Scholastic Books

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Blog Tour – Black Knight (The Inventory #3) – Andy Briggs

Published April 30, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series.
The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn’t ready for, and it’s up to Dev, Lottie and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix’s next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities?

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special post on the blog tour for the latest book in the fantastic Inventory series by Andy Briggs. The series began with Iron Fist which you can see my review of HERE and continued with Gravity which I also hosted a guest post for HERE. Today, Andy has been kind enough to tell me his favourite children’s books whilst he was growing up. This is what he has chosen:

ANDY BRIGGS – FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S FICTION

There are many books that inspired me while growing up, but I have selected a few:

STIG OF THE DUMP – by Clive King

I must admit this was a title I hadn’t read for a long time, but even now, at the grand old age of *# I still remember my first impressions on reading this spellbinding book. All you need to know is that it’s about a boy called Barney who discovers a caveman called Stig living in a dump in an old chalk quarry (presumably before his future race driving career). The rest is pure magic.

THE LOST WORLD – by Arthur Conan Doyle

Yes, the same Arthur Conan Doyle who created Sherlock Holmes, it’s not that common a name. This has always been my favourite Doyle book and, although not strictly an MG book, I read it when I was 11 or 12 and it captured my imagination so much that, when I became an alleged adult, I eventually travelled to the very flat-topped mountains in Venezuela that inspired Doyle. Eccentric Professor Challenger leads a party of explorers into the depths of South America to discover that dinosaurs still exist. It’s an exciting adventure story and one that instilled a sense in me that the world is still a wondrous place with many amazing things left to discover…

CAPTAIN COBWEBB – by Gordon Boshell

When David and Tony’s uncle Septimus Cobwebb sits in a fairy ring and vanishes into another realm, the fun begins. This is a magical series of books in which our heroes are sent on missions to various fantastic places, encountering amazing creatures and people…

Sadly, these books are no longer in print, which is a crime in my view. You just can’t have much more fun than Captain Cobwebb and the Red Transistor, which got me through a particularly terrible bout of chicken pox. Find them, read them!

WARLOCK OF FIRETOP MOUNTAIN – by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

I distinctly remember buying this book (from a sadly long extinct indecent bookstore in Prescot, Merseyside called Reading & Writing). I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This was the first book that launched the Fighting Fantasy series and showed me that a book can be so much more than passive story.

For those who don’t know, this was one of the first books in which you made decisions by turning to different pages, thus affecting the outcome of your story. You were able to fight monsters using a clever system that decided you fate on the roll of a dice. It was, and still is, the perfect form of escapism… and all without a computer.

Finally, I have to put in an honourable mention for the ASTERIX books by Goscinny and Uderzo. They are fabulous graphic novels – beautiful art, wonderful characters, exciting stories with a grounding in history.

The world is split between Tintin and Asterix. But only one has a magic potion which makes them invincible…

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and trans-media projects.

Andy wrote and Executive Produced Legendary, currently the most successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. Released in China and grossing $5 million in the first week, with a theatric US release in 2014. With his brother he worked on Hollywood features such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs. Jason and TV shows for the SyFy Channel and Netflix.

He wrote and co-created Secret Agents, a trans-media interactive spy experience for children, currently on at the Discover Centre, Stratford. He has 16 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world.

He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world. In 2016 his latest feature, Crowhurst, will be released.

Website: http://www.andybriggs.co.uk

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aBriggswriter

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour and to Andy for providing me with his favourite children’s fiction (and possibly some ideas for my Kid Lit challenge!) Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers? Black Knight (The Inventory #3) was released by Scholastic Press on 6th April 2017 and is available from all good bookshops now.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34704550-black-knight?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inventory-3-Black-Knight-ebook/dp/B06XGKFMPK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493055078&sr=8-1&keywords=black+knight+the+inventory

 

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Shadow Magic (Shadow Magic #1) – Joshua Khan

Published April 5, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

In a world ruled by six ancient Houses of Magic, a girl and a boy begin an epic and dangerous journey of discovery… After her parents’ murder, 13-year-old Lilith “Lily” Shadow rules Gehenna from Castle Gloom, an immense and windowless citadel. Once Lily’s ancestors commanded spirits, communed with the dead, and raised armies from out of the grave. But now her country is about to be conquered by the Shadows’ ancient enemies – the Solars, the lords of light. Thorn is a peasant boy, wily and smart, sold into slavery and desperate to escape. So when he’s bought by Tyburn, executioner to House Shadow, he’ll agree to just about anything – even to serving Castle Gloom for a year and day in order to earn his freedom. When Lily is nearly poisoned by a ruthless and unknown assassin, she and Thorn embark on a dangerous quest to save Gehenna, a weird and wonderful land of haunted castles, mysterious forests and an unforgettable giant bat. Together they must unravel a twisted plot of betrayals, pride and deadly ambition.

What did I think?:

When Faye Rogers contacted me and asked me to be a part of the blog tour for the second book in this amazing middle grade fiction series, Dream Magic, I jumped at the chance, especially when I read the exciting synopsis. Of course that meant I needed to catch up a little bit and read book one, Shadow Magic first and I’m ever so glad I did. Joshua Khan is a brilliant new voice in children’s literature and one I’m thrilled to discover. His characters are well drawn and instantly appealing to both younger and older readers and his world-building is nothing short of fantastic. A huge thank you to Scholastic Books for sending me a copy of both books in the series so far in exchange for honest reviews and as part a blog tour.

This series is steeped in fantasy and involves a number of magical lands of which we learn more about as the series continues into the second book. For the first however, we are introduced to the House of Shadows, rulers of a land called Gehenna from the (relative) safety of Castle Gloom. I say safety…but Gehenna is probably the darkest of all the lands with a number of ghosts resident in the castle, no windows within the castle to let in light (hey, they didn’t call it the House of SHADOWS for no reason!) and the potential to raise the undead in the form of zombies. The current ruler of Gehenna is thirteen year old Lily Shadow who has been thrust into the role when her parents and brother were brutally murdered by unknown assassins, one of whom has never been caught, by her loyal executioner, Tyburn.

Lily’s Uncle Pan and the rest of the nobility are attempting to arrange a marriage for Lily, to happen in a couple of years when she is old enough. The bridegroom of the moment is heir to the Solars known as the “land of light,” in direct contrast to Lily’s ancestors and, in fact, the two houses have been at war for years. The marriage between the son, Gabriel and Lily Shadow is an attempt to bring about peace between the lands. When the Solars arrive however, Lily is disgusted by her future husband Gabriel and his behaviour. Worse still, after an assassination attempt, Lily’s life and the future of the House of Shadow is in terrible danger. With the help of a young boy called Thorn and his giant bat Hades, Lily must uncover the villain who may want to end her life and protect her beloved Gehenna from certain doom.

I mentioned at the start that I instantly wanted to begin this series because of the synopsis but can I just take a moment to mention the cover? That giant bat (Hades, if you please!) and the two children riding on him made me one hundred percent certain that this was a book that I needed to read. I was delighted to discover a brilliant story within with such fascinating characters, like the smelly, grumpy and ever so loveable Hades and the wonderful main characters of Lily and Thorn themselves. It’s action-packed and broken up with a few pages of beautiful illustrations which I really appreciated and felt really added to the momentum and atmosphere of the story. Best of all for me personally, there was a two page map at the beginning of the book. Now, I do love a map in a book and this one was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It was so detailed and intricate that I could really understand how much work the author has put into developing this world and the characters in it. I’m so excited to get to the next book in the series now, Dream Magic so look out for my post on the blog tour coming tomorrow!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

Blog Tour – Guest Post by Andrew and Chris Judge, authors and illustrators of Create Your Own Spy Mission

Published April 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

29753260

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special guest post on bibliobeth. I was lucky enough to take part in the blog tour for this exciting children’s book – please see my review HERE.

Today I am thrilled to host the authors and illustrators Andrew and Chris Judge where we get a little bit of a nosey into their writing lives. Enjoy!

A Day in the Life of Chris and Andrew Judge 

Andrew (writer): I’m an architect, by day, and a busy dad in the evenings. Most of my day is spent in the office, or on building sites, before racing home to bring the kids to soccer or gaelic games training. So most of my writing is squeezed into odd parts of the day.

I usually go for a walk at lunchtime to think up ideas and jokes for the story I’m working on. Then, on the bus home from work, I write it all down on my phone, tapping away like a crazy Facebook obsessive. When I have a quiet evening I tidy it all up and edit it on the laptop before sending it to Chris and our editor, David.

Writing these books is a great way to switch off from work. The only downside is that I don’t get to watch much TV or Netflix! Breaking Bad? House of Cards? What’s that all about? Busy days, but great fun!

Chris (illustrator): I am wide awake at roughly 7.30 every morning to the sound of Dada! being shouted at me by our 2 year old daughter. After a flurry of breakfast and playtime and getting ready for the day I am out the door at about 9am and go to my studio in Dublin city centre.

Every day is different as I am always working on different projects, generally juggling artwork for a children’s book and a commercial illustration job.

I used to work on my books in the evening but lately they have become a priority and it is a joy to work on this latest series with my brother Andrew as my main job. His writing is hilarious and finely tuned to my sense of humour and drawing style.

After a long day drawing and daydreaming I get home for dinner with my family and then promptly fall asleep in front of the TV.

 

A huge thank you to both Andrew and Chris for giving up their time in writing this guest post for me today. Create Your Own Spy Mission is available from all good bookshops NOW. If you’re interested, why not check out the other stops on the blog tour?

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Blog Tour – Create Your Own Spy Mission by Andrew Judge and Chris Judge

Published April 9, 2016 by bibliobeth

29753260

What’s it all about?:

DOODLE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
Welcome to Doodle…where you draw the story. Help finish characters, build up the town and design a GIANT ICE CREAM POWERED robot to fight off…the SUPER villains that you doodle! Doodles get into LOTS of trouble. Watch out, it is up to you to doodle them out of it!

What did I think?:

First of all, a huge thank you to Faye Rogers for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to Scholastic Books for the copy of Create Your Own Spy Mission in return for an honest review. I was drawn to this book purely out of curiosity at first as I used to love the create your own adventures that I read when I was younger and wondered what it would be like to read one as an adult. Well, thank you very much Andrew and Chris Judge, while reading (and playing, as there is a lot of playing involved) with this book, I completely regressed to my inner child and had a ball in the process!

I’m not going to mention a whole lot about the story-line in the book for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are a few different ways the story can go as anyone who has read a “create your own” book will know. Based on the decisions you make as you are reading, the book can take you in a completely different way on a whole new adventure whilst seamlessly wrapping it all up in the end and making you want to go straight back to the beginning and try another path! Secondly, it’s meant to be a SPY mission of course and telling you all about the plot would spoil the fun completely!

I was slightly worried at the beginning of the book, I have to be honest as I’m a bit obsessive compulsive over not scribbling in books and god forbid, ripping and tearing it seemed a bit too scary to contemplate. However, I got into the spirit of things, doodled and ripped away like a woman possessed and had a great time doing it. I can fully imagine children loving how interactive this book actually is and for any kid who sees themselves as a bit of artistic talent or of course a super spy waiting in the wings, this book is a dream come true. I can also see this book as a fantastic introduction for anybody that has children who may be reluctant readers due to the interactivity it involves and the encouragement to (shock horror) draw in books!

Buy it, doodle away, rip and fold it and above all – have fun.

For my very special guest post with the authors and illustrators, Andrew and Chris Judge, please visit me tomorrow!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Chris Judge is an award winning picture book author/illustrator (THE LONELY BEAST, TIN) and co-author, with comedian David O’Doherty, of DANGER IS EVERYWHERE. Chris’s work continues to feature in advertising, newspapers, magazines and exhibitions in the UK and Ireland.

Website: http://www.chrisjudge.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chrisjudge

Andrew Judge has written and illustrated countless short stories and comics with his brother Chris, including regular features for arts and culture magazines Mongrel and Totally Dublin. Andrew lives and works as an architect in Ireland.

Website: http://www.andrewjudge.net/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/afjudge

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers. Create Your Own Spy Mission was released on 7th April 2016 by Scholastic Press and is available from all good bookshops now.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29753260-create-your-own-spy-mission

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1407163272

Book Website: http://www.doodle.town/

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