MG Takes on Thursday

This meme belongs to Book Craic who hosts it on her blog https://bookcraic.blog . Each week the aim is to celebrate Middle Grade books, those amazing books being written for 9-12 year olds. The idea is that you choose a book, post a picture of the cover and also show the publisher and illustrator. Then turn to page 11 and find your favourite sentence on that page. After that, describe the book in three words ( I always find this really hard) and finally, write your review or post a link to your review of the book. Simples!!!!

The book I am celebrating this week is one that I picked up from my library. This is unusual as the one thing I would complain about Leics libraries is their lack of up to date M G fiction. However, The Weather Weaver was sitting on a shelf so I bought it home to read and loved it.

The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori. Published by UCLanpublishing and illustrated by Hannah Blackman

My favourite sentence from page 11

Mum glanced at Stella and raised her eyebrows very slightly but a horrible shyness had snuck up and glued Stella’s mouth shut.

Three words to describe this book – Magic, family, adventure

Stella has to go and spend 6 weeks on the Shetland Isles with her grandfather while her parents work away. She isn’t happy about being away from her parents but does have fond memories of her grandparents and her life on Shetland some years ago. However,, Stella’s grandfather is not coping well with the death of his wife and is nothing like the grandfather Stella remembers. She can’t seem to do anything right and storms out of the cottage one day. This is when her stay on the island takes a completely different turn. She meets a mysterious woman who strangely, is expecting her and ends up with her own personal cloud.

The story that follows is one of adventure and magic as Stella and Tamar, with the help of Nimbus the cloud, have to save the island from the weather witch. It’s also one of coming to terms with bereavement as Stella’s grandfather comes to terms with the death of his wife. I loved the story and it should appeal to a wide range of children. The character of Nimbus adds an element of fun to the story but there is enough adventure and excitement to appeal to those who want something more serious.

This is a great book by Tamsin Mori and I also love the jamjar illustrations that begin every chapter. I was also interested in the publisher too which is based at the University of Central Lancashire. What a great idea to get students involved in the publishng process.

WWW Wednesday

This meme is currently hosted by Sam and it can be found on her blog Taking on a world of words at https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/. The idea is just to answer three questions about your reading:
The three questions are:

What are you currently reading?

What have you recently finished reading?

What are you intending to read next?

I am currently reading Kings of a Dead World by Jamie Mollart. I have always loved dystopian fiction and this has really gripped me. At some point in the not too distant future, Earth is over populated and running out of resources so the decision has been taken that people can only be awake for a short period of time so that they require less food, fuel etc. The story is told in almost parallel viewpoints by one of the sleepers and one of the curators who are responsible for looking after the sleepers and making sure that they will have enough food to live on when they are awake. A third thread to the story describes the actions of a protest group as the decisions are being taken to put people to sleep.

The future London is well realised and the likelihood of some thing like this happening all too real. I’m really intrigued to find out the resolution.

I have just finished reading Great Expectations. This was one of my 20 books of Summer and I had intended to read it during June but didn’t get round to it. However, I have now read it and enjoyed it too. I think the reason I didn’t get very far before was because I tried to just sit down and read it all the way through. I think that it works much better just reading something like this in shorter bursts. I actually read 4 or 5 chapters every day while I was having lunch and that worked really well.

I also read Black Summer by MW Craven which was just as good as the others that I have read by this author.

This is my next read and I am really looking forward to it. Goblin Emperor is one of my all time favourite fantasy books and I can’t wait to read Witness for the Dead. I’m a bit disappointed that this one has moved away from the court as I would have loved to learn more about Maia but still really looking forward to this one.

So that’s my past, present and future reading for this week. What are your reading choices at the moment?

‘Sun’ books – Six for Sunday

It’s Sunday again and time for another SixforSunday post. This is the brainchild of Steph and details of the current weekly prompts can be found on her blog post here https://alittlebutalot.com/2021/06/18/sixforsunday-does-july-august-and-september-2/

This week is the middle of Summer and we are looking at books with Sun in the title or on the cover. My selection of books covers my entire adult reading career, from Agatha Christie in my teens, right through to this year’s Klara and the Sun.

So that’s my Six for Sunday. What would your choices be for books with Sun in the title?

Stacking the Shelves 2

Graphic used by permission of Reading Reality

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Reading Reality and details can be found here https://www.readingreality.net/2021/05/stacking-the-shelves-meme-official-re-launch/. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

My stacking shelves are all about the physical books that I get from my local library every week. I really missed my library during the two lockdowns and want to highlight the amazing range of books that they stock. Our libraries are in danger in these times of cuts to public services. However, the more people who use them, the more reason there is to keep them.

This week’s stack of shelves is smaller than some weeks but I already have at least 5 other books that I want to read so 4 seemed reasonable for this week.

Kings of a Dead World was highlighted as being new stock and I was intrigued by the blurb so I requested it.
“The Earth’s resources are dwindling. The solution is the sleep.’
Inside a hibernating city, Ben struggles with his waking time and the disease that is stealing his wife from him.
Watching over the sleepers, lonely Peruzzi craves the family he never knew.

I love dystopian novels and this seems as though it will fit it nicely into that group so I’m looking forward to this one.

A Time of Blood is John Gwynne’s second book in a series set in the same world as the Faithful and the Fallen. The main problem is that it’s a year since I read the first one and I hope that I can remember it clearly enough to enjoy this one.

The Curator – I’m on a M W Craven run at the moment. I love it when you discover a new author that you love who have already written books that you can go straight out and read.

The Mercies – I love Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s novels for children and I remember hearing a lot of praise for this when it was first released so I’m looking forward to reading it.

That’s this week’s stack of library books borrowed from Leicestershire Libraries. Why not drop into your own library too? You might be surprised at what you find in there.

I’ve got several books on hold at the moment so I’m hoping that they will be here for next week’s stack. I hope that you come by to see what I bring home next week.

What’s in your stack at the moment?

MG takes on Thursday

This meme belongs to Book Craic who hosts it on her blog https://bookcraic.blog . Each week the aim is to celebrate Middle Grade books, those amazing books being written for 9-12 year olds. The idea is that you choose a book, post a picture of the cover and also show the publisher and illustrator. Then turn to page 11 and find your favourite sentence on that page. After that, describe the book in three words ( I always find this really hard) and finally, write your review or post a link to your review of the book. Simples!!!!

The book I am celebrating this week is one of my favourites.

The Closest thing to Flying by Gill Lewis
Published by OUP Press

My favourite sentence from page 11 – The ink had bled into the cloth but Semira could read the words, The Feather Diaries

Three words to describe this book – empathy, friendship, freedom

I love Gill Lewis’s books but this is one of my favourites. The book tells the story of Semira, an illegal refugee from Eritrea, who lives with her mother in a single room in a house controlled by Robel. He controls every aspect of Semira’s mother’s life and won’t let her even learn English as that would threaten his hold over her. On a trip to the market, Semira buys a hat box containing a gorgeous feathered hat. When she investigates the box, she discovers the diary of a girl who lived 100 years earlier.

The two stories are told in parallel. As we learn more about Semira, she learns more about Henrietta. Both girls are restricted in what they can do but fight their way toward to gaining some independence over their lives. The book also tells the story of the founding of the RSPB and the campaign against the trade in bird’s feathers which was a common feature of Victorian fashion.

The hardships faced by Semira and her mother and the new friendships she makes are told clearly and she is a really engaging heroine. It’s not a hugely long or difficult book and so is accessible to most readers age 9 and upwards which is another point in it’s favour.

I love this book and so has every child that I have lent it to.

Have you read it? What did you think?

WWW Wednesday

This meme is currently hosted by Sam and it can be found on her blog Taking on a world of words at https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/. The idea is just to answer three questions about your reading:
The three questions are:

What are you currently reading?

What have you recently finished reading?

What are you intending to read next?

The book that I’m currently reading is Great Expectations.

This has been on my TBR pile for years but I have finally decided that I will read it and I have currently reached the dizzy heights of Chapter 28 with Pip getting used to his new life in London. I’m just reading a few chapters at a time which after all, is the way in which it would have originally been read as it was serialised in a journal as so many of Dickens’ novels were.

I’m also reading this crime novel by Robert Bryndza. I have enjoyed the other books that I have read by him and am gripped by this one so far. However, I can’t help thinking that it isn’t going to end well.

Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies

I have just finished this which I read through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I don’t usually read family sagas but I’m reading a lot of books set in France at the moment so I gave it a go. The setting is brilliantly realised and the village and the surrounding area of the Dordogne are almost an extra character. I really enjoyed the story of the three sisters living in Vichy France in 1944 and would definitely recommend it if you like historical fiction or books set in WWII.

Black Summer by MW Craven

M W Craven is an author that I was recommended to read by the librarian in my local library. The books are all set in Cumbria and as with Daughters of War, the settings are an important element of the stories and their plots. The ones I have read so far are quite dark so I will probably need something a bit lighter once I’ve finished the Robert Bryndza and this one.

So that’s my current, past and future reading. Have you read any of these? What did you think? I can’t wait to read everyone’s WWW Wednesday posts.

Characters I would love to go on holiday with

It’s Sunday again and time for another SixforSunday post. This is the brainchild of Steph and details of the current weekly prompts can be found on her blog post here https://alittlebutalot.com/2021/06/18/sixforsunday-does-july-august-and-september-2/

This week we are thinking about holidays and which fictional characters we would love to go away with. Mine are a mixture of people who would have so much to talk about, characters I really love and one who owns a string of hotels so why would you not want to go on holiday with him?

Inez from Six of Crows
Eileen Cotton from The Switch
Addie La Rue
Nora Seed from the Midnight Library
Damien Montgomery from The Starships Mage series
Lucas Tsai from Meet me in Paradise

I would happily spend time with all of these characters, just relaxing and chatting. What about you? Who would you choose to go on holiday with?

Stacking the Shelves 1

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Reading Reality and details can be found here https://www.readingreality.net/2021/05/stacking-the-shelves-meme-official-re-launch/. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

My stacking shelves is going to be all about the physical books that I get from my local library every week. I really missed my library during the two lockdowns and want to highlight the amazing range of books that they stock. Our libraries are in danger in these times of cuts to public services. However, the more people who use them, the more reason there is to keep them.

My current stack of books from Leicestershire libraries is shown below.

These 6 books pretty much represent my borrowing from the library. I get a lot of my crime novels from the library as they don’t tend to be books that I want to reread. I also get light fiction for the holidays when my brain just wants to switch off. The other books I get are ones that just appeal but I have never heard of before. Libraries are great for discovering new authors without spending any money.

Realm Breaker – My first love will always be fantasy. This was just sitting on the shelf last week so I had to bring it home. It’s a standard quest story although it begins in a very non-standard way. It was an enjoyable read and I will look out for the sequel.

Escape to the French Farmhouse – Definitely holiday reading. I love books about France as we are missing our holidays there at the moment so books are the next best thing.

Benefits of Hindsight – I love the Simon Serrailler books by Susan Hill and this one was just as good as all of the others. A great series.

Cold Blood I have read Robert Bryndza’s latest series featuring Kate Marshall and enjoyed them but haven’t read any of the Erika Foster ones so I’m looking forward to reading this.

That Summer This was sitting on the new books shelf and the blurb appealed so I bought it home.

Black Summer M W Craven is an author I have discovered recently. The novels are all set in Cumbria and have a great sense of place which I always love in a story.

That’s this week’s stack of library books borrowed from Leicestershire Libraries. Please stop by next week to see what I get next Friday. Why not drop into your own library too? You might be surprised at what you find in there.

MG Takes on Thursday

This a weekly meme celebrating some of the amazing books being written for Middle Grade readers (or ages 9 and up) and details can be found on Book Craic’s blog at https://bookcraic.blog/2021/07/01/mg-takes-on-thursday-43/.

This week I am celebrating one of my favourite books for this age group – The Nowhere Emporium

The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie. Published by Floris Books

My favourite sentence from page 11: Daniel Holmes darted through the Saturday shopping crowds in Glasgow, pushing and twisting and weaving.

Three words to describe this book: Magical, Unputdownable, Mysterious

I love this book. The whole idea of a magical shop that appears one night, stays for a short while and then disappears is a great idea. Every visitor to the shop experiences something different but they don’t remember anything afterwards. However, they do pay a price for their admission to the emporium. But what is it?

Daniel Holmes is an orphan in Glasgow living in a children’s home and his life is being made miserable by the local bully, Spud Harper. Trying to escape from the gang, he dives into a shop and enters into a whole new world. The book tells the story of Daniel and his new life in the Nowhere Emporium and the characters he meets there, It also tells the story of another orphan over a hundred years earlier. As the two stories are told, the links between them begin to appear and eventually, the past crashes into the present.

Ross Mackenzie is a brilliant author who really brings his characters alive and his descriptions are so vivid that you can almost imagine you are there.

It’s an amazing book to read aloud or to yourself. If you love MG fiction and haven’t read this yet, then I really recommend that you do.

WWW Wednesday

This meme is currently hosted by Sam and it can be found on her blog Taking on a world of words at https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/. The idea is just to answer three questions about your reading:

The three questions are: What are you currently reading?

What have you recently read?

What are you intending to read next?

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

This is my current read. It’s a big, fat fantasy book which was sitting on the library shelf last week. I have never heard of the author before but the blurb sounded interesting and my local library doesn’t stock much fantasy so I need to encourage them by borrowing the ones they do have. It’s not a gripping story but interesting enough and the characters are developing nicely.

The Benefit of Hindsight by Susan Hill

I have just finished this and I can’t believe that I missed this book coming out last year. I have read all of the Serrailler novels and love their interwoven stories of Simon and his family as well as the crimes. This latest one was every bit as good as all of the others. Inspector Serrailler isn’t in a good place mentally following his injury which has implications for his personal life and his ability to do his job properly. I really enjoyed his part of the book but the part which touched me most was the sub plot involving his sister Caroline who is a doctor in a private medical practice. If you’re a lover of Susan Hill, then I’m sure you’ve probably already this. If not, why not give the Serrailler novels a try?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The next book I intend to read is Great Expectations. This is one of my books for 20 books of Summer, a meme hosted by Cathy on her blog at https://746books.com/ and I promised myself that I would make a real effort to read it over the Summer holiday. I have owned the book for years but have never managed to get further than the first few chapters before. We break up today and so this has to be next on my list. I also have some light, summery reading to break up the Dickens a bit.

So that’s my past, present and future reading for this week. Let me know if you’ve read any of them and what you think.