Latest book group meetings

Latest book group meetings

8th March, 2017

AcademicChalmers EastChalmers WestJuniorsSixth Form

The Upper Sixth Book Group met (22 February) to discuss their latest read, Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman.

Strange was how we described many of these stories but most were even stranger. I did enjoy reading the book and while some stories were weaker than others there were a few brilliant short tales and certainly many interesting ideas throughout. The book also made a nice refreshing change to typical long form stories and overall I enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories: it was nice to get a variety of stories that moved along quickly. I loved ‘The Goldfish Pool and other stories~’ it had a good sense of movement and purpose, which I found very easy to read. I would recommend a collection of short stories to anyone as they are very easy to dip in and out of which is
perfect for reading at a busy time of year.

The Shell Book Group met (Monday 27 February) to discuss its latest read – Alice by Christina Henry.

I thought this book was quite good; however, I preferred the original Alice stories by Lewis Carroll. I think this book is quite a dark book and so would only recommend it to older readers.

This book was very different to previous portrayals of Alice. There were many dark twists to the familiar story. I liked the book but not as much as the original story.

I thought this new modern twist on the classic story is very refreshing and exciting and the fast pace of the book did not stop until the last page.

I thought that this book is very entertaining; however, I did struggle a little in the middle. Overall, it is a very dark but entertaining take on a classic novel.

The Fourth Form Book Group met (2 March) to discuss its latest read Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali.

This book was really interesting and powerful and at times darkly funny. The fact that it all happened, the truth behind all the events and especially how Max takes them for granted, turns this into a darker and much more adult story. The way Max seems to feel about these events, especially the obvious corruption of his youth by the Lebensborn programme, all turns this into a quite horrifying book.

I felt that this was a very complex and dark book. It made me think of the Second World War in a completely different way. It was difficult to read and comprehend that this was based on things that really happened. It was horrible to imagine that Hitler could create an army of ‘perfect’ children. My favourite part was the ending, because Max realises the truth. One of the most upsetting parts of the book for me was when Max and his birth mother are in the same place but are not aware of each other’s presence. Overall, I thought that this was an interesting piece of history to know about.

On Monday 6 March, the Junior Book Group met to discuss two books by R.J.Palacio. A number of the group had already read Wonder so they extended their reading with the companion novel Auggie and Me and even some of the group new to this author managed to read both books.

‘Wonder’ is a book about a boy called August who is born with an abnormal face which some people find scary and horrifying.

This book is really good. You grow to like Auggie and it gives you an understanding of how hard it would be to be him.

This book and the ‘Wonder’ Series might just be my favourite books. They are full of emotion from the outset. The story is realistic and the characters are some of the most likable you will ever come across. In ‘Auggie and Me’, I found all three parts are excellent although I thought the ‘Julian’ section was the weakest as I didn’t like how it went off topic in Grandmere’s back story. The other two sections are masterpieces with brilliant dialogue, an excellent sense of meaning and great storytelling.

On Tuesday 14 March, the First Form Book Group met to discuss Beetle Boy by M.G.Leonard.

Here are the boys’ thoughts about this book…

I thought this book was good. I wasn’t so keen on the start but I loved the end. A lot of parts in the book made me laugh but I’m not too keen on the whole beetle idea and I think the names and storyline were a bit far-fetched.

I thought this was hugely ridiculous. It had funny bits and a very enjoyable ending. I thought the pictures were hilarious. I’ve read better and worse.

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