Category Archives: Book Reviews

Telling Tales

By | Book Reviews, creative writing in schools, story writing with children | No Comments

Telling Tales – Read it! Make it! Bake it! 

I wanted to share this blog with you… if it was written by an adult then I would have been impressed but it is actually by a child… yes!  a young girl who attended one of our summer workshops….She was very enthusiastic about the site and I can see why … it’s inspiring and wonderful.

On the site there a book reviews, ideas for making crafts and baking inspired by the books the blogger has read and competitions.  Have a look and get creative! You can even share some of your stories on the blog and be in with a chance of winning a prize.

An extract from her ABOUT ME PAGE

As an avid reader, I started this blog to share my love of reading and show others how much fun it can be.


In this blog, I read children’s books and review them. The most interesting part is making a craft or baking a delicious treat based on the theme within the book. After reading the ‘Secret Cooking Club’ by Lauren Remington I created some delicious cornflake crispies and after reading ‘Quidditch through the ages’ by J.K. Rowling, I created a Quidditch themed treasure box.



IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN DISCOVERING THE WONDERS OF THE SITE … – you can sign up to the newsletter to receive regular news and information from the site.

Varjak Paw – Book Recommendation

By | Book club N21, book clubs for children North London, Book group, Book Reviews, story writing with children, Winchmore Hill | No Comments

Dear SF Said,

We recently read Varjak Paw in our Book Club for school years 4 to 6 and they all really enjoyed it. It was a very popular choice and was received and read with much enthusiasm.

I promised to send you some of our Book Clubber’s questions and comments… so here goes….

  • I thought Varjak Paw was a good book. Do you have children? If so, do you ever read your stories to them?
  • I really like Varjak Paw. It was really exciting and fun. I especially loved ‘the way’. It was so cool how Varjak could do lots of amazing things. I will read your other books. Maybe Sally Bones gets territorial and they have battled but Varjak find out that there is another skill in the ‘they way of Jalal’ that has been buried in history.
  • I thought the book was brilliant I thought that the action was amazing and the mystery bits added tension. I would rate it 9/10
  • I would rate Varjak Paw by SF Said (3 stars out of 5) Because you didn’t know much about the mysterious lady. How did she die? Or the man? Why did he want to turn the cats into robots?
  • I think Varjak Paw is very interesting when he went from a boring life as a pet into a wild cat. He was very clever at finding out that the gentlemen were dangerous.  I think Holly is a very important because she told Varjak Paw that the vanishings were happening.
  • I couldn’t put Varjak Paw down. I loved it!

Thank you for reading our comments and writing such a wonderful book.

Kind regards,

The Story Room.

Review – Time Travelling with a Hamster – Ross Welford

By | Book club N21, book clubs for children North London, Book group, Book Reviews, Uncategorised | No Comments

Dear Ross,

I chose your Time Travelling with a Hamster for a group of year 7 children recently. I had previously read it with a group of years 4,5 and 6s and they enjoyed it so I wanted to pass it on to the older group. The loved it… the boys in particular. And anything that gets boys reading gets a huge thumbs up from me!

We had a long discussion about the characters and how well-drawn the characters were. One boy did not like the step-dad at all! But they all love Grandpa Byron. They also would have loved to have driven a scooter  like Al! They were all uncomfortable with the kitten scene but understood why it was in the book. Here are some of the letters they wrote – they are not very long… year 7s  don’t want to do much writing after a long day at school.

Thank you for reading their letters! Helena

Dear Mr Welford,

Thank you for writing the book. I think it is really good and thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work! I especially liked the part when Al’s mum jokes and tells him that his Dad is dead and got killed by a gang at the end.


I found the book Time Travelling with a Hamster thoroughly enjoyable. My favourite character was Grandpa Byron as he was very wise. My favourite scene was when Al stole the moped. I didn’t like it when Al was bullied though.


I have read your book and I loved it! It was perfect in every way. How did you get the amazing idea of time-travel and dying fathers? It was awfully interesting.

Thank you for taking the time to write it.

J.H. (a book club somewhere in Southgate)


Thank you for writing Time Travelling with a Hamster. I enjoyed it a lot. It was a fun and interesting read. Keep writing!


P.S. I am really jealous of Al – I wish I had the adventures he had.

I was really impressed with how you crafted your characters in Time Travelling with a Hamster. My favourite character was Grandpa Byron and his little head shake. I enjoyed learning about some of the foods and history of Bangladesh. You don’t find many books where the main character is Asian and that is what is unique about this book.


Book Review – Dead Man’s Cove

By | Book club N21, book clubs for children North London, Book group, Book Reviews | No Comments

Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St. John

Reviewer: Brendan aged 9

Dead Man’s cove is about a girl called Laura Marlin who was adopted by her Uncle, Calvin Redfern. She is taken to a town in Cornwall called St Ives and finds things strange. She meets a boy called Tariq and tries to be friends with him. One day, Laura sees the housekeeper (who is really good at making cakes) looking through Calvin’s files and Laura starts to suspect something. Tariq gets kidnapped and so does Laura and they have to try and get out of Dead Man’s Cove, a cove where if they stay there too long they will sink and die. Can her heroic dog, Skye, save her?

I really like this book and would recommend it to people who like adventure.

Reviewer: Hugo aged 10

When orphaned Laura is sent to live with her Uncle, she is sure that a life of adventure awaits her, but wherever she goes she is confronted with strange mysteries. Is Tariq the shopkeeper’s son a friend or foe? Why does her uncle seem eager to erase his history? And why is everyone so frightened by Dead Man’s Cove?

My favourite  character is Laura Marlin for she is brave, smart and possesses all the characteristics a heroine needs.

I enjoyed the whole book as it was full of adventure, unexpected twists and it is action-packed. It is a must-read for all readers who enjoy mystery based novels.

‘An absorbing novel that will hold the imagination of young reader and keep them guessing throughout.’ The Bookseller.

‘With vivid descriptions and a page-turning plot this is the perfect children’s summer read.’ Waterstone’s Book Quarterly.

BOOK CLUB – Years 4, 5 and 6 -our dates September to December 2017

By | Book club N21, book clubs for children North London, Book group, Book Reviews, The Story Room, Winchmore Hill | No Comments

MIDDLE GRADERS’ BOOK CLUB – for years 4, 5 and 6.

Book club is great for reluctant readers and avid readers alike… because once the reading bug grabs them… they all continue with an enthusiasm for reading! During each session the book clubbers are given a book to read and then on their return, the following session, we  discuss the book and take part in activities based on the book. In the past we have played Scrabble, learnt Morse Code, answered quizzes and even learnt some German!  Members are invited to review the books and their reviews can be sent to the authors and/or uploaded onto The Story Room website.

Our next dates will be

 Tuesday September 19th at 4.30pm to 5.30pm
 Tuesday  October 17th at 4.30pm to 5.30pm
 Tuesday November 14th at 4.30pm to 5.30pm
 Tuesday December 12th at 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Venue: Southgate Leisure Centre – Winchmore Hill Road, London N14 6AD

Time: 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Fee: Book Club is payable 4 sessions in advance. Total for 4 sessions: £80.00. All reading books and writing materials are supplied.

How many in a group? a maximum of 8