The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell

Star Rating: **** Helena and her father have moved to Cambridge – her father has a new job at the mysterious house that belongs to Mr Westcott, who firmly states that not a single clock in his house must stop. But as Helena discovers more about the house and it’s many clocks, she realises that…

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James

Star Rating: **** Tilly lives above her grandparent’s book shop. Her mum has disappeared and she never knew her dad. One day, the characters from her favourite books start appearing and transporting her into their worlds. With this new found ability, Tilly wonders if she can uncover the truth about her mother at last. There’s…

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

Star Rating: ***** We last left the Widdershins attempting to break a tragic curse. Now, we continue with Betty, Fliss and Charlie (and Hoppit, of course) as they try to help a young stranger save her father from certain death. In a tale full of pirates, treasure and secret islands, A Sprinkle of Sorcery is…

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook

Star Rating: ***** Chaya is a thief. A thief who managed to steal the Queen’s jewels. However when the King’s men come searching for said thief, Chaya ends up on the run with an unlikely getaway vehicle. Farook’s ability to create action and adventure is second to none. With the first line uttering the words…

Runaway Robot by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Star Rating: **** Alfie has a secret. A six-foot six, polite, metal robot called Eric kind of secret. Alfie discovers that Eric is lost and makes it his mission to find out more about him. However, Alfie has his own secret about how he got his bionic hand – the trouble is, he can’t remember…

The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell

Star Rating: **** Stella has always wanted to be an explorer. When one day, she gets to join an expedition with the Polar Bear Explorers Club, she cannot believe that her wish is going to come true. However, an incident at the start of the trip leaves her and some others cut off from the…

The Girl with Space in her Heart by Lara Williamson

Star Rating: **** Mabel Mynt has a lot of worries. She doesn’t understand why her dad walked out, or if she’ll ever see him again, whether or not her mum is really happy or whether her new boyfriend is being honest. What I love most about this story is the internal monologue you have from…

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Star Rating: **** Herbie lemon loves his job as a Lost-and-Founder in Eerie-on-Sea until one day, Violet Parma arrives claiming to be lost herself and enlisting his services. Together they embark on a journey to discover what happened to her parents which appears to have something to do with the local myth of the Malamander….

Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone

Star Rating: **** Casper loves a to-do list. And health and safety lists. And staying away from trouble. However one day when he is hiding from his school bully, he finds himself in the magical world of Rumblestar. He discovers that the freaky weather in England is due to the fact that an evil harpy…

A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison

Star Rating: **** Three sisters with a yearning to escape the town they grew up in, only to find out that if they did, there would be dire consequences. We join Betty, Fliss and Charlie as they attempt to break the curse and change their fate. I absolutely loved this story – particularly as I…

Granny Magic by Elka Evalds

Star Rating: **** After Will’s gran sadly passes away, he notices strange things happening. Lots of people are incredibly interested in anything his gran has knitted. He ends up on a magical adventure, finding out there there was far more to his gran than he realised and to never ever judge a book by its…

The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Star Rating: **** Mila and her family live in the forest in a winter that doesn’t seem to be ending. One night her brother, as well as all the boys in the nearby town have gone missing after a mysterious man appears in the night and it is up to Mila to save them. It…

The Day I was Erased by Lisa Thompson

Star Rating: **** Maxwell is always in trouble. One night he gets himself in so much trouble that everyone in his life seems to hate him. That night, he accidentally makes his life disappear. This story is like a modern take on ‘It’s a wonderful life’ where Maxwell sees what impact he has had on…

The Great Brain Robbery by P. G. Bell

Star Rating: **** Suzie returns to the Land of Impossible Places for the special unveiling of the brand new Impossible Postal Express train. However, a mysterious earthquake threatening the land of Trollville means that Suzie and her friends must figure out what is going on and how to save Trollville. I adored the first book…

Top 5 books of 2019

It’s the end of the year and of the decade! I decided to round up my top 5 books that I read this year – I found this so incredibly difficult to narrow down to 5 as I could have easily has so many more but if I lifted the limit then I would basically…

Snow Foal by Susanna Bailey

Star rating: **** When Addie has to go away into a foster family while her mum gets better she finds the one person who she can talk through all of her problems. Okay, not person, animal. On the farm she is staying on, Addie finds a stranded foal and is instantly drawn to him. They…

The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie

Star Rating: **** There once was a magical shop, which appears out of nowhere. A shop full of amazing wonders and delights but leaves no trace and no memories. Daniel Holmes stumbles upon this world and the mystery around it, taking himself on an incredible adventure through imaginations. This story is one of the importance…

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan

Star Rating: ***** Arthur and Rose are twins who spent their childhood imagining adventures in the Land of Roar. Only they are about to realise that the land isn’t as imaginary as they first thought. This is an incredible story which hooked me from the very beginning. I just couldn’t put it down was eager…

The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder

Star Rating: *** Emily’s world gets turned upside down when her parents go missing. Determined to find them she accidentally finds herself in the night realm. A land where it is permanently within the hour of midnight. Enlisting the help of some unusual allies, Emily goes on a mission to save her parents and get…

The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell

Star Rating: **** One night, Suzy was awoken by some strange sounds downstairs in her house. She wasn’t quite expecting to find a train travelling through her hallway. Naturally, Suzy manages to escape her way on to the magical train that delivers parcels to Impossible Places. We go on an adventure discovering a secret plan…

Simply the Quest by Maz Evans

Star Rating: **** The second installment of the ‘Who let the Gods out’ series is as funny and action packed as the first. Elliot is continuing to locate the Chaos stones with the support of his wacky immortal friends. All the while, he is also dealing with his own demons – the inner voice in…

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf

Star Rating: ***** My year 5 class last year were sometimes hard to please. Not always, but they were at the age where how ‘cool’ they are perceived to be was of upmost importance. To read a book to them which had no mythical creatures, no fantasy lands, not even masses of action and yet…

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Star Rating: **** Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim enters the pod on the London Eye, but panic sets in when he never gets off. It’s the kind of mystery you expect to find in Sherlock Holmes – I almost kept expecting Benedict Cumberbatch to come into the story and tell us about a highly improbable…

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Star Rating: **** What I really loved about this book was the beginning. We start right at the heart of it all – the plane crash which strands these characters in the depths of the Amazon. Katherine Rundell could have easily began by easing us in, introducing each character and how they came to be…

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans

Star Rating: **** Elliot Hooper is just your normal boy – albeit a mischievous one. But the school can’t contact home because at home Elliot is keeping a big secret. When Virgo, a feisty constellation wanting to prove herself falls from the sky into Elliot’s cowshed, they accidentally set free the evil Thanatos and must…

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Star Rating: ***** Edward is a china rabbit. The finest china rabbit you ever did see. Until one day, Edward got lost. This is the story about how a little lost china rabbit finds his way – both physically and emotionally. This story is beautifully told and I read it in one go and absolutely…

Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock

Star Rating: **** I never say no to a book which has a murder in it! Years of growing up watching Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple meant that this book leapt out at me. Maya is travelling home on a bus in the middle of busy, bustling London when accidentally takes a photo of two…

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Star Rating: **** Matthew has a secret. A secret he hasn’t shared with anyone. A secret which has made him housebound for fear of getting infected with germs and getting ill. He spends his days looking out of his window at the comings and goings of the cul-de-sac he lives in. But when a toddler…

Welcome ‘lazy’ readers

I’ve always had a strange relationship with reading. I can go for months without really picking up a book. Then, I’ll randomly find one book that I devour in a matter of hours and will inevitably get into a reading frenzy. Book after book I’ll read and read until eventually, I get out of the…