Just another WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘School’

The Year My Life Broke

I received my copy from the publisher.

9781742613352

By: John Marsden

Tarrawagga is a hole. It simply is not a place anyone, with any choice in the matter, would move to. Yet this is where Josh finds himself. He is not happy with the turn his life has taken, and he isn’t all that interested in getting involved and making friends like his parents want. Somehow, without really meaning to, he becomes someone he barely knows. He doesn’t get involved in sport and works at being unpopular. His athletic prowess catches up to him and he starts playing cricket for a team that isn’t his school and this proves to be his downfall, because in a place as small as Tarrawagga secrets don’t stay that way for long.

Then there is the house next door. At first he thought no one lived there. Then he meets the kid from over there. Then bullets start flying. This sort of excitement is totally not what Josh expected from a dump like this place.

This comes across as a real slice of life kind of book. The town is totally believable to me (maybe because I’ve lived there only it was called something different, in fact I’ve lived in several theres). Josh is as real as they get, the heartbreak of leaving a life you know and are comfortable with, the difficulty of starting a new school, the suckiness of not being popular at school. The simplicity of Josh’s life is what makes the whole thing so very tangible. This story is at times funny, frustrating and enthralling, in short it is life. Marsden shows a masterful touch in bringing Josh off the page. His family, friends and even the town add a texture that you can so easily visualise. Life can throw you poop sometimes and really it’s all about what you do with it.

Publisher: Pan Australia

Published: 01 December 2013

Format: Paperback 180 pages

Categories: Life, School, Moving

ISBN 13: 9781742613352

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Andy Flegg Survival Guide…

9780143306771By: Mark Pardoe

Andy Flegg wants an X-box, to get one his mother has told him he has to write in a journal everyday. Andy is not impressed. Some entries are really short and then things start happening. A cute girl starts in his class, his parents are fighting and his dog gets sick. Then his dog gets a bit better, his parents get back to normal briefly and the cute girl is texting him. Things are just not meant to be that way. The day the motorbike his dad has borrowed is vandalised is the day things go from bad to worse for Andy. Just when he thinks it can’t get any worse he finds out just how wrong he can be.

Andy is an everyday 11 year old who loves computer games and isn’t fond of school. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t have an X-box. As Andy writes in his journal bits of his life seem to unravel. It is a fun, somewhat quirky look at being a preteen boy who has to deal with the obvious things such as the next best computer game and the other unexpected things such as his ‘thingie’ suddenly taking on a life of it’s own, particularly when he thinks about Amber. It is an angsty time and Pardoe takes you through it with humour and ease. Andy could be any boy, he is believable and his responses to the curveballs life throws at him are made all the more real by the fact that there are consequences.

This is a wonderful read, the fun balances out the pathos and there is no total happy ending, which is good because that would totally have negated the power of the story-telling. Also as a funny little bonus each entry has an obscure word defined and used, I think I can safely say a large number are words I will never come across again but it is a great device. Suitable for 10+.

Recommended.

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Published: 24 July 2013

Format: Paperback 240 pages

Categories: Life, School, Friends, 

ISBN 13: 9780143306771

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Clementine Rose and the Pet Day Disaster

I received my copy from the publisher.

9781742755434

By: Jacqueline Harvey

Clementine is about to start school. She couldn’t be more excited, in fact she is so excited that she gets up way too early. She is going to have a lovely teacher named Miss Critchley and be in a class with her best friends. When she gets there though things aren’t what she was hoping for. Firstly her teacher is not Miss Critchley but the meaner, shoutier and way more boring Mrs Bottomley. Then there a horrible boy called Angus, he keeps doing mean things to Clementine but the teacher doesn’t believe her. It doesn’t take long for Clementine to think school isn’t going to be any fun. Things look up though when there is an announcement of a Pet Day. Clementine thinks at least this will be a good thing. She plans to take her teacup pig called Lavender with her and she is sure she will win a prize.

This is a fun book for young readers. It is easy to be swept into Clementine’s initial excitement then her disappointment as things don’t go as she hoped.  Harvey has given us something a little outside the realm of what we expect, what with Queens and Ladies, but still at it’s core it is a story about starting school, being bullied and having a positive outlook. I found this a joy to read. The text is easy to understand and it has some black and white, quite stylised illustrations which help the story jump of the page.

Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s Books

Published: 02 January 2013

Format: Paperback 160 pages

Categories: School Stories, Animals

ISBN 13: 9781742755434

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Strike a Pose Daizy Star

By: Cathy Cassidy

Daizy Star series book 3

Daizy Star is still searching for her star quality. This time she thinks she may have finally found it – modeling. She seats out to make herself into a top pre-teen supermodel for the class recycled fashion show. She is hoping to be discovered by a model scout. The problem is her dad’s crazy new scheme is threatening not only her modeling career but also the very foundation of her life. This time he wants the family to move to a Scottish island and farm nettles. Daizy will be away from all her friends. The worst thing is that this time it appears her mother is enthusiastic about this plan. Daizy isn’t the only one with problems this time, something is wrong with one of her best friends and Daizy wants to help fix it.

Daizy is just as quirky as ever and still determined to find her star quality. On of the changes in this book is her mother supporting her father, which gives the story a slightly different dynamic to the previous two. Also her big plan this time around comes from her desire to help someone else, something which adds a nice depth to the friendships, (the others are usually supporting and doing things for Daizy). It doesn’t loose any of its humour or wackiness though and I still really like the unique Daizy Star.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 02 June 2011

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Humour, School, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9780141335971

Purchase: here or use the Booktopia logo on the side of the page

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

By:  John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson #1 has two rules a) don’t care too much, b) shut up. The things that have gone wrong in his life have stemmed from the times he hasn’t stuck to these rules, like the time he wrote a letter sticking up for his best friend Tiny Cooper the best, and very gay, offensive linebacker in the schools football team. Will and Tiny go way back and at this time in Will’s life this is causing him a few problems.

Will Grayson #2 is in a dark place trying to help his mother, and get through school all while trying to figure out life and his own sexuality. He cuts himself off from as many people as he can. Then one night things go mildly wrong for Will Grayson #1 and terribly wrong for Will Grayson #2 and their worlds collide.

I don’t want to say much more about the plot, except to say writing a musical about your own life is brave or ridiculous at any age, good thing Tiny is…well Tiny.

Will Grayson and Will Grayson have vast differences yet at the same time both struggle with relationships and school. Tiny, who is so much larger than life is what joins them together. Tiny Cooper is a fantastic character who is bound to stay with you long after the last page has been cheered over. The two Will’s provide a wonderful grounding for this story whilst Tiny gives it it’s pizazz. Levithan and Green have come together to give us one hell of a lough out loud, life affirming book. it is a great story, with great characters. It will possibly be the most romantic book you will read all year, but there is nothing schmaltzy about it. There are crushing moments, moments of high hilarity and moments that will resonate with you.

Definitely pick this up. Highly recommended.

Publisher: The Text Publishing Company

Published: 03 May 2010

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: Humour, School, Sexuality

ISBN 13: 9781921656231

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Judy Moody, Girl Detective

By: Megan McDonald

Illustrated By: Peter H Reynolds

Book 9 in the Judy Moody series

Judy Moody is in a Nancy Drew kind of mood. She’s been reading stories about the girl detective and has decided that that is what she wants to be. It is a good thing that she is in a mystery solving mood because she finds herself smack in the middle of an honest to goodness mystery. Mr Chips, a police dog in training, has gone missing. Never fear, Judy Drewdy is on the case, she thinks he was taken by evil dognappers and is determined to track them down. Armed with her detective kit and her associates; agents Stink, Pearl and Rock.

Judy is a girl who is enthusiastic and quickly gets swept up into her own bright ideas. She may not always be right in her assumptions but she is determined. McDonald has created fun characters with entertaining stories. The print is fairly large but the chapters average about 14 pages which makes the books best suited to readers in the 7-9 age category. Judy Moody is a lot of fun.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 07 February 2011

Format: Paperback 144 pages

Categories: Crime, Humour

ISBN 13: 9781406327434

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Love-Shy

By: Lili Wilkinson

Penny Drummond lives with her dad and aspires to be a prize winning journalist. Before she gets there she has to hone her skills on her school newspaper. She is focussed, in control and desperately for the story that will give her that big break. Then she discovers a boy at her school is posting anonymous messages on loveshyforum.com and blogs about his terrible problem of not being able to even talk to girls, let alone the girl of his dreams.

Penny believes this could be the story she has been looking for, so she sets out to track him down and fix him up. Things don’t go as smoothly as Penny expects, especially when she finds out just who the boy is. Along the way she discovers all is not as perfect in her life as she assumed.

Penny is a strange character. At times she is annoying, when she is all knowing and superior in her attitude to everyone. Somehow though it is not that off putting. Sure I wanted to slap her upside the head a couple of times but mostly I was pulled into the story and how she grows as a person. Penny has cut herself off from friends and it is nice to see how others get into her life. The people around her are well developed and balance out the story nicely. I enjoyed this, there were parts that on their own may not have worked but when woven together created a rather entertaining story.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 April 2012

Format: Paperback 324 pages

Categories: School, Friendship, Relationships

ISBN 13: 9781742376233

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 171 other followers

%d bloggers like this: