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Posted on March 25th 2019
New Book Reviews, by Dan, Year 10
As part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award, Dan is writing some reviews for the library, which we thought other book-lovers might like to read.
Murder in Midwinter, by Fleur Hitchcock
Murder in Midwinter is a book by Fleur Hitchcock, who is a crime writer for children. The story is about a girl, Maya, who saw an argument between two people on the street. The most important fact about this argument is that the arguing pair looked as though they were ready to kill someone. Unfortunately, they saw Maya as she accidentally took a photo of them having their argument. She moves to live with her aunt and her cousin in the Welsh mountains which is the perfect place for her to hide from the sinister pair who are looking for her. Will moving away keep Maya safe? You have to read this book to find out the answer for yourself!
The author presents Maya as a normal girl with a normal school life. But we can see that she is a strong girl as she tries to confront the issues that are thrown at her. She is also be able to change her cousin, Ollie, from an unpleasant young boy to a friendly, likable kid.
It is clear to see that the author portrays the emotions of the characters brilliantly in this book. According to my view, the story is not only a crime book but it is also a lesson about the love between family members. Therefore, it is not as horrible as you might expect a murder mystery book to be.
This is a great book for those who want to read a crime book but are scared that it will be too violent. Furthermore, I truly recommend this book for Year 7 and 8 as it’s full of mystery and intrigue. However, I think that everyone could find something to enjoy in this book.
By Dan, Year 10
The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginning is the first book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The story is about three unfortunate children who are clever and charming. These unfortunate children become orphans following a tragic fire that killed their parents. Throughout the book, the youngsters face many difficult obstacles which really challenge their resilience. You must read this book to find out how the orphans save themselves from all of these catastrophic obstacles!
The Bad Beginning is a very exciting book because the author introduces lots of strange obstacles that prevent the Baudelaires from being safe. The fact that the characters meet challenge upon challenge leaves the reader feeling anxious for them. Despite all of the obstacles that they face, the Baudelaires show their resilience as nothing can prevent them from coming up with creative and agile solutions. Only once the characters find a solution to solve their problems will you feel satisfied.
The author describes three main characters: Violet, Klaus and Sunny are the Baudelaire siblings. Violet Baudelaire is the oldest and she is interested in mechanical engineering. Klaus Baudelaire is the middle child and he knows a lot of information which he accumulated for himself through his reading. Finally, Sunny Baudelaire is the youngest one and she likes to bite things and she always uses her own language. For example, she might say “Odo yow!” which means: “How do you do?” You’ll soon get used to her language! The characters are interesting to me because of their difference in age and their various skills. Not only that, their personalities and emotions are revealed further when they try to solve their troubles.
This is a wonderful book but the only thing that might put off some readers is the truly unfortunate destiny of the Baudelaire children. They face too many painful obstacles which they should not have to face at their age! For example, they have to cook and clean for their Uncle Olaf and his troop of friends and at another point they have to chop firewood – with an axe. What kind of guardian would let children use an axe? Not only that, the climax comes when one of the children has to get married!
If you are worried about your English skills, this book may help you. Despite some difficult vocabulary, the book is easy to understand because the author always explains what the challenging words mean. Therefore you can easily develop your vocabulary by reading this book.
I recommend this book to students in Year 7 and 8 because it is full of surprises.
By Dan, Year 10
Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens
Murder Must Unladylike is the first book from the A Murder Most Unladylike mystery series by Robin Stevens.
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have set up a secret detective agency at their school in order to solve any mysterious things that might happen. Unfortunately, nothing ever truly exciting happens at their school. That is until Hazel discovers the body of their teacher! Now they have to solve the case and prove that there was a murder! Will they work out who committed the deed before the killer catches them?
This is an interesting book that children of any age can enjoy. Not only that, this book is perfect for people who like detective stories. The book is full of mystery, comedy and surprises!
The author includes lots of mysterious scenes that force the reader to turn the page; the reader wants to read on and they cannot stop. Murder Most Unladylike is a detective book that kept me guessing about the next thing that might happen to develop the story.
Robin Stevens describes the main characters, Daisy and Hazel, as two girls with very different characteristics. Daisy Wells is a typical English girl who is involved in every team and society at school. Hazel Wong is a Chinese girl who is always shy and quiet. Daisy is a famous girl in Deepdean School and everyone loves her whilst Hazel is a new girl with no friends. Their characteristics are totally in contrast. Nonetheless, they make friends with each other and become partners in their detective agency just like Sherlock and Watson. It is the relationship between Daisy and Hazel that I find most interesting about the book.
This book is great for people who want to develop their vocabulary. For the most part, the language in the book is simple but the author includes some sophisticated words that can help you to improve your reading skills.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good mystery or is looking for new and interesting words to improve their vocabulary.
By Dan, Year 10