#WW2 Children’s Book. @LizanneLloyd Reviews The Blitz Bus by @gblackwellbooks, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz. She blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading The Blitz Bus by Glen Blackwell

The Blitz Bus: A children's time travel adventure by [Glen Blackwell]

If I could have taken my class back in time when I was teaching history to Key Stage 2 children, how useful it would have been! Jack and Emmie are learning about the Second World War and their teachers expect them to have empathy for the children who were alive in 1940. On the way home from school on a double decker bus driving through east London they spot a mannequin in a shop window with a gas mask. When they leave the bus, everything is slightly different. Stumbling into Bethnal Green Underground station with crowds of others, they believe a film is being made, but the bombs are real and they can’t find their way home to their families.

This is an exciting story which would be great as a class reader or as an adventurous read by fluent readers. Most of the first chapter is unnecessary and could put off some from continuing with the story, but once Jack and Emma meet Jan, a likeable Polish refugee, and start to investigate a mysterious figure they think might be a spy the adventure gains momentum. Will they solve the mystery without being arrested by the police, can they ever get home to present day London?

An authentic picture of events during the Blitz shown through the eyes of young people who explore the city observing the devastation. I enjoyed reading this story and I am sure many middle grade children would find it a worthwhile read.

4 stars

Desc 1

Emmie let out a huge sob – “It’s not a film set”, she cried. She held onto Jack for a moment, then took a step back, closed her eyes and shouted – “WHERE AM I?”

When Jack and Emmie suddenly find themselves transported back to London in 1940, they find a world both familiar, yet very different. As they dodge falling bombs and over-zealous policemen, they befriend Jan – a lonely Polish refugee. Together, they must work out if the shadowy figure they keep seeing is a spy and unlock the secret of getting home again…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

The Blitz Bus: A children's time travel adventure by [Glen Blackwell]

A Children’s Book About The London Blitz And #WW2. Sherry Reviews The Blitz Bus by @gblackwellbooks

Today’s team review is from Sherry. She blogs here https://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sherry has been reading The Blitz Bus by Glen Blackwell

This middle grade book is a good one for children to learn about the London Blitz and WWII days of 1940. The main characters, Jack and Emmie are in modern day London and Jack is assigned to write an essay about the London Blitz and how a lot of children were evacuated to the countryside during that time. Meanwhile, in Emmie’s drama class, they are acting out the children leaving their parents.

Jack has a hard time envisioning the city at that time and is kept back at school that afternoon to finish his paper,, making him almost late to meet his friend Emmie. 

When they are finally on the bus headed home, they look out and see a shop they haven’t seen before.  In the window is a mannequin who has a gas mask.

Exiting the bus, there is a large unexplained bang. It’s raining and they take shelter at a tube station. Everyone is dressed differently than Emmie and Jack. There are cots set up in the station. The two children think they’ve stumbled onto a film set. Until very real bombs start falling and they find themselves in the middle of an air raid.

They make friends with a boy in the shelter, but don’t tell him they have somehow come from another time period.

The adventure really begins here. Jack and Emmie discover food lines, cratered buildings, rationing, bombs, anti-aircraft balloons, air raid shelters in yards, and, as well, have to hide from authorities. They fear spies are around and being taken for spies themselves with their modern items like Jack’s calculator. They find some help from their new friend, Jan, a boy from Poland. 

Even though I am nowhere near the age for middle grade stories, I enjoy them and this one was particularly good. The fact that the children were studying this era in school and couldn’t imagine how people were living and then were transported there is very educational—yet done in a fun way—A lot of interesting historical facts came through in a way that entertains and would have a younger reader on the edge of their seat worried about the two protagonists and how they would solve their problems as well as how they would be able to get back to their own time period.

The only thing I would have liked to be added to the story would be an epilogue of the children finding the friends they made in the 21st century when the friends were elderly. That would have been a fun ending. Overall, I was happy with the story and would recommend it to the middle grade age group as a history lesson full of interesting reading that will hold their interest.

Desc 1

Emmie let out a huge sob – “It’s not a film set”, she cried. She held onto Jack for a moment, then took a step back, closed her eyes and shouted – “WHERE AM I?”

When Jack and Emmie suddenly find themselves transported back to London in 1940, they find a world both familiar, yet very different. As they dodge falling bombs and over-zealous policemen, they befriend Jan – a lonely Polish refugee. Together, they must work out if the shadowy figure they keep seeing is a spy and unlock the secret of getting home again…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

The Thinking by Dallas Sutherland #ChildrensBook #Kidslit @dalkerri #bookreview #MondayBlogs

The Thinking (The Landland Chronicles #2)The Thinking by Dallas Sutherland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Thinking is book two of the Landland Chronicles and is a children’s series. I do recommend reading book one first to get a feel for the story. Book one, called The Greying introduces us to Meah a young girl whose mother has died, her father is missing and she falls overboard whilst on a boat. She ends up in a magical world which is all covered in grey and must help the people.

In book two, Meah now understands that she is living in the pages of a book which her father began writing and which her Aunt has taken over and is distorting the story. Meah is still trying to help the folk of Landland fight the greying and the Firbog army.

Meah has been given mysterious gifts and can use her Thinking skills to communicate. She also finds that if she paints in her book she can create colourful pictures which help in the battles to come. She searches for The Biggo to help her find answers and the story will continue in book 3.

There are some very good descriptions of the forest and people, plus some great drawings. I wasn’t so keen on the different chapter options at the end of the book between Auntie Beryl’s version of the story and The Biggo’s it was a little confusing.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Ryan’s Legend by L.F. Young

Ryan's LegendRyan’s Legend by L.F. Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ryan’s Legend is a short story for young children, Ryan is ten years old and this book mixes adventure, mystery and fantasy.

When Ryan spots a green tale disappearing inside the old chicken coop he wants to investigate. He finds the opening to a tunnel and bravely sets off on an adventure that leads to the discovery of a new friend.

At just 57 pages long, an easy read and the first book in a series which should appeal to young readers.

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s the Spook’s job to protect the County from such things as ghouls, boggarts, and witches. He’s getting on in age and needs to train an apprentice to take over. Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and that makes him special, he’s Mam’s gift to the County.

The Spook takes Tom on for a months trial, first they deal with the Ghasts at Hangman’s Hill, fragments of souls that have moved on. Next Tom must last a night in a haunted house. At the Spook’s home in Chipenden, up near the fells, Tom begins his lessons. First he must learn about boggarts and how to bind one. He’s also told not to venture into the garden after dark and to stay away from Mother Malkin who is kept in a pit in the garden.

Tom is warned to also stay away from girls with pointy shoes and his first big mistake comes when he is rescued from bullies by Alice. When the Spook is called away to deal with the witches of Pendle Hill, Tom falls into a trap laid by Bony Lizzie who intends to release Mother Malkin. Fearing the Spook dead, Tom takes on the evil witches, but it takes a lot to kill off a witch as strong as Mother Malkin as Tom is about to find out.

This is the first in the Wardstone Chronicles, written for older children. If they can cope with Harry Potter then this will be fine. The warning on the back on the book says “Not to be read after dark”. There certainly are some chilling pages which make me shiver as an adult. I’ve loved re-reading these books as an adult and shall continue with the series.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Becoming Anorak Nid by Alix B Macey

Becoming Anorak Nid (Book One)Becoming Anorak Nid by Alix B. Macey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Becoming Anorak Nid was a surprise to me, I envisaged the storyline being about a child, but it was a delight to read about lots of English garden creatures. This children’s book is fun and easy to read and follows the timid character of Nid the spider, in his search for a suitable coat at a garden sale. Nid’s best friend uses sign language and Nid himself suffers at the hand of a garden bully. Nid’s tale has added asides by the narrator and ends with a cliff hanger which leads straight into the second book in the adventure. This book is very suitable for junior school age children or could easily be read to younger children by an adult.

Find a copy of this book here on Amazon.

I am delighted that the author is local to my area and I shall be interviewing Alix tomorrow on the blog, do pop back and check it out.

View all my reviews

Guest Author Ben Woodard

After yesterday’s book review of “Steps into Darkness” by Ben Woodard, please welcome Ben as out guest author today on the blog. Book review here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2MC

Ben Woodard

Let’s find out more about Ben;

1. Where is your hometown?

Lexington Kentucky. I was born here, travelled around the world, and ended up back home. A great place to be.

2) How long have you been writing?

I started writing short stories almost six years ago primarily for my grandkids. During that time I also told stories in the local schools sometimes using my short stories. The stories certainly weren’t publishable, but the kids liked them. I didn’t seriously begin to write until maybe two years later. I haven’t stopped yet.

3)Have you always written children’s books?

Yes, so far that’s all I’ve been interested in writing. I wrote a couple of short stories for adults just for fun, but my real interest is writing books for kids. And especially boys, since there is fewer YA books for them and since they need to read more. My goal is to write adventure books that will encourage reluctant boy readers to try books. I hope girls and adults will like them, too.

4)Yesterday on the blog, I reviewed “Steps Into Darkness”, the second book in the Shakertown adventures. Tell us a bit about this series.

I started writing what is going to be the third book in the Shakertown Adventure Series about four years ago as a story about my dad growing up in the small town of Shakertown in rural Kentucky. I never had any intention of publishing the book, it was just something I wrote during NaNoWriMo to see if I could write 50,000 words in a month. I showed it to several people and they liked the interaction between the two boys and were interested in the historical aspects of the story. I then decided to write at least three books about two boys growing up in the twenties and I would include the problems of the day such as racism and sexism. Writing the first two has been great fun. The third needs to be rewritten and I hope to have it out by mid 2014.

5) Why did you choose this period of history to write about?

I knew very little about this time in history, only what my dad and some relatives have told me, but I was interested in the excitement and freedom that young boys would have had growing up in a time like this. The younger cousin, Tom, is an orphan, and my dad had lost his parents by the time he was twelve. So many kids at that time in history had to make it on their own and were allowed to do things that children today could only dream about. That sounded like the makings of great adventure books.

6) Tom and Will have a great friendship. How easy was it to keep the adventure going as well as the showing the reader the value of friends?

That was something that just seemed to come naturally to me. I grew up in the fifties and in many ways it was a similar time to the twenties. My male friends and I had quite a bit of freedom just to roam the neighbourhood and the nearby farm fields without much supervision. And we were always cutting up with each other. I’ve been told my dialog is spot on for boys, but it’s the way we talked as kids. I think the two boys are an amalgam of three or four friends I had, as well as my father and myself.

 7) You’ve written several other books, can you tell us about the boy who flew with Eagle’s books?

There is only one book at this time about the boy Naa’ki and his adventures with the eagles. It’s a short middle grade book that I wrote over a weekend again thinking I would never publish it, but it has been amazing to see the number of people who have liked the story. I talked to several agents and editors and they said it was much too short to traditionally publish, and I’m sure they were right. The book is a bit unusual in that it’s written as a middle grade, but as much shorter than most middle grades and is illustrated. It’s not a book that would be commercially successful, but it has been read and enjoy by people all the world. And it is being used as an aid in Bulgaria and Germany to teach adults English.

8) What other books have you also written?

I’ve written two short stories that tie-in with the Shakertown adventure series—The Hunt and The Trestle, and The Trestle is free on most ebook sites. The third short story, a terrible price, is a sequel to the boy who flew with Eagles.

9) I believe you love adventures yourself? What have you been up to recently?

Due to a couple of serious surgeries in the last two years I haven’t had many big adventures. I always manage to walk and hike, but I’m really ”chomping at the bit” to get out and do a bigger adventure. The last one was a bicycle ride from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along the great Allegheny bike path. It was a three-day ride and I would love to do that again.

10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have a planned publication date?

I seem to be working on a dozen different things at once. I’m attempting to get all my books into print versions and my goal is to have that done by the end of November. Also, I have another novelette about the same size as the boy who flew with Eagles that is in the final edits. It will be another unusual book in that a local photographer will be supplying pictures of trees for the story which is about a young boy’s adventure in an ancient forest in Ireland. Another project is a middle grade paranormal trilogy that one agent has shown some interest in acquiring. Writing is my new career and I’m loving it.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4337426.Ben_Woodard?from_search=true

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ben-Woodard/e/B005J3HR1S/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1382187992&sr=1-2-ent

http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Woodard/e/B005J3HR1S/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1382188092&sr=1-2-ent

https://twitter.com/benswoodard

Thanks for the interview Rosie. I appreciate it.

You’re very Welcome Ben, good Luck with the writing, and Thanks for being our guest today.

Total Football by Alan Gibbons

Todays book review has been written by a young reader friend of mine. Alan Gibbons is an English author of children’s books.

Title of the book: Total Football – Some You Win

Author of the book: Alan Gibbons

What happens in the book: Kev and his friends are in a football team called the Rough Diamonds. When he takes over as captain, he pulls the team up from the bottom of the league, and makes them play to win……. Every match. But a boy called “Brain Damage” tries to stop Kev’s future!

What’s good about the book: I like the way the football matches are written, to make the reader more interested in what’s happening in the game. Also the chase scenes makes you feel that you are in the person’s shoes.

What’s bad about the book: At the end the book, they have just finished a quarter final cup match. I wanted to know how well the Rough Diamonds did in the other few rounds.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Football-Some-You-Win/dp/1444001752/ref=la_B001JSBXM6_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370625132&sr=1-17