Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Kids/Young Adult Book Picks - April 2019 - US Published Post

A. M. Morgen- The Inventors and the Lost Island - Published by Little, Brown Young Readers US (2 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0316471534 - Hardback - Age: 7+
Get ready for heart-pounding action, nefarious mysteries, and hijinx galore in the thrilling, clever sequel to The Inventors at No. 8!
As the one-time unluckiest boy in London, George, the 3rd Lord of Devonshire, knows better than to overlook something as suspicious as a secretive new neighbor. And George was right to be wary--this new neighbor turns out to be Don Nadie, the head of the nefarious Society of Nobodies, and a man just as villainous as he is mysterious.
Almost overnight, George finds himself framed for attempting to assassinate the king (a crime he most assuredly did not commit) and once again on the run with his best friend Ada Byron, the future Countess of Lovelace. Together, they must navigate the high seas in Ada's latest invention, a submersible mechanical whale, all while trying to stay one step ahead of Don Nadie and the Society. Because even though George may be a gentleman, there's no way he's going to sit idly by while Don Nadie ruins his family name and takes over the world. 
In this charming and brilliant sequel, author A.M. Morgen raises the stakes and expands a humor and heart-filled world sure to appeal to fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Inquisitor's Tale.

M. M. Vaughan - Slick - Published by Alma Books Ltd (25 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1846884597 - Paperback - Age:9+

Eric Young is the first child android to be trialled in society, but he doesn't know that. He does know that he's just moved to Ashland from New York City, so it's important that he makes new friends. Not just any friends, but the right kind, the kind that would be interested in skateboarding and the new Slick trainers his Uncle Martin sends him. He's already growing his social media presence, but he knows it's important to make friends in the real world too. Danny Lazio doesn't have any friends, but he doesn't care about that. He would rather not be friends with someone like Eric, who's had seemingly everything handed to him. But when Eric takes an interest in Land X, Danny's favourite online game, Danny thinks he might have found a real friend... if he can figure out the mystery behind Eric's sudden disappearances and strange lifestyle. As their friendship grows it becomes harder to ignore the weird events that happen around Eric, from weekly 'dentist appointments' to inexplicable medical mishaps. But uncovering the truth is an act that might cost them both as powerful forces soon move in around them.

Quinn Sosna-Spear - The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 2, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1534420809 - Hardback - Age:7+

In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny.

In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusualinventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join the family mortuary business.

Far off on Flaster Isle, famed inventor Horace Flasterborn plans to take Walter under his wing, just as he did Walter’s genius father decades ago. When a letter arrives by unusual means offering Walter an apprenticeship, it isn’t long before Walter decides to flee Moormouth to meet his destiny.

Walter runs away in the family hearse along with Cordelia, the moody girl next door with one eye and plenty of secrets. Together they journey through a strange landscape of fish-people, giantess miners, and hypnotized honeybees in an adventure that will not only reveal the truth about Walter’s past but direct his future.

Caroline Carlson - The Door at the End of the World - Published by HarperCollins (April 9, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062368300 - Hardback - Age:7+
What begins as a rather unremarkable Tuesday quickly turns to disaster when Lucy, the Gatekeeper's deputy, discovers that her boss has vanished and the door connecting Lucy's world to the next world over is broken—and it all might be Lucy's fault.
To save the Gatekeeper and set things right, Lucy must break the rules for the first time ever and journey with an otherworldly boy, a suspiciously sneaky girl, and a crew of magical bees into the seven worlds beyond her own.
But Lucy isn't the only one breaking the rules. As dangers gather around her, she learns she's up against a sinister force that's playing with the delicate fabric of time and space, no matter what the deadly costs or consequences.
Lucy's never had to save the world before—and now, somehow, she's got to find a way to save eight of them.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Bex Hogan - Viper: Book 1 (Isles of Storm and Sorrow) - Blog Tour Interview - Orion Books

Welcome to Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books. Today, I have a Q&A interview with Bex Hogan. This book has been an epic ten years in the making. In fact, there have been seven manuscripts and many rejections along the way. However, here we are celebrating the release of the fantastic debut book today. This week we are kicking off a blog tour with posts that will, hopefully, pique your interest. It's a brilliant high seas fantasy adventure that will take you to some amazing places. The book will be published on the 18th April 2019 by Orion Children's Books. It's going to be an epic trilogy that you will not want to miss. #StormAndSorrow

If you would like to know more about this book then please check out my book review HERE. So let us start this interview by welcoming Bex Hogan.

Your debut book, Viper, is the first book in the Isles of Storm and Sorrow. What can we expect and why should we read it? 
Viper is a YA fantasy adventure set on the high seas. The first in a trilogy, it follows Marianne, the Viper’s daughter, who has to choose whether she’s prepared to sacrifice everything to fight against her cruel father. You can expect corruption, betrayal, magic and romance, all set against a backdrop of beautiful islands and dangerous oceans. At times it’s brutal and bloody – so if any of that appeals and you fancy a read, you’d make a writer very happy.

How and where did you get the idea for this book? 
As so many of my ideas do, it came in a dream. It was a very vivid scene and when I woke up, I just had to know more about these characters. And what was going to happen next? What had led them to this point? 
Though the story has evolved through many drafts, this scene is still in the book, exactly as I dreamt it. 

Did you let the story and the characters take you on a journey or did you map out the whole plot and know exactly what you wanted to write? 
To start with, it was definitely a case of going on an adventure with my characters, just to get to know them, and glimpse the world they inhabited. But then there comes a point where you need to take the map back from them and plot your own course, otherwise, you could be wandering a bit aimlessly. And with plotting out a whole trilogy, it’s definitely important that you know where you’re going and why. 

What real-life inspirations did you draw from the worldbuilding within your book? 
Growing up in Cornwall near the coast, seeing the sea stretching beyond rugged cliffs every day, was a huge inspiration for the Twelve Isles. We used to go to the Isles of Scilly too, for holidays, island-hopping in boats, and they were very much my template for a world of islands connected by an ocean. 

Where is your preferred place to write? 
My favourite place to write is at my desk in my writing room. I was very fortunate that we were able to convert our garage a couple of years ago, so I have space to be creative. I would like to pretend that it’s a tidy desk, but the truth is I’m usually buried beneath a pile of paperwork, and notebooks full of jotted down ideas. And more paperwork. 

How important are stories to you? 
Stories are everything – I think they are to most people in one form or another. They can be friends when you are lonely, teachers when you need guidance, an escape when life becomes too much. They can carry the weight of history. Shape societies. Or simply entertain. 

Some of my favourite memories from childhood are the quiet ones where my mum would read to me, or my brother would make up stories for me on a moorland walk. I think the tales they told knitted their way into the fabric of my being, and will always stay with me. 

What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to reading only the genre that you write yourself? 
The only requirement I have is that a book tells a good story, simple as that. It can be in any genre, although I do have a soft spot for historical novels, and of course, fantasy. But ultimately, all I want is to be swept away, to fall in love with characters and their lives, and to miss them when they’re gone. So not too much to ask!

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Louie Stowell (Author), Davide Ortu (Illustrator) - The Dragon In The Library - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Coming out in June 2019 is the first book in a brand new series by Louie Stowell. The Dragon in The Library, which will be published by Nosy Crow, will soon hit the bookshops and libraries near you. The book will have amazing Neon artwork which you will be able to see from Mars. Whilst the book cover image has been fabulously illustrated by the very talented and rising star Davide Ortu. His collaboration makes this book a little extra special. Below is one of the inside illustrations to show you just how wonderful and engaging his artwork and the story together really are. 

The book is aimed at the younger reader (approx. age 6 and upwards) so it makes it a perfect family or classroom read. The fantastic theme running throughout the story is about the power of reading. It looks at saving our public libraries regardless of the individual and worldwide situations we face. The best gift that we can give our children is to freely access books. In doing so, we can feed their imagination and help them to understand the world around them. This book does that in a number of exciting ways.  

It's the first day of the summer holiday and the start of the hunt for Danny Fandango. Kit can't STAND reading, but when she's dragged along to the library by her two best friends, Josh and Alita, she makes an incredible discovery. Books are MAGIC and dragons are REAL. Stories can make dreams even bigger. She comes to realise that you won't and can't die of boredom in a Library. Unfortunately, it needs to be saved first.

This is a fantastic story about friendship and saving the local library from being torn down. The book features a lovely cast of characters who represent a diverse range of cultures. Their opposing personalities make the storyline very playful and engaging. It's definitely a story full of imagination. Such as jumping in and out of stories, literally, just like Marry Poppins. 

This story is a thrilling slice of fantasy, action, and fun. It has a fast-moving plot full of spells, wizards, dragons, monsters, and a very bad villain. All of this created a magically immersive outing but with a great message to be told. This is a great start to a series which should not be missed. 

Without libraries, the WORLD will END. 

Monday, 8 April 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Top Four Teens/Young Adult Book Picks April 2019

This April Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books has read some of the best Young-Adult Fiction books this year. All my personal favourites are published this month, which is amazing. You'll find some links to the book reviews below if you would like to find out more. YA books do not get much better than this - check them all out. Have a good week. 

Scarlett Thomas - Galloglass: Worldquake Sequence Book 3 - Published Canongate Books (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1782119333 - Hardback 

Effie Truelove and her school-friends Lexy, Wolf, Maximilian and Raven must use their magical skills to defeat the Diberi, a corrupt organisation intent on destroying the worlds at Midwinter.
But during a visit to the Otherworld, Effie is mistaken and imprisoned for being a galloglass - a dangerous, selfish islander. Meanwhile, Lexy is threatened by the vile professor Jupiter Peacock and Wolf embarks on a perilous journey to find his missing sister.
And back at school, Neptune the cat is bored. He's used to lording it over the other stray cats, but they've all mysteriously vanished. Where could they be - and how will he find them?
Can Effie and her friends reunite before total destruction is wreaked upon the universe?

Bex Hogan - Viper: Book 1 (Isles of Storm and Sorrow) - Published by Orion Children's Books (18 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1510105836 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life - to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles - but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He's the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne's father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life?
A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Charlie Pike - Jacob's Ladder - Prepare to be Born Anew - Published by The O'Brien Press (1 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1788490405 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

We have heard your call You no longer need to fear. You will receive five messages, of which this is the first. The last message will inform you of the time and place of your salvation. Two hundred years from now, the earth is dying, scorched by powerful flares from the sun. A series of messages from an alien civilization sent to humanity over two centuries promise rescue to those strong enough to survive on their planet. Initiate Leon is a member of the True Path warrior culture and preparing for his Rising. But when his test comes - to kill in cold blood - he cannot do it. To redeem himself, he must journey to find the earth's fifth and final message from the Saviours, with the help of his resourceful servant, Martha. Out in the wild, Leon discovers alarming changes in his body - he can drink water through his skin, and has poison barbs buried deep in his flesh. Martha reveals to him the secret that the True Path have kept from him all this time: Jacob's Ladder, an adaptation for life on the alien planet, has lain dormant in his genes and is now being activated. He is part alien and part human, and he is in grave danger from those who wish to take what is in his body. An ambitious YA novel for fans of Patrick Ness, Rick Yancey and James Dashner.

Kesia Lupo - We Are Blood And Thunder - Published by Bloomsbury YA (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1408898055 - Paperback - See Book Review HERE

A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. 
In a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud. 
One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong. 
But what Lena and Constance don't realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

New Children's & Young Adult Book Picks April 2019 - Post One - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Here at Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we have another cracking and exciting month full of fantastic children's book releases. Every book is a fantasy adventure story that you can get lost in. So, we would like to recommend the following books to you. This is the first of four book recommendations; there's something here for every reader. Check them out and see what you think.

Danny Wallace (Author), Jamie Littler (Illustrator) - Hamish and the Monster Patrol - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (18 April 2019) - Paperback - Age: 8+
Get ready for another hilarious adventure from bestselling author Danny Wallace brought to life with illustrations from Jamie Littler, perfect for fans of David Walliams, Roald Dahl, David Baddiel and David Solomons!

Things are afoot in Starkley... again! Out in the ocean something's on the move ... something BIG ... something that might change everything ...

While most of Starkley's inhabitants have fled or gone into lockdown, Hamish and his pals in the PDF are coming up with a plan, because if they don't save the world then who will?!

But this time they’re not alone. Luckily, the top-secret Monster Patrol is on hand to help … even if that ‘help’ is in the form of a strange new kid, a bizarre-looking fish monster and a bonkers old lady…

Pádraig Kenny - Pog - Published by Chicken House (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1911490395 - Paperback - Age: 9+

David and Penny's strange new home is surrounded by forest. It's the childhood home of their mother, who's recently died. But other creatures live here ... magical creatures, like tiny, hairy Pog. He's one of the First Folk, protecting the boundary between the worlds. As the children explore, they discover monsters slipping through from the place on the other side of the cellar door. Meanwhile, David is drawn into the woods by something darker, which insists there's a way he can bring his mother back ...

Anthea Simmons - Lightning Mary - Published by Andersen Press (4 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1783448296 - Paperback - Age: 9+
Ordinary is what most people are and I am not. I am not ordinary at all. I am a scientist. One stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is a baby - Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her.
Growing up poor but proud on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows after her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by waves and landslips: ancient creatures, turned to stone. Ignoring other people's taunts, Mary faces danger to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family. But tragedy and despair is never far away. Mary must depend upon her unique courage and knowledge to fulfil her dream of becoming a scientist in a time when girls have no opportunities for such ambitions. What will happen when she makes her greatest discovery of all...?

Andri Snaer Magnason (Author), Bjorg Arnadottir (Author) - The Casket of Time - Published by - Yonder (11 April 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1632062055 - Hardback - Age: 9

Sigrun is sick of all the bad news on TV and, even worse, that her parents are consumed by it. The economic situation' is so bad they can only hope that someone else will fix the mess. When a new contraption called TimeBox (which will allow people to hibernate through the bad times) comes onto the market, Sigrun's family - along with everyone else - decides to sleep through the troubles. But something goes wrong, and Sigrun wakes up too soon. The city is in ruins, unruly forests and wild animals have taken over the streets, and all the grown-ups refuse to wake up. The only signs of civilization are a band of kids like Sigrun, led by Grace - a grandmotherly and mystical researcher. The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. She tells them the myth of Obsidiana, a princess trapped by a greedy king who had conquered the world and now wanted to conquer time. Believing he was protecting Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, he put her in a crystal box made of spider silk woven so tight that time itself couldn't penetrate. Part Sleeping Beauty and part Snow White, the old fairy tale starts to sound like a prophecy Sigrun and her new friends are living through. Now it's up to them to break the curse, save their families, and mend the world before it's too late.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Thomas Taylor - Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea) - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

This is the perfect book to read this summer. It's a story of dreams told straight from the author's head on a perfect day walking along the local beach. The lure of treasure washed up by the tide has formed this brilliant story into a magical marvel. It's an atmospheric holiday adventure that you will not be able to put down. The book will be published on the 2nd of May by Walker Books with a brilliant and striking book cover image by George Ermos. I'd buy it just for the enticing cover alone.

The book is set in Eerie on Sea and follows a wonderful pair of characters called Herbie and Violet. Both of whom find themselves washed up together in the basement of the Grand Nautilus Hotel with the cries of "Help Me". High on an adventure and, with a mystery to solve, the detecting duo set out in a swirl of mist and crashing waves to uncover the disappearance of Violet's parents. You will hurtle into a fantastically written heroic story full of quirky and creative imagination that is the trademark of Thomas Taylor. I particularly loved the names of the characters and places; the great whimsical play on words really made me chuckle. 

A trip to the Eerie Book Dispensary uncovers the legend of the Malamander but could it really be true?  What does this have to do with Violet's missing parents? This for me is when the magic comes together. With the mix of the mythical beast (the Malamander) and a meremonkey, it sets the riddles going and the fantasy hunger racing. The story is fraught with perilous danger and a howling wind as the characters discover that Violet's missing parents might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster (the Malamander) and a local writer called Sebastian Eels. This is the evil villain and he plays his part really well. Also, look out for Boathook man, lurking in the misty shadows. These provide the perfect backdrop for the story as it is laced with a Whitby gothic eerieness that will plunge the reader into the darkness of folklore and mayhem.  

You will absolutely crash through this brilliant book as you ride the waves on a vortex of magical fantasy. All of which come crashing down, at various points, with the spray of intrigue and danger. You will dig up beach treasures including glass that sparkles light on the search of clues to uncover the truth. It's a feast of a plot that will certainly make you want to eat fish and chips at SEEGOL'S DINER. Especially to console yourself when the story reaches the climatic and brilliant ending.  

This story is full of hope and eccentric characters; it sucks you into the immersive world and catapults the reader into fantasy oblivion. It's a story that will be read and loved. Hopefully, more are to be written in the future. In the meantime, book your trip to the seaside town of Eerie on Sea. Pre-order here NOW BEFORE the Malamander strikes. 

Friday, 29 March 2019


Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books is thrilled to reveal the book cover image for Dino Knights which has been brilliantly illustrated by the very talented George Ermos. This is the first book in a brand new series to be published by Jeff Norton. It is due to be published this summer by Awesome Reads on 6th June 2019. If this sounds like your kind of book then you can pre-order it here.

Imagine medieval times where the dinosaurs never went extinct. Bravery. Loyalty.

Book synopsis: Imagine medieval times where the dinosaurs never went extinct. When dinosaur stable boy Henry Fairchild stops a vicious T-Rex from attacking his master, he is invited to join the most elite group in Brecklan, the brave Knights of Panterra, the Dino Knights. But before he can prove himself, the enemies of Brecklan attack with a flock of pterodactyls and kidnap Lord Harding. Whether he's ready or not, Henry and the Dino Knights mount a daring rescue mission...but nothing is what it seems.

Jeff Norton is a London based author focused on creating compelling characters, awesome stories, and immersive worlds. A reluctant reader as an adolescent, Jeff's newest book is 'Alienated: Grounded At Groom Lake', is the fun, funny misadventures of the only two human kids at the high school for aliens at Area 51.  

Jeff's first novel is 'MetaWars: Fight For The Future' (Orchard Books), which he created to feel like "a video game you can read" and has spurred three successful sequels. He then wrote the laugh out loud 'Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie' books (Faber) and the young adult thriller 'Keeping The Beat', written together with Marie Powell (KCP Loft / Hachette).

'Stomp School' (Little Tiger Press) is Jeff's first picture book. It's about the day care for little kaiju (that's Japanese for destructive monster). 

Originally from Canada, Jeff has lived in Ohio, Boston, and Los Angeles now lives in London with his wife and two young sons where he writes, produces TV, and coaches baseball. 

Jeff is on the web at and tweets as @thejeffnorton

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Dominique Valente (Author), Sarah Warburton (Illustrator) - Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day - Book Review

This is a magical experience from the debut middle-grade (8-12 years) book by Dominique Valente. Starfell will fall from the glittering sky with a flash of colour into the reading world on the 2nd May 2019. It has been published by HarperCollins Children's Books in a lovely hardback format and has been fabulously illustrated by Sarah Warburton. The black and white drawings will definitely capture your attention; you only need to look at the book cover and judge this for yourself. 

Magic is just around the corner as you turn the pages and enter Starfell. Willow Moss is the main character and has the worst magical ability in her family. Whilst she has the ability to find lost things like keys, socks or underwear, this is not considered to be particularly exciting. However, how wrong you would be as this small and, seemingly insignificant ability, might just save the world or could that be another book?

One day a powerful witch called Moreg Vaine comes knocking on the door for help to find Tuesday - that's the clue to hurtle the reader into a fantastic adventure. The plot is brimming with whit especially from the Monster under the bed. However, just watch out that he doesn't explode. He is such a brilliantly written character full of personality, in fact, I think he is worthy of his very own book!

This is a fantastic story full of unexpected adventures and magical charm; it is pure escapism.  You will visit castles and far-flung places full of monsters, dragons, wizards, and trolls. There is also a group of bad people called the BROTHERS OF WOL who want to take over the world. Every page is an absolute joy to read. The book has hidden depths which you might not even see coming. It certainly leaves an emotional bread crumb trail that will hit you in the face just like a magical broom at 100 miles per hour. 

This is a story that feeds the imagination in a world where magic never dies. Fun, crazy and just a little bit special, it's a story full of friendship, family and perilous action. What a cracking start to a new series from a debut voice with the ability to deliver both a great adventure and brilliant characterisation. This is very much a recommended read. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Kids Book Picks - March 2019 - US Published Post Two

Colin Meloy - The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid - Published by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen (5 Mar. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062342461 - Paperback - Age: 9+

From the creators of the New York Times, bestselling Wildwood Chronicles comes an original, humorous, and fast-paced middle-grade novel about a band of child pickpockets--imagine The Invention of Hugo Cabret meets Oliver Twist.
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks.
Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that's happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of their cannons, Amir, to the police, under one condition: he teaches Charlie the tricks of the trade.
What starts off as a lesson on pinches, kicks, and chumps soon turns into an invitation for Charlie to join the secret world of the whiz mob, an international band of child thieves who trained at the mysterious School of Seven Bells. The whiz mob are independent and incredibly skilled and make their own way in the world--they are everything Charlie yearns to be. But what at first seemed like a (relatively) harmless new pastime draws him into a dangerous adventure with global stakes greater than he could have ever imagined.

Thomas Lennon (Author), John Hendrix (Illustrator) - Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles - Published by Amulet Books (5 Mar. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1419734915 -Hardback - Age:10+
Fourteen-year-old Ronan Boyle is the youngest and lowliest recruit to the secret Garda, an Irish police force that handles the misdeeds of numerous magical creatures. Ronan’s parents are in jail, but Ronan is convinced that they were framed by the wee people. So, despite his small size, poor eyesight, and social awkwardness, he’s determined to learn all he can in the Garda in order to prove his parents’ innocence. To show he’s got what it takes, he’ll have to confront a fiery leprechaun, a sinister harpy, and a whole world of monsters hidden in plain sight next to real-life Ireland. Fast-paced, action-packed, and completely hilarious, this is the start to an exciting new middle-grade series by actor and writer Thomas Lennon.

Heather Shumaker - The Griffins of Castle Cary - Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (5 Mar. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1534430884 - Hardback - Age: 7+

A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that's perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series.
Siblings Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are off on an adventure! They can't wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt and her giant, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog in England. But when they finally arrive, they're faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble. 
Add in some very peculiar lights, strange new friends, a police chase and some stampeding sheep, and the Griffin kids are in over their heads--literally. Apparently, this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn't belong to them.

Keith O'Brien - Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History - Published by Houghton Mifflin (5 Mar. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1328618429 - Hardback - Age: 8+

From NPR correspondent Keith O' Brien comes this thrilling Young Readers' edition of the untold story about pioneering women, including Amelia Earhart, who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s--and won.

In the years between World War I and World War II, airplane racing was one of the most popular sports in America. Thousands of fans flocked to multi-day events, and the pilots who competed in these races were hailed as heroes. Well, the male pilots were hailed. Women who flew planes were often ridiculed by the press, and initially, they weren't invited to race. Yet a group of women were determined to take to the sky--no matter what. With guts and grit, they overcame incredible odds both on the ground and in the air to pursue their dreams of flying and racing planes.

Fly Girls follows the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high-school dropout from North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama housewife; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, a daughter of Wall Street wealth who longed to live a life of her own; and Louise Thaden, who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men--and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Complete with photographs and a glossary, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history wherein tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.
Ruth NicholsCreditCreditThe International Women’s Air and Space Museum, Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Kirsty Applebaum - The Middler - Book Review (Nosy Crow) Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Heading out into the literary world on 4th April 2019 will be Kirsty Applebaum's debut book, The Middler. The book (published by Nosy Crow Books) supports a brilliant book cover image designed by Nicola Theobald which features the fantastic artwork by art director/illustrator Matt Saunders. This striking design will certainly help to set this book apart from the many other great books being published this coming April. We are certainly in for a literary treat or two.

The story is told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Maggie who introduces you to her home in Fennis Wick. It's a settlement isolated and protected from the outside world by a boundary beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam. The plot starts to set the brain ticking by asking the questions regarding what lies ahead. What we find is a story full of lies and propaganda which soon turns into a web of mystery and intrigue. The book gives a timeless feeling to it. It's hard to distinguish when and where the story is actually set - past/future? However, this definitely captures the imagination and attention of the reader.

This story is brilliantly written and well developed middle-grade children's book that will appeal to a wide reading audience for a number of reasons. Maggie the main character is bold, daring and very endearing. She is a middler, a muddler and not very important. Her older brother Jed is special, as the oldest his destiny is to go and fight in the Quiet War. Whilst her younger brother, Trig, has been written very realistically. He is loved by everyone, naive and a little bit soppy. All of the characters depict a family unit who are caring, full of love and looking for, hopefully, a safe future. 

However, one hot September day, Maggie meets Una. She's a hungry wanderer girl in need of help. Maggie's life changes forever as she begins to realise that things weren't quite what she'd been led to believe. The story takes you on an ambling adventure of forbidden friendship in a world of betrayal and deceit; the lies are unfurled page by page. The narrative is both unsettling and yet thrilling to read. It's a very good book for the inquisitive reader as the questions and intrigue wash over you like little ripples; contracting and expanding as the action unfolds. 

This is a fantastic book to read - funny, thought-provoking, tragic but also uplifting. It's an expertly crafted family story about thinking for yourself and standing up for what is right. As a great classroom read and an entertaining page-turner, what more could you want from a book? 

"I was special." 

"I was a hero." 

"I lost the best friend I ever had."

"I will take you on a journey all you have to do is turn the pages and follow me."  

Check out a preview of the book HERE