• Book Review,  Reviews

    Poppy – Mary Hooper

    “Poppy sat, bolt upright and uncomfortable, on one of the carved, wooden chairs in the blue drawing room of Airey House in the village of Mayfield. In front of her, looking equally out of place, sat Molly, the other parlourmaid. They were winding wool.” In December of 1914 its all change. Airey House is all about the war effect but the family are up in arms as one son goes off to fight in a way while the other claims to be needed on the estate. Poppy is greeted by an old teacher who tries to convince her to become a VAD nurse to help the war effort. There are…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    House of Secrets – Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini

    “Brendan Walker knew the house was going to be terrible.  The first tip-off was the super-cheerful tone the estate agent, Diane Dobson, used with his mother.  ‘It’s truly the most amazing house, Mrs Walker,’ Diane chirped on speaker. ‘The perfect place for a sophisticated family like yours. And its just gone through a major price reduction’ ‘Where is this house?’ Brendan asked. Aged twelve, he sat next to his sister, Cordelia, playing Uncharted on his much-loved PSP.” When the Walker family walked into 128 Sea Cliff Avenue they knew it was impressive, an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge, a price tag they could afford and all of the…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

    “First the colours. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things.  Or at least, how I try.  ~ Here is a small fact ~ You are going to die.  I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations Please, trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that’s only the As. Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me. “ The year is 1939. A small girl travels from her home to Himmel Street, Molching. Nazi Germany is on…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Legend of Frog – Guy Bass

    “Once upon a tyme there was the KING AND QUEEN OF EVERYTHING. They rooled over all of Kingdomland and lived in a palase and had thrones and crowns and all the polished sandwitches they could eat.  Their palase looked really speshul and was chock-filled with loyal subjects. Their favourite loyal subject was called Buttercup who was good and clever and wize.” Prince Frog is convinced he’s destined to rule the world …the trouble is, the world has ended. Undeterred, Frog sets out to claim his crown, armed with nothing more than a pair of Catastrophe Pants and his trusty stick, Basil Rathbone. But Frog soon realizes that the world isn’t…

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    Looking at the Stars – Jo Cotterill

    “The day the soldiers came, we cheered. We weren’t supposed to, of course; if Potta had seen us, he would have been furious; but we couldn’t help it. Jenna and I were on our way back from the reed beds, our arms full of plants for use at home, when we saw the dust rising up in the distance.” For Mini life hasn’t been great for five years, since the Kwana came into power. Women were stopped from working, girls were kicked out of school and made to wear headscarves denouncing their age for the world to see, until they were married. Mini wants nothing more that for things to…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    The Diamond Thief – Sharon Gosling

    “Remy took a deep breath as she stood on the edge of the narrow plunge board. Above her, the old material of the big tops roof was close enough to touch. Below her was nothing at all but air dirtied by dust and tobacco smoke, and then, sixty feet below, arranged around the sawdust of the circus ring, there was the crowd. She could almost hear their silence, the collected indrawn breath of five hundred people.” As the finale of the circus show Remy is used to capturing the show, used to the attention. But up on the trapeze covered in greasepaint she feels like she can fly away and…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Cross My Heart – Carmen Reid

    “10th May 1940 Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the terrible news.  I was in class. My teacher, Monsieur Durance, was trying to tell us about William Shakespeare but no one could concentrate. We were all straining to see out of the high windows because people were running into the schoolyard, shouting, even crying.  ‘Let the children out! We want our children!’ ‘The Nazis are coming!'” Fifteen year old Nicole is in turmoil. The Nazis have invaded Brussels and her father has been taken. Things carry on mostly as normal, she goes to school, goes home, and meets up with friends. Yet things are far from normal with…

  • Book Review,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Phoenix – SF Said (Illustrated by Dave McKean)

    “Lucky dreamed of the stars again that night. He loved the stars, and dreamed about them most nights. A million points of silver light, shining in the black.  But this dream was different. This time, the stars were calling him. They were trying to tell him something. They were making a small soft, silvery sound, like the chime of a faraway bell.” There was never anything unusual about Lucky. He lived with his mum on Phoenix and his dad was off fighting in the War Zone. When he wakes up after a powerful dream to find his bed sheet has been reduced to ashes though, things start getting scary. His…

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    Listening for Lucca – Suzanne LaFleur

    “I’m obsessed with abandoned things.  Left-behind things, unwanted things. Forgotten things.  When Lucca and I got to the park, a small lamb waited on a bench.  The lambie was stuffed and half-full of plastic beans and fluff. He was gray and worn; chew marks creased his nose. He was small enough to hold in one hand.” Siena is a collector of forgotten things and of memories. She has had a recurring dream about an old seaside house for years but has never been there, at least not until now. Her little brother Lucca is nearly four, and hasn’t spoken for over a year. The doctors can’t find anything wrong with…

  • Book Review,  Reviews

    Into The Grey – Celine Kiernan

    “We were watching telly the night Nan burnt the house down. It was March 1974, and I was fifteen years of age. I thought I lost everything in that fire, but what did I know about loss? Nothing, that’s what. I would learn soon enough.” When Patrick’s Nan burns down his family’s home and they are forced to move into a house they usually rent in the summer, Patrick is sure things can’t get any worse, he has lost everything and his parents are falling apart. However then Dominick, his twin brother, seems to become distant and the two of them receive ghostly visitors, have nightmares and Dom is dying…