Christmas Gifts Part 3 for readers aged 8-12

Leave a comment


One of the best books I read this year was The Jade Boy by Cate Cain. I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone under 11, as it is at times frightening and gruesome but it was one of the most exciting historical novels I have read in years. Set in the time of the restoration just before the Great Fire of London it features Jem a mistreated servant boy and his two friends a selectively mute black boy called Tolly and Ann a young witch, with magic mystery and adventure this is a gothic and thrilling read.

Another great historical novel with a ghostly twist was Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll. You can read my review here

Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is another debut with historical elements which I adored. I reviewed on my other blog

The Keeper by Darragh Martin is new fantasy, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson or Arthur Quinn and will I hope be the first in an exciting new series. Featuring journeys on the DART, Celtic myths and mysterious books this is a thrilling read for 10 and upwards.

The Powers by Kevin Stephens illustrated by Sheena Dempsey is a a fun filled read for readers aged 8 plus featuring a family of super heroes who don’t always get things right. Check them out on you tube

The Ark of Dun Ruah Protectors of The Flame by Maria Burke is the second book in the Dun Ruah series continuing the story of Simon and Kerry here is my review of the first in the series this series will appeal to fantasy fans aged 10 and upwards.

A Rosette for Maeve? and Colm’s Lambs by Anna McQuinn are the first of a planned series of books for younger readers, perfect for reading aloud or for beginners reading alone. Published by O’Brien Press in association with The Farmer’s Journal they feature farming life , animals and nature. Age 6 plus.

Rebecca Rocks by Anna Carey is the third instalment in the fun and award winning series featuring contemporary teens as they attempt to become rock mega stars. A great read perfect for fans of Saran Webb. Ages 11 and upwards.

Fortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman illustrated by Chris Riddell  A rollicking, fun and inventive read featuring Gaiman’s trademark wit and silliness and Riddell’s  illustrations not only add to the story but also contain hidden clues. This will be loved by young readers aged 8 or 9 but would make an ideal bedtime story for kids from 5 upwards.

The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable although this was actually published last year it deserves a mention here because this is a wonderfully exciting book which hasn’t had the attention it deserves. It has a very girly cover which some love and others really hate, this is a magical and at times dark tale  dealing with loneliness and friendship. A thrilling historical fantasy and it has wolves.  Here is Mara’s review from earlier in the year.

Arthur Quinn and Hell’s Keeper by Alan Early is the dramatic conclusion to the Father of Lies chronicles which have been a massive hit with 9 to 13 year olds featuring an Irish setting and Norse mythology this is a sure fire hit with fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

Ask Amy Green; Wedding Belles by Sarah Webb  I know I mentioned it in my first Christmas round up but in case you missed it I cannot recommend this series highly enough. These books are laugh out loud funny and sadly this is the last one but make a young person you know chuckle through Christmas by buying them this book. Ideal for ages 11 and up.

Darcy Burdock By Laura Dockrill is another very funny book ideal for readers aged 8 and up featuring a wonderful heroine who likes to notice everything around and write about it. The book also featues Laura’s fantastic illustrations. For anyone who enjoys the Wimpy Kid books this is a must.



Top Books for Teens this Christmas or Great Books for Christmas Part 2

1 Comment

With Hunger Games fever still running high there is no sign of interest in dystopian fiction slowing down. If you have a Hunger Games fan in the house they may also love Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant.


insurgent allegiant


This photo features just some of the amazing books that have been published for teen readers this year. Some of our highlights include;

More Than This by Patrick Ness. 

The captivating, dramatic and thrilling new book from the award winning author is a must read.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

This a simple but sensitive story about two very different boys with the same name. John Green has been the man of the hour this year in teen fiction but I feel certain that 2014 will be David Levithan’s year.

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

A look at some dark issues including mental illness and suicide which is nonetheless hopeful.

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

A coming of age story about a musical prodigy.


Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Three intertwining stories full of romance and Christmas spirit.

Missing Ellen by Natasha Mac a’Bháird

A stunning debut from an Irish author check out Lisa C’s review from earlier in the year

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

A stunning historical fantasy set in the North American wilderness, epic.

Rose under Fire Elizabeth Wein

Follow up to the stunning Code Name Verity, this is the story of a young American pilot in WW2

Witchfall by Victoria Lamb

The second instalment of a magical trilogy about a young witch at the Tudor Court.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

This debut is a stunning ghostly fantasy

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

A new book from Cooper is always reason to celebrate and this is  a thought provoking and courageous historical tale.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The master of fantasy takes on YA fiction with this thrilling steampunk tale, perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Skullduggery Pleasant.

Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

The first in new series about a ghost hunting agency sure to delight fans of Joseph Delaney and Darren Shan

Heart Shaped by Siobhan Parkinson

Home grown and brilliant

check out the inkies review

Inkies School Event

Leave a comment

Today one of the Inkies (Lisa D) joined forces with Margaret of to promote reading and give away some books, bookmarks and posters to some lovely Primary School Children at Collon National School.

Here are Miss Stafford’s 3rd Class and Mr Garvey’s 4th Class with some of the books we have asked them to review. We talked about writing, ideas, the publishing process, how books get published and the purpose of reviews. It was lovely to meet some engaging children many of whom are already great readers. We look forward to receiving their reviews. Thanks so much to Margaret for putting so much work into setting up this event, to the children and teachers for letting us come in to talk to them and to Little Island and O’Brien Publishers for sending out some great goodies to give away.