Archives for the month of: October, 2019

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Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

NY Published: Thursday 5th March

M.G. Leonard – the author of the phenomenal Beetle Boy series has collaborated with Sam Sedgman for this new book – a proper adventure – of the old school. Just as good as Beetle Boy – but about steam trains. 

Stupendous – a crime / adventure story for all of  M.G. Leonard’s fans, but also for those out there who are ‘into’ steam trains… It is the start of a series of four books – and you really need to get on to this from the beginning.

Harrison’s adventure starts as he joins a royal train, taking its last run through Scotland, before being retired. He is the only child on the train – and initially he’s really not that interested.

All that changes as the journey progresses and a bracelet goes missing…

You can pre-order copies of this now. It’s brilliant.

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Published by Chicken House

Will’s gran knitted. All the time. After she dies Will’s is given a rather decorative jumper that she made and though initially it seems small, he pulls it over his head to find it fits perfectly.

Then her knitting group arrive. Five strange elderly ladies, their hands clutching their knitting bags and wondering if they could have anything that Gertie had left – they would be very pleased to have anything at all.

It’s not long after that when things begin to be more than a little peculiar, not to say odd.

A man who left the village years ago, returns claiming to have known Gertie in his youth and not long after he leaves Wills house, Sophie, Will’s little sister, can’t her knitted dog, that Gertie had made.

Things are definitely not what they seem.

A story of…well knitting. Grannies. Magic. Jumpers. Woollen dogs. The Isle of Man TT races…of motorcycles…adventure.

Great fun.

Should have been published with a ball of wool and some needles…

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Published by Scholastic

Morgan has never been to school. She has been taught at home by her Mum’s best friend. The one thing she really wants though, is to go, however, she won’t be doing that (or learning to fly) until she has passed her Young Witch Exam…which so far she has spectacularly failed to do.

At the start of this story everything changes and she at last manages to pass her exam. She will be going to school, to make new friends, to be a ‘normal’ teenager. Though one with an extremely annoying familiar (yes, witches do have familiars) and the ability to practice magic. Though obviously she won’t be doing that…

Things though, don’t quite go to plan…

I loved this – funny and thoroughly enjoyable. I particularly loved her shape shifting familiar Merlin…

Lovely stuff.


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Published by Chicken House

Marina is the daughter of a Naval Commander and is sent away to boarding school as he leaves to take command of his ship once more. Wanting to say goodbye one last time and seeing a train at the station due to go to Portsmouth, just as she is about to take her train to school – she runs across and joins the sailors embarking to meet their ships.

What should be a relatively easy journey is complicated when she can’t find her father on arrival at Portsmouth. Worse his ship has no record of him…

This is a brilliant adventure story – with friendships made, some not what they seem to be, and promises made and broken. A tale of spies, ice, bravery and dogs…

A book to be read by the side of a fire…

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Published by Head of Zeus

I picked this up as I am a fan of Michelle Paver’s children’s books – dipped into it and became absorbed in this story of medieval history, corrupted power, witchcraft and demons…

A long book in years (it covers five centuries) – a tale of obsession, academia, a diary, darkness, an image of a devil found in a graveyard and the love for a magpie.

I don’t usually read adult books as most will know, I sell children’s books and so need to know the minutiae of those and have little time to delve into the adult world.

This is a darker book than many – but a beautifully described descent into an all-pervading obsession and a life coloured by it.

A hauntingly brilliant book, as one would expect from an author who produced The Ancient Darkness Chronicles. (9-12)

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Published by Penguin

Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.

This is simply gorgeous. A beautiful book, in itself, the physical book, but the contents too – what is written and so beautifully illustrated inside is just as touching, thought provoking, gentle and wonderful as it could be.

A book Charlie Mackesy suggests you can drop into – and so you can, however, I did that thing of reading it from cover to cover. Which he thinks is impressive, which is lovely. I also dipped, before I bought. I’d love to meet Charlie and will be making contact with him & / Penguin, in the hope that I’m not too late to arrange an event with him.

A book of hope, of quiet sustenance. Peace – philosophy, a proposed way of looking at things.


Every home should have a copy. I have just tried to find out how many homes there are on the Internet – just in the UK, however, it was way too complicated. I just wanted an estimate… There are lots though.

Make sure your’s has a copy. Penguin may run out.

“Sometimes.” said the horse.

“Sometimes, what?” asked the boy.

“Sometimes just getting up

and carrying on is

brave and magnificent.”