book review

The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

Rating: 5 stars

“That night, a bright little bird flew high overhead. Each beat of its wings made a patch of the stars flicker out, and another made them flicker back on.”

The above quote is on the front of the proof of this book, and as soon as I read it (coupled with the wonderful use of silver gilding), I was gripped, hook, line and sinker (yes, I am grasping at straws with a fish related pun).

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In a small town called Allora, where the houses are painted in beautiful colours and fish fly out of the sea, Alberto lives in a house on the top of the hill. Originally a carpenter, he is forced to become a coffin maker when a plague sweeps through the town, taking with it his wife and 3 children.

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book review

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

Rating: 4 stars

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I read The Red Necklace for the first time years ago and ever since I had a conversation with a manager at work about it I had been desperate to give it, and the sequel The Silver Blade, another read.

Set just before the French Revolution begins to take hold of France, The Red Necklace follows the story of a group of magicians and a rich Marquis – and how the two overlap in a harrowing turn of events.  Continue reading “The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner”

book review

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

Rating:  4 stars

“At a certain level, it could be described as The Secret Garden on acid.” – I may have been heard to say this. Maybe.

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‘Wed Wabbit. Don’t laugh, he’s dangerous.’

With the above tagline and the published cover, I found myself hesitant to pick this book up. Don’t ask me why – there was no logic (as far as I could tell). It was only when a manager suggested I read this (“I’ve put Wed Wabbit near your bag”, aka me picturing the book slowly creeping towards my belongings at work, before jumping into my bag with an evil laugh), and, knowing full well how spot on she can be with recommendations (seriously, it’s a sight to behold), I thought I should give it a go. Continue reading “Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans”

book review

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

After Kiran’s success at the British Book Awards on Monday (she deservedly won Children’s Book of the Year for The Girl of Ink and Stars), I realised I hadn’t got round to posting this review.

Rating: 5 stars

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Before I begin this review, please allow me to drool over the physical beauty that is this book. The cover, the endpapers, and the beautiful butterfly illustrations at the start of each chapter – it is a delight for the eyes, and that is even before you begin to read the text! Reader, you cannot say we’re not spoiled. Continue reading “The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave”

book review

The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris

Rating: 5 stars

“When she opened the covers she found within its pages princes and princesses, witches and wizards, captive and waiting to be released by reading.”

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I was fortunate enough to be given this book as a Christmas present from work, and oh my word – it is wonderful. Not only is it a sight to behold, with gilded lettering and beautiful illustrations, but it is magical inside too. Between the pages of this book is a stunning, lyrical re-telling of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, and I was spellbound by it.

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book review

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

Rating: 3.5 stars

Before I begin: holy moly, this proof is beautiful! The colours of the cover and sprayed edges make it a visual feast. All of the heart eyes.

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Tash lives in Tibet under strict rules – don’t run in front of a soldier, never look at a soldier, say as little as possible, and never, ever say the banned words: Dalai Lama. A little reckless, very headstrong – but with her heart firmly in the right place – Tash and her best friend, Sam, are desperate to help her parents by joining the resistance and report all the unspeakable truths to the world. But when a scene in the marketplace causes Tash’s parents to be taken by soldiers, she and Sam set off on a dangerous mission to get to the border, to get to India, and to get to the Dalai Lama.

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book review

Good Dog McTavish by Meg Rosoff

Rating: 4 stars

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Barrington Stoke, who published this book, state that it is Super Readable – and I have to say, I completely agree. As one of the leading names (to my knowledge, so please don’t quote me on that) in publishing books designed for people with dyslexia, visual stress, and print-access issues, Barrington Stoke creates books for all ages, printed on slightly thicker paper (so no bleed through of words) and with a super readable (see what I did there?) font, to help everyone and anyone enjoy the wonder of reading.

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book review

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 4.5 stars

“She would be strong and she would be weak, and both would be okay.”

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In a land where colour equals magic, and where flowers are the preferred snack of many, Alice Queensmeadow stands out. With her lack of pigmentation to hair, eyes and skin, she distinctly feels like she does not fit in. Despite this, she is determined to prove that she is as magical as everyone else in Ferenwood, and what better time to do exactly that, than at the upcoming Surrender ceremony, where all 12 year olds must display their magical talent. However, for Alice, her father’s disappearance over 3 years ago tugs her away from the path every other 12 year old seems destined to take, and instead she embarks on an adventure to find her father, accompanied by Oliver, someone (irritatingly good at magic) from Alice’s past.

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