#Review By Lou of Rebel Girls – Climate Change Warriors #RebelGirls #MiddleGrade #NonFiction #ChildrensNonFiction #ChildrensBook #Climate #Summer #Outdoors #Nature

Rebel Girls – Climate Change Warriors

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This middle-grade book was gifted by the people behind the Rebel Girls series, so I thank them.
I’m no stranger to these books having reviewed one and then continually been gifted them thereafter in exchange of an honest review. You can find out more in the blurb and my review below.

Rebel Girls Climate Warriors cover

Blurb

With fairytale-like stories about Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, and Rachel Carson, Rebel Girls Climate Warriors: 25 Tales of Environmental Allies spotlights the world-changing work of women on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice. Meet conservationists, activists, water protectors, philanthropists, authors, and other women from all over the world who have stood up to polluters and used their amazing talents to protect the planet. Climate Warriors is part of the award-winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

Join Greta Thunberg for a climate strike. Plant a tree with Wangari Maathai. Stand with water protector Autumn Peltier. And turn trash into profits and independence with Isatou Ceesay. Rebel Girls Climate Warriors tells the stories of the ingenuity and commitment of these women and more, including Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei, Indigenous Ecuadorian leader Nemonte Nenquimo, and Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom.

This collection of 25 stories follows in the footsteps of the New York Times best-selling series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. It is illustrated by female and nonbinary artists from around the world.

Review

The book follows the format of the others of a brief description and then a picture of the person it is referring to in illustration form. This time it focuses on those who have featured on the news and other mediums, but that’s not to say that whatever you do, however big and small doesn’t count, it does. This is often where these books fall down slightly. In saying that, the book ends with a small and useful bit (although by no means exhaustive list) about what people can feasibly do to help.

The people who are chosen have been chosen well because it isn’t always the most obvious people like Greta Thunberg or water activists etc, there are people from places you may not expect, who have shown care for the environment, such as people from politics and journalism and authors too. It is these people that make this book stand out more than it otherwise perhaps would, just because it is perhaps not what you think of first.

The information provided is short and to the point, covering a bit about what they do, who they are and their care about the environment and climate change and will capture the imagination of children and is a good talking point. The layout and tone as ever is well-pitched for the age group most likely to read this ever-growing series.

#Review By Lou of Meet The Grubblers By Sarah Louise, Illustrated By Amy Ashworth @sarahlouise_novels @thegrubblers @Random T Tours #BlogTour #ChildrensBooks #MeetTheGrubblers

Meet The Grubblers
By Sarah Louise
Illustrated By Amy Ashworth 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Meet The Grubblers Cover

 

Meet the Grubblers has cake, creatures and a magical world to explore in this positive adventure. 
Discover more in the blurb and my review below.
Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour.

Meet The Grubblers Back Cover

Review

Meet the Grubblers 3D ImageMeet the Grubblers is set against the pandemic, but also delves into a fantastic adventure. Emily is fed up of Ipad’s and calls over the internet and opens her curtains one day and is magically whisked on an adventure with a mysterious girl called Lucy, who in turn introduces her to The Grubblers, who are up to all sorts of antics… They are curious characters who bring humour and take readers further into a fantastical land, which is brilliant for escapism. Amongst the humour and cake, that features in the book, is mild trepidation as someone has captured Ada and it is up to Emily and Lucy, in this different land, to find her.
This is a positive story with an excellent ending.

You may never open your curtains in the same way after reading this story… There are perhaps more adventures than meets the eye for the imaginative readers…

On, perhaps an even more serious note, I think this is great, considering at the time of writing, Covid-19 has not totally disappeared and for the future as things move onwards, it’s an important reminder of its existence. The book, although set in a magical world for the most part, is also very relatable for children for what had happened in the world, as well as managing to be highly entertaining.

I highly recommend this very fun, entertaining book.

Meet The Grubblers BT Poster

#Review By Lou – Dreadwood By Jennifer Killick @JenniferKillick @Farshorebooks #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour #Dreadwood #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBook

Dreadwood
By Jennifer Killick

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dreadwood is a middlegrade horror for 9 years plus, by the author of the hugely popular Crater Lake. She is an author who fans of Goosebumps by R.L. Stine enjoy. I jumped at the chance at the blog tour to see what all the fuss is about. Find out if it was worth it in my review and also discover more about the book in the blurb. Dread Wood

Blurb

Dread Wood, Horror, scary books, comedy, reading, books for kids, books for boys, books for girlsTurn the lights on. Lock the door. Things are about to get SERIOUSLY SCARY!

The brand new must-read middle-grade novel from the author of super-spooky Crater Lake. Perfect for 9+ fans of R.L.Stine’s Goosebumps

It’s basically the worst school detention ever. When classmates (but not mate-mates) Hallie, Angelo, Gustav and Naira are forced to come to school on a SATURDAY, they think things can’t get much worse. But they’re wrong. Things are about to get seriously scary.

What has dragged their teacher underground? Why do the creepy caretakers keeping humming the tune to Itsy Bitsy Spider? And what horrors lurk in the shadows, getting stronger and meaner every minute…? Cut off from help and in danger each time they touch the ground, the gang’s only hope is to work together. But it’s no coincidence that they’re all there on detention. Someone has been watching and plotting and is out for revenge…

Review

Children love something that’s a bit scary, when in the comfort of their own home. School on a Saturday is sure to put the frighteners on any child, but then Killick ups turns the screw even more. It’s most definitely a page-turner!
Meet Hallie, Gus and Naira in detention on a Saturday at Dreadwood High and staff – teacher, Mr Canton and groundsman, Mr Latchitt. You can see how they landed detention. On a Saturday is odd enough, but then strange things start to happen, starting with the mysterious disappearance of Mr Canton…
Mr and Mrs Latchitt have something about them that feels toe-curlingly strange! That, once past the behaviours of the children and their ideas and lifestyles is when it really gets interesting. Holes sealing up is just one thing as the intrigue deepens and the mystery gets darker and twisty, with its tunnels, spiders and references to well-known fairytales and rhymes.

Children will find this nail-bitingly atmospheric and entertaining to read, with its fast-paced spookiness and characters to latch onto.

The next story is – The Fear Ground. I have had the privilege to read the extract and it is most definitely going to be a book that will be worth the wait.

Thanks to Farshore Books and The Write Reads for inviting me onto the blog tour and for the book. 

 

 

The Beast and the Bethany – Revenge of the Beast By Jack Meggitt-Phillips @MeggittPhillips @FarshoreBooks #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour #MiddleGrade #RevengeOfTheBeast

The Beast and the Bethany – The Revenge of the Beast
By Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Revenge of the Beast Tour Banner

The Beast and the Bethany – Revenge of the Beast is the second book in this series, the first being The Beast and the Bethany, popular amongst the Middlegrade readers for all its fun and havoc. Today I am on the blog tour, thanks to The Write Reads, with a review of Revenge of the Beast. Discover more in the blurb and then my review and a bit about the author below…

Blurb

Revenge of the Beast Cover PhotoLemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this riotously funny, deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated sequel to The Beast and the Bethany in which Bethany and Ebenezer try to turn over a new leaf, only to have someone—or something—thwart them at every turn.

Once upon a very badly behaved time, 511-year-old Ebenezer kept a beast in his attic. He would feed the beast all manner of objects and creatures and in return the beast would vomit him up expensive presents. But then the Bethany arrived.

Now notorious prankster Bethany, along with her new feathery friend Claudette, is determined that she and Ebenezer are going to de-beast their lives and Do Good. But Bethany finds that being a former prankster makes it hard to get taken on for voluntary work. And Ebenezer secretly misses the beast’s vomity gifts. And neither of them are all that sure what “good people” do anyway.

Then there’s Claudette, who’s not been feeling herself recently. Has she eaten something that has disagreed with her?

Review

First of all, I was somewhat surprised at their being a second book, to start creating a series and then I got excited for Middlegrade readers because the first was so good (so great in fact that it is tipped to be made into a film by a major film company).

This sequel reunites readers with Ebenezer and Bethany and it doesn’t disappoint at all and is rich in story and has lots of humour, especially the sarcastic wit that readers got to know in the first book.

Ebenezer isn’t your average person, in fact he is far, far from average and so far away from any average age. He is 511 years old. The book leads children on an entertaining story, full of humour and like Roald Dahl, it gives readers a whole gambit of emotions and a terrific plot. Ebenezer wants to de-beast as it were and become a better person.

Bethany wants to become a “Do-Gooder”, but she first has to work out what that actually means. This in-turn has humorous consequences as she grapples with this concept and her inner-self wanting to still cause havoc and be the prankster.

There is also a shirt that seems to become a character with a mind of its own and Claudette the Bird acting very strangely.

There are also a few new characters to enchant children as they find out more about Ebenezer and Bethany’s lives, from what they have lived to their present. 

Expertly weaved through this are other themes about how people sometimes treat others and it will keep children engaged to see if Ebenezer and Bethany can really change and become better people, like they want to be. 

About the Author

Jack Meggitt-Phillips is an author, scriptwriter, and playwright whose work has been performed at The Roundhouse and featured on Radio 4. He is scriptwriter and presenter of The History of Advertising podcast. In his mind, Jack is an enormously talented ballroom dancer, however his enthusiasm far surpasses his actual talent. Jack lives in north London where he spends most of his time drinking peculiar teas and reading P.G. Wodehouse novels.

#BookReview By Lou The Wild Before By Piers Torday @PiersTorday @QuercusKids #MiddleGrade #NaturalWorld #ClimateStory #ChildrensBook

The Wild Before
By Piers Torday

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Wild Before is a great story that encompasses animals in the natural world and the climate. It is suitable for older middle-grade readers.
Thanks to Quercus Kids publisher for gifting me the book to review. Discover more in the blurb and rest of my review below and the eye-catching cover.

The Wild Before cover

Blurb

Can one hare alone change the world? The captivating animal adventure destined to be loved by readers of all ages. A stunning hardback edition from the bestselling, much-loved author, Piers Torday.

One stormy, snowy night, a pure silver calf is born on an ordinary muddy farm by the light of the moon. This is the legendary Mooncalf, whose arrival has been foretold since the dawn of time.

According to a dream passed down from animal to animal, if the calf dies, a great Terribleness will come – rising seas, a plague, skies raining down fire, the end of all things… and Little Hare vows to persuade all the animals to protect Mooncalf, whatever the cost.

But it’s easier said than done, and soon Little Hare realises that he is the only one who can save the world…

A stunning prequel to the award-winning, bestselling The Last Wild trilogy, touching on timely themes of climate change, friendship, and above all, hope.
‘Piers Torday is the new master of books for children’ The Times

Review

The Wild Before coverThe Wild Before starts off illustrating different sorts of moon for the whole year. A different name per month. There’s also a glossary so children can totally understand the animals.

Readers get to know Little Hare first, who runs ever so fast to find where Dandelion Hill was. From the start you can tell there is something not right. Little Hare is on a mission to find the wild and to pass on an urgent message. Wildeness is in charge, but he encounters wolves who claim to be guardians of Wildeness in the north…. The book then goes onto the first chapter and beyond. It’s absolutely beautifully written and captivating by the tension created and trepidation. In an instant you care about Little Hare and what she has to say and hope he survives. There is also Bite-Hare, Sist-Hare and Run-Hare.
The book is cute in its storytelling and in its illustrations, but also shows some of the hardships that wildlife has. There are also dogs and humans to fear and to watch out for as the hares try to leave the farm they are on to go to try and travel northwards to get to speak with Wildeness. They also comes across Brock who is a badger and a harvest mouse, who has lots of songs. The mission also means trying to find a specific flower and that may require a human as the race is on to stop a virus.

The book highlights climate change and the sea levels rising and the hardships humans and animals have. The book also shows the natural world in action in all its magnificence and also the life and death within it and that concern animals have that their prey may capture them that day. The book also shows heirarchy in animals and Wildeness being at the top.

The Wild Before is like today’s Animal’s of Farthing Wood and Watership Down. It fits very well with these books in its themes and desire to read about the natural world and to care about it. It may be an emotional read for children, but one that they’ll find compelling to say the least.
It has, amongst the adventure and all the dangers, an important message to convey to readers too.
Classes in schools are already reading this. There’s much to read and discuss, but in saying that, it can also be read for pleasure at home too as middle grade readers will like being swept up in the storytelling and the adventure of it all.

#BookReview by Lou of Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City: from the creator of Draw with Rob by Rob Biddulph @RobBiddulph @MacmillanKidsUK #MiddleGrade aged 8 plus #ChildrensBook

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City: from the creator of Draw with Rob
By Rob Biddulph

 

Imaginative and entertaining with absolutely amazing illustrations that will blow you away a wonderful story to boot. Children aged 8 plus are sure to love this.
Discover more in the blurb and my review. Thanks also to the publisher – MacMillan Children’s Books for allowing me to review.

Peanut Jones Illustrated City

Blurb

Peanut Jones Illustrated CitySuperstar, author and illustrator Rob Biddulph dazzles in Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City, the first title in an adventure series for boys and girls of 8+. Fizzing with magic, danger, friendship and art, this exciting, funny, middle-grade debut is from the bestselling creative genius behind #DrawWithRob.

Some legends are born, some are drawn . . .

Drawing feels like magic to Peanut Jones. But art can’t fix her problems. Her dad has gone missing, and she’s stuck in a boring new school. Until the day she finds a unique pencil turbo-charged with special powers. Suddenly she’s pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined. And maybe, just maybe, she might find out what happened to her dad.

‘A wildly imaginative, big-hearted celebration of creativity’ – Anna James, bestselling author of the Pages & Co series

‘Look at this utter beauty . . . This book is EPIC’ – Laura Ellen Anderson, bestselling author of Amelia Fang

Review

Rob Biddulph was known in the height of the pandemic for his “Draw With” sessions online. Now you can read his latest book – Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City.

Pernilla Anne Jones is otherwise called Peanut Jones and is in school detention when readers meet her, then we meet her friends and other people around the city, such as her mum, Rockwell and Lillibet, otherwise known as Little Bit.
The book has amazing illustrations. Nothing too out of the ordinary – people, cars and the like, but the way they are drawn makes them pop out from the page, like you could reach in and pick them up. They are some of the best children’s illustrations I’ve seen in a while!

Amongst the illustrations is where the story is occurring all around them, not always in a traditional words then picture kind of a way, but almost more in a synergy kind of a way. It’s all eye-catching.

Accompanied with the amazing illustrations there is a seriousness in the story itself as Peanut’s dad, who is an artist, is missing and memories of him flood back every so often and this captures emotion.

There is science and art as topics within the book and they interact in interesting and magical ways.

Children will gain a lot of knowledge about art, that’s cleverly integrated into fun the fun of this enchanting story of magic, mystery and adventure into a city she explores – Chroma – The Illustrated City, which is magical and yet isn’t without its trepidation. Peanut and Rockwell are sent on a mission to save someone and there is much in jeopardy and much at stake along the way and codes to work on and more…
There’s much action, including heroes and villains of the piece to keep children hooked and immerse them into the city and build up their excitement as they read.

At the end of the book is a fabulous glossary about the artists who feature in this book. Each has a small paragraph about them, which builds children’s knowledge in a fun way and backs up who they’ve come across in the story.