Josie wants more, more of everything, learning, adventure but she’s got a little brother about to be born and all she’s hearing at home is conversations abut prams and baby names. Apparently names have meanings, Jodie discovers and then does some more digging about famous Josephine’s. Suddenly there on the screen is another Josephine – Josephine Amanda Groves Holloway who founded the first Black Girl Scouts troop in Tennessee in the 1920’s. Here was someone worth learning about. Josie shares the ideas with Wesley & Margot, friends who live in the same little close as her, are in her class at school, and The Copsey’s are born. Copsey Close is in Luton, and the Close backs on to a wilderness, otherwise known as the Outback, and a large derelict factory, Chicane Cars, where Wesley’s grandfather used to work.
So begins a series of adventures, small ones at first but then after seeing lights on in the empty factory building Josie wants to explore a bit more and everything becomes a lot more serious.
The characters are well defined, you could almost smell the inside of Wesley’s house and the cacophony of noise, compared to Margot’s house where it’s just her and her dad. Josie is brilliant, sassy, confident, most of the time, and is big enough to apologise when she has to. I hope there are more adventures for The Copsey’s.
I loved this story, I hadn’t read the reviews so wasn’t expecting the narrative to go in the direction it did, but I did need tissues at the end. It’s going to be one of those books that should be in every school library.
Ramya Knox is coping with grief, moving to Scotland from London and starting a new school and by the way she’s dyspraxic. But it’s the last thing on that list that gives her the most problems – a label, because she has problems holding a pen and her handwriting isn’t the neatest in the class. But what about her character, who she is, despite the dyspraxia?
But after receiving a gift from her late grandfather, she starts an adventure that uncovers the hidden depths of Edinburgh, discovering about mythical creatures who have also been given a label and might not be what they seem. Along with her cousin Marley who can’t see the things Ramya can, they set out to find the truth about the Hidden Folk, with one warning “Beware the Sirens”.
Families are all different. Ramya’s Mum and her two sisters don’t really get on and what begins as Ramya’s slightly awkward disjointed extended family, finally come together to help Ramya.
Labels are good for somethings, like the price on a can of baked beans, but then there are 57 varieties as Heinz once told us and just because we can’t do one thing doesn’t mean we can’t be brilliant at something else. I can’t ride a bicycle.
This book is the first one in a series and I loved it. I have read her other two books and was looking forward to this and finally got round to reading it. The best so far. Congratulations to Elle McNicoll, Kay Wilson for a terrific book cover, and all at KnightsOf publishing, Children’s Book Publisher of the Year for 2022 at the British Book Awards.
Unicorns, elements and the triumph of good over evil.
There is a lot of hype around this so I thought I would get a copy to see if it lives up to all the promotions. Yes it does. If you thought unicorns were gentle creatures think again.
The Island is where unicorns are hatched by a chosen 13-year-old and a bond is made forever. Skandar fails his entrance exam and is very upset until someone from the Island comes at midnight on the summer solstice. He is going to the island but not in the conventional way. When he arrives, he discovers that there 4 groups based around the elements, Air, Earth, Fire & Water. But when his unicorn, Scoundrel’s Luck hatches he discovers he has a fifth element – the spirit element, one that has been banished from the Island. So why is he here?
We are introduced to his three friends that make up his quartet, Bobby, Mitchell & Flo and their stories & unicorns. They must all be brave and help Skandar hide his true element to solve the mystery of the stolen unicorn.
The characters are very believable, very funny and it’s a great adventure of good over evil.
I love the unicorn idea and the sense that everyone has a bond with their unicorn and the responsibility that goes with that partnership. I also love a map. Looking forward to the second episode in Skandar’s adventures on the Island.
Friendship, bravery & an adventure into another world.
A fourth adventure for Billy and his friends into the dragon realm. When a sea dragon appears near his home, he knows something isn’t right and he needs to contact his Camp Dragon friends. But someone else has seen the dragon, Lola, who is not at all sure what has just happened so insists on going to China to enter the dragon realm. Billy meets up with his dragon Spark, and the other dragons and they confirm his suspicions. The dragon world is trying to enter the human world by making things and landscapes disappear. Can the friends and their dragons stop a disaster?
This story does work on its own but I would advise reading the other 3 titles as there are references back to other stories. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A story of friendship, bravery and for Lola a chance to try something out of this world.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy in return for a fair & honest review.