Thursday, August 23, 2012

August reviews from Albert Park!

The tale of Despereux by Kate Dicamillo - reviewed by Jo

It’s about a poor girl whose father exchanges her for a red tablecloth (!). She becomes a servant but isn’t treated very well. She then is sent to work in a castle for a princess. One of her jobs is to go down to the dungeon and feed the prisoners. While down there she meets a community of mice.

I’m giving it because it is not one of my favourite books – it goes back and forth too much.  It’s an interesting story but it was a bit hard to follow sometimes.

The hunger games by Suzanne Collins - reviewed by Emma

Katniss is put into a competition called the Hunger Games where the contestants have to fight to the death until only one person is left.

I’m giving this book 5/5 .  It’s the only time I have ever given a book this score, the reason is that it has great adventure, many twists and turns and a lot of issues to think about.  I wouldn’t change a word in this book. Gripping!

Danny the champion of the world by Roald Dahl - reviewed by Alex G.

Danny loves his dad, but finds out that his dad is illegally shooting pheasants.  Then he starts teaching Danny to go poaching with him! 

I’m giving it 3/5 because I have read a few Roald Dahl books now and it’s starting to get a bit boring and this book is not as funny as some of his others.

The tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler - reviewed by Emma G.

A girl has swimming lessons, she becomes scared when she realises her legs have turned into a tail.  She goes to the ocean where she meets Shona who takes her to mermaid school.

I’m giving it 4/5 because it’s a bit weird – the story goes up and down and sort of jumps and doesn’t make sense.

Skulduggery Pleasant: kingdom of the wicked by Derek Landy - reviewed by Vincent

It’s a bit confusing in places – but I kind of liked that because I never knew what was going to happen next.  There was lots of crushing of heads and ripping out of spines so it’s a bit gruesome. 

I’m giving it 6/5 Gruesome! I like it when people tear each other up!

Wicked by Paul Jennings - reviewed by Che

Boy who receives a dried up apple in the mail, it has slugs oozing out of it which get bigger and bigger and start eating people up. Awesome!

5/5 Really good.

Fablehaven by Brendan Mull - reviewed by Annabelle

Storyline twists and turns in interesting ways.  It goes in ways you don’t expect it, I can’t say anymore than that. 

I’m giving it 5/5 I loved it.

The shadow thief by Alexandra Adornetto - reviewed by Harriet

The main characters are two children who live in a town called Drabfield where everything is the same and dull and boring.  The mayor of Drabfield is keeping everyones shadow and the children want to find out why.

It was well written until the conclusion so I’m only giving it 3/5 because the ending was disappointing and boring.

Alex told us about a poem called Middle Park Zoo he had written for a school competition and he won!  He won an Andy Griffiths book and he was quite chuffed and wanted to share it with everyone.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reviews from St Kilda for August

The odyssey – the graphic novel by Gareth Hinds - reviewed by Linus

This is based on Homer’s epic poem. It’s about a man called Odysseus and he’s held on an island by a nymph called Calypso. Odysseus wants to go back to his family and so when Hermes (the messenger of the gods) decides to let him go they build a raft. Poseidon doesn’t want him to go and builds a wave that stops him from going. He does finally get home however only to find his place is overrun by suitors. He kills them all with the help of Athena and Zeus. The suitors had been trying to steal his wife and land for themselves.

Rated:  5 reallys

The hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - reviewed by Marc

This is about a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins who likes a quiet, peaceful life - hobbits don’t like surprises or adventures. A wizard called Gandolf comes, who knows Bilbo. He comes to Bilbo’s place for afternoon tea and brings 14 dwarves. The dwarves are angry and want their homes back off a dragon called Small. They go on a quest and have a lot of trouble with trolls, orks and wolves, but eagles help. Bilbo finds a ring that makes him invisible. Their journey takes them to the forest of Mirkwood where they have all kinds of trouble. One of my favourite pieces is when they come across the giant spiders. The dragon Small is now awake and they have to kill him.

Rated:  5 reallys

Meet Rose by Sherryl Clark (part of the Our Australian girls series) reviewed by Elsa

Rose is kind of a tomboy in a rich family. She loves cricket. Rose doesn’t want to wear dresses. Her mum isn’t happy with this. The story is set in the olden days. One day her aunt Alice, an explorer, comes. She is like a tomboy too. Alice’s mum doesn’t like it because Alice is encouraging her to be tomboyish.

Rated:  4 reallys

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When imaginations go wild...

... we get some wonderful tales of adventure to read!

Here are the winners of the "let your imagination go wild" library writing competition in which writers were asked to choose one of the following passages as their story opening:

"It was strange, like nothing they had experienced before. Sam was reminded of a childhood picture book... where the walls became the world all around. Oh yes, it was 'Where the wild things are' by Maurice Sendak. Sam must have read it and had it read to him a thousand times but he had never expected to be reminded of it like this..."
"They could see land, they could see trees and plants, but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to the place where the wild things are. Would there be wild things here? he wondered..."

Category 1:  7-8 age group:
Category 2:  9-10 age group
Category 3:  11-12 age group:

As usual the standard was high, so thanks to all who entered - it's difficult to choose from such wonderfully imaginative stories - so congratulations to those who won a book voucher!

The biologists' adventure ... by Melisand, aged 8

"They could see land, they could see trees and plants but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to a place where wild things are. Would there be wild things here he wondered?"

The reason Finn (the grasshopper) is having this flashback thought is because Finn is an amazing biologist who is exploring a discovered, but unexplored, island accompanied by another biologist called Fionar (who is a ladybird)...

As Finn jumped, and Fionar flew, out of their boat onto the mysterious island they discovered that it was covered by craters from meteorites.

"Oh no!" cried out Fionar.
"Shhhh," whispered Finn. "There may be some animals sleeping you know. We are exploring at night."
"Oops," murmured Fionar.

Little did they know that nearby a mother field mouse was stuck in a dead-end meteorite tunnel. A mean clump of walking grass had blocked the tunnel with its roots and a kind-hearted talking tree was trying to persuade the horrid grass to mind its own business and go away and forget about the field mouse.

Then both Finn and Fionar heard the quarrel going on.

"Don't you respect that poor field mouse's feelings?"
"Do you really think that we care about a field mouse? Bla... bla..!" retorted the grass rudely.

They decided to investigate.
"After all we are here to explore," said Finn.
"Um... yes..." agreed Fionar nervously, and as they came closer, they decided to be on the side of who, or what, ever it was that wasn't swearing!

Meanwhile, underground the tiny field mouse whimpered for all it was worth. "Give me a chance!" she cried. "It's not my fault I'm stuck. The blades of grass tricked me into thinking this was my friend Rabbit's hole, who I was on my way to visit."

Up above the two biologists and the wonderful tree were discussing how they could get the grass to move. But they did not know that the grass was playing a game of 'stacks on' where the blades jump on top of each other. The bottom blade heard what the field mouse said and was so surprised that a silly field mouse would realize it had been tricked that it fell in. The courageous mouse only just managed to jump out of the way as the grumpy pile of grass fell down into the tunnel.

Mia, the field mouse, scampered happily out of the tunnel into the open air. Full of joy she started tugging on Finn's trousers (Finn being the only grasshopper who wears business trousers!). Finn turned around when he felt the tugging and looked down to see Mia smiling up at him.

"Yippee! Hulloa!" he shouted.
"Hello mousey! I'm so glad you got out of that tunnel," cheered Sienna the tree.

Finn and the talking tree shouted so loudly in their excitement that they alerted five other talking trees from the forest.
"Hey mates..." said one.
"That sounds like..." called another.
"Our old friend Sienna!" shouted a third. "Let's all go and see if she needs a hand."

Near the tunnel the three were still congratulating Mia on escaping. As the trees came stumbling awkwardly along (due to having to pull up their roots with every step), Sienna exclaimed "I'm so glad you came, I was just about to send for you!"

"The sneaky grass is still down there" said Fionar pointing to the tunnel. "Would you guard the tunnel to make sure that the grass doesn't get away? It needs to be taught a lesson."

"Of course we will" said the trees together.

"Thank you" said Finn. "Do you have any ideas on how the grass can be taught some manners?"

"Oh yes ... could we please borrow some rope, butter, a mini-megaphone and a spade from your boat? We'll use them as part of a prank," replied Sienna stroking her trunk thoughtfully. "We will return them by parrot mail if you give us your address ..."

"We've had quite an adventure" said Fionar.
"Yes," agreed Finn, thinking to himself, there ARE wild things here...

The wild things ... by Jack, aged 7

"They could see land, they could see trees and plants, but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to the place where the wild things are. Would there be wild things here? he wondered..."

Finn sees a little door on a cliff. Then he sails over to the door. He goes up the stairs - there were heaps of stairs and it took a very, very long time. Then he saw a big cave with heaps of wild things.

He saw that they were very friendly wild things. They didn't want to eat him up, but they really did like delicious food! They didn't like meat - they ate broccoli. There was a big pile of broccoli.

There was a little hut and there was a bench next to the hut. It had a boiling pot on a fire with heaps of broccoli in it. Finn said "can I help you guys cook the broccoli?" Then the wild things said "yes, of course!"

The wild things said "you are such a good chef. Maybe you can stay here and be the wild chef that helps us cook all our food?" Finn said "of course, but first we need to go out into the jungle to get some broccoli."

They went to the broccoli place and there were heaps of monsters on the way. They had to duck vines that could curl you up and eat you for breakfast.

So they had to get through all of those monsters and then they came to the broccoli tree. But Finn said "this is too dangerous so I need to go home!"

Finn said goodbye to all the wild things. But the wild things said "don't go, please don't go. You are a very good chef."

Finn said "I need to go home and eat my dinner."

Then he sailed home for about 259 weeks. Then he came home and his dinner was still hot!


Where the wild things are... by Matilda, aged 9

"They could see land, they could see trees and plants, but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to the place where the wild things are. Would there be wild things here? he wondered..."

What type of ignorant monsters are waiting for them? Yes, just waiting there. Waiting just to pop out and scare Finn and Cruze to a precise amount of wimpy-ness.

Then suddenly Finn stands up and grabs Cruze by the hand and says in a loud and proud voice "We're going where no other human has gone." Cruze then says, with the most unattractive face, "What do you mean no other human has gone?"

"Oh my god!" says Finn, "you'll find out when we're in there!" Cruze just shuts up and rolls his eyes. In about the one whole hour while they were there, Finn suddenly stopped as if he was a driver that just saw a tiger jump over a car! Finn then said, "Behold the Cave of Abithia!"

Chapter 2:  Who teased The Great Abithia?!

They walk in slowly, like a mouse with no armor going into a battle. They saw gold, but not much else. They could see a beautiful golden chair with a trim of diamonds and a little bit of hair sticking out the top!

They suddenly stopped dead in their tracks, showing on their face the most ignor-able expression. Then they heard a great big 'roar'! It was Abithia. She has seen another unbearable monster.

Finn and Cruze quickly tiptoed out, but suddenly the great Abithia roared with a big voice "Who's that tippy-toeing behind my back?!" and all the monsters turned and saw the little humans. The Abithia saw them and forced them to go and find gold because they were sneaking behind her back.

Finn was trying to tell her that they only wanted to have a look! But she just denied that and said "You were trying to steal my royal jewellery. But even if you weren't trying to, no humans are allowed on our island!" (and she had a little chuckle).

Cruze then says "Go cool with it bro" and Finn just replied "No way we're going to get out of this mess without a prawn to stick on a needle!" and Cruze nodded his head and kept on digging for gold.

It's like the part when the author says 'it's the end now' but you're wrong if you thought that, because it's only the beginning.

Chapter 3:  The end

Finn suddenly jumps up and says "I found gold!" and then Cruze takes charge and grabs Finn's arm and runs away. Finn says "Where are we going?" Cruze replies "We're going where every human would go!"

They went through long palm trees, spiky bushes and skinny spears. Then they were there! The boat sellers. Finn says "How are we going to pretend we're monsters?" and Cruze just looks around and sees a spiky bush and two flowers next to it. He turns around and says with big eyes "I've got an idea!"

Cruze turns and runs for those things. He puts the spiky bush on top of Finn and him and puts one flower on both of their faces.

They walk up to the seller closest to them and say "Have you got any boats for this much of gold?" and the seller says so fast you couldn't even understand him, "well yes I doodley do. I can give you big boats, small boats, medium boats or even all of those combined called the Queeny boat. So, what do you say?" but Cruze replies "we just want a tiny boat."

So the seller takes them over to a tiny, perfect yacht, and Finn says "Let's get this one!" so they jump in the yacht and give the money to the seller and sail away.

After a few hours Cruze asked for the map, but Finn says "we don't have a map!" so they just sailed away and never found their way. So that was it.

This is the part where the author says it is just the beginning, but I say it's the end!

Chapter 4:  The beginning

T H E   E N D.

The wild things ... by Riddhi, aged 10 years

"They could see land, they could see trees and plants but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddently remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to the place where the wild things are. Would there be wild things here he wondered?"

On and on they went, but nothing seemed to interest them. Everything was like an image and it seemed that time had stopped. But it hadn't. Time was always passing and soon the children realized that they hadn't eaten for hours.

"I'm starving!" complained Marie.

"I am too, but we cannot give up. We came all the way here just to see the wild things and we cannot give up just now," Finn said.

The two children were very good friends. One day they were playing as usual when they heard of the wild things from the gossip of their neighbours. They found the wild things very interesting and so decided to seek them. The two children were very determined to know who these wild things were.

Setting this goal into their mind, the children tried to find out where these things lived, but with failure.

One day Finn's family and Marie's family were going to a holiday place which was miles away, so on a break stop the children ran away with all the things they needed. The holiday place was in a forest so the break was on a forest path and the children ran into the forest.

As soon as the family realized that the children were missing they tried to find them everywhere on the forest path. When the children were nowhere to be found they thought that the children must be lost in the forest. The thought of the children being eaten by wild things terrified them and so they decided to go into the forest and seek Finn and Marie themselves.

The children went deeper and deeper into the forest when they reached a place where a faint line was drawn. Beneath it was written "Beware - Enter at your own risk". The children couldn't read such big words, but in any means would not understand it. They stepped across the line and carried on. When they could go no more they stopped for a break.

"What do we have to eat?" Finn asked. Finn opened the bag. There were only 2 cheese sandwiches and 2 small tarts. Finn was glad that Marie wasn't there to see him open it. "What will I do now?" he asked himself.

"Lunch is ready" Finn shouted and within a trice Marie came rushing from the tree she was climbing. He handed Marie a sandwich and started nibbling his sandwich. 'What will happen when we have no food left?' he thought. Marie gulped hers down in seconds but Finn just nibbled every now and then. She gestured as if she wanted some more but Fin firmly said "We are saving."

Back on the forest road Finn's and Marie's mums were anxiously waiting in case the children found their way back. The dads had gone into the forest in search of Finn and Marie. They had all that they could need - extra lunch, lots of drink bottles and nice thick sticks in case any wild things tried to attack them.

They came to the line where it was written "Beware - Enter at your own risk". Surely the children shouldn't be beyond this line because the wild things were roaming anywhere beyond. They searched everywhere and thought for a while. After some time they decided that they would bring everyone to this line, refresh themselves and then go in search of the missing children again.

Finn and Marie had had their lunch and were now heading deeper into the forest. Of course they didn't know where they were going. They just carried on when Marie said "Come here, look at this pretty stick." Finn came and saw the 'pretty stick'. Then his eyes widened in horror and surprise.

"Back off! It's a wild thing and it's asleep. We do not wish to wake it up otherwise it will bite us and we will die!!" whispered Finn. Marie was puzzled. When they were quite a distance away from the wild thing, Marie asked Finn "How did you know it was a wild thing?" as she struggled to keep up with him. "I saw it in a picture of my favourite picture book" Finn replied.

"But how did you know if that wild thing bit us we would die?" stammered Marie. "I heard it and I know that the creature was a 'python' and it was 'poisonous' which means that we will die if it bites us," Finn said matter-of-factly. 'Good thing it was asleep' thought Marie.

From now on Finn and Marie were very cautious because they knew this was the place where the wild things were. They were excited too. As they went they saw many smaller pythons which Finn referred to as 'snakes'. 'How does Finn know everything?' thought Marie.

Back on the line their parents were ready to go inside. They first thought of splitting up and then going in search of the children, but they changed their mind and decided to go together in case anything happened.

As last they went with a navigator to help them come back. There was a sort of path on which they could walk. After a while they reached a point where many paths adjoined the path they were on. They didn't know where the children went so they thought logically. They thought on which path the children would most likely go and they decided it would be better to go straight as the children would most likely go straight.

Finn and Marie were lost from the path and didn't know where to go. They were lost from the path because of the snakes. They didn't know they were lost until Marie shouted "Where has the path gone?!" Finn turned in surprise and saw what Marie meant.

There wasn't any path! Then Finn said "Don't get distracted by the snakes, just try to find the path." With difficulty the children found the path again and they decided to rest. Finn handed Marie a tart and he himself ate one and soon the two children were fast asleep...

The two fathers were walking quite slowly as if a wild thing would attack them. Then they saw a snake slithering along the forest floor. They shivered. Now they regretted they chose this path. They went far enough that they decided to rest a little but they went to sleep...

The children were having nice dreams when they heard something growling. They were still half asleep when they saw something big, black, scary with big, sharp teeth, growling like a...

"Wild thing!" exclaimed Finn. He was so terrified that his mouth went dry. Then the wild thing growled again, this time much more loudly. Marie screamed. She screamed so loudly that all the birds in that area flew away. The children didn't know what to do. They were slowly backing away...

Marie's dad suddenly woke up. He thought he heard a growling sound. He stood still for a minute thinking about the noise but then he heard another growl and then someone screaming. He woke his companion up and told him what he heard. They agreed that it was Marie's voice and they should get to them as soon as possible.

Back to the children... they were having a bit of trouble. Finn didn't know what to do. Suddenly he spotted some stones on the ground. He had an idea. 'Of course I couldn't rely on Marie, I have to do it myself,' thought Finn. He made a quick dart to the stones and threw them at the wild thing. Marie, following his example, did the same thing. They kept on throwing the stones until the wild thing couldn't bear it anymore and fled away.

"I think we've learnt enough about the wild things for one day, let's go back home', said Marie after a while.

"I think that's true, let's go home" said Finn as he turned to go back. But what did he see? He saw their dads coming. The children ran to their fathers with joy and told them everything. They also ate something as they were very hungry. Together, hand in hand, the children started to go back home with their dads.

They went back with the help of the navigator and told their mums about the adventures they had had. They all had a hearty meal and a good laugh before they continued for the holiday place while the children wrote down their adventures in simple words...

Scar's sea ... by Georgia, aged 12

"They could see land; they could see trees and plants but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book “where the wild things are.” Would there be wild things here he wondered?"

“No that’s not it” Scarlet exclaimed. She didn’t know how to start “was he dead, no, that’s not good enough.”

“Scar it’s time for dinner.”

Scar was Scarlet’s nickname, everyone knew her by that, it was as if she was born with the name. I think I’ll finish this later, she thought; I’d better get to dinner. It was then that she heard it, a scream coming from the loch, someone was in trouble and then, as if on cue she jumped out the window running as fast as she could towards the sound.

What was happening? Was someone drowning? No matter what, she had to get there fast! Then she saw it, someone had just fallen into the loch. Without thinking she jumped into the freezing water, and then all of a sudden she was in a beautiful forest, green and lush and there seemed to be - was it? - there were fairies, tiny little fairies. Their tiny bodies shimmering in the moonlight. The moon was bright and provided plenty of light to see the boy at the other end of the clearing. His hair, like Scar's, was blond and straight, he looked quite handsome. His face was pale and his eyes shone like the sun. His lips were slightly pink - a bit too pink for his pale skin.

“Hey over there,” Scar shouted. He didn’t respond. Scar walked up to him. “Are you OK?” It was then that he responded.

“What are you doing here; this is no place for humans, especially you, Scar." Scar was confused “how do you know my name? 

"I know a lot of things. My name is Carbon. Call me Carn for short. I am 15, and I have been so for quite a while. As you might have guessed, I am not human. As a matter of fact I am a plant, my blood is white and I can live purely in sunlight. I don't have to breathe. Come with me, I must take you to the elders.”


Next thing she knew they were flying through the wind. There just ahead of her was a clearing. This was where Carn landed. “How can you fly?” Scar asked. “We weren’t flying we were swimming.”Carn told her.

The elders suddenly appeared in front of them - it seemed as though they had appeared from nowhere. “I see you have her, “one of the elder’s said. This one seemed to be the leader.

“I thought you didn’t want me here Carn?” Scar exclaimed. “I didn’t but after finding you I had to bring you here.”Carn explained, “I’ll let the elders tell you the rest.”

“So Scar you are confused, you are about to take on a journey to look for the tree of life. The prophecies say that only you can uncover its secrets.”The second elder told her. “Okay when do I start?”

It was decided that Carn was to go with her. Their supplies were already packed and so they were sent on their way.

Carn and Scar had been walking for about an hour when Scar asked, “What did you mean when you said we were swimming not flying?”

“That’s exactly what I meant. Do you remember how you came here?”
“Well that is where we are.”
“You mean we are at the bottom of the loch?”
“Yes that is exactly what I mean. And how you breathe, I don’t know.”


Soon they were swimming above the trees. And then all of a sudden there, just ahead of them, was the biggest sea snake Scar had ever seen.

“Is that what I think it is?”
“I think so.”

It was giant, its fangs were as long and strong as a full grown T-Rex - you would not want to make this beast upset, but unfortunately for the two travellers something or someone had already upset it. It charged and they were almost caught between the jaws of this frightening creature. It was so close in fact that Carn’s shirt was torn to pieces and he had a massive gash in his arm. Masses of white liquid came pouring out of the wound and Scar couldn’t help the urge to help him but she knew now was not the time. Any moment now the monster could come back and attack. The only thing they could do was get as far away from here as possible.

“Which way do we go?” Scar asked.
“This way,” Carn answered.

She could tell he was in pain but there was nothing she could do to help. Then he was unconscious.
Soon they were safe under the canopy of trees. Scar and was rummaging through the bag of supplies that the elder’s had given them when Carn awoke. “Don’t move.”She whispered.

At first he thought she said this because the monster was still around but then he remembered the wound he had got from it. It was the first time Carn had really been able to have a look at Scar. She had blond hair and was at the moment smiling at him while she cleaned his wound. Her smile was comforting and he could see there was something else in it too. Was it concern, maybe but he didn’t think so, but maybe it was love?

“You’ve been unconscious for quite a while,” she told him.
Carn asked “How long exactly?”
“About an hour.” was Scar’s reply
“Wow that long.”Carn then exclaimed.

They talked a little while and came to the topic of their quest, as she had called it.

“How far away is the tree that we are to find?” she questioned.
“We should be almost there. Maybe if you swam up above the canopy you could see it.”

Scar was gone as soon as he had finished his sentence. When she came back she was smiling that smile again.

“I saw it.” she said.
“Great. How far away...”

He could see it right behind Scar. Its leaves were gold leaf. He had been told this before although he had not believed it until now. Something strange was happening; the bark was beginning to crack as if a door was opening. That was it, that was what Scar had done. She was the rightful heir to the throne of his species. But how, only people like himself could be of royalty?

That was it! Scar was not human, she was like him, an Iyla. That was why she could breathe down here. “Scar look at the tree. It’s opening. This means you are the rightful heir to the throne of Gansa!” “Oh that’s what this place is called.”

Together they raced into the opening of the tree and there in front of them was the crystal of the loch. Then, from behind, the great snake came and blocked their way. It said “Before you get my crystal you will have to fight me.”

The great snake lunged at them but this time they were ready. There had been a sword lying in the nearby grass and Scar had grabbed it just in time to slash the sword at the beast.

The snake let out a scream and said “I am the loch ness monster and I will not be defeated by some children who just happen to belong to the species of Iyla.”

What the loch ness monster did not notice was that Scar had thrown the sword to Carn who was now sneaking around the back of the beast hoping to surprise it. He heard a cry of anger as he jumped onto what he thought was a log but turned out to be the snake’s body. Suddenly he was being jerked around and he hung on for dear life.

“Carn!” Scar was trapped. The loch ness monster was heading for her and with one powerful stab Carn jabbed the sword into the heart of the snake and it was dead.
Scar had disappeared. Carn searched all over Gansa and did not find her until the new year. Their next adventure is but another story...

Memrex 2000 ... by Ella, aged 12

Part 1:  The paper clip

"They could see land, they could see trees and plants, but not much else. What would they find there? Finn suddenly remembered a favourite old picture book where a boy sailed to the place where the wild things are. Would there be wild things he wondered?..."

No, wild things don't exist, he thought confidently.

He and his sister Holly Wrede worked as spies for the top secret, most elite, spy agency called GGA, which stands for Greater Good Agency. They had been assigned a very dangerous mission; to destroy Snivvel's Memrex 2000 and save the captured agents from Demon Island. Snivvel von Crupse was the deadliest villain alive, he was also trying to erase every GGA member's memory leaving the world his to destroy via the Memrex 2000. He had already captured Mrs Katherine Remy, the head chief at GGA and Dr Harrison Sandridge, the engineer. If Snivvel's plans went well Harrison would be forced to hand over the final answers to building Memrex. Brainsweep him, followed by Katherine and the rest of the GGA.

Finn and Holly had been kidnapped from their home in Sydney, and their parents Max and Samantha had been tranquilized, bound, gagged and stuffed in a closet. The two brave spies were heading to Demon Island in a boat with two other loonies working for Snivvel.

They arrived at a rickety old pier on the side of the island. Once they had gotten to the prison the spies were thrown in and the bonds were untied. They now noticed one of the goons had a file covered in labels and clips. The men muttered something about telling Snivvel the captives were ready whilst he locked the door. They then left leaving the spies alone. They sat in silence staring at each other before Finn said "We should inspect the door." Holly just nodded and together they went to work.

They noted that it was iron bars but not much else. Then, Holly found a paper clip lying on the floor just out of reach. "Look" Holly said. "One of those men must have dropped it." She got down and tried to get it but couldn't. Finn tried and successfully reached it. He muttered "Gotcha." Holly and Finn smiled. "Now" Finn claimed, "for our escape." With ease he unfolded it, and slid it into the lock, and turned it. After a few moments there was a click. "It's the sound of freedom!" Holly sighed happily. Finn grinned and they crept out.

Using their spy pads they contacted GGA and told them everything. They sent back a map of Demon Island, including where they thought the Memrex was being kept. They crept along corridors and passageways before finally arriving at the Memrex room.

Part 2:  The Memrex

They opened the door a crack and looked inside. In one corner was the unfinished Memrex 2000, a few screwdrivers and nails. In the centre was Snivvels' builder who was sipping coffee, reading a magazine. He had his back to them and looked like he was bored out of his mind. Without hesitating Finn pulled out his sleep spray and sprayed it all over the builder. "Sleep Spray, it knocks someone out for 24 hours" Finn explained, while Holly, noticing her mouth was open, quickly shut it.

They grabbed the Memrex and bashed it against the wall. It shattered into thousands of pieces as if it was made of sand. Alarms sounded, guards screamed and Finn and Holly ran. Hopefully this would cause a diversion long enough to save Katherine and Harrison and escape. They ran outside and headed in their friends direction. Their prison was on the west wing and Finn's and Holly's was on the east.

After what seemed like years (though the chaos continued) they made it. They used the same paper clip to unlock the cell and then together they ran towards the jetty. After a quick message to GGA and a bit of waiting the two spies, and Katherine and Harrison, boarded a small raft-like boat and went to the mainland quickly.

Katherine and Harrison gave their thanks over a million times and couldn't stop shaking their hands. They were both given medals and certificates for their bravery and courage and a level bonus for stamina.

As for what happened to their parents? They had been scanned to forget that there was an agency for spies called GGA, or that their kids were in it. After that the two spies went home to a normal life, knowing that never again would their life be normal.