Monthly Archives: December 2016

My best book of 2016 – There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday 

My best book of 2016 – There May Be A Castle by Piers Torday. I read this amazing book just last week and it blew me away. It is also the first book in a long time to make me cry. When I got to the end I just placed it down and the tears started flowing. 

It is about a boy called Mouse who doesn’t like books at all. He is in the car with his two sisters and his mum when they are driving through snow to get to his grandparent’s house. They slip on the road and crash, throwing Mouse from the car. Mouse wakes up in a strange land and is told he must try and find a castle because there is something bad following him. There is a delightful cast of characters that join him on his quest, including a sarcastic horse called Nonky, a sheep called Bar, and a ‘dragon’ called Trex. The strange thing about these characters though is that they are personifications of his childhood toys. As you join Mouse on his quest you are trying to figure out what is going on and hoping that he’ll make it to the castle. You know something bad is going to happen if you don’t. The story also flashes to Mouse’s sister Violet and the rest of the family in the crashed car.

There are so many things I loved about this story. The characters are memorable, the dialogue is wonderful and often very funny, and the sense of not knowing what is happening makes you want to keep reading to the very end. It’s ultimately a story about the power of the imagination. Piers is a very gifted storyteller and I will certainly be getting hold of all his other books right away. I thought the story would end differently which I think is why I got such an emotional punch from it. Once I got to the end though I just wanted to start from the beginning again.

Grab There May Be a Castle now and lose yourself in this marvellous book. 

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Win a copy of Such Stuff by Michael Morpurgo

Such Stuff is the new book from Michael Morpurgo that delves in to the inspirations for his stories.  It is a truly wonderful book and you can read my review here on the blog.

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Thanks to Walker Books Australia I have 3 copies to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw is email bestfriendsrbooks@gmail.com with the subject ‘Such Stuff,’ along with your name and address.

Competition closes Thursday 8 December (NZ only).

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The Magic of Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is one of my favourite authors.  He has written hundreds of stories now and they always leave a lasting impression on you.  He is an incredibly gifted storyteller who knows just how to grab the reader.  There are two new Michael Morpurgo books out just in time for Christmas and they will make lovely gifts for any reader, both young and old.

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The Fox and the Ghost King (published by HarperCollins) is a wonderful little story with something for everyone.  There are foxes, football and a ghost.  The story follows a family of foxes who love to watch football.  Their favourite team, the Leincester City Foxes, keeps losing and losing and it seems like things will never look up.  One night though as they are heading home they hear a ghostly voice and they discover the ghost of a king who has been buried underneath a car park.  The ghost king promises the foxes that if they help him, he will help their favourite football team to win again.  This is a book that is perfect to share with the whole family as it is short and will grab everyone’s attention.  I loved this little story and will come back to it again.

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Such Stuff: a story-maker’s inspiration (published by Walker Books) is the perfect gift for any Michael Morpurgo fan.  This gorgeous hardback book is packed full of information about Michael’s most memorable stories.  Michael introduces his stories, telling you where he got the inspiration for each of them.  This is then followed by an extract from the story and some of the facts from the story too.  Reading this book makes you feel like you are sitting down in front of the fire with Michael as he tells you his stories personally.   With every part that I read I felt that I fell more in love with Michael’s writing and his stories became more ingrained in my mind.  Finding out where the inspiration for the stories came from made me desperate to go back and read them all over again.  By the end of the book I felt completely wrapped up in his stories.  It’s a book that I will dip into again and again.

This book is a family effort.  Not only are there parts written by Michael Morpurgo about his work, but Michael’s wife Clare, his brother Mark (who came up with the idea for the book) and Michael’s long-time collaborator, Michael Foreman, all helped to create this treasure trove of a book.  Such Stuff is a must-buy for any Michael Morpurgo fan.

 

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