SLA's Friday Favourites (20/05) :: NEWS
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SLA's Friday Favourites (20/05)

20 May 2022 Share

Reading recommendations we think you'll love.

Title: Fake

Author: Ele Fountain

Publisher: Pushkin

Age: 8-12 (ideal age would be 10-13yrs)

Publication date: 19th May 2022

ISBN: 9781782692904

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Dystopian revisiting of lockdown where children don't go to school until the age of 14 and everyone buys everything online. People are frightened of catching germs from one another, but if you are ill like Chloe the medication can be very expensive.

When Jess starts school and finally meets other children other than her sister Chloe, she realises that not everyone lives like her family. As an excellent programmer she has the ability to hack into systems and uses this to try to reduce the price of her sister's medication. Unfortunately she makes a mistake and her family's digital life is 'erased' meaning she cannot contact them at all and they are unable to buy anything.

Determined to put it right Jess embarks on a journey using old fashioned maps and a compass.


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

There was a lot of manipulation in this book by 'the authorities', which lockdown protests reflected. Most of us reached a happy medium we felt comfortable with, but it does pick up on the fear of germs versus control.


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

In may ways this was a fascinating book, in other ways frightening. Living life entirely online can be done, but we miss so much - not least the human connections as the recent lockdowns have confirmed.

The journey of Jess and her new friends, done without the aid of a sat nav but using a map and compass, was amusing to those of us old enough to have planned our own routes rather relying on technology.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

As a lesson in not relying on technology and allowing it to dominate our every move this is a great example.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

Some great discussion points around how much control should governments have and as we have different examples in the world today of different extremes it can generate much debate.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Ele Fountain first worked as an editor in children’s publishing where she was responsible for launching and nurturing the careers of many prize-winning and bestselling authors. She is now a children's author herself,  and lives in Hampshire with her husband, two young daughters and lots of spiders.

Visit her website and follow her on Twitter.


Available here


Title: The Outrage

Author: William Hussey

Publisher: Usborne

Age: 13-16

Publication date: 29th April 2021

ISBN: 9781474966184

Reviewer: Dawn Woods




WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

England is under the strict rule of the Lord Protector – protecting citizens from evil. The trouble is, there is some debate about what is evil. Is it really what the Protectorate call immoral or degenerate? Or is it the Protectorate itself? Brain washing has spread the idea that anyone not conforming to the strict black and white male/female relationships should be flushed out by the Degenerate Inspectors – or Filth Finders as they are more commonly known. Gebe’s precarious position is made even worse when the son of the Chief Inspector of Degenerate Investigators joins his school. Or, is it made better when the two boys form a relationship which is the answer to both their dreams?

With the discovery of a library of books and films from before the Protectorate which includes such banned titles as Simon James Green’s novels, Gebe’s select group of friends share illicit viewings and wonder about the world that would enable them to live as they would wish.


HOW DID READING IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

I love it when books recognise the power of libraries and this author is outspoken in his support.

“They came for the libraries first. Claimed no one used them and closed them down”.

We know we are dealing with a dystopian world from this – is this what is already happening and will other happenings in this book also come true?


WHAT LASTING IMPRESSION DID IT HAVE?

If intolerance is allowed to fester and spread, if press freedom, free speech and the suppression of the internet is closed down, it may sound extreme, but it is only a few steps from becoming our reality.


WHY SHOULD OTHERS READ IT?

This is certainly a book to make you think and want to stand up for the freedom to be ourselves.


HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE USING THIS BOOK?

This is a useful book for discussing LGBTQ+ issues and themes of power, as well as in a PHSE (relationships) context.


MEET THE AUTHOR

William Hussey is a British author of thriller and LGBTQ+ love stories. An active member of the LGBTQ+ community and a visiting author, he has spoken to hundreds of LGBTQ+ students in schools worldwide. Hearing their stories of modern intolerance, prejudice and the tragic consequences inspires much of his writing.

Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.



Available here