Archive for September, 2015

Katy

Jacqueline Wilson

katyKaty Carr is a lively, daredevil oldest sister in a big family. She loves messing around outdoors, climbing on the garage roof, or up a tree, cycling, skateboarding, swinging…. But her life changes in dramatic and unexpected ways after a serious accident.
Inspired by the classic novel, What Katy Did, Jacqueline Wilson creates an irresistible twenty-first-century heroine. Fans of Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker will fall in love with Katy and her family too.

I was a huge fan of the original What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge and read it many times as a child. However looking at my own children I can see how far away it is from the world they live in, and although I would whole heartedly encourage them to read it I was interested to see this re-working of the story and discover if Katy could be brought to life in a fresh way for a new audience. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.

Obviously I read this mentally comparing it to the original, but many today would come at it with fresh eyes and the story holds its own. Katy is the oldest of a string of six children. She is the leader of the pack, full of great ideas and an exciting imagination. She is also full of good intentions in regards to looking after her brothers and sisters, but somehow things don’t always work out the way she plans. Katy has a loving relationship with her father and a strained one with her step-mother whom she struggles to get on with whilst missing her own mother who died years before the story begins. Katy also finds her step-sister Elsie difficult to get along with, not really understanding Elsie’s need to be accepted by her at all. We get to know Katy as she goes through ups and downs of modern family life and her experiences at school with friends, starting to like boys and dealing with not so nice girls. All the memorable incidents from the original are there and given a new slant with humour and little twists.

Then Katy’s world is turned upside down as she has a terrible accident that completely changes her life. I felt that Jaqueline dealt with this part of the story extremely well. It has all the shock of the original but in today’s world medical problems are dealt with so differently. Through Katy’s eyes we experience the trauma of going to hospital, coping with treatment, with different people, with the diagnosis itself and with her family’s reactions to it. There are lots of emotions and it could be difficult reading for a sensitive child, or one to young. But it is a great way for children to learn about how life can be changed at a moments notice, and to see the aftermath of this.

As Katy has to learn to come to terms with her new life in a wheel chair Jacqueline depicts her struggles and her triumphs, this is a long process and Katy goes through so much, but I loved the way that the book ends on such a positive note. It’s great to see disability looked at in a way that doesn’t diminish the difficulties but focuses in the end on the good things that can come out of it and the things that Katy can still do rather than those that she can’t.

Also as the family draw together to try and help Katy deal with all that is happening to her there is a brilliant depiction of the complicated nature of family relationships where everyone does not always understand the needs of another and yet they all keep working at it. I really enjoyed the way the relationships evolved through everything that happened.

Verdict: This is agreat update of a classic novel and now, although I will still be encouraging my girls to read the original this will definitely be on my list of must read books for them as they grow up.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: July 2015
Format: Hardback
Pages: 480
Genre: Retelling, Fiction
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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TTT: Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the wonderful, list making gurus, The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they publish a new Top Ten list and invite their fellow book bloggers, bloggers and bookworms to join in.

I hate to admit it but this Top Ten post was far too easy to complete. Sadly there are so many amazing books out there (both new and old series) that I just can’t keep up so unfortunately series like the ones below sometimes get left behind, but not forgotten. I still remember them well, and how they made me feel and regardless of how long it takes I will eventually finish them ☺

Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

I started this series when I was on holiday and got through the first 3 books quickly and swiftly. But as soon as my plane landed back home, I got sucked into so many new and shiny covers that I got totally sidetracked. But I have every intention to come back and finish this series as I enjoyed it waaaaay too much.

The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

I fell in love with this series straight away what with me having a huge soft spot for fairytales and all that is a little dark and dangerous. And then in my anxious wait for the sequel I got sidelined and eventually caught up in so many other things, but still something I am determined to come back to.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Yes I know I am severely sinning with this one but I solemnly swear I will finish it asap just please don’t throw digital rocks at me and don’t shoot an innocent book worm with eyes bigger than her reading stomach >_< Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks

I’d been itching to read this book and figured since the series was complete it would be nice to be able to start and finish a whole series without having to wait for the sequel to come out. Guess again!!! But will be returning to the depths and mystical blue sea of Anna Banks’ tales.

Inescapable by Amy Bartol

To say I love this series and it’s lovely lovely lovely author is to say not enough, and I have to admit I am incredibly ashamed that I have not managed to finish this particular one. I eagerly devoured all the published books one after the other and whilst I was waiting for the grand finale to become available the inevitable happened. The magpie book blogger’s attention got caught by another equally great read and that was it, totally distracted. I have promised Amy though more reviews and that I will be reading her new series so watch this space because I refuse to leave this one much longer on my kindle shelves!

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

What can I say. Yet another great story to which I desperately need to hear the ending of but somehow missed it. But not for long. I have not forgotten and determination remains to complete it.

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

I was totally grabbed by this series and its somewhat unorthodox characters and storyline. The strength of its themes and emotions hit me strongly so how I got distracted is a mystery to me, but like with so many others I simply need to know who the girl picks?! So I will definitely be reading this one to finally tie off that loose end and give my story an ending.

Under the Never Sky Series by Veronica Rossi

Loved it. Totally and utterly loved this one. I have no excuse. I am a terrible terrible person *bashes head against wall in self punishment*

Dark Heart by Lee Monroe

I stumbled across this series because every time I bought a new book amazon kept suggesting it to me. Having read the synopsis I thought it sounded pretty good and all the positive reviews tipped me over the edge. And in a moment of weakness I bought the whole trilogy. Did I finish it? Nope. But am I going to? Hell yes!!! It’s climbing fast my TBR pile!!!

The Winter Trilogy by Ruth Warburton

This trilogy I discovered because I happened to meet the author at a book signing, and after hearing her talk about her book so passionately I simply had to read it. I did, and I thought it was completely up my street and couldn’ wait for the sequel. Sadly the series was finished long before I realized that the second one had even been released so I have some serious catching up to do but will gladly do so 😀

Needless to say there are plenty more that I could list but think these are enough to make me severely guilty. So instead of prattling on any further, boring yet more and embarrassing myself furthermore I think I’ll go pick up one of these series and polish it off to ease my book heavy conscience!

Posted by Pruedence

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Mayfly Day

Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross ( illustrator)
mayfly dayMayfly might have only one day to live, but she enjoys every moment, observing all the life around her, and rejoicing in her own. As she soars over the sky at dawn she bathes in the golden light, and she dances to the music of the universe.

This is my favourite book. It is a story of a life of a Mayfly.

I love this book because it describes a perfect day which is actually her whole life.

The story is simple but when I read it I feel excited, sad and relaxed at different times.

The pictures are very delicate and colourful; some of them look like photos.

The story is written like a poem and even without the pictures I imagine a beautiful world.

Verdict: I have read this book loads of times and will always love it!

Reviewed by Teagan age 5 and ¾

Publisher: Anderson Press
Publication Date: June 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, Animals
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Teagan
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
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Judy Moody Saves the World

Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
judy moodyJudy Moody did not set out to save the world.
She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest.
It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest – and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape – or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

There are a few books in this series. While I was on holiday I went to the library and I chose this book, it was the 3rd book in the series but the only one they had. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the first two because it explained all the main characters.

I particularly enjoyed the interesting titles, for example, A Mr Rubbish Mood, Pigtoes, Pumas and Pimplebacks and finally Project P.E.N.C.I.L! They really caught my imagination.

This book has a lot of facts and I found them very interesting, I also learnt a lot about recycling.
“Did you know we throw away TWO AND A HALF MILLION plastic bottles every hour in this country!” (USA)

It gave a long list of things that we use every day which come from the rain forest and talks about riding bikes to help save fuel and the earth.

This book is American so some of the words are a bit different which was a little confusing like trash /rubbish, and Band-Aids /plasters.

Verdict: I love this book and now want to read ALL THE OTHERS!

Reviewed by Avilee Age 7 ½

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 2004
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Genre: Fiction, humour
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Avilee
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None
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