Helen Reviews the latest Middle Grade Fiction

Tabitha Plimtock and the edge of the world

  • Written by Erika McGann
  • Illustrations by Phillip Cullen
  • Published by O’Brien Press

Sometimes a book comes along that allows your imagination to run wild.

This is such a book, as you can imagine this lonely house on the edge of cliffs, and then you can see Tabitha climbing down these cliffs, and visiting all her friends who have little houses in the cliffs. 

You can see how awful her family are, and be thankful that you don’t live with them! If you close your eyes you can even smell how awful Aunt Bertha is.

The illustrations add to the wonderful experience it is to read this book, and I hope the author has many books to come.

The Howling Hag Mystery

  • Written by Nicki Thornton
  • Published by Chicken House

Raven is a young girl trying desperately to find a way to bring on her magic, particularly as both her mum and sister can do magic, so all she can think about is joining them in being able to do so too. One day suddenly things at school change, with things going missing, and the class mascot being stabbed, people blame the howling hag, but is this just a rumour or is it real?

Together with a friend Raven teams up with Nightshade a magic talking cat to solve the mystery of the howling hag. 

This book combines magical adventure with golden age crime mystery. 

I personally think the character Nightshade could well be one of fictions greatest characters. 

The week at worlds end

  • Written by Emma Carroll 
  • Published by Faber

Ask most people and they will probably tell you their street is the most boring in the world. 

Stevie and Ray befriend a runaway but not all is what it seems, Anna claims to be on the run from people who want to poison her, Stevie and Ray must find out the truth. As well as this happening they are worried about whether the Americans and Russians are going to start a war.

This is another masterpiece by Emma Carroll, she writes the most amazing historical fiction books for children. Another book heading to my library.

Adam 2

  • Written by Alistair Chisholm
  • Published by Nosy Crow

Imagine what life might be like in 200 years time, there are so many possibilities. Orion Lost author Alistair Chisholm thinks there will be a war between humans and robots, an interesting idea.

Adam has been locked up in the basement for 200 years and when he’s finally released he is in for a surprise. He walks straight into a war between humans and robots and Adam has to decide what side he is on, you see Adam is a robot, he needs to decide right from wrong, and also who Adam 2 really is. 

This is very modern, this book will have you guessing about Adam right to the end, there are twists and turns throughout the book. This will be loved by any sci fi fans.

Lightning Strike 

  • Written by Tanya Landman
  • Published by Oxford University press

Summer 1888, Eliza works hard for her family, but it’s never enough, they never have any money. She works in a matchbox factory, all around her women and girls are becoming sick and dying. But Eliza has had enough and decides to make a stand. 

The question is will one young girl inspire others to make a change?

I adored this book and was willing Eliza on from the start. It’s set in an interesting time in history and personally I think this is an ideal book to be read in school, so the children get a look into how people lived.

The Three Impossibles 

  • Written by Susie Bower
  • Published by Pushkin press 

When Mim was a baby her mother died, so to keep her safe she was forbidden to leave the castle,  but Mim has an enquiring mind and she gets to the stage where she needs questions answered. She manages to escape the castle but what is life like on the over side and is Mim who she really thinks she is?

This is fast paced and action packed from the start. You believe that it’s you on the adventure and I have to say that the massive twist at the end is amazing and one I didn’t see coming. 

I know some Year 6 pupils who will love this as this really is an enjoyable must read!

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