Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Curious Fox’

The Baking Life Of Amelie Day

Vanessa Curtis

Amelie DayAmelie Day loves to bake – cupcakes, biscuits, bread, tarts and muffins – so she’s thrilled when she’s invited to compete in Britain’s Best Teen Baker of the Year. But Amelie has Cystic Fibrosis and some days she can barely breathe. Determined not to let her condition or her mum stop her, Amelie musters all her flour power, but will it be enough to get her there?

Amelie Day loves baking, in fact she LIVES baking. She’s always concocting new recipes and making up cookie/cake/biscuit related ideas. She could bake for Britain, in fact she really could bake for Britain as she’s won a place in Britain’s Best Teen Baker competition and can’t wait to get started. Sadly, there’s a problem, she’s got cystic fibrosis, a condition which is hard to live with, some days she finds it hard to breathe.

Amelie has always wanted to win this competition and she tries out all her food out on her two best friends and guinea pigs, Gemma and Harry, they know how to help with her condition and she tries her best to get on with it but its really hard. Will she be able to overcome her condition (and her mum) and win the competition? Or even be able to get to the competition?

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you all but I know that there are some parts in the book which will make you laugh, some bits that will make you cry (I know because I cried!) and you will realise that people with CF are really brave and inspiring to get on with life like that.

Verdict: I think this book is inspirational, brilliantly written and covers important topics.

Reviewed by Daisy (13)

Publisher: Curious Fox
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
Genre: Baking, Diversity, Disability
Age: YA
Reviewer: Daisy
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Roller Girls: Falling Hard

Megan Sparks
roller girlsWhen Annie moves from London to a small town in the midwest, she struggles to fit in. She gets off to a bad start when she makes an enemy of her school’s queen bee, Kelsey. But she discovers a new passion, the exciting sport of roller derby, and makes friends with the cool and quirky girls on her team, the Liberty Belles. She also meets Jesse, the friendly boy who works at the roller rink, and Tyler, a cute, all-American sports star.

I was browsing for titles when the cover for Roller Girls: Falling Hard caught my eye. While it’s bright pink cover and kookie styling, makes it hard to miss, what really grabbed my attention was the subject matter – a female dominated, full contact, team sport, populated by awesome kick arse women on retro quad skates* – like our protagonist, this Brit was ignorant, and fascinated.

Annie has had some experience at making difficult decisions. After the premature end of her gymnastics career (damn you, growth spurt) and her parents separation, she makes the difficult choice to leave her mother behind in England and move to the US, to the house her father grew up in, to support him in his dream of opening an English themed tea shop.

After some settling in time, which includes getting to grips with the local vernacular and everyone infuriatingly calling her accent cute, Anne decides that it is time to leave the shadow of her former sport and find a new passion. Now Annie has a new choice to make; does she utilise her hard earned Gymnastic skills and becoming a cheerleader with its cookie cutter aesthetic, instant popularity and ability to catch the attention of the football star? Or, does she take the harder road, starting from scratch in entirely new sport, with unfamiliar rules, new skills, risking the wrath of Kelsey and the resulting social suicide?

In some ways Falling Hard felt like every cheesy American high school movie I’ve ever seen, there were the mean but popular cheerleaders, the all America high school hottie, the mysterious boy, the kookie friend and the “so alternative they are cool” outsiders. Despite the stereotypes I found the book fresh and interesting. Roller Derby; the rules, the training, the plays and the characters, made up the majority of the story and I found that my interest was so captured by Annie’s exploration of the sport that my mind didn’t need to be complicated with extensive development of the secondary characters.

Annie felt much older than her fourteen years, not in the sense of adult like behavior but rather in her mature approach to the changes and challenges in her life. I loved Annie’s loyalty – to herself and to the positive influences she surrounded herself with.

I adored Annie’s Dad and their mutually supportive relationship. Not only was he very much present in her life (a rarity on YA fiction) in all of his embarrassing -dad glory but he was a fantastic role model for being yourself, following your dreams and making the hard but important choices; it was easy to see where Annie got her awesomeness from!

Falling hard made me wish that I could don some quad skates and join a Roller Derby. I think that this four book series has great potential. Not only am I looking forward to discovering how Annie fares with her new hobby, I am also really interested to witness the character development of the secondary characters, I feel as though some of them have interesting stories to tell. Not to mention Annie’s potential romance with one of two cute guys.

Although the publishers have recommended this read for 12-16 year olds I think that it would also be suitable for mature middle graders. The book is clean, with sweet lessons in friendship and being true to yourself.
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Verdict: Like the sport of Roller derby, Roller Girls: Falling Hard was fun, fast and filled to the brim with girl power.

*I can’t believe I’ve just referred to the skates of my youth as retro. Just to be clear I was very young, and my “retro” quad skates were secondhand and white, with pink wheels and a My Little Pony motif

Ps. Annie makes Earl Grey Cupcakes. I LOVE Early Grey Cup Cakes! (See my recipe here)

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Curious Fox
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age: Middle grade/YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: Debut Author
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The Diamond Thief

Sharon Gosling

the diamond thiefNo one performs on the circus trapeze like sixteen-year-old Remy Brunel. But Remy also leads another life, as a cat burglar and jewel thief. Forced by the evil circus owner Gustave to attempt the theft of one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, Remy thinks it will be just another heist, but when she meets determined young detective Thaddeus Rec, her life changes forever.
Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel? Or is it really Remy that he needs to save?

Remy Brunel is a trapeze artist for a French Circus. Known at the circus as ‘little bird’ no-one knows her real name. When doing an act Remy flies towards the trapeze and as she reaches towards the trapeze and her fingers brush the bar she plummets towards the ground and as she does so a man called Thaddeus Rec runs out to save her. He is a skinny, policeman with one brown eye and one blue eye. Remy has a secret identity prowling the back streets of London as the world’s best jewel thief! How cool is that? Well it turns out it isn’t for Remy, when she gets found out trying to steal the worlds second largest diamond at a party run by queen Victoria where a very suspicious man accuses her of stealing the jewel!

With her identity revealed she runs away and in the streets of London meets a friend. His name is J and together they plot to find the jewel in the suspicious man’s house. But their eyes are opened up to a whole new world, people getting kidnapped and used as slaves, death traps and secret underground mines which, depending on the tide, could get flooded with water at any given second. No-one is safe. But Remy finds out a curse has been put on her only to realise the only way to awaken it is when she falls in love and it turns out it’s been awake for some time now…

Verdict: This book was an amazing mystery book and whenever you turned a new page, well something completely unexpected happens. It’s very realistic and well-written and I think I’d give it about 8.5 out of 10. Very, very good book!

Reviewed by Daisy(11)

Publisher: Curious Fox
Publication Date: February 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Genre: Steampunk, Adventure
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Daisy(11)
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: Debut Author
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