📚Beautifully Illustrated In Colour. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #ChildrensBook The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Maggie O’Farrell.

The Boy Who Lost His SparkThe Boy Who Lost His Spark by Maggie O’Farrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Boy Who Lost His Spark.

This hardback book measures 22.5cm x 26cm – i.e., about the size of the old comic book annuals, and is a children’s story. Although the recommended reading age is 5-8 years old, a few of the words and concepts may need explaining to the younger readers. I would say it is more of a book for adults to read to or with children as there are lots of words and pages to get through.

The story is about a boy called Jem who is sad and struggles with some of his school lessons. He is also feeling lonely after a recent move to the countryside from the city. His younger sister has been told a tale about a creature called a ‘nouka’, a mischief maker who lives in the hill behind their house. When strange events occur in their house Jem gets angry and refuses to believe in the nouka, until the day that everything changes.

The book is beautifully illustrated in colour on every page which helps to bring the story to life. It is a lovely tale with a folklore touch and I’m sure that readers will fall in love with the little nouka when they read all about it.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

The new children’s book from multi-award-winning author of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, paired once more with Daniela Terrazzini’s stunning illustrations.

When Jem and his family move to the countryside, he doesn’t like his new home one bit. It’s an old cottage on the side of a hill, where strange things keep happening: shoes are filled up with conkers, the stairs become tangled in a woollen maze. Jem’s sister Verity is certain it is the work of a “nouka”, an ancient creature from local folklore that lives deep down inside the hill. Jem, however, is adamant that there is no such thing.

But this small mythical creature, so attuned to the hearts and minds of others, does exist. And, what’s more, it is determined, through mischief and mayhem, to help Jem reignite the spark within himself once more.

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🦅Children’s Bird-Watching #Mystery. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Spark by @MGLnrd @WalkerBooksUK #KidsLit #TuesdayBookBlog

SparkSpark by M.G. Leonard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spark (The Twitchers) is a children’s story ideal for middle grade readers or those around the ages of 9-12 years of age. The story is set in England.

The protagonists are a group of friends drawn together by an interest in bird watching. They are also keen to solve local mysteries.

In this story Jack discovers an injured cat while on his way to meet his friends. The vet confirms that the cat has been shot and it isn’t the first one. It seems someone is targeting cats and Jack is determined to find out who is behind it.

When Jack attempts to get his bird-watching friends involved in the mystery, most of them become distracted by news of a rare bird which is heading their way—so just Jack and a breakaway team follow clues to the cat hunters.

This is a very readable story especially for children who enjoy wildlife and nature. Imagine a modern-day Famous Five/ Swallows and Amazons type storyline, outdoors adventure. Happy to recommend.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

When Jack rescues a wounded cat, he quickly suspects foul play. Could there be a wildlife criminal on the loose in Briddvale?

Jack rushes to investigate, determined to catch the culprit, only to stumble into a deepening mystery and a sinister criminal plot.

Can Jack and The Twitchers stop the villains before it’s too late?

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‘The author has had lots of fun creating this magical world’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #YoungAdult #Fantasy In The Name Of The Otherworld by Hermoine Lee.

In the Name of the OtherworldIn the Name of the Otherworld by Hermione Lee

3.5 stars

In The Name Of The Otherworld is a young adult fantasy story. The main protagonists are fourteen-years-old and I would say that this story is suited to the younger end of the young adult genre, or even older children.

The story revolves around Alexandria, an orphan, who can make odd things happen, especially when she feels very emotional. She is teased and bullied at school, even named as a witch by some. One day she and three school friends are lured into a magical fountain and are transported to a place called the Otherworld. Here she meets her real parents, the king and queen, and she learns of a quest that she must go on to save it from the evil leaders of the Underworld.

Alexandria and her three friends discover that they are descendants of four founders of the magical world, and they are bestowed special gifts to help them during the quest. They set off with two Elders, adults from the magical world, who will train them in the art of warfare and help them tackle the dangers they meet on their journey.

The author has had lots of fun creating this magical world; she has embraced elements of her favourite fantasy stories, I was particularly reminded of the Harry Potter stories and Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Some of my favourite parts in this story were the animals and the magical skills of the four girls.

The chapters are written from the points of view of differing characters; however, all the characters had the same ‘voice’ and any differences in character did not come across. Another area which I thought could use a bit more thought were the descriptive passages of the settings, not all, but some were too detailed and made me want to skip past them.

There’s lots to praise about this book, as it has some good moral lessons and there is nothing dark or frightening, so it is well suited to the younger reader. I wish the author well in her writing journey; I’m sure with more experience she will develop her own writing style to enhance her prose.

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Desc 1

Regarded as a witch and alienated by the majority of her peers, fourteen-year-old orphan Alexandria Richardson wants to be anybody but herself. However, this all changes one day, when the mysterious fountain in her school transports her and her three classmates to a world of magic— the Otherworld. The four of them are brought to the palace of the Otherworld on the rulers’ orders, and the shocking truth of Alexandria’s identity and parentage is revealed. As Alexandria then participates in a miraculous adventure with her companions, she explores the depths of courage, kindness, and friendship. But will she make it safely back to the Otherworld? Or will she eventually yield to her biggest enemy, someone no other than herself?
It’s not just an adventure. It’s a journey of growth and redemption.

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