BOOK BLOG: Sam Usher

Snow: the perfect addition to your shelves for the wintery season!


“Every child loves a snow day—no school and snowball fights galore! But Sam has to wait for Granddad, even though all the other kids have already gone to the park . . . and all the dogs . . . and all the zoo animals! Only when the two finally arrive does Granddad see why Sam was in such a hurry—and they have the best time playing with everyone in the snow.”

As a massive fan of the book Storm, when I saw there was another Sam Usher book (with a very festive snowy theme) I knew I needed to treat myself to it! I mean, just look at that cover. Who wouldn’t want to know more about the penguin casually strolling down their street? 

Snow tells the story of a very impatient young boy who wants to go out into the snow, while his grandfather thinks they should stay in for a little while. There’s so much joy in the young man’s face when he sees the snow. We’ve all been there. Wanting to be the first one to stand on snow – is there anything more irresistable than a patch of freshly fallen snow? 

When they do eventually get outside, they wander down to the park and end up having an awful lot of fun with a new bunch of friends. It’s all a bit silly, but this would make a perfect readaloud. Kids will love this story. What’s more fun than snow ball fights? Snowball fights with animals… obviously! 

With gorgeous illustrations, characters who are realistic and a brilliant portrayal of family (I loved seeing this story of a young man and his grandfather, rather than a mam/dad or sibling), this book is going to be a great one to read aloud to kids (and adults alike!). I am loving this Weather series from Sam Usher and can’t wait to get even more! I would recommend wholeheartedly getting on the series! I own Snow and Storm so far, I need to check out Rain and Sun. 

Have you read any of Sam Usher’s books?
What’s your perfect wintery read aloud?
Are you a snow lover, or not a fan?

Let me know your thoughts! Speak to you soon… fingers crossed the snow stays away! I don’t want to run into a bunch of animals throwing snowballs at me! 

S x


S4S – Winter rereads

Good afternoon #SixforSunday folks!

A massive thank you to all of you for your enthusiasm about #SixforSunday! There is a post in a week or 2 about the prompts for 2018. I hope to see you all of you and more in 2018! Invite your friends along! Tell them how awesome #SixforSunday is!

Anyway, on with this week’s theme:

Winter rereads

This is a hard one because I don’t tend to reread books very often BUT there are definitely some that I will, and some that I am hoping to reread this winter! Some winter themed, some not so much!

  1. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – not strictly Winter, but there’s snow, so there.
  2. Matilda – again, not technically Winter, BUT I will be rereading it!
  3. Eleanor and Park – I haven’t reread this since reading it originally, so I am looking forward to this.
  4. The Storm Whale at Winter – gorgeous picture book, well worth a read at all times of year!
  5. Refuge – this book is about Mary and Joseph, it’s a picture book that I bought last year and I absolutely adored it!
  6. The Christmas Mystery – this book was given to me by one of my colleagues last year and it’s the most incredible book where you read a chapter a day from December 1st to December 25th. I must get it back out and catch up!

Share your #SixforSunday with me! Use the hashtag and link me in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

S4S – 2017 books


It’s Sunday again! How is everyone? Are we all good? 

This week’s #SixforSunday theme is:

Books I’m excited to be released in 2017

So which books are you most excited to come out in the rest of this year?

  1. Holly Bourne – It Only Happens In The Movies
  2. The Creakers – Tom Fletcher
  3. Grave Matter – Juno Dawson
  4. The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club – Alex Bell
  5. The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
  6. Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

I am excited for all of these for different reasons! But I can’t wait! 

Which releases are you excited for?
Have you read any of my list? What did you think?

Share your #SixforSunday on twitter or share your blog post in the comments! I love seeing you guys joining in! 

Watch out for an exciting #SixforSunday update coming at the end of September!

S x

January wrap up…

I am really looking forward to doing these monthly wrap up posts! It’ll be so incredible to look back over the month and see how much (or how little during term time) I have managed to read. It’ll also be great for me, who has a TERRIBLE memory to take a look over all of the books I’ve read. I hope you guys will enjoy these posts too! I love reading other people’s wrap up blog posts to see what they’ve been up to in the past month. This will encompass books I’ve read and books I’ve bought/obtained over the month.

Here we go with January…


This doesn’t look all that impressive. Nor does it feel impressive!! I have failed in January’s books haha! However in my defense after Christmas holidays and #SundayYAthon ANYTHING looks like a rubbish pile of books! Term time is always a shocking time to read because I’m always tired. However I’ve read 2 books and I’m reading the other 2 simultaneously! That’s something.


Wing Jones – Katherine Webber.

I don’t have words for how much I loved this. It was truly wonderful. I loved Wing. I loved the story. I loved the honesty of the characters. I loved the supporting characters as much as the main characters. I loved how it was written. Katherine Webber is a total wordsmith (I don’t even know if this is a real word but I am using it. I am using it to mean someone who has an incredible way with words, who writes like they were born to write, who is just magical with a pen/keyboard). You can see my review hereBOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber. I implore you all to find out about it and buy it if you can. It is absolutely splendid. 

The Monstrous Child – Francesca Simon

If you’re a lover of Norse mythology then this will be totally up your street. It is told from the POV of Hel. You go through her life from the beginning and learn all about how she becomes the ruler of Hell itself. I enjoyed it. It took me a while to get into it – Hel is a troublesome narrator. She’s sassy, sarcastic and sardonic… one you’ll either love or hate. I had taught Norse mythology a few years ago to a Y5 class so it was lovely to see some of the names I had taught creep back into my memory again. I’m a sucker for mythology so that was a plus point for me. If Norse mythology is your cup of tea then you’ll enjoy this! 


Traitor To The Throne – Alwyn Hamilton

I AM SO SO SO SO SO SO HAPPY. I properly squealed when I got an email from Netgalley to tell me that I had access to this book. I was a happy bunny. For those of you who don’t know/haven’t read Rebel of the Sands (you will find my review hereBook blog: Alwyn Hamilton) then you properly should. I’ve been waiting for Traitor 2 SINCE FOREVER. I am quickly speeding through this and can’t wait to finish it (although I don’t want it to be over!) Watch out for a review blog on Thursday as that is Traitor To The Throne release date! 

Winter Magic – curated by Abi Elphinstone

I was lucky enough to receive this incredibly well signed copy of the book from my amazing friend Aimee for Christmas. I’m not usually one for short stories but having read 4/5 of them I’ve loved each and every one. This is obviously a MG book rather than YA but I am game for reading MG books just as much as YA. Plus Abi is amazing so I knew this was going to be a winner. I’m waiting to read this in its entirety to start planning lessons for next winter around some of the stories! This could potentially be incredible for my teacher training year. 

(through always entirely legal means… aka my friends are all amazing and my bank balance is always sad with me)


YA books:

Maresi: Maria Turtschaninoff
I was sent this by her publicist and I can not wait to get my teeth stuck into it!

The Call: Paedar O’Guillin
My lovely friend  Lily (of Youtube  fame) sent me this in a book swap! Along with…

The Diabloic: S.J.Kincaid
I’ve heard so many good things about this that I was over the moon when Lily said she had a copy I could swap with her for!

Word Nerd: Susin Nielsen
I received this book as part of the #SundayYA Secret Santa wonderment – you could choose to send a birthday present to your recipient too! Woo!

Orangeboy: Patrice Lawrence

A Quiet Kind of Thunder: Sara Barnard
I loved this book so much and the cover is so pretty that my gorgeous friend Rachel (of #SundayYA fame and twitter fame) sent it to me for my birthday. I’ve read and reviewed this (BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard) and I have a giveaway running currently (see this blog post + twitter for more details) with this book included because I loved it SO SO SO much and I think everyone else should too. 

The One Memory of Flora Banks: Emily Barr
Gorgeous friend Rachel also sent me this! I am so lucky! I almost bought it! We recently had a #SundayYA chat with the author and I am so glad that the book arrived not long after that. I can’t wait to read it.

The Reader on the 6.27: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
I got this from one of my lovely work friends and I had seen it in Waterstones but didn’t pick it up at the time but when I got it for my bithday I was over the moon! Thank you wonderful work friends!


Kids lit:

I’ll Wait Mr Panda: Steve Anthony

There May Be A Castle: Piers Torday
My gorgeous friend Grace (of Almost Amazing Grace fame) sent me this… I’ve seen so much 

So that was January in books for me… it seems I have A LOT OF READING to do. This is not a problem! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! It was lovely to catch myself up on what a mad month January has been! I can’t believe it is almost over already! 

S x


December books

As December occurred and is now over I thought I would look back at some of the books I read, bought for myself and gifted. December is a funny month for me. There are still books I want to buy but I know that Santa is coming so I have to stop myself! 


These are all of the books that I acquired in December (I decided to not show the picture books!). It is quite an impressive pile, even by my standards! What can I say?! I love all of the books!


These 4 beauties I was gifted by Secret Santa people and my wonderful friend Aimee – my copy of Winter Magic is signed and it is SO WONDERFUL. I think I might be greedy and read it all to myself before I share it with the kids at school! I was very lucky to be included in the Maximum Pop Secret Santa and the SundayYA Secret Santa too and my secret Santas were so spot on with their book presents! I can’t wait to read them all!


These 4 gorgeous books are ones which I read for #SundayYAthon (which happened between Christmas and New Year) for which there is a blog post for AND separate book reviews for them are coming… because I have ALL OF THE WORDS to say about them! 

Books are absolutely my favourite gift to receive and my favourite to give too! I gave away so many beautiful books this year, for my Christmas presents AND in my mystery box for work! I hope all of the recipients enjoyed their books as much as I enjoyed giving them!

Did you guys get many books for Christmas this year? My 2017 reading list certainly keeps on getting longer! This bodes well for my reading challenge of 2017!

S x


Once again I put myself through the torture misery delight of #SundayYAthon. Rachel made these categories for those of us who wanted to use, but they weren’t compulsory!

It took me a while to get my reading pile sorted. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to read or what I would be in the mood to read. I decided on the pile below…


Carrie Hope Fletcher – Winters’ Snow
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – various authors
Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
Holly Bourne – …And A Happy New Year?

I had heard SUCH good things about all of the books, I knew that I needed to have them all! I managed to get And A Happy New Year when I went to YAShot in October and held out on reading it until an opportune moment – what more of an opportune moment did I need? I got my hands on I’ll Be Home For Christmas after all of the #SundayYA folk were raving about it and the Patrick Ness book I was warned about. I am so glad I got the warning. 

The pile was a wonderful pile to read! Lots of happy, lots of tears but lots of amazing amazing stories. That’s why we read, for the stories. There are review blog posts coming for all of the books in the next few weeks but let me tell you they are ALL AMAZING and I would recommend each and every one to you. If you’re looking for a great book, choose one and enjoy! I even managed to fulfil all of Rachel’s categories!

  • A Christmas novel? And A Happy New Year
  • A novella? Winters’ Snow
  • A short story collection? I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • A new book? ALL OF THEM, technically.
  • A book from your TBR? And A Happy New Year

So there we go! If you’re a reader and love a challenge #SundayYAthons run every now and again and we love having new people on board! Come along and say hi, say Steph send you! 

What have you all been reading for #SundayYAthon? Or just in general? Let me know in the comments or on twitter!

S x

Winter books

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle in to bed, or by the fire and just read because you can. Who wants to go out and bother with the cold, battle with the wind or just get drenched? Not me. Winter is not a happy time for me. It makes me sad sad sad. Staying inside in the warmth and reading though makes me content. Content as anything. 

I thought I would share some perfect winter/Christmas books for you! I mean who doesn’t need their TBR to be expanded by a book or 2?


The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey 
“Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?”


The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily – Rachel Cohn/David Levithan

“Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.
Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, who have just twelve days to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.”

The Book Thief – Markuz Zusak
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
It’s a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.

Let It Snow – John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
“Three wonderful holiday romances by three of America’s bestselling authors, including John Green – author of the multi-million bestseller The Fault in Our Stars.
An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – brings all the magic of holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.”


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S.Lewis
“Four adventurous siblings―Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie― step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.”


Stick Man – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
“Stick Man lives in the family tree With his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three.” But it’s dangerous being a Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him, a swan builds her nest with him. He even ends up on a fire! Will he ever get back to the family tree?”



The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
“It’s Christmas Eve and the JOLLY POSTMAN is delivering greetings to various fairy-tale characters – there’s a card for Baby Bear, a game appropriately called ‘Beware’ for Red Riding Hood from Mr Wolf, a get-well jigsaw for hospitalised Humpty Dumpty and three more surprise envelopes containing letters, cards, etc. Everyone’s favourite postman keeps on peddling his bicycle up hill and down dale . . . and into everybody’s hearts.”

There you go! A little something for everyone! I love a festive winter read!

S x