Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun
Children, Reading, Review

October 2021 Reading

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I 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

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

Large boy is being concise again. He says it was good, same as any old Tom Fletcher. He won’t tell me about the story, but suffice to say that he talked me into buying the latest Tom Fletcher in Waterstones in Edinburgh so he’s definitely a fan.

The Accidental Billionaire by Tom McLaughlin

Somebody made cat-talking machine and made everybody have talking cats and that made them (the kid) rich. That’s the whole story that he’s prepared to share with me. It was OK apparently, there are several more in the series sitting on the coffee table, borrowed from the library. So watch this space next month for some more, equally deep and thrilling reviews.

Other things

  • The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher (re-read to do quiz)
  • Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World by Konnie Huq (re-read to do quiz)
  • There’s a Yeti in the Playground! by Pamela Butchart
  • My Head Teacher Is a Vampire Rat! by Pamela Butchart (re-read to do quiz)
  • A Monster Ate My Packed Lunch! by Pamela Butchart
  • Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers by Dav Pilkey
  • Yet more back issues of Oor Willie (Scottish comic strip annuals)


Un été à Pont Aven by Jean-Luc Bannelec

My dad lent me this in August, to try a nice easy novel in French. He knows I love a detective story and this didn’t disappoint. It was slower going than my usual Joy Ellis because reading in a foreign language is harder and more tiring so I would feel sleepy sooner each night. However, I didn’t feel the need to look up the words I didn’t know because the context was enough to translate their sense if not the exact meaning.

This is essentially a who dunnit, a proper back to basics murder mystery with plenty of false starts, caricature side kicks and possibly bad guys. I warmed to the central detective from the get go and his taciturn lazy nature of avoiding communication wherever possible was just on the edge of humour without taking anything away from the narrative.

I’ve visited Brittany since I was quite young. Although I’m not aware of having been to Pont Aven, I have sailed into Concarneau (Commisaire Dupin’s home), and attended a Fez Noz in Douarnenez. So the beautifully evocative descriptions of the Breton sea ports, their sights and smells, take me back 20-25 years.

I’m pretty sure this is a series and I’ll happily read the next one. Maybe, I’ll make a list of new French words next time and look them up all in one go rather than interrupting my flow with a dictionary (unthinkable) or preserving my ignorance.

Dying Inside by Damien Boyd

Ah I do love a good detective tale. I’ve been reading the Nick Dixon series for a while and this one was definitely up to standard. Plenty of foolish upper management stumbles, fantastic on the ground policing and Nick doing his usual instinctive hounding of the truth. It was very Inspector Morse, where everyone thinks they’ve found the bad guy halfway through, but you know it can’t be that simple because you’re only halfway through. I didn’t guess the twist at the end, which always makes it that bit more enjoyable for me. Definitely waiting for the next one to come out.

Small boy

Small boy is 6. He’s just started year 2 having learned to read over the last two years with the marvellous Read Write Inc phonics scheme. It’s brilliant and he’s made huge progress since we began home learning back in March 2020, especially through the spring of 2021.

In December last, he read his RWI and other school books plus a couple from the library. Then, at Christmas, large boy realised he hadn’t got his brother a present and went to fetch some books he’d grown out of… and now small boy gets a proper book review of his own. It was slow going and he needs help with non-phonetic words that he hasn’t learned yet (cancel, circle, automatically, build, though….etc but the list is getting shorter) but he was so proud of himself reading proper “grown up” books. He’s only just back at school so hasn’t brought home a book yet, but I think we’ll just review the chapter books here.

The Aardvark who wasn’t Sure by Jill Tomlinson

Oh we loved this! There’s now only one Jill Tomlinson left for him to read. Each chapter featured the Pim the aardvark meeting a different animal and noticing their differences. Small boy enjoyed finding out more about aardvarks and thought Pim was funny. He was then really disappointed to discover that there was no quiz on his reading scheme for it.

Amazing Animal Journeys by Chris Packham

One night, after reading his aardvark book and after half a chapter of The Magician’s Nephew read by me, small boy declared he wanted to read more and it had to be a story book from his shelf that’s full of picture books he’s mostly grown out of. There were some challenging words but he did a brilliant job.

Dinosaur Cove: Charge of the Three-horned Monster by Rex Stone

With this one we officially entered the silent reading for pleasure phase with small boy. Not at every opportunity but he raced through this book (maybe thanks to the subject matter) in about 4 days and seemed to really enjoy it. Only when we came to the quiz did we discover that it was rather above his recommended book level. He got 10/10 on his quiz though. Straight onto another one in the series.

How about you?

That’s our October reading, fueled by half term in an AirBnB where we kept screens to a minimum. What have you enjoyed lately?

Love from Smell xxx

3 thoughts on “October 2021 Reading”

  1. This is the second, maybe third, time I’ve seen Joy Ellis mentioned. Clearly a sign that I need to investigate. I don’t know if you read non-fiction but I recently read Castle on Sunset by Shawn Levy. It’s about Chateau Marmont, a hotel in LA, where Hollywood celebrities have had liaisons for 90 years.

    Liked by 1 person

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