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 14

‘Wave Warrior’ by Lesley Choyce

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter P., Year 8

June 14

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

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

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

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

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

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

Cohen G., Year 8

June 14

‘Point Blanc’ by Anthony Horowitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 14

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jazmin. P, Year 8

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

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

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

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

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

Tuscany F., Year 8

……..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel P., Year 8

June 13

‘Icefall’ by Matthew J. Kirby

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

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

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

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

Brooke M., Year 8

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

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

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

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

June 13

‘A Single Stone’ by Meg McKinlay

asinglestone_hires

‘The Mothers’ words echoed in Jena’s mind as she eased into the crevice, flattening herself against the rock. When she was through, she paused, waiting for the next girl. They were deep now, in the heart of the mountain. Around her, the earth pressed so tightly it was hard to tell where her body ended and the stone began.’

The story of ‘A Single Stone’ is set in a village next to a mountain that holds mica, a mineral which the village uses for energy. Jena is a strong leader who comes to question her own determination to do the work she was raised to do. It’s every girl’s dream of being part of the line of seven young girls chosen to crawl deep into the mountain to collect the precious mica which will ensure the village’s survival.

Jena is the leader of the line, and believes passionately in all that her mother tells her. She doesn’t question and doesn’t doubt. A Single Stone is a thoughtful middle fiction novel. The isolation of the village and the process of mining the mica creates a fascinating background for an engaging story. Meg McKinlay’s writing is thoughtful, deliberate and breathtaking. It is the underlying themes and ideas and the questions they provoke, however, that will remain with readers after the book ends.

‘A Single Stone’ is a beautiful and delicate novel that tackles some big questions about gender and power in an interesting manner, entertaining the reader but in my opinion the story wasn’t easy to understand and wasn’t suitable for my age. However people who like to read about adventures would really enjoy this book. I would recommend this book for teenagers and over.

Ella C., Year 8

June 13

‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar

HolesHoles, holes, holes.

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

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

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

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

HENRY Y., YEAR 8

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

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

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

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

JACKSON K YEAR 8

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

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

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

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

By Emma R., Year 8

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

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

Grace, Year 8

June 10

‘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

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“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

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

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

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

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

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

Thomas H., Year 8

June 9

‘First Light’ by Rebecca Stead

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

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

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

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

Ashley R., Year 8

……

First Light by Rebecca Stead

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

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

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

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

Holly. M // Year 8

June 9

‘Ruby Red’ by Linzi Glass

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

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

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

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

Ryan T, Year 8

November 30

‘All I Ever Wanted’ by Vikki Wakefield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brooke B., Year 9

November 30

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

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

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

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

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

Sam T., Year 9

November 30

‘Ice Station’ by Matthew Reilly

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

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

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

Angus W., Yr 9.

November 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 30

‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ by Mary E. Person

Jenna Fox“I used to be someone…

Someone named Jenna Fox

Well that’s what they tell me.”

If you are into futuristic novels, The Adoration of Jenna Fox written by Mary E. Person is one of the best books to read. Jenna Fox was just a normal teenage girl until the accident. After being in a coma for a year, Jenna is about to discover who she really is, gradually putting the pieces together. With Jenna’s family having to hide secrets and move far away due to the use of illegal medical research and sources to keep Jenna alive, Jenna slowly discovers that she may not be a normal teenage girl after all. With that knowledge her life will change forever. Memories documented on video from nearly every day of her life help her try to remember what life was before the accident.

This book makes you question everything like: Why does Jenna’s Grandmother Lily have so much hatred towards Jenna? What is her family keeping from her that could be so bad? Why does Jenna’s neighbour know so much about her? Will he inform Jenna how and what he knows about what happened to her?

I enjoyed this book very much, because the plot was amazing with its intriguing twists and perfect amount of suspense. It just made you continue turning the page wanting to know more and more about the life of Jenna Fox. I like how we are thrown into the story right away, knowing as much as Jenna, the story not being dragged on and boring. You follow her story right until the end, knowing her fears, what she learns and experiencing what she experiences. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read associated with fantasy/Sci-Fi and a hint of romance thrown into the mix.

Arabella G, Year 9