Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Happy Half Term

Hey all, I'm working on a Marcus Sedgwick visit blogpost but have been struck by a lurgy that's doing its best to wipe me off the face of the earth.

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

White Crow

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

Monsters Of Men

By Patrick Ness.

This book is about Todd, Viola and the Mayor, who, as well as many other of there friends are involved in a war against the Spackle, on an unknown world. The war is in a helpless world and the three fractions have a struggle to win, or lose. This book is the third and final book in the series, after the ‘Ask and the Answer’ and ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go.

I found this book very difficult to get into as I thought to much unneeded information was given, making the book ‘drag on’ a little bit. I personally feel that the book could have been half the size. Although, I have said the above, I found this book really exiting once I got to about three quarters into the book as more action and suspense came into the book.

I also thought that the triple narrative was really effective in this book as it allowed you to see all aspects of the war and what was going on in all areas of the ‘New World’. My favourite narrative was Viola, as I though she had more feeling in her part, which I enjoyed. However, I also thought the way that Patrick Ness showed Todd’s situation in schooling by spelling incorrectly was really good as it gave it more depth and background into how long the war had been going on, and what some effects to young people such as Todd and Viola.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy this book for a while after I had started it, although it defiantly picked up towards the end and from that point on I really enjoyed it!

Jess year 8


Today we're very excited to welcome Marcus Sedgwick to the library to attend our Carnegie meeting!  He'll be joining us for lunch and talking about his shortlisted novel, White Crow, and hopefully giving us an insight into his work as a writer.  This is such a wonderful opportunity for our readers to ask all of their burning questions.  In honour of his visit, Molly, Louise, Elle, Eleanor, Imogen, and Delphine have been baking and we have the most wonderful array of themed and delicious looking cakes!  Photos to follow, but suffice it to say that there is an ENTIRE TABLE COVERED IN CAKE.

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

Fan Art

Over the last few days we've had some amazing fan art by our students!

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.

Amazing artwork you two, well done. 

Monday, 23 May 2011

White Crow

By  Marcus Sedgwick
If you see one white crow, then not all crows are black
Rebecca, a girl, who has been forced to move from the business of London to a small quite town, called winterfold which is falling to pieces, literally. She is upset that she had to leave her friends, her boyfriend, and her life and most importantly she knows she is slowly losing her dad. Rebecca lets the days fly by, bored and tired from the small sunburnt town, until one day she meets a quirky girl named Ferelith…
Ferelith has lived in the rectory, Winterfold all her life and knows it back to front; where the tourists go, where the cliffs crumble, and where the dead people lay.
Ferelith is an unusual character but yet we learn all about her strange ways and surprising intelligence, there is still lots of mystery behind her which soon leaks throughout the book. With an eye for detail and a great adventure Ferelith will grab you by the collar and take you with her on an amazing journey.
Rebecca however couldn’t be more different, used to the social life of London she hates the small town. She is a friendly girly character but is very wary of people and doesn’t seem as keen as ferelith. So when Ferelith comes along Rebecca is overwhelmed by her bravery, knowledge and expertise and although at first she doesn’t realise at first, the two lonely girls are the perfect match for eachother.
Ferelith entertains Rebecca through her days in winterfold, and as Rebecca’s life gets slowly worse she bonds with ferelith and depends on her to cope with it all. After ferelith tells Rebecca a tale about a Dr who murdered people to find whether they were going to the angels or devils, the story becomes a scary one as they try to uncover the truth behind this rumour.
I like how the story is told through the different view point’s ferelith, 3rd person and the novel's third narrator, tells his tale through short diary entries of important happenings and is a strong believer in Christianity. He works with the church in 1798, along with Dr Barrieux who lives in the later decaying Winterfold Hall. We gather that Dr Barrieux studies what people see in there final moments of life and wants to see whether its; angels or devils.
At first I thought it may be a boring book, but after about 90 pages into the book I was interested by the clever plot and the strange occurrences and I was really attached!
The book had a great dramatic ending; although very sad I loved it! The book left me with so many unanswered questions and where with some books I would have been frustrated the author hadn’t explained, this just made it all the more mysterious and better!
It was amazing the way the story twisted and turned at places left you feeling tense and not knowing what was going to happen, I thought I knew the ending but then the plot changed and my prediction was wrong.
Definitely MY FAVOURITE BOOK out of all of them, the plot with have gripped from start to finish, and maybe leave feeling a little scared! Amazing!!
10/10 Review by Chloe 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Fantastic reviews!

Hey everyone, just a quick one from me to say WELL DONE for all the fantastic reviews that have been going up over the last week.  You're all expressing your opinions really well and writing in a formal and professional way.  It's aces.

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

White Crow

By Marcus Sedgwick

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

Monsters Of Men Patrick Ness

The endless War. Todd and Viola only want peace but with invading armies of the answer, the mayor’s (David Prentiss) own army and the spackle it’s going to be hard. But will love trump hate or will the noise of battle still ring loud in the mayor’s ears. But does war make monsters of men or does it make a boy become a man? The mayor believes the latter.
The book is fantastic I love the characters and I love the story line. A beautifully written novel with drama, war, romance and pain.
My favourite character was probably Viola because she has attitude and she stands up for herself. She is also kind hearted and giving. I didn’t like Todd so much because he never stands up for himself really and he just does whatever people tell him he basically has no independence. The mayor still wants to fight even though it costs him the life of many of his army. He also can’t stand losing and he likes to get his own way.
“Monsters of Men” is the 3rd book in the series “chaos walking” and I think before you read this one you need to reads the first two like I have. I really hate the wait between each book as Ness tends to leave the end of the first two books on a cliff hanger because I was desperate to read the next one and find out what happens.
I thought however the book was a little too long and it spent ages saying one simple thing. It could have been so much shorter and think the length puts people of from reading it. This is a real shame because it’s a great book.
One of the reasons the book is so long is because it vividly describes everything from the scenery to the people. This can be a good thing and a bad thing it’s good because it paints a picture in your head but it’s bad because it doubles the length of the book.
Like nearly all the books nominated for Carnegie this year it changes perspective so you have to make sure you read at the top of the page who is talking and due to Ness’ brilliant description whose eyes you are looking through.
It’s a very unique book and I absolutely adored well done Ness and I look forward to reading more books by you.
Review by Yasmin Year 7

White Crow

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!

By Eleanor,

Year 8

Monsters of Men

Monsters of Men is the third and final book in the series Chaos Walking following after 'The Ask and The Answer' and 'The Knife of Never Letting Go'.

It is about a boy called Todd and a girl called Viola. Todd found Viola in the first book 'Knife of Never Letting Go' and this certain book is all about war. At the beginning of the story Todd is fighting against the Spackle army along side the mayor of Prentisstown and Viola is trying to get to the scout ship. As the book goes on the war against the Spackle dies down and then the war starts all over again.

As the last in the story I found easier to read as I have read the two books before I read this one. Out of all the Chaos Walkings I think Monsters of Men is the best. throghout of all three books you have always wanted to find out what will happen in the end and finally this great series has gone with a bang.

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 think this book is good and has a pull factor towards people that like war and running away so I would recommend it to any of my friends that enjoy reading long, fiction books which include war (which is quite a lot of my friends)

Harry Year 8
Monsters of Men
Patrick Ness

White Crow

This book is about a girl called Rebecca and she moves to Winterfold, she feels alone her boyfriend has left her now she has moved. Rebecca feels isolated in Winterfold and she wants to move back but its not only that she's been worrying about, her father. Rebecca barley ever sees her father at home the only time she sees him is at meal times and even then they do not speak to each other. Yet there is one girl that Rebecca sees often, Ferelith. Rebecca first meets Ferelith on a cliff and shes looking out to sea. Even though Rebecca doesn't think of Ferelith as a friend. Ferelith thinks of Rebecca as a friend.

I found this story amazing full of suspense and curiosity it drags you in and you always want to find out what happens in the end. But I felt as if the ending was maybe a little rushed but even though I found it very good. As I found this book one of the best I have read I would like to read 'Revolver' which is another book by Marcus Sedgwick

Overall I found this book stunningly good and I would certainly recommend it to anyone of my Friends

Harry Day
White Crow
Marcus Segdwick

Friday, 20 May 2011

White Crow

By Marcus Sedgwick

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

Out of Shadows

By Jason Wallace

One naïve English boy, one proud bully and one mixed school. All leads to disaster. This book is about a boy called Robert Jacklin who is forced to move from his safe home in England to a country he knows nothing about: Zimbabwe 1980's. The war has come to a stop but not for Ivan. Ivan one of the many angry white boy's in the cou
ntry seeking for revenge. Robert Jacklin boards at an all boys school, a school of mixed race - white and black. Wanting to fit in Robert soon makes friends with the school bully, Ivan. Little does he know that this just makes his life a whole lot harder! Throughout the book Robert is convinced by Ivan to do things he never would have never even thought of doing, and they're not very pleasant.

I thought the characters were very well written. Especially Ivan, he was a very clever, cunning, evil and confusing character. He would never do what you think he's about to do. Imagine the most horrific thing and double it and that's was Ivan is like. The part where they berry Nelson in the sand I was just expecting Ivan to leave him there over night but as always he went one step further and put a massive scorpion down his pants! I was shocked as I read that bit, I'd never heard of anyone doing something that terrible.

I liked the way Wallace wrote the book in terms of Robert's years at school e.g: first form, fifth form etc. It also interesting to see Robert changing as he grows older. From first from to fifth form there was a massive change in his attitude to life. He didn't care about getting picked on (probably because he was the one picking on other children!) his attitude towards Ivan changes as well. In the first form he's always trying to impress Ivan, and get him to like him but in the fifth form he doesn't really care at all because he feels like part of the gang quite naturally (like he's been trained hoe to be 'the gang'!)

I thought the plot was very gripping, because Wallace puts in a few hints here and there, that something massive is going to happen at the end. However the ending part where Ivan is trying to shoot the prime minister is a bit of a let down. I'm not quite sure what, I was just expecting something a bit more. It was very effective at the very end when he's an adult returning to Africa after having moved back to England for his new life. I thought it was clever how he met Weekend again and still felt the same emotions as when he did when he was a boy, even though it had been about 10 years since he last saw him.

Overall I thought it was a very clever book, mainly because the way the school boys are portrayed is horrific. The way they fight over anything and everything. It's a very powerful novel.

By Louise Year 8

the Brides Farewell Meg Rosoff

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

Out of The Shadows

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

Prisoner of the Inquisition

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

The Bride's Farewell

The morning of her wedding, Pell Ridely, a seventeen year old girl, runs away tacking only essentials, her horse and her mute brother, Bean. She wants to escape from marriage and her poor condition of life at work. Along her journey she losses everything including all her money and prize possessions. She has no idea where she’s going, what she’s going to do, or how she’s going to survive!
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)

The Bride's Farewell

Meg Rosoff
The Bride’s Farewell is a book about Pell Ridley who leaves her family, her future husband and her life. The book is about her journey searching for everything she’s lost.
The book was good, but I found it seemed a little similar to other books I’ve read. I know that this book is original with characters and ideas though. I liked the development of most of the characters. Dogman disappointed me a little but I thought the plot was still good. I also felt that a lot of this book was little scenarios strung together and although I like that I thought not enough time was spent on them individually; each one only last about 40, 50 pages maybe. I thought the story was hard to get into but enjoyable once you started understanding the characters. I found that this book is good, it’s imaginative…but it wasn’t legendary. I think the story moved too fast in some places, skipping over things that would have added to the story. My favourite character would probably have to be Bean because although he could not speak he was definitely felt as important and he could convey so much without having to speak. You could tell how much he loved Pell.
Overall I found the book interesting. I enjoyed it but I still consider it a light read. The characters were a little undeveloped in some cases, like Dogman, I did not like him. I felt I knew almost nothing about him, not his emotions or how he felt about Pell. The ending was also slightly disappointing. I thought it need an epilogue or something to round it off. I was a little confused at the end as to future arrangements.

Jenna Yr 8

Out of Shadows

Out of Shadows is a book set in Zimbabwe after the racism war when Mugabe is in power. Robert and his family moved to Zimbabwe for his father’s work. Robert is sent to boarding school. On the way he meets a black called Nelson and becomes friends with him. However, at boarding school Robert meets another friend (this time white) called Ivan. Ivan was a racist bully. Robert has to make the choice out of Ivan and Nelson. Ivan and Robert became new best friends. However, even though they were best friends Robert does not completely agree with everything that Ivan does.
For me I would certainly read ‘Out of Shadows’ again. I thought it was a great book! My favourite character was Ivan because he really showed what bullying was like back then and he brought fun to the book. This book was really great at combining a picture in my mind. I loved the language that Wallace used for example ‘pomme’ as it really set the scene for me.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it!
By Sophie
Year 7

White Crow

By Marcus Sedgwick
When a London girl named Rebecca moves to a village that feels deserted. This move turns her life dreadful! Her and her father bought a small house. When Rebecca meets a weird girl named Ferelith her dreadful life gets a bit better. The friendship between the two of them is quite strange. There are breakups and re-joining. In their great adventures around the village. On their last adventure they retrace the steps of the Doctor of the Village hall. Winterfold used to be a bustling town but got eaten away by the growling sea. The questions that Ferelith and Rebecca always were asking were whether either of them believed in God or if there is such thing as an afterlife. They wanted to know the answer to these questions so much they even put their own lives in danger to find out the answers.
I absolutely loved this book and would read it again anytime! I would also recommend it to everyone! The way this book was written it drew me into it by the first few words! I also love the way the book perspective changes all the time. There is lots more I could say about this book but the writing would be pages long!
This one of the best books I have ever read; not just in the Carnegie shortlist!
By Sophie
Year 7

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

By Geraldine McCaughrean

‘On the morning of his fourteenth birthday, Pepper had been awake for fully two minutes before realising it was the day he must die’. This sentence really drew me into this book.
When Pepper is born his aunt has a vision from St Constance telling her that Pepper will die on his 14th birthday. He spends this day with his family, except his father becausehe could not make it home in time. He goes out for a walk to the docks and when he arrives he asks the sailors for his father who he finds drunk in a hotel nearby. The story then follows him as he steals his father’s boat and he sets sail on a wave of adventures. He practically steals his father’s life.
I really enjoyed this book it had a great sense of writing the style of writing was very unique!
Even though I have said all these great things about the book I found this book quite intense at times so it was quite hard to read for long periods. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed it.
By Sophie
Year 7

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Monsters of Men

A warning to all who wish to read this book: It will consume you. This book will give you hope and then snatch it away, it will fill you with joy and pain and grief and love, and it will rip your heart apart a million times over. In other words, it is a masterpiece.
Todd and Viola have survived so much. But the Spackle are coming, a war is approaching, and "War makes monsters of men." Through this final part of the Chaos Walking trilogy, we see the young Todd and Viola adapt to impossible circumstances, and risk everything for each other, over and over again. Like always. But war is a terrible thing, and there is a price to be paid for it. The question is, how high?
Patrick Ness has crafted this novel magnificently. The beauty of the characters, full of the flaws which make us all so human, allows you to grasp them and never let go. When the characters speak to you, you are not reading an account of fictional events - you are living a very real life right alongside them. There is much in Todd and Viola which we as readers can relate to, but also there is so much that we can aspire to be. There is an amazingly realistic ideology to this novel which is admirable.
The structure of Monsters of Men, with its multiple narrators, should be confusing. There are many pages where there are two or three changes of perspective after less than a paragraph. By rights, it should be an impossible literary feat, and there should be no reader left without confusion. This is not the case; Ness has manipulated the voices of Todd, Viola, and another, and has used them to create the novel's biggest strength; there is not a moment of action missed, not a thought unheard, even when the plot calls for the main protagonists to be many painful miles apart. There are no awkward discussions between characters to serve the sole purpose of informing the reader. Everything that happens in the novel, everything that is said and done and thought, happens because it must, for the sake of Todd and Viola and the whole, stupid world.
Monsters of Men is a novel that will never leave you. It will burrow down into you and hide away, but it will always be there, a book to remember for all time.
Holly, Year 12

White Crow

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

By Meg Rosoff
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!

By Emily
Year 7

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Monsters of Men

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

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

By Geraldine McCaughrean
“On the morning of his fourteenth birthday, Pepper had been awake for fully two minutes before realizing it was the day he must die”

As you can tell from the quote this book is about a boy, Pepper, who has been told that on his fourteenth birthday that he is going to die. He has been told of his informed death by his aunt mirelle, who has been told that fact by St Constance in a dream/vision. Yet Pepper doesn’t want to die yet, and so decides to swap lives with various people, one including a captain, to try and hide from Saint Constance. However pepper soon realises you can run but its hard to hide… the book follows pepper on a journey through various places and disguises and shows how pepper copes without the comfort of his family.
Pepper Roux is a character that every reader will love and take pity for in bad situations as there is nothing bad or mean about him. As the last pages appear you wish that he will get the happy ending that he always wanted and definitely deserves. Pepper is a brave character that gains confidence and knowledge throughout the book and slowly realises he can break some rules without getting caught. The characters pepper hides in are his dad , captain of a ship a telegram boy, a guardian, a journalist and a foreign legionnaire he learns lots of new skills and wherever he goes death seems to follow!

A great thing about the book is that it never gets boring as something new is always happening and new characters settings and scenes are introduced as pepper changes from person to person.
Secondly, the book includes weird and wonderful occurrences that really highlight McCaughrean’s ability to capture the reader’s imagination and really get the reader thinking and always on the ball. Also the way the author writes her sentences makes the different scenes flow from one to another without awkward brakes making the reader almost able to just sit back and enjoy the running commentary of an amazing journey.

However at the beginning I think that the plot thickened quickly and could have had more description and explanation, I also think that this was the case with some of his character changes and that McCaughrean’s could have developed this so it was easier for the reader to understand and read.
In the middle of all this there was a big mystery in the novel … why does Aunt Mireille think and believe Pepper is going to die at 14? What motivation could she behold have for terrorising and pepper and his family? For me this ruined the book a little as I do like mystery but I think none of this was really answered and I didn’t like how after finishing this book I still wanted to ask lots of questions. Yet I cannot decide whether this was a brilliant purposeful idea or a bad mistake as it did rest in my mind after reading for quite a while!

All in all I liked this book and had great pleasure and interest reading it because of the many events taking place and of course because of the death defying pepper roux! The storyline and wording was amazing! But I don’t think that it will really stand out for the good reasons when I remember it and I think I wasn’t really blown away by this book.
Review by Chloe 
year 8
7/10 stars

White Crow

Rebecca has just moved to a new town, where she meets Ferelith, a strange girl who immediatly befriends her.

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.

By Elle

The Bride's Farewell

Pell runs away from home the night before her wedding, joined by her younger brother Bean. She travels to a nearby village on her horse Jack. There is more to the story line, but it is hard to explain without giving the book away!

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.

By Elle

Prisoner of the Inquisition

By Theresa Breslin

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.

The story is told by saulo and zarita and this technique in writing really makes the story more interesting as if not yo9u may get bored of one storyline and listening to different ones makes you hooked. I like how at the start zarita and saulo are in the same scene and then further in they drift apart, when saulo goes on the ship, but at the end the storyline means they have to end up meeting and how different links are made and pieces of the puzzle fit together. Although the book is made up some of the book has factual information and I like it when books give you some knowledge about history or life in a certain period of time.

The setting of 15th century Spain was greatly described and every inch of detail gave you more knowledge of that period the description however was interesting and not boring, which in other books it sometimes can be.

I personally the book could have spread the drama more throughout the book and answers and conclusions should have maybe been made earlier to make the reader want to read on more. Also I think also some more explanation of scenes could have been clearer.

All in all I think this is definitely my favourite book so far with the interesting plot descriptive characters and settings it’s a book I couldn’t put down! 9/10!
By Chloe yr 8:)

Prisoner of the Inquisition

This is a story following two people, the rich, magistrates daughter Zarita and the poor beggar Saulo. It is set in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. At the beginning of the book, Zarita's mother dies, and Saulo's dad is executed by the magistrate. Saulo leaves, determined to get revenge on Zarita and her father. He travels around, and eventually even meets Christopher Columbus.

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.

By Elle

Monsters of Men

One word. Amazing. I love this book!

It is the story of Todd and Viola, caught in the middle of a war in the new world. And there are new settlers arriving, and the Spackle are attacking.... I don't want to reveal too much! But as well as the main story line, there are separate sub plots

This book is so well written. There are so many emotions, happy and sad. This book could make you cry. And laugh. And shout. The characters are all so well developed. Each has their own separate story to tell.

I can think of only one bad thing about this book, and that is that Davy is not in it. He was my favorite character in TAATA. :-(

The ending is so amazing! It is so clever, just genius. I wouldn't be able to think of it. The best ending to the best series.

Review by Elle
Year 8

Out of Shadows

By Jason Wallace

Out of Shadows is a book about a boy called Robert Jacklin, who has moved from Britain with his mum and dad. He had to move to Africa because of his dads work. As a result of this, he has to go to boarding school in the middle of nowhere. When he gets to the school he makes friends with someone called Nelson but he's black. At the time the book is set around the 1970s there is a civil war between the blacks and whites. This means people like Ivan hate him.
My favourite character was Robert because he was kind and tried to do the correct thing so he then wasn’t hated by people like Ivan. I think that the characters were the typical kind of characters you would get in a book, although they were used in an interesting way with to link in with the story line.
The book flowed well and most of the time and made sense, but sometimes you didn’t understand it for example: the words “ja” and “lecker”. The book was quite gripping but it sort of went: something happened then nothing was happening then something happened then something isn’t happening. Finally, I think the ending was quite shocking and unexpected and it was sort of, oh. However, through out most of the story
In conclusion, I think the book was good and well written. It was a mean and gruesome kind of book so it was my kind of book. All in all it was really good.
Greg year 8

Monday, 16 May 2011

Ace progress everyone!

There are now FORTY-FIVE reviews up on this site, being read by about a hundred people a day.  Congratulations!  I think nearly everyone has written their first reviews now, and some of you have done as many  as five, which is totally awesome and should win you some sort of prize.

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.


Out of Shadows

It is a book set in Zimbabwe after the a racial war during the 1970’s.When Robert Jacklin moves from England (Pommesland) and goes to Africa because of his dad’s work. He does not like it so much at first. He meets Nelson and they become friends, but then Robert betrays Nelson for Ivan, the bully. Robert and Ivan become great friends but Robert is not too sure about how he feels about Ivan, the way he goes about things. I liked all of the characters even Ivan, Ivan was definitely a fun character and more interesting than the others. Robert was quite a shy boy until he let himself go near the end of the book as he had, had enough of all the bad things he was watching go on. It was action packed when the story got going but it took a while to get started. I would have loved it more if it had got going a bit faster but other than that it was a great book. Jason Wallace has written it in a way that brings the characters to life.

By Delphine

The Death Defying Pepper Roux Grendaline mccaughrean

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.

By Yasmin
Year 7

White Crow

By Marcus Sedgwick

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

By Jason Wallace

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

White Crow Trailer

This is a book trailer I made for Marcus Sedgwick's completely awesome 'White Crow'
Holly, Year 12

Out of the Shadows - By Jason Wallace

Out of the Shadows is a remarkable book set in post war Zimbabwe from the point of view of an English boy who's Dad has moved for his Job. He goes to a boarding school and makes two of his own friends before becoming part of Ivan's gang, leaving behind the previous 2 as they are not part of the gang.

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.


YR 8

Pepper Roux trailer

This is an animation/trailer that I made for Geraldine McCaughrean's 'The Death Defying Pepper Roux'
Holly, Year 12

White Crow

What can I say about this book; that’s my problem I can't find the words to describe the book in its glory. To me glory is too small a word to describe this book, and I am not saying the book was the best one I have read, what I am saying is it is the weirdest one I have read.
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.

Year 12

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Monsters Of Men

By Patrick Ness
Monsters Of Men is the best book I have ever read. The characters are so detailed and complex and everything is so detailed and realistic. The world is so believable due to Ness's clear, complex and brilliant writing. Chaos walking is defiantly the best Trilogy I have ever read and Ness is possibly the best author ever. Although out of all the triumphs Ness made one mistake! The death of Manchee. I get the devastation it was meant to cause but it was just annoying. I thought another author has fell for the killing of the funny lovable character... But then I realized there was no place in Haven/New Prentisstown for Manchee. Was it a mistake? But that wasn't Monsters Of Men it was Knife of Never Letting go. Overall it was the best book I've EVER read and I would write a short update on what its about but i really don't want to ruin it for people who haven't read it.
Year 8

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

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

Year 8

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

By Geraldine McCaughrean.

Pepper Roux a fourteen year old boy, has never had a happy life. His whole live has been waiting for one day. The day he will die. When Pepper Roux was born his aunty claimed to have dreams sent from the saints that he will not live beyond his fourteenth birthday. But Pepper isn’t ready to die. In a desperate attempt to survive Pepper runs away from his family, his home and everything that he has ever had, to his fathers ship where he takes the possession of his father, as captain.

My favourite part in this book was when Pepper was Captain on his fathers’ ship as I found this a really descriptive part in the book. I also liked the way Pepper had no idea what to do! I thought Pepper was a really nice character, and cared about everyone’s feelings. McCaughrean also showed that Pepper did not have a happy life as he was always preparing to die, which for me, gave it more depth. Although I liked Pepper my favourite character was Dutchess as he was kind and really cared for everyone’s feelings! I thought the ‘sweetest’ line in the book was when Dutchess referred to Pepper as the son he never had!

Also, I thought that this book was really descriptive and interesting. However, the only problem I had with thins book is I found it quite hard to get into, although after the first little bit I didn’t want to put it down!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book as it had a great plot, great characters and great description! I would defiantly read it again and recommend it to anyone!

Jess, year 8


Fantastic meeting today with lots of exciting news and excited Shadowers!

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.

We also announced two pieces of very exciting news. 

On 25th May we'll be welcoming Marcus Sedgwick to the library!  He's coming to join us for lunch and talk to us (or if the pattern holds, be talked at...) about his books and his work.  Marcus has some hard-core fans here, and this is a fantastic opportunity to discuss the issues raised in White Crow and hopefully get answers to all the questions that they've been dying to ask.  Hopefully we'll also get the chance to ask about life as a writer, get some tips on reviewing for our Guardian Young Readers and quiz him about his next book, the eagerly anticipated Midwinterblood.  
There'll be no early lunch passes for this one - you'll need to bring a packed lunch and a drink with you.  Rumour has it that he's fond of plain chocolate digestives.  Bring sandwiches and cake!  It's library picnic time. 

And on the 22nd June we'll be joining Patrick Ness for a Twitter chat!  I’m sure that Will everyone has many questions and things they’d like to discuss about the Chaos Walking trilogy and that Will will lead the discussion in a magnificent display of fan-boy geekiness everyone will have lots to say! 

How lucky are we?!