Challenge Participant


Thursday, 24 May 2012

I Heart School - Martha and the Bunny Brothers by Clara Vulliamy

I Heart School - Martha and the Bunny Brothers

Starting school has never been so fun! The first in an exuberant, feel-good new series from Clara Vulliamy. I Heart School is pure sunshine in picture book format, every page will make you smile! The Big News in the launch title of this joy-filled new series is that it's Martha's first day of school! It's all so exciting! She needs to choose the perfect first-day-at-school outfit and decide what to pack in her new school bag, which is proving quite tricky! Trouble is, she may be able to take her snowdome and her fairy wings and her scooter, but she has to leave behind her two not-so-happy little bunny brothers! But Martha finds room in her school bag for a very special picture that the Happy Bunny Club has made especially for her, and it's not long before she's back from school and Martha and her bunny brothers are reunited (in their secret den)! Hooray! Young readers will adore helping Martha to choose what to wear and what to take to school in these sunshine-filled pages that weave together all the little details of Martha's life, with a charming story about sibling relationships and starting school.

This is a great book for any children starting nursery or school in September. I would say that it is a book aimed more at girls but boys may enjoy it too. 

The book has a scrapbook feel to it - the pages are brightly coloured with lots of pictures in amongst a bigger picture, with text added over the pictures and of all different fonts. The pages will draw any child to them, with something on every page that they will like. 

The book includes everything a child wants to know or think about before starting school - what shall I wear, what bag shall I choose, what do I put in my bag, will I see my friends and how will I feel, to name a few of the topics covered in this story.

It is a lovely book to share with a child and as soon as I opened the cover I was grabbed by the colours, fonts and pictures and I am sure that any child will pick this book again and again to read with others. It would make a great gift for any child starting nursery or school this September!

Thank you to the publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books for sending me the book to review.

The Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Today Philippa Gregory releases her latest book, her first for Young Adults, The Changeling, the first of four books.

Philippa has kindly included a Question and Answer session to celebrate the release of The Changeling:

1.       How was writing a book for teens different from writing a book for adults? I don't think there is any difference for me in terms of the craft of writing. I think that the quality and enjoyment of the novel should be at least equal to a book for adults. 
3.       Do you have a favourite character in your new teen series? I created the two principal characters of Luca and Isolde and liked them so much, but then I was amazed to find that the servant character of Frieze just jumped off the page. He is funny and full of common sense, wonderful with animals and has a great loving nature. His role just grew through the story as I came to like writing about him more and more. He is very important in book 2, and I think I will end up with a cast of 4 principal characters rather than 2.
3.       When you are writing a multi-book series, do you work from an outline (know all the beats) or do you work toward an ending (know how it all ends)? This has been the first series that I have written that is not anchored completely by the historical record, so I have revelled in the freedom of it and have worked on each novel quite independently. I know where the whole series ultimately ends, but I don't know yet how I will get there. It's a truly creative process, I feel as if I am making it up as I go along and loving this.

5.       Why did you set your new teen series in the 15th century? The date of 1453 is such a key one - people really believed that it was the end of the world. It is this belief that means that Luca has his job in exploring the "end of days" and also means that there are so many manifestations of the supernatural that people report.
5.       How is it working with fictional characters rather than real historical figures It has been a real holiday from the demands of accuracy and research. It has set the novelist in me free for the first time in a long time. I love discovering and researching the historical characters, but to be able to create characters from imagination has been a real treat.

Horrid Henry meets the Queen by Francesca Simon (Early Reader)

Horrid Henry Meets the Queen - Horrid Henry Early Reader

The Queen is coming to visit Horrid Henry's school. The real live Queen! Henry can't believe it. But when Miss Battle-Axe puts him in the back row, Henry is furious. Now how is he meant to find out how many TVs she has? Somehow Henry has to get himself noticed - and show the Queen just how horrid he can be ...

As a family who loves Horrid Henry, this is a great book to get into Jubilee fever! 

This story was originally released in the general Horrid Henry series and has now had the Early Reader treatment. It tells the story of when the Queen visits the school and Perfect Peter is selected to welcome the Queen and present a bouquet, however Henry thought he should of been the one! Of course nothing goes smoothly where Henry is involved.

I really think Orion have got the Early Reader range just right. The stories included are a good read which will keep early readers interested in the story to the very end. The story is intermingled with great illustrations drawn by Tony Ross, who captures the story in his own unique way, full of emotion and humour.

I recommend this to younger fans of Horrid Henry who want to read the stories independently and especially if they want to get into the Jubilee spirit.

Thank you to Orion Children's Books for sending me the book to review.

Sage One For Dummies by Jane Kelly

Sage One For Dummies explains every aspect of setting up and navigating Sage One, the newest accounting solution for small businesses and sole traders. It includes clear instructions for using Sage One Accounts including setting up customer and supplier records, creating invoices, paying customers and suppliers, bank reconciliation, VAT returns and reporting. It also explains how to use the Cashbook function (if your business is more cash-based) and how to work with your accountant using the Accountant Edition. Packed with step-by-step instructions and fully illustrated with screenshots, this book is the easiest way to get the most from Sage One and take control of your business finances.

Shows readers how to set up, install and navigate using dummy data

Features setting up customer & supplier records

Details how to create invoices for customers and suppliers

Enables the reader to produce their own reports

This is a new title from the fantastic collection of books - for dummies. It is clearly laid out and easy to navigate through with a very clear index and contents pages.

The book starts from the very first step, deciding which version of the package to go with and how to register it before installing and creating your own accounting records. The book takes the user through setting it up correctly and setting up records. It shows you how to enter invoices, record payments, banking and reconcilling, vat returns and reconcilling ledgers.

In all it is a very good book to have beside you when using Sage - however as a former accountant I would add a note of caution. To get the most use out of a Sage accounting package, it needs to be set up correctly and data entered precisely. It is easy to get into difficulty using Sage and it can be a lengthy process (and expensive if you need to get an accountant in) to correct it. Therefore I would recommend getting someone qualified to help you do the initial set up of the accounting records and to show you how to correctly input invoices and payments and to reconcile the bank for the first time.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.

Babies and Toddlers for Men: From Newborn to Nursery by Mark Wood

Babies and Toddlers for Men: From Newborn to Nursery

Becoming a father is a moment in a man's life like no other. The love, the pride, the joy and occasionally the fear stirred up inside us by the complex little being that moves into our home and our relationship takes some serious getting used to. And then there's the really tough stuff like putting up a travel cot and installing a car seat. Despite all this though we are often given more advice when we buy a phone than when we become a Dad...until now. This is the indispensable manual every new dad needs from newborn to nursery, this is Babies and Toddlers for Men. Written by Mark Woods, author of the best selling Pregnancy for Men and proud father of two, this utterly readable guide tells you how it is in a frank and funny way that will leave you educated and energised to take on the next amazing stage of being a Dad.

There are many books on the market about pregnancy and looking after a baby and/or toddler, however alot of them are written from the woman's point of view, however this book does what it says on the tin - it's written by a man for other men.

Starting from the cover, it shouts out for men. The purple cover with silhouetted images of babies and toddlers is great for men. Most books have cute babies or pregnant mums, not what men want to be seen reading.

The book starts right from day one - what happens after the baby is born, one criticism of the book is that it doesn't cover pregnancy, however there are plenty of books about this subject, written for men, on the market already. I am not sure that I have seen any books for a child's first year of life written for men, there may be some out there but I can only remember books re pregnancy. As I said, the book starts from day one - what happens in the hospital, after delivery, when your partner/wife is exhausted and there is a new person needing attention.

The advice in the book is to the point and written in a easy to understand manner but there is lots of great information included. The book covers newborn babies and all the checks done in the first minutes, hours, days of a babies life, aswell as checks for the new mum. It covers what may happen in special care.

Each chapter ends with words from fellow fathers, giving recollections from other new fathers, showing that others have been through what has been written in the book.

The book covers the first three years of your child's life and it is full of great hints, advice and tips of the trade. It is great to dip into each month to see what to expect that month.

I would recommend that it would make a great gift for a prospective or new father, however I would also say that I suggest reading one of the more traditional style books What to expect in a babies first year etc to get all the information about their development - Although i do add a word of caution, remember babies all develop at different rates and in different orders, some may hit physical targets earlier than other, or they be more vocal. These books should be read as a guide but do not expect your child to do what they say, exactly when they say!

I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Fantastic competition re Carole Matthews Summer Daydreams

In my previous guest post Carole Matthews joined me to talk about her love of handbags and her latest release, Summer Daydreams. The publishers, Little Brown, are also hosting a fantastic competition giving readers the oppurtunity to design their own Helen Rochfort handbag. All details can be seen here:

Good luck to all entrants and I will be looking forward to seeing the winning design.

Guest Post - Carole Matthews

Today I am lucky enough to have Carole Matthews join my blog. Tomorrow Carole publishes her latest fantastic book, Summer Daydreams, which is a great read and will be reviewed on my blog shortly. The main character, Nell McNamara, loves design and decides to set up a new business, designing and making handbags. Carole joins me now and talks about one of her passions ...........handbags!

What Came First: the Bag or the Book?

I knew something was amiss when I first moved in with my partner, Lovely Kev ,and his children, mouths gaping and wide-eyed with amazement, they stared at my three packing cases crammed with handbags and declared in the manner of discovering dinosaurs eggs in the living room, ‘Have you seen how many handbags, Carole’s got?’
                Er, yes. I do have a few. If there is such a thing, I’m a handbagaholic . Whilst in a rush to go out a few weeks ago, I asked Lovely Kev to bring my black clutch bag for me. He came in with a selection of five - all pretty much identical - and a raised disapproving eyebrow.
                It’s such a girl thing, but I do love handbags. A few years ago, there was a solitary present nestling under the Christmas tree with my name on it. It looked like a pairs of slippers. ‘Slippers are good,’ I muttered to myself through gritted teeth. On Christmas day I opened the present to find the most beautiful Lulu Guinness handbag. It’s slim and black and has a big, red bus on it filled with women wearing Jackie O suits. And this from a man who, like most men, just doesn’t get handbags.  Every time I use it, I get fabulous comments. It still ranks up there on my list of Best Presents Ever.
                When we first started going out I went to a friend’s handbag party. It was Lovely Kev’s Mum’s birthday. I called him. ‘Would your mum like a handbag for her birthday?’
                ‘Um...,’ he said. ‘I think she’s already got one.’
                Just doesn’t get it.
                But I do.
                So, imagine my delight when a few years ago now, Barbara Cartland’s resplendent face complete with blue eye shadow and false eyelashes popped up on my Facebook page and I found that the owner of the status photo wasn’t, in fact, a romance writer but a designer of the most gorgeous pop art handbags. I sent a glowing message of admiration and, Helen Rochfort, designer of the handbags of loveliness, sent me a note back. For some time we chatted back and forth, then my publisher thought it would be a brilliant idea to create a promotional handbag for The Chocolate Lovers’ Club and Helen was duly called on. Our friendship flourished.
                It was a few years later and, over an increasingly regular lunch, that Helen told me the story of how she’d become a handbag designer. It certainly wasn’t an easy ride for her! And, by the time, my second class of Chardonnay had been downed, I realised that I had a great book just staring me in the face.  She’s quite an amazing lady who juggles a successful business in a  highly competitive area with the demands of a home and family. I felt it was a story that a lot of women would find familiar these days.
                So we worked together on an outline for the book and the result is Summer Daydreams which is loosely based on Helen’s life and experiences. It features Nell McNamara and I think it’s a lovely, warm story of someone who’s prepared to step out of their comfort zone and really go for what they want. And what Nell wants is a better life for herself and her family. She throws caution to the wind and gives up her job in a chip shop and sets out to follow her dream. It was a fun story to write and I got to talk a lot about handbags too!
                Even better, Helen has been inspired by the lovely, sparkly cover of the book and there’ll be a Summer Daydreams handbag coming along soon! How many authors can say that they’ve had not one, but two handbags inspired by their books! 

Thank you Carole for joining me today. I too am a handbag fan and I would love to own my own Nell McNamara creation in my collection. 
Come back to my blog soon for my review of Summer Daydreams.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot Blog Tour

 I was really pleased to be asked to take part in Mandy Baggot's blog tour for her new release with her new publishers, Sapphire Star Publishing, and when I saw the book had a country music soundtrack I was interested to know more about Mandy's thoughts on Country Music, as I for one am a great fan and spent alot of time in the past at Country and Western evenings with both my dad and my husband! I will be reviewing this book on my blog later this week.  

Thank you for taking part in the Taking Charge blog tour Sarah, it’s great to be back on your website!

Well, as with Strings Attached, Taking Charge also has a playlist. A list of songs to help readers establish the theme of the novel and draw them into the world of Robyn, Cole and all the people living in Portage, Michigan. This time, instead of the rock/pop feel of Strings Attached, the vibe of the songs are very much country!

So, why country? Well, firstly, country music is absolutely huge in America. There are literally hundreds of radio stations dedicated to it and it was the genre of music I heard the most when I was in Portage back in 2010. Secondly, it is one of my favourite types of music. I was brought up with the sounds of Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers and Tammy Wynette around me and those heartfelt lyrics and the country guitar twang has stayed with me ever since. Lame or not, I could tell you where I was the first time I heard Lonestar ‘Amazed’.

But country music now isn’t all about the banjo and the fiddle. Oh no, let’s take a look at some of the songs on the playlist and try to introduce you all to country!

Git Yer Cowboy On – Sean Patrick McGraw

This is the perfect country party anthem. A kick-ass beat and lyrics that urge you to dig into your closet, find that checked shirt and pull your Wranglers on. Here I am trying to sing it!

Play Something Country – Brooks and Dunn

A song to get the girls up dancing and a song that proves country is still very now! Brooks and Dunn are a legendary country duo who has written some fantastic songs! Check this one out!

Light The Fuse Up – Raintown

Raintown are an amazing UK duo writing and performing contemporary country music. They have been likened to Lady Antebellum and I LOVE THEM! Their debut album Hope In Troubled Times has had excellent reviews and last year they took Nashville by a storm. Paul and Claire are firm Facebook and Twitter pals of mine and they are brilliant, so if you haven’t checked them out yet visit their website

Keep Your Hands To Yourself – The Georgia Satellites

Now this song was in the set of both bands Mr Big and I watched when I visited America and everyone in the bar knew the words – except us! When we got back to the UK I looked it up on Itunes and have been playing it on my iPod ever since! It’s very bluesy! Have a listen!

So there we have it – my top five tunes from the Taking Charge playlist! I hope that’s made you want to find out more about the novel and turned you into a country music fan!

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 Thank you for taking the time to visit me on my blog Mandy. I will be checking at these tracks and hopefully will be finding new music to listen to. I wonder if  Sean Patrick McGraw is a relation to famous Tim McGraw - one star I enjoy listening to! I was surprised not to see my favourite, Garth Brooks, on there though!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

That's Life by Robert Winston

That's Life

Put the buzz back into biology with Professor Robert Winston. What makes Earth an ideal place for life to survive? Robert Winston will take kids back to Earth's beginnings showing how organisms live and survive in "That's Life". From the very big to the microscopic, meet the animals, plants, fungi and bacteria that play an important role in sustaining life on Earth. Packed with colourful images, facts and stats, "That's Life" introduces the features and characteristics of the six main kingdoms of life. Let your child discover how life began and just what it means to be alive today.

What is Life? This is the question that Robert Winston aims to answer in this book, aimed at children aged 8-14 years. Whenever I listen to Robert Winston when he appears on a television programme or when he presents a programme I always learn something. He always wants to share his knowledge with the viewers and I think he always explains things in manageable chunks to understand. This book is just that - full of bitesize information to enable use to understand how life began and what it is.

The book is split into five sections: The meaning of life; The variety of life; Living together; Secrets of survival; and The other side of life. It starts right from the beginning, 4.6million years ago and looks at how life began.  It looks at the human building blocks - the cells and explains complex scientific procedures and structures in simple English that children can understand. 

The wording in the book is pitched at 8-14 years and alot of diagrams and pictures are also included to explain the concepts and ideas within the book.

The book has a scrapbook feel to it - lots of colour, font type, pictures, fantastic photographs and jam packed full of useful information, in a style that children will be drawn to.

I would recommend this as a fantastic book for any child to have in their reference library and a must for every classroom library.  

DK have done it again - published a fantastic book which children will enjoy reading and will learn lots from.

Thank you to the publishers, DK, for sending me the book to review.

The Little CBT Workbook by Dr Michael Sinclair and Dr Belinda Hollingsworth

The Little CBT Workbook

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy made practical. The Little CBT Workbook is a portable workbook introducing essential CBT techniques you can use to improve your wellbeing today. Filled with exercises, checklists and learning points, The Little CBT Workbook enables you to explore key CBT principles and discover how to apply them to your day-to-day life. As an interactive introduction to CBT, The Little CBT Workbook is easy to understand and gives a complete overview of CBT, suitable for self-teaching or to supplement a course of counselling - or to provide a head start for those on CBT waiting lists. Authored by practising CBT specialists whose expertise is regularly cited in media from City AM and Management Today to The Times and Daily Mail, The Little CBT Workbook helps you identify how you think about yourself, the world and other people, as well as understand how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings. Learn how to: Spot negative thinking Chart your emotions Set wellbeing goals Combat anxiety and stress Remove roadblocks to progress Establish new core beliefs Through step-by-step CBT exercises, goal-oriented summaries and action points, you can refocus your awareness and overcome fear, depression, anger, insomnia, stuttering and other issues which have been generating negative emotions and hindering your positive outlook on life. Understand how your thoughts may be affecting you and, crucially, learn how to change your mood and improve your ability to cope with feared or uncomfortable situations. The Little CBT Workbook enables you to become more familiar with the benefits of CBT, but also ensures you have the insight, tools and confidence to apply it to your own situation and put into practice 'wellness' behaviours today.

In the foreword of this book, an occupational Physician makes the valid point that when it is recognised that a patient requires CBT, it is unusual for this to be available straight away and therefore this book will be invaluable and will enable patients to familiarise themselves with theory and techniques before treatment can begin. As a former patient of CBT I think that this is a fantastic book which will enable many more people to get the support and techniques they need in order to begin their (often long and hard) journey to recovery.

The book is split into four parts: CBT and you; The 'C' in CBT; The 'B' in CBT; and What Next? The book is easy to read, follow and understand and is full of both theory and exercises to give people the opportunity to try some CBT for themselves. I do not believe that this book is a replacement for CBT with a qualified professional but is a resource which could be used while waiting for an appointment or more importantly, when therapy/appointments have finished, for patients to go back and revisit some of the exercises they may have completed in the past.

The RRP on this book is £6.99 which I think is a very reasonable price for a great resource!

I would recommend this as a fantastic and useful book which I will be keeping on my bookshelf for my low or insecure times.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine programme.

Angry Birds Space - A Furious Flight into the Final Frontier (National Geographic)

Angry Birds Space

It's one small step for birds, one giant leap for birdkind... 
Blast off with the Angry Birds as they fly through space on an intergalactic rescue mission! Evil space piggies have stolen their eggs and are hiding them somewhere in outer space. To save them, the Angry Birds have teamed up with National Geographic to learn all they can about planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the mysteries of the universe. Four chapters take the readers deeper and deeper into space--each one packed with Angry Birds, astounding space photography, and fascinating "Astrofacts" and "Space Data" features that surprise and enthrall. Join the birds as they observe robots on Mars, take a spin with the Jupiter's Great Red Spot, visit where stars are born in galaxies far, far away, and look for life on strange new worlds. This official companion book to the Angry Birds Space game shows the furious fliers everything they'll need to know on their quest to explore the galaxy and rescue their precious eggs. 
The book is organized into four levels, each one taking the reader and the birds farther and farther into space: 
Level One. "You Are Here: What's Out There?"
Level Two. "Short Flights: The Inner Solar System"
Level Three. "Longer Journey: The Outer Solar System"
Level Four. "Flying Farther: Deep Space"

Angry Birds has become one of the new fast growing trends with people of all ages. National Geographic have been very clever and taken these fantastic characters and sent them to space in this great book all about space, exploration and discovery.

The book begins with a story, where a group of Angry Birds are trapped in a vortex, trying to rescue their eggs which have been stolen by green pigs. What follows is a book jam packed full of interesting and important facts about Space and the history of its discovery.

The photographs are fantastic - with The National Geographic behind the book, you expect superb quality  photographs and this book is jam packed full of them! Although most of the photographs have got Angry Birds imposed onto them, they do not distract from the main picture.

I would assume that the books are based at pre-teenage children and is aimed to give an introduction to Space. It does not go into lots of detail, lots of small nuggets of information which children can further investigate at their leisure. However I must admit that the information given is fantastic and lots of facts that are not immediately given when learning about Space. 

The four levels are a great idea and is states above, they take the reader further into space. 

The book also has a sky watching Appendix about Eclipses and Meteors, along with a page full of websites which will give lots of further information.

I would say that this is a great book for children who are beginning to learn about Space or for children who have an interest in Space exploration. It would be a great resource for children who are completing a school project on Space as it gives lots of ideas for further research.

I hope that you can see from the review that I think this is a fantastic book for all space lovers out there.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine programme.

The Princess and the Dragons by Sue Mongredien (The Magic Secrets Box)

The Princess and the Dragons - The Magic Secrets Box Bk. 4

Megan is about to go horse-riding when the Fairy Queen comes to life once more - she needs Megan's help! It seems that Sorcero has been up to his old tricks, but in a new land this time. So Megan is sent to the Kingdom of Golden Spires, where she meets the wilful young princess Paloma, who longs win the annual jousting event. But just as the tournament begins, some terrifying dragons swoop down and kidnap Megan, mistaking her for the princess! Are they acting on Sorcero's orders? And how will Megan get herself out of this one?

This is the fourth book in The Magic Secrets Box series by Sue Mongredien. I have previously reviewed the earlier three books on my blog:The Silver City BalletThe Great Mermaid Rescue and The Enchanted Forest Mystery. 

The first thing I noticed when I received this book was that the cover does not include the musical button and therefore does not play the music box music. Although this is not a necessity, it was a great added extra to the book. 

The book follows a similar format as the previous books, where Megan is transported into the Magic Secrets Box and tries to save the kingdom from Sorcero's evil orders.

The thing that I like with this series are the different settings for the stories. Each book is set in a different kingdom - one which can trigger the imagination of the reader. The author has thought of some great locations and I am sure once a child has read this book, they will continue to use inspiration in their role play and imaginative play or creative play for a long time after the book has finished.

A fantastic read for young girls who are becoming more confident in reading alone.

Thank you to the publishers, Stripes Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

Cycling for Gold by Owen Slot

Cycling for Gold

Sam has discovered a talent no-one knew he had . . .

Sam is the fastest boy on his paper delivery round - and under suspicion for being too speedy.
But when Sam's boss spots his talent for cycling, he also sees an opportunity.
And so years of rigorous training begin as Sam prepares to race in the Olympic Velodrome. Can Sam handle the expectation, now his skills have been recognised?

From an award-winning chief sports reporter for The Times. Owen will be reporting on the Olympics for The Times, lending even more authority as the author of this series in the lead-up to the Games.
In addition to the success of Team GB's cyclists, the Velodrome is one of the most iconic Olympic buildings for London 2012. Cycling for Gold features non-fiction facts and figures woven into an inspiring fictional story.

I have previously reviewed Owen Slot's previous book based upon an Olympic hopeful, Running for Gold, and this is his second book which is based around a young boy who shows the talent to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

The story follows the life of Sam, who has a paper round at a local newsagents. He begins to compete against one of the other paperboys as to who can complete their round first. However this soon stops when the owner finds one of them are cheating and he sacks them both. When Sam manages to get his job back, the owner is still suspicious when Sam does both rounds in a very quick time -  he follows him one day and is astounded by what he witnesses! He sets about helping Sam to work harder and to achieve the Olympic dream along with The Professor!

I really enjoyed this book. Although I do not actively follow the sport of cycling and would be unable to name any famous cyclist besides Chris Hoy and Lance Armstrong, I was able to enjoy the story and follow the sport's basic techniques.

The story is inspirational and would be a great read for any child with ambitions to represent the country at a top level in sports. There are many times during the story that Sam faces obstacles in his wish to represent Great Britain. There is a character in the story who has his hopes dashed when he has an accident., which Sam is involved in, however his respect for Sam remains the same and he supports Sam in his dream.
There is another character in the book who I found interesting, Chen is a member of the Chinese cycling team however he has immense pressure put upon him due to the politics in his home country - this is something which is very rarely touched upon in children's/young adults books and I think this added something to the story.

There is lots of additional information within this book for cyclist enthusiasts: there are cycling final statistics, focusing on Keirin Olympic Champions (a sport I had not heard of until I read the book) along with regular cycling records. The book also remembers some of Great Britain's famous Olympic medallists.

I think this is a great book for anyone who dreams of representing Great Britain in a sporting event or as an introduction to children about the effort and dedication needed to excel in any sport.

Thank you to the publishers, Puffin Books, for sending me the book to review.