Monday, December 3, 2018

November Reviews from St Kilda

I'm reading the ten year, 35 million copies sold edition. This book is about a boy who lives on a farm but finds a stone, a blue stone  in a magical forest known as the spine. Later, the stone turns into a into a baby dragon (I won't tell you how). Since there are magical laws, if you touch a baby dargon - you will become a rider. You get this thing on your palm, it's like a blue circle which they can use for magical abilities, like communicating with their dragon. Turns out another boy, the local storyteller Brom is also a rider but has disguised his mark...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's a really good book, the best I've ever read"

It's the best book in the world, I like it more than Harry Potter. It's about this girl called Morrigan, who is fated to die on her eleventh birthday, because she was born on Eventide. She attends this auction where people bid for kids to join their companies. Anyway, she gets a bid from a Jupiter North, but he doesn't show up and a bid from Ezra Sqwall. Mr, Jones, his accomplice comes to talk to her but then disappears. Then Jupiter finally comes. On her eleventh birthday, just before midnight, he takes her away in a giant machine and they go through the face of a clock, which is really awkward. They go to this huge land and Jupiter says she can come and live in the hotel with him and Finnestra and she meets a dragon rider and a really naughty boy and it's really fun. Weird stuff starts happening at the Hotel Deucalion. She keeps on thinking it's because of her curse... 

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "In the reviews it says it's like Harry Portter, ALice in WOnderland and Doctor Who and I totally agree."

It's about these orphans Anders and Raina. Anders takes the form of an Ice wolf, so he guards the city. Raina takes the form of a scorch dragon, which is practically impossible. He thinks that they're not related and she gets taken away by the dragons and he gets taken away by the ice wolves.  Ice wolves aren't allowed to leave their pack, it's part of their loyalty, so he has to try and save Raina, but if he does, he will start another war...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys: "It's really good I've been waiting for the next book forvever"

It's about a girl who is a detective, and she and her best friend go on a school trip to Adventure Camp. But there's a girl who is saying weird things and they decide to investigate.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "it's a good book. I just like detective book and I really liked it"

It's more of a girl book but I just like it. There are five stories in this book. I'm going to review the last story, called The Worst Gymnast. It's about how Jemma or Jem, goes to gymnastics at level 6 and really enjoys it but her coach Michael yells and shouts a lot. He's very confident. One day she did a forward roll and accidentally kicked him in the face! He got a blood nose. That was very unfortunate and near the end she enters a gymnastics contest.

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys "The author used some interesting word choices and the characters were good"

It's a very funny book. It's about this guy, his name is Delphine Cooper. He lives a normal life and then there's Nate Bannister, who is a genius and smarter than Einstein. He makes lots of inventions and the Red Death Tea
Society is trying to hunt him down. He makes lots of inventions to try and slow them down. Every Friday the 13th, instead of doing something incredibly smart, he does three things that are incredibly dumb. One time he turns a cat invisible, but it gets bigger as well and you need special googles to see it and it's the size of a jumbo jet. There's a car that talks too and a talking dog. There are two other books.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's one of the funniest books to me"

It's about these seven creatures, who go on a rocket ship to stop this evil scientist from destroying the world. Then they borrow a spaceship to go to the moon because there's this cuteray which makes evil doings stop.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's a funny book"

It's about this evil scientist called Dr Marmalade who hides himself as this guinea pig, but he's actually an alien. He traps all of the animals, Wolf is the boss of the gang and wants to be a hero, but then Legs, the spider tries to put everyone in an escape pod. but when he tried to navigate them back to space, there was a setting that was bothering him, but snake told him to just hurry up,and Salacious pressed okay so it took them 65 million years to get back to earth!

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It thought is was really funny, It was really good comedy"

Pri lives in the town of Dunn's Orchard, it's a town not an orchard, there are no orchards in sight. When a new girl asks him why it has that name, he decides to uncover the truth..

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys "It's really good, I haven't finished it yet"

Monday, October 29, 2018

and the winners are.......

Port Phillip Library Spring School Holiday 2018 Writing Competition

The wait is over! Here are the winning entries from our recent library writing competition. All entrants were given this opening line to get them started: CRACK! BANG!’ went lightning on a stormy night. 

Category 1 : 7-8 years

Category 2 : 9-10 years
Category 3 : 11-13 years
Thanks to all who entered and for your imaginative stories. Congratulations to those who won a Readings book voucher!

The Clock Struck Midnight by Jessie

CRACK! BANG! goes lightning on a dark and stormy night… and then another bang and the clock struck midnight.  At that exact moment a stray bolt of lightning struck the chicken pen and the door flung open wide revealing the dark garden free for the chickens to flee.   These were not ordinary farm chickens – they were Olivia’s mystical chickens.  Magical, because they laid golden eggs that, when cracked on an injury, would heal the wound immediately.

You may think owning such powerful chickens would make for a perfect life.   However, this is far from the truth.  Olivia had an arch enemy.  Debbie Peters attended the same school as Olivia, in the same class and in all their lessons together.  Olivia had never been sure why Debbie was so mean to her. 

The next morning Olivia awoke to what she initially thought was a perfect day.  The heavy rain had given her animals plenty to drink and helped water her crops.  Olivia climbed out of bed, stretched and got dressed for school.  Before getting on the school bus she went to check on her beloved chickens. 

The lock was open and they were nowhere in sight.  Olivia froze and could feel panic swell through her body.  How had the lock opened?  Where had her chickens gone?  All of these thoughts were swimming around in Olivia’s head. This was not the time to lose control.  It was the time for action! 

She collected her thoughts and started to search the area around the chicken coop.  What luck, a shiny thing appeared to be hidden beneath a layer of mud in the corner of the coop.  Olivia reached in a tentative arm and picked up the sparkling object.  In doing this she noticed her watch read 8am. The school bus left in 3 minutes!  She would have to run. Quickly, Olivia put the object in her pocket and sprinted to the bus stop down the lane.

All morning Olivia had tried to find an excuse to leave class so she could examine the object in her pocket.  She was worried sick about her chickens.  At lunchtime Olivia finally had her chance.  She went into an empty classroom by herself and discovered that it was a bracelet with a little heart charm.  After she whipped off the mud and turned over the heart she saw it read: Debbie P.  Could it possibly be Debbie who had stolen her chickens?  Why would she do this?

Olivia decided to sort this out face to face.  She would ask Debbie to speak with her after school.  The afternoon lessons seemed to drag on forever.  Finally, the bell rang and Olivia cornered Debbie before she could leave the classroom.  Come here” she said through clenched teeth.  Olivia was too worried to notice that Debbie had been crying.  When everyone had left the classroom and they were on their own Olivia confronted Debbie about the chickens.  Debbie responded with:  I had my reasons” and she tried to push past Olivia out of the classroom.  Olivia blocked her exit and demanded a response. Debbie refused to speak.

Olivia went home feeling very upset.  She was sure Debbie had her chickens and was up to no good.  Olivia was too distressed to eat any dinner.  Instead she decided to walk to Debbie’s house and find out what was going on.

Debbie opened the front door and saw it was Olivia.  She looked down at her toes and said very quietly: “okay, I’ll tell you but please don't be cross or tell anyone else”.  Part of Olivia was livid with anger and another part felt sorry for Debbie.  However, she remembered that she could not feel sorry yet – she needed a reason and, more importantly, to know her chickens were safe!

Debbie confessed: “I stole them for their eggs.  I overheard you talking about their special powers.  My little brother has not been well for a while and I needed the eggs to heal him”.  Debbie looked up at Olivia pleading for her understanding.  When she did this, Olivia noticed Debbie’s tear stain eyes.  I am sorry to hear that” Olivia replied “but you could have just asked me.  All these years I thought you hated me and you are always so mean to me.  Debbie admitted that she was not mean but very sad because her little brother was dying.

Together Olivia and Debbie went into Debbie’s back yard and there were the three chickens happily munching on a patch of grass.  No eggs had been laid.

Olivia suggested that the chickens come home to her and she will provide Debbie with as many eggs as she needs.  Olivia explained that the chickens would not lay magical eggs outside their coop.  Once they were removed to another location, they became ordinary farm chickens.  Debbie was so grateful that she threw her arms around Olivia in a big bear hug and said: “I owe you everything.  Please forgive me and be my friend.”

Although still feeling a little bit angry, Olivia was overwhelmed with relief that her chickens were safe and happy that she could help a little boy.  After all that is what her chickens were for - helping others.

The End

Cat-Catastrophe! by Tilda

Crack! Bang - goes lightning on a dark and stormy night, as all the cats scurry into
their hiding places.
They jump through pipes, in and out, around corners and into the darkness.

“MEOW” cries one, “MEOW” cries another.

BOOM goes the thunder.

There was a small cat called Charlotte, one called Sophie and one called Jack.
“I don’t like lightening” meowed Sophie.
“Me neither” cries Jack.

Suddenly Charlotte disappeared into a small hole beneath them.
“Mmmeow”!!! She cried.
THUMP - she landed suddenly just as another cat came creeping out of the shadows.
She was a small cat with white fur, pink and blue patches and pink sparkly ears.
“Hello, my name is Lilly - what’s yours?”
“My name is Charlotte.”

Just then, they heard voices coming from the hole.
“CHARLOTTE - are you ok? What can we do to help you out? yelled Sophie.
“Why don’t you find some rope to pull me out” yelled back Charlotte.

Jack and Sophie went scampering off to find some rope or a ladder.
“Come with me” said Lilly.
“Where to?” asked Charlotte.
Lilly didn’t answer, so the two of them silently crept along the sewage pipes until
suddenly they were in the alleyway again.

“Thank you very much” sobbed Charlotte.

Out of nowhere a stranger grabbed them and shook them like he would do to a
“Hey, stop it we don’t like it”meowed Lilly as they were plonked into a cage.

Suddenly green gas filled the cage and the cats were fast asleep.
Back at the hole, Sophie and Jack had a ladder and rope with them by their

“CHARLOTTE” they called out “are you there Charlotte ?”

No one replied, so they climbed down themselves.

Sophie and Jack crept along the sewage pipes until they were peeping out of a door
and into the city streets. Then they saw Lilly and Charlotte fast asleep in a cage
with green in the air.

“I know how to save them” whispered Jack to Sophie “ all we need to do is quietly
creep up behind the man and wrap our rope around his feet. I’ll distract him.”
“Okay” whispered Sophie.

But before they could get to work, they realised they were too late, the man had
all ready gone, taking their friends with him.
“We missed them”cried Jack,
Sophie and Jack chased after the van as it zoomed off ahead of them!

“We will never catch them, never” thought Sophie, “never” she thought again. They crept sneakily along the pavement and across the city, as day turned into night. Then the van stopped and the man stepped out, turning in time to see two more cats, “This is my lucky day!!” he said.
Suddenly a small girl came hopping out of the van as well. Catch those cats for me NOW Ruby!” shouted the man.

The girl chased the cats until finally morning came. The cats were puffing, so was
Ruby. Before Ruby could catch them, they kept running away. Suddenly Sophie found a red and blue scarf that ‘purr-fectly’ fitted.

“Come on Sophie, we have to go, we can try to help them tomorrow” whispered
“NO” meowed Sophie “we are going to save them today”…
They crept back to the van where Ruby and the man were having an argument about Sophie and Jack.

They quietly moved to the cage where Lilly and Charlotte were sleeping and
opened the door to set them free. Charlotte woke up and looked around same as
Lilly “Who are you?” said Jack “I am Lilly and who are you?”.
I’m Jack and this is Sophie” said Jack “Now let’s go before they realise you’ve both

They quickly scampered back to the alleyway and back to the safety of their home!

The End!!!!!!!!!!

The Young Witch by Etta

‘ CRACK! BANG!’ went lightening on a stormy night. Raven hopped onto a stool and popped an ice-cube in her mouth. Her face lit up as a burst of cherry lime ran through her mouth. ‘Aunt Dorothy, this is HEAVENLY! My favourite one so far!’ Raven exclaimed, licking her lips.  Aunt Dorothy grinned and squeezed Raven’s hand.  ‘Thank you, darling girl’. Raven hugged her aunt tightly. ‘Now, time for bed’.
‘Aaaaaaaaaargh! Aaah!’ Raven’s screams awoke Aunt Dorothy from her deep sleep. Aunt Dorothy ran into Raven’s room.  Raven was sitting upright in her bed, trembling uncontrollably. Three chairs were dancing in the air, shaking dust everywhere. ‘Help’, cried Raven hoarsely. Aunt Dorothy shook her head. ‘Oh, my goodness, Blinky, Betsy and Boo come down from there at once1” Aunt Dorothy shouted. The three chairs whimpered and floated down to the ground sullenly. She sat beside Raven. 'Sorry honey, I should have told you earlier', Dorothy murmured.
      ‘Told me what?’ Raven paused to catch her breath. ‘That you’re a…..a ..a witch?’, she said incredulously.
      ‘Technically, yes. But a good one’, Aunt Dorothy replied, stroking Raven’s head.
      Raven fainted. The three chairs shrugged their armrests and bounced out of the room.

 ‘Clink, clink, CLASH!!! Raven woke up to her aunt doing the dishes.
      ‘Hello. You slept in. You must have been tired…’,  Aunt Dorothy’s voice trailed off.
      ‘What happened last night? Raven bit her lip thoughtfully.  ‘Oh’, Raven remembered, her mouth forming a perfect ‘O’.  ‘You’re a ..a witch..?’,  her voice trailing off.
       ‘I was hoping to tell you when you were a bit older’. Aunt Dorothy handed Raven a plateful of fluffy pancakes drowned in maple syrup and scattered with strawberries. Raven pulled a chair out and took a bite of pancake. ‘So what do witches do?’, she asked.  Aunt Dorothy smiled at her niece’s curiosity. ‘Well, I could turn you into a turnip’, she said.  Raven scrunched her nose up. She had detested turnips ever since she was a baby. ‘Other than that, they can do spells— but it’s not like making pancakes. Instead of ingredients, they use their minds. But to be a witch you have to have one tiny thing.  A birthmark.’ She turned to Raven and took hold of her hand. ‘And you, my darling have that birthmark’.
      Raven’s eyes opened wide as she stared at the perfectly formed brown circle on her pointer finger. ‘Funny how we witches store all that power in this finger’, Aunt Dorothy continued.  Raven quickly finished her breakfast and, after complementing her aunt on her cooking, said excitedly. ‘So, what are we waiting for?  Teach me some magic!’.
      By that afternoon, Raven had learnt the fundamentals of shape shifting and casting magic spells. She could even split bamboo in half.  Aunt Dorothy

was very impressed at how quickly her little niece had learnt witchcraft— it would have taken most other young witches years to pick up what Raven had learnt in just one afternoon.

‘Aaaaaaaahhhhh!’ Raven’s screams woke Aunt Dorothy up once again. ‘HELP! AUNTY DOROTHY! HEELP!!’ A ghost-like figure swept Raven through the glass doors of Aunt Dorothy’s house and into a dark, endless forest. Once there, Raven fell into a deep sleep.

‘Wake up! Wake up!’ Raven opened her eyes to see a pixie shaking her vigorously.
      ‘Where… am I…..and who are you?’. Raven said groggily. Then she remembered what had happened. ‘Something dragged me into a forest…a…a …ghost!’
      ‘Oh, don’t be silly’, the pixie said, rolling her eyes, ‘everyone knows ghosts aren’t real. That ‘thing’ that dragged you out of the house.  I suspect it was Esmeralda’.
      ‘Who’s Esmeralda’, Raven asked.
      ‘A witch, a terrible witch.  She took me away from my parents because I’m a good singer. She probably did the same to you. Do you have a talent?’, the pixie asked.
      ‘No, not really’, Raven said modestly. ‘Sorry, I didn’t introduce myself.  I’m Raven, Raven Bedlam— what’s your name?’
      ‘Saturn. And this is my little brother, Mars’. Saturn reached over to a cot where a tiny baby was sleeping. ‘You see everyone here has a talent’, continued Saturn. Raven looked around the dungeon-like room.  ‘See that fairy over there. That’s Rosaline. She is special because she is under an obedience spell. She does anything anyone tells her to do. And those two elves—Agis and Feanor— they’re very strong. Crystal over there can make gemstones out of pieces of grass.

And Mars, my little brother, he can make you see things. For example, he can make you think there’s an elephant in the room, but it’s not actually there’.
      Raven surveyed the sorry scene in front of her.  Rosaline was weeping in a corner. Aegis, Feanor were bent over, exhausted, while Crystal looked miserable. Suddenly, they heard footsteps in the distance.
      ‘Speak of the devil’, whispered Saturn, her eyes filled with terror. ‘Here she comes now’.  A tall, spindly woman wearing a long, dark purple velvet dress appeared through their prison door.  Her long, yellowing fingers clutched  a staff . ‘Stop that infernal noise Rosaline’, Emerald snarled, revealing her sharply honed black fangs.
      ‘Sorry, your Highness’. Rosaline replied, casting her frightened eyes to the ground.
      ‘Why don’t you stand up you numbskulls?’,  Esmeralda shrieked at Agis and Feanor. Then her eyes fell on Raven. ‘Ah, What do we have here?. Welcome to my prison’, Esmeralda hissed, her teeth gnashing, ‘You will stay here until you tell me everything your Aunt has taught you’.
       ‘No’, Raven replied with a resolve that surprised her. ’I will not’. Rosaline, Aegis, Feanor, Crystal and Saturn all gasped in unison.  (Mars hadn’t learnt how to gasp yet).
      ‘Is that so’, Esmeralda shrieked. ‘Insolent brat! I will come back tomorrow. If you don’t tell me what I want to know, I will tear you and everyone else in this rotten prison into tiny pieces’.  Esmeralda slammed the door shut behind her. Raven slumped to the floor ‘Wow, that was….scary’.

The next morning breakfast arrived consisting of bread and water. After everyone had eaten their tiny rations, Raven addressed the group. ‘We need to make a plan to get out of here’, she began.
      ‘But it's impossible’ said Aegis. ‘The walls are extremely deep’.
      ‘Well, I have an idea’, continued Raven. ‘Aegis, see that loose brick in the wall. Start pushing it.’ Aegis nodded and began pushing.  Clink!. The brick slid out, leaving  a hole in the wall. ‘I did it’, Aegis cried excitedly. ‘Great! Now Feanor push those other two bricks over there next to the hole’, Raven exclaimed. Feanor pushed with all of  his strength. Clink ! Clink! CRASH! Part of the wall collapsed, leaving a small opening. ‘Excellent! We can all fit through here’, Raven cried.
      ‘One down, to go’, Saturn said, morosely.

      ‘What do you mean?’,  Raven said, her excitement dissipating. ‘Are you telling me there are  walls?’ Saturn nodded, her head bowed.  When they had all climbed through  the opening in the wall, sure enough there was another wall awaiting them.
    ‘It doesn’t matter’, Raven said, undeterred. ‘Crystal, do your magic and turn this blade of grass into diamonds and rubies’. Crystal broke a blade of grass in half and a shower of precious gems fell to the ground.
      ‘Wow’, whispered Raven, marvelling at the beauty before her eyes. ‘Ok, everyone, let’s throw these jewels at the wall . Try to aim at the centre’. Everyone picked up handfuls of jewels and hurled them at the wall. CRASH!! The wall crumbled instantanously.
     ‘Wow, how did you do that?’, cried Rosaline.
     ‘Oh, I used a bit of extra witchy power’, Raven smiled, cheekily.  
The next wall was made out of glass. Raven instructed Saturn to sing a high-pitched note. Within seconds the wall smashed into tiny pieces.  The last wall was made of wood. Raven noticed that Rosaline was sobbing.
     ‘What’s the matter, Rosaline’, Raven asked, concerned.
      ‘Everyone else has got a talent. But I’m just obedient and nice. I never do anything naughty. I’m just no good for anyone’, Rosaline cried in despair.
     ‘But Rosaline, we’ve seen you do karate before’, Crystal said, putting her arm around her friend,  ‘you totally smashed Aegis’ blocks.’
      ‘Rosaline, I want you to kick this wall down. I know you can do it!’ Rosaline said reassuringly.
       ‘But it’s not nice to kick’, Rosaline said gingerly.
      ‘Just think of Esmeralda and how she talks to you. Doesn’t that make you mad?
       ‘She’s horrible’, Rosaline’s face contorted in anger.
       ‘Well use that anger and channel it’,  Raven said firmly.
       ‘But…but…’ Rosaline resisted
        ‘ROSALINE KICK THE WALL!’ Raven shouted. Rosaline closed her eyes tightly and kicked with all the force she could muster. The wall split in half and fell likes a great tree in the forest.

Soon they had managed to knock last wall down. ‘its amazing Esmerelda hasn’t heard all this hullaballoo by now’, remarked Feanor and Aegis.
They had spoken too soon. In that moment Esmeralda came bounding in,  her voice screeching. ‘I’m coming for you, you pesky little ungrateful miscreants!’. Raven turned to the others and said,

‘Everyone, make a run for it.  Leave Mars with me. We’ll meet you on the other side’.
     “But will you be alright?’. Saturn looked at her with concern
      ‘Yes, yes, now go’. The others quickly fled as Esmeralda descended on Raven.
      ‘ Now, now, now, what do we have here?’ Esmeralda looked Raven up and down.  ‘I should have known you were a troublemaker when I found out you were Dorothy’s niece. What have you done with the others?’ Esmeralda demanded.
           ‘I don’t know’, Raven said firmly, trying not tremble. Then she quickly whispered in Mars ear, ‘Let her think there’s a dragon chasing her’.
      ‘What did you say?’ Esmeralda hissed. She was about to strike Raven with her staff when, suddenly, her eyes filled with terror. 'Help! Help! Someone help me! I'm terrified of dragons!’, Esmeralda cried, and she began running in  circles as though being chased by an imaginary creature. Raven quickly picked up Mars and ran with him through the gap in the wall.
       Raven was overjoyed to see all of her friends waiting for her on the other side. And with them was Aunt Dorothy.
        ‘I’ve been looking for you all this time Raven, but it was only when I heard Esmeralda’s screams that I knew where you were’, Aunt Dorothy cried, clasping Raven in her arms. ‘ You had me so worried, Raven’. Aunt Dorothy wiped a tear from her eye. ‘Now everyone, hop on. We’re all going home’. Aunt Dorothy had brought her broomstick and it was big enough to fit everyone: Raven sat next to her Aunt, then came Saturn, with Mars on her lap, followed by Aegis, Feanor, Rosaline and Crystal. ‘
      ‘Wheee....’, squealed Raven in delight as they whizzed past the moon and stars.  Esmerelda's screams could still be heard when they arrived at Dorothy’s house.

I Am Zaya by Audrey

I am Zaya

“CRACK! BANG!” goes the lightning on a dark and stormy night. It was pouring down with rain. I couldn’t sleep.  I got up out of bed slowly opened up the door and left without a noise. I was hungry the food the nuns gave us was yuck it had weevils in it. As I opened up the kitchen door hoping there might somehow actually be something edible in there. As I creep across the kitchen floor just hoping there would be something for me. Slowly I open the larder door hearing the door creek praying everyone would be asleep.

“Please,” I whispered to myself as I opened my eyes to see the door shut and a nun looking right at me. Busted. “Number 23, what are you doing. You now we have extreme laws here about children being up past daylight hours. This is in no way acceptable at all. I have no reason to not punish you,” “please Ma’am,” I pleaded. “No meals for a week!”

Later That night I lay in bed looking up at the stars. Then something hit me. Memories. They came streaming back to me reminding me of who I am. For the first time in two years I smile. I remembered Mum and Dad and baby Isa, I remembered Toby and how we had been the best friends we ever could be. I remember the sound of the trucks rolling up the driveway coming to take us away. I remember Toby screaming my name as we got separated on two different trucks.I felt a single tear trickle down my cheek.

I am Zaya
I do not belong here
They do not know me
They do not no that one day I will be free

My plan is simple
I will be free

 I tiptoe out of my room I keep watch for the night nun. As I creep around the corner I spot her, the night nun I hide in the cupboard and wait for her to walk by. I slip out of the cupboard and creep up the behind the Night nun and slip the key of chain.

The Night Nun turns around but I’ve already turned the corner just in time. I walk by the Nuns’ room and hear them chatting about how much pain we are to them. I see their kanes lined up against the wall I duck below the window so they don’t see me.

I reach the door and I’m shaking. I am scared.

I slip the key into the lock. And I hear the click. I push open the door and see the outside that I haven't seen in two years.

I hear the door to the Nuns’ room open as I see sister Sistine come out I rush to get out just in time.

I am outside for the first time in two years and I don’t no what to do. I walk along the street and I see a big brick building that says ‘mission of boys that are in need’ they’re not in need I think, they’ve been taken away from their families to somewhere where they get treated like spit.

I think just for a moment. Then I hope. I hope this is where they took Toby.

I take a step forward and trip. I get and see a key on the street. I go up to the lock and slip the key in then slowly turn it holding my breath.

The door creeps open and I walk in. The first door the to the left say 49, 52,63,24 I think these are kid’s numbers. The next one says 12, 72, 59, 89, 42. I walk to the end where the door has the numbers 92, 84, 93, 86 on it. I open the door and walk in I don’t think. As soon as I take steps a boy sits up and yells out. Suddenly a Nun comes. I run. In the hallway there is another Nun. I run down some more hallways and finally I Find a cupboard open it and climb in.
“I’m sorry Ma’am, I’m sorry Ma’am,” I hear as soon as I shut the door. I recognize that voice. Then a single tear comes out, then another, then another. Before I can stop myself I bawling my eyes out. “Toby it’s me,” is all I manage to say in between breaths. “Zaya,” I hear in reply. “I’ve got the key” I whisper. “Zaya,” hear again.

“Toby, it’s okay” I whisper back to him. I then slip open the door and creep out. Toby follows me. “Turn left then right that's where the back door is,” “okay,” I reply as I take Left turn then a right.

I slip the key into the lock and open the door. We step out and shut it behind us.

We don’t say anything as we walk along the street. Then Toby pauses “for the first time in two years,” he whispers “I know,” I replied. Then I wrap my arms around him and we hug. When I let him go I manage to say “We are free,” as I’m crying again, but this time he is too and It makes me smile.

“Are you ready to start again,” I ask him. “Yes,” he replies as we walk off into the moonlight hand in hand.

For I am grateful

The Dome by Agnes

CRACK! BANG! Goes lightning on a dark and stormy night. That’s how I imagine it would be if we had any. Everyone’s forgotten what lightning or thunder is. How could you remember if you lived in a dome. The lightning my class is looking at is only what scientists say looks and sounds like real lightning. My school is at the DHQ (Dome Head Quarters). They want us to work here. My school is here today to delve deeper into the ‘exciting’ lives of the workers in the DHQ. The place creeps me.
‘Hello? Florence Marie Fickle!’ Finally, my best friend Candice gets my attention.
“Can you please come with me to the bathroom. Please?” I nodded. We set off looking for one. Soon we were lost in a maze of corridors, when I heard the word through a door ajar. The word that would soon change the lives of those living in The Dome. “Experiment”. I shushed Candice. We listened.

“How could you tell them?”. A woman hissed.
‘It just came out, I couldn’t bare it any longer. I don’t want my parents to die like the rest of them.’ A man pleaded.
The woman was not impressed. “You signed a contract. Now you’ve told me this. You’ll die like the rest of them in the Dome. You know there’s only 24 hours left, spend it wisely. Security! Take him away.” I could hear footsteps approaching the door.
Candice and I hung back and watched security drag the man down the corridor to who knows where. Candice was on the verge of a meltdown. I calmed her down telling her it would be all right. But how could it be if we’re all going to die in the next 24 hours?
“Hey dad? Would you believe me if I told you that the government is planning to kill everyone?” I asked at the dinner table. Dad burst out laughing, almost chocking on his food.
“The government? Trying to kill us? God, I knew you had an imagination, but this is a whole new level. Mum, did you hear Florence? She reckons the government’s trying to kill us!”

‘Dad, I’m being serious. I heard a conversation between these two people. It’s going to happen in the next 24 hours!’ I said, panicking.
Mum chimed in. “Darling, the government isn’t trying to kill us. We’re the only people alive on Earth. If they wanted to kill us, they would have removed the Dome and expose us to the toxic air.” I stormed out and went to my room. I flopped onto my bed, tired from the day’s events, and fell asleep.
The next morning I decided the only way to save our world from the Experiment was to go back to the DHQ to expose them. I faked being sick, as when I am sick, I have to go into work with dad at the DHQ. My parents always fall for it. I packed my recording devices and as planned, I accompanied my dad to work. When we got there, I pretended I needed to throw up, and rushed out of dad’s office and followed the signs to the staff room, where there was

bound to be people talking about the doom of the Dome. I followed the signs leading towards the staff room. When I got there no one was there except a man reading a newspaper.
“Excuse me, could you tell me where the head office is?”
“Oh, you must be Adeline, Mrs. Appleby’s daughter. Yes, straight down and right when you get to the recording studio.” The man strained a smile.
“Yep that’s me! Adeline Appleby! Did you mention something about a recording studio? What does it do?” I tried not to sound desperate, but the man looked suspicious.
“The recording studio? It sends out messages to the 150,000 people living in the Dome” he said, now dubious about who I was.
I sprinted down the corridor. The recording studio was exactly what I needed to share the shocking news with the Dome’s people. However, I still needed to record that perfect conversation as evidence. I turned right and was confronted with a row of doors. I knocked on them. An old woman opened one of the doors.

“Yes?” She asked.

“Sorry, but I’m looking for the head office.” I said hastily.

“What’s your business here little girl? You don’t look familiar.”

“I’m Mrs. Appleby’s daughter. She needed me to ask the director something.”

“Ahhh, Mrs. Appleby! Never heard of her” She slammed the door.

I tried the other doors, no response. I start to panic. Someone was approaching. I could hear the clicking of heels. I hid behind a cleaning cart. A woman was on the phone talking about… the Experiment! I got out my recorder, praying she wouldn’t disappear into one of the rooms. Luckily, she stopped in her tracks, rambling on about the Experiment. I got the perfect recording. After what seemed like forever, she moved on. I waited a while then scrambled out from behind the cart, grabbed the keys hanging loosely from a hook on the cart and raced to the recording studio. It was locked. I found the right key and burst in. I looked on the control panel and found a big red button; it said ‘The Dome’. Desperate, I pressed it and the whole room lit up with my face. My face must be all over the Dome I thought, so I began to talk.

“Listen everyone, I’m going to keep this short, sharp and sweet. The government is planning to kill us all in exactly 3 hours. I have a recording,” I clicked play, and when the broadcast ended I shouted, “Everybody come to the DHQ immediately!” I clicked the red button to end the broadcast. My face faded from the room. I could already hear loud footsteps approaching. I had to get out. I sprinted out of the room not daring to look back. I could see the light glowing through the exit door. I burst through and looked up. There in front of me was the whole population of the Dome. The government stood behind me, knowing that they were outnumbered.

“We must rebel against them!” One citizen screamed.

“KILL THEM ALL!” Another one said. Others nodded their heads in approval, starting to chant “KILL THEM!” This wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted us to be free from the Dome, and out in the real world again. I didn’t want anyone dead.
“STOP!” I screamed. All eyes turned in my direction, ‘The government have done something horrendous! They’ve deprived us of the lives we once led, all in the name of a sick Experiment. No one deserves to die. Not like this. Not in any way. That’s why we mustn’t murder anyone. Yes, they’ve lied to us and ruined years of our lives, but murder will not stop that from happening again. No, their crime will not be forgotten or forgiven. All they can do is free us from this lie, and give us back our lives.” I stopped and could hear my voice echo around the Dome. The echo faded to silence. Then a clap. Then several claps, mounting to an uproarious applause. I looked behind me, and could see tears in the government enforcement’s eyes. I could see helicopters above lifting the Dome. Finally, a blinding light, inviting us to come back into the real world we once called home.

Strange Weather by Charlie

CRACK! BANG! Goes lightning on a dark and stormy night. Richard, trying to ignore the loud lashes of lightning, was using his new weather detector he had got for his birthday last week. Richard always wanted to be on TV, and he thought a meteorologist (someone who forecasts the weather) would be the best way. For the past week Richard had his eyes glued to the screen, reading all the signals. Quite often he would look at the clouds and see if the machine was right.

Right after his third check for the day, he heard a strange noise outside. When Richard got out of his room, he saw his brother, Tom, whimpering in the corner of the bathroom. Richard rolled his eyes and sighed. Richard had always been the braver brother. Tom made an excuse that Richard was only braver because he didn't see the world how it should be seen. Richard was always confused about that, but he thought it was because Tom had been watching strange conspiracies on the internet.

Richard grabbed Tom's arm and pulled him outside, but he noticed Tom's heavy breathing and
strain. Then Tom grabbed Richard by the hand and said "come with me. You're not safe here."
Richard just stared at Tom with a confused face. Tom waited a few moments, sighed and ran off, no
precise direction, he just ran. Richard went back inside and told his mum that Tom had run away. His
mum sighed and shooed Richard to his room. Richard sat on his chair and focused on the machine.
Strange signals were coming from Alice Springs, a 15-minute drive away. Richard looked at the clock. 4:36 pm, he had time.

Richard got on his bike and rode. The signal was coming from inside an old building. He parked his bike and sneaked inside. He looked up and saw a big pot and two people standing beside it. Richard slowly started up the stairs, when he got up the top he noticed the green liquid in the pot. He could feel the heat from way back where he was standing. He took out his phone to take a picture but he dropped it. Hitting the floor, the phone made a huge noise, especially in the echoey building. Both people turned around and looked straight at Richard. He made a dash for it, but one of the people grabbed his shirt. The person turned Richard around and said in a low voice, "You will never speak of this day or you will be sorry." The person shoved Richard down the stairs. Richard got on his bike and rode home.

Sleep that night was hard for him. The question, "what was that green stuff?" bounced around in his
mind. He knew he had to go back the next day. When he got on his bike the next day, he thought
about his brother, he wanted to see Tom again. He arrived at the building and walked up the stairs,
videoing the whole thing on his phone. He got to the top floor and looked around. Nobody was in
sight, just the pot. He put his phone over the pot and looked at the screen. The screen was black.
"Huh?" Richard said to himself. Then the phone started to melt. Richard's hands were burning, he let
out a scream. The two people came out of a room, They ran over to Richard. "Thanks for
volunteering!" they said with a smile. Then Richard was thrown into the pot.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

July Reviews from St Kilda

Hot Dog! by Anh Do, Illustrated by Dan McGuiness, Review by Nick

It's about these friends who go on a journey when they a baby bird at the bottom of the friendship tree. They try to find its mother. It's an adventure. They meet all different types of people to find out who the mother actually is. They end up at a water park...

3.5/5 Reallys  "I really liked it but it was too short"

Allied by Amy Tintera, review by Yuanquan

This is the third book in the Ruined trilogy. It's about this young woman Emelina who has one of these ruins with magic powers. She doesn't have any ruin powers though, so she's considered useless in ruin society. She's the daughter of one of the Queens of the Ruins who got stabbed and killed by the King. The army are about to march under their new King who is also half married to the main character Emelina. He married her when she was under the alias of Mary, the Princess of Valor. He retakes the royal city, Em's sister Olivia who is super powerful, is trying to kill everyone....

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's a good book"

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, review by Aarev

It starts with these three people, Leo, Pippa and Jason. They went on a quest and then they came back with a dragon, which is a robotic metal dragon made of bronze, it can fly. Leo is the son of Hecate the god of mechanics, Piper is the daughter of Aphrodite the daughter of love and Jason is the son of Zeus, one of the big three gods who is the god of lightning and king of the gods. They meet Percy and his friends who are halfway lost, half not... 

Rated: 4/5 Reallys. "I like that there is a lot of mystery and adventure"

Spooky Weird! by Anh Do, Review by Sonia

It's about this boy called Weir Do and Bella and Weir Do loves Halloween. The book is mostly about Halloween. While Weir was at school the teacher decides to put them into partners and Bella and Weir are put together. After school they made a costume and they were still thinking about what they wanted to do. Weir has two pets, a parrot and a little puppy.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I liked it, it's a good book, because sometimes it can be adventurous and the first time you read it it's really interesting. -There are nine chapters in the ninth book!"  

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Review by Ariana

Magnus Chase is like this homeless guy who ends up getting killed and going to Valhalla. He doesn't know why, because at first he doesn't know he's dead. Then he finds out his dad is Frey, the viking god of Summer and healing. His cousin is Annabeth. He has to try and find the Sword of Summer, the sword that his dad lost.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys. "It's a really good adventure series"

Monday, July 9, 2018

June Reviews from St Kilda

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma written by Trenton Lee Stewart, illustrated by Diana Sudyka, review by Jaxon

It's a story about a boy, he isn't a teenager yet, he's still pretty young. His name is Reynie. His parents die somehow and he goes to an orphanage and gets tutored by a lady. Right now she's teaching Reynie to speak Tamil. Then he sees an article in the paper which says: 'Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?' So they have to find the punk house. He's the only one who passes the first and second test to enter. The second test is near impossible, but Reynie realizes it's actually a puzzle and the answers can be found. Then he finds out he has to do a third test with everyone who completed the first and second tests in the other rounds. One is Kate. She didn't actually get the test right, but she helped a lady called type 2. She's very introverted, and when everyone was yelling about their kids not getting in, she creates a distraction and hides in a cupboard and makes it to the next round. George Washington abandoned his parents because they were so wealthy and mean and thought they might be better off without him. He was so distraught by this, that he ran home and got some hair remover. Constance is out the front of the house. She is a bit troublesome. One of the tests requires them to get to the other side of the room without walking on the squares. Kate does a trick that circus people do, rolling around on a bucket, Reynie just walks over- he realizes the floor is covered in rectangles, not squares. The fourth and last test is a maze....

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's a great book, I suggest reading it"  

Kira Dreaming: Pippa's Island by Belinda Murrell, review by Arianna

It's about these four friends and the main character Pippa. It's a whole series that I'm reading. In this one they have to do this concert and they have to sing a popular song.  Pippa isn't comfortable with it because she doesn't like to sing. They sing and they don't get through. Another group do, but at the last minute, one of the girls falls off the stage, because she doing cartwheels as part of a gymnastics routine. She broke her leg!

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "It's interesting but I would prefer it if it was more exciting"

Just Macbeth! by Andy Griffiths; Illustrated by Terry Denton, review by Lachlan

They have to do a project for school and try and base it on a wish. They get all these ingredients and mix up a bunch of stuff and then drink it. Andy gets to be Macbeth, Lisa is Lady Macbeth and Danny gets turned into Banquo, who is effectively Macbeth's best friend. Lisa wants to be queen, so she tells Andy to kill the King and Queen and take their places.

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "Not enough friction" 

Doll Bones by Holly Black; Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, review by Cailey

It's about these people who find this doll, she calls herself the queen. She sends them on quest and they try to find her lost powers, but then she turns...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I liked it because there was a lot of evil!"
Well done, Secret Seven by Enid Blyton, review by Zara

It's about seven people, who, because they are really hot in their den where they have secret meetings, they and make a tree house. They also have a dog named Scamper, and they make a pen for him. Once they're sitting in the tree they heard a voice, and they were scared because it was Jack's sister and Jack's sister is a horrid girl. They peered down and saw that it wasn't her, it was a little boy with an injured cat. George pushes Pam and makes her squeal, so the boy looks up through the branches and sees them...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I really liked it, the part with the police officer was interesting, -the best book ever!"

Hot Dog! by Anh Do; illustrated by Dan McGuiness

They walk to the friendship tree and they find this baby bird sitting on the ground. So they go on an adventure to find its mother. They meet all different type of bird, because they don't know who his bird mother actually is....

Rated: 3.5/5 Reallys "It was too short"

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, review by Aarev

It's about this boy whose mum is missing presumed dead because of an explosion. He goes and stays with his uncle who lives in the Sword of Summer. But then he takes the sword out of the ice and dies -but it isn't over. He goes to Valhalla but without his weapon, which is very unusual, you usually get to keep them. He gets to do all of these cool things, he gets some friends and they help bust him out of there so he can actually go on his quest to save the world from the fire giant...

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "it's got lots of adventure and action in it"

Geronimo Stilton and the Wizard's Wand by Geronimo Stilton, review by Sonia

It's the ninth book in The Kingdom of Fantasy. It's about Geronimo having a nice peaceful day, when this magical sleigh comes through his window. It takes him to The Kingdom of Fantasy. Once he gets there he finds that Queen Blossom has vanished. Then everyone calls Geronimo a knight and he's on a quest to find the missing queen. There are three magical items; a wand, a spell book full of spells and an invisible cloak.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I liked it because it's really adventurous, and if you're still reading it you want to know what's going to happen next"

The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko, review by Alicia

It's about this girl called Clare and her older sister. One day they find out that their great aunt has died and her fortune has been left to them. Part of it is a mansion. So they go and stay there for a whole summer. They find a ladder in a chimney place.

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "It's the best book I've ever read"

Monday, June 18, 2018

May Reviews from St Kilda

The Magician: The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott, Review by Jaxon

This is the second book in the series. So far what's happened is that Josh and Sophie have been awakened. This basically means that Sophie and Josh are "the twins of legend." Apparently they can combine their powers. Right now Sophie who has a silver aura, has been trained in air; the witch of Endor gave her all her memories so that Sophie knows everything, Saint-Germain taught her fire. He gave her a tattoo and when she presses her thumb on it, she can easily access her fire magic. Josh hasn't been trained in any elemental magic. The God of war has been cursed and his aura turned to stone by the witch of Endor. Even if he throws the stone off it will just regrow. Nicholas Flamel, the so-called immortal alchemist, is "protecting" them. But Sophie and Josh don't even really trust him.

Rated: 4.5/5 Reallys "A really good book. It's one of those cliff-hanger books, like you're in the room about to discover something and then the perspective suddenly changes, sometimes it's really anti-climactic. Hearing about the prophecy all the time is a bit repetitive for the reader."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling, Review by Zoe

I reckon it's a good book, but there's a bit too much talking in some parts. It's probably my least favourite book out of the series. When it gets going it keeps on building up until the last moment. At the moment I'm up to the part where everyone thinks that Harry is a liar. Currently he's in detention with Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge works for the Ministry of Magic. None of the students think her teaching methods are appropriate, for example she teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts but doesn't let them use their wands!

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "I like that it's very descriptive. Sometimes in the tense moments you really feel for the character."

Tilly and the Wild Goats by Joan Lingard, Review by Zara

It's about this girl called Tilly. Tilly thinks this woman who is their landlady wants to take their house because her nephew is coming to Australia and needs somewhere to live. So Tilly went to the next door neighbour William and they went out to hunt for houses. They go to a village through a shortcut. They find a really creepy house and in the attic, there's a ghost. The manager of the house never goes outside. Some people think he's 19 years old and some people think he's 90 years old and some people think he's the ghost!

Rated: 4/5 Reallys "I didn't really like the start with the billy goat"

It's about these people who have wings that they try to hide from people. They have to go to the mountains so they can test them. The oldest person in the group, Max acts like a mum, because they have no mum or dad between them. When she was little they put a microchip in her arm. She's running away from people. She meets this little girl who was also being chased. She asks her to go home with her and she meets her mum. Her mum is a vet and she takes Max for an X-ray because her wing is broken. The others split up to hunt the monsters because they took the littlest girl in the group, Angel. The monsters work for the adults from the lab. Max comes up with a plan to bomb the lab... 

Rated: 5/5 Reallys "I like how you never know what is going to happen next"

I really like this book because it was action packed the whole time and was really telling you the details. It actually felt like you were there experiencing the same things that Sarah was facing against. You could feel the character's emotions while reading it. It was like when you're reading a fairy tale where they invite you into the book. It felt magical. I really enjoyed the whole series, they are great books for bedtime. 

 Rated: 5/5 Reallys "An action packed book, it actually feels like you're there."