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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!
I think I’ve done well extracting pretty wordy reviews from them this month.
Grimwood by Nadia Shireen
It’s about two foxes who live in the city but the younger one ate the evil cat’s tail so they had to move to a wood far far away and adjust to the changes while the evil cat is trying to find them and use the evil technology from some weird mouse. It was decent.
(This counts as high praise from the pre-teen)
Simply the Quest and Beyond the Odyssey by Maz Evans
They’re about a boy called Elliot Hooper whose dad is in prison and most of the Greek gods live in his cow shed and his mum is ill with her mental health. He wields two chaos stones and once he collects four, he can either destroy or fix the world. But because his mum ends up dying, he trades them all with daemon of death for her life. When she comes back though, she dies again because if you look at her on the way to Earth she dies.
That’s the story of both books.
The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
It was really good. It’s about a pick pocket, a normal girl, and two people from the circus. The normal girl’s grandparent used to own a castle but he was cheated out of it by an idiot. They have to trick the idiot out of some legal papers, kept in a safe somewhere inside the house, to proove that it’s the girl’s grandfather’s house. They succeed.
The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
It’s about a wood that is the only one in the area as all of the others have been bulldozed. This one is special because it has otters. But one day, the otters end up having to go into the wood to hunt because there’s a fish shortage. The foxes don’t like that, so they go to try to kill them and they get them all except for seven. The otters have to run away. But facing a modern world is tough, only one survives. It’s eventually allowed back because there’s an illness in the wood that only the otters know how to fix.
- Dark Lord: Eternal Detention by Jamie Thomson
- Loki A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame by Louie Stowell
- Diary of a Wimpy Kids: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
- The Return of Death Eric by Sam Llewellyn
- Random Acts of Fun by Liz Pichon
- By Andy Stanton
- Mr Gum and the Power Crystals
- Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout
- Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionare
Amazing reading from small boy this again month. If you’re eagle-eyed, you’l notice that he is now reading some of the same books as his brother.
Billionaire Boy and The World’s Worst Pets by David Walliams
Billionaire Boy was ages ago mum! I can’t remember that! The boy ran away from his dad because his dad bought him a girlfriend which was a bit crazy. Then he went to live with a shop owner and then his dad was sad because he ran away. When the boy went back to his dad, they moved house to a normal house I think. Then I’m not sure of the rest.
The World’s Worst Pets is good. My favourite bad pet was, I would say, Zoom the supersonic tortoise or Ferp the fish that’s massive and he ate the entire world. The end. Well, actually, it wasn’t the end but in this it is.
The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell
That was long ago as well. I forgot everything about it but I did enjoy it, I think
(sorry, he’s being unhelpful right now)
How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse by Cressida Cowell
You have to write what I say, ok mum?
Erm, so, in the last book Fishlegs, Hiccups best friend, got stung by a bad dragon called the venomous vorpunt. Now, he’s feeling a bit poorly and they need to go America to get a potato to fix him. But, when they go to America they find the potato in a town hall and they try to get in through the roof. Hiccup’s the smallest and they lower him down the chimney, erm, and then he falls off the rope and into some onion soup and the people in the town hall spot him. He gets the potato and runs away and goes back to his island and fixes Fishlegs. There, that’s all.
- Wonder Woman Wrestles Circe’s Sorcery by Matthew K Manning
- Strike of the Shark by Bear Grylls
- The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery by Sara Pennypacker
- The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
- Superman Battles the Billionaire Bully by Matthew K Manning
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney
- Random Acts of Fun by Liz Pichon
- Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith
Five Bloody Hearts, The Dying Light and Marshlight by Joy Ellis
Oh dear, that’s not very diverse is it? Sorry, I’ve developed a slight addiction for Matt Ballard and his partner Liz’s investigations. Liz had to leave the police force after the denouement of the first book in the series (Beware the Past) as she was left with life changing effects of the bad guy’s treatment of her.
In Five Bloody Hearts, Matt is round off his time as a detective with one final case. It’s seriously disturbing and full of the twists and turns that we’ve come to expect from Joy Ellis. Oh but it was wonderful, I was totally hooked and couldn’t put it down by the end. I know when it’s a good book if himself comes up to bed and I’ve still got the light on. After that, I just couldn’t help myself but move straight on to the next in the series.
The Dying Light is a real departure for Ellis though. There’s no police procedure to guide the story line and Matt and Liz are working on their own. There’s a mystery and a real darkness underlying the whole story. But most unusual of all is the depth and focus of the other main characters, Will and Kate. They’re central to the story and much of the narrative provides Will’s perspective, probably more than Matt and Liz’s. Kate and Will have an absolutely tragic back story, one that very much resonates with me, involving the loss of a baby. I think I connected so much with their story because I could relate to them and because it showed me how very dark and destructive such loss can be, making me feel lucky to have come through our own experiences as I have. The atmosphere is always the foundation of Ellis’ novels, and this series is no different. The marshes, the dangers of the tide, and the mists sort of mirror the pursuit of solutions to the mysteries and the risks to the characters along the way.
I’ve very nearly finished Marshlight, I should think I’ll complete it today (last day of September). With this and the previous book, I feel like Ellis is carving a new pattern for her writing. She’s discovering her abilities to go into greater depth with her characters, while maintaining her core skills of storytelling centred on mystery and crime. Liz’s cousin Christie comes to stay, gets involved with a new crowd of friends and horrified at the narcissism and cruelty of their self-appointed leader. Again Ellis uses the environment to reflect emotions. The nasty narcissist lives in a cold, characterless mansion, reflecting her value of superficial appearances and her lack of empathy with anyone else. Christie has a cottage with a bright and vibrant garden, reminding the reader that she’s the good guy. Again, Liz and Matt are secondary and provide support and structure, rather than being central to the resolution. Loved it! I’m going to try to resist going straight to the next one and insert a bit of variety to my reading.
How about you?
What books have you and your family enjoyed lately?