The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo


The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful children’s novel. It is perfect for ages ten years and over.

This is a tale simply but powerfully told. It introduces the reader to the power of music, memories and the holocaust. It is written in such a way as to inform but not to scare children into having nightmares.

Music transports us through time and space. We hear a piece of music and are immediately back somewhere in time. When that place is a concentration camp, we know why certain music is avoided as it causes great pain.

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Ellie-May And Her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham

Very Charming

Ellie-May And Her Toy Dragon, Ben by Genna Rowbotham is a very charming book for the under fives.

The story is written in rhyme with verses four lines long. There is a bouncy rhythm enabling children to join in once they have heard the tale a few times. They can anticipate the action.

All the book is beautifully illustrated. The drawings are simple but effective. Each page is packed full of detail, enabling you to talk it through with your children.

 The dragon has a friendly face that will appeal to young children.

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Socks by Beverly Clearly

For Cat Lovers Everywhere

Socks by Beverly Clearly is a delightful children’s novel for ages five years and older. More confident readers will be able to read the book themselves. Younger children will enjoy listening to the story.

The story is told from the point of view of Socks, a young kitten in need of a home. As a crazy cat lady, I found the tale particularly charming.

There were a few hair-raising moments for Socks, which as a life-long cat owner, I found easy to empathise with.

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Where The River Takes Us by Lesley Parr

Friendship & Adventure

Where The River Takes Us by Lesley Parr is a very engaging children’s novel set in the Welsh valleys in 1974.

1974 was a time of unrest in Britain with three day working weeks and regular power cuts. Times were hard for many but even harder for the leading character and his brother who had been orphaned after a car crash.

The story is told in the first person and we become intimately acquainted with the young boy. He is kind and caring, wise beyond his years. We see the need for identity, to be seen as an individual and not just the village orphan. Labels are constrictive, not giving the full picture.

There is a beautiful bond between the brothers. The older brother is trying to keep the pair of them together. At nineteen, he was forced to grow up quickly, resulting in abandonment by his mates. In order to survive, he has made some bad choices. In contrast, the lead character’s friends have drawn closer to him and are very protective.

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