To celebrate World Book Day, we asked all students across secondary school to reflect on their reading both academically and personally, setting them the challenge of writing a book review about their favourite book – read either at home or at school.
Enjoy a range of their works below – we hope you will be inspired to read one of the books they reviewed!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
To Kill a Mocking Bird
To Kill a Queen
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm is a good read if you want to learn about power poisoning. It takes place in a farm in England, where the animals plan on a rebellion after the speech of an old boar- Old major, but did they succeed, or was it all just a dream? And if they did, who would lead the farm?
This book is focused on real events that happened in the 1940s, in Russia. This book is important because it explains the disasters that could happen in a communist country. And what could happen if there was no democracy. Napoleon- the strongest character in the book- representing Stallion. And the rest of the animals representing the people in Russia.
Some might say that it is bad read, that would be because it involves a lot of subjects such as betrayal, backstabbing, communism, and a shock twist. It shows the cold hard truth about power. I personally love this book because it shows how power can poison people, and betray people closest to them. It touches the topic ‘Leadership gone bad’. When people seem to have a lot of power, they keep wanting more. Just like Stallion, the more power he got, the worse he got. This book is a must read for everyone, and that is because it is very easy to read, and it is also a very short book. It has a very good language, nothing complicated. Although it is short, it contains the whole politics problems we have to this day.
By Begüm, Year 9b
Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon written by Daniel Keyes, is a science fiction short story that places the reader in the shoes of the mentally challenged Charlie Gordon who all his life had battled his disability hoping that one day he would become intelligent. When given the opportunity to be the first human to undergo neurological surgery that would drastically increase his mental capabilities, Charlie commits to a journey that entirely changes his life.
This meaningful story takes into deep consideration how humanity judges individuals by their mental capabilities rather than personality. By reading the short story that is written in the perspective of Charlie, one’s emotions fluctuate from happiness to anger and sadness as he writes and learns about his so-called friendships or his memories from school and home. It reveals the reality behind a mentally challenged person in this day and age and how many treat and misuse these people for their own laugh, or simply because they can.
If you are looking for a realistic story to read that is not exaggerated and doesn’t conclude with a happy, perfect ending, then this is the story for you. Despite the fact that personally, I find most classical stories rather boring and overrated, this one is certainly one of a kind and deserves its place within the classics. With strong themes, morals and meanings, and truly fascinating writing it brings tears and joy to any reader as they create a strong connection to the fictional character Charlie, and the mouse Algernon.
If there is any story that has really left a footprint in my heart and mind, it’s this one. I could read it repeatedly day by day and still experience the same strong emotions I did the first time. It is quite hard to describe what a unique book this is, so I recommend you read it too and see for yourself.
By Julia K, Year 10
Call Me by Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is a book by Andre Aciman. A story about a romantic relationship involving a seventeen-year-old boy, (Elio), and a twenty-four-year-old graduate, (Oliver). The two meet during summer when Oliver is invited to stay in their house to study archaeology with Elio’s father. Oliver has come to help - he has a job to do - but Elio can’t go long without speaking to him. The connection they build between each other grows stronger as days, weeks pass. It comes to their realization that what they have created, cannot simply be dismissed. Oliver is a big attraction in the small city but, they both push away everyone that tries to flirt with them and decide to give their relationship a chance.
Most people think Call Me By Your Name is a book about only the love story of two teenagers but, I think it reflects other people’s lives too. Nevertheless, it is still a very emotional book and it tends to hit hard for many teens. This is because the love story presented is not usual. The whole book is actually rather unusual. It makes the reader think because it is very subtle. For some, it might be too subtle and boring, that’s why it’s not for all. Call Me By Your Name could also be described as a calm book. It is not very long yet many things happen, and it seems as if nothing is happening at the same time. Only a few characters are presented, so some might say that too little goes on.
The setting, on the other hand, is presented and described very well. Beautiful countryside in the southern part of Italy. Many people have the wish to live Elio’s life. They feel like they want to be a part of the book. It’s deep and very easy to get attached to.
I personally adore Call Me by Your Name because it is well written. The text is brilliant since other romance novels are nothing like it. The way the character’s love story unravelled is quite unexpected. The ending is sad, and it makes you feel connected to the book. I wanted to be a part of the story. The setting is well described, and it is meant to be happening a while back, so the whole story has a vintage feel. The book itself was very calming and dreamy.
Call Me By Your Name was released in 2007. Ten years after, a movie was filmed and released, starring two famous actors. Timothy Chalamet and Armie Hammer. They portray the relationship very accurately and make the film so unbelievably beautiful, however, the film is different from the movie because it goes into less detail, and is cut off earlier.
The book has a PG of 16+. It tends to be a little graphic, therefore I think it is a good perception. I would recommend it to any teenager who wants to experience this beautiful story and be taken away, into the magical world of Italy.
By Enja, Year 10
Garfield comic books
The Garfield comic is a collection of comic books by Jim Davis, each one including its own story. Each book has approximately 130 pages with two to three strips on each page which include a photo and a short sentence. There are 36 books in total that are classics and the rest were made for newspapers which makes them very short.
Every book is different since it has a different storyline and is therefore readable for all ages. For example if you want to give a child a fun book to read Garfield is appropriate for them and it also might teach them something, although it depends what kind of child you give this book to since Garfield likes to talk back to his owner and is very lazy which you don't want your child to do. This book is also fun for adults since it's funny and has references of jokes only adults will understand. Overall, the book is easy to read since its mostly pictures and very little text.
The book I'll be writing about is Garfield on a diet. In this book Garfield is faced with a big challenge being he has eaten too much and has gained a lot of weight. Since he is a lazy cat he doesn't care about it, but his owner Jon does since he doesn't want Garfield to get sick and die. Jon decides to put him on a diet, but Garfield doesn't care and keeps eating lasagna, pizzas and whatever else he wants. He also tells him to start exercising by going on walks since he is a cat and is unable to have a gym membership (unfortunately since it would be very beneficial for him). Garfield is forced to give it a go, but then… guess you’ll have to read to find out.
In my opinion this is a good comic book for anyone. Since each book has a different storyline it's unique. Some other titles of the books are; Garfield belly laughs, Garfield rolls on, Garfield easy as pie, Garfield dishes it out, Garfield cooks up trouble.
I would recommend these book to anyone who is bored of reading books in general and wants to feel good about themselves, since it does give you a great amount of serotonin after reading the whole book in ten minutes. The best thing about it is that after some time when you read all/ most of the books from the collection you get bored of Garfield and his life and you're soon back on track with your normal book reading, with books that have pages filled with words.
By Uma in Year 10, reflecting on her childhood favourite book
1984 by George Orwell
1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell in the late 1940s, detailing the life of a man living under a totalitarian regime in a world separated into a handful of nations. Constant war and poor living conditions as well as a complete control of information plague the lives of those living in Oceania, a massive state controlling much of the western hemisphere, including Britain, now known as Airstrip one, where the story takes place. The main protagonist is known as Winston Smith, presented by Orwell as a middle aged man not entirely convinced by the propaganda given out by “the party”.
In the novel Orwell describes the frightening ways in which “the party” and “big brother” control the population, through advanced surveillance technology, as well as manipulation of language and history. Orwell takes lots of inspiration from totalitarian regimes at the time, including creating his own version of the Nazi youth in the book as well as people being “unpersoned”; meaning removed from history, like those in Stalin’s USSR. Orwell did not only use techniques that were already well known amongst totalitarian regimes, he also predicted the advancement of surveillance technology, when he wrote about telescreens, which constantly watch and listen to their owners.
The story itself follows Winston’s affair with another fellow party member and his other numerous rebellions against the party, explaining along the way the ideologies of the party as well as the caste system, which plays an important role in the book. The book is full of suspense and mystery as well as an interesting exploration into life under a totalitarian regime; acting as a warning to others that privacy and right to knowledge is key in order to live a happy life. The popularity of the book comes from its relevance in today's life, where knowledge is distorted and privacy has been abandoned, thus making it a must read for anyone living in the 21st century.
By Anže, Year 11a