As the Reading Ambassadors we have been very lucky to be involved in the judging of the ‘Young People’s Book Prize’ 2024. We were sent a selection of wonderful books which would inspire a love of science and reading non-fiction. We shared these books with our class and then we judged which book we considered to be the best. It was a very difficult decision! Now we have completed our judging, we will now share these with the rest of the school during our lunch time book club on the bus! We wonder if the rest of the school will be able to guess which one we voted the winner!
We were lucky enough to attend an author visit with our friends at Woodside Primary school. Mitch Johnson told us all about his new book Toxic and how he was inspired by the unusual amphibians which inhabit the Amazon rainforest. His talk was very inspiring and we learnt some fascinating facts about the rainforest – some facts were even quite shocking! He also told us about the other books he has written and the journey he went on to get his first book published. What a great morning we all had!
Stuck for something to read over the half term. Take a look at these recommended reads. I know my class have already got their eye on a couple!
A wonderfully detailed book review that I would like to share with you. I did take some of the plot details out so as not to spoil the story! George would highly recommend the book we have been studying in English this half term.
Review by George, year 5
‘Star of Fear, Star of Hope’ by Jo Hoestlandt.
This story was about two children who were very good friends during World War 2. They were called Lydia and Helen. On July 15th, Lydia had permission to go to Helen’s house because the next day, July 16th, was Helen’s birthday. That night, they were telling each other spooky zombie stories to see if their hair would stand on end like in the comics they read.
It was this night that life for Lydia was never the same again which resulted in Helen shouting in rage, “Why are you leaving me on my birthday?” forgetting that Lydia had given her a present that she had made all by herself for Helen. Lydia left with Papa in sadness.
After that, Helen never saw Lydia ever again.
Lydia’s mum at the start of the story didn’t seem very happy about having to wear a star on her and Lydia’s jackets to show that they were Jews. Lydia thought it was pretty though because I don’t think she understood what it was for.
Helen and Lydia seem to have a really lovely relationship. They were very close and they were clearly trusted by their parents to be left home alone. Helen felt really guilty about shouting at Lydia, especially after never seeing her ever again. She wished that they could still be friends even once she was a grown up.
Mama and Papa looked after everybody in their care. They were funny and sensible at the same time. They showed real kindness towards Lydia when they took her home when she asked. Papa also showed kindness looking after Madam 11 o’clock. Mama wasn’t too happy about her job as she had to keep a smile on her face, but it hurt by the end of the day as she was a waitress. Papa was a piano player. I think he liked his job. They both felt guilty at the end of the story for not keeping Lydia safe with them and taking her home in the middle of the night.
Madam 11 o’clock was a Jew that didn’t want to be arrested and was being helped by the neighbour opposite Helen. She seemed to be quite worried about what was going on, telling Papa and Mama about how all Jews were being arrested which is why Lydia wanted to leave. I assume that the Midnight Ghost was also a Jew, but we never really get told what happened to him. Perhaps he was one of the Jews in the long line outside.
Style / General comments
I like the narrator because she seemed to be overwhelmingly honest about her relationship with Lydia. At the start they were the best of friends and so she spoke really enthusiastically about what they did together, saying they were inseparable. However, by the end she has an extremely guilty voice because of shouting at Lydia and wished they could be friends again. She regrets how she treated her especially as she has never seen her again by the end of the book.
In my opinion, I think the book shows that if you do something wrong it could get even worse, in this case, she said something bad and never got to put it right. Also, it made me feel bad because during the war, the Jews were treated like rats and like they weren’t important to the Germans at all. I think this is a disgrace! When it mentioned the line of Jews that Helen could see outside of her window it made me think that perhaps they were going somewhere dangerous, perhaps a concentration camp? I don’t really know anything about these places, but I know that they sound like a bad place to go.
Overall, I would buy this book for myself so that I could read it at home. I would recommend it for all to show how bad things can happen in history and people must not treat people badly like this again because of their religion. Also, friendships are super important, and we should be kind to each other.
It’s a lot different to the books I am reading at the moment! I am reading the ‘How to train a dragon’ series! These are not based on real life events like this book and are more to do with heroes, Vikings and mythical creatures.
I would give this book 4.8 out of 5.
When you see a member of staff in school, please make sure you ask them what they are reading! All the staff in school are very excited to share with you their current reads and also offer you some recommendations.
Today, our class were lucky enough to take part in an author talk with SF Said
This is what Matilda thought about it:
‘It felt very surreal speaking live with such an incredible author. SF Said spoke about his experiences: the good and the bad of writing. His newest book, Tyger, looks especially amazing. It’s a story about a tiger saving a boy who is in danger. I would love to read this book in the future,’
Matilda, 11 years old, Hummingbirds
At The Bawburgh School we all love reading and enjoy nothing more than delving into a good book! We are a reading community and want to spread the word about why reading is so important. Not only is it good for our well-being but also helps us to develop empathy. Reading for pleasure opens us up to new worlds, allows us to visit new places and meet new characters – sounds exciting doesn’t it? We will use this blog keep you up to date with new titles for all ages, recommend books that we have been reading and share all the wonderful things we have been getting up to in school.