christian books are a great way to share the good news.
3. Young people can reflect on subjects such as prayer, justice
and forgiveness, for themselves.

Boy reading A Pennyworth of Peppermints
4. Church kids find it thrilling to find Christian characters in a ‘real’ story!
5. Christian fiction helps church children feel less marginalised.
6. Books written from a Christian perspective can be an eye-opener for non-church young people, and can bring hope.

children reading
7. Stories are much more exciting to read than straight information!
8. We are influenced by what we put into our minds; Christian books contain Christian values.
9. Books help readers think about spiritual and moral issues.

Schoolgirl reading
10. Christian characters can be inspiring in the way they win through in different situations.
11. Ideas that come up in stories help us to evaluate our own lives.
12. Modern Christian fiction is culturally relevant (and exciting!).

Boy reading Christian book
13. Young people can find out how Bible stories are applicable to their own lives.
14. Books make non-threatening presents for non-church families.
15. They aid literacy (they are books!); Christian books have the added bonus of a spiritual dimension.

Children from Zambian school with Dernier Publishing books
16. Children desperate for an education can learn about God’s love while they read.
17. Christian books make non-threatening gifts where spiritual input may otherwise be impossible.
18. Reading a Christian novel with your children is great for bonding.

girl reading
19. You can discuss biblical issues that Christian books bring up, helping you to fulfil your duties as a Christian parent/teacher!
20. Christian books can sow seeds that will bear fruit in years to come.
21. Not all books out there are helpful – Christian books are a fabulous alternative.

girl reading
22. Christian books bring up current issues, such as modern day slavery, from a Christian perspective.
23. Christian fiction can encourage and inspire young people to walk with God, even church kids who are bored with Bible stories
24. We have received many testimonies of how our books have touched lives – some children are drawn to Christian books.

Children reading
25. Every child is precious, and should have a chance to hear the good news in a way that is relevant to them.


If your girls were touched this weekend by Remembrance Day events and services, they might like Beech Bank Girls, A Time Remembered. Willow finds a 100-year-old diary, written by a girl their own age. Sensitively written and fascinating . . . plus the girls have lots of fun as usual!

Click here to see more details.

Beech Bank Girls

Halloween and Christmas in one post!

So, Halloween and Christmas in one newsletter – I didn’t intend it that way, but actually, isn’t that pretty much what we face daily, as Christians? Alongside the wonderful good news of Jesus there is much evil.

HalloweenI was talking to a teenage lad from a Christian family recently – he told me about the pumpkin he carved, which will now be lit in the garden every night until it disintegrates. Does this worry you? It worries me. He seemed surprised that I have never carved a pumpkin, or did this with my children because of what lies behind the festival. Apparently it’s just harmless fun, carving pumpkins . . .

It reminds me that our own church children need Christian books as much as children from non-church backgrounds. Satan doesn’t come in devil costume, he comes dressed in fun clothes. We need to fight for those who can not fight for themselves.

Write for a Reason
Write for a Reason logoThe latest seven week online writing course I run is just finishing – please pray for students as they continue their writing journey, and others who now belong to the Membership Programme. If you know anyone who writes Christian stories for children, do send them our way! Click here to read more. One student said about the last module: “I’m feeling quite sad and a little reluctant to start this module as it’s the last one! It’s a bit like keeping the last sweet in the packet!”

New Developments
We are still working on getting our books out to other countries, but things are running frustratingly slowly . . . please The City Kidpray for a breakthrough! Thank you, you have no idea how much your prayers are appreciated. We are also planning to get The City Kid into paperback next year . . .
Books into Schools
I’d also very much like to get more of our books into schools. I’m meeting up with our Diocesan Youth Adviser later this month, to get some ideas how we can make our books useful for RE lessons. If you have any advice or help, please do send it my way! One local school is once again using some of our books for their Book Club (children in years 5 and 6). Please pray for them!

And Finally, Christmas is Coming!
Yep, it’s that time again, folks! Time to start making Christmas present lists – such an excellent time of year to reach out to neighbours and friends with the good news in the guise of a non-threatening book. To help you along the way, here are all our books – you can get all these from your local Christian bookshops as well as from our website. You can get some of the books as bundles, too. My prayer is that as you reach out to the children on your heart with these books, lives will be changed. Who knows what mighty oaks might grow from the seeds you sow?
So here are all our books! Click on each of the pictures for more information (at least, I hope so, if I have correctly worked out the technology!).

Beech Bank Girls books

Beech Bank Girls, A Time Remembered
Teenage friends Chloe, Willow, Annie, Rachel, Holly and Amber become absorbed in a diary from the First World War, and discover that the choices they make have consequences, just as they did for fourteen-year-old Grace one hundred years ago.

The girls continue to live, love and laugh together through all the trials and joys of life, and discover that even when everything seems to be going wrong, God is still at work.

ISBN: 9780956904379 / £5.99 / 192pp

Beech Bank Girls, Christmas is Coming!
Perfect for Christmas! Also great for girls struggling with body image, money worries at home and grandparents’ failing health.
Holly faces the reality of financial crisis at home; Rachel is worried about her sister; a sledging incident shakes the girls and a different nativity play brings home the true meaning of Christmas.
ISBN: 9780956904317 / £5.99 / 176pp

Beech Bank Girls, Every Girl Has a Story
Great for girls who are growing up fast, to encourage them to walk with God. Tackles issues of bullying, illness, step-families and temptations. Miracle and party included!

This popular book was shortlisted for the Christian Resources Awards 2011.

ISBN: 9780953696345 / £5.99 / 160pp

Beech Bank Girls, Making a Difference
Perfect for girls who want to make a difference in the world!
The Beech Bank Girls discover that they don’t have to wait until their gap year to start helping people in need. A new culture on their doorstep, an emotional night out – the girls learn that they can make a difference right where they are.

Shortlisted for the Christian Resources Awards 2012.
ISBN: 9780953696376 / £5.99 / 192pp

London’s Gone
Londons GoneGreat for young people wondering how faith can make a difference; also perfect to encourage Christian youngsters to reach out to their friends.
London has been bombed by terrorists and three teens have to make their way to safety. Only one of them is a Christian – will it make a difference to the way he reacts to the situation?

ISBN: 9780953696321 / £6.99 / 224pp

​ PS I lent this book to a 16-year-old bookworm from our church youth group (not a Christian girl, but on the fringes), and she absolutely loved it – she couldn’t put it down, totally identified with the characters and loved the plot and the suspense. Please pray for her!
The Only Way
The Only WayA brilliant introduction to faith in God.
Perfect for anyone who loves a well-written, gripping story.

When a mysterious, disaffected teenager meets the beautiful and mysterious Lily, he discovers a new way to live, the only way.
ISBN: 9780953696390 / £5.99 / 142pp
A Pennyworth of Peppermints
A Pennyworth of PeppermintsPerfect for schools, presentations and prizes.
A spy story, set in the First World War. This delightful story captures a little of what life was like for families living through the Great War, and how faith in God can make a difference.

ISBN: 9780956904331 / £5.99 / 160p



I Want to Be an Airline Pilot
Perfect for children who love reading about other cultures, and those who need to know that they have a father in heaven who cares for them. Through a series of adventures, Shema discovers that he has a Father in heaven who cares for him.

ISBN: 9780953696352 / £5.99 / 112pp

Rwanda series books
Living in Hope
The thrilling sequel to I want to be an Airline Pilot. Shema and his friends still have many exciting and dangerous challenges to face; will their new faith survive?
Perfect for children new to faith; also a gentle introduction to the issue of child slavery.
ISBN: 9780956904300 / £5.99 / 128pp

Under the Tamarind Tree
Perfect for children struggling with a change in their life, and to learn about living in a new culture from a child’s perspective. The third book in the “Rwanda” series. Timo and Joshua don’t want to go and live in rural Rwanda, but learn that God knows best.

ISBN: 9780956904324 / £5.99 / 128pp

Deepest Darkness
Deepest DarknessPerfect for sensitive children, those who enjoy thoughtful books and those who struggle with anxiety. Facing her fears one by one, Abi opens here life to the light and finds a freedom she never thought possible.

PS If you’ve had children worried about things that happened at Halloween, or want to give a Christian take on ‘Divali’, this is the book for you, because it’s all about finding light, even in the darkness.

ISBN: 9780953696369 / £5.99 / 112pp

The Treasure Hunt
Great for kids who love exciting mystery stories. Four Christian friends go on a treasure hunt with the church youth club, but while looking for clues they fall into another adventure. Will they find out what is going on and find the real treasure?mystery adventure stories

ISBN: 9780953696314 / £4.99 / 96pp

Mystery in the Snow
Perfect for children who enjoy mystery stories. Great for outreach.
Not long after solving their first mystery (The Treasure Hunt), Debbie, Ravi, Lance and Joel find themselves with another problem; Ravi’s shed has been burgled. Join the Christian friends as they find answers in unexpected places.

ISBN: 9780953696338 / £5.99 / 112pp

The Birthday Shoes
The Birthday ShoesGreat for girls who love shoes, friends and magical adventures!
Join Emily Jane as she goes on a series of adventures in Africa wearing her magic shoes, making friends and some exciting discoveries about God along the way.

ISBN: 9780953696383 / £5.99 / 128pp
Hope that helps you choose! Let me know if I can help you at all – otherwise, I’ll be back in touch next month, or see you on our facebook page!

July extra news!

Yay! Book Bundles!

I just had to tell you about this new development . . . I’m getting the hang of updating the new Dernier website, which is a learning curve (I sometimes I go home with my brain well and truly aching!).

BUT I can now reveal *DRUM ROLL* I have made a new category: Book Bundles!

These come in at a lower cost than you’d pay for the books if you bought them separately. £19.99 for the four wonderful Beech Bank Girls books (including the brand new book)

Beech Bank Girls books

£9.99 for The Treasure Hunt and Mystery in the Snow

mystery adventure stories


and £14.99 for the three books in the ‘Rwanda’ series.

Rwanda series books


Oh, and you can buy one of every one of our fourteen books for £69.99, which is the perfect gift for a family, school or library!

Bundle of Dernier Publishing paperbacks


I hope this will help make the ordering process easier, help people find the books that go together in each of these series, and that as a result of this, more children and young people will find Jesus through our stories. 🙂

You can see all the book bundles here: See Book Bundles

Do buy some – maybe for prizes for summer holiday clubs and camps? You just never know what seeds might grow from your gifts . . . one day we will find out and won’t that be soooooooooooooo exciting! 🙂

P.S. Your local Christian bookshop might have an offer on, too, as we have been working with our distributor to give an extra summer discount to bookshops on our books. Why not pop in and see? (Booksellers, please contact your Hughes and Coleman rep if you haven’t heard!)

Advanced notice: The City Kid free promotion!

While I’m here, I have to admit that sales of The City Kid on kindle have been disappointingly slow, and to date nobody has left a review. Christian magazines charge hundreds of pounds for adverts – we don’t have that kind of money, but if we work together we could bring this excellent story to more people’s attention . . .

The City Kid

Here’s the plan . . . would you be kind enough to download the book next week (18th – 22nd) as part of a FREE promotion? Would you also tell your friends and share our posts about it on facebook? Dernier Publishing on facebook Your support would be hugely valued . . . and it won’t cost you anything!

If we all work together I know we can make a difference. The thing is, the more downloads and reviews, the more Amazon promote a book in searches. If a book is more visible, more people are likely to download it, so by having a free promotion we could be setting off an upward spiral.

This story is worth every effort – our enemy would be glad if nobody read it. The City Kid touched many lives in Uganda back in the 70s and now that it has been completely revised it has the potential to touch many more young lives.

Clive Lewis (author) says this: “It was way back in 1970 when I first got the idea of writing a sort of African ‘prodigal son’ story, while I was teaching in a Ugandan secondary school. I can’t recall how I settled on the name ‘John Ouma’. Maybe it was suggested by a colleague of mine named Moses Ochwo. Anway, the name Ouma is a genuine Ugandan name commonly found in certain regions of the country.

I didn’t want an unusual name because the hero (or is he an anti-hero? – you decide!) of the story was meant to be a sort of Everyman figure. He was intended to embody attitudes and experiences which were, and are, common to so many people – especially the young as they face the choices and challenges of growing up.

At the same time, John Ouma is also a very particular young man, and I hope the new edition of The City Kid, which has been extensively rewritten since the first version back in the ‘70s, has given the main character a bit more depth and individuality. Yes, he is typical in many ways, but he is also his own man in very particular circumstances.

I’ve tried to bring this ‘city kid’ into the 21st century. His office (unlike the one where he worked in the first edition) now has computers. Mobile telephone networks cover most of the country, even the upcountry village of Mkandu where he has grown up. But his ambitions remain the same: to make it ‘big’ in the city, to enjoy the company of girlfriends, to drive a sporty car and to make a financial success of his life. And the same fault lines appear: his weakness when faced with temptation, his proneness to overspending and debt and his reluctance to admit his need of God.

So here he is, John Ouma, the city kid, who was dead but is now alive again. Even if you have never seen or even heard of the first edition, please download your copy from Amazon and discover why this young man from a small African village can speak to all of us, in any continent and from any background.”

If you don’t want to wait for the free promotion you can buy the book (for around £2/$3) and leave a review here:

The City Kid on Amazon

Thank you so much for everything.


P.S. The City Kid has a wonderful foreword by the Archbishop of York.

Welcome to the July 2015 Dernier Publishing newsletter!

What are our children reading?

I like to keep up with what our children/young people are reading, so when I was early for an appointment in town recently I popped into a charity shop to look at the books. I bought these three from the children’s shelf:


The Replacement is about a boy from an ‘underworld’ (which includes the living dead) who is a ‘replacement’ – left in the crib of a human baby when just a few weeks old. He has fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground which are slowly killing him. The Blue Hawk is a different kind of fantasy. Tron, the protagonist, is a temple boy who is led by his gods to follow his destiny. Dancing in my nuddy-pants is the fourth in a series of eight ‘confessions’ written in diary form, for girls 13-15. The name of God is used continuously throughout the book, but not in the way Christians do. 80,000 copies of this book were pre-sold – that’s before the book actually hit the shelves!

All these books are well written and have attractive covers. But the content of all three books troubles me deeply because the stories we read affect us. In a study on how novels affect the brain by researchers at a university in Atlanta, USA, the findings “suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist [main character].” Read a short article about the findings of the study here: How novels affect the brain It’s definitely worth five minutes of your time . . . this shows how urgently we need Christian books for children and teens with characters who will encourage and inspire our young people to walk with God.

All I can say is, thank you for your support for Dernier – imagine if we could sell 80,000 books, reach 80,000 young people! Please keep praying and spreading the word, because we struggle to sell 2,000 of each of our books. There is so much tinsel around – we need to give our young people true gold. If we could sell 80,000 we could cut the cost enormously, too, to make them more affordable for us to send to children all over the world. This is my dream and my prayer! Please pray with me.


Have you downloaded Revenge of the Flying Carpet on kindle?

Revenge of the Flying Carpet
97 people did, during the free promotion last month! Please pray the story will touch many hearts and lives. Oh, and if you did download it, when you have read it, would you be kind enough to leave a review? Thank you! If you missed the promotion you can still buy the book here (this is the UK link) or in your own Amazon store.

Amazon Link to Revenge of the Flying Carpet

Paying the bills!

We have the final invoice to pay for the beautiful, encouraging, inspiring Beech Bank Girls, A Time Remembered books. I would be grateful for your help!

Beech Bank Girls books

£1.99 would buy you The City Kid on kindle: Buy the City Kid

£5.99 will buy you the new book! Buy from your local Christian bookshop or right here on our website! Buy the new book here

£20.00 will buy you a pack of eight ‘seconds’ books – I have a growing pile in my office and would like to find a good home for them! More details here: Buy a bundle of ‘seconds’ books

£69.99 would give one each of our fourteen books – a fabulous present for a family, church or library:

Buy one each of all our wonderful books!

£150.00 would buy 30+ books for you to give to a school, church or library – this option isn’t on our website, but contact me if you might be interested.

Thank you for your help – very little helps!

Books change lives

Here’s an email I was sent recently: “I just wanted to tell you how much Joe and I are enjoying reading ‘I want to be an airline pilot’!! I’m reading it to Joe at bedtime and he’s really enjoying it – his favourite book so far!! And he’s read lots of books! He loves the bits about Rwanda and his bedtime prayers are full of thanks for all his blessings. We’ve had some really good chats following on from each chapter too. Each chapter he tried to persuade me to read on so he can find out what happens next – and not just delaying bedtime, he’s genuinely wanting to keep going!!! – just wanted to encourage you!! You are making a big difference, 1 book at a time, 1 child at a time.”

I Want to Be an Airline Pilot

Isn’t that just so encouraging? 🙂

Our new website

I would love to receive your comments on this new website! Is there anything you would like to see, or doesn’t really work for you? Our designer is working on a logo so we don’t have such a big space on the home page and I have more ideas – I always have too many ideas and not enough time though!

Still, do keep in touch, it’s always lovely to hear from you 🙂

Enjoy the sun, and thanks for reading this far!

Janet Wilson


P.S. Do join us on facebook Be lovely to see you there!

FREE shipping within UK: please contact us for shipping rates abroad. Thank you :-) Dismiss