T.S.Spivet by Reif Larson

5415669f-6e79-4fe0-8cdc-ac2af0941533A road trip story with a difference. T.S. is mistaken for an adult when his school project wins a highly prestigious award and he is invited to address scholars at a university on the other side of the USA. Thinking no-one will really miss him, TS sets off from the family farm, alone, taking his mother’s research notes from her desk to read on the way. In doing so he discovers the truth about the real reason for her trips and studies, discovering more about his heritage and the importance to him of his family.

Beautifully written from the child’s perspective with numerous asides and interludes along the margins of the main text showing his drawings, family and school playground insults, plans, maps and workings. Humorous and tragic throughout, you should not be put off by the length of the book. Loved it!

Customer Review by Barbara


Pool by JiHybeon Lee

07c8941e-58b5-4f80-9ea8-a96be94ab043‘Pool’ follows the adventure of one boy on his journey into the belly of the swimming pool. There he makes a friend and together they explore the wondrous depths of their imagination. Wordless, this original tale is a feast of beautiful imagery suitable for children and adults alike.

Staff Review by Abi

Mind Games by Teri Terry

1d209486-dafa-492d-930e-6b0e2a02f614Society is almost entirely virtual, there’s barely any need to leave the house when you can plug into Realtime. Gaming, school, parties, holidays – it’s all done in PareCo.’s virtal world. Luna is a refuser. She won’t use Realtime because she has a secret, a secret that could get her killed.

When PareCo. select Luna to take part in testing for their elite think tank she is faced with a decision. Run and hide, or embrace her secret, play their dangerous game and work her way to the centre of a web of silver lies.

Multi-award winning author of Slated Teri Terry is back with another pacey, page turning thriller. Suitable for 13+.

Staff Review by Abi

Boo by Neil Smith

Oliver Da2c85b992-a7ea-4ef9-81c5-fb37d2f7af4alrymple (Boo) is a 13 year old science geek. He wakes up in heaven, not the kind of heaven full of angels and music, but the kind where 13 year olds from America go.  The last thing Boo remembers was reaching the end of reciting the periodic table from memory. He thinks he died from a heart defect but discovers that he was, in fact, murdered. When he finds that his classmate Johnny has also been shot, they set off to try to find their killer. Is he in heaven too?

Boo is written in the same vein as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time but is unique and original. It explores bullying and mental illness but above all, friendship and forgiveness. You will fall in love with the characters in this unpredictable, funny and heart breaking book.

Due 21st May

Staff Review by Alice

Great Glee with The Gruffalo

We welcomed The Gruffalo as our special guest, having been awarded Julia Donaldson’s Independent Bookshop of the Month for April. The Gruffalo spent Friday 24th & Saturday 25th with us entertaining lots of children, their parents, teachers as well as the staff and friends of Hunting Raven.
The Sunflower Montessori Nursery School visited us for story-time with The Gruffalo on Friday morning. Children, staff and parents joined in the reading of the story and afterwards asked lots of brilliant questions. The Gruffalo answered with nods and shakes of his head, he also danced, hopped and jumped to everyone’s delight!
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More story-time sessions took place on Saturday along with photo sessions with The Gruffalo. Generous donations raised £100 for Frome-based charity OpenStoryTellers.

Helen Moore Launch, Reading and Signing

April proved to be our month for events when we hosted another evening event, this time with internationally acknowledged eco-poet Helen Moore.  She was eloquently and thought-provokingly introduced by local author Lindsay Clarke.
Helen read eight poems from her new collection Ecozoa, explaining that she has taken inspiartion from Blake’s four zoas and through this volume of poetry creates a fifth zoa.  Before reading each poem, Helen set each in context – Sweet Pain – the most personal and exposing.  Without a doubt her poetry articulates a new future with a powerful, passionate and visionary voice.

Helen Moore

Alison Clink Launch, Talk and Signing

The Man Who Never went to Newcastle
At only our second evening event this year, Alison was interviewed by local author-poet Crysse Morrison.  We heard how she started a diary on the day that she was told about her brother’s illness and stopped on the day that he died.  Writing daily became part of the grieving process and helped her to move forward.
Alison then used her diary entries to create a prose piece, later developing it into a memoir after discussions with agents.  The title came from talking with her brother about the ordinary things that he hadn’t got round to doing.  The book intersperses flashbacks from their childhood and youth, with the unfolding of his illness.  Its funny, sad, poignant and more.  An independent venture – Alison has self-published her book – the publication of which Crysse likened to the current ‘farmers’ market movement in a supermarket world’.
Alison read two contrasting extracts and answered questions from an appreciative audience.

Alison Clink and Chrysse Morrison

The Rhino Farm Launch & Signing

Saturday saw the launch of local author Annabel Claridge’s fourth book, ‘The Rhino Farm’ here at Hunting Raven.

Annabel Claridge 4 April signing courtesy of Judith WhiteAfter reading a series of articles on the horrendous trade of poaching rhino horns, an impassioned Annabel did her research! To ensure the authenticity and accuracy of her work she spoke to professionals such as Dr. Jacques Flamand who, in part, relocates rhinos.

In an interview with the Frome Standard she said, “What I find so difficult to understand is that the rhino horn has no medicinal benefit whatsoever. The horn is made up of the same stuff as fingernails and yet people are prepared to pay huge amounts of money for it and rhinos are being mutilated – and for what?”

With her hard hitting story about rhino poaching and the race to save one orphaned rhino from suffering the same terrible fate as its parent, Annabel hopes to inspire young adults, and adults alike, into action.

We have signed copies of Annabel’s books in store, available for those of you who weren’t able to make it down on the day – while stock lasts.

Julia Donaldson Independent Bookshop of the Month

This year Macmillan Children’s Books have a new monthly award to recognise the best child-focused independent bookshops in the UK … and guess what … we’re Bookshop of the Month for April!

Julia Donaldson says, “I am a big fan of independent bookshops. I like the way they each have their own character, with window displays by local artists or creative staff members, and with stock reflecting the tastes and passions of their owners and customers.  But one thing they almost all have in common is the knowledge, dedication and enterprise of their staff.  So I was over the moon when Macmillan Children’s Books suggested this initiative to reward the best children’s booksellers in the UK.”

The Gruffalo will be visiting us later this month – take a look at our Events page for more information – and keep your eye on our shop window, Facebook and Twitter pages for special events, offers and news throughout month!