Review by Wyland -- A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

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Wyland
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Review by Wyland -- A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

Post by Wyland » 11 Jun 2019, 21:42

[Following is a volunteer review of "A Bloody Book" by Chris Bowen.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The kids in the “Reading Hell” class are an angry lot. And nowhere is this clearly reflected than in the way they think of their teachers. For starters, they think teachers, like all adults, don’t know how to communicate, and won’t keep quiet either, as they hate silence. As a matter of fact, if they can help it, the kids would delay answering their teachers’ questions, just to infuriate them. However, what really irks the kids the most is that, if knowledge is power, then, by virtue of them being in the Reading Hell class, they’re at the bottom of the pecking order.

A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen features a lead character by the name of Maxx. He’s just starting on his teenage years, and a striking feature about him is his aggressive communication style and anger issues, something that is clearly visible on his choice of the book title.

Moreover, I liked the fact that Bowen has broached the theme of brokenness quite well. Indeed, this is the common thread linking all the children in Reading Hell—a term coined by Maxx to describe a class of below average students—together. Unfortunately, the teachers and the school administration, on the other hand, pay no more than a cursory glance at the plight of these children, something that sets them up to a life of providing “slave labor for the kids in other rooms.” Not unless, that is, someone, anyone, in authority is willing to cast off their buttoned-up attitude and come to the aid of these students.

Furthermore, in my reading, I was endeared by the fact that the author was in perception quite well with his matter at hand. He proved that, if anyone was to be in touch with these kids, then, he had to talk like them, act like them, and wear an outfit relatable to them. Apparently, how “stupid” a teacher looked in terms of their dressing, and still appear they cared less about it, scored marks with the students. Additionally, some of the role plays involving, for example, severed fingers and “going back to the scene of crime,” seemed to work up memory and ease off the stand-off between the teacher and the students.

Bowen’s tone is aggressive and angry, like someone who has endured the mistreatment and injustice he talks about. Moreover, he offers plenty of wry humor, occasionally, with his statements, like “I assure you. It will be a bloody book. Scout’s Honor.”

On the contrary, on the other side of the scale, there a lot of issues (captured ten errors) with editing (like the preceding example, where the sentence is fragmented) that need to be addressed. While I won’t penalize for the slang (writing style) phrases, there were instances where it was clear the author intended one word, but he erroneously used another: “why” instead of “way,” or “if” instead of “it.” Additionally, one sentence contained an erroneous capitalized word and two sentences had wrong punctuation marks. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading the book because the themes explored are pertinent in our contemporary society, and the conflict created was resolved amicably. I, therefore, rate the book 3 out of 4 stars.

I recommend the book to high school students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. There is an allusion and acts of violence and drug abuse but not enough to distract sensitive readers. More importantly, though, the lessons learned are worth every effort in looking for and reading the novel.

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A Bloody Book
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Post by juliusotieno02 » 14 Jun 2019, 03:47

Sounds like someone just spoke for the children with bellow average performance in class. I really would like to read the book and comprehend the author's arguments. Anyway your review was good, it made me so curious. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Niski » 14 Jun 2019, 05:17

I hope the author sorts out the editing issues. This is such a great premise, it's a shame it's editing is not up to scratch.

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Post by Wyland » 14 Jun 2019, 07:33

juliusotieno02 wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 03:47
Sounds like someone just spoke for the children with bellow average performance in class. I really would like to read the book and comprehend the author's arguments. Anyway your review was good, it made me so curious. Thanks for the review.
Yes thy did, juliusotieno02 and it was timely. Thanks for your kind comments!

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Post by Nisha Ward » 14 Jun 2019, 07:34

There are often underlying issues for most kids with below average scores. I'd be interested in seeing if and how much of this that Bowen highlights.
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Post by Wyland » 14 Jun 2019, 07:35

Niski wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 05:17
I hope the author sorts out the editing issues. This is such a great premise, it's a shame it's editing is not up to scratch.
Yes I agree. The topic is so valid in a society that is increasingly marginalizing some groups. Thanks for your kind comments.

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Post by Wyland » 14 Jun 2019, 07:37

Nisha Ward wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 07:34
There are often underlying issues for most kids with below average scores. I'd be interested in seeing if and how much of this that Bowen highlights.
I encourage you to. Bowen seems to speak from an insider point of view. Thanks for your kind comments!

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Post by Prisallen » 14 Jun 2019, 14:38

Unfortunately, some kids do get left behind in school, and it does set up a future for them that is less than optimal unless someone steps in to change their course. I hope the author gets the errors fixed soon. Thanks for a very nice review!

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Post by CommMayo » 16 Jun 2019, 11:15

Sounds like this book perfectly highlights how broken many school systems are and how tradition thoughts about education are leaving students behind.

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Post by Bluebird03 » 16 Jun 2019, 14:15

I'm glad that issues were resolved amicably and that there are valuable lessons learned with this novel. That alone often adds to the appeal of a book to me. Great review!

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Post by Kibetious » 17 Jun 2019, 03:27

I appreciate that the lessons contained in the book are worth every effort. Thanks for your thorough review and I hope the highlighted errors will be corrected.
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Post by Wyland » 17 Jun 2019, 08:48

Nisha Ward wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 07:34
There are often underlying issues for most kids with below average scores. I'd be interested in seeing if and how much of this that Bowen highlights.
Bowen is quite upfront with his views. I encourage you to check the book out. Thanks for your kind comments.

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Post by Wyland » 17 Jun 2019, 08:50

Prisallen wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 14:38
Unfortunately, some kids do get left behind in school, and it does set up a future for them that is less than optimal unless someone steps in to change their course. I hope the author gets the errors fixed soon. Thanks for a very nice review!
Quite unfortunate on the kids who get left behind academically by their peers. I think it's a failure by the support structure. Thanks for your insightful views.

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Post by Wyland » 17 Jun 2019, 08:52

CommMayo wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 11:15
Sounds like this book perfectly highlights how broken many school systems are and how tradition thoughts about education are leaving students behind.
Yes, I felt its a discussion that should happen more frequently an urgently among the various stakeholders, as we are talking about the future of kids here. Thanks for your kind comments.

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Post by Wyland » 17 Jun 2019, 08:53

Bluebird03 wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 14:15
I'm glad that issues were resolved amicably and that there are valuable lessons learned with this novel. That alone often adds to the appeal of a book to me. Great review!
Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I agree with you on the positive impact the book has.

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