Posted in Age 8-10, Age 10-12, Age 12-14

The Storm Keeper’s Island

Reviewed by Bookmonstress Méabh
Author: Catherine Doyle
Book 1 of 3 in Storm Keeper series

Hi everyone and welcome to my latest book review!
This one is on the first book in Catherine Doyle’s Storm Keeper trilogy, called The Storm Keeper’s Island. It’s a fantastical tale full of adventure, myth and magic. When Fionn and his sister Tara are sent to stay at their grandfather’s home on the island of Arranmore, the otherwise quiet Fionn discovers that there’s a lot more to Arranmore than meets the eye. In fact his very arrival on the island seems to set something in motion. Something deep beneath the surface. As Fionn learns the island’s secrets from his grandfather – the Storm Keeper of Arranmore – the battle for the next Storm Keeper begins. What a breathtaking tale! NO SPOILERS!!

Posted in Age 8-10, Age 10-12

Alistair Grim’s Odditorium

Reviewed by Bookmonstress Méabh
Author: Gregory Funaro
Book 1 of 2 in Odditorium series

Greetings Bookmonsters!
My book review today is on Gregory Funaro’s magical, funny tale of Alistair Grim’s Odditorium. One of the cool things about this story is that it takes you back in time – to Victorian England. When 12-year-old orphan Grubb hides out in someone’s trunk to avoid a beating from his cruel master, he emerges into the fantastical world of the Odditorium and meets the mysterious owner, Mr Grim. Grubb becomes Mr Grim’s apprentice and quickly settles into his new life in the enchanted Odditorium. But when their peaceful world comes under attack, Grubb gets whisked off on a perilous adventure to prevent the evil Prince Nightshade from wielding the magic that powers the Odditorium. Grubb must draw on his courage and wits if he is to succeed in defeating the villain. This was such a fun read; full of magic and bizarre characters. You’ll love it! NO SPOILERS!!!

Posted in Age 8-10, Age 10-12, Age 12-14

Méabh’s TOP FIVE favourite book covers

Favourites in 2021

Hi dear Bookmonsters!
Today’s video isn’t a book review; instead I’m doing something different – I’m going to show you my current TOP FIVE favourite book covers (or rather, SIX!). Cian already did a video like this a while back (here) and I’ve been wanting to do one too, so here it is!

And like I say in the video, I’m going to JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER! Because I just can’t help myself! It’s hard not to be drawn in by a really pretty cover, especially when it’s in your favourite colours. But as I explain, it’s not just the colours or the illustrations that attract me, it’s also the font, the spine, the wraparounds to the back cover and, really importantly, the FEEL. I love how a book feels in my hands.

So, like with Cian’s video of his TOP FIVE covers, this review is a thank you to cover artists, illustrators, author-illustrators, designers, typographers for creating such beautiful book covers. And the books are brilliant too!

Here are the books in alphabetical order (by author), so as not to give anything away just yet! (I’ve also included the links to the book reviews I’ve already posted here on Bookmonster.)

  1. THE GIRL WHO SPEAKS BEAR by Sophie Anderson | Cover by Kathrin Honesta
  2. WILLA OF THE WOOD by Robert Beatty | Cover by Millie Liu | Design by Maria Elias
  3. SHARK CALLER by Zillah Bethell | Cover by Saara Katariina Söderlund | Typography by Sarah J. Coleman
  4. SKY SONG by Abi Elphinstone | Cover by Daniela Terrazzini
  5. NEVERTELL by Katherine Orton | Cover by Sandra Dieckmann
  6. NORTH CHILD by Edith Pattou | Cover by Claire Lefevre

Also featured in this video is RUMBLESTAR by Abi Elphinstone.

Posted in Age 10-12, Age 12-14


Written by Katherine Rundell

Hi bookmonsters!
A new book review is ready for you today – the fabulous Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell. And you’re guaranteed to love this one! I certainly did! It has such an original and unusual storyline: Sophie – aged one – gets rescued from a cello case floating in the ocean after her ship goes down, grows up in London with her eccentric rescuer Charles, flees from the authorities – aged twelve – to Paris to go in search of her missing mother, discovers a secret world above the streets of Paris, joins forces with a roof urchin named Matteo to scour the city for her mother. Sounds fun, right?!
The whole story is based on believing that an almost impossible crazy dream might actually be possible – that Sophie’s mother didn’t drown when the ship sank, but is alive and well, and living in Paris. I really loved Sophie’s mantra that you should “never ignore a possible”. And it is VERY possible that you will love this story as much as I did!

Posted in Age 10-12, Age 12-14

The Hunger Games

Written by Suzanne Collins
Book 1 of 3 in The Hunger Games series

Hey bookmonsters!
My book review today is on a new favourite of mine – and one that many of you may already know – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s the first in a trilogy (not counting the “prequel” about President Snow) and it totally blew my mind! I’ve read all three novels and will be reviewing the other two here very soon. This first book introduces Katniss Everdeen, a brave, resourceful 16-year-old girl who has to fight for her life as a Tribute in the so-called Hunger Games. This is an annual televised event that is held in Panem, a dystopian nation controlled by the ruthless President Snow, and sees 24 residents from the 12 poor districts fight each other to the death. Although this is a nail-bitingly exciting, terrifying and, at times, brutal story, we also see how kindness and humanity can blossom in the face of adversity and, ultimately, save the day. I am now a HUGE fan and I’m pretty sure you will be, too!