• The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine on a white wooden background with blog graphic overlay
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine

    You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store! Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice… ​*** Middle grade adventures and mysteries make me happy, and this book really sparked the excitement I used to find from middle grade fiction when I was younger. I absolutely adored going back in time with Katherine Woodfine…

  • The Magicians Elephant by Katie Decamillo on a wooden background with blog title overlay graphic
    Book Review

    The Magician’s Elephant – Kate DiCamillo

    What if? Why not? Could it be? When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfeild

    When Pauline, Petrova and Posy are still young, they decide to make their own name. Sisters through adoption and circumstance rather than birth, they chose Fossil. For Grant Unclue Matthew collected them as he did his fossils. A few years on and they decide to make their name known, especially as it can’t be declared that they had it from a grandfather who made it known ahead of them. For it was unique. As unique as they were. They make a vow on each of their birthdays that they will become known for something amazing. Little do they know that their talents really will allow them to make the fossil…

  • The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell on a wooden background with a blog title graphic overlay
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Rundell

    Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and…

  • Thats a Wrap by Gareth P Jones, the 4th in the Dragon Detective Series, on a wooden table with a blog title graphic overlay
    Reviews

    Dragon Detective: That’s A Wrap – Gareth P Jones

    When Holly and her family fly to L.A. for a holiday, it promises to be the trip of a lifetime. On her first day exploring the city of dreams, Holly befriends a movie director, who’s captured something suspiciously dragon-like on camera while filming out in the desert. But before she can examine the tape properly, it goes missing. . . Holly asks her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon detective Dirk Dilly, to join her on the hunt for clues in Hollywood. Will they be able to find the film before it falls into the wrong hands and exposes the existence of dragon-kind to the world? *** I love Gareth P Jones’ work, it…

  • Brand New Boy by David Almond on a wooden background with blog box overlay saying brand new boy by David Almond, book review.
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Brand New Boy – David Almond

    “Mam, did you think George was,” I say, “a bit … weird?”“Weird? Yes, I suppose so. But you kids are all a bit weird if you ask me. And to tell the truth, it’d be weird if you weren’t.” When a new boy joins the class, everyone thinks he’s a bit strange, but he’s brilliant at football and loves crisps, and that’s all that matters to Dan and Maxie. However, the truth about George is stranger than anyone could have imagined … and more sinister, too. Can his new pals help him to become truly free?  *** As an adult reading this book you have to understand that it loses…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Death or Ice Cream? – Gareth P Jones

    Larkin Mills: The Birthplace of Death! Larkin Mills is no ordinary town. It’s a place of contradictions and enigma, of secrets and mysteries. A place with an exquisite ice cream parlour, and an awful lot of death.  An extraordinary mystery in Larkin Mills is beginning to take shape. First we meet the apparently healthy Albert Dance, although he’s always been called a sickly child, and he’s been booked into Larkin Mills’ Hospital for Specially Ill Children. Then there’s his neighbour Ivor, who observes strange goings-on, and begins his own investigations into why his uncle disappeared all those years ago. Next we meet Young Olive, who is given a battered accordion…

  • book review of Dragon Detective schools out by Gareth P Jones
    Book Review,  Reviews

    Dragon Detective: School’s Out by Gareth P Jones

    Holly is desperate to be sleuthing with her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon Dirk Dilly, but instead she’s stuck at her exclusive boarding school for children of the rich and famous. She’s determined to escape, until she meets Callum, the son of the Prime Minister, who claims he was kidnapped by dragons a year ago and hasn’t been the same since. And when Dirk’s own investigation into dragon activity brings him to the school, the two cases collide. What if Callum isn’t as crazy as he seems? *** Having read some of Gareth P Jones’ books before, I was fully expecting lots of adventure and coolness from Dragon Detective: School’s Out. And it…

  • Book review: 44 Tiny Secrets by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King
    Book Review,  Reviews

    44 Tiny Secrets – Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

    Betsy Bow-Linnet longs to play the piano like her world-famous parents but no matter how hard she tries, the notes never come out right….  This beautifully illustrated book shows the power of secrets, and how hurtful they can be. In a story thats well told and made me think and feel in all the right places.  Aimed at 6-9 year olds, 44 Tiny Secrets is centred around a girl called Betsy who overhears the words ‘Terrible Disappointment’ from her mother and kicks her into a world of determination and more disappointment. While Betsy tries so hard to become something she’s not for her mother, she learns that its always better…

  • Book Review

    The Shiverton Hall Series – Emerald Fennell

    Shiverton Hall is a school with a sinister reputation, as its newest pupil, Arthur Bannister is about to find out. But the spine-chilling tales, evil spirits and unearthly noises are the least of Arthur’s worries. It’s his friends he need to watch out for…  *** The Shiverton Hall series is currently made up of 2 books, set around Arthur Bannister and his move into Shiverton Hall school. He gets a scholarship there having never heard of the school and gets an odd feeling about it right from the start.  The ghost stories start from his very first night and he is, at first, sceptical to say the least. But as…