Summer Reading Club

Celebrity Book Raves

Jennifer, Kerry and Martin are raving about the following books. After you’ve read their book reviews, why not submit a Summer Reading Club book rave or book trailer of your own?


J.R. Poulter raves about:

Pastworld by Ian Beck


Ian Beck is famous in Britain and Europe as a multi-award winning illustrator and more recently, children’s writer.  Pastworld is his first YA novel and it is a RIPPER!

Ian Beck Pastworld coverPastworld seethes with suspense. The characters are drawn very graphically, with a distinct Dickensian feel!  The setting is both foggy, mysterious Victorian London and the futuristic London of 2048.  The central characters are Eve, who has no family and seemingly, no past;  Fantom, the  ‘adult’ ingredient in advertising blurbs used to attract the morbidly curious ‘future’ Londoner to the Pastworld themepark where they can thrill to Real Ripper Crime Scenes;  and Caleb, who accompanies his father into the ‘past’ on business and gets swallowed up in the seamy side of town! Other fascinating creations abound. My own favourite is the cat woman!

The whole ensemble is a filmmaker’s dream come true – it is made for celluloid!

I suspect there is to be another volume at some stage… I hope so!



J.R. Poulter raves about:

Cats’ Eyes, by J.R.McRae*, illustrated by Vasilis Grivas, is now available online at Tate Publishing, USA.

JR McRae Cats EyesCats’ Eyes is a YA novel written, in part, as if seen through the eyes of cats. The cats open and close the story which involves a mystery, a series of murders, and more than one rescue!  The idea for the book grew out of my reflections on the extremes of human nature, the weirdness, the eccentricities, the callous cruelty and yet also the capacity for kindness and caring. I have had cats as pets for years and I wondered how cats must see these strange two-legged creatures that inhabit their world and sometimes make friends of them.  The blending of these two, the vagaries of humankind and the curiosity of cats, resulted in my own rather different take on the detective story.

The central human characters of Cats’ Eyes are a boy who befriends strays, whether human or feline, an old woman with some unusual talents, an elderly man, who finds out, almost too late, that he has sleuth skills, and a pair of self-obsessed, high society villains, who put their own ambition and greed above all else.  The cat characters, inhabiting the human story, try to alert the two-leggeds of the deadly danger they are in. When the humans don’t take the warnings seriously, the cats take matters into their own hands.  The feral Mr. T, Midnight, the alley cat, Tabby, the domestic pet, Machiavellian cat, the Hood, and a wildcat, part lynx, all play a part in solving the crime and seeing the perpetrators come to a very grisly end.

[*J.R.Poulter’s other persona]

Learn more about J.R. Poulter in Meet N Greet.


Kerry Brown raves about:

When I think of investigation … I think of crime and mystery. As a kid I loved these types of books. There was nothing more exciting than a page turner that kept me guessing. The mystery was even made more exciting by the fact that I would read these under my sheets by torchlight, long after ‘lights out’.

My absolute favourite was the Choose your own Adventure books. I loved that the stories could turn any way – all depending on a choice that I, the reader, got to make. The whole idea of me being somewhat in control of the storyline was fantastic.

The blurb on the back of these books says it all…..

“This book is different to other books. You and YOU alone are in charge of what happens. You must use all of your numerous talents and enormous intelligence. The wrong decision could end in disaster – even death. But don’t despair. At any time, YOU can go back and make another choice, alter the path of your story, and change its result.

The great thing about being a Mum is that my son now LOVES these books and I get to experience them all over again!

Check out the website for the Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Learn more about Kerry Brown in Meet N Greet.