‘Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior Graphic Novel: An Op Alliance,’ by Pirate Sourcil, cover art by Jez and Odone.

This week, Book Boy Junior has been enjoy a graphic novel adventure linked to one of his favourite computer games - Minecraft! Gaming is such a huge hit with children (an adults) of all ages so I’m always on the look-out for books on this theme to encourage some screen-free time! This new series is … Continue reading ‘Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior Graphic Novel: An Op Alliance,’ by Pirate Sourcil, cover art by Jez and Odone.

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: ‘The Magician’s Map,’ by Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, illustration by Maxine Lee-Mackie.

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.

Blog Tour: ‘Show Us Who You Are,’ by Elle McNicoll, cover by Kay Wilson.

I am sure that lots of you will already have read and loved Elle’s stellar debut title ‘A Kind of Spark’ (if you haven’t, do it!) and were blown away by the power of her writing. Like me, you will probably have been eagerly awaiting her next publication, hoping it will be just as brilliant. … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Show Us Who You Are,’ by Elle McNicoll, cover by Kay Wilson.

Blog tour: ‘The Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club,’ by Alex Bell, illustrated by Tomislav Tomić.

This thrilling series started way back with ‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club’ and now it’s onto the fourth instalment - the sign of some great stories. This time, it’s the Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club taking centre stage.... ‘Ursula knew the submarine wasn't designed to go this deep, but what choice did they have? No one … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club,’ by Alex Bell, illustrated by Tomislav Tomić.

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 Boy Who Met a Whale,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.

In a time when travel options are severely limited, we need books which can which us away to exotic and faraway locations. Preferably with a large dollop of adventure mixed in for good measure. That’s exactly what you get from Nizrana Farook’s second novel set on the tropical shores of Serendib (Sri Lanka.) A thrilling … Continue reading ‘The Boy Who Met a Whale,’ by Nizrana Farook, cover by David Dean.

Blog Tour: ‘Space Detectives,’ by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola.

My son has just been enjoying one of Mark Powers’ other titles - Spy Toys - as part of his school topic so I was very pleased when a brand new space adventure by Mark came dropping through my letterbox. I also have an interesting piece by Mark on his favourite things about writing about … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Space Detectives,’ by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola.

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.

‘The Ghost of Gosswater,’ by Lucy Strange, cover by Helen Crawford-White.

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.

Blog tour: ‘Darwin’s Dragons,’ by Lindsay Galvin, cover by Gordy Wright.

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.

Blog tour: ‘Chocolate Milk, X-Ray Specs and Me,’ by Bethany Walker, illustrated by Jack Noel.

I always on the look-out for highly-illustrated middle grade titles packed with laughs and that is exactly what you get from this brilliant story told through a series of letters from a son to his super-spy parents (whom he believes are sprout farming in Outer Castonga!) The Plot: 10-year-old Freddy Spicer writes letters to his … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Chocolate Milk, X-Ray Specs and Me,’ by Bethany Walker, illustrated by Jack Noel.

‘The Last Bear,’ by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold.

If there are any teachers reading this who are looking for a new text with strong environmental themes and links to the Arctic, this is the book for you. A gorgeous story with stunning illustrations from the masterful Levi Pinfold - publishing in February 2021. ‘There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At … Continue reading ‘The Last Bear,’ by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold.

Christmas Advent – Day 16 ‘A Christmas in Time,’ by Sally Nicholls, cover illustration by Isabelle Follath.

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.

Christmas Advent – Day 9 ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.

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.