9+, Adventure, Children's Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Summer Reads

Summer Reads – The House of Light

Books to be swept away with this summer…

There are SO MANY great books around at the moment and so I’d like to share a few that I think are particularly exciting.  I’m not going to plop them all together in one post but give each the opportunity to shine in it’s own right…

Hold on to your hats… here are my summer 2019 recommendations.

The House of Light by Julia Green

Recommended for Middle Grade (9+) & above…

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Here’s the synopsis:

Its always just been Bonnie and Granda, living off the land, keeping to themselves and out of trouble.  Until one day, Bonnie goes scavenging on the beach and finds a battered rowing boat, and a bare-footed boy.  He’s cold, hungry, and in need of shelter.  Bonnie knows it’s a crime to help this stranger boy, but she can’t leave him for the border guards to find.

The longer she cares for the boy, who has travelled across oceans for anew beginning, the more Bonnie longs for her own freedom.  Perhaps it’s time toe scape the life she has always known, to move out of the darkness, and set sail for the house of light…

 

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The House of Light was published in by Oxford University Press in June and you can f buy it here (also your local indie will be able to get hold of it too if they don’t already have a copy.). 

ISBN: 9780192771568

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Read it already?  Please feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Happy reading and I hope you have a fabulous summer!

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Christmas 2017, Picture Books

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Seven

Day Seven

I’m going back to a picture book for this one and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s by Kate DiCamillo, author of titles such as Ramie Nightingale and Flora & Ulysses and illustrator, Jaime Kim

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim.

La La La

“La La La…La”

A little girl stands alone and sings,

but there’s no response.

So, gathering her courage and her curiosity,

She skips out into the world,

calling to the trees,and the pond and the reeds..

But will anyone sing back to her?

This is a book where the pictures literally tell the story. A story about loneliness and finding the courage to find your voice, step out into the world and connect with it. It’s a beautiful, gentle story with the most sublime illustrations that add warmth and tenderness. This is a book to share with your little ones, a book to talk about and look for the meaning in. “What is she doing? What is she feeling? How has she overcome that?”

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim was published in October 2017 by Walker Books.

Just wonderful and to finish a few words from Lovereading4kids expert reviewer, Andrea Reece:

There’s no need for extra words to tell this story, children will understand exactly the girl’s need to be heard, seen and answered; impeccably told, it’s a story that speak to us all. ~ Andrea Reece, Lovereading4kids

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 – Book advent – Day Two

Day two and it’s the rather wonderful…

Penguin Problems by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith

Poor Penguin is having a bad day. The sea is too salty, his beak is cold, he looks silly when he waddles and he wishes he could fly. But when he starts to look at things from a different point of view he soon realises things aren’t so bad after all.

Super illustrations by Lane Smith (author and illustrator of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner There is a Tribe of Kids) accompany the thought provoking text by Jory John and capture the problems we all go through from time to time.

Penguin Problems was published on the 1st of November by Walker Books.

Discover more about Jory John here.

Discover more about Lane Smith here.

Discover more about Walker Books here.

Middle Grade Fiction

The Boy With One Name by J.R. Wallis

It’s Saturday and it’s Autumn – a great time to buy books.

I absolutely love Middle Grade fiction. It’s exciting and there is such an amazing choice for kids (and those of us still kids at heart). Unfortunately although there are many amazingly well stocked and managed school libraries out there not all of them have the funds or space to keep a stock of fresh, new titles. If you are lucky enough to have a local library then I urge you to use it if you don’t already and of course a bookshop of any shape or size is always a great place to visit. So, if you are looking for a weekend reading treat here’s my recommendation for this week.

The Boy With One Name by J.R.Wallis

I absolutely adore a little magic and mystery. Throw in some mortal danger, monsters and things that go bump in the night and I’m in heaven. 😄

This summer the rather lovely people over at Simon & Schuster kids sent me a copy of The Boy With One Name. The cover alone grabbed my interest as soon as it slipped out from it’s Jiffy bag.

WELCOME TO THE BADLANDS … a hidden part of our world populated by creatures which most people think exist only in fairytales and nightmares.

The story features two young protagonists – Jones desperately wants to be a normal boy but since he was a baby fate has had other plans, because Jones is an apprentice Badlander. Badlanders hunt witches, ogres, shapeshifters and other monsters that ordinary people only see in their nightmares.

Ruby is also desperate for a different life. Running away from her latest foster carer and a difficult home life, Ruby  is searching for a world she can fit into. A world where she has some purpose and meaning.

Things go terribly wrong on the night that Jones is making his first kill as part of his commencement to become a Badlander and suddenly he is left without his master Maitland, the one man who taught him everything he knows and who’s been there for him since he was a baby. Now he is alone with only a talking gun (which he can’t touch) for guidance.

Looking for a safe place to hide, runaway Ruby finds herself caught up in Jones life and the monsters that she thought only belonged in fairytales and nightmares. Before long circumstances force them to work together as each tries to not only stay alive but to find the lives they’ve both dreamed of.

What follows is an adventure story that grips from the very first page as you tumble into the Badlands. Adrenaline filled and full of danger, Wallis will have you cheering for more.

This is a great book about friendship, self discovery, learning who you are and finding courage in even the most desparate of situations. I absolutely loved Jones and fiesty Ruby. They each had their own problems but discovered that working together they could achieve anything.

An exciting start to what I hope will become a series. This will make a fantastic, fun and exciting read.

Published by Simon and Schuster
Published in paperback in August 2017
Review copy supplied by the lovely people at Simon and Schuster (thanks so much:)

Find out more about author J.R.Wallis by visiting his website: here.

Here’s a small taster that I’ve taken from the opening page.

     Jones stopped. He’d felt safe enough creeping down the path in front of the cottage, in the dark.  But now the moon had reappeared from behind the clouds, the world was relit with a softer silver light meaning he was much more likely to be seen.

He kept trying to focus on what Maitland had promised, that he wouldn’t come to any harm. But that was less easy to believe now they were actually here. Scared to go on, Jones looked behind him, to where his Master was hiding, hoping to be beckoned back.

Maitland stepped out from the granite porch concealing the front door of the cottage and stood on the path, big as a bolder in his greatcoat. He said nothing. His craggy face remained hidden below the peak of his baseball cap. And Jones knew right away Maitland wanted him to go on, however bright the moon, because this was his big night. This was his big test.

 

Middle Grade Fiction

The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

With this action packed third and final instalment to the series, Abi Elphinstone has secured her place in the imagination of young readers.

Dark magic threatens to shroud Moll and everything she holds dear in an eternal night, reducing the world around her to a place without hope. Never has she been further from home or felt more alone, her constant companion self-doubt as she tries to fight back against the last two Shadowmasks. Yet the darkness is hard to fight and it will take every ounce of courage she has to overcome them. Moll must face her deepest fears whilst she, Siddy and Gryff embark on an adventure that will see them face goblins, witches and giants in the northern wilderness. Can they fight the curse of the Night Spinner and find the Amulet of Truth to bring light back to the land, when so many have already fallen under its spell?
Abi Elphinstone is most certainly a writer to watch. You can feel her own sense of adventure and wonder for the world right within the heart of her stories and this is an amazing gift to share with the children who read them. Totally absorbing with just the right level of scary, the fears and feelings within are something that all children will relate to. Through Moll, Gryff and their friends we learn the importance of friendship and learning from your mistakes, whilst being true to who you are and finding courage even in the very darkest of moments. A new adventure is promised from Abi in 2018 but in the meantime this trilogy is certainly one that will be returned to again and again.

Published by Simon and Schuster Childrens Books
Publication Date: 23rd February 2017

Reviewed originally for Lovereading4kids.