Call Me Drog is a great story, which is quite unlike anything I have read before. It is a debut novel from author Sue Cowing and follows eleven year old Parker and hand puppet Drog.
Drog is not a normal toy that you can pick and choose when to play with. Once Parker has put him onto his hand, he cannot find a way to get him off. Drog also seems to have a life of his own and lands Parker in all kinds of trouble.
Parker Lockwood is a normal sixth grader until Drog turns his life upside down. Before long his best friend Wren thinks he has turned against her and his father thinks he should be sent to military school. How will Parker prove that he is not making things up?
I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this book, I started reading and just had to keep going to find out more about Drog. Is he really magical or is it a trick? Will Parker ever be able to get him off of his hand? There were some heart wrenching moments too when Parker talks about his parents divorce and has to make decisions about splitting time between his mother and father.
This is a unique, moving and ultimately hilarious novel that I would highly recommend.
Thank you to Usborne for sending us a copy to review.
Read a guest post from Sue Cowing here:http://bookbabblers.co.uk/2012/04/guest-post-from-sue-cowing-author-of-call-me-drog/
You can find out more about Call Me Drog and Sue Cowing at www.usborne.com/drog
This is a debut children’s novel by R P Harris that was inspired by a day trip to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. He met the founder of the park who explained to him the plight of the Asian elephant and he actually fed the elephants by hand and bathed with them in the river. The story uses a simple vocabulary to introduce the complex issue of animal poaching to children
It has 202 pages and a recommended reading age of 8 to 12 and is a chapter book with illustrations. My 6 year old managed to read it with some help with the Thai names and language.
The story is based around Tua, which is peanut in Thai. Tua lives with her mother in Chiang Mai, Thailand on a quiet lane near one of the city’s most popular night markets. One day when her Mother was at work Tua was out exploring the night market and she finds an elephant that is not being looked after by its mahouts. A mahout is supposed to become one with his elephant and look after them. Tua feels an instant connection with the elephant and follows it to see what is happening. Tua realises that the elephant is being abused and decides to rescue her. Thus begins the adventure of Tua and the elephant who she names Pohn Pohn and their journey to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge and away from the vile mahouts.
The descriptions in this book evoke the nature of Thailand and this is helped by the use of Thai phrases and the connection created between Tua and the elephant is wonderful. It is a lovely story that both I and my 6 year old enjoyed and I would say a very good debut novel.
Thanks Wendy and thank you to Chronicle for sending us a copy to review.
Tempest is the first in a trilogy by debut author Julie Cross.
The novel begins in 2009, Jackson Meyer is a college student leading a relatively normal life with a girlfriend and a summer job. However, he also has an unexplained ability to travel back in time. These trips back in time seem harmless until one morning when strangers burst into his girlfriend Holly’s room and shoot her. Jackson jumps back in time away from the scene and lands in 2007 where he gets stuck. Will Jackson be able to change events through time travel and what will he learn about his abilities?
Tempest is a fast paced, action packed thriller starting in 2009. I really enjoyed this book and Cross has done an excellent job of creating a YA thriller with a different edge. There are so many surprises and mysteries in this story that I could not put it down.
I loved Jackson’s character, he is clever and always trying to think of doing the right thing even if that wasn’t what he might have done in the past. I also thought the way that Cross makes him deal with his emotions worked really well with the story line.
This is a great novel and I really can’t wait to read the next two instalments. I liked that this is told from a male point of view (Jackson), as this made it feel a bit different to other YA books. I would love to see this made into a film – it would be fab!
We have two copies of Tempest to giveaway. To enter just retweet this post or leave a comment below. UK only. Closes 31st January at 5pm.
Julie Cross is our Author in Residence this month. To find out more about Julie read our interview here http://bookbabblers.co.uk/2012/01/q-a-with-julie-cross/
Julie is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieCross
and on twitter: JulieCross1980
Sarah Alderson’s debut novel Hunting Lila was one of my favourite books of 2011, so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a review copy of her latest title Fated and it really did not disappoint.
Fated is an explosive paranormal thriller which sees heroine Evie Tremain being attacked by a group of demons as she puts out the trash at the diner where she works. Evie doesn’t understand what is going on and is even more confused when a stranger comes to her rescue. What Evie soon finds out is that her life has changed beyond recognition and she is actually a hunter.
I loved Evie’s character, she is hard working with two jobs in order to save for college in New York and escape her hometown. She also has a real attitude and is very determined and these were probably my favourite things about her.
Lucas is half shadow warrior half human and he is from the Brotherhood (a group of unhumans who are constantly at war with the hunters). Lucas is sent to spy on Evie and ultimately to kill her, but after getting to know Evie can he go through with it?
Alderson is such a fantastic writer she draws the reader right into the story and makes you feel that you are actually there. It is a totally different story to Hunting Lila, but is still written in what I think is Alderson’s trademark gripping and action packed style. If you are looking for a great read then buy Fated, as you won’t be able to put it down.
I have a feeling that Fated is going to be one of my top books for 2012 and I really hope that there will be a sequel!
Fated is published today and you can buy a copy here..
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending us a copy to review.
Don’t Call me Ishmael is a fantastic novel from Michael Gerard Bauer. Originally published in Australia in 2006, Don’t Call me Ishmael follows the school life of Ishmael Leseur and his friends; James Scobie, Ignatius Prindabel, Razza Zorzotto and Bill Kingsley as well as those who’re not such good friends, namely Barry Bagsley and co.
The central theme of the novel is bullying. Ishmael starts secondary school and is picked upon by Barry Bagsley, the school bully because of his unusual name.(Those of you who have read Moby Dick will recognize the name Ishmael). Thus begins Ishmael’s journey through the school year trying to keep himself out of Barry’s way.
When new pupil James Scobie arrives, it seems that Barry may have a new victim in his sights. Ishmael and Scobie soon strike up a friendship with a group of other boys in their year and try to learn how to deal with events that are thrown in their path.
This is a hilarious book that I think would be most popular with boys. Bauer’s writing is so easy to read and fun that it will turn the pages for you. I sat down and read this in a day, I just couldn’t put it down.
I loved this novel and can highly recommend it. I think readers will find it deals with issues facing today’s schoolchildren.
Thank you to Templar Publishing for sending us a copy to review.
You can find Michael on Facebook: Michael Gerard Bauer Author
And on his blog: http://michaelgerardbauer.wordpress.com
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m a mom of three kids, wife to an awesome husband, and now a former gymnastics coach turned writer/stay-at-home mom. I love reading more than any other hobby or activity. But I also enjoy running, swimming, roller blading and years of ballet have made it virtually impossible for me to walk across a smooth kitchen floor in my socks without attempting a few pirouettes. Listening to music is must for me at almost all hours of the day, but I’m completely tone-deaf and no amount of voice lessons could improve my efforts.
How did you begin writing and what was your journey to publication like?
My writing journey began in May of 2009 and it started with scenes from a story in my head. I wrote them in random order in a small notebook, before deciding to start typing and creating a bigger plot.
I finished my first novel and starting submitting it to literary agents by the August, 2009. Really, I only did it for fun at first. Just to see what would happen. I sent tons of query letters and then dove into a totally new book. I had many requests for more material and also MANY rejection. I kept writing and having friends and family read chapters and sometimes entire manuscripts. I didn’t do much editing or rewriting in that first year. There were so many stories I wanted to tell that moving on to the next project was very easy for me.
By April of 2010, I had completed seven young adult novels…each one very different and showing some kind of growth from the last. Then an editor who requested my very first novel got back to me with a couple rejections and suggestions before asking me if I was willing to do a complete rewrite and work on a true YA time-travel story with him. Of course, I said yes. And it was such a blast to bounce ideas and create something totally new. By June of 2010, I not only had an agent, but a three book deal with St. Martin’s press and studios interested optioning TEMPEST for possible film adaption. It was quite a wild ride.
Tell us about Tempest and your inspiration for the book
My inspiration for TEMPEST comes from the very basic love story. Two characters who are very different, meeting and falling in love. If I compared TEMPEST to a big pot of soup, the love story would be broth. Then of course, time-travel would be the main ingredient…like the noodles. After I had that established and I began writing it, it was like tossing random items from the fridge into the soup and hoping it creates a brand new dish that many people would like. A little government thriller. A dash of family drama and emotion. A pinch of mystery. It sounds kind of silly, but that’s really how it happened. In layers, one idea at a time.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a third draft of book 2 and a first draft of book 3 pretty much at the same time. I go back and forth between the two depending on when I get edits from my agent or editor on the second book.
What do you like to do outside of writing?
Reading! I love GLEE and a few other regular shows that I watch. I have different volunteer projects that I work on and that’s really enjoyable because being a full time writer means no co-workers and it’s nice to be around people that aren’t related to me sometimes.
Thank you Julie for the opportunity to do this interview!
Tempest is published on the 5th January. You can order a copy here
You can find Julie on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieCross
and on Twitter: @JulieCross1980
Told in narrative rhyme, Faerytale is the story of two sisters – Ellie and her older sister Lucy. While Ellie loves make-believe and fairy tales, Lucy has long since grown out of those fanciful things. But when a game of hide and seek has disastrous consequences, Lucy must remember the old forgotten tales of her childhood, and keep her wits about her.
Ellie fell down a rabbit hole into a world of dark and twisted creatures where the wolf will certainly eat you and Rapunzel’s prince isn’t nearly as charming as he should be. But can Lucy find her in time, before it’s too late for both of them…?
Children and adults alike will devour this book, picking out their favourite tales from childhood and urging Lucy on her quest. Definitely one for under the Christmas tree!
Thank you Pamela and thanks to Safkhet Publishing for sending us a copy to review.
How’s everyone getting on with their ‘book of the month’? We’ve read Gimme A Call, and have just started Skulduggery Pleasant. Do vote in the poll on the left to tell us what you’re reading. If you’ve already read any of them, go tell us what you think in our forum now.
There is a lot going on at Bookbabblers. We’re lining up future ‘authors in residence’ for you (we’re very excited to tell you that we’ve got Ellen Renner and LA Weatherly already on board!!), getting lots of great books for review and brilliant author guest posts and Q&A’s coming through (Sophia Bennett, Sue Limb, PC Cast, Gillian Shields, MG Harris, to name but a few…) Hope you’re all as excited about it as we are?
As we’ve lots of things happening, and we’ve been running for a few weeks now, we thought now would be a good time to gather a little Bookbabbler feedback. We’d really appreciate it if you could spare us a few minutes to take our feedback survey. Just click here to be taken to it – answers are all anonymous, so you can be totally honest!! Thanks so much – it’s your group, so we want you to have your say.
Now, to new releases. The fab news is that there are LOADS of new books out this month that look brilliant! Picking just a few out here to share with you is the tricky part, but here goes…
Wilma Tenderfoot & the Case of the Putrid Poison – Emma Kennedy
A cunning disguise.
Some stinky seaweed.
And a dastardly villain on the loose . . . sounds like another case for Wilma Tenderfoot!
Wilma Tenderfoot, the feisty and determined assistant to the greatest living detective, Theodore P. Goodman, is faced with a peculiar, and pongy, case to crack. Cooper Island’s vaudeville theatre becomes centre stage for a murderous menace, as one by one the actors are fatally poisoned. Can Wilma, along with her faithful hound and dazzling dancing partner, Pickle, discover the fiend’s identity . . . before the final curtain falls for Wilma herself?
Seriously Sassy: Crazy Days – Maggie Gibson
‘I’m gonna use my fame and money to make the world a better place . . . OK?’ Life is seriously good for Sassy Wilde – she’s had her first kiss, she has the two bestest bezzies ever and her rock-chick dreams are on the verge of coming true. But just as everything’s set to take off, her new boyfriend starts acting weird – and then the record company turns Sassy’s world upside down! Sassy feels like giving it all up – until a real disaster strikes. Now’s not the time for Sassy to pack away her guitar, cos her talents are needed more than ever . . .
The Dead:V1 – David Gatward
Lazarus Stone is about to turn sixteen when, one night, his normal life is ripped to shreds by a skinless figure drenched in blood.
He has a message: The Dead are coming.
Now Lazarus is all that stands in their way. To fulfil his destiny, he must confront not only the dark past of his family, but horrors more gruesome than even Hell could invent. And it all begins with the reek of rotting flesh …
Withering Tights – Louise Rennison
Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type.
On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up.
Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)
Six weeks of parent-free freedom.
Freedom of expression…
cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!
The Other Countess – Eve Edwards
England, 1582 ELLIE – Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime – is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen’s court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorset . . . WILLIAM LACEY has inherited his father’s title and his financial ruin. Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family’s fortune. But Will’s head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is – which one . . . ?
This one’s a personal choice, as here at Bookbabblers, we love to see fiction with a little history woven through it. Entertainment and learning all in one go!
All are in our ‘featured’ section of our shop now. There are lots more we love – The Beastly Boys’ Battle of the Zombies, Bree Despain’s The Dark Divine, Marcus Sedgwick’s White Crow, Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger – aaah, so many! There are others we’ll be letting you know about through our reviews, author Q&A’s and author guest posts this month anyway, so look out for plenty more..
It’s all go in Bookbabblers world. We’ve delighted in making prize winners out of many of you, and enjoyed putting our review panel together, too. We have also been beavering away arranging lovely authors to swing by and chat with us, so you’ll be seeing more of that soon. Oh, and in between all of this, we’ve managed to get going on our ‘book of the month’ choices. The Butterfly Lion was fab and we’re well into The Dragonfly Pool now – hope you’re enjoying them?
Onto the reading, and there’s a lot of good titles to choose from this month – always great news for book lovers! We’ve managed to choose a few for you, though you may find we pop up with a few more we like towards the end of the month, too!
The Oldmoor Orphans and the Rodent’s Revenge – Simon B Nicholson, illus. David Wyatt
Oldmoor Hotel is a rickety hotel in the middle of a bleak, foggy moor. Two children, Ernest and Daisy, manage it because their grandmother has mysteriously disappeared. But why are the guests so odd? And what draws them to this strange and isolated hotel? Rodents’ Revenge is the first in the Oldmoor Orphans six-book series and features squirrels, a mad parrot, secret passageways and a whole load of nutty goings-on.
Magical Mischief – Anna Dale
Hardbattle Books is no ordinary bookshop. Magic has settled there in every corner and over the years has brought chaos to Mr Hardbattle’s life and driven away most of his customers. His livelihood threatened, Mr Hardbattle is finally forced to take action. Together, Mr Hardbattle, the resourceful and down-to-earth Arthur and Miss Quint embark upon a quest to find a new home for the magic.
Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar – Cathy Cassidy
Meet the one and only Daizy Star! Daizy is ready to dazzle everyone with her brand-new pink guitar – maybe she’ll even find her star quality! But then Dad comes up with another crazy idea, which means swapping happy family life for milking African goats. Eeeek! Daizy needs a clever plan . . . she’s got to win the Battle of the Bands, or she can say goodbye to all her friends, sleepovers and – worst of all – custard doughnuts . . .
Girl 16: Five Star Fiasco – Sue Limb
The teenage world of Jess Jordon is looking characteristically chaotic: Mum has joined an online dating programme and has recruited Jess as advisor, while Jess’ best friend Flora has a rich new boyfriend who Jess can’t possibly keep up with. Then Jess’ own boyfriend, Fred, does something unbelievably treacherous and spineless. Jess is becoming completely fed up with the male sex, and is beginning to think that the only reliable form of male is e-mail …Never mind, there’s Valentine’s Day to look forward to. Fred is sure to make amends then. Isn’t he?
Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh
Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can’t turn 16 if you’ve never been kissed…So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelids? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula’s been jinxed! And it’s not as if that’s her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady’s handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees…
You’ll find all of these under our featured/reviewed section in our shop now. If you do read one of them, leave a comment on this post telling us what you thought of it.
Coming up in the next few days, we have a Q&A with ‘Broken’ author Daniel Clay and we find out what Dino FC are up to as our own World Cup is starting. In the meantime, happy reading!
How’s everyone doing? Enjoying your book of the month reads? We’ve finished them all now, and lovedthem! Want to get our hands on the next Bathsheba book, read another Anthony Horowitz and can’t wait for Fallen’s sequel, Torment. Our group is growing, so hope you’re all enjoying it. If this is your first visit to the site, don’t miss out on our launch offers - check out our posts dated 01.05.10 and 07.05.10 for details on our freebies!
We’re pleased to be telling you about a new book, due out at the end of this month. The Moonstone Legacy, by Diana de Gunzburg and Tony Wild, is the first in a trilogy, and the first YA novel to be published by Pushkin Press.
A bit about it:
In a sacred cave high in the mountains of northern India, a white-haired hermit sits cross-legged, and signs his final testament: “George Abercrombie, 1874…”
In present-day England, fourteen year old Lizzy Abercrombie’s mother dies in a tragic accident on the full moon. But was it really an accident? Lizzy discovers that her death may be linked to a mysterious family curse. Determined to find the truth, her quest takes her from a splendid Anglo-Indian mansion on the Yorkshire moors to India, where she uncovers her ancestor’s terrible past and a stolen inheritance. But her discoveries put her in mortal danger from a ruthless enemy.
Find out more about the book by clicking here to go to the website, where you’ll be able to get a taste for it by reading the first four chapters and find out a bit more about the authors. We’ll be posting our own review of it here soon.
Has the taster left you wanting more? Well, you lucky people, we’ve managed to get our hands on a copy for you – we’re spoiling you! How do you get it? Just leave a comment here (go to the little blue speech bubble in the top right corner of this post), FB ‘like’ this post or retweet it – simple as that! It could be you, and it’s just a click of a button..(UK only)
And there’s more. The authors of The Moonstone Legacy will be dropping by at Bookbabblers on 16th June as part of their blog spot tour – full tour details will follow shortly. Wanting to give them a warm Bookbabblers welcome, we thought what could be better than getting you all involved in their visit? We’ve added a topic on our FaceBook discussion board for you to post all comments and questions for them and we’ve added a new area in our forum titled ‘over to you’ for you to put your comments/questions. When they stop by, they’ll be able to give us some answers!!