Thursday, 31 August 2017

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book Roundup - August 2017

We're off to a flying start with our August Chapter Book Roundup. It's going to be a bumper one so strap in and enjoy the ride!

First we're taking a look at a fantastic series from the author of BeastQuest.

Adam Blade's new "Team Hero" series is now building steadily, with a hectic and fast paced mix of monsters and sci-fi in these hugely exciting books.

Welcome to Hero Academy! It's time to join Jack and your other new classmates at this secret school, where the lessons are more exciting than just boring old Maths and PE.

When a portal from the evil underground realm of Noxx is discovered beneath the school, Team Hero needs your powers. The next invasion is upon us! It's time to act!

There are FOUR thrilling adventures to collect in this series - don't miss out! Battle for the Shadow Sword; Attack of the Bat Army; Reptile Reawakened; and The Skeleton Warrior.

Following hot on the heels of BeastQuest and SeaQuest, this is another brilliant collectible series that's perfect for fans of high adventure. 

"Team Hero", the new series by Adam Blade is out now, published by Orchard Books. 

Next, a brilliant follow-up to a hugely original young detective series that thrilled us earlier in the year...

"Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Rubies and Runaways" is the fab second book from Janine Beacham's awesome girl detective series. Following on from "Black Cats and Butlers" we return to Yorke again with Rose, to dig into another fantastic adventure. 

As winter approaches, Rose Raventhorpe and her butler Heddsworth are stuck with Rose's unpleasant cousin Herbert, and his equally horrible butler, Bixby. 

When an orphan boy named Orpheus interrupts the Cathedral's Mistletoe Service, saying that his sister has been kidnapped, Rose vows to help.

Solving the mystery will be a lot better than accompanying ghastly Herbert! But the investigation is more complicated than Rose has anticipated and will lead her and her butler friends through fancy tea-rooms, horrible factories, secret underground passages and more...

Fireplace pokers are much more dangerous than you might imagine!

A cracking read, perfect for kids who love a deliciously twisty mystery or two. 

"Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Rubies and Runaways" by Janine Beacham is out now, published by Little, Brown. 

Here be dragons next, as we catch up with a fabulous new middle grade series from awesome Cornelia Funke...

"Dragon Rider" is the story of a young dragon making his first faltering flights out into the wide world.

Firedrake, the brave young dragon in question, embarks on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever.

Along the way, he discovers extraordinary new friends and a courage he never knew he had.

But the greatest enemy of all is never far behind - a heartless monster intent on destroying the last dragons on earth ...

Firedrake's story picks up again in "Dragon Rider: The Griffin's Feather" - the delicious sequel to Dragon Rider.

The last winged horses are on the brink of extinction. Three foals lie curled in their eggs in a sanctuary for threatened creatures, where a young dragon rider lives with his silver dragon. The foals are ill, and the pair volunteer to seek the only cure: a Griffin's feather. But Griffins, with the heads of eagles and the bodies of lions, are a dragon's fiercest enemy, and live far across the world in the sweltering jungle. 

Once again a dangerous and exciting adventure begins. 

Cornelia has brought her considerable storytelling talent across from picture books to middle grade novels with a glorious and empowering pair of books weaving mythology and ancient magic together in a hugely satisfying story arc. Fans of "How to Train your Dragon" are sure to love this new dragon-based series, full of tension, adventure and excitement. 

"Dragon Rider" and "Dragon Rider: The Griffins Feather" by Cornelia Funke are both out now, published by Chicken House Books. 

A book full of mystery and intrigue next, prepare to meet Jones...

In "The Boy With One Name" by J.R. Wallis, meet Twelve-year-old Jones. Jones is an orphan, training as an apprentice hunter alongside his mentor, Maitland, tackling ogres, trolls and all manner of creatures that live in the Badlands – a hidden part of our own world, and which most people think exist only in fairytales and nightmares. But all Jones secretly wants to be is an ordinary boy and to leave the magical world forever.

When an ogre hunt goes wrong and Maitland is killed, Jones finally has a chance to find out where he came from. 

But the truth he uncovers isn’t what he’s expecting and it seems that if Jones is going to make his dream come true he’ll have to defeat a creature not even Maitland had dared take on and he won’t be able to do it alone…

He’s going to need help from Ruby, the first girl he’s ever met. She’s outspoken, fearless and determined to prove she’s as good as any boy, and unlike Jones, being ordinary is the last thing on her mind. Ruby’s desperate to find her place in the world and thinks the Badlands could be it. So, working together isn’t going to be straightforward. In fact, it could be downright dangerous.

But who said getting what you want is supposed to easy, even if it is just wanting to be ordinary?

A fantasy story full of originality and the most delicious worldbuilding, "The Boy With One Name" by J.R. Wallis is out now, published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books. 

Changing gears now for slightly snotty-flavoured fun for younger chapter book readers. 

"The Goozillas: Trapped in the Bog of Beasts" joins a new book series from Dexter Green with illustrations by Jake Dash. 

One day Max is playing on his tablet when all of a sudden ATISCHOO! Max sneezes his way into his favourite game, World of Slime. There he meets a gooey crew of characters called the GOOZILLAS. This gang of slime-balls needs Max's help. Their world is being invaded by a sweet and fluffy group of adorable pets called the Sicklies - YUCK! But these cute critters aren't as sweet as they seem, and won't be easily defeated.

Max and the Goozillas quest to banish the Sicklies from the World of Slime begins on a spooky dungeon level, filled with Goo Wolves, Barf Bats, and the icky sticky BOG OF BEASTS! Exciting adventures illustrated throughout in full colour, perfect for young readers.

The book series, written by Barry Hutchison (under his Dexter Green pseudonym) is hugely collectable and fun. "The Goozillas: Trapped in the Bog of Beasts" by Dexter Green and Jake Dash is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books. 

Madcap and crazy, that's how we love our books so we definitely couldn't get enough of this next one...

"They Didn't Teach This In Worm School" by Simone Lia is a buddy comedy with a difference. A bird, and a worm, possibly the unlikliest of partners team up for a story that will have readers wriggling and giggling in the same breath. 

Marcus is one half of the partnership, a wriggly worm. He likes the colour brown. He likes mud (because it's brown). And he likes digging holes in the mud-brown earth. Strangely, he likes beat boxing, too. 

But when Marcus meets Laurence (a scruffy, fat bird who looks a lot like a chicken ...and thinks he's a flamingo!), he comes face to face with his worst fear. Will he get eaten for breakfast? 

It is a Very Bad Situation. Marcus has two choices: Survive, Or get slurped up like a piece of spaghetti. Mustering all his worm instincts, he finds himself striking up a conversation. It's amazing how a simple "Good morning!" can end up saving your life...

So begins a tale of high adventure, wily tricks and unlikely friendship. Surreal, fun and engaging, kids who love a good belly laugh will definitely love this. 

"They Didn't Teach This In Worm School" by Simone Lia is out now, published by Walker Books. 

Phew, how are we doing? Can we squeeze a few more reviews in? Of course we can, so who's next?

Uh oh, a thoroughly rotten egg is next. It's Captain Firebeard! SQUEAL!

"The Sneaky Sweet Stealer" is a hilarious romp in the School for Pirates series by Chae Strathie. 

You're all signed up for Cap'n Firebeard's School for Pirates - the fiercest, baddest school on all the Seven Seas. 

Step aboard me hearties, and learn how to become a real pirate. It's a new term at Captain Firebeard's School for Pirates, and Tommy, Jo, Milton and Spencer are back on board the Rusty Barnacle for another adventure. 

But something fishy is going on. Someone is stealing sweets from Liquorice Len's tuck shop. 

When Tommy and friends find themselves in the frame, it's time to solve the swashbuckling mystery and find the culprit. 

But no one expects it to be a real-life sea monster! YIPES! Will he get away with it, or will those perishing kids see to his nefarious schemes?

A hoot a minute, tons of fun with a bunch of characters who are more accidentally than intentionally brilliant, sign up for "The Sneaky Sweet Stealer" by Chae Strathie, out now and published by Scholastic. 

Phew, all that talk of sweeties and pirates has set our stomachs churning. What's next, glamorous pint-sized assistant?

Aha! It's a fantastic series from blog fave Dan Metcalf, who already wows us with his glorious Lottie Lipton books. 

Now he's set pen to paper to write up an adventurous storm featuring a clever bunch of kids known as the "Codebusters". 

Things are not going well for Jackson 'Jax' Hibert. He wanted to fit in at his new school but now everyone knows he's a maths whizz. 

Even worse, he's been asked to join a secret (and totally uncool) group of code breakers: the Codebusters. 

Their mission is to solve mysteries and fight crime. So far, they've found a missing hamster... But now, someone has stolen the school's math prize from the trophy cabinet, and the only clue is a mysterious code. 

This looks like a case for the Codebusters! 

Funny, exciting or a little bit spooky, Black Cats are fast-paced stories with short chapters and illustrations throughout - stepping stones to reading confidence and superb for reluctant readers who want to find something cool and interesting to cut their teeth on. 

With fantastic illustrations and a cover by Gary Cherrington, watch out for "Codebusters" by Dan Metcalf, out now and published by Bloomsbury Education. 

Next, the return of a classic book hero by one of the world's most well known and best loved authors. 

Fans of Astrid Lindgren will already be familiar with her most famous creation Pippi Longstocking, but let's not forget her other fantastic middle grade character, the one and only Kalle Blomkvist. 

"Living Dangerously" is Book 2 in Kalle's adventures, and this time Kalle is one year on since solving the case of the great jewel robbery.

Once again his sleepy little town is shaken by a dreadful crime. 

Mysterious circumstances surround the discovery of a dead body, and super sleuth Kalle must use all of his cunning and detective skills to solve his first ever murder case. Eep! 

Strong stuff, but utterly mesmerising for middle grade kids who love a deep dark mystery or two. 

"Living Dangerously: A Kalle Blomkvist Mystery" by Astrid Lindgren is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books. 

Tom Moorhouse is steadily making the characters of "The Wind in the Willows" his very own, with his continued adaptations of Kenneth Grahame's fabulous riverside folk.

We're back at Toad Hall again for our next book, "The New Adventures of Mr Toad: Toad Hall in Lockdown" illustrated by Holly Swain. 

Mr Toad has the builders in, and they're busy filling Toad Hall with awesome gizmos and gadget to satisfy Toad's indulgent whims.

But there's something odd about them: why don't their bushy tails look quite right? And why are they loading Mr Toad's furniture into their van? 

Squirrel skulduggery! 

Greedy weasels! 

Mr Toad will need help from Teejay, Ratty, and Mo to have a REMOTE chance of defending his home. Can he keep his property safe, or will Toad Hall be in lockdown? 

Fabulous stuff from Tom and Holly. "The New Adventures of Mr Toad" is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books. 

Last but not least in this month's bounteous bag of books, it's the return of The Creeper Files. 

A whole new nefarious threat emerges in Hacker Murphy's "Creeper Files: Terror from the Taps".

Drip . . . Drip . . . DOOM. 

Does the water taste a bit funny to you? A creature is on the loose, a half-man-half-plant hell-bent on taking over the world and putting vegetation back in charge. 

He's in people's homes, tampering with the taps, and things are starting to get mossy. Maybe reading the Creeper Fileswill keep you safe. Maybe it'll keep you alive. Maybe - just maybe - the story that follows will help ensure you won't become a victim of the monster known only as . . . the Creeper. 

Fun, accessible funny fiction, ideal for readers who want action-packed excitement full of B-movie scares and tongue-in-cheek humour. "Creeper Files: Terror From the Taps" by Hacker Murphy with illustrations by Lucy Ebrie is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books. 

Definitely don't have nightmares! Enjoy a summer of fabulous reading and we'll catch up with you in September (back to school, YUCK!!!)