#Review By Lou of #Middlegrade #book The Boy Who Dared By Rachel Coverdale @RLCoverdale #ChildrensBook #TheBoyWhoDared

The Boy Who Dared
By Rachel Coverdale

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have a review for action/adventure middle grade book – The Boy Who Dared. The next book to The Boy Who Couldn’t. An excellent book to also have at home, in libraries, in school book clubs or to open class discussions with. There are questions at the back of the book to assist such activities. Thanks to Rachel Coverdale for getting in touch again to review this next book in the series. Discover the blurb and review below.

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Blurb

Action adventure story, suitable for 8-12 year-olds

A fun camping trip turns dangerous when James, Greg and Ahmed stumble across a dark secret in the beautiful Welsh wilderness. Separated on a mountainside in the dead of night, the boys must face their greatest fears as they are hunted by a ruthless gang. Can they reunite in time to save a hundred starving dogs – and themselves?

Review

The book re-joins readers with the first book – The Boy Who Couldn’t, although there are hints of what happened previously, so it is fine for readers to start here if they so wish. The dynamics of the relationships between Greg, James and Ahmed. Previously not friends, now things have moved on more positively as apologies have been made. The 3 boys are off on a camping holiday in Wales in scenic countryside amongst so much nature. From here, the boys end up in an adventure and mystery surrounding some farmers and dogs. There are also moments of trepidation as they come up against a gang.
Heroes aren’t always in capes. There are characters children can really get behind in this book.

The character and plot development is terrific and there are some great illustrations too.

Its a book that 8 to 12 year olds can so easily get really engaged in, as many have with ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t’.

By the end, it sets itself up nicely perhaps for another book in this series, which is absolutely worth following. This book isn’t just for Christmas, it’s great for all year round reading!

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#Review by Lou of The Ultimate Guide To Growing Dragons By Andy Shepherd Illustrated By Sara Ogilvie @andyjshepherd @PiccadillyPress #MiddleGrade part of #TheBoyWhoGrewDragons #ChildrensBook series #TheUltimateGuideToGrowingDragons

The Ultimate Guide To Growing Dragons
By Andy Shepherd
Illustrated By Sara Ogilvie

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons is the latest in bestselling series – The Boy Who Grew Dragons series, popular with and great for 7 years old plus  series with adventure, dragons, friendship and nature and more to feed curious minds. Fly down to the blurb and then my review below. I first thank Andy Shepherd for requesting a review from me.

 

Blurb

Did you see it?

A bright fleck of colour, darting into the green. You saw it, didn’t you? I knew you would! Because you’ve got your eyes open.

And now you want to grow dragons too.

Well here’s my guide with all the things I wish I’d known sooner. Of course, what I didn’t realise when I started writing it was how much I still had to learn!

Review

The previous book in the series was going to be the last, but then I guess another dragon grew or all the dragons got together and flew over and whispered in the author’s ears to plant a new idea in her brilliant imagination. This book imparts the secrets of dragons. Real dragons in the forest and sand and more in an engaging plot.

There is the Superhero Squad – Liam, Ted, Tomas, Aura, Kat and Kai, all in different parts of the world, which has Liam working out all the time differences. Each character has something interesting to say to feed curious minds about where they are in the world. It is also great for young gardeners too.
Children will learn that dragons are indeed all around them as the books delve into dragon fruits and more… It’s all written in an exciting, engaging style for children. There are pages set out like collecting cards about the dragons that are with each character that say about the name, the type, physicality, diet special skills, dragonality and special skills. Look out for the warnings too… You’ll also discover where to keep your dragons and so much more such as Polaris all within adventure and friendships.

The illustrations are wildly good fun and there’s a bit at the back of the book for children to write their own guide to growing a dragon.

This book is a terrific addition to this series of books, which I also highly recommend for adventurous, curious children.

Benji and the Gunpowder Plot By Kate Cunningham @BenjiAndTheGunpowderPlot #KateCunningham @reading_riddle @RandomTTours #ChildrensBook #Middlegrade #BonfireNight #GuyFawkesNight

Benji and the Gunpowder Plot
By Kate Cunningham

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Meet several people from history in a fast-paced adventure through time. It is a page-turner! This is perfect for ages 9 to 12 years old. Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review. 

Blurb

Benji hopes that a trip out on Bonfire Night will add excitement to his normally ordinary life.

However, when he accidentally falls down a time hole he has a lot more adventure than he expected. Who are the strange men in the Duck Inn? Who can he trust What is so important about the letter he has been asked to deliver?

Events will take him to the Globe Theatre, down the Thames rapids and into the heart of Parliament.
London in 1605 is darker, dirtier and more dangerous than home, and Benji has no idea how to get back.

Meet Benji Vent in the first adventure of the Time Tumblers series.

Benji is on the biggest adventure of his life, where his decisions will affect the course of history, and he will find out a lot more about the people in his life, including his mysterious father.

Review

As the name suggests, the scene is set for time travelling back to 5th November. Before readers reach chapter 1, there is a cast list of some fictional characters and some who are real and then a quote by William Shakespeare – “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”
Rather atmospheric and  apt for what unfolds. Then readers are thrust into chapter one about a bonfire and join Benji and friends Jacob and Ellen as they recite “Remember, Remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason should ever be forgot” and having a good time. In a turn of events he finds himself stumbling travelling back in time to and suddenly life is very different as he lands in the year 1605.

What readers get from this book is history amongst a great adventure through time and meet many people, including William Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre as they follow Benji through the streets of London in 1605. Some people he meets are nice, but others are rather unsavoury. There are many moments of trepidation, including sword fights. It is a story children can well and truly be immersed in, with illustrations throughout accompanying it. At the back is an Afterword which tells the real facts that are highlighted within the fictional story in an easy to read bullet pointed list. I think books like this are invaluable to children as they get something to learn from that may pique their interest as well as a story. It may be of interest to both those who enjoy fiction and/or non-fiction alike.

About the Author

 

Kate Cunningham

I was a primary teacher in large London primary schools for ten years after having initially worked in a development charity.

Being married to a historian I was constantly discussing the most amazing stories; sometmes large incidents that changed the politcal landscape, but often small personal tales that gave a glimpse of the life of our ancestors. My writing became more and more influenced by these events and the ripples we still feel from them.

My books now reflect that, sometmes directly in the picture books, but more as an influence, showing how people behave when caught up in events like in the pandemic in MARY.

I have three sons — my eldest, Sam, is an illustrator who works with me on the Vlad flea picture book series, and I visit schools (often in a kirtle) and create resources for parents and teachers.

#BookReview By Lou of What The Ladybird Heard At Christmas by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks #JuliaDonaldson @LydiaMonks @@MacmillanKidsUK #ChildrensBook #ChristmasRead #Christmas #WhatTheLadybirdHeard #WhatTheLadybirdHeardAtChristmas

What The Ladybird Heard At Christmas
By Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A delightful seasonal addition to What the Ladybird Heard… series for preschoolers and young primary school aged children. Discover the blurb and my review below. First, thanks to Macmillan Kids for gifting me a copy of the book to review.

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Blurb

Packed full of fun, What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas is a fantastically lively rhyming adventure from the bestselling picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.

In a big old house, the ladybird is visiting her friend the spider for the festive season. But those two bad men, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, are up to no good again. They have a devious plan – to steal the children’s Christmas presents from their stockings! It’s a good thing that the clever little ladybird has overheard their awful plotting, and she has a cunning plan to make sure they don’t get away with it.

The fifth title in the Number One bestselling series from the award-winning team of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, which has been enjoyed by over four million children worldwide.

Enjoy more adventures with the clever little ladybird in What the Ladybird Heard, What the Ladybird Heard Next, What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday and What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside.

Review

This book takes young readers into Christmas with a rhyming story that Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks are synonymous for. Seek out the ladybird on every page and meet a spider and its friends. All is not as it seems, when instead of Santa, as they are expecting, it is 2 burglars. Will Christmas be saved?

The book is short and sweet, with just enough mild trepidation to capture the gaze of young eyes and to enthrall their enthusiasm for a book. This is a series many children will be familiar with, starting with – What The Ladybird Heard. Children delight in trying to find the ladybird, thus using their skills of observation and to gasp a small bit when there’s something bad about to happen amongst, what is rather a cute scene, to find comfort in knowing all is well again in the end. The illustrations are perfect at depicting the words on the page. They are bright, fun and just as engaging as the story itself.

This is a book I highly recommend for Christmas stockings or a pre-Christmas read.

Bodies, Brains and Bogies By Paul Ian Cross, PHD. Illustrated By Steve Brown @DrPaulScience @rararesources #ChildrensNonfiction #STEM #HumanBody #Science #Biology #HumanMind #Blogtour

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bodies, Brains & Bogies
By Paul Ian Cross, PHD
Illustrated By Steve Brown

Thanks to Welbeck Books and Rachel Random Tours for inviting me to review Bodies, Brains & Bogies, which will serve children’s curiosity well, in a fun and informative way. Now, onto the blurb and my review.

Blurb

Bodies, Brains & Bogies

This fantastic title from Paul Ian Cross, the writer of How to Vanquish a Virus, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of everything that’s disgusting, unusual and amazing about the human body. Find out everything about poo, pus and bogies, while learning a whole lot about how our bodies work hard in hundreds of fascinating ways to keep us alive.

With tons of hilarious and informative illustrations, it includes lashings of Paul Ian Cross’s trademark laugh-out-loud humour, in-depth knowledge and infectious optimism. It’s the perfect funny, accessible way to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the human body, but were too grossed-out to ask!

Review

For the curious minds of children who also love gross facts and humour as they learn something new about their bodies.

Bodies, Brains and Bogies, what’s not fun about that for kids? It has humour and pictures mixed in with the facts, so there’s no way kids are going to find this book dry and dull. It’s exciting and intelligent and speaks directly to kids. So, amongst the fun, the author clearly takes things seriously, so children will learn a lot about themselves. There’s everything from how the brain works, to a cake, but not in the sense we instantly think, how vital organs such as the heart work and what they look like, right down to poops and burps and so much more…

Like a quiz? There are also fun quizzes throughout to see what you know and learnt. It’s totally grossed out and is packed full of fascinating facts in short sections and pages, making it easy to focus on.

This is a non fiction book about the human body that I highly recommend for home, libraries and in the classroom.

Mr Nobody By Natalie Gordon @NatalieGord @LoveBooksTour #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBook aged 9 plus #VirtualBlogTour #BlogTour

Mr Nobody
By Natalie Gordon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I have a review to close this virtual book tour of a children’s book that was long-listed in the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition – Mr Nobody. For those who don’t know, Chicken House is a publishing company specialising in great children’s books. Mr Nobody is an immersive read for children aged 9 plus, where they will gain a family to care about for the length of the book and will prompt inquisitive minds to ask questions and will have them exude in empathy and sympathy as this book has the subject of Alzheimer’s in a child friendly plot. There is also humour and friendship through the pages too.

When nine-year-old Katie’s gran comes to live with the family, Katie is forced to share a room with her moody big sister, Lou. They soon discover that Gran has an imaginary, mischievous friend, Mr. Nobody. Before long, stockings are found cooking in the oven and Gran is found wandering the streets in her nightie, singing along to Elvis. As Gran’s actions become even more peculiar, Katie begins to wonder if Mr. Nobody might actually be real. And why do her new friends, Margaret and Hugo, always appear just when she needs help?

Review

Mr Nobody is a friend of gran’s. Children aren’t the only people to have an imaginary friend, sometimes older people, such as gran’s can too. The gran in the book does because she has Alzheimer’s Disease. This book is immersive and has humour as it shows children this all too real disease and the impact it has. Natalie Gordon has tackled the subject well and in a way that is sure to not only pique children’s interest, but also have a little insight, all whilst being entertained with the characters within this family and friend based story.

Young readers follow Katie in this powerful plotted book and she brings great joy to the sadness that her gran brings. Children who have a relative with Alzheimer’s will particularly identify with this book and even if they don’t, they’ll gain a deeper insight.

Running alongside the story about gran are themes of bullying and modern culture too and there is humour to be found along the way.

All the characters are relatable one way or another. It’s a book that many children are sure to connect with.

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