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

04 February 2022 Share

Reading recommendations we think you'll love.

Title: Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good

Author: Louie Stowell

Publisher: Walker

Age: 8-12

Publication date: 3rd February 2022

ISBN: 9781406399752

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Loki is well known for being a trickster, but there is a limit, and now Loki has been banished to live on Earth as a "normal" school boy. He does have acting parents and a sibling – other Gods, including Thor acting as his brother, with neither side enjoying the experience.

Forbidden from using his godly powers, Loki must show moral improvement. He is required to record his progress in a magical diary, which itself judges Loki’s performance and awards – or in Loki’s case deducts - points for his behaviour.

Can Loki tell good from evil, right from wrong, or friends from enemies? Or will he be banished to Earth forever?


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

This is a humorous, diary-style story packed with doodles and comic strips accessible to many readers. Fun and zany, but with important points on how to treat other people.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

The book won’t shed much light on the different Norse Gods, if you are unaware of them in the first place, but with a bit of background it does help cement their characteristics in your mind.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

For those primary school age children thinking they’d like a bit of excitement in their lives, they can read about extreme powers and the dangers it could lead them into if misused. It may encourage them to think about the effects on other people.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

The cover is bright and attractive, and as a comic style book it offers a less threatening way of encouraging reading.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Louie Stowell started her career writing carefully researched books about space, ancient Egypt, politics, and science, but eventually lapsed into just making stuff up. The author of the Kit the Wizard series, she was inspired by her research into Norse myths to write Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good, her first project as both author and illustrator. 

Louie writes full-time in London, where she lives with her wife, Karen; her dog, Buffy; and a creepy puppet that is probably cursed

Follow her on Twitter and visit her website.

Available here


Title: Tsunami Girl

Author: Julian Sedgwick

Illustrator: Chie Kutsuwada

Publisher: Guppy Books

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 4th March 2021

ISBN: 9781913101466

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

15-year-old Yuki Hara Jones has been allowed to visit her Grandfather in Eastern Japan alone for the first time. Here she finds him still mourning the loss of his wife and following Japanese folklore customs as his way of coping.

Yuki has dreams about a figure she herself used to draw when younger, making up stories around this character.

When an earthquake and tsunami hit the town and devastate it, including her Grandfather’s house, Grandfather had just ‘popped back’ to retrieve something...

Yuki then has to navigate the immediate aftermath, all alone, still searching for her Grandfather, devastated and guilty that she had not stopped him. Even on returning home to the UK, the nightmares still remain...


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

To be caught up in such a disaster would have been so frightening and horrific. It is not a trauma to easily overcome, especially when growing up and losing confidence in what you had always done, like drawing. The memories of drawing Manga and its history in Japanese culture would draw you back to those nightmares.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

I can remember the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, and the fallout from Fukushima’s nuclear reactor being hit. The sheer devastation of the land and the thought that bulldozers and a rebuilding programme would not be the solution because of the contamination was just mind-blowing. One personal story, even if fictional, brings all that horror back. Yuki feels she needs to return to gain closure. Her parents are concerned as the area is still so dangerous, and I could feel that worry.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Many young people today will not remember this tragedy. Yet it is still being experienced today as the land remains contaminated. Based on research, as well as a visit to the area, this story will help young people understand the events around this.

As the novel is partly told in Manga, with the illustrations speaking for themselves, it also lends a powerful authority to this medium for storytelling.

Only when following her gut instinct can Yuki let go of her nightmares to resolve them herself.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

A great book for bookclubs that will generate a lot of discussion.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Julian Sedgwick lives in England with his wife and two sons. Julian's lifelong interest in the arts and culture of China and Japan has influenced much of his work, as has his fascination with performance, street art, and circus

Follow him on Twitter and visit his website.

Available here