Monthly Archives: February 2014

Book Review: Wonder by R. J Palacio

“My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August was born with a syndrome that makes him look a bit different. Actually, a LOT different. So different that people stare at him. All the time. August is about to start a new school, which is nerve wracking for most people. But when you’ve never been to school before in your life and you look different, it’s terrifying. Not all kids are nice. But not all kids are nasty.

Wonder is a really interesting book. It’s divided into sections and each section tells the story from the point of view of a different character. As the story unfolds, the reader gets to see a range of perspectives; characters that you thought you had figured out at the beginning of the book are not always what they seem by the end.

This is a story about survival, but also about being true to yourself and being kind to others. August’s deformity is never going to change, there is no hope for a ‘grand cure’ in the end. What does change, however, is the way people see August and how they treat him. It will make you both laugh and cry at the same time.

If you like books by John Green or enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, you would probably enjoy Wonder. I recommend it for Year 7 and up.

After reading this book, you might want to sign the pledge and ‘Choose Kind’. Just one act of kindness can make all the difference. Check it out:

http://choosekind.tumblr.com
http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/choose-kind/pledge.php

Happy Reading!
Ms White 🙂

Game of Thrones: Brace yourselves!

As you know, we had a bit of a heat wave over the holidays. I didn’t have much to do except sit in front of the air conditioner and read. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I thought: this is probably a good time to dive into the Game of Thrones series. Of books.

Now, I haven’t see the TV series – which I hear is a touch full on (and most definitely unsuitable for you younger ones). I have refused to watch it for a few reasons. Firstly, because I don’t deal well with onscreen violence (of which there’s quite lot) and secondly, because I always prefer to read the books first.

A lot of students have been asking about whether they should read the Games of Thrones books. Reading them is quite a commitment; each book is about 700 pages and there are five books. With two more to come.

My verdict? I loved them! But they won’t be for everyone. Let me tell you why:

These books fall into the ‘epic’ fantasy/historical fiction category. Be prepared for lords and ladies, knights and peasants and lots and LOTS of characters to keep track of.  It can be hard going if you’re not used to reading this type of fiction!

Many people have found George R. R Martin’s writing style hard to read, in the sense that each chapter is from the point of view of a different character. The difficulty is that the reader has to keep track of about eight different key narratives. However, I love this because it’s what makes these books so great. Martin’s characters are all pretty complicated. No one is a total ‘baddie’ or a total ‘goodie’. In fact, just when you think you’ve got the measure of a character, Martin does something that makes you completely question who they really are. I’ve just finished the fifth book and my opinion of some characters is completely different to what it was in the first.

Oh yeah – he likes to kill off characters too. So don’t get too attached!

My absolute favourite character – Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage in the TV series)

I have to warn you that these books contain some pretty confronting themes. There’s a lot of violence, swearing, sex and some very morally ambiguous characters. They are definitely adult books and not to be picked up lightly. If you’re not sure whether you should read them, come into the library and have a chat with me and hopefully I’ll be able to give you enough information to help you make a decision.

Now, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of the next book in the series. And steeling myself to watch the TV version.

Happy Reading!
Ms White 🙂

Hermione and Harry???

Hermione and Ron….not meant to be?

“JK Rowling has admitted that she made a mistake by pairing off Hermione Granger with Ron Weasley rather than with Harry Potter in her best-selling books.”

And with that, the Harry Potter fandom divided. In this article from The Telegraph, the author of the famous wizarding adventures admits that she was guided by her heart and not by her head when she paired up the feisty heroine Hermione with everyone’s favourite ginger, Ron.

According to Rowling, these two would not make the most realistic couple. Could Ron make Hermione happy? Or would she be more suited to Harry?

Some fans have been outraged that Rowling would make such a comment now that the series is done and dusted. Others, including Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the films, agree with Rowling’s statement, saying that Harry and Hermione are a far better match.

What do you think?

Happy Reading!
Ms White 🙂