'A thrilling and heartwarming tale about a love of books': the class book review

The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop is an enchanting story with cliffhanger endings, according to pupils at Whitchurch Church of England Primary in Hampshire

Jo Clarke

News article image

Title: The Bookshop Girl
Author: Sylvia Bishop
Illustrator: Ashley King
Publisher: Scholastic

Teacher review

I’m a huge fan of Erica’s Elephant by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King, so I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of The Bookshop Girl.

For me, this gorgeous story ticks all of the boxes as far as brilliant storytelling goes. Books featuring books are my absolute favourite thing to read, and The Bookshop Girl might just be the best one I’ve ever read.

Meet Property Jones – who has a very unusual name as she was found in the lost property cupboard. Property loves living in a bookshop. But she’s hiding a huge secret from her family: she can’t actually read, and is terrified that they will find out. Her family’s life is transformed when they win the Montgomery Book Emporium…but not in the way they expected. Not everything is quite as rosy as it seems.

the bookshop girl, sylvia bishop, ashley king, scholastic, book review

This captivating and enchanting tale filled me with joy. The characterisation is wonderful, with just the right mix of brave children and dastardly baddies – not forgetting the adorable, if not scary, Gunther the kitten.

Sylvia Bishop has created the most magical bookshop you could ever imagine, filled with wonder and delights at every turn. Imagine a room filled with bedtime stories and actual beds to sleep in – it is indeed a booklover’s paradise. Ashley King’s marvellous illustrations are just glorious, capturing the warmth and humour perfectly. I found this story to be totally irresistible. I can’t recommend it enough.

With its winning formula of a heartwarming story and sublime illustrations, it is sure to be a big hit – and has already proved popular with my key stage 2 children.

Jo Clarke is school librarian at Whitchurch Church of England Primary in Hampshire. She writes a book blog, and tweets as @bookloverJo

Pupil reviews

‘Clever use of cliffhanger endings’

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bookshop Girl. It is all about a girl called Property Jones who wins a book emporium while hiding a secret. Although she lives in a bookshop, she can’t read. However, her story is heartwarming and good fun.

My favourite character is Gunther, who is a laugh-out-loud type of cat. I love the way the author keeps you wanting to read more, with her clever use of cliffhanger endings to the chapters. This is a thrilling book and is my favourite read of 2017.

Edie, age 9

‘An unusual storyline’

I really enjoyed reading The Bookshop Girl because it had an unusual storyline. There were some lovely characters and I especially liked Property because she really is the hero of the story.

My favourite bit was when they wrote all the mistakes in all the books and showed resilience when it took them all night. I liked that it worked out good in the end because the bad characters were caught out, meaning that Property and her family and Montgomery got a bookshop.

I really liked it when Property learned to read because it’s hard to learn to read.

Connie, age 8

‘It made me feel different about books’

I liked The Bookshop Girl because it is very heartwarming and tense. It made me feel different about books – how it says books can smell, and also that goodbye means “god be with you”, not that you’re not returning. Also the pictures are really inspiring.

The characters were really good: the policeman, Eliot Pink, Montgomery, Property, Michael and Netty, and don’t forget Gunther the cat!

Freya, age 8

‘A host of adventures’

After Netty Jones and her son Michael find a girl in the lost-property cupboard at the White Hart bookshop, a host of adventures awaits them as they win a book emporium.

My favourite character is Gunther the kitten because he is small but fierce! I also have a soft spot for the Wollups because they look and act like a lot of walruses!

The best part for me was when Property came up with a cunning plan to stop Eliot Pink from bankrupting bookshops and libraries all over the country.

Gwendolen, age 9

If you or your class would like to write a review for Tes, please contact Adi Bloom on adi.bloom@tesglobal.com

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