Hilary McKay is a truly excellent writer for older children. ‘The Swallow’s Flight’ is her Costa award-winning title ‘The Skylark’s War’ - a beautiful story following the loves and losses of a family growing up against the harsh backdrop of World War One. I have the whole of Chapter Five to share with you, so … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Swallow’s Flight,’ by Hilary McKay.
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
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 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
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.
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’s my stop on the magical ‘Glassheart’ blog tour and I have a special piece from Katharine about the folklore of Dartmoor inspired her story. Orphaned during an explosion in the war, Nona is taken in by Uncle Antoni - a stained glass craftsman. They travel everywhere together, replacing stained-glass windows in war-torn buildings. When … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Glassheart,’ by Katharine Orton, cover by Sandra Dieckmann.
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
Stories about war are as relevant and important as ever. They allow us to educate readers about conflicts past and present, encouraging them to empathise and reflect. Barrington Stoke have an excellent range of conflict-themed tales written by some of our most talented children’s authors, for readers of all levels of confidence. ‘Daisy and the … Continue reading Conflict-themed Stories from Barrington Stoke
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.
With the Stone Age a firm fixture on the primary school national curriculum, it’s always useful to have some new texts up your sleeve to use along with tried and tested favourites. Today I’m going to share with you a selection of titles I’ve been sent which would fit well with a Stone Age topic … Continue reading Stone Age, Bone Age
If you loved last year’s award-wining title, ‘The Umbrella Mouse,’ you are going to love this gripping sequel full of treachery, distrust and the power of hope. Following their legendary escape from the Nacht und Nebel camp, Pip and the other members of the Noah’s Ark resistance movement have regrouped and are honouring their fallen … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue,’ by Anna Fargher, illustrated by Sam Usher.
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.
Empathy is a vital human force. One that creates happier children, stronger communities and a better world. It’s come into sharp focus during the pandemic and right now, we’ve never needed it more. Empathy is being able to imagine and share someone else’s feelings. The good news is that it's a skill you can learn, … Continue reading Empathy Day: ‘Flight,’ by Vanessa Harbour.
When I saw that there was a new instalment to Michelle Paver’s iconic and award-winning ‘Wolf Brother’ series, I knew that I HAD to get my hands on a copy! I absolutely devoured all the other titles whilst on maternity leave, tapping on my kindle with my one free finger to turn the page. This … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Viper’s Daughter,’ by Michelle Paver.
My first read of the new year was ‘Little Bird Lands,’ which is the sequel to last year’s ‘Little Bird Flies.’ A story which followed Bridie and her family as they scratched out a living on the remote Scottish Island of Tornish before the arrival of a new lord caused terrible trouble and disruption. You … Continue reading ‘Little Bird Lands,’ by Karen McCombie, cover by Jasu Hu.
I am always enormously excited to be sent new titles from Barrington Stoke as you know that you are going to get a fantastic snappy story from a world-class author. ‘Seven Ghosts’ is absolutely no exception to this rule. Written and illustrated by Chris Priestley, ‘Seven Ghosts’ tells the story of Jake and the other … Continue reading ‘Seven Ghosts,’ by Chris Priestley.