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. 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 […]

  2. 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 […]

  3. 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 […]

  4. 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 […]

  5. 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. […]

  6. 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. […]

  7. Book Review: Mike

    Book Review: Mike  

    By Andrew Norriss Published by David Fickling Books This is a very strong idea for a young adult novel. For a few pages you think it’s going to be a boring homage to tennis and only likely to interest tennis fanatics, then you realise that it’s actually about mental health, life choices, families and it’s very […]

  8. BOOK REVIEW: HARD TO SWALLOW – EASY TO DIGEST

    BOOK REVIEW: HARD TO SWALLOW – EASY TO DIGEST  

    by Mark Wheeller, with Scheme of Work by Karen Latto. The opening epitomises just how personal and emotive Drama is an art form and the very topic of anorexia is approached with a caring and thoughtful mind-set – the very way every teacher delivering this play would need to approach it. Mark Wheeller is someone […]

  9. BOOK REVIEW: ARDEN PERFORMANCE EDITIONS

    BOOK REVIEW: ARDEN PERFORMANCE EDITIONS  

    by Abigail Rokison-Woodall Published by Bloomsbury Awarm welcome to the first three titles in a very useful series of new Shakespeare editions. If you need the finer points of editorial and academic debate Arden editions have long been the ones to turn to. But for actors and performers such editions can be cluttered and unfriendly. So […]

  10. BOOK REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre (But were too sloshed to ask, Dear)

    BOOK REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre (But were too sloshed to ask, Dear)  

    by West End Producer Published by Nick Hern Books Published late autumn this was definitely the best theatre book of 2017 and I suspect it will be unsurpassed this year too. Written in the same wickedly dead-pan tone as his earlier Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Acting (But were too sloshed to ask […]