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Denefield's Brilliant Bookworms

Speak Out!
A recurring technique throughout all of these books in the Carnegie 2018 shortlist is the use of character voice. The authors of these fantastic books use the character's voices in many different ways across these stories. Voice is used: as a medium to represent freedom and faith; as a symbol of growing up; and as a tool or a weapon. Let's focus on character voice relating to freedom and using voice as a weapon. The books that really stood out to me and have stuck in my mind are "After The Fire" and "The Hate U Give". In "After The Fire" Moonbeam's voice is her psychological outlet. Speaking out is how she can begin to come to terms with what has happened to her. She fights the internalisation of Father John's voice, and his control, and talks to Dr Hernandez and Agent Carlyle. Moonbeam's voice is her path to freedom. In "The Hate U Give" Starr's voice is her weapon. She speaks out about the death of Khalil. She tells the truth to the police, the media, and her friends. Using her voice and speaking out enables Starr to fight back against the injustices she has faced and gives her the release she needs to be able to begin to move on. Starr's voice is her weapon. Both Moonbeam and Starr use their voices to fight back and gain their freedom. Both girls learn how to use their voices as they grow up. They learn the power of speech and that speaking out about injustice, or simply telling your story, can be a powerful tool to teach others by, and that voice is a far more powerful weapon than fire or bullets.
Posted on: 14 May 2018

Can a lie really help find the truth?
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is a book not to be judged by it's cover, just as the characters in this story should not be judged by their appearances. This captivating and heart-felt story explores the dilemma of doing something wrong but for the right reasons and the blurred lines between right and wrong. It reminds us not to judge others and shows us how something small can become something big.
Posted on: 07 Jun 2017

5 stars for 'the stars at oktober bend' by Glenda Millard
I was captivated by this story and the characters within from the very first page. Although the style of Alice's writing is difficult to get used to - she writes in a stream of consciousness with little punctuation, only full stops, and no capital letters - once adjusted, the poetic style is enchanting and creates a strong connection between the reader and Alice. By using different fonts and writing styles to reflect Alice and Manny, Millard enables us to view the world truly through their eyes. Read this story, it is enchanting and captivating and reminds us all that "wishes thought impossible sometimes come true".
Posted on: 08 May 2017

The smell of a good book!
I initially struggled to connect with 'The Smell of Other People's Houses' by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock as I have no experience of Alaska or the 70's. But this is the joy of reading books; you get to live in another world and see through another person's eyes, just for a short while. I became thoroughly engrossed in this story. The characters are unified by their instinct to compare the different smells of home; this roots the story in realism and allows us to identify with the characters because the senses are universal and everyone can relate to the smell of home, whatever 'home' means to you. Filled with imagery and the senses, Hitchcock engrosses you in this fast-paced and gripping plot and we learn that the smallest connections can have the biggest impacts. I highly recommend this book.
Posted on: 02 May 2017

'Before you start anything, make a list.'
'Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth' has an intriguing opening: 'Before you start anything, make a list.' From cake making to moving house to running away to sea. I love using lists to keep me organised so I thought the opening was funny and clever. The style of writing is conversational and draws you in, creating a strong connection with the main character. Although this is not the genre of book I would usually read I am finding it quirky, intriguing, and very lively.
Posted on: 31 Mar 2017

What Book I'm Reading
I am currently reading "The Bone Sparrow" after seeing the interesting cover and blurb. To make sure this book is for me, I normally read the first page to see if I will carry on reading it. As soon as I read the first page I immediately fell in love with it. I am currently half way through it and I would really recommend it. By Emily McMahon
Posted on: 29 Mar 2017

Rosie's Book Review
So I sauntered into the library for our fortnightly meeting for the Carnegie, when a certain book on the table caught my blue eye. This book is "the stars at oktober bend" by Glenda Millard. This is one of those brilliant books that sweep you up as soon as you start reading just a few sentences, and make you want to read on. The grammar is unique and the whole book makes you think "how come?" and "what do you mean?", which for me is really exciting. I thoroughly recommend this book.
Posted on: 29 Mar 2017