MSF | Mid-Somerset Festival books reviewed by Longvernal Primary School
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Mid-Somerset Festival books reviewed by Longvernal Primary School

Looking for some last minute gift ideas for the young bookworm in your family? Every year the Mid-Somerset Festival selects new and classic books for the Reading Aloud classes.

We asked the Chatterbooks Club at Longvernal Primary School in Midsomer Norton to review some of the books set for 2022.

Perhaps the Chatterbooks’ recommendations will provide some suggestions for Christmas holiday reading?  Or even inspire young book enthusiasts to read aloud at the Mid-Somerset Speech and Drama week in March.


The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine  *****

The killer cat kills once, twice and three times and his family hate him for it. Set in a family neighbourhood not all is as it seems. I give this book five stars. I have rated it so highly because it is hilarious and even has some rude words (“For heaven’s sake” – hehehe). The book made me feel happy to read because it is so interesting and funny and you can’t help but read it in a funny cat like voice. I love the main character Tuffy but at first, I thought he was a bully. It turns out differently to how you think though! I recommend this to children and adults who like funny stories! 

Jacob from Longvernal Primary School (aged 8).


The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine  *****

A bird and then a mouse and a rabbit die.  Who killed them? Nobody is sure. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because it is full of mystery and interest. It was written in a funny voice of the killer cat. He is brave but rude and funny. He even called someone ‘fat’! I would recommend this book for Year 1, 2 and 3. 

Fin from Longvernal Primary School (aged 7)


The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine  *****

This fiction is full of humour and is a little scary too! Tuffy, the main character, is mean but funny. He is vicious, tough and a little bit fat. There are lots of silly words. Set in his house and the neighbour’s garden, Tuffy kills a lot (or does he?). I suggest that this book should be read by everyone! I loved it. I might even read it twice!

Logan from Longvernal Primary School (aged 7)


Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith ****

The main event of this book is Mr Penguin (who is actually a penguin) and his right-hand man get a call to find the missing treasure somewhere in the Museum of Extraordinary Objects. The quest finds them solving secret codes, fighting ferocious beasts, eating finger sandwiches and travelling the globe to a lost jungle. I like how the main character is a penguin because it’s more interesting than him being a human (which would be much simpler). I found this a funny and exciting read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure. 

Jacob from Longvernal Primary School (aged 9)


Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure by Alex T. Smith *****

This animal story is full of adventure and humour. Mr Penguin is best friends with a spider named Colin (who is really good at Kung Fu). After hearing about the secret treasure, the duo go to a museum to look for clues. Mr Penguin and Colin seek out the treasures, with much adventure on the way. I give this book 5 stars because it was amazing. There’s a whole series, which I can’t wait to read. I would recommend this book to anyone in Key Stage 2. 

Poppy from Longvernal Primary School – (aged 9)


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  ****

This fiction book is humorous and full of adventure with a secret twist of sadness. The book opens with an emotion evoking explanation from Charlie about his happy but poor life. However, his life takes a new path, the day he finds a Golden Ticket to visit the famous Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. A humorous chain of events take place as Charlie and the other ticket winners are shown around the factory, leaving him the last child standing. I gave it four stars because although it is brilliant, the story is now dated. I’ve seen the film so many times, when I came to read the book, it was a bit samey and dull. I would still however recommend the book for its brilliant vocabulary and humour. 

Mia from Longvernal Primary School – age almost 10).


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  *****

The plot of this well-known fiction book follows Charlie as he embarks on a prize-winning trip around Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It soon becomes apparent that it is actually some type of trial. Who will win? What will be the outcome? For those who haven’t come across this story, a truly exciting read. I love this book because Dahl has a very funny way of writing and I giggled all the way through, especially at the bit with the chocolate fountain, where Augustus Gloop gets called a ‘great big greedy nincompoop’. I rate this book five stars and recommend this book to Year 3s and up.

 Jedd from Longvernal Primary School (aged 10). 


A big thank you to the Longvernal Chatterbooks Club for their expert opinions on the Mid-Somerset books for the Junior Open classes.

In the Primary Prepared Reading Aloud classes, those entering through their state primary school can choose to read a passage from any book by Jill Tomlinson (Years 3 and 4) or Roald Dahl (Years 5 and 6).

For older readers, the Speech and Drama Committee have chosen modern classics which should be on every teenager’s reading list  – Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

For a gripping read that will keep you on the edge of your sofa, dive into the pages of Girl. Boy. Sea. by Chris Vick, which was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Prize in 2020. Chris will be adjudicating the Mid-Somerset Creative Writing classes in 2022.

Have a lovely, literary Christmas! We hope Santa brings you every book you wanted, with some new authors to discover as well.


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