Blog tour: ‘How to Mend a Friend,’ by Karl Newson, illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi.

Today, I’m sharing a really beautiful story written as a result of Karl’s recent experience of going through chemotherapy and having friends old and new reach out to him in support. ‘Some friends need a great big hug to make them feel well. Some prefer to be alone. Some listen, others tell the most adventurous … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘How to Mend a Friend,’ by Karl Newson, illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi.

Blog tour: ‘Noah’s Gold,’ by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, illustrated by Steven Lenton.

You know that when you start a new Frank Cottrell-Boyce that you’re going to be in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed when I cracked open the cover of ‘Noah’s Gold’ and hopped aboard the minibus with the pupils of St Anthony’s. ‘Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister's geography field trip. Everything … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Noah’s Gold,’ by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, illustrated by Steven Lenton.

Blog tour: ‘By Ash, Oak and Thorn,’ by Melissa Harrison, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara.

Today I am sharing a wild, enchanting adventure steeped in the ancient magic of nature, written by award-winning novelist Melissa Harrison. Her books have the common purpose of trying to connect readers with the natural world and this is her children’s novel debut for readers aged 9+ ‘Three tiny, ancient beings - Moss, Burnet and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘By Ash, Oak and Thorn,’ by Melissa Harrison, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara.

Blog tour: ‘Emmy Levels Up,’ by Helen Harvey, cover by Abbey Lossing.

Today I’m sharing a brilliant debut novel by Helen Harvey: Emmy Levels Up. It’s a fantastic story about gaming, friendship and standing up for yourself. I also have Helen’s top three gaming recommendations for children AND for adults. ‘Emmy is brilliant at the computer game, Illusory Isles. Her avatar is a powerful fire elemental with … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Emmy Levels Up,’ by Helen Harvey, cover by Abbey Lossing.

Blog Tour: ‘Beauty and the Bin,’ by Joanne O’Connell.

Today’s my stop on the ‘Beauty and the Bin’ blog tour. It’s a new middle grade title about reducing food waste, friendship and being true to yourself. Make sure you scroll down to read Joanne’s piece about how to be a young eco-warrior. Laurie's home-made beauty recipes are no secret. The secret is that her … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Beauty and the Bin,’ by Joanne O’Connell.

Blog Tour: ‘Scribble Witch: Paper Friends,’ by Inky Willis.

I loved the first Scribble Witch title so was delighted to be asked to review book three. The highly-illustrated pages and wonderful word-play engage young readers from the get-go. ‘Molly often experiences some magic to brighten up her school day - thanks to Notes, the tiny paper witch who lives in her pen pot. Notes … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Scribble Witch: Paper Friends,’ by Inky Willis.

‘The Snowman and the Sun,’ by Susan Taghdis, illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi.

With swathes of the country already enjoying some snow and with more promised, why not make the most of it as part of home learning and get children outside and enjoying themselves? This clever picture book lends itself brilliantly to some screen-free science (states of matter, the water cycle...) and also raises some interesting questions … Continue reading ‘The Snowman and the Sun,’ by Susan Taghdis, illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi.

Blog Tour: ‘Opie Jones Talks to Animals,’ by Nat Luurtsema, illustrated by Fay Austin.

Introducing the first in a brand new series of hilarious middle grade titles from author Nat Luurtsema. ‘10-year-old Opie Jones is Very Ordinary. In fact nothing remarkable has ever happened to her, if you don’t count the cat that gives her funny looks from next door (which she doesn’t). So she is naturally very surprised … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Opie Jones Talks to Animals,’ by Nat Luurtsema, illustrated by Fay Austin.

Blog tour: ‘The House At the Edge of Magic,’ by Amy Sparkes, cover by Ben Mantle.

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.

Christmas Advent – Day 21 ‘A House for Christmas Mouse,’ by Rebecca Harry.

Today’s choice is a lovely story about a little mouse searching for a new home on Christmas Eve and all the creatures she helps along the way. ‘It’s Christmas Eve, and Mouse is trying to find the perfect place to call home. But by the time she’s helped Bunny, Fox and Bear, the sun has … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 21 ‘A House for Christmas Mouse,’ by Rebecca Harry.

Christmas Advent – Day 11 ‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World,’ by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

Sometimes it’s nice to read a Christmas book which reflects on the meaning of Christmas beyond flashy lights, Santa and baubles. This heart-warming story is one of those... It’s Christmas morning. Esme and Bear have opened all their present except for one last red-wrapped gift hidden beneath the tree. When they read the gift tag, … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 11 ‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World,’ by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.

Christmas Advent – Day 6 ‘A Thing Called Snow,’ by Yuval Zommer.

As with all of Zommer’s gorgeously illustrated titles, wintery treat A Thing Called Snow,’ focuses on the beauty of nature and encourages readers to discover the wonders of the great outdoors. Fox and Hare have grown up together and become best friends but they have yet to experience snow. When winter comes, they are desperate … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 6 ‘A Thing Called Snow,’ by Yuval Zommer.

Blog tour: ‘The Midnight Guardians,’ by Ross Montgomery, cover by David Dean.

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.

Inter-generational Stories from Barrington Stoke

Each of these three wonderful stories are very different but all feature some very special inter-generational relationships. ‘Special Delivery,’ by Jonathan Meres, illustrated by Hannah Coulson. This first story is part of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gems range which are specially produced for readers aged 5+ and feature fun activities in the jacket flaps. Frank REALLY … Continue reading Inter-generational Stories from Barrington Stoke

Blog tour: ‘Elsetime,’ by Eve McDonnell, cover by Holly Ovenden.

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.

‘A Bad Day for Jayden,’ by Tony Bradman, illustrated by Tania Rex.

I will forever sing the praises of Barrington Stoke. Their books are produced by some of the most fantastic authors and illustrators, with themes ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Their dyslexia-friendly format has opened to doors to the world of reading for many of my pupils. Today I’m sharing ‘A Bad Day For … Continue reading ‘A Bad Day for Jayden,’ by Tony Bradman, illustrated by Tania Rex.

Blog tour: ‘The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith,’ by Loris Owen.

Today I have a fast-paced sci-fi adventure to share and a special piece from author, Loris Owen, about the inspiration behind ‘squirls.’ Welcome to the dazzling world of Quicksmiths College of Strange Energy. Kip Bramley isn’t exactly popular. So he is surprised and slightly suspicious when he’s approached by a drone whilst hiding out in … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith,’ by Loris Owen.

Blog Tour: ‘Moon Dog,’ by Jane Elson, cover by Izzy Burton.

Today’s blog post is one for you dog-fans out there. I’m delighted to be sharing ‘Moon Dog’ with you and a special piece by author, Jane Elson, about the importance of thorough research when writing. Marcus sticks out like a sore thumb at school, easily the tallest in his year and angry all the time … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Moon Dog,’ by Jane Elson, cover by Izzy Burton.