Saturday, 6 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, JK Rowling and John Tiffany

The arrival of this book had been long-anticipated in our house. The excitement built as the date got closer. There was, however, a degree of nervousness based around the fact that the book is actually a script... and also the concern that the story might not live up to the whole Harry Potter legend!

We should not have worried.  Reading a script was actually quite fun... I could imagine the action taking place on a stage... and now I want to see the play!

And as for the story... well it was a clever mix of the old and the new.  Some may say it is a cynical attempt to make money, but I don't care about that!!  The story uses the Time-Turner to take us back to a number of much-loved moments in Harry's journey, whilst weaving in a clever story using the next generation of Potters, Weasleys and Malfoys. 

It was fantastic to be back in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I shall be reading the book again as soon as I can!

Maze Runner by James Dashner (senior fiction)

This is a full-on, take-no-prisoners read.  The action starts on Page 1 and doesn't stop... you just want to keep reading to see what happens next. 

Thomas arrives in The Glade in a metal box.  He has no idea where he came from, or what is happening to him.  The Glade is populated by boys and is surrounded by a maze which is inhabited by the gruesome Grievers. Runners head off into the maze every day to see if they can find a way out, but the maze is not a constant entity and it keeps changing. 

This is a freaky read, which really put me on edge. Highly recommended for fans of something a little edgier. 

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Road to Ratenburg by Joy Cowley (general fiction)

Spinnaker Rat and his family are forced to leave their comfortable home in a block  of flats. 
They decide that they are going to head for the fabled rat haven of Ratenburg, which  was allegedly set up by the rat friendly humming been - the piper of Hamlin

Their journey sees them trying to outwit vicious dogs,avoid rat traps, and dodge sharp-beaked hawks.
The adventures test their character and helps them grow bonds between each other. 

In fact, they find out that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (general fiction)

Design and Illustration :

This is one of the funniest books I have read in a while... probably mainly because it features evil librarians as the main enemy!

Alcatraz Smedry thinks he is an orphan and has spent his life being moved between foster homes, after each set of foster parents becomes fed up with his destructive personality.  What Alcatraz doesn't realise is that his propensity for breaking things is actually a Talent... And a Talent that he will need to help foil the evil librarians as they embark on their wicked plan to achieve world domination. 

This is a great fun read, which would appeal to anyone who has a quirky sense of humour...

Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine (Year 8 only)

Fire Colour One

Iris is one troubled teenage girl.  Her father abandoned her as a young child and she has been brought up by her selfish mother and her money-grabbing boyfriend. 

She finds her solace in lighting fires, and her best friend Thurston, who is another lost soul.

When Iris' mother (Hannah) learns that Ernest, Iris' father, is dying, she drags her dysfunctional family across the Atlantic to see what she can make out of his death.  

Ernest has a houseful of priceless art and Hannah is determined that she is going to inherit the lot.  But whilst Ernest is weak and on his last legs, he is NOT helpless and he is determined that he is going to look after the daughter who he lost all those years ago. 

This is an amazing read - sad and introspective in many ways, but also funny and uplifting...

Friday, 22 July 2016

Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson (general fiction)

Rent a Bridesmaid
Illustration by Nick Sharratt

Tilly and Matty are best friends... but they are complete opposites. Matty is a tomboy while Tilly loves all things pink and frilly. When Matty is asked to be a bridesmaid - and wear a cupcake pink dress - she is mortified.  Tilly, on the other hand, is extremely jealous and is desperate to be a bridesmaid herself.  Unfortunately, she has no one to bridesmaid for!

So, when Matty gifts the hated dress to Tilly, Tilly comes up with a plan... she will rent herself out as a bridesmaid to couples in need.  Much to her dad's surprise, and horror, her ad pays dividends and she becomes quite the hit around town. However, there is one wedding that Tilly is desperate to attend... and that is her mum and dad's. Sadly, however, her mum left years earlier and has very little to do with Tilly and her dad. 

As usual, Jacqueline Wilson has come up with a funny, yet moving, story which is easy to read, and yet which deals with some tricky issues.  

I would highly recommend this...

Monday, 18 July 2016

Mr Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein (general fiction)

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

This is the fun, and a bit thought provoking, sequel to Escape From Mr Lemoncello's Library. It is more than just an adventure story... it is an interactive experience.

Kyle and his teammates have returned, but this time they are competing against teams from across the US in a Library Olympics! Will it be fun? "Hello? It's a Lemoncello!!"

But something strange is going on - books are going missing. Is someone trying to censor what the kids are reading? In between figuring out the tricky challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

There is a bit of a Willy Wonka feel to this fun read.