Wednesday, 21 July 2021

New Children's Book Picks - Published US July 2021 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books



  • Joseph Fink - The Halloween Moon -  Published by Quill Tree Books (July 27, 2021) - Hardback 

From New York Times bestselling adult author Joseph Fink comes a wickedly fun middle grade novel about a Halloween-obsessed girl named Esther Gold, who goes out trick-or-treating for one last year, only to find her town under the thrall of a mysterious presence.

Esther Gold loves Halloween more than anything in the world. So she is determined to go trick-or-treating again this year despite the fact that her parents think she is officially too old. Esther has it all planned out, from her costume to her candy-collecting strategy. But when the night rolls around, something feels . . . off.

No one is answering their door. The moon is an unnatural shade of orange. Strange children wander the streets, wearing creepy costumes that might not be costumes at all. And it seems like the only people besides Esther who are awake to see it all are her best friend, her school bully, and her grown-up next-door neighbor.

Together, this unlikely crew must find a way to lift the curse that has been placed upon their small town before it’s too late. Because someone is out to make sure Halloween never comes to an end. And even Esther doesn’t want to be trapped in this night forever.


Ryan Douglass - The Taking of Jake Livingston -  Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (July 13, 2021) - Hardback 
Get Out meets Holly Jackson in this YA social thriller where survival is not a guarantee.
Sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston sees dead people everywhere. But he can't decide what's worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep. Both are a living nightmare he wishes he could wake up from. But things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another Black student—the handsome Allister—and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.
 
Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he's a powerful, vengeful ghost and he has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win.

Victor Piñeiro - Time Villians - Published by Sourcebooks Young Readers (July 6, 2021) - Paperback 

Story Thieves meets Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library in this wacky, hilarious, and fast-paced middle-grade series starter, with the perfect combination of magic, imagination, and adventure.

Javi Santiago is trying his best not to fail sixth grade. So, when the annual "invite any three people to dinner" homework assignment rolls around, Javi enlists his best friend, Wiki, and his sister, Brady, to help him knock it out of the park.

But the dinner party is a lot more than they bargained for. The family's mysterious antique table actually brings the historical guests to the meal...and Blackbeard the Pirate is turning out to be the worst guest of all time.

Before they can say "avast, ye maties," Blackbeard escapes, determined to summon his bloodthirsty pirate crew. And as Javi, Wiki, and Brady try to figure out how to get Blackbeard back into his own time, they might have to invite some even zanier figures to set things right again...

Greg van Eekhout - Weird Kid - Published by HarperCollins (July 27, 2021) - Hardback

From the author of Cog and Voyage of the DogsWeird Kid is a hilarious and heartfelt homage to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibb. 

Jake Wind is trying to stay under the radar. Whose radar? Anyone who might be too interested in the fact that he has shapeshifting abilities he can’t control. Or that his parents found him as a ball of goo when he was a baby.

Keeping his powers in check is crucial, though, if he wants to live a normal life and go to middle school instead of being homeschooled (and if he wants to avoid being kidnapped and experimented on, of course). 

Things feel like they’re going his way when he survives his first day of school without transforming and makes a new friend. But when mysterious sinkholes start popping up around town—sinkholes filled with the same extraterrestrial substance as Jake—and his neighbors, classmates, and even his family start acting a little, well, weird, Jake will have to learn to use his powers in order to save his town. 

Alastair Chisholm - ADAM-2 - Book Review - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

The puzzler from Edinburgh is back with his second exciting novel entitled Adam-2. The book is a summer delight published by Nosy Crow Books on 5th August 2021. The fantastically vibrant and brilliant orange book cover has been illustrated by Dan Munford - it's an absolute beauty brimming with anticipated adventure. 

I've been in a bit of a reading slump for some months now as I've been trying to find not only the time to read but also books that I will really enjoy. I think every prolific reader finds themselves in this situation from time to time. I have read a few books recently that did not hold my attention or were too reality-based when what I really wanted was a book to escape into. Fortunately, Alastair Chisholm hit the nail on the head with this book by providing everything I needed. It's a real fantasy-based book that throws up challenging questions in a world so distant from our very own. The author has set his stall out with a great imaginary world that is so absorbing you will certainly not want to leave it. 

The book starts with a dark tale where we find Adam-2 locked in a basement. Even worst, we find out he's been there for over two hundred years. I never read the synopsis for this book so, at the start, I had no idea what was going on. I think that really kept me engaged and eager to read on and find out more.  For this reason, I'm not going to mention any of the plot or synopsis in this review so you can enjoy it as much as I did. All I will say is that it is a fast-paced Sci-Fi futuristic read set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some of the famous landmarks are used to great effect in telling the story. 

The book's characters are fantastically written and develop through the story process with great heart as they uncover what it really means to be human. It really made me think about the choices the characters were making along their journeys. The plot ending was a great climatic roller-coaster that left me both satisfied but very sad to finish. This book is full of explosive action with some epic twists and turns that create a truly stunning cinematic read. 

It's a new world... how can we save it? There's a War between HUMANS and advanced INTELLIGENCE, what more could you want? Make sure you find the time to read this book as it is surely the best book to be published this month. It will really give you a Middle-Grade fantasy boost that will make your pulse rate beat faster with every page turned. 



Thursday, 8 July 2021

New Children's Book Picks - Published July 2021 - Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books

Steve Cole (Author), Oriol Vidal (Illustrator) - Welcome to Trashland - Published by Barrington Stoke (1 July 2021) - Paperback 

A search for treasure reveals the toxic consequences of modern life in this thrilling adventure set against the backdrop of the world’s largest e-waste dump.

Theo lives and works in Agbogbloshie in Ghana, a vast dumping ground for the world’s broken electronics. He spends his days scouring the trash for scraps of metal to sell for cash, while dreaming of going to school and escaping this harsh life. The money Theo makes is barely enough to pay for lessons, so when Emmanuel turns up with talk of buried treasure, Theo sees a chance to get out of Trashland.

But Emmanuel’s presence draws the attention of a local gang, and Theo starts to wonder if his new friend is keeping dangerous secrets ...

Lindsay Littleson - Secrets of the Last Merfolk - Published by Floris Books (22 July 2021) - Paperback 

"One of the swimmers plunged underwater with a flick of his long, dolphin-like tail. The other followed, sending an arc of spray shooting upwards, tail slapping against the choppy waves."


In the quiet Scottish seaside village of Dunlyre, Finn is enduring a winter holiday with his annoying new stepmother, wishing things could go back to how they were, while Sage is enjoying her new home, wishing things would stay as they are. 

Finn has seen mysterious swimmers in the Firth late at night. Then, from the clifftop, first Sage, then Finn, hears an eerie song. Could the local legend of merfolk living amid the waves actually be true? When the new friends meet the magical sea-people, they are amazed and impressed, but the merfolk are hiding a secret. The two human children must put aside their own problems and help in the battle against the young merfolk's ancient underwater enemy before the last of their kind are lost forever.

Kate Wilkinson (Author), Joe Berger (Illustrator) - Edie and the Box of Flits - Published by 
Piccadilly Press (22 July 2021) - Paperback 

A modern classic for readers of THE BORROWERS - about eleven-year-old Edie Winter and her magical box of winged people that only children can see.

When eleven-year-old Edie Winter finds a mysterious box on the London Underground she's amazed to discover that it's home to a family of Flits - tiny winged people. But Impy, Speckle and Nid need Edie's help. Not only do they need supplies (rice crispies, sugar sprinkles, digestive biscuits and raisins) and someone to look after them, but their brother Jot has run away and they need Edie's help to find him.

Set against the backdrop of London and its Underground network, EDIE AND THE BOX OF FLITS is a story about friendship, family and noticing the little things in life. 

With delightful black-and-white illustrations by animator, cartoonist and illustrator Joe Berger.

Lindsay Galvin - A Discovery of Dragons - Published by Chicken House (1 July 2021) - Paperback 
How to Train Your Dragon meets natural history, with real science, in this story of discovery through one of the lens of one of the most historical voyages in history.

It's 1835. Cabin boy Simon Covington is on the voyage of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands with the world-famous scientist, Charles Darwin. But when Simon falls overboard during a huge storm, he washes up on an unexplored island. Stranded there, he makes a discovery that could change the world. Now it's not just his own survival at stake - the future of an undiscovered species is in his hands. But perhaps there's one person who could help...Based on the real events of Charles Darwin's legendary voyage, this is a novel that melds science with wonder.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Ella Risbridger - The Secret Detectives - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


A gripping, beautifully written historical mystery, from an incredible new voice in children's fiction.

Ella Risbridger is a writer and editor. She is found mostly in her pink kitchen in South London. This is her first children's book which was published in June 2021 by Nosy Crow Books. The book has a fantastically eye-catching cover that showers you with a golden shimmer. The cover has been illustrated by the brilliant Ray Tierney and will certainly stand out in the bookshops this summer. Are you ready to ride the waves and enjoy a spectacular adventure? We hope you are as this one is going to develop the amateur detective skills in YOU! So it's time to roll up your sleeves and turn the pages of this book. 


The body seemed to fall for a long time. There was no splash, or if there was it was lost in the waves. Isobel was frozen to the spot for a moment before her common sense caught up with her and she stepped back quickly into the shadows. This book is a gripping whodunnit thriller that has a rhythm to the plot which is led by the characters. The group of multi-racial children each bring their different backgrounds to the story - their individual strengths and weaknesses make this detective adventure really enjoyable to read. 

The story takes place on board the S. S. Mariana which is a small boat that has set sail from Calcutta to England. One of the children witnesses something being thrown overboard in the middle of the night which leads to the start of an amazing crime to solve. Like all Agatha Christie-type stories, there are a number of great individuals who might have been involved in this despicable act. Intriguingly, what has or who has been thrown overboard the ship and why? The ship's captain insists that NOBODY is missing which provides a great opportunity for the children to solve the mystery in a funny and heartfelt way.

This is a brilliant historical mystery that I enjoyed immensely. It had a real quirkiness about it that I loved. This genre is packed with so many mystery stories but this one stands out for me. I loved the backstory and the colourful characters that we share the journey with. The author has done a remarkable job of bringing this adventure to life. It's full of historical accuracy with some detailed research of the time and period. This is a fast-paced race for time to solve the crime before the ship reaches England.  Are you ready to don your dear stalker and take notes and use your brain? If so, this is the adventure for you. Can you work it out before the children do? All you need to do is follow the clues to the bookshop to pick this one up and give it a READ.