No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Natasha Mac a'Bhaird is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of the bestselling wedding planning book, The Irish Bride's Survival Guide, a new edition of which was published in 2011. Her first two children’s books, Missing Ellen and Olanna’s Big Day, were both chosen for the White Ravens Collection. and was shortlisted for the Reading Association of Ireland Award 2011. She has written three books in the My Ireland Activity Book series The Wild Atlantic Way, Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, and Dublin. Starring Meg is the second book in the Star Club series which launched with Hannah in the Spotlight. Natasha has written articles for the Evening Herald, Irish Examiner and Image magazine and is a regular book reviewer with Inis - Children's Books Ireland magazine and Book Fest.
In a nutshell: friends, drama, adventure | The second story in Natasha Mac a'Bhaird’s lively new series is full of drama and will get rave reviews from readers. Starring a group of friends with a passion for performing, in this episode they decide to put on a version of Cinderella, one that they’ve devised themselves and given a modern setting and twist. Central character Meg has stories of her own to spin: she doesn’t want anyone at her new school to know that her parents are actors. When the news does get out Meg is forced to share another secret, one that she hasn’t even told her best friends in Star Club. Mac a'Bhaird captures all the fun, challenges and camaraderie involved in putting on a show while the background stories and everyday adventures of the four friends are equally convincing and enjoyable. Bravo! ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Editor Helen Carr : When I read the first book in the ‘Star Club’ series, I was so excited to discover that it was EXACTLY the kind I’d have loved as a kid. It’s about four friends who are passionate about performing and set up their own theatre group to put their dancing, acting and authorial skills to good use; each book is narrated by a different Star Club member. So I was delighted to be editing the second book in the series, Starring Meg, learning more about the girls and their ambitions, rehearsals and dreams. Meg, the heroine of this book, has a lot on her plate, with a school performance to put together AND a big secret she’s not sure how to share with the rest of the gang … A fantastic read!
In a nutshell: drama | family dramas | friendship | Natasha Mac a'Bháird cleverly mixes the classic theatre story with family drama and a touch of mystery to create an original, exciting contemporary girls’ story. Hannah has four little brothers and sisters, the youngest just a baby, and is kept busy helping her mum. But it’s the summer holidays and she longs to be doing something exciting. With her two best friends and new next-door neighbour Meg, she decides to put on a theatrical performance – an adaptation of Ballet Shoes. The drama is heightened by a mystery surrounding Meg and her mum, and then the show is thrown into jeopardy when Hannah’s mother breaks her ankle. As good on the fun and frustrations of family life as it is on the thrill of acting, with a great central character, and scattered with references to Little Women as well as Ballet Shoes, this will have readers shouting for an encore. This will appeal to readers of Cathy Cassidy and Sarah Webb, as well as to fans of Noel Streatfeild. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Senior Editor, Helen Carr - There's nothing nicer, as a children's editor, than reading exactly the kind of book you know you'd have LOVED as a kid; well, that's exactly what I got when I read Hannah in the Spotlight by Natasha Mac a'Bháird. Hannah and her friends are the 2016 equivalents of Noel Streatfeild's heroines in Ballet Shoes and The Circus is Coming; passionate about acting, dancing and writing, they set up their own theatre group, Star Club, and vow to work at their skills and put on great shows. When things get tough, the girls work together and decide the show must go on! This is the first book in the Star Club series and I can't wait to read what the girls get up to in the rest of the books.
October 2013 Mega Debut of the Month In a poignant and thought-provoking debut novel about friendship and loss, Natasha Mac a’Bháird captures the roller-coaster emotions that engulf Maggie after her best friend Ellen is gone. Maggie tells her story partly as letters to Ellen and partly as a touching record of all the years of their friendship. As Maggie charts Ellen’s story, especially in the years when unhappiness grips her after her father leaves home, she increasingly realises that Ellen was getting dangerously out of control – especially in her choice of friends. Wracked with guilt, Maggie feels that she ought to have stopped her. But, as she tells her story, she begins to understand that Ellen was determined to follow her own path and there was nothing that Maggie could do to change that.
Santa's sleigh is flying over Ireland, delivering presents to all the boys and girls. But then there's a crash! Dancer hurts her leg and can't pull the sleigh. What will Santa do? Rory, the smallest reindeer, has a great idea. It's full speed ahead to visit the deer in the Phoenix Park. Can they help Santa continue with his journey?
The summer holidays are here, and Hannah is wishing she could have gone to drama camp. Instead it looks like she's going to end up being an unpaid babysitter to her younger brothers and sisters. Then she meets Meg, who has just moved in next door, and together with her friends Ruby and Laura they decide to form Star Club - a drama club of their own, where they'll all get a chance to practise their acting skills. The girls work hard to get their first show ready for Maisie's birthday party. Then disaster strikes, and Hannah finds herself torn between Star Club and big sister duty. Meanwhile, something very strange is going on with Meg, who seems to have a lot of secrets she's not sharing. But whatever happens, the show must go on! '9/10 ... makes you keep reading' TheGuardian.com on Missing Ellen
'A tense and tender portrayal of friendship and loss. Missing Ellen is beautifully written and completely addictive.' Laura-Jane Cassidy, author of Angel Kiss & Eighteen Kisses Ellen and Maggie have been best friends for as long as they can remember - sharing clothes, passions and secrets. When Ellen goes missing, Maggie feels completely alone. Looking back over the upheaval that led to Ellen's disappearance, Maggie tries to make sense of her friend's actions. At school and at home, she feels no one understands what she is going through - except maybe Liam, the boy next door who has always had feelings for Ellen. How will Maggie cope without her best friend? And where on earth is Ellen?