wolf hollow review by mrs piper

A lovely review from our Data Manager here at FUS! – Admin.

This is a quiet, gentle book with some big issues and a complex ending. The book is set in the 1940s. Annabelle lives with her family in rural Pennsylvania. A new girl, Betty, arrives in the area and Annabelle becomes a victim of her bullying. She stands up for herself, but in doing so, she shifts Betty’s focus to Toby, a reclusive war veteran.

The book deals with bullying, the effects of war, and how we see and judge people. In its evocatively-described setting and characters, it is reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird. I enjoyed this very much, and while FUS students may find it a little ‘young’, there are themes and issues here that we can all relate to.



salt to the sea review by mrs alderman

Our first review from a member of staff! It’s very exciting to see everyone reading! – Admin.

I read this book in 2 days. It was easy to read and I really enjoyed it. It gave a different perspective on the 2nd world war. It is a story of survival (based on facts) and I love anything about the sea/ travelling!


beck review by katy miller

Wow that was quick! We only got the books on Friday and we ALREADY have a fabulous review of Beck by Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff – Admin

I found this novel really fascinating; it is written by one of my favourite authors Meg Rosoff who wrote ‘How I live now’ which is so brilliant (and is also up there with one of the best film adaptions) and Mal Peet who sadly died (it is worth reading the afterword of the book about the two – it made me cry).

Although this book included some quite disturbing themes that are quite hard to read and think about– such as the Catholic Church scandals in some detail, I actually found this book really inspiring and quite uplifting – something I wasn’t suspecting. I was tempted to put this book down at about 40 pages in because the subjects were quite difficult for me and they understandably made me feel quite uncomfortable, but I was brave and carried on reading – which was the right thing to do!! It developed into this remarkable piece of work which instead of making me feel anxious like it did at the beginning, began to make me feel really calm.

In the book we learn about a boy called Beck who endures so much pain in his life predominantly due to the colour of his skin. We see his character grow in age and emotionally, battling the hardships of life in different places around the world, trying to find something better than what he had experienced prior in his life. We see his journey, which I felt like I almost became a part of.

I just loved it! I don’t know whether it was the gorgeous choice of words the authors’ chose, or the tragic but beautiful plot of finding love and home that made me feel refreshed, but it does honestly put life in perspective for a little while.

The one thing that I didn’t particularly like though was the use of swearing. I have nothing against using swear words in writing, they usually add more emotion to the book, but in this case I feel like it did the opposite. Reading some of the lines which included this type of language made me wince, I genuinely cringed at some of it because a lot of the time it wasn’t even necessary – it may be a statement or a reflection of life in the 1920’s/30’s, or character or race/culture, but even so I am not a fan.

But besides this criticism, this book is fantastic, truly eye opening…the ending in particular! I read this in two days – I didn’t really put it down all weekend and I’m so glad.




the books are here!!

the books for the carnegie awards are here, exciting, huh?

they are as follows:

  • Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys
  • Railhead – Philip Reeve
  • Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk
  • The Bone Sparrow – Zena Fraillon
  • The Stars at Oktober Bend – Glenda Millard
  • Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses – Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  • Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth – Frank Cottrell Boyce

if you are interested in giving a review, or a rating out of 10 or if you just want to read them, come to the study centre and sign up; we have plenty of copies up for grabs!