Archives for the month of: February, 2016


Published by Walker Books

Not Yet Published June

I initially thought this was going to be a book about swimming. Which it is. It is also a story of accepting who you are. It is a tale of dreams, and hope too…

Lou Brown is about to attempt to win a race that will result in her training to become an Olympic swimmer. It all rests on this one race.

As her fingers touch the end of the pool she is certain she has won – there have been no sounds of the others for some while and she has been pushing herself to keep ahead of the pack ever since.

The results are not what she or her best friend expect.

The results are so much more than just becoming another player in Olympic dreams.

I found this book enticing and funny – I loved it – to the extent of being annoyed that my lunch break just wasn’t long enough to allow me to reach a point where it was good to stop. I shouldn’t have to go back to work when I’m in the middle of a good book at lunch…



Published by Pushkin Children’s Books

I loved this. Comparatively there is very little good writing for this age group. Books that are well written with good plots, with or without illustrations for this genre seem to be lacking in quantity on our shelves. This though was superb – I loved it. Another foreign author (Lene Kaaberbol is Danish) being published in English by Pushkin Children’s Books (They also published Meet at the Ark at Eight / Hubb) – and again it is a brilliant tale.

Clara is badly scratched by a cat, and as a result suffers from cat-fever…and thus starts Clara’s new life as a Wildwitch, in a world that is both magical and dangerous…

This is a mystical, wonderful story about a reserved and quiet child caught up in something so much larger than she…

There are two other books in the series, but they don’t seem to be available over here yet. Pushkin really need to make sure that the later books are published quickly – once you read this one you will want to read the other two.

It is marvellous.


the-witches-sabbath-1-bb09241Published by Hachette Children’s Books

A superb story of two teenagers whose story is closely entwined. A story of a prophecy (there’s a surprise), of witches, modern and ancient. Of families, sisters and aunts. Of good. Of ancient and modern magic – of belief and of evil. Oh, and mothers, and their hopes and dreams.

Its superb.

Its a love story too, and of one of sacrifice.

If you like all things witchcraft, wild and magic this is certainly one for you…brilliant.

I can’t find a completed cover for this on the Internet so have chosen one of my favourite Arthur Rackham pictures of witches and their familiars…the cats in this are particularly suitable for this story…and it is a picture for Minx – a cat in the story… who reminded me so much of my familiar, presently asleep on my bed…

Due to be published on the 16th of June 2016



Published by Chicken House

Not yet Published at time of going to Post: April 2016

I don’t read the blub on proofs, quite intentionally. They can spoil a story, or lead me to think I don’t want to read it for some reason or another. There have been several proofs over the years that I have loved, but would not have read if I had realised the subject matter. This was one such. I enjoy music, but I don’t have a large selection and I know very little -it is a rather eclectic mix of CDs too – most are bought because of the memory the music invokes, not necessarily the music itself. I haven’t been to many rock concerts either, and those I have were a long time ago…

Love Song is about music. It’s about boy bands, and their fans and begins with a description of a meet and greet – which reminded me of an event I helped monitor when I worked in Harrods – Aerosmith were due to come to sign their album, and I was pulled in to help with the crowd. For some reason I’m always put at the end of the official line to tell the late comers they were too late…and typically on this occasion that is what happened. There were two school girls there who had bunked off school, I remember…almost hysterical with excitement, but willing to wait to just see them.

They were late.

Very late.

So late the store had closed by the time they came, and the two girls with a long queue of hopefuls were still hanging around behind me. Aerosmith did the right thing though, and insisted on seeing everyone, which resulted in one of my two running  down the line afterwards to thank me, tears pouring down her face to tell me he had spoken to her…her favourite member had spoken to her… It was quite an evening, and having heard their latest hit so many times, I actually began to enjoy the music….

So Love Song starts with an occasion I could relate to – though thankfully we didn’t have a fire…there is music, beauty, handsome boys with that smile, and a brilliant description of relationships burgeoning and falling away…

To be honest, I loved the book – it has a list of the music that is mentioned in the story and I think it would be quite something to listen to some of it whilst reading it.

Enjoy this – it is lovely and has the right ending too…

As to the cover, it wouldn’t have encouraged me to read the book (apologies to those concerned), but working as I do with the belief never ‘to judge a book etc.’, I have found a gem – a real gem of a story.


9780192745545Published by Oxford University Press

Not yet published at time of going to press: March 2016

Really a book for those who are beginning to be confident with their reading. A magical tale of two siblings who arriving at their new house are sent out to explore and find a railway at the bottom of the garden. On that really isn’t there, except it is.

A new way to a new world – instead of a wardrobe, a workshop at the end of the garden pulls them into a world of magic and danger. There is always the possibility they might not manage to return in time for fish fingers.

The responsibilities of an older brother are such that though Leo thinks some of what Ella gets up to are perhaps unwise, what is an elder brother to do, but to follow on behind and make sure things don’t go horribly wrong…

I’m afraid I don’t think the cover is inspiring – which is a pity; there is more to this book than this implies, and sometimes it really is the cover of a book that sells it to new readers…and perhaps persuades them to try something new…


Published by Nosy Crow

Not yet published at time of going to press: April 2016

Another book of the crime genre for young readers – full of mystery, suspense, danger, missing siblings, kidnap, murder and general mayhem. Set mainly in a music hall and is full of adventure of the best sort. A true romp of a story – I loved it!


Published by Egmont

Not yet published at time of going to post – 30th June 2016

I am slightly embarrassed that I had forgotten about Robin Jarvis. I read The Deptford Mice many years ago, but it was only when I looked him up on Fantastic Fiction that I was reminded of it.

I read The Power of Dark, within 24 hours of the proof being placed in my hands, and it really was a superb tale. whitby-002 Set in that small town, in the west of Yorkshire, Whitby –  a town known for its gothic weekends,  Bram’s Stoker’s Dracula, the church and abbey, fishing, jet, and witches. This is a tale of witches, both old and new. A tale of good, against evil, and ancient magic and forces conspiring to bring a ancient feud to a head…

Absolutely brilliant.

I visited Whitby a few years ago and this reminded me of that glorious weekend I had walking its streets and watching the sea – it made me want to go back again…

As I said above, I looked Robin Jarvis up on Fantastic Fiction (a superb site that lists fiction titles to author’s) and Robin has quite a back list, apart from The Deptford Mice, including a series of books set in Whitby – The Whitby series, published in the early 1990s

This book though looks to be a new tale about the town, and the story finishes with the opportunity for further books to be published about  Lil and Verne. I hope that promise is followed through – I liked Lil and Verne, but to be honest my favourite characters were Sal, and Cherry Cerise…

Buy it, and read it.