• 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 Nightsilver Promise by Annaliese Avery on a wooden table with a packet of Squashies and a drink next to it, with a blog title graphic overlay which says The Night Silver Promise by Annaliese Avery Book Review'
    Reviews

    The Nightsilver Promise – Annaliese Avery

    London, the Empire of Albion. The Great Dragons of old are long-gone. Now the world is governed by the science of Celestial Physicists, and everyone’s life is foretold by the track on their wrist.When thirteen-year-old Paisley discovers from her track that she is destined to die, the race is on to protect her dragon-touched brother and find her missing mother. But an ancient power stalks the sewers of London, and the Dark Dragon is rising, intent on restoring the Great Dragons and destroying Paisley’s family and her world forever.In a world where science rules and dragons fear to tread, Paisley must trust her instincts and forge new friends, as she…

  • 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…

  • Space detectives cover on blog title background
    Guest Post

    Space Detectives author Mark Powers on his Favourite Literary Detectives – Space Detectives blog tour

    There’s something very satisfying about a good detective story, isn’t there? Especially when the ending is revealed and you pretend you noticed all the clues and worked it out yourself. Tales of detectives and their investigations reassure us that no matter how intractable our problems may appear, with the application of a little brainpower (what Agatha Christie’s Poirot refers to as his “little grey cells”) wrongs can be righted, the lost found and order eventually restored to a chaotic universe.  But while we enjoy the twists and turns of the investigation, what brings us back to the detective story time and again is the personality of the sleuths themselves. They’re…

  • 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…

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    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…

  • The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders on wooden background
    Book Review,  Reviews

    The Box and The Dragonfly – Ted Sanders

    From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus – literally a sign with his name on it – everything in his normal little life changes. An encounter with the House of Answers, a magically hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects and even stranger people, only leads to more questions. These people think he’s special – a Keeper of an incredible gift – although scientifically-minded Horace isn’t so sure he really believes in that kind of thing. But then a confrontation with an impossibly tall, thin, creepy and undoubtedly menacing man makes him think twice… Horace must now quickly begin to unravel the mysteries of this hidden…