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Posts Tagged ‘Individualism’

The Nest by Paul Jennings

January 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The Nest by Paul Jennings. Pub. Penguin Books,2008

I really looked forward to reading this book as Paul Jennings has essentially been a short story writer, par excellence, who has brought reading to 100,s of thousands of children.

Can he write a young adult novel? Well yes he can, and he does it by having his main character, Robin, as an aspiring short story writer writing a relevant short story between divisions in the book. So we get a novel and a few short stories as well.

Robin is a teenage boy living with his father  up in the Snowy Mountains area in Australia. Robin  never met his mother and he relies on his father for information about her. He does possess her wedding ring and a hairbrush that she owned much to the chagrin of his father who has a hostile view of his ex wife and tells Robin  him that his mother deserted them both because of him. This cuts Robin to the core and he is determined to find the truth.

Robin is haunted by dreams in which he is killing his father with an icepick and has other demons that he has to reconcile. He also has relationships with two girls, Charlie and Verushka which do not go well and he has some growing up to do.

Jennings is a master writer and he adds a mystery to the story which keeps you guessing till the end. Suitable for secondary school students especially boys.

Frindle

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Frindle by Andrew Clements. Pub. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

One of my favourite children’s novels of all time, it is a classic and every school child should have this story read to them at some time.

Aimed at ages 9 through 12 your kids will love it and you will too.

Nick is in fifth grade and he is the witty boy in the class, always with a unique angle and with something to say. When his teacher, Mrs Granger, is discussing how words enter the language and the dictionary, Nick decides to call a pen, a frindle.

After using the word several times Mrs Granger gets fed up and bans the word.

What a mistake. The next day the whole class is using it, then the whole school and then it is banned at school. Newspapers and TV find out about it and the whole scenario explodes from there. Soon there is the T-shirt and an industry built around the frindle.

Easy to read your kids will love you for it. Check out his other books too they are all good.