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.
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.
Anna Fargher’s brilliant middle grade title ‘The Umbrella Mouse’ is currently Waterstones Children’s Book Of The month. It tells a tale based on the true stories of some of the animals caught in the conflict of the Second World War, a tale of courage, friendship and resistance. When the Umbrella shop which is the London … Continue reading The Women Who Helped Make D-Day Possible by author of ‘The Umbrella Mouse,’ Anna Fargher.
Barrington Stoke produce some of the very best short, accessible stories by some of the very best current children’s authors. Although specially produced to be easy on the eye for dyslexic readers, their brilliant collection is perfect for anyone who enjoys short, pacey reads. Lisa Thompson’s debut for Barrington Stoke fits in perfectly. Owen and his … Continue reading ‘Owen and the Soldier,’ by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup firmly in the limelight this year, ‘Lily and the Rockets’ would be an excellent choice of book to introduce readers to the time when the first women’s league was formed and pulled in crowds of over 50,000 at its peak! Lily is tall, broad and has hands the size … Continue reading ‘Lily and the Rockets,’ by Rebecca Stevens, cover by Harriet Taylor Seed.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the wild and snow-filled ‘She Wolf’ by Dan Smith. Northumbria, 886. Life is harsh. You need to be tough to survive. This is a lesson Ylva has to learn very quickly when her mother is murdered by a three-fingered man, leaving her alone in the world … Continue reading ‘She Wolf,’ by Dan Smith, cover by Jill Calder.
A flying machine, a murder and terrible danger…. Listen to me chat to author, Fleur Hitchcock about all this and more on the latest blog tour episode of my Library Girl And Book Boy podcast (available on all good listening platforms!)
Athan Wilde has a dream – he dreams of soaring through the air in the flying machine that he’s helping his mysterious friend, Mr Chen, to build. But other people have the same dream and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on the plans and prototype. Even murder.
Following the death of his mentor, Athan has a very difficult choice to make: stay, fight and protect his family, or run away before the murderers teach him down too. But maybe it’s already too late…
This story is set on the gritty, grimy streets and rickety snow-covered rooftops of the big city where life is cheap and…
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It’s never too early to start teaching young girls (and boys) that they have the power to do whatever they want to. Luckily, girls are no longer consigned to the role of helpless princess in the books available for them to enjoy. I’m going to share with you some of the celebratory and stereotype-busting titles … Continue reading Here Come the Girls! (International Women’s Day)
Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things. Especially when they contain books as wonderful as Little Bird Flies! That’s why I’m so delighted to be part of its blog tour, with not only a review, but also an exclusive interview recorded with Karen especially for my podcast … Continue reading ‘Little Bird Flies,’ by Karen McCombie, cover by Jasu Hu.
Two girls, a century apart. Together they’ll find freedom. This story is told in two parts, over two different time periods: the present day and 1891. The present day: we meet Semira, an Eritrean refugee who undertook a long a dangerous journey across desert and sea with her mother, accompanied by a man who has … Continue reading ‘The Closest Thing to Flying,’ by Gill Lewis, cover by Paola Escobar.
Having loved Lucy’s first book, I was very excited to see that she had written a new title set on the Kent coast during the Second World War. I couldn’t wait to dive in... ‘Our Castle by the Sea’ is about a family being torn apart amid rumours of espionage whilst enemy planes fly overhead. … Continue reading ‘Our Castle by the Sea,’ by Lucy Strange, design by Helen Crawford-White.
I finished this poignant title just in time for Remembrance Sunday so wanted to share it beforehand incase any of you were looking for some books set in the time of the First World War. As Evie’s parents struggle to come to terms with the death of their youngest son, Alecky, his older (but underage) … Continue reading ‘Evie’s War,’ by Holly Webb.
Today I am bringing you another brilliant collaboration between author-extraordinaire, Tom Palmer and dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke. Ahead of the First World War armistice centenary, ‘Armistace Runner’ pays tribute to some of the war’s forgotten heroes. This beautiful story focusses on the lives of two runners whose lives are connected across time through memories. Lily … Continue reading ‘Armistice Runner,’ by Tom Palmer, cover illustration by Tom Clohosy Cole.
You all know the story of the race to the North Pole, right? Wrong! I bet you’ve never heard the remarkable tale of Matthew Henson, part of a team of men who reached the North Pole on a dog sled AHEAD of Dr. Cook! This new super-readable title from Barrington Stoke tells the unbelievable bit … Continue reading ‘Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story,’ by Catherine Johnson, illustrated by Katie Hickey.
I’ve just finished this epic Viking adventure from notes historian and author Janina Ramirez, and it was brilliant. Alva has the heart of a shield maiden and wants to follow in the footsteps of her father who has gone a-Viking over the sea. She’s desperate to be allowed to help her uncle, Magnus, solve mysteries … Continue reading ‘Riddle of the Runes,’ by Janina Ramirez, illustrated by David Wyatt.