Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Reading Record | Middle Grade May (Week 3)

My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - typically you will see these posts on a monthly basis, however readathons and certain books will have their own specific reading record.

Throughout the month of May I've challenged myself to read through the numerous unread middle grade books I have on my shelves; this post shares how I got on during week three.

I'm going into this new week having gone over the remaining books on my TBR, and roughly pulled together a timeline of as and when I hope to complete specific books. Overall, I'm happy with the rate at which I'm reading and the progress I'm making.

I started The Secret of the Night Train by Sylvia Bishop today; it is proving to be a really fun mystery read.

The Secret of the Night Train is one of those books you have a hard time putting down - not only is it an easy read, but engrossing also... Which is why I managed to finish it today. This was my first reading experience of this author, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books by her.

In The Secret of the Night Train we follow main character, Max, as she journeys from Paris to Istanbul - via 4 trains - in order to visit her great aunt. On route, Max finds herself mixed up in a mystery: a prominent jewel thief also appears to be taking the same journey as Max, and alongside the unlikely accomplice of a nun, Max is determined to detect & uncover the criminal. 

The story itself is engaging, funny, and also a little random at times, which amounted to a really enjoyable story. I would liken The Secret of the Night Train to Agatha Christie, but for a younger audience. 

I don't often read too much on a Wednesday as it is usually my 'busy day', however I did manage to read a handful of chapters in Frostfire by Jamie Smith - a fantasy adventure book that I actually started at the very beginning of May, and am slowly making my way back to.

Ended today on page 130 of Frostfire by Jamie Smith.

You know those days when it's grey and dreary outside, and all you want to do is hibernate with a good book and copious amounts of tea... That's how I felt this Friday morning, and after dropping my son off to school, I did just that - finding myself consumed in Our Castle by the Sea; I finished it in just a few hours.

Our Castle by the Sea is the second middle grade novel by Lucy Strange - I read Lucy's debut MG novel last year (The Secret of Nightingale Wood) and was totally blown away by it. This newest release hones in on the Smith family, lighthouse keepers on the English Coast, during the beginning of World War 2. Although middle grade fiction, Lucy Strange focuses on slightly darker matters in her writing, with the characters facing life changing, and often times devastating, events; she writes these with such delicacy though. 

I did really like Our Castle by the Sea, however it did feel slightly familiar to me as I read, with Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll springing to mind at times when reading.

Read a further few chapters in Frostfire today.

I had hoped to finish reading Frostfire today, however that didn't happen and I'm okay with that! I'm ending the week with 70 pages left in this book, and just under a handful of unread books left on my TBR for May.


Happy reading!


  1. Oh I like the sound of the Lucy Strange mystery and The Secret of the Night Train sounds fantastic. I love those rainy days though I'm not great about sitting and reading and I always end up just wasting time.

    1. Oh, I've spent many a time wasting away time too. Haha! I think you'd really enjoy Lucy Strange's books, Katherine.

  2. I’ve been meaning to read Lucy Strange’s first book since it came out! This new one looks so good too — time to read both of them soon — maybe this summer :)

    1. I think you'll love them when you do pick them up, Christine - Lucy Strange is a wonderful writer.


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