4 out of 4 stars
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Will of the Hill is a work of fiction for children. It was written by Marshall Cobb. The book takes the reader on a journey through the trials and tribulations of school life. It takes adults back to their school days and reminds children that they are not alone in their difficulties. Will of the Hill is a highly engaging story that introduces children to new concepts and helps them to understand that every action has a consequence. Who is in the wrong in Will of the Hill and who will suffer the consequence?
I really enjoyed this book because it was clear that the author had researched school dynamics. The characters were very relatable and all dynamics were apparent from the start. This made the story much more believable and engaging. The story provides a superb insight in to pathetic fallacy and how it shapes the mood. When Will is feeling low, it hails and as soon as he starts feeling better, the sun comes out. This introduction will help children to determine mood in other media. The book also allows children the opportunity to foreshadow. They are provided with the ability to develop creatively through being allowed to make an educated guess at the final outcome. The author has set this up perfectly. It is supported through the naming of the chapters.
As well as being an engaging tale with excellent characterisation, this story teaches children that it is better to share problems with others than to bottle them up. Will immediately felt better after telling his best friend what had been happening at school. This is a hugely positive lesson for children to learn.
Whilst I really enjoyed the twist at the end, I would have liked the ‘diabolical plan’ to have been even more diabolical. I felt as though the reader was set up to witness the cunning mind of the child at work and then little materialised. This however, certainly did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the story. I had to read this book a second time as I forgot to make any notes the first time!
I feel that this book is perfect for young readers who are gaining in confidence. The story is compelling without the need for overly complex language. However, some words and phrases provide an appropriate level of challenge for young readers. This book would also be suitable for parents to read to a younger audience. Chapters are evenly spaced, providing good stopping points. The ends of the chapters leave themselves open to discussion; I found myself trying to guess what would happen next. This is a superb entry in to discussion for parents wanting to develop their child’s understanding.
I gave this book 4 out of 4 stars because as a teacher myself, I could appreciate the careful balance of a gripping tale combined with an educational experience. Children learn best when they are simply having fun and are unaware of the educational value. This book achieves this to the highest standard. There are very few grammatical mistakes in this book, making it appear professionally edited. I highly recommend this book.
Will of The Hill
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