BSG

Create Group Magazine

Safiyyah's War
Safiyyah's war was amazing. I think it was aimed at slightly younger readers than me but I still found it a pleasure to read. The plot was really interesting following a young Muslim girl who faces the terrible, frightening aspects of war. She enjoyed her life a lot with calm but then the war came. Her best friend left and only occasionally did she give Safiyyah letters and pressed flowers which she preserved with care. As the book goes on, a true historic theme is carried out by the dangerous work that the people of the mosque that usually is forgotten. My only complaint is that all the characters were really kind to each other and didn't really have a hidden meaning except the German soldiers. The root of a small tree can portray everything in your life that can be saved or you've already lost. I enjoyed this book a lot and would definitely recommend it as it has just the right balance between historic pieces, sweet pieces, really sad ones and the ones that tie it all together. Overall, it was great.

Hanna

Away With Words
I think that the characters relationships with each other was really good and the two faces about people. One face you try to hide and the other which everyone else knows. The things you want people to know and the things you let on to strengthen friendships.

Hanna

Away With Words
This book is really good in my opinion. I didn't want to read it at first but as I got throughout the book it got better. I thought that the plotline was interesting. Sophie Cameron tries to spread awareness about selective mutism and language boundaries and how difficult it is to not be able to speak but want to. The idea with collecting people's words and making poems out of them was creative and flowed with the book really well. The book was well thought through and was really interesting. I would recommend this book.

Hanna

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed reading 'Crossing the Line'. It is a tragic and lively story written in verse , which maintains a fast and exciting pace throughout. It sometimes created shapes and images with the words that relate to the story and uses different fonts, sizes and layouts to extenuate key words. The style was very enjoyable and easy to readand makes me wonder why I have never read a verse novel before! Despite this, I found the writing style a little lacking in description for my taste, but then again, one could argue that it keeps a fast pace and fits with the style. This book tackles a really difficult -- and frankly under-represented -- theme of youth drug running, trap houses, cuckooing, bereavement, poverty and especially grooming of young people. I think that this book shows a really important message: in most drug dealing cases involving young people, they are the victim and it is very difficult to avoid once put in these situations. I thought that most of the character building was great, although i found Erik very irritating sometimes, and I often found myself getting frustrated at him for being so nonchalant and unempathetic towards his mother. Overall, the plot was quite exciting-- and certainly heart breaking-- and had me gripped from the beginning. On the synopsis, it says that his sisters' lives are threatened, but they are only threatened in the last few pages, which I was a little disappointed about! I loved this book as it was written in a unique way, tackled a difficult topic and was just exhilarating.

Lucy

Safiyyah's War
'Saffiyah's War' was the first Carnegie book that I read and I have to admit that I had very low expectations. It was aimed for 9-10 year olds (though it made me cry more than I would like to admit) , so I thought that it would be boring and simple, but I was pleasantly surprised! It is set in WW2 Paris and is from the POV of Saffiyah, a kind and lovable girl who lives in a Mosque with her family. As the war breaks out, she looses her best friend, and is distraught. She helps her family to run dangerous errands around the city, helping Jews and those in need. She creates unexpected friends, challenges the prejudice views of her peers , and finds her identity. This book was very perilous, exciting and well thought out, with adventures and tragedy around every corner. I absolutely adored this plot, although it was not to ridiculously high-octane, I thought it had a nice balance of calm and emotions and danger. I thought that the theme was a stand- out feature of this book. It told a WW2 story from a very different POV and it was very special. It talked about immigration, the Nazi movement in France, and how religious groups and young people viewed it. 'Saffiyah's War' was written beautifully in a way that created brilliant images of the Mosque and the streets of Paris. It is appealing to a younger audience through more simple words, but written in a way that is appealing and stimulating for a wider audience. It is comparable to 'The Last Bear' by Hannah Gold (in writing style) which was my all time favourite when I was about 9/10 and gave me a fuzzy feeling of nostalgia when I read it . The characters were lovely. They were all very sweet and caring, so it was very easy to enjoy. Although, my only complaint was that none of the characters were particularly complex. They were all just nice, but that wasn't particularly interesting. Overall I really loved this book as it was exciting, beautiful, a unique telling of WW2 and something that I would happily recommend to friends and family.

Lucy

Away With Words
Personally, I thought that 'Away with Words' was okay. It is set in a dystopian world where words are physical and they fall out of one's mouth. It follows a Year 7 girl called Gala who moved from Spain to Scotland so that her dad can be with his boyfriend. Gala doesn't speak English very well and struggles not being able to say everything that thinks of. Soon she befriends Natalie, a girl with selective mutism. They find ways of communicating and as their friendship grows and send kind poems to classmates who need encouragement .After a while, an anonymous peer sends poems of a similar style: but cruel and humiliating. Everyone blames them, so they decide to do something about it. I really liked the style of this book as there would be a squiggly line in dialogue when Gala couldn't understand, words all over some pages, and different fonts in some situations. I personally liked this, but the actual writing wasn't poetic or descriptive enough for my taste-- it lacked description (in my opinion)! I thought that the character building was nice as some characters were really likable (like Ryan, Natalie, 'A-Lee 'O etcetera). Some characters were very sweet and I really loved the relationship between Natalie and Gala, although, I found Gala really selfish at some times and it made it a little bit harder to enjoy from her point of view. I thought that the plot was a bit boring. I found that there wasn't really much risk and at the end, it was quite unrealistic. They did something in front of the entire school (I won't spoil it), but in real life, nothing would change and they would just got in trouble and been embarrassed. Overall, I didn't really enjoy this book, but I could see if one would. I found myself forcing myself to read it, and I think that the plot was just not engaging enough and the lack of description was disappointing.

Lucy

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
This book has a specific style. Its rapper language shows a range of feelings that are relatable to real life. I think it was a really good plot but its not always obvious at all times. This is one of the reasons I really like it. The book is rather fast paced but its easy to read but a bit complicated but on a good way. The ending is quite predictable but overall the rest is really good. I would recommend it.

Hanna

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
This book. The adventure. The people. The culture. The beliefs. The friends for life. Tarni and Moonflower/Magpie/Maestro/Tidda live through everything together. As Moonflower tries to remember her whole life story, Tarni describes her side of life. The storyline is really good and everything intertwines. I definitely recommend it.

Hanna

Crossing the Line
This is such a great book. Erik is such a passionate character. His decisions are heavily impacted by peer pressure which is like real life. Tia Fisher makes the reader feel sorry for Ravi but also question his decisions. I'm still a bit confused about the ending. Did he get help in the end?

Hanna

Crossing the Line
This book is amazing. the detail is great and it is written in a style so passionate. This is a interesting, want to read on book that has the exactly perfect plot line and is very suitable for people my age. it is very fun to read and I cannot wait to finish it!

Hanna