Sunday, 20 December 2020

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's & Young Adult Book Picks US - Jan 2021

 

B. B. Alston - Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations) - Published by Balzer + Bray (January 19, 2021) - ISBN-13:978-0062975164 - Hardback - Age: 8+

Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle-grade fantasy, the first in a trilogy filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.



Rebecca K. S. Ansari - The In-Between - Published by Walden Pond Press (January 26, 2021) - ISBN-13:978-0062916099 - Hardback - Age: 8+ 

Cooper is lost. Ever since his father left their family three years ago, he has become distant from his friends, constantly annoyed by his little sister, Jess, and completely fed up with the pale, creepy rich girl who moved in next door and won’t stop staring at him. So when Cooper learns of an unsolved mystery his sister has discovered online, he welcomes the distraction. 

It’s the tale of a deadly train crash that occurred a hundred years ago, in which one young boy among the dead was never identified. The only distinguishing mark on him was a strange insignia on his suit coat, a symbol no one had seen before or since. Jess is fascinated by the mystery of the unknown child— because she’s seen the insignia. It’s the symbol of the jacket of the girl next door.

As they uncover more information— and mounting evidence of the girl’s seemingly impossible connection to the tragedy—Cooper and Jess begin to wonder if a similar disaster could be heading to their hometown.


Thomas Kingsley Troupe (Author), Maggie Ivy (Illustrator) - The Dead Below (Haunted States of America) - Published by North Star Editions (January 1, 2021) - SBN-13: 978-1631634802 - Paperback - Age: 9+

It isn't long after Treva Gallo moves into her new Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, neighborhood that she starts to see otherworldly people around town. And the more ghosts she sees, the more they seek her out. As Treva researches her new neighborhoods murky past, she unearths more than she expected . . . and the ghostly spirits become more insistent. The spirits seem to want something from Treva. But what can a living person do for the dead? Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping-off points to new, chilling tales. An author's note provides historical origins and fascinating facts, but beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.



Nicole Lesperance (Author), Federica Fenna (Illustrator) - The Nightmare Thief - Published by Sourcebooks Young Readers (January 12, 2021) - ISBN-13: 978-1728215341 - Hardback - Age: 8+

Maren Partridge loves working in her family's dream shop where she can hand-craft any dream imaginable. The shop has only one rule. Dreams cannot be given to a person without their consent. Maren has no problem with this―until her sister, Hallie, has an accident that leaves her in a coma. Maren's certain she can cure Hallie with a few well-chosen dreams. And when no one is watching, she slips her a flying dream.

But a strange new customer from the shop has been following Maren and knows what she did. Now she's laid the perfect trap to blackmail Maren into creating custom nightmares for a dark and terrible purpose. As Maren gets drawn further into the sinister scheme, she must make a choice: to protect her family or to protect the town from her family's magic.

Pick up the first book in the Nightmare Thief if you are looking for:
  • Suspenseful stories of magical realism for kids with a side of danger
  • Gifts for 11-year-old girls, 13-year-old girls, and any young reader 11-14 that loves fantasy
  • Books that explore bullying, family ties, and feature strong female characters
  • Books for 4th graders, and any classroom with grades 3-8
  • Sunday, 13 December 2020

    Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Book Cover Wars + Voters Competition (Round FIVE) 2020/2021

     

    Before we close the doors for the last time on Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we like to take the opportunity to thank you all for the support you have shown us in the last twelve years or so. It has been a hard and very sad decision to make as it has been a fantastic journey and one that I've enjoyed very much. However, we would like to do one more fantasy tango with Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars. It's been a highlight for many years so let us go out with a BANG or maybe just a fizz! 

    We are looking to find your favourite book cover ONCE again for 2020/2021. We do this to support the creative heroes of the children's book world; the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #BOOKCOVERWARS. Everyone is welcome so come and vote and share the FUN. 

    Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules: There will be five weekly heats (The Last One) we are having 7 book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final plus one/two book covers (Wild Card Entry) with the highest amount votes will go through from any of the heats.

    As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token (the UK only). Please leave a comment to show your interest. Good luck and let's all have some fun. 

    • Round One Winner: Elle McNicoll - A Kind of Spark Illustrated by Kay Wilson - Published by Knights Of (4th June 2020)
    • Round Two Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Boy Who Met a Whale - Illustrated by David Dean - Published by Nosy Crow (14th Jan 2021)
    • Round Three: K. L. Kettle - The Boy I Am - Illustrated by Thomas Truong - Published by Stripes Publishing (7th Jan 2021)
    • Round Four: Sophie Kirtley - The Wild Way Home - Illustrated by Ben Mantle - Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books ( 1st July 2020)
    If you are interested then all you need to do is:
    • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
    • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE (or at the bottom of the post)
    • Have fun, share, and tell the world or just a friend. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram and watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). 
    • This poll will end on 19. 12. 2020 at Midnight UK time. 
    So here are the Seven brilliant book covers to vote for this week:

    BOOK ONE:
    Jennifer Killick - Crater Lake, Evolution - Illustrated by Anne Glenn - Published by Firefly Press Ltd (20 May 2021) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK TWO: Julia Green - The Children of Swallow Fell - Illustrated by Helen Crawford-White - Published by 
    OUP Oxford (6 Aug. 2020) - VOTE HERE 




    BOOK THREE: Judith Eagle - The Pear Affair - Illustrated by Kim Geyer - Published by Faber & Faber (5 Mar. 2020) - VOTE HERE 


    BOOK FOUR: Sophie Anderson - The Castle of Tangled Magic - Illustrated by Saara Katariina Söderlund - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 Oct. 2020) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK FIVE: Sophie Cleverly - A Case of Grave Danger - Illustrated by Hannah Peck - Published by 
    HarperCollins Children’s Books (21 Jan. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


    BOOK SIX: Aisha Bushby - Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found - 
    Illustrated by Rachel Dean - Published by Egmont (6 Aug. 2020) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK SEVEN: A. M. Dassu - Boy, Everywhere - Illustrated by 
    Zainab 'Daby' Faidhi Published by Old Barn Books (22 Oct. 2020) - VOTE HERE


    Wednesday, 9 December 2020

    Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Carlie Sorosiak - My Life as a Cat - (Nosy Crow) Book Review

     

    This is a late book review for My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak as it was published in September 2020 by Nosy Crow. When I received this book through the post, I made a quick and snappy judgment not to read it. However, reflecting on my decision a few months later, I decided to have another look at it and give the book a chance. I started reading and felt it was quite slow going for me. However, the more I read, the more my own world started to slow down. In fact, the WORLD STOPPED as I became fully immersed in the characters; and what characters they are. Amazingly written, they lifted off the pages with such magical colour. I was absolutely hooked and loving this book so unexpectedly - that makes me really smile and feel delighted.

    Let me introduce you to Leonard who has never had a name ... or a body. Or in fact a best friend but he is excited to try being a human. However, unfortunately, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. On their three-hundredth birthday, every alien from Leonard's home galaxy gets to spend a month in the body of an Earth Creature. Leonard was supposed to become a Forest Ranger in Yellowstone National Park but there was a mix-up and now he finds himself stuck as a stray cat. What is he going to do?

    At the start of the plot, he is rescued in a storm by a young girl called Olive. The journey they both go on is beautiful and so heartfelt - it really is wonderful to read. Olive is brilliantly portrayed in a wise and thoughtful way which makes this narrative very, very special. She has the biggest heart and is loyal, loving, and might be seen very differently as she is judged by other people. The concept is brilliant and depicts an amazing and poignant friendship which is both moving and eye-opening at the same time. 

    The storyline shows us the simplest of things like enjoying the sunset, sunrises, the beauty in the natural landscape, and spending precious time with family and friends. For me, I can certainly relate to that as this year has not been a great year for me and many others. However, one of my particular highlights was seeing the Cinnabar Moth and the rare Tansy Beetle for the first time. It was really amazing and helped to pull me through a tough patch - just like the characters in this book. There are some hilarious moments that cut through the seriousness of some of the topics. However, the brilliant ending is really up-lifting just like a good old movie. I give five huge paw prints for this book so please give it a chance and settle down to read it. 

    Thursday, 3 December 2020

    Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Book Cover Wars + Voters Competition - Round 4 2020/2021

     

    Before we close the doors for the last time on Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books, we like to take the opportunity to thank you all for the support you have shown us in the last twelve years or so. It has been a hard and very sad decision to make as it has been a fantastic journey and one that I've enjoyed very much. However, we would like to do one more fantasy tango with Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Wars. It's been a highlight for many years so let us go out with a BANG or maybe just a fizz! 

    We are looking to find your favourite book cover ONCE again for 2020/2021. We do this to support the creative heroes of the children's book world; the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. So, please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media #bookcoverwars. Everyone is welcome so come and vote and share the FUN. 

    Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules: There will be five weekly heats (Two after this one)  with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final plus one more book cover (Wild Card Entry) with the highest amount votes will go through from any of the heats.

    As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a prize each week. This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token (the UK only). Please leave a comment to show your interest. Good luck and let's all have some fun. 
    • Round One Winner: Elle McNicoll - A Kind of Spark Illustrated by Kay Wilson - Published by Knights Of (4th June 2020)
    • Round Two Winner: Nizrana Farook - The Boy Who Met a Whale - Illustrated by David Dean - Published by Nosy Crow (14th Jan 2021)
    • Round Three: K. L. Kettle - The Boy I Am - Illustrated by Thomas Truong - Published by Stripes Publishing (7TH Jan 2021)
    If you are interested then all you need to do is:
    • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll - HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
    • Leave a comment through this post or poll - HERE (or at the bottom of the post)
    • Have fun, share, and tell the world or just a friend. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram and watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). 
    • This poll will end on 9. 12. 2020 at Midnight UK time. 
    So here are the FIVE brilliant book covers to vote for this week:


    BOOK ONE: Hannah Gold - The Last Bear - Illustrated by Levi Pinfold - Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books (18 Feb. 2021) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK TWO: Tamzin Merchant - The Hatmakers - Illustrated by Paola Escobar - Published by Puffin (18. Feb 2021) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK THREE: Sophie Kirtley - The Wild Way Home - Illustrated by Ben Mantle  -Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books (1 July 2020) - VOTE HERE


    BOOK FOUR: Saviour Pirotta - The Mysterious Island (Wolfsong) - Illustrated by Davide Ortu - Published by Maverick Arts Publishing (28 Jan. 2021) - VOTE HERE



    BOOK FIVE: Annemarie Allan - Breaker - Illustrated by Annie Glennie -  Published by Pokey Hat  (8 April 2020) - VOTE HERE