Thursday, November 24, 2011

Albert Park reviews for November

The lost Island of Tamarind by Nadia Aguiar - reviewed by Emma

This is an adventure/fantasy novel. It's about 3 kids - a 13 year old girl May, her 9 year old brother and baby sister. Their parents are marine biologists and sail the world. Their dad tells them a story about a magical island. That night there is a storm and their boat is in trouble and they get separated from their parents. The children are marooned on an island, and they soon realise it's not a normal island. They meet a boy who tells them they are on Tamarind, the magical island. And they have to start looking for their parents. It's a bit scary and sad as well.

Rated: 4.9/5 - "It's a bit scary and sad as well. I would recommend it for 10-14 year olds because it is quite long and difficult."

Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl - reviewed by Alex W.

It is about the Bucket family, who are so poor that they only have cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a competition to find five golden tickets - if you find one you get to go to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Charlie finds some money and buys some chocolate and finds one of the golden tickets inside. He chooses to take Grandpa Jo with him to the factory. The other contestants get knocked out because they don't listen to Willy Wonka. They get to try heaps of sweet things.

Rated: 5/5 - "It is very interesting and funny as well." Recommended for 7-9 year olds.

Do not open this book! by Michaela Muntean - reviewed by Jo

A pig does NOT want you to open this book, because he has not finished writing the story. He tries to do everything to make you close it!

Rated: 4/5 - "Really funny. It is a picture book - I love it!"

Ranger's apprentice series (bks. 2 & 3) by John Flanagan - reviewed by Caitlin

The burning bridge (bk. 2)

There is an evil warlord Morgarath and he captures all the men in Celtica. The only person left is a girl called Evanlyn. Will and Horace go to find out why Morgarath has taken them. They find out that Morgarath needs them to build a bridge. Will and Evanlyn are then captured by the Skandians - that's how the book ends.


This is the next book and it continues with Halt defying the king so he can rescue Will and Evanlyn.

Rated: 4.9/5 - "These are long stories, and a series, and they are good!"

The wind in the willows by Kenneth Grahame - reviewed by Alex G.

The book is about Water Rat, Mole and Toad, and all of their adventures. Water Rat and Mole live by the riverbank, and Toad lives in a pond. In parts it's funny.

Rated: 4.9/5 - "I think over 9 year olds will like it because some of the words are hard to understand."

The key to Rondo by Emily Rodda - reviewed by Harriet

It's a princess-type story but for older kids. The main characters are an evil queen and a family that own a music box. Once a year you can enter the music box and go into another world which the evil queen rules. The family dog jumps inside and the queen steals it. She will only give the dog back if the family give the keys to the box...

Rated: 4/5 - "I don't love it, but I will keep reading it."

The emperor of Nihon-ja (bk. 10, Ranger's apprentice) by John Flanagan - reviewed by Jade

Will, Alyss and Evanlyn go in search of Horace who has gone missing for months. They find him in Nihon-ja trying to protect the people from an evil ruler who has betrayed his empire. They find some mysterious timber workers and Will trains them to help them.

Rated: 5/5 - "I love Ranger's apprentice!"

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini - reviewed by Annabel

The main character, Eragon, has a dragon and together they capture four cities. They are struggling to overthrow the evil ruler of the empire. The other characters, Murtagh and Thorn - who are evil - have captured the Varden.

Rated: 5/5 - "It's a bit gruesome. The series is about riders and their dragons, rebels and evil rulers, and that's the kind of stories that I like."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Library writing competition winners

The judges have made their decision, the winners have been notified and now you can all read the winning entries in the "It was Spring, and time to move ......." writing competition!

7-9 age group:

  • Ari, aged 9 - winner of the $50 book voucher for "The Cheat"
  • Cassidy, aged 9 - equal runner up - winner of $30 book voucher for "The Calculator ABC"
  • Leon, aged 9 - equal runner up - winner of $30 book voucher for "The Squirrel Family"

10-11 age group:

The Cheat ... by Ari

It was spring and time to move back to Fluffy Land. No one wanted to move, but they had to. Otherwise they would be the baldest people in the whole of Fluffy Land. It would be a disgrace to be bald. But that’s not the worst of it, they would also be punished by the King of Fluff, the harsh ruler. The punishment involved being viciously cold and mentally blank each time an attempt was made to go to sleep.

The only way not to be punished was by beating the Blanket of Truth in a sleep off.

It was a cold Saturday. Tom walked out of the house to find hundreds of deck chairs with bright red pillows and white blankets with aqua stripes, so Jack sat in the nearest one which was like sitting in something so comfy he just felt happy.

Then Tom, his best friend came and said, “Hey Jack. Why are you here? Why don’t you want to go to Fluffy Land?”

“Because I don’t want to be bald and go back where the King of Fluff will punish me."

“Then, I will talk to the fluffy King. It will be a long journey and we will have to go to the fluffy castle in the heavens."

Tom and Jack went to the roof of the house where there was an old military helicopter. It was for display but was still good for flying.

When they got down from the roof they decided to change their tactics and train for a big sleep off.

The sleep off was a way of challenging the king. If they sleep for a long enough time they could avoid punishment.

“We will have to make you sleep for around a week. Well to start, I will have to train you for a good 5 days. It would help to start by becoming a bit fatter or putting on a few new blankets and we’ll sleep for as long as we can. I will time you. Let the sleeping begin."

Four days later Jack woke up, but he didn't feel rested. He felt so bad and sick. They didn't have more time to practice so they went up to the roof to leave.

Jack was still nervous about becoming bald and the punishment. He found a way to win - cheat. "I'll just take some sleeping pills." So Jack went into the house and got a pack of sleeping pills and decided he would definitely win.

They travelled in their helicopter which struggled to journey to the heavens but eventually they arrived at the castle. They went up the stairs and said the password for the doors, and finally came into the throne room.

A magnificent fluffy cuddly blanket came into the room and said “hello young one, I see you are starting to become bald".

“Yes Sir. We are here to have a sleep off so I can reverse that.”

“Ok get in the beds" said the blanket of truth, “Let the sleeping begin.”

At that second Jack secretly put the sleeping pill in his mouth and started sleeping.

The Blanket of Truth woke up and woke Jack, very angry. “You might have won but you cheated, which means you will still have to be punished. I don’t like cheats” he roared and he did not look so cuddly at that moment.

Jack had cheated; he was going to lose his hair and would have terrible sleeps. Fluffy Land was not going to be a cozy home for him.

The Calculator ABC ... by Cassidy

It was spring and time to move house. Sam, Max & Sally were walking by the old house that they were about to move into.

Max said “It’s pretty small”. “It’s spooky & dark” Sam wailed, but Sally said “it’s just an old house, don’t be scared Sam” she added, seeing the look on Max’s face, but Sam said “I can’t get rid of my fears quickly, you know that Sally”. Sally said “yes I know, but let’s stop talking, we’ve reached the school gates.” And so they had.

Sam had a troubled day at school, not like Max who came top in everything. He was so busy with his work (which was maths) that he completely forgot about the old house & not until a few weeks later when they were moving house that he remembered it.

A few weeks later Max found in the garden a piece of paper, it said; “Ms Orange saw, a fortnight ago, a yellowish light coming from the top right window of the house that the Larances just moved into” (the Larances are Sam, Max & Sally ).

He showed the piece of paper to Sam & Sally. Sally said “the top right window huh, that’s the attic isn’t it?” “Yes” said Max quietly. “I’m scared” wailed Sam. “SHUT UP SAM” roared Sally & Max.

“Mummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy” shrieked Sam “Max & Sally are being mean to me”.  Alice came running. “What’s the matter Sam?” “They’re being mean to me” said Sam, pointing a finger at Sally and Max.

“Firstly” said Alice “what did you do to Sam?” Sally & Max opened their mouths but were cut short by Alice. “Secondly” she began “it’s rude to point fingers at people Sam”. Sam burst into tears. “I dddddidn't mmmmmmean tto” said Sam between sobs. “I know you didn’t mean to Sam” said Alice trying to comfort him, “but that doesn’t mean you’re getting away with it” said Alice sternly, “all of you go to your bedrooms right now”.

Sally, Max & Sam were so surprised by the voice that she made that they went to their bedrooms without arguing.

Upstairs in their rooms (this was their first time in their bedrooms) they each found a piece of paper that said: “feel the walls”; They all felt the walls. It was Max that first discovered the secret passage - he found it by feeling the wall.

The calculater ABC was very close to the door (the calculator ABC is a calculator but with words instead of numbers). He typed in just for the fun of it “old Japan”, but when he opened the door he was not in London but in old Japan and then he knew the calculator ABC wasn’t just any old calculator, it was one that transported you to anywhere you wanted to go.

Quickly he typed in “London” and when he opened the door there was his room, but something strange had happened. His room was absolutely spotless. Something made his body tremble. Quickly he took a newspaper off the desk, even stranger he did not like reading newspapers and he hadn’t got a desk. He looked at the date in the newspaper. When he saw the date he nearly collapsed - it was 1324 in London. It was 2010. He was stuck in time! He saw tiny print on the calculator ABC. It said I can’t get you back to your normal time, you have to have the three diamonds to go back. Get them but you will find many dangers in your way. p.s take me with you.

Max was impressed, a calculator that can talk, he said to himself, that’s so cool. Suddenly he heard footsteps coming up the stairs, thump thump thump, and there was also a noise of wailing. It came nearer then suddenly stopped. Slowly a female head poked through the door. Max was surprised. She looked the exact copy of his elder sister Sally.

Slowly she came into the room. She said “who are you?” Slowly Max said “my name is Max”. She said “my little cousin is called Max.” “Well that it explains it” said Max. She must be the one who went out to war thought Max.

Then he noticed she was wearing a diamond in her hair and he said to the calculator ABC “is this one of the diamonds?” and the calculator said “yes”, then slowly he said “can I have that diamond in your hair?” But as Max had feared she said “no way, it's mine", then Max did the only thing possible, he snatched it out of her hair and was about to climb out of the window when a rough hand grabbed him by the shoulder. It was Eva (thats the cousin’s name). She said “where are you going anyway?” “That’s none of your business” Max said trying to get away but her grip was too strong. Finally he managed to break free and went off running down the street.

The calculator ABC was sitting on his shoulder saying “you’ve got one diamond, you’ve got one diamond”. Then suddenly he stopped. Just at that moment he said “hey you know what I think? I can get you back to your normal time." Quickly Max typed in "London 2010" and soon he was back in his own bed. It was night there and soon he was dreaming about tomorrow when he would tell Sally and Sam all about his adventures.

The Squirrel Family ... by Leon

"It was spring and it was time to move’’ thought most animals in the woods, waking up from a long hard winter. BUT ONE. The Squirrel family was asleep until mid autumn. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH we are LLAAAATTE WWAAAKKKEEE UUUUUUUP" screamed Mother Squirrel to the family, "it's nearly winter and we have capital N for NO NNNUUUUUTTTTTSSSSS.’’ 

“So why don’t we get some nuts?” asked Daddy Squirrel. But the nuts were gone in that wood so they had to go to another wood beyond the mountains that surrounded their woods and were full with bears. The most dangerous bit was the human city that had to be crossed in order to get to those woods, that were not inhabited by anything but wood cutters and machines.

It was perilous and dangerous, not to be done by an animal, but it was not negotiable. It was either 'might die' or 'most certainly will die'.

When they got enough courage to go on the trip they realised they had no food for the journey. “I bet there is going to be food in the mountains’’ piped up dad, who was not a big or fussy eater so he did not care, but Bob, the littlest of them all, wailed “I can’t go without food for a day.”

As they started going up the mountains they realised that dad was wrong - there was no food - but they kept going until they found a cave to sleep in.

This cave was inhabited by a grumpy grizzly bear who had just came back from hunting and had not caught a thing. It saw the squirrels as a substitute snack but luckily Bob realised and screamed "BBBEEEAAAAARRRRRR’’ so the family scurried out.  But they had not had any food for ages and started to get hungry, and there was  hardly any food on the mountains.

Dad said he knew a place with one oak tree in a ditch in the mountains so they went up there.  However there was also a bear living in the hole, waiting for some animals to come by to ambush them. When they got into the hole, Gary, Bob’s brother, smelt out the bear and the family quickly scurried up the tree, grabbed a couple of acorns and leapt onto a ledge which was close to the tree’s branches.

But Bob could not reach the ledge and fell, and the bear took its chance, jumping out to grab him. Just missing Bob, the bear’s head smacked into the ledge and his head got stuck. Bob saw an opportunity and crawled up the bear’s body, pulling himself up onto the branches. Then he swung up to join his parents again.

Finally reaching the city, there were people everywhere. Bob nearly got lost. The quickest way to the woods is through a huge industrial factory, but that was the most dangerous part  in the journey.

Harry and Sam found some booster packs, some string and a vacuum. They tied the string to the vacuum and the booster pack and pressed the button. As the booster pack was taking off, the fire lit some fireworks which flew up and smashed the roof. Then Harry and Sam’s booster packs went flying up through the roof in the direction of the forest. The other squirrels got the same idea, they found booster packs and pressed the button while holding them.

Harry and Sam’s booster pack landed outside the forest but the others landed in the forest. Harry and Sam finally got the vacuum to work believing everything in the factory would be useful to them. Sure enough it was, especially as it was solar-powered. But the vacuum also had wheels so Sam and Harry ended up chasing after it as it rummaged around the forest. It finally stopped after trying to vacuum up a tree and was by then overflowing with acorns. Then mum said "three cheers for Harry and Sam for saving us.’’

The vacuum had broken but they still knew what to do next year.

Library story ... by Lia

It’s was spring and time to move again. I hate moving, I don’t know why dad likes to move, it’s stupid. He showed me these pictures of our new house, but I’m happy here. The moving day came along way too quickly; I packed my stuff and said my goodbyes to the house even though it couldn’t hear me. I waited to hear the sound of the moving van's engine but it had long gone.  Leaving was becoming way to close to reality.
We spent the next few hours in silence.  Then we came to a house. I nearly fainted. “Is this it” I asked, my voice cracking. Dad nodded, he stared at the house.  It was two stories high, with graffiti and smashed windows, the garden was an overgrown jungle.  Dad’s voice had that steely tone he only gets when he’s really angry, “Alex I have to go and argue, we can’t live here”. “But” I stammered “w, what about the photos”.  “They were old” sighed dad “order some pizza” and he handed me his phone.

We drove for what felt like days, before we reached any bit of the dusty road that showed some sign of life.  Even seeing the small outback town was a load off my shoulders. I thought we were going to stay in the town as we pulled into an old shabby car park, but no, Dad had other ideas. We kept on going along the track after drinking some stale ginger beer which made my throat tickle. I tried to ask Dad where we were going but he replied with a grim “we're almost there.”
I walked along the path, trying not to trip on the overgrown weeds and bushes.  I clasped my hand around the doorknob and pushed open the creaky door. The inside was better but still reminded me of a haunted house. I sat down, on the white plush sofa that didn’t fit with the peeling paint, cobwebs or freaky portraits of ladies in stiff pinafores with lacy edging.
I saw a flicker of light coming from the walls. The lady in the portrait lit a candle. She glanced at me, “are you Alex?” I nodded, my body had frozen in fright. “Good, let’s get down to business, you are now officially a member of the Timekeepers, a spy agency where your missions are in the past, future and present. Please come into HQ.” Her portrait swung open, I climbed through. Quite suddenly I whizzed down some sort of tube and into a room with two couches and a lady.
The lady smiled,  the type of smile that makes everyone in the room feel good. I sat down. ”I am the manager of Timekeepers, my name is Siena,  your first mission is in the present  but you may have to return to the past for answers to find the key of time." She clicked her fingers and I was somewhere unfamiliar and new.
My first thought was a cave, but when a ghost popped out it became clear it was the Underworld (you know, where Hades lives in Greek mythology). The ghost handed me a map and said “it will guide you through the Underworld." He disappeared. I glanced at the map - walk forward till you come to a river, it directed me. I thought I might as well follow the useless thing and walked till I came to a river.
As the river approached me the map shot out more words - this is the River Lethe, one drop will wipe all your memory and thoughts. A man was sitting by the river silently sobbing into his straggly beard. I patted him on the shoulder and he glanced at me. “Who are you” he asked me. “I’m Alex" I replied. “Well I’m Hades and someone stole the key of time and now all the Olympians hate me” he cried. “Well at the moment I’m trying to find out who stole it.” “Oh, I know who stole it all right, it was that dreaded Alecto."

I looked and I was whizzed away. In my head I knew the teacher was Alecto, she was by the Lethe but further down, cackling as she held a golden key.
I came back to my senses and told Hades what I’d seen. Together we ran up the Lethe, following the map's instructions. We finally saw her, and she saw us too, only too late. Hades bound her with ropes and I picked up the key and gave it to Hades and suddenly i was sitting with the same couch I had disappeared from so many hours ago.
The Siena asked for the key and when I told her it had been safely returned to Olympus she bubbled with anger. I realised too late she was one of the Furies. But then, to my luck a skeleton rose from the ground and saved me. I landed back in the house that was once a disaster, now shiny and new.

It was spring and time to move ... by Therese

It was spring and time to move apparently. We three (as in Tam the annoying guy, Orrin the sometimes supportive guy and me, Jenny, the so-called wanna-be ballerina) have absolutely no idea what was going on! One day mum just said we were all going to move to this abandoned house in the country. And so we are.

For some strange reason Orrin just made us start planning things to maybe find out what was going on. None of those stupid ideas have even given us the slightest idea about life yet. All of the ideas that Orrin came up with involved listening through keyholes (everyone reasonably smart knows that never works). Seriously, shouldn't a fourteen year old be able to come up with better ideas than that.

Sometimes I just sit on my bed with Fluffy (he's my dog) thinking about how much I hate ballet and how I wish I would admit to mum and dad that I really, really, really want to quit it. I think my parents (mainly mum) have this voice in their head going on and on saying that I will one day be an Anna Pavlova and amaze the world with my breathtaking dancing (breathtaking because it is so horrible I would say). This sitting on the bed and thinking about loathing ballet thing is like a ritual for me. I do it at least twice a day and I don't know why.

Tam just seems to absolutely hate Fluffy. I seriously don't know why, I think he is really cute. One day Fluffy was sitting on the floor in the dining room and Tam shouted at me. He said I needed to get my useless stuffed thing off the floor, and I haven't got over it. I can't believe he said that he was a stuffed dog. When I got Fluffy I told them he wasn't stuffed, he was real, and better that a real one because it doesn't dig up the yard.

The weather was getting warmer and we all got in trouble from mum heaps because we would never help pack anything. Today is the last ballet lesson of the term and thank goodness for that. I told mum if she let me stay I could help put our antiques in tissue paper but she said I couldn't miss another lesson because my muscles will get too stiff. Fair enough anyway, I bet she knew I wasn't going to help her. So I go to my stupid ballet class and go through all the exercises thinking "why in the world am I here, I could be stuffing myself silly at the candy store." I never know what the teacher is saying. She speaks in Spanish or blah blah or something all the time.

We have nearly packed everything and mum is always saying "prepare to move" in this weird action man voice and laughs at herself. I guess it is some sort of old persons joke.

We are in the car to the house now and it's been five hours, I guess it really is abandoned....

The time machine ... by Morris

It was spring and time to move to a new house. Bobby and his family were packing up all of their possessions to move to another part of the town. He had lived in the house for ten years with just his mum and dad, and was sad to be going.

He is having breakfast with his dad, who turns to Bobby and says "I think you should go and see grandpa before we finish packing."

Bobby gets up and starts walking towards his grandpa's house. He enjoys being out on such a nice spring day: walking past white and black houses, Range Rovers and BMWs.

When he arrives at his grandpa’s huge red manor house, he rings the bell and his grandpa, Don, answers and says "Bob how good to see you, guess what I got - Call of Duty on PS3, want to play?"

"Yeah, why not." Bob replies.

They walk along the creaky floorboards and downstairs, where the home cinema is. They begin to play and while they are playing, Bob thinks that his mum would kill him if she found out what they were doing.

Eventually Bob's grandpa goes to sleep. Bob didn't want to play anymore so he decides to explore the basement.

Bobby walks down to the basement, where he finds lots of boxes and cupboards full of stuff. One box has photos of his dad when he was young and in another a really cool spongeball. He picks up the ball but drops it and it rolls under a cupboard. Bobby looks behind the cupboard and sees a door. He pushes the cupboard aside and opens the door and sees a strange looking machine: it looks like a seat with lots of buttons and a box with the day’s date on it. He sits on the seat and changes the date to 10 years earlier and presses a big red button.

The room starts shaking and lights flash. Then there is a boom and suddenly it stops. Bob gets off the chair, feeling startled by the light and slightly giddy. He leaves his grandpas house and walks towards his own house.

On the way he is thinking to himself that the houses look different and the cars are much older. As he arrives at the house he sees his mum, who looks much younger, and is pushing a pram with a baby in it. Bobby says hello to his mum who completely ignores him as if he is not there.

He looks at the front of the house and instead of being white it is yellow. He walks into his house and goes up to his bedroom. He stands in the doorway in shock.

"What, where is my computer, my bed, my desk, my books, my Lego and my giant teddy?"

He is hungry so he walks down to the fridge and screams "My coke, hamburger, chips, nuggets, pork, bacon, roast beef, chicken, fish, salad, chocolate pudding, orange pudding, chocolate cake, pasta and brownies. They have all gone!”

Bob walks out of the kitchen and to the living room and moans "What the hell is that?" Bob says looking at a fat TV. "Where are my video games" Bob says dramatically.

Just then he realizes that he has found a time machine which took him back to when he was a baby. So he sprints back to his grandpa's house, runs down to the basement and sees the time machine.

"Where should I go to now? I know, how about the year 1245."

Bobby sits on the machine, changes the date to 1245 and then pushes the red button.

He goes flying in the air and out to the year 1245. He sees lots of people wearing fur and crowded around watching something Bob could not get a proper look at. Walking through the crowd Bob accidentally bumps into a man, who angrily turned around and says "Boy, be aware of where you are going."

“How can he see me?” thinks Bob.

Then suddenly he realizes that in the time he travels where he exists he can't be seen, but if in the time he doesn't exist he can be seen.

He gets close and sees 2 knights wearing thick metal armor, fighting each other with swords. One gets his sword knocked out of his hand.

The other knight kicks him to the ground. Bob closes his eyes; when he opens them he hears lots of cheering, He feels sorry for the poor knight, just lying on the ground with blood trickling down his neck. He leaves the arena feeling disgusted at what the knights did to each other.

Looking out into the grassland he sees an old looking cottage. Bob walks over, opens the door, he looks inside. It is a dark room with a shining treasure chest in the middle. He opens it and sees piles of gold coins worth heaps in Bob's era. He picks it up and walks towards the time machine, changes it back to the original time, then leaves.

He ends up back in his Grandpas house. He sprints back to his house and shows his Dad the gold. His Dad said eagerly, "Where on earth did you get that?"

Bob says jokingly "If I tell you I’ll have to kill you, and besides who cares, let's take this to the Gold Money Exchanger”.

They drive to the Exchange and they discovered that each gold coin is worth $50 which meant that the chest was worth $30,000. They had more than enough money to keep their house and plenty leftover. Bob still had not told anyone about the time machine. But he was very relieved and happy that he was staying in his home with his family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St Kilda reviews for November

The enemy; The dead; The fear by Charlie Higson - reviewed by Finola

Kind of a horror book where everyone over 14-15 have turned into mindless kind of zombies. The kids under 14 don’t know how to survive and are running out of food. The first one (The enemy) looks at kids hanging out in the supermarket and then they go to Buckingham palace where it is even worse. The royal family have turned into zombies and are being kept as pets. 

Rated: 3½  reallys

Finola is also reading lots of hardy boys which are very easy to read. She is reading about 6 or 7 a day. The ones that are trilogies are the best.

Watership down by Richard Adams - reviewed by Georgia

She’s liking it, but not quite finished yet. It’s about these rabbits, one of them, Fiver, predicts something bad will happen to their home (which is called a warren). A lot of “snapshots” really describe the place well.

“Snapshots” are descriptive pieces that bring a place to life!

Rated: 4 reallys

Georgia’s mum recommended it because it was her favourite book when she was about 11.

Silverfin – bk. 1 Young Bond  series – by Charlie higson

It’s about a guy called James, and there is an evil guy trying to capture him. James falls in a deep hole where he knows there are eels. He has to swim around for ages and when he comes up he holds his breath for 5 mins.

Rated: 4.5 reallys

Now Liam is reading "Heroes of Olympus".

The power of one by Bryce Courteney - reviewed by Max 

It’s about a boy who gets bullied. He meets a friend who’s mum got into a concentration camp in wartime with Hitler. His friend, a man, is put into prison because the military suspect him of being a spy because he is German. He’s only up to this part – not finished yet.

Rated: 5 reallys – Max’s mum recommended it to him.

The golden day by Ursula Dubosarsky - reviewed by Lily

There are these girls in Australia, there are 11 of them, and their teacher is called Miss Renshaw. One day they hear a man has been hanged in Melbourne – it is 1967. Miss Renshaw takes them to the Enid Thomas Memorial Garden to think about death. There they meet a man called Morgan. He takes them to a cave to see Aboriginal drawings on the walls. Miss Renshaw doesn’t come back. She goes missing for months, then the story skips 8 years – it is 1975 and Miss Renshaw has not been found. In the paper they find out that Morgan has been in jail and people suspect him of killing her. The girls have just finished their last day of school and they go to a cafĂ©. Bethany starts coughing and screaming because Miss Renshaw is coming towards them and she looks exactly the same as when she went missing and she is in the same dress. Her necklace, which had been found broken, is on her neck unbroken. They notice it is Remembrance day.

Rated:  5 reallys

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling - reviewed by Max

Max is reading this for the third time (in Borneo!). It's about how Voldemort has returned the previous summer and there is a group called the Order of the Phoenix trying to stop Voldemort and Harry, so Hermione, Harry and the Weasleys are trying to find out what’s happening, but the ministry don’t believe that Voldemort is back. They later believe it and think Voldemort is possessing Harry’s mind.

Oliver is just back from Borneo yesterday where he had a fantastic time!

and ... Finola just wanted to mention a book she's reading at school which is very complicated and intriguing, and one that makes you really have to pay attention to understand what’s going on, called Abyssinia.