What’s your favourite book…?

If we asked you to tell us your favourite book and why you love it so much would it be really easy, or the most difficult question anyone can ask ever in the world of questions? We already shared our Top 5 books in a Love Middlesbrough Lasses post so this time it’s the turn of our BoroReads Young Bloggers. Over to you, guys…

Julia
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is my favourite book because it is exciting and the plot is great. There are lots of twists and turns in the book which I find really cool. There is a lot of backstory and there is always a deeper meaning to what the characters say and do. I think that J.K Rowling is the the most amazing writer ever because she kept on trying and trying to get her book noticed when everyone just turned her down. I have a lot of posters and Harry Potter stuff in my bedroom including Dumbledore’s wand (Dumbledore is a very famous wizard and fights with the dark wizard Lord Voldemort), a collection of toy owls and a Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry uniform and wand. As you have probably guessed, I am in love with the Harry Potter series ❤️ and have read all the adjoining books and watched all the films. I highly recommend this book to all adults and children because it is the best book that anyone has ever written and I just couldn’t put it down!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Katie
My favourite book is Mr Stink by David Walliams and you should read this book because it lets you know how homeless people live and that they all have a story. I like this book because I love how the girl Chloe gives him a home which is in his shed, also I like it because Mr Stink gives her the inspiration to keep writing her amazing stories.

Mr. Stink by David Walliams

Reece
A book I have really enjoyed reading is Captain Underpants and the Talking Toilets.  It’s about 2 boys called George and Harold. They have a head teacher called Mr Krupp who they play tricks on. Whenever someone snaps their fingers near Mr Krupp he turns into a super hero. Mr Krupp thinks he can save the world but George and Harold end up having to save him when the world gets attacked by talking toilets.  The only way to stop him being a superhero is to pour water on his head.  George and Harold also make comic books in their tree house. Sometimes they sell them at school and get money for them.  I like this book because it is funny and Mr Krupp looks silly as he just wears a cape and his pants! There are lots of Captain Underpants books and they are all good to read but this is my favourite from this collection. 

Captain Underpants and the Talking Toilets by Dav Pilkey

Holly
My favourite book of all time is Katy by Jacqueline Wilson. I love this book, every night I said ‘one more chapter and then I’ll put it down…’ three chapters later, ‘ok just one more chapter…’ three chapters later, ‘ok! NOW only one more chapter!’ And so on and so on. The main character is of course Katy. She’s a tomboy like me. She doesn’t get on that well at all with her stepmum, but that changes because of a dramatic twist in the story. I like how Katy gets up to a lot of mischief such as when she puts her enemy’s clothes into the water at school. There are parts of the book that are funny and other characters are annoying like when Katy turns up to swimming in her little sister’s swimming costume and someone says ‘you look like a giraffe in a thong!’ The book made me feel excited and wanting to know what happens next. Jacqueline Wilson rewrote an old book called ‘What Katy Did’ as a modern version for this book.

I definitely recommend this book to girls around my age (or boys if they want).

Katy by Jacqueline Wilson

Jack
I am currently taking part in the summer reading challenge with my siblings (this is our 3rd summer reading challenge so far). I signed up at the Central Library (during the #Mela) and afterwards met Authors Paul Cookson & Liz Million – they both did talks which we all found very entertaining. Obviously whilst at the Mela we enjoyed some delicious food (“Nom Nom”)

Over the school holidays, our weekly trip to the Acklam Library is our family ritual. Our Library is very family friendly which is a good job because my younger brother and sister find it hard to stay quiet when choosing their library books. I think that the summer reading challenge is good because you get to choose what you read and at the end you get to rate the book.

At the moment I am enjoying the tale of Greyfriar’s Bobby. I have been told about the monument in Scotland by my family and it’s good to read the story behind it. One day I hope to visit the monument and take a #selfie with Bobby himself as I love dogs. Finally, I just want to give a shoutout for everyone to vote for Boro Reads because we have 2 vibrant book benches in our school and they’re awesome!

greyfriars bobby by eleanor atkinson

What are your favourite books? Tell us in the comments and give us some ideas of what to read next!

Meet our new bloggers!

We’ve been keeping this one under our hat for a while now, so it’s super exciting that we can finally introduce you to our new bloggers! These are not just any normal bloggers either, nope, they’re very special bloggers! Over the next few weeks they’ll be sharing all sorts of posts with you and we can’t wait for you to meet them all. Enough chit-chat from us, without further ado, we proudly present our Boro Reads Young Bloggers!

Julia
Hi, my name is Julia. I’m eleven years old and I love reading! I have recently passed my grade three piano exam with a distinction and are still awaiting the results of my grade one cello exam. I am a chocoholic [Love Middlesbrough Lasses (LML) note: So are we, Julia!] My favorite chocolate is Lindor because it is so smooth and delicious. My favourite books are the Harry Potter series [us too 😍] I know more facts and theories than most people do! I’m currently reading Anne Frank’s Diary which is so sad! I’m also reading Evie’s Ghost which is really good and I can’t wait to find out what happens.

Holly
My name is Holly and I am 10 and a half years old. I enjoy playing roller hockey and unicycling [Wow!] I like reading, especially anything by Jacqueline Wilson, Paul Cookson and David Walliams.  My favourite movie is Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest. I like art and my favourite things to draw are narwhals!

Narwhal

Isobel
Hi my name is Isobel and I am 10 years old and I LOVE to read . One of my favourite hobbies is to write, swim and to draw. I have read a ton of books so I am super excited to be a book blogger [we’re super excited to have you!]

Katie
I am excited to be a book blogger this summer [we’re so excited too, Katie!] My name is Katie and I am nine years old. I love to read , sing and play the piano I also am very creative.

Reece
My name is Reece and I am 9 years old. I like playing football. My favourite position is left wing.  I love my dog, Coley, as he is cute and fluffy [😍 LML Claire is ALL about the dogs]. I go to Green Lane School and will be in year 5 after the holidays.

Jack
My name is Jack, I am 10 years old and I have lived in Middlesbrough all my life! I have a younger brother and sister (they are twins). I am a Cub Scout and I like to help others, I am a keen gamer and I am learning computer programming (using Python) [LML Rach is SUPER impressed!] which is an interest I share with my Dad. Although, I am not sporty I come from a family of Boro-supporters [#UTB] and my Grandad is the biggest fan of all! I have always loved gadgets and learning how they work!

My Hobbies: Cooking, computing, movies, travelling, photography

My Likes: DanTDM, PUGS!!! Sheep, Visiting RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve, Pirates of The Caribbean (with Dad), Food @ Mela [LML – all three of us – we totally agree!], Gadgets, GAMES!!! Music, DISNEY WORLD FLORIDA!!!, Baymax & Big Hero 6

Pug puppy

We hope you’ve enjoyed meeting our Boro Reads Young Bloggers. They’ll be back again next Friday so make sure you keep an eye on the blog for their next update!

Remember to vote for your favourite books too for Boro Reads! The top ten books selected are going to be made into beautiful book benches and we can’t wait to see them!

Vote now!

Boro Books 1: The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper

There’s nothing we love more than celebrating all things Middlesbrough, so when we heard about a new book by a local author we knew we needed to get all over it quick sharpish. Lucky for us, Middlesbrough lass and now author (!) Roxie Cooper had a spare copy for us to read…

Tell us more, we hear you ask! The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper is all about barrister-to-be Amanda Bentley. A blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, she’s forever being told that she doesn’t look the part, or that she’ll never fit in with the other posh wannabe barristers, but being a proper Boro lass, Amanda is determined to make the most of her chance and make all her dreams come true! There’s only three things standing in her way: sexy Sid Ryder, her arch-nemesis Marty Gregg and the total fear that her big, dark secret could jeopardise everything that she’s worked so hard for…intrigued? You definitely should be!

Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper

There couldn’t have been a better time to read this – the sun was shining, I actually had some free time so I took full advantage, hit the garden bench (properly protected with Factor 50 #palegirlproblems 😂) and settled in for a few hours – the luxury! First up, let’s talk Amanda. Full of sass and funny with it, it didn’t take me long before I was fully cheering her on over every page. The rest of the Attraction crew are equally loveable – even grotty Marty Gregg who’s so smarmy you can almost feel the grease…ugh! Set between Newcastle and Middlesbrough, my inner Love Middlesbrough lass got all excited every time I recognised a location, or had been there myself #booknerd And because it’s so rare to read books that are set in our fair town, it’s proper exciting when they are in print! ❤️

The Law of Attraction truly is the perfect summer read – funny, smart, with some genuine laugh out loud moments, and a total page turner too, I would highly recommend it! Read it in your garden, by the pool, take it to the beach, or just kick back on your sofa on a lazy Sunday and enjoy the ride; pair it with a bag of Maltesers and you would truly be winning at life 😎 And at only £1.99 it’s a total summer bargain too!

Read The Law of Attraction yourself: Kindle edition 

Roxie Cooper was born and bred in Middlesbrough. After studying Classics at university, she became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years before going travelling and living in Australia. When she returned she swapped dancing on a bar, to practicing at the Bar, and became a barrister for seven years. It was after being constantly told, ‘Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!’ by absolutely everyone she met that the idea for her debut novel was born.

Roxie Cooper

Roxie’s a bit (lot) obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Follow Roxie on Twitter: twitter.com/toodletinkbaby

We would love to read more #borobooks! If you have any recommendations for us, shout them out in the comments below and we’ll add them to our reading pile.

Thank you to HQ Digital and Roxie Cooper for providing us with a review copy of The Law of Attraction. All opinions, love for summer reading and all things Boro are my very own.

Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire loves libraries

If I had to put an exact age on when my love for libraries started, I’d have to double check with my mam first, but I’m pretty sure I was probably about 3. This is me when I was 3 – cheeky, freckled, the beginnings of the mad hair just starting to peek through…

The early years as we’ll call them were mainly about running into the children’s section of the library, plonking myself down on the floor in front of the book boxes and deciding which pile I was going to take home that week. There was always a pile, and it was always kept separate from our own books so that there wasn’t any mix up – that’s my mam for you (wish her tidy genes had passed on to me ☺️).

Fast forward to the teenage years and this is where the love for the library service and all it can offer was firmly cemented – I’m talking about you, Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams series. There was no way, even with all my babysitting money, that I would ever have been able to afford to buy them all myself – there was loads of them! But each week, I would go in and get myself the next pile in the series, read them all up, and then back again and so on until I finally reached the end. I kid you not, I had a bottomless pit of a rucksack and I used to average 14-15 books per week…

As my reading styles started to evolve my enthusiasm for libraries continued to increase for two reasons: firstly there was so much choice! And in every genre imaginable. Secondly: it’s free. FREE BOOKS! Tell everyone!

Books! Ceilings! Central Library is magical in every way!

And then something wondrous happened: I got a job…in a library! Yep, little old library-loving me was actually going to work every single day in a library – and a big one at that! Now seems a good time to clear a couple of things up: yes, I totally did stamp books with the date stamp – such a satisfying sound – and no, I never told anyone to ‘ssshhhhhh!’

When I moved back up north I got a job in another library (see? I told you it was love ❤️) Chances are, if you went to Teesside University between the years of 2001-2013 you’ll have seen me in the library. Probably pushing a trolley around and usually wearing some very, very bright clothing.

There’s loads of things people don’t realise about working in libraries. It’s definitely not just stamping books and telling people to be quiet, whilst wearing your hair in a bun and boring clothes. It’s basically like living inside the internet, except that all the knowledge sits inside the head of all the people who work there. And the best thing of all? They want to share everything that they know too! And if they don’t know the info, they will absolutely, 100% be able to use their skills to find it for you! Truly, library work is one of the most misunderstood occupations and I’m here to change that! Library staff, and librarians, are proper ace!

Before I became a Love Middlesbrough Lass I was working in yet another library; it won’t come as too much of a surprise that I loved it. The services that public libraries offer are amazing and often, you become a precious lifeline for your customers who rely on you for your help, information giving, and just all round company-providing if they pop in for a chat when they’re feeling lonely. I can honestly say it was the most humbling and inspiring job I have ever done…but becoming a Love Middlesbrough Lass was calling me, which is obviously massively brilliant too!

So here we are. A Love Middlesbrough Lass who loves libraries. I’m a member in two authorities – the one where I live and the one where I work. This is often dangerous, as can be testified by the giant pile of books waiting to be read by the side of my bed. But there can never be too many books…can there?

What does all this have to do with us I hear you ask? Well, this summer we’re so excited to be part of a project called #BoroReads. We’ll be sharing more on that soon, but basically we want to get as many people in Boro reading as we can, from teeny tiny babies looking at picture books to everyone else of any age!

Obviously the first thing you need to do is go and join the library! All the info you need to do that is right here > https://libraries.middlesbrough.gov.uk/web/arena/join-the-library

If you’re not sure where your closest library is you can find that out too > https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/leisure-events-libraries-and-hubs/community-hubs-and-libraries/find-librarycommunity-hub

And join us for #BoroReads! We’ll be doing loads of cool stuff over the summer so make sure you join in!

Hopeless Romantics – a world premiere in Middlesbrough!

It’s not often that we get a world premiere of a play in Middlesbrough, but this week at Middlesbrough Theatre you can see just that – the world premiere of Hopeless Romantics! Written by Nick Lane and Fiona Wass and presented by Reform Theatre (in association with Harrogate Theatre and Middlesbrough Theatre) we were delighted to be invited along to see what it was all about.

I should probably start with a confession or two: the first, which will become obvious pretty quickly, is that I’m no theatre critic – I’ve never written a theatre review before in my life so look upon this more as a recommendation for a night out that just happens to take place in the theatre. The second is that I don’t really go to the theatre very much at all…but now that I have been, it’s definitely going to be something that happens more regularly!

Hopeless Romantics at Middlesbrough Theatre

Now you know all my secrets, let’s get going with the review. Hopeless Romantics – what’s it all about then? Well, there’s Alan, Zoe and a broken down car. There’s also the fact that Zoe is pretending to be Alan’s girlfriend at a big family dinner…it might not sound like much of a scenario but trust me, there’s real chemistry between the two actors, who are both totally brilliant by the way, and the first half flies by before you even know where you are! It’s funny and sweet and you can’t help but keep everything crossed that it will be a happy ending for them both.

Hopeless Romantics 3

It wouldn’t be a Love Middlesbrough Lass blog without some mention of a sweet treat, and lucky for me there’s a whole heap of them to choose from in the interval! Sweets, crisps and ice-cream are all available from the kiosk, and lots of flavour choices too. I opted for mint choc chip in a tub (so basically the BEST flavour) and Mr Love Middlesbrough Lass went for honey and ginger. Both were given a tip-top rating. There’s also a bar available upstairs if you would prefer to enjoy a fizzy tipple in the interval break.

Back to the show. More laughs, more great tunes, more touching moments. As it reached its end I was completely involved and without giving too much away, I might have done a little happy dance inside at the end result. Funny, touching and sweet, both actors truly did an excellent job and I would absolutely recommend it as a great night out!

Hopeless Romantics

There’s still plenty time for you to catch the show as it’s playing until Saturday 10th June, including an afternoon matinee. Tickets are £14.50, concessions £12.50, matinee £10.50 and can be booked by calling the theatre on 01642 81 51 81 or online www.middlesbroughtheatre.co.uk