Bird watching - blog post image

Bird watching

Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Morbi leo risus, porta ac consectetur ac, vestibulum at eros. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Morbi leo risus, porta ac consectetur ac, vestibulum at eros. Maecenas faucibus mollis interdum. 

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys - blog post image

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys

When local schools are asked to make a film showcasing the surrounding area, Dani and the rest of St Grizzle’s set to work. But Spencer and his mates at the village school are determined to sabotage the work of the smelly Grizzlers.

To Dani’s surprise, help comes in the form of Granny Viv who has secretly taken up residence in the school’s tree house with Downboy the dog. Together they come up with the perfect ghostly video ... but will Granny Viv be able to stay once the competition’s over?

My Thoughts

Congratulations to Karen McCombie - St Grizzles School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies is a wonderful, crazy world of PJ assemblies, unicorn onesies and potato cows. A fun read that frequently had me laughing out loud and recounting so many sections to my kids I had to stop and promise they could get it from the library to read themselves.

Boys and girls alike will be carried along by the lively story and the funny illustrations. Highly recommended


 

The Lie Tree - blog post image

The Lie Tree

When Faith's father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, and the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. But as Faith's untruths spread like wildfire across her small island community, she discovers that sometimes a single lie is more potent than any truth.

The Story

I was drawn in by the title and it didn't disappoint. I bought the audio book, which is beautifully read by Amelia Fox and between them she and Frances Hardinge sucked me into this seething, magical story set in a time when doctors believed intellect could be assessed by the circumference of the head and that women's heads are always smaller than men's.

The cover is a great start but then I'm a bit obsessed with trees. I was so intrigued to find out about The Lie Tree itself I zoomed through the first few chapters desperate to find out about this eponymous character (the one giving its name to the book). And character it is. We know that animals, plants and trees can be anthromorphized in books (written about as though they are human) but though The Lie Tree does not pretend to be human its presence oozes and seethes and writhes through every brilliantly written sentence.

The Lie Tree is sometimes a dark, visceral story and it is gripping from start to finish. Hard to write more without giving the game away except to say that Faith, the main character, is a feisty, intelligent, determined and stubborn girl it is impossible not to like and you will find yourself gunning for her from the very first page.

A fascinating story with a great ending. I do not know what age the book is officially targeted at but I would suggest 10 - 14 year olds would love it. I am five times that age and couldn't put it down so maybe adults too!


 

The Secret of Nightingale Wood - blog post image

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet – all still scarred by the death of her brother. Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends – characters from her favourite books.  

 

Very excited to learn that our publisher ...

has just received a big order from the US for Riverside Lane,  the adult cozy-mystery I co-wrote under the pen name Ginger Black.  The novel is set in and around Windsor so we're wondering if this might be The Royal Wedding effect!