Talking About Kid-Lit 2016 with Bibliobeth!

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our fourth (!!) year of Kid-Lit blogging.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2016 and why?

BETH: Tough choice this year as there were a few books I really, really loved. If I had to choose one though it would be The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase. Totally surprised me with how much I enjoyed it and it had such a classic, old-time feel to it which was fantastic.

CHRISSI: Mine would be The Wolves of Willoughby Chase or The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair. I can’t pick… sorry! Both had such charm.

2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2016 and why?

BETH: Hmmm…..Ballet Shoes. Definitely the most disappointing. I struggled to get through it if I’m honest and got a bit bored about halfway through.

CHRISSI: I would say Ballet Shoes as well. I really thought it would be a book that I loved because I’m a massive fan of books that involve dance and love that era, but no, it wasn’t for me.

3) What was the Kid-Lit book of 2016 that surprised you the most?

BETH: The Horse And His Boy for sure. I didn’t have fond memories of it as a child. In fact, it was my least favourite of all the Narnia books. I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t as bad as I remembered and I actually really enjoyed it!

CHRISSI: It would be Looking for JJ for me as I didn’t expect to be as gripped as I was by the story. I devoured it!

4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2016?

BETH: I fell completely under the spell of Lara Williamson after reading The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair and would really love to read her debut novel A Boy Called Hope.

CHRISSI: I will definitely continue with the Percy Jackson series. I don’t know if I can wait each kid-lit year to read the series though!

For anyone who reads these posts, thank you so much for your continued support, we love doing this challenge and hope to continue it indefinitely. Coming tomorrow – the big reveal for Kid-Lit 2017! Which titles made it this year? And which titles are we going to have to do er…. another year?!

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Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit: The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair

The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
A Boy Called Hope

Synopsis:

All Becket wants is for his family to be whole again. But standing in his way are two things: 1) his dad, his brother and him seem to have run away from home in the middle of the night and 2) Becket’s mum died before he got the chance to say goodbye to her. Arming himself with an armchair of stories, a snail named Brian and one thousand paper cranes, Becket ploughs on, determined to make his wish come true.

Thoughts:

I was pleased that we picked this book after thoroughly enjoying Lara Williamson’s debut. I was especially intrigued by the title. Although there are some similarities between this book and Lara’s debut they are different stories with different but wonderful characters. The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair is about emotions. It’s about bereavement and difficult family situations.

The story starts with brothers Becket and Billy trying to work out why their Dad has left his long term girlfriend Pearl who they really loved. Becket and Billy are also dealing with grief after their mother died of eclampsia when giving birth to Billy. Becket is especially struggling as he never got to say goodbye to his mother. The book deals with the relationship between Pearl, the boys and their Dad.

It deals with much deeper content than I had anticipated but in a sensitive way. There’s humour which is much appreciated in a rather deep book. Lara Williamson realistically portrays family life and how it’s not always easy. There are so many humorous moments that adults can enjoy as well. I certainly don’t think it’s just a middle grade children’s book. There’s so much to think about.

Being a fan of magical realism, I really enjoyed the paper crane elements of this story. I was really intrigued by the origami cranes and the idea of the butterflies. That made my heart happy.

Whilst this book is about bereavement, it’s not a book that breaks your heart. It’s a hopeful book about acceptance and moving forward. The bond between the brothers is absolutely beautiful and I loved the moments when Becket sat Billy down in the armchair and took him for an adventure. So imaginative, so sweet.

For Beth’s wonderful review, check out her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Comparing ‘A Boy Called Hope’ by Lara Williamson

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Synopsis:

I’m Dan Hope and deep inside my head I keep a list of things I want to come true.

For example, I want my sister, Ninja Grace, to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year.

I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a zombie mystery, all the more exciting.

I want to be the first eleven-year-old to land on the moon.

I want my dog to stop eating the planets and throwing them up on the carpet.

And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my dad to love me.

A Boy Called Hope is a brave, bold and funny debut about family in all its shapes and sizes.

Click on the image to get to Luna's blog!

Click on the image to get to Luna’s blog!

Thoughts before you started reading A Boy Called Hope?
CHRISSI: I saw this book in Luna’s local bookshop Storytellers Inc, and was immediately drawn to it. It may have a simple cover, but I think it’s beautiful.

LUNA: Not that many if I’m honest, I’d seen it in a few bookshops but didn’t actually know that much about it.

What did you think of Dan Hope?
CHRISSI: I thought he was a young, endearing character.

LUNA: I thought Dan came across as young at the beginning of the book, I think that might have to do with the timing of when I’d read it. Having just finished another book with a female protagonist of the same age the differences were quite big.

Best bit?
CHRISSI: I loved reading about Dan’s naïve little moments. I felt for him during many times the book.

LUNA: The 999 call, oh that had me in stitches.

Worst bit?:
CHRISSI: I really expected to come emotionally invested in the story. I thought it was going to be a real tear jerker, but it didn’t move me as much as I expected to. It wasn’t badly written. I just didn’t feel as attached to it as I had anticipated.

LUNA: There wasn’t really anything that I didn’t like, though I wasn’t as emotionally involved in A Boy Called Hope as I expected. From Dan’s point of view I guess it would have been when his father didn’t acknowledgment at the TV studio. That was pretty awful.

Favourite character / moment?
CHRISSI: I thought Dan was a great, endearing character. His interactions with others were interesting to read.

LUNA: Dan’s friend Jo. Her fascination with all the saints might have been a little annoying for her friends but I thought it was cute. My favourite moment was the time Dan spent with Big Dave, especially the bit at the very end of the book.

Was A Boy Called Hope what you expected?
CHRISSI: I expected it to be more emotional!

LUNA: I didn’t have a lot of expectations beforehand, so yes.

Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Yes. It’s a sweet middle grade read, but it’s not earth-shattering.

LUNA: Yes.

WWW Wednesday #75

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodread’s page for the book.

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. This is the first time that I’ve picked up a book by Malorie. I’m absolutely loving this book. I will probably finish it today. It’s YA, but definitely not for younger YA readers as there are some very dark themes within it.

What did you recently finish reading?

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I’ve recently finished Thirty Sunsets. I had some issues with this book. My review will hopefully becoming in early July!

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Next up for me is A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson. I’m so behind with my collaborations this month. June has really run away from me. My review for this book will be coming very soon.  I’m going to have to burn through it today if I can!

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave your link to your post in the comments section below or answer the questions! Happy Reading!

 

Top Ten Freebie- Top Ten Unread Books waiting for me on my shelves

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a Top Ten Freebie. We can write a top ten list for whatever we like. I always find these lists a bit difficult for some reason. I probably over think them.

Anyway, I’ve decided to pick my Top Ten Unread Books waiting for me to be read on my shelf. Let’s face it. There’s a hell of a lot more than 10 waiting to be read. I’m a book buying addict. I can’t help it.

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More Than ThisPatrick Ness– I have wanted to read this book for SO long. I shall definitely try and fit it in as soon as I can. I hope I haven’t hyped myself up for it!

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Perfect Ruin- Lauren DeStefano– I adore Lauren DeStefano’s writing, so this book I should really try to read soon.

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A Boy Called HopeLara Williamson– This book may have a plainish cover, but it sounds adorable. I really need to make time for this book.

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Maybe SomedayColleen Hoover– I’ve heard good things about this book. I just need to get to it!

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Dead To YouLisa McMann – I was drawn to the cover of this book, and immediately picked it up after reading the synopsis.

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The Lovely and The LostPage Morgan– Yep, that’s right. Another series that I need to continue. There are just SO many.

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Fallen GraceMary Hooper- The cover of this book is simple, but beautiful. Really looking forward to this one.

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A Monster CallsPatrick Ness– I’m working my way through books by Patrick Ness. This one is certainly on my radar.

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FracturedTeri Terry– Oh look, another series that I need to continue! I enjoyed Slated, so I’m looking forward to reading Fractured.

I really need to make time for these books! Have you read any of them? Which would you suggest I prioritise?

Please feel free to leave your link to your Top Ten Freebie post this week. I’d love to see what you’ve done!

Stacking The Shelves #67- A crazy big haul after my long weekend away

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page!

With thanks to Headline books (via Book Bridgr):

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I’ve heard good things about Precious Things by Colette McBeth, so I look forward to reading that (hopefully) soon.

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I am SO excited about this book. I received it this Thursday, but by the time this post goes live, I may have already read it.

Storytellers Inc haul:

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Storytellers Inc is an amazing bookshop. I had a great weekend last weekend, exploring their shop. As you can see… I just had to buy some books! 😉 I’m particularly looking forward to More Than This by Patrick Ness, If You Can Find Me by Emily Murdoch and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson.  But really, I can’t wait to read them all. It’s just when I find the time to. Hmmm..

Borrowed/given to me from Luna:

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I have a feeling that I’m going to be very busy with these books. This week’s haul definitely makes up for a quiet one last week!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know! Feel free to leave your link to your hauls in the comments below and I’ll stop by at some point!