New stories? Yes please!

We can’t believe how quickly time flies! We’re sad to say good bye to our previous adventures (Prince Charming and his Quest for a Wife, Spacejacked! and Ring of Fire were some of our most popular stories yet!) but luckily for all our eager readers, you haven’t got long to wait for our next batch of fabulous Fiction Express stories.

TEACHERS: log in and head to teacher resources to download printable posters and book covers!

Wolf War by Kathryn James (Difficulty ***)

When reports come in that a wolf has been spotted not far from his home, bored teenager Peter goes out late at night in search of it. Finally tracking it down, he realises this is a wolf like no other: it’s glowing! Teased by his friends, Peter starts to wonder if he dreamt the whole thing but further evidence he captures proves he is not wrong. There really is a wolf loose in the city… and someone else is hunting it. Where has the animal come from? And does its mysterious glow have anything to do with the secretive army base nearby?

Shadowcave: A Stone Age Mystery by Saviour Pirotta (Difficulty **)

Young Kard is a gifted artist and his intricate cave paintings are greatly admired by others in his Stone Age tribe. Life for these hunter-gatherers is peaceful until an enemy tribe drive all the deer away, leaving them with little food for the coming winter. Following the advice of his wise but eccentric grandmother, Kard sets out on a journey to find the cave of their ancestors, the Shadowcave, where only he can lift the curse she believes has been put on his tribe. What awaits Kard in the sacred Shadowcave and who will he meet along the way?

Samuel Squeaks’ Diary by Jan Burchett and Sara Vogler (Difficulty *)

In this gripping tale set in London in 1666, we follow the adventures of Mr Samuel Squeaks: a not-so-ordinary London mouse. He might look like your average rodent (and certainly has a soft spot for cheese). But, like Samuel Pepys, the owner of the house where he lives, he also enjoys keeping a diary with exciting details of his daily escapades. When a blazing fire breaks out not far from home, he and his cousin are thrown into the midst of a dangerous mission. Can Samuel escape the flickering flames, hungry cats and rescue all that is dear to him before it’s too late?

 

First chapters go live Friday 2nd June.

The Final Chapter

So the last vote of this book is in and I’m hard at work writing the final chapter for you yesterday and today. Brilliant choice (although you’ll have to wait until Friday to find out what it was!)  and I am hoping you’ll find it an exciting and satisfying ending.

I’ve really enjoyed writing about Quinn, Jamal, Ravi and Owen and their adventure. Do tell me in the comments who you liked best!

For all those of you doing your SATS last week, I bet you’re glad it’s all over and I hope you can have a fun last few weeks of the year as a reward now. Remember – if you want to be smart: Keep reading!

Beauty and the Beast and the Beast and the Beast

In this week’s chapter, we got to meet Beauty and the Beast, or at least the upside down version of Prince Charming’s world and what a pair they are! The interesting thing about Beast is that in the original fairy tale, what he looks like is vaguely described so artists imagined all sorts of strange looking suitors for Belle over the year. Have a look at some of my favourites:

The classic Disney Beast!

Beast or Dobby the House elf?

Beast as a smartly dressed warthog.

“Look out! it’s a furry elephant!”

Which is your favourite Beast? What do you think of the Beauty and the Beast in the story? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you for the last chapter on Friday!

Get those votes in quick!

Phew, I don’t believe it, today is your last chance to vote on our current stories! But the adventures aren’t over yet so make sure you’re logging in, reading and voting all before 3pm.

Ring of Fire With Quinn in grave danger can Jamal, Owen and Ravi rescue her or should they stay out of trouble and do as they’re told?

Spacejacked! Zak and Jee-Vees may be aboard New Horizons once more, but will they act quickly enough to save Zak’s parents from being sold in the slave market?

Prince Charming and his Quest for a Wife Can Cinderella really be ‘the one’ for silly Prince Charming or should he give up on his search for true love?

With so many decisions, our authors want to know your thoughts! Get voting.

My sport

I’ve already admitted I’m not a skateboarder myself, although I think it’s an awesome sport. I was a keen canoeist though. The kayak was my speciality, although I enjoyed Canadian canoeing too. I have some pictures to prove it! The first two show me in my first kayak, lots of years ago, enjoying a sunny afternoon on the river near my home. The second shows our camp in Norway and one of the fellow crew members. The picture was taken on a canoeing trip through Norway and Sweden. We paddled in the wilderness for a week, following a glacial melt river downstream by day and camping by night. You can see the boats were open canadians rather than kayaks.

Lazy summer days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The difference is in the design of the boat, of course, but also partly in the paddle – in the top photo you can see a paddle shaft with a blade at either end. They are offset, so you twist it through the left hand with each stroke. (If you’re right handed  – otherwise it’s the right hand.) In a Canadian canoe, you have a single-bladed paddle and you paddle on one side of the boat only – with a clever little twist at the end of the stroke, so that you don’t end up going in circles! It’s called a stern rudder.

I’m right-handed for kayaking but I learned Canadian paddling left-handed – partly to paddle with right handers. You need one on each side for tandem paddling.

I also did competitve white-water slalom in my kakak. Here are some photos of the artificial slalom course at Holme Pierrepoint near Nottingham:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m pretty sure the top one is me in my second kayak, but I might be wrong. The water is bigger and scarier than it looks on the photo when you’re on it in a boat. I did capsize once that weekend! Skateboarding isn’t the only sport you need courage for. I could eskimo roll, but in big water it sometimes fails and it did for me at Holme Pierrepoint, so I came out of the boat. Oh the shame! 😉

Have a great week everyone, and I hope you enjoy the new chapter.

 

SATS stress? Stay calm.

Do you have SATS tests this week? Don’t worry! Our friends at Boolino have some advice to get you through this busy week:

  • Make a plan
    Sitting down with a calendar and mapping out when you have free time to revise can help to put your mind at ease and make the thought of studying less daunting.
  • Find something to inspire you
    Are you a fan of colour coding your work? Do you like to listen to revision notes instead of reading them? Does it help you to buy a new pen? Whatever it is don’t be afraid to do it. If you feel inspired to sit down and study each day then it’s worth it.
  • Get some rest
    It’s been scientifically proven that cramming all night is not good for you, so make sure you get some beauty sleep!
  • Drink plenty of water
    Staying hydrated is good for your brain, so while you’re busy beavering away don’t forget to have a glass of water close by.
  • Practice
    Don’t forget to keep testing yourself to see how much you really remember. It’s very easy to keep reading notes and think you know it all, but once you remove the safety blanket of your notes the panic sets in – and you don’t want that to happen in the exam!

Take a deep breath and remember you can do this. Thanks to Grace from Boolino UK for writing these fantastic tips!

Which Witch?

In the current chapter of Prince Charming and his Quest for a Wife, our lovelorn Prince and his loyal pony run into an unusual Wicked witch. It’s important to recognize a witch when you see one. Here is some clues if you aren’t sure.

  • Black Cat (they especially like talking cats)
  • Broomstick
  • Pointy Nose
  • Green Skin
  • A fondness for cackling
  • A home made of delicious sweets
  • A small army of minion or flying monkeys.

Can you think of any other clues? Do you have a favourite witch from books or films? Leave your comments below. Looking forward to seeing how you voted today!

How to do a Hand Plant

I hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend!

I thought I’d share this video with you from YouTube today, so that you can see what Quinn’s hand plant would have looked like in Chapter Two of Ring of Fire:

 

Wow!

You have to be a a bit of a gymnast as well as a skateboarder to do tricks like these, I reckon. The thing about any tricks where you turn in the air is, it gets very confusing to know which way is up and which way is down. And it all feels a lot faster than it looks.

What’t the most difficult thing you have ever learned?

More Twists in the Tales

It’s Voting Day at Fiction Express! So while I’m waiting to find out your choice for what happens next for Prince Charming, I thought I would mention some of my own favourite twisted fairy tales. Fairy tales have been around for a long time so naturally writers and filmmakers have messed around the stories over the years. Sometime they even change them almost completely!

Revolting Rhymes

Roald Dahl adds his weird magic to six classic tales – and in rhyme too!

Shrek

This film about a grumpy ogre’s swamp being invaded by Fairy Land characters always makes me laugh.

The Princess Bride

I’m slightly cheating here since it’s not based on a famous fairy tale. However it takes the best bits from fairy tales, like pirates and giants and castles and is lot of fun.

Have you read or seen any of these? Did you like them? Do you know other weird retelling that I didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments, I’d love to read your responses and don’t forget to vote!

Friday… finally!

At Fiction Express we love voting. Without your votes each week our authors wouldn’t know how you would like their stories to continue! It means you have a say in the story. Sometimes our authors are very surprised to see what the winning vote was because it’s completely different to what they thought would win. In that way our authors are always kept on their toes (and who doesn’t love surprises?).

Here’s another chance to vote. We’re interested to know which kind of stories you like reading best…

P.S. Have you read chapter 2 yet? I might spend my bank holiday weekend learning a bit more about skateboarding 😉