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OTOLI ~ "I found myself quite surprised by this book."

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" I found myself quite surprised by this book. It was a bit darker than I was expecting but in a really good way. And I loved the concept - how it makes you think about bullying and the affect it really has. The book shows multiple points of view but mainly focuses on Alice, the bullying she faces on a daily basis and her friendship with Jenny. We also learn about Kieran and his friendship with Jenny, as well as learning about Jenny's past, and the reason behind her actions. I thought the author did a great job with the characterisation. Out of all the characters I liked Alice the best. She really grew on me over the course of the novel. At the beginning I felt sorry for her but during the story you really learn how strong and kind hearted she is. Despite what she's has to deal with she still finds the courage to look outside her situation and think of others. I found the story really reflected on how bullying can not only affect how people perceive themsel

Wild Strawberries ~ "an entertaining read, and a useful addition to the literature on the evacuees"

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Most evacuee memoirs that I have read were written by people who were evacuated from London, normally fairly early in the Second World War and often from very poor neighbourhoods. This book differs from these books in just about every way! First of all the author was evacuated from Birmingham, not from London. Second he didn't leave until the Birmingham blitz had been underway for some time (and ironically was somewhat close to ending). Third, the author's parent's house in Birmingham was a modern building, complete with electricity and modern plumbing, and his school was also modern and well designed. This gives the book a different tone - the author was evacuated to a house with less modern facilities than his own, and to an overwhelmed school in an older building. He was also evacuated to a house in a hamlet near Yoxall in Staffordshire, quite close to my own home village. After a comparatively short period here, the author was diagnosed with scabies, and moved to

"Highly Recommended" - A Review by Ripperana Editor Nick Warren

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During the early 1990s, having got hold of copies of the original coverage of the case in the SUN newspaper from the library at Colindale, I professed myself an early 'Cutbushist.' In 2011 Thomas Cutbush remains a viable JTR suspect for at least three reasons, all uncovered when his Broadmoor Asylum file was released in November 2008. Firstly, he matches eye-witness descriptions: aged 22, 5ft 9.5 inches tall, eyes dark blue (very sharp), complexion dark. Secondly, his illness was ascribed to over-study, a common feature of Ripper suspects if a trifle lacking today. Finally, and most tellingly, attendants at the Asylum seem to have been assigned duties which involved spying on him. A night attendant called Bailey was listening outside Cutbush's window one night. Mr Bailey heard him say that if he had a knife suitable for the job he would rip up the attendants. Such eavesdropping confirms the long-held belief that staff at Broadmoor Asylum once suspected that they

OTOLI - A sleek addictive tale

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A review by A Cheshire Lad (Rural Cheshire, UK) As someone who has worked one-to-one with victims of serious bullying for some time, I was particularly eager to read Bryony Allen's new novel "OTOLI". Bullying is serious cancer that can affect the entirety of youngsters' lives if left untreated. It is a subject that needs to be handled seriously and sensitively. Following her razor-witted first novel "Mystery, Deceit and a School Inspector", Bryony Allen, a teacher herself, uses more of her classroom experience to venture into the "Young Adult" book sector with this polished outing. Told simultaneously from the perspectives of intertwined victims' often difficult experiences fitting in to the social jungle both inside and outside of school, "OTOLI" is bang up-to-date for her target audiences. Sleek and paced for the modern market and far from a Stephen King "Carrie"-type revenge tale, "OTOLI" takes quite an

OTOLI - Engaging, eerie and moving

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A review by A Baker In this beautifully written YA tale, Bryony Allen takes us on a journey into the lonely world of bullied teenager Alice Turner, and the solace she finds in a strange little cafe called Otoli. The waitress who works there, Jenny (who always seems to be scrubbing at something on a tabletop whenever Alice enters) offers her apparently unconditional friendship, and seems to understand the despair Alice feels at being a social outcast at school. However, Jenny's friendship is only apparently unconditional, and as the novel progresses we realise, along with Alice, that there is much more to her new-found friend than meets the eye. What I particularly loved about OTOLI is the way Bryony Allen draws the reader into Alice's world as inexorably as Alice herself is drawn into Jenny's. There's no spoiler in saying that a strong thread of the supernatural runs through the story, which Allen handles with a great subtlety and finesse which calls to mind

"In All Probability" - "The collection is very diverse. I simply loved the characters."

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A collection of short stories. I must confess, I liked this set of stories as much as the collection in "Jumble Tales". These stories are just a little bit dark in nature. That does not take away from them in the least. I found this book very enjoyable and easy to read. I really like the writing style of this author. This is a great book to sit down and read a little bit at a time. The stories are long enough to be interesting yet, short enough to read at any time. All types of different subject matter could show up at any point in any tale. Each very different from the next yet, common at the same time. I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes it is nice to change up your reading material. Steve Morris allows you to do this without losing a lively, colorful, and lovable story. The collection is very diverse. I simply loved the characters. Not everyone can have a happy ending. It keeps you guessing, for the stories do not usually end the way you predict they will. Very

Mrs D's Chapter Books - The Trees Have Hearts | The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

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About Book 1 Title: The Trees Have Hearts | Author: Mrs. D | Publication Date: March 31, 2014 | Publisher: Mrs.D. Books Publisher | Number of pages: 41 | Recommended age: 6 to 10 Summary: A Mom's Choice Award Winner The story of a young girl, left friendless because she could not speak a new language, will touch your heart. It will take your child into the imaginary world of a little girl who moved to America from a different country. Unable to speak English, the lonely girl could not find friends. She lived in an old house with a small garden, where three blooming trees and the mysterious wind became her first imaginary friends. The garden friends developed a wonderful friendship with the lonely girl, and helped her overcome her fears and worries. Through the story, they taught her how to make real friends and helped her cope with difficult moments while adapting to new surroundings. Unforgettable characters will open a beautiful imaginary world to young readers, invit