Tuesday, 30 August 2011

YOUR FAVOURITE HARRY POTTER CHARACTER RESULTS


SEVERUS SNAPE
VOTED FAVOURITE CHARACTER FROM HARRY POTTER NOVELS

‘Snape finished calling the names and looked up at the class. His eyes were black like Hagrid’s, but they had none of Hagrid’s warmth. They were cold and empty and made you think of dark tunnels.’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Severus Snape, Potions master, Head of Slytherin and Death Eater has taken the number one spot in the vote to find the world’s favourite character from the Harry Potter novel.

Snape snatched the top spot from Harry, J.K. Rowling’s personal favourite. When asked about her favourite character  J.K. Rowling said:‘Harry, although I believe I am unusual in this, Ron is generally more popular (I love him too, though) Now that I have finished writing the books, the character I would most like to meet for dinner is Dumbledore.  We would have a lot to discuss, and I would love his advice; I think that everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives.’

The vote was launched in May 2011 and received over 70,000 votes. Severus Snape gained 20% of those votes (just under 13,000) making him a clear winner. Severus Snape has appeared in all seven of the Harry Potter novels and came to be an integral part of Harry Potter’s life.

Hermione Granger took second place and Sirius Black third. Harry himself came in fourth and Lord Voldemort just made the top twenty at number 17. Dobby is the only non-human character to make the top ten and another Slytherin, Draco Malfoy, completes the top characters in tenth place. The top ten is below (see attached press pack for the complete top 40):

  1. Severus Snape
  2. Hermione Granger
  3. Sirius Black
  4. Harry Potter
  5. Ron Weasley
  6. Luna Lovegood
  7. Ginny Weasley
  8. Albus Dumbledore
  9. Dobby
  10. Draco Malfoy

Voters could also suggest their own favourite characters outside of the 40 and of these Oliver Wood was the most popular. Fang, Hagrid’s dog, and the Fat Lady in the portrait at the entrance to Gryffindor gained the least votes with only one each!

The Harry Potter novels have now sold over 400 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 69 languages. J.K. Rowling has generated huge popular appeal for her books in an unprecedented fashion. She was the first children’s author to be voted the BA Author of the Year, and also win the British Book Awards Author of the Year.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Patrick Carman - Floors - Book Review

book cover of 

Floors 

by

Patrick Carman
                                             

  • Pages - 272
  • Publisher - Scholastic Press - US
  • Date - 1 September 2011
  • Age - 9-12
  • ISBN: 978 0 545 255196 6

Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel.
The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future!


I've been a massive fan of Patrick Carman ever since I read his debut self-published book 'The Dark Hills Divide', which is the first book in the Land of Elyon series. Ever since then, I have loved every minute in reading the rest of the series of books that followed. In fact, Patrick Carman has written so many other good books as well that he has to be one of my favourite authors from the US.


Anyway, Floors has to be added to my list of great books that I have read so far this year. It has all the hallmarks of the great Roald Dahl himself. The story is magical, full of charm and most of all, it's full to the rafters with fantastical imagination that will have you racing to the end of the book.


The main character is Leo who is a brilliant and lovable character. However, when the wacky owner of the Whippet Hotel mysteriously disappears, Leo finds himself with a cryptic puzzle to solve. This takes him into the realms of some of the most ingeniously designed rooms that you will ever come across. They are so brilliantly written and breathtaking to read that they are a marvel in themselves. However, each room that Leo finds himself in turns out to be mini-adventure fuelled with craziness and mayhem. This is one epic quest that is full of many hidden surprises. Each floor is even stranger and more dangerous than the previous. Therefore, Leo needs to have his wits about him and a lot of help from his new best friend Remi.


If you're looking for a story that will leave you immersed in a fantasy world full of bizzare inventions and original ideas, then I believe that this is the book for you. Perhaps you could consider this as a late summer read as I would highly recommend not only this book but any other Patrick Carman books. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tom Percival - Why I Read YA Books - Guest Blog Post - 'A Home for Mr Tipps'

A Home for Mr Tipps, cover
                                     
Welcome to another guest post. However, this is perhaps an author/illustrator you are less familiar with, but certainly one that I believe deserves the recognition amongst other great illustrators. Without even realising it, you may have already come across Tom's work if you have read or seen any of the Skulduggery series by Derek Landy - Tom has illustrated many of the book covers. However, he has now ventured into the writing and illustrating of picture books. His second book 'A Home for Mr Tipps' was published earlier this month and is certainly a book to read. The bold and vibrant illustrations accompany a beautifully poignant story.  

Thank you to Tom for this very interesting and revealing blog post. Hopefully, this will help to establish Tom's creative talent into the minds and lives of many more adults and children.

I’ve enjoyed reading for nearly as long as I can remember. 

My earliest memory (just in case you happen to be interested) is of staring down a circular ventilation shaft which was hidden away in a cupboard in the caravan that we had just moved into and was going to be my home for the next five years. (The cupboard wasn’t my home by the way, it was the whole caravan, things weren’t that bad…)

Anyway, not too long after that, I started to read - pretty standard fare at first, short tales about cats sitting on mats and such like. From this I graduated to Peter and Jane and their dog Pat, who seemed to be particularly adept at seeing balls and liking them. 

Anyway, great as all these books were for teaching me how to read, none of them were got me excited about reading.

That first happened when I read the Tim and the Hidden People series by Sheila K. McCullagh. These were books filled with stories of witches, ghosts and magic. It would be fair to say my future reading habits were pretty much set in stone when I first read Tim and Tobias (which is what inspired me to name the naughty ghost in Tobias and the Super Spooky Ghost Book)

From that point on, it was all about the supernatural. I lived in a remote location in South Shropshire, pinned down by the Stiperstones on one side and the Long Mynd on the other – it was a place that easily lent itself to my flights of fantasy. Why wouldn’t the Devil be sitting in his throne on the Stiperstones when the mist fell? It all seemed perfectly plausible to me.

Fast forward a couple of years and hopefully this goes some way to explaining why I read a YA book about a nineteen year-old-boy when I was just nine-years-old. You see, the book was called Devil on the Road by Robert Westall and it was all about time travel and witches. My younger self was absolutely enthralled by it and it became one of those books that I loved so much it’s been tattooed on my brain ever since.

So it’s strange that until now I have never re-read the Devil on the Road. Having recently done a lot of design and illustration work on various YA books, I was curious to see how the YA world of the late seventies (Devil on the Road was originally published in 1977) would compare to today’s books for the same audience. 

The book is narrated in the first person, so the first thing that struck me was the way in which the main character, John Webster, is portrayed. 

He’s a young man with a big chip on his shoulder. It seems as though no-one can please him - everyone’s either a snob or a yob. He’s self-assured, difficult and aggressive, but also morally decent, intelligent and at times very tender. All of these conflicting traits serve to make him a very believable person. 

He might not always make the ‘right’ choices, but the complexities within his character make you engage with him and ultimately want the best for him. To me it somehow means more if you grow fond of a ‘difficult’ character than if an author just creates someone everybody would immediately fall in love with.

As an exercise in pacing it’s a classic slow burn – building in intensity with each chapter to a dramatic climax. The supernatural elements of the story weave in and out, so subtly at first that you could easily miss them if the title didn’t allude to them.

Over time, you realise that the old barn that John Webster stays in on his summer motorcycle trip, links him directly with a distant time - a time of witch-hunts, Oliver Cromwell and the Civil War. 

It’s the atmosphere that really pulled me in to this story - both as a nine year old and now at the ripe old age of thirty-three. I can still feel the tension in the air and John’s excitement as he feels himself being pulled out of the present and into an uncertain past. The ambiguous use of witchcraft and folklore draws you into a world of magic and excitement that you truly want to be a part off. I remember going off for long walks as a kid, hoping that when I came back to my village it would be 300 years in the past. To the best of my knowledge this never happened…

Halfway through the story John is thoroughly entangled with a C17th girl suspected of being a witch. So John does what any decent, right-minded person does and helps her clear her name – she’s got to be innocent, there’s no such thing as witches, right?

Over the course of the story, the author makes you question every character’s motives, including the narrator’s own, until you feel ultimately just as confused as John - falling in and out of time, never quite knowing who you can trust, or what is going to happen.

Events described early on in the book have a pivotal role in the story at the end, so the entire piece hangs together really nicely with a satisfying ‘Ahh, now that explains it…’ moment. 

Ultimately, you half get what you want for John Webster - he escapes the time slip he’s caught within, but you can’t help but wonder ‘was it the best thing that would ever happen to him?’ Even he seems unsure, which ties in well with his contradictory character. 

Apart from some occasional slang that seems a bit outdated now everything else about the book stands up really well.

I was wondering if this would feel ‘softer’ than more recent YA titles such as the excellent Department 19 and Divergent. Whilst the description of violence is less graphic, the brutal reality of the aggression described and the motivation for John’s violence is conveyed so unflinchingly that I certainly didn’t feel mollycoddled by the lack of splattered blood.

It would seem that the YA readers of 33 years ago had just the same passions for excitement, mystery and drama - and Robert Westall was more than capable of supplying them with it.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Che Golden - The Feral Child - A Dark Faerie Tale Preview

                            

Her curtains were hung on a pole and there was a slight gap between the fabric and the window, enough for her to peer out without touching the curtain, if she pressed her face hard against the wall.
She could feel the cold puff of a draught on her lips and see a sliver of the outside world with her right eye, the pearly glow of the white painted sill and a slice of the velvety dark beyond it. But it was enough. There was someone at her window all right, some one with a long white hand that seemed to have too many joints and yellow, pointed fingernails..."
 “Some thing was scraping the glass, long strokes down the length of the pane that hissed in the quiet of her room. She put a hand on George to get him to be quiet but the dog still kept his black lips peeled back from his teeth as she crawled across the bed to the windowsill.

THE FERAL CHILD is a scary faerie story set in present day Ireland and draws much of its source material from Celtic tales. Orphaned by a car accident, the heroine Maddy finds herself forced to live permanently with her grandparents in Blarney, County Cork. One night a young child goes missing and Maddy discovers a conspiracy of silence amongst the adults. An ancient threat in the grounds of Blarney Castle dominates the tiny village. Furious with the adults around her, Maddy sets off to rescue the missing child with the help of her two cousins.

Part adventure, part horror, THE FERAL CHILD brings ancient Irish faerie tales to life in all their grim glory. But the central theme of the story is one of identity and home. Maddy discovers rescuing others is the easy bit – finding her own way home proves to be much, much harder.
THE FERAL CHILD is an astonishing debut by a major new talent in children’s fantasy. It will be published by Quercus children’s books in January 2012, followed by the second book in the trilogy, THE UNICORN HUNT Autumn 2012 and THE RAVEN QUEEN in 2013.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Barry Hutchison - The 13th Horseman Book Cover Revealed By David Wyatt

Recently I saw this amazing image for the forthcoming new book written by Barry Hutchison. However, we will all have to wait until March 2012 for it to be released. Although, I have a small synopsis below to tempt you into reading more . . . . . enjoy!

Drake Finn has just met the Horsemen of the Apocalypse but is that really the end of the world? Pratchett meets Python in this dark comic fantasy with plenty of action, perfect for 11+ boys
Drake is surprised to find three horsemen of the apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they insist that he is one of them. They’re missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths and they think that Drake is the boy for the job. At first he’s reluctant to usher in Armageddon but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?
An apocalyptic blend of riotous comedy, heart-stopping action and a richly imagined fantasy adventure.

Many thanks to David who gave permission for his cover to be shared on this blog. To view other fantastic preliminary sketches for this book please click on the link below to visit Mr Wyatt's blog. http://davidwyatt.posterous.com/the-13th-horseman

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Andrew Hammond - Crypt: The Gallows Curse - Book Review

book cover of 

The Gallows Curse 

 (Crypt, book 1)

by

Andrew Hammond
                                                        

  • Category: Young Adult
  • Binding: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780755378210
  • Publication date: 01 Sep 2011 - Headline
Meet Jud Lester: Star agent with CRYPT, the Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team.
When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, CRYPT is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent.
Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet ... people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked - yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen.
Can Jud and Bex work out what has caused the spirits of these dangerous men to return to the streets of London before they wreak more death and 

destruction?


If you're looking for a horror story that will scare the life out of you then this is the right book for you. The publishers have it down as a modern ghost-busting tale meets Young Bond/Cherub and I feel you can't really argue with that. As a result, it will mainly appeal to young teenage boys who like a lot of action to drive them through the pages.


The 'horror' element is very well written - it has many hair raising moments which would not be suitable for the younger reader. The action parts are timely delivered, as you would expect, and the imagination is at its best when explored within the horror scenes.

The paranormal attacks centered around London, in my opinion, make the book feel honest. Although, the vivid detail leaves the reader with a rather disturbing picture right until the very end of the story. 


There were some aspects of the book that I didn't fully appreciate:

  • The main characters, Jud Lester and Bex De Verre, felt a little bit too perfect and I thought the chemistry between them was too predictable. 
  • Also at times, I felt that the story was side tracked in order to explore Jud's emotional feelings. In other genres this might have worked, but within this genre the storyline really needed to focus more on the espionage part of the plot. I felt that this was somewhat lacking and left me needing more detail.

Nevertheless, I managed to overcome both of these aspects because of the very good story. 


What I really liked about this book were the gruesome scenes. One of the best horror moments, for me, was the underground tube station attack. It included some of the best writing that I have read this year. 


This is a very enjoyable and fast paced story. It has certainly got me excited for the next book "Traitor's Revenge," which looks like it will be visiting the city of York - a great setting for a future scary novel. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about this book....  


Friday, 12 August 2011

+++++++ Kirsty Mckay - Undead - Book Review +++++++


book cover of 

Undead 

by

Kirsty McKay

  • Pages -  294
  • Published - by Chicken House
  • Date -  1 September 2011
  • Age 12+
  • ISBN: 978 1906 427870

It was just another school trip... When their ski-coach pulls up at a cafe, and everyone else gets off, new girl Bobby and rebel Smitty stay behind. They hardly know each other but that changes when through the falling snow, the see the others coming back. Something has happened to them. Something bad...Soon only a pair of double doors stand between those on the bus and their ex-friends the Undead outside. Time to get a life.

I have survived yet another action packed zombie novel and am still alive in which to tell the tale. I have actually had this book on the radar for sometime now, but I have only just finally managed to get around to reading it. Therefore, the question must be was it worth the wait? Well, all I'm going to say at this point, is that the story has all of the ingredients that you would expect within this genre, and perhaps even a few more . . . . .  

1. Survivors - Bobby, who is a girl and bad boy Smitty. Alice (or Malice) as she is sometimes referred to and geeky-type character, Pete. Although, the last two characters are portrayed rather sketchily within the book.

2. Plot - an over run storyline of re-animated dead people wanting and needing to feast on brains and to bite flesh. However, to be quite honest this is good for the gore fest count!

3. Theme - perhaps a slightly different take on the world as it is still functioning within 'normal' parameters. Even when the characters find themselves fleeing to the safer castle grounds after looting a cafe and a petrol station.

4. Death - a small death count, which considering the genre, is really not too over the top. However, I think there will be a lot more to come perhaps within the next book. Especially, as it has finished on a very timely and clever note.

5. Romance - this final ingredient involves a slight and small romantic encounter between two of the characters.

I think this book is a great debut start which heralds a new writing talent of teenage horror. In parts it is written exceptionally vividly, but as a result, I felt at crucial moments that this did not always give that sense of reality that was required. Therefore, I felt it held back the pace and momentum of the storyline at times. However, the humour really did extend and lift the mood in places which uplifted the storyline and left me chuckling. 

Teenagers will definitely relate to this book as I am sure that they will easily find elements of themselves within one or more of the characters!

I was easily entertained throughout this book. For me, the best part involved the scene that was created on the bus when the bus driver came alive and the chaos ensued. The story has some heart stopping moments, like the one I've just described, but  I think it could have threaded more of these scenes throughout the book in order to fill a greater potential.

Nevertheless, this book is definitely worth reading. It is certainly written to a higher standard than most books within this genre, but unfortunately it is lacking some original elements. However, within such a well established genre, with so many books published each year, then this is a really difficult requirement in which to fulfill. 

                                           

Jason Moss - Smell & Bogey and the Magic Carpet


Author invites grubby little monsters into a world of snot, dribble and odd-ball creatures with inventive debut novel, warning parents, grannies and nannies to proceed with caution!

Welcome to the world of the Magic Carpet: home to all sorts of peculiar tiny creatures, wobbling through life, trying not to get trodden on, covered in snot or eaten alive! The fat, the thin, the brainy and the dim, the blobby and the furry, the hairy and the curly all collide in this secret world lurking under our feet, deep within the filthy fibres of the carpet. Whatever lands upon the Magic Carpet suddenly springs into life. Within the dirty pile funny things can happen, and they usually happen to best friends Smell and Bogey, two chums who couldn’t be more different. Bogey enjoys the quiet life, sleeping, eating and keeping their green Monopoly house spick and span; Smell is a thrill seeker with a taste for excitement. 

Late one night, Smell and Bogey are visited by a mysterious figure who forewarns them of approaching evil. The friends have felt a strange rumbling from underneath the Magic Carpet and take the stranger’s advice to abandon their home. Smell and Bogey have no choice but to embark upon a treacherous journey to seek advice from Gingerbags, the wise ginger Tom cat who lurks on the edges of the rug. Joining Smell and Bogey on their quest for answers is Fluff, their beautiful next-door neighbour - with whom everyone is in love, especially Smell - as well as a host of new friends they make along the way. Crumb and Lord Itch and his Ant Army are all keen to help, but a trio of scheming fleas seem determined to sabotage the trip. Smell and Bogey’s journey will be fraught with difficulty, comedy and nonsense, as they dodge milkshake showers and other mucky matter falling from the big skies above. Will their friendship survive the adventure? And more importantly, will Smell and Bogey survive the looming threat of the vacuum cleaner?

With his first novel for children, Jason Moss introduces a coterie of joyful characters in what is arguably the most emphatically grimy book for children since Roald Dahl’s legendary poetry collection, Revolting Rhymes (1982). Smell & Bogey and the Magic Carpet will have children giggling with glee at its charismatic celebration of all things repulsive; the crude components of childhood that make children smile whilst turning the stomachs of their teachers and parents. Beneath the mucky mayhem lies the heart of Moss’s story; the special strength of friendship against all the odds. Delightfully irreverent, ghoulishly grotesque and wickedly funny, Smell & Bogey and the Magic Carpet is the first in a series of Smell & Bogey novels by Jason Moss, and possesses all the hallmarks of a kids classic in the making. 

Published by New Generation, 2011,
To find out more check the website out http://www.smellandbogey.com

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Mark Walden - Aftershock Blog Tour Day Four (H.I.V.E. From Book to Video Game?)


                                        
Before I started making up stories for a living I made video games.  I do accept that at some point in my life I may actually have to get a proper job but, to be honest, I'm hoping to put that moment off for as long as humanly possible.  I don't make games any more but, I still play them.  All of them.  Well, not quite all of them perhaps but, still, quite a few of them. One of the consequences of my old job is that as soon as people find out what I used to do for a living they always ask me one thing.

Would you like HIVE to be made into a video game?

The short answer is yes but, with a few reservations.  Firstly, I pity the poor development team who end up with me hovering over them saying “oooh, wouldn't it be cool if....”  It would be almost impossible for me to step back and let them just get on with their jobs, especially considering the years I've already spent in the game development trenches.  The other problem would be telling a story.  Don't get me wrong, there are games that tell amazing stories but, I don't necessarily think that would be so easy for HIVE.  Would there perhaps be too many restrictions placed on the story by the plots of the existing books?  When in the timeline of events does the game take place?  Do the books have to then reflect the events of the game?  It all gets very complicated for a game developer when you're dealing with any pre-established world but, there are ways around those problems.

Personally, I'd much prefer a sandbox type of game where you play as a pupil of HIVE just trying to survive life at the school and eventually graduate as a fully qualified villain.  Anyone who's played a game that Rockstar released a couple of years ago called Bully will have a pretty good idea what I'm talking about.  I'm not sure I'd want to play as Otto or one of the established characters from the books, I think I'd rather create my own HIVE student and maybe interact with the existing characters in a peripheral way instead.  I certainly think it would make for a more interesting game.

The truth is that these days it is almost unheard of for a book to be made into a video game unless it's also being made into a film and then the game will usually just follow the plot of the movie.  Unfortunately the vast majority of movie based games also fall into the “not very good” category, usually because their development is rushed to coincide with the release of the film.

What I think is far more interesting, and this is already happening, is the idea of books based on video games.  You only have to look at the amazing worlds being dreamed up by development teams like Valve, Irrational, Blizzard or Bungie to see the potential for gripping stories set within them.  Still, there are some people who argue, incorrectly in my opinion, that video games are somehow stopping people from reading.  I think the fact of the matter is that reading a book and playing a video game are wildly different experiences and that one will never replace the other and that's exactly the way it should be.


Mark Walden Facebook Fan Page is Now Live - The Villains School of Higher Education


book cover of 

Aftershock 

 (H.I.V.E., book 7)

by

Mark Walden
                                              
CALLING ALL VILLAINS!

The new Mark Walden Facebook Fan page is now live – www.facebook.com/markwaldenfan

Here is your chance to discover more about the author of the HIVE series and have your say. There will be regular updates, giveaways and free downloads. There will also be top gadget ideas, video game highlights and some villainous characters passing by every now and then! Mark himself will be popping by to let the fans know what is currently going on in his world.

If you know of anyone who might be like to be a fan then please let them know. Spread the word.......

Welcome to H.I.V.E., the school where villains rule. Here, eligible students are trained in the ways of wickedness in the hope that they will become super-villains. The school’s motto is ‘It takes the best to create the worst’ … but one of the new students is about to become their worst nightmare!

Packed full of humour, action and with a knowing nod to cinematic baddies, H.I.V.E. subverts the traditional school-based novel by setting it somewhere that the pupils are encouraged to misbehave. With a filmic text that rolls from one action sequence to the next, all four H.I.V.E. novels have bags of boy appeal, enough hi-tech gadgets to make James Bond jealous and a globally dominating sense of fun. Not since Hogwarts has there been a school that children will so actively want to attend!

Get villainous!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Mr Ripley's Horror Selection For August 2011 (Books that go Bump in the Dark)

book cover of 

Skinned 

 (Shadowing, book 2)

by

Adam Slater
                                                
Adam Slater - The Shadowing:Skinned - Published by Egmont - 1 August 2011 - Age 9 - 12

Her pointed teeth do not gleam; they are black with age and the bloodstains of her countless victims. She looks up at the human child - surely meant to be in bed and asleep at this time of night. Some things don't change. Every hundred years the gateway opens between their world and ours. A human coven has joined forces with the dark beings of the Netherworld. A flesh-eating witch is on the loose. Evil is growing. And Callum is caught in the middle. The Shadowing has begun..



book cover of 

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow 

by

Katy Towell
                                  

Katy Towell - Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow Published by Knopf - 23 August 2011 - Age 9-12

Twelve years ago, for 12 days straight, the town of Widowsbury suffered a terrible storm, which tore open a gate through which escaped all sorts of foul, rotten things. Strange things and strange people were no longer welcomed in Widowsbury, for one could never be sure of what secrets waited under the surface . . . 


Adelaide Foss, Maggie Borland, and Beatrice Alfred are known by their classmates at Widowsbury's Madame Gertrude's School for Girls as "scary children." Unfairly targeted because of their peculiarities—Adelaide has an uncanny resemblance to a werewolf, Maggie is abnormally strong, and Beatrice claims to be able to see ghosts—the girls spend a good deal of time isolated in the school's inhospitable library facing detention. But when a number of people mysteriously begin to disappear in Widowsbury, the girls work together, along with Steffen Weller, son of the cook at Rudyard School for Boys, to find out who is behind the abductions. Will they be able to save Widowsbury from a 12-year-old curse? 



book cover of 

The Nightmarys 

by

Dan Poblocki
                                       
Dan Poblocki - The Nightmarys - Published by Yearlin -  9 August 2011 - Age 9 - 12

Timothy doesn’t really know what to make of Abigail, the new girl in his seventh-grade class. After she is humiliated before her classmates, bad things start happening. Timothy’s best friend sees the clawed monster from his favorite video game at the bottom of a pool. Their teacher begins to get paranoid about the creepy specimen jars surrounding his classroom. But it’s not Abigail’s fault; in fact, she is seeing visions of the Nightmarys—two sinister little girls who beckon her to come play with them. It’s a marvelously disorienting setup, and Poblocki has a knack for cornering his characters in the most unlikely of vulnerable places: a laundry room, a changing room, a hospital bed. As the plot begins to hammer sense into the horrific happenings—it all has to do with a mystical jawbone, an insane professor, and a demon called the Daughter of Chaos—the scares get bigger, though often less impactful. More than anything, this is a mystery, complete with clues and secret codes, and Poblocki’s deft handling of the multiple threads makes this a devilish delight.




book cover of 

The Girl Behind the Glass 

by

Jane Kelley
                                 

Jane Kelley - The Girl Behind the Glass - Published by Random House - 9 August 2011 - Age 9 -12

The house on Hemlock Road used to be someone's home. Until something happened. Something that even after 80 years, can never be forgotten or forgiven . . . .


Eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna agree about everything—especially that they don't want to move to the creepy old house on Hemlock Road. But as soon as they move into the house, the twins start disagreeing for the first time in their lives. In fact, it's almost as though something or someone is trying to drive them apart. While Anna settles in, Hannah can't ignore the strange things that keep happening on Hemlock Road. Why does she sense things that no one else in the family does?  Like when the hemlock branch outside waves shush, shush. Or at night, if she listens hard enough, it's almost as though someone is trying to talk to her. Someone no one else can hear. Someone angry enough to want revenge. Hannah, are you listening? Is the house haunted? Is Hannah crazy? Or does something in the house want her as a best friend—forever?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

PUB DATE!! Video: Barry Talks Doc Mortis - Blog Tour Day 4

Today is the opportunity to finally get your hands on a copy of book four within the Invisible Fiends series - Doc Mortis. However, just before you all rush off to the shops to purchase a copy, Barry has made a video blog examining all things related to Doc Mortis and also to answer some of your recent tweets. 


Doc Mortis is the scariest book that Barry has written so far and therefore, you will soon find yourselves on a nightmare ride of expert medical treatment or not . . . . This is a great series to read so get ready to rush off to the shops.



Kyle wakes up in hospital – which is strange, because he doesn't remember being ill. And that's not all. He's also deliriously flitting in and out of the Darkest Corners, and in the shadow version of the hospital the surfaces aren't clean, and the sharp instruments aren't used for healing.
It's Kyle's most terrifying experience yet, and it's about to get much, much worse.
The doctor will see him now…