Throwback Thursday

Books we’ve read that we just can’t forget…

Amie’s choice…

This book arrived on the 5th November last year and I spent a good amount of time just admiring the front cover. The questions and connections that can be derived from it, make this book the perfect choice to share in an UKS2 classroom. Couple the fascinating illustrations with a love of Dickens and you have me hook, line and sinker!

I used this text for a guided reading session with my year 6 class. I have recently altered the way we deliver guided reading (a blog post on that soon!) and felt that this would be a great fit. As part of our guided reading system, we look at a text over a week but make further connections as frequently as possible. This text allowed us to make direct comparisons with Dickens’ Oliver Twist as well as Victorian Britain and the rights of women. It also allowed us to delve deeper into the way people were treated and the changes we have made as a society.

I have to admit, I was unsure if the children would take to it but boy did they?! They couldn’t get enough of it. The children also enjoyed making links between the classic Oliver Twist and Another Twist In The Tale. There was a BIG waiting list for the book but I made sure I was at the front of the queue.

I took the opportunity that weekend to get stuck in to it. I devoured it. For me, it felt so close to the original, it was almost as if I was reading a sequel from Dickens’. I loved getting to know Dodger in a completely different way and also thinking about how the story had almost come back round full circle with Fagin and Mr Bumble up to their old tricks, trying to swindle Oliver out of what is rightly his. It was easy to get lost in the streets of London and become part of the ‘crew’.

I love the character of Twill Twist and the way her life almost mirrors that of Oliver. The chance encounters she makes are so cleverly crafted. I am so glad she got the ending she deserved as as we know, that wasn’t the case for many, particularly girls, during the Victorian period.

The author, Catherine Bruton, so cleverly followed the layout of the original Dickens’ novel of Oliver Twist. Catherine has an amazing skill of storytelling with ‘No Ballet Shoes In Syria’ being another book that is never in the class library for long!

I would recommend this book to any UKS2/KS3 teacher, a lover of Dickens or anyone who loves a good story told with heart, fire and passion!

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