It’s that time of year when some of our thoughts may turn to the spooky or the magical. This blog features some of the latest titles I’ve been sent which reflect these themes. Take a look but don’t get scared…! Board Books ‘Five Spooky Friends,’ by Danielle McLean, illustrated by Rosalind Maroney (Little Tiger Press) … Continue reading Happy Halloween
Today I have a middle grade book which is perfect for fans of funny books with an edge. This one just happens to feature a genius baby and a super-villain determined to rid the world of the problem of childhood. Make sure you read the special piece by Daniel about why this book was twenty … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Little Horror,’ by Daniel Peak.
This time last year, I had just finished this title’s predecessor, ‘The Monsters of Rookhaven’ - a delightfully brooding read full of gothic motifs, lurking menace, and the idea of embracing those different to yourself. As the nights draw in and Halloween swiftly approaches, I would suggest you might like to get yourself a copy … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Shadows of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.
If you are looking for a dark, mysterious, brooding read for young teen readers, then this is what you need to get hold of. It is very rare that I am so enthralled by a book that I am compelled to read it in one sitting. But that is exactly what happened with ‘The Ash … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ash House,’ by Angharad Walker.
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.
I went into this book with high expectations (after loving one of Priestley’s other collaborations with Barrington Stoke, ‘Seven Ghosts.’) I was NOT disappointed! Atmospheric, modern, and so very creepy - as I was reading, my mind was already whirring with ways to use this title to inspire some of the children I teach to … Continue reading ‘Freeze,’ by Chris Priestley.
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.
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.
If you happen to have book vouchers burning a hole in your pocket, you might like to pre-order yourself a copy of this spine-tingling new title publishing on the 1st July 2021. Where has Faith's dad gone? Why has he left his family living in an old house perched on a crumbling cliff top? A … Continue reading Cover Reveal: ‘The House on the Edge,’ by Alex Cotter….
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.
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.
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!
Today I have a deliciously creepy title from Carnegie-nominated author, Pádraig Kenny for readers aged ten and up. Mirabelle has always known that she’s different. A monster. But she has always felt safe and loved behind the magical enchantments shielding her and the rest of ‘the Family’ from the human world. The House of Rookhaven … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Monsters of Rookhaven,’ by Pádraig Kenny, illustrated by Edward Bettison.
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.
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.
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.
The Federation Of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG) Book Awards is based around the top 12 highest scoring titles that the children in their book groups have read that year. Anybody under the age of 18 can register their vote on the FCBG website HERE. I’m cheerleading for the frightfully funny ‘Mutant Zombies Cursed My School … Continue reading The FCBG Children’s Book Award 2020 – introducing ‘Mutant Zombies Cursed my School Trip!’ by Matt Brown, illustrated by Paco Sordo.
Today I am sharing the creepy, magical tale of a pair of siblings and a house full of secrets: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill.’ I also have a Q&A with the two authors, Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, about the pros and cons of writing as a duo and where their inspiration cane from. Hedy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill,’ by Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai, cover by Maxine Lee-Mackie.
I’m starting wonder if the hit Netflix series, ‘Stranger Things,’ is partly responsible for the slowly growing trickle of spooky, kooky Sci-Fi novels with a good dollop of retro. ‘The Bigwoof Conspiracy’ would definitely fit into that category. Twelve-year-old Lucy Sladan is obsessed with the ‘unexplained.’ And there’s plenty of unexplained occurnaces in her home … Continue reading ‘The Bigwoof Conspiracy,’ by Dashe Roberts, illustrations by Bill Bragg.
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.