It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR

I’ve been so busy reading and preparing for World Book Day and our author visit, that I am so behind with this blog. I’m, not really sure where to start, I’ve read some great and some average books so I guess I’ll dive straight in and you can make your own mind up.

Just finished…

We have Jenny McLachlan coming to our school for World Book Day so I’ve been busy reading all her titles and have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed them. Her Flirty Dancing series is very light, perfect for Middle-Grade (9-12year-olds) but at the same time, they are more than just fluff. Each book follows one of four friends so the books don’t need to be read in order. I find that so useful, otherwise students are always waiting for the next book to come in and can often lose interest if that wait is too long. She’s written two stand-alone novels (I’ve already reviewed Stargazing for Beginners so I won’t repeat that here) but I’ve now read Truly, Wildly, Deeply, such a good book.

My book club (for grown-ups) read Old Baggage by Lissa Evans which I found a bit dull to be honest. I’m not a fan of slagging off books so suffice to say, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Finally, what do I say about Clean? Where do I start? I suppose the first thing I should say is that I listened to it in two halves as I drove 4 1/4 hours up to North Wales and then back down to Sussex. I was gripped. The narrator is one of the best I’ve heard (credit to Beth Eyre), she really captured the characters and their moods perfectly. The whole performance was so balanced, she created such an atmosphere so even the M25 became pleasant to drive! Clean is about rehab, about relationships, about owning our actions, about choices, about second chances, about honesty, about digging deeper, about trust, about manipulation, about responsibility, about connections, about circumstances and about life. This book made such an impression on me, I’ve not stopped thinking about it since I finished it over two weeks ago. It’s full of F**K and C**T so do be careful who you lend it to. I don’t swear (just happened that way, not making a judgement) but the language is actually used for effect superbly. I can think of so many students in my school who would connect with this story (not because they are drug users but because they feel on the outside, they don’t fit in) but sadly they are my students who won’t read so I am not sure who will read this, but it won’t stop me buying it on my next book order.

Currently reading…

I won’t get much chance to read this week, we have so many activities to celebrate World Book Day but I need to be turning some pages so I am delving into this treasure. Neil Gaiman is such an amazing writer but he doesn’t stop there, he is an incredible activist for reading and for libraries. In this book, he has once again collaborated with former Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate (and current President of the School Library Association), Chris Riddell to produce this gem of a book.

Reading next…

To quote Monty Python, and now for something completely different! I have students who have read all the Alex Rider, Young James, Bond, Young Sherlock Holmes and all the Maximum Ride series so when I saw this, I thought I’d have a go. More when I’ve actually read it!

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