Easter Holidays and overdue book reviews!

It’s the first week of the Easter holidays which means one thing in our office: the packing and unpacking of project boxes! Our team are busy selecting books ready for the new term, on topics ranging from the always popular seaside to the slightly more niche Shang dynasty…!

As a mid-week distraction, we’ve decided to share a bumper post full of reviews of some books our team have read over the past few months (and which we have been waiting to post…!)

Easter Reviews

  • Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret by D.D. Everest (Faber Publishing, £6.99, 9780571307395)

A wonderful book about mysterious books with magical powers and Special Instructions, where library apprentices must learn skills of Finding, Binding and Minding. A rich imaginative story with clever “librarianish” wordplay which brought a smile to my face! This will go down well with boy or girl fantasy lovers, especially if they are Pupil Librarians! (Mandy)

  • Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (Faber Publishing, £6.99, 9780571323180)

I loved E Nesbit’s Edwardian adventure and fantasy stories as a child, and gradually became aware of the poignancy of the time in which they were set, as the children in the stories were almost all going to be of an age to be caught up in the Great War, and that golden time of innocent adventure would be gone for ever.  Kate Saunders has taken up this fact and written an excellent sequel to Nesbit’s Five Children and It; it feels totally authentic, and is as devastating as one would expect – and fear.  A good read for today’s Years 6 and 7. (Harriet)

  • We Have Lift Off! by Sean Taylor and Hannah Shaw (Frances Lincoln, 9781847805126, £6.99)

I love Sean Taylor’s imaginative children’s books, and this is no exception.  For Norfolk’s rural children it is perfect! The farm animals are fed up with Mr Tanner’s dump of a farm, (cue: much environmental damage) so they make an intergalactic rocket to escape on, “up to the clear, clean stars”. After a few disastrous test flights Mr Tanner finds the rocket and you might guess what happens next! Brilliant pictures support a great story and may prompt some interesting ‘green’ conversations. (Harriet)

  • The Case of the Deadly Desperados (The PK Pinkerton Mysteries) by Caroline Lawrence (Orion, 9781444003253 £6.99)

This is a good old ‘western’ thriller, with ‘cowboys’ and a few ‘injuns’ as well as some miners in the very Wild West city of Virginia. Caroline Lawrence has done her research well and includes real characters in this fast-moving thriller, Mark Twain (real name Sam Clemens) turns up as a local journalist. The book opens with PK witnessing the scalping and murder of his (or is it her?) foster parents, so perhaps best for Y6 and up. (Harriet)

  • The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (Corgi Yearling, 9780552572316, £6.99)

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read with interesting characters and an intriguing puzzle to solve. Ted, the main character, has an unexplained syndrome which causes him to think outside the box and conjour up a huge list of theories to solve the mystery, along with his older sister, Kat. (Zoe)

Read anything good lately? Why not let us know in the comments!

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