A Horse for Angel by Sarah Lean

Nell is really looking forward to spending the Easter holidays at her grandma’s house -no boring after-school activities just so her mum doesn’t have to look after her – but a last minute change of plan sends her off to stay with an aunt she barely knows and two small cousins who live on a remote farm. Before she goes though, she finds something her father made, before he ran off to America. Nell takes it with her to her Aunt’s in a satchel, but day she arrives there she is knocked over by a girl on a black horse and the satchel is taken. To get it back, she must befriend the mysterious girl on the black horse, as more things go missing and the girl’s history becomes clearer…

This is a really good book, because when you think you know exactly what’s happening, you turn out to be completely wrong! It was a little bit easy for me, but I would definitely recommend it to ages 8-9. All in all, a brilliant book, and generously donated to me by HarperCollins.


The Palace Library by Steven Loveridge

This is the exciting tale of three children, Harry, Grace and Eleanor, who, whilst staying with their Uncle Jasper, find a secret door into the magical Palace Library, full of wondrous magical books and protected by Edgar the Librarian.

One day, when Harry slips through one of the doors out of the library, Eleanor and Grace are called on to rescue him, and are given magical books to help. When they go through the door, they find themselves in 17th century England. But they’re not there on holiday. The girls find Harry, but there’s more to be discovered as the children find out that the great sword Ascalon, the Sword of State and the very one Saint George used to slay the dragon, has been lost, and without it the dragons are returning to England. The children must travel to the edge of Hell’s bay, to re-forge Ascalon and banish the dragons once again. But that is not all. There are traitors aboard the ship, and they will do anything to sabotage the attempt. Will Harry, Eleanor and Grace manage to recover the Sword? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

I really enjoyed this book, and I thought the author has a really unique style which I haven’t seen before. The book is really exciting and I would recommend it to anyone.


Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Sapphire leads a completely normal life until one day her dad goes out in a fishing boat and disappears. Then her brother Conor starts making frequent trips into the sea without her. She finds he is meeting a mysterious girl wearing what appears to be a wetsuit, but soon reveals itself to be something unbelievable. Soon after, Sapphire meets her own friend with the same amazing body. Sapphire is taken deep into Ingo, the world beneath the sea, and is soon mesmerised by its beauty. But Ingo is powerful, and as its grip on Sapphire becomes stronger, Sapphire is pulled into the dangerous word of Ingo. This book is one of the most exciting I have ever read, as it combines the thrill that makes you have to read on with mystery and haunting beauty. I think Helen Dunmore is an amazing writer and recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and haunting thrillers.


Knife by R.J. Anderson

This is the first book in the Knife series and I think it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The story is about faeries (yes, it is spelt like that in this book) but they are not the type of faeries that you imagine when you hear that word. The story starts off with a young faery called Bryony who lives in an old oak in a garden. She lives with her stepmother Wink until she is seventeen when the Queen gives her an occupation. She is apprenticed, much to everyone’s surprise, to Thorn, the royal . As Hunter’s privilege, she is allowed to change her name but she decides to change it to something no faery has ever been called before. Knife. She is taught how to snare a rabbit or another small animal, skin it and tan its soft hide, but all the while she is thinking about the terrible Sundering, the time when a faery called Jasmine decided that the faeries in the oak would be better off without humans, so she cast a spell that enabled the faeries to replace themselves with eggs when they died, but in doing so she used up all the magic of the faeries in the oak. Luckily the faery Amaryllis was not in the oak when the Sundering happened so she still had her magic. She was made Queen and because so many faeries kept getting eaten by predators she made a rule that stated that no one was allowed to leave the Oak apart from the Gatherers and the Hunter so that the few faeries left wouldn’t die out. But the deadly Silence had now come to the Oak, and there was no cure for it. Nobody knows what causes it, all they know is it is deadly. When Knife is injured by a crow and then is rescued by a human, she is taught how to draw, which is almost impossible for faeries to do. Also, whilst she is there she befriends the human and when Queen Amaryllis finds out, she gives Knife a choice. Become human and stay with her friend, or stay a faery and never see him again. Will Knife decide to become human? You’ll have to find out!

When I read this book, I thought it was so good that when I finished it, I very, very nearly had a temper tantrum because I didn’t want it to end! (I don’t know what qualifies as a temper tantrum in your mind, but I threw the book on the floor, stamped on it then started hitting it really hard with pillows) Obviously I can’t fit the whole plot of the book in one review, so it has more than a simple(ish) plot like that! Honestly, though, this book was one of my favourite books of all time. I really think people should try reading it because (and I might be wrong) it isn’t a very well-known book and I think it should be.

You can visit the author’s website by clicking here



Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson

This is another book from Jacqueline Wilson but I am sad to say it isn’t one of my favourites.

Flora Barnes is just another ordinary girl until, on her birthday, her mum and stepdad announce that the family are moving to Sydney in Australia. At first Floss is ecstatic at the news, but then she realises that she won’t be able to see her real dad whilst she’s gone . When she goes to see her dad the following weekend, she decides that she wants to stay with her dad instead of going to Australia. But Dad turns out to be less than adept at things like ironing and washing, and when the girl she thought was her best friend turns on her, she feels that maybe staying with her dad in his greasy spoon cafe wasn’t the best idea. Then Floss and her dad go to the fair, where they meet the lovely Rose, the lady who runs the candy floss stall. Back at school, the new girl Susan is befriended by Floss, and they decide to spend the weekend over at Floss’s Dad’s cafe. But the cafe is fast running out of business, and Floss’s Dad has a lot of debt to pay off. What will happen to Floss? Will she and her dad be taken in by the fairground folk? And if so, will Floss ever see Susan again?

I have to confess, this wasn’t my favourite book of all time, but that’s just my opinion. I have no intention to stop anyone reading it because other people will probably like it more than me.

Recommended by Chloe

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

A great tale of magic, cupcakes and mischief all rolled into one book. What could be better? It all starts off when Rosemary (the main character of the story) sees her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter when she was about five. Then, about six or seven years later, her mother and father are asked to go and make some magical macaroons that are rumoured to cure swine flu for the mayor of a town with a horrible flu epidemic. Rosemary, along with her brothers Ty and Sage and her sister Leigh, are left in the care of Mrs Carlson, an old annoying Scottish lady, and Chip, Rosemary’s parents’ cooking assistant. But then, a mysterious lady supposedly called Aunt Lily turns up out of the blue and Rosemary, Ty and Sage decide to try out some of their parents’ magic recipes. What could possibly go wrong?

I really loved this book, it had the perfect mixture of mystery and humour. The only fault I could find was that the story went a bit off-course at some points in the book. Still, it was an amazing book and I would recommend it to anyone.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1* Maryrose Wood

An amazing book, it had me gripped from the first page. It follows the tale of three children found in the woods  by the lord of Ashton Place, Mr Frederick Ashton, and their governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, as she tries to eliminate their canine tendencies. They include howling, chasing squirrels and fetching things in their mouths. nevertheless, Miss Lumley is not deterred in her mission to ready the children for human life. But mysteries lurk around Ashton Place. Why is Old Timothy always hiding around corners? And what is the mysterious howling coming from behind the attic wall?

A couple of negative things are the old-fashioned words used in the book and the way the writer veers off the subject at some points in the book. But I would recommend this book to anyone because it is funny and mysterious at the same time

*I couldn’t fit the whole title in so I just wrote #1. The whole title is ‘The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling.’