Thursday, October 24, 2013

A writing competition & a stamp design competition!

There are 2 competitions to celebrate the opening of the new Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre!

Emerald Hill Stories writing competition

Create a story with local characters and places and publish it online! There are also prizes to be won! Open to all ages!
  • Is your character attending a concert by a famous violinist performing at the music academy in the South Melbourne Town Hall?
  • Are they reporting a crime at the police station? Or being arrested?
  • Will your characters borrow a book from the library or discover some information about a mysterious relative at the heritage centre?
  • Is your character a  mayor or councillor?
  • Or a vampire? Will they all eventually meet up?
Write a story using any of these local settings:
  • town hall
  • post office 
  • library and heritage centre 
  • police station or others
  • and our local streets.
Entries close on 22 November 2013 - find out conditions of entry and how to enter on the Library & Heritage website:

Put your stamp on history - stamp design competition

Design a limited edition stamp for the Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre.

The image should relate to the activities that take place at the Library & Heritage Centre, or to our location on Emerald Hill, South Melbourne.

The design can be hand drawn, a photograph, a painting or computer generated, whatever your favourite medium is.

Two age categories:
  • Under 12 years of age
  • 12+ years of age
The winner in each category will have their stamp made into a limited edition set of stamps through the Australia Post website.

All designs will be included in an online exhibition of competition entries.

Entries close on 22 November 2013 - find out conditions of entry and how to enter on the Library & Heritage website:

October reviews from Albert Park

Wonder by R.J. Palacio - reviewed by Tiana

The story is about a boy called Auggie (10yrs) who has a deformed face. He is going to school for the first time and is scared. He does find  new friends, but can he convince his new classmates he is just an ordinary kid?

Rated: 5/5 - "It is a touching story, and I really liked the many poems in each section, because they MATCH the storyline as you read it. The cover is interesting (picture of a face with only one eye) - it makes you wonder what Auggie looks like.. which you find out through the storyline."

Clearheart (bk. 2, Flitterwig series) by Edrei Cullen - also reviewed by Tiana

Ella is a Flitterwig, part human part magical. She is starting Flitterwig school to learn how to use her Elven skills. But she is a Clearheart and can do magic that others can’t. She has special dewdrops that can control/speak to her. Her friend is kidnapped by an evil duke, who plans to invade her kingdom of Magus and control the special dewdrops. An adventure begins (with her Protector Charlie Snoppit) to find him and prove their innocence with the Queen.

Rated: 5/5 - "I  liked the book because I like  magical things.It is an interesting book with lots of detail and description. It has tricky words like 'pollutification' (pollution), so I would recommend for 8+."

Billionaire’s curse by Richard Newsome - reviewed by Alex G.

Gerald Wilkins is on summer holidays until he finds himself attending the funeral of an aunt he has never met. She is the richest woman in the world. Others get some teaspoons, a sign from a bedroom door, but he gets 20 billion pounds! He also gets a bundle of letters from his dead aunt, saying she was going to be murdered. Was she murdered? Who stole the world’s most valuable diamond? Gerard’s got a mystery to solve. He finds suspects along the way, but it seems he has everything wrong.

Rated: 5/5 - "It's a complicated plot, but makes sense when you read it. I love knowing that something is going to happen but then find that the opposite happens.There are unexpected twists in the plot. Recommended for 9+, as the language is more complicated than the language in Clearheart, as they are not made-up words."

The wishing chair by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Zoe

This book includes 3 stories: Adventures of the wishing chair; The wishing chair again; and More wishing chair stories

The wishing chair can fly and grant wishes. It takes Molly, Peter and Chinky the pixie on adventures. Along the way Molly and Peter find their mother’s ring, a mouse, are given special tablets to make the chair and themselves small, and they meet The Snoogle, who has a duck head, dinosaur body and a fox tail.

Rated 5/5 - "I like it because it is adventurous and mysterious."

Point blanc by Anthony Horowitz - reviewed by Alex W.

This is the second in the Alex Rider series. He is a M16 spy, who is asked to infiltrate the Point Blanc Academy, a school for rebellious rich boys, after the 'accidental deaths' of two of the most powerful men in the world. He discovers students are being 'cloned'."

Rated 5/5 - "I like all the Alex Rider series. I like 'action' and spy stories. I also recommend the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson."

The cutest pet ever by Sally Rippin - reviewed by Hannah

Billie is bored all the time. She  has asked for a pet pony but her parents say no because her backyard is small. She finds a pet shop that has a sign saying "Last guinea pig". Perhaps she could do some jobs to get enough money to buy the guinea pig. However, sadly the guinea is sold by the time she goes back to the shop. Her dad surprises her by asking her to hold a box on the way home, and guess what, the guinea pig is in the box! Her dad had bought it.

Rated 5/5 - "I like the way the story is sad and then happy. I really like the Billie Brown series - they are good if you want to read short stories."

Thea Stilton and the secret of the old castle by Geronimo Stilton - reviewed by Lulu

When the Thea Sisters' friend Bridget returns to Scotland  because her castle is in danger of of being knocked down for an amusement park, the five mice offer to help.

Bridget then goes missing and is found at a lighthouse. They need to find the will to stop the castle from being knocked down. They do and there is a happy ending.

Rated 4/5 - "I liked the characters and the adventures along the way."

The accidental princess by Jen Storer - reviewed by Leticia

Matilda Valentine is a lord's and lady’s daughter. She has a big sister Iris and they fight about EVERYTHING. They don’t see their parents much as they go to a lot of parties, so the nanny, cook and gardener look after them. After an argument Matilda hides Iris’s lucky penny in a lilac hedge, where she falls. The adventure starts as she is mistaken for royalty by the pixies/fairies of the hedge. She is drawn into this world where evil threatens - along the way there are loyal pixies, nasty imps and other folk. Only Matilda can stop it.

Rated 5/5 - "It was nerve racking! A really good book, not too magical, more humanlike"

Reviews from St Kilda for October

The edge chronicles by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell - reviewed by Jack

There are 9 books in the series - this review focuses mainly on nos. 4, 5, 6 - but the first three in the series are about a boy called Quint and his adventures.

The next three in the series are about when he is grown up, and about his son Twig.

In the fourth book Twig has been brought up by a family of wood trolls who are about a metre high, short and fat with big pudgy noses and their hair sticks up. Twig finds out he is not actually a wood troll but was just abandoned there by (who knows, he doesn’t know in this book).

He is about 7/8’s of the way through the fourth book where he meets his father. In the fifth book they go storm chasing. Sanctaphrax is a floating giant city which needs some stormphrax (pure lightning) to weigh it down.

In the sixth book Quint's father has been consumed by the mother storm that rolls in about every 1000 years or so. This storm gives birth to Riverrise and Sanctaphrax is in the way so the mother storm will waste all her energy destroying Sanctaphrax and won’t give birth to Riverrise ever again. So Twig loses his memory in the storm and he has to travel to Riverrise so his memory can be jogged back into action. When he remembers that Sanctaphrax is going to be destroyed he has to travel back to Sanctaphrax in a matter of hours but he can’t do that on the sky pirate ship or on a sky ship because (1) it won’t be fast enough, and (2) because he doesn’t have one so he can go by Skyfiring, which is a sky pirate punishment in which they tie you to a log, aim the log at the sky and set fire to it and it goes up forever but he doesn’t aim it up to the sky so he gets back to Sanctaphrax in a matter of hours.

He has to run to the middle of Undertown, which is under Sanctaphrax and he has to let Sanctaphrax go free.

I think it’s a really, really good series that could be enjoyed by all over 7. It’s action packed and there are many close calls which make it very exciting.

Rated: 4.9 reallys – "it could do with a little more romance!"

The frog princess by E.D. Baker - reviewed by Olivia

It's about this girl called Princess Emeralda. She goes down to the swamp and meets a frog, whose name is Prince Eadric. The next day when she comes back to the swamp she decides she will kiss him. The day before the frog had asked for a kiss so he could turn back into a human but she turns into a frog, then she has to learn to hop properly and how to catch flies. They go in search of a witch who put the spell on Prince Eadric. They think they find her but it isn’t the right one and she captures them and puts them in a cage.

They meet all the others that she has captured because she wants to make a potion with them. They meet a bat called Lil Stinker, a snake called Fang and 3 spiders called Eanie, Meanie and mo. Then Emma (Princess Emeralda) casts her own spell which unlocks all the cages so all the animals escape. Lil Stinker, Princess Emeralda and Prince Eadric try to find the princess's aunt who is a witch and on the way they meet Fang who helps them back to the castle.

Rated: 4.8 reallys - "A really good book."