The story starts off with a Grandma writing to her grandson Michael ‘Boowie’ and she gives him her diary from when she was a little girl. Her diary was set in World War 2. She and her family had to move house so that the soldiers could practise for the D-day landings. Tips, her cat, goes missing and she meets up with Adie the American soldier. Tips comes home when Adie leaves to go back to America.

In the end Bowie meets his grandma and Adie after they got married in America.

By Alex B.


IVY by Julie Hearn

Ivy is set in Victorian London, and follows the life of a girl called Ivy. Ivy is a girl whose mother and father died when she was young. She went to live with her aunt, uncle and her four cousins. In Part 1, we find out about how she was put into school by “charity wumen” and was thrown out for being “too artistically natured”. Ivy is spotted in Lambeth Market Place by Carroty Kate, who is actually a member of a gang of criminals. Ivy is taken back to “the secret place”, where she lives, behind a scary curtain, for almost three years. While at The Secret Place, Ivy helps Carroty Kate with “skinning”. This involves Ivy luring rich children into dark alleys with sweets or toys, where Carroty Kate takes their clothes and valuables, which are taken back to Fing Nolan, the Crow and the Muck Snipe. We later discover that the Crow and Carroty Kate where arrested by the police during a skin, and Ivy goes back to find her aunt and uncle’s house.

In Part 2, are introduced to Oscar Aretino Frosdick, a rich artist who lives on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, the opposite side of London to Ivy. He decides that he needs a “stunner”, a muse to model and inspire his paintings. He finds Ivy in Lambeth Market, and decides that she is perfect for the job. He sends his mother to find her and give her the job. His mother takes an instant dislike to Ivy, but gives her the job to get back in touch with his son’s good graces. While waiting to be taken to a manor house to do a painting of “Ophelia”, Ivy is locked in Oscar’s neighbour’s house by his mother’s, and is almost poisoned. She is discovered by Fing Nolan and his gang, and it is after this that she discovers that Carroty Kate is a man. She is driven to the manor house by her cousin Jared, and it is during a period of modelling that Oscar proposes to Ivy.

In Part 3, the Year Ten class of 2004 are studying pre-Raphaelite painters like Oscar. We discover that to Oscar, marriage was just a way to keep Ivy as a model.

Victorian times were much more elegant, but Ivy’s circumstances were unfortunate.

 By Charley S.


The Medici SealTHE MEDICI SEAL by Theresa Breslin

The Medici Seal is another gripping, fantastic book by the Carnegie medal-winner author, Theresa Breslin.

It begins in 1502, with a young boy fighting for his life in a treacherous river, which was taking him to his death. Then after he falls over a waterfall, the boy is saved and brought back to life by Leonardo Da Vinci. Quickly, the boy makes up a name for himself, settling on the first thing that came to mind: Matteo, because he was too afraid to tell of his past. 

Matteo had jumped into the river to escape from the murderous hands of Sandino. Matteo was a gypsy, who could do anything to survive, therefore he could steal and pick-pocket. Sandino had wanted Matteo to steal something for him, The Medici Seal, and Matteo did so, but then decided not to give it to Sandino, seeing what an awful man Sandino really was.  Matteo joins Leonardo and his friends, hoping it would take him further from Sandino but instead it only takes him closer.

The book begins with Matteo being age ten, and ends with him being eighteen. The book follows Matteo through his adolescence, revealing more of his true past as it goes on. As well as still being chased by Sandino, but for different reasons other than the seal Matteo still holds on to, Matteo gets caught up in other schemes with Leonardo and his friends.

There is murder, rape, battles and very exciting twists, especially one at the end which changes Matteo’s life forever and says a lot about his past that not even he knew about.

Although the story follows Matteo and his adventurous, thrilling life, it also says a lot about Leonardo Da Vinci, on his life and famous paintings.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It’s not really aimed at a certain crowd, I believe anyone could enjoy it, teenagers or adults. The twist and plots in it really keep you on the edge of your seat. I really like the huge one near the end, revealing lots about Matteo’s past, but you will have to read it to find out what it is.

All in all it is an extremely good book.

By Megan G.


The Boy in the Striped PyjamasTHE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is about a boy called Bruno. His dad was in the army and worked in a concentration camp in the 2nd World War. They lived on the other side of the wire fence from the concentration camp.

Bruno didn’t know anything about his dad’s job or the concentration camp. While Bruno is exploring he meets a boy, Shmuel, who lives on the other side of the fence. They secretly become good friends and go to see each other every day. One day Bruno wears striped pyjamas and climbs under the fence. He and Shmuel go exploring together but get caught up in a march and get put into a gas shower.

This book is really good but the ending is very sad.

By Shannon M.

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