Archives for the month of: December, 2019

Image result for the boy who fooled the world

Scholastic Children’s Books

This is a story of a lie. Not just a small, little lie, but one of those, spur of the moment, ‘no-one will realise’ lies, that expand and grow expeditiously – till they become all encompassing, all pervading.

Cole it seems, can paint. That’s what everyone is told and everyone believes. His first painting by any stretch of the imagination was a success. The only snag to this tale of joy is that everyone expects another…and he doesn’t know what it is that made the first so successful. What it was that made it ‘the picture’ – what made his ‘talent’ stand out to the artist who visited his school…

This is a story of repercussions. Of pressures. Of trying to do the right thing. Of new trainers…It’s also a tale of a mystery – a painting with a secret never solved…and a story of a sister…

 

Image result for the girl who stole an elephant

Published by Nosy Crow –

Our heroine is a thief. Our hero, an honest boy who would rather Chaya didn’t steal – and would certainly have advised her not to steal the Queen’s jewels, even if, as she believes, they wouldn’t be missed.

That is, if she had asked. Not that she would have taken any real notice if she had.

Friendship is a complicated thing at the best of times.

Chaya steals for all the good reasons…but, not everyone thinks that they are good enough.

The theft of the  queen’s jewellery has repercussions even Neelan can’t believe, though he might have had some idea. Though perhaps the adventure and theft of an elephant that results, were beyond even his imagination…

A proper adventure – saturated with the colours of Sri Lanka. Wonderful.

 

 

 

Image result for evernight ros mackenzie andersen

Published by Andersen Press.

Partially it is the language and the descriptive power of this book that has me hooked. Along with the characters too – I have so far only read to page 34 – but this really is an extraordinary volume.

A tale of magic, slums, sewers, rats, old hags, and witches, both old and seemingly young…and a range of enticing characters…It’s gripping and won’t let me go. I want to read, instead of doing things I should be doing.

It is out at the beginning of February. This has calibre – I only review books before I have finished them, if I know, if I can sense that they will be good – this one will be. It is at the moment being compared to Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. I’m afraid, I have to disagree.

It’s better.

I hope Jessica won’t mind my saying so. Similar, in a way, but better. I hope and trust this will be the start of a series, of perhaps three books – it’s marvellous. As with The Mask of Aribella (Anna Hoghton), I know this one is good – the first taste told me that…

Simply superb.

Once again – go into your local Waterstones and order a copy, or two. It is out on the 6th of February. With luck Ross will be kind and come and sign copies…. Order your copies NOW!

As to the cover, it is as above, though my pre-publication copy has silver highlights – which I’m afraid doesn’t come across in my copy-pasted image…

Image result for the mask of aribella

Published by Chicken House.

January 2020

My favourite city has to be Venice, in Italy. Atmospheric, beautiful and somewhat dark. A place of intrigue and secrets. A city of many lives: people, seagulls, rats, without doubt ghosts of sorts, cats, and now dogs, and of course water. I have promoted Michelle Lovric’s The Undrowned Child now for a decade or so – it was published in 2009.

To find myself recently in receipt of a new Venetian book and a pre-publication volume was a joy.

This tells the story of Aribella, who suddenly finds that when particularly irritated, her fingers tingle and, if this isn’t sated, she is liable to set fire to anything within reach. She and her father live on an island outside Venice – they live on Burano. Her elderly father making intricate lace to support them both. He appears unsurprised when Aribella returns home to tell him what happened to a local bully when their paths crossed; that his throat had been burnt by her hands…he seems almost resigned… Then he doesn’t respond, as she expects, as she goes on to explain that their name may have been reported; placed in the Lion’s Mouth –  to the authorities along with those who might be subversive, dangerous, or even just a little strange. His attitude along with the day’s events disturbs her greatly.  The authorities arrive not long after.

She escapes with help from a friend, but as they row away in his small fishing boat under a red moon (an ill omen if ever there was one), a skull appears floating out from the mists of the water, that only she can see. It isn’t long though before Theo is made well aware of it, as it reaches their boat…

This is WONDERFUL! I am loving this – haven’t finished it – but am savouring it and enjoying it just before sleep – it’s fantastic to have another Venetian book to sink into – quite marvellous. It is of course, very different from The Undrowned Child. That book takes a nugget of the history of Venice and has a story wrapped around it, which doesn’t happen in this. Further, in some ways The Mask of Aribella is much less dark – though it definitely has veins of blackness flowing through it, as is right for any good story set in Venice. I have only read up to page 131 – but so hope that there will be more to this story than the single volume…

Finished this yesterday at work – I couldn’t leave it at home. Marvellous. Do order your copies as you come in for Christmas shopping, or order from W.com / or ring…nag your parents…or, if you are an adult – don’t be shy. Order one for yourself!

Then collect it on publication day: 2nd January 2020 – just under a month away!