Fortismere

Create Group Magazine

Away With Words
I thought A way with words was a very unique book. I liked the way they made words a thing you could see and interact with. I think Sophie Cameron nicely showed galas struggles from moving to Scotland in a way that the reader could feel empathy for her throughout the story. I also liked how they represented selective mutism in Natalie, it sheds it in a light that the we can understand even if you’ve never heard of it before. The book revolves quite heavily around poetry which is not my cup of tea but that’s just a personal opinion.

Ava

The Door of No Return
The Door Of No Return is a thrilling story about a small village in Africa populated by the Asante people. I really enjoyed this book and even though it is a poetry book I still liked it even more than I would a normal book. This book teaches you a lot about the brutal captivity and bondage of Africans as well as the transatlantic trafficking and trade of human beings. I did not know a lot about this and was intrigued by how much it taught me about it. What I loved about this book was getting to know the traditions of these people such as celebrations, food and education. An example of one of their traditional foods is Kenkey which is a West African dish similar to dumplings usually served with pepper sauce and soup. Furthermore, what I also loved about this book was that Koffi (the main character) loved swimming and I could really relate to this as I too really enjoy swimming. Normally I do not enjoy reading actual story lines set in poetry form, but this book has really changed my mind and got me thinking about reading different books than I normally would.

Evelyn

Safiyyah's War
Safiyyah's War is a great book about a Muslim girl saving Jews in World War 2. It is a book on friendship and bravery and is based on a true story. It's a great read as it is a great book with loads of descriptive language and at the same time learning about the war. But at some parts in the book it did get a bit boring. I would recommend this book.

JJ

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

Lily-Rose

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

Hazel

Crossing the Line
I really liked the poetry format of this book and the way shapes and different text styles were used to express Erik's perceptions of the storyline. I thought Tia Fisher conveyed well how easy it was to fall into the path Erik takes. I also thought that the way they incorporated Norwegian words was interesting.

Lily

Safiyyah's War
I enjoyed this book a lot. I found the descriptive language amazing and it meant I could really imagine the world that was being told. I loved the characters, the family dynamics and how the events were laid out. I adored the cats and I thought it was a lovely sweet add in. I found Safiyyah's emotions very interesting and I thought it was an amazing idea to tell it from her perspective.

Hazel

The Door of No Return
this is an excellent and insightful book about the African slave trade. the main character is very well written and the books message is very powerful

Eve

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed this book and learning about people in this experience. I also really liked the format of this book.

Lara

The Boy Lost in the Maze
this book was very interesting it was a interesting mix of real life and imagination and myth I found it very engaging.

benjy

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

benjy

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

Martha

Safiyyah's War
this book is very powerful , when I first picked it up I knew it looked special it really captured me in its deep and meaningful insight into the life of someone living in occupied Paris it was a engaging read.

benjy

The Song Walker
I enjoyed this book from the start, I was enchanted by its twisting and turning storyline as the characters grew I came to relate to them and become very invested I loved it.

benjy

The Door of No Return
I thought this book was very powerful in its simplicity and short sentences. it was very sad yet told a tail of hope and defiance I loved it.

benjy

Crossing the Line
Crossing the line was a thrilling book and it was hard to put down. It was very fast paced but also sensitive about Erik's situation. But one problem I had with it was it felt as if the book was cut short and that there was more to the story. At the end it felt forced and had lost some of its momentum.

Martha

The Door of No Return
The door of no return follows a teen boy called Kofi Offin living in 19th century West Africa in a place called the Asante kingdom, modern day Ghana. The first part of the book shows what his life is like and what he gets up to from day to day, from getting in trouble at school to fights with his cousin to hanging out with his friends to trailing the girl he likes. It seems like a good insight into what a normal life looked like for a teenage boy in Africa in the 1800s. However, as they often are, things are not all as they seem. When an unexpected tragedy happens at a big festival, Kofi is faced with even more questions than he had before and is also faced with an almighty challenge. Does he have what it takes to Survive and return to his family a hero? This book is written in verse which confused me when i first started reading it as I had never read a verse novel before and was unfamiliar with the concept. It is also written in first person which gives the reader a more in-depth perspective of the challenges Kofi faces and the emptions that he feels. The verse aspect of it mean that it flows in a rhythmic way like a poem while still telling a story. It's has themes of hope and conflict and a whole band of complicated feelings that are conveyed beautifully as the book stretches on .This book also sheds an interesting new light on this particular period of time and what it was like for West Africans when the English, or 'the Wonderfuls ' as they are known in the book, arrived and gives an insight into how a young African boy would have seen them. While this book is very beautifully written, the ending is a bit confusing. It feels as if their are many loose strings that have been left untied. It feels as if there's is a chapter missing or an epilogue that should have been added. Overall, this book it a gorgeous quick read that really makes the reader think.

Saskia

The Door of No Return
Overall I found The door of no return to be rather slow and boring. It focused mainly on mundane things without much action. Another thing I found was that the book was left without an ending and without a sense of closure. But I think that it covered the topics of grief, guilt and slavery very tactfully. It was an okay read.

Martha

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

Mattia

The Song Walker
I really liked Song Walker. I thought it was very interesting, and had an interesting, original plot. It mixed themes of ancient Australian culture, with a perspective of a confused city girl lost in the bush. I thought it was full of thrilling plot twists, with a view from both a native Australian who knows the wilderness well and a violinist who doesn't. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the ideas created in it.

Max

Crossing the Line
I loved this book. The verse novel really worked for the plotline. The development of different characters was immense. I really loved the character of Ravi's dad. It was really nice when he gave the funding for trips leaflet in the supermarket to Erik. I felt a lot of empathy reading this book. It was really sad book but it had a kind of hopeful ending.

Amber

The Door of No Return
I think this book was written in a very gripping and entertaining way. in this book, Kwame Alexander manages to grip the readers with some entertaining scenes while still keeping the brutal subject on which this book is based. I especially liked the verse format as it allowed you a moment to breathe in between each amazing verse. I also thought that the way that Alexander managed to write in such a distinct style of an 11-year-old boy came through really well. The history behind this book is fantastic and can teach you about the slave trade and the colonization of Africa. One of the ways that this is demonstrated is by the character Mr Goodluck Philip and his adoration for Britain and its rulers (and the "Mr Wonderfuls")

Mattia

Crossing the Line
I found this book very complicated to read because it has a lot of slang in it and the way it's written is very confusing for me. It was very hard not to get distracted by the patterns and form. I thought main character Eric was such a nice boy but was making all these wrong choices and not thinking of what could be the result of it. He needed help from someone but wasn't getting very help, sadly, but from these bad people who were not actually helping him but placing him in a lot of danger and his sisters.

Isabel

The Song Walker
I thought this book was brilliant. The fact that she didn't know her name added an element of mystery. I also enjoyed at the end when we found out about Debonaire and others being somewhat of a 'mirage'. I loved the growing bond between Tarni and Sienna/Tidda etc because it really represents kind of enemies to best friends as Tarni was kind of not friends with Sienna in the start. I felt like the violin was a very majestic part of the story that just made it that bit more interesting. I also can just imagine the cat Violet Crumbles to be very cute!

Amber

The Door of No Return
I did not really enjoy the book as it was a bit confusing. The way it incorporated a lot of West African culture was quite nice. The ending was a little confusing as Kwame Alexander somehow managed to finish the book but left the ending somewhat unfinished.

Talya

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

Talya

Crossing the Line
I found this book incredible. It really gave me an understanding of the way that teenagers get involved in gangs. I really liked the structure of the book. It made it more interesting and the use of emotional language just made the book more realistic. The layout of the book makes it easy and engaging to read.

Talya

The Song Walker
This book had an element of mystery throughout it, the questions about (Moonflower)'s past lingers in the background. Also, Tarni's culture is interesting and foreshadows the truth. There is a big twist that is shocking and very unexpected. It was a very good book and nicely portrayed the two girls' friendship.

Lily

The Door of No Return
i did not enjoy this book. i feel like i was thrown into the story without any idea what was going on. i didnt like the layout becuase it was confusing and i didnt felt like it flowed very well when in was reading it. the sub heading fo reach paragraph was confusing because sometimes in was part of the story and other times it wasnt. this inconsistency wasn't helpful. the book took a long time to get into the main part and by then i was already loosing intrest. this was one of the few books which i actually 'dreaded' to read. it was boring, confusing, and not well presented.

mae

Away With Words
Away With Words is a highly alluring novel of adapting to unknown environments, the emergence of self-conviction, and, in this particular context, the overcoming of significant language and cultural barriers. Gala, the adolescent protagonist, is confronted with a voyage into unfamiliarity following her adjustment in residence from Cadaques, Spain, to Fortrose, Scotland. During which, she encounters Natalie, a girl within her year that has diagnosed selective mutism, and a flourishing bond between the two is formed. The author's usage of the metaphorical collection of physical words facilitates their personal self-expression and relationship, laying the foundational concept for the novel. Personally, I adored the hyphenated speech emblematic of Gala's character-development in her ability to interpret English phrases and the entirety of her social interactions. At times, though, this book was relatively difficult to read on further due to the slow-paced nature and predictable events, such as the identity of the negative poem writer.

Lily-Rose

Away With Words
Away With Words was a very quick read but I savoured every word. It was a phenomenal book about settling in to a new place and trying to make your voice heard no matter the challenges that stand in your way. I could really relate to this book because I moved from Singapore to London, which was a huge change for me. I found it very difficult and was not making lots of friends. But then just like Gala I met someone and we became best friends. There were problems along the way, that Gala also experienced. Wrong friendships, bullies and other things. I thought this book was also really well written and I loved the idea of that when you speak your words appear in front of you. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the descriptions of Spain (where Gala lived before). It has made me want to go to Spain even more than before. In conclusion, I think this is an outstanding book and it is definitely my favourite of the Carnegie book collection so far.

Evelyn

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

Ben

Steady for This
Steady for this is a nice book. It is quite easy to read and the school and London setting made it relatable. At first I found the slang writing a bit annoying but I got used to it. Overall, good book.

Ben

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The boy Lost in the Maze is a very moving book about realising that you are not alone in the world and that somewhere out there in some place someone is feeling what you're feeling. This was a really enjoyable book overall and the illustrations are so beautiful. The technique that Kate Milner used I think, is really cool. She uses what looks like pencil strokes to create a whole picture. In the book, it included some participation from the reader where you could choose what the character would do. This was so fun and I loved finding out if you would choose the right path or the wrong path. Furthermore, I loved the connection between the boy, The Minotaur and Theseus it was a very moving and interesting plot line. In conclusion, this was a fantastic book and it deserves all the praise and awards that it gets.

Evelyn

Crossing the Line
I thought this book was incredible. It moved me greatly. It really allowed me to explore some of the struggles teenagers have and understand a bit more about gangs. It let me sympathise with Erik and understand people like him a bit more. I really like the structure of the book; it helped make the book more interesting and made it more realistic. I thought this book was incredible and I would definitely recommend it.

Juna

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

Huxley

The Song Walker
The Song Walker is a highly credited book and has made it onto more several shortlists for writing. For this reason, I was excited to read it and understand why it was so popular and it did not disappoint. The Song walker follows a young girl who wakes up in the middle of the Australian outback unable to remember how she got there, anything about her past and even her own name. Then, another girl, Tarni , finds her and saves her life. The pair travel across the desert together as they try to figure out who this girl is. They are met with challenges and become best friends along the way. But they are both hiding secrets about themselves and as the young girl remembers more and more about herself, several issues arise. The main thing I liked about this book is that it includes cultural references to first country Australia, something that I hadn't heard much about before. It sheds light on the hardships that they endured and educates readers on the beliefs and experiences of the First country Australians. The author created an amazing feeling of suspense in some parts of the book meaning that I got really engrossed in the story. There was also a plot twist that I never could have saw coming. My only complaint is that I didn't fully understand the ending. I felt as if there were bits of information missing and that some things remained unsaid. Overall, I absolutely loved this book because it was really interesting and I found myself desperately wanting to know more and more about the story.

Saskia

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

Juna

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I thought that the boy lost in the maze was an interesting book but hard to understand. Although the plot was interesting I found the switch of narratives and the use of magic the the seemingly non-magical world confusing it also makes the story very hard to follow.

Martha

The Song Walker
The song walker is a great book. I like how your sense of the characters changes throughout the book as you learn more about them. It's nice that it's first person as then it shows the main character's internal struggles and also the main character finding out about how to survive in the outback. The ending is interesting, if a bit confusing.

Ben

The Song Walker
I found this book really interesting and I liked all of the description about the outback. I also liked the ending and how it was revealed very gradually.

Lara

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I really enjoyed The Boy Lost in the Maze. I thought the mixture of poetry and verse novel created a really powerful effect, and I loved the way that it kept switching between different timelines, linked by the idea of all trying to find the protagonist's father. I thought the storyline was a very creative and interesting one - and I believed the different timelines- but same variations of the same story was very good. When the timelines all linked at the end, I found it very moving and an amazing end to the story. It was challenging at times but otherwise a fairly quick read.

Max

Crossing the Line
I really liked this book because of its great plot and layout. The layout of the book makes it easy and gripping to read. It's fast-paced which means you don't want to stop reading it. It is almost all in verse so it is quite a quick read. It is about a 14-year-old called Erik and his story after his dad died in Covid.

JJ

Steady for This
This book was a very good read reflecting on the lives of Shaun and his friends and the struggles you go through being judged about your looks. He is a young dreamer about being a gangsta rapper. This is a really good book I would recommend to 12 to 13 year olds

Rory

The Song Walker
Song Walker is an absolutely brilliant book about the journey of finding yourself. It was a bundle of twists and turns that just kept me wanting to keep reading and reading. Something I really enjoyed about this book, was the story of Tarni's sister and how she was trying to find her but the reality was that Tarni's sister is dead and she was actually trying to find her spirit. I also really loved the traditions and ideas of The First Country people who lived in the outback of Australia. Furthermore, I think that this was a really good book but I do not It is not for my age group and is not the type of genre of book that I would read. However, What I liked about this book was the way that the characters were built and how you got little sections of the characters life and what their personality was like throughout the book. This got me to understand the characters well and want to read about what might happen to them next. Siena (the main character) is a very famous violinist and has this special violin that is worth thousands of pounds. I really liked this detail in the book it made the story special and unique. In conclusion this book was fantastic but sometimes I felt that it seemed a bit young for me.

Evelyn

Steady for This
This book was, in my opinion, very good. It managed to use slang speak without sounding cringey, as in some bools that I have read, the author doesn't manage to use slang effectively and just sounds like an adult pretending that they are 11 and so 'cool.'This book was also good as it talked about some things like corrupt council members and worrying about a place to sleep sometimes. Growls' raps were very good, and the book was quite funny. A good book.

Huxley

The Song Walker
One of the reasons that I liked this book was the way that the author managed to portray a sense of adventure using descriptive vocabulary and tension in her writing. I also like the way that flashbacks and music play an important part in the book because it really shows that moonflower/magpie has no clue as to where she has come from. The way that the author drops certain hints along the way and finally reveals the mystery of Tarni's sister at karlu karlu. I thought this book was very gripping

Mattia

Away With Words
This book was amazing, it inspired me to respect those that are unable to speak or choose not to do so. This doesn’t mean they are not communicating their ideas, feelings or thoughts in other ways. It was great that these two girls started making poems for people that felt down, worried or scared. I wish I could see and hold words like people did in this book, it would be very helpful for daily tasks. It showed that even when trouble comes your way strong friendships are unbeatable. I hope whoever reads this book will love it like I did.

Isabel

Crossing the Line
I couldn’t put this book down. I really enjoyed the pace of the book and I loved how the words danced their meanings on the page through colour and shapes. The story was compelling; I was frustrated, angry and alarmed at how quickly the situation escalated and entrapped Erik, and I loved the powerful emotive language that brought the story together. This is easily one of my favourite books and I definitely recommend this.

Lora

Safiyyah's War
I really enjoyed reading Safiyyah's war. It was gripping and a thrilling read. I especially liked how this book handles Safiyyah's trauma after being attacked by the nazi soldiers.

Martha

Steady for This
I enjoyed this book lots. It showed passion for what Growls cared about - not only rap, but friendship and family. It is inclusive of people with different financial situations and mental health issues. It was a fun book to read.

Lily

Away With Words
Away with words is a great book. The idea of having words that you can pick up is fascinating and showing people speaking with sections missing out that the main character can't understand makes you relate to the main character well.

Ben

Away With Words
Away With Words is a nice book about moving to a new country and being taken away from everything you know - your friends, your school, your language. The concept of words being tangible objects is an interesting concept - at first I thought that she had synaesthesia, but then when other people interacted with them, I realised that that was just 'normal'. The story is very nice about friendship and learning a new language.

Huxley

Steady for This
I liked this book as it was very funny, although I eventually stopped reading it because I thought it dragged on a bit. At times I found it hilarious because it perfectly impersonated a Year 7 today and the characters were very funny. I thought the plot was very good and the raps were great, and the jokes were funny, although it became a bit boring eventually. I did like it but it was not my favourite.

Max

Safiyyah's War
this is a amazing book about a brave group of people who stand up and help those in need

Eve

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I found The boy lost in the maze a very exciting book, although at times I got slightly lost when the book described certain moments. I loved the powerful adjectives and sometimes I really felt I was experiencing what the character felt. I liked the poetic way in which it was written however I did get confused by it sometimes.

Hazel

The Door of No Return
Overall, the book was good and had a very interesting topic. It was well writen and handled the heavy topics well. However, I think that the book was not concluded very well and it felt like they got away to easily.

Ben

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

Max

The Door of No Return
The Door of No Return is a verse novel of simplicity; raw yet poetically-robust imagery and a rhythmic pace that will ultimately leave you insatiable for more. It brims with enlightening knowledge on Asante culture, cuisine and inter-generational traditions and retains a sensory, lyrical literary style throughout. Kofi Offin, the lead role of the story, narrates his personal experiences as an adolescent, initially facing romance, high-discipline education, and a cousin rivalry. Although, this gradually morphs into a tale of barbarism, bloodshed, unjust abductions with intent of exploitation and a breach of basic individual rights. This plot was harrowing at times, due to it having ties to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, however, it was equally optimistic, with hope being conveyed through the usage of reveries and character dreams. I was greatly fond of the presentation/format of words on the page since, from my perspective, it reinforced that sense of the unknown, with blank space on either side emphasising at the freedom in deciding your personal fate, writing a story in your authentic voice. The final few chapters of the novel seemed a little inconclusive, leaving grey regions in the plot and questions unanswered.

Lily-Rose

Safiyyah's War
Safiyyah’s War was a highly insightful novel on the auspicious attempts at smuggling Jews from occupied Paris via the soutterain. Moderately-paced and abundant in rich, vibrant cultural and metaphorical description, the plot revolves around an age 11 girl and practicing Muslim named Safiyyah. This book sheds light on the role of the Grand Mosque throughout World War II which otherwise would have been left in the shadows. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed each page and was able to greatly empathise with the protagonist as I share a similar age range. Despite being slightly unrealistic/predictable at times in her geographical memory and overcoming of adversity, Safiyyah’s character was a bold representation of standing against prejudice in a particularly masculine and authoritative environment. To conclude, the relationships and experiences of those within the book form a highly relevant message of equality that, beside an intricate storyline, create an utterly poignant and provocative read.

Lily-Rose

Away With Words
"Away With Words" was an engaging read, and I found it enjoyable due to the clarity of its narrative. The author's use of detailed descriptions and the incorporation of different fonts to convey the emotions of various characters was particularly effective. It also employs a variety of descriptive language and personification, which adds depth to the narrative. The underlying message of the book is that words can have a powerful impact on individuals, either positively or negatively.

Talya

Safiyyah's War
I found this book fascinating as I hadn’t heard about the Great Mosque in France before and I didn't know of the role it played in the resistance. This book taught me new things about WW2 (which is one of my favourite parts to learn about in history) and I love how the characters are portrayed as brave and do what is right, even through a tough time like this. Also, I enjoyed that this book was equally exciting and emotional.

Lora

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

Lily

Away With Words
I thought that this book was very powerful. It used the idea of words in a creative way, and I like how it was inclusive of both people with selective mutism and people from different cultures. It gives you perspective from different people's points of view. It shows words as something permanent and physical.

Lily

The Song Walker
I greatly enjoyed The song walker. I especially loved the amazing friendship between the girls and I found it nice to have the girls the same age as me so I could relate to their conversations and feelings. I didn't enjoy the beginning as much as the end because I was confused by some of the events that took place, however it all made sense after the amazing plot twist at the end that brought the whole book together.

Hazel

Away With Words
I enjoyed this book very much as I found it quite an easy read and I also liked how it was a very inclusive book and I also liked the idea of people seeing other peoples words.

lara

Safiyyah's War
This book conveys the importance of the Grand Central mosque in occupied Paris during World War II and how it helped so many Jewish families escape to safety. The story follows a young Muslim girl, Safiyyah, and how her life changes when the Germans invade Paris where she lives. She lives within the Mosque community and, after a short while, she discovers that her father may be part of some sort of resistance. Using her expert knowledge of cartography, she helps the resistance evacuate countless Jewish people and saves the day when the adults can't. I really enjoyed this book because it showed a different insight into Word War II that I think many people didn't know about before. It also has the message of 'Even if your small, you can still make a difference. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt as though it was building to something great and it just stopped with some loose strings left. Overall, this book had a great message of hope and triumph and it was a joy to read!

Saskia

Away With Words
I thought it was a very brilliant, well-written book. I loved the structure of the book and the way it was written. I thought the idea of picking up words and collecting them was incredible and well-thought. I loved how inclusive this book was as it included characters coming from different countries and cultures. It also helped me learn a lot more about selective mutism. I would definitely recommend this book

Juna

The Song Walker
I was really enjoying the book, its unique plot was intruiguing. the descriptiveness made me feel like i realy was in the australian outback and the charatcers had their emotions portrayed very clearly. how ever, the ending was a big dissapointment. after it was revealed that most o fthe characters we had met werent even 'real' it felt like the whole book was a lie. they wrere spirits not real living breathing humans so wreer they evn ever there? it leaves me with to many unanswered questions, like how did they was in the shower if it was never there? or how werev they filled up by debbonaires food if it wasnt even real? it leaves me feel irrated, the author cant introduce this huge plot point and end the book just like that.

Mae

Away With Words
This book has a very interesting concept that adds a sense of whimsy in an otherwise ordinary setting. It gives a thought provoking insight into the mind of someone who is learning English for the first time and feels really alone. The main character, Gala, has to move from her home in Catalan and start a new life in Scotland with her dad and his partner. She doesn't speak English and spends most of her time missing her old life. The book uses the idea that words are physical things that you can pick up and read as someone says them. Gala meets a girl at her school who has selective mutism and uses other peoples physical words to convey how she feels when she can' t speak. She and Gala bond over their shared feelings of not being understood. They find a way of using their love of words to help others. I think that the metaphor of words being physical things represents how important they are to people who feel alone and overwhelmed. I really enjoyed this book and found myself connecting with the characters on a personal level. I will say that, as i was reading it, the book took quite a long time to get to the main problem of the plot and at some points I found myself getting a bit bored. Finally, I thought it was a lovely touch that at some points, the book is printed so that the words look like they're moving around or falling down. It showed how some people see the world.

Saskia

Steady for This
I found this book overall to be slow and hard to follow. The language used was hard to understand. Some of the words were spelled phonetically which in my opinion made the book a difficult read and took away from the plot. While the book touched on difficult topics very appropriately and should be commended for it I myself did not like the overall book.

Martha

Steady for This
In my opinion this is a great book because the way that Nathanael Lessore wrote in the style of MC Growls using street terms like Ps and Bars made you feel like you were living the life of Growls. I also loved that way that the character sometimes may not understand fully the concept of things and the author portrays this in a funny and laughable way. The author manages to portray Growls' relationship with the other characters really well, like when he feels so down because Siobhan has moved to Bristol, you can see and feel it in the writing and the raps that growls recites. In general I think that this was an extremely good book and made me laugh ot loud multiple times

Mattia

Steady for This
'Steady For This' is a fantastic book about finding out who you are and not following in others footsteps but instead your own. I have to be honest, when I started reading the book, I found it quite slow and boring because it was very repetitive and nothing much was really happening so it didn't draw me in that well. But I didn't give up on it and kept reading and then about half way through the book I started to really enjoy it and found the book very funny and heartwarming. Something that I actually really liked about this book was the chapter names and how different and funny they were. For example, Chapter 12 is called, 'so much beef the stakes are high'. This really made me laugh and helped me to understand the type of character Shaun is. I really like Shaun's character and how he is represented because he is one of those kids who is not afraid of who they are and does their own thing without being embarrassed. I thought this book was not exactly the same but quite similar to 'The Hate You Give' which I really loved. In conclusion, I thought that this book was fantastic but it is mainly about character rather than plot.

Evelyn

Steady for This
I quite liked this book as it was funny at times and had a good plot. It is a book that some people might be able to relate to. The book is quite unusual (in a good way) because it has rap lyrics as well as normal writing. I would recommend this book as it made you laugh out loud while really feeling the main characters emotions.

JJ

The Song Walker
I like very much this book from the beginning to the end because since the first few lines it was eye-catching, I wanted to know what was wrong with the girl, why was she in that situation. The way it’s written is engaging, every time I turned the page there was always something new and exciting to read, I would say I was seeing it all. I loved how the writer made you feel that everything in the story was real and then by the end you find out not everything is what it seems, or is it… This books makes you learn new words from a very different language the Alyawarre and my favourite was yaye (older sister). I hope anyone who reads this review will also read The Song Walker and have the wonderful adventure I did.

Isabel

Crossing the Line
I loved this book because the way that Tia Fisher managed to use detailed formatting and poem style versing was very gripping and made you want to read the next sentence! I admire the way that while the subject of the book is quite important and heavy, Fisher manages to keep it light and at times funny and entertaining. I believe that this book is a perfect read because it keeps you engaged with all of the fun features but can teach you a lot at the same time

Mattia

Safiyyah's War
Safiyyah's War is a brilliant story about an unexpected hero (Safiyyah). It is a thrilling tale and I really got stuck into it. Not only was this book entertaining but it was also very educating, as I had never known before that people would start a resistance and help Jewish people to escape from places where they would be taken to jail if Nazis found them. the heartfelt connection of Safiyyah and her grandma was also what made me really enjoy the book as I also have a very strong relationship with my Nana too. Furthermore, the book had a lot about the horrors of war as well and helped me to see those horrors but from a child's point of view. In the book, what was quite interesting, was that in the school that Safiyyah attends there is a boy who talks about Jewish people very rudely and disrespectfully and Safiyyah gets very mad at him causing her to nearly hit him with rage. This just surprised me that even a simple child attending a simple, supporting school would say what the Nazis were saying to Jewish people and no one would stand up to them and tell them that it was not okay, or so I thought. This was truly a phenomenal book and I am not surprised that it was shortlisted for the Carnegie award because it really lives up to that name.

Evelyn

The Door of No Return
This was a slightly confusing book, and although it was quite confusing, it included lots of West African culture. The fact that it was presented as a verse novel was also quite nice. The ending was a bit annoying, because Kwame Alexander managed somehow to draw the book to a close whilst leaving the ending somewhat unfinished. I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary things in it, but it was overall an interesting book.

Huxley

The Song Walker
This was a book which, in my opinion, took an awfully long time to get to the point. For the first half-to-three-quarters of the book, I thought that the book would just be about Tarni and Sienna walking… and walking… and walking. Once it got to the point, though, it was a very good story. The epilogue was very welcome in my mind, and the story was quite good.

Huxley

Safiyyah's War
This was a very good book, and I haven’t read any other wartime books about the role of the mosques in WW2, or about a child who works for the French resistance. I like how it doesn’t launch straight into the action, with it building up to the war and then slowly building up to Saffiyah’s resistance work. A very good book in my opinion.

Huxley

Safiyyah's War
The book was amazing! The author developed the main character well and it was easy to related to how she felt. Although I normally prefere more exciting books, the gradual increase of suspense and risk for the main character makes it a great read. It was also really nice showing a side of the war not normally writen about.

Ben

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

Amber

Away With Words
I think That This book was very intriguing and excellent because I loved how the author used amazing use of descriptive language and how she made the words really come to life with personification. I also very liked the use of multiple different fonts and styles of writing for all of the different characters and moments, this enabled me to really get a grasp of them. the way that Gala was struggling with having English as a second language. I think this was an extremely good book

Mattia

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

Evelyn

The Boy Lost in the Maze
The book was well writen and was a quick read, however, at times it was confusing, especially as it switched between ancient Greek myth and the modern day. Despite this, it was a great story, and had a nice message.

Ben

The Door of No Return
I really enjoyed this book. The verse structure had an interesting effect on the voice of Kofi and let the writing be more free. The historical setting was great and I learnt more about that time. It included lots of backstory at the end, teaching Twi words and symbols. The plot had lots of depth and, as the author said at the end, it showed Black history which was nice to hear more about.

Lily

Steady for This
I really enjoyed this book and the rhythmic pace of the book interspersed by humour and also disaster and just by looking I could tell I was looking at something special. Outstanding must read.

benjy

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed reading this book as previously I had quite a closed view on verse novels but I was blown away by the complex and sometimes brutally simple language to portray the emotions of a young boy struggling to support his family and to stay alive at some points it nearly brought me to tears I would say that it is a must read. :)

benjy

The Song Walker
The book "The songwalker" in my opinion is a good book. I really like how the author Zillah Bethell shines a light on the stolen generations of Australia. But I found the ending confusing and it felt unconnected to the rest of the book. Furthermore I didn't like how the items given to Sienna and Tarni all disappeared at the end as that raises many more questions than it answers. But overall it is a good book excluding the ending.

Martha

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

Lara

Away With Words
I really liked the feeling of the wordsearching being like a metaphor that is actually real, I enjoyed the story and liked the subplot of Natalie having selective mutism. It was a grat book that I really enjoyed

Amber

Crossing the Line
The book was extremely good. The use of formating emphasised the words on the page very well. The story was excelent and the author gave all of the characters a lot of realism and relevance. It was also very exciting and a gripping, quick read. Overall, an amazing book.

Ben

Crossing the Line
This was a very good book, the use of verse was a very interesting choice for a book about gangs. It was written in a very realistic way that actually shows how people get drawn into gangs. It was very exciting and explains some of the misconceptions about gangs, like how some people think that you can just leave and say 'no', or that gangs are full of really mean people.

Huxley

The Boy Lost in the Maze
I liked the book, but it was a bit confusing at the start, with the two characters and flitting between them. It was a very nice story with a really nice message about two boys trying to find their respective fathers. I really liked the message and it was a very good book overall.

Huxley

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed reading crossing the line. despite the unusal layout that I didnt expect to like. The plot had lots of twists and turns however the author didnt over-do it. It was easy to pick up and read in small sections as it had small vesres, wich was useful at school so that I could quickly read a few pages and then put it down when needed. the theme wasnt the sort of thing i would often read however this didnt stop me enjoying the book. i felt like i could really understand what Erik was going through becasue of the way the book is written. the use of metaphors aloso enhanced the experince. overall, this was a very intresting and unique read.

mae

Crossing the Line
I found the story to be really interesting and progressed at a good rate but one problem was the book differed from the normal book layout (e.g each line was about half the page instead of the whole page like usual and the words bended off the rows) which bothered me while I read it but you get used to it pretty quickly. Other than that the storyline was great, you could understand the relationships between the characters and it really showed the harsh reality of getting tied into things like this.

ava

Crossing the Line
I really enjoyed Crossing the Line. It was a clever verse novel that highlighted the issue of children being exploited in gang crime. It was an easy read, but very gripping with a good storyline nonetheless. I also liked the quirky way in which it was formatted, with many different fonts and interesting calligrams. It really breached the idea of "What is poetry?" I thought it was overall a very good book with a good plot about a serious issue.

Max