Mera is teenage royalty, heir to the throne of Xebel, the other not-so-lost colony under the sea. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown, that of Atlantis. When the inhabitants of Xebel plot to overthrow their homeland of Atlantis, Mera is sent to kill the heir to the throne, Arthur Curry. As the unrest between their colonies grows, Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love...will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera's side in Atlantis, or will he die under her blade?
It's a long time since I've blogged (far too long!) so when I heard Nina Douglas was looking for people for a blog tour I thought it was a good way to give me the impetus to start again - especially when I heard that it was a graphic novel she was referring to! I've not seen the film Aquaman and so this is the first time I've encountered this feisty, red haired princess and I certainly enjoyed reading about her and cheering her on with her own personal rebellion. I very much liked the muted colour scheme of the book, the biggest splash of colour on each page reserved for Mera's long fiery red hair, the palette kept your attention firmly on the story without being distracted by bold colours and the blues and greens are fitting given a lot of the story takes place under water. Interesting to note that Mera's hair is at its most vibrant when she is at home under the waves, dulling down when she is on dry land. Essentially a teen rebellion/romance story , most suited for older kids due to a couple of tiny instances of colourful language. It's a take on a Rome/Juliet scenario, with Mera falling in love with the boy she is supposed to kill. The love at first sight storyline did have me rolling my eyes a little, but that's probably due to my age and cynicism - after all I doubt I am in the target age bracket for this title! That said, I definitely appreciated the portrayal of a kick ass princess rather than the passive , pretty but essentially helpless stereotypes that we are all used to. Hat tip to the panels showing wheelchair bound passers by and a variety of body shapes as well as the panel with text 'to love' showing a couple of guys kissing. This graphic novel would make an excellent addition to any secondary school library.
Don't take my word for it - check out other stops on the blog tour!
A while ago a friend noticed that one of my (un) guilty pleasures is cosy/Christmas themed chick lit and she messaged me with a request: she was looking for some love themed reading books for her year 10/11 girls that didn't have too much ...inappropriate content shall we say. Luckily I was able to give her a few suggestions of titles to buy but it made me think - when I was younger my mum was a prolific Mills and Boon reader (now now no groaning!) and as a teenager I read several of her paperbacks. At that time these books were not at all explicit, any intimate scenes were suggested by a line of dots then a new sentence that started 'much later'! Nowadays there is no such veil drawn over sex scenes and indeed many of the stories that my late mum recommended to me as I got older definitely made me blush! Funnily enough I don't like my romances to be too explicit to be honest, I don't think it usually adds anything to the story. So if you are looking for some good reads for older teenage girls you could consider some of the following titles:
A Year at the Star and Sixpence, Holly Hepburn - I could have chosen any Holly Hepburn book really, I love her novels! Good fun with an interesting sibling relationship and past events coming back to cause problems. Warm and witty with some genuine laugh out loud moments.
The Little Bookshop of Broken Hearts, Annie Darling - Romance, fun and books - lots and lots of lovely books! Hey it's set in a bookshop of course I was going to enjoy it. A feel good amusing story .
Meet Cute, Various - an anthology of LGBTQ short stories telling how various couples first met. Sweet, without being cloying, and dryly amusing often, this is a great anthology to dip in and out of, bringing a smile with each story.
The Big Dreams Beach Hotel, Lilly Bartlett - Rosie is the manager of a slightly run down hotel in Scarborough, looking after the motley crew of permanent residents as well as dealing with the eccentric staff members. When the hotel is sold she has to contend with a change manager working on the orders of the two American brothers who want to 'update' the hotel. This was a fun, light read and I enjoyed Rosie's bristly comments and the humour throughout.
The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea , Jane Linfoot - Delicious cakes, beautiful dresses, seaside town and a gorgeous farmer to fall in love with - what's not to like?! Cheerful and good fun.
Today on Twitter people are sharing their favourite children's book illustrations and crediting the wonderful creators thanks to author and illustrator James Mayhew who started the hashtag. I am enjoying sharing my much loved illustrations but for some of my favourites I cannot credit the artist because they are not mentioned in the books sadly, they are from beloved childhood favourites of mine.
When I was young my dad worked in London Bridge Station and often came home with presents for me from WH Smith that was situated on the station forecourt (yes I was a spoilt brat as my sisters and brother would confirm!). These books always produced great excitement in my young bookworm self and I cherished them as though they were the greatest treasure. One of my favourites was a large book of Bedtime Fairy Stories with full page colourful illustrations. There were many great tales included but the one that touched me the most was the story of the Little Matchgirl and oh how I cried when she died at the end. The story was probably one of the first to touch me in an empathetic way and I loved it. I hope my dad knew the part he played in shaping me as a reader, I think he did.
Another much treasured book I had was Tales the Wind Told that I have just realised was given to me as a school prize in primary school! The full colour delicate illustrations transported me to worlds of imagination and adventure and I read and reread the book many times.This one was illustrated bu Ludek Manasek and I am still in awe of the beautiful pictures he created.
I had the pleasure of reading a wonderful picture book today, Previously., a delightful tale that leads us back through the life events of several fairy tale characters, starting with Goldilocks. The way the story segues into different characters is very clever and seamless, one flowing naturally into another. An ideal book for working on perfect progressive and progressive tenses with children and an enjoyable story too. The illustrations, although deceptively simple, are bright and colourful and demonstrate what's happening in the text very well. A great addition to any primary school library/classroom.
This vibrant picture book from Vivian French and Nigel Baines deals with many of the arguments that kids (& adults!) put up to avoid reading - 'I don't have time' "I'm too old for pictures' 'Reading is hard' etc. The illustrations are full of life, colour and humour, I particularly liked the horse librarian but I hope it wasn't suggesting librarians are nags! Excellent reading encouragement from the first page to the last with some very valid points made, such as the need for kids to be able to see themselves in books - much better representation is needed of disabilities, all types of families, cultures and religions. This book should be in every primary school library/classroom and it's humorous tone would go down well in lower secondary too. Championing of comics throughout which really gets my seal of approval! All types of reading whether digital or paper are approved of in the books pages and the illustrations show every type and age of person you could think of along with some very cute animals. Nods to Harry Potter and Star Wars made me smile. All in all I just love this book and can thoroughly recommend it.
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.