Leave a Review Here!

If you would like to add a review of any Catalyst book you’ve read, please use this form.

You can review any book you like, whether you loved it or hated it: let the rest of us know what you think!

Information you could include:

What’s the story about?

What are the main characters like?

Where / when does the story take place?

What did you think of the book overall?

But please, no spoilers!!!!!!

Where’s my review?

Don’t worry if your review doesn’t appear right away – the site admin will sort it out shortly. If your comment still doesn’t appear, ask your school librarian to get in touch with us.

NB: We’ll only use your first name when publishing comments and your email will not appear at all.


24 comments on “Leave a Review Here!

  1. Blake, Kenny and Sim’s best friend Ross was killed when he was knocked down by a car. His friends felt that the funeral wasn’t the kind that he would have wanted so they decide to steal his ashes off Ross’s family. They want to take Ross to Ross, in Scotland, to give him a proper funeral. They run away but on the train Kenny loses his ticket and all the money they have for the trip. They manage to hitch a ride from two men who take them to Blackpool. Blake then earns the money by bungee-jumping and allowing the owner to use his souvenir picture to advertise. Once all the boys have their tickets they get on the train and end up in Kirkcudbright. They meet three girls – one of whom lends them two motorbikes – and then they manage to get on the road to Ross. On the ride they end up losing Kenny when he falls off the back of the motorbike. The get a phone call from Blake’s girlfriend saying that they are all over the news and that it is being said that Ross went out in front of the car deliberately. Sim storms off in an argument with Blake about whose fault it was that Ross killed himself. Kenny manages to find Blake again and the two of them eventually make it to Ross.

    The themes and issues in this book are friendship, death and adventure.

    I thought that this book was really good. I liked it because I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next.

  2. Ostrich Boys – Keith Grey

    Ostrich Boys is a novel about three boys, Kenny, Blake and Sim. they all run away from home in order to spread their frind Ross’ ashes – who had recently died in a car crash. he pboys come across many problems including losing all their money and having to manage all the way to Scotland without food or shelter. they try their hardest to get there but the police are tracking them. Eventually they spread the ases but only to find the police waiting on them and the discovery of what really happened to Ross.

    The book is really good. It is set all up and down the UK in 2007 and is mainly about the adventure Ross’ friends went on just to spread his ashes. It is also very good as you can feel involved in the novel due to the detailed descriptions of the people and the places.

    I would recommend this book as it is very appealing to anybody who enjoys adventures and cliffhangers.

    It is hard to stop reading it!

  3. “The Ostrich Boys ” By Keith Grey gave mixed opinions :-S. …. … I liked it and thought the hidden meaning was very clever and despite having a slow start ended up being really good :-)……… but fiona disagrees ……Fiona: i didnt think the book was very good, i thought the start was quite boring….and i didnt quite make it to the end…:-(

  4. Catalyst Book Review

    “Out of Shadows”, written by Jason Wallace is the book that I am reviewing. It was a memorable book with an intriguing and hard-hitting plot. It had an unexpected climax and once I had started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.

    The book is set in Zimbabwe in the 1980’s. It is a thought-provoking novel about race, bullying and independence. Robert Jacklin is the main character in the novel. He is from England but his parents decided to move to Zimbabwe to start a new life. He comes across many obstacles during his time at the new school, one of them being Ivan. Ivan is a manipulative and cunning. He is a white boy, living in Zimbabwe, not content about Robert Mugabe gaining power and plans to change it. The end chapter is very touching when Robert Jacklin returns years later to visit his old school, which is no longer open.

    Robert Jacklin, the main character, is the son of parents who wanted to start a new life and career in Zimbabwe. He is thrown into a new country and new way of living. He had no idea of the racial tension happening in Zimbabwe. He was desperate to return home to England and struggled to fit in at school. He also had the challenge of trying to find his courage to defend his black friend, Nelson Ndube, against racist bullying. Whilst trying to do this, he builds alliances withy some nastier people to protect himself from violent abuse. One of these boys was Ivan. Ivan was a white boy, son of a farmer. He hated blacks and also the fact that Mugabe had gained power. He was the ring leader of the group and Robert was eager to become part of that group. Ivan usually got himself, and also the boys, involved in very dangerous and violent tasks. He was desperately trying to turn back the clock to before black independence had been won. Another endearing character is, Weekend, a telephone operator who got to know Jacklin due to his many phone calls back home to his parents. Weekend represents an average Zimbabwean who is living in hope for his future in the new Zimbabwe.
    “Out of Shadows” is set in Zimbabwe during the 1980’s, a few years after the Rhodesian war. The white people no longer ruled and Robert Mugabe was now Prime Minister. It takes place at a boy’s private boarding school which is struggling to adapt to the new environment and the welcoming of black teachers and students.

    My favourite part of the book would have to be the end chapter, when Robert Jacklin returns years later to see his old school. He recaps on all of the shocking events which took place there. It is a powerful and moving chapter which really captures the disturbance in Zimbabwe.

    I would recommend this novel to everyone. The themes, at times, can be difficult but it is such an enjoyable read, a book which will be memorable for a long time.

  5. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    The book I was reading was called ‘The Bride’s Farewell’ By Meg Rosoff. I enjoyed the book because it was a love story kind of book.

    In ‘ The Bride’s Farewell’ the main character is Pell, she is a women who never wanted to get married because of her mother, her mother wasn’t the happiest married.She always sad and depressed , Pell didn’t want to end up like her .On the morning of her wedding , Pell leaves home taking her horse Jack and her brother Bean with her, leaving her wedding dress behind. They arrive at a horse fair. Pell wanted to be successful.

    My favourite part of the book is when Pell finds a gypsy family and becomes good friends with them, they give her food and let her stay over night. Also Pell finds a man , who was a hunter he helped her to try find work and become successful.

    Although she finds friends Pell loses her Horse and her brother Pell searched everywhere , day and night , this part of the book is sad but lucky she found her brother in the dark , alone he was cold and very hungry, he hadn’t eating in days.

    Parts of the book seem to be set in the future , but yet other parts seem to be set in the past , I really did enjoy the book , it was romantic and upsetting at the same time , parts when she’ s all alone is depressing and sad. But when she finds friends it is a happy part in the book because after being sad and lonely she’s happy and not alone , she has friends now I would recommend this book to girls only because it’s a love story and about a wedding so it is a girly book.

    By Danielle.

  6. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    I have been reading ‘The Thin Executioner’ by Darren Shan for the Catalyst Book Awards. ‘The Thin Executioner’ is a fantasy novel about a young boy called Jebel Rum who lives in a small village in the Eastern Nations of Makhras called Wadi.
    He is the son of an executioner and is hopelessly trying to be as good as his brothers one day. Jebel is small, thin and scruffy looking compared to built, athletic brothers and hopes that one day he will prove everyone wrong, that he will become an executioner. He especially wants to show and impress Debbatt Alg – a slim and curvy girl who Jebel feels is the most amazing girl in Wadi.
    To prove this though, he must go on a journey to the Gods. He must go to prove himself worthy and in turn, prove to everyone else that he can and will become an executioner one day.

    Jebel is the main character in this book, he is constantly looked down on by everyone and is thought of as nothing compared to his brothers J’An and J’Al.
    J’An and J’al are Jebel’s older brothers. They make his life a misery by comparing his thin and scruffy looks to their own, to make fun of him in front of others. They jeer and make nasty comments to annoy him or make him feel bad.
    Rashed Rum is Jebel’s father, who is also the greatest executioner Wadi has ever had. His sons, J’An and J’al, take after him in many ways and are complete opposites of Jebel who is nothing like them at all.. apart from their shared opinion that all slaves should be executed.

    The main part of the book is when Jebel decides to leave Wadi and go to Mount Tubaygat to find Sabbah Eid. On the journey, he meets a slave called Tel Hesani who is also going to try find the Gods because he is sick of being treated like dirt and wants to save his family from being killed by Jebel’s father, so they decide to join forces and continue their journey together. The journey is long and dangerous and throws many obstacles in their path. Jebel and Tel Hesani have to work together to get past these obstacles if they are ever going to make it to Mount Tubaygat.
    Jebel and Tel Hesani both have very different reasons for going to find Sabbah Eid in many ways, but they are also similar…
    Jebel is going to ask him to change him into a strong and athletic person like his brothers so that people will stop treating him badly and telling him what he can and can’t do, which is also why Tel Hesani is travelling to Sabbah Eid. He is tired of people treating him and his family differently than everyone else because they are slaves in their town, and most of, all he wants to make his family proud of him.

    Jebel and Tel Hesani end up making a strong and stable bond, and in the end they become very close friends.

    Personally, I believe the best part of the book is at the end, because there is an exiting twist, which ensures that both Jebel and Tel Hesani get exactly what they wanted from the start. However, Jebel surprises everyone with his change of heart when he returns to Wadi, and explains to everyone that slaves aren’t any different to them, and shouldn’t be treated the way they have been previously.

    I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it. I would recommend this book to people between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Darren Shan is one of my favourite authors and I definitely that this is one of his best books by far and definitely think that he should win the award.

    By Hannah

  7. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    The book “The Returners”, written by Gemma Malley. It’s not a bad book it has a great build up but not such a good ending.

    This book’s main character is called Will. It is based in London in the present day. It is about Will and he noticed that people were following him with weird looking eyes he nick named them “The Freaks”, when he sees them he gets quite upset and tense. One day he got so upset he stared talking to one of “The Freaks” the freak told him that they are “Sufferers” and they are only on this earth to suffer but it didn’t add up for Will as he never suffered he always dreamt of evil situations and the sufferers told him he was different, he was special, and later on in the book we find out that Will as actually Satan!

    Will’s best friend is called Clare and she is quite a strange character. Clair is a very intelligent character and she is also very confiden

    The key incident for me is when Will finds out he is Satan.
    “Did mum look at me and see the devil?…nothing at all”
    This is my favourite part of this novel because is so unexpected!

    I would recommend this book to boys and girls around 13/14 years old, because the main character is around this age.

    Personally I did not enjoy this book because the main character turning into the devil was a bit far-fetched and I think the author should have eased the idea in as she just put it in all of a sudden and it was a bit much to take in all of a sudden.

  8. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    When I was Joe- Book Review

    The book I chose to read was ‘When I was Joe’ by Keren Davids. I really enjoyed this book and found it very interesting and entertaining.

    The book was about a boy named Ty who witnessed someone being stabbed. After he witnessed this the people who done it were after Ty as he was a witness to the crime. Ty is given a whole new identity and a new name, his new name is Joe.

    The main character in the book is a teenage boy who lives with his mother above a flat.

    Another character within the book is called Ellie, she is a disabled trainer who becomes a huge part of Joe/Tys life aswell as her sister Claire, who has some serious issues.

    The main parts of this story are probably the stabbing and the shop below Ty and hismother’s flat being bombed because these are where the story basically came from and the stabbing was the main event because that’s why Ty had to move away and be given a new identity and a whole new life.

    I think the best part of the book was when Joe visits his gran in hospital and a gunman finds out his whereabouts and he is chased through the whole hospital, then Joe reaches an enclosed space and your basically just waiting for the killer to catch him it had me really nervous.
    I found that the book was really good and when I got half way through it I couldn’t put it down. The book is very exciting and has you on the edge of your seat most of the time, the book has an un-expected twist to it also.
    I would certainly recommend this book to anyone, teenagers

  9. Please note that this book contains spoilers

    The book I have read and am reviewing is called “Grass” by Cathy Macphail. The genre of this book is crime, it’s all about gang violence.

    The book is about a young boy who becomes a witness to a murder but he can’t tell anyone or go to the police because the murderer was a gang leader. The gang leader had seen him when the murder happened so if he went to the police he could put his life and his family’s at risk. The gang leader is called Armour, Armour persuades Lio (the boy) that he has done a good thing by killing the other gang leader, that he is a good person and that he just wants to stop the gang violence. He persuades Leo by giving his dad a job and getting his bullies to stop annoying him. Leo starts doing things for Armour thinking he was doing a good thing and that at the end of all of this there will be no violence (during this is happening he loses his best friend because of this).But then Armour betrays him.

    The main character in this book is a boy called Leo who is about 14 years old. Leo is the only witness to a murder which involved two gang leaders, one of them being Armour (who is another main character). Armour is a gang leader, he is strong and tough and everyone is scared of him.

    My favourite part of the book was near the end of the book. This is when Leo is going (at night) to get the gun of the murder and stash it in the stash of guns he found earlier of another gang leader (not Armour). So when Armour phones the police to tell them that the other gang leader had guns the police would find they guns and Armour’s murder weapon ( the gun). Both of
    them would be jailed and then there would be no more gangs or gang violence.

    My overall opinion is that I thought the book was exciting and had a really good story. I liked the book also because it is about gangs and violence, I would definitely read the sequel to it if there was a sequel to it. I would recommend this book to a lot of people from all ages.

  10. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    Drawing with Light – Book Review

    ‘Drawing with Light’ by Julia Green was the book I choose to read for the Catalyst Book Awards. I thought it was really good and I loved they way it all came together in the end.

    The book was about two sisters who were abandoned by their mum when they were young. This meant that they had to grow up with their dad and his wife. The eldest sister is called Kat who still briefly remembers he mum. Emily is the youngest and is the main character in the book. She was too young to remember her mum which means she wants to find out more about her. Now that she is sixteen she wants to find her mum but she also meets a boy called Seb who she falls in love with. The story takes place in the country in England. This is a very romantic book and I really enjoyed it.

    There aren’t a lot of characters in this book but the characters in this book, but all of them have a big part to play. My favourite character was Emily. She loves photography and always had her camera with her everywhere she went. She was a very emotional person and took things to heart. One day Emily was rummaging through a box with old pictures of her mum, dad, Kat and her and came across her mum’s birth certificate. She was so happy and instantly wanted to find her. She hated living in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t wait to move into the big new house which her dad was building.

    The key incident was probably at the end when Emily found her mum. All throughout the book Emily had always been thinking about her mum and she finally meets her and her mum’s husband. When she finds out her mum’s address she is over the moon! Her mum, Francesca, had moved to France to take up being an artist. Emily goes over to France with Seb to see her because her big sister says she doesn’t want anything to do with her.

    I would say the best part is also when she finds her mum.

    I would recommend this book to teenage girls because it’s a very good romantic love story.

    I loved this book. It was very interesting and wanted read more when it was done! I would really recommend this book!

  11. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    The Poison Diaries – Book Review

    The book I am reviewing is ‘The Poison Diaries’ written by Maryrose Wood. I liked the book because it suited my age and was very interesting and exciting that it made me want to keep reading. It was good because just when you are getting to a good part the unexpected happens which leaves you in suspense.
    The book is about a girl who writes a diary about the poisons in her father’s apothecary garden and also tells us what happens in her life. The main characters are Jessamine Luxton, who writes the diary. Her father Thomas Luxton an apothecary and a character who is introduced through the middle of the book called Weed. The book is set in Northumberland around the time when there were no medicines. The book is to do with plants and about finding cures for illnesses. I found the ending a bit disappointing because it wasn’t the way I wanted it to end. I found that some of the matters weren’t resolved. I would say the book is very romantic and dramatic.
    The character Jessamine is the main character who lives with her father in their house in Northumberland. She is very quiet until a boy comes along and she falls in love. Jessamine always obeys her father and likes to explore in his gardens. Her father Thomas Luxton is an apothecary and is always away helping sick people. He always writes notes on his book and is always looking for cures for sick people. During the middle of the book the character Weed is introduced as a slave to the Luxton family and who helps Thomas with his work. Weed is very unique as he can speak to plants and can also hear them.
    The main part of the book would be from the middle to the end. Everything exciting happens when the new character Weed appears. He is a very quiet, shy boy who until Jessamine talks to him and helps him gain confidence. They fall in love and are going to get married, but Jessamine falls ill because her father has poisoned her. Weed goes to any extremes to keep her alive, he even kills for her.
    The book is set in the olden times, before there were any medicines in a very small village in Northumberland. They live in an old chapel surrounded by gardens and old buildings.
    My favourite part of the book is near the end because it gets exciting and makes you want to read more. Weed goes to the plants and asks them for a cure to help Jessamine, but he has to do many things before he earns the cure he has to watch people get killed and also himself has to kill … In the end he finds out that Thomas poisoned his daughter. He threatens him and says that Jessamine will be safe and that he can make her better again. So Weed leaves before he tries to kill someone else.
    I would definitely recommend this book to girls around the age of thirteen to eighteen because I wouldn’t say it’s for kids but I also wouldn’t say it’s for adults either.
    Overall I think it was a great book and I would definitely recommend it to girls because I thought it was exciting and very romantic.

  12. Dead Boy Talking
    The book I read was called ‘Dead Boy Talking’, by Linda Strachan, I thought the book was quite interesting but not the best book I have read.

    The characters in the book are, Danny, Josh, Ranj, Gary, Skye. The story was set in the UK not that long ago, the theme of the book is about gang culture. The plot of the story is a boy in a gang getting stabbed of one of his friends and he is in a bad condition in hospital and could die, mean while josh who stabbed ranj has to dodge the YHT. The genre of the book is a razor-sharp thriller.

    The key incident in the book is at the beginning when josh stabs ranj and that part is what the book is all about leading up to all the events after it.

    The setting of the book is somewhere in England or Scotland, the place or town it is set in sounds like a rough place were lots of gangs go about.

    The best part of the book when josh and his friend are hiding from two boys from the YHT, they are in abandoned old house out a waste land trying to hide the knife that Josh stabbed Ranj with, it is a very intense part of the book.

    I would recommend this book to teenagers who like to read about gangs, murder etc.

    My opinion of this book is quite good, it was a good read and you didn’t know what was going to happen next.

  13. Please note that this review contains spoilers

    Inside My Head Catalyst Book Report By Kirsty

    The book I read was called ‘Inside My Head’ and was written by Jim Carrington. I really enjoyed the book, there were lots of details and interesting facts.
    The book is based on 4 characters living different lives, Gary, Knaggs, David and Zoë. The story is set in quite a lot of places: the farm, houses but mostly school, where all the drama happens. The four characters in the book have separate lives but they all meet and their worlds collide. They’re not as you would call ‘friends’, sometimes they get along but most times they don’t. It’s about how tough life can be, how cruel people can be. All the kids bully this one boy just because he works on a farm; Gary. He does whatever his best friend says; David. The class clown, the bully, the one who always gets in trouble; Knaggs. And the one who thinks her life is over, thinks her life isn’t hard enough already; Zoë. The book ends with a twist, Gary runs away because he thinks that people just feel sorry for him, that he doesn’t need anyone’s help, but he does return home.
    The characters in the book are really extraordinary. There is lots to say. They are very weird but interesting. Gary is very intimate and the loner at school. People bully him just
    because he works on a farm. Normally he just ignores them but on the inside it hurts. “Farmer boy’s late again”, Knaggs says “I reckon his dad’s tractor must’ve broken down”. People laugh at him but he does have true friends, one of which being Zoë. Zoë thinks that there is nothing really great about life, that it is messed up . But she moves from London to somewhere in the country, it’s basically deserted. No one is there and it’s depressing “as I walk along the gravel drive, there’s a grim looking building up ahead. The Wallingham Social Club. It’s empty, closed, depressing as hell” And she meets Gary and they bond and make each other laugh. They both, are not angels but they start a very good friendship. Knaggs is one of the bullies that bully Gary. Knaggs is cheeky, the class clown and likes to show off. He does whatever he wants and he doesn’t let anyone tell him what to do. He’s a rule breaker but doesn’t have that big a part in the book, however his best friend, David does. David is a little bit like Knaggs’ sidekick. Knaggs would tell David what to do and he would do it, or he would tell a joke and David would laugh. He’s always up for a laugh “that’s funny. We all laugh at that” but he knows when enough is enough “I’ve got that weird guilty feeling already”. He knows when to stop laughing at the victims Knaggs picks on. All the characters are different in their own unique way.
    A key incident in the book would be when Gary ran away from home. The reason he ran away from home was because he wanted to have a happy, normal life where Knaggs wasn’t bullying him every day. He had had enough of the bullying and decided not to go to school. His mum and dad were arguing, the local farm owner Henry had shot himself and Gary had stolen a tractor, ‘so I ain’t going back’.
    The story is set at school a lot, and the farm. The school seems like a noisy setting, not really a place you would want to be whereas the farm seems peaceful, a place where you can relax and be yourself. A place where you can escape to.(Gary did anyway).It is set in the present day and the family live in a modern day house.
    The best part of the book had to be when Henry Walpole had dies. Gary’s dad used to work for Henry as a dairyman, and used to help out at his farm, they were very close. Henry shot himself, in the mouth, on purpose. He shot himself because the cows on the farm had developed a disease called foot-and-mouth disease. They had to be killed along with every other animal on the farm and burned. His farm was then closed off. He had no wife or kids or anything really. He couldn’t take life any longer. This was the best part because there was lots of tension and information. It was very interesting and I didn’t want to put the book down. The words the author used were very descriptive.
    I would recommend the book to teenagers, around the age of 13-16. If you like adventures and real-life then you will love this book.
    The book ‘Inside My Head’ is one of my favourite book I have read. It’s and amazing story and very realistic. It’s a real page turner.

  14. Please be aware that this review contains spoilers

    The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird

    Book Review
    By Shannon

    I have been reading “The Witching Hour” by Elizabeth Laird for the Catalyst book award. All about witchcraft in the seventeenth century, the book was quite an enjoyable read, if not to my usual taste.
    Maggie Blair stays on the Isle of Bute in Scalpsie Bay, just off the coast of Scotland. She is orphaned, and has to stay with her Gran, Elspeth, in a rundown old cottage. She hates it there, as Elspeth is extremely grumpy. There is one person, however, who Maggie does get along with. Tam is an old family friend, who is even more rundown than Elspeth and Maggie. Maggie enjoyed talking to Tam, as he talked to her mother a lot when she was alive.
    One night, Tam stays late, and Maggie falls asleep. She awakes to a banging on the door, and finds that Tam has left and her Granny is lying on the floor; she had obviously been drinking. Maggie woke her up, and they opened the door to find Mr Macbean. His wife was giving birth, and wants Elspeth – who used to be a mid-wife – to bring a safe birth about. When Mrs Macbean gave birth, Elspeth started to chant and swing the baby in a basket. Mr Macbean stopped her, and told her he wouldn’t have devilish practices in his house. Elspeth warned him that the baby wouldn’t live for long, for she was only trying to protect the baby. Six weeks later, Ebenzer Macbean died. Fury sparked, and Elspeth is accused of witchcraft. An argument takes place, and then Maggie is also accused of witchcraft. Both are sentenced to burning. Various trials take place, before the burning ceremony actually happens. Elspeth is burned, but Maggie, with the help of Tam, escapes.
    But then Maggie was on the run.
    What started off to be a sort-of safe story about witchcraft, “The Witching Hour” turns into an adventure, as Maggie has to stay away from the Isle of Bute. She seeks refuge with her distant Uncle Blair, who is a Covenanter. This means he does not recognise the authority of the English King. Uncle Blair could be hunted down and killed at any minute, and Maggie fears for their safety. Soon enough, Uncle Blair is arrested and taken away. Maggie’s true character finally shows, as she is caught up in huge religious wars.
    I really liked the characters of Maggie and Elspeth; they were the two characters that I got the most understanding out of, considering the story is first person; being told by Maggie:
    “I learned a long time ago that tears were no route to Granny’s heart. She would be more likely to stop them with a slap than a kiss.”
    This quote shows that Elspeth is a harsh woman, and Maggie doesn’t approve. Elspeth shocks me in some of the things she says too:
    (To Mr Macbean) “’I wish ill to you, do you hear? Ill to you! Sickness and pain and death!’”
    Elspeth seems to curse a lot of people throughout the book, which shows me that she is an angry, hateful person:
    “Much good anger does to you, I (Maggie) thought. Everyone fears and hates you. Even I’m scared of you, most of the time.”
    I don’t think Elspeth really cares about what the community think of her, which is an embarrassment to Maggie:
    “I couldn’t look at her. I was ashamed of her dirty clothes, wild hair, and blackened teeth. Beside the minister, so neat and scrubbed, she looked like a straw man set up in the field to scare birds.”
    One of the main things that happened in “The Witching Hour”, was just before the burning ceremony, when Tam helps the two escape from their imprisonment.
    “’Good. No one’s about. Get going now, the pair of you.’ (Tam said.)
    I had the door half open before her words had sunk in. I shut the door again.
    ‘What do you mean, “The pair of you”? I’m not coming with you,” Granny said, glaring at me. ‘Get out of here. Hurry!’…
    ‘It’s your only chance, Maggie. How can we both get away? There’ll be a hue and a cry all over the island. They’ll not leave one stone unturned. Where could we hide? Who would help us? But if you cut your hair, and Tam gets you some breeks instead of skirts, you could maybe get off the island, on a fishing boat, or – or’ …
    ‘I don’t care anymore. I’m an old woman … it’s a quick death on the gallows. I’m not afraid of dying … All I want is for Maggie to live!’
    I’m ashamed to say that I was so desperate to get out of that awful tollbooth that I didn’t try to make Granny change her mind. In any case, I knew in my hearts of hearts, she was very right.”
    I thought this scene in the novel was really sad and quite heart-braking, making it my favourite part of the book.
    The book is set in the 17th century Scotland, and I think Elizabeth gives off a really good impression of what it would be like.
    “Scotland was a rough and violent place … Highland clans were at each others throats … fiery Protestants had swept away the old Catholic religion and created their own Presbyterian Church.”
    This gives me the impression that Scotland wasn’t a fun place to live in back in the 1600’s. I picture it to be dark and dreary, and no-one is very social. I also think that this was the impression Elizabeth Laird wanted to give.
    I think the best part of the story was when Tam rescues them from their prison cell. It was well thought out, and although there was little action, it was still a really fascinating scene, and I enjoyed it. The only thing I would have liked a bit more, is that if it was thought out a lot more, and if it was a really complicated way, because it was a bit too simple for my liking.
    I would recommend this book to teenagers and older, because it’s an enjoyable read and teaches you new things, and because the themes are quite gory, and although they aren’t graphic, if you put imagination into it, it can be a gruesome story.
    This kind of story isn’t what I usually read, but I enjoyed it, a lot! It introduced me to new plots and ideas, and I learnt some new things from it. I would read it again, and maybe even read some more witchcraft books.

  15. Out of the shadows by Jason Wallace
    to read this book you need to have a mature level of reading,this book contains upsetiing scenes where one of the boys gets brutally tortured by other kids in his school.
    Robert Jacklins story has strong language and obserd scenes of violence.
    It is about a boy that moves to zimbabwe in the 1980s

  16. Out of Shadows”, written by Jason Wallace is the book that I am reviewing. It was a memorable book.. It had an unexpected climax and once I had started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.

    The book is set in Zimbabwe in the 1980’s. It is a thought-provoking novel about race, bullying and independence. Robert Jacklin is the main character in the novel. He is from England but his parents decided to move to Zimbabwe to start a new life.

  17. Mortal Chaos – Matt Dickinson

    No Spoilers!!

    – The Book Begins in the middle of a forest, it’s (centre of attraction) is a Cocoon which is making it’s transition to become a beautiful butterfly. The Descriptions are VERY good as the author uses an incredible vocabullary.
    Part 1 – The Book Starts off Well leaving a trail of mystery as it journeys through the lives of all characters. This books “1st” Part is intriguing as it has a build up like no other, the way he does this is absolutely spectacular. All Are Connected…..
    Part 2 – The Book begins to liven up as the relationships between the “Reader” and the “Characters” develop as you learn more about them. More importantly the relationships between the characters begins to play out…All Are Connected
    Part 3 – The Book Seems slighty dull but it’s climax is oustanding, Every Character Plays a part as more and more complex events begin to happen (aside from the main one!).
    The writer clearly doesn’t want anyone to put this book down and it worked, I was engrossed in the tangled and connected story like, I was very intrigued even at the boring moments because I know that there will always be an event just round the page…
    All in all a good book, Some dull moments but the author always managed to “spice it up”.
    Well Done! Matt Dickison

    Some Will Live…
    Many Will Die…
    All Are Connected…
    Mortal Chaos!

    A short review by Andrew R

  18. Goliath by Tom Gauld, it’s a book leading up to the bible story of David and Goliath but differs from the well known bible story being mainly pictures and looking through the eyes of Goliath rather than David. I thought it was a very good book and although there was not many words used the pictures painted the story fantasticly.

  19. Goliath by Tom Gauld is a interesting short graphic novel based on the bible story of David and Goliath.Goliath gave me mixed opinions as it is an interesting book but sometimes the graphic novel can be quite confusing in parts.Overall Goliath is an interesting and good book to read.

  20. Goliath by Tom Gauld is an interesting book but is quite repetitive. The pictures are very good and guide you through the book.

  21. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

    Limited Spoilers!!

    – The book begins with a boy afraid, a certain nightmare is tangled in his brain. This scares the child senceless as the nightmare could become a reality in his eyes.
    The “Monster” is a very wise character who is not there to hurt but only to teach…
    The main character (Conor) is a very troubled boy ever since a certain ” incident” happened to his mum, which left him in a very vulnerable position which opposing characters feel very ” Empowered “.
    In the middle of the book, The monster visits Conor 3 times with 3 tales (which I will not be getting in to detail with). All I can say is that they are very intriguing tales which is great because it makes you want to read on and on….
    The end of the book is not very expected so you are in for a treat when and if you do read it because it is one of they books that if you put it down you’ll regret it!
    A few words to describe this book would be,

    Original, haunting and heartbreakingly sad!…

    I hope you enjoyed reading this

    A short review by Andrew R

  22. Goliath – Tom Guald

    – This is a very short book but it is still very good. It is repetative at the start but the book gets exciting (in it’s own way) It doesn’t take that long to read but when you do read it there is definitely a re-readble factor involved as at first if you are only interested in the graphic you can easily stroll back and focus on the writing (if that’s your thing). Anyway, the book kicks off with Administrator Goliath being told that he will be the warrior that will end a running stalemate, which he has no choice but to accept, (despite his best interest not to). The book is very short and not much to review without giving anything away so here it is,
    If you have a free half hour or so pick the book up and read it, you will not be disappointed!!

    A Short Review by Andrew R

  23. goliath is a really well know bibliotic story but this book tells you the story from the point of view of goliath himself. I think Tom told the story very well and told me everything i had to know to understand what was happening and who was in the story. The illustrations in the book were very well done as it helped me show what was happening. In a whole I think the book was well written and illustrated and I think it was more relevant than the original bibliotic story.

  24. The novel Cracks by Caroline Green is a very unique and thought provoking book that will leave you thinking. Cracks follows the story of Cal a 14 year old boy living with his abusive step dad and brother. Cal who has been living a normal life,except from the daily beatings from his step father, has his life turned upside with the mysterious appearance of cracks and his strange and seemingly random loss of memories.

    Overall I would highly recommend picking up cracks (once you have you cant put it down) a new personal favourite and a definite 9/10.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.