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 Lesley.finlay@inkwellpress.co.uk

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

  1. The Sign of Four

    The Sign of Four  

    Susan Elkin interviews script writer Nick Lane about his adaptation of The Sign of Four for Blackeyed Theatre’s latest nationwide tour. “There are two initial challenges when you adapt a well known Victorian novel for the stage” says Nick Lane, script writer for Blackeyed Theatre’s The Sign of Four which tours nationwide from this autumn. […]

  2. Drama Matters: Does It?

    Drama Matters: Does It?  

    Drama teacher and member of the National Drama executive committee Zeena Rasheed puts forward a strong case for Drama in schools and urges you to act in its defence. So why should we keep championing Drama, as an entitlement, more joyfully, and more powerfully than ever? Why should more arts lovers, liberals, politicians, educationalists, academics, […]

  3. Book Review: Little Guides to Great Lives

    Book Review: Little Guides to Great Lives  

    Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Amelia Earhart By Isabel Thomas Published by Laurence King Publishing It is never easy to get young readers interested in biography (although I read quite a lot of it but perhaps I was an unusual child). A warm welcome then for this new series Little Guides […]

  4. Book Review: We See Everything

    Book Review: We See Everything  

    By William Sutcliffe Published by Bloomsbury This tense, uncompromising dystopic novel takes us to what’s left of London – a few years on. We meet two young men through alternating first person narratives – Lex who lives on “the strip”, the bleak remains of walled off, bombed out London. “Desperation is everywhere” he tells us. […]

  5. Book Review: Truly Wildly Deeply By Jenny McLachlan

    Book Review: Truly Wildly Deeply By Jenny McLachlan  

    Published by Bloomsbury Annie, the narrator, has cerebral palsy. She can walk short distances but uses a wheelchair for convenience. All her life she has fought – and fought hard – to be seen as Annie rather than as a disabled person. She’s feisty, very bright and good fun. The novel opens as she starts […]

  6. Book Review: TELLING THE TRUTH: HOW TO MAKE VERBATIM THEATRE By Robin Belfield

    Book Review: TELLING THE TRUTH: HOW TO MAKE VERBATIM THEATRE By Robin Belfield  

    Published by Nick Hern Books In the early 1990s, Anna Deavere Smith, an American actress and playwright raised eyebrows with two plays; 92’s Fires in the Mirror and 94’s Twilight: Los Angeles, based on riots that took place in New York (1991) and Los Angeles (1992) respectively. Deavere Smith interviewed those who were part of […]

  7. Book Review: Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries By Anthony Sher

    Book Review: Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries By Anthony Sher  

    Published by Nick Hern Books Actor Anthony Sher rose to prominence in 1984 after playing Richard III with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His performance won him the Laurence Olivier award that year, and he has since gone on to play lead roles in Macbeth, Tamburlaine and Stanley, the latter earning also earning an Olivier. Sher’s […]

  8. Book Review: Potter’s Boy by Tony Mitton

    Book Review: Potter’s Boy by Tony Mitton  

    Published by David Fickling Books I’m not usually much drawn to novels with very remote settings but this coming of age story takes us to medieval Japan and it’s a real page turner. Ryo is the son of an accomplished potter. When he meets a gentle, hugely intelligent, charismatic soldier, he decides that he wants […]

  9. Book Review: RED

    Book Review: RED  

    By Somalia Seaton Published by Nick Hern Books I was pleased when the Ink Pellet editor asked me to review Red by Somalia Seaton. The book is part of Nick Hern Book’s Platform series, plays specially commissioned by Lucy Kerbel from Tonic Theatre, a strong advocate for enhancing opportunities for young females in the theatre. […]

  10. Book Review: Orphan Monster Spy

    Book Review: Orphan Monster Spy  

    By Matt Killeen Published by Usborne Sarah, 15, is – or becomes – all three things in the title. It’s a 1940s story but Matt Killeen’s debut young adult novel breaks fresh ground. We’re accustomed to seeing Jews portrayed as supine victims and of course the images move most of us deeply. Sarah is different. […]