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David Almond's writing is gorgeous, and the mood in this book and in his more recent novel, Raven Summer, is very stark and introspective and so true to early adolescence and the thoughts inside the minds of 6th graders everywhere. As disturbing as this book was, I enjoyed every minute of it, and I'm about to go running to my library's shelves for more of his writing. I would not teach this in my classroom. However, if I had to I would connect it to Frankenstein somehow. I do not see how you could teach this book without making a reference to God, and how Stephen and Frankenstein are somewhat taking over the role of God by creating a living being. TC leaves the house to avoid an argument his mother is having with her boyfriend, and Jozef sees him outside in the rain, so invites him indoors to get food, sensing that he is being neglected. Throughout the course of the book TC makes friends with Daisy, but also forms a close bond with Jozef, who is in his forties; because of this, people start to make assumptions about his motivations for hanging around with TC.

the Malabar Coast (The Alexander Clay Series Book 9) Upon the Malabar Coast (The Alexander Clay Series Book 9)

There are definite supernatural elements in this book, but they are religious elements more than the stuff of ghost stories. As a Catholic myself, I found myself sympathizing greatly with Davie and the religious aspects of his life, and I thought the depiction of 1960s Catholicism was very well done and certainly not inaccurate or overwrought, as is sometimes the case when trying to make religion appealing to secular readers. hornbeams, service trees, acacias and Turkey oaks with bristly acorn cups like little sea anemones. It was alive with squirrels, jays and wood mice, while in spring thrushes let off football rattles from the treetops, and every few summers stag beetles emerged to rear and fence and mate …“The ending, sadly, was a let down, with most of the characters (or their lives) returning to how they were at the start. I really wish her editor had worked with her on this as I was bitterly disappointed that some characters had either failed to grow or society had prevented them from doing so which left me wondering what was the point?

Clay by Melissa Harrison | Goodreads Clay by Melissa Harrison | Goodreads

Sophia is a 78-year-old widow, living in a small flat on a rundown estate. Her daughter would like her to move but she doesn’t want to leave the park where she and her husband spent many happy hours, because they shared a love of nature. She sees TC from her window, and she likes to see his love for the park, but she is concerned that he is always alone and sad. I'm from New Zealand so I like my free stuff. I feel like a failure if I fill my plate less than four times at a buffet, and at a wedding or work Christmas party it's rare to find me with fewer than two drinks in my hands at any one time. This novel being the first Goodreads freebie I've read, I was hoping it'd be a five star gem for me. Not sure how it works - if I give a bad review will I not win free books again??Jozef, is a middle-aged Polish immigrant who works in house clearances by day and in a takeaway by night; observing the small park as he mourns the farm he lost because he couldn’t deal with new EU regulations. He realises that TC is alone outside for far too long and he sees signs that he is hungry, so he tactfully offers him food and tries to he his friend. Although for many years I’d enjoyed Melissa Harrison’s nature writing, the first novel of hers which I read was “All Among the Barley” and, having enjoyed her quite brilliant story-telling in that one, I was motivated to read her debut novel … as well as any others she has already written… or will write in the future!

Polymer Clay Book for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide to

Davie and his best friend Geordie are just ordinary kids: altar boys, mediocre students, part of a gang full of mischief and rivalry. When Stephan Rose arrives, sent to live with his crazy Aunt Mary, because his father has died and his mother has gone mad, Father O’Mahoney asks that the boys befriend him. They resist, but Davie soon finds himself drawn to the strange new boy, fascinated as much with Stephan’s ability to create fantastic figures from clay as he is with Stephan’s taunting of Mouldy, the bully who’s vowed to ‘get’ Davie. Stephan has a gift, a real genius, for shaping figures that seem to live and breathe. He recognises something in Davie—some innocence, some goodness—that he can use, and begins to draw him into his plan. Together the boys create a monster from mud, a creature that not only lives but walks and obeys. Then something awful happens to Mouldy, and Davie must take action.Almond captures all the energy and awkwardness of youth. A first kiss, sneaking cigarettes, goofing around in class, growing away from a best friend—all these scenes are woven into the darker story of Stephan and Davie’s creation. Underneath it all is a childlike egoism that makes these boys feel responsible for the bad things that happen: If we wish it and it happens, then it must have happened because of us. Sometimes the we-all-love-nature theme seemed forced. I suppose I want the information shared with me to be essential to the story. Not going a bit deeper into the characters - versus the setting - left some of them with little dimension. There were hints of dimension at times but not enough. Claybook is a unique world made entirely of clay. Every inch of the environment can be shaped and molded. Everything has matter inside it, not just an outer shell. Clay can be liquid or solid, and it can be deformed and destroyed.

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