Wednesday, 2 April 2014

March Book Reviews

An intelligent debut that reflects the confusion children can go through after a family break up. Dan Hope is 11 and still trying to work out why his Dad left 4 years ago.. he is spurred on to reconnect with his father after seeing him in his new role as news reader on the local tv.

Along with the normal heartbreaks of childhood - falling out with friends, squabbling with siblings, Williamson manages to capture the confusion of huge emotions which younger children deal with in their pre-teen years when so much is still unclear.

Brilliant characters including Big Dave and Ninja Grace pull the story through to it's somewhat inevitable conclusion... looking forward to The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean on an Armchair. Would aim this at Year 6 (11yrs) and  pre-teens.

Part of my book group quota - this month we chose children/teen titles to share and discuss. This is one I've been meaning to read and finished it within a day - very easy premise of Tom being awesome (if not a little cheeky) and the fun things a boy can get up to. Like all boys he enjoys a bit of music, playing around with his mates and the girl he sits next to at school.

Illustrations help to embellish the writing and I can understand why this series is so popular - much like Diary of  Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates is an easily likeable character. Brilliant fun for Key Stage 2

Remember when you were a teenager and you obsessed over that guy/girl from that band? Well now imagine that you're front row at their concert and they are standing in front of you? What would you do? 

When Jody finds herself standing face to face with Jason Gatlin, lead singer of The Regulators chaos takes over and a week later he's still living in her mother's garage, wearing her grandfathers' clothes and trying to hide from his evil manager! Brilliant characters including the best friend Mac, adorable toddler Cree and crazy journalist make for an interesting 370 pages, if not a bit of a predictable ending.

Darling lives in Paradise, Africa... she spends her days playing the Country Game or Find Bin Laden, or stealing guavas from the security gated houses up town. This feels like a true depiction of an African childhood that you see glimpses of on the news, it's feels realistic. But Darling doesn't stay in Africa with her group of friends, she moves to destroymichegan... where everything is different.

This was a strange read - nothing happens and yet under the surface everything changes. Darling doesn't forget her friends but their lives are now so different there is no common ground. Back story is given through confusing flashbacks and I finished the book feeling slightly cheated for story.

River and Flynn have never been happier - Flynn has his anger issues under control with the help of group counselling, they've both moved to the commune with River's dad and even attend the same sixth form - what could go wrong? 

Teen angst and the confusion of first relationships ensues in this next instalment of McKenzie's teen drama