Book Review, Non-fiction Books

I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker: The Diary of a Young Boy at the Outbreak of World War II by Michal Skibinski & illustrated by Ala Bankroft

Beautiful paintings and the simple sentences of a child combine to create a unique perspective on the outbreak of the Second World War in Poland. Asked to keep a journal by his teacher, eight-year-old Michael reflects on the highlights of his days. Walks in the woods, a ride in a car, planes overhead, the start… Continue reading I Saw a Beautiful Woodpecker: The Diary of a Young Boy at the Outbreak of World War II by Michal Skibinski & illustrated by Ala Bankroft

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Toby and the Silver Blood Witches by Sally Doherty

Unexpected witches, a brilliant little bat, broomsticks, wands, spells and a Golden Retrieagle called Cuddles – all the ingredients of a fantastic middle grade fantasy adventure with a whole lot of heart! Twelve-year-old Toby is a young carer, looking after his mum who struggles with M.E. He loves her so much and wants to do… Continue reading Toby and the Silver Blood Witches by Sally Doherty

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Swop The Satsuma-Sized Secret by Lucy Noguera & illustrated by Laura Ireland

Swop is a super cute pup that young readers will love. Perfect for Lower Key Two, this book is sure to become a favourite on classroom bookshelves. Swop is the world’s smallest dog and just the distraction Ernie needs when his family moves to the city and he has to start over. Dad is gone… Continue reading Swop The Satsuma-Sized Secret by Lucy Noguera & illustrated by Laura Ireland

Book Review, Picture Books

Storm in a Jar by Samuel Langley-Swain & Katie Cottle

Every once in a while, a picture book comes along that is so versatile and meaningful that it will suit children of all ages – from pre-schoolers to teens. Storm in a Jar is one of those books. Addressing the complexity of bereavement and the range of emotions found in grief, it allows children to… Continue reading Storm in a Jar by Samuel Langley-Swain & Katie Cottle

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

Sudden Death: A Roy of the Rovers Novel by Tom Palmer & Elkys Nova

Perfect for football lovers in Year 6+, Sudden Death is another powerful Roy Race & the Rovers story. It is full of hard work, training, match strategy and team dynamics, bringing the reality of professional football to life on the page. Readers will be carried away in the action, feeling every high and every low.… Continue reading Sudden Death: A Roy of the Rovers Novel by Tom Palmer & Elkys Nova

Book Review, Chapter Book (7-9), Middle Grade Fiction

Brilliant Books from Barrington Stoke – September 2021

Books from Barrington Stoke are so often my go-to recommendations for teachers and parents. First and foremost, they are fantastically engaging stories from some of the best, current authors in the UK. The quality of the writing is incredible and children are soon carried away in the adventures. What makes Barrington Stoke books really special… Continue reading Brilliant Books from Barrington Stoke – September 2021

Book Review, Picture Books

Wishes by Muon Thi Van & Victo Ngai

Wishes is an absolutely captivating picture book that explores the realities of being forced to search for a new home on the other side of the world. For young children, home is everything and having to say good-bye is heart-breaking, especially when they don’t understand the answer to that all important question – why? The… Continue reading Wishes by Muon Thi Van & Victo Ngai

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Great Food Bank Heist by Onjali Q. Rauf & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

The Great Food Bank Heist is a very special book giving valuable insight into life when the fridge isn’t full. Nelson and Ashley’s mum does her best to make ends meet on her nurse’s salary but sometimes there are just too many bills to pay. That’s when they have to visit the best kind of… Continue reading The Great Food Bank Heist by Onjali Q. Rauf & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Jenny Pearson – The Incredible Record Smashers – Guest Post

The Incredible Record Smashers is the second hilarious and heart-warming adventure from Jenny Pearson, author and primary school teacher, & illustrated by Erica Salcedo. Jenny's debut, The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, was a Waterstones Children's Book of the Month, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and is a 2021 Read for… Continue reading Jenny Pearson – The Incredible Record Smashers – Guest Post

Book Review, Chapter Book (7-9)

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife by Maz Evans & illustrated by Chris Jevons

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife is a fantastically funny story bursting with personality and full of all the things that are important to children. Maz Evans really hit the nail on the head with the challenges families face and how children see the world. With so many laugh-out-loud moments, I also found myself feeling… Continue reading The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife by Maz Evans & illustrated by Chris Jevons