Friday, 7 July 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) July 2017 - UK Post One

Robin Jarvis - Time of Blood (The Witching Legacy) - Published by Egmont (27 July 2017)  - ISBN-13: 978-1405280259

The sinister Mister Dark is more powerful than ever and has enslaved young Verne to his will. Can Lil save her best friend before their enemy unleashes his most audacious and insane plan yet? Even with the help of new, surprising allies - a witch, a mysterious man of many disguises and the secretive aufwaders beneath the cliff - all seems hopeless.
Whitby has never been a more frightening and dangerous place to live, and the murdered dead refuse to rest in peace.

Peter F. Hamilton - A Voyage Through Air (The Queen of Dreams) - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (13 July 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1447291169

War is coming - and every leader of every realm has sided with the War Emperor and pledged to fight the Karrak invaders - apart from Taggie, the teenage Queen of Dreams-to-be.
Aided by an unusual band of allies, including a Karrak Lord, an elf and a feisty skyfolk captain, Taggie knows that the only way to stop the war is to find the long-lost gateway between our universe and the dark universe: the home of the Karrak people.
But where do you begin to look for something that was deliberately hidden? And just how much is Taggie willing to lose in her desperate quest for peace?
A Voyage Through Air is the third and final book in the fantastic The Queen of Dreams children's fantasy trilogy by award-winning author Peter F.Hamilton.

John Mcnally - Giant Killer (Infinity Drake, Book 3) - Published by

HarperCollins Children's Books (13 July 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0007521692

Get shrunk! Humour and high-stakes combine in the conclusion to the action-packed Infinity Drake series. A BIG adventure with a tiny hero!
And you thought 9mm was small?
Infinity Drake takes it to a whole 'nother level…
After months of captivity, Finn and Carla reach their final destination; evil mastermind Kaparis's secret lair in the Carpathian mountains.
Once there Finn learns the villain's true purpose – to conquer his paralysis and rise again. To do so Kaparis must shrink a team of medics down to microscopic size to repair his damaged spine, and now he's cracked the Boldklub code it seems nothing can stop him.
Apart, that is, from a microscopic hero…
Join Infinity Drake on his wildest ride yet – deep inside the body of his nemesis, where he must fight for his life… and bring down the giant once and for all.

Laura Fitgerald Marx - The Gallery - Published by  

Puffin Books (13 July 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0142427705
A riveting historical art mystery for fans of Chasing Vermeer and The Westing Game, set in the Roaring Twenties!It's 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household--specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there's more to the story--and that the paintings in the Sewell's gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. But in a house filled with secrets, nothing is quite what it seems, and no one is who they say. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code, and solve the mystery of what's really going on with Rose Sewell? 
Inspired by true events described in a fascinating author's note, The Gallery is a 1920s caper told with humor and spunk that readers today will love.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S LAUREATE, LAUREN CHILD TO HEADLINE LOOGABAROOGA 18-24 OCTOBER 2017 (Press Release)



NEW WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S LAUREATE, LAUREN CHILD TO HEADLINE LOOGABAROOGA 2017

Major Children’s Illustrated Literature Festival returns to Loughborough for 3 year from 18-24 October 2017

Newly-appointed Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child will be headlining this year’s Loogabarooga Festival of Children’s Illustrated Literature in Loughborough from 18-24 October 2017.

Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist, and is the creator of the famous Charlie and Lola, and Clarice Bean characters. She was crowned as the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate in June 2017 to champion children and reading nationwide.

Lauren will be appearing in her own show at Loogabarooga 2017 to talk about the ‘stories behind the stories’ and there will also be a rare chance to see a selection of original work, specially picked by Lauren Child from her private collection in ‘The Art of Lauren Child – Adventures with Charlie and Lola and friends’ exhibition at Charnwood Museum.

The Loogabarooga Festival is for families who love books and illustrated literature. This year, it will include new book trails, free creative drop-in workshops, storytelling sessions, a comic fair, and advice on how to write and illustrate your own book. There will also be appearances from some of the nation’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators.

The unique, hand-painted Book Benches will also return, featuring cover artwork from some of the nation’s favourite Ladybird children’s stories including Shopping with Mother, Cinderella and Bunnikins Picnic Party. This year will also see a Lauren Child Clarice Bean book bench, on loan from the National Literacy Trust for the duration of the festival. The benches will be located throughout the town centre.

More details of the programme will be published in July 2017 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loogabarooga, on Twitter @loogabarooga17 or on the website at www.loogabarooga.com

Lauren Child commented: ““I'm thrilled to be taking part in Loogabarooga this year and to be having an exhibition at Charnwood Museum. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone at the festival."

Chris Traill, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Community Wellbeing at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “This year marks the third annual Loogabarooga Festival in our wonderful town of Loughborough. We’re delighted to announce the appearance of the award-winning author of Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child, appearing here for the first time.

“Lauren’s talk and exhibition are just two of the many highlights at Loogabarooga 2017. We’re also supporting new talent through workshops and have lots of great interactive authors and illustrators, events and workshops to ignite and inspire young imaginations.”

The Loogabarooga Festival will be organised by Leicestershire Promotions and Charnwood Borough Council, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council and supported by Love Loughborough.

Loughborough has had a long association with children’s literature since the very first Ladybird book was produced by a jobbing printer called Wills & Hepworth in the town during the First World War. Ladybird books were printed at Angel Yard in Loughborough from 1915-1973 and the first Loogabarooga Festival in 2015 coincided with Ladybird Books’ centenary.

Lauren Child burst onto the children’s books scene in 1999 and has since published many bestselling and award-winning books, including those featuring the hugely popular Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort series. She has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Gold Award. Her books have been made into an award-winning TV series and have sold in many languages with runaway success. In June 2017, she became the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate.

This autumn, there is a rare chance to see a selection of original work, specially picked by Lauren Child from her private collection at ‘The Art of Lauren Child – Adventures with Charlie and Lola and friends’ exhibition, to be held at Charnwood Museum in Loughborough as part of Loogabarooga 2017.

People can follow the Town Trail to the Charnwood Museum, where they will see original artwork from their favourite Lauren Child books; Charlie and Lola and their friends, Clarice Bean, Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent and more. The exhibition also includes richly detailed collages from the hundredth anniversary edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Lauren’s iconic images and the utterly imaginative worlds she creates with her signature collage technique will fascinate and delight both children and adults.

At Loogabarooga 2017, the multi-award-winning author and artist will also discuss her influences and creative process and some of her best-loved characters. Find out the stories behind Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and the amazing spy-kid, code-cracker Ruby Redfort. In an illustrated talk, Lauren will share her fascination with sibling relationships, how watching television as a child shaped her artistic vision and the pleasure of daydreaming.

Lauren will also be introducing her latest Charlie and Lola book, A Dog with Nice Ears

“Silly, surprising, thoughtful and fun, Charlie and Lola are on top form in this fantastically funny story, packed full of dogs of every shape, size and colour.”

Friday, 30 June 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Michael Grant - Monster (The Monster Series) #Gone - Book Review

It’s been four years since a meteor hit Perdido Beach and everyone disappeared. Everyone, except the kids trapped in the FAYZ—an invisible dome that was created by an alien virus. Inside the FAYZ, animals began to mutate and teens developed dangerous powers. The terrifying new world was plagued with hunger, lies, and fear of the unknown. 
Now the dome is gone and meteors are hitting earth with an even deadlier virus. Humans will mutate into monsters and the whole world will be exposed. As some teens begin to morph into heroes, they will find that others have become dangerously out of control…and that the world is on the brink of a monstrous battle between good and evil.
This is the first riveting book in the new trilogy (The Monster Series) by Michael Grant. We are introduced to a range of new, exciting and diverse characters whilst also meeting and catching up with the familiar characters from The Gone Series. Michael has integrated both extremely well to create an exciting and compelling story. It really helps to connect the reader with every aspect of the story and can be read as a stand alone novel. 

Readers will be able to easily relate to one, or a number of characters, through the diversity of personalities which brings the universe crashing down explosively. The dome is down and the story has just begun in a fantastic installment that will change the face of the universe and keep you on your fantasy reading toes.

Set four years after the final book in the Gone series. Michael sets about exploring what it means to be a superhero/villain. The characters' superhero powers and reactions do not always make them a hero. One of the characters, through a series of events, soon find themselves becoming the biggest supervillain. It is fascinating to understand and read the characters' motives. It really highlights and promotes the reader to think about the influences and outcomes on people which can change them.

This is a fantastically articulated story that follows a character you might be all too familiar with called "Shade Darby". She has witnessed events that day, with devastating consequences, and vowed never to feel that powerless again. Now, four years later, she gets her hands on part of the meteor that began it all – and that’s when she changes.

This book features a range of sub-plots that leads the reader down many paths. This helps to connect the reader to the previous series by grabbing the attention of older Michael Grant readers as well as new ones. I really enjoyed reading about, and experiencing, the morphing/mutating from the 'ordinary' character to the one with super-human-powers. The transition was a real eye opener in some cases, as the superhero/villain was a much larger than life destructive force and makes you want to run for cover.

The plot line is very definitely driven by action and dynamic battles with a fantastic narrative that might just blow your fantasy socks off. The character's 'monster' forms are a heady mix of emotions and uniqueness. All are combined to create a fast-paced and heart-pounding sci-fi-thriller. It is incredibly well written but would be equally as effective on the big screen. The high-octane action was dispersed throughout the story rather than just at a particular point. As a result, this really enhanced the characters' interactions and developed the depth of the story.

This book is not out until October, 19th 2017 (UK) Egmont (US) Katherine Tegen so this is a very early review. However, I loved this book so much that I wanted to let the monster urges out so I could not wait to review it. This is the best teenage book that I have read this year - Michael Grant has excelled himself. I understand from Michael Grant himself that Book Two is to be called Villain (2018) and Book three will be Hero (2018). However, this is a long way away and could all change.

Michael Grant lives in San Francisco with his wife, Katherine Applegate, and has written over 150 books - with Katherine, as himself, under pseudonyms and as a ghostwriter. He is best know for the international multi-million-selling young adult six-book GONE series: GONE, HUNGER, LIES, PLAGUE, FEAR and LIGHT
Which is your favourite book cover? 
The top one is the UK book cover.
This one underneath is the US book cover. 
I'm very interested to know what you think! 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) June 2017 - US Post

N. D. Wilson - The Door Before (100 Cupboards Prequel) - Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (June 27, 2017) - 

  • ISBN-13: 978-0449816776 

Readers everywhere were transported by the 100 cupboard doors leading to 100 worlds of adventure in the bestselling 100 Cupboards series! Now, whether you're new to the series or can't wait to know where the cupboards came from, you’ll want to open the cupboard door to this action-packed fantasy where friendships are forged, dark forces are challenged, and the adventure begins!

 
Hyacinth Smith can see things that others miss, stop attack dogs from attacking, and grow trees where no trees have grown before. But she’s never had a real home. When her father tells them they’ve inherited a house from their great-aunt, Hyacinth sees trouble brewing. Their great-aunt has been playing with forces beyond her control, using her lightning-tree forest to create doors to other worlds. When one door opens, two boys tumble through . . . bringing with them a battle with the undying witch-queen, Nimiane. Hyacinth, together with the boys, must use her newfound magic and all of her courage to journey straight into the witch’s kingdom in a daring plan to trap evil and kill the immortal.

Frank Cottrell Boyce - Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth - Published by Walden Pond Press (June 20, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0062643629

Award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce returns with another one-of-a-kind story of heart, humor, and finding one’s place in the universe.

Prez knows that the best way to keep track of things is to make a list. That's important when you have a grandfather who is constantly forgetting. And it's even more important when your grandfather can't care for you anymore and you have to go live with a foster family out in the country.

Prez is still learning to fit in at his new home when he answers the door to meet Sputnik—a kid who is more than a little strange. First, he can hear what Prez is thinking. Second, he looks like a dog to everyone except Prez. Third, he can manipulate the laws of space and time. Sputnik, it turns out is an alien, and he's got a mission that requires Prez's help: the Earth has been marked for destruction, and the only way they can stop it is to come up with ten reasons why the planet should be saved.
Thus begins one of the most fun and eventful summers of Prez's life, as he and Sputnik set out on a journey to compile the most important list Prez has ever made—and discover just what makes our world so remarkable.

Corey Ann Haydu - The Someday Suitcase - Published by Katherine Tegen Books (June 27, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0062352750

Readers who loved  The Thing About Jellyfish and Goodbye Stranger will find a mysterious magic and unforgettable friendship in The Someday Suitcase, written by the critically acclaimed author of Rules for Stealing Stars.
Clover and Danny are the kind of best friends who make each other even better. They’re so important to each other that Clover believes they’re symbiotic: her favorite science word, which describes two beings who can’t function without the other. But when Danny comes down with a mysterious illness that won’t go away, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. So Clover decides to take matters into her own hands by making lists—list of Danny’s symptoms, his good days, his bad days. 
As the evidence piles up, only one thing becomes clear: Danny is only better when Clover is around.
Suddenly it feels like time is running out for Clover and Danny to do everything they’ve planned together—to finally see snow, to go on a trip with the suitcase they picked out together. Will science be able to save Danny, or is this the one time when magic can overcome the unthinkable?

Lisa Bunker - Felix Yz - Published by Viking Books for Young Readers (June 6, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0425288504

“If it wasn’t for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means.”
 
When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead. 
 
This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?
 
Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

Jaleigh Johnson - The Quest to the Uncharted Lands - Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 13, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1101933121

From the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonflycomes another magical and thrilling story that takes readers on an exciting new adventure.
 
Stella Glass dreams of exploring worlds beyond her home of Solace, but when her famous parents are sent on a historic mission to the Uncharted Lands, it’s simply too dangerous for her to join them. By order of the king, she is left behind.
 
Missing out on the excitement is one thing, but Stella is devastated at the thought of her parents flying into the unknown. So she takes matters into her own hands. Instead of staying with family as planned, she steals away and—right before takeoff—sneaks aboard the airship.
 
But Stella isn’t the only stowaway.
 
In the cargo bay is a boy who is also desperate to get to the Uncharted Lands. And someone else who’s determined to keep the ship from making it there at all. . . .

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) June 2017 - UK Post Two

Jacob Sager Weinstein - The City of Secret Rivers - Published by Walker Books (1 Jun. 2017) 

ISBN-13: 978-1406368857

An exciting subterranean London adventure, the first in a middle-grade trilogy. Hyacinth Hayward has recently arrived from America and is having difficulty adjusting to her new surroundings, especially being in the sole company of her eccentric mother. Everything feels strange. Very strange. And it gets stranger the day she accidentally unleashes the power of a secret river running through London. To prevent a second Great Fire, Hyacinth needs to retrieve a single, magically charged drop of water from somewhere in the city sewer system. Along the way she encounters an eclectic cast of characters - the shambling, monstrous Saltpetre Men who kidnap her mother, the Toshers who battle for control of magical artefacts and a giant pig with whom she has a tea party. The clock is ticking - will she figure out who to trust?

Stewart Foster - All The Things That Could Go Wrong - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK (29 Jun. 2017) - 

ISBN-13: 978-1471145421

There are two sides to every story
 
Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he’s taking it out on the
nearest and weakest target: Alex.
 Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan
and his gang are waiting for him at school . . .

Then the boys’ mums arrange for them to meet up and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother. Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays – what could possibly go wrong? 

Caleb Krisp (Author), John Kelly (Illustrator) Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket (Ivy Pocket 3) - Published by Bloomsbury Children's (1 Jun. 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1408858721

Our magnificently infuriating heroine is on the very brink of her greatest adventure: bound for London and Prospa House to save Anastasia Radcliff and young Rebecca Butterfield from fates worse than death. But there are difficulties at every turn. The devious Miss Always and her devilish Locks are in hot pursuit. Anastasia is gone, taken by her evil sister-in-law Estelle and hidden in a place no one will ever find her. And worst of all, the Clock Diamond is no longer working, blocking Ivy's route to Prospa. There's a mystery to be unpicked and if anyone can do it, it's Ivy Pocket. After all, she has all the natural instincts of a Russian chess master. 
Ivy Pocket's tumultuous finale is certain to involve breathtaking adventure, bone-shattering courage, and frightful danger. But what price will she have to pay?

Craig A. Thomson - Search for the Sunlight: A Treewood Adventure -  Self Published (18 Jun. 2017) 

ISBN-13: 978-1527210479

The sunlight has mysteriously disappeared. The life-saving tea crops have failed, and a cold grey fog has descended on the land. The great forest is slowly dying… Can four naïve Treewoods (part tree and part human), and a smelly wizard cat called Brian, find the source of the trouble and save the Treewood nation from extinction? Find out as the travellers leave the safety of the forest and embark on an exciting, often dangerous, quest to look for both the missing sunlight and the old astronomer, who set off a hundred years before them and never returned. “Search for the Sunlight” 
www.craigathomson.com

Friday, 23 June 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) June 2017 - UK Post

Emma Carroll - Letters from the Lighthouse - Published by Faber & Faber (1 Jun. 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0571327584

We weren't supposed to be going to the pictures that night. We weren't even meant to be outside, not in a blackout, and definitely not when German bombs had been falling on London all month like pennies from a jar.
February, 1941. After months of bombing raids in London, twelve-year-old Olive Bradshaw and her little brother Cliff are evacuated to the Devon coast. The only person with two spare beds is Mr Ephraim, the local lighthouse keeper. But he's not used to company and he certainly doesn't want any evacuees. 
Desperate to be helpful, Olive becomes his post-girl, carrying secret messages (as she likes to think of the letters) to the villagers. But Olive has a secret of her own. Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she's desperate to discover what happened to her. And when a sneaky peek at a letter reveals a clue, she knows she'll have to break all the rules to find her.

Jennifer Bell The Smoking Hourglass (THE UNCOMMONERS) - Published by Corgi Children's (15 Jun. 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0552572903

 

Following Ivy Sparrow’s discoveries in The Crooked Sixpence, the adventures continue in the second instalment of The Uncommoners trilogy, The Smoking Hourglass.

As soon as Ivy and her brother Seb set foot back in the mysterious underground city of Lundinor, they know that something has changed . . . Where before there were cobbled streets, now the squares and lanes between the city’s enchanted shops are lush with spring blooms – but something dark is stirring just below the surface, and uncommon traders are uneasy. Ivy and Seb have stumbled into a plot that could condemn every uncommoner to a disastrous fate . . . With the help of Valian, their extraordinary friend – and some exceptional uncommon objects – can Ivy and Seb put a stop to the sinister Dirge’s plans?

Jess Butterworth - Running on the Roof of the World - Published by Orion Children's Books (1 Jun. 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1510102088

Join 12-year-old Tash and her best friend Sam in a story of adventure, survival and hope, set in the vivid Himalayan landscape of Tibet and India. Filled with friendship, love and courage, this young girl's thrilling journey to save her parents is an ideal read for children aged 9-12. 
There are two words that are banned in Tibet. Two words that can get you locked in prison without a second thought. I watch the soldiers tramping away and call the words after them. 'Dalai Lama.' 
Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash's parents, she and her best friend Sam must break the rules. They are determined to escape Tibet - and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India. 
And so, with a backpack of Tash's father's mysterious papers and two trusty yaks by their side, their extraordinary journey across the mountains begins.

Shane Hegarty - Hero Rising (Darkmouth, Book 4) - Published by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (29 Jun. 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0007545629

The edge-of-your-seat, monstrously-exciting, laugh-out-loud adventures of the most unfortunate monster-hunter ever to don armour… continue.
Things can’t get any worse. Legends are running riot. Half-hunters are out of control. Darkmouth has been taken away from Finn and Emmie, and Finn’s dad Hugo – proud Legend Hunter – is washing dogs for a living.
But something even more terrifying lurks beneath the surface: an ancient horror threatening both our world and the Infested Side.
So scratch that. Things can get worse. Much worse.
More than ever, Darkmouth is going to need a hero…
Sadly, all it’s got is Finn.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) May 2017 - US Post

Laura Ruby - York: The Shadow Cipher - Published by Walden Pond Press (May 16, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0062306937

“The first book in an exciting new series that's great for fans of steampunk, history, mystery, and magic. Let the puzzles begin!” (Brightly.com)
From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner, Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

Stephanie Burgis - The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart - Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 30, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1681193434

Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family's mountain cave . . . if only they'd let her leave it. Her family thinks she's too young to fly on her own, but she's determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.
But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she's transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she's the fiercest creature in these mountains--and now she's found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she'll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won't she?
A classic fantasy with terrific girl power, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George.

Laurel Snyder - Orphan Island - Published by Walden Pond Press (May 30, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0062443410

"A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true." —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
For readers who loved Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Lois Lowry's The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

Caroline Carlson - The World's Greatest Detective - Published by HarperCollins (May 16, 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-0062368270

  • Caroline Carlson, the author of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, returns with The World’s Greatest Detective, a story of crime, tricks, and hilarity for those who know that sometimes it takes a pair of junior sleuths to solve a slippery case. Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s detective agency, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. Toby’s friend Ivy is the best sleuth around—or at least she thinks so. They both see their chance to prove themselves when the famed Hugh Abernathy announces a contest to choose the World’s Greatest Detective. But when what was supposed to be a game turns into a real-life murder mystery, can Toby and Ivy crack the case?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Children's Middle Grade Book Picks (9-12yrs) May 2017 - UK Post One

Peter Bunzl - Moonlocket (The Cogheart Adventures #2) - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 May 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1474915014

It's hard to escape the secrets from the past.
Storm clouds gather over Lily and Robert's summer when criminal mastermind the Jack of Diamonds appears. For Jack is searching for the mysterious Moonlocket - but that's not the only thing he wants.

Suddenly, dark secrets from Robert's past plunge him into danger. Jack is playing a cruel game that Robert is a part of. Now Lily and Malkin, the mechanical fox, must stay one step ahead before Jack plays his final, deadly card...

David Almond (Author), Alex T Smith (Illustrator) - The Tale of Angelino Brown - Published by Walker Books (4 May 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1406358070

Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. Bert and Betty's friends think he's lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!

But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector. Then there's Basher Malone - big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn't like Angelino. And it looks like he's out to get him...

Geraldine Mccaughrean - Where the World Ends - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 May 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1474921145

Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is... In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Why? Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned to endure storms, starvation and terror. And how can they survive, housed in stone and imprisoned on every side by the ocean?

Bobbie Peers - William Wenton and the Impossible Puzzle - Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (23 May 2017) - ISBN-13: 978-1534404724

Blackthorn Key meets The Da Vinci Code in this award-winning novel about a puzzle-solving genius who is forced to use his skills to face a danger that has been lurking in the background for years. 
Twelve-year-old William Wenton is a puzzle-solving genius. He lives with his family in a quiet Norwegian town. They used to live in England, but eight years ago his family suddenly packed up, moved away, and even changed their last name! Neither of his parents will offer an explanation or tell William why he has to keep his talent for solving codes and puzzles a secret. But then a special exhibit comes to the local museum: the Impossible Puzzle. The experts say it is unsolvable, but William's sure that he can crack it if he gets a chance. 
However, when he does, everything begins to go wrong. Suddenly William is whisked off to a strange school filled with robots and kids whose skills are almost as good as his own. But what's really going on? And what's the secret involving William's grandfather? And is there anyone he can trust?

Friday, 12 May 2017

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Lorraine Gregory - Mold and the Poison Plot - Book Review


He's got a big heart . . . and a nose to match! 
Mold's a bit of a freak. His nose is as big as his body is puny and his mother abandoned him in a bin when he was a mere baby. Who else but the old healer, Aggy, would have taken him in and raised him as her own? But when Aggy is accused of poisoning the King, Mold sets out to clear her name.  
In a thrilling race against time to save Aggy from the hangman's noose, Mold faces hideous, deadly monsters like the Yurg and the Purple Narlo Frog. He finds true friendship in the most unusual - and smelly - of places and must pit his wits and his clever nose against the evil witch Hexaba. 


Lorraine Gregory’s middle-grade ‘Mold and the Poison Plot’ is a fantastic book to read. Co-creator of , she is a fantastic advocate for children's books as her debut book shows passion and sparkle through the narrative.  


This is a great fantasy story that has a big heart and a smelly tale to tell. You will leap into the action from the very first page and will follow your nose into an adventure full of danger and absolute smelly mayhem. Along the way, you will follow the main character, Mold, into a narrative that will make your mind squelch through footsteps of bravery. The plot is full of deceit, danger and some really epic moments that fall straight off the pages into the subconscious mind. 


A great and distinctive new voice can be heard through the lovable character, Mold. The story starts in the settled life of Pellegarno, a fantasy world, that has been delightfully installed into this easy and fun read with utter skill and grace. However, only a few chapters later things go suddenly wrong. Aggy is arrested for poisoning the King and, with nowhere or no-one else to turn to, Mold must find a way to prove her innocence before it’s too late. It soon becomes a story full of unexpected allies and betrayals.  

It was a real pleasure to read this book, especially when struggling to find the time to read. I picked up this book, looked at the fantastic book cover by the talented Mr Tom Mead (
a surreal character designer and fine artist) and was instantly sold. Tom traditionally works with pen drawings on paper or wood, but recently he has started drawing and painting on a much larger scale. He has completed works in Bristol, Brighton, Iceland and Cape Town. 


This is a fantastic start to a promising writing career. It has all the influences based on many hours of reading and the love of books with a good story. I am looking forward to reading much more from this author in the future. Thank you to OUP for sending this book to me to review.