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
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 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 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 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.
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? 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.