Wrap up time!

This could be wrap up because cold, or wrap up because it’s time for MINI REVIEWS! If you’re here looking for a scarf appreciation post, you’ll need to come back next week *wink*

So… what have I read recently?

Today I’m going to give a wrap up of some of the MG books I read last month! I am loving doing mini reviews at the minute! 

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A Chase in Time – Sally Nicholls

The old gilt-edged mirror has hung in Alex’s aunt’s house for as long as he can remember. Alex hardly notices it, until the day he and his sister are pulled through the mirror, back into 1912. It’s the same house, but a very different place to live, and the people they meet need their help. Soon they are caught up in an action-packed adventure, solving a crime, rescuing priceless jewels, and eating more cake than they have ever eaten before.

This is a brilliant tale of time travel, learning about the past and a bit of doing what’s right! With incredible characters and an engaging story, this book is going down a storm in the classroom! I really enjoyed this! The characters, the historical elements and the magical mirror give it a feel of a classic story. This would make a brilliant read aloud in the class. I am truly hoping there’s going to be a second book!

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Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere is no stranger to flops and fails, kerfuffles and catastrophes. After all, engineering is all about perseverance! But this time, Rosie has a really important project to tackle—one that feels much bigger than herself. Rosie’s beloved Aunt Rose and her friends, the Raucous Riveters—a group of fun-loving gals who built airplanes during World War II—need help inventing something new. And Rosie is just the engineer for the job! After one flop . . . then another . . . and another . . . Rosie starts to lose hope. But thanks to some help from her fellow Questioneers Iggy Peck and Ada Twist, Rosie gets the job done. And, along with the Riveters, she rediscovers the meaning of home.

This book is just LUSH. Helping people and having fun is such a brilliant thing to read about! It also has incredible depictions of women and children in engineering, the importance of family and lovely messages about not giving up when something goes wrong. I really REALLY loved this. I think it’d be the perfect addition for any classroom or home library!

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Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic – Harriet Muncaster

Isadora Moon is special because she’s different. Her mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she’s a bit of both. Isadora loves playing in the snow, especially when her creations come to life! But snow magic can’t last forever. Will she be able to save her new friends before they melt away? 

As a big fan of Isadora Moon (and knowing that the kids at school are) I was very excited to get the chance to read this book! From the incredible cover, to the brilliant illustrations, this book is lots of fun. The short chapters and perfect for younger readers and the back is filled with fun snow-y things to do. The story is fun and the characters are all great. A perfect wintry tale!

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Max The Detective Cat: The Phantom Portrait – Sarah Todd Taylor

Max is ready to solve another case! The entire theatre company have travelled to Lord Fawley’s castle to put on a show for his daughter’s Halloween birthday ball! Rehearsals start well, but soon some ghostly goings-on and talk of a family curse have the actors in a panic. Never fear – Max the detective cat is on the case, and his whiskers are prickling with suspicion that these strange events have more to do with jewels than ghouls…

Having read the first book and falling greatly for Max, I was very excited to read this second book! Yet again Max comes along with the help of his brilliant friend Oscar to save the day. This book is a bit spookier than the first one, with ghostly goings on, missing diamonds and a creepy theatre. It’s perfect for children who are reading shorter chapter books! If you need a heroic cat, look no further than Max! 

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The Boy Who Lived With Dragons – Andy Shepherd

Having your own dragon is magical – but Tomas is also about to find out what living with a dragon is REALLY like. When the fire-breathing kicks in and you get singed every five seconds, it’s like having an unpredictable volcano in your pocket. Learning to train the dragons and keep them out of trouble at school and home will take all Tomas’s creativity and patience … What is more, the dragonfruit tree is starting to look droopy and unwell. Tomas and his friends have got to do all they can restore it to health and uncover its deepest mysteries, as well as trying to work out what big secret local bully Liam, ‘King of Trouble’, has got up his sleeve … One thing is for sure, life is never dull when you have a dragon in your pocket.

This is another one, where I’d read the first book, utterly adored it and it’s gone to school never to be seen again (because the kids are loving it!) Book 2 didn’t fail me either. This is a great sequel to the first book – I really enjoyed this. The young Steph in me loves these books. They’re brilliantly fun capers about the importance of friendship and being kind. With lovely messages about telling the truth and being kind, these books are spot on for Y3+. I also definitely want a dragon now.

Have you read any of these brilliant MG books?
Can you recommend anything similar for me?
Do you enjoy a wrap up?
What’s your true opinion on scarves?

Speak to me! Leave me a comment! Send me a dragon! Send a message through a magic mirror! 

S x

BLOG TOUR: A Chase in Time

Want to read a brilliant book all about ? Then I would recommend reading on to read the extract from A Chase in Time by Sally Nicholls. 

Today, I’m on the blog tour for A Chase in Time and man, what a beautiful looking book it is! I’m super excited by it – travelling through history with the help of a magical mirror? YES PLEASE. A massive thanks to Nosy Crow for sending me a copy of this book – I can tell it’s going to go down very well at school. That cover alone is very pick up-able! 

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“The old gilt-edged mirror has hung in Alex’s aunt’s house for as long as he can remember. Alex hardly notices it, until the day he and his sister are pulled through the mirror, back into 1912. It’s the same house, but a very different place to live, and the people they meet need their help. Soon they are caught up in an action-packed adventure, solving a crime, rescuing priceless jewels, and eating more cake than they have ever eaten before.”

A Chase in Time by Sally Nicholls is published in paperback 2nd August by Nosy Crow.

Check out the extract below, which comes from the beginning of the story, so much is yet to happen! 

The mirror hung by the stairs in Aunt Joanna’s hallway. It was tall and wide, with a gold frame full of curling leaves, and scrolls, and fat baby angels, and baskets of flowers, and twiddles. Aunt Joanna said it had once belonged to a French aristocrat, in the days before the revolutionaries chopped off all the aristocrat’s heads and turned their palaces into art galleries.

And once, when Alex Pilgrim was seven years old, he had looked into the mirror and another boy had looked back.

The boy in the mirror was Alex’s age, or perhaps a little older. He had light-brown hair and a sturdy sort of face. He was wearing a woolly blue jumper and grey knickerbockers. Knickerbockers, if you don’t know, are an old-fashioned type of trouser – shorter than long trousers but longer than shorts – worn by old-fashioned schoolboys in the days before boys were allowed real trousers.

This boy was brushing his hair in the mirror, rather hurriedly, as though he would much rather be doing something else. As Alex watched, he turned his head sideways and yelled at somebody out of sight. Alex couldn’t hear what he said, but it sounded impatient: “I’m doing it!” perhaps, or “I’m coming!” Then he put the hairbrush down and ran out of the frame.

Alex stayed by the mirror. It still showed Aunt Joanna’s hallways, but nothing in the hallway was quite as it ought to be. The walls were papered with yellow-and-green-striped wallpaper, and there was a large green plant he had never seen before and a white front door with coloured glass above the sill. It felt very strange not to see his own face looking back at him. He put out a hand, and there was a sort of ripple in the reflection. When the picture settled, there he was as usual: small, fair-haired, and rather worried-looking. There was the ordinary brown door. Everything was just as it always was.

Alex had never believed in those children in books who discovered secret passageways, or Magic Faraway Trees, or aliens at the bottoms of the garden, and kept them a secret. Wouldn’t you want to tell everyone about them? What was the fun of a secret passage if you had no one to boast about it to?

But he knew that he would never tell his family about the boy in the mirror. Of course he wouldn’t. What would be the point? None of them would ever believe him.

Woah, what an extract! I know I want more! 

What do you think of the extract?
Where would you travel to if you had a magical mirror?

Check out the rest of the blog tour, by visiting any of the brilliant blogs featured!

A Chase in Time - Twitter Banner - Blog Tour v1.1

S x

Brilliant Barrington Stoke

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I am sharing some of my favourite recent reads from the people over at Barrington Stoke! Barrington Stoke specialises in ‘cracking reading’, publishing super-readable children’s books that break down the barriers that can stop kids getting into reading. Their books bring together the very best children’s authors and illustrators in the UK with a host of unique accessibility features to offer books which are accessible to more children including those with dyslexia or visual stress. If you’re interested in these books, go check out their website here. There’s more information about the books they publish and how they make their books accessible for everyone!

So what books from Barrington Stoke have I read recently? Some absolute crackers!

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Noah Scape Can’t Stop Repeating Himself – Guy Bass

“Noah Scape loves dinosaurs and spaghetti with tomato sauce. But Noah doesn’t always get what he wants and when school doesn’t revolve around dinosaur facts and lunch isn’t always his tried and tested favourite, well… enough is enough! It’s time for him to stop wishing and to decide on exactly what he needs; a world full of Noahs!”

What would you do if one day you woke up to find there are double the amount of yous in the world? Then the next day, there’s double again? And double again the next day? Noah just wants people to like dinosaurs, as he does, so he wishes for more people like him… him! He starts regretting it eventually… and it doesn’t go down well with his parents and teachers either! Real fun, great for 8+ years!

Shona, Word Detective – John Agard

“Shona has always loved words. She even has her very own strange word thesaurus! When her and her classmates learn that some languages are dying out, Miss Bates tasks them with becoming top-class word detectives, proving to themselves and their families that there are many beautiful languages still thriving, even within their own classroom.”

I absolutely loved this one. It reminded me about my love of words and language. There’s something really special about books that can do that! It’s one I’m definitely going to be keeping to use in the classroom. Great for readers 7+ years. 

Rose’s Dress of Dreams – Katherine Woodfine

“Young Rose dreams of sewing beautiful dresses for the women of Paris. But when a chance encounter with royalty changes her life, Rose must draw on all her skills to create the most breathtaking dress of them all. Based on the life of Rose Bertin, the woman credited with creating haute-couture and a remarkable pioneer of fashion at the court of Marie Antoinette.”

When I initially read this, I had no idea that it was based on a real woman in history, so reading that made me love it even more! This book is brilliant for teaching kids about the power of dreams and believing in your dreams, because they absolutely can come true! It’s beautifully illustrated by Kate Pankhurst too. Yay for brilliant women in history! Great for readers 5-8 years!

The Great Telephone Mix Up – Sally Nicholls

“When the village wires get crossed after a storm, there’s a lot of confusion and plenty of missed connections. Margaret can’t run her summer fair, Jai can’t speak to Aditi, and Will is rather happy because no one can tell his mum how much trouble he’s in! Can the villagers learn to love their neighbours and could the great telephone mix-up really be a blessing in disguise?”

Living in a village and all of the telephone wires have got crossed? Having to deliver messages for your neighbour? Imagine that. It’d be a nightmare, but the people in his village finds it brings them closer together. I really enjoyed this. For a generation who don’t use the phone much, it was nice to see a book about it! Great for kids 7+ years!

There are so many other brilliant books in the Barrington Stoke catalogue and you can read the first chapters of most of their books on the website (which I think is GENIUS btw! Be great for using in a lesson!)

Thank you so much to Barrington Stoke for sending this brilliant bookpost my way. 

S x