Half Bad by Sally Green #review

‘Wanted by no one, hunted by everyone’ really captured my interest and from those words i just couldn’t wait to start reading it!

Half Bad cover

Half Bad is the story of Nathan, a boy who grows up in a world where witches are real, and he is one. In a race against time before he turns 17. In a world where he is hunted, Nathan runs away in a bid to find his father to discover the truth about his life.

Join Nathan in his whirlwind of a journey in the amazing new novel Half Bad.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down, it was such a page turner! I literally didn’t do anything but read the book last weekend! It was easy to get into and I loved seeing how the story would evolve. I enjoyed exploring a whole new world, that was right on my door step! I could easily interact with the characters and found myself completely invested into this book. The characters are so relatable and I loved seeing how the story would turn out, with such great twists along the way. A great fast-paced adventure that will leave you wanting more.
This book would be great for any teen who loves a good page turner and fantasy book. Any Harry Potter fan would also love it.

I just can’t WAIT to read the next book, I am on tenterhooks waiting for it!


5 reasons to love books

In honour of World Book Day on Thursday, I thought I would write a post on why books are so amazing.


World Book Day 2014

World Book Day 2014

1. As soon as you open up a book, you enter a whole new world. 
Each book you open up has new things waiting for you, new experiences and new universes. Every book is different and unique, offering billions of circumstances.

2. A book gives you the freedom to decide what goes on. 
A film shows you exactly what the characters look like, what the world looks like and how everything is shown. However, when reading a book, it gives you the opportunity to  choose what goes on and how everything looks, in your own head.

3. A book is portable. 
You can take a book anywhere and everywhere! You can read it on an aeroplane, a car journey or a boat trip. The versatile nature means you can continue your story wherever you want and not matter about connecting to the internet or whether it will run out of charge!

4. You can pick up a book whenever you want, no commitment needed!
However much time you have in a day, you can read a book. No commitment is needed, you don’t have to finish a whole book, you can read a page if you want!

5. You can learn from books.
Whether it is a situation you have experienced or about to experience yourself, every book has something to learn from. A message that you can take away or even an experience that you now know how to handle just a little bit better, every book has something important to take away from it.

Happy World Book Day everyone!

Happy World Book Day 2014

Happy World Book Day 2014

Dandelion Clocks book review for teens

Dandelion Clocks

With a similar theme to The Fault in our Stars, we follow the journey of Olivia,  a young girl who finds out that her mother has a life threatening illness and has to learn how to deal with it, as well as having to cope with the issues of everyday life, along with helping her autistic brother Isaac.

A typical 12 year old who loves taking photos, Liv finds it hard to come to terms with her mothers illness and the effects of what this has to bring. We see her compete with the struggles of this, as well as  reading her down to earth views as a child on the matter, with her thoughts and feelings laid plain.
This book shows the love and the relationship that can only be created between a mother and daughter but how it stays strong, no matter what happens, no matter the obstacles.

 If any young teen out there has read The Fault in our Stars then this is definitely a book for you!

A great book for any teen who may be going through an experience like this or just wants a touching book to read.

 I loved this book and from starting to read it on Monday evening, I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it! As a teenager myself, I could easily relate to her issues in everyday life, from boy troubles to best friends! It made me think about my own life and how lucky I was, as well as just simply enjoying the read and being on the ride with Liv.

An uplifting book that makes any reader stop and think, but it also great for an easy read.
Any fan of Jacqueline Wilson or Cathy Cassidy will also love this book!

Blossom magazine for girls aged 4 – 7

blossom cover

There’s a new monthly magazine on the shelves this month aimed at little girls aged 4 – 7 called Blossom and I’m really excited about it as I think my twins are going to LOVE it. In fact I’ll probably have to buy them a copy each to hold the peace and wouldn’t that be a sign of a good magazine?

Each monthly edition has an age appropriate gift attached and is packed with activities including arts, cookery and craft.

It’s the perfect tool to encourage their reading as there are so many interesting things to do and all sorts of written material to attract all kinds of passions, from ballet dancing to bug hunting and from learning to play football to speaking French. Each feature is designed to support the seven areas of the Early Years Curriculum.

I was supposed to go to the launch but had a twin down with the dreaded virus and had to miss out but they sent me a video of the day to get an idea of what happened, check out the artists drawing, fascinating how they create so easily!

Writing competition for girls

The February edition also has a very exciting writing competition in conjunction with World Book Day encouraging young readers to write a story with their own words and ideas.

The winning entry will be published in the magazine and illustrated by the Blossom artist as well as receiving hard copies for friends and family.

The winner will also receive a visit to their school or nursery from the hugely successful Princess Poppy author, Janey Louise Jones; they will also receive a bundle of books for them and their school library from Random House and a special keepsake bound version of their story. 

Andrea Turton, Blossom editor, says: “We’re hoping that little ones will be inspired to pick up a pencil and write an imaginative story that will entertain our readers! The story could take the Blossom Girls anywhere, doing anything – the possibilities are endless!” 

The entries should be a maximum of 500 words and feature the four Blossom Girls characters – Lily, Rose, Daisy and Violet – who appear in each issue of the magazine. The winning entry will be by judged by a panel of industry experts for its imagination and creativity.  

blossom girls 

Janey Louise Jones, author of the Princess Poppy books, says: “It was always my dream as a little girl to be a writer, so I am really pleased to be involved with Blossom Magazine in their search for a young story-teller. I would loved to have had a story illustrated and published at such a young age and I’m sure the competition will be a source of inspiration for budding writers everywhere… dreams can come true!”

 Janey Lousie Jones was present at the launch event I missed but I had a planned question to ask her, ‘My daughter Alice has shown a love of writing and has started to write her own stories on scraps of paper, how can I encourage her to continue?’ You can listen to her reply on this soundcloud

The competition is open from 5th February to 8th March 2014, full details can be found in Blossom Magazine issue 10 (on sale 5th Feb).  

world book day

Penguin’s Childrens books and Half Bad by Sally Green

I recently attended a Penguin’s Children’s book event where they shared their plans for 2014 and I got  very excited – did you know Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar celebrates 45 years this year? The twins LOVED this book and we still have our board book version kicking around on the book shelf and frequently read with love and laughter.

hungry caterpillar

I learnt that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be celebrating 50 years this year. Roald Dahl’s books played a huge part in my childhood but also in my first born Thomas’s. He didn’t like school one iota BUT he loved to read and by introducing him to Dahl’s books Tommy became an avid reader, it was such a pleasure watching him devour the entire Dahl collection. I think Charlie is possibly my favourite Dahl book or maybe it was the BFG?

charlie and the chocolate

Half Bad by Sally Green

Penguin Children’s books have so much going on that I had to cherry pick and today I’m focusing on one book in particular Half Bad by Sally Green, because I think you’ll be hearing an awful lot about it very soon. Like the next Harry Potter phenomenon so to speak because without actually being printed yet it’s sold in 42 different languages and has film rights secured too by Fox 2000, see what I’m saying?

Not only that but the most amazing fact for me is it’s her debut novel!

half bad

What’s it about? Well I think, you’re going to like this – it’s about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches. He is Half Bad in as much he is child of a white witch and a black one, the trouble is nobody likes half bads and so until the age of 14 he is kept in a cage, as it says on the back cover ‘Wanted by no one, hunted by everyone.’

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch. You get sick if you stay indoors after dark. You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one. You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen. All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday. Easy. 

Think Twilight or the vampire craze that has gripped teendom and that is what you’re in for with Half Bad.

The book is aimed at a 12+ audience (that is so me) and in paperback costs £7.99. I can’t put it down!

Come back next week for more ideas from Penguin’s Children’s books

Damson Lane

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