Friday 16 December 2016

Review on Mrs Miller-Christmas Killer

When Holly Glover transfers schools in December, she is surprised that she can't see a single Christmas decoration. However, it doesn't take long for her to discover the reason. Holly's head teacher, Mrs Miller, despises Christmas, and won't tolerate any festivity. When Mrs Miller leaves the school to attend a conference, Holly decides to give Mount Pleasant primary school the Christmas they have always wanted.

 When I got send a request to review this book, the title immediately caught my attention. However, one of the first things I do before reading the summary is look at the cover, and my first assumption was that it was going to be a sexy book! Although the cover does make sense in context, I felt as if no one would look at the cover and assume it was a children's book, so I felt as if it was a little misleading.

The book follows Holly, a girl in year six who has just changed schools. I loved the setting of this book, as I don't come across many books that are set in a school in Britain. Holly was a likeable protagonist, and although I found her dads antics with his tanning van funny, I also felt second hand embarrassment for Holly. Holly's days just keep getting worse, and the only thing she has to look forward to is her schools talent show. I loved how although everything was going wrong for her, Holly never gave up on her goals, and finally achieved what she wanted.

One thing that I loved about this book was Holly's family. Whenever we think about family, we usually picture a child living with their mum and dad. However, Holly's mother has died, and she lives with her gran and her dad. There are many children who have families similar to Holly's, so I loved that Holly's family was different to what we are used to. Families come in many different forms, no matter if it's a child being brought up by a single parent, or a child living with gay parents. I loved that this book helped to show that although Holly's family didn't involve a mother, her family still loved her and cared for her adequately.

Something that made me a little uncomfortable was the way Mrs Miller's Stop Christmas At Mount Pleasant (S.C.A.M.P) group were treated. Mrs Miller gives a task to three of the children to report back to her if they discover anyone celebrating Christmas. Once Mrs Miller leaves the school and the teachers start organising the talent show, they make sure that S.C.A.M.P are out of the way every day by giving them unpleasant chores to do, such as cleaning the bathroom and picking up litter, much to the delight of the rest of the students. There is no other word for what this was but bullying. From what I could see, these children had not volunteered themselves to be a part of S.C.A.M.P, and although Crystal was unpleasant, I could not see anything that the other two children had done to deserve such treatment. I felt as if this could potentially be harmful to young readers, and could lead them to believe that this behaviour is acceptable.

I was quite shocked by the ending of the book, as I didn't expect it to take such a dark turn. However, I did love how Mrs Miller had a genuine reason to hate Christmas, and she had a satisfactory redemption. However, I felt as if it was a little unnecessary and random for Mrs Miller to marry Holly's dad. I felt as if it was a little too far fetched, and made it seem as if Holly's family actually did need a mother figure after all. I was disappointed in this, as I felt as if it undermined the idea of a family being functional and happy without a mother figure.

Although I did have a few issues with this book, I did enjoy it overall and loved the positive character development. It felt a little similar to one of my favourite Christmas books, A Christmas Carol, and it was a quick and fun read that I easily managed to finish in a day.

Mrs Miller-Christmas Killer  is now available to purchase!

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