SpineOut : October 2014
Richard, Year 10 St Edmund’’s School Wahroonga NSW Shiverton Hall: The Creeper Emerald Fennel This book is the second in a series. It is mostly set in Shiverton Hall which is a school. The main character, Arthur Bannister, is back with his friends, Penny, Xanthe and George. Over the holidays Arthur has been warned not to return to his school and strange things happen when he goes back. On the first day back he finds out about a local boy who has gone missing. Arthur and friends try to solve the mystery. What I liked about this book was the suspense and the dark humour. For example, a typewriter that writes a novel for a famous writer then demands payment, which turns out to be his life. What I liked less was that it got rather confusing with the number of scenes and characters. I think it might have been better for me to have read the first book to know more about the characters, the school and the background. Rating: AWESOME Read it! Write it! Watch it! Ellen, Age 14, St Michael’’s College Gold Coast Qld The Savage David Almond - Illustrated by Dave McKean The Savage is a graphic novel told from the point of view of Blue Baker, a boy who has just lost his father. To deal with the pain, he starts writing a graphic novel about a boy who doesn’t know any words, hunts and has no family, hence the savage. Blue is a victim of bullying and what happens in Blue’s world is reflected in the savage’s world. His family eventually learns about the book and gets Blue to read it to them. They love it as it helps to get them through the dark times. The Savage was beautifully illustrated in watercolour. The way that Blue wrote the savage’s story is interesting and the concept is intriguing. Rating: 7/10 9 Things you might not know about David Almond 1. I once held the school high-jump record – 1.5875 metres 2. I have a pet rabbit called Bill who can grunt. 3. I dream about football – and kick in my sleep! 4. I love Japanese food – except for the thing I was given once that looked like an alien’s brain. 5. My favourite place is Upper Swaledale in Yorkshire. 6. I love bikes, camping and fires. 7. My first TV appearance was as an altar boy in a televised mass when I was 11. 8. My grandfather was a bookie (he took bets on horse races). His advice? ‘Never bet.’ He also told me, ‘Never read novels. They’re all just lies.' 9. My nickname at school was Dai, and several old friends still call me that.