Skip to main content

"The Storyteller" Book Review

"The Storyteller" Book Cover
The Storyteller by Chris Trotter
"It's just another summer holiday at the caravan park, and thirteen-year-old Jamie is feeling unloved,
unwanted and thoroughly confused. With a recovering alcoholic mother, unresponsive sister Lauren,
and aggressive father, he has little to celebrate.
But at the park's funfair, a hidden secret comes to light which will change his and Lauren's lives forever.
Reeling from this disclosure, Jamie stumbles into a never-explored area of the park. Here he meets a gypsy whose gift in storytelling might give him the insight to support his  sister when she most needs it and help the teenager make sense of his life. Or is that lives?
In this innovative first novel by Chris Trotter, The Storyteller explores the poignancy of friendship and love, and how in the cycle of life, there may be more than one chance to make things right. Using a unique blend of traditional fiction and fantasy, Chris Trotter interweaves two tales to an uplifting conclusion."

4 Stars

My sisters bought this book from the author who was leading a tour in Edinburgh. I found it lying on one of our many bookshelves and decided to give it a go.

I found this book to be one of those that stays with you over weeks and months. There is a lot to offer from it, both from a literary point of view, and in moral terms. Feelings and emotions of the characters are made explicit through the writing right from the start and we feel their pain as the story progresses. While some of the issues that this book explores are challenging, it is a worthwhile story to read if you work with young people. I would also recommend this book to teenagers, too, but I wouldn't read it to my primary aged class as it isn't really suitable.

I was left wondering about the gypsy who tells the story. I couldn't help but wonder if there was much more to this character than meets the eye, perhaps even something supernatural. This would be in stark contrast to the setting of the caravan park which is the most mundane setting possible. I like that the author leads you to make up your own mind about the gypsy. It gives the reader some creativity to explore their own theories.

Occassionally, I found the jumping between the "real-life" and the "story" a little confusing and, when I had just got comfortable with one setting, it switched to the other.

Nevertheless, I would certainly recommend this challenging and thought-provoking book. A worthwhile read!

Find the book here.


Popular posts from this blog

Teaching Tips from 'Harry Potter'

When I was at primary school, I liked Harry Potter. I wasn't really crazy about it like some of my classmates were, but I liked it. My sister and I used to act out what we thought should happen (not all the books had been released at this point) and we got parts of it startlingly correct. I've got lots of happy memories of playing in the bedroom or in the garden.

Now I'm a teacher, I am beginning to appreciate the series more and more as I see my pupils encouraged to read the books having enjoyed the films so much. We recently dressed up for World Book Day and (aside from myself - a proud Hufflepuff) there were plenty of Harrys and Hermiones.

But aside from being a great story for adults and children, the series can also give teachers some great tips. I recently sent a Harry Potter clip to a teacher friend to cheer her up, declaring that it was classic active learning!

(Active learning is one of those buzzwords that educationalists love. And it's a great teaching meth…

"First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts" Lesson Plan

Here is the first lesson plan I'm posting on this blog! Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

"First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts" by Lari Don

The Curriculum Experience and Outcome for this lesson is:

Inspired by a range of stimuli, and working on my own and/or with others, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through musical activities. EXA 0-18a / EXA 1-18a / EXA 2-18a

For each topic, I try and do a composition lesson. The class have to create a piece of music in their group that is inspired by their topic. Why not do this with a book too?

Learning Intention:
To understand how to work in a group and create music for a book.

Success Criteria:
I can use my body to make 4 different sounds.I can talk about my feelings towards the book.I can listen to others in my group.I can create a 1 minute piece of music about the book.

Talk about different ways you can make sound with your body (clapping, clicking, vocalising, stamping) a…

"The Cunning Woman's Cup"

"When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice who is affected. Her friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, as well as Alice's family, friends and neighbours are all touched. 

Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them. Both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation.

All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo. This harrowing story reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath that compost heap."

Amazon tells me…