Sunday, December 3, 2017

November Reviews From St Kilda

It's about a poor boy called Charlie. Every year on his birthday he gets a Wonka chocolate bar and one birthday his grandpa Jo sends him to the shops to buy a second one. In the second chocolate bar he finds a golden ticket. Willy Wonka had hidden five golden tickets in Wonka chocolate bars throughout the world. The five children who found the ticket would get to visit the Wonka Factory, a place no one had been in for a very long time. When they arrive they go through a long hallway to a garden, where the grass is actually minty stuff, and there's a chocolate fountain. They visit the different rooms of the factory. A girl called Veruca Salt eats some gum in the invention room before Willy Wonka can stop her. She exclaims that it tastes yummy like the best dinner, then supper and then dessert. Dessert is blueberry pie and Veruca starts blowing up into a human size blueberry. The oompa loompas have to taker her away to be fixed. After that, the other children begin disappearing too until eventually only Charlie is left...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It was really good, it was really funny when they all came out of the factory at the end"

Stormkit was born in RiverClan, where they learn to swim and catch fish. He was born in a storm. When the cats die they get to got to StarClan or if StarClan won't take them they go to the DarkForest. A DarkForest cat told him that he could have power over his clan mates if he fulfilled one promise: that he be loyal to his clan at all times. But he didn't know that she was bad, so when he finds out she actually send Rat to kill his leader HailStar and he was deputy so then he gets to be leader. But he grieves because WillowBreeze, his mate dies because MapleShade made a sacrifce.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I like it because when a cat dies it's really sad and you really feel it."

It starts off with this guy, the name that he calls himself is Thomas. He finds himself in this dark elevator. He gets elevated up to this other world called Glade. There's a whole bunch of teenage boys there who help him out. They're inside a maze and their main objective is to find a way out. There are Runners, who go through the maze at daytime, -but only at daytime, because evil machine monsters come out at night...

Rated 4/5 Reallys "I like the fast, action pace of it"

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer, review by Jaxon

This is the second book in the series and I have to say it was a really good book. There's a secret language called gnommish which is basically fairy language, but they're not little fairies that have wings -they're tech fairies that can do stuff like vaporize a bull elephant (sort of like an anaconda crossing an elephant except it vaporized it). Anyway Artemis Fowl is a criminal mastermind, and he is trying to rescue his father. But down in the centre of the earth, the fairies also have problems, an army of goblins called the B'wa Kell are trading batteries for money with humans, which is apparently against the law. They've got soft-nosed lasers which are also against the law, and they are using the batteries to power them. So they are breaking within the realm of about a million laws. One of those laws is: don't make contact with humans, otherwise photos might go all over the internet and expose them. Artemis and the fairies must work together to shut down their operation...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It has all the details you need to know, sometimes it has funny moments just like in the first book"

Lacey the Little Mermaid Fairy by Daisy Meadows, Review by Zara

It's about two girls named Kirsty and Rachael and this fairy. They go canoeing and then there is a neighbor who tells them that she finished her swimming test and then she made a joke that there was a mysterious creature and then they got surprised that she knew anything about their fairyland secret. But is was a trick!

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I liked everything about it"

October Reviews from Albert Park

In this book the boys (Andy and Terry) are making a movie. Bur Mr Big Shot kicks them out of the movie and gets a monkey called Mel Gibbon to act instead.
Andy decides to write and autobiography but it doesn’t have anything about Terry in it because he has a new best friend. Andy gives up writing the book because it is too hard.
There are also cows spying on their movie to steal some of their ideas.
And in their treehouse there is an area called Andy land which has lots of awesome Andy’s in it (not like the real Andy).

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It’s very funny but also a little bit easy and hard at the same time to read. I think it’s very funny!"

Bella is at home when a picture falls off the wall and out jumps a horse. There is a mean girl at school named Swan who says she has a pony, but Bella does not believe her. They each say they will bring their pony and horse to school to prove it. Swan does not bring a pony to school, but Bella brings her small horse. It poos on the floor of their classroom!
At the end Bella re-unite the horse with the knight in the picture and Bella and Swan become best friends.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I think it’s good book and funny."

Matilda is a girl who is very smart and likes reading but her parents and big brother want her to watch television and not read. When her mum and dad go to work she sneaks to the library by herself so she can borrow books.
Her teacher Miss Honey thinks she is very smart but the Headmistress Miss Trunchbull is very mean to Matilda.

Rated: 2000/5 Reallys "I’ve read the book hundreds of times (because I like it)!"

I’ve read this book 20 times already! George makes a medicine for his grandma who is a very mean person. She usually just sits in her chair and bosses him around. He makes it out of animal medicine, shampoo, toothpaste and brown paint.
When he gives it to she is able to get out of her chair and then she becomes tall and thin and starts growing. At first she reaches the ceiling than crashes through it and then through the second floor until her head sticks out of the roof.
In the end she suddenly shrinks and becomes smaller and smaller until there is nothing there.

Rated: 10/5 Reallys "Very funny"

The Circus by Olivia Levez, Review by Emma.

This book is about a girl named Willow who runs away from home to join the circus. She wants to join because her mum used to be in the circus but then her mum left the family. Her dad is a multi-millionaire and has a new young family and doesn’t feel wanted by him.
Willow learns to walk the tightrope and juggle at the same time by a homeless girl who has also joined the circus.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "The only reason I didn’t give it 5 is because it is a little predictable; in that she is from a wealthy family but doesn’t get the love from her dad and then runs away to join the circus. But it is exciting."

This is a massive book with lots of pictures and writing. Hugo lives in a clocktower runs the clocks. Nearby is a toyshop run by an old man, Hugo steals clock parts from the toyshop because he is trying to build an automaton (a bit like a robot). When he gets caught stealing by the old man he is made to work in the shop. The old man’s daughter helps him build the automaton and to get the parts he needs as well.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "This book is very creative and hooks you in by having lots of cliffhangers."

At Ella’s school the principal says there is going to be a special surprise. The school is going to be a Planet Protector and they need a captain for this program. Ella’s friend thinks she will be the one to be captain. A girl named Peach who is very mean also thinks she will be a Planet Protector Captain. Peach gives out balloons, chocolates and posters to get kids in the school to vote for her. Ella also puts up poster but Peach takes then down and throws them in the bin. Peach wins and is captain and Ella is her assistant. When they plant flowers Peach stomps on Ella’s ones and is caught. Peach has to step down and Ella becomes captain.

Rated: 3/5 Reallys "This book is okay."

EJ is a spy agent but is scared of the dark. She is sent on a night mission and has to go through a maze that has little creatures in it. They turn out to be possums that have camera’s on them because they are spies too.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I’ve read it a thousand times."

Polly is terrible and doing spells even though she is a witch. When she reads potions she always gets it wrong. The teacher gives her a toad with lots of warts on it and tells her she has to make a spell to get rid of the warts. The spell goes wrong and Polly ends up giving herself warts.
Witches and monsters aren’t allowed to be friends but Polly has a monster friend named Buster. Whenever she sits in a tree and gives a secret call Buster comes to her.

Rated:100/5 Reallys "It’s a really good book!"

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

September Reviews from Albert Park

Story of Saint Patrick by Ann Carroll, Review by Flynn

Some crooks take a group of teenagers one of them is Patrick. He has to look after sheep but then he escapes. The King of Meath in Ireland holds bonfires at the start of the month (pagan ritual). Patrick challenges the king and his beliefs. Patrick is a christian and he eventually converts Ireland to chrisitianity. When Patrick dies in 456 he says his mission accomplished.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I liked this book, it’s very interesting."

Windfall is about three best friends 2 boys and a girl. Alice is in love with her best friend Teddy and she buys him a lottery ticket. He wins lots of money and is full of himself. They go on a trip and kind of fall in love … I think (I have n’t finished it yet).

Rated: 4.125/5 Reallys "Not perfect … lots of spelling mistakes. I’d recommend this for tweens and teens."

This book is about Tom and his school project and how he gets into trouble a lot.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "Really interesting"

Billie B Brown: 10 books in 1 by Sally Rippin, Review by Lily

I’m reviewing Billie B Brown and the Missing Tooth. Billie feels jealous as she has a wobbly tooth but all the other kids in her class have already lost theirs. She really wants her wobbly tooth to fall out. Then the teacher asks who has lost their teeth and everyone puts their hand up except Billie. It then falls out in the playground and she can’t find it.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "The stories should be longer!"

Anne moves to Green Gables and works on a farm. All the farmers are males and they don’t like her at first because they think she is posh. But she eventually becomes friends with them all.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys so far I have n’t really read much of it.

Mel likes to run and one of her heroes is Cathy Freeman. Mel goes on marches about Aboriginal issues. On a visit to Sydney she marches on Sorry Day which is really important to her and her family.

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys. "I enjoyed it."

There are warning that Voldemort has returned and Harry and Dumbledore are in trouble.  Sirius Black (Harry’s godfather) is killed by his own cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort also comes to kill Harry but he is saved by Dumbledore.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "I like Harry Potter"

A miller has a daughter who is called to the palace by the king because the miller says his daughter can spin straw into gold. He was only joking but the joke didn’t work and the king believes him. The daughter is left with a spinning wheel and straw and told to turn it into gold. She is crying when an elf comes and spins it the straw into gold. He does this every night. The king marries her and makes her a queen. Rumpelstiltskin comes back and tells her that she has to give her firsborn child to him for spinning the gold. The elf tells her the only way to not give the child is if she can guess his name. She has to ask everybody in the kingdom to find out his name so she can keep her baby.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "I liked the story"

Dani is always happy until her best friend moves away and doesn’t come back. The other children pinch Dani. She tries to squirt a bottle of sauce into one of a child’s face but gets the teacher instead. She runs away and goes home but when her dad gets a phone call from the school she shows him the pinch marks on her skin. Her dad goes to the school and tells them that Dani was pinched by the other children.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I enjoyed the book."

The book is set in Italy during World War 2. Antonio is in trouble and running away form a Nazi officer he decides to jump over a cliff. Instead of landing in the sea he lands on a shelf and hides in a cave. There he finds an American who is also hiding and who is a spy. Antonio gets into all sorts of trouble trying to hide him. Antonio has to steal food and medicine but gets caught by a girl but they become friends. He also tries to steal money and a gangster knows he is stealing. Then his adopted mother dies.
At the end of the book Chris the spy comes back after the war to see if Antonio is okay.

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys "This book is in my zone. It’s really thrilling and I like books about WW2 because there is a lot going on."

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. The top level of the treehouse has a ‘once-upon-a-time’ machine. It makes a book for them but it takes 8 hours. They decide to go swimming, driving and have a pillow fight. They jump on the trampoline and jump out of the treehouse. The time machine locks them out and they can’t get back in. They have to stay with their neighbour Jill who has lots of pets. They make a rocket and see the dark side of the moon. They also go to see Professor Stupido who can uninvent things. He uninvents the time machine but also ends up uninventing everything including the earth and the universe.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys  "It’s quite a good book and I’d like to live in a treehouse like that."

This book is about August who has a face condition and doesn’t look like everyone else. He has been home schooled until Grade 5 and now is going to a proper school. The book is about what he thinks and what other people think of him. The chapters are from different points of view – it’s sort of saying ‘don’t judge a person by the way they look’.

Rated: 4.73/5 Reallys "Some bits are a little confusing."

Kirsty and Rachel get into lots of fun but the goblins are trying to ruin it. There are lots of flower fairies that help flowers when they are in trouble. There are lots different kinds of fairies. They are always around to solve a problem.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys  "I really liked it."

This book is about a boy who has two warts. Everyone makes fun of him and laughs at him and even his brother calls him the Wartman. His teacher also had two warts but has got rid of them.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "It is an interesting story. My mum bought this book for me and it isn’t something I would usually read."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spring Reviews From St Kilda

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Review by Yuanquan

So the Hunger Games is a game where two tributes a boy and a girl must go to this place called the capital (like New York, Dublin, Canberra). There are twelve districts. The main person is sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen who lives in district 12, in a place called The Seam. It's the bad part of the district where all the people with no money live. To survive she hunts illegally with her friend Gale so she can trade and feed both their families. When the games are about to begin, Katniss' little sister Primrose is called up as a tribute so Katniss volunteers. Katniss must travel to the capital to take part in the murderous Hunger Games... 

Rated: 100/5 Reallys.

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials

It's about a girl called Lyra who comes from another world where people have these things called Daemons, which are like animals that are bound to you and can't leave you. They can't get further than three meters away. It's hard to review this book without spoiling it for people who haven't begun the series. There's a war and a boy called Will who we met in the second book, his meeting with Lyra is important.

"I thought the book was really, really, good. And really, really sad."

Rated: 5/5 Reallys

Grace and Glory: Our Australian Girl by Sofie Laguna, Review by Hannah

I love all the books in this Grace series. It's about a convict girl in 1808. She stole an apple because she was hungry. The first time she stole one, she got away with it, but the second time, she took more than one to feed her favourite horse. The police catch her, she thinks she will face death but the judge gives her a second chance because he feels sorry for her. She's an orphan and lives with her mean uncle. She is transported from London to Australia. She thinks the trees In Australia are upside down with the roots on top. On the ship she finds a girl called Hannah. Hannah is a great story teller. When the waters are choppy, they have to run across the boat to keep it steady. I'm reading Grace and Glory at the moment, I haven't finished it, it's really good.   

"One of my favourite books." 

Rated 5/5 Reallys

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Review by Alicia 

Pippi has lots of gold pieces so she buys a ticket for the circus. She's never been to the circus before. She becomes the strongest girl in the world, even stronger than  the strongest man in the world. She meets Tom and Anika there. My favourite part is when Pippi versus the strong man.

"Really funny, I recommend it."

Rated: 4/5 Reallys

Moth Flight's Vision: Warriors by Erin Hunter, Review by Cailey

The interesting thing was that it's kind of mysterious. When Moth Flight grows up she finds out that she is a Medicine cat and she journeys to other clans and tells them that they will have their own Medicine cats in their clans. 

"Exciting and suspenseful" 

Rated: 5/5 Reallys

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Reviews From St Kilda

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, Review by Spike

It's about an alternate universe to Earth where everything is the same except everything is magical. Every human has these things call daemons, which are animals which can only go a certain length away from you and they're part of your soul. When you're a kid they can change form but when you're older they keep one for. The girl, Lyra, lives free at Oxford College under the guardianship of
the college master. She has a powerful uncle called Lord Asriel,  and he's like an explorer. One day she goes into a room which is forbidden and she hides there. She sees somebody do something not good- I'm not going to say because I don't want to spoil it!

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "I really liked it because the writer expects you to know a bit more than most books do, also I liked the idea of this alternate world"

Isabella's Secret by Jane Tanner, Review by Zara

It's about this girl called Isabella. One day she's lying under an apple tree when some butterflies come but they're actually fairies. Isabella plays with them. They're her secret. The fairies shrink Isabella smaller and smaller and smaller so she is small enough to fit into the fairy world. Then she plays with the fairy king. She wants to stay there forever but then she gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "It's pretty good, I really liked the pictures."

The Illusion of Annabella by Jessica Sorensen, Review by Grace

Basically, it's about a girl called Annabella who on her birthday, her mum says 'we're going to take you out for a surprise, but we'll have to run a few errands first.' She takes her to an antique shop and is gone for a while, like 45 minutes. When she comes out she looks all flustered and her top is back to front. Annabella wonders why but her mother won't say. They get back and when her Dad asks them where they were her mum basically makes her lie and says they were just at the supermarket. So then they are going along the freeway when this lorry comes up which looks like it's being driven like a crazy person. It hits the back of their car and turns them around. Annabella survives but her parents don't. She's a dancer, but she received some serious injuries to her legs during the accident. Her doctors say no way, she will never dance again. That was all she had seen for her future, dancing, nothing else. She has about five siblings, the eldest looks after them and they are all sad all of the time, they don't work on their hobbies anymore like painting and swimming. Then a boy and his family move in next door and the discovery of a secret changes Annabella's life forever.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "The characterization is really good and the plot is very detailed and believable. I read it in about two days, it's a real page-turner, I couldn't put it down"

The Deep End by Ursula Dubosarsky, Review by Riri

It's about a girl named Betsy she has swimming lessons. She was in the frog group where you just blow bubbles and do stuff in the water. She was so good she had to go up the next group, octopus. She is really, really, really scared to go in it. Then she sees a girl who is pretending to ride a seahorse so then Betsy pretends to be riding a dolphin and she does it. At the end she gets to have popcorn.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "I would recommend it to anyone who has had to take swimming lessons" 

Animal Farm by George Orwell, Review by Yuanquan

It's about a farm where this guy called Mr Jones owns this farm called Manor Farm. The animals there are all really intelligent. There's an old animal called Major, a pig, who suggests a rebellion against Mr Jones because he is really mean to the animals and doesn't feed them enough and work them really hard. So he says he might perish but he hopes the rebellion will commence. There's also a song called beasts of England. So they rebel and drive Mr Jones off the farm. Then they start to manage the farm themselves. The pigs control the farm and become a bit like Mr Jones. At the beginning it's small. They're a bit bossy, they demand all the apples. They say 'comrades, pigs need apples to live', and everyone believes them. There's a pug named snowball. He writes down seven the seven commandments of animal farm, which all animals must obey. The first one is: Four legs good, two legs bad. Then the very smart pig named Napoleon who runs Snowball out of office by setting some vicious dogs on him and forcing him to leave. Then Napoleon makes more rules and suddenly the pigs are getting everything and the other animals are back to tiny rations and hard labor. The animals always thought the pigs would stay true to the commandment: Four legs good, two legs bad until they see all the pigs walking on their hind legs....

Rated: 4.9/5 Reallys. "There's no interesting fighting in it, but it's really good."

Paper Planes by Allayne Webster, Review by Alicia 

It's about a boy called Niko and he has a best friend called Nedim. They live in Sarajevo and are sort of poor because they are in war. Niko wishes that he had eaten all of his meals when they were in peace time. They experience lots of bombs and the last ones are full of shrapnel. One of them hit a man on his shoulder and they had to run away or else they would be dead. They have go to Australia as refugees. Niko and Nedim made a code with paper planes, and when Niko was going to the plane, he saw a boy holding a paper plane.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "I really enjoyed it, I loved the characters. It's really exciting because you get into the world and you want to see what happens."

Bluestar's Prophecy: Warriors by Erin Hunter, Review by Cailey

It's about a cat who tries to survive with their clan. She lost her sister and her mum because they died in a battle when a councilman from another clan scratched her to death. At the end she is having kids. She had a cat who liked her, but she like a cat from another clan...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "My favourite scene is when she has her kids. I am going to keep reading this series."

The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer, Review by Jakob

This is the final and sixth book in the series. It's about a boy and a girl who are half fairy, half human and the sixth book is about finding out where their other sister, who is turning evil is. They have to follow clues to New York.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "I'm only up to the part where the brother gets arrested. It's my type of fantasy. I would recommend it to a Harry Potter fan"

August Reviews From Albert Park

Emily doesn’t get a very nice 10th birthday surprise … she finds out that she is adopted. The family that she was adopted to are not a normal family but are fairies. She feels upset because her adopted mother is going to have a baby and Emily feels that she doesn’t belong there or that she will be loved as much as the new baby who is a real fairy.
An evil fairy lady tries to kidnap Emily because she wants to eat her. Emily’s fairy mother saves her. Her fairy mother wants her to be there when the baby is born. Her fairy father kills the evil fairy lady.
I enjoyed it but it was a bit confusing.

Rated: 4.2/5 Reallys. "The story line was confusing but interesting anyway."

The book is in three parts and it is told from 3 different people and their perspective of Auggie. They are Julian the bully, Christopher his oldest friend and Charlotte a new friend he makes at school.

Rated: 4.289/5 Reallys. "It is interesting because it was from the bully’s point of view." 

I really liked the book because it’s about a girl named Matilda. She is really smart but her parents are very mean to her. Matilda’s teacher is Miss Honey and she is very nice but the head mistress is very mean too. Matilda can make things move when she is very angry. But Miss Honey is very kind to Matilda.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "I really liked it but it should be funnier."

James and Lauren are brother and sister and they work for an organisation called the Cherubs. It is a spy agency that uses children as no one would suspect them as being spies. They are trying to stop a group of vegetarians who are killing people who eat meat. This group kidnap a famous chef who also makes cleaning products. The vegetarians think that these are poisonous and is killing children and they make the chef drink the cleaning product. He retches it up. The Cherubs save him.

Rated: 4.257/5 Reallys. "It’s a good book … a little bit predictable because you know they’re going to save the day."

It’s about a dog who want to go on a holiday and takes lots of thing to the library, for example tape, underpants and sunscreen). He brings his friend along named Mr Bobblysocks (who is actually a sock). Claude and Mr Bobblysocks enter a sandcastle competition and win. The prize is two pairs of socks.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys

Billy B Brown has a friend called Jack. They live next door to each other. They are playing a game with an arrow but then it lands on the roof. Billy goes up and then falls off and breaks her arm. At school she lies about how she broke her arm by saying she saved her brother from a crocodile. Then at show and tell she tells different story and gets found out.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "I really liked it!"

The Famous Five are four kids and their dog. They roam around trying to fix stuff and solve things. One of them lives on an island which they all visit and where most of the adventure is.

Rated: 22/5 Reallys. "Really good! Probably the best book I’ve ever read!"

George and Harold have a really mean principal but with a click of their fingers they are able to turn the principal into Captain Underpants. When they click their fingers again he turns back into the principal. It gets complicated … really complicated.

Rated: 4.3/5 Reallys. "It’s a really good book."

Monday, August 7, 2017

and the winners are.......

Port Phillip Library Winter School Holiday 2017 Writing Competition

The wait is over! Here are the winning entries of the recent library writing competition in which the words peculiar, flying and flabbergasted were asked to be woven into the story.

Category 1 : 7-8 years
Category 2 : 9-10 years
Category 3 : 11-12 years


Thanks to all who entered and for your imaginative stories. Congratulations to those who won a Readings book voucher!

Leap of Faith by Wei Li

I sighed and hung my head. The suit was being fitted to me and my head was still foggy from the completely idiotic reason why I was standing eighty metres above a river, straps now tight and rope secured. Flabbergasted at my situation, I tried to not look over the edge of the platform.

A bet. A cursed lost bet was the answer to the question 'Why are you bungee jumping at the top of a river in a remote forest instead of finishing your project back home?' I didn't know why I agreed to it in the first place. My co-workers were acting so childish and challenged me, knowing my every weakness in every game we played. My fate was decided the moment I said yes to them. 

And so, they were standing on the platform with me, well, behind me, giggling like schoolgirls and filming my very reaction and move on their phones. Of course, this was a moment they definitely did not want to forget, rather, let me forget. 

The water looked more like kilometres below me, the river just a blue brushstroke in my eyes. Blue and white contrasted with the lush green of the humid rainforest which lined the banks of the river, making the wide river seem even thinner and further away. About halfway down the river, from what I could see, there was a gorge, smoothed by the constant waves of water hitting it over and over again, the gorge towered over the river, and the platform on which I stood. 

All this made me dizzy. Some might've called the sight beautiful, but to me, it was terrifying. I was never an outdoorsy person. 

"Okay. You're all set, sir," the instructor said, tugging at another strap on my chest. "You are very safe with us, sir. Do you want me to push you off?"

I shook my head hurriedly, ignoring the peculiar look he momentarily flashed me. Turning back to the edge of the platform I steeled myself, exhaling. One look at the not-so-magnificent view before me and I felt nauseous again. 

"Actually, can I go back?" Is what I wanted to say, but the knowledge that I had never done anything outside of my comfort zone in my few years of adulthood stopped me. I took a step back, and in a surprising burst of courage, I leapt off the edge. 

"AHHHH, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!" I screamed as I fell down, down, down. 

My stomach felt as if it had been left back at the platform and my heart had crawled up to my throat. The scream that echoed through my ears was one I had unwillingly let out in my pure terror, and my heart was thumping to some unknown beat. 

The water came closer to my body and my entire left leg was submerged for less than a second...then I was flung back up. Weightless, and travelling much slower I left out a breath I didn't realise I was holding. I felt like I was flying, the way I just kept on going on. Maybe this wasn't so bad. 

Then I heard the rip. 

I looked up, eyes wide, and saw a growing hole in the stretchy rope out of arms' reach. "Oh no," I whispered softly. Then I realised was really was going on. "OH HELL, THERE'S A HOLE!!! BROKEN! HELP!!!!! IN THE ROPE!! GET ME OFF THIS THING!!"

Gravity took charge and I was going down again. The rope gave way and I could here the faint panicked noises of the small people on the platform which, just moments ago, I foolishly leapt off. My own panic engulfed my mind as I went down, my lungs trying to take in as much oxygen before I died. The river was growing bigger in my eyes again. This time I didn't stop screaming. And this time, the water didn't get just my leg. 

It hit me hard, or rather, I hit it.

The river wasn't just cold and wet, it felt more suffocating under the water, even though I was holding this biggest breath I had ever taken. I struggled to see and my body hurt from sudden and solid impact of the water. After what felt like minutes, but I knew were just seconds, I felt my barely-there eyesight begin to dim. I hadn't had a breath yet. 

With what little energy I had left, I pushed my sluggish limbs and forced them to propel myself up. With a grateful splash, I broke through the surface and gulped in air. And a couple mouthfuls of accidental water. 

Somehow, I gained energy when I had oxygen back in my system. Somehow I swam clumsily to the nearest river bank and collapsed on it, heaving for breath. Then I just lay there, breathing raggedly and trying to recover. I must have lain there for hours, the water hitting my legs repeatedly, as the sun had disappeared without my knowledge and the moon had risen.

Flabbergasted would not even come close to describing my shock at the incompetence of the instructor and equipment. It was truly peculiar, how stupid people could be when it came to others' safety. And of course, I'd have to check my time management when I got back. 

"Well," I stated, still not quite believing the reality of my circumstances. I'd have to follow the river back to the village. It did help that I could see the lights of some tower over the top of the gorge, but I'd have to either scale the cliff face or go around. I had no climbing skills whatsoever. 

With a new resolve, I sat up and turned to the thick rainforest and regarded the buzzing mosquitoes, humid atmosphere and squishy ground. And I knew it was going to be a long night. 

Who's the Villain? by Louise Tuddenham

Hello there! I see you've picked up this story in hope to find a good read. Sit down on the couch, and grab a cup of tea, or coffee, or whiskey if you like. Now, read on, my friend.

I live on 21 Albath Street, Omaha. It's a lovely house, isn't it? Apart from the garden. It was my wife's job. I cooked, she gardened. Follow me, I'll show you around. The front doors a bit creaky, but I'll fix it sometime. This is my room, and this was my kid’s room. You should have seen it. One side painted dark navy, posters of Star Wars and Marvel up on one side, and the other pale pink and posters of bands up. Will loved One Direction. He still does. Living room, dining room. Nice table, huh. I bought it from the old lady down the street. She's lovely, but now I rarely see her. Please excuse the empty bottles, it's a terrible habit of mine. It dims the anxiety a little, better than any medication I've been on. This is my study. That's a family photo, and that's my wife. A sight for sore eyes. And my two kids, the Devils. That's what Sara and I used to call them. They weren't though, they were lovely. Sorry, must be something in my eye, I seem to be tearing up. I talk about my family as if they're dead, don't I? They're not, though.

Anyway, if you come through here, I'll show you something cool. Can you keep a secret? Good, because if this leaked out, I... This way, over here. Yeah. Push that button, and punch in 7742.
Great! This is my secret room. There's my suit, and there are my, well, I don't like to call them weapons, but I guess they are. Hero weapons, you know? Like Batman. My alias is The Winged
One. I can fly, but only with the power of these wings. Some heavy duty science right there. So, would you like to come to work with me? The job that pays as well as the hero one. Yeah, I'll say you’re an apprentice. Ah, you're studying Accountancy? Well, it’s your lucky day! I'll drive, I got my licence back, need to practise and everything.

I need to break into a bank tonight, word is they've been cheating money off their customers, so I'm going to steal it back. No! This is all hero work! You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette,
I say. Well, yes, but I try to use it in ways that benefit the public. You see? Of course. Sometimes I donate it to charity. Yes. Well, here we are! Oh, don't mention the hero thing. Please.
Hi Jolene! This is, uh, Mark! He's my apprentice for the day. Would you please fix up the client in the waiting room? Thanks Jolene! That's the receptionist. Just through here, to the elevator.
Seventh floor. So, today I'll show you what we do here, maybe give you some pointers. And you're
Mark for the day, okay? This is my desk, sorry about the mess.

Long day, wasn't it? Time for the hero work! I have an old suit you can wear, and it has wings so you can fly! So the plan is, at 2 in the morning, we fly up on the roof. I break in, and without the cameras seeing me, I disable all security. Then, we take the money from the safe and leave. Easy.

Oh, but we have to make sure not to attract the attention of Red Cape. They’re the most annoying anti-hero ever. Ugh, just thinking about them is making me sick. So, I suggest having a nap when we get home, and I'll plan the ins and outs of the heroic act, yeah? You can sleep in the secret room, I have a pull out bed. Have a nice sleep. I'll wake you up at one so you can get ready. I'll do your makeup and everything! You'll look so cool.

 Ooh, careful, your wings are a tad rusty. Stay flying in front of me, I don’t want you to fall. Okay, so,
The Red Cape and their gang - what? Oh, no, they’re gender fluid. Even though I hate ‘em, you gotta use the right pronouns, am I right? So, their gang are going to be coming through here during our, ah, heist, for a lack of a better word, so we gotta watch out.

Through here, this is the safe. Yeah, just take the bags, leave those ones. Be quiet! Okay, come through here - oh no, it’s the Red Cape. Hi there, Red. How's it going? Oh shut it with the justice speech, alright? I’m not a villain, I’m doing it for the people. Yes! Oh, this is, ah, the Winged

I can’t believe you pulled those karate moves on them! That was so cool, man. What? What do you mean by the, oh. Yeah. Well, just because they called me a villain, doesn't mean I am one. What am I planning on doing with the money? Well, I’ll mostly pay for the divorce, but, uh, I could donate some to some peculiar charity. No, wait, that’s not fair! I’m not a villain! Please, I’m running out of money, I need this! Why are you so flabbergasted? Don’t leave, please. You’re a great friend, please don’t leave me, I’ve been through enough already! Well, yeah, but - NO! THAT’S NOT WHO
I AM! You don’t understand! Please don’t go. WAIT!

 Now, as we’re coming to the end of the story, I’m sure you’ve realised that I’m not the hero. I’m the villain. Always have, always will be. Stop struggling, you can’t get out of this. It's design to kill, there are no faults. You know my identity, and I can’t let that get out. So, I really only have one thing to say. Thanks, and goodbye.

Take Over by Cocoa Pitsopoulos

The story I am about to tell you may be a bit scary so be ready to hide under your covers.

One dark and daunting night I was in my room texting my best friend, she was telling me about how sweet, generous, angelic, hilarious and beautiful I was but that was all about to change!

It all started that same night when my parents were out and my babysitter had just fallen into a deep sleep with loud music blasting through her headphones. Suddenly I saw a very peculiar bat flying in the sky and at first I took no notice but as it circled the sky in front of my window.  I started to think it was a bit weird that the bat was wearing a necklace and a ring on its foot. I was thinking about the reason it might be wearing expensive jewellery when my thoughts were interrupted by the loud smash of my window. I was absolutely astounded at the sight of this bat wearing expensive jewellery and a Elvis Presley hairstyle, lying wounded on my bedroom floor with a piece of glass from my bedroom window, deeply lodged into its wing. I tried to escape but my door was thoroughly jammed and there was no way to escape unless I jumped out of my ten-metre high bedroom window. So I just hid in my cupboard hoping the bat would eventually fly away but I was completely flabbergasted when peeking through the cupboard I saw the bat shape shift into a human with two large pointy teeth. “A VAMPIRE!” I thought to myself as sweat dripped down my forehead and a shiver down my spine. I tried to scream but I was so taken aback that nothing came out of my mouth. I was locked in a room with a bloodthirsty and murderous vampire!

My heart was pounding as the vampire took one step then another each time getting closer and closer to the cupboard as if he had x-ray vision and could see me behind the cupboard doors. The cupboard door was flung open revealing me to the bloodthirsty vampire. He grabbed me by the arm and brought it up to his mouth. I screamed as his teeth dug into my skin, blood everywhere, he sneakily grinned at me as he flew away into the night leaving me alone in pain while I grew pointy teeth and became a vampire. That was it, my life as a human had ended, I realised I could never die. I looked at myself in the mirror but I had no reflection. I was a vampire just like the peculiar bat and now just like the peculiar bat I am on my way to get you! See you soon!

Finding A Tail by Antonio

Once upon a time there was a really peculiar baby kangaroo that lived on the top of a mountain with his mum. While the other kangaroos would understand that their tails take some time to grow, this little kangaroo couldn't wait for his tail to grow.

One day he decided to ask his mum why his tail was taking so long to grow: "Mum, when will I get a tail? A big one, so I will be able to jump high and go anywhere quickly?"

His mum said: "Darling, don’t be so anxious. Your tail will grow soon enough, you just need to be patient."

But, the little kangaroo couldn’t help it. He needed to find a tail as soon as possible. So, he said to his mum he was going to the park to play with his 'friendroos', but he was actually going on an adventure to look for his tail.

Then, the little kangaroo went to the forest. He thought that he could find a perfect tail in this place full of beautiful things.

The first thing he found was a leaf. There was nothing so perfect to make a tail as a leaf. So, he picked it up and stuck it on his backside. He was so happy, that he started jumping and running around the forest. But suddenly, a bird that needed some leaves to make a nest approached behind him and took the leaf away. When the baby kangaroo realised that the leaf was gone, it was too late. The bird was already flying miles away, carrying the leaf.

The kangaroo didn’t give up, so he kept looking for a tail. The second thing he found was a stick. He thought it would be a perfect tail, because it was brown just like him. But, at the moment he stuck it on his backside, it spiked him - "Ahhhhhhhh!!!"

The kangaroo was a little bit tired and dirty, so he decided to jump into the lake to relax for a while. That’s when he felt something on his arm. It was a little fish, and he had a great idea: "A fish would be a perfect tail!" He put the fish on his backside and started jumping around the forest. He was really excited until he started smelling something really bad. When he looked at his tail (fish) he realised that it was the fish that was causing the smell. The fish had died because it was out of water for so long.

But the kangaroo didn’t give up. He kept looking for a tail. The fourth thing he found was a snake. The snake was so beautiful and colourful that he thought it would be the most perfect tail in the world. But, when he put the snake on his backside, the snake bit him and he got poisoned. He immediately fainted and stayed on the ground for hours.

After that he decided to stop looking for his tail in the forest and went to the city instead.

The first thing he found in the city was a lighter. It had the perfect shape and size for a baby kangaroo tail. He stuck it on his backside and started walking. Everything was good until the moment he lit it on fire accidentally and his butt got burnt - "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!"

He was desperate and started looking for something to cool his butt down. That’s when he found an icy pole. As expected, when he put the icy pole on his backside, the little kangaroo froze. He was frozen and couldn't move until the sun light shone upon him and the ice melted.

The kangaroo decided that he wouldn’t use anything hot or cold anymore. He kept walking around the city trying to find a tail. Then, he met a young man who had an amazing tie. It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t cold, it wasn’t poisonous, it wasn’t spiky and it wasn’t a leaf. It was perfect!

He approached the young man and asked him if he could borrow the tie. The young man was freaked out and without understanding anything, as the kangaroo was speaking "kanglish", he gave the tie to the animal and ran away.

Unfortunately, the baby kangaroo did not know how to put the tie on and got his legs tangled. He fell over and started crying on the ground - "I will never find a perfect tail."

After a while, a little girl came and helped the little kangaroo. First, she took the tie off his legs and helped him get up. Then little kangaroo said: "Thankyou!". He explained to her everything he had gone through and said: "I want to go back home, my mum is waiting for me. I need to go to the mountains, but I don’t know how. I'm lost!" Then, the girl pulled something out from her pocket. It was a compass!!

The girl explained to the kangaroo that he could go anywhere with the compass. He just needed to follow the right direction. To go back to the mountains, she should go north.

The little kangaroo was upset because he hadn't found a tail, but he was proud of himself, because he had survived this adventure. He had gone through everything by himself.

When he got home, his mum was very happy that the little kangaroo was safe. However, she was also upset, because she knew he had lied to her. After telling his mum about his experience in the forest and in the city, the kangaroo apologised and promised he would never go anywhere again without her permission.

The little kangaroo started feeling something bothering his backside and he thought he had left some of the weird things there. When he asked his mum to check, she was flabbergasted!!! His real tail was finally growing!!! The kangaroo and his mum celebrated together.  They had never been so happy!


                                                                            *The end *