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Discover London (Discover Reading) by Juliana O’Neill

Discover London (Discover Reading) by Juliana O'Neill

Discover London (Discover Reading) by Juliana O’Neill


Children’s readers don’t have much text, and – unfortunately – my review copy was in black and white, so you can’t appreciate the pictures.

However, I think the author did a pretty good job of capturing the highlights of an enormous city with more attractions than almost anywhere in the world, all within a few words. It must have been hard to narrow it down.

HOWEVER – it is inexcusable to change the spelling of London place names. I don’t care if – for example – Americans spell “Theatre” differently. If it’s a proper noun, you do not get to change it.

Additionally: it’s Tower Bridge, and is never referred to as “The Tower Bridge”. On the other hand, at least the bridge’s name was the correct one; most people mix up London and Tower Bridges!

Well-simplified language, with plenty of information in a small word count, but with some errors that could have been easily fixed.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.


Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.

Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.

This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.

In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.

I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.

Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Wall Art + Christmas Book Set

Wall Art + Christmas Book Set

Wall Art Children's Illustration Print and Children's Christmas Book Set

The Secret Sisters Club by Monique Bucheger

The Secret Sisters Club (A Ginnie West Adventure) by Monique Bucheger

Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’. Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

The Secret Sisters Club (A Ginnie West Adventure) by Monique Bucheger

This was a lovely little book for preteens. It is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to read at that age.


With a plot that encompasses all the things girls stereotypically like, from best friends to horses to a crazy scheme to make parents fall in love, I was reminded of the movies of the 80s and 90s, with the universally popular themes for younger readers.


The author’s writing style was light-hearted and fun, and though I’m far from the target audience for such a story, it made for an entertaining quick read.



Review copy from NetGalley.

Harry Potter Dress

Hey, it’s a Harry Potter Dress!

Harry Potter Dress

FREE: Magic High by Christina G Gaudet

Magic High by Christina G Gaudet is FREE.

Magic High by Christina G Gaudet

Welcome to Andrew High, a school for mages…

That is, until its doors are opened to the non-magical, or “normie,” population. That means no more magic allowed on school property. For Tabetha Long, whose powers are directly related to emotions, hiding her magic is difficult. When her mother is hired as the new gym teacher, and her father comes back to town with his reality television show, difficult becomes impossible.

Now her every move is being caught on video and everyone else at school wants in too. All Tabetha wants is to become invisible.

But then the mysterious and cute new guy, Eric wouldn’t be able to see her either…

FREE: Barre Hopping at Midnight by Amanda Brice

Barre Hopping at Midnight (Dani Spevak Mystery #2.5) by Amanda Brice is free at the moment.

Barre Hopping at Midnight by Amanda Brice

Aspiring ballerina-slash-amateur detective Dani Spevak is back in this humorous short story!

Dani and her friends are spending spring break in beautiful Sedona, Arizona for the annual Southwest Teen Arts Festival. But how can she concentrate on performing when her not-quite-boyfriend is in town filming the lead in a hot new vampire movie… and he was seen kissing his costar?

This Week

Sonya Natalia Oksana Heaney Canberra August 2013

My review of Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis is HERE.

Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis

Cody Greer by H.T. Night is still FREE.

Cody Greer by H.T. Night

And then there’s this great book labyrinth!


FREE: Cody Greer by H.T. Night

Cody Greer by H.T. Night is currently free.

Cody Greer by H.T. Night

Cody has made it. He’s finally in the sixth grade and king of the world. Or, at least, king of his school. Cody has a lot going for him but has only one thing on his mind – winning the heart of the new girl in school, Sarah Davis.

But who knew that the sixth grade could be so much work? Almost immediately, Cody defends Sarah’s honour, plays his archrival, Eric Mullen, in the championship football game and still manages to somehow find time to be the lead in the school play.

And as he navigates through the treacherous waters of his final year at Wenchester Elementary – as he experiences his first love, his first kiss, a painful loss, and more fun and laughs and tears than he ever bargained for – Cody Greer will discover the true meaning of friendship and learn that life has a funny way of throwing you a few curveballs. Luckily, Cody Greer knows just how to keep his eye on the ball.


Coming Up: Behind Barres by Miriam Wenger-Landis, Amanda Brice and Leslie DuBois

I have my hands on a review copy of this collection of three ballet-themed books. As a former ballet dancer, I’m always happy to read books about this subject!

Behind Barres by Miriam Wenger-Landis, Amanda Brice and Leslie DuBois

Talent means nothing without desire…
The dance world takes centre stage in this limited-time collection of three full-length novels by popular young adult authors.
“Offers an inside view on professional dancer training.” – The Salt Lake Tribune
“It reminded me so much of my childhood, and I have no doubt this would have been my favourite series.” –  Broadway actress/dancer Cara Cooper (Jersey Boys)
“It’s beautiful, serious, funny, sad, and happy. It’s everything I want in a novel.” – The Bookscape Report

Expected publication: 14th September 2013