The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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What We Are Reading Right Now – #11

November 22nd, 2012 · 10 Comments

This weeks books are an eclectic collection of books that kids are reading right now, contemporary books and recently launched books…


Let’s begin with the Mother Person:

I have to say the title grabbed me… The Unforgotten Coat, and it is by Frank Cottrell Boyce and my kids have read a couple of his books lately… so I thought I would give it a quick read. It is a moving story about two children from Mongolia that arrive in an English neighbourhood school one morning, dressed in long coats even in the hottest weather. The brothers are inseparable and the narrator is a young girl from the school, who the boys have chosen as their “Good Guide.” Because of them she learns about the magic of Mongolia, and their interesting homeland. Though the boys have an unnatural fear, of a demon who is coming to take the younger boy away… and they do have a failed attempt at running away… but their “Good Guide” returns them home. Turns out they didn’t have the correct paperwork and immigration was after them. The boys vanish and one feels that the young narrator never quite heals from the unexpected loss. There is a tiny little twist in the tale… but not enough to heal the wound of an unexplained separation. Though this book left me feeling a little sad it is a really good read, a thoughtful read, a “speaks to the heart” read. This book forms part of the Reading Revolution.We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.

And now for the kids:


Hood #1: ParaNorman by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is a quwirky book about Norman who has the extra-ordinary ability to talk to ghosts… Not only human ghosts, but animal ghosts too. The book is full of funny incidents, because nobody knows that he is walking around surrounded by some very demanding ghosts!!! The trouble begins when a group of zombies arrive in town. Ghosts are one thing and zombies quite another. This book is an amusing break from the typical book my boys read and they enjoyed it. It is humorous, lighthearted and a quick read… think “cartoon” without the pictures!!! This book is also a movie… We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.


Hood #2: Secret Breakers, The Power of Three by H.L.Dennis is touted as the Da Vinci Code for Kids… I am always a little sceptical of books with such a big claim… but my boys both think this was a superb book. One that you literally climb into and get lost as you follow the trail… to reveal the secret of an ancient manuscript, the Voynich Manuscript. This book is packed with… lots of real facts, real codes and a real mystery to solve. For the mystery loving code-breaker it is a must read!!! A young gal Brodie and her crack team are determined to figure out the mystery and of course they are being watched and they are breaking rules and there are folks willing to kill to keep the secret safe… My kids rated this book “A Keeper” and you can find out more about it at the official site.


Hood #3: Pup Idol by Anna Wilson, is a funny light-hearted read. This book is a great for readers who are starting chapter books, the chapters are short and it is packed with very cute puppy illustrations to keep the story flowing. The story is about a puppy called Honey, who has a few obedience problems. Her young owner, Summer, takes her to puppy class… and so the inevitable competition begins.We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.


Hood #4: The Will to Live by Tanya Landman, is part of a series of murder mysteries for kids. Poppy and Graham have been dragged to the country for the weekend to help at a family christening… they were expecting a weekend of “dull” until a tramp is found dead in the graveyard… and all is definitely not what it seems!!! Then a brewing storm breaks and they are all trapped at the manor… The classic murder mystery is set… I thought the topic would be a little macabre for this fairly sensitive reader… but no, he was enthralled. I see an Agatha Christie fan in training!!! We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.


Hood #5: Inventions by Adam Hart-Davis, illustrated by Nishant Choksi is an awesome incredible book that our whole family enjoyed. This kid claimed it as his own!!! A seriously cool pop-up book, of the sturdy kind, literally packed with facts and inventions… The steam engine, the light bulb… even the history of the toilet… codes and telephones. Lots of facts are presented in a very fun way, blocks of information – easy reading, a great book to dip into or read from cover to cover. However you read it, you will learn a lot from this fabulous book!!!We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.


Hood #6: Frozen Solid at Silver Street Farm is part of a series of very easy chapter books about the kids that live on a small farm in this city. In this story it is wintertime and everything has ground to a freezing halt. The kids of Silver Street Farm are nothing but ingenious and come to the rescue… making sure that the farm deliveries get through – despite the weather. We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.


Hood #7: A New Year’s Reunion, by Yu Li Qiong and Zhu Cheng-Liang is one of the most delightful books we have read in a long time. Seek this book out, it is fabulous. It is the story of a little girl, whose dad comes home once a year for New Year… and as the story unfolds you learn all about Chinese New Year, a special celebration through the eyes of this little family. The Dad arrives, sweeps his little girl off her feet and shares the joy of the celebration and then returns to work. The illustrations are beautiful, the chinese dragon delightful with a background story of a father, who is a migrant worker. In South Africa where migrant work is a way of life it was a great platform to talk about moms and dads who work far away from their children with my small children. While the book contains the sad reality of life as a migrant worker, the story is all about the celebration of Chinese New Year and the very close family. We love this book and have read it countless times since we received it. We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.

And the se7en + 1th Book:


Hood #8: Poppy Cat needs absolutely no introduction!!! In this little board book Poppy Cat and friends have blast off in their rocket, they have an adventure or two and then it is time to return home. Quick and easy fun for little book lovers. We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.

That’s us – Why don’t you tell us what you are reading right now in the comments…

We really want to thank: PanMacMillan South Africa for providing us with books to review for this post. We would like to declare that we were not paid to do these reviews, just provided with books. All the opinions are entirely our own!!!

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Tags: Brilliant Books

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 irene // Nov 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I’m reading the whole of the Narnia series right now (almost done).
    AND German kids night-time short stories 🙂 This is only because there was nothing else at home to read hahahaha

  • 2 Herb Ward // Nov 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Dear Seven plus One,

    Auntie Kathy & Uncle Herb love the books you are all reading! Wish we could be there to read them to you as well. Today is our Thanksgiving Holiday in the States. A time when all Americans stop to remember what they are thankful for. One of the things we are most thankful for are you!

    Much love,

    Uncle Herb & Auntie Kathy

  • 3 ChristinaB // Nov 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    We are loving the Tumtum and Nutmeg series. Great read-alouds!

  • 4 se7en // Nov 23, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Hay Irene, Isn’t it lovely how old favorites can be read and read and reread… hope you have had the most fabulous week!!!

  • 5 se7en // Nov 23, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Dear Uncle Herb and Aunty Kathy – Talk about the best surprise ever!!! How lovely to hear from you on your special day. the big guys were remembering your Thanksgiving Feast… How special you are!!! Hope you Thanksgiving is especially peaceful… lots of love from the whole gang!!!

  • 6 se7en // Nov 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Hay Christina B, I had to go and look up Tumtum and Nutmeg… how darling are they!!! Oh don’t know why we have never met them before but we are going to look for them in the library for sure!!!

  • 7 Tarryn // Nov 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Love the posts! Just want to curl up and read, read, read!

  • 8 se7en // Nov 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hay Tarryn, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!!! I think we may have another reading weekend!!! Hope you have a great one!!!

  • 9 What We Are Reading Right Now: #15 The Inventions Edition... - se7en // May 14, 2013 at 4:27 am

    […] #5: We have reviewed this book before, it is a pop up book with a difference. Firstly and most importantly it isn’t flimsy – […]

  • 10 Se7en Journeys to Asia With the Read the World Book Club... - se7en | se7en // Aug 6, 2016 at 3:48 am

    […] New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong and Zhu Cheng-Liang: This is one of our all time favourite picture books ever. The story of Chinese New Year told through the eyes of a little girl and all the excitement […]

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