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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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!)

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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!

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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

S4S – 2018 in books

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE SECOND LAST #SIXFORSUNDAY OF THE YEAR. 

I’m so incredibly thrilled it’s Sunday again because I love a good #SixforSunday post! 

Today’s prompt is:

2018 in books

What did I mean by this? WHO KNOWS! I’m going to go with some facts about the books I read in 2018 (so far away!). I’m stealing some of these facts from Goodreads. Thanks boo.

  1. The longest book I read was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. 
  2. The shortest book I read was Shona, Word Detective by John Agard
  3. The author I read the most of was Harriet Whitehorn. I adored the Violet series and we all know I loved Company of Eight.
  4. I read (so far…) 154 books.
  5. I’ve read 40,706 pages this year (so far..).
  6. I read loads of picture books that I didn’t count to my total.

And there you go. #SixforSunday does 2018 a week too early! These numbers will hopefully change by next week. I have 2 weeks off school and I am EXCITED TO READ ALL OF THE BOOKS (no, I’ve still not read THUG. Soz)

See you next week for the final #SixforSunday of 2018! AHHHH. 

S x 

 

“You know books… can I have some recommendations?”

The amount of times I’ve been asked for recommendations over the past few weeks is LUSH. Whether it’s from my kids for what to read next, for parents on what to buy their kids for Christmas or from my colleagues on what to read, it’s all lush to talk books.

Over the next 3 days I’m going to collate 3 different lists for books I’d recommend – be it to read or to buy someone for Christmas!

Today I’m tackling 7+ (ish) recommendations

Tomorrow will be 8+ish and then Wednesday will be YA recommendations! There are LOADS of recommendations out there, I just decided to collate my favourite 10 from the past year (or so)!

If you have a reader who is just starting to read chapter books, or likes the look of illustrated chapter books, these books are brilliant.

2018 recs

Violet and the… series by Harriet Whitehorn

Fabio – The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective by Laura James

Royal Rabbits of London series by Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Amelia Fang series by Laura Ellen Anderson

Max – The Detective Cat series by Sarah Todd Taylor

The Wild Robot series by Peter Brown

The Twitches series by Hayley Scott

Sam Wu series by Katie and Kevin Tsang

Horace and Harriet series by Clare Elsom

There you have it! 10 of the best books for Y2+ I’ve read recently. I’d love to know your thoughts! Let me know!

Have you read any of these?
Do you have any recommendations that I could add?
Which of these would you like to pick up most?

Talk to me!

Remember to come back tomorrow for recommendations for books for those 8+ years!

S x

Brilliantly beautiful books…

Hello! Happy Tuesday! How are we all?

Today, I’m sharing some of the books I’ve read recently that I adored because of their incredible illustrations! These books are perfect for our Year 2s/Year 3s. They’re all going down brilliantly at school and our kids are screaming out for more

I’d love to know what books you recommend for this age. I find Year 2/3 the trickiest to get right – some of them aren’t ready for novels, but they want to start reading something with a bit of chunk. These books are perfect for that. The plots are engaging and they’re illustrated, providing a great mix of pictures and words! (Plus I’ve LOVED reading them!)

I’ll share my review and some of the things the kids have said too!

Perfect illustrated books.png

Fabio: The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective – Laura James

A great little story with the most gorgeous and vibrant set up! Fabio is a clever flamingo and along with some trusty friends he tries to solve the mystery of the missing hippo!

“Miss, I love that the pages are so colourful”
“It’s such fun… can you imagine seeing a flamingo in a hat looking for the bad guys?”
“I want more from Fabio, can you ask the author please?”

Meet the Twitches – Hayley Scott

A magical story with some gorgeous illustrations. Imagine losing someone you love in the grass when you’re tiny? I really loved this. I hope there’s more!

“I’d love my toys to come alive like those ones. Imagine what they would get up to”
“It’s so clever that the rabbits can make a parachute”
“The girl was so sad that she had to move but the rabbits are great to play with”

Violet and the Smugglers/Violet and the Hidden Treasure – Harriet Whitehorn 

(I’ve only just read these last weekend, so the kids haven’t had them yet!)
I really enjoyed these! Violet is a little detective and she stops at nothing to get the answers she needs. I really like her and I think kids will too! I need to get my hands on book 1 as these are book 2 and 3!

Horace and Harriet Take on The Town – Clare Elsom

Perfectly good fun! This will be brilliant for the Y2 children who are just starting to read chapter books! I can’t wait to see what adventures are to come!

“I loved the bit when the statue came to life because I didn’t think statues could talk”
“The little girl is really brave to talk to the statue”
“I want to know if they will stay friends because he’s very funny”

(There are more Horace and Harriet books and I can’t wait for EVEN more! This has been a massive hit!)

Max the Detective Cat: The Disappearing Diva – Sarah Todd Taylor

A great little caper! Fun detective mystery foiled by a brave theatre cat!

“Miss I loved that blind date book with Max. He was so clever, I bet he could solve loads of mysteries”
“I can’t believe he’s a cat who solves mysteries. I want a cat that clever”
“There were some brilliant pictures to look at in this story, I loved them”

There’s just 6 of some of the books we’ve recently been loving at school that are perfect – illustrations within chapter books make them far less intimidating!

What books are your Year 2s loving?
Can you recommend a book similar to any of these?
What’s your favourite thing about illustrated books?

Talk to me! 

S x

BLOG TOUR: Company of Eight

Today, I have the absolute pleasure of hosting Harriet Whitehorn, author of The Company of Eight, on my blog. She’s here to talk about something I was SUPER curious about when I was invited onto the blog tour: 

My Top Three Female Led Fantasy Stories

Little Red Riding Hood

Fairy tales are almost always about girls, and I presume, historically were used as a method to indoctrinate young ladies in how they should behave – for example, if they did a lot of housework without moaning they might end up with a handsome prince.   Most of the heroines are drippy beyond words but I have always had a soft spot for Little Red Riding Hood in her attention seeking red cloak, who wants a little bit more out of life and strays of the path in search of adventure and excitement with the Big Bad Wolf. 

Alice in Wonderland 

Alice is another girl in search of adventure, and what a time she has of it with the array of amazing creatures she comes across in Wonderland- the sinister Cheshire Cat and the tyrannical Queen of Hearts are my personal favourites .  And what I love about Alice is the practical and no-nonsense attitude she retains in the face of the chaos of CS Lewis’s crazy world.   

Lila in The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman

Pullman’s best known heroine is Lyra in the Northern Lights, but I rather like Lila in his earlier story, and she is every bit as brave and tenacious as her more famous counterpart.    Despite being told by her father that being a firework maker it is an unsuitable job for a woman, Lila is determined to be pursue her dream, and goes on a quest to prove it, ending up winning both The Firework Festival and her father’s approval of her career choice.  

Thank you so much Harriet for your brilliant post! Massive thanks to Stripes for inviting me to be part of the blog tour too!

Everyone should go check out The Company of Eight – I read it a while back and absolutely adored it!

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When Ravellous’s Circus Ship comes to Minaris, Cass is determined to audition despite her guardian Mrs Potts’s disapproval. But when her chance is snatched away from her, Cass refuses to give up. She sets out to follow the Circus Ship and the journey leads her into dangers that challenge even her adventurous spirit. Will she succeed in following her dream, or is her destiny something altogether different? 

I am Day 1 of the blog tour! I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts on the tour, check out the banner below to see who else is on the tour and check out their posts when they go live!

The Company of Eight BLOG TOUR BANNER

Happy reading!

S x