Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Albert Park's reviews for October

Eragon by Christopher Paolini - reviewed by Tiana

The main character is a boy called Eragon and he finds what he thinks is a stone, but turns out to be a dragon egg. The egg hatches but the Rezarks (monsters) come looking for the dragon egg and destroy Eragon's home.

Rated:  5/5 - "I loved it - it is now my new favourite book!"

A girl named Ingrid goes to the dentist and then to soccer training. On the way there a storm starts so she runs to the nearest house. The lady at the house rings for a taxi. The next day Ingrid realises that she left her soccer boots at the house. She then finds out that the lady has been murdered. Ingrid wants to find her soccer boots and solve the mystery of the murder. Ingrid also gets the role in a play for 'Alice in Wonderland'.

Rated:  5/5 - "Really, really good book."

The Maze Runner by James Dashner - reviewed by Tristan

Thomas arrives in a glade that turns out to be a maze. He has no idea how he got there. He hears lots of screaming and there are monsters in the maze. Everyone in the maze is male but the last person to appear is a female and she has a mysterious note in her hand. Thomas needs to find a way out.

Rated:  5/5 - "Really good."

There are five kids who name themselves 'The Findouters'. Someone has burnt down Mr Hick's workroom and they need to find clues to solve the mystery. They have suspects but have to figure out which one it was.

Rated:  4½/5 - "Pretty good."

A boy named Dwight has a finger puppet named Yoda, which is based on the Star Wars series. Yoda can tell the future and make it better. Dwight is sent away and the kids at his school want him back because they think he can tell the future (but it's his Yoda puppet which can). My favourite book in the series is 'Darth Paper'.

Rated:  4/5 - "It's got action but I'd like more action."

A boy who is bullied at school realises that the remote on the new TV his dad bought can stop and rewind things in real life. He tests the remote and pauses his dad during dinner and then on a fly in mid-air.

To get the bully he enters a spaghetti competition and so does the bully. Whoever eats the most spaghetti without vomiting wins. With the remote he makes the food vomit in and out of the bully's mouth.

Rated:  5/5 - "Funny, I'm not into fairy stuff."

My favourite bit in the book is when Captain Woodenhead tries to attack Terry, but he manages to escape because he is wearing inflatable underpants and is able to land on a roof.

Rated:  5/5 - "Too good for words ...."

I have read this book before but decided to read it again. It is about the Baudelaire Orphans, they are orphans because their parents died when their house was on fire. They are adopted by Count Olaf, but he only wants their money which they inherited when their parents died. The only way he can get his hands on the money is if he marries Violet (who is only 14). He tries to trick Violet into marrying via a play (there is a marraige scene in it).

Rated:  4/5 - "I knew the book and what was going to happen."

I've just finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's Harry's second year at Hogwarts. The first problem he has is that he and his best friend Ron can't get through the barrier at the train station. Eventually they decide to use Ron's dad's car to fly to Hogwarts where they land right into the Whomping Willow, a giant tree that hits out if you go near it. 

Then there is the problem of students dying or becoming petrified. It turns out that there is a giant snake called a Basilisk on the loose in Hogwarts and if you look into its eye you will die, if you look at it's eye via a mirror you turn to stone. Then Hermione is petrified and when they find her in the Hogwarts hospital she is still clutching a note in her hand which has information about where to find the Basilisk.

Rated:  5/5 - "Like every other Harry Potter book - really good."

Friday, October 24, 2014

and here they are... the winning entries

The wait is over! Here are the winners and winning entries of the recent library writing competition...

7-8 age group:

9-10 age group:
11-12 age group:
  Thanks to everyone who submitted entries and congratulations to the winners and runners-up!

The Bees and Mr Strict ... by Hope

In an empty grassland area there was a lonely sunflower. It was the only flower in the grassland. One sunny day 5 bees came along, the bees sucked the nectar from the sunflower. The bees wanted to make gooey and sticky honey. The sunflower liked that the bees were taking it’s nectar because it would help it grow and see more parts of the world.

Just at that moment Mr Strict the teacher of a school came along and caught the bees. He said, “You bad bees, you are killing this flower”. The bees felt scared and nervous. The sunflower thought that Mr Strict did not really know anything!

Mr Strict took the bees into his school. It was a school for anyone who was being bad. It was for animals or humans. When they got there, there was a silence. One of the bees spoke, “What will our mothers say when we don’t come home tonight?” “I don’t know and I don’t care” said Mr Strict. The bees had to do all really, really hard kinds of work at the school. They had to answer questions that there was no answer to, for example, what is a U.F.A? Another hard kind of work they had to do was take-away sums and Brain Non-Smart Quests where there were really hard questions written down on a cardboard card and you have to be the first one to answer it.

Mr Strict had a servant named Mrs Proudlove. She helped the children answer questions incorrectly because she was on Mr Strict’s side. Mr Strict called for Mrs Proudlove. If the bees answered a question incorrectly they got a punishment like the cane or having to clean up.

One day Mrs Proudlove saw Mr Strict be extra mean. He was pushing one of the bees. She thought that she would change sides. She didn’t like Mr Strict anymore. She thought she would help the bees out. Mrs Proudlove started teaching Mr Strict what was good and what was bad to distract him. The bees went to the window and flew out of the window. Mr Strict was not watching. Mrs Proudlove helped them out of the horrible school.

The bees flew back to the flower with a basket full of seeds. They planted all kinds of different seeds like poppies, more sunflowers, daffodils, daisies and jasmine. It would look beautiful!

The reason that they planted the seeds was because the sunflower was lonely and so they planted friends for it. They waited for the seedlings to grow. They got a lot of nectar when they did grow and made a lot of honey. The sunflower was not lonely anymore and it was happy. The bees left a pot of honey on the step of the school with a note for Mrs Proudlove. Then they flew back to their hive and told their mother about the adventure they had that day.

The Bees of Big Bottom Road ... by Raff

Hello, my name is Buzzz. I am a little bee, I am only six months old and I have black and yellow stripes but under my tummy I have an orange stripe. I’m very creative and I think that the world can be a very spectacular place.  I live in Big Bottom Road. There are 99,432,118 bees in my family. The family is owned by a lovely flower-loving lady called Ms Proudlove and her horrible, mean, nasty husband Mr Strict. We live in the yard and they live in a neat little house. It isn’t very big because Ms Proudlove and Mr Strict don’t have enough money.

Today, like any other, was a normal day. Mr Strict was feeling angry, Ms Proudlove was feeling happy. I was feeling good about myself because I was going to help my dad make honey but the problem was that my family of bees wasn’t producing enough honey every day and this was making Mr Strict even grumpier as he liked to have his usual honey and toast in the morning. 

This was very bad news so it had to be dealt with in the Bee Council, which was basically a bunch of old bees with white fur talking about boring stuff all day long. They had a long boring talk about honey and toast and then the Council came up with a dashing idea to solve this problem. The solution was that some commando bees would have to be smuggled in a basket into Mr Strict and Ms Proudlove’s house to replace the scarce honey with a new jar. They were doing this because Mr Strict did not like going out and fetching the honey and he didn’t like buying it either, so the bees had to do all the work.

They were only recruiting young and strong bees to be commandos and they thought I might be good for the job. At first my dad didn’t think it was a great idea but then the Council persuaded him to let me join. When I joined up they gave me a leaf helmet which was very big and covered up my whole face. I felt very scared, what if we were caught? It would be a terrible thing and Mr Strict might try to hit us with a spatula!

At midnight we ventured across the yard until we got to the house. We could not get inside so we had to hide ourselves inside a basket of seeds with the jar of new honey and there we slept until the morning when Ms Proudlove came to collect the basket. When she went away to watch her favourite cooking show, we quickly flew out of the basket carrying the jar. It felt as heavy as a giant  boulder but we managed to get it inside the pantry. The pantry was dark and we couldn’t feel our way through but then we realised we were in amongst lots of jars. Suddenly we heard footsteps!

It was Mr Strict.! He had come for his usual honey and toast. We couldn’t figure out what to do but then I had an idea. I had noticed a hole in the cupboard. I quickly told my idea to my fellow bees so we squeezed out from between the jars and then zoomed straight out the hole like a bullet from a gun and we went through little cracks in the bricks which were covered with overgrowing weeds like the tentacles of an octopus. We struggled through the weeds until we finally blasted out and crossed the yard to home. We were welcomed back with a big party for me and my fellow bees and my father and my family were very happy and very proud of me.

Oh, and by the way, Mr Strict had his honey and toast and was only half as grumpy as usual.

Mixed flowers ... by Jemima

It was a hot summers day, all the bees were out collecting pollen from the flowers in Mr Strict’s front garden. Mr Strict was a very strict man, he hated the idea of bees buzzing in his garden.

The only person he cared for and said hello to every day was Mrs Proudlove, a widow that lived next door to him.

One day Mrs Proudlove was holding a basket full of dead daises and he said to her “Hello Mrs Proudlove, what a lovely day it is, how are you?” Mrs Proudlove just shrugged.

“What's the matter Mrs Proudlove?” “My beautiful daises are dead” she cried angrily.

Mrs Proudlove loved her daises so much, she always watered them each day and if she would go out she would check her daises so they would look beautiful when people walked past.

Mr Strict also had daises but he didn’t buy them because once when Mrs Proudlove was planting her daises she accidentally spilt seeds in Mr Strict's front yard. Because he cared for her so much he also watered them every day.

“Are you going anywhere Mrs Proudlove?” Mr Strict asked. “Well I was but not anymore because my daises are dead” she answered.

Then Mr Strict said to her “You can go out and do your shopping and I will take care of your daises for you.”

Mrs Proudlove was so happy she could do her shopping that she skipped happily to her car.

Mr Strict thought for a moment, how would he fix this problem? BINGO! He had an idea.

Mr Strict drove down to the local nursery and bought a packet full of daisy seeds. He drove his car back home and started to plant them.

When Mrs Proudlove came home she saw Mr Strict planting daisy seeds and she was so happy.

The next few weeks past and Mrs Proudlove started to notice that her daises weren’t growing but sunflowers were. Mrs Proudlove thought for a minute, maybe Mr Strict put sunflower seeds in her garden and thought they were daisy seeds.

Some more weeks past and the sunflowers grew bigger, brighter, and better.

Soon Mrs Proudlove forgot all about her daises because she loved her sunflowers even more.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you that some of the daisy seeds blew into Mr Strict’s front yard too.  

The ancient bees of Egypt ... by Melisand

Ding, ding, ding rang the school bell. A surge of children ran out of the Maroon Place Primary School doors to their holidays. it had been a long and tiring term at MPPS!

Inside the classroom of 3F, the teachers of 3F and 2C, Mr Strict and Mrs Proudlove, were having a discussion about their naughty classes.

"They're uncontrollable," complained Mrs Proudlove. "And there is no convincing them to be otherwise..." she sighed. Mr Strict nodded sadly in agreement but was unable to say anything because he had lost his voice being cross at his pupils! He fumbled in his desk drawer and took out a pocket edition of 'The School Teachers' Guide to Ancient Egypt: Tips and Tricks', opened the book to Chapter 11 and gestured to Mrs Proudlove to read.

"Chapter 11, Naughty School Children," she began. "If you are a teacher with a very disobedient class - well, that sounds like us - seek the wisdom of the Ancient Bees of Egypt from the reign of Tutankhamun (1136-1327 BC) in the 18th dynasty of Egypt."

While Mrs Proudlove was reading Mr Strict had had a glass of water and recovered his voice a little.

"Perhaps this is the solution to our problem," he whispered hoarsely, "and coincidently, I know how to travel back in time! Only yesterday I bought a packet of seeds to grow Time Tulips, flowers which contain time travelling pollen..."

"Yes, yes," interrupted Mrs Proudlove impatiently. "Less talking, more doing please... let's get planting" and she punched the air with excitement!

Early the next morning, Mr Strict strode out to his veggie patch to see if the flowers had sprouted. To his surprise the flowers were already 30cm tall! He picked them all quickly and ran next door to Mrs Proudlove's house where she was waiting expectantly.

"Gather your belongings Mrs Proudlove," he called to her. "We are ready to leave."

Following the instructions on the packet of seeds, the pair threw the flowers in the air, breathed in and out (deeply, of course) and shouted "To 1332 BC!"

"Wow, that was quick!" exclaimed Mrs Proudlove, looking around and finding herself only seconds later in ancient Egypt.

Mr Strict consulted his pocket guide, "According to 'The School Teachers' Guide to Ancient Egypt'," he explained, "we have to find a signpost that points us towards the olive grove where the Ancient Bees of Egypt's hive is."

"Well that seems easy enough," thought Mrs Proudlove out loud, but then she looked up at the signpost in front of her. "They're written in hieroglyphs!" she groaned. "How are we ever going to find the Ancient Bees?"

But Mr Strict had ignored her and started to stride away searching purposefully for a signpost that looked like it might lead to the bees. He hurried along the empty, dusty streets (more like paths) with Mrs Proudlove trotting behind him.

"Look, there!" Mr Strict exclaimed hopefully. He had spotted a sign which showed an hourglass and a bee.

Mrs Proudlove was so aflutter with the thought that she might finally be able to get her students to behave politely that she danced a jig! However, Mr Strict was studying his guide, searching for the chapter on hieroglyphs. He read that an hour glass could mean many things including time, clock, watch era or ancient and that a bee means honey, hive or bee.

"Mrs Proudlove," called Mr Strict, "this is the way to the Ancient Bees. Come on!" Mrs Proudlove stopped dancing immediately and trotted after Mr Strict.

A short time later they came to the olive grove. "Here we are," said Mr Strict cheerfully, "that wasn't far at all!" But, before he could knock (because that seemed to be the polite thing to do) 38 bees flew out of the hive with three giant bees leading.

"We are the Ancient Bees of Egypt!" buzzed the first giant bee.

"I'm Jay," said the second, "and this is Jim... and Jerry."

"Greetings school teachers!" said Jerry welcomingly (as only troubled teachers seek the Ancient Bees).

"... and what can we do for you?" added Jim.

"A..as y..you know, w...we are t...teachers," stuttered Mrs Proudlove timidly, "and we both have very naughty classes..."

"We have come for your advice," interrupted Mr Strict.

"We have the perfect solution," said Jay.

"Jerry, please go and fetch two Sacred Baskets of Goodies," instructed Jim.

Jerry quickly returned with the two baskets full of treats.

"When you return to your school place one of these Sacred Baskets on your desk ..." began Jerry.

"You'll be amazed at the improvement in behaviour ... and every time a student is good reward them with a treat," finished Jay.

"But what if the treats run out?" questioned Mrs Proudlove (who was now less nervous about the giant, talking bees around her).

"The Sacred Baskets of Goodies never run out!" answered the bees together.

Despite being very pleased with the baskets the teachers still looked concerned.

"We are very grateful for your help, but unfortunately we have no way of returning to our time," said Mrs Proudlove.

"Where and when do you need to return to?" asked Jim.

"Maroon Place Primary School in the year 2014 please," requested Mr Strict.

With that the Ancient Bees swarmed around and around the teachers' heads until they found themselves back in the 21st Century.

When the school term began Mrs Proudlove and Mr Strict set the baskets to work. The Sacred Baskets of Goodies, as if by magic, turned the classes from rascals to angels ... and just like the bees promised, as the happy teachers handed out treats to their now angelic students more treats appeared in their place.

Perfect, perfect, perfect! ... by Rose

Mr Strict liked everything perfect.

Plants that sprouted upwards, houses on the right angle, and a wife who would clean, dress properly and go out to high tea with him.

But the problem was, he could never find the right wife or the lady wouldn’t fancy him because of his bossiness and uptightness.

One day, a woman called Mrs Proudlove was carrying a basket full of daisies and cornelia flowers to catch Mr Strict’s attention, not  knowing he was a man of quality and disliked adventure.

She stepped onto the front porch and went to ring the doorbell to discover there was no doorbell! So she knocked instead.

“Who is it?” Bellowed Mr Strict. “Mrs Proudlove” Mrs Proudlove answered. “Who?” Mr Strict asked, “Mrs Proudlove, you know the teacher at the local kindergarten.”  “Oh” he said “come in then.”

So she stepped inside and sat on the neat little couch.

“Sit up straight” shouted Mr Strict. “Okay then” said a scared Mrs Proudlove. “So what brings you here?” he asked. “The poster” said Mrs Proudlove in her most sweet voice. “What poster?” asked Mr Strict. “The poster that said ‘Wanted - a proper wife’, I’m sure I got the address right” she said. “Oh you did” said Mr Strict. “So am I suitable then? I brought some daises and cornelias from my garden” she asked. “Oh you have to complete the test first” he said. “What sort of test?” asked Mrs Proudlove. “A cleaning test” said Mr Strict. “What? You think I’m just going to clean all day and be your slave?” she asked angrily. “Yep, and do what ever I tell you to do” said Mr Strict with a smirk on his face. “No, you’re such a selfish bossy and uptight man” she said. “You don’t care about anyone, you just care about neatness!”

So Mrs Proudlove walked out of the room back to the kindergarten, took some seeds and some bees in a jar and returned to Mr Strict’s house.

She carefully undid the lid and let the bees fly onto Mr Strict’s garden, and planted seeds that would grow into wonky plants. “There, that will show him” she said, and walked away.

The next day, Mr Strict went to check on his garden and discovered that there were bees and sprouts growing near the rose bush. “Oh my goodness!” shouted Mr Strict “it must have been Mrs Proudlove!”

He walked back into his house and the strong perfume of the flowers Mrs Proudlove brought filled the room. At first he didn’t like it, but as time went on he started to love the smell. As days passed he also noticed more sprouts and bees that started to make his garden look like Monet’s Garden. It was not neat and perfect but he liked it just the same.

Eventually, he was brave enough to go to Mrs Proudlove’s house with flowers from his imperfect garden. He got down on his wonky knee and said “Mrs Proudlove will you marry me?”

Insanity ... by Jack

Zane sat eating eggs with bacon.

He then decided to walk to his friend's house and play kick to kick. Angus agreed a kick in the park would be fun. They arrived at the oval, near the community garden and kicked and played while the bees buzzed, the seeds sprouted and a parent laid down a picnic basket. A distant noise roared in the background, a minute later a jet came zooming past dropping crates. When they landed they burst into what seemed to be nothingness. I looked at Angus completely still, sweating, his eyes bloodshot. What the hell was happening?

"Angus" I loudly say, both confused and nervous.

Angus's hands start fidgeting uncontrollably. His eyes move around until they lock onto mine, we both stand there motionless until he lunges straight at me. Grabbing hold of my throat I kick at him to no avail. I try to struggle away but he has too strong a grip. My lungs start to scream as intense pain fills my stomach, leaving me weeping and screaming in agony. I feel my consciousness slip away.


I wake up in a dull grey room, my head throbbing. "What happened?" I ask. A woman approaches that looked like a dentist.

"From what we've heard a high-tech machine has been made that affects the way the neuron system works, so whoever deployed this controlling mechanism would have a coding base. There they can turn humans into living machinery that obeys their command. This can be done both manually or all the controlled people have one mission, this would be more likely because no country has enough population of coders. However a few marines' military officers etc. could be manually controlled. By now you're also probably wondering why anyone in this facility isn't being controlled and the answer to that is a professional Australian hacker decoded some of the UK's plans and quickly put a mutation in a nearby egg farm. After consuming these eggs a special fluid got into our blood streams making us immune.

"Wow, complicated," I reply.

"In essence we are the Anerosics, the rebellions, and the fighters to reclaim the world as it used to be!" a cheer of approval roared for the dentist's speech. She came over to me and asked "What's your name and age?"

"Zane and I'm 14," I reply.

"Ok we are going to raid an army camp, you're 14 so you're an eligible age to fight. Follow me, I'll show you your weaponry.


I was taken to another room stashed with all sorts of weaponry.

"Do you have any firearm/knife wielding abilities?"

"No," I reply.

She hands me a Makarov (pistol) then walks out of the room and returns with a chef's knife. I look around at the people surrounding me with weapons. Some have double barrelled shotguns, Glocks, staple guns, 8mms, steak knives, and one person even had an Ak47. The man that had the Ak47 came over to me. "Kid ya better aim dat Makarov properly, it only got 4 rounds in it kid."

He taught me overnight how to fire and reload and arm the gun. It was tiring but worth it because what the Anerosics were going into - hell - would be an understatement.

In the morning three teams were sorted out, the main team consisting of fifty people and two flank teams both consisting of twenty-five. I was sorted to the left flank team.

Each team had their own armoured van. We pulled up at an army camp that had four towering buttresses, one for each corner, titanium plated. The buttresses had miniguns on them. The full structure was built out of stone. "This isn't an army, it's a fortress," I say to Shane (person with Ak47).

The main team poured in. Men jumped to the two front buttresses reading their miniguns. The main team shot with Makarovs and Glocks. The minigun started to spin around as the men took cover from their bulky guns. The miniguns finished spinning, releasing a hell for Zane to see. The minigun peppered the ground, tearing through people, splattering gore and blood throughout the start of the fortress. The right flank team jumped out holding all sorts of weapons. The man on the minigun ran back from his buttress returning with a rocket launcher.

The rocket flew from the gun, the right team tried to retreat but the rocket connected and hit the team, turning them into unrecognisable corpses. This attack was failing, down in the pit of my stomach butterflies flew around. I jumped out drawing my Makarov, the man on the buttress yelped in pain when his minigun overheated. The team ran to the closest wall putting on C4, we backed up preparing for the blast. An ear-shattering bang came from the C4 giving us a good path. Shane went first, shouldering his Ak47, five men abruptly jumped at us, crumpling down to the ground because of Shane's lightning quick reflexes. We got to the middle of the fortress and men jumped down surrounding us. Shane twirled around and started shooting his Ak47. I started shooting blind at people, missing most but occasionally getting a shot to the leg. The gun jammed and I threw it to one side, ducking under a muscular man with no weapon apart from his fists. I jolted up connecting my elbow with the man's head, he went down cold. We kept running until we made it to a dusty room with a metal door with a finger scan next to it.

"Son of a flappy bird!" cursed Shane.

The lights flickered then went off, green laser beams surrounding us.

"Dammit they got night vision," said Shane.

Bullets poured through the room. I heard shouts from both opposing sides as they went down. I felt a kick to the head, fell to my knees, then...


I woke up in a chair, a man in a black suit and polished shoes stood in front of me.

"I am the leader who released the virus. We created the virus to protect you, to find the one, the chosen one." He walks back and unlocks a safe revealing an old piece of paper with writing on it..

"There are two ways of curing the virus. However there is a rumour that the airstrikes shot by us at NASA also contained an antivirus, that isn't correct. Only the jetfighters had antivirus missiles as well as the virus ones. The Anerosics luckily decoded some of our top secret plans and made a quick vaccine. However it isn't true that they'll be immune forever, the antivirus will only last for one week."

I felt anger wash over me but I stayed calm. You can choose Anerosics or us, we know you will turn fifteen in the next 24 hours. I turned as Shane came through the door. "Anerosics or us?" he paused. "Me and Shane or that weird geeky dentist Quintle Sylinski."

Rage boiled inside of me. I dived at Shane, he elbowed me in the gut driving the air out of me. I roundhouse kicked him connecting with his jaw. He yelled in pain, I ran out of the fortress grabbing a bike and heading off to the Anerosics base. On the way back I saw both Ms Proudlove and Mr Strict, my school teachers, being controlled. I got to the Anerosics then went to sleep.


"Our army camp raids were successful, we had heavy casualities, however we gained high tier weaponry. We lost one of our most skilled fighters, Shane.We don't have much time, we need to raid the NASA launch place to get the anti-virus."

We arrived at NASA, I flanked by my self-running into the HQ. Shane walked out with an electric prod.

"So we meet again," said Shane. "Duck!" he screamed.

Cold metal plunged through my throat making me howl in pain. I turned around, navy blue energy shooting from my hand, sizzling it burnt Quintle, making her recoil in pain, dropping her dagger. She lunged at Shane who blocked a desperate punch, then returning with an elbow. In hideous amounts of pain I stretch my arms to the dagger, my muscles screaming, I hurl the dagger connecting with her eye. She howls in pain going down, snap shooting me in the leg. The world goes red then it seems like I was getting lifted. Whiteness spun around me creating a hurricane. Then it felt like I'm freefalling. I hit the ground and everything goes black. As the black slowly evaporates I hear "A god shall be born, then die and then be reborn." I get up.

"This is insanity" I say.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Only 3 days to go!

This competition is now closed. Winners will be notified Wednesday 22 October and winning entries will be published on the blog after that date.