Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery

Even when things seem at their darkest, there is always a flicker of light. The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery is so much more than a story about the Second World War. It explores darkness, light, hope and love within layers and layers of meaning. Both the internal and external battles portrayed in this story… Continue reading The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler & illustrated by Chris Mould

Dark, mysterious, captivating… The Vanishing Trick pulled me in from the very first moment Leander spotted the strange, black carriage and met the eerie Madame Pinchbeck. “It wasn’t a sin to steal if you only took forgotten things” and this lost, forgotten, empty boy needs nothing more than to belong – to someone, to something.… Continue reading The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler & illustrated by Chris Mould

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley

Reading this, I felt like I had travelled back in time to when I first read and loved Austen in high school. The writing is so similar in style - Lucy Worsley has really captured the essence of Austen and what her stories were all about. The charm of the characters jumps off the page… Continue reading The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley

The Wild Way Home is a captivating story of self-discovery and realising what is truly important in life. In the stillness of the forest, twelve-year-old Charlie and his friends explore the ancient paths and walk where many people have come before. When Charlie discovers a special deer tooth, he has no idea to whom it… Continue reading The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell

Take yourself back in time to Edwardian Cambridge: a city of learning and invention as well as hardship and loss. It’s 1905 and Helena finds herself moving to a strange house full of all kinds of clocks. The owner, Mr Westcott, is obsessed with keeping these clocks ticking. They must never stop. Helena’s father is… Continue reading The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell

Book Review, Non-fiction Books

Little People Big Dreams series by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

The Little People Big Dreams series is the most beautiful set of non-fiction children’s books I have ever come across. Each gorgeous hard cover book is a child-friendly biography of a significant person from history. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr, Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough, Muhammad Ali and Rosa… Continue reading Little People Big Dreams series by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

A World Full of Dickens Stories by Angela McAllister

Like Shakespeare, the language of Charles Dickens is an enormous part of our lexicon and everyday life. A familiarity with his stories is a key part of a well-rounded general knowledge about British literature, history and culture.  Dickens’ links to the Industrial Revolution and Victorian Britain also make him an important part of the Key… Continue reading A World Full of Dickens Stories by Angela McAllister

Article, Reading

What is the best new children’s book you’ve read recently?

In April 2020, I asked this question to teachers, authors and book reviewers on Twitter. Over the next two days, I received the most wonderful array of recommendations that will keep us reading for months! Most recommended: Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G.… Continue reading What is the best new children’s book you’ve read recently?

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

Time School: We Will Remember Them by Nikki Young

Where do you come from? Who came before us? These powerful questions about heritage and the rich history of our homes, schools and towns launch readers into the first fantastic story in the Time School series. Four friends have just started Year 7 in a Yorkshire mill town near Leeds. Surrounded by soot-stained Yorkshire stone… Continue reading Time School: We Will Remember Them by Nikki Young

Book Review, MG Fiction (8 - 12 year olds)

The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll

It’s the summer of 1914 and there is news of assassinations and potential war coming from far away. For the children at Longbarrow House, it’s incredibly exciting but also incredibly frightening. They dread the thought of their fathers having to go away to war but every sign seems to say it’s going to happen. When… Continue reading The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll