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 john@inkpellet.co.uk.

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

  1. Book Review: House of Music: Raising The Kanneh-Masons

    Book Review: House of Music: Raising The Kanneh-Masons  

    by Kadiatu Kanneh-MasonPublished by Oneworld Publications When I interviewed Sheku Kanneh-Mason for Ink Pellet in 2016 he rather disingenuously told me that his parents weren’t musicians, His mother’s memoir makes the truth clear. She and her husband Stuart both played instruments to a reasonable standard and are competent amateurs. This was why they were so […]

  2. Book Review: The Time Traveller and the Tiger

    Book Review: The Time Traveller and the Tiger  

    by Tania UnsworthPublished by Zephyr Elsie is sent to stay with her rather odd, and very old, Great Uncle John because her parents are working. She finds a tiger skin rug in his spare room and a strange plant in his greenhouse. Suddenly she is transported to India in 1946 where John, then 12, is […]

  3. Book Review: Fashion Conscious

    Book Review: Fashion Conscious  

    By Sarah Klymkiw & Kim HankinsonPublished by Egmont Books Did you know that the fashion industry accounts for more than 8% of global climate impact which is greater than all international flights and sea shipping combined? No, neither did I and – as a compulsive clothes buyer – it certainly made me stop and think. […]

  4. Book Review: Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble

    Book Review: Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble  

    Published by Bloomsbury With the subtitle “Magical Poems” this slim hard back book has a delightfully old fashioned feel of permanence about it – and it’s pleasant to hold in the hand.  Anthologist, Paul Cookson, has included a wide range of poems from Shakespeare (the witchy bit, obviously) to Benjamin Zephaniah and from Tennyson (The […]

  5. Book Review: Return to Roar

    Book Review: Return to Roar  

    By Jenny McLachlanPublished by Egmont This is a sequel to McLachlan’s earlier Land of Roar and there’s a third title in the pipeline. I read it, though, as a standalone and that works because she sets up the situation very adeptly at the beginning.  Think Peter Pan (we meet the Lost Girls) crossed with Narnia […]

  6. Book Review: The Making of Handel’s Messiah

    Book Review: The Making of Handel’s Messiah  

    The English oratorio was, it seems, born almost by accident. Handel’s Esther, the first known example of the genre, began life as a masque in a Middlesex mansion in around 1718 . It reappeared in London in 1731. These were private performances, staged and in costume. Then, in 1732 – partly because Princess Anne wanted to...

  7. The Lost Queen: The Life & Tragedy of the Prince Regent’s Daughter

    The Lost Queen: The Life & Tragedy of the Prince Regent’s Daughter  

    This book poses one of those intriguing “what if?” questions beloved of historians. Had, Princess Charlotte, the only legitimate daughter of the Prince Regent (later George IV) not died in childbirth in 1817, she would have become Queen. We would not have had Queen Victoria and the course of history would have looked quite different...

  8. Book Review: Run, Rebel

    Book Review: Run, Rebel  

    Amber has an abusive, drunken father and a terrified mother who works in a menial, low paid job. Neither of her illiterate parents speak English. An arranged marriage, like her sister’s, will be Amber’s future rather than the higher education she craves...

  9. THE ARTS IN PRIMARY EDUCATION

    THE ARTS IN PRIMARY EDUCATION  

    By Ghislaine KenyonPublished by Bloomsbury Arguably there should be a copy of this book on every Head Teacher’s desk. In 134 pages it sets out the case for primary school arts in an accessible, jargon-free way with lots of case studies. The first chapter details the reasons why the arts matter. The other five chapters […]

  10. SHAKESPEARE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR

    SHAKESPEARE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR  

    by Allie Esiri Publishedby Macmillan This is one of the best, most uplifting non-fiction books I’ve seen for many months. Following the format of her earlier A Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Poem for Every Night of the Year, Allie Esiri provides an extract of Shakespeare, preceded by a succinct, upbeat […]