The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton, reviewed by Evie B (11)

‘The Secret of Haven Point’ is a heart-warming story about a girl called Alpha Lux. She was abandoned as a baby at Haven Point, a lighthouse which, since then, has become a safe place for any person with a disability or difference in need of a place to belong. The inhabitants name themselves ‘Wrecklings,’ raiding ships with the help of mermaids who live nearby. Alpha spends her days adventuring with her best friend, Badger, and trying not to get into trouble. Until one day, she spots a mysterious light upon the hill, and swiftly realises that her much-loved new family are in danger of being exposed to Outsiders…

Her fabulous tale is full of excitement and thrills – I just couldn’t stop reading! It’s also a story of friendship and compassion… I really felt for Alpha as I read.

Evie B (11)

I absolutely adored ‘The Secret of Haven Point’. It is a brilliant debut novel from the extraordinary new author, Lisette Auton. Her fabulous tale is full of excitement and thrills – I just couldn’t stop reading! It’s also a story of friendship and compassion. I really felt for Alpha as I read, because she wonders so often about what happened in her past, and why she was abandoned at the lighthouse. It is an amazing narrative and I really enjoyed the fact that there were such positive representations of children with disabilities and differences in the book.

‘The Secret of Haven Point’ actually has a lot of extremely important morals behind the wonderful storyline, including one about believing in yourself and being true to who you are. Another key message in it is that everyone should be judged by their personalities and actions, rather than their appearance. This is one of the fundamental ideas of the story, and I appreciate that it is included because it is just as important in real life. This book really celebrates the themes of belonging and acceptance, and I think that that’s brilliant.

I would recommend this story to anyone aged 9 or over. It’s a truly unique story, but any fans of adventure and mystery novels with a sprinkling of magic (such as the ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling) would find this book really captivating. I can’t wait to see what ideas Lisette Auton comes up with in her next book!

★★★★★ 5 stars!

Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna, reviewed by Alma

One of the best books I’ve read in ages; enchanting!

Ever since her mum left her there, Cassie Morgan had been living in a strict boarding school which does NOT believe in magic. Then (several years later – convinced her mum needs to be rescued) she runs  away to her aunt in the small town of Hedgely, right next to the hedge which separates England and faerie, where she trains to be the best witch she can be and pass her fledgling test.

But can she discover why children are going missing and find them before it is too late? And will she ever get what she wants?

Hedgewitch is a magical book. The characters are realistic and the world is intriguing – I was devastated when it ended. A fun, happy story with a long lead up where you really get to know the characters. An epic climax, full of surprises and drastic plot twists; as interesting and exciting as the hedge itself!

The Ice Whisperers by Helenka Stachera, reviewed by Alma

Imagine a world where the villains are the mysterious white eyed people with eyes like you or me and the heroes have completely black eyes. I like this as it lets you imagine a whole new species of human.

This fantasy adventure is about when Bela goes to live with her uncle who she’s never met. Exploring his strange scientific lab, she uncovers a deadly secret, a way to go to the spirit world! In it she finds a sister she never knew she had, born forty thousand years before.

Occasionally, going between the human world and the spirit world, and the different eras, was a bit confusing, but it was definitely worth it.

I really liked this book, because it made me feel like I was there. I also liked the relationship between the two sisters as it was more realistic than in some books. I say this as, at first, Ren-ya (the older sister) doesn’t trust Bela, but then their relationship grows and develops until they are extremely close.

                                                            HAPPY READING!

About the book

‘An epic icy adventure with a warming tale of sisterhood at its heart’ – Maria Kuzniar

‘Every way I look at it, I love this book from the crystalline brilliance of its surface to its tender, glowing heart’ – Zillah Bethell

A haunting magical adventure about two sisters born 40,000 years apart, perfect for fans of Frostheart and The Wild Way Home .  


When Bela’s mother dies, she is summoned to deepest Siberia to stay with an uncle she’s never met. Exploring his strange scientific workshop, she uncovers a secret she was never meant to find – a doorway that opens an to icy land, frozen in time and full of legends come to life.

But this frozen land is in danger, and it’s up to Bela to find a way to save it. To succeed, she must join forces with the impossible: a long-lost sister she never knew she had, born 40,000 years before . . .

Jack’s Secret World by Jack Ryder and Alice McKinley, reviewed by Niamh

I think Jack’s Secret World is a good book to read in the summer holidays because you feel like you’re away on an adventure with the characters. There’s lots of secrets to uncover during the story and there’s mystery surrounding how it will end.

I liked the baby dodo character called Terry and that the children had special powers. If I had a special power, I would want to be able to understand and talk to animals too!

Hello! My name is Niamh and I’m aged 8. I’m an avid reader and some of my favourite authors and illustrators are Laura Ellen Anderson, Steven Butler, Steven Lenton, Sophy Henn and Sophie Anderson. I want to be an author and illustrator when I’m older and I love to write and draw in my spare time. I like to recommend books to my friends at school and believe you can never have too many books, even though I’m running out of space on my bookshelves! 

About the book

Join Jack and the gang on another unforgettable adventure, full of magic and mayhem – for fans of The Famous Five and Roald Dahl.  

Everything changed the day Jack and his neighbours Bruno and Rocco went to explore the old empty house.

There they discovered a strange girl called Blossom, who introduced them to a world of magic – talking to animals, flying like birds, and even… a doorway to another world, hidden within the ivy-covered walls of the old house. 

Now the gang have gone through the doorway, looking for Blossom’s missing dad, the man who made the magic. 

But finding him will be just the start of the adventure, as Blossom’s dad has a mission for the gang, and they’re going to need all the magical powers they can get.

The House At the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes – review

“Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it.”

This is a stunner of a read and perfect for those newly confident readers who are stepping into longer chapter books and looking for an adventure.
Absolutely stuffed to the brim with fantastic characters, this is a gripping adventure with miraculous magic and lots of laugh out loud moments. Who wouldn’t want a troll housekeeper?


We love that Nine is angry and hurt and doesn’t always manage to make the right decisions. She is a joy to follow as she butts against the wondrous worlds inside the house and the dark streets she lives in.
Perfect for reading aloud to a class and for fans of The Train to Impossible Places and The Strangeworlds Travel Agency.

About the book:

Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house. Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast – a young wizard who’s particularly competitive at hopscotch – and a hideous troll housekeeper who’s emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break – and if she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return…

You can get your copy here, and while stock lasts, a signed copy here

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency is the stuff of dreams! The perfect book to escape into, it will take you on adventures to other worlds, with lush descriptions, imaginative characters and just the right amount of mild peril.

L.D. Lapinski has written a fantastic page-turner that is filled with adventure and magic, perfectly balanced by a grounding in family and friendship. There is beautifully casual inclusion of queer and non-binary characters, and the story is threaded through with an environmental theme, giving it the feel of a thoroughly modern future classic.

Their real strength is in creating incredible other-world adventures threaded through with universal truths. The Strangeworlds Travel Agency acknowledges that childhood isn’t always easy and care-free,  especially if your family is dealing with poverty and you are forced to take on adult responsibilities. But even in the hardest of times there is always room for wonder and adventure -and The Strangeworlds Travel Agency has plenty of both.

Perhaps, now more than ever, that is exactly what children need to see and read.


About the book:

Pack your suitcase for a magical adventure! Perfect for fans of Train to Impossible Places and The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club.

At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .

When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.

But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness – and takes our world with it.

A magical adventure for 9+ readers that will take you to whole new worlds.

You can get your copy here. Limited signed copies available here.

Gargantis by Thomas Taylor

At last! The much-anticipated sequel to Malamander is nearly here and we are SO happy to be sharing it with you all. We have SIGNED pre-orders available! Eek!

It’s a joy to be back in the world of Eerie-on-Sea amongst the characters and locations we know and love from our Malamander adventure. Dear Mrs Fossil, the delightful Erwin the cat, quirky Dr Thalassi, our beloved Jenny Hanniver, and of course, our heroes, Herbie Lemon and Violet Parma. It feels like coming home.

But there’s no time to get too comfortable amongst old friends because there are new mysterious characters appearing in Eerie-on-Sea, and a heavy dose of magic that seems to be spiralling out of control.

There’s a storm raging in Eerie-on-Sea. Has the mighty Gargantis come back from the deep…?

When an ancient bottle is found washed up on the beach after a ferocious electrical storm, all the residents of Eerie-on-Sea seem to want it … but should they in fact fear it? Legend has it that the bottle contains an extraordinary secret that spells doom for the whole of Eerie-on-Sea. Could it be true that the vast sea creature Gargantis has awoken from her slumbers, and is causing the large cracks that are appearing all across the town? Finding themselves entrusted with the bottle, Herbie and Violet discover they will need to ride the terrible storm and pacify the creature if they want to save Eerie-on-Sea from sliding into the ocean and being lost for ever.

Thomas Taylor is absolutely on form in this fantastic sequel. His clever word play is a delight to read and his world-building and character creation whisks you away in wonder.

Gargantis is an adventure mystery full of heart. It is packed with twists and turns, mysterious characters and magical beings. At its core is a story of friendship and courage, and of learning that you have the strength to face the world and to do more than you realise. It’s a celebration of children’s innate sense of justice and their belief in finding the good in the world. It is hopeful and happy and an absolute joy from start to finish.

With gorgeous cover art by the ever-talented George Ermos.

You can order your SPECIAL EDITION copy here.

Books That Feel Like a Big Hug

In times of uncertainty we try to find comfort in the day to day and one way many people find this is through reading.

Personally, the book I could return to time and time again is Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. I am a big fan of the Moomins but there’s undoubtedly something very reassuring about being pulled into Moominvalley and exploring the magical snowy landscape with Moomintroll. The characters all feel like old friends and I know that if anything does go wrong, Moominmamma will make it all better somehow, either with her unerring patience and logic or with something useful stashed in her gigantic handbag.

Winnie the Pooh is another such book that welcomes me into a world of childhood innocence, joy and fun. The Hundred Acre Wood is the friendly yet slightly wild playground we all dreamt of and who else is of more comfort than Pooh himself? He’s a simple bear; surprisingly wise, completely at ease with himself and he always has honey on hand in case you feel a little peckish.

Another story for a slightly older audience that feels like a big hug is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It’s the coming-of-age story of teenager Cassandra who lives in an old romantic castle with her eccentric family. The narrative style, relationships between characters and the romance that entails never fail to give me warm fuzzy feelings inside.

I asked our followers on social media which books brought them the greatest comfort and these either tended to be books loved at a young age which create feelings of nostalgia, stories read by adults with their children when they were little or those that had heart warming moments within providing the warm fuzzy feelings we all love.

The Harry Potter series was a very popular choice for many, especially Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you combine the escapism of the magical world, the excitement at rediscovering Hogwarts, the warm embrace of familiar characters like Hagrid and Dumbledore and the nostalgia associated with this series then it’s no surprise that this was the most widespread suggestion for ultimate comfort reading.

Other suggestions included books that made people laugh like Claude in the City by Alex T. Smith, magical classic picture books read repeatedly at a young age, more modern classics such as Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson or pure magical escapism such as The Enchanted Wood series by Enid Blyton.

If you’re in need of a comforting story at the moment then call the shop on 01273911988 or email us on info@booknookuk.com, talk to a member of staff and they’ll recommend something just for you. We can deliver free locally or post to anyone outside of Brighton and Hove.

Keep reading and keep safe!

Evernight by Ross MacKenzie

If you like your adventures dark and dangerous and your stories gory, this is  the book for you. Perfect for fans of the magic and story building of Harry Potter and the darkness of A.F. Harrold's The Imaginary. 

Evernight is dramatically written; crying out to be read aloud. It would be a great choice for teachers who want to share some magic with Key Stage 3 pupils. We were totally engrossed, although we did have to read some of the more macabre sections through our fingers!

With fantastic characters who come alive through strong, dramatic writing, this is a vivid and engaging story. This is a refreshing take on good versus evil, with the evil being deliciously dark and dangerous and the good being feisty yet powerless.

Evernight is hard to put down and harder to let go of. We can't wait to see what happens later in the series.

About the book:

Thousands of years ago, the Evernight came to the Silver Kingdom and turned everything to darkness and chaos. It was only defeated thanks to the skill and bravery of the Witches. But now the Evernight is about to return, released by the evil Mrs Hester, and the only spell that might stop it is lost, deep below the great city of King’s Haven.

Then orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a mysterious wooden box while treasure-hunting in the city’s sewers. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger – and a man who casts no shadow . . .

Best for 11+ You can get your copy here.

Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes

One magical friendship. One roaring adventure. The magical tale of a bold young chimney sweep and a remarkable tiger, a dangerously hypnotic ruby and a mystical land that’s found across an ocean and through a storm. Perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink and Stars and Pax.

Tiger Heart is a fierce historical fantasy where nothing is as it seems and magic can come from the most surprising of places. It is also deliciously dark; dealing with themes of capitalism, control and greed. A tale for our age, the nods to capitalist politics, child labour and animal welfare make this historical adventure all too relevant.

A fantastic story for children who enjoy their magic grounded in history with believable, authentic characters and a layer of worldly truth. We loved it!

About the book:

Fly never meant to end up in a cage with a man-eating tiger. And though she’s no princess, when the tiger bows to her, she can’t help vowing to free him and return him home. But the bird-filled jungles and cloud-topped mountains of the tiger’s homeland are an ocean away. And not everyone wants the tiger to return.

With dark and dangerous forces working against them, will Fly be able to fulfil her promises, keep them both alive and – just maybe – become the queen her tiger knows her to be?

You can get your copy here.