Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Childrens’ Laureate’s choices

There was much on the news and in the papers about the Childrens’ Laureate’s choices of best children’s books to celebrate 10 years of having the post – Long may it continue. The five Laureates, past and present, each chose about twelve books which were whittled down to seven. In the media, much is being made of the fact that… Read more »

The way of the Warrior

Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori) by Lian Hearn This is the first novel of a series set in an imaginary world based on feudal Japan and the chivalric Bushido code of conduct. It successfully takes you into that world of honor and loyalty, mastery of martial arts, married with simple living and appreciation of nature and art…. Read more »

That Latin motto – update …

Last month, I came up with a personal motto for the blog:- Never leave home without a book But mottoes are so much better in Latin. I loved Latin at school, but last studied it in 1976 and that was the Cambridge Latin course which worked by osmosis rather than grammar drill. So I got out a text book and… Read more »

Superstition and fear – Your worst enemies in Puritan times…

Witch Child by Celia Rees Right at the beginning of this remarkable novel, Mary’s grandmother is tortured, tried and dies for being branded a ‘witch’. Rees lets you know exactly what was in store for the poor women who as healers, herbalists and midwives, were routinely denounced as witches when something went wrong in the superstitious Puritan times. Mary is… Read more »

There are faeries everywhere – but not all can see them …

The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison The debut novel from this young author is full of proper faeries, the kind with an ‘e’ from British folklore. They’re there right from the beginning, when Tanya’s faery tormentors decide how to make her day – not! For fourteen year old Tanya has second sight – she can see faeries, and knows the… Read more »

There are faeries everywhere – but not all can see them …

The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison The debut novel from this young author is full of proper faeries, the kind with an ‘e’ from British folklore. They’re there right from the beginning, when Tanya’s faery tormentors decide how to make her day – not! For fourteen year old Tanya has second sight – she can see faeries, and knows the… Read more »

“If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”

The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick Now this is a proper novel about vampires – and they don’t even make an appearance properly until late in the book, however, they are mentioned in the blurb, so I’m hardly giving the game away. It’s also a proper book about Venice, set in the 18th century during the end of the… Read more »

“If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”

The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick Now this is a proper novel about vampires – and they don’t even make an appearance properly until late in the book, however, they are mentioned in the blurb, so I’m hardly giving the game away. It’s also a proper book about Venice, set in the 18th century during the end of the… Read more »

A Cinematic treat for readers of all ages…

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick This book has a fascinating concept. It’s a chunkster of over 500 pages that can be read in just a couple of hours for over half the pages are pictures – black and white pencil drawings mostly. But it’s not a graphic novel, this book is… Read more »

Sheer Poetry – a remarkable read

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman This is unlike any other children’s story I have ever read. A series of 26 short poems, telling the story of Sam and Davey, and all about bullying and friendship, secrets and lies, and the terrible thing that happened one day … Told entirely in Sam’s voice, the poems are mostly in a prose style,… Read more »