Thursday, 18 November 2021

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle - Round THREE 2021/2022

Welcome to the 12th annual Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle. (Previous winner HEREWe are looking once again to find your favourite book cover for 2021/2022. We do this to support the creative heroes of the children's book world; the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. Please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media. Everyone is welcome to vote and share the FUN with others. 

Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Competition Rules 

There will be five weekly heats; each with Six books to vote for. Although, there will be 7 book covers in the final to vote for as heat winners will make the grand final plus two book covers as the highest runners up. 

Round One Winner: Hannah Gold - The Lost Whale - Book Cover Illustrated by Levi Pinfold

Round Two Winner: Michael Mann - Ghostcloud - Book Cover Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Each week you vote you will be in with a chance to win an exciting prize.  This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token + a book and a bar of chocolate UK only) 

If you are interested all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
  • Leave a comment through this post/poll or #RT Pinned tweet on @Enchantedbooks or do both for a better chance to win. 
  • This poll will end on 24th November 2021 at Midnight (UK). 

Have fun and share with the world through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed).

So here are the Six brilliant book covers to vote for this week: 


BOOK ONE: Tim Tilley - Harklights - Book Cover Illustrated by Tim Tilley - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (13 May 2021) - VOTE HERE


BOOK TWO
: Lucy Strange - The Mermaid in the Millpond - Book Cover Illustrated by Pam Smy - Published by Barrington Stoke (6 Jan. 2022) - VOTE HERE

BOOK THREE: Danny Weston - A Hunter's Moon - Book Cover Illustrated by Amy Cooper -  Published by UCLan Publishing (2 Sept. 2021) -  VOTE HERE 


BOOK FOUR: Richard Pickard - 
The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy - Book Cover Illustrated by Maxine Lee-Mackie - Published by Chicken House (5 Aug. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


BOOK FIVE: Eric Fan - It Fell From The Sky Book Cover Illustrated by Terry Fan - Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books (1 Feb. 2022) - VOTE HERE



BOOK SIX: Alex Mullarky - 
The Sky Beneath the Stone - Book Cover Illustrated by Diana Renjina - Published by Floris Books (24 Feb. 2022) - VOTE HERE


HAPPY VOTING!

Monday, 15 November 2021

Children's Book Picks - November 2021 - US Published Post - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 

Quinn Sosna-Spear - The Thirteenth Hour - Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 2, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534451889 - Hardback 

    Fans of Road Dahl and Neil Gaiman will love this inventive middle-grade fantasy about a girl who uses a family heirloom to travel to fantastical worlds that may be more dangerous than they appear.


    Twelve-year-old Rosemary has been an artist her whole life and especially loves drawing the incredible places from her Aunt Jo’s stories. But illustrating the stories doesn’t mean Rose believes them. And when Aunt Jo gives Rose a pocket watch with instructions on how to use it to access magical dream worlds, Rose just thinks Aunt Jo is being peculiar again.

    While Rose is sleeping, however, she enters a fantastical place where each hour of the pocket watch takes her to a different world. There, Rose befriends a trio of outcasts with special powers and joins their war against the ominous Tall Man.

    When a bully steals Rose’s watch, she can only look on in horror as dream and reality collide and he’s sucked into the Eleventh Hour. Now, Rosemary must gather magic from all twelve dream worlds to rescue the boy who makes her life a living nightmare.

    Lori Adams - AVALINA JONES AND THE EYE OF THE STORM - Published by Spyhop Publishing (November 29, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1737131205 - Paperback 

      Worlds collide for middle-grade readers who will love the fast-paced thrills, colorful characters, secrets, legends, and the interplay of fantasy and reality in Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm. Author Lori Adams expertly delivers a story that is timeless, bringing together elements of sea lore, magic, and adventure. The first book in a seven-book seriesAvalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm, is a romping tale for middle graders who are searching for the next enduring fantasy classic.

      When a young girl learns she is the Last Heir of the legendary pirate Davy Jones, she is whisked away to begin life aboard an enchanted schoolship for Pirate Heirs where danger and excitement awaits. 


      Contemporary kids who happen to be Heirs of the most villainous and celebrated pirates in history. Superstitions, mysteries, curses, secrets, strange ocean creatures, undead pirates, and seafaring legends will thrill middle-grade readers in this rollicking, globe-trotting adventure. 

      Avalina Jones, the Last Heir of the infamous pirate Davy Jones, has never heard of Sea Magic, flying dinghies, Pirate Heir schoolships, phantom islands, undead pirates, or creatures called Half Ones. And she has never understood her strange connection to water. But when a beautiful woman arrives in a swirling waterspout, Avalina's life explodes with more adventures than she can possibly imagine. She takes her rightful place aboard a giant Pirate Heir schoolship teeming with Heirs of the world's most nefarious pirates.

      Raised as a Landlubber, Avalina quickly realizes bizarre and danger are normal aboard Pirate Heir schoolships-food fights back, school supplies giggle or explode in your face. And not everyone can be trusted.

      When Avalina is accused of a terrible crime, she must prove her innocence or risk being banished from the schoolship forever-and this in the middle of a crucial Treasure Hunt!

      Avalina races to unlock secrets of the ship, and makes a dangerous discovery that threatens everyone aboard. With the help of her new friends Charlie, Pippa, and Bummy, Avalina draws closer to the truth, unaware that a deeper, darker fate awaits.



      Alex Foulkes - Rules for Vampires - Published by Aladdin (November 23, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534498358 - Hardback 

      The Nevermoor series meets Hotel Transylvania in this dazzling debut middle-grade adventure set in a world of talking spiders, living forests, and haunted castles about a vampire girl who wants to fit in but first must defeat an evil ghost.


      After one hundred years of being a vampire, it’s time for Eleonora to have her Birthnight. Since Leo’s last rite of passage, her Grimwalk, ended with her losing her right leg and a good deal of her confidence, she’s hoping to redeem herself in the eyes of her mother, the fearsome Lady Sieglinde. All Leo has to do is hunt down and kill her first prey, and she already has the perfect plan. After all, who will miss an orphan from the bleak St. Frieda’s Home for Unwanted Children? 

      But an accidental fire causes more death and destruction than Leo bargained for. Instead of killing one carefully selected victim, she’s created several ghosts from the orphanage residents. And one sinister specter, the Orphanmaster, is poised to terrorize the living residents in a nearby town. To stop him and try to undo some of the mess she’s made, Leo must team up with the orphan ghost Minna. 

      Will Le
      o have the chance to prove herself as a vampire before her Birthnight is over, or will she discover that there are no winners in the battle of undead versus undead?


      John Peragine (Author), Chris O'Brien (Illustrator) - Secrets of the Twilight Djinn Collection: Volume One - Published by 
      Crumblebee Books (November 12, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1737644927 - Paperback 

      In this volume are Max and the Spice Thieves (Book 1) and Max and the Isle of Sanctus (Book 2)
      Book 1- When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas. Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy. Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world. With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows. Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…

      Book 2- In the second book of Secrets of the Twilight Djinn, Max Daybreaker embarks on all-new adventures. Max must battle a Kraken, ride a fire-breathing dragon, and defeat the evil djinn whose powers are growing every day. The stakes are high for Max as he tries to protect his friends from angry sea gods and a vengeful sultan while also saving his mom from a terrible curse! Max must reach the Isle of Sanctus using his unpredictable magic power and foes on all sides before time runs out.

      Tuesday, 9 November 2021

      Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle - Round TWO 2021/2022

      Welcome to the 12th annual Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle. (Previous winner HEREWe are looking once again to find your favourite book cover for 2021/2022. We do this to support the creative heroes of the children's book world; the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. Please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media. Everyone is welcome to vote and share the FUN with others. 

      Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Competition Rules 

      There will be five weekly heats; each with Six books to vote for. Although, there will be 7 book covers in the final to vote for as heat winners will make the grand final plus two book covers as the highest runners up. 

      ROUND ONE WINNER: Hannah Gold - The Lost Whale - Book Cover Illustrated by Levi Pinfold

      Each week you vote you will be in with a chance to win an exciting prize.  This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token + a book of Amy Wilson - Lightning Falls and a bar of chocolate (the UK only) 

      If you are interested all you need to do is:
      • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
      • Leave a comment through this post/poll or #RT Pinned tweet on @Enchantedbooks or do both for a better chance to win. 
      • This poll will end on 16th November 2021 at Midnight (UK). 

      Have fun and share with the world through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed).

      So here are the Six brilliant book covers to vote for this week: 



      BOOK ONE: Joe Clarke - Libby and the Parisian Puzzle - Book Cover Illustrated by Becka Moor - Published by Firefly Press Ltd (3 Mar. 2022) - VOTE HERE

      BOOK TWO: Lucy Hope - Fledgling - Book Cover Illustrated by David Dean  - Published by Nosy Crow Ltd (4 Nov. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


      BOOK THREE: Phil Hickes - The Bewitching of Aveline Jones (Bk 2) - Book Cover Illustrated by Keith Robinson - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (16 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE


      BOOK FOUR: Richard Lambert - Shadow Town - Book Cover Illustrated by Holly Ovenden - Published by Everything with Words (21 Oct. 2021)- VOTE HERE

      BOOK FIVE: Michael Mann - Ghostcloud - Book Cover Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat - Published by Hodder Children's Books (7 Oct. 2021) - VOTE HERE


      BOOK SIX: Chris Priestley - Freeze - Book Cover Illustrated by Chris Priestley - Published by Barrington Stoke (2 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE 

      Monday, 8 November 2021

      Children's Book Picks November 2021 - UK Post One - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

       

      Graham Whitlock -  The Crystal Palace Chronicles Book 1: Star of Nimrod  - Published by Grass Roots Productions Ltd (4 Nov. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1739980429 - Paperback 

      WHAT IF THE PAST BECAME YOUR FUTURE? Join teenager Joe on a rollercoaster adventure travelling back in time to the heyday of Victorian Crystal Palace.

      Joe's world is turned upside down when he discovers a shattered compass among the brambles where the Crystal Palace once stood and travels through time back to 1888.

      With help from the teenage H. G. Wells and Samuel Coleridge Taylor, daredevil Iris Blondin, Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of the Gypsies, Joe must foil dangerous diamond thieves to uncover dark secrets about the 'People's Palace'. Standing on boundaries between worlds, its mysterious secrets are tied to the fate of his family.

      Will Joe be trapped in the past with his new friends, find a way to return to his family or can he somehow have both?

      Vivian French - The Runaways of Haddington Hall - Published by Walker Books (4 Nov. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1406387537 - Paperback 

      A high octane, high drama romp, following the adventures of Victorian laundry maid Minnie O'Sullivan and her unforgettable band of friends.

      After a series of misfortunes, Minnie O’Sullivan is whisked away to Haddington Hall: a nightmarish home for wayward girls. Bad becomes worse when the hall’s ruthless founder, Mrs Haddington, takes an instant dislike to brave, determined Minnie, and she’s in danger of losing everything… But Minnie has never backed down from a fight in her life, and she’s not about to start now! Irresistible characters and a compulsive plot with twists aplenty; Vivian French conjures up the very spirit of Dickensian England in a wonderful new novel for middle-grade readers.

      Ross Montgomery - The Chime Seekers - Published by Walker Books (4 Nov. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1406391190 - Paperback 

      Step into a world of faerie tricks and hidden danger...

      When an evil faerie steals Yanni’s baby sister and swaps her for a changeling, Yanni is swept into a dangerous race against time to get her back. 

      For faeries delight in tricks and rescuing her won’t be easy. With the help of his cousin, Amy, and the reluctant changeling, Yanni must travel to goblin palaces and battle-swept oceans, discovering ancient treasures and secrets along the way. 

      Yanni will need every drop of courage and even a few tricks of his own, if he’s to outwit the faerie and save his sister…

      Ross Montgomery brings the magical world of British folklore to life in this contemporary fantasy novelBursting with Ross's trademark charm, humour and heart, and with echoes of David Bowie's Labyrinth.

      Lucy Strange - Sisters of the Lost Marsh - Published by Chicken House (4 Nov. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1913322373 - Paperback 

      Life is hard for Willa, Grace and Freya, and their three younger sisters. Six motherless girls working a farm, living in fear of their cruel father and the superstition that obsesses him - The Curse of Six Daughters. 

      With the arrival of the mysterious Full Moon Fayre, there's a chance for the eldest girls to steal a moment's fun, but the day the fayre moves on, Grace vanishes. 

      Willa goes after her, following a trail that leads into the dangerous Lost Marsh, where it is said a will-o'-the-wisp lures lost souls into the dark waters of the mire. If Willa is to survive and reunite her family, she will need to unravel the secrets her father has kept hidden, and face her own deepest fears ...

      Monday, 1 November 2021

      Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle - Round One 2021/2022

      Welcome to the 12th annual Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle. (Previous winner HEREWe are looking once again to find your favourite book cover for 2021/2022. We do this to support the creative heroes of the children's book world; the illustrators and the creative teams behind all the books we love. Please share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers on social media. Everyone is welcome to vote and share the FUN with others. 

      Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover Competition Rules 

      There will be five weekly heats; each with Six books to vote for. Although, there will be 7 book covers in the final to vote for as heat winners will make the grand final plus two book covers as the highest runners up. 

      Each week you vote you will be in with a chance to win an exciting prize.  This week's prize is a £10 National Book Token + a book and a bar of chocolate (the UK only) 

      If you are interested all you need to do is:
      • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
      • Leave a comment through this post/poll or #RT Pinned tweet on @Enchantedbooks or do both for a better chance to win. 
      • This poll will end on 7th November 2021 at 12am (UK). 

      Have fun and share with the world through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed).

      So here are the Six brilliant book covers to vote for this week: 


      BOOK ONE: Kiran Millwood Hargrave - Julia and the Shark - Book Cover Illustrated by Tom de Freston - Published by Orion Children's Books (2 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


      BOOK TWO: Hannah Gold - The Lost Whale - Book Cover Illustrated by Levi Pinfold - Published by 
      HarperCollins Children’s Books (3 Mar. 2022) - VOTE HERE

      BOOK THREE: Sandro Bassi - Alien Nation - Book Cover Illustrated by Sandro Bassi - Published by Levine Querido (15 April 2021) - VOTE HERE 


      BOOK FOUR: Nicola Davies - The Song That Sings Us - Book Cover Illustrated by Jackie Morris - Published by 
      Firefly Press Ltd (14 Oct. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


      BOOK FIVE: James Mayhew - Once Upon a Tune: Stories from The Orchestra - Book Cover Illustrated by James Mayhew - Published by Otter-Barry Books (9 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE

      BOOK SIX: Pádraig Kenny - The Monsters of Rookhaven - Book Cover Illustrated by Edward Bettison - Published by Macmillan Children's Books (30 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE


      Wednesday, 27 October 2021

      Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Fantastic Halloween Spooktacular Kids Book Reads 2021

       

      Phil Hickes (Author), Keith Robinson (Illustrator) - The Bewitching of Aveline Jones: BK 2 - Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd (16 Sept. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1474972154 - Paperback 

      Turn on your torches and join Aveline Jones! Aveline is thrilled when she discovers that the holiday cottage her mum has rented for the summer is beside a stone circle. Thousands of years old, the local villagers refer to the ancient structure as the Witch Stones, and Aveline cannot wait to learn more about them. Then Aveline meets Hazel. Impossibly cool, mysterious yet friendly, Aveline soon falls under Hazel's spell. In fact, Hazel is quite unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before, but she can't work out why. Will Aveline discover the truth about Hazel, before it's too late? The second in a deliciously spine-tingling, spooky series, where mysteries are always solved, spirits are always laid to rest, and everybody gets to bed on time.


      Pádraig Kenny (Author), Edward Bettison (Illustrator) - The Monsters of Rookhaven - Published by 
      Macmillan Children's Books (30 Sept. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529031485 - Hardback 
      Sometimes the monsters take us. Sometimes we become the monsters.
      Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world.

      But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren't necessarily the ones you can see.

      A thought-provoking, chilling and beautifully written novel, Pádraig Kenny's The Monsters of Rookhhaven, stunningly illustrated by Edward Bettison, explores difference and empathy through the eyes of characters you won't want to let go.



      Chris Priestley - Freeze - Published by Barrington Stoke (2 Sept. 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1781129838 Paperback 

      When Maya and her classmates are asked to write a creepy story with a winter theme, they come up with some brilliant ideas. Rising floodwaters uncover long-buried bodies and ghostly children take to the ice on a frozen canal. But as each of the stories is read out in class, Maya grows more and more uncomfortable. She features in each of her friends’ creepy tales and they start to feel a little too real. Finally, when a mysterious new girl stands up to read the last story of the day, the light outside dims and it starts to snow. The classroom starts to freeze but everyone is trapped. Can Maya stop the story before the nightmare comes true?

      Alex Foulkes (Author), Sara Ogilvie (Illustrator) - Rules of Vampires - Published by 
      Simon & Schuster Children's UK (16 Sept. 2021) - 
      ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1471199554 - Paperback 
      There are highs and lows to being a vampire. On one claw, you get cool powers like beastly strength and hypnotism and the ability to GRIMWALK.  On the other claw, however, vampires are bound by the Vampiric Laws: rules to protect the balance between the worlds of the Living and the Undead.  And unfortunately, 11-year-old Leo has just forgotten rule number one . . . The Rules for Vampires don't tell you what to do when you make a ghostly enemy, or accidentally restart an ancient war.  But Leo and her very unusual family are more than up to the job.

      A monstrously funny and devilishly dark new adventure from debut talent Alex Foulkes, illustrated throughout by the award-winning Sara Ogilvie, Rules for Vampires is the series that fans of Lemony Snickett and Skulduggery Pleasant will devour for breakfast.

      Monday, 25 October 2021

      Michael Mann - Ghostcloud - Interview (Q&A) - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books #11

           


      We are coming to the end of our brilliant debut author interview series. I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the authors for the time they gave providing some really insightful answers. This week we are finishing with an amazing interview - it's a great contender for a good Halloween read. Ghostcloud is the debut book by Michael Mann and was recently published by Hodder Children's Books on 7th October 2021. It's a lovely hardback with a fantastic visual appeal. It could be a contender for this year's annual book cover wars, what do you think? 

      Without further ado, let's find out more about the author and their book in this Q&A. Please support all our debut authors by buying their books. Here is a list of all the other INTERVIEWS we have covered which you can check out HERE. Thanks for reading and enjoy your day! 

      1. How would you promote or explain the story behind your book in just 50 words?
      Ghostcloud is a magical adventure about 12-year-old Luke, who shovels coal beneath a power station in a reimagined London, hoping to earn his freedom. One day, Luke meets a mysterious ghost-girl, who offers him another way out, drawing him into a whirlwind adventure, featuring ghosts, the smog and the skies over London.
      1. What are you looking forward to most once your debut book has been published?

      Celebrating with all my friends in a park with some bubbly (and, perhaps, taking a break from Twitter!)

      1. What inspired you to write Ghostcloud?

      My grandad was a coal-miner in Yorkshire, called Luke, so that must have been a factor. The kids I teach constantly inspire me. But a big one, I suppose, has to be the sky, I hope that after reading the book kids do look at it a little differently. 


      This is because a big idea in the book is that when you see a shape in the clouds– whether it’s a horse or skull or whatever – that it might just be watching you back. In the book, Luke visits this ‘Ghostcloud’ world and learns to do the things these ghosts can: he learns to ride the clouds, bend their shape to his will, fire lightning and make it rain. And I hope that’s exciting for kids – that there’s a whole new world, above our heads, waiting to be discovered.

      1. You won your first writing competition at school-aged ten. What have you learned since then that has helped you to write this book?

      Some practical things like cutting back on adverbs. Some subtle things – like how to put a bit more of my heritage into my work. I’ve even had to unlearn some things – it turns out it is allowed (and fun) to start sentences with ‘But’!


      Most of all I learned that you must write for yourself and not worry about others. Books are so subjective – what one person loves, another one hates – if you try to please everyone, it’s impossible. Start with enjoying it yourself, then anything else is a bonus. 

      1. How do you encourage aspiring young writers who would like to become published authors in the future?

      I know lots of authors who got published on their third or fourth book, so my advice would be keep writing, and write to the end. You learn so much from finishing a story.


      I’d also say, while you shouldn’t worry whether everyone will like it, feedback from the right people is definitely useful. I found courses invaluable for building up a network of writers and tutors who I trust, and who gave feedback sensitively and thoughtfully.  

      1. How important is getting children into reading for you? 

      It’s everything to me. I usually teach 9-year-olds, and some kids are already going off books – and it breaks my heart! But I also believe that it’s never too late: the right book, at the right time, and you can get you back into it.


      Books open up worlds. They’ve taught me so much about the human experience. They’re also an escape and a refuge when times are tough. Every child (and every adult) needs that from time to time.

      1. Who did you share your book with prior to it being published and what kind of feedback did you get? 

      My first draft I shared with my mum and she didn’t comment, which was clearly a bad sign, because she’s one of those people who is lovely about everything. A course tutor also queried the pace and voice. I didn’t take the hint, though, I thought it was well-written, so I sent it to an editor (at Lighthouse Literary) who gave invaluable specifics on what needed to change.


      I then started again, with a completely different tone and plot, while on course at CityLit and then Curtis Brown – and this time it was working. I had feedback from the tutors and coursemates (some who kindly read the whole finished manuscript before submitting) and that was invaluable. 

      1. What is the key message you would like readers to take from your book and how important is that to you?
      Can I pick two!? 

      One is that you don’t have to feel brave, to do brave things. Often all you need to do is keep going, one step at a time. ‘It’s not over till it’s over’ as Ghostcloud’s hero Luke says.

      Secondly, there’s a message that it’s ok to be halfway, to be a ‘work in progress’. I’m half-Indian, half-white, and as a kid, I often felt I wasn’t one thing properly. Luke feels the same. But through the course of the book, he and many of the other characters, who don’t fit the categories in some way or another, grow to accept the ‘in-between’ and see it’s strength.

      1. How many bookshelves do you have in your home and, more importantly, what are your most treasured or favourite books that we would find sitting on them?

      My partner hates clutter so I don’t have half as many as I’d like, but at least twice as many as he’d like. My most treasured books, hmm, you’d have all the Roald Dahls, all the TinTins, John Wyndhams, Phillip K Dicks, Neil Gaimans, Jonathan Strouds, David Eddings, Julian Mays, Vikram Seths and at least two copies of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. (And a ton more children’s books – Holes by Louis Sachar, Wolves of Willhoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, and I could go on!)


      10. If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing/writing process, or books what would they be?


      I ask Piers Torday questions all the time – he’s been so wise and helpful to me on the process – as have many other authors, like Vashti Hardy, Ross Montgomery. 


      But hmm, perhaps, I’d ask Roald Dahl about the Witches – it’s such a fun, terrifying, strange book, with these huge stretches of mesmerising monologues from the grandma about witches, all building up to that epic scene with the Grand High Witch. I love it, but don’t know how he did it.


      Then I’d probably ask Tolstoy how he gets his characters are so real, and somehow (at least for me) to capture the whole human experience. Even a drop of that and I’d be happy.


      Then I just finished The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud – and it transported me away – and was plotted ever so perfectly. So I’d just ask him if he wanted to go for a coffee, so I could tell him how much I loved it.




      Thursday, 21 October 2021

      Lenny Henry (Author), Keenon Ferrell (Illustrator) - The Boy With Wings - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

      Actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry has written a children's book. The Boy With Wings was published by MacMillan Children's Books on the 14th October 2021. The book has a personal meaning as he wanted to create characters that young children could identify with as this was something he found difficult as a child. As an avid young reader, he often wanted to go on a fantasy journey with a character that looked and felt like him. It’s sad to think that the young Lenny Henry, and of course many other children, have not found this in the characters they’ve been reading. This must have impacted on their engagement with and opportunities to fully immerse in stories because of this. Therefore, we need to make sure that current literature for children doesn't continue to exclude and preclude children but to ensure that there they have a rich diversity to ensure stories are a brilliant place for every reader.  

      In this rocket-fuelled adventure, I believe he has nailed every aspect he has set out to do. It starts out with an ordinary kid, Tunde, who is surrounded by characters that most readers will be able to relate to. The book covers subjects of loneliness, friendship and bullying whilst wrapping the plot up with intelligent and fitting humour. This is something that only a great comedian can pull off and he does so with style. The story is imaginative and involves everyday family and school life but it also ventures into a warp-speed fantasy mission about saving the world from a devastating alien war. 

      The book is spectacular in that it has a great message, a quirky plotline and lots of stuff that both kids and adults will relate to as the story works on so many levels. There are different interpretations of the narrative through the marvellous black and white illustrations by Keenon Ferrell. There is also an added bonus of a small illustrative comic book included at the back of the book which enhances the creative experience. This has been produced by the wonderful comic creator, Mark Buckingham. 

      The book is emotional and thought-provoking. It’s a booster breeze with a winged superhero who runs faster than Usain Bolt, jumps higher than Michael Jordan and scores better goals than Marcus Rashford. It’s a fast-paced adventure with video game-like qualities that will have you immersed with all the baked treats of a Masterchef getting the ingredients wrong. Watch out for the magpies as they have very sharp beaks and the flying feline cats. What more can you want from a read?

      This book is a feast for the senses and one of the best books of the year. Innit? A modern marvel for all the family. Grab a copy and read it today! 

       



      Sunday, 17 October 2021

      Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Children's Book Picks - October 2021 - US Published Post

       

      Anne Ursu - The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy - Published by  Walden Pond Press (October 12, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062275127 - Hardback 

      From the acclaimed author of The Real Boy and The Lost Girl comes a wondrous and provocative fantasy about a kingdom beset by monsters, a mysterious school, and a girl caught in between them.

      If no one notices Marya Lupu, is likely because of her brother, Luka. And that’s because of what everyone knows: that Luka is destined to become a sorcerer.

      The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city of Illyria, but that doesn’t matter. Every young boy born in in the kingdom holds the potential for the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying force known only as the Dread. 

      For all the hopes the family has for Luka, no one has any for Marya, who can never seem to do anything right. But even so, no one is prepared for the day that the sorcerers finally arrive to test Luka for magical ability, and Marya makes a terrible mistake. Nor the day after, when the Lupus receive a letter from a place called Dragomir Academy—a mysterious school for wayward young girls. Girls like Marya.

      Soon she is a hundred miles from home, in a strange and unfamiliar place, surrounded by girls she’s never met. Dragomir Academy promises Marya and her classmates a chance to make something of themselves in service to one of the country’s powerful sorcerers. But as they learn how to fit into a world with no place for them, they begin to discover things about the magic the men of their country wield, as well as the Dread itself—things that threaten the precarious balance upon which Illyria is built. Visit Anne online at www.anneursu.com



      Mindy Thompson - The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams - Published by Viking Books for Young Readers (October 26, 2021) -  ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593110379 - Hardback 
      This moving story about a magical bookstore explores the way war can shape a family and is perfect for book lovers everywhere, especially fans of Pages & Co., Pax, and Wolf Hollow.

      It’s 1944 Sutton, NY, and Poppy’s family owns and runs, Rhyme and Reason, a magical bookshop that caters to people from all different places and time periods. Though her world is ravaged by World War II, customers hail from the past and the future, infusing the shop with a delightful mix of ideas and experiences.
       
      Poppy dreams of someday becoming shopkeeper like her father, though her older brother, Al, is technically next in line for the job. She knows all of the rules handed down from one generation of Bookseller to the next, especially their most important one: shopkeepers must never use the magic for themselves.
       
      But then Al’s best friend is killed in the war and her brother wants to use the magic of the shop to save him. With her father in the hospital suffering from a mysterious illness, the only one standing between Al and the bookstore is Poppy. Caught between her love for her brother and loyalty to her family, she knows her brother’s actions could have devastating consequences that reach far beyond the bookshop as an insidious, growing Darkness looms. This decision is bigger than Poppy ever dreamed, and the fate of the bookshops hangs in the balance.
      Visit Mindy online at www.mindythompson.com


      Lori R. Snyder - The Circus at the End of the Sea - Published by HarperCollins (October 19, 2021) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063047105 - Hardback 

      A vibrant and enchanting debut novel about an orphan girl who discovers a magical circus, perfect for fans of Kelly Barnhill and Rebecca Stead!

      Maddy Adriana knows that magic is real. All her life, her heart has pulled her towards things too perfect to be ordinary. One day, that tug leads her to a magical street circus, hidden in plain sight among the canals and boardwalks of Venice Beach.

      For the first time in Maddy’s life, she finally feels like she belongs. But the circus is in grave danger. Maddy will need to confront the frightening side of magic, as well as her own deepest fears, if she’s to have any hope of saving the place she dreams of calling home.

      This unforgettable debut shows readers the magic of following your heart and finding where you belong. Visit Lori online at www.lorirsnyderauthor.com



      • Heather Fawcett - The Language of Ghosts - Published by Balzer + Bray (October 5, 2021)  - ISBN-13: 978-0062854551 - Paperback 

        The Penderwicks meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this thrilling middle grade fantasy adventure about a trio of royal siblings who unlock a long-forgotten magical language in their bid to reclaim their stolen throne—from Ember and the Ice Dragons author Heather Fawcett. Perfect for fans of Kelly Barnhill and Robert Beatty.

        Forced into exile on an enchanted, moving island, ex-princess Noa Marchena has two missions: reclaim her family’s stolen throne and ensure that the dark powers her older brother, Julian, possesses don’t go to his head in the process. But between babysitting her annoying little sister, Mite, and keeping an eye on the cake-loving sea monster that guards the moving island, Noa has her hands full.

        When the siblings learn that their enemies are searching for a weapon capable of defeating Julian—whose legendary spell weaving is feared throughout the kingdom—once and for all, they vow to get to it first. To everyone’s surprise, the key to victory turns out to be a long-lost magical language—and only Noa can speak it.

        But what if by helping her brother, Noa ends up losing him? 


        Visit Heather online at www.heatherfawcettbooks.com.