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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2006
This book is thoughtful and well-written. I read it on holiday, having picked it up as a last-minute impulse for an 'easy read' on the beach. It's a rites-of-passage book up to a point, but the depth within is conjured up in the author's description (running throughout the book) of just how shattering war, in this case, the Second World War, can be. Men returned as strangers to their young families; children and fathers having to get to know each other afresh, (not to mention their wives). In many cases not often understanding (or even liking) each other much. Rationing continued for approx. 7 years after this book was set and is dealt with as a skilful aside. Bullying does play an introductory part of the story, but its overall tone is one of hope, friendship and independence, in times that are hard to imagine now. If you want a gentle read, where there are really no unpleasant characters(even that pesky bully of a girl), that is well written for both children and adults to enjoy, then give this a go - it is a rare author who can satisfy most ages within one book. (I also have to disagree with a previous reviewer who stated that this book should be for readers 15+ years old+ - what nonsense - any intelligent young reader could cope with this book, if mature enough, from 10/11 years old upwards). And I shall be passing my copy on to my goddaughters - (aged 10 and 12).
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on 17 March 2001
I loved this book because it showed how a girl not much older then me, was able to fend off bullies, discover more about her family and find a successful refuge in the theatre. This is a gripping story, which shows how poor people cope with poverty.
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on 31 March 2003
This book tells the story of Elsie, a young girl who has to put up with the neglect of her father, living in poverty and terrible bullying from school. These themes seem modern enough, but the fact that the story is set in post- war Britain makes it even more poignant. Even at a time when girls were inferior to boys, Elsie rises above all the pressures and Magorian displays a huge amount of charisma in the young girl.
For those who aren't interested in theatre- don't worry, neither was I until I'd finished it! It will leave you with a feel-good factor and wanting more- and probably with tears running down your cheeks at the happy ending!
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on 6 April 2001
This book was great I enjoyed every minute of it from begining to end.If your my age (13) you'll probably think that it's a load of rubbish if I told you in was set shortly after the war but that's simply not true this was the best book I ever read I felt I knew the chracters and imagined I was there and if you enjoyed this book you'll enjoy 'CUCKOO IN THE NEST' which is about her brother, Ralph and his ampition to be an actor. I'm just hoping now that Michelle will bring out some more incredible books!
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on 11 March 2004
A Spoonful of Jam is a great book. Michelle Magorian is an excellent writer. I liked this book because I feel that I am a bit like Elsie. One of my favourite characters is Ralph because he decides to be different and become an actor. I feel that I am there listening to the conversations between Annie Duncan and Elsie or Elsie's mother and father. I could hardly put this book down, its one of the best books that I have read. My mum enjoyed it too!
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on 12 November 1999
A Spoonful of Jam is the moving story of Elsie. It takes place two years after The War has ended, 1947, and families are still suffering badly from its effects. This dramatic book concentrates on family life and how it changes Elsie. She is fighting against the coldness and disregard of her father, a spiteful bully at school and being the scholarship girl at the Girls' Grammar School. But during this hard time in her life Elsie develops a passion for acting, a passion that leads her away from her unhappiness. This book is a fantastic read providing an unpredictable storyline and an understanding of the characters that no one but Michelle Magorian could produce.
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on 3 March 2001
Thought the title of the book is odd, once you read it, it makes perfect sense. Elsie feels completely lost amidst many situations where she feels lost and lonley. She even pretends to be a boy in an attempt to get her fathers love. She deals with many struggles in very touching ways. I absolutley loves this book- I read it in 72 hours. I can't imagine anybody not getting along with this book. A great read recomended for all.
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on 12 February 1999
This book is the tale of a poor London girl who goes to a posh grammer school. In this story story she faces bulliying, discrimination, her farther completely ignoring her, and her best freind being abused. This a moving and dramatic story. A good read.
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on 17 June 2001
A Spoonful of Jam is set after the Second World War. It is about a girl and what she does in her summer holiday and has to face a bully by herself. It is very moving and makes you think that you could be bullied like her.
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on 17 August 2000
This book is deliteful to read, I assure you I have read it well over 5 times! I came across this book after reading Michelle Magorians book 'Goodnight Mr.Tom' which I also recomend as a great read. Elsie fights a war aginst bullies her father ignoring her and discrimination but in the end comes out on top this book has inspired me to read more work by Michelle and I am sure I will enjoy them as much as 'A Spoonful Of Jam'
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