Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September reviews from Albert Park

Meet Marly by Alice Pung – reviewed by Miranda

This book is part of the "Our Australian Girl" series, the main girl in this book is Chinese and speaks Cantonese but her English name is Marly. The reason she is named Marly is because her parents named her after one of the Jackson 5 (who is a boy ... which is really strange).

Marly is a refugee but has lived in Australia for a while. Now her cousins are coming to live with her family and she doesn't want them to. She doesn't want to share her things with them. Her cousins also get given Jackson 5 names.

I think the books are good for kids 6-12 years old.

Rated:  4/5 - "I might have enjoyed it more if I understood it better."

Mr Stink by David Walliams – reviewed by George

Chloe invites a tramp, 'Mr Stink', into her house to live! The government praises her mum for taking him in. Mum and Mr Stink enter a game show and then he becomes famous ... I haven't finished yet.

Rated:  4 1/3/5 - "because I haven't finished ..."

The 65 storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths – reviewed by Julia

This is the latest book in the series with Andy and Terry. Ants start attacking Andy because he always wrecks the ant farm. Jill their friend saves them because she can talk to animals.

They find out that they have no building permit for their treehouse when a building inspector visits their house and he finds lots of things wrong. They try to go back in time to get a building permit but end up going to the Stoneage (and go to Stoneage art school). Then they end up in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome - then into the future and then back to the present and get their building permit.

Rated:  5/5 - "very funny."

All fall down by Ally Carter – reviewed by Tiana 

16 year old Grace Blakely has to move to Adriana to live with her Grandpa after her mum dies. Her Grandfather is an ambassador for America.

She has witnessed her mother's death but all she remembers is that a scarred man killed her. She wants to investigate her mums murder and finds out that the scarred man works in Adriana as the head of security. She wants to know more about him and why he killed her mother.

This is the first book in the series and the second one is out in December and I can't wait! My friend and I are obsessed with the book.

I like that it's in the first person, a mystery and just the way it is written.

Rated:  5/5 - "left you wanting more."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

St Kilda reviews for September

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce - reviewed by Jackson

It’s about a twelve year-old boy called Liam Digby who lives in Waterloo Crescent and goes to primary school. He is unusually tall for his age. He goes to the doctor because he’s worried about how tall he is, but the doctor tells him not to worry, everyone else at school will go through a growth spurt over summer and will catch up to him. Everyone did grow over summer, but so did Liam. People start to think Liam is a lot older than he is. For example, people tell him he shouldn’t be using the School gate, because it’s reserved for kids.

Liam starts to find that his height has some benefits. He and his best friend Florida (who is really short) can get into places, like clubs. Liam even pretends to be a buyer for a Porsche! But as he’s literally sitting in the Porsche, his dad rocks up. There’s this company called DRAX, (nothing to do with Dracula) they make mobile phone apps. Liam fills out a survey competition DRAX runs. The last question is about being a parent. Liam is a finalist BUT he’s supposed to have a child, he was pretending to be a dad for the last question of the survey. The major prize is to get to orbit around the moon, but in order to win his spot Liam has to try and convince the organisers that Florida is his daughter.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "Very interesting, but lost a 'really' because the long middle bit dragged it out."

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - reviewed by Nessa

Detective Hercule Poirot is travelling to Istanbul. He gets to a spot where he’ll need to change trains, but then he gets a call from a client. He must go back immediately because there’s a case at home. He embarks on the Orient Express, first class. He meets the man in the carriage next to him, a millionaire named Mr Ratchett. Ratchett asks Poirot if he will work for him. He has been getting threatening letters. Poirot refuses and returns to his carriage. But the night is disrupted by a woman’s scream, and in the morning Mr Ratchett is found with a deadly stab wound.

Rated:  4.7/5 reallys - "Took a while to get into... for 10 years and older."

Cupid cakes by Fiona Dunbar - reviewed by Ruth

It’s about this girl Lulu who owns a star in the sky. She has a book called the Apple Star which is a magical recipe book. Even though the book is supposed to be a secret she tells her best friend Frenchy about it. A bad, evil woman and her evil son want to take the book from her. The woman used to be Lulu’s step mum! Frenchy suggests that to protect the book they should try and get Frenchy’s mum and her Dad together, before the evil woman gets involved.

I think this is the second book in the series.

Rated:  4.999/5 reallys - "Really good, clever and funny!"

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee - reviewed by Louise

The story is set in the 1930s and is told from the perspective of a girl, Scout Finch. All this stuff happens but the most important thing is that Scout’s dad who is a lawyer, defends a black man, Tom Robinson. It was so racist in the 1930s in America. Scout has a brother named Jem Finch. One summer a boy named Dill comes to stay with them. Over this one summer they see what happens with Tom Robinson.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "It made me feel really angry."

The Floods : better homes and gardens by Colin Thompson - reviewed by Ollie

This is the eighth book in the series. So what’s happening so far is that the Floods have returned to Transylvanian waters. The Castle is covered in sticky tape and they aren’t sure if anyone is living there so they use this gadget to find out if there is any life in there. There is one person - Aunty Mole! Things aren’t great though, all they find to eat in the castle is cabbage and brussel sprouts! Plus they have to deal with an arch nemesis, but Betty is prepared.

Rated:  5/5 reallys

The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo - reviewed by Olivia

A little girl called Hazel has a china bunny, Edward, who she keeps with her all the time, except when she goes to school. She leaves him on a ledge looking out the window when she leaves. One day she and her parents go on a cruise and she takes Edward. Some boys on the ship take him off her and throw him to each other as a game. They end up throwing Edward into the water. This begins Edward’s journey as he meets lots of different people, like a fisherman, a homeless man and a boy with a sick sister. The whole story is told from his perspective.

Rated:  4/5 reallys

The bad beginning : a series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket - reviewed by Yuanquan

It’s about these kids Violet, Klaus and Sunny who are very smart and good looking. But their house burns down and their parents are dead. The banker Mr. Poe takes them to his house which is a dump. His kids are there and don’t like sharing. They live there until they go to stay with their legal guardian Count Olaf. Olaf tries to marry Violet because she will eventually be given a large amount of money. But will he succeed?

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "because there wasn't a happy ending."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spring school holiday writing competition

Get inspired and impress us with a story including the following 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 

Maximum words: 1500

Please ensure the story is in one of the following formats:
.doc, .docx, .pdf or .jpg

Send your entry with your name, phone number and DOB to or drop it in to the library by 10 October 2015. Winners will be notified on 31 October. Enquiries to Michelle or Diana - 9209 6655.

Winning entries will be published on the blog.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Albert Park's August reviews

Fireside tales by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Miranda

This is a collection of short stories. I’ve enjoyed reading them all in the past, but there are only a few I have liked re-reading. One of them is The Little Candy House which tells the story of  two sisters who are very different. One is kind hearted (Rosemary) and the other is mean. It is baking day, but their mother has to go out. Rosemary tries to help by baking, but her sister is very mean and pinches and pulls her and throws the baked apple pudding on the floor! Rosemary later gets lost in the wood and finds a candy house and eats it. A witch woman invites her into the house, where she bakes a lovely tart. The witch gives her a "good" magic brooch and cloak as a present. Her mother is angry on her return, and doesn’t believe where she has been. She cries and a lovely voice comes out when she starts to sing. A prince hears it and asks her to marry him. Rosemary’s sister (the mean one), also comes across the witch’s house in the woods. However, she bakes "burnt" tarts and the witch gives her a "bad" brooch and cloak. When she starts to sing a "frog" voice comes out…and she only gets to marry a farmer’s boy and not a prince. 

Rated: 5/5 - "I recommend it for all ages, but not too young as the words are old-fashioned and hard. I thought this was a really interesting book."

The hidden staircase; Nancy Drewe #2 by Carolyn Keene - reviewed by Georgia

There are two mysteries combined in the one story. Nancy helps her best friend’s aunt to solve the mystery of the ghost haunting their old mansion. Her dad Mr Drew has been kidnapped and leads to the discovery of a hidden staircase.

Rated: 4/5 - "I recommend it to 8-12 year olds. I liked that the language was not too easy or too hard. The part I liked the best was how the mystery was solved. She finds the hidden staircase and her kidnapped dad in the staircase!."

The honest truth by Dan Gemeinhart - reviewed by Tiana

Mark is a kid who has cancer. He got over it but it has reappeared. He is fed up with the treatment. He runs away with his dog Beau and plans to climb Mount Rainier. He likes to write Haiku poems in his diary (which we get to see). He leaves a clue for his best friend Jessie about where he is going, but says not to tell is their little secret. He gets to Mount Rainier and wants to die, but I won’t tell you the ending and spoil it. I will just say I cried at the end.

Rated: 4½/5 - "I would recommend it to 11+ year olds. I liked how touching it was... it pulled at the heart strings. It was astounding, even though at times it got a bit boring, like when he was on the bus talking to an 8 year old girl."

This book is a collection of short, easy-to-read, funny stories with rhyming and tongue twisters. It gets funnier as you read it. Terry Denton is in the story.

Rated: 3/5 - "The illustrations are violent, but in a funny way. A younger child wouldn’t get it, so I would recommend it to 6-10 year olds. I liked the first story the best."

It is based on the memories of Laura’s early childhood in the Big Woods in the 1800’s. It is about two little girls (Laura and her sister Mary), their family (Ma and Pa) and their  lives on the homestead. It is often hard work, but they also seem to have fun. The house in the big woods was made by Pa. They hunt a lot and in the summer they look out for bears, who have woken from hibernation. The whole family go to visit Grandma Ingalls for the Maple Syrup Ceremony and the story also talks about the Wheat Ploughing Festival, where they have to hoe all the wheat before the rain comes. There is a bit which talks about the eldest cousin, who is spoilt and doesn’t help with any chores. He is at the edge of the field and starts screaming. He does this three times and by the third time the others don’t believe him anymore and don’t come over to help. This time it is real and  he is really screaming, as he has jumped on a wasp hive and is being stung! He is wrapped in linen sheets and can see very little.

Rated: 4/5 - "I recommend it to 8+ year olds. It is a good story and as it’s set in the olden time, all ages can learn lessons from it. If you are naughty or not good, you will suffer the consequences."

This is a series of books. In this story, Aunt Violet is staying with Clementine Rose and her mother in Penberthy House. There is to be a wedding, which is what her mother needs to pay for the new roof at the hotel run by her. But during the excitement, her Uncle has a heart attack and goes to hospital, which leaves her Aunt in charge. She’s not friendly. The wedding goes well in the end, even though her Aunt gets mad when someone mistakenly sleeps in her bed! Clementine Rose is also invited to a birthday party, but the invitation gets lost and she thinks she’s not invited. At the last minute she has to find a present for her friend and he kisses her on the cheek.

Rated: 3/5 - "I would recommend this book for 6-8 year olds. I liked it when her Aunt Violet went to the bathroom and a man went to her bed by mistake. She screamed... it was funny!"