What I Read in 2017 | Children’s Fiction

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What I Read in 2017, Don't Bend the Spine, UK Book Blog


Further to the first What I Read in 2017 and second What I Read in 2017 blog posts, I am now bringing you the third blog post.  At the risk of repeating myself,  I read 114 books in 2017 and trying to fit them all in one blog post would have broken my blog.

Without further ado, for the third What I Read in 2017 series, let’s talk about the children’s fiction books I read in 2017.

Childrens Fiction 1 - What I Read in 2017 - Dont Bend the Spine, UK Book Blog

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson | Rating: 4*

One of the first books I read this year was The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson.   It follows Matthew, a young boy battling OCD.  Due to his condition, he spends a lot of time indoors watching the comings and goings of his street out of his window.  When his young next-door neighbour disappears, it’s up to Matthew to solve the mystery and find him.   Even though I am 10 years older than the intended audience, The Goldfish Boy was a sweet novel about OCD, family and friendship.

Geek Girl #1 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [re-read] and Geek Girl #2 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [re-read] and Geek Girl #3 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [re-read] and Geek Girl #4 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [re-read]

I am a huge fan of the Geek Girl series, and in anticipation of the sixth novel being released, I re-read the entire series.  As I fell in love with the series all over again the second time around, a regular Geek Girl re-read is something I am considering.   In case you have no idea what Geek Girl is, it follows the escapades of Harriet, a young girl who is spotted at an event, and is quickly wrapped up in the crazy world of fashion modelling.

What I Read in 2017 - Don't Bend the Spine, UK Book Blog

Geek Girl #5 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [re-read] [review]

I was over the moon to receive the opportunity to read and review Geek Girl: Head Over Heels before the official publication date, and it did not disappoint.   My full review of this book is available on my other blog Famous in Japan, and the link to the review is available above.

Geek Girl #6 by Holly Smale | Rating: 5* [review]

When it came to the idea of Geek Girl ending, denial wasn’t just a river in Egypt.    I was excited about a new book in the series, but also hesitant to read the final adventure of Harriet.   Geek Girl: Forever Geek is the perfect send off to the series, and I am not ashamed to admit I cried at the end.  I was incredibly grateful to receive a review copy pre-publication, and my review on Famous in Japan is above.

The Potion Diaries #2 by Amy Alward | Rating: 4*

As I enjoyed the first book in The Potion Diaries series, I couldn’t resist diving back in the world of Nova.  Sam’s happiness of winning the Wilde Hunt (and saving the Princess) is cut short when her grandfather is attacked and his memory is stolen.    I was surprised at the direction The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour took; the story became more complex than I had originally thought.

Girl Online #3 by Zoella | Rating: 1*

I’m not the biggest fan of the Girl Online series, but curiosity got the better of me when another book in the series was announced.   Maaaybe I’m not the most impartial reviewer when it comes to this series… *coughs* but honestly, this book wasn’t needed.   It didn’t add much to the overall story of Penny and Noah and for me, it cheapened the ending of Girl Online: On Tour.   I wouldn’t be surprised if a fourth one was on its way…

Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan | Rating: 4*

I was delighted to spot Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan available on the e-book library.  Meg’s mum disappears, leaving her with her baby sister Elsa to care for.  With a prize of a visit to NASA up for grabs, can Meg reach for the stars, and care for her sister at the same time?  This was such an adorable read and I loved how passionate Meg was about space.    More books about girls in STEM, please! *stamps foot*

What I Read in 2017 - Don't Bend the Spine, UK Book Blog

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1) | Rating: 3* and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents #2) | Rating: 3* and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents #3) | Rating: 3*

These short stories from Hogwarts are very short indeed!  I read these through my local library but I understand that they are available on Pottermore.   They are an entertaining addition to the main story of Harry Potter but please don’t lose any sleep if you haven’t read them; they will be summarised on a Wiki somewhere!

Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson [re-read: no rating]

I had been thinking about re-reading some of my childhood favourites for a while, and Dustbin Baby was my first choice.   It follows the story of April, who over the course of one day, tries to find out a bit more where she came from.  Abandoned in a dustbin, she looks back at her life and retraces her steps back to foster homes and care homes.  I was surprised at how much I remembered about the story, but I was also surprised at how dark this book actually was.  Why did my mum let me read this?

Childrens Fiction 4 - What I Read in 2017 - Dont Bend the Spine, UK Book Blog

Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson [re-read: no rating]

After re-reading Dustbin Baby, I wanted to re-read another childhood favourite.   One book that I recalled reading over and over again was Double Act.  It was a lot shorter than I remembered, and the adult Daniella wonders why the young Daniella loved this basic story so much.  In case you haven’t read it, it’s about a set of twins, Ruby and Garnet.   The story is a mixture of dealing with their dad’s new girlfriend, as well as dealing with being split up, and the effect of this on their “twinship”.

The Potion Diaries #3 by Amy Alward | Rating: 3*

The third and final outing in The Potion Diaries series, but unfortunately The Potion Diaries: Going Viral was disappointing.  After the adventures in Royal Tour, Sam Kemi just wants a break.   However, when Princess Evelyn begins to show symptoms of a deadly virus, Sam is once again on the hunt for the cure.  For me, it didn’t quite live up to the previous novels; the second book in particular.  I would still recommend the series overall, as it is a great action and adventure series for young girls.  I tell you what though, I am SO excited about Amy’s future books as it features a teen engineer called Lacey; yay for girls in STEM! *screams internally*

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt | Rating: 2*

Thanks to a certain WH Smith Book Club, Orbiting Jupiter is everywhere.  To be honest, I have no idea why this book was chosen as I didn’t like the story at all.    Orbiting Jupiter is the story of Jack and his new foster brother Joseph.   Joseph nearly killed a teacher and spent some time in an institution.  Now he is out, he’s desperate to be reunited with his daughter, Jupiter.   Joseph being a dad at 13/14 years old didn’t sit right with me.  If Joseph had been 15/16 years old instead, I might have liked this book.

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge | Rating: 4*

Finally, the last children’s book I read this year was The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.   With a career-focused dad, Albie travels through parallel worlds to find one where his mum is still alive.  Wonderfully scientific and emotional. 

Stay tuned for the next instalments in the What I Read in 2017 series! Yes, there’s MORE!

Daniella x

6th January 2018
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  • Reply Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    I really enjoyed the Hogwarts short story too, which is really unexpected for me because I think I’m done with HP. Turns out the magic still alive! <3

    8th January 2018 at 4:17 pm
    • Reply Daniella

      Which one was your favourite? Mine was the one about Professor McGonagall :D x

      11th March 2018 at 2:02 pm

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