Archives for category: Hodder and Stoughton

Image result for boot shane hegarty

Published by Hodder & Stoughton

Boot: Silvery-green and shaped like a light-bulb. Belly round and tough, yet soft to touch or hug. Four chunky fingers. No toes. Head an oval with a small screen along the front with colourful dots that flow together to make a face. Boot is a robot.

This is a lovely positive tale about a robot who has, it seems, lost his owner. He has only three memories to help him find her, and those aren’t exactly the most detailed or helpful. Whilst obviously a story of friendship and determination, with a brilliant villain in the piece, it also touches on memory loss and dementia, but without that taking over the book. On the way to finding his young owner Boot meets various other robots, some of whom have taken refuge in a fun-fair…

This is lovely – a great story about why we hold on to things and what is important.

Shane Hegarty is also the author of the Darkmouth series for older readers.




Image result for will you catch me elson

Published by Hodder.

Odds Fish!

This is a moving tale of friendship, wildlife, conservation, families, love and alcohol abuse. Its a tale of bravery – self belief and how friends can sometimes pull together to Nell Gwyn WKPDmake things right. It is also the story of imagination and  Nell Gwyn – a companion to King Charles II –  a fascinating character, of whom I knew a little, but now know so much more.

This is the story of a modern day Nell whose mother tries hard to be someone she can admire. To be the mother Nell needs, but things are not easy. Nell spends her days caring for her mum, hoping to trace her dad,  and nurturing any wildlife she comes across that need respite or care.

Her friend Michael lives nest door with his brother, aids and abets her – an inventor with wild and glorious ideas which means that at school he is often signing the punishment book, staying late for detention and generally getting into scraps. His brother is exasperated by him and can’t believe it when he finds that all his laces from his boots have been stolen away to be used in Michael’s latest invention – to help Nell feed all her small creatures.

There are too many children affected by their parent’s addiction to alcohol. This is a story for them, for those with whom they make contact, with whom they hopefully get help and understanding.

This is a story of hope.





Image result for war is over almond

Published by Hodder Children’s Books

This slim hardback was published in commemoration

of the end of the First World War, in 1918.

The story of John, whose father is away in the trenches,

whose mother works in the munitions factory.

A simple tale of the confusion of war. Of decisions half understood,

of intolerable situations, of the confusion of man.

Its the story of a boy who thinks. A child who wonders,

thinks about other boys like him,

who happen to live in Germany.

Its a book to make you wonder. I don’t know what I would have done.Image result for litchfield war is over

I have been lucky. I have never had to make those choices.

Its a small volume about war.

What we ask of ourselves and what we ask of our children.

Its a remarkable tale.

Illustrated by David Litchfield – this is a very powerful slight volume.

A book of rose hips, a book of hope.


Image result for sold to the man with the tin leg hodder

Published by Hodder

This small paperback was purchased because I have been watching the odd antiques programme (Antiques Road Show, Antiques Road Trip and the various versions of Bargain Hunt too), on television for a very long time. The author is one of the antique dealers often working as one of the experts, giving advice and sometimes ‘competing’.

I enjoy learning a little about antiques, but I also enjoy watching the auctions. How the auctioneer entices, cajoles, encourages and frankly manipulates the bidders into going just a little bit further. I think my fascination results from my book selling experience. In particular my hand selling techniques, for want of a better term.

I do not hand sell books to customers for whom the book wouldn’t be right. I have on several occasions taken a book from a customer and given them another to have instead – particularly when the recipient is going to be one of the younger readers out there. Adults I’m afraid have to see to themselves. I will though, entice, cajole, encourage and sometimes manipulate my customers, if I think the book is right, is a good one and I know that they will miss out if they don’t have it.

This is a book of Philip Serrell’s first forays into the world of antiques – with all the characters and incidents that you would expect. It reminds me a little of the James Herriot veterinary books – full of small stories of the trials and tribulations, in this case of an inexperienced prospective antiques dealer.

Odd phrases stand out – ‘…which had left my confidence as low as a dachshund’s tummy…’

A book of fakes, characters and livestock – its a lovely dip into another life…


Hodder and Stoughton

Not yet published at time of going to Post – October 2015

This book relates a small period in Sebastian Rudd’s life. He is an American lawyer on the edge – his clients are usually guilty and violent, the police and society happy are happy to convict whether the accused is guilty of what they are accused or not; he works on the darker side of the legal profession, a lone wolf trying where he can to do the best for his clients.

I will read more John Grisham books in future. This I picked up at work, when I needed something to keep my mind briefly occupied, and have read it with real enjoyment.

Apart from John Mortimer’s Rumpole and Judge John Deed (TV) I haven’t come across an English character in fiction quite like Rudd – I hope there is one out there, both in fiction and in fact. I suspect our legal processes, and our prejudices may be a little questionable too at times… It would be good to read about an English lawyer dealing with similar issues in the UK, if only for the legal convolutions and ramifications…

Rudd is not perfect, but he does try – and that is what drives these few chapters.

It is out on the 20th of October this year – but there is plenty of other fiction (and one non-fiction) by Grisham to read in the mean time…

Enjoy them.