Sunday, 22 May 2011

PICOULT, Jodi, House Rules

Tania García Núñez, 2 ESO A

Jacobs Hunt is an 18 year old boy that has been diagnosed Asperger Syndrome. The novel also explains how children, adolescents and adults react and live with that problem.

Jacobs has been caught by the police many times and has now paid a lot of money. All of this started when his illness was diagnosed. But he and his family face it up and decide to do something. After thinking for a long while they decided to have “house rules” as the title of this book says, for example : “We’ve always said that Asperger’s isn’t a disability … just a different ability”, or “I must study and concentrate”.

This has been an interesting book because I have learnt how children and families where one of them has this disease work it out and help each other.

I think this novel should be read by children aged 12+.

ASHLEY, Bernard, Little soldier, Orchid books

Cristina Campos Carballo, 2° ESO A

It’s about a boy called Kaninda, from Lasai, whose village has been destroyed by a rival tribe which killed his parents and little sister. He later joins the rebel army. In a fight, he is saved by the red cross and taken to London and is fostered by Captain Betty Rose and meets Laura the captain’s daughter. They are both suddenly drawn into a dangerous local conflict, which spirals out of control.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Santiago Calatrava

by Camilo Cañaveral Alzate

2° ESO A

MUCHAMORE, Robert, Mad Dogs,

Iván Ramírez, 2°ESO A

Mad Dogs is the 8th book published by Robert in his CHERUB series. CHERUB is a series of young adult spy stories focusing on British security.

The book is about two big drug dealer gangs, KMG (Keith Moore’s Gang) and Slasher Boys, who are fighting over their dealing turf. CHERUB sends two of their agents, Gabrielle O’Brien and Michael Hendry to join the Slasher Boys and find out information. While doing a job for the Slasher boys, Gabrielle gets stabbed in the stomach and is sent back to campus. CHERUB was thinking of calling off the mission but then decided to wait and see.

The book contains language and content that could confuse some younger children, so I would recommend it to an older audience. The book is full of action and is funny at times. There is also a bit of romance. If you like all of that, the book is perfect for you.

KING-SMITH, Dick, The Invisible Dog

Sara Finn Rodríguez, 2° ESO A

The story is about Janie, a young girl whose dog passed away when she was little. Her parents always told her that she couldn’t get a new one, as they were never at home and would not be able to look after the dog properly.

One day she found her old dog’s lead and collar in her garage. She wondered what they were doing there as she hadn’t laid eyes upon them before. Janie took them outside and imagined the dog in her mind. All of a sudden she was lost in a day dream as she walked down her road. She was so out of this world she almost bumped into her neighbour, Mrs Garrow. She began to speak to her about the collar and lead and what was supposedly in it...

My favourite character is Mrs Garrow as she tries to help Janie quite a lot and is very nice. I also like Janie as she seems very sweet, I get this feeling when I’m reading the book because she walks round with the collar and lead in her hand “imagining” a dog,

The theme in the story, I think, is belief as Janie believed that it was possible to get another dog even though her parents told her otherwise, and she also believed that there was a dog in that collar she found.

I did enjoy the book though it’s not the best book I have read, I also thought it wasn’t for my age group. I would recommend it to 7 to 9 year olds.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

OLDFIELD, Pamela (2008), My story: The Great Plague, Scholastic

Cristina Campos Carballo, 2° ESO A

It’s 1665 and Alice comes back to London and hears about the plague. Every day more red crosses appear on the doors and the plague is spreading faster and faster. When suddenly her aunt is struck with the plague and her papa is missing, she makes a decision that could change her forever.

Alice is a sort of gossipy girl, who can’t dance or embroider and sometimes she acts stuck-up, especially when talking about her cousins. Her personality later takes a 180º change for the better.

The book talks about human selflessness and loyalty even in a life or death situation.

I recommend this book to History fans. I give it 3/5 stars.

HARRISON, Lisi, Monster High

Isabella Bruña, 2°ESO A

Monster High is about a girl named Frankie Stein, well she is not exactly a girl, she acts like one, yes, looks like one, maybe. Frankie stein is a 'RAD', it's a non-offensive way of saying monster. She is the grandaughter of Frankenstein. She was built as a teenager and has lived for fifteen years.

Salem, Oregon, her hometown, is filled with RADs, but they disguise themselves as normies. Frankie Stein does not like the idea that they have to live in secret and decides to the matters into her own hands, only to lead to disastrous results! How will she, with the help of her friends, fix this? Find out in next book...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Grisham, John, THE RAINMAKER

Alicia Pliego Mendieta, 1° Bachillerato EFL

Rudy Baylor, is a law student of Memphis, at the end of his studies, struggling to make a living; the fact that he belongs to the low class does not help at all. Although he is inexperienced, he decides to help the Black family in its fight against a big insurance company when they were trying to save their dying son Donny Ray. He dies but the Black family and Rudy manage to destroy the company and make it disappear. Throughout the novel, Rudy’s life changes very quickly and he learns things that he hadn’t been taught at university. He discovers how the law world works and how many unknown tricks it has; and for these reasons, he finally goes away from Memphis with the girl he loves, and he promises not to be involved with the law ever again.

This is an amazing legal thriller and one of the best books I have read. It is a bit painful to see how Rudy is looking for a job desperately, but he is very unlucky. At times you wonder how someone can be so unfortunate in life; at times you can be close to tears, for example when Danny Ray dies, but there are also smile moments.

I would recommend it to people who like law and thrillers in general. I will give this book 4 stars. It is really good!


Paloma Gómez González, 2° ESO EFL

It is about an 11 year-old boy called Billy who lives in England in a miner city with a lot of work problems and strikes. His mother died some years ago and he lives with his father, brother and grandmother. He goes to boxing lessons but he doesn´t like them.

One day Billy discovered the ballet lessons and he realised he loved it much better than boxing, so he decided to learn dancing, but he had to do it in secret because his father and brother thought it was a girl’s activity. When they knew about that, Billy was in trouble, but his teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, explained to his family that Billy was really good at dancing and if he kept on practising he could get a grant for the Academy. Finally, his family started to believe in him and they travelled to London with him so that he did the audition.

I loved this book, because it is a beautiful story and, although is not based in real life, it appeared real, so it is more interesting because you can think of Billy as a real person.

Curtis, Richard, Four Weddings and a Funeral, B2 2300 Headwords, Penguin

Álvaro Conesa, 1° Bachillerato EFL

Charles is a very good-looking man. He has got lots of friends, but none of them are married. In May he went to Angus´s wedding (he was the best man). There, he met Carrie and fell in love with her. Lydia, the bridesmaid, fell in love too, with Bernard. Lydia and Bernard decided to marry three months later. Charles was invited.

During Lydia´s wedding Charles found Carrie. He was very excited, but Carrie told him that she was going to marry Hamish. Carrie invited him to her wedding. Charles was very sad, however…

I think it’s an interesting book. I would recommend it to people who enjoy comedy and humour, and those who have always thought that they will never find love. I consider that this is a great book because it shows us how a man searches for love and he never gives up.

This book has been recommended by other students (see March posts)

Monday, 2 May 2011

DICKINS, Rosie, The Usborne Introduction To Modern Art

by Camilo Cañaveral Alzate, 2° ESO A

When speaking about Art, do you know what the terms Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Abstract, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptual, Pop and Land mean? Do you think that photographs deserve to be ranked as Art? Do you think a line of bricks can be Art? Yes?… No?…

If you want to learn what modern art is, in a simple way, I surely recommend you this book. It’s a perfect guide to understand the art we commonly see these days in galleries and in the streets. The book traces the history of modern art from the 1850s to the present. Pictures, websites, comments, timelines, etc. are included. It also explains the lives of various important artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Roy Lichtenstein and many others. Some masterpieces are very well described in detail: how they were made, what they mean, when they were created...

One of my favourite parts in this book is a whole page dedicated to explain what modern art is. I find it really useful: it teaches you how to see a piece of art, how to understand it and even how to feel it! Thanks to this book I’m preparing a trip to the Tate Modern to experience modern art.

HOPKINS, Cathy, Mates, Dates & Chocolate Cheats, Piccadilly Press-London

by Oliva Barrio, 2° ESO A

This book is about a girl called Izzie. She comes back from Rome, (as a school trip) and she has gained 10 pounds. During the book, she gives up a lot of her favourite food and she makes a massive diet, but it’s taking too long and things aren’t turning out to be how she planned. She wrote a song about a diet, watched television programmes of diets and she went to a teen talk television programme where she realised that dieting makes you fat, she said that if you ate normal but smaller portions, you would be making it work.

I recommend this book to girls that think they need to start a diet, but don’t know how to, because it teaches the right things to do, and how to help you, and it points out the disadvantages of going on a diet.

My favourite part was when she finds out that the boy she was in love with is actually gay and she was really shocked, because she would have never imagined.

In the book, Izzie is described as a funny, pretty, and good girl. She likes to look after everyone and help the others. She is an amazing singer and she goes to teen television programmes.

The theme is that dieting makes you fat.

I give this book 1 star.

JAMES, M.R., ROOM 13 AND OTHER GHOST STORIES, A2, 1200 Headwords, Macmillan

By Dahyna Marulanda, 4°ESO EFL

Mr. Anderson decided to write a book about the history of Denmark when he was a student. To do it, he went to Vibory, an old city in Denmark.

He chose “The Golden Lion Inn” to stay in Viborg. On the first day, the landlord of the inn showed him two rooms: number 12 and number 14. Anderson chose room number 12. On the second day, he decided to go out and know more about the city. In the hall, he realised that there was no room number 13. Anderson thought that it was normal because thirteen is an unlucky number and probably many people didn´t want to stay in a room with that number.

On the third night, Anderson heard some steps in the next room, but he thought that it couldn’t be possible because the next room was number 13 and it was supposed to be empty! In the morning, Anderson decided to talk with the landlord and he told him a strange story about a man who died in room number 13 but people only found a letter from him. Since that day, every night Anderson heard someone walk in the next room...

There are four more ghost stories. All very interesting if you like that genre.