Thursday, 23 August 2012

Review of Under my Hat from the Cauldron

Review of Under My Hat, Tales from the Cauldron
edited by Jonathon Strachan

 pub Random House Aug 2012 9780375868306 ...

 Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron (The Dresden Files, #2.5)

Under My Hat is a great book all about witches. It is made up of eighteen short stories written by different authors.Some of the stories are a little scary, some are intriguing and others are just plain weird. I thought this book was very interesting and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I think this book would be great for 11 year olds or above. If you like the Harry Potter series you will probably like this.

 Review by James Douglas

review of We Can be Heroes By Catherine Bruton

Review of We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Burton

pub July 2011 978-1405261333 ...Bloomsbury


We Can Be Heroes is an intriguing book all about Ben. Ben and his cousin, Jed, being looked after by his grandparents in the summer holidays. When they meet a girl called Priti their imaginations wander and they think Priti’s brother is a suicide bomber but everything becomes more sinister when a little girl is kidnapped and cultural differences start a riot. This book also has a strong theme of family relationships and their effect. I think this book is thought provoking but still has some funny parts. I would recommend this book for young teenagers.
 Review by James Douglas

Monday, 20 August 2012

Review of The Million Dollar Gift by Ian Somers

Review of The Million Dollar Gift by Ian Somers 
pub May 2012 by O'Brien Press 978-1-84717-307-2

 Book Cover

The Million Dollar Gift enchants you into its magical reign of power as soon as you read the first page. Ross (the main character) has a secret that nobody not even his dad knows and he doesn’t really know himself. He is psychokinetic. With the ability to move things with his mind Ross enters the realm of magic by signing up to the Million Dollar Gift competition. Who can he trust and how can he control his remarkable powers? Ian Somers has made his mark with this first book and I look forward to the next Ross Bentley adventure.
Dominic Wakeham,  aged 12

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Review of Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Skin Deep By Laura Jarratt
Pub by Electric Monkey, Feb 2012
Laura Jarrat must have spent absolutely ages writing such a powerful, super-charged book.

Devastated Jenna - the main character- is left with a dead best friend and a horrible scar on her face. Every stare she receives makes her envy everyone else. She is embarrassed and scared in public, but then she meets Ryan and everything changes; Ryan is tall and good looking, although very full of himself.
I would recommend this fabulous book to readers of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman; they are both very realistic books with romance, powerful emotions and mysteries in. The book is plotted extremely well  and usually I get into good books really quickly and I stop reading bad ones in about a month (when I'm about half way through). I read Skin Deep in just 4 days!
From Katie P

Review of Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine

'Mockingbird' by Katherine Erskine
Pub April 2010  978-0142417751  Penguin
10 year old Caitlin has terrible trouble Getting It sometimes because she has Asperger's Syndrome, a mild type of autism which vastly limits her social skills (particularly interaction,) and means she struggles with coping with and reading emotion; since the shooting of her brother Devon, this made coping with  it even worse for both her and her dad. Previously, her mum died of cancer, so her dad had only Caitlin to turn to at home and vice versa. However, at school Caitlin had been seeing a counsellor called Mrs Brook, who helped her a lot with many of her problems induced by Asperger's, but when Caitlin asked for how to achieve closure, she cpuldn't say. Mrs Brook said that she'd have to find her own way, because different people find it in different ways- so Caitlin tried to find a way with the help of her newly found friend, Michael, who was only about five. She realised the way would be to finish the chest that lay in the corner of their lounge, covered in a sheet that her dad didn't dare to touch. It was the chest that Devon had started for his Eagle Scout project, but never finished now he wasn' there... so they finished the chest, and found they were able to move on in a way that changed Caitlin. Now she could use colours in her pride and talent of art, when before she had to use black and white because it was clearer to her (one of her specific habits.) And now, she had a friend!
This was a book that I really did judge by the cover- I thought it would be a bland storyline loosely connected to 'To Kill A Mockingbird', but luckily my friend had more sense to read the blurb! 
I always judge a book on how goood it is largely by if it teaches you something important about life when you've finished- and I learnt that in a very effective way.
I  was right in that the book was linked with 'To Kill A Mockingbird', but in a stronger way than I expected. Not only had Caitlin been nicknamed Scout after one of the characters in it and her frequent referral in comparisons to her life to the book's, but it was also about civil rights. Maybe not in the same extremity of 'To Kill A Mockingbird', but after what I learnt it was just as important about real life- like a modern version that teaches you a modern moral. It was a brilliant book that I would reccommend to children who don't treat people properly because they're different... and anyone else. It was very insightful and one of the best books I've read.
By Abi Pearce

Review of The Cloud Hunters by Alex Shearer

Review of The Cloud Hunters by  Alex Shearer

Pub by  Hot Key Nov 2012 978-1471400193

 Cloud Hunters


Review by James Douglas

The Cloud Hunters is a story all about Christien, a boy who wants to join his best friend Jennie, who is a cloud hunter. Set in the future, where ecological changes have turned everyday things upside down (have you ever imagined sky-swimming?) Christien persuades Jennie to let him go with her to rescue her father.  Along the way they meet many challenges including rescuing a sky-whale .The whole book reinforces the importance of family and friendship. The Cloud Hunters is an unusual story, its interesting but not and really quite exciting.  I think it’s suitable for young teenage readers.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Review of Insignia by S.J.Kincaid

review of Insignia by S.J.Kincaid

9781471400001 Pub August 2012 Hot Key Books

 Book Review: Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Insignia is the first of a trilogy by author S.J.Kincaid. It is set in the future, in the middle of world war three.

Tom Raines is a teenager supporting his fathers wandering lifestyle by gaming but his skill is noticed. When he is taken to the Pentagonal Spire he is thrown into a world where the Multinationals are everywhere and they are prepared to do anything to get more power.

I thought Insignia was a brilliant book and I am eagerly awaiting the next two. It's full of new ideas. intriguing characetrs and fun sub-plots.

Review by James Douglas