Archives for the month of: February, 2020

Image result for You won't believe this adam baron

Published by Harper Collins

By the author of Boy Underwater. 

Firstly Veronique Chang did not get a distinction in her Grade 5 Piano examination.

Then there was the issue of the blue jelly in Mrs Martin’s shoes.

Then Cymbeline actually won a game of scrabble…

and at the end of it all there were the sisters.

A story of history. Vietnam. Boats and a school…and one or two heroes & heroines too.

It made me laugh out loud. Made me cross when people would just keep talking to me when I was OBVIOUSLY deeply engrossed… Why DO people do that?

Buy this AND Boy under Water.

 

 

Demelza and the Spectre Detectors (Paperback)

Chicken House

Demelza is into inventing. In a big way. She can be found late at night, with a torch fine tuning her latest project, tinkering away until her grandmother hears her walking across the floor and demands she settles down. She’s being doing it for years. Then one night she is woken by weird noises. There seems to be something in her room, something live…

Demelza is not exactly the most popular girl at school – and her only real friend is a boy who is home schooled not far from her. He, though deemed delicate by his father encourages Demelza’s more wild escapades and they both set about investigating what is happening…

A fun tale of inventions, magic and the dead… I was entranced by this brilliant tale with a twist…

 

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Published by Anderson Press.

Lydia’s father drops a rather large bombshell on the family when he tells them that he has sold their family home and bought a boat…an old Thames Barge The Lady Beatrice on which he proposes the family will live along side his girlfriend and her children.

It seems finances are a little tight. There are other things happening too – which aren’t clear. Lydia though, will need to change schools – things are changing and not necessarily for the better.

This is a book that attracted my attention when a customer bought it – I live near the Grand Union Canal – and there are a few old barges moored near me. Larger than the usual Canal Boats – but none the less, not exactly large…and I sometimes wonder about the pressures of bringing up children in a home on the water.

This is brilliant. A touching story of a family struggling to survive from the perspective of a determined and opinionated teenager…

 

 

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Published by Egmont Modern Classics.

THIS is what dreams are made of.

The fictional tale of a young girl entering the Grand National.

This is frankly one of the best books I have read for years.

The passion, pace and the use of language are wonderful. The use of colloquialisms (this was published in 1935) perhaps a little strange, but add colour to this gorgeous book about a young girl’s dreams…

‘They’ made a film of it in 1944 (Elizabeth Taylor was in it) – but I suddenly remembered the book last week, realised it wasn’t in stock, had the ‘powers that be’ order some and bought a copy.

I can’t put it down.

‘She bent slightly and held him firm and steady, her hands buried in the flying mane firm on the stout muscles of his neck. She urged him no more, there was no need, but sat him still. He was a natural jumper. She did not attempt to dictate to him. They cleared the wall together, wildly, ludicrously high, with savage effort and glory, and twice the force and power that was needed…’

I so wish that I had read this when younger – a powerful book of the culmination of dreams and determination against – well – read it!

In 1935 women weren’t allowed to ride in the Grand National. In 1976 the Sex Discrimination Act was passed and Charlotte Brew entered the National in 1977 on Barony Fort.

In 1982 Geraldine Rees, on Cheers – finished the course. In 1988 three female jockeys entered. In 1994 Rosemary Henderson (riding Fiddlers Pike) finished in fifth place as did Carrie Ford (on Forest Gunner) in 2005. More recently in 2012 Katie Walsh rode Seabass and finished third…and Nina Carberry has entered the race five times… They have and are taking on the world…

There has been a plethora of books written about fictional and non-fictional tales of young girls/women who have done something remarkable. This precedes them all, both in age and in wonder, but is so much more than that – it’s glorious. I am SO pleased that Egmont have kept it in print. It is such an important volume.

Full of hope and horses…

What more could anyone want?

The cover above is that of the first edition hardback (no longer available), however, this is the cover Egmont have given this edition (17th) – just as powerful, but I wanted to acknowledge the age of this one – it is so very special.

National Velvet

 

 

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Published by Nosy Crow

This is the story of a Troofriend. The advertising by line is that they are the friend you never had. Adults are told that Troofriends don’t bully. They don’t harm, lie, covet, steal or envy. They are the ideal friend for children – especially if their parents are busy.

Sarah’s parents are. Her mother believes this might just be the companion that Sarah should have, her father is not sure. As for Ivy – well she wouldn’t know, would she?

This is touching, thought provoking and dare I say it a little quietly disturbing. Who knows what the future will bring? Things change so fast and we seem to be moving away more and more from real face to face interaction.

I see a little of it when I serve some people in the store. Little or no eye contact – worse ignoring their children / their employer’s, whilst staring down at a screen, often resulting in an unhappy exasperated child and a plastic toy tossed onto the till – the fascinating conversation continuing all the while.

As I said this raises many questions.

A look to the future, perhaps.

The cover above may not be that with which the book is published. Then again it may be. Out in April – they have plenty of time to change their minds…