Book reviews

I love reading and sharing what I’ve read with others. Here are links to my latest book reviews.

To raise awareness of Refugee Week 2019, I created a week-long book blog about adult and kids books on the topic of refugees and migration.

In September 2018, my children and I embarked on our own World Kid Lit Challenge, reading and reviewing 30 books in 30 days. For a full reading list, please click on the link above.

Adult titles

Children of War by Ahmet Yorulmaz, translated from the Turkish by Paula Darwish (Neem Tree Press). Set on the island of Crete, Yorulmez tells of a population displaced from their homeland and the suffering they experience in the process.

Distant Signs by Anne Richter, translated from the German by Douglas Irving (Neem Tree Press). A subtle, thought-provoking book, dare I say, an elegant take on the post-war period in the German Democratic Republic.

Black out by Marc Elsberg , translated from German by Marshall Yarbrough. A terrifying look at what might feasibly happen were our electricity supply to be tampered with by terrorists.

Two Brothers by Ben Elton A novel about Jewish family during the Second World War, with inspiration taken from Ben Elton’s own family.

How not to be a boy by Robert Webb An honest reflection on his own adolescence and adulthood, Robert Webb takes various stereotypical statements about boyhood and manhood and sets out to disprove them.

Still leben by Antonia Baum Baum discusses the difficulties of being a mother in today’s society, tackling some of the big topics – gender equality, breastfeeding, guilt and mental load.

The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar translated from Swedish by Ann Long. A fast-moving thriller, at time bloody and gory.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse A period drama with a rather grisly end.

Picture Books

Caged by Duncan Annand (Tiny Owl) A delightful wordless picture book

Ish by Peter H. ReynoldsIsh by Peter H. ReynoldsIsh by Peter H. Reynolds This reinforces the idea that our creations do not need to be perfect. The charm and importance of them often comes from them being “ish”.

Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes. Illustrated by Sue Cornelison. A true story about a family fleeing war who take their cat with them.

Press Here by Hervé Tullet, translated from French by Christopher Franceschelli (Chronicle Books) An ingenious interactive picture book.

A Book of Feelings by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. A great book discussing feelings with children

Daddy Long Legs by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Aurélie Guillerey no translator mentioned.

The Voyage by Robert Vescio and Andrea Edmonds. About a family fleeing war.

Oscar seeks a friend by Pawel Pawlak translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. This book is all about Oscar, a cute little skeleton and how he makes a friend and learns all about her world. An invitation to our children to find out more about other people.

In The Forest  by Anouk Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. Story by Sophie Strady. An incredible pop up book dealing with deforestation.

Today you can’t play by Pilar Serrano and Canizales, translated by me and Ben Dawlatly. A book about bullying and how children can stand up to the bullies.

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, translated from German by J. Alison James. A delightful, shimmering book about sharing.

The Acrobat Family by Anouk Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud, tr. Kevin St. John. A fun pop-up book about a tower of acrobats.

Chapter Books

The Flops by Delphine Durand, translated by Sarah Klinger. A ridiculously fantastic spoof textbook on The Flops. A real hit with my 9-year-old son.

Cuentos Criminales by Pedro Mañas and David Sierra Listón (Editorial Libre Albedrío). Hilarious book recounting the cases of the Inspector Archibald Wilson, licence number 2506.

Las Princesas Dragón, El misterio del huevo dorado by Pedro Mañas These princesses aren’t pink and pretty and waiting ot be saved. Strong, resilient girls taking on the world.

The treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos. Translated by Lawrence Schimel. This swashbuckling, funny pirate adventure will have your children giggling.

Do you speak chocolate by Caz Lester About a girls’ attempts to help her new refugee classmate and how it always seems to backfire.

Young Adult Books

Apfelblüten und Jasmin by Carolin Phillips The experience of a teenage refugee girl in Germany.

Zlata’s Diary by by Zlata Filipović and translated by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić. An eye-witness account of the bombing of Belgrade in the 1990s.

The Ventriloquist’s Daughter by Man-Chiu Lin, translated by Helen Wang. A chilling thriller that will make you question reality.

A history of the world with the women put back in by Kertin Lücker and Ute Daenschel, translated from German by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Jessica West. A non-fiction book, taking you on a run through of human history, from pre-historical times right up to the present day.