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 favourites yourself

  1. Voice Training

    Voice Training  

    Susan Elkin chats to James Grimsey, vocal coach and Creative Director at Arts1 School of Performance, about training a voice and dispelling a few myths. The human voice is a very subtle and complex thing. And James Grimsey is utterly fascinated by it. “The more you learn about the voice and how it works the […]

  2. The Yorkshire Way

    The Yorkshire Way  

    Mark Glover speaks to Rebecca Winwood, Special Projects Producer at Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre and discovers a venue that cares deeply for its community, working closely with other initiatives to bring art to its surrounding areas. I’ve been living in the North of England for six months now having swapped the sweeping fields of the […]

  3. Theatre Rights Worldwide

    Theatre Rights Worldwide  

    Susan Elkin went to the UK offices of Theatre Rights Worldwide five floors above Regent Street to talk to TRW vice president, Drew Baker, about licensing and performing musicals. If you have written a musical – perhaps for your own students – then maybe you’d like it to have an afterlife in other schools. If […]

  4. EXHIBITION: Friendship

    EXHIBITION: Friendship  

    Two separate exhibitions this autumn have similar themes. Graham Hooper visited both and gives us his insight into the friendship and relationships, as presented through art. One academic year ends, another begins. Older colleagues retire and new staff fill their roles. Students leave school for college and leave college for work or another course. This […]

  5. Pause for thought… Never dumb down words and stories

    Pause for thought… Never dumb down words and stories  

    Susan Elkin pleads the case for writers and publishers to help stretch the vocabularies and minds of young readers. I’m going to quote it in full: “[young readers] should be bombarded with words like gamma rays, steeped in words like pot plants stood in water, pelted with them like confetti, fed on them like Alphabetti […]

  6. Coffee Break: Nick Hern

    Coffee Break: Nick Hern  

    Thirty years ago, Nick Hern launched Nick Hern Books, one of Britain’s leading publishers of plays and drama books. Susan Elkin spoke to him.   How did you get interested in drama in the first place? I did three plays at my prep school because I was told to: I played Prince Hal in Henry […]

  7. Carnegie 2018

    Carnegie 2018  

    This year’s Carnegie shortlist has been announced with schools and reading groups around the country shadowing the process and providing valuable feedback. Susan Elkin is our guide. The CILIP Carnegie Medal, awarded annually for a children’s book, is the prize that most authors writing for young people covet above all others. The judges are librarians from […]

  8. Capital gains

    Capital gains  

    For over 20 years Mousetrap Theatre Projects has helped nearly 200,000 young people experience theatre in London through trips to West End shows as well as practical drama workshops. Mark Glover finds out how the charity continues to make venues in the capital more welcoming and the challenges that teachers face when trying to book […]

  9. School’s out – time for summer school


    Susan Elkin rounds up some of this year’s options. Some are residential. Others work on a daily attendance basis. Some (such as Dorset Opera Summer School: lead to a large semi-professional scale production. Others simply present work for family and friends at the end of the week. The summer school mix available across the […]

  10. Royal Opera House Trailblazers

    Royal Opera House Trailblazers  

    If you think the Royal Opera House is all, and only, about toffs enjoying an abstruse art form in very expensive seats then you couldn’t be more wrong. Susan Elkin went along to Thurrock to find out more. The company’s very active Learning and Participation team works very hard indeed to include and develop people […]