Merry Christmas Everyone, five sleeps to go till Santa arrives.
I’m continuing my year in books – Goodreads brief reviews or book blurbs. Fifty books will require two more posts. Here’s part two, as they are long reviews, part three will need to finish off my year in books, 2019.
Gramps makes them good food and gives good hugs. When Ma comes home from the city, all worn out and crying, Gramps feeds her and gets her to sleep. His love rejuvenates his daughter Rosie enough for her to go back to the city. Peony and Mags want Ma to stay. They don’t need the money she brings home with her. They live in a shed on the farm. AJ and his mum and MJ live in a shed nearby. What could be better than the learning over the radio and working on the farm?
Peony is dragged away to the city and her world is turned upside down. She sees her Ma being bossed around and she doesn’t like the Ape Man who pulls her into the car. She must work and be polite, even though she doesn’t know what that means. She meets Esmeralda and finds out that people can be frightened of going outside. Peony makes a promise, and so does her new friend Ez.
This book is wonderfully written and a world without bees becomes a possible near-future reality. It’s no wonder this book won and was shortlisted in so many awards. I’m sure to re-read it many times.
They are amazed to find two of their old enemies Gradlock and Valerie, have united to put the dreadful plan into action. Will they be able to find the bombs and stop them from causing both Mercury and Earth to be destroyed?
Candice has written another fast-paced action-filled book for young readers who are sure to love this page-turning adventure.
Jake thought he’d won the best prize ever. He was in the Floating Hotel of Venus with his mum and dad. His friends Rory, Skye and Milly arrived not long after they did with their parents. Henry the cyborg arrived last. He wasn’t on assignment from the CIA (Central Intergalactic Agency) this time and he was upset about it. They’d told him to take a holiday. Anyone else would love that but not Henry.
Everything at the hotel was amazing starting with the lava fountain in the foyer. They start to enjoy being pampered with a ride to their rooms and non-stop food. When Henry knocks on Jakes room door his parents think he’s a bit weird when he goes to smell the garbage chute. He leaves quickly and Jake must find out what he’s up too, it’s too strange, even for Henry.
Next day four friends are booked to go on the Volcanoes of Venus tour. Jake, Skye, Rory and Milly are surprised to see Henry in the pilot chair having disabled the robot pilot. What’s going on with the garbage? Why is Henry sniffing out a problem? Why is the rubbish from the hotel being dumped in the volcano, it smells disgusting! It’s dangerous too as it’s creating a cap that could blow off and destroy the hotel. Who would want to do that?
Would they solve the mystery without getting captured or thrown into the volcano where the rubbish is being tipped?
This is an exciting romp and one that will sure to please young readers.
Jemma just started her first babysitting job in one of Sydney’s iconic homes known as the Witches’ Houses. The house is old and run down and Sammy is a fun-loving energetic girl. Her mum Maggie, is an artist and single mum, needing Sammy to be occupied for a few hours each afternoon so she can finish her work for an exhibition.
The rambling house is a bit creepy and Sammy’s cat screeches and spits when the air in her room gets cold. Mater of factly Sammy tells Jemma that her friend Georgie is in the room. The chair in the corner of the room begins to rock. At first, Jemma thinks the little girl has an overactive imagination then other strange things happen.
At home her parents are always busy and hardly there for Jemma, so she spends a lot of time at her best friend Ruby’s place. It’s untidy and chaotic but filled with love and laughter. Jemma’s home is a show home of neatness and she feels detached. It’s nearly her birthday and she’s longing to just hang out, having a sleepover, painting their nails and chatting. Her mum has other ideas.
Jemma looks up the history of the Witches Houses of Annandale on her laptop. She finds out a lot about the area and about Rosethorn house. She read that a little girl Georgiana Rose Thornton had been murdered in the house. Was it a coincidence that Sammy called her invisible friend Georgie? The next Monday Jemma rushed to Sammy’s after school. She found more things had been unpacked. Jemma suggested she and Sammy read then they play hide and seek. She looked for Sammy and found her frightened and hiding in a secret cupboard. Jemma saw a flash of the past when a pin stuck in her hand. Once they were back in Sammy’s room Jemma calmed the little girl down, she put the dainty pendant carved from creamy ivory in the shape of a perfect rose on the dressing table, ivory rose. But who was Aggie? Why did Sammy think someone was trying to hurt Georgie?
Sammy left to go downstairs and Jemma couldn’t resist putting on the pendant. Shadow the cat spat again and the room was cold. Jemma felt that someone was with her in the room. Someone wanting to hurt her. The history of the Witches’ Houses in Johnston Street linking Rosethorne house from the century before Jemma’s time to her own suddenly became very real.
This is an intriguing time-slip story and one with a very satisfying end.
Carrie’s Flight by Lois Wickstrom illustrated by Francie Mion
Being a Grandmother, I could relate to this book, that I truly love. If I downsized and moved, I would love to leave behind boxes of treasures for my granddaughter to touch, so she could feel close to me. It would be magical to be able to leave feathers that she could put on and fly to me. These are the dreams we all share that make this book emotive and its beautiful illustrations by Francie Mion so delightful. I also enjoyed the educational aspect at the end of the book about Starlings. I’m certain that many youngsters are taken to the sky, wearing imagination wings, when they read this book.
When Mr Angel arrives at the magic shop he gives Annabel a message to pass on to her Great Aunts. Then she meets Aunt Estella and is told that she is – ‘A most magical girl’. Annabel must travel to Under London to save the good magic in the world. Miss Henrietta is not as sure as her sister that Annabel is ‘A most magical girl.’ The threat is close as Mr Angel has already bought a dark fog down over the city and is raising shadowlings to do his bidding.
Annabel is given a broomstick, a wand and a reluctant travelling companion. Kitty is also magical and not many are like her in the world. She can talk to fairies. She can run errands from Henrietta and Estella Vine’s magic shop to the Wizards and all those ageing members of The Great & Benevolent Magical Society. Kitty is wild and sleeps where she will at night. She knows all of London and listens to the trees speak. One day she’ll cough up her heart light and the body she is in will vanish.
Annabel is a plain Mayfair girl when she arrives at her Aunts. She misses her mother, who left her to go abroad. Her mother told her that her father had been in the navy and died at sea. How could she take on such a dangerous journey when she doesn’t know if there is any magic in her at all. She listens to her Aunt’s advice, be brave, be good. She learns about true friendship. She learns about her father The Great Geraldo Grey and that her elegant mother is very magical and told her lies about her father.
I loved the way the ending tied up loose ends and left a smile in your mind and heart. I think this book gives children hope, when they have self-doubts, when they don’t think themselves strong enough to fight for what they must, the message here is – Be good. Be Brave.
This whole book is delightfully written. Every word conjures up images of conflict and insecurities. I love this book. It’s a keeper, I gave it Five Stars on Goodreads, make you happy in your heart keeper.
I thought at first the dark side of the book might be too much for young adults, knowing some start very young and others may not be emotionally ready, however, I changed my mind. Be good. Be brave. Treasure it.
I can see children enjoying a book about a dinosaur coming to school. The images of the children simply accepting a big red Dinopoamus coming through their schoolroom window and joining in their lessons. The teacher and the other students showing him how to adapt because he couldn’t speak charming. They didn’t want him to be upset when he couldn’t join in. This is a reflection on how youngsters act when meeting something or someone different, they adapt. I liked it
Publisher John Koehler and executive editor Joe Coccaro share 100 golden nuggets of wisdom that help answer the many reoccurring questions that authors have.
How collaborative should the process be with a publisher? What is a decent royalty percentage? How is the price of your book determined? Do you need to have an attorney look at a contract before you sign? What’s the difference between line and copy editing? How much and what kind of marketing should an author expect to do?
These questions and many more are answered in this pocket guide to publishing.
I’ll end this post on this review of Jane Fonda’s memoir as it compares well with Sidney Poitier’s. I’ve fifteen more books to finish off my year in books, that’s the next post (hopefully before Christmas).
Enjoy the silly season, stay safe. – Jill