Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

How did I get it?:
I was sent a copy from the publisher, Walker Books.

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum … and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie… As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. 

Thoughts:

It’s been a while since I’ve read Siobhan Curham’s work, but oh my goodness it was lovely to get back to her writing. There’s something about Siobhan’s writing that makes me feel like I’m wrapped up in a cosy blanket. Her books are adorable and so heartfelt.

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow centres around Stevie and Hafiz. Stevie is a bit of an outsider at school. She’s dealing with a lot. Her father died a few years prior and her mother became incredibly depressed. She was unable to look after herself so certainly was neglecting Stevie’s needs. Stevie struggles to get food together and her uniform is a bit small/worn. Stevie does a paper round to try and raise some more funds. She’s also saving for a guitar because music is what makes her feel better.

Hafiz has just travelled to the UK from Syria to live with his Aunt and Uncle. He’s left his family behind and is feeling incredibly worried about their safety. Hafiz has a passion for football as an escape from his problems. He is soon picked for the school team, however, he has some troubles fitting in with some of the team who only see him as a refugee. Stevie and Hafiz are put together on Hafiz’s first day of school. The two become close and develop a friendship that supports one another. They both search for their own stories and attempt to find their purpose in life.

I really enjoyed this book because it felt realistic to the world that we live in today. I really loved Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship. The characters felt so well developed that it felt like they were real people that I was observing. I loved the alternate chapters because I wanted to read more from their points of view. I never felt confused with who was narrating a chapter. Each character had their own identity. This book really makes you think about others. It packs a powerful punch, that’s for sure. I also appreciated the focus on mental health. We do need to be speaking about it more and I was impressed with the representation of depression in this story.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderful read! It touched my heart.

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This Week In Books #135

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

NOW-

A Boy Called Christmas

I’m about halfway through this very charming children’s book! 🙂 I’m really enjoying it so far.

THEN-

Only Child

I really enjoyed this book, it’s weird to say enjoyed as it’s a very intense book…but you know what I mean! Beth and I will be reviewing this book as part of our Talking About feature… coming soon!

NEXT-

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

I will continue my binge reading of Matt Haig’s Christmas series. Looking forward to this one!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Top Ten Cosy/Wintery Reads To Curl Up With

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s prompt is all about cosy reads. There’s nothing better than curling up when it’s cold outside, with a blanket and a warm drink. Perhaps the fire on too? Mm. I’m now dreaming of a snow day. These books are those that are good for reading in one sitting! They’re not necessarily deep reads, but they’re either heart-warming or atmospheric. Perfect for a cosy read, I say!

As ever, book images go to Goodreads!

The Snow Child

A perfect winter’s tale. 🙂 I really love this book and don’t see it around often enough for my liking!

Sister

I think this is an incredibly gripping read. Perfect for curling up with.

The Gift

This is one of my favourite books!

Let It Snow

I enjoyed these cute holiday romances.

Bittersweet

This sort of book is so easy to read all curled up and warm!

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

I wasn’t the biggest fan of all of these stories but there’s some good ones to get stuck into. That’s why I like anthologies.


A Christmas Carol

I think this book is perfect for near Christmas time!

Eleanor & Park

A book like this I could easily see being read in a day!

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

This book was so easy to read. It could easily be devoured within a few hours.

The Ice Twins

Thrillers are great to curl up with and this is a brilliant one!

What did you put on your list this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by.

Mine

Mine

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

This is not your baby.

You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, dying to see your child.

But when you are shown the infant, you just know . . .

This baby is not yours.

No one believes you.

They say you’re delusional, confused, dangerous.

But you’re a doctor . . .

Do you trust yourself?

Because you know only one thing – You must find your baby.

Thoughts:

I had heard many good things about Mine so I was super excited to check it out. I’m trying to get through books on my kindle as I just keep buying them and not getting around to reading them. #bookwormstruggles I thought that Mine was an incredibly easy to read book. I was eager to find out what was going to happen right from the start. Goodness knows that cover gives an amazing tag line!

The story centres around Sasha who wakes up in hospital after a caesarean. Sasha doesn’t remember much about the birth but she knows she is desperate to see her baby. Sasha and her husband were so desperate to have a baby so she wants to savour every minute with her newborn. However, when she gets to the hospital nursery, she is convinced that the baby she is shown is not hers. No-one listens to Sasha- even her husband is sure that she’s wrong. Sasha is determined to convince them that a mistake has been made…but how will she get everyone to believe her?

Mine really did have me gripped from the start. It has an interesting pace that is somewhat ramped up at the start and at the end, with the middle moving much more slowly. It’s a highly emotional story which some might find hard to read if you’ve suffered from mental health or fertility issues. I really didn’t know who to believe. I went through stages of thinking that Sasha was a really unreliable narrator and then I changed my mind again. It really was a rollercoaster that made you question whether Sasha was mentally stable or not.

I really enjoyed the time frame of this story. It goes over a week and flips between the past and the present. I don’t always enjoy that narrative, but Susi Fox certainly wrote the narrative well. It was interesting to find out that Susi Fox is a medical professional, I felt like the medical scenes were very realistic. It was clear that Susi was well informed.

The characters in Mine are fantastic. I really felt for Sasha. I immediately wanted everything to be sorted out for her- whether she was right or not. I found Sasha’s husband, Mark, to be a little frustrating. I wanted him to be there more for his wife. However, I did feel some sympathy for him when I read about this past as the reader does find out about some of his family history.

I was really impressed with this debut novel and the only thing that prevented me from giving it four stars, was that I particularly enjoy a consistently paced plot and I didn’t feel like this was. It’s a tiny complaint though. Overall, I thought it was a very promising, well informed, well written debut novel.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A solid debut from Susi Fox. I think that this book would be a great book club read!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- A particularly powerful week!

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 7-9 year olds. I have worked for two years with 6-7 years, 1 year with 7-9 and now I’m returning to my favourite age! 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 has been a very strange one (due to so much going on!) yet a very successful one. It’s been super busy as I had a course to attend and a school trip!

I’ve been teaching a unit of mental health to the 90 children within the year group that I teach. This unit of work is a pilot project to increase children’s knowledge of mental health. Initially, I was a bit dubious about this as 7-9 year old children seem very young. However, I’m pleasantly surprised with how it’s gone down. The children that I teach are becoming much more aware of how to handle their emotions. They’re open to learning new strategies.

What I’ve found particularly powerful this week, are the children’s drawings. I have been blown away with how they represent their emotions. I used the imagery of Harry Potter and the Dementors and what the Dementors stand for. We had such a deep conversation about conjuring up a positive shield to protect them from sad feelings. I really was in awe of their drawings. I wish I could show you some without identifying the children!

I’m really looking forward to continuing the rest of the unit. I have completely changed my mindset about teaching young children about mental health. I realise that they are able to access the content (I just have to be mindful of what I say!)

I’m looking forward to the week ahead. I’ve got my Elves on The Shelve ready to create chaos in my classroom. I’m not going all out for Christmas this year as I have a Jehovah’s Witness in my class, but I want some festivity for the other children that do celebrate Christmas. We have a pantomime to watch which they’re going to love. I’m also starting fractions in Maths which I’m hoping to make super fun!

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit- Number The Stars

Number the Stars

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Thoughts:

I absolutely adore historical fiction based in World War II. I don’t know why, but I just seem to have a fascination with stories based in that time period. It’s not that they excite me, I don’t mean that. I’m just always utterly compelled by that era. I’m always horrified by the things that happened. 😦 I think it’s really important that children/young adults learn about this time period too which is why I’m thrilled that Number The Stars exists.

Number The Stars centres around the Danish family of Annemarie Johansen. Annemarie and her family helped hide their Jewish friends. This story focuses on how the Danish helped smuggle the Jewish people into Sweden which was a free country, thus saving them from an almost certain death.

This book is just long enough to keep the attention of middle graders. It also has the perfect amount of historical detail. A book aimed at middle grade/teenagers doesn’t need to be bogged down with historical detail. That could potentially turn a lot of readers off. This has the right mix in my opinion. It’s also got some very likeable characters within its pages. Our main protagonist Annemarie is a sweetheart and I loved her friendship with Ellen. I absolutely adored how strong and brave the Danish were and how they looked after their neighbours.

I have to admit, that I didn’t know much about Denmark during World War II, so it was a really educative experience to read this book, even as an adult. I think there’s so much to be enjoyed in this short book. I really did enjoy it!

For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her review HERE.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (December):
Time Travelling With A Hamster- Ross Welford

Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR- (December 2018)

Welcome to my Looking Ahead post for December. In November, I managed to read all of the books on my TBR post.

Here are this month’s books! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting! As ever, click on the book image, if you want to add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Flashcards Of My Life- Charise Merigle Harper

Flashcards of My Life

Goodreads Synopsis

When Emily receives a pack of note cards labeled “Flashcards of My Life” as an unexpected birthday present, she uses them as inspiration to journal and to untangle her knotted life. Includes illustrations by the author.

This is the Banned Book that I’m reading for this month’s feature with Bibliobeth. I’m already wondering how on earth this book could be challenged.

Time Travelling With A Hamster- Ross Welford

Time Travelling with a Hamster

Goodreads Synopsis

“My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine and again four years later when he was twelve.

The first time had nothing to do with me. The second time definitely did, but I would never even have been there if it hadn’t been for his ‘time machine’…”

When Al Chaudhury discovers his late dad’s time machine, he finds that going back to the 1980s requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, burglary, and setting his school on fire. All without losing his pet hamster, Alan Shearer…

This book is the choice for this month’s kid-lit feature that I do with Beth. I’m SO intrigued by it!

Christmas series- Matt Haig

A Boy Called Christmas The Girl Who Saved Christmas Father Christmas and Me

1.

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

Are you still reading?

Good.

Then let us begin . . .

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

2.

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end?

When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas.

But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeers dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.

But Amelia isn’t just any ordinary girl. And – as Father Christmas is going to find out – if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . . 

3.

It isn’t always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas.

For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs everyday – even in July – and when you fail all your toy-making tests. Also it can get very, very cold.

But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it’s up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive. Before it’s too late . . .

I am so excited about these middle grade Christmas reads. I decided this year I’m going to binge read them as I want to read more of Matt Haig’s books. They could also be potential reads for my class next year when I won’t have a Jehovah’s Witness in my class.

What are you reading this month? Let me know!