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Reviews of Sweet Pizza

Sweet Pizza

  • Gemin, G R. Sweet Pizza. Nosy Crow, 2016.
    ISBN 9780857636300

Sweet Pizza (or choose a different book)

So far we have received 21 reviews of Sweet Pizza. Why not write your own review?

Maia from La Retraite Catholic School for Girls said:

Sweet Pizza is about the life of a boy, Joe, who loves the Italian cafe owned by his family, but his mum wants to sell it. He’s doing everything he can to stop her from doing that. For example, when he let Mr Malewski rent the cafe space for an evening as a restaurant.
I loved the book because it was intriguing. I enjoy reading about someone’s life. It’s set in modern times and is like real life. Something about the book makes it interesting, although at the beginning it was slow. But a couple of chapters in, I really started to enjoy the book.

Star Rating:

27 Apr 2017 13:07

siham from Dunraven Secondary School said:

Sweet pizza is story which makes interested into your family background and that people aren’t as they seem. Sweet pizza also tells the story that you should be proud of who are and that no one should say you shouldn’t.

Star Rating:

27 Apr 2017 11:22

Gabriel from Dunraven Secondary School said:


Sweet pizza book review

The best book in 2017

The book has a major twists and turns also puns the book is based around a boy named bryn mawr his mother owns a restaurant the restaurant use to belong to his father before he past away the restaurant has new mechanics the main story without giving more away but here are my reviews and many others...

ratings
My 5 star

Star Rating:

26 Apr 2017 11:37

Gabriel from Dunraven Secondary School said:


Sweet pizza book review

The best book in 2017

The book has a major twists and turns also puns the book is based around a boy named bryn mawr his mother owns a restaurant the restaurant use to belong to his father before he past away the restaurant has new mechanics the main story without giving more away but here are my reviews and many others...

ratings
My 5 star

Star Rating:

26 Apr 2017 11:37

Daisy from The Norwood School said:

I loved sweet pizza .I enjoyed reading it and at some times I couldn't put it down.
It is a brilliant story and is quite unique. It is very different to the other books.All in all it was great and there wasn't a time I didnt enjoy the book.It is one of my favourite books

LOVE THIS BOOK

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26 Apr 2017 06:30

Ruby from Streatham and Clapham High School for Girls said:

Sweet pizza was already an unique title to me about a boy named Joe trying to express his Italian roots in South Wales.
This book was full of exciting language and the concept of it had and interesting twist when he tries to save his mother's cafe and take influence from his grandfather in the war. An interesting and unique book to read.

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25 Apr 2017 17:46

Audrey from La Retraite Catholic School for Girls said:

The book was amazing and interesting. It did bore me once and wasn't tedious. This book is one of my favorites. I like it because it has a different plot compared to other stories, it is a very unique story. Also the food sounds mouthwatering and delicious. Plus the description is very descriptive.

I LOVE SWEET PIZZA and would probably read it again!!!

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25 Apr 2017 12:53

Aferata from La Retraite Catholic School for Girls said:

Sweet pizza is a nice book of humility, peace and war. The book is about an Italian people in wales and had a café that was dying out into a useless place. Joe loves the food, the café, his family and tries to prevent this horror to happen and it’s all happening quickly for him. It gets exciting the more you read more and puts up on your feet to find out what is happening.

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24 Apr 2017 18:00

Aferata from La Retraite Catholic School for Girls said:

Sweet pizza is a nice book of humility, peace and war. The book is about an Italian people in wales and had a café that was dying out into a useless place. Joe loves the food, the café, his family and tries to prevent this horror to happen and it’s all happening quickly for him. It gets exciting the more you read more and puts up on your feet to find out what is happening.

Star Rating:

24 Apr 2017 12:50

Ella from Streatham and Clapham High School for Girls said:

This book is amazing, about a boy called Joe whose mum is sick of running her tatty café in Wales. Joe's granddad called Nonno, the old owner of the café, had a stroke so he asked a girl to come Joe and her saved the café.

Star Rating:

21 Apr 2017 15:08

Bianca from La Retraite Catholic School for Girls said:

The story follows Joe Davis, a boy who basically wishes he was not Welsh but fully Italian. Right off the bat, I had a fascination with Joe, considering the fact that he is practically one of the only characters (from books that I've read) that are not physically perfect (he is "overweight", according to his mother, which is why he has to go on a diet). Not only that, but the fact that there was a different culture altogether (Italian) involved also lured me in. This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster: I felt happy for Joe when his cousin Mimi came and basically gave him more popularity; I felt sorry for Joe when he realised that he was in love with said cousin; I felt dejected when Nonno fell ill; I felt upset when he found out that his mother wanted to sell the café; I felt a surge of hope when Joe figured out ways to gain more business for Café Merelli; I felt like I was going back in time when Joe listened to Nonno's tapes of his past; and I felt uplifted when Joe thought of the idea to have a celebration to commemorate the efforts that his neighbours took to hide his great-grandfather (I believe his name was Vito Merelli).
All in all, there was something about this book that reminded me of family coming together. When I completed it, I immediately began imagining a scenario of a family that had separated or fallen apart, a family that had ignored each other for ages. And then there is a minute celebration dedicated to remembering how the family aided each other and how they should always be together, and then the family forget any events that had happened that had driven then apart and come together again. What I am trying to say is that Sweet Pizza made me think. It made me contemplate whether or not it was worth ignoring the good aspects of something or someone just because an unfortunate event or thing had given it a bad name. I, personally, think that that is an excellent moral for children to learn. And, I think, that the smooth transitioning between events and how the events were ordered really brought that message across, which is quite inspirational and encouraging.

Star Rating:

12 Apr 2017 18:26

Aliyah from The Norwood School said:

This book is about Joe a boy who lives in whales who is determined to try and save his families cafe. And later on in the story the history about the cafe begins to unravel after Joe's grandad nono talks about his history in world war 2.


Not many people have read this book in my club since they thought it was quite boring but to be honest I think that this book isn't as bad as it seems. It is not as good as I expected in the beginning but i really like the idea of nono telling the story about him in world war 2 because its like another story in a story and I just found it really interesting. Most of the book was boring to be honest and the only part I found interesting was learning about the history of the cafe. If you're someone who loves action and adventure books (like me) then I honestly don't recommend this book but if your someone who likes food and maybe a bit of history I think that this book will be perfect for you. I'm not sure if this book will win the award but it doesn't mean it's a bad book.

Star Rating:

06 Apr 2017 18:38

Safiya from Dunraven Secondary School said:

Overall I think the book was quite good. Although I prefer more adventurous and action packed books, it was enjoyable. There were some parts inside of the book where it seemed to become a little bit boring but I managed to find some interest in it. I would recommend this book to someone who has an interest in more realistic stories.

Star Rating:

29 Mar 2017 11:29

Sofia from Dunraven Secondary School said:

I think that the book sweet pizza was not bad, although it got interesting at some points I enjoyed most of it but in another point it was rather boring I liked the part when they host a dinner at their cafe especially although I was disappointed with the ending because it wasn’t very developed. Overall I liked the book very much, although i'm not sure it would be the winner in the phoenix book award. I think this book is too realistic and not much drama in the story.

Star Rating:

29 Mar 2017 11:29

rosie from Streatham and Clapham High School for Girls said:

I enjoyed this book massively as the story line is fascinating. This book has everything: a little bit of history, some interesting characters and even a touch of Italian! What I loved about this book is, it uses dialogue in such a clever way, and the only thing I don’t like about this book is that the chapters are really small.
The book is about a boy called Joe who loves his Italian heritage. His family runs a café set in wales, his mother wants to shut down the café but Joe vows to save it and teams up with his beautiful Italian cousin who has all the boys after her. Only at the same time his grandfather has a stroke and is taken ill! Joe’s grandfather records a set of tapes about his life in the war.

Star Rating:

29 Mar 2017 09:42

Ibrahim from The Norwood School said:

Sweet Pizza is an extraordinary book set in Wales.Based on the love of food,this is the perfect book for food lovers.

Family owning a café (café Merelli) in Bryn Maw,Wales,Joe can never be happier.Or can he?Read along as Combi (Joe's friend) and Mimi (Joe's cousin) team up with Joe to save his family's café.Also, Joe hates his Welsh surname,Davis but loves his Italian surname,Merelli.Listen to Nonno's (Joe's grandfather) recordings about his life as an Italian immigrant immigrating to Wales during World War 2.

In this book,Joe vows to save his family's buisiness whilst trying to find out more about his Italian Heratige and about his family's past.Witness Nonno as he suffers from a stroke and find out how he struggles to survive after his stroke.

What I liked about this book was the way that there was so much suspense especially when Nonno had a stroke.Also, I found Nonno's recordings about his life in World War 2 very interesting.

Although I liked this book,I disliked the fact that the chapters were really small.

Like this book?Then read 'Cowgirl',another book by the pen of G.R.Gemin.

Star Rating:

25 Mar 2017 07:52

Ella from Streatham and Clapham High School for Girls said:

Sweet Pizza was an inspiring book all about a boy with a big dream. Set in Wales, Joe wants his old run down Italian café to become a popular restaurant like it was once before. With the help of Mimi, Combi, and his loved grampa Nonno they create a joyous atmosphere which cannot be beaten throughout the book we hear as readers Nonno's non fiction past which really makes you think how they treated the Italians . I think this 7-13 year old recommended book will leave you almost crying with the strong message still in your heart.

Star Rating:

23 Mar 2017 13:20

Nicole from The Elmgreen School said:

Sweet Pizza is about an Italian immigrant family who live in Wales. The main character is called Joe and he is determined to find more out about his Italian heritage.
What I like about Sweet Pizza is that it has lots of funny passages and it also even tells you how to speak some Italian. My favourite character is Nonno because the book tells us his story during World War 2 and it is really interesting. It also keeps us guessing and I think that it was written particularly well because there were some really tense moments.
What I disliked about the book is that they could have made the chapters a little longer. And if they were longer that would have meant that it would probably leave on a cliffhanger, but apart from that the book was great.
Overall I think that the book was great because there is always a twist that you would never expect and it is also really interesting. Also in the last chapter there is a great twist towards the end. Out of 5 I would give it a 4.5 because even though the plot was great, as I said the chapters could have been longer.

Star Rating:

06 Mar 2017 16:56

Erin from The Elmgreen School said:

Sweet Pizza is a loveable book about 14 year old Joe. Joe loves his Italian roots and his Café Merelli. But when his mum decides to sell the café, it is down to Joe to keep it on its last legs. This book is an engaging read if you enjoy food and Italian culture. This book’s story line flows very well, however it isn’t the most engaging or interesting. I do recommend this book though.

Star Rating:

06 Mar 2017 16:54

Warrick from The Elmgreen School said:

Sweet Pizza is a novel about a boy called Joe Davis who wants to be more in touch with his Italian roots. His family owns Café Merelli, an Italian restaurant on its last legs. Joe has an idea that could make or break the restaraunt.
I really like this book because it is light-hearted and sends you on a fun adventure filled with love, friendship and Sweet Pizza!
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books that are spiced with a foreign flavour.
Overall I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars as it is filled with light hearted humour and the book as a whole is very relatable.

Star Rating:

06 Mar 2017 16:53

Emily from The Elmgreen School said:

Sweet Pizza is definitely a very good book. However, the book is very centred around food and it could have branched out more. As well as this, the story includes the family business’s past and it would have been interesting to hear more about that. Furthermore it was centred on one main character but other characters were also very interesting and it would have been nice to know about other characters. The mother of Joe (the main character) also goes along with many of his ridiculous plans and as this is set in a realistic setting this didn’t make much sense to me.
The blurb definitely draws out the importance of Italy and Joe is definitely in touch with his Italian roots. However, most of what he knows about Italy is just what his grandfather has told him. I definitely think that Gemin has romanticised Italy but this works well with the plot.
In Sweet Pizza Joe is introduced to his now grown up cousin for the second time ever. Mimi is described as beautiful and many boys fall in love with her but one of these boys is Joe her cousin! I couldn’t help finding this a little creepy.
Overall, I enjoyed Sweet Pizza and I would definitely recommend it.

Star Rating:

06 Mar 2017 16:52

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News

Dan Smith wins 2017 Phoenix Book Award for Boy X

Huge congratulations to Dan Smith who won the Phoenix Book Award 2017 for Boy X!

On 4th May 2017 students from Elmgreen, Dunraven, Lilian Baylis, La Retraite, Streatham & Clapham High School and Platenos gathered at The Norwood School for the much anticipated finale celebration.

It was a fantastic morning filled with student presentations, film and drama. We were very lucky to have two of the shortlisted authors, Dan Smith and Katherine Woodfine, in attendance. Both gave fantastic presentations on their love of reading, their books and inspirations.

We were also very honoured to host Mayor Marcia Cameron who delivered an inspiring speech on her love for reading before handing out prizes and certificates to the students.

All 4 of the shortlisted books had been thoroughly enjoyed by the book groups - but the winner, as voted for by the students, is the gripping thriller Boy X by Dan Smith!

Message from Dan:

"These kinds of awards always mean so much because the readers choose their favourite books, write reviews, and vote for the winner. In the case of the Phoenix Book Award, the students even choose the shortlist. On the day, the students were amazing - different schools championed different books, giving presentations, showing films, and there was even a short piece of drama written especially for the occasion! And when it was time to announce the winner, it was so exciting to hear Boy X being called out! The students were fantastic, the organisation was perfect, and it was a huge honour to win. Thank you to everyone who voted for Boy X - the trophy is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf."

Photos from the event can be found in our Photo Gallery.

Dan Smith's response to 2017 shortlist place

DAN SMITH SAYS: "I am honoured and thrilled that Boy X has been shortlisted for the Phoenix Book Award! I wrote the book in the hope that younger readers would enjoy the adventure, so it's especially exciting to be shortlisted for an award like this - where the younger readers are in charge and they get to choose and vote for their favourites!"

G R Gemin's response to 2017 shortlist place

G R GEMIN SAYS: "When you write a book you are communicating, but you never know how your writing will be received by readers. So when Sweet Pizza was shortlisted for the Lambeth Phoenix Award it made all the hard work worthwhile.

I believe the book has an important message for its readers, which is we all have a story, and that history does not necessarily begin in the country in which we are born. We all have histories: our parents, grandparents and carers all have their stories which are important to know and remember. In the story of Sweet Pizza Joe finds out about the history of his grandfather and great grandfather. You too can do the same - you can ask your parents and grandparents or carers about their stories, their histories. It is called oral history. It is just as vital as the many history books and stories that you will come to know through your school work and research.

So I invite you to find out about your family histories and record them in a document, on paper or on computer, because I guarantee that as you grow older you will be glad you did it, as it will be a record that is unique to you and your family for years to come.

Thank you for shortlisting Sweet Pizza, I'm really sorry I can't be at the award event but I wish you enjoyment in reading and discovering all there is to know about your families and where you come from."

Robert Beatty's response to 2017 shortlist place

ROBERT BEATTY SAYS: "Thank you so much for nominating Serafina and the Black Cloak for the 2017 Lambeth Phoenix Book Award. I am so pleased and honored that the first book in the Serafina Series is one of your favorite books this year. I wrote Serafina and the Black Cloak with my daughters when they were 10 and 12 years old. They helped me to create the Serafina character and the story. They were very excited to hear about being nominated for this award. So, thank you for that.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please be sure to watch the book trailers for the first two books in the series. My family and I made these trailers near our home where the books are set. My wife made the beautiful costumes, my younger daughter plays the Serafina role, and my older daughter plays the role of Lady Rowena (book 2). We even used our dog in the trailer! :)

http://robert-beatty.com/serafina-book-trailer/
http://robert-beatty.com/serafina-twisted-staff-book-trailer/

Good luck in the final phase of Book Award process. We look forward to learning the results. And best of luck with your studies and the remainder of the school year.

2017 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2017 Phoenix Book Award has been announced. Please visit our Books page for full details.

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Events

4 May 2017
2017 Finale

The The Phoenix Book Award 2017 finale will take place on 4th May 2017 at The Norwood School.

The Phoenix Book Award 2017 Finale

Cool Ideas

  • Write a review here on the website
  • Design a film poster/advert for the book
  • Write a diary entry for one of the characters
  • Interview one of the characters
  • Research the author on the internet and prepare a presentation for the class

About the Award

This exciting South London based Book Prize targets Year 5, 6, 7 and 8 pupils in Lambeth, encouraging them to read through the transition years. Phoenix is a unique book prize as students are involved in every stage of the award; from picking the shortlist, to shadowing the award and then finally voting for their favourite. It is open to all schools in the Lambeth area - for more information please contact Sandra Davidson via our Contact page.

Pupils from Elmgreen School, La Retraite, Lillian Bayliss and The Norwood School had the responsibility of selecting and voting for books from a longlist of 32 titles to pick the 4 titles that are on this year's shortlist. The winner will be announced on 4th May 2017 at the finale event, being held at The Norwood School.