Latest Book Group meetings

Latest Book Group meetings

7th March, 2018

AcademicChalmers EastChalmers West

On Wednesday 28 February, the Fourth Form Book Group met to discuss Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. Here are some of their thoughts about this book…

I liked how this book was set out as a poem and I felt that the book said a lot about the U.S.A. and the issue of the death penalty. There was a lot I didn’t realize about this issue and reading this explained some things but also raised lots of questions too. I strongly recommend this thought-provoking book.
I liked this book and I was surprised at the end. It was annoying that nothing could be done to help Ed, even though the reader knew that Ed was innocent. I liked that Joe tries everything to free his brother.
This is a very good book and I would highly recommend it. SPOILER: the end is very sad.
This was a very thought-provoking book, which asked many important questions of modern society and what is morally right. I would recommend this book to anyone.
I liked this book. I was interested in how hard life was for the main characters and how the story ends.
I really liked this book. It is a tragedy and it has a love element, a serious issue and extremely depressing thoughts and actions.
I think that ‘Moonrise’ is a very interesting book. The pages, however, are quite short. I would recommend this book to 12+ year olds.
‘Moonrise’ is a brilliant book with great characters and revolves around a possible scenario. This fact makes you love the characters, most especially Joe, who never gives up on his brother in what seems to be an impossible situation. I found this book well-paced. Overall, I would give this book a 9/10.
‘Moonrise’ questions the legal systems in certain states in America which maintain the death penalty. The conviction of Ed as a murderer causes a chain reaction, which effectively ruins a family. There are added complications, such as the victim’s wife feeling that Ed should be freed, the victim was a white policeman and the poverty and problems faced by Ed’s family.
I liked the book because it is realistic, although it did have a sad ending. I liked how Joe tries everything and brings the family together.

The Book Group has chosen to read Shane by Jack Schaefer as its next book, which will be discussed at the beginning of the Summer Term.


On Wednesday 21 February, the Shell Book Group met to discuss Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt. Here are some of their thoughts about this book…

I didn’t like the characters and their actions were predictable but I thought the story was ok. Grudgingly, I liked it.
This was a genuinely moving tale which works on two levels. The simple characters and clear plot will grip younger readers while the issues will challenge older readers. This was a more complex read than it seemed.
This book made me feel lots of different emotions and so I found it an enjoyable and gripping read.
I believed as soon as I began reading that the book would be predictable and, for the most part, I was correct. Even though there was no happy ending and I did not expect the ending, it did not make up for the stereotypical plot and characters throughout. To conclude, I found this book to be disappointing: it would have been improved if the themes and characters were better and more developed.
I didn’t like this book. I didn’t find I was gripped by any of the characters, which meant I wasn’t engaged in the story at all.
Every element of this plot hints at an excellent story full of empathy and tragedy – unfortunately, it so over-simplifies it that all that is left by the end is a desperate attempt to seem moving, with no real complexity to the characters at all. Despite its lack of complexity, however, issues and themes of the plot were still extremely relevant to today’s society.
This book was quite good but there were some places which I easily guessed what was going to happen. The book felt that it was aimed at a younger age group and I thought this was reinforced by the cover and blurb as well as the beginning. I thought that this was a great book, which was moving, but I would have liked more surprises.
I felt that the book was fairly predictable due to the nature of the character development and the way the many characters interacted. It was painfully clear who was good or bad, which I felt spoilt the book for me as I prefer to read about internal struggles raging within characters. The contrast and challenge that was developed felt staged and simply existed for the sake of it.
Despite its brevity, I found this deeply moving: the simple sense of the yearning of a father robbed of his daughter was given central focus, making this a deeply moving account of the very real tragedy of abusive parenting and the desperate need for love.

The group will meet at the beginning of the Summer Term to discuss Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes.


On Monday 12 March, the Junior Book Group met to discuss The 1,000 year old boy by Ross Welford. Here are some of the members’ thoughts about this book…

The book focuses on Alve, a young boy who is actually 1000 years old and his friends Aidan and Roxy. The book is about friendship and eternal life. I liked the book because I found it funny, particularly when it is clear that Alve has met people like William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. It is also funny when he behaves like an Anglo Saxon (weeing on a fire). The book has lots of good action and I liked the friendship between the three children as they are very loyal to each other. The biggest thing I got from the book, however, is that whilst I don’t want to die, I don’t want to live for ever either. This is because I now realise that that is lonely. Growing old with friends and family is certainly better than being alone like Alve was.
I really liked this book. The central idea of the book was very interesting and I enjoyed all the description.
I thought this was a good read. I particularly liked all the different characters and the way their personalities were described. I thought some parts were a bit confusing and needed more explanation.
This was a good book. The story was very interesting and it was full of history and humour. This is definitely worth a read.
I really enjoyed most of the book but I got a bit confused about some parts, which left me with unanswered questions. Also, I would have liked more of the book to have been about history.
I thought this book was an interesting concept but, in my opinion, it would have been better if the majority of the book had been about Alve’s past and the times he had lived through leading up to the present day.
This book is about a 1,000 year old boy who can remember the last Viking invasion of England. Alve, the boy, has been alive for so long he wants to find a way that he will begin to age and so eventually die. This book is very funny and I would recommend it for anyone 10+ and would give it 4 out of 5 stars as sometimes it is a bit slow.

The group has decided to read The Explorer by Katherine Rundell as its next book which it will discuss early next term.

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