Thursday, February 18, 2016

Albert Park reviews for February 2016

The railway children by Edith Nesbit - reviewed by Miranda

It is about a family who needs to move away from the town they live in to the country in Yorkshire. It is because their father, who works for the government, is sent to jail.

It is about their adventures in the country. Usually they play near the railway tracks (that's why the book is called the railway children!). One time they find a stump in the middle of the rail line and they need to stop the train. The girls decide to tear up their red petticoats to flag down the train. One of the girls faints because the train stops so close to them.

It also turns out that their father, who is in jail for spying, is innocent.

Rated:  5.75/5! - "I've read the book a few times, it would be nicer if the book had a bit more about how poor they were after their father went to jail."

Demon dentist by David Walliams - reviewed by Charlie

I like this book because it is very good and funny. The old dentist in town has been murdered and a new dentist appears who is mean. She makes horrible toothpaste which burns through stone and wants to give it to the children. Also when children put a tooth out for the tooth fairy they wake up to find things like spiders and slugs under their pillow. The new dentist's hand gets chopped off and runs around chasing children.

Rated:  3/5 - "I liked it."

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Parker - reviewed by Georgina

The book is about Pollyanna who goes to live with her auntie after her parents die. The town that she moves to is a very sad place and her auntie isn't very nice. Pollyanna is always very positive and looking for the good in everything and to make it good again. She meets a rich man who doesn't want to talk to people but she still tries to. Something bad happens towards the end of the book which Pollyanna can't make better. I can't tell you what it is.

Rated:  5/5 - "I like the main character Pollyanna."

Looking for Alaska by John Green - reviewed by Tiana

It is about a boy, Miles Halter, whose nickname is Pudge because he's so skinny. He has to go to boarding school and makes some new friends there including a girl named Alaska. Alaska is very popular but also has really big mood swings. She ponders the question 'How do you get out of the labyrinth?' a lot, and Miles tries to find out what this means for her (which is life and suffering). Miles has a special gift for remembering people's last words before they die.

Miles and Alaska play pranks on other students, in the meantime Miles is trying to figure her out.

Rated:  5/5 - "Really good!! Very, very, very, very deep and emotional. It has a lot of swear words, alcohol and other stuff. If it was a movie it would be rated M!"

The Cherub series by Robert Muchamore - reviewed by Emma

It is about kids who have to go to orphanages because their parents are dead. The orphanages are used as a place to recruit and train young people as spies because no one would suspect them of being one. One of these kids is James and his sister Lauren who are in the orphanage after their mother dies. Their mum was really fat and had an operation and wasn't allowed to drink, but her boyfriend keeps bringing her alcohol and she dies.

James is taken by the Cherubs and trained as a spy while his sister is taken away by his mother's boyfriend. James is sent on a mission but he is also looking for his sister.

Rated:  4/5 - "The story suddenly stops and doesn't continue, the second book has the same characters and different story."

Wonder by R.J. Palacio - reviewed by Hannah

Augie is a boy who has a deformed face and his parents have always been too scared to send him to school because he would be picked on. He starts school at 12 years old because he has been home-schooled. He meets some nice friends, Summer and Jack, but everyone else is mean.

When Augie was little he went to a shop and another child pointed out his face ... this boy turns out to be Jack his new friend.

Rated:  5/5 - "There are ups and downs in the story."

Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Georgia C.

Everyone thinks that Sirius killed Peter Pettigrew (because all that was left was his finger) and also told Voldemort where Harry Potter's parents were hiding so was responsible for their deaths. In this book Sirius escapes from Azkaban and everyone is concerned. But it turns out that Pettigrew was the one who gave Harry's parents away and then faked his own death. He then turned himself into a rat and became Ron Weasley's pet rat. At the end of the book Pettigrew escapes and Sirius turns out to be Harry Potter's godfather and is working for good and not for Voldemort.

Rated:  5/5 - "J.K. Rowling is very good at describing things and it felt like I was there."

Four by Veronica Roth - reviewed by Leticia

This is the fourth book in the Divergent Trilogy but it is an extra book. It's about a character Tobias who appears in other books but is not the main character. It is about his life before he met Tris. It's little stories about life with his mum and dad.

Before his life in the Factions (there are five) he moves to Dauntless to get away from his dad. It's about the way his life changes and how he got the nickname Four. His life is a series of sad tragedies but that eventually leads to good things.

Rated:  4/5 - "It has a very good story line - I think that maybe it should have focused on his mum too and some good memories not just the bad ones."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

St Kilda reviews for February 2016

We're back!!! We hope you all had an enjoyable summer break. Here are the very first reviews for 2016.

Treasure hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein - reviewed by Ruth

My cousin recommended this and I agree with him – not only great writing, it has good pictures too. It’s part of a trilogy. It’s about four kids, their last name is Kid. Their parents are famous treasure hunters. They don’t go to school, instead they are home schooled on an old, abandoned ship by their parents. They get to go exploring ship wrecks in the ocean.

The two twin Kids Bic and Bec have a nickname: The Twin Tirades 'cos they fight a lot. Bec wears 3D glasses that her mum gave her. The oldest is Tommy, he’s like a teenager/grownup. He’s really good with the ship. The second oldest is Storm. Her real name is Stephanie but she hates it, if anyone calls her Stephanie her eyes go all stormy. She has a photographic memory and is really smart. One day their mum gets kidnapped by pirates. Then in a big storm their super famous dad goes missing too. They think he drowned but no one knows for sure…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "6/5 if that was possible - best book ever!!"

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams - reviewed by Jack

Ben doesn’t like going to his grandma’s house. She smells of cabbage, her TV doesn’t work, they have to play scrabble and she farts without knowing it. His parents leave him there every week so they can go ballroom dancing. One night he complains over the phone about how bored he is and his grandma overhears. Then while his grandma is reading a book, Ben goes to get a cookie out of the cookie jar. The jar is full of jewels! The his grandma tells him she’s actually an international jewel thief! She tells him all about the jewel heists of her past. She says that it’s every jewel thief’s dream to steal the crown jewels. Later she has to go to hospital so Ben plans to steal the crown jewels on his own…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "Very good."

1984 by George Orwell - reviewed by Louise

It’s about a guy named Winston. In this world there are screens everywhere that record your every move. There are posters everywhere declaring that: BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING. People who think or act against big brother, have committed “thought crimes”. They tend to disappear. Winston is part of the Outer Party. He works in an office where people go through and censor all the material. There are proles who are hard labourers, coal miners and then there is the Inner Party, the mayors and governors who rule. Winston begins to have an affair with a woman. They meet in secret places and talk. They join an underground group of people who are rebelling against Big Brother. These people are very good at masking their expressions. They read a book written by the rebel leader which is all about breaking down what society is and what it should be.

Rated:  3.5/5 reallys - "It’s hard to read because it’s very heavy and the style of the writing is difficult. I haven’t finished it yet. I would recommend it to teen readers. It’s a really disturbing book but I like the way George Orwell asks: 'What if?'”

White crane, bk. 1: Samurai kids by Sandy Fussell - reviewed by Ollie

So what’s happening is that the Samurai kids are on a journey around Asia. Most of them are from Japan, some of them are from China.

Each Samurai has a spirit animal:

- Yoshi has the brave spirit of a tiger but doesn’t want to fight.
- Niya only has one leg and is a white crane.
- Kyoko is a girl who has white hair and six fingers and six toes. She is a snow monkey.
- Mikko is a striped gecko, he’s lazy but quick when he needs to be.
- Taji is a golden bat with an excellent sense of smell.
- Nezume is loyal. His animal is the long tailed rat.
- Chen’s spirit animal is the red fox.

My favourites are Kyoko and Chen.

Their teacher Sensei was once a famous shanghai master.

In a Korean jungle they get attacked by a tiger. Yoshi scares it away. Sensei tries to find a secret village. While searching they find a stick man who at first they think is just a stick. The stick man warns them that they better look out for the tiger. They say they already dealt with him. The stick man is amazed and calls Yoshi the chosen one. He kneels down and swears to protect him. They say with what? You have no weapons. Then the stick man reveals a muscat. Then Sensei realizes he is the guard of the hidden village. He shows them the way up the mountain, to where the village is hidden, right in the middle down below.

My favourite part is where everyone is down the inner part of the mountain except Niya who is scared. Kyoko starts climbing up the mountain to help and stick man exclaims “none of the Kuwong warriors climb this path”.

When they arrive in the village they sleep until dinner because they haven’t slept for months. That’s how their quest begins…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - “Really awesome.

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker - reviewed by Olivia

It’s about a girl called Tessa who is a Variant. Variants are people who have a power that allows them to take a part of other people’s DNA when they touch them and become like them. She is trained by a secret unit of the FBI. There is a serial killer who has killed three people and attempts to kill a fourth. All the victims have an “A” mark on their ribcages. Madeleine, the one who got away goes to hospital. Tessa visits her, and when Madeleine dies she takes on her identity, not telling her family and friends that the real Madeleine has died. Tessa is going to try and out who the killer is…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "Really well written."