Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout

By Andy Stanton

Young Polly and her old friend Friday are forced to save Lamonic Bibber once again when Mr Gum and his evil cronies cook up another scheme to pollute the town and conquer the world. The ‘Department of Clouds and Yoghurts’ investigates the funny smell, behaviour of clouds, and disappearance of meat to try and find Mr Gum before it’s too late. But will Polly save the day…?

This book was interesting in places but I personally found the plot a bit predictable. I think it is more suited to younger readers as I think they would enjoy it more. In this series of ‘Mr Gum’, Stanton has created a group of fun and classic characters who all follow suit and give you a great children’s story. I didn’t have a favourite but I thought Friday was really fun as he was your traditional old man.

In places this book was funny with mild, humour, but mostly I didn’t really connect with it. The illustrations added another dimension to the book which I think would really help more inexperienced readers to picture what’s happening.

Overall I didn’t really enjoy this book as I think it is more suitable for younger readers.

By Eleanor,
Year 9

Small Change for Stuart

By Lissa Evans
Small Change for Stuart is about an unusually small boy called Stuart, whose great uncle was a famous magician who mysteriously disappeared many years ago. When his family move to the town where his uncle was born and lived, Stuart discovers a note left for his dad many years ago. He follows an intricate trail of clues to discover the truth of his great uncle’s disappearance, with a determined businesswoman and a hopeless magician out to stop him.
It was a strange book, and a lot of the things that happened seemed to be mostly of coincidence, but I really enjoyed it. It was written very well, and I don’t get bored once!
My favourite character was Leonara, because she helped Stuart even though she was blind and didn’t really know who he was. She rescued him, protected him from Jeannie, and freed Clifford. She was a really kind, generous person. It was a shame you didn’t find more about what happened to her at the end, but you do know she is happy.
I really like this type of book, and this is a perfect example why.9/10!
Molly  (Year 8)

Twilight Robbery

By Francis Hardinge
Twilight Robbery is set in a world where the time of your birth dictates what type of person you are. Mosca Mye and Euponymous Clent were thrown together before the book starts, and live on money earned from trickery and deceit. They uncover a plan to capture Beamabeth, a mayor’s daughter, but they discover that Beamabeth is not all she seems.
This book was really interesting, but at first I wasn’t sure what was going on, and it took a while for the main plot to develop. I really liked the way the book highlighted stereotyping and I thought that the idea of the Beloved and all of the Guilds was really clever.
As much as I hate her, I think that my favourite character has to be Beamabeth. She was so smart and cunning, and I had no idea what she was really like, until Mosca explained it to everyone. Even though she was completely evil, I felt so sorry for her at the end and I think that’s a really hard type of character to create.
I would recommend this nook to all of my friends, but it wasn’t perfect. 9/10!
Molly  (Year 8)

Moon Pie.

By Simon Mason.

Martha has big responsibility’s at only the age of eleven. Already she looks after her family, including her brother Tug, and her father, who is a forgetful man. Martha manages to do all of this as well as the things eleven year old girls should do... when she gets the time. When Martha starts finding alcohol bottles all around the place, she realises that some thing isn't right with her dad. Martha has to take control. But it isn't as easy as she thought it would be.

I really loved this book as I thought the characters were amazing and so 'down to Earth' and realistic. I loved Martha and her continual need to help people. It opened your eyes as you could really connect and understand the way children must feel in these circumstances. I really loved Tug, he is the mischievous brother that everyone needs!

I thought this had a really interesting plot that it actually believable! The way in which Mason has told the story really gets through to you and makes you want to constantly read on! Mason has put the right mix of everything in the book, humour, sadness, and adventure.

Overall a fantastic novel!

Jess year 9.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Small Change for Stuart

By Lissa Evans

When Stuart moves house to Beeton, he is not happy or excited. In fact he is miserable, until he discovers that his Great Uncle who lived here was a great magician. Armed with just some three-penny bits, a photo book and the help of his new neighbour, Stuart must follow the clues and solve the mystery of the disappearance of his Great Uncle Tony.

I really liked this book as I found the element of magic fun. This was the only book out of the 8 that had a slight fantasy genre and I thought it was excellently placed throughout the novel. Evans has created a fun mystery which is sure to enchant all children! The plot was fantastic and the ending was great and unexpected. I couldn’t stop reading it or put it down!

The characters were very well described and you could easily picture Stuart trying to look interested as his Father lectures him! I particularly liked April and her sisters as I thought they were interesting and it was fun to guess which of the precocious triplets Stuart was talking to.

Overall I thought this book was excellent and very well written. Moving, moreish, and definitely magical!

By Eleanor,
Year 9

My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece

By Annabel Pitcher

5 years ago Jamie’s big sister Rose was killed in a terrorist attack. Jamie was too young to remember and seems to have moved on, even Jas, Rose’s twin sister, seems less upset. It’s only Dad who can’t really accept it. When Mum walks out and the rest of the family move house, Jamie struggles in his school and is bullied by everyone except Sunya. But Sunya is Muslim, and Muslims killed rose. Will Jamie be able to keep his friendship with Sunya a secret…?

I really loved this novel as I could connect with the characters. Jamie and Sunya immediately strike a friendship, playing super-heroes, which Jamie hides from Dad- scared he will freak out about Rose. Jas is my favourite character, so different from her family, yet always there for her brother if he needs her.

Pitcher has created a believable and realistic storyline that relates to a normal family life. This is a story of acceptance, remembrance and forgiveness, all of which the author portrays well. There is a mix of emotions which work well with the interesting plot. Overall I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it to others! Alive, amazing, and awesome!

By Eleanor
Year 9

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Small change for Stuart

By Lissa Evans.

When 10 year old Stuart moves to a completely new historical town called Beeton, he finds out that there is a reason for him being there. As the book moves, he finds out all about his family history and his mysterious Uncle Tony who was a magician, who one day disappeared with no reason or explanation. It is up to Stuart and his new neighbour to find Uncle Tony with only a letter and some coins, from this point onwards, it seams like Stuart will have a mystery to solve.

This is a very typical children book, what with the way in witch the hero has clues and has to solve the mystery, and the continual twisting and ever more thickening plot, but that is what makes it so wonderful!

Stuart is a very obscure character and even towards the end of the novel you know very little about him. However, throughout the book, you are given clues not only about finding Uncle Tony but also about Stuarts personality and character. I think this adds depth to the book and makes it even more beautiful.

Over all a fantastic action packed book with great characters that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Jess year 9

Moon Pie

By Simon Mason

Martha is an eleven year-old girl with big responsibilities. She looks after her lovable but unruly younger brother Tug, takes care of her crazy and forgetful father, and at the same times stays on top of her own life! But, when Dad starts acting ‘strange’ and mysterious bottles of alcohol are found around the house, Martha must once again take matters into her own hands. This book follows Martha throughout her struggles in life. If only all problems could be solved with pie.

I really enjoyed this book as I thought the characters were the most realistic out of all the books. Martha faced problems that lots of young children have to deal with and I could really connect with her. Mason has described Tug well and given him the exact qualities of a five year-old boy. He is constantly making trouble but is always there if Martha needs him.

The plot is believable and interesting. It grips you as you want to know what happens to Martha. Mason has found the right mix of humour, sadness, and adventure to make this novel one you won’t forget. Overall a fantastic book, I really enjoyed it! Clever, connecting and definitely complete!

By Eleanor
Year 9

Friday, 23 September 2011

Return to Ribblestrope.

By Andy Mulligan.

From the start trouble is on it's way for Millie and her friends. Before the book really starts, Millie had already hitch hiked, set fire to a hotel, lived through a car crash and who knows what else! During the book, the children in the so-called boarding school, learn about the history of Ribbletrope and what is hidden inside. This is certainly one of the most action packed, mad books I have every read!

I love this book and was immediately hooked with the opening page, even paragraph! The way it starts and the type of language makes it un-put-downable! The characters are so intriguing and quire they make you want to read just so you find out more about them. The book flowed beautifully and at the right pace so you fully understood what was going on but didn't get board. Someone looking over my shoulder reading a random page may say the book was boring and had a obvious plot, but is couldn't think they were more wrong! The book is like one of those woodland paths you go on, with the continual twisting and turning!

Overall, one of the funniest, mad, unexpected books I have come across!

Jess Year 9

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My Sister lives on the matelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

5 Years ago Jamie’s sister Rose aged 10 was killed by terrorists. Jamie was too young to remember her and when his mother walks out it’s just him his dad and rose’s twin sister Jas. When they move house Jamie starts a new school he is bullied by everyone except one girl Sunya. Sunya is Muslim and Jamie can’t decide when to leave the pain of losing a sister behind and become friends with Sunya or stay remorseful and hate filled for ever which will he choose……………

I thought the book was brilliant and I really sympathised with Jamie. He was my favourite character as I just felt really sorry for him. I thought the characters and the plot were all really well thought out, especially Jas as she was really supportive of her brother and was always there to comfort him and make him feel better.

It’s a lovely book and I thought it added a lot of tension and also sadness when Jamie’s mother walked out. This book has displayed a very true picture of what sometimes happens and how the families have to deal with it. Overall I loved it.

By Yasmin

Monday, 19 September 2011

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece.

By Annabel Pitcher.

In September, five years ago, Jamie’s sister, Rose age 10, was killed by terrorist Muslim bombers. Jaime try’s to grieve but he never really understands why. He was too young and couldn’t remember Rose. When Jaime’s mum walks out on, him, his dad and Roses twin sister Jas, they all move to the north to start a new live. But they can’t leave Rose behind. When they get there everyone bullies Jamie, except one, Sunya, the only Muslim girl in the school. Torn between a live of mourning with his family and a happy life with Sunya, Jamie doesn’t know what to do or think.

I loved this book and the characters. Although, my favourite character is Jas, Jamie’s older sister as she is so kind and dose everything to help Jamie and make him feel better about their family situation.

I thought this book was really smooth and an easy read. Pitcher had really thought about the individual characters and they all have such unique personalities. The actual story line was moving and realistic.

Overall I thought it was a beautiful book that has so much depth and warmth through the story line as well as the fantastic characters.

By Jess year 9

My Name is Mina

By David Almond

‘My name is Mina’ is about a creative little girl called Mina. She constantly writes in her diary up her favourite tree which she shares with a family of birds. Thought out the book we learn about Mina’s thoughts and dreams as well as her past life where Mina gets up to all sorts.

I think this is a truly beautiful book what with the birds, inside thoughts and the way Mina turned words in a notebook into a fantastic piece of art. The way Almond has laid out the book is amazing. The way the fonts change and the page layout is done to full effect and makes the diary seem more realistic.

Mina is an amazing character which I think David Almond has done to her full potential. Her crazy little stories and they way she looks at life can only make you smile. Mina is so lively and feisty, and yet when she spills her emotions onto a page she seems so vulnerable and hopeless. Perhaps she would put it as she is a little egg in a nest that has no one to go to.

Overall, a fabulous, touching book, unlike one I have ever read!

By Jess year 9.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mr Gum and the secret hideout Andy Stanton

Mr Gum and The Secret Hideout are set in a small town called Lamonic Bibber. Mr Gum and Billy William the Third are always out to destroy Lamonic Bibber no matter what. So it’s up to a small girl named Polly and her friend Friday to stop them. There is also a surprising appearance of a man named surprising Ben he pops up here he pos up there and is a funny addition to the story.

Overall I quite enjoyed Mr Gum it is a funny interesting story that keeps you entertained with weird language and eye-catching cartoons. As a book that is aimed at smaller children the author has done so perfectly and no matter what their reading ability is they are sure to enjoy Mr Gum.

The characters are imaginatively created and are always doing and saying funny and stupid things. The character Friday O’Leary is particularly interesting and he is constantly talking about his love of yogurt and sometimes and ignoring Polly whilst doing so.

It’s not particularly well written but the book is aimed and small children so it doesn’t really matter and sometimes it goes off the plot a bit. However I still enjoyed it.

By Yasmin

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Momentum Saci Lloyd

When Hunter witnesses a boy death he begins to realise how deadly the kossak soldiers really are. Hunter and Uma must work together to keep some special codes away from the kossaks although they may not like each other much at the start this is a matter of life of death.

I found this book really hard to get into and really hard to understand. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I think Lloyd knew what she was writing in her head but she just didn’t get it down in the book.

I didn’t like either of the characters (Hunter, Uma) because I thought they were both quite self centred when you first meet them but as you learn more about them through the book you begin to like them more and more.

I thought the book was like an episode of the Simpsons because in the Simpsons nothing that happened in the episode before applies in the next episode. The book made literally no sense.

All in all I thought it was a very nice idea that just hadn’t been developed enough to make sense.

By Yasmin

Monday, 12 September 2011


Return to Ribblestrop- Andy mulligan

 Before the children even arrive at ribblestrop, they hitch hike, live through a car crash, set fire to a hotel,and get a man to  collect his traveling van of animals and bring them to school for a school circus project. This definitely sums up the of madness  of the book.

Millie and her orphan friends live at a boarding school, well I wouldn't really call it a school! Throughout the course of the book the children realize the treasures hidden in ribblestrop, which everybody wants. However it may seem like a boring, obvious plot but as the strangeness continues mulligan uses comedy wit and emotion to make this book addictive.

I loved the first section of the book, andy gets the reader hooked involved and interested by his strange occurrences and unique characters and it makes the first chapter seem like a story in itself. Throughout the book I was constantly laughing at the things going in and this humor makes the book more pleasurable to read. From reading this book I would not know that it was a series as it was well explained and didn't seem like other sequels you were reading half a story!

A faultless book, good for all ages loved it!!
Chloe year 9

Monday, 5 September 2011

Twilight Robbery.

By Frances Hardinge.

Frances Hardinge’s novel, ‘Twilight Robbery’ is about, a ‘black-eyed’ orphan girl, Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent who are both down to there last straw of luck. During the book they find themselves beginning to be tempted by a huge amount of money that that can earn for completing a risky kidnapping plan. While staying at a toll city a trapped Mosca needs to rescue a girl she detests with only a midwife, deadly goose and a knight to help her!

Despite the first fifth of the book being more difficult to understand, from that point onwards the book is possibly one of the best fantasy/action books I have read. The tension and constant roll of action makes the book ‘un-put-down-able!’

Mosca is a strong fearless, independent women who’s logic mange’s to resolve problems throughout the book. However, my favourite character has to be the goose, Saracen who, in my opinion, the ‘mystery solver’ in the book!

Hardinge, has created two separate worlds within the same town. It has been portrayed so well in this book that when two worlds combined it can cause mayhem.

With the crazy characters, thickening plot, it is overall a fantastic, gripping book!

Jess year 8.