Amy’s Thoughts on…The Boy Who Fooled The World and A Sprinkle of Sorcery (Mini Review Monday)

Mini Review Monday is back! This is a fortnightly post where I review a few books that I have recently read, that I haven’t done big reviews for. I tend to keep the books I review every 2 weeks similar, for example in the same genre.

This week I am talking about two Middle Grade books that I have recently read. The Boy Who Fooled the World by Lisa Thompson and A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison.

What books have you read recently?

The Boy Who Fooled the World by Lisa Thompson

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Published by: Scholastic

Released: 2nd January 2020

Telling a little white lie now and then is harmless, right? But what if it leads to you being a household name and international celebrity? Cole is the boy who fooled the world and finds himself trapped in a huge web of lies… can he break free?

When a little white lie leads to a huge dose of trouble… Cole is the odd one out at school: the other kids have the latest gadgets and trainers while his family struggles to make ends meet. Until the day one of his paintings is talent-spotted and sells for thousands of pounds at a posh London gallery. Suddenly, Cole is the toast of the international art world, the star guest on TV shows, rich beyond his wildest dreams, hailed as a boy genius! Being famous is FANTASTIC… but Cole has a guilty secret that if exposed will bring everything crashing down around him… A story of fame and fortune, making mistakes and learning to be true to yourself. 

I love Lisa Thompson’s work and was excited to read The Boy Who Fooled the World and let me tell you I certainly wasn’t disappointed! We follow, Cole, who is seen as the odd one out at school. His family are struggling to make ends meet, that is until one day one of his paintings is talented spotted by a top artist and sold for thousands of pounds. Cole becomes an overnight sensation, starring on TV shows and being seen as a genius! However, Cole has a secret that could cause his new life to come crashing down.

This was a beautifully written story full of hope, but also some realisation that life isn’t always perfect. I was so hooked on it, that I finished it within a few hours. The way Lisa weaves real life problems into her writing is admirable and with The Boy Who Fooled the World you see Cole’s family struggle with being on the bread line, Cole struggling to deal with it and the stigma that is attached to his dad being a stay at home Dad. This is a book, I feel all 9 – 12 year olds should read at some point. They will be both entertained and educated on issues that they probably haven’t even thought about.

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

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Published by: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Released: 6th February 2020

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A missing sister, a secret island and … a sprinkle of sorcery.

The family curse has been lifted and the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie are free to leave the misty prison isle of Crowstone. But when a mysterious girl arrives at the Poacher’s Pocket with a pocketful of hagstones and accompanied by a will-o’-the-wisp, it seems another adventure has landed on their doorstep. And when Charlie goes missing, it’s up to Betty and Fliss to journey through misty marches, past wisp catchers and on to a secret island that doesn’t exist on any map…

I loved A Pinch of Magic and was really excited to receive an early copy of A Sprinkle of Sorcery, the second book in the series. However, I’ll have to admit that I ended up feeling rather disappointed.

In A Sprinkle of Sorcery Betty, Fliss and Charlie end up on another adventure. When a mysterious girl ends up on their doorstep, it kick starts something the girls could have never seen coming. When Charlie is kidnapped Betty and Fliss must journey through wisps, misty marches and try to find a secret island that is thought not to even exist, to try and save their younger sister.

I liked being back with the Widdershin sisters and I love them all as characters, I just felt that the plot and storyline let me down. I found it to be very slow to start and I’ll admit I found myself getting bored. The magic that drew to the A Pinch of Magic was just not there and for that I felt let down. The concept was really intriguing I just felt that it wasn’t executed as well as it should have been. I just wanted that little bit more. However, this hasn’t deterred me from reading more by the author.

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