18 March 2021 Share
Reading recommendations we think you'll love.
Author: Andy Robb
Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Reviewer: Bev Humphrey
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Themes of coming of age, family breakup, domestic abuse, toxic masculinity, alcohol dependence and friendship.
HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Empathetic towards this young man who is struggling with all the usual teen dilemmas whilst shielding his younger sister from his parents divorce and helping his mum come to terms with being the victim of domestic abuse.
WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?
That we need to work harder on not projecting false stereotypes onto young men, and the importance of good male role models who aren't afraid to show their feelings.
WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?
It's a very powerful depiction of the way society's conceptions of what makes you a man and therefore 'strong' are damaging and unhealthy for young people.
HOW COULD YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?
It would work well as an extra relatable class read with themes that could lead to a crossover with PSHE.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Andy Robb is the author of the Geekhood books, the first of which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award. He’s had many jobs over the years, most notably as an actor working on stage and screen but now spends his time writing on his house boat on the Thames; occasionally stopping to feed the ducks. Follow him on Twitter, here.
Title: A Street Dog Named Pup
Author: Gill Lewis
Publisher: David Fickling
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Reviewer: Dawn Woods
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?I rarely give up on a book quickly, but when in the first two chapters a young pup was taken from his young, loving owner and dumped in an ally far from home, I didn’t think I would be able to continue with this book.
I did, but it certainly didn’t become a cosy, happily ever after story. Any school librarian thinking this is another Gill Lewis animal/environment book and loaning it without knowing the content and the reader should think again.
Pup’s journey into adulthood is far from easy. It does have its happy moments, and even the hard days of survival on the streets are made easier because of the importance of friendship among other dogs. But there is a fair bit of fighting for survival, sometimes quite literally.
HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?Despair for man’s propensity of violence against animals which is entirely unnecessary and results in the cultivation of violent traits which could be avoided. Although this can equally translate to humans’ interactions with other humans.
WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?Not all animal stores for children have to sugarcoat an idyllic life as sometimes the harsh reality has to be unhidden.
WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?Gill Lewis knows animals and this is a realistic depiction of life on the streets for abandoned animals, which is why it may upset some children.
HOW COULD YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?I could see this book being used in a PHSE context to explore issues of Animal Rights.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Gill Lewis loves animals and nature. As a child, if she couldn’t be an explorer she wanted to be a vet. She did achieve that dream. She now lives with a large collection of pets, and you can usually find her dreaming up new stories in her tree house. Follow her on Twitter, here.