Wednesday, October 30, 2019

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book Roundup - October 2019

Welcome to our spooky October Chapter Book Roundup where we kick off with something entirely appropriate for the spooky goings on that'll happen over the next couple of days (No I'm not talking about Brexit, at least I hope I'm not!)

So let's start with "The Ghouls of Howlfair" by Nick Tomlinson.

Molly Thompson has lots of questions.

Questions like, is her Aunt Carol an undead fiend who drinks the blood of the living? (Possibly!)

Is she secretly lurking in the attic? (Most definitely!)

And is Molly's friend Lowry a descendant of a long line of Kroglin werewolves? (The hair might be a bit of a giveaway).

Molly loves history and diligently does her research into these strange goings on, suspecting that the creepy legends about her tourist town of Howlfair are starting to come true. 

But when her mother bans her from doing any further research, bookworm Molly and her friends - scatty Lowry and guardian-cat Gabriel - become covert monster-hunters to keep Howlfair safe. It seems that someone is secretly trying to summon Howlfair's mythical monsters, and with the election of a new town mayor looming, everything – and everyone – is becoming increasingly suspicious. 

With a dose of chills, thrills and scares alongside a mighty middle grade heroine par excellence, this is perfect for a Halloween read. 

"The Ghouls of Howlfair" by Nick Tomlinson is out now, published by Walker Books. 

Next up, more mighty girl action - or should I say mighty girls, as we meet 8 unique princesses for the rebel girl generation. 

"Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror" by Natasha Farrant and Lydia Corry is a superb collection of stories featuring brave, curious and mighty girls who each have their own stories to tell. 

'Mirror, mirror on the wall... what makes a princess excellent?' An enchantress flings her magic mirror into our universe. 

Reflected in it are princesses who refuse to be pretty, polite or obedient. Through the centuries and around the world these girls are fierce, brave, and determined to do the rescuing themselves. 

The desert princess protects her people from the king with the black and gold banner. The forest princess takes a crocodile for a pet. An island princess explores the high seas. A mountain princess puts kindness above being royal. And in a tower-block in a city, Princess saves her community garden from the hands of urban developers.

These are brilliant modern stories that also feel traditional and beautifully crafted. Definitely one for girls and boys who love reading about strong and determined female characters (well, that's all of us then, right?)

"Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror" by Natasha Farrant and Lydia Corry is out now, published by Zephyr. 

Next, a series that we've been raving about - both in its original Graphic Novel form and now in this superb series of chapter books teasing out the story of those amazing mighty girls staying at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.

"Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin" by Mariko Tamaki and Brooklyn Allen takes Ripley, Jo, April, Molly and Mal on more crazy and spooky adventures with a supernatural twist. 

This time the girls realise there seems to be a mysterious extra cabin in camp. No ordinary cabin this - it's entirely populated by ghosts? But what do the supernatural fiends want? Certainly not just a couple of smores or a weiner on a stick. 

This is book four (sob, the last in the series) so hoover up the rest as well as this one, you're in for a solid treat!

"Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin" by Mariko Tamaki and Brooklyn Allen is out now, published by Amulet Books. 

Now something rather special, a book that kicks off a whole new series for an author who has stamped his mark on a genre that we didn't know existed (but have just invented) Superspy Fairytale Magic Fiction!

It's the return to the world of Artemis Fowl, but this time introducing "The Fowl Twins" by Eoin Colfer. 

Myles and Beckett Fowl are twins but the two boys are wildly different.

Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. 

Myles is impeccably neat, has an IQ of 170, and 3D prints a fresh suit every day – just like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.

A week after their eleventh birthday the twins are left in the care of house security system, NANNI, for a single night. In that time, they befriend a troll on the run from a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun both of whom need the magical creature for their own gain . . .

Prepare for an epic adventure in which The Fowl Twins and their new troll friend escape, get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily) . . . and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.

Superbly written, full of all the glorious neat and original touches of the original Artemis Fowl books but now with two crazy protagonists to keep track of, this is sure to be a huge huge success and was a completely immersive and awesome read for both of us. 

"The Fowl Twins" by Eoin Colfer is out on 5th November (remember, remember), published by HarperCollins Children's Books


We're huge cat fans on the blog so we were delighted to finally catch up with this next book series.

"Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe" by Dermot O'Leary and Nick East is the celebrity's children's book series, written with a deft touch and definite insider knowledge of all things catty (as Dermot has two himself!)

After months of keeping London safe from notorious animal bad guys, Toto the Ninja Cat is going on a well-earned holiday to the world's most famous music festival - Catstonbury!

But a villain has a dastardly plan to hypnotise the crowd when a world-famous band is on stage, turning them into evil minions. How can Toto possibly prevent the catastrophe when everyone thinks the band is the cat's pyjamas?

It will take all Toto's ninja skills - and some help from a friendly otter - to save the day. 

Fast paced, action packed and with plenty of moggy giggles along the way, it's rather good indeed!

"Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe" by Dermot O'Leary and Nick East is out now, published by Hodder Children's Books.

Time to step back to the swinging sixties with a new mystery book from the awesome author of "The Secret of the Night Train".

"Trouble in New York" by Sylvia Bishop is a fab adventure for three awesome kids.

Meet Jamie Creeden who has always wanted to be a reporter. Jamie jumps at the chance when he is offered a tour of the famous New Yorker newspaper.

But a chance phone call draws him into a strange mystery surrounding the disappearance of a famous actress. 

Soon Jamie, along with his new friends Ellie and Rose, must navigate a tense world of infamous villains, double crosses and carefully planted clues - a world in which he can trust absolutely no one. 

He still longs to be on the front page - but at what cost?

With quite an unusual setting for a middle grade book, but brilliantly tight writing, this is fabulous stuff. 

"Trouble in New York" by Sylvia Bishop is out now, published by Scholastic Children's Books. 

We love books that help children bridge the gap between large sized picture books with minimal text, to something more text heavy but retaining lots of brilliant colourful illustrations. 

In Little Tiger's new range of storybooks you'll find exactly that, and here's "Speedy Monkey" by picture book superstars Jeanne Willis and Chantelle & Burgen Thorne. 

Deep in the rainforest all is peaceful and calm. That is until Speedy Monkey comes along to make some noise! 

Speedy can't keep still – all day long he whoops and swoops, prances and dances.

The other animals are tired of Speedy's crazy capers and long for some peace and quiet. Then danger strikes and the animals have to act fast. 

But where is Speedy when they need him?

An energetic story about being yourself, perfect for kids who are gaining in confidence with their solo reading. 

"Speedy Monkey" by Jeanne Willis and Chantelle and Burgen Thorne is out now, published by Stripes / Little Tiger Press. 

Also from the same range is the fabulous "A Sea of Stories" by Sylvia Bishop and Paddy Donnelly. 

Whenever Roo visits Grandpa, she loves exploring the seaside cove near his cottage. 

But on her latest stay, Grandpa explains that he can’t go down there any more – the path is too steep and overgrown for him to manage. Poor Grandpa!

Instead Grandpa tells Roo the stories behind the many objects that fill his house. 

All of Grandpa’s stories feature the cove and Roo realizes that now, even though they’re so close to the sea, Grandpa is cut off from it. 

Is there anything she can do to bring Grandpa to the place he loves the most?

An inspiring tale about the importance of sharing stories. "A Sea of Stories" by Sylvia Bishop and Paddy Donnelly is out now, published by Stripes / Little Tiger Press.