Author Archives: Dillon

8 for 8

This year at school, there is a book challenge called 8 for 8. It is extremely similar to last year’s 7 for 7 book challenge, except this one has eight books and more things you can do to enter.

The books are:

  1. Scavengers by Darren SimpsonImage result for scavengers book
  2. The Skylarks War by Hilary McKayImage result for skylarks war book
  3. The Twisted Tree by Rachel BurgeImage result for twisted tree book
  4. The Island by M. A. BennetImage result for the island book m a bennett
  5. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan CurhamImage result for don't stop thinking about tomorrow book
  6. Bone Talk by Candy GourlayImage result for bone talk book
  7. Everything All At Once by Steven Camden (aka Polarbear)Image result for everything all at once book
  8. And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick NessImage result for and the ocean was our sky book

These eight books are all set from different perspectives and times. Everything All At Once is a book of poetry telling a story about school life. The Skylarks war has romance and history. There are many other things that make each book unique.

The things you can do to enter are:

  • Film a book trailer video
  • Make a piece of artwork
  • Write a piece of creative writing
  • Perform a performance
  • Write a blog or a review
  • Film a booktalking video
  • Or absolutely anything else!

These have to be based on your favourite 8 for 8 book, to try and encourage more people to read that book.

My Irish Holiday 2019 – Part 3 Londonderry and Portrush

After we left the Giant’s Causeway and Belfast, we went to Londonderry (Derry). When we arrived in Londonderry, we went to a small house that was nice and cosy with an electric fire with images of flames on the front of it, and comfy couches.

When we left the house, we went to a bustraunt (a bus that had been converted into a restaurant) called Pyke ‘N’ Pommes, that was next to the river (Foyle).

The bustraunt

A statue next to the bustraunt

A bridge over the Foyle

There were really nice views over the river and terrific tacos to go with it. I had squid, steak and cauliflower tacos, which were all delicious!

Squid taco

Then we had a walk around the walls and saw the Peace Flame (unlit) and lots of murals. We also saw the Bloody Sunday Memorial.

The peace flame

The path leading up to the peace flame

A sign near the Bloody Sunday memorial

The Bloody Sunday Memorial

The next day, we went to a museum about the walls of Derry and why they were made.

The Walled City

A mural from when the wars were happening in Derry

The walls were built in 1613-1618. They were made to defend people who settled in Derry in the 17th century. There was lots of interesting information including a detailed timeline of the history of Derry.

Me next to a cannon on the Derry walls

Then we drove to Portstewart Strand, which is a beach over 2 miles long. We wanted to go for a nice walk over the beach, however we couldn’t as it was raining really hard!! Instead, we went and had some delicious bread and Camembert-like cheese in a restaurant called Harry’s shack nearby.

Harry’s shack

View from Harry’s shack

Afterwards, we went to Portrush, which is a town near Portstewart Strand, where we went to a nice house for the night.

Portrush sign

It was a really nice house and was very homely. We then went to a small amusement park where we played 2p machines for hours. We got lots of tickets and cashed them in for a BB-8 lamp. We also went on the wheel outside a few times and we saw some nice views over Portrush.

The amusement park

The wheel

Me on the wheel

BB-8 light

BB-8 light

It’s really nice and looks amazing on my wall!

BB-8 in my room

BB-8 in my room (slightly better quality)

Then we went for a walk along the coast and saw dolphins! They were quite far away behind a canoe. They were really cute and looked amazing!

A view of the coast from when we were looking at dolphins.

Me on the rocks on the coastline when we were looking at dolphins.

We then went to a nice tapas restaurant for tea and had lots of lovely food including oysters and mussels.

Some really nice tapas

Sadly, we had to leave the next day to drive back to Dublin and get on the ferry to home.

When we got off the ferry, we went to a really nice fish and chip restaurant called Enochs in Wales. It was really tasty and I loved the hake that we had along with some amazing chips, fantastic frickles ( battered pickled gherkins) and mushy peas.

Fish and chips at Enochs

Some frickles at Enochs

This is the end of my lovely holiday in Ireland and I loved it all. Ireland is a place that I definitely want to go back to.

My Irish Holiday 2019 Part 2 – Belfast

When we left Dublin, we drove over the border to Northern Ireland and went to Belfast. Once in Belfast, we went to a flat with the most comfortable beds that I’ve ever slept in!

From the flat, we could see some H&W cranes, which I learnt were shipyards and that the Titanic was made in one of them! They are enormous and look really cool.

H&W shipyard in the distance then went to Crumlin Road Gaol, which is now a museum after it closed.

The gaol

Me as a prisoner

Stocks at the gaol

When we went in the museum, I got locked in a holding cell and was stuck in a tiny enclosed space. Then we went into a tunnel which led under Crumlin Road and to the court building.

In the underground tunnel

Out of the tunnel, we went up to the Governor’s office where we saw the Centre Circle where all of the wings join together next to the Governor’s office.

Circle where the wings meet

We then went down the C wing and saw where prisoners would live, eat and work.

Wing C

If prisoners weren’t behaving, then they got beat with a birch rod 18 times if they were under 18, or if they were over 18 they could be hit by the cat o’ nine tails (the cat) or the birch rod 36 times. The cat was a rod made of nine ropes of cotton twisted together. It was a type of whip. There were some old army vehicles outside as well.

Military helicopter

We then went to a restaurant called Mourne Seafood Bar, where I had langoustines, a lobster burger and a buttermilk panna cotta with strawberries and really crumbly shortbread.

Languistines

Lobster burger

When we were going back to our flat, we saw lots of murals on the walls of houses and other buildings.

A mural

A mural

The next day, we went to the Titanic Belfast Experience.

Titanic Belfast

There were lots of parts of it including the makers Harland and Wolff and how they made it. It took over 10 months to decorate the inside of the Titanic with furniture, carpets, etc. We also went in a 360° cinema to take us on a tour of the Titanic in her beauty days. After she set off from Dublin she went to Southampton then to Cherbourg, France and then to Cobh, Republic of Ireland then the bottom of the ocean when she sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean. We went in a cable car and had a look around a shipyard that was built into the museum. Finally we went to the cinema and saw what she’s like today, resting under the ocean.

A map of where the Titanic was made in the shipyard

View of where the Titanic was put into the water from the Titanic Belfast Experience

H&W logo

Me using a morse code telegraph transmitter

When we got back to the apartment I saw the film Titanic for the first time.

Titanic

The next day, we left for Londonderry, but on the way we went to the Dark Hedges and the Giant’s Causeway. The Dark Hedges are made up of beech trees and look really interesting.

The Dark Hedges

The Giant’s Causeway is only 12 miles from Scotland and if it’s a clear day you can even see part of Scotland from the Giant’s Causeway. The Giant’s Causeway is a lot of hexagonal shaped rocks that were made from lava fissures but look like they have giant’s features in them. The main giant was called Finn McCool and got into a fight, which was how the Causeway was made. He had a camel as well to ride home on. It was really interesting and I would love to go back again.

Giant’s Causeway welcome stone

Lots of stones

Me with a view of the sea behind

More basalt columns in different colours next to the sea

Me climbing on some basalt columns

Some basalt columns

Finn McCool’s Camel

To find out what happened in Londonderry and Portrush visit my blog again next week!

My Irish Holiday 2019 Part 1 – Dublin

The other day after breakfast, we went on a drive to Holyhead in Wales. Holyhead is a port where we got a ferry to Dublin.

The top of the ferry with the Irish Ferries logo

Me on the open deck of the ferry

When we got to Dublin, we went to a villa near the port called Villa Maria. It had a garden, pool table, air hockey table, darts + board and a beach at the end of the road. It was really nice and we stayed there for three days.

Me and Georgia playing air hockey

Inside Villa Maria

Inside Villa Maria

The outside of Villa Maria

The view from the villa

Then we went to a restaurant called Stoop Your Head. We had some really nice mussels and seafood. I loved it all.

The mussels at Stoop Your Head

Then, the next day we went to the Guinness storehouse, where we got to see how beer’s produced and the different steps of making it. We also saw where customers can taste new beers that aren’t out to the public. Then we saw lots of Guinness adverts that had come and gone. There was a 360 degree bar at the top of the building where you could see over Dublin.

Outside Guinness Storehouse

An advert inside the advertising section

Barrell pyramid inside the storehouse

Me drinking some guinness from the back of a tortoise

In the afternoon, we went to The Little Museum of Dublin, where we got told about Dublin’s past and how the Republic of Ireland formed.

Me using an old 2p machine in the Little Museum of Dublin

The next day, we went to a market in the city centre for a delicious lamb sandwich and a cronut (half croissant and half donut). There was also a cheese stall (all homemade cheeses) and a bakers.

My delicious cronut

Then we went to the National Leprechaun Museum where we learnt that leprechauns didn’t wear green, but brown and red! We then went through a magic tunnel where we shrunk to the size of leprechauns. We then went into a normal sized room (for humans) where there was giant furniture (normal human-sized) for us to play on.

Me on a giant armchair

We then went into a room where we learnt about the wars between humans and pixies and how we won.

The screen that told us all about the human-pixie wars and how we won it.

Picture of where the fairies were in Ireland

Then, we went to a dim sum restaurant called Lucky Tortoise, where we had lots of nice food before we went back to Villa Maria.

Lucky Tortoise food

Food at the Lucky Tortoise

The next day, we went rock pooling on the beach and saw some interesting creatures, like razor clams and mussels.

Me rockpooling

Me climbing up a rock wall

Me climbing up some rocks

Me standing on some rocks

Then before we left to go to Belfast, we went and got an ice cream from an old parlour near Stoop Your Head. I had an orange flavoured ice cream that was unusual and tasty.

The view when we were having our ice creams

Me standing on the harbour fence

A climbing pole to save people drowning at sea

 

To find out what happened in Belfast come back next week to read my next blog.

My Buttony Birthday – 2019

On my birthday, when I woke up I ate a delicious breakfast of a baked peanut butter pancake. I loved it.

My peanut butter baked pancake

Afterwards, I opened my present and got a lot of amazing things. Here are just a few of my favourites.

  1. A new pair of headphones
  2. Some fun games such as ColourBrain (You have 11 colour cards and have to answer a question with 1 or more colour cards. An example question would be ‘What colour is the lid of  a Marmite jar?’or ‘What colour is Mace Windu’s lightsaber in Star Wars’)
  3. LEGO sets such as a Forklift and Tow truck
  4. Sphero Chariot (For information about a Sphero click here) (A sphero chariot is a car for a sphero to drive.)
  5. Lots of exciting books such as My Cousin is a Time Traveller and The Train to Impossible Places

Me with my balloon and presents

Then we went to the train station to take a train to Sheffield, unluckily for us, the train we were supposed to be on was cancelled because of the extremely high temperature. It was the highest recorded temperature in the UK.

We went and had a drink in the bar next door, whilst playing a game of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Top Trumps that I got for my birthday.

When we arrived in Sheffield, we went to the National Videogame Museum (NVM). It was the Summer of Buttons. The Summer of Buttons is where there’s a workshop on how to make a button, (like a controller for a video game) and other button themed things like a 4-player Pac-Man.

4-player Pac-Man

They had loads of old arcade games and some newer modern games. It was a brilliant place. I got to play Miss Pac-man, which is the same as normal Pac-man but Pac-man is a woman and has a bow on her head. I also got to play Donkey Kong and the original Tetris! I loved the NVM and want to go back.

Sonic games on a Megadrive and other consoles

Me with Sonic the Hedgehog

Me playing a gravity game

Some other old games

Me playing a light game

Then we went to Tamatanga which is an indian restaurant. I had lots of small dishes that tasted very nice and were new to me. My favourite dishes were the prawn tempura and the Gunpowder Paneer. I also had a pistachio lassi to drink. It was unusual and very tasty.

Tamatanga dishes

When we got back I saw my amazing cake. It was a Minecraft cake.(For a blog about Minecraft click here.) It had a pig, creeper and lots of TNT. A creeper is what Notch(the developer of Minecraft) accidentally created when trying to make a pig. They run towards you, sizzle then blow up in  your face if you don’t kill it fast enough. It was an extremely tasty cake! Probably the best I’ve ever seen and eaten!🎂😋

My recreation of the cake on Minecraft

The cake with candles

Me holding the cake

II had an amazing birthday and loved every minute of it.

Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird

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Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird is a great book about an ordinary Syrian family forced to flee to Jordan, because of the war going on.

Omar, Musa, Fuad, Nadia and their parents are a family. Baba gets a new job in the Ministry of Agriculture and moves the family from Bosra to Daraa. They move exactly when the trouble starts. Most of the time there are soldiers from the government trying to arrest and torture people they think have anything to do with the protestors. Omar is shocked to find out that his brother, Musa, is in the middle of it all. 

I like the book because it’s a serious book and shows exactly what’s happening in Syria and what it’s like. When I read the book, I felt like I was transported to Syria in the middle of the war and part of Omar’s family. 

My favourite character is Musa, because he has cerebral palsy and can’t walk properly. Despite this he tries his very best to help the protestors and fight with the for the regime to change. 

In conclusion, I like this book and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to readers aged 10+, because it’s amazing and shows you exactly how lucky we are in England. 

This book review is part of the 7 for 7 book challenge. To see the main 7 for 7 blog post click here.

The 1,000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford

The 1,000 Year Old boy by Ross Welford is an amazing book about teamwork and kindness. Alve (or Alfie as he likes to be called), is 11 years old when he first administers the life-pearl, which makes you live forever. Then when a fire breaks out in the forest when he’s 1,011 years old, his mam is killed and luckily Aidan and Roxy find him hiding in Roxy’s ‘Garage’. Together they discover Alfie’s secret and help him to grow up again with the help of others along the way. 

I really like this book because it’s funny and unbelievable. Alfie’s journey to Coquet Island where the life-pearl is hidden in the cliffs is quite amusing. This is because Aidan’s Uncle Jasper is locked in the cabin and can’t get out to see it’s his nephew who’s holding him prisoner in his own boat. 

My favourite character is Alfie because he’s mischievous, funny and quite commanding for a boy. He also speaks like he knows a lot; which he does as he was alive since people spoke Old Norse. When his mam dies, he moves to a children’s home. However, after a trip to the dentist’s, Sangeeta-his social worker-begins to think that he is older than he’s telling everyone and submits him for a DNA age test. 

In conclusion, I really like this book and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to readers who like comedy and history combined. 

This book review is part of the 7 for 7 book challenge. To see the main 7 for 7 blog post click here.