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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Letterbox Love 1


For those of you that aren't familiar with the goings-on of the book blogging world, this is a new UK-based meme to replace In My Mailbox, as there has been a lot of unpleasant drama associated with the latter meme. This British-themed alternative came out of a Twitter conversation, is being hosted by Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and it will allow us to discuss books arriving through our letterboxes (or Kindle whispernet of course ...) every week or two without the drama.

So, here's what I've received recently:

Review copies (care of the lovely Orion ladies):

The Treasure House by Linda Newbery

Nina's mother has disappeared.

She's left a message to say she'll be back, but nobody knows where she's gone or why.

Nina's father goes to look for her, leaving Nina with her aunts who run a charity shop. When Nina finds some of her mum's most treasured possessions on sale in the shop, she knows something must be wrong.

Soon she is caught up in an investigation of her own. But there are so many secrets to unravel. And once Nina knows the truth, will she wish she didn't?

A fascinating mystery, beautifully crafted by this award-winning author.


I am very keen to read this one, having greatly enjoyed Linda Newbery's Lob last year, written for a slightly younger readership.


A bored bird is a dangerous bird.

Following a family outing to the circus, Minty falls under the spell of a dodgy fortune-teller, Castle Otherhand is overrun by furry white bunnies, a mucky duck and a hamster called Mr Whiskers, and Valevine creates a strangely lethal cabbage-counting contraption. Rark! 

The Castle is in mayhem. With Solstice's help, and a little magic, Edgar rescues his family from the greenest and fluffiest mayhem ever.

This series is hilarious! Light goth for kids, narrated by the family raven - how great is that?! I reviewed the first in this series last year.


Utterly wicked. Totally brilliant. The Queen is coming to Horrid Henry's school. The real live Queen! Henry can't believe it.
But when Miss Battle-Axe makes him stand at the back, Henry is furious. How on earth is he going to get himself noticed now?

'Horrid Henry Meets The Queen' was originally published in the collection of that title, but appears here for the first time in a single volume with brand-new full colour illustrations.


What could be a greater recipe for disaster than Horrid Henry meeting the Queen? It's nice to see this one given the 'early reader' treatment with new illustrations.


It's night-time at the Perfect Pet Shop and a naughty puppy is making lots of noise! Will the other animals EVER get to sleep?

These Early Readers are great for kids who haven't been reading long, and there is a good varied selection available. The last Vivian French one I read was lovely and this looks like another sweet, fun story.

Gifted:
Advent by James Treadwell from the lovely Sister Spooky

For centuries it has been locked away 
Lost beneath the sea
Warded from earth, air, water, fire, spirits, thought and sight.

But now magic is rising to the world once more.

And a boy called Gavin, who thinks only that he is a city kid with parents who hate him, and knows only that he sees things no one else will believe, is boarding a train, alone, to Cornwall.

No one will be there to meet him.


I've wanted to read this since I saw it compared to the fabulous Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and duly added it to my wish list. I was so chuffed to see this on Sister Spooky's giveaway list. Watch this space - I'm already pretty sure I'll love this one!

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