The Truth Pixie (Christmas #3.5)

The Truth Pixie (Christmas Series, #3.5)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Christmas

Synopsis:

From number one bestselling author Matt Haig comes a hilarious and heartwarming story, brilliantly illustrated throughout by Chris Mould Wherever she is, whatever the day, She only has one kind of thing to say. Just as cats go miaow and cows go moo, The Truth Pixie can only say things that are true.

Thoughts:

The Truth Pixie was one of the stand out characters in Matt Haig’s Christmas series, so I was super happy that she got a short story of her own. I wasn’t expecting this little book to be in verse, so that was a lovely surprise! It’s such a sweet, quick read centring around a pretty awesome character.

The Truth Pixie is finding it hard to make connections with people around her because she has to tell the truth. As we know, lots of times the truth can hurt and so- people do not want to be around her. She’s feeling very isolated until she bumps into a sad human child named Aada. The Truth Pixie has to tell Aada the truth. However, this time The Truth Pixie’s truth is given with wonderful advice. The Truth Pixie guides Aada through life’s ups and downs.

It’s a beautiful short story that centres around life very much being an up and down journey. I think it’s wonderful to read to young children and very charming to read if you’re an adult! 🙂

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

An awesome addition to the Christmas series from the superbly talented Matt Haig!

Long Way Down

Long Way Down

How did I get it?:
I received it from Faber. Many thanks to them.

Synopsis:

AND THEN THERE WERE SHOTS
Everybody
ran,
ducked,
hid, tucked
themselves tight.

Pressed our lips to the
pavement and prayed
the boom, followed by
the buzz of a bullet,
didn’t meet us.

After Will’s brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps. Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with Shawn’s gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will’s friend who died years ago. And Dani, who was shot years before that. As more people from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he’s doing.

This haunting, lyrical, powerful verse novel will blow you away.

Thoughts:

I was approached to read this book fairly recently and immediately was intrigued. I’m getting more into books told in verse. I don’t think it’ll ever be my ‘thing’ but I do enjoy reading books written this way every now and then. This is especially the case when they’re about powerful topics. Long Way Down completely captivated me and I could have easily read it in one sitting. It was that compelling.

Long Way Down is a brutal book about violence. It centres around Will’s brother Shawn who was shot and killed. The rules are that someone in your family is killed, you go and seek revenge. That’s what Will sets out to do. He grabs the gun in his room and sets out to kill his brother’s killers. However, in the elevator on the way down he is joined by ghosts of people that have been shot in Will’s life.

The first thing that really struck me was how much Will had gone through in his young life so far. It was heart-wrenching. So many deaths due to gun violence. It has to have really affected him. I definitely thought of all of the lives being ruined to gun violence. It really made my stomach turn. It was sad to see the cycle going on and on. People dying, then the shooter being shot…then someone else killing them… it was endless. I felt like the ghosts were trying to get Will to stop the cycle and realise that seeking revenge wouldn’t end well for him.

I loved that Jason Reynolds used free verse to tell the story. I feel like this was the best way to portray Will’s experience with the ghosts. It was interesting, brutal and powerful at the same time. It made me want to read some of the moments out loud for more of an impact.

Long Way Down sends a message about gang/gun violence. It is devastating to think about how many lives are lost this way every single day. It’s an incredibly quick read and I definitely think the ending is open to interpretation which is interesting.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A quick, brutal read!

Chrissi’s Class Reads…#4 Poetry

Today I’m going to share two poetry books that my class are obsessed with! They had a Roald Dahl phase (to be honest… they’re still reading Roald Dahl as their independent reads!) which I was very pleased about. My next mission was to encourage them to read different genres. I started with including non fiction books and magazines into our book corner. I then decided it was time for me to experiment with some poetry with them.

Here are their two favourite poetry books at the moment… (book images go to Goodreads)

Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum: poems by

I thought I couldn’t go wrong with Julia Donaldson really. They enjoy her writing and the poems are short and silly. Perfect for 6 years old +. They adore the title poem about a mother putting silly food together.

The Day I Fell Down the Toilet and Other Poems

You might have guessed by now, but my class really enjoy silly. I enjoy silly too. There’s far too much seriousness in the curriculum and I like to have lighter moments! The children really enjoy the title poem and The Vegetables Strike Back which is all about vegetables having feelings too. They find this poem hilarious!

I’m not a massive fan of poetry myself, but I’m really enjoying exploring the poetry genre with young children!

I Don’t Want To Be Crazy

I Don't Want To Be Crazy

How did I get it?
I bought it!

Synopsis:

This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college, she was excited by the possibilities — freedom from parents, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom from the person she was supposed to be. At first, she revelled in the independence … but as pressures increased , she began to suffer anxiety attacks that would leave her mentally shaken and physically incapacitated. Thus began a hard road of discovery and coping, powerfully rendered in this poetry memoir.

Thoughts:

I have been meaning to get around to this book for quite some time now. I feel like I have a bit of a connection with it as I personally suffer from anxiety. Having such a connection can really affect my opinion of a book, especially if mental health isn’t presented in a ‘real’ way. I wasn’t worried about this as Samantha Schutz’s story is a true story.

Reading I Don’t Want To Be Crazy feels like you’re creeping in on someone’s personal diary. Samantha writes with raw honesty. You really feel as a reader that you’re experiencing what it is like to suffer with anxiety. The descriptions are really relatable and true to those that suffer with anxiety.

This book is written in verse and I think it’s really interesting to read it in this way. I don’t think the verse really showed how powerful words can be, but at the same time, it came across as incredibly honest and to the point. That’s what you want. As a reader I want the mental health stigma to ease and for mental health to be recognised and understood more. This is why I appreciated the book!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

It won’t be for everyone, but I think this is a really honest look at mental health.