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 16

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Fiona Wood

Six impossible thingsIn ‘Six impossible things’ by Fiona Wood, courage is the main emotion that fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill ( the main character ) expresses. He is the biggest sweet heart who has six things that he has to do to set himself right for life.

The story is mainly set at home with Dan, his mum and Estelle, but it is also set at school. Dan is a smiley boy and not much seems to make him annoyed or worries him except the girl of his dreams, Estelle. He makes her out to be one of the most beautiful things on earth. He is going through a tough time in his life finding out that his dad is gay and that is tough on a teenager or anyone. Estelle? Well, she lives next door to Dan . She usually fights with her mum, and is trying not to believe that Dan has the biggest crush on her in the whole world. Dan’s mum doesn’t really seem to be coping with the whole ‘husband is now gay’ thing and keeps telling Dan stories about when times were good.

Dan’s mum decides to move away to try and hide the pain. They end up finding a house that an old lady they knew passed away in. Dan is being constantly bullied by this group of teenagers at school whilst he is falling madly in love with Estelle, of which Estelle has no idea of at all.

I liked this book a lot because it was interesting and very appealing to me and it is something that I would read. It was a bit romantic and all about Dan and what he wanted for his life which made me want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school, boy or girl. It is a very good book that mainly girls would enjoy.

Madison M.

November 30

‘Don’t Call me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer

Don't call me ishmaelDon’t Call me Ishmael is a book written by the amazing author Michael Gerard Bauer. It is about a boy who is starting his first year of high school and does not even have one mate in his class.

On his very first high school day, a mean boy called Barry Bagsley, the bully in his grade, bullied Ishmael. At the end of Grade Eight Ishmael was more known as Le Sewer. When Grade Eight finished, Ishmael was thankful to not have any more school because he wouldn’t get bullied or picked on any more. The next year of school, Ishmael again continued getting his daily bullying and he struggled with school.

The book is set in a normal, average area. Ishmael does not like his name. He has his two parents and a sister who is thirteen years old. Ishmael is a shy fourteen-year-old boy. Ishmael doesn’t like his parents’ decision to name him after a name in a book. He loathes the novel that his parents frequently bring up and talk about. This book is about him trying to fit in with other people. The novel is quite long and it makes you think in more depth about bullying and how it affects people that we know and even people we don’t.

This book is best suited to boys and girls because it helps them think about the consequences of bullying and how big an impact it can make on people. The book also makes us think about what we can do to make these people’s lives better.

Sam T., Year 9

November 24

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Fiona Wood

Six impossible thingsHave you ever liked a girl so much that you thought it was impossible to ever talk to her and even be in a relationship with her? Dan Cereill has to deal with moving houses, new school hell, a mother with a wedding cake business that is failing, a dad that is gay, and a crush on the girl next door. At the moment his life is a mess, but he forgets about all his problems, and just narrows it down to just six impossible things.

I really liked this book because of the main character Dan Cereill. He dealt with his problems well, and wasn’t too dramatic about it all. I like how he thought it was impossible to do the Six Impossible Things but he was determined to do them and make things right.

I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the age of 12-20 who are interested in love stories. This book is a great example of love and is truly enjoyable for everyone. I would rate the book ‘Six Impossible Things’ 4 out of 5 stars.

Julius D, Year 9.


Meet fourteen year old nerd boy, Dan Cereill. He seems like he is not quite coping as his mother has a failing wedding cake business, a straight out gay dad and did I mention his impossible crush on the hot girl next door, Estelle. Does this excellent novel sound like a read to you? I’d say that if you’re a teenager and into comedy and romance this is just perfect read for you!

The novel is set in Adelaide, Australia where Dan must adjust to moving houses and new school hell. As you can see, Dan has a lot of stress on his hands so he decides to make a list of six impossible things to do:

  1. Kiss Estelle
  2. Get a job
  3. Cheer my mother up
  4. I don’t want to be a complete loser at my new school
  5. Should talk to my father when he calls
  6. Figure out how to be cool

For most people, doing these things would be quite simple but not for Dan Cereill. The main characters in this novel are Estelle, Dan and Dan’s mother. Estelle is a funky and smart girl that Dan can’t get over. Dan is lovable and funny and is crushing hard on the girl next door. Dan’s mum is a charming and loving parent who is struggling at the moment.

I was really engaged with this novel as it was action packed, amusing, crazy and romantic. I couldn’t put it down. Overall I would rate this book “Six Impossible Things” an 8/10, as it truly is one of my favourite reads. To any young readers out there I would strongly suggest this novel.

Kai, Year 9

November 20

‘A Pocketful of Eyes” by Lili Wilkinson

A pocketful of eyes“How could this have happened? Who did this?

These questions kept repeating in my mind after I had heard those three words. ‘Gus is dead’.”

Beatrice… known as Bee, who is 17 years old, has an interest in mysteries but she doesn’t realise she is in a mystery herself. Bee works at a taxidermy lab in the Melbourne Museum of Natural History as a summer job with her co-workers Gus and Toby. Bee and Toby stayed later one night resulting in a 1am kissing session, when suddenly they heard a noise in another room. Thinking nothing of it they went home. The next day Bee got to work but something seemed off. There was no one at the museum. Toby then confronted Bee and what she heard next changed her life!

“Gus is dead.”

I loved this mystery love story to the point where I was reading it everywhere I went. Bee and Toby’s interest in mystery and solving who killed Gus intrigued me. They both had such different personalities. Toby knows a suspicious amount of animal mating facts and Bee is a peculiar 17 year old. She loves mysteries. That is all she did when she was young. A pocketful of eyes is a great book for teenagers who love a bit of romance and a mysterious plot. I rate this book 4 out of 5 because each page had new information. My mind didn’t drift off and think about other stuff. I stayed and enjoyed reading about Bee and Toby’s dramatic, action-filled, romantic mysterious journey to find out if Gus really killed himself.

Beth H. Year 9

June 23

‘The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod’ by Heather Brewer

Eighth grade bites“A tree branch slapped John Craig across the face, scraping his skin, but he kept on running and ignoring the stabbing of pine needles on his bare feet. He could hear the man’s footsteps behind him, echoing his own.

This sentence is from none other than The Chronicles Of Vladimir Tod. The story is set in a small town where most neighbours knew each other, much like a town just off the city.

The main character is Vladimir Tod. He is a strange outcast vampire that no one really tries to get to meet except for his best friend Henry, who everyone knows and is a very confident person. Only two of Vlad’s most trusted friends know who Vlad really is… a vampire disguising his true identity by never drinking anyone’s blood. Nelly, Vlad’s grandma, is a kind woman which looks out for Vlad by stealing blood from the hospital where she works as a nurse, because Vlad will never drink blood from a living being. Another character is a strange teacher who is very curious about Vlad, asking lots of questions and being extremely deceptive about his outside life and appearance.

This book was an easy read but surprisingly a good book considering I’m not usually into books. The plot is a bit simple however, but it was a good story line with believable characters. It makes vampires seem real and convincing, it has a supernatural theme that includes real teenager problems such as bullies, crushes, teachers and homework. I would strongly recommend this story to teenagers that are desperately wanting to read about vampires mixed in with their life.

Ben M, Year 8


       This is a tale about a mythical boy who is half human and half vampire who is being hunted by his kind. The story is based in the small town of Bathory. Vladimir Tod and his best friend Henry are trying to figure out the mysterious death of Vlad’s parents; death while being hunted.

Vladimir Tod is a vampire that has a starving crave for blood but is satisfied by the taste of blood that his aunt Nelly supplies for him from the hospital where she works. He is very alone without guidance from his parents so he is discovering new powers and abilities that he holds. But the least favourite part of this vampire’s life is school. Vlad is constantly getting bullied, his secret crush likes Henry more than him and the principal hates him. But after one of his teachers disappears without a trace a new teacher comes along with a strange attraction to mythical beings and is quite fond of Vladimir Tod. After a while Vlad discovers that the teacher is quite close to him but not in a good way because now Vlad is being hunted.

Will you discover the reason Vlad’s parents are dead? Will you find out if Vlad gets the girls or Vlad’s friend Henry? Will you also find out if Vladimir Tod survives after being hunted?  Calum, Year 8


Will Vladimir Tod survive? The vampire killer is after him as Vlad has many secrets. Only his best friends, Henry, and his grandmother Nelly know his deep dark secrets.

Vlad was born on November 21, 1993. He has black hair, grey eyes and he is half vampire and half human. The story is based in a small town called Bathory. Vlad lives with his grandmother as he lost both his parents in a house fire. Vlad spends most of his time with his best friend Henry. Vlad is a normal teenage boy who goes to school and does the same things as a normal boy. Vlad is a vampire and drinks blood but he doesn’t bite people’s necks. His grandmother works in the hospital and she takes blood from the blood room to give Vlad. Vlad likes a girl called Meredith Brookstone, however his friend Henry also likes Meredith and Meredith likes Henry. Unfortunately Vlad doesn’t know this.

Vlad has no idea of the extent of his powers. Unfortunately he has nobody around to teach him how to use his powers. Vlad is struggling every day with his blood cravings and his growing fangs. He worries every day that someone will find out his secret, however his biggest problem is that he is being hunted by a vampire killer.

I like this book because it is mostly fiction. It also explains the story pretty well and it gets to the point straight away. I like how there is a big problem and when they are trying to fix the problem there are little problems in it.

I think that this book is recommended for people who like fantasy fiction books. I think the age recommended for this is 12 and over. I rate this book 7 out of 10.

Jack R., Year 8

June 23

‘My Life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg

mylifeasanalphabet‘This isn’t just about me.’

Candice Phee is an hilariously honest and a bit weird twelve year old girl. After the death of her newborn baby sister, Sky, her mother becomes depressed and stays locked in her room for hours non-stop. Her father and Uncle aren’t on speaking terms anymore. Mainly Candice lives a tough life. Can she get her family back together again? Can her Uncle and father talk to each other again? Can Candice make her mum happy again?

At school Candice is given an English assignment. She has to write about something that has happened in her life. The assignment involves writing one paragraph for each letter of the alphabet. But one paragraph isn’t enough to tell her teacher about her life, therefore she decides to write multiple paragraphs for each letter, e.g. ‘A is for Assignment’.

Follow the crazy life of Candice Phee in the novel ‘My life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg, a true, heart-filled story. I enjoyed this novel in many ways, like what would the characters do next and whether Candice’s parents could be happy again. It was very interesting how Candice made her parents happy again. The story reminded me that people do go though things like this; everyone doesn’t have a perfect life and family, also people do suffer from depression.

I would recommend this novel for the ages between 11 and 15, who like to read true and humorous stories. When reading this novel young adults would get a full insight into real life problems that other teenagers would be experiencing. This novel keeps you hooked throughout the story with its humour and mysteries that some characters find (you eventually find them out). ‘My Life as an Alphabet’ is truly a great read; therefore I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Erin S, Year 8  


You could be around a person your entire life, but that doesn’t mean you know them. My Life As An Alphabet is a novel that reflects a teenage girl’s life through school and relates to the dreams and doubts that happen while growing up, discovering who she is as well as who she wants to be. The novel by Barry Jonsberg reflects all these qualities in the home and suburb of an out of the ordinary girl named Candice Phee and her life explained ‘as an alphabet’.

Candice is not really an ‘alphabet’ but she uses the alphabet as a prop to explain what has happened to her for an English assignment. During her time writing the assignment, Candice goes through her past and the tragedy that happened to her sister as well as the family tension that was created without her. At every letter of the alphabet she goes through her life and explains her feelings and weird ways she understands everything she does while writing her essay.

The character’s personality was portrayed really well in this book and the small funny things that happen once in a while throughout this novel were my favourite parts of reading this book. It had good jokes and new comedic challenges that await Candice, her family and Douglas Benson from another dimension, which in the end bring them closer, with Candice learning from her mistakes as well as others.

I rate this book four stars. It made me laugh, cry and just smile when I was reading small paragraphs in my small space of spare time. This novel made me want to read it every chance I got and once reading I couldn’t stop because of how addictive it was. The book was true to teenagers and heartfelt as well as funny in the most part.

If you thought this book was a good book to read then I would think ‘The Fault in our Stars’ or ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ would be another excellent choice to read.

By Angelique, Year 8


‘This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.’

Candice Phee is a twelve year old girl from the sunny town of Albright. Her life might seem like a piece of cake on the outside but really it’s not. Her baby sister Sky died years ago, her mum is depressed, her dad is angry at his brother and won’t talk to him and her best and only friend believes he’s from another dimension.

One day at school Candice is given an assignment by her English teacher. It has to be 26 paragraphs long and each paragraph has to start with the next letter of the alphabet. She then decides to write multiple paragraphs instead of one for each letter so that she can recount her whole life during this assignment.

I loved ‘My Life As An Alphabet’ because it shows a girl’s experiences as she tries to cope with guilt, depression and family issues while trying to fix everyone else’s problems at the same time. While this book could be sad at times it also was quite touching and humorous. It reminded me that nobody’s life is perfect and that everyone has their own problems. I would recommend this book to both boys and girls of ages 12 and up because this book is based on a 12 year old girl’s everyday life.

Georgia O, Year 8.

June 12

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

cool hunterHunt for cool as you follow Mac and Paul through their journey to become cool hunters.

This story is set in a little town called King’s Bay where Mac and Paul live. Mac is a brave, non complaining and ‘willing to do anything’ boy in Grade 8. He lives in a hippy van with his mum and goes to school with his best mate Paul. Paul is a smart, scared and friendly boy in Grade 8 who loves to invent new things.

Mac and Paul are just ordinary boys with ordinary lives until they crashed their homemade flying bike in front of basically the whole grade. Just as they think they have made complete fools out of themselves, something very strange happens. Two boys offer Mac a job to hunt down all the cool things in his town and then maybe, just maybe, he will get chosen as one of the four cool hunters and travel to New York. At first he thought they were crazy to have picked him but then after a while he decides to go for it and starts filming all of the cool things he finds in King’s Bay. But Paul is very upset that he can’t do it as well, so Mac goes and talks to the boys that offered him the job and says that he is not doing it without Paul, so the boys make an arrangement that Paul can help Mac.

I enjoyed reading this book because it is adventurous, interesting, unpredictable and funny but I think this book would be better for boys that are a bit younger than me.

I would recommend this book for boys aged 6-10 because boys at this age are all about being the coolest boy in the grade and this story is just perfect for them.

Sterre, Year 8


“Cool or uncool? Geeks or revolutionaries? The votes are in.”

     – Tristan Bancks

How often do people “fly a bike” and land with a job? Well that’s what happened to Mac, a teenager from Kings Bay whose dream was to invent something legendary. With his friend Paul as the brains, and Mac as the guts, they were inventors of random cool stuff that usually didn’t work. After they crashed their latest prototype in front of the whole school, Mac was approached by the creators and producers of “Cool Hunters” and offered a job as Kings Bay’s first ever Cool Hunter.

Mac Slater, Cool Hunter was written by Tristan Bancks. It is a very lively book that takes you on an adventure whilst reading. It is unpredictable and funny and would be highly recommended for boys from ages 8-10. With the story centred around Mac, a 13 year old boy, young male readers can relate to the need to be cool and the fun of adventure. In the story Mac, who is anything but cool, is chosen by the creators of Coolhunters, an online site dedicated to finding the coolest things on earth. Readers may relate to Mac as an everyday boy who has the chance of doing extraordinary things. During Mac’s trial, he is competing against Cat DeVrees, who not only is the hottest girl around, but is also desperate to win and get the gig of travelling the world reporting and working for Coolhunters.

I personally did not enjoy the book because I felt it was slow moving and being female, it did not appeal to my personal interests. I feel the book would appeal more to young males interested in adventures, inventions and trying to be cool. It was well written and easy to follow and I would rate this book 6 out of 10.

– Rachel C Year 8

June 11

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Karen Wood

Six impossible things“So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about.”

Meet Dan Cereill, a young fourteen-year-old Australian nerd. His life has just been turned on its head as he has just been told that his dad is a homosexual. Dan and his Mum have had to move out of the house because of the findings. They move to hide the pain but it never goes away. Dan’s mother is struggling with her business. She owns a wedding cake business that is failing. Dan is not worried. Instead, he just carries on.

Dan has one concern: the girl next door named Estelle. Estelle is the girl of Dan’s dreams. Dan has never approached or talked to Estelle. Dan constantly tries to talk to Estelle but he becomes too nervous and backs away. Dan searches through Estelle’s attic to find out more about her. Dan finds her diary and decides to read it. Eventually Estelle finds out and decides never to talk to Dan again. He blew it. That might have been the only chance he would ever get.

Dan has some friends in the story. The main characters include Dan, Estelle, Frank (Dan’s Best Friend), Janie (Estelle’s Best Friend), Harold (Dan’s Dog), and Dan’s Mum.

Dan’s life is a mess so he has narrowed it down to six impossible things that he thinks would never happen.

I enjoyed the book because it talked about issues that happen in everybody’s life. The book also has humour and some young love. I would recommend the book to mainly teenagers but anyone can read it as well. I’m sure you will love reading it just like I did.

Finley, Year 8


“‘Guys, please, one life-changing shock at a time,’ I felt like saying.”

Six impossible things is a heart-filled novel that is about a fourteen year old dorky kid named Dan, who is having a very tough life. His parents are going through a divorce, his mum’s business is failing, he is going broke and is moving into his great aunt Adelaide’s house that smells of animals, and is dealing with his dad coming out of the closet. His life isn’t the best, but the one thing that he is not upset about, is Estelle, the gorgeous girl that lives next door who doesn’t even notice him. Apart from the drama at home, Dan also gets bullied at school. Now Dan’s life is left up to six impossible things…..

  1. Kiss Estelle
  2. Get a job
  3. Cheer up his mother
  4. Try not to be a loser at his new school
  5. Talk to his father and ask why he left
  6. Find out how to be a good person, and don’t be the person that leaves his family out of the blue

I think that this is a heart-filled book. Some of the events that Dan overcomes in the novel are realistic and some people also face those situations. But I also liked the book because I can relate to it in some parts. However, as I was reading the book, I realised that the story lines were well written and engaging. When I got near the end of the novel, I thought that is was a bit predictable, because other stories are similar.

I would recommend this novel mainly to girls above the age of ten who like heart-filled, realistic stories. I would give this book a 3/5 because in some chapters of the book, I found them thrilling, extreme and some were tension building, but I found some other parts a bit predictable and tedious. Overall I think that it was a great, realistic book that is suitable mainly for teenage girls.

Rhyannon, Year 8


”Invisible behind sheer curtains I stood in the bay window at the front of the house wishing to be anywhere but here, wishing it were two months ago and I had a mutant power that let me change the course of history, when she walked up the street, dreaming, completely unaware of the seismic shift in my heart she was creating with each step”.

A boy called Dan moved to a new house in a new town. Coming from a broken family, Dan and his mum were bankrupt because of his Dad’s bad choices. At first Dan hated everything until he laid eyes on the most beautiful girl in the world – Estelle his neighbour. Dan started to become a bit obsessed with this girl and in Estelle’s eyes Dan was a bit of creep. In the end Dan and Estelle started to talk and get along very well. Dan made a really bad choice and broke Estelle’s heart. At the end everything comes together for Dan and he lives a very happy life with Estelle.

The main characters in the book are Dan, Estelle and Jazo. The book is set in a small town. Dan didn’t like going to a small town from having lived in a big city, however in the end he started to like it. Dan was a 15-year-old boy who was shy and he was also a very good runner. Dan started to work out and became stronger physically and mentally.

Unfortunately I didn’t like the book as I believe that it was best suited for young ladies, not a boy of my age. Even though the book wasn’t my pick, I did like the part when Dan and Jazo had the big fight at the end of the book. I would recommend this book to young ladies of the age of about 12 to 16.

Michael.S Year 8



Six impossible things is a very eye-opening and very enjoyable book for many young and older readers.

The beginning on the book is very intriguing and catches you right away. It is based on real life problems that could happen to anyone.

This story is set in a little town with Dan as one of the main characters and he is quite shy but outgoing at the same time. Estelle is also another main character and is Dan’s best friend. She is also quite shy but is very nice and caring.

Dan is from a broken family and has no place to go due to how his family business went broke and the bad decisions his dad made. Dan is really hating his life at the moment and will never answer the phone when his dad calls. A couple of days later the most beautiful girl in the world turned up at school. His eyes glimmered and his heart became one again. This young girl named Estelle thought Dan was a creep every time he wanted to talk to her. This love hate relationship turned out for the best in the end.

I really I enjoyed this book because I really connected with the characters and the way the book just turned in a blink of an eye. This book also kept me on the edge of my seat and made me want to keep reading the book. I recommend this book to teenagers and some adults between the age of thirteen to twenty.

Kyle V. Year 8

June 11

‘Extra Time’ by Morris Gleitzman

extra_timeMeet Matt, a young Australian boy who improved his soccer skills by dribbling a ball around fierce charging cattle. Seems impossible, right? Not for this young talent.

Are you into young heroes who like to change the world with their incredible talent? Well this is the adrenaline-rushing book for you!

Matt started off as a young innocent boy who lived in the outback of Australia and liked to play a bit of soccer here and there. One day Matt and his friends decided to play a game of soccer in their backyard. Matt was just brilliant and whenever he wanted to score a goal, he did.

All of a sudden the ball went over the fence into the cattle fields. Matt didn’t hesitate to get the ball, but all of a sudden the cattle were let out to the yard from their claustrophobic enclosures and came charging towards Matt at a million kilometres an hour. They were no match for Matt as he dribbles and moved his way around the raging cattle. This was all recorded on the camera that captured the activity of the cattle, and as soon as he knew it Matt was on national TV and was invited to go to England to pursue his very successful career in England.

The main characters in this story are Matt, his little enthusiastic sister, and his hippy uncle Cliff.

I found this book very enjoyable because of the way that Morris Gleitzman was successfully able to portray the character and career of a young teenager like Matt to play against the adults of such a big club like Chelsea. I found this so incredible because he found playing against one of the best clubs in the premier league so easy. It kept me reading to the end and I suggest you do too because something amazing happens. I recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 8-14 and anybody who enjoys soccer or any sports. Overall I’d rate the book Extra Time 8 out of 10.

Zac, Year 8


“The ball blurs over everybody’s head and dips into the top corner of the goal before the goalie can move. People just stare at him.”

The start of the story is set in a wasteland next to a cattle yard claimed to be the best place in Australia for a kick around. Then the story’s setting eventually changes to being set in England.

The main characters in the book are Matt, his sister, and Uncle Cliff. Matt is the 14-year-old soccer player who goes to England to chase his dreams. Matt’s sister is also a main character in the book because she is his manager even though she is only 10. She is always looking out for her older brother. Uncle Cliff is Matt’s uncle who takes the kids on the trip to England because their parents have too much to worry about in Australia.

What happens in the story is that a young boy who has had a few setbacks in his life turns for being just a kid in the small town turns out to be an amazing soccer player. A professional soccer club discovers Matt’s talent and he gets the opportunity to play for and against some of the most known soccer teams in the world and help his team win at only the age of 14. Uncle Cliff and his 10 year old manager are taken on his adventurous trip to England helping and supporting him through his journey.

I liked the book because it was so interesting and fun to read because it teaches me a life lesson which was to never give up and it was a good adventurous book. I would recommend this book to the age group of 8-12 because the words are easy to read and is more set for that age group. It can be a read for both boys and girls.

Adam C. Year 8



“ He sways his hips and glides past them like an expert removalist getting a big wardrobe through a small door.”

This story is set in the Australian outback but then changes to England half way through the story.

Matt is a very determined boy who wants to be a soccer star. Matt’s sister is his manager. She is trying her best to be a good manager and help her brother. Matt’s Uncle Cliff is a very helpful and very supportive person and is one of Matt’s biggest fans. Matt also couldn’t have gone to England without Uncle Cliff coming with him.

In this book a young boy named Matt who is a very skilled soccer player goes to England with his sister and his uncle to hopefully join a soccer club and make his dream of becoming a famous soccer player come true.

I liked this book because it shows that if you work hard enough on something you can achieve your dream or goal. I would recommend this book to you kids who don’t have much self-confidence because it might show them to keep dreaming in what they can achieve.

Cameron.C   Year 8


Matt is running down the middle of the field dodging and turning everyone that is in his way. Then he comes up to the goal, tired after running the field, the goalkeeper rushes up on him, Matt shoots and it is perfectly on target and boom Matt scores to win the game.

Extra Time is a good story, first set in Australia then it moves to England where Matt plays soccer. There he starts his big soccer career that leads him to play for a very well known team.

The main characters in this book are Matt, Matt’s little sister, and Matt’s grandad. The main characters in this story make up a big part of the book and all these characters have a big role in the book when Matt has to go to England and play against Manchester United.

It all starts off with Matt and his friends going out to the park just to play a one on one match of soccer. But Matt was in a car crash and really damaged his legs and doesn’t think he can do anything ever again. But what he doesn’t know is that the metal plates holding his legs in place are making him stronger by the minute. Then a bunch of mean boys called the Orange boys come in and try to beat them in a soccer match. But Matt has so many skills he just runs straight around them.

I liked this book a lot but it wasn’t the greatest book I have read because I thought it was bit too babyish and more suitable for kids a bit younger than me, but Extra Time was a good book.

I would definitely recommend this book to some of my friends and kids that are a bit younger than me in Year 6 or 7. I think kids in this age group would absolutely love this book because it is such a fun book and it is all about sports.

Corey G., Year 8

May 18

‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar

HolesStanley Yelnats’ family has a history of bad luck, so he isn’t too surprised when something bad happens to him.

Stanley Yelnats, the main character, is an innocent boy who is very nice to all his family and friends. He was framed of stealing and was sent to Camp Green Lake for 18 months aka detention camp.

The story is set somewhere in the desert where no one will find them. It’s a place called Camp Green Lake. It’s supposed to be called this because of the lake, but there’s nothing there now except for a dried up hole with a few buildings and trees surrounding the town. At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the dried up lake bed.

Stanley’s friend Zero is very quiet. He never speaks and doesn’t know how to read but Stanley helped him and taught him how to read. Mr Pandanski, co-owner of Camp Green Lake sometimes can be nice but is also sometimes really mean. The Warden is really strict and doesn’t like kids. With big nails, she likes to scratch people.

HolesI really enjoyed this book for many reasons. The text and the language is simple but descriptive enough for you to get an idea of what Camp Green Lake looks like. The book isn’t really long so it’s good for a younger reader to read. It doesn’t just skip to the point, it takes you through the book and explains the story to you. There are plot twists so you don’t always know when a surprise is going to come up. Holes wasn’t just about digging holes all day. It really made me happy because there was a whole lot of friendship in the movie when Stanley’s guardians adopted Zero because they were such close friends. Holes was also very exciting when they would find treasure after digging holes.

So to sum up my review, I think that Holes would really catch your attention and get you sucked into the book like it got me. It’s just an all-rounder book and I would never regret reading it.

Cooper, Year 9

November 24

‘My Life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg

mylifeasanalphabet“A is for Assignment”

Candice Phee is not your average 12-year-old girl. She lives a tough life. Due to the death of Candice’s newborn sister, her mother is depressed and doesn’t come out of her room. Her father and uncle do not talk to each other anymore. Can Candice make her mum happy again? Can she make her uncle and father talk to each other?

Candice Phee is given an English assignment where she has to write about something that has happened in her life. The assignment involves writing one paragraph for every letter of the alphabet. She thinks that one paragraph isn’t enough to tell her teacher about her life, therefore she decides to write multiple paragraphs for each letter.

Follow the troubled life of Candice Phee in the novel “My Life as an Alphabet” by Barry Jonsberg. I really enjoyed the plot because I was interested to find out what happened to the characters in the story and if Candice managed to help her parents be happy again. It was interesting how Candice made her parents happy again. This story reminded me that not everyone has a perfect family and that people do suffer from depression.

I would recommend this novel to teenagers aged 12 to 15 who like to read humour and stories based on real life. By reading this novel I think that young adults will receive a useful insight into real life problems that other teenagers around them could be experiencing. This novel keeps you captivated through its humour and the mysteries certain characters hold, which you will eventually find out. “My Life as an alphabet” by Barry Jonsberg truly is a great read therefore I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Emma S, Year 9


“We have to write a paragraph about ourselves for every letter of the alphabet. Twenty-six paragraphs in total and each one starts with a letter of the alphabet, from A through to Z.”

Candice Phee is given an English Assignment, a recount of her life using the letters of the alphabet. Candice believes that one paragraph isn’t enough and that she can’t possibly write about her life without talking about the people that she spends her time with.

Candice is funny, loving and a little strange at times. After the death of her sister Candice feels that it was her fault and that her family will never be the same. She is always making sure that the people she loves are happy even if this proves a challenge. Candice is a 13 year old girl who will go to all extremes to fix the things that are broken in her family, even her pet gold fish (Earth Pig Fish).

I enjoyed this book because it showed the way that she handles her life. Her family isn’t perfect; she gets bullied for being different and lives with guilt. She still continues her life day by day, doing what she does best solving others’  problems and ensuring that everyone lives a happy life no matter how hard this may be for a 13 year old. I would recommend this book for children aged 13 and up. This book shows an insight into teenage life and the difficulties that we face and how to overcome these. The way in which Barry Jonsberg has written this story is very intriguing. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and encourages you to continue reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily rate it a 4/5.

Georgina F., Year 9

November 20

‘The Rules of Cool’ (Mac Slater Cool Hunter 1) by Tristan Bancks

mac slater 1I never really read many books at all, but when I picked up ‘Mac Slater Cool Hunter’ I actually started to read, for the first time in a few years. The book was mainly about two good friends called Mac and Paul who like making different kinds of stuff that’s cool. One day they created a flying bike and it crashed, a man saw them, and recognized their skills. He came over and asked if they would want to enter into a competition called ‘Cool Hunters’ and the winner would go to New York with five other people competing against them to look for things cool and catch it on camera. Mac gets asked to compete against this annoying girl called Cat to try to hunt for coolness. On the last day Mac and Paul decide to try and get their flying bike in the sky and film that to put it in this blog.

But if you want to know what happens in the end of the book you would have to read it till the end. It was an interesting book and most people would find it hard to put down. I recommend that this book could be for anyone from teens to adults.
Charles, Year 9

November 17

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’ by Jeff Kinney

diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-dog-days-dvd-cover-40On the off chance that you’ve never read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days, it’s about Greg Heffley, a middle school kid who is always being tormented by his more seasoned sibling Rodrick and his younger sibling Manny, who annoys him and escapes with it. His companion, closest companion Rowley, is an unusual child, however he appears to dependably get it right with the girls while Greg is horrible with them. Greg endeavors to wind up acclaimed, however he is always a disappointment.

Does this sound like a book you would enjoy reading and will it keep you reading for the duration of the day and night? Assuming this is the case “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog days” is the book for you.

When Greg and Rowley go to Rowley’s country club, they bring a girl friend, Trista, along, yet she begins communicating with some lifeguard and simply overlooks Greg and Rowley who were the ones that took her there. It was one unfortunate day, it was. Rowley’s father appears at Greg’s home and expects that Greg will pay for all the smoothies he’s requested at the country club. Greg and Rowley begin a grass cutting business to attempt to earn cash to pay off Rowley’s father. A client shows up and says Greg provided for her with an awful quality yard cutting. At that point his father comes and completes the employment for him, however the woman still has a bad take on Greg’s reputation.

All these grievous occasions and more made him have the need to stay home for whatever remains of the summer as all that he arranges goes totally pear-shaped.

In this book I adore the characters Greg, Manny and Rodrick because they single out Greg and attempt to mix things up, and he figures out how to transform it into an huge show. It makes the book more successful. Greg’s guardians are careful, because they don’t know what Greg’s brothers will be up to next. Rowley is a painful character, as everything needs to go his direction.

I found this book very amusing and an incredible page-turner. Before you turn the following page in the book you know Greg’s going to have a terrible accident, in the same way as when Rodrick deceives him into hopping off the high stage into the swimming pool. The style of writing relates well to teens because it provides a view of teen life.

If you like a courageous, humorous tale around a truly dorky young person and his disastrous life, go read this book.

Po-Jen, Year 9

November 14

‘Fighting Ruben Wolfe’ by Markus Zusak

fighting ruben wolfeMeet the Wolfe Brothers. Their family struggles financially but the two brothers work through the tough times and help each other with their favorite hobby, ‘Boxing’. Their hard work and persistence pays off when they become boxing champions.

If you enjoy reading about people who step up and keep pushing when the odds are against them, then this is the book for you.

This is the story of Cameron and Ruben Wolfe, two brothers from a working class family. The two brothers have a friend that is being bullied at school and Ruben finally steps up and teaches the bully a lesson. Initially to make some money, the boys hook up with a fight promoter who sees something saleable and crowd-pleasing in the untrained brothers. It’s no fake WWE wrestling that the Wolfe brothers are drawn into. It’s real boxing, with real pain and real consequences. The brothers soon find that they are fighting for more than tips and pay off money. It soon becomes a fight for identity, dignity and for each other.

I really admired how Markus Zusak wrote this book. There were always twists and turn in the book so it kept my full attention. I could imagine the scenes in my head, and I felt like I was involved in the book myself. My mum had to keep reminding me to do my other subject homework rather than just read this book. The attitude of the two brothers was outstanding, I just couldn’t believe how positive the two Wolfe brothers were during such difficult times. I would recommend this book to teenagers who like adventure books because it is a journey for the brothers. It was a great read and I will definitely read more books by Markus Zusak.

Mak, Year 9


 “Every dog has its day.”

Do you like exciting, action-packed books that make you forget about the world, and put you in a different place? Would you consider boxing if it meant happiness, financial wise, for your family? There are two boys in this book, Cameron and Ruben Wolfe, who are adventurous brothers who find it difficult to support their family without enough money. Their dad can’t find a job after getting hurt at work, their mum is the one who earns the income in the family. Their big sister is always getting hung over. Their big brother is successful and has a productive job, a girlfriend but now is living on his own.  They decide to make money by fighting in the boxing ring day in, day out. They decided one day that they would challenge each other, step in the boxing ring and fight. A person’s feelings mean more than anything to them than fame and fortune does.

Even though it takes a while to really get into the book and to enjoy it and be interested, it becomes worth it because of the generous amount of adventure that is given in the end. I would recommend this book to 10 to 15 year old boys that enjoy being inside and reading about adventure rather than dreaming about being in the book. “Fighting Ruben Wolfe” will relate to teenagers who have siblings that they fight with because they may not always get along, but still always love each other almost like best friend after, like Cameron and Ruben Wolfe. I would rate this book a 2 out of 5 stars. This is because I wouldn’t usually read this type of books and would rather not read these types of books.

 Mikayla, Year 9

November 11

‘Son of the Mob’ by Gordon Korman

Son of the mobVince Luca lives the life of an average teenage boy: school, sport and work; but he is being held back by what you would think would be the most influential people in your life, his family. Does this book have the right theme for you? Then Son of the Mob is definitely for you.

The author, Gordon Korman, has written Son of Mob as a great thrill story. With the turn of every page, a surprise arises and it always keeps you intrigued and wanting to read more. The story is set in the city of New York, where the love lost Vince Luca is struggling to keep his girlfriend, Kendra Brightly, from finding out about his family business (crime). It doesn’t help that Kendra’s father is a FBI agent. Vince’s infamous family business is holding him back from doing the things he wants and he finds himself juggling his secret life from reality, and this turns out to be very difficult for Vince.

The story line creates a great atmosphere whilst reading this book and I enjoyed this book due to its creative and intriguing storyline. It is constantly changing and this is why Gordon Korman has made such a successful book. I would recommend this book to 14 to 15 year old males, as it is suited more to a male’s taste in reading. As it is also about a teenage male, this allows 14 to 15 year old boys to relate to this book more than what females could. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars as it kept you very inclined to reading it, but in some cases I think a little bit more action could be put into the story, therefore making an even better book to read.

Overall, Gordon Korman has created a fascinating book that is always changing and every turn of page keeps you inclined to read more and more, therefore making this book a good read. Daniel, Year 9.


Imagine your family are mobsters and you found the girl you love but you can’t let her find out about your family’s life because her dad is the FBI agent trying to take down your father! Pretty hard to imagine ,right? Well for Vince Luca this is a reality. He wants nothing to do with the family business but it somehow always manages to screw things up for him. Author Gordon Korman has created a book that is intriguing to say the least! Once you start reading you just can’t stop because it takes you on an adventure through Vince Luca’s fascinating life.

Vince, was struggling with his secret life before he met Kendra. Now he has to juggle keeping himself away from his family’s business and dating the daughter of the man who has bugged his house and his phone listening to every conversation he has. He has been mildly successful in distancing himself from the family business but little was he to know that one delivery of money to his father could turn his life upside down. It gets too much for Vince, Kendra finds out about his true identity and dumps him, then he finds out a secret that has baffled his father for years and Vince finds himself at the end of a barrel of a gun.  Could it be the end of Vince or will he get himself out of it? All will be revealed in Son of the Mob!

The novel Son of the Mob was remarkable to read. If you like books that are thrillers, adventurous and leaving you intrigued to read the next page then Son of the Mob is the book for you. This story leaves no stone unturned so you’re never confused. I would recommend this book to teenagers of the ages 14 to 17 years old. This book definitely is a page-turner I would read again. I would rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars because it did get a bit boring in the middle of the book.   Mitchell, Year 9

November 21

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

  mac slater 1 The wing hit the ground and BAM!

       Cool Hunter is set in Australia in a small town where Mac and Cat are trialing for the position for cool hunters to win a trip to New York. Cool Hunter is a website that features four cool hunters around the world to suggest what’s cool.

       Mac Slater is a nerd. He and his best friend Paul are coming up with new inventions. Mac and his best friend Paul invested a whole year to build their flying bike. After they finished their invention they crashed it while they were testing this new bike. Speed and Tony are the website creators of Cool Hunter and have asked Mac and Cat to trial for the new Cool Hunter position to win a trip to New York. In this trial they have to upload five daily vlogs to suggest what things are cool. These videos get uploaded on the Cool Hunters website and the viewers have to vote what ones they think are cool.

      I suggest this book, Cool Hunter to a younger boy between seven and 13 who likes building and creating stuff. I liked this book because Mac is very creative and he is kind of a daredevil. I would rate this book 7 out of 10, I really enjoyed the book and it was interesting throughout the whole book.

      Tristan Year 9


November 8

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Fiona Wood


      Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood is an extraordinary novel about adolescent issues. Dan Cereill is a 14-year-old boy whose Dad announced that he is gay and walks out, and from then on everything just gets worse. Would you consider reading this interesting book but beware… once you start, you won’t stop!!

     The book is set mainly at Dan’s house and at his new school. After his dad left, Dan and his mother were forced to move due to the bank repossessing their house. Dan left his private school and they moved to their recently passed auntie’s house.

     Here at the new suburb, Dan moves to a state school where he meets the girl of his dreams. Her name is Estelle, and coincidentally she lives next door to him. His mother’s wedding cake business is failing but for now, Dan has just narrowed his messed-up life down to six impossible things…







     I enjoyed the book but at some stages I found it a bit weird/disturbing. The reason for this is because of a few cases of stalking. At one stage of the book Estelle slept in Dan’s bed without him knowing and Dan snuck into her attic and read her diaries.

     Fiona Wood said that ‘Six Impossible Things’ would make you smile and cheer for the underdog. Dan Cereill coped with life well. Considering the changes he has made, it makes it impossible not to be interested and continue reading. I recommend this book to people aged 12-20; this book is suitable for readers who enjoy books about life-changing experiences and some romance. I would rate ‘Six Impossible Things’ 3.5 stars out of 5.

Samson B, Year 9.


There’s this girl I know. I know her by heart. I know her in every way but one: actuality. Her name is Estelle. I yearn for her. ” (Six Impossible Things, p.1)


      ‘Six Impossible Things’ is set around the life of a 14-year-old boy, Dan Cereill, as he starts a new life with new friends at a new school. The book tells how Dan has to complete a list of six somewhat impossible challenges, some of which include Dan kissing Estelle, a girl he has never meet before, trying not to be a complete nerd/loser and trying to talk to his father the next time he calls.

      Dan Cereill is a nerdy 14-year-old boy who lived a normal life until his parents go bankrupt, the bank sells everything this family owns and to put the cherry on top his dad anounces he is gay and leaves. Dan also has to cope with moving into his Great Aunt Adelaide’s house, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t smell of animal urine and looked like an old museum. Estelle is the girl next door who Dan falls in love with without meeting her. Throughout this book, Dan and Estelle go on an emotional rollercoaster ride where Dan does something to gain her trust and later on loses it. Estelle somehow finds a way to do things her parents don’t allow her to do, some of which involve a large tree.

      I enjoyed reading this book because all the different characters made it an interesting read, especially Dan and Estelle, even though they are two different people from two very different worlds, Dan is a nerdy underdog who falls head over heels for Estelle, the beautiful and popular one that every girl wants to be and every guy wants to win.

      I would rate this book a 4/5 because even though it was exciting, thrilling and romantic it had some chapters that made you ask yourself what the author was thinking. I would recommend this book to girls aged 14-18 because girls around this age would be able to relate to Estelle as she and Dan go through this romantic journey.

       Ashley G, Year 9

November 7

‘My Life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg

mylifeasanalphabet     Life may seem like a piece of cake for little old Candice Phee, but in reality life is another dimension for this 12-year-old girl.

     You may think that Candice is an average Year 8 girl in the sunburnt town of Albright, but in many respects she lives a very tough life. Due to a family feud, her father and uncle do not talk to each other anymore. As the death of Candice’s newborn sister, Sky, is introduced in the book Candice experiences depression and guilt.

     One day at her school, Candice is given an assignment. Her task is to write her life in 26 paragraphs, but each paragraph has to start with consecutive letter of the alphabet. Candice then recounts her life in order to write the assignment, along the way she tries to remember the people who made her what she is.

     I really enjoyed the book, ‘My Life As An Alphabet’ because it was fascinating to learn about how this young girl handles teenage depression and creates a whole other universe where she can be herself. It was very engaging how Barry Jonsberg describes the toughest of times for Candice, but suddenly turns the worst of times into an advantage.

    The ending of the story was very creative as a former character is brought back in for the final word.

    I would recommend this novel to teenagers from age 13-16 as it tells the tale of a young girl facing the teenage life that lies ahead. This book was compelling and it had many ups and downs with Candice discovering who she really was: Candice Phee, a girl whose life really is an alphabet. I would rate this book 4.5/5 stars.

     Bobby.T,  Year 9


‘No family is perfect… we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times.

But in the end, family is family…The love will always be there.’

      Candice Phee, a twelve-year-old girl from the town of Albright, enjoys school and has a best friend called “Douglas Benson from another dimension”. Douglas Benson from another dimension thinks he is from another dimension after a recent fall from a tree. Candice’s sister Sky died when she was only a couple of weeks old in her sleep. Candice’s dad and uncle both dislike each other and they do not talk much.

      Candice received an assignment at school one day to write a story of her life. It has to have 26 paragraphs with each paragraph starting with the letter of the alphabet. For example C is for Chaos. The reader then goes on an adventure throughout Candice’s life along with Douglas Benson, Sky, Candice’s dad and Candice’s uncle.

     I liked this story a lot because it reminds me that not everyone has a perfect family, in fact no family is perfect. While reading this story I realised that friends can be crazy, families may fight or argue and you may get bullied at school but life moves on every second of your life. I would recommend this to both boys and girls between the ages of 12-16, because the characters Candice Phee and Douglas Benson are 12 years old and it mainly focuses on teenagers because the story states the things that teenagers have to go through in their life. 


Luke J., Year 9



“Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching… An extraordinary book…a book you won’t neglect.”


         Candice Phee is a nearly thirteen-year-old girl, who’s on an inspiring mission to bring light, laughter and love to the treasured ones around her. Throughout the book, Candice Phee is hilariously honest and a bit … odd at times, and somehow, through all the things she tries to accomplish, she effortlessly succeeds in making sure that everyone she loves and cares about, including her pet Goldfish (Earth-Pig-Fish) is living a happy and positive life, despite the weird mistakes and confusion she easily creates.  

            At school one day, Candice was given a task to write 26 paragraphs all about her life, and each paragraph had to start with the next letter of the alphabet. Throughout the novel, Candice gives you a unique insight into her fascinating, fun, quirky and harsh life, of how her family is “torn-apart,” due to her mother’s battle with cancer, and her father’s falling out with his brother over business. Although it may not sound like Candice has the prefect family that everybody wishes for, she is constantly trying to repair her family with happiness.


            I really enjoyed reading ‘My Life as an Alphabet’ as it was a brilliant view of a young girl’s own unique experiences of how she copes with family issues, neglect, depression, loneliness and confusion in the eyes of a thirteen year old. I believe by reading this book it helps girls and/or boys to understand some of life’s hurdles thrown at you. Even though the author portrays a lot of sadness and heart felt moments, it is an ‘hilarious and lighthearted comedy-drama award-winning novel,’ and I would definitely recommend this book to young adults from ages 14 years and up. The author, Barry Jonsberg is a brilliant author by captivating his audience and making them want to read on endlessly. Candice Phee really did live a topsy-turvy life but dealt with troubles and made them the best times in her life. I honestly thought that this was one of the best novels that I have ever read and I am willing to rate this book 4/5 stars. 


Courtney H,  Year 9.