I was delighted to be asked by The Magic Storybox to review one of their amazing book gift boxes. I chose to review one of their ‘anti-racist book boxes’ but their website also have options to build a box for someone based on your own selections, or to purchase a monthly book subscription packed with … Continue reading The Magic Storybox
This thrilling series started way back with ‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club’ and now it’s onto the fourth instalment - the sign of some great stories. This time, it’s the Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club taking centre stage.... ‘Ursula knew the submarine wasn't designed to go this deep, but what choice did they have? No one … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club,’ by Alex Bell, illustrated by Tomislav Tomić.
In a time when travel options are severely limited, we need books which can which us away to exotic and faraway locations. Preferably with a large dollop of adventure mixed in for good measure. That’s exactly what you get from Nizrana Farook’s second novel set on the tropical shores of Serendib (Sri Lanka.) A thrilling … Continue reading ‘The Boy Who Met a Whale,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.
There are so many brilliant books which I am scared may get missed by readers due to the inability to visit actual bookshops and see them in all their glory. Today, I’m delighted to be high-lighting the wonderful ‘Darwin’s Dragons’ by Lindsay Galvin. This is an essential for any teacher who teaches ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Darwin’s Dragons,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.
There have been lots of posts from teachers looking for collections of short stories to share online with their classes. I’ve put together a quick summary of some of my KS2 favourites with links to more in-depth reviews if I’ve written them. Please make sure you check each publishers’ guidelines for sharing their books online … Continue reading Short Story Collections
Ever since reading the first instalment of Robert Muchamore’s Robin Hood series earlier in 2020, Book Boy has been counting down to the release of the second in January 2021. Luckily for him, I was kindly sent a review copy before that which he promptly whisked from under my nose and set about devouring. ‘The … Continue reading ‘Robin Hood: Piracy, Paintballs and Zebras,’ by Robert Muchamore.
If there are any teachers reading this who are looking for a new text with strong environmental themes and links to the Arctic, this is the book for you. A gorgeous story with stunning illustrations from the masterful Levi Pinfold - publishing in February 2021. ‘There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At … Continue reading ‘The Last Bear,’ by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold.
Today I have an icy Antarctic adventure to share with you. The second title in this highly-engaging series for newly confident readers: Ever since eight-year-old Agnes became a fully-fledged member of SPEARS (Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has kept her uniform safely folded under her bed ready for an … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 20 ‘Agents of the Wild: Operation Icebeak,’ by Jennifer Bell and Alice Lickens.
If you haven’t already discovered this excellent time-slip adventure series featuring siblings Alex and Ruby, nows your chance as they slip through their aunt’s mirror and head off for a Victorian Christmas. Ever since discovering that the mirror in their aunt’s hallway is a portal to the past (see - ‘A Chase in Time’), siblings … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 16 ‘A Christmas in Time,’ by Sally Nicholls, cover illustration by Isabelle Follath.
On the ninth day of book advent, my true love gave to me... a shiny gold edition of Ben Miller’s Christmas book! Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer; he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop; he knows about the magic which allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 9 ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
I am always in awe of anyone who can juggle writing a cracking MG adventure alongside a busy job and family life, but James Haddell has done it! Introducing ‘The Lost Child’s Quest’ - full of history, mystery and magic. Tia is an orphan. She has lived in an orphanage, looked after by the kindly … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Lost Child’s Quest,’ by James Haddell.
Ross Montgomery is one of my favourite middle grade authors - whichever of his books you choose to read, you know you’re not going to be disappointed. But I must warn you that his latest title, ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ is a compulsive, read-past-your-bedtime, adventure. With bombing raids ravaging London, Col has been evacuated to live … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.
Introducing the third children’s book by actor and comedian, Ben Miller. With flavours of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Brothers Grimm, get ready to dive headfirst into an adventure beyond your wildest dreams! Lana is fed-up of her brother Harrison pretending he’s too grown-up to play games with her now that he’s started senior … Continue reading ‘The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
Today I’m sharing two books with strong environmental themes from the fabulous dyslexia-friendly publisher, Barrington Stoke. ‘The Invasion of Crooked Oak,’ by Dan Smith, illustrated by Chris King. The local community are very unhappy about the fracking site on Carpenter’s Field. The local children used to play there - catching fish and building dens. When … Continue reading Stories with Environmental themes from Barrington Stoke
Full disclosure - I am a HUGE fan of Vashti’s middle grade adventures (the epic ‘Brightstorm’ series and the Blue Peter Award-Winning, ‘Wildspark.’) I am also a massive fan of Barrington Stoke’s highly-accessible, dyslexia-friendly titles. Imagine if you can, my delight at discovering that these two powerhouses of children’s books were joining forces to create … Continue reading ‘The Griffin Gate,’ by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by Natalie Smillie.
This is the final instalment in Catherine’s award-winning Clockwork Crow trilogy - I couldn’t wait to find out how Seren and Tomos’s adventure was going to end! When Seren slips down a strange alleyway and purchases a mysterious box at the local fair, little does she suspect that it may hold an important secret. When … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Midnight Swan,’ by Catherine Fisher.
If you’re in the mood for a chucklesome boarding school tale full of ingenious orphans, evil matrons and belligerent goats, then this is the book for you! I had the absolutely pleasure of reading this wickedly funny tale over the Summer and it really tickled my funny bone. The humour was just dark enough for … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Orphans of St. Halibuts,’ by Sophie Wills, illustrated by David Tazzyman.
Brace yourself for a thrilling race against time to save the lives of fourteen souls whose lives will otherwise be lost in The Great Flood of 1928. Glory (an orphan with one hand and a talented jewellery designer) lives in Inthington in 1928. Needle (a time-travelling mudlark with very special talents) lives in Inthington in … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Elsetime,’ by Eve McDonnell, cover by Holly Ovenden.
Today I have a fast-paced sci-fi adventure to share and a special piece from author, Loris Owen, about the inspiration behind ‘squirls.’ Welcome to the dazzling world of Quicksmiths College of Strange Energy. Kip Bramley isn’t exactly popular. So he is surprised and slightly suspicious when he’s approached by a drone whilst hiding out in … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith,’ by Loris Owen.
Today I get to share a brilliant new middle grade novel which would be perfect for budding detectives: ‘The Key to Finding Jack.’ I also have a special piece from the author about what inspired her to choose Peru as the centre of Jack’s adventure. Flick’s elder brother, Jack, is heading off on a gap … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Key to Finding Jack,’ by Ewa Jozefkowicz, cover by Katy Riddell.