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Children, Reading, Review

July 2020 Reading

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I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only!

Large boy

Jack Stalwart 3 France: the Mystery of the Mona Lisa by Elizabeth Singer Hunt

Well, come bedtime on 1st July large boy had just finished The Highland Falcon Thief and couldn’t decide what to read next. After The Secret Garden he didn’t want another “olden days” book. So I got him the third Jack Stalwart installment. An hour after bedtime: “muuum I finished my book! Can I do the quiz?” I didn’t really believe he’d read it properly but he gave a run down about red hair and lasers. Safe to say he enjoyed it, dropped one question on his quiz and started fretting about what to read next.

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

About a thief called Con trying to steal a duchess’s special stone, then he meets a wizard and becomes an apprentice, going to magic school. Meanwhile, people were losing the magic because the under lord had created a machine that traps the magic. Con fixed this problem but his magic stone got destroyed. Large boy enjoyed it, 8/10. He’s excited to try the biscuit recipe at the end, Bennett’s are the best apparently.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Only four stars! But it was very good, his favourite character is Harry’s owl Hedwig and his favourite human is Hagrid because he owns the dragon and the big scary dog. He liked the bit when they went into the Forbidden Forest. Straight onto book 2 after smashing 3 million words on his school reading scheme.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

His favourite bit was when the defeated the giant snake at the end. He thinks Gilderoy Lockheart is a total idiot and terrible teacher.

Kid Normal and the Loudest Library

He zoomed through this in a day, it was good and the silliest bit was when someone’s head turned into a really loud foghorn because her car got destroyed.

Dennis the Menace: Canine Carnage

It was just ok. He’s very reticent so I guess he didn’t enjoy it that much.

Max Einstein Rebels With A Cause by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Large boy thought this was another good read. Max and her team unpolluted water sources from Japan where the river was polluted and in the midlands of Ireland because sheep were pooing in the wells. We need to see if there are more in the series.

Compton Valence The Time-travelling Sandwich Bites Back and Super F.A.R.T.S. vs the Master of Time by Matt Brown

In the second book of the series (we’ve missed the first one), Compton and his friend Bryan create a time-travelling sandwich and have to save the universe because Compton’s brother stole it.

In book three, a big mega baddy escaped from a special prison and the two friends had to save the universe, again! Kind of.

Large boy said they’re good and funny but he’s glad his life isn’t like Compton’s.

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

He read the first of these last month, on Kindle Unlimited, the rest of the series wasn’t in the free books, so when the library opened he made a bee line for the series.

Apollo is now a teenager called Lester, and he’s having trouble after his father cast him down to Earth so he has lost all his powers. Large boy is too busy starting the next book to tell me any more.


Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis

I’ve read all the Nikki Galena detective novels, set in a fictional town of Greenborough which is very obviously Boston in South Lincolnshire, I even recognized some of the pubs from their descriptions. The new series with Jackman and Evans is just as good, great detective stories with an evocative landscape and believable central characters and relationships.

Having read plenty of other Joy Ellis, I was relieved that this didn’t disappoint. It’s a great twisty tale and I was so pleased that I guessed the final twist – only about 2 pages before it happened, but still.

The Fourth Friend by Joy Ellis

I’m a sucker for a good detective series. I love getting embedded in the world of a series and the Jackman and Evans books are excellent for that, I want to be friends with Marie and Rowan. This is a great twisty turny tale without getting convoluted and confusing. I felt enormous sympathy for the protagonists and their relationships are beautifully drawn out. Some more landscapes and atmospheric descriptions of the fens would have added some richness to this novel though. I’m now trying to decide between the next in the series or something else.

Small boy

Small boy has just turned 5. He’s in reception and learning to read with the marvellous Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Its brilliant and he’s made huge progress since we began home learning. This month he’s read:


  • Go and Play (green)
  • Skateboard Sid (green)
  • Tag (purple)
  • Big Blob and Baby Blob (purple)
  • Flip Frog and the bug (purple)
  • Tab the Cat (pink)
  • Tab’s Kitten (pink)
  • The Greedy Green Gremlin (pink)

Biff Chip and Kipper

  • The Moon Jet (level 4)
  • Spots! (level 2)
  • Chip’s Robot (level 1+)

Songbirds (library)

  • Ron Rabbit’s Big Day

11 thoughts on “July 2020 Reading”

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