Archives: Book Reviews

Mystery of the Night Watchers – A. M. Howell

Published by Usborne Publishing It’s 1910, Halley’s Comet is in the sky, and Nancy is taken unexpectedly to stay in Suffolk with a grandfather she didn’t know she had. Enchanted by his apothecary shop, and most of all with the forbidden cupola at the top of the house, Nancy soon realises that there is a […]

The Swallows’ Flight – Hilary McKay

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books This is a wonderful book! Written as a companion novel rather than a sequel to The Skylarks’ War, it’s a moving story set in both England and Germany about life just before and during World War 2. As the story builds, Mckay interweaves key events from the war, including Kristallnacht […]

Burn – Patrick Ness

Published by Walker Books Twice Carnegie-award winning Patrick Ness’s new book Burn is a spectacular novel encompassing dragons, the FBI, parallel worlds ,fanaticism and teenagers caught on very different sides of the story. Set in America in the 1950’s with a backdrop of the tensions of the cold war, the story opens with Sarah Dewhurst […]

Interview With a Shark – Andy Seed

Published by Welbeck Children’s Books This is the perfect book for fact-loving young readers and a must for the classroom. Following on from his earlier “Interview with a Tiger” and set out as a series of interviews with different underwater creatures, author Andy Seed introduces us to his “tranimalator”. It is this which allows him […]

Maria’s Island – Victoria Hislop

Published by Walker Books At a time when travel is restricted, this is a tale that takes us to Crete, to beautiful beaches, warm sunshine and loving communities who live and work together. Victoria Hislop’s first children’s book (for readers aged 8+) is a reimagined story based on her best-selling adult novel “The Island”. Yet […]

News Hounds – Laura James and Charlie Alder

Published by Bloomsbury’s Children’s Books Gizmo is feeling a little lost and bewildered as he moves with Grannie to the countryside. Fortunately he soon meets Jilly, an enormous Irish Wolfhound, and her four puppies. There follows a delightful tale for younger readers which follows Gizmo and his new friends as they resolve the problem of […]

Dark Lady – Akala

Published by Hodder Children’s Books Henry – orphan, pickpocket and possessing a magical talent for translating languages – is the central protagonist in award-winning Akala’s debut novel for teens. Set in Shakespearean London (and featuring the bard himself), Akala sets out to explore the themes of race and class through an adventurous tale which takes […]

The Boy Who Sang With Dragons – Andy Shepherd and Sarah Ogilvie

Published by Piccadilly Press This is the fifth and, sadly, the last it seems of this wonderful series which features Tomas, his super-hero gang of friends, his loving family and a whole crowd of home-grown dragons!  The story begins with Kat and Kai leaving to live overseas which leaves Tomas and their friends bereft until […]

Mira’s Curly Hair – Maryam al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani

Published by Lantana Publishing Mira wants straight smooth hair like her Mum. But despite all her best efforts she can’t get hers to straighten which makes her sad, until her Mum takes her for a walk. When a rain shower forces them to take shelter, Mira notices that the rain has curled Mum’s hair. From […]

Maybe… – Chris Haughton

Published by Chris Haughton Monkeys, tigers, and mangoes – this is a delicious book to read aloud with a class. Chris Haughton’s latest book Maybe… is a lyrical romp through the decisions young children can make when warned not to do something. Three young monkeys are left alone and told not to go down to […]