Sunday, 13 July 2014

Love, Lies & Lemon Pies - Katy Cannon

Love, Lies & Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon is a fantastic romance novel. What is quite strange about this particular novel is that I wouldn't normally choose this sort of book. However, I have really opened my mind to these sorts of books now!

Love, Lies and Lemon Pies is about a teenage girl, Lottie, who is coping after the death of her father. Lottie is sent to the headmasters' office one morning and he pushes her into joining the Bake Club. Bake Club helps Lottie and also the trouble maker, bad ass, Mac to see the world in a different way. Lottie finds her feet again in the real world, not the world where she pushes everyone away from her. And for Mac, well, Bake Club shows him there is more to life than blowing up buildings and working at a garage.

Love, Lies and Lemon Pies is a romantic, creative novel that contains the recipes which the Bake Club actually use. I have even tried out a recipe myself. They are amazing. It is a fairly easy read and I read it within a day, I loved it that much!

Publication details:
Stripes Publishing, London 2014
Paperback original
Review book

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Middle Grade Recommendations

Borough Press are running a book-a-day throughout June on Twitter. Today, the 14th June the topic is 'An old favourite'. So I have created a list of around 20 of my favourite middle grade books. Many of these I read when I was that age (9-12/13) and some are ones which I have recently read. Middle grade books are brilliant and they contain thousands upon thousands of stories which young children can explore.

An old favourite of mine and my mum's is Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume.

Middle Grade (author A-Z):

  1. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret-Judy Blume
  2. The Childs Elephant-Rachel Campbell-Johnson
  3. Cosmic-Frank Cotterell Boyce
  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-Roald Dahl
  5. House at Worlds End-Monica Dickens
  6. A Greyhound of a Girl-Roddy Doyle
  7. Kit Hunter Show Jumping in South America-Peter Grey
  8. Marley: A Dog Like No Other-John Grogan
  9. The Joshua Files: Invisible City-M.G.Harris
  10. A Laura Marlin Mystery: Dead Man’s Cove-Lauren ST John
  11. Moon bear-Gill Lewis
  12. The Giver-Lois Lowry
  13. A Sea of Stars-Kate Maryon
  14. Running Wild-Michael Morpurgo
  15. Born to Run-Michael Morpurgo
  16. Shadow-Michael Morpurgo
  17. War Horse-Michael Morpurgo
  18. Half Brother-Kenneth Oppel
  19. Wonder-R.J.Palacio
  20. A Monster Calls-Patrick Ness
  21. Pendragon Legacy: Sword of Light-Katherine Roberts
  22. Rooftoppers-Katherine Rundell
  23. A Series of Unfortunate Events (the whole series)-Lemony Snicket
  24. Oksa Pollock: The Last Hope-Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Books I Would Like To Do At GCSE English

When we do our GCSEs, it’s a huge step up from KS3. There is more pressure building on you and many of your lunchtimes are used to finish pieces of work.

So now we come to English! There are English language and English literature GCSEs and there may be others on different boards, though our school uses AQA for English. It’s all over the media at the moment about changing the 2015 GCSEs, especially in English. They may be deciding to change some of the books which are used on the new syllabus. So I had a nosy around the house and found some books I wouldn’t mind studding at GCSE. Most of which I haven’t read and obviously we wouldn’t read them all.

Luckily I won’t be included in the new syllabus (it’s a lot harder) as I’m starting mine next school year. However, I would really like them to change some of the books we read for the exams which we will be doing. Every year our school tends to do To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee or Lord of the Flies by William Golding so I’m hoping we might be able to do something else.

Here is my list of books I would like to study at GCSE:

Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Pigeon English - Stephen Kelman
Maya Angelou - Maya Angelou
To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
The Giver - Louis Lowry (this one may be a bit too young or easy to read).

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rooftoppers-Katherine Rundell

Sophie Maxim is an unusual young girl. She wears trousers and boys’ shirts, and social worker, Miss Elis believes that is unacceptable for a girl of Sophie’s age to be wearing boys’ clothing. Sophie was swept into Charles Maxim’s care when she was found drifting in a cello case on the English Channel amongst the wreckage of the Queen Mary (a boat). How a baby got into the cello case is a mystery in itself.
   Everyone constantly reminds Sophie that her mother is dead and that she died in the shipwreck, though Sophie has other ideas! Charles and Sophie go on an adventure of mother-hunting in the gloomy streets of Paris, where she meets the extraordinary, roof climbing Matteo.  Together Matteo and Sophie uncover what happened to her mother.

 Rooftoppers is a fantastic middle grade novel which made me laugh. There are peculiar moments and those heart beating happy ones too.
   The novel is written in third person narrative which is a change as I have recently realised that many books I read now are in first person. This could possibly be because many young teen books try to engage you with exactly how the characters are feeling. This means it leaves little to your imagination about how the character could be feeling. The way Katherine Rundell has written Rooftoppers engaged me in how Sophie was feeling but also gave me different perspectives on each character.  For instance, you get a feel for how Charles and Matteo were feeling or even what the city looked like but not from a biased perspective.

 I really enjoyed this novel and I believe it deserves to be a winner of the CILIP Carnegie. I hugely recommend Rooftoppers if you haven’t already read it. Many people dismiss middle grade novels as they are written for a young audience; they shouldn’t be ignored just because they are aimed at a younger audience. They are just as good as many young adult novels and this is most definitely one of those.

Publication Details: 2013, Faber and Faber, London, paper back.
Copy:  For review from publishers-CILIP Carnegie 2014

Branching Out

In recent weeks I decided to branch off from We Sat Down, a joint book blog I write with my mum. The starting idea for We Sat Down was to share and record books we read over the years. However, I want to continue doing this on my own accord.

On Manchee and Bones I would like to discuss with people what they are reading or have read. I also will be writing reviews on some of the books I read, though due to school commitments I won’t be writing reviews for every book I read. I mainly read young adult.

Manchee and Bones is a name I decided on as they are two of my favourite animal characters from my favourite novels. Manchee is a dog who can talk from the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. And Bones, yet another dog but from Sam Angus’s, Soldier Dog.