Thursday, 26 February 2015

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book Roundup - February 2015

The Mirror Chronicles - The Bell Between Worlds by Ian Johnstone (HarperCollins Children's Books)
It's been a packed month for us, and we've been taking a look at a huge selection of chapter books and early readers as February draws to a close. Here's a selection of some of the books that have found their way onto our bedside tables!

First up is a stunning fantasy saga from Ian Johnstone. "The Mirror Chronicles - The Bell Between Worlds" is the first book in the cycle, and in the grand tradition of C.S. Lewis and Phillip Pullman, it's a book that drags the reader into an utterly amazing world - or should we say "Worlds". Silas Tate, a young loner, is drawn into a parallel universe known as "The Other" by the tolling of a giant bell. Silas doesn't yet know that he may be the key to saving the entire universe thanks to his innate talent for manipulating nature and the world around him. Silas will find out many secrets as his journey begins, not least of all some disturbing facts about his own origins and those of his mother, who may have hailed from "The Other" herself. Book one gets off to a cracking start at a blistering pace and is going to be an absolute winner for ages 10 upwards. 

"The Mirror Chronicles - The Bell Between Worlds" is out now from HarperCollins.

School books are back! Hooray! Here's an absolute corker...

Elspeth Hart and the School for Showoffs by Sarah Forbes and James Brown (Stripes Publishing)
Charlotte has been absolutely wrapped up in this book since it popped through our letterbox. You're going to have to wait until May (boo!!) to get your hands on it but we'll let you into a few secrets about Elspeth Hart and the School for Showoffs - a brilliant new book from Sarah Forbes (with fantastic illustrations from James Brown - No, not that one!)

Elspeth is a cheeky and determined young girl who ends up living in the attic of the School for Showoffs along with her rather surly Aunt Crabbe after her parents are inexplicably washed away in a flood.

Elspeth isn't exactly treated very kindly by her aunt or the other girls but does make a special friend, a shy boy named Rory who goes everywhere in tow with his pet lizard Lazlo.

After an accident with a bonk on the head from a heavy book, Elspeth's repressed childhood memories start to flood (pardon the pun) back, leading her to believe that there's definitely more to her aunt - and the school - than meets the eye.

This is the first adventure for Elspeth, and it's been a massive hit with Charlotte - who can't wait for more books in the series. "Elspeth Hart and the School for Showoffs" is out on the 5th May from Stripes Publishing

Phew, where next? Oh my, we do love a good mystery don't we - particularly when it looks as gorgeous as THIS!

The Magnificent Lizzie Brown and the Mysterious Phantom by Vicki Lockwood  (Curious Fox)
We couldn't wait to find out more about Lizzie as soon as we spotted the cover of this book. Victorian London? Check. Spookiness? Check. A brainy girl hero with Sherlock Holmes-ian smarts? CHECKCHECKCHECK! Oh we couldn't resist it! "The Mysterious Phantom" won't be here until May (I know, we're such teases) but we can tell you're going to fall completely head over heels for Vicki Lockwood's new book series.

We meet Lizzie as she leads a fairly mundane existence, living with her ne'er do-well father in poverty. Lizzie has dreams of escaping the squalor she lives in, so runs off to join the circus. She discovers that amongst the charlatans and performing folk, she alone has a true talent for clairvoyance - a talent that will come in handy as she becomes embroiled in a deep dark mystery to chill the very soul!

This is the first book in an upcoming series of adventures featuring Lizzie - and we're already totally and completely hooked. It may be a little on the dark side for Charlotte but older kids from 8 upwards are going to absolutely love it!

"The Magnificent Lizzie Brown and the Mysterious Phantom" by Vicki Lockwood will be with us on the 5th of May 2015 from Curious Fox.

Could we possibly squeeze a couple more books in? Could we? Oh you know we could...!

Circus of Thieves - On the Rampage (Circus of Thieves 2) by William Sutcliffe and David Tazzyman (Simon and Schuster)

Sticking with the circus for a moment, here's the second book in the "Circus of Thieves" series by William Sutcliffe (Following on from "The Raffle of Doom"), with crazy and fun illustrations from David Tazzyman. Shanks' Impossible Circus is back so expect sheer lunacy, synchronised otter displays, escaped convicts and mad capers as Armitage Shank, Hannah and Granny end up tumbling into a frenetic adventure thanks to the aquatic antics of Queenie Bombazine, ringmaster of Bombazine's Ecstatic Aquatic Splashtastic Circus. Fans of Roald Dahl and David Walliams are going to love this completely crazy book so run away to the circus, as the book is published today by Simon and Schuster!

One more? Aw go on then...

The Case of the Exploding Brains by Rachel Hamilton (Simon and Schuster)

Let's do science! Join madcap Noelle "Know-All" Hawkins in this hilarious new adventure. Noelle's famous scientist dad - Professor Brian "Big Brain" Hawkins - is in prison as a result of a rather unfortunate incident with a portaloo (We've all had those, right?).

Seeking inspiration on a trip to the Science Museum, Noelle is drawn into an international mystery involving the moon, some mindreading, and an awful lot of grumpy people. But how are they all connected? Noelle, Holly and Porter are on the case. Will they piece together the crazy clues in time to save the planet? It's a fast-paced rib-tickling case that's bound to score a hit with kids from 7 upwards. "The Case of the Exploding Brains" by Rachel Hamilton is out from Simon and Schuster today!

Phew, I think we're all tuckered out after all that excitement. Join us again next month for another fabulous chapter book roundup. Don't pop your cerebral cortex in the meantime though!