The Octopus, Dadu and Me by Lucy Ann Unwin, reviewed by Niamh (10)

The Octopus, Dadu and Me is the heart-warming debut book from Lucy Ann Unwin. 

Sashi is left completely heartbroken when her parents tell her she can no longer visit her beloved grandfather, Dadu, because of his dementia. Instead of visiting Dadu in the care home, her parents start taking her to the local aquarium to take her mind off things and that’s when she meets Ian… an octopus who longs to escape. 

I really like this book because it’s extremely unique and a great insight into octopuses and dementia.

Niamh (aged 10)

With the help of her friends, Darcie and Hassan, they come up with a plan to break Ian out of his aquarium prison. 

It has loads of fascinating octopus facts and fun cartoon illustrations throughout the book, drawn by Lucy Mulligan. Did you know that octopuses can squeeze through spaces smaller than their eyeball?!

My favourite parts of the book were Sashi’s special memories with her Dadu and about what it’s like to have someone so close to you who doesn’t even remember you because of dementia.

I really like this book because it’s extremely unique and a great insight into octopuses and dementia. I found out lots of facts about both in a fun and engaging way, at the same time that Sashi and her friends are trying to work out how to sneak an octopus out of the aquarium without anyone noticing!

I would recommend this book especially to anyone whose families have experienced dementia, as there are not many books that deal with this subject well or even at all. It’s also perfect for people who like adventurous stories. I look forward to more books from Lucy!

Perfect for fans of: Keep Dancing, Lizzy Chu by Maisie Chan, and Me and My Dad at the End of the Rainbow.

Peanut Jones and The Twelve Portals by Rob Biddulph, reviewed by Aysha (11)

Peanut Jones, her friend Rockwell, her sister Little Bit and the pencil that can make drawings come to life go on their second adventure. This time to try and stop Mr White (the baddie) from making the world and the illustrated city colourless and also to try and get famous paintings back after they had mysteriously disintegrated.

I loved this book because it had lots of beautiful illustrations on each page.

Aysha (11)

I loved this book because it had lots of beautiful illustrations on each page. It was exciting to read and nerve-wracking too! This would make a great gift to get with Christmas coming up!

Always, Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak, reviewed by Aysha (11)

This story has to be read aloud! 

The story is all about a mouse who someone has stolen from a science lab and placed inside a mailbox.

This story is really good and will make you laugh out loud.

Aysha (11)

What makes this story brilliant is that it is told by Clementine the mouse, who smells of raspberries and is very bright.

Each chapter is a letter she is writing in her head to her friend back in the lab.

She meets wonderful new people and discovers her love for playing chess, while also trying not to get caught by the researchers from the lab.

This story is really good and will make you laugh out loud.

Which Way to Anywhere by Cressida Cowell, reviewed by Evie M (9)

How long can you hold your breath? 

This is a story out of this world… it is dazzling and dangerous, 

come with me if you dare through the Which Way to anywhere!

What is the story about?

This intriguing story is about two thirteen year old twins called Izzabird and K2 O’hero. Their father had mysteriously gone missing when they were little. They have two stepsisters and a stepbrother, called Theo and Mabel, who they don’t like very much and a baby sister Annipeck. Their mother and aunts have magic powers and K2 discovers that he also has a gift that means he can draw maps to other strange universes when he places a cross in the middle of a piece of paper. The cross is a ‘Which Way’ and acts as a gateway to access other planets. 

“The best bit was when Horizabel, full of grace, appears from out of the washing machine with adorable Blinkers her robot!”

Evie M (9)

The adventure really begins when a stranger knocks on the door of their washing machine, a fearsome robot storms their house to destroy them and their baby sister Annipeck is snatched by an evil pirate named Cyril. They are forced to slice an ‘X’ in the air of their world to create a ‘Which Way’ portal to travel through to save their sister by working together and maybe even Everest, the father of Izzabird and K2! They also make new friends on the way including a cheeky robot named Puck and the beautiful, talented Horizabel, but is she really a friend?

My personal favourite character

Horizabel because she is the storyteller of the book and is pretty. She also seems to be good but really… Horizabel is quite fascinating and by far has the best clothing. (Cressida Cowell well done!)

If you liked these books you will love this story too!

Harry Potter or The Magic Faraway Tree then you would love this!

Best bit…

My favourite part was where baby Anniepeck is kidnapped by evil Cyril and when Horizabel, full of grace, appears from out of the washing machine with adorable Blinkers her robot!

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Secrets of the Stormforest : Book 3 by L.D.Lapinski, reviewed by Leontine (11)

The epic final of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency was an amazing book, packed full of adventure, magic and courage. I really enjoyed reading this book and once I started I couldn’t stop reading it.

Flick is really powerful, strong and courageous.

Leontine (11)

The secrets of stormforest are all about Flick and her friends stopping an evil danger from stealing magic. Flick is really powerful, strong and courageous. Together Flick and her friends are unstoppable.

Tristyan is my favourite character because he’s really wise, brave and prepared to do anything to protect his friends and family.

I really liked this book and would recommend this book to all magic lovers.

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame by Louie Stowell, reviewed by Niamh (10)

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame is Louie Stowell’s second book in the series. Norse trickster, Loki, was previously sent to Midgard\Earth in the form of an 11-year-old boy to do good deeds or face punishment by Odin. 

In the body of a mortal child, he is cruelly forced to go to school, while Heimdall and Hyrrokkin pretend to be his parents and Thor his twin brother. Loki being Loki, he always somehow finds a way to cause trouble even without trying!

I love this book so much! It’s hilarious and is packed with fun adventures and a good twist at the end. I liked the bit where Loki turned himself, Thor and two mortal friends into horses and started a horse rampage!

Niamh (10)

Despite having done a good deed in the last book, in the second instalment Loki must stay on Earth to protect it from fearsome Frost Giants and clear his name after Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, goes missing…

The book is in the form of Loki’s diary and is filled with lots of funny illustrations and sometimes the diary talks back and detects when Loki is lying! 

I love this book so much! It’s hilarious and is packed with fun adventures and a good twist at the end. I liked the bit where Loki turned himself, Thor and two mortal friends into horses and when they started a horse rampage! 

It also made me laugh when Loki explained the ‘birthday rituals’, which includes Thor spitting on a burning cake and a game where you win prices for stopping dancing, where he says: “but my dancing is EXCELLENT. Why would I stop?”.

My friend Harrison loves the Loki books too and he says his favourite part was when Loki tries to start a spitting contest to get spit for a spell to test if someone was a giant.

I would recommend the Loki books to anyone who likes Norse mythology, funny adventures, lots of mischief and hilarious illustrations. I can’t wait for the third book!

Perfect for fans of: Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to be Good by Louie Stowell; and Who Let the Gods Out series by Maz Evans.

Giant by Nicola Skinner, reviewed by Aysha (11)

This book is amazing!!!

I love the way it is written and illustrated and told.

As a person who does not usually read a lot of books about Giants, this book was great! As you can tell by the title, this book is about Giants. 

I loved reading this story, there were so many twists to the story, it kept me guessing right till the very end. 

Aysha (11)

In Minnie’s island of people, there are also Giants. The Giants work for the Giant Management Company which is run by Mrs Primrose. How does it work, you ask? Well, Giants get trained to be servants and look after children until the children turn 12. When the children turn 12, there is a ceremony where the children kiss their Giant. When the child kisses their Giant, their Giant turns to stone.

When a massive earthquake hits Quake Quarter, Minnie’s ceremony is fast-tracked. But she is not ready for her ceremony and not ready to say goodbye to Speck her Giant, so Minnie runs away. How will she survive and are there some hidden secrets along the way!?

I loved reading this story, there were so many twists to the story, it kept me guessing right till the very end. 

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter, reviewed by Riley (12)

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh, by Helen Rutter, is a touching story about a young boy called Billy Plimpton, who has a stammer.

Heart warming but also hilariously funny!

Riley (12)

He dreams of becoming a famous stand-up comedian, but first he has to overcome the many complications that come with his stammer.

This book is not only heart warming but also hilariously funny!

It is a perfect mixture of warmth and humour. And you don’t just have to take my word for it, as it has received great reviews, including one from Jacqueline Wilson herself!

I highly recommend that you read this book, or purchase it as a gift for a loved one. It can be enjoyed by anyone from age 11 to adult!

The Thief Who Sang Storms by Sophie Anderson, Reviewed by Aysha (11)

The Thief Who Sang Storms is a great book written by Sophie Anderson. 

It contains magic, creativity, teamwork and most of all love (but not the romance kind).

I love how this book has lots of flashbacks so you can understand the back story too

Aysha (11)

It’s all about a bird girl called Linnet and her Island of Morovia, which is now divided into areas where humans live and a swamp area where all the bird people now reside, after something drastic happened. 

The bird people formed a group called the Unity Movement who have been trying to take down Captain Ilya who separated the bird people from humans for ‘safety’ after what happened. When Linnet’s father, Nightingale, gets caught by the bogatyrs (Captain IIya’s troops), Linnet realises she needs to do something. 

She teams up with humans to help stop this nonsense, but can she do it?

I love how this book has lots of flashbacks so you can understand the back story too.

The Light Thieves by Helena Duggan, reviewed by Catherine (11)

The planet has shifted on its axis in what is known as The Tilt, an enormous earthquake which also caused a black mark to appear on the sun. Billionaire tech genius Howard Hansomhas a plan to harness PEOPLEPOWER! to fix the earth – but not everyone is convinced…

I love it when they enter the Wilde Forest. It is a dark and mysterious place and you can tell that exciting things are going to happen there.

Catherine (11)

The main character in this story is schoolboy Grian Woods, closely followed by Jeffrey Slight, Grian’s neighbour and classmate, and Shelli, a Wilde girl. Both have unique and exciting abilities; Jeffrey has an impressive skill with all things technology, and Shelli can communicate with animals. The three team up to bring home Grian’s older sister Solas after she runs away to the Tipping Point – a city designed by Howard Hansom in the perfect position to save the world.

However, when the heroic trio arrive, not all is as it seems. Something dark is going on in the city of everybody’s dreams – could it have anything to do with Grian’s missing grandfather? It’s up to Grian and his new friends to find out and put it right.

My favourite character is Shelli’s clever fox friend Nach and I love it when they enter the Wilde Forest. It is a dark and mysterious place and you can tell that exciting things are going to happen there. I would recommend this book to ages 8-12. Other books by Helena Duggan are A Place Called Perfect, The Trouble with Perfect, and The Battle for Perfect. I haven’t read this trilogy but it sounds good!