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.

June 13

‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar

HolesHoles, holes, holes.

Digging holes is what they do all day in Camp Green Lake.

The novel ‘Holes’ is a great book written by Louis Sachar. It takes place in Camp Green Lake, which was once a swamp but now is a prison camp in the desert with no access to water. The main character Stanley has bad luck and so does all his family. This is how Stanley ended up in Camp Green Lake, because off his bad luck.

At Camp Green Lake all day every day the people there have to dig one hole every day. One day Stanley decides to run away and look for his friend Zero, who had already run away. Stanley is searching and searching and then he finds Zero but there was one problem and that was that they didn’t have food or water.

I like the book ‘Holes’ as it is an easy read and is interesting at the same time. I would recommend this story to young teenagers as it is quite a big book and it is suitable for their age.



Do you dig holes? That is what the children at Camp Green Lake do.

This book, Holes, is set at Camp Green Lake. Camp Green Lake is out in the desert where once a big massive lake was but it dried up over hundreds of years. Camp Green Lake is where naughty boys go to learn from their mistakes. They had to dig one hole in the lake bed every day.

Stanley Yelnats was sent to the camp for something he didn’t do. One day a shoe came flying out of the sky and hit him on the head. He picked it up and took it home. After that they found out and accused him of stealing. Stanley was at camp and was finding it quite hard digging holes. One day his friend ran away from camp and Stanley went after him. There were no walls around the camp because there was one hundred miles of dry hills and no water. Stanley found Zero (the boy who ran away) and went up the top of the mountain. Whilst up there they thought they knew where the treasure was so they sneaked back to camp and started digging. They found the treasure but before they could run away they got caught by the people working at the camp. The lawyers came and Stanley and Zero were free with the money.

I enjoyed this book because it was an easy read and interesting at the same time. I recommend this book to teenagers because it is too big for a young child and too childish for an adult.



“Why are they called yellow spotted lizards when what scares me is the red glowing eyes and the sharp threatening black teeth?”

Today I will be talking about a widely known book, Holes. I will be telling you about the book without spoiling it for you.

Holes is a book explaining about how a young man has been put in a jail camp for not even doing the crime. His name is Stanley, or to his fellow prisoners his name was Caveman. This jail camp was in the hot desert where the inmates have to dig a hole every day five feet deep and five feet wide. This was an extreme challenge, each and every prisoner getting up at four in the morning to start their hard work digging holes. They dug at four in the morning to prevent digging in the hottest part of the day, but it still got pretty hot. Stanley got advice from the court to go to the camp instead of a jail, but what’s so punishing about going to a camp for eighteen months? At that time Stanley’s family didn’t believe the harsh heat, and the large scale digging of holes. The story raises many questions, including why Stanley’s doing time, or if Stanley’s guilty or innocent. What do you think?

This book is great for all ages, but especially those from ages 13-15 as it is about a young teenage boy. The book shows a wide range of character strengths including, courage, bravery and perspective. I highly suggest that you read this book and see o who you like the most of the camp mates.

By Emma R., Year 8


Stanley was walking home from school on the last day of school when something fell out of the sky and hit him on the head. He was unaware that the object was a famous baseball player’s cleats. As he ran back to his house, he was stopped and arrested by the police for stealing the cleats. He was sentenced to 18 months at Camp Green Lake. Stanley’s dad is an inventor and he is trying to find the solution for food odour.

Holes is a very interesting book about a young man called Stanley who got put in a jail camp for not even doing the crime. It is really good for teenagers to read so it can teach them that all things don’t come to a good ending. Any little thing that you may think was funny could end up putting you in a situation like it put Stanley. Camp Green Lake was thought of as a school camp to Stanley and his family but when he got there he realised it was not like a school camp; it was like jail but for teenage boys to go to instead of being punished by putting them in jail. They are sent to Camp Green Lake to dig holes for a living, 5 feet deep and 5 feet wide, without any rest every day. Sometimes boys would purposely get bitten by a snake so they could have a day’s rest laying in the tent. Stanley was not guilty. He was completely innocent but they didn’t know that at this stage. He had to go and dig holes like all the other teenage boys had to in Camp Green Lake. This book is a great book to read for young boys or teenagers, especially for those that are up to mischief and need to learn that if they do bad things they do get punished by being put in jail and they cannot get out of everything in life as a teenager.

Grace, Year 8

June 10

‘Polar Boy’ by Sandy Fussell

polar boyThe title of the engaging and amazing novel that we’ve read as a class is cleverly named ‘Polar Boy’. ‘Polar Boy’ is a faction book as the story is incorporated with facts such as real places and real tribes of people. ‘Polar Boy’ is an action/adventure book as the tribe is on an action-packed  journey filled with twists and turns.

The author of ‘Polar Boy’ is Sandy Fussell and she has written many books such as the ‘Samurai Kids’ series and most recently ‘Sad the dog’. I haven’t read any of her other works. The illustrator of ‘Polar Boy’ is Wayne Harris and he has illustrated many books including ‘Going Home’, ‘A Bitter Company’ and ‘Edge of the World’. I honestly thought the book was oddly relatable because the main character, Iluak, was trying to earn respect and become a man by facing the polar bear. This can be associated with an adolescent’s journey.

The time period that the book was set in was the 14th century. The place or setting the novel was Baffin Island and Baffin Bay. The setting seems real and convincing as it isn’t a fictional place and it was a type of book where I was engaged in the story so I felt like I was actually in it. The characters also seem real as Eskimos are a real race of people. This may seem cliché but I feel that the main character Iluak stands out and appeals to me the most.

The novel is quite an engaging adventure because I enjoy action and adventure books. It is a convincing story and it sends a powerful message of unity by the Northmen and the tribe making peace with each other. The ending of the story was okay. I would have liked it if it was more action packed or had a plot twist. I personally didn’t like the author’s writing style in this particular book. The theme or overall message of the book is unity.

First of all the relevance of illustrations in a book such as a front cover are extremely important as it can do many things such as: if it has a visual representation of a character this can paint a mental picture of the character in the reader’s head. This also works for the setting and many other things. The front cover is simple but still amazing as sometimes simple is all something needs to be. The illustration on the front cover gives an identification of place and a indication of what is upcoming in the story but the illustration still doesn’t add to it.

I quite enjoyed ‘Polar Boy’ as it was engaging and action packed. My favourite part of the story was when Iluak’s grandma told him to put his ear to the ice even though his grandma lost half of her ear from being frozen. I would recommend ‘Polar Boy’ to children and teenagers from ages twelve to fourteen as I believe it would be more appealing and engaging to that age group. Overall I believe ‘Polar Boy’ is an amazing and engaging book and Sandy Fussell is a skilled author so I would rate the book a six out of ten.

Jack. O., Year 8


Living without challenge is no life at all?

It’s true. Life has many challenges. Some bad, some good, some we learn from and some we don’t. All part of life’s adventures.

In ‘Polar Boy’ by Sandy Fussell, Iluak needs to face his fears. Therefore it’s a huge challenge for him. He’s faced many along the way, like when he saw his first bear. Iluak found a bear in a cave. He was terrified and his feet were frozen to the snow when he saw it, only to realise it was a sick cub. The cub’s nose was crusted with dry mucus, its fur sodden in dirty patches and frozen saliva hangs from its partly open mouth. That’s when Iluak needed to face his fears and approach the bear and help him the best way he could.

Iluak’s other challenge was seal hunting which he went along to with his family and friends.

“Seal hunting became a near death experience for me. Still knowing the ice is thin I still try and catch the seal only thing is the ice cracks open and I go under like I was afraid of. It was so cold colder than I’ve ever been before. That’s when my body numbs and my clothes drag me down. I can feel water filling my nose. Nana knew this would happen. ‘Don’t be afraid’, she said.”

Therefore Iluak experienced a bad challenge but with a great outcome. The seal managed to push him out of the icy water and allowed him to live.

Another challenge in life is learning to get along with each other. But sometimes we find it difficult to get along with people we might not like. Tuaq was never one of lluak’s favourite people, in fact Iluak never got on with him. Tuaq was name calling his little sister and his friend, things Iluak didn’t like. Yet both were very much alike. Both were very competitive. They shared a bond throughout a whale hunting trip. Tuaq saved Iluak’s life just like the seal saved his.

“But Tuaq is still standing up front, arms raised, praying for us all. Horrified, I watch as a wave rises like a giant talon, to wrap itself around Tuaq’s waist and claw him into the ocean.”

Life throws many challenges our way but most challenges teach us things along the way. Whether they’re bad or good we need them to help us grow into adulthood.

James R., Year 8


In a land of snow and ice, Iluak and his village try to survive this weather and enjoy their time with friends and family. Iluak’s journey has been difficult and life-threatening at many times but he was never killed. This made him strive to become a stronger person for his journey into a man. ‘Polar boy’ is a novel by Sandy Fussell. She has written many other books, such as ‘Samurai boy’, but I haven’t read other books by Sandy Fussell.

Iluak’s journey is to overcome his fears and the ancient ones whisper to Nana and she tells Iluak that they talk about him and that a bear is waiting for him. This challenge for Iluak’s journey has only begun – the journey for him to finally meet this bear who is waiting for him. This journey might kill him but it’s worth it if he survives because life without a challenge isn’t a life worth living. Through the life-threatening challenges, if he survives them this will make him stronger in intelligence and in physical appearance for the next challenges that come his way.

Iluak doesn’t like his life on the line but his resilience gives him strength and he is not afraid to put his life on the life. These type of quality makes him a brave and strong person who is trying his best in his journey. He could fail but it is better than not trying at all.

Though his journey is tough, he endures because he wants to meet the bear that’s waiting for him. On his journey a strange man comes to his village and says that his village has all been murdered by Normans but Nana and Papa don’t trust him and his knives and doesn’t allow him to stay.

What I liked about this book is when Iluak fell into the water and started to give up because the Raven was trying to steal his soul but Nana was protecting Iluak. When he was losing hope and he felt like he had died a seal comes up and brings him up to the top of the ice. I didn’t like it whenever he was going to die. Someone or something always came to save him so the story became predictable whenever Iluak went into a battle.

 I didn’t really like this book because it soon became predictable and got boring after reading for a while. At some points the book was good to read but at others it was really boring and not enjoyable.

Matthew K-H., Year 8


In the novel ‘Polar Boy’, a young boy called Iluak faces challenges that seem impossible to succeed in by his age but he finds a way to solve his problems and overcomes his fears. That makes him stronger.

In the book, Iluak finds himself having to unite two tribes:, a ruthless, violent tribe called the Northmen, in our time called the Vikings, and his own tribe, a peaceful group living in a cold environment that have no clue how to fight with previous warriors with children and elderly. Iluak is frightened and wants to drop out of this massive task but in the end he manned up and decided to risk his life in order to save his tribe from a brutal war. Iluak finds his courage afterwards and decides to head with the Northmen to explore the world outside his freezing home. This shows that Iluak has grown stronger, as few people decide to venture out and leave everything andeveryone behind to start a new life.

 The book ‘Polar boy’ is set in the 14th century, going back into the history of when Vikings were roaming lands claiming it as their territory through war  in the cold regions where polar bears and mammoths were a dangerous thing for the polar tribes. In my opinion, out of all the characters, Iluak stands out the most. His bravery is greater than any other character in the book, having to face his fears and overcome them. He also saves a dying bear cub and unites two tribes to create peace. All the characters have their role and personality and create your pet peeves and character preferences.

In my opinion this story did not entertain me. My choice of book would’ve had more drama, violence and romance. I would recommend this book to younger audiences who aren’t into such a depth of detail for a book.

Ximena C., Year 8

June 9

‘All this Could End’ by Steph Bowe

All this could endBang, bang stay down everyone!’ is basically the story of Nina’s life.

After being born into a family of bank robbers, Nina doesn’t have a choice but to follow the tradition. Nina and her family are almost always on the run, moving to new locations every six months across the north-east coast of Australia. Her parents Sophia and Paul have an extremely different idea of a career to her, after dragging her to yet another temporary home.

While starting at a new school with her brother Tom, Nina connects with a boy, Spencer, in a way she never really has before. But before Nina knows it, she is on the run again and must leave Spencer behind.

When Spencer finds that his soulmate has mysteriously disappeared, right at the time of a family crisis, it can’t get much worst; that is if there isn’t a gun held to your head. And who must be holding this gun? Nina. This puts Nina in a very difficult situation, where she must pluck up the courage and ‘spill-the-beans’. Suddenly Nina and Spencer’s friendship has been taken to a whole another level. But what show-stopper situation will come next?

The storyline is captivating, leaving you in a state of ‘wanting more’. With the relatable emotions and feelings that Nina and Spencer express, the reader identifies with the characters in the text. The excitement and wild-ride adventure shows situations of bravery, love, trust and adventure. The way the author blends the perfect amount of suspense and plot twists, makes me want to read more.

I would recommend not just this novel, but also this author to a young audience, because Steph shows an understanding of the emotions and feelings a young audience may be experiencing.

Brodee T., Year 8

June 9

‘Trash’ by Andy Mulligan

trashMountainous piles of trash looming down at you, ready to fall at any second. This is the reality for the people of Bahala dumpsite. Living in ramshackle shacks made out of anything and everything they can find and picking through the rubbish and stupp to make a living. Andy Mulligan describes the living conditions in some parts of the world in this adventurous book ‘Trash’.

This story of adventure is set in the rubbish dumps of Bahala where the three main characters Rat, Raphael and Gardo, hiding their secrets, use each other’s strengths to scrummage through the city and piles of rubbish to unlock clues to the mystery of Jose Angelico. Living day by day, they are being hunted by police, protecting the treasure they found in the trash: the wallet full of clues. They decode the mystery with help from friends along the way, and end up fulfilling their true dreams.

This book is very exciting following the twists and turns of the plot filled with adventure and mystery. The story progresses with subtle suspense and leaves you wanting more. The plot is very engaging in the way Andy Mulligan describes the characters and scenes throughout the book. The description and clear imagery help me to see vivid scenes in my head as though I was there. I really liked this book because it links to real world problems, and gives me an insight into the way people live in these bad conditions.

I would recommend this book to 10-20 year olds as it is very thrilling and captivating and leaves me sitting on the edge of my seat wanting more. This book deals with real world problems in a thrilling dramatic way. I rate ‘Trash’ 4 out of 5 stars because it has a very good storyline packed with action and adventure.

Darby W, Year 8


“You’ll never know what you’ll find…”

Have you ever thought of living on less than the bare minimum? Trash is based on this one phrase. If you are looking for an excellent read with great and mysterious adventures Trash is the book for you. The beginning of the novel makes you jump straight into the life of three friends: Raphael, Gardo and Rat.

These three friends are dumpsite boys who don’t live the cleanest life. Raphael, being 14 years old, is the same age as his friend Gardo, whereas Rat is 10. Although they are kids, they don’t live the typical life of normal children.

These dumpsite friends are being hunted and tracked down by the local police department, living on less than the bare minimum and hiding the biggest and deepest secrets they have ever kept. They leave everything behind with the youngest, Rat, letting him guard the three boys’ dignity and lives all over one simple wallet of answers. How will the story end? Can the three boys end up living the lives they have always wanted and are never on the run?

I really enjoyed this book because of the storyline that Andy Mulligan has written in this book, and all the characters behind it. Trash is a very captivating story full of life long lessons, whilst the book takes the reader on several rollercoaster adventures through the dumpsite of Bahala and the lives of Raphael, Gardo and Rat.

I would recommend Trash to keen readers of ages 10-15 as it has extreme adventure and journeys.

Trash also leaves the readers wanting to know more and keen to read on. Trash is a great read and it has life long lessons through the the book.

Georgia C-G, Year 8


” My name is Raphael Fernández and I am a dumpsite boy.”

Three friends, Raphael, Gardo and Rat, live in Behala, a filthy dumpsite on mountain piles of never ending trash. Breathing filthy, unhealthy air, and eating rotten food, living life with the bare minimum trying to survive by finding anything valuable to keep them alive. They sit around all day and sort through the the sifting rubbish.

“…you’ll never know what you’ll find.” One day they find something, something extraordinary, but from that day forward they are hunted without any mercy. With danger chasing at their heels, the three boys are chased from Behala’s gutters to its wealthy avenues. But these boys can’t run forever. They are in need of a miracle.

The story Trash is set in a little town named Behala, where the main characters, Raphael Gardo and Rat ( Jun- jun ) live. Yet these boys don’t live in clean luxurious homes with everything their heart desires. These boys live in a dumpsite with their families, yet every day these boys are sifting through rubbish trying to find anything valuable to help them alive. Ever since Raphael Fernández found the leather bag with all the clues to uncover the mystery of Jośe Angelico, he and his friends are then being chased day by day by the police, trying to protect the leather bag, but these boys can’t run forever. They are in need of a miracle.

This book was very interesting and eye catching because of all the clues and the mysteries and the twisty plots that the main characters come up against. The process of the story flowed with the suspense and kept leaving me wanting to know more about the upcoming events. The events throughout the book eg. plots was very engaging how Andy Mulligan set the scene, and had me in the edge of my seat leaving me wanting to know what was going to happen next to the characters.

I believed that this book was very engaging, thrilling and adventurous. I would recommend this book for teenagers age 13-16 because it was very action packed and was full of adventure. I rate Trash 4 out of 5 stars.

Sophia H, Year 8


Just image you work and lived in a dump site from morning to night just because you don’t have enough money to stay anywhere else. This is the daily life in Belhala. Belhala is a huge junk yard where people of all ages live and work. But out of the thousands of people in Behala there are three kids who are about to set out on an adventure to solve a mystery.

The three main characters are Gardo, Raphael and Rat. Gardo and Raphael are just like brothers. Their bonds are strong between them.

The main plot of the story is that Gardo has found a bag that has caused a lot of commotion. The police are after the bag that contains an ID card, 11 hundred pesos (dollars), a map and a key. The police are giving the one person that finds the bag money. The police will torture Gardo for that bag. They will even kill for it, but what do they want with it? You will have to read the book to find out.

Trash is a wonderful book to read. It’s a mystery and a thriller that will make you want to keep reading. I would recommend that this book to 12-20 year olds.

Dominic B., Year 8

June 9

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

brotherband-1-the-outcastsWelcome to the brotherband. They’re outcasts, but with ingenuity and courage on their side they might just surprise everyone. If you like the sound of that and you like ‘Rangers Apprentice’, ‘Brotherband’ is the book for you.

To become a warrior in Skandia you must go through brotherband training. When Hal Mikellson finds himself the leader of a brotherband he must use his brains to help them win. He must overcome bullies, be challenged and tested to the limit, undergoing team rivalries, all so that these unwilling teenagers can come out with the title of the winning brotherband. He meets a mentor, Thorn, who teaches him how to overcome mental challenges and physical challenges. The main characters in this book are Hal, Stig, Thorn and Tursgud.

I enjoyed the book ‘Brotherband’ because it was relevant in ways to today’s society. With the theme of overcoming mental challenges, it had a lot of action in warrior fighting and combat. I was glued to it because even in the less action-packed parts of the book, the author John Flanagan still made it interesting and the descriptive language made it easier to imagine the setting and the appearance of the characters which made it much more enjoyable. The ending was easy to understand and linked well with the next book in the Brotherband series “The Invaders”

I recommend this book to young teens and and adults between 12 and 25 who are interested in warriors and combat and enjoy tactics and action. This book is a very satisfying read. I’d rate the book 4 out of 5.

Thomas H., Year 8

June 9

‘First Light’ by Rebecca Stead

First LightThea has never seen the sun. Her world lies deep within a glacier. Peter, a city boy, has arrived at Greenland with his parents. There he is troubled with strange visions that lead him to a crevice in the glacier. What happens when these people from two very different worlds meet? If you enjoy adventure and fantasy books then First Light is the book for you!

First Light is about Thea, a girl who lives deep within a glacier, and Peter, a boy who goes to Greenland with his parents while they study climate change. Thea has always wondered what it would be like above the ice, and her curiosity takes over her as she and her friend Mattias explore a tunnel, leading them to the unknown. Peter is no stranger to adventure, so one day he goes exploring in the snow and soon discovers a red light. The red light turns out to be a glowing ring, but before he can find out anything else about the ring, he becomes temporarily blinded. When he finally regains his vision, he knows his life will never be the same.

I really enjoyed the book First Light by Rebecca Stead because of its marvellous storyline about a boy and a girl from two very different worlds that eventually meet. This particular plot really intrigues me because it is like nothing I have ever read before, making it very unique. I was drawn to the way Stead wrote because it was very descriptive and made me picture the characters and scenes throughout the book. The descriptive language made it very easy for me to imagine the scenes in my head. The story progressed perfectly with just enough suspense and plot twists to keep my full attention. I just kept wanting to read more and more. I couldn’t put the book down!

I would recommend this book to girls and boys aged between 10 and 15 who enjoy adventure and fantasy books. This book is medium difficulty and suitable for both genders. This book is truly a great read. I would rate the novel First Light 3 out of 5 stars.

Ashley R., Year 8


First Light by Rebecca Stead

Thea has never seen the sun. Her whole entire life she has been living deep down within icy glaciers. Peter, a 12 year old boy, is about to leave New York City on a journey to assist his father in studying Greenland climate change.

Shortly before they leave for Greenland, Peter experiences irritating headaches that lead him to seeing scary visions. At the same time, Thea dreams of a path to the Earth’s surface. She hopes that one day Grace-Hope will return above the ice and she will find out the truth behind her mother’s death. Peter’s search for answers brings him even closer to Thea’s hidden home. Does this sound like a book that you would like to read? Then First Light is the book for you!

First Light by Rebecca Stead has to be one of the most gripping stories I have ever read. Stead has described the amazing adventures that Thea and Peter embark on during the novel in an intriguing way. Once I had picked the novel up I couldn’t put it back down. Each page led you deeper into the story unravelling the secrets of Grace-Hope. Each scene was detailed and made me feel as if I was there myself. Stead kept the excitement running through the entire book and made me want to read her other novels, which I did and they were just as amazing as First Light.

I do recommend this novel for anyone with a great imagination who enjoys adventure fantasy books. This novel is versatile for both genders and is a great read but not too difficult to understand either. I would rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars. Trust me, once you read the first line of the novel you won’t be able to put it down.

Holly. M // Year 8

June 9

‘Ruby Red’ by Linzi Glass

ruby redRuby Red is a book that introduces us to the world of racism and poverty in South Africa during the time of Apartheid. Ruby’s family own and operate an illegal art gallery whilst being monitored by undercover police. When Ruby’s mother, Annabel, holds a big art exhibition including black African art, everything starts getting out of hand.

Ruby Winters lives two lives. One as an ordinary school prefect and the other as an owner of an illegal art gallery that nurtures African artists with potential. Ruby falls for an African boy,  which then leads to separation from her friends and she begins to be harassed. My favourite character is Julian. He is an inspiring artist. He is physically and mentally strong, wise and caring. He demonstrates determination and hope.

The book Ruby Red really intrigued me because it is a story that demonstrates the hardship and adversity of the African race. Linzi Glass created an engaging storyline and interesting characters. Also, the book shows examples of racist people. A big issue in the book is that people label a group based on race. Not all Africans are thieves. Like Julian, some Africans are inspiring artists. I have learned that everybody should begin to understand each other and unite as one.

I believe anyone between the age of 12-30 would love this book. Young teens would be fascinated by the thrilling double life Ruby lives and adults would be fascinated by the truth of reality. I also loved the theme of respect. Ruby Winters displaying respect to every race makes me happy. I rate the book Ruby Red 4 out of 5 because it gave us insight on real life issues such as racism and poverty, yet it still maintained a brilliant plot that kept me thrilled the whole way. If you liked this book, I recommend another book written by Linzi Glass titled The Year The Gypsies Came.

Ryan T, Year 8

November 30

‘All I Ever Wanted’ by Vikki Wakefield

All I ever wanted“Should you keep moving forward, even if you don’t know where you’re going?”

Jemima, also known as Mim, knows what she wants, and where she wants to go: anywhere but home, that is. She’s stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won’t get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. Mim has set herself rules to live by, like: – I will finish school, – I will not take drugs etc. Does she sound like a goody two-shoes to you? Well she isn’t. Does she know everything? No she doesn’t. But she does know you don’t walk too close to the Tarrant house.

Mim lives in the ‘worst street in the worst suburb’, and what she wants in her life is the boy she has a crush on – Jordan. This novel really makes you see how the author paints a picture of the poorer Australian suburbs. She does so well in describing the scenes that it makes you seem as if you can actually feel the heat, sweat and mosquitoes of a summer blackout.

The main characters include Mim, a sixteen going on seventeen-year-old girl, who has set herself rules. The main one is ‘I will not turn out like my mother’. Tahnee is a girl who is best friends with Mim except they are nothing alike. Tahnee does whatever she wants whenever she wants and just doesn’t care. Lola is a girl who is 20 years old. She doesn’t have a very good reputation. She does anything for easy money and is squatting in a house. But Jemima supports her. Jordan is a guy who comes from a very well mannered and successful family, who Mim has a crush on.

Mim is sent a job by her mother to go and collect a special package and bring it home, but on her way home she runs into Jordan and he steals the package out of her hands and leaves. This was a very unusual thing for Jordan to do because he comes from a very well mannered and successful family. So now Mim had to think up a plan to get the package back and doing so she becomes friends with his sister to get into his house. This book is not just about romance, and the package, it is also about Mim and her place in the world, and about the people around her. Sometimes Mim breaks away from their expectations. In addition, her family and neighbours at first glance seem a disparate crew of drunks, criminals, child neglectors, sex workers and nasty old ladies, but they are not all who Mim thinks they are.

Then on her seventeenth birthday Mim wakes up and sees the package on her table, and it was not what she was expecting to be inside. It was her birthday present from her mother. What do you think was inside the package?

I really like this book, even though I’m not one to want to read, because it felt like it was real. The wording left you with images in your head, and it really grabs your attention making you want to keep reading. It was full of adventure, wonder and heart filled thrills which should really be your next book to read. I would recommend this book to be read by females, between the ages of 14-16.

Brooke B., Year 9

November 30

‘Ice Station’ by Matthew Reilly

ice-station“Now they were back…and they had brought the rest of the pack with them.”

This book is set in Antarctica. The main character is Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield, a US marine who ventures off into dangerous places with mysterious treasures, but in this book, he ventures off to his Antarctic station. Together with his fellow marines, he finds a mysterious metal object deep in the Antarctic Ocean. Schofield’s US marine crew have set up a station in Antarctica, sending a pair of divers to go down to the diving bell. It all goes wrong when the operator finds that the pair aren’t responding to their transmissions.

This book was a really great read, with plenty of action and mystery. My favourite part was right at the beginning, when the divers have been down for more than four hours with their oxygen tanks having only a wisp of oxygen left. I was so surprised that there was so much action already. I would recommend this book to all of the young men out there who are looking for an interesting read, with plenty of action, along with mystery. The approximate age group for this book would be 14+, because there are a few swear words in the book and I personally don’t want anyone below the age of 14 reading this book. –

Angus W., Yr 9.

November 27

‘Legend’ by Marie Lu

legend_coverSet in the future when plague spreads the land, war is ongoing between the republic and colonies and the government is corrupt, an unlikely story occurs.

Day is a most wanted criminal, raised in the poor suburbs. His mother thinks he is dead, nonetheless he does all he can to protect his family. But when his youngest brother, Eden, falls ill with the plague, Day has to do whatever he can to raise enough money to buy expensive plague cures.

June is the highest ranking in her class scoring the only perfect score on the trial (test). Her beloved brother, Metias, who is the captain of the republic’s army, raises her. When Metias dies, all the evidence points to Day. June sets out to avenge her brother’s death. When June and Day meet by chance, they both end up falling for each other and once June discovers the truth about the government and what really happened to her brother and parents, June risks everything to save Day.

This novel is one of an exciting trilogy. Legend is a book that’s impossible to put down, incorporating romance, adventure and lots of twists. The book is perfectly written to suit teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16.

Madison, Year 9


Day is the most wanted criminal, providing for his family on the streets; June is a student at the university, training to become an agent for the Republic. Day murdered June’s brother and she has sworn to avenge his death.

Set in the future, two colonies are at war: the Patriots and the Republic. This book is mainly set in the Republic of America, where a fatal plague is spreading throughout the communities.

June Iparis is an intelligent young girl who doesn’t follow the rules. She is most famous for her perfect trial (test) score, which no one has ever achieved. Her older brother Metias, who is a military officer for the Republic, raised her as her parents died when she was young. June and Metias have an unbreakable bond, and if anything were to happen to either of them, they wouldn’t be able to live without each other. June is the smartest person in the entire republic, and shows her skills when she is appointed to a new job: going undercover for the Republic to locate the Republic’s most wanted criminal.

Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. At the age of fifteen he steals and manipulates people to provide for his family who live in the slums of the Republic. Day has two brothers: one older – John, and one younger – Eden, who has been diagnosed with the fatal plague that has been spreading among the slums of the Republic. The plague has a cure, with a cost of wealth, something that Day and his family do not have. The only way to save Eden is by stealing a vial of the cure from the guarded science labs in the hospital.

Metias is at the hospital on one fatal night guarding the cure, but Day manages to convince other guard to let him into the labs. When Day steals the vial of medicine, he ends up on the streets being chased by Metias. When Metias pulls out his gun to shoot Day, he throws a knife at Metias’s shoulder that should have only injured him, but ends up killing him. Day manages to escape, but June has sworn to avenge Metias’ death, and was given the task to hunt down and kill Day.

This book is amazing and it really captures your attention and makes you not want to put the book down. It is filled with plot twists and it is the ultimate game of cat and mouse. This book captivates the audience with a perfect balance of action, adventure, mystery and a little bit of romance. I would recommend this book for teenagers of both genders between 12 and 16. If you liked the Hunger Games Trilogy, then you will love this epic book.

Sienna K., Year 9


“Brave thoughts, but am I ready to follow through on them?”

In the future country we now know as The United States of America, government has divided the population into two groups according to their wealth. People’s statuses define who they are in society and where they stand. Fifteen-year-old June Iparis, born into one of the richest sectors in the country, is known as the first ever Republic Military Prodigy. They worship her and her abilities even though her attitude can get in the way of the goal they would like to reach. They would never risk losing such a talented being, especially in their society. She lives with her older brother Metias and can sometimes push his patience as he constantly finds himself being pulled from his work to save her from troubles. But on the day of her brother’s murder, June finds herself looking for vengeance against the city’s most wanted criminal – Day.

Day was born into the poorest sector. He lives for his family and if anything gets between them, he goes so far as to risk his life for them. He does not live at home and instead provides for them at a distance. His unlawful status was achieved by many different crimes, none of which included murder, until the night of an attempted hospital break in.

June is put in charge of her brother’s murder investigation due to her hunger for justice against the killer, who is suspected to be Day. She is so determined to find Day that when she does, she is forced to rethink what she wants compared to what she needs.

The story progression in this book was very intriguing and grabbed your attention at every turn of the page. It had a unique feature and that was that it was written from the perspectives of both of the main characters, June and Day. This really gave the book more facts and details compared to other novels. The dual points of view also mean that you don’t have to necessarily assume what happened between the other characters or even what they were thinking. The transitions between the two characters were very smooth. When switching narrators, the story either repeated the event from another totally different perspective or it carried on from where it had left off. There was never a part where it jumped to another different scene. Overall the book was amazing and filled with high suspense, energy and even some romance.

Other book series that are very close to this trilogy are the ‘Hunger Games Trilogy’ and the ‘Divergent’ series. If you found you liked these two very much then I would highly advise you to read Legend, along with Prodigy and Champion. These are the other novels in the series, and both continue the story very well.

Jade J., Year 9

November 26

‘The Young Elites’ by Marie Lu

17984141Malfettos are survivors of the plague known as the blood fever, cast aside by everyone, even their loved ones, hunted down by inquisitors, all because they are marked, but some of these malfettos have manifested powers. They are called the young Elites.

The Young Elites is set in a medieval fantasy world at a time after a tragic plague has struck the land and follows one of the survivors named Adelina Amouteru on her journey. Adelina grew up with an abusive father a mother and a little sister, Violetta, in a wealthy home. When she was young, her mum, her sister and she were all infected with the blood fever. Only she and her sister survived costing Adelina an eye. Because her little sister and she were marked, her father’s business suffered, which would lead to her father constantly hurting and teasing her.

The story starts off showing Adelina eavesdropping on her father having a conversation, were he bargains her off to a man. This was the last straw for her. She ran off starting the adventure that is The Young Elites. Without spoiling too much of the story, Adelina is captured by the Inquisitors and the leader of the Young Elites saves her life. He reveals himself to be the son of the king, Enzo, who was banished from the kingdom for being a malfetto. He reveals to her his plans to overthrow the new king who has ruined the kingdom. From this point Adelina is trained by the Young Elites to use her powers of creating illusions as part of Enzo’s master plan.

The story of The Young Elites was different and more entertaining than my usual reads, and although it is set in a fantasy world, the characters’ interactions and emotions were very grounded. Everything they did had an affect on the main plot. The main character also made this story very interesting. Instead of having a cliché protagonist they have a realistic and dark hero with a tragic past. I would recommend this book to people who like good character interaction, a little edginess from their books, fantasy and action.

Gil T., Year 9

November 26

‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship breakerWelcome to a world where oil is scarce, but loyalty is scarcer. Nailer lives on Bright Sands Beach in America and earns a living or quota by stripping copper from old rusty ships. He lives with his dad who is always sliding high and killing people.

Nailer comes close to death after being involved in an accident whilst stripping copper, after his co-worker betrays him and leaves him to die. Nailer is then faced with a massive decision that could change his life forever: go back to normal life or hit a ‘lucky strike’ and meet the most beautiful and wealthy girl ever, after everything he has known changes in the blink of an eye. But his dad has already found out about this and is coming to take it for his own and Nailer must get out before his dad finds out. He chooses to flee his home and enter a dangerous war between swanks. Nailer begins hunting for what he thinks is the right thing to do but at the same time he is being hunted. He then finds himself boarding a sinking clipper and having to fight for his life.

Personally I don’t do much reading anymore and when I was told to read the book Ship Breaker I was quite surprised to find myself reading it in my own time because of how well it kept me interested. There is a lot going on and even I felt a bit scared at times because of how well it was written. I highly recommend this book for people who like a bit of thrill, gore, suspense and action. This book is good for people in their young teens. It is a reasonably short book and none of the scenes are slow and boring; they’re full of action and depth. Also if you don’t mind a bit of creativity the novel will suit you, because there are a few cool characters.

Jake S, Year 9


November 25

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

I AM NUMBER FOURThree are dead. Six remain. John Smith is number four, therefore he will be the next to be hunted down by the vicious Mogadorians.

The story is set in Ohio, one of the many places John has lived with his guardian Henri. Since John and Henri are always on the run hiding from the Mogadorians, they need to change identities and live in completely different states or cities.

John is also known on Lorien as a Garde, which means he develops powers which can help him defeat the Mogadorians but it’s taking time for him to get them. He isn’t meant to stay attached to people but that was until he got himself a girlfriend.

Henri is John’s Cepan (guardian). He stays with John for the rest of his life helping him control his powers and keeping him out of trouble and harm.

Sarah is John’s new girlfriend from the rural town John now lives in. She is the daughter of the real-estate agent that sold John and Henri their new house. Sarah also loves photography.

Sam is obsessed with aliens. This was because of his dad also liking them but then disappearing without a trace. Sam is bullied at school and is lonely until he becomes John’s best friend.

Mark is the school bully and Sarah’s ex-boyfriend. He loves football and his two dogs. He hates John for liking Sarah because even though they broke up he still wants to be with her.

There were nine Lorien kids. Three are dead and John Smith is number four. There is a charm where the alien children must die in a certain number sequence. John has been training so that he can fight the Mogadorians with his new found legacies (powers) in order to save their planet and go home. John wants to learn everything about his past, about when his planet was invaded and his parents died, but everything comes and goes in bits and pieces from dreams and when he’s training to get his legacies (powers), John was told not to get too attached to places or people because he needs to be able to leave at any moment but instead he gets a girlfriend, a best friend and a very strange dog.

There is romance, suspense and drama to enjoy in this great book therefore I would recommend this story for boys but mainly girls in their teen years because the book is long and has violence and science fiction themes.

Lachlan P. Year 9


Number Four isn’t from here. He’s a Garde from a planet called Lorien, a planet that was destroyed by a wicked alien race called the Mogdorians, who ruined their own planet through their ignorance and lack of care. Nine children and nine guardians escaped the planet during the destruction, Number Four being one of them, in the hope that they will eventually be able to return to their planet and fight the Mogdorians.

I must admit that normally I don’t read alien-themed books. However, I Am Number Four had me hooked from the blurb, which is really rather impressive, as I tend not to like judging books by their covers. What I really loved, though, was the alien races and what we learnt about them. The Mogdorians were horrible, obviously, but the Loriens were awesome: from the way they cared for their planet and all on it, to the way they love – one partner forever, one true soul mate. Amazing world building!

I saw some of the twists coming, but there were lots I couldn’t predict. If I’d had the time, I would have been more than happy to just sit and devour the three-hundred-and-sixty-odd paged book all in one go. I think this is a must-read for anyone who loves to be hooked from the word go, even if you aren’t necessarily a sci-fi fan, like myself. The movie was amazing and really lived up to the novel, if you ask me. I am hoping more than anything that The Power of Six will be made into a film too, because it will be even better!

Patrick C., Year 9


Are you bored and want a book that you just can’t get enough of? Something with adventure, romance and action? I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, (the pseudonym  of James Frey and Jobie Hughes), is the right book for you!

This novel for teens draws readers into a high-paced adventure story, written in first person by a literally ‘out of this world’ boy, Number Four or John, and his guardian Henri who, with eighteen others, has escaped their home planet after it was devastated by another alien race, the Mongadorians , and escaped to earth. However the Mongadorians followed, but luckily nine of the children have been blessed with a charm where they can only die in order (1,2,3 etc.) which is foretold by the scars placed on their ankles. As Number Four has now turned sixteen, he has been given a new and third scar, meaning that he is next to die.

Personally, when I was reading this book, I just couldn’t stop, as much of this language was suited to my taste. The suspense and thrilling action made me sit on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this novel to an audience of 12 to16-year-olds of both genders as the plot would be too advanced for young children to understand., and too simple for adults. However, it is perfect for teens, as it engages us with the characters and story.

So, for many teens like myself, this is a ‘must read’ novel, especially for those who enjoy adventure and action, so I would give this book a rating of 4¾ out of 5 stars.

Kim, Year 9

November 25

‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls’ by Cassandra Clare

City of lost souls“Pain made you strong. Loss made you powerful.”

This direct quote from The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls shows the drama and intensity that this book illustrates throughout. This story is set in the fictional world full of warlocks, demons, werewolves, angels and shadow hunters.

Teenager Clary Fray lives with her mother Jocelyn and her new husband Luke Garroway. Both Clary and Jocelyn are shadow hunters whereas Luke is a known alpha in the nearby werewolf pack. Other shadow hunters include Jace Herondale, who Clary is currently in love with, Alec and Isabelle Lightwood and the Lightwood parents Marsye and Robert as well as Simon, a newly turned vampire who has been Clary’s best friend for her whole life and is presently dating Isabelle Lightwood. Magnus Bane, the high warlock of Brooklyn is also a main character in the series. He is currently dating Alec Lightwood, meanwhile helping the others when they are in need of his abilities. Lastly, newly introduced character Sebastian Morgenstern is Clary’s half brother, being mischievous and evil. Clary soon starts to hate and despise him.

In this book, Clary tries to find Jace after he had suddenly gone missing one night. After learning that Sebastian was the one who had taken Jace and that they are bound together (meaning that whatever may happen to Sebastian would happen to Jace), Simon, Isabelle and Alec set out to try and find a way to separate the two. Meanwhile, Clary finds Jace and tries to convince him to leave Sebastian using his own free will.

I would highly recommend this book to the teenage generation of readers as it is a book full of action, adventure and love and is an exceedingly easy read. Personally this is one of my favourite books and is extremely engaging to read in a short amount of time.

Kirah W., Year 9

November 25

Coming of the Whirlpool – Ship Kings 1 – by Andrew McGahan

The coming of the whirlpool“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!”

Intrigued by the sea and his desire to set sail, Dow Amber is about to face the toughest time of his life. Up in the high country in New Island we meet the woodcutters. Every autumn they travel up to the mountains, to cut down wood for their village. In this story we meet Dow Amber, an intriguing teenager who has lived his early years only knowing the high country. Like his dad, Dow has been brought up to a life of logging. However, when Dow’s dad shows him the magnificent ocean, he instantly becomes attached. He travels down to the bay known as the Claw where he hopes to learn the ropes of travelling the sea. However, he finds people who do not want to sail out, as they have been cursed by a whirlpool that haunts the bay.

The Rulers of the world, the Ship Kings, arrive at the shore. Dow instantly becomes intrigued with them, especially with a girl who lives on the ship. Does Dow’s life lie with the Ship Kings or will he face death with the mysterious whirlpool? Some fellow characters that are included in this story are Captain Chloe, Nathaniel and Boiler Swan the innkeeper.

I enjoyed this book because I was instantly engaged by the story. I can relate well to the book as the main character is a teenage boy. It set an interesting picture in my head of the setting and the events that occurred. The language that is included makes it a better read. The ending made me want to instantly pick up the sequel.

I recommend this book for teenagers and young adults who are interested in a thrilling sea adventure. This book would mostly appeal more for boys, however some girls who also love adventure might also enjoy this story. This story is an amazing read. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

John K, Year 9.

November 25

‘Last Chance’ by Sarah Dessen

Last chanceShe is the girl who didn’t fit in and has to spend a summer in a town in the middle of nowhere with a weird aunty she has only met once. Struggling with body image Colie is thrown into the deep end of growing up with a distant, famous mother. Can she make her life her own?

The story is set in the town of Colby, a small town where everyone knows everyone and at the centre is the Last Chance Diner.

Nicole, or Colie as everyone knows her, is a 14-year-old fitness fanatic because her mum is the famous Kiki Sparks, aerobics extraordinaire. Colie has to spend the summer in Colby with her Aunt Mira, an eclectic card writer who lives by herself with her cat Norman. Mira also lives with a renter called Norman, an artist with dad problems. While in Colby, Colie befriends the waitresses of the Last Chance, Isabel and Morgan. Isabel is an opinionated free spirit and Morgan is engaged to baseball player Mark and always does everything right.

The story starts by Colie taking the train to Colby and saying goodbye to her mum at the train station. During the summer Colie gets a job at the Last Chance and experiences things she never had in regard to growing up, meeting guys and becoming comfortable in her own skin. She helps her friends go through some very rough times bringing them closer together and creating a summer they will never forget.

I liked this book because it has a relatable story line to many girls that would read the book in becoming self aware, making friends and dealing with bullies. It expresses that when you are feeling down you should talk to someone who is close to you because they may have had to deal with the same problem before and together you can get through it.

I would recommend this book to girls from the age of 10 as many at this age will be coming into contact with the struggles described in the book at this age.

Charlotte TH, Year 9


This story is about an attitude-filled teenage girl named Colie, whose mum becomes famous after releasing a fitness programme. She and Colie lose a lot of weight from what they call the ‘fat years’ where they travelled from place to place trying to survive with little money. Colie is not excited when she finds out she has to move to a new town for the summer and stay with her strange Aunt, whilst her mum is having fun on her world tour. Colie makes friends for the first time in her life and transforms as a person, with some complicated romance and mean girls along the way.

I liked this book as it was interesting and got you hooked to find out what exciting things Colie will do next. I would recommend this book to teenage girls around the age of about 13-16.

Claire year 9

November 24

‘No Safe Place’ by Deborah Ellis

No safe placeThe novel titled “No Safe Place” is about a teenager named Abdul. He grew up in a country filled with war. At a young age Abdul lost both of his parents in war in his home country of Iraq. As Abdul attempts to travel to a new country he meets new friends along the way. He also meets people that are not so good. His goal is to get to England. As he travels to England he goes through a lot of difficult situations, such as trying to keep an ill child alive as his uncle attempted to kill him.

This story has messages that are relatable to the real world, such as the struggle of leaving war torn countries to be able to start a new life in a country that doesn’t have such issues. The story is also relatable to people that are in their teen years, because it shows people with characteristics such as having bravery and also having the courage to lead others to a safer place. These characteristics are important and appealing to people in their teenage years because as they grow older they might be called upon to be a school leader.

I would recommend this book to people who are teenagers or people who are in their early twenties because this book contains helpful insights to life and teaches these people about important characteristics that might come into play later in their lives. I would rate this book a 3/5. It was not a book that I personally enjoyed, however you may enjoy the book yourself so try it out for yourself.

Harrison H, Year 9


No Safe Place is a book written by Deborah Ellis. A 15-year-old boy Abdul goes on a long and dangerous journey to England in hope of a new place where he hopes to find a job and live. However he must take many risks in the process.

Does this sound like the kind of book you love to read? If you like action and adventure then this is the book for you.

Abdul is from a small war-torn town near Baghdad. If he can get to England things will change for him. He sets out on a smuggler’s boat in hope of reaching a nice new city of Liverpool where he can then restart his life.

On his way to England Abdul meets new people at first who he does not trust or like. However gets stuck at sea with them so he has to work and trust them in order to succeed.

Abdul is a 15-year-old boy who is confident and has a lot of hope. Abdul has very little trust in people and takes a lot of risks. Cheslav is a 16-year-old Russian boy and is the more heroic leader kind of guy. He too is in hope of reaching England to restart over. Rosalia is a 16-year-old girl. She is the wisest one out of them all. She does not trust or care about any of the others. Jonah is an 8-year-old boy. He is the youngest. He is the smuggler’s nephew, who is afraid and uncertain about things.

I liked this book so much because it ticks all the boxes. I loved the plot of the story and how interesting it all was and how it never bored me. I recommend this book for both teenager and adults and anyone who enjoys an adventurous story.

Michael. B   Year 9


Have you ever felt stranded and isolated? How would you cope? This is the story of Abdul, a young man given a task: to survive. Deborah Ellis perfectly describes each detail of this captivating novel. She emphases on the small but intense question… “What is it like to be a refugee?”

The events that occur within this novel are certainly shape your outlook towards the character and it certainly creates a unique bond between you and the numerous main characters that are fighting for a chance for survival.

The situations he is placed in by the author immerse you in the action and make you feel as if you are within the same situation as the main characters. Near the beginning of the narrative the story starts to give a moral to the story. Through controversy comes friendship.

The book in itself is a very easy read, aimed at ages 12-16 plus. It uses basic and easily understandable vocabulary, and describes scenes in a very complex but easy manner by the addition of some bigger words. In addition to the creative narrative writing the way the story is interpreted through the reader was clearly a key focus to the author so that a sense of immersion could be established.

Overall the story is definitely worth a read. It has a great story that will instantly draw you into the narrative and it is also a relatable read for most ages. In my opinion the book does drag on a bit but right towards the end of the novel the story is resolved and it turns out that through all of the hardship and work by the main characters, and all the stress, the characters finally pull through all the controversy and all of their work finally pays off.

Hunter S: Year 9


Have you ever wanted to know what type of hardship and struggle a refugee goes through to get to a foreign country? Have you ever wondered how much one person can lose in a lifetime? No Safe Place, a short novel by Deborah Ellis published in 2011, illustrated this superbly. This novel has taken me on an emotional rollercoaster causing me to never want to put it down.

This is the life story of the true events of Abdul, Rosalia, Cheslav and Jonah, all originating from completely different backgrounds who converge together as refugees on a boat bound for England. ­­­­But in the end it becomes a lot more than just that. The characters go on a journey of a lifetime together.

This book has all of the intense challenges that life can throw at it. These events entice the reader to create a bond with these real people, in real life situations. Ellis has such a simple and easy vocabulary, her books are appealing to teenage readers, but this ability doesn’t lessen the story or the mental images that she can create in the environment of an immigrant. An example of this is how she describes a brutal storm.

This is a survival story with adventure and struggle, following the life of four teenagers who have gone through it all to get to their ‘promised land’.

I would recommend this book to lovers of The Hunger Games series as it has many similarities and there isn’t too much genre difference. The link between these two books is through the survival aspect of the story and how they have to overcome insurmountable odds to survive.

In a supposedly harmonious world that we know, this book demonstrates that not everyone is living such a peaceful life and that elsewhere people experience extreme hardships and struggle to survive on a daily basis. The way that Deborah Ellis has described and designed the story line, in my opinion she has made this a written masterpiece.

I can assure you that I will miss these characters.

Jaiden, Year 9