Title: The House with a Clock in its Walls

Author: John Bellairs

Pages: 179 Pages

Publisher: Piccadilly Press

The Blurb

Lewis Barnavelt doesn’t have time on his side…

When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbour, Mrs Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis couldn’t be happier. What’s not to like about seeing his uncle practise spells and eating Mrs Zimmermann’s delicious cookies?

At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Selenna Izard. It seems that evil Selenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls – a clock that could obliterate humankind.

As the clock can be heard ticking away in the house all the time, sometimes louder, sometimes quieter, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, it is up to the Barnavelts to find where it is hidden in the walls – and stop it. A true race against time…

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

In the grand tradition of teen mysteries comes The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Weird title, I grant you but it is a bit like Ronseal. It does with it says on the tin.

The story is about a young, orphaned boy (isn’t it always?) who goes to live with his mad-cap uncle to live in his house which is full of mysteries. A relevant amount of chaos ensues and our young hero, Lewis Barnavelt becomes embroiled in solving the mystery.

It is all fun and games, this book and it would be a perfect gift for a middle grade reader.

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs is available now.

For more information regarding Piccadilly Press (@PiccadillyPress) please visit www.piccadillypressblog.wordpress.com.

Title: Charlie and Me – 421 Miles from Home

Author: Mark Lowery

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Piccadilly Press

The Blurb

Thirteen-year-old Martin and his younger brother Charlie are on a very special journey. They’re going to be travelling 421 miles all the way from Preston to the very tip of Cornwall. By train, bus and taxi, they are determined to get there in the end; and they’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the dolphin that regularly visits the harbour there. But is that the only reason they are going?

It’s a journey that’s full of challenges and surprises. Martin adores his brother Charlie but he’s not like ordinary kids. He’s one in a million. He was born far too early, and ought to have died. And cheeky, irrepressible, utterly unique Charlie is always keeping Martin on his toes – especially on this crazy trip they are now on. Martin is doing his best to be a good big brother, but it’s hard when there’s something so huge coming once they get to Cornwall …

An unforgettable novel that is by turns funny and heartbreaking.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Oh my days. What a beautifully emotional story.

I bought seven copies of Charlie and Me: 421 Miles from Home. You may think “Seven? That’s a bit excessive.” Let me explain. I run a book club for my students and this book is on the Carnegie Long List for 2019 and I am trying to get through as many of them as possible before the short list is announced.

I gave it to my students having only read two chapters but I was enchanted already. This story of brotherly love was so funny and sweet and realistic that I knew that I was going to love it. My students did too. All of them came to me telling me that they loved it, that they laughed and that they cried. Charlie and Me: 421 Miles from Home really pulls at your heartstrings.

It is both a road-trip novel and a coming of age story which are two of my favourite kinds of tales. I really hope that Charlie and Me: 421 Miles from Home makes the Short List. It definitely deserves a place.

Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home by Mark Lowery is available now.

For more information regarding Mark Lowery (@HelloMarkLowery) please visit www.marklowery.co.uk.

For more information regarding Picadilly Press (@PiccadillyPress) please visit www.picadillypressblog.wordpress.com.