Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins #1) by PL Travers



From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world’s most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. Featuring the charming original cover art by Mary Shepard, these new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages.

It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!

(via Goodreads)

If all you know of Mary Poppins is the movie, you may be surprised. Mary is not the adorable and loving character we are used to seeing. She is gruff, curt, and goads the children. Jane and Michael Banks are joined by twins John and Barbara, so there are four children instead of two. Each chapter is a scene/event, and some aligned with the film. But I felt the chapters were just short stories about the children’s time with Mary.

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Mary keeps her magical abilities, and I really enjoyed the concept of the ‘Around the World’ compass. In the book, Mary talks to animals. They all seem to know exactly who she is. There is no origin story to Mary (except for the East Wind) though the Sparrow in the nursery does say she was a special person, who did not lose her ability to talk to animals and hear the wind. But that’s where it is left. I would have been very interested in knowing more. Maybe in the next books.

A series of eight books, the first closely resembles the film we are fond of. I wished there was more of Bert, the poor man only gets one chapter and Michael and Jane are absent from the trip into the painting. But it was still an interesting middle-grade read – and very quick! I will be checking out the others in the series.





Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

Penelope Tredwell is 12903354the feisty 13-year-old orphan heiress of the bestselling magazine, ‘The Penny Dreadful’. Her masterly tales of the macabre are gripping Victorian Britain, even if no one knows she’s the author.

(via Goodreads)

’12 Minutes to Midnight’ is the story of Penelope Treadwell, a 13 year old orphan and author/owner of the bestselling magazine, ‘The Penny Dreadful’. She writes under a pseudonym and considers herself a Holmes-ian sleuth.

When the patients of Bedlam start scribing shocking visions of the future, Penny decides to investigate.

This book is a great read. Penny is a feisty character and she takes risks.  The story is tight, and though a little predictable (it is so hard to find a surprising book when you read all the time) it was a lot fun. The supporting characters are imagined and I enjoyed their nuances and the comic timing between Penny and the actor she hires to play Montgomery Flinch, her pseudonym.

I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the future visions and the outcome was a nice change from the normal supernatural creatures. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a break from your run of the mill YA novels.


Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong Mystery #1) by Robin Stevens

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

(via Goodreads)

This will be a short and sweet review. Steven’s middle grade/young adult mystery novel is fun, well written, and such a quick read. You are captivated from the start and follow our heroines Daisy and Hazel as they try to solve the murder of science teacher Miss Bell.

If you’re looking for a break from love triangles, chosen ones, and fallen angels who seem to be thrown to Earth as 17 year olds, then this book is for you! Its intended audience is 12 years and up, but it is a great story for anyone to pick up.

I would definitely recommend this and I will be picking up the series for my collection 🙂


Wonder by R J Palacio

 You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

(via Goodreads)

How do I even start? Maybe, a WOW!

Wonder is such a lovely, uplifting, heartbreaking book. Our main character August (Auggie) has a severe facial deformity that has kept him home bound and home schooled for the first years of his life. The story starts in the year that Auggie is about to go to school for the first time.

And so begins the roller-coaster. I won’t spoil it. I only encourage everyone to read it. It’s beautiful and touching, and you won’t regret it.


At My Door by Deb Fitzpatrick

9781925162707_WEBLARGEDeliveries usually come in a van. Deliveries are often heavy boxes or oddly shaped padded bags. Deliveries do not come late on a school night. They don’t come in a speeding car. And they don’t cry.

At My Door is the story of 10 year old Poppy and her family, who wake in the middle of the night to find a baby dumped on their front doorstep.

Told from Poppy’s point of view, we follow 24 hours of police and social services visits, and the hunt for the baby’s parents.

A story that reflects on the different lives of children, At My Door is a restrained comment on the importance of valuing a strong family unit.

This book is aimed at middle readers and does not go into any topics in too much detail, so it is good for young readers. The family are typical – Mum, Dad, daughter, son, and dog. I hope that one day, family units are reflected a little more accurately in mainstream publishing. There are many different types of families! Some of the words attributed to Poppy are a little grown up for a 10 year old. But, she is a believable and likable.