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Children, Reading, Review

November 2022 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!

I think I’ve done well extracting reviews from them this month, especially from large boy.

Large boy

A Crystal of Time by Soman Chainani

A very good book, about Sophie wondering whether or not to be with the snake AKA Rhian. It’s a tough decision but she ends up on the Good side.

Explorer on Black Ice Bridge, The Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club and Explorers on Pirate Island by Alex Bell

The Explorer’s’ club books are about Stella an ice princess and Ursula a half mermaid, beating all the odds and becoming the first female explorer and capturer of the collector. They go on lots of explorations and have big adventures.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Absolutely amazing! It’s about Katniss Everdeen, a district 12 girl who hunts for the black market in Panem (the old USA). She’s put into the yearly Hunger Games on the 74th anniversary since district 13 was destroyed. She and her friend Peeta win and pretend to be love sick, so the Capitol (basically New York) like them. But she accidentally causes a revolution and sort of cheated in the first book to win. In the second book, she’s put back into the Hunger Games with lots of old victors, she wins once again. Then in the third book, she works with the rebels attacking the Capitol.

It was verrrry good.

Also read:

  • Escape the Rooms by Stephen Mangan
  • Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney

Small boy

Gort the Deadly Snatcher, Fangor the Crunching Giant, Octor Monster of the Deep, Sepron the Sea Serpent, Tengal the Savage Shark, Veloth the Vampire Squid, Nephro the Ice Lobster, Monoth the Spiked Destroyer by Adam Blade

All the sea quest books have a similar story. There are 24 series with three books in each one. The two main characters are Lia and Max, they battle evil guys who put robots and a control chip in the guardian of Deep Trench and the robobeasts try to destroy the world. Max and Lia save everybody. All the books are a bit like that.

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

It’s a very good book. So, at first the iron man is walking along and falls off a cliff. But then, one of his hands is still alive and it builds the iron man back. I think he climbs back up the cliff and he starts collecting all the farmers’ machinery that’s steel. The farmers see the iron man and his footprints and they have one more bit of machinery left. It’s a red lorry. They dig a massive hole, deeper than the iron man is tall and put the lorry in the bottom. The iron man tries to get the lorry but he falls in and gets covered up.

There’s a space dragon that comes out of a star, it tries to battle the iron min and the iron man goes through the fire. He gets really hot and jumps on the space dragon’s back and it burns him so he says he’s defeated him. But for the last challenge they see who can go to the sun and stay on it for a few hours. Again the iron man wins.

I really enjoyed it.

Also read:

  • Future Ratboy and the Quest for the Missing Thingy by Jim Smith
  • Extreme Exploring Machines by Alison Blank
  • The Man of Gold by Paul Weissburg
  • Heroes to the Rescue by Esther Ripley
  • Into the Game! by Nick Eliopulos
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • The River Challenge by Bear Grylls
  • Spiders Spin Webs by Amanda O’Neill
  • Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets
    • Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space
    • Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People
    • Captain Underpands and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants


Rosine une Criminelle Ordinaire by Sandrine Cohen

I picked this up at the Charles de Gaulle airport Relay convenience store on my way back from my work trip in October. I picked it because I fancied a detective novel and it had won a prize so I thought it had a decent chance of being good. I steamed through it much faster that I usual do my Jean-Luc Bannalecs. The style of writing is much less formal and restrained, more casual and colloquial. So it flowed more naturally for me and was more similar to the French I speak at hear at work.

Clelia is investigating Rosine, who was murdered her two young daughters by drowning. She’s convinced that this very normal, middle-class, apparently well-adjusted mother must have something dark in her past that’s resurfaced to make her commit such a horrific crime. Clelia is unpopular, irreverent, fierce, inappropriate and completely ignores social rules. She’s a full on firecracker.

This was a much more raw read than my usual detective fare. Both the crime and the investigator are extreme and almost offensive. But, I enjoyed the fast pace and the gritty drama. I’d be quite happy to see Clelia make another appearance.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Ursula and Maren come from worlds apart, but following dramatic turns of events in both their lives that leave them isolated and facing a very different future. They cling together amidst the strangeness and distance from their nearest relations, as their strange village is infected with a hunt for witches.

Although it’s set in the early seventeenth century, it could be almost any time before the second world war. The isolation of the community and the extreme reactions to incoming powerful influences echo so many of stories of communities ripped apart by mistrust, jealousy and judgement.

No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings

Villanelle book two. I don’t have much to add to my review of the first book last month. I’ll be looking out for the next one in the series next time I’m at the libary.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I read Schindler’s List as a teenager and have re-read it from time to time over the years. I was worried it would either be very tough and emotional or else the horrors of Auschwitz would be a backdrop to another story.

Thankfully, it was neither. It was a beautiful blend of humanity, sorrow, harsh rawness, and a tender tribute to the enduring love of a real pair of prisoners. Heather Morris tells the story of Lale and Gita with a sort of peace, gentle respect and calm clarity. You can definitely tell that she has a background in screenwriting because her story is very visual and you can almost see each scene.

I could not put it down after the half way point and found myself still reading at 11.30pm to get to the end.

How about you?

What books have you and your family enjoyed lately?

Love from Smell xxx

4 thoughts on “November 2022 Reading”

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