Category Archives: Children’s Fiction

It’s been a while!

Well…

Somehow two years has passed since I last posted… TWO YEARS! How did that happen?

What’s happened in that time? Well you might remember that I was doing an MA in publishing. Well yey! I passed and got a Merit. Go me. Then life happened. I met someone. Got a job as an assistant publisher for deCoubertin Books. Moved house. Adopted a puppy. Phew – I feel exhausted writing that down.

So life got in the way of blogging. But I am back! Ish. I can’t remember how many books I have read or how many books I have to read. I know this past year my reading has slowed and allowed only time to re-read the best ones.

Such as… Harry Potter!

Plot

Really? Do I need to tell you the plot? Sigh… here goes.

We meet a 1 year old Harry Potter as he is being left on the doorstep of his aunt and uncles. Why is he being left on the doorstep instead of someone knocking and explaining that Petunia’s sister has been murdered by Lord Voldemort and she needs to adopt her nephew I don’t quite know but that is the way of Dumbledore.

Harry grows up in a world that is very normal, bar the scar on his forehead and living with relatives rather than his parents, oh and not knowing he is a wizard. On his eleventh birthday he finds out about his magical blood and sorrowful past and attends Howarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry finds friends (Ron and Hermione) and learns to fly for the house quidditch team. All rather exciting. During his time at school, he has to battle with Lord Voldemort, see his friends die, fall in love and hand in his Potions homework. Just your usual high school experience.

Opinion

I like, many people in this world, love Harry Potter. It is a pathway to another world. A world which I really really wish existed (I really hope it doesn’t now as I didn’t get a letter on my 11th birthday!) JK Rowling has this amazing ability to create this whole new world which makes sense. As Harry has no idea about anything he has to learn about it and this is the beauty and simplicity in Rowling’s approach. You as the reader learn alongside Harry so by the time the 7th book exists you know your Boggarts from your Dementors and Transfiguration from your Herbology. Someone who has no idea of Harry Potter would really struggle to pick up The Deathly Hallows and be able to follow it just for the language and terminology used. I know when discussing Harry Potter with friends in front of my mother, she claims it is like listening to another language with how little she understands what is being said!

I feel that this also adds another layer which I doubt Rowling intended. It is like a secret club. Those who understand and those who don’t. A secret club with a few billion people but still… secret.

Verdict: You can’t love it as much as I and not give it at least 9.75/10 (I’m looking at you Order of the Phoenix for letting down the 0.25!) Also, shout out to all the Hufflepuffs out there!

(P.S. if you feel like seeing what I’ve been doing for the past year check out this Instagram account [yes this is a shameful plug])

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Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, YA, Young Adult

Harry and the Wrinklies – Alan Temperley

IMAG0733_1Hello! I hope this finds you all well. Today’s book is one of my favourite children’s books, Harry and the Wrinklies. I can’t remember how I ended up with such a copy but I loved it and watched the tv series when it aired on CITV.

Plot

We meet Harry at the funeral of his wealthy parents and he is being shipped off to live with his ancient Aunties in the middle of no where. As soon as he sees them on the platform he feels so disappointed in how his life is turning out to be. He loved his parents and his life. However, on the drive to his new home, Auntie Florrie shows off her car’s ability and this old rusted car turns into a purring race car. This is just beginning of the strange happenings that occur around his Aunts. Upon arriving at Lagg Hall, Harry meets the rest of the inhabitants and his Aunt’s friends: Mrs. Good, the housekeeper; Nutty Slack, Gardner and Handyman; Dot, Fingers, Huggy, Angel, Max and Tangle – Harry’s new dog. In the first few days, he has more fun with these pensioners than he has ever had in his life and he realises that perceptions can be deceiving. With the stories of a haunted woods, the arrival of his evil ex-nanny and the burning question of what are the OAP’s up to late at night, Harry has plenty to keep him (and us) occupied at Lagg Hall.

Opinion

I’ve already stated that this was my favourite book and it is easy to see why. As a child, this book holds all the mystery and danger needed as well as good guys and bad guys. Everything is seemingly black-and-white but with grey areas only noticeable as you get older. The idea of grandparent like figures being as fun and as adventurous as Harry’s new family is, is one that many children’s authors have grasped and run with i.e. David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny. 

Temperley creates an idyllic world, not dissimilar to Enid Blyton’s world. Harry lives in a massive old mansion, with a tower bedroom, woods, lake, folly and animals. The ideal place to grow up. The amount of danger present does suggest more of an older child reader, with bodily harm coming to Harry often. Yet the good guys win and the bad guys pay, as how it should be.

All in all, a great book. One that I still read now and remember my love of it as a child. My verdict 9/10. The follow up isn’t as good but if you loved this one then get the sequel; Harry and the Treasure of Eddie Carver. 

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Filed under Alan Temperley, Book Review, Children's Fiction