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World War One Picture books by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey

Last month I was approached by a publishing house asking if I'd be up for reviewing some World War One books aimed at children. I'm always interested in taking books with a history theme to read even if they are a bit younger than my tastes because they are perfect for school and give me a wider range of books to recommend to the kids that come through my door of various abilities.

I was not ready for the treat that was in store.

All four of the books feature beautiful illustrations and verse which used both together very simply but vividly put across the realities of war for those who were involved. The latest book to be released is Peace Lily focusing on the role of women at war which I particularly enjoyed. Other books in the series are The Christmas Truce (obviously focusing on the Christmas Truce), Flo of the Somme (looking at the role of animals in World War One) and where the poppies now grow (focusing on the experience for an ordinary soldier).

I thoroughly enjoyed all…
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Ella on the outside by Cath Howe

Ella is the new girl at school. She doesn't know anyone and she doesn't have any friends. And she has a terrible secret.

Ella can't believe her luck when Lydia, the most popular girl in school, decides to be her new best friend - but what does Lydia really want? And what does it all have to do with Molly, the quiet, shy girl who won't talk to anyone?

A gripping story of lies, friendship, and blackmail...

Ella on the outside is a beautiful MG title which really makes the reader think about the importance of friendship, picking good friends and being a good friend to those around you. Ella is a bit lost at the start of the book. Her mother has relocated the family, her father is in prison and she's started a new school without her best friend beside her and finding it tough to break into existing friendhsip groups.

What I particularly loved about this book was through Ella you get to explore what it means to be a good friend. Ella initially is drawn to Lydia, the p…

Can't wait to read

Just a little pile of books this month. Not because there isn't loads of books out there that I desperately want but because my TBR is truly out of control at the moment. I've been so lucky and had lots of lovely books sent to me to review that I'm desperate to read as well as several books arriving for me at my library I've had reserved for ages. Therefore I'm going to try to get that a bit under control this month.

Hope dreams of working backstage in a theatre, and she’s determined to make it without the help of her famous costume designer mum. So when she lands an internship on a major production, she tells no one. But with a stroppy Hollywood star and his hot young understudy upstaging Hope’s focus, she’s soon struggling to keep her cool… and her secret. 

I love Maggie's books and cannot wait to read this

Love. Desire. Vengeance. A deadly alchemy.

When Rebecca Palmer's new husband opens a pharmacy in Victorian Edinburgh, she expects to live the life …

Library Loans April

I've not read a huge amount for me this month. I've started a reasonably regimented exercise programme as part of a cardiovascular study for a University which means I'm spending a huge amount of time down the gym which is, as a direct consequence, eating into a lot of my free time in the evenings in itself. It's also means by the time I get to bed I'm tired and needing to sleep a lot earlier rather than staying up reading.

Anyway back to the books. This month I've read some excellent ones from the library as follows.

Crazy in Love at the Lonely Heart's Bookshop by Annie Darling

You can go crazy searching for the one…

Tattooed, pink-haired, Bettie Page lookalike Nina is addicted to bad boys. Like Heathcliff and Cathy, Nina firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, mad love, full of passion and fire and tempestuous arguments, and she won’t settle for anything less.

But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and …

Bad Girls by Caitlin Davies

Bad Girls by Caitlin Davies

Society has never known what to do with its rebellious women.

Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HM Prison Holloway, the self-proclaimed 'terror to evil-doers' which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe's largest women's prison.
First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway's women have come from all corners of the UK - whether a patriot from Scotland, a suffragette from Huddersfield, or a spy from the Isle of Wight - and from all walks of life - socialites and prostitutes, sporting stars and nightclub queens, refugees and freedom fighters. They were imprisoned for treason and murder, for begging, performing abortions and stealing clothing coupons, for masquerading as men, running brothels and att…

The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don't make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it's said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears. 

I thoroughly enjoyed The Sunday Lunch Club.

The Sunday Lunch Club is the story of the Piper family who meet on a semi regular basis to have Sunday Lunches. From the f…