Book Reviews

 

IMG_3040Illustration by Katie Squires

Book reviews are important to us here at STORGY KIDS and that is why we take the time and effort to provide you with some of the best reviews around, whether this be on our YouTube Channel or right here on our website, new titles or old titles this will be your portal to finding out about great literature.

We have cultivated a unique style of book review just for STORGY KIDS where we give you a short review (roughly detailing the story and what we think with other books you may also enjoy that are in the same style or theme) followed by a long review (for those that want to know a bit more so you can badger your parents into getting you the next big hit or for parents to surprise your little sprogs with a great book).

Below are some of the books we have reviewed…enjoy!

 

 

– Who Let The Gods Out? –

By Maz Evans

If you are looking for a book that is going to make your laugh, cry, shriek with excitement then ‘Who Let The Gods Out?’ is the book for you. With more jokes than you would find at a clown convention, more adventure than you could shake a stick at and a story and characters that are honestly some of the greatest put to paper in a children’s book – you need this in your life! Best bit is, it’s a series of four books, so you can enjoy the whole journey!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Cloak of Feathers –

By Nigel Quinlan

The Cloak of Feathers is an amazing adventure in which an ordinary boy, Brian, with the help of his friends must save a princess, their village and all its people by beating the Cluaracan in an ancient trial of four heroic feats and riddles. A really great book, which deserves to be a bestseller and sell a hundred-squillion-googlplex worth of copies.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Extinction Trials –

By S.M.Wilson

The Extinction Trials is a rollercoaster ride into a dystopian world that has been ingeniously created by S.M. Wilson – it’s so good one can’t help but read it and fall in love with its cinematic brilliance. An all out action book that doesn’t skimp on the story or plot, with characters that endear themselves to the reader this is a page turner that anyone can enjoy. If you thought Jurassic Park was good, and you thought the Hunger Games was good, what The Extinction Trials gives you is something original to this formula that you’ll devour rather quickly…like a T-Rex with a goat!

Click here to read the full review.

-Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children-

By Ransom Riggs

This is the first book in a fabulous series of books (another is shortly on its way). This series is perfect for young adults, for those who feel that they don’t seem to fit in. It’s a story of courage, of finding ones self in the world. Ransom deals with the themes of love, lose, loneliness and self esteem – these themes in the hands of Ransom are wielded expertly. A fun well paced novel that will inspire children’s imaginations for years to come!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Girl of Ink & Stars –

By Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Girl of Ink & Stars from the outset is quite a remarkable and magical book. Kiran Millwood Hargrave has created something very special, interweaving a fable like quality to her writing which turns the ordinary into something quite extraordinary, and showcases her ability as a writer. With a story full of courage and wonder, it is the story from a childlike innocence to a coming of age epic. Highly recommended.

Click here to read full review.

– The Book of Learning –

by E.R. Murray

The Book of Learning is the first book of the Nine Lives Trilogy – a set of books that will blow any young minds away. They have wonderful characters that you can feel jump from the page, set pieces that are magically brought to life and some evil characters that get right under your skin. E.R. Murray has produced a series of books that help to fill the void in a post Harry Potter world – E.R. Murray delivers a delectable tale of mystery, suspense and terror that captivates the mind and imagination of all who fall under her spell.

Click here to read the full review.

– Blame –

by Simon Mayo

Blame is a dramatic and daring young adult novel. It is action packed pretty much from beginning to end and offers a believable vision of a near future.

Click here to read the full review.

– Boy –

by Roald Dahl

Boy is the story of Roald Dahl’s informative years growing up – it’s a great journey into his life as a child and seeing what school and growing up was like way-back-when. The story is told with typically fabulous writing from the master himself, there are laughs, funny characters (that are real people) and many fabulous adventures. Some of my picks for chapters are the mouse plan, having his adenoids removed and also seeing where his idea was sparked for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A great read for middle graders and adults if you wanted to know a bit more about Roald Dahl.

Click here to read the full review

– The Hypnotist –

by Laurence Anholt

This book is a challenging read for Young Adults – but having said that, we truly believe that it is also an important book that should be read far and wide. The Hypnotist opens young minds to the very important and pertinent issues that are, unfortunately as prevalent today as in the 1960’s where Anholt sets his story. It is a vivid and enjoyable story that manages to create a stinging critique of the dark side of human nature and if the reader comes to the end of it with empathy toward the excluded and the disadvantaged that can only be a good thing – especially in times like these.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Knife of Never Letting Go –

by Patrick Ness

If there was a book I wished I had discovered or would have been available to me when I was a child it would have been this book. It’s such a wonderful piece of fiction that doesn’t treat its intended audience as a child, in fact I found it quite inspiring. No matter how small you feel in the world, or how small others may make you feel; you can make a difference in the world and stand up for what you believe in, you can be a game changer.
I also feel that ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go‘ although a large book, could be a book that reluctant readers would enjoy, its themes are far reaching and everyone can connect to it in some way. It is a book about coming of age, adventure, friendship, suspense and is a roller-coaster of a ride!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Extinction Trials: Exile –

by S.M. Wilson

The Extinction Trials: Exile keeps all of what the first book did so well at establishing, but S.M. Wilson like a skilled architect builds more layers to this wonderful futuristic dystopia, whilst also adding additional layers to her characters, revealing slowly shocking twists and turns that will have you hooked from beginning to end, like a Velociraptor’s claws in its prey. A stunning follow up to The Extinction Trials which lives up to the billing – covering themes that are relevant in the times we are living in now, I believe that S.M. Wilson could be serving up a warning of what is to come if we dont wake up and smell the coffee…and of course if we find a continent full of dinosaurs and untapped resources!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Magical Wood –

by Mark Lemon

This is a book that deals with the difficult subject of loss and the bereavement of a loved one, told in an engaging and light style that is a perfect resources for parents and families that are facing this most difficult of situations. This is a very important book which I know will find its audience. The Magical Wood will help parents take this journey with their children in an engaging and simplistic story that gives time for discussing feelings, emotions and bringing hope through Mark’s wonderfully lyrically constructed prose.

Click here to read the full review.

– Ghost Rescue –

by Andrew Murray

Ghost Rescue is the start of a series of books for children aged between 6-11 years. This book helps to set up the series as we journey with Charlie as he takes a trip to Fairfax Castle where he meets a group of unhappy and trapped ghosts who are part of a circus. Each night, these trapped ghosts are forced to perform for the paying masses – trapped by the power of the foundation stone of Fairfax Castle, and forced to perform by Edwina Predder our money making circus master. Charlie sets out to free the ghosts and in the process sets up his new enterprise ‘Ghost Rescue‘ a website dedicated to finding ghosts trapped around the world – of course he isn’t doing this alone, he’ll be doing it with the help of some new ghostly friends. The book is a funny quick read, written in an engaging and simplistic way which I feel reluctant readers would adore. The tale is brought to life by the wonderful illustrations from Sarah Horne.

Click here to read the full review.

– The House With Chicken Legs –

by Sophie Anderson

The House With Chicken Legs is a wonderful tale about love, friendship, loss, grief and bereavement – all wrapped up in a fable like story. Sophie Anderson has woven such magic between the pages that one can’t walk away from this book without being changed. The theme of love transcending death, that death is not as finite as people imagine is strong within this book; it’s one of the facets of the book that has stuck with me long after finishing. The House With Chicken Legs is journey of discovery that middle grade readers will enjoy. The visual beauty of this book, the imagery Anderson uses and the themes that are conveyed make this a must read for thoughtful young minds who may have some questions about death or going through a bereavement, or trying to discover their purpose. Anderson deals with all these themes with great care and consideration making the book seem like therapy for the soul – an unforgettable tale that is a true joy to read.

Click here to read the full review.

– The World’s Worst Children 3 –

by David Walliams

David Walliams has done it yet again, he’s managed to find even more disgusting, vile and horrid children, lucking in shadows, hiding under rocks, living in streets like yours and mine. David Walliams is like a collector, a Roald Dahl Indiana Jones – venturing far and wide to bring us the most horrid children in the world and this book is the most repugnant of them all – the pages even smell a little icky. The World’s Worst Children 3 is quite remarkable – the previous two books set the bar very high, I didn’t think that there was anywhere else Walliams could take this series – but he has created a collection of fabulous stories about the most detestable children in the world and it’s gruesomely wonderful reading, where each story has a moral to it…children, you should really take notice, you certainly don’t want to end up like some of these children…or do you?

Click here to read the full review.

– Simply the Quest –

by Maz Evans

The story pretty much continues where Who Let The Gods Outfinishes; Elliot is still struggling with caring for his mother, with the added chore of having to look after a barn full of Gods. Simply the Quest continues to peel back the layers on Elliot’s life, the struggles he faces on a daily basis (the struggles that many children face on a daily basis), juggling his constant commitments and pressures on his time, but Maz expertly delves into his struggles in this book, highlighting once again what it’s like to be a young carer and trying to save the world.

The book is hilarious, more jokes than a stand up routine, and in my opinion probably a lot better. The jokes are rude, crude and laugh out loud. The Gods are bigger, better and worse than ever.

Maz wields her knowledge of Greek Mythology like a Hydra swings its many heads, introducing young readers to a wonderful collection of imperfect Gods. A book I would highly encourage schools to purchase, parents to purchase and also for adults – if you want something funny, something heartfelt, something that is educational without being boring…there is no better place to start than on this journey.

Click here to read the full review.

– Mouse Bird Snake Wolf –

by David Almond

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is one of the most beautifully constructed graphic novels I have ever had the opportunity to read. The story in itself is a wonderfully crafted delight, it’s concept and execution by David Almond is masterful as you would expect, which highlights the impact of the story. The artwork that decorates every page is a joy to behold and Dave McKean excels in bringing something uniquely different with his illustrations in Mouse Bird Snake Wolf but they still contain that Dave McKean magic that all fans are thirsty for. The words and the Illustrations work in harmony with one another and cause this book to have an endearing, breathtaking quality to it – a story that is accessible for all…it’s something very special indeed.

In my opinion Mouse Bird Snake Wolf is a precious gift to the world – a quick read but one you will never forget.

Click here to read the full review.

– Ghost Rescue and the Greedy Gorgonzolas –

By Andrew Murray

This book is the second book in the fabulous Ghost Rescue series by Andrew Murray and we follow Charlie as his new found website Ghost Rescue gets its first email for help. So Charlie and his merry crew of Ghosts head off to help rescue Lola Gorgonzola from being pestered by her family after her death for all her money – they won’t let her rest and now it is up to Charlie and his crack team of Ghost Rescue to save the day! Oh and there is some pizza along the way! This series is aimed at 6-11 year olds and is great for reluctant readers; the books are engaging, funny and have been fabulous illustrated by Sarah Horne with a childlike quality that compliment the stories wonderful charm.

Click here to read the full review.

– Beyond the Odyssey –

By Maz Evans

Beyond the Odyssey follows the ongoing adventures of Elliot a young boy with big dreams and big issues, not only is he trying to save the world and retrieve the remaining Chaos Stones, he also has a house full of Greek Gods, a mother who is seriously ill, villains and evil doers coming out of the woodwork and a great journey before him. In Beyond the Odyssey Elliot is embarking on a mission to secure Panacea’s Potion a mystical potion that will cure all sickness – his journey takes him to the Island of the Cyclopes, to the depths of the sea and then full circle back to home farm, but will he be in time to thwart the devastation being caused by the one and only Patricia Horses Bum. What will happen on his quest…you better dig in and find out!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant –

By Imogen White

A magical detective mystery story, perfect for 8 to 10-year old’s. A piece of real archaeology brought to life, in a fast-paced story with a great female character, Rose Muddle. This book has a particularly great ending that’ll leave you wanting to read the next in the series.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Secret Ruby –

By Imogen White

Another magical detective adventure with Rose and Rui for 8 to 10-year olds. Set in exotic India, Rose thinks she’s landed on her feet now she’s the official companion to Rui the Maharajah of Jaipur’s nephew. However, even on the train to Jaipur things start to go wrong. Rose and Rui are flung into a new mystery connected to Rose’s magical amber pendant which might just bring about the end of the world… again, unless Rose and Rui can figure out what’s going on. Full of mystery and intrigue, this book is even more exciting than the first, and India is vividly brought to life on the page.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Mighty Dynamo –

By Kieran Crowley

This fast, funny book for readers of 7+ tells the classic tale of a team of misfits’ impossible rise to glory. It’s packed full of action and great characters as well as humour by the bucketful. It moves along at a terrific pace and would be a most welcome addition to any school library. In my opinion, there isn’t enough sports fiction for kids, which is why sporty kids often stop reading fiction. Give them this and they’ll be crying out for more. Illustrated by Marta Kissi, The Mighty Dynamohas all the pace of Messi and the style of Ronaldo. See what I did there!

Click here to read the full review.

– Billionaire Boy –

By David Walliams

A book about what really matters in life. No, not money. Not chocolate. No, not Mindcraft either. Billionaire Boy is a story about love and friendship and the things money can’t buy. The book manages to be heart warming and hilarious at the same time and in equal amounts. It’s a really special tale that everyone should read.

Click here to read the full review.

– Tin –

By Padraig Kenny

Tin is a coming of age story as we journey with a boy called Christopher who is trying to find his place in a world that he feels he doesn’t belong in. A story about discovering ones-self and realising that you can be happy with who you are no matter what others think of you, it’s a story about being happy in your own skin. I think this book would resonate with many a young person as they fight the daily grind of not being told that they are not fit enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough – this book I hope will inspire young people to see that they dont have to fit into any category, that they can be happy with who they are and what they want to do. It’s a story of discovery and family that is rich in its storytelling with Pádraig Kenny creating a world in which you can easily lose yourself in and hopefully return to one day!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle –

By Victoria Williamson

A powerful and emotional story about belonging, loss and home. A school bully and a refugee girl are bound together when they discover an injured fox and her cubs. They must overcome their differences to work together to keep the foxes safe. As they do they discover they both love to run. A story about outsiders and how hard it can be to be yourself and fit in, no matter where you come from.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Last Chance Hotel –

By Nicki Thornton

The Last Chance Hotel is a delightful page turner, I challenge anyone who reads it not to fall under Thornton’s spell. The book reads as a simple who done it novel but the beauty of this book is the shear brilliance of its plot and the characters that are held within its pages. A remarkable book with so much to offer young readers. The book is aimed at the middle grade reader and coming from the publishing house of Chicken House Books you know it is in good company and is a book that will be an engaging read, like so many others from this fabulous publisher. I particularly enjoyed the hidden depth waiting for the reader which I hope many of you will soon discover…but Thornton hides her reveal masterfully and when it hits, oh my, things will never be the same again!

Click here to read the full review.

– Demon Dentist –

By David Walliams

David Walliams’ Demon Dentist is a spooky story, of strange goings on in a small town. Everything goes wrong when a new dentist turns up and seems too good to be true. But Alfie, who doesn’t like going to the dentist, and his friend Gabz twig what’s going on. This is an excellent adventure, with the right amount of creepiness and a really exciting ending. The main characters are great. There is plenty of silliness, both with the characters and David Walliams’ fun with silly words. A must read for Walliams fans, or for those weirdos who haven’t read any of his books. Funny, exciting, and just a little spooky. 

Click here to read the full review.

– A Pattern of Secrets –

By Lindsay Littleson

A Pattern of Secrets is a wonderfully atmospheric Victorian adventure that tells the story of two children from very different worlds – one of a twelve year old boy living in poverty, the other of a girl with apparently everything she could want. Their paths cross when Jim’s father loses his livelihood when the factory owned by Jessie’s father closes and an unfortunate misunderstanding costs Jim’s family their savings and their home. Jim and Jessie are not so very different though, and Lindsay Littleson weaves together their stories in a beautiful dual narrative that shows how two children from very different backgrounds could have more in common than they could possibly have imagined.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Ask And The Answer –

By Patrick Ness

This book is a whirlwind – fast paced, gripping and building on the world that Ness so delicately nurtured in the first book ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ also reviewed here by STORGY KIDS.

Todd’s world is changed forever when he makes a deal with the Devil Mayor Prentiss (President Prentiss) to save his friends life, he’s sent to work as a slave, manipulated into being a tool for his tyrannical reign – but something is stirring in the town…what will happen and who will be saved!

Click here to read the full review.

– The Adventures of King Arthur –

By Russell Punter and Andrea Da Rold

Really great artwork bringing to life a classic of English folklore and myth. A little quick in places, without enough developing of certain characters, but made up for by brilliant action scenes. This is a nice introduction to the big stories of the Arthurian legends. Perfect for a reluctant reader or lover of comic books.

Click here to read the full review.

– Tuesdays Are Just As Bad –

By Cethan Leahy

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is a fascinating book, from the vibrant eye catching cover through to the very last page, the book sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It’s a young adult book that explores and enables its readers to feel that they are not alone, that depression is not the end. I hope it will help young adults to talk and share their wellbeing with peers of family members, it truly lifts the lid on depression and suicide and how you deal with this as a young person.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Revenge of Tirpitz –

By M.L. Sloan

Faster paced than a Spitfire and more punch than a V2 bomb. The Revenge of Tirpitz is a told between now and the end of World War II. It is a story of mystery, espionage, revenge and friendship that is unputdownable. The book is marketed at Young Adult but I think upper middle grade readers would love it to.

Click here to read the full review.

– The Island At The End Of Everything –

By Kiran Millwood Hargrave

From the award winning author Kiran Millwood Hargrave of ‘The Girl of Ink & Stars’ comes her much anticipated follow up novel ‘The Island at the End of Everything’ and what a book it is. A kaleidoscopic depiction of a young girls struggles on the Island of Culion in 1906. An island that is both a leaper colony and a place of discovery for her; with the arrival of a cruel government official by the name of Mr. Zamora. Ami is torn from her place of belonging and imprisoned in an orphanage on a neighbouring island – but will Ami survive, will she escape and will she make her way back to ‘The Island at the End of Everything’ will she make her way home?

Click here to read the full review.

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