November 25

‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous

Go ask AliceGo Ask Alice is a 1971 novel about the life of a troubled teenage girl. It is written by Beatrice Sparks in the form of the diary of an anonymous teenage girl who becomes addicted to drugs. (Wikipedia)

Alice is 15 years old and she is sadly suffering from depression. She records her thoughts and concerns about issues like crushes, weight loss, sexuality, social status and the troubles she is having with her parents.

This book is an amazing book for beginners to read and it is also a really good choice for teenagers as it can impact on the problems that are going on around them. This book truly has made me more aware of the people that I shouldn’t be around. I give this book a rating of 10/10.

Holly R., Year 9


Parties. Drugs. Sex. Secrets. Boys. A troubled teenage girl. Interested? Then the novel ‘Go Ask Alice’ is for you.

In ‘Go ask Alice’ you get a glance at the spine-chilling life and struggles of this 15 year old drug user. This novel is about an anonymous girl who moves to a new town and writes in a secret diary about her troubled life and her struggles. One single decision at a party changes her whole life dramatically. Throughout these diary entries, this innocent girl’s life turns upside after that party. ‘Alice’ drops out of school, becomes homeless, hitchhikes with a friend to San Francisco, delves into prostitution, parties regularly, uses drugs frequently, sells drugs to children and is sent to a mental hospital.

‘Alice’ cannot live without drugs now. Her mood alters depending on drugs. Her attitude depends on drugs and her actions also depend on drugs. Her new life revolves around drugs and there’s no going back to reality. I personally found this diary very remarkable and emotive that a girl my age went through all of this pain and the end result of her struggle was very clear, together with what was going to happen. This captivating realistic diary has edgy yet thrilling plot twists and decisions that make every page exciting, I would recommend this novel to teenagers, students my age and adults. I rate this inspiring eye-opening book 4 out of five stars because it’s a real wake up call to what happens when drugs take over your life.

By Lilli, Year 9

May 18

‘Recovery Road’ by Blake Nelson

“That’s the thing: You can change things. You can repair mistakes. You can restart your life if you have to.”

RecoveryRoadEverything was getting better for Madeline in the Spring Meadows Rehab Center. Stewart, a boy from rehab was due to join Madeline in the outside world once again shortly following her departure from Spring Meadows. After leaving this rehab facility, Madeline and Stewart were both faced with many important decisions, contributing to Madeline getting back on her feet, both of them moving towards their futures. Together they both had their ups and downs on the way, and whether they could keep a relationship posed more of a question than an answer.

During the rest of Madeline’s schooling life, she met new people, made new friends and even some enemies, which helped her in realising who her true friends were. Many tough decisions, an assurance that “Mad Dog Maddie” wouldn’t reappear and a change in lifestyle had to be made for Madeline to strive towards her goals.

I really enjoyed the book, “Recovery Road” because it is about a 16 year old girl who had faced addictions, went to rehab, met some new friends and changed her life for the better. The way that Blake Nelson defined the characters and scenes throughout the novel had my eyes glued to every page. The descriptive language the author used in this novel made it easy to imagine the scenarios as they were happening in my head. As the story advanced, there were many unexpected twists that held my attention, making me not want to abandon the book. The ending of the book “Recovery Road” was unexpected yet satisfying; it has made me want to read a sequel.

I would recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 13 and 20 who would be interested in reading about people’s addictions and how they make their lives better for themselves, or reading into how some people spend their lives on an everyday basis. This book is honestly a great read. I’d rate “Recovery Road” 4 out of 5 stars.

Gen P, Year 9

November 19

‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous

Go ask AliceEveryday it’s different, whether it is a new boy, a new drug or a new town. This may not be the stereotypical life for a 15 year-old teenager, but this is daily routine for Alice. Although the diary entries are left anonymous, every detail and every thought is not left astray. The novel tells the story of a young girl who is finding her way in a messed up reality.

Ever since the anonymous girl moved towns, she found herself in every bad situation possible. Her name is not given to us directly but we learn that the young teenager is a girl who is a magnet to bad situations. In a quiet town full of mischievous teenagers the girl finds herself at a party drinking a cup of soda~ laced with LSD. After the party she finds herself in a tangled web of boys and a very unappealing lifestyle.

Personally, I found this novel to be a real eye-opener to all teenagers who may be attracted to drugs. Page after page you are left questioning the realism of every diary entry. The ending has a very pure outcome. It is devastating but does leave you considering that this could happen to thousands of people a year. This is a book filled with a very realistic and edgy plotline that would attract the audience of young and old adolescents.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy very real stories or people who want to be educated in the section of drug use. It is an introduction to a world of drugs for the teenage audience to bring awareness to the outcome of heavy drug use. The novel provides the ins and outs of what effect drugs can have on your health and emotions. I found the book to have a very inspirational side to all the drama that happens. The fact that a girl so young could let out her personal emotions for everyone to read was a very aspirational aspect of the book. This book was not preferably my ordinary read but had a very pure moral that cannot be ignored. I would gladly give the novel, ‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous three stars out of five.

Faye D, Year 9


Partying. Drugs. Boys.

Ever thought of what a troubled teenage girl is thinking? ‘Go Ask Alice’ is a novel written about a 15-year-old girl who writes a secret diary about her life. This innocent girl’s life is about to turn upside down when she is introduced to partying, drugs and boys. But before all this happened Alice was an average schoolgirl, who was enjoying life with her friends and family until she went to her grandparent’s house for a few weeks on the holidays. Alice was invited to a party and someone had put LSD in her drink. Since that night, Alice had become addicted to drugs.

Alice’s life will never be the same as she is keeping everything a secret. Alice’s diary consists of very personal things that happen to her during the day, what she does, her feelings, selling drugs, and more. Alice’s parents begin to notice changes in their daughter but are unable to help her, as they don’t know what’s happening.

The reason why I enjoyed this book so much was because of its relationship to our generation and society. Numerous teenagers are under the influence of drugs, partying and peer pressure. This novel can show teenagers what drugs can do to you and what the consequences really are. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers my age.
Tayla, Year 9


Alice is a 15 year old teenager who has depression and got hooked into taking drugs. Alice used to live with her parents, but after a while she got sent to her grandparents. The teenage girl had sex, took drugs and boys. But it all went downhill for her after someone spiked her drink with LSD on an New Year’s Eve party. She runs away with her friend and she experiences what she thought would be a cool glamorous Brooklyn life, but it turns out to be a dangerous trip. She admits to taking and selling drugs, running away and sleeping with guys. Throughout this book it was a interesting and wild adventure through the eyes of a teenage girl and  it is a great book for all teenagers to read to find out the dangers an consequences of taking drugs. I would rate this book 4 out of 5.

Todd, Year 9


“I really am only one infinitely small part of an aching humanity.” – Go ask Alice.

Go ask Alice, the novel, is a journal-styled book following Alice’s life from day to day and her daily struggle and fight with depression and drugs. The story follows a teenage girl during the 1960s when a girl’s drink is spiked with LSD, then follows her addiction to drugs and her life falling apart because of it, the depression caused from day to day and the struggles her drug addiction has put her through. This is a shocking reality check to what drugs can do to the world’s adolescents and how easy it is to fall into the habit of drugs. Since the novel isn’t your average story novel it is a journal like read, the truth truly hits you harder. This read is incredible. You won’t be able to get enough, even for the ones who dislike reading most.

Ethan, Year 9


November 12

‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous


   Go ask Alice   Drugs. Sex. Boys. A troubled teenage girl. Interested? Then the novel ‘Go Ask Alice’ is for you.

      Although we never get to learn her name, this fifteen- year old girl wrote a secret diary for just over a year about her hardship with drugs, sex and boys. It all started when someone slipped LSD into her drink at a party. From there her whole world went downhill… steeply…. Throughout these diary entries she sells drugs to young children, hitchhikes to Colorado, lives on the streets and much, much more. No, this is not a glamorous story but it gives us an insight into the world of heavy drugs, which is certainly not glamorous.
I found this book thrilling to read with all of its twists and turns. The sense of truth behind it was remarkable. To think that this actually happened to a girl so close to my age and continues to happen today captured me. The narrator describes the high of the drugs, which may sound nice but she also describes the down afterwards. You can picture everything that is going on in her head and around her through her language. This is book is so inspiring that I wish I was able to meet her and really get to know her as a person and not just a drug addict. I would recommend ‘Go Ask Alice’ to students my age because this can generally be when the drug scene kicks in, therefore they can be educated on the possible outcomes of substance abuse. I would gladly give this inspiring book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Zali S. Year 9


Drugs. Addiction. Acceptance. ‘Alice’, was the 15-year-old girl drowning under the pressures of life. We don’t know her real name or where she lives. We do know she had a passion for life’s beauty, boys and was wild and loving. One mistake sent her in a downward spiral into depression, loneliness and the seductive world of drugs. She was sucked into mistakes that would change her life forever. This was due to her need for acceptance.  Although Alice never planned for this to happen, she became trapped in a world from which she couldn’t escape.


Innocent Alice takes a dive into the world of drugs. She loved it. She first fell victim to the effects of LSD at a party. Drugs became the only priority in her life. She forgets school, family and friends. Her continual need for drugs caused a need for money. Money drove her to do things never expected for Alice. Her life was slowly spiraling out of control. She was entering the nightmarish world of drugs. It wasn’t long before Alice found herself imprisoned in a mental hospital.  She was vulnerable and not emotionally resilient. These personality traits gave her horrible consequences in life.


I would recommend ‘Go Ask Alice’ to teenagers and young adults. The book is good for high school students. It relates to teens through the struggle for acceptance, family issues, body image, sexuality, friends and boys.  It describes social pressures, the world of drugs and the struggle with addiction. This book opens the reader’s mind to the devastating effects on drugs and it is extremely intense.  I would rate ‘Go Ask Alice’ 4 out of 5 stars. Sophie, Year 9.     


One teenage girl. One life. One diary. Partying. Drugs. Sex. Boys.

‘Go ask Alice’ is a book about a teenage 15-year-old girl who writes a secret diary about her life. This innocent girl gets introduced to partying, boys, drugs, sex and, from there on, her whole life turns upside down. It all started on the holidays when Alice went down to her grandparents’ house for a couple of weeks. Her life started to go downhill when she went to a party and someone put LSD into her drink.


Alice’s diary is very personal and she writes in it every day: what she does, her feelings, selling drugs to not only older people but little children, she also lives on the streets, gets addicted to drugs and so much more. Alice’s life will never be the same again as she is keeping everything a secret. Her parents start noticing her changes but they can’t help her because they don’t know what’s happening and think she is still their perfect daughter.


Why I liked this book so much was because this relates to our society and generation nowadays. Many teenagers are under the influence of drugs, having sex, going partying, being peer pressured into doing things we don’t want to do and lives going downhill from then on. This book is really inspiring and very relevant to many teenagers. This book is influential and shows teenagers how bad drugs really are and what the outcomes are of any abuse towards drugs. Many teenagers now keep secrets, hide things from their parents and do illegal things that Alice does. I would recommend this book to teenagers over the age of 14 and also young adults and rate this book very highly.


Monet J., Year 9


      Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a troubled teenage girl, whose only escape is drugs? Well, ‘Go Ask Alice’ is the book for you!

      ‘Go Ask Alice’ is the diary of an anonymous 15 year old girl in the 1960s. It all started when her drink was spiked with LSD at a New Year’s Eve party with her friends. She enjoys the high; it was nothing she’d ever felt before. Little did she know the substances were more addictive than she’d ever thought. Throughout the book, she admits to taking and selling drugs, running away and sleeping with older guys. The owner of the diary tells us that she feels like no one else accepts her unless she is with these boys or selling the drugs. She runs away with her friend and experiences what she thought would be a glamorous Brooklyn life, but it turns out to be a dangerous and saddening trip.

      This book was a very intriguing read and I also found it relatable and interesting, as she is the same age as me, but also I found it exciting and exhilarating because of all the commotion with the owner of the diary and with the people that surrounded her in her life. This book was also a learning experience about the dangers of drugs. I would give this exciting book a 4 out of 5 stars.

      Alex, Year 9.


November 5

‘Back on Track’ by Margaret Clark

BACK on track      Say hello to Simone Fawkner. She is in the 9H from hell at Roxdale High School. She is in that class for a reason, and that reason is that she is emotionally and socially disadvantaged. She is not your typical type of girl. She gets into trouble with the law and her only friends are drugs. At the moment she is in a pretty rough state. Do you think she will ever get back up on two feet?

     Does this sound like your type of book? Then ‘Back on Track’ is the book for you.

     In the suburb of Roxdale, things aren’t starting out well for Simone. She has just witnessed her mother’s death in her favorite armchair, with a bottle of whisky beside her. To this point Simone’s life was a wreck and Simone got to the point of not bothering with life anymore. What she has left is all this guilt in her stomach because she believes that she killed her own mother. Simone now lives with her older sister. She has a troubled life at home, as she gets abused by her sister’s boyfriend for no apparent reason, but she believes he has a drinking problem. All she thinks is that she needs someone to love her. Later on she meets a young, beautiful and superstitious guy. His name is Mike. They text and call 24/7 until one day he randomly stops calling and texting. Simone is getting frustrated and moves to a big city called Palmino where she believes Mike lives. Through the middle of the book she meets a gang in Palmino. The head leader, Grace, introduces Simone to her group. At first they didn’t like Simone but after a while they started liking her. Towards the end of the book she was faced with many challenges. Some of the challenges were: getting raped twice, drug addiction, getting pregnant and losing some of her closest friends.


I really enjoyed the book, ‘Back on Track’ because it’s a story about a young girl who has a troubled life, but she never gives up no matter what stands in her way. I was attached to this book by the way Margaret Clark describes the scenes and places. This book always kept me interested, as there was always something new and exciting on the next page. I would recommend this book to young teens that are interested in crime and thriller novels. This book was truly a great read and I would love to read other books by Margaret Clark. I would rate this book 3 out of 5 star.


Courtney L., Year 9


     Where would you go? What would you do? How would you react?

     These are all questions you would have to face in Margaret Clark’s novel, ‘Back on Track’.

     The novel setting varies from chapter to chapter, from the little run down town of Palmino NSW, to the paradise city of the Gold Coast, QLD.

     The main character of the novel is from a broken family. Her mother has passed away and her father is nowhere to be seen. She knows that she has to fend for herself, there’s trouble around each and every corner, and she knows this and has to survive the life of being a dreaded ‘townie’. 

     Throughout the novel, it poses different questions to you and keeps you connected. These questions can range from you thinking what she is going through, and what is she thinking. Is she losing it?

     This novel kept you enthralled throughout, from the complex descriptive language to each and every twist, it keeps you engaged and craving for more. If you’re into heavy drama, true stories and an edgy plot then this is the book for you. I would advice this novel to either man or woman, above the age of 15 as it possesses its own descriptive language and can be somewhat dark at times. This book will keep you on the edge and wanting more. It makes you wonder where she’s going to go next, what she’s going to do and most importantly, will this young girl ever get back on her feet and ‘Back on Track’.


Kurt M, Year 9


Drugs, rape and abuse – three things that we don’t want to suffer in our lifetime. Back On Track written by Margaret Clark explains all three of these actions. Say hello to Simone Fawkner, a girl with an awful past.

‘Why does this happen to me?’ She asks herself all the time. Back On Track is set in a high school at the start of the book and moves its way around Australia.

  Simone Fawkner is a 15-year-old girl attending Roxdale High School in class 9h for the emotionally and social disadvantaged. Things are getting bad for Simone lately. First her mother dies, then she gets abused, moves to Palmino with her so-called ‘boyfriend’ and many more events happen.

  Her new boyfriend lures Simone with promises of a better life if she moves to the big city with him, running away from home where her drug addicted sister and her sister’s abusive boyfriend live. She arrives in Palmino with hope that she can start over. But no, that wouldn’t make the book interesting, would it now? No. What happens when her boyfriend turns abusive? She will have to learn the ways of living on the street with her gang.

 I enjoyed this book very much and I think that you would too. Read along with Simone and discover her life and how she works to make her future better. I recommend this book to teenagers and young adults.

– Rebekah


     Meet Simone, a fifteen year old that’s been through more than most do in their whole lives. Mom’s dead, living on the street, and addicted to drugs. Life’s tough but Simone is tougher and she is back on track. If this seems like the book you would want to read about for days straight using every bit of spare time you get to read then ‘Back on track’ is the book for you!

     Life isn’t easy for Simone, 15 years of age and already her dad has run away, her mom has died and she can’t count on her older sister for a place to call home because her boyfriend beats them up.  Simone gets hooked up with this boy through her friend and she falls for him almost instantly. He tells her he loves her and can give her a fresh start if she comes and lives with him in Palomino. She gets his number and sleeps on it. The next morning she is packed and on a train, so excited! No more school! No more sister’s boyfriends! Just her and her new boyfriend Mike.

     She gets off the train it is pouring rain and she can’t find Mike anywhere. Arriving at the youth camp she gets confronted by a girl called Grace they end up having a punch up then becoming best friends. Grace takes Simone under her wing until Simone finally meets Mike again. But it doesn’t go how she expected. Mike and his mate lock her in a car and take advantage of her violently. She ends up pregnant, addicted to drugs and the most well known bikie in town is keen on her. But that’s not going to stop Simone. She gets her life back on track goes back to school and studies hard.

     I really enjoyed this book because it was so realistic and it is a side of society that doesn’t get exposed often enough. My eyes were glued to this book for hours straight by the way Margaret Clark described the scenes but didn’t describe the characters too much so that your imagination was allowed to run wild with it. I would recommend this book to teenagers and young adults although it is suitable for persons from 14 years up.

Sam, Year 9

June 3

‘Diego, Run!’ by Deborah Ellis

diego run2‘Save those we keep in cages.’

Deborah Ellis’ Diego, Run! is a brilliant book about young people who live in prisons and try to make money in the poorest countries. This awesome book is filled with action, adventure and thrills!

      The novel Diego, Run! is about a young boy named Diego who grows up with his mother and sister in San Sebastian women’s prison in Bolivia. His father lives in San Sebastian male prison. His parents were accused of smuggling the drug cocaine on the bus they were traveling on where someone had planted a bag of it under their seat. Diego now lives a hard life in the prison, having to travel to school, having a job of a taxi, running errands for the prisoners, but not making much money, until his friend Mando finds something to earn them more money, more than they could ever imagine.

      While Mando was staying in the male prison he overheard some prisoners saying some things about getting drugs to the prison and getting lots of money. Mando joined in on the conversation and told Diego all about it. Diego didn’t agree with the idea but in the end he decided to join in. Diego left the prison with Mando and they met up with the dealers and headed off for the jungle.

      After finding all of the cocaine in the jungle, Diego and Mando were ready to head back to Bolivia with all of their money, but the dealers made them stay and work. If they couldn’t work any more they would be killed.

       I loved this brilliant book by Deborah Ellis, filled with action packed adventure. I rate this novel 4 stars out of 5. I would recommend this book to mainly male teenagers around the age of 13 to 16 as it relates to some people of this age, or anyone who are looking for an action-packed adventure story.

By Max, Year 8.


     Diego isn’t running away from anything but his own bad decisions. Diego is a thirteen-year-old boy living in prison cells with his family in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents are separated and locked up but he and his sister are free to come and go in and out of the cells. Diego goes to school and earns money by doing other kids’ homework and working outside of school as a ‘taxi’ delivering messages and doing tasks for other prisoners. But these little jobs are still not enough money to support his family. His prison friend Mando introduces him to bad things and says it will help them earn money quicker and easier. Diego does not understand what he has got himself into and before long he and Mando end up stomping coca leaves in cocaine pits in the jungle working for two men. Diego has to risk everything if he wants to get out of this big, ugly mess and if he wants to ever see his family again.

      This is a very interesting story by Deborah Ellis which made me reflect and think about how some children in other poor countries have to go and earn money just to survive. I would recommend this book for older students and adults only because the book would not make sense to someone of a young age and the way the author has written the book is in a very mature way. I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 because it’s a very interesting book to read and makes you want to keep on reading but I only rated it a 3 because I wouldn’t have an interest in this book just for a free read, but I’d definitely recommend it for older teenagers/adults.  

Chloe, Year 8

October 29

‘Go ask Alice’ by Anonymous

‘Go ask Alice’ by Anonymous begins with a innocent 15-year-old girl who is enjoying life with her friends and family and has no worries. Her dad gets a new job in a new town and Alice’s life begins to go downhill. She finds it difficult to make friends and gets sucked into the world of drugs. She becomes addicted to LSD and starts experimenting with more types of drugs, Alice tries hard to stop the addiction which works for a while but she couldn’t handle it. Shortly after starting again she dies from a drug overdose.

The main character in the book is Alice. She is a 15 year-old-year girl who has a loving family and studies at school. She learns about drugs the hard way and has trouble keeping her addiction under control.

I would recommend this book to anyone of the age of 14 and up because I think this book is relevant to teenagers because it is about teenagers that struggle with drugs, peer pressure or trying to fit in. The book is very good for anyone who is having trouble with peer pressure or anything to do with drugs because it shows them the effects and consequences.

This book is interesting and a real eye opener to the harmful effects of drugs. I would definitely read this book again and recommend it to anyone that is interested in what I have written. Kellen, Year 9


“Go Ask Alice” by an anonymous author is based on a true story about a girl named Alice who is aged 15. She came from a loving family, attended a decent school, and had a roof over her head. One day she decided to buy a diary, so she could write everything she ever wanted to say and it would be all hers. But the beginning of Alice’s story changes when her dad got a promotion at a new town and the family had to move. She started at a new school and had trouble making friends.

When the school holidays came along she went to stay with her grandparents. It was there that her old school friends invited her to a party. Little did she know that attending that party was the biggest mistake of her life. Everything changed when they were playing an unsafe party game and someone rigged her drink with LSD and that was the start of Alice’s riveting adventure.

I recommend this book to any ages from 14 and up, because it is something teenagers should read to understand that drugs and peer pressure are dangerous and could destroy your life. Parents of young teens should read it so they can realize how tough a young teenager’s life can be. ‘Go Ask Alice’ is an inspirational book, filled with ups and downs and packed with life long lessons.

Alysha, Year 9


Go ask Alice is a book that many teenagers could relate to.  It’s set at parties, Alice’s grandparents’ house and different parts around the town.   Alice is a intelligent girl who experiments with drugs to help her ecsape her low self esteem. Her father was a professor at the university, and her mother was a homemaker.  Joel is a student at Alice’s father’s university.  The grandparents are loved members of the family. Alice spends her summer up with them.  Tim and Alexandria can make Alice jealous but eventually Tim will turn into a mature young man.

This story is about a girl that has to move to a new town  where she knows nobody and so one weekend they go back to their home town and she goes to a party, and gets exposed to drugs and her life turns for the worse.

I didn’t really like the book but if I had to like one thing about this book, it would be that it is set out different from every other book, because it is set out like a diary and not many books are written like this one was.

I would recommend this book to teenagers or anyone who might have a drug problem. Reason being is that this book can show the effects of doing drugs and how it can effect people around you.

By Dylan, Year 9


“Go Ask Alice” is a book anonymously written about drugs, sex and a runaway girl. This book takes place everywhere: parties, corner stores, school; even her grandparents’ place is an important place in the story.  Alice is a desperate girl begging to find love. She is an average teenage girl, but doesn’t know how to control her feelings; instead she decides to take drugs and runs away, trying to solve her problems. I enjoyed this book because of the problems with the drugs and the sex and all the other disasters in her life.

This book is about a girl that is forced to leave her school for her Dad’s job. She only has a few friends. She ends up going back to her original town, where she is invited to a party. That’s where she is introduced to drugs. This is when her life starts to become even worse, her parents become more nagging and everything else goes wrong. She can’t handle this, so she ends up running away, twice.

I believe that this book is mostly suitable for teenagers (preferably girls), because this is a dramatic book, which has love and parent crises. This book may always help influence teenagers about the effects of drugs and how it can change someone’s life exceedingly badly.

Dean, Grade 9  


Go Ask Alice is a book that is based on a trust story of a girl aged 15 called Alice. Many teenagers nowadays can relate to it very easily, because many of us are being peer pressured into doing drugs, losing our virginity and many other things that we should only be considering later on, in adulthood. Alice is a intelligent girl yet she chose to use drugs because she needed it to escape from her low self esteem life.

The storyline is about a teenager who has to move to a new town, where she knows absolutely no one. One weekend she goes back to visit her home town, where all her friends were. They were also holding a party. She chose to go to the party, and of course in teenager’s party there are lots of alcohol and drugs involved. She is peer pressured into doing drugs, but then is addicted and so her life has flipped upside down ever since that one night.

I really enjoyed this book because it is based on a true story, a teenage girl who is using drugs and her life has been bad ever since. Many of us can relate to this nowadays because many of us have low self-esteem and we all think that maybe taking drugs will make us ‘high’ and happy and help us forget about everything, when really it makes you go off your face and you will regret it. In the end of this book, Alice overdoses from using drugs and she was found already dead.

I recommend this book to teenage girls around the age of 14 and up. This is because this book uses a lot of coarse language and a lot of sexual references so I think it would be more appropriate for this age group. The moral of this entire book is that it shows the damaging effects of using drugs and how it can also hurt and affect the people around you, especially your family and friends.

By Emily, Year 9.


Go ask Alice’ by an anonymous author is about Alice, a 15-year-old girl who has been enjoying her life until her dad got a new job in town. That was when Alice’s life turned around. After a short time Alice returned to her home town to go to a party and her friends were all doing drugs. Alice was peer pressured into doing them, Alice became addicted, and she tried to stop the addiction many times but always seemed to go back to them when her life was down. In the end Alice’s life takes a turn for the end and Alice is found in her room dead from a drug overdose.

The point the author is trying to show in this book is that drugs are definitely a bad thing and there are terrible consequences for this and that you should never give into peer pressure because you could become addicted just like Alice did and you might suffer with the consequences – dying.  This book is also showing that if you do give in to peer pressure and you do get addicted to drugs it will not only hurt you, but it will affect the people around you as well.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 14 because this is the age when teenagers are most likely introduced to drugs. This book has detailed references and course language. I would definitely recommend this book to be read by all teenagers that are going through a rough time with or without drugs to help them see that drugs can take your life.

Rebecca, Year 9


New school, bad grades, misbehaving, drugs, sex and bad influences: the perfect combination for a troubled teen. In the book ‘Go ask Alice’, Alice didn’t start off to be a mischievous outcast. She was a normal teen, she had great friends, and she liked her school and a superior family. Her life was going as planned, until her father moved the family to a different town for his work, with new people, different schools and unfamiliar surroundings. This story is set in a little town. Alice loved where she lived and her school until she moved. The main character is Alice, of course, a 15-year-old teenager who turned to drugs to solve her problems.

I liked this story a lot because I think many teens could relate to it and the situation they may be put in. This book may give them information about the consequences that they may face if they decide to start using drugs. I would recommend this book for late teenage girls, 14 years and up, because it can relate to some teens more than other books. I would rate this book a 7 to an 8 out of 10, because I like the fact that is was written in a form of a diary but I was a little hard for me to follow sometimes.

Ebony – Year 9


October 29

‘Amaryllis’ by Craig Crist-Evans

“ Dear Mr. and Mrs. Staples, your son, Frank, did not return from a mission in Southeast Asia and is presumed missing in action…”

 Amaryllis is set in the Vietnam War where Frank is fighting to stay alive and away from drugs, while his little brother Jimmy is left in California with his dysfunctional family.

 Frank lived with his family in California; he has a girlfriend and lives at home. Frank is eighteen years of age when he unexpectedly signs up to join the army because he can’t stand his father; Frank is then flown to Vietnam to fight in a war that he doesn’t want to be a part of and runs into many complications.

Jimmy is Frank’s little brother. They both have a very strong bond with each other. When Frank goes to Vietnam, Jimmy is left with his family and struggles without him. Frank and Jimmy write many letters to each other throughout the story, describing what is going on in their very different lives. Jimmy and Frank both love to surf and have a good time.

Frank and Jimmy are best buds and brothers. They live in California with their mother and father. Their father is always frustrated, angry and drinks a lot while their mother is always working. Frank can’t stand living with his father so he decides to join the army leaving Jimmy at home. Frank writes letters to Jimmy describing the horrors of war and how scared he is of everything. Jimmy on the other hand can’t stop thinking of Frank and the terrible letter he writes. Jimmy also gets caught up in many calamities at home with his father and mother.

I loved this book because it kept me on my toes and I found it hard to put the book down. This book had one of the best descriptions of war I have ever read and there were always new complications arising.

I would recommend this story to anyone over the age of thirteen because it had coarse language and frequent usage of drugs.

 By: Lauchlan, Year: 9


The book Amaryllis is about a boy named Jimmy and his family. Jimmy lives with his family, except his brother. Frank, Jimmy’s brother, left to go to war because he did not get along with his father at all. They were always fighting, and most of the time Frank would say something that outsmarted his dad, but Jim, his father, would tell him to ‘shut up’ and ‘go to his room’. This went on for a while in his household until Frank couldn’t take it anymore, so he left and joined the army and flew over to Vietnam. He still keeps in contact with his family via letters.  This goes on for a while until Frank gets shot. This caused conflict between the parents. After a while living in Vietnam, Frank gets addicted to drugs and tells Jimmy how he ‘has’ to take them to keep himself calm.

Towards the end of the book, it gets quite interesting and the family doesn’t quite know if he is alive or not.  So to sum this book up, it is about a boy who cannot stand his father and chooses the ‘easy way out’. He becomes addicted to drugs and cigarettes and gets very scared and worried if he made the right decision to move to Vietnam. Jon, Year 9


Amaryllisis a book based in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War and that is the setting for this gripping story. A teenage boy by the name of Jimmy has a older brother who is enrolled in the army and is fighting over in Vietnam. Frank, Jimmy’s older brother faces many challenges over in Vietnam with the war: killing other human beings, fighting a war he disagrees with, the pain of getting shot, drug addiction and seeing his comrades get shot down in the middle of a fight, while Jimmy is back home dealing with his father and the thought that Frank is in Vietnam in a war. The book tells many stories through the main one, Jimmy speaks of a lot of things he did with Frank in the past or things they did together with the family, and at the beginning of each chapter there is a letter Frank has sent home from Vietnam to Jimmy. Over time you begin to learn that Frank starts to get a drug addiction because of all the things he has seen over in the war and Jimmy gets really worried and his friends can tell some things, but Jimmy doesn’t know how to tell his friend but then he meets Sally and for some reason he tells her everything that is going on with Frank and she listens and over the course of the next few chapters they become really good friends. Jimmy regularly rereads the notes by Frank and he has dreams about him quite frequently. Frank has many mixed feelings about the war but the main reason he went to Vietnam was to get away from his and Jimmy’s father because they always argue and fight with each other for hours on end and Frank sometimes mentions that Vietnam is better than being home arguing and fighting all the time but he say that he misses the beach and surfing. Near the end of the book Frank gets really scared and starts judging his whole life and his decision like was it a good idea to go to Vietnam? Was it worth it? etc. and this was mainly caused by all the drugs that he had taken. Will Frank make it out alive? You’ll have to find out by reading Amaryllisby Craig Christ-Evans.

By Ryan Year 9

November 21

‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous

‘Go Ask Alice’ is the diary of a 15-year-old girl who experiences what it’s like to be a teenager. She is introduced to the fantasy world of drugs and becomes addicted very easily. She writes about all the ups and downs that occur in her life. I would recommend this book to people aged 14+, as it is very informative and detailed. I personally think this is a great book for teenagers to read because it brings awareness of the issues we will be faced with, and it also makes us appreciate what we have.
– Kirra, year 9.

May 15

‘Diego Run’ by Deborah Ellis

Diego run‘Diego Run’ is an action book written by Deborah Ellis. This is a good and simple book and it is based on a true story that could have happened, so it is very interesting. The main character is Diego and his best friend is Mando. They live in Bolivia, Cochabamba and their parents have been in jail for many years. These characters seem real and Diego stands out the most because he is responsible. This is a convincing story because it sounds like a recap of someone’s life and it really sucks you in. The ending is not a very good one because it’s not really finished. I like this book but it was a bit dull in the first few pages and the further on it progressed it got better and better. The highlight of this story in my eyes is how good my life is in comparison to other kids. I would recommend this book to people aged ten and over because this story would be boring if you were younger because you wouldn’t get it. All up I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. Jesse, Year 8