Holly Harper

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Website: http://hjharper.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @HJ_Harper

Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult enews'. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League and Bureau of Mysteries series here.

Reviews

Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Arthur Bannister isn’t exactly keen to start at his new school, especially when he finds out that Shiverton Hall is a haunted gothic mansion. But despite a rocky start, complete with school bullies a…

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Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Alban is a land ruled by a dangerous king, a man who has outlawed any contact with the fairy-like Good Folk who are now invisible to most humans. Neryn, though, can see them all-too-well, and while s…

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Doom Rider by David Gatward

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Most 13-year-olds probably aren’t out foretelling the end of the world, but then again, Seth Crow isn’t like other kids his age. He’s been dragged around from one religious festival to the next by hi…

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The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Ever had one of those days where you feel like everyone hates you? For the kids in Alexander Gordon Smith’s latest novel The Fury, it’s not just a feeling, it’s a fact. It starts with a strange throb…

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The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

It’s hard blending in when you’re different, but for Gene, standing out means death. He’s unique because of how he acts: when he finds something humorous, he wants to laugh instead of scratch his wri…

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Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

It was Ash’s idea to visit India, so now that he hates it there’s nobody to blame but himself. Sure, he loves the ancient temples and mythical monsters, but it also means getting dragged along to stu…

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10 Futures by Michael Pryor

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

Who knows what our future holds? Is it s post-apocalyptic world where people have reverted back to a life of farming on golf courses and trading the broken technology of our past? Or is it a society …

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The Greatest Liar on Earth by Marc Greenwood and Frane Lessac

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

If somebody told you they’d seen a flying wombat, and that they’d been welcomed by a tribe of cannibals, you might call them a liar.

The Greatest Liar on Earth is the story of one such man: Louis d…

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A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

In the universe of A Confusion of Princes, Khemri is a Prince. That doesn’t involve wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Instead he’s usually trying to avoid being assassinated. As a candidate fo…

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Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Nick doesn’t know why everyone at school is acting strangely, but he’s not used to being left out and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it. When he notices his best friend isn’t returning his c…

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BZRK by Michael Grant

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

This new offering from Michael Grant isn’t the latest in the Gone series, though the covers are so similar you’d be forgiven for thinking so. Instead, it is BZRK, the first in a sci-fi thriller trilo…

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Ghost Club 1: The New Kid by Deborah Abela

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

Ghosts can be quite the problem for those not used to dealing with them, especially when they show up throwing ectoplasm and knocking over priceless vases. Luckily, the Ghost Club are here to deal wi…

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Hatched: The Grimstones Book 1 by Asphyxia

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

The Grimstones aren’t your average family: Grandpa Grimstone runs his own magical apothecary, Mama Grimstone shuts herself away to make dresses and weep rivers of tears for her departed husband, and …

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VIII by H.M. Castor

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Henry VIII is a figure whose reputation precedes him – a man best known for chopping off heads. I didn’t know much about Henry’s rise to power, and so when I first picked up HM Castor’s (pictured, l…

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Hey Jack! The Crazy Cousins by Sally Rippin

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Billie B Brown has amassed a rather large following of fans, who will no doubt be familiar with her best friend, Jack. Now Jack has his very own series of books, starting with The Crazy Cousins, The

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News

Code Cracking with HJ Harper

by Holly Harper

To celebrate the release of Book 2 in the popular Bureau of Mysteries series for 8-12 year olds, we asked HJ Harper to share one of her favourite secret codes.

When I was in year five, I got caught passing notes in class.

I’d sent a note to my friend, telling her the time and location of the next meeting of our top secret detective club. I knew that if our teacher read it, our cover wou…

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Ask a Bookseller: What books can I give a teenage reluctant reader?

by Holly Harper

This week one of our children’s specialists, Holly Harper, recommends page-turners that teens will love.

‘My teenager loves video games but has stopped reading. Which authors will get them interested in books again?’

Books have a lot to compete with but all the things your teenager loves about video games - action, horror, end-of-the-world drama - can be found in this selection:

The De

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Famous Five Covers by Five Famous Illustrators

by Holly Harper

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Famous Five, five famous children’s book illustrators have reinterpreted the covers with some gorgeous results.

A series like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five doesn’t need much of a plug, since just about everyone has fond memories of their own about these books, but their snazzy new covers definitely deserve a mention.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the…

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Books for Video Gamers

by Holly Harper

Do you have an avid video gamer at home? You’ll be able to tempt them away from the console with these books.

Whenever I’m asked to recommend books for teenage boys, I often hear a familiar story from concerned parents.

‘I just want him to turn off the video games and pick up a book!’

I normally try to smile sympathetically, but I have a confession to make: I’m a huge video game nerd, a…

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Round-Up of June New Release Kids' and Young Adult Books

by Holly Harper

Here’s a selection of the best kids' and young adult books on offer for June.

What I love most about reading is that it lets you travel without ever having to leave your chair. And on top of that, it can send you to places you’d never normally be able to go, from fantasy lands to back in time. This month’s selection of great reads will transport you to lots of great places, and you won’t ev…

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May Kids' and Young Adult Books Round-Up

by Holly Harper

Our children’s specialist Holly Harper looks at the latest releases in the kids' and YA, including a new picture book from Oliver Jeffers, and a gothic romance by Kirsty Eagar.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s getting a little colder outside, but there seems to be a warm clothing theme amongst this month’s new picture books. The first is The Coat by Julie Hunt and Ron Brooks, a tale of a coat …

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