St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies – Karen McCombie

June sees the launch of another chapter in the life of Dani, Swan and Zed and the lively youngsters at the quirky St Grizzle’s boarding school.
St Grizzles 2

In the first of the entertaining series by Karen McCombie we saw Dani learning her way around a very different school to which she was dropped off by her zoologist mum, who was off to investigate penguins’ bums.  Now settled and actually happy, despite missing her friend Arch and her mum and gran, Dani is excited to learn of a film making competition.  She and Arch made films for their YouTube channel so she enthusiastically accepts headteacher Lulu’s proposal that she direct the film. While out in the expansive school grounds, Dani and her friends find a colourful Campervan, here drawn by Becka Moor.  Its owner proves to be a happy surprise to Dani – her runaway granny.  With Granny’s help, will Dani work well with her schoolmates and make a winning film?  And will she learn that she can make true friends in the zany atmosphere of St Grizzle’s school?

The lively illustrations by Becka Moor again enhance this fun, laugh out loud book, ideal for children from about 7 years old.

St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies

Written by Karen McCombie; Illustrated by Becka Moor; Published by Stripes,  June 2017

Many thanks to Stripes, via Netgalley, for an advance e-copy of this book in exchange for this, my honest review.

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St Grizzle’s School for Girls …. and more!

Today, 12th January, sees the release of not one but two school-based middle grade books from Little Tiger Group’s Stripes Publishing.  Karen McCombie’s ‘St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys’ is up against Barry Henderson’s ‘Worst School Trip Ever.  Here I give my review of St Grizzles.  I will be reviewing Worst Trip soon.

book cover of  Goats and Random Boys  When her mum goes away for work, Dani is upset not only that she will miss her mum and gran, but that she will be attending a dull, grey boarding school far from her best friend with whom she makes whacky YouTube videos  using their old toys as actors.  But when her mum drops her off for her dreaded term at St Grizelda’s School Girls, she is shocked to find it is nothing like the website had led them to believe!  Firstly there are no grey uniforms, secondly, as the title suggests there is a goat roaming around and a boy on the register, but thirdly the lessons are like none Dani has ever experienced before!  Will Dani be able to make friends and settle or will her mum come and save her?

This is a fun read, perfectly suited to children from 7-12, which is brilliantly enhanced by the illustrations of Becka Moor, who captivates the weird and wonderful school which Karen McCombie has created.

I am so pleased that ‘St Grizzles School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys’ is just the first instalment – book 2, ‘St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Ghost and Runaway Grannies’ is due for release in June.  This is another entertaining great from Karen McCombie which could run and run.  Karen is, after all, the queen of long series with Ally’s World and Indie Kidd as just two examples.

I would like to thank the publishers, Stripes, for allowing me advanced access to a review e-copy of the title through NetGalley.

St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys

Written by Karen McCombie; Illustrated by Becka Moor; Published by Stripes,  January 2017

Robyn Silver – The Midnight Chimes

A fun MG adventure – the start of an exciting new series by Paula Harrison

Published by Scholastic UK 01/09/2016

Robyn Silver cover Paula Harrison

The first in an exciting new series by Paula Harrison, this book release coincides with the first day of term at Hogwarts, and features a school of children, 3 of whom discover they have magical powers and abilities.  And it has a fabulously well-read youngster who made me think of Hermione Granger!

Clumsy middle child Robyn is convinced nothing exciting can happen in her life until she sees a mysterious spiny creature and realises that her family can’t see it.  Sharing the news with her best friend Aiden coincides with their realisation that their school has suffered a freak tree-falling incident.

Being moved out to the local creepy mansion, the wonderfully named Grimdean House, is the start of a series of adventures, challenges and revelations for Robyn, Aiden and the very bright Nora from the year below them.  Can Robyn learn to fight with unusual weapons against weird creatures and monsters – and a rival group of youngsters with special powers?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can imagine many 7-11 year-olds being gripped by the adventure and the characters.  I particularly liked the sly and slithery Miss Smiting – and the realisation of what she is!

It’s great to know that this is the start of a new series, with more mysteries and adventure to come next year!