Due to Covid difficulties we were very quiet last year, this was mainly because we found it hard to meet up and plan our blogs.  But if there was one good thing about constant lockdowns and isolations is that it gave us loads of time to read! So we're back with loads more great book recommendations for you!

 

To kick things off we thought we'd reintroduce our book blog team by asking them to share their all time favourites book with you. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be really hard. There was internal debate, indecision and scientific hypothesis (yes we like science too) but we finally settled on out top titles and here they are:


 

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

When sixteen-year-old Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of a black friend at the hands of a white police officer she finds herself in the middle of a media circus. Trying to balance her life becomes more and more difficult as she seeks justice for Khalil whilst trying to maintain her own safety, and that of her family.

 

While this book certainly highlights the issue of police brutality in society, it is also a book about the importance of family as a source of strength in times of need. Throughout, Thomas educates her readers about issues such as prejudice, police brutality and cultural appropriation as well as how important it is for young people to find their own voice.

 

Something that really stood out for me was the humour and fierce devotion Starr's family showed to each other despite the tragedy in their lives. Family is something that we all take for granted, however, the support and loyalty given by those we love is unmatched and something we should all be grateful for.

 

I would recommend this book for those intrigued by the Black Lives Matter movement and would like to gain a further insight into the racial stereotypes present in our society.

 

-HB

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 

When six teenagers of very different backgrounds and moralities band together, what happens? A heist of course! 

 

Kaz Brekker wants to be the best of the worst, he decides it’s time to get a good team together to fulfill his goal; but be prepared for things to go wrong. The different talents of this team include thievery, sleight of hand, brute force and supernatural abilities. Want to stop a heart or seduce someone? Easy, ask Nina for you. 

 

This book is full of action and violence, but also deals with the themes of prejudice, survival and overcoming loss. (for 14+)

 

I chose this book because I think it is different from the norm, and also, there is representation between different characters. People of colour, people with disabilities and people who are trying to change for the better. 

 

This book has been one of my favourites since I first picked it up, I immediately fell in love with it and I hope others will do the same.

-AW

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

 

In 1942, Lale Sokolov was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, imprisoned for being born Jewish. He was given the horrific task of tattooing numbers onto his fellow victims' arms to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. He later meets a girl, Gita. For Lale - this was love at first sight. He was determined that not only would he survive, but Gita as well. 

 

Based on a true story, this tale is about survival and how love blossomed in a world of brutality. 

 

I will always be thankful for picking this book up as it has taught me (as someone who always stresses over the small stuff) to be thankful for what I have. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys romance, history or survival stories and doesn't mind some mature themes (13+). 

 

I truly hope that you enjoy this book should you wish to read it and I cannot recommend it highly enough. But make sure you have some free time to read it: By the second chapter, you won’t be able to put it down.

-CS

 

Lady Midnight by  Cassandra Clare

 

In the world of Shadowhunters, Emma Carstairs is bent on discovering her parents' killer and the murderer behind recent supernatural killings around LA that seem mysteriously similar to her parents'... With an allegiance with the fae and forbidden feelings for her parabatai Julian arising, Emma is overwhelmed. What will she do? 

 

This book is urban fantasy with romance, tension and mystery. 

 

I have loved this book ever since I read the first page: the characters really stood out to me and I was very much intrigued by the plot. 

 

I would recommend this book for lovers of the other Shadowhunter books and would say it is the next step up from the Percy Jackson series as it contains more mature themes (for 13+).

 

If you do end up reading Lady Midnight, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! - CL

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

 

I found it really hard to pick my favourite book, in the end I settled on the one that first made me feel like a real reader. That gave me a real sense of achievement as well as enjoyment. And that is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.

 

I  read Pride and Prejudice when I was in my teens. I'd just decided that I really did want to study English beyond GCSE and decided it was time to broaden my reading of adult classics. I'd never read an Austin,  Pride and Prejudice was on my Mum's books shelf, so I picked it up and started to read knowing nothing at all about it.

 

If you're lucky enough to still not know anything about Pride and Prejudice please go and read it straight away before anyone tells you anything.I'm not going to give you any spoilers here, except to say, it is a story set in Regency England about a family that includes five sisters on the brink of adulthood all in need of a husband. But to call it a romance would hugely over simplify the novel. It is full of humor, intrigue and social commentary, in all honesty it was the soap opera of it's day. 

 

Austin is a keen observer of human nature and she conjures up a cast of characters rich in all the quirks and intricacies of humanity that transcend their time setting. We probably have all met a Mrs Bennett,  Mr Collins, Lydia or Jane in our time, and I'm sure the future will be full of them.

 

You will need to be prepared to devote a little time to the reading of this book. As, with any novel form the same period the language is full and descriptive and the dialogue can meander to some unusual places. But don't let that put you off because my experience of reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time taught me that not only was I ready to read a book considered part of the literary canon, but also that I could enjoy it. So, if you want to take your reading to the next level give it a try. I hope it becomes one of your favourites too.

-Mrs Kirk

We’ll be back with more insight into great reads and this year we also hope to be hearing from some of the other reading groups happening around school. So watch this space!