NZ Intermediate School Librarians discussion

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Books for Yr 7/8 students (2017) > When Friendship Followed Me Home / Gorilla Dawn / Girl in the Blue Coat

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message 1: by Jane (last edited Nov 12, 2016 09:02PM) (new)

Jane (janeboniface) | 123 comments When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
I loved this book that is both heart breaking and hopeful. It has been described as "Fault in Our Stars" for 12 year olds, and I think it will also appeal to fans of "Wonder" and "The Honest Truth".
Ben spent the first ten years of his childhood in a group foster home before finally being adopted and for the last two years he has been living with his new "mom". He avoids bullies after school by hanging out in the library and it is here he meets Halley whom he thinks of as the "Rainbow Girl" because of her colourful dress sense. He also adopts a stray dog and so in a short time he has made two wonderful new friends. Tragedy and loss seem to follow Ben around however and it's not long before his circumstances change. This could be a depressing story, but it contains great humour - especially in the dialogue between Ben & Halley; and there is such love, friendship and courage in the tale, that ultimately it is beautiful rather than morose. It will make you cry though!


message 2: by Jane (last edited Nov 12, 2016 11:43PM) (new)

Jane (janeboniface) | 123 comments Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis
A thought provoking and disturbing read, encompassing a number of topical real world issues, such as the use of child soldiers and child slaves in African countries like war torn Conga; the destruction of native jungle; the plight of lowland gorillas due to habitat loss; and the mining of "conflict minerals".

Chapters are told from the viewpoint of either Imara - a girl kidnapped from her family; Bobo - the son of an African Park Ranger whose job is to protect the endangered gorilla; and a baby gorilla.
They all become captives of rebel soldiers who have set up a camp in the jungle to mine Coltan, a mineral essential in mobile phones and other electronic devices.
This story ends on a positive note for the fictional Amira and Bobo, but it leaves the reader wondering and worried about the reality of what is happening in the Congo right now.


message 3: by Gillian (last edited Oct 08, 2016 04:20PM) (new)

Gillian Ross | 17 comments Jane wrote: "Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis"
Outstanding read, you might also like Heart of Danger by
Eliot Schrefer.


message 4: by Penny (new)

Penny | 25 comments Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Really gripping WW2 read, set in Holland.


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