Mrs Sharp’s (new) Year 10 class – Summer Reading Challenge

Welcome back lovely Year 10s! I’m really looking forward to hearing about the reading you’ve been doing over the summer. As a reminder, your task was to read at least 2 books as part of your wider reading. One book could be completely your choice, and the other needed to come from one of the challenges below:

Read a book by a Carnegie shortlisted author (any year)
Read a book recommended by a friend
Read a book of a genre you wouldn’t normally choose
Read a classic
Read an autobiography or biography

By the end of this first week back, you should also have ‘blogged’ about your books, responding to my post on dhsbookbabes (here!). In your response to this post, please tell us a little about your two books (brief review and introduction to plot) and give us your verdict – did you enjoy it and who else do you think it would appeal to? Here is my post about my reading challenges:

One of my favourite summer reads, which was my own choice, was ‘Radio Silence’ by Alice Oseman. I loved the characters, which felt authentic and true-to-life, and the storyline follows a teenaged girl who is obsessed with an obscure podcast series. It’s about friendships, self-discovery, there being more to life than school… Without giving too much away, if you loved ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell, I would say this is just as good or perhaps even better (which is saying a lot as I really loved ‘Fangirl’!).

My other book, which was recommended by two friends, Mrs Burkey and Mrs Taylor, was ‘Possession’ by A S Byatt. This was a very challenging read and perhaps typical of an English Literature nerd like myself – it was a literary mystery uncovering a previously unknown connection between two Victorian poets. It was dense but challenging and rewarding and although it was difficult at the beginning I absolutely loved it once I’d gotten into the exciting storyline. You would enjoy this if you’re interested in Victorian poetry and/or literary adventures! Yesss!!

Right year 10 – blog away, replying to this post. Make sure that I can identify you so I know you have completed your summer homework.

Mrs Sharp 🙂

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49 Responses to Mrs Sharp’s (new) Year 10 class – Summer Reading Challenge

  1. Issi Archer says:

    Over the summer I read ‘Me before You’ which was a recommendation from a number of friends. I actually found the book hard to get into but once I had read the first few of chapters I was hooked. I loved the characters and all their different personalities and backgrounds, which, at the end of the book, felt like I knew them. The storyline follows Louisa, who despite a lack of experience, finds herself caring for Will, a quadriplegic man. The story is extremely touching and ends tragically, though I don’t really know what I thought of it. The language was not difficult and therefore also provided an easy read. (Highly recommendable)

    The next book I read was a classic: Pride and Prejudice. To start with the language was quite difficult to understand but after a while I became used to it. I found the manner of the characters and their thoughts strange, as a modern reader. Their way of life was very different and it was interesting to learn about it. I thought the characters were intriguing, once I realised who everyone was. I enjoyed the lifestyle of this book in addition to the storyline and I liked the challenge the book gave me.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Wow, two fantastic choices here Issi – super effort! I really loved Me Before You too; I really liked the main character and the storyline was so moving. I’m impressed that you have tackled P&P this summer too. This is a great challenge and will help you immensely in the year ahead 🙂

  2. Molly Slator says:

    During the holidays, i have read a newly released book by J.K Rowling, ‘The Cursed Child’. Even before it came out i have had a number of friends saying i should read it. Being a Harry Potter lover myself, i was very excited for the release of this book and it was better than i thought it would be! The way it was writted was definitely a new style to me as it is the script from the stage play so it was strange to read a script instead of a story like the Harry Potter series had been written in. However after the first few chapters, i could easily put it up there with the list of my favourite books. The story line was a little hard to get my head around at first as the time kept changing at around every chapter for the first part but it eventually slowed down. I would definately recommend this book to anyone, especially a Harry Potter fan!

    The second book i read over the holidays was ‘Running Wild’ by Michael Morpurgo. Being one of my favourite books as i child, i started to feel slightly nostalgic when i read the first few pages. It will probably always be one of my favourite books, as it is one of the most well written books i have read yet. The story line is very emotional and the fact that it is based on true events also makes it seem even more real. It is an easy read all the way through and the story line hooks you straight away.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      I read the new Harry Potter story over the summer too, Molly. I loved being back with the characters but like you, it took me a while to get used to reading the play script. I did find it a little less satisfying than the novels – the storyline sped along too quickly for me as I prefer more tension and development. However, a great story overall 🙂 What was your reading challenge? I’m glad you did read a second book but a re-read isn’t really a challenge… 😉

  3. izzy ford says:

    The first book i read this summer was called ‘Broken Soup’ by Jenny Valentine, I chose to read this because i had previously read another one of her books called ‘Finding Violet Park’, which i enjoyed. This particular novel intrigued me, as the first chapter was mysterious and i felt obliged to read on to find out more. A girl called Rowan gets given a photo ‘negative’ by a boy named Harper, and this leads her to become friends with a girl called Bea who has the equipment to make the picture visible. The negative ends up being linked to Rowan – even though she’s never seen the photo before. The book is mainly about Rowan discovering the surprising story behind the photo. The end of the book came as quite a shock but i wasn’t really satisfied as i wanted more to happen if i’m honest. I did enjoy this book but it was a bit of an anti-climax at times.

    The second book I read was ‘Goodbye Stranger’ by Rebecca Stead. This book was recommended to me. I have to say I really didn’t enjoy the novel, I think it wasn’t gripping in any way. It was all about people at middle school and was quite boring as there wasn’t a great story line in my opinion. The book focuses on friendships and was mainly people arguing and talking about liking boys, the only intriguing thing was that some chapters weren’t to do with the main plot and were written in the third person, so throughout the novel it has the reader wondering who the person speaking is, making you want to find out but in the end it wasn’t too great, another anti climax about who it was. It was an easy read but I personally wouldn’t recommend it to anybody over 12.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Izzy 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Broken Soup, but a shame about the Rebecca Stead one. I wonder if that one is aimed at slightly younger readers than her previous one? If you ever come across When You Reach Me (same author) I’d thoroughly recommend that one – it’s gripping, mysterious and meaningful.

  4. Jemima Cameron says:

    Book Review: Ruth Rendell, Dark Corners
    Jemima Cameron 10F

    The reason I chose to read this book is because I had finished the books I had brought with me on holiday and wanted something to read on the beach. It is a book either my mum or my Nan had left in the apartment, and amongst the others it had the most eye catching cover.
    The book is based around a man called Carl, however, the storyline jumped between him and other characters – this is something I liked as it made the book very interesting and brought seemingly unrelated characters and lives together (or so I thought)…
    The story is predominantly about murder and justification about doing so, although there are also sub-plots of blackmail and kidnap (more focused around other characters in the book).
    Rendell wrote this story very cleverly, and although they are characters I felt as though I could really see into their heads and understand what they are thinking! This is particularly evident in the protagonist, Carl, who starts the story living a relatively normal life, however, an event takes place which he is certain isn’t his fault and as a result he becomes slightly psychotic and pushes every one away from him. His mind plays tricks on him and he becomes deeply paranoid and depressed. His is overcome by what a reader would understand as guilt, but what Carl can find no explanation for. He commits three murders in total, but Rendell has presented them in such a way that even as a reader, you will be left wondering if they really could be justified…
    The only thing about this book I was disappointed in was that I expected all of the storylines would join up in the end for some great discovery, and whilst some did I felt not all of the characters were needed in the book. Some of the storylines seemed irrelevant and I was slightly confused. Other than that I think the book was very cleverly and well written.
    This is not my favourite book; however I enjoyed it and found myself wanting to read it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark and twisted plots! This is the first book of Rendell’s I have read and whilst I didn’t think it was exceptional, I would like to read more by her.


    Classic Book Review: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
    Jemima Cameron 10F

    I chose to read this book over the summer as we will be studying it next year in English and I felt I would have a better understanding of it if I had already read it. Also, my Nan has read it more times than I can count on two hands and cannot recommend it enough!
    As an already slow reader, this book did take me a while to read; however, I did really enjoy it and found myself wanting to pick it up. It is obviously very old fashioned, and whilst some words I wasn’t familiar with, this didn’t mean I couldn’t follow the storyline. In fact I found it easy to understand and relished reading it.
    Despite it being written in an era and time entirely different from today, I felt I could easily understand the characters and their feelings. The storyline is predominantly based around a woman’s desire and need for marriage; this was typical for the time as if a woman did not marry well, she would find it exceedingly hard to support herself or her family. Whilst marriage might not sound like a particularly interesting theme for a book, Austen wrote it in such a way which keeps a reader hooked. Seeing the story unfold through the protagonist (Elizabeth Bennet)’s eyes, also kept the story interesting as Eliza is a character who seems to see everything slightly differently, and also doesn’t have as high a regard for marriage or even for love as the rest of her family – especially her mother – have. All she wants is the happiness for her best friend, and sister, Jane. When Eliza herself begins to fall in love, the plot becomes very compelling!
    As I have said I did enjoy this book and would really like to read more by Austen and other authors from the same period. I would highly recommend this book and am very glad to have read it.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Well done Jemima – two vastly different books, but it sounds like you got a lot out of each one! It’s really encouraging to hear you enjoyed P&P and this gives you a great head start for Y10 literature 🙂

  5. Megan McTighe says:

    Over the summer I read a number of books, but the 2 books that stood out to me the most were: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and One by Sarah Crossan.

    I decided to read Everything, Everything as I had heard a lot of great reviews about it and was recommended to me by my sister. Everything, Everything is a contemporary young adult romance book but with a slight twist. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it within one day! Maddy, the main character, is your typical teenage girl. Apart from the fact shes allergic to the world. She has a extremely rare disease which as a result means she has never left her house the 17 years she has been alive. The only people she sees are her mum and her nurse Carla (who I grew to love!) Her life is consisted around the a same routine: studying and daily medical tests and check ups. But then a new family moves next door, with an obvious aggressive abusive father, a frightened powerless mother, a daughter who smokes a lot and doesn’t know what to do with her life and then there is Olly. Olly who shows Maddy that there’s more to her life than she thinks. Throughout the book you really start to understand the heartbreak of Maddy’s ordeal, she used to be able to deal with the fact she would never have a normal life, but when Olly comes along she would do anything just to be able to be in the same room as him, to be able to have a normal life. The ending to this book really took me by surprise, I really did not expect the ending which was both heartbreaking and incredible. I would recommend this book to anyone as it has really made me question my life and how lucky I am.

    The other book, One by Sarah Crossan, is a 2016 Carnegie shortlisted book which also made me question myself. One is about 2 conjoined twins: Grace and Tippi, Tippi and Grace. They are 2 sisters with two different hearts and two different lives and dreams, but only one body. They defied all odds of ever surviving and has made it to their 16th birthday. The narrator of the book is Grace, the twin who is starting to wonder what life would be like without constantly having her sister there. Whereas Tippi refuses to even consider her life without her sister. But when they both develop an illness the only option that could potentially save their lives is for them to be separated. This book really made me think about how life must be like for them. How it must feel to never be fully alone, to constantly have company even if you don’t particularly want it. I also loved the way in which the text is positioned throughout the book as Grace being the narrator the text is positioned on the left side as she is the left twin. The text is half the page as she is half of a body. But as the book progresses the position of the text changes. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Well done Megan – sounds like two enjoyable and also very moving books that you’ve read there. These reviews are really informative and helpful for anyone thinking about reading these books 🙂 I want to read both of them, immediately! Super effort!

  6. Katie Butler says:

    Over summer i firstly read the Assassins Apprentice trilogy by Robin Hobbs, which was recommended to by one of my friends. The plot follows a bastard son and his struggles, adventures and his slow growing knowledge of dark magics. Its an amazing book with incredible imagery, in addition to a variety of genres throughout that will help this book appeal to a variety of readers. if you like romantic, horror, fantasy or sad books this will be perfect for you while introducing you to a diverse range on new genres.

    My other book was Maze Runner, by James Dashner. I’m sure the majority are familiar with its plot so i’ll try and keep it brief: Thomas wakes up in this strange place -the glade – with no memories of who he is or how he go there. He quickly realizes hes trapped in the center of a maze, that is conveniently full of lethal creatures. It follows him and his bid to escape. I thought it was an astounding book that is full of suspense and drama. Plenty of heart pounding moments; perfect as a story before bed 😉

  7. mrsjsharp says:

    Both of these sound fab Katie – you’ve given us perfect teasers here without giving too much away. I’m really pleased you’ve read such great books over the summer. I really must try Maze Runner myself – as you say, so many people love this one! 🙂

  8. Izzy Hicks says:

    Over the Summer I read one book called “Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy. It was and is known to be, a very tough read. That is part of the reason why it took me one Summer to get through 3/4s of it! But the length of time it took, does not represent how much I loved it! I absolutely adored the amount of detail Hardy went into and I had a clear image of every scene in every chapter throughout. Although, watching the film before the book was a bad mistake in my opinion and it distorted my view of the characters, I was thinking of the cast members from the film and it did not match the beautiful description that Hardy produced. I love this book mainly because it includes this wonderful, independent, woman called Bathsheba and she goes through victory, vulnerability and vitality. This traumatic love story is set on her recently deceased Uncle’s farm and she has to decide to accept or decline a few engagement requests or two. I haven’t finished this yet but I am really looking forward to the final pages where everything concludes and locks into place! I really recommend this book to people who are thirsty for idyllic descriptions and a moving story line. It is classic English but that was all the more reason for me to read it as it was widening my vocabulary horizons!

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Excellent choice Izzy and it sounds like this has been a challenging and rewarding read. I read it last summer and really loved it. Well done you and thank you for sharing this fab review.

  9. Bea Richardson says:

    Over the summer I read a few books but my favourite was a book by Dodie Smith called ‘I Capture the Castle’. Set in the ’40s, the book is narrated as a diary by a teenager in the middle of a family edging poverty. The main goal in life, for the narrator’s sister anyway, is to marry into a richer family and therefore help the whole family out of their current struggles. I found it a very truthful and funny book, and though it was published in 1949, the language was much the same although the style of life completely different. I would recommend this book to someone who likes modern novels but maybe would like to try something a bit more difficult and different. The ending isn’t completely satisfying and I did feel a little sad when I finished it, the characters being so richly described they were almost real!
    The second book I read in the summer was one I was unsure of in the beginning, ‘The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith, but as soon as I got into it I throughly enjoyed it. Based in Africa in what I would assume was the 1990s, it is a simple, light-hearted story following the main character Mma Ramotswe as she sets up business as Botswana’s first female private detective. The book is split up into chapters, each of which are a separate story, which makes the book easy to read. There are several in the series and a new one has just been published. I would recommend them and would say they are probably in the same kind of genre as the book I reviewed above.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Two super choices Bea. I love I Capture the Castle so much – definitely one I could revisit. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  10. Catherine Seow says:

    I only managed to read one book due to being in China and Japan during the holidays.

    During my trip to Japan I read the classic Black Beauty book. This was one of my favourite childhood book ever, it was very enjoyable and also very nostalgic, although I’m sure people already know the the plot of it already, I will try and shorten it down: the book is in the point of view of a horse called Black Beauty, this is about how his idyllic life got disrupted as he got sold, and got shown the harsh life of a horse, when they get injured or unable to work, it also shows how bad the condition was on animal welfare. The mixture of happiness during the beginning and then angst/tragic, then a happy ending is always a good book, I reconmend this book a lot.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Nice choice Catherine and well done for fitting in some reading in your busy holiday. I’d still like you to choose a reading challenge to work on over the coming weeks please (see my original post).

  11. Bea Richardson says:

    I read a few books books over the summer but my favourite was ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith. Set and written in the ’40s, the book is narrated as a diary by Cassandra Mortmain, daughter of a once rich and famous author who has now lost all his money. The family subside in a derelict old castle, and, desperate to help the family out of their poverty, Cassandra’s elder sisters sets out on a mission to marry for money, a seemingly simple task when a rich, American family move in next to them. This book is very funny, honest and though the lifestyle, customs and manners are quite different to what we would now expect, perfectly relatable. I really enjoyed reading this book and was sad when I finished it as the characters were so richly described and engaging. I would recommend this to someone who doesn’t mind reading classic books, but likes something a little easier and more modern.

    Another book I read was ‘The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith. The book is based in Africa so the language, customs and traditions are different to what we would experience in the Western world, and also, as the book was written in the 1990s it can seem a bit dated. The novel is split up into chapters, in each of which the reader follows Mma Ramotswe, the main character, on a new detective mission, or learns about a segment of the character life. This is quite a gentle book which is easy to follow and funny at times. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it at first but I got into it quickly. I would recommend it to someone who doesn’t want to read anything classical but would like to try something a bit different that the average adventure novel/teen romance etc.

  12. clairemumford says:

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling: Book Review

    Albus Potter has always been known as the famous Harry Potter’s son but when he is chosen for Slytherin house, befriends a Malfoy and disobeys his Father’s wishes it becomes clear Albus is far from similar to that of his honoured parent. However, when trouble is brewing at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus is thrust into an adventure entwined with time, old enemies and the power of true friendship. But will Albus fulfil his Father’s heroic legacy or will he always be known as the Potter’s disappointment?

    Having always been a Harry Potter fan, I was extremely intrigued to read the highly anticipated 8th instalment to the series. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the book on a whole. Although I found the plot cleverly written and packed full of suspense, I did not feel that there were very many strong characters that I really connected with or loved.

    Despite the fact I thought that J.K Rowling again outdid herself with an inventive plot full of unforeseeable twists and turns, I became quite disappointed as the book progress. I was not impressed with the climax which in my opinion was weak and predictable. I think that I may have preferred the story if the climax and ending was less of a cliché and more of a cliff hanger which would lead me onto wanting desperately to read more. I was not left needing more at the end of this story. Another area of the story in which I was not as impressed with was the character development. Not all of the characters were described in enough detail for me to connect with them so I would have enjoyed reading the book more if certain characters had been stronger in personality.

    Nonetheless, in many aspects I was pleased with the novel. Even if it was written as a play script, I found it much easier to then I would have expected and I would confidently say that being written as a play script is not a drawback at all for this book. Surprisingly I was even able to finish this book in one day which in itself is a recommendation for this story being a slow reader myself. Most importantly, the biggest appeal, in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was the magically captivating plot that made the book a page-turner, keeping you on edge throughout the majority of the book. Rowling managed to incorporate the previous storylines of the rest of the popular books in ways which would you would never expect. This had me particularly engaged thanks to my huge love for the Harry Potter series.

    “How to distract Scorpius from difficult emotional issues. Take him to a Library.”-Act one, Scene 19

    Claire Mumford 10E
    Animal Farm by George Orwell: Book Review

    Did you know the farm animals of England are planning rebellion? When the animals of Manor Farm decide that enough is enough, the idea of a rebellion against the human owners of their farm. All begins well but as the smarter animals begin to realise they have a lot of fellow animals that could be used to their advantage problems begin to brew. Are all animals able to work together equally or do greed, selfishness and a whole lot of pigs stand in the way of the first animal running farm?

    Having tried reading a couple of Orwell books previously and enjoying them thoroughly, I have often been intrigued to read Animal Farm especially after it is such a well-known and acclaimed book worldwide. This novel was a very thought provoking story which I could not get enough of. The characters in which Orwell had so cleverly created were strong and well-developed to a point where I fell in love with several of them and was extremely upset when one of the characters sadly passed away. He wrote about them in such a way that I found myself relating to them even if they were an animal.

    Predominately the aim of the story is to show that communism does not work even if animals with human traits were to take to the idea of it. Orwell managed to capture this perfectly by showing that even if the animals worked equally together to rebel as soon as a communist dictatorship was established problems would occur, quickly. It helped me to understand how communism is really hard to maintain while also I enjoyed reading a story which had me captivated throughout. The ambiguous ending left me needing more but I was free to interpret it how I wanted.

    The book is written so that young people could read it as well as adults and is a great length for a relaxing read but with a powerful storyline so I could definitely recommend it to a variety of different ages and readers.

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which is which.”-Animal Farm, George Orwell

    Claire Mumford 10E

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Brilliant effort here Claire – especially well done on reading ‘Animal Farm’ which can be a little tricky and isn’t one of my favourites I have to admit. A good balance here of something more relaxing and enjoyable and something which challenges you to really think. I really like the quotations you’ve included here too – a nice idea 🙂

  13. Hannah steer says:

    I read two books over the holidays, the first was ‘Is it just me?’ by Miranda Hart. i loved this book! this is the kind of book that could easily cheer me up on a gloomy day. I was obsessed with her TV show ‘Miranda’ so i was worried this was going to be disappointing but it was defiantly not. Instead of reading a lot at once, I preferred it when I was just reading a chapter a night as each chapter was different and so I could relate to each one and then think about it the following day. I am not a fan of autobiographies; I often find that celebrities just don’t lead the interesting lives we think they do and I tend to get bored. This is not the case with Miranda. I am in disbelief at the amount of ridiculously hilarious things that have happened to her. I actually laughed out loud, frequently, throughout this book. I would defiantly recommend this book.

    The second book I read was ‘girl, interrupted’. I did not really enjoy this book as i read it after ‘Miranda’ so I went from a very happy, golly book to a quite sad and disturbing book. This book was about a girl who had a mental disorder and how she wanted to be a writer but ended up in a mental home for nearly a year, at the end of the book she was let out and became a writer. She writes about her constant struggles to fir in and to find out who she really is. The book was from her perspective and you read about the friends she had made her opinion on all off them which was then revealed to her ‘friends’ later on in the book which resulted in some terrible things that where quite scary. This book wasn’t really my type of book but maybe i would have enjoyed it more if I had read it before ‘Miranda’.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Well done Hannah – two diverse choices and I’m impressed that you attempted ‘Girl, Interrupted’. I really loved ‘Is it just me?’ and laughed very loudly at that one, embarrassing myself on a train… Super effort 🙂

  14. Caitlin Rieuwerts says:

    Over the summer i read several books because, in my opinion, there’s nothing more relaxing than sunbathing on the beach with a good book!

    Firstly I read ‘All The Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven. This book has been sat on my bedside table for months but I finally got round to reading it!
    After reading the blurb, I immediately wanted to find out more and so I opened the book and began reading. I was captivated from the very first chapter and I couldn’t put it down! The novel focuses on two main characters; Theodore Finch, a boy who wants to take his own life, and Violet Markey, a girl who is struggling to cope with the loss of her sister. After meeting on the school bell tower, a friendship begins to blossom and before they know it, they’ve teamed up to explore ‘the wonders of Indiana’ for a school project. As their sightseeing progresses their friendship becomes a relationship and you can’t help but fall in love with how cute they are together! But soon their almost perfect world comes crashing down and they’re left wondering if they’ll be able to save everything they had. With a devastating ending, this book is an emotional read but it’s written beautifully and… I just loved it! If you’re a fan of John Green or Rainbow Rowell then this book is perfect for you!

    The second book I read was ‘Finding Audrey’ by Sophie Kinsella. This book was recommended by so many of my friends and I loved it just as much as they did! The main character Audrey, has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and she can’t leave her house. And even worse, she can’t take her dark glasses off where ever she is because eye contact, or any kind of contact is difficult for her. The days are dull and repetitive for Audrey until her brothers friend Linus comes along. Something sparks between them and before long Audrey takes a huge turn for the better. They begin with simple steps in the right direction but soon Linus is convincing her to leave the house, at least just to Starbucks. Audrey is soon flying high and her newly found love is ticking most of the right boxes with her therapist. This book is full of hope and inspiration and it’s a story that you’ll never forget. I often found that I could relate to Audrey quite easily. I fell in love with her character and it was sad when the book came to an end. I especially loved the way she started in the middle of the story and then flashed back to one month ago in the second chapter and so the story continued from there. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s touching and fills you with hope and I thoroughly enjoyed it! With a storyline that covers bullying, mental health and first love, it’s the perfect read for anyone who wants to brighten their day.

    Caitlin Rieuwerts 10H

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Your detailed and enthusiastic reviews of these two books make me really excited to try these two books Caitlin 🙂 Super effort!

  15. Ellie Rowland says:

    During the summer the books I read, though vastly different, were highly enjoyable.
    The first book I read was ‘Everybody Jam’ by Ali Lewis which was shortlisted for a clip Carnegie medal in 2012.The story is of several months in narrator Danny Dawson’s life, the son of the owner of a cattle ranch in the Australian outback. After a series of unfortunate events including the death of Danny’s brother Johnny, His sister Sissy’s pregnancy and a great drought drying out crops and water- the outcome from this family slightly isolated from society does not look good. However, things seem to brighten up for the family as Danny is looking forward to this year’s muster – where the cattle raised across the territory are clustered together and it’s rather cruelly decided which should be kept and which should go to be slaughtered. the story changes when an extra pair of hands is needed to help the family cope in the outback, Liz, is hired, this sparks the first of a number of events that change the life Danny is used to for several months.
    The book consisted of several subplots which bewildered me at times, The only real thread I can see drawing it all together is the impact of adult prejudices on children, as the adults have some prejudices and treat the cattle with a harsh disregard for their wellbeing, the book highlights some important issues. Despite the fact I enjoyed the book , it was just everyday occurrences in this boy’s life. If an actual boy who lived a similar life were to pick up the book, I think it would be too much like their life to enjoy it – there was no event or conflict to make it different from the ordinary, to make it exciting, to make it an escape. Hence the “That’s it?” feeling when I finished.

    I will keep the description of the second book vague– I enjoyed it a lot and wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone else whom I would highly recommend it to. I read this over summer as a recommendation from my friend, whose reading persona is contrasting to mine to say the least. It is written by John Green and David Leviathan, who have an easy familiarity. The story’s plot consists of two teenage boys, both named will Grayson. In Chicago, the first will Grayson is best friends with Tiny Cooper, a homosexual football player. The other , a homosexual from Naperville that suffers from depression. After the two meet, Green and Leviathan expertly use the characters to explore themes of love, honesty and friendship.
    The book is a terrific tale of teen love, that is both well-written, humours and touching, brilliantly melding the ridiculous with the realistic. It is quirky, hilarious and down-to-earth, I would undoubtedly recommend it.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Ooh I can’t wait to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson now Ellie! Glad you enjoyed your choices, especially that one. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  16. Hannah Tolliday says:

    Over the summer holidays, I read two really good books. The first of the two was recommended to me by a friend and it’s a type of book I wouldn’t usually read. It’s called Looking for JJ and it’s by Anne Cassidy. I really enjoyed this book, despite it not being something I would usually read. It’s about a girl called JJ and how she starts a new life under a new identity. As the book goes on, you find out more about JJ’s past and how she ended up under a new identity in the present.
    I really liked how the book was written. It’s in four parts and each part jumped to a different part in JJ’s life. I think this technique ensures for a good read as you are left wanting to uncover her past so that you can understand what she went through to get to where she is in the present. Overall, a really good read.

    The second book I read was called I was here by Gayle Forman. This book is about a girl called Cody and her journey to discover why her best friend committed suicide. Cody travels to Seattle, which is where Meg went to University. It’s here that she finds Meg’s laptop and starts to uncover the reason as to why Meg committed suicide.
    This book was really good and I grew very attached to all of the characters. It was very well written and I definitely recommend it.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Some great choices here. I found Looking for JJ really gripping too! Your other choice sounds very moving too – thank you for sharing 🙂

  17. Emilie Brown says:

    The first book I read over the holidays was ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. I really enjoyed reading this book, as I felt that the characters were very loveable and very well developed by the author. This book was quite easy to read in terms of vocabulary, however some of the main topics were quite emotional and challenging. Although some topics were very serious, there was the perfect balance of seriousness and humour. I found that the message of this book was very thought provoking, due to the decision Will Traynor (one of the main characters- a quadriplegic) wishes to make about his life and future. Although I did cry many times while reading Me Before You, it is a great book that is wonderfully written. I would definitely recommend.

    The other book was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. I chose this book because one of the things on the list was a classic. When I think of a classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird immediately comes to mind. This book – similar to Me Before You- has a powerful message behind it. The language/vocabulary in this book was not extremely challenging, yet it was very different to more modern books, so took a few pages to get used to. This book also had some very strong characters- Atticus Finch being one. In the book he was very well respected: he stood up for a man that everyone else presumed was guilty. Again, I would recommend this book as it is definitely a classic.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Two very different choices here Emily hut I’m really pleased you enjoyed them so much. TO Kill a Mockingbird is a classic for a good reason – well done for picking such a thought-provoking read (and I just love Me Before You… So moving!)

  18. Sadia Faruk says:

    Over the Summer Holidays the first book I read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
    This book appealed to me because the story is narrated by Death who illustrates both the elegance and the carnage during this era. This book is about a 10 year old girl called Liesel Meminger, who lives in WWII Germany, she arrives in a distressed state at her new home with Hans and Rosa Huberman, her new foster parents. During her time in her new home she uncovers the horrors of the Nazi regime but also builds a close relationship with an unlikely character through their passion of books. Liesel Meminger embarks on a journey of self-discovery, love and her life as the elusive book thief. Overall this book to be very gripping and I found that the descriptions in the book were very powerful and I always felt connected to the characters in some way and I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

    The second book I read was The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.
    This book is set in 1964 South Carolina, about a young girl called Lily Owens whose life has been built around the hazy memory of the day her mother was killed. Lily is looked after by her fierce-hearted black “mother” Rosaleen, who insulted three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decided to set them both free. They escape to a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Lily is taken in by three black beekeeping sisters; who introduce her to their world of bees. I particularly enjoyed this book because it’s about female empowerment and a story about coming of age which addresses the issues of loss and betrayal so I would also recommend this book.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Two fab choices here Sadia! I haven’t read The Secret Life of Bees but am inspired to look out for this one after your enthusiastic review 🙂

  19. Rachael Blain says:

    Over the summer, I read two books both written by Katie Fforde, the first was ‘A vintage wedding’ and the second ‘A summer at sea’.

    A vintage wedding was a personal choice, based on three women becoming friends after meeting at a town hall event and being inspired by a forthcoming wedding of one of the women’s sister. The women decided to create a business called ‘vintage weddings’ whilst planning the wedding of the year. The women experience lust, love and heartbreak… Three women. Two weddings. One love story. A vintage wedding is a lovely summer read which will have you smiling from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend.

    The second book ‘A summer at sea’ was recommended to me by a few friends, which was again a very enjoyable read whilst sat on a lounger in sunny Majorca. Emily, a full time midwife has decided to take a summer sebatical and head to Scotland to help out best friend Rebecca.
    Rebecca’s heavily pregnant and her and her husband need help on their ‘puffer’. Emily has previous experience in cooking and takes on role as head cook. Will Emily want to return to her own dream midwife job or can a holiday romance and life at sea become and happily ever after experience.

    Out of the two, I personally preferred ‘A summer at sea’ but I would recommend both to people who love a bit of comedy and romance!

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Super effort Rachael – really pleased that reading has been part of your relaxing summer holiday. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  20. Erin Giles says:

    The first book I read was ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky. After watching the film adaptation of the book, I was really excited to read it and I wasn’t let down. It was a very emotional read, making me cry in some places and laugh in many others. Chbosky didn’t reveal everything about Charlie (the main character) at once which made it very interesting, as with each page you learnt something new about him. I loved all the characters who all had a different story behind them and were all very well thought out. I would definitely recommend this book!

    The second book I read, ‘My Name Is Mina’ was recommended to me by a number of people, and I really enjoyed it. It didn’t feel as if I was reading a book written by David Almond, it felt as if Mina had written it herself which is one of the reasons I loved reading it so much. It didn’t have a storyline, it was more like Mina’s thoughts put onto paper and it was refreshingly different. I would recommend it.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Excellent picks here Erin! What an amazing book by Stephen Chbosky; I loved this one too. The David Almond choice also sounds intriguing. It’s wonderful to read a book in which the characters are so authentic. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  21. Beth Hall says:

    The first book I read over the holidays was ‘Frozen Charlotte’ by Alex Bell which i loved. I got given this book for christmas and was intrigued to find out what it was about. It was a very gripping book from start to finish and you always wanted to know whats going to happen next as it had very dramatic full on story line from the very beginning to the very end, along with little mysterious creepy features on the side. its a story about a girl called Sophie who goes to live with her Uncle and cousins Piper, Lilias and Cameron, after a freak accident happens to her best friend after they were messing around with a ouija board. the board had mentioned her dead cousin Charlotte so she goes to investigate but is very shocked at what she finds. A room full of antique dolls with a secret. Overall i loved this book and found it very intruiging and mysterious, and the ending was not at all expected and very gripping!

    The second book I read was ‘the lost and found’ by Cat Clarke which was recommended by a friend. This was also a very gripping book that portrayed many different emotions and has a quite a dramatic eeriness to it.the story is about a girl called faith whose sister (laurel) got abducted when she was six. Then thirteen years later a young woman is found in their garden clutching a teddy bear laurel was last seen with. at first faith was happy but the book takes you through a series of emotions in which faith feels isolated and questions everything. I probably wouldn’t have read this book from the cover or blurb but am glad i was recommended it as i did enjoy the book a lot.

    Beth Hall 10H

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Oh my goodness, I found Frozen Charlotte a lot of fun but also ridiculously creepy! Well done for braving that one, Beth! Glad you enjoyed your choices so much 🙂

  22. Bea Birch says:

    During these past summer holidays, I read a book called “Am I normal yet?” By Holly Bourne. It was a book recommended to me by an old friend, and I was able to find it in a book shop. The book covers a variety of topics, ranging from mental health disorders to feminism, but it still manages not to stray too far from the main storyline, and keeping a grip on the reader throughout.

    The second book I read was titled “The art of being normal” by Lisa Williamson. Although I had read this book before, it never looses its touch, and although all the small twists are no longer surprising when reading it again, there is still a very satisfying feel to it all that never seems to fade.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Fab choices Bea – I’ve heard lots of great things about Holly Bourne and am keen to try this author. Glad you enjoyed these and thank you for sharing 🙂

  23. Maddie mccorry says:

    My first book is the Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver and it has also been made into a film. The main character is an ex-cop called Lincoln Rhyme, he was forced to retire after an accident at a crime scene that left him paralysed from the shoulders down. After the accident he becomes miserable and refuses to even try and come out the house, until an old college asks him to work on a case involving the cereal killer called the bone collector. It’s an amazing book that I really enjoyed and found it intriguing that you get to see how Lincoln Rhyme transforms from feeling sorry about himself all the time, to enjoying life and wanting to go out and do things.

    My second book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, I found it hard to adjust to the language that they were using and had to re-read bits at first to make sure I understood but I soon got used to it and started to really notice all the differences between what their life was like and now, despite the differences between the times I really felt like I understood the characters. Although I didn’t think I would surprisingly I really enjoyed this book would recommend it.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Two very different choices but I’m pleased you enjoyed them both so much Maddie 🙂 Well done for tackling Pride and Prejudice – your review is very reassuring for those in the class yet to tackle this later on in Y10.

  24. Lucy says:

    During the summer, I read ‘There’s a Boy In The Girls Bathroom’. When I was in year 4, my teacher read this to our class and I remember loving it. I found it on my bookshelf again in the holidays and decided to read it again. Although it may be a children’s sort of book, I found it very enjoyable and I was really laughing at some parts! I really recommend it as it is very funny.

    The second book I read was ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. I didn’t want to read this book but as my grandad kept telling me to read it, I decided to give it a go. But when I started reading it I was hooked, at no point did I feel I wanted to put it down. I really enjoyed the book and I am really looking forward to reading on of the other books!

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Glad you enjoyed Harry Potter, Lucy – plenty more out there for you to read next. It’s nice to revisit old favourites but please do set yourself proper challenges as stated in the task instructions. I do care first and foremost that you are reading and enjoying it, but for this particular task there was specific guidance about setting a challenge.

  25. Maia Cooper says:

    Jack Kerouac On The Road:
    This book started off quite slow and I found it really hard to get into but eventually it became more gripping and I liked it in the end. It was really interesting but there was a lot of rambling and was quite difficult to read.

    Me Before You Jojo Moyes:
    This book was really emotional but amazing and moving. I loved Louisa because she’s caring and tries to do the right thing. It’s shows topical issues of today and the bonus of a love story makes it even more of a page turner. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good love story and cry. It’s got a slightly controversial ending but still worth the read.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      On the Road is quite a challenging read Maia but it sounds like you coped well. So pleased you enjoyed Me Before You – I love this one too, especially the character Louisa 🙂

  26. Lucy Cornish says:

    Lucy Cornish 9H

    Over the summer I read ” Why be happy when you can be normal?” By Jeanette Winterson. It is an autobiography, the author writes about her life and struggle in the pursuit of love and happiness. She is adopted and searches for her birth mother throughout the book. This book was recommended to me by a friend and it’s also not my usual choice of book as I usually only read fictional stories. I enjoyed reading this book because it has deep and thought provoking ideas and gives the reader an in-depth and personal account of her life which Is very interesting and intriguing to read.

    I also read ” Only ever yours” By Louise O’Neil. This book is a dystopian, set in a futuristic world where girls are no longer born naturally, they are bred and raised in schools where they are trained only to please men they will be wed to. I had been meaning to read this book for a while now after a friend recommended it to me and I’m glad I read it as it’s dramatic and revealing plot twists and portrayal of the issues many girls face today such as body image and feminism made the book worth reading.

    • mrsjsharp says:

      Great to hear about your reading Lucy (please meet the deadline next time, though!). Jeanette Winterson is a great writer – very unique in her style. Perhaps later on you might try some of her work. I enjoyed ‘Only Ever Yours’ too, although it was deeply disturbing…

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