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All reviews tagged with 10-12


 

1066 And Before That

Early history gets an airing in this poetry collection – co-written by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens – which is divided up into five sections, beginning at the Stone Age, ending with the eponymous battle of Hastings, and taking in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome along the way. In fact, there is precious little that…

13 Pairs of Blue Suede Shoes

Light-hearted and upbeat, this chirpy book will resonate with more reflective readers of 8 and over with its spot-on analysis of the social complexities of the lives of pre-teens. While the main storyline is absolutely hilarious (what is more embarrassing when you’re 11 or so – a dad who’s an Elvis impersonator, or one who…

A Beautiful Lie

‘A story has to settle on you long after the teller has finished. Then, as if a key has been turned in a lock, the door is opened and all that you’ve learnt is before you.’ And there is much to be learned in this book, a first novel that opens many doors on the…

A Boy Called Christmas

This is a story where impossible is an old elf swear word; a story where reindeer can fly; a story where elves live in a remote corner of Finland and a story of how a boy named Nikolas came to be Father Christmas. Nikolas is a simple boy who lives in Finland with his woodcutter…

A Day With Dogs

A Day with Dogs is a fantastic book that offers an exclusive insight into every little bit of what nine dogs (and a lot of humans) do during their day; be it visiting the doctor, playing in school, shopping at the supermarket or playing musical instruments. Part non-fiction, part fiction, A Day with Dogs is…

A Face Like Glass

'One dark season, Grandible became certain that there was something living in his domain within the Cheese Tunnels.’ So begins Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy/adventure novel, and this first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the book: intriguing, funny, and slightly offbeat. The novel is set in the underground city of Caverna, a closed…

A first Poetry Book

This bumper anthology from Macmillan contains well over 200 poems from 'the very best poets around', and, with its title, big print and cover festooned with chicks and a bunny rabbit, seems at first glance to be aimed at young children. It's divided up into topics such as 'Food', 'Pets', 'Space' and so on, which…

A Giant Never Dies

Natural feelings sprout up in childhood and are freely expressed, and these poems relate them in a child’s voice. Full of zesty innocence, they talk about things that really matter when you’re young. Love abounds – for Dad, the dog, the baby blanket and the stuffed cat. Exploration affirms the world is full of interesting…

A Girl Called Blue

The suffering of children in the care of church and state in orphanages and other institutions is a very topical and politically sensitive issue at present, as Irish people re-examine the past. As we disinter this misery, it is to be expected that we need to mediate it for today’s children. Because of her earlier…

A Horse Called El Dorado

This is a highly original novel with credible, interesting characters; no stereotypes, no cliché, just a good story. It is told by Pepe Carroll in a first person narrative that is sustained throughout 23 chapters. The story opens in Colombia where Pepe lives in a commune with his Mama, Maria. His Irish father, a musician…

A Library of Lemons

All Calypso has left of her mother is her library – books Calypso can read now, like Anne of Green Gables, and books she is waiting to grow into. Since her mother’s tragic death, her father has shut himself away from the world, and from Calypso, telling her that they need to be able to…

A Little Aloud for Children

This volume is an anthology of poems, stories and extracts for children of unspecified age. Everything about the volume is well-intentioned and all royalties are going to the Reader Organisation. There are about seventy pieces in all, arranged under approximately thirty headings designed to attract young readers, from ‘Sailing Away’ in the beginning to ‘Angels’…

A Nest Full of Stars

Admirers of James Berry’s poetry will find that this new collection continues to fulfil the aspirations voiced in the title poem of his first book, When I Dance, published some fourteen years ago: ‘I’m costumed in a rainbow… And I celebrate all rhythms.’ Here, the rainbow world is as bright and sparkling as ever and…

A Seven Letter Word

Kim Slater’s first novel, Smart, was nominated for a slew of regional and national awards when it was published in 2014. Her second novel is a worthy successor to this award-winning début. A Seven Letter Word is an attractive, chunky hardback with Scrabble-themed jacket and endpapers, and using Scrabble tiles and excerpts from the rules…

A Single Stone

Jena has the most demanding and in-demand job in the village. Naturally small and unnaturally malnourished, she leads the line of girls who crawl into the mountain to harvest mica, the soft mineral that will light and warm the community through winter. Cut off years ago by a rockfall, the villagers know no world beyond…

A Trap in Time

Celia Rees writes that she is, ‘interested in the way the past underlies the present’, and in this trilogy she has created a ghostly city in parallel to the present one. This, the second in book in the trilogy, is an adventure in which Davey Williams, and his sister and cousins, move from the present…

A Walk in Paris

Salvatore Rubbino has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and various other awards. This book is the third in a series, the others dealing with New York and London. A young girl is being shown Paris by her grandfather. They visit all the main sights and we see Paris through her eyes, in all…

A Whisper of Horses

Serendipity always treasured her toy horse, but she could only ever dream of seeing a real one. Everyone knows that horses went extinct during the Gases. Serendipity lives in Lahn Dan, a totalitarian city state built on the rubble of London. Life for a lower class citizen is tough, but Serendipity’s a survivor. When her…

A Whisper of Wolves

Alice and Dawn are Whisperers in the world of Meridina. Their charge is to protect the world from the sinister demons the Narlaw. The Narlaw have not been seen in Meridina for so long they have become legend and much of the Whisperer lore has been lost. But now they have returned. Dawn and Alice…

A World of Information

This is a miscellany of the very best kind. Readers will be hooked by facts as varied as differing kinds of knots, different kinds of print, the periodic table of the elements, neap and spring tides, the organs of the body and a whole host of other information. At no point does the trivia seem…

Above and Below

Perfect for nature lovers, this lift-the-flap book gives a summary of many ecosystems on our planet presented alongside luscious illustrations of flora and fauna. From the rainforest to the savannah, we get an A-Z of natural habitats. We are presented a generalised list of the creatures and plants that occupy these areas, as well as…

Aesop’s Fables

Fiona Waters (retold) Fulvio Testa   A fable is a short story with a moral, and what better fables are there than Aesop’s. Aesop’s Fables have been around in one form or another since 320BC, and loved by readers of all ages. Children, in particular, love them. It could be said that the fables are…

Africa is My Home – A Child of the Amistad

Home is where the heart is and it doesn’t matter how far away you go if the heart doesn’t follow. There was a time in human history when some never had that choice whether to leave or go and Africa is My Home brings us back to that dark period through the eyes of a…

Against the Tide

This is a one volume trilogy of books about the fisher folk of 19th century Sandwick Bay. Sometimes the same characters or later generations of the same families crop up in each book and because their lives interweave, the stories take on saga-like proportions. A Synge-like mixture of fascination, fear and respect of the sea…

Aidan Abet Teacher’s Pet

Guy Bass, an award-winning author known for his series Stitch Head and Atomic!, is back with another hilarious and peculiar story where a very unpopular teacher’s pet takes on more than he can chew with the arrival of a new teacher. ‘Aidan Abet, teacher’s pet! Peed his pants and now they’re wet!’ These are the…

Alienography 2: Tips for Tiny Tyrants

This is the follow-up title to Alienography: Or How to Spot an Alien Invasion. In the first book, a parody of a fictional work of non-fiction, Riddell directed his attention to aliens and robots. This time, he’s targeted the iconic evil-genius-with-a-giant-head for his lampooning. There are plenty of franchises up for ridicule, with Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5 and Star…

Alistair Grim’s Odd Aquaticum

Grubb is a young apprentice with a difference, for he is apprentice to Alistair Grim, master of the miraculous Odditorium. Grim and his friends are on the run in his spider-like flying machine, wanted for crimes they didn’t commit. To prove their innocence, Grim and his friends must defeat the real villain, the mysterious and…

Alphabet

There are no words in this book, apart from the author's introduction to the work which states briefly "The heroes in this book are the letters of the alphabet….". A winner of a special prize at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, this book is a showcase for one of the world's best illustrators of modern times.…

Amú

Léirmheas le Beití Ní Dhuibhir Buachaill óg is ea é Oisín atá curtha i gcampa ceartúcháin i nGaineamhlach Ghóibí  ag a cuid tuismuitheoirí   agus iad ag súil le feabhas a chur ar a iompar.  Lá éigín socraíonn sé éalú ón gcampa ach  ní mar shíltear a bhítear amuigh i nGaineamhlach Ghóibí . Bíonn an saol amuigh…

Amy Green: Love and Other Drama Ramas

In the fourth book of the series, Amy Green and all her friends and family are all loved up! This includes best friend Mills, who has fallen head over heels for the absolutely gorgeous, swoon-worthy Bailey Otis. With Mum finally having the chance to prove her talents as a writer, quirky Aunt Clover headed off…

An Camán Draíochta

This book tells the story of Cian and his teammates from Scoil Dara as they prepare for the final against Scoil Eoin, hoping to win the elusive trophy for the first time ever. Cian has been selected to play for the school’s hurling team in the upcoming final. A few days before the game he…

An Dragan Feasa

Meallfar léitheoirí óga agus cuirfear iad faoi dhraíocht an scéil mhearluais spreagúil seo faoi dhragain, faoi dhraíocht agus faoi eachtraí spéisiúla- saothar céadfhoilsithe ón údar Rhiannon Watson. Ó thús scéil ina dtugtar briseadh teaghlaigh le fios, cuirtear Seosamh, Laoise agus Máirtín in aithne dúinn, triúr siblíní atá an-difriúil óna chéile ach a bhfuil dlúthchaidream eatarthu…

An Lámh in Uachtar

Is leabhar fiúntach eile ó Futa Fata atá againn in An Lámh in Uachtar, aistrithe ó Fhraincis go Gaeilge ag Máirín Ní Mhárta, ina bhfaighimid léargas ar chuid de na trioblóidí a bhaineann le saol an déagóra chomhaimseartha.   Is í Vicí príomhphearsa an scéil seo, agus nuair a chastar orainn í, níl sí ar fónamh. Tá buachaill…

An Leabhar Órga

Léirmheas le hAisling Ní Fhathaigh Ní féidir mórán eolais a fháil ó chlúdach leabhar Ríona Nic Congáil ach fós féin, b’fhéidir gurbh fhearr sin toisc gur leabhar draíochtúil, drámatúil é a chur faoi gheasa mé ón tús. Is leabhar sraithe atá ann, agus ar dtús cheap mé go mbeadh mearbhall orm é á léamh, ach…

Anyone But Ivy Pocket

Anyone But Ivy Pocket introduces you to the most unlikely and memorable protagonists, a twelve year old maid called Ivy Pocket. As the title suggests she comes across as being a most undesirable individual, but we mustn't judge a book by its cover no matter how tempting it may be. Krisp offers you an insight…

Arrow

“Fairies of the Oak” said Rob. “We are at war”. This book is the third in a series and it starts smack bang in the middle of a plot that seemed pretty involved and a little alienating to someone who hadn’t read the previous two. Perhaps if I had done so, I would have enjoyed Arrow more…

Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf

Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf, the second book in Early’s Father of Lies trilogy, feels as fresh and as vibrant as the original. Three months have passed since Arthur and his friends stopped the trickster god Loki from taking over the world. But just when things seem to be returning to normal Arthur…

Attica

Chloe, Jordy and Alex aren’t entirely pleased when they move into Mr Grantham’s converted house. They have just become step-siblings, aren’t sure how to relate to their new parents, and to top it all off, grumpy Mr Grantham doesn’t seem happy to have children underfoot. Yet when he sends the children up to the attic…

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is a story of a quest with a difference. Aubrey’s fun-loving father, Jim, has fallen under a horrendous spell. Listless and moping, he can barely leave the house and seems to sink further and further under the spell of a mysterious force that Aubrey soon identifies as the Terrible Yoot.…

Avery McShane

Imagine you’re a nine year old boy. Now imagine an American, oil-drilling, ex-pat community in the middle of the Venezuelan jungle. Enter Avery McShane, his best friends – Todd and Billy, and his dog, Mati. They call themselves the Machacas, have a secret hideout, and for fun, go on banana-stealing missions to the local plantation. …

Back to Blackbrick

The fact that the story is told by the main character in the book makes it very compelling. The reader is caught up and involved immediately and can feel all of Cosmo’s emotions as he tries to deal with the fact that his beloved granddad is developing Alzheimer’s and beginning to forget who he and…

Bad, Bad Darlings

In this second book about the Darling children – expert nannies and burglars – the family are sailing off for a life of luxury in Florida, aboard the Bad Ship Kleptomaniac. But their plans for leaving behind a life of crime suffer a setback when the ship runs aground on a desert island. With the…

Billie and the Parent Plan

Dissatisfied with her new domestic scene, Billie Stubbs, who is nearly 11 years old, masterminds a plan to be adopted by her best-friend’s family. Her mother has just married a man old enough to be Billie’s grandfather, resulting in an uncool and shameful departure for Billie. In Billie’s sweetly devious fashion, the plan goes a…

Bird

Bird is full of interesting ingredients. The story is narrated by Jewel who has grown up in a deeply unhappy household. Her silent, taciturn grandfather and her mournful father are Jamaican. They believe in totems, curses, duppies and restless spirits. Jewel’s more rational but equally depressed mother is from Mexico, a culture with its own magic,…

Blister

Alyssa Reed is an ordinary 10-year-old girl looking forward to the birth of her baby sister. Her parents and grandmother Daisy G. hope that the baby will be a new start for the whole family, which has had its share of troubles. But when little Lila Rose is stillborn, Alyssa’s world begins to fall apart.…

Blood Oath (Gladiator School: Book 1)

A story set in Ancient Rome with many contemporary echoes. Lucius’s world disintegrates when his father, Aquila, disappears having been accused of being a traitor. The family is forced to leave their villa and are helped by Uncle Ravilla. Quintus, Lucius’s elder brother, becomes a trainee gladiator and Lucius becomes a messenger at the Gladiator…

Bloodline

Part of Barrington Stoke’s ‘Dyslexia Friendly’ series of books for teenagers, Bloodline tells the story of Finbarr, who is enduring a normal Saturday with his father, his granddad and ‘Grag’, his great-grandfather. As they eat chips and watch TV in silence, a girl bursts into the house. She has stolen cash and decides to hold them hostages…

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is the sequel to Allan Borough’s Ironheart, which introduces the characters of India Bentley and Verity Brown, tech-hunters in a post-apocalyptic world. Knowledge of the first book is really essential to get full enjoyment from this story, as new comers will find it hard to grasp what exactly has occurred leading up to the…

Blue Moon Day

Blue Moon Day is a collection of short stories, each separated by part of a single story, like layers in a delicious and satisfying cake.  This overarching story is about a girl who, once in a blue moon, concocts a reason to stay home from school to read. She accompanies her mum in the car…

Bóthar an tSíoda

Léirmheas le Daríona McClafferty Tá an leabhar seo dírithe ar Bhóthar an tSíoda ón Eoraip  go dtí an tSín agus ar an stair a bhaineann leis. Tá sé leagtha amach go soiléir. Tá gach ceann de na sleachta gearr agus dírithe ar thopaicí áirithe. Tosaíonn an leabhar le dlúthcheangal idir Bóthar an tSíoda, an Eoraip  agus…

Bright Lights

Chapman’s novel is the juvenile equivalent of chick-lit, presenting to its audience of pre-adolescent girls a volume which is superficial, undemanding and founded on conventional and well-worn fantasies. Sophie, the 11-year-old narrator, longs to act, and fittingly, given this sub-teen romance, secures the leading role in a film version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, A…

Brilliant

A Black Dog, depression, hangs over Dublin as recession bites – and only children can stop it. Uncle Ben has just lost his job and his house, and has moved in with Gloria and Raymonds’ parents. The children love Uncle Ben, and decide to help him to get rid of the Black Dog and recover…

Brind and the Dogs of War

The cover of this book, with its ‘fantasy art’ styled airbrushing of a boy in rags standing beside a fearsome hound, in front of the backdrop of a raging battle, excited me immensely. As did the subtitle – ‘Born a boy. Raised with dogs. Became a hero.’ Inside the cover, however, I was surprised (and…

Candyfloss

You can’t miss the bright pink and gold cover, designed as usual by Nick Sharratt, for the latest Jacqueline Wilson book, Candyfloss. The complications in young Flora Barnes’s life are flagged early in the story – in the first line in fact – when we hear that Flora has two birthdays in one week; one…

Casper Candlewacks: Attack of the Brainiacs!

“Casper is the only non-idiot in Corne-on-the-Kobb, and that’s why he’s interesting”. Ivan Brett has taken the idea of the village idiot and turned it on its head. Poor Casper lives in a village of idiots, and as the only sensible lad around whenever there is a mystery to be solved it’s down to him…

Catch Your Death: Ruby Redfort, Book 3

Ruby Redfort, a child genius and code-cracking agent for the mysterious Spectrum, is not content with juggling her cryptography and her day to day activities as a normal thirteen-year-old. She wants to be a field agent but she’s finding the outdoor survival training a challenge. Not only is she failing for the first time in…

Chasing Vermeer

I must admit I had already bought and read this book prior to being asked to review it for Inis. It shouted at me from among the pile of recently published children’s books in my local bookshop; I just fell in love with the look of it, the jacket illustration, the maps, the unusual bookmark,…

Cherry Green Story Queen

Have you ever felt like you were part of the wrong story? That’s exactly what it’s like for Mia, Billy, Juno and Kyle (who is a different story altogether). Stuck in a foster home, they all long for a different story to their lives… and they know they’ll just have to live with what they’ve…

Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise

Geoff Rodkey was the screenwriter for the films RV and Daddy Day Care, but his transition to writing novels brings forth a very different kind of story. There’s no Robin Williams or Eddie Murphy style characters here (hooray!). Instead, we have bloodthirsty pirates, heart-breaking romance and a cabin boy called Guts. Set in a world very similar to…

Clarice Bean, That’s Me

The work of author/illustrator Lauren Child needs no introduction; the appeal of the wonderfully creative, Charlie and Lola books having travelled the globe in both print and film. Clarice Bean, too, has already established herself as quite a teenage icon in the children's book world. Clarice Bean, That's Me, however, has only just made it…

Climbing A Monkey Puzzle Tree

This account of a 12-year-old Canadian schoolgirl set adrift in a third-rate English boarding school some time in the late sixties takes considerable risks with its style and its structure. Essentially it explores crises of identity and the uses of fantasy and imagination as either a help towards or a hindrance to teenage self-knowledge. The…

Cloud Busting

It comes as no surprise to learn that Cloud Busting won a Smarties Silver Book Award. It’s a cautionary school tale in verse on a familiar topic – an uncool new boy, a growing secret friendship, cruelty, betrayal, and finally, a heart-sore lesson. But it’s the mastery of the telling, and the apparent effortlessness of…

Cogheart

Thirteen-year-old Lily is left alone when her inventor father goes missing, presumed dead, after a Zeppelin crash. Previously, Lily had been injured and her mother killed in a steam-wagon accident. However, Lily realises that there is more to these incidents and decides to investigate. She is joined by Robert, a clock-maker’s son, and Malkin, a…

Coming to England

In Coming to England Floella Benjamin recounts the emigration of her family from the idyllic island of Trinidad to England. The book chronicles her life in Trinidad where she was born and lived until the age of 11. Benjamin gives a utopian glimpse into the beautiful family house, the wonderfully fragrant markets, the school and…

Countess Markievicz: An Adventurous Life

This volume of the Easter Rising Centenary In a Nutshell series focuses on Countess Constance Markievicz, the woman made famous by her involvement in the fight for Irish Independence. In this short biography Ann Carroll leads us through Markievicz’s life, from wealthy origins in rural Sligo, to her marriage to the Polish Count Casimir Markievicz,…

Curse of Kings (The Trials of Oland Born, Book 1)

Curse of Kings has an atmospheric start with a prologue that introduces the main antagonist and heralds the start of an oppressive era for the Kingdom of Decresian. The fantasy storyline is familiar. The protagonist, Oland Born, is given a quest to save the kingdom from the corrupt Villius Ren and travels through unknown country to…

Danger is Really Everywhere

Danger is everywhere or at least it would be if it weren’t for the world’s leading dangerologist, ‘Docter’ Noel Zone. With ‘Docter’ Noel to guide us we just might make it through life alive. In this third book in the Danger is Everywhere series, O’Doherty and Judge take their antidote to the bubble-wrapped world we…

Darkmouth: Chaos Descends

Full of danger, intrigue but also lots of humour, Chaos Descends is the third part of Shane Hegarty’s thrilling Darkmouth series. Ten months after almost destroying both Darkmouth and the Infected Side in order to rescue his dad, Finn is getting ready to take part in his completion ceremony, and become a real Legend Hunter,…

Death and the Arrow

I will begin by nailing my colours to the mast: I am not a fan of the murder mystery, and never even got into the whole Hardy Boys thing when I was a young reader; but I have to confess that I really enjoyed this book. Chris Priestley has managed to create a thoroughly engaging…

Death of a Chimney Sweep

Leading his blind brother Sammy along the murkier bank of the Thames, young Alfie finds the body of Joe, a small chimney-sweep boy he’d met briefly earlier in the day. The boy had been incoherent with terror and appeared to be running for his life. Now he has obviously failed in his race from his…

Diamond (Hetty Feather)

Diamond is only eight years of age when she is sold by her cruel father to a circus. There, the sinister clown Beppo forces her to do acrobatics, ‘cricking’ her legs by bending them backwards and causing her unspeakable pain and misery. Only for the kind Madame Adeline and Mister Marvo, Diamond doesn’t know how…

Divided City

The fantasy-mill continues to grind on, producing its numerous lookalike fictions. How grateful we should be, then, that there are some writers whose creativity is grounded in reality. Theresa Breslin’s latest novel is firmly based in a tradition of social truth-telling that goes back to Defoe. The story is a skillfully plotted page-turner, mainly concerned…

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Anthology

When asked to review this book I admit I squealed quite a bit, did a little dance, gushed out my yeses and did an even bigger dance as if no one was looking (luckily they weren’t). I say this to explain that I’m reviewing it from a certain position – that of a Whovian since…

Dodger

Terry Pratchett’s new book is definitely one to read again and again (and again!). Set in Victorian London, it follows a ‘tosher’ named Dodger, an orphan who makes a living searching for coins and valuables in the city’s sewers. One night he witnesses the beating of a young girl and intervenes, and so begins a…

Donna Wilson’s Creative Creatures: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Own Creations

Meet Donna Wilson’s knitted friends Ralf and Rill, Olive Owl, and all other creatures of this  lovely illustrated story and craft book. The book starts with sewing tips for beginners and step-by-step instructions are offered for each project. All the instructions are easy to follow and the end result is very satisfying. The materials for…

Don’t Eat This Book

This is an activity book with a difference: it is totally crazy. The instructions on one page suggest “Make this runny” – Run paint down this page in different colours. Let it dry. Add more. The following page starts with a warning: "Don’t ever turn to the next page". Of course, I did turn the…

Double Trouble

The second in Judi Curtin’s Friends Forever series, Double Trouble features a second trip back through time for Lauren and her cat Saturn. This time, however, her friend Tilly joins her for an adventure in ancient Rome. The girls become separated from Saturn, without whom they cannot return home, and they are sold as slaves…

Dunger

Joy Cowley appropriately titled this novel Dunger: an old car, anything out of date and useless. For our two protagonists, Will, aged eleven, and Lissy, aged fourteen, those objects described as a dunger whether they be people, place or thing are to be pitied and detested. Will and Lissy are typical tweens and teens – they place great…

Earwig and the Witch

This posthumously published novella by Diana Wynne Jones is typical of her late style and a poignant reminder of what we have lost. Written in brisk, no-nonsense prose, it tells the story of young Earwig, an orphan with a giantsized ego living contentedly in an orphanage where she always gets her own way.  Kidnapped by a middle-aged witch looking for an extra…

Ed and the River of the Damned

This is a graphic novel in paperback format. It tells the tale of teenager Ed, whose friend Zack comes to stay in his less than ideal London home. Ed’s mother has left and has been replaced by a stepmother who is more ‘step’ than ‘mother’. When Zack gets seduced by narcotic nirvana in London’s punk…

Emerald Star

Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and gentlemen and children and all, I present to you Emerald star! After two book-worthy tales of her life story Hetty Feather is back, and this time, after recovering from her mother’s death, she’s on a mission to find her father… only to discover that his life in the small…

Etiquette and Espionage

Sophronia Temminick is not a proper young lady – she prefers climbing and mischief to proper manners or pretty dresses. So when her mother sends her to a Finishing Academy, she presumes it won’t at all be her cup of tea. But Mademoiselle Geraldine’s school isn’t just about how to properly curtsy – it’s a…

Even My Ears are Smiling

Weighing in at 121 pages and 86 poems, this new book from Rosen is not so much a collection as a poetry bonanza. Quentin Blake has illustrated previous collections, including the similarly titled Bananas In My Ears. On this occasion Babette Cole does the honours…in a style reminiscent of Quentin Blake. In fact, isn’t that…

Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown

Evie is back! And not only has a man arrived, claiming to be her father and wanting to be part of her life, but she must also cope with being the new girl in her middle school. And this being Evie, neither problem runs smoothly. Sheila Agnew has again made Evie a likeable narrator, prone to making mistakes, yet genuinely…

Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing & Believing

The human eye can be tricked, fooled into seeing something that isn't there. Optical illusions are amazing images that confound the eye and boggle the brain. This book explores these images and the vision related aspect of neuroscience. The interaction between the eyeballs and the brain, connected via the optic nerves, forms the vision system.…

Falling Out of the Sky : Poems About Myths and Monsters

This bespoke anthology boasts twenty-eight poems, drawing on various traditions, beginning, ending, and liberally peppered throughout with those from the ever-charismatic world of Greek mythology. But we also get subjects from old English, Norse, Aztec, Arthurian and Balinese sources, together with a smattering of saints.   Youngsters are  introduced here to a colourful, capricious and…

Feather Boy

‘Norbert No-Brain’, Norbert No-Bottle’ – that’s what Niker, talented, goodlooking and a bully, calls Robert Nobel. But Robert, unusual in appearance and physically weak, can fly, or that’s what his ‘Elder’, Edith Sorrel, tells him. Mrs Sorrel is a resident of the local old people’s home with which Robert’s class joins in a project based…

Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero

In this futuristic page-turner, the world is flooded after the Rising of the waters, and ruled over by the sinister Terra Firma and its ruthless leader, Chilstone. Fenn Halflin is a Seaborn, rescued as a baby after the capture and murder of his rebel parents and, even now more than a decade later, Chilstone’s giant…

Finding Fortune

When Ida’s father decides to go to Klondike and join in the gold rush, she is determined to go with him and avoid the boarding school her stern grandmother is trying to send her to. She plans to stow away, and join her Fa on his great adventure. Together they undertake long voyages, cross treacherous…

Finding the Fox

This is the first novel in a series called The Shapeshifter. The narrative is abundant with so many themes that the reader has to concentrate on all that’s occurring in the story. Dax Jones is an 11-year-old boy, living with his stepmother and half-sister, leading an ordinary life until suddenly he finds himself changing into…

Finn at Clee Point

Finn at Clee Point delights on many levels. The story centres around Finn and his friendship with the Finer family who are outcasts from the little fishing village. Forbidden by his parents to associate with Davey Finer, Finn is defiant and revels in the friendship. This is a coming of age story in which Finn examines…

Flesh and Bone

The world as they knew it has changed for Nix, Benny, Lilah and Chong. They are travelling through Ruin together. Is there any hope that some of their old world has survived? They have heard an engine in the sky. Could it be a jet? The four main characters are clearly defined.  All have their…

Flush

Miami crime writer Carl Hiaasen’s second thriller for children has a gross-out plot likely to appeal especially to boys, and a vivid cast of shady characters, told with Hiaasen’s trademark energy and humour. When noah’s dad lands in jail for trying to expose the owner of a gambling boat who’s dumping raw sewage into the…

Fluttering their way into my head

Among Gabriel Rosenstock’s many accomplishments is his mastery of the haiku as a form and a way of life. This is his latest book of and about the tiny verse-form, an expanded version of an Irish-language book from early in 2014. It’s aimed at young people, and specifically addresses teenagers. It deserves a wider audience,…

Fortunately the Milk

Gaiman’s latest book is an entertaining story about a Dad who goes to the grocery store to buy some milk and has an absurd adventure on his return trip. There is a time-traveling dinosaur, some umpires, a couple intelligent ponies and of course pirates.  Gaiman is known for his intriguing plots and great storytelling and…

Four Stupid Cupids

This is a funny and endearing story for children in the middle years, the latest in Gregory Maguire’s series set in a classroom in Vermont, where all the girls (except one) belong to the Tattletales club and all the boys to the Copycats. It is a story for Valentine’s Day, and begins when one of…

Frank Einstein And The Electro-Finger

Frank Einstein, kid-genius and inventor, is investigating energy. His first experiment involves a wool rug and Watson’s nose. When Watson, Frank’s best friend, tests his peashooter, a plastic BB hits the ceiling. Coincidentally, the roof collapses due to Grandpa Al’s attempt to construct a windmill. Grandpa Al wants to go off-grid and generate his own…

Fyre

Fyre is the seventh and final book in the Septimus Heap series, following Septimus Heap in his journey from apprentice to one day becoming an ExtraOrdinary Wizard. If you have not read any of the previous books, Fyre gives enough information for new readers to easily follow the main plot, but longterm readers will fully appreciate the level of detail and the backstories…

Gathering Blue

An interesting story set in the distant future. Lois Lowry has created a complete and convincing society with great skill. It is a fascinating, non-technological society, primitive in its day-to-day workings and yet complex in structure and customs. Kira, the protagonist, has an outstanding, indeed magical, talent with a needle and is taken to Council…

Geis – A Matter of Life & Death

A geis is a mythological Gaelic curse, under which you must obey certain rules and limitations or suffer the consequences. But rules are always broken and that’s when it gets interesting. On her deathbed, the great leader Matarka has decreed a contest to decide who will succeed her. After her passing, fifty random citizens are…
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