Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner

When we got the books for the Carnegie Shadowing in school, there was a lot of excitement that this was a book about a dyslexic, in the voice of a dyslexic, written by a dyslexic. Obviously, in an educational environment, it was … enticing. And, whilst that is all true, that is only minor part…

A Greyhound Of A Girl, Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle is a great writer. He wrote The Commitments which is a fabulous book and one of my favourite films of all time! He wrote Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha which is a fantastic evocation of a ten year old boy’s childhood. Roddy Doyle does voices extremely well. He creates the voices of children…

In Darkness, Nick Lake

In Darkness is Nick Lake’s debut novel and an extraordinarily powerful one at that. Set in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the novel is literally set in darkness: our narrator, Shorty, is entombed in the remains of a collapsed hospital as rescuers lose hope of finding any survivors. In the darkness and rubble,…

Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan

This is an odd little gem of a book. It is a debut novel by Sarah Crossan written in verse – free verse – rather than prose; but deals with the realities of a very credible modern situation. As such, the disjunct between a contemporary situation and the language does parallel the disjunction and disconnection…

Midwinterblood, Marcus Sedgwick

This is my second foray into Marcus Sedgwick’s writing: White Crow, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal a couple of years ago was the other. And this is by far superior, more beautiful, more powerful, more poignant. This book is shortlisted for the Cilip Carnegie 2013 and tells the tales of Eric and Merle. Tales. Tales…

Carnegie 2013 Shortlist

It’s that time of year again: the Cilip Carnegie Medal Shortlist has been announced! It is genuinely one of the highlights of my year! I reserve the Easter holidays to reading as many as I possibly can of the list. I mean, we do shadow the Carnegie Medal in our school and I like to…

Playing With Fire, Derek Landy

Reading this immediately after the first in the series, Skulduggery Pleasant, is interesting: it highlights both some flaws and some developments. In terms of plot, there’s a sense of déjà vu from the first book: a general from the previous war escapes from prison; he sets about acquiring an artefact to bring back ancient Gods,…

Skulduggery Pleasant, Derek Landy

I read Landy’s The Faceless Ones – the third in the Skulduggery Pleasant series – and, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it: a smart and sassy heroine; an enigmatic and intriguing (possibly anti-) hero; a wide range of engaging characters. So I have taken the fact that the current seventh book, The Kingdom…