This is a science-fiction novel about a family whose dad is missing. The little brother discovers three ladies who seem to be able to travel to other dimensions, and they tell Charles Wallace that they know where his father is.
I like time-slip novels — this is sort of a dimension-slip novel. I really enjoyed it because it was so different from our world, and I liked the characters in the other world.
The copy of the book I read was a movie tie-in, and had photos from the movie in the middle pages of the book. That was annoying because I had an idea in my head of all the characters and then suddenly I came across the movie photos and they were completely different. (But I’d still like to see the movie.)
Kids who love weird fantasy adventure books will love this.
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd, ill. by Levi Pinfold, Walker Books, ISBN 9781406367584
Tilly reviews her own copy of this book.
It is December 1941, World War II, Briar Hill Hospital. A girl named Emmaline has a secret: there are winged horses in the mirrors.
The main characters are Emmaline, Foxfire and the Black Horse. Emmaline is passionate, persistent and courageous in her attempts to save the magical winged horse Foxfire. Foxfire is in trouble as the Black Horse is hunting Foxfire.
I really like the black and white illustrations, they are beautiful! The illustrations help paint a magical picture in your head while reading the book.
It is a fantasy book written through the eyes of Emmaline.
I like this book a lot. I recommend this book to children who have a wild imagination from 8 years of age.
The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Peter Ferguson, Abrams Books.
Matilda borrowed this series from her school library.
Daphne and Sabrina Grimm are normal girls that live a normal life, until suddenly their parents disappear. After being in the foster care system for two years the girls are finally placed with their grandma, where they discover that fairytales are real …
I absolutely loved everything about this series and I couldn’t put it down. The plot is quirky but it is written in a wonderful way. These books are definitely my favourites so far this year. I was kept in suspense all through the books, and I really felt as though I was there.
I recommend this book for kids aged 10+, and for readers who love adventure stories and fairytales.
Scarlet & Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780007589180
Matilda borrowed this book from her local library.
Ivy was always the quiet twin, the mirror image, so when Scarlet disappears, Ivy really misses her. When Miss Fox (the principal of Scarlet’s school) turns up at Ivy’s front door, things start to get suspicious …
Why should Ivy have to pretend to be Scarlet?
I really loved this book, as there were so many twists in the plot. One moment you thought they were nearly at the end of the mystery, and the next moment something happens to change your mind. I would definitely recommend this book for readers who love mystery, and readers who love the St Clare’s and Malory Towers books [by Enid Blyton].
Readers aged 9 to 14 would enjoy this series. 4.5 stars!
The Book of Secrets (The Ateban Cipher book #1) by A.L. Tait, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734417671
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.
The Book of Secrets is the first in The Ateban Cipher series. It’s about a young monk who has been living in the abbey all his life, and has never been outside the abbey walls. Then he finds Brother Benedict bleeding and maybe dying, and Brother Benedict hands him a book. What is the secret of the book? Why is it in a code he can’t distinguish? And who is this Aidan he has to take it to?
I loved this book because at first it seems magical and absurd … but it could actually happen. My favourite character is Gwendolyn, because she is determined and independent, and does everything to help other people. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the series.
I would recommend this book for readers aged 9 and older who love fantasy and adventure.
It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)
Today the book baton is passed to Yasmin Hamid.
Yasmin grew up in East Africa with her siblings, English mother and Sudanese father. She has been in the same book club group for almost twenty-five years.
Yasmin’s first children’s novel — Swimming on the Lawn — was published in 2017.
To someone like me — who grew up among grey blocks of flats in Eastern Europe — your childhood sounds absolutely fearless. Was there ever anything that you were afraid of? How did you overcome that fear?
This is a very interestingquestion. I don’t remember ever being afraid when I was a child. I think it was to do with the place where I lived at that particular time (open spaces, lots of freedom to roam the neighbourhood, climb trees and and be away from home for hours on end without supervision). There wasn’t any hint of stranger danger and there was rarely any interference from adults.
I remember doing things that involved an element of risk like climbing up onto our house roof and weighing up the possibility that if I jumped off and flapped my arms, whether I could fly a bit before I fell onto the strategically placed mattress! Needless to say, I always knew I couldn’t and would climb down again after spending time looking over the garden from a different perspective.
And now Yasmin passes the book baton to the next Friday visitor — Sherryl Clark. Sherryl writes picture books, junior fiction, novels, verse novels, and books for young adults.
Yasmin Hamid asks: I know you have travelled to many different countries, butdo you find it difficult to write books that are set in an Australian landscape when in your mind you have the embedded landscapes and terrains of the New Zealand you grew up in?
Check in every Friday for mini interviews with children’s authors and illustrators. (While you’re waiting you can catch up on all the interviews in the Pass the Book Baton series so far!)