Sequel to ‘Abandoned’ and the second book in Walker’s ‘A Light In The Dark Ages’ series, this book brings to life Ambrosius Aurelianus, the man who united the Britons and became their king after the withdrawal of the Romans, and who led them in the defence of Britain against the invading Angles and Saxons.
The story is dynamic and interesting, full of action, political strategy and war, reflecting the turbulent nature of a time dominated by tribal loyalties and vigorous competition for control of the land that the Romans left behind.
Walker breathes life into characters that, while they existed in history, are often only shadowy figures known for particular feats of war or achievements in government. That the reader can visualize them, become familiar with them, take an interest in their personal well-being and success, and feel loyalty to them is testament to the talent and skill of the author in recreating places, scenes and events from the past.
As unpleasant as the experiences may be, it is often when experiencing persecution or encountering conflict that people make surprising discoveries about themselves.
That is absolutely the case for Rae Schwarz when she discovers that there is much more to her life than homework, preparing for Halloween and avoiding the school bully. What ensues is a story of resilience, friendship, loyalty, discovering new talents and looking beyond the surface to recognise what is hidden underneath.
This story is refreshing and original, written with a very comfortable style and personal tone that makes it very relatable and highly engaging. The characters are interesting and varied, each complementing the others in ways that are not immediately obvious to the reader at the outset, and demonstrating that it is entirely possible to be ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.
A book laden with positive messages and values, ‘You’re Not A Goth Until You Sack Rome’ demonstrates a profound acceptance of differences and individuality and encourages the reader to recognise their own unique combinations of personality, ability and talent, and to learn to see others in the same way.
This is a most enjoyable and entertaining story, written for a YA audience but suitable and appealing for all ages.
‘Betwixters’ has just the right balance of friendship, danger, adventure and magic to make it a highly engaging and memorable story that draws the reader in right from the start.
Noah, Skye and Ethan are three regular kids who find their courage and friendship tested by the most unique circumstances, but it is those same qualities that they rely on to find the solution to their problems. They are realistic and relatable characters, brought to life in a really vivid way. The wider cast of supporting characters is similarly true to life,
The story is wonderfully written, infused with suspense and tempered with humour, and frequently evoking a warm and positive tone that provides a very good balance for the darker elements of the story.
A great story for all ages from middle years up, ‘Betwixters’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
What a brilliant read! ‘Night’s Gift’ is a highly original and enormously entertaining fantasy adventure story.
The world building is rich in imagery and sensory detail, enabling vivid and lively visualisation as the story is read. The reader is led from one distinct setting to another, and yet another, each time developing a clear picture of the size, dimension and texture of buildings, streetscapes and scenery.
The central characters of Omen and Templar are both likeable, complex and somewhat rogueish hero figures, each with their own flaws but also possessing good qualities which others do not always recognise. My favourite though, is Tormy— it’s impossible to resist his bravery and loyalty, while his perception and encouragement both add additional dimensions to the way in which Omen and Templar fight against the evil that threatens to destroy them.
There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this book. It has all the elements of a compelling fantasy adventure— danger, challenges, deadly creatures, magic, deception, sword fights, and heroism— bound together with friendship and humour. It leaves the reader both satisfied and keen for the next phase of the story.
This is a storybook every family needs to own and read.
This is an adorable children’s storybook about Bill and his friend Pablo, a toy polar bear who tells delightful bedtime stories. Rich in imagination and wonder, this book and the stories within it are engaging and heartwarming, delivering very positive messages about friendship, family and behaviour.
Bill is a nice kid who belongs to an average family. Rather than portraying him as an ideal child, the author has made him relatable to other kids: he has disappointments, fights with his sister, and has moments of selfishness. Overall, though, Bill is a good model for kids in the way these situations are resolved.
Pablo’s stories also present opportunities to discuss highly relevant global issues such as conservation, environment, climate change and animal welfare with children in sensitive and proactive ways.
As someone who loves books, polar bears and Canada, I appreciate the beautiful storytelling and the messages of the stories in this book.
This book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.
A beautiful story of a little cat and how she saved a soldier.
This beautiful story of a calico kitten and her role in the Gulf War is beautifully written in a straightforward yet heartwarming style that will be enjoyed by older children, but also by adults. The writing is expressive but still easily understood, and the uglier elements of the war are treated gently, although not ignored, so that younger or sensitive readers are not frightened or put off from reading the story.
The cover and illustrations by Milena Radeva are absolutely stunning, capturing both the story and the personality of the kitten as she grew and won her place in the heart of a soldier.
‘The Scheherazade Cat’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in both storytelling and illustration.
‘A Cry for Elf’ is a fun read for kids and grownups alike.
‘A Cry for Elf’ is a fun read for kids and grownups alike. Set one year after the first book in the series, Alexander takes readers of all ages on a romp through the North Pole in which Constable Tim Tinsel and his daughter, Eve, are challenged with the task of rescuing Santa and reclaiming Christmas from key occupants of the Naughty list.
The story is delightful, full of action and humour that will entertain and amuse independent readers and provide meaningful family time for those who read the story together. The story delivers clear moral messages about choosing to do what is right and putting others before ourselves, without being either preachy or self-righteous.
There’s no reason at all why reading this book should be limited to the Christmas season. It’s perfectly entertaining and valuable reading for any day of the year.