Continuing with our series of reviews of the CKG shortlisted titles, today Amanda gives her verdict on Rook by Anthony McGowan, from the Carnegie list.
What the publisher says…
When Kenny and Nicky rescue a rook left for dead, Kenny is determined to keep it alive. Nicky doubts the scruffy bird will make it, but then Nicky has plenty else to worry about – a school bully, his first love, and the fact that everything is about to go very, very wrong.
What we say…
I have to admit, when I saw Rook was on The Carnegie Shortlist I was a little skeptical. It was a Barrington Stoke book and I always believed them to be much easier reads without much substance (this was of course because I hadn’t read any!)
The first two pages did put me off a little as it described the birds fighting, but as soon as Kenny and Nicky came flying onto the page I thought – I’m going to enjoy this.
I loved the way Nicky looked out for his brother and really felt his pain when he was dealing with his issues. I feel a true testament to how powerful the writing was, was me thinking – if I was at the school I would sort out those boys! And having to remind myself – its not real.
The topics were all dealt with sensitively and with realism and I would highly recommend this book to every student as it was very relatable.
Even though it was the third one about the boys it didn’t make the story incomprehensible, it simply made me want to read the earlier novels, Brock and Pike, which I now have.
One of my students in the shadowing group stated she liked it as it was realistic the way the school children were with each other but she was confused where mum was. I have suggested she reads the others.
A great read.
You can see what Anthony McGowan has to say about Rook on the Carnegie shadowing site: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=1