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Hello everyone,12188986_10156382808930105_4147014586314580649_n

Welcome to my blog. This is a place where i want to explore my love of books, the authors that write them and to document my own literary journey.

I suppose that i should really introduce myself if i want you to join me on this adventure.

I am Megan Nicholson. Going into this blog i am 7 years old and my Mummy will be helping me put together my thoughts. I love reading, books, authors and book events. I am a huge advocate of reading for pleasure and encouraging people, especially children to read from an early age.

Feel free to ask me about books i am currently reading or share what you are enjoying.

I hope that you enjoy my blog.

megan grace nicholson book club

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Updates coming!

Hello book friends.

Don’t worry, i haven’t forgotten about you, i’ve just been very busy. I thought i would write a quick note to say that lots of updates will be coming soon; including lots and lots of books reviews- i’ve been writing them down, some recent events that i’ve been to and some information on some of my new work! I’m sorry if you guys suddenly start getting bombarded… bare with me, i’ve got lots to tell you guys about.

In the meantime here’s a picture from when i met my favourite illustrator, Chris Riddell at The Albany Theatre late last year. He is genuinely one of the nicest men but that’s a story for another time.

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Speak soon,
Megan

 

Curse of the Nomed Launch Dinner at Birmingham Library

megan g grace nicholson . munchkin meggie . curse of the nomed. bb taylor. holly bushnell

Now i’ve recovered from an epic night celebrating the launch of Curse of the Nomed and helping to raise money for Partnership for Children i thought i’d share with you all what the evening was like. I’ve never been to such a fancy launch for a book before, it was a spectacular night filled with buzz for the new book, admiration for the children who took part in the workshops- coming up so many brilliant ideas and lashings of love for the author and illustrator who brought it all together.

Some information about Curse of the Nomed: The Whizz Writers are students from Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham who took part in the ‘Look at our Book’ competition by Wesleyan, to create a story with the goal of it being turned into an actual book that would ultimately help pupils with their move to secondary school. That’s such a beautiful idea isn’t it? You can learn more about the project here.

Susan, Michaela, Joshua, Great, Farhaan and coach Jess were named the winners a short while ago, a very big and hearty well done to them for coming up with such brilliant ideas! It was then up to BB Taylor to bring their incredible ideas to life and wrap that mummy in impermeable bandages! Which she did superbly! We all know what a fan of BB’s i am! Then it was up to Holly Bushnell to bring the story off the page with her fitting and fabulous illustrations.

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By the sounds of this book, i hope it will come across, that so much went into making it. Friendships were forged not only in the book itself but between those helping to create it. Inside the book, the characters suffer from anxiety and returning negative thoughts, and from what i understood during the evening, this was also felt by everyone who contributed to bringing this book to life and i genuinely hope that self believe and self admiration has replaced those anxieties because everything that has been created here is wonderful. If you’re not cheering for these people yet, let me help you with that..

Not only was the book a triumph, an amalgamation of all these people’s ideas but by being part of the ‘Look at our Book’ Project by Wesleyan it has helped to raise money for the charity Partnership for Children, who help to promote coping skills and good mental health for children. Something i hope we can all agree is tremendous! On the night itself they raised more than £15,000 for Partnership for Children. Now you’re cheering! And rightly so, how incredible is that?!

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon here, Waterstones here, Foyles here or if you are a school, at Peter’s here. And if you’re not sold on buying a copy just yet, you can read my review of the book here. I know i’m hitting you with a lot of links but here’s another one for good measure, Partnership for Children. I will also be running a competition to win a copy on the blog too.

bb taylor curse of the nomed

I’ve now told you all of the important information i know but if you’d like to stick around you can read and see just what i got up to during the evening celebrating the launch. I’m too young to dance on tables or get drunk but regardless of those things i still had a spectacular time. Although dancing on tables does sound like fun!

Thank you so much to BB Taylor for inviting me (and my family) to attend and thank you to everyone who accommodated me. I don’t think i’ve ever had a more worthy reason to dress up and celebrate!

We arrived at Birmingham Library at 7pm, where we were greeted by beautiful happy smiles and were lead to the 3rd floor roof deck. I can honestly say i have never had the pleasure of seeing Birmingham from this view and despite my Mummy repeatedly ‘reminding’ me not to get too close to the edge, the view was far too spectacular not to take in. It was breathtaking!

I’m pictured here with my Daddy and my Mummy on the deck- i swear i was drinking orange juice- just after i’d checked in with BB Taylor who was sporting some very beautiful Egyptian themed jewellery.

There were lots of people handing out drinks and an absolutely epic steel band playing. Birmingham? It could have easily been the Caribbean! Well, nearly.

We were escorted inside where i had been seated with BB Taylor herself, the Egyptian dressed Holly Bushnell and a host of other amazing and interesting people… and my Mummy and Daddy of course. No seriously i love them, i kid, i kid.*

*I have to say that.

megan g grace nicholson. munchkin meggie. bb taylor. curse of the nomed. charity dinner. launch. wesleyan. partnership for children v1

megan g grace nicholson . munchkin meggie . curse of the nomed. bb taylor. holly bushnell. wesleyan. partnership for children. reserved

It was awesome to have a reserved place at such a prestigious event. I felt very lucky and honoured to be included. I also partnered some Egyptian themed jewellery to my outfit like BB and Holly. Fits in quite well, doesn’t it?

There was some beautiful live music playing, well done to the two ladies who played superbly during the event. They did a thankless task and kept the ambience right on key.

Our first course was served quite quickly, mine was a tomato soup while others had a curried one. It was delicious and I was pretty happy that I didn’t manage to get it down my front- i’m terrible with soup! BB’s lovely husband fancied my soup more than his but I can safely say that there was none left to share.

During the meal some people got up to speak about why we were all there and what the book hoped to achieve for the charity. Ahmed Farooq was one of the first people to explain what had proceeded the evening, Ahmed is the Chief Financial Officer at Wesleyan and the very lovely Jess told everyone about the workshops and the brilliant children who had been involved, they had truly done a brilliant job and everybody was very proud of them. I was proud of them too.

 

megan g grace nicholson. munchkin meggie. bb taylor. curse of the nomed. charity dinner. launch. wesleyan. partnership for children v6Next came the main course which was a very yummy roast chicken dish that came with broccoli and green beans. Mine came with roast potatoes (my favourite) and others had a different type of potato. Vegetarians had the most amazing smelling curry. The aroma was immense!

Between our main course and pudding we were introduced to the team, everyone who had been involved in the project. It was explained how quickly everything had come together and just how hard everyone involved had worked. The project started in December with Four Dwellings Academy taking part in many workshops and activities to come up with not only ideas for the book but really build up the students confidence. The culmination of this was Lion’s Lair on 5th March- which I have to say sounds absolutely epic! And for those of you that don’t see the subtle similarity, Lion’s Lair was probably a bit like Dragon’s Den but with much less scary people involved.

The Whizz Writers were named the winners that day and all their brilliant ideas found their way to the capable hands of BB Taylor who crafted them into this wonderful book.

megan g grace nicholson. munchkin meggie. bb taylor. curse of the nomed. charity dinner. launch. wesleyan. partnership for children v2

What I really love about this book is not only is it a brilliant story with themes taken directly from those incredible year 8 pupils, that one of the authors I love moulded it into the shape it now houses and that the brilliant Holly whipped up a storm of superb illustrations, it is a book made especially to raise money for a good cause AND aimed to be in the hands of as many year 6 pupils as possible. It is a talking point for any anxieties those pupils have about moving up to secondary school which is so important. This book is not just designed to be entertaining but to help pupils think about the changes they are experiencing and to ultimately cope better with any challenges they face. That’s a really beautiful thing.

We heard from Wendy Tabuteau, CEO of Partnership for Children and watched a video highlighting the importance of the work they do and how building good coping skills to anxieties can help you throughout your entire life.

Next came a delicious pudding, a deconstructed apple crumble I believe, which was divine! But enough about food!

 

megan g grace nicholson. munchkin meggie. bb taylor. curse of the nomed. charity dinner. launch. wesleyan. partnership for children v4

Lets talk about famous faces. There was a few in attendance at the launch dinner that I knew of, Ed James- disc jockey extraordinaire and journalist and fabulous chef and restauranteur Glynn Purnell. Both extremely nice gentlemen too.

Here I am at the end of the evening with Glynn.

During the evening they also hosted a series of auctions for absolutely amazing prizes and thankfully everyone dug deep to bid on them. It was entertaining and quite exciting to see a live auction with people ‘fighting’ over such spectacular prizes!

One of my absolute favourite prizes was the chance to dine in Glynn’s restaurant, i’m a big foodie so I thought this was the best prize for like minded folk. All the auction lots were snapped up, for very good prices I might add!

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I even got the chance to draw a special prize in the raffle! This winner was going to receive a personalised illustration from the talented Holly Bushnell! I wasn’t jealous at all…well, a little jealous sure!

Jessica Wilkes-Reading, CR Officer at Wesleyan got me up so that I could dig deep into the donation forms and choose a winner of this excellent prize. She also told everyone all about my reading challenge which was super cool!

I understand there was a conversation between Ed James and Glynn Purnell, with some ‘not for my ears’ anecdotes. Both my Mummy and Daddy found it very funny but I can honestly say by this time I was scribbling ideas down in my new notebook for my next book. I didn’t hear a thing. That’s my story and i’m sticking to it!

And that was it, that was the whole night re-capped for your entertainment and for my memory!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the Curse of the Nomed Book Launch Charity Dinner. And, because it has been a rather long post, here’s those important links again:

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon here, Waterstones here, Foyles here or if you are a school, at Peter’s here. And if you’re not sold on buying a copy just yet, you can read my review of the book here. I know i’m hitting you with a lot of links but here’s another one for good measure, Partnership for Children. I will also be running a competition to win a copy on the blog too.

megan g grace nicholson . munchkin meggie . curse of the nomed. bb taylor. holly bushnell. wesleyan. partnership for children. birmingham

 

The Curse of the Nomed by BB Taylor

Hello book fans and welcome to the Curse of the Nomed blog spot for the weekend! I’m so pleased to see you here ahead of the launch of the new book and i’m sure you’re eager to know just what’s going on in BB’s new book.

I’m here to give you all the goss.. well without spoiling the story of course!

bb taylor curse of the nomed

Curse of the Nomed began life as an idea by the ‘Whizz Writers’ of Four Dwellings School Birmingham as part of the ‘Look at our Book’ project by Wesleyan Financial Mutual Services and has been written to raise money for a charity called Partnership for Children which supports positive mental health in children across the world. I think we can all agree how incredibly important that charity is and all net proceeds of this book are being donated to the charity which is so wonderful and generous, although i wouldn’t expect anything less of BB Taylor and everyone involved.

You can come and support BB, and of course the charity on Thursday 24th May for the book launch from 6.30pm at Foyles in Birmingham.

You can also find out all about the project and how they are raising money plus awareness for Partnership for Children in regards to promoting positive mental health in children around the world at www.lookatourbook.co.uk.

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OK, OK that’s all the important official stuff let’s get to the goings on in Curse of the Nomed!!

Wrapped in adventure, peril and Egyptian mythology, Curse of the Nomed is the perfect story for fans of The Demon Head Master and Harry Potter alike. Along the same stem as Percy Jackson and with lashings of Librarian appreciation, BB Taylor encapsulates the insecurities of children starting their first day at a new school, never mind the Egyptian God hoping to enslave the students there. This is obviously a theme that came through from the Whizz Writers and BB captures this expertly!

Curse of the Nomed offers us burgeoning friendships between our three protagonists, that develop into deep, strong bonds that will stay with them throughout their next exciting adventure- high school!

Imprisonment, ancient rites, trials and a riddle or two, or three, Curse of the Nomed has excitement in spades!

 

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From what i am lead to believe starting secondary school is a pretty nerve wracking experience so imagine what it’s like not only embarking on their first day of school but also running late. Let me try that again… embarking on their first day of school, running late and stumbling upon something rather sinister going on in the assembly hall?! Scary right? You’re not wrong! That’s exactly what befalls Nora, Jacob and Stef on their first day at Nomed Academy.

A daring adventure ensues that sees our protagonist friends end up in the one place that i would be heading for- the school Library, which is the beginning of this epic tale. Of course the Librarian is incredibly important and useful to their new mission, aren’t they always? *We should probably look at investing in our libraries.*

Now they have to learn to trust each other, in themselves and that good always prevails over evil or else everyone at Nomed Academy is in deep, deep trouble.

Again, with some of BB’s other books Holly Bushnell’s illustrations are a delight, they really capture the story and are a pleasure to look at. They compliment the book nicely and are lots of fun.

A really fun book, for a superb cause. Really looking forward to seeing you all at the launch.

Amulet

 

Reviewing Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes for Women

About this book:

Beautifully illustrates the strength of the women across the world who fought for their right to vote in different ways … as much a celebration of difference and diversity as it is a chronicle of women’s rights – Stylist

To celebrate 2018 – the Year of the Woman, and the anniversary of women winning the vote in the UK – this is a timely, beautiful and bold compendium of women around the world who said Time’s Up on inequality.

The book shares the story of the suffragettes, and of their sisters campaigning for equal rights globally. Discover how 40,000 Russian women marched through St Petersburg demanding their rights, one Canadian woman changed opinions with a play, and Kuwaiti women protested via text message. And read how women climbed mountains, walked a lion through the streets of Paris, and starved themselves, all in the name of having a voice and a choice. Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia up to the present day. And be inspired by the brave women who rioted, rallied and refused to give up.

Stunningly illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight, this book celebrates the women who stood up, spoke up, and refused to behave, rebelling against convention to give women everywhere a voice. And it shows what can be achieved when women stand together, and say enough.

Publisher: Wren and Rook
Author: Louise K Stewart
Illustrator: Eve Lloyd Knight
My Review:

Firstly, lets stand back and appreciate such a strong, vibrant, unashamed cover. For the first time ever i really felt like i could judge a book by it’s cover because it revealed to me from the very beginning that it was going to be full of strong women, with powerful messages and it didn’t disappoint.

Sitting on the shelf in the book store it stood out from everything around it and definitely beckoned me towards it.

I have loved this book and took no time in telling the publishers that too because it really struck a cord with me. What I have liked so much about it is that it shares tales about women’s stories from every corner of the globe, sometimes almost simultaneously fighting, marching, rioting, petitioning and otherwise standing up to for Women to have their voices recognised.

In the UK we hear all about The Suffragettes winning their right to vote, to be counted, after suffering so long fighting to have their places in decision making cemented. This book though tells you about all the women, every where who were doing just the same. Some began earlier- like New Zealand in 1893 who started a ripple that turned into a wave which thankfully spread around the world. Some came later but were equally as important. What i really liked and felt was different was that it was set out by location as well as by date which i found really useful. I felt that this book played such an important role in informing young girls (and boys) about international figures as well as home grown ones as it showed how we all worked together under one ultimate goal and how we succeeded.

This is a brilliant book and I urge you to read all about those radical rebel voices from all around the world!

Thank you to Toppsta and Wren and Rook for my copy of this book.

megan g grace nicholson . munchkin meggie . rebel voices

Reviewing Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink

About this book:

Alex Sparrow is a super-agent in training. He is also a human lie-detector. Working with Jess, who can communicate with animals, they must find out why their friends – and enemies – are all changing into polite and well-behaved pupils. And exactly who is behind it all.

Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink is a funny, mid-grade novel full of farts, jokes and superhero references. Oh, and a rather clever goldfish called Bob. In a world where kids’ flaws and peculiarities are being erased out of existence, Alex and Jess must rely on what makes them different to save the day.

Author: Jennifer Killick

Illustrator: Heath McKenzie

Publisher: Firefly Press Ltd

My Review:

Somewhere between The Demon Headmaster and Alex Rider this book is packed with humour, spies and mysterious goings on!

I found this book very funny from the very beginning- it’s definitely my humour, a bit of serious and a bit of silly mixed together.

I love the use pop culture references, from the word go Jennifer has you feeling like you might just go to school with Alex, you may just casually bump into him in the playground perhaps because he makes reference to the things that you know and the things that are current. It’s very funny and appealing- although i’m not sure how that may sit with readers in years to come but right now it’s great!

The book is hilarious and Alex’s ‘power’ is simply genius and i felt quite unique- we get a lot of rehashing the same old ideas in exactly the same way and this felt quite fresh and not at all done!

Brilliant, i read it all in one sitting and i’m thoroughly looking forward to the next instalment. 

alex sparrow and the really big stink

Reviewing The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare

About this book:

I am how I’ve always been.
My name is Auden Dare.
I am eleven years old.

Auden Dare has an unusual perspective on life: he cannot see in colour. He’s always had this rare condition – and life is beginning to get harder for Auden. The war for water that is raging across the world is getting a little closer all the time. It hardly rains any more, anywhere. Everyone is thirsty all the time, and grubby, and exhausted. Auden has to learn to live without his father, who is away fighting, and has had to move to a new town with his mother, and start a new school, where everyone thinks he’s a weirdo. But when he meets Vivi Rookmini, a smiling girl bright with cleverness, his hopes begin to lift.

It soon becomes clear to Auden, though, that there are some strange things afoot in his new hometown. He and his mother have moved into the old cottage of his recently-dead uncle Jonah Bloom – a scientist and professor at the university. The place is in disarray – and although Auden’s mother tells him it’s because Jonah was a messy old thing, Auden knows differently. Someone else did this – someone who was looking for something of Jonah’s. Auden had heard too that Jonah was working on something that could cure Auden’s condition – could this be it?

Then Auden and Vivi make an extraordinary discovery. Hidden away under the shed at the bottom of Jonah’s garden is an engimatic and ingenious robot, who calls himself Paragon. A talking, walking, human-like robot. Apparently built by Jonah – but why? The answer to this will take Auden and Vivi on a thrilling journey of discovery as they seek to find out just what exactly Paragon is – and what link he has to Auden – and find that the truth is bigger and more wonderful than either of them could have imagined.

Author: Zillah Bethall

Artwork: Matt Saunders

Publishers: Piccadilly Press

My Review:

The extraordinary colours of Auden Dare is in fact rather a extraordinary book!

I was a little bit unsure of what to expect before reading it but i can honestly say that it surprised me in a great way.

The story is expertly crafted, the war on water feels strangely familiar and the dystopian world in which Auden is living in feels like it could almost parallel ours at times- in fact it could all just be one big foreshadow to the future of our planets inhabitants. I likened the war and rations on water to wars begun in ownership rows on oil. 

The imagery that this idea then set up was strong and at times hard to swallow because the sense of it all being utterly wrong was so intense, the thought was heartbreaking- nobody expects to have just 4 minutes a week to clean themselves.

Bethall conjured such powerful imagery when she described a world constantly thirsty.

This is definitely a thought provoking novel and a definite must for those that like mystery, intrigue and science elements. There are many other parts to the book but i don’t want to spoil it for you, go and discover its secrets now!

My favourite character are Vivi and Paragon.

I couldn’t put it down and read it all in one sitting.

the extraordinary colours of auden dare

Thank you to Toppsta and Piccadilly Press for my copy of the book.

Reviewing A Christmas Carol: A Charles Dickens Search and Find Book

About this book:

Discover the world of Charles Dickens with Search & Find A Christmas Carol. The popular, magical story is retold in beautifully illustrated search & find pages where you can find the characters on the busy pages and follow them through the story. Each page is full of characters to find and details to spot in the busy scenes, such as Scrooge in his counting house, the arrival of Jacob Marley’s ghost, the Fezziwig Christmas party and the Cratchit family at home on Christmas Day and many more. Beautiful illustrations are accompanied by abridged text, perfect for sharing with little ones and introducing them to Charles Dickens’ stories.

Author: Charles Dickens

Illustrator: Louise Pigott

Publisher: Templar Publishing

a christmas carol

My Review:

I tried reading A Christmas Carol last year but i struggled to get into it, i suppose it was the language difference. I was keen to read it as so many stories adapt the original and i wanted to see where they derived from, alas at the time, like i say i just couldn’t get though it.

I really liked this search and find version of the book, not only did it give a very very shortened version of the story- think basically ‘this happened, then this happened, then this happened’- it also was completely and utterly beautifully visual. The artwork suits it well and is lovely, every page is a real delight.

I think this book is a great introduction to Charles Dickens classic tale and it has made me want to try reading the original again, while appreciating this book at the same time.

a christmas carol

Thank you to Toppsta and Templar Publishing for my copy of this book.