A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Progress is a wonderful thing!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching Lower Key Stage 2. My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week feels like it’s been very successful. It was full of Design and Technology, which isn’t my favourite thing, however the children got on well with their sewing and cooking activities. I think the fact they didn’t have to write as much (usually, they have to write every single day) helped their independent writing on Friday. Perhaps it was just the stimulus I used for writing, but either way I’ve seen some progress in my children’s writing and that makes me happy! 🙂 My class aren’t the best at writing, so to look at their independent piece this week and see improvement really impressed me. I’ll be sure to let them know how proud I was. Everyone likes to hear that!

I have another busy week coming up with many production rehearsals for our upcoming play. Yet another thing that they impress me with! I can’t believe we’re already going to be 4 weeks into our 6 week term! This term has flown by and I can’t believe it’ll soon be time for the summer term. I’m hoping that this is where I’m going to see the most progress. I can but hope!

In my personal life, I feel like I’ve had a much better balance this week. This weekend, I’ve spent more time with friends or reading than working which really helps my own well-being. I’m feeling more rested without the whole of Saturday being spent working! Let’s see if I can keep that up!

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

How did I get it?:
It was sent to me by Walker Books, many thanks to them!

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

Thoughts:

This book has been most anticipated by so many bloggers. I’m always scared of hyped books. Always. Quite often that hype monster appears and destroys a raved about book for me. I’m happy to say, that this wasn’t the case with The Hate U Give. I have to admit, as a teacher, the ‘U’ bugged me in the title, until I started to read it and realised why the author used a ‘U’. I’m also pleased to say that I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t quite a 5 star read for me, but it was very, very close.

It centres around Starr, who is only sixteen, but has seen two murders in her lifetime. The first was a friend in a drive by and the second was a black boy, shot multiple times by a police officer whilst she was in the car. Starr laid with him as he died. The boy in question didn’t do anything wrong. The story surrounds life after these murders. It explores the sensitive subject of racial issues in society involving black people and police officers. As a reader, we wonder whether Starr will stand up for Khalil and talk about what she witnessed.

I thought this was a fantastic book. It’s a story that should be read by so many. The fact that black people are still dying because of social issues with race is heartbreaking and scary at the same time. I think this book is incredibly educational. It tackles racism and injustice, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are so many moments that made me smile.

This was an incredible debut novel. Angie Thomas writes so well. I’m looking forward to exploring what she writes next.  

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, important debut!

Fairy Tale Friday- The Girl Who Trod On A Loaf

This week’s fairy tale is all about a girl named Inge. She’s pretty but also vain and arrogant. Inge is poor and not a very nice person at all. To get more money, Inge works as a maid in a well-off household. One day, Inge’s mistress sends her home with a loaf of bread. Inge doesn’t want to get her dress or shoes dirty, so she throws the bread into a puddle. She steps onto the bread to get her over, but it sinks into the mud, taking her with it.

Inge sinks into the home of a witch. The Devil’s great-grandmother is also there and decides that she wants to take Inge to hell to use as a statue to decorate hell. This is because Inge has frozen solid. Inge is stuck in hell, covered in mud, covered in bugs and absolutely starving. She sometimes feels drops of water on her head which are her mother’s tears. A shepherd saw the whole thing, so everyone in Inge’s life finds out it was her vanity that caused her to sink in the bog.

The story is retold year by year and as it’s told, Inge hears about it in hell. A child once cries when hearing the story and wishes Inge could return to earth. Inge feels sorrow and repents of her sins. She thinks she is not worth saving. After this, a sunbeam from heaven shines down on her. The statue vanishes and instead a bird is in its place. Inge has become a bird. Inge as a bird, flies around finding bread to feed to other birds that are hungry. When she gets enough bread to replace the loaf she destroyed, Inge’s soul goes up to heaven!

Next Fairy Tale- Two Brothers 

Talking About ‘Lie With Me’ with Bibliobeth!

Lie With Me

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

“I suppose what I am saying is, how much do we collude in our own destruction? How much of this nightmare is on me?

You can hate and rail.
You can kick out in protest.

You can do foolish and desperate things, but maybe sometimes you just have to hold up a hand and take the blame.”

Breathless.
Claustrophobic.
Unsettling.
Impossible to put down.

CHRISSI: What was your first impression of this book?

BETH: To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t a great first impression! It was quite a slow start to the story although I had read some GoodReads reviews that mentioned that it got a lot better so I was kind of prepared for this. I was hopeful that it would pick up though and once our main character, Paul finally goes away on holiday with the woman he is seeing, the tension and action crept up a notch.

BETH: The (female) author has chosen to write from a male point of view. How well do you think she achieved this?

CHRISSI: Interesting question. I didn’t even think to take note of the fact that she was writing from a male point of view. To me, that says Sabine Durrant pulled it off. It never even crossed my mind that it was a female writing from a male point of view. Well done, Sabine!

CHRISSI: This novel is built on tension. Discuss how the author builds the tension and structures the novel.

BETH: I’m very wary of giving spoilers but I’ll do my best! I think the opening of the novel is absolutely brilliant. Let’s just say that Paul is in a place that we don’t expect him to be in (being deliberately vague, sorry!) and after this initial chapter, the story goes back in time to the events that occurred in the build up to the situation he now finds himself in. So we know where he ends up but we have no clue initially how on earth he got there! He seems, by all accounts to be a “normal,” man (apart from his compulsive lying, that is) and it makes the reader really rack their brains to try and figure out how and why he got where he ended up.

BETH: Discuss where the line falls between a few acceptable fibs and harmful lying. Is it ever ok to tell a small lie?

CHRISSI: Ooh, another good question. Lies are so difficult, because I would say that you shouldn’t lie if it is going to affect another person. However, sometimes I feel that some individuals need to be protected by a little white lie. It made me think though, is that okay? Is it okay to alter the truth a little to protect someone you care about? Argh, I really don’t know. In the end, the truth often comes out, so is it better to tell the truth from the start even if it causes some hurt? Harmful lying is obviously always a no, no for me, but ‘acceptable fibs’… hmm. It depends on your definition of acceptable. Some might consider something acceptable that others don’t. Ooh, such a good discussion subject and I haven’t even really come up with a decent response. All I’ll say is that line is very very unclear.

CHRISSI: Without spoilers- discuss the ending of the novel – did you see the twist coming?

BETH: Not really, no. I knew something wasn’t right with certain characters but I hadn’t figured out exactly what was going on. It was a big surprise when it came and I was shocked how it ended up. Did he deserve it? Some people might say yes, he wasn’t a very likeable character to say the least! However, what he ends up suffering is incredibly extreme in comparison to what he did wrong in my opinion. Loved the twist though, I’m really glad I didn’t predict it!

BETH: This novel has quite a slow pacing to it, did this affect your enjoyment of the story?

CHRISSI: To be honest, yes it did. I am not a fan of a slow paced novel, especially when I have a lot going on. I like to be picking up a book and immediately flying through the pages. I want something to get back to and want to get back to without worrying that I’m going to be bored. I just don’t think this book’s pacing worked for me, although I know some people really enjoyed it and got over the slow pace.

CHRISSI: How does this book compare to others in its genre?

BETH: I thought this book was quite different to other psychological thrillers that I’ve read and I thought it was quite brave in a lot of ways. It read to me almost like a literary psychological thriller (no offence meant to other psychological thrillers). I just mean that the pacing compared to other thrillers was quite slow and you usually find with other books in the genre it’s all quite action-packed and not really focused on character development, unlike Lie With Me. By the end of the book, I actually thought it was the most interesting novel in the genre that I’ve read for a long time and has stayed with me for a while, always a good sign that a book’s got under your skin!

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I’m not sure. It would depend on the subject matter. I thought it was interesting enough, but the pace did affect my enjoyment.

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!

This Week In Books #56

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book to get to Goodreads!

The Hate U Give  Lie With Me Follow Me Down

NOWThe Hate U GiveAngie Thomas– I’m almost halfway through this book which I’m enjoying!

THEN Lie With MeSabine Durrant– I recently finished this book for part of the ‘Talking About…’ feature that I do with my sister, Beth. Our review is out tomorrow!

NEXTFollow Me DownSherri Smith– I’ve heard great things about this book. I’m hoping to get it started this weekend! 🙂

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR (2017)

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books on our Spring TBR.

I’ve started with 5 ARCs that I’m going to be reading first! I seem to have a busy start to April!

Follow Me Down- Sherri Smith

Follow Me Down

I have heard good things so far about this book. I hope to read it after my current read!

All The Forever Things- Jolene Perry

All the Forever Things

I enjoy Jolene Perry’s writing, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Letters To The Lost- Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

I’ve heard a lot about this author although I’ve never read a book by her. Looking forward to them!

Goodbye Days- Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days

I’ve seen this one everywhere… intrigued!

The Upside of Unrequited- Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited

I’m nervous about this one as I loved the author’s debut so much!

On My Shelf

The Last Beginning- Lauren James

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)

I have had this coming up for a few weeks now, but then other books have got in the way… you know how it is! I am really looking forward to this.

Heartless- Marissa Meyer

Heartless

I have mixed feelings about reading this book. I’m worried it won’t live up to my expectations.

Furthermore- Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore

Another highly anticipated one!

Don’t Touch- Rachel M. Wilson

Don't Touch

This one has been on my TBR for far too long. It’s time to read it…

The Book Collector- Alice Thompson

The Book Collector

My sister Beth, isn’t sure if I’m going to like this book, but I’ll give it a go!

What have you got on your Spring TBR? Feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

The Half Life Of Molly Pierce

The Half Life of Molly Pierce

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Luna!

Synopsis:

You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves

Thoughts:

I borrowed this book from Luna over at Luna’s Little Library ages ago and have only just got around to reading it. I had heard mixed reviews about it, but like always, I was willing to give it a go. What I will say is that it can be slightly confusing but it’s really good at the same time- so stick with it.

The story centres around Molly who has regular blackouts. She has huge gaps of time missing from her life. Everyone around her is being cagey and Molly doesn’t know who to turn to.I was so intrigued by this story. I wanted to know what was going on with Molly. I can’t imagine feeling like you’re missing chunks of your life.

I found the writing to be incredibly gripping but I can imagine that it might frustrate others. I personally couldn’t put the book down. I was desperate to find out what on earth was going on. I thought Katrina Leno cleverly pieced everything together. It was an interesting concept that I don’t want to spoil!

Molly is easy to like and I wanted everything to turn out well. She’s a complex character with issues and I always like to read about someone who struggles but is so determined to come out of the other side. This is so true for Molly!

If you’re looking for a book with resolution then this isn’t a book for you. There are some unanswered questions and some plot holes, but all in all I thought it was a fantastic read. I shall certainly be reading more from this author!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, if confusing read!