Most Beloved Sister & Mirabelle – a review

For Christmas 2020 my wonderful friend gifted me a set of Swedish classic short stories, so of course my first read of 2021 had to be one of these! Coming in at 19 pages long this book comprises of two short stories by an author best known for Pippi Longstockings. I, however, had never read anything from her before so this was a lovely introduction to her writing! I ended up giving this book 3 stars (out of 5)

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Both of these stories were a little bit odd, but definitely still enjoyable!

Most Beloved Sister follows a young girl who seems to have an imaginary sister who lives under a bush in her garden. She plays with her every day, and not only is this girl her sister but she’s also a monarch of this world under the bush. I don’t want to say anything else as, with it being such a short story anything else would spoil it! It seems to be a tale on growing up and on parental love, which was quite an interesting one to read.

Mirabelle is a story about an unusual doll owned by a little girl. Again, any more would spoil it! This one seems to be more of a focus on encouraging imagination and childish wonder, and was another sweet but odd story!

This has definitely made me interested in reading more of Lindgren’s long works, I want to see what she is able to do when she has more space to flesh out characters, develop a larger plot and how she concludes her stories!

My first foray into the world of Rick Riordan

Yes, I’ve never read Percy Jackson. I don’t even own any of that series. But so many people talk about his works and I like him as a person on the internet, so when I saw that he had an Ancient Egypt series I knew I had to get it! As a child, I had 3 favourite periods in history: WWII, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Egypt.

I can see why you guys love Riordan now, these are definitely kids books but as a 22 y/o I was really enjoying myself and felt fully immersed within the world! I can only imagine how much I would’ve loved these when I was younger. I felt like I was learning so much as well, which I love in children’s books (and adult ones but it’s rarer).

I 100% will be carrying on with the rest of this trilogy and I’ll be looking out for more of Rick Riordan’s books in charity shops and discount stores in the future! I really love his writing style. After this, I also really want to look into his publishing endeavour: Rick Riordan Presents, to expose myself to mythology from different cultures than my own.

Delving back into the world of Artemis Fowl!

So I read the other 6 books in this series many years ago, my mum bought me the first 3 in a charity shop and then I just kept reading them! I ended up with the DS cartridge that had the first 6 books on! (yes they were a thing, and I bloody loved it!) I never went past that though, by the time that I would’ve been buying book #7 I was in a giant reading slump that would last years. But I’m not in that slump anymore and I found this book in The Works (a cheap book outlet store in the UK) and just had to pick it up!

I’m so glad that I delved back into this world, the timing is just right considering that there is a movie adaptation coming out sometime soon and having fun by being in this weird, magical world is exactly the break I needed from my masters. Obviously, these are children’s books, middle grade as North America calls them, but they’re so much fun to read as an adult too!

We follow Artemis after he’s been hit on the head and suddenly is…. nice? Captain Holly Short is very concerned and is doing what she can to get the old Artemis back, before it’s too late! A very fun book and one I recommend for all, especially those who read the books back in the day and are excited for the film adaptation!

Battle of Britain by Chris Priestly, a review

I hadn’t been expecting to re-read this any time soon, I originally read some of the “My Story” books when I was around 7/8 years old and really enjoyed them at the time but had no desire to re-read them again as an adult. However, the BookTubeAThon changed that! I was panicking and needed something quick and easy to read, so I picked this one up.

This series is all about teaching children about history, making it more personal to them by having our main character expressing themselves in the form of diary entries. This specific book follows a Spitfire pilot during the second world war and the trials, risks to life and grief that he goes through during this time. I feel like these topics are handled very well, in terms of making them appropriate for younger children. I remember feeling sad when reading this originally as a child, but I never felt like the information was too much for me and I was very glad to know more about the time period and felt a connection to our main character. When re-reading it, I was surprised that this was how I felt as a child as I had almost the same reaction as a 21 year old. It did make me realise that children can handle a lot more than I previously thought, which was an interesting conclusion to come to.

If you were thinking about getting this book, or others from this ‘series’, for your child then I definitely think you should give it a go. They have a good level of detail without going too far into the topics and can harbour an interest in history in your child!

Anne of Green Gables, a review

I am so glad that I pressed myself into picking up this book. I have never intended on reading it and actually bought it to donate to my old school (I’ve given them other books instead, don’t worry!), however, as it sat there on my shelf I felt drawn to it somehow. I decided on a whim that I was going to read it… and then it sat on my shelves for another few months! Okay don’t judge me with that, we all do it (I hope), but then the BookTubeAThon came around and I decided that it was going on my tbr, and I was going to read it. And read it I did.

I was enjoying myself with the beginning, I liked our introduction to Anne and watching her wait anxiously to see whether she would be accepted into this family. However, once it was concluded that Anne would stay and once she had settled into her new life I started to be a little bored with the story. Although there were little events here and there as Anne got into mischief, there wasn’t exactly much happening in the novel and those little bits I found more annoying than anything else. Maybe I’m becoming a grumpy adult?

Once Anne turned 13 however, I re-fell in love with the story, absorbing it so quickly until the very end. The section of the book was paced well, with interesting plot points and I was fully engrossed in Anne’s world and the events going on around her. This is the section that made me fall in love with this book, this is the section that made me want to give the book 5/5*! I had to be reasonable and remember that I didn’t enjoy the middle of the book, hence why my rating of the novel is actually 4/5* but I am now incredibly invested in Anne’s life and I will definitely be continuing with the story at some point!

I definitely recommend picking this children’s classic up, and I also recommend pushing through to the end if it isn’t appealing to you at the beginning. You might find a new favourite is in your hands.

Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology, a review

So as you can tell from the image, this book was originally published in French. Sadly I can’t read (or speak!) French, but Edelweiss provided me with an eCopy of the English translation of this book in return for an unbiased review. One thing to note is that this is translated into US English, with the Americanised spellings. I’m sure most won’t notice, however as a Brit I noticed the “mom” etc.

Now, onto the actual contents of this book! This graphic novel/illustrated book covers Greek Mythology in a simplified format to allow children to understand the events. As anyone who is familiar with the Greek gods will know, the stories surrounding them are normally filled with violence and gore as they commit various acts of revenge. However, this book has made these tales more child-friendly without removing the essence of the tales. There is still violence present, however, there are no details and the frequency of the violence has been reduced where not integral to the story. So I definitely think that the author did a great job with making these tales suitable for the younger generation.

I am not intrinsically familiar with Greek mythology, however, I do have some knowledge of it and this book seems to remain faithful to the source material and the accompanying illustrations are pretty and simplistic enough that a child can notice the links to the events in the stories.

This is a lovely book to introduce children to the world of mythology and I’m glad that both French and English speaking children will be able to enjoy this work.

A Place Called Perfect

Now lets be real, I picked this book up purely because of the beautiful and amazing cover. However, the insides definitely live up to the outsides! I ended up giving this book 4/5* and I can’t wait to read the sequel when it is released! Okay, now lets get into what it’s about.

So this book follows a young girl called Violet, as her and her parents are moving into a new town called Perfect for her fathers new job. She was already upset about leaving all her friends behind and going somewhere new, but then things in Perfect seemed to be a little… off. Her mother starts acting very weird, becoming the average suburban housewife where she had been a fun and casual mum. Her dad seems to have been whisked off by the Archer brothers and is nowhere to be found. To top this all off there is a mysterious entity that keeps bothering her, and she can’t see it!

This is a book which is aimed at the 8-12 age range (middle grade for you North American readers) but I fully enjoyed it as a 21 year old! There does seem to be a moral present, as there so often is in books aimed at younger readers, to not just accept what those in power are telling you but to look for yourself and decide what is right. I think this is a very important idea to instill in children, especially in this day and age with the news being reported very differently depending on where the outlets bias lies.

Overall, this is a very fun, engrossing and interesting read for many ages and I’ll definitely be recommending it to various people in the future. If you have found the synopsis interesting I definitely recommend picking it up and I can’t wait for book number 2 to be released!!