BOOKBLOG: Neil Patrick Harris

The Magic Misfits: you can’t go wrong with a bunch of misfits you want to win the day!


“When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded kids. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.”

The Magic Misfits tells the story of young Carter, a runaway searching for his place in the world. He’s running away from his horrible uncle, a life of stealing and a life of uncertainty. When he boards the roof of a train, he never imagines that he will end up finding a group of people who accept him and his magical skills. 

Carter runs away from his uncle and stealing, only to run into problems because of stealing. A scary man running a carnival accuses him of stealing and asks him to join the carnival, but Carter knows better. Carter then runs into Mr Vernon. A much kinder and less scary man, who invites Carter to his magic shop the next day (having sensed that there was something magical about Carter). What follows in the next few days are adventures, overcoming bad guys, standing up for yourself and others and finding his place in life. Essentially Carter finds a bunch of kids who want to invite him into their friendship group and eventually Carter accepts this. 

The cover is BRILLIANT (hello David Litchfield) and the illustrations made my heart so happy.

I had SUCH high hopes for this book. Saying that I didn’t DISLIKE it. It was just nice. (Nice is one of my least favourite words in the English language). It was fine. I really liked Carter, there was something to him. I also really liked Mr Vernon. I hope he comes back in future books. The bunch of kids were the thing that kept me in this book. If the plot of the next ones is better, and more pacey then they’ll be winners for sure! I’m interested to hand this to one of the kids at school to get their opinion. For me it fell a bit flat, with likeable characters. The rest of the series should be interesting, to see where the characters and their magical abilities are taken! There’s a very Count Olaf-y vibe about this book… I’m still not sure how I feel about that!

Have you read The Magic Misfits?
Are you surprised I’ve read ANOTHER magic book?
Can you recommend me a magic book (kids or YA) that you’ve never seen me talk about? I want more!

Let me know in the comments your thoughts about this! I’d love to talk. This book has me in an interesting quandary.

S x


BLOG TOUR: My Colourful Chameleon

My Colourful Chameleon: fun and perfect for little people!


” A funny, rhyming story about a girl who keeps losing her beloved yet troublesome pet chameleon. It’s not her fault though, changing colour is what chameleons do best! Mum is angry at the disappearing critter, and the girl must convince her that the pet can stay. Can she find away of keeping track of her troublesome pet? This colourful and amusing rhyming tale is perfect for introducing children to the responsibilities involved with pet ownership, as well as learning about different colours”


This book is full of joy and mischief, featuring a little girl and her pet chameleon who always seems to be going missing. Whether he’s in the wool, hiding by the taps or fitting in with the bedding – he’s always going missing! This makes Mum really cross and the little girl gets sad and cross too… she doesn’t want to keep losing her pet! She just wants him to stay visible. She doesn’t want Mum or Dad to take her pet away! 


This book has a brilliant rhythm to it and it has an excellent use of rhyme. There’s some really fun bits in the story and having to try and find the chameleon is lovely. The kids at school really loved trying to find the chameleon and then talking about reasons why a chameleon might hide! Some brilliant links to Science! 


The illustrations in this book are excellent. They’re really vibrant. The kids at school really loved seeing the chameleon change into lots of different colours and were amazed that this was actually a real thing!

Thank you so much Leonie for inviting me onto the blog tour, and to Quarto for sending me a copy! It is well loved in school! 

Would you like a pet chameleon?
What colour would you like to turn if you were to be a chameleon?
If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be and why?

Talk to me! I’d love to hear some weird and wonderful suggestions for pets!

 S xx

2 down, 2 to go!

Last week was week 2 in my Second School Placement and what a week it was! It was a total rollercoaster of a week. I had some definite down moments, but there were some real up moments too!

Getting to grips with new kids, behaviour systems and new ways of managing behaviour is definitely the thing I think I have struggled with most so far on SSP. I have to keep reminding myself that unwanted behaviour is not personal.  This is a hard one to accept sometimes. I had a moment this past week where I definitely felt like I wanted to cryit all got a bit much for me. I’m very lucky to have some lovely supportive teachers (and a really supportive Head) to keep me afloat whilst at SSP. 

These brilliant members of staff have definitely helped me to feel more comfortable in school, it’s felt a bit more like home. I’ve no doubt that by the end of this half term (2 weeks time!) that I’ll be sad to leave. 4 weeks somewhere isn’t the longest span of time to settle in and make an impression, but I’m hoping the impression I’m making is positive. I’m trying to throw myself into school life entirely; I’ve been out on the yard in the morning, at break time and at the end of the day; I volunteered to help at choir after school (which I properly loved – it was so lovely to see the kids outside of the classroom). 

I’ve loved being able to teach a range of children – groups in Year 6, whole class in Year 3 and 4. I’m all over the shop, but it’s good. It’s all excellent experience

I had my first formal observation in SSP last week. It was a Science observation in Year 6. The kids were great and my feedback was so positive, with some things to think about. Science is not my comfort zone, so I thought it would be a good one to start with. I’m being observed twice next week, EEEK. My SCITT tutor is coming to see me on Wednesday (I’m teaching a Geography lesson, and possibly Music!) and then on Friday I’m being observed in Mathslet’s hope they stay positive! 

And that’s about it. These weeks feel like they’re dragging but also flying. 

S x

S4S – Authors I discovered in 2017

Hello there everyone!

How are we all? How is your Sunday going? Are you here to check out my #SixforSunday? Or are you here to check out my other posts from this week? Well come in, you’re more than welcome, whatever the answer! 

Today is another #SixforSunday post! Today’s post is all about:

Six authors I discovered in 2017

So, 6 authors I discovered in 2017 that I’d never read before. Some of these names may surprise you, some may not! Lets get on with it…

  1. Matt Haig
    Matt Haig was my most read author in 2017. I think I read 5 or 6 of his books. I absolutely adore his books and I got the chance to meet him earlier this month. I can’t wait for more from him. Go check out his books if you’re not already acquainted with them.
    BOOKBLOG: Matt HaigBOOKBLOG: Matt Haig
  2. Katie Webber
    The author of the ever so gorgeous Wing Jones. I absolutely adored Wing and I can not wait to see what is coming next from Katie. She’s just brilliant as an author and a person.
    BOOKBLOG: Katherine Webber
  3. Alice Broadway
    Another debut from 2017 whose writing I absolutely fell in love with. If you haven’t read Ink then you really really need to. It’s one of my favourite books from last year. I can’t wait for Spark to come out later this year.
  4. Maz Evans
    Yes, I know. I talk about Maz a lot, but I absolutely ADORE Maz and her books. Who Let The Gods Out and Simply The Quest are 2 of my fave kids books of 2017. They’re FIRM faves in the school library too!
    BOOKBLOG: Maz EvansBOOK BLOG: Maz Evans
  5. Emma Carroll
    I fell in love with Letters from the Lighthouse in 2017. I think I read it twice. I bought copies for the school library, for the Year 6 teacher and one of my friends. That’s how much I loved it.
    BOOKBLOG: Emma Carroll
  6. Stephen King
    Now, bear in mind I only read 1 Stephen King book in 2017 BUT I really loved it. I need to go ask my friends at Waterstones to give me more recommendations, because I think I’d like to read another one!
    BOOKBLOG: Stephen King

So there you go! Six authors I read for the first time in 2017. Definitely check them all out if you haven’t already! 

If you’re partaking in this week’s prompt, remember to share using #SixforSunday! Tweet me your link and I’ll check it out!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Women in…

Women in Sport/Women in Science: brilliantly biographical celebrations of incredible women, from the past and the present

The amazing people at Hachette sent me these copies of these books and I was absolutely gobsmacked. 

I have been ogling Women in Science on the shelves for a while in Waterstones, so when I heard Women in Sport was coming out, I knew I’d love a copy. 

“Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!”

“A fascinating collection full of striking, singular art, Women in Sports features 50 profiles and illustrated portraits of women athletes from the 1800s to today including trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breakers in more than 40 different sports.”

What I love most about these books is their shameless celebration of women and the things they have achieved in the past and the present. There are some incredible women in history celebrated in these books, but there’s also women celebrated today. From mathematicians, to physicists to doctors, Women in Science speaks of brilliantly inspiring women to get girls into STEM. In the same way, Women in Sport speaks of rowers, archers, tennis players, all kinds of sports women, past and present to inspire girls to get involved in sport. 

I adore these books. They are SO perfect. Each page is a mini biography and illustration. There’s just the right amount of information. The illustrations are incredible. 

 I must also mention the end pages of both books. They make me make such heart eyes

I can’t wait to use these books in school now to teach the kids all about incredible women through history

What book would you like them to publish next in this series?
What would YOUR page say about you in one of these books?
Which woman from history, or from the present, do you think deserves to be immortalised in the pages of one of these books?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Amy Wilson

A Far Away Magic: a magical and touching tale of friendship and family


“When Angel moves to a new school after the death of her parents, she isn’t interested in making friends. Until she meets Bavar – a strange boy, tall, awkward and desperate to remain unseen, but who seems to have a kind of magic about him. Everyone and everything within Bavar’s enchanted house is urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are travelling, the same monsters that killed Angel’s parents. But Bavar doesn’t want to follow the path that’s been chosen for him – he wants to be normal; to disappear. Fighting one another as well as their fears, Angel and Bavar must find a way to repair the rift between the worlds, and themselves, before it’s too late.”

A Far Away Magic tells one side of the story of Angel, the new girl in school, who just wants to get on with her new life, without being too noticed. She’s gone through some pretty rough times. Her parents have died, mysteriously, and she doesn’t want to revisit that memory as it is confusing and painful. She’s living with her new foster parents who aren’t too sure how to handle Angel, but who want to do what’s best for her. The other side of the story is Bavar. He’s a mysterious boy who goes unnoticed at school, who lives in the big house on the top of the hill. He’s happily going about not having friends until Angel, the new girl, notices him. 

Their friendship is not a conventional one. Angel is drawn to Bavar and she sees him when no one else does (much his magical doing!) and this stumps him. Angel can’t get this mysterious young man out of her head, she’s like a moth to lightdrawn to him. When they finally become friends, you see the spark of a brilliant friendship. Angel introduces Bavar to the normality of life – riding on trains, going to libraries – and Bavar introduces Angel to the exraordinary house he lives in, and his not so normal family. 

Obviously things never go to plan, these two people can’t just be friends and everything be peachy. There’s a connection between Bavar’s family and Angel’s dead parents. An undeniable connection that eventually explodes, with it their friendship. Bavar and Angel must work together to try to fix the problem. 

I really loved the friendship in this book. Angel and Bavar are reluctant friends at first. They don’t WANT to be friends, but they are drawn to each other. I love a good friendship in a book. They’re big hits for me. I also PROPER loved Bavar’s magical house. As you know by now I’m a sucker for anything magic, so the magical funny house Bavar lived in was a real winner with me! It was constantly changing. I’d like to live there!

Another of the themes that I loved in this book is Angel’s relationship with her foster parents. It is a hard relationship initially. They’re not sure how to be around each other at first. Angel doesn’t admit to anyone (except Bavar) that she’s got a foster family. By the end of the book you see the hard edges have melted away, they’re becoming a family unit. It was a really touching arc to watch develop and I definitely shed a tear. 

I loved Amy’s first book A Girl Called Owl (would definitely recommend it!), so when I was asked if I’d like to review this I was so happy to say yes! Thank you so much Amy for sending a copy to me! 

Have you read A Far Away Magic?
Are friendships a big part of a story to you?

Talk to me! Send me a tweet! A pigeon! A postcard! I’d love to talk!

S x

BOOKBLOG: Rob Biddulph

Kevin: a wonderful story with the most brilliant of imaginary friends


“Uh-oh – Sid Gibbons is in trouble again! Time to think fast…
When Sid makes yet another mess, and his mum is at the end of her patience, Sid does what every quick-thinking kid would do – he blames it on his big, furry, vanilla-and-pink friend Kevin! And while it seemed like a good idea at the time, Sid gets an unexpected surprise when he finds out that Kevin and his world might not be so imaginary after all – and while his friend might be make-believe, his feelings are very real.”


Kevin tells the story of young Sid who is forever getting into a bit of a mess, but forever blaming his imaginary friend, Kevin. What Sid doesn’t realise is that when Kevin comes along, there’s consequences to his actions that he has never considered. When he goes into Kevin’s world, he doesn’t act in the best ways and this isn’t good for Kevin. Upsetting your friends never works out for the best. Sid has to learn how to make it up to his friend.


I absolutely adored this book. The 2 worlds of Kevin and Sid and how they collide. They’re the same but different. The rhyming pattern. I love a rhyming book. It amazes me when authors manage rhyming books! The incredible illutrations. I mean just look at those pages, look at those characters. They’re just gorgeous. The empathy that Sid learns through meeting Kevin. Teaching kids a message through a book is brilliant. It’s one of my favourite things about picture books. It can teach kids an important message, without being condescending. It delivers the message on their level. The difference in the colours between Kevin’s world and Sid’s world. The comparison from Sid’s world at the beginning to the end. 


Kevin is the most adorable character and kids will absolutely adore him! 

Have you read Kevin?
Did you ever have an invisible friend? 
What other stories can you recommend to me that teach kids about empathy?

Talk to me in the comments, or tweet me! My picture book collection only needs to be built! (Sorry bank balance!)

S x


It starts with a smile…

Things that have made me smile recently:
Surprise parties with amazing family. Having a cry. Watching my little blog grow. Laughter. A lot of laughter. Amazing friends. Birthday presents. Books. Friends. Having time to myself. Terrible karaoke. Meals out with family. Restaurant week. Kind texts. Invitations to amazing book events. Being nominated for a UKYA Book Award. Kids. Seeing the snow melt. Cups of tea. People asking for my help. More books. More laughter. Watching my friends succeed. Repairing relationships. The future. Derek. Sleeping.  Having the most supportive bunch of friends in the world. Even more books. Tidying. Catfish. Oranges. Books. Always books.

Back in the classroom!

Last week, I got back in the classroom after a lovely Christmas holiday and then a week of training (which comprised of Early Years training, a 2 day Thinking Skills Conference and some data training!). I was so glad to be getting back into the classroom, however the big change this time round is that I was in a NEW SCHOOL. 

This half term lends itself to my Second School Placement (SSP). It’s a really short half term, so I am only on SSP for 4 weeks! I got through my first week, but it wasn’t without a wobble or two. I’ve never worked in another school. Don’t get me wrong, I know being away from my school will do me the world of good, being somewhere new has been a challenge. Not because of the school, just me. On a personal level.

I’ve learned a lot in my first week though. 
It’s been part struggle. Being somewhere new is scary. Being around new kids is a bit intimidating. Being in a new way of working is a lot to take in. Not knowing anyone and feeling a bit lonely can be kind of alienating.
It’s also been mostly brilliant. All of the kids I’ve met have been so excited to see me. I’ve seen some of them on the bus going home and they’ve waved and said hello. The staff have been brilliant, making me feel very welcome and being as accommodating as they can – offering me all of the help, if I need it.

I’ve had moments of feeling out of my depth and having to muddle through. I know this is an amazing opportunity for me and I’m hoping to take everything I can out of it. I’m looking forward to the next 3 weeks. It’s going to be a rollercoaster.

S x

S4S – Favourite covers of 2017


#SixforSunday is in its 4rd week of 2018. So far I’ve had some controversial opinions, and you’ve all shared your opinions too! This week should be far less polarising!

Today is a lovely one! Today we are thinking about:

Favourite covers of 2017

I’m actually going to show the covers! You don’t need spiel about them! Just enjoy their gloriousness.

I went with all YA books. I will share MG book covers if people are interested! 

Remember to share your six favourite book covers from 2017 using the hastag #SixforSunday on twitter! Link me to your posts too. I would love to see them!

S x