Book Review by Beatriz (Wonder)

Wonder is a book that I especially enjoyed, because I have a child who is the same age, and it helped to me to understand certain issues, with this nice and emotional story.

The author has really gripped me because of the easy language, and humanitarian plot.

It is wonderful.

It tells the story of a boy that was born with a hard physical problem that makes him a special person in more ways that we can imagine. The author makes you love the character, and you can understand his relationship with all the people that are involved with him.

What I really loved about the story is how the author describes in a perfect way all the feelings of the characters, from every point of view, in order to thought-provoke the reader, who could understand the huge power of overcoming what you can have if you learn to love yourself.

I certainly would highly recommend reading this book to teenagers, because it is a way to set them in the society.

All in all it is a highly recommended book for adults, not only to parents, that could identify with the story, but also for any different more sensitive people.

Beatriz

Book Review by Mercè G. (Wonder)

I really enjoyed the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s interestly organized into different chapters for each character. It’s an emotional novel, even though it is a sad story, one of the strongest points is that it’s very humanitarian and some pages make you laugh out loud.

The plot is fascinating when we first meet the main character Auggie, who was born with his face deformed. The book is set in the current day and it tells the story of Auggie’s difficulties because he is different.

Over the course of the story we little by little find out that Auggie is intelligent, wonderful and a kind boy. What I really loved is how Auggie overcomes complicated situations.

I would strongly recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy make disgusting jokes to people that are a bit different.

All in all the book is emotional and compassionate and everyone should read it.

Book Review by Mercè (Wonder)

I enjoyed being able to reading this book a lot, and it was in English! It was the first time I finish a book written in a foreign Language in a few weeks.

It is easy to read, and I found it very orginal in its structure. The idea of writting  each chapter from the point of view of the different characters of the story makes it very funny. And one can imagine the universe aroung Auggie. I recommend it to everyone, but I think it is especially appropiate for the young readers.

The story of Auggie is very touching. As you go on with the book you discover how every character feels about him.

The plot tells the story of Auggie, a boy who has a deformity in his face which makes him different from de rest.

He starts going to school after being educated at home for years. How will the children in the school react? How will Auggie feel?

The way of writing every chapter from a different point of view on the same subject makes you identify with one character or another.

I recommend this book to young people, and teachers in order to work with in class, bullying and the different people you can meet an how to manage this.

Book Review by Silvia (Wonder)

Introduction
WONDER is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It gripped me from the first page. The book tells the story of August, a special kid who was born different.

One of the strongest points of the book is the ability to express the feelings of the different characters. On the other hand, the story is as sad as humanitarian and it shows the best and the worst part of human beings. At the end, the book gave the readers a powerful and positive message.

Describe story, main characters
“I am not an ordinary boy”- August Pullman (our main character) said at the very beginning of the book. And actually, he’s not. The book is about him, his family and friends ant the story is set in USA, in a middle class family who have a daughter and son. Their lives got an unexpected change when August was born because he had several and important health problems and a not ordinary (and frightening) face.

For this reason, August didn’t go to school until 5th grade when August’s mom, Isabel, decides it was time for August to leave the security of home and to meet boys and girls and the real life.

It was not ever easy for August, his sister Mia, and the young girls and boys from the school, to have a boy like August as a classmate. But what I really love is the way almost everyone’s lifes got touched and the way everybody had an important lesson to learn about life, compassion and empathy.

Mia, August’s sister is such an intelligent and great little woman. Her life was really touched by the fact of being the sister of such a “special” and “unique” boy, and she developed several qualities that make her an extraordinary human being, even if it was painful and hard.

Student Book Club: Wonder

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Una de las actividades con la que nuestros alumnos disfrutan mucho es leyendo una novela en común con sus compañeros de clase. Cada semana, alumnos y profesor se marcan un objetivo (x número de páginas o capítulos) y, en la siguiente clase, dedican unos minutos a comentar qué ha sucedido, a valorar la lectura, resolver dudas de vocabulario, etc.

A continuación, os dejamos 4 reseñas de la novela ‘Wonder’. Resulta interesante leer cómo cada alumno aporta su toque y estilo en la escritura de sus Book Reviews.
¡Échales un vistazo!

Book Review by Beatriz
Wonder is a book that I especially enjoyed, because I have a child who is the same age, and it helped to me to understand certain issues, with this nice and emotional story.

The author has really gripped me because of the easy language, and humanitarian plot. It is wonderful. Read more

Book Review by Silvia
WONDER is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It gripped me from the first page. The book tells the story of August, a special kid who was born different.

One of the strongest points of the book is the ability to express the feelings of the different characters. On the other hand, the story is as sad as humanitarian and it shows the best and the worst part of human beings. At the end, the book gave the readers a powerful and positive message. Read more

Book Review by Mercè
I enjoyed being able to reading this book a lot, and it was in English! It was the first time I finish a book written in a foreign Language in a few weeks.

It is easy to read, and I found it very orginal in its structure. The idea of writting  each chapter from the point of view of the different characters of the story makes it very funny. And one can imagine the universe aroung Auggie. I recommend it to everyone, but I think it is especially appropiate for the young readers. Read more

Book Review by Mercè G.
I really enjoyed the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s interestly organized into different chapters for each character. It’s an emotional novel, even though it is a sad story, one of the strongest points is that it’s very humanitarian and some pages make you laugh out loud.

The plot is fascinating when we first meet the main character Auggie, who was born with his face deformed. The book is set in the current day and it tells the story of Auggie’s difficulties because he is different. Read more

The Girl on the Train: the bestseller everybody is speaking about! by Patricia

Do you like thrillers? If so, The Girl on the Train is the book for you!

Although it is not a page-turner from the beginning, it won’t be long before you are hooked!

the-girl-on-the-train-coffee1edited

The Plot
The main character, Rachel, is a woman in a very hard situation due to her divorce. First thing in the morning every day, she takes the commuter train to London where she sees a neighbourhood with different houses and different neighbours. While she imagines that life is perfect there, she finds herself involved in a crime which she tries to solve.

Nothing is what it seems in the Girl on the Train …

Why is this book good for learning English?
As well as enjoying the novel, you learn a lot of phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions from the dialogues that allow you to speak much more like a native person.

The book is written in the first person and the chapters are quite short… things that make a book easy to follow.

And finally, once you have finished the novel, you can also watch the film to see how it compares!

Happy reading!

Thanks to our student Patricia for this great review!

Keep calm and write in English

En noviembre os hablábamos de la importancia de crear un SMART Study Plan para tus clases. Y en este artículo, también os dábamos algunos consejos para ser un mejor escritor ‘5 Steps to becoming a better writer in your second language’.

keep-calm-and-write-in-englishOtra vía alternativa es escribir reseñas. Reseñas de cualquier cosa: libros, películas, series, restaurantes, apps, webs, viajes… y entregárselas a tu profesor para que las corrija y te de feedback. Escribir este tipo de textos, no sólo te permite dar tu opinión y compartirla, también te da la oportunidad de mejorar tus habilidades de escritura y ampliar vocabulario para luego aplicarlo en otro tipo de redactados como informes para el trabajo o emails.

Al final, ¡cualquier excusa es buena para practicar el writing! Si te animas a escribir alguna review, nos encantaría leerla y poderla compartir en el blog con otros alumnos de inglés. ¿Qué te parece?

Aquí te dejamos algunos ejemplos recientes para que busques inspiración y nos envíes tu review:

¿Te animas a enviarnos tu review? Thanks!

Student’s Review: ‘Revenge’ by Patricia

Can you imagine a story similar to The Count of Monte Cristo but with the glamour of The Hamptons as a backdrop?
If you like drama series combined with intrigue, glamour and the possibility of bringing The Hamptons into your home … then REVENGE is the series for you!

Revenge

THE PLOT
When the main character, Amanda Jones, was a child, her father took the fall for a crime he did not commit. The same people who destroyed her father ensured that she was sent to a juvenile detention center in order to never see him again.

Once she is an adult and abandons that center, she finds out that she is the heir to a fortune her father had and decides to come back to The Hamptons as her alter ego, Emily Thorne, to get revenge on those who destroyed her family and caused his death.

“Revenge” is the story of a revenge that takes place in the glamorous and cosmopolitan Hamptons, the most famous residential seaside resort of New York State where celebrities and rich people come together.

The Hamptons

The Hamptons

WHY IS THIS SERIES GOOD FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS?
Not only because watching Revenge is a way to improve your English while you are enjoying watching a series but also because of the different characters and accents that appear in Revenge! You can start watching it with subtitles and as your confidence grows and you get familiar with the characters, challenge yourself and take them off!

CONCLUSION
Revenge can be summed up as a sort of Count of Monte Cristo in our modern world! Once you start watching it, you will be hooked!

We want to thank Patricia for this great contribution to our blog!

‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson

Portada libroHoy os dejamos una book review escrita por uno de nuestros alumnos en Madrid. ¡Gracias Santi!

“What connects a young girl from South Africa, a Swedish republican and his twin sons, an atomic bomb, Nelson Mandela, 2 Mossad agents and the Chinese Government?

It’s obvious! The link is called “The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden” by Jonas Jonasson, the author of the best-seller “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”.

The plot
Two parallel and very different stories: Nombeko is a poor, black and clever girl who lives in a Soweto slum. Meanwhile, in Sweden, a monarchist-turned-republican is bringing up his two sons, called Holger and Holger. After a chain of coincidences, Nombeko arrives in Sweden, together with an atomic bomb. Nombeko, her boyfriend Holger 2, Holger 1 and his angry girlfriend must get rid of the bomb, but it will not be so easy…

The characters
Nombeko: A clever South African girl who lives in Soweto. She’s so clever that she is able to develop the first South African atomic bomb just by reading books in her boss’s library. She’s so clever that she ends up speaking Swedish when she arrives there. But will she be so clever as to get rid of the bomb she has developed? Maybe the fact she speaks Chinese could help her…

Holger 1: The only twin who does exist and who inherited his father’s republican spirit. He shares his political views with his girlfriend, Constantine, who is an angry republican…and her father is a banker…

Holger 2: The twin who doesn’t exist – you’ll find out more about this in the book! He’s the clever one. He tries to go to university and to get a driver license, but no one can do that if they don’t exist…

My opinion
In conclusion, this is a book you’ll get hooked on, where two very different stories (and the characters in them) converge around a 3-Megathon atomic bomb.

I strongly recommend this book if you want to improve your English because its short chapters at the beginning and 2 parallel stories will catch your attention and in a couple of days you won’t be able to put it down.

It is easy to read and to understand and the most important thing is Jonasson’s sense of humour, which will make you laugh out loud (and between you and me, don’t you feel great when you understand jokes in another language?).

So, if you need an excuse to read in English, this is the book you’re looking for!”

The Stone Cutter. Book Review

The Stone Cutter is the third book of a series of crime novels written by Camila Läckberg. I had read the first two novels in Spanish (‘The Ice Princess’ and ‘The Preacher’) when I decided to go for the next one, but this time in English.

Läckberg’s writing style is easy-to-read, her stories are page-turners and you can’t put them down.

Even if you haven’t read the previous books, you can follow any of her stories perfectly as the only thing they have in common are the main characters who investigate the cases.

About the writer
Camila Läckberg published her first novel when she was 29 years old. Only three years later, she won her first prize topping the Swedish bestseller lists. She was born in Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden, a small town which she clearly knows well and where her novels are set.

About the novel
The Stone Cutter was launched in 2010 in the United Kingdom. Barry Forshaw, a famous writer and journalist in England, said the following in his Independent review: “Läckberg may be of little interest to the more salacious British tabloids, but she should be firmly in the consciousness of the readers of this newspaper.”

The plot
A fisherman finds a little girl drowned on the coast of Fjällbacka; at first, it seems to be an accident, but soon the autopsy reveals that a crime has been committed. Could you imagine who would do such a terrible thing? Patrick Hedström, one of the officers in this town, investigates.

The characters
This time, Patrick Hedström plays a major role in the story, while Erika (his wife), who has recently given birth to a child is at home trying to cope with motherhood.

The family of the murdered girl are under suspicion as well as other neighbours in the area. Who will be the culprit? However, you do not only have to think about the present, but also the past, where Anders and Agnes are living an odd love story.

My opinion
I strongly recommend reading this intriguing story about family feuds and gossip in a small town. Personally, right from the start I was hooked and completely puzzled about who the culprit was until almost the end of the novel (although I had my own bets). Enjoy it!

Next step The Gallow Birds!