Mortal Chaos series by Matt Dickinson

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You will remember  we had Matt Dickinson into school last term, to talk about extreme environments to Year 8. He also spoke to Year 7 about his work as an adventurer/filmmaker and writer. I think he inspired us all to realise we can do anything if we set our mind to it, to push ourselves to the limit in whatever we do and to find about the world through the books we read.

Before he came we gave ourselves a taster of his work by looking at the trailer for Mortal Chaos on Youtube:

 

Mrs Gibson read the first book in the series, Mortal Chaos and was absolutely enthralled by it, reading it almost in one sitting. She says:

A breath taking adventure story unlike anything you have ever read before!

The plotting was so clever, and extremely complicated: four seemingly separate stories (set in the Himalayas, the Home Counties, Africa and a Theme Park) which gradually intertwine as actions from one have a knock-on effect with the others. It must have taken Matt ages to work out all the twists and turns with so many characters involved. Indeed the book was not my usual cup of tea: I prefer stories that dwell on people, what makes them tick and their relationships. This story has none of that. It is entirely plot-driven so you have to imagine the characters, and what drives them, yourself. I won’t give away the ending, but the loose ends are ALL tied up, leaving you the satisfaction of being told a really good yarn.

I think you would enjoy this story, even if you are not a keen reader as the chapters are so short (only a page long) and the story moves at such a pace, you are almost gasping for breath along with the characters. And talking of character, I love the way Matt uses strong female characters. Here we have an aeroplane pilot and a mountaineer, both driven to their absolute limits of endurance. So this book will appeal to both male and female readers. “

Read more about Matt on his website

Several students wrote some comments about the day (some were lucky enough to have had lunch with Matt!)

Jack was blown away: “I was fascinated by his talk which was along the lines of a ‘Wilderness Lecture’. It made me want to push myself to the limits. I came to the talk with no intention of buying a book – famous last words! I really enjoyed spending lunchtime with him and picked up lots of tips which I have been putting into practice on the book I am currently writing. I loved it all and hope something like this will be organised again.”

Albie thought,  “The talk was amazing. I mean, he survived the worst ever recorded storm as he filmed reaching the summit”

Megan came for lunch and said, “I learnt different ways on how to focus and continue stories I write. We talked about different styles and says to write”

Alysia thought, “Lunch was really cool. It was casual and Matt was really interesting. And on a side note, the brownies were really good too!”

Imogen said, “He gave me lots of tips when I told him I wanted to be an author….I have read his book (The Everest Files) which was fantastic! It was informative about the mountain so it was easy to get a clear picture in your head. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!!”

 

Welcome back to The Reading Revolution in 2015!

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We are hoping to get this blog back on track after a break of a couple of years, with Year 8 students.

We are looking for book reviews of your favourite books, but now opening up to including a variety of formats. We will welcome video trailers, podcasts as well as the good old written review.

To start things off, the next entry will be about Matt Dickinson’s Mortal Chaos Theory series. Remember, we had him into school to talk to you all about extreme environments. So keep a lookout on this site.

CLEAN BREAK by Jacqueline Wilson

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When Em’s dad leaves her mum, Em is left with the horrible reality of a broken family that she feels is her responsibilty to put back together. 

She tries cheering everyone up by telling stories about the hand puppet dancer, but are they good enough for when she meets her favourite author?  Although it is filled with unhappy events in the middle and beginning, in the end the family is probably better off.  ‘Clean Break’ is a good read. 

It is full of all sorts of situations that so many young people could relate to and is a page turner.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes Jacqueline Wilson as this is her typical style of writing.

Anna

THE PACT by Jodi Picoult

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Jodi Picoult is an amazing writer who has written lots of exciting books.

The Pact is about two teenagers (Chris and Emily) who have grown up together and are in love.  Until one terrible night their parents get a call to the hospital to find Emily dead.  And now Chris is on trial for her murder…..

This book has a very gripping story line with underlying secrets and is hard to put down. 

It flicks from past to present so that there is never a dull moment.  A great book that is good to read.

Ebony

MY LEFT FOOT by Christy Brown

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This book is a gripping encounter of the life of a boy facing the everyday difficulties of cerebral palsy.

You can really empathize for the boy as the book progresses as he lives not an ordinary life.  The boy grows up almost unable to move; his left foot is the only thing that he can use to interact with other people.  He paints, draws, scribbles but best of all, he writes.  His inspiration for writing is Charles Dickens which is evident as his early writings use ‘out-dated’ language, but later progesses into a modern styled writer. He gets much help from many people throughout his life improving education and most of all, happiness.

I would recommend this book to anyone as it is a short yet powerful book.  Also, I would recommend it as this book changed my life; it changed the way I look at people and the world!

Mike

THE RECRUIT by Robert Muchamore

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This book was good, I normally hate reading books but I picked this one up and I couldn’t stop.

It was filled to the brim with action and punchy lines, they really kept me hooked.  I would recommend this book as it is just excellent, the only book I have enjoyed ever.  I would say personally that this book is meant for children over the age of 11 and under the age of 15.  Definitely one for the boys.

I hate to ruin the story but it has a happy ending and the good guys kill the bad guys.

Ben