Believathon is over! I can’t believe how fast it went, but it was also such an incredible two weeks of spreading the love for Middle Grade. I enjoyed every single second of it and enjoyed getting into some Middle Grade Marvels that I had wanted to read for some time now. It also helped me make a good dent in my Goodreads reading challenge where I am now 4 books ahead of schedule.
So, to mark the end of Believathon I thought I would do a wrap up and share my thoughts on the five books I read during the two weeks. I enjoyed all of them if I’m being honest and thats what I wanted.
Also, I am really excited as Believathon is going to be back in November and I am now willing for it to come quicker. If you want to know more you can check out the dedicated Twitter page.
My Believathon Wrap Up
The Poachers Pocket Inn (inspired by A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison): Read the first book in a series
For my first book of Believathon I read Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. This was a book that had been on my radar for several years, but one that for some reason I’d never got around to picking up. Now, I must admit I was very torn on this one. On one hand I really enjoyed the mystery and the fact that the murderer wasn’t the obvious pick, the boarding school setting and the time period it was set in and the voice of Hazel as the narrator and how she coped with casual racism regarding her race. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to like Daisy, she was rude to Hazel on many occasions and seemed to think she was above everyone else. Also, I did find the ending to be a bit rushed and a few things were just glossed over. Mind you, because I enjoyed the detective style I think I will read the rest of the series at some point.
Baba Yaga’s House (Inspired by The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson): Read a book featuring a family relationship
The Star Outside My Window was just phenomenal and had me in floods of tears. The writing was so poignant and really did stick with me even after I’d finished the last page. It touched on some issues that could be very tricky to portray in a piece of Middle Grade, but Onjali did it with such care and sensitivity in a way that wasn’t too heavy for children and I applaud her for that. To write about such troubling topics such as domestic violence and foster care took such bravery and even I learnt things about it that I hadn’t known before reading. The adventure that the book takes us on is also utterly brilliant and I was so absorbed in it and rooting for our protagonist to get to her final destination. Overall just a simply stunning book, and I am in awe of Onjali.
100 Acre Wood (Inspired by Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne): Read a book with a yellow cover, spine or back cover
The Butterfly Circus was another book that had been sitting on my TBR for a while and one that I was pleased to finally be picking up. This was a very magical read that took me on a great journey. The circus elements were done very well, and you could tell that a lot of research was done in relation to that. However, I found it rather hard to get into at the beginning and until I got about halfway through I was just wishing for something exciting to happen. When I did reach halfway mind you, I was thrust straight into the action and found myself captivated. Ending-wise it was very satisfying and I did overall really enjoy this unique story that was full of wonder.
The Brolly Rail (Inspired by Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend): Read a book featuring transportation or with some mode of transportation on the cover
The Highland Falcon Thief exceeded all of my expectations and just wowed me from start to finish. I would probably describe it as middle grade version of Murder on the Orient Express but with a jewel thief instead of a murderer, which sounds pretty neat, right? This book had everything I could want from a MG Mystery. It had great atmosphere, intriguing characters and a crime that you wanted to solve yourself, if that were possible. It took me on one hell of a ride (no pun intended!), and come the end I was breathless. I can also say that the ending shocked me, as I honestly didn’t think it was going to finish that way. Overall just a fun, well written mystery and I am dying to read the next in the series.
The Book-Keeper’s Stronghold (Inspired by Frostheart by Jamie Littler): Read the next book in a series (a sequel, third book, fourth book, etc.)
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue was my final read of Believathon and was a great way to end it if I’m being honest. This is the sequel to The Umbrella Mouse which was released last year and ever since finishing that I’ve been waiting impatiently to read this sequel. The story, itself picks up almost straight after the ending of the first book so you are ultimately thrust back into the action immediately. Plot-wise Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue is full of twists and turns and is written in such a way that makes you really feel for all of the characters in one way or another. The setting on WWII could be seen as inappropriate for a middle grade audience but like with The Umbrella Mouse, it’s told in a way as to educate and get children interested in learning more about this period of history. Pip, I loved as a protagonist and her determination and grit to fight for her friends and for what is right was admirable. Her relationships with the other members of Noahs Ark just warmed my heart and was a little bit of light in an otherwise harrowing tale of war. Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue, was overall, a pleasure to read and I did enjoy being back with Pip and Noah’s Ark. Children will honestly love this unique tale, and be both educated and entertained.