Showing posts sorted by relevance for query crow boy review. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query crow boy review. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, 11 May 2020

Philip Caveney - The Book of Secrets - Guest Book Review

This is an unlikely source for today's reading entertainment from the shady but real deal Danny Weston. This is his opportunity to sing the praises of Philip Caveney's latest shindig The Book of Secrets. Sorry, I've got that all wrong as Danny Weston said it was a pile of horse manure. In fact, he is quoted as saying 'He will never be as good as me, so get over it'. 

This review is the witness and testament from the Plague Doctor. Otherwise known as the skeleton of death with the oversized hooter from the world-renowned books the CROW BOY Trilogy. These books have been published by bad-ass Fledgling Press and can bought from their SITE.

So, are you ready to hear his thoughts about The Book of Secrets? Sure you are. Enjoy and stay safe in these crazy times. 

Greetings, fiction fans. Your friendly neighbourhood plague doctor here. Some of you (the lucky ones) may have read of my exploits in the Crow Boy trilogy, where I keep coming up against that pesky time-travelling intruder, Tom Afflick. Despite coming from the future and knowing nothing about life in the various eras in which we meet, he keeps getting the better of me. Curse him!

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that being a plague doctor is no bowl of cherries. In fact it’s sometimes quite depressing. So in those rare moments when I can find time to lose myself in a good book, I tend to seek out stories that are designed to lift my mood a little. You know the kind of thing - something that will make me smirk, chuckle and even (very occasionally) laugh out loud.

The other day, one of my patients, who clearly wasn’t going to be around long enough to finish reading it, handed a book to me, saying that since he was a bit short of cash, maybe I’d take it as part-payment for my services. I reluctantly agreed but in the end, I was glad I did!

It’s called The Book of Secrets and it’s set in this strange desert world where the climate is clearly a lot warmer than my home city of Edinburgh. It’s about this boy called er… Boy (to find out why, you’ll need to read the book) and he’s the possessor of an amazing invention, created by his late father, that can actually turn sand into water. I know, incredible, right?

Boy is on his way to the city of Ravalan, where he intends to enter the invention in a great competition that’s taking place there - but in the desert he meets up with a rascal called Gordimo, who steals the invention and leaves Boy for dead.
Now, before I go on, let me tell you that a part of me really identified with Gordimo. Yes, I appreciate he’s supposed to be the villain of the story, but as a bit of a villain myself, I really admired his cunning and evil trickery. Just saying!

Anyway, Boy is rescued by a troop of travelling players led by a fearless girl called Lexi. She’s part elvish and it’s clear from the word go that she and Boy have taken a bit of a shine to each other. Lexi’s theatre company is in dire need of a new leading actor and they ask Boy if he can help out. Since they’ve just saved his life, he can hardly say no, right?

And this is where the laughter starts because Boy is useless as an actor and accidentally turns the very serious play they’re performing into a slapstick comedy. Weirdly though, it’s a much bigger success because of this! There are lots of other characters. I particularly liked Pompio, who is a ‘boobo,’ a kind of ape-like creature who can talk and who spends most of his time making sarcastic comments about everyone he meets. (Reminded me of myself when I was younger and more care-free.) And there’s this big clumsy oaf called Grud who despite his size, is actually very gentle and child-like. I wanted to hate him, but somehow, he got to me. Grrr!

So, can Boy get to Ravalan before Gordimo does? Can he retrieve his wonderful invention and claim the (massive) prize money? And can he cope with being the new comedy hit on stages at every town the theatre troupe visits?

Well, as I said earlier, read the blessed book. 

Now it’s time for me to put on my bird mask and head off to do battle with that pesky Tom Afflick again. Honestly, who said that it was a quiet life being a plague doctor? 

I bid you good day and I hope you enjoy The Book of Secrets as much as I did.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Mr Ripley's Book Review: Seventeen Coffins - By Philip Caveney

We have just moved on from Crow Boy, the first book, to find that Tom has wasted no time falling head first into another nightmarish adventure in and around Mary King's Close, Edinburgh. It all starts off with that familiar feeling, where the world shudders around him; that horrible sensation as he finds himself lost and lonely once more. 

The book is loosely based on historical places, events and people just like the first book 'Crow Boy'. It isn't really necessary to read this book first, but it may help if you do so, in my opinion. Besides which it is a great book and well worth the read anyway. The narrative begins at the National Museum of Scotland. A place with so much mystery - what might Tom find? It all starts with the eight tiny coffins that were discovered at Arthur's Seat in 1836. There is a tiny figure in each one; they soon become a very significant part of the ongoing story. You'll find that your curiosity increases as you are flung into the world of the past.

Philip uses his creative imagination exceptionally well to weave many elements into a captivating story. The nineteenth century comes alive through three dimensional descriptions of sight, sound and smell. Each aspect enables you to really visualise the place and time of the story. Philip creates an intelligent and very interesting read. 

The magical time travelling adventure will suck you from modern day time into the nineteenth century within a blink of an eye. Tom finds himself running from his old nemesis, the bogus plague doctor, William McSweeny, as well as other unsavoury characters from the past. Without giving too much away, these are definitely my favourite characters from the book; they bring a dark and moody feeling to the story which is SO good. I really loved this section of the book.

I have nothing negative to say about this book; it is a great sequel to Crow Boy. Easy to follow, yet it also has a great historical insight to it. Fast-paced dialogue between the characters keeps the storyline flowing. Whilst the mysterious element and edge to the plot keeps you rooted to the end. The story is based around a dark world full of shady characters - it is a struggle for survival. Beware though . . . . there are some gruesome encounters that will have you running for cover.

A lighter and more playful side to the story also exists such as Tom teaching his new friends twentieth-century slang; this section is particularly well written and rather funny. This story has all of the right ingredients to entice anyone and everyone to read it. Interesting, educational and a ripping good adventure that will fill your head. Poor Tom finds that time is once more slipping away from him. Hopefully this will soon lead us to another adventure very soon.  

Published by Fledgling Press (22 April 2014)

Other books by Philip Caveney
Sebastian Darke Series:
About Philip Caveney
Philip Caveney was born in North Wales in 1951. The son of an RAF officer, he spent much of his childhood travelling the length and breadth of Britain and spent several years in Malaysia and Singapore.

He attended Kelsterton College Of Art in North Wales where he obtained a diploma in Graphic Design. Whilst there, he became drummer (and latterly vocalist) with rock band, Hieronymus Bosch.
After leaving college, he worked extensively in theatre both in London and Wales and wrote the lyrics for rock adaptations of The Workhouse Donkey and Oscar Wilde's Salome.
His first novel, The Sins Of Rachel Ellis, was published in 1977. Since then, he has published many novels for adults and since 2007, a series of children's books that have sold all over the world.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Interview with Susan Williams Beckhorn - The Wolf's Boy (Disney-Hyperion)

I'm really pleased to be sharing with you the following interview with Susan Williams Beckhorn, author and illustrator of some amazing children's books. The Wolf's Boy is her latest book which was published in June 2016 by Disney-Hyperion in the US. To find out more about this cracking read, click on the following book review link from School Library Journal. I hope this inspires you to pick up The Wolf's Boy and have a read... 

1.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up near Boston, Massachusetts as the youngest of four in a pretty average white family. Sadly, I did not have a cruel stepmother, nor was I dressed in rags or beaten. I did however have books, which I read walking to school, under the lid of my desk during math class, brushing my teeth, and of course, under the covers by the light of my electric blanket control after the flashlight was taken away. I like to tell kids that a dreadful thing will happen if you read too much: you will become a writer. It’s sort of like inhaling and exhaling. 

After art school, I married my sweetheart, Fred, and we became hippie-back-to-the landers here in western New York. We built our own stone house, which we still live in 36 years later, and raised two very entertaining daughters, Fern and Spring. At the moment we have two dogs, two cats, two horses, and one rooster—the only survivor of a recent raccoon massacre. We grow most of our own vegetables. Fred farms and builds furniture. I manage our AirBnB rental cabin, and write. He does wood, I do words.

2. How would you describe your latest book "The Wolf's Boy" to potential new readers?
I like to say that THE WOLF’S BOY is a story that’s been waiting 20,000 years to be told. It’s about a friendship that changed history: the bond between man and dog. After writing WIND RIDER (Harper Collins 2006), a “first horse” story which takes place 6000 years ago in what is now Kazakhstan, I decided that I wanted to do a “first dog” story. During the research phase, I contacted Mark Derr, author of HOW THE DOG BECAME THE DOG, to ask where I should set my story. He answered, “The first domestication of the dog could have taken place in China, or the Middle East, or perhaps southern France—where they found the fossilized footprints of a boy and a canine, apparently walking side by side in Chauvet Cave.” Chills ran up my spine. My story of an outcast boy and a young wolf against an Ice Age winter grew out of that chance remark.

Chauvet Cave was discovered in 1994, but never opened to the public so as not to repeat the disaster of Lascaux. As a relatively unknown children’s writer, I knew I would not be allowed inside Chauvet. Instead, I got a copy of the breath-taking book, THE DAWN OF ART which was put together by the discoverers of the cave and Werner Hertzog’s film, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, both of which document what are thought to be the oldest paintings in the world. Then in April of 2013, my husband and I travelled to Europe. We visited the Neanderthal Museum in Germany where I gleaned ideas for my character, Oooni. We went to the Dordogne valley where we were able to enter several caves still open to the public, view Crow Magnon art and know the mysterious aura of these sacred places. And we climbed to the opening of Chauvet, gazed at the beautiful Ardeche River Gorge with its awe-inspiring stone arch, and felt what it must have been like in Kai’s time. 
3. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Even though the story is prehistory, many things in it come from my own life. As one can see on the dedication page, I’ve shared my life with a lot of dogs. I think right away of the scene where Uff comes to Kai in the blackness of the cave and he doesn’t know at first if it is she or the bear. One moonless night, as a young adult, I was walking a trail in the woods in New Hampshire, trying to prove to myself that I wasn’t afraid of the dark. Suddenly I heard a big animal running toward me. There was a moment of fear until I knew in my heart that my German Shepherd, Jessica, had come after me. I put out my hand in the blackness and felt her wet nose and greeting tongue.
And the opening scene, when Kai is pinned by his brother, who threatens to spit on him by letting a string of saliva hang from his mouth—well let’s just say I had two old brothers. I can’t remember now which one was guilty. 

4. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I have to say that I got so deeply into Kai and Uff’s story that I almost began to feel that it was true. It is true in many ways.

5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood film adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Kai should be played by a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Uff might have been played by my second German Shepherd, Genny, if she’d had a more golden coat and been a bit wolfier looking.

6. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I have written a sequel to WIND RIDER, but because the Laura Geringer imprint closed at Harper Collins before I finished it, it’s never been published. I love the story. It’s really more of a second generation companion piece, a clash of cultural/religious views that parallels what goes on so sadly in the world today, and a sweet little romance to boot. I still have hopes for it!

7. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Aside from Jesus and Ghandi (whose October 2nd. birthday I have always felt honoured to share), I’d really love to have been able to meet and spend time with Mark Twain. I am awed by his humor, his humanity, and his genius. Oh jeepers, now I need to read him some more!

8. What are your thoughts about how to encourage more children to read?
Turn off the electronics and read to them. A lot. As long as they will let you—into adulthood if possible! Play audiobooks in the car. Always read the book before the film. Be seen reading by your child.

9. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
My parents read to us at bedtime, in the car, at camp where we had no TV. My brothers both had dyslexia, so my mother read a lot of their summer reading list books to them—which was not a bad thing at all. I listened. My oldest brother, Ted Williams, who is an environmental journalist (Audubon, Fly Rod and Reel, etc.), sometimes told my sister and me stories during our naptime on the porch at the camp in New Hampshire. That was magical. No spitting involved!

10. What project are you working on now?
At the moment I’m in the research phase of a new MG novel. I don’t like to talk about stories very much until I have something written, but sometime in prehistory there will be a dog and a girl in a canoe in the Caribbean. . .          

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Fleur Hitchcock - The Boy Who Flew - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

Athan Wilde dreams of flight. When his friend, Mr Chen, is murdered, Athan must rescue the flying machine they were building together and stop it falling into the wrong hands. But keeping the machine safe puts his family in terrible danger. What will Athan choose – flight or family?
From the acclaimed author of Murder In Midwinter, Fleur Hitchcock’s The Boy Who Flew is a thrilling, murderous tale set among the steep rooftops and slippery characters of Athan’s intricately imagined world. Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Peter Bunzl and Philip Reeve.
Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books is having a fantastic start to the New Year. We've had so many fantastic new books through the postbox to read already. Most of these are due to be published early this year, so make sure you check my other book reviews and add these to your list. We are looking forward to many more book adventures very soon. However, in the meantime, this is a review for the latest cracking book from Fleur Hitchcock. The Boy Who Flew is due to be published on 24th March 2019 in paperback by Nosy Crow. The book cover image (by Ben Mantle) is absolutely brilliant and invites the reader to enter a world that is so thrilling that they'll be instantly transported into an entertaining fantasy world. 

The story begins with a heart-thumping moment with the reader entering a world of wonder and murder. Athan Wilde's friend and mentor, Mr. Chen, has shockingly being murdered in a brutal way. The motive is to gain access to his plans for his latest invention .... a FLYING MACHINE. It's a thrilling period story full of danger. However, this does not deter Athan and his best friend, who are determined to find the murderers and protect the flying machine at all costs. The story flies across the rooftops with an exhilarating plot of danger and intrigue. Even Athan's family are pulled into danger, although this is unbeknown to them at the time. As a result, Athan has may choices to make and lots of unanswered questions to consider if he is going to stop the machine falling into the wrong hands.

This is a book that is carved out of science and history. Set in a time of great discoveries, the story is full of heroic adventures and dastardly deeds. The book's beating heart is powered by family and friendship. The brilliant depiction of Athan highlights the choices he has to make; his caring, brave and thoughtful nature turns this story into an epic roller-coaster of emotion as he dreams of freedom. 

The author has carved out a great collection of Dickensian-type characters that fit the setting particularly well and reflect a brilliant story. The murderous Colonel Blade is the best villainous character that I have read for some time. You'll come to both love and hate him at the same time. Full of dramatic and climatic action, the story is set in a brilliant dark and atmospheric world of corruption, lies and secrets. It throws you headfirst into the poverty-stricken crowded streets with the rich looking on from a more mighty and superior height. This is a dark narrative that is not shy; it pulls some mighty and unexpected punches for a middle-grade audience. As a result, it will be loved by anyone and everyone - you'll find yourself eagerly being sucked into its fantasy charms. This is a book that is definitely well worth the wait. Don't forget to pre-order it today! 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Christopher Edge - The Many Worlds of Albie Bright - Book Review - Published by Nosy Crow

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nosy Crow (14 Jan. 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0857636049
  • Age: 9+
When Albie's mum dies, it's natural he should wonder where she's gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie's mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum's computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her...Quality commercial fiction, well written with real heart and adventure.

Traditionally, January is a very strong month for book releases. I've read so many great books already, especially in the middle grade genre. I've loved every reading minute so far and this book has been no exception. It is another fantastic outing by Christopher Edge; this is his fifth published novel (I believe) and one that resonated with me very much. The book cover is very inviting. Produced by Matt Saunders, it will grab your attention and make you want to read it.

I loved the plot from the very first minute. You are quickly engulfed in a warm embrace as you follow the main character, Albie Bright. He's a gentle boy, who is very lovable and helps to drive the story onwards and forwards to a parallel world and beyond. You never know where he will end up, with his rotting banana, in this exciting standalone novel. It is very cleverly written weaving in some uncommon subjects and emotions.  Albie is trying to come to terms with the grief of loosing his mum from cancer; he would move heaven and earth to see her again. Hurtling through time and space to captivate our hearts, the story explodes into life the more that you read.

This is a book that I really would like to see kids read. It has an engaging story exploring the themes of science and quantum physics; we are given a big dollop of insight into what the Hadron Collider is all about. Did you know it's the most powerful particle collider, and the largest single machine in the world? I did not know this until I read this book. It is educational in a fun and easy way that you don't even realise that you're learning. 

The book has been thoroughly well-researched, which makes it one of the smarter reads to pick up this year. It's a family adventure of a lifetime, full of a lifetime of memoirs. It will make you look at life in a totally different perspective, perhaps from a cardboard box or maybe as you look at the stars on a clear night thinking of Schrodinger's cat. It is a world full of many possibilities, a world of imagination and one that I would recommend to everyone, not just children. 

Check out the recent interview with Christopher on Mr Ripley's blog Here.  Many thanks to Dom and Nosy Crow for sending this book for me to review - it's very much appreciated. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Barry Hutchison - Spectre Collectors: Too Ghoul for School (Nosy Crow) - Book Review (Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books)

Denzel is having no luck with his maths homework. First, it's too difficult, then there's a terrifying mess of smoky black tendrils that wants to kill him, then two teenagers explode through his window holding guns and throwing magic. They are the Spectre Collectors, and spooky is their speciality. Realising that Denzel has a special gift, they sweep him off to their headquarters for training. Tested with awesome weapons and ancient magic, Denzel realises just how little he knows. But there's a serious problem on its way from the Spectral Realm, so Denzel has a lot to learn. FAST.

Spectre Collectors: Too Ghoul for School is the first book in a supernatural adventure series from author, Barry Hutchison. Published 7th September 2017 by Nosy Crow 

This is a very funny book that even adults will find humorous. For me, it was like being transported back to my childhood. If only this type of book had been written when I was younger then what fun I would have had reading it. How fortunate we are now, having so much choice and with so many talented authors gracing our bookshelves. 

Denzel, the main character, is very endearing and might not be classed as your average hero character. However, Smithy (his sidekick) is my favourite character. He is full of sarcastic wit and is very laid back. They make a comedy pair like no other. "What would you rather fight?" Smithy began. 
"Go ON" said Denzel. "A zombie with the brain of an evil genius, or an evil genius with the brain of a zombie?" The questions and the replies will make you laugh and also make you think, this goes on all the way through the book and I really loved this. Interestingly, what would you choose? 

The story has a snappy narrative that will really help reluctant readers engage in the story. It is really easy to read. I found myself so engaged that I ended up reading it in just one sitting. It is written in an all-out action comic book style. Nosy Crow, yet again, have adapted this really well just as they have in so many of their previously published books. Some of the action sequences are 'too cool for school' but will certainly engage your magical socks right off your literal feet. 

The book is very imaginative and has a real punch of a twist later on. It is full of magical mayhem, fire power and some very nasty monsters. I particularly loved the RUBBISH-MONSTER classic caper narrative gold. However, I think I would have loved a little more detail weaved into some parts of the story, but this might be from an older readers perspective. It would also have been interesting to have included more of the amazingly detailed illustrations by Rob Biddulph, who also did My Evil Twin is a Supervillain by David Solomons. He really is a fantastic illustrator.

This is a great start to a new series. It is a gadget, supernatural, monster action-fest that has a fantastic immersive feel which 8-12-year-old readers will love to read, as well as big kids like me. I for one am certainly looking forward to the next book.

About the Author

Barry Hutchison, author of over eighty books for children and teenagers, and adults who never properly grew up. I live in Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland with my wife, two children, and very annoying dog.

As well as books, I also write comics like The Beano, DC Super Hero Girls, Angry Birds and Supermansion.
I also write animation, including all six episodes of Dreamworks TV’s upcoming ‘Kip Van Creepy: Delivery Boy’ and an episode of ‘Supermansion’ starring Bryan Cranston and Chris Pine.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: US Children's/Teens - Books Picks - November 2019

Ryan Calejo  - Charlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones  - Published by  Aladdin (November 12, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1534426610 - Hardback - Age 10+

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity. 

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

Maggie Stiefvater - Call Down the Hawk (The Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1) - Published by Scholastic Press (November 5, 2019) -  ISBN-13: 978-1338188325 - Hardback - Age: 12+

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. 

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed.
. . 

Denis Markell - The Ghost in Apartment 2R - Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (November 12, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0525645719 - Hardback - Age: 10+

What if there was a ghost in your brother's room? 
This kid-friendly mystery about three friends who try to help a restless spirit find peace is perfect for fans of Under the Egg and The Book Scavenger.

It stinks that Danny's older brother moved out and went to college. But you know what's worse? He left behind an angry ghost in his room!

With the help of his friends Nat and Gus, Danny interviews everyone in his Brooklyn neighborhood to find out about spirits. Is it an Arabian ghoul? A Korean gwishin? A Polish haunting? Maybe the answer lies with Danny's own bubbe and her tales of a dybbuk, a Jewish mythological ghost. Regardless of its origins, what does the spirit truly want? And can Danny manage to bring the phantom to rest?

Jeremiah Franklin - Dark Tomorrow II: Cult of the Crow - Published by Month9Books, LLC (November 12, 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1948671958 - Paperback - Age: 10+

Kill or be killed is the new normal for Sawyer, Sara, and the survivors of the deadly virus that has all but annihilated the human race. With the death of Sara’s father and the disappearance of the strange boy known as Mason, the teens are left reeling, but alongside the enigmatic ex-Marine, Edward, they soon forge an alliance with a collection of young survivors led by the sage and charismatic Kai. Nevertheless, when their new companions begin to mysteriously disappear, the group is once again thrown into a desperate struggle for survival, where only the most cunning and relentless will prevail. Ultimately, among whispers of top-secret military bunkers, lost gold, and a shadowy group known as the Cult of the Crow, Sawyer, and Sara must face the grim realization that death and betrayal lurks in every corner, and when it comes to the end of the world--nothing is what it seems.
Dark Tomorrow II: Cult of the Crow is an action-packed dystopian novel for fans of Netflix's The Society, CW's The 100, and How it Ends.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Book Picks - October 2019 - Post Two

Sophie MacKenzie (Author), Martin Remphry (Illustrator) - Harry and Kate at the Book Museum - Published by Barrington Stoke (15 Oct. 2019)

The old books in the museum are worth a lot of money. So, when Harry and Kate spot a man acting oddly, they decide to investigate! A brilliantly accessible short story with a reading age of 6, Harry and Kate at the Book Museum is designed to help severely struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Amy Wilson - Shadows of Winterspell - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (17 Oct. 2019) 

Deep in the forest, magic is waiting . . .
Sparkling with frost and magic, Shadows of Winterspell will sweep you up in a world of friendship and magic, to uncover family secrets and find out who you really are.
Stella has been living behind the magic of the forest for most of her life. Lonely, she enrolls at the local school, and as she begins to make friends, she discovers that she is even more different than she thought. But as autumn turns to magical winter, Stella realizes that uncovering her own family secret is the only way to release the forest from the grip of a dark and old magic.
A wintery magical adventure from the critically-acclaimed Amy Wilson, author of A Girl Called Owl.

Catherine Fisher - The Velvet Fox (The Clockwork Crow) - Published by Firefly Press (3 Oct. 2019)

After rescuing Tomas from enchantment, orphan Seren Rhys is enjoying her first summer at Plas-y-Fran. But as autumn arrives, it brings with it a mysterious new governess who seems intent on drawing Tomas away from Seren and his family. Dangerous figures from a bewitched toy carousel stalk the house and, fearing the worst, Seren calls on the clockwork crow to help her. But can he reach her in time, and will Tomas be able to escape the magical creatures threatening to ensnare him, led by the Velvet Fox?

Gerald Killingworth - The Dead World of Lanthorne Ghules - Published by Pushkin Children's Books (24 Oct. 2019)

Do you dare to enter the Dead World?
Welcome to the Dead World of Lanthorne Ghules - a place just on the other side of that door, a grey place with a dreadful secret. A boy called Edwin stumbles from our shiny world into this twilit one in search of something very precious to him. The only person who can help him is Lanthorne Ghules, a frightened boy his own age who is trying to escape the horrifying old ways.

In this inventive, funny and at times scary book, author Gerald Killingworth plunges us into a land of thrilling horror, full of menacing creatures and rotten surprises. It is a dangerous place, but there is kindness too - you just need to find it.

Robin Scott-Elliot - The Tzar's Curious Runaways - Published by Everything with Words (17 Oct. 2019) - Mr. Ripley's Book of the Month - Book Review Here. 

A magical, captivating tale of adventure set in imperial Russia. St Petersburg, Russia 1725. Katinka Dashkova is running for her life because everything she knows is changing. Katinka, a dazzling ballerina with a hunched back, and her friends Alexei the Giant and Nikolai the dwarf are different. That's why they are part of Peter the Great's Circus of Curiosities. But the Tzar is dead and they must flee the Winter Palace. Guided by a special map, they set out across Russia running for their lives. An enthralling and delicious blend of history and fiction.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

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

A . M . Howell - The Garden of Lost Secrets - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (13 Jun. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1474959551 - Paperback 

It is 1916 and twelve-year-old Clara’s father has gone to Devon to recover from gas poisoning. Clara, and the terrible secret she keeps hidden in her pinafore pocket, are sent to stay with her formidable aunt and uncle at Gardener’s Cottage in the grounds of a country estate.

Clara soon discovers that her new surroundings hold secrets of their own: a locked room and a hidden key, a mysterious boy who only appears in the gardens at night, covert meetings on misty mornings, and a fruit thief who is stealing precious pineapples from the Earl’s exotic hothouses.

But for Clara to unravel the garden’s secrets, she will have to face up to a truth she can’t bring herself to acknowledge and a war she’s desperate to forget.

Ryan Andrews - This Was Our Pact - First Second (11 Jun. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1250196958 - Hardback 

Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact is an astonishing, magical-realist adventure story for middle-grade readers.
It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.
The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in.
Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.
*And a talking bear.

Louie Stowell (Author), Davide Ortu (Ilustrator) - The Dragon in the Library - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (6 Jun. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1788000260 - Paperback 

This 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.  Book Review Here

Jeff Norton - Dino Knights - Published by Awesome Reads (6 Jun. 2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1912892044 - Paperback 

How to Train Your Dragon with Dinosaurs.

Imagine medieval times where the dinosaurs never went extinct. When dinosaur stable boy Henry Fairchild stops a vicious T-Rex from attacking his master, he is invited to join the most elite group in Brecklan, the brave Knights of Panterra, the Dino Knights. But before he can prove himself, the enemies of Brecklan attack with a flock of pterodactyls and kidnap Lord Harding. Whether he's ready or not, Henry and the Dino Knights mount a daring rescue mission...but nothing is what it seems. Dino Knights is a fast-paced chapter book for readers who've enjoyed Beast Quest and How to Train Your Dragon.