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 Real Traviata

    Book Review: The Real Traviata  

    By René Weis Published by Oxford University Press Verdi’s 1853 opera La Traviata is based on La Dame aux Camelias, an 1848 novel by Alexandre Dumas which he reworked as a play in 1852. The inspiration for all of this was a French courtesan, named Marie Duplessis who shot from poverty to luxury and refinement […]

  2. Book Review: Monsters

    Book Review: Monsters  

    By Sharon Dogmar Published by Andersen Press The exceptionally clever but emotionally immature Mary Godwin was 16 when she met and eloped with Percy Byshe Shelley. He, of course, was already married. That makes her story the perfect subject for modern teenagers who might have got as far as their A levels at the age […]

  3. Book Review: Being a Playwright – A Career Guide for Writers

    Book Review: Being a Playwright – A Career Guide for Writers  

    By Chris Foxon & George Turvey Published by Nick Hern Books Iwas delighted when this how-to book landed on my desk. I’m a writer (over 100,000 words a year). I go to the theatre to review several times a week. I’ve long thought I should somehow knit the strands of my life together and write […]

  4. Book Review: Amateur Theatre Festival

    Book Review: Amateur Theatre Festival  

    Organised by  Nick Hern Books It’s some years since I trod the boards with DAODS at the Orchard in Dartford, but I was keen to join hundreds of other theatre makers at the inaugural Amateur Theatre Festival organised by Nick Hern Books at The Questors Theatre in Ealing. The day was planned to mark 30 […]

  5. Book Review: Only The Ocean

    Book Review: Only The Ocean  

    By Natasha Carthew Published by Bloomsbury It’s quirky. It’s original. It’s lyrical. And it’s a love story. Natasha Carthew’s new novel is also pretty arresting. We’re in what is several times referred to as a “fractal world”. Pirates roam the Cornish coast where the lawless towns are rigidly socially divided, uneasy and sometimes riotous. A […]

  6. Book Review: National Youth Theatre Monologues: 75 Speeches for Auditions

    Book Review: National Youth Theatre Monologues: 75 Speeches for Auditions  

    National Youth Theatre Monologues: 75 Speeches for Auditions Edited and introduced by Michael Bryher Published by Nick Hern Books Whether you’re auditioning for a part in a show, for drama school or for entry to an organisation like National Youth Theatre it can be very difficult – given inexperience and, maybe, lack of informed up-to-date […]

  7. 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. […]

  8. 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, […]

  9. 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 […]

  10. 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. […]