Review: The Broken Bridge by Phillip Pullman

So sorry that I haven’t posted in a few months; life started taking twists and turns and I am only now beginning to get back into everything.  I’ll be doing my best from now on to post each week. ~Tamara

What It’s About:

Ginny feels like she is a regular girl, despite being the only black person in the Welsh town she lives in.  However, when she starts uncovering secrets about her father’s past and her heritage, her world is shattered and she is left unsure of who she really is.

My Thoughts:

Since reading The Dark Materials trilogy, I have always felt that Phillip Pullman is a wonderful writer – however, The Broken Bridge unfortunately didn’t seem to have the same spark that made reading his Dark Materials so enjoyable.

The main problem I had was that I felt the whole tone of the book was very patronising.  Everything was spelled out so I had no chance to form my own opinion.  While I realise this book is probably middle grade, I feel that most children are capable of reading a book and coming to their own conclusions.  So, while I might excuse the excessively simple language which is understandably used so it is accessible to children with reading difficulties, I cannot excuse the fact that the moral point of the book was spelled out to the point that that became the focus instead of the story itself.

Due to this over-simplifying, I found reading the Broken Bridge a little boring and I was about two thirds of the way into the book before I started getting interested which is certainly not a good sign.

I probably wouldn’t recommend this book because I am a big believer in creating stories that feel real and are not just a device to get your morals across (I’m not saying there can’t be morals in stories, simply that they should be created from the storyline, not the other way around).  However, it isn’t a terrible book and is quite a quick read so if you are trying to help someone with literacy and social difficulties then perhaps the morals driving the story won’t be an issue for you.

Overall I was very disappointed and it made me a lot more hesitant to read any other Phillip Pullman books.

Rating: 2/5