Review by OrlaCarty -- A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

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OrlaCarty
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Latest Review: A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

Review by OrlaCarty -- A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

Post by OrlaCarty » 06 Aug 2018, 10:47

[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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Maxx is in Reading Hell. Along with the rest of the ‘hopeless’ kids in school, he’s been sentenced to the classroom that most teachers prefer to avoid. Each kid has a problem that has brought them there, but not all of them are to do with their learning. Maxx is one of these kids. Who can read well if their stomach is rumbling all day? Who can join in a class baking session if their parents would beat them for requesting their designated ingredient?

A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen is an in-depth look into the life of an abused child. It focuses largely on the educational impacts of the neglection. In some ways it could nearly be a guidebook for teachers and how they should treat children who are having difficulties. Bowen’s own background as an educator allows him to provide these insights through Maxx. Often teachers treat the children in the class in ways that push their confidence lower and increase their problems, rather than helping them, and this is exhibited throughout Maxx’s narrative.

The novel reads as a stream of consciousness. Maxx relays his life in fragments, dipping in and out of different moments so that the reader can put together his past for themselves. Although it is fiction, it could certainly be mistaken for an autobiography, with a realistic tone. As the subject matter is quite sensitive, this style is a clever choice. Maxx’s descriptions don’t focus on the fact that he is being abused, as it is all he has really known. At times it is blatant but at others it can only be read between the lines and this really makes the book the heart-breaking piece that it is.

As the content is so difficult, I would recommend it only to mature teenagers from the age of fourteen and up. I would question the book’s status as a young adult novel, as I feel adults may benefit from it even more than these teens. In contrast, I would recommend that anyone suffering from depression consider avoiding this book instead, as its contents are very bleak. Those with a past of trauma may find it helpful, or may find it to be a negative experience, so I would also warn that this content is difficult and should be approached with caution.

Although I loved the book, the text had several errors, and this really took away from my enjoyment. Many of these were included as they were part of Maxx’s vocabulary, but I also found some that appeared to be accidental. There were nine of these that I counted, so in such a short book (you could read it in one sitting), this was very noticeable.

Overall, I would rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. The content is important and eye-opening. Unfortunately, the grammatical errors prevent me from giving it a higher score.

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A Bloody Book
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Fuzaila
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Post by Fuzaila » 11 Aug 2018, 10:54

Amazing review! I agree, sometimes a narrative including severe traumatic experiences would be of more use to adults rather than teens. Thank you for your review :) It has definitely increased my interest in the book.
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Post by Eryn Bradshaw » 12 Aug 2018, 14:30

I considered reading this one but never did pick it up. I don't think I will after reading your review. I'm not opposed to reading about hardships like child abuse, but it's definitely not my first choice. Thank you for your honest review though!
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OrlaCarty
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Latest Review: A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

Post by OrlaCarty » 19 Aug 2018, 07:48

Eryn Bradshaw wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 14:30
I considered reading this one but never did pick it up. I don't think I will after reading your review. I'm not opposed to reading about hardships like child abuse, but it's definitely not my first choice. Thank you for your honest review though!
I agree - it's my own fault, but I looked more to the YA genre label than to the content and the abuse took my a little aback. It's definitely something to consider before delving into this one.

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OrlaCarty
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Latest Review: A Bloody Book by Chris Bowen

Post by OrlaCarty » 19 Aug 2018, 07:49

Fuzaila wrote:
11 Aug 2018, 10:54
Amazing review! I agree, sometimes a narrative including severe traumatic experiences would be of more use to adults rather than teens. Thank you for your review :) It has definitely increased my interest in the book.
Particularly when it's a narrative so focused on education and how to treat kids going through those experiences. Thank you very much :)

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Post by Kibetious » 21 Aug 2018, 00:53

Such an awesome book! It is very informative indeed. Your review is also very nice and has proved helpful too. The author may have to consider doing another editing of the book to minimize the errors highlighted above. Thanks for the review.
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Post by teacherjh » 01 Sep 2018, 00:18

Wow - intense subject matter. It does sound like a valuable, if emotional, book.

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Post by Amystl26 » 04 Sep 2018, 11:23

You had me at "stream of consciousness"! I love books that read in this fashion! Albeit a sad story-line, I'm happy to see someone with insight into the problems writing about the problems from the students' point of view. I agree that teachers can push down the confidence of a child in ways they may find to be harmless but are damaging to a child's emotional growth. Thank you for this eloquently written review on a heartbreaking topic.

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Post by Dolor » 05 Sep 2018, 17:42

The story is heart-wrenching based on your review. I can't really understand a lesson from an ongoing discussion while my stomach is rumbling. I'm so sorry to hear about Maxx's fictional story. It gave me a feeling that this is somebody's memoir, too. I'd rather quit schooling rather than having teachers who are pushing my confidence lower and increasing my problems. Thanks for your candid review. I hope the author will have this book proofread when you pointed out a handful of errors.

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