Book Review, Children's Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

BEST BOOKS: Dan Soule picks his best books of 2018

I’ve had a truly wonderful year of reading. I read some classics from way back, some from when I was a kid (still way back but not quite as far) and some brilliant modern books hot off the press or a few years old. I’ll give my complete list of everything I read at the end. But here are my favourite reads of the year.


These choices are personal. They shouldn’t be used to judge what is best. They are just what I happened to like. I’ll give a short explanation as to why I liked them, and you’ll get a sense of my personal taste. Like food, I’ll eat (read) just about anything (well maybe not a bush tucker trial, but I like broccoli and sprouts so that says a lot), but I prefer certain foods and books. Here are my sticky toffee puddings and fresh crusty white bread with butter reads for this year…



The Cloak of Feathers

by Nigel Quinlan

This is my stand out book of the year. Truly a modern fairy tale that balances true peril and humour all the way through. A whole cast of brilliant characters, plus you get to know loads about Irish fairy tales. Buy it; you won’t regret it.



Billionaire Boy

by David Walliams

This is very funny and rude. A story about what really matters in life, and apparently it isn’t money. Who knew? David Walliams sells a lot of books and he deserves too.



Who Let the Gods Out?

by Maz Evans

Book two was awesome also. Very funny and clever. You’ll learn all about Greek mythology and not even realise. Most of all the story gripped me through out. A modern classic if ever there was one. Which reminds me, I must catch up on the rest of the series.



Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink

by Jennifer Killick.

My review of this will be up soon. Basically, I laughed on nearly every page. Totally silly superhero/spy story about a boy who buys a mail order power to know when people are lying. The problem is, he hears a fart in his ear whenever someone tells a porky and then the smell hangs around. As everyone at school is lying all the time, Alex smells of farts ALL the time.

Special mentions for The Rose Muddle Mysteries by Imogen White and Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson. These are both great. Both a bit more serious, Fox Girl especially, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The Rose Muddle Mysteries are great introductions to mystery/thrillers for young readers and I look forward to seeing how the characters grow. Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is a moving book with an important message for our divisive times.

So that’s it. I can’t wait for next year’s books. Maybe Santa will bring me some. I hope you have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

My complete reading list for 2018:

Freaks by Kieran Larwood

The witches by Roald Dahl

The Cloak of Feathers by Nigel Quinlan

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams

Demon Dentist by David Walliams

Bad Dad by David Walliams

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans

Simply the Quest by Maz Evans

Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant by Imogen White

Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Secret Ruby by Imogen White

Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson

The Boy in a Dress by David Walliams

The Revenge of Tirpitz by M.L. Sloan

Room 13 by Robert Swindells

Hydra by Robert Swindells

The Wilderness Wars by Barbara Henderson

Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink by Jennifer Killick

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Planet Stan by Elaine Wickson

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