Monday, 23 May 2022

The Best Children's/Kids Book Picks May 2022 - US - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 

Katherine Arden - Dark Waters (Small Spaces Quartet) - Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (May 10, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-0593109175 - Paperback - Age: 10+

Filled with chills and spooks galore, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden’s latest installment in the creep-tastic Small Spaces Quartet is sure to haunt. Now in paperback.

Until next time. That was the chilling promise the smiling man-made to Ollie, Coco, and Brian after they last outsmarted him. And as the trio knows, the smiling man always keeps his promises. So when the lights flicker and a knock sounds at the door, there can only be one explanation: he’s back and a frightening new game is afoot.
 
But before the three friends can unravel the smiling man’s latest nightmarish scheme, they set sail on Lake Champlain, where it’s said Vermont’s very own Loch Ness monster lives. Brian is thrilled. He hasn’t sailed since visiting family in Jamaica, and even the looming threat of the smiling man can’t put a damper on what is guaranteed to finally be a day of fun—even if it is awkward being stuck on a boat with his former best friend, Phil, and his new best friends, Coco and Ollie. But when this crew find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island and hunted by a monster on both land and sea, fun becomes the last thing on their minds. The sm
iling man has at long last set the stage for a perilous rematch. But this time, Brian is ready to play.

Lynette Noni - The Prisoner Healer - Published by Clarion Books (May 10, 2022) -  ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-0358669432 - Paperback - Age: 11+

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.


Juliana Brandt - Monsters in the Mist - Published by Sourcebooks Young Readers (May 3, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1728245447 - Hardback - Age: 8+ 

When 13-year-old Glennon McCue, his mom, and his fragile sister are left with their uncle at his lighthouse on Isle Philippeaux, Glennon desperately wants leave the desolate isle and return home. But his father is away, so Glennon is forced to spend his break surrounded by fog, rats, and chilling myths. Nothing seems quite right... with the island or with his family.

A storm rocks the island and a ship crashes near the lighthouse, leaving behind a group of sailors. Something is off about the survivors, who seem more monster than human. Soon it becomes clear that there won't be boats to take anyone home, and Glennon and his family are trapped.

It will take all Glennon's courage to save his family from the curse of the isle and the real monster in his life.


Sylvia Douyé (Author), Paola Antista (Illustrator) - Sorceline -  Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (May 17, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1524871314 - Paperback - Age: 8+

Welcome to the Island of Vorn, where mythical creatures roam free and only the brightest students are invited to study them. In Book 1 of this riveting new middle-grade graphic novel series, a gifted young cryptozoologist-in-training must learn to tame powerful beasts—including her own inner demons.

For as long as she can remember, Sorceline has had a knack for the study of mythical creatures. Now a student at Professor Archibald Balzar’s prestigious school of cryptozoology, she’s eager to test her skills and earn a spot as one of Balzar’s apprentices.

But for all her knowledge of gorgons, vampires, and griffins, Sorceline is mystified by her fellow humans. While she excels in her studies, she quickly clashes with her classmates, revealing her fiery temper.

When one of her rivals suddenly disappears, Sorceline must set aside her anger and join the quest to find her. But the mystery only deepens, leading Sorceline on a journey far darker and more personal than she expected . . .



Thursday, 12 May 2022

The Best Children's/Kids Book Picks May 2022 - UK - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 

Hannah Durkan - Zeina Starborn and the Sky Whale - Published by  Orion Children's Books (12 May 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1510109599 - Paperback - Age: 8+ 

    'A thrilling tale of intrigue and adventure in the clouds, full of wonderful creatures, mind-boggling gadgets, bravery, kindness and hope' Thomas Taylor, author of Malamander

    When Zeina Starborn's dream of exploring the skies becomes a reality, she finds herself in a daring adventure beyond her wildest imagination. Meet explorers, inventors, and mighty sky whales in this richly inventive fantasy, perfect for 9+ fans of BRIGHTSTORM and ORPHANS OF THE TIDE.

    Zeina Starborn spends her days dreaming of adventure in the sky and escaping the smog-filled city of Ravenport.

    So, when she wins the chance to visit the famous Willoughby Whale Hotel - a ginormous structure built on the back of a flying whale - Zeina grabs it. Even clashing with Jackson, spoiled heir to the Willoughby fortune, can't dampen her excitement.

    But a series of clues makes her question what she's been told about this dazzling world of inventors, explorers and mighty sky whales. Zeina and Jackson must put aside their differences to uncover the secret plot around them as they embark on the journey of a lifetime.

    Ross MacKenzie - The Colour of Hope - Published by Andersen Press (5 May 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1839132025 - Paperback - Age: 10+ 

    Years ago, the Emperor used dark magic to steal all the colour from the world. Now he keeps it for himself, enjoying its life-giving power while everyone else must exist in cold shades of grey. That is, until a miracle baby is born – everything she touches turns to colour. But the child’s life is in danger from her very first breath. Soon the Emperor’s murderous Ripper Dogs and Black Coats come hunting. Can the girl and her adopted father survive in the forest – and what will it take to return colour and hope to the world?

    Caryl Lewis (Author), George Ermos (Illustrator) - SEED - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (12 May 2022) -  ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529077667 - Paperback - Age: 8+

    'Some books are about magic. Some books ARE magic. Seed will cast a spell on you' – Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    Seed is a funny, big-hearted story by award-winner Caryl Lewis about the power of hope and imagination when you believe in the impossible. Perfect for readers of 8-12. Illustrated in black and white throughout by George Ermos.

    The heart of Wonder meets the humour of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates.

    Marty doesn't have much. Unlike his mum, who has billions of things: newspapers, holey shoes, rusty lawnmowers, broken picture frames – she keeps EVERYTHING! It's hard to leave the house. Marty does his best to look after her and wonders if anything will ever change. 

    But on Marty's birthday, Grandad, with a glint in his eye, gifts Marty a very special seed. Grandad hasn't been this excited since he invented the bum scratcher 2000 or thought he'd brewed wonder fuel from rhubarb
    leaves! The seed grows bigger and bigger, and launches Grandad, Marty and his best friend Gracie on an impossible, wondrous plan fuelled by love, hopes and dreams.

    Peter Bunzl - Magicborn - Published by Usborne Publishing (26 May 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1474964395 - Paperback - Age: 7+

    The Curse is changed. You'll never know. The truth is lost. The lie will grow. 

    The year is 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is on the hunt for those who are magicborn. When Tempest is captured after accidentally unleashing a power she didn't know she had, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside a boy like her, Thomas.

    Trapped, Tempest and Thomas find their magic flickering to life - and with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse...and now the fairies are coming to get them. A battle is building - one only they can end. But who will survive?

    Jasmine Richards - The Unmorrow Curse - Published by UCLan Publishing (5 May 2022) -  ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1912979882 - Paperback - Age: 8+

    Two friends awaken a world of myth and magic in this epic middle-grade fantasy perfect for fans of Rick Riordan. It's not every day that you find a famous weather woman bound by magic to a tree deep in the woods. Or discover that the weatherwoman is in fact Sunna, the Norse Goddess of the Sun, and one of the seven day guardians who keep time in order. But that's just what happens to new friends Buzz and Mari--and it's only the start of their adventure. Now, as humanity are forced into a lockdown called the Unmorrow Curse and are forced to repeat the same Saturday over and over again, Buzz and Mari must journey to collect the Runes of Valhalla and awaken the other day guardians, before vengeful god Loki can get to them first.

    Sunday, 8 May 2022

    Hana Tooke (Author), Ayesha L. Rubio (Illustrator) - THE MIDNIGHTERS - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

     


    The best stories feel like dreams... This is the second middle-grade book by Hana Tooke. THE MIDNIGHTERS has the power to transport you in your dreams to one of the best places in the world; the world of fantasy and make-believe. This book really is magnificent - you only need to hold and see the proof copy to know that it is going to be a great read. The book will be published on 23rd June 2022 by Puffin Books; the cover has been illustrated by Ayesha L. Rubio. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final hardback copy once it's been published. 

    Streetlamps looked like fallen stars is one of the first lines in the book. As soon as you read these words, the magic and the power instantly transport you into a world of awe and wonder. This is a gothic story full of magic, invention, and intrigue. The dark and unsettling nature is so delicious to read and savour, it really is spellbinding stuff. The reader follows in the footsteps of the leading character happily wandering the streets and alleyways.

    Ema Vaškov is the twelfth child to be born into an extraordinary family in extraordinary circumstances. She has the gift to predict events before they happen. However, will the bad omens come TRUE? Set in Prague in December 1877, the story uncovers secret midnight adventures with a mystery girl called Silvie. Unfortunately, she suddenly goes missing providing the opportunity to uncover the secrets of her disappearance and her identity. This story will really take your breath away; it'll steal your heartbeat as you cycle on one of Josef's handmade boneshaker bikes. It's full of places that will make your imagination explode and dazzle whilst the plot is so thick with possibilities you will not what to miss this adventure. 

    This book is a true delight and one of the best reads of the year. It's a story full of adventure, friendship, facing fears, and finding out who you really are. It's time for you to find the secret society and go behind the four different doors: The Dreamer, The Illusionist, The Bone Sculptor, and The Astronomer. Each place contains a pinch of magic, a splash of the macabre, a dollop of invention, and a world full of wonder. You will not be disappointed - this is a truly enchanting read that is up there with the very best. 



    Thursday, 28 April 2022

    The Best Children's US Book Picks April 2022 - Picked by Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

     

    Emily J . Taylor - Hotel Magnifique - Published by Razorbill (April 5, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-0593404515 - Hardback (Age: 11+)

    Hotel Magnifique opened the door to a sumptuous and glittering world of magic and mysteries and left me enchanted. Perfect for fans of Caraval and The Night Circus.” –Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows and Small Favors
     
    Decadent and darkly enchanting, this lavish YA fantasy debut follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.


    All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.
     
    The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.
     
    With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.



    Catherynne M. Valente - Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods - Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books (April 26, 2022) - ISBN-13:978-1481476997 - Hardback (Age: 7+)

    From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes an inventive new fantasy following a boy journeying away from the only home he’s ever known and into the magical realm of the dead in order to fulfill a bargain for his people.

    Osmo Unknown hungers for the world beyond his small town. With the life that Littlebridge society has planned for him, the only taste Osmo will ever get are his visits to the edge of the Fourpenny Woods where his mother hunts. Until the unthinkable happens: his mother accidentally kills a Quidnunk, a fearsome and intelligent creature that lives deep in the forest.

    None of this should have anything to do with poor Osmo, except that a strange treaty was once formed between the Quidnunx and the people of Littlebridge to ensure that neither group would harm the other. Now that a Quidnunk is dead, as the firstborn child of the hunter who killed her, Osmo must embark on a quest to find the Eightpenny Woods—the mysterious kingdom where all wild forest creatures go when they die—and make amends.

    Accompanied by a very rude half-badger, half-wombat named Bonk and an antisocial pangolin girl called Nev
    er, it will take all of Osmo’s bravery and cleverness to survive the magic of the Eightpenny Woods to save his town…and make it out alive.

    Stacy Hackney - The Sisters of Luna Island - Published by Simon & Schuster Books (April 12, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1534488694 - Hardback (Age: 7+) 

    Little Women gets a Nevermoor twist in this bewitching novel about a young girl tasked to break a centuries-old curse or risk losing her beloved sisters.

    Twelve-year-old Marigold Lafleur is the last of a long line of aromages: witches who blend scents into practical charms using aromagic. But ever since a terrible accident injured her father and damaged Luna Island, Marigold and her sisters, Birdie and Lou, have vowed to abandon their family legacy and mama’s way of life. Shunned by their neighbors and overlooked by their parents, Marigold relies on her big sisters above all else.

    But when Marigold discovers a secret curse that threatens her family, her sisters can’t stop the impending danger. It’s up to Marigold and her best friend, Sam, to uncover the origins of the curse and break the spell. To do so, she must learn to trust her instincts and believe in her own unique magic or risk losing her beloved sisters forever.

    Amy Kim Kibuishi - The Realm of the Blue Mist: A Graphic Novel (The Rema Chronicles) - Published by Graphix (April 5, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1338115130 - Paperback (Age: 7+) 

    Enter the rich and fantastical world of Rema in the first installment of this middle-grade graphic novel series with sweeping adventure and light romance!

    Tabby Simon is determined to learn what happened to her father, who was found dead after researching a tree that leaks a mysterious mist in her neighborhood. She is unexpectedly led to Rema, a distant world of magic and beauty that is periodically invaded by a nearby planet desperate for resources. While Tabby searches for the truth surrounding her father's death, she meets a handsome blue-haired boy named Philip. He has his own dangerous secrets, but has promised to help Tabby get home. As she learns more about this strange world, Tabby discovers that she is destined for something far greater than she ever could have imagined.

    Monday, 25 April 2022

    Alake Pilgrim - Zo and the Forest of Secrets - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books



    Are you looking for a fantastic read this summer? Then look no further as we definitely have the book for you. This is a fantastic middle-grade adventure - a Caribbean masterclass of storytelling - by debut children's author Alake Pilgrim. Zo and the Forest of Secrets will be the first book as part of a new series which will be published on 2nd June 2022 by inclusive publisher Knights Of. The story is based on the island of Trinidad & Tobago which gives this plot a wonderful backdrop to base the story. It really gives it a multicultural infusion as it breathes life into the story with descriptive panache.   

    The story has been inspired by the idea that "every child deserves to be the hero of their own stories". Lenny Henry raised a similar point recently stating that he wanted to create characters that young children could identify with as this was something he found difficult as a child. As an avid young reader, he often wanted to go on a fantasy journey with a character that looked and felt like him. Therefore, it's important that books provide children with a sense of enjoyment but also enable them to identify with the story whether this is through the characters, settings, story themes/topics etc. In this book, the author reflects the connections with different countries to her own island of Trinidad & Tobago. 

    There are a number of topical and important themes that are covered in this book such as family, friendship and eco-consciousness. However, what I really loved about this book is its brilliance and uniqueness - it's 100% bonkers. The story starts with a shroud of mystery and strange unexplained visions. When Zo finds a lost boy called Adri drowning in the river, she must uncover the mysteries of the forest to find their way home. The journey brings more surprises including a spider with a mechanical twitching arm called Cap'n Peg! This character actually brought tears to my eyes as I was laughing so much. I'm really looking forward to more antics in the next book through the eyes of the main character and their unusual cluster of spiders

    The synopsis does not really do this book justice in my opinion. What the story has to tell is a different narrative. It's a read for a seasoned armchair explorer willing to undertake a fantasy exploration through an exotic forest. Expect to encounter an abandoned facility that may hold a few answers whilst encountering a cavern full of disturbing nightmarish creatures called X. You'll dance, skip and hop from one dangerous situation to another whilst smelling the flora and fauna along the way. You'll fully immerse yourself in colour and song as you join one of the best imaginative fantasy journeys this year. Take my advice and give this book a read. You can pre-order from all good bookshops. 

    Tuesday, 12 April 2022

    The Best Children's Book UK Picks April 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

    Jamie Russell - SkyWake Battlefield - Published by Walker Books (7 April 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1406397529 - Paperback 

    Caught up in an alien war on a distant galaxy, Casey and her team are fighting for their lives – but which side should they be on? The second in an exciting and original debut sci-fi adventure trilogy for the gaming generation.

    Casey and hundreds of other SkyWakers are now stuck on the planet Hosin, thousands of miles out in space, forced by the Red Eyes to fight the elusive Squids. Casey and her squad, the Ghost Reapers, are determined to rescue the other gamers and return to Earth – but when the strangely compelling Squids enter Casey's mind, begging for help, Casey faces an impossible decision. With the team split in two and Casey's brother on the other side, home seems further away than ever. How can Casey save the planet if she can't keep her friends?


    Skye McKenna - Hedgewitch - Published by 
    Welbeck Flame (14 April 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1801300087 - Paperback 

    First in a five-book series for readers of NevermoorThe Worst Witch and The Dark Is Rising.

    Cassie Morgan has run away. After seven years spent waiting for her mother to return, she flees her dreary boarding school and sets out to find her. But the world outside her school is full of hidden magic and children have been going missing.

    With the help of a talking cat and a flying broom, Cassie escapes to the enchanted village of Hedgely. There she will begin her training in the practical skills of witchcraft with the Hedgewitch, who watches over the Hedge, the vast forest that marks the border between England and Faerie.


    Matthew Fox - The Sky Over Rebecca - Published by Hodder Children's Books (14 April 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1444964707 - Paperback 

    There was a single trail of footprints, the first I'd seen all morning. They were fresh tracks, I saw, the edges of the impressions in the snow quite hard. Small feet. Like mine. Someone my age. 
    Then they stopped.

    When mysterious footprints appear in the Stockholm snow, ten-year-old Kara must discover where they've come from - and who they belong to. They lead Kara to Rebecca, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, and her younger brother Samuel. Kara realises they are refugees - from another time, World War Two - and are trying to find their way home.

    The grief and loneliness that Rebecca and Samuel have endured is something Kara can relate to - feeling like you're always on the outside looking in - and she finds herself compelled to help them. Through her eyes, we rediscover the magic that lies in the world around us, if only we have the courage to look for it.

    Kara is a heroine for modern times: fragile but fierce, in this utterly compelling story from a stellar new voice in children's literature, Matthew Fox.

    Justyn Edwards (Author), Flavia Sorrentino (Illustrator) - The Great Fox Illusion - Published by Walker Books (7 April 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529501940 - Paperback 

    Secrets and illusions abound as a group of young magicians competes for the prize of a lifetime in this gripping adventure, the first in an enthralling new series from debut author Justyn Edwards.

    Magic is about dreaming what is impossible and making it possible. It's the innocent young mind in all of us that loves it. We want to be filled with wonder. We want to believe. I want the winner of this competition and the recipient of my legacy to dare to dream big. So, let The Great Fox Hunt begin."

    Thirteen-year-old Flick Lions has won a place on a new television show, in which young people compete to win the legacy of the Great Fox, one of the world's most famous magicians. But Flick isn't interested in uncovering the Great Fox's tired old magic tricks – she's after something much more important. The magician destroyed her family, and this is Flick's only chance to put things right. Inside the Fox's house is a secret that will change the world of magic for ever, and Flick will go to any lengths to find it.

    Saturday, 9 April 2022

    Simon Packham - Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs? - Book Review Blog Tour - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

     

    I'm delighted to be able to introduce this debut middle-grade children's book by actor and musician Simon Packham. Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs? is a fantastic poignant read that will be published this April (2022) by the Welsh publisher Firefly Press. The book starts with the introduction of the main character, Archie Ebbs. Life is brilliant, the summer term has just begun and we find him watching YouTube, eating chocolate brownies, as well as laughing and joking with his friends. The PERFECT life, however, the script does not run to plan just like his recent YouTube hit video The Revenge of the Fruit.

     

    The story is a really intriguing one. It's very cleverly written and highlights a series of issues that some families and people might relate to. It highlights the devastating effect that homelessness can have on a family and children's lives. In this plot, the subject is tackled in a brilliant and somewhat surreal but imaginatively quirky way. The story cleverly reveals the stark realities of the situation in a sad and funny way. 


    The characters really danced and jumped off the page to bring one of the best stories that I've read so far this year. It's a modern and fresh take highlighting an important topic that doesn't feature much in stories. In fact, I loved this book so much that I couldn't help but go through a roller-coaster of emotions with all the characters - each and every one of them. This is a great class read for children to discuss but I would highly recommend it to everyone. 


    It's a real pleasure to be on the blog tour for this book. One of the characters you will come to love is Charlie Ebbs's sister Izzy. Her boyfriend is called Clint and he plays an important role in the book. Here we have a little fun character bio that has been put together for the book tour. However, as you're here why not check out all the other stops too by taking a look at the list above (on the right). 



    Sunday, 27 March 2022

    The Best Children's US Book Picks March 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

     

    Kelly Barnhill - The Ogress and the Orphans - Published by Algonquin Young Readers (March 8, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643750743 - Hardback 

      A new instant-classic fantasy about the power of generosity and love, and how a community suffers when they disappear, by Kelly Barnhill, winner of the Newbery Medal for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, a New York Times bestseller.

       
      Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.

      Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.

      But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?


      Jason Sheehan - Children of the Flying City - Published by 
      Dutton Books for Young Readers (March 15, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593109519 - Hardback 

      Brought to the flying city of Highgate when he was only five years old, orphan Milo Quick has never known another home. Now almost thirteen, Milo survives one daredevil grift at a time, relying only on his wit, speed, and best friends Jules and Dagda.

      A massive armada has surrounded Highgate’s crumbling armaments. Because behind locked doors—in opulent parlors and pneumatic forests and a master toymaker’s workshop—the once-great flying city protects a powerful secret, hidden away for centuries. A secret that’s about to ignite a war. One small airship, the Halcyon, has slipped through the ominous blockade on a mission to collect Milo—and the rich bounty on his head—before the fighting begins. But the members of the Halcyon’s misfit crew aren’t the only ones chasing Milo Quick.
       
      True friendship is worth any risk in this clever, heart-racing adventure from award-winning author and journalist Jason Sheehan. Sheehan weaves together wry narration and multiple points of view to craft a richly imagined tale that is dangerous and surprising, wondrous and joyful.


      Dee Hahn - The Grave Thief - Published by 
      Puffin Books (March 1, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735269439 - Hardback 

      A twelve-year-old grave thief gets caught up in a royal heist in this compelling middle-grade fantasy in the vein of Kelley Armstrong's A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying.

      Twelve-year-old Spade is a grave thief. With his father and brother, he digs up the recently deceased to steal jewels, the main form of trade in Wyndhail.

      Digging graves works for Spade -- alone in the graveyard at night, no one notices his limp or calls him names. He's headed for a lifetime of theft when his father comes up with the audacious plan to rob a grave in the Wyndhail castle cemetery. Spade and his brother get caught in a royal trap, and Spade must find the master of the Woegon: a deadly creature that is stalking the castle by night. 

      Along the way, he meets Ember, the queen's niece, and together they race to solve the mystery of the legendary Deepstones and their connection to the Woegon, the queen, a missing king and the mysterious pebble Spade finds in the Wyndhail cemetery.

      This is a fantastic story of friendship, bravery, grief and acceptance.


      Dan Santat The Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel - Published by 
      ‎ Graphix (March 1, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0545497619 - Paperback 

      Dive into this whimsically adventurous graphic novel from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat!

      Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, the marine theme park her dad and uncle created. But Sophia's world is turned upside down when an "aquanaut" breaks into the park's research lab. 

      To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems -- inside lives a band of four goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand has evolved into something much darker than Sophia's dad had envisioned, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park's captive marine life before it's too late.




      Friday, 25 March 2022

      Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Jason Rohan - S.T.E.A.L.T.H.: Access Denied (BK1) - Book Review

       


      Are you ready for a new series from Jason Rohan? Are you looking for a good book that plunges you into a world of gadgets, espionage, and the world's deadliest weapon? If so, then you might have just come to the right place. Let me introduce you to S.T.E.A.L.T.H - Access Denied - which is due to be published by Nosy Crow on 7th April, 2022. It's time for an unlikely set of kids to save the WORLD again. This is the kind of story you can really escape into as you travel down a spider's web of intrigue encountering some rather bizarre moments.

      IT'S JUST ANOTHER DAY, that is until Arun arrives home from school. His house is full of armed police and his dad's just disappeared. This all leads to a brilliant start featuring a secret AI project called MANDROID. The narrative is a really slick-tight performance from a group of kids all with interesting backstories. Arun is smart and reserved, Sam is the geeky one who loves tech and Donna is the action, athletic tough-talking member of the group. The characters really pull the story together like magic glue which sticks to the reader in many fantastic and vivid ways. Their ability to problem-solve is a particular strength of the narrative that makes it particularly enjoyable. 

      There are plenty of scrapes including the attempted theft of the deadliest weapon on Earth by a group of organised villains - never mind the car chase smashes and run-ins with the police. The plot is a race to save the day; it's ingenious, clever, and at times produces some deeply amusing situations. I absolutely loved the characters as they were warm, genuine, and relatable. I also enjoyed the depth and detail of information given when introducing the weapons and gadgets.  

      This is a perfect book for everybody; a great mash-up of a story, influenced by comics, in a heart-stopping mission that will be sure to be your next favourite read. It has a great climactic ending surely leading up to another book. In the meantime, seek out a copy of S.T.E.A.L.T.H in the near future.  Access is only denied if you do not BUY a copy and read it. What are you waiting for? 

      You can read an exclusive extract HERE

      Wednesday, 16 March 2022

      John Tarrow - The Stranger's Guide to Talliston (Talliston House & Gardens) - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


      The Stranger's Guide to Talliston is a YA fantasy adventure novel set inside ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ (Sunday Times): the internationally famous Talliston House & Gardens. The book written by John Tarrow is an adventure like no other just to match the real-life setting. A journey into the unknown and back. A book we think you should READ. One of the best-hidden secrets. Published by Unbound UK. Purchase a signed 1st edition HERE

      THE BLURB & BIO
      Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, Joe is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs?
      John Tarrow is a novelist, poet, storyteller and award-winning writer. His fascination with folk and faerie tales has taken him around the world, gathering threads of story and legend to weave into his own mythologies. He spent twenty-five years transforming a three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex into the world-famous Talliston House and Gardens.