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Steffie Caddick

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The Gothic in Children's Literature: Haunting the Borders (Children's Literature and Culture)
The Gothic in Children's Literature: Haunting the Borders (Children's Literature and Culture)
Price: 25.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Teachers., 11 Jan 2014
Much of the first chapters are (thankfully) available online, thereby explaining my necessarily short review. My impression is of a scholarly work, which would interest teachers, parents (and students of literature). It charts the changes in children's literature, and documents the startling rise of gothic components in many of the most popular titles. Lots of ideas for teaching English. Can't wait for the price to drop, though - hugely expensive!


The Philosophy Foundation: The Philosophy Shop- Ideas, activites and questions to get people, young and old, thinking philosophically
The Philosophy Foundation: The Philosophy Shop- Ideas, activites and questions to get people, young and old, thinking philosophically
by Peter Worley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Central to Teaching, 1 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't wait to use this with my year fives. Stuffed with great ideas, and Peter suggests the "storytelling" idea to launch each chapter (see "storytelling museum Oxford" if you are interested) which is brilliant. It's not prescriptive, but very detailed - great balance. I am going to use it to start training the children in asking big questions - even if we aren't doing the Greeks this term.


Pompeii Life and Death in a Roman Town - Presented by Mary Beard - As Seen on BBC2 [DVD]
Pompeii Life and Death in a Roman Town - Presented by Mary Beard - As Seen on BBC2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mary Beard
Price: 11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for Grown Ups., 1 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great background for teachers to get ideas about what direction to pursue (year four). However I did have to watch it carefully first because Mary is very likely to swear in unexpected places (eg she doesn't say "faeces" or "urine" - not swearing if used as an adjective the ways she does, but still not suitable for primary), in addition to some erotic bits like the numerous phalli decorating buildings and long examples of activities in brothels. If you can edit this out, the rest is wonderful. My children loved the piles of bomes coloured green which lead to lots of scientific questions.


You Wouldn't Want to Live in Pompeii!
You Wouldn't Want to Live in Pompeii!
by John Malam
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, engaging, thorough., 1 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was central to my topic of volcanoes last term. The bubble captions and images are great to launch discussions, personalise report writing, and making the event come alive. The cartoons were perfect to photocopy and use for our display. Recommended.


Drop Dead Gorgeous
Drop Dead Gorgeous
by Wayne Simmons
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Drop Dead Stunning, 29 Dec 2011
This review is from: Drop Dead Gorgeous (Paperback)
I'd reached a place in my reading of this genre where nothing but nothing could top Justin Cronin's "Passage". Before you protest at my blurring the loosely-said "genre" (I do realize that DDG is zombie and Passage is vampire), but it doesn't matter really, when the main thrust of the prose calls the reader to question "what would I do?", and that is why I couldn't get enough of Wayne's novel. It's prenatal post-apocalypse, and we never get to find out why the event happened, and that in itself would normally irritate me beyond all reason. The last of this genre I read and didn't mind not knowing, was "The Handmaid's Tale", Margaret Atwood. But Wayne's writing, his capture of character, the humour, and the poetry of the prose, is such that I did not mind one bit. In fact, I read it in one sitting (alas, publisher, do you know that the spine on this novel simply will not break?), mesmerized. Even with one spoon stirring the soup and dazedly marshalling my family around. Mesmeric. I think it's great that DDG is set in Ireland, in Belfast, actually. Coming from Manchester, I could see how the characters do what they did in that huge urban sprawl. Ingeniously, the writer includes a vast cast of characters, and you're never sure whose going to survive. And I won't tell you, no spoilers here. Only to say perhaps that there are some very moving, beautifully written demises. Since finishing the book, I've been checking my longbow out, making sure I have enough arrows, and wondering where the nearest outdoor sports shop is .. ah, yes, not quite apocalypse yet, but if, just if, I think I have a better idea of what human nature can and will do when bad goes from simply bad to bloody terrifying. This isn't a novel to scare, but one that made me reflect deeply on what might happen when people come up against the very worst of all things. Who are we really, beneath the veneer? One criticism is that it was too short. More, please, Mr Simmons.


Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles 1)
Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles 1)
by Carol Goodman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for teens, 9 Sep 2011
I've read reviews where this is compared to the Sookie Stackhouse novels and I have to disagree with that whole heartedly. The only similarities are that both stories have witches, faeries et all. Vampires hardly figure in this novel at all (clearly, they will become much more a part of the story as the trilogy progresses), so if you've picked this book up because of a vampire tag, I'd just put it down again.

The dark forests are certainly enchanting, and I'd love to live at Honeysuckle House - it sounds wonderful. Aside from that, I quickly lost patience with this book. The level of writing seems to suit YA, but the sexual content is definitely not for them. It's a mix between an historical romance of the bodice-ripper type, and a ghost story, with a few JK-esque spells thrown in.

I thought I would enjoy this story more than I did, I hoped I would enjoy it, but the disappointment came mostly from the weakness in the delineation of the main character, Callie McFay, who remained two dimensional and a little bit slow on the uptake. I'm not sure the author did that on purpose. All the characters were a bit too obvious for me. Sad to say I also felt irritated with the play on names -(McFay? part faerie, obviously), all bit too obvious for me along with (Fiona Eldritch? I'll let you figure it out), and Jaycee Ballard (JG Ballard), and of course the town's name - Fairwick. I'm sure Ms. Goodman was having a bit of fun with it, but it didn't do anything for me.

I rode a positive negative wave with this book, enjoying bits of it, then gritting my teeth from one minute to the next. I didn't feel in safe hands, as such, although I do hope that Ms. Goodman with get into her stride with the next two books.

I can't really get my head around the intended readership for this soon to be trilogy. It was all too clear that it would become a trilogy, but it doesn't have enough to pull me in to a second read. That said, it'd be a fine Christmas novel (lots of ice and snow imagery which was beautifully done) for a quick read.


The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
by Patrick Ness
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly beautiful, 7 Sep 2011
It's often irritating to jump into a dystopian story and not be told why the apocalyptic event happened, almost as if the novelist doesn't know or cares little, so it's heartening to read an author who is unafraid of revealing how his particular apocalypse happened, and I was thrilled to see that Ness is one such writer. But that's not why I continued reading. I had put off perusing this trilogy for fear of being disappointed, as often happens when I contemplate reading popular novels. Once I started though, I read them one after the other.

The concept of the work is well known; Ness has created a world where thoughts are heard, but only those of men. But it's really within the scope of the story where his gifts are fully given. The exposition feels like a long and twisted vine, so pleasurable to read for a stretch, and then suddenly shocking, leading you away and astray and inward into the mind of a young adult. I won't reveal the shocks or surprises here, but I can say that nothing is quite what it seems. The first descriptions of the small village of Prentistown are utterly claustrophobic. I was physically relieved to see Todd test the boundaries. I can only imagine that Ness has recalled his own teen years, because in his exploring the thoughts and feelings of his hero, he may have dug deeply into his own memories, either real or wished for - that, or he talks in depth to children about all and everything. It's startling, and unnerving, to see how much understanding Ness has for his characters. And for children, most especially. The adults, in the main, don't fare so well, but why should they? I could go deep and philosophical here, and say how these novels are a commentary on to what extent the poor decisions made by adults affect, forever, the life of the world to come.... but I won't. This is a wonderful trilogy for your dreamy, aspirational teen. The kind of child who knows that one day, they'll grow up and change the world.


Shiver
Shiver
by Maggie Stiefvater
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Get this wonderful trilogy for your girl teen, 7 Sep 2011
This review is from: Shiver (Paperback)
Stiefvater has written a brilliant set of novels for the older teen with this trilogy. I found the first to be a little stilted (still very enjoyable), the introduction to the characters, the reasons why the wolves are what they are had to be explained, of course, but it's really in the second novel that she gets into her stride. Mercy Falls comes alive under her pen, Grace becomes very three dimensional, as does Sam, and their love story gets simply stratospheric. My favourite is "Forever", where the character of Isabel - who appears in the first two books - almost takes over with her vituperative voice and acidic repartee. I can only think that the author knows someone like Isabel, so well defined is she. Cole St. Clair is an unexpectedly tangible tragic hero, and Stiefvater's musical references, gig scenes and all, fit beautifully and help spin this story so well. Grace's parents are hugely unlikeable people, I find myself grinding my teeth at their incompetence. I rejoiced when Grace, finally, bites back. This goes to show how well the novels are written, how involved I (I am quite considerably over the reader target age) became, and how sad I was when "Forever" was over. I can't recommend this trilogy enough to parents who want to give something spectacular to their (girl) teen to read.


Witch Light
Witch Light
by Susan Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting, 15 July 2011
This review is from: Witch Light (Paperback)
This is a really rare work of hope and selflessness, written with such lyricism and gentility that each word is to be savoured. The descriptions of the wilderness of Scotland makes you dream, as Mr. Leslie does, of spending more time outdoors, in the words of William Henry Davies (Leisure), to "stand and stare". I came to hope that Corrag was real, I felt so much for her during the unfolding of this, her story. If you read one book this year, let this be the one.


The Forest of Hands and Teeth
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chillingly realistic YA-approved, 15 July 2011
I've rarely come across a novel whose concept and scope is so powerful. I bought this for my teen daughter, but read it first myself. Although some might say (and have) that the some of the scenes are disturbing, my view is that teens don't like to be talked down to, and this novel certainly does not do that. In fact, Ryan gives teens a strong voice, a belief that they, too, could succeed against all odds, that faith is stronger than fact and ultimately, that questioning authority is the path of the young heart. I, too, felt the "Village" (M Knight Shylaman) resonating in this story, especially since we spend so much time in the village before the breach occurs, filled with it's mysteries and inherent claustrophobia. Ryan takes no prisoners, with principal characters falling by the wayside, the reader really does get a feeling that nothing is sacred, no-one is safe. What a way to start a trilogy! The only other recent novel which has captured my daughter's imagination so completely is, of course, "The Hunger Games" (Suzanne Collins). "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" is a book I wish I had written myself...


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