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Choose Love

Nicola Davies

Graffeg (9+) 9781802583779 (Hardback)

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A cycle of poems about the realities people face as they are forced to leave everything they know behind to seek safety and asylum in other countries.  The essence of the stories come from true accounts of refugees and the aid workers who help them on their perilous journeys.  Readers can expect to be emotionally kidnapped for the duration of the book.  Split across three parts: departure, arrival and healing, the poems within each section correspond to the thoughts and emotions surrounding each section of a refugee’s journey. 

For those who might have stopped listening, these poems are powerful enough to ignite new ways of thinking and feeling. Personal and profound refugee stories highlight how we as individuals can make positive change. The poems are complex and powerful and leave a lasting impression on readers.  Themes of survival, love, hope and the kindness of strangers are woven seamlessly through the poems.  At times it makes for uncomfortable reading, but those emotions contribute to the outstanding nature of the collection.  Each poem stands alone, but also works as a collection to build a bigger and fuller picture witha good variety of poetic styles and techniques. The collection acts as a reminder that refugees and migrants heard about in politics and on the news are real people with real stories from a range of perspectives.

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Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies is the author of more than 80 books, including picture books, non-fiction, fiction and poetry for children and adults. She has written widely on many subjects, including environmental science, children’s rights, disability, grief and refugees. Recently, two of her titles The Day War Came and The King of the Sky were endorsed by Amnesty UK.

Shadowers' reviews and artwork

Choose Love is probably one of the very few books that has ever made me feel as if I am the main character. This book is incredible. It helped me understand more about family and love, but it also helped me broaden my horizons. I am not one to enjoy poetry either writing or reading it, however this book made me enjoy and learn to appreciate the love and thoughts that go into any kind of poetry, whether it's a haiku, a sonnet, a limerick, anything. Even though this review is probably very over exaggerated, these are the best words I could find to describe this heartfelt and moving piece of writing. Definitely read it.

Alisha

Watford Girls

Great art work and has lovely poems . I would definitely read it again and is one of my favourite books I have read .

Freya

Lionheart24

I chose love. I still love the chapter "Spiderman". I LOVE Choose Love. It's my favorite book EVER. It had lovely metaphors. Don't choose hate, CHOOSE LOVE

DAVE

Waddesdon Shadowers

I chose love. The pages had intriguing title like "Spiderman." It keeps you interested and the unique metaphorical languages allows a strong connection back to the title. Don't choose hate. Choose love...

NOAH

Waddesdon Shadowers

I chose love. It uses unique metaphorical language to create images in your head. When I saw the poem 'Spiderman' I was confused but the way they conveyed the message with a popular topic makes the story feel well crafted. The images and illustrations were very well drawn and get you thinking. Don't choose hate, CHOOSE LOVE.

Jonathon

Waddesdon Shadowers

Choose Love is the heart-warming explanation of what it's like to be a refugee which is beautifully explained by Nicola Davies. The book highlights the problems and difficulties caused from having to flee your country for fear for your life. Nicola Davies also highlights the sad passing of a young boy named Artin Irannezhad who drowned along with his parents, brother and sister during their 3rd attempt to cross the channel to find asylum in the UK. Artin drowned on 27th October 2020 and his body was found on New Year’s Day 2021. I found this book to be emotionally moving and had me transported to a whole new world of emotions and Nicola Davies threw me into the mystical depths of poetry and the challenges that innocent refugees face. I would definitely rate this book highly and recommend it as a short and moving read.

Emily

Larkmead

I really like this book. It is partly because it is a short read but also because of how well the author wrote about the delicate matters of refugees. I love the artworks and the hidden story behind each poem. I found the poems very inspirational and it shows that refugees are just people and that we shouldn't judge them just because of their backgrounds.

Poppy

Woodruffians

'Choose Love' is a powerful book of poems that reflect the struggles of war, but it is simple with short poems that are full of so much emotion and make the reader feel empathetic to the struggles of war.

Rory

Woodruffians

« Choose love » is a series of beautifully written poems highlighting experiences of those forced to become refugees. The poems create empathy, awareness and solidarity for the struggles faced by so many. Together, the poems and illustrations create a wonderful book but mostly a strong message to our generation. Well done to Nicola Davies !

Scarlett PMC

4Shadowers

I loved this book so much! Your poems allow us to remind ourselves of the cruelty of this world, but also the things we love the most and make us happy. The illustrations are so simple and so complex at the same time! A red dot on a blue background looks so basic, although with the context of the poem, you get that it represents a burning village. The way the poem is structured is impressive! It makes it look like the book is alive, that it shares so many many emotions with you while also being a book with a story. This book reminded me of some significant events like the magazine with the young dead boy on the beach. If you ask me, I would definitely recommend this book!

Vassilis PMC

4Shadowers

Choose love was about refugees.Books like this are important because the subject is something always on the news but people don't do much about.I felt the poems were catchy and there was loads of emotion.I found the book captivating and interesting.My favourite poem was Five Minutes.

Rani

EJM Carnegie Crew

I rate Choose Love a 3/5 stars as I think that the message that it depicts is very powerful but the length of the book is quite short. I like the fact that the book challenges you to think and be one with your emotions as you read the poems about loss, hope, love and more

adebowale

Macaulay Book Club

"Choose love" is an exeptional collection of poem that never bores a lector .With it's range of compositions and artworks ,it can transport you in the vaste adventure of refugees .I appreciated this book as it gives you a strange way to view the world .We can feel the trouble of the main characters and how different their lives' are from ours . During the journey of our character ,we feel empathy towards him .As we read this book ,we are troubled by the way they are treated and it makes us think of the way the world works .Overall this book can impact everybody in different ways so I recommend everybody to read this book .

DamianPMC

4Shadowers

This book is about refugees and I really enjoyed it. The use of illustrations makes the reader have a visual sense of what is going on in the pages. I think that this book would be most suitable for young people who are interested in the lives of others and how they struggle throughout periods in their lives. This book portrays the lives of those who are struggling, giving the reader an insight into the lives of those who are either less fortunate or in times of struggle. As readers, we want to help them and become more aware of what others around the world are going through. This book successfully educates young people and children about what happens around the world. Even though we think that all things are great, there are many things in the world that we are unaware of, and we should be doing more to raise awareness of these issues. I like this book because it shows that even when we are struggling, there is always a way to show love and compassion towards each other even if it is when you’re being sent out of your homeland. There is always a way to find different ways to show love within humanity. This book shows the good side to humanity even when there are bad things going on around you.

Tami

LC Best Books

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is so far one of my favourite Carnegie medal shortlisted book. The story is mainly based on huge difficulties many countries are encountering these days. This allows the reader to reflect on the emotions such as fear, sadness and anger the characters and people in real life may process while going through these tough moments. In addition, the illustrations in this book are unique and feel like the use of colours and the gesture used, represent very well the story. Overall, this was a very interesting and engaging book to read which in my opinion could strongly win this year’s Carnegie medal award.

Martina HG

4Shadowers

Good book. I enjoyed reading all the different poems each with a different meaning. It really helps you to understand what people have to go through just to survive wars with the refugees. I think it is a great book.

Amelia

Sale High Readers

Holly

THS Shadowing

‘Choose Love’ is a collection of poems depicting the struggles and horrors of war and the effect on its people, focussing very strongly on the emotions felt. It was very different from the genres I would usually read so it was an interesting change. The book was short but impactful; I could really experience and sympathise with the feeling of the writing – it was not overcrowded with words, but provided enough to give emphasis on what each word wanted to ‘say’, and what message it wanted to carry across. The metaphors and descriptions were really vivid and artfully pieced together, expressing lots of raw emotion and deeper meaning behind the words chosen. For this reason though, I did find it a little difficult to follow at times – but I did really enjoy how this collection of poems and nicely suited illustrations alongside took a more emotional experience of things, and less on describing the physical experiences. It would have been nice if the poems had been longer or greater in number, though this book was very impactful despite being relatively short! 8/10

Lei

Perse Carnegians

This book was so short but so powerful. When I think that these poems were based off of real life experiences it makes me cry. Especially the one about the little boy Artin's Voyage. This book is so emotional and I really recomend this.

Lena

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I found Choose Love to be interesting and unusual. Poetry isn’t for me, but with this book I can understand how some people find it beautiful. I enjoyed the pictures alongside the words, but all in all, I thought that I’d get more out of it than I actually did.

Emma

PHS Reading Ambassadors

I loved this book! I really liked the imagery in this book and the images. I thought that the images added an extra meaning to the book and helped emphasise its point. I liked the format of this book and the patterns found amongst it. I thought the story behind the book was incredibly powerful and just added to its incredibleness.

Juna

Fortismere

Choose love is an amazing poetry book about people being forced to leave their home and become refugees. I found this book to be a good insight into what refugees go through when leaving a country and this was made even better by the brilliant artwork in the book that makes you really think for a while about what it’s trying to show. I was also very happy to see that the book wasn’t too long which helped when reading a lot of other books at once. My favourite poems were either Artins Voyage or This Moment as I thought they both were really well written and made me feel sadness and worry whilst reading the book. I would recommend this book for readers aged between 10 to 16 years old because I think this book would appeal to many different ages. But all together I thought this book was a heart touching book with extremely well written poems inside each telling a memorable story.

Archie

OLA Shadows

Choose love is a book of poems about the true stories and experiences of refugees. The book expresses the feelings of refugees as they are forced out of their homes due to conflict and attempt to seek safety. It begins by describing the anguish over the decision to flee. The poem ‘five minutes’ powerfully demonstrates the decisions over what to bring and who to save. Once they have made the decision of whether to go, the conditions on each boat are terrible, many people are crammed on to each boat and sadly not everyone survives the journey. I found the poem ‘Not Lost’ particularly emotional. The book then continues to tell of the frustration of refugees as they are turned away from a chance of a new life, even after the traumatic journey that they took to get there. I like how the book is in the format of poems and that is short but is has a makes a huge impact on the reader. I like the paintings as the illustrator explains that he has used the painting to show the bits of hope as colour amongst the grey. I would recommend this book because it is important that everyone understands what difficulties refugees have gone through and that we should help make them feel welcomed.

Florence

OLA Shadows

Choose Love is a book full of poems which are each stories of refugees when they have to leave their homes and the struggles they face. It helps people understand the challenges they face and what life is like for them. I think this book is good, however, it was very short and I didn’t particularly like the style of poetry but I liked that each poem is paired with a picture that matches the story. I liked how it brought awareness to the difficulties people face around the world.

Zoe

OLA Shadows

In this moving sequence of poems Nicola Davies's text combines with the superbly evocative illustrations of Petr Horacek to provide insight into the real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and previous lives behind to face an unknown future . Suffused with compassion and understanding, the work invites you to share in these stories in the hope of building greater awareness and empathy for the struggles faced by so many, and to choose love as our response. Overall this was a very interesting book to read and showed all the different scenarios of love and romance. I would suggest it to people who like love stories and interesting books. Very nice book would definitely recommend it to a lot of people out there.

Freddie

Glossopdale Readers

Choose love is a wonderful book filled with poemsand beautiful illustrations. I have enjoyed reading this book as most poems reflect to a true story, which helped me relate a little. In class, we also made a similar poem, which i really enjoyed doing. I reccomend reading this book as it is a really quick read, with matching abstract illustrations that can help some to understand the poems. Finally, what i loved and found different from choose love was that it was a carritative organisation that would benefit from the books sale.

Luca HG

4Shadowers

Choose Love is an amazing book that talks about the struggles of emigration and being a refugee. The poems are illustrated with lots of unusual yet beautiful artwork by Petr Horáček. I think it would be a good read for young people that are interested in learning more about the struggles of other people in our world who are less privileged than us. Reading this book really made me feel bad, not in a pitiful kind of way, but feeling bad in a self-reflective way for all the times that I've complained in the past or taken things for granted, for example, my ability to go to school. I felt especially emotional because the events in the book are based on real stories that have actually happened to people in recent years. I would definitely recommend this book; it made me think so much about the way I view others and reminded me to be grateful for all the little things in life and how important it is to be kind.

Krista

LC Best Books

Choose Love had a profound impact on my perspective on refugees. It is short but punchy with a unique view on the serious issue of war and conflict. I would recommend this book to an older audience since it maintains difficult themes throughout.

Eva

Pride and Paperbacks

This book is so good! Though it only took me 10 mins to read , It is one of those books which stays with you long after you have turned the last page. The poems have a lovely rhythmic style and cover quite a dark but necessary topic. I would definitely recommend if you want a quick but potent read

Eleanor

Pride and Paperbacks

Mathys HG

4Shadowers

It is about war and refuges. I love it. My favourite part of the poem is Choose love. Because that has got my heart and it is calm and peaceful.

Ovindee I M

VISTA Academy

I really like this book as it was a quick and easy read but also had a lot of meaning behind it - the struggle of refugees. I like the poem "Five Minutes" because it shows how little time people have to decide whether to leave or take certain things in situations like that.

Amy

VISTA Academy

Lucy

St Mary’s RC High

Choose love was a beautifully written thought provoking book. It teaches the reader lessons through beautifully crafted poems and although the book leaves lots up to the reader’s interpretation the book leaves you feeling content, but also wondering about the horrific experiences real people have faced.

Tilly

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Choose Love is a collection of poems exploring the experiences that a refugee encounters. Throughout the three sections of the book, one is acquainted with just a few of the many challenges that a refugee faces during this harrowing experience - departure, arrival, and healing. Davies’ use of rhyme makes the poems feel rushed and hurried, therefore relating to the topic of writing. Her use of writing in the second person is also significant. Depending on who the ‘you’ is in the poem - a lawyer, or a refugee - it can make you feel responsible for their suffering, or as though you are the one experiencing this series of traumatic events. The pictures are also very moving, and make the message the poems are sending even stronger - choose love, now, while you still can.

Flora

Ely College Reading Group

I liked Choose Love. I personally think that it was a very differen book to all the other ones in the Carnegie book award. This is because of the pictures and text. It was a very quick read but quite liked it. Overall a 3/5.

Will

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Choose Love brought me closer to understanding the hardships and struggles of refugees and closer to tears with each poem! I found every poem extremely moving and flooded with passion for refugee awareness. Being split into three parts gave me the chance to explore how the experiences of refugees are full of completely different emotions at each stage of their journey. Choose Love is one of those books that are quick to read but because of this, you will want to read it a few times to let each word sink in. As my first time reading a collection of poetry book, Choose Love did not disappoint!!!

Julia

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

Choose Love" by Nicola Davies, children learn about love, empathy, and kindness. As the story unfolds, a young girl must decide between her own wants and needs, or showing love and compassion to those in need. This story demonstrates the importance of choosing love in all aspects of one's life. Children and adults will enjoy reading this book because it conveys a gentle message.

Jesse

Horsham BOok HUNTers

This collection of poems covers the horrors of war from the first person perspectives of those who have suffered. It really shows the feelings provoked by such circumstances. The poems tell a story about war, escaping from their countries, and becoming a refugee. On each double page spread there is a poem, and a picture to accompany it. The pictures add to the expression in the poems and allow the reader to really understand the sadness and anger experienced by the writers. Furthermore, the poems on migration into a new country provoked much sadness and allowed understanding of the situation.

Isaac

Perse Carnegians

This was a very quick read, but it was beautiful, and so sad. The author wrote the poems in a very emotional way and made it seem more real, I can't imagen what it would be like if I had five minutes to grab everything and run.

Kaitlyn

Ullswater Readers

We all know that love always prevails in fairytales. We probably have read countless stories about love overcoming evil, even through death. But is reality any different? Choose Love by Nicola Davies is an exceptional and beautifully crafted book. Poignant, moving and inspiring, it sends a message of hope and love for its readers, myself included. Because no matter whether or not we realise it, in this world of sorrow, we all need a little bit of love. This book shows the truth of refugees around the world, filling their stories of pain and suffering with humanity. It shows the readers, through magnificent poetry and stunning artwork, that refugees are not only statistics in the headlines of the news, they are people too. This is the reason why I believe that absolutely everyone should read Choose Love.

Yan

LC Best Books

this book had a nice idea but it was much to short and i felt like the main focus was the illustrations not story. well written but that fact that it was only a few pages long meant it was boring and i quickly forgot about it.

mae

Fortismere

Choose Love, besides being an incredible way to bring awareness and raise money for refugees, is a beautifully crafted mix of poetry and art. The poems are well written and painful to read, which fufills their role of showing the perspective of refugees. The illustrations that accompany them always matched the work and truly bring everything together.

Justine

4Shadowers

I found it a bit hard to understand it and it was quite short but it had nice illustrations that linked to the poem.

William

The John Mason Shadowers

The poems in this book were very sad and very well written. It shows you what it is like to be a refugee through poetry. I really enjoyed it and I think it made me feel empathetic towards people who are in situations described by this book.

Jasmine

BSG

Choose Love was a very refreshing book to read for me, since usually I read genres other than poetry. This book was beautiful and deep, even in every word that was selected to compose these pieces. It was very impactful and emotionally moving, since the style of the writing brought out emotions. I particularly enjoyed trying to find the deeper meaning behind the stories and the words selected. Overall, this book was hooking in its own unique way with its drawings and style of writing, and I would recommend this book to people who like poetry.

Seungah

Perse Carnegians

5 MINUTES 5 minutes to know what to choose, What to leave behind and what to take. Whatever you do you will always lose. How do we know what is and was at stake ? Homes that were full of love before; Now haunted with destruction and dread If we come back, there will be no more: No home, no school and no bed. Drive drive drive to get away From this place, this fate. Is it a curse ? Who knows when we will find happy days. Until then, this place will become much much worse. Stars shining in the distance, a light, So far yet so bright. They can help you find your bearings; But beware could also be red herrings. The sky once blue, now streaked with blood red scars, Scars that will stay etched forever in my heart. My life before and my life today are Two whole worlds apart. 5 minutes to know what to choose, What to leave behind and what to take. Whatever you do you will always lose. How do we know what will be at stake? Through the clouds, the sun will still rise; Which is something that even the war can’t take. But somehow I still find comfort, To know that tomorrow I’ll still wake. Margaux

Margaux

4Shadowers

This book was fabulous. Even though I am not a refugee, I can honestly think and feel the least they would have felt. Your book made me realise that I should be thankful for the relaxing life I am living , because there are millions of people who dream to live one. Your short poems really did make me realise this . Thank you so much.

Manya

SuAS Shadows

I actually really enjoyed this, even though I tend to lean towards non-poetry books. This makes you think a lot, in a good way. It teaches lessons through words, and leaves it up to your own interpretation. I would really recommend this, and I would give this a 9.5 out of 10. Also, I really appreciated how these were real life situations people went through, instead of something made up. I think this actually made a significant impact on me, and it makes me think about this book at a lot. It suits people around my age group a lot.

Zoe

Perse Carnegians

This book is about a generation that ran away from a war. There were 2 characters the girl ( soon to be a mother) and her future son. The girl had to suffer the escape, the loss of his dad/brother and the life in a foreign country. In the other hand her son had to suffer her mothers suffering. My favourite poem was HOPE because even the darkest hours, it always reveal the one thing a refugee needs: hope.

Michal

VISTA Academy

I believe that 'Choose Love' not only inspires but educates and moves its readers by helping the reader grasp a deeper understanding of the refugee experience, using a beautifully told story, I would most definitely label this book as a must read as it reveals the true enduring strength of human resilience and the astonishing power of love.

Eleora

LC Best Books

I liked this book. It had some pleasant poems. They were very poetic. The poems were very insightful and emotional in the way they were written. I enjoyed the way they were composed because I think it was really good and rhymey and rhythmic and generally put together in a very well organised and well thought about way. They were very sad though which made me feel sad and I didn't really like that because I like poems to be happy even though I prefer when a fiction book is sad. Overall I think it was a book with a lot of feeling.

Nellie

SHSK Shadowers

I surprisingly really enjoyed this book although I'm not a big fan of poems. It had a heart-warming story behind it and I am glad it's the first one I was able to read. My favourite poem in the whole book had to be 'five minutes' because it had a lot of action in it's repetitive but short words. I really recommend this book, even to people who don't like poems.

Kira

VISTA Academy

Choose love was a very short book not like the other books being comprised of poems. Even though they were all broken up into all different story’s I feel as if it made up one altogether. this book is about the people who had to seek refuge and asylum and how they must everything behind for safety in other countries that might not accept them. Its how aid workers help them through their perilous journey, and you can expect to be captured by a captivating story of lives. I liked in the book how the pictures correspond with your writing and how you can also let your imagination run wild. I would recommend this book far anyone with a love for books

Imaani

TPS Carnegie Collective

Choose Love is a book that spreads the message of the security of our world, and the bad things that happen within it. 8/10 Could have been a bit longer.

Dylan

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

Choose Love ( By Nicola Davies) is a story about immigration it is an eye opening story that uncovers the sadness of immigration and the extent people will go to shows the terrible conditions that these people live in but yet the journey they do is sometimes in vain when they are pushed away by people living in far better conditions than them. This book teaches you more about the struggles of human life and the pain of losing in someone. A book that will be remembered for a lifetime

Rory

Fortismere

I have already written a review for this but another cannot hurt . This book is more a series of poems and doesn't have a main character unless you count the author describing what it is like to be a refugee, how it is like to not have a home of your own, and to be stressing over choices much more serious than what food you would choose for takeaway. Whether you can choose to save your children or your brother and what it is like to run from death itself in the form of bombing planes and the shouting and screaming and then waiting to see if you are actually in desperate need or not that is if you are not dead like the many others. This book is saying that Choose Love -the name of the title- is what you should do.

Elinor

Camden School for Girls

This book is really emotional and would definitely gain the reader's sympathy. This is a series of poems depict the harsh realities faced by individuals who are forced to leave their homes in search of safety and asylum in foreign lands. Drawing inspiration from actual refugee experiences and the aid workers who assist them, the poems take readers on an emotional journey through three stages: departure, arrival, and healing. These powerful pieces challenge readers to empathise with the struggles of refugees and recognise the potential for positive change through personal connections. With themes of survival, love, and hope intertwined throughout, the collection offers a raw and thought-provoking exploration of the refugee experience. The illustrations portray this as well. In my opinion, I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a heartfelt poem! I really enjoyed this book! 9.5/10

Samarah

Plashet School

The sad theme of choose love and the poetry with a deeper meaning just isn’t something to my tastes personally but it was still quite interesting in some parts.

Ava

Fortismere

To me the front cover of this book looked a bit plain but as I read deeper, I came to realise that this book is about the experience of being a refugee that had to leave their home to go to a country that they do not know. They are travelling and all their travelling was not worth it because they are only welcomed with a cold, unfriendly welcome. The paintings that come with every poem are very symbolic because the times where the poems go sad the paintings start turning blueish greenish colours. This is book is about people who travel to countries that they don't know because of war or climate change. It's a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.I would recommend this book to people who like documentaries.

Elizabeth

St Angela’s Reading Angels

Lucy

St Mary’s RC High

Choose Love is an left-wing assortment of poems with the purpose of making extreme-right parties feel bad about trying to cut immigration numbers by evoking empathy in the reader. On the side, there are some extremely abstract artworks that appear to have nothing to do with the poems. I personally agreed with the messages that Choose Love tried to send, and this made me tolerate the "art". What I didn't understand, however, was why Choose Love was written as a picture book, as I got mocked several times for "reading picture books" on the way bringing the book from the library to my classroom. I also appreciated the book's brevity. I would only recommend it to younger children (less than 8) who don't know much about how slow and inefficient the UK is at handling asylum requests. A 2.5/5

Benjamin

Perse Carnegians

Lucy

St Mary’s RC High

Not much to say on this book. This is a book with no actual plot, instead it is a collection of a bunch of poems about immigrants and refugees. I personally don’t usually like this type of book because I like to have a clear plot and good characters, so for me, this wasn’t my favourite book of the shortlist. I just felt like it wasn't a very good book, but the poems were pretty good, as were the illustrations. I just felt like it could have been a story told in a poem like for Crossing the line or the boy lost in the maze, because I think that that could have been a very exciting story of a refugee, instead of focusing on one person for maybe 15 lines of poetry. I would personally rate this book as a 3/10.

Richie

Euro Bookworms

The book 'Choose Love' is a collection of poetry about refugees and displaced people. The poems are well written and made me feel very emotional, and they were quite easy to interpret, which would be ideal for a younger audience, however they deal with difficult themes, such as racism, displacement, and other social issues. I would recommend this book for audiences of over 11 years old. The book is quite short, there are only 12 poems in it. My favourite poem was 'Five Minutes', which was a moving and meaningful to me. Overall, I would recommend this book as reading it has been educational, however still emotional.

Tess

Perse Carnegians

I thought that this book was a beautiful and moving collection of poems. Each and every poem was an eye-opening and emotional account of the hardships that real people faced not too long ago. The book was split into three parts, departure, arrival and healing. It was a real insight into the lives of refugees and was paired with an absolutely gorgeous drawing that really captured the essence of the poem. Themes of survival and hope were sustained throughout the book. In conclusion, although this book was quite a short read, it really made me think and beautifully represented the struggles that these people face.

Saskia

Fortismere

The book ‘Choose Love’ is about the journey that refugees have to take to get to safety. There are three parts of this book: departure,arrival, and healing. It’s a very emotional book about the real life struggles of refugees. The lesson of this story is everyone has a different life story so you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy poems, and stories about real life tragic events that are happening currently.

Chloe

Glossopdale Readers

The book is about the struggles of having to evacuate your home and migrating across the world.The book expresses emotion through peculiar pictures and shows people that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and not to take advantage of life because some people don’t have what others do. What I liked most about the book is the pictures used on each page,they all look very abstract but you can sort of make out the shape; But they really express the poem and in a way enhance their meaning. Personally, I would recommend this book to someone who relates the struggles or doesn’t appreciate what they have.

Cameron

Glossopdale Readers

Choose love This book is about refugee stories that have been put into poems to get more people to understand what life is like for them and the struggles they go through. In my opinion this book was good because it gives you a look into what happens in refugee’s lives and how they deal with everything that is going on along with pictures to match the story. I would recommend this book if you like poems and are interested in stories with information about what life is like for people.The illustrations are good as well, they show you what is going on in the story to help you understand more.

Chloe

Glossopdale Readers

Choose Love This is a book of poems retelling the stories of refugees and the struggles they face when they are forced to leave their homes to find safety. Each poem is paired with a picture to match the story. I enjoyed this book because it was heartfelt and makes me feel empathetic because I will never experience what they did. My favourite poem was Five Minutes because I liked the repetition and I like the message that life can completely change in minutes. My favourite picture was the one to match Before We Left because I like the different shades of blue and the different textures. I would recommend this book to people who like poems and people who find refugee stories interesting.

Amaya

Glossopdale Readers

Choose love is about the journey that refugees go through when they are trying to seek safety. It writes about the real life experience of people who are forced to leave behind their homes, lives and loved ones by the violence of war. In choose love you can read about their stories which are written in a respective manner, considering their feelings and thoughts whilst giving the poems a deeper meaning. In my opinion this book is interesting and written in a respectful way and they leave a powerful impression on readers. However I would not read this again as I don't tend to enjoy poems. Although at times it makes you think about how lucky you are to not be in that situation. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in reading about the journey that refugees go through and want to know more about it.

Jasmin

Glossopdale Readers

Choose Love-Nicola Davies-review Choose love is a string of poems following refugees' journey on trying to reach safety.It tells us about people's real life experience with having to leave their homes and families. It is written is a respective manner,thinking about people's thoughts and feelings In my opinion i personally would not read it again as i don’t like poems but otherwise i would read it again if it was in a typical book format.This book is interesting as it leaves a lasting impression on readers as it makes you think about how you are lucky that you are not in that position.It can be uncomfortable to read at times as it is not a nice situation as it is about people having to leave their home because it is unsafe. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in refugees’ journey to safety and want to learn more about the situation and anyone who likes finding out things in a short way but still gives the information that it is trying to get across.

Millie

Glossopdale Readers

Choose love This book clearly illustrates the horrors that the refugees experienced and the author Nicola Davies expresses her empathy very well in her words and Petr Horacek shows them in his illustrations. She wanted us to choose love instead of war This book shows the realities of war very well because these stories are not factual fiction, they are actual war stories written by refugees. I would recommend this book to people studying migration in history and people taking sociology for gcse.

zac

Glossopdale Readers

Choose Love by Nicola Davis touches on important subjects, and it is good to talk about the consequences of war. But the structure of the poems just did not really connect with me, and I found it slightly hard to read and process.

Violet

The John Mason Shadowers

I didn’t really enjoy Choose love by Nicola Davies. Even though I didn’t enjoy the book I still really liked some of the poems I found incredibly interesting and despite me never being a poetry fan it explained challenges people go through in their lives and a rollercoaster of emotions. Although I enjoyed some of the illustrations and poems in the book I found it too depressing and I also didn’t like how it is a complete different subject every page in a way that I had to miss some of the poems because the sadness gave me a sense of discomfort. To conclude, I would definitely recommend this book to someone who enjoys poems but otherwise I wasn’t too keen on it.

Tiarnan

TTS Readers

I really loved this book. It is a beautiful book of poetry about the lives of countless refugees who have had to flee their homes due to violence or injustice. It was so beautifully written and it was very touching. I thought that the illustrations were perfect for this book and storyline. The topic was very relevant to current affairs and an extremely important message to convey to readers.

Lucy

BSG

'Choose Love' was a powerful, emotive book and I definitely enjoyed it. From the cleverly written poems to the bold illustrations it definitely conveyed an important image about refugees a topic that we usually don’t understand in such a deep way. I loved that it wasn’t a long read rather a short one showing that even the most important of subjects can be shown in the simplest way. I would rate this book a 8/10.

Margarida

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This book was so beautifully written and so touching and heartfelt. The illustrations were also amazing. It was quite a quick read but overall I loved it. I would recommend it to children aged 10 or 11+

Zoe

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This book was a powerful collection of important poems that despite it's simplicity, is a powerful anthology highlighting the experiences of refugees. My favourite poem in the collection was 'maths' as it has such a profound message, reminding us that these numbers we see on the news are in fact all real people with real lives changed by war. This book is appropriate for all ages although it may be a bit of a heavy topic for primary school aged children. Overall, four stars.

Eleni

VISTA Academy

This book was great. It was greatly inspiring. This collection of stories made me feel sad, as it was based on things that actually happen to people. It is a great way to wake people up and help them realise the problems in the world.

Intern

Burford School

Choose love is a poetry book which tells the stories of many refugees that had to leave their countries because of terrible wars and extreme crisis. The poems convey all emotions of the people through their journey in a heartfelt way. To accompany these stories, there are abstract artworks that show the same story in a creative way and in the same way they carry deep emotion. Choose love tells the story of millions of people in quite interesting way for me personally. Instead of a long soul crushing story, we as the reader get presented this in the form of heartfelt poetry just as rich in emotion as a normal story would also be. As I am not a major fan of poetry, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the message was put out there. However, there is certainly some weight to go with this story, while reading these poems there is that thought lingering in the back of your mind that these are stories of real people. However, this helps us connect with these people and allows us to see the world through a different lens of hope and fear. I would give this book a 5-star review, it was a nice mixture of emotions of joy and hardships. It was interesting seeing stories be told through this kind of medium, and I highly recommend it to others whom are interested in such storytelling and abstract art being used for symbolism. Audience wise, this book is for a more mature audience, this is not because of the contents of the book it is because it may be a bit difficult for a younger audience to understand this way of conveying a message. However, as I have previously stated if you are interested, I highly recommend it and I can grantee you will wish to read it again!

Eszter

Wadham Warriors

This is reality. How someone higher in a hierarchy can take away your home just like that. Not only that - there is no where to go. no one will let you in. perhaps that is worse. The collection of poems really touches you. A couple that made me stop were HOPE - highlighting what it can do to someone and what we will do to hold on. UNBROKEN - that thing you hold which is so very dear to you is broken and with it, so are you; but someone else pieces it together and hands it to you whole.

Phoebe

Ousedale Shadow Chasers

This was a good book however i really do not like poetry so this is not one of the ones i enjoyed and it had a lot of dark things in it without having any sort of light or nicer ones. this made it heavy and the whole book was really boring as i find reading poetry hard. It felt really heavy and the subjects had obviously been looked in to so most of it was accurate. I did enjoy some of the less serious ones and that it felt like a bit of a relief when i found them as it helped to take the heaviness out of it a bit. Although i took a lot longer to read this book than usual as it was quite a challenge and although enjoyable to some it really wasn't my cup of tea

Cecilia

St Augustine’s Challenge

I found the book incredibly moving, the collections of hard hitting poetry that focuses on the trauma of refugees and how people deal with it, is beautifully written and very powerful. I found that this book represented the struggles of being displaced and what is happening to so many people across the globe. One of my favourite poems was Five Minutes, “You’ve got five minutes, what will you choose from all that you’re about to lose”, it is such a powerful collection of words that represent how fast peoples lives can be turned upside down by circumstances out of their control.

Jenny

Perse Carnegians

I loved the way both the illustrator and author raised awareness for the subject of refugees through this amazingly inspiring and beautiful read. Readers of this book should not be fooled by the appearance of this book, which may seem brief, but is in reality an extremely moving compilation of poems and illustrations. My favourite poem included in this book is “Five minutes” which aims to demonstrate how the little things we perceive as mundane can, in fact, be seen as privileges. This book really helped me to contemplate on the reality of war in numerous parts of the world, giving me an insight on the emotions and hardships refugees have to face. Finally, I appreciated the illustrations that really captured the chaotic emotions the poems bring up.

Maia CI

4Shadowers

This was a really powerful collection of poems, though it was a little short. These stories provided insight in to such a painful experience and the inhumane casualties that often occur as a byproduct of dismissal. but also comments on how this pain lasts long beyond the person has left their country and that even if they’re somewhere ‘safe’ they still aren’t guaranteed safety. In Choose Love the collection of poems challenges you to think in different ways and reminds you there are so many other perspectives through which one should look so we can create real change and understanding.

Amelie

Perse Carnegians

I really enjoyed the short poems.

Garce

SuAS Shadows

Extremely poignant. Choose love's poems and illustrations fit together In perfect harmony and fully convey the importance of human life and dignity.

Verity

St Mary’s RC High

It is an amazing book with lots of emotion. It shows true stories that really touch ones heart. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Vrinda and Mrs Tutla

ST PAULS STARS

We like the book because it has a sad story about the refugee children. It is about saving lives and helping children. Building a positive future for them.

Marcella and Yusuf

ST PAULS STARS

"Choose Love" is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of war, family, and identity. The story follows the life of Aisha, a young Pakistani woman who is forced to flee her home in Afghanistan after her family is torn apart by the war. Aisha finds herself in a refugee camp, struggling to come to terms with the trauma she has experienced and the uncertainty of her future. The novel is a deeply personal and intimate portrayal of Aisha's journey, as she grapples with the loss of her family, her identity, and her sense of belonging. One of the strengths of the book is its ability to convey the emotional impact of war on civilians. Davies' writing is haunting and evocative, capturing the fear, anxiety, and despair that Aisha feels as she navigates the treacherous landscape of war-torn Afghanistan. The themes of identity, belonging, and resilience are woven throughout the story, making it a powerful exploration of the human experience. Aisha's journey is both heart-breaking and inspiring, as she finds ways to hold onto hope and rebuild her life in the face of unimaginable adversity. It also lacks in pacing though but overall, it’s a novel that explores some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Daisy

SCC Prolific Bookers

The book is about love and disorder. This is a story structured around a series of poems the author has written. To be honest, the only thing I liked about this book was some of the uses of rhyme shown in some of the poems. I did not really like how the book ended and some of the poems were not as good as others in the book. Overall, I thought this book was fine, but not the best of the entries this year (Two stars out of five).

Subhan

Rockwood Reads

I liked the stories of the refugees and it was very heart felt. I felt empathetic for all the refugees but warm inside in the healing section.

Jacob

ST PAULS STARS

I liked how 'Choose Love' was displayed with paintings which were meant to represent the pain going on around the world. I liked how it brought awareness to the difficulties people face around the world, like refugees. However, I didn’t really like the way the book was set out because I, personally, found it quite hard to understand. Overall, I thought this book had such an important message to spread and that some of the poems were really heart-breaking to hear about the struggles, However, I found it quite hard to follow and understand, although the notes helped a lot.

Aisling

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Amelia

The John Mason Shadowers

This book clashes with how hard it is for refuges and the monstrosities of man kind. Choose love can help a young person under stand how there are many problems all around the world that need to be solved. Aswell as this I believe this book makes bullets of powerful emotions flow all around you and all of these stories are based on refuges life. I personally loved this book it was very powerful and I loved the fact it was poetic and I believe it made all of the words stand out. Along with this, there was a lot of beautiful illustrations that made the book feel like a refuge for some people. Although I said this book was poetry i also liked the fact that it contained a few biography's towards the end! The only downfall to this action packed book was it was a bit too sort and I understand poetry books are normally quite short but i think there could have been a bit more "longer" story's involved . Overall though, I would rate this book 4.5 stars and would definitely recommend for people of all ages!

Bella

Lost in Pages

What I liked about this book was the art that every page had next to the poems. I read each one and then I gazed at the images, colours and the forms then I thought again of the words by Nicola Davies. Some were very sad, some I liked because they told a story. My favourites were the ones that gave hope like “Not Lost” because she is alive and will always remember her mum. Or “Unbroken” because if you have all the pieces you can fix what’s broken. I think this book is inspiring and should be read by people.

Isabel

Fortismere

A very poetic book with amazing poems. If you love poetry it is a go to book. Plus, its short and easy to read.

Sonia

EJM Carnegie Crew

Choose Love by Nicola Davies was a compilation of poems about refugees and asylum-seekers. I enjoyed reading this book because the poems were very sentimental and explained vividly the feeling of abandoning everything behind for something that wasn't even your fault. The illustrations were also stunning and abstractly represented what the poem was about. Behind each poem was the feeling of sadness and loss but also hope which I found beautiful and very encouraging. Most of all, I learnt some key facts about refugees and I know how to help them now. The only thing I think could have made this book better was a bit more of a defined storyline so we knew more about who were the people the poems were talking about and it would have made you feel more attached and personal to the people involved. Overall, I thought these poems were really sentimental and I really loved reading this book.

Léonie

Euro Bookworms

A review for the book Choose Love 5 stars. Heart-warming, Eye-opening and Community. This book is a beautiful tale of anguish, society and love. It follows the tales of multiple individuals effected by the war and helps them to voice their story. This anthology sheds light on the hardships of those in war torn areas and is a plea to the rest of the world to help and to choose love over war. I see this book as a symbol of unity and hope for society. Before reading this book, I will be honest and say that I wasn’t aware of some of the issues and challenges that people in these situations face. I was blind to the extent of the problems which families, children and adults in these situations. However this book allowed me to see these stories and has helped to open my mind to the reality of the world. For some this may be upsetting however for me it was clarifying and has encouraged me to act on this and spread the word of the hardships they face and help to enact change. Community. The final word I chose to describe this book. It is one word but it holds many different meanings. Meanings of family, compassion, hope, love but also loss and suffering. I feel this word sums up this book perfectly. It is an exquisite blend of all of these things and so much more. I could not recommend this book more i feel it is an essential read for all, due to the lessons which it teaches, the morals that it teaches and the values that it instills in people.

Liv

Lost in Pages

choose love is a short beautiful and powerful collection of poems put together to show struggle of the refugee ordeal in the form of easy to understand poems. the best parts to me were the fore and after words witch I thought was very important

zai

Chiswick Carnegie

A beautiful yet simple story with so many messages of war and healing. Truly wonderful :)

Taira

Chiswick Carnegie

I loved this book. The artwork was really good, the story was really nice as well. I would definitely recommend this book.

Amaia

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Choose love is a dynamic and zealous cluster of poems, this shows the lives of the refugees trapped in Calais (city in France). When I had saw the cover many things can to my mind: Is it abstract? Why is there flowers? What makes the book choose love from all this? This artwork had looked really scruffy, so it did bother me and never say its importance.While reading the book, my mind had completely changed. The artwork made it easier for me to visualize and connect with the book. This book's main point is about something upsetting a small percentage of people might be a bit emotional. The poetry in choose love is lovely and I'm happy that I'd read it. I rate it 6/10 because I personally don't like poetry ( controversial ) and can't think about the possibilities, it just leaves me on suspense.

Sebastian

BFS Umbra

It is an amazing book about children and makes us feel really sad. We would help them after reading the book.

Shree and Shane

ST PAULS STARS

A powerful message wrapped up in a beautifully illustrated collection of poems. An important book for any school library.

Miss K

BUCS Library Book Club

Phoebe

BUCS Library Book Club

Felicity

BUCS Library Book Club

Evie

BUCS Library Book Club

Dawid

BUCS Library Book Club

Cerys

BUCS Library Book Club

I usually don't like poems but some how Nicola Davies has made these poems in such a way that they don't feel like poems anymore they just feel like a story.

Izabela

RET 2024

I think Choose Love has a very powerful impact on some people because the book is about war and has details that ,if you live in a stable place, you could not imagine the artwork in the book also has a meaning and quality some people cannot understand as this book may look like a young children's book on the outside it also has a deeper meaning about war that is quite serious and sad. I think the author is kind of telling us to live life. I would rate it 3.9 out of 5

Elinor

Camden School for Girls

Choosing love i think is one of the best illustrated books i have ever read. However, the poems and the chapters in the book is quite depressing. I would recommend this book to a child over 10. Overall, i think this book is brilliant.

Sophia

BFS Umbra

This book is so lovely, it is really interesting and the illustrations are wonderful and really support the writing. However, overall it is quite simple, nevertheless it is really impactfull!

Tamana

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

I found it to be an emotional and powerful response to the experiences of being a refugee and illustrates the tragic consequences of war within beautiful poems.

Gabriella

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

I loved this book. I was mourning the loss of someone and the first page I opened was titled Departure. It matched my feelings at that exact moment. Never been a fan of poetry but this book really explains feelings and how situations cause a lot of emotions and rollercoasters.

Esther

Plashet School

Choose love is a great book of poems. The poems are mainly about war and running away. I would recommend this book to people who like poems and war.

Dougie

BFS Umbra

I love the fact that the book is a poem because i love poem books. The art is amazing and abstract. My favourite chapter in this book is called spiderman.

Daisy

BFS Umbra

"Choose Love" by Nicola Davies is a poignant collection of poems that delve into the harrowing experiences of refugees. Crafted with compassion and insight, the book is a result of Davies' collaboration with the Refugee Trauma Initiative, where she transforms true stories into short-form poetry. Spanning 48 pages, this work is not just a literary piece but a mosaic of human struggles and resilience. The poems, illustrated by Petr Horáček, are split into three parts—departure, arrival, and healing—each capturing the essence of a refugee's journey. Davies' words are a clarion call for empathy, urging readers to see beyond the headlines and recognize the humanity in each person's story. "Choose Love" is a testament to the enduring spirit of those seeking safety and the transformative power of love and kindness in the face of adversity.

Reina

Perse Carnegians

Well I like this book because it was short and sweet but had a much deeper meaning for example when there were notes at the bottom of the page to say what or who that page was devoted to. I also loved the fact that the book was made for a purpose and to show people that conflict has a very big slice of our world now and how dangerous it.

Baxter

Bookwizards

I did not really like this book because in each page it's a totally different subject so if you put all the chapters and pages together then it doesn't make sense like a normal book would.

Juvanita

The John Mason Shadowers

An incredibly powerful and moving collection of poems that bear witness to the harrowing experiences faced by refugees and sweep us along on their journey. The poems humanise dehumanised situations and enable the reader to understand that these victims of war are simply terrified adults and children fighting for their very survival. The naïve, almost childlike artwork perfectly complements the poetry. The tones of grey and black scribbles lend a sense of chaos and foreboding, with glimmers of hope breaking through as occasional bursts of colour.

Mrs Bruce

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

It was a very moving book however I skipped a lot of pages due to the lack of interest I had on this book. I was not a fan of the very sad vibe of this book and somewhat brought me into discomfort. It was fairly short and they were nice but I couldn't finish all 12 of them. The pictures were nice to look at though. It was okay, 4.3/10

Shara

Plashet School

I really enjoyed reading this book, the poems were so touching and the illustrations were so beautiful. It felt like every page had so much meaning and passion behind it. I loved how, despite them all being separate poems, they all linked together chronologically to form a story about the struggles for asylum seekers. Would definitely recommend.

Ava

Bookiewookiedoodaas

In my opinion, this powerful and emotive verse novel by Nicola Davies is a great, short compilation of poems which clearly convey the hardships which many people must face when they have to seek refuge in other countries. The various abstract art pieces symbolize many different things, from compassion to empathy; they may evoke feelings such as warmth, support and human connection. In addition to this, many important themes are explored throughout the novel, such as hope, survival and the choice to love in difficult situations. Furthermore, I would give a great recommendation to anyone who loves novels written in verse and real life stories.

Devan

MTS Northwood

This is a truly exquisite book. The poems are deeply poignant. They bring a truth and humanity to the situation of refugees at a time when if feels like we are constantly bombarded by a single narrative. I particularly like the poem “The Interview” that was about the inability of the interviewer to understand and empathise with a refugee despite having suffered hardship themselves. There was a useful footnote explaining the significance of the Substantive interview that asylum seekers have to have, in order to give readers context. I tried hard not to well-up reading some of these to students. The illustrations are stunning, intense, almost visceral, and complement the poems brilliantly. The book itself is beautifully produced with beautiful, coloured pages and thick quality paper. All in all, a triumph.

Mrs Waritay

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Choose Love is a great book. I think that the pictures had great meanings and told many stories about the book. The book overall was great definitely a 10/10!!

pinxian

The Latymer Literati

very moving stories and beautiful artworks

Edmund

The Latymer Literati

very moving

Alec

The Latymer Literati

I really liked this piece of work. It is easy to read and the illustrations are wonderful. The book takes these refugee stories and creates a nice poem for each story that highlights refugee struggles.

Benji

The Latymer Literati

I think choose love is a great book with a easy layout.The book focuses on real topics and events.Its just genuinely a great book.My favourite thing about the book is the fact its separated into short verses.

Bethany

BFS Umbra

Choose Love is an emotional story told in three sections through poems and vivid imagery of pain and emotion. The poems really depict the raw emotions faced by refugees as they face upheaval and difficult journeys. Although the artistic element to the story was unique, I would have preferred more substance (actual writing) and this would have made the book more engaging. Some poems did feel a little shuffled and in the wrong place, making the flow of reading quite disjointed and subtracted from the deep emotion presented in the book. Overall, this book was an interesting read but was not one of my favourites.4/10.

Saachi

Perse Carnegians

This is a very sad and heart touching book. However, I loved it as I am a refugee myself. It shows the reality of being a refugee, especially crossing the English Channel, to the world.

Max

BFS Umbra

Cadence

Abbey Park Readers

A very nice book, filled with a well written compilation of poems. It is very quick and easy to read and puts into perspective the life of people who may have experienced war and hardship. It is well thought out and filled with emotion. I recommend this book to people who like poetry.

Androniki

CTA Book Club

this book has an amazing tone and mood , although some of the poems are difficult to understand

Logan Emm

BFS Umbra

I found this book very powerful and its message important. This is a book who's message should be shared.

Gabor

BFS Umbra

Very thought provoking and interesting to see life from a perspective that isn’t always considered in the effects of war. I liked the way the poetry flowed and the accompanying drawings.

Miss H

Austin Book Club

Its a very impactful book for how short it it and really makes you think about everything happening in the world right now.

Louise

Austin Book Club

Choose Love is about a family fleeing war and the difficulties of being a refuge. It is set in poems. Although it is a very good book I do not think that this book is very appropriate for year sevens as it has very advanced language and year sevens aren’t very interested in poems.

Arthur, Ms Cody's

Sidcot Shadowers

Bethany

BFS Umbra

Although it was not my favourite carniegie book that i have read, I did like how the writer used a variety of different structures in the poems.Additionally i liked how the writer used few words to create a vivid image in my mind of what was happening in the story(similar to how Crossing the line by Tia Fisher used less words to tell the reader what was going on. However, I liked how the words were aranged in neat rows which were easy to read unlike Crossing the line and Away with words which were books with words that didn't move in neat and orderly lines.)

Szymon

Bookwizards

I found “Choose love” a great read because along with the great poems it has beautiful illustrations which makes it easier to understand the story behind the poem. The poems had a strong message behind them which was amazing to read because it widened my knowledge on many historical events. I would recommend this book to children who love reading short and easy books because it took me approximately 20 minutes to read all of the pages. Overall, I really enjoyed all of the poems which were inside the book and I would read again!

Grace

TTS Readers

"Choose Love" is a book about refugees that's very emotional and moving. It shows how love and kindness can help people in very tough times. The author does a great job of making the reader feel all the emotions, from sadness to hope. The book is important because it reminds us of the power of kindness and compassion. Even though the ending feels a bit sudden, it's still worth reading. If you want to be inspired to make a difference and feel all the emotions, then "Choose Love" is a book you should read.

Giselle

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This book can be quite relatable with immigrants and refugees, the poems have lots of different meanings and it is very emotional

Mina

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

I loved the symbolism in the poems. I loved how blunt some of the poems are. The collection humanizes refugees and it is incredibly emotional. I wouldn't read it by myself but it was great to read as part of a group.

Kloe

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

I love the illustration style. The poems are all very touching and true, describing the hard journey of the refugees escaping for freedom.

Caitlyn

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

I thought this was an amazing poetry book on what refugees are put through. After reading the book, it made me really think about the horrors that a lot people have to live through. Every page was snappy and short ,but at the same time it was somehow incredibly descripted. My favourite poem was the one about how refugees would drown, obviously I'm not happy about them drowning, but it was heart wrenching and the rhyming really tied it together. The images were also a great touch to the poems, although, I found that someone of them didn't correlate to the page. Overall this was a phenomenal book, the poetry was amazing and I think it brought a lot of awareness, for me at least, to a horrible situation many are put through.

Annabelle

St Mary’s RC High

I believe that a string of correlated but not linked poems could lead to some inspiration because the language used it very detailed and accurate. Choose Love is an emotive book, reflecting the lives and experiences of refugees stranded in Calais. This book in my eyes could also be the experience of someone in other similar situations. It has very powerful language and it shines a need for pity by presenting the situation in its worst visions or time. The upsetting aspect is that this is just one take, one experience, one persons view when there are thousands going on to millions with the same story.

Stefan

St Mary’s RC High

Quentin PMC

4Shadowers

Vassilis and Roméo PMC

4Shadowers

I have mixed feelings about this book - some of the poems I loved, and some of them I struggled to connect with. I think I would enjoy this book more if I studied it further to look for deeper meaning, but on first reading didn't find it as impactful as I thought it would be.

Miss R

The Hinckley Shadowing Group

Choose Love is a beautiful poetry book that tells the story of victims of war through carefully worded poems and artwork. I loved this book, because I felt reading it gave me the opportunity to understand a bit more about the hardships that refugees go through. It broke my heart and I highly recommend everyone should read this poetry collection.

Esther

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Roméo & Vassilis PMC

4Shadowers

I thought that Choose Love was an enjoyable read even though I'm not so fond of poetry, and I thought that it really reflects what things are going on around the world.

Penny

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

I like this book as it shows us the experiences of several refugees and how they coped

Nyla

SMM Bibliophiles

Choose Love was written by Nicola Davies. This is a book about immigrants trying to escape war. This book has wonderful abstract art that actually makes you think what are they trying to tell us about the poem. This book is for a mature audience because of the violence and sadness. I would rate it 10/10.

Orest

UoBS Bookworms

Choose love is a collection of poems by Nicola Davies depicting the journey of a refugee, through three sections of departure, arrival and healing. Each poem creates a vivid image of the pain and emotion they go through, and my favourite were the poems about departure because it show the rapidness of the upheaval faced and all the decisions they are faced with. I really enjoyed the book, because it condensed the journey of refugees into its most heartfelt parts. The shorter length makes it perfect for a younger audience, and I would definitely recommend it to children aged 8-12.

Manyan

Perse Carnegians

This book is a poem book about refugees on their horrible journey to a safer place from where they started off. The book is split into three parts, the 'Departure', where they are leaving their old home behind, the 'Arrival', where they try and start a new life and the 'Healing', where they have started their new life and things are slowly starting to get better. My favourite poem is 'Hope' because it's showing when one of the refugees realises that it can get better. One of the things I don't like as much is the fact that it is difficult to read about such sad stories, as there are children in the world the same age as me that this is happening to.

Isabel

SuAS Shadows

This book was very moving book and I loved how it told the story with poems and abstract art. The only problem was the I could not understand a bit of what they were trying to say. Apart from that, I really liked this book about refugees having to sail a small boat to England and it was an eye-opener of all of the refugees that have to face so much and sometimes they don't get a place to stay. I really recommend this book.

Freyja

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

This was quite a simple book which gives an insight into the plight of a refugee. I would have liked to have seen more writing and more description in the book rather than the pictures of symbols, circles and shapes that didn't particularly make sense to me as relevant or add to the story. It's positive that it raises awareness about refugees and asylum seekers and shows that you can only enter a country if someone says that what you've been through is bad enough. That subjective opinion makes parts of the book an emotional read.

Max

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This story told through poetry was extremely moving and insightful, on a topic relevant in today’s world. The message is so powerful. The human experience displayed in this book, of refugees fleeing their countries, is immensely important. It tells us why people have to leave, and shows the despair that comes with their harsh journey. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story was presented, through poems, which made it an easy read, which contrasted with the story shown, which was gut wrenching. The book also contained pictures to depict the experiences, personally, I found these images intensely thought-provoking and the colour used expressed the hurt, but, the hope of the refugees. Overall, this was a beautiful book of poems that I thoroughly enjoyed reading even if though it made me emotional.

Grace

Rebel Readers

I read “Choose Love” by Nicola Davies over and over again; first silently to myself, and then later on to my mum and my younger brother. Reading the poems aloud made me realise just how much thought Davies has put into each one, because every single word seems to fit just right, and every poem is so powerful. The collection is broken up into three sections: “Departure”, “Arrival” and “Healing”. Every poem has its own different rhythm and layout. “Five Minutes” is written in rhyming couplets that suggest the frantic haste of the fleeing refugees who have just “five minutes to run, run, run, / While the sky burns up like a dying sun.” At first the rhythm of “Unbroken” is smooth, but then the lines become shorter as the narrator talks about “Our shattered past, / Our fractured future”. I do not think anyone will be able to read these poems without feeling empathy for refugees. I read “Artin’s Voyage” with a lump in my throat, and after I finished “Not Lost” I gave my mum a big hug. It is such a beautiful collection, very sad yet also hopeful, because of the “tiny shoot of hope” that Davies portrays in my favourite poem, “Hope”. “Choose Love” is also a beautiful book to look at; Petr Horáček’s illustrations are beautiful and bold, with sharp flashes of vivid colour. At first they look quite simple, but then you study them more closely and all the detail comes to the surface, and you realise just how layered and complex they are – just like the poems. I think everyone should read this collection, and then maybe more people would try to understand, and then “choose love, every time”.

Arthur

Tractor

Review: 3.8/5 I enjoyed this as the poems were easy to read and understand, unlike a lot of poetry I've read. The illustrations were also superb and fit the poems well. In general a very moving book!

Hazel

County Shadows

"Choose Love" by Nicola Davies is a series of poems about refuge and war/conflicts. I don't usually read this type of book, but I enjoyed reading it. I liked its highly descriptive and emotional poems, which fabulously describes the suffering and distress of refugees when they are forced to leave their home. They highlight the importance of peace at the same time as describing the topic very movingly. As the description above said, you could get "emotionally kidnapped" by this book, for its amazing poems, and the wonderful illustrations. In my opinion, the poems are more descriptive in mood and emotions rather than events, so I think abstract art suits the poems very well. But it's difficult to compare this book to others in this shortlist, as it is in a completely different genre and format: it's a good collection of poems but I think this book doesn't contain a clear plot nor a clear ending. It would be a wonderful book to spend some time experiencing the power of words and lines, but as a reading book I would prefer more of a book with a 'storyline'. 7.5/10

Rachel

Perse Carnegians

This book was short, compared to the other books, and the length made it easier to read and get into as it was more straight forward. There were 12 short poems, each one about refugees and their experiences. Each poem hit really differently, because so many people were moving from one place to another and some of the poems even included statistics, making me feel closer to each refugee. As a person with a short attention span, the illustrations improved my reading experience as there was more to look at. However, I feel like the details in the poem could've been a bit more emphasised so we could immerse ourselves in the story even more. Thus, I would rate this book 8/10.

Ghumaysa

Plashet School

Choose Love is a poetry book with beautiful illustrations that follows refugees and their journey to find a new home. I thought that this was a brilliant book with lovely poems. The illustrations were wonderful and fitted well with the writing. The poems themselves were brilliant as each poem was written in a different way. Some rhymed, some didn't, some followed a rhythm, some didn't. However, I read the book in about five minutes (Even though it's £17 to buy!) , and I felt the story was quite rushed. Apart from this, I thought this was a lovely book and I'd give it a 7/10.

Ela

KES Bookworms

This is a book which tells a powerful story which needs to be heard. The poems and the story surrounding them are eye opening, and the illustrations mean much more when you start reading. However, this is more of an anthology than a novel; it doesn't necessarily meet the criteria for this medal. I would still recommend it to people of all ages.

Rachel

Carnegie Carnage

In this moving and touching art piece of a book, we follow short yet thought (and sometimes tear) provoking poems recounting the most dark and draining impacts which millions of refugees face every day. These short stories are accompanied by modern yet simple depictions of what looks like scribbles on a page as the reader reads between the lines and links these to the little pieces of information on the page it neighbours. I was deeply saddened by this book and would advise a warning before reading this if you may get emotionally triggered by the feats and challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers.

TJ

HHS

In my opinion Choose Love is an amazing book which enables one to understand the hardships and difficulties of being a refugee. This masterpiece is a collection of small poems that has one major plot. The author has really done very well to make people understand and sympathise with the different people all over the world who are struggling from this cause. Although this book was a little shorter than I would have expected it was really touching. When reading this book, I felt completely overwhelmed with emotion. This book gets a 9/10 from me and is definitely worth a read. I loved the poems because although the poems were small, they had an extremely impactful meaning.

Husayn

Perse Carnegians

Choose Love was a powerful and heartfelt book. The poems, although short, were extremely moving and conveyed a strong message. I would recommend this book as it shows the perspective of a misunderstood and unrepresented part of the world and what they have to suffer.

Hidayah

KEVICHG

Overall, I really enjoyed the book 'Choose Love'. My favourite poem in the book has to be Mathematics because of the way it rhymes and how it uses numbers to be able to visualise how many casualties there were. I like the little details how on some of the pages it has the reflection of the name of the chapter as well as it written out normally. I like the font and how it looks like it has been written out rather than typed which can make the book feel more personal.

Hannah

The John Mason Shadowers

A short, impassioned anthology about refugees’ awful experience, the illustrations complement the poems perfectly, each using expressive but dull impasto, conveying desperation and finally, hope.

emilie

KEVICHG

This is a beautiful book all round. I love the simple illustrations and poems are really good as well.

Isla

Rebel Readers

I thought this book was heartfelt and moving. I liked the illustrations that accompanied it, as they really helped to capture the mood of whatever poem was on that page. However, I didn't think this worked as well when read like a story, as it didn't really take you on a journey.

Cecelia

KES Bookworms

I enjoyed this book with lots of poems about refugees weaved together to make a storyline. It wasn't the most interesting book but I liked the pictures and abstract art and I also liked how you could empathise with refugees around the world. However, the book at times did feel a little disjointed and like some of the poems weren't in the right position. Overall, an OK book with areas of improvement. I would recommend it to most people. 3/5 stars.

Sulayman

Perse Carnegians

The book choose love gave me a heart melting read about the life of people trying to escape conflict. It really made me understand and feel for the millions of people who do not have a home ,are struggling to move on or just are lost because of their incredibly traumatic past. overall this book had really good poems based on real life scenarios and beings .through the duration of this book I felt overwhelmed with a mix of emotions as being the reader but also looking at the view of human beings facing lots of hardship for political reasons.i really recommend this book to pretty much everyone.

Fatima

The Reading Queens

Choose Love is a very sad book describing impact on lives of people who witnessed it first hand. I t was very touching to read. AI It migth have been written in poem form because it was the only way of freedom, imagination and escaping reality for some of the war survivors. It is a short book to read but it captures the readers attention. Maybe the short form of a poem symbolises our short lives, and how grateful we should be to be alive.

Richelle

BIS Book Club

I enjoyed this book as it was a book which made me emotional for me most books do not do that so this book was amazing. I am also not usually a huge fan of poems but these poems were amazing my personal favourites were 5munits and Deadly Mathematics (this may not quite be correct as I was too engrossed in the poems themself🙂)💯% from me.

Caspar

The Marlingtonians

Choose Love is emotionally charged book about refugees and there struggle to find a place in the world. It is split into 3 sections, 'departure', 'arrival' and 'healing'. Each of these have poems describing the hardships that refugees face and in the end things start to look up. The book is quite short though so the content is intense everywhere but I finished it in under 10 minutes unfortunately. However the artwork on each page was good and it help add to the feeling and thought of the book in total. Overall Choose Love is a short but sweet book about refugees and their struggles.

Thomas

Perse Carnegians

A very short but effective book in conveying the moral. Though you never meet a main character, it very well shows how the refugees feel when having to flee from the only home they have ever known. 4 out of 5 stars, Would recommend

Samuel

Kesgrave Bookworms

I really loved "Chose Love". Nicola Davies's poems are very powerful and portray the storyline very well. The abstract illustrations by Petr Horáček represent the main themes of the poems such as hope and refugees. An amazing book that I would completely recommend and that I would rate 10/10!

Arthur

EJM Carnegie Crew

If I am to be completely honest, I don't think I really understood the concept of this book. It may be because of my own preferences, but there was nothing in the book that really hooked me, it felt more like an obligation to read it, rather than something to read out of enjoyement.

Bracha

St Angela’s Reading Angels

I like this unique book and this is a good inspiration to always choose love instead of the bad things in life. But in this book there are many different poems in there which makes me confused about the plot of the story so I will rate it a 8.3/10.

Emily

Sale High Readers

This was a book that flowed really well and was very short but had a very serious story inside. The book went through the journey of a refugee and how they lost loved ones and belongings in the journey to safety. This was a good book.

Stanley

Reader Leaders

i think this book is very heart-warming and also tension rising and it has a lot of different emotions throughout the book and poems.

Alesia

Malvern St James

I like this book as it shows the real life struggles about being a refugee. It really makes you empathize with the struggles that people go through. In addition this book makes you feel grateful and inspires you to help others.

Amelia

Malvern St James

I just read abit of this book and it seems enjoyable and I think I would enjoy reading it if I would have choose it.Further more about this book, the texts and the poems can help us picturing the story and the scene in our head that will really help us understand and get the actual feeling of the book. The artworks in this book and the painting on the opposite page of the poems gives us a sense and e great picture.

Shaden

Malvern St James

I personally like this book as it gives refugees a voice, a voice that is shown through poems and artwork. I like this poetry as it gives us idea about what they have gone through and how they have overcome this. Especially in the poem 'Five minutes' as it gives us an idea on how they have to make life threatening decisions in barely no time at all. For example, what would you take? Food? Water? Clothes? You want to take everything but you can't. I think this is shown as well by the picture that went with it as it shows a person that is staying still and just looking at the destruction caused. Also the way it is drawn, with scribbles shows the amount of distress and pain that is happening at that time. Reading the poems in this book make me feel bad about the people that have gone through this and I can't image how much pain they went through that day.

Eleanor

Malvern St James

I loved the use of poetic techniques it really made the emotive language stand out. The poem brought out a sadness in me the language used would help people understand more and people of all ages would be able to understand to including knowing what the message is about. The book makes you sympathies with the people that have gone through this types of things

Jaz

Malvern St James

I really liked the emotive language and poetic techniques used in these poems. I think that the language used would be understood by all ages and the message would be understood by all. The book makes me sympathise with people who have gone through things like this and is able to spread awareness.

Maya

Malvern St James

I felt that the main point of this book was to raise awareness for the humanitarian crisis in Syria. It is structured in the form of a stream of poems, all flowing together to create this masterpiece. It shares stories in the form of poems of those who have experienced those atrocities - which no-one should have dies over. I really liked the way the book was written and illustrated, creating a clear image of what was being said, painting an idea that shows just how bizarre these experiences where - of what many had gone through. It has the perfect balance of detail and colour. I did not like how some topics were not taken as seriously, I felt, as they could have been handled - although I felt that it did display the true brutality of the situation in Syria. I would also not recommend this book for younger readers. Overall, I thought it was an amazing book - short and easy to read. (four starts out of five).

Habiba

Rockwood Reads

i really like the very depressing poems i really recommend

Alexandra

RET 2024

It was a really good book! I loved how the poems had deeper meanings to them and how there were also very cool and beautiful drawings

Dorcas

RET 2024

I really like Choose Love and how it uses experiences and poems from people have similar experiences and even though it is very brief it gets the message across clearly on how there is so much pain and strife that could be avoided if we all chose to embrace the love of others and love others the same

Owen

Bookwizards

Choose Love was a moving book. It is very sad that this sort of thing happens to people, and its just unfair. It was a book that conveyed the meaning in simple, but powerful words. The poem, "The Interview" was very sad, as the person got rejected from asylum when they really needed it. I wish this sort of thing won't happen anymore.

Sahana

BIS Book Club

This book is about immigration and refugees seeking asylum, with some heart breaking storys. I did not enjoy this story as I found it really sad. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys politics and wants to learn about the current state of this world.

Dexter

VISTA Academy

I really liked this book because of its beautiful message. Even though it was simple it was very powerful. The pictures were also really nice. The poems were such a nice way to talk about sad refugee stories. I would give this book a 5/5.

Jola

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Choose Love is a moving collection of poems that made me think very deeply. It can be interpreted on so many levels, which make it a touching, personalised experience for anyone reading. Even then, it has a strong, key message : choose kindness, Choose Love. I loved the abstract illustrations to accompany the poems that added depth and a further thought-provoking element that added to the individual experience. In my opinion, the choice of verse was the right one for this topic, conveying harsh images of reality in a heartbreaking form of art that sticks with you even after finishing this short read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes poetry, or is willing to spend some time experiencing these beautiful verses.

Yashwina

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

The book Choose Love by Nicola Davies shows real life stories in which people can relate to and feel sympathy towards the people in the short poems that she has written . In these poems the theme of all the poems combined together is about refugees forced to leave their home with an unknown future.

Aqsa

BIS Book Club

The book Choose Love by Nicola Davies shows real life stories in which people can relate to and feel sympathy towards the people in the short poems that she has written . In these poems the theme of all the poems combined together is about refugees forced to leave their home with an unknown future.

Aqsa

BIS Book Club

This book was an amazing book in verse. It brought light to the horrible situations refugees are in and it brought me to tears. It really shows that we should be thankful for what we have and do our best to try and help these people who have suffered so much.

Flynn

Christ’s Book Society

This is a book of poems about refugees trying to find safety but I didn't really understand what Nicola Davies is trying to say through this book and I couldn't really understand how the art linked to the poems.

Dylan

The Marlingtonians

I'm not a big fan of poetry, but this book changed my entire view. The book was short and easy to read , and showed exactly what refugees had to go through. I finished it in one day and it was honestly heart breaking. I think everyone should read this book, it gives an entirely new perspective to things and really changed my view on poetry.

Keira

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

i like that most poem is based clearly on its title but some arent i dont think poems are for everyone though

zuzanna

RET 2024

Choose love is a series of poems showing the experience of those being forced to become refugees. I think that this book is written very beautifully and some might find it to be emotional. I think that poems are a very good way to express feelings and emotions and they can really have an impact on the reader. Overall I would say that I quite liked this book. My rating would be 2.5/5

Isabella

SHS On The Same Page

Choose love is a beautifully illustrated poem book. The words used in these books have a deeper meaning . It was unlike normal books as it had no specific characters but instead communicates a message through a series of short poems. This book was very well written and I enjoyed it a lot, I would rate this book a 3.5/5 as it isn't my usual read and a few of the poems confused me a bit. Overall, I found this an enjoyable read.

Chloe

SHS On The Same Page

I thought that this book was a bit of a weird one because I could not really follow any storyline. But I thought the poems were quite nice . I do not think this book is for me though

Henry K

Ermysted’s

Ava

Cathedral Crew

CaseyH

Cathedral Crew

Roxy

Cathedral Crew

I thought these poems were extremely moving and eye opening. Everyone can say how difficult it must be to leave your home and everything you have ever known - but I think Nicola captures it with these poems. My favourite was 'Hope' and the young boy who lost his temper, only to find a sprig of hope amongst the debris.

Mrs Scard-Edwards

West Monmouth

this was very good and was full of great pomes which were filled with feelings!

Fran

Word Wonderland

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is an incredibly moving story depicting the journey that refugees take to seek safety. Throughout the book, the narrator entails a treacherous and dangerous adventure in which lies suffering and pain. I like how the book was quick and easy to read however it still had a lot of depth and detail. I loved the illustrations that were created as they were a lovely mix of abstract and realism. The expressive, sporadic colours provokes the reader to really understand the feelings that refugees experience to reach their freedom. Overall, this was a beautiful and informative piece of writing and would definitely recommend it. I would rate it 5/5.

Ella

Faringdon Community College

Mila

Beauchamp Champs 2024

In my opinion this poetry collection was written very well and was able to evoke many emotions powerfully. It was a short read and the paintings on each page were exceedingly accurate to the mood of the poems. I enjoyed how throughout the book the overall mood changed from melancholic and into hope. Overall this book was insightful and eye-opening to the reader.

Frankie

No Shelf Control

I like the poem because it creates a very anxious condition and the repetition “five minutes” keep emphasizing that you have only five minutes and what are the decisions you make?

Mandy

Malvern St James

Choose Love is a volume of poems that seeks to explore, from a very personal perspective, the plight of refugees seeking a safer world. Set out in three sections, Departure, Arrival and Healing, the poems urge the reader to empathise with people displaced from all that is familiar and to consider the response of those who 'welcome' them. The poems are presented as a sequence rather than a story and feel a bit disjointed, but they are tied together with a collection of atmospheric and haunting paintings which help capture the journey from chaos to hope. The final word of the final poem, written about a treasured possession brought to a new life, encapsulates the hope that runs through the book and leaves the reader on a note of optimism. This beautiful and moving book is certainly deserving of many awards but as a departure from the type of book usually shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, it may not be this year's winner.

Harriet

Open Book

for this book although I enjoyed it especially the vibrant colours and the plot of the refugees I did find it a bit difficult to follow with the constant change in pace

Ffion

St Mary’s RC High

This book was a very quick read. I liked how there were a lot of different poems but they formed together to make one powerful story. I also loved the abstract art on every page and the emotion the poems conveyed.

melissa

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

“Choose Love” by Nicola Davies is a powerful collection of poetry that delves into the experiences of refugees. The book is divided into three sections: “Departure,” “Arrival,” and “Healing.” Each poem captures the emotions and challenges faced by those forced to leave everything behind in search of safety and asylum in other countries. The illustrations accompanying each poem add depth and meaning to the words, making it a poignant read. While the book is short, its impact is lasting, highlighting themes of survival, love, hope, and the kindness of strangers. If you appreciate thought-provoking poetry, this book is worth exploring.

Rahi

Watford Girls

I like how the author has written the structure of the poem but I didn't think it's necessarily true. The author uses anaphora to create panic and rush within the poem. It makes me think of war and fire as it said "when the city strikes with fire alarms".

evie

Malvern St James

The poem Five Minutes gave a very rushed and panicked atmosphere. The use of second person made me feel like I was experiencing everything and had to choose some impossible choices giving me a feel for what others had to go through. The rhyming couplets keep the tension high throughout the poem. The picture for this poem gave a perfect representation of chaos and rushed.

Farah

Malvern St James

Athena

Ashcroft Avids

The poem 'five minutes' creates and idea of what it would feel and be like to experience that situation. the writing gives a sense of urgency and panic, and make you aware of the difficult choices that would have to be made in such a short period of time and how rushed it would be.

Holly

Malvern St James

Five minutes: It creates a sense of urgency and panic by telling the repeating the amount of time you’ve got also asking us what we would choose creates a sense of preparedness.

Valentina

Malvern St James

Five Minutes: This poem creates a sense of urgency and panic; by using anaphora to show the panic and hurried mindset the author has written it in. The use of direct adress symbolises the fact that the author is speaking in a rushed tone; also the alliteration of 'what will; puts the reader on a 'ticking clock' that invests us to read on with shivers down our spines. The rhetorical questions also give us a sense that the author is questioning themselves because they're in a hurry

Tia

Malvern St James

Vivienne

Ashcroft Avids

Review on the poem 'Five Minutes' on page 14: I like this poem; I think it has been written well. However, when reading it, I personally didn't feel anything and I couldn't identify the tone unaided. The poem did give an accurate description of the difficult decisions a refugee would have to make.

Helaina

Malvern St James

I think this book was ok. The extract I read was good and portrayed the idea of being a refuge but I personally think that one area for improvement is that there could be more tension because I didn't feel it portrayed very much emotion in the words and if there was more hints on the tone it would be easier to fulling understand the words.

Olivia

Malvern St James

Personally I am not really a poetry kind of person. This book is different from the rest because it is a collection of poetry. I found that some poems were not placed in the right chapters. I rate it 3.5/10.

Ambrose

Chippy Chapters

I found the book really powerful because it was bringing across really strong messages. The illustrations alongside the poems were reflecting the emotions being showed in the poem. An example is the Poem 'Not lost'. This poem in particular was powerful because it shows how people suffer and how refugees get to other countries. I believe the message of this story is that we live an extremely privileged life compared to others who are forced to leave their countries due to inhabitable situations.

Sebastian

Team Berko

I am going to be honest I didn't like this book because I like reading murder mystery books and this was a bit boring to me

kowshik

TCOLC Perfictionists

I felt like the book was ok but it wasn`t really an interesting read. It didn`t have a plot and it had one main theme in most of the poems which was immigration. I felt like this let it down. Not my sort of book. I hate poems!

Hamza

Ermysted’s

I like how all the poems got compilated together, and created a story. The illustrations were really beautiful and represented the story really well.

Annie

Broadland Bookworms

Sofia

BFS Umbra

Dougie

BFS Umbra

I don't quite understand why this book was in the writing shortlist as it is more of a picture book. The plot didn't feel continuous but it was a nice quick read and the paintings were very emotional and i felt they fitted with the poem they were put with very well

Rose

Tenbury Page Turners

This book is a very passionate collection of poems, I think that the author really expresses her emotion and upset at the situations some are being put through. I feel the artwork really complements the work as it is mainly grey with the occasional streak of colour just like the hope in some of the poems.

Isla

AKS Carnegie

I really loved this book as the simplicity along with the power of the poems is impactful, so much so that you are able to know exactly what they are trying to convey and you remember everything you have read. The imagery provided by the artwork on each page is incredibly beautiful and allows you to submerge yourself into the poems and imagine yourself in the characters' shoes.

Aimee

Faringdon Community College

This book creates a very sad, miserable feeling for the readers as it talks about refuges and how they survive. I recommend reading this book. Around the globe many, many wars are happening like Russia and Ukraine, Syria, and many other places. The amount of refugees that escape, survive and sometimes suffer are over 1000s of people. This disgraceful situation makes my heart feel sorry and I am sure yours is too. This book shows this as a poem, which makes it feels like a story all connected together. Also this made me feel that we should help those going through this, those who have lost family members, those who have been through a lot of trouble; we should help them.

Darrshika

Watford Girls

'Choose Love’ has poems that I never imagined existed; it was wholesome fun reading it though it was sad imagining it. All the poems are about the stages leaving to another country as refugees. There are 3 sections: leaving, departing, and healing. Being a refugee is difficult- it is like you have a perfect life and your world flips upside down. You are leaving a country, possibly on your own and it is hard to accept that you will lose your family, friends, and people that you love. It is also risking your life going through a small boat with thirty-five other people; you can drown by any possible reasons.   In this whole book, my favourite poem is Mathematics. The poem is about running with a person having to leave with only one or two bags with them since the timing is so quick. Reading it over again sometimes shocks me that this happened to someone else. In my opinion, why do wars happen? Why can’t countries live in peace? It is not all about power and money. The poems show people’s views and thoughts.   The way the thought of the poems was planned is honestly amazing, I thought the book was going to be like every other childish poem, but I love the way this book describes how refugees fight their fears and focus on the present.   In general, I would give this a 7/10 and I recommend ‘Choose Love’ to my friend although it is quite short. I want to thank the author for writing this book for refugees, and drafting these poems. I really enjoyed reading it.

Lucy

Barny bookworms

Choose Love was incredible to read. There was a mix of emotions: worried, scared, hopeful and sad. The illustrations were beautiful and abstract, also messy, and represented our world. I like how the author covers what happened a long time a go and how humans have made many horrible mistakes - reading the book easily makes you think about how all the young, and old, people felt and how it is not acceptable to treat others this way and kill each other. It's a very sad but meaningful book and quick to read. I think it's a book everyone should read and that all people should understand the pain that is caused. I recommend this book to people 10+ as it can be quite heart-breaking and hard to understand. I would rate this book 4.5/5 because it has great information and short but meanful little poems.

Lianghan

SHSK Shadowers

This poem book was an okay read overall and i am not expecting it to win. This was a short book about immigration. the poems were individually good and portrayed the emotions of the poet really well. But there was no real plot to the book and in a competition like the Carnegie i believe that a string of correlated but not linked poems just isn't going to make the cut.

Avaneesh

Ermysted’s

Choose Love is a powerful and emotive collection of poetry, reflecting the lives and experiences of refugees stranded in Calais. I wasn’t sold on the cover artwork for this book, and I didn’t immediately see the relevance of it. I tried to put myself in their position and felt an ache in my heart as I did. These children have a lot of courage. In my opinion, the book tries to tell us that some countries need our help, that a lot of people are slowly but surely dying from the impact of climate change and war. I got that I am a luck girl, and I should not complain over small stuff when children my age are enduring much worse than me. I think other readers might feel sympathy for the children in the book too. Choose Love was a wonderful book full of happiness and sadness. It revealed the story of a refugee and his life. Every poem in this book told a story, a memory of something that had passed away, the pictures of course made the story even more real. All the poems were unique and different, which made the whole book come to life. It was a short read, but it will stick with me for life, I think it may have to be one of my favourites and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves poems and short reads. Overall, I would rate this book a massive 8.5/10.

Vinshu

TDA readers

The book Choose Love is written from the view of a person either at war of seeking refuge. Although, all the characters have their own stories and opinions. I feel as though the book may be lacking in content and don’t see it fit to be the winner although the message it conveys is one that I think the reader can benefit from so hence I advise it. The book is written in 3 parts: Departure, Arrival and Healing and Healing and is a compilation of a number of poems.

Karim

MTS Northwood

Choose Love is a great book about the struggles of refugees from Syria after the war and how we need to be more empathetic towards them as their life is not that easy - the UK refused to help 3000 unaccompanied child refugees. It educates people on how the people are treated and how privileged we are here. It has amazing illustrations that catch their eye. It is understandable and easy to understand as it is written in poetic format. Choose Love is pioneering a new movement in humanitarian aid and that is why I recommend this book to absolutely anyone!

Joshua

Glossopdale Readers

In the book ‘Choose Love’, there is a collection of poetry strung together to roughly create a story on the journey of a refugee. This book was very striking to read, as it was written in such a way that there is a lot of room for your own thoughts, as well as the concrete steps in the journey of a refugee. I especially liked the poem ‘Hope’. This poem was towards the back of the book, which I thought mattered a lot because it represents the time and endurance it takes to continue on and find hope after such a traumatic thing as evacuating your own country. I liked it because, despite the set backs, ups and downs, there was hope to be found even something that seemed so hopeless. Overall, this book wasn’t one of my favourites, but it was very good. The writing style fit the book well, and the content matched the style and illustrations. The poems were impactful and made me understand the struggles and strife that these people endure.

Sophie KEG

Sidcot Shadowers

Choose love book review. In this sequence of poems, Nicola Davies text combines with the evocative illustrations of Petr Horáček to contrast such emotional text of real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and previous lives behind. This book of poems is an emotional and spiritual journey and really touches your heart. It is a brave and strangely uplifting story and takes into consideration the challenges some have to cross. One of the story’s that really stuck out to me was ‘not lost’. This poem is about a family travelling across the ocean on a boat. It refers to holding on to a button of his mothers to show he’s not lost, near the end of the poem it says “I hold it still, on a string, next to my heart. So, I remember how mum loved me and that I’m not lost.” I think that this line is extremely powerful and breaks your heart in many ways. Another powerful poem that stuck out to me in this book was ‘mathematics’. This is a poem about the experience on the boat crossing the ocean. The line that sticks out to me in this poem is “rules are made with a gun and knife. And ten-year-olds take their own life.” The fact that 10-year-olds would even have to think about taking their own life is appalling and very upsetting. Overall, I think this is such a gripping journey, with tears guaranteed on each turn of the page. And think it would be a great winner to educate everyone on the importance of the challenges some people face.

Georgia

Sidcot Shadowers

I didn't really enjoy this book, it only took me 7 minutes to read and was quite confusing. The book was made up of lots of poems that formed a confusing story. My favourite poem was Five Minutes because it stood out to me as interesting and exciting. I also liked that the book had large writing and cool illustrations such as paintings and photography. The book had a common theme of love but some poems do not fit in very with the theme very well and could be put in a different book. Over all Choose Love is not my favourite but is definitely a quick and easy read and especially good for people who love poems and a confusing story line.

Grace Mrs Egan's class

Sidcot Shadowers

Alex

Ashcroft Avids

Liana

Perse Carnegians

I think that Choose Love is an excellent book that explains the story of refugees in a very interesting and unique way. I especially loved how the artwork represented what the poem said.

Imogen

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Choose Love is a collection of short and emotive poems written by Nicola Davies combined with abstract, often mostly grey paintings by Petr Horáček. Together, they depict the experiences of refugees and migrants. The raw and descriptive nature of the poetry really makes you think about the situations others are in, and how in those situations, love and kindness can go a long way. This did not take a huge amount of time to finish, but it was very moving and I did enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this to people who like reading poetry in general, or to raise awareness about this topic.

Liana

Perse Carnegians

This book is one of the deepest books l have ever read. It talks about war and it pains me to know how many people suffer every single year because of war. It hurts me deeply knowing that there are people still probably suffering because of war and l can't do anything but wish for the best. I loved this book, it shows the suffering of people going through war and how some may have came to another country whilst others just cruelly get rejected on entering a country.

Salma

Bellerive Bookies and Cookies

I think the book is really heart-touching and sad as it talks about people suffering through tough times. My favourite poem is called 'Unbroken' which just happens to be the last poem in the book. It says about a man losing his temper and breaking a cup which I guess is his mental health or something along those lines. His daughter then proceeds to take the cup and pieces and puts it back together despite it cutting her or not fitting. I think this represents her doing anything to help her dad. When she passes it back, she tells him that his cup was 'unbroken'. Overall I loved it as it really touched me and made me give hope for these people.

Esther

West Monmouth

I thought this was a pretty good book of poems but not that memorable unfortunately

Rita

SPS Shadowers

It's a short book of poems my favourite poem in the book is the one about the person who is a refugee who has their mother's only nice thing a China Cup and it broke and they are sad but their daughter puts it back together and says unbroken referencing to the fact that there is still hope for refugees

Bethany

SuAS Shadows

Choose Love by Nicola Davies really interested me. I loved how the poem was worded and how it was kept consistent. Furthermore, the notes after the book really brought the book together, giving it more context. I learned quite a lot from this powerful book, whilst thoroughly enjoying it.

Lora

Fortismere

Choose Love is an exceptional book and gives you an insight into what people feeling from their homes are experiencing. This book gives awareness about how at any time and any moment you could be fleeing from home on a crowded lifeboat not knowing where you are. Also, how the interviewers can judge you without giving a second thought. I would recommend this book to secondary school kids. The abstract art in this book really gets you thinking.

Hannah

UoBS Bookworms

These poems really brought the stories of those seeking asylum to life... The unique illustrations are perfect alongside the poems, highlighting the reality of the terrors these families endure... There are very few books that have made me feel like this, I couldn't help but get teary reading it

Mrs Newbold

TCOLC Perfictionists

Mollie

Pride and Paperbacks

This book is a lovely collection of lots of wonderful poems about hope, fear and love. It’s very empowering and if I wasn’t reading it in a library full of older school children I might have started crying. All of these poems are about refugees coming into the country and being treated horribly even after the even more horrible journeys they have just been through. So if you’re looking for a quick but beautiful book pick this up right now.

Elisa

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

An adventure worth travelling, I love this short book

Artie

Macaulay Book Club

‘Choose Love’ is a collection of poems by Nicola Davies, with illustrations by Petr Horacek. The poems are about refugees and their experiences. The collection is divided into three sections, titled ‘Departure’, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Healing’. The overall message is hinted in the title of the book and in a poem with the same title at the beginning. The book’s moral is to be welcoming to refugees because they are no different to you. For example, the poem named ‘Five Minutes’ helps you imagine what you would do if you had five minutes left in your home. What would you bring? Who would you rescue? The illustration beside it shows a vague picture of a bomb causing chaos to a city and helps the reader picture what is going on. In my opinion, this book needs to be read thoroughly and slowly to help notice the deeper meaning and think about how the title of the book relates to the story. This book may suit any age-group but some of the details might be disturbing for younger readers.

Alex

Bookwizards

The book was very beautiful and moving. I liked how the poems were written and each one was a different story. Though the book is about a sad subject it does have a more joyful ending about hope not just for the people in the stories but also for the future of everyone.

Amy

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Choose Love was a very deep, thought - provoking book about immigrants. The artwork was beautiful and extraordinary. It really emphasised the message behind the book. I liked this book and it was quite easy to read.

Shaan

Mansell Library Reviewers

This collection of enlightening poems is so powerful and beautifully written; they make you realise how lucky you are. It has really opened up my eyes to how it is just circumstance that has led me to not have experienced these awful situations. The stories of the refugees showed in poem form creates a personal and humane view of them and helps you to realise that this actually happens to people and it is not just a number glanced at on the news. The poems are so moving and passionate that it would transform the views of the stubborn and obstinate, those people who ignore the signs and cries for help and those unwilling to change their views. These captivating words show themes of endurance, resilience and hope, demanding justice for the victims on every page and shining light on topics that would otherwise be ignored. One of these poems alone would be enough to motivate you to change but as a collection they are extremely moving and allow you to observe from different perspectives and styles of writing. I would highly recommend anyone to read this book.

Florence

HHS

At first I did not have a clue what was going on because it was not the kind of book I was expecting from something shortlisted for the Carnegies but as I got further into the book it became quite emotional. The fact that war was involved and family memories and descriptions of things in such sorrowful ways, made it such a nice book I also loved the illustrations and I thought they were so powerful and linked to the poems in a deep way.

Faye

HHS

Choose Love is a book full of a series of poems from a person facing war or seeking asylum’s perspective. The poems in this book give you a realistic insight on how the minds and surroundings of people engulfed by war are like. Some poems in the book leave the reader with a thought such as the poem ‘Five Minutes’ where Davies wants us to consider if we only had five minutes what and whom would we save before catastrophe strikes. I think that Davies successfully conveys her message that we should all ‘Choose Love’ rather than anything else in our lives. As well as this Davies tells us why she wrote this book which I found quite helpful to know why she wrote such an emotional book full of poems. In my opinion, I think this book really does give you a realistic insight on the minds of people living through war so therefore, I give this book 4 stars and I would recommend you to read this.

Manas

MTS Northwood

'Choose Love', by Nicola Davies, is a short story written in a poetic style. The story revolves around the main theme of war in Syria. One thing I like about this book is the incredible artworks included. One thing I would change is the way it is written. One thing I would change is the style it is written in.

Faith

Marshland Readers

Choose Love was a nice book which was written in a very unique style, it was unlike any book I’ve read before! It highlighted the life of a refugee and was written in an emotional and poetic style. I think that despite the fact that it was written in a fairly abstract way, and each poem was short, it still excelled in helping me sympathize with the refugees that must have gone through similar traumatic experiences. However, choose love was a short book. It took me less than 5 minutes to read. While it’s nice, I would much prefer a book that could at least be of some substantial length! While it is clear that a lot of hard work was put into writing these poems, I found it hard to enjoy the book, it had no clear plotline and it was maybe something I’d be analysing in an English class, not a book that I would want to read for pleasure. There are much better ways to portray the struggles that refugees go through with literature, and while poems are nice, once again longer collections of longer poems would have been much, much better! Despite being fairly decent, this has been my least favourite read so far.

Delana

Perse Carnegians

Choose Love is a collection of poems that highlights the experience of those forced to become refugees. It was beautifully written and I could understand what most of the poems are about. I would recommend reading this book in a quiet room with nothing to disturb you---I found it easier to understand the misery the refugees experienced that way, but it still did not make me as sad as I thought it would make me.

Lara

PGHS Shadowers

Choose Love is pages of poetry about what some people have to go through in life. It is the sadness of the world, about how people are forced to leave their home and pack a small bag in 5 minutes notice. How not everyone makes it, and the ones who do are crushed with pain and sadness from loss of loved ones and the pain for what is to come. They fear the unknown and how they will cope without the ones who once brightened up their lives

Anna

Cathedral Crew

It was a great book. Very interesting! I enjoyed it very much and the poems were very interesting. They hold a important message.

Silvia

Walkden Readers

Choose Love is an incredibly good story told in poems. It hooked me in with the very first poem and I believe that others should read it too

alex

Walkden Readers

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

Jayden

UoBS Bookworms

Mabel

UoBS Bookworms

Iga

Cathedral Crew

The poem is written in a way where you get easily engaged and you get inspired by the unique style of writing as the poetic features about love are very unique and extraordinary. I would highly advice this to any 'love' genre lovers, but if you are not a fan of poems or love story's then highly not advised.

Jill

Westborough High

I've read books about asylum seekers before. The things that they go through are unimaginably horrible. Running from a country, torn apart from war, making dangerously sickening trips across oceans, where you know that less people will get off the boat than how many got on. Hostile faces turning on you with every step. However the part of the book that stuck with me most was the poem 'the interview'. the value of your life assessed, by someone whose own is too narrow to understand. Within a few moments, your asylum could be rejected. whether or not you'd lost your parents, siblings, friends or family. they could send you back, to face the trials all over again, and again and again. If only people could Choose Love over hate.

Zoë

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

It was an incredibly short read - which I assumed after borrowing it. I thought the writing would be smaller to make up for it, however, the poems in the book were extremely short and has quite large font. The illustrations were quite good, but the book was just not for me. I already don't like books with poetry and it takes a lot to convince me that it's good. The fact that the book was so short didn't allow me to enjoy it properly. I did like the themes that were meant to be presented in the poems about refugees and about heartbreak, as they are quite sensitive and deep topics. At first, I thought it would be alright due to the theme, but in the end, I didn't like it at all. It may have been because of how short it was, but it didn't give me the same sympathetic and sorrowful feel as some of the other books I have read about refugees. I would give it a 5/10

Sivithi

Plashet School

Choose Love is overall a very good book and the illustrations are beautiful and abstract. However, I didn't understand the book fully until after reading it. The storyline is slightly confusing until you have time to think about it. The book is also a nice short story and is easy to read for example I could read it in 10 mins reading in tutor. The poem I liked best was "Five Minutes". This poem stuck out to me because of the use of repetition and rhetorical questions.

Annabel

Tractor

This book was quite unusual as it contained no distinctive characters instead focused on portraying a very important message through the use of poetry. The message was conveyed quite clearly through beautiful images and poetry. However, I believe that the message surpassed the writing itself which meant I didn't sympathise with the people it was concerning as much as I would have if it had clear characters and was in a more prose style. In conclusion, this book was written very well and successfully conveyed a very important message about refugees however the style in my opinion didn't really work.

Amy

Page Turners24

'Choose Love ' is overall a really sweet book with heartfelt poems and meaningful illustrations. At first , the book seemed a bit confusing but the more I read the different poems and read the blurb the poems became more easier to understand. I would rate this book a 2.5/5 because some of poem seemed a bit confusing is not really the type of book I would choose to read over and over agian .

Paula

Lionheart24

'Choose Love' was a very sad book filled with fear, death, and terror. Beautiful illustrations and emotional poems sum up the story of departure, arrival, and the process of healing from a traumatic and scary situation. The poems are each very different and each focuses on particular themes. My favourite poem was 'Five Minutes' because it showed the hectic feelings someone has to go through. I loved it because it portrayed having to leave things, people and routines behind. The people had to flee and barely had time to even pack essentials. The illustrations were particularly unique because they had colours that fit the moods of the poems and they were positions, directions and situations portrayed in abstract and dark ways. The drawings were hard to understand but at the same time, I knew what each circle and square was supposed to be. The book is not about one family or situation but about many lives that were never fully lived. 'Not Lost' made me almost cry because it was in a way short and not giving too much away but also so sad and you could imagine what happened.

Mansuni

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Choose Love was a touching and emotional read, which I really enjoyed. Paired with excellent illustrations, the poems moved and intrigued me, whilst also prompting me to truly think about the hardships refugees experience. I very much enjoyed Choose Love and was deeply moved by its message. I would recommend it to anyone above the age of around 10, purely because some of its themes are a little upsetting.

Tamsin

St Mary’s RC High

I loved how the poems in this book subtly talked about the experiences of the refugees in a calm way. I found it really interesting to see other people's perspectives about where they've come from and where they're going. I really liked the book, and found it informative too.

Joana

Neatherd Super Readers

A strikingly poignant collection of poems, beautifully written and fittingly named after the brave humanitarian movement, "Choose Love". Each poem delivers a touching insight into refugee struggle and paired entrancingly with an equally evocative painting. Two of my favourite poems from the anthology are "5 minutes" and "Mathematics" as they exhibit a particularly heartrending revelation of the losses caused by war stricken lives - both powerfully telling the story of the overpowering pining, anguish and catastrophe that is war. Life as we know it is paused when persecution and conflict drives families away from their homes; Nicola Davies and Petr Horacek portray this brilliantly.

Kaiya

LatLit

Choose Love is a short poem book, set into 3 parts: departure, arrival, and healing. These short stories were very interesting to me and when you understand the actual meaning of the poems it can sink in on how impactful even a short story can be. The poems describes some peoples lives and how they have to seek asylum which makes the book an even more impactful one. My favourite poems were definitely 5 Minutes and Artins voyage. 5 minutes was an interesting read which made me think about the entire context and what I would do if I was in that situation of if I had 5 important minutes. Artins voyage was a peculiar one yet touching when you understand the full meaning and what happened to the actual Artin and what happened on the voyage. Although this book was just short stories, it felt like it did go on like a full book telling a story and almost going on a story. Overall Choose Love was a very enjoyable read which intrigued me into reading the next page leaving that sense of a cliffhanger if not.

Vincent

TTS Readers

Choose Love is a powerful and emotive collection of poetry, reflecting the lives and experiences of refugees stranded in Calais. I wasn’t sold on the cover artwork for this book, and I didn’t immediately see the relevance of it. As I began to read though, I really started to connect the artwork with the words and began to appreciate it a lot more. I found this book quite upsetting to read – it’s focus is on a very difficult and sad topic – and I think it’s probably not for everyone. My favourite poem is Artin’s Voyage, a harrowing telling of a young boy’s journey. It is both beautiful and reflective. The poetry in Choose Love is beautiful and I’m glad I spent time reading it and engaging with the artwork, but the sadness it exudes would probably prevent me from reading it again.

Mrs Sirrelle

BFS Umbra

'Choose Love' is a short but meaningful book. If truth to be told, I undeniably loved the fact the book was written in verse. This gave it effect and made it more memorable. It showed us the harsh reality of trying to seek asylum in todays society. It displays how loud the silence is for waiting for the trials. The interview. How quickly you can be turned away no matter how unfortunate your circumstance is. To finish, this book gave me another perspective on how hard some people have it, I would recommend if you like a sad read.

Lilly

Riverside Readers

I enjoyed majority on the book my favourite poem was Mathematics because it sort of explained the difficulties that they face. It also includes numbers like maths would and and it is like logical numbers.

Harriet

Burford School

'Choose love' is a really beautiful book-from the poems, to the pictures that express such deep emotions-I feel like this book is more than just a book, but more like a collection of life stories. The way people wrote them cast a light on the plight of refugees so they became more than just another story but a reflection on devastating realities.

maryam

Walthamstow Reading Champions

Here's our own poem, inspired by '5 Minutes by Nicola Davies (from 'Choose Love') 5 MINUTES by Vassilis and Romeo You've got five minutes until class, You don't finish this book, you don't pass. You've got five minutes to find a solution Or from your teacher you must run. Five minutes to find a résumé Or get kicked out of class by Clareh! Five minutes for an e-mail you need to send But you remember you have no friend. Five minutes to ask your classmates what they've got But they all tell you they forgot. It's been five minutes, in class, you show up But, lucky you, the teacher throws up. It's been five minutes. You are saved But then the principal comes, she is replaced. It's been five minutes, you're dead, You see the rest, you turn red. You're so scared, your hands shake, Why haven't you finished it before, for god's sake!

Roméo & Vassilis PMC

4Shadowers

This was such a heartbreaking book but written wonderfully. The poems made you feel like you were experiencing this. It made me understand so much more about seeking asylum and refugees.

Emily

Kingdown 24

I thought this book of poems was very powerful and heartwarming. It had lots of powerful words and I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes poems with emotive language.

Arabella

Kingdown 24

A really fantastic collection of poems, with flowing stanzas. It is interesting to learn that the poems revolve around true accounts, and greatly adds to the joy of reading this.

Tyler

Kingdown 24

This book was a bit confusing at first, but as I read on it just got better! I loved how it actually told real life stories in a poetic way because it makes you want to imagine how it happened. The artwork looked like it was just scribbles and splatters at first, but no. Wait. Is that a bird? Over there, is that a person? It was certainly an adventure worth travelling. 8/10 for a wonderful book.

Charlie

HHS

A riveting book that combines the truth in our world and the society’s impact interpreted throught different poems explaining refuges’ life. I love how you described the situation making us feel as the refuges. It also brings me back to reality, considering the conditions of some people going through appalling situations like war. Your book talks about a current subject as war like the ones in Ukraine or in Afghanistan. Furthermore I really appreciate the structure with the illustrations and the poems, with emotive paintings that are Heart-wrenching

Zélie PMC

4Shadowers

CHOOSE LOVE Nicolas Davies The world of the book is not familiar to me because I never had to endure war, hunger and thrust. It was not strange neither because the poems written are real life situations, which I knew about before reading the book. I do not identify with the main characters, which are boys and girls living in terrible conditions, because, like I said, I am luck that I did not have to endure any of that. The main emotions that the children experience in the poetry book are pain, despair and loneliness. Some of them lost their parents on the way and are left alone facing the dangerous and terrifying world. I have experienced lots of empathy for the children Nicol Davies described. I tried to put myself in their position and felt an ache in my heart as I did. These children have a lot of courage. In my opinion, the book tries to tell us that some countries need our help, that a lot of people are slowly but surely dying from the impact of climate change and war. I got that I am a luck girl, and I should not complain over small stuff when children my age are enduring much worse than me. I think other readers might feel sympathy for the children in the book too.

Raphaelle PMC

4Shadowers

ˋChoose Love ´ is a collection of powerful poems by Nicola Davies. The poems show the hardships a refugee has to go through. The author describes the challenges they have to face once they arrive in a new country. Most importantly, she reminds us to be kind to people, who have lost everything.

Eric

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Choose Love is a book surrounding the story of refugees and their experiences. I had mixed emotions with this book, as I’m not a big fan of poetry, and the fact that it was as short as it was. My favourite poem in this book was Hope, as it showed that even the angriest of people need hope sometimes and that when they see it, they can become hopeful as well. I think Choose Love was a very well-written book, but as I mentioned earlier, I don’t like poetry, so it didn’t have its full desire for me. Overall, I would give this book a 2/5 just because I don’t like poetry.

Tilly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I really enjoyed reading Choose Love. It is such a powerful book that makes you think a lot and helps you understand how hard it is for refugees. Many people might not see how tough their search for an asylum is, and how difficult it is to overcome the challenges they come across. It left me very pensive and surprised about how much I thought I knew and the all the other things I didn’t upon the subject. It left me more aware of the difficulties many people go through everyday. I loved the poems, and I want to thank you for writing them, they had a huge impact on me.

Elodie PMC

4Shadowers

this book is very interesting and it is a good book to read

Colin

Carnegie Festival

I really liked this book. I usually dislike poetry, but these poems were really well written. Definitely read this. :)

Tim

St. George’s Dragon Readers

Choose Love was a wonderful book full of happiness and sadness. It revealed the story of a refugee and his life. Every poem in this book told a story, a memory of something that had passed away, the pictures of course made the story even more real. All the poems were unique and different, which made the whole book come to life. It was a short read, but it will stick with me for life, I think it may have to be one of my favourites and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves poems and short reads.

Zano

Larkmead

This is a good poem book about refugees having to leave their homes because of things happening.i quite enjoyed the element of poetry and ryme.

Eleanor

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

i felt the book was very short, but you could get everything you needed from it within the few pages there were. also, the pictures were very calming and you could tell what was going on even with the unique style of art

noah

Ermysted’s

I did like this book and the poems. It is sad though that these poems are based on real events. 7/10

Ruby

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

Choose Love is an essential read. It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions with beautifully illustrated emotional poems. My favourite poem was "Five minutes". I was so overcome that I cried. recommended to all children from 10 and above.

Red

Sandroyd Bookivores

Maria

UoBS Bookworms

Nafisat

Book Busters

Very emotional and touching and overall a very good book. My favorite part was the illustrations.

Tyler

Chippy Chapters

This book by Nicola Davies was quite nice to read.Most of the poems seemed a little bit confusing at first but when you read and look into them properly you can see the deeper meaning they each had . My favourite poems were the ones that were easier to interpret as I could understand and picture them in my head better.Overall , I liked how each poem represented a part of the journey the character took and I found it quite interesting. I would give it a 8/10.

Mia

The Bentley Woodlanders

Choose love, an anthology of deeply emotive poetry on the phases of immigration, is unequivocally a tear-swelling read. It is an immersive and eye-opening collection of lyricism, one that shares the conflict refugees endure, taking the reader on a vicarious voyage, in a dual sense, both emotionally, and physically. Sure to be devoured in a single sitting, Nicola Davie’s conveniently-paced book is highly accessible, and the ultimate for those with a desire for an acute, and earnest narrative. With the supplement of the abstract yet equally evocative nature of Petr Horáček’s pieces, in my eyes, this illustrated work is truly a literary treasure.

Lily-Rose

Fortismere

This book contains powerful stories of the harsh reality of many people's lives, yet presents it in a way that is simply beautiful. The abstract, surrealist artwork reflects the passion and depths of the poems themselves in ways that I've never seen before. The writing is absolutely beautiful, but the stories behind the poems speak volumes louder. 8/10.

Imogen

Open Book

I rate this book 8/10 because I liked how it brought different people into the book at different times, giving them their own chapter. It was a very quick and easy read.

Connor R

Ermysted’s

This was a very interesting books as I would not usually read poetry but the poems were beautiful. Some of the poems were hard to understand while others were simple and heart-breaking to know that many people go through these things.

Natalie

Denbigh Shadowing Group

I found 'Choose Love' to be a very interesting book. It definitely made me think, both about asylum seekers as well as the internal struggles everyone has but you might not see. Overall I liked 'Choose Love' as a thought-provoking short read. The only problem I have with it is that he way the book is made makes it look like a children's picture book. I think that's a problem for three reasons. Firstly, most people will find it embarrassing or childish to be reading 'Choose Love' in a public situation. Secondly, as this design appeals to a younger audience, there is a chance that young people will expect differently from the book. Finally, people might 'judge the book by it's cover' and automatically disregard it as interesting read.

Dylan

Horsham BOok HUNTers

These poems were really well written and held a very important message. I just wish there were more poems to read. This book is very short, which makes sense, but i wish it was just a bit longer

Harriet

SCD Pageturners

Choose love is a poetry book written by Nicola Davies. these poems are based on the war and conflict that was in Syria. The poems make you feel a sense of empathy for the people having to seek safety by crossing seas and risking their lives from conflict. In this most heartfelt poetry book, the author raises the most important issues that we face in the world today. War torn countries and families move away from their previous lives to seek safety and build hope for their own families scary reality. some people even get killed during these events in the world. As some of the poems address, families are left grieving from family members that have lost their own lives dues to conflict or for seeking safety for their children. Nicola Davie's text deeply raises awareness and empathy for the struggles faced by many and to make sure we choose love as our response. This book was very heartfelt and heart warming and was very enjoyable even though it was for a globally serious subject. Everyone should read this book to have a deeper understanding for how easy it is to say "it is just a war" but for the people experiencing it, it is much deeper than that.

Hollie

St Patrick’s Catholic College

It took me a while to sink into to Chose love but when I did I found it very engaging. I think it was a very good that this problem was raised and the way that it was told was incredible. I enjoyed every bit from the illustrations to the authors notes which I found very interesting. I loved that I could here more about the inspiration for the poetry book.

Hazel

Fortismere

Mathys HG

4Shadowers

“Choose Love” by Nicola Davies is a wonderful book. I love how It is divided up into three sections based on departure, arrival and healing. The poems are powerful, evoking themes of survival, love, hope, and the kindness of strangers which makes you aware of some of the tragedies that are going on in this world. My favourite poem I read was the one about a Syrian woman who carried her mother’s favourite teacup all the way across Europe. Despite the trials and tribulations she faced during her journey, she remained hopeful and positive. However, when the teacup broke, she found herself crumbling. It was only when her daughter painstakingly stuck it back together that she felt restored Overall I really love this book and I am really glad that I spent my time reading it.

Joe

Perse Carnegians

Choose love It is a book speaking of the real life experiences of refugees who were forced to evacuate their home country to seek help and safety, and the ways that people's lives have been ruined by wars and conflict Overall some of the poems didn’t add up or just didn’t make full sense to me. But I would understand if someone did like the book as on each page there was imagery to show the feelings of the people who had to experience the struggles of fleeing from their home country. Personally, I would recommend this book to someone who likes poetry, someone who has experienced hardship themselves or someone who doesn’t appreciate what they already have.

Cameron

Glossopdale Readers

‘Choose Love’ is a selection of poems about immigrants on their journeys to safety. The book is illustrated by Petr Horacek with surreal, impressionist images that give the reader an idea of the chaos in the lives of those seeking refuge. The poems are inspired by real-life stories and the book aims to share these stories and give the reader an insight into their experience. On the whole, I liked ‘Choose Love’. My favourite poem was ‘Hope’ because I felt inspired that in spite of the boy losing his family to violence, he was able to find hope. I felt that the book achieved its aim at making me think more deeply about the struggles of people in other countries. I also like that the poems were structured in three sections - Departure, Arrival and Healing - making it easier to follow. It was interesting to read about the ‘Choose Love Charity’ and the work they do within thirty-three countries. I would recommend reading this book, to people who like poetry and learning about people.

Sidney

Glossopdale Readers

The book Choose Love by Nicola Davies shows real life stories in which people can relate to and feel sympathy towards the people in the short poems that she has written . In these poems the theme of all the poems combined together is about refugees forced to leave their home with an unknown future. This also spreads awareness about the stories that the writer tells through using emotion and making people relate to this as it happens in the real world . I would recommend this book to people who are older, ranging from 12-16 as it goes through deeper subjects that happen in reality. Something that would be better would be a more in depth and clear story as some parts can become confusing .

Alfie

Glossopdale Readers

I enjoyed this book and how all the poems were from different people with similar experiences. A poem that really resonated with me was 'Mathematics', because it shows how maths is a universal language and everyone can transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. Another poem I liked was 'not lost'. Overall, I was fond of all the poems and the meanings behind them

Laura resubmitted 14 May

St Augustine’s Challenge

Choose Love is book filled with beautifully written poems that represent refugees' journeys. It is split into 3 sections: departure, arrival and healing. I really liked this book because it told stories clearly and had abstract illustrations for every poem. I especially liked the one called 'Mathematics' as it uses simple numbers to covey how painful leaving your home/country is. I highly recommend this book for if you would like to know more about refugees and their journeys.

Grace resubmitted 14 May

St Augustine’s Challenge

this book moved me to put it simply it really made me look at the world and think wow some people are suffering so much and we really take it for granted this book was more than just a poem book it really made me reconsider my world view.

benjy

Fortismere

This was a very powerful book. With very meaningful poems on loss and life after war. But At many times I did not understand what was going on. It was a very good book nevertheless. Very insightful on the struggles of refugees. Provoking many profound emotions. A very good book.

Martha

Fortismere

Pride and Paperbacks

Pride and Paperbacks

‘Choose Love’ is a very interesting, illustrated book of poems. It provides the experience of refugees who are forces to leave their homes, sometimes family & friends, their past and travel to an unknown future. It is like a reminder that refugees who have spoken about it on social media are also humans and people with feelings. The poem which really touched my heart was ‘NOT LOST’ where I cried so much while reading it; the part where it says ‘I hold still, on a string…’ in the poem shows the strength and preciousness of something still held. I recommend this book if you want to learn about refuges, what they went through and how they try to build their life in a strange new place.

Anita

Lionheart24

Gwen

Pride and Paperbacks

this was a beautiful set of poems that were very well written. however, there was no storyline

Noah

Holmfirth High Yoto Crew!

Such beautiful poems that conveyed the struggles of refugees in a different way.

Kendra

Team CHSG

Despite being short, this book is both thought provoking and easy to interpret read. Davies balances poem with twisted metaphors with readability, taking the reader on an emotional rollercoaster which pulls all the heart strings through empathy.

Abbas

MTS Northwood

Choose love is a beautiful and very sad poem book about refugees and their journeys. From the meaningful illustrations to the powerful, well written words displaying the stong themes of hope, sadness and tragedy, this book is perfection. Recommended short read.

Elsie

St Kaths

Choose love is a quick read. After reading it I didn't feel the same way as most people I talked to about it. While Choose love tells important and emotional stories, I find that it fails to capture the raw emotion that other books about similar topics bring. Choose love was quick but disappointing. Maybe not a complete waste of time, but nowhere near the standard of some other books being nominated.

Kezia

County Shadows

This book full of poems is heart breaking and filled full of experiences with people not knowing how to move on. It reflects on current times right now that we are facing in war and heart break.

Mirabelle

STCCG Shadowing

This book was beautiful. It had beautiful illustrations, that perfectly reflected the strong, powerful and sad poems. The book is quite short and depicts the different stages a refugee must go through, whilst escaping their country and trying to find asylum. This book was informative but hard-hitting as every word seemed perfect in each poem and it conveyed how difficult and strenuous life can be for a refugee. Overall, this book is brilliant!

Emily

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Eva

Pride and Paperbacks

This book is about refugees and it reflects their experiences. What I liked about this book is that the poems make you think deeply and it helped me to empathise with people who experience this kind of hardship. My favourite poem in this collection is called "the interview" I highly recommend you read this book however some poems I found difficult to understand until I read them several times. Overall I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 and I would recommend this book to everyone I know because I feel like everyone should have the chance to read such a meaningful book!

Vian

Walthamstow Reading Champions

I really recommend Choose Love because it really made me feel as if I was in the narrator's head. I put myself in the refugees' shoes and felt empathy for them. This book is a rollercoaster of poems going through highs and lows. It also gave a sense of how people would feel in the wars and I loved the drawings, they gave me a picture in my head. The pictures that were not so clear made me think that the whatever is going on in the narrator's head was reflected in the pictures' chaos.

Amelia

Sandroyd Bookivores

I believe that this book is a very well written and illustrated book. One of the features I especially liked about the book was how it had 3 sections of the persons life, Departure, Arrival and Healing. I like how this showed all of the different emotions of the voyage by colour coding, for example, departure was dark colours like orange and dark blue, arrival was in the middle colours like dark green and red and Healing was light colours like teal and green. I also like the way in which the images really represent the text and show the true meaning of these short, dramatic, brave and somehow entertaining poems

Mattia

Fortismere

I did not enjoy this book. This is because it did not have a lot of context and it was just very sad. I found it most upsetting when the main character lost their family but it was good when they found people to stay with. I would recommend this book to people who like a sad and depressing story line but you always hope made it through everything and did not die… This book was very short and had lots of pictures. This story would be good for people who wanted to get into reading but maybe find it hard to find a book that suits them. On the other hand, the way the author told the story and made you feel like you were there was on another level to most of the books that I read on a day to day basis most of the time.

Phoebe

GreatB00ks

I liked this book since it's unique to other books. It is a poem book but you read it like a regular book. It is themed on kindness/generosity. One thing I would like to improve on is to make it longer as it is quite short for a book.

Oli`

Plumites

Very short but interesting. It was well illustrated. I liked the abstract art in the book

Esther

GreatB00ks

I really recommend Choose Love because it really made me feel as if I was in the narrator's head. I put myself in the refugees' shoes and felt empathy for them. This book is a rollercoaster of poems going through highs and lows. It also gave a sense of how people would feel in the wars and I loved the drawings, they gave me a picture in my head. The pictures that were not so clear made me think that the whatever is going on in the narrator's head was reflected in the pictures' chaos.

Amelia

Sandroyd Bookivores

I loved this poetry book and how it really brings light to what life is like for refugees and how they live, it does talk about a very heavy topic with some of the poems such as in 'mathematics' it talks about 10 year olds taking their lives and people falling into the sea but overall i really liked this book.

felix

Ermysted’s

This book is an incredibly powerful story of acceptance and empathy for those that our suffering. The poems are very beautiful and although the book is short it is impactful as well as an important at this time.

Mia

CNS Shadows 24

'Choose Love' is a truly influential, sad book of poetry that really spells out the experiences of what refugees go through, when fleeing a war raging in their country or home. Poems in the book also show that the refugees became emigres which would be hard for them to do. The poetry passionately, convey their struggles, losses and hardships that they had to face in those horrible times, and the illustrations on each page for each poem imply the strong emotions and feelings the refugees felt during and after those life-changing events. I love the book of poetry, although, some of it was hard to understand.

Morinola

St Clere’s School

I really don't have much to say about this book. To put it simply, it's a short but well-put together series of poems, that all fit into one experience that seems accurate enough to what it's meant to represent. I love the way it manages to symbolise the experience of immigration and migration in such odd ways, such as Spiderman or Maths. Really, my only complaint is that it's not long enough to enjoy fully, although that's only a minor flaw compared to the many qualities that this book has.

Ilias

St Clere’s School

In this book there were multiple strong meaning poems but I couldn't really put all the poems together to understand the whole story. This book isn't my favourite out of the other books I've read so far. It would've been interesting for the book to have a summary of all the poems at the back so for the people who couldn't really get the full picture of the story could understand its meaning more. Overall I would rate this book a 2.25 out of 5

Inaayah F

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book invites readers to understand and support refugees with empathy and compassion. Through simple storytelling and heartfelt illustrations, the book encourages us to choose love in our responses to the refugee crisis, reminding us of the power of kindness and understanding in making the world a better place for everyone. In my opinion, it is a lovely book. I appreciated how straightforward it was to understand, and the poems were truly beautiful.

Julia

St Augustine’s Challenge

Choose Love is a collection of poems that describe the journey of refugees who are fleeing war. I loved how this book was split into different parts which help to create a sense of journey as well. One of my favourite poems was Artin’s Voyage because even though it has a heart-breaking meaning behind it, this poem is beautifully conveyed and the picture with it really sums up the poem perfectly. I have to admit to crying when reading this book as poems such as Artin’s Voyage and Mathematics really do portray what kids sometimes the same age as us have to go through. I would give this book a 8.5/10 and definitely recommend this book to someone who doesn’t mind crying.

Jemimah

KES Bookworms

Carlie & Iris PMC

4Shadowers

Zélie PMC

4Shadowers

Justine & Quentin PMC

4Shadowers

Scarlett PMC

4Shadowers

Donghui PMC

4Shadowers

Claire PMC

4Shadowers

Ava

Tractor

I think that the author really captured the emotions and pain that a refugee experiences, leaving everything and everyone they loved behind, and being expected to live through without support. It is written in 3 sections, and each poem has its own illustrations. I think that the painting tells and expresses the emotions in the poems, and the colours are beautiful. I love the message: choose love every time.

Mila

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I really enjoyed this book, which is a collection of poems about refugees, it is a quick read, but that doesn't take away from its beaty. It has some lovely poems, my favorite one was five minutes.

Estlin K

Ermysted’s

I really liked this book because it conveyed so much emotion , despair , love and hope . My favourite poem was called unbroken . It was about how something got broken however her daughter managed to fix it . This represents that even if something goes wrong and you think nothing can be done to fix it , there is always hope . It is an amazing book and I 10/10 recommend

Holly H

VISTA Academy

This book was intriguing and still was able to pull at my heartstrings. It may have been short, but I truly felt this one had some meaning, whereas other books somehow felt blank. I would have liked more poems though.

Ankita

Bishop Bookworms 2024

I found this to be a really short and sweet book that doesn't overstay its welcome. The poems touch on the topic of immigration and how difficult it is wich is a topic that needs to be talked about more often and the paintings by Petr Horacek are simple but always fit the theme of the poem. I also like how anecdotal each poem is, they usually concern a specific person and their own struggles which let me connect with the stories. An hour of reading that was well worth it.

Alexander

THS Shadowing

I found this book of poetry incredibly powerful. Alongside the beautiful illustrations, these heartbreaking yet hopeful poems gave me, as a reader, an insight into the lives of refugees. This book was very important, valuable, which was certainly worth the read. I rate it 4/5.

Verity

Norwich High School Bookworms

This is an amazing book. I am not a fan of poems however I have to make an exception for this one. It's an amazing emotional book that is really easy to understand. I love that with some poems she included a little explanation about what it is they have to go through in order to seek refuge.

Izzy

Tenbury Page Turners

I really enjoyed how moving and realistic it felt. It made me think that I was one of the people on that boat.

Bethany kn

Ely College Reading Group

I really enjoyed this book, at first i thought i may not enjoy it, but in the end it was really heartwarming. I really like the unique way of getting the experience across of a refugee. The words used were extremely helpful to describe the emotion they might go through. With the pictures, it was even more in depth and it really gets you to emphathise. The way they have presented the problem in a book, is also very informative, because it is written like it is in first hand view.

Krupa

TCOLC Perfictionists

I loved this book as it tells us to appreciate the people around us and cherish them. The story is about Syrian refugees who have struggled and are struggling in life due to the ongoing violence and the sorrow that they hold deep in their heart for their lost loved ones. The title really holds its meaning as it shows us that if love prevailed over evil, this would not have occurred.

Ghaania

Plashet School

This book contains a series of poems which reminds the audience of the suffer refugees are facing, for each poem, partners a sketch in an abstract style. Overall, this book is a quick and captivating read but should have hade more poems to complete it in a chronological order.

Swan

Denbigh Shadowing Group

I thought this book had good ideas, meanings, drawings, and words, but I didn't really like the book. I thought it was quite slow to be interested in.

Ben

Denbigh Shadowing Group

This book is a collection of poems telling a story about a refugee seeking asylum in another country and the challenges they face because of it. I thought that Horacek's illustrations were rather nice and the message the book is conveying is very powerful and some of the use of rhyme was very effective and funny in places. Overall though, I am not much of a fan of poetry, which made it hard to follow the narrative in places and was quite vague in some ways (which made it difficult to hold my interest). I would give it one star out of five (too abstract).

Bahja

Rockwood Reads

This book was very interesting and emotional. I thought this book's genre was about romance and love stories, but it was actually about war. I nearly shed a tear reading this, especially the part when the tea pot was broken. I give this a 5 star. I also liked how they put colourful images to represent emotions and that it was very unique. This poem is amazing and I would love to read more like these.

Samah

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book was okay. It was a very confusing book- you only realise the idea and whats the book circulates around after the first 6-7 pages. The poems and art are very nice and I like them, although they are a bit cryptic with their messages which makes it hard to understand and therefore is give it 3.76 out of 5 stars. Just for the people who haven't read it and are wondering what its about ( or you have and your just confused) it is about war and the authors life in it as a refugee.

Ayyub

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book has 12 different poems about real life experiences of refugees. The illustrations are from Petr Horacek and the talented poet Nicola Davies. My favourite poem is Mathematics. It is about the number of people traveling from their homes country to a new country in search of hope and refuge. I feel emotional when reading it as over 200 people are in search of a new beginning. They have given up everything and are now left with nothing. What I think the author is trying to convey is that it is so painful to leave everything and still have the possibility of not making it out alive. Personally, I would rate this book 8 out of 10 as I like how you are able to empathise for their hardships. I think the pictures paint a realistic scenario for what is going on. However, I would have liked it even better if the pictures are more detailed and to know whose story it is in particular and their age to see how young or old they are when experiencing these difficulties.

Sana

Plashet School

I felt that despite the cliched, cringey title, Choose love was a thought-provoking book that really helped me understand the plight that refugees face. The content was often extremely depressing, but the art and the brutal truths of the poems helped convey the deeper meaning. I don't think I can say that I enjoyed the book due to the sadness of the message, but I found this book one of the hardest-hitting.

Zac

CGS CAKE Club

It is a sad book but that is what makes it good. There are a lot of emotions packed in this book. I feel that the author should have chose a better title because it is very baffling.

Parth

CGS CAKE Club

It was really nice poetry and I found the story very sad though.

Chloe

Herts and Essex

“I found “Choose Love” entertaining to read, but I am sorely disappointed at the lack of content in the book, with only 40 pages, including forewords and information about the Choose Love charity. I enjoyed some of the poems in the book, including “Mathematics,” which describes the number of war survivors dying or being injured; “The Interview,” which has the reader in the point of view of an interviewer who shrugs off an asylum seeker’s claim due to distrusting her; and “Hope,” which uses a sunflower growing from a survivor of war’s pot as a metaphor for hope. Out of the three sections, the “Arrival” section was my favourite, as it had the most impactful poems since they displayed the most tedious part of the immigrant’s journey and the fear they felt being denied asylum. I didn’t enjoy “This Moment” and “Spiderman” quite so much, as I found the themes somewhat repetitive throughout the poems and a lack of storytelling

Chao

The Lotus Readers

Posh

Fiction Addiction

Choose Love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horacek is an inspirational poem book that is suitable for people who would like a quick fifteen minute read. This collection of poems are about refugees and their struggles. If you deeply analyse the words and language methods of the poems, you can het a true insight of what life is like having little identity and going through various struggles. I recommend this book to adults not due to inappropriate content but the fact that it does not hook children and make them want to carry on reading. I would rate this book a one point five out of five stars . (The illustrations are debatable also.)

Posh

Fiction Addiction

I enjoyed this book and how all the poems were from different people with similar experiences. A poem that really resonated with me was 'Mathematics', because it shows how maths is a universal language and everyone can transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. Another poem I liked was 'not lost'. Overall, I was fond of all the poems and the meanings behind them.

Laura

St Augustine’s Challenge

Overall, I really don't understand why this was chosen, as it comes across more as a poetry anthology rather than a book, since this is the Carnegie Book Award. If I ignore that, I found the poems alongside the gestural drawings to be interesting and a very moving read. I hope this gets nominated for a poetry award at somepoint because it's genuinely fantastic.

Maddy

Carnegie Carnage

I noticed it was in first person and it stayed that way through out the book. I like it how there is a full-page picture next to the writing and not a tiny one. Some people may say that they don't like the pictures because it looks like scribbles but on some of them the picture is clear. For example the one on the page titled 'unbroken' you can see that it shows a teacup. Towards the end of the book it shows some websites that you can go onto and I think that is very useful if you want to learn more about the book. Also I like how the author wrote about why she wanted to write this book and what inspired her to do so. I think by writing about that it connects you with the author and makes you feel more connected with the book.

kacie

KES Readers

Everyone

Beechen Cliff

A Boy Trapped in a Locker A boy, trapped in a locker. It hasn't been cleaned in years. There is nothing particularly special about it. The darkness wraps itself around us. I'm squeezed out. Literally. I'm a bag of fidgets Just seeking out a little comfort I feel the blood in my body The curiosity still itches at me But nothing makes a difference Privacy must be respected. In order to write this poem we took phrases from all the shortlisted books and put them on slips of card. We then arranged them in lots of different ways to create poems. Some were very silly and some made no sense at all. We began to see a theme in some of the phrases. They linked to talk about mental health and we like the phrase 'A boy trapped in a locker' as a metaphor for feeling depressed and isolated. From this point, the poem became much easier, especially when we chose the end line 'Privacy must be respected.' This is important because even though the narrator is sad and feels trapped, he doesn't want others to know this is happening to him. This is a great way to generate a poem if you aren't sure where to start!

Everyone

Beechen Cliff

Choose Love is book filled with beautifully written poems that represent refugees' journeys. It is split into 3 sections: departure, arrival and healing. I really liked this book because it told stories clearly and had abstract illustrations for every poem. I especially liked the one called 'Mathematics' as it uses simple numbers to covey how painful leaving your home/country is. I highly recommend this book for if you would like to know more about refugees and their journeys.

Grace

St Augustine’s Challenge

The book has a sad meaning and portrays the theme very well, a good read for sure.

Holly

SCD Pageturners

this was a very hard hitting book . i enjoyed the use of pictures and despite its short length, it sent the message across very well. despite minimal writing, it is the book with the most effort put into it in my opinion. would recommend

Sammy

Ermysted’s

I enjoyed the Poetry, However I'm Unsure where this book fits into the Carnegie Awards for writing.

angus

Chiswick Carnegie

Daisy P

BFS Umbra

Sophia

BFS Umbra

Choose Love is a lovely, illustrated poetry book with 13 poems all about the journey of refugees and how they struggle and how much they lose. Heartwarming at some points but others it makes you feel like you need to make a change. Overall, I think it is an amazing read and who ever reads this will feel challenged to make a change to the way refugees are treated. Stars out of five it would have to be five because of how it shows the experience of refugees in a few poems and how it shows us we need to make a change. I think it is a wonderful book, I really liked how the illustrations went with each poem and the colour palette, I have written a poem about refugees below. Long journeys challenging and dangerous. Over thousands of miles they travel with one thing, hope. Very tired they arrive, but they are not welcomed by some, but they still have their fire burning bright. Eventually they know they will find a permanent safe home where they will be accepted.

Sophia

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Although it was very quick to read, the message of the book had a deep and purposeful meaning. However, the cover you could say was misleading. This is because you would expect the book to be a romance based on the title but instead it was talking about the pain that asylum seekers and refugees go through. It was a great way of teaching readers about other’s struggles which personally made me feel thankful for my opportunity of having a good life.

Zoya

Watford Girls

The poems put me in the shoes of the refugees living their experiences and seeing the world from their perspective which we rarely hear about. Some of the poems, such as Artin' s voyage, are quite harrowing but there is also a thread of hope in the collection as a whole. the poems are written in different styles to appeal to all. The poems' focus on the refugees' humanity and the need to support and show sympathy to these people. I would recommend the poems to older readers because some of the poems consider sensitive topics and can provoke strong emotions but the poems have more impact as a result of this.

Florence

Fiction Addiction

The series of poems were exceptionally well-crafted, delicately expressing the heartbreaking struggles and obstacles immigrants experience and endure. It was profoundly moving, resonating with me on a personal level as it reflected on my own parents’ journey. One of my favourite poems from the series was “5 minutes” alongside “Mathematics”, especially the line:”maths of misery”. As a student familiar with poetry and having a growing passion for literature, I was able to delve into the intricate layers of meaning within the poems and the accompanying paintings. However, I noticed that younger students found it challenging to grasp the underlying emotions, leading me to believe that as much as I cherished this piece, its depth may limit its accessibility to a broader audience.

Malak

TCOLC Perfictionists

Choose Love is a collection of poems, and accompanying artwork by Petr Horáček, that highlights the experience of those who are forced to leave their homes to seek asylum. It is not an easy read. As the sequence of events unfolds; the decision to leave, the journey and arrival in a new country, the poems capture the emotions, tough decisions and tragic outcomes faced by those displaced. Through her words, Davies challenges the reader to put themselves in the place of those forced to leave behind their homes and lives and made me question how people who are labelled as 'asylum-seekers' are sometimes portrayed by the UK press, politicians and on social media. In the notes at the end of the book the author reminds us that 'nothing but circumstance separates any of us from the experience of being a refugee'. While this may be the shortest of the nominated books to read, Davies’s words are sure to stay with me, and remind me to choose love, whenever I read about those seeking asylum.

Mrs W

SCD Pageturners

I personally had a great time reading this book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is in need of inspiration or emotionally motivating poems. These poems have a great and deeply selected choice of wording. It’s jam-packed with a bunch of details and well drawn pictures, and a fairly quick read.

William

St. George’s Dragon Readers

A heartfelt collection of poems that truly reflects the difficult struggle of refugees, from the dangerous, war-stricken streets, to the oceanic journey across the channel. Gives a real meaning to the word 'refugee'.

Thomas

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

Penny

Sandroyd Bookivores

I think that the subject of Choose Love was very powerful, strong and meaningful, but couldn't be conveyed through such a short, quick book. I felt as if the subject needed a little more justice in order for the idea to really erect feeling. Also, I didn't think that there was a clear plot to the book, as it couldn't really be decided whether each page was from a different perspective.

Freya

Broadland Bookworms

Choose Love is a great book that helps people learn about refugees through the world of poetry. I liked most of the poems, but some of them I couldn't really understand.

Eliza

Broadland Bookworms

Choose Love is a great poetry book. It is a book filled with feeling. The Poems are fantastic and they touch on the challenges that people in real life experience. The sections in the book are like a journey through the stages of life's traumatic experience, fleeing from everything you've ever known and starting a new life is scary and this book emphasises this.

Catalina

Camden School for Girls

I really loved this book because of the story it told through the different poems. It told a story of many aspects of war and finding refuge. Another aspect that I thought was really good were the references to real world people, for example the heartbreaking poem called Artin's voyage.

Marianne

Camden School for Girls

This book was quite short but the poems were very emotive and the artwork matched the poems very well.However it could have been better if it was longer.

Sayuru

Ermysted’s

Choose love is a beautiful yet quick read in which I got just a small insight into the trauma so many people go through these days. I believe that no one should miss out on this book and anyone can read it.

Beth

SHSK Shadowers

Even though this book is quite short, it’s an interesting read. The book did still have the story aspect, like how they go on a journey, but it still used a poetic format. This book did carry some serious meaning as of which being an asylum seeker, but the way the author wrote it was incredibly well executed. As well, I did like how it was split into different sections and paintings, showing the journey the characters went through.

Thea

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Most of the poems in the book I understood but some really made my head itch and couldn't really get around it. My favourite ones were not as complex with twisted metaphors; they were more simple and conveyed their messages clearly. A few of my favourites being 'Unbroken' and 'The Interview.'

Hellen

MCM Shell Readers

‘Away with Words’ by Sophie Cameron is a masterpiece with a concept worthy of gold. This novel follows Gala ( who just moved her whole life from Cataluña, Spain to Fortrose, Scotland to live with her dad’s boyfriend, Ryan ) in a world where words are physical objects that fall out of your mouth in different fonts, sizes and colours depending on your mood, personality and volume. There she meets Natalie, a girl with selective mutism ( meaning her anxiety makes her mute near new people and uncomfortable situations) who picks up other people’s words and presses them into paper, making poems and preventing the words from disintegrating. Gala befriends Natalie and starts making poems too but not soon after an anonymous bully starts spreading harmful poetry around school… This concept is unique and interesting and I would love to see more of Gala and her friends. Overall, I love this book and give it a solid 9.7/10!

Hope

The John Mason Shadowers

‘Choose Love’ by Nicola Davies is an emotive collection of poems inspired by true stories of warfare and refugees. Split into three sections ( Departure, Arrival and Healing), these poems contain real life experiences of people who had to sacrifice everything to flee to safety but are still turned away by people unwilling to accept these people into their homes. Some of the most well written, rhythmic poems are ‘Mathematics’, which describes the perils of the fatal journey many refugees face, and ‘Artin’s Voyage’, a poem that describes how a young toddler - named Artin - drowned at sea and washed upon a beach after failing three times to cross the English Channel and escape from war. These poems shine a light on what is happening and how refugees must feel, almost bringing me to tears. Illustrated by Petr Horáček, these poems come to life with the help of abstract oil paintings that accompany these lonely tales throughout the pages. An amazing piece of pure artistry, a definite 7.9/10!

Hope

The John Mason Shadowers

This book was a very quick read but I have to say I enjoyed every second of it. I loved the poems and the deeper meaning behind the book. I felt real emotional connection with the book as I have personally opened up my homes to refugees and so have a personal connection. It was an amazing quick read and would recommend for someone looking for an emotional rollercoaster at the same time as not needing to take much time from there lives.

Ava

Dallam Bookclub

I loved this book. The poems were short and easy to interpret, while also having deeper meanings if you look closely. I especially liked that the first poem had a very similar first line to 'Ozymandius', which was also about real events put into words. The fact that these poems were based on true events is remarkable, and the images to go alongside them really helped to convey that message.

Lydia

LSST Library Shadowers

'Choose Love' is a very special book that really surprised me. It is a book of poems together with beautiful paintings. The poems are all about a journey of a refugee, and describe the refugee's life from when the evil comes into their home through to the fear of the abandonment of their land to the arrival to the new place. It was sad at times and it made me think of all the refugees and wars happening in the world now. The art is also very inspirational and shows, with very few brushworks, the sadness, the fear, but also the hope and joy of the refugees.

Lucia

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This novel is written as two very different stories. In the first story, the reader learns about Kofi Offin’s normal, carefree childhood near Kumasi in the Asante Kingdom, East Africa. His growing up is dramatically interrupted when his brother kills the prince of a rival tribe and Kofi Offin is kidnapped, along with several others from his tribe, and is sold to the British as a slave in retaliation. The second story tells of the journey into slavery and its physical and emotional hardships. It is a very moving tale that demonstrates the injustice of enslaving fellow humans and the damage it causes. Told through verse, the descriptions of people and places are brief and effective, giving the reader a clear insight into Kofi’s world. The characters felt real, like people you might meet today, despite being set over a century ago. Life on board the slave ship was authentically portrayed and cleverly contrasted with his uneventful childhood in his tribal village. In a matter of days, his life transformed from safe and carefree to life-threatening, vividly described in the torture and brutal death of his older brother. This marks a turning point after which the slaves are bundled into the ship and an unknown future. The narrative is engaging and the reader wants to know what happens to Kofi in the end, however, we are left not knowing his fate which in some ways was a little disappointing. But maybe this is the point: we do not know what happened to so many of those sold into slavery.

Gabriel

Euro Bookworms

This book is what I would call interesting because it mostly just talks about humanity and emotions. This book is definitely not for me because I prefer stories and adventure books because they are more interesting to read, however this was a quite enjoyable book to read because the paintings in the sides really helped me understand what the author meant. This was definitely not one of my favourite books but I’m pretty sure other people would like it. The structure of the book also doesn’t make sense to me because it’s like every page is a new chapter with another emotion being described. The first half of the book is also quite depressing but the second half is more about hope , but overall it was a really good book and I think that people should read it to understand what people are going through in life.

Manu

Chiswick Carnegie

Ok so I think I was wrong before this book... Choose Love made me cry and even I’m not usually emotional. As I was reading this book I finally understood the pain and stress that that other people go through and I thought my life was hard, but now I am really grateful for basic things that I have like a place to stay or even a water bottle because these people don’t even have that.

Tiolu

STCCG Shadowing

I thought this was beautifully written and colourfully presented. It tells the stories of those who have had to experience trauma as refugees. I think it also represents those who may feel their voices are unheard.

Harriet

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

I really enjoyed this book, it was a very short and touching . It conveyed the struggle of refugees very well. The use of abstract art was creative and powerful. It allowed you to have empathy and understanding of the way refugees feel.

Talya

Fortismere

It was a very different book than others that I have read . A very good book !

Humera

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

This was a heartfelt, lovingly written book that I really enjoyed. I don’t normally like poem books but this one was a well deserved exception.

Maya

Herts and Essex

I thought this book was an interesting and emotional way of expressing the experiences of a refugee. I also felt that this book was inspiring and fully explained the life of a refugee through poems.

Maya

Page Turners24

Choose love, although being in a different format than most books on the shortlist, meets the criteria for judging. The book conveys a general plot and follows a few simple themes. The book has many characters, all given their own story and personality. From a short poem, I understood the character of a young girl, scared of what will happen. The style of Choose Love, as said before, is different to the other books, with less words and content, however it still conveys a strong message.

Dhiren

MTS Northwood

In my opinion, Choose Love was a good book with a nice range of poems and drawings. Choose Love did not grab my interest as much as I would have liked, but overall it was a good book.

Sam

Kesgrave Bookworms

Choose Love is a beautiful collection of poems that explore the true stories of asylum seekers arriving in new countries. Through the incredible imagery that Davies creates, we explore the harsh realities that refugees face every day, from having to leave behind everything they have known to making the terrible journey to another country and the discrimination they face when they arrive. Assisted by Horacek’s inspirational illustrations, these poems plant the seeds of empathy and understanding in the reader, with the aim of creating a better world for everyone. Poetry creates extremely vivid, raw emotion in such a short space of time and Davies has harnessed its potential perfectly in order to really evoke a sense of compassion in the reader. She has captured the pain of being an asylum seeker in an unfamiliar country so perfectly, giving a voice to those who don’t have one and helping her audience to see why we should treat everyone with kindness. In our modern world, books on this topic are becoming increasingly important as tolerance is vanishing rapidly and refugees are being treated almost as less than human. Davies has truly inspired empathy through her beautiful poetry. I believe that everyone should read this book at least once in their life as it gives a brilliant viewpoint into the lives of others. Compassion and kindness is always important and one of the best ways to build it is through reading and exploring other people’s experiences. I would recommend Choose Love to everybody as its poems and artwork are absolutely mesmerising. I would rate it 4.7 stars out of five.

Emma

Glossopdale Readers

I found this book both beautiful and moving. I was captivated by 'Artin's Voyage' which bought me and my group to tears.

Lisa

Carnegie and Cake

The book “Choose Love” explores many themes including the path for refugees trying to escape. Davies describes this refugee journey through poems, giving the reader a feel of imagination. As this book is quite short and only consists of poems, it is quite hard to grasp the main essence of the book. Although, the way it is told with the sympathy of refugees escaping from multiple war-occupied zones is very touching. The way that the author brings those tragedies to us, helping us understand what refugees truly feel. It also helps us understand our privilege to be in one place, settled and in a place free of war. Every poem suggests a different theme and aspect of what refugees feel, making us understand and empathise more with those who are refugees. The variated style of poems captures the readers attention more, as the sections are really short yet engaging. This engagement helps with the focus on the various sections of the book, capturing the attention of the reader. Understanding the experiences of refugees is vital, as it gives us a different aspect on life which isn’t ours. The writer’s style is very fitting with the style of the book, being mindful of things said as well as giving the room for the reader to flourish with opening a new aspect of life and seeing the lives of those who struggle.

Liuba Mrs.Egan’s class

Sidcot Shadowers

Choose love is a well written and thoughtful book, it can make you think how others lives are effected and make you more aware of the world outside of own small section of life. The poems were beautifully written and gave you an insight as to how life for someone in other areas can pan out. Some of the poems could be quite emotional and indulge the reader and make them want to read on.

Esmée - Mrs Egan's class

Sidcot Shadowers

Choose love: I really enjoyed this book, it was very mind opening and thoughtfully written. The poems really get to you and teach you a lot about refugees. Many of these poems are really sad and heart hitting but I find that this is very important and a key part of the book, because it really brings to mind, and to heart, the pain and suffering these people have been through and the true tragedy of the lives constantly and continuously lost. The poems were written respectfully and gave different perspectives of refugees and their journeys. Each poem had a different style to it which made the book more engaging, less predictable and more emotional. The poems discussed experiences from different ages and groups which again added a really powerful emotional toll towards the reader, making them sympathise and further understand the crisis.

Maud

Sidcot Shadowers

I think some of the poems were really good and you could understand the message that they were trying to make on the other hand some were really long and end up just forgetting the message . I found the illustrations were unique but also really beautiful and some tied in with the poem

evie

Malvern St James

I don't really like this book. It is quite short and the poems are really sad. I do like the fact though that in one of the poems it explained the backstory of the poem and it makes the reader feel how sad it actually is. It's not just poetry but facts. Overall I would reccomeand and this book to middle ages for children to learn the facts in school. For younger ones it might be too depressing and for older ones it may be too easy.

Grootie

Burford School

A very good book!. I loved the poems and it was very emotional to read. 9/10 :):

Emilie

Rebel Readers

This book is filled with absolutely beautiful poems that represents the struggle of many refugees. As I read this book I could feel the emotion that was put into. Despite this book being short and describing events in poems It is still a story and it doesn’t focus on a main character but a group of people which makes this book really unique.

Phoebe

Herts and Essex

Choose love is the message of this book from the beginning thrrough to the end through the war and destruction based on the destruction and poverty the Syrian war this book is a quick read with a strong message

Mariama

CTA Book Club

When I first saw the shortlist for the Carnegie book prize I was surprised to find a poetry book within the list. May I just say that Choose Love fully deserves this place. It might not have many words, only one is more than three stanzas, but those that are there count. The book is separated into three sections: Departure, Arrival and Healing. Each section contains a sequence of four poems which has resulted in a rather slim book. More akin to a picture book than a hard hitting poem collection. To keep the poetry company is beautiful artwork which compliments the poems. This book covers important topics in a new, interesting way. I would highly recommend this book. Although it did not take me long to read this I reread it at least thrice. I would give it: 8/10. On a final note this book is dedicated to its namesake charity.​

Ben

KES Bookworms

Imagine a world where you are always fighting for survival, where you must always look over your shoulder, where you are always, always on the run. Sounds like some terrible post-apocalyptic world, doesn't it? Well, what if I told you, it was a reality; that some people had to live in this terrible world you're imagining. Choose Love is an anthology about the world of refugees fleeing from the middle east. Its powerful stanzas and deep illustrations provide and insight into the troubled lives of these people. I really love the way the poems in this book convey such a deep meaning in such simple ideas and I would highly recommend this book to those looking for a short but thought-provoking book to read.

Owen

Larkmead

The poems were good but many of them (barring a few exceptions) didn't really make me feel any emotion especially due to the rhymes which felt quite light for a serious topic which feels like what they should be. It might just be me not being a massive poetry reader though. My favourite poem was definitely The Interview as it shows how someone's prejudice can really affect someone's life and blind them to the truth. 7/10

Isobel

Eltham Hill Book Club

I enjoyed this book as it was already a very short text but on top of that it was sectioned into different poems which looks like they would come together to form one but are actually two very different stories which I think was very interesting and creative and I believe that the author must be very talented to be able to put on this effect through their writing which really encouraged me to read on.

Sania

Plashet School

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

It is an interesting and accessible take on the perspectives of the people who are victims of war. It is a down to earth experience that is as relevant as ever with the current political situation.

Alfred

St Augustine’s Challenge

Choose Love is a beautifully illustrated collection of poems, providing an insight into the experiences of refugees, who are forced to leave their homes and past lives behind to travel to an unknown future. It serves as a reminder that refugees spoken about in the media are real people and have suffered a lot. My favourite poem from this book was Hope. In this thought-provoking poem, I loved the use of the sun flower to show that even though the boy had lost his family to the war, there was still hope for the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick read (I finished it in ten minutes), or if you want to learn more about refugees and their experiences. 5/5

Athena

St. George’s Dragon Readers

"Choose Love" by Nicola Davis is a poignant exploration of the power of love amidst life's adversities. Through a series of heartfelt anecdotes, Davis weaves together a narrative that reminds us of the transformative nature of love in all its forms – familial, romantic, and platonic. Each page is imbued with sincerity, offering readers a glimpse into the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact of choosing love in the face of despair. Davis's narrative prowess shines through as she delicately navigates themes of loss, redemption, and hope. Her ability to capture the intricacies of human emotions with such authenticity is commendable, making "Choose Love" an emotionally resonant read. From tear-jerking moments to uplifting triumphs, the book takes readers on an unforgettable journey that leaves a lasting imprint on the heart. In a world often fraught with division and strife, "Choose Love" serves as a beacon of light, reminding us of the universal language that binds us all: love. With its powerful message and beautifully crafted prose, this book is not just a read but an experience. I wholeheartedly recommend "Choose Love" to anyone seeking solace, inspiration, and a reaffirmation of the enduring power of love. It's a book that will touch your soul and leave you with a renewed sense of compassion and connection to the world around you.

Deleiny

St Augustine’s Challenge

Although it didn't take long to read, it was a nice book and the artwork to go with the poems was also nice

Ben

Fortismere

Upon seeing the size and immediately obvious nature of 'Choose Love', I had little hope for an interesting and fulfilling read; especially since the aforementioned nature of the book was poetry. However after 5 minutes, when I completed the book I realised how utterly wrong my assumption was. The assorted poems were beautifully composed, and terribly impactful. It managed to weave a tapestry of separate stories so complete and full it was almost as if they had made for each other. At first glance when you see the artwork, it is easy to write it off as some paint thrown unnecessarily onto some paper. However upon closer inspection, shapes and images begin to seep through the cracks of the monotonous coating to reveal harrowing and touching images. I would rate the book a 8.9 out of 10, simply because of how short it was.

Ethan

The John Mason Shadowers

Beautiful and heartfelt poems that are important for everyone to read and learn something from

Samantha

I Forgot the Name of the Group

this is a very good book. it is about a refugees journey of leaving their home, and moving to somewhere else only for them to get rejected. the art in this book is also very good and if you are good at understanding abstract art then you will see how the art links in tightly with the story. after having read this book myself, I can understand why this book made my teacher sad very good book and would recommend it to everyone 9/10

Sami

TCOLC Perfictionists

The book was beautiful; a sequence of poems each telling a different story but all following a theme of injustice and inhumanity in humanity. The poems, as well as the illustrations, each told a narrative with enough room for your mind to wander and fill in purposeful gaps, which I love. The poem I partucularly liked was the bittersweet 'Hope', a poem about a boy who lost everything but found joy in the little things. This book is perfect for those who like to read about the world from other perspectives but don't want too much to read.

Maryam

Westborough High

it is very interesting on telling us about showing love and kindness to other and times you would have in life which is very inspirational and quick to read so good luck.

TINUOLA

SPS Shadowers

I also think that the illustrations are good type of book. I'm not really into poetry but this book makes you understand. The illustrations are layered and not clear but this flows with the style of the book.

Hanna

BSG

A story that gives us an insight of the reality of being a refugee. The poems and artwork in this book were absolutely beautiful and the poems were so simple yet captured the harshness and upset many people go through during war and crisis. The artwork was so abstract yet really matched the poems and made you picture the stories so vividly. I adored this book and it was such a quick read that I thought it would not be very effective, but it has really made me think, even after I finished the book. I was especially drawn to the story about the young boy Artin Irannezhad and what happened to him. This story is so truthful that it hurts to realize its not completely made up as it is so upsetting. I would definitely recommend for 9+ but I would say the book will have more of an impact on older readers. 5/5 stars.

Lola

PGHS Shadowers

This book is so sad. it has a deep heart-felt message throughout. Its showing what poor refugees have to go through and their feeling on the situation. I think its trying to teach you something but its also really dark.

Hanna

BSG

Book Club Members

OAS Book Club

I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Although clearly named and well written I found the plot difficult to follow. The constant change in colour and artwork was nice and vibrant it added a nice effect to the story. I found the poems nice and when they were rhythmic they made the story much more enjoyable .

Ffion

St Mary’s RC High

It was quite a short book but it was really heartfelt as it told the story of refugees and how they suffer. I rate it a 3.5/5

Bella

Herts and Essex

To describe this book with words would be no use, for there are no words that can describe how this book made me feel. The way it describes how many people are forced to leave their homes, with hope just about dangling on the horizon. The delicate illustrations really depict a world of chaos whilst still supplying the reader with a flicker of hope and a river flowing with sympathy. My heart was instantly captured by this story of destructive hope. It may be a very short story, you can read it in about 20 minutes if you're a fast reader, but it describes life in such a brutal and yet harmonious way. For me, this book is a 5 star book, despite the brutality of its message.

Heidi Vasiliki

Dallam Bookclub

I think this book was interesting because it shined the light on refugees but it didn't pull me into the book so I would give a 5/10.

Ben P

Ermysted’s

An incredibly touching poem book. Not only does it show the depth of the inhumanity of actions in our world, but also the dehumanising nature of people being reduced to just numbers in a record somewhere (the poem 'Mathematics' showed this). Another poem I found that caught my eye was ‘The Interview’, reading it from the viewpoint of someone privileged, who could only dream of the horrors of migration and becoming a refugee, only for the interviewer to deny access was eye opening. The line “decide if what you’ve suffered is enough,’ was insanely hard-hitting, for someone who has never once seen what you’ve seen, deciding whether you deserve sanctuary, or if you’re going to be rejected and sent away, after the agonising journey to get there in the first place.

Jasmine

St Augustine’s Challenge

I didn’t like Choose Love very much because I found a lack of characterisation. Because of the poem format, the book suffered from a lack of time to fully flesh out the characters. Meaning I didn’t get to know the characters which left me disconnected from the story. However, the themes and language sort of made up for it. 6/10

Edward

St Augustine’s Challenge

'Choose Love' was definitely a book that I loved! I find that poetry/verse literature is great for emotional and heavy topics as it's quite expressive. As someone who enjoys reading historical fiction from victims' perspectives, this book really reached out to me, especially as the issues presented still happen today. The book isn't a long read, but I feel that the words were all carefully chosen. All the poems were quite moving, and I hope that others will feel the same way! This book will surely spread more awareness of the things refugees have to go through. I would certainly recommend it. 9/10

Vanessa

St Augustine’s Challenge

I really enjoyed this book, and as someone who loves art and writing, I think this book has a good mixture of the two. The book was very powerful and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an impactful short read. I really liked this book because it told a true story about the lives of people in war and refugees and how they didn't really get a say in their lives and what they have to do. The story was very emotional and the illustrations match the theme of each poem, which makes stresses the theme more. It was a great book, although it was a bit too short for me, and the experience of reading it as a large hardback copy was very different, so I would prefer to have read a smaller paperback version.

Emily

Perse Carnegians

Leah

Tractor

Nicola Davies wrote this book in response to the war in Syria. She wrote it about refugees who are suffering tragedies such as having to find new homes or new schools. Nicola Davies was full of fury when she found out that the UK government refused to help 3,000 child refugees. I like how she auctioned pictures by Petr Horacek to raise money for the charity Help Refugees, who became Choose Love. My favourite poem was 'Five Minutes' because it was about the refugees struggle to collect their belongings in so little time in order to flee to safety. I like the rhyming scheme because it makes the poem more engaging.

Lexi

The Whitefield Readers

This was a very short but interesting read. It's quite an inspiring read. It wasn't long but it had quite a bit of impact and was straight to the point which I really enjoyed and it only took like 10 minutes. Side note: also really loved looking at the art pieces that went with each poem, they are really nice to look at.

Maimuna

Plashet School

I don't really read poetry but I have to say this was a very good collection of poems. I thought the illustrations were beautiful. My favourite poem was ' Unbroken'. I think the author shared some wonderful messages through this book.

Hannah

Killy Krew

Choose Love by Nicola Davies review: Nicola Davies, a well-known author, has written a collection of poems within a book about refugees, describing the hardships a refugee might face. The conflicts you encounter on the treacherous journey, such as racism, a new home, a new language, difficulty passing the borders and a cold welcome from the local citizens. Davies has chosen a simple, yet successful format, with deep meaning behind it, she has written in short poems, which express the emotional impact one will stumble upon. Petr Horáček’s illustrations accompany the poems, and add an ever deeper meaning with his abstract artistic style throughout the poem, using mainly colours to represent emotions and difficulties in each poem. Davies carefully chooses and crafts each word and each sentence with the most heartfelt expression, giving the reader chances to empathise, relate and be grateful for what they have that others may not. Davies, mentions in the back of the book how she faces her struggles to help 3000 child refugees in Syria. Overall this is a good, emotional book, which is a fairly easy read. Every word mentioned noticeably has a lot of detail put into it, lots of care and time. I recommend this book if you enjoy empathising with characters and reading about the troubles many face in life.

Amber

The Bentley Woodlanders

"Choose Love" is a book I enjoyed despite it not being my usual pick. It's a hidden gem I would've normally overlooked. I enjoyed the shortness of the book and how the poems weren't too difficult to understand, while the contents of the poems were thought provoking and brought us through a journey of the real struggles of members of the community around us it didn't feel too overwhelming. I think the book is perfect for all ages. It has reasonably simple text yet a powerful message that is great for bringing awareness to kids or a thoughtful read for teenagers and adults. However, a personal critique of mine were the pictures but that's completely because I'm not the biggest fan of abstract art. My favourite poem was "Hope" since it's about something we all need in our lives. I thought the poem had a nice heart-warming ending and made you really wish for a happy future for the little boy. My final opinions are that this speedy read does great at what it was created for - to educate about how it's like to be a refugee while reaching a broad audience.

Levi

St Augustine’s Challenge

Choose Love is a short book full of short (around one page long) poems. The story is not gripping and has no clear, underlying plot, instead it is a collection of stories centered around one theme: War. However, the individual illustrations that accompany each poem - whilst abstract - are interesting, they themselves telling a story.

Evan

MTS Northwood

Choose Love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček is a collection of poems that delves into the terrible conditions faced by refugees as they leave everything behind in search of safety and asylum in foreign countries. The qualities of these stories are drawn from true accounts, capturing both the struggles of refugees and the compassion of aid workers who assist them on their perilous journeys. The book is divided into three parts: departure, arrival, and healing. Each section corresponds to different stages of a refugee’s journey. Here are my thoughts on this work: Emotional Impact: The poems in “Choose Love” are emotionally gripping. They transport readers into the mindset of panic, danger, and uncertainty that refugees experience. The rawness of their stories leaves a lasting impression. Themes: Themes of survival, love, hope, and the kindness of strangers are seamlessly woven throughout the collection. While some moments make for uncomfortable reading, they contribute to the book’s outstanding nature. Complexity and Variety: Each poem stands alone, yet together they create a fuller picture. The collection employs a variety of poetic styles and techniques. Real People, Real Stories: “Choose Love” reminds us that refugees and migrants are not just political subjects or news headlines; they are real people with real stories. The book offers multiple perspectives, emphasizing our capacity to make positive change. In summary, “Choose Love” is a book that should be in every school and library. It beautifully captures crucial issues of humanity, showing the hardships faced by those trying to start a new life. It serves as a reminder of ongoing global tragedies.

Nathan

Euro Bookworms

Choose Love was by far one of my favourite books out of the eight shortlisted. It was very moving and I found the language and words used really heartfelt. The artwork was also an amazing way of expressing the poems and I think in a way they told a story of their own. My favourite poem out of the many in this story was 'Artin's voyage', because it was quite a subtle story. Another thing I really liked was that all the poems were about a similar thing (Refuge) and they were all by the same author. It was a very different book and that was what I liked about it. If I were the author, I don't think I would change anything. Great book, and I would definitely recommend!

Olivia

Skipton Shadows

A beautifully written collection of poetry giving an eye opening insight into some of the harrowing struggles and experiences of refugees. We really don't realise just how lucky we are until we walk a ways in someone less unfortunate's shoes.

Miss Berrow

Appleton readers

I think that this is book is really good, as it is different to other books in a sense that it is lots of poems instead of chapters. I like this in a book as it is another way to tell a story that is not as box standard as reading straight chapters that go on and on. 'The Trial' is my favourite poem in the book as it stands out to me, with the sound of worry coming from the reader.

Hattie

Burford School

I red 'Chose Love' as a side reading project and I managed to finish it in 10 minutes. It is a very heart touching book and I loved that it had a very unique theme to it. It wasn't until I read the author's section that I realised it was about refugees and then it made perfect sense. It is a very special set of poems and great for everyone to read.

Issybel

Burford School

Choose Love didn't take long to read at all, but it was well worth it. I thought the language was beautiful, and I found it very impactful. It was an incredible insight into the pain and trauma experienced by refugees, expressed in remarkably few words. I highly recommend this.

Rosie

Burford School

This beautiful book made me cry and cry again. Really heartfelt and emotive poetry. I struggled to select one poem as a stand out because they all stand out to me!

Mrs Parr

Appleton readers

As someone who enjoys writing poems and painting, I found a massive interest in this book. I enjoyed how some of the poems were based on real life such the Artin's Voyage, which was in memory of Artin Irannezhad, his parents, brothers, and sisters who drowned on 27th October 2020. Personally, I think all the poems in this book are absolutely amazing. This is a book I'd defiantly recommend to family and friends.

Ohenewaa

STCCG Shadowing

Dougie

BFS Umbra

Choose love was an interesting read with art that made the poems come to life. However, it was not the most interesting of reads as it did not catch my interest. As it is set in a war zone it goes back to feelings of depression, anxiety and sadness. It also talks about the struggles of war and what to do in application to join another country's population and seeking asylum.

Caitlin

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd

Choose love is an extremely moving and short book sharing many tales of why despite if you might not know them you should always choose Love.

ope

Chancellor’s Readers

It was an interesting book to read through as it gave me an insight as to the refugees' thoughts and feelings in those moments, expressed in poems. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants more meaningful information on refugees and how they processed and went through the hardships they endured.

Erin

WyRead

Jessica

BFS Umbra

Belper Bookies

Samantha

Belper Bookies

Lily

Belper Bookies

This book may not seem to look like anything if you skim through it, but the poems and the artwork come together to create a heart-breaking tale of how refugees may feel coming to safety.

Lucian

Ermysted’s

Georgia

Belper Bookies

Catherine

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Ruby

Belper Bookies

Ethan

Belper Bookies

I found this book very dark. I do not really like poetry and only enjoyed the rhyming poem. I did kind of understand what each page was describing and the awfulness of a refugees journey. It seemed to be about different people and different journeys which confused me. Not Lost was the page that made me feel the most- so sad. I am sure that if you like poetry then you will have enjoyed this but it was not for me.

Lucy

Ousedale Olney

Thought-provoking, this book written by Nicola Davies talks about the troubles many have gone and will go through. ‘Choose Love’ is an extremely emotional book, with stunning yet devastating illustrations by Petr Horáček.

Meira

Going Places

In writing Choose Love, Nicola Davies endeavoured to tell the true stories of the many who are forced from their homes: this truth shines through, and it is the true strength of human nature that had me pushing back tears as I read. Among clusters of words, and alongside beautifully textured illustrations, my heart was captured by the duality of this devastating story of hope. I want to cry from sheer astonishment at the strength people are forced to have, and I want to stand up and scream that we are not doing enough.

Martha

Dallam Bookclub

Overall the book was ok I didn't really like the style of it but it was good at conveying a message. The message was heartfelt and I sparked some thoughts. Overall 3.5/5 Would recommend.

Dominik

St Augustine’s Challenge

Belper Bookies

This book, Choose Love. I absolutely loved this book, I feel as though it taught me so much more than I thought about refugees and how they live and what they have to go through without anywhere to go. My favourite poem was called 'The Trials', and my favourite section from it was, 'But now you have arrived, the worst trial: waiting. Waiting with no country, no place to go, no job to do, while someone decides if what you've suffered is enough'. I really liked this part of the poem because it shows that most of the time people in the war and refugees don't really get a say in what they get to do, and the people who are holding them can taunt them with the fact that they have to listen to whoever is talking and their commands because otherwise they are not going to get anything better from leaving.

Zahra

More Readers

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

I think the book used immaculate language and had amazing pictures. It beautifully described the horror of war and the struggles of being a refugee. I enjoyed the book a lot and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting quick read.

Lillie

Beckfoot Oakbank Carnegies

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Belper Bookies

Choose Love is a heart-warmingly beautiful book of poems about refugees forced to leave everything they had in their old life behind. This book definitely helps you to get a better understanding of how it feels to be a refugee, also I think that the book changes your perspective on people that have moved to an entirely different country. I recommend this book to everyone because the poems spread a deep message about stopping the ignorance towards the people that have to go through this situation. Choose Love makes you realise that refugees are just like us, they are no different and we should not judge them. By Lily

Larkmead

The book was a very short but powerful read. There were illustrations throughout however towards the end they gave a greater impact for me as the reader. The message conveyed was a reminder to the readers that when things go wrong they can be fixed.

Elly

Axe Valley Readers

I enjoyed Chosen Love because of Nicola Davies' use of the poems to signify the pain and suffering of true life accounts of refuges. Through heartfelt and emotional stanzas, they convey the struggle of being forced away from the people you love.

Wilfred

Axe Valley Readers

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is a book of poems about refugees. The poems talk about the different struggles that refugees face. The poems are really nice, and I enjoyed reading them! It's a quick read, but that's to be expected from poems, and I would say it's fully worth it. The one thing that I would say is that because it's a large hardback (picture book size) it's a different reading experience, and I personally would have preferred it to be smaller and maybe a paperback. I definitely still recommend reading it though!

Sophie

Euro Bookworms

Choose love was an inspiring book about immigrants suffering from war. The poems were based on real stories, made it more heartfelt. I know it will raise awareness for people like that. The poems were nice. My favourite one was the one unbroken because you can really see the Author's passion for this cause.

Ashley

VISTA Academy

I enjoyed this book very much as it talked about issues in third world countries that many people face eg. seeking asylum and talking about the hardships of being a refugee. It talks about the struggle of living in a war torn country(Syria) and the fear of illegal immigration and being forced to live in a shabby, derelict camp which neglects your human needs or live in a country where war is dominant and you have a significant chance of losing your loved ones or even yourself

Rajin

Ermysted’s

"Choose Love" offers a poignant glimpse into the harsh realities faced by refugees and the psychological toll of war through its concise yet impactful poems. Each piece is memorable, evoking a range of emotions and providing a deeply human perspective on the refugee experience.

Kymarnii

Riverside Readers

I love how even though it was a short book it was quite fun to read. I love how it showed the life this refugee boy who evacuated from a war but his mum and sister died which was sad but had memorable treasure from her mum. I definitely recommend friends reading this together, because that just makes things even more fun to read.

Naomi

Herts and Essex

I do not usually read poems, but as part of the list, I did. I do not regret it. The book explores accounts of real refugee perspectives of when they have to flee from war and suffering and take refuge in an unknown land. The book is split in order to take accounts on each part of the journey: departure, arrival and healing. It is beautiful with illustrations that match the theme too.

Lola

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

'Choose Love' by Nicola Davies is a beautiful book in both looks and language that explores the difficult lives that refugees face. The illustrations by Petr Horáček really bring the book to life, capturing the turmoil and distress that these people face in a collection of abstract imagery. I specifically liked the poem "Mathematics" which uses something as simple as arithmetic to explain just how devastating war is to those forced to flee. The poem has such a nice flow that makes this touching poem so easy to read. I also like how throughout the entire book, explanations of real life stories are included to bring the reader back to why this book was written. My only criticism of this beautiful book is it's size. It's an awkward shape that doesn't fit on the conventional bookshelf. Yet, the size of it does help portray the turmoil of refugees lives and how - just like the book - they never feel like the truly fit in.

Emelia

Marshland Readers

This book is very emotional and thought provoking because it is about a young child who is being killed and taken away by people. I loved the illustrations and language choice. I love its adventurous ideas and views.

Grace

Going Places

Choose Love is a collection of lots of different beautiful poems and illustrations showing the journey of people forced to leave their homes due to war and conflict and travel to new countries as refugees. The poems are very powerful and portrayed the feelings of fear, anxiety, anger and sadness. Two of my favourite poems were ‘Mathematics’ and ‘Hope’ because of the pictures they put into my head.

Nat

Larkmead

I really liked Choose Love because of the various sets of poems that emphasised certain meanings and morals and the pictures that came with them, which beautifully illustrated a picture of each poem. The art of the pictures made me feel a connection with the poems instantly.

Shreenithi

Team CHSG

This enlightening book highlights the struggle and pain that refugees around the world face day-to-day. Expressed through poetry, this book makes you see what these poor people go through and it puts the harsh reality of today’s world into perspective. Nicola Davies’ beautiful poetry paired with Petr Horáček’s powerful portraits make this book an excellent resource for those wanting to learn more about the tragedies of our planet earth.

Claire

Book Squad

Choose Love is a very thought provoking collection of poems. Even though it is phenomenal I do not think that it was a very age appropriate. I'm not saying that it is inappropriate; I'm just say that not everyone my age (age 12) would understand the depth of this book. Considering that it tells the story of a group of refugees and that some kids might not comprehend this.

Chase

Redcloaks

"Choose Love" is a collection of poems that speaks directly to the soul. Davies, delivers a captivating exploration of the many facets of love. Through verses that range from tender to raw, she navigates themes of connection, loss, resilience, and the transformative power of love. Each poem is a journey, inviting readers to reflect on their own experiences and emotions, while offering solace and hope in the face of life's challenges.

Nikola.

St Augustine’s Challenge

Choose love is a very deep poem book. By this I mean that you can not read it without having to really think about the poems. I really enjoyed it and I think that it definitely gave me a different perspective on the topic of refugees because it told a story from the point of view, of young people probably around my age, going through things I could never imagine. With that being said I also wanted say that it is a very emotional book and some of it can become quite memorable which I think is in a way something the author should be proud of. Yet even though this is a good quick read i am not sure if it is 100% worth the award because I wouldn’t say it is an enjoyable book but more a more an educational book and personally I prefer the first type of books. Therefore I would rate this book about a 7/10

Nicola

St Augustine’s Challenge

This was a very short read, with a very nice story about refugees and finding a way. It was a bit confusing at times, but it ended up giving a good message. This was a good book

Huxley

Fortismere

I thought this was a very powerful and moving book. The poetry excellently conveyed the struggle of refugees. The abstract art showed how people are affected by being refugees and allowed you to explore different emotions and feelings. The abstract art gave me room to interpret it how I like. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it

Juna

Fortismere

It is a captivating book that explores human emotions and relationships. The suspenseful encounters and themes of vulnerability make it a thought-provoking and heartfelt read.

Isabella-rose

Riverside Readers

There is passion and determination when making this masterpiece of a book, it sets the tone when it comes to poems. The quotes are amazing like”Today it broke I can no longer endure.”The methods of poetry are outstanding, full of brilliant words and sentences.This tells about how refugees lived and how unfortunate they were.Gives us empathy for the struggles they faced. I recommend this book to anyone who loves calm and soft books because this fits just right.The most humane and heartfelt poetry, This book can affect how you feel and it can change your personality in many ways.

Jenson S

Glossopdale Readers

The book ‘Choose Love’ is a true heartfelt poetry book about refugees forced to leave their homes and face the mystery of the future to come.This book is very emotional and helps people have a better understanding of how it feels to be a refugee. Personally I think this book is beautifully written and illustrated,it makes you feel empathy and also makes you feel grateful and lucky for everything you have.The book makes you change your perspective on life. I recommend this book to everyone because it is so eye opening and to stop the ignorance towards the people that have to go through this,society tries to normalise events like this but it is far from normal and this book makes you realise so much deeper meaning and emotion to it all.

Sophia

Glossopdale Readers

A stunning, hard-hitting collection of poems combined with some incredible artwork. An enjoyable read, but the style makes it feel out of place in this category of awards.

Sophie

Ely College Reading Group

it was good but the pictures looked weird and there were a few pages just about the author it self and we did not need to know this extra information apart from the the poems were nice and unique.

Prieet

Beauchamp Champs 2024

great poems and heart warming stanzas

chay

KES Readers

BOOK REVIEW CHOOSE LOVE The poems are in different categories so the first one is about departure, arrival, healing.My favrouite poem is hope because its talking about death and how a sunflower Pops up in the middle of the battlegrounds and it shows through the tough times You can stay strong My overall opinions on this book is that the poems are quite touchy and sensitive as it talks about different wars and history.it is also very easy to read but with some hard vocabulary so I would recommend to yr 10 and above

sai,mscoady

Sidcot Shadowers

Sad, and nice poem.

Amy

Herts and Essex

I really liked this book as it was different to what I would usually read and I like the way she wrote it. It made you feel deeply for the refugees and what they are going through. I recommend to everyone, as it was a very good book and well written.

Isabella

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Filled with despair and inhumanity, ‘Choose Love’ is a beautiful yet heart-breaking story. From battles of death and despondency to a malicious interview and a cruel rejection, this book has it all. Expressing some topics that are not greatly talked about in our community till now, was really inspiring and giving us power through the opportunity for change felt very real that it's not just a story book that never happens. It's real. It's happening. It's happening right now. Choose love is short yet meaningful poems about asylum seekers personal journey and experience on many different stages. One of my favourite poems was called Five Minutes which was all about the race to flee your country and having to pack up possessions and relationships you've ever truly loved in just five minutes. The best line is probably ‘ You've got five minutes to count the cost, Of the past and future you just lost’ I think it's very powerful and I particularly like that it's in rhyme. Another one of my favourites is ‘Unbroken’ which is filled with hope and gives me a sense of stability and you were ok until it was broken. But never read a book by its cover because what might seem all lost can be found. The artwork of these poems as well is stunning, a real abstract feel yet some human shapes and relatable items such as a teapot, barbed wire and I especially like the piece with The Trials. I would 100% recommend this amazing book to anyone and everyone, it's absolutely stunning and I think if everyone in the world read this then there would be a lot less cruelty when it comes to refugees. Petr and Nicola and team should be very proud of creating this talented book and I will definitely be reading and viewing more of their pieces.

Amelia

The John Mason Shadowers

I liked this book because it shows how painful and traumatising just by a few words or stanza. And it can really bring out the deep within emotions when people read this .

Anushri

Team CHSG

Choose love was beautifully written and gave the refugees such respect on what troubles they’ve been through and the illustrations really complimented the book. My only problem is I couldn’t give it a medal for writing because for me there’s more pictures then words. I would put this in a competition for illustrations but it’s still a really nice book. 4/5 stars

Ethan

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

‘Choose Love’ was written by Nicola Davies. It tells the story of refugees and the difficulties they face when trying to cross the border and enter a safer country. Every poem is written from a different perspective. Each poem tells a small fraction of a larger story that many refugees have from across the globe. I would rate this book ⅗ stars. The poems are great but I thought that overall the book was a bit short. Moreover, I thought it would have been nice to focus on one person, family or specific group of people instead of constantly changing the character. This is because overall I didn’t think the book was that memorable, the constant change of scenery meant that it was confusing going from one poem to the next and I couldn’t connect with the characters or understand how they were feeling. However, the images next to every picture were really pretty and I thought that the fact it was abstract sort of fit better with the topic of the book because you can assume what the artist is trying to show through the painting but you will never know exactly what it means. That’s the same with people who have been through a traumatic experience, every experience is different so the only person that can understand is the victim of the experience.

Clara

Euro Bookworms

I really loved this book. 4/5 for sure. My favourite poems were 'mathematics' and 'hope'. I would love to read more books like this.

Chiziteremiheoma

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Every poem in this book, every line, is so eye opening to the truth of the world around us. Every poem is rich with passion for what the author is writing and it really spreads to the reader so well. I enjoyed this book for every one of it’s qualities and I wish I had the pleasure of reading it for the first time again.

Greta

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

The book was well written with some interesting images but the plot was hard to grasp and it was laid out and written almost as a young children's picture book which I didn't really like. Also it was a book about the experience of refugees written by someone who as far as I know isn't a refugee and probably has no first-hand experience. So I don't really understand why it was voted into the Carnegies and I give it 3/10.

reuben

St Augustine’s Challenge

It was a really good book. I've never been a fan of poems but this one was great. I just wish it was a little longer though.

Khanyi

Carnegie Festival

I didn't like chose love as it was very sad at the beginning and the sad stories where people die are very upsetting to me and this book made me cry. I thought it was some consulation when it had a nice ending but still, it was very depressing.

Mia

GreatB00ks

My thoughts on the book Choose Love by Nicola Davies is that it is a very sad but hopeful story about the sufferings that people went through but that there is always hope. The books illustrations are very nice and abstract. Overall I think that it is thoughtful book of poems that make up a story.

Cadence

Plumites

Choose Love was a very sensitive, sad book containing many short stories tackling traumatic situations. It was a very quick read, but it almost made me cry, and pretty much no books make me almost cry. In addition to this, after reading it I understood the combination of colours of the front cover as differing emotions trapped in the blue of the ocean.

Kaya

GreatB00ks

Its interesting because I love the different types of poems they put into it each chapter and I love the enthusiasm the author puts into it.

Cody

Plumites

This book is a unique, especially the spelling of vocabulary. This book could be very relatable for some people who don't know how to tell people how they feel and how talking to counsellors can make you feel lighter

Emmanuela

Riverside Readers

4/5 star read. I love how the poems tell a story of different refugees and what they faced.

Olivia

Riverside Readers

didn't enjoy the book didn't have a good flow

sophie

OLSB Shadowers

It was a very short book with beautiful illustrations. I think the book had lots of meaning but no plot/story line. It was too short for me. It has a very good meaning behind it and I love what the author is trying to do for people in need.

Sachin

Ermysted’s

I thought this book was very eye opening to the challenges that people all around the world face. i especially enjoyed the poem "Mathematics" as it really highlighted the struggles that many people find in their everyday lives. It was quite a contrast between the world that i am living in compared to the place others are surviving in. The vocabulary was beautiful and extensive.

aimee

St Clere’s School

this book was inspiring and wonderful. the words had an impact on me that i never could've expected. the poems each had different meanings and stories behind them and even with a multitude of poems somehow they were all better than the last.

Evita

St Clere’s School

A short - perhaps bittersweet? - read. The subtle hints in its art continue to add to the depth and the unfortunate reality for refugees. Even the abundance of space perhaps between lines, or the single word titles for the sections, are left to fill in for what has gone unspoken before this eye-opening cycle of poetry, and the tributes in the book truly make it more impactful... All in all, it was a really heartfelt book, with the emotions put into it expressed in both imagery and wording!

Leyla

KEVICHG

I did not want to read this book when I looked at it on the shortlist, but once I read it, I found out what the book was based on. I was very moved by this book and would recommend it. I thought that it was a nice idea to name the book after the charity but I think that it is a misleading title and should have been called something else.

Kimika

SHSK Shadowers

Isla

Lionheart24

I think this book gave me a great understanding of the stories of refugees and helped to learn things about what they were going through that I hadn't known before. The artwork beautifully reflected the stories and helped me to understand the poetry to a deeper level.

Niamh

Team CHSG

Choose love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček puts all other children's poetry books to shame. By propelling its reader into a mindset of panic and never-ending danger, the authors remind us of ongoing tragedies in the modern world. Each poem present in the book recounts events that may happen to anyone attempting to flee their country, such as having just a few minutes to collect personal belongings or even the disastrous amount of innocent deaths that happen throughout the journey.  During the entirety of the book, powerful emotions are constantly being thrown at the reader and with every page turned, a beautiful new illustration accompanies it. In my opinion, this book is perfect in each and every way, and deserves the recognition it is being given. It is, from my standpoint, the ideal reminder that the world is far from fully healed.

Marie-Anne CI

4Shadowers

This was quite a short but definitely very meaningful book written in verse, and many people will have experienced the topic(s) covered in this book. The twelve poems are in three sections and are about refugees and the heartbreak they have suffered. All of the poems in the book were very moving but the one I found the most hard-hitting was 'Mathematics'.

Irem

KEVICHG

'Choose Love,' is a book of poetry written in three parts, Departure, Arrival and Healing. It tracks the journey of refugees coming into England by sea. I really like how the cover page is reflected on the other side. The poems really make you think about the hard journeys some people have to make, to reach safety. I rate this book 7/10.

Ailise

Rebel Readers

I enjoyed ‘Choose Love’. I found it thought provoking and the message it conveys is so beautiful and meaningful. Although I enjoyed the content, some of the verse felt really forced. It is an emotional read and I would rate it 6/10.

Alice

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Choose Love was a great book that opened my eyes to the situation of refugees and those who seek asylum in other countries. The poems are crafted in a way that really impacts the reader emotionally and builds a sense of hope yet disappointment. I also appreciated how the artwork tied in with the poems. Overall, I enjoyed reading the poems and how they encourage you to think about the people who are trying to build a better life for themselves.

Savannah

Team CHSG

Choose love is a book that consists of many poems about people becoming refugees and being forced to leave everything they had. I particularly liked the abstract art that was next to the poems, as you could see emotions and scenes about the poem. I personally did not get it as much as I got it with the other books, but the ideas were good.

Hisham N

Ermysted’s

it was a good book but I feel slightly more could have been done on the language, but overall a great piece.

Rowan

TBGS Readers

this book was quite good as although it was not clear ,it explained the life of a refugee in a very abstract way

ryan p

Ermysted’s

I love it! The illustrations are incredible. I love how it is fast it is and the passionate quotes we like and should take the inspiration from.

Juliań

Bookwizards

Weirdly fun.. The illustrations are incredible. I love how it is fast it is and the passionate quotes we like and should take the inspiration from.

Julian

Bookwizards

This was not my favourite book but then again poetry is not my piece of cake. It was very moving though and makes you not take for granted what you have in your life. 10 or 20 poems which tell the stories of many different refugees, the ones who made it and sadly the ones who didn't. It describes the horrors that they went through and also the fights they have to put up daily in life to stay in our country. One of the most interesting parts of this book was at the start and the end where it tells you about the different people who were involved in making the book . It tells you how they went around refugee camps and helped people which I found very inspiring.

ruth

Euro Bookworms

It invokes a sense of empathy in the reader and manages to convey the struggles of asylum seekers in seeking their new homes. I also liked how each poem was like a mini story in itself. Though I didn't believe the abstract art next to the poems, it contributed to the feel of the stories.

Michael

SPS Book Clubbers

Choose Love has lovely illustrations which perfectly represented the poems. I don't usually like poems but Nicola Davies really thought about wording and how it can affect the reader's emotions. I found all of the poems very meaningful and true to the sufferings of refugees. Would definitely recommend.

Emily

SPS Book Clubbers

The poems were very meaningful, they really made me think about the plight of refugees and all they've been through. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful and accompanied the poems perfectly. They helped to build a deeper picture and added more meaning to the poems.

Hannah

SPS Book Clubbers

In this book, the author combines powerful vocabulary with extremely evocative illustrations. They give us insights and glimpses of the harsh realities of refugees, allowing the audience to sympathise and empathise with the victims of these events. Speaking from a personal view, I don't generally enjoy poetry books nor would I be willing to read one. However, this book was superbly written and beautifully presented, in return, it really resonated with me and is most definitely a memorable book.

Aryanna

OLSB Shadowers

An emotional book that tells the shocking truth that I found hard to believe. Although this was a beautiful book to read.

Martin

TBGS Readers

Very emotional book. I liked it. I would recommend it.

Martin

TBGS Readers

These poems were so beautiful. As I read them I thought about the meanings of them and in my opinion it was one of the best ones I read. I give it a 10/10! It was really heart-warming reading these poems. And I believe that each poem has a meaning and a belief and these ones were highly amazing! I highly recommend it for anyone!

Afreen

Skipton Shadows

Choose Love is a book written in verse, highlighting the struggles refugees face. Although it is a short read, it’s strong message leaves you feeling empathy. The book is split into three sections, Departure, Arrival and Healing. The poems reflect the danger and misery of people seeking refuge and the challenges in their path. I think the poetry in the last section, Healing, leaves us with the sense of hope. With each poem there is a unique and powerful illustration. I found this an excellent read and would give this book a 9/10.

esme

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Hollie

The John Mason Shadowers

'Choose Love' was a beautiful book of poetry detailing the experience and trauma experienced by refugees. The artwork was visually stunning, though unfortunately I do not believe this book should have been submitted for this award. This is an anthology, not a novel, and nice art is not justification for what is ultimately a 12 poem book.

Lara

Carnegie Carnage

This poetry book was this beautifully tragic, hopeful, despairing wonder I am so grateful I stumbled upon. The poems were a view into the world of refugees, war and the trauma of escaping violence, only to be met with boundaries, persecution and instability .I loved this collection, and the atmosphere and emotive response it created for me, and how the descriptions were simple yet so complex. The theme of the book was easily understandable and moving, and opened up the path to deeper questions, thoughts and sympathy towards the situations presented. This was, to conclude, a beautiful series of poems which wield the power to change lives.

Zaynah

Bookiewookiedoodaas

This was an amazing book. It really shed light on the various issues that go on around the world involving asylum seekers and the horrible conditions that they have to go through, that we may not even be aware of. My favourite poen though, has to be five minutes. Absolutely loved it!

Nicole

Team CHSG

Ella

Waldegrave School

I think that this book touches on a very serious subject in a way that makes it equally understandable and incredibly emotional. The poems were very well written and each was unique while all linking to the same subject. I would love to read more books like this.

Olivia

Kingdown 24

I really loved the book Choose Love, because it really gave me a bigger picture on what is happens in different countries. I think my favorite poem would be Supermarket Flowers because it is telling you that sometimes you buy stuff that you don't know how other people worked to get that here.

Hanna

Kingdown 24

This book was interesting because it pulled on my heartstrings, telling a real story through powerful poems.

Meenma

Kingdown 24

Choose Love was a very moving book that unfortunately did not make me shed as many tears as I was supposed to. However, I thought that the verses were incredibly well-written and the uses of poetic techniques emphasised the raw emotion from each poem. The verses also weaved together really well, going from the start of the path for safety and asylum to success - or near-success - only for a huge, disappointing plummet. All in all, Choose Love is very well-written book of verse but could be longer.

Hanming (Sophia)

PGHS Shadowers

A very thought provoking book written for a worthy cause, however I would prefer if it wasn’t written in verse.

jack

Henry’s Heroes

I really enjoyed reading Choose Love because of the poetry that expresses what it is like for victims of war. I also loved the art displayed next to the poems as it made subtle links to what was happening in the story, such as a silhouette in the art that resembled a boat. It really took my interest because of the emotive story that was a representation of what refugees have to go through to seek asylum.

Chloe

OLSB Shadowers

The book 'Choose Love' was an amazing book that peeked my interest because it is full of emotions and poems. Even though all of them have deep meanings, it was still intriguing.

Aiah

OLSB Shadowers

choose love is a very empowering story like most Carnegie books. it tells the story of a family trying to escape from war. It also mentions other people in there struggle for safety

sam

Ermysted’s

in my opinion this book is a book that i think would relate to history lovers but also for anyone. the book is very empowering and tells the story of a girl with a plan

sam

Ermysted’s

Very well done heartfelt book that reveals some of the brutal process refugees must face to enter England

James

HAYES BOOKSTOPS

This book was very artistic and eye-opening. It’s a heartfelt, and is quite relevant to today’s world. The poems are about the reality of life for some people in countries that are undergoing war. The poem ‘Hope’ was one that stood out to me because it shows what people go through just to get to a safe place. It also shows that theres still hope in the world no matter what’s happened to you. I would recommend this book to anyone, since this is something that needs to be shared.

Isabelle

CTA Book Club

"Choose Love" is an absolutely spectacular book. I loved how Davies elegantly wove all of the poems together, and how they linked to the journey and struggles of refugees. It was also really enjoyable to study the illustrations linking to each of the poems. Overall, it was a short, but very enjoyable book!

Yusra

KEVICHG

'Choose Love' was an extremely impactful poem book. I loved the fact that not only were there multiple poems but each poem was giving a different message of the same issue. My personal favorite poem was 'Not Lost' because although it was short, it had a very intense meaning behind it about people who had to travel to foreign country's illegally as if they did it legally they would not be accepted. I really enjoyed this book and I love the fact its spreading awareness through reading.

Zurnaina

Team CHSG

While I find I don't have a particular interest in poetry, I found this a very enjoyable and moving read, with the subject matter being on a topic I find very important I would encourage people, even if they don't enjoy poetry, to at least give this a chance!

Isabella

Carnegie Festival

Choose love is a beautifully written book accompanied with powerful illustrations. Choose love has poignant poems of grief, survival and love. It highlights the need to change how countries of the world treat refugees. The book evokes passion and emotion in the reader. The deeper into the book I got, the more I understood how refugees felt when leaving their homeland. For me, the most powerful poem was titled Not Lost. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.

Isobel

The Bentley Woodlanders

This book was so sad but so heartwarming. I love how the poems are mostly from the perspectives of refugees, and I think the message is so important - to choose love. It tackles such an important theme, and the artwork really enhanced the poems. A very good read, I would recommend.

Poppy

Page Turners24

I quite like poems, and I like the theme of love and hope. The poems are really beautiful and the artwork is stunning! I can't tell if I can or can't relate to the poems but I can believe a lot of people do really relate to them. What I didn't like though how long or short some poems were. Some I found a bit boring were longer and ones I just wanted to continue were shorter. But overall I give it a 9/10 rating.

Aleksandra

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I really loved how heart warming this book was. Even though the pages had minimal writing on the writing just had so much detail and depth behind it. The book had so many meanings. This book really made me smile showing how much dedication the author had put into the book. This book definitely kept me guessing all the meanings behind the poem. I adored the way she wrote with such a flow. I also love the topic she wrote this amazing story about. There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book everything was there in the book there wasn’t anything missing. I would definitely recommend reading this book but to older readers, so you get the full understanding in this book. I really enjoyed reading this book and I would rate the book 10/10.

Carrie

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book was a great book about refugees but the images didn't really make sense to me. The message of this book really touches your heart as the foreworder: Onjali Rauf describes their journey of life. The poems used in this book were really GOOD!!! Overall this book is amazing!

Matthew

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Choose love is an amazing selection of poems about refugees and the realness of war. I resonated with the some of the vivid imagery portrayed by some of the poems and overall enjoyed the book.

Angelina

Team CHSG

Generally a really good book the message is very deep it made me really contemplate on how much I take things for granted.

Frederic

Brooke Weston Book Busters

When I first saw Choose love I thought it was like any poetry book. That has stories and rhymes without reason. But expect it does have a reason, and all the poems and not just stories but experiences. Refuge experience of trauma and grief. Pain and suffering. This is a book that will keep you thinking about it and how you may wake up one day and everything could change.

Chrissy

More Readers

This book is a great read. I feel this is a very moving and important book because it simplifies the story written by refugees, meaning more people can learn and discuss the horribleness of having to escape and run from your war ridden home. Each poetry piece is accompanied by an abstract piece of art leaving your mind to configure an image in your head about the trauma that is occurring to the refugees.

Ivy

More Readers

This book is unconventional in the fact that, the poems tell a story, like any verse novel, but not one that you can follow the plot and character development like a normal novel. Instead the poetry describes real life experiences in a way that everyone can access and relate to. It's beautifully unique, extremely well thought out and a quick read suitable for all readers.

Lily

Page Turners24

Choose Love was an excellent read especially if you enjoy shorter books. Half an hour is all you need to finish the book as it is a poetry book. Of all the poetry I've read it had a greatly educational storyline about refugees and their struggles. Overall it was a read that really made me think and put myself in others shoes. Some people may not find it as interesting due to it being poetry. Everyone though should remember the story behind it as it’s an important message. Like many stories with an important message this is a must read. On the other hand it might be harder for younger children to understand. Very impressed by this book, excellent read, 9/10.

Isla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

‘Choose love’ is a compelling collection of poems that will re-design your values as a privileged individual. These short poems and beautiful artworks include eye-opening and traumatic secrets many of us would never discover without reading this book. I found it shocking to hear about refugee’s deplorable experiences; how even in a country where we pride ourselves in inclusivity, these desperate people are being turned away with nothing but new-found loss. It truly does highlight the importance of this growing issue, and how under voiced it is. Although I can’t personally relate to any of these experiences, I do feel this book has given me a deeper understanding and sense of sympathy towards those in such vile situations. From this book you can expect beautifully curated artworks to reinforce the emotions from the poems, and will be wowed by the amazing content that has been fitted into such a short read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this subject, or anyone looking to learn more.

Hollie

The John Mason Shadowers

Children refuges are Hoping Of Open futures Seeking Everlasting Love Of Varied people and taking Every step one at a time because who knows when it will be over

Ivy

Larkmead

This book was alright. It was a very quick read - overall it probably took me half an hour to read the entire thing. It didn't really keep my attention but this could be because I don't normally read poetry. Choose Love tackled some very serious topics such as immigration and people being separated from their families. The poems were all well written but it wasn't very attention grabbing. Overall this book was well written and covered some serious topics, but it has a specific directed audience and I probably wouldn't read it again

Martha

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

While the poems themselves were good and explored some important topics, which are especially relevant nowadays, I think that it needed to be longer, and really go into more details of these issues. I would probably recommend this book to older year groups and would rate it 6/10.

Ethan

Bramcote College Bookclub

Choose love is a poetry book about the struggles of refugees in various different countries and situations. It contains 13 heartfelt poems enhanced by stunning abstract paintings by artist Petr Horacek.

Cara

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

It was ok. It didn't take that long to read and it wasn't really my sort of book however, this may have been because I don't usually read poetry.

Christine

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

It follows the journey of a refugee who has lost everything. I liked the book but it isn't my favourite genre. My favourite bit was the poem Hope and Five minutes because it made me feel like I was there watching the story unfold and it just really made me feel like all the emotions on the page was alive. I would recommend this book if you are someone interested in poetry and like reading short stories, but if your not interested in that genre I wouldn't recommend it.

Gloria

Coop Academy Manchester Book Club

This book is so heartfelt and teaches a meaning of life and what we are causing to happen in war torn country . My favourite poem is probably the boy in the red coat because it is so relevant with even last week a boat sinking with over 100 people on. This is an amazing book please read

freya

Esher High

it is a book that makes you think how other people feel in really tough times. it makes me feel sad that these thing really happen in real life. we need to be kinder to new people as we dont know what they have been through. show kindness not hatred.

ANASTAISA

OLSB Shadowers

There are many words to describe this book. It is moving, beautiful, powerful. The stories and struggles of refugees is very well illustrated through the poems and the amazing artwork that accompanies them. I especially love the poem titled 'Not lost', it's story nearly moved me to tears. Overall I would say that this book is incredibly well written and leaves the reader with a lasting impression. I would recommend it to anyone.

Elle

KES Bookworms

‘Choose Love’ is a collection of poems representing the feelings and experiences of people forced from their homes due to war and conflict. The poems convey the anger and frustration of leaving their previous lives behind to face an unknown future, and of being questioned if they had suffered enough, only to be denied the right to safety. It makes you ask yourself, ‘What if this happened to me’? I found the concept of the book interesting. The poems representing real-life stories (such as the finding of Artin Irannezhad) made ‘Choose Love’ an interesting read. It gave me an insight into the hardships refugees face. Overall, I enjoyed this book, even though the storyline wasn’t especially clear. If you enjoy quick reads and real life stories, ‘Choose Love’ is the book for you!

Maria

Larkmead

Choose Love, by Nicola Davies, is an extraordinary and powerful book about refuges and loss of home, belongings, family and freedom. I found it very emotional and moving because it helped me understand the dangerous and lonely circumstances that some people go through. My favourite page is Hope because it showed there was hope in the darkest of times. The picture is beautiful because it made me understand how vulnerable the boy was, which caused him to treat the seed afterwards with gentleness and love. It made me realise that is how everyone in this situation need to be treated. The people in the pictures looked ghostly and lost which made me think how people are treating them and how they must feel like no one cares about them. I realised that people can’t see them, and they are unwanted. The book format is effective, the pictures and presentation worked together well and made the book very worthwhile. The way the book was written made it seem real as if happening to me. We all need to Choose Love. I would rate this book a 9/10.

Annabelle

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I really enjoyed how this book’s intense storyline was written in poem style because I felt like it gave it a sadder feel. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had more detail even though I know that as it is in poem style it isn't meant to be as detailed a storyline as a novel. I found it a really quick, easy read but I would say I would still recommend it to slightly older people ( maybe 10+) because it is a really hard topic.

Elise

Bramcote College Bookclub

Choose Love is a touching selection of poems that really tell stories of refuge in an interesting way. If you have five minutes to really read through the poem and enjoy it you can begin to see how lucky we are to be safe and not worry just if we are going to be let into a country to claim asylum. To then be rejected and told that you can’t stay and that you have to go back to somewhere where every day your life could be at risk is something that you really can’t comprehend unless you have been in a situation like that. I also thought that the artwork did a really good job of bringing the stories to life. I would say that you should only read this book if you are 13+ because some of the language is really emotive and some of the stories are really quite sad as at the bottom of some of them it has some real life anecdotes however I would give it 5 stars as it was written very well.

Seren

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I enjoyed this book as it informed me of the horrible things in the world with war. It also sometimes said the true things like the boy lost at sea which really made me think of all of the horrible things about war and things like that. Some of the poems, that I really liked was the one with the broken cup and how they put it back together again as it symbolised putting your life back together again after it has been broken.

Robin

Ermysted’s

The book “Choose Love” contains a series of poems about the life of a refugee. There are sections titled “Departure”, “Arrival” and “Healing”. There are around 4 poems in each section, with them sometimes being based on actual refugee experiences and the experience people have working with them. All poems have an illustration on the page as well. These links to the poems, suck as a drawing of an ocean to represent a lost family member. An example is a poem about what it feels like to lose people close to you but having one item to remember them by. I found this book emotional to read, as it showed how dark and scary life as a refugee can be and how it can leave scars which last a lifetime. I found the images to each of the poems very fitting, as they showed the content in a more abstract way than words. The choice of words gave me the possibility to imagine the stories told in the poems. In my opinion, the diverse types of poem structures and titles made the poems more intriguing, as each one was different in style but also had a different feel when read.

Elsa

Euro Bookworms

‘Choose Love’ is a book that represents the feelings of people chased from their homes in war and conflict. This book shows the hardships of their journeys and helps us feel the emotions through the writing. The collection of several poems helps to show us people’s stories, while also helping us to understand their struggles. Writing some of the poems based off real-life events (such as the boy who drowned attempting to cross the channel). ‘Choose Love’ doesn’t only represent the experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and previous lives behind to face an unknown future, it also shows their struggles when arriving in the places they sought refuge. Many people think that once they make it over the channel, their lives will undoubtedly get better, however this book shows that refugees searching for jobs are often questioned, scrutinised and turned away. ‘Choose Love’ accurately represents the hardships that refugees face in a collection of poems that leave little to be desired. In my opinion, despite ‘Choose Love’s’ somewhat confusing order of poems, it is an excellent book that I believe is best suited for those wishing to pull away from fiction, and engage in more realistic books.

Afre

Larkmead

I loved this book because of the topics including the links to refugees. This book's illustrations really helps portray the intended message.

Charlie

Bookwizards

Choose Love by Nicola Davies ‘Choose Love’ is an amazing book of short poems about the experience of being a refugee. With amazing pieces of art showing the feeling of each poem in a really unique way. Despite being a short read, Choose Love is still very moving, and each poem is deep in feeling, and it makes this book a real page turner. There is no bad poem, all of them are formidable and all make the reader really connect with what is being told. Overall Choose Love is an amazing read that undoubtedly will make the reader understand the feeling portrayed within the words of each poem.

Mila

SHSK Shadowers

I think this book is ok as it's hard to see the story.

MuyangD

Ermysted’s

Choose love was a very deep heart breaking book about refugees this book had many powerful lines such as mathematics and unbroken. I would rate this an 9/10

Tommy

Ermysted’s

Choose Love is a brilliant collection of poems about refugees, which are both beautiful and sad. The book is in sections, looking at why people have left their homes, what they go through to get here, and how it is for them when they arrive. My favourite poem was ‘Hope’. The illustrations are simple but quite haunting. There are interesting notes about the charity that the book is named after, and the author and illustrator. I would recommend this book to people who would like to gain a greater insight into what it is like for refugees, just as I got from reading it. I would give this book 5/5 stars.

James

Larkmead

Choose Love is a book of poetry about people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes, leaving almost everything they know behind. The book takes in details such as the refugees being forced to leave in an extremely short period of time, or 5 minutes as the book emphasises in a particular poem, being confined in the thousands in cramped refugee camps, to the short-sightedness of people who approve (or reject) the asylum and yet hope that continues to live on in spite of the suffering. The poems are greatly evocative in their language, which triggers a strong feeling of pathos and sympathy for the people, who we know still suffer these troubles to this day. This books' deeper message reminds us that we should be grateful for what we have, as well as to do all we can to help those who suffer.

Mohid

Bookwizards

I liked the book because it talked about the war and how people suffered through the poems. I didn't find anything that I disliked about the book. Also what I liked was that it is short and written in verses and stanzas.

Catalina

Sidmouth Insiders

From the first poem, you were touched by the experience of the refugees. It does not focus on one story, but instead each poem describes a different part of what it means to leave your country, and takes you on a journey of fear, hope, and recovery. It is an original way of telling a story and the last poem rounds it off well, making you think back to the journey you have been on and it gives lots of different perspectives on the theme. However, it was a bit confusing because it doesn't have a clear or specific plot, and is difficult to compare with the other books, because it is so much shorter, with more pictures, and the style is so different.

Felicity

Ely College Reading Group

Choose Love is a poignant collection of poems that depict the tragedy and horrors of what refugees experience. It is so relevant in todays current climate to try and understand with humility what struggles and fears are faced being misplaced from your homeland and the rollercoaster of emotions that are expressed make you understand it could be anyone at anytime going through this. The illustrations are so well matched to the poems displaying an unspoken depth to the words that paint a bleak portrayal of life as a refugee. Definitely food for thought.

Mrs Topcu

SMM Bibliophiles

I really like the cover of Choose Love because it portrays a sense of loneliness and sadness. Although the theme is quite melancholy I think that the flashes of bright colour show that there is hope even when all seems hopeless. I also like the title of Choose Love because it sends a message to those who read it about always choosing love and kindness over cruelty and hate.

Galaxy

Burford School

i really enjoyed the book despite it's short length and after finishing it found it really enjoyable but I felt as though it lost its initial oomph after a while.

noah

Ermysted’s

I think this is a powerful, meaningful book. This book deserves to be one of the best books in the country.

Lianghan

SHSK Shadowers

An incredibly moving collection of poems that provide an insight into the real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and leave their lives behind. Told in three parts: departure, arrival, and healing - an important collection of poems that build awareness and empathy. A reminder to us that refugees are real people and that nothing, but circumstance separates us from the experience of being a refugee and that love is the choice we all need to make.

Mrs Mann

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Choose Love is a heartfelt book and even though I don't really like poetry this book was nice and lovely. It shows the trouble and the sorrows refugees go through and feel trying to find a safe home. I would rate this 7/10.

Amelia

Skipton Shadows

Sarah

UoBS Bookworms

The first time I read this book I instantly understood the story and the meaning behind it. It displayed emotions very well and shows you the true side of refugees. This book made me feel sorry for refugees and what they have to go through. The poetry to me I easily understood and it was wrote very good.

Shelby

OSSMAORATORS

Choose Love has a descriptive and moving book that describes the horror of war in an artistic way. It brings to light the problems refugees are experiencing and motivates us to do something.

Mahalah

Plumites

I personally like the story behind this book and how it can create a lot of feeling / emotions however I'm not a poetry book type of person so I would of preferred it to be a story more than a poem .

Delia

OSSMAORATORS

in my opinion i did enjoy this book the poetry and the story behind it were great. however i did have a hard time understanding most of the poetry at the start and i did like the ones with an explaination more as it was easier to understand. some of the poetry did get competative but not in a bad way it did help me understand the book better.

nevaeh

OSSMAORATORS

I liked the book because it gave me an insight of the world that I think that I am quite ignorant. The poem that touched me the most was Artin's Voyage and one of the main reasons is because of the caption as it explained the true events and what the poem was based on but I found the poems the interview and mathematics quite difficult and confusing. The only negative of this book is that there is only 2 captions and I think that there should've been one for everyone and the drawings didn't make sense. Overall I would rate this book a 5/10.

Dylan

OSSMAORATORS

Robson

UoBS Bookworms

Robson

UoBS Bookworms

Jayden

UoBS Bookworms

Jayden

UoBS Bookworms

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

I read the book called Choose Love by Nicola Davies. It is a selection of poems focusing on a person's journey from Syria to asylum. At the start of the book, it focuses on how everything was good until one day when the bombs started falling. Next, it goes onto the fact that this person has now escaped but asylum is not what they thought as they just must wait- with nowhere to go-hoping someone will help. At the end of the book, it explains how escaping as a refugee can have its consequences when the body of a toddler is found on the coast of Norway- true story. Throughout the book, there are some moving parts, and it just lets you know what bad people can do and what this world is really like. I would recommend for readers 12+.

Zack wf

Ermysted’s

I liked this book, it triggers reader emotions and empathy.

Clemmie

Tractor

A moving book of poems based on real events experienced by refugees and asylum seekers. The poems with the simple illustrations gives the reader the insight of the struggles faced by these people. A heart rendering read.

Michelle

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

choose love is such a powerful poetry book , each line brings so much emotion and allows the reader to learn the tough yet true experiences refugees go through. Also the paintings have no words yet speak millions. love this book!

Georgie

Waddesdon Shadowers

Choose Love - Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček Choose love is a very thought provoking collection of poems about the experiences of refugees. The poems provide a very realistic insight on what it is like to be a refugee along with some emotional abstract paintings to reflect them. One of my favourite poems in the book was “Hope”. I think this poem perfectly showed how we cannot know everyone’s story and that the boy in this poem would just be dismissed as a badly behaved child and would be separated from everyone else for having a normal emotional human reaction to a huge event in his life. This particularly resonated with me because this can be true in all areas of life for all people, like at school or in a workplace or in any public area. We only see what people want to show us so when no context is given to an outburst people’s problems are ignored. When the boy refills his sunflower pot it represents him finding help, someone who will listen, someone who will understand and support him. The painting that pairs with this poem exactly mirrors it as it is all grey with just a thin bright yellow and green plant in the centre. Making the majority grey makes the plant, or the “hope”, stand out even more. This shows how just like the narrator “a tiny shoot of hope stirred inside me, too”, Another of my favourite poems in the book was “Unbroken”. I liked the idea that once something is “broken” it can never go back but Nicola Davies doesn’t show this as a problem, she writes it as what it is: something that happens to everyone that cannot be forgotten but can always be replaced with something better. The book has been split into three sections: “Departure”, “Arrival” and “Healing”. The two poems I have written about are both found in the healing section. I think I particularly liked the “Healing” section because it is the only one that I sometimes see in my life. I could never imagine some of the situations refugees face on their departure from their country, and often their whole life, and when they finally arrive in a new country many are ignored. “Unbroken” was just a brilliant way of explaining the hurt of the past and its damage but also how we move past it with the simple metaphor of a china cup. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection and the art within it because I think it described the experiences of refugees extremely well by being equally specific and vague. This book created a really powerful message and reinforced the point that anybody could be uprooted and we could never understand the feelings they endure so you should “choose love, now, while you still can”.

Ava

Tractor

Choose Love by Nichola Davies is a collection of poems accompanied by illustrations by Petr Horáček. It is about refugees that have to leave their country because of war and travel to another country. Some poems are about their journey to their new country and others are about them living there. There was nothing that special about this book to me, I understand that it has a very important message however it was quite confusing. I could tell what was happening in some illustrations but some of them just looked like paint was just thrown around. The book also felt way too short as I had finished it in five minutes. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book, it was okay.

Ava

HHS

This book is absolutely fantastic. It portrays so many different experiences and emotions throughout the book and I loved the illustrations as well especially as they didn't show exactly what was in the writing. My favourite poem was 'Mathematics' because on the page all we can see are numbers but as you read and think, you know that you will never truly understand the trauma all those people went through.

Hannah

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Choose Love is a beautifully written book by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček, which follows the struggles of refugees across the world through separate poems, in three stages: departure, arrival and healing. Poems in departure describe the dreading of the day which they leave their home, the panicked rush when that day finally arrives, and the choices that must be made who and what do you leave. Poems in arrival describe getting into the country, often being refused asylum and turned away, highlighting that even after all their struggles, all the horrors they have had to live through and all the people they have lost along the way, the worst is still not over for these innocent refugees. Poems in healing describe the final challenge of those who did succeed in surviving the trials of departure and arrival: the process of creating a new life, after all that they have lost. This section shows the small things that they have kept, whether it’s a mother’s love or a teacup, and how these items help them to remember but move on. A poem I found particularly powerful was Mathematics. It describes the journey of the refugees, and for me the repetition of the numbers in the first section highlights the ways we hear about these stories, just numbers in news articles, not considering the people they were, or that they left behind, and the repetition throughout the poem highlights their constant, endless struggle. In conclusion, I would recommend this collection to others, as it is an honest and powerfully written view on the struggles of refugees all round the world, something that our current society must be reminded of.

Alexander

Perse Carnegians

I really enjoyed reading and admiring the beautiful art and poems in the book ‘choose love’ they all really showed the perspective of a young person experiencing the war. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Isla

Holmfirth High Yoto Crew!

'Choose love' was a very deep poetry book, it portrayed the idea of war and suffering really well. It was an eye opening insight into the lives of refugees. Normally, I'm not so interested in poetry books, but this book showed the issues really well. It was very interesting, however confused me as there was not a strong storyline and only had snippets of different peoples experiences. Overall, I think this was a insightful perspective on the stories that refugees have gone through.

Evelyn

SHSK Shadowers

I was pleasantly surprised when I unpacked this book. Initially, I thought it may have been sent to me by mistake as a Carnegie book for illustration, but I so glad I was wrong. I found myself instantly intrigued by its content. I have a great appreciation for interpreting art and poetry, and I was curious to see how this book would make me feel. I am grateful that I took the time to watch the author event before delving into the book, as it provided me with a strong foundation to understand the author's intentions. The event helped me see the depth and purpose behind the book. I found that the book truly achieved what the author set out to do - it moved me and brought up feelings of horror about preventable tragedies that have occurred. The author expressed a desire for readers to empathise with the content, and I believe the combination of poetry and art truly accomplishes this goal. I hope that younger readers take advantage of the author discussions as well, as it will greatly enhance their understanding and appreciation of the book.

Kerry

OSSMAORATORS

I love the illustrations and general feel of this book. It is very abstract and mature.

Elsie

Eltham Hill Book Club

Choose Love is a deep, moving tale. It is incredible, meaningful, emotive, depressing, and extremely well-written. The beautiful artwork always has some kind of meaning, even if it is not discovered until the end of the poem. It contains complex topics like war and refugees, so be wary if this triggers you. All in all, a fantastic read! I would definitely recommend Choose Love.

Jhanvi

SHSK Shadowers

This is a powerful book which conveys a strong message about the horrific experiences refugees go through for safety and security. It is an eye-opening and thought-provoking book. I love how the illustrations perfectly add to the detail of the book- they are simple, yet allow you to imagine the most part yourself. Overall, I found this book great to read and would recommend it to anyone.

Florence

SHSK Shadowers

I like this book even though it is a bit short; it is really fun to read.

Vanessa

Eltham Hill Book Club

I really liked this book. I thought it was very emotional and sad. It really made me think about the immigrants coming into our country who we should help because they have been through enough trauma for a lifetime. The poems all flow together nicely so that you can see the journey of someone who is sacred and alone like the toddler in the story or the person whose family died. Five minutes, the poem when it talked about what or who to save in the five minutes you have before you must escape to safety. After all these horrifying things you still might not be allowed in the safe country.

Sophie

Perse Carnegians

‘Choose Love’ is a captivating read; the book explains the concept of refugees and the trauma they had to endure. Furthermore, the book has a heartbreaking reality that the author has managed to get across extremely effectively. To elaborate on this, the way Nicola Davies has decided to write this book makes the reader increasingly intrigued at the mysterious and unclear storyline as they venture further into the book. As well as this, there are phenomenal abstract pieces of artwork that accompany the poetry and have a deep meaning even though it is not exactly obvious at first. ‘Choose Love’ is one of my favourite books so far due to the way it made me look at history from a different perspective.

Cianna

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Choose love was a very heart wrenching but interesting book. As I read through it, I felt more and more sad, and I was glad that Nicola Davies wrote this book to show awareness about refugees seeking asylum and how it is something to not be afraid of. What strikes me in the book, was when I saw that during the Interviews if they did not give a good explanation of why they were seeking asylum they would be rejected. This is so frustrating as they probably have a lot of traumas talking about something like that. The fact that Artin and his family perished into the sea seeking asylum is so heart-breaking as they were probably looking for a better life. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Amira

STCCG Shadowing

I love this, it’s a very short read. This can be negative and positive though, it’s a great time filler but this could be longer with more stories included. I think it’s such a beautiful project to help people who are hidden.

Alice

Lionheart24

i thought that the book choose love was amazing and really inspirational. i love the way it slowly revealed the storyline.

lauretta

OLSB Shadowers

The book "Choose Love" is a sequence of hard-hitting poems, with abstract illustrations adorning the pages of the book. It brings to light what many people want to conceal or ignore. Topics like refugees trying to escape difficult and dangerous real-life experiences, bring awareness to things that are happening in our world, and it puts you in the shoes of many children - toddlers - getting separated from their own loving parents. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to educate themselves about things that are becoming buried in our everyday lives.

Sophia

OLSB Shadowers

choose love is about refugees and the struggles they have to go through.it uses many different poems and uses graphic language to make you realise that refugees have a very hard time and we are lucky to not live in a third world country.

yusuf

Ermysted’s

Choose Love is a heart breaking story that will give the reader sympathy for people in that situation. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book and the atmosphere it creates.

Lauren

OLSB Shadowers

it was confusing at the start but overtime I was starting to understand it and I enjoyed it as it was showing a story and i enjoyed the pictures.

Chloe

OSSMAORATORS

I loved this book filled with gripping poems of real life situations that people do experience due to war. Not lost was my favorite poem as I felt myself tearing up at the truth of it. This book needs to be spoken about more as it shoes information on real peoples lives and fates after it where they heal and move on. 5/5.

Lylah

OSSMAORATORS

Fantastic book could be used for both an illustration award due to the fantastic illustration. Great message around the book due and gave people a sense of comfort. An interesting nomination especially due to the sheer amount of poetry.

Warren Brown

OSSMAORATORS

It is a very emotional book about a refugee seeking asylum. It is also a wonderful tribute to a boy who was found dead (drowned) after his third attempt to enter the UK by boat.

Max

St Kaths

This book showed me the true meaning of refugees. From the heartfelt poems to the poignant pictures, this book pulled my heartstrings. It was sad, with a sliver of hope. The mixture of rhyme and free verse added to the atmosphere. Amazing!

Elijah

VISTA Academy

Choose Love is a book filled with poems and an artwork for each poem. Most of the artworks are abstract and gives you a sense about what that poem is about. Personally, I would rate this book a 7/10. The reason I am not the biggest fan of this book is due to the negativity. In most of the poems there is a sense something dangerous and menacing out there. In the poem Five Minutes, there is a phrase ‘of the past and the future you have just lost.’ Personally, I don’t find this very inspiring or uplifting. However, this book in total gives a huge message. The poem Mathematics, I thought, was an interesting version of expressing how living in camp is like. A poem that you can learn from and also enjoy. Despite the negativity, each book as their own meaning and a lesson you can take from it. So, if you are looking for a realistic book that tells you many stories of suffering without over-complicating it. This is the one.

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

Choose Love is a sequence of poems based off real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their home and suffer. Allowing you to develop a greater understanding of refugees and what they have to go through. What I enjoyed about this book is how it gives you an understanding of a refugees’ life in such simple poems. Little is said but a lot can be understood whilst reading such a short poem. It really gives you an insight of how much suffering refuges go through, from killing a child’s parent to cramping thousands of sick people on a boat. This book allows you to have more awareness of the struggles of refugees and to have compassion for them. Overall, I’d give this book an 8/10 and I would recommend this book to those who would like to develop their understanding of what refugees go through. I would recommend this book to those aged 10+ is the book is not that harsh.

Esi

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Choose Love is a short but sweet book. It helps remind people that you may not know what a person has suffered. It is my personal favourite and is absolutely amazing. Choose Love is a poetry book which contains the stories of actual refugees who had to unfortunately and unwillingly leave their home and the things they love to flee for safety. The journey for some was not a nice one and there are still so many people leaving their own home due to war/conflict.

Daniel

Esher High

In my opinion, this book was not for me. I admired the fact there was a pretty nice consistency of the same key concept: love, restoration and faith. However, I feel like there was not a clear storyline to it and that it needed more of a clear storyline. I would have preffered it if there had a storline with characters as i feel like that would have improved the book a lot.

Maria

Burford School

Choose Love was eye opening and exposed me to the horrors of war and how people are affected by them. It was full of clever poems, and had me hooked from start to finish. The ending being equally heart breaking and clever, it left the reader with something to think about. This story will truly stay with me forever.

Elizabeth

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

This book was the perfect way to tell this story. I think that the choice of using poems to represent the story was a really good choice as it isn't as upsetting as other books on the same topic but still gets the story across wonderfully. Also, it is very short so it doesn't take so long to read the book but it still has all of the information that is needed.

Chloe

SCD Pageturners

I think this book was good but very sad because the refugees got kicked out of their homes and they couldn't decide who to save as it said will you save your brother's wife or your children

Zak D

Ermysted’s

Although I don't usually tend to like poetry books, I thought Choose Love was emotive and powerful. It took complicated issues and emphasised them through poetry making for an easy read but a very good book. I found it confusing at times, though some of the poems I found very meaningful. I thoroughly enjoyed it however would not recommend for younger children.

Max

Fortismere

I think it was a powerful book with a powerful message and shows how hard it really is to seek asylum. I think this book is very good because it taught me that the government doesn't give help to the ones who need it the most it also taught me the value to be grateful for the people you have in your family. Overall it was a heartwarming and powerful book so I highly would recommend it especially if you want to find more about asylum seeker.

M.Faiq

Ermysted’s

Choose Love , I think, is one of those books that are very short but powerful. Many poems in this book are about people migrating from their homes and trying to get somewhere safe but eventually killing themselves in the process. I thought that my favourite poem in this book was Artin's voyage because it talked about them trying to cross to safety but gets overthrown by the tides and found some weeks later. This book was lovely because it mentioned many poems about people. Nicola herself had contributed to her charity, Choose Love.

An C

Ermysted’s

Choose love was such a heartfelt book. It made me understand the stages of seeking refuge and asylum. What I loved about this book is that it was so pure. They included every stage and expressed how little children and adults were forced to leave their homes. The poems were beautiful and inspired me and my friend to write our own poem. As someone who lacks empathy it made me consider life from other perspectives.

Deborah

STCCG Shadowing

Choose love was a very interesting book for me, I quite liked it. When I saw the title and cover, it just called out to me. You could say the title is quite deceiving, I thought this book would be about love and its nature, but it was quite the opposite, the book (in opinion) is about war, loss, sacrifice and birth of a new beginning. The book hurt my heart as some of the poems are based of real stories and that broke me, but the book is like a teaching, telling you to cherish the things and the only things you have.

Zion

STCCG Shadowing

This book had wonderful illustrations which helped to highlight the creativity with using poems to tell a meaningful story and message. Repetition within the poems also helped to strengthen the message.

Holly

Herts and Essex

Choose Love shows that even if a book is short and doesn't have much writing, it doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyable and have an important message that needs to be shared. In this case, the messeage is one about the struggles of refugees and what it's like for them fleeing, travelling and then arriving in another country. I found this book was touching and the poems added emotion and were very meaningful. While it is not my favourite book, I can definitely say I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone, no matter their age.

Joseph L

Bookwizards

Choose Love is about the journey of Refugees from leaving their homes because of war. I would read this again it was that good. I really like it because of how it was wrote. It is also a short book that took me about 20 minutes to read. The Poem that impacted me the most was 'Not Lost' because it made me feel sad for the people trapped on a boat. This book helped me understand the hardship of people who have to leave their countries through no fault of their own.

Laila.A

VISTA Academy

Choose Love, by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Peter Horáček, is a beautiful poem book about the stories of real-life refugees and their journeys. In 3 chapters: Departure, Arrival and Healing, Davies’ brilliant poems combined with Horáček’s sublime artwork creates a heartbreaking yet uplifting story, with poems that will tear the heart apart. It is a simply amazing book, and I could not recommend it more.

Zachary

MTS Northwood

I enjoyed it so much. It was easy to get through. It gives you an inside to what others experience that you may never get to experience the heartbreaking experiences others go through. It’s educating poems that are really moving. I highly recommend.

Lucie

Royal Readers

It was quite fast paced and a good breather between a book you may be struggling to get through. I found it worked well to read out loud to a group and I didn't find it hard to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to read a book, or finding the motivation to read.

Daisy

Bramcote College Bookclub

This book has been my favourite carnegie books so far it is fantastic for all ages above 6 and explores a vast range of emotions concerning refugees and what hey go through. It is so emotional and I would recommend this as someone who loves poetry.

Chloe

Bramcote College Bookclub

Choose Love is a book about conflict and dealing with the repercussions of the harsh truth of real life. Our two characters have similarities but also relate in the fact they are both daily effected by their past. Whilst this book wouldn't normally have caught my eye, I enjoyed seeing the progress of the lead characters and reading about their history.

Jessica

Bramcote College Bookclub

It is a fascinating set of poems about the predicaments that refugees had to go through when their country plunged into war.

Methupa

Bramcote College Bookclub

Choose Love is a good book about refugees and what they have to go through. It paints realistic images on what thousands of people go through just to be safe. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about other people's experiences. Overall I think it is a good book to read and it is a quick read.

James

Bramcote College Bookclub

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is a beautiful book of thoughtful poems about refugees and the hardships they face. I really enjoyed reading it, and the poems really made me think (and feel). I would highly recommend it!

Sophie

Euro Bookworms

Some very moving poems about escaping persecution.

MrsMidge

Balcony Bibliofans 2024

"Chose Love" was moving book about refugees and fleeing your country. The book is made from poems, a unique and wonderful approach. The drawings on each page linked with the poems to create a clear picture. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I think it is really good for educating children on the aspect of war and the journey of escape from one country to another.

Pauline

KEVICHG

I read the book during my free time and deeply enjoyed and I love the meaning behind it and how its based off real situations that are happening throughout the book as they show recognition for refugees who are going through rough time and this shows their perspective on that. Nicola Davies really shows the struggles of these people and when presented through poems really engaged me to focus and really get into it. I also happened to enjoy the art style shown in the book decently also shows the picture and scene which is being written about. Furthermore, the book made it feel as thought I was in the situation and it shows me the struggles of what is happening which can be stressful such as having to think what would you do in that situation and that stood out to me. Overall, the book is definitely worth the read and is very engaging.

Holly

OSSMAORATORS

I really enjoyed how moving and realistic it felt. It made me think that I was one of the people on that boat.

Bethany kn

Ely College Reading Group

It is about life, people who have to go away from home ( refugees ), and healing. each chapter talks about something different but they all are talking about the same thing

Michelle

VISTA Academy

Choose love, despite being a short read, portrays a lot of emotions and feelings beneath the poetry. It showed the story of a family of refugees forced out of their home, with barely anything, travelling thousands of miles to a foreign place that they have never seen before. The moral or message of this story is to choose love and hope over all. This short read is based on a true story of the treacherous journeys made by refugees. The pictures enhanced the story a lot and although abstract, showed a range of emotions. Overall, I would probably rate this a 9/10

Tanvi

Perse Carnegians

I really enjoyed this book because of my ADHD i struggle to focus on one thing so the lot of different stories/ poems really helped me smash through the book in under an hour

kai

St Martin’s Bookworms

I loved how the book showed what it's like to be a refugee in a new way. The poems really made you want to help, and reach out. The idea of always 'choosing love' is heart warming, while the stories the poems told were devastating. The abstract art was powerful too, conveying the message.

Lily

Fortismere

Choose Love - This book was around a ten minute read so it was a bit short for my liking. I liked how the book was a group of poems in chapter and they all made up a story. I personally didn’t understand the pictures as they were just loads of layers of color over the top of each other. It was nice how at the end of the book the author and illustrator talked about their upbringing and their experience. There was a main character and I didn’t like that. Because of the unusual genre I don’t think many people would enjoy it so therefore I wouldn’t recommend it.

Elsie

TPS Carnegie Collective

A simple but touching story that's based on true events. It was great.

Mathew

Killy Krew

good but ceped jumping in time because it is poitry. there is nothing elce to say.

Ben

Bredon Readers

I didn't really enjoy the book because it didn't make much sense to me, therefore, I don't believe that this book could win the Yoto Carnegie Prize.

Tommy-lee

Beckfoot Oakbank Carnegies

This short collection of poems focuses on refugees and their often perilous journey to a country of safety, and then the racism and xenophobia aimed at them once they arrive. The poems are beautiful, but heartbreaking, and the poem 'Artin's Voyage' in particular stops you in your tracks. A worthy read.

Mrs Grundy

Greenford High CSG

this in a few words is : choose love not hate. it really makes you think about how other people fell in tough times. this is a sad book as some of it is about war and how refugees fell out of place

Anastasia

OLSB Shadowers

Simple but effective, I thought the set of poems in ‘Choose Love’ delivered a powerful message of the very real and current situations of refugees. The emotions they go through were conveyed well and it makes you aware of their suffering. Even so, the book was very short and simple which wasn’t my preference.

Rosanna

KEVICHG

I have given this book a 5/5 star rating because this book was so heart warming it made me cry a few times. It was so sad for those in the book who couldn't make it safely or those who are affected by this . There are no other words I could use to describe this book, heartwarming, shocking, touching. Those in real life who are being affected by this one way or another shall never be forgotten. This book of poems clearly expressed the struggles of refugees and asylum seekers. This book was really touching and unforgettable. The illustrations in the book were outstanding and they really expressed the poems through art. There is nothing bad I can say about this book, there were just so many tears too think about an improvement. The author of this book should be proud of what they created. it is a masterpiece.

Summaya

The Reading Queens

Choose Love had a profoundly different style to the rest of the Carnegie books which centred around conveying the feelings of an individual in heart-crushing poems. I can't fathom ever being able to put that much intense emotion in any passage of writing. Every single line opened my eyes to the traumatic experiences of refugees. Though this book had no plot or characters, the sheer power of this writing makes up for it in every way and evoked much empathy from within me. This was intensified when I read the poem 'Five Minutes' as the brutal choices refugees are forced to make almost every day were revealed to me and it got me thinking about what I would do if I was forced to choose one of these unforgiving options. Throughout the book, the author does not hold back at all, highlighting-in detail-the most horrific things I have ever read in a book before this which (as already mentioned) sinks in deep. Somehow, I have actually accepted that Choose Love has to be short (which is really not a common case when dealing with me.) Despite the all the praise I have just given to the book, it is still not my favourite, due to the differing style which I am a fan of though not enough of one for Choose Love to make the top spot as of now it resides in second place just behind The Door of No Return. For Choose Love, the scoring system will be a bit different thanks to the lack of a plot and characters. Score: Inspiration:19/20 Flow of poems:15/20 Word choice:17/20 Total:51/60

Sevan

Ermysted’s

'Choose love' is really good because the poems are Inspiring meaningful and the illustrations are beautiful. 'Hope. is my favourt poem because it is about having faith in people, even if you have lost someone.

Rae w

VISTA Academy

I found this book really enjoyable even though it was surprisingly short. The topics it talked about were really well expressed. Some of the messages were really powerful which combined with the poetry form really pushed the messages forward. Overall, it is a good book even though it has a short length.

Benjamin R.

Ermysted’s

This book is a moving sequence of poems, with the text superbly combining with the evocative illustrations to provide insight into real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes. I liked how it has a powerful theme and the poems inspired by human crisis brings attention to the real stories of these people who need our help. Although the artwork has a rawness that can be quite authentic, some people may find the images somewhat lacking. Overall, I would give this book 4 stars (out of 5).

Hafida

Rockwood Reads

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is a heartfelt story that touches your soul. It's about a refugee who flees his war-torn country and finds himself in a new, unfamiliar place. Through the refugee's eyes, we see the power of kindness and compassion in the face of adversity. Davies' writing is beautiful and evocative, capturing the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit. The illustrations are stunning, bringing the story to life with vivid imagery. "Choose Love" is a poignant reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding in a world too often divided.

kieran

Fiction Addiction

I found this book a powerful book through the fantastic poetry and the interesting, but sad, story which shines a light on refugees. I really liked the artwork in the book as well. The mathematics section was saddening. Overall it was a great book, short but powerful.

William B

Ermysted’s

an interesting group of poems which try to show the trauma of being a refugee seeking asylum, however i didn't think that it did this well, as the messages were too short and not particularly powerful.

Edward P

Ermysted’s

I think this book was very powerful and hard hitting. although it was a short book, I found the poems very frightening and emotional, especially the sections about the toddler on the boat and the mathematics poems.

Alfie

Ermysted’s

This is one of my favourite books I've read in a while, It's so powerful and the underlining meaning of every poem, without fail, caught me by shock every time. Even though I'ts only a short book, the story is huge and intense. For me I'd rate it at least an 8/10, however I get that I'ts not for everyone.

Oliver S

Ermysted’s

I thought this book was very powerful especially the Mathematics section as it described the intensity of immigration

Alfie

Ermysted’s

This heartbreaking set of poems really makes you think about the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. It also makes us realise how hard it is to lose or know you are going to lose someone. However, it helps us understand the world and what is going on around us and how we and our community can help or at least be aware of what is happening .

Jemima

Sandroyd Bookivores

I thought this book was a heart warming way to see what refugees go thought just to make it to a safe place. My favourite poem was the mathematics passage which I found quite sad but really interesting to read.

Archie D

Ermysted’s

I thought this book was really impactful on me about immigration, and the poem, Mathematics stole me. At the end, I felt the injustice for the refugees and wanted something to change. The book used poetry which sometimes rhymed and made the whole thing even more powerful but I felt it sometimes could've given the reader more facts to really understand what was going on. This book was very short but the only of the 8 books to have regular coloured illustrations.

Aidan M

Ermysted’s

'Choose Love' is a very raw portrayal which simply categorised complex emotions. I found the book to be a good launch pad, enabling its audience to read between the lines, with the simple and abstract art depicting the lawlessness and unruliness of the events and feelings. The poetry was written in a basic and accessible manner and although a short read can be quite thought provoking. This book made me feel grateful, but unhappy about the situation a lot of people find themselves in amidst our war-torn world

Daniel E

Ermysted’s

Choose love uses multiple different poems to tell the story of how refuges travel to England and the struggles they face. I liked the book because it told a very moving story and it made me want to do something about it. I like how it focusses on children and the difficulties they face to make people feel emotional. Despite that I think that they could have put more poems in it because it is very short and only took me 15 mins to read it. Overall it was a great book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in how people are treated and what life is like as a refugee.

Henry

Ermysted’s

Choose Love is a book about what refugees went through i didn't quite understand it at first but after reading it again and asking i found out how deep the meanings are . Great book!

Saul

Ermysted’s

I found 'choose love' to be quite interesting. It is a group of poems where you have to to think about the meaning of what it is trying to tell you. There were very unusual and abstract artwork, but I think that made you think more about the meaning. It wasn't actually a book that I like to read, but it was okay. I give it a 6/10.

Elliott

Ermysted’s

Scarlet

The Sherbies

Choose Love was a good book. It shows the struggles of all the refugees fleeing their home countries in hope of asylum. The abstract art was very interesting as it showed deep emotions. Many people cried while reading this book, which shows how sad and how sensitive this topic is. However, Nicola Davies did this in a way so everybody can feel the pain of the refugees, so it was meant to do this. Overall it was a good book, I would give it an 8/10.

Jairaj

Ermysted’s

Choose Love' by Nicola Davies is a thought-provoking book that looks at the complex issue of the refugee crisis via poetry and pictures. The book takes readers on an emotional journey, and exposes the harrowing experiences of people forced to flee their homes, and deals with emotional, haunting themes. The evocative language creates a beautiful experience to create empathy towards refugees. My personal favourite was 'Artin's Voyage' which follows the heartbreaking tale of a young refugee boy, it is also accompanied by a tragic, expressive picture. 'Choose Love' is a beautiful book that leaves a lasting impact on readers of all ages.

Archit

MTS Northwood

I found it powerful and it shows how unfair and difficult it is to survive as a refugee. However some parts of it did not make as much sense as the rest.

ming

Ermysted’s

This book is so moving and it changes your view on what it is like going through war. It is a sequence of short poems that connect at the end to create a story. I devoured it! 4.5 ⭐️’s.

Rachel

Woking High Flyers

‘Choose Love’ by Nicola Davies is a very moving and eye opening book about the experiences of refugees fleeing from their war-torn country and entering Britain. The poems in the book are designed to give the reader a new perspective of what refugees have to endure, and inspires them to ‘Choose Love’. Personally, I really enjoyed the way that the poems were easy to comprehend and how they flowed nicely. I particularly found the poem ‘The Trials’ very eye opening as it described the war and terror in a monstrous way. The illustrations in the book are abstract but I felt that they enhanced the reading experience, providing further images in my head. The only downside to this book is that it is a bit of a funny size. (It is too large to fit on my bookshelf). But overall this book is very moving and definitely worth reading.

Eaden

Marshland Readers

This book is incredible. Everyone needs to read this because it will open your eyes to the suffering of refugees all around the world. Nicola Davies gives a voice to the refugees through her poetry. These poems will hit you hard. They will hurt, but they are necessary. They are needed. My favourite poems are: - Five Minutes - Mathematics - Hope. All of these poems are life-changing. I really feel for the refugees who are going through this right now, and for the people who have already gone through this because this experience of seeking refuge will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Please read this book.

Scarlet

The Sherbies

Choose Love is a very interesting book. It's one of those books where you read it and think you know exactly what the meaning is, until someone says something at school or at home and you have a massive realisation. This book has helped me understand more about refugees and what they go through. Definitely recommend.

Kristina

Brooke Weston Book Busters

I would give this book an 8/10 as it loses 2 marks for the first couple of illustrations due to them being far too abstract for me and distracted me from the poems. It's a nice book that explores ideas of the difficult theme of being a refugee which I was able to understand.

Rashad

Brooke Weston Book Busters

‘Choose Love’ by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek, is an extremely thought-provoking poetry book about refugees' experiences and the struggle they faced departing their war-torn country, entering Britain and healing from what they had endured on their journey to survive. The poems are written to create greater awareness for this crisis, caused by the war in Syria, and inspires readers to choose ‘love’, above all other emotions for the people suffering in these circumstances, and hope for a better tomorrow. The poems are written in a way that is very clear and easy to comprehend. I particularly liked the poem ‘ Five Minutes’ with its repetitive phrase, “You’ve got five minutes…” The illustrations are mostly abstract paintings inspired by heartfelt poems. Although it is a funny sized book, it's tremendously moving and you can only but love it.

Mrs Lucas

Marshland Readers

When I read this book, my first thought after reading it for a second time was "why isn't everyone in the world crying?". This was because this book about refugees' experiences is so full of beauty and empathy that it really highlighted to me just how horrific our world is, but also the hope and healing in it too. The range of viewpoints across the poems is also very interesting and beautiful, as it again exaggerates the empathy. I would also recommend reading the prologue because it is a very meaningful introduction to this book, which I definitely recommend overall too!

Eve

St Kaths

Choose Love is a heart-wrenching book. I liked how short and easy to read it was but yet it was so powerful and perfectly conveyed the message. I loved all the poems. The 'mathematics' poem was especially compelling and really made me feel upset about the lives lost in war. It brings up feelings that I haven't experienced in other people and it is very striking over all.

Amber

Fortismere

I finished the book chose love and in one word found it powerful. I enjoyed the way it told you about the life of a refugee and how it is so unfair. To think of something bad would probably be how the character heals, most refugees don’t heal and the words unbroken at the end. I would on the other hand continue to read this book and gave it a 69/70 as I gave the ending a 4.

George

OLSB Shadowers

The poems were good, and I liked it. But i thought it was quite political and guilt provoking at the end. I read them at the table, and we had a good discussion as a family. Dad was surprised at the left wing ideology that we were reading. He said the book started quite tame, and then ended up really dark. Mum was sad that young people are affected by war, and wondered how we can help. It was thought provoking, but I do agree with Dad that there are lots of people in our own country that need help, and we should help them first as we can not help everyone. Why did the refugees not want to live in Europe - it is where we go on holiday and think it's really nice?

Oscar

Ermysted’s

This book is about the life of a refugee and how they suffer. It follows the story of how a child’s home is in danger and eventually bombed before they are forced to leave. It tells you about how they are crammed onto a boat filled to a number way over the maximum capacity, and have to share all they own. When they eventually arrive at their destination, they are expecting safety. What they find instead is a hostile environment where strangers decide if they have suffered enough to stay. It flicks between different perspectives and at the end the refugee has a daughter and a life. It was an amazing book that used poetry to tell a story. It contained very important and powerful messages. It’s a beautiful book and is easy to enjoy. People of all ages should read it and understand just how much people suffer. It is unfair and not enough people realise that they are real people and not just a story or a ‘crisis’. I would rate it 9.5/10.

Hannah

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book is definitely a book that you can not judge by its cover because it is an amazing book

georgina

Hooked on Books (UAH)

It seems like some it is set in a country at war, it’s a bit violent when it says a bomb took his brother and a sniper’s bullet took his dad it also builds an image in your mind that makes you think what happened in real life. My favorite poem was not lost. I like not lost because the mum held the protagonist little sister hand and said you will be safe and wouldn’t be lost because I have you in my heart always that’s probably why the book is called choose love.

Ellie J

VISTA Academy

The book Choose Love is a chain of poems around people leaving family and belongings behind. In my opinion, my favourite poem was Five minutes. This is because it makes you as the reader think about what you would do if you had five minutes; Save your sleeping children or save your brother’s wife. It also makes you feel what the person is going through having to choose one thing between the other.

Kayden T

VISTA Academy

I thought that this book was quiet deep and almost dark in a way due to the fact that its based around war and violence, and, the fact that it goes into detail about what is going on. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes reading about war in graphic detail or a heavy reader of poems. 9/10

Hector P

VISTA Academy

The book Choose Love is about how people from areas around the world where there is war struggle and suffer on their journeys to safety. When they eventually reach "safety" somebody else must decide if their reasons for coming are valid and they are rigorously tested and challenged. What I enjoyed about this book was how it highlighted the problems and suffering people have to experience as well as the fact that when they arrive to safety they are still in danger. It shocked me to read about what real people go through and how they feel. What many people of this world have to go through is messed up and they shouldn’t have to do it alone. The author of this book is really trying to convey the message of a refugee's life. This book has powerful messages and people of all ages should read it. I would give this book a 9/10.

Eloise

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book was a very quick read. It was very sad but also moving and delivered an important message. I really enjoyed it and I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Cerys

St Kaths

I love the use of raw of emotion in this book and this is good thing because if it’s too gentle it might not come across as well or as impactful. Another thing I love about this book is that has a nice good clear message which I think is very good especially when we talk about this topic. 9.7/10 Would definitely recommend, P.S love illustrations!

Izzy

TPS Carnegie Collective

The book Choose Love is a brilliant book about poems from the perspective of immigrants, refugees and people who have just experienced war in general. This was a fantastic book and it really got me to realise the horrors that refugees and immigrants go through. Not only was the writing by Nicola Davies mind blowing but the illustrations by Petr Horacek were stunning and they really moved me. I have got to say that my favourite poem in the book is 'unbroken' which is about this person who lost their family and lost their country but they still had this beautiful teacup that their mother had given them and they state that it was the only thing that had been getting them to keep going in life and keeping themselves together and then it broke. The poem goes on to say that she couldn't take it anymore and they themselves become broken. But then their daughter fixed it and at the very end of the poem the daughter says "unbroken". The poet is very successful because she uses very good imagery and to be honest the book nearly made me cry. This was the first book I have read in the Carnegies series so far and I have to say it made me confident that I would love all the next books to come.

Evelyn

Fortismere

Choose Love is written by Nicola Davies and Illustrated by Petr Horacek. This is a really thought provoking and emotional book written through a series of powerful poems. The poems highlight how refugees are forced to leave their homes, their communities and even people they love behind. The illustrations are really beautiful, they match the poems and help the words come to life. The poems made me feel sad, families should not be faced with war and have to move countries away from all they know. The people in these poems had normal lives and now their lives are scary and unknown. I wish the world was a kinder place and I hope that people will welcome others and treat them with love and respect.

Aimee

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Choose love book review In this Moment, choose love not hate, you’re all in this together. Be loving, have patience and things will get better. Bring all your great memories so you can be stronger then get on a boat and hope it will help you stay longer. Here in your home in your ten last minutes, what will you do? What will fit in it? As you depart in your boat and land slips away you must hope you must pray. That life as you know it has just disappeared but soon if unbroken it shall reappear. Hold on to what you have and you will come through and help everyone that you can then they will help you. So choose love because it saves lives and gives second chances. So choose love first not on second glances. So choose love not because people helped you but because you know what they’re going through.This book was emotional and brought tears to eyes, tales of stormy nights and cloudy skies. That if someone has your back and you have theirs you will always know there is someone who cares. Choosing love is not always saving lives which is why I give this book a 4 ½ out of 5, Choosing Love isn’t ever for you or yourself but because you can for someone else. I liked this book even though it was short, there were many things from it that I have been taught but mostly… This book gave one message: be kind and be brave but mostly Choose Love because you’ll need it someday.

Holly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book was a good mixture of overwhelming illustrations and amazing writing I personally didn't understand this book until I figured out the pictures represented something important in their life. It had some out of place poems but overall was good.

Aaron

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Very quick to read and it was an emotional masterpiece. It really made you think about things from a diferent perspective and I would definatlely recomend to others.

Emily

St Kaths

Choose love is a brilliant book written in prose by Nicola Davies, it is about the hardships of refugees from Syria. it may be shorter than the other Yoto Carnegie shortlisted books but it is packed with hearty wrenching metaphors and rhymes, my favourite is that they are caught in the web of life. I love the abstract art that accompanies the tale. This book is in association with the choose love charity, and the knowledge that the tales are based of real peoples experiences only add to the compassion that is already plentiful in the masterful poetry.

caiden o

VISTA Academy

I enjoyed this book but it was a bit short and slightly confusing. I enjoyed "why you bought that bunch of supermarket flowers, without knowing what the price was, or who paid it."-from supermarket flowers. Personally I feel like this quotation means that its easy to just go and get something without putting any thought about the troubles or the pain and suffering it took for it to get to you. I also love how this book raises refugee awareness.

Jasmin

Kingdown 24

I enjoyed this book as it raised awareness for refugees and how they suffer with having to flee their homes. I also enjoyed how it has an outstanding amount of beautiful poetry telling different stories.

Bella

Kingdown 24

I really liked how the writing of this book, considering that there are several poems, showing how these poems effect their reality and their upbringing.

Jess

Kingdown 24

This has beautiful poetry, with a clear meaning behind it. The artwork also shows the story. A quick and easy read which resonates with the soul.

Amelia

Reepham Readers

A profoundly moving book which describes the heartbreaking decisions and experiences refugees can often face when forced to flee their homes.

Mrs Trickey

Wilsthorpe book buddies

Choose love is a beautiful book with a really powerful meaning I enjoyed the book so much and the fact that it is based on real peoples experiences is just heart wrenching.The text is formatted in such an easy to read manner and is a great read the beautiful illustrations paint the perfect picture aside with the text and the poetic structure of the tragic but sadly true story that many refugees go through incredibly difficult to read through without tearing up.The book is a magical way of informing people about asylum seekers and the great lengths people have to go through all over the globe just to live safely .This book is such a magical read and I love how the choose love foundation is incorporated into this beautiful book.I can confidently say that I will be recommending this to all my friends because this is one of the most heart warming books I’ve ever read .

Alicja

Wolfpack

Choose love is a beautiful book with a really powerful meaning I enjoyed the book so much and the fact that it is based on real peoples experiences is just heart wrenching.The text is formatted in such an easy to read manner and is a great read the beautiful illustrations paint the perfect picture aside with the text and the poetic structure of the tragic but sadly true story that many refugees go through incredibly difficult to read through without tearing up.The book is a magical way of informing people about asylum seekers and the great lengths people have to go through all over the globe just to live safely .This book is such a magical read and I love how the choose love foundation is incorporated into this beautiful book.I can confidently say that I will be recommending this to all my friends because this is one of the most heart warming books I’ve ever read .

Alicja

Wolfpack

Choose Love is a captivating, heartfelt and moving sequence of poems. Highlighting the issues of refugee immigration this book is truly heartbreaking. Divided into three sections departure, arrival and healing, each poem reflects the journey of a refugee. Additionally, it also shows that even when refugees finally arrive in a safe country, they are still feeling the terror that it might happen again. As well as the beautifully written poems, there are also incredible illustrations, each one carefully shaded, toned and representing the message of the poem exactly. My favourite poem in Choose Love is definitely “Artins voyage”. It was so sad that I cried! This poem definitely revealed how anybody, you or me, could end up in this same situation. I think the age to read this book is 12+ so you can fully understand and interpret these poems. I would rate this book 10/10 as it was wonderfully written and fantastically backed up by illustrations.

Orla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I think that this book is quite good because the way that the poems are written is very well worded but I didn't really enjoy it that much because I don't really like the style. Although I did think that the illustrations where amazing and fitted perfectly with the writing. I didn't really think that it was my style of book because in the end I got a bit bored and I thought it wasn't that good so I would say that it is more of a book for people who really like poetry so they wouldn't get bored. On the whole I still thought it was a really well written book with brilliant illustrations.

Ellie

GreatB00ks

This book is a short read portraying the hardships faced by refugees and the struggles they go through. The abstract illustrations in the book are beautiful and full of meaning.

Juliette

GreatB00ks

I found this book really informative and I found it very interesting to learn about other peoples experiences .

Lara

Fortismere

I really loved this book. the book made me tear up. Evert single poem was so beautiful and really made me think about all the lives that were taken. All the asylum seekers did not deserve that because they are humans too, and have the right to be heard.

Hayaam

The Reading Queens

I liked the book because of how sad it was. One of the poems, Artin's journey - how the brother, sister, mum and dad tried to get to another country to be same and then they all died was very sad.

Haleemah

The Reading Queens

Choose Love is a moving tale that raises awareness for humanitarian aid. Through a collection of eloquent poems, it tells of a refugee’s journey to asylum. The poems are separated into different phases of the journey – Departure, Arrival and Healing. I think it is important to note that the idea of this book is to promote help for people who have been forced to leave their country and to make the reader feel empathy and compassion for others in dire need. The title of this book is named after a charity, who do incredible work for these people. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly fond of Choose Love. The cover and the blurb of this book didn’t appeal to me, and it didn’t really tell me much about its contents. It felt way too short, and I was able to read it in less than 10 minutes, which I didn’t like because it feels like something I would just read and then completely forget about. Because of the length, I didn’t feel there was enough time to get hooked on it so when I finished it, I felt slightly disappointed. I would much rather a lengthier story to read. One thing I would’ve also preferred is that the book had characters. This way, you can form connections with the people in the story and I think you can feel even more sympathy if you were told it from someone’s point of view. On the other hand, I think Nicola Davies did a splendid job with the poems; they were beautifully written with stunning descriptions. Astoundingly, she managed to encapsulate the story into 12 poems. Also, the wonderful and evocative abstract paintings illustrated by Petr Horáček are a lovely addition to each poem. My favourite poems were Five Minutes and Mathematics because I loved the rhyme and repetition used in them. Also, I loved the purpose and meaning behind this book: love and hope. In conclusion, I think Choose Love wasn’t an amazing book but it was not entirely disappointing – there were some lovely elements to it such as the touching and heartfelt message. I wouldn’t strongly recommend this book, or describe it as a ‘must read’, but I would say that if you are interested in poetry, then this might be worth a read.

Lucy

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Choose Love This moment Escaping With as much as you could carry To a foreign country Only to be rejected once more So choose love now while you still can. War and pain and suffering watching loved ones die before your eyes, only to be told you’re a liar. seeing hope fade and love cling to see rage exploded And people crying out in desperation. So choose love now while you still can. Souls burn, people break, and children give up, things change, never to be the same again. So choose love now while you still can. Before we left This book brought tears to the eyes of those who fell upon its pages, like rain battering the roof. “It’s so sad ” “it’s so painful “ “it’s so deep “ “it’s so meaningful “ “it’s so real “ So choose love now while you still can. Different people Of different places Gave different opinions. Ones of anger Ones of desperation Ones of fear ones of love So choose love now while you still can. Ten minutes Ten minutes to try and understand The lives of those at deaths hand Ten minutes to suffer all their pain But don’t let it wash away like rain ten minutes to try and count the cost of all things they’ve ever lost ten minutes to think when it all began So choose love now while you still can. These things will lie deep inside my heart Until I am ready to take my part In helping people like in this book So I want you all to take a look. Inside the world where they torture men So I rate this book a nine out of ten. I think its important to try help every man, So choose love now while you still can.

Flo

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Choose Love by Nicola Davies is a poignant exploration of resilience, empathy, and the transformative power of love. Through vibrant prose and heartfelt illustrations, Davies crafts a narrative that resonates deeply with readers of all ages. The story follows a young girl navigating the complexities of her world with courage and compassion, ultimately discovering that love is a choice we make every day. With its universal message and beautifully depicted scenes, Choose Love reminds us of the importance of empathy in fostering connection and understanding. Davies' uplifting tale is a testament to the enduring capacity of the human spirit to overcome adversity through love.

kieran

Fiction Addiction

I enjoyed this book as it was different to anything I'd read before. The rhymes worked really well and it was really emotional

Amelia

GreatB00ks

Choose Love is a collection of hard hitting, unflinching poetry focusing on refugees and the traumatic experiences they have. Amazing images and poetry that stays with you.

Ruth

Oxted Carnegie Group

Choose Love is one I really like but is really short. It's poems are written beautifully and has a secret story behind them. It is too short with only 16 poems. Overall if it had more pages I'd enjoy that and it is a great book. It is just that it is too short and can be more forgettable in my eyes.

Mikail

FPHS Reading Crew

WOW, What a message this book tells us! Heartbreaking poems about the millions of people needing to leave their homes though no fault of their own. I am not a poetry person, however, every single one of these poems shows truly astonishing writing! 'Artin's Voyage', made me cry! So sad. So True. Why, in the 21st century are we still killing each other - it's just bewildering to me, and this book of beautifully emotive poetry, maks me ask that again, and again.

Mrs Allsopp

The Reading Queens

These poems touched my heart and shall remain that way. This books message is to Choose Love before it is too late. Choose Love to not just help you, but others. Choose Love for everyone out there.

Mahiba

The Reading Queens

I found this book boring, as it was very short, and written in poetry. I understand that the poet expressed their feelings, but I like a book with a story, not just a collection of boring poems. I would not recommend this book, as I am trying to save you the misery of reading such a boring book.

Dylan

TBGS Readers

Choose Love is a collection of poems about the hardships that refugees face when taking the long journey out of their country. I found the poems in the book hauntingly beutiful. The poems are separated into parts based on the phases of the journey a refugee takes. The book envokes sympathy into the reader. This is the sort of book that I think everyone should read. I would rate it 10/10.

Simon

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book was good however I struggled to understand as I felt that you really needed to have to know what it feels like to be a refugee or at least come from a foreign country to understand properly. For this reason I could not really understand the book, but it definitely was a good book.

James W-B

Ermysted’s

My favourite book so far is 'Choose Love' because each poem has a meaningful and powerful message. Another reason I like it, is that the poems are talking about the people going migrating.

Chloe

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Choose love is a poem book about fleeing your home country due to a war and the many hardships that come with trying to earn permanent refuge. I really enjoyed this book as it made a think about how we have a good life and how horrible over people's lives are. Being honest, I cried a little as it was touching and emotional. I would definitely recommend reading this book as the poems are well thought of and the words will pull at your heart strings.

Daisy W

VISTA Academy

Choose love, though short, is a colourful commentary on the struggles faced by immigrants from wars around the world. Its visceral expansion on common ideation of refuge seeking international migrants is truly novel in its materialization of family distress.

Theo U

VISTA Academy

An absolutely beautiful book, both the poems and the illustrations. This offers an important insight into the experiences of marginalised communities and helps develop understanding and empathy. I have recommended it to everyone!

Miss W

Gartree Carnegies

I like this book because it is about life for a refugee and it help me to understand what refugees are going through

Samuel

Ermysted’s

Choose Love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horacek is a beautiful and insightful collection of captivating poems which tell of migrants (whether refugees or not) relocating and being forced to settle. The collection is divided into three sections: Departure, Arrival and Healing. There are so many words that could describe this book, but I don’t think any could do it more justice than “breathtaking”. Each poem is paired with an alluring abstract painting to act as a background for its melodic words. This book contains poems not only based on loss and sadness, but also on sparks of joy and hope. It’s these highlights that bring a sensitivity to the work: a humanity. Overall, Choose Love is a book I would highly recommend as it transports the reader far from their surroundings, whether to a small boat in the middle of the ocean or a desperate interview for asylum. I think readers of 12+ years would be able to properly embrace and enjoy this book as there’s a lot to take in and infer. “I had to turn away to hide the tears, As a tiny shoot of hope stirred inside me too”

Bethan

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This book has really opened my eyes to how bad being a refugee can really be. Choose Love is divided into 3 parts; Departure, Arrival and Healing. The poems in the first part are really raw and full of despair. Arrival is about sadness, longing and uncertainty. Healing starts to give a bit of hope which was also a title of my most favourite poem. Choose Love is not only a book, it is also a charity which helps refugees around the world. Nicola Davies' poems describe a real life struggle which to me is almost unimaginable. The book is very well written but reading it made me sad thinking of other children's sorrow.

Sebastian H

Ermysted’s

This book was very touching,the book, Choose Love, is about refugees, and their life trying to get to a safe place. It covers how war comes across and deciding whether to leave their home or not. The next part in the series of poems is about leaving, and then followed on by arriving at the 'safe space'. My favourite poem in this book is called Mathematics as it reminds me that even when you feel like your life can't get any worse, that other people are suffering much more than us and could be dealing with great loss. Thousands of people can be dying and losing people they love because they are trying to get somewhere that is thought to be happier. I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read a book that is very touching and can make you see the world around you in a diferent way. This book is very good. Look forward to reading it!

Caitlin W

VISTA Academy

I think Choose Love is a really good book. It has a such an important meaning behind it, and I think this book is for those over 12. I really enjoyed reading this book. I also liked the way it was written, in verses, like a poem. Every single line in every verse has a different meaning which is beautiful. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.

Jennifer

Rebel Readers

This book reminds me of how lucky we are to not get bombed every day.

Abdul M

Ermysted’s

I didn't quite enjoy this book that much, as the poetry was slightly confusing. I do appreciate the struggles that the writer expresses, but they way in which they expressed them was not interesting enough. I would give this book a 6 out of 10.

Rishi

Ermysted’s

This book wasn't the best book I have read. Although it was calm and relaxing and to know about peoples life . I would not recommend but if you want a calm , quick book , do read.:

Joshua R

Ermysted’s

This book showed the true struggles of life in war and the different perspectives and roles taken place in wars. My favourite part of the book is where it includes true stories to educate readers on the negatives as well. In my opinion, I would change the style of writing and make it more simplified to have only one obvious meaning behind the words. Otherwise, few may get confused like I did a couple times. I would suggest this book to readers looking at feelings and different lifestyles for it is a meaningful book.

Millie O

VISTA Academy

In the opening of the book the message is very simple: Choose Love, but when you read through the rest of the poems in the book the message is the total opposite! The book takes you on the journey of a refugee, from fleeing their country, and the horrors they leave behind and face on the way. Its mostly simple language and the use of repetition in words and sentences re-inforces the scense of panic refugees must feel. Its all very dramatic and terrifying. After reading this book I've learnt more about refugees and am more able to empathise with them and I have more understanding of what they have to go through. The poem that stands out for me is "Five Minutes" because the repetition of "Youve got five minutes..." and "...run..." portraying the panic terror and possibly confusion of the people as their city is destroyed.

Rosellen

Rebel Readers

I Like the poem Super market Flowers because I like the line " maybe someone stole his land maybe someone who can read and write" I like this line because they are questioning why he was there . I really like the artwork the author has done, it is really good . This is a book I would read again because I really enjoyed it. The author has done a very good job on the book.

Erin

SHS On The Same Page

Thought-provoking and emotional, The book highlights the constant struggles refugees face on a daily basis as we go about our daily life. A reminder that we need to stop and think.

Nicola

The Sherbies

I didn't really like this book it was very short. the only thing I did like was raising refugee awareness.

Hasan i

Ermysted’s

Choose Love is a great read, it shows the story of an immigrant person coming over to the UK. It has many sad and compelling sections in it that keeps the reader intrigued to find out more about the story, i particularly like the way the story is told in poems.

Dylan R

Ermysted’s

At first, you could dismiss this book as childish. But through a collection of captivating illustrations and poignant words, the book had me hooked from the first poem. "Choose Love" is a hardback book. It's a collection of 13 poems written about refugees forced to flee their homes. My particular favourite was the poem "Not lost". The poem tells the story of a young boy and the loss of his mother. It moved me to tears. I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Noah B

Ossie’s bookworms

'Choose Love' is a very interesting read. The book isn't like your normal story book, as this book tells the story through deep and meaningful poems. The poems were very beautiful, and conveyed a lot of meaning through a small amount of delicately chosen words. Some poems, in particular, felt they had shone particularly well, to illustrate the treacherous journeys of Syrian refugees as they arrived at British shores. The book tackles some of the UK and the world's biggest holes. There was one poem that detailed the inspection of their belongings, and were interrogated thoroughly, up until they showed their British Passports. This shows one of the problems in the trust that is held between the border control and the people, even if they were in rags. Another example is when they arrive at British shores, and described the journey preceding their arrival as the easy part, because the interrogation the refugees go through to get a place in an asylum, sometimes lasts months - if not years, and sadly, some then are to find their requests denied. The book, I think, is one of the best awareness-raising stories I've read, that takes less than 30 pages of words to convey such powerful messages about the humanitarian crisis in the world, that could be so easily stopped, if we chose love.

Muadh

Ermysted’s

The poems made me think hard about asylum seekers, how they are viewed by many people and treated by western governments. The answers aren’t in the poems, but the difficult questions are. The artwork compliments the poems, both are thought provoking and emotional. The poems aren’t very long but they do pack a powerful punch, I was in tears reading this book. Loved how the poems are categorised loved everything about this book. The final line of “Mathematics” sums up my feelings on the subject of asylum seekers “It could be you, it could be me” this book really makes this clear.

Mrs Donnelly

STCCG Shadowing

This book was very nice and interesting. It was very touching for me because it had a mixture of sad and heartwarming poems. Some of the poems were sad and made you want cry. I would like to in the future read more books from this author. I recommend this book to people who like poems and like war stories.

Varin

FPHS Reading Crew

This book was heart warming and beautiful this book has a touch of sadness in it that makes you want to cry it was also very interesting. I would read from this author again and the poems were amazing because they were easy to read but full of different emotions. I recommend it for reading with a friend as I did .

Aamila

FPHS Reading Crew

This book was quite short and therefore did not take long to read. At first it seems to just be a compilation of poems with some nice artwork but as you read more it unveils a story of a refugee seeking asylum after leaving his home. This is a unique way to write a story and one that I think is good.

IsaacJ

Ermysted’s

This story is about how a child grows up with a broken past but she cant go back and fix it.

rajanp

Ermysted’s

I liked how the writer made me think about the struggles of immigrating to England. My favourite poem was five minutes as it was very telling

sam bowker

Ermysted’s

This book used a lot of symbolism to convey a big subject in few pages. I thought it was hard to follow at points

Stirling

Ermysted’s

A thought-provoking, emotional collection of poems, beautifully presented.

Mrs McA

Killy Krew

I found this to be a really poignant read and it is, of course, very pertinent today. There were some poems that really hit hard and challenged thinking (or lack thereof) around refugees and immigration whilst others demonstrated the power of human compassion and emotion. It sort of helped to get from sympathy closer to empathy, despite the fact that no one can really understand and properly empathise unless they have experienced the same thing themselves. The collection of poems were mostly unrelated and some I found quite difficult to get but, overall, I really liked it; the ones that stayed with me most were ‘The Interview’ and ‘Hope’.

Rosie

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Very touching and thought provoking. A couple of the poems I found quite upsetting. The illustrations emphasised the uncertainty and chaos of the refugee’s situation

Ms Cove

FPHS Reading Crew

I really enjoyed 'Choose Love'. I found it really beautiful and moving. There was such a sense of sadness in every single poem. I especially liked poems like 'Unbroken' as they had a small sense of hope. I think that it would have been better to have a few more poems with a little bit more variety. Overall, I think that 'Choose Love' tells an amazing story that needs to be told in a beautiful way. 6 out of 10.

Seb

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This book was short but gave me lots to think about. It is a collection of short and poignant poems on the theme of refugees. The poems 'Five minutes' and 'Mathematics' made you think about what people are actually going through and the sheer number of people that become ill and die because of the living conditions of refugee camps. I would find it impossible to choose what to take in five minutes. It also makes you realise what mankind is doing to innocent people with war. I would recommend the book to someone who likes to think about what is happening in the world.

Edward M

Ermysted’s

I found that the unique descriptions not only emphasised the situations that were being illustrated in your mind, but they also indicated emotions for you to sympathise with the stories.

Stanley D

Ermysted’s

This is a beautiful book, and the poems and artwork really convey the emotions well together! It is about refugees, and shows their journey, and how there is always hope, even in the what seems like the worst of times.

Edward L

Ermysted’s

I think that this book was very powerful. It shows the struggles of immigrants and refugee and the struggles that they face. The art was quite abstract but you are able to mostly tell what it is showing. Overall a very good and moving book.

Yusuf K

Ermysted’s

An interesting book with lots of moving poems about the stories of refugees that really touches your heart as you read each one. The complimentary artwork next to each poem really ties the poems together with the images that the reader conjures whilst reading. Overall a rather good book.

Sam S

Ermysted’s

The book opened a door for me into the sorrowful stories of refugees. How they were forced to leave their country, with 5 minutes to pack. How their fatiguing journey often led to death, but was still undertaken to escape the conflict. How their welcome didn't exist; they had to wait days upon days to process their asylum application - have they not suffered enough? My sympathy was stirred by these heartbreaking poems. I can't imagine a place being so terrible that I would flee, even if there is a small chance of death, like Artin Irannezhad and his family. Their death was tragic, and is captured by the author perfectly for readers like me to despair at their unfair death. However, some poems are difficult to follow, although the overall collection of poems was brilliant.

Aashaz

Ermysted’s

I liked how it was all poetry and each poem had its own illustration next to it. It was mainly about refugees journeying to a better place. All the poems were linked together. There is one called 5 minutes and it's about the place that the person lives in which is going to get bombed in five minutes and you have to decide what or who to save. This was in my opinion the most memorable of all the poems.

Alfie S

Ermysted’s

This book is about a child who grows up poor and departs to a different city. She grows up and manages to get a job and a husband. All of her family is dead and she is broken inside. She loses more money and also breaks a China cup - the last thing her mother gave her - which deepens her sorrow. Normally I don't like poems but this book was formatted very well with different parts of her life sectioned in chapters. I would rate this 7.5/10 and recommend it to 11-12 year olds.

Bassit

Ermysted’s

The book was quite good, I liked the mystery of it and how it showed a kid coming from a broken and stolen land and how he was sad and quiet about his family dying and near the end he gains some hope and becomes more happy, this portrays character development. I also like how the author wrote down the chapter unbroken, it says "the one small thing of hope in my mother's life" this could also be foreshadowing how he was also like the small thing of beauty in his mother's hard life. The author also wrote "I carried it across continents and oceans" the author could also be foreshadowing that, like the china cup, the kid was also carried across continents and oceans. Overall i rate this book an 8/10 for its mystery in the story

baasim

Ermysted’s

A stunning book of poems, incredibly moving.

Mrs C

Ossie’s bookworms

It was a very interesting book about refugees from Ukraine and their difficulties in getting to the UK. It was written with a very careful choice of words but I think it had too much empty space and the writing could have been over the illustrations.

Edmund

Ermysted’s

I didn’t really follow this book apart from it was about a refugee arriving in another country and applying for asylum. The abstract illustrations were pretty good though.

Aaron

Ermysted’s