Book reviews and recommendations, Borrowbox, Children 6-10, Digital Resources, Digital Services

Rua Recommended Reads for Halloween

During lockdown Rua started reading even more than usual and started a series of ‘Rua Recommends’ over on the library Facebook page

Now that Halloween is fast approaching he has returned with his best BorrowBox picks for children aged 7 and older to suit the spooky time of year.

The World’s Greatest Underachiever and the House of Halloween Horrors

(Hank Zipzer #10)

by Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver

Hank Zipster is a loveable guy who struggles with Dyslexia and having a school bully. Join him on a Halloween adventure as he aims to create the scariest haunted house for his friends but ends up scaring his dog Cheerio away instead! This is the tenth book in the series by famed actor turned author Henry Winkler, but I didn’t feel like I needed to have read any of the previous nine to enjoy the hijinks and humour. I love that this book series highlights how hard it is for many kids who struggle with reading, writing and more and gives children with these same struggles a character that reflects this. It also tackles bullying and shows the power of friendship through Hank’s friend Frankie and his dog Cheerio.

Available to borrow as an ebook from Bolinda Borrowbox here.

Curse of the Night Witch

By Alex Aster

The first in The Emblem Island series, this promises lots of action and mythology for ages 8 and older. Emblem Island is a place where every person is born with an emblem that tells their fate and how long their life will be, but twelve year old Tor Luna doesn’t like his leader emblem so decides to wish for something else. This is a bad decision. He now has a much shorter life span and must go seek out the Night Witch for help, crossing unknown lands full of monsters and challenges. This was a great read as it includes various important lessons such as “Be careful what you wish for,” and my favourite “There are many ways to be strong that don’t require a sword.” It also introduces vibrant and varied characters that help Tor and his friends find the way as well as a story within a story – the children draw on a book of stories ‘The Book of Cuentos’ to guide their path to the witch.

Available to borrow as an ebook from Bolinda Borrowbox here

The Day That Aliens (Nearly) Ate Our Brains

By Tom McLaughlin

If you’d prefer a spooky audio, this is a good choice. Freddy and Sal intercept a message from grumpy Alien Alan mentioning that Earth is to be invaded in just 10 hours time! Soon everyone from the local police to NASA and international presidents are on the case. Set in Wolverhampton UK and full of action and comedy it’s an otherworldly tale for ages 7 and older. The age 7 rating comes because Alan has a clear want to eat human brains,but if your child is younger and a bit brave, it’s a stupidly funny and simple book for them to listen to or try out their reading skills on. There’s silly characters galore and Alien Alan thinks everyone is silly anyway so that adds to the humour. The plot takes place over a few hours so it’s fast-paced and action packed. The imaginativeness is taken to a fun place with Alan’s misunderstanding of the English language and the print version includes fun recipes and activities.

Available to borrow as an ebook or audiobook from Bolinda Borrowbox


By Anthony Horowitz

Another audio available now, this time for ages 10+, is  a book by multi-award winning author Anthony Horrowitz. ‘Granny’ follows Joe Warden, a 12 year old boy with inattentive parents and a mean old granny who is more than what she seems. Granny and her band of nasty grannies are out to get Joe, if only he can stop them first. A mixture of dark spookiness and hilarity this is not one for the faint of heart but provides an incredibly well developed and love-to-hate villain granny who is both quick witted and deliciously manipulative. It reminded me a bit of Roald Dahl’s villains, in particular ‘The Witches’ and much like that book, if your child is particularly sensitive, it might be for reading when they are a bit older. 

Available to borrow as an ebook or audiobook from Bolinda Borrowbox

While all titles were available at time of posting, check BorrowBox for availability.


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