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Bella, British School of Gran Canaria

Rook

Rook is a short story about two brothers who rescue a rook from the clutches of a sparrowhawk on an attack. Whilst Kenny, a boy with learning difficulties, wants to commit to taking care of the rook, Nicky has other issues to deal with. These include his first crush, school bullies and trying to keep his new family together.

The book opens with a graphic description of the attack from the perspective of the rook, which was thorough and a powerful plot kickstart. This relates how the rook defied the natural course of life and didn't give up on its own. The author shows how this bird fights off its predator until its exhausted mind finally gives in.

While the rook's appearance was basically the trigger of all the problems that followed in Nicky's life, I saw it as the string that held everything together too. How it, like the previous animal they'd saved and taken care of, united Nicky's family together again. They shared a goal as a team which helped them through a tough time of their lives.

Though short, Rook was able to handle various social issues with ease and precision, describing the emotions of a teenage boy in a realistic fashion. That made the story punch above its weight as despite its slender size, it was very touching. That said, it also felt inevitably rushed and I wanted more details on their family's backstory and perhaps Kenny's disability which would have made the side characters have more depth since the only one we really get to know is Nicky.

Posted on: 16th April 2018 at 09:18 am

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