The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers #BookReview #BlogTour

When you look at those you love, what do you see?

When Issy, young mother and beloved daughter, seemingly kills herself her family is devastated.

Believing she would never leave son Noah willingly, Jon and Mel determine to discover what really happened to Issy. As they and the rest of the family struggle to come to terms with tragedy, Jon and Mel start to realise Issy’s secrets come from a very dark place…

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers today. Many thanks to the author, Manatee Books and Tracy Fenton for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

The opening chapter of The Dark Place briefly introduces the reader to Issy as she returns home following her first year at university. We learn very little about her here, other than she is the mother of a young son, Noah who is cared for by her parents and she seems to struggle to know how to relate to him. The moment when her life comes to a sudden and violent end is a shocking …

The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary by Martii Maclean, illustrated by Sharon Clark #BookReview #BlogBlitz


One gutsy eleven-year-old, a cool beach town, a hilarious crew of friends and oodles of adventures. 
Once upon a beach, there was a girl called Isabelle Necessary. A girl with an unusual name and a rather extraordinary life. She roams around a sleepy beach town with her loyal team of friends.  Follow Isabelle, Tammy, David, Nin, Draino the cat and Champ the wonder dog as they navigate one sticky situation after another and figure out how to turn a frog into a movie star, deal with a never-ending milkshake and escape being trapped in a lighthouse.
The type of book that brings back childhood memories and captures the essence of being a free-spirited kid.
Perfect for teachers and educators as the book comes with a teacher’s resource guide and student maker kit by Isabelle Necessary herself. Middle-grade reading level.

It's my pleasure to be taking part in the blog blitz for The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary by Martii Maclean today, many thanks to the author and Rachel Gilby from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.

There's something really quite charming about The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary. Isabelle's short, fun adventures lend themselves perfectly to a story in class or just before bedtime and are also ideal for young readers gaining in confidence and ready to move on to chapter books. Isabelle herself is a bright, resourceful girl with a happy disposition and a love of adventures. She is staying in the Saggy Beach Retirement Village with her great-aunt Emma while her parents are away. It's a lovely sounding place where most of the friendly residents seem to have nicknames - Uncle Knock-Knock, Saggy Bill and Halfway Percy all play a part in Isabelle's escapades at some point. Her exploits are the stuff childhood memories are made of - sand sculpture competitions, long bike rides with friends, pony riding and racing paper boats. It's the sort of book that will appeal to lovers of Enid Blyton's stories, although it is set in Australia rather than England (something it took me a few chapters to realise!).
Her best friends are Tammy and Nin and the three girls have the kind of carefree existence where even if the sun isn't shining there is still fun to be had; they work together to figure things out without ever quarrelling and seem to exist mostly on a diet of muffins. Sharon Clark's illustrations throughout the book are delightful too, particularly those featuring Draino the cat. The girls' appearance is barely mentioned in the book but the pictures reflect their diversity which I thought was wonderful as all children deserve to see people who look like them in their stories. It's also refreshing to see the illustrator's name given due prominence on the front of the book too.
The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary may be set in Australia but it has that quintessentially small community feel of childhood stories giving it a timeless quality where for the most part technology is absent; there's just one short chapter where Isabelle uses a video camera. I'm sure it will appeal to younger middle-grade readers in particular and to adults who are nostalgic for the simpler pleasures of their childhoods. The gentle humour and fun stories will leave readers with a warm smile on their faces and a desire to return to Saggy Beach for more adventures with Isabelle Necessary and her friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit!

The Adventures of Isabelle Necessary can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US. Check out some of the other blogs taking part in today's blitz for more reviews, extracts from the book, teaching activities, recipes and craft projects.


You can also download more activities, including ideas from Isabelle's very own book, 'The How to do Fun Stuff Book' from the author's website.

About the Author
Martii Maclean lives in a tin shack by the sea, catching sea-gulls which she uses to make delicious pies, and writing weird stories. She likes going for long bicycle rides with her cat, who always wears aviator goggles to stop her whiskers blowing up into her eyes as they speed down to the beach to search for mermaid eggs. Or how about this…
Martii Maclean writes fantastical, adventurous tales for children and teens and sometimes adults. She was born in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Brisbane with her husband Trevor and her cat Minerva. Her work as an educator and librarian, allows her to share her love of stories and of story-telling with many young people. This inspires Martii to create thought-filled stories that explore the wonderful world of ‘what if’. Find out more about Martii and her stories at www.martiimaclean.com
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