Desert Island Books: Abi Elphinstone

DIBHello! Welcome back to #DesertIslandBooks

Today the inhabitant of our island is one of my favourite authors. She is probably one of the people I know who could get off this island alive! She would survive! I can guarantee it! Today’s post comes courtesy of the gorgeous Abi Elphinstone! 

If you don’t know Abi, then why don’t you?! Her books are incredible! She’s a brilliant human and now she’s a mother! I can’t wait to meet Baby Elph! Check out her books below!

Abi Elphinstone Facebook Banner

Anyway… the rules

DIB rules

Books

  1. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  2. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  3. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
  4. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  5. Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Snack: White chocolate chip cookies (with squidgy centres).

Tea/coffee: Am I allowed unlimited banana milkshakes instead?! I’ve never tried tea or coffee – I used to hate the smell of both as a child and somehow never got round to trying them as an adult.

(Of course you can Abi!)

Music: I’d take the following playlist:

  • Flying by James Newton Howard (from the most recent Peter Pan movie)
  • Aslan’s Theme by Geoffrey Burgon (from the BBC Narnia series)
  • Septimus by Ilan Eskkeri (from the movie Stardust)
  • Waves by Ludovico Einaudi
  • I’ve Come Home (from the movie Spirit)
  • Spark Inside Us (from movie The Princess and the Goblin)
  • Storybook Love by Mark Knopfler (from the movie The Princess Bride)
  • Reckoning Song by Wankelmut
  • Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

When the police arrive

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Aslan’s Theme by Geoffrey Burgon (from the BBC Narnia series) 

Thank you so much Abi for agreeing to be castaway! Come back on Thursday to see who is flown away to the island!

S x

Bio

Abi ElphinAbi 1 Norwaystone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher. She is the author of THE DREAMSNATCHER, THE SHADOW KEEPER and THE NIGHT SPINNER. When she’s not writing, Abi volunteers for Beanstalk charity, speaks in schools and travels the world looking for her next story.

Author website: http://www.abielphinstone.com
Twitter: @moontrug
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/abi.elphinstone
Instagram: @moontrugger

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Operation Clean Up – blog tour

Hello! 

Today I have the absolute joy of being part of the ‘Operation Clean Up‘ blog tour! I think I am even kicking it off! How exciting! I am hosting the gorgeous author, Jason Tucker, and he is sharing his thoughts on something very close to my own heart – the importance of bed time stories. Being a teacher, I know the massive impact reading to your kids and with your kids can have! But without further ado…

Operation Clean Up Day Cover

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I did not realize how important a simple bed time story actually is until I started to see the impact for myself… I mean this for both the parent and the child. Believe me it really is fascinating.  I generally worked long hours and didn’t / don’t get home until late in the evening, I have 3 small boys (6, 4 and 1 years old each) and it’s my superstar wife who did the majority of the reading to our children, however seeing the impact early on pushed me to not only change my routine and read to them on a regular basis, but to also do it with a real passion and get them loving it too – here are my main reasons why it’s so important:

Nurturing the imagination: I like to read cool / picturesque stories that basically contribute to developing / widening my boy’s imagination, this for me is unbelievably important. This is what inspired me to write my book and explore the wild imagination of a young child. When reading a bed time story together we like to explore all types of books and the pictures within, and sometimes they develop almost a story within a story, its limitless how far this can go and a real positive to watch.  To widen the imagination means that you are developing an open mind from an early young age, and with an open mind you can achieve anything! Which I tell them at every opportunity.

Development of reading skills: Part of the whole bed time experience is getting my boys read to me as well, they may be a bit tired on occasion and take longer, but when a short story is read its basically an item achieved and I am full of praise for them, letting them know that they have read an ‘entire’ book… Giving it a Big WOW factor! Following up with ‘well done’ and ‘didn’t you do well’. The other piece is when they sometimes struggle with a certain word, I normally get that look which says ‘help’, then help is given… and when that word has come up again at a later point, and has been remembered and read out again correctly, I then get given that look of ‘I did it’… A small passing moment maybe, but priceless in the big scheme of things.

More Learning:  Apart from cool and imaginative stories, we also use bed time story reading time now and again to read some of the more educational books out there – I love being able to teach my kids things, and bedtime reading is another opportunity where I can do this. A big one for us is the Planets and the Universe, and Nature orientated books (animal kingdom etc.)… We read together, we name the planets, we identify the Rhino from the Elephant and they have then learnt something fun and real outside of their school environment.  Then they ask me ‘Daddy – you should write a book about that too J’

Confidence boosting: I’m fairly sure reading contributes to increasing confidence, my eldest was a very shy boy for a long while but at bedtime I think he absorbed reading in a different way as he was in a more relaxed environment without any real pressure – he now reads and asks questions and on a daily basis almost knows all sorts of new things and can explain things in detail to others in his age group. A number of things contribute to this I know but as knowledge grows, so does there confidence.

Removing Tech: Anything that keeps an IPad or tablet out of their hands is a plus point for me – Now don’t get me wrong the tablets and games on these have their place and can be life savers at times, but the traditional page turning of parent and child nighttime read has its own special moment and positive warm feel that cannot be outdone which leads me onto my final point. 

Quality time – Finally the most important and most essential item for me.  I have been extremely lousy in the past with not carrying out my fair share of reading to my kids at bed time (due to working late and other supposedly important things) . However the time spent with my boys reading is where some of those real memories are created (at least for me). These are the things I want to remember, and also want them to remember in later life, those fun bedtime stories with Daddy – not that Power point presentation Daddy had to work late on for his Client!! We’ve all got to remember that life goes by rapidly and that everything is just a buildup of moments and experiences, the great thing is we can choose what those are!

Thanks and I hope that you all enjoy my book.

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Operation Clean Up Day

This is the story of two very imaginative little boys and their resistance to cleaning up their toys…

Two little boys are about to go out for the day to the swimming pool as a treat. But before they can go, they must tidy up all their toys – which are all over the house – as requested by their Mummy. The boys consider this a mission! The boys attempt to clean up their toys in various parts of the house while making all sorts of excuses to Mummy to leave the toys where they are. The boys are easily side-tracked when attempting to clean up each room, as they find themselves playing with their toys again, their imaginations taking over. They find themselves driving trains, defending castles from ogres, climbing high mountains, flying spaceships, catching sea serpents and meeting prehistoric dinosaurs. All while trying to clean up their toys!

Written by Jason Tucker and stunningly illustrated by Nick Roberts, Operation Clean Up Day is a fantastic journey through the imagination of two children, who can turn a simple set of toys into an entire fantasy world, whilst teaching children the valuable lesson of tidying up their toys after playtime!

Amazon UK – click to buy
Barnes & Noble – click to buy

About the author: Born and raised in London, Jason Tucker is married and is a father of three young boys. He is enjoying an international working life basing himself between London and Dubai. This is his first published work with a number of other titles in the pipeline as well as working on a number of other ventures including TV, Film & graphic novels.

Check out the rest of the blog tour below! I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

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Desert Island Books: thisnortherngal

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Welcome back to #DesertIslandBooks! Today’s unlucky inhabitant of the desert island is my lovely friend Kelly! 

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It was certainly a hard choice packing for a trip with DesertJet, what with all those pesky luggage restrictions and the like. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I’ve just about got my suitcase closed. Tucked away inside, you’ll find the following books:
– Dracula by Bram Stoker
-The Assassins Blade by Sarah J Maas
– The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
– Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
– The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

And last but not least, I would pack Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I might finally suffer through it if I’m trapped on an island with little else to do. Since I love Anne and Emily, I feel like I should give the third sister one last shot.

Nestled amongst them, you will also find the world’s largest box of Yorkshire Tea and plenty of chips and gravy. I’m hoping that counts as a snack. It must surely. If not, I guess DesertJet will confiscate it and I’ll have to stock up on Dairy Milk with Crunchie at the airport. 

My trusty iphone will be limited to the Barton Hollow album by The Civil Wars, since it is my ultimate reading soundtrack.

If the police come along, I’ll snatch Ella Enchanted from the pile and clutch it to my chest since it is my most nostalgic and comforting book. I’ll listen to Poison & Wine on repeat while I try really hard not to freak out that the police are here.

Thank you so much to Kelly for agreeing to this tough task! Go follow her on twitter: followollowollow.

S x

Desert Island Books: rosiefreckle

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Welcome back to #DesertIslandBooks! Today it’s the turn of my lovely friend Rosie! She’s our castaway of the day. Check out the rules and Rosie’s choices below! 

DIB rules

My six books are:

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
The Tales of Beedle The Bard
Another Place by Matthew Crow
Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis

Snack = candyfloss grapes!

Unlimited tea please! 

I’d Bring Busted’s new album, Night Driver

When the police come I’ll keep Brave New World and Those Days Are Gone from the CD.

It works in my favour that I get a Shakespeare full works, I love Shakespeare!!

(I have only read 1 of Rosie’s choices! I best get them on my to borrow/buy list!)

Thank you so much Rosie for agreeing to go to my island! Go follow Rosie on twitter: followwwwww.

Check back on Thursday for more victims! 

S xx

Desert Island Books: Corazzz

DIB

Welcome back to #DesertIslandBooks: today’s inhabitant is my wonderful friend Cora! She was the FIRST person to respond to my email, so I figured I would give her the first (well second!) spot! 

Check out the rules and Cora’s responses below!

DIB rules

Books

  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • Pirates! by Celia Rees
  • Possessing Rayne by Kate Cann
  • Sundowners by Lesley Lokko
  • Lucas by Kevin Brooks
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Snack

  • Nachos

Drink

  • Unlimited Tea (duh)

Album

  • Beautiful Lies, Birdy

When the police arrive
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

Keeping Your Head Up, Birdy

Thank you so much Cora for joining in and agreeing to be sent to my island! Go follow her on twitter: clicky, click.

Remember, it’s not too late to join in! 

S x

Desert Island Books: Melinda Salisbury

DIB

Hello and welcome to the first post in Desert Island Books!

The first victim of Desert Island Books, I am very very happy to introduce is my very favourite Queen, Melinda Salisbury. I am so very grateful for Mel agreeing to be shipped off to my desert island!

Check out the rules and her choices below!

DIB rules

Books

The Girl With Glass Feet – Ali Shaw
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
The Snow Spider – Jenny Nimmo
The Brides of Rollrock Island – Margo Lanagan
The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
Blessed Are – Sarah-Kate Lynch

It’s important I point out that this isn’t a list of my favourite books, as such. The problem is all of my very favourites have quite similar themes: Winter/snow, island/isolated community setting, magic and speculative elements, introverted characters, Celtic undertones – and I expect on anisland that would start to feel quite claustrophobic. So I’ve diversified my list a bit.

The Girl With Glass Feet, and The Night Circus are my two very favourite books in the world. The Snow Spider was my childhood fave, and I’d want it for when I got a bit scared about being stuck on an island. The Brides of Rollrock Island because I think about it so often. The Shell Seekers, and Blessed Are, remind me of my Nana, so I wouldn’t feel so alone if I had them.

Luckily I know the Harry Potter series pretty much off by heart, so I can recite them to myself if need be.

Snack

Brown soda bread with unpasteurised butter, St Agur cheese, chilli jam, and fresh cherry tomatoes. This was a snack I invented from necessity one hungover Sunday, that my Nana christened The Special. Since then, it has become my ultimate comfort snack.

Tea/Coffee

Can I please have unlimited English Breakfast tea, with semi-skimmed milk?

Playlist

Of Monsters and Men – Empire
Of Monsters and Men – Hunger
Florence and the Machine – Queen Of Peace
Florence and the Machine – No Light, No Light,
Florence and the Machine – Hiding
Florence and the Machine – Ship To Wreck
Florence and the Machine – Howl
Florence and the Machine – Only If For A Night
Jeff Buckley – Morning Theft
Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye
Bon Iver – Holocene
Bon Iver – Perth
Bon Iver – 8 (Circle)
Iron and Wine – Sodom, South Georgia
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were

I don’t want the Bible, thanks. But I’ll keep the Shakespeare. Me and Milky Joe can put on shows.

When the police arrive

I will keep The Girl With Glass Feet, and Florence and the Machine No Light, No Light.

Thank you so much Mel for being the first inhabitant on my desert island. I certainly now have a new list of songs and books to read! Check her our on twitter: GO FOLLOW. Totally worth it.

Come back on Thursday for more Desert Island Books! 

S xx

p.s. if you’d like to be involved get in contact on twitter or email me!

BLOG TOUR: Claire McFall

Today, I am very lucky that I get to host a brilliant author and she is going to share some creative writing tips with us! Thank you so much to Claire McFall and Kelpies Edge for inviting me on this blog tour! I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts… some of them sound incredible! Check out the banner below to see who else is involved!

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Top tips for Creative Writing

I’m a teacher. Actually, I’m an English teacher, so you’d think this would be easy. Wrong! You see, as far as I’m concerned there’s no right way to go about writing – so what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Caveat firmly in place, these are my tips for creative writing. Feel free to take them with a pinch of salt and do your own thing.

That way, masterpieces are made.

The dreaded blank page

This is your worst enemy. You can sit and stare at it for hours. It’s intimidating – how I imagine an artist might feel beginning a new canvas. What if the first brush stroke is all wrong? You’ve ruined it!

Well, no. 99.9% of you will be typing, and there’s this awesome button called backspace. If you don’t like it, delete it! But I wouldn’t. Write the first sentence, then the second and the third and the fourth, until you’re no longer dragging them out, but they’re coming more freely. Flowing. When you’ve finished – the paragraph, the page, the chapter, the story – go back and read over your opening lines. Firstly, I bet they won’t be as bad as you thought, but also, if you really do hate it, it’ll be so much easier to tweak.

A story is not just a story

Novels vary in length, but Ferryman and Trespassers are both about 75,000 words. If you broke both novels down, I’d be willing to bet that telling the actual story only takes up about 30% of that. The rest? World building and people building.

It’s not enough to have a great storyline and tell the reader what happens. You need to show them by creating a world they can step into. To do that, you’ve got to make sure you concentrate enough on describing settings. And when you do, make sure you’re not just thinking about what places look like! Sight is just one of our five senses. If you simply describe what I’d see, I’ll feel like I’m looking at a picture. I want to be in the picture.  What will I hear? Smell? What will things feel like if I could reach out and touch them?

If you want to hook the reader in, you also need to spend time giving depth to characters – and not just your main character either! The best stories are where you can make the reader hold their breath and wonder what’s going to happen next – and they do that because they care about the person that it’s happening to!

Read stuff!

Every good writer is also a reader. Reading develops your vocabulary, shows you different ways to play with language and gives you ideas about how a narrative can be organised.

What’s important, though, is that you try to read a wide range of things. Don’t decide I want to write Science Fiction so I’m only going to read Science Fiction novels. Do that, and you’ll end up writing the same thing as everybody else! If you want your writing to be new and different and fresh – the thing that everybody wants to read! – you need to expand your horizons. Try a Western. Or a historical novel. Read some non-fiction! At worst, you’ll learn something. And the best? You’ll discover a whole new world of awesome stories to devour!

Dust off your thick skin

Reading books will help you get better. It will. But it’s not as helpful as getting feedback from readers about your own writing. Warning: this is scary! What if they don’t like it? What if they laugh? What if they say it’s rubbish?

Well, they might. I’ve had reviewers online saying they hated my stories. Not many, thankfully… When it happens, oh it stings. I can eat a whole chocolate cake before I feel better sometimes (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it). But if no one tells you what’s wrong with your writing, how can you get better? As writers, we often can’t see the wood for the trees – we wrote it. To us, it’s perfect! We need outside perspectives to help us mould first drafts into finished stories.

Find someone you trust. Someone who will be honest. Someone who’ll be nice – but who won’t just tell you they love it because they’re your friend or your mum. My mum, unfortunately, is brutally upfront about what she thinks…

And get a slice of cake in, just in case. If they love it – well, it can be a victory slice.

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Thank you so much to Claire for giving us some brilliant tips!

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Claire McFall is a writer and a teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. She is the author of paranormal thriller Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017. Her debut novel Ferryman won a Scottish Children’s Book Award, and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Branford Boase award. Her other books include dystopian thriller BombmakerTrespassers, the much-anticipated sequel to Ferryman, will be published on 14th September 2017. 

CMF

Favourite Protagonists

Hello! Today we have a new guest blog – this time from my lovely friend Jess from Bookends and Endings and she’s telling us all about her favourite main characters! 

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Hi there! I’m Jess from Bookends and Endings, and today I’m sharing my favourite protagonists here on Steph’s blog. Something that can easily make or break a book for me is the main character. It’s all very well for a book to be well written, well plotted, just excellent in general – but if I dislike the protagonist, it’s almost certain that the book won’t be one of my favourites. They don’t have to be likeable necessarily, but they need to be interesting, and I have to be on their side, and want for things to turn out well for them.

First up has to be the protagonist from one of my favourite books of last year: Norah from Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. Norah suffers from agoraphobia, anxiety, and OCD, and lives trapped inside her house, until the arrival of her cute new neighbour helps her to challenge her mental health issues. Norah is a protagonist you just can’t help but love; she’s quite vulnerable, and it definitely brought out a protective side in me as a reader. Her character arc and character voice were so compelling, and she’s a protagonist I’ve been left thinking about long since I finished the book.

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Amani from Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is another main character who I simply love. There are lots of things I adore in her, but mainly for me it’s her wit that has kept her in mind for me as a protagonist I can’t get enough of. I don’t want to give any spoilers, hence I can’t say too much about certain aspects of her, but I can say that she’s witty (I honestly sit there laughing and smiling at the book because her humorous comments are too good not to laugh at), she’s brave, and she’s incredibly determined. Funny to read about but also courageous and strong – a wonderful combination!

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The next main character is from a book I’ve seen talked about a lot in the book blogging community, and that is Frances from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. There was so much about Frances which I think just speaks to people, especially in the way she feels stressed by school and has a lot of exam pressure weighing down on her, and this definitely makes her realistic, I feel. She’s also such an easy character to relate to, and so representative of modern teenagers (lots of stuff to do with fandoms and the internet!), so she sticks out to me as an outstanding protagonist.

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Wing, the titular character from Katherine Webber’s debut novel, Wing Jones, is my final choice. I read this book very recently, especially in comparison to these other books, but I just think this shows what a great protagonist she is. She has such a wonderful emotional journey – she displays selflessness, but is also very human in the way she gets frustrated sometimes at those around her. On the whole, a stunning character!

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Thanks to Steph for having me on her blog – I hope you enjoyed this guest post! Who are your favourite protagonists?

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Thank you so much to Jess for sharing her favourite protagonists with us! If you’d like to follow Jess (which you should!), her links are below:

Twitter

WordPress

S x

5 YA Everyone Should Read

Welcome to another wonderful guest post from my wonderful friend Kelly – who is here to talk about YA books that everyone should read. Enjoy! Go follow Kelly, she’s wonderful! 

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5 YA Books Everyone Should Read

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Hi everyone! I’m Kelly from Kelly’s Rambles and I’m here to take over my dear friend Steph’s blog with my guest post. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a secondary school teacher with a huge passion for reading and YA books are where my heart lies. One of my favourite things about reading is sharing my experience, be that with my lovely bookish friends or with my many enthusiastic pupils. I’m not an English teacher (WHAT? I hear you say) but who said that reading must be confined to English teachers? I love to talk about books with the teenagers I teach and I’ve had some of my favourite bookish discussions with them.

The five books I’ve chosen to feature today are all books that I’ve shared with my pupils. They are also all books that I truly believe everyone should read, regardless of age. These books made a change to my life, my emotions, my outlook and my being because they are wonderful and carry such important messages. Without further ado, here are 5 YA books I think EVERYONE should read!

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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Goodreads link

I can’t imagine there are many people left out there who haven’t at least heard of this wonderful book, especially since the movie was released (I highly encourage seeing this after reading the book!). Reading A Monster Calls was an experience I will never be able to forget. My heart ached, tears spilled down my face and I felt empty of all emotion by the end – feelings only a truly powerful book can evoke. I love the way this is written and having worked with children who are living through the grieving process I can tell you now how much of an impact this book can have on your life. Grief affects all of us, no matter what stage of our life we are in, and this book will resonate with everyone. Such a poignant, heart breaking yet beautiful book.

 A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Goodreads link

“Reading this book can only be compared to being trapped in a joyous, wonderful, beautiful whirlpool of raw emotion.” The opening line to my exceptionally long review of this book really does say it all. Reading A Quiet Kind of Thunder is such a unique and wonderful experience and it is such a diverse book. Steffi is such a fantastic character, she is a selective mute, she suffers with anxiety but this story is not about those things. This is Steffi’s coming of age story, it is about her first romance, her relationships with those around her and learning to love herself. This book really touched me especially in the way Sara Barnard talks about anxiety. She portrays such a positive message: anxiety is difficult, it is horrible, but it can and will be okay. I am also super in love with the BSL throughout this book. My words cannot do this book justice, especially in such a small paragraph, but please read this. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will hurt your heart, it will warm your heart, but most importantly, it will enlighten you.

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

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Goodreads link

When I picked up Wing Jones at the beginning of the year, I was completely clueless as to what would happen next. This book absolutely captivated me, it took an issue that was close to my heart and tackled it head on. It has such raw emotions to it, on so many occasions I wanted to wrap Wing in my arms and tell her it would be okay. Wing Jones is packed full of diversity, it is beautifully written and emotionally driven. Whilst dealing with the consequences of her brother’s drunk driving, Wing embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-love. To this day I still feel inspired by Wing and her strength and I’m sure that thousands of other readers can take something from Wing and learn. Not only was the issue of racism tackled, but this book also contained a very realistic portrayal of grief, bullying, guilt, self-belief, love. There is something here for everyone to relate to and learn from. On a personal note, I have been completely overwhelmed by Katherine’s kindness and it’s thanks to her that I’ve met one of my best bookish buddies. This book means a lot to me and I’m sure it will mean something to you too.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads link

I absolutely adore reading Alice Oseman’s books and Radio Silence was the first one I picked up. There are so many experiences in here for young people to learn from and relate to but I also think that as an adult looking back this book is still very relatable and teaches valuable life lessons. I love how diverse this book is with characters of different sexualities and races. I loved the relationships in this book and Oseman writes in a way that makes everything feel so real. A great coming of age story full of love, laughter, sadness and teenage angst. There is something in this book for everyone, I highly recommend it.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Goodreads link

If at this point in 2017 you haven’t heard about The Hate U Give then you really must have been living under a rock. It was possibly one of the most highly anticipated books of the year and I am not at all surprised why. I struggled for weeks after reading this book to put my words down in a review. Struggled because this book is so powerful and inspiring that I knew I couldn’t do it justice. Angie Thomas tackles racism and police brutality like it’s never been tackled before. This book holds nothing back and will make you check your white privilege if you haven’t already. Reading The Hate U Give is like being on a rollercoaster of emotions that you can’t get off. I felt extreme anger, sadness and hatred and then found myself smiling and laughing a few pages later. Angie Thomas has a powerful voice and isn’t afraid to use it. This book and this wonderful woman are literally changing lives and paving the way to brighter futures for so many young black people who will be nothing but inspired by Angie. This book is life changing and will evoke emotions in you that you didn’t know you possessed. Incredible.

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Phew… I got super emotional just thinking about those books and how much they have affected me personally. These books are excellent examples of why YA books don’t have to be just for teenagers because they can teach so much to adults too. Knowing how hard life can be for teenagers these days I am so grateful that such wonderful books exist to support and inform our young people. I would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on the books above or any recommendations for me! (Find me at Kellys Rambles on twitter)

I’m going to leave you with one of my 2017 highlights: the moment one of my pupils who is a selective mute came to see me after my recommendation of A Quiet Kind of Thunder with a huge smile and tears in her eyes to say the words, ‘I could see myself in Steffi and I’ve never had that before. I love this book, it means so much to me”.

 

Book snatching?!

Hello, tis Wednesday guest blog time again! This time you are very lucky to be in the hands of my lovely Irish friend Aoife, blogger extraordinaire over at Pretty Purple Polka Dots and Twitterer to the max at @PrettyPPD (you should probably follow her, it’s a good idea kids). 
She’s going to talk to you all about the books on my shelves that she wants to get her hands on! 
Without further ado…
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Steph and I are in a vicious cycle where we recommend each other books and then probably never end up actually reading them. This time, it’s time to break the chain and actually read something she has.

I took a peek at Steph’s (well stocked) personal library and picked out five tomes I’d love to get my hands on. All I have to do is turn up at her place and demand them. Simple.

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Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick
 
I love Anna Kendrick  – she’s hilarious in Pitch Perfect, and when I found out she was releasing a book I knew I had to get my hands on it.
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Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
 
I love Cecelia’s more grown up work and I’d really love to give her YA fiction a go.

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The Graces – Laure Eve
This was read by my book club in Dublin and they all loved it. I missed the meeting because I was in Wales at the time doing an MA, so I think I have a little catching up to do.
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The Scarecrow trilogy – Melinda Salisbury

Steph has been singing the praises of this series for months, so I’m really tempted. This is one that’s going straight on my TBR.

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Silence is Goldfish – Annabel Pitcher
 
Cheating a little – Steph actually sent me this book a few months ago. 
 
Aoife

Pretty Purple Polka Dots
@PrettyPPD 
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Thank you so much Aoife! Consider these books on their way to you once they’ve been read! 
S x