Archives for category: Genre: School

Published by Scholastic / Not yet published at time of going to post – Advertised September 2015

An Egyptian flavoured school crime story with the almost required ancient mummy and curse. An amalgamation of elements of circus, boarding school, Enid Blyton type of adventure with friendship ultimately winning through. Great fun. A phrase from the old Scooby Doo cartoons sprang to mind at the end. First person, 8-9 years. Lovely cover on the proof. I hope the art work will be reflected in that of the finished published volume (particularly that of the scaraband the lettering on the back). Advertised as September 2015

Published by Corgi Childrens / ISBN 9780552570725

This is the first volume in the Murder Most Unladylike series of which there are three so far (the third not yet published as this goes to ‘post’). Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up a detective agency, similar in style to Sherlock Holmes’ with Daisy Wells taking the part of Holmes and Hazel Wong the part of Watson. They are a school romp of a series of books – great fun, with the added twist of crime running through them. They are part of something that is almost a new genre – murder in schools…there aren’t many of these books yet, but there is definitely a small shoal of them beginning to come out.

The other titles are:

Arsenic for Tea / ISBN 978 0552570732 &

First Class Murder / ISBN 978 055270745 / Not yet published – June.

Published by Chicken House / ISBN 978 1908435996 – The edition with this cover (similar to the second in the series) / Not yet published

ISBN 978 1908435996 – Already published with a different cover, that isn’t in the series design.

Due in part to her Grandmother moving into a home, Edie finds herself staying with an aunt and her cousins with whom she doesn’t get on with  in the least. One in particular takes great enjoyment in bullying her. When she is given the opportunity to go to boarding school to assist her older cousin in investigating a mystery, she takes up the challenge with some relief…

This is the first book in the Knight Haddon School series, and works very well indeed. It has the feel of all boarding school stories, with a mystery add to the mixture for more ‘kick’. The series reminds me a little of the Chalet School Books (Elinor M Brent-Dyer) that my sister used to read, and The Naughtiest School books (Enid Blyton), but have a more modern twist to them. They also remind me of the A Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens which also mix a good crime with a school story.

Published by Anderson Press / ISBN 9781842709450

This is the tale of Fluff, who, if his letter is to be believed has gone off the rails and has joined the Hell Bunnies. This is a wonderful book with superb illustrations by Tony Ross. One for everyone who has brought home a school report that isn’t quite what is expected. Really superb. My only criticism is that they really should have produced an edition with a small fluffy Big Bad Bun in a leather jacket to go with the book. It would have sold and sold and sold… Sadly they didn’t, but the illustrations are as good – you just can’t stroke his ears in quite the way you might have been able to do if they had….

Published by Orchard Books / ISBN 9781408314555

Osbert is the ultimate anti-hero from Schwartzgarten. This is not a book for teachers to read. It might give them nightmares.

So far there are three Schwartzgarten volumes: Osbert, The Woebegone Twins, and The Lily-Livered Prince. All have superb Chris Riddell covers that belie the devilment contained within.

Osbert, takes revenge on his school teachers and not in the usual schoolboy style. They say Christopher William Hill is like Roahl Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Matilda etc), perhaps he is, but somehow these seem

darker and

more twisted.

Published by Piccadilly Press / ISBN 9781848124370

This is part of the new genre for 9 – 12 year old readers. Murder mysteries. When the headmistress and her brother drop dead at Sunday dinner the pupils take a rather different view of the situation than that you might expect. This is a romp of a book and is full of wonderful vignettes – the burial in the vegetable patch for reasons only to be made clear in the book and the resulting repercussions really start the story – its wonderful. Full too of old boarding school type references, a bright fun, school story mystery, with at least two deaths (if you don’t count the stoat) and manipulations a plenty! The school is remarkably small, with only seven pupils, but all gloriously and suitably named: Smooth Kitty Heaton, Stout Alice Brooks, Dour Elinor Siever, Disgraceful Mary Jane Marshall, Dear Roberta Pratley, Pocked Louise Dudley and who can forget Dull Martha Boyle!