Book reviews


The Making of Mollie

The Making of Mollie

Anna Carey

An interesting historical tale for 11-14 year olds about the suffragette movement in Ireland in 1912. Nicely written but I didn't like the letter format.


The Ghosts of Magnificent Children

The Ghosts of Magnificent Children

Caroline Busher

A ghost story for 10–14 year olds. Imaginative and creepy in places, but don't believe the puff quotes (by which I mean: I don't wholly agree with the puff quotes).


Vinny's Wilderness

Vinny's Wilderness

Janet Shepperson

This is a quick and readable tale somewhat lacking in detail and well-rounded characters. It is about a single mother working hard for her daughter, and about the boy she tutors and his mother. It is about friendship and trust, the haves and the havenots. With a backdrop of an overgrown garden, I liked this book but I didn’t love it as I wanted to.


Aloysius Tempo

Aloysius Tempo

Jason Johnson

Aloysius Tempo is a freelance hit-man, arranging 'accidents' that can't be traced to him or to the people who hire him. This is a rollicking good book with lots of surprises. It is very well crafted and written and I hope there is more of Aloysius in the future ... although you can't be too sure of that from the ending.


Plain Jane: When does being stuck become ... unstuck?

Plain Jane: When does being stuck become ... unstuck?

Kim Hood

Kim Hood’s second book is even better than her first. It is realistic, with believable characters with whom the reader can empathise. It deals sensitively with mental and physical illness and explores relationships of many kinds. Sixteen-year-old Jane is a great character whose point of view we see throughout the book. It is superbly conceived and written, and although sold as YA is a book that any age from 13 upwards could enjoy.


The Easter Rising 1916: Molly’s Diary

The Easter Rising 1916: Molly’s Diary

Patricia Murphy

Molly’s Diary looks at the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 from a twelve-year-old girl’s point of view. There are parts I love and parts I am not so keen on, so a mixed review from me. But I would recommend it for 10-14 year olds, particularly those who live in Ireland or generally enjoy history.


A book so utterly shite I am not even going to tell you what it is

A book so utterly shite I am not even going to tell you what it is

Yes, it's self-published. Yes, my policy is to review books whether they deserve one star or five stars or anything in between. No, on this occasion I really can't.


Breakfast at Cannibal Joe's

Breakfast at Cannibal Joe's

Jay Spencer Green

Bonkers. Weird. Surreal. Satirical. Politically incorrect. Clever. Absurd. Witty. Disgusting. There you have it! Recommended.


To Fight Alongside Friends - The First World War Diaries of Charlie May

To Fight Alongside Friends - The First World War Diaries of Charlie May

Gerry Harrison (Ed.)

These are Captain Charlie May's First World War diaries and a love letter to his wife Maude and baby Pauline. They are eloquently written, and informative, sad, funny and loving. They show a very human side of a dreadful war. Charlie May was killed on the first morning of the Battle of Somme and these diaries, kept in secret, were delivered to his wife by a comrade. They have been superbly edited by his great-nephew, Gerry Harrison. Highly recommended.


The Book of the Poppy

The Book of the Poppy

Chris McNab

This short book is packed with easy-to-read but hard-to-stomach statistics of casualties of war over the last hundred years. It gives a quite fascinating history of the Remembrance Poppy movement. There are many stark and memorable graphics, newspaper extracts and poems. Well worth reading.


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