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  • Rooftoppers

  • By: Katherine Rundell
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. Found floating in a cello case, she is the only recorded female survivor of a shipwreck on the English Channel. But Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help… When the child welfare agency threatens to send Sophie to an orphanage, Sophie and her guardian flee to Paris to find her mother, starting with the only clue she has - the address of the cello maker.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting and Exquisite.

  • By ThomasHassall on 11-08-17

Beautiful and comforting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-01-19

*Whispersync - audio and kindle* I read this with my class after listening to the audiobook last year. I though they might find it a bit slow-paced at around 8 hours long, but they enjoyed it for the most part and gave it a round of applause when it finished. A young girl, found floating in a cello case after her ship sank and who has subsequently been brought up by an English eccentric, is adamant that her mother is still alive and determines to find her with the assistance of her guardian. She meets some intetesting friends along the way. The book is beautifully written, with fantastic turns of phrase, and the character of Charles, her guardian, is amazing. The audiobook was read perfectly by Gordon Griffin, who read Charles with one of those voices which makes you feel so safe. Amazing!

  • The Savage

  • By: David Almond
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hamilton
  • Length: 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

Imagine you wrote a story and it came true. That is exactly what happens to Blue Baker who writes a story about a savage living alone in the woods near his home. After his dad’s death, Blue finds comfort in dreaming of this strange wild kid. But when the savage pays a visit to the local bully, boundaries become blurred and Blue begins to wonder where he ends and the savage begins

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rugged magical realism

  • By Nick on 19-01-19

Rugged magical realism

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-01-19

Great story, very well read by Malcolm Hamilton. About a young boy dealing with the loss of his father and finding an outlet in his story, which comes to life. The audiobook contains a few mild swear words which are asterisked out in the print version. David Almond, again, cleverly weaves together mundane reality with the fantastical to create a very interesting shot story. I recommend the illustrated copy also as Dave McKean's pictures are amazing.

  • Fire-Eaters

  • By: David Almond
  • Narrated by: David Almond
  • Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

There he was, below the bridge, half-naked, eyes blazing. He had a pair of burning torches. He ran them back and forth across his skin. He sipped from a bottle, breathed across a torch, and fire and fumes leapt from his lips. The air was filled with the scent of paraffin. He breathed again, a great high spreading flag of fire. He glared. He roared like an animal. That summer, life had seemed perfect for Bobby Burns. But now it's autumn and the winds of change are blowing hard.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fire and sacrifice

  • By Nick on 13-01-19

Fire and sacrifice

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-01-19

Almond is a master of interesting detail and description of thought processes. He brings together so many different strands of struggle and discovery for young Bobby and brings him out the other end richer and wiser. Great book!

  • Boy Underwater

  • By: Adam Baron
  • Narrated by: Rafe Spall
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22

Boy Underwater is a heartbreaking story about family, friends and secrets. And it’s very, very funny. Cymbeline has never been swimming, so he’s a bit nervous at the prospect of his first school swimming lesson. But how hard could it be? He’s Googled front crawl, and he’s found his dad’s old pair of trunks. He’s totally ready for this. But he’s not ready for an accident at the pool to reveal a family mystery that turns his life completely upside down. Only Cym and his friends can solve it because, as usual, the grown-ups aren’t telling them anything....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent

  • By S D Brendon on 10-10-18

Powerful and humorous

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-19

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, but I was almost instantly very impressed. There are lots of important issues discussed in a sensitive and interesting way with a fantastic sense of humour running throughout. Rafe Spall was a perfect narrator and really added a lot to the telling of this story.

  • Time Travelling with a Hamster

  • By: Ross Welford
  • Narrated by: Assad Zaman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

A truly original debut novel from an extraordinarily talented new voice in children's books. Laugh, cry and wonder at this race-against-time story of a boy who travels back to 1984 to prevent a go-kart accident and save his father's life.... My dad died twice. Once when he was 39 and again four years later, when he was 12. The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn't been for his 'time machine'....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Anonymous User on 30-04-17

Fun adventure, well read

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-19

The book is written from the point of view of a young boy (Al) and captures his thought process well. It is humorous and casual in its use of language and I particularly liked the portrayal of his Grandfather Byron.
The manner of time travel works well and there are some interesting ideas in there for young readers to think about.
Audiobook: Assad Zaman’s narration is perfect for this book and he gets the tone of the book and the portrayal of the characters just right.