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
Classics are classics for a reason, but they can sometimes be inaccessible to younger readers. The collection of books I’m about to share with you are all innovations and reimagining of so true literary greats, but with twists, tweaks and turns which will make them more accessible to today’s readers. Perhaps then, they will be … Continue reading Classics with a Twist
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
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.
Prepare yourself to be whisked away to the streets of Paris in this wonderful patisserie-filled mystery. Nell Magnificent is feeling anything but. Her two beastly parents are planning to leave on a business trip to Paris. Usually, she would spend the holidays at school, but on this occasion it was being redecorated and had sent … Continue reading ‘The Pear Affair,’ by Judith Eagle, cover by Kim Geyer.
Jess’s writing is fantastic so I was delighted to be sent a copy of her newest title which is firmly rooted in the great outdoors. Cara, her siblings and their Irish wolfhound live on a boat in the countryside. They love their beautiful boat and the fact they can step off the boat and into … Continue reading ‘Where the Wilderness Lives,’ by Jess Butterworth, cover by Rob Biddulph.
I really enjoy reading a good historical fiction novel, especially if there’s an element of mystery afoot. If you’re anything like me, you’ll thoroughly enjoy A.M. Howell’s new title which was inspired by a notable clock collection housed in Bury St. Edmund’s Moyse’s Hall museumS. What would it be like to live in a house … Continue reading ‘The House of One Hundred Clocks,’ by A.M. Howell, illustrations by Saara Söderlund.
I am always pleased to see books featuring girls & STEM, and even more so when the main character is from a BAME background. Imagine then my delight when Agent Asha arrived through my letterbox. Top hacker and coder, Asha, is recruited via a cleverly coded message from the library to join a top secret … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bites,’ by Sophie Deen, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar.
Chris Haslam is Chief Travel Writer at The Sunday Times, writer of black comedy thrillers for adults and now the author of his first book for children: ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse.’ Orla and her family head to a secluded Cornish cottage for they hope will be a relaxing break away from the hustle and … Continue reading ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse,’by C. J. Haslam, cover by Paddy Donnelly.
As part of our new schedule, #BookBoy and #BookBoyJr will be posting new reviews every Tuesday (#TuesdayReviewsDay.) This weekend, Book Boy has been reading the first in a new series of pun-filled mysteries from Piccadilly Press. Mark Anchovy (aka Colin Kingsley) is a pizza delivery boy and aspiring private detective - he is desperate for … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay ‘Mark Anchovy: Pizza Detective,’ by William Goldsmith.
Today I am sharing the creepy, magical tale of a pair of siblings and a house full of secrets: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill.’ I also have a Q&A with the two authors, Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, about the pros and cons of writing as a duo and where their inspiration cane from. Hedy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill,’ by Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai, cover by Maxine Lee-Mackie.
Fans of funny and all things Barry Loser will be delighted to learn that creator of craziness, Jim Smith is back with a BRAND NEW series! The Pebble family (humans not stones) are moving to Donut Island and it would be fair to say that neither of the kids (Melvin and Violet) are looking forward … Continue reading ‘A Super Weird Mystery: Danger at Donut Diner,’ by Jim Smith
I’m starting wonder if the hit Netflix series, ‘Stranger Things,’ is partly responsible for the slowly growing trickle of spooky, kooky Sci-Fi novels with a good dollop of retro. ‘The Bigwoof Conspiracy’ would definitely fit into that category. Twelve-year-old Lucy Sladan is obsessed with the ‘unexplained.’ And there’s plenty of unexplained occurnaces in her home … Continue reading ‘The Bigwoof Conspiracy,’ by Dashe Roberts, illustrations by Bill Bragg.
After my recent round up of doggy titles, it’s time for the cats to take over! From picture books to middle grade titles, there’s something for all fans of fabulous felines. ‘It’s My Sausage,’ by Alex Willmore (Maverick Publishing) There are five cats but only one sausage. And none of them are that keen on … Continue reading What’s New Pussycat?
I was left feeling bereft after finishing Leonard’s fabulous Beetle Boy trilogy so was extremely excited to see that she was embarking on a new series of books with friend, Sam Sedgman. Let me introduce the first instalment of the new Adventures on Trains series: The Highland Falcon Thief. When Harrison Beck (or ‘Hal’ to … Continue reading ‘The Highland Falcon Thief,’ by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, illustrations by Elisa Paganelli.
Welcome to my stop on Agent Zaiba’s blog tour. If you’re looking for a thoroughly modern take on a children’s detective novel, this is it! You can also find out more about our curious crime-solver in an exclusive Q & A about Zaiba herself. Zaiba is following in her mother’s footsteps: always on the lookout … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Agent Zaiba Investigates,’ by Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Daniela Sosa.
Everyone’s favourite woodland super-spy is back in another somewhat snowy adventure. This time, Agent Weasel has the honour of captaining the WI6 (Woodland Intelligence) squad - Team United Woodlands. Find out how you can win a copy of your own at the end of this review.... It’s the opening night of the Winter Whopper Games … Continue reading ‘Agent Weasel and the Abominable Dr Snow,’ by Nick East.
It is with much excitement that I introduce you to Sally Gardner’s first middle grade title since the award-winning ‘I, Coriander,’ 14 years ago! When Celeste wakes up in a costume basket at the Royal Opera House, she hopes that her encounter with the strange man in an emerald green suit at the bottom of … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Invisible in a Bright Light,’ by Sally Gardner.
If you like seriously creepy tales of ghouls and ghosties mixed with an inept Nancy Drew-style lead, look no further than ‘The Ghouls Of Howlfair’! Make sure you read Nick’s spooktacular piece about how his main character Molly Thompson came about - the geeks and the weirdos will prevail! Howlfair is a town built on … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Ghouls Of Howlfair,’ by Nick Tomlinson, illustrated by Kim Geyer.