It’s been rather quiet around Mr Davies Reads for a few weeks now hasn’t it. You may get the impression that I haven’t been reading enough to post. Well fear not, that is certainly not the case. In fact, over the summer I have read more books than I can even mention on the site. Here’s a quick run down of some of my favourite books that I’ve read recently.
Murder At Twilight – Fleur Hitchcock
When Viv has a fight with Noah, she doesn’t think it’ll be the last time she sees him. But when she gets back from school, he’s nowhere to be found and there are police cars everywhere, lights flashing and sirens blaring. Viv is sure Noah’s run away to get attention. But it’s really cold, and getting dark, and the rain just won’t stop falling. So she sets off to look for him, furious at his selfishness, as the floodwaters rise. And then she finds him, and realises that a much more dangerous story is unfolding around them…
I love thrillers, you only have to look at my bookshelves to see that. But for some reason, children’s thrillers can be hard to come by. Thankfully Fleur Hitchcock has changed that. Her latest book is a perfect introduction to thrillers for children. There’s the slow, mysterious beginning where tension mounts and you find yourself second guessing what will happen. Then from nowhere, the action kicks in. From then on in, it’s an edge of your seat ride to the climax. OK, so some parts are a little far fetched but as one reader said to me – “Who cares, it’s just makes for a great story.”
***Thanks to Nosy Crow for providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.***
Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury – Jennifer Killick
Catching the school’s runaway guinea pigs is not really giving Alex job satisfaction, but how can he find a bigger test for his and Jess’s awkward superpowers? Jess is more worried about the bullied new boy, whose Mum runs the local animal sanctuary. To befriend him she gets a voluntary job there, but she soon realises that something is very wrong; the animals are terrified. People start reporting strange events: things missing, property destroyed, and the local squirrels have turned mean. The police have no suspects. It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex…
The sequel to the hilarious Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink does not disappoint. It’s still full of the sort of humour that gets every child laughing. It’s in your face childish humour at its best. Yet there’s also a more subtle humour – I loved the goldfish negotiating with each other over sharing a bowl! Here is a slightly bizarre, but breathtakingly good adventure that is bound to have children reading. Believe me – our children at school can’t get enough of Alex Sparrow.
The Wild Robot Returns – Peter Brown
A new life is beginning for Roz – she has been taken away, far away from her island, back to civilisation. Where she must pretend that she is a robot like any other – there to follow orders and to carry out tasks on the farm where she now works. She knows she must never let anyone find out who she really is. And more than anything, she must find a way to escape, back to the island and her beloved Brightbill – a journey that will be fraught with danger and drama, and some very unexpected surprises.
I absolutely loved The Wild Robot so couldn’t believe my luck when I found a copy of the sequel at my local library. The first book was an incredible read, which shows Roz, a robot, developing human emotions. This instalment takes a slightly different turn as there is more of an adventure as well. Thankfully, Peter Brown does not neglect the strong characterisation which made the first book stand out. As good as the first? Probably not, but it’s still a great book.