Newsletter #January


Dear Friends

In preparation for a big year, Clockwork Books has undergone a bit of a facelift. Welcome to our new look newsletter!

2017 is going to be packed full of good reading news for you from your faithful bookworms at Clockwork Books, so get ready to get your reading on!

First up is our next release, The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids by Jo Hamilton. Jo is the junior school psychologist at one of Joburg’s leading private schools, and she has developed this incredible set of tools to help children combat and avoid meanness and bullying with confidence. Dereck Jackson, everybody’s favourite local parenting expert, had this to say about The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids:

“At last! A practical, tried and tested assertiveness manual by an experienced psychologist and mother who has been practicing successfully in the school environment for many years. Jo Hamilton has produced a simple and effective set of tools to help all children successfully navigate social interactions and the demands of the playground. This book should be provided to many children, be at every parent’s bedside, and on the desk of every life orientation teacher and school counsellor in South Africa.”

The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids will be launching at Kingsmead College on Thursday 2 March with a panel of experts including Jo and Dereck, child psychiatrist Dr Brendan Belsham, and creative parenting expert and speaker Nikki Bush. Books by all the panellists will also be available at our special Clockwork Books pop-up shop on the evening. Keep an eye on our social media to get the details, or email to reserve your spot. There is no charge to attend the event, but space is limited, so be sure to let us know if you want to be there.

A little later in this bulletin we get to know Jo better, and we end off this month’s newsletter with Jo’s Top 3 tips for writing nonfiction for kids.

Looking forward to meeting you in your inbox next month with more news from Clockwork Books. Until then …

Happy reading, and don’t forget to #ReadSA!



Getting to Know:
Jo Hamilton

Jo Hamilton is an educational psychologist and qualified primary school teacher who has spent over twenty years working with children and their families. Her first book, The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids, will be published by Clockwork Books in February 2017.
I asked Jo about publishing her first book …
Sarah: What have been the most exciting and the most daunting parts of publishing your first book?
Jo: The most exciting part has been ‘talking’ to my imaginary readers. The words have just flown and I have enjoyed the creativity and challenge of thinking of child-friendly, attainable ways to share what I know and think. The daunting part has been, at times, breaking down and verbalising what is in my head. When thinking about children, there are so many facets and aspects that need to be considered and included. We are all unique, with different challenges and abilities, and I try to be mindful of the rich tapestry of our differences as I write.Sarah: Tell us one thing you’ve learned that you wish you had known from the outset.
Jo: I never realised what a lengthy and detailed process it is to publish a book. At times it has felt so long, from my first draft to holding my book in my hands. I have learnt to appreciate all the little details of a book and the enormous thought and effort that goes into making a book look and read ‘just right’. I am so grateful for having an excellent publisher guide me along the way.Sarah: What’s next for Jo?
Jo: I am in the process of writing something new, in a different format, that I think will be really helpful and fun for many young girls. It’s a series of magazines called A Girl’s Ultimate Friendship Guide for girls aged 7-12 years. These magazines will have all the information, skills and fun activities necessary to help girls make friends, keep friends, handle conflict situations and group dynamics.


Clockwork Books Recommends:

(Recoil Trilogy, Book 1)
By Joanne Macgregor

Sarah says:
This book is not only for young adult readers – it had me riveted from page one. Joanne has created a sophisticated and believable world with characters that are real, and a truly kickass heroine. Be warned though: The final cliffhanger is so hectic, you’ll regret not having the second book on hand as you turn the last page!



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