Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

This is an awesome book! It will take you a long time to read (almost 500 pages) but it is definitely worth it.

Neverfell, a mysterious young girl, lives in the underground city of Caverna with Grandible, a master cheese maker. She has no idea of where she is from or who her family are. The residents of Caverna are unlike other people because they are unable to show any emotion on their faces and have to be trained how to do this by Facesmiths. However, Neverfell is different because her face always shows exactly what she is feeling. Why is Neverfell so special? Why is she wanted dead by so many people? It the Kleptomancer all he appears to be? This book has so many mysteries that need solving.

You would probably enjoy this book most if you are in Year 7 or 8, as some of the words are quite tricky for Year 6 children. You must also concentrate quite hard to follow the story, as there are lots of characters, and nobody is quite who they seem to be.

Seven things we love about A Face Like Glass:
  
1) The cover. It is beautiful!
2) Neverfell's secret helpers. We enjoyed trying to work out who the people are who are sending her mysterious notes and messages.
3) The idea that perfumes and cheeses can be used to change the future and alter people's memories.
4) The chapter where Neverfell is captured by the Enquirers. It is so exciting!
5) Predicting who the mysterious Madame Appeline is, and why she wants Neverfell so badly.
6) Neverfell's plan at the end of the story. She is so clever to have thought of it.
7) The Cartographers. The map-makers of the city who have all gone completely mad...or so it seems.

We are now reading Twilight Robbery, which is another great book by Frances Hardinge.

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Small Change For Stuart by Lissa Evans

I had never heard of this book until about two weeks ago, when it was given to me by mistake. I started reading it in bed one evening, and am really glad I did. It's a great adventure story, full of magicians, puzzles, mysterious triplets and other highly entertaining characters.

The story starts with a young boy, Stuart, moving house with his family. His new life is extremely dull until he hears a tale from his father about Uncle Tony, a magician from fifty years ago. Uncle Tony kept his magic workshop extremely secret and well-hidden, but left a trail of clues for 'the right kind of boy' to follow and solve. Stuart decides to take on the challenge!

He tries really hard to track down the workshop, but is constantly interrupted by some triplets who live next door, April, May and June. The girls want to put him on the front page of the newspaper they are writing. Stuart meets a whole cast of interesting people on his adventure (not everyone is on his side), and has to solve a series of fiendishly tricky problems.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It's easy to read and moves at a really good pace. My favourite character was Stuart's dad, who is a crossword fanatic and always speaks using ridiculously long words. Instead of saying 'It is going to rain', he will say 'Peciptiation is due imminently'.

The story got very exciting towards the end, when Stuart needed help from the triplets in order to escape from an extremely dangerous situation. There is a sequel called 'Big Change For Stuart', which is out in paperback very soon. I'm already looking forward to reading it!

Monday, 18 March 2013

My email from Michael Rosen, by Alex

Last week I sent Michael Rosen an email to ask him some questions. I was delighted when he replied. Here is the email he sent me, and the one I sent him.
I'm Alex from West Earlham Junior School in Norwich, and I'd love to ask lots of question about you and some of your books.
Firstly, I've read one of your book called Michael Rosen's Sad Book, which was heart-warming but I was crying on the inside. But one part of your book said about your mum and your brother dying. How did you feel when that happened? It also said you didn't want to talk about it, so why did you put in your book?
WHEN I WRITE A POEM ABOUT SOMETHING, THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO SAY ABOUT IT. IF THERE WAS SOMETHING ELSE THAT I WANTED TO SAY I WOULD SAY IT SOMEWHERE ELSE. I'VE WRITTEN A COUPLE OF TIMES ABOUT THE MATTER OF HAVING A BROTHER WHO DIED. 
Next, apart from books, I've always loved sport. At the moment I love Norwich City FC, so what's your favourite football team and what's your favourite sport? Also, did you watch the Olympics last year? Were you surprised about Britain's finishing position?
MY FAVOURITE TEAM IS ARSENAL. MY FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH IS FOOTBALL. I WATCHED SOME OF THE OLYMPICS. I DON'T KNOW WHERE BRITAIN FINISHED. 
One thing I'd like to know is are you married and do you have children? You don't have to answer, but I would like to know.
I AM MARRIED AND I DO HAVE CHILDREN.
Also, can you tell me how long you have liked Roald Dahl and what inspired you to write his biography? Where did you find all that information about him? What is your favourite Roald Dahl book? Have you got any other favourite authors (not you)?
I STARTED TO LIKE ROALD DAHL BOOKS WHEN MY OLDEST SON WAS A BOY. THE INFORMATION ABOUT DAHL CAME FROM MY OWN MEETINGS WITH HIM, FROM TALKING TO HIS FRIENDS AND HIS FAMILY AND FROM READING TWO BOOKS: ONE BY JEREMY TREGLOWN AND THE OTHER BY DONALD STURROCK.
Finally, your book is in the Blue Peter book awards and it would be awesome if you win. Our school has judged the award but my bet (not a money bet) is not on you sadly. Is your spine tingling about the results?
I DIDN'T WIN! BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE ON THE SHORTLIST. 
I hope you get this email, and hopefully you will come to our school. If you do, our bookclub and all the children in our school will be amazed but happy about seeing you. I know I would be!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Koala Calamity by Jonathan Meres

Koala Calamity is one of the books in the Awesome Animals series and is definitely one of the funniest. It is by the same author who writes the World Of Norm books.

Koala Calamity is a very good book. It's about three koalas called Dude, Bro and Squirt. I like the part when they missed the coach to go the big zoo. As well, I also enjoyed the part when Squirt saved Dude and Bro from the crocodile. I liked the name of the Eucalyptus branch.

Overall I think this is a really good book and I would recommend you to read it! (and the other Awesome Animals books).

Review by Tazmin.

World Class by Dan Freedman

Reviewed by Alex.

World Class is an awesome book for football fans like me. It about a 18 year old man called Jamie Johnson who was picked for the World Cup to play for England and Scotland. He chose Scotland and played in every match. He scored 3 goals. The Scottish fixtures were against Argentina, France and Nigeria. My score for this book is 10/10. it's got a lot of football facts and stadium information. Sadly Carrow Road is not in the book. But read it and if you like it, read other Dan Freedman books.
 

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P Jones

As you may remember, Gareth P Jones won the Blue Peter Book Award 2012 for his fantastic book, The Considine Curse. The Thornthwaite Inheritance is very much in a similar style, although it was actually published first.
 
Ovid and Lorelli Thornthwaite are orphaned twins. They live in an enormous mansion alongside their servants (both their parents were killed in extremely mysterious circumstances several years ago). This situation is quite unusual in itself. However, just to make things a little more exciting, they have also been trying to murder each other for the past thirteen years! Eventually Ovid suggests a truce, and to ensure that they both stick to it, the family lawyer arrives with a contract for them both to sign. If either of the twins dies before they are 16, the other twin will receive nothing from the will.
 
All is fine for a while, until the murderous attempts start up again. A bear in the forest, an electrocuted chess board, poison... it appears as if both twins will stop at nothing to get rid of their sibling. They eventually realise that something far more sinister is going on, but how will they be able to work together after all this time as enemies?
 
I loved this book. It's funny and full of energy, moving along at a good pace. The plot does get quite complicated towards the end, but never becomes too difficult to follow. I have just bought a copy of Gareth's new book, Constable and Toop, and I am really looking forward to reading it. If it is as good as the other two (and apparently it is), then it should be a lot of fun.
 
Mr Biddle
 

Shadows Of The Silver Screen by Christopher Edge

This book is the follow-up to Twelve Minutes To Midnight and features several of the same characters. I actually enjoyed reading this slightly more, maybe because I was already familiar with the people involved and had a rough idea what to expect. Towards the end, several parts of the story are actually quite creepy!
 
A filmmaker decides to turn one of Montgomery Flinch's world-famous horror stories into a film (moving pictures have only just been invented). Penny, the main character, and Montgomery head off to a spooky house to make the film. While they are there, things start to go horribly wrong, and Penny and Montgomery face a desperate battle to stay alive
 
The book is a great way of learning about life in Victorian England and there are some similarities to the Sherlock Holmes stories, which were set at around the same time. It's an extremely enjoyable book to read, and the second half of the story moves at a really fast pace. You probably need to read Twelve Minutes To Midnight to really understand the relationship between Penny and Montgomery, but you will enjoy that too.
 
I really hope that there will be a third book in the series (does anyone know?). However, if there is going to be, it will have to take place right at the end of the Victorian era, as this book is set in 1900.
 
Highly recommended.
 
Mr Biddle

Shadows of the Silver Screen (Twelve Minutes to Midnight, #2)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Blue Peter Book Awards

Don't forget to watch the results show tonight, 5:45pm. Which books do you think will win??

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

World Book Day Competition

World Book Day is coming up on Thursday so why not enter the incredible World Book Day competition?

All you have to do to enter is to write down the name of your favourite book, and the name of the favourite book of two other members of your family (you can ask more people if you want to). Easy. Everyone who enters will receive two merits, and two lucky winners will each get a BRAND NEW BOOK!

Have a look at the World Book Day website to find out more about this great day (there are also great competitions to enter, including one where you have to design a bookmark). Don't forget to spend your World Book Day vouchers and buy a brilliant book!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Guess The Author by Emma and Sharice

1.  YNOHTNA  ZTIWOROH

2.  ANEN  NEIF

3.  ENIREHTAK  NOSRETAP

4.  RAOLD  ADLH

There will be a prize for the person who gets all the answers right.