Sunday, 22 July 2012

Summer holiday books

So far this weekend...

Finished 'The Brilliant World Of Tom Gates' by Liz Pichon. Funny, probably better than Wimpy Kid. Will be looking for the sequels. I can see why they were so popular in class

Finished 'Gone' by Michael Grant. Loved this, absolutely brilliant. The next two are already lined up by my bed to read.

Started 'Run Zan Run' by Cathy Macphail. A fast paced and gripping (so far) story about a young girl who is bullied at school. Whilst walking home, she meets a girl called Zan who helps her out with her problems. Without giving too much away, it seems as if Zan has enough issues of her own to deal with.


Please share anything exciting that you are reading- or if you've picked up a book and found it to be a real disappointment, let everyone know! With the Olympics coming up, I would be really interested in hearing if anyone has read any great books about sport. I really enjoy the books by Tom Palmer- Foul Play, Dead Ball, Off Side, Killer Pass and Own Goal. Football, kidnapped players, murdered managers...and a fourteen year old detective!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A great place to get books (with a fantastic reading list)

Lots of people already know about the Norfolk Children's Book Centre- but lots of people don't! It is a bookshop where you can find pretty much every children's book currently in print (and they have all been read by Marilyn, the boss, so you can always get a first-hand review).

On the website they have got some great book lists if you are ever stuck for something to read (especially with the long summer holldays coming up). You can visit it here. There is a list for 9-12 year olds, a list of sad and emotional books, a list of action and adventure stories and many others (including suggestions for younger brothers and sisters). There's load more on the site, including lots of stuff for parents, so go and have a look. 

I really have to go and finish reading 'Gone'- things are getting very exciting! Unexpected mutations, gang warfare and children having their hands sealed in blocks of concrete to prevent them using their special powers... Learn more about this great series at

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Summer Reading Challenge

I've just been reminded about this by the lovely people at the library. Don't forget to sign up- and don't forget to post which books you have read!

Story Lab – The Summer Reading Challenge 2012

It’s not just our Olympic athletes going for gold this summer …

Thousands of families from across Norfolk will be taking part in the UK’s biggest free reading event for children: the Summer Reading Challenge.

Children of all ages and reading abilities can take part at their local library by reading 6 books collecting bronze, silver and gold stickers – as well as their very own medal.

The 2012 theme is Story Lab, a magical celebration of story and the imagination which is linked to the 2012 Olympics and the London 2012 Festival.

Children can choose any books they like: fact books, story books, joke books or picture books.  Audio books and e-books count as well, so long as they borrow them from a library.

Parents and carers love the Summer Reading Challenge because children discover the joy of reading – and children love it because it’s lots of fun.

To sign up, just head to your local library at the beginning of the summer holidays. It’s completely free – and every child who joins will receive a Story Lab pack.

Look out for more details in the library, including special Story Lab themed events. For library opening times visit:

Have a look here to find out more about Story Lab:

Friday, 6 July 2012

First lines quiz

How many of these first lines from famous children's books do you recognise? Post the answer to any that you know. There will be merits for the first person to get each one and a prize for the person who gets the most.

1. I disappeared on the night before my twelfth birthday.

2. There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.

3. Gordon Edgley's sudden death came as a shock to everyone- not least himself.

4. 'Yes,' said Tom bluntly, on opening the front door. 'What d'you want?'

5. Maths exams! Ugh!

6. First of all, let me get something straight: this is a JOURNAL, not a diary.

7. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.

8. When my parents split up they didn't know what to do with me.

9. Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.

10. When I wake up the other side of the bed is cold.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Books to read over the summer holidays

Please add your suggestions to the list- either anything that you've read and really enjoyed, or anything that you're planning to read.

1. The 'Gone' Series- currently Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear and Light. Written by Michael Grant. If you liked The Hunger Games, I have a feeling you will absolutely love these!

2. Mortlock by Jon Mayhew- a very dark, exciting and spooky gothic chiller set in Victorian London. With cool black pages! What more could you want from a book?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

I've only just got round to reading this, even though it won all kinds of awards when it was first published a few years ago- and I've also just found out that it is currently being turned into a 3D movie by Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings trilogy, King Kong). He's probably going to get The Hobbit out of the way first though.

The book is set on the Earth, several thousand years into the future. The planet has been destroyed by the 'Sixty Minute War' and has lost much of its technology. Cities such as London have been turned into 'traction cities' and must consume other cities in order to survive. The main characters of the book are a fifteen year old boy called Tom Natsworthy, who is an apprentice in the Guild Of Historians, and a orphaned girl called Hester Shaw (whose parents were murdered by the villain of the book).

The two of them have to save the planet from the evil plots of Magnus Crome (and his numerous James Bond style henchmen). On their adventures they are captured by pirates, crushed beneath speeding villages and lost in an enormous maze of tunnels.

It's an incredibly imaginative idea and very well written. There are some very sad moments towards the end when we understand a lot more about the relationships between the main characters. The pace of the story dips slightly in the middle, but overall I really enjoyed it. Some of the wordplay and language is fantastic.

This is the first in a quartet of books that feature the same central characters. The next book is called Predator's Gold and I'll be reviewing it very soon. If you're interested, you can find out about other books by Philip Reeve at Another book of his, Here Lies Arthur, also looks like it is definitely worth investigating (a new spin on the legend of King Arthur)- so if we've got any volunteers to try it and review it, please let me know...