Monday, 27 April 2015


by Vanessa Curtis
336 pp. THE EARTH IS SINGING by Vanessa Curtis336 @Usborne @UsborneDigital . £6.99. (Ages 14 and up)


Rating: 4 Stars

    I will admit that I was actually rather surprised I liked this book, as it wasn’t my normal choice. Normally I read fantasy or sci-fi, not historical fiction based on real lives. I may have to change my usual agenda, though, as this book was fascinating, and there have also been a few other historical fiction books and biographies which I have enjoyed. Throughout this whole book I really felt like I could connect with the main character, Hanna, There were a few times when my heart clenched in fear for her and I smiled when she was happy.
    This book is set in World War 2 in Germany, and is narrated by a 15-year-old Jewish Latvian called Hanna, whose father has been taken by the Russians. It starts off not too bad. Life is hard, but Hanna is still following her dream of becoming a dancer. Although many of her friends have deserted her because she’s Jewish, her best friend and boyfriend Uldis stands with her, so you think everything will be okay. Soon, however her world is turned upside down when the Nazis come and slowly take away everything she’s ever cared about. This book took me on a whirl of adventure as Hanna faced all types of danger, heart breaking sadness, betrayal and fear during a fight for her life. I would definitely give this book 4 out of 5 stars as it really explored the awful treatment Jews got during World War 2 and captured my interest from the start.
    My favorite character has to be Hanna as the writer does an amazing job of making you feel like she’s a real person telling you all of this and experiencing all of this. I can also really feel for her when she’s wishing she wasn’t different from everyone else, as my family has had trouble with living in England as we are American and Portuguese, although the problems this causes for us are nowhere near as large as the problems being a Jew causes for her.
    Most of this book is quite sad, but I would say two parts stand out in particular. First, Uldis betrays her leaving her heartbroken. Second, all the Jews, her mother included, are shot and thrown into a pit of dead bodies. This is especially sad because after her mother dies she is left with no one else in the world to care for her and love her.
    Although most of this book is sad there are a few parts where Hanna is happy. I would say the happiest parts of this book are when it’s the New Year and her uncle brings up a feast for them to share, and at the end of the book when Hanna escapes from the Nazis. I think this because in both these times Hanna feels free and safe from the Nazis and like everything might be all right again.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


by Moon
Illustrated by Rosanna Tasker
48 pp. Moon. £7.00. (Ages 6 and up)

Rating: 5 Stars

    This book is about Archie and his mom .In the story Archie decided to design his own house.
    I like that in the book what’s funny is Archie used his mom’s M&S card to buy his items. Also I like the illustrations and how they are designed by the illustrator.
    I think this book is special because it tells you what an architect is and also it has a competition!.
    I like this book because it is very funny. I think the age you should be is 6-9 because it has hard words to understand. I will give this book 5 stars.

Monday, 20 April 2015


by Tanya Landman
368 pp. Walker. £7.99. (Ages 14 and up)


Rating: 4 Stars

    The book is about the times when American had slaves. The main characters are Charlotte and Abe (her horse), and the Indians they were fighting.
    My favourite part is when she joins the army. My favourite character is Abe because she is an animal. My least favourite parts are when she falls in love and when her horse died. My least favourite character is the boss of the army.
    I liked how there are not many books that show you how awful it is to be a slave. It is written so you know what her voice sounds like (her accent). That made it special.
    Did we like this book? Yes and no. It was too intense for a child to finish, and the parent reading had to not read everything because there were swear words and very violent parts that the child did not want to hear. However, for a teenager or an adult it is very well written, interesting, and informative, with four out of five stars.
    I think teenagers would like this book because it is sad and has romance.
also on the Guardian Children's Books Site


by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra
Illustrated by Rob McPhillips
75 pp. Red Fox. £4.99. (Ages 5 and up)


Rating: 3 Stars

    This book is about Emily and Molly who are going to Borneo to see orangutans with Emily’s mom and dad, but there are some loggers that are destroying the rainforest.
    My least favourite part was the ending of the story because Emily did not stop the loggers! And then she even went back to look at more animals rather than trying to stop the loggers. I would try to sort out the problem if I was in her shoes.
    I like that in the book Emily and her friend and family explore the rainforest like what I did. But, we did different things like Emily cuddled orangutans, and I saw monkeys. I think the age for the book should be 5-8 because the book is not scary at all !!!. I will give this book 3 stars.

also on the Guardian Children's Books Site