Category Archives: Helen

Support the Puffin’ Puffin – Run for Cystic Fibrosis

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As many of you know, Leeds Book Club just wouldn’t work without the effervescent Helen – she runs LBC Puffins, co-hosts LBC White Swan and is up for each and every reading challenge (that orientates around books for younger people). Frankly I don’t know how she does it – she’s a tireless wonder and source of inspiration and joy.

So it comes as no surprise to find that she has taken on a new challenge and will be completing a 10km run next month to raise money for a great cause.

VISIT THE CROWDFUNDING PAGE HERE!

If you can, have a read below and send any and all support to Helen (from virtual hugs to actual pennies).

There is still 4 weeks to go before the big run! All encouragement is greatly appreciated. 

Read the rest of this entry

LBCWhiteswan review – Perks of being a wallflower

LBC White Swan

Date:  Sunday 9th of February 2014
                         Time:  6:00pm
             Address: Swan Street, Leeds

Discussing: 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky


4327066Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. -Goodreads

About the Author

Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay Everything Divided as well as a participant in the Sundance Institute’s filmmakers’ lab for his current project, Fingernails and Smooth Skin. Chbosky lives in New York. -Goodreads

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the_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_by_08brooky80-d4tch6o1 So this is a story about a boy, a ‘coming of age story’ where we follow the trials and tribulations of a teenager.

 In this case it is Charlie, who tells his story through a series of letters to a stranger. We learn all about his family and his school years. The book is a one person narrative and we never hear from any other characters point of view, just Charlie’s.

The book however does go into some interesting areas and looks at teenage relationships, drugs, sexuality, sexual abuse and mental health.  The book did get banned in America in some schools due to the subjects it covered.

The gay prejudices portrayed in the book were really well done and use of characters, creating trigger points into the story, leading to revelations such as Patrick and his relationship with Brad, and then onto Charlie and his relationship with his Aunt Helen. The group felt that Charlie and his constant crying was a bit irritating yet Patrick and his troubles, was very well depicted and Sam, the lead female seemed to be a ‘pretty’ character who showed up when needed.

Going back to the story, throughout the book its all about how Charlie sees the world, and how it lead to him discovering or rediscovering that he was abused by his Aunt Helen when he was much younger like she was by a family friend and how this leads him to be found in a catatonic state and taken to a mental hospital.

The book touches on the subject of repressed memories and feelings and trigger points, on family members and secrets, on how we want to be perceived in the world and how we treat each other. Some of the group felt the book was actually read as a mental illness and if you re-read it you could see the cracks appearing throughout the story.

 “Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there”

Overall the group agreed teenagers are exhausting, complicated and lack emotion and although the book appeared not to be well written, it did have a lot of purpose in its story, the way it was laid out in letter form, represented human thought, and lead onto  an interesting way to introduce the subjects it covered, saying that a few believed if the had read it as a teenager they may have got into it more.

Thank you for reading.

Score

7/10

*Tangents: Big debate on drugs and drug use Music: Niamh made Fleetwood Mac get together. Don’t argue with Niamh. Niamh is Irish, had a fight and lost a tooth???. Niamh can quote Shakespeare. 

 

For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub!
The Pub can be contacted on @WhiteSwanLeeds
And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #WSwanLBC!

OUR WRITE UPs

LBCPuffins review book 31 – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

23592175
 About the book

The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father’s journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter. . . .A beguiling tale of mystery and intrigue.

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About the Author

Frances Hardinge spent her childhood in a huge, isolated old house in a small, strange village, and the two things inspired her to write strange, magical stories from an early age. She studied English at Oxford University and now lives in Oxford, England.

Review
                      *spoilers* *spoilers**spoilers*

This latest addition to Puffins was recommended by one of the groups friend. Now, for me as soon as I saw the costa sticker, I wasn’t holding out much hope. Then life got in the way and I found myself sat in the pub on the day of the meeting finishing it off and I loved it. For some of the group the book was a slow burner. It appeared to be building up the story, not something I personally was expecting. However the book was highly rated. Although for one it didn’t seem to give as much enjoyment, struggling with the Victorian ideals, and the how late in the story the murder finally taking place and another  found the ending rushed. As for the rest of the group had points but still loved it overall.

We begin the story with Faith and her family including her Mother’s brother Miles. heading to a new home, the fictional Island of Vane off the English coast. Her father, an eminent scientist, is to join an archaeological dig there, but the turn of events will come as a shock to them all. Faith who ‘Usually she managed to fade into the background, since nobody had the attention to spare for a fourteen year old girl, with wooden features and a mud-brown plait’ is the hero of this story. Having lost many siblings mostly boys from a young age, some not lasting long after birth and only Howard to be the longest-serving so far, Faith finds herself looking after him and herself most of the time, we find a strong young girl who has probably lived through events she perhaps should not have seen. The story in a sense is about Faith herself, we follow her growing up, learning about her family, the secrets kept, the secrets coming out. Faith discovers after helping her father to hide a plant in a cave that, he had been hiding several secrets. This then leads onto the death of her father and how Faith comes to discover the truth. Her Father is dead and everyone is lead to believe he has committed suicide. Faith, not believing this goes in search of the truth, and with help from the ‘lie tree’ she discovers that little lies changes the course of people’s thinking. This leads to ideas being put in people’s heads and the truth being unveiled that her father had a hidden past she may not of wanted to know.

This book is a complex and rich story, another one where the adults appear to be useless and it is left to the child to outwit/accomplish things,  discovering the issues about truth and lies, values – especially Victorian ones – Sundays being days of rest and breaking convention by having a funeral on that day (also I think shopping should be banned but that’s just me, I love my Sunday’s off, gives me a chance to rest. Status being of high importance, where new things were frowned upon or things such as people being left-handed or women/females being unwed and seen out with boys/men. This book also touched on, power of convention and assumptions, revenge, reputation and family values, how we treated the dead, the use of photography and creating lies which brings us to perception and what we want to believe.

As for the characters in the book, we once again find ourselves with a strong girl character leading the way, the female characters we found were working within the restrictions and struggles of the Victorian lifestyle. The adults in the book of course are typical for the young reader, where a few seemed to be weak aka Miles and his sister myrtle who wanted everything and to carry on her status.

Oh, and the snake int the background,one of the side characters, the snake shedding its skin seems to be  a symbolic sign with in the story, we always like the side characters.

One question I will leave you with. Do you read the blurb on the back of the book before reading it?  A few of us read the blurb and one didn’t and thoroughly enjoyed the book, what if we didn’t read about the murder would that have brought more enjoyment to the book?

So, to read the blurb or not to read the blurb, please let us know what you think.

SCORE:

 8/10

(with 1 spinal tap moment)

Thank you for reading

To find other members of the club, search on twitter for @lbcpuffins
 
And don’t hesitate to contact White Swan on @whiteswanleeds
 
Let me know your thoughts by either tweeting me @LeedsBookClub, commenting below or emailing me at lbcpuffins@gmail.com

 

LBC White Swan review – Storm Front (The Dresden Files) – Jim Butcher

LBC White Swan

Date:  Sunday 13th of March 2016
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Swan Street, Leeds

Discussing:  Storm Front  (The Dresden Files) – Book 1

JIM BUTCHER

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THE BLURB (from Amazon)

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in.

Harry is the best at what he does – and not just because he’s the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they look to him for answers. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get . . . interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed.

About the Author

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

Review 

covers_112202 Where do I begin……

Before the discussion officially started; a big debate erupted about Star Wars and spoilers; and how people spoil things in the simplest ways by being so excited that they need to spill the beans on some unsuspecting soul and have a long awaited film or book ruined before they got to see/read it*, and then we began.

I think the group was split on who was new to the series/book and who had re-read it before leaping on the fact that the main character was very annoying, egotistical, weird and his chauvinism was very off putting. Then it led onto the other characters. How the women were all depicted as socially ideal and like most of them didn’t have much depth to the character, and were therefore poorly served by the author. Whereas the supernatural folk on the other hand, were given more preferential treatment, including the lovely Faerie Toots who devoured pizza.

youre-a-harry-wizard_fb_1106890

sorry wrong Harry

However the blending of the real world and the alternative gave it the grounding it needed.  The story was told in the first person narrative, appearing to keep everyone at a distance, which was possibly a reason why people didn’t warm to Harry. Regarding how it appeared that everyone was kept at a distance – perhaps it was just because of how technology went weird around him; he just thought it safer. On a personal note – I highly recommend him earthing himself – doormats work wonders when technology is involved!

As mentioned, the book is the first in a series. A few thought that the author packed a lot into the book. However, the fact that he did not give much away about the backstory of the wizard – how he got his powers and why Morgan hates him – made (it seem) everyone want to carry on and read the rest of the series (16 books so far) .

Back to characters, and we must mention Bob, ‘Bob and Yorak, I knew them so well!Sorry, had to add that. Bob wasAn intelligent air spirit who resides inside a skull in Dresden’s sub-basement laboratory’. Or as mentioned… ‘today’s version of the internet’ This book was written over 16 years ago and sometimes we forget what wasn’t around way back when (sorry a few decades ago, how times have changed ). How Harry perhaps couldn’t work all his magic without a little help from Bob. Sometimes the sub-characters are the best, yes that goes for you Toots – you pizza eating faerie!!

imagesCarrying on from how things are changed, one person brought up the soul gazing part of the book and felt slightly uncomfortable with it, how it broke the natural flow of things. But as mentioned we must remember the time it was written, and what was going on. Society has changed a lot since then. Saying that the overall feel of the book was that it was a very light and quick read, not brilliant writing (it is a first book remember and it does get better), the whole idea of Harry being a wizard and the build up of his character as a wizard and not using must magic until the end making most of us start to cheer for him, as he shows that reading the instructions makes you a better wizard, a lesson to be learned by everyone there.

Thank you for reading

Next book 8th May- The Bees by Laline Paull

*Tangents: Liam catching spiders and killing them via the toilet-don’t go there!. underage-Were-swans??. Buffy is 19 years old. Starwars- spoilers, lead characters etc. Man with post-it notes. Terry Pratchett Books. Zombie dinosaurs. Names and identities of people, associate names with people and forget their real name. Harry Potter and prisoner of Azkaban best in series. Monogram towels.

LBCPuffins review book 06 -Black Beauty

Black Beauty

by Anna Sewell

 About the book
 2929655

A horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next. Although Anna Sewell’s classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.   Black Beauty tells the story of the horse’s own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse.  Throughout, Sewell rails – in a gentle, 19th-century way – against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty’s fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. Written in 1877

About the AuthorAnna_Sewell_Jugendbild

Anna Sewell was born in 1820 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. At the age of fourteen she injured both of her ankles in an accident, which meant that she could never walk properly again. Because of this she relied heavily on travelling in horse-drawn carriages, and it was from here that her love of horses grew. In 1871 Anna began writing a book aimed at encouraging more humane treatment of horses. Owing to her failing health the story took nearly seven years to complete but was eventually published in 1877. Sadly, Anna never got to know of the huge success of Black Beauty, her only book, as she died in 1878, five months after the book’s publication.

 

 

Review


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‘Do you think that personality and temperament are established by childhood experiences and fixed forever?.’

‘The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse named Black Beauty—beginning with his carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country.’

Black Beauty is a well know story for children about a horse who survives cruelty and hardship. Where  horses and animals can think to, they just can’t communicate like it stories of Narnia or because us humans can’t read the signs until it’s too late and nothing can be done.  As in another discussion of LBCPuffins, the book isn’t the story most of us remember. For a few members  it was first time of reading the book and some knowing the story from the film with Mark lester in. The film was made, not through talking animals but in the usual ways of humans communicating.

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”

For one member of the group this was a childhood favourite, and it was one of those reads that created mixed feelings. Through this book club we have found how as adults we read differently to what we did when we were children. How as adults we bring so much to a book when we sit down to read it when really in some cases we should read like we did as children, and just absorb the story and read it for what it is. Re-reading Black Beauty for some of us, we donut it quite depressing and not what we remembered as a child. One member was a ‘horsey child’ and loved this book for it’s nature and realised that they must have read an abridged version, not remembering all this hurt and suffering. Another felt it red like a horse manual, teaching you how to present a horse and cart or put a blanket over a horses back. Another lesson was that a horse would only drink as much water as it needed and oats and barley were high spirited food so it’s best to stick to bran mash as that gives them a glossy coat and keeps them in check. However it is a story for children and it is about animals and we are very fond of them. The group found that we were all big softies at heart and almost shed a tear when the captain (horse) and Ginger (another horse) died.

Throughout the story the animals are portrayed almost like humans except they cannot speak and the human are seen as ignorant and at one point we can see if they just looked more closely into the animals eyes it might have been able to speak to them, that’s what it shows in most of the film versions of Black Beauty. Although most film versions are not suitable for a younger audience with all the images of cruelty and war and tall handsome men cue Colin Firth in Bridget Jones. The film shows more of the cruelty to the horses of the way they were treated as cab horses, because it was the fashion to be driven around by a horse,  cue Gee Gee cars for a taxi or lead to battle in the wars, and pulling things much to heavy for them.

In the end it was still a much loved book, Black Beauty went on many adventures, met quite a few cruel people, found some amazing friends and showed us it’s quality and not quantity we need.

“My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my friends under the apple trees.”

The book  was enjoyed by the group but did bring up mixed feelings from reading it as a child, but it does have  a happy ending which for children it is a good introduction to death, however like most books of it’s time some of the  group felt the writing is brilliant but a bit preachy for some readers, one of which did not turn up for the discussion.

and I end with:

“If you in the morning
Throw minutes away,
You can’t pick them up
In the course of a day.
You may hurry and scurry,
And flurry and worry,
You’ve lost them forever,
Forever and aye.”
― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 11 – The Witches

About the book
halloweenbooks_roalddahl
 “This is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. Real witches don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Well, if you don’t know yet you’d better find out quickly-because there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them. Ronald Dahl has done it again! Winner of the 1983 Whitbread Award, the judges’ decision was unanimous: “funny, wise, deliciously disgusting, a real book for children. From the first paragraph to the last, we felt we were in the hands of a master” -Goodreads
About the Authorroald-dahl-640x360

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940’s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world’s bestselling authors. read more at Goodreads.com
See his legacy here
 
My review
*spoilers* *spoilers**spoilers*
In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black coats, and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.
‘A REAL witch is easily the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth!.’
This was and is my favourite Roald Dahl book from being a child. I only had three books of his growing up and I still adore it today. I have seen the film many times. As for the book and not reading it for so long I had to try distance myself from the film.  I loved re-reading this book.
Roald Dahl begins the story with a description on how to spot a witch, what signs to look out for:
dahl_which-one-is-the-witch
Spotting a witch : She might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don’t let that put you off. It could be part of cleverness.  I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But–here comes the big “but”–not impossible.”
We then meet the hero of the story. A small boy who lives with his Norwegian Grandmother.  His name is never given in the book, but in the film he becomes Luke. He is often known as ‘my darling’ by his Grandmother who he goes to live with after his parents are killed.
To begin with their home is in England and plan to go to Norway until the boy’s Grandmother is taken ill. They are told if they wish to travel they can only go to the English coast for a holiday. This is where all the excitement begins. After his grandmother comes to stay in England after his parents are killed the boy is told stories about witches to take their mind off their troubles. Of course at first he doesn’t believe her, until one day he is in his treehouse in the garden and encounters one. Later in the story his Grandmother becomes ill and they’re advised to go on a trip to the coast. Off they go taking the boys pet mice and arrive at a hotel. One day he goes off to explore and finds an empty room, which he thinks he can use to train his mice, it is soon to hold a meeting for the Prevention of Cruelty to children and he thinks nothing off it. He finds somewhere to hide and gets practicing. Unfortunately the group enter a little while later and he is trapped. He soon discovers that the meeting is a cover for a meeting of witches and then the adventures begin.
What I loved about this book, apart from the story, of the boy, the heroics of good against evil, and again mentioned in other reviews of Roald Dahl books was his use of language and fast pace. It’s an exciting journey, where you get swept along and then spend days after wondering if witches are real and whether they do walk about in disguise. I liked his little life lessons,  how Dahl tries to get across that people aren’t always perfect, that we come in all shapes and forms, and how he points out that as long as we do good, good things will happen.
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Again Quentin Blake creates some amazing illustrations for the book. My favourite is this of the grand High Witch, when they are in the first meeting, they’ve all took their wigs and shoes off and the Grand High Witch has taken off her ‘face’ to reveal a hideous creature underneath, and a witch chooses to question her about the grand plan and after much quarrel…. ZAAPPP!!! “A vitch who dares to say i ‘m wrong vill not be with us very long!” and the witch is reduced to ashes
Finally, I must mention something about the film, I’ve grown up with it and it’s still one of my favourites. I believe it to be very close to the book with its storytelling, although they have changed the ending slightly as they do with all films but that doesn’t spoil it. In fact it has so much from the book it always makes you want to re-read it, the adventure, the love and friendship between the boy (Luke) and his grandmother and of course the witches, perfectly portrayed.
The film
Location of hotel was the headland hotel in Newquay which I recognised on holiday one year. Here’s a piece off their website about th440px-The_Headland_Hotel_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1096186e film:91qkOSSJ4gL._SL1500_

The Witches The most famous film made on location in 1987 at the hotel is “The Witches” by Roald Dahl.

Anjelica Huston starred as the Grand High Witch and at that time her boyfriend was Jack Nicolson.  Enormous bouquets of roses would be delivered for her, and the girls on the switchboard would become very excited when he telephoned to speak to her, as there were no mobiles then.

Rowan Atkinson played the hotel manager, and he is very like Mr Bean in real life – rather eccentric. On one occasion he ran a bath and went to bed without turning the taps off. The flood reached the ground floor from his second floor bedroom and all the equipment (photocopier, electric typewriters etc) in the film’s production office in the first floor bedroom was written off. When the porter first knocked on Mr Atkinson’s door he was told to “go away, I am asleep”. The ballroom scene was filmed in the studios, the special effects of the witch combusting were deemed a bit dangerous. The mice were about the size of Spaniel dogs; they had to be large to fit in all the electronic equipment to make them work, this was before the days of computer animation. Rooms 223, 227 and 205 were used for some of the bedroom scenes. The pram pushed towards the cliff edge was the Armstrongs’ family pram which had been used for Veryan, Morwenna and George. Thousands of guests from all around the world have visited the hotel having seen the film and many wide eyed children look around for the mice.

For more information click here – The Headland Hotel

Thank you for reading

xxx

Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 10 – Fantastic Mr Fox

About the book

244280068_1381411209“In the tradition of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, this is a “garden tale” of farmer versus vermin, or vice versa. The farmers in this case are a vaguely criminal team of three stooges: “Boggis and Bunce and Bean / One fat, one short, one lean. / These horrible crooks / So different in looks / Were nonetheless equally mean.” Whatever their prowess as poultry farmers, within these pages their sole objective is the extermination of our hero–the noble, the clever, the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Our loyalties are defined from the start; after all, how could you cheer for a man named Bunce who eats his doughnuts stuffed with mashed goose livers? As one might expect, the farmers in this story come out smelling like … well, what farmers occasionally do smell like.

This early Roald Dahl adventure is great for reading aloud to three- to seven-year-olds, who will be delighted to hear that Mr. Fox keeps his family one step ahead of the obsessed farmers. When they try to dig him out, he digs faster; when they lay siege to his den, he tunnels to where the farmers least expect him–their own larders! In the end, Mr. Fox not only survives, but also helps the whole community of burrowing creatures live happily ever after. With his usual flourish, Dahl evokes a magical animal world that, as children, we always knew existed, had we only known where or how to look for it.” – Amazon.co.uk

img_mr_foxAbout the Authorroald-dahl-640x360

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940’s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world’s bestselling authors. read more at Goodreads.com
My review
*spoilers* *spoilers**spoilers*
 
Opening line:
“Down in the valley there were three farms. The owners of these farms had done well. They were rich men. They were also nasty men. All three of them were about as nasty and mean as any men you could meet. Their names were
Farmer Boggis, Farmer Bunce and Farmer Bean.”
Roald-Dahl---Fantastic-Mr-Fox44 Since I started these challenges and running LBCPuffins, I do wonder why a book is a certain length and why as adults certain fiction books have to have so much information in it to tell a story. Obviously a kids book couldn’t necessarily be 300 pages long, the child would get bored, but why can’t we have short to the point fiction books for adults like fantastic mr fox is?
These days I wonder if books are just written for the purpose that  it might be turned into a film one day, rather than it just being a book and the words never leaping to screen. Books provide us with small or large worlds which we can absorb ourselves in and escape from our daily chores.
Boggis, Bunce, and Bean one fat, one short, one lean. Those horrible crooks so different in looks are nonetheless equally mean.
FinalillustrationFantasticMrFox800
I read this book in one sitting and loved every minute. I may have read this when I was younger as it seemed so  familiar but it could also be Dahl’s style of writing that makes me believe that.  We begin this story with three farmers who all very rich and have very different personalities, however they are all outwitted by the marvelous Fantastci Mr Fox and plot to get rid of him.
One day the farmers decide that they will sit outside the hole of the 1010575-_28fantastic Mr Fox and finish him once and for all. Of course Mr Fox is quite cunning and after finding the farmers digging down into their home the foxes start off on an adventure to save their skins and tiumph over the famers once and for all.
When I researched this book, there was a lot of questions asked about the moral of stealing. I was slightly shocked and the depth in which some of the articles had about this book. Surely it’s a children’s book to be loved and enjoyed.
“We can do it! You see if we can’t! So can you!” – The Small Foxes
I thought it showed teamwork and friendship and how different animals pulled together to beat their mutual enemy the farmers. The feast at the end was such a lovely picture, again illustrated by Quentin Blake, the black and white ink drawings hold as much suspense and Rolad Dahl’s writing. Another lovely marriage.
This book should be loved and enjoyed as a children’s book, a one to read to the little ones before bed. Not as something that is seen to teach them bad ways like some suggest. I recommend whther you have children or not to grab a copy and cheer on Fantastic Mr Fox as it one of the most fun reads I have had in ages.

LBCWhiteswan @whiteswanleeds on July 12th – Good Omens

12th July  2015

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

12067at The White Swan in Leeds City Centre starting at 6pm

bda65-whiteswan

Swan Street
Leeds
LS1 6LG


0113 242 0187


info@whiteswanleeds.co.uk

What’s your favourite fictional food?

From Willy Wonka’s ever lasting gobstopper to Mr Twit’s wiggly spaghetti or even Turkish delight from the Lion Witch and the wardrobe. what is your all time favourite fictional food? Answer below or tweet to @lbcpuffins on twitter

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LBCDystopia’s next read on 22nd July @crowdoffavours – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

A date for your diary!

LBCDystopia’s next read on 22nd July

starting from 6:30pmneverletmego1

Never Let Me Go

see goodreads for more information – here
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