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  • helen brain - 13/100 Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
    began to drag and once I d got 2 3rds of the way through I was losing interest and becoming critical of the writing style And them Wham Bam It took off like a bat out of hell and the last section was unputtdownable I can see why it s been so successful The relationship between Edward and Bella is believable She s got into the intricacies of teenage love

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=672 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 12/100 Time Twisters: Cape of Slaves by Sam Roth
    the idea I m developing for my YA series also involves time travel back to old Cape Town I was scared I d find they d used up all my ideas and I d have to abandon my idea in case it read like plagiarism I enjoyed the book It moves fast and keeps you engrossed right to the end I think that kids in the Grade 6 8 age group will find it fascinating and I hope it gets prescribed in lots of schools What I didn t like is the use of the multiple narrators in the first person present tense I think it is very hard to manage the pace of the story when it s first person narrated and when you use the present tense it becomes particularly challenging Once you have three different main narrators it s hard to get to grips with any of them if the story is under 50 000 words Because of the speed with which the story unfolds and the fact that the book is on the shorter side at times the plot becomes confusing It didn t feel as though the action was being driven by the characters I

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=671 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 11/100 Sharp Edges by Sally Partridge
    get my head around first person narrated present tense novels I find them flat in terms of pace You need variations in the amount of description action and dialogue to build and release tension and it s so hard to do this in the present tense In The Hunger Games Collins sometimes goes back to the past tense so there isn t the relentless thud thud thud of the present

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=670 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 9/100 10/100 Hunger Games books 2 and 3
    the way the story played out because it was so evocative of the struggle for freedom here in South Africa Collins didn t downplay the cost of resistance all three teen characters were so badly damaged it seemed as though they could be lost I liked the way they were so vulnerable It made it more real and more moving I was left thinking about the psychological cost of war

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=669 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Future of Storytelling free course
    and runs for 8 weeks If you miss a couple of lectures you can make them up later It s run by the University of Potsdam and it looks very worthwhile Here s the link to copy and paste https iversity org c 6 r fba6b Next blog entry Comments Cleo on 07 January 14 Thanks so much for this link I loved the course and the experience of a

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=668 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 8/100 Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
    Morpurgo Is this the saddest book ever written Nobody does deep male emotion like Michael Morpurgo The way he writes reminds me of Elgar serious and majestic and rich In less skilled hands it could become pompous or sentimental but he gets the balance between the two perfectly After Margaret Mahy I think Michael Morpurgo is my favourite writer for children young adults What I can learn from this book

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=667 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 7/100 Justin Case by Meg Rosoff
    needs an attitude altering klap There was very little endearing about him but then he was a fifteen year old boy and in my experience that s true of all fifteen year old boys It was an intriguing book and I loved the device of showing what his toddler brother is thinking and trying to say with his limited one year old vocabulary Just before the end it seemed to

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=666 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 6/100 Divided City by Teresa Breslin
    it felt as though Breslin had an agenda she wanted to preach about and the sermon got in the way of the storyline Two teenage boys in Glasgow are caught on different sides of the Catholic Protestant divide They re brought together first by their success as players on the same football team and then when they get involved in rescuing an illegal immigrant who has been the victim of

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=665 (2016-04-24)
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