Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

At the start of the year I had a number of classic books by Charles Dickens on my to read list.  I eventually took them off, but put A Christmas Carol back on to celebrate Christmas in the most traditional of ways.  It’s not as if everyone doesn’t know the story.  The numerous movies and […]

My best Classic Kids book reads of the year

In January I discovered the Pre-1960 Classic Childrens Book Challenge.  Like other challenges I didn’t do very well on linking back to the originator and telling what I’d been up to, but the originator didn’t seem to remember to do that herself, either.  So I just kept reading them, tryng for one a month.  Funnily […]

Book Review: The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

Despite the title, the Snow Goose is not about winter.  It always gives me the feel of winter, though, as it is set mainly in and around a disused lighthouse on the Essex marshes, a desolate place full of creeks and strangely filling and emptying muddy creeks, wild with frosts and wind and goose-honking.  It’s […]

Book Review: Five Children and It by E E Nesbit

There’s a sort of mindset you have to put yourself in when you tackle some of the children’s classics. I’ve come to this conclusion after being part of this challenge for nine months, so I must be a slow learner.  It doesn’t apply to all of the books I’ve read, but it does apply to […]

Book Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

It seems somehow irreverant to dislike a classic that’s so, well, classic, as Tom Sawyer.  In fact I only disliked the first half.  When Tom and his friends really embark on their adventures, it becomes a great story. It could be partly cultural. English kids don’t do many American classics at school, well, we certainly […]

Book Review: The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

I was reminded of The Princess and the Goblin, and its sequel, The Princess and Curdie, in the Children’s Book Week Giveaway earlier this year when I asked for people’s favourite children’s books.  These were part of my childhood, or maybe tweens, and I have memories of going to the library, which was in a […]

It’s over – nearly

The A to Z Blog Challenge is over, and I hope you enjoyed all the stories – short, medium and long.  And, of course, the Book Reviews.  If you didn’t get around to entering the Giveaway, then I’m afraid you’ve missed it; this post comes online about an hour after it closes. The ‘nearly’ part […]

Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Book Review, YA & MG Time Travel Challenge and Classic Children’s Book Challenge This is one of the Puffin Modern Classics series and unusually I got the paperback, which was marginally cheaper than the Kindle edition.  It says on the front cover ‘a masterpiece of science fiction’ and for a long time I wondered, as […]

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Book Review and Classic Children’s Book Challenge I first heard of this book at a seminar on children’s writing; it was a recommended book.  It then waited in among my long and growing set of ‘books to read’ until I realised it fitted – just – into the category of Classic children’s books, having been […]

One week to the A to Z Challenge – Time to Panic

Yep, I’m all organised. Much! I’ve got all of my blog posts written now, except for.. a few Three of my writing course friends are publishing short stories with me, and two are scheduled My illustrator Dani is talking about her work, with a lovely picture and a bit of an interview I’ve read and […]

Three weeks to the A to Z Challenge – What, How, Where?

Yep, I’m all organised although there’re still some stories to be written and books to be read in order to review them.  The question is, what are YOU doing about the A to Z Blog Challenge?  I mean, you’re reading this, and I bet you’ve got your own blog.  All you need to do is […]

Five weeks to go till the A to Z Challenge

Have I made any progress since the last update at 7 weeks?  Not much! I’ve got more stories written, including a completely new one starring Professor Saku, telling how he came to invent the grav-sleds that are used by Hugo to move the Wozna stock about (in the Traveler in Black and White).  I’ve been […]

Seven weeks to go till the A to Z Challenge

That must be long enough, surely?  Well, I’ve got a blog title set against each of the letters except Y.  I’ve got the stories drafted for every letter up to K except for the book reviews. I’m truly organised. Except I won’t be, will I?  I’ll probably be scrambling to finish Y and Z the […]

Book Review: The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

This is one of the books I decided to read for the Pre-1960s Classic Children’s Book Reading Challenge. Of course, I’m familiar with Mowgli.  Who hasn’t seen the clips from Disney’s film?  I’d never read the book.  I found old favourites and surprising insertions.  I found rich language and old-fashioned ideas.  They must be wonderful […]