Thursday, July 21, 2016

July reviews from Albert Park

New girls at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Zoe

There are three stories in it. It's quite funny. The girls play tricks on their French teacher such as using magic chalk which disappears once it's written on the blackboard. They also hate their drama/English teacher.

Rated:  4¾.2 out of 5 - "It's a good book and it's a long book so I won't finish it quickly (I don't like books to finish too quickly!)"

Wonder by P.J. Palacio - reviewed by Emma

August has a facial defect and has had nine surgeries. He has been home schooled but now has to start school where he knows everyone will stare at him. He has a friend called Jack, but one day overhears Jack talking to the school bully saying that if he looked like August he would kill himself (Jack later apologises for saying this).

August gets bullied - he has a hearing aid which gets deliberately wrecked. Then his dog Daisy dies.

He has a sister Olivia who gets angry that people stare at him. Her friend Miranda is one of the few people who has played with him.

Basically this book is saying 'don't judge a book by it's cover'.

Rated:  4½ out of 5 – "the reason I didn't give it 5 was that it needed a bit more excitement!"

Christmas in Enchantia (Magic ballerina series) by Darcy Bussell - reviewed by Miranda

Delphie is a ballerina and she is 9 years old. On Christmas eve she is performing the Nutcracker and her ballet shoes take her to Enchantia.

King Rat of Enchantia is trying to spoil Christmas by stealing all the Christmas trees.

Delphie is called to Enchantia by the people who live there to help them out. Sometimes she needs to use magic and other times she just uses what's around her to help the people of Enchantia.

"I'm giving it a million out of 5! There are lots of details and an exciting story. I recommend this for 6 - 10 year olds who like ballet."

Well of Witches (The Thickety, bk. 3) by J.A. White - reviewed by Georgia

A girl called Kara and her brother Taff are on a trip to find a witch who changed their father's body. They want to find the Grimoire which is a book that's used to cast spells and take over a person's mind. On their way they meet Saffy who is a witch.

They settle in a village where they meet an old friend Lucas, they go on a journey to stop the evil and bring their dad back whose soul has been stored in a dead body.

Rated:  4½ out of 5 - "very cool and interesting but I don't think I would want to read more of these books."

Alice-Miranda on holiday by Jacqueline Harvey - reviewed by Julia

Alice-Miranda and a friend go to her mums holiday house. On the second day a famous movie star comes to their house. Jacinta is excited. They have a friend Lucas who is there as well. In the middle of the night Jacinta sees him talking to someone but cannot see who it is. They try to solve the mystery of why he was outside at that time and who was he talking to? It turns out that Lucas is the movie star's son.

Rated:  4¼ out of 5 - "because it's a good book but not that great. I only read it because I have to read a book."

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams - reviewed by Charlie

Ben has to stay with his grandma and he isn't very happy about it, he thinks she smells like cabbage. One day he catches her stealing jewellery and she tells him that she's the most wanted jewel thief. His granny has to go to hospital because she has cancer, she says she is okay (but she isn't). They then attempt to steal the Queens crown but then make friends with her.

Rated:  5 out of 5 - "I enjoyed the book ... no boring parts!"

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June reviews from St Kilda

Red Fox ; Samurai Kids, bk. 7 by Sandy Fussell - reviewed by Ollie

So it’s about a ryu lead by famous samurai warrior Ben Ki-Yaga and the samurai kids in the ryu are: Kyoko, a white haired girl with pink eyes, six fingers and six toes. Her spirit is a snow monkey. A one-armed boy, his spirit is a ghecko, he is Niko. Niya a one-legged boy who narrates the story, his spirit is a white crane. Yoshi is a huge strong boy who doesn’t want to fight, his spirit is the tiger. Then there’s Taji, a blind boy whose spirit is the golden bat and Nezume the last boy to join the Cockroach ryu, his spirit is the long-tailed rat - he doesn’t go to different countries from Japan like all the others do and Chen is a young boy from Beijing and his spirit is the red fox. He isn’t in the Cockroach ryu, he is Niya’s (who narrates the story) apprentice.

When on the way to India the sea dragon is shipwrecked and Niya floats to shore alone. He goes to a village and actually finds Chen there who hadn’t been shipwrecked. Afterwards they find a traveller who is also a princess who trains with them. They travel together to find the rest of the ryu. They go down to a temple, on the way they find everyone else in their ryu except for Yoshi who gets damaged by a tiger. He gets carried to the temple but they can’t fix him there, they can only temporarily treat him so he goes to the main city where the King lives. On the way to the main city Sensei needs info so Niya really wants to get Yoshi so they go to a place where you can play hide and seek, it’s a wrecked temple and then when they’re about to leave a soldier comes. He is recruiting children, anyone but monks, and he takes the princess’s traveller. Because they’re now friends they have to try to rescue him.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "All the Samurai Kids books deserve five reallys!"

Sara learns the secret about the law of attraction ; Sara, bk. 1 by Esther and Jerry Hicks - reviewed by Emese

It’s about this girl called Sara who meets this huge owl called Solomon. Solomon teaches her the right and wrong things to do and what you should and shouldn’t do. Sara has a brother and once a truck crashed into a bridge and it left this wobbly line. She used to call it her leaning perch because she liked to sit there and she called it hers because everyone else had forgotten about it. Her neighbour who is an old lady died somehow and she has kids but they had forgotten about her so they never came back and didn’t go to her funeral. Sara couldn’t control her emotions and so Solomon helps her. It’s sad at the end but also uplifting.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "it's much brighter than it sounds..."

The Highlanders ; Brotherhood of thieves, bk. 2 by Stuart Daly - reviewed by Yuanquan

This is the second book in The Brotherhood three book series. It’s based in the four kingdoms of Andolon which is split into three diocese. It focuses on five recruits named Caspan, Roland, Sara, Lachlan and Kilt who need to pass two simple tests (as in really difficult!) in order to get into this special treasure hunting group called The Brotherhood. They pass and then they have to go to Canadon which is on the border of Lochinbar which is in the Highlands. About two weeks before this Lachlan and Caspan had defended the most fortified city in Andolon, Daromir from these evil giants called the Rune. So they’re sent on this mission to retrieve this artefact because Darormir had fallen to the highlanders.

They ride these magical beasts called wardens which are special magical guardians. So Caspan has a drake (a mini dragon), Roland has a manticore, Sara has a Pegasus, Lachlan has a griffin and Kit has a snow panther. So they go to the place and find out that the burial mound which holds the special weapon they are trying to get is surrounded by a fort. So then they have to get in by sneaking in otherwise they will get caught. They come up with this plan to be disguised as Highlanders. One of the big problems is their accent - Roland’s accent is really bad and Lachlan’s isn’t much better so they have to rely on Caspan’s which isn’t all that bad. They get into the fort and get into the mound after passing a few traps; they find the artefact which is like a wrist band. They try and escape with it and meet the ruler of Lochinbower, the Duke who has been captured by the former general. They rescue him but they have to use a special weapon and the only way to make the special weapon work is to use a special language which is in an ancient tongue. The one to activate this wristband is Lachlan. But when he does it wraps around his entire body and he turns into metal!

There’s a funny part later where Lachlan is playing his bagpipes and they say they must call out the entire Royal Guard to stop this guy playing because he will ruin the whole kingdom!

Rated:  4.5/5 reallys - "Missed .5 because it gets boring after you've read it once!"

The sword thief ; 39 clues, bk. 3 by Peter Lerangis - reviewed by Jaxon

So the whole series is about a race for the 39 clues and you get a special card on the way. There’s a videogame as well. This is book three in the series. So basically they ended up having a deadly alliance that tricked them so the Capras, the Cahills and Alistair Oh are all separate groups because there are four branches. Ian Capra gives a coin to Amy (she is one of the Cahills) and Amy puts it in this little slotted mouth of what was basically a rat. You could insert a special coin into the mouth, and you know what happened? This whole secret clue would pop out! Amy finds it is full of gold and two ingredients, so it’s like a recipe, all the clues are like recipes. They came across iron solute and tungsten and lots of gold things. Then Ian Capra betrayed them! He trapped them when he put the coin into the slot mouth and they were stuck and so scared of what was going to happen. Except - there was this triangle mirror on the wall and it was pointing upwards. Upwards means fire and downwards means water. Now, it was pointing upwards and guess what? There were fuses in the roof! So what Alistair Oh did, who was stuck in there with Dan and Amy, was light a match to the fuse. First time it didn’t work. He did it again and it went all the way up into the ceiling and blew up the whole roof. Amy and Dan Cahill got out but Alistair couldn’t, because the roof was like crumbling on top of him. But somehow he survived... but in the end betrayed them…

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "I passed on one point really because it didn't have a sizzling start as it introduces the characters all over again!"

Putting on a play : the young playwright's guide to scripting, directing and performing by Nancy Bentley and Donna Guthrie - reviewed by Ruth

This book just tells you about plays and how to make them and all the different types. I borrowed it because it looked interesting. It gives you good tips about how to make stories. I like it because it’s really well illustrated, simple and it explains things really well. Not only that, the authors guessed that the people who read the book would be quite good readers, so they compared the plays to books which was just very informative. I haven’t written a play yet but I’m thinking about it. It was just really cool from start to finish. Near the end there is a section about performing a play and what you do afterwards and the start is about what a play is. The middle is about types of plays. Towards the end it’s more about the actors, rehearsing and directing.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "It's a really good read. Some parts are really funny."