Ermysted’s

Create Group Magazine

The Door of No Return
This was a very moving story about the troubles of slavery. I think this book had moments of sadness and loss but also of love and great hope and opportunity in the future.

Tomasz

Away With Words
This book is a great book that tells people how a girl called Gala experiences a change of country, friends and school, as well as dealing with new relationships. It is also about people dealing with problems like learning English and making new friends. For example, at first, Gala didn't know most of the things that people were saying, but near the end, she was much more capable of understanding English. I really liked this book, but I wouldn't call it my favourite book as I didn't understand the concept of "picking up words".

Hisham N

The Song Walker
This book left me with lots of questions. I loved the story and the worldbuilding, but nothing was explained very well at the end. It almost was either said outright or left for the reader to figure out. This is probably my favourite Carnegie book as the description of the outback and the use of Alaywarre terms makes you feel like you are in Australia with them. Overall, I would rate this book an 8.5 out of 10. The plot twist at the end kind of made me feel confused as it wasn't a typical "happily ever after" ending.

Lucian

The Boy Lost in the Maze
For this book, I was a bit intrigued at first because I thought it was just about two people separated by time but after a while I realised that it wasn't just about poems but more about the difference of characters of the people. I found that the little stories were more 'powerful' than just some other long, boring book. Overall, I liked how the book was structured and the pictures that illustrated it.

An C

The Song Walker
I really liked this book, it had a great story and characters. Something I particularly liked about the story was that you couldn't tell at all that Tarni's sister wasn't alive, and that Sienna was actually a really rich and famous violinist. Another thing I liked about this was Candelabra, as I feel this was a metaphor for the whole story journeying and eventually being set free. Overall, I would rate this book a 10/10.

Jairaj

Crossing the Line
This book was really good but it was just a bit sad that this kind of thing is happening in the world now. I liked the style of the text aswell it was in short snippets like a poem but the words weren’t like a poem. This book was very good and I loved it

Saul

Away With Words
Away with words is a really good book. In it you can see words which was a bit confusing and I thought there would be an explanation but there wasn’t and you just had to except that as you were reading . I thought this was a really good book especially when the main character meets natelie

Saul

Choose Love
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

The Door of No Return
i really liked it but i found the ending to be quite boring and some parts dragged on a bit. excluding those flaws, I say it was a brilliant book.

noah

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I rate this book 6/10 because I didn't like having to deal with the different paths and dead ends, but the chapters about the minator's back story were pretty good.

Connor R

Crossing the Line
this book is about a boy that goes to school but then his dad dies and it all changes. He gets into a drug gang and gets loaned money to buy stuff from K1 then has to pay him back later. after a while he gets into a running competition. Soon he has to go away inside the rival gang’s territory to sell drugs to the rival gang . They eventually catch him ,just before he was going to give the money back to K1, and steal all his money.K1 lends him money but makes sure that he knows that he owes him. One person from the gang gets stabbed in the thigh so K1 makes him deliver a bag that he gave long ago to another member. But then his friend Ravi says "Why do do you thinkhe told you not to open the bag, I mean its not like any of us haven't seen drugs before". So he checks the bag with scissors then hears them clang against something metal and both of them know that its a gun. Then he thinks to himself I know I don't deserve a guy like Ravi but I'm not a murderer. The next day he has to deliver the bag and go for his running competition at the same time. So he gets on the train to deliver the bag and makes sure the person that's there to check he's on the train sees him. He jumps off the train behind someone just before the doors close. Now he only has a few minutes to get to his school and decides to take a dark path there but gets stopped by Ravi's dad and the dad picks him up in his car and takes the blame for him being late so he can still stay on the team. in the competition he gets 4th and in a toilet cubicle he writes to K1 that he's had enough and wants to leave and he's got his prints on the gun with the sim card. He then has to move houses for safety measures and gets a dog but he ties him outside a shop since dogs aren't allowed in but when he comes outside the dog is lying on the floor and he rushes the dog to the vet the vet can save him but finds a note in the collar that says "give me the sim card or your sisters are next. So Ravi tells him that he can talk to people so he messages the FBI (you) and you say hello! like you know how the boy is feeling then you ask Are you feeling safe which refers to the very beginning of the book so the view of who he is talking to changes from the reader to the FBI. then finally he ends up telling you everything which is everything that the reader has just read about his life

Rajanp

Safiyyah's War
This book was a great book as it showed perfect examples of bravery and bereavement during the second world war and how people in her situation lived and coped, i quite liked this book but it was not my favourite but it still enlightened me more to other peoples problems.

felix

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I didnt really enjoy this book that much because I had to keep on reading it until I understood it. However, I did like the spirit of most of the story when they were journeying to find their fathers. But I wouldnt recommend this to young readers as their is some inappropriate content on some pages which I think they could of got rid of in that book.

Hamza

The Song Walker
This book was a bit confusing.The book was set in the australian outback and it highlighted the parallels and differences between city life and the wilderness as well as giving history of the aboriginals and a bit of their mythology as well.

Sayuru

The Door of No Return
This book is a new view on slavery.It shows the true history of african-americans starting from their roots in africa.The story has a hopefull ending with a dove representing peace

Sayuru

Steady for This
Personally,I have very mixed feelings about this book😭,more on the negative side.It starts off a bit cringey in my opinion,introducing growls(Shaun)and shanks(his best friend).I think that the main target audience was younger kids down south as the author was from London.The use of language,slang,and tone can be refreshing but is overused and gets dull very quickly. Thats not to say there aren't any positive bits,such as Growls’ character,a silly,dumb himbo eg.the vaseline on his eyelashes and the whole date with tanisha(super cliche love story).And shanks being a bit more mature but still silly.It has a silly,depth vibe to it which I respect but isn't really for me,one thing I do like however is the little raps that growls and shanks do,entering raptology and obviously the plot being shanks and growls get exposed with poo pants and Peckham armpit sniffer.They both compliment each other very well,but we don't see much character from shanks at the start but he's still there for growls,like two peas in a pod.Overall this book makes me want to vomit sometimes,gives me a migraine and I physically can't read more than 20 pages without needing to take a break due to the stupidity of it(which I sometimes love).

Rajin

Away With Words
Away with Words shows the importance of communication, friendship and the love we need to show people around us. Reading this book, I imagined a fantasy world where words of all meanings, colours and shapes, would fly around. Gala is a Spanish girl and she is uprooted and follows her dad to Scotland, for him to be with his boyfriend. There she meets a Scottish girl Natalie with selective mutism and they form a strong friendship. When they are accused of writing mean poems, they have a hard time to make people believe that they don't want to hurt people and are only trying to help. The book has a happy ending and Gala and Natalie are accepted by their classmates. Away with Words can teach people how to accept people who are different to them and don't speak the same language.

Sebastian H

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
This book is one of the most interesting I have read. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t enjoy the language throughout the book, sometimes it was hard to understand. Although, the book was generally quite lighthearted as the book went on there were lots of deeper themes. I think this book is a must read from the Carnegie shortlist. However, I didn’t enjoy the book personally.

Sachin

Away With Words
I thought that the book was slow to start but nearing the end it started to get going. I loved the adventure with Gala and Natalie; writing poems for their friends and classmates, but my favourite part was when they discovered that Eilidh C had written those mean poems. Overall this book was amazing and I would probably read this again.

Joshua R

The Door of No Return
This book provides the sudden flip and contrast of problems faced before and after the colonisation by the main character illustrate all of the lives suddenly taken away by Slavery. This was a great book to read.

Joshua R

Away With Words
I really enjoyed this book for many reasons, firstly I liked the premise. a Catalan girl and her father moving from their home to a little coastal town with terrible weather that she hates a lot. I like how she slowly starts to like her new life and even though she and her friend can barely speak they are able to communicate. I didn't understand the physicality of words. like how she can see and feel them. but i like the twist at the end as to who was writing the mean poems. overall I think that this was a very good book and deserves its place on the shortlist

Dylan

The Door of No Return
I enjoyed reading this book because of the way it was written in poems which made it a fun read. I did not expect that the son of the tribe leader would be killed in his fight or the main characters kidnapping. I liked all the mystical parts of the story like the river and forest monsters. And I liked the ending because we don't know what they meant by 'flying'

Dylan

Crossing the Line
This book is by far the most hard hitting.Its use of shaped poems help to further convey its emotion.It tells a sad but true story about county lines.It manages to convey the feeling of being trapped and the desperation that drives people to get involved in county lines.

Sayuru

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book was about the story of Theseus.However it tried to be more relatable by telling a parallel modern day story also about a boy trying to find his father.It gets a bit weird at points when it tries to directly parallel the greek story but overall it manages to be succesfull.

Sayuru

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
This book was very bad. the use of slang was completely in the wrong place and nobody would use it like that. The writer has completely misjudged the level of slang kids use these days. very poor from the author

Sammy

Crossing the Line
This was a very interesting book. I enjoyed reading this book and i would definitely recommend it. Definitely not for younger readers

Sammy

The Song Walker
this was a good book and i enjoyed reading it. The contrast of mystery and understanding worked well and it clearly had lots of attention put into it. overall a good book

Sammy

Away With Words
For me Away with Words wasn't a book that i would really read unless i had to. The weirdness of it was way too hard to follow and when i got to the end i waited for an answer but never got one. Why could she see words?

sam

Safiyyah's War
Good book about ww2 and how Jews escaped the terrors.

MuyangD

Away With Words
Away with Words was a nice book, not really amazing, but not terrible. It was quite confusing at the start when it talked about words being physical things. After I got over that concept, I realised that everyone could see the words, not only Gala, contrary to my previous understanding that only Gala could see the word because she's special. Other than that, I liked the book, especially since the idea was original, albeit strange. The fact that Eilidh C was sending the letters was the big plot twist the book needed. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Aashaz

The Door of No Return
This book is not one of the greatest books in the my opinion but i think it reflects on how different our society is to the society of the 1800's. Slavery doesn't just involve the USA with all its apparent ' freedom '. it involves merchant ships made in europe. The slaves themselves coming from mainly the west coast in countries like: Guinea, Ivory coast, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and sometimes even Angola and Namibia. We really don't realise how slavery impacted our modern society and our laws. Kwame Alexander has my respect

sam

Crossing the Line
I think that crossing the line is a book that really highlights the problems of our modern society. It follows the story of a teenager who is pulled into a society known as county lines. You watch as his ordinary life falls away into a void of despair that cannot be fixed

sam

Safiyyah's War
I liked this book because it was a really well written and heartfelt story. What I liked most about it was that it had a fantastic story-line while also showcasing real life events and the horrors of world war 2. I liked how Safiyyah always had a positive attitude and always tried to make the bad things feel better. Overall I thought this was a good book and I would definitely recommend.

Robin

Steady for This
This was a funny book that I enjoyed despite not really liking rap. It is not the type of book that I would usually read or pick up so I feel like I should pick up similar books more often. I found myself involved with the book and didn't want to put it down. It was a very nice read but some of the slang was hard to understand but I could still understand the book. When Saun/Growls was actually competing in Raptology I found myself rooting for him despite knowing he was probably going to win, because it's that sort of book (where you anticipate a happy ending). This could have been because I had recently performed in a theatre so knew the nerves and knew what he was going through.

Edward M

Steady for This
This book was very different from the rest.It explores complicated issues like poverty and bullying without being depressing.I found it very easy to read and very enjoyable.

Sayuru

Safiyyah's War
This book provided a new perspective on the second world war. It was seen from the view of a Muslim in occupied France which I have never seen before.The story took a while to get started but once it did it was very interesting and showed how the Nazis persecuted all religions and minorities.

Sayuru

Choose Love
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

Away With Words
I found this book a bit confusing at first but once you understand how the words work it quickly becomes interesting.It provides an interesting perspective on the difficulties of mastering a new language.The story was endearing as well.

Sayuru

The Door of No Return
This book was quite interesting as it was full of action and was written in an Intriguing way,something that no one has done before.

Ryan

Steady for This
This book was decent,it was okay but I wouldn't recommend it but it is good to learn about how some people live and it also evokes a lot of mixed emotions during the book

Ryan

The Boy Lost in the Maze
i think that the boy lost in the maze was a great book describing a boys yearning for a father in his life. this book really helps people to understand the stress that can be put on a boy without a proper role model to guide him. on the other hand i think that the aspect of choosing your own path was a bit annoying. i like the way that Theo was doing a lot offthe things that Theseus did but in a modern and realistic way.

Avaneesh

Crossing the Line
This poem boom is inspiring and a brilliant read, It's a fast paced book with different text styles and very engaging, even if it is short, still incredible. 9/10.

Ollie

Crossing the Line
i think that this book is as much a great read for the younger audience who don't know much about county lines as it is for a person who understands or has been part of county lines. the writing style of the book is not one i frequently encounter being a story written like a poem. but i feel like this kind of book has been repeated a lot on the shortlist in books like choose love. the main theme of this book county lines was shown to be a bad thing to experience, and the main character's emotions were very well expressed when the writing changed shape.

Avaneesh

Steady for This
The book is okay, not the best although a lot of detail

MuyangD

Crossing the Line
I Loved this book and how it shows a sad reality of what can happen to young people who aren't careful nowadays in areas such as London, as the book goes on he does start to realise what is happening to him and he does try to get away from it to succeed but not by much when the ending comes with a twist and uncertainty. This was definitely my favorite of the books so far

Felix

The Door of No Return
This book enlightened me a lot as to how cultures live and struggle in places like Africa. The journey of the main character is very well written and i love how it shows what their lives are like , I loved the ending and how you get to know the relation to the front cover and all the build up

Felix

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book was quite hard to get into at first and confused me a lot however once past about page 100 the book started to make a lot more sense and appealed to me more, the ending was very satisfying with the main character getting what he wanted and things going back to normal.

Felix

The Song Walker
The Song Walker is a book about a girl who has woken up in the middle of the outback with one shoe, a mysterious heavy case and no idea of who she was and how she got there. She finds a girl called Tarni who is from the first country of Australia. Together they walk across the outback each on mysterious quests of their own. I like how the author fused the traditions and beliefs of first country Australia with a captivating adventure book. I am slightly confused about the ending as it makes you question if everything happened or not. Overall I thought is was a marvellous book and think that Zillah Bethell has done a great job of writing this book.

Henry W-R

The Door of No Return
The door of no return is about a boy called Kofi who lives in a village in Africa. He goes to a strict school where he is bullied by his cousin. When he is captured in the middle of the night and taken into slavery his life is turned upside down. I liked how the author has used the real events and turned them into an interesting book that makes you more aware of the struggles of slavery. I also liked the layout as it was very easy to read. In summary I think that The Door Of No Return is a brilliant book and I would recommend it to any 11-13 year old interested in history.

Henry W-R

Safiyyah's War
Overall,I really enjoyed this book as it derives from both history and imagination, a very unique genre which is hard to be creative with as you are challenged to have a strict plot.This book however really explored the boundaries as it showed an Algerian girl in a thriving country(France) and the struggles of war during the 1940s. It also was bittersweet at the start since Saffiyah's country was colonised by France and she and her family were fighting for it. Saffiyah had to also deal with separation from her best friend, her cousin leaving and her having to help Jews. A story of true courage,bravery,determination and resilience.

Rajin

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book,in my opinion is really interesting due to multiple reasons.The first main one being the use of juxtaposition between two characters,one in modern day and one in ancient Greece yet somehow they are connected together by one ultimate goal,to find their father that had been absent their entire lives.Their sole motivation and drive is to find their father,so focused on that goal that eventually they consume themselves into that goal,and during this depressing yet hopeful journey,feelings of anger,passion,jealousy,greed,regret and sorrow can be experienced by both the reader and the 2 boys.All in all,at the end,a bittersweet ending is encompassed with a hopeful future for both boys.

Rajin

Steady for This
After asking my friends about this book, some of them said it was good, others said it was bad. It was a bit like Marmite, you either hate it or adore it. Shaun is a character who uses a lot of slang, and isn't the brightest of kids. He loves rapping, and is hoping to compete in Raptology, a massive competition for young rappers, and the further on in the book we go, the more we realize how much he needs to win Raptology. So, does he, or doesn't he? Read the entire book of Steady for This to find out.

Estlin K

The Door of No Return
I really enjoyed this book.At the start it was quite confusing to grasp who was who as it was a whole other culture,some words in another language,and lifestyle.It focused on a young boys life,how one small accident by his brother affected both of their lives.The rhythmic language really emphasised the scenery,the background,and personality of the characters,making it quite poetic at times,or humorous.The drastic change in his life at the concentration camp severely contrasted his previous life just one month ago,and at the end when the aunty had martyred herself,it was a powerful move,touching the heart of readers as the mc swam and became a bird,referencing back to the cover of the book.

Razin

Crossing the Line
Personally,I loved this book as it talks about real life problems that are quite sensitive but important to shed light upon, The main character had been torn into two risky choices that would drastically change his life.It talks about his trauma with his dad dying,his stepdad leaving,him having to become a man and a provider at such a young age.I also liked the layout and style of the book and how uniquely it is presented, It really indicates that the complexity of the layout also foreshadows the complexity of his life

Razin

Safiyyah's War
I rate this book 8/10. I liked the last 3 chapters because it is when Safiyyah saves the Jews using the catacombs under Paris to bring them to safety from the Nazis.

Connor R

Steady for This
I didn't think this book was very good at the start as I could not really understand the language and thought the humour was a bit stupid but when I got into the book and understood the language I enjoyed the book very much.

Tomasz

The Door of No Return
I found this book to be ok. It was a bit slow at times and not too much happened. I think that the verse style in which it was written was a bit basic when compared to crossing the line and the titles were quite boring. It could be because it is the start of a series of books but I think that some more could have happened. The ending was pretty good with a cliffhanger. Overall an ok book but nothing special.

Yusuf K

Crossing the Line
I thought this book was incredible because it managed to pull me into the book and showed emotion in the book. I also liked how when Erik tried to cross the county line because the way that he did it involved things from earlier in the book ,such as his mums phone number. I would give it a 10/10.

Ben P

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
Personally,i really enjoyed this book as it took into account of a new phsycological perspective for one of the main characters,fugue,where you have no clue of what you were,who you are and what happened to you.This book was also quite inclusive as it featured first world Australians,an aboriginal minority that doesn't get much light.It showed a bit of their culture, words and habits.The structure of this book also followed each chapter slowly but surely uncovering bits of sienna's past,overall allowing us to figure out her true identity during the end of the book.

Rajin

The Door of No Return
This book is the perfect blend of adventure and action with a sprinkle of actual real life. In one word “perfection”

Ming

Crossing the Line
This book is awesome as it shows the dark business of county lines through a more friendly way. I would vote for this book but I think the door of no return is an atom bit better. And it tells young people to don’t get into this business.

Ming

Safiyyah's War
It is very interesting and educational as it enlarges my historical knowledge of the WW2. It shows how the tow religion should be like.There is so much emotion, which is done really well, and each character feels individual and vivid.

Ming

Away With Words
This book is really interesting; a world where words are physical.I thought that it presented a wonderful range of characters who were all extremely relatable. However not my cup of tea.

Ming

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I didn't really like the book as at times it was a bit confusing and hard to read. Although I liked how the minotaur interconnected the two boys on journeys to find their fathers. The main thing that I didn't really like was how at times you didn't know who you were reading about.

Robin

Safiyyah's War
I really enjoyed this book as it showed how Jewish people were being treated in the world war 2 by the Nazis. It showcased a lot of emotional scenes as well like when Saffiyahs dad was arrested. Overall, a very interesting book!

Hamza

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
"The Boy Lost in the Maze" is a story told from two perspectives. One, an old Greek tale and the other - a teenage boy looking for his biological father. Theo is 17 and enjoys writing poetry. He goes on a quest to find his father. His and Theseus's stories mirror each other, despite being thousands of years apart. I would recommend this book to people 13 and over, as some of the themes of the book are unsuitable for younger readers. I really enjoyed this book and I couldn't put it down.

Lucian

Away With Words
For this book, I found it very confusing as some of chapters in the book had left gaps and words everywhere. My favourite part of this book was when Gala had moved from Scotland to Spain as this was when Gala had changed from being a very funny and happy person to a sad and lonely girl. I liked this book but found found it hard to read.

An

Steady for This
I didn't really like how Steady For This was written, but it was funny at times. I think it had a pretty good story, but nothing out of the ordinary. The best part about the book was the message it gave, being wherever you come from you can achieve something great.

Jairaj

Crossing the Line
Crossing The Line was a very interesting read, it made me appreciate the life I have and show me how some people can make the wrong decisions. It was very enjoyable but it pained me to see Erik make the wrong decisions over and over again. What made me think was that none of Erik's choices would have happened if his dad hadn't died, because of this he got involved in drug dealing and violence. I think this book might be more appealing to an older audience.

Sebastian H

Choose Love
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

Away With Words
At first, I found this book quite confusing as I didn't really understand the concept of the words. But, after I understood it, enjoyed the book a lot. 10/10

William B

Safiyyah's War
this book is about a girl that lives in Paris during WW2 she doesn't think the Germans can come through the French defences until her best friends family moves to London. A few months later the Nazi step foot into Paris. Her family are Muslims and live in a Mosque. They believe that saving one life is like saving all of humanity. So her dad starts working for the Resistance by handing out forged Muslim certificates to the Jewish families. But then her dad gets arrested by the Nazis so the girl called Safiyyah has to do her job for her Dad until the war ends so her dad can be freed and her brother who fought in the army can travel back safely

Rajanp

Crossing the Line
I thought this was an exceptionally eye-opening and gripping read. The book followed a fantastically written, but tragic tale of a secondary school aged boy that lives in poverty. It was extremely heartbreaking to read about the sacrifices Erik was making to save his family from poverty, without anyone knowing. However, one of the first things I will point out about this book is that it's quite violent - in terms of language, imagery, and the general plot. However, I think the book portrays a subject frequently pushed away from the spotlight - poverty within the general public and exploitation of one's weaknesses. I especially enjoyed reading the tough decisions Erik had to make in a viewpoint that's often classed as 'irrational' or 'naive'. This book shows that not all bad decisions are made because of poor judgement; peers, family, money and other hidden factors can take a serious toll on someone's decision-making. I loved the poetic style of writing, conveying powerful messages in the minimalistic amounts of words. This book does an excellent job on advocating for better lives for young people in Britain and demonstrates that through a tragic and violent life that some may go through without anyone knowing.

Muadh

The Song Walker
I thought the book was very good. I really liked the tropes and the ideas that were put into the story. I was confused about the ending as the time went backwards, and then it turned out she was a ghost, or maybe she was asleep, or maybe in a coma....i don't really know! But, i did enjoy reading this book, and liked the ending.

Oscar

Safiyyah's War
This is such an enjoyable book! There is so much emotion, which is done really well, and each character feels individual and likable, especially Saffiyah! The story is really compelling and exiting, and develops smoothly. It gave a very different perspective on the war that I never really thought about or knew about before. I also thought the culture was really nice to see, and didn't feel forced at all! Overall I loved Saffiyah's war!

Edward L

The Boy Lost in the Maze
this book was quite enjoyable, and i found the relatively straight forwards plot a nice break compared to other books I've read. the cliff hanger ending worked well but the one part I didn't like was how i couldn't tell if the 2 time periods were connected.

noah

Crossing the Line
I felt it was a bit depressing and hard to read at the start, but I felt by the end that this didn't just completely spiral down into one sad event after another or slow down the story. Instead I think it kept an engaging story , and actually use the events and emotion to really push the final message at the end. Overall, I thought it was a bit sad, but it used this really powerfully to make a point.

Edward L

The Song Walker
My favourite book out of the books I have read. Amazing story line. It hooks your attention and is very gripping. The way the characters are described is great. One of the best books I have read. The ending had lots of meaning behind it. I also like how they portrayed people who live in areas like those in the book. Overall, an amazing book.

Sachin

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found the book confusing at the start but as the plot unfolded I started to enjoy the book more. I feel like it would have helped if I knew more about Greek mythology. Some of the concepts in the book were confusing and hard to grasp. I liked the way it rhymed throughout the book. However, I didn't think the choices part of the book was done effectively.

Sachin

Crossing the Line
It was a very interesting book about county lines. A gripping story line. I found this book very informative on how the drugs industry works and how they take teenagers and attract them to deal drugs with the prospects of new clothes and phones. One of the best plot lines out of all the books I have read.

Sachin

The Boy Lost in the Maze
Overall I enjoyed reading 'the boy lost In the maze', and I think it was written very well. I liked the way it tied with mythology and how its presented in verse form. I was really happy to see the 'choose your own adventure' elements around the pages due to pure nostalgia. I think this book is good for a short and worthwhile read.

Daniel E

Steady for This
I’m thought the book was really funny and was written to be very relatable. Although in parts I found it hard to follow.

Stirling

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed this book I thought it was well thought out and had really good twists and turns and a really good ending

Stirling

Crossing the Line
I think the use of verse writing made a hard hitting, important topic approachable for readers

Stirling

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The Boy Lost in the Maze was not my favourite book but it was good. The author made the book fall off towards the centre but then it picked back up again. The story Theo trying to find his father was quite sad but interesting to read. I overall really liked this book.

James W-B

The Boy Lost in the Maze
Another completely new style appearing once again, The Boy Lost In The Maze provided a very interesting contrast between two boys on the same journey. The poems throughout these verses were unwavering in their quality , easily captivating the reader with extremely strong structures, depth and uniquity in every single one. This is definitely one of my favourite books so far, due to its solid poem structure and many additional features such as The Minotaur's story which was a very impactful concept for me as it proved that we would all immediately think that a big, daunting monster is horrible when it may just have just be scared or have had something that shaped it to become the monster it is. In The Minotaur's case this was King Minos who treated him harshly from birth, before abandoning him to be used as a tool of fear. The way Joseph Coelho shone a light on this made me further enjoy this book. No book is perfect and in this case one of the problems was the rather uneventful/anti-climatic plot as there are some points in which the reader may want to stop reading, due to the rather dull plot, only to read the next poem and be once again re-engaged. The only other thing I can dis this book for is the addition of the 'pick your path' style as I found that it was completely irrelevant so ended up reading both options instead. Away from that topic; the ending of Theseus' story was perfect and matched with the build up in every way, with a lot of depth and meaning behind it. The actual ending to the book was not quite as good yet it still carried the meaning and provided a suitable close to the story. Overall, the poems were solid and stood strong throughout the novel being backed up by many side pieces in different places and two strong endings easily making up for the poorer plot. (Once again I have found that the specific categories for the score are not suitable so they have been changed.) Score: Plot:13/20 Poem Structure:19/20 Inspiration:17/20 Total:49/60

Sevan

The Door of No Return
I liked the Door of no Return. I thought that it was layed out in a very different way to most books and showed the stages of being captured and becoming a slave. The fact it was written in poetry gave it a different kind of air than a regular story. It was good, but not my favourite.

James W-B

Steady for This
This was a very good book about a want-to-be rapper called Shaun. His relation with Siobhan was very good and the book was full of jokes. I also enjoyed reading about his time with Mr Ricks as he learnt a lot more than English from his English teacher. Sometimes, I found the slang hard to understand but from the context you could usually work it out. Overall, a good read for most!

Aidan M

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
I really liked this book, although at some points I struggled to understand what Growls and Shanks were saying. I felt that towards the middle the book kind off got too repetitive but then picked back up. Overall I really liked this book.

James W-B

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
this book was very interesting and unique as it uses slang language. the boy wants to enter a rap competition but then his best friend falls ill because of stress from a live stream where he was embarrassed. overall this book was very good and i would read more of this writer’s books.

yusuf c

Crossing the Line
I think this book was really sad because after when his Dad died, it all went down. His grades went down and his life as well.

Zak Dad

The Song Walker
The Song walker was a really good book that was full of mystery and adventure. It was a bit confusing at times, but I did understand the main plot and when I finished it I saw the connections from the start to the end. The descriptions of the characters and scenes made me feel like I was there and I really liked that as it made me want to keep turning the page to see what happened. The mind of the main character was like a jigsaw that I had to solve, which I thought was a great idea. Overall I loved this book and it was definitely one of the best Carnegie books that I have ever read.

Hisham N

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found this book a little bit boring and sometimes it was a little bit hard to understand as there are two stories going on at a time. Overall I did not really like this book.

Henry k

Steady for This
I found this book amazing. It was a book that I would not have read before and I like all the characters like Growls. He was very funny because he was so silly! I rate this a 9/10!

William B

Away With Words
I enjoyed away with words, it was a very interesting book. I liked the idea behind it, as it is not a style I've read before. Another reason I liked it was that it highlights the difficulties people have with communication whether it is because of language barriers, mutism or anything else. So many people worldwide have to experience the challenges of moving to a new country, without knowing the language or the way of life. Overall, I would rate this book a 7.5/10, as I think it is probably better for younger readers.

Jairaj

Crossing the Line
This book was filled with action from the start. The characters, the decisions and the story itself all worked amazingly well together. They each played a role that was realistic in his life. This made the reader feel that they were Erik and that his bad/good decisions effected you.

Stanley D

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I really enjoyed this book because every time the book introduced a new chapter you would keep reading to find the chapter of Theo's parallel story. This made the stories flow with one another without letting one story outperform the other.

Stanley D

The Song Walker
Although it had a slow beginning, it soon picked up the pace and was a story full of plot twists and dramatic chapters. This help the story flow more towards the end making the ending even better than expected.

Stanley D

Away With Words
I quite liked the book and the way the words were used throughout the book. I found Natalie's character quite interesting as I don't really know much about selective mutism, i also liked the way that she found the words and turned them into poetry. My only problem with the book is that I thought that it could have a bit more of a story-line as this one is a bit uneventful. Overall I thought that it was a very good book.

Robin

Steady for This
I give this book 7/10. I enjoyed the last 3 chapters because they do the raptology instead of just talking about it. I didn't like the way they spoke - they used slang too often and I couldn't understand it.

Connor R

Away With Words
I personally found this book very interesting because it really shows friendship and emotions when you move somewhere new. I got a bit confused as you could pick up words when you say them. I highly recommend this book to other readers.

Hamza

The Song Walker
I found the book a bit exciting as the starting chapter was about Tarni who sort of wakes up into a new world and she doesn`t know what she is doing or where she is. Overall, an ok book but not my style.

Hamza

Crossing the Line
I personally enjoyed the experience of reading this book on how he survives his time when starting secondary school which was a very emotional moment for him as we have all experienced this when we started. It was set out a bit like a poem and gave me that vibe however, a very strong language book. I felt sorry for Erik as he had a hard time at school and at home whilst being the man of the house. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and made me eager to read more.

Hamza

The Door of No Return
I liked this book as it shows the horrors of slavery and how some slaves can escape. There is also twists, little , like when the fish person helped them.

MuyangD

The Song Walker
Song walker is at first glance just another book on the shelf but if you pick it up and read it you will find the magical yet confusing tales within. the ending surprised me the most because you cant tell whether or not it is real life. It is a very confusing book

sam

Crossing the Line
This book was by far my favourite, putting a crisis into perspective. The story was original, with a few twists. However, I liked that not all the twists were big (like some other books). The ending felt a bit like it was telling you to go to a charity for help, which felt like it was just put in so it was educational. Otherwise, I loved it.

Aashaz

Crossing the Line
crossing the line is a book that i read a couple of years ago but still empowers me today. I cannot remember very much of the story but whatever was in it was undoubtedly the best story i have ever read

sam

The Boy Lost in the Maze
for me the boy lost in the maze is a very hard book to summarise. It tells the tale of two people separated by thousands of years but both looking for the same thing

sam

Steady for This
Steady for this is a book that i will love and loath till i die. the cringe within the story is mostly unbearable but cute. The part of the story where they end up dancing and talking in the wedding is best because it shows that if you work for things most of the time you will get it

sam

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed this book and I found the story to be full of mystery and intrigue which left me hooked. Throughout the book I thought I knew about the characters and their journey but I kept on getting corrected as the characters revealed more about themselves. I was shocked at how the book ended as it completely flipped my perception of the entire book upside down. I would 100% recommend this book.

Benjamin R.

Safiyyah's War
I really enjoyed this book and I found the story to be enthralling and very interesting. I was really surprised to find this book was about things that actually happened during World War Two as I had never heard about the part Muslims played in helping Jews escape. I felt the book had a good range of emotional and joyful scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers.

Benjamin R.

Away With Words
I really enjoyed reading this book and got very immersed into the story. I felt the inclusion of the words in different fonts, sizes and positioning really emphasized the struggles that Gala was going through as she had to adapt to a new language. However I found that at the start of the book I didn't understand if the words she was seeing on the floor were there for everyone or just for her. This issue was explained later in the book but I just wish it could have been explained sooner. Overall, it is a good book that I would recommend to other readers.

Benjamin R.

Crossing the Line
this book was very enjoyable but i found it hard to bring myself to open it up to read because of how much i disliked seeing erik make such bad choices and seeing him get trapped in his own choices

noah

Crossing the Line
This book is about a Y7 boy, Eric who has ginger hair. He gets bullied. He makes friends with Ben & Travis, who buy him Fish&Chips after school. He also has a friend called Ravi, who he shares a paper round with. Ravi is trying hard to get fit to impress his girlfriend Betty. Ravi and Eric are really bad at the paper round, and get sacked. Ben & Travis introduce Eric to K1 as they tell him that K1 could get Eric a new job. K1 gives Eric a job - to store some drugs for a week....which he gets paid well for. K1 give Eric a new phone too. Over time K1 and his crew become good friends with Eric. K1 has a job for Eric, and introduces him to Fritz. Fritz and Eric work together for a week, staying at Fritz's grandmas. Eric makes LOTS of money in this week, but on his way home he gets run over by a motorbiker, who steals all his money - K1 is not happy about this, and beats Eric up. K1 asks Eric to do one more job, which is to hold a mysterious package for a while. He is told NOT to open the package....but, of course, he does. It is a GUN. Eric is a good runner, and is signed up for a running tournament - which is at the same time as the last job. So, he goes to the running competition, and leaves the gun package on the train. After the competition, Eric & his mum go to Ravi's house to celebrate their performances. Eric tells his mum about the way he has been making money. Erics mum is shocked - so they move house. All was well for a year - but trouble returns, as it always does - like a bed penny. :(

Oscar

The Song Walker
This was a really enjoyable book .It was a bit confusing at the end but apart from that I was able to follow along pretty well .This book was great and would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good read.8/10.

Saul

Steady for This
Steady For This was a good read. The main character Shaun is ready to win Raptology, but nothing seems to be going his way... While the book is quite funny, it also touches on more serious topics such as a hard lifestyle, struggling to pay the bills and a house eviction. I really enjoyed reading the raps that Shaun created and I thought the end of the story was brilliant. The book narrator speaks in a South London slang which I am not familiar with and sometimes it was difficult for me to understand some of the words and their meaning.

Sebastian H

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I really liked this book. I liked the fact it was unique to the other Carnegie books I've read as it is 2 different stories in one, linked together. The monsters in Theseus' journey were in Theo's story too, but in human form, which I liked. Another aspect I liked is how you could choose the path that they went on. Overall, it's a 9/10.

William B

The Door of No Return
I liked the book but i would not say it was one of my favourites. I thought that the beginning of the book was a bit drawn out but the second half really opened my eyes to the horrors of what happened in Africa at that time. I really liked the way that it was written as it makes it almost easier to read and at points more powerful than if it was written like most novels. I didn't really understand the ending and even after reading it back many times, I still don't fully understand it. Overall I thought it was a very good and powerful book but it unfortunately wasn't my favourite.

Robin

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I loved some parts of this book and didn't like others, I thought Theo's storyline and character was brilliant and the story of labybrinthine was plot twisting and you never knew what came next, which made it thrilling and a masterpiece in my eyes. I think the only thing that let the book down was Theseus, however i think the ending was satisfying and the writing was beautiful, therefore i rate this book a 8-9/10.

Ollie

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed this book as the more you read on, the more you learn what's going on, and everything has a meaning further on into the book. you grow with the characters too, and the names changing along the way is also a nice addition to the book

noah

The Song Walker
One of the best as it has loads of twists and you can imagine it.

MuyangD

Crossing the Line
One of my favourites as it can show how someone can be trapped and escape.

MuyangD

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book shows how someone can be represented in a poem and a greek myth

MuyangD

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

MuyangD

Away With Words
I like this book as it shows how a letter can change everything, it also shows how people feel when they go somewhere new.

MuyangD

Safiyyah's War
i love this book the character is very brave

moeezA

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
The song walker is a very good book, I love the way how her identity is revealed to you as it is to her and you having limited knowledge about who she is. The ending annoyed me at first as it made you think she wasn't real but that wasn't true and it made for a very good end to a brilliant story.

Felix L

Crossing the Line
This is one of the weaker books so far but it is in no way the worst as the main attributes (plot and characters) are well fulfilled. The reason it is not higher up is due to the extremely slow part in the middle which ruined the entire book as that was the only section in which I put the book down out of pure boredom. Apart from that segment, there were no further mistakes or stand out parts at all, just some solid chunks of writing and some captivating moments. One thing I particularly enjoyed about Crossing the line, was the introduction to the county lines which I had no previous knowledge on and proved to be quite interesting. The running implement was completely inconsequential and could have been left out with no immediate affect on the plot. I found that this book sort of turned into an anti-drugs campaign at the end which was slightly amusing. Overall, I found that this book was relatively average with nothing particularly impressive about it but a good book nonetheless. Score: Characters:16/20 Plot:16/20 Inspiration:15/20 Total:47/60

Sevan

Away With Words
This book is about two girls who are still trying to find their voice as one of them has selective mutism, and the other has just moved to England from Spain to live with her Dad's boyfriend. The story follows the second girl (Gala)'s journey to make friends and settle in to England. The two girls decide to write nice poems for people who are struggling at school. Eventually, someone else starts writing rude and insulting pems. Overall, I would recommend this book.

Estlin K

Choose Love
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

The Door of No Return
The Door of no return is a very emotional book that makes you feel like you are in the position of the character and can feel what he feels. I particularly didn't like the style of writing at the start of the book, as well as the story line, but I then realised the plot and how the writing broke it up into sections and I quite enjoyed it. I did feel like there were bits that I didn't get at first but it made sense at the end. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people aged 12 to 16.

Hisham N

Away With Words
I found this book very interesting but I would have liked it if there was more of an explanation of what the words are but otherwise this book was very interesting .I would give this an 8/10.

Ben P

Crossing the Line
This was a very sad book. His dad dies, his mum gets pregnant and the father runs off, then he gets bullied and starts selling drugs. Oh, and someone is trying to kill him. However, it was still a good book and was very gripping and hard to put down. Once you started reading, you couldn't stop. I rate this an 8/10.

Elliott.H

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
I found this book quite slow to read as it is often just describing walking through the Australian outback. Despite this, I still enjoyed the book and thought it was well written. when 'all was revealed' I thought it was a nice moment but I don't know whether I preferred it when her life was a mystery. I found it easier to read near the end when you knew what was what and her backstory - it was quite a nice challenge to read about someone but you don't know who they are.

Edward M

Crossing the Line
I found this book to be very good. It was gritty and emotional. I found the verse style that it was written in to be unique and interesting. Overall a very good book and I recommend it to anyone, as it is quite easy to read.

Yusuf K

Choose Love
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

Away With Words
This book is in a world where words are physical things that you can pick up and see after they are spoken. It is bout language barriers and includes somone who has selective mutism and someone from spain tryng to learn english. i think this book was very good like most of the carnegie books this year 9/10

IsaacJ

Crossing the Line
This book was amazing. The plot was very interesting and kept me wanting to keep on reading. I like all the characters’ personalities, like Ravi's.

William B

The Song Walker
overall, I enjoyed 'The song walker' and it reminded me of the spirit encapsulated in previous Carnegies nominees. The book was well written and well paced (although the ending felt rushed) and I enjoyed the insight into Australian culture, as well as the different approach to the character arc of the main character, playing on a journey from vulnerability to a 'big reveal' at the end.

Daniel E

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Away With Words
I think Away With Words is a very interesting book. It showed the struggles of immigrants moving to countries which don't speak their native language. I liked how it didn't show the words that Gala couldn't read as squiggly lines, because it gave an insight on what it's like not understanding the language. I would say that the story was probably suited more to younger readers (I'm thirteen). Overall, I would recommend this book to 9-11 year olds, but it still a good book nonetheless,

Jairaj

The Door of No Return
I thought this was a very confusing book. It was hard to understand at first but then it got better. Until someone died and it was confusing again. Then the main characters brother died and his neck was snapped. Also, the main character for some reason turned into a bird. I didn't get it. But, it was still a good book. 7/10

Elliott.H

Safiyyah's War
I read the book called Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Kahn. It is a historical novel set in France in WW2. At the start of the book a girl, Safiyyah, is happy and in the warmth of a kind, loving family in a normal and stress-free world. This has been the case for years until the Nazis came along and began to invade everywhere. When her family first heard about the Germans, they were not that worried but over time the stress levels rose until they were right on their doorstep-looking for Jews. Her family and the rest of her mosque society realize that they must do something to help the Jews in danger. They start to smuggle Jews out of France through a series of secret tunnels and onto boats heading to England. They must avoid near capture and freezing winters to complete this impossible task. This book shows the value of cunning and determination and what it can do. I would recommend it to readers 10+.

Zack WF

Crossing the Line
This was a book about a young boy called Erik who is bullied for having ginger hair and then is lured into a world of drugs and county lines. This book is very good and the only negative is that it is quite dark and scary but that adds action . Also I think they could and should make a sequel 9/10

IsaacJ

Crossing the Line
This book is quite a dark but sad book as it dives into gang culture and we find out about trap houses and drug dealing. I enjoyed this book.

Finn B

Steady for This
This book is good but some of the slang is quite confusing. This book is good for people who enjoy rap.

Finn B

Away With Words
I really liked this book and the story as well. The only thing that I didn't understand was the words flying out the peoples mouths.

hasan i

The Door of No Return
i found this book alright. I would rate it 7/10.this book is about a boy called Kofi that is about to enter manhood but gets kidnapped but thinks that its part of his trial to enter manhood. he then sees his brother Kwasi dies and is in sorrow. He is then traded to the people they call wonderfuls then he gets thrown into a "dungeon" where he meets this girl that helps him overcome his problems. After a while they get boarded onto a ship where the girl revolts then kills herself. Soon after the ship crashes and Kofi realises that swimming in the ocean is nothing like swimming in the river. he also finds out that his cousin that he dislikes was below the ship the whole time.

Rajanp

The Song Walker
The Song Walker was a great book with a really unexpected ending. I didn't like that the ending went too 'mystical' with spirits and the likes. I liked the idea behind it though, and the whole book was maybe not original (there are many books with characters suffering from memory loss), but still presented well. I liked how each part started with a musical term's definition to try and foreshadow that part. The fact that the first chapter was called the End was interesting, but if you think about it, it makes sense: technically the story ends where it started and it is just a spirit walk.

Aashaz

The Song Walker
I didnt really like this book. It wasn't terrible, but it had a slow pace and it took a while to read. It wasn't the worst, but it was still not one of my favourites. At least it was better then steady for this. 6/10

Elliott.H

Safiyyah's War
I really liked this book, as it showed the Holocaust in a new light. It taught me a lot about Paris in WW2, while giving me a really good adventure. 10/10

William B

Away With Words
this book was very interesting and unique because when the characters speak, the words fall out of their mouths. A girl called gala from Spain has come to live in Scotland. she found it difficult to speak english but then meets a girl called Natalie who has selective mutism. Overall, i enjoyed reading this book and would read more of this author’s stories.

yusuf

Safiyyah's War
Saffiyah's war was a very good book and was about the effects of WW2 in Paris. She is a Muslim girl who helps her father and her Ammo smuggle jews out of the country and give them false muslim identities. I felt that the book did not really start until around the middle although it was a really good book.

James W-B

Away With Words
I like this book because it showed the life of a girl coming to Scotland from Spain and she sees words and she doesnt like it at first but she doesnt want to leave at the end because she is with family

samuel

Steady for This
I found this book really interesting because it uses language and terms from areas like south London and talks about the poor financial state of many of the people in the area. I love Shaun's character because even though he is in a bad financial state, wearing broken shoes and only having a potato for dinner, he always carries on doing what he loves. I also like how Siobhan's character is very mysterious when she is first introduced but we slowly learn more about her situation and personality. I like how the author deals with mental health problems when Shaun's friend becomes hospitalised from his bad state of mind. I think that this book definitely deserves to be on the shortlist.

Dylan

Safiyyah's War
I thought that book was very well thought out as the book was set in ww2 and every detail was very spectacular and great. My favourite part of the book was probably when Safiyah was entering into the 'dark pit' and saw many Jewish people just stranded there. This made me feel that jews were especially persecuted and sad as they were the 'least wanted'. This was a great book.

An C

The Song Walker
I thought this was a very nice book, as it revealed the traditions and practices of the First Country Australians, as well as giving the main character a different perspective on her own life, and making her change. I thought this was a very wholesome book. I would give this book an 8 out of 10.

Rishi

The Door of No Return
i quite like this book. It talks about mature topics that people could need help with. The only confusing part is the moving text.

hasan i

Crossing the Line
I found the book quite enjoyable as the plot was quite emotional at times but at points I found it hard to read due to the layout on the page. I enjoyed how it felt sort of like poetry but not completely like poetry which helped the plot almost flow between points or places.

Robin

Away With Words
There is a Spanish girl called Gala who lives with her dad Jordi. They move from Spain to Scotland to move in with Jordi's boyfriend, Ryan. Gala finds it hard to fit in with the new language and people at her school but over time she meets a girl called Natalie (with selective mutism) who likes to collect words. With these words, the 2 girls make poems for their classmates when they are in tough times. Disaster strikes though, as there is another person writing poems anonymously but these poems are nasty and mean. Everyone thinks that Gala and Natalie wrote them as the head teacher called them to his office but slowly they found out that it was one of their friends who wrote them. They eventually write a play that they perform in assembly that proves their innocence. Then EC turns herself in and they live happily ever after. I thought it was very good and had some very real-world scenarios that I know some people could relate to.

Oscar

Crossing the Line
I really thought this book was good. It wouldn't be my cosy favourite given the the theming but it was action-packed and I couldn't put it down. The story was full of bad language, and was probably meant for someone a bit older than me, but it taught a lesson and told a powerful story to me. The bit at the end was unexpected but also a bit unsatisfactory. Overall, a good book for older, thoughtful readers.

Aidan M

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I really appreciated this book as it was very clever by linking the modern day character of Theo to the old mythical character of Theseus and also to the mythical beast of the Minotaur. The challenges that they all had to face were so similar yet in so different worlds, and this made the whole story so thrilling. The other feature I liked was the pathways, an option for the reader, with dead-ends. I always made sure to read all the possibilities, not just the right ones. However, there was some bad language and some bits I found confusing. I'd recomend this to people a couple of years older than me.

Aidan M

The Door of No Return
I enjoyed this book and I liked the pace of the first section. However I felt the pace slowed down in the second part as there are less conversations which helped push the pace in the first half. When reading the book I was shocked by the sudden change in feel and tone that I didn't expect when reading. Towards the end it started becoming more sad and depressing. Overall, it is a well written book that hits hard at parts

Benjamin R.

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed this book and found I really sympathised with Erik's story. The book captures his feelings really well in a way that draws you in and immerses you in the story. The use of verse really added to the meaning of the book and kept the pace lively. I found that the book covered more adult themes that I didn't expect for this book. Overall this book is very engaging and I would recommend it to other people to read.

Benjamin R.

Steady for This
At first I found it difficult to really enjoy the book as the style of writing was different to what I normally read. The book is written in a very informal style that tries to replicate the speech of a young man going through secondary school. Throughout the book I began to get into the book more and more as I got used to the slang. The ending was unexpected and went against what I though would happen. Overall, it's a good book that is good if you can get past the difference in language.

Benjamin R.

Steady for This
At first I found it difficult to really enjoy the book as the style of writing was different to what I normally read. The book is written in a very informal style that tries to replicate the speech of a young man going through secondary school. Throughout the book I began to get into the book more and more as I got used to the slang. The ending was unexpected and went against what I though would happen. Overall, it's a good book that is good if you can get past the difference in language.

Benjamin R.

Choose Love
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.

Away With Words
This book is possibly my favourite Carnegie book this year! The way it visualizes Gala's struggles with words is so creative, and makes the book so more engaging and understanding than if it was just described! Gala is such a well-done character, and the development in the story is really well done, and doesn't feel forced. The plot works really well, and I was really exited to find out what happens next. Overall, this is a really enjoyable book!

Edward L

The Song Walker
This book was an interesting mix of adventure and mystery. There were lots of clues hidden around the book that made me want to keep going to find out the mystery of this girl lost in the Outback. It was a little confusing at times, like when I learnt that Eddy among others were actually just mirages. I really recommend this book.

William B

Choose Love
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

The Door of No Return
I found this book sad but enjoyable and realistic at the same time. There is a lot of realistic aspects to this like near the end, he got sold to the British, who in the 19th century were attempting to colonise Africa. It is also quite sad because Kofi is just the cousin who is overshadowed by his cousin. But the saddest part was definitely when his friend on the ship was taken away, which left me very sad. It leaves on a cliff-hanger which makes me want to see a sequel book.

William B

The Song Walker
this is probably my favourite book out of this years Carnegies so far just because it has a nice plot and its a good length. The end is a bit confusing because you find out that the main character is a spirit but then she goes and plays in an art gallery which was a bit confusing but overall I thought it was a good book

Alfie S

Steady for This
I would have liked this book a lot more if it didn't use as much slang. Overall I liked the general plot but it was the amount of slang that it used that meant I didn't like it as much. I also think that the ending could have been a bit better.

Alfie S

The Song Walker
I found most of this book to be really good however I thought that the ending wasn't as good as the rest of the book because it was too fast paced compared to the rest of the book. However this could reflect the way in which memories return at an increasing rate.

Crossing the Line
Carnegie Book Review Of Crossing The Line by Tia Fisher This book is about a boy whose father dies at the start of the pandemic and his mother is abandoned with baby twins. He is being bullied by people at school for his hair colour and he is annoyed, so he starts being rude at school. He meets these older boys who are not the nicest and they become friends. These boys set him up with a drug dealing job, and everything goes downhill from there. Can he recover it in the end? Story: 8/10, Characters: 8/10, Enjoyable book overall.

Estlin K

The Song Walker
Carnegie Book Review Of The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell I really liked this book, as there were some amazing characters and a brilliant plot. I love the mystery behind the characters identity, and the way it was like a jigsaw puzzle, how they pieced together Magpie’s (the main character’s) memory. I loved the plot twists and the friends Magpie made along the way. All together an awesome book.

Estlin K

Crossing the Line
Crossing the line was a very interesting book with a different structure to most. it was a compelling story of a boy dragged into drug dealing which i feel is relevant nowadays. i appreciate the realism of the book and the helpful view and story of the creator at the end and i very much enjoyed reading it despite its headache inducing structure. however i believe it could be improved as all can be. 7/10

anekin

Steady for This
At first I thought I wouldn't enjoy Steady for this , as the heavy colloquial language was a bit much, but as I got used to it, my view of the book completely changed! It is really funny, and all the characters, especially Shaun, felt so alive and colourful! The way the story resolves at the end is really heart-warming, especially as I found myself really likeing the characters. Overall, this is a book that I enjoyed so much more than I originally thought I would.

Edward L

Safiyyah's War
I loved this book! It was a great story and gave a whole new perspective on the war. I really liked Safiyyah as a character and I just thought that it was a really great book. It had a beautiful story with beautiful writing. I give this a 9/10!

Elliott

The Door of No Return
I think This book was quite good it describes what life was like on the gold coast of africa while the slave trade was going on. I think the ending was very interesting though, and did not expect them to just fly away.

IsaacJ

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I thought this book was nice. It was very poetic and it took me on a journey with it, but I felt that the main character was a bit too biased towards himself and didn't judge his actions properly. I do enjoy the way Theseus was portrayed though. I would give this book a 6 out of 10.

Rishi

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book was one of my favourites and the way the author linked the story of Theusus trying to find his father and Theo saving money, knocking on doors to find his father was very smart. I liked how Joseph Coelho reinvented the labours. I really liked this book.

James W-B

The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return was a depressing read, although realistic. The struggles Kofi Offin faces are terrible; like his brother being tortured and killed, and the friends he made after capture dying. Towards the end of the book, it became really sad and devastating. I feel the book would have worked better as a regular story, without poems as I often felt I was reading it without the breaks and couldn't find the rhythm a poem needs. It also got a little confusing when the poem titles were part of the actual poem, and it didn't make full sense if you didn't read it as the start of the sentence. Overall, it captures the life of Kofi Offin well, starting off light, and then moving onto deeper things, and I enjoyed it thoroughly

Aashaz

The Song Walker
The song walker might be a contender to win for me, throughout the book I was on the edge of my seat and waiting for the next exciting moment to happen near. The plot and structure was amazing and the character might be my favourite apart from Kofi from the door of no return. But overall I Rate this book a 9/10, a brilliant book.

Oliver S

The Door of No Return
I thought the door of no return was a fascinating book, however It didn't get me all the way, as at the start it took me longer that what it did for the other books and I hate cliffhangers! Also the plot got off track at times, but overall I thought it was a well written book, with a powerful message behind it. The character ideas were brilliant and I loved most of them, for example, Kofi, a charming and relatable character.

Oliver S

Away With Words
This intriguing book caught my eye from the start and I'ts mystical values caught my attention immediately. Gala is a great character to think of and how she handles situations are incredibly described to the fullest. Overall I rate this book a 7 or 8/10.

Oliver S

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

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

Alfie

Away With Words
I think this was a good book about people over coming boundaries and sharing kindness. I also like their resilience to prove everyone that they are good people and that they stand up to bullying. I also think that it is full of betrayal both small and large by friends and family.

Tomasz

Steady for This
It was very boring and I didn't like the book. The most annoying part was the slang.

hasan i

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed this book and thought the storyline was very good, it always left me wanting to know what happens next. Overall i would rate this book 9 out of 10.

Henry K

Steady for This
I thought that steady for this was a fairly good book but I didn't really like how it was anticlimactic with him spending the whole book trying to win Raptology to save him from eviction but his mum managed to get a better job anyway so it didn't matter. I liked the way he got facts or words wrong but sometimes he managed to get a really long word spelled right so it doesn't really fit with how he is portrayed for the rest of the book

Robin

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book was different from any other books I’ve read

moeez a

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I didn't really enjoy this book. It was hard to follow along and i lost who or which part i was on lots. If i read it again, i might like it more

Sammy P

The Door of No Return
I found that the poem-like style helped with keeping the flow of the story throughout the book. This made the many plot twists add to the story rather than take the reader away from it. Overall, I found this book an enjoyable read, and I especially liked the tribal traditions that added context and backstory to a book that moved quickly.

Stanley D

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The Boy Lost in the Maze was overall an enjoyable read, with the options to choose your path. Coelho created a brilliant book, comparing the lives of a modern boy to one of myths, both searching for their fathers. However, there could be a few more places to choose your path, but I found no other flaws. I like how there were characters with the same name both in Theseus' and Theo's story, e.g. Sciron the Lawyer and Sciron the Bandit. The way the Theo's and Theseus' story is interspersed with the Minotaur's story was also good, along with the Minotaur's story being from his own perspective, with his emotions and how he feels about being imprisoned, as that is often overlooked.

Aashaz

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I enjoyed this book. I felt that the two stories had a good pace and the similarities between them were really well woven into the story. I found the options where you had to choose what path to take a little unusual as I hadn't expected it when I started reading but once I had gotused to it I felt this added another layer of depth and immersion to the book. The fact that it was written in verses took time getting used to but during the book I found it to be used in many different ways which enriched the experience.

Benjamin R.

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
'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

The Song Walker
This book was amazing and the story line was great.There were so many secrets and hidden easter eggs to find throughout the adventure to find out at the end that the people in the jeep were nasty ghosts and everybody that Tarni had met were all just friendly ghosts guiding her to her sister. This was a great book and I would recommend this book if you like cliffhanger and secret stories to read. I really enjoyed this and is a fantastic book.

Joshua R

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Safiyyah's War
I found this book amazing apart from the first part of the book which was a bit boring the rest was action packed, suspenseful and made me want to read more every time I had to stop. This book based in World War 2 made a great book . 9/10 .

Saul

Away With Words
I quite enjoyed this book as it had a heartfelt meaning to it. I liked how when other people would talk, Gala would see the words all around her. This made it a very interesting read. I found this to be quite good although it takes a while to get into it. I give it an 8/10.

Elliott

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
This book is unlike any other I have read. Usually the main character always knows who they are. However in this book the main character has no idea who she is or where she is. I quite enjoyed how in each chapter little snippets are revealed about Siena which you can piece together. I did think that the book was a bit slow at times because most chapters are just Siena and Tarni just walking and the occasional memory re-surfacing. Overall I really enjoyed this book and it is the best Carnegie book I have read (so far).

Yusuf K

Safiyyah's War
This book was about Muslims helping Jewish people living in Paris in the second world war. I thought it was good and it had quite a bit of action in it. I have read many books about world war two but this was the first to have Muslims helping jews

IsaacJ

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
I read the book called The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell. It is a story written in a way that makes it easy to read and take in what the storyline is about. It is set in modern-day Australia. At the start off the book, a girl, who does not know her name, age, or anything for that matter, wakes up in the middle of nowhere. She later finds out that she is in the heart of the Australian outback or “The Bush.” After a nice nap, she is rudely awoken by a strange girl in blue dungarees. This unlikely double act soon gets to know each other and make the everlasting journey to find civilization and this strange girl's sister. Throughout the way they face difficulties: starvation, dehydration, and attempted kidnapping at a gun's point. Eventually, they reach a town and realise that a lot of this adventure was just spiritual hallucinations. My favourite thing about the book is: if you stick to something, you can always achieve your goals. I would personally recommend it for readers 11+.

Zackary WF

Safiyyah's War
I think this book was very interesting because it was about a group in Paris during WW2 ( the story is mainly centred around the mosque ) who attempt to rescue jews through the catacombs under Paris and then smuggle them on a boat. I would give this book 9/10.

Ben P

Safiyyah's War
A very good book that sheds a light onto the lesser known events of the Second World War. This book shows to what great lengths people went to help those in need to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris and go to live better lives. Especially the lives of the Jewish community who were widely persecuted during that time. The bravery of people like Safiyyah and others like her should never be forgotten.

Sam S

Away With Words
'Away with Words' is a somewhat captivating book that highlights the importance of language as a fundamental way of communication and expression, but also as a device with potential to inflict great damage. The book utilized interesting ideas of visualizing and 'collecting' words, and focussed largely around the ploy of an unlikely but convenient friendship. While the book flourished in vocabulary and language tools, it was all in all written in quite a simple structure and for that reason not 100% engaging. I would Recommend this book to younger pupils

Daniel E

Steady for This
Easily my least favourite so far, Steady For This was not a fun read. This is largely due to my disliking of this style and the author being rather oblivious to the fact that most people have absolutely no idea what half the language meant. For example, who would know that the word 'skeen' is slang for whatever/I don't care? Usually, I can credit the author on the plot or the characters if another part in the book is weak as they have previously made up for their mistakes with different aspects of writing but both the plot and characters in this book were appalling. Neither had any depth to them at all and seemed so extremely unrealistic, I spent time trying to think of the possibility of them happening in real life (which probably gave me more pleasure than reading the actual book.) Although I thoroughly despised this book, there was one feature that I actually liked, which was a part of the raps themselves, as they were relatively well structured, meaning I was able to follow the rhythm in my head. However, I did not enjoy reading the lyrics as they were genuinely atrocious, mainly related to ongoing events in Shaun's life, which did not fit the rhythm that I was able to understand. Overall, I found that this was a poor book with a weak plot and characters. Score: Characters:7/20 Plot:8/20 Inspiration:10/20 Total:25/60

Sevan

The Song Walker
In my opinion, The Song Walker was a very good and interesting read. It clearly showed how two very different people can become best of friends, even when they go through multiple hardships together, fighting to survive an extreme environment and events that threatened their existence. The story was about two girls travelling the Northern Territory; one trying to find her sister and the other trying to find herself. The unexpected twist was when most of the beings they met on their journey turned out to be spirits of the Australian outback.

Sebastian H

The Door of No Return
I rate this book 8/10 and is easy reading. I thought Nanamosi Says poem was inspiring. Overall, the poems at the start of the book were Happy and upbeat, the poems towards the end made me feel gloomy and uninspired.

Connor R

Steady for This
It is a fantastic book with amazing turns and twists. It is about a boy who is very good at rapping. Like the rest of the books it shows the difficulty of someone, in this case Shaun. I rate it a 8/10.

ming

The Song Walker
This book greatly attracts people’s attention. It is filled with adventure and thrills about a girl who lost her memory and is trying to find her identity on her path.

ming

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The book is awesome, it perfectly combines the life of a modern boy and the life in a myth and compares it. But I found myself looped in a circle for quite some time as i had forgotten what path i chose. It also shows the brave and unbroken will of a boy trying to find his father.

ming

Choose Love
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

Safiyyah's War
I really enjoyed reading this book set in WWII, Paris. It was very interesting to see how the mosque helped the Jews in Paris. Safiyyah was a good character and I loved her relationship with Hana and her family, as well as Isabelle! It seemed a really horrible time for the family, but I liked the fact that in the epilogue she followed her dream. Her work for the Resistance was exciting and I thought the book ended well. Overall, a really good book.

Aidan M

Crossing the Line
I thought this book was very good and easy to read. The only parts that were difficult to read was when the text went into shapes. I felt like the book showed the dangers of becoming part of a gang. The book was showing how if you talk to the wrong people you could easily be dragged into something you never thought you would do.

James W-B

The Door of No Return
I found this book rather strange as it was a book about Kofi Offin and a normal sort of life - but then his brother accidentally kills a prince. Then Kofi Offin is practising his swimming for a competition and then all of a sudden is being held prisoner. This was confusing as it doesn't give a reason for him being captured. Then he sees his brother's life being taken by the order of the king of the country whose prince was killed. Do they not understand that his mother would feel the same way they did when their son/the prince was killed? Then Kofi is walking, I do not find any reason for that until later in the book - which was confusing at the time - and then escaped but is pretty much immediately captured again. He continues walking (and you still have no idea why) until they are handed over to another authority. he is then taken to a dungeon and then a boat. The boat starts sinking about 20 days later. He sees his cousin in the water and then it is the end of the book - What happens to Kofi Offin? What happens to his cousin? Do their families know what's happened to them? I feel that there are not very many answers in this book where I would like answers and it feels like the book ends half way through. I just find this confusing and wrong; there is what I feel, half a book of unnecessary normal life and then not enough of his later ordeal at the end of the book. A good book will leave you with questions but I feel there are too many in this instance.

Edward M

The Song Walker
I enjoyed how the story progressed through the book and how Sienna's name changed with every major event. I also liked how at the end Candelabra symbolised Brindabell when it flew off. i didn't really like the ending as it was very confusing and made the rest of the story feel a bit strange when you think that it was just her soul walking the entire time. Overall i would give it a 8/10

Robin

Away With Words
I really enjoyed reading this book as it was more light-hearted than some of the others. The character of Gala is great, she seems fun but also quite normal. I really loved the idea of words falling from mouths and it made my imagination go wild! I loved the fact that the way you say something changes its font, colour and size. Natalie was also a fun character and I loved how she developed. At the start Gala was good but not great at English and it was almost satisfying seeing the squiggly lines get fewer and fewer. The culprit was hard to spot but I had an unanswered question about it. Overall, one of the best books I've read yet.

Aidan M

The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return was a very hard-hitting book, easily taking my top spot so far. One of the various reasons it impressed me, was the way the emotion was conveyed as it really got me thinking about what I would do in that situation. Another reason would be the poem-like structure throughout the book, which further developed its already strong base. In addition to this, the book teaches the kind of black history that you generally don't learn in schools and the use of Adinkra symbols was probably one of the cleverest implements I have ever seen as they are kept hidden until the end when you can re-read the book and will understand it more with the added foresights. The ending of this book matched perfectly with the lead up as it was clearly going to be an open ending but I did not expect it to be at that time and it made so much sense after I had read it. Though the complexity woven into the verses may be too much for some, I found it was just right for me. One thing I did not approve of in this book was the main character as his viewpoints did not match to mine so I became confused at some of the decisions made. Though Kofi was not my favourite, Nana Mosi (the subtle and clever grandfather) was an important character in the story, being seen as the wise mentor for Kofi and he fit the role perfectly. Overall, I find that this novel is well written and well kept to in its poem form whilst also maintaining a heavy plot. Score: Characters:17/20 Plot:17/20 Inspiration:19/20 Total:53/60

Sevan

Safiyyah's War
Safiyyah's war was an interesting read, starting off weakly but slowly building up until at the end where the author showed her true finesse. Though not my favourite book, I still greatly enjoyed reading this novel due to the insight on world war two from a Muslim perspective. The way the story is set out makes it seem like it would be written from a Jew's point of view but the author (being Muslim herself) has steered away from what would be the obvious option and gone for something a bit more unorthodox. My personal opinion on Safiyyah, is that she is too unrealistic a character as she is terrified of things at one point in the book which she confidently brushes past in another and for her to change her attitude towards something that fast ,even under the given circumstances, is pretty absurd. In addition to this Hana was given too little attention in this book and did not develop enough as a character because of it. Although Safiyyah and Hana did not impress me, Setti (the wise mentor who speaks in riddles) did, as she fit the role well and she made me feel more sympathetic towards Safiyyah. Her death was rather unexpected as I think the book could have easily continued on the same level with Setti still in it. I guess she just impressed me as a character which led to me wanting to keep her in the story. Whilst reading this book, I thought that the plot was going to be fictional and the only real thing about it would be the mosque but once I had finished it and read about the history behind the story I realised how wrong I was. This was probably my favourite part of the book as it was extremely interesting to read about the history of the mosque which was an area of world war two which I would probably never have learned about had I not read this book. Overall, this book was interesting but if I did not have to finish this book I would not have as the start was incredibly slow. Score: Characters:15/20 Plot:17/20 Inspiration:19/20 Total:41/60

Sevan

The Door of No Return
I really enjoyed this book, especially the first half about Kofi, Ebo, Kwasi, Ama and Kofi (cousin), It helped me learn about a new culture of Upper Kwanta, the second half was also very good, but very sad and a bit confusing, with the thoughts being more meaningful at the end of the book. The book was written in poetry form but I felt it'd have worked nearly as well as a normal story. Overall, it was a good book which you can't put down until you've read it all.

Aidan M

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
I found this book really hard to read. I didn't finish it. I just couldn't get into it. It was boring, and it didn't flow.

Oscar Overend

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was very clever the way that who the girl was got clearer and clearer as the book went on. This was one of those books that once I'd read the first bit I wanted to read the next bit. I learnt a lot about the Australian First Country and it helped me think about another world totally separate to mine. I loved the characters of Tarni and "Moonflower" and thought the author, Zillah Bethell, got the characters just right. The ending also made me think for a long time about the book. I'd recommend this to any keen reader.

Aidan M

The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return was a very hard-hitting book, easily taking my top spot so far. One of the various reasons it impressed me, was the way the emotion was conveyed as it really got me thinking about what I would do in that situation. Another reason would be the poem-like structure throughout the book, which further developed its already strong base. In addition to this, the book teaches the kind of black history that you generally don't learn in schools and the use of Adinkra symbols was probably one of the cleverest implements I have ever seen as they are kept hidden until the end when you can re-read the book and will understand it more with the added foresights. The ending of this book matched perfectly with the lead up as it was clearly going to be an open ending but I did not expect it to be at that time and it made so much sense after I had read it. Though the complexity woven into the verses may be too much for some, I found it was just right for me. One thing I did not approve of in this book was the main character as his viewpoints did not match to mine so I became confused at some of the decisions made. Though Kofi was not my favourite, Nana Mosi (the subtle and clever grandfather) was an important character in the story, being seen as the wise mentor for Kofi and he fit the role perfectly. Overall, I find that this is a beautifully written book with a strong, unique style and a powerful impact. Score: Characters:16/20 Plot:18/20 Inspiration:19/20 Total:53/60

Sevan

Away With Words
I really enjoyed reading this book in which it shows the struggles of moving into a country where you do not know the language well. I really liked this book because of the brilliant idea that words appear when spoken. At first I did not realise that the words were real, I thought that it was just metamorphically spoken as if she had to pick up words in the English language. As soon as I realised what the concept of the book was, I could understand it on a whole other level and appreciate the book properly.

James W-B

Choose Love
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

Steady for This
Steady For This is written from the perspective of a high-school kid, and uses slang to express this. Although this is useful, it is occasionally difficult to understand, but has a good effect overall. I liked how Shaun faces lots of challenges, like the threat of eviction, and Shanks falling ill, but overcomes them and wins Raptology. I also like how he wins it: everyone else was flinging insults left right and centre, but he told his story, and didn't insult his opponents.

Aashaz

Away With Words
I think that this book was pretty good. It shows how someone from a different country trying to fit in. There was also some parallels between Gala and Natalie and that they both become more confident in speaking. I also liked how there is less of the squiggly lines on each page towards the end. However I did think that the book was a bit cliché. It did take a while for me to get the fact that they are in a different world where they can pick up words. I originally thought that it was all in Galas mind. Overall the book was good but not the best.

Yusuf K

Safiyyah's War
This was my favourite book. I really liked the ending and thought there was nothing wrong with it.

Hasan i

Steady for This
For this book, I really did not like it at all. The boy in it talks like no real human being would actually talk. He sounds like a kid in an American high school film. It was not funny, and I just read it as fast as I could just to get it done and over with. I cannot stress enough that NO ONE actually talks like that, and I didn't even like the story line. A boy trying to do 'raptology'? What on earth is that? It got a bit better towards the end and at least he achieved his goal. Rapping. Wow. The author could have at least done something other than terrible raps. I would understand singing, but rapping? That's scraping the bottom of the barrel. Anyway, I don't mean any offense to the author, I guess that is just what adults think we sound and talk like these days. I give it a great score of 2 out of 10.

Elliott.H

Crossing the Line
Crossing the Line is a very interesting, exciting book about a boy called Erik who wants to make some extra money. He decides to get involved in gang life and works for a man called K1. This book uses strong language to show how roadmen and gangstas speak. Overall, i enjoyed reading this book and would like to read more of the author’s books.

yusuf c

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

Samuel

Crossing the Line
I read the book called Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher. It is a story written in verse, which for the concept of the storyline was really effective. It is set in modern- day England in a struggling family. At the start of the book, Eric’s dad had just died, and he was angry and sad all at the same time. His mum didn’t have a job so there was no one to provide for the family. After a little while, too soon for Eric’s liking, his mum had found a new boyfriend. Eric did not like him. Soon after, his mum is pregnant again but she and her ‘boyfriend’ got in a fight, and he left. Again, no one to provide. Soon, she gives birth to twins... An extra, unexpected mouth to feed. Eric knows he must do something, but he makes the wrong decision. He began to enter a world of crime, drug dealing. Eventually, after a time of close calls, life or death situations and a gun, he says, 'NO!’ My favourite thing about the book is that it is quite inspiring, and it gives out a message, ‘If you are in a tough spot, you can always get through.’ I would recommend to readers 12+.

Zack WF

The Door of No Return
A gripping story that sheds a light onto the mistreatment of indigenous peoples living in west Africa by colonial powers. Very well written and the use of words being spread around the page really engages the reader and makes them part of the book. Very much an enjoyable read.

Sam S

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
The Song Walker is an absolutely stunning and deeply moving story a story of friendship of courage and of hope set in the beauty of the australian outback that had a lot of mystery

Rajanp

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I loved the brilliant creativity that had been poured into the writing of this book. Firstly, the whole book is written in free verse, which I think adds an extra level of depth and character to the story. The story is really interesting, as it actually follows two boys' stories at the same time. The amount of effort required to seamlessly merge and tell two stories, would have been monumental, but - as demonstrated here - if it's done right, it can read superbly. I especially think the societal stereotypes placed on young men is definitely a key point in the telling of two boys, both of which have had these burdens of meeting society's expectations on masculinity placed on their shoulders, even if they lived centuries apart. The actual storyline is excellent, where at the start of the book, you know you are reading two obviously different stories, but as you read on, the boys' adventures to seek out this manhood, slowly merge together - where in some chapters, it seems as if they both say and feel the same thing at the same time, even in their enormously different scenarios. What I also enjoyed about the book was the level of abstractness in Theo's thoughts, so much so sometimes, that at some points, the world is being narrated much like his Greek Mythology's counterpart; only for him to wake up - dazed - back to the real world. However, one thing I very much disliked about the book was the 'choose your adventure' element. This felt like an unnecessary add-on that, although builds suspense, felt like it was squeezed in. I found myself simply reading all the scenarios, rather than 'choosing'. Overall, though, I'm quite pleased with this book, although at times, the poetry got a little confusing, it generally followed the lives of the two boys very well!

Muadh

The Song Walker
The Song Walker This book has an nice story behind it, leading to an enjoyable read. The idea of an unknown backstory will have helped to intrigue the reader throughout this book as it is well written and lets out the correct information at the correct time. The plot was mainly simple and undramatic but was well developed. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the character development as there are extremely few characters in this book due to the focus on Sienna and Tarni. The book centres around their relationship and how their bond grows throughout their journey through the outback. This is presented well as there are many other things to think about such as the plot and ending yet it is still given the attention it needed which is why it stood out to me. Something that disappointed me however, is in the middle of the book where nothing is really going on and it feels like the author just wanted to add a few more words in as it was mainly completely irrelevant dialogue. Off that topic, in the epilogue, the setting, idea and character adaptation all perfectly continued Sienna and Tarni’s story which started at the same standard. This led to an excellent finish to the book. Overall, this book seemed like the average book; there were some stand out parts and some disappointing parts but mainly just some solid chunks of writing and a good finish. Score: Characters:18/20 Plot:16/20 Inspiration:16/20

Sevan

The Song Walker
I really enjoyed the Song Walker as I always liked the Australian Outback and this taught me more about it that I did not know. This book was interesting as at the end everything that happened turned out to be a spirit. What I did not understand was if Sienna was a spirit or not. I loved how Tarni and "Tinna" were still friends after they fell out and both pursued their separate passions together.

James W-B

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

Abdul M

The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return is very well written, as whereas other writers would have probably lost the story or not managed to keep up the poetry style, this book does it perfectly, keeping the beautiful writing style without losing the reader. I thought that the dreams were a bit confusing, and felt a bit detached from the story though. It starts off quite light, but gets brutal in some parts, so I wouldn't recommend it as much for younger readers, but I feel this is really needed and greatly improves the impact of the story. The culture is beautiful, and the writer clearly has a passion for it. Overall, I think this is a incredibly well written book!

Edward L

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found this a great story! I loved the poem verses and it was very compelling. I liked how it switched back from Theo to Theseus and helped tell the story better, showing how similar the two were, instead of just telling Theo's story. my favourite part was how at certain points in the book you got to choose what happened. I also loved the drawings and overall thought it was a great book. I give it a 9 out of 10!

Elliott H

The Song Walker
this book is amazing. one of my favorites.

abdulm

The Song Walker
I liked this book more than the others. It had a nice plot and a conclusive end. My favourite part was when she finally found out who she was. My least favourite thing was how she constantly changed names.

Hasan i

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found this book a bit weird, especially the artwork and the fact that it had parts in which you kind of chose the story although i understood the message of looking for a father

IsaacJ

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Crossing the Line
I think the storyline of this book was very good. Sometimes it was a little hard to understand what was going on because of the way it is written out. I would still recommend this book and I thought it was very good.

Henry

Crossing the Line
This was a fascinating story about County Lines and how easily you can get dragged into the drug trade. It was very emotional making me feel worry and relief for the character at emotional times, however I would have liked a better ending to the story as it was left on a cliff hanger instead of an absolute ending. While this may be liked by some people as it gives them a chance to use their imagination however I would much rather a certain ending.

Tomasz

Steady for This
MC Growls is ready to drop his best bars and smash the competition at Raptology. that way, he's convinced Tanisha, his crush, will finally give him a chance. but when a livestream practice goes epically wrong, hes finally achieved his dreams of going viral but not in the good way. now Tanisha won't look at him, he's the joke of the school and there's no way he can show his face at the competition. then a new girl on the block appears who might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problems after all

Rajanp

The Song Walker
I think that this is the best Carnegie book I have read this year, I like that it has a focus on adventure and it isn't a typical love story which is good but at the end i was wishing that it didn't end as it did as it pretty much made the whole story irrelevant and without the epilogue it would have been a lot worse.

IsaacJ

Steady for This
this book was surprisingly good, it was quite similar to another book I have read called The Poet X. this book was also quite funny as Growls doesn't really understand most of the things people say and he speaks in a funny way the only thing is the end was pretty predictable, seen as everything goes to plan.

IsaacJ

The Song Walker
This book is amazing! It starts off very simple, but as it progresses, the plot grows deeper, without losing the reader. The Alaywarre culture shown in the book is beautifully represented, and explained, while not taking away from the story. However, I did find that the ending may be a bit confusing for some readers. Altogether, this book is full of mystery, great characters and colourful Australian culture!

Edward L

Steady for This
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Shaun's weird type of language makes the book seem very unique. The characters in this book are all very different. Sometimes it can be a bit weird but its a great book overall. I would recommend this to 12-15 year olds and rate it a 9.5/10.

Baasit

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

Hasan i

The Boy Lost in the Maze
A great book, it was interesting in the way it showed the two stories. I enjoyed how it let the reader pick the story, which made me more immersed in the story. I think it could be better, but a decent book nevertheless. I would recommend it if you have read the original myth, as it put a spin on the old story while adding a modern aspect.

Jairaj J

Steady for This
This refreshing debut novel by South East London author Nathanael Lessore offers authenticity whilst maintaining a light, comical tone that will engage teenage readers. The vibrant, visual appeal of the cover makes this title pop and could potentially draw in more reluctant readers when browsing the shelf. Modern slang dialect is used by the main character throughout the novel (which, due to my unfamiliarity, took me some time to get used to) which might also draw in readers of this age. There is regular ‘code shifting’ as dialogue bounces from slang to other forms of language used by the influential people in Growls’ life – his mum, his English teacher, Mr Rix, and his home-schooled friend, Siobhan. I particularly liked the dimension that Mr Rix’s character brought to the story, helping Growls to realise the power of unearthing the history of rap music, forging a connection through mutual interest in an art form I LOVE THIS BOOK

Laksh

Steady for This
I really liked how when Shaun is talking the author swaps outs words with other words like he says he is exercising his triceratops instead of his triceps. Some of the words used might be hard for some people to understand as quite a bit of the book uses slang. Overall I think its a good book.

alfie s

Away With Words
A moving story that shows how being compassionate always wins out on staying quiet and not speaking out against people who are doing the wrong thing.

Sam S

The Door of No Return
This book is set in Africa and follows a boy’s story through the slave trade era. When Kofi challenges his cousin ,when his brother joins the wrestling tournament and when the wonderfuls find him, everything goes wrong…

Saul

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The boy lost in the maze is a really god book for readers. It follows the tale of Theseus and his quest to see his father. While I’m the present day Theo is living the same story. I love this book and the fact it is written in a poem make is it 100% better as a read.

Saul

The Song Walker
I like this book because of how unique it is. In my opinon the mystery is the thing that actually kept me interested in the story. I liked how the book gave you a clear idea of Tarn and her friend's personality. I give this a 8/10

Baasim

The Boy Lost in the Maze
i found this book quite interesting.it was about a boy who never met his father and has to go through a maze where he finally meets the minatour.every chapter/story is about how a boy becomes a man and enters man hood

Rajanp

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
The song walker is a brilliant read. It highlights one of the world's most under-represented traditions in the allyaware and shows the incredible tradition of living with one of the most unforgiveable lands in the world. I also loved the way it brought two people from vastly different lives and created an amazing friendship. It is a journey that is one in two; Sienna's is one of remembering who she is, whilst Tarni goes through the stages of grief, whilst they both journey down the dreampaths of the ancestors songs. great book 5/5 for me.

QuillanA

The Door of No Return
I didn't quite like this book. It was quite complicated with two people having the same name and how some words weren't your typical English words. When Kofi's brother (the main character) killed someone everyone got very mad and said he shouldn't get off with a slap on the wrist. Now Kofi has all the pressure on him. I would rate this a 5/10 and recommend it to 14 years old and above.

Baasit

Crossing the Line
I liked this book because it portrayed character development because it shows a kid going into drugs and dealing but after a while he and Ravi managed to get out of this situation I rate this book a 7/10

baasim

The Door of No Return
I found this book unique from any of the other books I have read so far. This is because the story was set in Africa at the time of the slave trade. It showed much of the culture ,stories and history of the people who were there. Also it seemed like the boy (Kofi) was only having to worry about everyday things and his cousin until his brother kills his opponent in the festival which ultimately ends in him being kidnapped.7/10.

Ben P

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I quite enjoyed this book and how it compared Theo's and Theseus' story. But I also liked how Theo is also like the Minotaur abandoned by their father.

hasan i

Crossing the Line
A fascinating story that sheds light onto the struggles of life. The use of county lines in the book brings to light the damaging effects it has on the children it exploits. Would definitely recommend.

Sam S

Choose Love
'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

Away With Words
this book is about haw words can really change someone. Either by helping or hurting them.

Rajanp

Choose Love
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

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

rajanp

Away With Words
I found this book OK. People being able to collect words seemed kind of strange at first but I eventually got used to it. Jordi and her friend Natalie started writing poems for their friends when an anonymous person starts writing insulting poems. They both have to work together to find out who. I would rate this book a 6.5/10 and recommend it to 12 year olds.

Baasit

Choose Love
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

Safiyyah's War
I liked this book because of the of the setting in ww1 and how the book is really tense when she was leading the Jews through the catacombs. I rate this book a 6/10

Baasim

The Door of No Return
At first I did not understand the plot of this book but as I read more I found it quite interesting. I quite liked how the you don't actually know how the book ends. Another thing that I liked was the shift from normal book to a darker perspective.

hasan i

Choose Love
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

Safiyyah's War
I really liked the writing in this book i thought it was eloquently written and has a deep resonance to todays conflict

Stirling

Away With Words
I liked this book because it shows the meaning of words and how words can hurt or help someone. what I don't like is how this book isn't original, like the words being visible is original but the fact that some kids do something and face a challenge then overcome the challenge isn’t. For this reason i give this book a 6/10

baasim

Steady for This
I liked this book because of the dialect used although some people might not understand the dialect used I understood it and it was funny I also like how the book was a good length for its content. I didn't really like the start of this book but when i got near the middle i liked it. This and Choose Love are my favourite books.

baasim

The Song Walker
Incredible story that shows the struggles of not knowing where you are and also the friendships that can be formed on the fly when both parties are struggling. The use of indigenous peoples is really interesting as well as educational. Would definitely recommend.

Sam S

Safiyyah's War
This book was an excellent read, and I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The story is so original and extraordinary. What I think is especially interesting about this book is the characters’ backgrounds. Stereotypically, a wartime book wouldn’t follow an ethnic minority as this book did. But where it gets better, is where, not only did it follow a group of Algerian Muslims during the War, but included their culture throughout the book - whether that would be more obvious, like the fact they live in a mosque, or more subtle like when the characters prayed in times of need. Another great part of this book was the historical accuracy. The book reminds us that people of different faiths will have come together in the past to help each other - with the example in the book being Muslims helping Jews during Nazi reign. Even though it was nice to see a change of viewpoints of WWII, I think the religious parts of the characters, albeit a very important part of the book, was unnecessarily dragged out in some bits. Someone who was completely unaware of practices in Islam, would probably have some difficulty understanding some parts of the book. However, on the whole, I think this book is spectacular and gives a whole new insight into WWII.

Muadh

Safiyyah's War
This book uncovers the story of the Grand Mosque in Paris in WWII in the form of an entertaining novel. Saffiyah's War retells the true events from the perspective of a young girl whose father was involved in the French Resistance. After reading the fascinating story, it was surprising to learn that the Grand Mosque's efforts in the Resistance were real. I definitely enjoyed the book, even as someone who primarily reads fantasy. The characters were brilliantly portrayed, the scenes described excellently - the words became images in my mind, playing out as a film in front of my eyes.

Aashaz

Steady for This
Possibly the worst book I have ever read. I felt like I was losing IQ for every page I read. I couldn’t wait to put the book down as I was cringing with every second of reading. Read if you wish, but bear this in mind.

Sam S

The Song Walker
This was a very unique story about a girl who had lost all her memories about who she was and had somehow ended up in the middle of an Australian desert. I really enjoyed this book and the ending was very plot twisting. I would rate this book a 9/10

Bassit

Crossing the Line
This is one of the best books I've read so far. Erik slowly falls into a path of drugs and gets caught up in very nasty business. At the end of the book the way he and Ravi manage to get out of that situation is very smart. The layout of the text in this book just makes it so much more enjoyable to read aswell. I would recommend this to 13-18 year old and rate it a 9.5/10.

Bassit

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book is about a kid called Theo reading a myth about a kid called Theseus, who, same as Theo, has had his father taken out of his life. I like to see how Theo got the idea to go on an adventure to find his father from reading the myth. It’s an original idea and I’ve not read much like it before. What I don't like about this book is that when I saw it on the shelf I thought that it was a long book but when I read it I found out it was a poem book and the reason I don't like poem books is because the book is really short and confusing. I tend to not understand them as well as I would with a normal book. For this reason i have to give this book a 7/10

baasim

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
This book was quite strange at first but as I read more I started to understand what it was about. The multiple choices you could pick and the different paths you could take was very nice. Theo finally getting to meet his dad at the end was very heart-warming. I would recommend this to 12-15 year olds and rate it a 7/10.

Baasit

The Door of No Return
Really great book, I enjoyed it the whole way through. I really love how it shows what could actually happened, while also making it interesting using fiction. I would definitely recommend it!

Jairaj

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I loved this book! It is so unique, and uses poetry to tell the story, and even has places to choose what the character should do! It follows the story of Theseus, with some hidden twists and changes, but I don't want to spoil too much! It also follows Theo, who is searching for his father, and relates his story to that of Theseus. If you did last years Carnegie and enjoyed Medusa, I greatly recommend this book to you!

Edward Lawton

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found this book very interesting because it followed the journey of 2 boys who were looking for their fathers. One of the boys (Theo) was a modern day boy but there was also a second boy (Theseus) who was in the past. Interestingly, when following Theseus on his journey he wanted to make his father proud but instead of making Theseus kill them mercilessly he treated them fairly. What made this book unique was that most of it was written in poems and it had points in the story where you could decide what the character does next. Furthermore, it also follows the minotaur throughout his childhood and shows us that it wasn't a monster so when Theseus arrives to kill it he saves it. I would rate this book a 8/10. I think it could be better if it added in more crossroads where you could choose what happens next.

Ben P

The Door of No Return
I like this book because the book shows that your dream can also be the key to all your problems like in this book Kofi followed his dreams and it gave him freedom i rate this book a 7/10

baasim

Away With Words
Away with words is a decent book however I think the ending wasn't as good as the rest of the book unless a sequel is going to be released. The words sometimes go to near the spine when they are printed up the page which detracts from them.

Edmund

The Boy Lost in the Maze
A fantastic read. I was really engrossed in it the entire time and was sad to put it down when I finished it. It is an incredibly gripping story intensified by the incredible poems throughout. The places in the book when it asks you to pick which page to go to based off of your morals and decision making really grips the reader and engages them in the inner workings of the story. An overall incredible book.

Sam S

Choose Love
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

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I really liked the crossover of the three tales and the parallels as they struggle to find their father. The poetic style works really well with this book as it uses it to mirror the 3 tales. I thought it was deeply moving and liked the addition of the choose your own path.

Stirling

Safiyyah's War
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. So much happens in such short time. First Safiyyah finds out that her dad is forging fake reports to show that Jews are Muslim and when he gets arrested she decides to take on his work. Later her grandmother, Setti, dies which deeply sorrows her. And at the end of the book she has to lead a group of Jews through some underground tunnels to the sea so they can escape. The amount of responsibilities she had to take on are astonishing. I would recommend this book to 10-14 year old and rate it 8.5/10.

Bassit

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

Choose Love
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

The Song Walker
This was a very peculiar book about a random girl in the middle of the Outback discovering who she really was and then wanting to change how she behaved. I liked the dynamic between her and Tarni who was also on a journey.

Aaron

The Door of No Return
The story was good in detail and imagination and I liked that it was based on history. The poems didn’t really use structure as well as they could have, however it was still a decent book.

Aaron

Crossing the Line
The progression of this book was really good, with Erik starting off sad and angry at his dad, then falling into a spiral of drugs and dealing, then recovering through sport, friends and family. It was pretty good despite it being a poem book.

Aaron

The Boy Lost in the Maze
Although it was a poetry book it was ok. The adaptation of Theseus’s story was a bit weird but I liked the choice paths throughout the book and I ended up reading all the different paths anyway which was interesting.

Aaron

Steady for This
This was quite slow at the start, however got much better towards the end. The word play that was used was funny and it was a decent length for the content. Good for fans of Angie Thomas or Run Rebel (from a few years ago).

Aaron

Safiyyah's War
Best one so far because I really liked the tense atmosphere that developed throughout the book. The retelling of a lesser known story was very refreshing and provided a new perspective into Nazi occupied France.

Aaron

Choose Love
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

Away With Words
I enjoyed this nice book set in a variant of our world where spoken words are visible and can be used to collect, create things or preserve memories. Gala and her friend Natalie use them to create individually tailored supportive notes for people in their class, however then mean messages start appearing, so they have to prove it wasn’t them as they can’t collect words anymore

Aaron