Title: Rick

Author: Alex Gino

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

From the award-winning author of George, the story of a boy named Rick who needs to explore his own identity apart from his jerk of a best friend.

Rick’s never questioned much. He’s gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff’s acted like a bully and a jerk. He’s let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn’t given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out.

But now Rick’s gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school’s Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that … understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.

As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world … and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Set a few years after George, Rick focuses on a different character – our eponymous character, Rick.

In George, Rick comes across a little boy. He follows the crowd and hasn’t quite figured out who he is yet. He makes poor decisions but we see a kindness in him. Therefore, he is the perfect tertiary character to focus the follow on story about.

In the sequel, we see just how much he has grown. We see him start to question his actions, the actions of others and what (and who) is important in life. More than that we see him realise how his actions impact others.

Rick is a beautiful story which, unlike George, is more about relationships with others rather than acceptance of oneself. It is the relationships that he cultivates in this novel that make his life better.

Alex Gino is brilliant at creating LGBTQIA+ stories and a community of middle grade readers will be the richer for reading Rick and George.

Rick by Alex Gino is available now.

For more information regarding Alex Gino (@lxgino) please visit www.alexgino.com.

For more information regarding Scholastic (@scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.

Title: George

Author: Alex Gino

Pages: 213 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. 

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Poor George. George is struggling. George knows what the world expects – an interest in sport, getting messy, boisterousness. However, George likes fashion, femininity and the colour pink. You see George knows she is a girl. George is Melissa.

Alex Gino has written an absolutely gorgeous novel bit being transgender. What is brilliant is that Gino has targetted this story at middle grade readers. It is a beautiful story of being unwilling to compromise on who you are and it shows what with the right support just ow much easier life can be for transgendered people.

I devoured George. It was a one-sitting read and one that I wish was on the curriculum.

George by Alex Gino is available now.

For more information regarding Alex Gino (@lxgino) please visit www.alexgino.com.

For more information regarding Scholastic (@scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.

Title: Inkheart

Author: Cornelia Funke

Pages: 563 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

From internationally acclaimed storyteller Cornelia Funke, this bestselling, magical epic is now out in paperback!

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART— and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.

This is INKHEART–a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

What a gorgeous story and shame on me for not having read it before. I have to admit, I read Inkheart because a student of mine recommended it. He was reading at and I wanted to encourage him to carry on with the chunky book. What happened was that I got lost in the world of Inkheart. That was pleasantly unexpected.

I have often wanted to live in the world of my my books. I want my Hogwarts letter and I frequently check wardrobes just in case I get to go to Narnia. After reading Inkheart and knowing that it may not go the way that I want it to and that in fact living in a book world may end completely awfulIy for me I am starting to rethink that decision…but still how exciting would it be?

What I am most grateful for is that I have two other books in the series are already waiting for me to read. I would be stressed out if I had to wait for the sequels.

If you are looking for a beautiful series of books to fall in to then I thoroughly recommend Inkheart. It is a must for anyone who loves book and to celebrate the whole world of literature. 

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is available now.

For more information regarding Cornelia Funke (@CorneliaFunke) please visit www.corneliafunke.com.

For more information regarding Scholastic (@scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.

Title: Quarantine – A Love Story

Author: Katie Cicatelli-Kuc

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

Oliver wants a girlfriend, and there’s a girl back home who might be interested in him. The problem is, he has to spend his spring break on a volunteer trip in the Dominican Republic. Flora, on the other hand, isn’t really looking for a boyfriend. She just wants to end a miserable spring break visiting her dad and her new stepmom in the D.R.

The solution to both their problems? Get back home to New York ASAP. Sadly, they won’t be getting there anytime soon. 

Their hopes are dashed when Flora’s impulsiveness lands them in quarantine — just the two of them. Now, the two teens must come together in order to survive life in a bubble for 30 days. In that time, love will bloom. But is it the real thing, or just a placebo effect? 

In her debut novel, Katie Cicatelli-Kuc delivers an introspective and witty story about finding love in the most unexpected place.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Quarantine is the quirky love story of Oliver and Flora. Both meet on a plane home from the Dominican Republic. On the same flight, the man sitting next to Oliver takes ill. Everyone is put on a 24 hour quarantine. Flora, however feels unwell and in a moment of madness kisses Oliver. They are both forced to stay on a 30 day quarantine together.

Oh Quarantine is adorable. It is told in relatively short chapters of differing perspectives – Oliver and Flora’s – and we seem the blossoming of their relationship. We are faced with fame hungry friends, overbearing mothers and sleazy junior doctors. It really does have it all.

If you want a dose of romance then Quarantine is the book for you.

Quarantine – A Love Story by Katie Cicatelli-Kuc is available now.

For more information regarding Katie Cicatelli-Kuc (@katie_cicatelli) please visit www.katiecicatelli.com.

For more information regarding Scholastic (@Scholastic) please visit www.scholastic.com.

timecurseTitle: Timecurse (Darkside, #4)

Author: Tom Becker

Pages: 262 Pages

Publisher: Scholastic

The Blurb

A fourth spine-tingling visit to the secret London borough of Darkside…

A Blood Succession, a mysterious watch, and chaos in the streets – just another day in Darkside. Jonathan is back home again when he hears that Vendetta has gone missing – and that’s not even the worst of it.

Teaming up with some old friends, Jonathan becomes embroiled in a terrifying Darkside mystery – and he discovers the answer to a question he’s been asking for years: could his mother still be alive?

The Review

Oh I do love the Darkside series. In my quest to finish the many series of books that I have started (The Hunger Games, Geek Girl etc.,) I decided to read the 4th book in the Darkside series.  It was bloody good.

In keeping with the gothic dark nature of the book we are once again thrust underground into the Darkside, a Victorian city that runs parallel to modern day London. We meet the same cast of characters from the previous books but what is impressive about Timecurse is that we start to see a different side to some of the more twisted characters. We see that the nature of our villains isn’t one dimensional.

Further villains are thrown into the mix and Jonathan Starling, once again, gets caught up in the drama…but he is also one step closer to finding out what happened to his mother.

Basically, Timecurse is boss and it has made me all the more eager to read the final book in the series.

Timecurse (Darkside, #4) by Tom Becker is available now.

For more information regarding Tom Becker please visit his Twitter page (@Tbeckerlegge).

For more information regarding Scholastic Books (@Scholasticuk) please visit www.scholastic.co.uk.

35-stars