Tracy Wood

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I am a voracious reader and used to be a learning support assistant in a senior school for eight years before leaving to home school my now adult daughter. I have ten grandchildren who I love reading to and spending time with. Reviews by Tracy Wood

Book reviews by Tracy Wood

Aliya to the Infinite City by Laila Rifaat

Aliya to the Infinite City by Laila Rifaat

Aliya to the Infinite City is an exciting, fast-moving fantasy for confident readers who enjoy longer books. It has an exciting storyline with enticing cliffhangers which could be suitable for reading aloud.
Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels by Ruth Lauren

Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels by Ruth Lauren

Tourmaline and the Museum of Marvels is an excellent follow-up to Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere and once again I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience. The strongest message throughout is that friendship matters.
Hide and Seek by Rhian Tracey

Hide and Seek by Rhian Tracey

Hide and Seek is an absolutely brilliant book which shows how secrecy, rumour, and paranoia became interwoven with everyday life during WW2. It is sympathetic and informative in a way which means most readers in the designated age range will be able to access.
Hotel for Cats by Marie Pavlenko

Hotel for Cats by Marie Pavlenko, illustrated by Marie Voyelle

Hotel for Cats is a fun read, with humour aimed directly at younger readers with pawful puns aplenty but the simple storyline also contains a serious message. It’s ideal for reading aloud, especially with all the cat puns contained here!
Alyssa and the Spell Garden by Alexandra Sheppard

Alyssa and the Spell Garden by Alexandra Sheppard

Alyssa and the Spell Garden is a good book to discuss the importance of community, whether that is where you live, where you go to school, or where you spend your leisure time, and how easily that can change.
The Grimmelings by Rachael King

The Grimmelings by Rachael King

The Grimmelings is an atmospheric, well-written, standalone novel where the majesty of New Zealand’s stunningly beautiful landscape leaps off the page. The lives of Ella and her family draw you straight in.
Time Travellers: Adventure Calling by Sufiya Ahmed

Time Travellers: Adventure Calling by Sufiya Ahmed

Time Travellers: Adventure Calling is a brilliant book for those who love or loathe history as it is written in such an informative and engaging way that it should appeal to everyone.
Frank the Uniform Alpaca by Gavin Puckett

Frank the Unicorn Alpaca by Gavin Puckett

Frank the Unicorn Alpaca is a fun story with an easy rhythm, which is humorous, joyful, and great to read aloud. Frank is an unlikely hero and at the beginning. everyone can sympathise with his dilemma.
A Drop of Golden Sun by Kate Saunders

A Drop of Golden Sun by Kate Saunders

A Drop of Golden Sun is a lovely, feel-good, novel where problems are revealed and then solved without too much angst. There are interweaving storylines covering loneliness, bullying, alcohol abuse, fragmented families, and mental health issues.
Winner Takes Gold by Eloise Smith

Winner Takes Gold by Eloise Smith

Winner Takes Gold is is an enjoyable read. As an adventure story for someone who enjoys reading anything sport-related, this could very well hit the spot. The lengths some will go to in pursuit of perfection were scarily detailed.
Diamond Jack: Your Magic or Your Life by Anna Rainbow

Diamond Jack: Your Magic or Your Life by Anna Rainbow

Diamond Jack is excellent book is a fast-moving and action-packed read, with great main protagonists to cheer for. There are plenty of surprises, many of which I didn’t see coming at all!
Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm by Ash Bond

Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm by Ash Bond

Peregrine Quinn and the Cosmic Realm is a fast-moving middle-grade novel which draws the reader into an exciting dual-realm adventure. Readers will relate to the characters and the mythical Cosmic Realm.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis, illustrated by Joey Chou

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe board book is a gentle way to introduce very young readers to a more sophisticated series of children’s stories. This version brings that magical world to life for younger children.
The Memory Thieves (The Marvellers 2) by Dhonielle Clayton

The Memory Thieves (The Marvellers 2) by Dhonielle Clayton

The Memory Thieves is fast-moving and exciting throughout and could easily be enjoyed as a whole class experience or as private reading for those at the higher end of the suggested reading ages and abilities.
Storm Dragon by Dianne Hofmeyr and Carol Thompson

Storm Dragon by Dianne Hofmeyr and Carol Thompson

Storm Dragon is a beautifully illustrated book which, according to my six-year-old grandson, had nothing in it he didn’t like! The grandpa and his grandchild tackle everything with an enthusiasm that leaps off the page.
Scarygirl Film Tie-In: The Origin Story by Nathan Jurevicius

Scarygirl Film Tie-In: The Origin Story by Nathan Jurevicius

The illustrations in Scarygirl are wonderful and there is far more in each picture than first meets the eye. One advantage of this graphic novel is that one visit isn’t nearly enough.
Santa's New Reindeer by Caroline Crowe and Jess Pauwels

Santa’s New Reindeer by Caroline Crowe and Jess Pauwels

Santa’s New Reindeer all children will enjoy and I think will result in it becoming a favourite Christmas read. It is a pleasure to read aloud to a young audience who I have no doubt will enjoy it enormously, especially as the reader has to say ‘poop’!
Merry Whatmas? Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar

Merry Whatmas? by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar

Merry Whatmas? is a lovely book about what Christmas should be about seen through the eyes of Hedgehog, Tortoise, and their friends. Each page covers a different friend and their favourite part of the preparations for the big day.
Man-man and the Tree of Memories by Yaba Badoe

Man-Man and the Tree of Memories by Yaba Badoe

Man-Man and the Tree of Memories is a beautiful book and the work of illustrator, Joelle Avelino, compliments Yaba Badoe’s story perfectly. It is a joyous story with bright, multi layered illustrations which add depth to every page.
Best Friends Forever by Lisa Williamson

Best Friends Forever by Lisa Williamson

Lola is literally starting big school, because she’s going to Henry Bigg Academy! Best Friends Forever is a relatable, empathetic book, whose main protagonists are great characters with realistic problems they need to solve.
The Taming of the Cat by Helen Cooper

The Taming of the Cat by Helen Cooper

The Taming of the Cat is a highly relatable story for 9-12-year-olds who will love this tale of Brie, who really isn’t your everyday mouse! Illustrated by the author, the animal drawings are beautifully done.
The Wolf Twins by Ewa Jozefkowicz

The Wolf Twins by Ewa Jozefkowicz

The Wolf Twins will give readers on the outside looking in an understanding of what it’s like to be a twin, especially when your sibling looks exactly like you! It will also appeal to those with siblings very close in age.
Monster Stink by Anna Brooke

Monster Stink by Anna Brooke

Monster Stink would be a popular addition to any year 2 or 3 classroom. What child doesn’t relate to bogeys and farts? My 6 year old grandson loved it and found it funny as well as ‘ewww’, which was, I think, what the author was hoping for.
Peanut, Butter & Crackers: River Rescue by Paige Braddock

Peanut, Butter & Crackers: River Rescue by Paige Braddock

Peanut, Butter & Crackers: River Rescue is a fun book with lots going on. The story is a gentle way of showing what can happen when curiosity and impulsiveness take over. It also shows the power of friendship, especially when you have got yourself in a spot of bother!
Mia and the Traitor of Nubis by Janelle McCurdy

Mia and the Traitor of Nubis by Janelle McCurdy

Mia and the Traitor of Nubis is a brilliant, fast-moving, adventure story with a likeable main protagonist who is easy to relate to. I will absolutely be on the lookout for the final instalment. I need to know how this concludes and at the moment I have no idea, which is an excellent place to be.
Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shaman by Isi Hendrix

Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans by Isi Hendrix

Adia Kelbara is an exceptional read. With a brilliant main protagonist who leaps off the page, this book is alive with discussion points. The eminently satisfying conclusion leaves the reader wanting more.
Indiana Jones and the Invisible City by Harry Heape

Indiana Bones and the Invisible City by Harry Heape

Indiana Bones and the Invisible City is an exciting novel for ages seven and up which has thrilling discoveries to be made in each chapter. The humour works well as a tension breaker on more than one occasion.
One Chance Dance by Efua Traoré

One Chance Dance by Efua Traoré

One Chance Dance is a wonderful book that carries the reader along on a tide of positivity. Jomi is a sympathetically written main protagonist who is easy to cheer for as he and his bushbaby face life head on.
Last Girl In by Cheryl Diane Parkinson

Last Girl In by Cheryl Diane Parkinson

Last Girl In by Cheryl Diane Parkinson is a feel-good book with a positive message highlighting the advantages of believing in yourself. Sports-loving and less confident readers will enjoy this satisfying story with short chapters.
The Call of the Titanic by Lindsay Galvin

Call of the Titanic by Lindsay Galvin

Call of the Titanic is a great mix of factual and fictional with a mythological twist, exploring what happened and what could have been. It leaves readers in no doubt as to how catastrophic and initially unbelievable the whole event was.
My Family and Other Romans by Marie Basting

My Family and Other Romans by Marie Basting

My Family and Other Romans is a fun and funny journey through the Roman Empire and some of its better and lesser-known gods and goddesses, catapulting the reader into the enthusiastic world of modern-day historical re-enactment.
Ajay and the Jaipur Moon by Varsha Shah

Ajay and the Jaipur Moon by Varsha Shah

Ajay and the Jaipur Moon is an exciting and beautifully written and illustrated book for children aged eight upwards. It could be the starting point for discussions about what friendship means to them and how they relate to each other’s varying interests and future plans.
Son of the Sea by Richard Pickard

Son of the Sea by Richard Pickard

Suitable for Year 4 and above Son of the Sea is a gentle look at the things which make us unique that could be used in class discussions on friendship, family, feeling different, and having something to aim for.
Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren

Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren

Suitable for confident readers in the lower half of the 9-12 age bracket, it will also strike a chord with older middle-grade students who struggle to find the good in themselves that others already see.