When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit! (Book Review)

Charming, funny and a bit frightening!

This is all the things this little book has in abundance!

I had no idea what to expect with it, I honestly just picked it up in a charity shop to make it to the four for a pound deal. I thought that maybe it would be quite dark, that terrible things might happen in it, a bit like the boy in the striped pyjamas. But, I was pleasantly surprised!

From the POV of a ten year old Anna, who is of Jewish descent living in Germany, with a dad who writes and publishes articles on the news, the family of four is forced to flee from their home before the Nazi’s take away their passports!

I was always worried that something bad was going to happen, and some times, little Anna built it up, and it just turned out to be something silly. Something children worried about, which I guess is quite adorable! It’s a lovely little refreshing read, and Judith Kerr paints the picture perfectly!

The only qualms I had was that there were so many names, I just had no idea who they were talking about half the time, and as I see it more as a children’s book than an adult read (although, I definitely recommend it to the adults of the world), I think it would be quite hard for a child to keep up with it all!

From some further research, I’ve found that this little book is actually semi-autobiographical, and Judith Kerr was the little Anna that fled her home from Berlin via Switzerland to escape to Paris and later England because her father was wanted by the Nazi’s!

The title comes from Anna having to decide which toy she wants to take on her journey, and she chooses a little woolly dog and leaves behind pink rabbit because she believes they’ll come back. This is followed by the Nazi’s repossessing their house, and all of what they owe, and thus making Anna believe that Hitler stole pink rabbit.

All-in-all, it’s a beautiful book, and not something I would usually read, but the smallness of it helped draw me in, and I will definitely be looking out for the other two books in her Out of the Hitler Time Series!

 

Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford (Book Review)

I enjoyed it, but not in the way I thought I would!

This was a complete cover buy! I needed a second book to make up my 2 for £7 deal and the words ‘with a hamster’ drew me in straight away.

It is the debut novel by Ross Welford, published in 2015! I’ve tried not to include obvious spoilers, but even though this is a childrens book, as an adult, you can delve much deeper.

 The author also published another book called ‘What not to do if you turn invisible’ in 2016! And my crazy hamster lady self comes out a little at the end, and I’m sorry!

On to the review!

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Time Travelling with a Hamster follows 12-year-old Al and his pet hamster – Alan Shearer – as they travel back in time to prevent his dad from dying. They travel back to when his dad was 12 to stop the accident that would eventually lead to his dads death years later, except, it doesn’t go as planned.

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It is marketed as a middle grade book, but it’s not this whimsical adventure you expect it to be. It’s very dark at times and I think, in places, it borders on being adult fiction instead. I enjoyed it in a way, but not in the way I thought I would. It also felt like sometimes, the narrator wasn’t a twelve year old boy, like Albert wasn’t sure if he was a kid or an adult whilst he told us the story. There are references to him telling the story after his grand adventure has taken place though, so maybe he is writing from a slightly older perspective, but we never actually know.

However, what I liked about it was the way it explained time travel in simpler terms, which I think was done tremendously. I liked how it was even made to sound slightly technical, which made me think I was far smarter than I am! I also enjoyed the shorter chapters! I think that helps to break it up a lot more, and make you think, yeah, I can read a bit more before I need to sleep. But, it also felt like a bit of it was drawn out, especially at the beginning. It almost made it hard to get in to, but once I got down to the whole time travelling bit, I couldn’t put it down.

The book is also full of wonderfully fascinating characters which are all three-dimensional, which I think the author pulled off flawlessly. I did have a few tears here and there, I’ll admit, but I think it just shows that the author really got the feel of the book spot on.

However, I think the one thing that did disappoint me the most was the reason I bought it for – Alan Shearer – the hamster, felt more like an add-on just to attract attention, an afterthought (literally) at times, and I felt a little bit betrayed.

There was also another thing that bothered me in this book, but I guess, looking from an adults perspective; looking in to this young boys adventure, I have a completely different view to that of a kid, and a child is much less likely too think the way I do.

This is to do with the pressure put on a twelve-year-old to go back in time and save his dad! After reading it, I just felt like his dad was being a douche – which is the nice way to put it – and perhaps he should have been more concerned with getting his son to understand grief and loss and change, and not thinking of how to bring himself back to life.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s one person in this world that I would do anything to bring back to life, there’s probably somebody you would do anything to get back, but I think, in these circumstances, it’s more important to learn how to cope, how to change and adapt, and all that; instead of going on a terrifying and dangerous mission to alter the past and hope you don’t end up erased from history.

Then again, Al is only twelve, he misses his dad terribly, his life isn’t all that great and I guess, this and his nievity is sort of abused by his own dad in a way.

Although, this theme bothered me, it didn’t make me not like the book. It was really good book – if you take away the whimsical title and the cover and just read it as it is – and it was an interesting read. It was drawn out at some points, especially at the beginning (I thought I was never going to finish it), but it does look at all those themes that are important for kids to look at, like loss and grief and change, and even second-families.

As a children’s read, I can’t say much, but I think I would have really enjoyed this book as a kid because I wouldn’t have looked at the overall picture, I would have just thought about Albert going on this adventure in a time machine and trying to bring his dad back to life! As an adult read, I would recommend it, but just be prepared for it to not be as you expect.

Also, perhaps if you’re going to include a hamster in your book for kids, it should be advised that you probably shouldn’t take your hamster on such an adventure, because, they will probably die. And, you should do a bit more research on hamster and know slightly more about them before they become a part of your title. This is my crazy hamster lady side coming out, but the book was still good! You should still read it!

Rating: 4/5

Ross Welford PFD

Ross Welford’s WordPress

Read more reviews on Goodreads

I guess if I had to go on a time travelling adventure, I would not take Mouse! He screams sometimes and I don’t think he’d be a good partner in crime!

Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Book Review)

A childrens/middle grade debut novel by book jacket designer R.J.Palacio will have you crying one minute and laughing the next. This novel is warm, up-lifting and accessible to all ages! It seriously might be one of my favourite books of the year!

Beautifully written, Wonder follows the coming-of-age story of Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a facial deformity that makes him look a bit different to everyone else. Following his big step in to fifth grade, after being home schooled by his over-protective parents, Auggie is the inspirational young man that doesn’t let anything get to him!

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He’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face!

The book shows us the pulls and pushes of our society, and the problems that even the youngest of us can go through! Bullies litter the playground, but there are some out there that are willing to accept Auggie as he is, and with their help, perhaps he’ll get to the end of the school year without dropping out.

Friendship, kindness and acceptance are just three of the lessons in this book, perfect for all ages; young, old and in between. It’s short chapters make it so accessible to everyone, and so easy to read and want to read more. It’s hard to put down, easily a one-sitter if you have the time, and a perfect read for the summer.

So if you’re looking for something heartwarming, inspirational and extraordinary, look no further than Auggie Pullman. The true wonder of the world.

You can find R.J. Palacio’s website here

Goodreads

Find the book trailer below!

And the movie trailer below! I don’t know how similar it will be to the book, I can already see a few changes here and there, but it still gives off that heart-warming and up-lifting vibe that the book gave me, so it can’t be all that bad! And I believe it comes out in the UK at lest, in December and not November!

 

 

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen. M. McManus (Book Review)

One Of Us Is Lying is the mystery YA/Coming-of-age debut novel by the author Karen. M. McManus, and was June’s featured read in the Bookboxclub! (Find the unboxings here). It also made the New York Bestsellers list on the 28th June!

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One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Following the Bayview four, during detention – Simon, Bayviews school gossip – is murdered; and a jock, a geek, a princess and the schools resident bad boy are all under suspicion, but which one of them are lying? All of them have secrets, secrets that could ‘ruin’ their lives, secrets that should have died along with Simon, but they haven’t.

A mystery thriller with all the suspense added, One Of Us Is Lying is both original and creative, and a different take on your usual who-done-it scenarios. It just grips you – even if you figure out the killer early – until the very end – easily a one-sitting book (if you don’t have to go to work that is).

I’ve not read many, if any crime/mystery novels, but I do enjoy TV shows like Lethal Weapon, Death in Paradise, Person of Interest, Sherlock Holmes and all the other sorts, so I’m quite good at putting things together, and if you’re clever enough, you will figure it out, but this book is more than just a mystery novel!

I really got a 13 Reasons Why vibe from it whilst reading it – a book I still have mixed feelings on –  I don’t know why, but I think if you liked that book, you’ll really enjoy this one. Karen managed to make the characters feel so real, so fleshed out, and so hindered by every day life, and worried about small things that shouldn’t really matter, but I feel like it just made it that more authentic.

There are some problems with it, but it’s too spoilery to explain, and there not problems, more like ‘negative views’ on certain things, but when your reading this, you just have to remember that kids nowadays are absolutely terrified of being ridiculed, of being different and teenagers and kids can be so much more worse than adults, it may not be the best to publicize, but it’s what really happens! It’s relateable, even if the whole thing does sound very cliche at first!

Overall, it changed my mind on crime novels, and I think I won’t be adversed to adding some to my tbr pyle! Karen. M. McManus is surely going to be full of great things and I can’t wait to be there for her next book, which is a YA thriller, hopefully coming out in 2018!

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My Rating – 4.5/5

Goodreads

Karens Website


Featured photo found on TheFandom.com

End photo from the publisher – Penguin

Sebastien de Castell’s New YA Series Brings The Results With Spellslinger

Magic may be a con game, but Sebastiens de Castell’s Spellslinger isn’t!

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Spellslinger is a new young adult fantasy series with tricks, traps, magic, lots of laughs and a talking squirrel cat! And, was recently the featured read in the Book Box Clubs Wizards at War May Box (Unboxing here)! It scores a 4.17 on the goodreads website!

Set in the same universe as Sebastien’s Series T’he Greatcoats’, but on a different continent, we follow Kellen, our young protagonist, a Jan’tep initiate who must prove his worth as a mage as he approaches his sixteenth birthday, or, live his life as a Sha’tep servant!

The only problem is, Kellen doesn’t have any magic!

So, with the introduction of the witty and mysterious, red headed argosi wanderer, Ferius Parfax, who just so happens to be in the right place at the right time to save Kellens life, may be his only way to escape his fait! And, add in a cunning, manipulative, arrogant, but adorable squirrel cat Reichis, and perhaps you have a whole bunch of unlikely heroes ready to take on the world!

I’ll be honest and say it’s not a book I would usually pick of the shelf. The cover is obviously beautiful, but it probably wouldn’t have found itself in my TBR pile! I’m glad it did though (thankyou book box club). It was so easy to read and so humorous that I’m surprised I’d never heard of the author before. I think I found my new favourite author.

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However, there are a few things that didn’t necessarily put me off, but might be a problem for some. This book does lack a bit of world-building at the beginning, with more being diversed further in to the story, but in all honestly, I didn’t need it. I got so infused with Kellen, his witty argosi wanderer and assholish squirrel cat that it wasn’t really necessary. I think it also leaves a lot to your imagination, meaning that everyone can have a different experience with this book. For me, I think this is a great thing!

Another downer is all the different titles and names that just made my head hurt at first. I don’t really like books that make up all these weird names and words and such, but I loved the story and the characters so much that it didn’t matter in the end. I understood who was who and that was enough for me!

Despite all that, it is written beautifully by Sebastien, in a humerous style that had my sides hurting and looks of crazyness from the other people in the room. I haven’t had a book that’s made me laugh this much in a while, so will definitely go on to read Sebastiens Great coat series whilst I wait for Shadowblack to come out in October.

If your looking for a little bit of magic, loads of laughs, some beautifully written characters and a new obsession with squirrel cats, then read this book, use your imagination and fall in love with the world that Sebastien created!

Here’s some links for you to get started on your journey in to a world of magic and tricks!

Look at Sebastiens website here

Buy the book here

Pre-order the second book here (because you’ll want to)

Buy the first in ‘The Greatcoats’ Series Traitors Blade here