Seen as it’s World Book Day today, I thought it an appropriate day to publish a review of a new children’s book for you all. I was kindly sent a copy of it to review but, because I am lucky to know a lovely little book worm (called Lily, who is aged 8) I asked her to review it for me. Needless to say she did a wonderful job and thoroughly enjoyed the book (and look a that gorgeous handwriting! You’re destined for a writing career Lily!)
Well, the 8 year old has spoken – and she has begged you to read it. Don’t let her down people!
Thank you as always Lily for such a lovely little write up!
‘Trouble Next Door’ is the first novel in a brand new series aimed at 5 – 7 year olds, written by Chris Higgins. It’s a relatable and carefully thought out story about two little girls navigating their way through a new friendship, which is something children have to deal with all the time.
The book tells the story of Bella, who has just moved house and is feeling a little bit lonely, and Magda, her new next door neighbour. Higgin’s takes readers on a friendship journey which young readers are certain to recognise and want to discuss. I think it would be a very helpful book to have at home, or in any classroom or school library. Sadly all children will have friendship issues at some point so reading a book about it, realising it is normal and part of growing up, can help make it less daunting and sad.
Bella is a good girl, she’s quiet and thoughtful, but Magda is bold and outgoing and always looking for ways to have a laugh. This sometimes that causes trouble and, unfortunately, it’s not Magda who gets the blame…
What starts out as a story of an unlikely friendship, quickly blossoms into the kind of adventure story that I can recall loving to read when I was little. It’s not about children in a fantasy world, it’s about real children in a real life situation – I can recall my younger self as being just like Bella in fact. Quiet, shy, nervous and scared of getting in trouble (totally unlike my 3rd child however! He would very much fall into the Magda camp!). The story explores the issue of making new friends (one of the greatest adventures in life I would say) whilst also keeping it entertaining with a bit of mischief making. There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had whilst reading this book and I think there is a lot of potential for discussion with your little readers once they have finished. It certainly gets you thinking.
I think this story is funny, realistic, heartwarming and witty. It’s an excellent book to share, especially as a class when exploring friendship issues and how to resolve them, and the excellently comedic mishaps of Bella and Magda are guaranteed to make the reader giggle. Trouble next door celebrates the joy of childhood and the idea of friendship. It reminds us that;
“No matter who we are, sometimes what we need most in the world is a friend”.
The book is printed in a fairly large font, making it easy to read, and it also has lots of pictures in it to help visualise what is going on in the text.
I would highly recommend this book for all young readers, girls and boys alike.
Oh, and Lily gave it 5 Stars out of 5. High praise indeed!