Format: Paperback

Review: Here I Stand by Amnesty International

Posted June 14, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may contain content that readers find triggering..
Review: Here I Stand by Amnesty InternationalTitle: Here I Stand
Author: Amnesty International
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Walker Books
five-stars

Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Now is the time to take a stand and make a difference.

Full list of contributors: Tony Birch, John Boyne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Kate Charlesworth, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Jack Gantos, Ryan Gattis, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, AL Kennedy, Liz Kessler, Elizabeth Laird, Amy Leon, Sabrina Mahfouz, Chelsea Manning, Chibundu Onuzo, Bali Rai, Chris Riddell, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Christie Watson and Tim Wynne-Jones.

Review: How do I review a book like Here I Stand? I think anthologies are underrated first of all. I find YA anthologies particularly compelling and, to my delight, recently there are more and more of them being published.

This anthology unites numerous poets, writers and even Chelsea Manning to raise awareness about human rights issues facing young people today. There are some very upsetting stories in there; the first story by John Boyne deals with some really serious issues. I realised as I read that this was not going to necessarily be a light read. Literature matters, it’s important and it has power. If you don’t believe me, look at Harry Potter and consider the way a book about magic and boarding school looks at kindness, cruelty, discrimination and many political issues. Furthermore, it’s fascinating to see how fans engage and understand such matters and themes away from the series.

Back to Here I Stand; this was a brilliant read. It raised my awareness on a number of current human rights issues that affect and influence young people. I think this is an incredibly important release and crucially it is not preaching or didactic. I didn’t feel lectured and it made the topics real and relatable as I read.

an incredibly important release … not preaching or didactic.

The combination of poetry, prose, comic books strips, illustrations and

One of the most striking things about this anthology was that I didn’t find myself wanting to skip any of the stories or poems as I read. Some particular standout stories for me included those by Liz Kessler, John Boyne and Frances Hardinge and I also found Amy Leon’s poem Darling very good. Each story and poem offered something different and compelling which doesn’t always with anthologies.

I’m glad I read this book. While some of the stories and themes raised were more difficult and upsetting for me to read, I found it incredibly important. I would say this is a must read for readers with any interest in human rights issues going on right now.

five-stars

Review: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Review: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Review:  Since I started blogging, I keep an eye on The Bookseller book deal announcements to see what’s coming in YA. As soon I heard about Wing Jones I was intrigued and as 2016 developed and more people talked about it, that interest just piqued. Wing Jones is a beautifully written contemporary YA novel that I adored. It tells the story of Wing Jones, who’s always felt more in her football playing brother’s shadows. Then everything changes. Her brother is in an accident and in a coma. The accident killed two people and her beloved brother was drink driving. While dealing with the tragedy, Wing discovers an affinity for running she never knew. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Sometimes when a book is particularly hyped, or one you’ve anticipated keenly it never seems to meet your […]

Posted February 6, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 2 Comments
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Review: Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriot

Review: Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriot

Review: As soon as I heard about Barefoot on the Wind, I was intrigued. Beauty and the Beast was probably my favourite disney film as a very young child. Seriously, my love of this knew no bounds; I’m talking clothing, seeing the musical in London, singing all the songs, seeing it on ice… No bounds, I tell you, no bounds. As I grew older it became clear there were some parts of the story that were a little less magical. Zoe Marriott explained it really well at the recent Walker Blogger event when she said -and I’m paraphrasing here – it didn’t seem right that the Beast got rewarded for making very little change or compromise while Belle seemed to be the one making those compromises and changes. Barefoot on the Wind has been billed as a feminist Beauty and the Beast and […]

Posted October 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Blog Tour – Review: Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Blog Tour – Review: Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Review: I loved Fire and Flood last year and was eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series so was really pleased to receive a review copy from Chicken House. Fire and Flood took me by surprise last year and I remember just being so caught up in the world, but I was a little worried the magic would have worn off when it came to reading Salt and Stone. I luckily was wrong and ended up devouring the book as quickly as possible. Tella is back and a lot more kickass. She’s questioning things and really doing her very best to get through an incredibly difficult feat. I loved seeing her development and was really rooting for her. One side effect of some of the plots that necessitated this was that Guy and her relationship with him felt changed, especially at the […]

Posted April 1, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: I was lucky enough to be invited to Walker Books blogger brunch last November and had a wonderful time chatting with bloggers and publishing people, eating yummy food and hearing all about the upcoming books from Walker. One of them immediately caught my attention with its striking cover and compelling concept: Juvie. Described alongside Orange Is The New Black comparisons, Juvie tells the story of Sadie who is accidentally caught up in a drug deal. To keep her sister out of jail, and niece out of care, Sadie confesses despite being innocent. What was meant to just be a slap on the wrist turns into a six month sentence and when we meet Sadie she’s just about to start this. Juvie surprised me as I read it. It is far more about Sadie’s own journey and growth than action. The […]

Posted January 26, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 1 Comment
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Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: I had heard a lot about The Walled City and was really intrigued to read it, especially when I discovered the real-life inspiration of the city of Kowloon. The Walled City is a gripping read and one I found chilling too. Exploitation is a central theme and there is some disturbing content around Mei Yee’s character. I thought Jin was really strong and her desire to save her sister, along with the dangers she was placed in herself were well written and sympathetic. The only character who felt a little flat to me was Dai. There are some interesting developments and motivations for Dai  I thought his self-destructive and self-loathing streaks were well evoked however. I found Jin’s chapters the most compelling personally and Mei Yee’s were very emotional. I did think Dai’s plot was interesting, it was just his character […]

Posted January 16, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

Review: Boy’s Don’t Knit came into my life at just the right moment when I really needed cheering up. Told in a (slightly reluctant) diary format, Easton has the teenage voice down perfectly. Ben is a great character and you can’t help rooting for him as he unintentionally lands himself into chaotic situations. After an unfortunate accident and misunderstanding, Ben is now giving back to the community and being forced to take up a hobby and ends up in the knitting class. Suddenly he finds out that maybe knitting isn’t as bad as he thought, in fact he might actually be good at it. If only it wasn’t such an ‘uncool’ hobby. I adored this book. It’s funny, it feels very authentic and it looks at how we can tell ourselves not to do something due to a fear of being […]

Posted August 4, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Gloss – Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye

Review: Gloss – Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye

Review: I really enjoyed Gloss, the first in Marilyn Kaye’s 1960’s series, so was pleased to see there would be a second book. Gloss was a great summer read which also touched on some important issues about sexism and the workplace. Summer Scandal similarly continues to balance the fun of fashion and Sherry’s dream job at Gloss with the realities of the civil rights movement, insecurities in relationships and social attitudes of the 1960s generally. Each former intern has their own arc and story in Summer Scandal, however for me, Sherry feels like the main character and her story is incredibly interesting and important in this book. Sherry wants to write about more serious and newsworthy topics and is drawn into the civil rights movement by a colleague. Kaye writes about issues well and also the civil rights movement doesn’t feel shoehorned in […]

Posted July 8, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Review:  One of my favourite things about being a book blogger is the way it has challenged my perceptions and preconceptions of certain books. When Fire and Flood dropped through my letterbox I was intrigued due to the great write-up and press release Chicken House had supplied me with but at the same time felt it would be another dystopia and I was pretty tired of them. I decided on a whim to start Fire and Flood shortly after receiving it, especially as I was curious about Victoria Scott’s previous Dante Walker books, and very quickly was ensconced in the book. One of the most refreshing things is although aspects of it are very dystopian, it doesn’t feel like that when you read it. It begins in our ordinary world and we’re rapidly pulled into something strange and new. In […]

Posted March 10, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 2 Comments
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Review: Thirteen by Tom Hoyle

Review: Thirteen by Tom Hoyle

Review:  One of the key things that drew me into Thirteen was the cult aspect. I’m a fan of the TV show The Following (don’t judge me!) and there’s something fascinating yet truly terrifying about the way some people can compel and persuade others to join them in committing wrongs. Thirteen involves a cult that believe boys born at midnight on the millennium will signal destruction unless they die before they are fourteen. Adam is one of the boys, one of the last boys still alive. Thirteen is very plot-driven and filmic. I think younger YA readers and action fans will really enjoy the action filled plot. Adam is a likeable hero and a believable teenager. For me, I felt Thirteen had great potential as it’s fast-paced, has a good grasp of its target market and the action was compelling […]

Posted February 26, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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