Year 7 Book talk
The Iron Trial is always a big hit with my Year 7 classes. We never seem to have enough books on the shelves to cater for need after giving this book talk.
This is my book talk for The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, also found on the review page for this book.
Read prologue at the beginning of the book to the end.
Call grows up not knowing the special skills of his parents. His father has taught him to avoid magic at all times and when the time comes to sit for the tests for admittance to the Magisterium school, Cal must fail. And fail he does, at all levels, but he is made to go, and for a very good reason.
This is the first book in a gripping series.
I also have a display of books similar to The Iron Trial for students to access. Although there are many other books I could include in the list, these are some of the books we have on our shelves.
- The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig
- The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
- Eragon by Christopher Paolini
- The Tapestry by Henry N. Neff
- Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
- Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis
- The Shadow Thief by Alexandra Adornetto
- The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Year 8 book talk
While many boys read dystopian fiction, many do not know what the genre means. So this book talk is about dystopian fiction, featuring one of my all-time favourites Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery.
As the book talks with Year 8 involve more complicated story lines and, at time issues, this is a good opportunity to talk about putting a book down if the content becomes too much. My own sons would stop reading books if they felt uncomfortable with the content. I always encourage my students to do the same.
As there is a little swearing in Cell 7, I take this opportunity to talk about swearing in YA books. I tell the boys there are two types of books with swearing. Type 1 has swearing in context and often I do not notice it after I have read it. It is not offensive and makes complete sense being there. Type 2 is where the author thinks it is necessary to have swearing in YA books, and it is often out of context and false. I also say that these types of books are usually not well written, and so would not be chosen for our library!
Martha Honeydew is jailed, in a system where the public vote whether someone is guilty or innocent. There is no judge and jury, this is the Seven Days of Justice law where criminals are placed in a different cell each day, beginning with cell 1, and when they get to cell 7 the public vote to decide their fate. There is a 24-hour social media presence and a nightly television show commentating the process. Martha is portrayed as a cold hearted killer of a loved celebrity. But Jackson Paige was not loved by all.
Martha is allowed one visitor, Eve Stanton, her designated counsellor. It is not easy for Martha to trust Eve, and not easy for Eve to have the time, and privacy, needed.
Read from paragraph 11, page 11 ‘Eve pushes the box of tissues…’ to page 14, paragraph 7 ‘Too shocked, Eve doesn’t move’.
Did Martha kill Jackson Paige? Why did she say he was a liar, if everyone loved him? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Before each class I whip around the shelves, taking off dystopian novels to offer to the boys. Our multiple copies of Cell 7 do not last long on the shelves, so it is always good to have back-ups!
- Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
- Admission by Barry Jonsberg
- Unwind by Neal Shusterman
- The Disappearance of Ember Crowby Ambelin Kwaymullina
- Breathe by Sarah Crossan
- How to Bee by Bren MacDibble
- The Road to Winter by Mark Smith
- Jump by Sean Williams (Bk 1 in the Twinmaker series)
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
- The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble
- After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson
- Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
- The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
- Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
- Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness
- Gone series by Michael Grant
- The Maze Runner series by James Dashner