The Super-Secret Diary of Holly Hopkinson: This is going to be a Fiasco by Charlie P. Brooks. Illus. by Katy Riddell

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These are the memoirs of ME, Holly Hopkinson, aged almost ten. I am writing this, so that, in the future, historians will have a real account of what life was like in the twenty-first century except without any of the rubbish adults usually put in, thank you very much. My dad just lost his job, which means me and the rest of my family have to leave London and move to the middle of nowhere, which is a TOTAL DISASTER! There's no Wi-Fi, the local kids are FERAL and there's animal poo EVERYWHERE.

But then for my birthday, my eccentric aunt gave me a magic pocket watch, which I can use to hypnotise and CONTROL people. I actually wanted a new phone, but I won't complain because this new power is REALLY FUN and has led to the MOST unexpected things - including a visit to the QUEEN.

Maybe the countryside isn't so bad after all. (Publisher)

This is the first in a new series (the second, A Little Bit Of A Big Disaster is due in early 2022) that will appeal to independent readers who will put themselves into Holly's story and ride the rollercoaster with her. With text features interspersed with line drawings, this is one that is definitely going to Miss 10 as she battles being in isolation in lockdown. (They're allowed gifts by post so she will like that too!) She is the social butterfly who is missing the contact with her classmates the most and so this will be a new set of "friends" for her to engage with.

Themes: Hypnotism, Magic, Diaries.

Barbara Braxton