The Dance of Death

By Andy Croft

Shortlisted in Primary category 2016

1. Anon: I enjoyed this book, because there was a deadly plague.  The best character in the book was will because he went to London. 

I found the event of the book interesting. The book taught me about the (period of history) 1756.  It has made me want to find out more about this Athur. I would like to read more books by this author, because they are very serios.

2. Besma: This story is set in 1348 and includes a character called Adam, who cant wait to get out of the tiny village, but he doesn’t know that the plague is coming!

I found this book quite boring as it didn’t really have many surprises. I would not want to find out more about this point in history and I wouldn’t want to read more from the author. Perhaps if you were interested in the topic, you might feel differently.

 3. Kate: I really loved this book because it was quite freaky from the beginning. I liked the rhyming at the beginning e.g. wise dies because it sounds really good when I read it out loud.  I was amazed that Adam went with Will on his journey.

My favourite character in the book is Will because he was so brave to go to London on his own, when there were all those creepy men, plus the plague could be there.

I think that people would enjoy this book because of how interesting it is. At one point it was so interesting that I couldn’t stop reading it. My mum had to tell me to stop!

I would give this book an amazing score of 10/10.

4. Max and Laurie: As a personal opinion, we think this book is epic because there were lots of cliffhangers. The whole book was LEGENDARY!!! It was about the Black Death. People in the village celebrated All Hallows Eve. We think this book is a five out of five star. This book is probably suitable for nine years olds and above.

5. Scarlet: This book is about the plague in 1348 and two boys called Adam ad Will who travel to London at that time. It made me feel terrified, the description of what happens to you when you get the Black Plague was evil, shocking and disgusting. It described that one-minute you’re standing and chatting then suddenly your body feels all-stiff and you can’t move. Then your fingers start to feel all tingly, boils grow under your armpits and all over your body, which are extremely painful. Then you drop to the floor and start vomiting and spitting out blood before you die – I did warn you! It was also very sad because Adam and Will’s parents die and most people in the village of Brampton die and there is only a few people left. I learnt a lot about the Black Plague and about Ebola in 2014 through the author’s descriptions. It is incredible that there are different types of plagues still around in 2016. 

My favourite character was Adam because he was inquisitive, curious and very bubbly. The character I liked the least was the father of Adam and Will because he would not let Adam go to London, he would only let Will go. I did not like it because Adam wanted to go and see the great wonders of London but still the father refused to let him go. When I read this section I thought it was unfair but I also thought he had a point because Adam might not have been safe in London. I think Rob and Eve the characters that they meet in London could have been introduced earlier in the book because they were helpful characters because Eve gave them directions and they introduced themselves well and made friends with Adam and Will. All of the characters felt real to me, I wanted to know what happened next all the time; I could not put the book down!

My highlight was when they were travelling to London and they met the man eating black beans who told them about the ‘dance of death’. But Will said it was a Halloween game that he played with his friends and it couldn’t be real. If you are a history lover and are interested in Heaven, Hell, God and like to be terrified then read this book! When I read this book I said to my Dad that the book would give me nightmares, but it didn’t. To improve the book the author could have put some Black plague facts at the end.

I would recommend this book to children aged 8+ and would give the book 10/10 – I loved it!!!

6. Naomi. I really liked the Dance of Death by Andy Croft because he sets out an exciting adventure story within a period of history. I think the book is very realistic because the author uses good vocabulary that brings the history to life. This is particularly true for the character of Adam as he made announcements in the story that would fit into history books. I really hope I get to read more books from this author as I found this one extremely interesting as it taught be a lot about the Black Death, a subject I didn’t know very much about before. However, there were parts about the book I disliked as it was very scary in places.

7. Alfie. Yes I really enjoyed this book because the characters were really interesting and I liked finding out about their journey throughout the story. I particularly enjoyed following Will, and his brother Adam, on their voyage to London when they find children looking after other children. However, I think the most special part of the book is when Will’s father tells him to go to London. Imagine how exciting that would have been! I think the history in the book is very realistic and it really makes me want to find out more about other parts of history. It was a very scary time to be living and that comes across in this story. I will be looking for other books by Andy Croft as I thought this was really good.

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