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.
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.
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.
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’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
Full disclosure - I am a HUGE fan of Vashti’s middle grade adventures (the epic ‘Brightstorm’ series and the Blue Peter Award-Winning, ‘Wildspark.’) I am also a massive fan of Barrington Stoke’s highly-accessible, dyslexia-friendly titles. Imagine if you can, my delight at discovering that these two powerhouses of children’s books were joining forces to create … Continue reading ‘The Griffin Gate,’ by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by Natalie Smillie.
The week beginning the 5th October has been designated National Dyslexia Week. This year, the British Dyslexia Association have decided upon the theme #DyslexiaCreates - celebrating the ideas and organisations it can produce, as well as recognising the difficulties. They’ve produced a packs for schools available to download HERE. As a teacher, I worked with … Continue reading #DyslexiaCreates – Awesome Authors!
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.
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.
This summer, I got totally swept away on an adventure with the crew of the plucky Sparrowhawk. Life in the small village of Barton is slowly getting back to normal after the Great War. But not for Ben, who’s living with a woman in the village after his adoptive father was killed in France and … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Voyage of the Sparrowhawk,’ by Natasha Farrant, cover by David Dean.
Today I get to share a brilliant new middle grade novel which would be perfect for budding detectives: ‘The Key to Finding Jack.’ I also have a special piece from the author about what inspired her to choose Peru as the centre of Jack’s adventure. Flick’s elder brother, Jack, is heading off on a gap … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Key to Finding Jack,’ by Ewa Jozefkowicz, cover by Katy Riddell.
We’re always on the lookout for new graphic novels in this household as Book Boy is a big fan. He also loves a good mystery adventure so ‘The Inkberg Enigma’ was perfect for him. Miro and Zia both live in the same tiny fishing village nestled at the foot of an ancient castle. When the … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘The Inkberg Enigma,’ by Jonathan King.
Welcome back to the Land of Roar - once a figment of the imaginations of a much younger Rose and Arthur's imaginations, but now a real place accessed through their grandfather's loft. After their last adventure, the twins thought they'd banished Roar's worst villain for good - but perhaps that isn't actually the case.... You … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Return to Roar,’ by Jenny McLachlan, illustrated by Ben Mantle.
I absolutely loved Aisha’s debut middle grade novel, ‘A Pocketful of Stars,’ so was very excited to see what she would write next. The magical ‘Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found’ was the answer! (You can listen to Aisha on my podcast HERE.) I also had the opportunity ask Aisha some questions about the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found,’ by Aisha Bushby, illustrated by Rachael Dean.
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.
I was super-excited to dive into this book because I had heard lots of excellent things about it on Twitter and then, I received a most intriguing box of goodies, including a class set of samplers, which went to Book Boy’s school. Freddie Yates likes facts, and that’s a fact. But it’s not all that … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates,’ by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Rob Biddulph.
We’re back for a post-bank holiday Tuesday Reviews Day. This week Book Boy has chosen a Derby Daredevils title. Best friends Kenzie and Shelly are desperate to enter a real life roller derby. When their local league announced there’ll be a new junior division, they can’t believe their luck! There’s only one problem - to … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay: ‘The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team,’ by Kit Rosewater, illustrated by Sophie Escabasse.
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.