• Book Review,  Reviews

    Will & Whit – Laura Lee Gulledge

    Will is an artistic soul struggling with life. Living with her aunt and trying to help keep the family business afloat she crafts whimsical lamps, beautiful creations which keep her in the light, away from the darkness she is terrified of. As Will and her friends near the end of another summer she yearns for ‘unplugged adventures’ away from the constraints of technology and social media in particular. When Hurricane Whitney arrives and causes a blackout Will gets the unplugged adventure she wanted but has to face her fear of darkness head on.  *** Oh man, I love a good graphic novel and Will & Whit was definitely that!  The…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    In The Shadow of Blackbirds – Cat Winters

    “The day before my father’s arrest. I read an article about a mother who cured her daughter of the Spanish flu by burying her in raw onions for three days.  ‘It’s like the Gypsies hanging garlic above their doors to ward off evil,’ my father remarked over supper, ‘relying on folk remedies out of desperation.’ He shook his head at the state of the world and scratched his white whiskers.” When Mary Shelley’s father is arrested for rallying against America’s involvement in the First World War she escapes Portland in order to seek refuge with her Aunt in San Diego. For years she has been conversing with an old friend…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Hereville #1 and #2- Barry Deutsch

    Welcome to Hereville, home of the first-ever wisecracking, adventure-loving, sword-wielding Orthodox Jewish heroine. A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, this fun, quirky graphic novel series will captivate middle-school readers with its exciting visuals and entertaining new heroine. Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing she does want: to fight dragons! In How Mirka Got Her Sword, Mirka fearlessly stands up to local bullies. She battles a very large, very menacing pig. And she boldly accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, a challenge…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Icarus Project – Laura Quimby

    The computer screen glowed in my dark bedroom like a moon. Mom was late logging on to video-conference with me. My mom was totally into ancient civilisations: Mayans, Incans, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans. She even liked Vikings. Her latest expedition had taken her to the jungles of South America.  Maya is used to her mom being away in some remote part of the world, but it didn’t stop her from missing her. This time however, whilst Maya’s mom is away her dad gets a call, a discovery has been made and they need a first rate palaeontologist to check it out. Maya convinces her dad to take her along on the…

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    Something a little different: Dinosaur Board Books by Megan E Bryant

    A colourful collection of four brilliant board books for your little ones to help with their abcs, numbers, shapes and colours. This collection is a must have for any parent, especially one with children who love dinosaurs as much as I do!  This collection was sent to me from the publisher as it fits in well with my obsession with dinosaurs. I loved seeing the wonderful illustrations, by Luciana Navarro Powell, of all the many different types of dinosaurs and will definitely be recommending this to my colleagues and friends who have kids. Unfortunately I don’t have my own children yet but I can just see how much of a…

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    A Soldier’s Secret – Marissa Moss

    “‘Just a minute there.’ The recruiter stops me as I lean over to dip the pen in ink. ‘You can’t enlist.’ I freeze. Can he tell? I’m wearing a shirt, vest, and trousers as usual, my curly hair cut short except for a lock that insists on falling over my forehead. I brush it away nervously and meet the man’s eyes. I’ve been passing for nearly three years now, but every new encounter stills brings with it the same fear.” Frank Thompson is a member of the Union army. Enlisted as a nurse, tending to the wounded soliders on the battle field, he also becomes a mail carrier, risking his…

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    All My Friends are Still Dead – Avery Monsen and Jory John

    Do you ever feel alone? Like nobody understands you? Like you’re the last of your kind?  Well cheer up, Weepie Sobstory! All my friends are still dead is here to help!  Here, for your amusement and consolation, are the illustrated existential problems of robots, goldfish, lottery tickets, dental flood, batteries and others as they come to grips with the inevitable.  *** Here’s something different for today!!  So this will be a quick review but that doesnt mean that I didn’t like this book, it’s just a small book.  Designed as a humourous gift book, All my Friends are Still Dead is an update to All my Friends are Dead. The…

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    Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story – Edited by Kelly Milner Halls

    Twelve YA writers pair up to bring different sides to six different stories about love, growth, friendship and more. This he-said-she-said collection lets the reader know more about the relationships of the characters and gives more of an insight to teenage minds. They each give us the full story and remind us that there is always two sides to every story. *** This collection was an interesting one. I hadn’t heard of any of these YA authors, I think this is likely because they are American, less well-known authors, so each story was fresh to me, I didn’t know what to expect but I did have ideas and what I…