Friday 29 November 2013

Review: Turning forty by Mike Gayle

How to turn forty:

1. Set yourself a personal challenge.

2. Clear wardrobe of all age-inappropriate clothing.

3. Relax.

How not to turn forty:

1. Have a complete meltdown . . .

High flier Matt Beckford's sole ambition is to turn forty with his life sorted. And with a Porsche on the drive and a job that requires him to spend more time in BA's club lounge than his own lounge, it looks like things are going in the right direction. But when Matt's wife unexpectedly calls time on their marriage, a chain of events is set in motion that very quickly sees him facing forty broke, homeless and completely alone.

But all is not lost because Matt has a plan . .

Review: I got this book on audiobook after enjoying one of Mike Gayle's previous novels on audiobook. I really liked the idea of the storyline, a guy who thinks he has every but as he approaches forty it all egging to unravel. This is a reality facing a lot of people as they reach milestone birthdays. There is high redundancy and a high rate of divorce in th country and so people find themselves starting from square one again more often than we realise. 

The book got off to a really good start, it made me laugh in several places. When Matt returns home he finds himself in his local supermarket bumping into people left right and centre, I know that every time I return home, this happens to me and so I found myself really chuckling at these parts of the book. Other parts of the storyline were much more touching and I found a different kind of emotion being evoked. Some of the scenes where he is speaking to his soon to be ex wife are particularly touching, and the reconciliation he attempts to have with his childhood girlfriend made me feel quite uncomfortable and almost sorry for him. 

The characters in this book were all easy to get along with and, although I didn't particularly like Matt, I found myself sympathising with him and wanting to succeed in his goals. His parents are absolutely hilarious and somenofthe friends he catches up with along his journey provide some hilarious moments too. All the characters were realistic and all supported the storyline in their own way. 

I found this a particularly pacey read and it didn't take me long to get into it. I really liked the ending, it was totally realistic and not the cop-out I was worried might bring the novel to a close. I didn't fall in love with the book but I found it very entertaining and am glad I got it off my wish list and onto my read list. I have a few more Mike Gayle novels sitting on my shelf and I am very much looking forward to reading them having enjoyed two of his novels in fairly close succession! 

Thursday 28 November 2013

Taking my friend to meet her first author: Lindsey Kelk!

My friends all know how much I love books & love to read. They certainly reap the benefits with book recommendations,  borrowed books & news about new novels & authors! My best friend came to visit this weekend & so I decided she could come to the Lindsey Kelk signing with me.

We got up specially early to get to bluewater before everyone else got there, did some shopping, had some lunch, did some more shopping before joining the line to meet Lindsey kelk. We were about 15th in line & so we didn't have to wait long before we were taken in.

We took our books to be signed, I had read I heart Christmas on ebook so I bought a copy specially to add to my shelf of signed Lindsey Kelk novels. My friend was very excited. Lindsey was lovely, every time I meet her she pays me a compliment and said this time shed rather come shopping with us! She was lovely enough to let us have a picture and my book will now take pride of place next to I Heart London and About A Girl on my shelf!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Mini Review: The Arcade Episode 11

It's November and the Arcade tenants have got problems. Tamara Van de Beur is getting silent calls, her son, Cartier, has women trouble and Danny Huxley's ex is proving thornier than the roses he sells in his shop. For Magnus and Faith, it looks like their romance might be over before it's really begun. But with the jangle of a shop bell, they're all about to learn what heartache really is...

Angell's Arcade's is about to enter its darkest hour. What they need is a hero...and an awful lot of luck.

Review: wow the arcade just got a bit darker! Anyone who knows me will know that I am a massive fan of this monthly serial, and when I was to.d that this months episode was the most explosive yet, I couldn't wait to find out. I had concerns, however that some terrible event might occur,and I was right. I certainly won't be giving away any spoilers, but this kind of thing should be on the television, there's so much drama this month! If this were a soap, this would be the one shown on Christmas Day. Pulling in masses of viewing figures! 

This months features just about all of the characters, so that was the first aspect I enjoyed, how these writers managed to fit in everyone into just a small number of pages I don't know. Everyone seemed to come into their own in this episode too, faith having to use her paramedic skills once again, Jason having to use his SAS training, and Cartier having to use his skills at charming people to their full advantage. Rosa pops back into this one too, it's been a whilst since we saw her and it was good to catch up with her, Danny and Rachael! Even Joan makes a special appearance in this months instalment, a rare occurrence! 

The storyline itself was like some big Hollywood blockbuster, and believe me, you were kept guessing right up until the last moment, not knowing how everything was going to be resolved. As usual, not everything is resolved and there is that infuriating 'To be continued...' At the end as there is at the end of every months episode, this months though it seemed every more taunting that usual. Needless to say, I am very excited to read next months episode, and am glad I waited until it was released until I read this one, we may finally get to find out who the father of Marilyn's baby is! 

This months episode of the arcade was a real treat, definitely not for the faint hearted, but a must for all followers of the series! I can't wait for next months. If you haven't begun to read this monthly serial, it's not too late! You can download them all now, and they're a steal for a lunchtime read. I really hope that this series continues next year, and perhaps an omnibus for Christmas is still on the cards... Please?

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things I am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I love this, it's my chance to take part in thanksgiving and I think I'm going to purely do the things I'm thankful for as a blogger. 

1. Firstly I am thankful that I can read. I love listening to audiobooks and being read to, but the actual physical process of reading is so fulfilling. The children I teach can enjoy picture books and there are some amazing examples of these around but we teach them to read words so that they can explore new worlds and fall in love with stories in whatever format they chose! 

2. I am thankful for libraries. There has been times in my life when I haven't been in a position to buy books, there has barely been enough money to buy food and so the fact that I was able to visit my local library when I ran out of books on my shelf, I am very thankful for. I discovered some new authors that way and still borrow hardback books and audiobooks from the library now as they are generally too expensive to justify buying. 

3. I am thankful for all the lovely authors out there. Every author I have met at an event or a signing has been so lovely. They don't seem blasé about us fans and always seem to have time to chat to us, taking a genuine interest in what we have to say as readers.

4. My twitter friends. I am so thankful for all the people of twitter. They feed my love of reading, tell me about new upcoming books and share my reviews and thoughts. 

5. An extensions from number 4 I am thankful for other bloggers. They have been so lovely welcoming me into the blogging community, helping me get contacts at publishes, alerting me to events and wanting to meet up and swap books, they know who they are and I am thankful for them all! 

6. I am thankful for my friends and family who are always so understanding when I'm stuck in a good book or have a deadline for a blog post. They are supportive and let me have my reading time, and they buy me lovely books when I can't afford them. 

7. I am thankful for chick lit. I find it an amazing form of escapism and I don't know where I'd be without being able to dive into those fictional worlds when I've had a bad day or I'm stressed out! 

8. I'm thankful for my kindle, yes I know it's sad! My kindle has been amazing for getting review copies of books, downloading books quickly when I haven't been able to get out to a bookshop and being light enough that I can fit it into the big pockets of my coat and I've instantly got hundreds of books at my fingertips. 

9. Bookshops. I am thankful for Bookshops because they too form an escapism for me. They smal lovely, you can hold the books and flick through them. They alert you to new books, books you might enjoy if you liked another book and they are peaceful an quiet, a total haven. Plus you can get books from them! 

10. Finally I am thankful for the holidays (there is a book link here I promise) they mean I can have a rest from work, see my family, drink tons of gingerbread lattes and mulled wine and have time to sit down guilt-free with just the pleasure of reading and nothing else! 

What are you thankful for? Have I left anything out? Link me to your top tens or leave a comment below! 

Monday 25 November 2013

I Met Bill Bryson

On 21st November I was lucky enough to attend the Chorleywood Bookshop's literary festival. the final event of the festival was an evening with Bill Bryson. I was very excited about this having read most of what he's written and thoroughly enjoying his latest offering, One Summer: America 1927. I found myself a route and headed in the direction of Rickmasnworth for an exciting evening with one of my favourite authors!

When we arrived there we crowds of people, he is a very popular man but we managed to snag a seat not too far from the front. Bill was introduced and came over to the microphone to address the massive crowd. Not only did he read a couple of extracts from his book, he showed us pictures and had us in absolute stitches with his jokes and anecdotes-the man knows how to work a crowd! 

There was then a question and answer sessions where he talked about his writing process and his loved of the English countryside as well as dropping hints as to what his next book might be. One of my highlights of the evening was when he told us that his favourite place to walk in the UK was the Yorkshire dales, that's it's a beautiful place and Yorkshire people are the best around (which of course I heartily agree with!) 

When speaking about his writing process,he said that for writing his own memoirs, he went back to his hometown library and looked through old newspapers and magazines, looked at the TV schedules from when he was a child, the film and music listings and that is how he remembered things from his past. He also said that a lot of time and research went into writing his latest novel, which was evident from the book itself! Finally, he said that the anecdotes and stories in his book which are funny are ever so slightly exaggerated for comic effect and that, of course, he changes all the names in his book if they are based on real people! 

One of the most exciting things was that he said, his next book will probably be a follow up to notes from a small island. He said the UK has changed so much over the past 20 years and so he feels he needs to update his notes, I am very excited about this and his complete notes is one of my favourite all time books! 

Finally he was kind enough to tackle the huge line of us waiting to have my books signed, I got my copy of his latest novel signed, and even had my picture taken with him! I very much enjoyed the evening, and feel so lucky to have met this amazing author. If you ever get chance to meet him you really should because he is so lovely and polite, and if you see him in the street, go and say hi to him, because he combined that nobody ever recognises him!  

If you want to see my review of his latest novel, just check back in the side bar. 

Friday 22 November 2013

Review! The Golden Locket by Primula Bond

Temptation would test them…

The second novel in the Unbreakable Trilogy, The Golden Locket follows Gustav and Serena to New York.

Ensconced in their Manhattan penthouse, all seems blissfully happy for Gustav and Serena. Still in the first flush of love, they have every satisfaction they could need.

But as they enjoy their New York pleasure ground, ghosts start to emerge from Gustav’s past, and when his damaged younger brother, Pierre, comes back into his life, he brings with him a dangerous threat…

With temptation waiting at every turn, can Gustav and Serena survive all the excitement that the Big Apple holds?

The sexy sequel to Primula Bond’s Sunday Times Top 20 bestseller, The Silver Chain. 

Review: I was very much looking froward to this sequel. When i read the first book, The Silver Chain, I knew it was part of a trilogy and so when I was asked if i would like to read the second in the trilogy, i jumped on the chance. I struggled to get into this a little. It took me a while to catch up with what had gone on in the previous book-even though it was only a couple of months since i had read The Silver Chain, this is definitely a sequel where you need to have read book one in the trilogy to make sense of book two. I found the storyline a little difficult to follow throughout the book, i think maybe i should have re-read the first in the trilogy before carrying on with this second book. It was great to revisit the characters though and cousin Polly gets much more of a main role in this novel.

The setting has changed, Serena and Gustav are now in New York, they also travel to Venice for part of the novel, and Serena's antics around The Big Apple were thoroughly entertaining, it made for a great backdrop! The storyline with Serena's new photographic career is much easier to follow, the things she gets up to when she is behind her camera are wonderfully voyeuristic and sometimes decidedly debauched, but provide great reading material!

The sex scenes in this novel are just as hot as in its predecessor, if not hotter! There are some fabulous descriptions of the antics Gustav and Serena get up to. There is more emphasis on swapping partners, swinging and threesomes in this book, unlike the last, and more same gender sex. All of these scenes were really well written and got me decidedly hot under the collar. They are consistently good across the whole novel!

Overall, although i found it a little difficult to follow the storyline with Gustav and Pierre, i enjoyed the second book in this trilogy and will definitely be looking forward to the last book in the trilogy!

To get a copy of this novel, click here

To see my review of the first book in the trilogy, click here

Thursday 21 November 2013

Review! I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

• Enormous Christmas tree
• Eggnog
• Eccentric British traditions
• Gorgeous man

But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…

Review: I love an I heart book and I really enjoyed the latest offering from Lindsey Kelk. I'm such a massive Angela fan and what I got here was a large dose of her scattiness, her clumsiness and her all round whirlwind of a personality. I have to admit that I found the beginning of this novel a little hard to get into. It wasn't until abut 50% of the way through that I was completely hooked by the usual mixture of mayhem and happenings that this tutors writes. I don't know if it was because I read this book quite far away from Christmas and so I found Angela's preparations for the festive season a title dull but there was certainly enough actions in the second half of the book to make up for the slight dip in goings on in the earlier part. 

Angela is now settled down and married and so talk of babies and families does rear it's ugly head making for some interesting concentrations between her and her fabulous husband Alex and also between her and her crazy impulsive friend Jenny. Angela has also become more settle din her career and so in this book things really hot up there for her, among for some extremely stressful scenes in this novel. I love Angela but she was awfully self centred for a a large part of the book, I felt a bit like I was judging her when I really didn't want to. Her Christmas preparations were also somewhat hampered by he unexpected arrival of best friend Louisa and her toddler Grace. I thought this as a rally good addition to the storyline because it gave all of the baby discussions a whole other level. Angela is also preparing to welcome her parents to New York I the new house the Alex springs on her right at the start of the novel.

There is a good dose of Alex in this book which was pleased bout because I love him, but because Angela was being fairly self- centred, readers be warned, there are some tense scenes where I was just waiting for the two of the them to have a massive bust up, perhaps this is another reason that I couldn't get into the book right at the beginning, that's just how much I love these guys! There were some really dramatic scenes involving characters who have taken much more of back set in previous novels, and ms Lopez seems to be growing up in this book, it's about time but I really really don't want her to change and hope that she doesn't in any future novels. 

Overall this is a welcome addition to the I heart family and something that all fans of Lindsey Kelk will very much enjoy. I think that this book would also work whether you are encountered Angela before or not, it's fab for the festive season as well- what could be better than a New York Christmas? My advice would be to read this nearer to the festive season and if you get chance to read the other I hearts first, do so because they're all wonderful! I heart I Heart Christmas and I Heart Lindsey Kelk, roll on the next Angela Clark/Jenny Lopez instalment! 

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Review! Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds. 

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

Review: I was very excited for starting this sequel, having just finished reading Time Between us, I was desperate to find out what was going to happen between Anna and the lovely Bennett. I wasn't disappointed by what I found! Firstly I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this story was actually from Bennet's point of view-it was interesting to have a change of voice for the sequel! I had to adjust my focus having just finished reading about their story from Anna's point of view but if you read these books separately, this won't be a problem for you! It was wonderful hearing Bennett's thoughts on things that went on between him & Anna and I was delighted to find that he over thought everything as much as Anna did and he wanted things to work as much as Anna did!

In terms of the storyline, this sequel had just as much content and action as the first novel. If anything there is slightly more going on in this book because things have got a lot more serious and just a little darker! I liked the fact that the storyline was slightly more intense in this novel as I thought this was realistic in terms of this coues relationship. The issue of Bennett's time travel is also dealt with a little more in this novel, we get to hear about some of the pitfalls of his 'gift' and also what his family really think about his travel. Brooke becomes more of a main character this time around and I rely enjoyed learning a little more about her and what happens when she meets Anna.

Anna really comes into her own in this sequel, she seems to deal with everything that is thrown at her in a much more nature way than in the previous novel, she has grown up and seems much more trusting that Bennett will do the right thing. Emma and Justin are still around providing a little more comedy to counteract the darker aspects of the novel.

The storyline with Bennett and his grandmother is dealt with much more this time around and this, combined with some of the other darker areas of the novel, meant that I did shed a few tears, readers should be warned about this! Overall this was a rely great sequel, I am very disappointed that this is the end of the road for Anna and Bennett, I would love there to be another book to sort everything out. I'm sure, whilst not being disappointed with the ending, you will feel the same way too. A great sequel and a must read if you were a fan of Time Between Us, I thoroughly enjoyed my Tamara Ireland Stone Marathon!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Would Recommend Boyfriend

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This is an excellent top ten this week and perfect for people thinking about Christmas gifts or recommending books for people to read during the holidays. I decided to recommend some books to my boyfriend because he doesn't read a lot of fiction, so thinking up some fictions for him to read is actually really useful. There are actually some chick lit novels I think he would really like and find funny, so here goes...

1. One of my favourites-Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding. This was the first book to ever make me laugh out loud and I think he would really like the well-written humour! 

2. Another favourite of mine... One Day by David Nicolls. I also like the other books written by this author and so I think that he would like any of these but this one is obviously my favourite! 

3. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, he really liked the film of this so I think he would like the novel just as much! 

4. The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle. This was a great dual narrative and I think he would find the different perspectives really interesting. I reviewed this on the blog a couple of months ago so take a look at what I thought! 

5. I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk. I keep telling him how much he would love New York and also how Angela's now husband reminds me of him (or rather he reminds me of Alex as Alex came first) and so I think it'd be a really quick intro into some great chick lit! 

6. Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell. Another dual narrative that makes this novel totally male friendly! 

7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I really liked the historical aspect to this novel and found it a very compelling read, something I think he would find easy to get into... 

8. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This was a read I enjoyed earlier on this year, so take a look back for my review of that. I found this to be a really funny but quick read and so I think this would be something he would really enjoy! 

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I think he would find this a really interesting read and a assists part of me would like to see if he cries or not.. 

10. Finally, this isn't fiction and so I've kind of defeated the object of this whole top ten but I do keep trying to make him read everything Bill Bryson has ever written so that is going to be my final recommendation... 

Let me know if you can recommend anything else for boyfriends who don't normally enjoy reading fiction, especially if its something I've missed that was released this year! 

Monday 18 November 2013

Review! Time between us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

Review: I was so surprised by how much I liked this book. I loved the sound of the blurb and I was urged to read it by a couple of other bloggers, but I just wasn't sure I would be able to get my head around the time travel aspect of it. What I found though was that the time travel part of this book was perfect and supported what was a gorgeous contemporary romance story, one which I simply couldn't put down! I began reading this book on a plane and was gutted when the plane landed because it meant I had to put it down! I had read over half the book in just over 2 hours! 

The characters in this book are really strong. Sometimes I find females in YA novels to be whiney and your typical teenage girls, but I really liked Anna. Although she did make some silly choices and react to things in typical teenage fashion occasionally, she was generally fairly sensible and a really likeable character. Bennet was a lovely character, mature beyond his years, he was the perfect pairing for Anna I think. I loved his name and his sense of decency not to break the rules of his time travel, I thought this was really cool! 

There were a host of great supporting characters too, I felt like best friend Emma was my best friend and could only picture her as I read...This to me is the sign of some good writing! I loved the settings in this book too. Mainly set in a frozen Michigan, but with trips to many other places inside and outside of the United States. Everything was well described and even when Anna and Bennett were in school, I felt like I was there with them! Despite it being set in a school, this really didn't feel like a clear cut YA novel. It had adult romance aspects and yet I raced through it at the pace I would a normal YA novel.

All in all I completely loved this book and am about to start its sequel Time After Time now, I love an author marathon! I think even those of you who don't normally enjoy YA or contemporary romance, will love this book and it is a real treat for any YA  fans! This book had a great storyline, totally believable and some loveable characters, I highly recommend it to anyone! 

Friday 15 November 2013

Review! Mad About The Boy By Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones is back!

Great comic writers are as rare as hen's teeth. And Helen is one of a very select band who have created a character of whom the very thought makes you smile. Bridget Jones' Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s was a huge international bestseller, published in 40 countries and selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published soon after was also a major international bestseller. Both were made into films starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget's life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: "If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we'll all be very happy."

Review: I was very much looking forward to the release of this book and despite headlines slating it, and reviews being very much mixed, I definitely wasn't disappointed with the newest offering from this fabulous author. I was always going to be slightly biased coming into this review because Bridget Jones Diary is one of my all time favourite novels. The novel that got me into chick lit and the first book to ever make me laugh out loud, so this novel had a lot to live up to. You'll be pleased to know that I laughed out loud several times at this novel, and on a packed flight to Sicily nonetheless! This book had all the wit and charisma of the original, and the same fabulous storyline. 

The structure of this novel is very much the same as its predecessors which I was happy to find out. I loved the little extras telling us her weight at the beginning of each day. Calories consumed and also the number of headlice found. The headlicd thing was a slight issue for me, as I have a massive phobia of them, I can spot them a mile off on a child in my class, but I managed to overcome this because of the compelling storyline. Because the structure was the same diary format as the previous novels, I raced through this book, finding it to be a real page turner! As well as making me laugh, it also made me cry which is definitely the sign of a good novel in my book! 

Bridget is just as loveable as ever. The naivety is still very much there, despite the fact that she is now a mother and a fifty-something. She still has the same kind of romantic problems that she always had and her relationship with twitter is nothing short of genius, of course Bridget could t quite cope its modern technology. There are some brilliant bits in the book where she struggles with the various technological gadgets that are in her house, thankfully her children her her out when it comes to this aspect of life. I was so pleased to find out that Bridget's mum and of course Una were still around to features in this latest instalment, it just wouldn't have been the same without their occasional appearances, and they are just as funny and interfering as usual!  

It's quite hard to write a review of this without any spoilers, so I will just summarise by saying, although there aren't exactly any major events in the novel, I still really loved the storyline and found it to be a real page turner. The characters are full of humour and rediscovering Bridget was like sitting down for a cup of tea with an old friend. I really enjoyed this novel and am would recommend this to any Bridget fan old or new! 

To grab one and see for yourself, just click here

Thursday 14 November 2013

Review! I'm Dougal Trump Where's my Tarantula?

Laugh out loud at the boy who is a bigger trouble magnet than Bart Simpson and Just William stuck together. The second instalment of Dougal Trump's ridiculous life has arrived.
"Mum," I yelled. "Sybil the Goliath birdeater spider is no longer in my room."
Somebody has stolen Dougal's tarantula, Sybil (named after his sister - they both have very hairy legs), and she is being held to ransom. Dougal must fulfil the kidnapper's demands before poor Sybil is tortured - one leg at a time.

I read this book with one of my pupils, we read it together and so I am going to let her tell you what a wonderful book this is. Before that I'd just like to say what a fab books it was to share with a child. I enjoyed what was going on in the book, Dougal Trump is a great character who is really easy to get along with and reminds me very much of the kind of antics that Jennings or Just William would have entertained us with! These books have great illustrations a d a structure similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and so this was a really quick read. I thought the story was well thought out, amusing and st delivered a very real moral message as well. Here is a review from a very descending 10 year old to tell you more...

This author came to visit my school and sign copies of her books as well as do a workshop with our children. Here is what I had to say about that...

Review: this book is based on Dougal Trump and creaturs that keep appearing in the hollow tree. Dougal is very excited with what he has for all of these creatures like the slithering snake; the eight-legged, hairy spider; the huge, stinging scorpion and the bumpy, grey lizard! 

I liked all of the book because it was funny and I wanted to read on more and more. The author put so much description into it so it was more interesting than you might have thought! 

I wanted to read more and more so I can get into it and then read the other book. That will be exciting for me to read, and to get to ow the story more! I think this is my type of book because it is funny and sad, but I like it to be twisted with funny and sad so it is my type of book! 

To get your copy of Dougal Trump simply click here.

You can also read my post on what happened when this lovely author came to visit us at school. Just click the link at the side.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Jackie Marchant and Andrew Weale visit my school...

At the end of September I was lucky enough to have two lovely children's authors come in and visit my school. I arranged for them each to spend a day in a year group working with every class in that year group doing various activities and sharing their books with them. 

Red House prize winner Andrew Weale visited years 1 and 2. He read through his book with the children a d kept them therapy entertained thoughtful each sessions. He answered some questions on his books and his writing and got them to make predictions on what might happen next and even had them l,ah about with the spellings on their names to get their imaginations flowing! 

When he worked with the year 2 children he actually made an audiobook of his book with them and then sent it back to school so they could all listen to the great product they had made. 

The children were all really inspired and did some lovely pictures and writing based on his visit! 

Author of the Dougal Trump series Jackie Marchant came to visit the year 4 and 5 children. She did a wonderful workshop with them where she to.d the a not how she had been hit on the head with a big bin bag full of rubbish and how the owner of all these things in the bin bag turned out to be Dougal Trump. She had spoken to Dougal about his adventures and written them down for him and that is how her books were born! 

She also did a great activity with the classes where she had them think about what might be inside a wooden box she had brought with her. She asked the. What might be in the box. Then asked them to the about what was in the box and who out it there. Finally she asked them what was in the box, who put it there and why. 

This got some great responses from the children and really inspired them to do some writing of their own.

At the end of the school day, children were and to buy books and have them signed by Jackie which they loved. The queue was quite literally out of the door and children come up to me regularly in the corridor telling me they are reading one or both of the books.

Thanks very much to these two great authors, if you haven't read their books u suggest you give them a go now, there are two great picture books and two super chapter books that can be loved by children and adults alike.