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Students Review Favourite Reads
Students at Redruth School responded to a challenge to write reviews of their favourite books following their involvement in the Kernow Youth Book Awards. Of over 100 entries, here are the top five, extracts of which were published in the West Briton on 12th July 2012.
Chantelle Bolt in Year 7 reviewed Teacher’s Dead by Benjamin Zephaniah:
This was an immense book; Benjamin put so much detail to describe the book. The main story of ‘Teacher’s dead’ is a heartbreaking tragedy, where a defenceless teacher, only doing his job, is stabbed to death in front of his own class.
Mr. Joseph (the teacher) is just standing teaching his class when Lionel Ferrier stands up and goes to the front of the class and then out comes a freshly sharpened knife that goes straight into Mr. Joseph’s stomach; so far it almost comes out of his back. Then Lionel pulls the knife out and when he does, blood splatters on his shirt. Ramzi Sanchin and Lionel go straight out of the class room jogging away. They don’t even bother putting their hoods up as if they didn’t care about getting caught. Jackson Jones is the main character who is very curious about the cause of his teacher’s death. He thinks there is more to it than what everyone else thinks. The book covers the Jackson’s whole year at school.
There are 5 main characters; Jackson Jones, a very curious boy who likes asking lots of questions, Mr. Joseph a defenceless teacher who is very respected and well cared for, Lionel Ferrier and Ramzi Sanchin who lives on a council estate and does underage drinking, and finally Jackson’s best friend Warren who helps him with the case.
‘Teacher’s Dead’ is written in the first person, this was important to the story because it’s as if Jackson is actually writing it, so you can feel the pain that he went through having to watch his favourite teacher murdered right before his eyes. The feelings are described in great detail, when you read it feels like you are actually in the book, so you can hear and see everything but no one can see or hear you. This was an amazing book because Benjamin makes it really speak to you so you can understand it better. My favourite part in the book is when Warren and Jackson go and visit an old lady who has this cat, but it has no tail; somebody cut it off, but who was it?
After I read the book I felt really sad for the teacher and happy for what happened to Lionel and Ramzi. I did learn that somewhere out in the world that there are people who do get in a lot of trouble because of their childhood or how they grew up, not just because they want lots of attention or get forced to. I would 100% recommend this book to people as it really makes you think and is really emotional.
Molly Buckland in Year 8 reviewed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:
Katniss Everdeen takes us on a journey from cover to cover, telling us of her life of struggle and pain. But things can always get worse and worse they get.
Written in 1st person, this thrilling novel tells the story of a courageous, young girl fighting for her life, fighting for love and fighting for hope. When her sister’s name gets drawn to be the tribute for their district, Katniss honourably volunteers to take her place in order to save her sister.
Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, a poor place, controlled, like the other 11 districts, by the Capitol. Each year to demonstrate their power, they get two children, a boy and a girl from each district and put them in an arena to fight for their life, fight to death. This fight is filmed and put on TV for the Capitol people; their suffering is their entertainment. Katniss wants this to stop. Katniss wants to stop the Hunger Games.
A combination of action, adventures, tragedy and romance this book is a true page turner. Risk after risk, death after death, Katniss’ life is a hurricane.
Every decision counts and there are no second chances in these circumstances. Will Katniss survive the Hunger Games? Find out for yourself…
Eli Connon in Year 8 reviewed Gone by Michael Grant:
Gone is a thrilling book as unpredictable as it is Brilliant Michael Grant combines the genres from the lord of the flies and super mutants (sadly some bad) straight into the book. This is one of the most thrilling and surprising books I have ever read so surprising that moments into the first paragraph everybody over 14 simply disappears in the middle of an average school day whilst I giant impenetrable dome conceals everybody in the town of period beach and further; this is not the only surprise as only paragraphs later the main character discovers that he has mysterious massively destructive mutant powers and that he’s not the only one who possess them.
This book contains: adventure; terror; mystery; fights and even a bit of romance.
This book comes with a thrilling story line and unseen plots run throughout the story I give it 5 stars out of 5 I highly suggest this book to anyone and everyone including its many sequels which are in order: Hunger; Lies; Plaque; the newly released Fear and the next book yet to be released Light where the saga concludes I myself cannot wait for to read and see the plot unravel.
Georgia Laity in Year 8 reviewed The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han:
This Enticing chick-lit about a 15 year old girl traveling to her mother’s best friend’s house is set on the sunny coast of Cousins in June, and is the best book that I have ever read, as I could not put it down for the entire span of time that I was reading it. I found that hours felt like minutes while I was reading and sometimes whole days went by without me looking up from my book once.
While the story progresses the same hope for the main character stays with you as the story compels you, will her and the male lead character, Conrad ever get together, as she has liked this boy since she was 8 years old.
This book truly is an emotional roller coaster and has made me experience feelings from heart wrenching sadness to delighted thrill. It is written in the first person from Isabella, the main character’s point of view furthermore it is a fiction book but highly believable and very easy to relate to as a 12 year old girl.
The author has used a very persuasive style of writing as you will always agree with whatever the main character is thinking, especially in conflict throughout the book. I would definitely recommend this book to age groups of 12-16 year old girls.
Yselkla Hosking in Year 8 reviewed Life of Pi by Yann Martel:
The life of Pi is an exciting read by the unique and talented author Yann Martel. It is a very original story that is brilliantly told, a breathtaking book for anyone who seeks a great read.
It is about a young, highly religious and strictly vegetarian boy, Piscine Patel. His family owns a zoo in India, and when their ship to Canada, the ‘Tsimtsum’ sinks, all Piscine’s life is gone in an instant. Later he finds a host of exotic zoo animals on his lifeboat including a spotted hyena, an orangutan and an adult male Bengal tiger strangely named Richard Parker. This book is a thrilling diary-style read where an amazing adventure unravels before your very eyes.
This book is for all ages over 11 years in my opinion and I would certainly give this story to any person who does not like reading because well, this would easily change their mind! This book would be given a rating of 4/5 because there is a quite long wait until the action happens but The Life of Pi is still an amazing story for young and old alike.