My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece, Annabel Pitcher

I have read this solely because it is on the Carnegie 2012 Shortlist which I am leading a shadowing group for at my school. Something about the title, the rather pastel chintzy cover, the subject matter simply didn’t appeal. At the risk of being judgmental it struck me as a rather girly book. All I…

Everybody Jam, Ali Lewis

So now I’ve finished, did this novel improve? Unfortunately no! It is entirely the fault of the narrator I think and just shows how hugely important the narrative voice is in a first person narrative. Here it is the voice of a thirteen year old boy and he just annoyed the hell out of me…

Small Change For Stuart, Lissa Evans

A lovely and somehow old-fashioned adventure tale. Somehow reminiscent of Enid Blyton… As well as the plethora of games you can get now where you investigate various settings, find clues, use them to unlock new rooms… This is a Carnegie 2012 shortlisted tale and very much aimed at the lower end of the age bracket:…

Between Shades Of Gray, Ruta Sepetys

This is a very powerful book: all the more powerful and painful as it is based on historical fact and first-hand accounts. Lina is a fifteen year old Lithuanian school girl, a talented artist, a member of a loving family. In 1941, caught between Hitler’s fascism to the west and Stalin’s communism to the East,…

My Name Is Mina, David Almond

Just finished My Name Is Mina. Good book, interesting but I don’t think it’s a winner. It tells the story of Mina from Skellig, essentially recording her thoughts in a journal over the winter / spring before she met Michael. I have a memory of her being quite mysterious and enigmatically in Skellig and was…

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

Oh, this is an extraordinary book! There are very few books that make me feel genuinely emotional and (a very little bit) teary but this was one. There is something about in simplicity of the prose, the inevitability of the ending, the unflinching acceptance of extraordinary and unavoidable pain, the wonderful mythic nature of the…