Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Reviewers Needed

Hi folks, Pizza is sadly withdrawing from blogging because, frankly, he's just that age where he needs to be focusing on exams and his writing rather than the blog. It's a shame and he will be missed, he's been a huge contribution to Young & Un:Bound.
I wish him all the best for future and hope when things settle down he'll return to blogging, even if not to us here.

In the meantime this means we are now severely under par. The one drawback of using younger reviewers is frankly school is a much bigger time suck than work so the more we have the better covered we are. On the plus side we get wonderful frank reviews about books from the agegroup they are aimed at.

I would like to open up the roster, if anyone out there is under sixteen and would like to review for us here at the youth site I would be delighted to have you on board! In order to maintain anonimity, if you are under 14 I would ask that you email reviews to me and I will post them, with your blog name at the end, as I do for MJ & Zobdy. If you are happy to receive occasional books to review from me then include your postal address when you email me and I will send them out to you from time to time, dishing them out as they come in to me. Worldwide postage is no problem although it may restrict you to paperbacks.

If you are interested please email me at hagelrat (at) googlemail (dot) com with your age, user name (not real name) and any strong reading likes/dislikes (do you hate horror or love historical novels? Are you a captain underpants fan?) .
I am happy for contact to go through a parent rather than being direct and there is no specific time commitment, as and when you can is fine.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Troubadour - Mary Hoffman

Troubadour is set in Southern France in the thirteenth century. The story starts in a Lord’s castle where the Lord’s thirteen year old daughter, Elinor, is making her first appearance as Lady Elinor, a young noblewoman. Her favourite troubadour (travelling musician), Bertran, is moving on to the next town and Elinor’s parents have arranged for her to be married to a Lord in his forties so Elinor, dressed as a boy, sneaks into another troubadour’s troupe with the help of the joglars and joglaresas (minstrels). As Elinor flees, the Pope declares war and the whole of Southern France is chaos.

The story starts with a scene in the Lord’s castle but then splits off into telling what is happening to Elinor, Bertran and also the Pope and his forces. As the story goes on, and we meet more characters and groups slit up, we see what is going on in lots of different places. I enjoyed this because if it had only been following one person there wouldn’t have been nearly as much information and it wouldn’t have been very interesting.

Also, at the back of the book, there is a glossary and historical notes. I found the glossary useful because there were words that I didn’t recognise and I found the historical notes very interesting because I had never heard of the French crusades and I enjoyed the background information.

I thought it was very well written and it kept me hooked. I was desperate to know what would happen to Elinor and her friends so I kept reading it. I would recommend this book to eleven plus.