Sunday, 31 May 2009

David Wyatt Interview - His life and work

David Wyatt is a great illustrator who has worked with many 'big' authors, one of these can be seen in the photograph above. Have you worked out who it is yet? . . . . . . . Philip Reeve. It has been a privilege to have been in contact with David recently and for him to have kindly agreed to be interviewed by us. So many thanks David, for the time you spared us, we're looking forward to seeing your published graphic novel out in due time.

What project are you currently working on and are there any exciting future projects ahead? If you are allowed to divulge such information!

For the time being, I’ve gone back to doing book covers. Last year I spent most of the time working on Peter Pan in Scarlet and then Mothstorm. This year I was supposed to be doing Geraldine McCaughrean’s abridged version of the original Peter Pan, but the time constraints were such that I couldn’t do a good enough job in the time available, so I had to pass on it. At this stage I’m not sure if it will go ahead at all, but it would make a good companion to ‘Scarlet’. I would prefer to be doing these kind of projects that I can really get my teeth into, but for now it’s back to covers. At the moment I’m working on a couple of things for a New York publisher involving lots of ancient British mythology (which is interesting for me) and also a spin-off from Joe Delaney’s Spook series, which will have some interior illustrations. I’m looking forward to working on Philip Reeve’s sequel to Fever Crumb, which he is currently finishing off.

2) Obviously comic art was inspirational to you earlier on in your career, now that graphic novels are becoming popular would you consider illustrating this type of text?

It’s funny you should ask – I have been working on an idea myself. The problem is fitting it in. I’ve managed 8 finished pages since January, which means the first chapter might be completed by next Spring. It’s frustrating, as I’d like to set aside more time to work on it, so I suppose I’ll have to turn more paid work down to really make a go of it.

3) Have you come close to fulfilling your dreams as an illustrator, or are there any particular achievements or ambitions you have your heart set on for the future?

I’ve been quite lucky so far, having illustrated for many excellent authors. As mentioned earlier, I would like to do more picture books, particularly original ones where there is more collaboration between author and illustrator. I would hope to continue working with Philip, possibly on something in a similar format to Larklight, which was very satisfying to work on.

A working day in the life of David Wyatt"

This is tricky, as there is no typical day. At the moment, Spring is making the outdoors particularly attractive and I’m in a constant state of ‘catch-up’ because I’m out and about a lot enjoying the beautiful area in which I live. Some days I’m painting on the computer, some days I’m using pencils and pens, some days I’m reading manuscripts and scribbling down ideas.
I tend to get up when my body feels like it, then after a cup of tea I walk the dog. The computer is then switched on, and I have a quick look at emails before starting work. I tend to have a bike ride around midday, do a bit more work then visit the local bookshop for a coffee and a chat. I have an allotment, so somewhere during the day I’ll potter about up there for half an hour or so. Then it’s another dog walk, and after tea (unless I’m going out) I’ll keep drawing in order to make up for all the time I’ve squandered avoiding work during the day...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

David Jowsey - Shattered Truths: An'Tsari Trilogy No. 2: The Past Holds a Secret

I am always looking to promote small, up and coming books. It's so hard to get noticed when there are so many good books available. I remember reading "Dragons in the Sky" (book one) by David back in 2006 and really enjoyed the story. It was particularly gripping with different layers to develop different levels of thinking. Now his second book is due out in June, so I thought i'd bring this news to your attention.

Words from the author.

My name is David Jowsey and I am a teacher from Middlesbrough, England. I published a successful children's novel in 2006 and this email is to advertise the release of the forthcoming sequel. I am attempting to achieve as much global interest as possible, and would like to ask you to help me in doing this.

Shattered Truths is written for gifted and talented readers within primary schools, and readers aged 14 and upwards within secondary schools, but both books are not limited only to school age children. Adults of all ages read my first book, enjoyed it, and are eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel....

Books Synopsis

Mars 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari thirty years before. Can he protect humanity from a dark and treacherous past, or will the existence of an overwhelming power mean the extinction of the human race? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and draws the second chapter of the An'Tsari trilogy to a nail-biting conclusion. Thirty-one years have passed since Tom Richards' terrifying childhood encounter with the An'Tsari, but the fears he has struggled so hard to bury will be challenged once again as the truth behind his own destiny is revealed. Mars: 2039 - Tom Richards knows he has been destined to visit the red planet since his childhood encounter with the An'Tsari but as part of a NASA team, exploring the surface of Mars, he finds himself subjected to startling visions of Mars' past. Amongst the visions stands a sinister figure, but who is he, and why is he so desperate to withhold a secret of epic proportions? With the odds stacked against him by a devastating planet-wide storm, and all contact with Earth lost, Tom must fight to protect the existence of the human race. But how can he confront a dark and treacherous power that threatens to destroy everything the human race has achieved, when the individual behind it turns out to be the person he least expects? "Shattered Truths" is the eagerly awaited sequel to "Dragons in the Sky", and the second installment in the exciting "An'Tsari" trilogy.

Published by a small book publisher Sigel Press 15 Jun 2009

If you would like to know more or order the book please check out the author's web page

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Daniel Finn - Two Good Thieves - Book Review

Mr Ripley's Review

The city is burning in the South American sun. The river is baked to a trickle of brown water. And a gang of child thieves are out lurking in the city looking to relieve unsuspecting passersby of their valuables. When Demi and Baz steal something big the story takes a turn. The story tells the hardship and living the rough life of Barrio where they are always looking over their shoulder.
I loved reading this book as I was drawn into the children's lives and the journey of the characters throughout the book. A great story adventure with great bouts of action moments layered alongside tension. Some great emotional parts which add to the story, such as when the gangster-type bad guys 'come out to play' all fighting for top dog.
A great debut story and a well crafted plot; building a world where people struggle to live a life without crime. Perhaps not the most original plot but still interesting. I give this book four out of five. I will be interested to see what the author produces next.

Published By Macmillan Children's Books 3 Jul 2009

Book Synopsis

In the searing heat of an unnamed South American city, a gang of child-thieves runs wild. Demi has the gift of speed - he can pick a pocket and be gone before his victim has even noticed he was there. Baz is his lookout - no one sees her unless she wants them to. It's like a game: dodging the law, keeping one step ahead, being the fastest, the cleverest, the best. But one day, almost by accident, they steal a dazzling, beautiful, priceless jewel - and make a very dangerous enemy. Suddenly they're sucked into a world where children's lives are worthless, where the rich and powerful are just adults who steal on a much grander scale, and where secrets are traded like gold. Their only hope is to make a brave bid for freedom - to head upcountry, away from the unrelenting heat, the dried-up river, the only home they've ever known. When good and bad are meaningless, two child thieves become the beating moral heart of an unputdownable thriller.

About the Author

Daniel Finn is a well-travelled teacher and writer who has written several books for younger readers, published under another name. When he started to write Two Good Thieves, he knew it was different from anything else he'd done - so he started to lead a double-life, with two names and two very different writing styles. He lives and works in Surrey, with his wife and two grown-up children. He is currently writing a second book, set in the same country as Two Good Thieves, which will be published by Macmillan in 2010.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

More Books For The Busy Month Of July 2009

Mr Ripley has some more great books to bring to your attention for the busy month of July. Also Some recommended U.S titles for May to get your teeth stuck into.

J.C Bemis - The Mystifying Medicine Show - Oxford University Press - 2, July 2009 Paperback

Orphan Ray has been separated from his sister. The only clue to finding her is a lodestone, left to him by his father before he vanished. The lodestone tugs Ray towards a train bursting with astounding characters. Soon Ray is hurtling across the Wild West, joining in as they perform their enthralling medicine show. But something dark is following the train. Something that wants to steal people's souls. How long before Ray realizes it? And can he and his new friends do anything to stop it?

Michelle Lovric - The Undrowned Child - Orion Children's Books - 2, July 2009 Paperback

It's the beginning of the 20th century; the age of scientific progress. But for Venice the future looks bleak. A conference of scientists assembles to address the problems, among whose delegates are the parents of eleven-year-old Teodora. Within days of her arrival, she is subsumed into the secret life of Venice: a world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets and librarians turn fluidly into cats. A battle against forces determined to destroy the city once and for all quickly ensues. Only Teo, the undrowned child who survived a tragic accident as a baby, can go 'between-the-linings' to subvert evil and restore order.

Rob Stevens - The Mapmaker's Monster:Vampanther Attack! No 2 - Macmillan Children's Books - 3, July 2009 Paperback

In their next hilarious adventure, Hugo and Savage travel to the unchartered mountains of deepest Transylvania, where nothing is as it seems. With a fortune telling cat, an anxious wolf-man and some seriously angry rabbits to deal with, can Hugo rescue Uncle Walter from the clutches of the evil vampanther lord before it's too late?

Picture book recommendation from a great team must check this out.

Julia Donaldson Author and David Roberts Illustrator - The Troll - Macmillan Children's Books - 3, July 2009

Trolls are supposed to lurk under bridges, ready to eat billy goats, and pirates should always dig where 'X marks the spot. But what happens when goats are hard to come by, map reading skills aren't up to scratch and everybody has rumbling tummies? This is a rib-tickling tale, brilliantly woven together by a winning picture book team.

The U.S Book Picks for May 2009 is:

Book One:

Patrick Carman's third book in the Atherton series entitled The Dark Planet Published by Little, Brown Young Readers - May 1, 2009

In the dazzling conclusion to the epic story of Atherton, Patrick Carman takes readers on the most rewarding journey of all, to the perilous realm of The Dark Planet: Earth.

When Edgar discovers a way to leave the mysterious satellite world of Atherton, he couldn't have imagined the gloom that awaited him on the dark planet, where the oceans are toxic, the forests are full of mutant monsters, and children toil in darkness, controlled by ruthless maniacs. Max Harding, an orphan of the Silo, the maker of Atherton, and the last hope of a dying world, left this place behind, and now Edgar is determined to complete the mad scientist's spectacular plan, revealing Atherton's true purpose.

Book Two:

Michael Grant second book Hunger:A Gone Novel Published by HarperTeen - 26, May 2009 Hardback

By It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared.


Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers.

Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.

But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

Thanks for reading!

And please email us if you have anything you would like to see on this blog or just pass on some information.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

F E Higgins - The Eyeball Collector - Book Review

Mr Ripley's Book Review

This is my favourite book, out of the series of three, so far. I love the deep and dark sophisticated world of Urbs Umida. It takes a trip in time, to another captivating Gothic tale, of one boys revenge against an evil swindler and actor of great cunning. Hector finds himself embroiled in mysterious deeds and an even sinister plot. Will Hector get his revenge or will it take on a life of its own?
Hector is out to find revenge after his father is swindled (losing everything, including his reputation) and then eventually dies. The story takes the reader on a great journey, leaving them breathless through the fast paced and intricately plotted adventure found on every page. The dark twisted characters make the book and atmosphere come alive. F E Higgins has a great way of writing this type of story. I love the butterfly theme which is intertwined in this story and the riddles that are used throughout the book. The story hooks the reader in and then spits them right back out again. Engaging them in trying to shake off the ongoing account of the inhabitants of the forbidding Gothic house of Withypitts, where the story climaxes to a great ending which fulfills the story. This is a great read for anyone who like bumps in the dark and limbs that run away with friendly cats and servants who like to be sucked dry by leeches just after supper! So I give this book five out of five as I was caught and hooked in this world and only let myself out to feed the great Hairy-Back Hog knocking on my door with a hungry look in it's eye. Tartri Flammis!

Book published by Macmillan Children's books 6 June 2009

Book synopsis

When his butterfly-collector father is swindled to within an inch of his life, a vengeful Hector leaves the city of Urbs Umida in pursuit of a fiendish villain with a glass eye. The trail leads to Withypitts Hall, a forbidding Gothic mansion as warped as its inhabitants and their secret schemes. Soon Hector finds himself embroiled in mysterious deeds more poisonous than his worst imaginings, but every twist and turn brings him closer to his revenge ...The third dark and diabolical book from a devilishly talented author.

About the Author

F. E. Higgins has been fascinated by the macabre ever since seeing a ghostly apparition as a child. Nowadays F. E. travels the lands that these books describe, collecting strange artefacts and the even stranger secrets and stories behind them. The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician, the first results of these eerie explorations, have sold all over the world. When not in pursuit of a story, F.E. may be found in a haunted house in Kent. She sits with quill in hand, a false leg beside her and from the mantelpiece an eyeball watches the words she forms on the page.

Other books by this author.

The Black Book of Secrets (2007)

The Bone Magician (2008)

The Eyeball Collector (2009)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Pete Johnson - The TV Time Traveller

Mr Ripley's word of mouth book for June. Covers the subject of world war in a new concept for children and teachers.

This book really started in a primary school classroom, over thirty years ago.

My favourite teacher, Mr Karr, had the excellent habit of ending each day with a story. But one day, instead, he read aloud from diaries and letters of children who'd been evacuated during the
Second World War. At first I was a bit cross at not having a proper story - but soon I was absolutely riveted. I t stirred up an interest in World War II - and especially life on the home front - which has endured to this very day.

Then, a little while ago, I was chatting with a Year Five teacher who had to teach Evacuation as a topic. She was saying to me. 'It's hard to bring such a time alive to modern children because their lives are so very different with their mobile phones and wall to wall reality television.'

Now, when she said that I didn't exactly jump up and cry ' Eureka' but I tell you, I came pretty close.
And right then I began imagining a reality television show which sent modern children away to live life exactly as those evacuees did, with rationing and gas masks and very strict discipline. Yet, it would also be a 'Big Brother' style show with constant surveillance, evacuees being voted out - and a mysterious command to: 'always expect the unexpected.'

We watch the clash of two very different worlds through the eyes of five children including, Zac. Since the death of his mother, Zac has felt as if he is stuck in a horrible dark void. But his passionate interest in the war years though, has given him a secret door into another time. So the chance to live as an evacuee appears like a dream come true ...

But nothing on a reality television show is what it seems ...

Researching this book has been a special pleasure. I've loved, too, constructing a twisty plot, which asks questions about both life then and now - and I hope too, it shows the past isn't quite as faraway from us as we might think.

Book Synopsis

Zac and Izzy win a place on a new reality TV show, but they have no idea where they're going or what to expect ...They must live as if it's 1939, the start of World War Two. One by on they will be voted out by the viewing public. It's a hard life and, desperate to be the final winner, problems occur. When the live final arrives, the contestants and the audience will all be stunned by what occurs.

About the Author

PETE JOHNSON began work as a film critic for Radio One, then became a teacher. His experiences in the classroom led to his beginning to write and he still keeps contact with a panel of young readers to gain the viewpoint of the actual reader as he writes new titles. He is the author of several titles for the Corgi Yearling list.

Corgi Yearling Books (4 Jun 2009)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

New Children's Books For July 2009 (Hardbacks)

This is some of the best Hardbacks to be released in the month of July. Next post will look at U.S book releases from May-July 2009.

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell Barnaby Grimes:Phatom Of Blood Alley Doubleday 2 July 2009 (Book Four in a great Series of books by the award winning Duo)

Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, high-stacking his way across the rooftops of his city in search of adventure and mystery. In each tale, he encounters a supernatural force and must battle the horrors that await him. In the fiercely competitive world of early photography, the rewards are immense but so are the risks. After an experiment goes disastrously wrong, Barnaby finds himself on the trail of a mad chemist with a talent for disappearing into thin air...

James Patterson - Daniel X:Watch the Skies (Daniel X Children Edition) Doubleday 2 July 2009

Daniel X has his work cut out for him. A teenage alien hunter, he has a deadly list of evil predators to eliminate and while he's made it all look easy so far, much darker days await him. Next on his list is number five, an unsightly and terrifying alien who is watching Daniel as intently as Daniel has been tracking him. Number Five kills for thrills but not just for his own. He is operating a sinister entertainment network and innocent people are unknowingly the stars of the show. But while Number Five may have managed to brainwash the public, is he cunning enough to outwit the alien hunter? As the two seek to destroy one another, who will be the ultimate winner? And will Daniel X live to see who is next on his list?

Chris D'lacey - Dark Fire (David Rain) - Orchard 2 July 2009( Book Five in the Happy clay Dragon saga.)

With the Earth on the brink of recolonisation by dragons, David Rain is sent on an important mission: to seek out and destroy a trace of dark fire, the deadliest force in the universe. But with success could come a terrible price, the sacrifice of a beloved clay dragon. How much does the life of one small dragon count, when the alternative is the birth of a darkling...?

Daniel Finn - Two Good Thieves - Macmillan Children's Books 3 July 2009
(Ripley's Recommended Read)
In the searing heat of an unnamed South American city, a gang of child-thieves runs wild. Demi has the gift of speed - he can pick a pocket and be gone before his victim has even noticed he was there. Baz is his lookout - no one sees her unless she wants them to. It's like a game: dodging the law, keeping one step ahead, being the fastest, the cleverest, the best. But one day, almost by accident, they steal a dazzling, beautiful, priceless jewel - and make a very dangerous enemy. Suddenly they're sucked into a world where children's lives are worthless, where the rich and powerful are just adults who steal on a much grander scale, and where secrets are traded like gold. Their only hope is to make a brave bid for freedom - to head upcountry, away from the unrelenting heat, the dried-up river, the only home they've ever known. When good and bad are meaningless, two child thieves become the beating moral heart of an unputdownable thriller.

Linda Buckley-Archer - Time Quake (Gideon) Simon & Schuster Children's 6 July 2009
(Book three in the enjoyable time travel books)
The catastrophic consequences of time travel are now impossible to ignore. Lord Luxon has set his sights on the ultimate prize: America, while, abducted to 1763, Peter and Kate begin to understand that history has arrived at a tipping point. Transformed into an oracle, Kate is able to see the future as easily as the past. Gideon does all he can to help, but he is tormented by the knowledge that The Tar Man, his nemesis, is also his brother. As they pursue him through the dark streets of eighteenth-century London, and the time quakes begin, Peter realises that this monster may hold the fate of us all in his hands.

Marcus Sedgwick - Revolver - Orion books 16 July 2009 A gritty real life adventure.

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It's a man, the flash of a revolver's butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff's connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father's prized possession - a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

New Children's Books For July 2009 (paperbacks)

It's a busy old month for July. I have picked some of the best U.K Paperback books to be published over the summer month of July.
I will also follow up this post with the more interesting hardback releases. I will also cover some of the best ones to be released in the U.S.

Ali Sparkes - Dark Summer - Oxford Children's - 2 July

It's the summer holidays, and Eddie finds himself strangely drawn to the famous caves at Wookey Hole. He makes friends with the ticket seller there, and before long is allowed to roam wherever he wants. He loves it . . . until the day he gets lost. Just as panic sets in, his hand is taken by a strange girl, about his own age, who guides him to the surface. Gwerren is weird. She's extraordinarily pale with huge violet eyes and white hair - what's more, she won't come out of the caves. As she and Eddie become friends he starts to wonder if she's a ghost. Then Eddie nearly dies in a pothole - and discovers not only the truth, but life where nobody thought it could be . . . A thrilling new novel from the author of the popular 'Shapeshifter' series.

Toby Forward - Travelling Backwards - Anderson Press - 2 July

Franny is upset. Her grandfather is very ill and she realises that he will soon die. She begs her friend Mrs May to give her something to make him better. Mrs May gives her a potion with the warning that Grandfather must not drink too much. The effect is startling. Grandfather becomes much younger and more vigorous with each sip. Of course, he pays no heed to Mrs May's warning until the process of getting younger becomes a little too extreme! He and Fanny are faced with the dilemma: is this really how life should end?

Chris Bradford - The Way of the Sword (Young Samurai) - Puffin - 2 July (Recommended read for boys)

One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble . . . He’s busy preparing for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit. And, at the same time, Jack is caught in a running battle with fellow student Kazuki and his gang. But these are the least of Jack’s problems. He knows his deadly rival – the ninja Dragon Eye – could strike at any moment. Jack possesses the very thing he will kill for. Can Jack master the Way of the Sword in time to survive a fight to the death?

Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy ( book one ) - Puffin - 2 July

St Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school - hidden away, it's a place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St Vladimir's where the girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night time rituals. But most of all, staying alive.

Paul Adam -Escape From Shadow Island (A Max Cassidy Adventure) Corgi Children's 2 July (See review for this book)

Max is an ordinary north London schoolboy by day, but at night he performs sell-out public shows as an escapologist - nicknamed The Half-Pint Houdini by the tabloid press. His father, Alexander, was also a world-renowned escapologist, who disappeared two years earlier in the Central American state of Santo Domingo. His body was never found, but Max's mother, Helen, was convicted of murdering her husband by a Santo Domingan court. One evening, after his show, Max receives a visit from a mysterious man from Santo Domingo - Lopez-Vega tells Max that his mother's trial was rigged and, if Max comes to his hotel room the following night, he has something to give him.When Max goes to the hotel, he finds Lopez-Vega dead, shot through the head. The room has clearly been searched by the killer, but what was he looking for? By chance, Max finds a piece of paper hidden under Lopez-Vega's wig. Written on the paper is a sequence of eight numbers - 83521113. What do the numbers mean? Are they a code, or maybe the combination for a lock or a safe? Could they be the key to unlocking the mystery of his father's disappearance and getting his mother out of prison?

L J Adlington - The Glittering Eye - Hodder Children's Books 2 July ( Great local author need to get a copy of this book)

Shabti wakes in a barley field with nothing but a hoe in his hand and a head full of fragmented memories. A vicious master torments his days, working in the fields with no way of escape, until a hole suspended in mid-air, leads him to a room. Two shiny gold eyes glitter back at him. Questions. Who is he? And to where does this room lead?

Amy arrives in Egypt to join her archaeologist father on an excavation. All around her tombs are unearthed, opened, entered. Left to her own devices, Amy discovers a rock. But not just any rock. A great tawny cat stares back at her from its smooth surface, its shiny gold eyes glittering. Questions. Where did it come from? And what should she do now?

When past, present and future collide, it's clear that some things are best left buried ...

Emma Kennedy - Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts - Macmillan Children's Books - 3 Jul 2009

(One to look out for and a great book cover)

Somewhere between France and England there is an island that no one has ever bothered to discover. On it, lives Wilma Tenderfoot, a determined ten-year old girl who dreams of one day becoming a World-Famous Detective. So she can't help thinking it's destiny when, dispatched from the Institute for Woeful Children to her new home as a live-in skivvy, she discovers that the genius gentleman detective Theodore P. Goodman lives next door. A ten-year-old girl of great determination (and her pet beagle, Pickle) and a World-Famous Detective of great repute might not be the most obvious crime-solving duo - but Wilma Tenderfoot is not about to let that put either of them off! And it looks like their first dastardly case is about to begin ...Feisty but funny, cheeky but charming - Wilma Tenderfoot and her unique mystery-solving methodology is hard to resist!

Sophie Mckenzie - The Set Up (Medusa Project) - Simon & Schuster - 6 July (See review for this one)

Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene - a gene for psychic abilities. But Fox died and the babies were hidden away for years. Now the children are teenagers - and unaware that their psychic powers are about to kick in. Cocky, charismatic Nico thinks his emerging telekinetic abilities will bring him money, power and the girl of his dreams. He's about to find out just how wrong he is...

Cassandra Clare - City of Glass (The Mortal Instrument) book three - Walker Books - 6 July ( already published in the U.S getting great reviews)

In search of a potion for her dying mother, Clary sneaks into the City of Glass and is immediately caught up in a life-and-death battle. As the children of the Moon (werewolves), Night (vampires), and Faerie gather for a war that will rend the heavens, Clary calls upon her untrained powers to control an angel who will save or destroy them all. Readers should be familiar with the first two installments in the Mortal Instruments series, but there is nevertheless plenty of romance, loss, honor, and betrayal to make the journey worthwhile. An experienced storyteller, Clare moves the plot quickly to a satisfying end.

Thanks very much for reading!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Matthew Skelton - The Story of Cirrus Flux - Book Review

Mr Ripley's Review

Matthew Skelton's first published novel was "Endymion Spring." This was a fab book and a hard act to follow.
But three years later, Matthew has just published his second book and the question is, has he produced something as great?
The book starts off in the Antarctic Circle, with one the main characters known as Seaman James Flux, on board the Destiny. The story then follows the adventures of a boy, Cirrus Flux, as he lives his life as an orphan in the Foundling Hospital. His life takes on many dangers, as he faces evil scoundrels trying to gain his divine power. The story swings back and forwards in strands of time, highlighting the on-going story; reeling you into the plot.
Matthew is articulate in his telling of an unusual tale. The many themes and time jumps keeps the reader on their toes. It could have been a dangerous ploy by Matthew but in fact he has created eloquently sequenced and joined time chapters.
I enjoyed reading this book, it was enthralling and more difficult to predict the ending. As the true course of the book wasn't properly established or finalised until later. Four out of five, very different to Endymion Spring but refreshingly good.
Suitable for 9+


‘You shall help me find him still . . . there is nowhere for the boy to hide.’ Orphan boy Cirrus Flux is being watched. Merciless rogues are conniving to steal the world’s most divine power, which they believe Cirrus has inherited. Now he faces a perilous journey through the dirty backstreets of London as a sinister mesmerist, a tiny man with an all-seeing eye, and a skull-collecting scoundrel pursue him. Cirrus must escape them. It really is not safe to give such evil people such incredible power . . .

Book published by Puffin Books 4 June 2009 (paperback)

Quick Fact About Matthew Skelton in 2002 he won the Richard and Judy's short story competition.

Please email me if you fancy doing the odd children's book review as we like to put up more!!