Book Reviews

Every kid should read Roald Dahl books #kidslit #amreading

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I really like Roald Dahl books. When I was younger I read lots of them, I enjoyed them and they helped me learn to read. Every kid my age should read his books.

Everyone’s first experience of Roald Dahl is different. Mine was probably the story of ‘The Big Friendly Giant’ (or… The BFG for short). My Dad thinks its one of the best children’s books around and he insisted reading it to me. It is a bizarre story but very funny. I remember the ‘whizz poppers’ making me laugh a lot. I think I was about five or six years old when I was first read it. My mum tells me that she used to read Revolting Rhymes to me as well. I really enjoyed that.

My most favourite Roald Dahl story though is probably not what you think – its The Twits. That’s because it is short and packed full of gross stuff (which is good for kids!), about Mr and Mrs Twit. I remember them being terrible, awful characters but they were described in an amusing way. I loved it.

Fantastic Mr Fox is one of my other favourite Roald Dahl books. I was bought a copy a few years ago and I read it quite a few times. Mr Fox is a brilliant character – he is always really positive no matter what terrible situations he is in. He has his family’s best interests at heart but I don’t know how they put up with him. If you have read Fanfastic Mr Fox – then you should watch the movie, which is one of my favourite adaptations, it’s really cool!

There are so many good Roald Dahl books out there, I just can’t list them all.

Roald Dahl

If you want to know my full Top 5 Roald Dahl books, see this video I made a while ago:

I don’t think that Roald Dahl is as popular with kids as he used to be though, when I started school. He doesn’t get talked about and that is a shame! However I think that there are lots of other good authors inspired by him! I also really like David Walliams books – they remind me of Roald Dahl a little bit. If you think Roald Dahl is too old fashioned then you should read Gangsta Granny or Mr Stink, they are more popular for kids like me these days.

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book?

My 2014 young adult / teen book awards!

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Hi everyone,

The book awards are new to my blog, but I thought they would be useful to kids my age. If you are my age, like young teen and are looking for some exciting books to read, here are some good suggestions. You probably all know that I love reading – I have been very busy reading in 2014.

Here are my top four books of the year 2014!

At number 4 – A year without Autumn by Liz Kessler!
On her way to visit her best friend Autumn, the character called Jenni suddenly finds she’s exactly one year forward in time. I was recommended this book by someone on my blog, it was a great book. The writing is really good and it is quite funny!
WithoutAutumn

At number 3 – The Maze Runner by James Dashner!
I loved the Maze Runner. It is about a boy called Thomas who is transported to a terrible maze, and he is trapped with a group of other children. It was nail biting and I couldn’t put it down!
MazeRun

At number 2 – Awful Auntie by David Walliams!
I don’t think that David Walliams can ever beat Gangsta Granny, but I read this book in 24 hours and I couldn’t put it down. It is about a 12 year old girl called Stella and her grim auntie Alberta!
AwfulAuntie

At number 1 – The Book Thief – by Markus Zusak
Gosh I loved the book thief. I loved that it is so different to all the other books I have read. I am doing about WW2 at school and it is nice to see a different side of the ww2. It is narrated by Death and I liked the whole book from start to finish – this book is easily a 10/10
Book Thief

Well that’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed my post!

Have you read any of these?

Just finished reading Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone!

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Recently I have read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling and I thought I would write a blog post about it.

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My friends couldn’t believe that I had never read Harry Potter books before. I have tried but never really got into them. The film had put me off. However my friend lent me their copy of The Philosophers Stone a few weeks ago. It’s an enjoyable book, when I actually gave it time, I couldn’t put it down.

Basically, Harry Potter’s parents were killed when Harry was little and he went to live with his Aunt and Uncle – which he hated thoroughly! Harry started receiving hundreds of letters which his evil uncle just burnt. However they didn’t know that the letter was to tell Harry that he had been accepted into Hogwarts. As days went on the Uncle took Harry away and then Hagrid (school assistant) gave them all the good news – well good news to Harry anyway.

I really like this book because most of the time there’s always something big or small happening, the writing is brilliant which keeps you interested. I struggled to keep interest towards the end when the action got less and less but I kept on going and glad it didn’t put me off the book.

I would recommend this book for 7 – 12 year olds (boys or girls!) I give it five out of five stars!

My next book in the series is the “Chamber of Secrets”.

Has anyone read this book? Do you love Harry Potter?

Author interview – Jacqueline Smith, author of “Cemetery Tours”

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A few months ago a very kind lady called Jacqueline Smith from America found me on WordPress. She helped me lots, to review my books and we became friends! She is also an author (but not of the same type of books as me). I was really interested in her books and how she writes and I came up with a list of questions which turned into an interview.

Well, here it is. It’s a very interesting read for everyone. =)

Check out her books and BLOG, the links are below!

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First of all I can ask who are your writing inspirations?
One of my earliest writing inspirations was JK Rowling.  Shortly after the fifth Harry Potter book came out, I realized that I needed more Harry in my life, so I started making up my own stories (Yes, I wrote fanfiction…).  Other inspirations include John Green and Meg Cabot. 

At what point did you stop and think about really writing a book?
Spring break of my third year in college.  I had a terrible upper respiratory infection and spent the entire week coughing and reading books on the couch.  I’m not sure if it was the fever or the decongestants, but halfway through True Believer by Nicholas Sparks, I thought to myself, “Hey.  I could do this.”  And from that point on, I decided I was going to write books! 

My books are a bit different to the types of books you do, for younger readers but I have to ask if it is different… I wondered how long does it take for you to write a book? 
It really depends.  Cemetery Tours and its sequel, both around 75,000 words, took about 5 months each to write.  I have another manuscript for a short non-fiction book, however, that I finished in about a week.  Then again, I’m still working on the first manuscript I ever started, back in 2010.  For some reason, I just haven’t found the right formula for that one.  But I think I’m getting closer!    

What are your favourite and most difficult parts of writing your own book?
I love character development and I really love dialogue!  I like to think I’m a witty person, so writing smart, snarky characters with attitude is a lot of fun for me.  The most difficult parts are action scenes.  They’re fun, but they are tricky!  I’m also really bad at coming up with good names! 

What was the biggest thing you learned from your experience of writing your own book?
I learned to stop and breathe.  There is a lot to process when writing and publishing a book, and it is a lot of hard work, but in the end, it is worth it.  It’s very scary and can be intimidating, and I really admire everyone who believes in their work and loves it enough to go through this process, because it is a big job. I’ve also learned pretty much everything there is to know about the publishing process, which is really cool!      

I spend quite a lot of time thinking about my characters and their names and personalities. Can you see any of your family and friends in any of your book characters?
Yes, absolutely.  I especially see my mother in Michael’s mom.  She sees the goodness and beauty in everyone and everything, and in turn, everyone knows and loves her.  I think it was one of the rarest and yet most profound and wonderful gifts.   

Who designed your book covers? 
My good friend and professional photographer/graphic designer, Benjamin Durham. 

I’ve seen some of your paintings on your blog, they are pretty awesome – Have you ever thought about designing your own book covers?
Thank you!  As much as I love to paint, I am a terrible graphic artist! I actually tried to design quite a few ideas for the cover, but Ben took one look at them and said, “Why don’t we start from scratch?” 

What advice would you give to authors starting out writing their own books?
Don’t let anyone discourage you.  Believe in yourself and in your ideas, because they are worth the world. Don’t stress over the details, especially in the first draft.  You’ll have plenty of time to rework them during the editing process.  Most importantly, if you get stuck, keep writing! I’ve met so many writers who succumb to writer’s block because they think that because they get it, they’re not meant to write.  NOT TRUE!  All writers hit bumps along the road.  No one can just sit down and write out an entire book in one sitting.  The only way to get through it is to keep writing!  

You mentioned you are working on a new book, how is that going?
Excellent!  This is a whole new book, not related to Cemetery Tours (though I’m sure I will go back to it one day).  I’m really excited to be working on something new.    

When will we be able to buy it?
The sequel to Cemetery Tours will be out sometime this summer!  As for the new one, I’ve only just started, so it will at least be another six to eight months. I’m really excited about the sequel and I can’t wait until I can talk more about it! 

Link to Jacqueline Smith’s book Cemetery Tours: 
http://amzn.to/1guWp6v 

Link to Jacqueline Smith’s BLOG:
http://www.jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/ 

Guest post – Working With Dad by Author Heather Ellis

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Hi everyone three posts in one week!

I just wanted to say to everyone, to check out my guest blog post on http://kid-lit-reviews.com !

They have been really encouraging for me and my books – the link is below =)

Today Kid Lit Reviews is extremely happy to showcase a new author. Heather Ellis released her debut children’s, The Sugary-Sherburts, in 2013. Her second book, The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch, released this past January 7, 2014. Both books will be reviewed here this Saturday, March 22, 2014.

There is one amazing catch . . . Heather is a ten-years-old. She will tell us what it was like to work with an illustrator, whom she calls Dad.

What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?

What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books?

Guest post – Working With Dad by Author Heather Ellis.

Enjoy everyone!

My #bookreview of Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison

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Book Review Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison.

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Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks (6 Feb 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0007218699 | ISBN-13: 978-0007218691

£4.99 & FREE Delivery on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1gbG461

I have just finished reading Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison.

This is third book of the Georgia Nicolson series.

It’s a book written for teens and young adults – although my teacher has read this book and he has grey hair!

Be warned – the book has some rude words in it so don’t recommend this for anyone too young!

The book is about the main character called Georgia Nicolson and her friends.

It is written in the first person and although I haven’t read the first two books, the feel of the book is about growing up in teenage years, her friends and her family. You don’t have to read the first books first because I read it just as easily as I would have done as a standalone book.

Georgia is still madly in love with Robbie The Sex God. Georgia says that she has the most embarrassing parents ever, but don’t we all think that?

The book was a fun read, it made me laugh very much in parts.

Some parts of the books seemed quite slow though, and I struggled to keep reading – however I was glad I finished it and persevered.

My favourite bit was The Snog Fest because it was one of the funniest parts and I read The Snog Fest part/chapter he fastest it was a laugh out loud moment.

I give the book 7 / 10.

I am going to read the first book after this review.

They have very catch titles… Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging.

Have you read any of the Louise Rennison books?

 

International Book Giving Day Today

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Have you ever heard of International Book Giving Day?

International Book Giving Day’s effort is encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th (Today!)

They invite individuals to: 

1) give a book to a friend or family member.
2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read.
3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes used books to children in need internationally.

I heard about International Book Giving Day via Emma at http://www.mybookcorner.com.au (who is one of the volunteers helping to organise it).

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So this is my children’s book that I wrote last year called The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch.

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As part of International Book Giving Day I donated a copy book to some children’s hospitals in England.

I have posted copies to the following children’s hospitals in England:

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Hospital.
Leeds Hospital Children’s Ward.
The Evelina Children’s Hospital Wards.

Here are the books in their envelopes about to go to the post office for posting.

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I really hope that my books make the time go a bit easier, and a lot quicker for the poorly children on the wards of these hospitals.

Are you taking part in International Book Giving Day today?