The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Illustrator C. E. Brock
Author E. Nesbit
Year 1960 (first published 1906)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Though published more than fifty years ago, the story of The Railway Children has become a favourite with children of today as a B.B.C. Children’s Television serial.

There were three of the ‘Railway Children’, Bobbie, Peter, and Phyllis, and life went along as happily as anyone could wish until Peter’s tenth birthday. Then an awful thing happened. Some men came and took away their father. They left London after that and went to live in a not-very-nice house in the country. With Father away, and Mother brave but plainly worried, and very little money, they all did their best, but it was undoubtedly a piece of luck to find that a railway line ran by, just down the hill from their garden. There were always things to do beside a railway in those days, and all sorts of people travelled by train. The Railway Children soon made friends with some of them, and with the station-master and the porter; and then one day Bobbie discovered what had happened to their father, and, keeping it a secret from the others, thought of a way to help him. And that’s what makes the story so exciting – that, and the fact that it all feels so truly possible that anyone can get right inside that awful situation and feel what it would really be like to have to live it. Continue reading

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Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine – March/April 1978

Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine - March/April 1978

Cover “The Far King
Illustrator
Jack Gaughan
Editor George H. Scithers
Editorial Director Isaac Asimov
Year 1978
Publisher Davis
ISSN 71896-48141

Jack Gaughan Wikipedia
Isaac Asimov Wikipedia, Wikiquote
Asimov’s Science Fiction Wikipedia, Official Website

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Games Killers Play

Games Killers Play

Illustrator unknown
Author various
Introduction Alfred Hitchcock
Year 1974 (first published 1967)
Publisher Mayflower
ISBN 583-12262-0

MURDER
IS
NASTY…

Nice people don’t do it. Of course not. That’s why the world is so safe. That’s why we all live to a ripe old age. So keep smiling and above all don’t get nervous.

Because that master of murderous mayhem, Alfred Hitchcock, is about to introduce you to as convincing a crew of keen killers and mangled victims as you’d never care to meet. Continue reading

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

Illustrator Linda Garland
Author Robert Foster
Year 1988 (first published 1978)
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
ISBN 0-04-803001-5

J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy works, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion have delighted millions of readers in recent years.

Middle-earth, the world in which the stories take place, is as real and complex as our own. Events, geography and names were created with care and loving attention by Tolkien, who wanted every single detail of his books to fit into their total pattern. A belief in perfection, the fun of the sub-creation and the desire to create something so totally convincing that the reader could believe in it (in a sense) as actual history, involved him in map-making, endless charts of dates and events and the development of his many invented languages. Continue reading

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Illustrator Jules Feiffer
Author Norton Juster
Year 1975 (first published 1961)
Publisher Lions
ISBN 0-00-6707998

“It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,” Milo remarks as he walks dejectedly home from school. But his glumness soon turns to surprise when he unwraps a mysterious package marked ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH. Once through the Phantom Tollbooth Milo has no more time to be bored for before him lies the strange land of the Kingdom of Wisdom and a series of even stranger adventures when he meets the watchdog Tock who ticks, King Azaz the Unabridged the unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis, Faintly Macabre the not so wicked Which, the Whether Man and the threadbare Excuse among a collection of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality.

‘This marvellous story about a spoilt boy’s somewhat Alice like journey into the world of words and numbers must be one of the most brilliant pieces of nonsense written in our time, and not so nonsensical either.’
Naomi Lewis, BBC World of Books

The Phantom Tollbooth available on Amazon

The Phantom Tollbooth (full size)

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – August 1989

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – August 1989

Illustrator Kelly Freas (cover)
Editor Stanley Schmidt
Year 1989
Publisher Davis

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Official
Analog Science Fiction and Fact Wikipedia

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Borrobil

Borrobil

Illustrator Pauline Baynes (cover), John Morton-Sale
Author William Croft Dickinson
Year 1973 (first published 1944)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Check out the entire post for a full front and back cover spread!

On Beltane Eve Donald and Jean decide to visit the dark mysterious wood on top of the hill. And in the wood they meet Borrobil. As Borrobil explained to them, Beltane is one of the most magic nights of the year, when the White King of Summer must defeat the Black King of Winter. But Borrobil also describes himself as the best good magician who ever lived in these parts since the rule of King Diarmid. What better guide could Donald and Jean have to take them to see Morac defeat the poison-breathing Dragon and thence to the north to fetch Princess Finella to be Morac’s bride? But the Black Sulig has first to be overcome and when they eventually reach Finella’s castle more dangers threaten from the men of the Long Ships. Continue reading

Winter’s Heart

Winter's Heart

Series Wheel of Time Book Nine
Illustrator Darrell K. Sweet
Author Robert Jordan
Year 2000
Publisher Orbit
ISBN 1-85723-985-7

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and go.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time has become an international No. 1 bestseller and one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now, the Wheel of Time turns again, and the remarkable tale that is mesmerising an entire generation of readers continues. Rand is on the run with Min, but his destination is a mystery to Cadsuane.

Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar, but his purpose remains shrouded in secrecy. Continue reading

Return of The Shadow

Return of The Shadow

Illustrator unknown
Author Walter B. Gibson
Year 1966 (first published 1963)
Publisher Brown Watson
ISBN unknown

“THE SHADOW KNOWS . . .”

“Your life,” probed the hypnotic voice from the shadows, “is no longer your own. It belongs to me now. I shall improve it. I shall make it useful. But I shall risk it, too. Perhaps I shall lose it, for I have lost lives, just as I have saved them.

“This is my code: life, with enjoyment, with danger, with excitement. Life, above all, with honour. And in return, I demand obedience. Absolute obedience.”

“I promise,” whispered The Shadow’s new agent. “I swear absolute obedience…”

THE SHADOW – a strange creature clad in black with strange powers over men’s minds and a mocking laugh which is the avenger’s chilling note of triumph.

Return of The Shadow available on Amazon

More Great Adventure Stories

More Great Adventure Stories

Illustrator unknown
Author unknown
Year 1978
Publisher Dean & Son
ISBN unknown

Turtle Island, The Chinese Pirates, Sitting Bull, The Covered Wagons, Magellan and Elcano, The Conquest of the Poles, Robin Hood, The Crusades, Medieval Tournaments, The Flying Dutchman and The Abominable Snowman

More Great Adventure Stories available on Amazon

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes

Illustrator Christina Griffiths (cover design)
Author June Thomson
Year 2012
Publisher Allison & Busby
ISBN 978-0-7490-1136-9

A mysterious veiled lady carries a counterfeit painting into an art dealer’s office.
A widow with three hands slips out of a church door.
A farmer lies dead in a barn, his son accused of his murder.
A skeleton with a silver locket is unearthed in a back garden.
What do they have in common?
The famous resident of 221b Baker Street.

From the gas-lit clamour of London’s streets, to the isolated Welsh countryside, the great detective Sherlock Holmes, accompanied as always by his faithful friend and biographer Dr Watson, must solve cases as complex as any he has known before, some of which bring him face to face with old enemies from the past, figures left behind in the mists of the Reichenbach Falls…

A brand new cache of original cases from the brilliant imagination of June Thomson displays the master of the art of deduction at his intriguing best and proves that the game is still very much afoot.

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes available on Amazon

Thanks to the local library for the cover!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Author C. S. Lewis
Year 1973 (first published 1950)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-030132-1

This is a story of magic adventure, and very powerful magic it was, in which four ordinary children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, became involved. It started in a strange house where they were staying, and Lucy found she could go through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy land of pine forests where she found a faun. Edmund got through to it too, but he did not find the friendly faun. Instead he ran straight into the White Witch herself, a terrifying person, but she gave him what he wanted more than anything else at the moment – Turkish Delight. Then he told her of Lucy’s adventures with the faun, and about the other brother and sister who had not yet found the way through the wardrobe. Two boys, two girls! That was what the old legend told her that she needed to hold her spell over the land of Narnia, so she made Edmund promise to bring the other three to her. That was how it started, with the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Lion was not long in making an appearance. He was the great Aslan, Lord of the Wood.

This is the first of a series of stories about Aslan and Narnia. The final one of them (The Last Battle) won the Carnegie Medal as the best book for children published in 1956. It appeals especially to nine- to twelve-year-olds but some will read it earlier, and many will still enjoy it a good deal later.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe available on Amazon

Breakfast in the Ruins

Breakfast in the Ruins

Illustrator unknown
Author Michael Moorcock
Year 1978 (first published 1972)
Publisher New English Library
ISBN 0-450-04152-2

A STARTLING NOVEL OF INHUMANITY – PAST, PRESENT AND TO COME
‘IF THERE IS A MORAL TO THIS BOOK, IT IS A SIMPLE ONE: THERE ARE NO SIMPLE ANSWERS’

The terror of the Red Republic in nineteenth-century Paris; the atrocity of twentieth-century concentration camps; the uncertainty of the present, and the horrors of the future – these are just a few of Karl Glogauers’s macabre experiences as he is projected through time and space. Alternately victim, aggressor, and bystander, he rides the storm of inhumanity through the ages.

BREAKFAST IN THE RUINS is a shattering novel of cruelty and despair – science fantasy at its best, by an acknowledged master of the art.

Breakfast in the Ruins available on Amazon

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – May 1999

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – May 1999

Illustrator George Krauter (cover)
Editor Stanley Schmidt
Year 1999
Publisher Penny

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Official
Analog Science Fiction and Fact Wikipedia

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Trapped in Space

Trapped in Space

Illustrator Robert Amundsen
Author Jack Williamson
Year 1968
Publisher Scholastic
ISBN unknown

Astronaut Ben is lost — a million miles from Earth! His last message: “Strange life forms here…we’re under attack…!”

Jeff sets off to rescue him, but soon his own crippled starship is caught in the same eerie web of a monstrous creature from outer space!

Trapped in Space available on Amazon

Triss

Triss

Series Tales of Redwall
Illustrator
 David Wyatt (cover), David Elliot
Author Brian Jacques
Year 2003 (first published 2002)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-141-31280-7

Discover Redwall – a whole world of adventure

Triss is a brave squirrelmaid – enslaved by the evil ferret King Agarnu of Riftgard and his cruel daughter, Kurda. But, secretly, Triss is planning a daring escape by sea…

As Triss sets sail, three young friends leave Salamandastron in search of adventure – and two youngsters go missing in Mossflower Woods. After three dangerous journeys, the travellers’ paths cross at the famous Redwall Abbey – where Triss will discover her destiny, and a new champion will rise to carry the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior and fight for the future of Redwall…

Brian Jacques is one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers – and Redwall is his most famous creation.

Triss available on Amazon

Just So Stories

Just So Stories

Illustrator Robert Stanley
Author Rudyard Kipling
Year 1968 (first published 1902)
Publisher Magnum
ISBN unknown

The How, Where and Wonder of Things…

“In the days when everybody started fair, Best Beloved, the Leopard lived in a place called the High Veldt. ‘Member it wasn’t the Low Veldt, or the Bush Veldt, or the Sour Veldt, but the ‘sclusively bare, hot, shiny High Veldt, where there was sand and…”

More? Find in this book “How The Leopard Got His Spots,” and you will be carried along (but always towards the astonishing answer) on a soaring wave of sounds and pictures meant by Rudyard Kipling to be read aloud—and ‘sclusively for children o’ all ages. And then frolic through other pages to see How The Whale Got His Throat, How The Rhinoceros Got His Skin and even (but don’t really believe it) How The Alphabet Was Made…

Kipling wrote the delightfully imaginative Just So Stories in 1902, for his own Best Beloved, his daughter Josephine. But millions have since felt no less loved through his gift to them of his playful wit and the sheer music of his language. The Just So Stories are set, literally, in India, the scene of many of Kipling’s books, but they come, in a sense, from a country of magic.

Just So Stories available on Amazon

Professor Branestawm’s Treasure Hunt

Professor Branestawm's Treasure Hunt

Illustrator George Worsley Adamson
Author Norman Hunter
Year 1974 (first published 1937)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-030275-1

When it was a case of inventing an unspillable teacup, or a collapsible-cum-expandable house, or a liquid carpet to be applied with a brush, or a machine for peeling and pipping grapes, a bomb or a fire alarm, Professor Branestawm was the man for the job. His interests were wide, and his intentions excellent, but it simply isn’t any joke to be an inventor, or to be anywhere near one, as the Professor’s military friend Colonel Dedshott and his long-suffering housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop well knew. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of Diamonds

Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of Diamonds

Illustrator Derek Colligan
Author Steve Hayes and David Whitehead
Year 2012
Publisher Robert Hale
ISBN 978-0-7090-9478-4

Thomas Howard of Missouri came out of nowhere, one foggy night, to rescue Countess Elaina Montague from rape and robbery. He was in England, he said, to find his brother, who had disappeared. To repay him, the beautiful Countess offered to enlist her friend, Sherlock Holmes, to help in the search.

At the time Holmes was investigating a rash of audacious jewel-thefts and, much to Watson’s dismay, spending altogether too much time at the music-hall. But because the Great Detective felt that there was more to the mysterious Mr Howard than met the eye, he accepted the case.

This in turn led to their involvement in a vicious blood-feud, a spectacular – not to mention death-defying – daylight robbery, the possibility of a serious diplomatic incident and finally, a thrilling climax below the brooding River Thames.

Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of Diamonds available on Amazon

Thanks to the local library for the cover!