‘Room’ – a film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue based on her novel of the same name had me glued to my TV screen from the opening scene!

Room is home to Jack (played by Jacob Tremblay) who has just turned 5 years old. He is a typical curious, wide-eyed, innocent little boy who doesn’t believe that there is any other world outside of the 4 walls of this small room where he was born.

Room is a prison to his Ma where she has been held hostage for the past 7 years, having been abducted and exploited by ‘Old Nick’. It is where she nurtures and protects her son, no matter the cost. Continue reading


Everyone brave is forgiven by Chris Cleave

amy-everyone-brave-is-forgivenI don’t know what it says about me, but WWII is a favourite setting. I have read many novels set during this time, but there was so much more to experience in Everyone Brave is Forgiven. Set in London and Malta it is a story of a well to do young woman and her war work as a teacher and ambulance driver, and a young man stationed in Malta. It is about strength, weakness, resilience, prejudice, terrible loss and a fragile hope. In no way sentimental or trite, I found this book deeply moving and enjoyable.

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The BFG by Roald Dahl

flynn-bfgThe BFG stands for The Big Friendly Giant. It is a very long book and there is a movie too. It is about a little girl called Sophie who lives in an orphanage because she doesn’t have a mum or dad. The BFG gives you dreams and he comes and takes Sophie home with him to where the giants live. The book is about love and kindness. I like Roald Dahl books especially The Twits and The BFG.

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Alice’s food A-Z by Alice Zaslavsky

cynthia-alices-foodAlice has a great sense of humour and loves her food. Adults will recognise Alice from Masterchef and kids will from her hosting role of Kitchen Whiz. Including fun food facts and some recipes this is a nice introduction to a range of foods – some that will not be so well known to kids such as quince and Jerusalem artichoke. I think kids would enjoy this more if the recipes were centre stage – they could try the recipes and then find out about the ingredients. It will be a good book for adults to share with their kids and explore some great food.

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Additions to the Review Team for 2017

We welcome onto the review team three people who will be contributing reviews over the next six months.

Our reviewers are:

Caitlin: I like reading contemporary novels, craft books, cook books, young adult fiction and as a mum of two small children I read a lot of picture books too!

Bethany : I love to download eAudiobooks to listen to as I go to sleep. I love funny and magical books.

Flynn: I like reading books that are funny and scary like the ones that are written by Roald Dahl. I also like reading books that have adventures like Geronimo Stilton books and sometimes l like reading my picture books because I love books that have rhymes and pictures like The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. Reading is good at night because it helps me go to sleep.


The jewel in the crown by Paul Scott

amy-the-jewel-in-the-crownI have a vague recollection of watching this on television when I was young. Though I didn’t live through the time of Britain’s rule in India, it is somehow nostalgic to look back on. The Jewel in the Crown is set during WWII, at the end of the British Raj, and while it largely deals with one incident, it cleverly covers so many of the complexities, prejudices, and frustrations of the time. It’s about a young Indian man, brought up in England, and his relationship with an English woman, and the consequences that come from it. The story is told from many perspectives and is an extraordinarily slow reveal, but the journey is fascinating.

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Man at the helm by Nina Stibbe

amy-man-at-the-helmLove, Nina, was a great memoir, and there is a lot of Nina in this novel, with perhaps a touch of Miranda. Nine year old Lizzie has just moved to a village with her mother and siblings after her parents’ divorce. Everyone hates them and her mother isn’t coping so they start searching for a man to take the helm. It’s full of madcap adventures and is very funny, but it is also moving. It’s about growing up (not just the children), class, belonging and love and was really quite lovely.

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Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

amy-whered-you-go-bernadetteThis is a really delightful book. It’s about a woman who is struggling to come to terms with disappointments and find her way. She is a much loved mother to 15 year old Bee, and all sorts of complicated things to other people in her life until she disappears and Bee sets out to find her. It’s clever, funny, quirky (not self consciously so), has a great sense of place and is so life affirming, a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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