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 *

The Mystery of the Missing Emerald by Tabitha Sheedy

It all started when the wind was blowing everywhere in a special land, called QT. There was a palace, and Queen Cherry Blossom lived inside. In the royal dining room, there was a special emerald. The emerald had magical flying powers.

One night, a nasty robber stole it. The Queen thought the robber wanted to discover the secrets of the magic emerald. He broke into the palace at midnight and escaped in disguise. The next day when the queen noticed it was missing, she was dumbstruck. She could not believe her eyes. The magic emerald had never been stolen before!

The next morning, the Queen woke up as early as possible to find out who stole her precious emerald. She asked everybody in the palace if they had seen it and then went out into the villages to continue searching. Then right at that moment, the Queen saw something flying through the air. It was her emerald! She tried to catch it but no luck - it was still flying high up above her. Then it disappeared again. How peculiar!

The Queen went home, puzzled about why her emerald flew away from her. Only her and her long lost brother knew how to control the flying emerald. She went back to the palace, and went to bed. The palace seemed spooky that night. Then she got out of bed. She crept among the big blue poles and down the screechy stairs. Just then, Queen Cherry Blossom noticed that a shadow had appeared. Then she heard giggling and she was very curious. She recognised that laugh. It was the laugh of her cheeky brother, Tim, who always played jokes on her when they were little.

The Queen crept towards the laughing. When she peered around the corner she saw Tim! She was absolutely flabbergasted! Tim had been away for many years and she thought he would never return. He was holding the flying emerald! He tossed it into the air and it flew back to the Queen.

The Queen didn’t look grumpy anymore, she looked overjoyed. Her brother looked overjoyed as well and he had a big cheeky smile on his face. They made some fairy bread and a pot of tea and talked all night long about their adventures.

The End.

Parachuting Pig by Alicia

 Once upon a time there was a peculiar man with some very peculiar ideas. This man had a pig called Mike. One day, the peculiar man decided that he wanted to teach his pig how to skydive. The man bought two new parachutes, one for himself and one for Mike. He took Mike to the top of a mountain to be sure that he wouldn’t be afraid of heights. There he taught Mike how to pull the cord for the parachute.

The next morning, the man and the pig went on an excursion with professional skydivers. The man jumped first and Mike jumped soon after. The pig followed his owner’s instructions and did exactly what he was told to do. He jumped from the airplane and pulled the cord when the man gave his signal.

To the owner’s surprise, even after Mike pulled the cord, he kept falling. The owner had forgotten that the pig weighed 200kg which broke the parachutes weight limit. The pig kept falling until he got stuck in the snow, far away from his owner and the other skydivers.

Mike didn’t know how he would get out. He saw that there was a bridge close to the place where he was and so kept an eye on it, waiting for some help.

The first animal that passed by the bridge was a chicken. Mike cried for help, but the chicken said: "I can't help you, because I'm carrying my eggs and I don’t want my chicks frozen. I'm sorry, good luck!"

The second animal that passed by the bridge was a tiger. Mike cried for help, but the tiger said: "I can't help because, if I go in the snow my fur will turn white and I don’t want be confused with a snow tiger. Good luck!"

The third animal that passed by the bridge was a snake. Mike cried for help, but the snake said: "I can't help, because I don’t have any hands, so how would I take you out? Sorry, good luck!"

The fourth animal that passed by the bridge was a brown bear. Mike cried for help, but the bear said: "I can't help, because I don’t want to be confused with a polar bear. Good luck!"

The pig was super upset and hopeless, when a bird approached. The bird asked him what had happened: "How did you get stuck in the snow? You are a pet, you were supposed do be with your owner." Mike explained his situation to the bird: "My owner is a really peculiar person and he had this peculiar idea about teaching me how to skydive. However, he forgot the maximum weight for that parachute is 150kg, and my weight is 200kg. I didn’t stop falling down and got stuck here."

The bird really wanted to help Mike, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to do it by himself. He was too small to carry such a pig. He flew to his family's nest and asked for help. On the other side of the bridge, the chicken, the tiger, the snake and the bear were laughing at the birds. They thought the birds would never be able to carry such a heavy pig.

All the birds in the forest came flying down to help Mike. The main bird counted down: "Lets go, guys! 3, 2, 1... Go!" Together they lifted Mike out of the snow and all the other animals were flabbergasted!

When they finally placed Mike back on the ground, the pig was relieved. Mike realised that he had made friends with many amazing birds and decided to stay in the forest where he was safe from his peculiar owner.

                                                                               *The end*

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Reviews From Albert Park

In this book, Harry Potter gets a scar by Voldermort,but survives the "Killing Curse"because his  mother's love protected him.A few days later he goes to school(Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), where he learns spells.In the end he sees Voldermort,who turns into a shadow , knocks out Harry Potter and then runs away.Harry has saved the Philosopher's Stone (which grants the owner eternal life),from getting into the hands of the evil Voldermort.He and his friends get rewarded in front of the whole school at the end of the year banquet.

Rated:5/5- "I liked it because Harry Potter doesn't get killed"

Lexiland by Suzi Moore- Reviewed by Zoe (10)

Emma had a twin sister that passed away one  ago when she was 9 years old.She choked on a piece of birthday cake-but is this the truth?The book is based on Emma dealing with life at home and school.since the death.It has not been the same ,her mum has high tempers and she feels lonely.Then she meets a new girl at school named Lexi.She has red hair and wears an eye patch.We wonder what happened to her?They become friends after not a very good start and then everything changes.....

Rated 5/5- "It is mysterious and I had to keep reading to find out why Lexi has an eyepatch and how Emma's sister died. Recommended for 9-14  year-olds."

Like Gabriel,I've read a  Harry Potter book.The Hippogriff creature called Buckbeak is sentenced to death for attacking Draco Malfoy.Harry, Ron and Hermoine try to save him,but Buckbeak gets killed by an axe. Hagrid is sad.They meet a black dog who pounces on Ron and drags him through the tunnel under the Whomping  Willow.The dog changes into Sirius Black,who has broken out of the Azkaban prison and is trying to murder Harry Potter.Lupin appears and says he's a werewolf and Scabbers (Rons pet rat) is Peter Pettigrew in an animal form.We find out that Pettigrew is the one who betrayed Harry Potter's parents and were then killed...Sirius Black was blamed but didn't do it! Lupin and Black think of killing Pettigrew, but instead give him to the Dementors (soul sucking guards of Azkaban).The  good thing is that Buckbeak  is also saved by using Hermione's Time-Turner necklace.

Rated 5/5-  "Fantastic book, not boring at all. For ages 7-14."

I haven't finished the book yet.It is Anne Frank's diary from 1942-1944, which she kept whilst in hiding from the Germans during the war.She called it "Kitty".It is 1942 and she is hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse, with her mother,father, older sister, another family and their son Peter and a dentist.They are Jewish and Jews are being sent to the slaughter houses. They do everything at night,and she expresses frustration at how quiet she needs to be. In 1944 they are betrayed and found out....

Rated 4.7/5- "Very exciting but could have had more detail. For ages 10-14."

Harry Potter is going back to his  fourth year at Hogwarts school.The Goblet of Fire has picked Harry's name to enter the Triwizard Tournament(although you have to be over 17 and he is only 14).The first task is to pass a guarding dragon to get to the Golden Egg,which has a clue to the next task.The egg has a mermaid's song (which you can only understand underwater),telling him to go to The Lake and rescue something he will miss.Before this second task,Harry and Ron have to find a partner for the Yule Ball. The third task is to go through a maze to find the Triwizard Cup and whoever touches it first is the winner.Harry and Cedric have to fight giant spiders and monsters in the maze.In the end,they decide to touch the Cup together, but it is a Portkey,which then transports them to a graveyard. Cedric is killed and Voldemort returns.

Rated 5/5- "The best part is the dragons who breathe fire and the  Tournament is very dangerous and extremely suicidal.Recommended for ages 8-14."

July Reviews From St Kilda

Stormbreaker, Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz, Review by Spike

Alex is a fourteen year old boy who is forcibly recruited into the MI6. His parents died in a plane crash so then he had gone live with his uncle but then his uncle was killed in a car crash. In the MI6 Alex is forced to go undercover and research a mysterious computer, known as Stormbreaker, which is going to be given to children in schools all around the world.  

There are ten books in the series with one side story.

Rated 5/5 Reallys "The best book in the history of books. AWESOME"

The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo, Book 1, by Rick Riordan, Review by Yuanquan

Apollo has been banished from Olympus and is now an Earth dwelling mortal. He persuades Percy Jackson to drive him to camp Halfblood, where the demigods, children of gods and goddesses go to train and learn to protect themselves against monsters. Now he is mortal he sucks at archery and has none of his godly powers. Apollo has to find an oracle but in the meantime he gets attacked by monsters.

Rated: 2.5/5 Reallys

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling, Review by Lachlan

Harry Potter returns to school in a flying car and finds out he can talk to snakes and is the heir of Slytherin.

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys "It was good but not my favourite, there wasn't enough action or spells." 

The Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths; illustrated by Terry Denton, Review by Hope

The writer and the illustrator sort of put themselves in the story as the main characters. Each year a new book is released, So far it's up to the 78-Story Treehouse. My favourite one is 65, where they go time travelling to stop their treehouse from being destroyed. In some of the books it says what levels they have left to add. I find the word choice gets a little bit repetitive sometimes but it's really good.  

Rated: 4/5 Reallys  "I really like these book because they're sort of like adventure but also a bit of fantasy."

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Review by Lauren

My friend recommended it. It's about a horse called Black Beauty and he's black, obviously! Chapter one is his first home and chapter two is about his life and what happened to him and his masters.
It's a very old book. I haven't finished it yet.

Rated: 4.5/5 "It is a bit repetitive, which is annoying but it is really good anyway."

Nicholas by Rene Goscinny & Jean-Jacques Sempe; translated by Anthea Bell, Review by Nicholas

Nicholas likes walking to school with his Dad, but he doesn't like actually being at school because he gets bullied a lot. My dad's friend wrote it.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "I really liked the story"