Forgotten Faves: MG edition

Hello!

How are we all today?

Today, I thought I would share with you some of my “forgotten” faves.

What is a “forgotten fave” I hear you say?

For me, a “forgotten fave” is a book that I loved reading that I don’t really ever talk about because there are 70294723940 books that instantly come to mind when I am asked for a recommendation. They’re those quietly loved books. They’re the books you love talking about when people are reading them, but they don’t come to mind instantly. They’re the books that you JUMP about when you see someone else recommending them. They’re the books that get forgotten, but that you love so.

Why am I taking to my blog and sharing my forgotten faves?

I think it’s important that books aren’t forgotten about. There are SO MANY BOOKS that are recommended to us and they’re usually either BRAND NEW BOOKS or they’re books that are recommended over and over again. It’s important that we remember books that were published more than the past few months. I am the most guilty about shouting about books that are BRAND NEW because they’re at the forefront of my mind, so this is my way of saying hello and I love you again to the books I read a while ago that I loved.

So here we go, today I’m taking on my middle grade forgotten faves (or at least 10 of them!)

Image result for A Girl Called Owl

A Girl Called Owl (and all of Amy Wilson’s books tbf) is full of magic, friendship and beauty. This is one of those books that just give you a tap of magic that remains with you forever.

Image result for a boy called hope

A Boy Called Hope is a gorgeous book. It’s one of those wonderful warm, funny and quirky books that comes along. I remember reading it in the sunshine and thinking “this is gorgeous, but also a little sad”. Canny Dan and his search to find his Dad

Image result for a darkness of dragons

A Darkness of Dragons is an amazing story – a retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Anyone who loves a folktale and a brave main character will be gripped by this. I properly loved it and I can’t wait for the second book!

Image result for the trouble with perfect book

A Place Called Perfect. Man, this book. I think it’s one of the best kids, spooky, mysterious books around. I devoured this book in a matter of hours AND then the sequel too. I miss these characters, I do hope there will be more!

Image result for storm witch

I truly believe this is one of those books that is NOT talked about enough. I devoured Storm Witch quickly. It’s an incredible tale of coming of age, identity and belonging. I would LOVE to be a Storm Witch, but I truly believe I am not cool enough for a title like that hah!

Image result for candy book tidhar

This book was an absolute delight to read! Imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory met Bugsy Malone – that’s what you get here. Candy sees a world where sweets have been banned and there is a black market for them. I just adored this.

Image result for buried crown

The Buried Crown is a brilliant historical book. It’s got amazing characters and a memorable plot! Who wouldn’t want to read a story about a young man trying to protect the crown from Hitler?

Image result for company of eight

I read The Company of Eight almost 2 years ago now and I STILL recommend it to people. It’s one of those fantastic fantasy adventure story with old-London themes, pirates and mysterious spies. Totally one that younger me loved (grown up me absolutely did!)

Image result for eye of the north

When I first read Eye of the North, I was blown away. This is the best kind of adventure. It’s filled with messages about being brave and being kind. If you’re after something with wonderful main characters, family secrets and pretty terrifying villains, you can not go wrong with this!

Image result for goodly and grave

Another wonderful mystery story that I don’t talk about enough. The Goodly and Grave series is a firm favourite in mine – I love seeing a new book announced. This series is a brilliant tale of magic, mystery and menacing characters.

And there you go! Ten of my “forgotten faves” for now!

If you’d like to share your forgotten faves, please do! I’d love to see some of the lesser talked about books being shown some love!

See you soon!

S x

“Which books should I add to my Christmas list, Miss?”

Yesterday, I shared 10 recommendations for emerging chapter book readers – check it out if you’re after recommendations for 6+ years! Today I’m sharing books that I’ve shared with the kids in my class, school and life! Today is the turn of those who are confidently reading longer chapter books – longer chapter books that are BLOODY BRILLIANT.

None of these books will come as a surprise to ANYONE who knows me, but nevertheless. I think one of the best books you can buy kids is a book. These recommendations are books I’ve loved, but also books that my kids have wholeheartedly taken under their wing!

2018 mg recs

(I know right, SHOCKERS)

Now, some of these are book 1 in a series that I would recommend the whole series of… but if I’d put ALL of the books in the series of, I would have been here forever!

The House with Chicken Legs – Sophie Anderson

The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club series – Alex Bell

A Place Called Perfect series – Helena Duggan

Armistice Runner – Tom Palmer

The Light Jar – Lisa Thompson

Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

The Way Past Winter – Kiran Milwood Hargrave

Snowglobe – Amy Wilson

The Nowhere Emporium series – Ross Mackenzie

Brightstorm – Vashti Hardy

The Storm Keeper’s Island – Catherine Doyle

Who Let The Gods Out series by Maz Evans (Simply the Quest reviewBeyond the Odyssey review)

And there you have it… my second lot of MG recommendations which are perfect to buy for any budding bookworm in your life!

Have you read any of these?
Do you have any favourites?
Would you recommend any for me to add to my list?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Come back tomorrow for YA recommendations!

S x

 

S4S – Characters you’d love to see together

Happy Sunday friends! 

How are we all? Are we all ready for more #SixforSunday? 

Today’s challenge is a TOUGHIE. Just as I have the past few weeks, I have TOO many options for the 6 I’m allowed to choose! Today I have to only find 6:

Characters you’d love to see together

  1. Jack (from Jack of Hearts and Other Parts) and Simon (Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda)
  2. Jupiter (Nevermoor) and Felix (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club)
  3. Stella (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club) and Owl (A Girl Called Owl)
  4. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Sorrow (State of Sorrow)
  5. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows)
  6. Tilly (Pages and Co) and Property Jones (The Bookshop Girl)

There we go, some MG and some YA choices! This was a lot of fun! My list surprises me… I definitely have a whole chunk of others I’d love to see. If you’re interested, talk to me! I’d love to share more of my ideas! 

S x

S4S – Authors I’d love to see collaborate…

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN! 

Hello there! Wecome to another installment of #SixforSunday! This week sees me take on something that took an AWFUL LOT OF THOUGHT. Mainly because I needed to get it right. And I didn’t want to miss out anyone who I loved. Mainly, I have too many choices! 

Today we take on:

Authors you’d love to see collaborate

Now… the majestic book that is Floored came along and saw many of my faves ACTUALLY collaborate in an EPIC way, so if you’ve not got on that yet, I’d really like you to. 

  1. Melinda Salisbury and Sara Barnard
    This is a YA collab I will shout about forever. LADIES I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. (C’mon, none of you will be surprised by this at all)
  2. Kiran Milwood Hargrave and Piers Torday
    I think this MG book would break my heart and be the most beautiful book ever!
  3. Sara Barnard and Alice Oseman
    This one literally just came to my brain and I think my brain is a genius. I think this could be such a brilliant combination!
  4. Sara Barnard and Laura Steven
    GUYS. I need this to happen… I just think these 2 would boss a YA contemporary that punched me in the face and made me cackle with laughter.  
  5. Maz Evans and Lisa Thompson
    I just think this would be a BRILLIANT MG book pairing… happy to read WHATEVER!
  6. Melinda Salisbury and Alice Broadway
    I think this would be such a brilliant meeting of minds… 

So if there’s anyone reading this who can make these things happen, that’d be amazing thanks!

Remember to share your #SixforSunday posts with me and I look forward to going “OMG YES THAT WOULD BE A MINT PAIR THANKS!” at all of your suggestions! 

S x 

The Bank Holiday Tag

Happy bank holiday everyone! Last one of the year! 

Today I’m taking on the Bank Holiday Tag, made up by my lovely friend Cora. Check out her original post here. I’ve actually done this post before, back in April – if you’d like to see my answers and compare them, you’ll find that post here. I’m going to try and complete this based on the books I’ve read so far in 2018!

Have a lie in.
Which book could you lounge in bed with all morning?

40203682Snowglobe – Amy Wilson
This is a lush story with magic and lush friends. It’s one I’m definitely going to reread!

Oh my goodness, it’s actually sunny outside!
A book that makes you feel optimistic.

19547856Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Simon and Blue are EVERYTHING. But also, Simon’s parents and his sister.

Spend some time outdoors.
A book that reminds you of nature.

38210965When The Mountains Roared – Jess Butterworth
I’ve never been transported to the mountains in India surrounded by big cats before this book and it was incredible.

Make some punch.
A book that you find difficult to classify into one genre.

38600182The Secret Deep – Lindsay Galvin
This book is so intricate and brilliantly written that it would happily sit in many different places in a bookworm’s world.

Pass some food around.
A book you want to share with everyone.

26030734The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
I ADORE this book with all that I am. I have read the sequel now too and I just… it is such a love. Roz is an excellent main character. (This could also be the answer to the nature question!)

Light the BBQ.
A book that took a while to get going.

39127492The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
It’s a shame this book takes like 60-70% to get going, because once it’s going I quite liked it! 

Failed BBQ.
A book that ultimately disappointed you.

35068735All of this is True – Lygia Day Penaflor
Oh friends. 

It’s raining. Of course.
A book to curl up with when it’s raining outside.

23437156Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
I can’t wait to reread this book. I love Kaz Brekker so much. This is the perfect rainy day read because let’s be real, it’s always raining in Ketterdam.

Let’s just eat the chocolate.
A book that’s super sweet.

34615412Theatrical – Maggie Harcourt
I love Maggie’s books. They always just make me smile and that’s what you need sometimes!

There we go! Join in the fun, and do the tag yourself! Enjoy your bank holiday everyone!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Amy Wilson

Snowglobe: a magical tale you’ll get lost, and found, in

40203682

“When daydreamer Clementine discovers a mysterious house standing in the middle of town that was never there before, she is pulled towards it by the powerful sense of a mother she never knew. The place is full of snowglobes, swirling with stars and snow and each containing a trapped magician, watched over by Gan, the bitter keeper of the house. One of these is Dylan, a boy who teases her in the real world but who is now desperate for her help.”

As a massive fan of Amy Wilson’s other books (A Far Away Magic and A Girl Called Owl), I was thrilled when the publishers offered me the chance to get my hands on Amy’s newest book early. When it reached me, I put all other books on hold and dived into the snow-and-magic-filled world of Snowglobe.

Snowglobe tells the story of Clem, a young girl who doesn’t know her mother or her mother’s family, drawn to a mysterious house one day. She’s different from the rest of the kids in school, she has powers that get her into trouble and she’s not sure how to quite control them. The house she is drawn to she has never seen before. It didn’t exist before the day she first sees it, and then it disappears again. A disappearing house? I know I’d be curious. Clem ends up inside and finds that this house is filled with snowglobes, and in one, a child she recognises. Also in this house is a frightening character who Clem has a connection to – a connection that Clem is initially unaware of.

This book is just beautiful. There’s magic, darkness, light, friendship, tolerance, acceptance and wonder. You can’t read this book and not want to see the inside of one of these snowglobes. There’s a sense of danger and darkness inside this book, juxtaposed with a sense of wonder and light. Clem is constantly having to battle a heavy force of dark with her beautiful lightness. The characters are brilliantly written and I adore that here we have another brilliant female protagonist who stands up for what’s right and is bravekids need to read characters like this. Books are excellent teachers.

One of my favourite things about Amy’s books is that there’s always a sense of magic and believing in yourself and Snowglobe is no different. Clem and Dylan go through a lot finding their courage in themselves and each other, building trust and friendship as they go. 

With a cover like that one to go with it too? It’s a sure fire one that kids will want to  pick up! This would be a great book in a Year 5+ classroom. I certainly can’t wait for my kids to read it! I have a feeling Clem will be well loved by kids across the land. 

My Goodreads review:

Snowglobe is filled with magic, messages of believing in yourself, finding your own power and incredible little worlds. I really adored Dylan and Clem’s friendship. Amy Wilson yet again has written a book you can get lost, and found in, and it’s stunning.

A massive thanks to Amy and her publicist Jo for getting me a review copy of this book! I can’t wait to have a finished copy to add to our school library! Make sure you pick up a copy when it’s released in October (18th to be exact!)

Have you read Snowglobe?
Would you like to be trapped in a snowglobe?

Talk to me in the comments or on Twitter! 

S x

 

Brilliant MG still to come!

2018 has graced us some EXCEPTIONAL MG so faryet with half a year left there is still some EXCELLENT MG left to come.

Today, in the spirit of sharing exciting things and looking forward, I thought I would share with you 10 books that I’m excited for in the rest of this year

There are SO MANY books I’m excited for, both in YA and MG, that I could actually be here forever and a day and not have told you them all… however, for now I’ve chosen 10 that I’m THE MOST excited for.

Next week I’ll share YA books I’m excited for too!

So here goes…

2018 mg second half

The Elsewhere Emporium – Ross Mackenzie
(follow up from The Nowhere Emporium, one of my favourite books I’ve read this year!)
“The Nowhere Emporium has been stolen. The shop from nowhere has vanished without a trace. Will it ever reappear? As they search for the lost Emporium, Daniel and Ellie encounter magical bookshops, deserted islands in the dead of night, and an array of magicians (both dead and alive). Meanwhile a dangerous force is attacking the Emporium from the inside, waiting for a chance to break free.”

Tilly and the Bookwanderers. – Anna James
(I’ve been excited for this forever and a day, Anna is a LOVE)
“Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories. One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life. With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face”

The Way Past Winter – Kiran Milwood Hargrave
(I am the BIGGEST Kiran fan ever, she’s just incredible, this is one on my MUST HAVE NOW books)
“Mila and her sisters live with their brother Oskar in a small forest cabin in the snow. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives seeking shelter for himself and his men. But by the next morning, they’ve gone – taking Oskar with them. Fearful for his safety, Mila and her sisters set out to bring Oskar back – even it means going north, crossing frozen wild-lands to find a way past an eternal winter.”

The Lost Magician – Piers Torday
(As I write this blog post, there is a proof copy of this on its way to me… SO THAT’S EXCITING!)
“1945. They have survived the Blitz, but when Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry step through a mysterious library door, it is the beginning of their most dangerous adventure yet. They discover the magical world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army. The many stories of the Library are locked in eternal war, and the children’s only hope is to find their creator – a magician who has been lost for centuries. What they discover will change not just their own lives, but the fate of the world, for ever …”

Armistice Runner – Tom Palmer
(I love a war book and Tom writes the most brilliant books)
“Tom Palmer will mark the centenary of the end of First World War with a powerful, fictionalised account of the fell-runners who were used as messengers to and from the front lines in the last days of the war. Deftly told in an intertwining narrative of past and present, Armistice Runner follows a young fell-runner called Lily as she discovers the diaries of her great-great-grandfather and his experiences as a runner-messenger in the
lead-up to the Armistice of 1918.” (Taken from Barrington Stoke press release)

Snowglobe – Amy Wilson
(I’ve actually read this book already and it is INCREDIBLE… watch out for my review coming in the next few weeks!)
“When daydreamer Clementine discovers a mysterious house standing in the middle of town that was never there before, she is pulled towards it by the powerful sense of a mother she never knew. The place is full of snowglobes, swirling with stars and snow and each containing a trapped magician, watched over by Gan, the bitter keeper of the house. One of these is Dylan, a boy who teases her in the real world but who is now desperate for her help.”

Wundersmith – Jessica Townsend
(again, this is a follow up from Nevermoor which is just remarkable… this is one of those releases I’ve been waiting for since I finished the last word of the first book!)
“Morrigan Crow has been invited to join the prestigious Wundrous Society, a place that promised her friendship, protection and belonging for life. She’s hoping for an education full of wunder, imagination and discovery – but all the Society want to teach her is how evil Wundersmiths are. And someone is blackmailing Morrigan’s unit, turning her last few loyal friends against her. Has Morrigan escaped from being the cursed child of Wintersea only to become the most hated figure in Nevermoor? Worst of all, people have started to go missing. The fantastical city of Nevermoor, once a place of magic and safety, is now riddled with fear and suspicion…”

Explorers on Witch Mountain – Alex Bell
(another follow up from The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club, another one I’ve been waiting for FOREVER)
“Stella Starflake Pearl is eagerly anticipating her next expedition. Suddenly disaster strikes when Stella’s father, Felix, is snatched by a fearsome witch. Stella must bring her magic ice princess tiara to Witch Mountain or she will never see Felix again! But no one ever returns from Witch Mountain… Stella, Ethan, Shay, Beanie and reluctant Jungle Cat explorer, Percival, set off into the unknown. They will face terrifying bat caves, poisonous apple groves, outraged vultures, argumentative mushrooms and deranged broomsticks in their quest to rescue Felix.”

Into the Jungle – Katherine Rundell
(everything Katherine Rundell writes blows me away…)
“This wise and witty companion to Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic is likewise a series of connected stories about the man-cub Mowgli and his adventures among the animals in the Indian jungle. It includes all the original favorites like Baloo and Bagheera and gives female characters, like Mother Wolf, a more prominent role in Mowgli’s upbringing. The timely theme of the possibility of understanding and empathy across species, cultures, and genders will resonate with contemporary readers.”

Death in the Spotlight – Robin Stevens
(I absolutely adore Robin Stevens’ books, and this is one we’ve been waiting for a while!)
“Someone will take their final bow . . . Fresh from their adventure in Hong Kong, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are off to the Rue Theatre in London to face an entirely new challenge: acting. But danger has a nasty habit of catching up with the Detective Society, and it soon becomes clear that there is trouble afoot at the Rue. Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control – and then a body is found. Now Hazel and Daisy must take centre stage and solve the crime . . . before the murderer strikes again.”

And there you have it. 10 of the books I AM MOST EXCITED FOR OK.

2018 continues to be a TREAT FOR THE BRAIN. 

Which 2018 books are you still most excited for?
Have you read any of the books on my list?
Are there any books you think should’ve made my list but didn’t?

Share your thoughts with me! I’d love to know which MG books you’re still most excited for!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Amy Wilson

A Far Away Magic: a magical and touching tale of friendship and family

img_1087

“When Angel moves to a new school after the death of her parents, she isn’t interested in making friends. Until she meets Bavar – a strange boy, tall, awkward and desperate to remain unseen, but who seems to have a kind of magic about him. Everyone and everything within Bavar’s enchanted house is urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are travelling, the same monsters that killed Angel’s parents. But Bavar doesn’t want to follow the path that’s been chosen for him – he wants to be normal; to disappear. Fighting one another as well as their fears, Angel and Bavar must find a way to repair the rift between the worlds, and themselves, before it’s too late.”

A Far Away Magic tells one side of the story of Angel, the new girl in school, who just wants to get on with her new life, without being too noticed. She’s gone through some pretty rough times. Her parents have died, mysteriously, and she doesn’t want to revisit that memory as it is confusing and painful. She’s living with her new foster parents who aren’t too sure how to handle Angel, but who want to do what’s best for her. The other side of the story is Bavar. He’s a mysterious boy who goes unnoticed at school, who lives in the big house on the top of the hill. He’s happily going about not having friends until Angel, the new girl, notices him. 

Their friendship is not a conventional one. Angel is drawn to Bavar and she sees him when no one else does (much his magical doing!) and this stumps him. Angel can’t get this mysterious young man out of her head, she’s like a moth to lightdrawn to him. When they finally become friends, you see the spark of a brilliant friendship. Angel introduces Bavar to the normality of life – riding on trains, going to libraries – and Bavar introduces Angel to the exraordinary house he lives in, and his not so normal family. 

Obviously things never go to plan, these two people can’t just be friends and everything be peachy. There’s a connection between Bavar’s family and Angel’s dead parents. An undeniable connection that eventually explodes, with it their friendship. Bavar and Angel must work together to try to fix the problem. 

I really loved the friendship in this book. Angel and Bavar are reluctant friends at first. They don’t WANT to be friends, but they are drawn to each other. I love a good friendship in a book. They’re big hits for me. I also PROPER loved Bavar’s magical house. As you know by now I’m a sucker for anything magic, so the magical funny house Bavar lived in was a real winner with me! It was constantly changing. I’d like to live there!

Another of the themes that I loved in this book is Angel’s relationship with her foster parents. It is a hard relationship initially. They’re not sure how to be around each other at first. Angel doesn’t admit to anyone (except Bavar) that she’s got a foster family. By the end of the book you see the hard edges have melted away, they’re becoming a family unit. It was a really touching arc to watch develop and I definitely shed a tear. 

I loved Amy’s first book A Girl Called Owl (would definitely recommend it!), so when I was asked if I’d like to review this I was so happy to say yes! Thank you so much Amy for sending a copy to me! 

Have you read A Far Away Magic?
Are friendships a big part of a story to you?

Talk to me! Send me a tweet! A pigeon! A postcard! I’d love to talk!

S x