'How the Hangman Lost His Heart,' 'Fish'

| Mar 7, 2006

"How the Hangman Lost His Heart," "Fish"

“How the Hangman Lost His Heart,” K.M. GRANT, Puffin; 2006; 192 pp. This is a story about a head. Yes, a head. Now let’s take this further: This is a story about a head without a body. Well, not at first. The head starts ...

'Firebird,' 'Thor's Wedding Day'

| Feb 7, 2006

"Firebird," "Thor's Wedding Day"

“Firebird,” Susan Gates, Puffin; 2005; 212pp. Truth is a double-edged sword — that’s what author Susan Gates cautions young readers in this coming-of-age novel about a young girl called Firebird who opens a Pandora’s box of family secrets that bring great pain and yet ...

'The Fish in Room 11,' 'In my World'

| Dec 6, 2005

"The Fish in Room 11," "In my World"

“The Fish in Room 11,” Heather Dyer, Chicken House; 2005;160 pp. The goings-on at The Grand are just plain fishy and this isn’t because the hotel sits slap-bang upon the ocean front. It has more to do with the new guests in Room 11. ...

'Chasing Vermeer,' 'How Hedley Hopkins Did a Dare'

| Nov 1, 2005

"Chasing Vermeer," "How Hedley Hopkins Did a Dare"

“Chasing Vermeer,” Blue Ballietta, Chicken House; 2005; 272 pp. Blue Ballietta’s debut novel, “Chasing Vermeer” has been called a ” ‘Da Vinci Code’ for tweens” and with good reason. “Chasing Vermeer” isn’t your typical whodunit about an art heist. True, a famous painting, “A ...

'Barkbelly,' 'The Sign of the Black Dagger'

| Oct 4, 2005

"Barkbelly," "The Sign of the Black Dagger"

“Barkbelly,” Cat Weatherill, Puffin; 2005; 352 pp. Courtesy of canny marketing and the J.K. Rowling Effect, too many children’s books are being lauded as “magical” even when they’re short on the magic. Cat Weatherill’s debut novel, “Barkbelly,” is one of them. Barkbelly is a ...

| Jul 17, 2005

There's nothing quite like a good Indian argument

THE ARGUMENTATIVE INDIAN: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity, by Amartya Sen. Penguin, 2005, 356 pp., £25 (cloth). “We do like to speak,” admits Amartya Sen, citing a well-known fact about Indians in the opening paragraph of “The Argumentative Indian.” But what the ...

'Silverfin,' 'Baby Touch Playbook'

| Jun 30, 2005

"Silverfin," "Baby Touch Playbook"

“Silverfin,” Charlie Higson, Puffin Books; 2005; 372 pp. For James Bond’s legions of males fans (this possibly includes your father), Charlie Higson’s “SilverFin” is news of the best kind. Not for this reviewer, though, who belongs to the female half of the planet and ...