Difference between revisions of "Newest Confident Readers Reviews"

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[[Category:Confident Readers|*]]
 
[[Category:Confident Readers|*]]
 
[[Category:New Reviews|Confident Readers]]__NOTOC__ <!-- Remove -->
 
[[Category:New Reviews|Confident Readers]]__NOTOC__ <!-- Remove -->
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{{Frontpage
 +
|author=Louie Stowell
 +
|title=Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good
 +
|rating=4.5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|summary=Meet Loki. The trickster god has got into trouble again, so the other gods have decided there's only one thing for it – he must be banished. And transformed – for Loki is spending a month both in exile and in the physical form of a middle-school kid here on Earth. He's guarded by a giant and a god in disguise as his parents, and Thor has come along as well, to be the more suave, more popular and more successful brother of the two. Loki has a month to redeem his reputation, and get his moral compass pointing the right way again, or else, and to prove it he has to write the text we read in a sentient notebook, that is able to cry foul of his lies, and judge his progress. But Loki is the kind of god who insists he can do anything, so surviving a bit more virtuously for a month is going to be a walk in the park...right?
 +
|isbn=1406399752
 +
}}
 +
{{Frontpage
 +
|author=Lucy Strange and Pam Smy
 +
|title=The Mermaid in the Millpond
 +
|rating=4.5
 +
|genre=Confident Readers
 +
|summary=There is no mermaid in the millpond. That at least is what Bess is telling herself. Neither will there be a friend for her in amongst all the other kids, who have had their entire childhoods sold to the mill-owners by the London workhouse they used to call home. Bess knows there is no time for friendship in a hand-to-mouth, every man for himself kind of existence. But despite herself Bess does find a bit of a kindred spirit in the slight little Dot, and despite everything that life has taught her about betrayal and how befriending people only leads to harm, there might be a glimmer of companionship in the tired-out mill workers. But surely that doesn't mean there is any truth in the existence of the mermaid?
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|isbn=180090049X
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}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Christopher Edge
 
|author=Christopher Edge
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|summary=Meet Stella and her family.  They're just innocently trying to have a Sunday evening in together, watching a film – using three different screens to watch three different things, mind – when ''poof'' everything goes blank.  And it's not just their home, but the entire south-western village of Mousehole, and not just that, either, but the whole country, if not world.  Suddenly people are constantly on their phones – hoping they're first to get a screen back, and not what they were constantly doing on them before.  Toasters can toast, but TVs cannot do the V part of their job, and no computer can show its computations.  You might think this is going to be a social comedy about people stuck in such a Luddite experience against their will, but no.  For the family finally remember Stella's grandma, and see if they can get across country to her.  Hence this has to go down as a road-trip book.  But not just that, a slapstick road-trip comedy.  And more than that, too – for it's a slapstick, high-drama, high-octane road-trip comedy with oodles of cuddly heart that kids of all ages will love.
 
|summary=Meet Stella and her family.  They're just innocently trying to have a Sunday evening in together, watching a film – using three different screens to watch three different things, mind – when ''poof'' everything goes blank.  And it's not just their home, but the entire south-western village of Mousehole, and not just that, either, but the whole country, if not world.  Suddenly people are constantly on their phones – hoping they're first to get a screen back, and not what they were constantly doing on them before.  Toasters can toast, but TVs cannot do the V part of their job, and no computer can show its computations.  You might think this is going to be a social comedy about people stuck in such a Luddite experience against their will, but no.  For the family finally remember Stella's grandma, and see if they can get across country to her.  Hence this has to go down as a road-trip book.  But not just that, a slapstick road-trip comedy.  And more than that, too – for it's a slapstick, high-drama, high-octane road-trip comedy with oodles of cuddly heart that kids of all ages will love.
 
|isbn=1471196887
 
|isbn=1471196887
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Hannah Gold
 
|title=The Last Bear
 
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=Confident Readers
 
|summary=April's father, a scientist, has been given a job on a remote island called Bear Island, and he accepts the job deciding to take his daughter April with him.  They live alone anyway, since April's mother died some time before, and he feels it will be educational for her to experience the island and all its natural beauty.  April already has an affinity with nature, and she's excited to travel with her father, thinking of all the fun things they will be able to experience together on the island.  But when they get there, her father finds that his work monitoring and recording the temperatures just takes up too much of his time, and so April is left to explore by herself.  Her father had reassured her that there were no longer any bears living on Bear Island, but one day April thinks she catches a glimpse of one, and so she sets out to find the Bear, and then when she sees he is injured, to befriend and help him.
 
|isbn=000841128X
 
}}
 
{{Frontpage
 
|author=Emma Carroll and Kaja Kajfez
 
|title=The Ghost Garden
 
|rating=4.5
 
|genre=Confident Readers
 
|summary=Fran, the gardener's daughter at a posh country house, is worried.  She's just cracked her garden fork through quite a grim discovery - a large bone, buried under the potatoes.  But she's even more worried when she learns that that event coincided with Leo, the older child of the house, breaking his leg while playing cricket on the lawn.  She is due to get even more worried when she finds something else that also seems to foretell a surprise.  Tasked with shoving Leo around the grounds in his bathchair, she might have reason to be out of her mind with fear, when she learns what he is seeking - a long-forgotten burial chamber.  But surely that won't act as a premonition to anything - not here in the sultry, summery days of 1914?
 
|isbn=1781129002
 
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
Move on to [[Newest Cookery Reviews]]
 
Move on to [[Newest Cookery Reviews]]

Latest revision as of 13:34, 25 October 2021

1406399752.jpg

Review of

Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Meet Loki. The trickster god has got into trouble again, so the other gods have decided there's only one thing for it – he must be banished. And transformed – for Loki is spending a month both in exile and in the physical form of a middle-school kid here on Earth. He's guarded by a giant and a god in disguise as his parents, and Thor has come along as well, to be the more suave, more popular and more successful brother of the two. Loki has a month to redeem his reputation, and get his moral compass pointing the right way again, or else, and to prove it he has to write the text we read in a sentient notebook, that is able to cry foul of his lies, and judge his progress. But Loki is the kind of god who insists he can do anything, so surviving a bit more virtuously for a month is going to be a walk in the park...right? Full Review

180090049X.jpg

Review of

The Mermaid in the Millpond by Lucy Strange and Pam Smy

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

There is no mermaid in the millpond. That at least is what Bess is telling herself. Neither will there be a friend for her in amongst all the other kids, who have had their entire childhoods sold to the mill-owners by the London workhouse they used to call home. Bess knows there is no time for friendship in a hand-to-mouth, every man for himself kind of existence. But despite herself Bess does find a bit of a kindred spirit in the slight little Dot, and despite everything that life has taught her about betrayal and how befriending people only leads to harm, there might be a glimmer of companionship in the tired-out mill workers. But surely that doesn't mean there is any truth in the existence of the mermaid? Full Review

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Review of

Escape Room by Christopher Edge

3star.jpg Confident Readers

I've seen junior variants of the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format cover escape rooms – the process by which a character or characters start by being trapped in a specific location, and have to solve problems in order to get their way out. What I've not done (alongside experience one for myself – for that would require actual friends) is seen a prose book describing people in such an adventure, with the regular second person narrative replaced by the first. Here, Ami and four other tweenagers, all new to each other and booked into the game without any of their friends, are a team – starting out at the game's main offices, where they're told they and their quest for The Answer are a world-changer. But could watching people engage with such a pastime, despite the ramped-up threat levels, change much in the world of literature? Full Review

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Review of

Fledgling by Lucy Hope

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Bavaria, 1900. Our scene is a most peculiar hilltop house, built bit by bit over the decades, and now looking imperiously down on the village and woods below. It's an eccentric house, to host eccentrics, so the library shelving system is not as we'd know it, the roof is retractable, there is a steam-powered, hand-operated lift system cut through it, and so on. At the moment it houses an ex-soldier with PTSD and a passion for the long-standing family hobby of taxidermy, a woman who does nothing but quibble, kvetch and sing opera loudly, and the dying grandma to our heroine, Cassie, a young lass who has to do all the maintenance of this bizarre machine-like abode. Oh but it's also going to house someone or something else, when crashing through Cassie's bedroom window one stormy day is a cherub. And if you think such a heavenly arrival is going to be a completely great and wonderful thing, think again... Full Review

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Review of

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Stories have joy and surprises in them, we are told here. And none more so than in this wondrous story, which feels an instant classic with the freshness and the agelessness it has in equal proportion. We start with a group of monks, the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing, and the demonic goat that loves nothing more than upending, trampling on and biting the poor Brothers. Things change drastically when the beast takes a totally maternal approach to a homeless girl, one who has survived some trauma that has blocked her past from her memory. Elsewhere sits a King in his castle, desperate to find the girl, for it is prophesied that a young child can unseat the throne and cause great change. Who foretold that revolution but the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing? But how can a simple, amnesiac lass ever prove a threat to anyone? Full Review

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Review of

The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James and Chris Smith

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Maya's father is a professor who invented an amazing dream machine. But something went wrong, and now he can't wake up. Or at least, that's what Maya has been told. In a rather strange dream one night Maya makes a new friend, and discovers that the only way to save her dad may be by being asleep. Cue one madcap action adventure story where dreams and reality collide...really...and there's everything from llamas and bananas, dream machines made from hairdresser cast-offs, to a talking cat called Bin Bag! Full Review

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Review of

The Climbers by Keith Gray

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Sully is the best tree climber in the village. He has what's known amongst the kids as 'reach'. But what happens when a new kid shows up in town? A new kid, called Nottingham, who clambers up some of the hardest trees with ease? Suddenly Sully is worried that his status is being threatened, and not only that, that his chance to name the final, unnamed big tree in the park by being the first to conquer it, might be snatched from his hands. How can Sully stop Nottingham? And will it cost him his best friend, or maybe even all of his friends, to do so? Full Review

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Review of

Locked Out Lily by Nick Lake and Emily Gravett

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Lily is, or was, or has been, very ill, and to give her parents relief she's been told to stay with her grandma for a few days. The parents need the relief as Lily's baby sibling is just about to be born – a child Lily swears she hates already and wants nothing to do with. But on tracking back home for word of her parents (and her plush toy so she can sleep) she finds stony-eyed simulacra of her parents, and the babe-in-arms, already installed. These devilish interlopers need to be ousted to get the family back intact, even if it's not the family Lily wants – and all she has to help her in the task are some talking animals – Crow, Mole, Mouse and Snake. Full Review

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Review of

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve

5star.jpg Confident Readers

In a word, rich. There is certainly an abundance of riches in this story set on a peculiar island called Wildsea, British but way west, beyond the Scillies. There are troll people on it, and sea-witches, and legends of the Dark family that has to keep watch for magical islands and their monster approaching from even further west, where no ship dare sail. The current Darks are the Watcher, Andrewe, who has to keep notes of activity from the Hidden Lands, his brother Will who lives in London with too much science in his head to worry about such local yokel superstitions, and Andrewe's foundling daughter, who washed up out of the sea one day eleven years ago. But when Andrewe Dark drowns himself, both his sullen brother and his curious ward are thrust into the world of protecting their island, like it or not. Full Review

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Review of

Rules for Vampires by Alex Foulkes

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Eleonore Von Motteberg (or 'Leo' for short) is a Vampire. She drinks blood, she sleeps during the day, and she can Grimwalk (turning into a flock of bats to travel around, although not all of them remember to come back). Pretty cool stuff. Now, on the night of her hundredth birthnight, she has to go out and hunt her first human. However, instead she ends up killing two humans by accident and burning down an orphanage. Oops! And to make things worse, the ghosts of one of the orphans and the evil master of the orphanage come back to haunt her. So, not only does Leo have to team up with the friendly ghost Minna to stop the ghost of the Orphanmaster before he becomes unstoppably powerful, she has to do it all while hiding it from her family. Did I mention vampires and ghosts hate each other? Yeah, there's a reason why there are rules for vampires… Full Review

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Review of

The Ash House by Angharad Walker

5star.jpg Confident Readers

A new boy arrives at The Ash House. He doesn't know his name, or why he is there but he is used to the system, used to different places and different faces. He meets Dom who names him Sol and sets out to teach him the rules of The Ash House. These rules centre on a variety of Nicenesses set out by the absent Headmaster. All children must remember their Niceness and complete their chores, working as a hive in the smouldering shadows of The Ash House. But soon their easy peace is shattered by the arrival of the Doctor. By the end of the story, lives will be changed forever and The Ash House will never be the same again. Full Review

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Review of

The Week at World's End by Emma Carroll

4star.jpg Confident Readers

First, the title. We're in World's End Close, a mediocre set of houses, where Stevie (Vie to her friends) finds fun only with the family dog and with the boy over the road. But we could also be at World's End, because something taking a great chunk of the fun away is the fact that the Cuban Missile Crisis is kicking off. The Soviet boats are getting blockaded as America tries to reduce the risk of nuclear missiles offshore, and not much else is able to make the news. That said, Vie has news of her own – Anna, a secretive young woman hiding in their coal shed. Anna has, in no short time, taken a strong interest in the American airforce base behind the Close, said she'd locate something she wanted and leave, failed to leave, and implied her life was at risk. But surely this bit of intrigue has got nothing to do with what the Cold War is doing miles away? Full Review

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Review of

Monster Hunting For Beginners by Ian Mark and Louis Ghibault

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Meet Jack. Now Jack knows very little about being fearless and nimble and quick, for he's a slight boy, and although he wants for danger and peril and interesting things his dad refuses to let him out of his sight. That's because Jack's mother knew all about monsters, and look what happened to her – she died. Luckily or unluckily then, depending on your point of view, a giant ogre will threaten his aunt when Jack's father also goes AWOL, Jack will fluke the ogre's death, a dwarfish wizard-type will make him an apprentice monster hunter, and he'll be given a book that tells him all he needs to know about the perils he always wanted closer contact with. The book's name? Monster Hunting for Beginners... Full Review

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Review of

The Small Things by Lisa Thompson

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Although Anna has friends at school, she feels like she never really fits in. Her family don't have enough money to let her do after school activities, and so she feels like her life at home is boring in comparison to theirs. When a new girl joins her class, Anna is asked to partner her, but things are complicated because the new girl, Ellie, is unwell and so can't attend school in person. Instead, she joins in with the class by using a robot. Can Anna overcome the challenge of making friends with someone through a robot, and is she even interesting enough to be a good friend to Ellie? Full Review

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Review of

The House on the Edge by Alex Cotter

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Faith's family home is teetering on the edge of a cliff, literally. Is that crack in the garden getting bigger? Is the house starting to slope a little? And as the house seems to be falling apart, so is Faith's family. Her dad has disappeared, and her mum is struggling to cope, barely leaving her bed. So that leaves Faith in charge, taking care of her little brother Noah, taking care of her mum, feeding everyone, getting Noah to school, and avoiding awkward questions from interfering teachers. Is her little brother okay? Why is he obsessed with what he claims is a ghost in the cellar? What should she do about the house? Can she find a way to raise enough money to fix it? What's happened to her dad? Why did he disappear? Maybe he'll come back if she manages to get funding for the house? She carries the weight of all these worries on her constantly, and she doesn't know how much longer the cliff will hold together, or how long she can keep on keeping on. Full Review

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Review of

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston

4star.jpg Confident Readers

Julia, our pre-teen heroine, has been packed off with her parents and their cat from the family home in SW England to be lighthousekeepers for a summer, in the far NE of the Scottish islands. Here be Vikings, that kind of Scottish island. Dad is going to be automating the lantern, which is his specialist thing, while mum will be leaving her career in algae behind to hunt the elusive Greenland shark. And Julia, well, she will be homesick and alone – until she suddenly finds company one night. Full Review

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Review of

Otherland by Louie Stowell

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Myra and Rohan are like Yin and Yang – Myra is loud, bright and hates rules, while Rohan is very polite, serious and worries about the tiniest things. Their only connection? Being born and briefly dying at the same time at the same hospital on Midsummer's day. And so, every year their families get together to celebrate the two's birthday/deathday. But when Rohan's little sister Shilpa is taken by the fairy queen, they must journey to the Otherland, a magical realm full of fairies, vampires, dragons, and Gods. It's going to be the worst night of their lives. Full Review

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Review of

Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3 by Darren Shan

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

So. Having done the impossible and unpicked the lock to the Forgotten Crypt, from which the Departed communicate with the Merge, Archie now has grop to think about. But before that, soirees. Soirees! Archie, much to Inez's amusement, doesn't even know what one of those is. But he manages to come through the fancy party unscathed, even after an uncomfortable encounter with Kurtis, whose fledgling romance with Inez was crushed in the first volume of this series.  Full Review

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Review of

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths by Maisie Chan

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Danny is eleven years old, and what he really, really loves to do is draw. He creates fantastical comics, whilst his best friend Ravi adds the words. Danny's dad, however, wants Danny to concentrate on his maths, and forget about the drawing, because he says nobody can make a living from drawing! At least Danny has his own room, where he can draw in secret and in peace. But then one day his parents tell him they have a surprise for him, and this surprise turns out to be his grandmother who has come over from China to live with them, and who will not only be sharing Danny's bedroom but she will also be sleeping on the top bunk of his bunk bed! Danny is horrified! His Nai Nai (grandmother) speaks no English, and Danny finds himself forced into being her babysitter, and showing her around the town. Poor Danny, stuck on a maths project, frustrated with his bedroom situation, and then he even has a falling out with Ravi...how on earth will things ever get better?! Full Review

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Review of

Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 1 of 3 by Darren Shan

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

The second trilogy in Shan's Merge saga opens with our hero, Archie, back in London in the world of the Born. It's not been easy, explaining to his foster parents where he's been, or slipping back into ordinary life and forgetting about Inez and his other friends in the Merge, but Archie has done his best.... well, except for visiting veteran locksmith Winston in Big Ben's clock tower and except for fiddling with that sneaky master lock in Seven Dials every time he can sneak away. Full Review

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Review of

Monster Doughnuts by Gianna Pollero and Sarah Horne

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

After their parents mysteriously disappeared, Grace and Danni have been left to run the family bakery. But Grace needs the doughnuts and sweet treats that Danni bakes for a rather unusual reason...even though she's only ten years old, she is a monster hunter! Monsters have a very sweet tooth, and Grace uses a number of methods to defeat them such as throwing baking powder on them, or tricking them into eating a sweet treat that will, ultimately, be their demise. One day, though, Grace finds herself facing a cyclops monster called Mr Harris, who has a weakness for doughnuts but doesn't seem to explode as the other monsters do, and so things start to get very strange… Full Review

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Review of

Twitch by M G Leonard

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Twitch is a boy who loves birds. He keeps pigeons at home, and chickens, and even has swallows nesting in his bedroom! His time spent watching and helping birds is easy compared to that of his time in school. But things are about to change for Twitch in all aspects of his life as there is a dangerous bank robber on the run, and it's possible that the missing bank haul is hidden somewhere in Aves Wood, the place where Twitch has his secret hide and that he knows like the back of his hand! Can Twitch solve the mystery, and find the missing millions? Full Review

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Review of

Kate on the Case by Hannah Peck

3.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Meet Kate, although I got the impression she'd rather be a Catherine – and one specific Catherine at that. For Catherine Rodriguez is Kate's idol, and the author of our heroine's favourite possession, The Special Correspondent Manual. Armed with a plucky father, that book, and her talking mouse called Rupert, she is all equipped to manage a train ride to the Arctic, to see her scientist mother for the first time in yonks. However, this is a train ride with a difference, for on board is a greedy-seeming harridan and her cat, a thief – and two glowing eyes, shining from the darkness in a blink-and-you'll-miss-them style. It's definitely a case for a new young investigative journalist... Full Review

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Review of

Luna Rae is Not Alone by Hayley Webster

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Luna Rae has just moved house. Moving house is always tricky, but especially when you're ten years old, and you miss your old home, and you and your little sister have to start a new school but your mum seems to be out working all the time. Then there's your dad, who doesn't seem like he's coping so well, and so there's no one to take care of things but you. Everything feels different, and strange, and mysterious, and so Luna finds a way of coping is by watching. She turns detective, and starts keeping an eye on her new neighbourhood, but it turns out she's not the only one keeping watch! Full Review

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Review of

Two Terrible Vikings by Francesca Simon and Steve May

4star.jpg Emerging Readers

In a small Viking village there live two twins, Hack and Whack, who are eager to be the very worst Vikings ever! Nothing can stop their mad marauding, as they cause havoc at a birthday party, chaos whilst tracking a troll, and undertake a grand journey to raid Bad Island with their friends! They get up to all kinds of mischief and naughty behaviour, along with their wolf-cub Bitey-Bitey, and their crazy cast of friends. Full Review

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Review of

The Day the Screens Went Blank by Danny Wallace and Gemma Correll

5star.jpg Confident Readers

Meet Stella and her family. They're just innocently trying to have a Sunday evening in together, watching a film – using three different screens to watch three different things, mind – when poof everything goes blank. And it's not just their home, but the entire south-western village of Mousehole, and not just that, either, but the whole country, if not world. Suddenly people are constantly on their phones – hoping they're first to get a screen back, and not what they were constantly doing on them before. Toasters can toast, but TVs cannot do the V part of their job, and no computer can show its computations. You might think this is going to be a social comedy about people stuck in such a Luddite experience against their will, but no. For the family finally remember Stella's grandma, and see if they can get across country to her. Hence this has to go down as a road-trip book. But not just that, a slapstick road-trip comedy. And more than that, too – for it's a slapstick, high-drama, high-octane road-trip comedy with oodles of cuddly heart that kids of all ages will love. Full Review

Move on to Newest Cookery Reviews