Thursday, June 25, 2015

Albert Park's reviews for May & June

The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton - reviewed by Tiana

The first part of the book is about Ava's family history and how strange it is. Ava was born with wings. Her grandma had lots of siblings but all died, so her grandma had decided to stop loving people as she thought that she was the cause of their deaths.

Ava and her mother are shunned by the local people because they are different.

I'm up to the part where Ava's mother decides to open a bakery even though most people don't want to know them. I think the rest of the book will be about Ava.

Rated:  4½/5 - "really good and interesting so far ... "

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - reviewed by Tiana

The main character is a girl named Bella and she finds out the boy she likes is a vampire and all the problems she has dating him. There is also another guy who becomes a werewolf and vampires and werewolves are enemies.

It's extremely good - in fact it's the best book ever! It's a pre-teen/teen novel so not suitable for younger readers.

Rated:  5/5 - "Intriguing. I like it more than Harry Potter (which was one of my favourite books). This book keeps you on the edge of your seat because it's so unpredictable."

New moon by Stephanie Meyer - reviewed by Caitlin

In this book Bella starts getting depressed. I don't want to give too much away. I haven't finished and I don't know what is going to happen.

Rated:  5/5 - "It's very exciting and I'm actually really liking this book."

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan - reviewed by Alex

This book starts in the 19th Century with a young boy who is playing hide and seek. He becomes lost and bumps his head. When he wakes up there are 3 women singing. He tells them he is lost and they give him a harmonica to guide him home but the catch is that he has to pass it on to someone else in need. The 3 women were daughters of a Queen who have had a spell put on them and the only way to break it is to pass the harmonica on.

Some of the other people that the harmonica gets given to are Friedrich, who is living in Nazi Germany, he has a deformed face and people like him are being forcefully sterilised. Then there is Michael and brother Frankie who live in an orphanage in Pennsylvania. Then Ivy in California who has moved a lot, and Kenny a Japanese-American. Kenny keeps the harmonica in his pocket and it saves his life when a bullet hits him.

Rated:  5/5 - "The beginning and the end come together and I really liked that. Great book."

Alice-Miranda series by Jacqueline Harvey - reviewed by Miranda

I've read 12 books in the series and I like most of them. Alice-Miranda has started school early and she finds out that the Headmistress has not been seen for ten years and that the prize winning flowers are going missing. Alice-Miranda is able to do hard tests and she goes on adventures and solves things.

Rated:  5/5 - "It's fun for the reader to read about all the things she does."

Meet Ruby by Penny Matthews - reviewed by Julia

This book is part of the Our Australian Girl series. This one is about Ruby who lives in Adelaide in 1930. Her family are well off but it's the start of The Depression. Her father sells cars but because people are losing their jobs and becoming poor they cannot afford cars, so is not making money. Ruby has to quit her private school and go and live with her auntie and now go to a State school.

Rated:  5/5 - "I like how they talk about the past and how people lived. At the end is a quiz and you can see which Australian Girl you are like."

13-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths - reviewed by Hannah

Andy and Terry live in a 13-storey treehouse and they write books. Their cat goes missing and they need to finish their book and give it to Mr Big Nose.

Rated:  4¾/5 - "It's a good book because I don't like reading big words and they do lots of dumb things."

Dragonskin slippers by Jessica Day George - reviewed by Leticia

Creel is a girl whose parents have died. She is sent to live with her auntie who thinks she is a nuisance and another mouth to feed. Her auntie takes Creel to the dragon cave to sacrifice her in the hope that a knight will save and marry her and bring money for the family. Instead Creel befriends the dragon. She and the dragon go to another land where she tries to get a job as a seamstress. She is really good at embroidery and the king is impressed. Creel also has to stop the knight from killing dragons and hold on to a pair of magic slippers.

Rated:  5/5 - "Awesome!"

The nixie's song : bk. 1, Beyond the spiderwick chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi - reviewed by Zoe

Nick lives in Florida with his dad and older brother who has remarried. He now also has a step-sister named Lauren. Nick and Lauren find a four-leaf clover which gives them vision to see fairies. They find a nixie (a type of fairy) who is in trouble because she is not near water so they bring her to a lake. But the nixie gets them into lots of trouble and adventure.

Rated:  4/5 - "Sometimes a little bit boring."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reviews for June from St Kilda

In darkness by Nick Lake - reviewed by Zoe

It’s about this place which is like a bad place where only black people live. It’s back when there was a lot of racism, poverty and slavery. There’s this fifteen year old kid who is in a gang. He’s in hospital. He has a bullet in his arm, because he’s a gangster. He’s in his hospital room when an earthquake hits the town. All of the furniture and walls collapse around him and he gets trapped in his bed. He’s going crazy because he’s having dreams about a guy called Toussaint who he imagines himself as. He has a friend called Biggie who told him about Toussaint, how he freed black people. His dreams are incredibly descriptive, like he sees jade and emerald in the clockwork, and knows what it is, but has never heard about it before in his real life. Toussaint is also having dreams about the kid. Toussaint takes part in a ritual and all the guys around him think that he is possesed. But the kid sees it as him going flying into his mouth. Tasson sees a witch doctor, who says that Toussaint only has one soul. But Toussaint was a twin and his twin had died, leaving him with only half a soul until now…

Rated:  3/5 reallys - "Really exciting!"

Cry blue murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts - reviewed by Lola

Cry blue murder opens with the poster of a missing girl... Other girls have been going missing too. Alice King is getting worried, she knows one of the missing girls. She meets another girl, Celia online who is her age and is also feeling concerned. The rest of the book is a series of emails and other bits and pieces like police reports shared between Celia and Alice. One of the victims is found dead, encased in their own woven hair. The unknown killer is called The Cocoon Killer from then on. More girls go missing and Alice is not sure that all is as it seems….

Recommended for 12+

Rated:  4.9/5 reallys - "I read it twice... thrilling!"

Divergent by Veronica Roth - reviewed by Marnie and Netta

A lot of people say the Divergent series is like The Hunger Games but it isn’t really. In Divergent there are five factions that are all known for having particular traits, such as selflessness for Abstinence and bravery for Dauntless. Beatrice was born into Abnegation but it is coming time for her to choose her own faction as an adult. First she goes through a brain simulation which is supposed to help show which faction she should be in. But Beatrice gets an “inconclusive” result because she masters three of the five factions – Abstinence, Dauntless and Erudite. Choosing your faction isn’t simple. You can’t just pick to be with your family because if you aren’t suited and don’t pass the initiation test you will be cast out. Beatrice chooses Dauntless and changes her name to Tris. The initiation for Dauntless is full on because it’s like a bravery test. Tris is really slight but ends up being top ranked. Others don’t cope so well. This is also where she meets man-boy Four, who takes her on a journey through his fear landscape. Tris is special because she can manipulate brain simulations, but this also makes her a threat to the factions…

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "I got a bit annoyed with the touchy feely elements, they got in the way of a good story!"

Harry Potter and the philosophers stone, & Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Yuanquan

My favourite character is Harry Potter. My least favourite characters are Draco and Lucius Malfoy. If I was at Hogwarts I would choose to be in Gryffindor. My favourite spell is cruxio. Nothing scary happens in book two.

Rated:  4.999/5 reallys

The magic faraway tree, & The enchanted wood by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Ollie

Jo, Bessie and Fanny move from town to country. On the first day they have to work but on the second day they get to explore. There is a long ditch in front of their house that separates them from a woods. In order to explore the woods they have to jump over the ditch. So they jump the ditch and take a picnic into the woods. They think it’s just a normal woods and so they set off with their picnic and choose some cushions of moss to sit on. As soon as they sit down elves begin to appear. The elves don’t notice the children. They also don’t notice a burglar creeping up to steal from them, until Jo yells out “Hey You!” The elves chase the burglar up a giant tree in the middle of the forest. They thank the children and tell them a bit about the magical faraway tree with different worlds at the top. The children climb the tree, meeting the Angry Pixie, Dame Washalot and Mr Whatisname along the way. They also meet Silky, who has the silkiest hair. They find out that Silky’s friend Moonface is stuck in the world at the top of the tree. He is in The Land of the Saucepan Man and might not be able to make it back in time before the world swings away from the tree. It’s very exciting, there are lots of adventures and red goblins.

Rated:  5/5 reallys

The dying of the light : bk. 9, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - reviewed by Jackson

Skulduggery is a skeleton sorcerer, a detective and a protector of mortals –oh and he can fly! In this world Magicians choose a name to be called, because their true names - which they only find out about when they come of age and get their magic - are powerful, and make it possible for others to control you. There are different sorts of magic that you can receive - element magic, necromancy black magic and adept gravity manipulation magic. There’s also a magic you can be born with called being a sensitive, these are magicians who can look into the minds of others and see visions. Valkyrie is a young magician who has just got her power. For a long time the sensitives have had visions of someone called Darkness destroying the world. When Valkyrie receives her magic, she also finds out that Darkness is her true name…can she fight the prophecy? Skulduggery and Valkyrie must work together to save Valkyrie and the world from destruction.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "It's very complicated."

Walk in my shoes by Alwyn Evans - reviewed by Rosa

It’s about this girl called Gulnessa and her family. She lives with her mum and dad, siblings and grandparents in Afghanistan. But then her dad gets abducted by the Taliban. Her friend’s dad gets abducted too. So her family get an agent to help them flee the country to Australia. Gulnessa, her family, and her friend, a neighbourhood boy live in a refugee camp together for two years. Finally Gulnessa and her family get their visas. But her friend doesn’t and has to go home.

Rated:  3/5 reallys

The impossible knife of memory by Laurie Halse Anderson - reviewed by Olivia

It’s about a girl called Hayley and her dad. Her dad is always drinking and losing jobs, so they have to keep moving towns. This means Hayley is constantly moving schools. One day a teacher at Hayley’s new school talks to her dad about attending the veteran’s assembly. But he still has dreams about his friends dying and won’t come. Then Trish comes back. She’s her dad’s ex-wife and Hayley doesn’t like her because she left them. Then one of her dad’s old friends visits and for a while he seems better. But then Trish is leaving again for Texas and her dad has disappeared, leaving only a letter behind. Can Hayley find him in time?

Rated:  5/5 reallys

Time for another writing competition!

Are you a word-smith? A writer? 

Keep warm and WRITE! Fire up your imagination these Winter Holidays and impress us with your best story using these key words:

3 x $65.00 & 3 x $35.00 book vouchers to be won!

Prizes awarded in these categories:

7-8 years
9-10 years
11-12 years

Send your entry with your name, phone number and date of birth to or drop it in to your nearest branch by the 20th July 2015.

Winners will be notified Friday 31st July 2015. Winning entries will be published on this blog!