Posted in MG Book Recommendations

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl

Mr Willy Wonka is the most extraordinary chocolate maker in the world.

And do you know who Charlie is? Charlie Bucket is the hero. The other children in this book are nasty little beasts, called: Augustus Gloop – a great big greedy nincompoop; Veruca Salt – a spoiled brat; Violet Beauregarde – a repulsive little gum-chewer; Mike Teavee – a boy who only watches television.

Clutching their Golden Tickets, they arrive at Wonka’s chocolate factory. But what mysterious secrets will they discover?

Our tour is about to begin. Please don’t wander off. Mr Wonka wouldn’t like to lose any of you at this stage of the proceedings . . .

Blurb from Penguin Books

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Book Cover

I’m going to try not to get too misty-eyed here, because Roald Dahl is my HERO. And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my FAVOURITE. Everyone should read this book, at least once!

I remember going to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, as much as I remember my first day of school, or when I got my Sports Day ‘participation trophy’, or when I broke the class fish. Roald Dahl’s books are a PART of my childhood; they held my hand through my growing-up-ness.

And when it comes to Dahl’s books, nothing gets my tummy rumbling more than his gloriumptious, scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Factory! There’s lickable wallpaper, hot icecream, A CHOCOLATE RIVER! It all starts with those five golden tickets: five chances to enter a world of pure imagination.

I’d give anything for a Golden Ticket… ANYTHING!

FUN FACT! Did you know that in 1971, Roald Dahl received a Christmas card from a real-life Willy Wonka! He was a postman from Nebraska, and no doubt, was inspired to write to the author after the release of the amazingly splendiferous Gene Wilder movie. And Roald Dahl kept the postcard tacked to the wall of his writing hut.

Here are the bookylinks:

Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

THE MAKER OF MONSTERS by Lorraine Gregory

Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the day when they are ready to be put to use.

But then the unthinkable happens.

The monsters get out.

Now Brat must overcome his fears and venture out into the world he has hidden from his whole life.

For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone.

Blurb from Lorraine Gregory’s website
Book Cover: THE MAKER OF MONSTERS by Lorraine Gregory

This book really knocked me for six. I’d stumbled upon it in the wonderful world of Twitter and pounced. It was in my library faster than you can say, “Aaaaah! Monster!” And when I started reading it, I didn’t stop.

The Maker of Monsters is my kind of book. It’s fast-paced (Rhosgobel rabbits, fast) and there’s more action than you can shake a stick at. The whole book is a rip-roaring rollercoaster, dragging your emotions through heartache, hope, kindness… and MONSTERS!

Think ‘Frankenstein’, but with a sugar-rush.

The characters are so well-imagined that within a few pages I felt like I’d known them all my life. Sherman and Tingle, two of the sweetest monsters, were my favourites. I spent the entire book wanting to take them home with me! This book is a must-read.

I laughed, I shed a tear; The Maker of Monsters has it all.

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Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

THE HOUSE OF ONE HUNDRED CLOCKS by A.M. Howell

JUNE, 1905.

Helena and her parrot, Orbit, are swept off to Cambridge when her father is appointed clock-winder to one of the wealthiest men in England. There is only one rule: the clocks must never stop.

But Helena discovers the house of one hundred clocks holds many mysteries; a ghostly figure, strange notes and disappearing winding keys… Can she work out its secrets before time runs out?

Blurb of The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell, from the author’s website.
Book Cover of The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M. Howell

Edwardian setting, creepy house, one hundred clocks and THEY’RE NOT ALLOWED TO STOP. Yep, The House of One Hundred Clocks had me hooked from the off.

There’s a Hitchcock-level of tension in this book. You’re kept in a constant state of suspense. You know that the clocks can’t stop and at many points during this read I found myself hoping they didn’t. It’s not often that I’ll read a book and hope that nothing happens! But the characters were so well portrayed, that I very quickly connected with them and put myself firmly on their team.

Add to that, the evolution and trappings of Edwardian society: glimpses of invention, of poverty, and rising feminism, all carefully woven into the story, makes this a must-read for all. Here are the bookylinks:

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Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

BOOK SCAVENGER by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target.

Blurb from Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s website
Cover from the Book Scavenger website

When I read the blurb, I knew I was going to love this book.

At late-o’clock, when I should have been asleep, I was devouring the first few chapters of this book. I entered a world of scavenger hunts, cryptic clues, weird and wonderful literary types, and general bookishness, and honestly, I never wanted to leave.

The moment I truly fell in love with this book, was when I met Steve. He’s James’ cowlick. And the minute I read that, I grinned. This was my kind of book! Those little injections of humour were the icing on a fabulous book-cake for me.

Joining Emily and James on their frenzied hunt around San Francisco for the next clue, was fun. It was hectic, edge-of-your-seat fun-fun-fun, where you always have someone on your tail so you push-your-neck-out-to-keep-a-fraction-ahead kind of fun. It is adventure with a capital A. I am head-over-heels in love with this book, and now I want more.

Here are the bookylinks:

Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House and themselves.

Blurb from HMH Books.

I absolutely loved this book. LOVED IT. There’s something all-together cosy and comforting and vintage about it.

This incredible read had all the hallmarks of a classic whodunit: take a rambling old house jam-packed with mystery and treasure, quirky guests who feed you stories and drop clues; and an enigma woven through history. Within a few pages, I had dived head-first into the adventure. And before long, I was questioning everyone.

EVERYONE was a suspect. NO-ONE escaped my wrath! Did I guess right? No. Did I see it coming? No. Did I unravel all the clues? Nope. I guess I’ll leave the mystery-solving to the professionals. But for me? Jeepers – it was a heck of a THRILLING RIDE!

You won’t regret reading this book! To help you on you way, here’s the bookylinks:

Happy reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

THE MANY WORLDS OF ALBIE BRIGHT by Christopher Edge

How far would you go to change your world?

When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should ask where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about quantum physics and parallel universes, so Albie gets a box, a laptop and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space in search of his mum. What he finds may or may not be what he’s looking for, but he does learn the answers to some big questions.

Blurb from Christopher Edge’s website

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It was my dad who gave me the idea of using quantum physics to find my mum.

She died two weeks ago.

Opening two lines of THE MANY WORLDS OF ALBIE BRIGHT by Christopher Edge.

You know when you read a few chapters of a brand new book and you get that tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach because you know it is going to be amazing? I got that feeling after reading the first two lines of Albie Bright.

Schrödinger’s Cat, Quantum Entanglement, Quantum Banana Theory – it’s got all the important science you’ll ever need or never thought you’d need. And the cool thing is, I actually understood it all! I almost feel the need to call up my old science teacher and tell him that I’ve finally got it, and maybe there is still hope for me.

Plus, it’s got parallel-universe-hopping, without having to worry about that space-time-continuum-wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff. So Albie meets Albie, and then meets Albie, and then meets Alba. This book is seriously cool.

If you haven’t read this book already, then what are you doing?! Read it. Read it now!

Here are the bookylinks:

Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

SONG FOR A WHALE by Lynne Kelly

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no-one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” for him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Blurb from Lynne Kelly’s author site
Book Cover: SONG FOR A WHALE by Lynne Kelly

I bought this book because of the gorgeous front cover. There, I said it. I wish I had stumbled across it for a less shallow reason, but the truth is – I saw the whale, so beautiful, and thought that spending some time with such a magnificent creature was likely to be time well spent.

The thing is, this book is much more than that. SO MUCH MORE.

It’s Iris’ story, told through her eyes. In sharing it with her, I gained an insight into a world that was alien to me. It is the story of a deaf girl, lonely and unheard, who is trying to connect with the world. She finds a kindred spirit, in the shape of a whale and his song.

I was able to grasp a sense of Iris’ quiet world; sometimes it was peaceful. But I also experienced the frustration, even anger – and somehow it was loud. I was able to empathise with Iris, and it truly felt like an honour.

Everything about this book is magical; it’s both heart-warming and poignant, and highly HIGHLY recommended.

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Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x

Posted in MG Book Recommendations

THE ICE MONSTER by David Walliams

When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more… A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic!

Blurb from The World of David Walliams
The Ice Monster by David Walliams

It was super late at night; so late, that it was practically morning, and I thought, “I’ll just read a few pages of The Ice Monster…”

That ‘thought’ was back in a time when it was practically morning, because by the time I finally hit the hay – it WAS morning. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Just one more chapter…” But it was A LOT.

The story centres on Elsie and Woolly, set in fabulous Victorian London and takes us all the way to the North Pole. And there’s nothing off-limits for the orphan and her woolly mammoth friend to get up to!

You’re in good hands when it comes to David Walliams’ books.

His story-telling is a grandtastic, rip-roaring ride, full of thrills and spills and razzmatazz.

But it’s the HEART in them that always knocks me for six. You spend so long bouncing around this crazy rollercoaster of a read, you can hardly believe it when you’re three-quarters into the book and blinking away tears. That’s when the epiphany hits and you realise that you don’t want this book to end because you’ve FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ALL THE CHARACTERS.

The Ice Monster ticked ALL OF THE BOXES for me. It’s a glorious MG read and I absolutely loved it. I’m betting that you will love it too!

Here are the bookylinks:

Happy Reading, Readerly Friends.x