Book Reviews & Recommendations from Year 7 Students – Part 2
Earlier in the academic year, Year 7 students were invited to submit book reviews on some of their favourite novels as part of their Reading Passport.
We share some of them below and hope they inspire more 10-12 year olds to try reading some of these books, particularly during this period of self isolation.
For more Year 7 Book Reviews, please click here.
“Nevermoor” by Jessica Townsend – Reviewed by Georgia, 7G
This is one of the best books I’ve read since Harry Potter.
It is all about Morrigan Crow, a cursed girl from a very wealthy family, who is doomed to die on Eventide, the end of an era. Miraculously, a man named Jupiter North appears out of thin air to rescue her from her gruesome ending in the town of Jackalfax, and to bring her to Nevermoor. But to stay in Nevermoor, Morrigan has to pass four trials: the Book Trial; the Fright Trial; the Chase Trial and the Show Trial. She has to qualify all of these to remain in Nevermoor, and if she goes back to Jackalfax, she dies.
I found this a really captivating novel as there were a few surprising plot twists that livened up the story. The way the story is written really draws you in, especially me, because one of my favourite genres is adventure/fantasy, so I felt like the book was almost written for me.
I would recommend that children ten or over read this because one of my younger friends read it and found that it was quite difficult to follow because of all the unusual terms and peculiar names.
My favourite character is Hawthorne, as he is funny and silly, with just a pinch of devious. His practical jokes are hilarious because he just drops them on you (literally – he dropped a massive jelly on top of someone’s head!). He works together with Mog on some of the trials and he is her best friend. In addition, he is a dragon rider, and I have always wanted to be able to do that.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone over ten.
“One” by Sarah Crossan – Reviewed by Reham, 7G
The book “One” by Sarah Crossan is first and foremost an emotional novel, which describes the lives of two conjoined twins, Tippi and Grace. It highlights the key events in the twins’ lives as well as the many difficulties they face over the course of the novel.
“One,” opens by describing Tippi’s and Grace’s feelings after their parents reveal a life changing decision that would be put into place after several weeks. This story is narrated in the first person – from Grace’s point of view, however, by reading the first 2-3 chapters you can tell that Tippi is more of the relaxed twin in contrast to Grace who is quite bashful and timid in the majority of times.
‘I listen and nod and pull at a loose thread in my shirt until a button falls away. But Tippi doesn’t stay silent. She detonates…’
The quotation above suggests the fact that as noted previously, Tippi is quite laid back.
Once their parents announce the new change to their lives, we are introduced to several new characters: Dad, Mom and Dragon (whose real name is Nicola). Dragon, is a fourteen year old ballet dancer who supports Tippi and Grace with the help of their parents. The girls’ mum homeschools Tippi and Grace – whereas Dragon attends the local high school – and their father has developed an alcohol addiction.
This novel by Sarah Crossan is one of my favourites. It explores love/romance, friendship and family and I would recommend it to any readers from the age of 10. “One” is quite thought-provoking and it’s an amazing read. Does their Dad manage to support them even with his alcoholic addiction and can their mum still homeschool them even when the family is experiencing financial difficulties?
The final question is. Do they stay alive? Read this 5/5 star rated book to find out.
“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman – Reviewed by Aanya, 7S
I would recommend Coraline to anyone who loves fantasy.
It is about a girl named Coraline who moved into Pink Palace (flats) with her parents. She discovers a mysterious miniature door and she wonders. Her other mother and father, who have black button eyes and papery skin are waiting for her and they want her to stay with them forever. She will never come back after she stays there. Coraline has to save her parents and the ghost children.
I really enjoyed reading this book and it is worth reading if you like fantasies and magic worlds. There is also a movie of this but I advise you to read the book before as there are some changes in the movie. I never put it down so this just shows how good it is. The author really captures your attention in his description and imagery.
“The School for Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani – Reviewed by Rahel, 7S
I would recommend the book “The School for Good and Evil” and the rest of the book series for many different reasons.
For one, the author, Soman Chainani keeps you engrossed in his book. The vocabulary he uses and the plots and endings for every one of his books are never expected. Moreover, there are always links in his book that I loved discovering later on in the series. This book is based in a made up world but shows one the harsh reality of this era. In every book there are always two groups, ‘Good and Evil,’ ‘Girls and Boys,’ ‘Old and New’ and ‘Truth and Lies,‘ and I feel that even if I read these books 20 times, I still would never get bored of them.
The book is set in a school for ‘good and evil’ and despite the title, everything is not as expected. Torn between friendships and doing the right things, Sophie and Agatha face the hardships of so called ‘fairy tales’ as they go head to head on their own. Is there really good and evil or is that just a myth?
“The Cherry Tree” by Paola Peretti – Reviewed by Tilley, 7S
I think this book is really inspiring, because it’s about this girl called Mafalda, who has a disease that means she gradually loses her sight.
She plans for this with the cute, funny plan of climbing up a tree and living there when she goes blind, or rather, goes into the dark. She has many misconceptions along the way that lead to (with the help of a friend) realising that this isn’t how life works, and it’s much better than her thoughts. She loses some of her old friends, gains some new ones, and explores what it’s like to not be normal. Only, the moral of the story is that that’s ok! It has a sweet message and is really well written, making the reader feel the same emotions as Mafalda does on her journey.
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams – Reviewed by Abigail, 7G
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a book that will live in time forever. Its title was the thing that originally caught my eye, and its tag line too! “A trilogy of five parts.” I knew I liked it as soon as I saw it, with the big friendly button saying “Don’t Panic” in big red capitals. Douglas Adams’ introduction was hilarious and I was gripped from the first words that were on the first page and I was certain that this adventure/ hilarious anecdote of life on the run would be just the right sort of book for me.
Originally set in outer space where Earth used to orbit, we quickly move and jump between long lost planets, entirely new ones, all being chosen by the improbability drive. Four main characters manage to ruin the galaxy in just 129 pages leaving a faint but still tangible trail of destruction behind them.
Ford Prefect turns up around 15 years ago and bursts into Arthur Dent’s life. Full of idiosyncrasies that Arthur decides to ignore, the two friends have an amicable relationship with each other until Ford makes a rather unexpected announcement. All the way through the book, Arthur takes a more trepidatious course of action, however normally gets pulled in with Ford’s excursions. On the contrary, Ford has a forward approach to life and any minute spent not doing anything exciting/ new/ different is a minute wasted. Zaphod Beeblebrox is the third of the four main characters and is quite the man! President of the Galaxy, Zaphod is loud, boisterous and has 3 arms. Oh and two heads that often argue. Finally, we have, Tricia McMillian otherwise known as Trillian. She is a smart, strong feminist who takes nothing from men and can walk her own walk. She is a proper example of a good female character and has managed to get them out of many a fix before. They all make friends with others but being the careless people they are, manage to lose them before too long most of the time due to running away from something or another.
Ford Prefect, an alien from the near vicinity of Betelgeuse, startles his friend Arthur Dent by announcing that the world is going to end in 20 minutes. Determined not to stress his friend out, Ford escorts them both to the local bar where he gaily informs everyone in the close area that the world was going to end in 12 minutes. Quite suddenly over a rather loud intercom, the Vogons announce that they are promptly destroying the Earth. And they did. By sheer luck, Arthur and Ford get picked up by the Vogon ship as they fly away and Arthur starts his life as a hitchhiker. Quickly though, the Vogons discover that they are on board and subject them to some Vogon poetry until they are tossed out into space. Due to the improbability drive that is built into the stolen Heart of Gold spaceship, Zaphod and Trillian pick up the pair just before their certain demise. As it transpires, Zaphod is technically the President of the Galaxy but seeing as he just ran off with the super top secret new ship that the government had been creating, he was very high on their watch list and was most definitely a fugitive. His real reason for stealing the ship becomes clear when they sail towards the thought to be long dead planet called Magrathea. However not all was as it seemed…
Overall, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a feel good book that I have been recommending to everyone. The perfect combination of humour and adventure blend perfectly into a story so well planned and thought out it seems almost real. You can step inside the characters’ feelings and understand their choices, sympathise and laugh at them. Douglas Adams has done such an amazing job bringing the world of Ford and Arthur into ours.
A Quote which sums up the book: “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”