Mini review Monday: 2022 kids books you need to read!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well!

I’m stopping by your timelines today to share 4 books that I read and loved last year that I need you all to read and share with the kids in your life!


A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby

Hazel’s new life in England should have been the stuff of fairy tales; after all her aunt’s cottage looked just like a gingerbread house, with a magical garden and whispering fireflies promising quests and adventures. But as Hazel struggles to deal with the challenges of the everyday world –⁠ making friends, missing her family –⁠ she also learns that every fairy tale has a dark side. And there are terrifying creatures that lurk in the shadows

Aisha does it again. I have been the biggest proponent for Aisha’s other books and we have MANY copies at school. These books are definitely for those children who are deeper thinkers, but my gosh, they can hook even the most reluctant of readers. A Flash of Fireflies is a blooming wonder story, jam-packed full of fears, friendships, secrets and fairytales. I adored this from the very first page and this has been a massive hit in my classroom. I’ve loved seeing people talking about it – but in my opinion, it needs MORE LOVE (just like the rest of Aisha’s books). Hazel and Grant are just wonderful characters that kids absolutely adore! I loved the incorporation of messages around OCD and fear – this is something that we need to see more in kids books!

The Elemental Detectives by Patrice Lawrence

tep into a London lit up by the Elemental spirits: the fiery Dragons, the airy Fumis, the watery Chads and the earthbound Magogs. But humans have been causing chaos for centuries, trampling through the landscape trailing noise, mess and pollution. What if the Elements could slow down this new world… or stop it all together? The revenge-fuelled Shepherdess, who moves between the everyday and the supernatural London worlds, is the perfect weapon. She brings a sleeping sickness down on the city with the destruction of society in her sights. Marisee and Robert are the Elemental Detectives chasing the clues to avoid catastrophe: they must face the ghosts of Hyde Park, the monstrous coiled snake of the Serpentine, and a whole host of other fantastical creatures in their mission to stop the Shepherdess and prevent London slumbering for all eternity…

This is properly a quest and a half – if you’re looking for a story that will keep you gripped from the get go, then absolutely look no further. Filled with the elements, riddles, a pretty menacing evil and a sickness taking over London, there’s a lot to get your teeth into. The characters in this are just chef’s kiss and at one point I had to swear at the book because I was so shocked (let me tell you, kid’s books don’t often make me swear, ha). This is a brilliant story that talks of freedom, belonging and has important messages about slavery in it. This is one of the stories that I’ve managed to recommend again and again and kids have absolutely adored it.

The Spell Tailors by James Nicol

Hen dreams of joining the family spell-tailor business, making magical homemade outfits. But the shop is struggling, thanks to the cheap clothing factory that has opened nearby. Stumbling upon a stitch – one that can sew memories into seams – Hen thinks he has the answer that will save them. Instead, he’s shocked to be banned from sowing forever. What is going on? And can he unravel the mystery before it’s too late?

This is just a wonderful story wrapped up with some incredible characters and a fascinating world! The Spell Tailors is a story of family, secrets, magical garments and the power of fixing things. I loved Hen and Nana so much – we could all learn a thing or two from them! Kindness, the power of reusing clothes and standing up for what’s right! I quite happily would’ve read 100 more pages of this learning and the spells, the garments and their wearers! I would love love love to read another book in this world because even now, months later, I keep thinking about it!

Spellstoppers by Cat Gray

Welcome to Yowling – a secretive seaside village where magic is just one step away…
Max has spent years thinking he is cursed, because whenever he touches anything electrical it explodes. But then he is sent to Yowling and discovers he is a Spellstopper, someone with the rare ability to drain dangerous build-ups of magic and fix misbehaving enchanted items. When Max’s Grandad is kidnapped by the cruel Keeper of the malfunctioning magical castle that floats in the bay, only Max’s gift can save him. Together with his new friend Kit, Max throws himself into an adventure filled with villainous owls, psychic ice cream and man-eating goldfish. But can he really pull off the biggest spellstop ever?

Well, this incredible story absolutely ticked so many of my boxes when I read it: magic, a devilish villain, family, friends and a gorgeous setting. I loved this so much and the kids in my class have utterly adored it too! I raced through this story in a matter of hours – Max’s adventure into his magic and facing Leandra, paired with meeting Kit and Bram just made my heart so happy! I honestly hope there’s more to come from this world cause I’d read them happily!


A massive thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed these reviews!

Have you read any of these books?
What have you been reading recently?

And that’s it for now! Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books!

S x

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