Onjali Q. Rauf – The Boy at the Back of the Class

A warm, engaging and inspiring look at an all too relevant topic, I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly as a very engaging and relatable way to introduce the topic of the refugee crisis to young children. I first heard of this book when it started winning awards, namely the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and although it’s a children’s book, it hits with a big punch. Written from the...

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Enid Blyton – The Boy with the Loaves and Fishes

I picked up this book on a trip to one of my favourite places – Barter Books in Alnwick. If you’ve never been there – go. Seriously, it’s the best book shop. I love it for finding old books like this that you would never find anywhere else – this book only has 1 review on Goodreads and it’s not available at Waterstones or other bookshops. But it was a delightful little book – a re-telling of the...

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Gemma Willis & Emma Randall – Diary of a Disciple: Luke’s Story

I bought this book thinking I was just reading it to check if it would be okay for our Sunday School/Youth Group kids, but actually I ended up loving it for myself too! This beautifully designed hardback book is a re-telling of Luke’s Gospel, aimed at children and perfect for them to read either by themselves or with their parent or in a group. I really liked the informal style of the writing which made it feel really relatable, it was...

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Roald Dahl – Matilda

One of my ‘Book Bingo’ challenges this year is to re-read a childhood favourite, and how could it be anything other than Matilda? I read this book so many times as a child that my copy is falling to pieces (as you can probably tell from the picture), and I’ve watched the film more times than I can count. What I had forgotten since last time I read this book was how many beautiful illustrations were in it. As I was reading, my...

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The Wolf Wilder - Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell – The Wolf Wilder

It’s been a while since I read this book, so forgive me for a short/probably slightly rubbish review. I’ve been so busy that since I read this book I just haven’t found much time to sit down and write the review, and I haven’t read another book in almost a month. Not much good for my Goodreads Reading Challenge, which I’m now 7 books behind on! After reading another Katherine Rundell book not too long ago, I thought...

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The Explorer - Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell – The Explorer

Part of my Book Bingo for this year is to read a Costa Book Awards winner. So when I was at Waterstones and this beautiful cover caught my attention, and then I saw the Costa Book Awards Winner sticker on it, I knew that this would be the one. I didn’t realise until I started reading it that it is actually a children’s book, I’ve never really come across a children’s book thats’s 400+ pages long before, and although...

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard

J.K. Rowling – The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The last of the three Hogwarts Library books, and book 52 of the year (hooray!). This was my favourite of the three, it felt more familiar to me and seemed exactly like the books of stories I used to read as a child (minus the magic of course). You can definitely imagine that it would be read by little wizard children, and it’s a very clever set of stories by J.K. Rowling. The book consists of five short tales, followed by an explanation...

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J.K. Rowling - Quidditch Through the Ages

J.K. Rowling – Quidditch Through the Ages

Yay! Illustrations! The one thing I thought was missing from Fantastic Beasts, it really helped to complete this book. Interspersed throughout, and still only very crude sketches, I was so happy! I know, it probably makes me a child, but if this was supposed to be a proper textbook (as with Fantastic Beasts), one would like to think it would have even the most basic pictures. I can’t imagine as a student of Hogwarts, any of the students...

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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

J.K. Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Considering this has been out for so long and been sitting on my shelf pretty much since it was released, I can’t believe I haven’t read it properly. I think I flipped through it quickly when it was bought, but it didn’t have a ‘read’ date on Goodreads. And since I have 2 days left to read 3 books in my 2017 challenge, it seemed like this would be perfect. I found this book quite informative, reading a bit more...

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Harry Potter and the Four Week Re-Read

So at the beginning of last month, I realised that I was dreadfully behind on my reading challenge for this year – I wanted to read 52 books but I was stuck at 32. I knew I needed to get a few books under my belt, and what better way than with a Harry Potter re-read. I like to do it once a year, and it’s even better now that you can officially re-read a book on Goodreads and have it count towards your yearly challenge. As always, I...

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J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I know, I know. I’ve read this book so many times. And with the amount of books on my to-be-read pile, I should probably make a dent in that rather than re-reading my favourites again – but it’s HARRY POTTER. And when I saw that it was free on Amazon Prime reading, I just couldn’t say no. I guess there’s not much point doing an actual plot review, since we all know exactly what happens (and if you don’t...

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Lemony Snicket – The Wide Window

After escaping from the clutches of Count Olaf yet again, but forced to leave Uncle Monty’s house by his unfortunate demise, the Baudelaire children find themselves on Damocles dock, being put into a taxi by Mr Poe to take them to their Aunt Josephine’s house overlooking Lake Lachrymose. The children are not hopeful that she will be a better guardian than Uncle Monty, and unfortunately it’s looks like they may be right. Because...

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Lemony Snicket – The Reptile Room

Before reading this book, I looked at some of the reviews on Goodreads and it seems like a lot of people complaining that this book (and the series) are quite similar to the first book. Well, its a children’s book and the whole series is devoted to Count Olaf trying to get his hands on the Baudelaire children, so obviously they’re going to be slightly similar. But I have no problem with that. You know kind-of what the plot is going...

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Lemony Snicket – The Bad Beginning

These books take me back to my childhood, we read them as a family as they came out, but I’m not sure now that I ever actually reached the end of the series. As the Netflix series has just been released (which is great by the way), I thought I’d take the chance to read them all again. The Baudelaire children might be the unluckiest children in the world, and we are introduced to them in this first book of the thirteen. We’re...

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Tom Fletcher – The Christmasaurus

Following Tom Fletcher on Instagram and Twitter, I’ve heard a lot about this book in the run up to its release and the subsequent praise that it received, so when I saw it on offer at Costco, I just couldn’t resist. I love reading Christmassy books in the run up to Christmas, and this one was perfect. Although it’s a kids book, I didn’t find that it was written in a childish tone, although there were quite a few silly...

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P. L. Travers – Mary Poppins

I had obviously known that Mary Poppins was based on a book, but I’d never even thought to read it. I don’t know why, but it was on sale at Asda, along with Annie (which I hadn’t known was based on a book), so I couldn’t resist buying them both to see what they were like. It turns out that Mary Poppins the book is not very much like Mary Poppins the film. I guess when you’re turning a 170 page book into a 2 hour...

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C.S. Lewis – The Horse and His Boy

It’s been about a week since I finished reading this book, and I just haven’t got around to reviewing it, probably because of the same reason it took me over a month on and off to actually read it; I just didn’t find it exciting. The start of the book seemed very slow, and the fact that the start didn’t seem to relate in any way to the previous two books just left me feeling cold and I didn’t feel any impetus to...

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Hans Christian Andersen – The Tinder Box

When I saw that for Penguin’s 80th birthday they were releasing 80 books for 80p each, it was all I could do to restrain myself and not immediately buy all of them! I chose this one as I remembered reading Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales when I was younger and I thought it would be a nice nostalgia trip. The only story in the book that I recognised was The Princess and the Pea, which was significantly shorter than I remembered, at only...

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C.S. Lewis – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Well after reading this book, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can never have read it before (even though I thought I had), because it was just not familiar to me at all! I would imagine that most people have read the book, so there’s no need for a full in depth review of the contents of the book here. Even though it’s clearly written for children, it still managed to keep me enthralled throughout, completely engrossed in the...

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C.S. Lewis – The Magician’s Nephew

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never read the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve had the entire set of books on my shelf for as long as I can remember, and just checking the front of the book now, I can see that this edition was purchased for me more than 20 years ago, definitely the oldest book on my to-read shelf! I seemed to remember reading this book halfway through quite a lot when I was younger, but having actually read...

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J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

It’s over! I actually can’t believe there’s no more left. I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions over the last week, with way more lows than highs, but the final high being the best one of all. Be warned that this review contains many, many spoilers, so if you’ve not read the book, I advise you click away! The books begins with Harry saying farewell to his ‘family’, the Dursley’s. His aunt and...

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