July 13

‘The Secret Hour’ by Scott Westerfeld

the-secret-hour-midnighters-book-1‘The Secret Hour’ is the first book in Scott Westerfeld’s intriguing Sci-fi trilogy, ‘Midnighters’. ‘The Secret Hour‘ follows the adventures of four high school students, Rex, Dess, Melissa and Jonathan, as they encounter the new girl to the town of Bixby, Jessica Day. Though appearing to be a little less-than-average during the day, the Midnighters each hold a secret power, and have the ability to be awake during one hour of every night, when their world is plunged into a dark and mysterious state known as the ‘blue time’.

Throughout the book, the ‘Midnighters’, as they call themselves, must discover more about Jessica’s power in an attempt to defend the town against perilous creatures, ‘darklings’ and ‘slithers’ that live in the blue time. Jessica discovers more about herself during the time she spends in Bixby than any other time in her life. The characters also learn more about true friendship, trust, and Jessica discovers what it truly means to be a Midnighter.

We enjoyed reading ‘The Secret Hour’, as its story line was interesting, unusual and unique. There were a few unexpected twists, which added to the story and greatly influenced the effect of the book.

Scott Westerfeld uses impeccable descriptive language in ‘The Secret Hour’, which helps the scenes of the book really come to life in the imaginations of readers. The characters of the book are also well-developed and have distinctive personality traits.

The book is overall an enjoyable read and a very descriptive novel. It definitely kept us on edge whilst reading it. The book was certainly action-packed and well thought out, which appeals to many types of people. We would recommend this book to teens aged 12 – 18, and rate the book 3½ out of 5 stars as a group.

Lily P, Peter A, Jade T, Year 8

July 13

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

boy soldierFergus Watts. Supposed traitor to the SAS, but is he really guilty?

Do you like books that excite you and keep you guessing as to what will happen next? Then Boy Soldier is the book for you, an action-packed novel filled with mystery and suspense that will keep you questioning throughout the whole book. An ex-SAS hero Fergus Watts is captured because he is considered a traitor to the SAS and to his country. His grandson Danny, rejected from the army because of what his granddad did, is determined to find him and bring him to justice, but there is another person he must watch out for, a person is watching him, but who? Read Boy Soldier and find out!

I absolutely loved this book because of the fast-paced action and slow plot development all rolled in to one book. I love how Andy McNab and Robert Rigby have used real S.A.S code words and abbreviations to provide a military style setting to the book to bring the book to life a little bit more. I like how this book always kept me guessing and it only gave me the answers I needed at the end, but even then, I had to piece everything together and figure out what happened. I was glued to the book the whole way through and loved every moment of reading it because of the intense scenes and cliffhangers.

I would recommend this book for 12 – 17-year-old boys who like fast paced action books, and if you have read and liked The Hunger Games, Divergent or any other action fighting style books with thrills, twists and turns, then Boy Soldier is definitely the book that I recommend for you.

Joe S. and Nic P., Year 8

July 11

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C. Burke

Starfish sistersGeorgia, Ace, Micki and Kia are all passionate surfers and are good at what they do. Although have the same interests they are not particularly close to begin with. After being thrown together at surf camp, this group of girls deal with jealously, secrets and lies. Their lives are then filled with nothing more than drama. If you like juicy, action filled books, Starfish Sisters is the book for you!

Georgie loves surfing but over the past months she doesn’t have the same enthusiasm anymore. She’s a great surfer but over time the pressure of being great at something starts to get to her.

Ace is an excellent surfer and was thrilled to be selected into the elite surfing competition but that’s not what’s she focused on. Her main concern is her relationship with her boyfriend Tim. Kia is Georgie’s best friend and once the drama begins it hits her the hardest. These four girls are put together in a starfish cabin and form an uneasy friendship. This book is filled with drama and questions and is a great read. The main focus is about surfing but anyone could have easily connected with the book with any sport as it was written in a way that the targeted audience could relate to.

Chanelle G., Year 8

June 21

‘Water’ by Geoff Havel

waterA man that had no family saved a young girl, giving her a chance for a new life and raised her as his own child. Tully is this mysterious girl and this man is so called her ‘dad’. Her dad is overprotective and she wonders why. Tully’s dad doesn’t let her go near water and her life is as boring as water itself. As interesting as Tully is, she has a few secrets up her sleeve that she doesn’t even know about, though someone does. What happens next in this story? What do you think will happen?

Soon some action occur. A man invades her house. Tully makes a sudden movement and makes a run for it. Though this guy wasn’t taking this behaviour, he takes Tully to a place that is the middle of nowhere.

The main character in this book is Tully. Tully is a girl, though she isn’t really a girl. Tully’s personality is big though she always wants to know what’s going on. Tully also has a lot of restrictions due to her ‘dad’ and doesn’t really know much about herself. All she knows is what her father has told her so all she knows about her life and her personalty is what her father has made up.

My opinion on this book was that it was great. I really enjoyed this book and I would give this book four stars out of five. The book ‘Water’ was interesting and a story that you can’t take your eyes off because of all of the action. Kids who want to read books about action, drama, thrill and mystery will find this book enjoyable, the same as my thoughts. I would recommend this book for ten year olds and up.

Ella C., Year 8

June 21

‘Rat Catcher’ by Chris Ryan

Rat catcherDo you like a book that ignites and excites you? If so, I think that the book ‘Rat Catcher’ by Chris Ryan is the book for you. This book is set in South America in the city of Quito. Poverty is a big problem in this city and many kids are roaming on the streets. These kids have to deal with even worse problems because there is a very evil, bad man named Rat Catcher and this man thinks that these streets kids are worth nothing.   Team Alpha are a bunch of the most intelligent kids in the world who protect kids on the street from the Rat Catcher.

This book was thrilling and exiting because it made you sit on the edge of your seat. I got glued to the book when the kids were in danger because it was entertaining, such as when Paulo, one of the members of the Alpha team, goes undercover as a homeless child and she meets a girl named Eliza who get abducted and she then decides to go with her. This part of the novel was very exiting because the team has to stop the rat as well as save Paulo.

I really liked this book because it was full of action and thrills and if you like that you would definitely love this book. Chris Ryan does a great job in this book to keep the reader entertained. When more books are released I think that they will be very entertaining and fun to read.

By Nash A., Year 8

June 21

‘The forever whale’ By Sarah Lean

Forever WhaleSarah Lean is the author of “The forever whale”. She grew up in Wales, but now lives in Dorset with her husband, son and dog. Sarah has written all kinds of different books including “A dog called homeless”. “A dog called homeless” is her best-selling book. Sarah has won awards for this book like the Hazelgrove Book Award and the prestigious Schneider Family Middle School Book Award in the US.

“The forever whale” is a wonderful book. The main character is Hannah. Hannah is a young girl who lives near the water. When her grandma died, Hannah and her mum and dad moved in with her grandpa. Hannah didn’t get to meet her grandma, though she really wanted to. Hannah is named after her grandma.

“She is Hannah Jenkins and you’re Hannah Grey,” Grandpa says. “You are like her in many ways.”

Hannah and her grandpa go out on a beautiful brown boat with oars sometimes. When Hannah goes out with her grandpa he tells stories about his childhood. But grandpa hasn’t told Hannah the most important story of all. When grandpa forgets everything, Hannah has to work out by herself what is his most important memory. Can Hannah put together this amazing story that connects her childhood to her grandfather’s?

By Emma Hill, Year 8

June 20

‘Ship Breaker’ by Paulo Bacigalupi

Do you like dystopian novels?

Ship breakerDo you like intense action?

Do you like adventure?

If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then Ship Breaker is the book for you. In this dystopian novel the world is a cruel place. The rich are born to ride through the seas in massive ships, while the poor are left to break down ships and sell their findings. The two crews that operate on these ships are light crew and heavy crew. The heavy crew are the big, strong people that remove iron panels off the ships and pretty much anything too big and heavy for the light crew. The light crew are the smaller people who are usually young. The light crew search the inside of the ship to try to find things such as wire. But both crews are looking for one thing: oil.

In this world if you find oil, and a lot of it, say goodbye to ship breaking, and welcome to the life of the rich.

Nailer, the hero of our story, is a light crew worker breaking ships with his crew: Pima, Sloth, Moon Girl and Tick Tock. Nailer’s father, Richard Lopez, is an angry drunk who is abusive and deadbeat.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story had enough twists and awesome breakthroughs to keep anyone glued to this book. Paulo Bacigalupi wrote this book very well, with amazing descriptions. The characters were diverse and colourful, the scenes and places were described perfectly and the plot was structured very well.

I would recommend this book to young adults and teenagers who enjoy action packed, survival, dystopian style novels. This book is definitely a worth the read. I’d rate the book 5 out of 5 stars.

Kai B, Year 8

June 20

‘Mac Slater Cool Hunter: The Rules of Cool’ by Tristan Bancks

mac slater 1He soars through the sky like a bird and then all of a sudden “crack”, “bang” the wings start to malfunction. Mac is falling to his own certain death. This is one of the many things that happen in Mac Slater Cool Hunter. This book is good as it takes you on an adventure and it shows how anyone in life can face very challenging things and that you should never give up on something you truly want.

The story is about a boy named Mac Slater and he is an inventor who gets invited to a group of people that are called “Cool Hunter” and he has to choose to either ditch his friend and go into Cool Hunter or deny the invite and stay with his friend. Later on he faces many challenges that he has to overcome. Mac Slater is a very exciting book and if you liked books that take you on an adventure then this book is for you. If you have read other books such as Lockie Leonard and you liked them, then you should definitely get this book.

In the book Mac Slater the main character is Mac Slater and he is a 13 year old boy with scruffy hair. He has a friend who also likes to invent as well. During this book Mac Slater and his friend get invited to go to a club and he has to invent one of his greatest inventions of all time to get in.

I liked this book a lot because it was very intriguing and it took me on a great adventure and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure books or they are either 12-15 years of age as it is a bit childish but not that serious at times. This book is very good and I rate it 4/5 stars.

By Dallas B., Year 8

……

Let me ask you a question. Do you like FLYING bikes and good comedy? Well, look no further, because “Mac Slater Cool Hunter” is the book for you, with its flying bikes, amazing ideas and comedy that is appropriate for all ages. So why not read Tristan Bancks’ “MAC SLATER COOL HUNTER”? I guarantee that you won’t regret it.

This is one of the best books for the ages of 5 to 14 years old and older. This novel is powerful in ideas, imagination and a creative mind from the main characters Mac and Paul. Mac and Paul have an idea which involves a bike that can fly. A bike that can fly is their invention that they want to go viral. Mac and Paul have been working on their flying bike for weeks. When it is finally finished, they test out the crazy invention at a cliff face in a small town in Australia where there were a lot of people such as school friends and students and a girl that Mac liked. This was a tough crowd for Mac and Paul. They didn’t expect this type of crowd, so It was going to be tough for Mac and Paul to pull off this stunt.

This book is one of the best books I’ve read so far. It is the best book that shows that when you put your head to things you want to achieve anything is possible. This novel has one of the most inspiring characters if you enjoy fantasy and humour, this novel is appropriate for the ages of 5-14 years old. I would recommend you to read this book for your enjoyment. Trust me you won’t regret it. Mac Slater Cool Hunter.

Thomas F, Year 8

……

Have you ever wanted to invent a flying bike.?

Well, these kids have and they tested it by being normal kids and riding off a cliff face and almost killing themselves because they’re just normal kids. But one of the kids who was actually riding the bike after landing/crashing suddenly fell in love with one of the girls who came to watch the travesty. I’m sorry to say, though, that she’s one of those weird mean girls who will smile at bad things that have happened.

Honestly I think that this book is a 4 out of six stars because its a good book but it is not my style. I recommend this book to people who like the normal lifestyle kind of books. All in all that is only my opinion and I know that other people will like it. I hope that you boys and girls will like it because the writer has worked really hard on this book and many others so I hope you all like it.

Matthew C., Year 8

June 20

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

“With his sunglasses gone there was no denying the fact that he had no face. All he had was a skull for a head.”

skulduggerySkulduggery Pleasant is a fantasy/mystery tale set in the modern day where a half-Millenia old magical war is kept secret from the world. The story focuses on the adventures of Skulduggery Pleasant, a 400 year old undead magician who lives today as a detective, keeping his identity and skeletal body secret, and Stephanie Edgley, a teenage girl who has an absence of friends and believes her normal life is somewhat boring.

The story begins with the death of Gordon Edgley, Stephanie’s uncle, who has made his wealth as an author of best-selling books. At the reading of Gordon’s will, a mysterious man, who would be revealed as Skulduggery, arrives covering all parts of his body showing no signs of abnormality from the rest of the attendees. When Stephanie is left home alone, she encounters a dangerous and threatening man who, after a revolving argument, breaks into the house attempting to harm Stephanie. He is stopped by a fireball cast by Skulduggery. The scene develops into a brawl resulting in the reveal of Skulduggery’s face to Stephanie. After explaining the occurring events, Skulduggery exits the house, only to be stopped by Stephanie who then convinces him into letting her come with him on what will become their greatest adventure yet. The discovery of a villain plotting for world domination and a weapon of immense power will lead the pair on a thrilling and exhilarating quest for the greater good.

I enjoyed the book as I thoroughly enjoy the genre of book that this title portrays and how well the story is written. The way suspense builds through the book to the climax provides an exciting tale of a magical, secret world having a great effect on the world we live in today. I would recommend this book to adolescent people who are lovers of fantasy/mystical novels and who feel as if they can relate to one or more of the characters of the book as the story is also a moral lesson on finding your true self and showing bravery and ambition. I would rate this an 8.5/10

Deacon B., Year 8

……..

“Skulduggery Pleasant at your service.” This is a quote from the book Skulduggery Pleasant.

The main characters in the book are Skulduggery Pleasant and Stephanie Edgley. Skulduggery Pleasant is an undead immortal man, cursed for an immortal life of pain as a skeleton, however he does have magic to battle the evil in the world. Stephanie Edgley, also known as Valkyrie Cain, is a normal teenager in a normal life. After facing the death of her uncle, her world turns upside down as she is introduced to Skulduggery Pleasant after a man broke into her uncle’s house with her in it.

Skulduggery Pleasant is set in the modern day era, however there are wizards and witches secretly living a normal life. Stephanie Edgley, a normal teenager, claims her uncle’s house after his death, with her uncle’s permission. Whilst her parents were stuck in a storm, Stephanie stayed in her uncle’s house but was later on broken into by a deranged man, threatening to kill Stephanie. Skulduggery busted into the house saving Stephanie life by shooting fire balls and bullets at the man. Skulduggery later on revealed himself as a skeleton with magical powers. Skulduggery revealed that there was a secret war happening in the war with wizards against wizards, witches against witches. The story continues as Stephanie and Skulduggery battle against an evil sorcerer named Nefarian Serpine to stop him from releasing a weapon on the world.

I liked this book because it drives you into the book. It makes you lean into the book. It isn’t boring and it’s full of suspense and action. I would recommend this book to teenagers of ages 13 to 16 who like books with mystery, fantasy and action.

Dominick C., Year 8

June 20

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abrahams

DownRabbitHole“My all-time favourite. Astonishing!” says Stephen King.

Down the Rabbit Hole is a book about a murder that 13 year-old Ingrid is blamed for. The author Peter Abrahams has written many other books that are very popular for example Into the Dark. That was also a very good book.

The story is set in a city near a soccer stadium where people, including Ingrid, train. That’s why she gets blamed for the murder, because she was home alone and Katy got murdered by food poisoning. Ingrid was the only one there and they found her soccer shoes near the murder. The main character Ingrid is a girl who has just had her 13th birthday and plays soccer and really enjoys it. She lost her bag where the murder took place and so she was blamed for what happened.

This book is about somebody who gets murdered and the police can’t find out who murdered them. They have a couple of pieces of evidence leading them to think that the murderer was13 year-old Ingrid. She knew it wasn’t her because she was minding her own business, so she decided to solve the mystery on her own. The question is, does she find out who is the murderer?

I thought that this was an entertaining book because I am interested into criminal investigations, for example criminal minds, and when it comes to solving a mystery, that’s when I’m really interested because I like to solve mysteries and try and find out who did the crime. I also liked the way that Ingrid was solving the murder because she was blamed for it. She was not happy about that if that had been me I wouldn’t be too happy either. I would suggest people around the age of 12-14 to read this book because it’s not really for adults and it’s more for young teens but not too young either. It would suit people who like mysteries and investigations to do with crime.

To sum it all up, Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams is about a young girl who is blamed for a crime that she didn’t commit and so she solves the murder instead. If you are reading this I recommend that you read Down the Rabbit Hole as well as its sequel. I’m sure that you will enjoy it. Trust me, I did!

By Maddison D., Year 8

…….

Ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Ingrid definitely has, well at least her soccer boots have. Everyone in Echo Falls has a secret, and this is the story of Ingrid’s.

Ingrid is a 13 year old girl who has a love for acting and Sherlock Holmes. After ending up in Crazy Katie’s house after her soccer game she accidentally leaves her bright red soccer boots there, which finally puts her love for Sherlock Holmes to good use.

The owner of the soccer boots is alleged to be the person who murdered Crazy Katie. To avoid being a murder suspect, Ingrid does what Sherlock Holmes would have done and decides to investigate and solve the mystery herself and prove herself not guilty.

To top it all off, not only does she has to solve the mystery by herself but also she must learn the lead part of the play and put up with her evil Maths teacher, Mrs Groome.

Down the Rabbit Hole, by Peter Abrahams, is definitely full of suspense and officially one of my favourite books. It’s also Stephen King’s favourite. Stephen King quoted:

“My all time favourite. Astonishing.”

He also said it was so good he couldn’t put it down, which I completely agree with. Although I really enjoyed this book, I was a bit disappointed about the lack of Alice in Wonderland references. I think with the title, Down the Rabbit Hole, you would expect the storyline to be like Alice in Wonderland or at least have a few more references than just the school play.

I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 10-14 who loves a good mystery and books they can’t put down. In conclusion, I would rate this book 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery full of suspense.

By Madilyn O., Year 8

……..

Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets. Thirteen year-old Ingrid Levin Hill had a secret too; one that could land her in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. Ingrid was an average girl who loved acting, soccer and Sherlock Holmes mysteries until one day she misplaces her soccer boots which lands her in the middle of a real murder mystery.

Someone in the town, known as Crazy Katie, was murdered and because Ingrid left her soccer boots at Crazy Katie’s house, if anyone finds out that the red boots belong to her she could definitely become a suspect. To prove herself not guilty Ingrid resorts to solving the mystery herself whilst also keeping up with her average teenage life which includes school plays, hanging out with friends, homework, mean girls, parents, an older brother and her stubborn grandfather. Ingrid must also keep the fact that she is investigating Crazy Katie’s murder a secret from everyone she knows as well as the police, who happen to be closer to her than she would like them to be. Ingrid’s big investigation leads her all over Echo Falls and she does everything she can to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

Down The Rabbit Hole is a well written story with an intriguing plot line. I loved the suspense and mystery in this story and the fact that the heroine was just an ordinary girl. Although there are many things I enjoyed about the story there were also a few ends that I would have liked if they were made a bit clearer, for example what happened to the person who murdered Crazy Katie?

This book has has many great reviews including one from world famous author Stephen King, he said, “My all-time favourite. Astonishing.” He also quoted, “One walloping good suspense yarn…I couldn’t put it down.”  I agree completely with Stephen King’s rave reviews because this story was full of suspense all the way to the very last sentence. I recommend this book to people of all ages who love a good mystery but because of the main character’s age I believe people between the ages of 10-15 will be able to relate very closely to the main character’s point of view throughout the book. I will definitely add this book to my list of favourites because it it one that will not be easily forgotten.

Chelsea M., Year 8 

June 20

‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey

5th waveMy finger yanked back on the trigger, the rifle kicked against my shoulder hard, and the barrel bucked in my hand as I emptied the clip.

Meet Cassie. She is an ordinary high school girl; well that was before Earth was invaded by aliens. Cassie is a girl on a mission. The only thing keeping her alive is her will to find her brother.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a fast paced book that will keep you hooked right to the very end.

Things are no longer as they seem on Earth since the aliens arrived. They have wiped out 97% of the population and are disguising themselves as humans. Cassie has to do what she can to survive after her mother was wiped out by the sickening red death, a disease the aliens released to control the population of humans. She continues on her quest to find her brother, who was taken by the aliens, and tries to avenge her dad after he died fighting. Can Cassie save the Earth from the aliens before the human race ceases to exist?  Along the way Cassie is shot and is unable to move. Fortunately she is saved by a mysterious stranger. But can the stranger really be trusted? Evan Walker acts as if he is to be trusted, but Cassie begins to do some investigating and something about him just doesn’t add up.

I totally enjoyed this book because it really engaged me and I started to think about whether this thing could happen to us. Evan’s mysterious nature kept me guessing about the person he was.

The 5th wave is action packed and fast moving and is incredibly hard to put down.

I recommend this book to anyone from the age of 15 and up, as it does get a bit complicated throughout parts of the book and has some coarse language. Anyone who is interested in mysterious, action packed and adventurous novels will really enjoy this book. The 5th wave. I rate 8 out of 10 stars.

Riley S, Year 8

June 17

‘Loyal Creatures’ by Morris Gleitzeman

loyal creatures“The Turks had got Dad. They’d got Otton and Bosworth and Lesney.”

‘Loyal Creatures’, by Morris Gleitzman, is an exciting, action and adventure book about a 16 year old boy who goes to war in Egypt along with his father and their two horses.

The story is set in Australia where they depart from Sydney to go to war in Egypt and fight the Turkish. The two men will stay in a war camp in Egypt whilst waiting for the fighting to start.

Frank, the younger man in this story, was excited about the war and he wanted to fight in it. His father did not want to go to war with his son as he had already lost his wife and his son’s mother. He had made a promise to his wife that they would never go to war but their time had come to serve for their country. The two men embarked on a journey across seas and oceans with their two horses to help fight in the war. The men would find new friends along the journey and fight alongside them.

Frank and his father’s role in the army was to find water for all of the troops because Frank’s horse, Daisy, could sense where the water was underground. This continues until Frank’s father receives ‘the white feather’ and is sent to a different location, leaving Frank by himself with the other men who are much older than him. Frank does his job in the water department of the army until the sergeant allows him to fight.

Frank and all of the troops in his  area were very successful in their first days of fighting until Frank is informed that his father has been KIA ( Killed In Action). After Frank received the information, he was having second thoughts about fighting. This story was very enjoyable as it was very exciting and it was filled with lots of action-packed fighting scenes. This book would be very enjoyable for a person who likes action type books and also you don’t have to be an amazing reader to get the full story.

Jay T.H., Year 8

……

Loyal Creatures is a great book telling all ages about war. It may be a book that could strengthen people because if you’re a sensitive person this book would be great for you. It will make you not as afraid about the bad and will help you later in life because bad things may happen and you may have to be strong about it if you have lost a family member.

This book is about a man’s son wanting to go off into war and his father is saying otherwise not to go off into war, saying if you go there’s a small chance of coming back because you’re fighting for your peace and country. This is a major event in life and all people in the world should learn about World War I and World War II. These significant events tell a lot about how they lived in the olden days and tells what guns and houses and how work was done, as well as awesome stories that would be interesting for all ages between 9 to old as anything.

This book is about a significant event in life for all kids and parents. Teachers all over the world should know about this event because it involved every country. The book is a very good interesting book and you may learn new things because not all books talk about the same thing. You may learn new words and more interesting events in life that happened around 1900. The book is written by a very famous book writer as it says above the title of the book, so I say it must be a alright book for all people if it’s made by Morris Gleitzman.

Lee S., Year 8

June 17

‘Ship kings: The coming of the whirlpool’ by Andrew McGahan

The coming of the whirlpool“If you go to the sea, you will come to the attention of the ship kings. And if they find out who you are they will kill you”.

These words spark the beginning of a perilous journey to the sea. Dow Amber became a traitor to his family and town by rejecting the simple timber-cutting life that they have set out for him. Instead he went on a perilous journey simply because of his love of the sea.

This story, being a seafaring story, has vast amount of different locations in it, such as the town Dow grew up in and the sea. Dow Amber is a strange and unusual boy. After seeing the sea just once he then wanted to throw away his life at Yellowbank, the town he grew up in, to go and live near and on the sea. A big shock had awaited him at the winter council; a secret. It was a family secret that had haunted his mother’s family for  generations; a secret that changed all their lives forever.

Do you want to know what the secret is and how it affects the rest of the books, events and the characters? If so, then you had better read this book and you won’t regret it. This book is such a great read for those mystery, action and adventure type readers. It also helps if you like books about times before the modern age, especially when set in an imaginary world. This book is set in various locations, with suspenseful and exciting situations. This book is especially good for people 11-25 years of age. This book is better for males because the main character is male, making it easier for them to relate to and understands the some of the situations he goes through.

Jonathan D., Year 8

……

“If you go to sea, you will come to the attention of the Ship Kings. And if they discover who you are, they will kill you.”

This book is about a boy named Dow. He wants to be a sailor but his parents don’t want him to be a sailor but instead a wood worker. They convince him to be a wood worker but he betrays his father and becomes a sailor.

The book is set in the medieval age.

I liked it because it gave a lot of information when it came to the hard times and the confusing time. I also like it because it relates to me, when I wanted to go trick or treating my parents did not want me going so they convinced me to stay because we are going to have a good dinner and watch a movie.

I would recommend it to boys and/or girls in Year 8 and 9 who are interested in action, sailing and adventure.

Hunter C., Year 8.

June 17

‘World Shaker’ by Richard Harland

World ShakerHave you ever thought the world is unfair? Well our world is nothing compared to the world of the Juggernauts. Do you like a book about character development, action and adventure in a steampunk setting? Then World Shaker is the book for you!

Meet Colbert Porpentine, grandson of the leader of the Juggernaut known as “World Shaker”. He wakes up in the middle of the night to a noise outside his room and some guards inform him that a “Filthy” (primitive humans living at the bottom of the ship) has escaped to the upper decks. He then looks under his bed and surprise! Two eyes are staring back at him. The Filthy girl, Riff, refutes everything Col has ever known about the people at the bottom of the ship, that they can talk, make civilisations and most importantly, that they are just poor humans who had been exiled so they do not mix with the rich people. The main characters in this story are Col, the grandson of the leader of the ship and Riff, the Filthy girl who escapes to the upper decks.

I really enjoyed World Shaker despite its slow start due to the captivating writing and setting of the book, as well as the likeable characters who change a lot over the course of the story. I also really like the alternate timeline it was set in, with major countries creating movable cities and the smaller villages being crushed underneath because it created a sense luck inside me. I personally would hate it if I was stuck inside a city for the rest of my life with basically no way to leave safely. It wouldn’t be any better if I lived inside one of the villages as the juggernauts would pay no attention to our area and chances are I would be crushed. The character arcs in the story really helped me to understand the characters, from Col learning how to fight and basically becoming a Filthy himself, to Riff accepting that not all rich people are horrible and unkind. World Shaker ended with the story being tied up, but also leaving room for a sequel.

Overall, I recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in dystopian, steampunk books and enjoys reading about a lot of action and adventure. I would rate “World Shaker” by Richard Harland a 4 out of 5. Will. B., Year 8

……..

Picture a world where mechanical mountains ruled over land and sea, travelling at crazy speeds and also being a home for many wealthy families. This is the setting for the bestselling book ‘World shaker’. The story of the book follows Colbert, a teenage boy around 17, who is just about to be made the successor to the Supreme Commander of the juggernaut. But something goes terribly wrong…

‘World shaker’ is a story set in the Victorian era and the characters we meet live on a giant metal juggernaut that goes across land and ocean called ‘World shaker’. The only time that the juggernaut stops is to refuel every 18 months in ports around the world. The main characters in this story are Colbert Porpentine and Riff. These two characters are complete polar opposites of each other. Col is a prestigious young man living with his wealthy family in the upper floors of the ‘World shaker’ and Riff is a filthy that escaped captivity living on the lowest floor of the juggernaut down the food chute. Col was always taught that filthies were savages, didn’t know how to speak and they were not smart like the propers. These teachings were all wiped away when he finds that Riff is really smart and not a savage like he was told.

During the book Col is destined to be the successor to his grandfather and be Supreme Commander of the ‘World shaker’. He was informed of this at a family gathering in the Porpentine hall room. Some events during this book make this choice a very hard one for Col. Col’s family is an extremely wealthy family and their surname is Porpentine. Col has one older sister who does not like him one bit. She thinks that he is a spoiled brat who always gets his own way. Her name is Gillabeth, but to be fair she does have a point… Colbert has indeed led a very nurtured life. He does not know many things about the outside world nor does he have any real curiosity. He is told things about the filthies and menials that aren’t true to make them appear as objects for them to use. But the moment that he meets Riff, everything was about to change…

I really enjoyed ‘World shaker’ because it has many qualities about it that not many other books have. I like that kind of uniqueness to the book, as you would never expect those genres to go together but Richard Harland pulled it off extremely well. However, the start of the book was very slow and made me quite bored during the first few chapters but after that, things are happening left and right and all becomes very entertaining. But the reason I enjoyed it so much is because you really felt for the characters. You really wanted Col to make the right decision and you also want Riff to show him what filthies really are and how menials are ‘made’ and treated. I would recommend this book to people looking for something new, that hasn’t been done before and that are between the ages of 13-17 and most likely boys would enjoy this book but I’m sure there are many features of this book that girls would enjoy as well.

Ronan O. Year 8

June 16

‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson“Half Boy, Half God, All Hero. That’s Percy Jackson.”

Imagine you are the son or daughter of a Greek God. How adventurous would that be?  Percy Jackson is just about to find out just how adventurous it is.  Percy is the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Wow! Isn’t that a big name to live up to.

‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ is an adventure filled fantasy book. It was written by Rick Riordan and was published in 2005 in the USA by the Publisher Puffin. The novel begins in upstate New York where Percy attends boarding school. After that the novel is set in lots of places across America, Long Island where Camp Half-Blood is, the Underworld and Mount Olympus.

The main characters are Percy Jackson, his friends Annabeth and Grover. This interesting adventure novel has many deep, dark secrets to be revealed throughout the story and Percy’s best friend Grover has been there since the start.

Every year Percy moves school to escape danger. We won’t tell you what that danger is, you need to find out for yourself. But we can tell you that Percy’s mum has to tell him the biggest, deepest secret of all. His dad is Poseidon, the Sea God. Percy is a demi God.

This novel follows the adventures of Percy, Annabeth and Grover as they try to save Percy’s mum, find the Lightning Thief, return the lightning bolt to the Gods and maybe even meet his dad, Poseidon.

‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ is a great read as it is full of adventures, danger and action-filled events. There are many secrets to be revealed, so you have to keep on reading. The novel keeps your interest right to the end. This novel is suited for ages 8 – 18 years, both male and female.  Read this book if you love mysteries or fantasy novels.

Renae B, Year 8

……

‘There was a blinding flash, a jaw-rattling boom! and our car exploded.’

Percy Jackson is your average troubled, blue food loving twelve year old boy with one small quirk: he is a half-blood son of a god with monsters attacking him left and right. The Lightning thief follows Percy as he begins to discover the world of the Greek gods, centaurs and other mythical creatures. But early on in his stay at Camp Half-blood, a camp for half-bloods as the name implies, he and his half goat half man best friend Grover Underwood, as well as  fellow half-blood Annabeth Chase must set out on a quest to retrieve Zeus’s master lighting bolt.

I found The Lightning Thief to be a great read as it is full action and adventure. There is a wide variety of characters for everyone to relate to.  This book is great for boys and girls in their preteens and early teens. I loved every page of Percy Jackson: The Lightning thief as it was very well written and there was never a dull moment.

Gracie B, Year 8

June 14

‘Wave Warrior’ by Lesley Choyce

wave warriorImagine face planting into the bottom of a wave with your mouth open, gargling in salt water. Common sense is to go back up to the surface; that isn’t a good idea, at least not in this case.

“I surfaced just in time to open my eyes and see my airborne surfboard eclipsing the morning sun. And aimed straight for my head. Wham.”

“This book is about a boy named Ben who is determined to learn how to surf. In the choppy North Atlantic beaches of America, only the best are able to surf the tough waves. Ben’s first attempt is a complete disaster. Then he meets an old, experienced surfer, Ray, a surfing veteran from the heart of California. Ray promises to teach Ben how to become a wave warrior and how to respect the mighty ocean. As Ben becomes more comfortable on his board, riding the waves, he learns to face his fears and prove that he has what it takes to become a Wave Warrior.”

Ben is one of those people who doesn’t give up; who faces every challenge that he is confronted with. Ray is an old-timer who has been surfing all his life since he was a little surf grom. Ray is funny man who knows a lot about the incredible sport of surfing.

I liked the book Wave Warrior because it was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. The book made me want to read more. Wave Warrior is an adventure book with lots of tiny challenges throughout. I recommend the book Wave Warrior to the younger boy category around 12 years old. It is a good book for anyone who likes adventure books as well as kids who have a passion for the tough, exciting sport of surfing.

Hunter P., Year 8

June 14

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker“You’re never too young to die.”

Alex Rider is a strong obedient young spy. His fierce attitude shows that, as a young boy, life without challenge is no life at all. Jack is Alex’s babysitter in the story. After Alex’s dad passes away, Jack is all that Alex has anymore. She’s always there for Alex, although some of his ideas are not always the best, but throughout their friendship Jack helps Alex with anything he needs to become a young man.

Herod Sayle, “the bad guy” is eager to get revenge on schools in the UK. He had been bullied throughout his childhood. He is mysteriously rude to all people and will not tolerate any slight error. If you do mess up, you might find yourself not breathing. The story is set in London, England.

The movie is about Alex Rider when his uncle dies on a secret spy mission. Alex then has a new job as after his uncle dies he’s the only spy left so he was the one chosen to complete the mission his uncle failed to complete. He then was recruited to M16, a training camp, to train for his upcoming mission. He then sets off to Cornwall to shut down the computer system before Herod Sayle discovers his true identity.

I would recommend this book for young students in Year six to eight because it’s an exciting, thrilling adventure, which fits into this age category perfectly. Boy or girl, you will love reading this book. I liked this book because it was just so thrilling I wanted to just keep reading it because it got me so attached to the mystery and excitement of Alex Rider. Stormbreaker is an exciting book. Its sense of action and adventure tops it all off.

Cohen G., Year 8

June 14

‘Point Blanc’ by Anthony Horowitz

Point blancAlex Rider, teenage superspy, is back! One of the many famous books from Anthony Horowitz’s series of Alex Rider books is the novel ‘Point Blanc’.

The story is set out in the modern day and is based on the protagonist Alex Rider. At the beginning of the novel, you would think that Alex is just an average 14 year old boy who attends school, however Alex is secretly an undercover spy working for the agency MI6. In this book he’s assigned to a task where he is put in an academy high in the mountains with a false ID and disguised gadgets. When he attends Point Blanc Academy which is set in the French Alps, he must discover the truth about what the principal Dr Grief is really doing behind the doors.

From the very start of the novel, the story is captivating as you are put straight into the action with an assassin attempting to murder Michael J. Roscoe. From then on it always keeps you wanting to know what will happen next. The book is highly entertaining as the main character is only my age but is completing missions that to me seem impossible. The book really drew me in by the way Anthony Horowitz wrote. He described every setting and character very precisely which helped to easily depict an image in my head. The novel developed from scene to scene perfectly with thrills and suspense on every page to keep you on the edge of your seat. The book ended with many questions left in my head such as whether the real or fake Alex survived. This question made me want to read the rest of the novels in the Alex Rider series.

This book is recommended to young readers who are passionate about reading a book filled of adventure, thrills and a bit of mystery. Along with this, anyone who has read other novels in the Alex Rider series would most likely enjoy Point Blanc. I rate the book Point Blanc 3.5/5 stars.  Kyra V., Year 8.

——–

Meet Alex Rider. He seems to be a normal teenager but underneath he is an agent working for MI6. The story is set in the modern day and is based on the protagonist Alex Rider.  Alex is assigned a secret mission in the French alps at a school named Point Blanc.  While he is there, there are two deaths of billionaires whose children attend the school Point Blanc.  Alex must discover the truth about what the principal Dr Grief is really doing.

Alex is the main character of the story. He is a 14 year old boy who wants to live a normal life. Unfortunately, the MI6 doesn’t think that.  They want him to be a superspy.  Dr. Hugo Grief is the principal of Point Blanc. He is the antagonist during the novel and if his plan succeeds he will be the richest man alive and in turn the King of the world.

I enjoyed the story because the plot was very deep and interesting.  It kept me reading for hours and I was addicted.  The series of novels are all great reads according to other websites and reviews.  The way that Anthony Horowitz crafted the characters and plot kept my interest and I was never bored.  I really enjoyed the novel especially because the main character, Alex, was my age therefore relevant to my likings.  The ending was very different and has kept me thinking all this time after finishing the novel.

I would recommend book to teens and adults and anyone in between who are interested in adventure and thrilling books.  This book is great for most readers and I would rate this book a 3 out of 5.  Kai B., Year 8

June 14

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron-1a4o3ju“What can be wrong in a perfect world?” -Claudia, Incarceron.

Do you want to see how a ‘perfect’ world can be something totally different from what it seems?

This book is set in Incarceron, where there is a prison and an outside world. There are many different groups in the prison and everybody will do anything to survive even if that involves risking their own life or killing others. Meanwhile, outside of the prison, the warden is the person who rules. There are also royals who live in a palace.

There are two main characters in this story: Finn and Claudia. Finn lives his life in the prison with his friends and group. Claudia, the daughter of the warden, lives outside the prison, but she likes to do things that are more challenging especially when her father doesn’t want her to do those particular things. Where Claudia lives, she is stuck in the 17th century and she’s not free to do things that she wants.

Claudia and Finn have a crystal key which lets them communicate with each other. Finn wants to get out of Incarceron but it is a problem because the prison has many areas that contain corridors, cells, forests and more. Claudia is a help to Finn but many different events occur in Incarceron and things get tricky for the two of them.

This book is interesting because it is an original story in its structure. Some of the chapters change narrator from Finn to Claudia. This is good because it gives a different point of view from different areas, places and personal view. By reading the beginning of the book, you need to keep on reading to see what happens next. It makes you keep reading and reading until it gets to the most interesting part. There is lots of descriptive language which makes it easier to see a picture of the scenes in your head. Even though the story wasn’t interesting in the beginning, it got more interesting towards the end of the book. This book would be recommended for teens and young adults ages between 11 to 18 who enjoy an adventure, fantasy and sci-fi novel. The rating I would give Incarceron would be 3 out of 5 starts.

Jazmin. P, Year 8

……

‘Incarceron’ is an exiting young adult, fantasy, dystopian novel jam packed with mystery and adventure.

In the beginning the novel seemed slow yet filled with a lot of important information, and I found it difficult to enjoy it. This was until I continued reading and got captivated. Firstly I would like to say Catherine Fisher’s writing style is beautiful, in my opinion. It has elegance and shows an experience of the past within her writing.

‘Incarceron’ is about a futuristic prison and an artificial world. It follows two main protagonists, Claudia and Finn. Finn is a prisoner inside Incarceron. He has a tattoo of an eagle on his wrist. Claudia is a teenage girl living in the realm. Her father is the warden of Incarceron. She sneaks into his office and finds a key with a holographic eagle on it. This key has direct communication to the key inside Incarceron, which then allows Finn and Claudia to communicate and devise an escape plan for Finn.

Throughout the book I was enticed. It was an absolute page turner, however when I reached the end I just stared wide eyed and mouth opened. It was an incredible finish to an incredible book. This book had flare and personality. I’ve never read anything like it. It’s different, it’s original and the book itself is simply breathtaking. I loved how the characters are all so different and they all have unique personalities. The whole plot and concept of the book is magnificent.

I really loved this book and I would rate it 4.5 stars. The one thing stopping me from giving it at full 5 stars is that some of the twists in this book were quite predictable, however the plot itself made up for that. I would recommend this book to readers 14+.

Tuscany F., Year 8

……..

Incarceron is a story that takes you into the 18th century that is locked in the past.

“Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas… Imagine Incarceron.”

Incarceron is an amazing story about a world where time and technology have been forbidden even though their science in so advanced. This is a classic story of a utopia turned dystopia. When the prisons of the land became overcrowded, the King decided to make one gigantic prison that could easily house all the prisoners. To make a prison as large as the world would be perfect, as it would leave to prisoners no choice but to live in peace and harmony as everything anyone could ever need would be provided, he thought.

Finn is a boy who woke up one day inside the prison with no memory and no one to help him. He wandered the prison until he found a pack of thieves who became his cheating allies. Claudia was a girl raised in the care of the Warden of the prison. Raised in luxury and tutored by a Sapient, she grew defiant of her Father and wanted anything but what was forced upon her.

Incarceron is a story about how a girl named Claudia sneaks into her father’s study and steals a crystal key. Claudia is doomed to an arranged marriage and her only way out of it is to prove that Finn, a boy who lives in the prison, is in fact the long dead prince. Finn has always known he is not from the prison, always known he came from outside, but his only evidence of that are moments when he experiences dream-like hallucinations and the eagle print on his wrist. But when he finds a key that bears the same mark as the one on his wrist, he is more sure than ever. He sets off with his oath brother Keiro and a sapient by the name of Gildas to find the way out of the prison. With the crystal keys the two are able to communicate and work together to find the way out.

This was a great book because of the different spin on the future. It was a lot different to the sort of future story most are used to because of the laws that have been set out in this make-believe world. The story was intricate, detailed and there were many twists and turns in the plot. The only flaw was maybe the lack of animation in the characters. This was an amazing book.

I recommend this book to teens and above because of the complicated story line. Younger children will definitely have a hard time understanding what’s going on.

Daniel P., Year 8

June 13

‘Icefall’ by Matthew J. Kirby

Icefall“Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Princess Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors awaits news of her father’s victory at battle.”

This book creates a whole different world created by Matthew J. Kirby. The characters in the book faced many challenges, for example surviving off the food that was left. In the book there was a traitor amongst them and I couldn’t figure out who it was.

This book is a simple book maybe recommended for older primary schoolers to young high schoolers. When I say simple I don’t mean boring without an interesting plot, but it seems these days that many different books have magical and mysterious plots in these sort of books.

At the end of the book you’ll feel clueless and be like ‘Oh I See Now!!!!’ I rate this book 3 out of 4 because of its juvenile mystery.

Brooke M., Year 8

……..

Berserkers, skalds, princesses, princes and warriors all trapped in a frozen fortress. Solveig, the youngest daughter, saves the loyal members of her family. If you’re into this kind of scene, then Icefall is for you.

Facing a war with rival warlord Gunnlaug, the king sends his children Asa, Solveig, and Harald, to a remote fjord with a group of the king’s most trusted warriors. Solveig begins to realise how big of a mistake that was. Unsure of what she is worth, she deals with everybody else’s problems while facing the isolation with berserkers and along the way she discovers who she is. This is a well-written story about Vikings and the struggles they had to endure; the cold, harsh winters and what they’d do to survive.

Icefall is a well written book although it is very slow. I found Icefall not keeping up with my pace and energy of reading. The main character’s development was too slow with her depressive thoughts dragging her down. Honestly, it was well written and had a well thought out plot. The story began to flow quite nicely after the basic character developed. There isn’t a lot of romance, at least not with Solveig, but her relationships with the men in her life are the most interesting relationships in the entire book: Alric, the skald (a storyteller and keeper of legends) who helps Solveig find her calling; Raudi, the childhood friend with whom Solveig fumbles uncertainly toward possible romantic feelings later in life; and Hake…oh goodness, Hake. The leader of the fearsome berserker warriors, Hake’s relationship with Solveig was my favorite of the entire book.

Overall the book Icefall was enjoyable to read but had some flaws. A nice book to read on a rainy day. Out of 5, I would give Icefall a 3/5 rating due to the slow beginning. Great for teenage girls, from grade 4-7 who like a strong female protagonist. Other books that readers who are into books like these would be Coraline, The Golden Compass and A Wrinkle in Time. MacKenna F., Year 8.