November 26

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

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

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

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

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

Rhiannon.S Year 9


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

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

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

Lilly, Year 9


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellie.M, Year 9


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

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

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

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

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

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

Darcy M Year 9

November 19

‘Butterflies’ by Susanne Gervay

butterflies“Hairy ripples cover her. Her bald head snarls with threatening teeth like a hyena. It’s the beast. Too terrible. The beast.”

Butterflies’ by Susanne Gervay is a book about a seventeen year old, Katherine, who lives in Sydney Australia. She was severely burnt as a child, pushed into a pit of burning chemicals. She is still suffering with the scarring and her flaws.

This book is an insight into the lives of burn victims. It tells us how they suffer growing up and the trouble they go through to try to make themselves like other people.

Katherine has troubles at school with everyone and mainly the boys. She feels like everyone laughs at her because of her burns. She has liked this one boy for a really long time but he is really rude to her. She then realises that there are more people out there who accept her for who she is. She feels as though she needs so many more operations to become ‘normal’. Throughout the story she learns to live with her appearance with help from her friends, family and doctors.

I would recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy a bit of romance but mainly a heart warming true story. This is because people who read this will receive a very strong message that can relate to teenagers. Teenagers can learn that some people have it worse than themselves and to be more confident because of this. This is a good read and I would rate it a 3 star, mainly because the story line is very confusing. After a while it becomes easier to understand. Although, I did very much enjoy this story because I learned a very important lesson, acceptance, I learned to accept people for who they are. Overall this is an average book with a great message.
Emily, Year 9


Meet Katherine.  “They engulfed her small arms and she fell into the pyre of garden refuse and chemical flames”.

Katherine is a young, brave and heroic schoolgirl who just wants to be like everyone else. She has more to her than everyone thinks. Katherine was seriously burnt at three years of age and is going through some tough times at home in Sydney, Australia. Katherine, who is now 18, feels like she is being judged wherever she goes and being held back from doing what she loves because of her burns. Katherine has to ask herself a few questions on the way. ‘Do I want to go to the school dance?’ ‘Is there a dress that will cover my burns?’ ‘Will everyone judge me?’ All Katherine wanted was for her scars to disappear, the boys at her school to be nice to her and to wear whatever she wants without being embarrassed and self-conscious about her appearance. One of the many issues Katherine faces is her father wanting to build up his relationship with Katherine, her sister and her mother again after abandoning them. The main characters of this book are the brave schoolgirl Katherine, her loving sister Rachel, her very busy mother and her supportive best friend Jessie.

‘Butterflies’ is a compelling story that always keeps you on the edge of your seat. This book is filled with funny, exciting and wonderful moments as well as captivating, inspirational and emotion filled moments.

I like this book because it is very inspirational and there was a lot of expressive language, which made it easy to read at most parts and kept you on the edge of your seat. Every time you turn the page there is another drama or decision that Katherine has to make. I recommend ‘Butterflies’ to young teenage girls or anyone who loves a captivating and inspirational story. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars, as it is a very good read.

Madeline L. Year 9

June 11

‘Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen

Meet Brian the 13 year old warrior…

 “Things seemed to go back and forth between reality and imagination–except that it was all reality.” – Gary Paulsen.

Hatchet      I am reading an amazing book for Literature Circles at school. It is called ‘Hatchet’, written by Gary Paulsen. Brian is armed with nothing but the clothes he is wearing, the hatchet his mother had given him as a present and a tattered windbreaker. Brian finds himself completely deserted and stuck.

      In the novel a 13 year old boy named Brian is flying to Canada in a Cessna 406 bush plane to visit his dad when the pilot flying his plane has a heart attack and dies at the stick of the plane. Brian then has to crash land the plane and swim to an island in the Canadian wilderness where he has to learn how to fend for himself and fight for his life.  While he was on the island he made a shelter.

     In the book you are always wondering what is going to happen next. The thing that I most liked about the book was that once you started reading you really didn’t want to stop. It always had you wondering what was going to happen to Brian next! The one down side that I saw in the book was his parents were divorced.

      I enjoyed the book because it was about a boy my age and it was based in the wilderness. I would recommend this book for mainly boy readers aged 11 – 14 and would recommend more books from Gary Paulsen such as, Brian’s Return, Brian’s Winter and Brian’s Hunt. This is a great book and a good read if you love the outdoors and excitement. I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

      Do you think Brian will get rescued?

      Ethan, Year 8


October 30

‘Butterflies’ by Susanne Gervay

“Like butterflies, those who survive burns defy their fragility to migrate large distances and find warm climates”.

The book ‘Butterflies’ is set in Sydney, NSW. ‘Butterflies’ is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Katherine, who at a young age fell into a pit of fire and got severely burnt which left her with scarring all over her body. This book explains her journey growing up with these scars and the effect it has on her appearance and her approach towards life.

Katherine has a mother that would do absolutely anything to make her happy, a sister who means the world to her and friends that accept her no matter what she looks like. But still this isn’t enough for Katherine. Sure, Katherine is grateful for all these things that she has but what she mainly wants is to be beautiful. She wants boys to accept her, her scars to disappear and to be able to wear what she wants without being self-conscious about her appearance.

She has had many operations, but she still isn’t satisfied with the end results.

I would recommend this book to the ages 13 and up because I believe that this age group would be able to relate to the story more, and also because of the mature scenes located in the book. The introduction of the story was a bit long and slow, but as I kept reading the book became more interesting. I really admire Katherine’s persistence and strength to be able to try and live a normal life with everything happening around her. This book really makes you think about what’s actually important in life and how lucky some of us have it compared to others.

Michaela, Year 9


Mrs Osborne’s comment:

Susanne Gervay, on her website, tells the story of how the Butterflies story came to be written. Kim Phuc, who’s pictured in the article,  is well known to many older people around the world  as the burn victim who’s in the famous photo taken in Vietnam. Take a look here. Susanne also wrote to Aquinas students, telling them about writing the story. Scroll down to see her response.


Touching? Life story? Make us think? Until reading this book I didn’t realize what some people are actually going through every day. Katherine had fallen, fallen into acid flames when she was younger. Can you imagine what that’s like, having to live every day onwards covered in burns? Everyone judging you, talking about you, how ugly you are… this is a story about accepting who you are and what you look like. Finding out who your true friends are and loving you for being yourself. The story is set in school mostly, or at Katherine’s house.

“The petrol burnt fiercely. Acid flames covered Katherine’s brown hair and her head, burning her hair, her face, her body. Acid flames covered her arms and her little body’s chubby folds and soft baby skin.”

Family will always be there for you, well they are meant to. However Katherine’s dad had left after he saw her fall, abandoned the family. Why do we fight with the people that love us the most? We fight with our families because we know they will stick around and not leave like everyone else.

Katherine’s best friend, Jessie, seems perfect to Katherine. Katherine would love to be as pretty as her… jealousy. They both go to school and both want to have someone to be there for them. The boys they know just call Katherine the rudest names. Hearing those names made Katherine lose all confidence. She needs people in her life to boost up her happiness and self-worth.

I would recommend teen readers to have a go at this book. I liked it because it is about self-acceptance and in high school it’s a good time to realize who you are now, rather than in ten years’ time. In school, people judge you all the time, so after reading this,  you will think again about what you actually look like compared to everyone else. ‘Butterflies’ is a moving story. I rate this book 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

Valentina, Year 9


Confucius once said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

Katherine believes that no one will understand her and her life. When she was three years old she was severely burnt and ever since has had surgery, hoping one day she will be a normal teenager.  Being bullied at school, feeling the need to cover her scars on her face and neck area with her long hair, insecurity grows.

She enjoys the story from Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, unlike her best friend Jessie. Although this book shows the emotional journey that Katherine has gone through with her parents being separated when she was younger and her appearance that she hates, this book can be confusing.

The author has used italics to indicate flashbacks in Katherine’s life and then changes to normal font writing to continue the novel without any notice, which does and can confuse readers. Katherine slowly accepts who she is and she and her family start to become closer before her grandparents visit her in Australia for Christmas but before that happens, Katherine finally found her dad and has several questions to ask him as to why he left her mother and her and older sister Rachel.

Operations are not what any teenager should go through, but unfortunately Katherine was one of those people and life for her will never be normal until she lives and appreciates what and who she has.  Denniscia, year 9

October 24

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

 “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” – Gayle Forman

If I Stay is set in a large family home. Mia tells the story of her life with Mum, Dad and younger brother Teddy. Mia is 16 years old, and has a love for playing the cello; she is working hard for her acceptance into the Julliard School. Mum is a fun, quirky and loving mother who encourages her children to do well. Dad is a school teacher who wears bow ties. His favourite style of music is Frank Sinatra. Teddy is that annoying brother that loves to watch SpongeBob.

One morning the family wakes up ready to go to school and work, until they hear on the radio that school has been cancelled. So the family decides to go for a drive to visit family friends and have dinner at the grandparents. On the way to the grandparents’ house, the family was in a car crash leaving both of Mia’s parents dead on the scene. Teddy, her brother is rushed to the hospital. Mia looks down to her mangled body to find out that she has a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding and damage to her brain. She then is kept in hospital in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) as the doctors work hard to repair her damaged body. Family come and visit her in hospital but the one she wants to visit the most is her boyfriend. The hospital has never accepted him to come and visit her. Mia has a hard decision to decide if she wants to stay or die, due to the serious condition of her body.

I liked this book because it is a serious matter that can happen to anyone. It shows me not to take people for granted because they are always not going to be alive; your life can be changed in a matter of seconds. I recommend this story to teenagers because we don’t realise that people do so much for us and we need to thank them for that. Kaitlyn, Grade 9


What would you do if you had to choose?

This book is an excellent read directed mainly to teenagers and young adults. The author, Gayle Forman, has chosen a popular issue in teen’s lives: choices. If you love reading all night and enjoy books you can’t put down then ‘If I Stay’ is the book for you.

The book demonstrates a massive choice for Mia, a seventeen year old, whose career and life ahead looks bright, (she is the main character who has a particular interest/talent with the cello), as she has to choose whether to stay alive or die to be with her parents. The book starts off when Mia, her parents and little brother, decided to go on a road trip to visit family as the schools have been cancelled as a result of the snow. They started the drive, thinking that music choice would be their hardest task. Then, all hell broke loose. The car started tumbling wilding out of control until it stopped. The bodies were thrown from the vehicle as a result of the accident. Mia realises here that she is different from the rest of her family, and she is on a rough adventure to discover what has happened to her. Later she learns of the tough decision that no teenager should have to make. Should she stay?

The book goes on with the decision and leaves you at the edge of your seat the entire way through. It takes you back to the past when necessary to fill in gaps and make it more interesting. This novel is incredible and I would recommend it to anyone, but as it is romantic is some parts it might appeal more to females. The book takes you on the journey of Mia and why she wants to go and why she wants to stay. The majority of the story was set in the hospital. I enjoyed this novel very much because it was a really exciting book filled with wonder, hope and thrill.  It is also a book that I can relate to as she has a tough decision to make. I give this book a 5 out of 5 star rating, as it was such a perfect experience reading the novel.

Tia, Year 9


Have you ever been stuck with a decision, leaving you sitting on the fence? Then you can relate to this book, but the decision Mia has to make will blow your mind and leave you full of anxiety.

This book is about a typical 17-year-old girl named Mia. She has a fascinating family of four, and an interesting relationship with her boyfriend Adam, and best friend Kim. The whole story changes when the school they attended was closed because of the amount of snow that had fallen. They took advantage of the day and went to visit a couple of her mum and dad’s old musician friends. As they headed down the road they were stuck in a situation no person would want to be in. Mia’s whole world was turned upside down. She didn’t know what was happening. After the accident Mia was looking at herself from out of her own body but she wasn’t a ghost or she wasn’t dreaming, but what was she? Why were she and her brother the only ones getting rushed to the hospital? She follows her lifeless body to multiple hospitals. Mia isn’t worried about her own life but the life of her family. Flashbacks occur a great deal into the story the flashbacks are usually about when she first met this person or a fond memory they shared. Mia soon finds out that she has the choice of whether she was to stay or leave the world she was once so happy in, but the visits she has from friends and family just confuses Mia even more. She is faced with a decision she doesn’t want to make, but also knowing the state her family is in, she doesn’t know if she wants to come back. What will Mia choose?

This book was appealing to me because of the great storyline and the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next. This book was a great book to read and I highly recommend it to young teenage girls.

Niki year 9

October 24

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman has written a book ‘If I stay’, which is about a young girl called Mia who is going on a road trip with her family to visit their friends and family. They have a car crash and her father, mother and brother die. She ends up in hospital and she is like a ghost out of her body. She can see and hear everything that goes on around her. I liked this book because it was very interesting and not like other books or movies. It really made me think about when death comes calling. The author writes in a simple uncomplicated way that is easily understood by 13-16 year olds. It’s very easy to read, but very interesting at the same time. This is a book that makes you stop and think about why horrible things happen to good people.  What would you do if you had to choose to leave or stay?  Catherine, Year 9


On a day that started like any other…
A young girl named Mia had everything.. a loving family, she is absolutely gorgeous, she had a loving boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and choices. Then, one day it was all almost taken from her. Caught between life and death, her whole family that was in a car crash with her died suddenly, but she didn’t. She was given a choice between a happy past and an unknowable future, so Mia spends one critical day trying to make the only decision she has left…  the most important decision she’ll ever make.
This book is really for readers between the ages of 13-16. It is easy to read and it keeps you interested in the book.
I rate this book about a 7/10. Anna, Year 9

May 24

‘Blackwater’ by Eve Bunting

blackwater‘Blackwater’ by Eve Bunting has been a very interesting book so far. Brodie and his cousin, Alex, go on a summer holiday. Brodie is a nice kid but his cousin is a bad sort of kid. Brodie causes an accident involving the police and his cousin tries to cover it up. He accidently kills someone and people are beginning to uncover what happened. I would rate this 6.5/10 and it would be for ages 10+. It is sort of a dramatic book that gets more interesting in every chapter. Joel, Year 8

When I first started reading this book I kind of thought it was a boring book about a boy that had a crush and in the end like every story it’s a happy ever after but that soon changed as I read on as his cousin showed up and his best friend left the town with his family for a vacation. This story is about a boy called Brodie and his friends Pauline and John. I’d rate this book 8/10 simply because no book is perfect and this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, although I did enjoy reading this book as it was a fun read and keeps you longing to read more. Jordan Year 8

November 2

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

If I stay‘Am I dead?’ is the question that seventeen-year-old Mia has to painfully ask herself after an horrific accident. Waking up and looking back at herself in the hospital, Mia is trapped between life and death, walking the hospital corridors without a soul to comfort her after witnessing the death of her parents. She can see her grandparents, she can see her best friend Kim and she can see her waiting boyfriend Adam, but they cannot see her. Now Mia has one choice to make, the toughest choice of all. ‘If I Stay’ is a story about tragedy, patience and above all, hope. This story is one of the most dramatic I have ever read, and is probably not one for the boys, but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys tearjerkers. It’s slow to start, but it has something that the reader will enjoy somewhere in the book. I haven’t finished reading it just yet, so I’m hoping the ending will cleverly sum up the events so far. Jack, Year 9

Mia has a literally life changing choice to make. Should she stay to live or die? Most of us would automatically answer yes, but Mia has already been through a life changing unforeseeable event that has changed her life forever. This book teaches us that life is short and we should make the most of every day because life can change in an instant and have drastic endings. We should also greatlyappreciate what we have, because life in itself is a gift that can be taken for granted. It’s a very sad book as you the reader go through Mia’s emotions about all that happens. – Ally, Year 9

Seventeen year old Mia and her family are involved in a violent car crash in which her whole family is killed except for Mia and possibly her younger brother, Teddy. As Mia walks around the crash scene, she is shocked to find herself gazing down at her own bloodied body. Mia watches as she is rushed to hospital, where doctors and nurses rush around attaching her to machines and plugs. She cannot figure out what she is, whether she is alive or dead; whether there are others like her and whether she can gain back her own body. Later on in the book Mia is faced with a decision – does she stay alive or chose to die? Life should always be appreciated because it can change or be taken away in an instant. Maddison, Year 9

This book will emotionally tear you apart. It throws the troubles of death and sorrow into the first few pages, which for me was an awesome idea of the author as it makes an interesting book for reading. I felt compelled to read this book as it was very well written and I think it is the perfect book for teenagers around the age of 14-18. This book could have many themes but the main themes are sorrow and despair as Mia, the main character in this book, tries to overcome the loss of her parents and her brother in a car crash after going on a drive to try to keep the family entertained after their school day has been snowed out. This book will catch you from the beginning and you won’t put it down. Jamie , Year 9

October 27

Susanne Gervay talks about ‘Butterflies’

Susanne GervayMrs O: “Susanne, what was your inspiration for writing ‘Butterflies’?

Susanne: I found teen and young adult years hard sometimes. I was searching for who I am, felt insecure, easily crushed inside, but tried not to show it. My parents were post war refugees and  I couldn’t speak about my real feelings to them. They worked so hard and did it for me.

I was approached by a girl who had serious burns. She asked me to write about growing up with burns. I didn’t want to do it. However I kept thinking about it. I ended up talking to kids, parents, community, medical teams. I visited the Burn Unit in the kids’ hospital. Tnen I  knew I had to write  ‘Butterflies’. Although it’s about burns, it’s more than that. It’s about growing up, my family, about all of us meeting challenges, finding identity, fighting for our dreams.  It’s my story, your story, our story.

I risk myself when I write. I put who I am inside the pages as a girl, a teen, mother. I cry when I write some parts, laugh at others. It’s an emotional roller coaster that I’m often scared to jump onto to. However when I get emails like this, it’s a roller coaster that I’m glad I went on:-

This is truly an amazing book, so moving and inspiring. I read it many years ago and an assignment just came up in English, I knew straight away this book was going to be perfect for it. It is so hard to put down and really made me realise that my life really isn’t that bad. I would have to say this would be one of my all time favourite books.

babestar88 1 week ago

From youtube channel for Butterflies:



Susanne Gervay

Aquinas students review ‘Butterflies’:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have been burnt all down one side of your body? Well Katherine from the book ‘Butterflies’ has… Katherine was severely burnt at the age of three and she is now 18 and is trying to get through her life without having the luxuries of skin, hair and features… the things that most people take for granted. After having boys thinking they’re cool by bullying her and having a great time with friends, she becomes self-conscious. She has had so many operations and she wants more? This book is filled with joy, laughter and great times, as well as sadness and terrifying stories. The author’s style is different; she shows you what has happened in the past, after something happens in the story to trigger it. I am only half way though ‘Butterflies’ and I don’t want to put it down. It’s one question after another; you never know what will happen next. Nikkia Year 9

‘Butterflies’ is about a seventeen year old girl who was in an accident at a really young age, causing her to look a bit different. It is about her challenges through life and the challenges that are yet to come.  The book is inspiring, leaving you thinking about what is important, and that it is true beauty is on the inside of a person and not how we look. I recommend this book for 13 years and up because some of the subject matter is for the mature reader. Shona Year 9

The book ‘Butterflies’ is a bit slow to start off but it’s getting better as I read on. Katherine the main character seems like a strong fighter because she has overcome her severely burnt body when she fell down a hole full of fumes when she was young. Katherine has always cared about her appearance and what other people think of her since the accident. The book ‘Butterflies’ is very interesting to read but when you hear about someone who was so severely burnt, it makes you realise this happens to a lot of people and you understand how much pain and therapy they go through. I would recommend this book for teenagers because we would be able to understand it more. Courtney Year 9

May 16

‘Blackwater’ by Eve Bunting

blackwaterI read the book ‘Blackwater’ by Eve Bunting. The book was about two boys called Brodie and Alex and Brodie accidentally kills two people called Pauline Genero and Otis McCandlless. The reason it happened is because Pauline is Brodie’s girlfriend and he sees them kissing and hugging Otis. He feels jealous and angry so he tries to scare them but they fall into the water and are swept into the Blackwater. They drown, so he feels guilty and doesn’t tell the truth and the guilt gets too much for him. I rate the book an 8 out of 10  and I recommend it to people who like drama. Lachlan, Year 8

I have almost finished the book and I have really enjoyed it. Whenever you finish a chapter and you think that the characters have overcome that obstacle then another one crops up and it keeps you interested in the book. The book is based on feelings as a boy causes deaths because he is jealous. Then, when they are dead, he doesn’t tell and the guilt mounts up inside him.  I think that if you choose to read this book you won’t be disappointed. By George, Year 8

May 9

‘Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen

HatchetEven though I’m not very far into ‘Hatchet’, I think that it is a very interesting book that has you on the edge of your seat. It is a very good book for anyone from the age of ten and over. I recommend ‘Hatchet’ for anyone who enjoys a book with adventure and determination. From Aimie, Year 8
I am currently reading ‘Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen and even though I’m not all the way through the book, I already know by the first couple of pages that it is an adventure book full of nail biting scenes. The main character is Brian, who lives with his mother in the city, but in the holidays he lives with his dad. Something went terribly wrong on the plane to his dad’s house though. The pilot has a freak heart attack and dies suddenly, so Brian was the only person on the plane besides the driver. He had to fly the plane all by himself now and survive all by himself. What will happen to Brian? I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of a thrill and a laugh andadventure with nail biting events happening on every page. I would personally rate this book 8 stars out of 10. Bridget, Year 8

Recently I began reading ‘Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen. I found the beginning of the story a bit of a drag as it seemed to take a long time to get into the actual basis of the storyline. However, once it got to that point, it was very captivating. It was so engrossing that I just wanted to keep reading it! The main character in the story is a 13 year old boy called Brian. He finds himself in a big blur (as many children are all around the world) after his parents get a divorce. On the way to visit his father in Canada, the pilot has a heart attack and with no one else on board Brian is left all alone in full control of the plane. This is a very edgy story that keeps you wanting more. I believe this story will appeal to people who like reading a book that makes you want to get to the resolution as soon as possible. Jordan, Year 8

I am enjoying this book even though I have only read half of it. This is an easy book to read that really puts you on the edge of your seat. This story is about  a boy `Brian’ who has had a pretty depressing life so far. His parents have recently split and are soon to be divorced. He finds himself on a plane flying to his dad’s house when the pilot has a heart attack. He has to fly the plane, Does he know how? Will he and the pilot survive? `Hatchet’ is a book you just want to keep reading and I am sure you will too.  Jemma, Year 8

The lead character of this book is Brian. He is confused 13 year old boy deserted in a Canadian forest after his pilot had a heart attack and Brian had to crash land the plane. This happened when Brian was on his way to visit his dad in Canada after his parents just slit up. On his journey to survive he remembers all the good and bad memories in his life. This helps him with problems along the road, but the real question is, will he survive ? Alanah, Year 8



May 9

‘Hunter’ by Joy Cowley

hunterI recently read the book ‘Hunter’, set in the South Island of New Zealand. It shares the story of a young boy, Hunter, from the year 1805 and a young girl, Jordan and her brothers from the year 2005.  The book explores Hunter’s ability and gift of sight that enables Hunter to help Jordan and her brothers to safety after their rickety plane ride home for the holidays turns to disaster when it crashes on a wild and deserted peninsula in New Zealand. Meantime Hunter is faced with his own dangerous situation, being held captive as a slave to the Maori warriors who hunt moa. With his gift of sight, Hunter sees a strange silvery bird crash into the sea and a girl with blonde hair. He himself needs to escape the Maori warriors but is driven to help the girl and her brothers. Jordan and her brothers are terrified and alone, but Jordan keeps hearing a voice that is telling her what to do and guiding her to safety.  Hunter, fighting to keep one step ahead of the Maori hunters searching for him, ready to kill him, sends messages to the young girl and directs her and her brothers to safety. The book was gripping and full of adventure and had a good ending for both Jordan and Hunter. Jordan and her brothers were rescued and Hunter managed to escape the Maori warriors. I enjoyed the book, it was easy to read and at times I couldn’t put it down. Kaide, Year 8

I have recently finished reading the book ‘Hunter’, set on the South Island of New Zealand. It tells a story about young girl named Jordan and her brothers Baxter and Robbie and a guy they meet named Hunter.  This book has enabled us to read and unfold Hunter’s ability of sight to help Jordan and her brothers to safety after their terrible ride  home for their holidays. They had the times of their lives but after this accident their trip  turns into a disaster when their plane crashes on a wild and deserted part of New Zealand. Meanwhile Hunter is faced with his own problems, being held captive as a slave to the Maori warriors who hunt moa. With his gift of sight, Hunter sees a strange silvery bird (the plane) crash into the sea and a girl with blonde hair. He himself needs to get away from the warriors but is driven to help the girl and the brothers. Jordan and her brothers are terrified and alone, but Jordan keeps listening to a voice that is guiding her to safety.  Hunter is fighting to keep one step ahead of the Maori hunters searching for him, ready to attack and destroy him. He sends messages to the young girl and directs her and her brothers to safety. The book was exciting and full of adventure and had a thrilling ending for both Jordan and Hunter. Jordan and her brothers were rescued and Hunter managed to escape the Maori warriors.  This book was a easy but enjoyable book to read.  Jayden, Year 8

Although I have not read the whole book I found this book great. I liked Jordan the most out of all the characters, not just because my name is Jordan, but because he is very grown up for his age. The two brothers are troublemakers, which makes the book funny and exciting. This book would be good for all ages I think but younger people might like it better. I give this book a 6/10 because it is not the type of book I would normally read but it was good and that I didn’t expect.  Jordan, Year 8  

I found that the book ‘Hunter’ was enjoyable and so thrilling I could only put it down when I was falling asleep or Mum had to nag me. I was thoroughly into ‘Hunter’. It was exciting how a slave hunter wanted to run off to the huhu and Jordan a 14 year old girl whose plane crashes and was being haunted by the Maori warriors. I just had to know what the end was like. It’s honestly one of the greatest books I have read and I’m inspired to find more books as exciting as Hunter. Naythen, Year 8

June 10

‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

if-i-stayMia seems to have it all – weird and whacky parents who love her to bits, things she loves doing, a boyfriend and friends who accept her for herself, even a cute little brother! But things can change in an instant. It’s such a shock when you get to that part of the book – a cold morning, snow falling on the road…and suddenly Mia has only one choice – the hardest choice of all. ‘”Just listen,” Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen. “Stay,” he says.’ This is one of the most gripping real-life books that I have read. It made me appreciate life itself and the courage it takes to live it well. Maybe it will even be my favourite for 2009! I hear that there’s a Hollywood film on the way…move over ‘Twilight’! This may be the next big thing! Mrs K.

Mia is a girl with many paths. She has everything. She has parents who accept her for herself, a boyfriend who would do anything for her and a best friend who cares so much about her…except for one day when all the paths are gone. Except one. What would you do if your world came crashing down? Mia’s life can change so easily right now. One choice can change everything. So what would you choose?
 Alicia, Year 8.

Here’s a book trailer to tempt you to read the book!