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Reviews Written by
A. Booth "writerandreadermum" (England)
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Falling
Falling
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this was brilliant. I loved the different strands, 29 May 2017
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This review is from: Falling (Kindle Edition)
I thought this was brilliant. I loved the different strands, and I found each person's story convincing and moving. I think Julie Cohen really got the perspective of people from different generations and I cared about each of them.I loved the ending. I definitely want to read more of her books now.


One Day at a Time: Meditations for Carers
One Day at a Time: Meditations for Carers
by Dorothy M. Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This book is full of love and I think will help carers feel less alone, 25 May 2017
It is really clear from these meditations that Dorothy is a carer - and by the prayers she shares she encourages carers to honestly bring to God all the emotions and problems that such a role brings with it. This book is full of love and I think will help carers feel less alone. I have been a carer myself, and am again at a period of life where I have taken the role for a while, and reading these prayers helps me remember that it is OK to feel overwhelmed, and vital to bring such feelings to God. I like the sane, compassionate self-care suggestions too. This is a spiritually and psychologically wise book, full of kindness and gentle humour too.


The State of Grace
The State of Grace
by Rachael Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely book!, 14 April 2017
This review is from: The State of Grace (Paperback)
What a lovely book! I read it in one go as I just didn't want to stop. Grace is such a lovely narrator, and Rachael Lucas writes about family life so well. I really enjoyed this funny, touching story about friendship and family life and love. I also feel that by getting to know funny, honest, fallible and lovable Grace and learning how she experiences the world, I now have a little more understanding of how people with autism feel when they just get overloaded with too much sensory input. I loved Grace's friends and developing relationship, and I really liked the way Grace describes her feelings about her horse and the importance of her relationship with her. This is really well written and enjoyable and Grace is a wonderful new heroine with a great best friend, Anna. I loved this book.


A Life Between Us
A Life Between Us
by Louise Walters
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read which would be perfect for a book group., 14 April 2017
This review is from: A Life Between Us (Paperback)
This is one of those books where once you pick it up it is very hard to put down. I thought was such an interesting book and so beautifully written. I loved the way Louse Walters used flashback and letters from a child to her American pen pal cousin - sometimes when authors jump from one different time to another I find it too confusing, but somehow Louise Walters judged this perfectly, and I was totally drawn into the plot. I don't want to say anything more about the plot, as I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I think this is a book which would be perfect for a book club, as after finishing it there were lots of questions I wanted to ask about the motivations of some of the characters. One character in particular , a very important one who was really well written, did something which, when revealed, threw everything I thought about them into question. I think Louise is such a good writer that even the fact that I can't quite get over this action and square it with the rest of what the character does, doesn't make me like the book less. It makes me think about all the complicatedness of so much of human life, and how we are all mysteries to ourselves. I am still not 100% sure if the character is consistent, but the strength of the rest of Louise Walter's writing is that I still love the book, and immediately went off and ordered 'Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase'. I really hope Louise Walters writes many more books - I want to read them all - and I desperately want to talk about this book with someone else who has read it!


Taking My God for a Walk: A Publisher on Pilgrimage
Taking My God for a Walk: A Publisher on Pilgrimage
by Tony Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative, witty and movingly honest - a great read for walkers or armchair pilgrims alike., 1 July 2016
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I really enjoyed this book. I learnt a great deal from it about the Camino, the 490 mile pilgrimage walk from the French border to Santiago de Compostela. Tony Collins describes the practicalities of such a long walk extremely well, and I am now convinced of the necessity of good footwear, rucksack, socks (alpaca are the best), the best sleeping bag lining to deter bed bugs, rainwear, etc. He writes really well about the terrain you pass through and the different challenges you will find en route, including the different hostels he stayed at. I also loved the way he shared the history of the land, and enjoyed how he managed to weave in comments on socks with descriptions of landscape and then a story from centuries ago. He is a great guide. But there is something more to this book. I loved the way he talked about the other pilgrims he met and shared their stories, and I treasured the (comparatively rare) times where he wrote a powerfully honest paragraph about his own inner journey, his wrestling with regrets or bad memories, and how the process of going on pilgrimage helped him. I felt the quotes he used from other writers were particularly well chosen, and at times I had to put down the book because I was so moved and struck by his honesty, and inspired to think about my own life journey.


Help! I'm an Alien
Help! I'm an Alien
by Jo Franklin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, wacky but also surprisingly tender story about a Year 6 who thinks he is an alien, 28 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Help! I'm an Alien (Paperback)
I have just finished 'Help! I'm an Alien' by Jo Franklin. Already translated into German and French and for sale in America, it has at last been published in UK. It's a funny book with enjoyable illustrations about a Year 6 boy who is convinced he is an alien, and has fart jokes aplenty so I am sure will be popular world wide for that alone - but it also has a sweet, tender quality , mixed with well observed jokes about family life and the feeling all children (and adults!) can have of not quite fitting in. I found myself really loving Daniel and am sure loads and loads of children will enjoy this and maybe even be beguiled into reading if they weren't keen before! I also think that it is great that there are sequels planned, as meeting favourite characters again is a great incentive for reluctant readers to get engaged.


Izzy the Very Bad Burglar
Izzy the Very Bad Burglar
by Written and illustrated by Amy Proud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, charming, thought provoking and original., 23 Jun. 2016
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I thought this was such a sweet and unusual book. I loved very good Izzy and her friend very kind Frog and the way that this story deals with a child's moral sense (Izzy gets a bad feeling in her stomach that won't go away when she steals from people) This is a very tender story and the illustrations are so endearing. It's funny and full of action and I also loved that, very gently, it gives the message that parents aren't always right and that you can decide to live your life in a different way and it can all turn out fine. This is such an important message for children to have - that you can try your best (as Izzy does) to make your parents happy, but if it causes you to have a 'bad feeling in the stomach' then it is OK to break with tradition - be it burglary or anything you don't feel good about. I think this is a charming book with an originality, warmth and depth which makes it one you keep thinking about. I have just ordered another copy to give away as I want to keep mine!


The Emergency Zoo
The Emergency Zoo
by Miriam Halahmy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Maurice Gleitzmann and Michael Morpurgo - Miriam Halahmy has written a remarkable book., 3 Jun. 2016
This review is from: The Emergency Zoo (Paperback)
I don't want to give away too many spoilers - but this is a remarkable book. I am a fellow writer who was at Miriam's book launch, but I am writing this as a passionate lover and reader of children's books and I really admire this. Not only is it a lovely story about a little known part of British history - the way that British pets were treated at the start of the Second World War ( something Michael Morpugo fans would enjoy)- and is brilliant about friendships - but it sensitively touches on the wider context of the conflict, both past history (e.g. one of the characters has a father who fought in the First World War) and the wider contemporary context (e.g. we have two Jewish refugee children). I was shocked and also very admiring at how Miriam Halahmy manages to write so skilfully for children about some absolutely terrible things whilst managing to stop them being traumatic, which is what reminds me of Maurice Gleitzmann. She has written a warm, positive, enjoyable story about pets being rescued and I loved the pets she described (I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel myself), but she has pulled off the very difficult writers' task of managing to do this without being sentimental or downplaying the real tragedy of the conflict. In this she reminds me of Maurice Gleitzmann - a detail she skilfully dropped in about life for the father of the Jewish refugees, for example, has haunted me since I read it and yet she manages not to overwhelm the story at all. It is just one detail in a great and gripping story - and I think she uses historical detail perfectly so it doesn't spoil or hinder the narrative - again, a very difficult thing to do. I think children will appreciate the ending too - there is something very truthful about the way she gives Hope whilst not denying the sadness that the children will still have to feel and the reader also feels - the book ends before the war ends, and so the children will need all their bravery to get through the next years, but you are left with the feeling that their friendship and the love that they feel for their pets will get them through. I'd love to meet these characters again - both animal and human! I really think this is an exceptional book.


The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar
The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar
by Tamsin Cooke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and original fast paced debut children's novel - echoes of Bond and Harry Potter with a great action- girl narrator!, 31 Jan. 2016
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I loved this book. I really enjoyed the pace - and I thought Scarlet was a great girl heroine - really pro-active and daring. The combination of action adventure with magic reminded me both of a James Bond type thriller and a Harry Potter type fantasy book. I note that someone commented that they felt uneasy that in a children's book, Scarlet and her dad were cat burglars - I understand this - but I think that it was very clearly explained (SPOILER ALERT) that they only recovered items which were stolen - and the mythological and magic element (which I thought was great - I loved the descriptions of Scarlet's transformations) further removes it from 'reality' - I don't think any child would be confused by this and think burglary per se was O.K.! If I was going to worry about anything I would worry that Ethan (I like the developing friendship here too) was able to hack into a computer...but again, I think the genre itself - thriller/fantasy - allows for that without inviting imitation. Maybe a future book could mention that hacking can cause big problems - I do remember the student who faced prison just for being able to hack into the US Govt computer - but I honestly can't imagine a 9-12 year old a) being capable of such technological wizardry or b) being led into a life of crime by this story - I devoured 'The famous Five' but would never have dreamt of tackling smugglers in

underground passages...nor knew how to find them. This is great fun to read and an exciting and original debut!


Crooked Pieces
Crooked Pieces
by Sarah Grazebrook
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to read alongside watching the new film about Suffragettes. My teenage daughter loved it., 6 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: Crooked Pieces (Paperback)
I thought this was such a good book, and I gave it to my teenage daughter who really enjoyed it. It is very well researched and written, and because it is through the eyes of the maid shows the real tensions and difficulties of the period. I hope this book is widely read now, at this time when a blockbuster film is coming out. I wish it had been made into a TV series - I hope it will now!


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