BLOG TOUR: Jane Kerr

The Great Animal Escapade: adventure filled brilliance!

img_5050

When The Elephant Thief came out in 2017, I absolutely devoured it, so when I heard there was going to be a sequel I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog tour! My expectations were pretty high for this follow up book… and man was I not disappointed. Filled with adventure, mischief, mayhem and mystery, this book is just as good as it’s predecessor.

In a stark difference to the first book, Danny has left behind his life on the streets to be working and living somewhere far more comfortable. His past however is never far behind him, and he never really gets the chance to forget it! It hangs about him like a bad smell. He is now living with the Jamesons, who, despite the fact they have taken him in, never really trust himespecially when things start to go wrong! He never really feels like he fits in – not in this new life, or in his old life – and he has so many unanswered questions that it starts to play on his mind a little. Throw in the mysterious character who says he knows more of Danny’s life… and you’ve got one well and truly confused main character!

I loved Danny. I think that’s one of the biggest things about this book is that you proper fall for him and you want things to work out for him. We all love a good main character we can root for… so Danny fits that category perfectly. You want people to believe him and trust him, and you really feel for him when things start to go a little awry in his life – both in and out of the zoo! Danny’s got a brilliant heart and you can tell throughout the book that he just wants whats best for the animals – his care and attention for them is lovely to read. We see things aren’t perfect, but the animals’ one constant is Danny’s love. 

No book is complete without it’s very own villain… and there is definitely a character who lives that role perfectly. He’s a mysterious and untrustworthy character, who we don’t really know a lot about. He’s elusive and secretive and we definitely don’t know whether or not to trust him at the start. I like a character like this because it makes the guessing game all the more satisfying! Plus, they’re a little more interesting to talk about than down and out evil characters.

This book is filled with magic, mystery and intrigue and makes a brilliant read: perfect for Year 5s and 6s! I’d quite like to travel back to this time and experience what it was like… and maybe give Danny a big hug! This book delivers quite a punch with its messages, but does it in ways which are subtle and just plain great. If you’re after a book that is sure to make you want to read on, then look no further!

A massive thank you to the publishers Chicken House for sending me a review copy – it is now at school being consumed by my class! 

Check out the rest of the blog tour below: there’s some cracking posts to get your teeth into! 

6d585dd5-33ac-4a82-902f-9ddd9757b8e7

S x

 

2018 round up!

WELL HELLO 2019.
How are you my dear darling? 

I’m here to give you a round up of the December, and then a short round up of all of the goings on in the old reading world! 

So let’s start with December! In December, I:

Finished my first term as an NQT
Read 11 books in total
Read most of those books in the Christmas holidays
Spent time sorting through a LOT of books
Laughed a lot
Hated the dark days
Rewatched so many of my favourite films
Helped pull off a brilliant nativity play with my brilliant kids
Had a lush Christmas and New Years!
Played pool for the first time in FOREVER and won!

So, what MG books did I read in December?

december mg

I was 100% spoiled with the MG books I read in December. The brilliant brilliant humans of all the publishers sent me these and I loved each and every one of them. I think The Midnight Hour is going to be SPECIAL next year when it comes out. The world building and the characters were just exceptional. Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for reviews on all of these books! 

What about YA, Steph? Did you abandon it like you did a few months ago?

NO NO I DID NOT.

december ya

I had a thoughly enjoyable December in YA books. All of these books I adored for very different reasons. Oh My Gods was such a brilliant tale; Dry was dystopian that could be; Slay was just fun and This Lie Will Kill You terrified me. Watch out for full reviews of all of these books to come! I have lots to say about all of them! 

As December was the last month of 2018, my book challenge round ups are for the WHOLE YEAR. 

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 113/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 99/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 162/52

I read some ABSOLUTE SMASHERS this year. I think 2018 was an incredible year for books. I had quite a lovely time going through my Goodreads challenge to see all of the books I read! Check them all out below!

Just look at all of them together!
What a beautiful set of books I read in 2018! 

Here’s to 2019!

How did you do on your reading challenges?
What was December like reading wise for you?
What 2019 releases are you most excited for?

Talk to me! I’d love to know your thoughts!

S x

November wrap up!

It may be December 10th, but I still am yet to round up my (rather pitiful looking) November reads!

In November, I:

Only read 3 books!
Started a few books, but my brain wouldn’t let me read.
Suffered from some pretty bad SAD.
Was a bit poorly.
Slept a lot.
Started rehearsing for the Christmas play at school.
Experienced my worst reading block for a while.
Did some Christmas shopping!

My November in books is a pretty TINY pile comapred to some months… but hey, when you’re not in the mood, you’re not in the mood!

The books I managed to get through were:

2 YA books and 1 kids book. 

I was SO VERY FORTUNATE to be send a proof copy of Fierce Fragile Hearts and I consumed it in a matter of hours a few weekends ago. I’m currently still trying to process my thoughts on it, but I tell you this guys, you NEED to get on it. It’s out next year and I just think Sara Barnard has yet again written an absolute winner. She is 100% one of my faves.

I’ve written a review of The Boneless Mercies here and my review of Fortunately, The Milk is to come!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 105/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 92/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 152/52

Now, for all this month wasn’t a GREAT success reading wise, I am still streets ahead of my yearly goal… which pleases me to no end! I’m hoping to read 4 books in December, so that I’m on 156 books (300% of my original target). Bring on the Christmas holidays!

How is your yearly goal looking?
Are you looking forward to Christmas festivities too?
What’s on your Christmas to read pile?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

October in books!

Well hello November, you snuck up on me indeed.

I’m not sure where October went (it took half of my half term with it too!), but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In October, I:

Visited Edinburgh with my favourite.
Spent most of my half term poorly.
Loved every second of being a teacher.
Got to interview David Levithan and Laura Steven at Waterstones (!!)
Went out to breakfast with my best friends.
Finished my first half term as an NQT.
Sang a lot of Livin on a Prayer.
Read 15 books (!!)

October was a pretty incredible month! I NEVER expected to have read 15 books! That’s blown my mind a little bit!

What MG did I read?

october mg

A Chase in Time – Sally Nicholls *
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – Andrea Beaty *
The Dog That Saved Christmas – Nicola Davies *
Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic – Harriet Muncaster *
Max the Detective Cat: The Phantom Portrait – Sarah Todd Taylor *
The Boy Who Lived With Dragons – Andy Shepherd *
The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig
A Pinch of Magic – Michelle Harrison *

* reviews to come!

What about YA?

october ya

Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman*
And The Ocean Was Our Sky – Patrick Ness*
Jack of Hearts and Other Parts – L. C. Rosen*
Someday – David Levithan
Firebird – Elizabeth Wein*

Anything else?

I also read The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I am a massive Mitch Albom fan. My review of this is to come!

I’m really chuffed with how many books I managed to read last month! There were definitely some stand outs! Keep your eyes peeled this week for a round up of reviews and some more in depth reviews too!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 104/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 91/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 148/52

Now that it’s November, we will be in for full swing Christmas mode at school! I am also  sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in October?
Do you prefer my in depth reviews or my round ups?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

September in books

Well hello October, you came quickly my friend!

I did not think September would go as quickly as it did, but here we are… the end of another month, around for another bookish round up!

In September, I:

Read 8 books.
Started my first term as an NQT.
Had my first NQT observation.
Announced I was doing another event (with Laura Steven and David Levithan)!!!
Had days of not reading and then a weekend of binge reading.
Got very excited for some 2019 releases.
Received some absolutely lush book post. 

September was an incredible month. I finally started teaching and it’s genuinely the best thing. I love it so much. 

But you’re here for books, yes?

Let’s start with MG:

I managed 6 MG books this month!

sept mg

It seems September was the month of beautiful turquoise covers. Trust me… they’re LUSH. Watch out for reviews this week! I can’t wait to share my thoughts on all of these!

Now, some YA:

I got through 2 YA books this month!

sept ya

I loved BOTH of these books. I’ve already reviewed Scythe. My review of The Treatment is still to come… but trust me, it is EXCELLENT, if not a bit spooky!

I’m chuffed with this! I felt like tiredness stopped me from reading, so was under the impression I’d done NO reading this month, so to find that I’ve actually read 8 is brilliant. 

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 97/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 82/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 133/52

Now that it’s October, I’ll have a half term to get some reading done. However, I am sticking to my pledge of reading every night before bed.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in September?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

August in books

Well hello there! Sorry this wrap up is late… the end of August came upon me suddenly! 

Goodbye August – the month of sunshine, trips to London, relaxing with my favourites, reading many books. You must make way now for September, the month of back to work nerves, new jobs and many changes afoot! September is going to be both an exhausting and exhilirating month! 

In August, I:

Read 31 books (!!)
Spent a few days in London with my best friend
Enjoyed the Summer holidays
Worried about my new job
Was excited about my new job
Spent a lot of time relaxing
Did a lot of sorting
Set up my first classroom (!! – more on that coming this week!)
Announced I’m chairing another event (!! – more on that here)

August was an incredible month. A lot of reading happened! Want to see what I read?!

Let’s start with middle grade!

In August, I read 14 MG books! From jumping the rooftops in Paris, to sailing the seas and making friends with islands; from being a detective, to travelling in and out of books; from running with the memory of the war to being chosen by the elements – all of August’s kids books I would wholeheartedly recommend. 

August MG

Just look at that assortment! Definitely keep your eyes peeled for these – some of them are out already, others are yet to be released!

Now on to YA 

August saw me take on MANY YA books, with me managing to read a grand total of 15 YA books (which I believe is my highest monthly YA total this year… I could be mistaken!) I read a whole range of books – from ones that had been on TBR forever, to brand new books, to new releases and soon to be released! I definitely enjoyed all of them, but some will stay with me a lot longer!

august ya

If all of those covers aren’t enough to entice you, I’ve posted a few reviews already, with the rest scheduled in the coming weeks!

Mini reviews: London edition

BOOK BLOG: Hayley Barker

BOOK BLOG: Chloe Coles

BOOK BLOG: Philip Pullman

Now for a miscellaneous 2 – not YA, not MG… but adult?! I don’t know?

So yeah, there’s all the books I read in August… but what does this mean for my book challenges?

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 92/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 76/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 125/52

Now that it’s September, I can bet that I won’t get through as many books, but I am making a pledge to read every night before bed, so hopefully I’ll still get through books! 

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in August?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

July in books

Goodbye July, you were wonderful and filled with books and my friends, but you now must make way for your neighbour August – she who brings me Summer holidays and many relaxing! There will be work things happening, but August is a teacher’s time to recharge and recuperate, ready for whatever September brings!

In July, I:

Read 11 books.
Spent a weekend at YALC
Bought a fair few books
Saw Matt Haig talk for the second time
Broke up from school
Saw some of my favourite people in the world
Fell deeply in love with Kaz Brekker again
Finally got my hands on a book I’ve been wanting forever
Celebrated my 2 year blog anniversary!
Graduated from university!
Qualified as a teacher!
Got my own classroom!
Did my first transition day with my new kids!

July was an incredible month – professionally and personally – and now it’s over I am very thankful that all these wonderful things happened. Whether it was through luck, charm or dogged hard work, I’m very proud of the past month, but also the past year (more on that to come in the next few weeks!)

But anyway, you’re really here to hear about what I read in July, aren’t you?

Let’s start with MG books:

july mg

6 MG books this month and all of them were a delight! Reviews coming in the next few weeks for all of them as I am READY to shout about them all!

Now, YA books!
(Last month I only read 2, so I have definitely done better this month!)

ya july

Notes on a Nervous Planet TECHNICALLY isn’t a YA book, but I didn’t want to single it out! Reviews to come for all of these too – would recommend all 100%.

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 68/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 62/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 95/52

Now that its the Summer holidays, I should get lots of reading done! So look out for all of those updates on my Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter! Give me a follow on Instagram and Twitter – I’m @eenalol on both! 

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in July?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

June in books

Hello there!

We are already 3 days into July. Where did June go? This year is FLYING. However, now that it’s July SO MUCH EXCITING IS HAPPENING. But that is not what we’re here tot alk about… today is June’s wrap up of books. 

In June, I:

Finished my teacher training (!!)
Enjoyed a lot of sunshine
Suffered from a LOT of hayfever
Found out wich class I’m teaching next year
Was asked to be involved in an event which I’m VERY excited for
Added LOTS of books to my TBR
Received an awful lot of book post (thank you so much to the wonderful publishers and publicists, I love you all dearly!)
Read 10 books 

June was a gloriously sun-filled month! 

So what did I read in the end?

MG books

june mg

I had a very busy MG month! Reading 8 MG books! Reviews for these books are to come, if they haven’t already been posted!

Check out my reviews for Candy and Sam Wu!

YA books

june ya

Poor June was only graced with 2 YA books… but if we’re honest it’s 2 YA books that I had been waiting for FOREVER. I have MANY thoughts about Floored, and I posted my review of Theatrical yesterday, so check that out!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 60/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 56/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 84/52

July promises to be a YA heavy month what with YALC coming! 

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in June?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see me read/want to see on my blog. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: Katie and Kevin Tsang

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks: laugh out loud funny and brilliantly illustrated book that kids will love!

img_2770

“Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except when he is). And when a shark TOTALLY tries to eat him at the local aquarium, he decides he’s not going to take any more chances. So at his friend’s birthday party at the beach, Sam refuses to dip even a toe in the water. Nothing could go wrong now, could it?”

Sam Wu is a brilliant new series of books written by husband and wife team Kevin and Katie Tsang (also known as Katherine Webber, yes… her! Author of the amazing Wing Jones), illustrated by the brilliant Nathan Reed. If you’re new to the Sam Wu books, you might fancy checking out my review of the first book in the series ‘Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts’ here. Book one was a delight, so I was VERY excited when I got the opportunity to read book 2. Thank you so much to the publishers, Egmont, for sending me a review copy!

img_2772

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks tells the story of Sam and his friends, who end up going to an aquarium and (as Sam is DEFINITELY not afraid of sharks) the hilarity that ensues. Obviously, as Sam is not afraid of sharks, when one of his classmates invites him to her birthday party (being held at the beach), he is THRILLED (see: not thrilled) to be going. The beach is the LAST place Sam wants to be – but he’s NOT scared of sharks, no sir. 

I love this series so much. The books so far have both been really funny and the first book has been a total hit with the kids at school. They’re the perfect book for kids who are just starting out reading chapter books for themselves. We’re so lucky at the minute that there are many wonderfully illustrated chapter books being published, and Sam Wu fits so beautifully in that category. 

img_2773.jpg

Sam continues to be one of those really funny characters. He has some amazing people in his life. His friends are wonderful; his little sister makes me laugh. They surround Sam, who is definitely not afraid of everything, and keep him going when in reality he just wants to stay in his room all the time. There’s some brilliant moments in this book with some new characters and old favourites. On top of all of this, the portrayal of Sam’s family is brilliant – they are hilarious. 

img_2771

One of my favourite things about these books is the illustrations. I think they add SO MUCH to the story. The pages are all different and I love that. There’s so much going on in these books that you can’t get bored. The illustrations are just top notch. They add a level of humour that I adore. 

My Goodreads review:

I love these books – they’re fun, brilliantly illustrated and younger me would’ve picked them up in a heartbeat. I love the humour in the Sam Wu books, he’s the perfect MC! These books always make me laugh. I can’t wait for book 3! Come on February!

I am VERY excited for the third book in the Sam Wu series – Sam Wu is Not Afraid of The Dark. There’s a sneak peek of the cover on the back of Sharks, but I won’t spoil it! 

Have you read any of the Sam Wu series?
What are you DEFINITELY not afraid of?
Can you recommend any other books like Sam Wu?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter!

S x

May in books

May bye

May has gone. May will not come back for a while.

How was everyone’s May? I can’t believe we’re in June now. (I feel like I say this every month, but there we go!)

Today we’re looking at all of the books I read in May and let me tell you IT IS A LOT OF BOOKS. I’m not quite sure how I read so many, but I think I have a half term and bank holidays to thank!

In May, I:

Read 20 books (!)
Finished university (technically!)
Passed my final university module (thankfully!)
Had my final SCITT observation
Handed in my files 
Enjoyed a lot of sunshine
Went to see Matilda (it was SPLENDID)
Read a lot of books 
Received some lush book post (thanks lovely publishers/publicists!)
Was a terrible bujo mama 

So yeah… bye May. You were good to me.

So what exactly did I read in May?

Let’s start with MG books

May MG

Mirror Magic – Claire Fayers (blog tour coming next week!)
Violet and the Smugglers – Harriet Whitehorn
Violet and the Hidden Treasure – Harriet Whitehorn
The Bubble Boy – Stewart Foster (BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster)
The Secret Of The Night Train – Sylvia Bishop
The Boy Who Grew Dragons – Andy Shepherd (BOOK BLOG: Andy Shepherd)
Lightning Girl – Alesha Dixon
The Last Chance Hotel – Nicki Thornton
The Everything Machine – Ally Kennan
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball – Laura Ellen Anderson
Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords – Laura Ellen Anderson
The Royal Rabbits of London – Santa Montefiore/Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Colour of the Sun – David Almond

Reviews to come for the rest of them! Keep your eyes peeled!

Now some YA books

May YA

Flying Tips for Flightless Birds – Kelly McCaughrain
The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
All of this is True – Lygia Day Penaflor
The Extinction Trials: Exile – S.M.Wilson (BOOK BLOG: S M Wilson)
In Your Light – Annalie Grainger
The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
Needlework – Deirdre Sullivan

More reviews of these to come in the following weeks!

As you can see I had a very big reMay byeading month and I need to get on top of my reviews! They are to come in various ways. Keep your eye out for reviews for all of them in the coming weeks. I had a blast reading in May, some pretty exceptional books!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 52/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 43/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 72/52

I am doing WELL with my book challenges. I’m pretty chuffed! But I don’t read as a challenge, I read cause it’s FUN.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in May?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Can you recommend me any books to read in June? 

Thanks for reading! A lot to process!

Let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see in June/want me to read in June. I love your suggestions!

S x