Children's Book Sequels Blog

Updates & Book Reviews for Children's Book Sequels

This is my blog tour stop for the Swarm Rising series 2- Swarm Enemy from astronaut and author pairing, Tim Peake and Steve Cole.

Read on for a list of Steve Cole’s Top 5 Space Book Picks. Click on the title to order the book.

1. Doctor Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker

A key inspiration to the writers of the modern TV take on the Time Lord, the first ever Doctor Who book from 1964 throws the mysterious Doctor and his unwilling companions into an epic struggle for survival on the planet Skaro.

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A year before Doctor Who first aired on our screens this lively modern classic gave us Mrs Who, the original mysterious alien to travel the universe with unlikely companions. Three human children are recruited to join the battle against the evil Black Thing, traversing the universe via wrinkles in space-time.

3. Larklight by Philip Reeve

This tale of dauntless pluck in the farthest reaches of space presents an alternative reality where Sir Isaac Newton’s discoveries have made the conquest of space possible. By the Victorian era, ramshackle houses orbit in the deeps beyond the Moon, with British Standard Gravity to keep their occupants on the ground.

4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The superbly silly pan-galactic adventures of Arthur Dent began over 40 years ago but are still just as fresh and funny today.

5. Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis

Best-known for his Narnia books, Lewis also turned his hand to space adventures underpinned with thoughtful philosophy. In this, the first of his so-called Cosmic Trilogy, we visit the planet Malacandra (that’s Mars to you and me) and meet many weird and wonderful aliens. But the real menace on Mars is human greed, and there’s a reason Earth is known throughout the solar system as the ‘silent planet’….

To discover more about the Swarm Rising series here:

Discover more books and series on space at

My thanks to Namishka at Hachette for thinking of and the blogtour stop.

Swarm Rising: Swarm Enemy is out now: find out more at

You can find out more about Tim Peake and this book at:

Follow author, Steve Cole on Twitter as @SteveColeBooks

A Bastien Bonlivre Adventure

The second Bastien Bonlivre adventure, set in Paris, starts with a map with some familiar names on it.

Bastien is celebrating the launch of his first book at his favourite bookshop, Le Chat Curieux, with Alice, the owners daughter, Theo and other friends from the orphanage. It should be a wonderful evening but when the shop is plunged into darkness, Bastien knows something isn’t right.
While Xavier Odieux is locked up in prison for life, his brother Olivier is free and it’s time to begin his great plan. Soon fires are burning across Paris followed by a mass break out at the prison. Are these isolated incidents? Bastien & his friends don’t think so and start to discover what is really going on.

Bastien is a great character, loyal, curious and intelligent whereas Olivier is a horrible person, a nasty piece of work who won’t stop at anything to get what he wants and feels he deserves.
A great story, set in a beautiful city. I’m growing very fond of Bastien & his friends, and hope there are more adventures to come.

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.

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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.

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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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