“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 – Please Santa!

Good afternoon friends! 

How are we all this chilly yet sunny Sunday?! What are you reading? How is December going for you?

Today I’m coming at you with a #SixforSunday with wishes from the North Pole. Yes we’re talking:

Six books you wish Santa would bring you

Now we all know that Santa can bring pretty much ANYTHING don’t we? My choices clearly reflect that! 

  1. Six of Crows Collector’s Edition – Leigh Bardugo
    This is actually on my Christmas list, so fingers crossed!
  2. Pages and Co sprayed edges edition – Anna James
    This is actually sold out… but Santa can work miracles, yeah?
  3. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
    COME ON SANTA. IT IS SO CLOSE TO NEXT YEAR. IT MUST BE TIME.
  4. Against all Gods – Maz Evans
    AGAIN. HOWARE. I’ve been waiting forever.
  5. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
    NOW would be nice Santa.
  6. The Boy: His Stories and How They Came to be – Oliver Jeffers
    I am a MASSIVE fan and would LOVE this thanks.

So there we go… challenge set Santa!

Share your #SixforSunday choices with me! I’d love to know what is on your list! 

See you next week! Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for 2019’s #SixforSunday topics!

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 

S4S – Ultimate panels

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the hiatus this week… there was just a little need for my brain to take a break after a very busy half term! I am back though! And today’s #SixforSunday sees me taking on:

Dream panels/events

So, my dream panels? WELL THIS IS GONNA BE FUN. I’m gonna go 3 MG and 3 YA because LOVE.

“Contemporary YA: Why it matters” with Laura Steven, Alice Oseman, Sara Barnard and Katherine Webber.

“Writing badass characters” featuring Leigh Bardugo, Melinda Salisbury, Alice Broadway and Alwyn Hamilton.

“Writing stories that make our readers cry (we love it)” featuring C.G.Drews, Karen Gregory, Lisa Healthfield and Adam Silvera.

“Creating worlds kids want to read about” featuring Helena Duggan, Maz Evans, Ross Mackenzie and Kiran Milwood Hargrave.

“Writing incredible characters” featuring Peter Brown, Lisa Thompson, Alex Bell and Jessica Townsend.

“Books: an ode to books” featuring Anna James and Piers Torday in conversation.

Side note: I am still waiting for a Floored Seven panel

There we go! I LOVE hearing authors talk about their books, so please GET ME MORE EVENTS IN THE NORTH. I’m more than happy to host any of these *wink*

Remember to share your dream panels using #SixforSunday! I can’t wait to see what you all think! 

S x 

The Superlatives book tag

Hello! Happy Tuesday everyone. 

Today, I’ve been tagged by the lovely Kelly (of Kelly’s Rambles) to take part in the ‘Superlatives book tag’. Now, as many of you know Kelly is one of my best friends and we share quite a similar bookish reading taste, so when I read her post I was like “YOU’VE STOLEN SO MANY OF THE BOOKS I WOULD CHOOSE”so if you’re interested in knowing other choices that I would’ve made, then check out Kelly’s post

I’m a big fan of a tag because I think they’re super fun! Don’t forget I’ve created my own tag – The Friends Tag – that you can join in with, or you can guest post on my blog too!

Here we go… I’m going to go with books I’ve read in 2018 to fulfil these prompts!

MOST LIKELY TO BE IN THE MOVIES: THE BOOK THAT WOULD MAKE THE BEST MOVIE

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I can’t not say Six of Crows. I would ABSOLUTELY love to see this made into a film. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year and I would love to see Kaz on screen. Kaz and his merry bunch of Dregs. I think Six of Crows would make an incredible film. Can someone make this happen please?

BIGGEST DRAMA QUEEN/KING: THE MOST (OVERLY) DRAMATIC BOOK OR CHARACTER

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There’s characters in All of this is True that I couldn’t get away with because they were just a bit OTT for me. Like, this book never did quite catch up for me. 

BEST DRESSED: THE BOOK WITH THE BEST COVER

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I can’t not go for Clean. I mean, look at that rose gold goodness. *swoon*

MOST CREATIVE: THE BOOK WITH THE MOST UNIQUE PLOT, CHARACTERS, & STRUCTURE

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I don’t think I’ve read anything quite as spooky, sciencey and underwater-y as The Secret Deep. I absolutely adored it. Lindsay Galvin has written an ABSOLUTE winner here. I implore you all to read it. 

MOST POPULAR: THE BOOK WITH THE MOST RATINGS ON GOODREADS

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I finished Northern Lights recently and it has a whopping 1,082,925 ratings on Goodreads! 

MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: THE BOOK THAT IS GOING TO BE APPRECIATED FOR MANY YEARS TO COME

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Matt Haig writes the most amazing books. I think his books have incredible staying power and as long as there’s technology in our lives, Notes on a Nervous Planet also has a place in our lives. 

CLASS CLOWN: THE BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD

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Maz NEVER fails to make me laugh. Who Let The Gods Out? series is one I could’ve used to answer the prompt before too. Beyond the Odyssey is hilarious. Everyone I know who I’ve made read the series have said they’ve loved them. Please go out and check them out. They will, I promise, make you laugh, a lot. 

MOST IMPROVED: THE BOOK THAT STARTED OFF SLOW, BUT REALLY PICKED UP

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It took me a WHILE to get into The Smoke Thieves, but once you’re into the action, it’s very much there. There’s a lot going on in this book, with many points of view, but stick with it… 

CUTEST COUPLE: CUTEST COUPLE IN A BOOK

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Holly and Ed from My Box-Shaped Heart are just lush. I can’t say any more than that. Their whole situation made me smile a lot. 

BIGGEST HEARTBREAKER: THE BOOK THAT BROKE YOUR HEART

(LOL, they all do, all the time)

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Ah man. A Thousand Perfect Notes? More like a thousand tears of sadness. Even now thinking about it makes me a bit emotional. It’s just harrowing. 

And there we have it! My 2018 books I’ve read superlatives list! 

I’m not going to tag anyone because everyone I know has already been tagged… but if you fancy it, have a go!

Let me know in the comments if you agree with any of my choices, or what you’d change!

S x

S4S – Autobuy authors

Hello Sunday! Hello #SixforSunday pals. 

How are we all today? 

Today on #SixforSunday, we are talking:

Authors I will always pick up

Now… I’m technically going to do 2 #SixforSunday posts in one here… 6 YA authors, and 6 MG authors. (Hey, I’m the creator of #SixforSunday, I can bend the rules!)

6 YA authors that are automatic buys:

  1. Melinda Salisbury (I KNOW! WHAT A SHOCKER!)
  2. Sara Barnard (again… WHO AM I?)
  3. Alwyn Hamilton 
  4. Katherine Webber
  5. Alice Broadway
  6. Alice Oseman

6 MG authors that are automatic buys:

  1. Maz Evans (I bet you didn’t see that coming!)
  2. Lisa Thompson
  3. Katherine Rundell
  4. Ross Montgomery
  5. Kiran Milwood-Hargrave
  6. Abi Elphinstone

Shout out to Matt Haig too… who doesn’t fit into these 2 categories, but who is 1100% an auto-buy in my life.

None of these names will come as a surprise to long time, or even short time, followers of my blog! 

Remember to share your #SixforSunday post with me on twitter! I’m loving all of the posts! Thanks guys!

See you next week for Authors who surprised you!

S x

 

BOOKBLOG: Maz Evans

Beyond The Odyssey: well worth the wait, the pain and the TEARS!

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Hello, I’m Steph and I’m a self confessed Maz Evans super fan. Her books are EXCEPTIONAL. Like… properly great. Who Let The Gods Out and Simply The Quest are some of my favourite books of recent years. I own 3 copies of STQ, for what reason? Who knows! I made all of my friends go on a massive hunt for sprayed edges STQ last year, and I am on HIGH ALERT for sprayed edges BTO this year. But anyway, we are not here to talk about my hunt for sprayed edges books… we are here to talk about Beyond The Odyssey…

Imagine the scene, I’m (impatiently) waiting for a Chicken House parcel. I’m still waiting. It’s been snowing, the postman hasn’t been for days (it’s like a post apocalyptic world) I’ve been off work with nothing to read (in reality there’s 700 books for me to read, but I want to read BTO). When I eventually go back to work, there is still no sign of the book. I start to think my postman is holding the book hostage (I feel Nyx would approve of my postman doing this)… I come in from a HORRIFIC day at work and to my sheer joy there is a parcel from the House of Chickens. IMAGINE MY DELIGHT… LOOK AT HOW CHUFFED I AM.

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I have no shame. I was so excited.

(If you haven’t read Who Let The Gods Out/Simply The Quest, then get on it. THEY ARE SO GOOD OK? My reviews are here and here)

But anyway… onto my review…

“Elliot’s life is spiralling out of control and his mum’s health is worsening. The gods are determined to embark on the quest for the third chaos stone. But Elliot has heard of a mythical potion rumoured to cure all ills … could he save his mum, even if it means sacrificing the fate of the world?”

Beyond the Odyssey (let’s call it BTO from now on in this review, because that’s FAR FEWER letters for me to have to type, and you to have to read!) follows the life of our trusty protagonist Elliot, who is naturally struggling with lots of things. He does have his trusty Greek Gods by his side, and his ever faithful best friend Virgo to help him too. The battles he faces this time are MUCH BIGGER than in the 2 previous books. This time… there’s Titans on the loose, a hunt for a potion that could heal Josie-Mum and some pretty tough characters to face too. 

BTO introduces us to Elliot’s dad, Dave, who is around the farm, but things aren’t quite right. Josie-Mum is getting worse, she doesn’t seem to trust Dave and she wants to be nowhere near him. Elliot doesn’t think anything of this, just that Josie-Mum is getting used to change. Dave tries to keep out of the way as much as he can. 

It’s going to be so hard to write this review without it being spoilery. I will aim not to be spoilery. I’ll be a good book blogger. (LOL)

So Elliot has to combat dealing with Dave, people at school meddling in his business, trying to find another Chaos Stone and finding this magical potion he has heard of. There’s SO MUCH here for Elliot to deal with. He’s an amazing young man. I have grown properly attached to him. There are moments in BTO where I was like NO ELLIOT DON’T DO THAT MAN THAT’S SO STUPID, but he does everything with one thing in his mind: get his mum better. I know that if I were Elliot, I’d want my mam to be better too

Seriously though, how I write this review without just telling you what happens is hurting my brain.

I need you to know a few things: 

Elliot is a wonderful young man.

The gods have his best interests at heart. I absolutely love seeing how much their relationships have grown. The gods make these books even more special. Especially the good ones.

There’s obviously baddies. They make for deliciously wicked reading. There’s a MASSIVE twist towards the end and I GENUINELY gasped. SO SO GOOD. Maz is a wicked queen who wants us all to feel pain.

These books are hilarious. These books are so fast paced and wonderful. There’s some absolute comedic genius lines thrown in there. I genuinely chuckle SO HARD at these books. There’s an incredible line about kebabs that made me laugh for a good 10 minutes. The balance of BREAKING YOUR HEART to PROPER LAUGHTER is perfect. There’s scenes aboard disastrous planes in this book which just are wonderful. 

I’ve learned SO MUCH about Greek mythology through these books. I genuinely find myself spouting random things about Greek mythology having read these books. You don’t realise you’re learning, but you are. 

MAz

This is just a snippet of the messages I sent to Maz while I was reading. Seriously. There’s a WHOLE TON of others, but they’re spoilery. SO MUCH HELP NEEDED. I finished BTO and was like “what have I just read? what just happened?” but in that exquisite, brilliant, book hangover kind of way. You know when you read a book that is just SO GOOD your brain doesn’t quite know how to process what happened?

My goodreads review is far fewer words, with the same message:

Can I give this book more than 5 stars? 
Gods it’s brilliant. More emotions than I can list. The exceptional humour of the past two, more twists and turns than you can count, a massive dollop of sadness, some more exceptional Greek mythology. New characters, old favourites, new places, old haunts. I just… yes. Maz is exceptional

This review so far has just been a lot of ramble. Trust me when I say it is EXCEPTIONAL. I am SO READY (but so NOT ready) for book 4. I am GENUINELY terrified about what it holds for us. I am team purple cover though (for book 4). 

Have you read any of this series yet?
Are you a fan of mythology in stories?
Are you also team purple cover?

Please come and talk to me about this book, this series, what is to come, because I need to talk about it more. I am yet to think coherent thoughts about this book. I loved it and would absolute recommend EVERYONE reads it. Leave me a comment, send me a tweet, a carrier god, whatever!

S x

 

S4S – 2018 books

HALLO.

It is Sunday again.How did that happen? It’s the Easter holidays! I hope everyone is eating a chocolate egg, or something equally fun today.

Today’s #SixforSunday theme is

2018 books I’m still excited for

Now, lots of the books of 2018 I was excited for are out already BUT of course there are some I am STILL excited for. 

  1. Beyond the Odyssey – Maz Evans 
    (I technically already own this, thanks Chicken House, but it’s not out JUST YET)
  2. Polar Bear Explorers’ Club 2 (I’m not sure if it has a title yet!) – Alex Bell
  3. Floored – an assortment of brilliant UKYA authors
  4. Katherine Webber – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
    (again, I’ve read it but since it’s not out yet, I can be excited for it!)
  5. Wundersmith (Nevermoor 2) – Jessica Townsend
  6. 1000 Perfect Notes – C.G. Drews 
    (another one I’ve read that I can’t wait for EVERYONE ELSE to read. It’s heartbreaking)

And there we have it! Six 2018 releases that I’m still excited for. There are so so many others. 2018 is killing it in the old book stakes! Keep em coming!

Keep sharing your #SixforSunday posts with me on Twitter and linking me! I’m loving all of the posts! You’re all brilliant!

S x

#BookBuddy

'Book Buddy' by Emma Reynolds(Picture courtesy of Book Buddy website)

HELLO.

I’d like to take a little moment today to talk about the amazing movement #BookBuddy, started by the incredible Maz Evans (yes, that Maz Evans, author extraordinare!).

What is #BookBuddy?
The aim of this site is to help schools match up with interested donors to get books into their libraries. For some children, school is the only access they have to reading books and it is vital to keep new books coming in so that all children see books and reading as an activity that they can (and are allowed) to participate in.

Are you a school teacher/librarian/head that would like to the chance to be involved in an incredible movement that gets books into your school? Are you a brilliant human who has books lying around in your house that you’d like to donate to a school? Then sign up for the #BookBuddy website. It is SO simple. Follow this link. School or donor, you can sign up. 

I am VERY lucky in that my school was paired with the absolutely gorgeous Lisa Thompson (author of The Goldfish Boy, The Light Jar) and we have already had one box of books from her. The books have been GRATEFULLY received by my kids and they are LOVING them. Some of them are even pretty gobsmacked that a REAL author sends us books. 

It’s an absolute joy looking through the hashtag #BookBuddy on twitter – so many incredible people sharing books with Primary schools and Secondary schools. So many school libraries are underfunded (or unfunded) so to see people sharing books with these libraries makes me so happy. As someone who wants all school libraries to have the most high quality texts, and for kids to grow up as readers, this scheme makes me so so so happy

If you want to know more, you can check out the website: BookBuddy.org.uk and check out the hastag on twitter to see some of the amazing parcels that have been sent so far!

S x

 

 

S4S – Authors I discovered in 2017

Hello there everyone!

How are we all? How is your Sunday going? Are you here to check out my #SixforSunday? Or are you here to check out my other posts from this week? Well come in, you’re more than welcome, whatever the answer! 

Today is another #SixforSunday post! Today’s post is all about:

Six authors I discovered in 2017

So, 6 authors I discovered in 2017 that I’d never read before. Some of these names may surprise you, some may not! Lets get on with it…

  1. Matt Haig
    Matt Haig was my most read author in 2017. I think I read 5 or 6 of his books. I absolutely adore his books and I got the chance to meet him earlier this month. I can’t wait for more from him. Go check out his books if you’re not already acquainted with them.
    BOOKBLOG: Matt HaigBOOKBLOG: Matt Haig
  2. Katie Webber
    The author of the ever so gorgeous Wing Jones. I absolutely adored Wing and I can not wait to see what is coming next from Katie. She’s just brilliant as an author and a person.
    BOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber
  3. Alice Broadway
    Another debut from 2017 whose writing I absolutely fell in love with. If you haven’t read Ink then you really really need to. It’s one of my favourite books from last year. I can’t wait for Spark to come out later this year.
    BOOKBLOG: ALICE BROADWAY
  4. Maz Evans
    Yes, I know. I talk about Maz a lot, but I absolutely ADORE Maz and her books. Who Let The Gods Out and Simply The Quest are 2 of my fave kids books of 2017. They’re FIRM faves in the school library too!
    BOOKBLOG: Maz EvansBOOK BLOG: Maz Evans
  5. Emma Carroll
    I fell in love with Letters from the Lighthouse in 2017. I think I read it twice. I bought copies for the school library, for the Year 6 teacher and one of my friends. That’s how much I loved it.
    BOOKBLOG: Emma Carroll
  6. Stephen King
    Now, bear in mind I only read 1 Stephen King book in 2017 BUT I really loved it. I need to go ask my friends at Waterstones to give me more recommendations, because I think I’d like to read another one!
    BOOKBLOG: Stephen King

So there you go! Six authors I read for the first time in 2017. Definitely check them all out if you haven’t already! 

If you’re partaking in this week’s prompt, remember to share using #SixforSunday! Tweet me your link and I’ll check it out!

S x