SLA's Friday Favourites (07/05) :: NEWS
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SLA's Friday Favourites (07/05)

07 May 2021 Share

Reading recommendations we think you'll love.

Title: We Were Wolves

Author: Jason Cockcroft

Publisher: Andersen Press

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 6th May 2021

ISBN: 9781839130571

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

This is a book which needs reading more than once to gain the full impact. We read about a boy living with his Father in a caravan in the woods. It takes a while to discover quite why, and the relationship is complicated with the boy's Mother. The boy obviously loves her, and both parents say they love one another, but she has not succeeded in keeping her husband on track, although their son thinks he can.

The boy is in his mid teens, yet he sometimes appears younger than that, although he is trying not to admit the truth to himself. John, the Father, has suffered and continues to suffer, but whilst this remains untreated, he cannot see sense. One young boy can't help with this. But their relationship is strong and the love is there. The boy also loves a stray dog who adopts him, and it's his love for Mol the dog which hinders - or clears?- his thinking towards the end.


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

There are no winners in the end of this book. John thinks of himself as a survivor, but in reality he is a victim.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

There are dark forces in this book and innocent victims as well as others who are not thinking straight but after life has dealt them a tough hand, can they be forgiven?


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Jason Cockcroft is an illustrator, and the full glory of the illustrations are amazing. But determined not to allow the writing to let him down, Cockcroft has gone to town on the imagery and metaphors of bad omens and shadows. There is a lot to unpick here of rights and wrongs.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

The imagery and metaphors will be a gift to English teachers and I can see this becoming a future staple of the classroom.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Jason Cockcroft was born in New Zealand, and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He graduated from Falmouth School of Art. He is the illustrator and author of over forty books for children, and he illustrated covers for the last three books in the Harry Potter series.

When he’s not drawing and painting, he’s usually drinking tea and staring out of the window at nothing in particular. He’s very happy to live in a beautiful city that sounds like church bells, smells like chocolate and is invaded by Vikings all year round.

Visit his website, or follow him on Twitter.


Available here



Title: I Know You Did It

Author: Sue Wallman

Publisher: Scholastic

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 6th May 2021

ISBN: 9780702302701

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

When Ruby was four years old, outraged at another girl constantly pushing in and not taking her turn on the slide, Ruby’s temper flared up and she pushed her. The other girl never regained consciousness, and although Ruby was not directly blamed by the courts, this has haunted her family ever since.

In an attempt to move away from bullying yet again, Ruby moves school. But on the first day she finds a message on her locker saying ‘I know you did it’.

Ruby tries to hide and thinks she is safe until not just one, but more students Ruby has come into contact with start to die in strange circumstances. Is Ruby being framed?


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Ever since Sue Wallman’s first book won our local book award I have loved this author’s thrillers which have just the right amount of suspense for me without the paralysing fear of creepy, scary stories. All Sue’s novels could be explained away by coincidence, but of course it never is that simple and there are far more layers to uncover.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

Killing a four year old is awful, but when there is a back story and when this one act follows you throughout your life, you then feel a great deal of sympathy for this 'murderer'. We all do things we regret, but most of us don't have to live with the abject fear of being discovered with a crime this horrific. Life is never black and white and the grey really does make life complicated.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

Sue is a secondary school librarian. She knows what young adults enjoy reading. She knows what young adults are like. She doesn’t include anything unsuitable, so you know you are safe – until you read the thrillers and start to become immersed in the characters of the novels.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

This is a great read for lovers of thrillers and great for discussions on right and wrong.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Sue is the daughter of a psychiatrist and a nurse, and grew up with an interest in human behaviour. She spent her teenage years in Highcliffe on the south coast of England. She loved reading and did a lot of hanging about in a small town where nothing much happened.

After gaining a degree in English Literature & Publishing at Oxford Brooks University, Sue worked for a newspaper in Paris, and magazines in London. Now she combines writing with working in a secondary school library.

Visit her website, or follow her on Twitter.


Available here