Showing posts with label September 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label September 2022. Show all posts

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Jodie Garnish - The Spectaculars - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Are you looking for your next favourite read? What about a new series involving magical settings and a trip on a flying canoe? If so, then look no further than the debut book by Jodie Garnish. The Spectaculars will be published in magnificent hardback glory with a brilliant book cover and internal illustrations by Nathan Collins. I can hear you ask when can I get my hands on this book? Well, it will fly into bookshops across the fantasy world on the 29th September 2022 (TODAY!) and has been published by the good people at Usborne Publishing. 

After reading the book synopsis, I thought the story sounded rather wonderful. To be absolutely honest, it really is a theatrical delight that I (and I'm sure you will also) fall in love with. It's a far-flung fantasy story inspired by the author's love for drama and theatre. The plot is brimming with charm and magical stardust as the setting fully immerses the reader. Welcome to the WONDRIA - a place full of magical performers with gifted special powers. However, lurking behind every curtain lies nightmares, danger, peril, and a lot of superstition. 

You will need to keep your wits about you as you join Harper, Trick and Thief in a fast-paced adventure that will elevate you off your feet. The plot is full of marvellous mayhem and unexpected explosions. It's an epic and enchanting zip wire extravaganza full of mystery as the characters look to save their travelling theatre and boarding school from closing for good. The characters are larger than life as they face rivalry, villains, scrapes, and near misses that pull you through epic scenes in a surreal and dramatic way. The story is full of surprises which are all pieced together like a jigsaw to keep the readers both interested and entertained. The author has left a lot of unanswered questions which allows the next installment to be introduced and continue seamlessly; this is going to be a fantastic new series. 

It was a wonder and a delight to read this book; it shines brighter than the North Star.  One of the best debut children's books that I have read this year.  May you be cursed with the stings of a thousand bees and may your toes be chewed off by wolves! Keep this in mind as you decide whether to embark on this new journey. But be warned that if you don't then you'll miss out on the best SPECTACULAR adventure in town. 

Sunday, 18 September 2022

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


Lindsay Currie - The Girl in White - Published by Sourcebooks Young Readers (September 6, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728236544 - Hardback - Age: 8+

Mallory hasn't quite adapted to life in her new town of Eastport yet. Maybe it's because everyone is obsessed with keeping the town's reputation as the most cursed town in the US.

And thanks to the nightmares she's had since arriving, Mallory hardly sleeps. Combined with the unsettling sensation of being watched, she's quickly becoming convinced there's more to her town. Something darker.

When Mallory has a terrifying encounter with the same old woman from her dreams, she knows she has to do something―but what? With Eastport gearing up to celebrate the anniversary of their first recorded legend Mallory is forced to investigate the one legend she's always secretly been afraid of . . . Sweet Molly.

Colin Meloy - The Stars Did Wander Darkling - Published by ‎ Balzer + Bray (September 13, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063015517 - Hardback - Age: 8+ 

A suspenseful and atmospheric horror set in 1980s Oregon, perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Peterson Haddix, from New York Times bestselling author and the Decemberists’ lead singer/songwriter, Colin Meloy.

Maybe Archie Coomes has been watching too many horror movies.

All of a sudden, the most ordinary things have taken on a sinister edge: a penny on a doormat. An odd man in a brown suit under a streetlamp. The persistent sound of an ax chopping in the middle of the night.

He keeps telling himself that this is Seaham, a sleepy seaside town where nothing ever happens. Or at least nothing did, until his dad’s construction company opened up the cliff beneath the old—some say cursed—Langdon place.

Soon, though, he and his friends can’t deny it: more and more of the adults in town are acting strangely. An ancient, long-buried evil has been unleashed upon the community, and it’s up to the kids to stop it before it’s too late. . . .

Mary Downing Hahn - What We Saw: A Thriller - Published by Clarion Books (September 6, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0358414414 - Hardback - Age: 8+

A chilling murder mystery lies at the heart of this page-turning thriller about a missing teacher, small-town secrets, and turbulent tween friendships from the master of middle-grade horror Mary Downing Hahn.

When best friends Abbi and Skylar witness a clandestine meeting between a mysterious woman and someone in a dark van, they're thrilled. Finally, a mystery to spice up the summer!

Who could these people be? Why are they meeting? Are they spies? Criminals? The two girls are determined to find out. But then a local woman goes missing and is found dead in the woods. And Abbi and Skylar realize that their detective work could hold the keys to solving her murder. Suddenly, sleuthing isn't so fun anymore.

As tensions rise and their friendship frays, the girls find themselves in increasing danger, and must choose between keeping a secret or exposing a life-altering truth.

Kalyn Josephson - Ravefall - Published by Delacorte Press (September 6, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593483589 - Hardback - Age: 9+ 

  • One magical inn, two kids with supernatural powers, and an ancient Celtic creature trying to destroy their world by Halloween night...
    Halloweentown meets Supernatural in this spooky middle-grade series from the acclaimed author of the Storm Crow duology!

    Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death.
    So when fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects. . . .
    As the two team up to find answers, they unearth Colin’s family’s secret past and discover that Colin has powers beyond his imagination. And now the supernatural creature, one with eerie origins in Celtic mythology, is coming after 
    him. If Anna and Colin can’t stop the creature by Halloween night, the veil to the Otherworld could be ripped open—which would spell destruction for their world as they know it.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Tim Tilley - WITCHSTORM - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Are you ready to return to another world written and illustrated by Tim Tilley? If the answer is YES then I'm delighted to introduce the author's new book which will be published in September 2022 by USBORNE. You only need to look at the cover for it to pique your curiosity. However, within the covers, this story is another masterclass in creating a narrative that has all the ingredients to make your fantasy dreams come true. 

We have all the characteristics of the first book as it is set in the same story world as Harklights. The ecological nature subtly plays out in the story; it really gives the book grounding as it asks What If questions of the reader. For example, what if you woke up after three hundred years, how much of the natural landscapes, forests, and wild open spaces would have disappeared? What would you feel? This is the idea that intertwines itself with a magical ride of joy, fun, and puzzle solving. 

The story is an illustrative delight - full of family adventure and wonderfully colourful characters that light up the sky like a rainbow. However, also be prepared to travel head-on into the eye of a storm and face a magical battle that explodes with action and drama. If this sound like your adventure then this is a great Halloween read for you. So pull up your socks and join Will on an EPIC quest filled with missing parents, lost treasure, mythical storm-lions, ruined towers, and many broomstick chases through a plot thicker than witches' soup. What more could you possibly ask for? 

I really love the mix of classic fairytale themes in Tim's books. He is a  FANTASTIC daydreamer; I'm sure he must have a cauldron of ideas that he brews and stews. Each book is a magical journey that will both endure the test of time but also be keenly loved by everyone interested in a good story. This is another sure-fire winner from one of my favourite authors and publishing houses. Thank you for sending this book; it was a real privilege to read. Keep up the amazing work! 

Friday, 2 September 2022

New Children's Book Picks September 2022 - Post One - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Dream a world away in the best children's book picks this September 2022. This is the first post of some truly great adventures you can have. Just turn the page and off you go. What are you reading and loving this month? 

Helena Duggan - The Light Thieves - Published by Usborne Publishing (1 Sept. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1474991094 - Paperback - Age: 8+ 

Clever, quirky and hugely imaginative, discover the eagerly anticipated new series from the bestselling author of A Place Called Perfect. Who would you trust to save the world...a boy or a billionaire? The earth has shifted on its axis and a mysterious dark mark has appeared on the sun - the whole world is in peril! But billionaire tech genius Howard Hansom has a plan... When Grian's sister goes missing he's convinced she has run off to Hansom's new city to help save the world. But when Grian and his two friends Jeffrey and Shelli track her there they find that nothing is quite as it seems. Why is everything so secret? Where is the mysterious Area 13? What does Howard Hansom want with all the people he has enticed to live in his city? The days are getting darker but what's really happening to the sun?

Carlie Sorosiak - Always, Clementine (Letters from a Runway Mouse) - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (1 Sept. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1839941085 - Paperback - Age: 8

A funny, wise and heartwarming story, with a truly one-of-a-kind hero, from the author of the highly-acclaimed I, Cosmo and My Life as a Cat.

I am an optimist. A very difficult thing to be, sometimes, at three inches tall.

Clementine is a genius. She can calculate pi to 69,689 places, remembers the exact moment she was born, and dreams in Latin.

She's also a mouse.

And when she escapes from the lab which has bred her, Clementine discovers that it's not enough to be the smartest mouse in history if she wants to survive in the real world - especially while the scientists who kept her are trying to recover their prize specimen. So, together with her new human friends, Clementine must find a way to earn her freedom - for good.

Hayley Hoskins - The Whisperling - Published by Puffin (1 Sept. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241514504 - Paperback - Age: 8+

When you're dead, you're dead. When you're gone, you're gone.
Unless, of course, you're not.
And that's where I come in.

The year is 1897, and Peggy Devona can speak with ghosts. 

She hides her gift from those afraid of a girl with such powers, terrified of the secrets the dead could reveal through her. But when her best friend is accused of murdering her rich mistress, Peggy knows only she - a whisperling - can save her. 

Peggy escapes to her uncle's psychic emporium in the city, seeking out new ghosts to help her solve Sally's case.

Yet time is running out, and each step towards uncovering the truth also brings Sally one step closer to the gallows. . .

Dashe Roberts - Sticky Pines: The Valley of the Strange - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (1 Sept. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1788008938 - Paperback - Age: 9+

Things are FREAKY and about to get even FREAKIER in the sleepy American town of Sticky Pines.

Weirdness mounts upon creepiness to create a riotously funny potion in The Valley of the Strange, the latest explosive installment of the cult sci-fi series for children.

Lucy Sladan has made the biggest, most bizarre discovery of all time ... but still no one believes her. Even her best friend Milo Fisher is not convinced. But his father knows she is on to something. Soon Lucy is in a race to stop Mr Fisher's monstrous efforts to uncover the source of the sticky-pine sap that is making his fortune ... and so risking the destruction of the world.

Perfect for the younger siblings of Stranger Things fans, Sticky Pines offers laugh-out-loud, hair-raising sci-fi and mysteries aplenty. The TRUTH is OUT THERE - are you ready for it?

The Valley of the Strange is the third book in the Sticky Pines Series, join Lucy and Milo for more adventures in The Bigwoof Conspiracy and The Thing at Black Hole Lake.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Cressida Cowell - Which Way to Anywhere - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Which Way to Anywhere is the brand new magical adventure written and illustrated by the no.1 bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once, Cressida Cowell. This gorgeous book will fly into the shops (via the back of magical hoovers) on the 15th of September 2022. It has been published in glorious hardback by Hodder Children's Books. 

The first words of this book were written over 25 years ago. Written in spidery, messy longhand they have lay waiting in the writer's writing shed. The pages yellowing as the magic slowly seeps away from the dormant story; waiting its turn for a new audience. However, that audience is now us and we are to be taken on a spectacular ride in this brilliant new series. Hold your breath, we're going in...

We plunge into a brilliant world of escapism from the very first page. In my opinion, this is the best story the author has written. It is also the most personal as it pays a silent and respectful nod to her father. 

Now come with me if you dare. It's time to be introduced to a family that has a magical secret; a child with a powerful gift to draw maps. However, these maps become real worlds that can be visited in a heartbeat. You will find yourself being escorted by the unlikely heroes of K2 O'Hero, his twin sister Izzabird, and their waring stepsiblings. You'll visit worlds with six hundred moons, burning rivers and dark, twisty jungles alive with plants that hunt by the smell of fear. Maybe there's time to visit Excelsiar way beyond the distant poles but watch your step as you GO! 

Without a shadow of a doubt, this will be one of the best reads of the year. The story strikes a quirky balance of wild and outrageous storytelling that only great authors can dream up. It is full of brilliant characters, dialogue, and a daring rescue mission with terrible beasts and a robot assassin. Everything about this story makes it a fantastic compulsive read. As a story sat lingering over the years, this book has now been turned into an epic read that radiates fun and magic.  Dream BIG and travel well. 

Saturday, 4 June 2022

Alex Foulkes - Author Interview (Q&A) - Rules for Vampires - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books #23

Hello to you all. It's time to flap your fantasy wings and crack out the garlic in our second fantastic interview. I'm delighted to be able to introduce Alex Foulkes, who is the author of a dark, funny series called Rules for Vampires. Ghosts Bite Back is the second book in the series and will be published later this year (Sept 2022 by Simon and Schuster). We thought we would ask the 'jammy' author and school librarian some questions on how to keep Vampires at bay and how she 'staked' a claim in writing horror fiction. We hope you enjoy this 'bleeding' marvellous interview; did you like what I did there? Enjoy! You can buy the book Here. 
  • Rules for Vampires is your first children's book, do you think Vampires actually have rules?
Yes! Vampires actually have loads of different rules throughout literary history - too many to include in one book. If you added in every vampire rule out there, you would have a very long story (and one that would contradict itself!) When I was writing Rules for Vampires, I wanted a clear set of Vampiric Laws to govern the world. I chose my faves and added a few of my own. My favourite Vampiric Law is probably concerning vampires being unable to enter uninvited, which I think is one of the coolest vampire limitations.
  • Would your younger self enjoy reading this book and why?
The character of Leo is actually based on myself when I was eleven, as well as children I've worked with in my time as a school librarian and a teaching assistant. I was a weird sort of kid and Rules for Vampires is definitely a very weird story! When I was a young reader, I definitely wanted something with a bit of bite, lots of fight scenes, scares and laughs. This has been my checklist for Rules for Vampires.
  • Are there any books that you have read that you think may have influenced your writing?
Oh, absolutely loads. A stand-out series is definitely Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, mostly for its gothic tone, amazing villain and eerie, unsettling atmosphere. I read these books growing up and absolutely wanted to be Violet Baudelaire! I think these stories have stayed with me all the way through to adulthood.
  • How do you think Sara Ogilvie's illustrations add another dimension to the storytelling and did she also illustrate the wonderful book cover?
Sara Ogilvie absolutely did illustrate the spine-chilling cover for Rules for Vampires! Her artwork takes this story to another level; her imagining of these characters and this world is so rich, so fun and so detailed. When you pick up a copy of Vampires, Sara brings you into the Dreadwald in a way that words on their own wouldn't do quite as well. She's seriously magical. Her work on Leo in particular added additional depth to the way I now write this important character. I think it's because I have Sara's strong picture of Leo's design in my head as I write her.
  • I read somewhere that "World Book Day would be your Jam." What would be your perfect World Book Day?
Hahaha! World Book Day is indeed my total jam - you've been on my author website! Fangs so much! World Book Day is an important day to librarians everywhere and I am no exception. My ideal WBD would definitely be in school, with lots of dress-up and fun activities. Of course an open, busy library. And - most important of all - sharing stories. Reading together. Talking about books. Of course, reading is for every day, but WBD is such an amazing celebration of reading for enjoyment, why not make a point of it? Discussing our favourite reads is so important.
  • Ghosts Bite Back will be the second book in the series (published this September 2022). What can readers expect in this book and is humour a key role in this story?
If readers have enjoyed Rules for Vampires, they will find that Ghosts Bite Back is even BIGGER, even GHOSTLIER, with oodles of fights and laughs and chills. I wanted to take everything I loved about writing Vampires and turn it up to eleven for Ghosts. Leo and Minna are facing some serious danger in this story! In spite of this, humour is absolutely still a key element to Ghosts Bite Back. I find that, no matter what I write, having a lightness and a sense of fun is always important.
  • What is the best thing about being a published author? 
The best thing about being a published author... is going into schools, libraries and bookshops and meeting readers. It's absolutely the best thing in the world. I also love talking to aspiring writers and hearing about their creativity and writing journeys.
  • What question were you hoping I might have asked? (Please could you answer from the perspective of one of your characters in the book)
I have spoken to Rodrigo, Leo's spidery roommate, and he had this to say:

"You must want to know what it's like being the secret TRUE HERO of this story! Of course Rules for Vampires should have been called Rules for Spiders, as I am clearly the most important character on the page. My chapters are clearly the best. I'm working on being included in EVERY chapter of Ghosts Bite Back, as I think this would improve the story eightfold.
"I've found fame tricky to deal with, ever since Rules for Vampires came out. Paparazzi chase me at every turn. Please understand - I know I am a big deal and you want to put me on the cover of every magazine - but I am just a humble spider. So humble."