Reviewed by Marianne Rowley
This is the story of Molly Pearson who is a young biology teacher at Birch Green High School. She loves teaching and she loves nature. When the opportunity to restore the school’s nature corner rises, Molly takes on the challenge to combine her two favourite things. As she tries to instil her passion for nature and the protection of wildlife to her students, she finds herself having to raise money as well as manpower to accomplish the project and dealing with bullies who terrorise her school but also the school next door. As the story progresses, we are thrown in the world of secondary school. We find out about the daily life of students, teachers and head teacher. Molly also finds a love interest in Oliver Shrimpton, the local journalist who is very interested in a great story. But is that all he is after? Will it be plain sailing for Molly or will she find herself in great trouble in order to restore the nature corner?
This book is very believable. It has a lot of background stories and it goes back and forth between each one. You get to find out each characters point of view as the author doesn’t just write from Molly’s.
At first, I was very confused with the amount of characters and storylines in the first few chapters. This soon passed as I kept on reading, I couldn’t put it down and stayed up each night to read a little bit longer, way past my bedtime!
G J Griffiths makes an effort to adapt the speech of each character by actually writing the way some of them speak (missing some words, shortening them or being grammatically incorrect). I have found myself having to read out loud to find out what they were saying. The swear words are biped out with just the first and last letter showing. I couldn’t decide if it was annoying or not. I could sort of see why the author made that decision in order to not offend anyone but I hadn’t come across this before.
As you finish the book, you will find yourself looking at your own garden and thinking “What can I do for the wildlife?” You will also think about your own childhood and whether you were a bullied or bullied. As a parent, it was a very interesting read to see that it is hard to be a teacher and they have to deal with a lot of different children and issues.
‘So What Next!’ is the sequel to ‘So What!’. You do not need to have read the first one to read the second. However, I am now curious to find out more about Robert Jeffrey who was Molly Pearson’s mentor and the main character of the first book.
RRP: £7.99 (paperback)
Available to buy from Amazon here.