Oksa Pollock is a normal 13-year-old girl, starting a new life in London. New lives, new friends, a new school and new adventures. But bizarre things start happening around Oksa she finds she can produce fire from her hands, move objects with her mind, and even fly.
Oksa Pollock is the first title from the blockbuster french children's series which has now been published in 27 different Countries and has become a global sensation. Pushkin Children's are publishing the series in english for the first time. Apply for one of 50 free copies and share your thoughts (or your children's thoughts) on the book on this thread.
I haven't done one of these before - but I've finished the book
Really enjoyed it and would definitely keep my eye out for the next installment, especially liked the political aspect and "the state within" would love to talk around those themes with DD.
Would be interested to see how mumsnetters felt about the first quarter of the book as I felt that some of the themes were really poorly handled - but didn't know if it was a question of French cultural differences?
Oh I haven't read it yet and was going to let my DD read it first but you've made me wonder if I should be reading it first. She's 11 but has been reading a wide variety of texts for a while, is there anything in there that would be inappriate?
No - absolutely nothing explicit - but there are quite a few violent bullying themes which I would want to talk through with dd, - i'll flip through and find the relevant pages so you can decide.
Mainly it was the way her family handled situations, the tone was your family might be lovely - but if you're having problems they won't be there for you so best not to tell them anything - but it's tricky to explain.
The adults in the book are written as flawed, and that might be the point in later installments, but I don't know whether younger teens could appreciate the subtlety!
Sorry but I'm not sure I will be able to finish this book. It probably worked very well in France, unfortunately the authors didn't do enough homework on London or England. It is the "real" world which I am finding totally irritating, the Geography of London is totally wrong. The worst bit was the school being set in "a seventeenth century monastery". There were no monasteries in the seventeenth century - Henry VII abolished them in England the century before, and no new ones were established for at least another century.
Another error might be the fault of translation, as the school is a mixture of French and English year names. If it had been like the Lycee in London with just French names that would have been believable.
So I now have a book, I can't finish, and I doubt my DDs would be interested in (they are sterner critics than me).
Love the similarities of this book to Harry Potter (although in the first part these are VERY close: magical powers, a nasty teacher etc). Also reminds me in some ways of Narnia (her destiny linked to a hidden land, Edefia). Only a little way in but so far to is enjoyable and I am looking forward to seeing the characters and plot develop, x
Finished reading this book last night. I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed by it. I am aware that this is aimed at teens and I am an adult, think that has to be said. I enjoyed reading about the characters, the spells and also the similarities to HP..although I do think that it comes into its own the further you read. I like the idea of a secret world that you can't see, fairies, magical creatures etc. I think that some of it may have been lost in translation. It didn't make me want to turn the pages and find out what happens next.
12 yo DD still reading it, about 3/4s of the way through. Unusually for her it was a slow start book, normally she is a very fast reader and I didn't think she was going to finish it. However she is really enjoying the story now and wants to see how it will end.
Well, I read the book through whilst away on holiday.
I enjoyed the book, but it really felt amateurish almost all the way through. I wasn't worried about accurate historical or geographical stuff personally as it is a fantasy book. I did feel that the punctuation was wrong and there were so many colons that felt wrong to me. The story itself is good, though to me it felt like the authors were coming up with each chapter as they were writing it, like they didn't have an entire idea before sitting down to write. It just didn't flow for me.
I did like it though and was disappointed to see that I now have to wait for the next book to continue the adventure.
Ds says he's not interested which is a shame, because he'd most likely give a better and more comprehensive review than me!
Bit annoyed as I just typed a response and then the site went offline.
Anyway, my daughter (11) finished reading this book and she enjoyed it very much. She said the characters were exciting and the story made her want to keep reading (which she did well passed bedtime!). The next book is definitely on her list of must reads.
I cant comment myself as I havent had time to read it yet but will hopefully do that in the next couple of weeks.
This is a book for teenagers and subsequently the characters and language in the book isn't as sophisticated as I would be used to reading. The cover is interesting and likely to catch the eye of a older child or teenager.
I wasn't impressed with the first third of the book. As other posters before have already commented, the translation from French was rather lacking, and the factual elements were inaccurate when, with a bit of research it could have been so much better.
I did consider giving up on it for a while ( which is something I hardly ever do), but I persevered and I was glad that I did. The book really upped its gain, and although fantasy isn't a genre that I would often choose to read I was hooked. It had plenty of action and was fast moving with a satisfying conclusion at the end, but still leaving the story open for the next book in the series.
All in all I would say that for an older child or teen, if they can plough through the start they wouldn't be disappointed with the rest of the book.
I've had two goes at this now and can't get past the first few chapters. I've read and enjoyed a fair amount of YA fantasy, but the two things putting me off so far are the writing and the magical creatures with silly names. Maybe I'll persevere and get through it eventually, but I'm disappointed so far. Sue Rose seems to be an experienced translator and poet so perhaps it's the original writing rather than the translation that's lacking.
I'm about two thirds through this book now having started it over 2 weeks ago which says it all really. I've even read 2 other books in this time when I just didn't feel inspired to pick it up. I like some of the details and humour in it, the talking plants for instance, but feel that some of it really needed some more editing. However, I will stick with it and perhaps it will grab me before the end..