Bookish contents

James Ponti: City Spies 3. – Forbidden City (Aladdin 2022) The teenage agents also start their summer vacation at school, but they can’t rest, because they’re going on a new mission. Except for Brooklyn, who has to attend summer school to make up for her shortcomings. Meanwhile, the others are sent to Moscow and Beijing to take part in a chess tournament and accompany a millionaire’s daughter. Rafal Kosik: Felix, Net and Nika and the Gang of Invisible People* In the Polish author’s book, we can follow the adventures of the inventor Félix, the computer genius Net and the bookworm Nika. This is an impossible story about friendship, treasures, ghosts, crazy inventions, artificial intelligence, robots, UFOs and, last but not least, the fantastic everyday life of three teenagers. Natalie Lloyd: A Snicker of Magic (Turtleback Books 2015) Felicity has a special ability: she can see words. Sometimes they have wings,…

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Tuutikki Tolonen: Agnes and the Garden of Dreams (first published by WSOY in 2020 under the title Agnes ja unien avain) Agnes and her mother arrive one summer day in their new home, Harmala, a small country town where they don’t know a single person. Agnes’ parents had just divorced, so her mother had to look for a new house and a new job. Although there are moving boxes piled up everywhere in the apartment, Agnes at least has the opportunity to get to know the town, while she walks an elderly dog of an elderly neighbor. During one of their walks, they wander into the cemetery, where the girl finds a strange tombstone. At the same time, she begins to see a recurring dream about walking in a garden. In his work, the Finnish author aims to tackle the questions of whether ghosts really exist and if prophecies may…

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James Ponti: City Spies 2. – Golden Gate (Aladdin 2021) After the successful mission in Paris, Brooklyn and Sydney are already completing another operation and have joined the passengers of an ocean biology research ship, which is meant to popularize science among young girls. Their job is to look after the daughters of two high-ranking people. MI6’s caution was not unfounded as they were attacked by pirates during the journey to kidnap the girls. However, they did not count on the two teenage spies, who will protect them at all costs. The case is mysteriously intertwined with an investigation within MI6 and a family matter. But what is the relationship between these cases, dodos and magpies? The book was also very fast-paced and exciting this time, although we don’t know what we are up against until the end of the story. In the volumes, we find flashbacks, during which we…

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Trenton Lee Stewart: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Little, Brown and Company 2008) It has been a year since Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance completed their first task as members of the Benedict Society. However, they did not achieve complete success, their main enemy is still free. But that doesn’t matter now, because on the team’s one-year anniversary, they can finally meet each other and Mr. Benedict again, who has a special surprise for them. However, the plan goes wrong and Benedict and Number Two are kidnapped. In order to track them down, the children have no choice but to go on a treasure hunt organized by Mr. Benedict in the hope of saving them as well. The children’s second adventure is also full of exciting events and we get to know many people who help them or want to harm them. In the meantime, the children…

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James Ponti: City Spies (Aladdin 2020) Sara Martinez is a hacker, surely one of the best in the world. Now, however, she is sitting in court and thinking about her not-so-nice situation. Then a man, who is not an attorney, but has three passports with different names, rushes to her aid. This could scare Sara, but for some reason she trusts the man who tells her to just call him Mother. Mother is an MI6 agent who organizes a team of children to work as spies. Paris, Sydney, Kat and Rio only kept the name of their former residence, leaving the rest of their past behind. Sara becomes Brooklyn and soon she takes part in an action, at an international youth summit in Paris, where they have to protect someone. The story is very unique, fast-paced, full of action, but we also have time to get to know the characters.…

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Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows (first published in 1908) British writer Kenneth Grahame was born in Scotland, but spent most of his childhood in England with his grandmother. He went to school in Oxford, but unfortunately could not go to university for financial reasons, so he ended up becoming a banking officer at the Bank of England. As Milne writes, it is strange how a man who writes such fragile and beautiful things can have anything to do with something as factual and prosaic as a bank. But the bank might also have found it interesting what a responsible official had to do with such an intangible thing as beauty. Some of his books have been published before, but his most famous work is The Wind in the Willows, published in 1908, which has such supporters as Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh, and Theodore Roosevelt, the…

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Trenton Lee Stewart: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown and Company 2007) Reynie Muldoon is monotonously living his not-so-fun life at the Stonetown Orphanage, where (unfortunately) he is the smartest child. His only friend is the teacher assigned to him, Miss Perumal, who, even if she cannot teach him anything new, at least understands and supports him. She is the one who sees a newspaper article that will change Reynie’s life. In this, talented children are offered a special opportunity. Reynie uses his wisdom to complete the trials. He’s not the only one who manages to pass the challenges: Sticky memorizes everything he’s ever seen, wild Kate is afraid of nothing, and Constance… well, she’s Conscance. The sender of the advertisement, Mr. Benedict, entrusts them with a dangerous mission that will require all their knowledge. The story is a classic children’s book: good and evil, and saving the world, which…

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Rukmini Iyer: The Roasting Tin (SquarePeg 2017) Everyone has come across a recipe that said it would be easy to make the dish, but it was actually difficult. Or that there wasn’t enough time to cook or that the food was burnt. However, this is not the case with this book. I tried it and the recipes really work. They are simple, both the meat and the side dish are prepared at the same time, and while they are baking, we can do other things. The author tried to make the ingredients interchangeable, so if, for example, we don’t like pepper, we can choose another side dish that cooks in the same amount of time and replace the one we don’t like. The eight chapters are separated based on the eight types of dishes, and within the chapters the dishes are listed in ascending order of cooking time. We can…

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Robin Stevens: Jolly Foul Play (Puffin Books 2016) Robin Stevens: The Body in the Blitz (Puffin Books 2023) The main characters of Robin Stevens’ series are Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, who attend DeepDean School for Girls. In addition to their studies, they are the two members of the Wells and Wong Detective Agency, which sheds light on the mysterious cases occurring at the school. After the previous minor cases, they were ‘lucky’ to investigate real murders. The books do not have to be read in order, because although previous investigations are mentioned, they do not reveal anything about their solutions. This story begins in early November 1935. In the new academic year, DeepDean wants to introduce a new tradition: fireworks on Guy Fawkes’ night. However, things don’t go well this time either, because after the fireworks, the student leader, who had been terrorizing everyone until then, is found dead.…

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Agatha Christie: Sinister Spring (HarperCollins Publishers 2023) In addition to her 66 novels, Agatha Christie also published 14 volumes of short stories during her lifetime, which provided plentiful material for her thematic short story collections, which have been published in English by HarperCollins Publishing and in Hungarian by Helikon Kiadó since 2020. Since she wrote a story for each season and holiday, it was easy to group them for the new series. It is interesting, however, that the Christmas Crimes short story collection published by Európa Kiadó in 2019 is unique because it is a domestic grouping and was published in Hungarian only. This was re-published for Christmas 2022 with the same cover style as the new series. This collection contains mysterious stories with a spring atmosphere or set in spring. It was published in England in 2023 and this year we were finally able to read it in Hungarian…

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