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.
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.
Oh my goodness, if you’re looking for a new title to fit with a WW2 topic, or for an atmospheric ghostly class read, then this is absolutely the book for you! Make sure you scroll down to read Dan’s Q&A about the inspiration and process behind writing Nisha’s War. Malaya, 1942. Nisha’s home is destroyed by … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Nisha’s War,’ by Dan Smith.
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.
I’ll be honest, I am a huge Chris Riddell fangirl so I am always going to love anything he’s illustrated. However, if you pair his illustrations with the the masterful writing of award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and thrilling Arthurian legend. Well, then you have something really rather special! ‘The definitive retelling of the legends of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Arthur the Always King,’ retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell.
Today I’m hosting a brand new title from Vivian French - The Runaways of Haddington Hall. And if you’d like to know the five books Vivian would take with her to a desert island, read on! ‘After a series of misfortunes, Minnie O’Sullivan is whisked away to Haddington Hall: a nightmarish home for wayward girls. … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Runaways of Haddington Hall,’ by Vivian French.
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