SLA's Friday Favourites (02/04) :: NEWS
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SLA's Friday Favourites (02/04)

02 April 2021 Share

Reading recommendations we think you'll love.

Title: Bone Music

Author: David Almond

Publisher: Hodder

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 1st April 2021

ISBN: 9781444952919

Reviewer: Dawn Woods


WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Sylvia has reluctantly accompanied her Mother, who wanted to get away from the worries of her job, to the Northumberland fells. Away from friends, with no phone signal, Sylvia feels the different lifestyle to her busy city life. But she slowly becomes immersed in the landscape and its people. “It’s no good rewilding the world if we don’t rewild ourselves”, and Sylvia does just that.

Sylvia meets Andreas, a 95 year old ex prisoner of war who was equally drawn to the environment, who now explores the earth to uncover flints from thousands of years ago. She also meets Gabriel, her own age, who plays music on a bone flute. Together they ramble over the countryside and discover a decaying buzzard from which they extract the wing and then a bone for Sylvia to make into an instrument. 


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

David Almond’s writing never fails to move me. I shared a flat in Newcastle with flatmates from Northumberland who both had boyfriends with cars. We therefore spent many weekends in Northumberland with them showing me the landscape, and in all David Almond books I am transported back there.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Almond always connects nature and man and with music thrown in, this book is perfect to demonstrate that the past has a lot to teach us and that there is hope and the young can change and save the planet.


HOW COULD YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

This book could be used to explore the power of nature in our mental wellbeing, as well as the links between the past and today. 


MEET THE AUTHOR

David Almond is the author of many novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into over 40 languages and is widely adapted for stage and screen. In 2010 he received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. 

His innovative, boundary-breaking work is loved by readers of all ages, and receives widespread critical acclaim. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle upon Tyne. Visit his website here.


Available here.


Title: The Supreme Lie

Author: Geraldine McCaughrean

Publisher: Usborne

Age: 8-12

Publication date: 15th April 2021

ISBN: 9781474970686

Reviewer: Dawn Woods


WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Madame Suprema rules over the Senate and has to decide whether or not to close the floodgates which have not been closed within a generation’s lifetime. She can’t make that decision without expert advice, so calls upon the meteorologists to send her the weather forecast. A letter detailing this is duly delivered and the Suprema announces all is well. She then decides to leave the city, supposedly to visit those suffering further north. Her husband Timor, maid Gloria and dog Daisy inadvertently get left behind, which is lucky for them, but it sets in motion a string of events that eventually prove impossible to maintain. 


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Ironically I read this when it had been raining a while and our river flooded. I know how destructive flooding can be. Plus with a virus spreading and the handling of that by the Government, I felt a lot of empathy with the people of Praesto as their city slowly is submerged by rising floodwater. 


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

This book defies a simple explanation. Just when Gloria was thinking a solution was obvious, the consequences were pointed out to her and each decision became more and more convoluted as she tied herself up in knots trying to do the right thing. 

The role of the press is examined in spreading ‘Fake news’, power is abused, refugees are blamed for misfortunes, man’s interference in nature has consequences, all current concerns in our world. A writer who straddles more than one age group, Geraldine McCaughrean has produced a book to appeal to many. This is more than just a simple adventure story for MG. There are important issues to discuss. 


HOW COULD YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

It could definitely be used to explore current affairs and issues of climate change. It's a meaty read with lots to discuss, and for this reason would make a great book group read.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Geraldine McCaughrean is considered an exceptional writer of our time. She has won the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, the Whitbread Award (twice) and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Visit her website here.


Coming soon - preorder here!