Archives for category: Publisher: Walker Books

Published by Walker Books

David Almond’s books are quite extraordinary, no two seem to be alike – each is a masterpiece. I’d love to know where he gets his ideas from. This is the story of a bus driver. Bert has been driving his bus, on the same route, every day for ten years. He knows every bump, curve and passenger – he has dealt with all sorts of people, the young, the foolish, the friendly, confused, lost and bemused. Things are becoming a little predictable. Until one day he feels a fluttering in his chest and begins to panic and stops the bus. The complaints that result from this unauthorised and unwanted stop, he doesn’t hear, he is too concerned with what the fluttering means. Is this the end? Before the book has really got started? By page 12?

Actually it is just the beginning. This is a lovely, kindly book about people. About how people want to be seen to be bigger than they really are. It is about art classes and art teachers – it is about hope. It is also about bullies, and friendship, but mainly its about Angelino Brown – as unique a character as any David Almond has written about before.

I thought I had written a post about Clay or The Boy who Swam with Piranhas, one of my favourite David Almond books, but it seems I haven’t yet – so along with this one – have a look at those too, along with I suppose, Skellig, probably his most famous book…



Published by Walker Books –

I have only reached page 102 in my proof copy of this new book by Rob Lloyd Jones (RLJ) – due to be published in January 2017 – The story of Jake, a boy who’s propensity for getting into trouble has driven his parents almost into despair. His sister ignores him on the whole – there is a war of attrition between the two of them. She is clever, works hard, but tries to hide it and her enthusiasm for life behind a gothic front…He on the other hand is not, does not and gets into trouble at the earliest opportunity. His speciality is thieving – however, he has promised his family that he has stopped and they are off on a family holiday which should be special. It’s not just any holiday – they are off to Egypt.

At the airport he is allowed to wander the shops, though his parents are not sure whether that is the right decision. His father feels they should take a chance, and almost believes in his promise, his mother isn’t so sure. He is given some money for a shirt – and wanders off into the shopping malls. Of course he finds himself in an electrical store, just to look. The theft of the tablet is an almost a natural progression from that – what is not natural is when the tablet switches itself on and the man on the screen starts giving him advice on how to avoid the store detectives, the manager, and the security officers… A circumstance that begins to really freak him out. Particularly when he is given a shirt from one of the shops and is guided back to his parents just in time for the flight. The laptop now hidden in the back of his trousers he follows his family into the aircraft; the mystery of who the man is on the tablet, how he got there and how he knew about Jake going round and round his head…

A super story for anyone with an interest in Egyptology, secret societies, mysteries and adventure. It says in the blurb the book is a mix of Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible – a very good by-line. I hope the rest of the books is as good. Knowing RLJ’s work from Wild Boy, a previous piece of fiction he wrote, I have no doubt it will be.

I have just finished the proof – which frankly has stopped me from doing all the jobs I should have been doing, and I am pleased to report it ends better than it started. What is more there is hope for a long series – I don’t think Marjorie (!) will allow the family to rest in peace for long. It is also rather nice – a very prosaic word, but I can’t think of a better one – that the adventure includes everyone in the family.

I’d like to know when the next one is due out!


Published by Walker Books

Not Yet Published June

I initially thought this was going to be a book about swimming. Which it is. It is also a story of accepting who you are. It is a tale of dreams, and hope too…

Lou Brown is about to attempt to win a race that will result in her training to become an Olympic swimmer. It all rests on this one race.

As her fingers touch the end of the pool she is certain she has won – there have been no sounds of the others for some while and she has been pushing herself to keep ahead of the pack ever since.

The results are not what she or her best friend expect.

The results are so much more than just becoming another player in Olympic dreams.

I found this book enticing and funny – I loved it – to the extent of being annoyed that my lunch break just wasn’t long enough to allow me to reach a point where it was good to stop. I shouldn’t have to go back to work when I’m in the middle of a good book at lunch…



Published by Walker Books

This reminded me of Georgette Heyer – but Georgette Heyer with a demonic / satanic twist. Regency London and a young heiress and debutante is about to be introduced to London society. She is of course looking for that perfect marriage, after all that is what young ladies are supposed to aspire to. There are of course highly suitable men on the ‘circuit’, as it were and of course an anti-hero to set hearts a-flame.

What is the secret that surrounds Lady Helen’s mother? Did she betray England? What is the truth about Lady Helen’s ancestry?

It has lovely detail, a clever plot and is the start of a trilogy.

Something to really get your teeth into!

Sadly I don’t think the cover that this has been given gives the book its due – which is a pity and the book might be overlooked as a result.

As always, never judge a book by its cover… I thoroughly enjoyed it and await the second volume with interest.



Published by Walker Books

Not yet published at time of going to post – due June 2016

I haven’t finished this yet – but it’s so good, I have decided to review it now – as it has really caught my imagination. Fenn Halflin lives in a world of water and marshes – under the care of a man whom he refers to as Grandfather. His life though is uninteresting and though he feels the pull of the water, he is never allowed to swim, but does so behind his grandfather’s back…

This world of water, split between those who live on the land and others more in tune with the sea, has references to our lives too…the flotsam and jetsam often reflect our lives. The water that engulfs so much of Fenn’s world is the result of rising waters… again a reflection of what is happening in so many parts of the world…

Clever, intriguing and wonderful – a brilliant adventure. Really superb. Due out in June this year – no indication of the cover has been circulated yet – however I thought that the above picture by Turner is a good reflection of the atmosphere within the book…It’s marvellous!

I finished the book today – and the finish is exactly right. What is even more pleasing is that the book is the first of two and now I can’t wait for the second book to come. Marvellous.


Published by Walker Books

Not yet Published at time of going to Post: February 2016

When Uman walks late into class no one is prepared for what happens. Uman pushes limits. Asks questions that no one thought to ask, or if they did, dared to. He is an enigma. He’s different and not afraid to be.

He sits next to Gloria that first day, and tells her she is ready for change. It is the start of a friendship diverse from everything she has come across. He doesn’t talk about his past, just asks questions and pushes for answers.

He skips classes, and has obviously always done so. Gloria never has. Till now.

An unusal and rather wonderful story. Another book about living life, and not allowing it to go by. Not that I suggest we all follow in Gloria’s and Uman’s footsteps…but perhaps the essence of the story could be mixed into our own.

Question 21 – What would you have done?

This cover has a notation on the Internet stating it is the one they will use in the US. Their covers are often wildly different from those used to publish the same book in the UK.

Keep an eye out for this book in what ever cover they give it.


Published by Walker Books ISBN 978 1406306682 Hardback

Published by Walker Books ISBN 978 1406325911 Paperback – Poss. Out of Print
Is one of the greatest adventure stories of all time – a true classic. In these editions the story is unabridged.

For those who don’t know Treasure Island I should I perhaps give a little introduction. The book introduces the reader to Jim Hawkins and relates Jim’s adventures on the high seas where he meets a range of colourful characters and ultimately  of course  that marvellous villain, Long John Silver…and of course Captain Flint! It is a volume full of adventure, pirates, treasure, swashbuckling, fights and of course a parrot…

It was initially published in a beautiful large format hardback.

Sadly though not so good should you wish to curl up by a fire to read as it is perhaps a little too large. It must be said though that the hardback edition does show off John Lawrence’s illustrations to perfection.

The smaller paperback with the extended paper-boards that fold back into the book, (thus giving the book more strength) is a lovely volume. Printed on cream paper with the same illustrations as the hardback it is, however, the right size for reading under the bedclothes.

I once had a customer who was thinking of buying a copy of Treasure Island. It was the first English book he had read and he thought he might read it again, but did we have a nice copy? Which is always a difficult question…

When shown this he said it was exactly what he wanted and that the illustrations were just right – they supported what he remembered imagining when he first read it, and promptly bought it.

I am unsure whether you can  still purchase this book new – however you can always try the Internet site Via Libri if you find you are unable to track one down in the usual way.

Published by Walker Books / ISBN 9781406330052

Most people will know about Goldilocks and the three bears. This book is a glorious collection of variations on the story. Beautifully illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg in watercolour with pull tabs and includes a miniature book too.

Really it is not for small hands. Unless they are the hands of small children who have been trained to respect books. Nor is it for adults who have sadly not been taught how to handle books properly. It should be looked at carefully  – and will give years of pleasure if the tabs aren’t roughly used or the miniature book badly replaced in its small pocket. The pages are not of the board-book type, (though slightly thicker than normal),so without care it could become damaged quite easily.

It is a beautiful little pop-up / tab book to be treasured.

Published by Walker Books / ISBN 978 1406331080

There are, it is true, a number of books about the arrival of a sibling. Most are poorly executed, designed by publisher’s in-house, often without an accredited or even a good illustrator. Part of what makes this book unique is sublime mix of the talent of both John Burningham and his text with Helen Oxenbury’s superb and sensitive illustrations. Softly coloured and beautifully executed the book covers all those questions an elder sibling-to-be has about the new arrival to come…everything from what he or she will be called to what he might do. It really is, in my opinion the best ‘there’s going to be a new baby’ book.

First Experience books are on the whole are poorly designed and written. They are possibly the least well designed, let alone written genre. I will pick the best of those that I know and will review them under their different ‘experience’ for this blog…

Published by Walker Books / ISBN 978 1406331165 / Teenage – Adult / Not yet published: 27th August 2015

I am not certain, but I think I prefer this to The Knife of Never Letting Go (first volume of Chaos Walking – see review) – however, I think this is so different from that trilogy that I am probably comparing a kiwi with an English Cox, and so the comparrison isn’t fair.

This really is very different, not least because the stories (there are numberous stories in this book, really as many as there are characters) that you are involved in are not necessarily the main story – but then again they are.

It is an extraordinary volume and I loved it and will be texting my friend Min to tell her to read this one – I bet she hasn’t had a proof!

Filled with something that might be soul-eating ghosts, or perhaps zombies with blue lights and death, along with the everyday problems of a family, and friendship, along with those resulting from life changing opportunities and just trying to survive, each character has their own particular intrinsic worries and concerns…It really is a superb book. Enjoy it!