Book Reviews: Junior Fiction

Catching up with my junior fiction whilst I am not enjoying reading as much and this is a cover that always stands out at me so I thought I'd give it a go.

"Dirk Lloyd" falls to Earth from his plain and is taken in by the Purejoie family. Convinced of his majesty and his need to return to the darklands he enlists the help of Christopher, his "brother", Sooz the "Night Walker" and Sal the "Cricket Overlord". What ensues is a humorous tale of trying to fit in and find your place, with a little magic for good effect.

Solid story for ages 7+

Let's get one thing straight.... There's no such thing as too many demigods! This is the third Heroes of Olympus book which sees Jason, Leo, Hazel and Frank unite with our fave greek demigods Percy, Annabeth and Piper! Their mission... to save the world, no biggie! 

Annabeth has a mission of her own, evoked by her mother Athena she must find the sacred mark to stop the world imploding whist Roman and Greek Gods fight against each other and themselves. With monsters and enemies galore the group of 7 try to fulfil the prophecy laid out before them whilst stepping over hormones, emotions and angst worthy of any teenager. Another brilliant episode... do I have to wait two years for the next one?

An interesting twist on the normal secondary school teen drama. It's the week  of Xanthe's  thirteenth birthday and the first week back at school. Her best friend is amazing, the boy she likes finally likes her back and life is pretty sweet but Kelly has it out for her and things are about to take a turn for the worst.

As accidents begin to happen and Kelly keeps getting Xanthe in to trouble  she begins to think this isn't going to be her year but a frank conversation with her great grandmother changes her whole world. A funny and realistic portrayal of school life with a bit of supernatural thrown in.. a brilliant page turner for 9yrs+

Bluebell's 13th Summer is one she will always remember but that's because she has someone helping her to make the right choices... herself! A birthday wish ends up with a future Bluebell "Red" tagging along for the Summer as Bluebell meets new friends and enjoying the Summer of a lifetime. Pacey with an extraordinary twist at the end... this story will resonate with young teens and those in the early double figures as Bluebell explores friendships, love and family dynamics... 9+

Yes the DJ Simon Mayo has ventured into children's fiction and not all too badly I have to say! This was the main reason for me reading Itch but I found myself not able to put it down. Itchingham Lofte (amazing name!) is an element hunter, a 14 yr old boy with a passion for science, he uncovers a new element that isn't on the periodic table and the normal madness and adventure ensues with the help of his younger sister and cousin he has to keep it out of the hands of those who wish to use it for evil using only his brain and his rucksack of elements... an easy read and a playful but thoughtful debut... brilliant for boy scientists all over.  8+

I've read the books, I've seen the film so I thought I'd try the Graphic Novel... 
this gives us yet another adaptation of the Percy Jackson story... missing out most obviously the trio's meeting with Medusa... beautifully illustrated it gets the basic message across, a perfect in for kids who don't enjoy reading but the book is way better!

A unique coming of age story which is as contemporary as it gets from a debuting author. Kasienka and her mother come to England form Poland to find her father who left them two years previously.. written entirely in verse this is a heart warming story full of new hope for Kasienka but like life a little heart ache too.

A children's debut by actor Mackenzie Crook.. reading this around my birthday gave it special meaning as the story is set during the great storm of 1986. Asa finds a creature at the bottom of his garden and spends the rest of his week off school solving the local mystery behind the windvale sprites.. a simple and predictable story but author's illustrations bring extra life to a magical story... magical for children 6+.. a good story to read together.

The first book in the trilogy of The Books of Beginning... fairly typical children's adventure with wizards, dwarves and other creepy creatures. Wasn't the most exciting story and fairly predictable but then it is aimed at 8 yr olds... don't think I'll bother with the rest of the trilogy.

The last in the Kane Chronicles... for my money not as good as Percy Jackson but I still enjoy the pace and excitement of the Kanes' missions as they battle to defeat Apophis and save The House of Life. Any child with an imagination and a taste for danger will love these! 8+

An excellent kids story set in the wonderous Whippet Hotel. This isn't just any hotel though... set between the floors are hidden rooms, mysteries and tunnels that lead into the beyond. Leo the maintenance man's son and employee of the Whippet has two days to find out just what mysteries are to be discovered with the help of Remi (the door boy) and Betty (the duck!). A brilliantly magical story for 7-11 yrs.

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