Book Review: Lilah May’s Manic Days by Vanessa Curtis

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Book

Published: 5th January 2012

Format: Paperback

Pages: 176

Genre: Contemporary, Junior Fiction

Recommended Reading Age: 11+

Rating: 8/10


Lilah May used to be angry. VERY angry. But not any more. She’s got her temper – and her life – back under control. Or has she? Things with her best friend, Bindi, are going from bad to worse. The whereabouts of her brother Jay is still a mystery. And gorgeous Adam Carter is still out of reach. Groo! Can Lilah sort out her family, her friendship and her love life? Or is her anger about to reach all new levels? 

Two years ago, Lilah’s older brother, Jay, ran away after she caught him taking drugs. Since then, no one’s heard from him or knows where he is. Eaten up with guilt and worry, with her parents not coping well and her now ex-best friend dating the boy she likes, Lilah’s struggling to keep her anger until control again. Suddenly Jay comes home after sleeping rough on the streets, but it’s not quite a happy reunion she always imagined it would be. Continue reading


Book Review: A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour

Publisher: Francis-Lincoln

Published: 2nd February 2012

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Genre: Contemporary, Junior Fiction

Recommended Reading Age: 7+

Rating: 7/10


Ramzi’s dad is acting very strangely. He climbs trees in the middle of the night, and even goes into Ramzi’s wardrobe looking for a hen. The trouble is, he’s sleepwalking because he’s homesick for his native Algeria. So Ramzi, Dad and Mum go back to Dad’s Berber village in the desert region of North Africa, and Ramzi meets his Berber grandmother and cousins, and even braves the scary Sheherazad. But can Ramzi help his dad and what will happen when they get back home again.

Multicultural children’s books can, sadly, be difficult to find. A Hen in the Wardrobe is a fun, easy read for children, and despite its quirky title, is, at heart, about mixed families, cultural differences, community and acceptance. There are also some nice little spot illustrations by the author dotted throughout. Continue reading

Book Review: The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi

Publisher: Templar Publishing

First Published: September 2008

Format: Paperback

Pages: 252

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Recommended Reading Age: 12+

Rating: 10/10


‘Frankie Parsons is twelve going on eighty – an apparently sensible boy growing up in New Zealand, he has a drumbeat of worrying questions steadily gaining volume in his head:

Are the smoke alarm batteries flat?

Does the cat, and therefore the rest of the family, have worms?

Will bird flu strike and ruin life as we know it?

Most of the people in Frankie’s life seem gloriously untroubled by worry. Only Ma takes his catalogue of persistent anxieties seriously, listening patiently to the questions he brings her at 10pm each night. But when a new girl arrives at school with relentless, unavoidable questions of her own, Frankie’s carefully controlled world begins to unravel. Will he be able to face up to the unpalatable, ultimate 10pm question?’

I should warn you now – I don’t think this review will be very well-written. I’m not sure I’m able to express my love, adoration, and pure joy with this book.

Quite simply, it is stunning. Heartbreaking, poignant, hilarious, beautiful, wonderful. It’s something very special.  Continue reading