Bean10’s Favourite Books

Today we have a treat for you: a guest post from Bean10 about her favourite books of all time. Because let’s face it, in this period of lockdown, is there anything better than snuggling down (or indeed sitting up in a tree!) with a good book, letting its words flow around your head, and carrying you off into another world? Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration from her selections. Over to Bean10:

It has been very hard to pick my top fifteen books, as I have so many favourites! It is definitely worth trying the novels below, as they are all brilliant and kept me hooked whilst I read them all over the world! So, read on to find the book’s names; their summaries; and what I enjoyed about them.

I. Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series by Chris Grabenstein: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library; Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics; Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race; and Mr. Lemoncello’s All Star Break-out

In this incredible series, Kyle Keely and his friends try to crack codes and solve puzzles, extraordinary billionaire game master Mr. Lemoncello sets for children in his hometown Ohio and beyond. The prizes are amazing, but the competition is strong. These games, played in Mr. Lemoncello’s out of the world library, often take unexpected twists, in which the competitors need to band together to get to the bottom of what is really going on…

It is fun to read these books and watch as the characters work out the puzzles in a race to get to the finish. Tense moments are scattered around and keep you so hooked that you can’t put them down. The characters are wacky (namely Mr. Lemoncello) making it a really fun book to read. The unforeseen turns add to the excitement.

II.  His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Northern Lights

In the world where people have daemons, Lyra’s friend Roger is missing. Lyra is certain that the Gobblers have got him, as so many children have disappeared. Lyra and her daemon want to travel to the North to find him, so she goes to Mrs. Coulter’s home, a lady who promises to take her. But when a terrible secret gets out, Lyra runs away to travel to the North without her, with the Gyptians help. There she faces many challenges, the worst of which is a team of scientists who are doing something horrible. Can Lyra stop them and save the children? Her most dangerous adventure is still waiting, and it sits in the midst of the Northern Lights…

The Subtle Knife

In another world, Will is in danger. He has just murdered a man. He is now on a mission to find the reality of what happened to his father- who is presumed dead. Then, he falls into the world of Cittagazze (Chita gaa sea), where he meets Lyra. This world isn’t safe though, and together, after obtaining the secret of Cittagazze- a secret that’ll defend them against the soul- sucking Spectres – they set out on a mission to find their fathers – a dangerous mission, which they’ll execute till the end no matter what…

The Amber Spyglass

Will needs to deliver the subtle knife to Lord Asriel. But first, he has to find Lyra, so they can stop the war between the worlds. They’ll battle to the end, following fate’s path as they travel to the very ends of the many worlds and even into the land of the dead, where something Lyra is looking for may be found. But just as all seems right, the very fabric of the universe starts to fall apart, and they join an incredible scientist to set it to rights, sacrificing something great…

I cannot praise these novels quite enough. They are captivating, adventurous and so different from normal – a whole new set of worlds, books that all children should grow up with. With characters never seen before in the history of literature, and beings altered from what people know them to be, Pullman’s stories are unique beyond compare!

Also, there is a book that comes before the trilogy – The Book of Dust, Volume One, and a book that follows it – The Book of Dust, Volume Two.

III. The Sinclair’s Mysteries series by Katherine Woodfine: The Clockwork Sparrow; The Jewelled Moth; The Painted Dragon; and The Midnight Peacock

Sophie, Billy and Lil work at Sinclair’s Department Store in Edwardian London. Can they, with their friend Joe, retrieve stolen items, uncover murders, foil plots, solve mysteries, crack codes and expose the criminal mastermind lurking in London’s streets? Can these brave heroes save the day before it’s too late? It is bound to be difficult, and danger lies ahead…….

If you like fast-paced, exciting stories that you can’t put down – then these are the books for you! The danger, mystery, murder and theft make these novels exhilarating beyond belief. I could practically watch the heroes scamper across rooftops at night and face down the evil villain. The books are nerve-rackingly, nail-bitingly tense – there’s nothing like a good mystery story to get the blood pumping!

Note: Katherine Woodfine has written other tales, which are probably worth a look at if you enjoyed this series.

IV. Strange Star by Emma Carroll

Strange Star by [Emma Carroll]

Ghost stories are being told at Villa Diodati to find out whose can be the most terrifying. Suddenly, someone uninvited arrives with a story to tell. And it is no ordinary story either, for although it is true, it may be the most petrifying of them all. As her story finishes, the listeners realise what she came this long way to do……

I adore all Emma Carroll books, but this has to be my favourite. Strange Star is historical fiction, and I just love the way truth is mixed with make-believe, with sections that you know about and aspects of just pure lovely fiction. It is a captivating book – a real must read.

V. The Mysterious Benedict Society Quadrilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Four children. Four incredible talents. Together they are: The Mysterious Benedict Society. They are recruited by Mr. Benedict to embark on a dangerous mission. Their task: to save the world! They need to stop malicious Mr. Curtain’s plans from taking over the planet though his Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and his wicked invention……

The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey

The Benedict Society are back and about to do a scavenger hunt set by Mr. Benedict, when he suddenly goes missing. The children guess that he was captured by Mr. Curtain. So, they set out to search for him, with a group of evil men (Ten Men) hot on their trail. They are ready to face a challenge tougher than any before, and face Mr. Curtain for the second time…

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Mr. Curtain tries a third time with another crafty plan. Can the Benedict Society outwit him again? The only problem is, they are being held prisoner at the same time. They begin an adventure that may rip them from everyone they ever knew…

Also, there is a fourth book in the series, recently out – The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Riddle of Ages -, which I am excited to read soon.

Mysterious Benedict Society 4: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages by [Trenton Lee Stewart]

If you haven’t read these books, then you don’t know adventure stories! I loved the amazing talents of the children and the way they worked together to foil Mr. Curtain’s malevolent schemes. The tales are captivating and exciting. It is definitely worth purhasing the whole set, as after devouring the first book, you’ll be dying to read the rest!

Note: Trenton Lee Stewart has also written Secret Keepers and Flood Summer.

VI. The Morrigan Crow series by Jessica Townsend

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Book 1

In this first tale of the fantastic series, the hour she is supposed to die, Morrigan Crow is secretly taken to the incredible city of Nevermoor where she has the opportunity to join the Wonderous Society. But the stakes are high – does she have what it takes to compete against hundreds of other children in four tests, especially when, it seems that the last one is impossible, as she doesn’t have what the others do…

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, Book 2

In the second novel, all is not well. Morrigan’s unit is receiving blackmails, and each child begins to turn against her, feeling that it is her fault. At the same time, people are disappearing. Could this be the work of evil Wundersmith Ezra Squall?  Can Morrigan find out what is going on and prove to her unit that she isn’t bad? After a dangerous adventure, Morrigan finds out the blackmail might not be all it seems…

I enjoyed these books because of the wacky place in which they were set, the out of the ordinary happenings and the strange characters. I really empathised with Morrigan, and looking back, I remember in my head urging her on. I really felt, as I was reading the books, that the characters were actually there before me.

Note: Look out for Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow, coming soon.

VII. Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

Will needs to leave his memories behind. The trip away with his mother gives him just that. Will even rides an elephant! But not all is peaceful, and in a life- threatening situation with a tsunami raging in, the elephant (with Will riding upon her) bolts into the jungle. Will has nothing, just a bottle of water and what he is wearing. Can he face the perils of the rainforest- save orangutans, face tigers and men who want him dead, fend off leeches and mosquitos, but most of all find food and get water to drink, to come out safe on the other side?……

I loved this novel. Elephants are amazing creatures – so clever. It really brought to life for me rainforests, and the creatures in them. I felt as though I understood the jungle more and appreciated the hardships of purely staying alive. Emotional moments are mixed in with wild, happy parts, and more tense sections find their way into this book too. It amazed me to think that this is based on a true story. An elephant really did do this – ran into the rainforest as a tsunami approached and saved a little girl’s life. You should certainly give this book a go – it was my favourite for many years.

VIII. The Greenglass House Duology by Kate Milford

Greenglass House

The innkeepers of Greenglass house and their adopted son Milo have decided to spend a quiet Christmas together, as there are normally no guests at this time of year. But, (surprise, surprise!), guest upon guest arrives until the house is flooded with people! Each person is connected to the house in some mysterious way and an adventure is afoot. Feeling very alone, Milo makes friends with a cook’s daughter, Meddy and they play a game – Odd Trails – which leads them to discover the mysteries of Greenglass house, and in so doing, discover a few strange facts about themselves…

The Ghosts of Greenglass House

This winter holiday doesn’t feel right to Milo, everything is just too much: no snow, a terrible teacher, and Meddy isn’t there to play with him. Also, a peculiar guest is staying at the inn, who has a seemingly strange desire to draw all the stained-glass windows situated there. Milo wishes this year was as exciting as last, although there seems no prospect of that happening, and yet, could his wish come true?

These were my favourite works of fiction of the year. Full of intriguing mysteries and with great plot twists, these wonderfully written novels are perfect for a bedtime read-aloud. Yet more exciting mystery stories full of unexpected surprises!

IX. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: Inkheart; Inkspell; and Inkdeath

Meggie’s father has a secret – the power to bring characters out of books whenever he reads aloud. There are two drawbacks though: for each character that comes out of a story, one must go in, and that the characters drawn out of the books may be the evilest characters possible. Can characters like these be defeated in Meggie’s world and the world in which they came from? This adventure will take Meggie and those dearest to her across books, and into the very castles of Inkworld- along the way reuniting families, losing friends, bringing people back from where they can’t return, and even bargaining with Death himself.

I haven’t actually finished the last book of this series yet, but so far, these novels have been brilliant! Have you ever wanted book characters to come to life? These books take you through the highs, lows, and most of all dangers of just that happening. It is really hard to put these books down, as you are always left thinking: ‘How will they prevent that?’, ‘Oh, please don’t do that!’, or ‘Will they ever be defeated?’. They bring forward a talent that I’m sure everyone would like to possess and present it in a different light. I love all the different kinds of characters in these books and can’t wait to find out what happens at the end of book 3!

X. The Cogheart Adventures Series Quadrilogy by Peter Bunzl

Cogheart

In a universe a little like our Victorian London, filled with a mix of clockwork beings and humans, Lily, Robert and Malkin (a clockwork fox) live.

They are plunged into their first dangerous adventure- and followed by villainous silver- eyed men that want something from Lily. Soon, a secret about herself spills out…

Moonlocket

In their next adventure together, Robert is determined to find out more about his mother Selena, who disappeared when he was little.  However, it’s perilous – can they crack codes before time runs out…

Skycircus

In a circus the friends visit, all is not well, and they decide to set it to rights. The only problem is, Lily is in danger from the ring mistress, as she shares something with the circus ‘freaks’.

I loved these books, as the world that they are set in is very different from normal. The awesome heroes crack codes and face many a dangerous adventure and in the process outwit evil. The imagination that went into these books is amazing. If you like adventure stories, I would definitely recommend them to you.

Also, there is a fourth book – Shadowsea – which I am looking forward to reading soon!

My next five favourite books are as follows:

The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll

The Somerset Tsunami by [Emma Carroll]

The Pages and Co set by Anna James

The Harry Potter Hepatology by J.K Rowling

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson

The Star of Kazan by [Eva Ibbotson]

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

I hope you have found some books that will suit you. This leaves us with just one more thing to say before I conclude this post:

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many you can get through, but how many can get through to you”– Mortimer J. Adler.

Enjoy your reading! This is Bean 10, over and out!        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


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