Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New library writing competition - June/July 2014

It's time to get writing because we have a new competition for you to enter!

Write your story using all four of the following characters:

Monkey Max


Mrs Rumblelow


Maximum 1500 words 

Entries close Friday 18 July

Send your entry with you name, phone number and date of birth to or drop it in to your nearest library branch.

Enquiries: Linda Todd, 9209-6526

Winners notified Wednesday, 23 July and winning entries will be published on the blog.

The prizes?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June reviews from St Kilda

It’s about a girl called Katniss Everdeen. Basically it’s kill or be killed. She steps up to take her sister's place as one of the tributes. She almost gets killed. She pairs up with a fellow tribute and he almost dies. Before that she had teamed up with a girl called Rue but they eventually take different paths. It is strongly written and romantic (unfortunately) and it teaches you some viable skills. 

Rated:  5 reallys - "It's a really good book!"

Following a general discussion about whether the film or the book is better, the book wins! - "the book makes things really easy to visualise and it transports you into Katniss Everdeen's world"... Netta.

Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson - reviewed by Louise (Jacqueline Wilson is her favourite author!)

It’s about this girl called Jayni, her life is really horrible. Her dad beats her mum and her mum has bruises and her little brother cries. She and her brother and mother run away and move to London. Mum gets a new boyfriend and then they break up. Her mum gets cancer. Lola Rose changes her name because she has to – she calls up her aunty and needs help and then all is reunion and happiness, but then something unexpected happens…. I can’t say what because it would be a spoiler!

Rated:  5 reallys

It is about a girl called Lyra. She goes to a place called Jordan College and the headmaster comes and says Lyra should go and help Mrs Coulter. This means they will be going on an expedition to the north. Lyra finds out that Mrs Coulter’s dæmon thing is spying on her. Dæmons are little animals that follow you everywhere, they are shape-shifters, everyone has one. Lyra has a symbol reader which tells her stuff. 

Lyra runs away from Mrs Coulter, basically the Gyptians take her and keep her on their boat, and then they take her to the north. There is this dude called Lord Asriel, she thinks he is her uncle, but he is actually her father. So, she goes to the north with the Gyptian people, then she gets captured by these hunters and gets taken to the experimental station where, for example, they can cut the link between people and their dæmons.

Rated:  4¼ reallys - "really good" – both agree.

Jamie’s garden by Jamie Oliver - reviewed by Gus

It’s about a worm that lives in Jamie's garden. There are really good pictures. He’s got a fresh food loving brother and a wicked grandma. There are really cool rub and smell bits in the book and instructions on things like how to make potato stamps and great recipes like how to make super quick strawberry ice-cream and how to make blueberry ice cubes. There is a rub and smell blueberry bit – I want to make blueberry ice cubes tonight!

Rated:  5 reallys

The last wild by Piers Torday - reviewed by Yuanquan

There’s this world where animals no longer exist. 12 year old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. When he meets talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach Kester thinks he’s gone a bit mad. They embark on a great journey. There is a wolf cub, a determined girl called Polly, quite a few animals, the last animals are in the quarantine zone. Kester was living in Spectrum Hall but before that he lived in the city of the south.

Rated:  4¾ reallys

The witches by Roald Dahl - reviewed by Jack

It’s about a grandma and a boy. They know how to identify witches. They were planning on going on a summer holiday. The boy's grandma becomes ill so they have to go to England instead. In the Hotel Magnificent there are lots of witches. The boy lives above the grand high witch's room.

Rated:  5 reallys - "I really liked it. The book and the movie are almost the same rating!"

There’s this girl called Hazel, she is dying with lung cancer. She almost died 3 times already. She meets this guy at the depression class for dealing with it. This guys name is Augustus. She likes him, he’s really nice and they really like each other. There is a blind dude, he had eye cancer and had his eyes out. Augustus starts getting a bit creepy, he starts getting really crazy about her. Something happens. She wants to go somewhere but her parents won’t let her. She looks up Augustus's ex girlfriend and reads about her… duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Rated:  4½ reallys - "Good description, like real life."

Best Mate by Michael Morpurgo - reviewed by Rosa

It’s about a dog and this boy. He finds the dog in a sack when it is a puppy floating in a river and he gets to keep one of them. It is a greyhound. An evil person captures the dog, he does greyhound races and takes him home and puts him in a kennel. Becky, the stepdaughter of the evil man, likes the dog called Best Mate and runs away with him. One day another dog bites Becky. Becky goes to hospital and Best Mate waits outside. This other guy finds Best Mate and Becky’s mum says he can have him as they can’t look after him.

Rated:  4 reallys

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - reviewed by Jackson

It’s amazing – it’s actually about 2 people. In the writing it’s about Ben. Ben lives with his aunt and uncle, his mum is dead and he never knew his dad. He sees a light on in his old house and investigates. He finds his cousin Janet in his mum's clothes, in his mum's room, using his mum's cigarettes. He scares her out and then wants to call his aunt and uncle to tell them where he is but as he picks up the phone lightning strikes and it travels down the line and makes his ear deaf (he was born with one deaf ear) so now he is fully deaf, then he wakes up in hospital and has this book that he found when he was in his mum's room and it has what he thinks is his dad's address in it and then he goes to New York city and meets Jamie.

On the other hand, in the pictures, it’s about Rose and she lives with her dad. Her mum is an actress who left her dad and went to New York City. Rose escapes her dad’s house and goes to New York City and finds her mum and the mum tells her off and then she goes home with her brother Walter. Slowly the pictures and writing connect and then... spoiler alert!!!

Rated:  5 reallys – "amazing, with incredible drawings".