The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree- review from Michelle McRae on Vimeo.

There are moments in history when everything we thought we knew seems threatened. One of these moments was when Galilleo discovered that the earth revolved around the sun another was the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’. This is the backdrop for ‘The Lie Tree’, a slightly gothic murder mystery. Faith has always been a dutiful daughter but inside she craves to be a scientist and be recognised for her mind. Out of desperation her father shows her a specimen, the Lie Tree. The next day he is found dead. Faith is determined to find out who killed her father. Hardinge evokes the world beautifully and the novel resonates with complexity. It is a little slow at the beginning but persist because it is well worth it, though I would only recommend it for more competent readers.

Age recommendation: 14+

Cognitive Challenge
Enjoyability
Overall
Average

River of Ink by Helen Dennis

River of Ink- review from Michelle McRae on Vimeo.

A boy struggles out of the Thames with no memory. After nobody claims him he comes to live with Cassia and Dante. They in turn help him to find out who he is. River of Ink is a thriller in the Ludlum vein. Unfortunately it is the first book of a series and so there are many plot holes and unanswered questions. It may turn out to be the first in a really great series but for now it is just frustrating.

Age recommendation: 12+

Cognitive Challenge
Enjoyability
Overall
Average

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Never Evers- review from Michelle McRae on Vimeo.

‘Never Evers’ is a simple fun novel. It tells the story of Mouse and Jack as they meet at a school camp. Mouse is dealing with being kicked out of ballet school and Jack is trying to get the courage to kiss a girl, any girl. ‘Never Evers’ is not going to be studied in schools, but will appeal to younger teen girls.

Age recommendation: 11+

Cognitive Challenge
Enjoyability
Overall
Average

Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison

Becoming Kirrali Lewis- review from Michelle McRae on Vimeo.

‘Becoming Kirrali Lewis’ tells the story of Kirrali, an Aboriginal girl who has grown up with a white family. As Kirrali leaves her rural home to go to university she is confronted both with overt racism and activism. ‘Becoming Kirrali Lewis’ details her journey to understanding herself and her culture. Jane Harrison’s book is at times overwritten and a little lagging but the perspective of Kirrali as an outsider who is actually an insider is both compelling and illuminating.

Age recommendation: 14+

Cognitive Challenge
Enjoyability
Overall
Average