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Jess, Witchford Wonders Carnegie


'Rook' is about two brothers named Nicky and Kenny, who live with their father and his girlfriend. Kenny has learning difficulties, which is important to the structure of the story. The two boys find a rook that has been badly injured by a sparrow hawk, and take it home to nurse back to health. The rook itself takes quite a background role in the story; leaving the main storyline to Nicky's worries. (Nicky narrates the story) Nicky has a secret, on top of getting bullied because of Kenny. The book is about how he tries to resolve the problems that arise from this. The main themes in the book are responsibility, family and fairness: Nicky holds quite a large influence over Kenny, and how he deals with this is shown quite frequently in the book. Fairness is shown with the consequence of the bullying. Are Nicky's actions dealt with fairly?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the author used the story of the rook as the foundation for the main storyline because it made the characters seem more real, and human, rather than living very simple lifestyles. I think that the way that Anthony McGowan addressed the issue of bullying was clever. By showing it from a child's point of view it helps the reader gain an insight into how Nicky was feeling, again making the characters seem more vibrant. My only criticism would be that because it is part of a series, some references to the previous stories cannot be understood properly if you haven’t read the other books. However, this isn't too much of a problem because the references are explained thoroughly.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about family or people who can relate to the difficulties that Nicky has at school. I think that it is aimed at ages 11+ because some of the language used would be unsuitable to anyone younger, and children younger than 11 may not understand some of the themes in the story.

Posted on: 2nd May 2018 at 09:08 am

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