Tag: children’s books

Sunday Summary – 5th July 2020

Hi guys and welcome back to another weekly update! I hope you are all keeping well?

My blogging week didn’t start until Wednesday evening. You may recall from last week’s Sunday Summary post that I mentioned I had an exam coming up. Well, that took place on Wednesday morning and good news – I passed! My absenteeism from blogging up until that point in lieu of studying paid off, so it was all worth it. Since it was the beginning of a new month, it felt right to share this month’s planned reading list. It’s a little more ambitious since I have some more free time (but also because I have a little catching up to do from last month).

On Friday I shared another First Lines Friday post, with this week’s featured novel being a five-star rated read. I enjoyed the challenge of setting criteria for the book to be featured. It gave me a narrower pool to search in and made finding this week’s historical fiction novel feel more selective as opposed to random. I might try and do that more often in future posts.

 

Books Read

From midweek I have had more time for reading and other hobbies, projects etc as I sat the exam I have been talking about in recent posts on Wednesday morning. I left off reading both Chimeborn by Daniel Curry and The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell. This week I have picked up and finished the first of those two reads, but not really picked up on the second. I started Chimeborn first and only really picked up The Burning Land last week as a break. Although I am far from Chimeborn’s target audience, I still really enjoyed reading it! The book had a couple of themes I wasn’t expecting to be included but did and I really liked that about it. For the target audience, it definitely has an educational aspect that I’m glad is featured.

As I have a couple of blog tours coming up over the next couple of weeks, I don’t expect to pick The Burning Land up again until those books are read. I might read the odd chapter here and there, but it’s temporarily on hold until later this month.

Another book I have made progress with this week is Whispers Underground. Since I have been studying I haven’t really had time for audiobooks, but I enjoyed listening to this again. I’ve started another crochet blanket for the lounge (to avoid getting more blue hair dye on the back of my sofa!) and the two hobbies go together really well. I’m roughly 40% through as of this week, and since I have next week off doing bits around the house I think I’ll be listening to a lot more as I’m working.

 

Books Discovered

Again, nothing to add here this week. I did walk past a bookshop today for the first time in months. I was restrained and didn’t go in though – promise!

 

Coming Up…

I want to start off next week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. My last one was shared at the end of May, so it has been a little while since I’ve done one of these. This week’s scheduled theme is ‘Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By’, and I think that will be a fun post. I can already think of who the front runners are going to be, but it’ll be interesting to see who else makes the list!

Friday’s regular feature is another Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is another classic added during my spree in June 2017 – yes, over three years ago now!

Next week’s Sunday Summary post will be shared slightly later as I have a blog tour post going live. I’ll be sharing a review of my next read, Grace & Serenity, so I hope you can check-in for that. My Sunday Summary post will be going live at 00:01 on Monday morning instead. It’s only a couple of hours delay compared to normal really.

There you have it – you are all caught up with my week! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Reading List – July 2020

I can’t believe I am writing yet another reading list post. Where is the year going? Don’t get me wrong, with this year’s track record it’s not a bad thing, but still! We’re now over halfway through the year, and I’m definitely not half-way through my reading challenges. Oh well, maybe that’s a discussion for another post, but I’m not beating myself up over it.

For now though, shall we jump into the next few books I am planning to read over the next month?

 

Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Goodreads – Chimeborn

Welcome to Whitby, the quaint, magical town on the sea. Its ruined Abbey watches over from the East Cliff, broken and long since abandoned. However a magic within watches over Darcy Colben and his friends – the Chimeborn.

Born in the witching hour of midnight and gifted with magical sight, Chimeborn can see the Abbey for what it really is. A centuries old academy for their kind, and home to the Council of Chime. The power of Saint Hilda still resides in Whitby and this power has been shattered among the modern Chimeborn. A battle brews for control of the ancient magic, and sides will need to be chosen by all.

Ideal for strong young readers, and an enjoyable story up to young adult, this tale of power and growing up will leave you desperate to explore the shores of the north-east of England and find the magic for yourself.

 

I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting to carry this book forward to this month, but here we are. I had to cut back a lot of my jobs around the house, as well as hobbies in order to study for an exam. As it happens, I actually sat that exam this morning and the hard work paid off, so it was worth it! I still have around two-thirds of the book to finish, but that equates to a couple of hours reading time, so not a huge thing.

 

The Burning Land – Bernard Cornwell

Goodreads – The Burning Land

The enemy is massing on the borders, a united force for once.

The king, a man of many victories, is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth.

Uthred, the king’s champion, leads his country’s forces to war, but his victory is soured by personal tragedy and by the envy of the king’s court. So he breaks with the king and takes off for the land of his birth, determined to resist all calls for his return. That is, until one unexpected request…

This is the making of England brought magnificently to life by the master of historical fiction.

 

Despite not finishing Chimeborn, I did actually start The Burning Land – the last book on last month’s TBR. I was confident this was going to be a carryover when I wrote last month’s TBR, so its reappearance isn’t a surprise.

A few nights ago I did allow myself a break from studying to have a ‘fun’ read before bed, but I was in the mood to start this book. I’ve read the first few chapters, so I’m 7% of the way through at the moment. I’m optimistic I will get to finish it this month!

 

Grace & Serenity – Annalisa Crawford

Goodreads – Grace & Serenity

Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.

At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.

The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.

But nothing ever comes for free.

 

I was really glad to be invited onto the blog tour for this book because doesn’t it sound so sinister?! I’m intrigued to read more and find out what it’s all about! I recently read another novel with a strong theme of abuse and it was written really well. I hope this is just as good, because if so, I am bound to enjoy it!

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J  R Kirwan

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

​But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

It has been a little while since I’ve read a crime thriller, so I’m looking forward to taking part in this publication blog tour. I’m a sucker for a psychology element to a novel! More details about the book are being published closer to the publication date, including the cover. So, I can’t share that with you right now, hence the placeholder image. Sorry guys!

 

Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

Goodreads – Sleeping Giants

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

 

I’m going to try my best to get to this last book on the TBR, but as with The Burning Land in last month’s reading list – if I manage to start it I’ll be happy. In theory, I do have a bit more free time coming up so there isn’t any reason why I wouldn’t get round to this. I picked Sleeping Giants as the genre varies from the books already on the TBR, but also as it will count towards the Beat the Backlist challenge I am taking part in this year. I’ll admit, I’ve written off completing it, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up on it entirely!

Have you read any of the books on this month’s reading list? What are you reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 28th June 2020

Hey guys! Another week is over and it’s time to update you with another Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you have had a good week?

Before jumping into what I’ve been doing this week, you may have noticed my blog artwork has changed slightly. Yes, I dyed my hair blue last weekend! As you’ll see below, last Sunday night was a bit hectic so I didn’t have time to change my artwork then. However, I’ll be updating it going forward. If you haven’t seen the picture I shared over on my Instagram and Facebook accounts… here it is!

I started this week’s blogging schedule early with a blog tour review of Never Ever Tell by Kirsty Ferguson. This post was scheduled last Sunday after publishing my Sunday Summary post, so it was a busy night! I then had a few days off before drafting and publishing my regular Friday feature Shelf Control post. The book I featured this week is a classic novel by an American author. I read another of his books during school, and in classic fashion with me, I hated it at first but came to love it later.

 

Books Read

I left off last week with around half an hour’s reading time of Never Ever Tell left to go. Naturally, I finished this after last week’s post so I could write my review. It feels kind of cheaty including it, but technically it is progress I’ve made since last week so I’m including it here.

I also started a children’s fiction novel called Chimeborn by Daniel Curry. I read and reviewed another book of his called The Kitsune and the Lantern a good while ago now. Since I really enjoyed that, I was glad when Daniel approached me and asked if I was willing to review this new book. I’ve made a solid start to this book, but as I have been saying a lot lately, other things have taken priority. I have mentioned a few times that I am studying for work and a good deal of my free time has gone towards that. Also… I watched an epic thunderstorm on Thursday night. We don’t get them very often, so I have no regrets!

 

Books Discovered

The advantage of keeping busy is that I’m not discovering new books to add to the TBR. Despite the fact that I read a lot, the list doesn’t seem to be going down…

Admittedly, I have fallen off the wagon in terms of reading other blogs (my main source of discovering new books) lately. I am going to try and get back to it again. I need to make a habit of it really.

 

Coming Up…

So, as I’ve mentioned, I have been studying a lot this week. That’s because the imminent exam I have coming up is next week. With that in mind, I think my first post next week will be published on Wednesday evening. By then my exam will be done and I can start prioritising other things again! Since it is the 1st July on Wednesday, it only seems fitting to share my planned reading list for the month.

Friday’s post will be another First Lines Friday feature. As yet I haven’t decided what book I’ll be featuring next week, but I think I am going to try and set a theme. It’s a little more fun that way rather than it just being random. With that in mind, this week’s book is going to be a five-star rated read.

 

So, that’s all from me this week! Sorry it’s not a longer update. What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: Awa and the Dreamrealm – Isa Pearl Ritchie

Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. Thanks to both the author and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour! If you want to learn more about the book or want to read other posts about this middle-grade children’s novel, please check out some of the posts by other bloggers on the tour!

 

 

Awa and the Dreamrealm: Dreamweavers Book 1

Goodreads – Awa and the Dreamrealm

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK       Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Labelling this book as a children’s novel feels a little simplistic, in my opinion. I would like to credit something I really love about the book straight off the bat. I love that it tackles and teaches its readership about some difficult topics. Separation and racism aren’t the kind of ideas I imagined to crop up in the novel. However, they are very prevalent problems for kids to experience these days. Sadly, it does happen. Bullying is also tackled in the narrative. I would argue this is very common (after all, I was bullied at school) but that’s not a reason to neglect the subject at all! If anything, I think it makes Awa really relatable as a character.

Awa and the Dreamrealm will really appeal to those with wild imaginations. The descriptions of the Dreamrealm are beautiful and vivid. It contrasts well with the mundane, normal everyday aspect of her life: going to a new school, trying to make new friends and get by as best she can and adjust to the fresh start.

At around 200 pages, this is a respectable length read for the target audience. The plot moves along swiftly so as to keep the reader engaged. The chapters are reasonably short too, switching between each “realm” frequently to break up the action and keep the narrative fresh.

Although not the intended audience of the book, I really enjoyed reading this children’s novel. It’s good to change up your reading habits now and again and Awa and the Dreamrealm allowed me to do this. The book is still part of one of my favourite genres so it was really easy to get into.

 

Giveaway to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494313/

 

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

www.isaritchie.com

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