Book Review

Ink Pellet’s book review section covers an eclectic selection of new fiction, teachers’ guides, audio books and classics.

Many of our reviews are written by teachers, so we have an expert eye on how texts will work in the classroom. We hope to create a useful archive of reviews so that you can use this as a reference.

If you would like to join our panel of reviewers, please join in or email the editor

We hope the section inspires you to share new fiction with your pupils or to revisit old favorites yourself.

  1. Book Review – The Flames

    Book Review – The Flames  

    by Sophie HaydockPublished by Doubleday Anyone who’s ever visited art galleries in Vienna will have “met” Egon Schiele (1890-1918) and been stopped dead in their tracks by the visceral, raw sexuality and truth of his paintings and drawings.  So who were the women who inspired and modelled for him and enabled the creation of those […]

  2. Book Review – The Crucible / Death of a Salesman / A View from the Bridge

    Book Review –  The Crucible / Death of a Salesman / A View from the Bridge  

    The Crucibleedited by Soyica Diggs Colbert Death of a Salesmanedited by Claire Conceison A View from the Bridgeedited by Julie Vatain-Corfdir Badged as “student texts” these three new Methuen Drama editions of Arthur Miller plays include extensive fore-notes. Each is effectively a study guide and play text combined. They are, however, without all that banal […]

  3. Theatre Review – Legally Blonde – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre


    Legally Blonde is the story of a young woman with frothy interests driven to apply to Harvard Law School in pursuit of the man who has just jilted her. Finding talent and brains she didn’t know she had, she excels at Harvard while remaining true to herself. And then there’s a happy ending – on […]

  4. The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse 

    The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse   

    by Mark Dawson Published by Welbeck Flame Mark Dawson (who has co-written this with Allan Boroughs) lives in Southwold which is where he sets the first in his children’s adventure series. It’s clever stuff. Overtly inspired by the Famous Five the protagonists are four gloriously modern children and a feisty dog named Sherlock. Lucy is […]

  5. Plays for Young People

    Plays for Young People  

    Published by Methuen Drama Want more drama diversity? Four plays to consider. We now live in diverse, multicultural communities and need plays which reflect that to use in drama and English lessons. That is why Pearson Edexel, the UK’s largest examining body, has spent five years committedly looking for ways of expanding the list of […]

  6. The Key in the Lock

    The Key in the Lock  

    by Beth Underdown Published by Penguin Random House This novel has been widely dubbed a homage to Daphne du Maurier. Yes, there are fires and houses and we’re in Cornwall. Beyond that I didn’t find too much similarity although it would be a good wider reading recommendation for A level students who are studying Rebecca. […]

  7. Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

    Nina: A Story of Nina Simone  

    by Traci N. Todd Published by Scribble Nina Simone was born in North Carolina and showed musical promise from babyhood, encouraged by both parents although her preacher mother did not approve of secular music. This account – which is evocatively illustrated by Christian Robinson – traces her life through classical piano lessons and the Juilliard […]

  8. Tripwrecked


    by Ross Montgomery Illustrated by Mark Beech Published by Barrington Stoke This neat, entertaining “chapter book” for Key Stage 2 is, effectively, a commentary on The Tempest. A class of children have been working on the play with a view to performing it at a festival in Italy. They’re full of both The Tempest and […]

  9. The Island of Missing Trees 

    The Island of Missing Trees   

    by Elif Shafak Published by Viking/Penguin We’re in Cyprus – or at least thinking back to how it has been there – from the point of view of a teenager in a London school in the late 2010s. Her parents had married across the Greek/Turkish divide which led to their arrival in England. Ada’s mother […]

  10. Book Review: Living the Confidence Code

    Book Review: Living the Confidence Code  

    By Katty Kay, Claire Shipman & JillEllyn Riley Published by Harper Collins This is an original and rather good idea for an affirmative, inspirational book celebrating the achievements of young girls as a way of showing what can be done by “ordinary” people once they are fired up by determination and confidence. Its 30 very […]