Reviewer:

Samantha Murphy

Book Cover - The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries - Drama and Danger

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger

Though they come from totally different backgrounds, Lizzie and Belle are drawn together by their similarities: both highly intelligent, they share a hunger for truth and a fearlessness that drives this story on at a breakneck gallop.

Book Cover - Pixels of You

Pixels of You

This graphic novel explores relationships, technology and the multifaceted nature of young adult life. From the outset, the reader is launched headfirst into the world of the novel. The tone is mature, and the creators skilfully portray an entire city and a world within the first few pages. The clear lines and use of sombre colour create a cloudy and equivocal tone that permeates the story.

Book Cover - The Pearl Thief

The Pearl Thief

The Pearl Thief takes the reader on a thrilling adventure, rich in culture, identity and love. Set in the summer of 1938, the Scottish murder-mystery immediately grabs the attention of the reader. Julie’s final summer in Strathfearn house is sure to be a memorable one. However, an unlikely chain of events, beginning with a vicious riverside attack, changes not only the course of the summer, but also the course of many interwoven lives, in a truly unpredictable way.

Book Cover - Message from the Moon and other poems

Message from the Moon and other poems

Hilda Offen’s poems are as enjoyable as her illustrations, any reader would be hard pushed to say which they prefer. Wonderful stories are created through the clever coupling of powerful phrasing and intelligent illustrations. The minimalist and simple style of the illustrations allow the reader to find meaning easily within the clever cartoons. Offen uses simple black lines which are clear and to the point.

Book Cover - The Tiger on his Back

The Tiger on his Back

Barrington Stoke specialise in books suitable for emergent, reluctant and dyslexic readers. Ashley utilises clear, vivid and succinct language to create a coming of age story which is brief and to the point. Though short, the text contains important themes such as self-identity, honesty and independence.

Book Cover - Spies

Spies

Gallagher strikes again! Spies, like many of Gallagher’s other works, can be described as a thrilling, utterly delectable journey into the past. The reader is plunged head first out of the frying pan and into the fire from page one, and the fast-paced action-packed story continues from there.

Book Cover - The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

In the second instalment of Cowell’s The Wizards of Once, the adventures of Wish, a Warrior girl in possession of a powerful Magic Spelling Book, and Xar, a Wizard boy with a dangerous Witchstain on his hand, continue. Cowell masterfully creates a universe full of fearsome beasts who keep the story fast paced and firing on all cylinders.

Book Cover - The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is a graphic novel which may introduce readers to some very challenging topics and questions around gender, equality and violence. From the outset the female gender of the protagonist presents as a problem, in a male dominated and controlled world. The dark shades of colour throughout the panels reinforce the sombre, melancholy mood created by the words. An intertextual discourse runs throughout the work, striking a delicate balance between moments of clarity, and moments in which the reader must infer.

Book Cover - Myth Match: A Fantastical Flipbook of Extraordinary Beasts

Myth Match: A Fantastical Flipbook of Extraordinary Beasts

Myth Match contains a store of beautiful beastly characters that can be flipped forward and backward again and again to produce different images and texts depicting entirely new creatures. Over one thousand possible combinations can be created. Why have a dragon when you can have a draken – half-dragon, half-kraken?

Book Cover - Tin

Tin

Tin takes the reader on a journey through a reimagined 1930s England, an England full of mechanicals. Kenny recreates this historical period convincingly, and the mechanical elements of society are worked into the storyline seamlessly. Christopher, the protagonist, shares the limelight with several other characters – Jack, Rob, Estelle and Cormier – creating a journey full of collaboration. When a terrible accident occurs, the world is turned upside down for Christopher, and Estelle and the mechanicals must work together to save him.