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.
10 Stories to Make a Difference is a collection of original illustrated stories published by children’s literature non-profit development agency Pop Up, which has been bringing books, schools and communities together for 10 years. Pop Up has collaborated with 20 writers and illustrators and a host of editing and design professionals from 12 publishers, and crowdsourced … Continue reading Pop Up: 10 Stories to Make a Difference
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.
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.
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.
How about giving something a little this Christmas - the gift of poetry. This beautiful volume would be the perfect introduction to the world of poetry for any teenager or adult. Every day from the 1st December through to the 29th February has at least two poems for readers to enjoy and be inspired by. … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 13 ‘A Poem for Every Winter Day,’ edited by Allie Esiri.
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.
I am almost ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read any of Welsh Children’s laureate, Eloise Williams’s titles before ‘Wilde,’ but I had heard the most amazing things about her writing so was excited to get engrossed by Wilde’s story. Wilde has managed to get herself expelled from boarding school, again. Rather than face a … Continue reading ‘Wilde’ by Eloise Williams.
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.
When I saw that there was a new instalment to Michelle Paver’s iconic and award-winning ‘Wolf Brother’ series, I knew that I HAD to get my hands on a copy! I absolutely devoured all the other titles whilst on maternity leave, tapping on my kindle with my one free finger to turn the page. This … Continue reading Blog tour: ‘Viper’s Daughter,’ by Michelle Paver.
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.
In light of the current #MeToo movement, it seems more important than ever to ensure that our children understand what it means to give consent and set their own boundaries, and that we also teach them to respect the boundaries of others. With ‘consent’ soon to be part of the National Curriculum, books like Rachel … Continue reading ‘Respect: Consent, Boundaries and Being In Charge of You,’ by Rachel Brian.
In my experience, poetry can be an area often overlooked in schools. But why? Personally, I didn’t feel that I knew enough about composing poetry to teach it properly. But what about sharing poems, performing poems, dipping into a volume and seeing what grabs you? That’s the beauty of a good poetry book and the … Continue reading The CLiPPA Shortlist (premier poetry picks)
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.
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.
“Sometimes, when you’re a kid, but especially when you’re a girl, people want you to be quiet and well-behaved.......but changing things is important.” When Effie Kostas starts part-way through the term at Highworth Grange secondary school, she spends her lunch breaks sitting by herself. If that’s not bad enough, a fellow pupil (super-popular junior class … Continue reading ‘Vote For Effie,’ by Laura Wood, cover by Emma Trithart, illustrations by Mirelle Ortega.
I am very pleased to part of the ‘blog avalanche’ for the latest title by genius best-selling writer, Lisa Williamson. ‘Paper Avalanche’ is no exception as we follow the tale of Ro, the teenage daughter of a compulsive hoarder. On the outside, Ro Snow is a perfectly normal teenaged girl. Slightly anti-social perhaps, but otherwise … Continue reading ‘Paper Avalanche,’ by Lisa Williamson, cover designed by Alice Todd.
I am doubly pleased today to not only be part of the blog tour for 'Michael's Spear' (the final part of the Hobbes End trilogy) but also to have an exclusive Q&A with the author himself, Hilton Pashley. All his life, Jonathan has been forced to hide his true identity - the only half-angel, half-demon. … Continue reading ‘Michael’s Spear,’ by Hilton Pashley – exclusive Q&A!