The Younger Sun is ashamed to say that even though we had it on good authority that Michelle Cooper's A Brief History of Montmaray was an excellent novel...we only just read it.
And it is even better than we had thought.
Sophie lives on the island of Montmaray, a tiny sovereign nation not too far from the coast of Spain with her eccentric family - frighteningly intelligent cousin Veronica, uncle King John who has become increasingly loopy, cheeky tomboy sister Henry and a smattering of villagers. Her brother Tom is in England, being educated, and their Aunt Charlotte has summoned Sophie and Veronica to be debuted. But it is 1936 and the world is a-rumbling with changes: Spain is having a civil war and in Germany a man called Hitler is threatening to invade Poland and Czechoslovakia and both of these things will impact on Montmaray.
This book is told through Sophie's journal entries, in her engaging, amusing, intelligent voice and with wonderful observation, humour and humanity. It's full of literary, historical and political references, and just a little bit of talk about frocks and froufrou. You must, must read it.
The new Graeme Base is simply amazing. You have probably heard about it.
THE JEWEL FISH OF KARNAK
Two thieves are charged by by the Cat Pharoah with the task of recovering the stolen Jewel Fish from the wiley Crocodile. But these thieves are not very smart, and also a little bit greedy. This book has spectacular illustrations and it's wonderful story is one you'll hate to miss out on.
And, of course, there is a very Baseian puzzle at the end.
Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?
Monday 31 October
The Sending: The Obernewtyn Chronicles Book 6
It came to me then, like a chilly draught from an unseen gap, that I had always known in my deepest heart that it would be like this, a slipping away from a life full of people I had come to love, in a place I had helped to shape, in a land I had helped to free.
The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated.
Elspeth's search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever.
And it will test her, as she has never been tested before . . .
If you want a spooky and really beautiful story then this one is for you.
After their Nan (who has started to slip into senility) burns down their family home, brothers Dom and Pat have to move to a seaside house - and it isn't long before the nightmares start, the ghostly apparition of a soldier appears to them and they save an old man from committing suicide.
But when a strange, frightening goblin-boy appears one night it appears trouble from the past has come to get them. Dom, in particular, is in grave danger.
Set in Ireland in 1974, Taken Away is a fast-paced, frightening, fascinating story for readers 10+
The Truth About Verity Sparks, Susan Priestley (Walker Books)
I finished it! It was so good.
Reasons why: the book really was accurate about life in London at a difficult stage. The book is set in London in the 1800s. It described almost exactly what sort of dangers lurked for young women at that time. Verity goes though a number of difficult obstacles like losing what looked like a very stable job.
If (though I should say when because, wow, awesome book) you read this and feel as if evil people are going to jump out and abduct Verity or other evil deeds, you are not alone because I felt the exact same thing. The story line just gave that sort of vibe.
And because, like a few people, I love to read about that sort of stuff, I seriously found it almost impossible to stop reading! But I had to and I fairly blame that on my mum. I don't see the reason why I can't stay up until 10 or something :)! Maybe some of you are lucky enough and can stay up and read for much longer than me!
Life: An Exploded Diagram, Mal Peet (Walker Books)
A historical love story - John van de Ruit's Spud meets the most concise and enjoyable history book you've ever read - this is a book not to be missed.
Clem is a council flat boy. Frankie is the wild(ish) daughter of a wealthy local landowner. They shouldn't be together but can't keep apart. But meanwhile the shadow of nuclear warfare and the Cold War looms and threatens. Indeed, we spend chapters with JFK as he botches the Bay of Pigs and tries to decide what the heck to do about Russian nukes in Cuba.
It might take you time to get into it, you may at times think come on come on, get back to Clem and Frankie, but by the explosive end you'll be left reeling and want to start again immediately. The aftershocks will continue for days.
Clarice Bean never used to be much of a reader, but then her granny gave her a book about a girl named Ruby Redfort and Clarice's mum says that is when she turned into a bookworm.
According to Clarice Bean in Utterly Me, Clarice Bean (Lauren Child, Orchard Books) Ruby Redfort is an amazing girl a bit like a detective who sometimes drives to school in a helicopter.
So here is a brand new book entirely about Ruby Redfort!
It is called Look Into My Eyes(Lauren Child, Harper Collins) and it is ace.
First Ruby's beloved house keeper Mrs Digby goes uncharacteristically AWOL. Then the house is robbed so completely that nothing is left save the telephones and the hardwood floors (even the dust is gone). And Ruby has been receiving irritating phone calls that may in fact be clues...
With her best friend Clancy Crew and the slightly annoying but seriously suave new butler Hitch by her side, newly recruited Ruby has to prove to Spectrum, super secret agency, that they have in fact hired the right girl for the job.
Ruby is a banana milk drinking, code and wise cracking school girl turned secret agent that fans of Clarice Bean, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden or pretty much any kind of mystery story with cool gadgetry and plenty of adventure will love.
Complete with creepy villains, a toaster that imprints messages from HQ onto toast to be read before devouring and some seriously big sunglasses, this is not to be missed.
It is the time for sequels, it would seem. This month we've got the newest installments of your favourite series:
Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta (Penguin)
Sequel to last year's wonderful Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles is the second book in the Lumatere Chronicles.
Set three years after the first, it is the story of Froi who - now trained and more mature than he was the last time we saw him - is on a mission to the kingdom of Charyn.
Ranger's Apprentice, John Flanagan (Random House)
Still not completely satisfied that you know it all? Never fear! In the Lost Stories the author John Flanagan ties up a whole bunch of loose ends, stories that come before and after this popular series.
Has Halt told Will the truth about how Will became an orphan? Did Gilan track down Morgarath's lieutenant after the battle of Three Step Pass? Is there to be a royal wedding - or will tragedy strike first?
For the many, many, many fans of the Ranger's Apprentice. This one is pretty special.
Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan (Puffin)
Percy Jackson is awake!
There's a new quest, much adventure and the threat of the whole world being destroyed. Here's hoping that even though Percy has no idea who he is that he can save the day.
The Mask of Destiny, Richard Newsome (Text Publishing)
The third book in the awesome Billionaire Trilogy is finally here and it is as exciting and action packed as the first two. Within the first couple of chapters Gerald is accused of murder and has to flee England before he is killed or goes to jail.
With his trusty sidekicks Sam and Ruby, and his faithful (but sometimes begrudging) manservant Mr Fry, Gerald is off on another adventure to finally get some answers about the golden rods, the maps, the jewels and his family history.
A Bob Graham book a day will take all your blues away. A Bus Called Heaven is a funny and sweet story about a broken down old bus, a little girl with a vision and how just a little bit of work can bring a community together. Like his lovely book Spirit of Hope, this book is 100% heartwarming.
The bus brought change to Stella's street.
Traffic slowed where no traffic had slowed before.
people stopped and talked together - just a little, but they talked.
Complete with Bob Graham's iconic illustrations - cool parents, friendly grandparents, rollicking kids, frolicking dogs and droopy jeans with a hint of plumbers bum. This one is our new favourite. Cannot be more highly recommended.
You could be a Cowboy or an Explorer or someone who drives a Big Red Car. Or even a Super-Ballerina-Soccer-Mermaid-Fairy Princess. (Like me.)
Or actually ANYTHING you want!
Except you shouldn't be a Robber. It's not allowed.
From the awesome team that brought you How to be a Baby, by me the Big Sister and How to get Married, by me the Bride is this hilarious, playful picture book for small job-hunters three and up. The colourful pictures and crazy schemes will delight and amuse you all and have you chuckling all the way to your "Job Interview".
I just literally finished my
Pleasant: Death Bringer. It's the sixth book in the Skulduggery
The next one,Skulduggery
Pleasant: The End of the World, comes out March next year. It will be
an awfully long wait for the book, but a great late birthday present in
the end. I will spend the rest of my wait, dying. And going on the website.
Skulduggery was so
great because there was non-stop action and she (Valkyrie) was getting older
and going through struggles in her relationship with Fletcher. Also, what happens with the creepy
stalker vampire Caelan.