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review 2018-03-09 04:14
Pink and Say
Pink and Say - Patricia Polacco

You better bring some tissues when you sit down to read this text, because you are going to need them! Patricia Polacco is the author and illustrator of this profound piece of children's literature. Polacco introduces us to the true story of two young soldiers. Many of Polacco's works are based on true stories, and this one packs a punch. This text is perfect for lessons about the civil war. I recently used this text to write my own lesson plan; I required students to read the text and research their state's role in the civil war. The students were then asked to write a persuasive piece detailing why they would or why they would not live in their state during the civil war.



Guided Reading - V

Lexile - 600L

DRA - 50

AR - 3.8


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review 2018-03-09 03:41
The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand - Munro Leaf,Robert Lawson

The story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf tells the delightful account of a young bull named Ferdinand. With the story taking place sometime in Spain, the reader might assume that Ferdinand is destined to be a matador. However, young Ferdinand is unique. While his peers run, fight, and play, "Ferdinand likes to sit under his tree just so and smell the flowers" (Leaf). The simple illustrations by Newberry award winning illustrator, Robert Lawson, might seem plain - but but do not be deceived! Hidden gems and details beg the reader to revise the text. I would love to use this book to study Spanish culture. One of the more interesting ideas I found to accompany this text is a study on cork, which can be found here: https://www.weareteachers.com/8-fun-activities-celebrate-story-ferdinand/


Guided Reading - K

Lexile - AD760L

DRA - 18

AR - 3.7

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review 2018-03-07 17:06
Block 46 (Roy & Castells Series) - Johana Gustawsson,Maxim Jakubowski

True crime writer Alexis Castells is used to dealing with the nastier side of life. When her friend goes missing and then is found murdered in Sweden, Alexis is drawn into finding out who the killer is. It would seem that victims with similar injuries have been found in London. Alexis and profiler Emily Roy are soon caught up in an investigation that will see them travel between London and Sweden, and back to the dark days of World War Two.


I had attended an event at a local bookshop during which Johana Gustawsson read from her soon to be published novel, Block 46. That snippet peaked my interest so I was keen to read the novel.


This was an interesting story, flitting as it did between 1944 and the concentration camp, and to the present day. The murders were graphic, as was the detail that was provided about life as a prisoner in Buchenwald. Those sections of the novel are particularly hard hitting but given the nature of what happened to so many, to shy away from it and sugar coat it would be to do them a dishonour.


I liked that the narrative switched between the modern day and the past. It allowed the story to develop, layering information for the reader to create a more rounded tale. There were times when I felt that chapters finished somewhat abruptly but the technique does draw the reader in.


I don’t feel that I got a particular feel for the main characters. Emily appears standoffish and borderline annoying, though there are hints to events in her past having shaped her demeanour. Alexis too comes with baggage, a past that she still hasn’t completely come to terms with. Though the women worked together to solve the case the relationship between them seemed a little distant at times, at others surprisingly close. There is the basis for a good partnership, with great potential and which will hopefully develop in further novels.


I liked that the novel was set in both Sweden and London, particularly that most of the action was set in Sweden giving insight into a country and a way of life I wasn’t overly familiar with.


The story was engaging, the plot intriguing and the dénouement played out really well.

The translation also worked well. I forgot I was reading a translation and had the impression I was reading the author’s own words, not the translator’s interpretation, which is always a good sign.


I hope this review doesn’t make it appear as if I didn’t enjoy the novel. I did. It was entertaining, thought provoking at times and drew me along. I’m glad I read it. I’ll be interested to see what the second Roy and Castells story has to offer.

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text 2018-03-05 17:55
The Hanover Block Booklikes Giveaway
The Hanover Block - Gregor Xane

I'm giving away three (3) Kindle copies of my novella, The Hanover Block, here on Booklikes.


Click here to enter.


Countries available: Australia, Canada, UK, USA



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review 2018-03-01 04:04
By Oliver Jeffers - Stuck - Oliver Jeffers

I LOVE OLIVER JEFFERS. His texts are jubilant and silly. The images are beautifully illustrated, and will have the reader flipping through in no time! Stuck tells us the story of Floyd. Poor Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree, and he can't get it down. He begins to throw all kinds of things at the tree in hopes of knocking it down. This book would be perfect for identifying problems and solutions. Because Jeffers has quite an extensive list of books under his belt, teachers could use him for an author study. Accompany with a read a loud by the author himself!





Guided Reading - L

Lexile - AD530L

AR - 3.4

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