Children's Book Sequels Blog

Updates & Book Reviews for Children's Book Sequels

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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.

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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.

Book Review – Joanna Nadin – No Man’s Land

October 14, 2021

”I could feel it coming. War, I mean. Creeping up on us, into our town, down our street, into our house. 

Ten-year-old Alan lives with his younger brother Sam and his Dad in Albion. His mother has been dead for 5 years and his list is his only memory of her, snippets of events and descriptions.

During a normal week at school one of the teachers leaves, but no-one says why, then Alan and his brother are taken in the middle of the night to a “Safe” place and left in the company of some women who used to be friends with their Mum. He has to leave his old phone behind & Dad gives him an emergency one with just his number on it, but that is taken from him and he can only contact his father when necessary. Alan loves code, it’s what his father does for work, so when he can use the phone he uses coded text to his father. There’s 2 dates circled on the calendar on the wall in this new house. One is Alan’s birthday and one is a week later, when the war will come. But who are the enemy and who is a friend?

This is an amazing story that I didn’t want to end. It works on many levels, for the children who want a good story, and for the adult it will mean something else. The map, I love a map in a book, is interesting as the area is recognisable, with old English names for places. This safe place is No Man’s Land, between two countries, the bit in the middle. It’s a story of code, friendship, family and loss, but most of all kindness.

Book Review  – Lucy Hope – Fledgling

October 14, 2021

A gothic tale set in 1900 in Bavaria. Cassie Engel lives in a towering house on top of a tall rock that looks down upon the small town of Edenburg. Extra storeys have been added to give space to various collections including one of stuffed owls.

Her mother is an opera singer, but she’s not well and stays in her room most of the time, and her father is a taxidermist. Cassie only has one friend, Raphael, who lives down in the town. One night there is a bad storm, and Cassie hears tapping on the window. She tries to open the window just a bit to see what is making the sound, but the wind catches the window and it is thrown open wide, wide enough for something to come flying in and land on the bed. It’s a creature but Cassie can’t work out what it is. It looks like a baby bird of prey, but she and Raphael soon discover it’s a cherub. Why is she here? Why is Raphael acting so oddly? Cassie must research her family history and secret past to look for answers.

This is a wonderful debut story by Lucy Hope, with echoes of Skellig and angels. It’s very atmospheric with vivid descriptions of the house with a roof that opens, the library with its smell of ancient tobacco and a zip wire that works between floors.

Thank you to Nosy Crow for an advance copy in return for an honest review.

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