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widdersbel "DK" (Kent, UK)

Page: 1
by Malorie Blackman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read, 16 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Thief! (Paperback)
My 9yo son borrowed this book from his school library and I read it with him. But then I found it so gripping that I wanted more than just our father-and-son reading sessions with this book. I took it away and read it all to myself - and once I'd started, I couldn't put it down.

This is a superb book - accessible and not too challenging to read, but more gripping than any Harry Potter tome. On one level, it's a simple adventure story about a girl who wants to prove she's innocent of a crime she's been accused of. On another level, it's about the challenges of growing up and being accepted. And it's about so much more than that as well...

To put it simply, Malorie Blackman shows with this book that she is an author who really and truly understands her readers, and is able to give them what they want - a bit of real-life drama, the kind that any teenage school pupil can relate to; plus a nerve-jangling adventure, and a bit of psychology, showing how over-reacting to any bad situation will only make matters worse, with potentially catastrophic results...

All in all, a wonderful book that I can't recommend highly enough.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2011 12:22 PM GMT

The Long Distance Cyclists' Handbook
The Long Distance Cyclists' Handbook
by Simon Doughty
Edition: Paperback

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational and practical, 22 Jan. 2004
I have always been a keen cyclist (I cycled across the Alps when I was 16) but only recently decided to take it a bit more seriously and this book has already proved both inspirational and incredibly useful.
The intelligent design of the book makes the huge amount of information it contains both easily digestible and accessible enough to make it suitable as a handy reference. It's written in an entirely non-patronising style that is very easy to read and features loads of detailed, labelled diagrams that both illustrate and explain - plus gear size charts, training graphs and tables, conversion tables, a useful glossary, lots of helpful addresses, and loads more...
The extensive and detailed hints and tips for training and nutrition are flexible enough to suit a wide range of needs, whether you aim to take part in a few casual 50 mile-plus rides or want to tackle something much more ambitious such as a 600km randonnee or a long-distance multi-stage tour.
The author is a very experienced cyclist but he doesn't need to state his authority - it just shines through in the depth of practical advice and information he gives in the pages of this wonderful book.

Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon
Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon
by Jules Bass
Edition: Paperback

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this ripping yarn, 20 Jan. 2003
The knights of Castle Dark set out to destroy the evil dragons of Nogard, who have been scoffing their princesses, but instead they capture Herb the Vegetarian Dragon and plan his execution... Fortunately, it has a happy-ever-after ending, with dragons and people, meat-eaters and vegetarians, all living together in peace and harmony.
Though there are serious messages underlying it, they are not laboured and the story does not suffer from excessive morality - it is very well told, with strong characters (notably Meathook, the leader of the dragons), some great lines (the dragons' song when they are plotting revenge on the knights is a favourite) and sumptuous illustrations. And you can't argue with the philosophy that Herb represents - not only tolerance of those who are different to you but also sticking by your principles in the face of adversity (Meathook offers to free Herb from prison if he will eat some wild boar meat, but Herb declines and trusts to fate instead).
My 4-yr-old got this as a gift and it has rapidly become one of his favourite stories, which he never tires of hearing over and over. And to be honest, I don't tire of reading it to him. It is simply a wonderful story for young children, destined to become a classic children's book.

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