#Review of Curious Tales – Hector by D.M. Mullan @DM_Mullan @TinyTreeBooks @BomerHarris @LoveBooksGroup #ChildrensBook #KS1 #KS2 #ReadingForPleasure #STEM #KidsHumour #RhymingStory

Hector
By D.M. Mullan
Illustrated by Kirsteen Harris Jones

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Curious Tales

Hector is a curious tale by D.M. Mullan and is perfect for primary school aged children 5-6/7 years. It looks like a picture book for younger kids, but the content is so much more and is great for feeding their curious minds. The content is actually more perfect for KS1 plus. This book is exciting for this primary age group. It has humour, inventions, emotions, why we need friends. I’m pretty sure it can be used around some sort of STEM activity. It is also great for just reading for pleasure and tells a story of a modern fable.
I can see it being a hit with many children.
Thanks to Love Books Tours for inviting me and for Tiny Tree Children’s Books for gifting me the book.
Please follow through to the blurb and the rest of my review and also discover more about the author and very successful illustrator after that…

Curious Tales cover

Blurb

Curious Tales coverIf something is missing, and you’re feeling blue, you could learn from Hector, who feels this way too.

This little genius lives in an upside down boat, and he grunts from his hill like a grumpy old goat:

“Hector van Groat needs no one but Hector, because he is a genius, a crazy inventor!”

Book #1 in the D.M. Mullan’s Curious Tales series.

D.M. Mullan’s Curious Tales is a series of peculiar modern fables from author D.M. Mullan and illustrator Kirsteen Harris-Jones.

With a classic rhyming style and wonderfully quirky illustrations, each book centres around a unique little individual and tells their story.

Review

Curious Tales 2.jpgHector is full of humour and I must say, impressive rhyme. There is a map at the beginning and from that page, it absolutely draws you in as you set sail. It literally invites curiousity and anticipation from that first page!

Hector Van Groat is the main character and he is a boy who is feeling blue. He’s a genius inventor of crazy inventions, so enters his invention room to create something new to cheer himself up. He discovers it just isn’t as fun as he thought it would be, without a friend. He is however a bit big headed, until the end.

Along the way, Hector’s inventions and antics add much humour to this curious tale. The illustrations enhance this a lot. 

Hector is a boy who many children will be able to relate to and have fun with. There’s much they will learn and much they can empathise with and laugh at. This is just absolutely sublime and the language that is used also makes it perfect for KS1 plus. It is also much fun for reading for pleasure in the home too. Reading this book aloud is perhaps the most perfect way to treat it. There’s so much more that children can enjoy then, to give them reading pleasure.

This book, as well as being great for reading for pleasure, I am sure could fit somewhere into STEM, in a wider topic as it involves science within the story that can feed their imaginations as to what they perhaps would want to invent. It would also be great to feed into Lego Clubs and can provoke discussions for PSHE too and friendship topics.

About the Author

D.M. Mullan is a world-travelled author from County Derry, Northern Ireland. Now living in Belfast with her family, the author will launch the ‘D.M. Mullan’s Curious Tales’ series in 2021; her first work for children.

About the Illustrator

Kirsteen Harris-Jones is an illustrator with a colourful past. She’s worked at a variety of creative, graphic and animation studios since 1990. Her work has been published by Random House, Egmont, Bloomsbury, Little Tiger, and more.

Curious Tales Hector (2)

#Review by Lou – The Butterfly Garden by Sophie Anderson @MSophieanderson @bookouture #TheButterflyGarden #Fiction #BlogTour #ContemporaryFiction

The Butterfly Garden
By Sophie Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I am pleased to present my review of The Butterfly Garden, a book with poignancy and new found friendship from a stranger, secrets, and a beautiful garden with butterflies and more… Thanks to the publisher – BookOuture for inviting me on the blog tour and for gifting me the book.
Discover more in the blurb and my review and about the author.

The Butterfly Garden pic

Blurb

I blamed my son for the death of my daughter….

When 25-year-old Erin flees London for Cornwall and takes a job at Hookes End, a huge house clinging precariously to the Cornish cliffs, all she knows about it are the stories people tell. The owner, reclusive novelist and butterfly enthusiast Maggie, has kept the curtains of her dusty house drawn for many years. But now she is dying, and Erin, seeing the shadows that cross Maggie’s face, wants to help in any way she can.

Years ago, Maggie’s only son Lucas ran away to the other side of the world and the searing heat of the Costa Rican jungle. Maggie is desperate to see Lucas again – there is something she needs him to know.

Erin wants to help Maggie find peace. But when she travels to the warm white sands and tropical butterfly gardens of Costa Rica to find Lucas, it becomes very clear that he is hiding something too.

As Erin unravels the webs of deceit entangling mother and son, she learns about the terrible tragedy that changed their lives forever: the night when a little girl in a fairy nightdress went missing. But with Maggie’s time fast running out, is it too late for them to find the forgiveness they need to move on?

Set against the storms of the Cornish coast and the silvery sands of Costa Rica, The Butterfly Garden is a story of love, loss, and letting go. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Harriet Evans, and Lucinda Riley will be gripped. 

Review

The Butterfly Garden picLansdown Place 1986 to Porteal 2017 is how readers will travel. I had to think about who was the narrator in 1986, so I’ll tell you now, that it is Maggie. Carrying on though, it jumps to 2017 and readers meet Erin and Mrs Muir (Maggie). Maggie is a recluse and the descriptions sho this well. All is not lost. My attention is then fully in and I want to read on. The writing is beautiful and somehow with heightened senses of how things sound, look, smell etc, that draws you in further, as does the mysteriously hidden away – Maggie Muir. I was intrigued to find out more and more as the story went on and whole pictures emerged in writing. So, what started out as frustrating, quickly evaporated.

The year 1986 is where Lucas is also met, in manuscript/diary form, aged 5 and likes Gerald Durrell’s Zoo in Jersey, which sounds fun! It’s like a bit of an insight into life before Maggie was dying and also part of her doing as she was asked by Dr Sham, who she saw at this time. Between this time frame, you’ve got 1986 being quite illuminating and yet the start of something quite claustrophobic, which becomes more so in 2017, with Maggie being as reclusive as she is. It has believability and so much sadness, especially for Maggie. It shows how life can seem one way, or assumed, such as her being a really successful writer, but underneath, what might have provided a fabulous life, she is in reality she has so many issues, and now she is dying, you know the inevitable will happen, but there is so much unfinished business in her life, that is uncovered in the book, such as more about Lucas and what happened.

There is poignancy in the use of butterflies and why they aren’t fluttering around. It is often clever how butterflies are used in stories and here it is too, as there is the use of the actual butterfly, which Maggie and in turn, Erin, has an interest in and a place called The Butterfly Garden, but there is also the significance within the symbolism of her life as everything has almost grinded to a halt, except she is writing this manuscript/diary. Yet, at some point there was, like the butterfly, a hub of activity at some point as she wrote detective novels. 

Erin has a romance, burning brightly with Simon, which gives her a life outside Maggie’s life and it is also heartwarming to see unfold. Erin isn’t without her own concerns in life as she worries about her brother who has Downs Syndrome and where he may be.

Lies and coverups are later revealed and explosive emotions come to the fore. It is however, heartwarming to see the development of the relationship between Maggie and Erin, an element of trust emerges, that you can’t help but smile at. It also drives the story further forwards, until the end, which at the start you know how it will end, but it’s the journey to there that matters and will seep into your heart and emotions.

Buy Links:

About the Author

SophieAnderson-32Sophie Anderson enjoyed a career in TV production in London before working with her husband to set up an online software business where she wrote the marketing content. But neither scratched that creative itch to tell a story, so she enrolled on a writing course and wrote her first novel The Butterfly Garden. She lives in Sussex with her husband, four children, a cocker spaniel and two cats.
 
 
 
 

The Butterfly Garden - Blog Tour

#Bookreview by Lou of Thick and Thin by Upasa Borah @CherryPublishi2 #UpasaBorah #YoungAdult #YA

Thick and Thin
By Upasa Borah

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Older young adults/teens and 20 somethings will discover characters in Raumah who have issues to overcome and there is also some lust and a lot of fists flying and other elements of action with family ties, romance and discovery. Find out more in the blurb and review.
Thanks to Cherry Publishing for gifting me the book to review

Thick and Thin

Blurb

In Raumah, a city where wealth and familial ties rule all, the four Kings of Raumah walk a path seemingly paved in gold.
Duante, the protector. Strong, amiable and desperate to keep his loved ones out of harm’s way.
Drayden, the golden boy. Smart and resourceful, heir to the country’s largest and most influential business empire.
Shohei, the celebrity. Delicate but determined, this fabulous fashion icon is the darling of Raumah.
Aqil, the prodigy. Truly gifted and academically dominant, but is it earned or is it his family ties that are the key to his successes?

Everything on the surface seems picture perfect, but dark secrets lie hidden behind the
frame. When Duante’s past comes calling, the Kings’ world is thrown into chaos.
Faced with the ghosts of his bloody past, Duante’s hard-earned freedom is put in jeopardy, just as Shohei’s love is put to the test. Drayden’s ruthless determination is usually his strength, but this time, will it blind him to what’s right? Can Aqil, the trailblazing son of the Faiz family, face his fears, before the fire burns him alive?
Facing their fears is no easy task, will they bow under the pressure or come out stronger than ever?

Themes: Family Ties, Friendship, Love, Lust, Identity, Self Discovery, Self Acceptance
Genre: Action – Romance, Queer Young Adult Fiction

 

Review

Thick and ThinThick and Thin gets off to a strong start. There’s Duante, the protector, Drayden, the golden boy and heir to the country’s largest and most influential business empire and Shohei, the celebrity who is a fashion icon. It’s identifiable to Young Adults. Loki also pops up.

The chapters present themselves as Acts, which adds some intrigue as does the four kings and the characters surrounding them. That makes it sound almost fantastical, but really there are  just some average lives too, with pop culture and bookish references, such as Justin Timberlake and Harry Potter. It also has powerful messages about bullies and handling them.

The book is about identity and trying to accept who you are and makes me hopeful that people will become happy in their own skin. There’s also friendships embraced and characters like Aquil who just want to be included in plans. This is so relatable for the Young Adult audience with its powerful themes.
It also delves into darker sides of society, such as gun culture. I think there is a lot that young adults will find thought-provoking and some they may debate.
There is also part where Aquil has got powerful family ties who are influential, for readers to see if Aquil is working on own steam or if the family has a hand in things, such as a scholarship reward.

There is the occassional bit of humour of the teenage/young adult life. There is also a lot of that teenage angst, as well as a film of sadness going across it.

There is teenage lust amongst a couple of the characters, who pine after each other at certain points and some elements of self-discovery and mostly it is done well. 

As much as it isn’t quite the page-turner, it is something that young adults can get their teeth into and to see who comes out of it all well. This would be good for older teens and 20 somethings.

About the Author

Upasa Borah (also known by her pen name glassEyed) is a 21 year old dreamer from a land of rivers and hills, called Assam, in India. Aside from writing stories, she dabbles in poetry and performance art. She is a spoken word poet who has been active in the slam poetry circuit in Delhi, as well as in her hometown, as a
featured performer, organiser and judge. A believer of magic and collector of stories, she loves
meeting new people and finding inspiration and muses in the mundane.

 

#Review by Lou – Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf @markrosendorf #YA #Fantasy #Witches #Friendships #Magic …

Journey to New Salem
By Mark Rosendorf

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The second book in this series whisks readers off to New Salem, where there are some familiar and new characters. Witches, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Friendship, Teamwork, Portals, Trepedation and Teen Spirit… This book is packed full with it all in a quest to save one of the characters in this compelling, page-turning fantasy/realism book that I feel is sure to grab young-adults/teenagers attention. It is worth a read. How far too, would you go for a friend?
The first book was a very good read and encompass themes relevant for Young Adults and written very well, so I am delighted to be asked to review again by the author – Mark Rosendorf.
Find out more below in the blurb and the rest of my review and also discover buy links and a link to Book 1 after that….. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.

About the Author

MarkMark Rosendorf is a High School Guidance Counselor for students in the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He is also a former professional magician. Mark shares his knowledge of magic with his students as part of the school’s Performing Arts program.

Mark is also credited with published novels in various genres including The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen.

Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it.  Suddenly, despite the decision to never write again, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas, Mark’s first young adult story, was born.

 

New Salem cover

Blurb

A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway. Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

Review

Jasper has premonitions in some of his dreams/nightmares and a night spent with his other-half, Tia saw some more….
The book then moves to the first chapter and onto The Witches of Vegas – a unique magic show as the witches are real and have Wiccan powers. Isis Quinn-Santell, fomerly Isis Flores Rivera is one of them, who readers can follow in her life in the book.

The book has themes which are perfect for the young-adult/teen market. There’s fantasy (magic and teleportation) mixed through the real world, romance, life, all manner of emotions and growing-up.
The romance between Isis and Zack is beautifully written. There is great humour within this relationship, surrounding a small issue of fire…

The time-travelling to the 1990’s is a bit of fun and is a great addition for letting the younger generations gain some knowledge of this decade. It shows books, even fantasy books can be vital in, as well as providing an enjoyable story, they also provide and add to knowledge and increasing a well-rounded education, vital for quizzes and for knowing and understanding the world. 

There’s trepidation as Isis isn’t feeling her usual self and Zack needs to summon Selena and Sebastian to help with their Wiccan powers. As she lies in hospital things become complicated for Isis and how to hide her true witchy identity and the others need to help, but run into problems here and there with teleporting as other forces may also be at play. The author does this well and builds some mild tension up.

Politics in some form also come to play as Isis meets Tia – the president in New Salem, nothing heavy, which is a good call, so it doesn’t jar the story. There’s also some interesting theories about vampires and readers can find out about Valeria as the quest to get Isis back to health continues, where the tension ramps up another gear as the Witches of Vegas are characters that are easy to want to do well and succeed.

This is a book that young adults can easily escape into. It’s compelling to the end!

Links

Amazon          Waterstones     Review of Book 1 – Witches of Vegas

The Positivity Project – #Review by Lou of Understanding Kids – 3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking? What’s My Teenager Thinking? @TanithCarey @Summersdale @dkbooks @RandomTTours #parenting #UnderstandingKids

The Positivity Project – Understanding Kids
By Tanitha Carey
Rated: 5 stars *****

3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking

I have something a bit different today and this is indeed a very exciting I have 3 short reviews on 3 books that create part of The Positivity Project, which I see as being highly exciting, totally worthwhile and exactly what people need right now, which is why I am excited to have been invited onto the blog tour by Random Things Tours and books gifted and what a treat there is in store. The 3 aforementioned books focus on creating positive children and adults. The books are best used by parents, carers, educationalists, counsellors. They are plain-speaking. There’s no challenging jargon. They are easy to follow. I have a quick overview of the books and then quick reviews and blurbs for each book in turn. Check out the layout of the pages as you scroll down too.

The books The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking are the best, healthiest parenting books in a long time…. read further as to what you can find in them and why this seems to be the case… The books are simply incredibly amazing!!! They are some of the most exciting parenting books around right now, my fingers can hardly contain themselves as I write about them. I think they are the Must Read books if you’re a parent of a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager. They will guide you through every stage.

Being a parent at any time can be a joy and yet challenging, especially in the age we live in. There are behaviours, influences, questions, social media, social pressures and so much more to deal with. These books are much more unique and nuanced than other parenting style books. These are, practical books that don’t pile the pressure of what the latest trend in parenting style is ie helecopter or tiger parenting etc. These books are stripped from all of this and creates something incredibly positive and rounded for parents to read as they bring up their children at all the different ages and stages of their lives. These books also, perhaps inadvertantly, shine a more positive light on future children and adults too as these books give a realistic, healthy look into childhood and teenagers and healthier ways to deal with them as parents. The books are suggestive, rather than preachy.
So many parents are going to find these books highly helpful and sensible. No subeject matter goes untouched. No subject seems to be too small or too big. They amazingly cover literally everything that can crop up at every single age-group in a dynamic, sensitive and most helpful way so parents can use them in their quest to have well-rounded, resilient children and teenagers, as well as helping themselves a bit along the way.

The books have all recieved high praise from key educationalists and psychologists. The books are developed to be used by parents/carers, but can also be used as a useful tool for educationalists and counsellors.
Today I bring you The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking. Find out more about them in my reviews and the blurbs and then concluding in bullet points, what each book looks at in turn.

About the Author

Tanith Carey Author PicTanith Carey is a journalist and author who writes on the most pressing challenges facing today’s parents. Her writing has featured in The Telegraph, The Times, New York Daily News, and more. She also appears on TV and radio, such as Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, ITV’s This Morning, and Good Morning Britain.

The Friendship Maze

Review

The Friendship Maze Cover (1)Friendships, it can’t be assumed social skills and actually making friends is a linear process, nor should be taken for granted that this happens naturally, it doesn’t. The book starts off explaining a bit about friendships and then moves onto how sometimes what starts off as being good, can fall into difficulties. It has great tips on bringing up children to show kindness and developing friendships as well as giving some space for independence to grow. It shows that these skills are also something that needs to be taught and gives non-evasive, yet highly practical hints on how to do this.

The book  shows what can impact on social skills and what can in a negative way, with reality tv, puberty, pressure of cliques and social media and what can be positive and what can be negative. The book, as it does throughout, explains and sometimes has a scenario and then has bite-size bubbles with hints how parents can help their child or teen navigate through these times. Parents really can find that there is a helping hand at every stage, even how to have happier playdates.

The Friendship Maze Cover (1)

Blurb

Friendship battles among children have existed since the words ‘you can’t play with us’ were first uttered in the playground.

But the concern today is that unkind and excluding behaviour appears to be starting sooner than ever – even in nursery school.

Yet despite playing such an important part of their well-being, friendships are the area of our children’s lives that adults understand the least – but worry about the most.

By bringing together the latest social science on friendship for the first time for a UK audience, parenting author Tanith Carey peels back the mystery of children’s relationships so parents can guide their children better.

This bold analysis looks at the factors which have made the friendships of British children some of the most fraught in the world.

What’s my Child Thinking

Review

What's My Child thinking Cover (1)No one can totally know what their child is thinking, after all no one is a mind-reader, but it does give some pretty educated insights and how to handle them in a positive way.

To do this, the book asks the parent to take a few minutes to think about their own childhood and what their values are. There are some directional questions to aid in this process. There are some milestones for child-development given, before looking into child behaviours. It’s all broken down into age-groups and bite-size chunks. There isn’t any jargon to get your head around, it’s done plainly and simply.

The book jumps into what the child is thinking and verbalising, such as the word “no” and seeking that bit of independence of wanting to try to do something themselves. The book clearly explains these and then has a great way of how parents can respond. The book gives an informative chart of how to handle eating out, then goes onto behaviours such as hitting and wanting something, such as your phone. As well as detailing these behaviours and how to deal with them, it clearly states what to do in the long term, as well as in the moment, making this book excellent for longevity.

The book literally goes into every crevice of the child’s world and has a reassuring and healthy way of dealing with anything. Parents often say, there isn’t a handbook for bringing up children. This book comes pretty close. It’s one of the best and sound parenting books because of this and its roundedness and not focusing on any particular trend of a parenting style, which makes this book practical for years and years to come.

What Is My Child Thinking - Layout

Blurb

For this unique new book, Tanith and Angharad have pulled together the most important aspects of research and advances made in child development, which up to now, hasn’t been available to parents.

Designed for time-pressed parents, it allows mums, dads and carers to quickly and accurately interpret their child’s behaviour in the moment in more than 100 different challenging situations – and give the best science-based solutions, without having to wade through text and opinions

From tantrums, friendships (real and imaginary), sibling rivalry and having a new baby to sleep problems, aggressive behaviour and peer pressure, parents can quickly find a situation and understand exactly what their child is thinking, and the best way to respond. 

There are also practical survival guides dotted throughout which offer more detailed information and key principles to follow when dealing with more complex issues. These include shyness, coping with birthday parties, hitting and biting, travelling in a car and eating out. Complicated situations like separation and divorce are also included.

The book highlights the importance of working together as a team if you have a co-parent, and how it can helpful to seek advice from others if you are raising your child alone. There is guidance on how to decide what matters to you most in terms of values, along with reminders about why children react in the way they do, especially when they don’t yet have the words to explain. Feeling pressured to be the ‘perfect’ parent is also addressed.

What’s My Child Thinking? is the first parenting book that simultaneously brings together the thinking of both the parent and the child. It clearly explains how to decode a child’s behaviour, understand the psychology behind it and confidently find the best solution to resolve it. It shows that by tuning into your child’s innermost thoughts you can get a calmer, happier family life.

What's My Child Thinking Layout 3

What’s My Teenager Thinking?

Review

What's My Teenager Thinking Cover (1)Often parents find some of the most challenging times being when their small child becomes a teenager and there are even more and different things to navigate. I love that, again, this isn’t preachy and nor does it go into any parenting trends and is much more down-to-earth and more rounded than that. It’s another must have for any parent’s bookshelf. It serves as a practical guide and support, which is bang up-to-date and covers the very sort of world your teen is living in. I’m super impressed and excited for those with teens, that they can have such a book.

The book has a lovely, but easy to understand introduction to what is going on the inside of your teenager’s brain to the hormones it is producing. For the younger teens, it goes from needing the latest phone to addressing hygiene and body changes to FOMO to the changing friendships, crushes and social media, joining marches, moodswings and the more sinister side,. It also handles even more serious issues such as self-harm.It moves up in increments in age as some thoughts change or get deeper than at 13/14. So at 15/16 the themes continue, but extends to exam pressures to thoughts of certain people hating them. It focuses on sleep and shaving too, to wanting more of an allowance to sexual behaviours, dating, coming out as gay. It also handles when the teen wants driving lessons. At 16/17 it takes the themes further to consent, drugs, being worried about the future, anxieties and suicidal thoughts.

These are just a few of the meaty subjects within the book, that have been broken down to just a few pages, giving parents the support they need in a practical way. Each has a very realistic scenario, then segments of what your teen may be thinking and how as a parent you can respond in that moment and practical tips on how to in the long-term.

What is my Teenager Thinking Layout

Blurb

Are your child’s teenage years more challenging than you ever imagined?

Do you struggle to know how to respond when your child says: ‘I hate you!’, ‘Get out of my room!’, ‘My life is over if I don’t get these grades’ or ‘Do I look fat in this?’

Despite your best efforts to say the right thing, do you often find that your suggestions are seen by your teens as ‘criticism’ and your concerns about their well-being are viewed as ‘controlling’?

At a time when our teenagers face unprecedented challenges to their mental health, it’s more important than ever for adults to find better ways to understand and connect with adolescents. What’s My Teenager Thinking? by parenting author Tanith Carey and clinical child psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, is a new kind of book that takes a unique approach.

  • It uses the best child and development psychology to translate adolescent behaviour in more than 100 everyday scenarios, many of which are not tackled in other parent books, including issues that have surfaced in lockdown.
  • Drawing on the best research in child psychology, development and neuroscience, each scenario offers practical, easy-to-access solutions parents can use both in the moment and the long-term.
  • It compressed the best science in a way that time-pressed parents can quickly and easily access when a problem arises, without wading through text.
  • Unlike other books which lump the teen years together, it looks at how the teenage brain and thinking evolves through the early, mid and later teenage years

What's My Teenager Thinking Layout 4

What the Books Look At:

The Friendship Maze…

  •  How has social media changed the way children relate to each other?
  • How do hierarchies form in every classroom?
  • Why are boys now just as like to engage in ‘mean behaviour?
  • Why do some children always seem to be left on the side-lines?
  • Are we too quick to call ‘bullying’?
  • Deal with classroom and social media politics.
  • Inoculate your child against the effects of peer-group pressure, cliquiness and exclusion.
  • Learn what’s really going on in your child’s social circle.
  • Bully-proof your child throughout school.
  • Work out when to step in and step out of your child’s conflicts.
  • Help your child make friends if they are stuck on the side-lines.

What’s My Teenager Thinking

  • Designed for parents of all adolescents, What’s My Teenager Thinking includes what to say when your teen says:
  • I am revising
  • Stop following me on social media
  • Everyone else plays this computer game
  • You never listen
  • You swear. Why can’t I?
  • I’ll tidy my room in a minute
  • I’m going anyway
  • Can my boyfriend sleep over?

What’s my Teenager Thinking? tackles real-world concerns including online safety, exam pressures, eating disorders, depression, alcohol, drugs, and sex and doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting themes such as porn, self-harm and suicide.

Understanding Kids BT Poster

 

#Review of the outstanding #NewBook – Us Three By Ruth Jones #RuthJones @AlisonBarrow

Us Three
By Ruth Jones
Rated: 5 stars *****

Us Three is an uplifting, joyous and emotional read of 3 character’s lives and their friendship together, that is just an incredibly impressive book that is well observed on human nature. that I highly recommend. Once started, it is difficult to put down and leave. All in all, Ruth Jones, famed for Gavin and Stacey and her debut – Never Greener, has written outstandingly, again with this second novel.

It has to be said, I was so amazed  and excited, that I have this opportunity to review Us Three by Ruth Jones. Thank you so much to Alison Barrow at Transworld Books.
Read on for the blurb and full review…

Us Three

Blurb

The new novel from Ruth Jones, author of the smash-hit, number one bestselling debut, Never Greener.

Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may.

After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep . . .

Packed with all the heart and empathy that made Ruth’s name as a screenwriter and now author, Us Three is a funny, moving and uplifting novel about life’s complications, the power of friendship and how it defines us all. Prepare to meet characters you’ll feel you’ve known all your life – prepare to meet Us Three.

Review

I was, as you an see, very excited to see that I had an opportunity to review Us Three by Ruth Jones. She isn’t just an incredibly good script-writer and actor, but also a very good novelist. Us Three takes readers on a well-written, well-observed journey with Catrin Kelly, Lana Lloyd and Judith Harris. The three have a big trip planned of Greek island hopping before parting ways as Catrin wants to study medicine at Cardiff, Judith wants to read economics in London and Lana wants to train to be a musical theatre actor.
The writing is amusing and has a natural flow that you can’t help but be swept along with it from the start.

Characters are given their own chapters, but each are interwoven into each other’s lives and it’s great getting to know them. In amongst the friendships and comaraderie, things in life aren’t always easy, not when Judith’s mum falls terribly unwell, or did she? This is a question readers will find the answer to as the story continues.

When, finally on holiday, the three get into some unplanned situations, some of which are rather unfortunate indeed. There’s also some fun, gorgeous scenery and archetecture and perhaps a bit of romance to stumble into. There are also some unexpected revelations concerning Judith’s family. It’s interesting as they come tumbling out from George.
The relationship that Lana is involved in is one that may make you, like it did me, if it could last or not.
Catrin has exciting news.

The friendship that is captured is absolutely wonderful. The way they look out for each other, practically shines a light on how friendships ought to be. The Three of Us is so heartwarming. There are however some major challenges to overcome as well as utter heartache within one of the families as they’re taken to quite an unexpected dark place. Ruth Jones expertly navigates the shades of light and dark of life. It catches you right there. One moment you can be smiling and the next, feeling a bit more serious. She totally captures you in the book.

Part 2 takes readers into their lives 18 years later and the year is 2005 and part 3 is 12 years on, with the year being 2017. It’s an interesting insight into how Catrin, Lana and Judith are growing up and how their friendships are as time moves on and how certain things change and life’s milestones occur, some happily, others with deep sadness. All the way through I can’t help but root for their friendships to survive the ups and downs. The ups are joyous and the downs are sometimes to the extent of heartbreak in their personal lives. There are also ups and downs within their friendship to each other. The downs are the sort that, if you, like me, have friendships with some people who you’ve known most of your lives, don’t happen. I’m totally invested in these characters lives and it is tremendously easy to do so, even as early as the first few chapters in part 1. The time moving on works incredibly well as the insights are fascinating as the story builds and there is a great desire to keep reading on and finding out more because they are characters with lives to care about. The parts are also, so succinct, being divided like that, that they flow effortlessly from part to part. Each has a realistic feel to it. By the time I finsihed, I am almost speechless. It’s just absolutely, one of the most heartwarming books. The strength of character is each woman is undoubtedly amazing.

All in all, I highly praise and recommend Us Three by Ruth Jones.

About the Author

Ruth Jones is best known for her outstanding and award-winning television writing, most notably BBC1’s Gavin and Stacey, which she co-wrote with James Corden and in which she played the incorrigible Nessa Jenkins. The most recent Christmas Day special of Gavin and Stacey gained national critical acclaim, drawing an audience of over 18 million and winning a National Television Award for Impact. Ruth also created and co-wrote Sky 1’s Stella, which ran for six series. As well as being Baftanominated for her role as the eponymous Stella, Ruth has also starred in several other television comedies and dramas. Her debut novel Never Greener has now sold over a quarter of a million copies. It was chosen as WHSmith Fiction Book of the Year 2018, was a Zoe Ball Book Club pick, and was a Sunday Times bestseller for fifteen weeks, three weeks at number one. Us Three is Ruth’s second novel.