July 11

‘Starfish Sisters’ by J.C. Burke

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

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

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

Chanelle G., Year 8

June 21

‘Water’ by Geoff Havel

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

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

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

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

Ella C., Year 8

June 21

‘Liar’ by Justine Larbalestier

liarMicah Wilkins is a liar, a good liar too. She can’t stop lying, covering up from the secrets, or is she lying to you now? No one is certain, until her secret boyfriend Zachary (Zach) dies from unknown conditions.  Micah’s lies begin to overwhelm her. Classmates snickering saying she’s the brutal killer, though she says she didn’t do it. She’s a liar and everybody knows it. She told the teachers she was a boy. That lie lasted two days. Micah then said she was born a hermaphrodite. That was a lie too.

Micah Wilkins is an abnormal girl living in New York with her parents and younger brother. The story is told switching from ‘before’ to ‘after’ the death of Zach. Throughout the story Micah can’t help but lie to the reader referring to these lies as corrections.  Whatever she says don’t entirely believe her. Micah’s an unreliable narrator, never telling the truth, covering up what she really knows. Maybe she did kill Zach? Maybe she knows who killed him? Zach had a beautiful and popular girlfriend at school. Would Micah be jealous?

‘Liar’ is a thriller mystery that grabs the reader in right from the beginning. With the twisted main character, mysterious death and secrets beneath your bones, ‘Liar’ will surely have you questioning the truth. Micah’s mixed up storytelling definitely has theories flying. If you enjoyed ‘Life of Pi’ or ‘Flipped’ you must read this book. I recommend ‘Liar’ to anybody from 14-30.

Jessica V., Year 8

June 21

‘Rat Catcher’ by Chris Ryan

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

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

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

By Nash A., Year 8

June 21

‘Pig Heart Boy’ by Malorie Blackman

pig heart boyThe book ‘Pig Heart Boy’ by Malorie Blackman provides a story of a great life struggle. Would you take the chance to live a normal life but go through an operation that has never been performed before? This book shows how far a person will go just to keep on living. That is the case for Cameron Kelsey, a boy with a dying heart and the only one way to change it by getting a pig’s heart. If a heart-throbbing story with twists and turns is your ideal book, then ‘Pig Heart Boy’ is the book for you.

Cameron Kelsey is a 13 year old boy who lives in London wishing to have a normal life, but with his dying heart he can never enjoy time with his friends. His friend Marlon is constantly making sure Cameron is OK but that makes Cameron ticked off. Being the friend that always has to be careful about what he does and being the one everyone is worrying about is annoying and stressful. Cameron wishes to touch the bottom of the deep end at the swimming pool, to run and to play football with his friends. Cameron longs to play and enjoy life to the fullest with his friends, but he can’t, so when he is offered that opportunity to live life, he takes the chance with open arms. But this opportunity will be a 50/50 chance against life or death for this opportunity has never been preformed before. He needs to live, he wants to live to see a new piece of joy coming into his life.

I really enjoyed this book because it shows that anyone can have a bright future even when you think that future is slim. This book showed me what is important about a person and what isn’t. This book also showed new creative ways of modern medecine and how it can truly save lives yet take them away. This book made feel involved with the tough decisions made within the book and the exciting surprises.

I recommend this book to 12-18 year olds for this story can provide help to those needing a bit of light and hope for their future. This book can show others what other people have to deal within their own lives.

This blog was written by Mary B in grade 8.

June 21

‘The forever whale’ By Sarah Lean

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

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

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

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

By Emma Hill, Year 8

June 20

‘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

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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 17

‘Loyal Creatures’ by Morris Gleitzeman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay T.H., Year 8

……

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

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

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

Lee S., Year 8

June 17

‘The Girl Who Knew’ by Sandra Glover

girl who knewThe gift of levitating objects and reading the future has been classified as a myth for a long time. After a life changing hit and run accident with her friend Lisa, Kits has been left paralysed and unable to do the things she used to be able to do before the hit and run accident. Lisa escaped the accident unharmed but can’t remember any evidence to help the police solve this mystery – who caused the accident?

“Kits finds herself in the situation of being unable to walk yet able to dream future events and sense her friends’ and family’s emotions. Kits gradually comes to realise that Lisa is unwittingly holding back important information about the accident. Could she have known the driver of the car?”

Even though Kits has been paralysed nothing will stop her from achieving what she wants to achieve. Kits finally realises her best friend Lisa might be in trouble, so Kits ventures out to find Lisa and check how she is going.

Does Lisa know more than she is telling? Can she help the police?

‘The girl who knew’ is a wonderful book which grabs the reader’s attention as soon as they start to read. I believe this book would be perfect for young teenagers who love to read books with mystery and paranormal aspects. Do you like supernatural books? Would you like to learn more about Kits and her best friend Lisa? Does Lisa know more than she is telling? If you want to find out what Lisa knows or what happens go read the book “The Girl who Knew” written by Sandra Glover.

Charlotte J, Year 8

……

The story Sandra Glover has written is exceptional. Kits used to be a normal girl with no problems, but while walking home one day Kits had an accident. Not only is she not able to walk, but she is able to pick things up with her mind and to see the future. This is a gripping book about a girl whose life has been turned upside down in one split second. This book is a combination of three brilliant genres: thriller, the supernatural and the everyday.

After the accident, both girls are different. Being unable to walk, “Kits is able to dream future events and sense her friend’s and family’s emotions”. Lisa is frustrated by her amnesia and haunted by her home life, past and present.

This book has enough suspense to keep my full attention. ‘The girl who knew’ is a book with peculiar situations on every page. It is engaging how amazing Kits figures out the problems, especially with trying to help Lisa when she hears her scream.

I really enjoyed this novel. This book has descriptive language which made it very easy for me to imagine the scenes in my head. I recommend this book to teen readers who are interested in paranormal, mysterious and thrilling novels. ‘The girl who knew’ explores teenagers’ emotions. Sandra Glover has combined the tension of the story with her strong characters to ensure the real and unreal is satisfying. I’d rate the book ‘the girl who knew’ 4 out of 5 stars. Cassidy B, 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.

June 10

‘Megan’, by Mary Hooper

Megan-by-Mary-HooperThe book I have read is Megan, written by Mary Hooper.

Megan is only fifteen. One day she finds out in the worst possible way some terrible news – that she is pregnant.

What will she do?

How will her friends react?

How will the father of the baby react?

But worst of all, how will her mother react?

Will Megan keep the baby?

In this readable story, Megan tries to make sense of something that whichever way she turns will change her life forever.

This book is a good read for teens preferably for 13 years girl and up. Boys could also read this book to teach them a lesson but this book it recommended mainly for girls.

I thought Megan was a great and easy read. It was very interesting and it didn’t have easy answers to the problems she encountered.  The book was difficult to put down and the ending leaves you wondering what will happen next. This book is first of the trilogy and once you finish it you just have to read the next one. I give this book a 5 star rating.

Ashleigh. L, Year 8

……

“Was one of those things really inside me? I put my hand on my tummy again. Could I feel something in there or was I imagining it? Was that just a bit of wobbly fat or something else? (Megan, p.18).

The novel that was read was ‘Megan’ by Mary Hooper. This book is a faction novel. Faction novels have information about possible events but it not true. The Megan Series are the other novels written by the author. They are about how Megan deals with her life and with her child. ‘Megan’ was simple and predictable but at the same time it was compelling and readers described it as though they needed to know what would happen next.

The novel was set in the 21st century in England. The characters in this book are legitimate. A character that stands out is the mother. The mother is a character that puts a lot of pressure on Megan as she wants her to have a good life and have a baby later in her life.

In Megan’s world, there are many dangers to her and her child. Some of these dangers include harassment, short teenage-hood, and the danger of never finding a partner.  Harassment is a danger to Megan as in high school she was harassed by some boys. After that Megan was extremely careful, as when she was harassed Megan felt terrible! Megan’s mother believes that she will only have a short teenage-hood as she will need to mature way too quickly. Not finding a partner is a huge danger for Megan as she has no one to rely on. Megan does not overcome these dangers but she is careful and tries to enjoy life with friends.

This story is engaging and powerful. At the end of the book it was extremely satisfying. Although satisfying it was almost expected that she would keep her child.

In conclusion, the book was interesting. The highlight of this book is extremely hard to decide. This book is recommended to be for young girls/women aged 13 years plus. This age group would most likely find it interesting and educational. This book could be rated 5/5 stars.

Rachel V, Year 8

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“Everything in life is a reflection of a choice you had made. If you want a different result, then make a different choice.”

Megan was only 15 when she discovers during class that she is 5 months pregnant. Megan has to go through the troubles of being pregnant at a young age.

Megan goes through many challenges, from her close friend hanging out with others to her mum telling her what to do.

I recommend this story to a girl 13 years and up to read this book. The story taught you a good lesson to stay safe and that your choices may affect yourself and others.

Megan’s actions have changed how she thinks and acts. Megan’s mum transports Megan to her aunt’s. Megan’s aunt tells her what happened when she was pregnant around the same age and how her choices still come to her today. Megan meets many nice friends were her aunt lives and goes to a motherhood class to help her with the future.

Slowly Megan grows from her mistake and learns how to handle a baby with care and nurture. Megan’s mum starts to tell little white lies to her neighbours as to why Megan is missing, while Megan’s friend stars to drop hints while Megan is away. Megan writes to her father in Australia saying she might live with him with the baby because her mum wants the baby adopted. The book “Megan” has a great example that “Everything in life is a reflection of a choice you had made. If you want a different result, then make a different choice.” And that “The past can hurt but you can either run from it or learn from your mistakes.”

The book is quite a good book but not my style of reading. If you read and love the first book of “Megan” then you can read “Megan 2” and “Megan 3″ that will complete the whole story. I’d rate this book ” Megan” a 2.5 stars.

Sofia N, Year 8.

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She was rambling on and I wasn’t taking all of it in and then she said, ‘Of course, it is possible to be pregnant and still have periods.’ I didn’t hear what she went on to after that, I was just stuck on that: of course, it is possible to be pregnant and still have periods (Megan Novel page number 8).

This novel was about a girl named Megan. The novel ‘Megan’ is a faction book written by Mary Hooper. Megan is a simple and predictable book, yet this story strikes reality first. ‘Megan’ was compelling because throughout the story you always wanted to know what would happen next.

The setting and characters in the book are based on reality. The story is set in the 21st century in Great Britain. The story brings excitement and danger at every corner. Megan is a book that involved doing research for all the characters. Writing this book, Mary Hooper made the characters pop out. The story line followed one character after another and this is what connected me to the characters.

“Without thinking, my hand moved on to my stomach. It didn’t feel any different. But was that because I didn’t want to? Was it just a bit bigger? Rounder?” Using this quote, Megan gives the character a feeling. Using this feeling, the book engages the reader.

Following Megan’s life, the story was powerful, heart-filling and overwhelming. The end of the story involved characters in an unthinkable decision. The story outline was interesting and truthful. The writer’s style gave me inspiration and this is because the theme of the story was about surviving and never giving up hope. The theme of the story changed every now and again.

‘Megan’ is a book that involves having bravery and courage. The highlight of the story was when Megan kept her child Jack. I recommend the story to pre-teens because the story was easy to read  and it was quite interesting. The theme changed every now and again and I rate the book about a 3.5 out of 5.

By Courtney D, Yr 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

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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

‘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

‘Before I Die’ by Jenny Downham

Before_I_dieTessa has just found out that she has a couple of months to live and there is only so much she can do in that very short time. Before I Die by Jenny Downham is an exceptional novel with a great plot and interesting characters.

Tessa is a sixteen year old student who has leukaemia. She writes a list of ten things she wants to accomplish before she dies. Tessa finds out that the little things matter the most, like holding your dad’s hand, talking to your brother and hugging your best friend. The characters in the novel go hand in hand with each other, creating a real life atmosphere making you feel like you’re involved in the story. Zoey, Tessa’s best friend, was a big part of the novel, showing bravery even though she has a few troubles herself, which you can see in the book. Another stand out character is her father, going through it all and trying to find a cure for his daughter’s troubles.

I loved this book because it made me stop and think of the little things. Even though the book showcases death and dying, it shows how important life really is. This is a life-affirming and uplifting novel which made me wanting to race to the finish. Jenny’s writing was so powerful and it created real atmosphere whilst reading the book. I would recommend this story to mature teenage girls and adults as it has scenes that young readers will perhaps not understand. This is a very moving book and very effective for readers.

Erica A. Year 9

……..

“I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he’d look at me the way boys do in films, as if I’m beautiful.”

― Jenny Downham, Before I Die

Months before you die, would you make list of things you want to complete? A bucket list? This is the question facing Tessa in Jenny Downham’s novel Before I Die.

This book was set in a small house in Britain. Before I Die is a compelling novel which follows a teenager who has been diagnosed with cancer. She has created a list that she wants to finish before her time’s up.

Tessa, the main character, is a teenager who is struggling with cancer. Her most important thing in the world is love. On the journey Tessa takes, she explores new people and breaks the law; things a normal teenager would not do. Will Tessa complete the list in the couple of months before her time’s up? Does her time even come?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as it always kept me wanting to read and I ended up never putting this book down. The story line is really interesting for all audiences and would come across really enjoyable to most teenagers as this story can relate well to teenagers going through a lot.

Jenny Downham’s characters seem really easy to relate to and kept my full attention through the whole book. Before I Die is a fantastic movie I would recommend for ages between 13- 20, but really would suit any gender and any age.

BIANCA E., Year 9

November 26

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

ifistay_GayleForman“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

This is a quote that is used in the book If I Stay. The story is set on a snowy day when Mia and her family decide to go for a drive and are in a car accident, which leaves Mia in a critical condition. The main characters in this book are Mia, who is 17 year old and has her whole life to plan for, and then there is Adam who is 18 years old and is dating Mia and has a band that is travelling the world.

Set in Oregon, Mia and her family were one day driving to see their grandparents when a truck came around the corner and spun out of control and hit their car. Mia wakes up and soon after realises that she is in a comer and she doesn’t know what has happened to her family. She then later has to decide whether she wants to stay or leave life, which is one of the hardest decisions she will ever have to make. Mia plays the cello and before the accident had happened she auditioned for Julliard, a prestigious music school. On the day of the accident she was going to find out if she had got in or not and Adam, Mia’s boyfriend, finds an envelope from Julliard which gives the answer to that question.

I enjoyed this book because it left you thinking and wanting to know more about what will happen if she woke up or not. I would recommend for teens and young adults to read this book because I believe that it suits them the most.

Rhiannon.S Year 9

……..

If I Stay is about Mia and her brother (Teddy) and her mum and dad. One day in their lovely home state in America, it snows, and they are in a car crash. Mia’s Mum and Dad die at the scene, and both Mia and Teddy are in a critical condition. What happens next is incredibly difficult to explain, so this is what I made of it.

Mia enters a state of ‘non-death’ and watches over as her body is operated on and transported from ward to ward until it ends up in the ICU. She watches as people come and go, watching her body. The rest of the book is based upon Mia reflecting over her life and what she’s accomplished and achieved and answering the ultimate question: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

This book was actually surprisingly short, or compact would be a better word, and that’s my first positive. Short, but definitely sweet as well. This is a really interesting book to read as it tackles a sense of achievement and also overcomes that stereotype against musicians that they can’t have boyfriends who are into modern stuff (Adam) or they have no friends or they can’t achieve anything in day to day life because it’s a dying art. I like that. I also like the fact that this wasn’t a complete chick flick! This book doesn’t start with ‘Stephanie knew the boy next door. And he was the worst thing that ever happened…’ because I find that stuff boring. Don’t get me wrong, it was borderline, but it wasn’t romance. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but I also fail to see how this can be sensibly adapted into a feature length film.

Lilly, Year 9

……..

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

If I Stay is a heart-felt drama about the young love and drama of a new couple, Adam (18) and Mia (17) and the hurdles they have to face testing their relationship. Their fate has been drastically changed when Mia’s family of four decide to take a drive on a frosty snowy day in Oregon only to discover a life-changing moment is around the corner.

Mia, 17, an aspiring cello player wanting to make it big in the music world, has to face something no seventeen-year-old should: a life changing accident that leaves her hospitalized and in a critical condition where all she can do is fight for her life in the hope she will make it through.

Adam, 18, lead singer of his band, The Willamette Stone, finds his heart lies with Mia. Adam and his band are finally starting to make it big and have been travelling around with his band working on his music career. When he hears the tragic news of Mia’s accident, he rushes to her bedside in the hope of seeing her and giving the support she needs to make it through.

Mia and Adam have to find the strength they desperately need to go on and make it through the tough time. This book is about the young love of a couple constantly tested on their strength and love to make it through. Mia’s dream is to get into a prestigious college and pursue her dream to be in one of the world’s most sort after orchestra playing the cello but Adam’s dream is to play with his band and receive the attention needed for a recording contract. Mia then has to decide between going to her dream college or following Adam as he chases his dreams.

This is a romantic drama that many would enjoy but I firmly believe the ages that would this enjoy this novel ranges from ages 12-18 onwards. I believe this age group is appropriate because many of the scenes are quite dramatic and upsetting due to the accident and the family and friends’ comments regarding Mia’s condition and state.

This novel is one of great use of emotion and connection. As you continue to read you find yourself connecting on a deep and emotional level as you start to feel as if you know the characters, understand their place in the story and feel connected with the characters. You understand the life-changing decisions they are made to make.

Ellie.M, Year 9

……..

“Please Mia,” he implores. “Don’t make me write a song,” Adam whispers to Mia, as she lays peacefully. Mia has a difficult choice to make. Does she go or does she stay?

A lovely home in America holds a family with a passion for music. But the daughter’s taste is a little different, with a cello in her hand instead of a Fender Stratocaster. A cold snowy day decision will show the fate of this family.

The story is about Mia and her younger brother Teddy and her parents. Mia is a teenage girl who, unlike her family who like rock music, likes classical music and plays the cello. Mia is the main character of the story and the story is told from her perspective.

The story begins with school being cancelled due to the snow and the family deciding to go on a road trip. The story is written with events told in the past and the future so that we only get the full story at the end of the book. In the car accident due to the weather and icy roads, the car swerves and hits another car. Mia’s brother is instantly killed and Mia experiences an out of body experience when her body is put into an ambulance. She tries to get help but cannot, as she is not conscious.

I really enjoyed this novel as one of the main characters Adam, Mia’s love interest, is a lead singer of a rock band. I have an interest in rock music therefore I relate to him more than Mia. The book was an easy read and I found it difficult to put down, as I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

I would recommend this book to people aged 14+ with an interest in “chick flicks”.

Darcy M Year 9

November 25

‘Tall Story’ by Candy Gourlay

Tallstory“What you want isn’t always what you get. Even when your wishes come true.”

Gather together in the blistering hot country of the Philippines and the freezing cold city of London, as you follow Bernardo, an eight-foot tall boy with size 22 feet. He dreams of leaving his Filipino village San Andres and heading to London for the first time to join in with his mother’s, half-sister’s, and step-father’s lives. Though how can he leave his village when the townspeople believe that he is the power that is keeping the earthquakes away from destroying San Andres? How will he fit into his new life and the lives of others in London? Will San Andres be destroyed if Bernardo leaves? All of these griping and thrilling questions, and many others, are answered within this book ‘Tall Story’.

This book surprised and surpassed my expectations and assumptions. I believed that this book was a little too easy and uninteresting for my entertainment. I was terribly wrong. Although the language level of the book is designed for younger readers who have just begun reading novels, I was actually really intrigued and entertained by the storyline and the main characters, to the point of finding it hard to put the book down because I just wanted to know how everything was going to work out. The fact that the book, the storyline, the characters, and the settings are highly engaging, realistic, convincing, suspenseful, and emotional, this is really what makes it such a great book for readers to enjoy and be entertained. The characters and their journeys are also really easy to become involved with and connected to, even from the start. Overall, ‘Tall Story’ is just a great read for people to enjoy and be a part of for the journey of the entire book.

I recommend this book to children between the ages of 8 and 12 who are interested in taking a heart-filled adventure about a young boy’s life. Readers will enjoy this book if they like books that are full of emotions, intriguing characters, and descriptive settings. This book is a little bit of an easier read, though it’s still interesting and suspenseful enough to keep readers entertained. I’d rate this book ‘Tall Story’ 3½ out of 5 stars.

Zachary Q. Year 9

……..

‘The bigger they are the harder they fall.’

This story is set in a busy city in England and a small village in the Philippines. Both places differ from each other by a lot so it is almost assured that the reader is in for quite a ride.

The two main characters are almost complete opposites at first glance, but as the story goes on their connections start to shine. Andi has grown up in England and since she was a little girl she has had the ambition to play professional basketball. Bernardo is a giant 8ft boy, a legend in his village. The only relation they have in common is their mother.

The story explains the journey from the perspectives of both Andi and Bernardo as they have to deal with the many emotions of life as Bernardo moves to England, dealing with his monstrous height.

I loved this story because of its drama and short bits of humour and the fact that I can relate to the story such as the mothers actions and reactions as I am Filipino myself and my mum is exactly like her. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone because this is no comic book or detailed novel. It is a story which should be shared with everyone.

Wilfredo Jr V, 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