Amazing Fantasy Novels for Young Readers

Many thanks to Wiki for including Polar Bears in their amazing fantasy novels for young readers article. There are some amazing sounding books in the video and you can check it out here.

Westfield Community School

Following on from my World Book Day post the other day, I’m delighted to have permission to share these photos from the kids at Westfield Community School. Seen below are some absolutely wonderful Stella’s in full princess mode, as well as some other great costumes from fantastic books such as Podkin One Ear.




And I think the photo below has got to be one of my favourite pictures of all time. It looks like a class image for a team of explorers from the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club itself. I’ve never seen such a variety of moustaches worn with such marvellous aplomb. Excellent job, chaps, and I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed reading the book.

Happy adventuring for whatever book you delve into next!




World Book Day 2018

Last week was World Book Day, and I was absolutely delighted to see so many children dressing up as Stella Starflake Pearl from the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. Having one of my characters brought to life like this was such a thrill, and it warmed the cockles of my writer’s heart to see children getting excited about reading and sharing their love of books with such style!

Here’s a selection of some of the amazing photos:


Stella photo

This is Jess. I love her snowflake necklaces and polar bear dress, to say nothing of the pearls and unicorn headband! Absolute princess perfection. Apparently the dress comes in an adult size, which I will be ordering the moment it comes back in stock.



This is Georgie, who emailed me for advice about her costume prior to WBD. I told her that, as an explorer princess, Stella has many different types of outfit, and I just love Georgie’s final choice of dress, tiara and unicorn ensemble.



This is Heather, who went the explorer route with an awesome hooded cloak with an actual POLAR BEAR SYMBOL on it! She’d be admitted straight into the explorers’ club, for sure.



This is Linden, who also went the explorer route with extra-warm coat, snow boots and his very own explorer’s bag containing a compass, moustache wax and spoon. Excellent attention to detail!



This is Alex (hooray for sharing a name!) sporting a really beautiful explorer’s cloak, proper adventure boots and her very own telescope for yeti-spotting!


Stella 2

This is Emily, with a fantastic fur-edged cloak, boots, bag AND a white wig to really complete the ice princess explorer look. The perfect outfit for adventures!

And, finally, here are Elena, Caitlin, Ela, Ally and Rania from Elthorne Park High School showing some Frozen Charlotte love with their incredible creepy doll make up. Soooo awesome!

FC 1 FC3 FC4

This is why people become writers for young people in the first place, and I’d like to say a really big THANK YOU to each and every person who dressed up as one of my characters. You are all awesome, and you made my absolute day last week.

I’ve only included photos that I’ve had permission to share here, but if there’s anyone I’ve missed out who’d like to be included then please do tweet or email me with the photo, and I’ll add it to the post!

Tags: ,

Editing Emma

editing emma

I haven’t done a book review here for a while but writers, like readers, are enthusiastic bookworms and bibliophiles, and when we find a book we really love we kind of want everyone else to read it too. So I thought I’d do a little post for Editing Emma by Chloe Seager because I just ADORED this book.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

When Emma Nash is ghosted by love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any girl would do – spends the summer avoiding all human contact, surrounded by the Chewit wrappers he left behind.

Seeing Leon suddenly ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook, however, spurs Emma into action. She vows to use the internet for good (instead of stalking Leon’s social media),chronicling her adventures on her new Editing Emma blog.

But life online doesn’t always run smoothly.

From finding her mum’s Tinder profile, to getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s virginity… Surely nothing else could go wrong?!

First of all, this book is laugh out loud funny. I laughed soooo many times whilst reading it. The main character, sixteen-year-old Emma, is so likeable and engaging as she tries to navigate the tricky business of being a teenager: boys, college, friendships, parents, the art of discovering who you really are, and what you actually want from life.

The story is raw, and honest, with a warm heart and a generous spirit. Let’s face it, being a teenager is hard. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling inadequate and ridiculous much of the time. But the thing I most love about Editing Emma is the way it says that even if you’re feeling a bit inadequate and ridiculous, everyone else probably is too, in their own different ways. There’s a James Baldwin quote that goes like this:

You think that your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

It’s such a beautiful sentiment, and it came to my mind several times whilst reading Editing Emma. I think if I’d read this book as a teenager it would have made me feel a little bit less alone, and a bit less foolish and hopeless and out of place. And, really, what an amazing thing for a book to be able to do at all. You sometimes hear people suggest that YA novels are not as worthy or important somehow as adult ones, and it’s books like this that smash that argument up into bits.

Finally, the other thing I loved about the novel was that, although it’s got dating and romance, the message at the end is really strong – and that’s that liking yourself is the most important thing of all. Falling in love, as Emma discovers, is a powerful, all-consuming, unreasoning thing that can make it hard to be sensible or make sensible decisions. You may not always manage to be your best self – and some days you might just want to bundle yourself up into a big sausage roll inside your duvet like Emma does (we’ve all been there, I think) – but, ultimately, it’s perfectly okay to simply be stumbling along doing your best to figure it all out as you go, because that’s exactly what everyone else is trying to do too.

I am so glad I read this book. It’s like an old friend who will cheer you up and make you feel a bit better about all those times you’ve made a twit of yourself. I can’t wait to read whatever Chloe Seager does next.


More Frozen Charlotte Art

I also received this amazing drawing from 12-year-old, Cindy Hua, back in April, but never got around to posting it. I just love the anime look to this one, and how spooky and atmospheric it is.



Tags: , ,