#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.

#Review By Lou Of -Jump! By JG Nolan @JGNolan3 @sergarcreative #RandomTTours #Football #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBook #Jump

Jump!
By JG Nolan
Illustrated By Carina Roberts

Today I am on the blog tour of Jump! by JG Nolan. A book for 8 to 12 year olds about football and overcoming adversity to do what you’re really passionate about. Discover more in the blurb and my review below.

Review

 Set in Scotland, around Glasgow and Clydebank, and features Cathkin Park quite a bit, football is important to Robbie Blair. He’s a huge Celtic fan and wanted to play football so much and had the talent, but breaks so many bones. He meets Jo, whilst in hospital, who knows a thing or two about football as her husband is also a fan. Heartwarming chat takes place.

Back home, he has a friend in Hamish, who misses him around the pitch and at school. Readers will see Robbie overcome adversity. There is also a school trip to an old people’s home, which gets very interesting and also valuable to readers. It reminds children that the elderly were young once and have so many tales to tell. Robbie is told about Hampden and Patsy Gallacher in 1925. This also renews Robbie’s determination to play football again and fight against the odds of what the doctors told him in the hospital. 

This book is one children who are football fans will find fascinating. The storytelling in short chapters, creating  a fast, exciting pace, like a football being kicked, but also with nuances within the chapters, which also have some illustrations and a photograph at the end. It’s a story against adversity with warmth of friendship and determination. There is much to learn within this story as it takes children back in time in footballing history, that will have them immersed and come out at the end knowing more than they may well had from when they began. In the blurb, there is a powerful, energised quote by Joe Heart, Celtic FC “We can all learn from Robbie Blair.” And perhaps we can, including children.

About the Author And Illustrator

 

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JG Nolan was born and raised in a sleepy village in Shropshire and loved writing stories and
playing football as a child.
He has been a teacher for many years, working mainly with children who have had difficult
beginnings in life. He strongly believes in positive thinking and feels most things are achievable if
you put your mind to it.
When his football mad son, Robbie, was much younger, he kept breaking bones and was told by
the doctors that he should never play football again. It was during one of his many lengthy stays
visiting Robbie in the local children’s hospital that the idea for ‘Jump!’ drifted into JG Nolan’s
mind.
JG Nolan began to read the exploits of famous, maverick footballers from the past, to inspire his
son and give him hope. Whilst doing this, he became more and more drawn to the tales of
famous Celtic legends from the 1920s, whose names are still chanted in Parkhead to this day. It
soon became clear to him- his first book would have to be set in Scotland.
JG Nolan’s research led him to discover the iconic, ethereal, Cathkin Park.
After meeting Scottish actor Simon Weir, who has helped preserve the park for many years, the
pieces of the jigsaw fell into place and ‘Jump!’ was born.

When JG Nolan’s son started on his long road to recovery and fitness, his determination to
succeed reached the ears of famous local footballer Joe Hart, then at Manchester City. Joe very
kindly sent Robbie some signed goalkeeper gloves to cheer him up during treatment. Robbie
would eventually follow in Joe’s footsteps and attend the same secondary school in their home
town, Shrewsbury. Years later, after Joe had transferred to Celtic, he was thrilled to be asked to
read ‘Jump!’ and offered to write the foreword. A truly serendipitous chain of events!

Carina Roberts is an award-winning artist and illustrator who loves creating characters and telling
stories. Carina spent her childhood drawing, reading and befriending animals – it was in these
first few years that her dream to be an illustrator was born. She’s been running with it ever since!
She specialises in creating books, particularly for young readers – a lot of her inspiration comes
from the wilds of Wales where she lives. She adores fiction and nonfiction alike – after working
on illustrations for the National Trust in 2020 she is especially keen that her work encourages
more people to go on an adventure
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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.

#Review By Lou of – The Titanic Tunnel By Glen Blackwell @GBlackwellBooks @RamdomTTours #BlogTour #ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #TheTitanic #TheTitanicTunnel

The Titanic Tunnel
By Glen Blackwell 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Suitable for ages 9 to 12, this book sweeps readers into an adventure and back in time onto the Titanic. I am pleased to be closing this blog tour with a review. Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me. Find out more below…

Synopisis

 
Emmie & Jack are on a school trip with a difference. Visiting
Belfast to see where Titanic was built, they step back to 1912 and
discover the great ship itself. All too soon, they find out that the
way home is blocked, and Jack gets dragged off to work by one of
the crew. Who is the mysterious stranger lurking in the shadows,
and can they solve his time riddle to escape from the doomed ship
before it is too late…?

Review

Emmie and Jack are on a school trip to visit The Titanic and museum, all seems perfectly normal until they step in and find themselves transported back in time on an adventure of a lifetime. They land in 1912 and all at sea onboard The Titanic. Jack however, is dragged off, leaving Emmie alone to find him. She also doesn’t anticipate coming across a woman called Mary who also has someone missing. Emmie is acutely aware it is  a race against time to find those who are missing and get off the ship before it sinks. It is full of adventure and adversity, as well as facts embedded within this exciting story that is told through children of present day. It is a great book for 9 to 12 year olds who like adventure,  mystery to solve and history.

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#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.