Book Reviews from Port Ellen, Isle of Islay

Port Ellen Primary School and Port Ellen Book Group are working together to create book reviews in preparation for the Port Ellen Book Festival, which is on the 17th and 18th June 2006 at the Primary School. Over the next few months we shall be reviewing both the adult and children's authors who will be attending our festival. Please feel free to post a comment about your thoughts!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Ghost of Grania O’malley
This book was about a little girl called Jessie. Jessie had something wrong with her legs. She couldn’t walk very long distances. She couldn’t climb the big hill with all of her class mates. She lied to her mother and father about it she said she can climb the big hill. One day she was climbing the big hill and she was hearing voices she thought it was just her imagination playing tricks on her but it wasn’t. She thought she couldn’t go on any further when she heard the voice again it said if you make it to the top there will be something at the top for you. So Jessie climbed all the way to the top and in a pot hole she found an earring. She ran all the way back down a to her house and told her dad about climbing the hill.
Jessie and her dad went to the airport to collect her mum and her cousin Jack. Jessie didn’t really like Jack at all. A couple of days later she was looking in her mirror and saw a white face she turned around and the face was gone. A little while later there was a meeting for all the adults in the community to see who wanted the top of the hill cut off. Jessie’s mum didn’t want the top cut of but her father did want it cut off. Now her mother and father were fighting quite alot over it. In the end the whole village was up the top of the hill circling it to make sure the top didn’t get cut off. They made a deal with the person who owned the hill and said what if we bottle up the water that flows down your hill and sell it and we could call it Grania. So all the water was bottled and sold. I would give this book a 5/10

Cool is about a little boy that gets run over and he went into a coma and his dog lucky gets ran over but he lived. I really enjoyed this book- it was sad and at the end it was happy at some bits. The little boy Robbie is in a coma for about 2 months. His favourite footballer is Zola and his favourite team is Chelsea. Zola comes to visit him to see if that will wake him up. Zola left his t-shirt that he wore when he was playing. Chelsea were playing a week later. Luckly Robbie woke up in time and he went to see them play and he got to sit in the directors box. After the game was finished he got to go onto the pitch and play.
I thought this book was great and i would give it 10 out of 10. it would probubly be one of the best books i have read.

By fairy cake
Friend or Foe

Friend or Foe is about two young boys who were
evacuated in WW1.Their names were David and Tony but everyone called Tony Tucky.They were moved from East London and were evacuated to the country side.
David's dad was killed by Germans when his plane crashed on a beach in France.Tuckys dad beats him and he wishes him to be dead. One night they saw a German bomber plane-no one believed them and they thought they were village fools.They had a look on the moor with the army generals but just as they suspected they found nothing.Then one day they were on the moor and David fell in a river.A German bomber pilot hepls him out of the river. It is the best book that we have ever read. You should read it.We give this **** stars out of five
By Bonbon and stones.
The Ghost Of Grania O’Malley

The Ghost Of Grania Omalley is about a girl called Jessie who wants to climb the big hill and she makes it but no one believes her.Jessie’s cousin Jack comes over from America and they meet the Ghost Of Grania Omalley.The pirates leave Jessie and Jack on the beach and they go into a cave in the beach and they find Grania Omalleys gold. The top of the big hill is getting cut off, so can Jessie and Jack save the hill?

I did not like this book - it was boring 0 out of 10
Dear Olly by Michael Morpurgo
Dear Olly is a good book and I would recommend it to read. Dear Olly is about a girl called Olly, who has a brother called Matt. Matt wants to be a clown in Africa to make people there laugh and smile, especailly children.He goes to Africa.
If you want to find out more you'll have to read the book.

by Muffin.
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo.
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea is a great book. We really enjoyed it. It is about a young boy called Arthur and he was shipped off to Australia after world war 2 when he loses his sister.On the ship to Australia he met a nice young boy called Marty. When they get to Austraila they go to a place Called Coopers Station and an evil man called Piggy Bacon made them do horrible chores and after a hard days work they don’t get fed very well. Then Arthur and Marty run away from Coopers Station and a nice old lady called Aunty Megs took them in and they had a nice life with her until the day she told them they had to go away to Freddy Dodds boat building place. They both loved it until Marty got a bit drunk and fell into the sea and drowned.After that he had a sad and lonely life.He went to different places to find a new job.He went back to Aunty Megs and she died after a few years.Then he had an accident and at the hospital he found his one true love.A couple of years later he dies and
his daughter finds Kitty his long lost sister.*
By Craghopper and lozzy
Twist of Gold By Michael Morpurgo

Twist of Gold was a very inspiring and suprising book but also very twisty.It is all about the potato famine in Ireland and a poor family who has already lost 3 children and there is only two left.Their dad is away to get a new house and farm land .Their mother is back in Ireland on her death bed.She sends Annie and Sean to do her only dying wish, to give their father the last thing the O’Brian family posses, The golden neclate.They meet many people during their journey,some good,some bad but in the end they get the golden neclate to their father and they soon discover their mother is still alive.

By Stones and Bonbon
The Worlds of Chrestomanci
The Worlds of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones wasn't that good a book .It is about a boy called Cat who is learning how to be a wizard and another boy comes from Italy but Cat doesnt like the boy .They go away and meet an evil spell caster and get into lots of trouble.
My favourite bit is when Cat and Tonino are in the hospital with spider man and spider man gets slapped.It is funny.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Out of the Ashes
This book is about a family who get foot and mouth disease on their farm.
The father starts to suffer from depression because all his sheep and cows have to get burned.
The foot and mouth was taken to the farm when Beckie was coming back from her ride out on the horse on Mr William's farm. We thought it was excellent.
The Sleeping Sword
The Sleepping Sword is about a boy called Bun who tried to impress a girl called Anna by diving of a cliff.At the bottom of the cliff to Bun’s surprise it was to shallow.He woke up in hospital & had a bandage round his face.The doctor took it off and he couldn’t see!!!He was blind!!! A few weeks later he fell down a hole and discovered a sword and shield.The sword turned out to be Excalabur.Read the book to find out more!!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I am reading The Perfect Hamburger. I’ve just started it but I’m really enjoying it so far.
Primary 6/7 of Port Ellen Primary are reading Michael Morpurgo novels this term. We are going to add reviews of the books we have read to this blog and we would love it if you could leave some constructive comments of your own. Look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Dark Ship
Anne MacLeod
Published by 11/19
ISBN 1-903238-27-7

Spanning three generations and two World Wars this is an immensely moving tale of a close-knit community on the Isle of Lewis. A central love triangle binds together
a complex mixture of love, tragedy, music and poetry; and is brought to life by a varied group of strongly drawn characters.
I can't praise The Dark Ship too highly.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just the Caravaggio
Anne MacLeod
Poetry Saltzburg
ISBN 3-901993-00-2

An interesting mix of poems covering a range of subjects - nature -family -rivers - snow...
There's lots to read and re-read and my favourites change with each reading. Today I favour 'Voices on Water' which has a lovely lyrical quality; and 'River' which describes how Anne's small daughter said that she wanted to be a river so that she could explore the world.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Grace Notes
Bernard MacLaverty
ISBN 0-09-977801-7
Grace Notes was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize. It tells the story of a young female Irish composer and how her relationships with her parents, her lover and her baby daughter affect her career. It takes place in Glasgow, Northern Ireland and on Islay.
The comments about Islay school pupils are likely to ruffle a few feathers and details about music are somewhat alien to a total non-musician.
However, it is a moving story about the difficulties faced by creative people
and I enjoyed the book enough to know that I will definitely read it again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Woman Who Painted Her Dreams
Isla Dewar
ISBN 0-7472-6158-X

Without giving too much away, this is an enjoyable read. The dialogue flows well and the characters are so strongly drawn that it is easy to empathise with almost all of them. That comment is not a reflection on Isla’s writing but on the true-to-life characters who make life difficult for the more endearing ones. One in particular made me think ‘ I used to know someone just like that.’
It is the complex relationships and interplay between the characters which bring the book to life.
For the Love of Willie
Agnes Owens
ISBN 0 –7475-4011-X

This is a touching story with an inspired mix of tragedy, comedy and compassion.
It starts in wartime Glasgow when sixteen year old Peggy falls in love with her employer. Through realistic dialogue and carefully drawn characters it follows Peggy from girlhood to old age.
It is a relatively short book, only 122 pages, but it is an excellent read with some unexpected twists.
To Travel Hopefully – Journal of a Death Not Foretold
Christopher Rush
Profile Books
ISBN 1 -86197 – 793 – X

The first two parts of this book tell a harrowing story of illness, bereavement and a man’s despair at losing his wife. It will resonate with anyone who has experienced a similar situation; and for those who have not, it will give a greater insight and understanding into the state of mind of those who have been less fortunate.
The final part of the book describes how the author regained his sanity by faithfully following the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson through the Cévennes Complete with donkey, and travelling on the same dates as Stevenson, he compares and contrasts the two journeys which took place more than a century apart.
Beautifully written, it is a compelling account of grief and recovery, a fascinating journal of an unusual and dramatic adventure and an inspirational account of the value of rising to a challenge in order to move on.
Port Ellen Book Club have had a wee look at our blog and are now going to post some reviews for the adult readers among us! We look forward to reading lots of reviews over the next few months and also hearing from our readers to find out what they think.