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Reviews

Children’s Book of the Month: September 2019

September 12, 2019

Who thinks it’s exciting that rats have come to live in the ground floor flat? The young bunnies do, but the other residents of Pickle Rye aren’t so sure that they want dirty, smelly rats as neighbours: rats are messy, rats steal food, rats are thieves and chew through walls. But once the occupants of flats 2-7 have hopped and trotted and padded and clattered down to meet the new arrivals they find kind, friendly, tidy rats offering…cake. This is … Read more

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Children’s Book of the Month: July 2019

July 15, 2019

Set in WWII, our BOTM for July is Helen Peters’ moving and captivating novel Anna at War. Anna at War begins on Kristallnacht and in the aftermath, as life for German Jews becomes increasingly perilous, Anna’s parents put her on the Kindertransport leaving for England. But the war follows her to Kent, and soon Anna finds herself caught up in a web of betrayal and secrecy. How can she prove whose side she’s on when she can’t tell anyone the … Read more

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Children’s Book of the Month: June 2019

June 13, 2019

Vita set her jaw, and nodded at New York City in greeting, as a boxer greets an opponent before a fight. Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack’s spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. … Read more

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Review: Time Song – Searching for Doggerland

May 27, 2019

Doggerland is the name given to the land mass now submerged beneath the North Sea, which once connected Britain with continental Europe. For much of the past two million years Doggerland was a rich landscape populated by diverse flora and fauna including mammoths, aurochs, bison, bears and humans. As recently as 7,000 years ago a significant area was land above sea level. All her life, Julia Blackburn has been fascinated by the ancient remains she has collected from the shores … Read more

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Children’s Book of the Month: May 2019

May 3, 2019

May’s BoTM is A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry and illustrated by Mónica Armiño. Inspired by a true story, A Wolf Called Wander is about family, courage and survival. The young wolf Swift lives and learns happily with his family and his pack in the mountains until the terrible day when rival wolves invade and take over their home. Alone for the first time, Swift decides against trying to survive on the fringes of his old territory and sets … Read more

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Children’s Book of the Month: April 2019

April 7, 2019

Our BOTM for April is Pog by Pádraig Kenny. Having moved into their dead mother’s childhood home with their father, David and Penny soon discover the presence of Pog in their attic. Pog is a magical creature tasked with protecting the boundary between the worlds. But when David is drawn into the forest, lured by a darker creature which tells him there’s a way to bring back his mother, the children and Pog discover many monsters to defeat as well … Read more

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Children’s Book of the Month: Jan 2019

January 15, 2019

This year we’re introducing a Book of the Month at CCB! We plan to highlight some of our favourite titles and would love to hear your thoughts about the books, and any BOTM suggestions you have! January’s Book of the Month is a fantastic children’s story by Lucy Strange set during WWII – a tale loved by young and old! Lucy lives in a lighthouse with her family during the second world war. Her father has a key job as … Read more

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Review: Melmoth

November 26, 2018

A wonderfully unsettling exploration of guilt and its insidious power to wreak people’s lives. Helen escapes her mundane life to work for a charity in the Phillipines. Unexpectedly, she falls in love but tragically, through “her own pride and cowardice”, betrays her lover and he is condemned to prison. Trying to flee her guilt, Helen exiles herself in Prague, denies all pleasures and eeks out a humble existence. She is befriended by Karel and Thea but their lives are thrown … Read more

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Review: The Silence of the Girls

November 9, 2018

The Silence of the Girls is an imaginative and ambitious re-telling of The Iliad. It takes a confident, not to say brave, author to base a novel on the greatest legend of Western culture, but Pat Barker has already created a highly regarded body of work and The Silence of the Girls will undoubtedly enhance her reputation. The story is narrated by Briseis, concubine and slave of Achilles, a minor character in the original text but at the centre of … Read more

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Review: Now We Shall Be Entirely Free

September 28, 2018

Andrew Miller has established an impressive reputation having won multiple prizes for his novels including Ingenious Pain (James Tait Black) and Pure (Costa). Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is the story of John Lacroix, returned home wounded and weak after the disastrous retreat from Napoleon in the Peninsular War. He is nursed back to health but cannot face returning to his regiment. With no family or friends around him he resolves to try to find peace by travelling to … Read more

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