ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
New Member sign up button

Latest Review

Aug 22 2018

Night Flights by Philip Reeve

cover image

Ill. by Ian McQue. The Hungry City Chronicles book 5. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742997674
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: Science fiction, Steampunk. Good versus evil. Slavery. In "Night Flights" Philip Reeve returns to the world of "Mortal Engines", to provide readers with three short stories about Anna Fang, aviatrix and spy, who is a secondary figure in the series. Anna Fang's story is fascinating. In "Frozen Heart", her beginnings are described, first as a happy child on board her parents' ship, then captured by the traction city "Arkangel", where she is held as a slave working to dismantle scrap metal from the ships that the city captures and eats up. Determined to be free again she catches the eye of the son of the owner and helps him build a plane and in a daring bid for freedom uses her wits and intelligence to escape. In "Traction City Blues" an adolescent Anna lands on London, another traction city and here faces a Stalker who she wants to recruit as a weapon against the slaver ship. Finally in "Teeth of the Sea" Anna goes to Pulau Pinang, where she uncovers a mystery about the disappearance of raft boats and in the final chapter meets the two children who will be the main characters in the Chronicles.
All three stories are compulsive reading and would serve as a fascinating introduction to the "Hungry City Chronicles", although she is a minor character in those books. Anna is determined and uses her fine mind to work out strategies for escape and on a practical level, uses her engineering skills to build an aircraft. She is faced with disappointment on a personal level and learns to be very careful of the people that she can trust.
The illustrations by Ian McQue are fabulous, and the reader gets a wonderful picture of the personality of Anna, as well as the destructive nature of the predator traction ship "Arkangel".
With "Mortal Engines" soon to be a major film directed by Peter Jackson of "Hobbit" fame, it won't be difficult to find new fans of this excellent, challenging and exciting series.
Pat Pledger



More Reviews

Aug 22 2018

Old hat by Emily Gravett

cover imageTwo Hoots Books (Macmillan), 2018. ISBN 9781447274001
(Ages: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Hats, Appearance, Confidence, Fashion. Harbet had a hat that he loved. It was knitted for him by his grandmother and he always wore it. That is until his friends laughed, telling him it was an old...
more

Aug 22 2018

Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevigne (with Rowan Coleman)

cover image

Trapeze, 2017. ISBN 9781409172758
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. Red, Naomi, Leo and Rose are four misfits who become the closest of friends upon the formation of their band, Mirror Mirror. Band rehearsal is an escape for all four, giving them momentary freedom for the hardships they...
more

Aug 21 2018

Secret Seven: Mystery of the skull by Pamela Butchart

cover image

Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9781444941531
(Age: 7+) "When Peter discovers an old skull hidden in his bedroom, it's time for an urgent meeting of the Secret Seven. Setting off to investigate, the friends see a gigantic hole in the grounds of a local hotel. Could there be any connection between...
more

Aug 19 2018

Professor Astro Cat's human body odyssey by Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman

cover image

Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171140
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. "Professor Astro Cat's human body odyssey" is big, colourful, engaging and full of facts. Each double page offers interesting facts and illustrations about the different parts and systems of the body. Readers can...
more

Aug 19 2018

Baby's first bank heist by Jim Whalley

cover image

Ill. by Stephen Collins. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408891193
(Ages: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Animals, Babies. Utterly crazy and equally hilarious, this is the tale of an errant infant, Frank, immediately distinctive in a black and white Babygro. An ardent animal lover, he has an...
more

Aug 16 2018

A first book of the sea by Nicola Davies

cover image

Ill. by Emily Sutton. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406368956
(Ages: 3-7) Highly Recommended. Themes: Poetry. Oceans. Emily Sutton is a whimsical, traditional illustrator, whose work is perfectly suited to this earthy, old-fashioned and hearty collection of poems. The author and...
more

Aug 16 2018

Animal Ark: Puppy in peril by Lucy Daniels

cover image

Orchard Books, 2018. ISBN 9781408354049
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Amelia and Sam are back with a new adventure. A poorly puppy is brought into Animal Ark, and nobody knows who it belongs to. Can Amelia and Sam find the owner and save the puppy? Amelia and Sam need all the help they can...
more

Aug 13 2018

Maudlin Towers: Curse of the werewolf boy by Chris Priestley

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408873083
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Themes: Horror, Werewolves, Teachers, Time travel. "Mildew and Sponge don't think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when somebody steals the School...
more

Aug 09 2018

Moth by Isabel Thomas

cover image

Ill. by Daniel Egneus. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408889756
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Moths. Evolution. Adaptation. Camouflage. STEM. Industrial Revolution. Survival. Pollution. Hope. This amazing book shows within easily understood language supported by the most powerful of...
more