Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Between the Flags by Rachel Fenton. Pub. Cuba Press, 2022.

November 24, 2022 Comments off

Winner of the Laura Solomon Cuba Press prize for YA literature this three part novel captures the problems faced by young people when a crisis takes over their lives.

The following quotation from the book tells it better than I could so I have printed it intact:- “You can’t get rid of grief. Its like plastic. Once it’s there it’s always there. It just gets broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until you hardly notice it”

Mandy came out to NZ from England with her mother and elder brother and settled into the kiwi way of life. Her mother formed a relationship with a decent man, Geoff, and they had a son Casey who became Mandy’s younger brother and Geoff her father.

Mandy joins a surf lifesaving group and has serious rivalry with other girls in this group who bully her because she is over weight and different. When her mother is seen flirting with a well known local celebrity Mandy’s life starts to come undone. Then tragedy hits with the drowning of 6 year old casey and the demise of her mother’s relationship with Geoff.

Mandy copes by writing a comic book about a girl called Mako who is a lifesaver but it is not enough. She takes counselling, her school work falls away and her relationships fall apart. She needs help and a break. She gets it and the comic book is the key.

Two main parts to this novel with the comic book the third part. Read it and find out what happens. The comic illustrations are superb.

Very good teacher role models in this book. I wish I had teachers as good as this when I was at school. All the adults in this novel are worthy although the same cannot be said of some of the school girls. Female bullying is so personal.

Emily, the Dreadfuls, and the Dead Skin Gang by Bill Nagelkerke.

September 6, 2017 Comments off

emily dreadfulEmily, the Dreadfuls, and the Dead Skin Gang by Bill Nagelkerke. Pub. 2017.

This is a crafty story and ‘Dreadful” in the nicest possible way. It is for primary school readers and it is concerned with burglars, gangs, dead skin and friendship.

Emily is learning to write with her uncle Raymond who is staying until his new house is finished. The crafty bit comes as Emily learns that writers can draw their ideas and inspiration from people and events that are around them.

When burglars make an impact around Emily’s neighbourhood by dumping dust down the chimney and stealing during the chaos, Emily gets an idea for a story. When school friendships get strained over the formation of two gangs, Emily writes a story concurrent with the plot, but you will have to read the book to find out what happens.

The two stories merge with each other and there is lots of dead skin and Dreadful happenings.

Available from online suppliers after 17 September 2017

Once Upon a Slime 45 fun ways to get writing …fast. by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

June 29, 2013 Comments off

slimeOnce upon a Slime 45 Fun ways to get writing… fast by Andy Griffiths, Illus. Terry Denton. Pub. Pan Macmillan, 2013.

The team of Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton and his editor wife, Jill has worked wonderfully well at engaging young readers with wacky stories and wonderful ideas , well told.

In this book they recap all the stories and series that made them popular and hopefully, well to do. The great thing about this book  is that it links reading with the greatest side affect of reading, Writing!

Andy Griffiths has always pushed boundaries and for readers to think outside the normal way of looking at things. I use the word normal very loosely here. Terry Denton has always backed up the text like a good mate right behind you in a rugby game. The result is the reader wins.

He gives young readers and writers ideas to write about. All bizaare and humerous. If I were an English teacher I would be using this book as a text.

I just love the conversation between Danny and Andy over use of a fire hose on a group having a  picnic. You wouldn’t want it to happen to you but as an observer you might  laugh your head off and as a writer it would be a challenging story to finish.

Have fun with it