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Children, Reading, Review

March 2023 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 Book Smugglers, Tilly and the Map of Stories, and The Treehouse Library by Anna James

He read all all three of these in quick succession, they’re quite long (9 points on Accelerated Reader), so he must have really enjoyed them. Since her mum’s disappearance, Tilly finds comfort in stories at Pages & Co, her grandparents’ bookshop. When her favourite characters appear, she starts bookwandering into stories. So it’s got some parallels with The Day I Fell into a Fairytale by Ben Miller (which he also read recently). I think the similarity ends there though.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It was good, and that’s all you’re getting.

To be fair, it’s the morning of Saturday 1st April, and he’s about to set off on the Cheshire Hike with Scouts; walking 30km in two days and he’s woken up early because he’s a little nervous. So his impatience is making him reluctant to talk to me about reading.

I read this at the start of the year, but forgot to review it when I did my mixed January/February book roundup, not sure how I managed that. Anyway, we bought our copy in WHSmith’s on one of their 3 for 2 deals, but then large boy refused to actually read it (strange boy). He’d recently read the original three books and we’d watched the films together too. Maybe he was suffering from some of the “what if the prequel isn’t as good” fear. It’s a number of years since I read the original three novels, so none of that for me. It’s the back story of how President Snow came to be how he was, a story of self-pity, betrayal, young love, cruelty, sacrifice, manipulation, companionship and heartbreak. It definitely erodes the “Snow is evil” premise, without degrading it so much that we have any sympathy for him.

Also read:

  • The Arctic Railway Assassin by M.G. Leonard
  • Evolution by Jennifer Killick
  • The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Q Rauf
  • Boy Underwater by Adam Baron
  • Winter Blunderland by James Patterson
  • Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey
  • 100 Scientists Who Changed the World

Small boy

Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey

Yes, both boys read this lately. Small boy says erm, it was good. Dog Man saves the world as usual, with his friend Lil Petey. This time, they save the world from burgle balls by destroying all of them.

Action Dude by Andy Riley

He liked it but is also refusing to be helpful today, so here’s Waterstones’ blurb. Sorry about that.

Action Dude lives for danger and excitement. He’s always jumping out of helicopters, crashing ships, running along the tops of cranes and walking out of buildings just before they explode. He’s nine years old and also the bravest action hero there ever was. Except that he’s terrified of spiders. (But don’t ever tell anyone that!)When a theme park full of robots goes haywire, it’s up to Action Dude to come to the rescue. After all, no one else is crazy enough to just walk in there and save everyone.

Also read:

  • Bunny vs Monkey by Jamie Smart
  • Charlie Changes into a Chicken by Sam Copeland
  • Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga for Sir Stinks-a-Lot by Dav Pilkey
  • Joanna Nadin
    • The Worst Class in the World
    • The Worst Class in the World Gets Worse
  • Adam Blade
    • Zulok the Winged Spirit
    • Skrar the Night Scavenger
    • Tarantix the Bone Spider
    • Drogan the Jungle Menace
    • Wardok the Sky Terror
    • Gryph the Feathered Fiend


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Still working on it…. watch this space. Maybe I’ll get through it during our Easter break.

French Parents Don’t Give In by Pamela Druckerman

You have to absolutely take this lovely tongue-in-cheek set of tips and routines with a large pinch of salt. It is not a parenting manual! Do not get tempted to feel like you’re doing it “wrong” or that you’re an amazing parent because you’re doing things “the French way”. It was a good giggle and certainly gave me a sense of nostalgia for my time working as an au pair in the countryside outside Lyon.

Small boy read some bits of my shoulder and was so delighted with the idea of hot chocolate for breakfast that he tried it out:

Graves on the Fens and Solace House by Joy Ellis

Hmm, after I read Trick of the Night last month, I realised that I’d missed a book in the Nikki Galena series and another in the Jackman and Evans series and that something major had happened. Unfortunately, the “big event” wasn’t a surprise because Trick of the Night referred to it. However, Ellis’s form continues with its usual high quality, twisty, turny criminal cases. I guessed the connection and mystery character’s identity in Solace House, which I always feel good about. If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while you’ll know how much I enjoy a good detective novel, and Joy Ellis writes some of the best.

How about you?

What books have you and your family enjoyed lately?

Love from Smell xxx

9 thoughts on “March 2023 Reading”

  1. Great recommendations. But what’s your secret, my daughter is a passionate bookworm, but I can’t get my 12 year old son to read unless he has to for school? He needs a book that we really draws him in from page one, but I haven’t found an author that does that for him yet!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m afraid I don’t know the secret, they’ve both just loved books since they could read independently. Large boy’s passion really ignited with Cressida Cowell and Rick Riordan. I think they just have to find the author or genre that they love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a cute post. You’re going to look back at these posts, and have a good record of what you and your boys have read. I am currently reading Grown by Tiffany Jackson and The Wife App. Both are really good right now. I just finished Gods & Monsters (from the Serpent and Dove series), and I really enjoyed those books! Great post xxx

    Melina |

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love reading anything James Patterson writes. I have gotten so far behind on my reading from being so busy these days. I have a rather large pile of books. The pile just keeps getting bigger, too. I hope to start reading again soon. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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