A Spotlight On…Alex Bell

Welcome to my ‘A Spotlight On…’ feature. In this feature, I plan to highlight and give some bookish love to some of my favourite authors.

For my fourth post in this feature, I decided to focus on the wonderful Alex Bell. Alex has become more known for Frozen Charlotte, The Haunting and The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, however, I highly recommend you check out her adult books as well.

I have read Alex’s books since the publication of The Ninth Circle in 2008. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future!

It’s amazing to see just how many books Alex has had published so far! These are just her full length books, she’s also been published in a few short story collections!

My reviews (unfortunately only date to 2015 as the rest were read pre-blogging!)

Alex’s website

Alex on Twitter @Alex_Bell86

Advertisements

Fairy Tale Friday- ‘What The Moon Saw’

This week’s fairy tale was a long one! It starts with an artist moving to a city and feeling alone. However, the moon was always a constant for him. It promised to tell him a story at night. If the artist painted a picture of each story the moon told him, then he could potentially have a storybook. The moon told the artist so many stories from all over the world. Throughout this story, its readers get a bit of history. A lot of the moon’s stories were about real places and true events.

 

 

This certainly was an interesting little tale, but I did find it a little too long for my liking in a fairy tale. I definitely think Hans Christian Andersen has more intriguing tales than this one. However, I did appreciate the research that Hans must have had to do to create this tale! I also appreciated how the moon always kept the man company, even if the moon didn’t address him after the initial introduction.

Next Fairy Tale- The Pigs

I Have No Secrets

I Have No Secrets

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Jemma knows who did the murder. She knows because he told her. And she can’t tell anyone.

Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy. Unable to communicate or move, she relies on her family and carer for everything. She has a sharp brain and inquisitive nature, and knows all sorts of things about everyone. But when she is confronted with this terrible secret, she is utterly powerless to do anything. Though that might be about to change…

Thoughts:

I had heard so much about this book before I decided to buy it. So many positive comments from other bloggers. I knew it was something that I’d like. I’m a big fan of a wide range of people being represented in literature, so it made my heart very happy to read a book about a girl with cerebral palsy, even if it was quite the dark read!

The story centres around Jemma who has severe cerebral palsy. She can’t speak or communicate meaning that she relies on her family and her carer for everything. Jemma has a good brain, she can understand everything that is being said to her and she enjoys a mystery. However, one day she is told an awful secret, something that she should tell someone. But she can’t! The story follows Jemma’s struggles with getting the truth out there.

I was absolutely blown away by this book. I loved the character of Jemma. She may not have been able to physically speak but her voice was so strong from the beginning. I loved how she never missed anything that was going on around her. She had such deep thoughts and compassion for others. I also loved how she was always open to possibility. This story, I felt, gave hope to those living with a disability.

I really enjoyed Penny Joelson’s writing style. I thought she very cleverly played with our emotions as a reader. I may not be the target audience for this book (YA) but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have no doubt that anyone would enjoy picking up this well written story.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful read from Penny Joelson. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This Week In Books #86

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Noah Can't Even I Have No Secrets The Nightingale

NOWNoah Can’t EvenSimon James Green– I’ve just started this book. I’m not sure what I think so far. Some trusted book bloggers did not finish it and I can kind of see why. I’ll keep on at the moment though.

THENI Have No SecretsPenny Joelson– I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I’m going to try and get a review out tomorrow if I can!

NEXT- The NightingaleKristin Hannah– I have heard so much about this book, so it’s time to read it. I think it could be an emotional one!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Top Ten Books That I Want My Nephew To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is all about books we’d want our children/future children/niece/nephews to read! So here are mine…

My nephew is almost 6 and I can’t wait for him to get to the age where he might read/hear these books. All of these books I either loved as a child or read to my current class who are 6/7 years old!

The BFG- Roald Dahl

The BFG

I absolutely adore this book. I think he would love it too. He’d love the whizzpoppers!

George’s Marvellous Medicine- Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine

Loved this book. It’s always my first class book with Year 2. I hope he wouldn’t get ideas to make a medicine for his Gran!

The Witches- Roald Dahl

The Witches

This one would scare him at the moment, but I hope he eventually gets to read it!

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

The World’s Worst Children and World’s Worst Children 2- David Walliams

The World's Worst Children

I have a feeling he’d love some of these disgusting tales!

The Invention Of Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Definitely for when he’s older! 🙂 I think he’d love this mixture of pictures and words!

The Demon Headmaster- Gillian Cross

The Demon Headmaster (Demon Headmaster, #1)

Such a classic from my childhood. I’d love him to read this one day.

Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mister Tom

Another classic. My current school reads this with 10-11 year olds. It’s such a fantastic book.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas- John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Again, this book wouldn’t be suitable right now, but years down the line it will be. I feel its educative too. Can’t escape the teacher in me.

What did you post this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

The Hours Before Dawn

The Hours Before Dawn

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Louise would give anything – anything – for a good night’s sleep. Forget the girls running errant in the garden and bothering the neighbours. Forget her husband who seems oblivious to it all. If the baby would just stop crying, everything would be fine.

Or would it? What if Louise’s growing fears about the family’s new lodger, who seems to share all of her husband’s interests, are real? What could she do, and would anyone even believe her? Maybe, if she could get just get some rest, she’d be able to think straight.

In a new edition of this lost classic, The Hours Before Dawn proves – scarily – as relevant to readers today as it was when Celia Fremlin first wrote it in the 1950s. 

Thoughts:

I was immediately intrigued by this book because it was billed as the original psychological thriller. If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of thrillers. This book was originally published in the 1950s. I was interested to see how it translated now.

The Hours Before Dawn tells the story of Louise who has recently had a baby boy who just won’t stop crying. She has two girls and a husband to keep as well. Louise’s life appears to be falling apart and her husband is pretty oblivious to everything around him. He is annoyed about the baby crying all the time and puts pressure on Louise to sort it all out.  Others around Louise believe she is spiralling into madness. But is it madness or something else? Louise’s new lodger is not quite what she seems. Louise is suspicious that something is happening with the lodger, but not many believe Louise…

I really liked how the author didn’t seem to throw us any clues. It could have been Louise going mad or the lodger getting up to something. It was hard to believe in a character, they are both quite unreliable and I loved that element of the story. Celia Fremlin was clearly a talented author. She writes such great characters and doesn’t easily give away what’s happening. I found it to be a creepy read and interesting look into 1950s life.

I think part of my problem with the story is that it hasn’t aged as well as it could have done. Sure, if you read it in the mindset that it was the 1950s then you can imagine that Louise was a perfect character to represent a stay at home mum/wife. I think women now are much more likely to fight against that type of life.

I think you’d enjoy this book if you like to read a high quality, mysterious, creepy read.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I’m glad I read this book! Celia Fremlin was clearly a talented writer!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Going with the flow!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching Year 2 (6-7 year olds). My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week has been incredibly busy but a lot of fun. I’ve continued with teaching poetry, with much more success this week. I gave the children lots of support and ideas and it seems to have gone down well.

We have been watching Michael Rosen reading his poetry. We’re having a poetry sharing session with parents next week and I’ve went with my class as they decided they wanted to perform it to their parents. I love it when the children get the opportunity to lead the learning. It’s certainly inspiring to go with them and our curriculum doesn’t often give you that opportunity.

I’m looking forward to planning lots of creative activities for our next two books. I’m loving that we’ve gone to book led topics. It makes this bookworm’s heart very, very happy.

This week brings my first staff meeting which I’m very nervous about. Luckily it’s about one of my favourite topics… blogging! 🙂 I hope it’ll be received well. Only time will tell…