Friday, October 28, 2016

St Kilda reviews for October

Percy Jackson and the Greek gods by Rick Riordan - reviewed by Ollie

I am reviewing the first half of the book...

It’s full of lying, backstabbing and cannibalism! It’s funny and tells you all about the beginning of the gods. First from the mists of Chaos came Gaia, the earth, then Tartarus, Eros and Uranus followed.

There are lots of comments in brackets which are directly from Riordan’s perspective, where he adds something different, like when it says that “Gaia likes to walk her long legs upon the earth” he says: “(which is practically walking upon herself!)”.

One day Gaia wished she had someone to accompany her. Either Chaos heard her, or she just willed it to happen. A sky formed and that was Uranus, the god of the sky. They married and had twelve Titan children, then they had another set of kids which were a bit ugly and had many arms, called the Hundred Handed Ones. Uranus thought they were really, really ugly and so he chained them up and threw them into Tartarus (a non bottomless but bottomless pit prison). Then they had another set of triplets and they were one-eyed. Uranus exiles them as well and Gaia gets really mad. She makes a scythe and asks one of her twelve children to kill him. None volunteer but the youngest of the twelve, Kronos. He asks for four helpers who hold down his limbs. They chop him up into a million little pieces and chuck him into Tartarus. The four helpers go to the corners of the earth and hold up the sky. Kronos becomes the King of the Universe. But when Tartarus died it was prophesied that Kronos’ children would repeat his actions. So he’s afraid to have kids. Then he gets the nerve to marry Riya, the All Mother, the most beautiful of the Titans who gives birth to their first child. The baby, radiating a godly power, frightens Kronos and so he eats her. He continues to eat all their children until Riya, who is very upset, gives birth to Zeus in the far away land of Crete. Knowing that the child will be eaten upon her return, Riya asks Gaia to swap the baby for a rock…

Rated:  5/5 reallys

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Emese

It’s about this boy called Harry Potter. He’s a special, chosen child, known as “the boy who lived” because of his undoing of Lord Voldemort. Voldemort was responsible for a lot of people dying, and performed a death curse on Harry when he was just a baby. No one has ever survived the curse, except for Harry.

In this book Harry, Hermione and Ron have run away from Hogwarts into the forest. They were meant to find these things called horcruxes, which contain parts of Voldemort’s power. They have to find them, smash them and kill the power to weaken him. They search everywhere to find them. They meet Luna’s dad Mr Lovegood, who tells them about the three objects of the Deathly Hallows: the vanishing cloak, the elder wand (you can do anything with this wand and be practically invincible) and the philosopher’s stone. If you have all of these objects you are meant to be like the master of death…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "It's better than the movie, more interesting, detailed and exciting!"

The night they stormed Eureka by Jackie French - reviewed by Ruth

It’s about this girl called Sam who lives now. She has a complicated family, with a stepdad and abusive, alcoholic mum. She’s homeless but none of her friends know. Basically she is really upset and wants to get away from her life.

One day she goes for a walk in a graveyard and sees a gravestone marked in memory of Percival Puddleham 1801-1884 and his dear wife Elsie 1814-1854 and their most beloved children. Sam imagines that they were rich and happy and she wishes that she was there. Then a big gust of wind blows and Sam finds herself in the 1800s! She meets Mrs Puddleham who is really nice and good at cooking, and Mr Puddleham, who is quite thin but elegant. She has to fight a bushranger (but it’s not particularly relevant to the story so moving on).

Mrs Puddleham is a cook on the goldfields. Sam works for her and lives in their shop. Everyone wants to eat Mrs Puddleham’s food. She tells Sam she used to be the cook for her Majesty and Percival was her butler. She’s really happy there. In the shop where they live, there is also this man known as the professor. He can read but he’s always drinking. Anyway she tells him she’s from the future… Sam knows things no one else knows, about the future, about the stockade…

There is an appendix and some history at the back, even old recipes like treacle dumplings and sinkers written in old fashioned language.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - “Great descriptions throughout. I like everything about it. It’s really good, funny and sometimes violent.”

Crusade by Elizabeth Laird - reviewed by Spike

It’s about the crusades in Jerusalem. There are two perspectives - one from a boy called Adam whose mother dies and has to leave on a crusade to be the baron leader’s dog boy. He’s given a dog. The other perspective is from Salim. His left leg is shorter than his right leg so he limps. He’s appointed as the doctor’s apprentice. He’s the other main character. King Richard and Sir Guy are in this story too (from Robin Hood). There’s a giant fight. Adam is excited about war to begin with, then he experiences real war and realises how awful it is.

Rated:  4/5 reallys

Bakugan: the official handbook by Scholastic and Tracey West

This book covers all of the characters from the movie including the elements, the evil and good characters. This book goes with the movie, where Dan has a brawl with a local boy Shuji. When Shuji challenges him to a rematch he gets Drago. Dan uses a quartet battle card, which makes it so that a darkest fear ripper and also a dragonoid appear (dragons that can change and be upgraded, like to delta are really rare). Dan’s dragonoid Drago evolves in an episode called “Drago’s on Fire” because for some reason he was covered in this ball of fire, which turned rock solid and then exploded open and then a Delta Dragonoid came out instead of a dragonoid.

This book tells you all about the characters such as Bee Striker who has a huge stinger and Clay F of the six legendary soldiers of the Destroyer, who is said to be the strongest of the six. There’s also this Bakugan that’s pretty much impossible to beat, called Agorum.

Rated:  4/5 reallys - “It loses a 'really' if you already know how to play the game. But it has a useful strategy section at the back which you can use (there’s a video game as well as episodes and a movie).”

Percy Jackson and the Greek gods by Rick Riordan - reviewed by Yuanquan

I am reviewing the second half of this book...

After the Olympians beat Kronos, they roll the dice to see who gets what part of the earth. The three gods are Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Zeus predictably rolls highest and chooses the sky which makes sense because he has a master bolt. Poseidon chooses the sea and Hades chooses the underworld. The book then goes on to explain what led to this moment.

The first chapter is “Hestia chooses bachelor number 0” because Hestia is the goddess of the heart. Other gods start wanting to marry people but Hestia wants to stay single. So then both Poseidon and Apollo go to ask Zeus’ permission at the same time and then Hestia is just sitting by the fire day-dreaming, and then Zeus calls Hestia over to choose and then Hestia falls to her knees and asks not to have to marry. Zeus grants her request.

Next chapter is called “Demeter turns into Rainzilla.” She’s the goddess of agriculture and has a daughter named Persephone. She’s very caring towards her daughter. One day a rich person goes to a sacred grove to cut trees for his mansion. So he starts cutting and Demeter comes. All his friends run away and he gets cursed. He can eat and drink as much as he wants, but he will never quench his thirst of hunger.

Next “Hera gets a little cuckoo” where Zeus is trying to convince Hera to marry him. Zeus makes a deal with her that if she ever says “I love you” she will have to marry him. Then he turns into a cuckoo and flew up to Mt Olympus during a storm, pretending to be injured…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - “There are lots of stories, they are very, very good.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reviews from Albert Park for October

13 ghostly tales by Freya Littledale (ed.) - reviewed by Miranda

There are 13 small stories in this book. I will tell you about one called "The Railroad" which is about a train that has Queen Victoria aboard and the train needs to go fast to get her somewhere. The train driver sees a man waving his arms on the rail tracks. The driver stops the train and gets out and finds that he has stopped just in time because he was about to cross a river, but because of heavy rain it is swollen and had caused the bridge to wash away. The train driver can't find the man anywhere either. Later the driver finds a giant moth on the headlights when he turns them on, its shadow looks like that of a man flapping his arms. This is based on a true story.

I wasn't really scared reading the book ... I just read it.

Rated:  100/5 - "because each story is different but have similar themes. Really cool."

Dork diaries by Rachel Renee Russell - reviewed by Georgia

Nikki is the opposite of popular, she is a dork. She is starting a new school and is hoping that things will change. She hopes to make friends at her new school. I really liked it, the book is entertaining and easy to read.

Rated:  5/5 - "It's the best book in the world!"

The naughtiest girl keeps a secret by Enid Blyton - reviewed by Charlie

The naughtiest girl is about a girl named Elizabeth who goes to boarding school. Someone is playing mean tricks on her friend Patrick ... he thinks it's Elizabeth! She tries to find out who is playing tricks on Patrick so she can prove it's not her.

Rated:  4/5 - "Good but some bits are boring."

Figgy in the world by Tamsin Janu - reviewed by Zanais

This book is about a girl named Figgy who lives in Ghana in Africa and whose grandma is very ill. She decides to travel around the world to find medicine to make her grandmother better. She also has a pet goat named Kwame who she loves. She finds the medicine she needs in New York but when she gets back her grandma is better but Kwame the goat has died.

Rated:  4/5 - "It could have more characters in it but it only had three - I like books with a lot of characters in them."

Cake pop crush by Suzanne Nelson - reviewed by Julia

Alicia lives with her dad who runs the local bakery in town. Her mother died when she was little. She helps her dad at the bakery and when a new sleek coffee shop chain opens across the road from their shop they have to find a way to survive. Adding to the problem is that the CEO of the new coffee chain has a cute son named Dane. Alicia loves baking and she finds out that Dane does too. There is a bake off and she makes cake pops using a recipe her mum had to win and save her dad's bakery. She kisses Dane at the end of the book.

Rated:  4 1/8 out of 5 - "It was a good book and I really liked it - I would have given it 5 but it had a romantic bit so I didn't give it 5."

Girl online by Zoe Sugg - reviewed by Emma

This book is about a girl named Penny who is a blogger and writes about her life. Her mum is a wedding planner and takes her to New York with her, while she is there she meets a boy named Noah who is a rockstar (but she doesn't know this because she is a nerd). They start falling in love but a mean girl named Megan spreads a rumour over the internet that Noah already has a girlfriend and that Penny is a cheat. It turns out not to be true.

Rated:  5/5 - "I loved it!"

Specky Magee and the great footy contest by Felice Arena and Gary Lyon - reviewed by Flynn

Specky Magee is a really good footy player but he has to pass a footy skills competition and a contest with 100 questions. He wins and goes to Ireland.

This book is good for 7 - 10 year olds.

Rated:  5/5 - "I like sport."

The 65-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths - reviewed by Zoe

There are three people who live in the treehouse Andy, Terry and Jill. They have added more levels to the treehouse (another 13 storeys). They have created a 24 hour TV station for the latest news from the treehouse. They now have a pool, shark tank, an elephant fighting arena and an exploding eyeball area. But they realise they don't have a building permit for the extra levels so have to go back in time to get it. They accidently time travel but don't know how to do it properly and keep going right back until they go back to the stone age. They also can't work the time machine to get back.

Rated:  3.25/5 - "because it was good but could have been livelier (more interesting)."