Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 reviews from Albert Park

Alice-Miranda at school by Jacqueline Harvey - reviewed by Emma (aged 10)

Alice-Miranda is the smallest and youngest girl going to boarding school. She has to prove herself to stay at the school by completing a series of impossible tests.There is a mean girl trying to stop her doing her tasks and being at the school. When she went sailing the mean girl cheated by bumping Alice-Miranda. During the camping task, they find a lost man who is the headmistress's long lost husband, which makes the headmistress very happy.

"I rate it 4/5. I recommend it for those 9-11 years old. Its fun but intense, the plot goes quickly." 

A Snicker of magic by Natalie Lloyd - reviewed by Georgia (aged 10) 

Felicity's mum is a traveller. When it rains they move to a different city. She has a sister. They go back to the town where her mother grew up. It used to be "magical", but it is now drained of its magical abilities because of a curse. Felicity meets a new friend, Jonah, who is in a wheelchair. He does kind things and helps her find out about the town. She meets Oliver and Ponder, who run an ice-cream shop with unusual ice-creams. Different flavours make you do something, e.g. lemonade flavour makes you happy, chocolate makes you remember.

"I would rate it 3.75 ice-creams. It's for kids with a creative mind." 

The little white horse by Elizabeth Goudge - reviewed by Miranda (aged 9) 

Maria Merryweather is a teenage orphan. She goes to live with her new guardian, her cousin, in the best place in the world, a paradise called Moonacre Manor. Lots of tragedy happens, no women have stepped inside the manor for 20 years. There is an air of mystery and magic. The first hint of something happening is that they are not allowed to go to the beach. I don't want to say anymore and leave the story open-ended for anyone wanting to read it.

"I rate it infinity out of 5. I didn't understand the words at the beginning. Not really recommended for any particular age group as it is a classic book." 

Weirdo #5: Totally Weird! by Anh Doh - reviewed by Flynn (aged 8) 

Weir Do is going to Camp Kangaroo. A new kid, who is on the blue team, is perfect at everything. Weir Do is on the red team and they have to compete against each other. There are 5 events - 1: setting up of tent..blue team wins; 2: hole digging.. blue team wins again; 3: red team wins on the obstacle course; 4: canoe racing.. red team wins. That makes it two each. Final event is a song contest,which the red team wins. Weir Do wins and gets a trophy!

"I rate it 4/5. I recommend it for ages 8-12. It's a funny book and easy to read. It's a quick read before I go to cricket." 

The Witches by Roald Dahl - reviewed by Charlie (aged 9) 

This is about a boy whose parents die and he goes to live with his grandmother. She tells him stories about witches and how to recognise them, so he can be safe from them. The grandmother and boy go on holiday to a fancy hotel. She gives him two mice to train, but the hotel manager does not like them. There is a group of witches gathering at the hotel for their yearly meeting. The boy turns into a mouse from a potion they have invented. He then puts it in the witches' food and they all turn into mice!.

"I rate it 5/5. It's a good read for ages 8+. I've also seen the movie, which is great." 

Sure signs of crazy by Karen Harrington - reviewed by Hannah (aged 10)

This is the story of 12 year old Sarah and her life is really bad. Her mother, in a fit of crazy, tried to drown her and her twin brother when they were two. He died. Her father is an alcoholic and her mum is in prison. She talks about her feelings and worries she might end up crazy like her mother. She keeps a diary and writes what is really happening and what she wishes would happen, like getting an "A" for maths.

"I have not finished the book yet, so I give it a 4/5 so far. I would recommend this for older children 11+".

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 2017 reviews from St Kilda

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Hope

In the break before school begins Dobby the house elf tries to warn Harry that he shouldn’t return to Hogwarts because of all the dangers that await him. He doesn’t listen, and when he returns he works out that there is a hidden chamber of secrets that he must uncover…

Rated:  4/5 reallys - "It’s good but it’s not the best book in the series."

Escape from Wolfhaven Castle : bk. 1, The Impossible Quest by Kate Forsyth - reviewed by Ollie

The Impossible Quest is a series of twelve books. Wolfhaven Castle is under siege by the mysterious “Bog men.” Basically, how it begins is that the wolves smell danger on the wind. Then a wild man tries to tell anyone, even Tom, the pot boy who is collecting mushrooms for his mother who is the chef, to warn the king, but he can’t get anyone to listen to him. One of the players in the royal game, made up of servants, butlers and little people like pot boys, versus the princes and princesses visiting the kingdom gets knocked out because it is a very rough game. He wants to take a substitute for the team, Tom the pot boy steps in and wins the game for the team, because he is quick and can easily duck past the best players. One of the best players, Sebastian, doesn’t like this and chases him through the castle, up winding staircases, narrow passages and tunnels. Eventually Tom stumbles upon a tiny secret door. He opens it and walks into Lady Elanor’s room - the princess of the kingdom…

Rated:  5/5 reallys

The Tournament at Gorlan : bk 1, Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years by John Flanagan - reviewed by Yuanquan

In this book, one ranger Crowley and one rightful King of Hibernia, Halt are travelling together to try and reform the ranger corps, which were torn apart by this evil Baron called Morgarath. Morgarath wishes to take control of the kingdom by killing the king, destroying the ranger corps, the king’s staunchest allies and by making Prince Duncan lose the people’s trust.

Halt and Crowley kidnap a messenger and discover the names of different rangers who have been dismissed, as well as where Prince Duncan is being held prisoner. So they go and recruit all the different rangers and then they go to the baron most likely to sympathize with their cause, Baron Arald. Arald is the current champion of the tournament at Gorlan. In the tournament barons and knights fight each other either until one is unhorsed or to the death. So then at the tournament Morgarath’s followers are trying to disable as many of Baron Arald’s followers as possible so that they can win when he shows his true colours. But Halt and Crowley rescue the Prince, who takes out a group of twelve men who threaten to destroy all of Arald’s followers. Then Morgarath attacks…

Rated:  5/5 - "Medieval adventure genre. This is a prequel to the Ranger's Apprentice series, so it doesn’t repeat all of the characters that you already know."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Jaxon

The story begins with Lord Voldemort and the old caretaker of the Riddle house. He is talking to the unregistered animagus Peter Pettigrew. Being unregistered means you have a very big chance of being sent to Azkaban. Back to the Riddle House, the caretaker found the room where Voldemort was and was listening at the door and a giant snake called Nagini slithered right past him into the room and since Voldemort can speak Parseltongue, she tells him that he is outside. So Harry, who is actually in a dream, and is soon to find out that his scar is hurting, is sleeping at his aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon Dursley’s house. They treat him horribly. They hate that he is a wizard, they treat him like he’s not even there.

Rated: 5/5 reallys - "It was an excellent book, it uses lots of expression and it really explains the characters' feelings."

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling - reviewed by Gabriel

In the beginning, Harry Potter is living with his horrible aunt and uncle. Within a day, he begins to make strange things happen. Visiting the Zoo with his cousin Dudley, Harry makes the glass disappear on a snake exhibit, and Dudley falls in! He doesn’t realize it, but he spoke to the snake in its own language. The snake makes its escape as Petunia and Vernon Dursley scream and Dudley bangs on the glass. At home, Vernon punishes Dudley, pulling his hair and throwing in the cupboard under the stairs. Later, when Harry collects the mail, he finds a letter addressed to him from “Hogwarts”. Dudley snatches it and then Vernon rips it up. The next day, an owl delivers more letters, and the next and the next, however many Vernon manages to rip and burn, they keep coming. He goes a bit mad and they travel to a faraway shack on an island. At night they hear a knock, knock, knock…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "This book is really awesome!"

Aesop's The Lion and the Mouse - reviewed by Sarthak

It’s about when a lion sleeps one day in a jungle and he dreams of something good to eat, like fleshy animals. Then he wakes to find a mouse who always eats cheese. In the story the lion wants to eat the mouse but in the end they become friends.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "I like to read and write stories about animals."

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - review by Emese

It all starts when Harry wakes up from an awful dream about Voldemort. His scar has started hurting and he wants to tell his godfather Sirius Black. The Goblet of Fire is a cup used in the Triwizard Tournament, a game that used to be played instead of Quidditch, but too many people died so they stopped playing it, until now. You have to be a certain age to get in, Harry is underage so isn’t qualified to enter. The three magical schools, Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons will compete for the cup and the honour of their school. Harry is as surprised as anybody when his name is drawn from the cup…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "I love that you get to see more of the world of the house elves in this book, like how Winky is dealing with her freedom after she is accused of creating the dark mark in the sky. He doesn’t react to her freedom as positively as Dobby. She is freaking out, crying and drinking butter beer. My favourite bit was when Dobby gave Harry the socks that he knitted. Full of dragons, wizards, mazes and death!"

An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo - reviewed by Spike

This story is set in WWI and WWII. It’s about the person who decided not to kill Hitler. He did what he thought was right choice at the time and it ended up being the wrong choice - he didn't know Adolf Hitler was going to be a giant war figure. The narrator tells the story to Barney and his mother who live in England, as they hide on a train in a tunnel as bombs are dropped around them. They’re on a train to stay with their aunt in the countryside.

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "It’s based on a true story. I liked this book, I chose it because I like reading stories based during WWII."

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell - reviewed by Mackenzie 

Hiccup and some of his other friends want to join the hooligan tribe. So they go with Gobba to this place with a cave and they are going to try and catch their first dragon. Hiccup is leading them. The others don’t want him to lead. They try to capture the dragons up on the mountain, but one of them wakes up a sleeping dragon. When it screeches, they all wake up and they have to escape…

Rated:  5/5 reallys - "All the characters are funny and it’s just a great book."