Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May reviews from Albert Park

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery - reviewed by Miranda

Firstly I will tell you some of Anne's characteristics. She is an orphan, a chatterbox; she is slightly naughty and has a good imagination. She is adopted out and goes to live in Green Gables but the woman (Mirella) who was adopting her thought she was adopting a boy and tells Anne to get out. Mirella's brother insists that she stay. Some things happen ... some are good and some are bad.

Rated:  5/5 - "really 100/5 - I loved it!"

The Marvels by Brian Selznick - reviewed by Georgia

The book is about a boy, Joseph, whose best friend Blink goes missing. Joseph decides to search for him. His parents are overseas and don't know that Joseph has runaway. He has a map which leads to a house and a strange man that wears a big coat. He finds out that the strange man is his uncle. (Blink is only mentioned at the start of the book and is never mentioned again).

Rated:  5/5 watches

Mr Galliano's circus by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Charlie

The story is about a boy called Jimmy Brown and the circus that comes to his town. His dad gets a job at the circus because he is a handyman. He meets a girl called Lotta who rides horses and does tricks. He makes lots of new friends and likes to meet up with them. Jimmy is really good with animals and when an elephant runs away because of a storm he is able to bring him back. Mr Galliano rewards him by giving him a job at the circus.

Rated:  5/5 - "Really interesting!"

Alice-Miranda to the rescue : bk. 13, Alice-Miranda series by Jacqueline Harvey - reviewed by Julia

There is a dog competition coming up and the famous winner (who has won the competition for the last 4 years) has her puppies stolen while she is in hospital. She is recovering from a car accident. A girl at Alice-Miranda's school finds one of the puppies and keeps it for herself. She hides it in a building but accidentally sets it on fire. Alice-Miranda puts out the fire and saves the puppy. In the end Alice-Miranda finds out who stole the puppies because they are acting suspiciously and the woman's son finds all of the puppies (that is the woman who was the winner of the dog competition).

Rated:  4/5 - "I like all the detail and stuff."

The 5th wave by Rick Yancey - reviewed by Tiana

This is about a girl named Cassie who is on the run from an alien invasion. It comes in waves and when it first hits all the lights go out. The second wave are earthquakes and tsunamis. The third wave is the red death which is a plague where people bleed from the eyes and mouth before they die. The fourth wave is the 'silencers' which is where the aliens who are more of a 'conscience' than a being, load themselves into humans and bind themselves to their human host. When the person turns 13 the conscience wakes up and kills other humans. The Silencers are there to wipe out the human race. Cassie calls them the Silencers because everything about them is designed to 'silence' (kill) everybody. 

Cassie survives but has a Silencer tracking her and he has numerous opportunities to kill her but doesn't. Cassie wants to stop her brother from being the 5th wave which are children being trained to kill without the Silencers. The Silencer who is following her shoots her in the leg and then runs away. Cassie passes out and the Silencer saves her because he has fallen in love with her. Apparently there were two groups of Silencers one group wanted to kill all humans and others wanted to co-exist. I think Cassie's Silencer is from the group that wanted to co-exist. Basically the rest of the story follows Cassie and the Silencer.

"I'm giving it 5/5 because it is amazing! A complex story - it's great!"

Geek girl by Holly Smale - reviewed by Emma

Harriet starts Year 6 and wants to make lots of new friends. She knows lots of things such as facts so she is a bit of a geek and isn't very popular at school. When she is scouted by a modelling agency and becomes a model suddenly everyone wants to be her friend. Everything seems great. She has a party which everyone wants to go to but then she also has a fight with her good friend.

Rated:  5/5 geeky glasses

My heart is laughing by Rose Lagerkrantz - reviewed by Hannah

Dani's best friend Ella moves away and she feels lonely. At school the seat that Ella used to sit in is always empty. Dani visits Ella at her new house and they play together. Dani forgets to give Ella her goodbye present - it's a card that says she misses her friend. Teacher makes Dani sit between two girls who don't like her and pinch her. Dani is angry and tries to squirt them with tomato sauce but ends up hitting the teacher instead. She gets into trouble and runs away. Her dad finds her and tells her that Ella will be coming back to her school.

Rated:  3/5 bent bananas

The hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - reviewed by Leticia

According to Tiana I'm reading the kids version of this book! It's about a hobbit who is half the average man's height named Bilbo. Hobbits do not go on adventures. But Bilbo's mother was a Took whose ancestors married a fairy - and fairies do go on adventures. His father's side of the family are well-respected because they are rich and non-adventurous. When Bilbo meets Gandolf he decides to join him on an adventure and with twelve dwarves they go in search of treasure.

Rated:  7/10 (or 3/5) - "the plot is old and you can kind of guess what will happen. But the story is still good."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May reviews from St Kilda

Timmy Failure : Sanitized for your protection by Steven Pastis - reviewed by Spike 

This is the fourth book in the series. I’ve read the rest of them. It’s about this boy who thinks he’s the greatest detective in the world but he isn’t; he’s more on the lower side of a detective. The case is because they think that people have stolen the money for a charity thing for a boy called Yergi Plimkin who needs books. The charity is called Yip Yap and the girl who runs it made a typo - instead of saying $120 it said 12 cents! Timmy Failure went to Chicago to try and find the money and he left the hotel without his mum and dad. He got on this bus and went to a fancy hotel for no reason. When people tried to throw him out because he said these two people were his parents, but they were just two old people. And he said they were there for windsurfing. And when they got back and Timmy Failure thought he’d solved it the girl who ran it said, you see it’s just a typo mistake, if you put the decimal point three places to the right it would make it $120.

Rated: 4.8 reallys - "The ideas are really funny and it’s a really funny book. And at the end the lady who ran the Yip Yap charity said 'we should make a new charity for my bedroom, it’s too small and we’ll call it REAR END' - all the words stand for Remodel Everything and Repurpose Entirely New Dresser."

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - reviewed by Ruth

It’s a graphic novel. So, it’s in this world which is sort of like medieval times and there’s a bad side and a good side but it’s got more technology. Cos there’s like voice recordings and voice messages and facetime and stuff. And so there’s a side which is good and a side which is bad. There’s Lord Ballister Blackheart who is evil and one of the main characters. There’s an institute called the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics and there’s a director who owns it who is evil but sort of good. It’s quite complicated. Anyway there’s this girl called Nimona she is a shape shifter who can change shape and regrow limbs. She can change into anything and that’s what it’s mainly about. So on the evil side she works for Lord Blackheart and they just have to fight each other and their main aim was to show that the good guys are actually evil. So Nimona shape shifts most of the time. She seems really little compared to everyone else. The good person is called Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin is really into science whereas Nimona is more into magic. Even though Lord Blackheart is really evil and does really evil things he still really doesn’t want to kill people. SO the evil is sort of good and the good is sort of evil. So the good people are sort of the bad guys, and the bad guys are sort of the good guys. It’s a bit confusing. It’s really good.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "I’m giving it 4 even though it’s really good because some of the aspects are really confusing."

The maze of bones : The 39 clues by Rick Riordan - reviewed by Jaxon

Okay so there’s like this contest so if you decline the challenge you get a million dollars. Or you can burn your million and get a clue to become the most powerful human in the world. So there are four branches to the whole Cahill family. The Cahill family is very special. So right now there’s this girl called Irina Sapzky and she’s from Russia. She put poison needles in her fingertips so that if she scratched somebody they would get poisoned because there is dry poison on the end. So right now they’re in France they just went into a secret base and it’s got a code and I can even tell you the code - it’s 5910. So they just met John Wizard who is famous on this TV show. So these children, called Dan and Amy - their grandmother died and Amy had her jewellery books to remember her by. So also at the secret base there are no guard dogs, no alarms and no security cameras and no alarms went off. So they just went on three railways and it’s a pretty good book.

Rated:  4.5 reallys - "It lost half a point because the book does include sickness and it does include fire getting set on to a coffin which I don’t really like. And also I gave it a half because it’s hilarious, because it said the person’s name the date when they born when they died and then their will said: I’m dead let’s have a party! What does that mean?!"


The Austere Academy : a series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket - reviewed by Sophie

It’s about these siblings and there’s this guy called Count Olaf and they have this really big fortune of money and he wants it so he plays all these pranks, well not really pranks pretends to be all these people to get their money and stuff. Also their parents died because he murdered them. So this is the fifth one I think so they’ve transferred to this boarding school and he’s still after the money so he pretends to be their gym teacher and every night he makes them run live a hundred laps or probably more around this little circle so every morning they’re really tired and can’t do their homework. So the vice principle is really mean and he says if you miss one more piece of homework I’m kicking you out of this school. And Count Olaf knows that if they get kicked out of school he can adopt them and steal their fortune….

In this book they make new friends who are also orphans with a fortune.

Rated:  4 reallys - "It’s really good but it’s kind of the same as the other ones and repeats lines a lot."

Ersatz elevator : a series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket - reviewed by Rosa

Klaus, Sunny and Violet are adopted by people who live in a penthouse on the top of a very tall building called Dark Avenue. They meet Esme who is obsessed with what’s in and what’s out. –Dark is in. She only adopted them because at the moment orphans are in too. They also meet Jeremy. Jeremy is nice, They go to this auction and Count Olaf is dressed up as the auctioneer. They find out their friends the Quagmire twins have been trapped in an empty elevator.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "There’s a lot of repetition, but I like the story."

Samurai kids : Monkey fist by Sandy Fussell - reviewed by Ollie

Before the story begins the characters are introduced along with pictures of each. Kyoko is the main feature of this book. She is a white haired girl with twelve fingers and twelve toes. Her animal is the snow monkey. The other characters include Niya, who is one-legged. His animal is the stork. Then there’s Mikko who is the lazy striped gekho, Yoshi who is brave but doesn’t want to fight, Taji the golden bat, Nezume, the loyal, long-tailed rat, Chen the resourceful red fox and Sakito whose animal is the Hokkaido wolf. In this book Kyoko gets kidnapped by Lu Zeng and they have to save her. So they go to Beijing the guards are forced to let them into the forbidden temple because Sensei once fought their master and won. During their quest to find Kyoko they have to play a deadly game of hide and seek and not speak a word!

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "I love most Asian foods and styles!"

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee - reviewed by Olivia

The book is set in Maycomb, Alabama It’s about a brother and sister called Jem and Scout and their dad Atticus who is a lawyer. Their cousin Dill comes every Summer. No one likes Atticus because he has taken a case to defend a black man. At the beginning of the book Jem breaks his arm. They live next door to the Radleys. The Radleys never come out. Well, Arthur does, but you never see Boo. He is not what he seems. The book explores the mystery of Boo and also Jem and Scout trying to understand the world of their father.

Rated:  5 reallys

Friday, May 13, 2016

April reviews from St Kilda (just a tiny bit late!!)

Hamish and the worldstoppers by Danny Wallace - reviewed by Ruth

My dad was begging me to review this book, it’s like his favourite in the world. The setting of the story is in a place called Starkley. It is Britain’s fourth most boring town. Their news headlines read like this: ‘Potato looks a bit like a dog.’ The main character, Hamish Ellerbey begins to notice that sometimes the world stops moving and then starts up again. He calls them pauses. Then his mother, brother and his dad disappear. There are these monsters called The Terribles, they are really scary and there’s a lady named Alice who has a blue streak in her hair. Hamish needs to get help from the mysterious group, the PDF to save his boring town from destruction.

Rated:  4.999 reallys - "It's not like the best book ever, but it's really, really good!"

Me before you by Jojo Moyes - reviewed by Louise

It’s about this person who’s a paraplegic. His name is Will. The main character is Lou. She goes for a job to look after Will after the café The Buttered Bun where she works gets shut down. He calls her by her surname, Clarke. Will is quite sarcastic and not very happy with life. All these things happen and then he gets these visitors - a guy and a girl. The girl is his ex-girlfriend and the guy is his ex-work partner. They ask for his blessing. Lou overhears while collecting firewood. Another woman starts yelling at Will, then starts crying and runs off. Lou finds out that the woman is his sister who lives in Australia. Lou overhears that he is planning on dying in 6 months. (She overhears his mum and sister talking). Lou is on a mission to make Will’s life better. I’d say this isn’t for primary age. 12+.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "It lost a really because Lou makes such bad decisions, like she moves in with this really annoying, sporty guy who says things like: “I don’t like pyjamas”. It’s a very good book though."

As red as blood by Salla Simukka - reviewed by Olivia

This book has been translated from Finnish. It is the first book in a trilogy. I haven’t read the third book yet. Lumikki goes to school but she doesn’t live with her parents. Instead she is living in an apartment by herself. The book flicks between two perspectives. She doesn’t have anything to do with the popular kids at her school until one day when she finds a bag of money covered in blood in the school photo lab. She follows the kids that she thinks are involved. They catch on that she knows. Eliza, one of the popular kids calls her and invites her over. Eliza’s dad is a policeman and she doesn’t want to be involved. Before she leaves Eliza gives her one of her hats to wear. She feels like she is being followed. Then she gets invited to a fantasy themed party and goes as Snow White. Eliza’s dad chases her. In the next book “White as Snow” Lumikki is in another town and a mysterious girl is claiming to be her sister. The girl is involved in a cult and there was a fire… This book is not for young children, more like Year 7.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "So good, really well written!"

Star wars : the force awakens by Alan Dean Foster - reviewed by Spike

It’s about a storm trooper call Finn and a girl named Rey. Also it’s about an android called BB8 whose head looks like a soccer ball. In this book Luke Skywalker has disappeared and the First Order is in power under the command of General Hux.

Han Solo is a smuggler turned hero. With Rey and Finn he wants to destroy the First Order and their base Star Killer. Near the end of the book you get to know his real name. Everything seems lost until R2D2 who was shut down for a long time comes back.

Rated:  2.5/5 reallys - "I gave this less reallys because I had already seen the film and knew what would happen."

Skulduggery Pleasant : The death bringer by Derek Landy - reviewed by Yuanquan

It’s about a young teenage girl and a skeleton. The skeleton is Skulduggery. The girl is Valkyrie. She is Skulduggery’s protégé. In this world there are lots of magicians who can do different things. There are elementals who can manipulate elements like fire and water, teleporters, adepts, seers and necromancers who can create and hold shadows.

This book is about this super scary necromancer called The Death Bringer who is strong enough to wipe out half the population. And then there’s Lord Vile who can stab people with shadows…

At one point Valkyrie gets captured by the Necros, and Skulduggery has to teach her a lesson about wandering off.

Rated:  5 reallys - "Because!!"




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Albert Park reviews for April

Annie by Thomas Meehan - reviewed by Charlie

I'm reading this book for the second time. Annie is a little girl who is left in an orphanage after her parents die. A rich man asks her around for Christmas, but he only does this to make himself look good and she runs away. A lady finds her but uses her as a slave so she runs away again. While she is hiding she finds a dog.

The police are looking for her and find her and send her dog to the pound. Mrs Hannigan who looks after Annie at the orphanage doesn't want her to go because she is paid to look after her. Mrs Hannigan's brother and his girlfriend pretend to be her parents so they can claim $50,000.

Rated:  5/5 - "I'm giving it this score even though some bits are boring."

The Grim Grotto, bk. 11, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - reviewed by Emma

It's about some orphans, the Baudelaire children Violet, Klaus and Sunny and they are tobogganing and fall out. Count Orloff is the evil guy who is after them. The Baudelaire children and Count Orloff are also looking for a particular sugar bowl as it has something in there that they all want and need.

Rated:  4/5 - "because it's a good book."

My royal story, Royal Collection (various authors) - reviewed by Miranda

I will tell you a bit about what each book is about in this collection:

Catherine of Aragon - this book is about the first few years of her marriage to King Henry 8th. 

Anne Boleyn and me - this is when Catherine and Henry divorce.

Elizabeth - written in the first person and is about her life when she was still a princess.

Bloody Tower - Mary the 1st executed lots of people and burned people at the stake because she wanted everyone to be Catholic.

Victoria - it's the 1800's and about Victoria when she was a teenager.
Rated:  10/5 - "Good for those who delight in history and want to know about the kings and queens of the past."

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - reviewed by Georgia

This book is about a boy (Hugo) who lives in a train station by himself after his father dies in a fire. He has to hide otherwise he'll be sent to an orphanage. Hugo's favourite thing to do is fix clocks. He's caught stealing from a toy shop because he needs parts for his 'big machine toy thing' (called an autonomon). He meets a girl with a necklace and key which he thinks is the last piece he needs for his toy. They become friends and he discovers that her godfather owns the toy shop. At her godparents house he finds a box and the godfather walks in ... I won't tell you what happens next you'll have to read the book!

Rated:  5 out of 5 clocks - "It was nice!"

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret by Judy Blume - reviewed by Leticia

My friend recommended this book. It's an old book (first published in 1970). Margaret Simon is almost 12 and she moves from New York to New Jersey. At first she doesn't like New Jersey. Then she makes friends with Nancy at school and is invited into her secret club. Margaret can't wait to grow up.

Margaret also has to decide whether she is Christian or Jewish because her mum is Catholic and dad is Jewish.

It has some awkward moments - for example with boys.

I would recommend it for 11 and older - when you reach my age you'll understand why.

Rated:  5/5 - "the book explains reality really well and what happens in real life and it's a really good story."