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Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker.

February 15, 2020 Comments off

real worldHere in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker. Pub. HarperCollins, 2020.

This easy to read novel with short chapters for primary and Intermediate students, is a delight from beginning to end. It is set in Florida and Sara Pennypacker’s style reminds me of Kate Di Camillo.

Over protection is one of many disadvantages of being an only child. Ware is eleven and a half years old and is a disappointment to his hard working parents. He knows they are disappointed and he would like to change completely.

I think he is a fabulous person. He is a dreamer, a thinker and above all an artist. He struggles to meet and mix with people and prefers to be with his own fantasies. He is the type of boy who when he closes the door to his room, every cell in his body breaths a sigh of relief.

He is put in a childminding school during the summer holidays after his grandmother who he calls Big-deal, and he hates it. Over the fence from the play centre is an old churchyard and he goes in there to play. It reminds him of a medieval castle and his great love is the code of a knight which concentrates on fairness.

Ware meets Jolene in the yard and she is a die hard realist but the two get on with lots of disagreement and banter. Jolene plants a garden in the old churchyard and Ware builds a moat around the old church tower.

Then an older girl Ashley tells Jolene and Ware that the bank is going to sell the church site and destroy the work they are doing.

Read it and find out what happens. Brilliant ending. One of the best of the year.

The Night the moon fell Down by Bill Nagelkerke.

September 26, 2019 Comments off

poetryThe Night the moon fell Down by Bill Nagelkerke.  Copy Press Nelson, 2019.

This is the first book of poems that I have reviewed on this blog and it required some thinking of how I was going to do it.

It was obvious from the first poem as “One quick flick One sharp click One small bulb Scares away the big, dark night” that Bill was born to be a poet and that poetry helped him remember and understand his childhood.

He writes about playing football with a homemade ball, riding scooters with ‘My best friend’s Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s brother”, going to the supermarket for milk and buying a whole trolley full of other groceries.

His father was a baker because “he kneads the dough (sad joke I know” and his mother makes concrete cake. Xmas came from Holland in a parcel and Mount Cook “lost thirty feet The day it’s summit plummeted”.

He finishes with every writer’s nightmare “A pain at night Can sometimes be a poem in the head” and the last  poem is 25 words given to him by a teacher to make a poem. Superb.

Simple, easy to understand and a lot more than I have told you here.

For primary and secondary school readers.

Categories: Poetry Tags: , ,

The Land of ROAR by Jenny McLachan

August 26, 2019 Comments off

land roarThe Land of ROAR by Jenny McLachan. Pub. Egmont, 2019.

When twins Arthur and Rose Trout were young they used to go and stay with their granddad every summer holidays. They had fun and used their imaginations to create a world they called ROAR.

They were the masters of ROAR and in their world they created a bad creature that was half human, half crow called Crowky. He lived on a island and flew everywhere causing havoc but Arthur and Rose were in control. Rose was fearless and had a horse called Prosecco and the world of ROAR was safe while they believed.

Now the twins are eleven and they no longer believe in their imaginary world or at least Rose’s imagination has been turned off by real life. Arthur is still keen but he too is growing up.

When asked to clear out the attic in Grandad’s house the twins discover an old map of ROAR and a wooden horse called Prosecco plus other reminders. The old doorway into ROAR, a camp bed is still there.

By accident grandad while clearing out the bed is sucked into ROAR and Arthur goes looking for him and discovers that ROAR is real but things have changed. In their absence Crowky has become all powerful, a magic road has split ROAR and man eating scarecrows wander at night terrorising everything.

The twins are needed to restore ROAR to it’s previous state. But will Rose come to the party and is Crowky really as powerful as all that? The existence of ROAR is dependent on Arthur and Rose’s imagination, perhaps they can save it. Read and find out.

Excellent fantasy for junior and intermediate readers. There are dragons too but the unicorns have all but disappeared or have they?

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross.

June 11, 2017 Comments off

worst children 2The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

You don’t need to advertise a new David Walliam’s book, the children all know before you do, so if you have never read one get hold of this and get part of the magical lunacy that catagorises his books.

In this book we meet ten improbable children with ten very real foibles that are exaggerated into a laugh out loud series of cautionary tales aimed at the reluctant reader.

Stacey wants to be a superstar but can’t sing and won’t be told. Frankie is fussy with his food and won’t eat vegetables, Harry never does his homework, Clarissa is cruel to cats and Colin wants to win everything that he does. Recognise some of these? Of course you do. Read it and find out what the other five are.

As ever Tony Ross interprets the written text with superb and equally bizarre illustrations that this time are in colour.

Simply written and very appealing, get hold of this quick before somebody reads it before you. There is no age limit on this novel and there will be a 3rd part.