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Primary School's Share their reads.

  • By lesslie oliver
  • 21 Mar, 2017

What do our Children like to read at School?

Here at The Bookworm we thought it would be a nice idea to share with everyone what our Children like to read at School. This is Primary 3/4 at Philiphaugh's Book of the week.  

Their teacher Ms Emma Murdie explained the "We have enjoyed designing our own dinosaurs with special powers and also learning about herbivores and carnivores." 

We hope to be sharing lots of books with you over the next few months. As a Bookshop we love this interaction. This week the Bookworm is celebrating all things "Pirate Related", Stories and Crafts that will have the children singing sea shanties in no time.

So if you are a Primary School or Nursery just drop me a message and we will share your stories next week.


The Bookworm - Children's Bookshop

By lesslie oliver 15 May, 2017

"Steve and FranDan - Take On The World"

Author - Ron Butlin

Front Cover Credit - James Hutcheson

Published by Birlinn

Grown - ups who currently come along to our story-times at the Book Worm know that a picture story book  I love to read at any opportunity is the very funny "Here comes the Trolls" by Ron Butlin. So I was very excited to be given this book for readers 9-12 ahead of  its publication date.

The publishers describe this book as "an adventure story for today's world." Well get fastened in because this is page after page of non-stop action.

The Story.

Steve, Fran and her twin brother Dan are close friends that have been having problems with cyber-bullies at school. The friends have no idea who is making the hurtful comments but decide that they have had enough of the name calling that keep appearing on their social media pages and decide to build a raft, collect supplies and escape from it all for a few days. This decision leads to a  challenging, scary and often dangerous adventure that the friends and Steve's dog Nessie will never forget.

The book has been written for readers 9 - 12 and deals with the struggle of cyber bullies and the impact that it can have on school children.

The Characters .

The friendship is an important part of the story, it is a strong friendship all with very different personalities, especially the twins which shows through when things start to unravel. The three different personalities carries them through and when there are some tough decisions to be made they stick together.

 I really enjoyed Fran as a great character a born leader looking for ways of solving obstacles they encounter and when they stumble onto a hidden package and the owners of the package stumble onto them  it is Fran who has to come up with a plan to save them all from a terrible fate. It is Fran who organises the few days away and plans what they will take with them and keeps the boys together when things start to unravel.

There is a subtle exploring of Steve's emotions towards his friend Fran. Steve's feelings for Fran  begin to change when they are in tight spots and there is nothing like a sense of danger to make you look at someone in a different way.  There is a real connection here of the mixed emotions that hormones bring along.  All three friends have to tap into all of their emotions but it is Steve's rage, hurt , disappointment, fondness and fear that I really connected with. There is a great moment when he has an opportunity to deal with the Cyber bullies later in the novel and Ron Butlin really taps into the rawness of the feelings you would have towards those who had caused you so much hurt that you had needed to run away.

The PlotFriendships and action/ adventure with a very large helping of bad people in the mix.

The best laid plans are never quite as straight forward as you might hope and Steve, Fran and Dan are no different to anyone else.   When the friends leave everything behind for a few days Steve cannot leave his mobile phone behind even though the bullies have made him miserable, the pull of social media has him checking on what the bullies are saying about their disappearance much to Fran's confusion.They lose their raft in less than 24 hours and their tent and have to find shelter else where. An old hermit cave seems perfect until they discover something buried in the cave and the owners of that discovery arrive and everything begins to get very scary from then on in. The cyber bullies as I have already mentioned do get dealt with as do the criminals but I am not going to reveal anymore. 

The Verdict

There were so many times in my Secret Seven/Famous Five days of reading that I dreamt of collecting a few tins and sneaking away for a few days in a tent, the thought of an adventure for a few days. Who wouldn't escape from all the madness of school life and just be with people you like? It all sounds perfect. Fishing, chatting, swimming in rivers and camping under the stars. Steve, Fran and Dan have the same plan and even make it happen but of course all the best laid plans....   

I couldn't put this book down it is absolutely jammed packed with adventure and action and there are lots of twist and turns to keep you guessing what is going to happen next.  

5 Star rating from the Book Worm.

This fantastic new novel is on sale from Thursday 25th May and your Book Worm will be stocking it. Feel free to reserve a copy from your favourite Indie Book Shop by sending Lesslie an e-mail thebookwormatselkirk@gmail

By lesslie oliver 05 May, 2017

So the Book Worm has been very busy this week. We have been organising more author visits and we are really excited to be bringing Chloe Daykin to The Book Worm on Wednesday 31st May. Chloe will be visiting Knowepark Primary School on the morning of the 31st and then we will be dressing our shop window in a fantastic Fish boy theme. 
There will be two "meet the author sessions" bookable in advance on the Wednesday after school and we hope you will come along and listen to Chloe chat about her inspiration for writing. We hope this will be well supported as authors will only visit our lovely town if there is a demand. You can book tickets to see Chloe via this link

By lesslie oliver 29 Apr, 2017


By (author) Mike Nicholson; Illustrated by Mike Phillips

"Some people think that museums are boring places full of glass cases, dust and stuff no-one cares about: wrong! In a hidden headquarters below the exhibits there’s a gang ready to handle dangerous, spooky or just plain weird problems: the Museum Mystery Squad.Techie-genius Nabster, mile-a-minute Kennedy, and sharp-eyed Laurie (along with Colin the hamster!) are on hand to tackle the surprising conundrums happening at the museum. From moving pre-historic creatures and secret Egyptian code breaking to missing treasure and the secrets of the famous, there’s no brain-twisting, totally improbable puzzle the Squad can’t solve.————–There’s nothing deader than a mammoth — not just dead but completely extinct. So how can it be moving at night?In the Case of the Moving Mammoth, the Squad investigate the museum’s new star exhibit, on loan from Tyrone O’Saurus, ringmaster of the travelling Dinosaur Circus. There must be a reasonable explanation for a shifting stuffed prehistoric animal. Can they sift through the clues and unravel the puzzle before the museum faces a mammoth-sized problem?...."

The Book Worm Verdict 

As a R eader   -   There is so much to keep you busy in this book. There are lots of fab' interesting facts and things to do. There is a quiz to see which of the squad you are most like and you can find out Dinosaur would make your best pet. There are also some great fact finding  - find out what is taller than a T-Rex. 


There are also some really terrible jokes that you can keep repeating to the grown-ups. Threaten to keep repeating these jokes and in a matter of minutes they will be agreeing to give you double pocket money for your silence.

There are some great drawings/illustrations and there are plenty of them. 

I also like the characters Kennedy, Nabster, Laurie and Colin (the hamster). Just like my friends they are all really different and that's what makes the squad work so well together. 

As a Grown -up  - There is so much to love about this book. A quick shout out for those with dyslexic children the font  and spacing is good as is the creamy pages. I realise there are many things to look at but it has had the thumbs up from a few customers who need to look at this before a purchase.

Educational value - Wow this book has so much to offer there  is so many inter-active parts to the book. There is distance measuring, graphs height charts, diaries, list planning and mind mapping; all of this is within a great story with some great characters. the illustrations and change of style and font flows well with the drama and excitement used through the characters speech .


Did I mention the bad jokes? They will have you groaning in seconds and your children will torture you with them because they are going to think they are VERY, VERY  funny.


A great story and characters, lots of hands on interaction/involvement, fun illustrations, terrible jokes and a great read whether you are sharing your story-time or you are an independent reader.

*****  Star Book Worm Rating.

Mike Nicholson will be at the Melrose Book Festival in June 2017 and his books are on sale at The Book Worm in Selkirk. The only Indie bookshop in the Borders dedicated exclusively to Children's books.

By lesslie oliver 27 Apr, 2017

Fir For luck - Author Barbara Henderson 

Based on real life events, Fir for luck is a tale of the brutal Highland Clearances, when land owners cared more about sheep than people.

This novel is a beautifully written historical novel of a time where a community are to be ordered to leave the village they have built, farmed and worked together.

Janet is a 12 year old girl who we quickly learn is a head strong determined school girl. She isn't crazy about her teacher and avoids lessons only to find herself at the receiving end of a leather tawse (strap).

One day Janet spots a rider, the men are all away from the village and the rider is about to serve a writ that demands everyone leave the land and find a place to settle elsewhere. The man on horseback is a Sheriff appointed by the owner of the land to serve the writ and give the tenants (Janet's village) two days to clear the land.

These are harsh times and a tenant had no rights to the land and once a writ is served the tenants must then do as they have been told. On the day the sheriff arrives and there are only women and children are on the land but the writ is not served.

What happens after that results in unexpected friendships, a solidarity between villagers near and far and a determination to stand proud and not bow down to the landowner without a fight.

I really enjoyed Fir for luck - I had no knowledge of the Highland Clearances so although a fictional story the historical background is true and that for me as the reader was part of the appeal. I enjoyed gaining a better understanding of these really difficult times; although times were tough and home comforts were not those we now have come to expect there is a real comradery that is often a rare thing in modern society.

Janet is a strong girl who loves her family, often head strong and frequently finds herself in trouble for not staying put and doing as she is told. Her determination on more than one occasion brings help to the village and it was impossible for me to put the book down as I often willed her to succeed and take care whilst she ploughs head first into most things.

A must read book and I would definitely recommend this book for schools studying Highland clearances and for all readers who love novels based on historical times.

A Book Worm 5 star read.

By lesslie oliver 24 Apr, 2017
A lot of organisation has been happening behind the scenes and we are really looking forward to bringing some exciting authors to Selkirk over the next few months. Many of you are probably aware that we are bringing The Mac and Bob show to Connections in Selkirk on May the 8th at 14.00. This is for children age 0-5 and we are really pleased that he is performing for all the younger children. For further information check out our what's on page. http://bookwormselkirk/store He will be also putting on a show for our local primary schools on the morning of the same day. Primary 1 and 2 from Knowepark, St Josephs and Philiphaugh can look forward to coming to this fantastic show.

On Wednesday the 31st of May we have more exciting news for the older children. Chloe Daykin - author of the Fish Boy  http://www.bookwormselkirk/blog  will be visiting the Book Worm and a local primary school in the morning. She will be creating a Fish Boy window in the afternoon and there will be a meet the author session late afternoon.

It looks like the Book Worm is soon to be hosting their very own radio show on TD1 FM We are really excited about this amazing opportunity. Our aim is to play some great tunes to bop along to and share some great book reviews and the top 10 pre-school and Children's/Y.A top 10. We are hoping to catch a few authors for a quick interview as well.

We headed to Scottish Parliament on Wednesday to discuss the future of Scottish Independent book shops and Scottish Publishers. Really enjoyed my first visit but there wasn't a huge presence of M.P's. We will keep you informed of any developments on this front.
Check this great link out. I have only just discovered this great reviewer. Not only can Paul Watson provide a great review for children's books as a reader but he also reviews them through the eyes of a teacher. Well worth checking out his latest review on Tidy.

Final news for this week, we are going to be at The Melrose book festival - big reveal on Wednesday and we promise to keep you informed. We get really excited about this amazing festival and we are so lucky to be able to have this on our doorstep.

By lesslie oliver 16 Apr, 2017
We love the Easter holidays at the Book Worm. There is the promise of Chocolate, fields are filled with new born lambs and the sunshine and bluebells hold a promise of warmer weather. We have had great fun as always with our crafty sessions and sharing some incredible stories in the shop.
By lesslie oliver 16 Apr, 2017

Hamish and The Gravity Burp - Danny Wallace

Illustrator - Jamie Littler

Publisher - Simon &  Schuster.

"This may look like a completely ordinary book. But it's not. This book knows something terrifying: that the people of Earth face their gravest, grimmest threat yet! "

For those readers not yet familiar with the Hamish novels, fear not you can jump straight into this laugh out loud book right now and be whisked into a fast paced adventure without any prior knowledge of the PDF or Belasko. After you have read this book you will need more so don't forget you can also read "Hamish and The World Stoppers" and Hamish and The Neverpeople" And if you have already read these two fantastic books Danny Wallace is promising that Hamish Ellerby will return.

About the book.

Starkley is a dull little town it doesn't even  have a cinema. Yet it is a town that has survived (with the help of the PDF), World Stoppers invading their town and the Never people and suddenly they are facing yet another threat - this time they are facing gravity burps and spytraps could this be the end for the people of earth or can Belasko and the PDF save us all? And why is Starkely under attack again?

"When Hamish finds his mum and his brother floating on the ceiling, he knows that something is seriously wrong (again) in the town of Starkley" and Hamish, Alice and the rest of the PDF are soon on the case.

"What is the strange burping he keeps hearing and why are weird seeds falling from the sky?"

Why read this book?

This novel is jammed packed with funny one liners and constantly has you giggling away with some amazingly entertaining characters such as Madame Cous Cous the sweet shop owner  who has lots of surprises up her sleeve. I bet you didn't realise that there is Industrial Popping Candy and a very special Scandi Candgrenade?

 Not only do we have an amazing narrative but the illustrations are exactly how you imagine everything to be. Frank Cottrell Boyce comments on this book as "Chuckle, Giggle, Snort" which is exactly how my ten year old responded all the way through this book.

This book is in stock now at your Book Worm - Selkirk.

Book Worm Rating

Comedy ***** Stars

Action ***** Stars

Illustrations ***** Stars

By lesslie oliver 06 Apr, 2017

We are very excited to be hosting this very special event on Monday 8th May at 14,00. Alan Windram is well known throughout the Borders and beyond. He is visiting our Selkirk Primary Schools in the morning and we are also hosting a very special event for the younger children in the afternoon at Connections in Selkirk. The Book Worm would be a bit of a squeeze.

Mac loves singing his favourite songs as he feeds all the animals and works in the fields. There is always something exciting going on down on the farm. What are Mac and Bob going to get up to today?

Mac the farmer, along with his dog, and best friend, Bob, are always getting up to all sorts of adventures.

Please note that the tickets are bookable in advance. This can be done at The Book Worm or using our secure on-line payment scheme. You do not need to be a member of PayPal to pay by Pay Pal. 

Your tickets will be confirmed by Lesslie Oliver via an e-mail. This may take up to 48 hours.

The £2 is redeemable* of one of Alan's fantastic books on the day should you wish to make a purchase.

* No book purchase is required but no refunds for tickets will be given. Price is per child and Adults are FREE if accompanied by a child.

To book on a secure site follow this link -

Many Thanks to the CARS project - Conservation and Restoration of Selkirk for making this event happen.

By lesslie oliver 29 Mar, 2017

The Great Chocoplot - Chris Callaghan

Illustrator - Lalalimola

Publisher - Chicken House.

"It's the end of Chocolate - for good! A chocolate mystery......At least, that's what they are saying on T.V."

When this book arrived at The Bookworm and I stopped stroking the front cover I then had a little sniff. What? I hear you all cry,  I could not stop myself, have you seen the beautiful shiny purple cover? A book that has "Chocoplot" in the title has to be smelt then read immediately. Illustrator Lalalimola I hold you utterly responsible for my terrible behaviour.

For any chocolate lovers out there and I know there are one or two or three maybe even four,  this book will have you trembling with fear. The man on "The Seven Show" has just announced that in less than 6 days there will be a Chocopocalypse and the end of the chocolate world that we know and love.

Our heroine Jennifer Wellington aka "Jelly Welly"  starts to suspect that there might be more to this chocolate mystery and with the smell of chocolate set to disappear forever she sets out to smell a rat instead.

We love the relationship Jelly has with her Gran. Gran lives in a caravan at the bottom of Jelly's garden,  there are some incredibly funny moments with Gran.  She is a  lover of the singer Donny Daydream, chocolate (of course) and Jelly her granddaughter. She finds herself displaying her bloomers on more than one occasion: and  becomes a super sleuth when required and finding herself on late night crusades when she should be safely tucked in bed.

The town where Jelly and her family live " Chompton - on -de - Lyte" is the world's biggest chocolate centre it  has more chocolate shops, factories and warehouses than any other country and suddenly with the threat of a Chocopocalypse the town is thrown into a chocolate eating frenzy. Schools are closed and a curfew is in place . Everyone is heading for a chocolate melt down. So why does Garibaldi Chocolati - owner of the most expensive chocolate shop in town seem to be in complete control?

What to expect from this great novel. - An entertaining narrative and fun illustrations. We enjoyed the easy flow of family life with the Wellington's. Although they have every day family struggles there is some lovely moments that leave you giggling the normal day to day stuff makes you smile.  As a reader you find yourself  questioning what crazy effect it would have on you, your friends and, your family. Imagine if your town suddenly discovered it was on a highway to no chocolate! EVER! AGAIN !

Lots of laugh out loud moments - especially with Gran, Dad has quite a few moments too.

Baddies - I'm not going to say anything about this ...........OK. Just one thing .....No. I'm keeping quiet.

Adventure - Lots of it but that would involve revealing more of the plot and we are not having any spoilers in this blog. You'll love it as a read alone or as a book share at story time.

So it's a Bookworm FIVE STAR REVIEW - *****

Come buy this book from the only Independent Book shop dedicated to just Children's Books in The Scottish Borders. For a limited time we have signed "The Great Chocoplot" Postcards for every book purchase at The Bookworm at  Selkirk.











By lesslie oliver 27 Mar, 2017
A very busy Pirate week at The Bookworm . We had Pirate Stories galore and made some Pirate Masks. Featured Pirate stories included the fabulous new release from Rob Biddulph - Sunk . Pirate Blue and all his pals headed for a Pirate adventure. 

If you would like to see more photographs of the children who came along and joined in the fun we have posted some more photographs on our highlights page.

We have a change to out story-times and Crafty Sessions so please make sure you always check the web-site before you head over. We try to include as many informal sessions as possible when people are visiting the shop. Remember if the shop is open we always have story books to share underneath our story tree.

Everyone is getting very excited about the sunshine and we even opened our door to let the warmth in. Our thoughts are now turning to Easter there will be lots of Easter fun at The Bookworm. keep checking our web-site and whats-on page.

We are currently reading a very funny book "The Great Chocoplot" by Chris Callaghan and we will have a scrumptious book review later on this week for you. In addition watch out for our update on what your recommendations are in our primary schools.
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