Friday, May 15, 2015

May reviews from St Kilda

The Diary of Anne Frank - reviewed by Zoe

It’s about a girl called Anne. At the start she has a pretty normal life. Then she starts to hear people talking about the war, but life still seems pretty normal. But then she and her family and some others have to live in rooms where the entrance is a hole hidden behind a bookcase. They hang out there for three months.

She writes about her future. She wants to be a writer and a poet. While she’s there she forms a friendship with a boy named Peter. They get scared one day when their hiding place is discovered and Anne stops writing.

The story is continued by her Dad, who survives.

"It was really sad, which made it hard to read, but good to know about, because you learn about the intensity of that era."

1984 by George Orwell - reviewed by Louise

It’s about a guy living in this really controlled country. There are TVs everywhere that watch you. The show Big Brother is from this book, there are posters everywhere which say “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”.

Rated: 5/5 reallys - "It was pretty hardcore. I really liked it because it was so descriptive."

Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett - reviewed by Yuanquan

It’s about this zoo, with all the animals you’d probably expect to see at a normal zoo – except they can talk!

Two brothers, Tomas and Andrej run away from army intruders and end up hiding at the zoo as the war continues outside.

Rated:  2½/5 reallys - "There was too much thinking and not enough action. There were only a couple of bombs."

Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody - reviewed by Olivia

Alyzon was in a coma for one month. When she wakes up her senses are all extended. Everyone has a different smell and when she touches you she can see glimpses of your life. But there’s this sickness that goes along with her new senses.

She meets a man who works for charity named Aryn who is putting on a charity concert with her dad. The weird thing is that Aryn has no smell. Alyzon isn’t sure whether he is good or bad.

She also has a mysterious sister named Serenity who goes to the library every Monday. Alyzon’s friends Billy and Harrison help her to figure out what’s going on which involves disguises.

Rated:  5/5 reallys

El Deafo by Cece Bell - reviewed by Emese

Basically it’s a comic story based on the life of the girl who wrote it.

Cece finds out she is deaf so she needed this thing in her ear which is fine. But, when she goes to school, she has to wear a special hearing unit on her tummy, called a Phonic Ear.

She meets and becomes friends with some girls named Emma and Laura, but something happens and in the end she gets a new friend Ginnie. Cece gets upset when Ginnie plays music and comments on it when she knows she can’t hear.

Also when she goes to a sleepover, she can’t hear the TV and feels left out. But she finds out something strange and powerful – through her Phonic Ear she can spy on her teacher! For Cece this is like having a super power. She thinks she’s a superhero!

Rated:  5/5 reallys

Withering-by-sea: a Stella Montgomery intrigue by Judith Rossell - reviewed by Lola 

It’s about a girl named Stella Montgomery who lives on top of a hill surrounded by ocean with her aunts. They live at The Hotel Majestic. Her aunts are very strict and don’t approve of possessions. Stella’s favourite object in the world is an atlas.

One day Stella is in the hotel garden with her atlas and sees a suspicious looking man put a package into a giant urn. Stella leaves, forgetting her Atlas. Later, she returns to get her atlas, but can’t resist taking the package too. But just as she starts to leave strangers come through the garden wearing masks. She sees a writhing hand candle come alight on each of its five fingers – then everyone except Stella falls asleep…

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "It was a bit young for me, but really good."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Albert Park reviews for April

The dark wild by Piers Torday - reviewed by Alex

This book is about a boy named Kester and his dad who are living in a world that hates animals, and most of them have been eliminated. Kester's dad is a scientist and a friend named Polly are trying to save a group of 'Wilds' (as animals are called in this world). An evil man who runs a company called Facto has sent out a disease to kill all animals while getting humans to live in glass towers that Facto has built to stop them living outside.

Kester's dad has found a cure for the disease that kills the animals and then Polly goes missing after telling Kester about 'the Iris' which can make the world normal again. The book is about his quest to find Polly and the Iris and getting away from Facto. Along the way he meets another group of kids who are against Facto but is led by a man who turns and joins Facto.

Kester then hears dark noises and discovers a group of Wilds who want to turn against humans and destroy them so they can be in the world again. Kester has to convince them to join him in the fight against Facto.

Rated: 5/5 - "It took a long time to read and was a little bit confusing at times but I liked it a lot."

Malloreon by David Eddings - reviewed by Tiana

This is an adult book. It is the second series within a series - it basically picks up from the first series. Garion's son is kidnapped and a group of people who follow a prophecy must find Garion's child. The person who stole the boy needs to be stopped because the world will fall into chaos. Garion's son is the child of light and if he is taken to the orb before the group can get to him the world will be in chaos and war because the orb is evil and will take the child's good power away.

Rated: 5/5 - "Very good and entertaining - it makes you sit on the edge of your seat."

Jumblecat by Archie Kimpton - reviewed by Zoe

Billy Slipper finds a jumbled up cat who has a foot on his head, ear on his arm and a tail near his head. Billy has a mum who hates animals and also puts plastic sheeting all over the house to protect it from getting dirty. His sister is an angel to his mum but not to Billy.

Billy comes home with the jumbled up cat and tries to hide it from his mum but his sister finds out and tells her. The cat goes to live next door with Mrs Mandiddee.

The jumbled up cat enters a competition for the weirdest thing and gets into the final. He has to do something special for the final and sings while Mrs Mandiddee plays piano. They win a lot of money.

Rated: 4/5 - "Some parts got a little bit funny but I haven't finished it yet."

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman - reviewed by Alex 

It's set during WW1 about a boy who lives with his dad because his mother has passed away. Dad stays home to look after him, but the boy wants to go and fight in the war (even though he is only 15 years old).

One day they receive a parcel with a white feather inside it. A white feather means you are a coward and don't want to fight. The father decides to enlist with his son. The boy goes to Egypt with his horse Daisy. His dad is sent somewhere else (Gallipoli I think). They train and fight. The boy can 'sense' where water is, which is very important if you are in Egypt and he is very successful at it. His dad dies while fighting. The book is then about the boy and the horse surviving the war.

It's well written, Morris Gleitzman is very good at describing what it was like, how bad the ship was and how the sargeants are really mean.

Rated: 4½/5 - "was a bit boring at the start but it got better."