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To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird
Price: £3.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Classic, 18 July 2014
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Harper Lee created an amazing literary classic with To Kill A Mockingbird. To write a book that educates, inspires but is also an enjoyable read is no mean feat and Lee pulls it off with extraordinary aplomb. We see the world through the eyes of a grown up Scout who is relating the events she witnessed during her childhood as a little girl being raised with her brother Jem by her lawyer father Atticus, ably assisted by Calpurnia the family's housekeeper.
The story takes us on a journey through some significant events in the Finch family life and we witness in the small community of Maycomb racial prejudice, injustice, domestic abuse, poverty and violence. This is no sweet tale of childhood friendships and memories of perfect summers. There is a great deal simmering under the surface of Maycomb's serenity and we see many instances of the darker side of human nature. However, through Atticus Finch, Calpurnia and Miss Maudie we see that all is not lost. The children learn great moral lessons from these characters, lessons for the reader as well.
In this novel, we see the ugly side of human nature and the beauty in life that helps us cope with and overcome it. We see the children warmly welcomed into Calpurnia's community, into her church and onto the 'coloured balcony' in the court. They feel at home with people who are shunned and mistreated everyday by the injustice of segregation and they are stung by the prejudice displayed towards people who have been kind to them and who are made to suffer simply because of the colour of their skin. We, like them, feel our faith in justice shaken by Tom Robinson's trial.
Atticus Finch sets a good example for his children. He stands up for Tom Robinson, the black man accused unjustly of sexually assaulting a young white woman even though he had to face down threats from a lynch mob and the possibility that his career and standing in society would suffer from accepting the case. He and the very small band of characters who think like him help provide the moral compass of the novel. However, perhaps the most important character in the book is the one we do not meet until the very end. It is the reclusive and ultimately heroic Boo Radley that brings our three children together (Scout, Jem and their friend Dill) and he is an enigmatic presence throughout the novel until his eventual unveiling at the story's close. If we had to live in Maycomb and had a sensitive personality, would we choose the same life that Boo did?
This is a masterclass in how to create a morality tale that does not preach but educates and inspires in equal measure. Rightly described as a book every adult should read before they die, this is definitely one that should be on your bookshelf or your Kindle.


Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II
Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II
Price: £2.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating true tale of amazing espionage, 18 July 2014
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Ben MacIntyre tackles the story of perhaps the most audacious if highly macabre espionage plots of the Second World War. The story is probably best known to the public through the film 'The Man Who Never Was' though looking at it after reading this, the movie does not do the story justice.
The story behind Operation Mincemeat (a fitting if not very sensitive name for the plot) shows how the ingenuity and ability to 'think round corners' of the British overcame the more narrow and 'straight lines' thinking of the Germans. The Operation was highly elaborate, extremely well planned and in the end highly successful, achieving its objectives completely. Montague and his team created a well rounded life for their creation 'Captain Martin' and through the 'wallet litter' that was included (photographs, bank letters, receipts, tickets) managed to convince the German spies and the High Command that Martin was real and therefore that the bogus secret documents he carried were genuine.
Over the years since the end of the war, many stories of the heroes who operated behind the scenes and under a cloak of supreme secrecy have emerged. Many involved never got the public recognition and credit they deserved. This is one of those stories and I for one am glad that the time has come for the stories of our gifted geniuses to be told.


Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
by Jessica Biscoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely ideas, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm a beginning knitter and am still trying to develop my skills. As such, I am making slow progress through this book but absolutely love the ideas and patterns. It does provide hints and info for the beginner which is handy.
There are some gorgeous little projects to make in this books and I can't wait to work my way through them all.


Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
Sarah Beeny's 100 DIY Jobs
by Sarah Beeny
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy hints, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Helpful, easy to follow and yet never patronising, Sarah Beeny packs a lot of info into the pages of this lovely book. Whilst I pride myself at being a pretty good DIY-er, this book gave me some very handy hints. I've always been a fan of Sarah Beeny on TV and now I have her valuable tips and hints on my bookshelf!


Angela Nicely
Angela Nicely
by Alan MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angela Nicely does it!, 13 July 2014
This review is from: Angela Nicely (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely book and I have to say I fell in live with Angela Nicely from the first few sentences. The only thing I dislike is the very pink cover - why does everything for girls have to be really, really pink?
The stories are fun and will appeal to the sense of mischief that is innate in all children. This will make wonderful bedtime reading or will become a popular independent reader - just be prepared for requests for further Angela Nicely books!


KS2 Maths SAT Buster - Shape, Measures and Data
KS2 Maths SAT Buster - Shape, Measures and Data
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Hone those maths skills, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you are looking for something to keep your child's maths skills honed then this is the book for you. Dealing with shape, measures and data you'll need to look elsewhere to cover number. CGP have once again given a high quality book to help keep the skills honed.


KS2 English: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Study Book
KS2 English: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Study Book
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.67

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great study book, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another success from CGP who seem to always pitch their books just right. This is great as a home practice study book and will keep the little grey cells exercised.


KS2 Maths SAT Buster - Mental Maths (with audio tests)
KS2 Maths SAT Buster - Mental Maths (with audio tests)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for home study and extra practice, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great for home study and extra practice. CGP always seem to come up with good quality products and this is not a disappointment.


AmazonBasics Protective PC Case with Screen Protector for iPad Mini Black
AmazonBasics Protective PC Case with Screen Protector for iPad Mini Black
Price: £2.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Austerity cover for the leaner budget, 12 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lightweight, functional and a very good fit this case does lack style but what do you expect for the price. For a very small amount of money this will protect your iPad Mini from bumps and scratches and the screen protector will obviously protect your screen from the same.
If you are on a very limited budget because you have had to shell out so much money for your lovely new iPad then this will give you decent protection for a few pennies. If you can still afford a fancier cover then by all means go for it.


NOCO BLSOLAR2 Solar Battery Charger
NOCO BLSOLAR2 Solar Battery Charger

4.0 out of 5 stars Very handy little solar gadget, 12 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very handy to have and versatile too. Just be prepared for a not very user-friendly instruction book. Your best bet is to have a look on You Tube and watch the hints and tips there,
I am a big fan of solar tech (I have a solar water heater panel on the roof and would have solar panels for electricity if my house faced the right way) and couldn't resist this handy little gadget. Yes it is a small 2.5W solar panel which isn't going to charge a dead battery and it certainly won't give you the power required for running caravan electrics etc as these would need a substantially larger panel (plus adaptors etc in the case of the caravan). What it does give you is a slow trickle charge for keeping your battery at optimum.


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