Tuesday, 31 May 2011
But if any of you are up to anything book / nerdfighter related over the break (yes Molly - I mean you! We need a full write up of the Patrick Ness and David Almond event please!) do let us know on here. And of course please keep posting your superb reviews.
Rest up, read, scribble, and for those of you with exams: don't revise too hard.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
By Marcus Sedgwick
This book is about two girls who have an odd friendship that turns patchy in some places. After Rebecca and her Father move to Winterfold, Rebecca soon meets a girl called Ferelith, who is very well known around the area and has had a horrible start to her life.
My favourite Character is Rebecca because I like to involve myself in the story, to do this I try and tell characters what to do! Rebecca is an easy target and I can’t help it but keep asking questions. For instance when she followed Ferelith into the tunnel I kept asking ‘why?’ after all the times Ferelith had put her through a huge panic and pain for a joke, and then she just let Ferelith comfort her! However I did think Rebecca chose correct here: ‘Ferelith’ she said ‘I only want you to show me the way out of this place, and then I never want to see you again, as long as I live. Right?’ I thought here it vas very powerful by the use of the short sentences and the way she said it!
The first page had me gripped, I couldn’t put the book down and it was a very good storyline. I think it had a good pace that sometimes got quite fast, I think the reason for this was because the book itself was very easy to read. When I read the first few diary entries of the Religious man I was very lost but it soon came together and I started to understand who he was. I did have to guess when Fereith said, ‘The girl had to go, that was all I thought. I’d had enough of her, and she had to go, and find out for both of us what lies on the other side.’ I assumed she meant Rebecca but she actually meant herself.
Overall I thought this book was very good for my first read of a Gothic Novel! The only part that did annoy me was the Religious Man, because you wanted to find out what happens next in the story and then he pops up! Apart from that this book was good and an enjoyable read!
Review by Fiona, Year 8
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
By Patrick Ness.
Jess year 8
Today also marks the unveiling of some great projects.
First up is William's animated trailer for White Crow:
Sorry, I have to put in the link as for some reason the video is refusing to embed.
There's also this stunning acted version, put together by several of the Year 8s. Love it! Watch to the end for outtakes... ;)
I've been so impressed with the amount of effort and skill that you've all put into these (and the cakes). Thank you all so much! Your prize is an author... ;)
I'd also like to say a big giant thank you to Marcus for coming to visit us today, we're all really looking forward to it.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
First, Emily S drew this wonderful picture of Pell and Bean, from The Bride's Farewell.
And then Molly drew this stunning image of the stone bridge from White Crow, where Rebecca and Ferelith shelter during the storm, only to wake up and discover that the sea has eaten away at the cliff, leaving them nearly on the edge.
Monday, 23 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Just a reminder though to please make sure that you don't post surnames or form groups, as this is a public blog and we do need to be careful with the security aspects.
Thanks everyone, keep going :D
This book is about Rebecca, a girl from the city, who goes to live in Winterfold with her father, who makes friends with the strange Ferelith. Their friendship a strange one and is the starter of many weird events. Rebecca doesn't have a very good relationship with her Father and they are always avoiding each other. It flicks between the present day and two centuries ago, when the two people often walk the same path.
I really enjoyed reading this book, although did find it confusing in some ways. I thought the way Sedgwick described the characters feelings was very impressive, and I liked how their actions were always important in some way or another. I particularly liked the explanation behind Rebecca and her Fathers arguments and relationship was clever.
My favourite part of the book was when Ferelith and Rebecca met. I liked this bit because I thought it seemed weird and Ferelith came across as quite mysterious. I didn't really like Ferelith as a character becuase she did things I think were quite mean, but I liked the sense of unexpectedness she gave to the book.
I thought the idea of two different people living at different times, but in the same place, was very good but I did sometimes think the one living hundreds of years ago dragged on a bit about God and hell and heaven. Although I didn't really like that, others might and I think it gave you a true sense of how that person might feel if they were real.
I conclusion, I thought it was a good book, with a sense of mystery and the way it is written is very clever.It isn't the kind of book I would pick up off the shelf, but I'm glad I have read it.
By Emily, Year 7
Saturday, 21 May 2011
By Marcus Sedgwick
Rebecca Case travels to a little cottage with her father in the small hamlet called Winterfold to escape her life and past. At least, that’s all Winterfold is now- three streets- after the sea has been eating away at it for centuries. When Rebecca meets Ferelith, the strangely intelligent girl living in the Rectory, they strike an uneasy and at times shocking friendship in which both lonely souls seek refuge. Ferelith has become obsessed with the ‘afterlife’ and what awaits you after death. As she draws Rebecca further into her games they both get tangled up in the legend of Winterfold Hall. Neither girl could’ve guessed what awaited them.
At the same time as following Rebecca and Ferelith this strange but intriguing novel also charts a diary written by a priest in the eighteenth century. The priest meets a doctor and together they try and communicate with the afterlife. Seven people are subject to their experiments and the priest records all their successes and failures in the diary. He expresses his feelings and it seems that he believes the devil awaits him after death. It is easy to step into his shoes as Sedgwick has described with care all of his emotions.
Ferelith describes to Rebecca the legend of the priest and the doctor and they enjoy challenging each other to dares. What started off as a bit of fun gets out of hand but then the girls discover even more and they set off a chain of spooky events. Sedgwick described Winterfold and its’ remaining buildings well and made them seem like exactly what they were supposed be- a few derelict rooms slowly being consumed by the sea. I really quite enjoyed the descriptive passages, especially the third person ones as you could view the places perfectly in your mind.
The narration of the novel was split three-ways this time- firstly there was the priests’ diary, next there was also passages written by Ferelith in first person, and, finally there was the anonymous onlooker who narrated the majority of the story in third person. My favourite sections of narrative were Ferelith’s as you got to know a little about her past and feelings each time. However, despite this Rebecca was my favourite character as she was well written and created, yet she seemed rawer and less sure of herself than Ferelith and she didn’t know what to expect in her new life.
My only problem with this book was the subject and questions. The topics raised in this book about death were quite freaky and obsessive at times. They were very thought provoking and sometimes I didn’t know what to believe at all. I ended up getting a little confused as the novel progressed but I grasped the gist of the plot. The genre of this book was not one that I would usually read but I do not think that this book is your average gothic read- it’s better! The plot was interesting (even if my mind was reeling with questions) but it really annoyed me how the book ended so abruptly and didn’t answer all the questions but hinted to the answers.
Overall I enjoyed reading this novel and thought that the characters were very well constructed, especially Ferelith who was spooky and interesting at the same time! The narration was the only one I’ve read that was split into three parts and I thought that it was a really good point to the novel as it made the whole thing easier to visualise because you had so many points of view to look from. The plot was interesting but the subjects and questions raised throughout did not interest me that much and I ended up going in circles to decide which side I was supporting. In conclusion I thought that the book was good with a good array of characters and an interesting plot, but I found the questions mind boggling and sometimes didn’t know what was going on. I would recommend it to any of my friends!
My only criticism is that I think that Patrick Ness could have put shortened the length as of the book because I feel that it could have been put into a book almost half the size.
Overall I found this book stunningly good and I would certainly recommend it to anyone of my Friends
Friday, 20 May 2011
White Crow is about a girl that visits the town of Winterfold for the Summer with her dad to escape some of the events of the past. When Rebecca arrives her newfound friend Ferelith seems rather strange, obsessed by a question that has plagued those centuries before her in the same little town.
I thought the book was good. It was a bit unexpected and though at first Ferelith seemed scary and strange to the point of a stalker maybe I think by the end you understand who she really is. My favourite character was the religious man who wrote the diary entries throughout various points in the book. I didn’t especially like him as person, indeed he seemed a rather cruel character but I think he was developed well. You could understand his obsession, his need to find out the answer, these were driven by his own preaching. I think he was definitely a motivated character but also extremely selfish and fickle. After all that had happened he decided that all of his beliefs were either false or should be changed in some way. I found the story was gripping but I can’t identify why. The book was rather intriguing, although there was plot I did not really know where the story went. All of it was layering for the final climax I think; it would not have been as good without all of that before it. But it needed the ending to seem satisfying; I thought this was achieved very well and I think it just showed you how in depth Ferelith is as a person. Not just a character in a book.
I thought White Crow is a good book. It was more in depth than many I have read and it was very thought-provoking. However some of the things it made you think about, I think if you had a passion to know the answer, could drive you insane. There is no way to prove some things that are brought up in this book and thinking about them simply can make it seem more complicated. They are things that either won’t or it is near impossible to prove. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to read about some things that may be disturbing in a rather gothic sense. I think that some would dislike it though because it could come across as just cryptic questions almost. There was a plot, and a story but I think this book really just made me think about subjects this book focused on and I think some people wouldn’t like to think about them.
By Jenna Yr8
By Jason Wallace
The bride’s farewell is a story about a girl named Pell (aged 17) who runs away on the night of her wedding and who is later joined by her younger brother Bean (who is mute). She rides away on here on her horse Jack only taking her prized possessions and general necessities. How will she survive?
The book was good although I found it a bit boring and it is not normally the type of book I go for. It was quite like a fairy romantic type novel and so I didn’t really enjoy it that much. But even though I didn’t like it, it was still a very good book and was written very well. The characters had very interesting names that were also slightly weird like Pell and Bean.
The characters had very strong emotions though and I liked the way they were portrayed. I found that the description however was really good and I could really see what was happening and what all the characters looked like.
Although I don’t really want to read any more books by her, I think it is good to read other genres.
Even though I didn’t like it is a good book and very well written. Good job Rosoff and I hope others will enjoy the book.
Review by Yasmin Year 7
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Its 1983 and when Robert Jacklin moves to sunny Africa he sees how war really affects people. He meets people who Are still at war and are not going to stand down. People like Ivan Hascott, who believes that his country was wrongly stolen from him. It shows the affects the racism war had on people. Ivan may only be a school boy who didn’t even fight in the war but he still has very strong opinions about what went on. And is the new president’s (Mr Mugabe) intentions all good or does he still have some things he wants to settle with all the white people.
I absolutely love the book it is one of the best books I have ever read (if you read my other reviews you will find I have said this many times). I loved the way the characters were developed and they all had really deep emotions, it wasn’t just a kid who always bullied and was never nice all the characters have many different sides. I also love the way the plot thickens as you read. I also love the way from the first couple of pages you can’t tell what the book is about this really helps grip you.
It portrays bullying in a really powerful way and shows how atrocious the affects can be. My favourite character is probably Ivan because he has so many different sides. I love the way he can be really tough but also really soft and emotional and he always looks after his friends.
It is really good how there are so many twists in the story you think you know something and it all changes. I also enjoy the fact that at the end of nearly every chapter say something like ‘we were like brothers but he would of thought differently if he had of realised what I would do to him’ this makes you want to continue reading to find out what happens.
I loved the book and would recommend it to everyone not just people doing Carnegie. It is written as if he is in the future writing a diary about his past. Well done to Wallace for producing such a good book.
By Yasmin Year 7
This book is set in Spain around the time of the Spanish Inquisition and it is about a girl called Zarita and a boy called Saulo. Zarita is the daughter of a rich magistrate and Saulo is a beggar’s son. When Zarita’s mother and newborn brother die, Saulo’s dad is executed by the magistrates. Saulo wants revenge on Zarita’s family and he goes off in search of this. On his travels he meets Christopher Columbus, famous explorer.
I really liked Saulo as he had an interesting story to tell about his voyages. The parts about him were in detail and I could picture the scene clearly in my head. I thought that the way Theresa Breslin wrote from both Saulo and Zarita’s point of view was very interesting and it hinted to you that something was going to happen and they would meet at some stage in the book. The story kept you hooked all of the time and you wanted to read on to find out what happens. At some points, the plot was fast paced, whereas in others it was slower. When one of the narrators had finished speaking, the chapter would leave you on a cliff-hanger and you’d want to move on and find out more but ther was the other narrator first. This kept alternating and kept up my concentration the whole way through.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I couldn’t put the book down. The beginning was slow to start with and I found it a little confusing at times but it picked up again later on in the book and made up for it. I especially enjoyed Saulo’s adventures with Christopher Columbus as you didn’t know where his route would take him next. It was a great book to read!
By Ben, Year 8
I really enjoyed this book as I thought the description was amazing and actually magical! I could really picture everything that was written! I also thought this book was really easy to read which I think, was helped with the short chapters as (although I didn't want to!) it made it easier to put down as I wasn't confused when I picked it up again! I thought the characters were really nice to Pell in many ways as many people may have turned her down strait away because of her lack of money and state of her clothes!
The only criticism I had with this book, was that I thought there were too many characters in to short a time. This made the book quite difficult to keep up with at some points! Although I enjoyed this book, I do not feel that it would appeal to many people, witch is sad when it is such a amazing book!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and from today are certainly going to read more of Rosoff’s books if this one was anything to go by! I thought this book was really exiting and had a amazing plot which was action packed and filled with excitement!
By Jess (year 8)
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
By Marcus Sedgwick
When city girl Rebecca leaves the bustling streets of London and swaps them with the deserted streets of winterfold her life literally turns upside down. Plagued by the media after a bad decision her father made, he has to leave London taking Rebecca with him. They buy a little house in winterfold. But when Rebecca meets Ferelith, things become completely different and they find themselves retracing the footsteps of a 18th century doctor and a priest which show them the true horrors of life, death and the afterlife. Winterfold used to be a bustling city full of people but over the years the sea has devoured it and its dark history. All that’s left is a tiny triangle of streets. However who would have thought that a group of people living so close together would stare at each other as though they didn’t know each other; as though the people they were staring at were some form of demon from mars, their penetrating eyes seeing straight through you. But like the priest and the doctor they find themselves obsessed by the same question “Does god exist?” “If so is there an afterlife?” This question obsessed them all so much they risked their lives and the lives of others to find the answer.
I absolutely loved the book. It grips you from the first few words and the way Sedgwick developed the plot was absolutely amazing. There were so many things going on at the same time no part was boring. I love the way that Sedgwick has developed the characters and how he describes them so well that you can picture them in your head.
Another brilliant thing about the book is the way it repeatedly changes the perspective of the book: Ferelith’s part is done in first person, Rebecca’s is done in third and the priest’s is done in the form of a diary entry. Due to this it keeps you enthralled within the story line.
Although the style is quite gothic I still really enjoyed it and I thought it gave a completely new angle to your usual gothic based novel. I thought that maybe it could have explained the story a little better at some parts I had to read twice to understand. All in all its one of the best books I have ever read and I would recommend it to all other readers not just the ones doing Carnegie.
Review by Yasmin Year 7
Rating: **** 8/10
The Bride's Farewell is about a young girl called Pell. She is engaged to Birdie, who was in a occupation involving horses. They plan to be the happily married couple when Birdie says to her: 'a house full of kids.' Pell herself had many sisters and has seen first-hand by her mother what it would do to her, leading her to have a change of heart.
Pell leaves her wedding dreass layed out on her bed and leaves home. Whilst gathering her horse, Pell sees bean, her younger, muted brother. Bean refuses to go home, and so pell's plans are complicated by her brother coming along.
She is going to Salisbury Horse Fair to escape her marridge in the knowledge that Birdie would marry one of her younger sisters. And with bean in hand, they make a long tiresome journey with complications along the way until Pell finds out something devastating...
i liked this book because it showed what married life was like many years ago and how young girls reacted to it. Pell seemed to be a strong character but caring at the same time. She also doesn't want to end up like her mother, stressed from so many children, and wants to live a happy, full life.
I liked this book a lot but I prefer other books as I like a lot of drama and i thought that there was a bit more needed as I found it fairly slow at the beginning but it did pick up the pace. I probably wouldn't buy it if I was offered a more exciting book. However, I really enjoyed it!
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
By Patrick Ness
Todd and Viola had saved their planet, they had it all under control and the mayor was in their safe hands, or so they thought. As the war continues and the Spackle fight back, Todd and Viola fight for what they think is right and try not to be affected by the corruption and death going on all around them. All three armies claim they want peace in their new world, but will they ever get it?
I must admit that I was not looking forward to this book, but, it surprised me and I actually quite enjoyed it after all. The characters are very well described and they each have different points of view. They share their feelings and their noise with the reader and you can look through their eyes into the battles. My favourite character in the novel was Bradley as I thought he was very open and honest and thought things through logically. Also he was prepared to fight for peace and listen to what the enemy had to say about things.
The narration of the book was shared by three people- Todd, Viola and Spackle 1017. This was clever of Ness as it allowed each army or camp to have a part of the book. I especially enjoyed reading 1017’s entries as for me their language was a whole new way of talking. Ness’ description of the battles and surroundings on the new planet was amazing (and sometimes gruesome!) and I thought he did amazingly well to create a brand new world and species but still make them seem realistic and well thought out.
I have not read the previous two books in the trilogy (despite constant nagging from Will and other members of the library!) but, I do think that this book can stand on its own as a novel. Apart from a few references to the prequels, I completely understood what was going on throughout the story. The plot I thought was a little boring, being mainly about the war however, it was more exciting nearing the last 200 pages or so. During these chapters, in which I finally got into the book, you believe everything’s going fine and it is all going to end happily, but then suddenly something unexpected happens which twists and changes the storyline and outcome. This is genius from Ness as it captures your attention and makes you really want to read on and find out what happens after the certain calamity.
Lastly, although I really liked Todd for his personality and general feeling, I had a big problem with his spelling. I understand he is not supposed to have been to school and this is making the book realistic but it annoyed me throughout the book! Formation becomes “formayshun” and through becomes “thru”. He spells solely on phonics and the way he thinks it should be written down. I personally think this was very off putting and I stopped at every version of his words. This made my reading of this particular book, up until the last chapters, very stinted and slow.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book and I am really glad I listened to my friends and read it! It had great narration and a completely believable new species and planet. I thought that the characters were fabulous and well created and that the plot was surprising at every turn. You never knew what was going to happen and this gave another dimension to the novel. My only problem was that the plot was a little boring to begin with but luckily this was solved when I got into the climaxes of the book. Also I hated the way Todd spelt and it really put me off when I was reading. Despite this I did think that this book was very interesting and very well written indeed!
By Eleanor, Year 8
I really enjoyed reading this book. Its so gripping, and exciting, you can't stop reading. It can be a little spooky at times, but I thought that it wasn't overdone, and really added to the story line.
I love the way the narration was written, switching between a second person view of Rebecca, a first person account of Ferelith, and a diary from the 17th(I think?) century. My favorite point of view was Ferelith, as you didn't get to hear from her as often as the other two points of view, and she was by far the most interesting and intriguing character. She always had something interesting, and sometimes cryptic to say. I was always excited when I heard from her, as I knew it would be a moving on point in the story.
The storyline was very interesting. It never got boring or dull, it was just gripping all the way throughout. The characters were well developed, there was good description, and brilliant emotion as well. I think it would have been interesting to hear from Rebecca's first person, just once at the end. It would have given us an insight as to what she was really feeling.
The ending was good, though I felt like I didn't completely understand the link between Rebecca's story and the 17th century story.
This book is my second favorite. I think the carnegie judges will like it, and I have a feeling that if Monsters of Men doesn't win, then this will.
I did not really enjoy this book much, probably because it just isn't the type of book I enjoy. The plot started off very exciting, when she first runs away. You're waiting for her exciting journey, and for exciting things to happen. But nothing does happen.
She just spends the majority of the book looking for Bean and Jack. It does get better when she meets the hunter, but his situation was strange and not really explained properly.
I have to say that the characters were weak, and my favorite one was probably Jack the horse. He sounded really sweet and gentle.
The ending wasn't very good. It was like the author had just got bored of writing and decided to stop halfway through. I wanted to know what happened next!! Not all the loose ends were tied, like what happened to Eliza and her brother? And Birdie?And why didn't Pell go back for Jack? I was very irritated.
A good thing about this book is the descriptions were all very good. I found it easy to picture what was going on, I had clear images in my mind of all the characters and settings.
The story is set in Spain, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile are ruling the country. The story is about a girl and boy, zarita and saulo. Zarita is the daughter of a rich magistrate, whereas saulo is a peasant living with his Ill mother and beggar father. However when an unfortunate incident happens saulo’s future changes dramatically. As the plot thickens both Zarita and Saulo have to confront their mistakes, their guilt and their losses. The story is about the life religion and love of two different types of people and how the holy inquisition, which control people committing heresy, changed their lived and lots of other peoples.
the story starts with a gripping paragraph which is about what happens if you commit heresy, and I think throughout the book there are lots of gripping moments of suspense like when high status characters are introduced and I think Breslin writes these perfectly giving hints without revealing to much information.
There were many elements of this book that were good. The plot was well though out, and the storyline was interesting and at times gripping. But it took a while to actually get to the good, interesting parts. I did not really enjoy the style of writing and the way it was written. I though some of Saulo's parts were not needed and did not really add much to the main story, but I could see that the author was trying to add in some subplots.
I feel like although the book was narrated from the first person all the way throughout, we really didn't get to know the characters. I felt like there wasn't much feeling to it, it was just kind of empty. I thought that all the characters just had more to tell, and more to them than was written.
Overall, I thought this book is a good summary of the historical events of the period, and if you like historical fiction, or was interested in this period in history than you might enjoy it. However, I really do not like historical fiction. Which unfortunately, most of the books on the shortlist seem to be.
Monday, 16 May 2011
In fact, yes, it should! Over the next day or two, make sure you've ticked off your completed reviews on the sheet on the library and I'll have a look to see who has done the most reviews and there will be A PRIZE. Unless it's a tie. And then there will be PRIZES.
When Pepper is born his aunt sees a vision that from St Constance telling her that Pepper will die at the age of 14. He has been awake for two full minutes on his fourteenth birthday when he realises this is the day he must die. He spends the day with his family and although his father should be home he isn’t. He goes out for a walk to the docks and when he arrives he asks for his father who he finds drunk in a hotel. The story then follows him as he steals his father’s boat and sets sail to the ocean.
The story follows Pepper as he is sailing and he realises how easy it is to pretend to be someone that he is not. He has practically stolen his fathers life.
I really enjoyed the book and I thought it had a beautiful style of writing. At first I didn’t think I would enjoy something like this but I really did. It was a great story and a really good idea to develop into a story. I would love to read more books like it but it was so unique I don’t think there are any like it.
The style of writing was adventurous and I really love stories like that. Pepper is a very kind character and he is always worried that what he said was wrong or if he had upset anyone.
Even though I have said all this I just couldn’t get into the book and I could not stay interested for more than 20 minutes. I think if it had some more exiting things in the book then it would be slightly more interesting. However hats off to Mccaughrean for it’s a brilliant book any way.
Rebecca’s dad was a Detective, but because he stopped investigating a case, a trapped girl was not found, who later died. He moves with Rebecca to the little town of Winterfold to escape the abuse. Rebecca meets Ferelith there, who teaches her about the village’s history – the collapsing cliffs and the dangerous experiments.
There wasn’t a single character in the whole book that I didn’t like. They were all really interesting, and I wanted to know everything about them. My favourite character has got to be Ferelith. I loved her unique perception of life, death and the world around her. I loved her unbreakable spirit and how she could never be intimidated of anyone or anything. I liked the priest too, and how soon he lost his faith after he met Doctor Barrieux.
It was a very interesting book, especially when you were hearing from the priest and learning what he was doing with Doctor Barrieux. I had no idea of what they were doing until right at the end! I would have loved to know what happened to them afterwards. I was so upset at the ending that I cried! It was a bit confusing though, and I would have liked more detail into where Ferelith went.
The book gripped me from the very first page, and it continued to do so throughout the book. It was also really interesting hearing from all three main characters.
The only thing stopping me from reading this book again is the end. However, overall, I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it.
By Molly (Year 7)
Out of Shadows is set at the end of the racism war in Africa, and Robert Mugabe is in power. Robert and his family have moved to Africa with his dad’s work, and Robert is sent to a boarding school. He meets Nelson and they become friends, but then Robert betrays Nelson for Ivan, the bully. He becomes best friends with Ivan, but he doesn’t agree with some of the things Ivan does.
I didn’t really like Robert or Nelson because they weren’t very interesting characters. I did feel sorry for Robert, because he knew the things he was doing were wrong, but he was too weak to stop, until the end of the book. Nelson wasn’t in the book for very long, but he just seemed to melt into the background, even when Robert was talking to him. I quite liked Ivan because he was really evil and interesting. I would hate him if he was a real person, but I love that sort of person in books. They make everything more complicated and less unpredictable.
It was a really interesting book, although I found that it went on a bit near the beginning. I also would have liked some of the loose ends to be tied up – about Simpson-Prior, for example. However, it was really unpredictable, which I loved. I had no idea what Ivan was planning until the very end!
I liked the way that the book skipped on a few years in the story, especially because I found the book was droning on a bit just before that happened. It was really clever the way that the story progressed throughout Robert’s school years and the climax was when he was just about to leave school.
Overall I thought it was a good book, and I would definitely recommend it, but I don’t know if I would read it again.
By Molly (Year 7)
Sunday, 15 May 2011
He seems surprised by the level of racism - England, or Pommesland as it is called by those brought up in Zimbabwe. The war is not as yet history; although the natives have control back, the prejudices and fighting continues.
Robert Jacklin (the voice of the book)'s father believes, as many did at the time (including my mum who was working in South Africa at the time), Mugabe was a great leader and that his Zimbabwe was a perfect model for other countries in the aftermath of colonialism.
One of the best things about this book is how real the people are. Teachers may not like to hear it but we do insult each other quite often, boys more than girls I think, and it is (almost) always taken as a joke (or at least meant as), the expense of the joke being spread around the group, although not evenly, as in this group those at the bottom of the food chain get it worst, Ivan, the apex predator, very little.
The Character of Robert is also very realistic, how he allows many of his morals to be bent under peer pressure, avoiding breaking them whenever possible, but still there are occasions when he does, and even if he doesn't he does nothing to stop it.
I liked how Jason Wallace dropped hints about what was going to happen, but never giving enough for you to work it out, just enough to tantalise you.
This book was one of my priorities to read as soon as I found out about it and is a superb book, not just avoiding disappointing me, but surprising me with the twists and turns despite me knowing what Mugabe would do, having heard of it in the knews etc.
A great book I would recommend.
The characters Ferelith, Rebecca and the priest (again I think he is a priest, I just don’t know) all contribute something to the book, it is written from their views.
The first character I will try and talk about is dear Ferelith. Ferelith terrified me. She is so weird. She is the only character in a book that isn’t the bad person that does that. It’s the way she thinks and acts towards Rebecca. She is the one character in the book I would not have wanted to talk to in real life.
The next character is Rebecca; she is the girl who has been dumped in Winterfold with her father. Through out the book you get the feeling perhaps Rebecca should not have come to Winterfold and should not have struck up a friendship of sorts with Ferelith.
The next character is the priest. Now this character I quite liked. His morbid diary entries made me smile; he was a welcome relief from the evil that was Ferelith. But it annoyed me that I did not know his name.
The plot, I think I lost the plot while reading this book. I can not recall the plot, I believe it had something to do with uncovering a dark secret hidden within the history of the small village, other than that I have no clue what was going on in that book.
The way it was written was brilliant, I loved it. The way it swapped between the three characters was easy to see and read. I can’t really say more than that.
In conclusion I have a love hate relationship with this book. I love the Priest and Rebecca but I hate Ferelith.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
By Geraldine McCaughrean
Imagine knowing that your life was limited, that you would leave the world on a day already decided, that you would die at the age of fourteen. Paul ‘Pepper’ Roux has known right from birth that he would die on his fourteenth birthday. His whole life has been spent preparing him for death and trying to please Saint Constance and the angels that await him in heaven. But Pepper doesn’t want to die, not yet at least; he runs away and dodges fate, surviving his fourteenth birthday and many more days. He encounters a series of people and steps into one great adventure in which he meets many friends (and some enemies!).
Pepper is the main character in the novel but he meets many people on his journeys including customers from the supermarket, telegraph boys and Yvette Roche. However, although I liked Pepper and the way everyone just accepted and believed him, my absolute favourite character in the book was Duchesse. He had a really caring streak running through all of his actions and words and this, along with the fact that he was written so well and made me laugh, is why I picked him. Pepper first meets Duchesse on a boat where he is Pepper’s steward and the man immediately takes to looking after the boy- it is their little secret that Pepper is not who he says he is. The two friends are separated near the start of the book but finally meet up again nearing the end of the novel.
I really enjoyed this book and I thought it was ever so well written. I loved the way that McCaughrean describes what pepper sees and how her descriptions always seem so real. They are fun and make the world come to life. I thought that the way she made the book so light and easy to step in and out of was amazing. Pepper seemed to jump from one life to the next and constantly believe the angels were after him. This in particular made me laugh as he took every bad thing that happened to anyone on his own shoulders and blamed himself, foolishly believing the accidents were meant for him and him only.
My favourite ‘life’ of pepper’s was when he was on the boat with Duchesse as it was interesting and exciting. Despite this though, I enjoyed the final scenes too when Pepper is at the tower because it brought all the characters together and showed off all Pepper’s names and lives at once. I thought this was a great twist in the plot and made the book even better and more interesting to read!
Overall I really enjoyed this book as it was very well written with charming characters like Pepper and Duchesse. I thought that the plot was interesting as Pepper’s life was constantly changing as he moved from job to job and place to place. McCaughrean made all the scenery and everyday settings seem alive and real with her fantastic and unique way of describing it. At times the wording was a little strange and some people may find this hard to overcome but, otherwise it was a great book. In my opinion this book was amazing and funny; I would definitely recommend it to anyone as it full of different genres and lives.
By Eleanor Lavender
By Geraldine McCaughrean.
Jess, year 8
First off - here's our official group photo. We're missing several people who are either on study leave or had an athletics meeting (grr...) but this is the bulk of us.