Thursday, 16 May 2019

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: New Children's Book Picks May 2019 - Post Two

This May 2019 we have seen so many fantastic books being published. This is the second post of our top book picks. Many of which we have already reviewed so check them out on the site - we are truly spoilt at the moment for choice. 

We certainly need to marvel at the strength and depth of the book covers supporting these wondrous books. With so many books being amazingly illustrated, to accompany such great stories highlights just what a great time for children's books it is. I hope you enjoy the picks of what to read over the next few months. All the best, Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books. (Post One HERE)

Judith Eagle - The Secret Starling - Published by Faber & Faber (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0571346301 - Paperback 

Clara has lived a life of solitude, homeschooled under her mean uncle's strict regime . . . until now! 
The day that Uncle abandons Clara, leaving her with nothing but a wedge of 'guilt money' and a half empty, crumbling manor house, she is determined to do things her way for a change. And when streetwise Peter turns up, with his rescue cat and a surprising array of knowledge, she is sure that between them they have everything they need to survive.
But the house is to be sold . . . and Uncle has lied to Clara . . . and nothing, NOTHING is as it seems.

Anna Fargher (Author), Sam Usher (Illustrator) - The Umbrella Mouse - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1529003970

A timeless tale of courage, resistance, and friendship, The Umbrella Mouse is a heart-stopping adventure drawing on the true stories of animals caught in the conflict of WWII. 
1944, and London is under attack. Young mouse Pip Hanway's safe and quiet world is turned upside down when her home, umbrella shop James Smith & Sons, is destroyed by a bomb. Orphaned and alone, she must begin a perilous quest to find a new home. 
But the only way to get there is by joining Noah’s Ark, a secret gang of animals fighting the resistance in France, operating beneath the feet of the human soldiers. Danger is everywhere and as the enemy closes in, Pip must risk everything to save her new friends.
Beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher, Anna Fargher's debut novel takes you on an incredible journey through a war that reaches even the smallest of creatures.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Author), Steven Lenton (Illustrator) - Runaway Robot - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1509851775

Runaway Robot is a funny and heartwarming adventure about two best friends helping put themselves back together, from the award-winning Frank Cottrell-Boyce, illustrated by Steven Lenton.
When Alfie goes to Airport Lost Property, he finds more than he bargained for. A lot more. Because there's a giant robot called Eric hidden away on the shelves. Eric has lost one leg and half his memory. He's super strong, but super clumsy. He's convinced that he's the latest technology, when he's actually nearly one hundred year's old and ready for the scrap heap. 
Can Alfie find a way to save Eric from destruction - before Eric destroys everything around him?

Lorraine Gregory - The Maker of Monsters - Published by OUP Oxford (2 May 2019) -  ISBN-13: 978-0192768834 

Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use. But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out. Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone. . . 
A thrilling new standalone adventure from Lorraine Gregory.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

William Sutcliffe - The Gifted, the Talented and Me - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

The Gifted, the Talented and Me is the latest YA book by William Sutcliffe to find its way onto the bookshelves this May. Published by Bloomsbury, this will be William's third YA novel and it is very different from his previous books. When I received this book for review, I scanned the synopsis and thought this is not my cup of tea. One of the lines on the press release was "you think Adrian Mole had problems?" I knew at this point that I'd got problems as this was not a book I thought I was going to remotely enjoy. So, you can see that my expectations were set really quite low.

I started to read this book but then, to be honest, the preface left me slightly intrigued. Dad got rich and his mum moved the family to London. Sam, the main character, then takes us on a teenage journey of mixed emotions that actually feel like you are reading an actual account from a real person. The author has really skillfully achieved this in his writing.

Sam and his brothers find themselves moving to a new school, but not any ordinary school. It's the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented. At this point, the idea slowly reeled me in like a little worm looking for some fantasy gold. I actually started to find the story interesting and before I knew it, with a grumpy teenage strop here and an Instagram update there, I found this book to be really brilliant.

I felt like I was sitting on a fantasy fence watching how some families when elevated with wealth, change their lives and their outlook on the world. The Mum in the family suddenly embraces the arts and is laughed at. I also like the blogger side of Mum in the plot - a very neat touch and, for me, particularly relatable to.  Dad is aloof but brings a sense of realism to some of the situations, alongside his many rounds of golf. This book really explores the lives of the three siblings adapting to their new school life. It's brilliantly warm and very comical. It will make you laugh and possibly choke on your tears at the same time.

The story is essentially about adapting and finding your own place; playing the LIFE game and dealing with emotions. It has a great message for the reader about staying true to yourself. This, for me, was five-star entertainment from a book that I thought I was going to struggle with. HOW wrong was I? I loved it. A delight and an absolute joy to read from the very first page. It will keep you on your toes with crazy capers until the very last page has been turned and only then will you be able to breathe easily again!

Synopsis: Laugh-out-loud funny and instantly recognisable - not since The Inbetweeners has a coming of age story been so irreverent and relatable. 
Fifteen-year-old Sam is not a famous vlogger, he's never gone viral, and he doesn't want to be the Next Big Thing. In fact, he's ordinary and proud of it.
None of which was a problem until Dad got rich and Mum made the whole family move to London. Now Sam's off to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where everyone's busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands. Sam knows he'll never belong, even if he wanted to. And that's before he ends up on stage wearing nothing but a fur onesie ...
A brilliantly funny look at fitting in, falling out and staying true to your own averageness.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Bonnie Bridgman - Guest Post (The Road to Getting Published and Lots of Shrieking)

Today on Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we have a fantastic guest post by Bonnie Bridgman. The road to publishing can be a time of mixed emotions. This is a post of loud shrieking, dancing and super excitement about the prospect of being a published author. Mr. Ripley would like to congratulate Bonnie Bridgman and welcome her to the best place on the planet, The WORLD OF CHILDREN'S Books. Happy reading everybody.

My debut comes out this year. I can’t even believe the words as I type them. I have a book coming out. This year!

I’m going to write about what happens after the yes email from a publisher. The one that you constantly check your inbox for. Well, lots of things actually.

The first thing to do is shriek. Around the house. Jump. Around the house. And dance. Around the house. It’s at this point you may need to warn your neighbours that you are going to be a published author and that they should expect a lot of shrieking, jumping and dancing around the house.

After jumping around the house. You cannot tell anyone until the publisher says it’s okay to tell people. Imagine that. The best secret ever and the hardest to keep. But you do. Obviously, you tell your husband. And your daughter. Your Mum. Best friend. Stranger in the street. And neighbour due to house shrieking but other than that, not a single soul.

Before you know it, the news is out. It becomes official and everyone wants to know when the book will be published. 

“2019.” I say.
“That’s two years away.” They say. 
“That’s how long it takes,” I shrug.

I get to help find an illustrator. My book is being published by Tiny Tree books and as they are an independent publisher, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the process of finding an illustrator. Let me tell you, the talent out there is incredible and just because you find an illustrator whose work you think would marry well with your text, does not mean they will want to work with you. I was lucky however that our first choice said yes. Louise Forshaw, illustrator extraordinaire was going to illustrate my text.

The first time Louise sent me a sneak peak of an illustration, I did the shrieking, jumping and dancing around the house thing again. I should point out that my neighbours have now moved and I’m hoping it wasn’t because of my very vocal elation. Anyway, you get the roughs (black and white version of the illustrations) and then the colours and then you sit and think. Oh. My. Goodness. I have a book coming out this year!

It’s overwhelming. Nerve-wracking. Anxiety-inducing. Thrilling. Exciting and totally unbelievable. I am soon going to be able to pick up my book, with my name on it and everything, and read my words to children. I know they will love it, Louise’s illustrations have ensured that, I just hope that they love it enough to want to read it again and again. I hope everyone loves it. And that everyone buys it. 

The wait is both quick and endless. So I write as I wait. I write more stories. Picture Book texts, Junior Fiction, middle grade. I write and I write and I write and hope that I will get another ‘yes’. I’m greedy you see. I’m chasing another dream; more published books. I can’t help myself. The constant rollercoaster is addictive.

Catch that Cough will be out in September and I would appreciate all the support You can give.  

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: New Children's Book Picks May 2019 - Post One

Thomas Taylor - Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea) - Published by Walker Books (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1406386288 - Book Review Here

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…
Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger...

Vashti Hardy - Wildspark: A Ghost Machine Adventure - Published by Scholastic (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1407191553

A year after the death of her older brother, Prue Haywood's family is still shattered by grief. But everything changes when a stranger arrives at the farm. 
New, incredible technology has been discovered in the city of Medlock, where a secretive guild of inventors has developed a way to capture spirits of the dead in animal-like machines, bringing them back to life. 
Prue knows that the "Ghost Guild" might hold the key to bringing her brother back, so she seizes the stranger's offer to join as an apprentice. But to find her brother, she needs to find a way to get the ghost machines to remember the people they used to be. 
Yet if Prue succeeds, all of society could come apart...

Katherine Woodfine - Spies in St. Petersburg (Taylor and Rose Secret Agents) - Published by Egmont (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1405287050

With Sophie still missing in action after their explosive mission in Paris, Lil decides to take matters into her own hands. On a new mission for the Secret Service Bureau, can Lil find Sophie in misty, mysterious St Petersburg?
Can they uncover the identity of their true enemy and can they trust anyone – even the Bureau? 
It's time for Sophie and Lil to put their spy skills to the test. 
Read the first book in the TAYLOR AND ROSE SECRET AGENTS series: 
Don't miss The SINCLAIR'S MYSTERIES series:

Elly Griffiths - A Girl Called Justice - Published by Quercus Children's Books (2 May 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1786540591

Missing maids, suspicious teachers, and a snowstorm to die for... For a fearless girl called Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, it's just the start of a spine-tingling first term at Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.
When Justice's mother dies, her father packs her off to Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. He's a barrister - specialising in murder trials - and he's just too busy to look after her alone. 
Having previously been home-schooled, the transition is a shock. Can it really be the case that blondes rule the corridors? Are all uniforms such a charming shade of brown? And do schools normally hide dangerous secrets about the murder of a chambermaid? 
Justice takes it upon herself to uncover the truth. (Mainly about the murder, but perhaps she can figure out her new nemesis - the angelic Rose - at the same time.) But when a storm cuts the school off from the real world, the body count starts to rise and Justice realises she'll need help from her new friends if she's going to find the killer before it's too late ...

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Sharon Gosling - The Golden Butterfly - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

The Golden Butterfly danced in the air, beautiful and impossible, yet there before their eyes. Then the Magnificent Marko flicked his wand again. There was a shower of sparks, a bang and ... the Golden Butterfly vanished. 

Let the show begin with the latest book by Sharon Gosling. The Golden Butterfly will be published this May 2019 by Stripes Publishing. The fantastic golden book cover has been produced by the talented Pip Johnson and will certainly sparkle on the bookshelves. The story is set around 1897 and is particularly rich in detail at a time that magic was a spectacular event. It's a fully engrossing period read that makes the reader think back to the golden age of performance. However, it's also a time when women were never permitted to do magic and strict rules were adhered to by the Grand Society of Magicians.

It's 1897 and since the Magnificent Marko dramatically departed the stage, no magician has come close to performing a trick as spectacular as the Golden Butterfly. With her grandfather gone, Luciana feels that the world has lost its wonder. Then the imposing leader of the Grand Society of Magicians appears, searching for something belonging to Marko, and Luciana is drawn into a world of danger and deception. As she battles to protect her grandfather's greatest legacy, can she distinguish reality from illusion?

This book has a theatrical delight that will entertain readers. However, the tiny lights glint on the soft white snow and sadness comes sweeping in as life sadly slips away for Luciana's grandfather - The Greatest Magician - MAGNIFICENT MARKO. Then when a strange man comes looking for a mystery object, the plot once again grazes the reader's fantasy taste buds with a sense of sadness. However, Luciana and her best friend, Charley, are soon hurtled into a headlong adventure full of puzzles to solve. Whilst also hoping to uncover the hidden secrets to one of the best magical illusions ever seen, THE GOLDEN BUTTERFLY.  

This fast-paced narrative ticks all of the boxes when it comes to an entertaining read. I was hooked and mesmerised by a story full of colour and a set of strong characters that felt both real and believable; they certainly make you want the best for them. The book shows intelligence and tackles social issues that I felt were well researched and poignantly used in the plot. The story is a fantastic fluttering performance full of suspense, drama, family secrets, and dazzling bravery that will shine and hit you in the heart.

The plot is brimming full of friendship, loyalty and lots of deceitful deeds which makes this journey all the worth following. As the plot unfurls, the sense of mystery will engulf the reader and as the curtain falls, the fantasy soon roars into a middle-grade read that will certainly appeal to everybody. I loved the ending of this book; it wraps the story into a cinematic vision that will leave you breathless and wanting more. You will be desperate for an encore as the joy spills out leaving you enchanted, uplifted and longing for another book. This is a fantastic read from start to finish; an unexpected MARVEL that is very much recommended by Mr. Ripley.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Abi Elphinstone - Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) - Boo Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Step through the door of adventure this May with the latest book from Abi Elphinstone. This is the start of a breathtaking new series "The Unmapped Chronicles" published by Simon & Schuster. Rumblestar is an epic read that pulsates with the author's zest for real-life adventures and daydreaming in her writer's shed. Each book in this series will be a standalone read that features a child from our world trying to save the unmapped magic from being stolen by an evil harpy called Morg. 

As soon as you turn the first page, you open the doors to the soul of imagination where you meet eleven-year-old Casper Tock. He hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles into Rumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts. This leads to a world of magic and a fantasy web of wonder where every page will thrill and entertain. All Casper wants to do is find his way home. However, Rumblestar is in trouble and is in need of a saviour. Who could that be?

Morg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. However, Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, as he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms. The reader is whisked into an unimaginable quest full of action and suspense where you'll sky hop with cloud giants and fly in a magical hot air balloon that can pilot itself. 

This is a story that sparkles with a kiddish excitement whilst exploring magical kingdoms and bright colored rainbows. All of which are filled with fantastical creatures floating on a dream. This, for me, is the best book that Abi has written to date; it is a sparkling jewel of a read. The book is delivered with pace and passion. It starts in reality and takes you into an illusion that will have you gripped all the way. The heart of adventure is here. This is a book and a series that is definitely not to be missed so order it NOW!

Live a life filled with adventure with Abi Elphinstone where a whole new world is waiting to be discovered... 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

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

Margaret Peterson Haddix (Author),  Anne Lambelet (Illustrator) Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangers - Published by Katherine Tegen Books (April 2, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0062838377 - Hardback - Age: 7+

What makes you you?
The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.
But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They’re the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers?
Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.

Kate Allen - The Line Tender - Published  Dutton Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0735231603 - Hardback - Age: 10+
Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature's enduring mystery and a girl determined to find meaning and connection within it.

Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart's marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water--thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white--and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was "meaningful" but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother's unfinished research on the Great White's return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she'll finally be able to look beyond what she's lost and toward what's left to be discovered.

Pete Hautman - Slider - Published by Candlewick  (April 23, 2019) - 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1536204322 - Paperback - Age:10+

Competitive eating vies with family expectations in a funny, heartfelt novel for middle-grade readers by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman.

David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.

Culliver Crantz - The Cursed Coin (FrightVision) - Published by Independently published (April 11, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1092538497 - Paperback - Age:9+

Are you afraid of everything? Well RJ is. Good thing his little sister, Shelly, isn't scared of anything because the creepy mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac has a few frightening surprises waiting for them, including a cursed coin that puts both of their lives in danger. When the two try to get rid of the coin, RJ realizes its power. The more he holds it, the more he wants to be evil. Will RJ be able to get rid of the coin or will he embrace its power and never be afraid again? The Cursed Coin is just the beginning of the nightmares that await from the haunted mind of Culliver Crantz and his multiple personalities. Welcome to FrightVision. Your nightmare is ready. Let's begin. Books can be orderd here:

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Charlotte Lo - We Won an Island - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

When Luna's family win an island, Luna thinks it will solve everything AND she can finally get a donkey! But things don't go entirely to plan - no one expects Luna's younger brother to win a Sheep Pageant, for example - and the secret festival they hold soon spirals out of control. But the island is beautiful, and the family are happy, and maybe Luna will get her donkey after all...

This is another delightful book published by Nosy Crow. We Won An Island is the debut book from Charlotte Lo. The book will hit the shops on the 2nd May 2019 just in time for summer. When you turn the first page, the characters' narratives start to work the magic inside your head. It starts off with sadness and pulls on the emotional heartstrings of the reader. Luna's family are suffering from bereavement and things start to go bad as they're just about to lose their home. However, with just one wish, the plot turns into an adventure that will uplift the soul and pump fresh joy into the heart of the reader ... very slowly. 

A slice of magic and luck hit the family when a bonkers businessman gives away his Scottish Island. As part of the competition's terms and conditions, the island can never be sold by the winner. Therefore, anyone who enters should be prepared to live on the island for the rest of their natural life. It's a brilliant and simple concept which gripped me from the opening pages. The three children are fantastically portrayed in the book. Each one is full of character and written well; they all have a unique and somewhat quirky outlook.  

A breath of fresh air takes the family on an adventure that leads to a catastrophic chain of events. One minute it will make you laugh out loud and the next minute it will bring on the tears.  As the three siblings and family adapt to the rural life of the island, they all have dreams which float through the air like confetti leaves hugging the forest floor. It's a great holiday read that inspires the great outdoors and depicts the beauty in nature and our natural landscapes. The book delivers hope and understanding whilst pulling together a community, even when the characters are new to the area. 

This is a flying-high, middle-grade story that will make your day and make you smile. It's crazy, very surreal and asks a lot of questions that will pull on the reality strings of the reader and also the characters. It's a pleasure to turn the pages. This is a family read full of determination and donkeys, goats, knitting, and a run-down house. A storm is brewing where comical laughter and calamity will hit you in the face. As you turn the last page and the secret festival has come to an end, w
hat could possibly go wrong? Come and find out...

What would you do if you won an island? 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

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

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

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

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

Quinn Sosna-Spear - The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 15 April 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without libraries, the WORLD will END.