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.
Having read the first title in the Hoarder Hill series and loved it, I was delighted to be sent the next instalment to enjoy. The twins are back at Hoarder Hill and they’ve caught wind of Fantastikhana - an underground magical tournament! Make sure you also read authors Mikki and Kelly’s piece about the trials … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Magician’s Map,’ by Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, illustration by Maxine Lee-Mackie.
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.
Justin Somper’s swaggering fantasy adventure series has been reissued with striking new covers and bonus additional content including ‘origins stories’ for its lead characters, interviews, and reading group notes. Today I’m sharing the first of those with you, plus an exclusive piece by Justin about how he researched his characters. ‘The year is 2512. The … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Vampirates,’ by Justin Somper, cover illustration by Crush Creative.
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
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Amy Sparkes’ brilliant new title ‘The House at the Edge of Magic.’ "Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it." Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The House At the Edge of Magic,’ by Amy Sparkes, cover by Ben Mantle.
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
On the ninth day of book advent, my true love gave to me... a shiny gold edition of Ben Miller’s Christmas book! Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer; he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop; he knows about the magic which allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 9 ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
Today’s advent pick is a wry, clever and downright hilarious journey towards finding the real meaning of Christmas. The International Postal Service is in the red and this spells bad news for seasonal worker, Santa. He’s going to have make some cutbacks: reindeer hire and insurance is a major expense, and as for some of … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day Four ‘Santa Gets a Second Job,’ by Michele D’Ignazio, illustrated by Sergio Olivotti, translated by Denise Muir.
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.
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.
As the night’s draw in and the weather turns chillier, my thoughts always turn to snuggling up under a blanket with a good book. Halloween is a great time to find a new favourite read - whether magical or spooky so I’m bringing you some of the newest choices around. ‘Mirabelle Gets Up to Mischief,’ … Continue reading Happy Halloween!
Introducing the third children’s book by actor and comedian, Ben Miller. With flavours of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Brothers Grimm, get ready to dive headfirst into an adventure beyond your wildest dreams! Lana is fed-up of her brother Harrison pretending he’s too grown-up to play games with her now that he’s started senior … Continue reading ‘The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
This is the final instalment in Catherine’s award-winning Clockwork Crow trilogy - I couldn’t wait to find out how Seren and Tomos’s adventure was going to end! When Seren slips down a strange alleyway and purchases a mysterious box at the local fair, little does she suspect that it may hold an important secret. When … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Midnight Swan,’ by Catherine Fisher.
Welcome back to the Land of Roar - once a figment of the imaginations of a much younger Rose and Arthur's imaginations, but now a real place accessed through their grandfather's loft. After their last adventure, the twins thought they'd banished Roar's worst villain for good - but perhaps that isn't actually the case.... You … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Return to Roar,’ by Jenny McLachlan, illustrated by Ben Mantle.
I absolutely loved Aisha’s debut middle grade novel, ‘A Pocketful of Stars,’ so was very excited to see what she would write next. The magical ‘Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found’ was the answer! (You can listen to Aisha on my podcast HERE.) I also had the opportunity ask Aisha some questions about the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found,’ by Aisha Bushby, illustrated by Rachael Dean.
I am almost ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read any of Welsh Children’s laureate, Eloise Williams’s titles before ‘Wilde,’ but I had heard the most amazing things about her writing so was excited to get engrossed by Wilde’s story. Wilde has managed to get herself expelled from boarding school, again. Rather than face a … Continue reading ‘Wilde’ by Eloise Williams.
This week Book Boy Jr. has chosen to share the first in a new series of ‘Dream Team’ chapter books from Tom Percival. Erika is sick to death of her baby brother, Randall, getting away with everything and of her parents being too tired or busy to talk to her. After a particularly bad day, … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay: ‘Dream Team: Attack of the Heebie Jeebies,’ by Tom Percival.
Chris Haslam is Chief Travel Writer at The Sunday Times, writer of black comedy thrillers for adults and now the author of his first book for children: ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse.’ Orla and her family head to a secluded Cornish cottage for they hope will be a relaxing break away from the hustle and … Continue reading ‘Orla and the Serpent’s Curse,’by C. J. Haslam, cover by Paddy Donnelly.