Introducing… The Bookboy Reads

I have mentioned that I come from a fairly book loving family, and as you have seen Granny Savidge Reads has already done a blog post (and is currently working away at her second) been grilled and shared her top ten books for Savidge Reads. In a week or two my mother (who teaches English and reads heaps) will also be sharing her top ten and getting grilled. I was delighted when one of my younger members of the family asked if he could please write a blog post every now and again with regard to children’s and young adult books. How could I say no? After all though I have seen a few adults concentrating on those genre’s but no youngsters (though I could be wrong). Now as this is a younger member of my family we decided a pseudonym would be best for safety etc, it also adds a certain mystery (and as I said means he can be harshly critical with no come back, ha) to it all.

 So without further ado I shall hand you over to The Bookboy, who after reading his reviews has left me rather worried that I could have some serious competition in a few years time both on book reviewing front and possibly journalism too…

“Allow me to introduce myself, I am eleven years old. I really enjoy books and, therefore, asked Simon if I could do a blog. I am now so glad that I did because it was great fun to write. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The first book I am going to review is ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’ by Philip Pullman.

This book is the first in a quartet by Philip Pullman, which is set in the late Victorian era.  The heroine is a young girl of sixteen called Sally Lockhart, who has just heard that her Father, a shipping agent, has drowned. She goes to pay a call upon her late father’s business partner, Mr Selby. After this, Sally decides to investigate the death of her father. Along the way, Sally finds that her Father’s death is intertwined with many other murky events. She makes an enemy of Mrs Holland, an evil landlady and befriends a youthful photographer, plus his actress sister. This book has many twists and turns, just where you least expect them. It had a slightly sinister feel and it made me want to know more about the Victorian period.  Some of the language and features are at times unsuitable, so I would not recommend this book to children of under the age of nine. If you have read any ‘Sherlock Holmes’ by Arthur Conan Doyle, you will enjoy this book.

 My second choice is ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’, which is set during the Second World War, and is by Michelle Magorian.

The main character in this book is a small boy called William Beech. He lives in London, but is evacuated to the countryside due to The Blitz.  William is evacuated to a small town set deep in the country; its name is Little Weirwold.  He is left in the care of a gruff, old gentleman named Tom Oakley.  Will, as William now likes to be called, is starting to settle in, however Tom is not the best person he could have gone to for tender, loving care. Tom, though begins to care for Will as if he was his own. Tom notices a lot of cuts and bruises on Will’s body. Just as he is beginning to feel at home, Will receives a dreaded summons back to London from his mysterious mother. Will he ever see Tom or Little Weirwold again?

This book made me feel excruciatingly sad in some parts, yet exceedingly happy in others. It is without the slightest doubt one of the best books I have ever read. Again, it does have some unsuitable language and scenes, so, I would recommend no younger than ten year olds should read this book.  If you have read ‘A Spoonful of Jam’, also by Michelle Magorian, or ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne, then you will like this book.

My third and final book for now is ‘Gatty’s Tale’ by Kevin Crossley Holland.

This book is about a farm girl called Gatty, who works on a manor called Caldicot.  She is all alone in the world and greatly saddened by it. This book is set in the medieval times. Then, an opportunity arises for Gatty to accompany the lady of another manor on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Gatty accepts and a long, perilous journey begins. But, before they set off, Gatty must learn to become a chamber maiden to Lady Gwyneth, the lady who is in charge of the Pilgrimage. Many dangerous things happen on the way and one of the number nearly perishes. All is going well for the pilgrims, until two of them miss the boat.  Is one of them Gatty? This book is excellent. I love the way that he describes everything so vividly that it’s almost as if you’re standing right there beside the characters. Some of the language in this book is rude, so I think only over nine year olds should read this book. If you’ve read the Arthurian trilogy, by Kevin Crossley Holland, you will love this book as it is based around the same sort of thing, and some of the characters are the same.”


Filed under Bookboy Reads, Kevin Crossley Holland, Michelle Magorian, Orion Publishing, Philip Pullman, Puffin Books, Scholastic Books

24 responses to “Introducing… The Bookboy Reads

  1. What fun! hello Bookboy – I think you are definitely giving Simon a run for his money (sorry Simon!). I really like Goodnight Mr Tom, in fact all of Michelle Magorian’s books are a very good read. Have you read her most recent one, Just Henry? I loved it.

  2. Eva

    Hi Bookboy! I read Goodnight Mr. Tom when I was 12, and I adored it. 🙂 Gatty’s Tale sounds really interesting; I love books set in the Middle Ages.

  3. gaskella

    Welcome bookboy – a great post, let’s hope for lots more. I love reading YA/older children’s novels as an adult, so your recommendations will be appreciated.

  4. Wonderful post, Bookboy! I especially like the way you have included other titles similar to the books you reviewed. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  5. Jen

    Wow, Bookboy! You are a great writer and make me want to check out these books. Thanks!

  6. Bookboy, thank you so much for sharing. You’re so clever with words for an eleven year old – I loved reading your reviews. Keep up the reading and keep enjoying!

  7. Bookboy, well done! These reviews are fantastic, and I think I’m going to have to look into picking one of these up for my nephew and niece! Thanks for the recommendations, looking forward to more! 🙂

  8. Welcome to the blogging world! I love Goodnight Mister Tom, although I haven’t read it since I was your age (13 years ago – must revisit!)

  9. Great reviews — thanks! Hope Simon lets you do some more before too long. I’ve read The ruby in the Smoke but not the others.

  10. Welcome Bookboy! I’ve read both Ruby in the Smoke (a long time ago) and Goodnight Tom. I remember Ruby in the Smoke as having this haunting part involving Adelaide, the young servant girl. I didn’t read Goodnight Tom until I was an adult. I remember really liking it.

  11. BookBoy – great reviews. I haven’t read any of the books that you mentioned, but I would have loved to have read them at your age.

    I like how you tell readers that some of the language may not be suitable for younger readers. It’s good to have warnings.

    Would you like to travel back to Victorian or Medival times? I wouldn’t. I like my electricity and running water.

    Did you have to read these books for school? When I was in high school, I had about 5 books to read every summer. I had to write a book report also.

  12. Holy cow, Bookboy, you are one well-spoken 11 year old. I could take lessons from your review-writing. You have a future in book blogging!

  13. Excellent post! My stepdaughter, the 13-year-old Rocketgirl will be posting a review on my blog tomorrow. Long liver the youngster bloggers!

  14. Wow! Congratulations Bookboy! You write so very well you will definitely be giving all of us a run for our money very soon. Please keep writing as you have lots of style as well!

  15. Ellen

    Well done, Bookboy. I, too, love Goodnight Mr. Tom and I think I first read it when I was about 50! If you ever decide to move to New York City and work in a bookstore, I’ll hire you.

  16. Wow, Bookboy, I am impressed! These are great reviews.

    Though an adult and now a grandmother, I still enjoy reading youthful books and Goodnight, Mr. Tom has been one I have been meaning to read. Your review is compelling me to get it and read it soon.

    I hope to read more of your reviews soon, Bookboy. Good luck in your blogging adventures.

  17. Hello Bookboy, this is a fantastic blog posts, you write very well! I’ve read two out of those three books, Ruby In The Smoke and Goodnight Mr Tom and love them both, though my favourite would be the first. Have you read the rest of the series? It gets even better!

    Looking forward to your next post!

  18. Thank you, Bookboy! I’ll be looking forward to more posts from you as I have four kids between the ages of 10-14. Kudos to you to be interested in writing at your age — writers and readers rule the world, you know. 🙂

  19. Haha my 11 year old self is going ‘but you shouldn’t know about computers yet’ – how times have changed, remember we first got computers in our school just as I was turning eleven (BBCs don’t you know) and it was a big deal.

    Welcome to Bookboy (and he’s already made me want to add Gatty’s Gate to my list (never ehard of it before). There are a few teen book bloggers by the way Simon, but I can only think of one as young as your brother (a girl called Annie who is I think ten).

  20. Martin Robbins

    IF my Grandson was as clever as “Book Boy” I and his Nana would be very proud of him…
    Keep up the good work.

  21. Hi Bookboy! I loved hearing about the books you’ve read. I hope you’ll share more with us next time..

  22. Just to say thank you to you all for your kind comments. I haven’t had chance to speak to The Bookboy yet but have heard through the grapevine that he was thrilled with all your lovely comments and will be writing his next post very soon!!

  23. I haven’t heard of any of these books but they all sound wonderful. Congratulations to bookboy on his first, and excellent, post!

  24. Flo

    Hi bookboy! I heard about Ruby in the Smoke and I think mum is going to buy it for me.
    Your reports are amazing, everyone will want to buy your books!

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