June 12

‘Impostor’ by Susanne Winnacker

“‘Wow! What a welcome,’ I said under my breath. Ana shrugged.

‘People want to know the truth. The newspaper has been reporting about the murderers for weeks and everyone’s scared. You’re the only victim that survived and people are making up their own theories about that, how you have come back from the dead.”

‘Impostor’ is a science fiction book. It is a book that people are going to remember because it’s a very interesting book and people would be glad to read it. It was predictable.

The story was very engaging and made me want to keep flipping the pages. The setting also helped the book be enthralling and the characters believable, especially Tessa. Tessa stands out in the book because of her special power.  The ending was fascinating.

The theme in this book is spy/crime, conveyed effectively.  It’s telling people you can do what you want without being knocked down by others.

This book was a very good book to read.  It could be recommended as a good sci fi book for young adults because the book is based on a young adult and her problems working for the FBI. It would rate 4 out of 5.

Makayla B., Year 8

June 21

‘Liar’ by Justine Larbalestier

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

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

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

Jessica V., Year 8

June 21

‘Rat Catcher’ by Chris Ryan

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

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

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

By Nash A., Year 8

June 20

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abrahams

DownRabbitHole“My all-time favourite. Astonishing!” says Stephen King.

Down the Rabbit Hole is a book about a murder that 13 year-old Ingrid is blamed for. The author Peter Abrahams has written many other books that are very popular for example Into the Dark. That was also a very good book.

The story is set in a city near a soccer stadium where people, including Ingrid, train. That’s why she gets blamed for the murder, because she was home alone and Katy got murdered by food poisoning. Ingrid was the only one there and they found her soccer shoes near the murder. The main character Ingrid is a girl who has just had her 13th birthday and plays soccer and really enjoys it. She lost her bag where the murder took place and so she was blamed for what happened.

This book is about somebody who gets murdered and the police can’t find out who murdered them. They have a couple of pieces of evidence leading them to think that the murderer was13 year-old Ingrid. She knew it wasn’t her because she was minding her own business, so she decided to solve the mystery on her own. The question is, does she find out who is the murderer?

I thought that this was an entertaining book because I am interested into criminal investigations, for example criminal minds, and when it comes to solving a mystery, that’s when I’m really interested because I like to solve mysteries and try and find out who did the crime. I also liked the way that Ingrid was solving the murder because she was blamed for it. She was not happy about that if that had been me I wouldn’t be too happy either. I would suggest people around the age of 12-14 to read this book because it’s not really for adults and it’s more for young teens but not too young either. It would suit people who like mysteries and investigations to do with crime.

To sum it all up, Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams is about a young girl who is blamed for a crime that she didn’t commit and so she solves the murder instead. If you are reading this I recommend that you read Down the Rabbit Hole as well as its sequel. I’m sure that you will enjoy it. Trust me, I did!

By Maddison D., Year 8


Ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Ingrid definitely has, well at least her soccer boots have. Everyone in Echo Falls has a secret, and this is the story of Ingrid’s.

Ingrid is a 13 year old girl who has a love for acting and Sherlock Holmes. After ending up in Crazy Katie’s house after her soccer game she accidentally leaves her bright red soccer boots there, which finally puts her love for Sherlock Holmes to good use.

The owner of the soccer boots is alleged to be the person who murdered Crazy Katie. To avoid being a murder suspect, Ingrid does what Sherlock Holmes would have done and decides to investigate and solve the mystery herself and prove herself not guilty.

To top it all off, not only does she has to solve the mystery by herself but also she must learn the lead part of the play and put up with her evil Maths teacher, Mrs Groome.

Down the Rabbit Hole, by Peter Abrahams, is definitely full of suspense and officially one of my favourite books. It’s also Stephen King’s favourite. Stephen King quoted:

“My all time favourite. Astonishing.”

He also said it was so good he couldn’t put it down, which I completely agree with. Although I really enjoyed this book, I was a bit disappointed about the lack of Alice in Wonderland references. I think with the title, Down the Rabbit Hole, you would expect the storyline to be like Alice in Wonderland or at least have a few more references than just the school play.

I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 10-14 who loves a good mystery and books they can’t put down. In conclusion, I would rate this book 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery full of suspense.

By Madilyn O., Year 8


Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets. Thirteen year-old Ingrid Levin Hill had a secret too; one that could land her in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. Ingrid was an average girl who loved acting, soccer and Sherlock Holmes mysteries until one day she misplaces her soccer boots which lands her in the middle of a real murder mystery.

Someone in the town, known as Crazy Katie, was murdered and because Ingrid left her soccer boots at Crazy Katie’s house, if anyone finds out that the red boots belong to her she could definitely become a suspect. To prove herself not guilty Ingrid resorts to solving the mystery herself whilst also keeping up with her average teenage life which includes school plays, hanging out with friends, homework, mean girls, parents, an older brother and her stubborn grandfather. Ingrid must also keep the fact that she is investigating Crazy Katie’s murder a secret from everyone she knows as well as the police, who happen to be closer to her than she would like them to be. Ingrid’s big investigation leads her all over Echo Falls and she does everything she can to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

Down The Rabbit Hole is a well written story with an intriguing plot line. I loved the suspense and mystery in this story and the fact that the heroine was just an ordinary girl. Although there are many things I enjoyed about the story there were also a few ends that I would have liked if they were made a bit clearer, for example what happened to the person who murdered Crazy Katie?

This book has has many great reviews including one from world famous author Stephen King, he said, “My all-time favourite. Astonishing.” He also quoted, “One walloping good suspense yarn…I couldn’t put it down.”  I agree completely with Stephen King’s rave reviews because this story was full of suspense all the way to the very last sentence. I recommend this book to people of all ages who love a good mystery but because of the main character’s age I believe people between the ages of 10-15 will be able to relate very closely to the main character’s point of view throughout the book. I will definitely add this book to my list of favourites because it it one that will not be easily forgotten.

Chelsea M., Year 8 

June 17

‘The Girl Who Knew’ by Sandra Glover

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

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

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

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

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

Charlotte J, Year 8


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

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

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

I really enjoyed this novel. This book has descriptive language which made it very easy for me to imagine the scenes in my head. I recommend this book to teen readers who are interested in paranormal, mysterious and thrilling novels. ‘The girl who knew’ explores teenagers’ emotions. Sandra Glover has combined the tension of the story with her strong characters to ensure the real and unreal is satisfying. I’d rate the book ‘the girl who knew’ 4 out of 5 stars. Cassidy B, year 8

June 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 9

‘All this Could End’ by Steph Bowe

All this could endBang, bang stay down everyone!’ is basically the story of Nina’s life.

After being born into a family of bank robbers, Nina doesn’t have a choice but to follow the tradition. Nina and her family are almost always on the run, moving to new locations every six months across the north-east coast of Australia. Her parents Sophia and Paul have an extremely different idea of a career to her, after dragging her to yet another temporary home.

While starting at a new school with her brother Tom, Nina connects with a boy, Spencer, in a way she never really has before. But before Nina knows it, she is on the run again and must leave Spencer behind.

When Spencer finds that his soulmate has mysteriously disappeared, right at the time of a family crisis, it can’t get much worst; that is if there isn’t a gun held to your head. And who must be holding this gun? Nina. This puts Nina in a very difficult situation, where she must pluck up the courage and ‘spill-the-beans’. Suddenly Nina and Spencer’s friendship has been taken to a whole another level. But what show-stopper situation will come next?

The storyline is captivating, leaving you in a state of ‘wanting more’. With the relatable emotions and feelings that Nina and Spencer express, the reader identifies with the characters in the text. The excitement and wild-ride adventure shows situations of bravery, love, trust and adventure. The way the author blends the perfect amount of suspense and plot twists, makes me want to read more.

I would recommend not just this novel, but also this author to a young audience, because Steph shows an understanding of the emotions and feelings a young audience may be experiencing.

Brodee T., Year 8

November 20

‘A Pocketful of Eyes” by Lili Wilkinson

A pocketful of eyes“How could this have happened? Who did this?

These questions kept repeating in my mind after I had heard those three words. ‘Gus is dead’.”

Beatrice… known as Bee, who is 17 years old, has an interest in mysteries but she doesn’t realise she is in a mystery herself. Bee works at a taxidermy lab in the Melbourne Museum of Natural History as a summer job with her co-workers Gus and Toby. Bee and Toby stayed later one night resulting in a 1am kissing session, when suddenly they heard a noise in another room. Thinking nothing of it they went home. The next day Bee got to work but something seemed off. There was no one at the museum. Toby then confronted Bee and what she heard next changed her life!

“Gus is dead.”

I loved this mystery love story to the point where I was reading it everywhere I went. Bee and Toby’s interest in mystery and solving who killed Gus intrigued me. They both had such different personalities. Toby knows a suspicious amount of animal mating facts and Bee is a peculiar 17 year old. She loves mysteries. That is all she did when she was young. A pocketful of eyes is a great book for teenagers who love a bit of romance and a mysterious plot. I rate this book 4 out of 5 because each page had new information. My mind didn’t drift off and think about other stuff. I stayed and enjoyed reading about Bee and Toby’s dramatic, action-filled, romantic mysterious journey to find out if Gus really killed himself.

Beth H. 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

May 18

‘Liar’ by Justine Larbalestier

liarMicah Wilkins is addicted to everything she can never have. With calculated dark eyes, and a seemingly indecisive mind she’s an oddly compelling and complex character. She tries on personas and identities like they’re outfits. The effects of her lies have altered her perspective on the world and her relationships with others, and when you add in her overly intricate life, she’s a protagonist you’ll never forget.

Walk into the life of Micah, a self-proclaimed compulsive (or possibly pathological) liar, whose world is crumbling around her after the death of her ‘afterhours boyfriend’, Zach. Micah and Zach have kept their relationship a secret due to conflicting social status, but as Zach’s death comes to be concluded as a murder the truth about Micah and Zach’s relationship is revealed and she quickly becomes a suspect.

Zach’s death causes a butterfly effect of events that Micah could have never imagined happening. Suddenly, the almost invisible, renowned liar and outcast becomes the talk of the school. It isn’t long before she finds herself at the centre of a malicious circle of gossip, rumours and lies. No one wants to know what happened to Zach more than Micah, but unfortunately for her the truth is hard to come by and it just might involve admitting to some of the lies she’s told about herself. Although this search for truth does more than enthrall the reader, along with the lies, it defines Micah as a character through more than just words.

It’s a quintessential mystery that more or less forces you to take part in the story. This book truly belongs to every person; it all comes down to what you interpret as truth and as lies, whether you become more cynical compared to whether you’re trusting. There is no definite reason as to why Micah lies, although she implies that it’s because the world is better the way she tells it, but can you trust her word?

Filled with doppelganger qualities between characters and double meanings to words it creates a deeply layered plot and, all in all, the truth is what you make it.

But, no matter which way you interpret Liar, there are repeating themes, mainly regarding loss and power: loss of control of your body, environment and entire life; the struggle to regain control is also highlighted, as well as struggling for freedom/to escape from power that others seek to gain over her.

Liar is a chilling physiological thriller that will keep you up until the early hours of the morning, unable to put down this suspenseful page-turner. Suitable for anyone 13 or older, it’s written with elegance and direct but misleading purpose. With flawless description you’ll be engrossed in Micah’s mysterious life, theorising about the book long after you’ve finished. Justine Larbalestier is a talented author who has disregarded all stereotypes and clichés to create this gripping masterpiece. The concept of an unreliable narrator is rather insidious and with the stunning writing style of Justine it’s a beautifully woven web of lies that will take you on the wildest, most beautiful journey and leave you with a lack of finality and endless questions.

If there’s one thing you know for sure, it’s that Micah is lying, it’s her second nature; but what exactly is she lying about? Well, that’s for you to work out.

Ashleigh D, Year 9.

November 19

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

Skulduggery          Meet Skulduggery Pleasant, ace detective and walking, talking, fire-throwing skeleton and Valkyrie Cain, strong-willed, intelligent, 12-year-old girl. This novel is set Valkyrie Cain’s hometown of Ireland. This book has three dominant characters displayed throughout. These characters include Skulduggery Pleasant, Valkyrie Cain and Nefarian Serpine. There are also characters such as Tanith Low and China Sorrows. However, both of these characters are not as important.
Skulduggery Pleasant is a walking, talking skeleton who fought against Malevolent under Grand Mage Meritorius during the secret war as one of the leaders of a group called ‘The Dead Men’, but was caught in a deadly trap by Nefarian Serpine. This trap killed Skulduggery’s wife and child in front of him.
Skulduggery’s partner, Valkyrie Cain (also known as Stephanie Edgley), is a 12-year-old girl from a seaside town in Ireland named Haggard. Stephanie accompanies Skulduggery on his adventures. On the way, she starts to develop magic skills. She goes from manipulating air in a climatic battle scene to creating fire by the end of the novel. Valkyrie gets her first name from the Norse warrior women who guard Valhalla, and her last name from the word ‘cain’.
Nefarian Serpine is an evil sorcerer who once served under Malevolent as one of his infamous ‘Three Generals’. In the novel, Nefarian accidentally destroys the ‘Book of Names’ with the ancient sceptre. This prevents the return of the Faceless Ones. Enraged by his mistake, he tries to kill Stephanie but Skulduggery stops him and avenges the death of his loved ones by turning him to dust with the sceptre.
The plot in this novel is quite detailed, however, it starts off with Nefarian Serpine trying to retrieve the Ancient Sceptre from Gordon Edgley’s mansion. However, this does not work out as planned. As Skulduggery and Valkyrie are trying to stop Nefarian, a tailor, librarian and a professional swordswoman help them. These people are known as Ghastly Bespoke, China Sorrows and Tanith Low. In the end, the Book of Names is destroyed; Serpine is killed breaking the Sceptre’s power in the process.
I liked this book for many reasons, however, I especially liked it because of the fantasy. Fantasy books are very interesting, as you never know what is going to happen because it is not realistic. I would recommend this book to teenagers. The ages would mainly be 12-16.
Jack, Year 9


   Skulduggery Pleasant! Have you ever met a dead man? Well Stephanie Edgley has. Skulduggery is a pranking detective that goes out of his way to cause mischief in all situations. He is a brave magician, master of tricks and is always getting himself into trouble. His 12 year old side kick, Stephanie is tired of her regular life. After a man breaks into her house and tries to kill her, she is saved by the skeleton man; Skulduggery. Do you like books with intense action and dramatic adventure? Well then this is a great book for you!

‘Skullduggery Pleasant’ is set in a small seaside town in Ireland called Haggard. This town is where Stephanie and her family live their normal everyday lives. It doesn’t take much, however, for it to change into a wondrous place, achieved by the hands of Skulduggery. If you haven’t figured it out, Skulduggery is a walking, talking skeleton that is a master magician of the elements. This ‘prime detective’, as they call him, is over 400 years old and is one of the wisest men on Earth. His wisely chosen side kick, Stephanie, is a courageous, strong willed 12 year old girl that is just looking for an exciting adventure.

Both Skulduggery and Stephanie are trying to solve the mystery of her uncle’s death which involves many of the evil magicians and wizards. They have to journey far and wide to figure out how it happened and who was responsible. They encounter the baddest of bad and have to fight for their lives in multiple situations. This daring duo are just asking for disaster. At the same time as solving the mystery, they are looking for a mythical yet powerful item called the ‘Septer of the Ancients’ that could cause horrific damage to the entire world.

I personally enjoyed this book because of its magnificent storyline. It has a twisted plot that surprises you on every page. The adventure and mystery that they go on trying to solve the murder intrigued me and made me want to keep reading on. This is a great book for young readers and anyone from the ages of 9 – 15 will definitely love this read.

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ 4 out of 5 stars. Liam M, Year 9


November 17

‘Tick Tock’ ~by James Patterson~

ticktockLooking for a gun-in-hand, action-packed thriller with a deep plot and shocking story? Then James Patterson’s Tick Tock is the book for you. Michael Benet is an accomplished and well known detective from New York, but when an out of control terrorist starts detonating bombs in crowded areas, Michael is forced to abandon the satisfaction and bonding he was hoping to achieve with his family on their vacation, and pursue an investigation into what seems like a random string of bombings.

As time continues to run out, Michael starts to conclude that an ‘Evil Mastermind’ who is hoping to recreate the events of a long forgotten bombing spree is conducting these acts of terrorism. As the terrorist continues to toy with Benet, hundreds of people are dying, and it is up to him and the rest of the detective agency to stop this terrorist before he ends his spree. While Benet is occupied with leading the main investigation into these bombing sprees, he is forced to cope with their own neighborhood ‘terrorist’, a nearby ex-mafia family who are beating down on Michael’s kids and vandalizing their property.

If you enjoy a storyline in which character development and story line are clearly evident and very fulfilling, and a plot that is ever changing due to dynamic, action packed scenes, then Tick Tock is without a doubt the book for you. To conclude, I would give this book an 8 out of 10, as it is able to stay strong to the Patterson franchise, and clearly does not disappoint, nor does it stray from the original flow of his detective novels.

Jessy, Year 9


Action, murder and a whole lot of romance! Sound like your kind of book? Then Tick Tock by James Patterson is for you.

Tick Tock is a fast paced mystery murder, action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Once you get caught, there’s no escape. The only thing you can do is read on in anticipation. James Patterson has really outdone himself with this novel.

The story is set in the big apple, New York City. Just as renowned detective Michael Bennett starts his holiday with his family, he is called back to work when a crazy serial killer named Berger starts terrorising the city. This villain gives new meaning to the name Copycat as he recreates the crimes of notorious New York criminals. NYPD goes into panic mode as the Berger starts to grow bolder with every attack.

If Michael doesn’t have enough on his hands already, his family has now become the target of the Flaherty gang, a band of rough ex criminals with a knack for harassing people. In the chaos of it all, he still has to juggle his prosperous love life. Does Michael have what it takes to protect his family and save the people of New York from the crazy Copycat? You should find out!

I personally liked this book. It had all the qualities a great book should have: action, crime and romance. It was very hard to put the book down. Every chapter left you hanging and wanting to read more. The suspense was amazing.

I would recommend this book to you if you enjoyed Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods, Afraid of the dark by James Grippando or A heartbeat away by Michael Palmer.

Get Tick Tock! Be quick though because time is running out…

Levi, Year 9

November 17

‘Thieves Like Us’ by Stephen Cole

Thieves like us           Meet weird teenager Jonah Wish, a genius computer hacker, caught, thrown and sentenced for one year into juvenile hall. And only into the start of his second month he is broken out by a couple of unknown criminal gang members for some apparent reason, changing Jonah’s life for good.

He was brought to an unknown criminal hideout where he found out that the gang members that snuck him out of custody were under the command of a man called ‘Nathaniel Coldhart’ who recruits teenagers with unique talents like Jonah, who has special cyber hacking abilities.

Jonah does not realize what sort of a life he was getting into due to the distractions from all the materials provided by Nathaniel. All he knows is that once he is in the gang, there is no getting out.

As Jonah was recruited into the gang, Patch, Con, Motti and Tye would soon be sent onto a risky and secret mission assigned by Nathaniel Coldhart.

I really enjoyed this book because it was about criminal teenagers, and I felt that I could relate to what they were feeling throughout the book. I could not put this book down sometimes because I was completely engaged with the story and its interesting lines and wanted to know what would happen next. The descriptive language, engaging storyline of the book and traits of the characters, which Steven Cole assigned to the book, made it easy to make up scenarios within my head as to what was happening in the book.

 Angelo, Year 9


      Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to be a computer hacker in your teenage years and then thrown into a juvenile centre?  If so, then Thieves like us by Stephen Cole will let you know what it’s like.

A teenage boy by the name of Jonah Wish is sentenced to one year in a juvenile detention centre where, in only his second month, he is busted out by an unknown pair of criminal gang members and Jonah’s world will never be the same again.

Jonah is taken to a criminal hideout where he and five other teens are under the command of Nathaniel Coldhart, who recruits teenagers with special talents like cyber hacking. Jonah doesn’t know what type of life he has been plucked into. All he knows is that he is in a teen gang and there is no getting out. Jonah and the others, Patch, Con, Motti and Tye, are about to be sent on Coldhart’s most important assignment yet.

I really enjoyed this book because it was about teenagers, and I felt that I could relate to what they were feeling throughout. I could not put this book down because I was completely engaged with the story and wanted to know what would happen next. The descriptive language, engaging storyline and traits of the characters, which Steven Cole assigned to the book, made it easy to make up scenarios in my head as to what was happening in the book.

I would recommend this book for teenage boys from around 14 to 18 years old who enjoy reading a thrilling, adventurous book with an intriguing creative plot with plenty of great cliffhangers; one you’ll be unable to put down.

Louis H, Year 9


Nathaniel Coldhardt is a rich, master criminal who recruits teenagers with special talents to undertake his deeply planned out crimes. These crimes take place in remote places all around the world, from Egypt to France. So far he has recruited four teens and has taken them in and given them a home. Although Coldhardt has put together a very special group, he needs another employee for his next crime. This employee is stuck in an institution. Jonah is his name and he has an immense interest in computers and solving puzzles.

Jonah Wish was an orphan who had a massive curiosity about computers. His gift was a vast knowledge of the electronic world and hacking. Jonah once tried to help one of the families he most loved with his talent, but ended up angering them and getting sent to the Young Offenders Institution. He was sentenced to the institution for a numerous number of years, until he was broken out by a group of teenagers. These teenagers weren’t normal though. They each had a special talent that had to do with solving puzzles and robbery. Even though they used their talents for immoral reasons, they’re all competent, nice teens that had a story as to why they do this for a living. These teenagers are Con, Tye, Patch and Motti. Jonah was welcomed into the group and met their boss, Coldhardt. He agreed to the offer to join the group. After this they were assigned a mission. They didn’t know this mission was the start to a huge operation. They travel the world to steal and figure out an ancient artifact.

This book was an action packed, mysterious, suspenseful and overall a different type of book. I liked the fact that the characters were a mystery until the middle of the book. Also the story line kept me on my heels. The plot made me want to know what happened next and made wanting to read more. This book was meant for people between the ages of 13 and 19 because of its language, setting and storyline. I recommend this book highly to read. I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars.  Jason, Year 9

November 11

‘Son of the Mob’ by Gordon Korman

Son of the mobVince Luca lives the life of an average teenage boy: school, sport and work; but he is being held back by what you would think would be the most influential people in your life, his family. Does this book have the right theme for you? Then Son of the Mob is definitely for you.

The author, Gordon Korman, has written Son of Mob as a great thrill story. With the turn of every page, a surprise arises and it always keeps you intrigued and wanting to read more. The story is set in the city of New York, where the love lost Vince Luca is struggling to keep his girlfriend, Kendra Brightly, from finding out about his family business (crime). It doesn’t help that Kendra’s father is a FBI agent. Vince’s infamous family business is holding him back from doing the things he wants and he finds himself juggling his secret life from reality, and this turns out to be very difficult for Vince.

The story line creates a great atmosphere whilst reading this book and I enjoyed this book due to its creative and intriguing storyline. It is constantly changing and this is why Gordon Korman has made such a successful book. I would recommend this book to 14 to 15 year old males, as it is suited more to a male’s taste in reading. As it is also about a teenage male, this allows 14 to 15 year old boys to relate to this book more than what females could. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars as it kept you very inclined to reading it, but in some cases I think a little bit more action could be put into the story, therefore making an even better book to read.

Overall, Gordon Korman has created a fascinating book that is always changing and every turn of page keeps you inclined to read more and more, therefore making this book a good read. Daniel, Year 9.


Imagine your family are mobsters and you found the girl you love but you can’t let her find out about your family’s life because her dad is the FBI agent trying to take down your father! Pretty hard to imagine ,right? Well for Vince Luca this is a reality. He wants nothing to do with the family business but it somehow always manages to screw things up for him. Author Gordon Korman has created a book that is intriguing to say the least! Once you start reading you just can’t stop because it takes you on an adventure through Vince Luca’s fascinating life.

Vince, was struggling with his secret life before he met Kendra. Now he has to juggle keeping himself away from his family’s business and dating the daughter of the man who has bugged his house and his phone listening to every conversation he has. He has been mildly successful in distancing himself from the family business but little was he to know that one delivery of money to his father could turn his life upside down. It gets too much for Vince, Kendra finds out about his true identity and dumps him, then he finds out a secret that has baffled his father for years and Vince finds himself at the end of a barrel of a gun.  Could it be the end of Vince or will he get himself out of it? All will be revealed in Son of the Mob!

The novel Son of the Mob was remarkable to read. If you like books that are thrillers, adventurous and leaving you intrigued to read the next page then Son of the Mob is the book for you. This story leaves no stone unturned so you’re never confused. I would recommend this book to teenagers of the ages 14 to 17 years old. This book definitely is a page-turner I would read again. I would rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars because it did get a bit boring in the middle of the book.   Mitchell, Year 9

November 10

‘DIEGO, RUN!’ by Deborah Ellis

diego run‘Madre de Dio,’ she prayed, ‘how will we survive?’

Meet twelve year old, Diego, a hardworking Bolivian boy doomed to live in the cold cells of a Bolivian Women’s prison.  Placed there for a crime they didn’t commit, the members of Diego’s family were wrenched away from each other, his father destined to live out the rest of his days in a men’s prison, whilst his little sister doesn’t even know what home looks like. Diego works now as a human taxi running errands and selling things, but when his little sister wanders off on his watch, his mother is set to receive a hefty fine. Diego is offered a job he can’t afford to miss.  Leaving his family behind, Diego leaves with his trusted friend Mando to face an unknown path that could lead to either complete fortune or death. What will he choose?

Diego is an adventurous character who enjoys discovering new information and new strategies to aid both himself and what’s left of his family. For his young age, Diego is quite clever when it comes to accomplishing goals, collecting new information in his photographic mind to change new tactics of getting through the daily struggles and to him, every piece of information counts. His mother tries to cope with the days, always worried that one night they will end up sleeping on the dirty, cold floor. Diego’s sister, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Crawling around and creating mischief is her key goal according to Diego. But as for his father, living in the men’s prison with Diego’s best friend Mando, all he would love to do is be with his family once again.

I think this book is for individuals from the age twelve to eighteen. It has real, worldwide problems in its pages and wouldn’t be understood or even appropriate for anyone under the age of twelve. But to compete with this, this book is also extremely easy to read and so may not exactly appeal to adults due to its limited vocabulary.

I loved this book. It’s been written exceedingly well and really gets you addicted to the story line, especially when it reveals its plot twist. The characters and culture are unique and the situation is realistic and can even appear to be educational. This novel really makes you appreciate what a lovely and lucky country we live in.

Reviewed by Scarlett, Year 9


“The first breath made his lungs and throat burn, and he wanted to punch the men who had given him this horrible thing.”

Working as a young child, taking multiple drugs so you don’t fall asleep on the job that depends whether you’re going to live your life outside or inside the jail walls…

Inside a jail in Cochabamba, Bolivia, lives Diego, his mother and sister Corina. When Diego went out to work as a taxi one day, he didn’t realise that day was going to change his life. Mando, his best friend who lives outside the jail, asked him if he wanted to work in the jungle under the control of many men. Given very brief information he chose to go the next morning with just a satchel and a water bottle and take the chance of making loads of money or never coming back home to his family.

This novel was great and I was intrigued because it is an actual problem in Bolivia that people have to do as a job. It was tremendous to read, as it was easy to visualise, giving that it had immense detail about the feelings of Diego and how he was being treated with disgust from the men. This would be a great book for kids above the age of 12 as they would really understand the problem in detail and be more aware of drugs and what happens throughout the book. They would also take it more seriously.

Nicole C., Year 9


How would you feel if your parents were just taken away from you? Your life suddenly changes, and what you know of life doesn’t exist for you. Diego is a child that has been brought up in a third world country. His parents have been put into a prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. With his family being ripped away from society, only the children can leave through the gates.

To be able to have a living within the prison, Diego’s mother knits and Diego sells the goods and does taxi jobs for people. When life can’t seem to get any worse for Diego a dreadful event occurs. A hefty cost comes out from it and Diego is forced to pay it back. He feels great shame for what he has done and it doesn’t help the fact that his mother is now ignoring him.

Diego’s friend Mando pressures him to come on a job that will have a reward of lots of money. It is Deigo’s choice to come or not, to come on an adventure, to save his family, have great fortune or will it just be a great failure? He only has a few days to decide. Does he pick the right choice? Will his brilliant mind of judgment and knowledge help him? Will his family ever be together and happy again?

Diego Run is a well-written novel reaching out to younger teens around the age of 12 – 14. The author’s use of language is suited for around people around this age. Having easier use of language also makes the novel appealing to readers who aren’t very strong in this area allowing them to have an easy read. Misfortune is greatly showed in the novel with the poverty in third world countries. What makes the novel a great read is the mix between real world issues, adventure and uncalled events that you would have never expected to happen to always keep you on your edge.

Jeremy, Year 9

November 19

‘Silent to the Bone’ by E.L.Konigsberg

Silent to the Bone“911 what’s your emergency?”

Who knew one call could change so much? When his best friend Branwell is charged with injuring his baby sister and refuses to speak, Connor takes it upon himself to prove him innocent. ‘Silent to the Bone’ is mysterious tale of fighting for what you believe in and never giving up on your friends. Does this sound like the book you?


During this story, E.L Konigsberg examines the communication between people without speaking. It is intriguing and somewhat interesting but after time the book becomes repetitive and dull. The overall style of the book is good, the writing contemporary and is more suitable for young adults. The novel delves into mystery and suspense, which I personally think wears off quickly.


Branwell’s family is slightly dysfunctional, so when his Father remarries and a new child is brought into the family, many suspect the 13-year-old of being jealous and purposely hurting his younger sister. But Connor doesn’t believe his quiet friend would be capable of such a thing and makes it his responsibility to prove Branwell’s innocence.


I do not mean to sound harsh, but I have only rated this book two stars. There is no doubt that others would find this novel enjoyable, but it is not the type of book that I would usually pick up. I would recommend it for students fourteen and older, ‘Silent to the Bone’ is only a story someone can read if they find it interesting. The audience type is not gender specific and there are no obvious traits that would suggest whether you would enjoy such a book. Some of the themes I was slightly uncomfortable with, but I did find the whole concept predictable. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy crime and mystery novels, but not to those who relish adventures and fairytales. All in all, I didn’t hate this story. There was times when I found it interesting and others when I found myself struggling to turn a page. But I cannot recommend this book.


Chelsea, Year 9


Branwell used to be normal until the 911 call that changed him. Now he’s fighting for his innocence, refusing to speak, so Connor takes the lead, in clearing Barnwell’s name. The book opens with the mysterious 911 call. This call reveals that 13-year-old Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb during the same accident that puts Nikki, his little sister, into coma. Questioning Branwell’s innocence, he is put into a juvenile detention centre. As they question different people in Branwell’s life, the reader begins to see what is hidden beneath Branwell’s silence. The truth.


The book “Silent to the bone” by E.L. Konisgsburg is a story about the true determination of friendship and the fight for innocence. I didn’t really enjoy this book; it lacked adventure and was very predictable. The book was boring for me. I found it hard to come to terms with a character who never spoke. The book dragged on. However, the style of writing was okay, and the plot could have been more interesting if it had been written better.

Olivia, Year 9


November 6

‘Thieves Like Us’ by Stephen Cole

 Thieves like us      “This will end well,” said Nathaniel.

      This book is about Nathaniel Coldhardt and how tries to set up kids to do dangerous and illegal jobs for him. If you are interested in wonder books, this is definitely the book for you. Jonah Wish, a magnificent computer hacker, is the newest addition to an exclusive group of teen criminals all hired by the same mysterious person, Nathaniel Coldhardt. They all have a unique talent: Patch is a one-eyed locksmith who can pick any lock in town; Motti can undo any electrical system; last but not least, Tye can sense a lie with more accuracy than a detector. Together these talents could do anything. Nathaniel has studied these kids for years to find out what their talents are and what their background is.

       In this story, Nathaniel Coldhardt tries to set up all the kids to do dangerous and illegal jobs so he doesn’t go to jail again. He has hired all these kids so he can get what he needs. Nathaniel would stuff up all these kids’ lives just so he can get what he wants. He is lying to them; he will get karma.

       I did not like this book because it was slow and it has no action. Other people may have different opinions but I do not like this book, but if you are into wonder books you will certainly like this book.

       I would personally recommend this book to people over the age of 50 because it is a relaxing book and it isn’t really an action filled thriller.

      This book could also be for kids or teenagers that like wonder books.

     This book is set in a jail. It is also set in a house. Kayden, Year 9


Thieves like us. As it says, there are no other thieves that can imitate those five thieves. They are very young but very skilled and very strong. These kids might be the only key to stop someone from becoming immortal.


Jonah was not the normal kid you would normally meet. He was a genius at solving any puzzle and could decode anything. Because of this he ended up in a young offenders’ institution in Germany. But, after three months, he escaped and got taken to a big mansion in the middle of nowhere. The mansion had an underground base, perfect security and a room for each person. With Con, Pat, Motti and Tye, Jonah goes on several missions set up by Coldhardt to uncover the mystery and lies of the thirteenth Zodiac symbol Ophiuchius, the serpent Bearer. Like Jonah, the others kids have their own unique techniques to successfully complete the missions that Coldhardt sets. Con can do hypnotism aka mesmerism that can make anyone do the things he says, Pat can unlock any doors and security systems, Motti can shut down and identify any security system, and Tye can drive any vehicle.


I really enjoyed the book, ‘Thieves Like Us’ because it has some action and mysteries of the thirteenth Zodiac symbol. Coldhardt tells many mysteries and lies that the kids don’t even know and the author brings out the best of the mysteries. The ending of the story was very satisfying and made me wonder what would happen next. I would recommend this story to teenagers who are interested in the Zodiac symbols and mysteries novels. This book is a really good book to read. I would rate the book ‘Thieves Like Us’ 4 out of 5 stars. Takuto , Year 9                   


November 5

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

Skulduggery“Gordon Edgley’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone.”

This was the starting line of this in depth, fantasy/sci-fi thriller. The story is set in a suburban area, and then moved into the city and countryside during the novel. Skullduggery Pleasant is like no average human. He has no muscle or flesh; all he has is bone. Skullduggery is just a skeleton. He was defeated by evil and turned into a skeleton but he has magical powers. Will he use those powers for good?


Stephanie Edgley was a normal girl until she found out who killed her uncle and why. She decides to follow on with what her uncle did and that was follow and help Skullduggery. Will she last or will she suffer a death just like her uncle’s?


 Stephanie would have never thought that the death of her Uncle Gordon Edgley would be the start of something completely amazing in her life. She met Skullduggery, and found out what her Uncle did, and ever since that moment she wanted to continue what her uncle was doing, fighting evil with magic.


I enjoyed reading this novel because it was the type of sci-fi/fantasy that I enjoyed. It also kept me on the edge of my seat. Even though the story did drag on at times, there was enough action in the novel to keep me wanting to read more. The characters in this novel were not too boring but also were not too loud and annoying. For me this was a perfect novel.


I recommend the novel Skulduggery Pleasant to mostly boys between the age of 13 and 17 that are interested in Action, Sci-fi and fantasy novels. I also recommend this novel to any reader that has an interest in magic.


Max H, Year 9.

November 5

‘Son of the Mob’ by Gordon Korman

  Son of the mob    Vince Luca is trying to live a normal teenage life, but when his Dad’s ‘business’ gets involved in his love life and everything he tries to do, he feels he has no choice but to get involved in his dad’s ‘business’… Do you think he will?

     Vince Luca is on his first date and it’s going so well, until he finds a surprise in the trunk of his car… A dead body! He then realizes that his dad’s business is going to ruin his last high school year. Vince can’t even play football, or create a website or even go on a date without his dad’s business somehow getting in the way.

     Vince Luca, aged 17, is trying to finish his last year of high school without anything going bad in his life, but when your dad is a mob boss it’s very tricky.

     This is a very pleasant book to read because from the first page I was engaged in it. The author has done a fantastic job at describing the characters, from their personalities to how they are thinking and feeling, which is quite effective because you can get a better understanding of what’s happening throughout the book.

      The novel “Son of the mob” is an exceptional read. If you are really into books about mobs and romance at the same time you’ll fall for this one. This book is very descriptive so you can imagine what’s happening. I recommend this book to teens and young adults, around the ages of 13 to 21. This book was truly a fantastic read, and I would definitely read it again! I rate this book 3 out of 5.

Shannon F., Year 9


Say hello to the ‘Luca family’; they’re a close but also public mobster family in the heart of their local community. The Luca family has an absent-minded control over people; their son Vince doesn’t want a part of it. He wants to be in the social and study theme instead of violence. If you are into mobsters’ unsolved crimes and discovery, then this is the book for you!


Vince wants to stay out of his father’s business but he seems to be getting caught up in a ruckus. On his first date he finds a dead body in his trunk,  all the way till he gets forced off the football team because his team’s mates think they’ll get a run in with one of his uncles if they even lay a finger on him!


This book has razor fast dialogue and bullet fast pace. It’s a definite page-turner! ‘Son of the mob’ could get any teen reading because it was a thrilling read. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars.


Cooper, Year 9


The book, ‘Son of The Mob’, is about a teenager named Vince. Vince was not a normal teenage boy; his dad is the boss or the head of the biggest Mafia group in New York. The other teenagers treated Vince differently. Vince has recently got a girlfriend called Kendra but then things get more complicated; Kendra is the daughter of the head of the FBI who is trying to catch Vince’s father. Vince’s best friend Alex is trying to score vicariously through him, his brother annoys him and his dad is trying to get him motivated to join the mob.


‘Son of The Mob’ is a thrilling book to read because the suspense that is between the FBI and Vince’s dad is incredible but with this book you have to be patient and keep reading because it takes a few chapters for the book to get interesting. At the start of the book it doesn’t introduce all the characters. In my opinion, I did not enjoy the book ‘Son of The Mob’. It would be better for an adult to read this book because the author has made ‘Son of The Mob’ a bit tricky to read.


Daniel, Year 9


      Son of the Mob is an action, adventure book written by Gordon Korman. The story is basically about a boy named Vince Luca. Vince’s dad runs a mob, sort of like a Mafia, but Vince wants nothing to do with it. Vince’s brother, who is older than him, joined his dad’s mob. There are a lot of other people who are in the mob and they are all coded with secret names that start with ‘Uncle’, for example Uncle Pampers and Uncle Big Nose.


      Vince gets caught up in a relationship with the school news reporter Kendra Bightly. Kendra’s dad is an agent that goes by the name of Agent Biteme according to the Luca family. Agent Biteme is in charge of keeping watch on the Luca family. He has cameras set up in the Luca family home and he listens in on all their conversations.


       The main characters in Son of the Mob are Vince Luca, Anthony Luca who is Vince’s dad, Kendra Bightly (Vince’s girlfriend), Alex Tarkanian (Vince’s best friend) and Jimmy Rat, who is basically a low life that owes money to the mob.


       All up, I think the Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman is an exciting adventure that leaves you not wanting to put the book down. Son of the Mob has humour, action and some nail-biting scenes. Son of a Mob is a book that is for ages 13 and up. It is a great book that deserves some huge recognition. I give the book a 9 out of 10 for its humour, action and the feeling you get when you just can’t put the book down. Gordon Korman is a great author who I think gets a huge round of applause for creating such a wonderful book that is Son of a Mob.



Alby, Year 9


November 1

‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ by Lili Wilkinson


A pocketful of eyes     ‘Just because the world was simple, it didn’t mean there wasn’t any room for the occasional mystery.’ (p.311)

     These are teenagers with a mystery to solve and they won’t give up until they get to the bottom of it, even if they have to stay back at the taxidermy lab until midnight looking for clues. Does this sound like the type of book you love to read, the type of book that you can’t put down and you have to keep reading? Then ‘A Pocketful Of Eyes’ by Lili Wilkinson is the book for you!


      It all starts when a teenage girl named Bee is working at a taxidermy laboratory in the Melbourne Natural Museum’s Department, ‘but her summer job turns out to be full of surprises’ (back cover), especially on the day her mentor suddenly dies and a mysterious handsome boy named Toby begins to work at the taxidermy lab with Bee. Everyone thought that Bee’s mentor Gus died because he committed suicide but Bee and Toby are on a quest to find out if Gus really committed suicide, or did someone murder him?


     I really liked the book, ‘A Pocketful Of Eyes’ because it is a story about a girl and boy who begin to have feelings for each other and they are on a quest to find out who murdered their mentor, Gus, and during the process of getting clues and investigating they have some fights but the story concludes with them making up.

     Bee is very quirky yet mysterious in a way. When Bee was young she always liked reading detective books and always liked to be a detective. Bee’s co-worker Toby was a good-looking boy who is in university. He knew a lot about animal history and was always trying to charm Bee with quirky and strange facts.


      I particularly enjoyed this book because each page you found out something new, either about the characters or the investigation. I was glued to the book. When I was reading ‘A Pocketful Of Eyes’, each page felt like you were getting closer and closer to finding out how Gus died. I strongly recommend this book to teenagers and young adults from the ages of 13- 18 who are preferably girls who are interested in a good mystery and romance. I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.


 ~ Kate, Year 9


Bee is part time working in a taxidermy department at her local museum. School starts up again in a few weeks and she is preparing for her last year of school. Her mother is a complete geek and her so-called boyfriend is nowhere to be seen or heard of.

     It was a normal day for Bee when she entered the taxidermy department, until she saw police officers and investigators around the place. The head of the Taxidermy Department, Gus, died that night. The investigators say that he killed himself but Bee thinks differently. Will Bee find out who really killed Gus or is she just imagining her childhood fantasy of becoming a detective?

The main characters are interesting: Bee is a girl working in the Taxidermy Department as a part time job before school; Toby is a boy who randomly appeared one day without a word. He said that he needed extra credit as he failed an exam in university, but the problem was that he is very mysterious but knows many animal mating habits. Gus seemed like a very peaceful man that knew what he was doing, but Bee knew something was different the day he died.

This book is exciting, unique and it puts you on the edge. The story line was interesting as there are many detective books where you can guess the ending but this book was different. As soon as I picked up ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ I couldn’t put I down, and when I did put it down I could not stop thinking about the book. I would recommend the book to girls between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. This is truly a wonderful book that puts you on edge. 4 out of 5 stars.

     Morgan B, Year 9


‘Just because the world was simple, it didn’t mean there wasn’t any room for the occasional mystery.’ (p. 311)

It was a normal day for Bee; well that’s what she thought, anyway. Bee is a senior high school student working at the Museum of Natural History in the Taxidermy Department for a summer job. This normal day suddenly was filled of surprises, including Bee’s mentor being found dead and a handsome boy showing up. Bee had many questions but was too shocked to say, after working with Gus, her mentor at the Museum, since the beginning of the summer break. Bee found it odd that the police would say that he had committed suicide and from that moment forward, Bee was convinced that he was murdered. Bee has some help from what she calls her sidekick Toby, the handsome boy. Together they try and solve what they believed was murder.

I truly enjoyed the book, “A Pocketful of Eyes” because it is a story about a girl who has grown up enjoying mystery books and thought she would never be involved in one herself, but during her summer her small dream comes true.

The way Lili Wilkinson described the scenes and characters was wonderful; I didn’t want to put the book down. Her descriptive language really made it easier to imagine actually being there. The story had many twists to keep me on my feet and it had my full attention, as I just wanted to keep reading to find out what was going happen next. The ending of the book was very pleasing because all of the small clues had suddenly came together like a jigsaw to revealed the amazing ending to the mystery. After reading “A Pocketful of Eyes” I truly hope that Lili Wilkinson will be writing a second book.

I would recommend this book to teenagers between the age of 13 and 17 who enjoy reading about mystery and romance. This book is a delightful read. I’d rate the book “A Pocketful of Eyes” by Lili Wilkinson 4 out of 5 stars.  

Caitlin, Year 9.


“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

(Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles)

     Bee thought it was just an average day at her summer job in the Taxidermy Department at the Museum of Natural History, but she soon finds out that it wasn’t. Her mentor Gus was found dead in the Red Rotunda. Bee also had made a new friend called Toby, who quite frankly turned out to be very handsome but much older then her.

     Bee didn’t believe that Gus committed suicide; she thought that he had been murdered. Bee and Toby go on a quest to try and figure out what happened the night Gus was found dead. They decide to make a list of suspects and start questioning each of them. Not everything goes to plan, whilst questioning the suspects. They then discover more clues that could answer the main question as to whether Gus was murdered or if he committed suicide?

     I really enjoyed the book ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ because it is a story about a girl and a boy who solve a mystery together to come to the conclusion as to whether their mentor was murdered or committed suicide.

     I was totally engaged in the book and could not put it down, as I was curious as to what would happen next. The descriptive and captivating language made it simple for me to picture the characters, scenes and also what they might have been thinking. The book was full of surprises and always kept my full attention. I recommend this book to teenagers of the ages of 13-16, who are interested in mystery novels and also a bit of romance. I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.


Georgia S, Year 9