BOOK BLOG: Katie and Kevin Tsang

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks: laugh out loud funny and brilliantly illustrated book that kids will love!

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“Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except when he is). And when a shark TOTALLY tries to eat him at the local aquarium, he decides he’s not going to take any more chances. So at his friend’s birthday party at the beach, Sam refuses to dip even a toe in the water. Nothing could go wrong now, could it?”

Sam Wu is a brilliant new series of books written by husband and wife team Kevin and Katie Tsang (also known as Katherine Webber, yes… her! Author of the amazing Wing Jones), illustrated by the brilliant Nathan Reed. If you’re new to the Sam Wu books, you might fancy checking out my review of the first book in the series ‘Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts’ here. Book one was a delight, so I was VERY excited when I got the opportunity to read book 2. Thank you so much to the publishers, Egmont, for sending me a review copy!

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Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks tells the story of Sam and his friends, who end up going to an aquarium and (as Sam is DEFINITELY not afraid of sharks) the hilarity that ensues. Obviously, as Sam is not afraid of sharks, when one of his classmates invites him to her birthday party (being held at the beach), he is THRILLED (see: not thrilled) to be going. The beach is the LAST place Sam wants to be – but he’s NOT scared of sharks, no sir. 

I love this series so much. The books so far have both been really funny and the first book has been a total hit with the kids at school. They’re the perfect book for kids who are just starting out reading chapter books for themselves. We’re so lucky at the minute that there are many wonderfully illustrated chapter books being published, and Sam Wu fits so beautifully in that category. 

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Sam continues to be one of those really funny characters. He has some amazing people in his life. His friends are wonderful; his little sister makes me laugh. They surround Sam, who is definitely not afraid of everything, and keep him going when in reality he just wants to stay in his room all the time. There’s some brilliant moments in this book with some new characters and old favourites. On top of all of this, the portrayal of Sam’s family is brilliant – they are hilarious. 

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One of my favourite things about these books is the illustrations. I think they add SO MUCH to the story. The pages are all different and I love that. There’s so much going on in these books that you can’t get bored. The illustrations are just top notch. They add a level of humour that I adore. 

My Goodreads review:

I love these books – they’re fun, brilliantly illustrated and younger me would’ve picked them up in a heartbeat. I love the humour in the Sam Wu books, he’s the perfect MC! These books always make me laugh. I can’t wait for book 3! Come on February!

I am VERY excited for the third book in the Sam Wu series – Sam Wu is Not Afraid of The Dark. There’s a sneak peek of the cover on the back of Sharks, but I won’t spoil it! 

Have you read any of the Sam Wu series?
What are you DEFINITELY not afraid of?
Can you recommend any other books like Sam Wu?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter!

S x

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BLOG TOUR: Mirror Magic

Today I have the absolute priviledge to be part of the blog tour for Claire Fayers’ newest book, ‘Mirror Magic’. I was super lucky to get this book back in May and read it pretty much instantly. Check out my review below… (spoiler alert: those who are fans of MG books might want to DEFINITELY get your hands on this book…)

Mirror Magic: serious fun with some brilliant characters!

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“Welcome to Wyse, the only town left in Britain with a connection to the magical Unworld. When Twelve-year-old Ava meets Howell on the other side of a mirror, the two are quickly drawn into a mystery to discover why the enchantments that link their towns are disappearing. But it’s hard to distinguish between friends and enemies when magic is involved and Ava and Howell soon learn that it can be very unwise to mess with mirrors…”

Magic? Mystery? An incredible cover? Two sides of the same coin? I am SOLD. 

Mirror Magic follows the story of Ava, a young girl questioning lots of things about the place in which she lives and works. The people all seem to be under the spell of one of the hot shot people in their town.  Ava doesn’t see it. Why is she the only person who can see that he’s not quite as nice as people let on? There’s lots of things that don’t fit quite right in Ava’s world. There’s lots of strange goings on. There USED TO BE lots of magic, but now there’s barely any. Where is all of the magic going? Ava works in a manor owned by her aunt and uncle, but they don’t acknowledge her, she is treated exactly the same as the servants. This frustrates Ava. She misses her dad. She knows he was somewhat magic. There’s a lot of unanswered questions about Ava’s dad, his mirror and Ava’s myserious moon shaped scar. 

Now, Ava lives on one side of the mirror, and on the other side lives Howell. He lives in the darker half of the mirror. His town is not quite as “pleasant” as Ava’s. He works in a “dead magical mirror museum” – none of the mirrors work in the museum, or so the people think. When one day the mirror starts to mist up and Howell sees Ava’s reflection, what follows is an amazing story of friendship, taking risks and some serious fun.

Each chapter starts with input from ‘The Book’ – The Book is a HILARIOUS part of this book. I can’t describe quite what the book does… but it’s funny, charming and an extra special insight into the story. 

I absolutely adored the characters in this book. Ava and Howell were both gutsy and brave. There’s a connection between Howell and Ava that gave the book a brilliant bit of history too! The baddies in this book are brilliant too… they’re scary but not terrifying. Their motives are DEFINITELY questionable and this makes for brilliant scenes between all of the characters. This book is character rich, with even background characters adding a lot to the story. 

You all know I love a book with magic in it, so when I heard this was all about magic, I knew I needed to read it. I tell you now it did not disappoint. If you’re a lover of magic, I would 100% recommend this. I loved the idea of the mirrors being a portal to the magical other half of the town and them being used as a kind of “shopping window” – it did make me chuckle. 

A massive shout out here to the illustrations too! As well as that beautiful cover, there are illustrations throughout and I just think they add so much to the story. 

A brilliant story, with excellent characters and a massive chunk of danger, fun and friendship chucked in for good measure. The recipe for a brilliantly fun book!

Would you like to be magic?
What kind of magic would you like?
If you could ask the magical world for something, what would it be?

A massive thank you to Karen and Macmillan Kids for inviting me on this blog tour! It was certainly a lot of fun! Check out the rest of the blog tour to see what others thought, and I know that Claire makes an appearance on some too!

S x

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BOOK BLOG: Alesha Dixon

Lightning Girl: a fun book filled with positivity!

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“10-year-old Aurora Beam lives at home with her utterly unremarkable family… until the day she sees her little sister being picked on in the playground and suddenly beams of light shoot out of her fingers! It’s time for her parents to drop a life-changing bombshell. Mum is a secret superhero, fighting crime across the globe while Dad looks after the kids at home. As Aurora’s own powers come into play, will she be able to balance her new super skills training with school? Will she be able to keep it all a secret from her friends? And when her mum’s evil twin pops up, will Aurora think that being a super VILLAIN might be more fun…?”

Lightning Girl follows the story of brilliantly brave 10 year old Aurora Beam, who discovers something unusual about herself… she has powers! I mean, which 10 year old doesn’t wish they had powers? (I’m 29 and I want powers… I don’t know what, but powers would be LUSH thanks) Naturally, Aurora is quite frightened at first, and VERY confused, but after some coaching and some love from her parents comes to realise that they’re something to be embraced. Your differences make you YOU. 

As with all brilliant MG books, there’s a baddie, a point of peril, some danger, some scariness and this comes in the shape of someone trying to steal precious stones. Who this someone is I will keep spoiler free. Throughout there’s one character who I KNEW to be suspicious of… I just never trusted them. 

One of the things that stood out for me with this book was its brilliance at dealing with all kinds of issues in gentle ways – there’s separation, friendship issues, moral dilemmas, dealing with siblings and awkward families. All kinds of things. But it’s all done so brilliantly. Aurora has some amazing friends and I love reading positive friendship portrayals, so that also was a massive big YES from me!

Aurora is a FAB MC and it’s so wonderful to see characters of varying races represented in kids’ books. One of the girls at school even commented “Miss, she’s got hair like me AND her skin matches mine. It’s like me in a book” and that made me think yeah, this book is important. Girls who wouldn’t have traditionally seen themselves in books are getting the chance to now. 

I really enjoyed Lightning Girl. It’s fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it has brilliant characters and it’s all about embracing yourself. I look forward to the second one immensely, I hope there will BE a second one! 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
What would your superhero name be?
Can you recommend any more MG books like this to me? 

Talk to me! Comment! Tweet me! 

S x

BLOG TOUR: My Dad, The Earth Warrior

Hello!

Today is a very exciting day. Today you get another brilliant author guest post! Today, Gary Haq, author of the brilliant ‘My Dad, The Earth Warrior’ is featured on my blog. Gary has a passion for engaging children in talking about and learning about the environment. As a teacher, this is REALLY important to me, so I hope you enjoy Gary’s post!

On Writing

As an environmental researcher, I have written scientific papers and reports, non-fiction books and Op-Eds for the regional and national press but never fiction.

But that all changed when my mother died. Clearing out the family home I came across my Nana’s large well-worn black patent leather handbag. We had kept it for years in the back of the wardrobe, and for some reason,  the bag became a repository for all the important family documents.

Inside there were death and birth certificates of grandparents and relatives, a telegram from the Ministry of Defence informing that my grandfather was lost at sea in the Second World War, a letter of from King George honouring his service to the nation, and my primary school reports in a battered brown envelope.

In my old school report, there was a statement from my primary school teacher that said  how much I enjoyed writing stories.

As an academic researcher my career has been all about facts and referencing evidence. I had totally  forgotten the joy of making up stories.

I therefore decided to revisit the imagination I had as a child. Once I had opened that door in my mind, I was flooded ideas for a children’s book. Then one day, I was dancing around the living room being silly trying to calm my baby daughter, and thought how embarrassing she would find this if she were older.  It was then, I had the idea for a story about a boy who has an embarrassing father

Someone said that writing is about 10% putting words on paper and 90% editing – it’s true! It took me six months to write my first draft and six years editing it!

Since I have a busy home and work life, I try to find pockets of time to write and edit throughout my day. I do try to write at home but this has become increasingly difficult as my daughter grown older.  But here are a few places where I do manage to put pen to paper.

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ON THE BUS

Being temporarily based in Italy at a European research Centre, my workday begins by taking the bus to work, where I try and write and edit. 

 

 

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AT THE CAFFE’

In Italy you can’t start the day without your morning coffee. I visit a café before work to have my morning café macchiato, write a little and watch the array of characters that passby.

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IN THE CANTEEN

At lunch time, when fellow colleagues go to the canteen to eat together, I go alone so I can use the time to work on my book  although, my view is not always a concrete pillar!

What a brilliant post! Thank you so much to Gary to writing a blog post! It’s brilliant. Check out the rest of the blog tour below!

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You can also check out My Dad, The Earth Warrior out now!

S x

BLOG TOUR: All of This is True

All of This is True: interesting, intriguing and deceptive

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“Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.”

All of This is True is a great concept – an author who befriends some teens to write her new book – written in a very interesting style – through using interviews, book excerpts, text messages. I loved the use of this mixed media within the book as it kept things fresh and it’s one of my favourite things to read in YA – a book that’s told through different forms of media. 

I liked the premise of this book and believe that it could totally happen. Teenagers who end up befriending their ultimate author? Yep, that could happen. I mean, I know how much of a fangirl I am at times, so it’s totally believable. 

There’s a twist in this book that I definitely saw coming. It’s not obvious necessarily, but I had my suspicions right away! This didn’t make the book any less enjoyable, in fact it made me think YESSSSSS! I got one! 

As this book is told from a few different perspectives, you have to get to know the characters quickly. There were times where I was so engrossed in a character that when a new one came along I had to remind myself of this new character shift. I found there was moments where the characters weren’t particularly likeable, but I’m not sure if that’s what the author was going for. The girls in particular have their moments. Multiple perspective books can be really tough to convey well and there’s definitely times I had to think “oh yeah, this is Soleil, she’s THIS one”. 

I did leave this book wanting just a little bit more. I’d love to hear from others who have read it to know what you think! Let me know in the comments, or on twitter, cause I think I could have quite a chat about this book! 

Check out the rest of the blog tour! Thank you so much to my friend Lucinda for organising and inviting me to join in!

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S x

May in books

May bye

May has gone. May will not come back for a while.

How was everyone’s May? I can’t believe we’re in June now. (I feel like I say this every month, but there we go!)

Today we’re looking at all of the books I read in May and let me tell you IT IS A LOT OF BOOKS. I’m not quite sure how I read so many, but I think I have a half term and bank holidays to thank!

In May, I:

Read 20 books (!)
Finished university (technically!)
Passed my final university module (thankfully!)
Had my final SCITT observation
Handed in my files 
Enjoyed a lot of sunshine
Went to see Matilda (it was SPLENDID)
Read a lot of books 
Received some lush book post (thanks lovely publishers/publicists!)
Was a terrible bujo mama 

So yeah… bye May. You were good to me.

So what exactly did I read in May?

Let’s start with MG books

May MG

Mirror Magic – Claire Fayers (blog tour coming next week!)
Violet and the Smugglers – Harriet Whitehorn
Violet and the Hidden Treasure – Harriet Whitehorn
The Bubble Boy – Stewart Foster (BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster)
The Secret Of The Night Train – Sylvia Bishop
The Boy Who Grew Dragons – Andy Shepherd (BOOK BLOG: Andy Shepherd)
Lightning Girl – Alesha Dixon
The Last Chance Hotel – Nicki Thornton
The Everything Machine – Ally Kennan
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball – Laura Ellen Anderson
Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords – Laura Ellen Anderson
The Royal Rabbits of London – Santa Montefiore/Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Colour of the Sun – David Almond

Reviews to come for the rest of them! Keep your eyes peeled!

Now some YA books

May YA

Flying Tips for Flightless Birds – Kelly McCaughrain
The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo
All of this is True – Lygia Day Penaflor
The Extinction Trials: Exile – S.M.Wilson (BOOK BLOG: S M Wilson)
In Your Light – Annalie Grainger
The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
Needlework – Deirdre Sullivan

More reviews of these to come in the following weeks!

As you can see I had a very big reMay byeading month and I need to get on top of my reviews! They are to come in various ways. Keep your eye out for reviews for all of them in the coming weeks. I had a blast reading in May, some pretty exceptional books!

What about my book challenges?

#BritishBooksChallenge: 52/12 (maybe more!)
#52books2018: 43/52 (just kids books!)
Goodreads challenge: 72/52

I am doing WELL with my book challenges. I’m pretty chuffed! But I don’t read as a challenge, I read cause it’s FUN.

How are you getting doing with your book challenges?
What was your favourite read in May?
Do you wanna know more about any of my books?

Can you recommend me any books to read in June? 

Thanks for reading! A lot to process!

Let me know in the comments/on twitter if there’s anything you want to see in June/want me to read in June. I love your suggestions!

S x

 

Twinkl originals

Morning everyone! How are we all today? 

As you know I am a MASSIVE advocate for reading within school (and in my life outside of school, lets be real) and finding more books to read in school, which can be used in the classroom, is always a brilliant way to get books into classrooms. 

As a school, we have a Twinkl subscription and we are occasionally sent copies of their Originals books and I have to say that they’re brilliant. We have used all of the ones that we have been sent across the school and they’re brilliant to be used as one offs, or can be used as a topic. (I did have pictures to put in this post for examples of work and the children using the books, but technology never quite does what you want it to and they were deleted, sad face!)

There’s a WIDE variety of books available, covering all kinds of topics. Books suitable for EYFS to KS2 and beyond, depending how you use them! As you can see from the pictures there’s new ones and they’re being added all of the time! Check out all of the collection here – there’s some amazing books to use!

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One of our favourites is Ronald the Rhino. This is one of the first originals that we recevied. If you want to know about tis one, I posted all about Ronald the Rhino! book here. The synopsis reads: “Meet the wiggliest, jiggliest rhino in the forest! Ronald the Rhino is big and strong, but he doesn’t believe that he is as special as his forest friends. Follow Ronald on his journey of discovery in this powerful story about embracing your uniqueness.” 

He’s gone down brilliantly with our KS1 children in partricular! (For resources linked to Ronald the Rhino, click here!)

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I know in EYFS and KS1 in particular they have used Sparks in the Sky – Bo is excited to see her first fireworks. Join her as she enjoys the sights, sounds and smells of Bonfire Night with her big brother, Leo. A heartwarming tale to celebrate this magical night – all about bonfire night and it produced a wonderful display. For resources linked to that book, check here

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One of the newer ones that I definitely want to try out with the KS2 kids is Our Teachers are Superheroes. “When Freya and Benji suspect that their teachers may be real-life superheroes, they set out on a mission to discover their secret identities. However, the superpowers they uncover may not be what they were expecting! Follow their adventures as they try to expose the truth…” 

As we all know teachers ARE superheroes, so having a book based on this is brilliantly fun. I’ve downloaded it ready to use (it comes in ebook form, Mac form or PDF form, all very helpful depending on which computers you use at school!) As with Ronald the Rhino (and the rest of the originals collection) there are resources aplenty to go with the book – click here. There’s ideas for English and Maths obviously, but I love that there’s Art activities and PE activities linked too! There’s all sorts. 

There’s so many different books that I could go on about them for hours! Check back in the next few weeks to see how I get on with working with a few more of the books. 

Have you read any of the Twinkl Originals?
Which one would you like to read most?
Do teachers really have superpowers? 
What is your superpower?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter (@eenalol). 

S x

BOOKBLOG: CG Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes: heartbreaking, touching and beautiful

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“An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence. When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?”

I didn’t know much about this book when I was sent it, but having read the synopsis and the press release I knew it was one I needed to get to. Written by the brilliant CG Drews (or @PaperFury as I know her on twitter, go give her a follow) I was really curious to see what it was like, and my word I was NOT disappointed. It is something else.

A Thousand Perfect Notes tells the story of Beck, a pianist who is being forced to play by his mother. He doesn’t want to play the classical musicians she is making him play. He wants to play his own music. He wants to play what his heart wants him to. His mother was a pianist herself, but after she develops tremors she had to stop and this turns into her becoming obsessed over her son playing. She makes him play every morning and every evening, punishing him when he’s late. She’s abusive in all of the worst ways. This really tells on Beck’s confidence. She is an absolute piece of work. There’s a little ray of light in Beck’s life at home: his little sister Joey. She is brilliant. She keeps him going. She’s the reason he gets up every day. He knows that if he stops caring that Joey will then get mam’s wrath. One day, Beck is paired with a girl, August, in a school project and what ensues is an incredible story of hope, music and friendship. 

The characters in this book are special.
– Beck is one of the bravest and subdued characters. He has this horrible duality of life – his horrid, abusive mother, and his gorgeous, bubbly little sister. He has to be the best big brother, making sure that Joey is fed, because mam doesn’t care. He just wants the best for his little sister. Joey is his life. Joey and the piano. He hates the piano. He hates that his mam makes him play. It’s his mother’s obsession, not his. He just wants to play the music his heart tells him to, not Chopin. When he does play his own heart and not Chopin, there are serious consequences. 
– Joey is a brilliant ray of light in Beck’s horrible life. She makes him weird concoctions, weird sandwiches, keeps him going. She’s one of those lights on in a dark dark tunnel. She’s not oblivious to what is going on, but she’s young and innocent. She swears in German, fights with people, but she doesn’t know any better. That’s the example she’s had from her mother – that’s the behaviour her mother presents to her towards her brother, so she knows no better.
– Beck’s mother
(or The Maestro as he refers to her) is one of those repulsive, horrific characters that YA produces (she makes me think of the step mother from Paper Butterflies). She is a downright piece of work. I hate everything about her. She’s manipulative. She’s mean. She’s abusive. She doesn’t deserve the brilliant kids she has. The scenes with mam in were hard to read. 

 August comes along and slowly but surely changes things in Beck’s life. He is reluctant to her friendship initially. He doesn’t need anyone distracting him from his piano. This changes to he doesn’t want anyone to have to see The Maestro’s cruelty. August is a breath of fresh air in Beck’s life. She’s calm, she’s sweet, she cares. She wants to know more. She’s curious about this piano playing boy. She wants to get to know him. She becomes an anchor in his very rocky sea. I really love August. She accepts the fact that Beck’s life is shitty and doesn’t judge him for it. She’s his solace. 

This is a gripping story, despite the many scenes that are hard to read. I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know how Beck’s story would end. There are some horrific scenes of cold and hatred, but there are also some incredible scenes of warmth and love. Scenes with August and her family. Walks home after school. Scenes with Joey.

There’s a massive sense of duality in this book. So many comparisons between dark and light, cold and warmth, love and repulsion.
– Beck’s loneliness compared to the warmth and love he received from August. 
– Beck’s very different relationships with his mother versus his relationship with his sister.
The comparison between Beck’s very cold mother and August’s incredibly warm and welcoming family
– Beck’s passion for his own music and composing against his apathy towards playing others’ music

If you’re wondering where on the crying scale this would go, it goes at the VERY TOP. I cried SO SO SO much. This book broke my heart so many times. I can guarantee this will make you cry. 

Please go out and buy this if you can. It is so heartbreakingly wonderful.

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: S M Wilson

Exile: new friends, old friends; new enemies, old enemies; same old dangerous dinosaurs. 

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“Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive.”

For those of you who have been living under a rock, The Extinction Trials is one of those brilliantly excellent series that comes along and kicks you in the face with its brilliance. Last year, the first book in the trilogy (I think?!) was released. The Extinction Trials was our first introduction to Stormchaser and her world – trying to rid their world of dinosaurs. If you’re interested in finding out more about The Extinction Trials, check out my review here BLOG TOUR: The Extinction Trials. It’s actually a little bit different that review – it’s an aesthetic/mood board that the book inspired. You should DEFINITELY read the book though

For those of you who have read book 1, welcome to my review of book 2. Yes, hello, I have read Exile and I LOVED IT OK. (I could stop this review there, but I’m sure you came for more than I LOVED IT OK. I love lots of books. That’s probably one of the things you’ve noticed about me. But anyway, less rambling, more reviewing).

So Exile leaves off not long after where The Extinction Trials finishes. Storm, Lincoln and the crew are back in their home land, away from the land of the dinosaurs. Safe. Ish. Life has carried on while they were away – Arta is still poorly, people are still starving, there are still more people than there is land. At the end of Extinction Trials, Storm makes a very brave decision which benefits those siblings who are left behind. She’s kind of bending the rules; she’s been brilliant. Things start to change for Storm. She ends up getting a new job, which obviously leads her to going back to Piloriaback to the dinosaurs. Back to the danger, the nightmare. But also back to the colour, the warmth, the dream. (I won’t spoil it for you as to HOW she comes about this situation… but I thought it was an INTERESTING turn of events that made sense! And YAY Lincoln gets to go back with her!)

So here we go again, ready to fight the battle again – dinosaurs, danger and DNA. It’s always dinosaurs and their DNA. It’s always dinosaurs and their death. 

I absolutely loved being back on Piloria with these characters again. I didn’t realise how much I missed these characters until I started reading again. It’s so wonderful when you read the second book in a trilogy and you remember what you loved about them so much. I very much have that about Storm and Lincoln. I remembered their stories. The things these kids have to go through for their government are astounding. I just think I don’t know what I would do. The assortment of dilemmas thrown at them through the book are eye-opening. Would you choose to kill dinosaurs? Would you do anything to save your sister? Would you rescue the families of the people you watched die? Would you go to a VERY dangerous island with your estranged father? (I know what I would do, and it would not be noble. I am much too duty bound)

I absolutely loved seeing Blaine again. He was one of the things I loved the most about book 1 so getting to see him again in this book made me so happy. (I clearly have something about that kind of character – the man left to survive on the island. The Explorer from The Explorer was one of my favourite things about that book too!) Adding new characters, new dynamics, new relationships to the mix meant there was another level of risk, danger and love in the mission this time. There’s daughters and fathers, old friends and new friends, enemies and friends. Add in new emotions and new people to a mission that some have already been on before and you’re bound to have some frought tempers.

Another thing I absolutely adored in this book (and in book 1) was that it was JUST THE RIGHT amount of peril. There were moments where I was like OMG NO. DONT DO THAT. SHUSH BE QUIET. THEY’LL HEAR YOU. (I know the characters can’t hear me, that doesn’t stop me though, shush now!) DINOSAURS ARE SCARY GUYS. I mean, I wouldn’t want to mess with a T-Rex. I don’t care who you are. The dinosaur scenes are intense. A lot intense. 

This book is BRILLIANT. I love a good bit of dystopian YA fiction (hello have you met me?) and Susan Wilson just keeps hitting the nail on the head with these books. If you’re looking for a brilliant, brave main character, some danger and beautiful writing, then you’ve come to the right series!

My Goodreads review is SO terrible, I really must work on these:
“SO GOOD. I missed these characters, this world. There’s some new friends and enemies in this book and the plot is woven deeper this time round. Just lush.”

Also, a massive massive cry happened when I saw this… THAT’S ME. I definitely did cry. Me and some of my favourites. Thank you so much to Susan. I will forever shout about these books because they’re WONDERFUL.

Anyway, yes. There you go. Sorry to keep you here so long. Have you bought the book yet? Are you tempted to? Well you should because it’s brilliant. I don’t lie to you guys ever. I wouldn’t. 

Are you tempted to buy The Extinction Trials?
Would you like to follow Storm and go to Piloria?
Do you have a favourite dinosaur?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! I’m always free for a chat – @eenalol!

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: Politics for Beginners

Don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to politics? Want a fun and accessible way to teach your kids? Politics for Beginners is a great starting point!

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Politics for Beginners is a brilliant book filled with facts to teach kids all about politics – not just our politics in the UK, but the history of politics, politics around the world and so much more! It’s filled with wonderful illustrations and facts galore. 

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The contents page lays it out so clearly that it makes this book super accessible. There’s chapters on all kinds of things that kids might want to know about. Think you have a revolutionary on your hands? They might want to check out ‘Political Change’. Have a budding historian in the making? They’ll love ‘All Kinds of Governments’. My favourite chapter however has to be ‘Big Questions’ which deals so brilliantly with all kinds of things from Am I a feminist? to What is terrorism? Big, big questions that kids will ask and want to be able to answer, dealt with in ways which are relatable for kids.

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I absolutely love this page – explaining all kinds of governments in one handy chart. (I could easily have chosen so many pages to take pictures of!)

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Now, I wouldn’t say I’m ignorant when it comes to politics (I keep up with what’s going on around the world and in the UK) but I learned an awful lot reading through this. It’s as useful for adults as it is kids! It’s gone down really well at school, with a few classes using it for one off lessons or for finding out about politics.

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There’s a brilliant glossary at the back of the book too to define some of the words set out in the book.

This is a great tool for educating kids about politics. It’s full of facts, quizzes, charts and some thought provoking questions. Ideal for KS2+ (as an adult, it’s BRILLIANT because it’s accessible without being condescending). It’s the kind of book I wish I had had when I was a kid. Politics needs to be accessible for everyone, it’s our future at stake at the end of the day! 

S x