February in books

We come to the end of February. There are no days of February left (except today!). Today I’m sharing the books I read in February! 

(If you’d like to see January’s round up… check out January in books)

How was your February everyone? What did you get up to?

In February, I…

Had half term.
Read 12 books

Was quite poorly.
Read a fair few books.
Listened to The Greatest Showman soundtrack a lot.
Went to see Love, Simon and cried, a lot.

So how did I get on with my books in February?

MG books
When The Mountains Roared – Jess Butterworth (proof copy, will DEFINITELY be buying a finished copy when it’s out!)
Tin – Padraig Kenny 
Max and the Millions – Ross Montgomery (one of my fave kid’s authors… I shall be getting a finished copy asap)
Make More Noise – various brilliantly badass women
The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
Twister – Juliette Forrest (another proof copy!)
Nothing to See Here Hotel – Steven Butler 

YA books
Where The World Ends – Geraldine McCaughrean (not sure if this is YA or MG, I’m going YA just to be safe!)
A Thousand Perfect Notes – CG Drews (another proof copy which I will be FOR SURE getting a finished copy of, this book is incredible)
The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw (YES GUYS GET ON THIS)
Out of the Blue – Sophie Cameron (a beautiful proof cover that I just like to stare at for hours)

Another month of more kids books than YA books… BUT I am still happy with 4 YA books in a month! I am SMASHING my book challenge goal! 

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 14/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 13/52
Goodreads challenge: 25/52

February was an excellent month for books. Thanks half term and my own sheer stubbornness! 

How are you getting along with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in February?
Can you recommend me any books to read in March?

Comment me ideas. Tweet me (@eenalol). Follow me on instagram (@eenalol) to check out the books I’m reading… plus sneak peeks at my bookpost!

S x


BOOKBLOG: Lucy Rowland

The Knight Who Said No: a fun and light hearted tale about finding the right time to say no


“Ned the knight ALWAYS does exactly what he’s told. When his parents ask him to pick up his toys, dig up the cabbages or go to bed on time, he does it all with a smile. And when the dragon swoops into town every night, he always runs inside just as he’s asked. But one morning, instead of saying,”yes,” he says, “NO!” He will NOT help his dad find his shield, his arrow or his bow, and he will certainly NOT let the butcher go past. That night, he refuses to go inside, and in doing so he confronts the dragon, making a very unlikely friend . . .”


The Knight Who Said No tells the tale of Ned who starts the story as a very pleasant young man, always saying yes to his mam and dad. He’s polite to everyone in his town. He always lends a hand. He always goes in when the dragon arrives, every night. He always says yes, until one night he realises that the dragon is just lonely. Ned changes and learns to say “no”. He goes round saying no to EVERYONE, to EVERYTHING. This shocks the people of his tbown. Eventually though, he finds his “yes” again and he finds a friend in the dragon.


This is a brilliant story that would go down really well in the classroom and at home! It would make a brilliant bed time story or it’ll find an excellent place in your reading corner! It could definitely create a lot of chat about when it was the right time to say yes and no! 


I absolutely love the illustrations in this book. Illustrated by Kate Hindley, the pictures are beautifully done and the recurring colour scheme of blue makes me very happy. There’s lots of intrigue in this book and kids will love reading this by themselves or with grown ups. I can’t wait to take this to school and share it with the kids at school.

Thank you so much to the lovely humans at Nosy Crow for sending me a copy!

Would you like a dragon friend?
Would you say no to a dragon friend?
What’s the best thing you’ve ever said yes to?

Talk to me! I’d love to talk about dragons with you!

S x

Let me go home…

So I’m going back to my “host school” today and I can’t wait. I’ve had a week of training following half term and I am itching to get back into the classroom! 

I say host school, that’s what the people of the SCITT call it. For me, I call it “home”. It’s my school. It’s the school I went to as a kid, it’s the school I’ve worked at for the past 9 years. It’s very much a part of me. Part of the dream of being a teacher is being able to teach at this school. I’d love a teaching job at this school.

Being away from my school taught me a lot. I learned a lot on Second School Placement. Second School Placement was HARD. I can’t deny that for a second. I struggled a lot at times. There were times I wanted to just chuck the towel in. The behaviour at my second school was a total challenge at times, and it took me a while to remember that their behaviour choices weren’t a reflection on me as a teacher. They weren’t an attack on me. I had some really rough days at SSP. I also had some brilliant lessons. I had some really touching moments. The kids were a delight, the staff were brilliant with me. I felt very welcome.

I learnt a lot about being me, the teacher me, while I was away. I definitely think SSP helped me develop my sense of my Teacher Self, my teacher identity. My identity comes with my reputation, my history, at my school. At SSP, they didn’t know much about me, so I could be who I wanted to be, the me I wanted to be the most, the teacher I know I am. I’m looking forward to taking that teacher identity back to my school. If you were to ask me if I could put my finger on the parts of that identity that were important, I don’t think I could. I just developed that sense of “me” as a teacher being away from school.

My host school and my SSP have both been brilliant for me. Being in my comfort zone (Year 6, surprisingly) at my host school helped me to really go for it. Being well out of my comfort zone at SSP made me challenge my own thoughts, my own preconceptions about myself, education and teaching. I learned A LOT while I was gone. Some things I will take back with me because I thought they were incredible. The power of experiencing somewhere new is that you can see how things are done elsewhere and cherry-pick the things you want and leave behind the things you don’t think will work for you.

A lot of people will read this and think “she’s been in the same school for 9 years? And she wants to stay there? She must be crazy!” and possibly. I know I need to spread my wings. I know I will learn an awful lot by spreading my wings, second school placement proved that, but I also know that I’m not done learning in my current school. I’ve got an awful lot of learning to do still until July, when hopefully I will qualify.

The thing I love the most about teaching is you never stop learning. Regardless of if I’m at home, or if I’m somewhere else, spreading my wings, I never want to stop learning. I want to be constantly evolving and getting better.

S x

BLOG TOUR: Have you seen the sleep fairy?

The Sleep Fairy: a great bedtime story!


“Have YOU seen the Sleep Fairy? This is the story of a sleep deprived mother and father who are rescued by this shyest of fairies, who only comes out at night when all the children in the home are asleep. She helps children get into the habit of sleeping through by leaving tiny items of interest under their beds for a few days until she can trust them to sleep through on their own. “

This is a great book that would go down well in any household with children, especially those who don’t sleep!


This book tells the story of a mam and dad who are trying to encourage their children to go to sleep. They teach them all about the sleep fairy, and through a bit of gentle coaxing and persuasion the children believe there’s a sleep fairy who helps them sleep all night!


It’s brilliantly pitched for children: it could be read by them or by parents at bed time. There’s nothing more incredible than having a bedtime story! There’s lots to look at in this book too. The illustrations are brilliant. They’re unique and very colourful. Kids will love them!

You probably won’t need t convince your children of a sleep fairy once they’d read this!

Monika Cover 2

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-You-Seen-Sleep-Fairy-ebook/dp/B078H9MNZW/

About the author: Living in Chelsea, London with his wife and four children author T.K.R is no stranger to sleepless nights. When not writing children’s books, he runs his own business, Captivate Marketing (Pty) Ltd which focusses on the tools and tactics associated with amplifying his clients’ global brands.

S x

S4S – film interpretations of books

ALOHA. The final Sunday in February. WHEN HOW WHY?

Welcome to another #SixforSunday. Today I’m sharing my dream film adaptations in today’s prompt:

Film interpretations of books

So I technically cheated but I went with books I’d LOVE to see as films

  1. The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy – Melinda Salisbury
    CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THIS WAS MADE FOR THE BIG SCREEN? Golly. I would be there SO HARD. The world building, Twylla, the story, the deception. I WANT IT SO BAD.
  2. Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Barnard
    I think this would be a really interesting one to see on the big screen. I would certainly love to see it. 
  3. One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus
    I think this could be a totally massive hit. The book is exceptional and I think it would translate BRILLIANTLY to the big screen. 
  4. The Fandom – Anna Day
    Another one that I think would be an interesting one to put on the screen. Doing the two stories in one film, I’d love to see how they would do it.
  5. A Place Called Perfect – Helena Duggan
    A kids’ book but I think the deliciously devilish nature of it would be perfect for the big screen.
  6. Rebel of the Sands trilogy – Alwyn Hamilton
    The desert, the magic, Amani and Jin, the incredible friendships. I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN. 

MAN. Now I want ALL of these to happen. PLEASE SOMEONE GET ON WITH IT.

Share your thoughts in the comments and share your #SixforSunday with me on twitter! I’d love to see the books you want to see on the big screen! 

S x

#FeminismFriday – Laura Steven


Today is the final #FeminismFriday of the month of February and I’m very sad it’s over. It’s been an absolute pleasure highlighting some of my favourite women. Today, I’m featuring an author who I was introduced to quite recently, Laura Steven, who has written one of the most incredible books I’ve ever read: The Exact Opposite of Okay.

Image result for the exact opposite of okay

Here we go…

5 reasons why I love Laura Steven

  1. Izzy O’Neill
    For those of you who don’t know TEOOO, it is about a young girl called Izzy O’Neill who ends up caught up in a slut shaming situation and the way in which she deals with it, the way the world looks at her. Izzy is one of the most honest, funniest and sassiest main characters I have come across in a long time. There was a LOT of cackling going on when I read TEOOO. I can’t wait for the second one because I need more Izzy O’Neill sass in my life.
  2. The Exact Opposite of Okay
    So it’s BRILLIANT. It’s necessary. It talks about things we need it to talk about. It stands up for women. It makes very valid points. It has an incredibly gorgeous cover. It’s a book that I hope will make a LOT of noise in 2018. It’s just brilliant. Girls you need to read it. 
  3. How quickly we became friends
    We met at a book event in Newcastle, per chance, and we bonded over our shared love of nachos. We very quickly became friends. She’s one of those brilliant humans who just makes me smile a lot. She’s one of those people who I know I’ll be friends with forever, and not just because we both love nachos. 
  4. Her sheer joy any time someone compliments her book
    Being friends with Laura now it is such a brilliant moment when she sees someone being complimentary about hyer book and how excited she gets. She’s so lush and her book is brilliant. If you read it and love it, tell her because it makes her so happy and I get brilliant texts! 
  5. Her amazing sense of humour
    There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about TEOOO and laugh. There’s some absolute corkers of quotes in that book. Laura’s sense of humour, her tales of her life and Izzy’s brilliant calamity of a life are just wonderful. 

So there we go. Just 5 reasons why I love Laura Steven and The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay is out March 8th, but available to preorder (do it do it do it)! There’s also an event on at Waterstones Newcastle to celebrate the release, on March 7th (tickets available here – you should totally come because Katie Webber will ALSO be there… so will I!) . Come along! 

S x


Second Best Friend: short, honest, brilliant.


“Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second to her best friend. There’s nothing Jade is better at than Becky. 

So when Jade is voted in as Party Leader ahead of her school’s General Election only to find herself standing against Becky, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself. If there’s one thing she can win, it’s this election – even if it means losing her best friend.”

I absolutely love Non Pratt’s books, so when I heard there was a new one coming out I knew I needed to get my hands on it. One of the brilliant things about this book (and Unboxed too!) is that they’re published by Barrington Stoke, which makes dyslexia friendly books which are perfect for reluctant readers. This book took me all of about 10 minutes to read (OK maybe a bit longer, but you know what I mean) and I have since read it again and it packs just as powerful a punch the second time round (and third too for that matter).

If you’d like to know more information about Barrington Stoke books, check out their website here

Second Best Friend tells the tale of Jade and Becky, two teenage best friends who end up competing against each other in a school election. Pair this up with a venomous ex-boyfriend who says that Jade isn’t as beautiful as her best friend (“everyone knows it”) and you have an excellent tale of expectations, friendship and honesty – both with yourself and others. 

The thing that hit me hardest about this book is the honesty of it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt insignificant in comparison to our best friend and we’ve all struggled through that in some way. Whether you’ve been the one feeling insignificant, or you’ve been the one compared to – you’ve been there. For most of us however, we get to do that privately. Jade doesn’t have that luxury. She has to live her inferiority complex in front of the whole school, with her best friend in the whole world. Reading this book hit a few very honest chords with me. I’ve definitely been there in the past. Never felt quite good enough, never felt pretty enough, smart enough, popular enough… not quite enough compared to my friends. 

This book made me laugh (“who does he think he is? Fantastic Mr. Fox” HAHAH YES), cry and angry. At the situation, the best friend (both girls, not just one), the boys (STUPID BOYS). 

I would totally recommend this. It’s a super quick read which will hit many a chord with people of all ages. GO GO GO.

Have you read Second Best Friend?
Are you your own best friend?
Have you ever had a friend you compared yourself to?

Let me know in the comments! I’d love to talk. 

S xx


The Ice Garden: a beautiful story of freedom and belonging


Jess is allergic to the sun. She lives in a world of shadows and hospitals, peeking at the other children in the playground from behind curtains. Her only friend is a boy in a coma, to whom she tells stories. One night she sneaks out to explore the empty playground she’s longed to visit, where she discovers a beautiful impossibility: a magical garden wrought of ice. But Jess isn’t alone in this fragile, in-between place…”

The Ice Garden tells the story of Jess who is allergic to the sun. She has no friends, everyone thinks she’s a bit weird as she has to protect herself from the sun – covering herself fully, wearing protective hats, staying indoors during the day. The only people she gets to talk to are the doctors at the hospital, her mum and her neighbours. Night time is her only solace, away from the burning sunshine.

Her story starts to unravel one night when she decides to go for a walk, unbeknownst to her mum, and she discovers a magical, wonder-filled Ice Garden. In this ice garden she can’t be harmed, there’s no sunlight, she’s safe (or at least she thinks she is). Whilst she’s in this new, harmless land she meets a young boy. She finally has a friend, someone to talk to, someone to play with in her newly discovered land, but as their friendship develops, things start to go awry. Jess is given a priceless gift, and must make a choice: one which could have disastrous consequences

I really enjoyed this story. Jess’ story was a really intriguing one. She is a girl constantly battling with belonging and solitude. She has this exceptionally tough choice to make. She needs to choose something for the good of others, or for herself. She’s a brave young girl, constantly looking out for others – she doesn’t want others to have to suffer the way she does. There’s a thread throughout the book of Jess, who writes stories to entertain herself through her loneliness, reading her stories to another young man who is poorly in the hospital. This ends up being an important part and I loved that. It showed Jess the power her stories have and the solace they provide for her, and others. 

I can’t wait to take this to school as I think the children will love this as much as I did. The writing is brilliant, there’s some gorgeous descriptions and plenty of things to think about throughout. Would you leave your house in the night time? Would you make the same decision Jess did? Are you the kind of person who would risk everything to better yourself? 

Thank you so much to the publishers, Chicken House, for sending me a copy! I’ll be passing it onto my kids! 

Would you like to visit an ice garden?
How would you feel if you met a boy made of ice?
How would you cope if you had Jess’ condition?

Talk to me on twitter. Comment on this post. Send me a postcard. Send me a pigeon. I’d love to talk! 

S x


BOOKBLOG: Katie and Kevin Tsang

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts: fun, fearless (definitely) and Fang-tastic

img_1407(shout out to Derek for helping with this review)

“Brilliantly funny new series about the bravest scaredy-cat in the world

Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to the school bully, and all of his friends, that he is a fearless space adventurer. A truly laugh-out-loud, voice-led and madcap story of ghost hunting, snakes and mischievous pet cats called Butterbutt”


I absolutely adored Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts. There’s so much fun and lots of laughter to be had. There were lots of times where I caught myself laughing out loud. It’s definitely one that will keep kids entertained. I can’t wait to take it into school and see what my kids think! I was entertained from the very first page to the end. Sam has some brilliant friends, who react to many of the situations, as children definitely would. We all need friends like Zoe and Bernard – they’re brilliant. Sam’s little sister Lucy is also brilliant. She might be my favourite!

Sam Wu deals with fears in a fun and relatable way. I loved the way Sam was definitely (not) afraid of things but puts on a brave face, a brave front, to make it seem like he doesn’t. I feel like, even as adults, that’s very much what we as people do! Everyone’s got a fear. Everyone’s scared of something (except Sam Wu). Fear, and dealing with fear, would be a great talking point after reading this with kids. 

I loved the way that different cultures were interspersed into this book. Sam’s family are Chinese and Katie and Kevin so seamlessly integrate lots of different elements of Chinese culture into this book. There’s a very funny scene with Zoe and Bernard coming over for a meal that definitely made me chuckle. 

Sam Wu is a brilliantly fun book, which would be perfect for kids who are just finding their feet with chapter books. The pages are beautifully illustrated by Nathan Reed. The illustrations are some of my favourite bits! There’s some brilliant foot notes and side notes that keep the eye busy! The pages are gorgeous and there’s enough words to keep the mind going.

I’m very excited for more from Kevin and Katie. Katie is the author of one of my favourite books, Wing Jones, so when I found out she was writing a MG book I was THRILLED. I now want more Sam Wu in my life NOW. 

What are you DEFINITELY NOT afraid of?
Like Sam Wu, are you definitely not afraid of ghosts?

Let me know on twitter or in the comments the things you definitely not afraid of! 

Thank you so much to Siobhan from Egmont for sending me a copy of this brilliant book! I shall be passing it on to the school library! 

S x

Happiness is…

A smile from a friend. A bunch of flowers. Tom Fletcher’s wedding speech. Watching videos of friends. The twiglets. Sunshine. Books. Texts from friends. Chocolate. Eating jellies. A cup of a tea on a cold morning. Going back to school. Seeing my friends. Knowing the beach is only half an hour away. Derek. Being able to go into a book shop and just look. Following my dream. Going to the cinema with friends. Blogging. Reading. Books. A comfy bed. Olympic medals (not my own, obvs). Warm blankets on cold days. Authors. The strength of the human spirit. People supporting each other. SundayYA. Working with the most amazing bunch of people. Twitter friends. Tweacher friends. More books. Starbucks Sundays. Even more books. Knowing I have an amazing support system for when I need it most. Friends. Always friends.