Middle Grade Fiction

The Bewitching of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

I have always been fascinated by standing stones but I’m not sure I want to visit the ones in Norton Wick! The Bewitching of Aveline Jones is another deliciously creepy adventure - every page overflowing with suspense and that spine-chilling feeling that nothing is quite as it seems. Aveline is on holiday with her mum… Continue reading The Bewitching of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Beast of Harwood Forest by Dan Smith

Pete, Nancy & Krish are back for another spine-chilling sci-fi, horror adventure! They are on their Year 8 Geography residential to Heathland Camp. It all seems quite tame until they discover the abandoned Harwood Institute – a Ministry of Defence research facility from the Second World War. Ghost stories, out of bound signs and strange… Continue reading The Beast of Harwood Forest by Dan Smith

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Crater Lake: Evolution by Jennifer Killick

Bursting with next generation aliens, dangerous spores, a survival bunker and an evil teacher everyone wanted to forget, Crater Lake: Evolution is a gripping page-turner that demands to be read in one sitting! Jennifer Killick is a science fiction genius with a sequel that is even better than the original. Lance and his friends will… Continue reading Crater Lake: Evolution by Jennifer Killick

Article, Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Reading

Brilliant Books for Autumn

The air is crisp, leaves are falling and nights are drawing in. Autumn is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. I'm really pleased to have written an article for True Education Partnerships with five fantastic books for Autumn! Follow the link to read the article: https://www.trueeducationpartnerships.com/schools/five-brilliant-books-for-autumn/ Click on the covers below… Continue reading Brilliant Books for Autumn

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

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

The Haunting of Aveline Jones is a deliciously scary story that will send shivers down your spine. One cold, blustery October half-term, Aveline travels to the Cornish coast to spend the week with her hard-edged Aunt Lillian. Right from the start, readers are immersed in a shadowy, autumnal mood. The town of Malmouth is full… Continue reading The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Orphans of St Halibut’s by Sophie Wills & illustrated by David Tazzyman

The Orphans of St Halibut’s is a wonderfully dark, Dickensian comedy of errors with chapter after chapter of hilarious, twisted escapades. Eight-year-old Herc, big sister Tig and their friend, Stef (along with Pamela the goat) are the only orphans left at St Halibut’s Home for Waifs and Strays in the dreary town of Sad Sack.… Continue reading The Orphans of St Halibut’s by Sophie Wills & illustrated by David Tazzyman

Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler & illustrated by Chris Mould

Dark, mysterious, captivating… The Vanishing Trick pulled me in from the very first moment Leander spotted the strange, black carriage and met the eerie Madame Pinchbeck. “It wasn’t a sin to steal if you only took forgotten things” and this lost, forgotten, empty boy needs nothing more than to belong – to someone, to something.… Continue reading The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler & illustrated by Chris Mould

Article, Reading

What is the best new children’s book you’ve read recently?

In April 2020, I asked this question to teachers, authors and book reviewers on Twitter. Over the next two days, I received the most wonderful array of recommendations that will keep us reading for months! Most recommended (Click on the titles to read my reviews): Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick (Sequel - Crater Lake: Evolution)… Continue reading What is the best new children’s book you’ve read recently?