Mystery of the Night Watchers by A.M. Howell, reviewed by Leontine

I really enjoyed this book. I like how it’s written as it never got boring and when a character was feeling a particular emotion I felt it too. 

This is a story about family, doing the right thing and standing up to bullies.

Nancy -the main character- is determined, brave and will stop at nothing when righting wrongs. She’s accompanied in the book by her friend Burch and Violet her little sister. You’ll join these characters as they try and solve the mysteries piling up. This fascinating story is based in the Edwardian era in Suffolk at the time Halley’s comet (a comet that passes Earth every 75 to 76 years) was approaching the globe.

I loved how there were a lot of details about how it would have been in those days.

This gripping story is written by the author of The garden of lost secrets and The house of one hundred clocks. 

The mystery of the night watchers is an exciting,new book, great for fans of The good thieves by Katherine Rundell.

My name is Leontine, I’m 10 years old and I live in Hove with my French mum, my Italian dad and my annoying little brother, who is 7 years old. I love reading books especially books about adventure, magic, myths and mysteries. I also enjoy reading comics with my brother.

About the book

From the bestselling author of The Garden of Lost Secrets and The House of One Hundred Clocks, A.M. Howell, comes a gripping new adventure filled with buried secrets and dark lies, set against the evocative backdrop of the Edwardian era. MAY, 1910As the blazing Halley’s comet draws close to the earth, Nancy is uprooted to start a new life in Suffolk with a grandfather she has never met.

With every curtain drawn shut, Nancy is forbidden from leaving her grandfather’s house: no one must know that her or her mother are there. Yet, when Nancy discovers the house’s secret observatory, she watches her mother and grandfather creep out every night… Where are they going? And why mustn’t any of them be seen? As the mysteries pile up, Nancy must bring dark secrets from the past to light – even if doing so will put her own life at risk.

The Astonishing Future of Alex Nobody by Kate Gilby Smith, reviewed by Sophie

I’m Sophie and my greatest passion is BOOKS! I love reading, and I’d like to be an author when I’m older. I also like singing and art, and am kind of chatty 🙂

About the book

‘A wonderful time-travelling adventure with more twists and turns than the hands of a clock on a helter-skelter. Alex and Jasper are a fantastic dynamic duo, and the book has genuine friendship and warmth at the heart of a timey-wimey mystery. I loved it.’- L.D. Lapinski, author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency.

Have you ever thought what it might be like if you were famous in the future? A brilliant middle-grade adventure for fans of Ross Welford – a story about friendship, courage and embracing our talents even when they make us stand out.

On the day Alex was born, crowds surrounded the hospital. On her first day of school, people spied from the gates. And recently, strangers came to watch her perform in her school play … as the llama. But why? Alex has always been a nobody.

Then a mysterious boy named Jasper starts at school and he alone seems to know the answer. But before he can tell Alex, he disappears … into the year 2100.

Can Alex brave traveling into the future to discover what’s happened to him and to unravel the secret of her own astonishing destiny … before time runs out?

Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu, reviewed by Aysha

Hello my name is Aysha and I’m 10 years old. I love reading, sports and baking. The book I’m reading is Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow. I like to read mystery and adventure books. I play two instruments the piano and the tenor horn which I enjoy. In my spare time I like to draw. 

About the book

This debut middle-grade novel chronicles the harrowing journey taken by Sami and his family from privilege to poverty, across countries and continents, from a comfortable life in Damascus, via a smuggler’s den in Turkey, to a prison in Manchester. A story of survival, of family, of bravery … In a world where we are told to see refugees as the ‘other’, this story will remind readers that ‘they’ are also ‘us’.

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, reviewed by Laura-May

Laura-May here, I just finished Julia and the Whale and what can I say I loved it, the story for me was beautiful. It wasn’t high action it wasn’t heart racing it was just beautiful. The type of story you can’t put down for its intriguing tale. It’s one of those metaphorical stories where the side-subject spoken about isn’t a thing at all but an underlying message for something deeper. It’s magical. The shark mentioned represents being limited having others hold you back or holding yourself back. The imagery was truly enchanting. And the characters were entertaining and relatable. 

Big recommend for for 10-14 year olds who enjoy entrancing and descriptive books. 

Thank You for reading my review!

I was born in Worthing but I live in Lancing, I really like it as I love my neighbourhood. Right now I’m in Year 9 and I’ve always loved English and reading in fact in Year 3 I entered the Wicked writing competition and I got down to the final with my story Playdates about a girl making friends with a ghost. And the library ANY library has always been a place I feel calm and happy. So many doorways to adventure I can never pick! In Year 6 I volunteered to help put books away at lunch times. And of course my highlight of the summer the library reading challenge I participated in for about 6 years straight. I try to spread my love for reading too be it by tutoring my neighbour in English or by recommending books to friends I just love it. 

About the book

A captivating, powerful and luminous story from a bestselling, award-winning author about a mother, a daughter and the great Greenland shark. Wrapped up in mesmerising illustrations and presented as a deluxe hardback, this is a perfect gift for the holiday season, for 9+ fans of Philip Pullman, David Almond and Frances Hardinge. ‘Tom de Freston’s stunning illustrations perfectly complement the poetry of Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s story’ Cressida Cowell’A rich, immersive and wondrous journey, through deep darkness to hope and light’ Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken LegsThe shark was beneath my bed, growing large as the room, large as the lighthouse, rising from unfathomable depths until it ripped the whole island from its roots.

The bed was a boat, the shark a tide, and it pulled me so far out to sea I was only a speck, a spot, a mote, a dying star in an unending sky… Julia has followed her mum and dad to live on a remote island for the summer – her dad, for work; her mother, on a determined mission to find the elusive Greenland shark. But when her mother’s obsession threatens to submerge them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope…

A beautiful, lyrical, uplifting story about a mother, a daughter, and love – with timely themes of the importance of science and the environment.

Otherland By Louie Stowell, reviewed by Alma

I love a book with a really good setting and this has a very detailed world.

Otherland is a fantasy story about a baby girl, Shilpa, who’s taken by the fairy queen. Two friends participate in the deadly Knight Games to win her back. But this is a world with no logic and you don’t know what is real…

At first the lack of logic was a bit confusing, but I soon got used to it. And I liked how the two characters are always arguing at the start but by the end of the book they are very good friends.

Loads of bits were very funny and made me laugh – a lot!

Hi, I’m Alma and I live by the sea with my Mum, Dad, sister and tortoise. I love Harry Potter and anything dragon. I am passionate about the environment and want to be a marine biologist when I grow up. I love art and drawing, but more than anything I love writing and reading stories. I like fantasy or contemporary books but love to read almost anything.

About the book

Otherland is a dangerous magical underworld – a place where appearances can be deceiving and anything can happen. A world of gods, vampires, and fairies. It’s also…horrible.

When life-long friends Myra and Rohan discover that Rohan’s baby sister Shilpa has been stolen and taken to Otherland, the only way to rescue her is by taking part in a deadly game – three impossible challenges set by the Fairy Queen of Otherland. Win the game, and Rohan and Myra can go home with Shilpa – but lose, and they’ll be trapped in Otherland forever…

A darkly funny, action-packed fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, Malamander, and The Land of Roar, from the author of the highly-acclaimed Dragon in the Library series.

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, reviewed by Aysha

Hello my name is Aysha and I’m 10 years old. I love reading, sports and baking. The book I’m reading is Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow. I like to read mystery and adventure books. I play two instruments the piano and the tenor horn which I enjoy. In my spare time I like to draw.

About the book:

Imagine making friends with a polar bear…

The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.

“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” Michael Morpurgo.

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.

A Girl Called Joy by Jenny Valentine

This very much feels like a book of the moment. At a time when our children are facing a new way of life and an uncertain future, this might be just the book they need to help them find their own silver lining. 

Jenny Valentine brilliantly describes Joy’s feelings of being adrift and overwhelmed by the experience of starting school and facing a world so far away from everything she’s ever known. Her resilience and determination to look on the bright side is like a warm hug in book form.

I didn’t want it to end and can’t wait to follow Joy’s journey further. A reassuring read to inject some much-needed joy into your day and leave you feeling positive and inspired.

Brilliant for fans of the  Hope Jones books and those who need a little lift. Best for age 7+

You can order your copy here.

About the book:

For readers aged 9+ comes a sparkling new series about family, friends and finding the joy in life! From the mind of award-winning author Jenny Valentine, this is the perfect series for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cath Howe and Lara Williamson!

Meet ten-year-old Joy Applebloom, a girl with a knack for finding the silver lining in even the darkest of rainclouds. After years of travelling the world with her parents and older sister, Claude (Claude rhymes with bored, which is just about right), Joy and her family move to suburbia – back to school, back to her grumpy, rule-obsessed grandad and back to normality. Joy soon finds her usual irrepressible positivity and zest for life waning, but when the powers that be threaten to pull down a mighty oak tree, Joy decides to fight back, and realizes that not all magic requires wands and spells, and perhaps the most important sort of magic is the power, resilience and courage that was there all along .

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold – review

We fell in love with this book and can’t wait to share it with you all.


Full of adventure and heart this is a fun and fierce eco-warrior story, with fresh writing and a unique plot. April is an absolute wonder of a character, with the inner strength to do whatever it takes to save her polar bear.


Beautifully powerful and empowering, it perfectly captures a child’s innate sense of justice and determination to make a difference. It belongs in every school and library where it can further inspire the generation that are already saving the world. One not to be missed.

About the book:

Imagine making friends with a polar bear…

The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.

“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” Michael Morpurgo.

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months.

But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.

You can order your copy here.

The Dragon and her Boy by Penny Chrimes – review

It was an absolute joy to be back in the historical world of Stick, Spud, Sparrow and the gutterlings. We adored Tiger Heart, and The Dragon and her Boy has just as much heart and heart-of-London adventure.


This book sees a return to the world of Tiger Heart where Stick and his friends investigate the underground rumblings and street-shifts of a scorching summer, the rumours of disappearing children, and the unwanted return of a familiar face. Penny Chrimes uses a wonderful mix of dialect, slang and old English, creating a language that’s immersive, exciting and atmospheric. This series is calling out to teachers and their lessons on language uses.


Filled to bursting with bravery, peril, heart and loyalty, this is a joy to read… but not for the faint-hearted. The perfect book for those who relish adventure mixed in with a bit of Dickensian darkness and Victorian grit.

About the book:

A story of a the very last living dragon, stuck living in a tunnel under London, and the boy who unintentionally finds himself as her protector, perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink & Stars. When Stick discovers there is a dragon living underneath the streets of London, he finds himself unintentionally drawn into an epic adventure and a quest — but how can he find a place for a dragon to live in London when dragons aren’t supposed to exist? And with foes at every corner who want to exploit the dragon for themselves, it’s going to take a daring plan for Stick to find a safe place for his dragon — and for himself. Best for 8+

You can order your copy here.

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

Fun, rainbow-filled, bursting with heart and creating a lot of buzz, this is one not to be missed. The book I wish had been around when I was a kid, it deserves a place front and centre in every school library.

We adore this book and can’t wait to share it with all our lovely customers. A heartwarming celebration of friendship, family, and finding the strength to be yourself. Follow Archie and his two best friends on a colourful, breaking-all-the-rules adventure as he tries to understand his dad’s new world and reunite his family. Perfect for fans of Onjali Rauf and Lisa Thompson.

About the book:

*Join debut author Benjamin Dean LIVE on our Facebook page Thursday 4th Feb at 2pm as he celebrates his shiny new middle grade adventure. Learn about the book and ask Benjamin all your questions.*

You can pre-order a signed and personalised copy here:
https://booknookuk.com/product/pre-order-me-my-dad-and-the-end-of-the-rainbow-by-benjamin-dean-ill-by-sandhya-prabhat/

About the book:

Perfect for 9+ readers and fans of Lisa Thompson, Stewart Foster and Onjali Rauf’s bestselling THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS.
My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:

  1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore. 2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.

Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer.

Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away. Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it…

Praise for ME, MY DAD AND THE END OF THE RAINBOW: ‘One of the most joyful books you’ll read this year’ – The Bookseller

‘Joyful, funny and heartfelt’ – Katie Tsang, co-author of SAM WU IS NOT AFRAID and DRAGON MOUNTAIN

‘This joyful book has such heart, expertly navigating serious subjects around family, gender, and sexuality. Celebratory and advocating kindness, I’d recommend this book to all middle-grade readers. A real tear-jerker!’ – Steven Butler, author of THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL