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.
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.
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.
You know it’s a good book when it’s whisked away from under your nose when it drops out of the envelope and this is your view for the rest of the day! This was my view of Book Boy when ‘Stick Boy’ arrived at our house: As you can probably imagine, life is not easy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Stick Boy,’ by Paul Coomey.
You know that you are going to be in safe hands when you open up a Stewart Foster novel. Author of the award-winning ‘The Bubble Boy’ has a brand new title coming out on the New Year for us to enjoy: ‘All Sam wants is a family of his own, a home instead of a … Continue reading ‘The Perfect Parent Project,’ by Stewart Foster.
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.
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.
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.
Classics are classics for a reason, but they can sometimes be inaccessible to younger readers. The collection of books I’m about to share with you are all innovations and reimagining of so true literary greats, but with twists, tweaks and turns which will make them more accessible to today’s readers. Perhaps then, they will be … Continue reading Classics with a Twist
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.
Today, I am proud to be sharing with you a middle grade tale of upheaval, dreams and friendship. “Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi’s tender and honest middle grade novel tells the story of two girls navigating a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘A Thousand Questions,’ by Saadia Faruqi.
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.
Today I’m sharing two books with strong environmental themes from the fabulous dyslexia-friendly publisher, Barrington Stoke. ‘The Invasion of Crooked Oak,’ by Dan Smith, illustrated by Chris King. The local community are very unhappy about the fracking site on Carpenter’s Field. The local children used to play there - catching fish and building dens. When … Continue reading Stories with Environmental themes from Barrington Stoke
Did you know that it’s 75 years since the publication of one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports? Originally created for her daughter during the dark times of World War Two, Astrid Lindgren wanted to create a new kind of female character - one who was free-spirited and free-thinking. As thus was born an iconic … Continue reading Pippi Longstocking’s 75th Anniversary
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Amelia Fang before: she’s the vampire with a pet pumpkin, Squashy and a whole host of monstrous friends. In her newest adventure, we meet her stinky baby brother, Vincent. Amelia is excited about attending her friend Grimaldi’s birthnight celebrations but her mum has followed … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Amelia Fang and the Trouble With Toads,’ by Laura Ellen Anderson.
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.
If you’re in the mood for a chucklesome boarding school tale full of ingenious orphans, evil matrons and belligerent goats, then this is the book for you! I had the absolutely pleasure of reading this wickedly funny tale over the Summer and it really tickled my funny bone. The humour was just dark enough for … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Orphans of St. Halibuts,’ by Sophie Wills, illustrated by David Tazzyman.
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.