Review: The Tzar’s Curious Runaways

Katinka's life as a dancer in the Tzar's circus comes to an abrupt end when her powerful benefactor dies and she must flee St Petersburg's Winter Palace in fear of her life. She stands out for many reasons – her quick wits and quicker feet among them – but her 'hunched back' (which saw her... Continue Reading →

Review: It’s a No Money Day

This is a remarkable book that draws attention to a bleak situation, yet still resonates with kindness, love, and even a little fun. A child's experience of visiting a food bank might not be the most obvious topic for a picture book, but - though we might wish otherwise - it is a relevant and... Continue Reading →

Review: Black Water

There is a lot to be said for a powerful title, and Barbara Henderson's new novella has that and much more. The words “Black Water” capture the essence of the dark, dangerous Solway Firth smuggling scene, and captured this reader's curiosity from the outset. The story follows Henry, a 13-year-old apprentice exciseman, who is trying... Continue Reading →

Review: the Star in the Forest

This is a beautiful picture book, with a beautiful message - that there is wonder to be appreciated everywhere - to match. Maisie and Pip have arrived at their grandparents' cottage for a holiday, but it's already dark and while Pip is happy to watch the stars appear, Maisie yearns for action. When excitement arrives in... Continue Reading →

Review: the Great Clown Conundrum

This is the second in Alexander McCall Smith's circus series for younger readers, and it matches the sparkle of the first, with family fun, high wire excitement, and a delightful dose of mystery. Billy, Fern and Joe Shortbread are circus children whose lives as performers are bound to be the envy of readers, especially when... Continue Reading →

Seven Stories: Caroline Logan

Seven Stories is a Roaring Reads feature in which a Scottish children’s author shares some stories about their own life. This month we've been chatting to Caroline Logan, whose debut fantasy, The Stone of Destiny, had us gripped from start to finish. Her reality has been pretty exciting too! 1) NEWS STORY (What's the story... Continue Reading →

Review: the Stone of Destiny

When a woman's desperate screams break the isolation of her hideout, Ailsa steps in to defend the stranger and the wounded seal she is holding. It's a generous, instinctive act that leads the teenager into an adventure that even excellent axe skills and five years of fending for herself have done little to prepare her... Continue Reading →

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