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April 2017 Round-Up ~MPBooks

What I’ve been doing: Reading in (or on) bed – Image from

Hello everyone!  How has your week been?  Mine’s been pretty uneventful.  I’m not sure if anyone noticed my complete absence this last week, maybe nobody has as this blog’s still pretty new, but if you guys have well I’ve been a little under the weather…Well a LOT under the weather.  I’m not sure what happened but I was so ill I was stuck in bed and couldn’t even stare at a computer screen as it just hurt my eyes from the intense and horrible headaches and the ‘highlight’ of my week was almost vomiting into my dinner…Ok sorry for the gross image but that did happen…almost.  Anyway I’m better now (…I hope) and thank goodness, and I’m ready to start blogging again.

I thought I’d do a little celebration round up seeing as it’s the last day of the month 🙂  April’s been a great month for me and this blog, despite the week off ill.  On 8th My Peacock Books was officially launched and since then I’ve read a handful of great books and had some amazing people like, comment and follow this blog.  I’ve also attempted to write more poetry given the fact it was National Poetry Month and of course it was Easter too which is just fun all by itself 🙂

So what’s in store for next month?  More of the same of course, although I hope to not be sick during any of it.  I still have a bit of a mammoth book pile to get through, with a lot of books from Walker Books thanks to the super book haul I got a few weeks ago: check it out!  I’ve also got a few NetGalley books to review which aren’t quite out yet, but I’ll let you know about them when I’m closer to reviewing them 😀

Of course my blog’s not all kids and YA though, and although I love them, I was pining to read some fantasy books and I went to my local library and checked these out:

Strange the Dreamer book cover
Strange the Dreamer
Caraval book cover
Caraval UK book cover

I’m so excited I’ve started reading Strange the Dreamer already and I’m just loving it!  It’s got blue sprayed pages and it’s just soo engrossing, I’ll probably spend the next day or two just reading it and doing nothing else 🙂  I’m easing my self into next week, so I’m not 100% sure if I’ll have a post up for Monday Motivation this week but I hope to visit some blogs and I hope you’ll want to stick around and read anything I do post up ❤

So how has your week been?  What are you going to be reading?  Have you read Strange the Dreamer or Caraval yet?  Do you want to?  Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to have a conversation with you 🙂

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#BookReview: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A. L. Kennedy & Gemma Correll #MPBooks

Uncle Shawn And Bill book cover
Fun cover of ‘Uncle Shawn And Bill And the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure’

Title: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy

Illustrator: Gemma Correll

Publisher: Walker Books

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Description: Badger Bill needs rescuing. He’s been kidnapped by two nasty sisters who are about to make him fight a boxing match against three even nastier dogs.

The four most depressed llamas in the history of llamas need rescuing too. They are about to be turned into llama pies.

But never fear – Uncle Shawn is here! He loves rescuing things. He has a rescuing plan, which involves dancing, and a mole, and an electric fence. What could possibly go wrong?

My Review: This is a very silly and funny story which kids and I’m sure many adults will like. The story starts with Badger Bill, introducing his character and what’s happened to him. The whole way the book is formatted is very fun and it’s easy to get into the story and the humour right away.

Each chapter is called a Section and there’s a kind of summary at the start of each Section which explains what’s going to happen in the chapter. It’s done in a lighthearted way which can make you laugh with the way some events are described. As the story progresses we are introduced to Badger Bill, who’s having a very bad day as he’s been kidnapped. We’re also introduced to some very sad llamas who’ve been tricked into coming to Scotland and are now going to be made into pies, Uncle Shawn who’s the very silly and odd looking hero of the book, and the very nasty McGloone family who are the baddies of the book and who are the ones who’ve kidnapped and tricked the animals.

An inside image of the illustrations in the book

It’s a simple and yet really silly story which just makes you smile and laugh. The humour can only be described as extremely daft but something I know appeals to a lot of kids. There are pictures that accompany every double page of the book and I think the pictures are what really make the story even better. They are well drawn and simple yet full of humour like the writing itself. Most of the illustrations shown have a word or two description which somehow makes then even funnier.

More fun illustrations of the book

I don’t really want to give away the story but it has a predictably good ending. Even as an adult I’ve laughed at some of the jokes in the book and I think it will really appeal to the kids it’s marketed at. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend and something that cheered me up when I read it.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.

Any thoughts please do comment 🙂

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#BookReview: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas #MPBooks

'The Hate U Give' book cover
The UK book cover

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary

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Description: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

My Review: This is an amazing novel with a powerful message. The Hate U Give is a book that really relates to the world today and it’s an important book that teens and indeed adults should read. The book begins at a party where we’re introduced to Starr and the world she lives in. It was a hard for me to get into this novel at the beginning due to all the slang used. The novel is told in the first person narrative and it was hard enough for me to understand some of the slang the characters used in dialogue, but Starr herself, as a narrator to us, also used slang and what can be considered not quite proper grammar so for me personally it was harder to get used to the book’s writing than it was for some people.

Of course I did get used to the book’s style and it didn’t take long for the story to really suck me in. After leaving the party with her friend Khalil, a white policeman stops them, and I won’t explain the details but he ends up shooting Khalil, killing him. The scene as it’s described is a little shocking both in its description and the nature of the way Khalil was shot. It also had an emotional pull as this could and does happen in today’s society, particularly in America where the story is set.

The rest of the novel follows Starr after the shooting. There’s not only the personal struggle she goes through while grieving someone’s death, but also the social issue, that this was a black man who was shot by a white policeman and the racist nature of the event. The book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and I’m not surprised that this has received hundreds of great reviews already for it’s message alone. The book has a clear message of anti-racism and shows well the true nature of what happens in some communities. However the book isn’t just good because of the message it gives but the storytelling is amazing too.

Despite it taking some time to get into this I felt gripped throughout and kept wanting to read on. After a while my brain could make the switch into the slightly slang way that Starr narrated and because it was such an exciting novel to read I didn’t mind the slang speak, had it not been in the first person I probably would have said differently though.

Although the story is great to read and has a great and satisfying ending, even though not the happiest of endings, there are things I didn’t like. There was an obvious culture around Starr and her neighbourhood and there was a slight prejudice feel towards all white people by Starr and moreso by others in her neighbourhood, despite SPOLIER ALERT -Starr having a white boyfriend. SPOLER END – This didn’t really bother me it’s just that all the white people in the story were from rich neighbourhoods and that’s just not the case in this world, although this could just be a personal thing for me as I’ve faced my own problems of prejudice/discrimination being white but with Eastern European blood.

This book is a really great read and so necessary in today’s culture. It’s a tough read though and despite being a YA book I think only those who are a little older should read this as it’s got violence, mentions of drug selling and use, references to sex and a lot of swearing. The book has a lot of use of the s and especially the f words as well as the n word although this word was used by the black characters rather than the white so the context was different.

The Hate U Give is definitely a book I’d recommend and should probably be a book taught at schools. Some of the culture is a little different to what it is like in this country but it’s still a significant and powerful read. What happens to the characters really gets you emotionally and you feel compelled to keep reading and even though the book is over 400 pages long, I never grew tired of it. After reading the story I’d also advise anyone to read the author’s notes. When you read those the book becomes even more significant and you can see how the author had a lot of personal experience with the culture and effects of the subject in this book. I wouldn’t recommend this to young teens, unlike a review I’ve seen, due to all the violence and language but I would recommend this to anyone else and that includes adults.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.

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#BookReview: Triangle by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen #MPBooks

Book cover of Tringle
‘Triangle’ book cover

Title: Triangle

Author: Mac Barnett

Illustrator: Jon Klassen

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: This book is about Triangle.  One day Triangle leaves his house to play a sneaky trick on his friend.  Or at least that is Triangle’s plan.

My Review: I do like this book.  The cover is especially intriguing featuring nothing more than a picture of Triangle.  Like the name suggests this book follows Triangle as he plans to play a trick on his friend Square.  The story is a fun one with Triangle playing his trick, but it backfires a little and ends with a funny, if slightly odd, twist.  The twist at the end of the book is unexpected and the last page leaves you with a question rather than just ending which is good fun in getting kids more involved even after the story has been read.

The first pages of ‘Triangle’

I love the illustrations in this book.  I was first introduced to Jon Klassen’s style with the book ‘We Found A Hat’, also by Walker Books, and this book follows in that amazing visual humour.  Most of the images look like printed shapes rather than being drawn freehand, and the expressions of character’s faces is somehow very funny in a way I think adults will love.

Another page of ‘Triangle’. Here you can see the curved edges of the book

This book is a hard back but not at all glossy.  Although the picture doesn’t show it, the books right-hand edges are rounded with no sharp points making this book easier for smaller hands to hold, however the pages inside are very papery rather than glossy so it depends on the child as to whether you’d want them handling the book.

More pages from ‘Triangle’ 🙂

The story is fun and I love the twist but I didn’t enjoy this as much as ‘We Found A Hat’.  The ending was a bit odd to me and although I love the illustrations I was expecting a little more.  However it’s a great book for kids and one which many adults might enjoy.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.

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