Barrington Stoke mini reviews: the YA edition

The amazing squirrels of Barrington Stoke sent me some amazing books recently and during half term I sat and devoured all of them! I thought now was a perfect time to share my mini reviews of the YA/older titles that I read! (If you’re interested in the titles for younger children/middle grade, check out this post).


The Last Hawk – Elizabeth Wein

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Nazi Germany is a dangerous place for a girl with a stammer – and although her father tries to keep her safe, Ingrid can’t help feeling like she’s let him down. But in the air, soaring high as she pilots her beloved glider planes, Ingrid is free and incredibly talented. When she gets the chance to fly in a propaganda tour alongside her hero, Germany’s daring female test pilot Hanna Reitsch, Ingrid leaps at the chance. But through Hanna, she will learn some dangerous truths about Germany’s secret missions and the plans that could change the course of the war to secure victory for the Nazi regime. When everything is at stake, Ingrid must decide where her loyalties lie …

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I read Elizabeth’s other book, White Eagles, and absolutely adored this so I had high high hopes for this and it did NOT disappoint in the slightest – I think I could read her writing for hours on end and not get bored. On top of that, anyone who has been here for long enough knows that I’m a big fan of World War 2 stories (whether they’re for kids or for older audiences). This is a fascinating look into Nazi Germany told through Ingrid’s eyes: a young girl with a stutter who can fly like the best of them. In reading this, I was absolutely fascinated and a little shocked at times. It was so interesting to read a story from the other side of the argument. I absolutely adored Emil a lot – his conscience and Ingrid’s kept me rooting for them… Hanna however, a different matter!

The Deep-Sea Duke – Lauren James

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“When Hugo and Ada travel to their friend Dorian’s planet for the holidays, android Hugo is anxious about being accepted by Dorian’s powerful family. But when they arrive on Hydrox, there are more pressing things to worry about, as the planet has been overrun by refugee butterflies. Displaced from their home by climate change, the butterflies have been offered sanctuary by Dorian’s parents, but they’re quickly running out of space. Meanwhile, beneath the seas, a strange creature is wreaking all kinds of havoc… Can Hugo, Dorian and Ada step in before the crisis gets out of control?”

Having read the first in this series and being intrigued by the characters and their shenanigans, I was thrilled to have a copy of the second book. Reading it really transported me to another world: there’s something wonderfully bonkers about this story and this world… but in a good way! This tells a brilliant story and delivers a wonderful message of how great friendships are built on helping each other in times of need and working things out – even when they seem really hard. I liked the ending; I thought it was fitting! Like the rest of Lauren James’ books, there’s a massive chunk of science in this that I really appreciate!

Have you read any of these?
Have you heard of Barrington Stoke books?
Who would you love to see write a Barrington Stoke book?

A massive thank you to Barrington Stoke for these books! I’ll be sharing these with a friend to put in their secondary school library!

S x

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