Saturday, 6 April 2013

New Book Reviews!!

Title: The Extincts
Author: Veronica Cossanteli
Price: (out in May) paperback £5.99
ISBN: 978-1-908435-45
                This is a story about a young boy named George (he’s not named after St George, even though he lives in the town were the famous battle with the dragon took place, he’s named after his Grandfather). George feels he is far from ordinary, in fact when he sees a job advertisement for a job at Wormestall Farm, he feels he could be the ‘Right Person for the Job’ and it’s not just because he need the money for a new bike. But George could never have imagined in his wildest dreams the creatures he discovered at Wormestall which was certainly no ordinary farm. It may have pigs and cows, but they are extinct species or mythical creatures, not to mention there is a unicorn, an ichthyosaur (like a dolphin but with very, very sharp teeth)  and an old dragon with a wounded eye and a dislike towards Knights on horseback. They are very rare and seek sanctuary in Wormestall farm otherwise they would be sent to laboratories to be tested or put in cages for humans to view. Worse still there is Diamond Pye, the stepmother of Pruedence the new girl in Geroge’s class who also finds out bout Wormestall. Diamond Pye is an animal-stuffer, and when there are rumours that the wigglington worm has escaped (it is actually a basilisk named Mortifier). George has to help Mrs Linde and Lo, the keepers of Wormestall to bring back Mortifier before he turns the whole town to stone or eats a child (it’s not his fault though, he can’t help it), or is captured, bagged and stuffed by the Diamond Pyeso that she can win the Taxidermist of the Year award and the golden brain spoon. Meanwhile the evil taxidermist locks Prudence in a cage in order to make her confess the truth about the location of the weird and wonderful creatures, so George now must rescue her as well. Can he save the day?
                Hilarious and full of exciting animals you could never have imagined, all real extinct creatures, or taken from myths, ‘The Extincts’ is a fun book for younger readers and will have you imagining your own monsters that live in Wormestall Farm.

Title: After Iris; The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby

Author: Natasha Farrant
Price: £6.99 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780571297962
                The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby contain film footage, shot by the Cameraman, Bluebell herself, the film scripts of which are included in the book. The films all show Blue’s completely mad, but loving family; Flora, sixteen and would be married in some countries therefore old enough to do what she wants, Twig and Jasmine, the babes who enjoy pulling pranks and throwing tantrums, Blue herself and Blue’s shadow. Ever since the death of her twin sister Iris Blue has keenly felt the separation, like a missing arm or leg and she often images her shadow is Iris following her stil. However the rest of the family appear to have forgotten her and sometimes Blue herself feels invisible with her parents constantly travelling, Flora being overdramatic and attention-seeking and the babes constantly causing trouble.  Blue never gets the chance to talk about her problems in school; how she has no friends and how Dodi, who used t be her best friend and is now her worst enemy, treats her. The story begins with the arrival of the au pair, Zoran who immediately tries and fails to take control of the unruly family, then the arrival of another mysterious character. The grandson of their nextdoor neighbours Joss is sixteen and as wild and full of fun as they are and takes great delight in watching and playing tricks on the family. He also becomes friends with Blue however, listens to her, gets revenge on the bullies at school and always makes her laugh. Just when she realises she has fallen in love with him however she sees him kissing her older sister Flora. Is Joss really as great as he has made out to be? He seems to be even wilder than they imagined bringing Flora home drunk and bringing his loud, rude friends to the school play. Meanwhile the children all begin to feel resentment towards their parents for being constantly working or travelling so that they are never together as a family. Blue knows the real reason everyone is moving so fast and being so busy, even though they may not speak about her they are trying to hide their grief for the loss of Iris, just as Blue is by not speaking to anyone and remaining always on the other side of the camera.
                A wonderful novel containing the true meaning of family love and support for one another in times of difficulty and distress, this book also contains themes of growing up and heartbreak while also introducing moments of hilarious wit from the eyes of an intelligent sensitive 13 year old. The film scripts at the beginning and ends of the chapters are surprisingly effective and add to the vividness of the action within the book. You can almost imagine the novel as a film, and only at the very end does Flora take the camera and focus it on Blue’s face; she is laughing.

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