I have been wanting to start a new feature on our blog for a while but it is always time to post something else. So today I am diving in and posting a “What We Are Reading Right Now.” These posts will be a book covering the age range of our family and will include a couple of GiveAways… because we know our readers like fab book GiveAways!!! The books in this post are a little showcase of contemporary writing… books that are being published right now. Let’s just dive in and read…
Let’s begin with a book from my book pile:
The Mother Person: When I heard this book was coming out I just new I had to read it. It is the story of a spunky young girl, Kyla, who has had her memory cleared and is taught to walk, talk and “What to think” again. This is the rehabilitation of the future… She is placed in a family, that is not her own, and she has to fit into the social norm. But things are not quite right and flashes of memory start to trip her up because she realises that she is part of a government mass cleansing program… and there is definitely something sinister going on – but who can she turn to for help, who can she trust. Oh I love a conspiracy, and I had to know the answers to all the questions that arose…
I am very aware that many teen reads are touted as dark and dystopian, this is my year to discover what teen reads are really about and to discover the appeal of these to my kids. Why would they want to read books about strange, futuristic worlds that to the outsider seem so depressing. So I have been reading quite a few of them alongside my kids… turns out teen reads, like teens have a bad rap!!! They are fast, they are fun – they have to pull the potentially distractible reader in straight away, so they are good!!! Very good and often you can read them in a sitting. Back to Slated, this book is a brilliant read – one of the best books I have read in ages. I galloped through it only to discover a serious cliff hanger, and a lot of questions raised go unanswered… and the sequel won’t be out for months. My oldest boys read this book in a flash and told me to grab the next one straight away… sorry folks, you have to wait!!! There is a love interest, of course there it is a teen read – pretty mild, just a kiss but my boys were not letting their little sister, Hood #3 read this!!! I bought the kindle version of this book myself.
And now for the kids:
Hood #1: This book was hugely popular here… I thought it would be a bit grim but it is packed with great words and terrible descriptions in a world that is damp and dripping with decay, a fan of Dickens would revel in in this!!! It is about Daniel Dorey, an orphan, who arrives at Tumblewater full of hope only to discover that the school is not at all what he thought it would be. The school is bleaker than mid-winter, he is framed for a crime he didn’t do and he is literally starving, when he is coerced into gathering up local yarns as he becomes the collector of hideous tales from local storytellers. This is a book of stories within stories, and all of them are of the grizzly variety… for example a young man is hideously punished for picking his nose – so grim and wacky at the same time. The three oldest hoods loved this book!!! We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #2: Turns out that my children have met this author at a previous Book Fair and it turns out that once you have met an author you just have to read all of his books!!! Actually they love and adore anything by Anthony Horowitz because his books are so so good!!! This particular book is the first in the The Diamond Brothers series. A series that involves one problem after another to be solved by two sleuthful chaps, one a particularly dim detective and the other his 14 year old brother. The read is fast and funny, you will find yourself bursting with laughter as you read these books as almost every sentence has an unexpected twist or turn in it!!! We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #3: As soon as she spotted this book, by Tim Wynne-Jones, in the pile she grabbed it and literally inhaled it!!! It is the tale of two kids, Caution and Blink, who were from the get go find themselves in way over their heads. They are both street kids one trying to escape from an abusive drug-dealer and the other witnesses a kidnapping and has to stay one step ahead of the criminals… Together they make a formidable, yet tentative team, as their parallel stories connect during the book. This is gripping crime writing at its best!!! If you like a good crime then no matter what age you are, you will enjoy this book!!! Well not for younger readers, because there is serious crime involved… but not overly frightening and nothing untoward, my eleven year old daughter loved it.We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #4: A book with phrases like “Did you know?” in it are a hit with this young man before we even cracked open the cover!!! If you have a child that loves animals and facts then you have come to the right book… it is packed with amazing facts from the smallest single celled creature to giant ancient trees. The animals are categorised in an unusual way… according to their life-span, which is a little different to the usual split by biome. The facts are incredible, never a dull moment in the animal kingdom. And the photography superb. We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #5: We are talking Mo Willems here, just delightful illustrations and always a fun catchy story to go with them. The story of two unlikey friends, one overly cautious and one less so… All my little guys enjoyed these books but they are on the shelf with the easy beginner books because they are the best easy first readers by far… Firstly they are a book and not just a handful of pages and there is a real story to read!!! They are fun and for a young person just starting to read these are brilliant!!! We were given these books by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #6: I’ve said it before and I will say it again… There is not enough Mick Inkpen in the world and when he and his daughter Chloe team up… well, well, well… Get ready for one of those books that have to be read again and again and again!!! This is the story of Zoe who was washing her knickers… and a gust of wind reels her and her furry mutt, Beans, off into outer space and they land on the moon… They have to figure out how to get home… and they do!!! The thing about this book is that it is just a little silly and my three youngest kids thought this book was the most uproariously funny books they had ever read… Redefining laughing out-loud!!!We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
Hood #7: Would you look at this a Julia Donaldson book… And just as delightful as ever!!! Illustrated by Lydia Monks and her wonderful bright and funky illustrations. This is the story of a rabbit that can’t help himself… he just has to “rhyme all the time.” His rhyming gets him into all sorts of near scrapes, not to mention, the problem with all bad habits, he ends up really quite lonely. He does manage to find a friend… another poet!!! We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
And the se7en + 1th Book:
Hood #8: This book, by Ekaterina Trukhan, looks like it it the story of a little girl and her cat… but it is really about best friends. In the sweetest possible way this little girl and her cat compliment each other on every level!!! The play together, they race and chase together, they are always there to help each other out. They don’t share everything… certainly not bath time… but they end up tucked up in bed together with their favourite story. Very sweet book. We were given this book by Pan MacMillan South Africa, to review.
We are giving away four of our review books and there will be four winners. Our GiveAway Winners are always carefully selected from the folk that comment on our GiveAway posts. So in order to be a winner … leave a comment saying which books you would like to win… if you want to win all four of them then say so, but if you want to win just one or two of them then mention which books you would like to win in the comments… Next week we put all the names for each book into their own hat and select four winners… one from each hat…
So pick and choose one or two or all of the following four books and leave a comment:
This GiveAway works in the usual way, just leave a quick comment and you have until the close of play on the Sunday 12 August 2012, to enter. We will draw and publish the winner next week and I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.
Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. All our GiveAways are World-Wide – so no excuse – leave a comment and enter away!!!
We want to thank PanMacMillan South Africa for the books that they sent us for review. And 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!!!