World Book Night 2014

I only found out about this event within the last couple of years and love the idea!

Wakefield Libraries

2014 books

Save the day – 23rd April 2014 is World Book Night and it’s not too early to start thinking about it because the list of books has been published. You can see the list here and read about how you can apply to be a giver and share a love of reading with people you may know who haven’t discovered it yet. There is an application form to fill in and return by 23rd January and you will be able to collect the books from libraries in Wakefield. What do you think of the choice of books? Is there one you’d love to share?

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Book Review: The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star by Jill Murphy

Mildred Hubble is determined to not be the worst witch this year and everything seems to start well for Miss Cackle‘s Academy’s misfit student. The school even has the chance to get a fancy new swimming pool to go with the glass in their bedroom windows. But when she makes a wish upon a shooting star, everything predictable goes wrong!

This new book in the much-loved series is a great addition, featuring what readers have come to expect from the series but at the same time switching it up a little. The book has been written with its target audience in mind, seven and above, and yet manages to entertain older fans of the series.

As with the earlier books, it does survive some modernisation to fit the book being read in 2013 and expands the world of the Worst Witch slightly, within realms of the story. Arguably, there could be one or two parallels to be made between this book and the Goblet of Fire from the Harry Potter series.

Mildred, Enid, Maud and their classmates are all older (if not necessarily wiser) and yet are the same memorable characters we have come to love (or hate in the case of Ethel). The characters have been aged up but it is within reason doesn’t detract from the book. In fact, it makes it even more enjoyable and enchanting and, by ageing them up, helps develop the characters.

The same can be said of the teachers (who do talk about age in this book). The change in Miss Drill is good however I couldn’t shake the feeling that she seemed a little out of character. This complaint is even more notable in Miss Hardbroom I feel. There is talk of her background which makes the character more likeable but even so, she felt quite out of character to me.

Sadly, this did make the experience of reading this book seem a bit different and not in a good way.

This book is a great addition to the series which has been much-loved by many generations. The book can be read by young learner readers as well as together with a friend or a family member. Mildred might be the worst witch in the school but she is possibly the greatest friend in the world.


Book Review: Horrible Histories, Rowdy Revolutions by Terry Deary

What’s this you say? A book review?

Yes. My pile of read books waiting for reviews is getting a little high so I figured I might as well sit down, re-read one or two and write at least one review.

Horrible Histories. The 20-year-old book series that leaves the horrible parts in and has spawned a BAFTA winning TV series. This book is one of the specials that looks at revolutions from ancient times right up to 1999. From Rotten Romans to Bolshy Bolsheviks, this book looks at peasant revolts, the French revolutionaries with their guillotine, the English civil war and the Americans who first fought the British then themselves. History certainly isn’t boring!

This book is as brilliant as the others in the series. Filled with all the usual historical jokes and teacher jokes, it makes learning about history fun and lets children (and adults!) learn about periods of history that are not on the National Curriculum or exam board specifications. It provides a thorough overview of the different revolutions, dates and offers definitions of what counts as a revolution and what counts as a rebellion. The illustrations are by Martin Brown, who has illustrated the earlier books and been involved in the TV series.

The book also looks at the things that are not or rarely talked about even if the revolution in question is on the school curriculum: slogans, songs and the batty real names of revolutionary leaders! Fun little facts that kids would love to know and test their teachers with!

Sadly, the book is not flawless as I have two negatives I have to mention. The first is about the question and answer parts of the book. Quizzes are regular occurrences in the series and this one is no different but I couldn’t help feeling they came a little too often so causing the reader to have to be flicking back and forth in the book more often than maybe is necessary.

The second is when Terry Deary writes mock reports about events from the points of views of the people involved. One of them to me confused me as he seemed to jump back and forth in events and it did not seem structured. The report in question made the POV character seem like an imbecile which seems rather harsh to me.

The book is brilliantly written, offers the usual quizzes and bad puns whilst offering the information required. Children will really enjoy it and it will certainly supplement their school learning, like all Horrible History books.

#SherlockLives Series 3 Trailer

It seems the BBC is trying to kill us all with feels as right after the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special finished, they released this trailer:

As well as the trailer, Dr John Watson has started blogging again. Have a look at his latest entry here. He says he is writing up case notes from old cases and there appears to be someone named Mary writing in the comments section.


Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Extra Goodies

Okay, so if you haven’t watched the special, I would NOT recommend reading this post until AFTER you have watched it. I don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers.

BBC America has a load of extra stuff for you to check out including a deleted scene

…And inside looks at the 50th special:

And if that wasn’t enough, the Classic Doctors have tried to get involved with the 50th Special. The BBC have released the 30 minute Five Doctors Reboot which you can find here: And don’t forget to check out the other goodies on there too. (I apologise if it doesn’t work outside of the UK!)

And once you have finished with that, how about some (Christmas) pudding with the Christmas Doctor Who Teaser Trailer?:


Doctor Who 50th Special

The Doctor Who title card for series 6, simila...

The Doctor Who title card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t function at the moment! I, I, I…

Because I know there will be people who haven’t seen The Day of the Doctor just yet, I won’t say too much.

I think I just need a minute to…settle down… I keep bouncing up and down in excitement at Doctor Who! I love Mr Moffat and I, I, I am just so happy!

Maybe I should channel this excitement into, you know, actually getting more words written for NaNoWriMo so I can finish the month on a somewhere near decent and respectable word count!

NaNoWriMo Word Count Updates Day 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20

Okay, I know I haven’t been putting updates up but quite frankly, I was hoping to have at least caught up by now but it just isn’t happening. Before I continue, here are my word counts for the last few days:

Day 15:  19,872 words

Day 16: 21,345 words

Day 17: 22,293 words

Day 18: 24,152 words

Day 19: 26,338 words

Day 20: 27,134 words

Over the last few days, I have had a character rebellion (as usual) which led to me having a romance sub plot, which should have been just an element of the main plot and the main plot, well… My character has gone from being a teacher with two teaching contracts at the local schools to being an associate lecturer at a new university college for the island setting and it turns out she has a big interest in the legend of the island. That legend has become part of the story… in theory.

I also have another story running in my head . It’s probably just a short story related to a previous NaNo (November 2011) which was also a university class story. I haven’t actually gone back to it since as it needs major editing and the story needs a complete overhaul but I think I am definitely going to get the short written. It’s annoying me and I really need to at least get something written on the story.

I also find myself procrastinating by watching a walk through of Sly 2: Band of Thieves on YouTube.

The fact is, I don’t think I am going to complete this November. I’m not quitting but I am having reservations about doing this session. Let’s face it. November isn’t the best month in the world for me to be writing!

So yeah, that’s how things are going… Not the best.