The Accidental Prime Minister (Review)

The Accidental Prime Minister

How did I get it?:
Unsolicited copy from Oxford University Press for review consideration!

Synopsis:

When Joe tells a local news reporter exactly what he would do if he were leader of the country, the video goes viral and Joe’s speech becomes famous all over the world! Before long, people are calling for the current leader to resign and give someone else a go …and that’s how an ordinary boy like Joe ended up with the most extraordinary job. Now the fun can really start …Hats for cats! Pet pigs for all! Banana shaped buses! Swimming pools on trains! A hilarious story of one boy’s meteoric rise to power!

Thoughts:

I was sent this book by Oxford University Press several months back and I thought I’d save it for May, to read in the run up to the General Election. It seemed rather fitting to publish this post today when many of us will be voting for the next Prime Minister. I don’t know how it’ll go, but I know for sure that it won’t be a twelve year old boy that’s running the UK! Can you imagine what it would be like if it was?!

The Accidental Prime Minister tells the story of Joe, who unexpectedly goes viral after telling the Prime Minister exactly what he thinks of him and how the country should be run. Joe’s speech is videoed and is everywhere. Soon, the people are calling for Joe to be Prime Minister. The current leader resigns and Joe takes over. That’s when the fun really begins!

I think this book is a good introduction to politics and big decisions for children ages 7 years +. It was a really cute, easy to read, funny book which I can imagine myself reading with children at school. There’s a great deal of humour involved which will immediately appeal to children. I also love how the author has also illustrated the story as well as written it. I can certainly see this book being a hit in the classroom and beyond!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

A fun, light hearted read which gets a little silly at times, but it will definitely appeal to children!

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit: Flour Babies

Flour Babies

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Let it be flour babies. Let chaos reign. When the annual school science fair comes round, Mr Cartwright’s class don’t get to work on the Soap Factory, the Maggot Farm or the Exploding Custard Tins. To their intense disgust they get the Flour Babies – sweet little six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times.

Thoughts:

I vividly remember loving this book when I was younger. I was so happy when it was picked for our challenge, as I absolutely have fond memories of it. Whilst I still enjoyed it and thought it was a sweet read, I didn’t love it as much as I remembered. Ah. Adulthood!

Flour Babies is about Simon Martin and his friends in 4C. They have a project of taking on the responsibility of a small sack of flour as part of a ‘Child Development’ project. The Flour Baby comes with many different rules and regulations! The aim of the project is to get the students to think about responsibility and parenthood. Our main protagonist Simon finds himself beginning to really care for his Flour Baby despite his initial reservations. Simon unexpectedly finds himself coming to terms with his own absent father.

The absent father element is something that I didn’t recall from my childhood readings of Flour Babies. Perhaps because my father was absent (due to being in the army) so much, I didn’t really see it as anything unusual. I really liked how Anne Fine didn’t shy away from the absent father in the story. So many children can relate to this!

The language in Flour Babies is a little dated for our modern day children, but I do think children would still get something out of this book.

Being from the education sector myself, I identified a lot with the school environment in which this book is set. Scarily enough, some of the teacher’s conversations about their students are accurate as to how some teachers (not me!) speak about their pupils!

For Beth’s review please check her blog out HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Reading next for the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (May):
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S Lewis

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit- Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

Thoughts:

This book is so popular right now in schools, so when we decided to add some modern Kid Lit to our challenge, I immediately thought of this book. I can understand why it’s so popular with young children. I think it’s relatable to many children and I can imagine that many reluctant readers would enjoy this book which also uses cartoons! It’s an easy to read book which has some wonderfully humorous moments.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid didn’t take me long to read at all. It’s in a short diary entry format, so for more relectuant or slower readers, it’s bite sized and easy to digest. I thought it was chatty and fun to read for young children. Greg writes about his life, family and school.

I didn’t think he was a particularly likeable character, but that could be because this book isn’t aimed at me. I just found him to be a bad friend. I don’t know, perhaps this will improve with the series, but I don’t think it’s a series I will continue to read. I’m glad it’s on my radar to use with young children though.

I know the children that have read this book are lapping up the series and I’m pleased it’s inspiring children to read.

For Beth’s review please check out her blog HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next in the Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit Challenge (April):
Flour Babies- Anne Fine

Pig Heart Boy

1191504

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

You’re thirteen. All you want is a normal life. But most normal kids don’t need heart transplants.

So there’s this doctor. He says there’s a chance for you. But he also says it’s experimental, controversial and risky. And it’s never been done before.

Thoughts:

I think I vaguely remember being intrigued by this book when I was younger, but I never got around to reading it. Coupled with a university task and a desire to read more from Malorie Blackman, I was excited to get to this book. Pig Heart Boy is a particularly touching story about a very sick boy who takes the opportunity to have a pig’s heart transplanted into this body.

Pig Heart Boy doesn’t take long to read at all yet it still makes a massive impact. I found it heart breaking but it was also an enjoyable reading experience. I think this is because it evokes so much thought in such a short space of time. It explores the dilemma of what risks you’d take if you were dying. It also could raise some ethical issues. Is it right to breed a pig in order to use its heart to keep a human alive?

I loved the characters in this story. Cameron is a sweet, likeable character. I could totally understand his decision to go through with the operation. I wasn’t as keen on Cameron’s friend Marlon, but I won’t spoil it with why! I really liked that both parents were present in this book, despite their being some disagreements.

Pig Heart Boy is well worth reading. It doesn’t take long to devour and it raises some important issues. I loved it.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An enjoyable thought provoking read!

Inspired by Cloud Busting

301125

It happened at University-
In the first week.
We were told to read Cloud Busting,
I couldn’t wait to take a peek!

I settled down to read it,
In my warm and comfy bed.
I read it out aloud and proud,
The verses swam round my head.

Now, I’m not a poet.
Certainly not true.
But Cloud Busting inspired me,
To try something new!

Cloud Busting was darker than I expected.
I’m still thinking of it now.
A truly memorable tale.
Malorie Blackman, take a bow!

I will use this book in the future.
A wonderful teaching tool.
It’s thought-provoking and engaging.
It really does rule!