The Ice Palace
Robert Swindell caught our imagination with Starjik the child snatcher.
This was a weird one. I think it is fair to say that our favourite character was Starjik which — considering he is a child-snatcher and we are a class of 32 fairly sheltered 8 and 9 year olds — is a little odd. Had I been asked who I thought they would identify with, Ivan would have been my guy.
But no. We liked Starjik. We wondered why he would behave that way? What would make him take the children? Had he not been treated well himself? Could Ivan help him? Our focus was always on the bad guy.
This didn’t stop us from creating some fantastic writing based on this book. We wrote instructions for building a snow cave; poetry based on being an owl, wolf or tree; a new chapter about Starjik’s demise and some pretty decent book reviews (in which, perhaps unsurprisingly, we complained about the lack of pictures).
Our writing improved because of this book and that is really all I can ask for.