Review Blog

Nov 19 2020

School rules are optional: the grade 6 survival guide by Alison Hart

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Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760525712.
(Age: Years 4-6) This is the first novel from new author Alison Hart, and what a great entry into the literary world she has made!
The story follows Jesse and his friends as they step into their first day of year six and their final year in primary school. Very quickly Jesse tells us about his terrible start to the year (lost jumpers, terrible teachers and possible school captaincy) and you begin to wonder if this is how the story will continue . . .
I gave this book to my year 4 son and his first questions was "I wonder if this will tell me what to expect in year 6?" He read this book quite quickly and was engrossed in it from day one! He told me that he could imagine lots of the things happening and thought the camp sounded particularly fun! He liked how it was written from Jesse's perspective and said that over the course of the book he could 'hear' him reading it in his head. His only criticisms were that he thought no one who was a prep teacher would ever teach year 6's and that in this day computers would never blow up on a hot day!
I enjoyed the way that both the teachers and students were portrayed. The teachers were shown as real people who care for their students but are also flexible and work with a variety of students needs. Students are diverse and Alison shows how the final year at primary school is one of change; friends, hormones and attitudes!
As a first novel, Alison Hart has really excelled. I liked the way she writes and the story she has told. It is a story that kids can relate to, which makes it even better in my opinion!
It is funny, with laugh out loud moments. A great book for students from years 4-6.
Teacher's tips are available on the publisher's website.
Lauren Fountain

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