Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Our wonderful book blog has signed up to take part in Quadblogging for the next few weeks. We will be sharing our blog with schools in London, Australia and the USA. For an entire week in May and June, each blog will take turns as the 'spotlight blog' while the other three schools view the blog posts and leave comments.

The first blog we are looking at is called Marsh Channel Two News. It is run by a class from H. Ashton Marsh Elementary School in the state of New Jersey, USA.

The following week, everyone will be commenting on our blog so lets get lots of reviews, interviews and book news sorted out.

After that, we are investigating a blog from a Chatsworth Primary School in London, England. They are the Big Ben class and have lots to say!

Finally, we will be looking at a blog from Inaburra School in New South Wales, Australia. They are called Class 4J. There blog is quite new but they are looking forward to putting lots more on it over the next few weeks.

It will be wonderful to find out about schools all over the world. As well as just commenting on what they have written, you could also think about some questions you might like to ask the pupils in the different schools. How exciting!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Story of The World Cup by Richard Brassey

Did you know that the World Cup starts in a few weeks? I don't think England will win it but I will enjoy watching it anyway.

Mr Biddle gave me this book because I love football and I love reading. It is all about the history of the World Cup from when it started in 1930. Uruguay won the first World Cup, they beat Argentina 4-2.

This book has loads of information about what happened in all of the World Cups. In 1950 England lost 1-0 to the USA which is an amazing result. Also Luxembourg are the only team to have tried to qualify for every World Cup but they have never made it. Bad luck to them but keep trying.

The Golden Boot is for the player who scores the most goals in the competition. Ronaldo has scored the most goals in the World Cup but not the Ronaldo who plays for Portugal. It was another Ronaldo who used to play for Brazil. He played in three World Cups but wasn't very good in the last one he played in.

When England won the World Cup, it got stolen. Who found it? You need to read the book to see. The page with the worst World Cup haircuts is really funny. I think Carlos Valderrama looks the silliest.

There are only two continents where the World Cup hasn't been played. Do you know which two? Hmm, it's a mystery. One of them has lots of penguins and one of them has lots of kangaroos though.

This is a brilliant book with lots of good pictures and I really enjoyed reading it. I would give this book the Golden Boot for being the best book. I am going to read it again now.

Who do you think will win the World Cup? I think it will be Brazil.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Over The Line by Tom Palmer

As it's approaching exactly 100 years since the beginning of the First World War, there has understandably been an increase in the number of children's books published on the subject. I've already read and enjoyed several, including work by John Townsend and Tony Robinson. Over The Line by Tom Palmer now joins that group.

It's based on a true story (although, as Tom himself says, 'it is a novel, not a history book') about a professional footballer who plays for Huddersfield Town, Jack Cock. Jack is repeatedly told that footballers are too scared to fight in the army and that there's only one field where you can ever get honour, the battlefield. As the months pass, Jack sees many of his friends enlist in the army and, feeling he needs to help defend his country, eventually joins the Football Battalion (which consists entirely of professional footballers). After a short period of training in England, Jack is soon shipped over to France to fight.

He learns that life on the front line is a lot tougher than he could ever have imagined, and the reality of war quickly sinks in. Jack realises that not all of his fellow soldiers will make it back home safely and witnesses huge amounts of suffering and death, alongside great bravery. Jack is selected to play as a striker in the Flanders Cup, a football competition to be held between all the battalions, which has been organised by the leaders of the army to help keep the soldiers' morale high. For 90 minutes at least, this competition provides him with something to focus on other than killing.

Over The Line is a great short novel and I learned a lot while reading it. The book is quite graphic in places, without ever being gruesome, and the description of the trenches portrays a miserable picture of life for the soldiers on both sides. The action on the football pitch and the action on the battlefield are equally exciting and, because so many soldiers died in the war, none of the characters are guaranteed to survive. It's clear that a lot of research went into the book and it is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction, if that's possible, to the life of a soldier in the First World War. I would recommend it for children in Year 5/6, or possibly even as a class novel.

Mr Biddle

(thanks to publishers Barrington Stoke for the review copy)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

New books

Phew! Two days ago I was coming to the end of 'After' by Morris Gleitzman (which is incredible, as are all the other books in the 'Once' series) and my 'To Read' pile was starting to look worryingly small. However, yesterday an order from Amazon arrived, as did a couple of books from publishers to review on the blog. I also went to Waterstones in Norwich and bought a a few books from there, and found two paperbacks that Mr Arden had very kindly lent me lurking at the bottom of my school bag The 'To Read' pile now has about fifteen books on it again and is looking much healthier.

The pile currently includes:

The Sacrifice and The Fallen by Charlie Higson- one of my favourite authors writing about one of my favourite things, zombies!

Doll Bones by Holly Black- sounds like a very creepy ghost story.

Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell- good reviews, liked the blurb.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell- this has recently won two very major book awards (Blue Peter and Waterstones) and could well win two or three more.

The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson- 4JB loved One Dog and His Boy so I'm sure they'll enjoy this. Anything by Eva Ibbotson is a pleasure to read.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers- had a sneaky peek of this in Waterstones and just had to get it. Looks wonderful.

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger- the film that was based on this book is one of my favourite films ever, so I have very high expectations of this.

Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy- it's a Skulduggery Pleasant book. Need I say more?

The Dealer and Maximum Security by Robert Muchamore- these are the second and third books in the CHERUB series. The first book was great, I read it in a day, so these had better be as good Mr Arden!

Better get reading then. Going to try Shiverton Hall first I think.

Mr Biddle

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Easter book quiz

Can you find the word that is wrong in each of these book titles and replace it with the right one? There will be some amazing prizes for the people who get the most answers correct.

1) Charlie and the Sausage Factory by Roald Dahl
2) Diary of a Wimpy Frog by Jeff Kinney
3) Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Foxes by John Dougherty
4) One Dog and his Toy by Eva Ibbotson
5) The Firework Maker's Sandwich by Philip Pullman
6) The Very Hungry Ladybird by Eric Carle
7) Gangsta Baby by David Walliams
8) The Story of Tracy Sneaker by Jacqueline Wilson
9) You're A Bad Man, Mr Thumb by Andy Stanton
10) Sweet Child by Berlie Doherty

Challenge Mr Biddle
Can think of a book title and change it so that there is a wrong word? Make it tricky!