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.
Today’s my turn to shout about ‘Rise of the Shadow Dragons,’ the gripping follow up to Liz Flanagan’s award-winning ‘Dragon Daughter.’ Make sure you read Liz’s special piece about some of the main themes in this gripping epic. Joe wakes up smiling with the lingering memory of a dream where he was riding on the … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Rise of the Shadow Dragons,’ by Liz Flanagan.
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.
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.
As a parent of a child in Year 6, I am keenly aware that Book Boy may not be returning to school in time to do all the usual 'end of Year 6' things - performances, shirt signings, the sex education session which I am sure many parents (including myself) are not overly confident in … Continue reading Books to use in RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) in Year 6.
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.
Today I am sharing the creepy, magical tale of a pair of siblings and a house full of secrets: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill.’ I also have a Q&A with the two authors, Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai, about the pros and cons of writing as a duo and where their inspiration cane from. Hedy … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘The House on Hoarder Hill,’ by Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai, cover by Maxine Lee-Mackie.
Jennifer Killick is one of the most amazing authors of funny books (see her Alex Sparrow series or Mo, Lottie and the Junkers) so I was more than a little intrigued when I heard that her next book was going to be scary. Maybe even - a horror! Would she keep her trademark humour or … Continue reading ‘Crater Lake,’ by Jennifer Killick.
I’m kicking off the blog tour for second instalment in Tom Huddleston’s apocalyptic middle grade series - ‘DustRoad.’ I also have a cracking guest post from Tom about some other brilliant apocalyptic tales his readers might also enjoy. Just to fill you in briefly, FloodWorld finds main protagonists Kara and Joe living in the impoverished … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Dust Road,’ by Tom Huddleston
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.
I have only recently discovered the joys of novels written in free-verse. Kwame Alexander and Sarah Crossan are award-winning examples of authors who do this already. The ability to tell a whole scene of a story in a few carefully chosen and placed words, and making an emotional connections with their readers is a real … Continue reading ‘In the Key Of Code,’ by Aimee Lucido, cover by Helen Crawford-White.
It is with much excitement that I introduce you to Sally Gardner’s first middle grade title since the award-winning ‘I, Coriander,’ 14 years ago! When Celeste wakes up in a costume basket at the Royal Opera House, she hopes that her encounter with the strange man in an emerald green suit at the bottom of … Continue reading Blog Tour: ‘Invisible in a Bright Light,’ by Sally Gardner.
Climate change is a major issue on the world’s political agenda but it has also become the motivator for a major campaign by young activists across the globe. Inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, there have been waves of pupil strikes to ensure the voice of the younger generation is heard and to try … Continue reading ‘We are all Greta: Be Inspired to Save the World,’ by Valentina Giannella, illustrated by Manuela Marazzi.
Two girls, a century apart. Together they’ll find freedom. This story is told in two parts, over two different time periods: the present day and 1891. The present day: we meet Semira, an Eritrean refugee who undertook a long a dangerous journey across desert and sea with her mother, accompanied by a man who has … Continue reading ‘The Closest Thing to Flying,’ by Gill Lewis, cover by Paola Escobar.
“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.
Charli is a model and body activist so is well-placed to write a book for middle grade readers which is aimed at encouraging a healthy body image. In a time where children are constantly bombarded with unrealistic photos of what a body ‘should’ look like, it’s even more important that they are reassured that bodies … Continue reading ‘Splash,’ by Charli Howard, illustrations by Lucy Davey.
Today I am welcoming onto my blog a fantastic new title from Ruth Lauren and Bloomsbury which would be perfect for readers aged 11+ The cover itself only hints at the adventure which lies within... Valor has engineered her arrest so that she can attempt a feat which hasn't been managed in over three hundred … Continue reading ‘Prisoner of Ice and Snow,’ by Ruth Lauren.
'Anne of Green Gables' is a beloved classic of children's literature with films and stage shows made based on it. Alma Junior have released a newly re-illustrated version with additional bonus material. Set in Canada, the story follows flame-haired orphan, Anne, who gets sent to live on Green Gables Farm with the Cuthberts (who had … Continue reading ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ by L.M. Montgomery, illustrated by Susan Hellard.
I was first drawn to this book by its intriguing title and the glowing recommendation it had received from Philip Pullman (one of my literary heroes.) Upon commencing reading, it soon because clear that this was going to be a very special book indeed. Narrated by the amazing ape (and first engineer), the sea-faring Sally … Continue reading ‘The Murderer’s Ape,’ by Jakob Wegelius.
#TommyVCancer I'm writing this review as part of a month-long blog tour packed with special features, reviews and giveaways to raise awareness of author Tommy Donbavand as he battles cancer. Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick … Continue reading ‘Wolf’ by Tommy Donbavand