Clockwork by Philip Pullman

There’s been a pattern to my recent reviews. The books are tending to be YA more than adult. That’s because I’m starting to think about fall.

I’ve just been notified that I’ll have an Intermediate class next year. In the special program where I teach, many of my students will be reading at the high school level or higher.

This means as well as swotting up on the Intermediate curriculum (I haven’t taught Intermediate before, excluding Library and French); I will be looking for challenging YA reading material. During the summer, I like to read around and have a few novel studies in mind to integrate with the themes of the curriculum.

Philip Pullman’s Clockwork is an odd tale. It’s halfway between fairy tale and ghost story with a ‘telltale heart’ beating at it’s core. The strands of Pullman’s, seemingly, unrelated stories mesh like the gears of a clock. Once the device (his story) is wound up, the events follow inevitably, chilling us with suspense. Junior grade kid should like this one. The language is simple (reading level is listed as grade 4) but the ideas should interest an older audience.

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