S4S – Books to take on an autumn walk

Hello loves and lovers alike!

How are we all on this chilly Newcastle Sunday? What have you been up to today? Anything of note? I’ve been into town to get my eyebrows threaded and then I met my friend for a coffee. I’m posting this and then I’m off to get myself a cup of tea and mark my Maths books (thilling life of a teacher guys!)

If you’ve popped by its because you’re curious about today’s #SixforSunday post! Today we are taking on more Autumn realness with:

Books you’d like to take on an autumn walk

So I’m going for books I wanna take on an autumn walk because I wanna talk to the main characters about their life choices, ha!

State of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
I wanna go for an autumn walk with Luvain Fen. Enough said.

I, Cosmo – Carlie Sorosiak
Let’s be real, who is going to love a walk more than Cosmo? He deserves to go ona  brilliant little walk because he’s the best doggo there is!

Against All Gods – Maz Evans
I’d love to take Elliot for a walk to talk to him about what happened. I think he needs a hug and someone to listen to him, and I’d like to be that person!

Over the Top – Jonathan van Ness
I think going for a walk with JVN would be the most incredible walk ever. I think he’s absolutely wonderful and I’d learn so much about the world, his life and I can imagine it would be a very empowering walk… I’d come out full of self confidence and self care tips, and maybe even a brilliant haircut!

Jemima Small versus The Universe – Tamsin Winter
I wanna go for a walk with Jemima for 2 reasons. One: she’s s clever that I bet she could teach me a thing or two. Two: I wanna tell her that there’s people in the world who won’t judge her based on what she looks like; that she’s brave and brilliant and that she can do and achieve whatever she wants in life.

Scythe – Neal Shusterman
I’d love to go for a walk with any of the scythes to be honest, just to talk to them about what their job is like. However, I think Scythe Faraday would be my first choice because I just think he’s wonderful. 

So there we go! The 6 books (characters, I cheated, sue me) that I’d like to go on an autumn walk with! I’m loving seeing your responses to this prompt so far, so keep them coming! Remmeber to tag me on twitter (@eenalol) and use the hashtag #SixforSunday so I can keep track of your brilliant posts.

See you all next week for Autumnal covers!

S x

BLOG TOUR: Christopher Pumpkin

Hi pals!

Today is an exciting day! Today I’m part of the Christopher Pumpkin blog tour and I’m sharing with you my perfect Halloween playlist! I loved the idea of doing something a little bit different when I was emailed from the publishers… and naturally the playlist was the first thing I wanted to grab! 

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Christopher Pumpkin is the latest book from Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, illustrated by Nick East publishes with us this week. This book is the absolutely adorable and brilliant. Chris is the one pumpkin from a witch’s enchanted patch who goes rogue when helping with party planning. When seeking assistance from her pumpkin patch the witch gets lots of spooky and slimy support from all except Chris… Chris loves all things pink, glittery and fluffy. Readers see how Chris makes the party planning his own, creating the scariest party the witch and her friends have seen yet!

I’ve already bought a copy of this for school to go in our Spooky Reads display in our library! 

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So… a Halloween playlist?! While I’m not the biggest Halloween fan, I love a good playlist, so I’ve put together 10 songs that I think are PERFECT for any Halloween party!

  • Thriller by Michael Jackson (obv)
  • Disturbia by Rihanna
  • Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Black Magic – Little Mix
  • Dark Horse – Katy Perry
  • Bring Me To Life – Evanescence
  • Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  • Ghostbusters Theme Song
  • Judas – Lady Gaga
  • Thriller/Heads will Roll – Glee version!

There’s a lovely mix of songs on there… although I don’t think anyone will be inviting me to be in charge of the playlists any time soon. 

What would you put on your Halloween playlist?
Are there any songs on my list you love?
Are you also in love with Christopher Pumpkin as I am?

Talk to me!

Massive thank you to the publishers, Hachette, for the review copy and the opportunity to be on the blog tour! Full review coming soon! 

S x 

BLOG TOUR: The Ghouls of Howlfair

Hello hello hello friends!

How are you all? I know, I know I’ve already posted today… but today is one of those special days here at A Little But A Lot: a TWO POST DAY! 

I was invited to be part of the blog tour for The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson and I absolutely jumped at the chance! This book is absolutely perfect for our upcoming SPOOKY time of year… and I tell you now, my kids are ABSOLUTELY devouring it! We can’t get enough of it – so much so there’s a waiting list for the book!

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Nick has been lovely enough to provide some content all about . I’m a massive fan of hearing about the inspiration behind stories, so this piece was SPOT ON for me! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

The Story Behind Howlfair

To me, Howlfair isn’t so much a place as a kind of mental scrapbook where I’ve put every silly ghost story I’ve made up since I was four.  In The Ghouls of Howlfair, it’s a very quaint, eerie tourist town nestling in the spooky Ethelhael Valley, cut off from the rest of England.  It has sinister trees and plants you won’t find anywhere else – darksbane, tangle-trees, Judas Root – and it also has more scary legends that anywhere in the world.  Every street and building, it seems, commemorates some ghastly folk tale about the Dark Days of Howlfair’s history, back when monsters (supposedly) terrorised the town.

My main character – stubborn, serious historian Molly Thompson – has lived here all her life, and she’s obsessed with finding out the truth behind the legends.  Unlike almost everyone else in town, Molly thinks that the legends might be true.  As she discovers, they’re not only true, but they’re starting to come true once more!

According to Howlfair folklore, some greedy miners came to the valley centuries ago in search of precious jewels.  They dug too deep, and supposedly exposed a secret gateway to hell.  A mysterious mist seeped from the mine and transformed locals into vampires and werewolves and zombies.  In the Dark Days that followed, the people of Howlfair formed monster-fighting Orders and Guilds to drive back waves of supernatural attacks, giving rise to vast numbers of scary camp-fire tales.

Nowadays, though, the people of Howlfair think that there must be a sensible explanation for the old stories.  The mysterious mist, they claim, was probably just a noxious gas that caused wildlife to mutate.  The creepy landmarks have become silly tourist attractions (like the infamous Loonchance Manor, home of Howlfair’s Ghoul Tour) and monster-themed gift shops.  But some people – including Molly Thompson – think that something supernatural really did show up in Howlfair centuries ago, and (more to the point) it never really left.  And because nobody in town knows the scary old stories nearly as well as Molly, she’s the only person who can figure out a way to save the town when the monsters from the legends start turning up again.

Howlfair isn’t based on any particular place – over the decades I’ve dreamt up lots of tales about hauntings and werewolves and ghouls, and the different spooky settings for them slowly formed in my imagination.  However, I’ve always been a bit obsessed with haunted places, and a few years ago my wife and I went on a tour of Britain’s most haunted hotels.  These were hotels I’d read about as a boy in a book called Haunted Britain, and I’d always dreamed of staying in them.  It turned out that I wasn’t as brave as I thought.  I spent pretty much the whole time hiding under duvets shouting WHAT WAS THAT? every time a floorboard creaked.  I’ve tried to capture some of this terror in the book; Molly and her friends aren’t exactly typical brave adventure heroes, and they have lots of WHAT WAS THAT? moments, but they know they must confront their fears if they’re to save Howlfair.  I hope readers enjoy sharing in Molly’s frights as she creeps ever closer to the ghastly secret lurking beneath Loonchance Manor!

A massive thanks to Nick for writing this brilliant piece for us to read. I can’t wait to share all of this with my class… I think they’ll find it incredible! Another massive thank you to publishers for sending me a review copy! I can’t wait to share what we think about this brilliant book in the coming weeks. 

Check out the rest of the blog tour to see what else others are saying about this brilliant, Halloween’y book!

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If you’re interested in The Ghouls of Howlfair, it is out NOW. I can’t recommend it enough! 

Are you a fan of a spooky story?
What’s your favourite thing to learn about an author?
Can you tell me your scariest story?

Talk to me in the comments… although don’t scare me too much! 

S x 

BLOG TOUR: Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System

WELCOME TO WORLD SPACE WEEK.
Settle in for a review of a book filled with stars, surprises and SUNthing wonderful!

Sorry for the cheesy opening! Today I’m here with a review of an absolutely beautiful non-fiction book I was sent! I’m honoured to be part of the blog tour to share this book because it is going down a STORM at school and I know it’s going to be VERY popular with teachers and children alike! 

Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System

“This mind-blowing book invites readers to join BBC presenter and renowned space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (MBE) on an epic journey through the Solar System – visiting planets, moons, asteroids and satellites, and travelling to places where no human has been before.

Along the way, kids can discover how we could live on Mars, learn about the hunt for a mysterious super-Earth, have a snowball fight on Mercury, climb the tallest mountain in the Solar System and much, much more. From spotting solar flares on the Sun to exploring objects at the edge of the icy Oort Cloud, this fun, action-packed title leaves no question unanswered and no meteorite unturned.”

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This book is an absolute victory in the way in which it teaches children about our wonderfully complicated solar system. It’s told as a tour of the solar system with Dr Maggie telling us everything she knows as she goes on. In recent years, there’s been an insurgence of beautiful non-fiction books and this one absolutely has a place to live in that category. There’s so much information jam packed into this book that there is always something new and interesting to be learning about the solar system. As you can see from the contents page (above), the tour takes us all around space visiting our own planet, to planets far away and gives children an insight into so much in between. 

With information packed on gorgeously laid out spread, it can be sometimes easy to be overwhelmed, but this book does it so well that the children have been loving it! It is certainly inspiration for when we do our own information books about space! This book fits perfectly into my life as the Y5 teacher as we study Space in Science! 

This book breaks down some really complicated science into bitesize chunks that children can process and use. There’s beautiful graphics and illustrations aplenty to enhance what is a BLOODY EXCELLENT science book. For teachers (like me) who feel like they don’t really know their stuff about Space, this would be a great read to maybe enhance knowledge. I certainly learned a few things about Space as I read! I loved that this book also has the potential to create some wonderful questions and talking points in a classroom!

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As a school, we are having a push on vocabulary (as I think most schools are) and I was delighted to look in the back and see an accessible and scientific glossary in the back. There is nothing better for inquisitive minds than a glossary they can read and access! I love how simplistic, yet scientific, this glossary is! 

If you’re looking for a brilliant book all about space, this is definitely one I would look out for. It’s out now and I promise you, it is brilliant!

Dr Maggie Blog Tour

A massive thank you to the publishers, Michael O’Mara books, for sending me a review copy and for inviting me on the blog tour… I can already tell this is going to be a book that my children and I love for many years to come! 

Would you like to visit space?
Have you got an interesting space fact you can tell me?
What’s something you’ve always wondered about space?

Talk to me in the comments or on twitter! I’d love to know! 

S x 

A-Z of me (part 2)

Happy Monday!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my post last Monday – A-Z of Me (part 1). You are all wonderful. As promised, today is the second part of that blog post. So here we go…

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N – Nebby

This is a word I use ALL the time and it is a word that confuses the hell out of a lot of people. It’s a wonderfully Geordie word which means nosy. It’s one of my favourite Geordie words.

O – Oranges

satsuma

SPECIFICALLY SATSUMAS. GUYS I LOVE SATSUMAS. They don’t get enough love to be honest. I just love them: they’re the perfect amount of sweet and sour. You have to get the ones which are more than yellow than orange though. People often tell me that there’s no difference between satsumas, tangerines and clementines and let me tell you, there is. I LOVE SATSUMAS OK?

P – Pride

 

Now, this isn’t something I talk about very often because I don’t feel like it’s something that I NEED to talk about, nor is it something I’m asked about often. I am incredibly proud of who I am. No, I’m not straight. No, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it all of the time. No, I don’t know how I identify. I am attracted to the people I’m attracted to. 

Q – Quilliams

 

Ha. Those of you who know me will know this is no surprise. So Quilliams is a wonderful teahouse in Newcastle where I am OFTEN found. It’s one of my favourite places to visit. I’m usually found there on a Sunday. I don’t go every Sunday, but I probably go twice a month. I’m not a massive breakfast fan, but when I want a cooked breakfast, then I’ll go to Quilliams. If you’re ever in Newcastle and you want somewhere to go for breakfast, I can not recommend Quilliams enough!

R – Recommending books

2019 loves

I’m very lucky to have this platform and a job which allows me to recommend books which I love the most. I’m also really lucky to have friends who will take on my recommendations (thanks Charlotte) and read them and then let me freak out about them as much as I want. Recommending books and giving them to their “perfect reader” gives me such joy. There’s nothing better as a teacher to give a child a book you think will be perfect for them and then seeing them fall completely for that book. It does happen. It never stops being wonderful.

S – Scarves

This was originally stationery because I LOVE stationery, but now that it’s Autumn, it’s SCARF WEATHER. I bloody love a scarf. So so much. I think I even wrote a whole blog post about it once… you’ll find it here! The bigger, the warmer and the more checky the scarf, the more I love it!

T – Trains

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I bloody love a bit of train travel. If I could travel on trains to everywhere, I think I would. I think living in the North means you have to appreciate train travel because that’s one of the only ways to get to the South (where everything bloody happens). I don’t drive and have no ambition to drive at all, so train travel is my go to. I love a journey down to London because I can get so much reading done, I can do some blog planning or life planning and still have time to have a little snack. Let’s be honest… one of the best bits of going on a train is train snacks. I must say though for all I love travelling on a train I STILL get unbelievable anxiety around train travel… luckily I have some absolute brilliant friends who accept the fact I need to be at the train station an hour before my train. (thanks pals)

U – University

 

(Sunderland graduation 2017//Newcastle graduation 2018)

For those of you who are new around here, you might not know about my journey into teaching, but it wasn’t your usual journey. I didn’t go to uni until I was 25. I wasn’t ready for university when I was 18, so I didn’t go. I worked my arse off at the shoe shop I worked at, and then I left at 20 to go and work in the school I work at now. I worked there for a few years until I was eventually ready to go to university. I did it part time through Sunderland and as exhausting as it was going to university 5-9 every Thursday, it was incredible. I was in a cohort that was really small (I think there were only 14 of us) and we were from such diverse education backgrounds that I learned so so much. Most of the people on my course worked in apprenticeships, so something totally different to my experience. My time at Sunderland helped me gain a degree in Education and then I did a SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) at the school I work in through Newcastle University and the local high school SCITT. It was a GRUELLING year with more essays that I dare to recall, but it was incredible. I FINALLY graduated as a teacher in July 2018 and, despite the fact my journey was not conventional, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The friends I’ve made, the things I’ve learned and the people I met made the whole experience so incredible. Follow your dreams friends. It’s really bloody important that if you’re passionate about something to do it!

V – Vocabulary

Here. I am a MASSIVE fan of learning new words. And a massive fan of teaching new words. One of my favourite things to teach is new words, using them, working out what they mean and trying to get used to it. Learning new words is one of those gorgeous things in life. I have my own little “new vocab” book in my handbag for any time I come across a new word in whatever book I’m reading. There’s something so full of potential with a new word – you might finally have a word for something you’ve never had before. I’m really quite secretly a massive nerd.

W – Writing stories

This is one of my favourite things to do. I don’t do it because I want to be published one day, oh no. I don’t think I have that kind of story in me to be honest, but whenever I need a model for school for the children to see what I’m looking for, there’s nothing better than coming up with it myself. I think it’s a BRILLIANT thing to do. It keeps my brain ticking over. It gives the kids such wonder and awe to know that I wrote the stories. They’re probably not perfect, but it brings me joy!

(Soz X, but I genuinely can’t think of something for you pal!)

Y – Year 5

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I think ever since I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I knew I wanted to be a teacher of primary school children. I can’t imagine being a secondary teacher – I think they’re a very special group of people who can tolerate teenagers, but I don’t have that skill set. When I qualified, I was asked what my ideal year group was and I genuinely didn’t know. I just knew I wanted to be a teacher. This year sees me being in Year 5 for the second time and I genuinely love it – I think it’s the perfect place for me right now. I would never say no to going to another year group, but I really love being a Year 5 teacher. Year 5 feels where I need to be right now.

Z – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sleep. Sleep is my friend. I’m one of these people who CAN function on 4-5 hours of sleep a day, but I don’t think you’d like to meet me on those days. I try and get 8 hours a night sleep and most nights I succeed. There’s nothing more wonderful than snuggling in bed with my pyjamas on, especially when it’s cold outside!

S4S – Books with leaves on the cover

Hello #SixforSunday pals!

How are you today?

Here we are in #SixforSunday does Autumn weeks! I hope you’ve all had a lovely start to Autumn… all it’s done in Newcastle is rain, so typical Autumn here! However, to cheer us all up, here’s this week’s prompt:

Books with leaves on the cover

I don’t know why I do this to myself because this is HARD.

It’s funny how apart from Circe, all of these books are blue/green. However, there you go… 6 covers with leaves on them! I couldn’t not include Mel and Cosmo (he’s the goodest boy. If you’ve not read this book yet, my god please get on it!)

And that’s it for this week!

See you next week for #SixforSunday Autumn Feels does Books You’d Take On An Autumn Walk!

Thanks for being such brilliant humans!

S x

Library Loves: An announcement!

Hello!

Today is an exciting day. Today I am announcing something very wonderful.

This month, Jess (@ReadByJess) is hosting a month-long celebration of libraries called ‘Library Loves’ and she has invited me to be a co-host. How bloody wonderful is that?!

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Why do we need Library Loves?

The whole aimis to encourage people to support their library by visiting, checking out books, and raising awareness of how much libraries can do for individuals and the community. Whether you’re visiting a local library, or (like me) visiting your school library to check out books, we’d love to know all about it! It’s so lush to share books and as a teacher it’s so important that my kids see me checking out books too!

If you’d like to know more, you can check out Jess’s intro video for everything you need to know about the month.

AN IMPORTANT DATE: Saturday 12th October will be Library Day.

If you’re able to, we’d love for you to join us in visiting your local library on 12th and spread the bookish love.

There will be five challenges that you can take part in on Library Day if you’d like:

  1. Visit a library (in person or digitally)
  2. Encourage a friend to use the library
  3. Check out a book
  4. Produce content related to Library Loves (so a blog post, a YouTube video, tweets, Instagram photos – pretty much anything you can think of)
  5. Read a library book

Head to your local library on Library Day and try to complete as many of the challenges as possible – I know I will be! There’ll also be a lot of library content (whether it’s about my local library or our school library) posted throughout October on this blog!

If that’s not enough Library Loves content for you, I’ll be joined by some wonderful cohosts! You should definitely check out their blogs and see what they’re posting!

Kate @@Reading Through Infinity

Jemima @Be Aware Of Books

Rachael @Rachael Marie’s Book Journey

Olivia @Olivia’s Catastrophe

We’ll be using the hashtag #LibraryLoves across social media, so if you want to join us throughout October, don’t forget to use the hashtag on your posts so we can see them!

Keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram (both @eenalol) for more library related content!

S x

The Lover Book Tag

Hello!

Massive welcome to my Thursday Tag! This week I’m taking on something a little different. My wonderful friend Andrew did this tag, which was created by the wonderful Vicky over at Vicky’s Reads, and he has challenged me to take it on. So here I am taking on… (if you’d like to see Andrew’s answers, check out his post here on Vicky’s blog!)

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Before I get started on this mammoth tag, there are just a few rules if you want to take part in this tag!

  1. Give credit to the creator (that would be ME!)
  2. Tag 5 friends
  3. HAVE FUN!

Now… I’m not the biggest Taylow Swift fan, but she has some banging songs… so let’s get on with this!

I Forgot That You Existed
A book on your TBR that you’d completely forgotten about

So so many! Nothing really springs to my mind, but having had a look, The Matilda Effect is on that list! It sounds like a book right up my street, so I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet (because you forgot about it Steph, duh!)

Cruel Summer
A Perfect Summer Read

I hate this question so much. I’m not great with “summer reads” or even winter reads. I just wanna read all the books all the time. I even in my notes haven’t answered this question…

Lover
Your Favourite Book/Series

It would be criminal of me not to say The Sin Eater’s Daughter because that series truly is one of the best series I’ve ever read. I miss Twylla so much. As a MASSIVE series reader (I’d rather get invested in series than only read standalones), I have SO SO MANY series that could go on this list. As for MG books, you can not get any better than Who Let The Gods Out? series by Maz Evans. They’re just bloody brilliant.

The Man
An Amazing Female Character

A character I’ve fallen massively for this year is Emily from No Big Deal. Emily is me at 17. I read that book very much with a “omg this is me” kind of thing. It’s weird being seen and heard in a book, so I massively appreciated coming across Emily. If you’ve not read No Big Deal yet, please do. It’s such an incredibly important message and it’s proper good. (Plus Bethany Rutter is a BABE)

The Archer
A book from your childhood because you never grew up

This is another one I could’ve had many many answers for because I have ALWAYS been a reader. I don’t know anything but how to be a reader. I loved Matilda, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Garden, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid. I think I’d love to relive these stories again and again.

I Think He Knows
A book everyone knows you love!

Lol, I think this is OBVIOUSLY going to be Mel or Maz. Any of the Mel books, any of the Maz books. I love them both.

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince
A book that makes you so sad, you could paint the town blue

Again… there’s so so so many. However, I can not get this question and not mention Countless by Karen Gregory. I read this book maybe a year and a half ago and still now thinking about it makes me emotional.

Paper Rings
Your favourite OTP

Man. Another thing I love reading for. If you give me a series I love and a ship I can truly ship, you’ve got a series I would die for. Sorrow/Luvian, Kaz/Inej and Amani/Jin are my faves.

Cornelia Street
A book that lived up to the hype

Had I not had everyone shouting at me about Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom, I never would have read it… and let me tell you that was WORTH EVERY BLOODY SECOND and every second after. Just an amazing duology.

Death by a Thousand Cuts
A book that saying goodbye to is death by a thousand cuts, so you just have to re-read it again

My series loving heart has found a few series REALLY BLOODY hard to say goodbye to. Saying goodbye to WLTGO was a THING. Saying goodbye to Amani and Jin broke my heart, but I really think that saying goodbye to Twylla will always be one of the hardest things. I would LOVE an update on how she’s doing. I love her so.

London Boy
A book based in London

I’ve not got round to reading them, but I own the A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, which is set in numerous Londons!

Soon You’ll Get Better
A book that brightens up your sky

God, there’s so much MG that just makes my heart so happy. I have to give a massive shout out to Anna James and her Pages and Co series though. I’m part way through book 2 and I just think it is one of the most beautiful and wonderful things in the world.

False God
A book that you could reread over again because it still does it for you, babe 

I’m not a massive rereader (as people who are long time readers of this blog will know), but I have reread Matilda numerous times. I just worry that the second time I read it I won’t love it as much as I did the first time!

You Need to Calm Down
An LGBTQ+ book you’d GLAADly recommend

Lol, this prompt is so clever. Good work friends. Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda is the first thing that jumps to my head for this… it’s an obvious choice, but it’s lush. I saw the film before I read the book, but that didn’t spoil it for me at all!

Afterglow
It’s Not the Book, It’s Me (A book that wasn’t for you)

Freshers. I just couldn’t get away with it. It made me more mad than anything. I don’t talk about it often. Loads of people loved it, but I just… yeah.

ME!
A Character You Relate To

I’ve already mentioned one character I relate to massively, Emily from No Big Deal. But I’d also like to give a shout out to Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron. It was so lovely to read about a similar situation that I had experienced… a character who had to live a “secret” relationship.

It’s Nice to Have a Friend
A Character You’d Love to be Friends With

LOL. This is going to be another predictable answer if you know me. But Izzy O’Neill is my gal. I wanna be her, I wanna be her girlfriend, I wanna be her friend so much.

Daylight
A book that you weren’t sure of at first but turned out to be amazing!

The Smoke Thieves. It’s slow initially, but it’s really good. I read the second one earlier this year and I really enjoyed it!

Bonus: Favourite Taylor Swift Album

I don’t really have one? Im not a big enough fan to have a favourite album. Sorry to the TSwift fans out there!

And there you go! Phew… what a mammoth task that was!

I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you wish to have a go, please do!

S x

September in books

Hello there everyone!

How are we doing? Happy October to you all!

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a massive fan of this time of year because I do NOT like the dark mornings and dark nights. Plus, I am NOT a fan of Halloween. So you know… if we could just skip October and go to Christmas time, that would be LUSH! 

I’m here today to share the books I got reading in September! I was very surprised that I managed to read as many as I did… although I am VERY sad I didn’t read any YA. I’m hoping October will change that!

In September, I:

Got back to school
Was tired every single day
Studied The Day The Crayons Quit with my class (and loved it)
Mourned the loss of the sunshine and the light mornings
Discovered my love for illustrated chapter books 
Got to introduce my new class to some brilliant authors
Read 9 books

I only read MG books, so I guess that’s where we’re starting (and ending!)

september mg

I had an awful lot of fun with these stories in September. Meeting new characters and new settings, being reacquainted with some favourites and discovering some wonderful new authors! This is a gorgeous mix of books which would cater to new readers and established readers. 

The Battle For Perfect Review
Reviews of illustrated chapter books

Reviews for Amelia Fang and International Yeti collective to come next week: watch this space!

And that’s it. Fingers crossed I read more YA in October, but I’m very much enjoying reading whatever it is that I want! 

HOW AM I DOING FOR MY BOOK CHALLENGES?

GOODREADS CHALLENGE: 114/52
#52BOOKS CHALLENGE (JUST KIDS BOOKS): 59/52

This was short and sweet, but thanks for stopping by! Talk to me in the comments!

How did you do with your reading in September? 
What were your stand out books from last month?
What are you still dying to read from this year?

What would you recommend me from your 2019 reading list?

S x 

A-Z of me! (part 1)

Hello one and all!

After the success of my A-Z of Back to Schools posts (see part 1 and part 2), someone suggested an A-Z of me post! I thought this was a great idea. For new followers, long time followers and everyone in the middle, I’m going to try to give you the A-Z of me. See this as an insight into me!

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A – Auntie Spot

Ha. An interesting one to start with, but quite a big part of my life! My goddaughers, Ruby and Poppy, and my godson, Joey, call me Auntie Spot and they’re the absolute lights of my life. I feel so bloody lucky that I have them in my life. My cousin Kate (their mam) is one of the best people in my life, so any time I get to spend with them is just the best.

B – Books, books, books

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I guess this one is quite predictable. I am SURROUNDED by books. I wouldn’t have my life any other way though. I think books are important and necessary in the world. If my blog didn’t give that away, then I might need to rethink this whole blogging thing, ha! I’ll not rabbit on too much about this one!

C – Colouring in

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One of the things I do when I’m most stressed/anxious/sad/whatever is colour in. I find it’s great for just switching my brain off and it’s just really relaxing. I’m not a fan of colouring in pictures, more a fan of colouring in patterns. If they’re geometric, that’s even better. A good set of felt tip pens, Youtube and a colouring book is what I need when I’m at my most stressed!

D – Dreams

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There’s so many things I’m doing now that I never even dreamt that I could do. I chair events; I talk about books every day; People read what I have to say; I get to teach in my very own classroom. Some of these things were just pipe dreams a few years ago, some of these things weren’t even dreams because I didn’t know they were possible. I’m a firm believer in following in your dreams. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it… you’ve just got to work for it.

E – Emotional

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If you know me in the real world, you’ll know that I’m very in touch with my emotions. I’m not afraid to cry. I’m not afraid to be happy. I’m not afraid to express myself. I feel every emotion quite deeply. I love hard. I fall hard. I cry hard.

F – Finishing books

This might seem like a strange one, but this is something I am quite stubborn with. If I start a book, I am DETERMINED to finish it. I always think that books can redeem themselves, so I worry if I give up on a book that it’s not going to get the chance to redeem itself. I think there’s like 3 books in the past 3 years that I have DNF’d. I just don’t believe in DNF’ing books! I also think that just because you’re not enjoying a book at a certain point in your life, doesn’t mean you’ll never enjoy it. I’ve found myself reading a few chapters of a book and then just putting it down with the idea that I will come back to it.

G – Geordie extraordinaire!

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Being a Geordie is a BIG part of my identity. I’m awfully proud to be a Geordie. I’m often told that I don’t SOUND like a Geordie because everyone has this stereotypical impression that we go round saying, “whey aye man” and things all the time. We do say them… just not all the time. I love being from the North East… I just wish it weren’t so far away from EVERYTHING ELSE. All the best things come from the north: Ant and Dec, Geordie Gifts, the Great North Run and me!

H – Holidays

Now… I am A BIG FAN of a holiday. I love my time at work, but man I’ ready for a rest when it comes to holiday time. More so than just being off work, I love GOING on holiday. I haven’t been on holiday for a while, but my gosh, give me the sunshine, an unlimited supply of drinks and a massive pile of books and there you have my perfect idea of a holiday. I’m not a big sightseeing kind of holiday gal, but I’ll do a day or two!

I – Inspirational quotes

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It might seem cheesy to some people, but I love a quote. I think it’s nice to know that you aren’t alone; that you’re not the only person who has ever gone through the thing that you’re going through. They crop up occasionally on my Instagram feed and it’s really reminiscent to look through and think “Woah, yeah that’s how I felt at that time, but I don’t feel like that any more”. They’re not for everyone, and some people really hate them, but I love them!

J – Journeys

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Life’s full of journeys. However, I mean literal journeys here. I love going places. Discovering new places is a great joy in life. More than that, I love the ACTUAL journey. Give me a train/car/bus journey of more than 10 mins and I’m a happy happy gal. Journeys are where I do the biggest chunk of my reading and I love that!

K – Kids

Yes, I want my own kids. Yes, I feel like a bit of a failure because I haven’t got my own kids yet. I also know that I have 30 kids every day (well 5 of 7) who rely on me. Whenever anyone asks me if I have kids yet (eyeroll, you should never ask someone that question), I always say I have 30. Now THAT gets some interesting reactions! I’d love to be blessed with my own kids one day because being a mam is one of the things I’d love most in life… but for now, my 30 kids at school keep me on my toes enough!

L – Laughter

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Something people comment about me most often is my laugh. Ask anyone who has met me, my laugh is one of the most notable things about me. I’ve been told it’s one of the best sounds on the planet. I have a big laugh and I love it.

M – “Miss”

Being a teacher is a massive part of my identity. It’s probably too big of a part sometimes, but when you’ve chased a dream for as long as I had, you’re allowed to. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I can ever remember. It was something I’ve wanted since I was about 6 or 7. I didn’t have the traditional route into teaching. I didn’t do my GCSEs, then my A Levels, then go to uni, then qualify. I did my GCSEs, did my A Levels, wasn’t ready for uni and worked full time in a shoe shop (which I adored). The time came though that my dream needed to be chased, so I became a TA in my school. A few years later, my dream was shouting at me. I didn’t go to uni til I was 25. I was determined to qualify before I was 30 and I did. I made it with 6 months to spare. Hearing those 30 kids say “Miss” every day might be irritating (trust me), but it reminds me that I’ve made it. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m doing it now.

And there you go! The A-Z of Me (part 1). Part 2 will come next Monday! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me!

Have any of these things surprised you?
Have you learned anything about me?
Is there anything you’d like to learn more about?

Let me know in the comments!

S x