An excellent recommendation by Esme

When Pea Llewellyn's dizzy but dazzling single mum becomes Marina Cove, author of the bestselling Mermaid Girls books, everything changes. It's time to leave their tiny flat in Tenby for a proper house in London, and a whole new life. Pea likes the red front door, and the attic bedroom all to herself. She even likes her hideous new school uniform, in a masochistic Malory Towers sort of way. But there's an empty chair beside her in every lesson, and no one seems to want to fill it. In the absence of volunteers, Pea is going to have to acquire herself a best friend . . . Meet Pea, the girl with a head full of dreams, in this funny and entertaining story where she decides what she wants to be.

Review by Mia H: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

A compellingly beautiful tale of magic, intrigue and deception, set against the backdrop of eighteenth-century Paris on the cusp of revolution. Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries - and magicians . . . When seventeen-year-old Camille is left orphaned, she has to provide for her frail sister and her volatile brother. In desperation, she survives by using the petty magic she learnt from her mother. But when her brother disappears Camille decides to pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Using dark magic Camille transforms herself into the `Baroness de la Fontaine` and presents herself at the court of Versaille, where she soon finds herself swept up in a dizzying life of riches, finery and suitors. But Camille's resentment of the rich is at odds with the allure of their glamour and excess, and she soon discovers that she's not the only one leading a double life . . . Enchantee is a compelling historical fantasy and is Gita Trelease's debut novel.

One of the most captivating and breath-taking things about this book is the description of Paris in the late 1700s. In fact, all of the description was beautiful, especially that of the clothes and the attitudes towards others, which really helped with the illusion of the historical setting but also  got across the fact that some of the attitudes were similar to that of some people today.  It is absolutely spell-binding and when you’re reading it, it feels as if you’ve fallen through the pages, back in time. Another thing that was done well in this book was the relationship between the main character Camille and her sister, Sophie; how Camille would do anything to protect her sister, how that motivates her in everything she does, how Sophie is always the deciding factor in all her decisions. However, I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone under twelve, due to violence and strong language (albeit in French). I would recommend this for fans of Wicked like a Wildfire as the magic also involves beautifying things in that, and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, because the beginning that follows Ava’s grandmother reminds me of the setting in this novel.

Q&A with Louie Stowell – author of The Dragon in the Library (WARNING – includes poo and a weird space dust-eating creature)

Q&A WITH LOUIE STOWELL - AUTHOR OF THE DRAGON IN THE LIBRARY (WARNING - INCLUDES POO AND A WEIRD SPACE DUST-EATING CREATURE)

The Dragon in the Library is a fun, fast paced adventure, filled with magic and kids saving the world. We asked author Louie Stowell to answer our burning questions...

Q:  What are your top tips for budding authors learning to write funny books?

A:  Think about what makes YOU laugh. The more fun you have while you’re writing something, the more other people will find it funny. Also, here are a few simple tips for writing humour:

1) Characters who don’t realise they’re doing something (this is called lack of self-knowledge), especially very pompous characters. Make them do really silly things while insisting that they are serious people who should be taken VERY seriously. This works especially well with adult characters.

2) Read a lot of funny books. The funny will seep into your blood without you noticing. Funny is infectious. You can also, if you’re hardcore, study funny books. When you laugh, think… what did the writer do that made me laugh?

3) Poo. See also farts, burps, wee, vomit.

Q: What is your best tip for kids who are struggling with reading (if a dragon isn’t available)

A: Comics! I have always loved comics, and I think they’re for everyone, from the biggest bookworms to people who’d rather be doing almost anything else except read. It’s a different type of storytelling, and it hooks into a different bit of your brain somehow. Whether you like stories about everyday life or ones about superheroes, there are so many amazing comics out there to discover. Always happy to give recommendations! I’m a big fan of The Phoenix, a weekly comic, but also book series like Amulet – a magical adventure involving giant robots.

Q: What is your fave dragon fact?

A: I love that dragons turn up in mythology all over the world and that, in some countries, such as China, they’re seen as the good guys. I’m Team Dragon, so I appreciate that.

Q: And now.. the killer question... Wow us with something we didn’t already know...

A: Tardigrades - also known as water bears or moss piglets - are microscopic (aka very tiny) creatures that can survive almost anything. They’re so tough they could survive in outer space, or in a volcano. They’re also adorable. Look!

Tardigrades. Adorable? Space monster? Evil clawed dust-burrower? What do you think?

Huge thanks to Louie for sharing her answers and freaking us all out with tardigrades! You can follow Louie on twitter here.

You can grab your copy of The Dragon in the Library from our online shop here!