Hi! I’ve had these mini-reviews sitting in my drafts folder for months. Then I realised Halloween is the perfect time to share them. If you’re hungry for even more inspo for the junior reader in your life (or maybe YOU are the junior reader in your life), scroll to the end of the post for a bonus reading list!
AUTHOR: Judith Rossell
SERIES: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue
PUBLISHER: ABC Books
RELEASE DATE: November, 2014 & October, 2016
GENRE: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction; Victorian Mystery; Fantasy
Add on Goodreads
Orphan and adventurer-at-heart, Stella is tragically misunderstood by her three horrible aunts. When a mysterious villain brings death and destruction to the Hotel Majestic, Stella is flung headfirst into a perilous adventure that makes her question everything she thought she knew about magic and her past. Continue reading
When I think of winter reading, I picture snuggling up with a cup of tea and a cosy book. But this is not a cosy book reading list! Some of my favourite winter reads are books that are best enjoyed with the weather outside is grizzly and inhospitable. Sure, some of them are snuggly books, but others aren’t so friendly. What are your favourite books to read in winter?
TITLE: El Deafo
AUTHOR: Cece Bell
PUBLISHER: Harry N. Abrams
RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2014
GENRE: Junior Graphic Novel, Memoir
PAGE COUNT: 233
El Deafo is an utterly adorable Own Voices graphic novel based on author Cece Bell’s own childhood experience of severe deafness. One of the many wonderful things about this book is how it avoids representing deafness as a disability. Although Cece faces plenty of adversity in the form of loneliness, being misunderstood, and toxic friends, she ultimately uses her Phonic Ear hearing aid as a superpower to become the hero, El Deafo. This is a universally relatable and informative story for junior and middle grade readers that inspires compassion and respect for differently-abled people. Continue reading
This year, I have enjoyed reading more representations of mental illness in adult and YA books. I love when these narratives contribute to breaking down stigmas, and validating real experiences. As a children’s book lover, I was curious to research what picture books are available for young readers struggling to understand a family member’s depression.
TITLE: Elizabeth and Zenobia
AUTHOR: Jessia Miller
PUBLISHER: Text Publishing
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2016
GENRE: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 232
Elizabeth and Zenobia is Aussie author, Jessica Miller’s wickedly clever debut. Although it nods to familiar fantasy tropes, it forges its own unique vision.
Elizabeth and her imaginary friend Zenobia are moving to Witheringe Green, her father’s childhood home. But there is much more to this old house than meets the eye. When family secrets lead to even stranger mysteries, Elizabeth must face her fears and save her family from otherworldly danger.
Elizabeth is our first person narrator. Unlike the fearless Zenobia, she is scared of almost everything, including but not limited to Continue reading
TITLE: When Marnie Was There
AUTHOR: Joan G. Robinson
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins
RELEASE DATE: 1967
GENRE: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 286
For a children’s book first published in 1967, When Marnie Was There still feels fresh and magical. For some readers, this was the book they grew up with. For me, this is a book to grow old with.
12-year-old Anna lives with her foster parents in London. She is sent away for her health to a seaside village where she meets a mysterious girl. Marnie is Anna’s first real friend – someone who accepts her for who she is. But Marnie’s life in the beautiful Marsh House is not as perfect as it seems.
Straight away, the mental health aspect surprised me. Continue reading
What makes our favourite female characters so special? This roundup celebrates book girls who break the mould. Some refuse to be restricted by gender roles. Others teach us there’s more to being strong than acting tough. All make great role models and deserve to be read again and again.
It’s time to celebrate the wonderful women who raised us. Take a break from brainstorming ways to show your mum some love, and remember your favourite fictional mothers. Here are my 3 favourite mothers from childhood books:
Miss Honey | Matilda
Miss Honey is Matilda’s school teacher and eventual adoptive mother. When Matilda’s biological family punishes her for being unique, Miss Honey embraces Matilda’s individuality. She does everything in her power to nurture Matilda’s special talents and make her feel loved. Her overflowing joy spreads positivity to her students.
Molly Weasley | Harry Potter series
Molly Weasley is fiercely protective. She confronts danger head-on to keep her family safe. Despite being a tough cookie, Mrs Weasley can also be tender. Her knitted Christmas sweaters and home cooked meals keep her loved ones warm and cosy all year round. When Harry visits, she makes him feel like part of the family.
Marilla Cuthbert | Anne of Green Gables
Marilla Cuthbert may not have signed up for motherhood, but she steps up to the plate when Anne Shirley comes to live at Green Gables. At first, Marilla is stone cold and strict. But as Anne warms her heart, she is surprised to experience love like she has never known before. Sharing in Anne’s misadventures becomes the most rewarding part of her life.
I hope this list gave you the warm and fuzzies. Who are your favourite mothers in literature? Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!