Frost by Holly Webb

Amy FrostCassie feeds some fox cubs behind her flats in London, though the adults tell her not to. One night, she follows her favourite fox, and finds herself at the Frost Fair on the Thames, in the 17th century. Its a sweet, very simple tale about kindness and a little magic.

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The subtle knife by Philip Pullman

Amy Subtle KnifeI love the first book, because I prefer Lyra’s Oxford, but I do love Will. The Subtle Knife sees Lyra in a new world, where she meets Will, a boy of her own age, from our world, and with his own quest. It’s a fascinating world, or set of worlds, and the characters are deeply endearing, but it is hard to see the big picture; what is the great good they fight for, and the evil they are fighting against. Still, it is a great adventure, with lots of heart, setting up the story for the final instalment.

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Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Amy Swallows and AmazonsOh, I could just weep for this lost time. I know I wouldn’t really want to go back, but this book, first published in 1930, is almost painfully nostalgic. While their father is away for work, the Walker family spends the summer in the Lake District. The four older children take the little sailing boat called Swallow, camp on an uninhabited island, and sail on the lake, having the most wonderful adventures. As a child I was much more of an indoor person, but this gives me such a hankering for a time of great freedom, innocence, ingenuity, competence and trust. It is a delightful read.

Starfell by Dominique Valente

Amy StarfellWillow Moss is a young witch with a disappointing magical skill. Always left behind when her mother and sisters are off using their magic, everything changes for Willow when the most powerful witch in Starfell comes looking for her. This sends Willow on a thrilling adventure that brings challenges, joy, sadness, revelation, and new friends. A gentle, funny, imaginative, and comforting read for younger readers, and everyone else.

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Wundersmith

Amy WundersmithMorrigan Crow has finally found out what her knack is, and it has given her entry into the Wundrous Society, but is it a force for good or evil? Wundersmith: The calling of Morrigan Crow is as marvellous as the first book. Full of fascinating places, colourful characters and antics, a thrilling mystery and so much heart. It is a world of wonder, danger, treachery, loyalty, friendship and kindness, a place for people of all ages to enjoy.

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The trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

amy-nevermoor.jpgI once grew my hair to look like Audrey Tautou in Amélie. I realised that the comparisons were not in my favour. Comparing new books to Harry Potter is a similarly risky move, but in this case, I think it works. As I read Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow, I was strongly reminded of Harry Potter many times, but in a good way. The story of cursed child, Morrigan’s, rescue from death, and removal to Nevermoor where she competes to join the Wundrous Society is full of delightful characters, twists and turns, joy, fear, sadness, laughs and a lot of fun. It’s great for younger readers, and, like all good books for young people, for those of any age who love a heartwarming, sweet, and funny tale of wonder.

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The bad guys by Aaron Blabey

Kate the bad guys

“The Bad Guys” by Aaron Blabey, has been a long sought after series in our house after word-of-mouth in the school classroom, so I borrowed a couple of episodes. Mr Wolf, Mr Shark, Mr Snake and Mr Piranha, the bad guys trying to prove to us they are really heroes, are a big hit. It’s a quick book to read to my eight year old, who thinks it’s hilarious. The comic strip speech style of writing encourages character specific voices (and a Spanish accent for Mr Piranha, of course, as he’s from Bolivia) and much shouting when the text is big, bold and in capital letters like ‘I SAID, BOO HOO. BOO. HOO.’ My eleven year old then takes the book away to read to herself and says she is hooked from the very first page. My kids are eagerly awaiting the next instalment of this entertaining series. (And, me too! I don’t think you have to be a kid to enjoy it.)

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