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.
I was completely blown away by this powerful novella which chronicles the inner dialogue of Rex, a young teen whose father has very recently passed away. There were smiles and there were tears as I watched him struggle to come to terms with his loss and with his final moments with his father. Definitely something … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Dream House,’ by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward.
The Oxford University Press have produced a brand new range of highly-readable titles for less confident KS3 readers (aged 11 up.) They’ve created the ‘Super-readable Rollercoasters’ in collaboration with Barrington Stoke who are known for their dyslexia-friendly format and snappy, engaging stories. I was lucky enough to be sent two of these titles to review, … Continue reading ‘Dark Peak,’ by Marcus Sedgwick, cover by Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor.
Today I’m sharing an exciting new book for teen readers packed with daring exploits and audacious crimes. AND I have the second part of Chapter Two for you to enjoy. If you’ve missed reading Chapter One and the first part of this chapter, check out which stops on the blog tour to visit on the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne,’ by Jonathan Stroud, cover by Tom Cole.
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.
Ever since reading the first instalment of Robert Muchamore’s Robin Hood series earlier in 2020, Book Boy has been counting down to the release of the second in January 2021. Luckily for him, I was kindly sent a review copy before that which he promptly whisked from under my nose and set about devouring. ‘The … Continue reading ‘Robin Hood: Piracy, Paintballs and Zebras,’ by Robert Muchamore.
With World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October) and International Day of the Girl (Sunday 11th October) coming up, today seems like an excellent time to share this fantastic book with you all. Written by a world-leading expert in body image research, it is packed with advice you can trust. This book is full of … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless,’ by Dr. Charlotte Markey, cover by Zoe Naylor.
Today is my turn to share with you this truly wonderful graphic novel which depicts the true story of life in a refugee camp through the eyes of a young boy. For almost as long as he can remember, Omar and his brother Hassan have lived in the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Although … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘When Stars are Scattered,’ by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed.
It is so refreshing to see a wave of ‘real voices’ titles appearing in the middle grade category. Interesting and often challenging stories told from an authentic viewpoint. In this case, we get to read about Addie, an autistic girl, written by neurodivergent author, Elle McNicoll. Addie has been having a tough time recently. Her … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘A Kind of Spark,’ by Elle McNicoll.
Today’s my turn to shout about ‘Rise of the Shadow Dragons,’ the gripping follow up to Liz Flanagan’s award-winning ‘Dragon Daughter.’ Make sure you read Liz’s special piece about some of the main themes in this gripping epic. Joe wakes up smiling with the lingering memory of a dream where he was riding on the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Rise of the Shadow Dragons,’ by Liz Flanagan.
This week, Book Boy got to pick our Tuesday title and he selected this updated take on the classic story of Robin Hood. After his coder father is falsely imprisoned following a disagreement with local gangster, Guy Gisborne, twelve-year-old Robin escapes into the sprawling and dangerous Sherwood Forest. Full of snakes and bandits, no one … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay Robert Muchamore’s ‘Robin Hood,’ cover by Alessandro Taini.
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.
As a parent of a child in Year 6, I am keenly aware that Book Boy may not be returning to school in time to do all the usual 'end of Year 6' things - performances, shirt signings, the sex education session which I am sure many parents (including myself) are not overly confident in … Continue reading Books to use in RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in Year 6.
This is a book for those end-of-primary-school, start-of-secondary-school tweens who are perhaps struggling to find their place with their peers. It’s designed to help children discover what’s holding them back and have the confidence to be themselves. This title was written by youth charity ‘Ditch the Label’ founder, Liam Hackett, based on his experiences as … Continue reading ‘Fearless: How to be Your True, Confident Self!’ by Liam Hackett, illustrated by Mike Perry.
I have only recently discovered the joys of novels written in free-verse. Kwame Alexander and Sarah Crossan are award-winning examples of authors who do this already. The ability to tell a whole scene of a story in a few carefully chosen and placed words, and making an emotional connections with their readers is a real … Continue reading ‘In the Key Of Code,’ by Aimee Lucido, cover by Helen Crawford-White.
I am a huge fan of Cath’s debut novel, ‘Ella on the Outside,’ so was very excited to receive a proof copy of her latest title, ‘Not My Fault,’ and hoped that it would be as carefully observed as the first. I wasn’t disappointed. Maya and Rose are sisters, but they won’t talk to each … Continue reading ‘Not My Fault,’ by Cath Howe, cover by Joel Holland.
I am honoured to be part of the blog tour for ‘Will You Catch Me?’ which has been scheduled to help raise awareness of International Children Of Alcoholics Week (11th-17th February) organised by the NACOA. Inspired by her own childhood experiences of alcohol abuse, Elson penned this title to help highlight the turmoil of those … Continue reading ‘Will You Catch Me?’ by Jane Elson.
I absolutely loved Durrant’s previous title, ‘Running On Empty,’ so knew I was in for a treat when ‘Little Bits Of Sky’ arrived. After saving it for a rainy day, I decided the time had come to dive in... This story follows the lives of looked-after siblings Ira and Zac, as recalled through Ira’s childhood … Continue reading ‘Little Bits Of Sky,’ by S.E. Durrant, cover by Rob Biddulph.
Being good all the time’s not working. Maybe it’s time to try being bad.... Today is my stop on the blog tour for the just-released ‘When Good Geeks Go Bad’ by comedian Catherine Wilkins, where good girl Ella decides it might just be time to try being bad. Ella is fed up of toeing the … Continue reading ‘When Good Geeks Go Bad,’ by Catherine Wilkins, cover by Joel Holland.