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: King Lear in Brooklyn by Michael Pennington

    Book Review: King Lear in Brooklyn by Michael Pennington  

    Published by Oberon Books In 2014 actor and author Michael Pennington arrives in New York to play the title role in King Lear directed by Arin Arbus for the company Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA). Two years later finds him in the UK about to tour as Lear in a different production directed by […]

  2. Book Review: Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jane Ray

    Book Review: Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jane Ray  

    Published by Orchard Likely to work for anyone aged over about 8 or 9, this exquisite succinct historical novel brings together several arts so it should be perfect for Ink Pellet readers and their pupils and students. Heartsong explores the life of a mute musician, an orphan at the famous Ospedale della Pieta in early […]

  3. Book Review: BU21 by Stuart Slade

    Book Review: BU21 by Stuart Slade  

    Published by Nick Hern Books BU21 by Stuart Slade is the touchingly topical story of six people of all different backgrounds and ways of life and how a single tragic event on Friday the 22nd July 2016 brought them all together. In writing BU21 (which is also the name of the airliner that is shot […]

  4. Book Review: Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation by David Crystal

    Book Review: Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation by David Crystal  

    Shakespeare rhymes ‘war’ with ‘jar’, ‘scar’, ‘afar’, and ‘bar’ in various plays and poems. Never does he rhyme it with ‘more’. That, of course, is because pronunciation changes continually (listen to 1940s radio broadcasts for evidence if you need it) and Shakespeare has been dead for 400 years. And, obviously, it was far from fixed […]

  5. Book Review: Much ado about Shakespeare Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley

    Book Review: Much ado about Shakespeare Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley  

    Book Review of Much ado about Shakespeare, written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley.

  6. Book Review: The Blackthorn Key By Kevin Sands

    Book Review: The Blackthorn Key By Kevin Sands  

    Book Review of The Blackthorn Key By Kevin Sands. Set in London in the 1660s, the story revolves around Christopher Rowe, the apprentice to a Master Apothecary named Benedict Blackthorn. Christopher is eager to learn and please his benefactor. Blackthorn, recognizing his young student’s potential, teaches him everything from chemistry and Latin to church history and cryptography. It’s well that he does, as Christopher will need all his wits and knowledge to solve the mystery of the murdered apothecaries happening around him.

  7. Book Review: On Shakespeare’s Sonnets – A Poets’ Celebration

    Book Review: On Shakespeare’s Sonnets – A Poets’ Celebration  

    Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets are some of the loveliest and best known poems in English. And as Mr Shakespeare knew they would (“my verse shall stand” – Sonnet 60) they have more than stood the test of time since they were first published in 1609.

  8. Book Review: Wild Lily

    Book Review: Wild Lily  

    This new novel from the veteran author, KM Peyton takes us right back to Flambards territory – and the series of young adult novels which, from 1967, later spawned a television series and an amusement park in Cornwall.

  9. Book Review: Facing the Fear – an actor’s guide to overcoming stage fright

    Book Review: Facing the Fear – an actor’s guide to overcoming stage fright  

    Insightful, empowering and reassuring, Facing the Fear is a book for any actor – for those who are experiencing or have previously suffered from stage fright, as well as for those who want to be fully prepared just in case that day ever comes!

  10. BOOK REVIEW: The Oberon Book of Comic Monologues for Women, Volume 2

    BOOK REVIEW: The Oberon Book of Comic Monologues for Women, Volume 2  

    By Katy Wix Published by Oberon Books Regularly seen showcasing her comic talents on our small screens, this second volume of short comic monologues from Katy Wix offers a wonderful collection of witty, original audition speeches or showcase pieces. Although essentially written for women, many of these can be applied/adapted for male performers too. Each […]