June 16

‘Earth Fall: The Battle Starts Here’ by Mark Walden

‘Earth Fall: The Battle Starts Here’ is the main book in the new Earth Fall series by Mark Walden.

The story begins with little information about the hero who endeavours to take a living among the remnants of a post-outsider intrusion Earth. Whether this attack is limited or worldwide is a secret, just like the presence of some other free survivors. We are quickly acquainted with ‘automatons’— the outsider animals/makes who watch the city searching for any survivors—and ‘walkers’— local earthlings who have fallen under the spell of a puzzling outsider flag and are currently close to zombie-like labourers for the trespassers.

After some narrow escapes, including one where our hero is “stung” by one of the outsider automatons and spared by the opportune intercession of obvious officer Rachel, he is at long last presented as Sam Riley. Sam and Rachel escape the end swarms of outsiders and after some tight situations, get back to make it to Rachel’s HQ where we are acquainted with whatever is left of the survivors, all bar two of whom are youngsters like Sam and Rachel.

The special cases are one Dr Stirling, who drives the gathering and makes “missions” against the trespassers and seems to know an exasperating lot about the outsiders and Jackson, possibly a previous regal marine who prepares every one of the teenagers to be fight prepared.

What takes place after is a progression of heightening clashes and missions as the survivors endeavour to disturb the outsider building works and supplies while endeavouring to find out how their flag controls most of the human populace; how, on the off chance that it is conceivable to break this impact and why Sam isn’t yet dead from his sting.

By Jake L., Year 8

June 15

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, by author Suzanne Collins, is an interesting science fiction novel created in a dystopian world. This novel shows the life of a fictional society where young teens must fight until the death in the yearly repetition of The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is run by a wealthy city called Panem, which is surrounded by 12 districts. Each district is to put forward one female and one male aged 12 to 18 to compete in the game which is aired on every television over Panem. Katniss Everdeen aged sixteen willingly chose to volunteer to participate in The Hunger Games instead of her younger sister Prim (aged 12) who was chosen to be the 23rd member of the 74th annual hunger games. Katniss instead becomes the female tribute for District 12 along with Peeta Mellark also aged 16, who is the male tribute. Katniss promises Prim she will win after taking her place.

Katniss is against hurting or killing anyone but is pushed to fight for her life once the games start. Only one will win. Things get complicated when Katniss starts to catch feelings for a boy from her district who is also competing and she teams up with a little girl from District 11. Will Katniss kill the ones she loves to fight for her life? Or will she let someone else win so they don’t have to be killed. For Katniss to survive, she must kill.

I have read the first book to The Hunger Games three times, and the other books many times as well. I think they are all such thrilling and terrific novels it is hard to put them down. The series won many awards since the book was released in September 2008 such as “Best books of the year, Publishers’ Weekly 2008,” “New York Times Best Seller,” “The California Young Reader Medal”. The Hunger Games series has also been turned into a film series winning many awards also.

I personally think this book is one of my favourites and I hope that they continue to make more.  I liked it because it was different to most novels I have read, with good detail and interesting plot twists. I could picture it as if I was there in Panem when I read this book. I think this book is good for any gender, and from ages 12 and up as it can be quite graphic.

Millah P., Year 8

July 13

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

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

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

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

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

Joe S. and Nic P., Year 8

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 9

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

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

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

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

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

Thomas H., Year 8

November 24

‘The Wrong Boy’ by Suzy Zail

wrong boy“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

Set amid the gruesome horror of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, World War II, The Wrong Boy tells the story of a forbidden and secret love between a young Jewish girl, Hanna, and the German son of a Nazi commander, Karl.

Hanna Mendel is a very talented teenage pianist from Budapest, Hungary who dreamed of becoming a famous concert pianist. Being a Jew, she had been living in a ghetto until her family was rounded up and sent to the concentration camp. Her father was separated from them upon arrival, which caused her mother to become mentally ill. Her mother was later also taken away. Hanna’s sister became sick, refusing to eat the food. An opportunity arises for Hanna when she has the chance to play the piano for the camp commander. She jumps at the opportunity.

Whilst Hanna is playing for the commander, she meets his son, Karl. Initially she doesn’t like Karl however over time she realises he is not the person she initially thought he was. They develop feelings for each other against all odds.

I really enjoyed this book because it felt real. This story could have really happened and I felt sympathetic to the characters’ situations. The book was accurate in its historical accounts of World War II and living conditions in the concentration camps. Young adults of my age haven’t really read many books that are set in this era so it was educational as well as an entertaining read.

I would recommend this book to anybody young or old who enjoys a love story or story of times of war. It was an easy read and moved along at an easy pace.

Tasmin C., Year 9


The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail is a story about a teenage girl named Hanna who lived in a poor town with her older sister Erika and their parents. During World War II the Nazis decided to displace all Budapest Jews from their homes and send them to another place called Auschwitz.

When Hanna, Erika and their mother were collected from their home, their father is also separated from them. A short while after, Hanna’s mother begins to go mentally insane and is taken away from Hannah and Erika, leaving both the girls to slowly starve to death, until Hanna receives an opportunity to become the commander’s pianist, which then helps to keep Hanna and Erika alive, as food is given to Hanna. As Erika is becoming more ill everyday, Hanna becomes more and more desperate to achieve her goal. When Hanna gets chosen to become the commander’s pianist she begins to gain extra food for her sister and herself until she begins to notice the commander’s son Karl.

Karl is a handsome boy who is completely unaware of anything around him including Hanna’s existence. Hanna is disgusted at Karl as she begins to think to herself that Karl is a lazy, good for nothing young boy who doesn’t care about the Jews his father is killing. Karl starts to notice Hanna as he sits and draws while Hannah plays the piano. As Hanna spends more time in the commander’s house she begins to notice more things, not only about the house but about Karl too. Before Hanna realises, she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.

I would recommend this book to young teenagers as it is a love story with historical events in it and would it relates to a younger audience.

I would rate this book a 4/5 stars as it is filled with detail and depth which is shown through the characters, story line and setting of the novel. This novel will leave you wanting to know more and more as you keep on reading, making it an exciting story.

Tahlia, Year 9


“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

Hanna, a 15 year old talented pianist, lived in a small middle class ghetto with her mother, father and older sister, Erika. All of the Budapest Jews are collected and sent away to Auschwitz, separating Hanna, Erika and their mother from their father. The Nazis begin to strip the Jews of everything, causing their mother to go mentally ill to the state where they had to take her away from her daughters. With Hanna’s older sister, Erika, slowly starving to death, Hanna gets given the opportunity to audition to become the commander’s pianist to score some extra food to keep her sister alive. Hanna is more than desperate to be chosen, with her sister becoming more and more sick every day and the loss of both of her parents.

When she finally gets picked to play piano for the commander, Hannah is ordered to arrive at his headquarters to sit and wait quietly until he feels like listening to music. It was more than she expected, not in a good way either. She began to get extra food for herself and her sister secretly, and all seemed to finally become slightly bearable until Hanna begins to notice the commander’s son, Karl, living with his father. Karl is a handsome young boy who seems to be completely disinterested in Hanna’s existence and all of his surroundings. Hanna then develops a burning hatred for the boy who just sits there and does nothing. He does nothing to help, nothing to help the people that his father is killing. Karl just sketches on his expensive note pad with an expensive pen as he listens to Hanna cautiously playing on the piano.

The more time that Hanna spends in that house, the more things she notices. More secret things. Is Karl just more than just a pretty face? Is he more than what she thinks he is? Before Hanna knows it, she had fallen in love. Fallen in love with the wrong boy.

I recommend this book to teenagers aged 12+ since the moral and the wording of this story would be hard to understand and to relate to with a younger audience.

I’d rate the book a 4 out of 5 stars. It is a brilliantly worded piece. It has a lot of detail in the characters and the theme/setting of the book. It’s definitely one to draw you in and make you come back for more.

By Isabella N. Year 9

November 19

‘Loyal Creatures’ By Morris Gleitzman

loyal creaturesHave you ever wanted to hear a story about a boy who went to WW1 with the Light horse? Me too! Time to hop right into the report.

Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the Light Horse and do his bit in the war effort. So Frank fakes his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy … and his dad. In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted to know about the exciting war, and a few things he wasn’t expecting. Sad moments, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life. From being at Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story tells a lot about WW1 and grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history.

The main character is called Frank who is a fifteen-year-old boy who had his mum pass away and has a crush on the girl who works at the pharmacy.

The other main character is named “Dad” and he is mostly known for not wanting for his son to go to war, and later on meeting up with his son in war.

He also has a horse named Daisy who goes to war with him. As the story develops, so does their friendship and their bond as a boy and his horse.

I enjoyed reading this book because of the emotional roller coaster that it takes you on while reading this book; they can make you feel a range of different emotions, which is why I found this book very enjoyable.

I would recommend this book to an age demographic of 12 and above because of its disturbing scenes when going to war. It is also a good read for anyone who fancies a book about true friendship and bonding.

-Robbie W, Year 9


November 16

‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

Boyinthestripedpyjamas“…Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.”

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas will have you on the edge of your seat with its thrilling content and interesting characters. Bruno and his family have just moved to Auschwitz, but Bruno knows that something weird is going on in his father’s office. When Bruno and his sister were looking through the window one day they saw something unusual. To them it just looked like a farm with some people wandering around, but little did they know it was more that… much more than that. Later, after listening to his father’s lecture on not going near the “farm”, Bruno decides to take an adventure. As he gets closer to the so what “farm” he sees a large fence that goes the whole way round the farm. He realizes that the people there are men and boys wearing striped pajamas. One day he came across a little boy about his age. Shmuel and Bruno became friends separated by the fence. Bruno had no idea what was going on on the other side of the fence but neither did Shmuel. They both thought it was some sort of family camp but they did not realize what was coming their way.

I really enjoyed The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. I found myself glued to the book, as the plot got so thrilling. I loved how the author left me on the edge of my seat, wanting me to keep reading.

I would recommend this book to 14-20 year olds who are interested in plots based on real life stories. I would rate this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

Macy G, Year 9


Think about your life at the moment; think about your friends and family. Now imagine if you and your family had to leave all your relatives and close friends to live in a secluded area that you had never even heard of! For ten-year-old Bruno this was exactly the case!      Bruno was only young and his father was a very high up figure in the German army during WW2. Bruno didn’t like his new life, but eventually he came to terms with it. Due to the young boy’s innocence, he knew nothing of the terrible things that went on in the death camps that lay only a few meters away from his new home.

Bruno couldn’t stand his boredom, so one day he decided to go exploring, and discovered a boy named Shmuel who was on the opposite side of a big fence. He could never understand why, but one thing he did know was that everyone on the other side of the fence wore ‘striped pyjamas’. The two boys became best friends and their friendship grew stronger. The boys would talk almost every day and both enjoyed discovering new things. Their curiosity and need for adventure ended up with heart-breaking consequences.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas written by John Boyne is thrilling, emotional and full of adventure. The characters, storyline and themes associated with this book will keep you on the edge of your seat! The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas relates to many different readers. I was instantly captivated with the way the author wrote about such an important time in our history. This story was one of the best that I have ever read, as the author plays on so many emotions.

I recommend this book to people 13 years and over of any gender because the concepts are more relevant to this age group. I would give this book a 5 star rating, as I loved everything about.

Alannah A., Year 9

November 16

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

white foxAmerica has been taken over by the Confederation of Consolidated Republics, which is an evil corporation locking up everyone they see, even kids! Would you want your family to be locked away? The story takes place in 2017. Cody Pierce is a 14 year old boy being held captive in one of the many CCR prisons set up all over America and after seeing the tragic death of his parents Cody has no intentions of staying there. Cody is scheming of a way to escape, and with his friends Luther and McLaughlin they work together to find a way to escape. Throughout the book as they meet new people and new challenges they must all work together to find a way to survive because if they fail it means death.

The main characters of the book are Cody Pierce, Toni McLaughlin, Rachael and Sidoron who is the leader of Cody’s CCR prison camp. Throughout the book Cody, Rachael and Toni all develop relationships throughout the book and as times get tougher their relationships will be tested. Cody Pierce got the nickname ‘White Fox’ from the CCR because of his iconic white coloured hair. He is a strong willed teenager who has lived a very traumatic life. Major Toni McLaughlin was captured by the CCR and escaped with Cody and is now fighting as hard as he can to get back to the other American soldiers. Rachael is Cody’s friend and as they start to develop a special bond this becomes essential, as they need each other to survive. Sidoron is the leader of Cody’s CCR prison camp and is a very cruel man but at times he can show some weakness.

I loved this book. It was one of the most action packed books I have ever read and had everything a book needed in it. There are relationships that go well and some that go bad. There are lives on the line in death-defying situations and a non stop quest for Cody Pierce to go back to save his fellow kids.

I would recommend this book to boys over the age of ten all the way up to their twenties who love action and adventure filled books and an entertaining fast moving story. I give this book a rating of 8 stars out of 10.

Reece, Year 9


White Fox is a book about a 14-year-old boy named Cody Pierce who struggles to get through life living in a prison camp held by the C.C.R. (Confederation of Consolidated Republicans) The plot of the book is the C.C.R. and the USA are going into an all out war over each other. The year is 2017. In my opinion I believe that the age groups suited for this book are ages 10-15.

The book White Fox is called that because Cody Pierce, the main character in the book, was nicknamed ‘White Fox’ because of how Cody would wear a headband over his blonde hair. White fox Cody Pierce as a character in the book is very heroic. Cody shows his heroic ways as he tries to escape from the prison.

In the book Cody Pierce goes through major issues in life, such as he has to go through life, day by day, knowing that he is never going to see his parents again. This is because they both had died. Also in the book Cody goes through life meeting new people on his journey such as a Pilot named Major Toni McLaughlin. Major Toni McLaughlin is a very experienced pilot when all went wrong on one day when the army shot down his plane but he just survived.

I recommend this book to all ages of 10-15; this book is one of my favourites that I have read. I believe that both boys and girls of these ages will love this book. This book provides thrill, adventure, and anxiety. This book will be great for you if you like action as well.

James B., Year 9

June 19

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

boy soldierIs Fergus Watts a traitor or a hero?

This book is an action filled, thrilling adventure about an ex SAS hero that does something very bad, so is turned down and is then looked at as a traitor and his orphaned grandson Danny who gets mixed up in a crazy mess! Danny is a 17 year old orphan who had a dream to join the army. Danny is a smart boy, about to join the Sandhurst Military Academy, when everything went upside down because of what his long lost grandfather had done!

Danny set off on a journey, determined to find his grandfather, Fergus Watts and to see why Fergus was called a traitor and to find out why he couldn’t join the army. On his journey he thought he was alone not knowing someone else was following him, also wanting to put a end to Fergus Watts’ life. This book is set in many places because when Danny caught up with his grandfather they had to keep running away from everyone.

I really liked this book because it has a great story line and is an action filled adventure that makes you feel like you are on the journey with them. I really like all the characters stories and how they featured in the book. My favourite character was Fergus because he was strong and a really good fighter and even though he was much older than everyone, he still beat them in a fight.

I would mainly recommend this book to boys, but if you like action and adventure, then you will enjoy this book. I think this book would be suitable for teens between 12 and 16 years. It may be a little bit confusing and rude for under 12 year olds. This book has many interesting but sometimes difficult abbreviations and different types of military jargon to decipher. Over all I give this book a 7 out of 10.

If you want to find out if he was a traitor or a hero, then you need to read this book!

Jake H, Year 8


A high octane fuelled adventure awaits within the pages of “Boy Soldier”, a novel filled with suspense, action, and heart warming moments.

McNab pulls us into the world of military-based action as 16-year-old Danny Watts is searching for his long lost grandfather, Fergus Watts. An SAS explosives specialist turned traitor, Fergus was framed for supplying information to Columbian drug lords, forced to live his life in secrecy in his own country.

As Danny tracks his grandfather down through a intricate network of phone lines, Fergus’s home is besieged by a team of agents and is forced to flee his home with Danny. A cross-country pursuit follows as the same agency Fergus had once worked for, is now trying to kill him.

What I found great about this particular book was McNab’s detail to SAS tactics and acronyms to bring a real military feel to the book. Another is the man’s talent to simulate fast pace and suspenseful moments and shortly afterwards settle the reader’s tension by describing how Danny or Fergus are feeling, as well as his writing about what regular people such as Danny find comfort and safety in.

I would recommend this book to teen boys who find interest in the subject of the military and enjoy fast pace scenes with little description and transitioning chapters between settings of the book where emotional and heartfelt moments reside.

Written By Samuel B. Year Eight.


Will he be shot dead or captured alive? Find out in Boy Soldier. A series of breathtaking events occur that will leave you clueless. This book takes place in many different areas like the dense bush jungle and the endless city.

One of the main characters, Dannie, is trying to clear up his future as his Grandfather Fergus Watts was a drug dealer. Dannie is a young boy soldier trying to survive from a mole trying to kill him. His world is flipped upside down when he finally finds out Mole is trying to kill him who was from the FARC. Read this spy novel to find out what happens to Dannie and Fergus.

I loved this book as whenever you put it down you were wondering what was going to happen next and there were so many different possible outcomes from the storyline. I would recommend this book to a 10 – 16 year old audience as it is exciting and the book is never at a halt. This book is exciting and takes adventure and excitement to the next level. This book gives you an experience that will have you on the edge of your seat for the whole book. You won’t be able to stop reading and put the book down. You will be anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to come out. I definitely would recommend reading this book.

Jacob B, Year 8


Fergus Watts has many secrets; too many actually. But his biggest secret is about the SAS and if he were to share it he would be hunted down.

Boy Soldier is an explosive fast-moving action-packed thrilling adventure. Boy Soldier is set in a small town, Foxcroft. Danny is being watched by the F.I.R.M but lucky his special ops trained grandfather who is retired helps move constantly through England so they cannot be caught. Fergus Watts is an SAS veteran. Fergus joined as a boy soldier before being promoted into the SAS. He is a highly trained military spy and was framed for betraying his country.

Danny Watts is 17 years old and has lived his life wanting to be in the army. Danny finally has the chance but is told he cannot join because of what his grandfather did in the past. In anger he looks everywhere for his grandfather and wants to hear the full story. He finally finds his grandfather Fergus, and he was being followed by spies called MI6.

I really liked Boy Soldier because it is an action-packed book which is what I prefer. I also like it because the majority of the book is based on military manoeuvres and fighting, such as Danny and Fergus hiding and running from the F.I.R.M who want them dead. The F.I.R.M catch up Danny and Fergus many times but luckily Fergus is trained and knows how to get out of bad situations.

I recommend this book for people aged 12- 13 year old males and for people who like action packed thrilling adventure and military themed stories. Another reason the book is so good is because the action never stops so the story never goes boring.

Jacob K., Year 8

June 19

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

white foxIt’s 2057 and America is at war with the Confederation of Consolidated Republics (CCR) who are trying to take over America. Cody Pierce, age 14, is held in one of the CCR prison camps. He breaks out of prison with his friend Luther, with a captured air force recruit named Toni McLaughlin. The trio ventures across the desert fighting for their survival.

The Main characters in this book are Cody Pierce, Major Toni McLaughlin, and Sidoron (leader of Cody’s camp) and Rachel, a young girl Cody meets half way through the story. Cody Pierce is the main character. The CCR gave him the nickname White Fox because of his long white hair. Major Toni was captured at the start of the story and both the Major and Cody built a relationship and they escape together from the prison. Rachel is Cody’s friend and she ends up helping Cody when they were out in the hot empty desert desperate for water and about to die.

There are three parts to this book starting at Cody’s time at the prison camp and his escape, to the parts when he was desperate for water in the desert and was about to die, and the final part when they found the rebels’ base and returned to the camp to free all the other inmates and innocent children.

I really enjoyed this book, as it is full of action and all about their adventure. I was really addicted to this book and was always reading it and really enjoyed. I hardly ever read books but I read every single word in this book. It was really fun to read.

I would recommend this book to ages 13-14 or people who just like action/adventure books. The story was very interesting and I was hooked into this book from the very first sentence.

Griffin P, Year 8

June 18

‘In the Sea There are Crocodiles’ by Fabio Geda

In the sea there are crocodilesThe thing is, I really wasn’t expecting her to go.

If that sounds like the start of a book you would enjoy, then In The Sea There Are Crocodiles is the book for you.

I don’t want to spoil too much about this book. It starts with an 11-year-old boy who has to leave his home village with his mother to go to a whole different place. When he arrives he is thinking that this new place is going to be his new home. Then one night he goes to sleep and when he wakes up his mother has gone, only leaving a message saying that they won’t see each other again. He is left in a alien place where, in order to survive, he has to find a place to stay and a job, but challenges keep coming at him as he tries to find a place that truly feels safe and at home.

He isn’t the only young child looking for a home. Throughout his whole journey he encounters young boys just like him. He travels all over the Middle East and in the different places he goes his story shows how different races are rivals and how others believe that they are better off than the other just because of where they came from.

Once I started to read this book I just wanted to read more and know more about the story. Sometimes I would forget what time it was and found I had been reading for hours. It is a well-written book with descriptive language that gives you a clear picture of what is going on. It was translated well throughout most of the book but sometimes with words that couldn’t be translated I had a bit of trouble. The story was gripping and I found myself thinking that there is no way I would have been able to achieve what he did.

If you hold a wish up high, any wish, just in front of your forehead, than life will be worth living.”

His bravery and his optimism really inspired me.

I would recommend this book to the ages 13-40 as this book is very interesting and the story would capture teen and adults. I would also recommend this to anyone looking for an autobiography with suspense, action, adventure and some parts that reach your heart. I rate this book 9 out of 10.

Xavier Year 8


One night before putting Enaiatollah to bed, his mother tells him three things: don’t use drugs, don’t use weapons, and don’t steal. The next morning he wakes up to discover his mother has fled, which puts a bit of a twist on the book. When his mother leaves he really doesn’t know what to say. He is a little bit angry at first but does not know what to do. As he decides to go and skip countries and finds a place to live, Enaiatollah dangerously crosses the borders of Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen and tries to find a place to live.

In Enaiatollah’s story there is Emaiatollah and his mother. His journey starts in Afghanistan and ends in Italy. Enaiatollah’s mother was in fear of the Taliban, so she leads him across borders and countries to start a new life. It took him five years to cross all the way to get to Italy.

Here is a quote from the book: “If you hold a wish up high, any wish, just in front of your forehead, then life will always be worth living.”

I would rate this book 7 out of 10. It was a good book and I would recommend it to people between the ages of 10-13. If you love adventures and good novels I would suggest this book to you. It has lots of surprises, whether he gets found out or not, but there are also has a lot of adventures in this story. I think it was a great book.

Jack H., Year:8


June 11

‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ by John Marsden

Tomorrow when the war began“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”

Wirrawee. A small, rural town on the East Coast of Australia surrounded by farmland, small industry, bush lands and friendly citizens. Not your typical war zone.

Ellie, an innocent rural teenager, and her friends head out on one last camping trip before school goes back; seven teenagers filling in time over the school holidays. They expect nothing to have changed by the time they return home, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a camping trip they will never forget. They return home to find that Ellie’s dogs are dead, the power’s been cut, phone lines disconnected and people missing. Have they been invaded? Their world is about to change forever, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made. Would you fight? Would you give up everything, including life itself? Tomorrow When The War Began will ask the biggest question you will ever have to answer.

Tomorrow When The War Began is by far one of the best books I have ever read. It was filled with suspense, action, romance, friendship and love. It teaches you about the importance of sticking together when times get tough and fighting for what you believe is right. From the first page to the very last word, I didn’t want to put the book down. This book is written perfectly. It held my full attention and left me on the edge of my seat all the way through.

I believe both girls and boys would enjoy this book as it both an action pack adventure and romantic novel. This would appeal to people from the ages 12-20, as this age group can relate to most of the story line. For the people that enjoyed the Hunger Games, Divergent and the Ellie Chronicles series, this book would be most enjoyable. I would rate Tomorrow When The War Began 5 out of 5 stars for its captivating story line, creativity and originality. I believe that Tomorrow When The War Began is a very well-written story about love, friendship, war, romance and the fight for freedom.

Shakya F, Year 8


One morning Ellie and her friends wave goodbye to their parents. Will this be the last time they ever see their parents again? Tomorrow When The War Began is about Ellie, a country teen who decides to go camping with her friends. The story is fictional and is based in Wirrawee, a small country town in Australia. Ellie and her friends go camping at Tailors Stitch also known in the book as Hell.

Ellie is a natural leader who has courage, strength and is one of the bravest teens in the group. Homer is a troublemaker and problem but when it comes to saving his town he is a great planner, leader and thinker. Fiona is a pampered princess with no knowledge of camping whatsoever, however when her town is in trouble she is a true hero. No one really knew Lee. He was the misfit but he is also one of the most interesting characters. Robyn is the smart one of the group. She always thinks strategically. Corrie is Ellie’s best mate. They’ve know each other forever. She is also very brave. Kevin is considered one of the most rural in the group and he would do anything to save Corrie’s life.

During their trip they see military aircraft flying overhead. Little did they know their town and country were being invaded. When they return home the find out that they are at war. With no training, they come together to fight the enemy.

I would recommend this book to teenagers from 12 years to 16 years. This book could also be for other age groups like young adults. I liked Tomorrow When The War Began so much because it was different to anything else I have ever read. It was really entertaining and it was filled with action. The book was also very descriptive. I also liked the book because it was written from the characters’ eyes as well.

By Olivia, Year 8


In “Tomorrow When the war Began”, a group of teenage kids went camping for one last trip before going back to school. After having a great time, they came back only to find no one was home. They soon found out that there has been an invasion from a foreign country. They now have to fight for their lives and make sacrifices to win this war.

In the start of the novel, the setting is Wirrawee, a small town with not much to do. The kids decide to go camping in a place called “Hell”. “Hell” is a beautiful place with its dangers. The Main Character, Ellie, is very brave and independent and the group leader. There is also Corrie, Ellie’s best friend and a typical teenage girl. Then we have Fi, a very big girly girl and a drama queen. Next is Robyn, a very religious Catholic girl who won’t do anything that she’s not supposed to. There is also Kevin, who can sometime be selfish and entitled to his own opinion. Then there is Lee, not your typical teen boy. He is unique and thinks deeply. Last we have Homer, who doesn’t care about rules and finds himself in the police station quite a lot but he has a bad sense of humour.

Ellie, Corrie, Robyn, Fi, Kevin, Lee and Homer decide to go on a camping trip to “Hell” before school starts again. So they all pack up the Land Rover and head off to “Hell”. After coming back from a lovely, eventful trip, they come back only to find that their lives will change forever. They will have to work together and fight for their country as one.

Marni L., Year 8


How did this happen so quickly?

Ellie and her friends go out to the bush to explore and get to a place called ‘Hell’ so they can camp there. During the night there they see a large amount of planes pass through without any lights. The next morning they discuss it, and they end up thinking that they are military planes coming back from a demonstration. When they return back to their hometown of Wirrawee, they find it deserted. No one is at home. All the animals were either dead or dying. What’s going on? Where is everyone?

The main characters in the story are Ellie Linton, Homer Yannos, Lee Takkam, Kevin Holmes, Corrie Mackenzie, Robyn Mathers and Fiona Maxwell.

If you enjoy a book with action and adventure, then ‘Tomorrow when the war began is definitely the book for you! I was really intrigued by the book. There was lots going on. The author, John Marsden, had described the characters amazingly. The plot was so well written that it was easy to picture in my mind what was going on every time I read a new sentence. The story kept going on and on with a smooth like rhythm. Everything fitted perfectly with each other. There was an even amount of action, adventure and suspense that kept me amused and had my full attention.

Ending the book made me want to read the rest of the series, to know what’s going on. I would also agree with other people that the book is definitely better than the movie. Everything was all in the book. Nothing was cut out of it like they would do in the movies.

I would recommend this book for teens and adults who would like to read an action adventure novel. This book is amazing and kept me entertained the whole time reading it. I’d rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. Simran P, Year 8.  


Why did people call it Hell?” I wondered….No place was Hell, no place could be Hell. It’s the people calling it Hell, that’s the only thing that made it so. People just sticking names on places, so that no one could see those places properly anymore...

Ellie was bored on a typical day in the school holidays. She lived in Warrawee, NSW. After pleading her parents, they finally agreed to her going on a camping trip with some of her friends. They were all very excited, but little did they know the challenges ahead of them. It was the last night of their adventurous journey, when Ellie and a few others heard and saw jets flying across the sky. It was their last peaceful night. As soon as they returned they found most of their dogs dead and families missing. They knew something had gone terribly wrong. They later found out that their country had been invaded and everyone had been captured and put at the Australia Day celebration stadium. From there onwards it was a fight for survival.

The main characters have different personalities and perspectives. Ellie is very determined and out-going girl. She looks forward to adventures and is very brave. She’s known as the leader of the group. Her best friend, Corrie, is not a very confident girl and is more on the shy side. Her other friend, Homer, lives quite near Ellie. He is a troublemaker and strong type guy. Robyn is a very religious and straightforward girl who would never dare to think ill of someone. Fiona is a very pampered and spoiled girl who mainly thinks about her hair and makeup. It would have been one of her last thoughts to come on a camping trip. Lee is a very nice guy who isn’t as close and friendly with the others. Kevin is Corrie’s boyfriend who turns out to be a deceiver and a big coward.

In my opinion, this book is very thrilling and exciting. There was always a fear of what’s going to happen next. I love the way they show how people can change in different circumstances. The author showed how when it comes to war, every type of person fights and gains courage to defeat the evil. There was a lot of suspense in this book, which made it more engaging for the reader. The book doesn’t finish with a win and attracts me to read the rest of the books in the series.

I certainly recommend this book for people who love thrill and suspense. It is suitable for everyone over the age of 12. I would rate it around a 4/5 because it was very captivating and engaging.

Vereta, Year 8

May 19

‘Gone’ by Michael Grant

gone‘We didn’t make this world; we’re just the poor fools who are living in it.

In ‘Gone’, kids over the age of 15 disappear from Perdido Beach and kids under that are left alone without adults. What is left in this situation is fear and chaos. The area has a sphere barrier around it and is nicknamed the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone).

The three main characters of this novel are Sam Temple, Astrid Ellison and Quinn Gaither, all 14 years old turning 15. Sam, also known as ‘School Bus Sam’, is seen as a hero by the little kids in town and there is an expectation that he will take charge of the FAYZ. Astrid is a genius who knows a lot of things. She often and helps Sam out, and Quinn is a surfer and Sam’s best friend.

Briefly, the book goes through deaths and major injuries and things that you can’t scientifically prove. Kids in the FAYZ start to be able to use supernatural powers and some bullies try to use it for fighting and killing. During the story, Sam and his friends run away from the bullies so they take charge of the FAYZ. But while running away they realise the secret of the FAYZ and choose to fight the bullies before their fifteenth birthday. But he needs to hurry, as he has only 13 days left.

I liked this book because it showed clearly what would happen if adults in this world disappear. It showed how kids could go mentally crazy and out of touch. I believe it also shows true leadership and bravery from Sam as he chooses to fight the bullies in town to stop deaths and killings happening. I recommend this book to teenager boys or girls because the characters’ ages are pretty close to the reader and could have some things that you could relate to. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 because it changes characters sometimes and it’s hard to recognise that.

Paulette I, Year 9

November 20

‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

boy in striped pyjamasMeet Bruno, a young nine-year-old boy from Berlin. His father is a very important individual of ‘The Fury’ (Adolf Hitler). When the family moves closer to their father’s job, Bruno’s life takes a huge twist forcing Bruno to find new friends. The main characters in the book are Bruno and Schmuel. Bruno is the son of a Fury commander who is moving from Berlin closer to the concentration camps. Schmuel is the young Jewish boy who has been placed in the concentration camp with his father. When these two boys meet by the dividing fence their friendship takes off putting both their lives in great danger. The story follows the two boys as they become unlikely friends and try to help each other through tough situations life throws at them.

I really enjoyed this book, “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas” because it gives the reader a good understanding of what life was like in World War II and also has a beautiful storyline with an interesting view on life in that era. I was engaged throughout the book with clever use of dialogue and a great verbal description of the events taking place. The book was full of twists and turns and the ending was the perfect eye opener to what times were like through war. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a beautiful book and is mature enough to understand the history behind the novel. This book is honestly a fantastic book and is one of the best books I have ever read.

Tate B, Year 9


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a story with the unlikeliest friendships between Bruno and Shmuel. Written by John Boyne and published in 2006, this is a top selling book.

Bruno, only nine years old ,is a boy living in Berlin when his family has to move closer to their father’s job. Bruno’s life changes in a blink of a an eye and takes a twist when he meets up with another young boy by the name of Schmuel dressed in striped pyjamas and they are divided by a fence. These two boys, Bruno and Schmuel, are the main characters. Bruno’s dad was a Nazi commander and he moved closer to the concentration camps, where Schmuel was living with his father. When Bruno and Schmuel became friends this put both of their lives in serious danger.  The novel is about difficult situations these boys face and then overcome each other’s challenges.

This book is great because you have an understanding what it was like in World War II. Boy in the striped pyjamas has a good storyline throughout which I really enjoyed. It would be really enjoyable to read for all ages, the young and old. I was engaged with the thrill and adventure. Also the use of words the writer put in was very catching, with some parts boring and others parts with a lot of twist and turns. This book made me read to the end and I really enjoyed every page. I would recommend this book to those 12 years old and older as it has a more serious side. This book was great to read. I had a lot of fun reading it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I would rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

By Josh, Year 9


Would you change your view on a person just because of the colour of their skin or their beliefs?

The novel ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne kicks off in the mist of WWII and begins with a 9 year old German boy named Bruno who comes home to find his maid packing his things because his family is moving from their luxurious house to a ‘smaller’ one. Bruno’s father’s job is very demanding as he is a commandant in ‘the Fury’s’ ranks.

Having grown up in the war, Bruno has been brainwashed into thinking that Germany is the master race and that they can do anything without consequence. While exploring the new house, Bruno discovers a large barbed fence and find huts of people in striped pyjamas. What he doesn’t know is that this is a concentration camp for the Jews that the Fury has taken as prisoners.

Along the way Bruno meets many interesting characters such as Shmuel, a little Jewish boy that he met while exploring along the fence. Shmuel is bruised and very skinny and Bruno is clueless and doesn’t know what he goes through on the other side of the fence.

This novel was an interesting read and showed there is no limit to how cruel humans can be. I recommend this novel for young adults and up from the ages of 14 to 40 as this novel is very mature and is not for the young. This book is for those who enjoy fable or history novels, as it may not be true but focuses on a real event in history and teaches a true lesson about racial discrimination. This novel was an interesting read but it wasn’t the greatest as it takes a long time to get interesting. The ending was very sad and left a large impact and changed my perspective on mankind. I’d rate this novel ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’ 2 out of 5 stars.

Harry, Year 9


No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor

The boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2006 novel by John Boyne. It is a gripping and touching fable based on a very sad fictional event that we know now as the Holocaust. It is viewed through the eyes of a young boy named Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant who has formed a very odd friendship with Shmuel, a Jewish boy captured by Nazi soldiers. By focusing on Bruno’s innocent and confused idea of his Father’s job it gives a whole new perspective on how the everyday Germans experienced this event. The tragic but exciting journey that they partake provides resourceful insights on the consequences of WW2.

Bruno, a ten-year-old German boy ,lives in a five-storey house with his mother, father and his older sister, Gretel. His father’s job is “very important” which requires their family to leave the life they have in Berlin. Not long after, they manage to find themselves at a place called “Out With”. Here Bruno finds a very dull looking house with soldiers patrolling everywhere and nothing for him to do. However, from Bruno’s bedroom window he manages to spot, what seems to look like a town, where everyone is wearing blue and white striped pyjamas. Soon after Bruno’s discovery his curiosity and boredom got the best of him, so he decided to go investigate this “town”. He followed the wired fence, which surrounded the area where the people lived. To Bruno’s excitement he saw a figure in the distance that turned out to be a Jewish boy named Shmuel. These two boys manage to form an unbreakable friendship that unfortunately ends in tragedy.

I quite enjoyed reading this book as I like reading novels relating to real life events but this story isn’t suitable for everyone. The story has very serious themes and will require some maturity to fully understand the devastation of war. In saying this, I would recommend the book to anyone aged 13 and above who enjoys reading fictional novels. I believe this age group will have the maturity required to fully understand and appreciate the story. The novel, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” is a gripping and touching fable. I felt that it did have a very slow beginning and quite a sad ending. Therefore, I would rate these book 3 out of 5 stars.

Kye, Year 9


Irish writer John Boyne’s fourth novel, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,’ is a fictional and touching story about an odd friendship between two boys in awful circumstances and a reminder of man’s capacity for inhumanity. Bruno is a nine-year-old boy growing up in Berlin during World War II. He and his family move from their comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a deserted area where there is nothing to do. When Bruno gets to their new home he is immediately homesick after leaving his school, his three best friends, his house, and his grandparents. His new home is smaller, full of soldiers and there is no one to play with, however, from his bedroom window he notices a town of people dressed in striped pajamas separated from him by a wire fence. He spots a dot in the distance and as he gets closer, he sees it’s a boy. Thrilled by the possibility of a friend, Bruno introduces himself and the boy also introduces himself. He is a Jewish boy named Shmuel who lives a strange but similar life on the other side of the connecting wire fence who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pajamas. Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel grows stronger over time and they become very close. Almost every day, they meet at the same spot and talk. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, Bruno decides to climb under the fence and explore Shmuel’s world.

The storyline is very intriguing and dramatic, which makes the novel more interesting to read. Although the main character is only 9 years old, I recommend this book to older teens and adults who are interested in dramatic novels. This book is truly a great read. I’d rate the book, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ 5 out of 5 stars as the storyline is intense and intriguing.

Grace, Year 9

November 20

‘Amaryllis’ By Craig Crist-Evans

Amaryllis‘Dear Mr and Mrs Staples, your son, Frank, did not return from a mission in Southeast Asia and is presumed Missing In Action.’ (Quote from the Book Amaryllis).

Amaryllis is the story of the Staples family, specifically the bond shared between Frank and Jimmy. It is set during the Vietnam War, and it is told from the point of view of Jimmy, Frank’s younger brother.

Frank leaves home in events preceding the book. Although Jimmy is disappointed at Frank’s departure, he understands why Frank did what he did. Frank had had problems with his father since a young age, and once he had his 18th birthday, his father was too much for him to live with, so he surprisingly joined the army to ‘escape’ from his life in California. Frank is then shipped off to Vietnam, to take part in a war that he doesn’t believe in.

Throughout this book, the strong bond that Jimmy and Frank share is very prominent, especially in the letters they sent each other after Frank left home. Jimmy misses Frank greatly, as when he was back home they spent a lot of time together, especially surfing, Without Frank at home, Jimmy feels burdened with having to deal with his father all by himself.

Frank and Jimmy were always the best of mates growing up together, but due to their father’s behaviour Frank is driven out of the home he grew up in. Once he leaves home, He and Frank keep in touch through letters, and these letters depict what Frank is going through in Vietnam. These letters from Frank often are not positive, and quite often he tells Frank of the horrors of war, or the drug problem he is suffering from.

“I remembered how the salt water dried in my hair, how the wet suit felt like a second skin against my body. I remembered everything Jimmy, but all I could think about was the smack in my pocket.”

Whilst all of this is going on in Vietnam, Jimmy is also struggling to deal with life with his alcoholic father back in California.

This book was such an interesting read for me because throughout the entire book I was drawn in to Frank’s depiction of the war. Throughout the book I felt enthralled by the letters, and it encouraged me to keep reading to find out what would happen to Frank.

I would recommend this book to any teenager, as it has some coarse language and drug references, but it appeals to those of that age when reading about the struggles of Jimmy, of whatever type they may be.

By Daniel D., Year 9

October 29

‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card

It’s not hard to see why Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a classic science fiction/dystopian novel. Complete with plays within plays, it keeps the reader second guessing games played by characters on other characters. It’s a fantastic read for gaming boys particularly. For me, the battle scenes were just a little drawn out – otherwise I’d give it 5 stars.
A must for sci-fi lovers, this novel has stood the test of time and has not aged one little bit!  4 1/2 stars Mrs O.


November 19

‘Hell Island’ by Matthew Reilly

Hell-Island“Hey, what was that…? Holy-” Gunfire rang out. Sustained automatic gunfire. Both from the SEALs and from an unknown enemy force. The SEALs’ silenced  MP-5SNs made a chilling slit-slit-slit-slit-slit-slit when they fired.


Matthew Reilly captures the reader’s attention from the word go. This brilliant action-packed novel was an intense read and kept the reader hooked and interested throughout the entirety of the novel.


This novel is about a squad of marines that are given a task on a remote island so small that it is unnoticeable on the world map. Plunging from a cargo plane tens of thousands of metres above the ground through heavy rain and howling winds, the four different assault teams plummet to the ground not knowing what they will encounter. What they encounter is not quite what they expected. Scarecrow and his small team are in for an adventure, but not with the outcome that they expected. This novel goes from action to even more action.


Scarecrow has faced many missions as a marine but none as tough as this one; Hell Island is the definition of this man’s hell. Scarecrow is a veteran recently returned from emotional leave after the heaviest battle he had faced, his younger crew don’t know whether he is up to the task but his old friend Mother, the only woman in their team (but that is not the reason for her nickname), has got his back and will vouch for him. Mother has followed Scarecrow into almost every battle she has been in and Scarecrow is the best leader she has ever had. Scarecrow shows how he has survived all that he has been through and how he can pull through almost any situation.


Matthew Reilly has created an astounding novel which readers will thoroughly enjoy and want more. This novel was so well written that you had no idea what was going to happen next and had you sitting on the edge of your seat. The only problem with this book was its length: it wasn’t long enough! I just wanted more. I felt that the story could have been longer.


Overall this book was an excellent one and I would highly recommend it to boys ages 14 and up. It had minimal faults, it was an easy read and held lots of action. I would give it four and a half stars out of ten.


Nick, Year 9

November 4

‘The Wrong Boy’ by Suzy Zail

wrong boy“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail was set in 1944 in a concentration camp in Poland. The main character, Hanna Mendel, is a 16 year old pianist  sent to concentration camp and is forced to leave everything she loves behind, including her piano and home. She is a naïve girl and doesn’t quite understand what is going on at the camp, but she cannot pass up an opportunity of becoming the commander’s pianist. When she wins the auditions she is over the moon. She uses her privileges to help her sister Erica stay alive but at times it just wasn’t enough. When Hanna realizes that she has feelings for the Commander’s son Karl, she is left in awe as he reciprocates his feelings but they are star-crossed lovers destined not to be together.

I enjoyed this book as the descriptive language makes the scenes easily play out in my head. Suzy related the book to modern issues of young people with love and heartbreak, as they are not able to be together. This book was a tearjerker at times and I found myself in awe in the end.


I’d recommend this story to girls 12-16 who enjoy a romance and drama story, I found myself really stuck into this book after reading the first few chapters.


I give The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail 4 out of 5 stars as the storyline was good but the ending was a little weak.


Gemma T, Year 9


Meet Hannah Mendel. a 15 year old Jewish pianist. Little did she know in just eight days she would be swept off across the country and be playing for the Camp Commander and his son Karl. If you are interested in thrilling World War II and young love books, this is the book for you!


This story starts in Hungary, in the street where Hanna, her mother, father and sister all live now turned into a ghetto. The action then moves to a camp in Poland – Auschwitz.

The main character is Hanna. The book follows her life throughout a terrible three months. The secondary characters are Hanna’s family, the Camp Commander Captain Jager and his son Karl.


I believe that I enjoyed the book so much because it is unpredictable and quite a different book to what I would read. It is a great book, however I wish to know more about what happens after the ending.


I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 13-20 who are interested in World War II, music and young love/romance. This novel is an easy and great book to read.


Kira N. Year 9


‘Being kissed by Karl Jagger was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do dangerous things.’


Fifteen-year-old Hanna Mendel planned on being a concert pianist like her idol Clara Wieck. She planned on her life being normal. But no life for a Jewish girl in World War II can be normal. Leaving behind her life, her piano, her school and her dreams, Hanna is forced to face the reality of World War II. When she spends her sixteenth birthday in Auschwitz, her street is turned into a ghetto, she’s thrown into wooden barracks with two hundred other prisoners and forced into cattle trucks, where she is taken away.


Now she is just like any other Jew, forced into camps, shaven and given a number. Hanna is sure she’slost everything.

That’s until she meets Karl Jagger, the commandant’s son and fell in love with the wrong boy.


I found this book fascinating and an adorable read, perfect for teenage girls who enjoy the thrill of World War II novels and sweet romance stories. The World War II theme gave the novel, the worn boy, as sense of fear for the characters and fascination towards the reality of their situation. In the romance side of the story, it dealt with forbidden love and left readers wondering what would happen to the characters next. It was all of this that made me fall in love with the novel, therefore I rate ‘The Wrong Boy’ 4 stars out of 5.


Kyoko Y, Year 9.


‘Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating and beautiful. War makes you do dangerous things.’

      For Hanna Mendel, life was hard, being thrown into a Jewish prison and forced to do things that she doesn’t want to do. In the end, maybe being put here was a good thing as she would find true love but did it turn out the way she imagined?

      The book ‘The Wrong Boy’ is about a young girl, Hanna Mendel. Hanna is a very talented player of the piano. Hanna and her family live in a place called ‘The Ghetto’ along with many other Jews. Towards the end of World War ll the Jews in The Ghetto were forced to leave the Ghetto and go to one of the most notorious 

German concentration camps in history, Auschwitz. When they got there all the Jews are put through a selection process. Hanna lies about her age so that she can stay with her mother and sister but her father is taken away along with all the other men. Hanna’s mother quickly becomes very mentally ill due to the separation from her husband and being in the camp. She is later taken away and killed. Hanna and her sister are now left to fend for themselves. Erika usually refuses the terrible food that they get and slowly starts to starve to death.

       Now the only one left is Hanna, a 15 year old girl, but when an audtion to play piano for the commander pops up, she goes for it as she doesn’t really have anything left to lose. The commander sees the talent that Hanna has and chooses her for the role. Everyday Hanna is escorted by guards to the commanders house, and must stand outside waiting all day incase he wishes to have some music played for him.  

       Also living in the house is the commander’s son, Karl. Karl is a very good looking young man, about the same age as Hanna but he seems to be blind to what is going on outside his house and in his country. At first Hanna hates Karl just because of who his father is, but the more she goes to the house the more she realizes that Karl is different and not who she first thought he was. She soon falls in love with Karl but is he the wrong boy?

       I liked the story so much because it kept me curious and I found myself wanting to read more. The storyline was very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this book to teens around 15 to 20 as the storyline at times requires maturity to understand what is being told. People who like love stories would also really like this book.

      Jack B-M, year 9.