Timothy Mean and the Time Machine By William A.E. Ford – Go on a Cool Interactive Time Travelling Adventure @williamaeford @marcelo_cinica #kidslit #Review #publishers #libraries #school

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine
By William A.E. Ford
Illustrated by Marcelo Simonetti
Rating: 4.5 stars 4.5 stars

About the Author


William Ford Author picWilliam has always had a passion for books, writing and story-telling.  William’s favourite way to end a cosy evening is to spend time dreaming up and reading bed-time stories to his five wonderful children.

Just one of his many stories, ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ was inspired by the spark of his children’s colourful imaginations as they tirelessly created unique, laughter filled days from even the most mundane, everyday objects and situations!

Born in England, William  currently lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife Silje and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ is William’s first published work and he plans to publish more books shortly.

William Ford Cover


With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible! Join Timothy on a magical rhyming adventure as he skips through time and pranks with pirates, gets daring with dragons, and even teases a T-Rex.

“It’s Monday, Hip, hip hooray!
Where shall we travel in time today?”

With Timothy Mean, every day is a rhyme in time


This book rhymes perfectly well. Travelling with Timothy Mean is so much fun! I actually had fun myself reading it to some children, who also had lots of fun. Their verdict was “It’s Great!!” So much so that reading it once just wasn’t enough.

Each page is very well illustrated and they all fit into the modern tastes of children in-terms of design, which I was impressed by as they look almost film book like in style. The illustrations are full of life and fun and go perfectly along with the words. The words themselves rhyme exceptionally well and have an excellent rhythm to them.

There is lots to feed children’s imaginations from creating a time machine to travelling in it to meet a viking ship, dinosaurs, his parents when they were children at school, the first moon landing, a dragon and knights, a pirate ship and finally into the future, before returning home.


The story takes place during the course of a week and everyday is clear and exciting! When I read it to children I could easily get them to join in and engage. They named the days as we went along, joined in enthusiastically with the hip, hip hoorays and other sentences that are repeated throughout the book, so in linguistic terms and communication terms, it is a book that is great for improving this too.
Each time the red button is pressed to go travelling through time and although it does not say what the sound made, the children decided, without prompting or questioning, it was “bing”, so they too were already creating their own element of fun and interaction with the book. There’s a lot of age appropriate humour throughout this time travelling adventure. It’s a book that children can really have a good time with.

The book is entirely age appropriate and children get to see different things, learn a bit, but mostly have lots of fun too. There’s plenty within the words and pictures to open up further conversations about what the children are seeing, to further their knowledge and feed further into their imaginations. I also love the layout of the entire book. It doesn’t look too daunting and it can be read to children or they can read it themselves and have lots of fun!

There’s a small and it is small observation within the illustrations, is that there isn’t always a visible picture of the red button, although it is mentioned each appropriate moment within the text, otherwise it would be a full five stars.

This book would be excellent for any home, nursery, classroom and library. This is a book for children who love books that rhyme, love adventure and enjoy authors such as Julia Donaldson.

This is an excellent debut book with fun and style with excellent writing from William A.E. Ford. It’s been created and written like he has been writing for longer and I hope there are more to come. It really is worth checking out!

William Ford VikingWilliam Ford Space

William Ford Dragon

Title: Timothy Mean and The Time Machine
Author: William A.E. Ford
Illustrator: Marcelo Simonetti
ISBN Number: 978-1-7307-5807-2
Main Points of Purchase: Amazon and Amazon Kindle



A Review of Princess Poppy – Please, Please Save The Bees! – An environmentally conscious book for kids By Janey Louise Jones @janeypoppyjones @Jennie Poh @Zoologist_Jess #EdenCooper #Cbeebies #PoppyPrincess #Kidslit #Reading #Review

Princess Poppy
By Janey Louise Jones
with Jennie Poh
Rating: 4 stars ****

About the Author

janey louise jones author
Janey Louise Jones has been writing the Princess Poppy series for fifteen years. She lives in Edinburgh. She has three sons.


In this book, join Poppy and her friends as they discover why the bees have

gone missing from Honeypot Hill. Without the bees there will be no more
delicious strawberries, tomatoes, peas or honey treats. What can Princess
Poppy do to save the bees?
Follow the adventures of Princess Poppy and discover nature with her!

Publication date is 7th February. Books can be pre-ordered now. See below for my “Main Purchase Point” element.

princess poppy book


Readers may know Princess Poppy from previous titles such as Princess Poppy: Baby Twins or Princess Poppy: Twinkletoes and many others. Princess Poppy has now been given a completely new lease of life by her author Janey Louise Jones and in great style, that is modern in its content and yet still in-keeping in the character that kids know and love. Princess Poppy is now an advocate, activist and junior environmentalist. She is a character that now can be a real source of inspiration and one that children can really build on in their own aspirations as they learn and explore with her in an informal, relaxed way. This book has a clear environmental and science themes to it. The interesting and different thing about this book is that it is a children’s fictional book with big credentials. It is endorsed by Environmental Education Consultant – Paul Lawston and by Head of Nature and Biodiversity for Scottish Government – Hugh Dignon. This book also has a quote given by Dr. Jess French – as seen on Cbeebies channel.

I have to mention the size of the book is excellent for kids to handle and for any teacher and librarian to use for a class or group of children. It is also great for bedtime or quiet time stories at home too. It’s medium in size and is bold with large pictures inside, making it ideal for any group storytime as everyone will be able to see with consummate ease. The illustrations are well conceived, in-line with the text and there is a lovely map at the beginning of the book of where Poppy Princess lives, which is an excellent element. Children of all ages love maps. There is also lots of room for excellent interactivity from counting different creatures to opening discussions about the importance of bees to having fun with a dance to taking the book much further and actually following some of the ideas of the book of having a bee trail and planting seeds. This book has plenty of scope in developing ideas and the imaginations of children and teaching them about science and the environment in an age-appropriate manner.

The story begins with Princess Poppy and her friend Honey visiting their grandpa in the summer to gather fruit. Already there is dialogue there to capture children’s attention.
All three become concerned about the size of the soft fruits and the decreased amount and their attention turns to the lack of bees. As the story moves on, there is talk of both bumblebees and honeybees vanishing. What this serious and timely topic is coupled with is some light-hearted fun too. There’s also talk of a summer fair. The book has plenty that is relatable to children.

Children will be led onwards with Princess Poppy and her friend Honey to discover other people hoping the bees will appear, which turn the two intrepid explorers into detectives on a mystery to discover where all the bees have gone to and end up on a bee trail. Children listening or reading this story will learn on this bee trail the difference between the honey and bumble bees, their different jobs and what bees need to thrive, in a relaxed informal way as it is told in story form, after all this is a fictional book, but with much for them to learn from.

There’s much for children to ponder that is thought-provoking for them, but on a level they will understand and be able to discuss in any group setting or with their parents/guardians.

The story then moves onwards when  Princess Poppy and Honey have discovered more about the bees to how to save the bees in a practical way and in time for the summer fair. She contemplates many ways of how to get the word out to the masses that bees need to be saved and that there are simple and practical things that can be done to achieve this. This segment of the story, although has many serious elements to it and has much to teach children, it is done in a relatable way. There’s even a dance called the “Waggle Dance” that children could copy and do to a certain extent, which adds a different element of fun to the story as does dressing up.

Once the story is finished, continue onwards in the book because there are some fantastic bee facts and how to practically help the bees, given to young readers by grandpa. Continue further and young readers and storybook explorers can help Princess Poppy spot the animals and creatures that are in the pictures given in a key chart, that include places such as grandpa’s garden, in the meadow and the hedgerow, which are all located within this book. This I think is a great idea and can be a fun tool to use for parents/guardians and anyone within education and libraries. It is also something fun that children can do with friends or alone.

All in all I would say this is an excellent interactive book for children. It is recommended age 3+, but in my opinion the children who would get the most benefit out of it and most understanding are primary age children, such as primary 1 and primary 2, although 3 and  4 years would also get some element of fun from it. The themes are serious and return books back to having an environmental message within them. There were elements I did  feel that could have been expressed in a bit more of a fun way and still have children understand it, especially for the very young, otherwise it would have had 5 stars. On the whole, it is a good paced read. I was also glad it had a happy type of outcome in the end though and had the reasons behind the importance of saving the bees and how to go about doing it. There is enough sensitivity to this book, so children understand the gravitas of the message that is being conveyed without scaring them.

I have read this book to children and they responded well to it and enjoyed it. I found even boys enjoyed this book. So, although it is about a couple of female friends and the main character is Princess Poppy, don’t limit it to only reading it to girls. There’s enough other content within it to appease boys too because they also can be interactive with this book just the same.

All in all these Poppy Princess books would fit perfectly well on anyone’s shelves and would make a great read. It is the type of book that could easily be read more than once as children grow and their understanding develops further in what the story is conveying about the importance of saving bees and how to assist in an age appropriate way in doing this. It is also the type of book that can be used to implement practical activities from to enhance science and environmental studies for young primary children. So, go ahead and add to your Poppy Princess collection or begin it, with this lovely, environmentally conscious book and pre-order it. Publication date is 7th February 2019.

Please continue to read on to find out more about this series of books.

poppy princess inside page

So far in these are the future Princess Poppy titles to look out for in this re-vamped series of books:

* Princess Poppy: Fantastic, no plastic!
* Princess Poppy: The Refugee Princess
* Princess Poppy: Love Our Planet!

*With thanks to Janey Louise Jones for sending me her book and for providing the photographs, information about herself and additional bits of information about this book.

*Please note that this is an impartial review.

Title: Poppy Princess: Please, please save the bees

Author: Janey Louise Jones

Illustrator: Jennie Poh

Pages: 34

Publisher: Eden Cooper

Publication Date: 7th February 2019

Limited Hardback Edition
ISBN:  978-1-9164484-0-7

Luxury Softback Edition with environmental credentials, using FSC-certified
ISBN: 978-1-9164484-1-4

Main Purchase Points: Amazon, Book Depository, Foyles, WH Smith, Waterstones

Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian – All is Not as it Seems in this Unique Book @Jsmithauthor @matadorbooks #fantasy #mentalhealth #kidslit #fiction #crossover @twylie68 @litlemonbooks @EmmabBooks @SueWeedon #Review

Review of Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian
Author – J.M. Smith

Rating – 4 Stars ****

About the Author

J.M. Smith is a retired psychotherapist who worked within the NHS mental health department for many years.


Tony Plumb book


If Your Mind Housed a Spy, What Secrets Would it Spill?

Harbouring troubled memories of time in care, Tony Plumb struggles to keep his mind on track.

Prone to episodes in ‘Madsville’ and bombarded by thought chariots carrying unwanted baggage from the past, he’s smuggled to Ellodian by the rule dodging social worker, Ms Bendy Legget.

At this spooky, underground facility, Tony’s history intertwines with the present and the task of answering three crucial life-changing questions cannot be avoided.

With help from good friends and therapy, Tony challenges authority, rights and wrongs and makes enemies, until he finally comes to understand the nature of his conundrums, the meaning of the word family and the darkest secret of all:
What really happened at the waterfall

Tony Plumb card


Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian is a fictional book that is perfect for Christmas, but it is also one that can be read all year round. It does mention Christmas, but that’s not the main crux of the story.

There are strong themes of mental health, family relationships, separation, loss, being from the care system, dealing with issues, self discovery, throughout this book. They are all written in a sensitive, tangible and realistic way. There is however some humour to be found within this book too, which really lifts it and adds to the life of the tale.
The story is complex, but not overly so, since it is well plotted. It would hit its target audience of 9-12 year olds who are good readers very well. It is age appropriate for this age group in the way the themes and language used are handled.

This book is firmly in the crossover market because it would suit any child from 9, teenager/YA and adult. It would easily suit people who enjoy either fantasy and/or tales that take you on a journey through life and of mental health.  I would recommend for its target “crossover” audience.

We immediately meet Tony Plumb who is not just thirteen, but thirteen and a half years old to be precise. He is at Evensham Social Services to see Ms Bendy Legget (whose name I just love for its humour). We get to know that he was in a children’s care home in Daisy Bank. I like that there is no hanging around to meet the main protagonist and to get to begin to know and understand him. The story has instantly begun and starts at a good pace, which remains constant throughout the book.

Before long, Tony has entered the mysterious place of Ellodian. The story goes between this world and the world of the therapy he receives.

The thought processes of Tony and the moles are in a different font and style. This is an ingenious idea because it doesn’t detract from the narrative of the story and flows very smoothly. It also looks effective and fun on the pages, making the story easy to read and follow. We actually get to know that Tony has what he calls “thought chariots”. I love this description, already it depicts what is going on and gives a real insight into the state of his mind. It gave a sense of true feeling about what he was going through.

Enter the unique world of Ellodian

The mysterious, dark place of Ellodian is where Tony is sent to, with his parrot – McGurney. It’s an adventure like no other! As a reader I found myself being immersed into this world very easily. We meet new characters, more authoritative adults for Tony to contend with – Miss Frankly and Mrs Sherbet and Prospect . Again, I just love the humour of the names.

The entire world of Ellodian that readers are thrust into is well described and mysterious, with odd uniforms which makes you question: Who or What are The Moles?
As you read on, I am sure you too will find yourself totally immersed because you want to know more and you will discover the significance of the moles. This is a world that I found myself not being able to help myself wanting to know what more curiosities it had to offer.

Tony finds himself on a mission to discover the answers of 3 questions. These aren’t any ordinary questions. They are exploratory questions about himself. Let’s just say, not the types of questions you would normally be asked in everyday conversation. I think this just adds to the mystery of the main character of Tony Plumb and who he truly is as a person. The questions are effectively set out, easy to understand and moves the story onwards very well and is created in such a way that feeds into the curiosity of the imagination. It becomes even more thought-provoking. By this time, I had already invested in the main protagonist, so I needed to know if all the questions were answered, how and what the actual answers are and the truth of Tony Plumb. I also wanted to know by this stage, what Ellodian actually was.

I enjoyed meeting Mrs Heapy – a psychotherapist by profession. In amongst the talk about mole friends, there is a real emotion that comes through from Tony. It is sensitively and realistically written, when we learn a bit more about the relationship between him and his parents. Quickly, I was captured and I think even our younger readers will be too. Tony also at this point, becomes even more likeable than what he ever was to begin with. We begin to get much more of a sense of his life. This isn’t just an adventure/fantasy book with some character or other leading you through many paths. It’s more than that. The main protagonist is 3 dimensional with real issues, real emotions and is a character to invest fully into.

Perfax is an intriguing character with major issues, which we see quickly and get the understanding of his temperament. He is a character that, although comes very much later in the book, is so well written.

Evensham Social Worker Department is returned to in the book. It gives it some grounding and shows the depth of Tony. The story, as it goes between Evensham and the world of Ellodian is written in a way that any reader will be able to follow.

The book concludes very well, it left me satisfied and I am sure it will leave anyone else reading this well written, well paced book, feeling the same. All in all it is a thought-provoking story and the balance between the issues and the fantasy elements are well-balanced. There are also the most unexpected twists and turns that are written in an inspired way of creating more drama. This also develops the story further and adds to the intrigue into how the story can possibly end. I would say –  take a chance on this debut child/YA/adult cross-over novelist and discover what is real and what is not in Tony Plumb’s life. Discover the world of Ellodian and allow yourself to be taken on a journey. You won’t be disappointed!

With thanks for J.M. Smith for writing to me with extra information about herself, for sending me a message/request to review her book and for sending me a copy of her book and an accompanying card/bookplate.

*Please Note – This is an impartial review.


Title: Tony Plumb and the Moles of Ellodian

Author: J.M. Smith

Publisher: Toubador/Matador – Juvenile/YA Fiction

Pages: 273

Main Purchase Points:  Amazon, WH Smith, The Telegraph Bookshop

ISBN 978 – 1 – 78901 – 503 – 4

Article on Judy Blume : Are her earlier children/pre-teen and young adult books still relevant today?

I would like to say that I was looking through my shelves and came across my books by Judy Blume, that would be more normal, but I wasn’t. I was in fact in the shower, the place where inspiration has often struck for many a thing. So, my attentions oddly turned to Judy Blume. I began to think about her books that I loved reading, some of them even over and over and it got me wondering about their relevance for today’s children. So that’s what I am going to explore and answer within this article.

Judy Blume, the American author who many children in the 80s and 90s were clamouring to read, not just in the US, but also the UK. She has written several books crossing all age groups. There are books for young children, teenagers/young adults and adults. The question is: are her books still relevant to today’s youthful readers in 2018 and beyond?

All of her stories have something in common with the contemporary, more newly published books that are read today. That is they all have universal themes of issues, friendship, family and what it is to be growing up into a teenager/young adult and finding your way in the world, with so much going on in life. They also have strong, but believable characters that can be easily related to.

These issues aren’t just universal, but still exist today. Take Blubber for example. A book about a girl who joins a new school and happens to be overweight and yet endures being bullied terribly over her appearance. This still goes on in today’s society. The book is also about building resilience and courage to tell someone, to a certain extent as well as friendship. This too is useful for children to read today. Bullying still happens in today’s society!


The Fudge series, starting with Fourth Grade None and ending with Superfudge will still be found as being fun for children to read today. Children still get up to mischief, have friends and family. Her character, Sheila, within this series also has a book of her own called Sheila the Great has themes of friendship and also that feeling of perfection, even though you know you’re not and yet that’s what you feel you have to project to the world. Children to different degrees, still have these feelings as they try to find their way in life and feel that need to impress all the time. They have in the past and I dare say they will into the future too.

Judy Blume Fudge

Just As Long as We are Together, it’s sequel: Here’s to You Rachel Robinson and Starring Sally J. Freedman all have historical aspects within them. The difference that Just As Long as We are Together and Here’s to You Rachel Robinson are written in the present time. Well. the 80’s anyway, but with historical references and race relations, especially within Iggie’s House. The themes throughout them are those of best friends, family and education from a teenager’s point of view. It’s Not the End of the World tackles issues surrounding a family breaking-up and moving ever closer to divorce and all the emotions.  Parents still divorce and children still try to get their fairytale ending. All these books show family and friend issues, which still exist in similar ways as today.

              Just as Long as We're TogetherHere's to you Rachel RobinsonStarring Sally J Freeman as Herself


Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, tackles growing up. It’s about forming secret clubs to talk about things that seem to matter an awful lot when you’re a girl coming of age, such as boys and the changing body. It also has a focus on friendships, family and religion. In this case the Jewish and Christian faiths, interfaith marriages and falling in and out of a relationship with God. Many children, young people and even adults have questions, doubts and curiosity. The book also tackles themes that present in lots of teens/young adults such as anxieties and insecurities about growing up. The books Deenie and Forever are also about the coming of age. Deenie, however shows it from a different point of view. It is primarily about a girl who has scoliosis and how she feels about having a back brace and seeing a councillor as well as tackling growing up. It is also about friendships, puberty, discovering relationships and in Deenie’s case, if a boy would still fancy her or not.
Everyone comes of age and everyone starts growing up, no matter what their life circumstances are.

Are you there God

So, returning to my initial question of: are Judy Blume’s children to pre-teen to teenage/young adult books still relevant for today? The answer is absolutely YES, they are. these topics and issues are always going to be around and even though they were primarily first published between the 70’s and 80’s, they’ve essentially not dated. Alright there aren’t the mobile phones or tablets that we have today, but the topics, the discussions, the issues, the coming of age are all exactly the same as what this age group have right now and future generations will too. They are recurring themes in nearly all of her contemporaries books, in some form or another, be it an actual coming of age book, or fantasy and even some mystery books have some of these themes. That is because they tackle many aspects a young girl, progressing and transitioning into famale adulthood will deal with at somepoint or another in their lives. They also deal with other topics too that are universal and may be witnessed, if not experienced. In some sense, all the characters, even though written a few decades ago, are still going to be just as relatable today as they were when they were first conceived. There are strong, believable characters, there is joy, anguish and compassion to be felt within the pages. There are also lessons to be learnt within those pages, even for today’s society. So, even though the cover-art/book jackets have changed over the years, after each publication, the themes of life in reality have not. Each theme is still being lived out by someone, somewhere in the world, everyday and every year.

So, if you’ve not tried one of these books by Judy Blume yet, perhaps because they’re not on the number 1 spot or because of when they were first published, then think about them again and them a go. These are books that will always stand the test of time and the pre-teen and teenage/young adult groups will always be able to relate to the contents of her books.

Judy Blume’s books can be purchased in Amazon, Book People and other bookshops. Occasionally they can be borrowed in your local library.
They can be bought as a box-set, individually and some stories feature in 3-in-1 books.

The Treasure at the Top of the World – A Freddie Malone Adventure by Clive Mantle – Go Time Travelling and Open Up A World of Adventure and Discovery. @MantleClive @award_books @twylie68 @LoveBooksGroup #kidslit #teenbook #debut #BookReview #Education #Schools

Review of The Treasure at the Top of the World –
A Freddie Malone Adventure
Author – Clive Mantle
Rating – 5 Stars *****

About the Author

Clive Mantle photoClive Mantle, Born in Barnet, is a well-loved British Actor and has been for nearly 40 years. As a boy in the 1960s, he sang with St. John’s College Choir, Cambridge, went to the National Youth Theatre and trained at RADA in the 1970’s and has been a fixture on stage and screen ever since.
Clive Mantle is best known for playing Little John in Robin of Sherwood, Greatjon Umber in Game of Thrones, Mike Barratt in Casualty and on stage as Tommy Cooper, and Lennie in Of Mice and Men. His voice is also well known from his work on over 180 audio books, and voicing animated characters, including Gator in Thomas the Tank Engine.
He is an avid reader and has been ever since his parents handed him Stig of the Dump. His favourite children’s book are the Noggin the Nog sagas by Oliver Postgate and he has a passion for walking in the Wiltshire Countryside. Clive Mantle’s inspiration to write what is the first in the series of Freddie Malone adventures came during a trek to the Everest Base Camp for the charity Hope and Homes for Children. He has since returned to the Himalayas and completed the Annapurna circuit. Everest has been his passion since childhood, when his Father enthused him with its many tales. Years later, he realised a lifetime’s ambition and set foot on the mountain himself, and the magnificence of the experience is with him everyday. 


The Treasure at the Top of the World coverClive Mantle has said: “I have woven a tale of adventure in the past and present against the wondrous backdrop of Nepal and its people. I am thrilled that the story I wrote for my own son to pass on the flame has now found a wider audience, who will hopefully have their imaginations stimulated as mine was as a young boy”.

In the first of The Adventures of Freddie Malone series, The Treasure at the Top of the World Freddie receives an intriguing and unusual thirteenth birthday present from his Uncle Patrick. The ancient world map goes straight up on his wall, but Freddie fast discovers that the map is much more than just a decorative historic artefact. Freddie, and his best friend, Connor, are soon plunged into a mountainous adventure, on a path that leads to a longburied mystery, pursued by ruthless adversaries who’ll go to any lengths to get what they want.



This is more than just a tale to tell. This a story of (in no particular order) adventure, social and land geography, history, present day, travel and friendship.
It is indeed a fictional book, but also seems part travelogue in a way, although not strictly written like one.

There are relics and treasures to be had, people to meet and a country to explore, all within the safety and comfort of your own home.

This is an impressive story that will grip children from the age of 8 years old and teenagers alike. It will send them on a terrific journey of exploration within their imaginations as they read and delve further into this book.

The cover is brilliantly conceived. It looks exciting and instantly eye-catching, with the swirly writing going into Mount Everest. It is very fitting to the content within the book. The characters are well developed – they are realistic, relatable and likeable. Readers will be able to care about these characters enough to want to find out more about them.

In the beginning of the book is the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. It’s not as random as it first appears. Read further into the book and all becomes apparent and makes complete sense as to why it is cleverly featured right there. It’s a fantastic, attention grabbing beginning to this novel!

The story begins at the beginning of the school summer holidays with Freddie and his best friend Connor joining together for Freddie’s birthday party. One of the gifts is an ancient map. This is where the adventure begins… After feeling unwell, he mysteriously finds himself in Kathmandu, Nepal. The map is definitely no ordinary map!
The map illustrated within the book, featuring all the locations within the story.

Children and teenagers would absolutely be able to get a sense of the sights and sounds of the city as well as a sense of emotions. They will find themselves transported to this country through the map, photos and descriptions given.

There are great photos of Mount Everest and Namche Bazarr. The photos are a brilliant way of enhancing children’s knowledge of these two iconic places in Nepal in a very visual way. Infact, throughout the book, each location in Nepal is wonderfully descriptive, which for children and teens (or anyone unsure of what anything in Nepal looks like), would be very useful for them. 

Clive Mantle weaves facts about Mount Everest and famous exhibitioners/mountaineers and other people Freddie comes across living in Nepal, into what is essentially a fictional story, very effectively. There is enough to create a fascination and to enhance knowledge, but not so much that readers will feel overwhelmed with it all. There is a very good balance between fact and fiction as well as a good pace being mantained throughout.

The book twists and turns between two worlds. It’s not all plain sailing for our intrepid explorer as the story moves along at a good pace. The transition between the two worlds are written clearly, ensuring the book is accessible to all within the age group, avoiding confusion. It also effectively mantains a natural flow. 

The book may well contain the much used method of time-travel, but the concept and the map, which is used as a device here to tell the story has a freshness about it. 

There is a real sense of adventure and danger within this book that will  excite any young reader. There are large themes of friendship, adventure and bullying all interweaved within the narrative and dialogue of the story. Clive Mantle has handled it all very well and has evidently given a lot of thought, sensitivity and care to this. Within the back of the book are several useful websites which children and their parents/carers etc can access for support. On a lighter note, he has also given further reading books for teenagers. His choices are good, they will resonate with teens who want to find out more about Nepal, Mount Everest and adventure. There are also a few pages at the end of the book, devoted to explaining the facts behind the story. This is informative and also age appropriate and connect beautifully with the story. All of this additonal information is definitely worth reading and back-up the book very well. They are also as well written as the main story itself.

This book will excite, inform and educate children and teenagers in a way that will spark their imagination, curiosity and interest. The fictional story itself is absorbing. It can be read within a home, a school and there is plenty of content within it that schools, parents, children, teenagers can use to encourage both private reading and to spark conversations with each other.

Overall, I was impressed by the content and the way it was all semlessly handled within this book and how well it is written as a whole, especially since so much is covered within those pages. Clive Mantle’s writing is very good, the language used is age appropriate for the suggested marketing age of 8+. His passion, that he has had since childhood really comes through within this book, as does the desire to share tales with others, as his father did with him. Children and teens generally like to learn about different parts of the world and Nepal, certainly in my experience of previously working within a voluntary children’s group, is one of those countries which does fascinate them. So, this book certainly feeds into their natural curiosity very well.

Coming Soon

Watch out for more Freddie Malone books to come! Excitedly, I can tell you that Clive Mantle has informed me that he is currently in the process of writing book 2 of the series, which is set in Ancient Egypt, and book 3 will be about Pepys and the great Plague and Great Fire of London.

I would like to thank Clive Mantle for providing the photos and other very useful information, such as the synopsis, personal info and details about his upcoming books.



Title: The Treasure at the Top of the World

Author: Clive Mantle

Some Main Purchase Points: Amazon, WH Smith, Foyles, Wordery

ISBN: 978 – 1 – 78270 – 321 – 1

Publisher: Award Publications Limited

Pages: 272

Cover Design: Patrick Knowles

Photograph of Everest: Daniel Prudeck/Shutterstock.com

Photograph of Namche Bazaar: Raisa Suprun/Shutterstock.com

Map and Text Illustration: Angie Hewitt