Helen’s Middle Grade Must Reads – October Part Two

Keeper of Secrets by Sarah J Dodd

  • Published by Firefly Press

When Emily’s mum dies, her dad decides to up sticks and move,  getting a job as the local vet. 

Emily discovers that a local wildlife charity has released Lynx’s into the wild.

Not everyone is happy with this and will do anything to get rid of them. Now I really adore big cats so I found this book super interesting and yes I’d love my own Lynx.

This book deals sensitively with the main story of this book, that is of course Emily and her dad dealing with her mums death, and learning to have fun again. It deals with having to start over, and how it’s ok to be happy again. 

Rita Wong and the Jade Mask by Mark Jones

  • Published by Everything with Words

Rita spends her days in Morecambe drinking hot chocolate,  nothing much happens in Rita’s world until one day she meets Lester. 

Lester happens to be an unemployed dragon who will lose his benefits if he doesn’t get a job.

Lucky for Lester a crime is committed and Rita ropes him in to becoming a detective with her.

An amazing debut book that will have you laughing out loud, and wanting doughnuts.  Hopefully this will be the start of a series.

The Girl with her Head in the Clouds by Karen McCombie

  • Illustrations by Anneli Bray
  • Published by Barrington Stoke

 Dolly is 16 years old and her aunt wants her to follow in her footsteps and work in her shop. Most 16 years old people would jump at the chance but not dolly. Dolly loves adventures and has her heart set on becoming an  aeronaut. She loves the danger,  and she will have many narrow escapes. 

This is actually a true story and Dolly is a real person and at the end of the book there is some interesting facts on the real Dolly.

Shackleton’s Endurance (An Antarctic Survival Story) by Joanna Grochowicz 

  • Published by Allen and Unwin

1914 and Ernest Shackleton is about to set sail for Antarctica, along with 27 men, some dogs and a cat.

But things don’t go to plan, a stowaway is found aboard, and then the Endurance becomes stuck in ice and later sinks, so they have an even harder battle.

I’m not giving the plot away because it’s a true story, most of us have already heard it.

While you read this book you become one of the men, you experience sea sickness, you are there when the boat gets stuck. 

You fight over food, and experience frostbite with them.

This book actually includes photos of the men so you know what they look like, I loved this because it reminds you that they were real people. 

My favourite non fiction book of 2021.

Diary of a Accidental Witch by Perdita and Honor Cargill

  • Illustrations by Katie Saunders
  • Published by Little Tiger 

This was one of the books of 2021 that I was most looking forward to reading.  And I wasn’t disappointed it was brilliant. 

The plot is about a young girl called Bea, she and her father move to the town for her dad’s job, unfortunately Beas dad has enrolled her into the wrong school. 

It turns out it’s a witch school,  but Bea doesn’t have magical powers does she?

Written as  Diary entries we follow the occasional ups and many downs Bea experience,  with many laugh out loud situations this is a book that’s hard to put down.

Something I Said by Ben Bailey Smith 

  • Published by Bloomsbury

When Car Taylor takes to the stage during his school talent show, he doesn’t realise the trouble his about to cause by speaking the truth. 

He tells the audience exactly what he thinks of his family and school. 

He ends up an Internet star which brings him even more trouble. 

I liked this book, there were times when I caught myself laughing out loud. This is a modern tale that highlights the trouble the Internet can cause.

Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell

  • Published by Walker books 

What do Mary shelly, Isaac Newton and Thomas Edison have in common? Well they all appear in Wonderscape. Set in the year 2473 three children are eager to escape and return to there own time, but before they can do this they must complete tasks. Aided by real life heroes they must work together to escape. This is an amazing story.

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