Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition)

I’ve read Harry Potter so many times that more reviews kind of seem pointless now. Each re-read brings me a new bit of joy, combined with a hefty amount of nostalgia. But this is the first time that I’ve ever read the illustrated editions and wow they’re beautiful. My colleagues bought me the first two for my birthday and when I flipped through I thought the illustrations were gorgeous, but now having read it properly...

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Neil Patrick Harris – The Magic Misfits #1

This was the last of the audio books that I listened to while decorating the spare room – a random choice from the library app on my phone. I love Neil Patrick Harris and I was so glad that he narrated this book himself. Obviously you can probably tell that this is a kids book, and he’s such a good narrator for kids, very engaging and dramatic in all the right places. The book itself was not fully my cup of tea if I’m...

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Frank Cottrell-Boyce – The Unforgotten Coat

The final audiobook I listened to while decorating my spare room (yes…it took a long time). I think this book like the previous one may have been better to read rather than listen to as it seems like I missed out on extras like photographs again, but even so, it was a fabulous book. Julie is a normal year six kid, but life changes for her when two new people start in her class – Chingis and Negrui. They’re immigrants from...

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Henry Louis Gates Jr – Dark Sky Rising

I picked up this book as something to listen to when I was decorating the spare room, and while this wasn’t an easy listen, I definitely learnt a lot. We never really learned about American history at school, so although this book was aimed at a younger age range, it was the perfect level for me. Starting with the civil war, the book takes you through the history of black America leading to the founding of the NAACP. Despite the...

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Ewa Jozefkowicz – Girl 38

At the start of this book, we’re introduced to Kat, a young girl who loves nothing more than to draw her comic books. Her parents work long hours and she’s often alone, and she’s feeling out of touch with her childhood best friend Gem, who is becoming more and more like a tyrant than a friend. So when Kat gets talking to the old lady next door, it seems like a world will be opened to her that will make her feel less lonely...

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Ele Fountain – Boy 87

Oh. Em. Gee. This book was filed in the children’s book section of my library app, so I didn’t quite expect what was coming. Not an easy read, for sure, but definitely one that was worth reading. I started this when I got into bed at 10.30pm on boxing day and basically stayed awake til after 2pm because I simply couldn’t put it down. We start the book with a ship capsizing in the middle of the ocean and a boy struggling to...

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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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