Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Book Blitz & Giveaway for The Hideaway by Pam Smy

Pam Smy's 'The Hideaway'
Book Blitz & Giveaway


The Hideaway combines gripping text and stunning illustration to tell the story of Billy McKenna, a boy who runs away from a difficult situation at home and takes refuge in an overgrown graveyard to deal with his mixed emotions. There, Billy meets an elderly man who tends the graves in preparation for All Souls' Eve, and ultimately witnesses the magical events that come to pass on that spooky night. 

Interwoven in Billy's supernatural story is the all-too-realistic tale of his mother's situation at home and the police search for Billy. With themes of family and childhood, separation and reunion, domestic violence and doing the right thing, this is an important and beautiful book for middle graders through adults. 

Billy's story is illustrated throughout with tonal and textured black and white drawings, until the events on All Souls' Eve, when the text gives way to a series of double page images of the supernatural happening. 

The Hideaway is a compelling, exciting and emotional story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. 

Pam Smy studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art, where she now lectures part-time. Pam has illustrated books by Conan Doyle, Julia Donaldson, and Kathy Henderson, among others. Her first novel, Thornhill, was a critical and commercial success, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the UKLA Book Awards, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018, and winning the 2018 British Book Design & Production Award for Graphic Novels.
She lives in Cambridge, UK.  

Giveaway details

5 winners will win a hardcover copy of The Hideaway
Open to US / UK
Giveaway ends 9/19 at 11:59 ET

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out my recent review of Pam Smy's 'Thornhill' (which I LOVED) and let me know in the comments if you've read anything by Pam Smy yet or what your thoughts are on the book trailer! 

Happy reading! 

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (Adult Nonfiction Book Review)

The Comfort Book
by Matt Haig 
Published by Penguin Life
on July 6, 2021
Genre: Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Self-help
Length: 272 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A small book for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more meaningful life, or in need of encouragement. 

Years ago, Matt Haig began writing notes to his future self. These notes were meant as gifts; offerings of hope to help himself through anything from the darkest periods of his life to a not-so-great day. As time went on, he added new thoughts and stories and he turned them into The Comfort Book so that everyone could draw on this well of reassurance and encouragement. Each of its short meditations gives a new perspective on life and all of its highs and lows--small islands of hope for anyone looking for a more fulfilling, more uplifting way through life. Incorporating a diverse array of sources from across the world, history, science, and his own experiences, Haig offers warmth and reassurance, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty of unpredictability of existence. 

My Thoughts:

Matt Haig shares uplifting experiences, insightful sentiments, unique interpretations, quotes, and more in this comforting book of hope.

In times of great chaos, it's voices like Matt's that help lift us out of whatever funk or pit of despair we may be in, or even just give us a new perspective or reminder of better days
. As an author who once 'hit rock bottom', Haig is rather down-to-earth and understanding and that fully comes across in his newest nonfiction. He shares stories from his childhood, life lessons that helped him on his journey, instagram-style poetry, and more.

I've followed this author on social media for some years now and have always enjoyed his mental health content. I've also really enjoyed most of the books I've read by him and definitely recommend this if you've enjoyed his books in the past. 
You can find examples of what is included in this book on Matt's instagram! 


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse: The Graphic Novel: Dinosaurs Before Dawn by Jenny Laird (Children's Graphic Novel Review)

Mary Pope Osborne's
Magic Tree House
The Graphic Novel:
Dinosaurs Before Dawn
Adapted by Jenny Laird
Illustrated by Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
on May 4, 2021
Genre: Children's, Graphic Novels, Chapter Books, Fantasy
Length: 176 pages
Ages: 6 - 9 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

The #1 bestselling chapter book is now a graphic novel!
Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. 
Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie! 

Our Thoughts:

Join Jack and Annie as they discover a mysterious (and magical!) tree house in the woods not far from their house. The tree house is filled from top to bottom with books and when Jack and Annie make a wish, they find themselves thrust back into the time of the dinosaurs! 

My daughter and I started reading this chapter book series last year and really enjoyed all the time travel adventures that Jack and Annie find themselves on. They are quick and easy reads that are perfect for beginner readers and are filled with facts about the time period that they end up traveling to so they are both fun and educational. 

This new graphic novel adaptation was even more fun to read, especially because my daughter picked this one up and read it out loud to me instead of the usual vice versa. The 'he said' and 'she said's were left out (thank the bookgods) and there's a lot of onomatopoeia that makes this even more beginner-reader friendly. 

This series is perfect for fans of history and magic and this first adaptation is perfect for dinosaur lovers! 


Monday, September 6, 2021

Night Night, Norman by Marie Dimitrova (Children's Picture Book Review)

We received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Night Night, Norman
Written by Marie Dimitrova
Illustrated by Romi Caron
Published by Hello World Publishing
on October 20, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 18 pages
Ages: 3 - 6 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A light-hearted, spirit-lifting story about what horses do at night while we sleep.

Laugh out loud with the adventures of Norman, and find out what happens when we think our pets are sleeping. A perfect book to read together before bedtime! 

My Thoughts:

Every night, Ellie visits a big, beautiful horse named Norman at the Green Apple Barn before heading off to bed. But one night, Norman decides to find out exactly where Ellie goes and leaves the barn! What mischief could a horse possibly get into?

This is the perfect bedtime story! 

Join the overly curious Norman on a nightly jaunt! 
This silly picture book will have your Littles in fits of giggles over Norman and his night-time nonsense. 

Night Night, Norman is beautifully illustrated in traditional styles and includes a bonus 'How to Draw Norman' page at the end of the story!


Friday, September 3, 2021

Thornhill by Pam Sny (Middle Grade Horror Graphic Novel Review)

by Pam Smy
shed by Roaring Brook Press
on August 29, 2017
Genre: Middle-grade, Horror, Paranormal, Ghost stories
Length: 539 pages
Ages: 10 - 14 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Literary Awards:
Leeds Book Awards Nominee for 14 - 16 (2018)

Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.

1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it's shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she is left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of a dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's shadowy past. 

My Thoughts:

Told in dual POVs in different times, Thornhill tells the story of Mary, an orphaned girl who resides at Thornhill Institute before its abandonment, and Ella, a young, newly-motherless girl who has recently moved across the street from Thornhill and is looking for a friend. 
One POV is told in diary entries and the other in dark, macabre illustrations which gives us a quick, easy read despite how thick this book is! 

Mary's diary begins with her bully returning to Thornhill Institute and her situation escalates from there. 
Ella's illustrations share how she meets Mary and how their friendship builds. 
Their stories come together in the end in the most fantastic twist! 

I really loved this.
I adore ghost stories and illustration and love that this was both. It really reminded me of Brian Selznick's similarly illustrated novels, which I also loved. Pam Smy's illustrated stories are also geared toward middle-grade readers but considering the content, Smy's illustrations are a touch darker than Selznick's making them perfect for spooky season! 


Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter (Middle Grade Paranormal Mystery Book Review)

 I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The Dollhouse
A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Published by Tundra Books
on August 31, 2021
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 360 pages
Ages: 9 - 12 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A creepy, mysterious dollhouse takes center stage in this atmospheric middle-grade mystery for fans of Doll Bones and Small Spaces.

Alice's world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and they've canceled their yearly cottage trip--the one thing that gets Alice through the school year. Instead, Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice's mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady. 

The house is huge, imposing and spooky, and everything inside is meticulously kept and perfect--not a fun place to spend the summer. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that's an exact replica of the house she's living in. Then she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in bed--a girl who looks a lot like one of the dolls from the dollhouse...

When the dollhouse starts to change when Alice isn't looking, she knows she has to solve the mystery. Who are the girls in the dollhouse? What happened to them? And what is their connection to the mysterious woman who owns the house? 

My Thoughts:

When Alice's parents decide to split up, her mom finds a job as a live-in nurse taking care of the elderly Mrs. Bishop who recently took a tumble in her beautifully preserved 1830's Georgian-style home called Blackwood. Once they are settled in, an interesting series of ghost sightings, all-too-real dreams, and a secret dollhouse in the attic plague Alice's every waking moment. 
As Alice falls deeper into the mystery of Blackwood and its secret dollhouse, her own reality begins to shatter around her. Can she find the answers even as she slips into her own dark imagination?

 I loved Small Spaces by Katherine Arden so I jumped on the chance to read this and wasn't disappointed! 
The mystery of the dollhouse and the house's original occupants will take you for a spin and the spook factor will keep you on the tip of your toes! I was thoroughly absorbed in this mysterious ghost story and didn't want to put it down!

I especially loved the attention to detail when describing Blackwood and its interior and also that the MC had just enough knowledge of the architectural style (thanks to an old-house-obsessed father) that we are given a little info on it upfront. As a big fan of spooky, old houses--both in literature and real life--that tickled my fancy a lot and helped me imagine the house better as I was reading.

Middle-grade readers will love this!


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

LazyDayLit's September 2021 TBR & Reading Goals

 Happy September, readers! 

August wasn't the greatest reading month for me but I'm hoping to get back into a reading schedule that works around our home and school life. I'm really looking forward to Autumn and all the spooky reads!  

Here's what I have on my pile / list!

For Review:

Many thanks to Forge Books, Back Bay Books, and Little Press
as well as Goodreads and Netgalley for the chance to read these! 

Current Library Loans:

What are you most looking forward to reading in September?

You can keep up with what I do get around to reading over on Bookstagram @LazyDayLit