Reviews – dragons, death and keeping secrets

I’ve recently read three new books that I really enjoyed.

dragonsThe Boy Who Grew Dragons, by Andy Shepherd with illustrations by Sara Ogilvie, is a LOT of fun.

Dragon fruit are of course a real thing, and the name simply BEGS to be used in a story like this. The fruit on Tomas’s grandfather’s tree hatches into – you guessed it – dragons. Tomas is THRILLED – who wouldn’t be?! – but as usual, the world’s coolest pet comes with certain drawbacks. Namely, its habit of burning stuff and expelling exploding poo.

Tomas knows he should keep his new pet a secret, but his friends aren’t stupid, and when new dragons start to hatch (and the neighbour blames Tomas himself for the destruction to his vegetables), Tomas needs to call in reinforcements…

A great fun read with DRAGONS and great illustrations – and the second in the series is already out now!

Repro_EllaOnTheOutside_cvr.inddElla on the Outside, by Cath Howe, takes a delicate look at what happens when a child is forced to keep a family secret. Ella’s father is in prison for (presumably) embezzlement, but her mother doesn’t want anyone to know.

Ella makes friends with Lydia, but Lydia turns out to be one of those poisonous types who lures you in with promises of friendship and then makes you work for it. Before Ella knows it, she’s promised to spy on Molly, another girl, but what she uncovers makes her feel deeply uncomfortable and distressed by her actions.

This is a story that examines a toxic friendship and the consequences of our actions with the lightest touch. Despite the heavy issues involved (we see Ella’s letters to her father but never his replies) it’s not a heavy read, and would be a great one to use in Y6 at school to raise discussions of the various topics covered.

deathFinally, Death in the Spotlight, the latest in the superb Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens. I’ve only read half of the series so far, but this one is set in a theatre, so it was instantly going to call to me!

Daisy and Hazel are splendid as ever, and Hazel is starting to come out of her shell. Speaking of, this book also includes the most heartwarming and beautiful coming-out scene, which was just wonderful to read.

A lead actress is murdered in the most gruesome way, and Daisy and Hazel are of course determined to discover her murderer. This story is full of wonderful characters, many secrets, and a jaw-dropping twist at the end that, despite my extensive Agatha Christie reading, I did NOT see coming.

This is now officially my favourite book in the series and I am already planning to read it all over again 🙂

 

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One thought on “Reviews – dragons, death and keeping secrets

  1. Oh my gosh I’ve downloaded Death in the Spotlight but wasn’t planning to read it just yet, HOWEVER your description has made me want to read it IMMEDIATELY! Such a fantastic series ❤

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