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Bream Community Library

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February 2018

Bream Reading Club Reviews The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Stars out of 5: 2.5

At one end of the spectrum our members really enjoyed this book, on the other end the word used was ‘insufferable’.

To break it down, The Historian is an in-depth tracking down of the real Draculya, not the Hollywood version but the historical man as well as the mythology surrounding him. The book is weighed down in detail, and relies far too much on letters to convey vast amounts of information. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is mentioned a number of times in the book as if to form a direct comparison. Letters are also used in Bram’s book, but they used far more effectively.

The true genius of this book was the way different time lines were woven together with apparent ease. Every character is carefully maintained in each story stream and you learn each characters history as well as the historical quest they are following. The prose is many places is beautiful and exceptionally well written.

The disappointment is that the characters never truly find their voice. They are more like cardboard cut outs filling in their scenes with no development or growth. None of us became invested in any of the characters no matter what threat they were facing. It appeared to us that the characters were sacrificed entirely on the altar of pure history.

Too many times this book read like a dry history, something more akin to a textbook than anything suspenseful, which appeared to us to be a lost opportunity that could have been something truly epic.

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Harry Potter Book Night!

What an evening! 😀

Class kicked off at 5:30 pm with our very own Bellatrix welcoming the children.

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Our very own Bellatrix!

They were ushered into the Hall by Mrs Potato a long lost cousin to Mrs Sprout, to begin the Sorting Hat Ceremony.

Our Random Wizard called for attention and the Sorting Hat Ceremony began! In quick succession the potential witches and wizards were in their houses and a captain chosen to collect their owl post. Captains ripped open the envelopes to reveal the Quest. Each House had a list of items to find in the library, including asking one of the witches if she had the Dark Mark and then ask for her signature.

The truly brave approached the magic books to seek items, dodging the Book of Monsters as it squirmed in its chains. The even more brave asked Bellatrix for their fortunes to be read, the crystal ball glinting invitingly in the lights.

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Random Wizard

Quest completed there was no slowing down as back in class Mrs Potato went straight into a quiz. It was a fast paced question and answer leaving Bellatrix not much time to mark the results of the Quest. Random Wizard totaled up the scores and Gryffindor won with only the smallest margin.

The best dressed were given prizes including our best dressed mum with lovely red hair. After the prizes got handed out, Mrs Potato did a reading to the class all about Aragog the massive old and blind giant spider. Not her favourite subject but nevertheless she persevered.

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Mrs Potato

The final part of the evening was the Certificates of Attendance being completed and handed out. The evening finished up slightly earlier than intended probably due to the reading going a bit too fast!

Thank you to all the amazing kids and parents who made the night fun and all our incredible volunteers who made it happen! 

Harry Potter Book Night 2018 – done and done! 

 

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