Tag Archives: Summer Reading Challenge


‘A stupendously silly intergalactic adventure that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl or David Walliams’ Madge Eekal reviews Turns Out I’m an Alien!

Zoe at Madge Eekal Reviews had some glowing (perhaps even neon like the book cover!) words for middle grade Summer Reading Challenge 2019 pick Turns out I’m an Alien by master storyteller Lou Treleaven:

The age of our main character, the format, and length of this book places it very firmly in the middle grade category. The clarity of the writing and the subject matter, however, make it equally suitable for younger readers from approximately 7 years and up. Indeed, this book will be enjoyed by anyone who likes the stories of Roald Dahl or David Walliams. (Although personally I found it a much more entertaining read than these two significantly more famous authors).

Written in first person from Jasper’s point of view, the text is very easy to read. Jasper is instantly likeable and I thoroughly enjoyed the opening where Jasper gives an imagined account of his birth and describes the challenges of having green hair. I really chuckled at the idea that he liked the green-themed names he was called at school (Bogeybrain, Snothair and Vomhead) until he realised “the other kids weren’t bigging me up after all. They just didn’t like my hair.” I also chortled when he described how, in response to this, he used Mary’s hair colour and spend the next month with his hair and face “dyed Vibrant Rich Auburn For Stubborn Greys”. While I enjoyed this more subtle humour, I suspect the target audience will love the more explicit jokes that fill this story. This includes giant slugs defeating evil baddies with jets of slime and pretty much every conceivable joke about the planet Uranus (including consideration of whether it should be renamed ‘Posterior’, ‘Behind’ or simply ‘Butt’) and the famous mountain range – the Twin Cheeks.’


Read the full review here and buy a copy here

You can also borrow from your local library as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge!


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‘Readers will be swept along by the unfolding drama’ Red Reading Hub review of Turns Out I’m an Alien

Jill at Red Reading Hub has just posted a lovely review of Lou Treleaven‘s latest middle grade fiction title publishing at the end of this month Turns Out I’m an Alien. The book is also part of this year’s Space Chase themed  Summer Reading Challenge!

‘I’ll say no more other than that Jasper discovers his alien origins, the children are cascaded into a madcap space adventure to save a planet from the terrible Emperor Iko Iko Iko; there are secret agents, secret, secret agents and things get pretty Gloopy.

Entirely crazy, but readers will be swept along by the unfolding drama, which perhaps doesn’t actually end at The End.’

Thanks, Jill!

Read the full review here and buy a copy at 20% off  here

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More laughs and adventures for Arlo and class 4X coming in March!

Come, come the children of 5P,
Bring your little minds to me,
The door is open; step right in,
A new adventure will begin.

Arlo, Daisy-May, Nathan and the rest of class 4X (now 5P) are back with a completely new teacher: Miss Pythia, with her strange prophetic visions and mysterious box. They are selected to perform A Play in a Day … and of course they choose Pandora’s Box! But when things start to go wrong can they get back on track? And what IS in Miss Pythia’s box?

The hilarious sequel to Summer Reading Challenge 2018 junior fiction title Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo by Alice Hemming is coming in March!

Pre-order for a special price here

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New space adventures from Jon and Straxi coming in March: Teachers on Pluto!

First came Letter to Pluto, then the Summer Reading Challenge 2019 title Homework on Pluto and now we are excited to announce the publication of the third book in the Penpals on Pluto series by Lou Treleaven, Teachers on Pluto!

I can’t wait to start at Flumpenslurp Blurble School as they do weird subjects like Packed Lunch Studies and Grow Your Own Friend. Straxi says they even have a class robot…’

Jon’s teacher Mrs Hall has taken over as Temporary President of Pluto and is busy making some new laws (which suspiciously resemble school rules….). Meanwhile the Snargler Spotters’ Society is scouring the Pulsating Swamp for the escaped rare Snargler 192. Join Jon and Straxi for more interplanetary adventures!

Publishing 28 March. Pre-order for £6.45 here

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Three Maverick titles selected for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge!

We were thrilled to learn this week that three of our titles have been selected for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge!

The theme is Space Chase and our selected titles are:

The Space Race (Early Reader – Yellow band) by Jenny Jinks with illustrations by Serena Lombardo (order here)

Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven (order here)

Turns Out I’m an Alien by Lou Treleaven (publishing in May – you will be able to pre-order very soon)
Our first ever middle grade fiction title tells the story of 11 year old Jasper who discovers his foster parents have been keeping a pretty huge secret from him… he’s an alien! So when Earth is in danger from Emperor Iko Iko Iko, Jasper and his foster sister Holly embark on a very crazy adventure in space!

Check out the brilliant list of books here and take part in your local library this summer!

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‘I couldn’t wait to find out what happened in the end’ Summer Reading Challenge reader reviews!

Young participants in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge (theme: Mischief Makers) have been busy reading nearly 900,000 books and we are delighted to see some wonderful reviews appearing for our picture book title Beware the Mighty Bitey by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Susan Batori:

‘I recommend this book.’

I thought it was really funny.’

‘I couldn’t wait to find out what happened in the end and I was really surprised and excited by the end. This is a great book to share and read together at bed time.’

Read all the reviews here. Get down to your local library to read the book or buy your own copy here.

Happy Reading!

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It’s competition time! Smarty Pants Magazine Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo giveaway and review!

Sandie at Smarty Pants Magazine for Kids recently reviewed Summer Reading Challenge title Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo by Alice Hemming with illustrations by Kathryn Durst:

‘Filled with fun, adventure, and kid-friendly drama.’

Smarty Pants is also running a fab give away! Comment on the review post here by the 22nd August and enter the draw for a copy of the book. Good luck!

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‘A hilarious adventure with plenty of twists and turns’ Armadillo Magazine reviews Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo!

Arlo Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo Cover LR RGB JPEG

Armadillo Magazine has posted a great review for Summer Reading Challenge 2018 book Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Kathryn Durst:

[The book] finds the completely unruly, disobedient and unteachable 4X in need of a teacher who can teach them, welcome Mrs Ogg and the adventure of a lifetime!  A trip to the zoo can’t possibly be the answer can it?  Well when it is no ordinary zoo and Mrs Ogg is no ordinary supply teacher, yes, it can!  A hilarious adventure with plenty of twists and turns …’

We are so glad you enjoyed it!

Check out the full review here and buy a copy here

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Maverick Books

‘Awesome’ Nayu’s Reading Corner rave review for Beware the Mighty Bitey!

Nayu’s Reading Corner recently gave a wonderful review for Beware the Mighty Bitey (part of the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge) by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Susan Batori:
‘I accepted this book for review without seeing the cover – the synopsis on it’s own had me smiling away and intrigued! I find piranhas cute just as I do crocodiles, they tend to be used in picture books with humour so my imagination was running wild. The story is awesome! 
The piranhas are as hilarious as I’d hoped, their expressions and thoughts as they tempt animals to go on their falling apart bridge was clear to see and funny, with lots of great words and different fonts used to bring the story even more to life than it already is. Their hungry nature is depicted perfectly, with a surprise end that I didn’t see coming, which is always a pleasant surprise in picture books. I’m not sure how much the Mighty Bities would want their tale publicised, but I certainly want everyone to read it!’ 
Beware the Mighty Bitey Cover LR RGB JPEG
Read the full review here
Buy a copy here
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Maverick Books selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2018!

We are delighted to see today The Reading Agency announced that two of our books are selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2018. The theme next year is Mischief Makers!

Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo by Alice Hemming with illustrations by Kathryn Durst is our second junior fiction title by Alice. It follows the story of Arlo and his best friends Daisy-May and Nathan as he tries to keep the infamous class 4X out of trouble.  After the last one ran away screaming, they have a new supply teacher. Maybe it’s her animal skin dress or bone earrings but Mrs Ogg doesn’t seem to be quite what anyone is expecting…

Publishing in April!

Beware the Mighty Bitey by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Susan Batori was published 28th November and has already received some great reviews!

See all of the Summer Reading Challenge 2018 titles here

Buy a copy of Beware the Mighty Bitey here


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