The PenPal Magazine

At school I am currently undertaking the ASDAN CoPE qualification.

To complete this you have to undertake several tasks and challenges which you can undertake in any way you can. Here is the latest task I have been given:

“You have two weeks to publish and book or magazine of at least 6 pages, which costs £2 per copy. However you have no money to pay for it to be printed.”

To complete this challenge I created a magazine called ‘The PenPal Magazine’, and sold black and white copies (which I printed out for free at school).

The magazine is full of previous blog articles which can all be found on this blog. Now I have done this task I would like to share my magazine with everyone, so you can read it as well.

Magazine Cover Magazine Pages

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

I may confess that I spend too much time watching films over and over again, and rarely straying out from a select few. However recently I have engaged myself with the award winning, Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The stories are set on the mystical land of Middle-Earth, a place ruled by the evil tyrant Sauron.

The stories mainly focus on young Frodo Baggins, a hobbit who is on a quest to destroy the one ring; the source of Sauron’s power and therefore rid Middle-Earth of Sauron forever.

Along the way he meets loads of people such as Gandalf the Grey (played by Ian McKellen) and the evil creature Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis).

I would whole-heartedly recommend these films to anybody in need of something to watch, as I have really enjoyed them.


Go Compare – Saving the Nation

I have recently caught wind of an advert which is quite literally ‘Saving our nation’.

Like any person, I hate the go compare adverts with that singing guy with the moustache. At last someone has done something about it.

Sweatshops to Superdry

Sweatshops are one of the unavoidable sins of the twenty first century. No matter where we buy our clothes, at whatever expense and from whatever source the truth is that they probably started life off in a sweatshop.

Sweatshops are small and cramped buildings in poor countries. These buildings are likely to be the size of a small classroom and usually have about 30 men and women working really hard in cramped, hot conditions making clothes for very little pay. Ever wondered how Primark sells their clothes so cheap, well it’s probably because the workers who made it only get a hundredth of the price for which it was sold.

Unfortunately there is very little awareness of this terrible issue. Just remember, when you are picking T-Shirts off the rack. Just remember where they came from.

The Rubix Conundrum

I have always struggled with the incomprehensible conundrum that is the Rubix Cube. It completely baffles me, turning the rows, the columns, constantly turning but to no avail.

And what is even more infuriating is that my 10 year old brother can complete almost the whole cube and yet I am still stuck on finishing the second side.

I have spent hours fiddling with this little puzzle and yet I have ended up nowhere. So really the point of this article was for me to tell you, don’t waste your time.

Top 5 Book Series

After the brilliant post I did a few days ago, I set my mind on thinking up a sequel. However, whilst browsing through my book collection, I found that I have not read many bad books and most of the ones I have had been put down after the first few pages.

And so I turned my attention to those book series that everybody loves. Book series give you the chance to get to know the characters and the on-going storylines in a way that normal books don’t. Here goes.

5. Children of the red king – Jenny Nimmo

This eight-part series tells the tale of Charlie Bone as he discovers about his ancestor, the red King and the powers his descendants have inherited.

In my opinion I feel that this series (as a child’s series) is a little complex and very unrealistic. However the series does suck you in making you want to discover more about the Red King’s world.

4. Echo Falls Trilogy – Peter Abrahams

Echo Falls, a town where nothing is as it seems, and Ingrid Levin-Hill a young girl fantasising about life as a detective. This trilogy is full of great deceiving mysteries as well as on-going storylines between the characters.

3. Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz

10,000 years ago, the world was in turmoil and under the control of the all-powerful Old Ones. However the Old Ones were defeated by the five, five children who had the control to banish these beings.

Today the Old Ones are awakening again and the five children are reborn.

2. Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Everybody knows this one, the story about the boy wizard who finds out about the magical world, hidden from Muggles.

The only surprise here is how Harry Potter didn’t get the top spot was not because Harry Potter has any particular faults (all though the first few books are badly written) it is mainly because number one is so brilliant.

1. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman

I love the word trilogy.

This timeless classic, written spectacularly and containing such varying themes, is set in a parallel universe where people’s souls (dæmons) walk beside them in the shape of animals. But this world is disrupted by corruption. Children are being taken and a hole between the universes is being blown open.

I love this series, the first book; Northern Lights is probably my favourite ever book (the only reason it was not included in the last post was because that post did not contain books from series).

Coolio, that was fun. Reading over that list definitely makes you remember all the great books there are out there.

Check regularly for updates on my blog, what might I write about next?

My Top Ten Reads

Being a quick reader can both be a blessing but also a curse and I am currently (not for the first time) at a loss for what to read.

Today I am going to be sharing with you, my top ten favourite books hoping that when you are stuck for book ideas, you can come here.

Please note that this list does not contain books from series.

10. River Boy – Tim Bowler

A strange one this is. At the time it was better than when I’m looking back. It concerns a young girl who is obsessed with swimming and is on holiday to a lakeside video with her parents and grandfather. Her grandfather is dying of cancer and yet he wants to finish his last painting by the riverside; River boy.

9. The truth about Leo – David Yelland

A young boy, still struggling with the death of his mother, is living with his alcoholic father. His father is getting worse and worse and soon Leo risks losing his mother’s memories forever.

8. The Switch – Anthony Horowitz

Two children, living in two different worlds. Tad son of tow of the richest people in the world and Bob the young circus boy trapped in a life of crime. And yet when a wish comes true and these two boys swap places they know that they will never live life the same again.

7. My sister lives on the mantel piece – Annabel Pitcher

Jamie’s sister Rose is dead, blown up in a terrorist attack. His parents are still living with the grief and Rose’s twin Jasmine is still living with the grief. Jamie just wants life to go back to normal.

I don’t think the storyline is that good on this one however I do think that it is extremely well written.

6. Half Brother – Kenneth Oppel

As the result of a scientific experiment, Ben’s family is adopting a young chimpanzee to monitor how it grows up in a human environment. Little do they know how much trouble this monkey will cause.

5. Holes – Louis Sachar

Stanley is convicted for stealing a pair of shoes and is sent to work at Camp Greenlake. An establishment where everybody digs holes. However soon Stanley unearths the truth behind Camp Greenlake.

4. Millions – Frank Cottrell Boyce

Told from the point of view of Damian, a ten year old dyslexic boy, we see the tale of the two brothers who find Millions of pounds.

3. Watership Down – Richard Adams

One of the most moving classics I have ever read it tells the tale of a gang or rabbits who set sail to find a new home after their forest was destroyed. This novel is truly brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone.

2. Exchange – Paul Magrs

Very close to coming first this one, it’s all about a boy who lives with his grandparents. He and his nan both share a passion for reading. Then one day they stumble across and new and magical bookshop; The Exchange.

1. Junk – Melvin Burgess

Probably the best, young adult, book I have ever read. Junk follows the story of two teenagers, Tar and Gemma, as they confront the world of heroin and fall spectacularly.

Well thank you for reading all of that, it is actually quite long. How do you feel for a spin off? Worst ten books maybe? Well bye for now.