Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Animals of Madame Malone’s Music Hall by Laura Wood & illustrated by Ellie Snowdon

When I first saw this book, I was immediately reminded of the scene in The Return of Mary Poppins where Mary Poppins and the children visit “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” – with its song that my daughter regularly takes great delight in singing at full volume – especially when she was performing in a… Continue reading The Animals of Madame Malone’s Music Hall by Laura Wood & illustrated by Ellie Snowdon

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Girl with her Head in the Clouds by Karen McCombie & illustrated by Anneli Bray

I love historical novels, especially ones based on true stories! This uplifting book by Karen McCombie (author of the brilliant Little Bird series) tells the tale of the adventurous, quick-witted Dolly Shepherd – a real young woman who became a pioneering aviatrix in the early 1900s. She went against the expectations of young women in… Continue reading The Girl with her Head in the Clouds by Karen McCombie & illustrated by Anneli Bray

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

I Am the Minotaur by Anthony McGowan

I Am the Minotaur is a story of hiding, of darkness, of being alone but it is also a story of find out who you really are and doing the right thing even if no one is there to see it. Matthew is not your usual hero.  He is the minotaur – the monster no… Continue reading I Am the Minotaur by Anthony McGowan

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Featherlight by Peter Bunzl

April 2021 Featherlight is a beautifully magical adventure from the wonderful Peter Bunzl and the amazing Barrington Stoke. Deryn’s father is the lighthouse keeper on Featherstone Island. When he and her mother have to go to the mainland, Deryn is left alone to keep watch. As the only people who live on the island, it… Continue reading Featherlight by Peter Bunzl

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Swan Song by Gill Lewis

Empathetic author Gill Lewis has teamed up with Barrington Stoke to create a story where children who don’t fit in or who need something different are able to hear their own voice and feel valued for who they are. Dylan is a Year 8 boy who is struggling at school. Lessons are hard, teachers don’t… Continue reading Swan Song by Gill Lewis

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Daisy and the Unknown Warrior by Tony Bradman & illustrated by Tania Rex

Daisy and the Unknown Warrior is a powerful and important story commemorating the centenary of the burial of Britain’s Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey in November 1920. Tony Bradman tells the story from the point of view of Daisy, an 11-year-old girl, who lost her father in the First World War. “Missing, presumed dead”, he… Continue reading Daisy and the Unknown Warrior by Tony Bradman & illustrated by Tania Rex

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Queen of King Street by Tom McLaughlin

Queen of King Street is a laugh-out-loud satire of the British Royal Family and their relationship with the rest of the country. When Bertie, the Queen’s younger brother, gambles away absolutely everything in a game of Happy Families, the Royal Family has to give up the crown and everything else. They move to King Street… Continue reading Queen of King Street by Tom McLaughlin

Book Review, Early Reader, Middle Grade Fiction

Noodle the Doodle by Jonathan Meres & illustrated by Katy Halford

Noodle the Doodle is a brilliantly fun summer story! There’s a new member of the class – Noodle the dog. He’s a bit silly and a bit of a troublemaker but the class loves him. He joins in with all of their adventures and makes everyone laugh. When a class trip to the seaside is… Continue reading Noodle the Doodle by Jonathan Meres & illustrated by Katy Halford

Book Review, Early Reader, Middle Grade Fiction

The Peculiar Thing with the Pea by Kaye Umansky & illustrated by Claire Powell

Young readers will love this new take on the traditional story, The Princess and the Pea. Pete is 11 years old and his mother, the Queen, has decided it’s time to find him a suitable bride. Pete is horrified! All he wants to do is play football and have adventures around the castle. Apparently, the… Continue reading The Peculiar Thing with the Pea by Kaye Umansky & illustrated by Claire Powell

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Invasion of Crooked Oak by Dan Smith & illustrated by Chris King

Lose yourself in this chilling mystery of an abandoned fracking site, unusual smells and adults behaving strangely. As soon as readers pick up this engaging book, they will be pulled in by the intensity of the cover, the very first chapter title, “Something Strange”, and the characters’ interest in the intriguing “Mystery Shed” website. Pete… Continue reading The Invasion of Crooked Oak by Dan Smith & illustrated by Chris King