Additional Titles this August

The school summer holidays provides the perfect time to catch up on some titles from TBR piles and this year I have made a huge dent in mine which I am extremely pleased about. The following are a snapshot of some of those books – they are amazing reads and well worth adding to your own TBR piles.

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill

This is the story of Neena Gill, a teenager that is always sensible, studious and never in trouble. That all changes when her big brother that she has a close bond with goes missing after a night out and Neena becomes sick of following her parents numerous rules, feeling suffocated by their control. Neena starts to sneak out to parties and drinks a lot in a bid to blur the sadness and anxiety she has felt with not knowing what happened to her brother, constantly on edge hoping he will walk back into her life again. Soon her behaviour gets out of control and Neena has a mental health breakdown, struggling with what is reality and not. The sensitively depicted mental health issues within the book make a hugely relevant health topic relatable to the right age group which allows them to understand and sympathise better when they likely come into contact with someone struggling with a mental health condition as it affects 1 in 4 people. The notes at the end of the book are worthwhile reading where author Emma Smith-Barton talks of how she wrote such a genuine story of someone struggling with life and consequently having a breakdown and there are recommendations of support services that will help if you feel you need the support. The story feels genuine, raw and powerful as it takes such a massive subject and makes it relatable, clears up any doubts and encourages the reader to care – not just for others, but for themselves too.

Published by Penguin on 11th July 2019. RRP – £7.99

Milton the Mighty

Written from the perspective of spider Milton, this book will undoubtedly prove a huge hit with children that are being introduced to chapter books. Milton the false widow spider lives with two humans, one is absolutely petrified of spiders and makes you laugh with his dramatic reactions upon spotting one, and the other is happy to release spiders outside after finding them in the house and has some respect for the species. When a mass panic occurs from an news article announcing false widow spiders are deadly it is down to Milton and his friends to put the story straight. Determined to clear his name he has to find a way to communicate with humans and get them to see it is all a mistake, so he chooses Zoe – the girl he lives with that isn’t afraid of spiders. Meanwhile it seems Zoe has an interest in researching the articles information as she questions its validity too. A quirky tale from a house spider which gives much sympathy to the species without scaring away those that aren’t fans of arachnids.

Published by Chicken House on 6th June 2019. RRP – £6.99

The Princess who flew Dragons

The latest dragon themed story from author Stephanie Burgis, this story focuses on Sofia a princess who is always pushed in the limelight by her sister, the crowned princess. All Sofia wants to do is curl up on her bed and read her books, something she saves all her personal allowance to buy, but her sister has other ideas and sends Sofia off on a visit warranting attendance of a royal.

Tired of being sent off to do her sisters work for her Sofia sneaks of, disguised and with the intention of having some fun, unfortunately her choice of friends is questionable to begin with as they aren’t nice, but soon she finds some that like her for who she really is deep down, and it is with these friends that Sofia sets about trying to safe the day when everything goes horribly wrong. This is a perfect book for fans of the how to train your dragon series, and I highly recommend reading the Stephanie’s previous releases – The dragon with the chocolate heart and The girl with the dragon heart, especially because each of these books features a heroine and the reader gets to see them overcome challenges in order to find what matters, in this case with Sofia it is acceptance for who she really is, and to have an equal relationship with her sister Katrin.

Published by Bloomsbury on 8th August 2019. RRP – £6.99

My Parents cancelled my Birthday

Hilarious from the offset, this is the story of Tom – a young boy who is counting down the days until his eleventh birthday and is determined that his party to celebrate the day will be bigger and better then any of his friends have ever thrown. Things aren’t working in his favour from the very start though when his little sisters pet pig Tiny (and it is anything but!) falls off the garage roof and squashes Tom’s nanna’s pet chihuahua. This leads to nanna going to hospital and dad getting a major migraine leaving mum as the only person he can discuss his birthday and party with. Mum isn’t easy to pin down to a conversation either as she is working overtime near constantly in a bid to cover dad not bringing in a wage so when Tom does finally chat to her she simply says there is too much to be dealing with already and the last thing they need is a birthday and party to they should cancel it and reschedule it in a month or so. Unwilling to except that he won’t get a party Tom sets about trying to fix all the things that have gone wrong for the family recently but that’s quite a mammoth task so instead he combines efforts with his little sister and friends to ensure he has a party to remember. I absolutely loved all the humour to this story, when it starts with “It all started when a pig fell off the roof” you get a good indication of what to expect throughout. The family have a relatable feel through their dynamics and the far fetched bad luck also helps you connect to the story as their are elements that you find familiar to you, but irrespective of that

Published by Bloomsbury on 11th July 2019. RRP – £6.99

Beyond Platform 13

A magical return to Eva Ibbotson’s world of platform 13 awaits readers of this new sequel beautifully written by Sibeal Pounder. Written as though nine years later on from The Secret of Platform 13 we are treated to another adventure story inspired by the earlier title with characters and features we are familiar with. When nine year old Lina is waiting at the train station with her parents a different adventure greets her when Odge mistakes her for a mistmaker expert and takes her to help discover why the mist from the Island of Mist so that they can save the island before it is too late. This is a really exciting story with a gripping adventure that captivates readers imaginations from the offset whilst staying true to the inspiration of The Secret of Platform 13 which celebrates the 25th anniversary this year, and also remains an extremely popular title choice for middle grade readers. Those readers will be excited for this sequel that takes them back to the world of Platform 13 and the magical atmosphere that surrounds it.

Published by Macmillan on 3rd October 2019. RRP – £6.99.

Jasper Space Dog!

This is a fantastic story consisiting of letters from a young boy called Charlie and his dog Jasper that are sent to Dr Isabella Starr who is a rocket scientist here in the UK. Jasper is incredibly keen to travel to space and these details are included in the letters that the pair send, which include adorable details like Jasper wearing snow boots. Charlie writes asking lots of quirky and interesting questions about the moon and the infamous mission to the moon – Apollo 11 with Neil Armstrong. From asking whether the moon is made of cheese and if so what would the cheese be named to how food is prepared for the astronauts to take and eat in space, and asking many other moon related quirky questions like whether a cow was spotted jumping over the moon in his letters Charlie writes as he is really keen on knowing what is fact about the moon and what is make believe for such purposes as nursery rhymes for example. Dr Isabella writes back with interesting moon information and clarification of facts in a way that continues to encourage Charlies curiosities for all things space as it will the reader of the book who will definitely enjoy learning so many interesting facts through Charlie’s inquisitive correspondence with a rocket scientist.

Published by Strauss House Productions on 4th April 2019. RRP – £6.99

The summer holidays are rapidly coming to an end and it has been great catching up on books I have missed the publication of, and even some books that have yet to be released. There has been such a spectacular variety of content available for which I am always so excited to receive a small portion of through the post or via recommendations from friends and really enjoy the journey that awaits me when I turn the first page. This summer I have read about dragons, space, birthday parties, bees, penguins, a station mouse, a girl who could talk to animals, the iconic Iron Man, butterflies, war, an amazing family dog, a creature of legend and so much more! The books I have read this Summer break will stay with me as I return to work and recommend them to the right readers. I kept a reading journal for the first time and know it will prove vital in my role as librarian as I recommend the most amazing stories through my notes I made when reading, something I strongly encourage others to do too. I will out up a list of all the titles I read this Summer very soon here on my blog and encourage you to comment on those you have read and enjoyed or ask relevant questions for myself and those who read my blog to respond too. I hope you all had a great reading experience this Summer 2019 and look forward to recommending Autumn titles to you before long too – watch this space, especially as there will be some brilliant guest posts on here too!

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