First of all, an apology. I’m afraid that I’ve been treating this blog like the diary I kept when I was thirteen: initial flurries of activity punctuated by long drawn-out silences, although with slightly less angst-ridden poetry written in the margins.
Anyway, since Twelve Minutes to Midnight was published back in February, it’s been receiving some rather lovely reviews and I just wanted to collect some of these together in one place so that anyone who hasn’t bought a copy yet can see just what they’re missing out on! I was prompted to do this when I spotted this great review yesterday from a reader on the Guardian Children’s Books website. A huge thank you to Isaac260 and to all the reviewers who have taken the time to share their thoughts on Twelve Minutes to Midnight.
"Pacy and tightly-plotted, this is an exuberant and entertaining adventure story set in an appealingly foggy and sinister Victorian London. The feisty and courageous Penelope makes the perfect heroine for an adventure packed with exciting twists and turns." Booktrust
“Really pacey historical thriller with a great sense of eerie Victorian atmosphere.” The Bookseller
"Twelve Minutes to Midnight is an exceptional introduction to the mystery genre in children’s literature. This is a fast-paced historical thriller in every sense of the word. Packed full of intrigue and drama, it reads like a 'Sherlock Holmes' for kids." The Bookbag
"This is a clever Victorian romp, fast paced and very readable." Books for Keeps
"Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge is my first “must-read” of 2012 and will continue to be one that other middle grade novels will be held up against." Theresabook.com
“A thriller with a fast-paced cinematic style…an electrifying story from an exciting new author” lovereading4kids.com
"A gripping story which brings Victorian London vividly to life." parentsintouch.co.uk
“An enjoyable read set in Victorian England with a lead character who I adored … I am already excited about getting the next instalment.” The Overflowing Library
"Christopher Edge weaves a truly delicate and intricate plot set at a perfect level for this age group." My Book Corner
“I found this book absolutely gripping and loved the combination of Victorian London – with its Dickensian scar-faced villains and possibly-mad beautiful widows – and the supernatural, with the eerie predictions of the asylum inmates.” Liz Bankes
"More feisty fictional heroines are definitely welcome – and Penelope Tredwell certainly fits the bill." iVillage.co.uk
"It's got everything you want from a mystery set in Victorian times - scar-faced villains, beautiful but damned widows, and elements of the supernatural - it's the ultimate tale of terror!" The Kooky Toon Book Corner
There is also a fantastic review of Twelve Minutes to Midnight on the Fun Kids radio station Book Club podcast - you can download this for iTunes for free or just click on the play button next to the February podcast (number 4) to listen.
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright was published on the 14th January and I’ve been absolutely thrilled by the reception it’s received so far from readers. Just ahead of publication, The Times chose The Many Worlds of Albie Bright as their Children’s Book of the Week and Albie’s also received some lovely reviews from magazines and book blogs too.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s read and reviewed The Many Worlds of Albie Bright. Last night, Frances Hardinge was awarded the Costa Book of the Year for her amazing novel The Lie Tree, and in her acceptance speech she described how it is a fantastic time to be writing children’s fiction and invited readers who might think that children’s books are not their thing to come and explore because ‘there’s a beautiful jungle out there.’
I love this image of the ‘beautiful jungle’ of children’s fiction, a world filled with wonder and excitement, where writers of real ambition such as Hardinge have made their home. Reviewers of children’s books are the indispensible guides to this ‘beautiful jungle’, leading readers through the thickets and vines to discover amazing books and fantastic authors, and I’m so grateful to all the reviewers who have shared their thoughts on The Many Worlds of Albie Bright. And if any reviewers felt able too to cross-post their review on the websites of online retailers such as Amazon, Waterstones etc. I’d really appreciate this, as sometimes these websites are where new readers take a first peek at the ‘beautiful jungle’ that’s out there.
Here’s the round-up of reviews and if you’ve reviewed The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and would like me to add a link to your review to this list, just drop me a line and I’ll update this blogpost.
“This book is such a delight – it made me laugh out loud, took my breath away and made me cry. It truly is a wonderful story which I loved reading.” BookLover Jo
“This is an extraordinary novel for children that sets out to explore the possibilities of our world” Minerva Reads
“It is a world full of many possibilities, a world of imagination and one that I would recommend to everyone, not just children” Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
“This eccentric, rather vividly compelling book is something that I think will mark its space very distinctly in the world.” L.H. Johnson
“This book offers accessible insights into such perplexing subjects as quantum physics, while telling a great story at the same time” Family Traveller
“This is an amazing, wonder-filled novel that ... really touches the heart and excites the mind. More than that, it is FUN. I can't recommend this book highly enough." Fallen Star Stories
"I am quite certain that this book will find its way into the hearts of children and adults alike" Armadillo Mag
"With its brilliant story and universal appeal, I wholeheartedly recommend The Many Worlds of Albie Bright to readers of all ages." Sofi Croft's Book of the Month
"A quantum fairy tale" John K. Fulton
"An accessible, inclusive delight of an adventure, with a bittersweet centre - that will take readers as far as their curiosity dares them to go" Teach Primary magazine
Finally, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Samira Ahmed for Front Row, Radio 4’s premier magazine programme about the arts, earlier this month, and you’ll be able to hear me discussing quantum physics, children’s fiction and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright when this is broadcast on Front Row at 7.15pm on Thursday 28th January. Here’s the link to the podcast of the programme which should be available shortly after broadcast.