One of the best parts of being a children's writer is that I get to read children's books whenever I want - it's part of my actual job. I love to read a mix of new books everyone is talking about, all the brilliant books by my lovely author friends, and other older books that may have been a bit forgotten (often ones that I've picked up on a charity shop haul!) - and, best of all, books that children recommend to me when I go into schools.
Do let me know if there are any great books out there you think I should add to my to-read pile (which is already Officially Out of Control!)
|What a fantastic book - I know and love Rebecca Patterson's hilarious words and illustrations from her picture books, and this was just as funny and brilliant - a friendship tale with a brilliant sci-fi twist.|
|This book is just adorable - over-flowing with love, a story of a dog and his bond with his girl even after the grave. Packed with fun and adventure and great characters, both animal and human -the illustrations are a delight as well.|
|A sweet and sensitive story for younger readers. Olive sees her father's sadness as a big grey miserable elephant - and determines to chase it away. Gentle prose and lovely line drawings make this book special.|
|A captivating WW2 adventure, told from the perspective of a young Indian soldier - all the more powerful and moving as it is based on real events. Great characters and fascinating insights. Another one that made me cry!|
|A brilliantly original story that weaves together real life, magic and adventure - and finding your way home.|
|A beautifully written story of a family's loves and losses through the events of the First Word War. Utterly captivating - one of those books that stays with you. I cried - a lot!|
|I loved everything about this heart-warming story of friendship, families and finding your true self behind the mask|
|A magical short story set in a fairy tale version of Dickensian London - a perfect Christmas read|
This month's BookPenPal recommendations were:
This is a great classic fantasy-adventure quest, with magic and menace. There is darkness in this read – it’s quite scary at times. This is the first of a trilogy, so there’s lots to get your teeth into.
|An adorable story in the tradition of Animal Ark, but with extra helpings of warmth, humour and thoughtfulness - the illustrations by Ellie Snowdon are lovely too.|
|A collection of winter-themed stories by some of the best MG writers around - I especially loved A Night at the Frost Fair by Emma Carroll|
|A perfect Christmassy ghost story -haunting but with a happy ending|
|A spellbinding tale of magic and mystery|
A trio of snowy picture books to start the Winter reading season.
|A sweet story of a boy and his grandad playing in the snow - beautiful to look at.|
|I love the crazy fun of this series (Slug of Doom was my favourite) - perfect for older children to pore over and find all the extra jokes.|
|This is comfort-reading at its best, like hot chocolate in your favourite mug - so warm and cosy!|
|One of my favourite reads this year - overflowing with family, friends, & football - all my favourite things - great 1980s setting, and the illustrations are fantastic too.|
Re-reading these two excellent historical novels for Coton School Book Cafe this week - great young characters finding their way and trying to do what's right against the backdrop of fascinating historical events.
|Exciting historical adventure full of peril and plots - a rich and rewarding read.|
|A moving story of a boy's quest to help his family against the fascinating backdrop of nineteenth century coprolite digging and fossil collecting|
|A fascinating collection of short stories from some of the best YA writers around - something in here for everyone (for older teen readers)|
|Running, family, memories and doing the right thing - a lot packed into a short book and perfect for Remembrance|
|Short and sweet stories - an old-fashioned feel to this collection (in a good way). It reminded me of story anthologies I loved as a child|
|A warm and relatable story about coping with change, fitting in and making friends - looks at creativity and intellectual property too!|
|An intriguing story of family secrets and the value of friendship, told with a fascinating use of language (may not be suitable for some younger readers)|
|A deeply moving story of love, resilience and the power of imagination, infused with warmth and humour|
|A beautifully told story of kindness and friendship and trying to make a difference|
|Funny, fierce, frantic mystery-busting fun - a fantastic read.|
|The heart-breaking true story of a young refugee's perilous journey from Afghanistan|
(some difficult content may not be suitable for younger children)
|A warm and gentle tale of friendship across generations, with a sprinkle of magic|
|An exciting magical adventure, original and richly-imagined||.|
This month's Book Pen Pal recommendations.
|Two girls from very different backgrounds finding their way and becoming friends.|
|The amazing true story of adventurer, Matthew Henson, first to reach the North Pole.|