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Posts Tagged ‘Schools’

First Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd.

October 10, 2017 Comments off

skeleton schoolFirst Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2017.

Deep in the dark forest, lurking amongst the trees there is a creepy night-time school for  spooky girls and boys. Are you one of them?

It is a school like the one you go to, except it is for ghouls, monsters, skeletons, werewolves and other spooky creatures. There is a sign in the boys toilet saying No Wee Wees out the Window, and you are not allowed to do daredevil stunts in the library.

If this is the type of school you would like to go to then read this book or contact the headmaster Mr Bones and you might just get in.

A fun picture book with big colourful illustrations of monstrous things going on and rhyming text. There is even a pair of frilly knickers and a plan of the school for first day pupils.

Check it out.

Kid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith, illus. Erica Salcedo.

August 8, 2017 Comments off

kid normalKid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith, illus. Erica Salcedo. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

This novel for middle school, intermediate and junior secondary school readers is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. That’s not putting it down, its a compliment because reluctant readers are the big challenge these days and this story will suck them in.

There are two strands to the plot, one for each author, and they are skillfully brought together as the book proceeds. The first is about Murph, a boy who has moved schools so many times he is fed up to the back teeth. He is mistakenly accepted by a school that deals with children who have a weird talent or capability some of super hero status but not all. They discover Murph is just normal but he adjusts to his new life. Will he become a hero?

The second strand is about Clive Meeke a scientist working on DNA who is pressured by his boss. Who isn’t these days? While conducting an experiment with a wasp in the room things go pear shaped and Meeke becomes power crazy Nektar, half man half wasp.

If you want to know any more you will have to read it yourself but if you just want a snippet to get the feel of the book there is a short story in the middle of the book that mimics James Bond, about a super hero The Blue Phantom,  that is just brilliant.

Written by two BBC Radio 1 jocks who have the gift of the gab the story is never drab. Some of the idiom and metaphor are superb with Erica Salcedo providing illustrations that enhance the plot and give you an idea of what the characters look like.

It is a good laugh and reading should be fun.

Middle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.

July 21, 2017 Comments off

stoopidMiddle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

It was a miserable wet day and I needed something easy to read that would make me laugh and think at the same time so I grabbed Pottymouth and Stoopid. I was not wrong.

I love these Middle School stories they deal with serious issues like bullying, poverty, inequality, snobbery and friendship and they turn them into heart warming stories.

Pottymouth (Michael) is a black boy who invents new words that sound like swearing but are not. His friend is Stoopid (David) and they met at nursery school and are still friends at middle school. They are not as they are described by their school mates and are ploys to the old statement of “give a dog a bad name”.

Michael is a foster child and Michael comes from a broken relationship. Both boys and their mutual friend Anna Britannica are terrific. They have fun together but they have many low points that make them angry.

David’s father is a frustrated writer and a penny pincher but when he takes David and Michael to lunch one day he listens to their stories and this is to change their lives.

I do like a happy ending and am always on the side of the underdog. These are great stories for the reluctant reader, easy to read superbly illustrated by Chris Grabenstein and essential in every school library.

Olive of Groves & the Great Slurp of Time by Katrina Nannestad. Illus. Lucia Masciullo

June 4, 2016 Comments off

olive grovesOlive of Groves & the Great Slurp of Time by Katrina Nannestad. Illus. Lucia Masciullo. Pub. HarperCollins ABC Books, 2016.

This is a madcap book with frantic action happening all the time, for primary and middle school readers who love imagination.

In the front is a list of all the characters including talking animals, circus performers and naughty Boys.

Mrs Groves is as daft as a brush but a caring soul and she runs a school for Naughty Boys, talking Animals and Circus performers and in this book an important addition of Time traveller.

Olive is the main character and she has just been elected Head Girl of Mrs Groves School. She is a lucky girl because this school is not for normal everyday girls. The school is interrupted by a knock on the door  from Basil Heffenhuffenheimer a boy from the Black Forest Germany where it is bad manners to run around without pants on.

Basil is a timetraveller and he takes Olive and a couple of friends back in time to the Jurasic Age of Dinosaurs. They land in a nest of hatching dinosaurs and when they return to Mrs Groves school they discover one baby dinosaur has attached itself to someones bottom.

Catastrophe. This has caused a Time Slurp which means if the hitchiker is not returned it opens a time slurp in which other creatures can travel through. Think of the chaos.

To make matters worse there is a bully at the school – Pig Mackenzie. What will he do? Read it and find out.

Chaotically told by Katrina Nannestad with Lucia Masciullu’s illustrations enhancing the imagery of the story.

Timmy Failure: We Meet Again by Stephan Pastis.

October 20, 2014 Comments off

timmy failureTimmy Failure: We Meet Again by Stephan Pastis. Pub. Walker Books, 2014.

This book is totally weird but full of home spun wisdom and a load of laughs.

Timmy Failure has an unfortunate name but he is saved from failure by an incredible imagination. He has the gift of the gab and a sense of the absurd that gets him out of uncool situations. Underneath he is unsure, he is scared, he is facing the world without a father and he is a reluctant student.

He lives with his very understanding mother who goes along with his quirky behaviour including being suspended from school, and goes along with his make believe friend and business partner Total the polar bear.

Timmy is a detective and is on the trail of a Science Report that he wants to use in an assignment instead of doing it himself. Unfortunately he is paired with his arch rival, a girl he calls the beast and runs by the name of Corrina Corrina. Timmy is find out that the two of them are more alike than either cares to admit.

School Camp is a hoot. This book is for reluctant boy readers at primary and intermediate school and those with a sense of the bizaare. Those that liked the Wimpy Kid and Big Nate will love this book.

The cartoon characters have their own style and add to the humour of the novel.

Adults will love the musicality of some of the chapter headings and of course Timmy’s arch rival-” Corrina Corrina i love you so”…