Blog Tour: ‘My Friend the Octopus,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.

Having previously read ‘Darwin’s Dragons’ (also by Galvin), I was eagerly awaiting the publication of her next book, hoping for more fast-paced historical action with heart and humour. That is exactly what I got! Twelve-year-old Vinnie Fyfe works in the tea-shop at Brighton aquarium, and waits for her milliner mother to return from Paris. The … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘My Friend the Octopus,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.

‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.

Kiki Kallira is more of a worrier than a warrior - but today she will learn to be a hero. The mythical beasts she loves to draw have come to life, and she is the only one who can defeat them. A middle-grade fantasy inspired by Hindu legends about anxiety, creativity and finding your own … Continue reading ‘Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom’ by Sangu Mandanna, illustrations by Nabi H. Ali.

Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.

With costs of living rising dramatically, more families are struggling to pay their bills and other essentials. Unfortunately, this may result in more families losing their homes and having to live in temporary accommodation or sofa surf. This hidden homelessness is explored in this touching but humorous tale about what happens to a young boy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Has anyone seen Archie Ebbs??’ by Simon Packham.

Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.

For those of you who’ve read Benjamin’s debut novel, ‘Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow,’ it will come as no surprise that his second title is equally as joyous with a LGBTQ+ theme appropriate for its middle grade audience. It’s one of those books that will leave you with a huge smile … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Secret Sunshine Project,’ by Benjamin Dean, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat.

Blog tour: ‘Carnival of the Lost,’ by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by Sam Usher.

I am a huge fan of Kieran’s writing (if you haven’t read his award-winning Legend of Podkin One-Ear series, you need to immediately!) so I was very happy to hear that he had embarked on an entirely new endeavour - Carnival of the Lost. ‘Sheba the wolf girl joins an unusual troupe of performers that … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Carnival of the Lost,’ by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by Sam Usher.

Blog tour: ‘The Secret of Haven Point,’ by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro.

You are in for an absolute treat if you decide to pick up this outstanding debut from Lisette Auton. And you definitely should! I was Haven Point's first Wreckling, but I certainly wasn't the last. There are forty-two of us now, not including the mermaids. When you're a Wreckling, you mainly spend your days squabbling, … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Secret of Haven Point,’ by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro.

Blog tour: ‘The Ship of Cloud and Stars,’ by Amy Raphael, cover by George Ermos.

Well my first read of 2022 was an absolute belter! Get ready to step aboard the Anthos and set sail on a thrilling adventure… Nico Cloud desperately wants to be an explorer, but her parents think adventures aren’t for girls. Fate intervenes when Nico chases a kitten on board a ship . . . and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ship of Cloud and Stars,’ by Amy Raphael, cover by George Ermos.

Book Advent – Day 1 – ‘The Christmas Carrolls,’ by Mel Taylor-Bessant, illustrated by Selom Sunu.

I cannot think of a more wonderfully Christmassy book to start off my festive book advent. And I have a copy for one of you lucky people to WIN over on Twitter. Visit my pinned tweet and follow the instructions. Wish it could be Christmas every day? Well, for nine-year-old Holly Carroll and her family, … Continue reading Book Advent – Day 1 – ‘The Christmas Carrolls,’ by Mel Taylor-Bessant, illustrated by Selom Sunu.

Blog tour: ‘The Chime Seekers,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Ross on his nomination for The Costa Book Awards for his fantastical World War 2 adventure ‘The Midnight Guardians’ - it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before! So now that you know the calibre of the writer we’re dealing with here, I know you’ll be excited to hear about his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Chime Seekers,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.

Blog tour: ‘The Hideaway,’ by Pam Smy.

Pam Smy’s first novel, ‘Thornhill,’ was met with much critical acclaim and nominated for several awards so my expectations of ‘The Hideaway’ were high. Well let me tell you, she has crafted another beautifully told tale interwoven with atmospheric greyscale illustrations. Pam has written an exclusive piece for this blog about being an illustrator. You … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Hideaway,’ by Pam Smy.

Reflecting Realities – Part 1 (diverse ethnicities)

‘Reflecting Realities’ is the name of a powerful piece of research conducted by the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) which focussed on extent and quality of ethnic representation and diversity within children’s literature. Their third report (published in November 2020) found that only 7% of children’s literature published over the past three years … Continue reading Reflecting Realities – Part 1 (diverse ethnicities)

Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.

Amy’s writing is always a little bit magical, a little bit thought-provoking, and a little bit special. Her newest novel, Lightning Falls, certainly fits into this category. With a haunted house, a hallowed ghost, and a glimmering portal into another world, there is plenty for readers to become immersed in. Amy has also written a … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Lightning Falls,’ by Amy Wilson, cover by Studio Helen.

Blog tour: ‘The Wild Before,’ by Piers Torday, cover by Thomas Flintham.

You may well already have read the stunning, ‘The Last Wild’ trilogy. Set in a land in quarantine, a deadly virus has killed all the animals except pests and it's expected to be equally dangerous to humans. ‘The Wild Before’ is an equally brilliant prequel which explains how the virus came to be and some … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Wild Before,’ by Piers Torday, cover by Thomas Flintham.

‘Crowfall,’ by Vashti Hardy, cover by George Ermos.

Blue Peter award-winning author Vashti Hardy is back with another thrilling adventure. If you loved Brightstorm or Wildspark, you won’t want to miss this! Ironhold is an orderly place where "industry brings prosperity", and where nature is pushed aside for progress. But when Orin Crowfall, a lowly servant boy, learns that the island itself is in … Continue reading ‘Crowfall,’ by Vashti Hardy, cover by George Ermos.

Blog tour: ‘The House on the Edge,’ Alex Cotter, cover by Kathrin Honesta.

A couple of months ago, I was honoured to do the cover reveal for Alex Cotter’s creepy, atmospheric middle grade debut. Today, I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour AND have a special piece by Alex about the power of spooky stories. “Where has Faith's dad gone? Why has he left his family … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House on the Edge,’ Alex Cotter, cover by Kathrin Honesta.

Blog tour: ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister,’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.

I am forever bemoaning the lack of choice when it comes to dinosaur books for readers looking for a meatier read than a picture book. Well I’m moaning no more as the totally awesome ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister’ has stomped onto the scene for all your dino-needs! It’s so good, that it is the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Dinosaur Ate My Sister,’ by Pooja Puri, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan.