Uh oh! The irrepressible Levi (aka The Loudmouth Llama) and Yasmin are back for another adventure, but this time (spoiler alert!) Yasmin has found her voice! ‘Yasmin Shah is just like any other ten-year-old girl, with a crazy loud family, the BEST best friend ever and a talking toy llama! With the help of her … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Llama on a Mission,’ by Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.
I’m thrilled that Peter Bunzl has added his talents to the brilliant selection of short, snappy reads published by dyslexia-friendly publisher, Barrington Stoke. As you would expect if you’ve read Peter’s ‘Cogheart’ series, ‘Featherlight’ has family at its heart with a little flash of magic. ‘When the lighthouse no longer shines, what else has the … Continue reading ‘Featherlight,’ by Peter Bunzl, cover by Evan Hollingdale.
Today I’m sharing a brilliant debut novel by Helen Harvey: Emmy Levels Up. It’s a fantastic story about gaming, friendship and standing up for yourself. I also have Helen’s top three gaming recommendations for children AND for adults. ‘Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Emmy Levels Up,’ by Helen Harvey, cover by Abbey Lossing.
Chris Wormell is perhaps best know for his distinctive illustrative style, but he has also created several picture books and now, a novel - the rather wonderful ‘The Magic Place.’ Make sure you read Chris’s special piece about the places he used to escape to as a child and how they inspire his writing. 'And … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Magic Place,’ by Chris Wormell.
As all children look set to returning to school over the coming days, I know that emotional wellbeing will be a key concern for many. With lots of pupils having felt very isolated over the past few months, anxiety about returning to school or even being in large groups of people may be looming large. … Continue reading ‘Swan Song,’ by Gill Lewis.
I am sure that lots of you will already have read and loved Elle’s stellar debut title ‘A Kind of Spark’ (if you haven’t, do it!) and were blown away by the power of her writing. Like me, you will probably have been eagerly awaiting her next publication, hoping it will be just as brilliant. … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Show Us Who You Are,’ by Elle McNicoll, cover by Kay Wilson.
Today’s my stop on the ‘Beauty and the Bin’ blog tour. It’s a new middle grade title about reducing food waste, friendship and being true to yourself. Make sure you scroll down to read Joanne’s piece about how to be a young eco-warrior. Laurie's home-made beauty recipes are no secret. The secret is that her … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Beauty and the Bin,’ by Joanne O’Connell.
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.
If you haven’t read any of Lucy Strange’s rather wonderful historical novels, now is a good time to start as her latest title, The Ghost of Gosswater, is an absolute corker! So good, I read it in an afternoon! The Lake District, 1899. The Earl is dead and cruel Cousin Clarence has inherited everything. Twelve-year-old … Continue reading ‘The Ghost of Gosswater,’ by Lucy Strange, cover by Helen Crawford-White.
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
I always on the look-out for highly-illustrated middle grade titles packed with laughs and that is exactly what you get from this brilliant story told through a series of letters from a son to his super-spy parents (whom he believes are sprout farming in Outer Castonga!) The Plot: 10-year-old Freddy Spicer writes letters to his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Chocolate Milk, X-Ray Specs and Me,’ by Bethany Walker, illustrated by Jack Noel.
You know it’s a good book when it’s whisked away from under your nose when it drops out of the envelope and this is your view for the rest of the day! This was my view of Book Boy when ‘Stick Boy’ arrived at our house: As you can probably imagine, life is not easy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Stick Boy,’ by Paul Coomey.
You know that you are going to be in safe hands when you open up a Stewart Foster novel. Author of the award-winning ‘The Bubble Boy’ has a brand new title coming out on the New Year for us to enjoy: ‘All Sam wants is a family of his own, a home instead of a … Continue reading ‘The Perfect Parent Project,’ by Stewart Foster.
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.
I love this series of chapter books aimed at readers aged 7+ Animal stories are perennially popular so it’s fantastic to have such a high-quality series to recommend. And now there’s a Christmassy addition! Jasmine has always planned to build an animal sanctuary on the family’s farm when she is older and has already rescued … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 17 ‘A Donkey Called Mistletoe,’ by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon.
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.
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 am proud to be sharing with you a middle grade tale of upheaval, dreams and friendship. “Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi’s tender and honest middle grade novel tells the story of two girls navigating a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘A Thousand Questions,’ by Saadia Faruqi.
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.
After the end of the Second World War, British citizens from the Commonwealth were invited to relocate to Britain to help rebuild the country. Not all were made welcome and many suffered discrimination and racism because of the colour of their skin. Due to various changes in law, and the government’s determination to be seen … Continue reading The Windrush Generation