Archives for category: For 9 – 12 Years

Image result for morgan charmey teen witch birchall scholastic

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.

 

Image result for the pearl in the ice chicken house

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…

Image result for shadows of winterspell

Published by Macmillan

October 2019

This is a magical book – quite extraordinary.

Stella has been living on the edge of Winterspell for years. In the old days her Nan and she would search the woods, but more recently it has become difficult. Dark. Not to say dangerous. The villagers too won’t visit and avoid the woods whenever possible.

Stella though is curious. Not least as she is bored. She is desperate to enrol in the local school. To have, as much as possible a normal, regular part to her life. That though is highly unlikely, with the way things are.

This is a story of magic. Of the fae. Of a family secret and of friendship.

It is brilliant – wild and mysterious. Everyone should read this one – buy it for an Autumn read as the wind whistles around the house…

Stupendous.

NB. If this is to be the cover – it doesn’t do justice to this wild and extraordinary book. Then again, you never judge a book by its cover – at least I hope you don’t.

Image result for the star outside my window orion

Published by Orion Books

This is the story of Aniyah – who at 10 years old finds herself in foster care after her Mum disappears. She has always had a thing about the solar system – and she knows deep in her heart that special people never really leave – they become stars in the solar system. Which is of some comfort.

When Aniyah hears that a new star, that has been recently recorded, is to be named in London she is determined to make sure it has the right name. Though she appreciates the care of her foster Mum – she knows she only has a couple of days to reach London and with the help of two other children living with her, she plans her trip carefully…

This is a story that deals with domestic violence. Onjali has written another strong story about a difficult subject, both delicately and thoughtfully. Her previous title The Boy at the Back of the Class has also been reviewed on this blog. She is definitely an author to watch.

 

Image result for the way past winter kiran millwood hargrave

Published by Chicken House

A book for the winter. After the snow has come and it crunches under your feet. An element of Narnia with an endless winter. A winter that came and never left.

Since their parents have gone three girls and their brother have been left to survive on their own. Protected only by the rules their parents gave them. Oskar watching and looking out for his sisters – trying to be a little more than a big brother. Sanna the eldest sister sensible and doing the ‘right thing’. Or trying to. Mila listening to her sisters’ snores and snuffles in the night and missing her brother’s and last, but certainly not least, Pipa – the one whom everyone watches out for. As time goes past Oskar becomes more reticent. More impatient. Then they are visited by men on horseback. Late that night one sister sees her brother at the window. In the morning he’s gone too.

A story of a search though an unnatural winter. A tree cut down before its time and a mage – young and different – perhaps someone to trust…though perhaps too strange for that.

A story of families, siblings and sisters. Atmospheric and magical. A story to be read by a fire as Autumn turns.

Another Kiran Millwood Hargrave to enjoy.

 

Image result for the girl who speaks bear

Published by Anderson

Once upon a time…

A story of tales. A story of a young girl with memories of a bear. A tale of identity. A tale of beliefs. An adventure story too – a search for family – history.

This has elements of Anderson’s last book (The House with Chicken Legs) – definitely has the same feel. A young girl begins to search for her youth, knowledge of her parents, her adoptive parents and what happened before. She is accompanied by a house weasel – as she searches for the bear that raised her. The call to the woods is too strong…

As she travels and searches she finds herself befriending and travelling with an wonderful array of creatures – a herd of different creatures  – from wolves, a young boy,  through to birds…

This is lovely – definitely one for those who enjoyed The House with Chicken Legs

Due to be published in September – one for reading as the evenings draw in.

 

 

Image result for jemima small versus the universe

Published by Usborne

CORPULENT

FAT / HEAVY / LARGE

OBESE /  OVERWEIGHT

PORTLY / STOCKY/ STOUT

This is a story of comparisons. Those we make ourselves and those others make about us.

Jemima Small is larger than life.

She is larger than life, than average, in many things.

She’s funny, bright (very bright) and kind.

She is also larger than average, physically.

Which can make her feel like nothing at all. Of no importance. Of no use. It has been a gradual thing – incremental and a slow transition and it colours her life.

There are things she does and things she doesn’t do because she is deemed to be different. She doesn’t accept challenges which would mean she has to stand up and be someone, as no-one would want to see someone like her representing the school…

Jemima is, however, intelligent. Clever and knows all sorts of things that other people don’t.

We are all made of star dust.

Who we are is not what we look like.

We are all so much more than that.

 

 

 

Image result for the butterfly circus chelu

Published by Walker Books

I have often wondered if I would have the nerve to soar through the air on a trapeze. I’m not sure – I DID once do a zip wire – which was nearly a failure as I didn’t want to let go of the tree – but enough of that. Maybe one day I will…

This is a story of two sisters. Both trapeze artists. One falls and though she survives she slowly realises she has a secret that she daren’t acknowledge even to her sibling.

This is a story of the circus. A story of sisters, jealousy, bravery and a shadow…

Marvellous –

Everyone should read this one – I love Rosa – it’s wonderful.

 

Image result for Peril en pointe lipscombe

Published by Chicken House

I had a ballet lesson or two in my extreme youth. My career was similar to that of Helen’s – as she states in the Acknowledgements at the end of this wonderful book – ‘Tragically, my own ballet career went down the plug-hole, age six, but that’s another story.‘ I think mine went down a similar hole…

This though, is a wonderful mix of ballet and espionage! An interesting mix – which works well as though Helen’s career may have been short, she made sure that the feel of a ballet school and the intense work that is put in to producing a production is soaked well into these pages. I thought that her life must have been in and around dance and ballet. So for those of you who know what it is to go ‘en pointe’ – you should’t be disappointed…and in all other respects this is a brilliant adventure story.

I have to say (I have a friend who is a Trekkie) that when discussing a mole (not the sort with a velveteen jacket – the other sort), our heroine says –

‘It can’t be Merv,’ I say. ‘He’s got a Star Trek thermos.’

Which made me laugh…

Into ballet? Read it. You like books set in schools?  Into mysteries and espionage? More reasons to read this…Thoroughly good.

 

 

Image result for the last spell breather julie pike oup

Published by Oxford University Press

NY Published – July 2019

Words. Children are often told to ignore words thrown to hurt. As though words can’t, though we all know that sometimes a hurtful word is just as bad as a thrown fist. We all also know that they can be positive. It’s all relative. This takes that a little further.

Words can heal – a spell if you like, but should be carefully administered. Carefully blown over the patient, otherwise issues may arise. A book damaged by fire has repercussions that are far from the usual and results in an adventure like nothing before. This has leanings towards the story of the Magician’s Apprentice, but develops into a tale all of its own.

This is an engrossing, charming tale of sisterly jealousy, bravery and a warning to take care of books…