June 15

‘Scorch Trials’ (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

This sequel of Maze Runner shows many teens in a dark, dark world that a dictator and his scientists put them through. They were put through horrific trials, supposedly to help save humanity. But there is little evidence of them actually doing this.

The teens in this book get decapitated and killed by lighting and they are also attacked by a city full of diseased people who turn cannibal. When these teens think that everything is over after being kidnapped, shot, drugged, pitted against the only people they have ever known and been lied to, they have also been lied to about their life. Worst of all, when they think their nightmare is over, they are manipulated by the scientists all over again.

The publisher of this book recommends it for ages around 12 and up but it may be a little darker and more violent than other people have thought. Some readers have turned towards more of an older category of teens such as ages fourteen and up.

I really did enjoy the book much more than the movie. This book kept me on the edge of my seat at all times it kept me interested and I was never able to put this book down. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who was looking for a dramatic sci-fi.

Anthea T., Year 8

June 6

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

Imagine your home planet had been destroyed by aliens. You are living on earth still being chased by those aliens. Although you can leap buildings, run faster and punch harder than any human you can’t defeat them. Imagine you’re running away from them but no matter how fast you run you can still feel their breath on your neck, their hands reaching out for you. What do you do?

This is what the book ‘I am Number Four’ written by Pittacus Lore is all about. ‘I am Number Four’ has mystery around every corner and will keep the reader hooked.

It takes place mainly in Ohio and is seen through the eyes of John Smith, the fourth out of nine Lorien that have escaped their dying planet. They can only be killed in order, and the first three are already dead, killed by the Mogadorians who are responsible for killing Loric (the planet which John came from). Some other characters in the book are Henri Johns, John Smith’s guardian, Sam whom he befriends and Bernie Kosar. The Mogadorians track John to Ohio and bring a beast with them to kill John. A final battle breaks out that will decide the fate of the world.

The theme in the novel is good and evil. Many times in the book we see good go up against evil. The novel also tells the reader that even if you are different, people will help you.

In conclusion, I think that ‘I am number Four’ is a great book that has mystery, science fiction, aliens and good versus evil and will keep the reader hooked. This is a great book and one that I would highly recommend to read no matter how old or young you are.

Jack S., Year 8


Aliens with super human powers flee to the earth but an evil one sees to it that they are sought out and the future of the Loric race hangs in the balance. This is the sci fi thriller by Pittacus Lore ‘I Am Number Four’. ‘I Am Number Four’ is an interesting book which follows the story of an alien boy called John Smith accompanied by his older, but loyal companion Henri, his protector. They transverse the asphalt of the USA running from a constantly lurking enemy.

‘I Am Number Four’ is a slow paced action suspense drama where any disaster could occur. The book engages the reader while keeping a very real and modern theme. This keeps the book believable and doesn’t turn into simply fantasy wandering into the impossible like many other sci-fi books like ‘War of The Worlds’ and ‘Divergent’. How the book develops and bonds the characters together is done well with memorable characters that feel realistic, especially Sam, a conspiracy theorist with a knack for aliens along with a very memorable and likeable personality. While the book does follow a decent storyline, its ending is quite generic. It may leave the reader disappointed, wanting something more interesting and different.

Throughout the story it addresses the theme several times about overcoming adversity while always remaining hopeful.  John saves his friends from a threat that destroyed his people. Hope is shown from the start to the end of the book and it leaves the reader with a morale of the story, that gives the book more of a memorial note.

To tie off the end of this review, the book contains a lack of original thoughts and plots.  It heavily suffers from a lack of quality and descriptive writing and the predictable plot fails to maintain the interest of the reader. On a good note the interactions and dialogue between the characters was done quite well, especially between Sam and John later in the plot. If you enjoyed books like the Percy Jackson series, you will likely also enjoy this sci-fi adventure which has an interesting but predictable plot.

In my total score rating, I scored ‘I Am Number Four’ 7/10. This book may only appeal to some readers more than others, so opinions may change between each individual.

Samuel P., Year 8


“IN THE BEGINNING THERE WERE NINE OF US. We left when we were young, almost too young to remember”.


“I am told the ground shook, that the skies were full of light and explosions. We were in that two-week period of the year when both moons hang on opposite sides of the horizon. It was a time of celebration, and the explosions were at first mistaken for fireworks. They were not. It was warm, a soft wind blew in from off the water. I am always told about the weather: it was warm. There was a soft wind. I’ve never understood why that matters”.

This amazing Sci-fi thriller full of action about aliens with all kinds of superpowers has even been given a review by the Director of the Transformers, “Number Four is a hero for this generation.”

– Michael Bay.

The story is set in a world where aliens and intergalactic wars have been fought. This book is set in the country America. It is about the war on Lorian, the former home planet for a good alien race. With their whole population gone it is up to the nine Lorians left to protect their race. Number 4 is the alien that we see the most in the book. With his guardian Henri also from Lorian, they flee from city to city seeking safety from the alien race that destroyed their home planet, but that is difficult if you’re next in line to be slaughtered by the violent and evil aliens.

John Smith (AKA Number 4) is what was known as a Garde on Lorian. He can develop legacies (powers) that no other man or woman on earth can. He uses these abilities to kill the Mogadorians (the aliens that destroyed his race) to regain his freedom and live a normal life.

Henri on Lorian is called a Cepan (Guardian). They each are assigned a Garde. The Cepan train them on how to use their powers, and to teach them about their planet’s history.

I would recommend this book to people ranging from 10-23 years as it is a book more for mature audiences. The book involves lots of killing and a few violent sections that people under the age of ten may not like or be able to read, but is an amazing read because of the way the book was very carefully made so that it made me feel like it was actually real and it is a perfect example of a science fiction novel. I would also recommend I AM NUMBER 4 THE MOVIE also for people mainly between the age of 11-25 years as the same examples above apply for the movie as well. I give this book a rating of 5/5 stars.

– Jarome S., Year 8

June 6

‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ by John Marsden

“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”

Wirrawee, the setting in the book, is covered by large farmlands, a small amount of industry and well known town residents.

Ellie, the main character, is a caring innocent teen who wants to go on a camping trip to Tailors Stitch with her six friends during the school holidays for a week. They found Hell, as the locals call it, a secret campsite that’s unspoilt. It can be accessed by the Steps of Hell.

During a quiet, damp, cold shivering night, Ellie is woken by the loud growl of hundreds of jets flying by at a low height leaving her and her friends confused the following day. Not long after, they slowly walked back up Hell’s Steps to the Landrover to return home to what they thought was going to be a normal afternoon. They first arrived at Ellie’s house to find her dogs dead, no connection to any radio or power, which left them unable to call anyone. Wirrawee was a ghost town. Do you think the town has been over run and in conflict? Are they in War? Is the life of many people dependent on them? Will there be another living day for anyone?

Tomorrow When the War Began most certainly is one of the best books I have read. It’s the touching story of an overwhelming experience, romance, action and friendship, a story that made it hard for me to put the book down whilst sitting on the edge of my seat the whole way through. This book teaches you the meaning of friendship, and how important it can be for you and your friends to stay together in times like this.

This book is not gender specific. Anyone who reads the book will enjoy the adventures, the breathtaking moments that will keep you hooked. The suitable age for this book would be from twelve years of age to eighteen. If you have read John Marsden’s books you’ll find this similar. I rate Tomorrow When the War Began a definite 5 out of 5 because it has been written very maturely and was so enjoyable to read.

Lilly-Rose H., Year 8

July 13

‘The Secret Hour’ by Scott Westerfeld

the-secret-hour-midnighters-book-1‘The Secret Hour’ is the first book in Scott Westerfeld’s intriguing Sci-fi trilogy, ‘Midnighters’. ‘The Secret Hour‘ follows the adventures of four high school students, Rex, Dess, Melissa and Jonathan, as they encounter the new girl to the town of Bixby, Jessica Day. Though appearing to be a little less-than-average during the day, the Midnighters each hold a secret power, and have the ability to be awake during one hour of every night, when their world is plunged into a dark and mysterious state known as the ‘blue time’.

Throughout the book, the ‘Midnighters’, as they call themselves, must discover more about Jessica’s power in an attempt to defend the town against perilous creatures, ‘darklings’ and ‘slithers’ that live in the blue time. Jessica discovers more about herself during the time she spends in Bixby than any other time in her life. The characters also learn more about true friendship, trust, and Jessica discovers what it truly means to be a Midnighter.

We enjoyed reading ‘The Secret Hour’, as its story line was interesting, unusual and unique. There were a few unexpected twists, which added to the story and greatly influenced the effect of the book.

Scott Westerfeld uses impeccable descriptive language in ‘The Secret Hour’, which helps the scenes of the book really come to life in the imaginations of readers. The characters of the book are also well-developed and have distinctive personality traits.

The book is overall an enjoyable read and a very descriptive novel. It definitely kept us on edge whilst reading it. The book was certainly action-packed and well thought out, which appeals to many types of people. We would recommend this book to teens aged 12 – 18, and rate the book 3½ out of 5 stars as a group.

Lily P, Peter A, Jade T, Year 8

July 13

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

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

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

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

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

Joe S. and Nic P., Year 8

June 21

‘Rat Catcher’ by Chris Ryan

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

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

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

By Nash A., Year 8

June 20

‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey

5th waveMy finger yanked back on the trigger, the rifle kicked against my shoulder hard, and the barrel bucked in my hand as I emptied the clip.

Meet Cassie. She is an ordinary high school girl; well that was before Earth was invaded by aliens. Cassie is a girl on a mission. The only thing keeping her alive is her will to find her brother.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a fast paced book that will keep you hooked right to the very end.

Things are no longer as they seem on Earth since the aliens arrived. They have wiped out 97% of the population and are disguising themselves as humans. Cassie has to do what she can to survive after her mother was wiped out by the sickening red death, a disease the aliens released to control the population of humans. She continues on her quest to find her brother, who was taken by the aliens, and tries to avenge her dad after he died fighting. Can Cassie save the Earth from the aliens before the human race ceases to exist?  Along the way Cassie is shot and is unable to move. Fortunately she is saved by a mysterious stranger. But can the stranger really be trusted? Evan Walker acts as if he is to be trusted, but Cassie begins to do some investigating and something about him just doesn’t add up.

I totally enjoyed this book because it really engaged me and I started to think about whether this thing could happen to us. Evan’s mysterious nature kept me guessing about the person he was.

The 5th wave is action packed and fast moving and is incredibly hard to put down.

I recommend this book to anyone from the age of 15 and up, as it does get a bit complicated throughout parts of the book and has some coarse language. Anyone who is interested in mysterious, action packed and adventurous novels will really enjoy this book. The 5th wave. I rate 8 out of 10 stars.

Riley S, Year 8

June 17

‘Loyal Creatures’ by Morris Gleitzeman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay T.H., Year 8


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

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

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

Lee S., Year 8

June 16

‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson“Half Boy, Half God, All Hero. That’s Percy Jackson.”

Imagine you are the son or daughter of a Greek God. How adventurous would that be?  Percy Jackson is just about to find out just how adventurous it is.  Percy is the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Wow! Isn’t that a big name to live up to.

‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ is an adventure filled fantasy book. It was written by Rick Riordan and was published in 2005 in the USA by the Publisher Puffin. The novel begins in upstate New York where Percy attends boarding school. After that the novel is set in lots of places across America, Long Island where Camp Half-Blood is, the Underworld and Mount Olympus.

The main characters are Percy Jackson, his friends Annabeth and Grover. This interesting adventure novel has many deep, dark secrets to be revealed throughout the story and Percy’s best friend Grover has been there since the start.

Every year Percy moves school to escape danger. We won’t tell you what that danger is, you need to find out for yourself. But we can tell you that Percy’s mum has to tell him the biggest, deepest secret of all. His dad is Poseidon, the Sea God. Percy is a demi God.

This novel follows the adventures of Percy, Annabeth and Grover as they try to save Percy’s mum, find the Lightning Thief, return the lightning bolt to the Gods and maybe even meet his dad, Poseidon.

‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ is a great read as it is full of adventures, danger and action-filled events. There are many secrets to be revealed, so you have to keep on reading. The novel keeps your interest right to the end. This novel is suited for ages 8 – 18 years, both male and female.  Read this book if you love mysteries or fantasy novels.

Renae B, Year 8


‘There was a blinding flash, a jaw-rattling boom! and our car exploded.’

Percy Jackson is your average troubled, blue food loving twelve year old boy with one small quirk: he is a half-blood son of a god with monsters attacking him left and right. The Lightning thief follows Percy as he begins to discover the world of the Greek gods, centaurs and other mythical creatures. But early on in his stay at Camp Half-blood, a camp for half-bloods as the name implies, he and his half goat half man best friend Grover Underwood, as well as  fellow half-blood Annabeth Chase must set out on a quest to retrieve Zeus’s master lighting bolt.

I found The Lightning Thief to be a great read as it is full action and adventure. There is a wide variety of characters for everyone to relate to.  This book is great for boys and girls in their preteens and early teens. I loved every page of Percy Jackson: The Lightning thief as it was very well written and there was never a dull moment.

Gracie B, 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.


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 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

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 26

‘The Young Elites’ by Marie Lu

17984141Malfettos are survivors of the plague known as the blood fever, cast aside by everyone, even their loved ones, hunted down by inquisitors, all because they are marked, but some of these malfettos have manifested powers. They are called the young Elites.

The Young Elites is set in a medieval fantasy world at a time after a tragic plague has struck the land and follows one of the survivors named Adelina Amouteru on her journey. Adelina grew up with an abusive father a mother and a little sister, Violetta, in a wealthy home. When she was young, her mum, her sister and she were all infected with the blood fever. Only she and her sister survived costing Adelina an eye. Because her little sister and she were marked, her father’s business suffered, which would lead to her father constantly hurting and teasing her.

The story starts off showing Adelina eavesdropping on her father having a conversation, were he bargains her off to a man. This was the last straw for her. She ran off starting the adventure that is The Young Elites. Without spoiling too much of the story, Adelina is captured by the Inquisitors and the leader of the Young Elites saves her life. He reveals himself to be the son of the king, Enzo, who was banished from the kingdom for being a malfetto. He reveals to her his plans to overthrow the new king who has ruined the kingdom. From this point Adelina is trained by the Young Elites to use her powers of creating illusions as part of Enzo’s master plan.

The story of The Young Elites was different and more entertaining than my usual reads, and although it is set in a fantasy world, the characters’ interactions and emotions were very grounded. Everything they did had an affect on the main plot. The main character also made this story very interesting. Instead of having a cliché protagonist they have a realistic and dark hero with a tragic past. I would recommend this book to people who like good character interaction, a little edginess from their books, fantasy and action.

Gil T., Year 9

November 16

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

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

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

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

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

Reece, Year 9


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

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

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

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

James B., Year 9

November 13

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

17878931“ I am a red girl in a sea of silvers and I cannot afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.”

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is an electrifying debut novel that merges the boundaries between fantasy power, gripping action and forbidden love and taking the wonderful world of YA by storm.

Red Queen takes place in a dystopian world divided by blood – red or silver. The Silvers are blessed with god-like supernatural powers and live in the lap of luxury while the Reds are commoners stricken by poverty living in the shadows of the elite. Mare Burrow is a 17-year-old Red girl, but in an extraordinary situation discovers that regardless of the colour of her blood, she is gifted with abilities that not even Silvers possess.

Victoria Aveyard writes to the beat of her own drum, every beat being a heart-stopping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat in danger of a heart-attack. Throughout these twists and turns the main character, Mare, was such a pleasure to see grow and unravel from the beginning to the end. Character development in Red Queen was one of its best attributes as each one of the characters had their own very special personality and story.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has an exceptionally wide range of genres, dystopian worlds, gripping action, forbidden romance, betrayal, fearless plot twists and fights scenes as good as that of the Avengers, making this book readily available to absolutely anyone. It will make hard-core fantasy addicts weep with triumph and delight.

Red Queen will give you a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you in a mess of tears or a heart attack of joy. In a wonderful world of betrayal against betrayal, Reds against Silvers, prince against prince and Mare’s heart against Mare’s head, it doesn’t get better than this. If I have said anything that has given you shivers down your spine, read this one of a kind book and “We will rise up, Red as the dawn.”

I give Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard a 5 out of 5 stars.

By Bronte, Year 9


November 13

‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth

DivergentWhat would you do if you had to make a life changing decision that could change your life completely? Would you play it safe and stay or would you leave and never come back? Imagine living in a world where you are judged and put in a category, a faction. It’s sixteen year-old Beatrice Prior’s turn to make this decision and what she chooses will surprise everyone.

If you love mystery, action and adventure then Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent is definitely the book for you.

Divergent is set in a post apocalyptic world that is divided into five factions: Amity, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation and Dauntless. It’s Beatrice and Caleb Prior’s turn to take the aptitude tests, then after comes the life changing decision of which faction to choose. Beatrice learns she is Divergent and doesn’t fit into any of the five factions so it is up to her instinct to choose the right faction. She comes to realise that the world she lives in, that’s meant to be safe, is not. In fact it is filled with mystery, lies, plots and secrets. She learns more about what she is and that it is not safe for her. Through the initiation into her chosen faction she experiences many challenges as well as romance, trust and tests. What faction does she belong to? Why is being Divergent so dangerous? And what secrets are faction leaders hiding from society?

I enjoyed reading Divergent, as I just couldn’t take my eyes off the page. From the second you open the book and read the first sentence you don’t want to put it down. It is intriguing, enthralling and definitely one of the best books to read. The book is also about fitting in, discovering who you are and fighting for who you are, very relatable to teenagers as it is also about romance. It takes you along the journey of Beatrice’s and Four’s romance story. It is a very intense book with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and emotional and action packed moments. I would recommend this book to people between the ages of 13-40 that are at a higher level of reading as some context may be hard to understand and also people that love to read action/adventure and romance books. I would rate it 4/5 stars, as it is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. What faction would you chose?

Mila, Year 9





One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs and determines your loyalties… Forever.

“One choice can transform you.

One choice can destroy you.

Once choice will define you.”


“You nearly died today,’ he says. ‘I almost shot you.’

‘Why didn’t you shoot me, Tris?’

‘I couldn’t do that,’ I say. ‘It would have been like shooting myself.’

He looks pained and leans closer to me, so his lips brush mine when he speaks…..”


Do you long for excitement, and out of this world experiences? Suspense and heart filled wonder?

The Divergent series encompasses these emotions, leaving you awake ‘till all hours of the night unable to put the book down.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the main character lives in a deteriorating city, run by the Government. People are split up into different groups according to their skills and moral values. Tris and her brother, along with the rest of the population, are forced to choose what life they will live, once they turn 16. It‘s a choice that will determine their fates, and possibly their survival. In order to help them make this choice they undergo a test. Through this test Tris discovers that she is different, and therefore in danger.

Tris is Divergent, a fate that if she is not careful will get her killed. She is told by an unsuspecting ally to keep this true identity a secret, although she is clueless as to why. She discovers that the world around her is not what she thought. People are lying, plots are being created and the people she loves most are not who they say they are.

On an enchanting and thrilling adventure, Tris meets new friends, overcomes obstacles and fights for her survival.

Personally I enjoyed this book, filled with suspense it transported me to a different world. With twists and turns on every page Divergent keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is relatable to teens and most people in modern society, as she fights to find who she is and fit in, but eventually realises that everyone is different. This book deserves a rating of 7.5/10 as it is exciting and captivates the audience.

Divergent is a fictional novel recommended to young adults as it is easy to read and relatable. It is action packed with guns and violence for the thrill seekers and sentimental appeal for the romanticists. A gender neutral book that can be enjoyed by anyone, Divergent is definitely at the top of my booklist.

In conclusion, this enthralling story transports you to a world of romance and adventure, it is a riveting, read relatable to teens but readable by everyone. If you can read, this is a book for you.

Piper, Year 9


Imagine living in a world that is split into five factions. Where your whole life is determined by one test and the results from this one test could change your life forever.

The book Divergent by Veronica Roth is about a girl called Beatrice Prior who lives in a futuristic world that is split into five factions according to their personal qualities. Amity – the kind, Erudite – the intelligent, Candor – the honest, Abnegation – the selfless and Dauntless – the brave. Beatrice has come to the time in her life where she has to take the Aptitude test and make a decision whether she will stay with her family in Abnegation or leave and go to another faction. Despite the pressure from the test, Beatrice also has a secret; a secret that changes her life, and if the secret got out she would be killed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book Divergent as it was filled with thrill, action, adventure and even a little bit of romance. As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, as it was such an engaging story with a lot of cliffhangers. This book relates to teenagers as it teaches you that not everything is easy and there are going to be tough decisions in your life that you will have to make. It also relates to teens as it focuses on “Tris” discovering who she is and following her own heart. Teenagers can relate to this as they are in the stage of their life where they are still discovering who they are. Beatrice teaches you that you don’t need to follow everyone else, not even the ones you love. Trust yourself and go with your heart.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 13-40 as it has a great storyline and is packed with action, adventure and romance. I definitely would recommend reading Divergent if you liked any of the Hunger Games or Maze Runner books. Divergent was such a good book to read and I really enjoyed it so I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Makenna, Year 9

November 13

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

BrotherbandImagine you and your friends are on a splintered ship sailing through the treacherous, rough and unforgiving seas. Well that is what Hal, a young Viking in training has to face in order to get his victorious title.

This amazing novel is only one of many of John Flanagan fictional quests and is certainly a thrill to the reader. It is filled with challenges, raids and extraordinary adventures that leave you in cliff hanging suspense. John Flanagan has started an extremely enjoyable series and his endless thought and amazing plot lines make this book impossible to overlook.

Life for Hal has never been great. He has had to grow up without a father figure to look up to, which is difficult when you live in a town best known for its warriors. He is also known as an outcast due to his heritage, a slur that will stay with him for the rest of his life. But Thorn, Hal’s best friend, slowly shakes him out of that thought and helps him become the leader and warrior he always wanted to be and, in the future, needed to be.

The cruel and harsh trial of the Brotherband training is the only way anyone in the town can become a fierce warrior. Teams are put head to head and try to survive the fierce environment that the Brotherband’s training has to offer. When the rules change and a third team is allowed to participate, Hal finds himself with the role of captain of the ship Heron and a crew of outcasts like himself who have barely even seen each other. It is up to Hal to show his team what the Brotherband training is really about and train them harder than they have ever trained before so as they can have even the slightest chance of winning.

This is an unbelievable novel and I have read nothing like it. In every corner you are given close calls and kept in cliff hanging suspense. John Flanagan’s amazing skills of writing thrilling adventure, action and fantasy novels have really excelled in this book especially. He sets the scene perfectly and with such attention to detail, so much so that it actually feels like you are in the action.

I highly recommend this book, especially to teenage boys looking for an amazing adventure. This is definitely one of John Flanagan’s best and he keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end. I give this book a 5/5 as it kept me in the thrill and action of a real medieval Viking journey from beginning to end and is a fantastic start to a series that I am now looking forward to reading.

Caillin, Year 9


Are you a person who loves adventure books filled with challenges and fighting? Well Brotherband: the Outcasts is the book for you with many adventurous challenges involving navigation and battling. The story is set in the times of the Vikings on an island called Skandian where groups of boys are placed into bands where they must complete challenges for points.

Hal is the main character in the story who unwillingly finds himself the leader of the Herons whose guardian is his friend Thorn who was requested to protect Hal by Hal’s father when he died.

I liked the book because the book has interesting challenges and makes you not want to put the book down. This is also a good book because it had heaps of action to keep the book exciting and the book is easy to read and people can easily relate to some characters.

I would recommend this book to males aged between 12 and 17 who are interested in action-adventure books because teenagers can relate to some characters.

I would rate Outcasts a 4 out of 5 stars because it is an enjoyable book to read.

I personally don’t know why you haven’t read this book yet if you haven’t read it. You won’t regret it. It’s a ‘must read’ book.

Jack, Year 9

November 13

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

Skulduggery“There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for.” Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant is the first in a series of nine books, with two extra books positioned outside the main story. It’s a tale about a wise cracking detective who wields the powers of elemental magic, those being Water, Fire, Air and Earth. Along with his partner, Valkyrie Cain, these two have to save the world from a madman attempting to bring back a race of ancient gods. To accomplish this they must attain the help of a master swordswoman, a tailor who is also a boxer, and an information broker nobody can trust. Along the way, Skulduggery and Valkyrie must solve the murder of Valkyrie’s uncle, author Gordon Edgely, who was killed for something he owns, a weapon powerful enough to kill a god.

The book Skulduggery Pleasant is categorised in action, mystery and thriller genres, and themes included are fantasy and horror. It can be a challenging read for younger audiences especially as later in the series the books have over 500 pages, but if you like lengthy books, then the series by Derek Landy, including his other works, will be a great read for anyone enjoying other novels in the same genres. Many of the stories end in cliffhangers that keep you asking questions, only to be revealed in the later books in the series. The books contain many twists in the plot and then when you expect something to happen, the books throw in a series of unforeseeable events.

This novel was published in 2007, but is still a great book to read. I would recommend this book as a more advanced read for an audience ranging from 12 to 16 years of age. Once you finish this book I would advise you to continue on with the series, as the other books are just as great as this one. I would rate this book an 8.5/10 as it is a fairly long book, but leaves so many questions about the characters.

Lachlann, Year 9


“Doors are for people with no imagination.” Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a thrilling tale of adventure, mystery and foreshadowed events, developing relatable characters and well placed witty humour. This book is suitable for most young adults who like action, mystery and thriller novels.

Derek Landy weaves the tale of a twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie Edgely, who lives with her mother and father in Haggard, a small coastal town near Dublin in Ireland. She live a relatively ordinary life as an only child until she meets a strange man at her uncle’s will reading. His name is Skulduggery Pleasant. No one know what he looks like underneath his large hat, dark over-sized sunglasses, heavy trench coat and long scarf, but the secrets that lie beneath are much bigger than his appearance. After this, Stephanie’s life becomes a little more adventurous, now that she knows magic exists and that the end of the world is fast approaching, and the only people who can prevent it are Stephanie and her new friends.

This story is a thrilling ride of twists and turns and unforeseeable events that jump out at you with no warning. The way Derek Landy describes and develops his characters, it makes you feel like you are standing right there with them experiencing and feeling what they are through the book. As soon as I finished this novel I craved more because I didn’t want the story to end and the characters to fade while there were still so many questions to be answered.

To conclude, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy is without a doubt an amazing book. It has everything – witty humour and all. But this novel is only the first in a series of nine marvellous tales each with another problem to solve, bigger and more dangerous than the last. I rate this book a 9/10.

“Every solution to every problem is simple. It’s the distance between the two where the mystery lies.” Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant

Jack Year 9


Did you ever think that someone could live while being dead? Well…Meet Skulduggery Pleasant, a wise cracking detective, powerful magician, and sworn enemy of evil. Oh, I almost forgot, he’s a skeleton. Stephanie Edgley is a 12-year-old girl who is sick of living a boring normal life. This ends one day with the sudden death of Stephanie’s uncle, Gordon Edgley. Skulduggery and Stephanie must partner up and uncover the secrets that lie beneath the so-called ‘accident’. Stephanie is introduced to the world of magic and realises that what she got into is a lot bigger than she thought.

One night after Stephanie inherited the house from Gordon’s will, a man tries to kill her. Skulduggery came to the rescue and saved her. This is when Stephanie finds out that her uncle was living a more powerful and dangerous life owning a weapon that could kill a god. With the help of a tailor, a librarian and a swordswoman, Skulduggery and Stephanie must defeat the evil Serpine.

I really like this book, as it is a book that I didn’t want to put down. I wanted to know what happened next as Stephanie and Skulduggery continue to solve the mystery. It has a fantastic plot and every page keeps you one the edge of your seat. I would recommend this book for teenagers around 12-17 years of age. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Jemma D, Year 9