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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl.

October 15, 2019 Comments off

badobedayMadame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

If I was an old woman I would like to be like Madame Badobedah. Mysterious, well kept, says “darlink” and keeps to herself.

She arrives at the Mermaid Hotel with two dogs, two cats, a tortoise and 23 bags and moves into room 32. Mabel is a resident of Mermaid Hotel and she keeps an eye on things and she decides Madame Badobedah is suspicious.

Mabel is a young girl with imagination and she treats every room in the Mermaid Hotel as a brother or a sister.  She imagines fantastical exploits with Madame and they become good friends. Read it and see what happens.

Great illustrations portray Madame , the Mermaid Hotel and an English seaside resort . Sophie Dahl’s text  tells a whimsical story with intrigue and mystery.

For primary and intermediate readers but adults will love this as well.

American Royals by Katharine McGee.

September 16, 2019 Comments off

royalsAmerican Royals by Katharine McGee. Pub.Penguin Random House, 2019.

I have always liked Romance as a genre and if you are going to read romance then read the best. This is the best. At times the romantic scenarios and the dialogue between the characters is electrifying. It is positively sizzling.

America has a Royal family descended the same way that British Royalty has but from George Washington. If Brexit doesn’t work out for Britain I would recommend that they sell their Royal family to the Americans. They need it.

Now George 1V is on the throne and for the first time the heir is female, Princess Beatrice who is 18 years. She has a sister and brother two years younger and they are twins, Samantha and Jeff.

Jeff is a bit of a playboy, Samantha feels she is not important compared to big sister Beatrice but she has a commoner friend, Nina. Beatrice is perfect and knows she has a role to play as heiress to the throne but she has feelings. She is escorted everywhere by her bodyguard Connor who is a square jawed hunk of manhood.

Onto the scene comes Teddy, a well connected aristocrat as smooth as a baby’s bottom but a cad underneath. Put all these characters together and you have romantic intrigue hotter than a pepper sprout. Then there is Daphne -find out for yourself.

The plot also has many links with the reality of Royalty in UK and elsewhere. There is an Aunt Margaret whose relationship to a fighter pilot was stopped from on high and Charles “liege man” speech to his mother, is reiterated by Teddy.

Brilliantly told in short chapters from each of the female characters in sequence and as bestselling author Sara Shepard wrote “Completely addictive”.

I loved it, you will too. For high school and young adults but intermediate girls will fight you for it. Boys should read it too, it is superb. Better still American Royals 2 is out next year. I can’t wait. Excellent cover design.

Ravi’s Roar by Tom Percival

August 22, 2019 Comments off

ravis roarRavi’s Roar by Tom Percival. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Ravi is not happy being the youngest and smallest in his family even his dog biscuit is bigger than him.  He is always last in a race for anything, he is not allowed on the big slide and he can never find anyone during hide and seek.

When he is last to the ice cream cart and there is none left, Ravi sees red and turns into a tiger that scares everyone off. this loses him all his friends and he has to make a big decision. Read it and find out what it is.

Easy to read script and illustrations that enhance the plot and highlight personality differences. Tom Percival is good at this sort of thing and two others of his picture books are on this blog. Check them out.

Cross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman

August 15, 2019 Comments off

cross fireCross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman. Pub. Penguin/Random House, 2019.                    RELEASED 20 AUGUST

If there is a better novel this year for High School students and Young Adults then I would love to read it. The 4th novel in the Noughts & Crosses series from the legendary Malorie Blackman is superb and the good news is, it is not over yet, there will be another.

Albion is a country divided by severe racial problems. The dark skinned Crosses are the elite and home people, the Noughts are a fair skinned people from the north and throughout this series have slowly progressed to a state of near equality but only on the surface. Both sides have fanatics.

The first novel in the series featured Sephy a Cross and Callum a Nought who was the son of a servant in Sephy’s home. They got on very well and caused havoc in their racially torn world.

Now  a Nought,  Tobias Durbridge, has climbed the ranks with the help of a rich gangster Dan Jeavons, and become Prime Minister. Cross fanatics cannot stomach it and plot to bring him down.

Caught in the cross fire are teenagers Troy who is a Cross and the son of Sephy, and Libby, a Nought who is the daughter of Tobias. Central to the fortunes of all is Callie a cross breed and a lawyer of some repute but considered a Cross.

With the election of Tobias as PM fanatics from both sides get busy. Tobias is falsely charged with murder and Libby and Troy are kidnapped to pressure both sides.

The action and intrigue is thrilling. Malorie Blackman brings you up to date with the family histories so you needn’t worry about having to have read the earlier novels although you would be mad not to.

Outstanding writing from a writer at the top of her game. A modern story with fake news, cell phones and forbidden love. excellent cover.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

June 25, 2019 Comments off

sistersSisters by Raina Telgemeier. Pub. Scholastic, NY,  2014.

This graphic novel for Intermediate and High school students is as the title suggests about the relationship between two sisters, Raina who is the eldest and Amara who is a feisty anatagonist.

Raina always wanted a sister and she pestered her parents to get one. There is an old saying that goes “don’t wish too hard for something or you might get it”.

Raina is delighted when Amara is born but her delight is short lived. Amara is not a shrinking violet and the two clash over everything until Raina is a teenager and Amara is knocking on the door. They have different tastes, behaviours, sense of humour and aspirations.

Then an incident happens that you will have to find out for yourself and it is always there between them. Then father loses his job and things become strained in the family. He finally gets a job and the family set off in the car to a family reunion in Colorado and everything changes.

Good family relationship stuff which the graphic illustrations highlight beautifully.

Visual readers and reluctant girl readers will find this easy to read. I read it in half an hour but you can take your time, if you want.

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer.

February 25, 2019 Comments off

dogfishTo Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer. Pub. Hardie Grant Egmont 2019, Imprint HarperCollins.

This is definitely a book for the girls but boys would benefit from reading it but I doubt many will.

It’s about two pre-pubescent girls whose fathers are gay and starting off a relationship that the men hope will lead to marriage. Bett is a California girl, into surfing and the outdoor and her pet name is Dogfish. Avery is from New York full of neuroses and into indoor cerebral activities and she calls herself Night Owl.

Their fathers Marlow and Sam book both girls into a summer camp for 8 weeks while they travel through China on motorbikes to discover each other. They want their daughters to bond at camp so that they can become a family.

The book is told entirely in emails between the two girls and other characters who come into. the story. At first the girls are loath to follow their fathers’ wishes and plan to ignore each other at camp but soon discover they have lots in common and like each other.

Unfortunately their fathers’ trip to China does not go well, they fight, leaving the girls, having bonded to ponder and wonder what to do next. Will things work out? Read it and see. Superb ending.

I was mighty impressed with this book. It is very witty, beautifully structured and the action never dulls. I liked the two girls but the men were not my type. I said it is not for boys and I should elaborate – lots of period talk!!

For intermediate and high school students but YA will get a laugh and gays will hoot and holler.

The Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins.

October 2, 2018 Comments off

world on fireThe Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins. Pub. Franchise Publishing Vancouver, 2017.

After reading literally hundreds of fantasy novels it is refreshing to read a really good one. For fantasy to be successful with me it must have  a number of things -firstly mythical dragon like creature or a unicorn. This novel has both. A half lion half dragon beast called a langara which is the guardian of the Forest of Morais and two unicorns one white one black.

Secondly it must have magic. There must be magicians who can do wonderous things, and thirdly there has to be bad things and bad people that need to be overcome to return a troubled land or society to peace and harmony.

This novel has them all, and there is the sage mirror. Find out what it is.

Kase wants to be a warrior and him and his elder sister Cali, who is a scholar, go to a school called the Academy. The Academy caters for warriors, scholars and wizards but never the twain shall meet until now.

Every year the Academy has the Quest for older students before they leave school and teams of all scholars, all warriors, all wizards are the norm. This year is different. Kase Cali, Lena and Talen are not in their final year, not all from one class and they form a team called Liberati to contest the Q. Their first task is to bring hot lava back in it’s natural condition without it solidifying. Tough stuff.

How will they do against older teams? What about school bad boy Niveous? What about the unicorns and the langara? I am not going to tell you any more, you will have to read it yourself. And it is very good.

Great introduction to fantasy for kids from 8-15 years. Good values too. Friendship, families, teamwork, leadership and selflessness are themes. Lots of science and problem solving.

The second book in the series Money Jane is already out.

Little Kiwi and the Treaty by Nikki Slade Robinson

August 22, 2018 Comments off

kiwi treatyLittle Kiwi and the Treaty by Nikki Slade Robinson, pub. Duck Creek press, 2018.

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book for juniors and older readers because it has some depth.

It is a story told to Little Kiwi by his Koro or grandfather about two groups of kiwis that go searching for better kai and a better place to build their nests. The two groups clash then realise that fighting is not the answer. What do you think is the answer?

The book is also about identity and family history and really is an allegory of race relations with a message of..”as long as we work together we can move forwards”

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart.

September 3, 2017 Comments off

genuine fraudGenuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. Pub. Allen&Unwin, 2017.

This thriller/suspense novel for young adults is one of the best I have read. It is seriously good. It is about two girls who like each other but each has a different agenda that is going to cause conflict.

Imogen is a lucky girl. She was an orphan who was adopted by a rich couple who have been good parents to her, but she wants more. She feels that “being orphaned is a precondition for the making of a hero”. She is manipulative, a cheat and has superficial relationships that are damaging to those connected with her. She lives a life that mere mortals can only dream about.

Jule is from the other side of the tracks but born with a determination to better herself by what ever means is open to her. She is Machiavellian in her approach to life and people are going to get hurt on the way. She is fit, clever, violent a chameleon and has more accents than Mick Jagger. In Imogen she sees a pathway to a better life.

The two girls like each other but it is genuine fraud. The action is lively and takes the reader to London, New York, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Los Angeles and it shows you a life that is beyond most of us. Yet it is brutal.

The narrative technique is unique and makes for tension in the novel. It starts at chapter 18 near the end of the story then works backwards so that the action happens then you go backwards to see how and why. The ending is superb.

If you miss this one you will kick yourself

Loves Me Not. How to keep Relationships Safe by Lesley Elliott.

December 11, 2014 Comments off

loves me notLoves Me Not. How to keep Relationships Safe by Lesley Elliott. Pub. Random House, 2014.

This is not a fictional work but it contains very necessary advice about relationships that no-one ever tells you about. It is for teenagers and it approaches this topic by asking teenagers to ask the question “how do you expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to treat you and how do you treat him or her”?

It deals with Power and Control in relationships, Communication, threats and entitlements, Psychological, Physical and Sexual Abuse and how you should act as a friend if anyone you know is having problems with a partner over one of these topics.

Lesley Elliott gives her observations and advice based on the toxic and tragic relationship between her daughter Sophie and the manipulative and abusive Clayton Weatherston.

Meaningful chapters by School Counsellor Gayna McConnell about Navigating love and by Psychologist Nigel Latta about boys and relationships add valuable experience and advice.

Some of the best advice is given about safety on the Internet especially about how people are different on the net than they are in person and how information put on the net is there forever.

It is the sort of book that I would want my teenagers to read if I had the chance over again. Nigel Latta makes a very important point that “relationships do not get easier as you get older. They change in interesting and unexpected ways.

This book is about recognizing the danger signs. Short and very readible. None of your big academic words. Simple and such good advice.