S4S – YOU Join In 2018

Hello there! Welcome to the last Sunday of 2017. Today I am sharing the prompts for #SixforSunday for 2018. 

If you don’t know what #SixforSunday is, it is just that. Sharing 6 books on your twitter, Instagram, blog, Tumblr, Facebook, which meet the theme of the week. I would love to start posting my own responses on my Instagram… so I would love to see some of you too, if the fancy takes you! (In reality if you’d rather do your own theme, or choose one of the themes from the weeks to come, then go for it! Just shareusing the hashtag #SixforSunday and I will RT it!) You can interpret the prompt how you wish – go with favourite or leastfavourite: whatever makes you happy!

A massive thank you to everyone who joined in this year, I hope to see you all and more next year! Let’s make 2018 the year #SixforSunday builds momentum! 

Let’s go with the prompts them:

7th – 2017 books I didn’t read
14th – 2017 books I didn’t enjoy
21st – favourite covers of 2017
28th – new authors you discovered in 2017

4 – favourite tropes
11 – fictional animals 
18 – fictional partners
25th – film interpretations of books

4th – characters you’d like to be stuck in a lift with
11th – characters you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a lift with
18th – characters you think would make brilliant best friends
25th – characters you wouldn’t want to be friends with

1st – 2018 books you’ve been excited for
8th – favourite books this year so far
15th – favourite places to read
22nd – favourite snacks to read with
29th – favourite books people never seem to know about

6th – questions you have for authors
13th – questions you have for publishers
20th – questions you have for your favourite character
27th – questions people always ask you

3rd – rainbow books
10th – reasons you love books
17th – monochrome books
24th – metallic books

If you have any questions, tweet me @eenalol or leave me a comment and I will answer! Thank you so much! 

S x

S4S – 2018 books I’m excited for

Where did 2017 go? But really, WHERE DID IT GO? 

Here we are on the last day of 2017! What is everyone doing for New Year? I will be doing nothing but sleeping, I am not a massive fan of New Year tbh. Keep your eyes peeled for later today, I’ll be posting the prompts for #SixforSunday 2018 later on today! 

Today is the last #SixforSunday of 2017… to all of you who joined in thank you so much! I hope you continue to support little old #SixforSunday! There’s graphics to come too! 

Today’s prompt is:

2018 books I am excited for

I’m not going to list 2018 books I am excited for, rather books released in 2018 that I am excited for!

  1. State of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury (let’s be real, I’ve been excited and impatient for this since the second I finished TSQ. I need this in my life ASAP)
  2. Goodbye Perfect – Sara Barnard (yes I’ve read it, but I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. Plus, I need a finished copy!)
  3. Hero at the Fall – Alwyn Hamilton (let’s be real, I need to know if she kills Jin or not. That’s the important thing)
  4. Floored – a whole bevy of brilliant UKYA authors (I’ve read the sampler and need to know which author wrote which character)
  5. Beyond the Odyssey – Maz Evans (this is book 3 in the WLTGO series AND I NEED IT SO MUCH)
  6. Spark – Alice Broadway (I am so excited for the sequel to Ink. I can’t wait)

So there we go. Let’s be honest, there’s MANY OTHERS I am excited for, but these I am particularly impatient for! 

Remember to share your #SixforSunday using the hashtag on twitter! Link me to them, and keep your eyes peeled for next year’s prompts coming later today! 

S x

Best of 2017: picture books edition

Hello! So far this week you’ve been treated to my favourite blog posts, MG books and YA books… today is no different, today is my favourite picture books of 2017. 

Now there are SO many books that could’ve been in with a shot, so many amazing books I read in 2017. I’ve tried to stick to books released this yearI hope none have slipped under the radar. 

I must point out now that The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield would DEFINITELY be on this list, alas it was published in 2016. But go out and buy it, because it’s incredible. 

So anyway… let’s go!

picxture books 2017Just as with the rest of my round ups, they aren’t in any real order, and I will share the links to my reviews (if they are yet to be reviewed, there is a review to come!)

Words and Your Heart – Kate Jane Neal
BOOKBLOG: Kate Jane Neal
I used this book in school to coincide with anti-bullying week and it’s all about the power that our words have. It’s one of those books that makes an impact on you STRAIGHT away. We used it in Reception, Year 2 and Year 6, with all children responding incredibly to it. 

Balthazar the Great – Kirsten Sims
(review to come)
There’s a reason I don’t have a review for this yet… because I can’t put into words how much I loved it. Balthazar is the most brilliant bear. I can’t wait to share my review with you all in the new year! It’s brilliant (the book that is, my review might not quite live up to that!).

Kevin – Rob Biddulph
(review to come)
Another one of those brilliant books. This is one of those books that all kids will love. Plus Kevin is the absolute cutest thing in the world. The gorgeous people at the publishers sent me this book and I was SO happy when it came in the post! Rob Biddulph is a complete winner for me every single time.

Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers
BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers
There is no denying that Oliver Jeffers is the absolute king of picture books. I reckon I own ALL of his picture books, and for me there’s not enough. Here We Are is absolutely incredible: it’s powerful with a brilliant message to deliver too. I definitely did not (I did) cry when I read it. Please get this for your kids, or yourselfyou deserve a treat.

Grandad’s Secret Giant – David Litchfield
BOOKBLOG: David Litchfield
David Litchfield is hands down my favourite illustrator (his collaborations with Ross Montgomery in particular are some of my favourites… see Christmas Dinner of Souls and The Building Boy) and this is his first of 2 mentions on my list. Grandad’s Secret Giant was an instant winner at school: the story is beautiful and poignant. I absolutely adored it.

Superbat – Matt Carr
My twiglets actually won this book in a competition and I read it to them one day when I was with them. Since then I have bought myself a copy! It’s just brilliant. My twiglets (who are both 6) loved this so much and there’s some amazing illustrations in the book! Poppy even made an amazing bat joke afterwards… check out the blog post to find out more!

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop – Jen Campbell
(review to come)
I only recently bought this (see: the end of November) and finally got round to reading it to myself the other day, but MAN what a book. I absolutely loved the story and the illustrations. I am still processing my thoughts, give me a week to pull myself together!

The Grotlyn – Benji Davies
(review to come)
The Grotlyn was one of those books that I had seen so many of my twitter friends talk about, so when I was offered the chance to receive this book from the publisher I jumped at the chance. Man, what a book. It’s brilliant. Benji Davies is a master at what he does. This book is just excellent

Look For Ladybird in Plant City – Katherina Manolessou
Look for Ladybird
Again, the lovely publishers over at Quarto Books sent me a copy of this and I gladly accepted. I read it to the kids at school and they loved it –  the fact it was a “search and find” book had them on side instantly. They loved looking for all of the bits and bobs and then the ladybird too. I then took it to my twiglets, who LOVED it. It kept them engaged while their mam and I had a cup of coffee, and that’s saying something! 

When I Grow Up – Tim Minchin and Steve Antony
When I Grow Up blog tour 
I was exceptionally lucky to be invited on to the blog tor for this book, where Steve Antony, he illustrator, shared some exclusive sneak into some of the original sketches. You all know how much I adore Matilda, so for me, this was an incredible opportunity. This is the book of one of the songs from Matilda the Musical. I recommend everyone, every single one of you, buys this book. It’s wonderful.

The Marvellous Moon Map – Teresa Heapy and David Litchfield 
(review to come)
This is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year. It’s an adorable tale of going on an adventure, following your dreams! The illustrations (courtesy of David Litchfield) are just wonderful, adding an additional level to a brilliant story. 

You Choose In Space – Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart
BOOKBLOG: Sharratt/Goodhart
This isn’t TECHNICALLY a picture book, I’m not quite sure what the You Choose books are classed as, but it is too good to miss out. These books always go down a storm and I was very lucky to get a copy! These books are brilliant for talk, but also incredible fun. I’ve known a group of adults crowd around these books and discuss the ins and outs of choices! 

And there you go… my favourite picture books of 2017. There are many, many others I could’ve included! 

Which books would you have on your list?
Have you read any of my choices?
Which is your favourite of my choices?

Talk to me! Tweet me! Email me! Send a pigeon! 

S x

Best of 2017: YA edition

3 more days of 2017. 3 more days of books. 

As you might’ve seen yesterday, I shared my favourite MG books of 2017. Today, I am sharing my favourite YA books of the year. This year was one filled with absolutely incredible YA books and it was TOUGH to whittle it down to only 12. (Why 12 you ask? A 3×4 is much more aesthetically pleasing to me than a 2×5!)

I’ve properly fallen in love with the whole of YA this year, there’s been some absolute crackers. I’ll give a very brief opinion of the book and share the link to my full review, if that’s your cup of tea. If there isn’t a review up of it right now, there is one scheduled in the near future. I promise. I haven’t included any of the 2018 releases that I’ve read this year, just books released this year or earlier. There’s so many books from this year and earlier I haven’t read yet. I’m hoping 2018 I will be able to read all the ones I didn’t get round to, but for now… I introduce:

The best YA books of 2017

2017 YA best(just like yesterday, these are in no order in particular!)

Wing Jones – Katherine Webber
BOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber
Bravery, brilliance and some properly amazing family moments. I can’t believe it’s been almost a whole year since I read this. Katie is LUSH.

Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
BOOK BLOG: Alwyn Hamilton 2
I absolutely love this work that Alwyn has created. The characters are brilliant and the ballsy attitude of Amani and her friends is just spot on. (If she kills Jin in Hero at the Fall, I will FALL OUT with her!)

The Scarecrow Queen – Melinda Salisbury
BLOG TOUR: The Scarecrow QueenBOOKBLOG: Melinda SalisburyBOOKBLOG: Melinda Salisbury 2 (lol, I love Mel ok?)
If you’re a friend or follower of me, you will know my feelings on this book. I LOVE IT OK. Twylla’s journey from TSED to TSQ is everything. If you’re friends with me and you haven’t read these, then you need to get on it.

Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield
(review to come)
This book BROKE MY HEART. It deals with a pretty dark subject, but there’s moments of light in this book that make it worthwhile. Prepare yourself with lots of tissues.

Ink – Alice Broadway
Oh man, Ink. Ink is something special. Like properly brilliant. I properly want to go and read it again. I can’t wait for the sequel Spark to come out next year.

Countless – Karen Gregory
BOOKBLOG: Karen Gregory
Like Paper Butterflies, this book broke my heart. The last page tops off the heartbreaking-ness. It’s so brilliant though. 

After the Fire – Will Hill
This book came out of nowhere and slapped me in the face with its brilliance. Cults, fire, death, revenge and survival all make for an incredible story.

One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus
BOOKBLOG: Karen M. McManus
Absolutely brilliant. This book continued to impress and stun me as I read. I did not see the ending coming. GO GO GO GO READ IT.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James
BOOKBLOG: Lauren James
This has one of the most sinister characters I’ve met this year in it and I was SO there for it. It surprised me how much I loved it, but I really did. 

The Call – Peadar O’Guilin
BOOKBLOG: Peadar Ó Guilín
This is an excellent, dark and grim dystopian novel. It surprised me at how dark it was, but I devoured it. It’s just so devilishly good.

Radio Silence – Alice Oseman
BOOKBLOG: Alice Oseman
This was one everyone told me to read, and when I finally got round to it, I was sufficiently impressed. Alice Oseman is an absolute wonder. I devoured Radio Silence in about 3 hours.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard
This book is special. This book inspired me to learn, and then teach my kids, some sign language. I absolutely adored this book and its exploration of being brave, bold and the need (or lack thereof) to communicate by speaking. Steffi and Rhys’ story is special.

So there you go.
My favourite YA books of 2017.
There are so so so many others that could’ve been on this list, but all of these punched me in the gut and made me feel so intensely that they needed to be here. 2017 has been an incredible year for YA stories. There’s been love, heartbreak, pregnancy, inclusion, exclusion, friendships, laughter, tears. 2018 has a lot to live up to.

What’s on YOUR list?
How many of my books have you read?
How NOT surprised are you that Queen Mel is there?

See you in 2018 for even more brilliant YA books!

S x

Best of 2017: MG edition

4 days of 2017 left. 4 days of books to add to my Goodreads total. 

However, I have made a decision about the best MG books of 2017, for me. I’m going to give a very short description and leave a link to my review, if you’re interested in more information. If there isn’t a full review on it, there will be one coming, have no fear!

So here goes:

The best MG books of 2017

Best MG 2017(it must be noted that these are not in any order whatsoever!)

Running on the Roof of the World – Jess Butterworth
(review to come)
Adventure filled with incredible colours (and gorgeous chapter pages!)

The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club – Alex Bell
(review to come)
Exceptional. Friendship, equality, fun and gorgeous characters.

Christmas Dinner of Souls – Ross Montgomery 
BOOKBLOG: Ross Montgomery
Another winner from Ross. Devious, delicious and daring.

Nevermoor – Jessica Townsend
(review to come)
Mysterious and magical: I absolutely adored this book.

Letters From The Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
BOOKBLOG: Emma Carroll
Brave, bold and brilliant. I fell in love with this, quickly.

A Place Called Perfect – Helena Duggan
BOOKBLOG: Helena Duggan
Creepy and brilliant, filled with brave characters and an interesting plot.

The Last Wild – Piers Torday
BOOKBLOG: Piers Torday
Heartbreaking, heart warming and brilliant. This book made me cry on a train.

Simply The Quest (WLTGO #2) – Maz Evans
Excellent sequel to WLTGO. Was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. Maz is a genius.

The Explorer – Katherine Rundell
BOOKBLOG: Katherine Rundell
This is one of my stand out books of the year. I completely fell for this book. It is just exceptional. 

The Bookshop Girl – Sylvia Bishop
BOOKBLOG: Sylvia Bishop
This is one of those brilliant books that just spark something within imaginations. This world is one of my favourites of the year.

The Island At The End of Everything – Kiran Milwood Hargrave
BOOKBLOG: Kiran Milwood Hargrave
One of those books that comes along every now and again: inspiring, heartbreaking and touching. Kiran’s books are absolute magic.

Who Let The Gods Out – Maz Evans
BOOK BLOG: Maz Evans
The first in the WLTGO series. Sets the tone by being hilarious and moving, with characters you care about and want to see more of!

And there we have it… 2017 has blessed us with hilarious Greek Gods, touching stories of friendship, stories with magical book shops, mothers and daughters separated, children lost in the Amazon jungle with a stranger to help, brave kids pairing up with animals to do some saving, magical lands of mountains and ice, more magic and rescues aplenty. MG books are wonderful. Kid or not, go out there and read them!

What are your favourite MG books of 2017?
Have you read any of my list?
If you could recommend me one more 2017 MG book what would it be?

Happy reading!

S x

2017: what a year!

What a year 2017 has been, ay kids? 

We’ve been through a lot here.

As a student: I’ve gone from writing my dissertation, to graduating, to starting my SCITT, to finishing my first term as a trainee teacher ALL in the space of one year. That’s pretty bonkers

As a blogger: I went from a little known blogger (I’m under no assumption I am well known now, don’t worry!), to going to my first blogger events, being on my first blog tours, going to YALC, being on more blog tours and even being asked to chair an event! What a year. 

2017 has been an incredible year for me, both professionally and blogging wise.

Today I want to share some of my favourite blog posts over the year. Some of the ones I enjoyed writing the most, or the ones I’ve enjoyed seeing your responses to the most. As you well know if you’re a long time reader here, my blogs come in 4 different varieties: discussion blogs, personal blogs, book blogs or school/training blogs. I’ve found blogs of all kinds to share! I hope you enjoy reflecting as much I did! 

Let’s start with bookish blogs:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who took part in #DesertIslandBooks. It was an absolute joy. I did not think it would quite take off as well as it did. I had my very random idea back in August, and never did I imagine that those posts would keep me going all the way up until December (with some people still being interested!). To all of the authors, bloggers, booksellers, publicists, teachers: you are incredible and I am eternally grateful for your interest and enthusiasm about my little project. #DesertIslandBooks was something I thought would die down after a month or so, you all made my blogger heart very happy! (If you’re interested in 2018’s blog feature, let me know!)

Also, I’d like to thank any of you who joined in, commented on, liked my #SixforSunday posts. Again, that was a stupid little idea I had earlier this year and to see you all get involved and join in makes me very happy. Keep your eyes peeled for the 2018 prompts coming in the next few days! 

Some other bookish highlights:
ALL OF THE AMAZING BOOKS I GOT TO READ because publicists, publishers, fellow bloggers sent them to me. You’re all brilliant. I couldn’t do this without all of you. I still can’t quite believe this is my life every time I get book post.
YALC was a massive highlight of my bookish life this year. I got to meet so many amazing authors, so many brilliant bloggers and spend time with some of my favourite humans. I couldn’t have had a better first YALC experience: YALC #1 and YALC #2.
– Being involved in so many amazing blog tours. Two particular highlights for me are BLOG TOUR: The Scarecrow Queenand When I Grow Up: book tour.

Now on to discussion type blogs:
– “Mam, can I have a book?”  in where I rant about letting your kids choose whatever book they want. Books are books. Books are written to be read. 
Why buy books? where I talk about why I buy my kids books, and why I think it’s important to buy books
How do you read? where I explore how people choose to read – in silence or with noise?
Dear Clothes Manufacturers… where I explore the necessity for pockets in women’s clothing… NECESSARY.

Personal type blogs: 
Bullet journal: this year I started a bullet journal, inspired mainly by my gorgeous human Kelly and I’ve loved sharing my bullet journals with you every month!
What makes me happy?: where I share the things that make me happiest, and the things that give me the most problems
Happy things…: a lovely tradition my lovely friend Grace started on my blog, where I share things which made me happy that week/fortnight/recently – these are my favourite additions to my blog.
Letters to… my people: my ‘letters to…’ series has been long running and I need to keep it going. These blog posts always make me feel very happy. I’ve written to my kids, my friends, bloggers, authors and myself! 

Student/teacher-y posts:
Ask Miss Elliott and I Wish My Teacher Knew… were 2 little things I would do with my Y4 kids last (academic) year and they loved it. Some of their questions were brilliant! A few of the responses to I wish my teacher knew made me a bit emotional too! 
– I started doing reflective blogs as part of my teacher training. I find them great to help me continue to be reflective and think about what happened the previous week. I haven’t done one for weeks, but I will be continuing in 2018: Maths week: Week 10
– I developed quite a massive love for Once Upon A Picture (a blog which shares pictures to use as stimulus) over the past year and shared a few blogs, featuring my kids’ writing and how I used the picture: Wonderful writing?

If you’re still here, then congratulations, you have earned a sticker. I’m sorry I rambled on for so long! 

Do you have a favourite blog post of mine?
What 3 words do you think of when you think of my blog?

What do you want to see more of next year?

Let me know in the comments, or twitter, or email me, or send me a postcard. Tell me. I love writing all of these posts. 

S x

#DesertIslandBooks: This time it’s personal

FIRST OF ALL: HAPPY CHRISTMAS YOU BUNCH OF SMASHERS. I hope Santa has visited your abode and blessed you with all of those books you wanted (but didn’t need cause your TBR is already 6039470 books long).

SECOND OF ALL: why are you here and not stuffing your face with chocolates? But please, stay. Today you are in for a treat. Today is THE DAY. (Not just Christmas Day!)

Today is the day.
TODAY I am castaway.

Today’s castaway on #DesertIslandBooks is me. Steph. Good old me. I am the final castaway onto the island. 

We best get on with this then!

Rules: (as if you need to be reminded)

DIB rules

Here goes…

6 books I would take to a desert island? I’m going for a mix of old and new, YA and MG, just to mix things up a little.

Image result for the scarecrow queen

Melinda Salisbury – The Scarecrow Queen
If I could make it so there was a The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy printed as one book, I would rather that, but since there isn’t I am going for The Scarcrow Queen. It’s just incredible. Twylla’s journey is everything. 

Image result for who let the gods out

Who Let The Gods Out – Maz Evans
I love this book. It’s hilarious and brilliant. I’ll need something to laugh at on the island! I have reached so many kids at school with this book. I’m a bit of a mythology fangirl too, so the Greek mythology for me is just brilliant. I can’t wait for number 3 to come out.

Image result for reasons to stay alive

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Now, this is a book I read this year and it’s just exceptional. I think everyone, regardless of who you are, should read this. It’s just everything I want in a book. It made me cry, it made me feel a little bit more whole. Matt Haig is one of the authors I properly discovered in 2017 and I am so glad.

Related image

Matilda – Roald Dahl
SHOCK HORROR I KNOW WHO’D HAVE GUESSED IT? I have such a deep rooted love for this story. I could talk about why I love this book for hours. Matilda was one of the first books I ever remember reading and properly loving. Miss Honey is the reason I want to be a teacher. This book is important to me for a lot of reasons, I’d need to take it.

Image result for kane and abel jeffrey archer

Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
This is a last minute change of plans addition. However, I read this book this year and it is just brilliant. Jeffrey Archer is an absolute master at storytelling. If you’re not an Archer fan normally, I would say give this a go. It’s just brilliant. The story telling, the characters: just brilliance. 

Image result for a quiet kind of thunder

A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
I don’t have the words for how much I love this book. I just adore it. Sara is brilliant, and the world of Steffi and Rhys is such an incredible and brave world that I never wanted to leave. This book meant quite a lot to me when I read it, and still now has an impact. I make everyone read this. 

Honourable mentions to:
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S.Lewis
The Master Magician – Charlie N. Holmberg
How To Stop Time – Matt Haig
Charlotte’s Web – E.B.White

What snack would I like to have on the island? Something I’m not going to fed up with?

If you know me, you know I am a total crisp fiend. Provide me with a vast variety of crisps and I will be fine. I make the rules, so I say a variety of crisps is more than acceptable.

An unlimited amount of beverage? I mean, I’d probably choose a soft drink rather than a hot drink…

Tea. 1 sugar. Just a little bit of milk. (Or diet coke…)

1 album, or 15 songs? THIS was so much harder than choosing books… SO MUCH HARDER.

Gaston – Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack (2017)
Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Photograph – Ed Sheeran
Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine
You Can’t Stop The Beat – Hairspray Soundtrack (2007)
Show Me Love – Robin S
Waiting all Night – Rudimental
Sing – Pentatonix
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Proud Mary – Tina Turner
Afraid of Heights – Tom Fletcher

I Was Made For Loving You – Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran
Flying Without Wings – Westlife

(I can’t guarantee that this would be the same list if you asked me again another day!)

OH NO NOT THE DESERT ISLAND POLICE!! Let’s be real, I make the rules, I could just tell them they’re fired… but I’ll play along.

I’ll save:

Matilda and Photograph – Ed Sheeran

And that’s it. Matilda and Ed Sheeran is me to a tee.

I wanna say a massive thank you to everyone who agreed to be castaway for my silly little blog feature. Never did I imagine when I thought of this idea that some of my favourite bloggers and authors would want to be involved. I have absolutely LOVED seeing everyone’s posts and it has been an absolute joy hosting them on my blog! You are all wonderful people and thank you for making the hard choices. I didn’t realise how hard it was until now… until I had to make them! Let me know if you’d be interested in my feature coming in the new year! 

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas Day! 

S x

S4S – Christmas books



How excited is everyone? But seriously? I hope you’re all on the nice list. 

But anyway, the important things…#SixforSunday

Today’s category is quite simply:

Christmas books

So today I come to you with books I have asked for/bought myself/bought for other people for Christmas:

  1. Mythos – Stephen Fry
  2. The Magic Misfits – Neil Patrick Harris 
  3. It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne
  4. Paris for One – Jojo Moyes
  5. Du Iz Tak? – Carson Ellis
  6. The Creakers – Tom Fletcher

So there we go! 1 book I’ve asked for, 1 book I bought for myself and 4 books I’ve bought for other people! I’ll let you have a guess at which books are which! 

Don’t forget to share your#SixforSunday post on twitter and I’ll check it out! Thank you everyone who joins in! 

S x

2017: Top 10!

Now that 2017 is drawing to a close, this is a perfect time to reflect on the blog posts I’ve written and featured on my blog over the past year. Today I will be sharing the top 10 most viewed posts from this year, and next week I’m going to share my top 10 favourite posts to write! 

Here goes:

Happy things
This was the first blog post where I shared things that had made me happy that week. I saw the idea on my friend Grace’s blog and thought it was brilliant. I have since written a few similar posts!

Bookblog: Helena Duggan
I’m so pleased this one is in my top 10! A Place Called Perfect is definitely one of my favourite books of the year. Such a unique and brilliant story, with characters who are likeable, with a GORGEOUS cover too!

Perfect Presents – MG books
Again, this is another one that I was so glad to see was on my Top 10 list! This was an absolute joy (and also headache) to write. I didn’t want to leave out any of the brilliant MG books I’d read this year, but saying that there were some amazing books out there for presents was a joy!

Bookblog: Alice Broadway
Ink is easily one of the best YA books I read this year, and seeing this review in the list is incredible. Alice quickly became a great friend too, she’s been amazing. I implore all of you to check out Ink. The sequel Spark is out next year!

Bullet journal
This post was my original bullet journal post! This post depicts where I started from. My bullet journal has changed SO SO much now and it is so much more attractive now. Seeing this on the list was a real surprise! (My more recent posts will be much better!)

“Mam, can I have a book?”
This was a letter I wrote to everyone (I do these every now and again) discussing buying books, allowing kids to read the books they want to read and not restricting them because a book is pink/blue. If you’ve been following me a while now, you’ll know I have strong feelings about books.

SixForSunday: You Join In!
This was an absolute JOY to see on this list. #SixforSunday was a silly little tag I thought of earlier this year. Six books that fit a category given every Sunday. Now that we’re at the end of the year, there are some people who join in every week and it makes me so happy! I hope #SixforSunday keeps evolving in 2018. Watch out for the list of tags to come!

Mental Health in YA
This was a post written by one of my absolute best friends in the world, Rachel. The post explores YA books which have a focus on mental health. It’s so important that issues like mental health are dealt with in a mindful way, and the books on this list have come with the Rachel seal of approval, so I would definitely read them! (I’ve read 3 or 4 of them!)

Desert Island Books: Melinda Salisbury
Lol, of course my Queen makes an appearance. Just like #SixforSunday, #DesertIslandBooks was another feature on my blog this year and it was a proper success. I featured bloggers, booksellers and authors. I’m over the moon Mel’s was the most viewed. She’s my favourite. (Keep your eyes peeled for next year’s feature! Let me know if you’d be interested in being involved!)

It All Started In September…
Finally on the list, one of my favourite tweachers (twitter teachers) Mr Phillips wrote a guest post for me earlier this year. He talked about books, of course. I am proud to say that Mr Phillips and I are still friends now and our bonding over books still happens regularly. You should give him a follow, he’s an absolute gem. You’ll find him @Mr_P_Hillips

And there we have it. My top 10 viewed posts this year! Some absolute gems, some I didn’t expect to be there! What a year it’s been!

S x

Why buy books?

As you saw at the beginning of December, in my Perfect Presents feature, I am a MASSIVE fan of buying books for EVERYONE for Christmas. I think books ARE the perfect present. If you missed that feature, please check out my gift guides for EVERYONE in your life:
Perfect Presents #1 deals with picture book recommendations
Perfect Presents #2 shows you some brilliant MG books to buy!
Perfect Presents: YA edition does exactly what it says on the tin… recommendations for YA books
Perfect Presents: Miscellaneous edition  is a miscellaneous mix of ALL kinds of books that I would recommend! 

Everyone in my life (from the twiglets, to my best friend, to my mam) is getting a book. Some of them are getting MULTIPLE books. My twiglets are getting about a million books. I have a strong feeling about books. For as long as I can remember, I have bought books for the twiglets. (My twiglets are my goddaughters, if you weren’t sure!) Birthdays, Christmas: books have been on the agenda. I don’t think there is a better present. It has meant that they are now total book worms. 

I recently posted on twitter this picture, with the caption:

“All 31 of my Y6s will be getting a book for Christmas! Gotta love for total bargains! (Forgive the badly drawn smudges to cover up names)


And my WORD what a response it got. Mostly positive, I did receive a few messages that weren’t so positive. The over riding response was positive. People were so kind. Comments about how thoughtful it is. How they wish they’d had me as a teacher. How teachers like me are what’s good about teaching. 

To all of you, thank you so much. It means the world. You’re all brilliant. Your kind words mean a lot. 

I bought them all a book because that’s what I do. 

For some of my kids it might be the only book they get. If I get to provide that, then I’m doing my job. I want all of my kids to be surrounded by books. I want them to read for pleasure. I want reading to be a part of their life. Reading books opens you up to so many different worlds, so much incredible vocabulary and some true escapism. 

For the sceptical people who sent me messages that weren’t very supportive: I wasn’t showing off, I wasn’t looking for approval. For those who said I shouldn’t shop at The Book People, I should shop at Waterstones/WHSmiths: I quite simply can’t afford to buy 31 books at Waterstones prices. What The Book People provide is a very affordable means for me to ensure that my kids get at least one book at Christmas. 

I’m there to facilitate the learning of my kids, not just in the classroom. 

So yeah, give books.

S x