June 20

‘Ads R Us’ by Claire Carmichael

Ads are everywhere. It’s like Barrett’s brain is covered in them. That’s all he can see. It’s like a world of mystery. Barrett is running out of time. What will he do?

“Never look down on anybody else unless you’re helping them up.” Ads R Us, written by Claire Carmichael.

It is a very interesting, intriguing and happy novel to read. You never know what else may happen on the next page. It is mainly an adventure and action book, but there is a twist that no one is expecting.

The book is based in an ultra-modern city in the near future, where advertising is a non-stop occurrence. Wherever Barrett goes, advertising is always around him. Orphaned as a baby, Barrett Trent was raised in Simplicity outside the world of advertising but with the death of his uncle he has set off to find and live with his Aunt Cara, Uncle Adrian and cousin, Taylor. They work for an advertising company called Ads for Life where they advertise, but are they doing something wrong? Barrett finds out that his aunty and uncle aren’t telling him something, so he goes to find out what is happening.

I loved this book because it was always interesting and never failed to make me stop reading. The themes of this book are adventure, mystery and action. It made me very interested in what may happen next. Thrilling and thought provoking are the perfect words to explain this book. It makes you think, which creates a different mindset.

I would recommend this book to any age but 10 – 14 years of age would love this book. Ads R US relates to teenagers because it is based around a teenager called Barrett Trent where he tries to figure what is happening in his life. He is so young which relates to that age group.

In conclusion, teens would find this book a fascinating story. It is a great story about peer pressure, privacy and much more about advertising and how you should always do the right thing. This specific book fits in with the Science Fiction genre. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves action and mystery books.

Amy L., Year 8

June 16

‘The Carbon Diaries 2015’ by Saci Lloyd

(Welcome to a world where carbon is restricted and people’s lifestyles are on the line.)

Join Laura Brown on the worst year of her life. It’s 2015 and in the UK carbon dioxide rations have been put in place to try and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the fragile atmosphere. Environmental woes aside, Laura just wants to be noticed by the boy next door, Ravi Datta. If it’s not carbon warfare and teenage crushes, its Laura’s family slowly crumbling under the pressures of the new carbon rationing regime. Amidst the disarray of Laura’s life her band, The Dirty Angels, struggle to make it big time.

Interested in a climatic Sci-Fi novel filled with teen drama, societies downfall, pig troubles and bad weather? Well, this is the book for you.

Set in a dystopian world where greenhouse gas emissions have gotten so bad, carbon rations have been put in place to ensure survival. 16-year-old Laura Brown lives in the UK with her mum (Julia), dad (Nick) and sister (Kim). Laura and her family are struggling to abide by the rationing regime with old habits proving themselves difficult to adapt. Laura struggles to make it through college tests and exams due to the distractions of her band and her spiralling out of control family. With her mum leaving the house due to disagreements, her dad finding solace in a pig and an overly moody sister, Laura has her fair share of distractions, not to mention her band and the most important distraction of all to Laura…Ravi Datta.

I absolutely loved this book. The way Saci Lloyd had written it in diary entries made the book like a personal glimpse into Laura’s day.  This book is interesting; the characters were relatable as each had their own problems to deal with. The book was enjoyable from cover to cover. I was intrigued by the way the author addressed the problem of greenhouse gases which are a growing problem in today’s society. Saci made it easy for me to relate to her characters especially her main character (Laura) with her typical problems. The novel reflects issues that most teenagers go through, like love and self-awareness. All in all, it was a great read.

I would most definitely recommend this book to people of ages from 13-20 who have interests in teen drama, a hint of romance, family drama and Science fiction based pollution problems. I truly enjoyed this book which is why I’m awarding it 4-5 stars. A true eye opener.

By Milla T., Year 8

June 13

‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey

In a world filled with manipulation, who can you trust? “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey is a sci-fi narrative set in a desolate future. When aliens attack mankind, survivors call these attacks “waves”. The first Wave took out half a million humans, the second wave killed even more, whilst the next wave (three) caused four billion deaths. Then came wave four where aliens disguised themselves as humans and invaded earth, which now leaves the fifth and final wave.

Cassie, the main heroine’s dad dies when she is at camp and she is forced to take on a parenting role for her brother but he quickly goes missing so she goes looking for him and is forced to run from the danger. But is the real threat human or alien?

I believe the book dragged out and I also could not get attached to any characters because who knows if they’re really humans or aliens. Finally, it was wasted potential as I felt like the story idea is great and it’s an amazing thought experiment that makes you question our society.

I felt like this book would be more suitable for people who like reading longer, drawn out books. Long books such as Harry Potter and Hunger Games are good but they twist and have an interesting story but ‘The Fifth Wave’ should have been way shorter as it has less twists and turns and is, worst of all, boring. It dragged out and was long and I didn’t get attached to any characters because they may be an alien. Overall I give it 3/10.

Flynn D., Year 8.5

June 5

‘Elsewhere’ by Gabrielle Zevin

‘Sorry, but nothing of much importance ever happened to me… I’m just a girl who forgot to look both ways before she crossed the street.’

Are you the kind of reader who enjoys drama, fantasy and a bit of romance? If so, then ‘Elsewhere’ is the book for you!

The novel is set in the afterlife, where a young girl named Elizabeth had been hit by a car while riding her bike to the mall. She wakes up and finds herself on a cruise ship thinking that it’s all a dream, but when she watches her own funeral, she is forced to realize the horrible truth. The ship takes her to Elsewhere, a place where the deceased age backwards until they become babies and return to Earth to be reborn. Liz meets her grandmother, Betty, who died months before she was born. She also meets Owen Welles, a boy who died from smoke asphyxiation many years ago, and the two quickly develop a friendship. Elizabeth continually struggles to accept the fact that she can no longer turn 16, or get her driver’s licence and go to college. She endeavours to find a way to get back to Earth, so she can finally be with her friends, family, and go back to her normal way of life.

I really enjoyed the story ‘Elsewhere’ because it had a fascinating and riveting plot, with hilarious characters. I especially enjoyed Gabrielle Zevin’s creative way of describing and expressing the character’s thoughts and emotions. After a confusing beginning, the story became very interesting and this developed further throughout the book. This was a whimsical, enthralling take on life and death, and made me really appreciate my life, family and love. This book consists of certain themes that teenagers struggle with on a daily basis, such as grief, family and relationships. It shows us that even when things seem terrible, there will always be people that care enough to help.

I would recommend this book to capable readers from the ages 13 upwards who take an interest in fantasy, science fiction, romantic and humorous novels. I truly enjoyed this story and it’s easy to see why it has won various awards.  I rate ‘Elsewhere’ by Gabrielle Zevin five out of five stars.

Skye M, Year 8



May 30

‘The Carbon Diaries 2017’ by Saci Lloyd

‘The Carbon Diaries 2017’, a book that stresses the issues of the future, was written by the 49 year old British author, Saci Lloyd in 2009. This book is a 3.4/5 rating on Goodreads.com and has a large audience that enjoyed the book overall. Although this book is about issues in real life, it is very unpredictable. Many feelings throughout this book engage the audience in a certain way such as some situations give nervousness and agony. Some of these issues many people find interesting throughout the novel.

The setting of the novel is about a dystopian world that suffers from climate change. The world has become unnaturally filled with carbon in some areas. As we find out in the first couple of pages, this book is based in London. The main character in this novel is a teenage girl named Laura Brown as well as her friend Adi. In fact, the concept of this story is based around her diary. One thing that is very noticeable in this text is that there is more slang language then needed. Some older aged audiences can find this hard to read. Imagery in the book is what most people would expect to find in a diary: photos such as random business cards, scrunched paper and even paper clips provide detail to the story.

To conclude, I mostly enjoyed this story. The only thing that holds back this book from being greater is that many other books are similar. I would recommend this book to many audiences such as humanitarians and people who enjoy mystery. Overall I would like to rate this book as generously as possible, 4/5.

Hudson L., Year 8

June 23

‘Legend’ by Marie Lu

legend_coverWould you steal and would you help a criminal? Day is a criminal who steals to help others and family; June, a high ranking officer helps the Republic… Day murdered June’s brother, and she has sworn to avenge his death.

Set in the future in the Republic of America there is a war between the Republic and the Patriots and a fatal plague spreading.

June is a very smart young girl who was raised by her older brother and not her parents. People know her for her perfect trial (test) score, a feat no one had previously achieved. Her brother works in the Republic as a captain. June couldn’t live without him, as he takes care of her and misses awards presented to him to take care of her when she is sick. June is the smartest person ever in the Republic and uses her skills in her training and new job in the Republic.

Day is a 15-year-old boy born in the poor areas of America. His family struggles for money an his mother think he’s dead, however he lives his life stealing from the Republic and providing his family and friends with the things he can give. Day has two brothers, a mother and a father who is gone. Now that his youngest brother has caught the plague, a disease with a cure that costs a fortune, Day’s only chance to save him is by stealing a vial of medicine that is in a guarded hospital. Day’s best friend is a girl named Tess who he found in the slum.

Metias, June’s only brother, is at the hospital guarding the newly delivered cure but Day manages to trick others into letting him in. When Day steals the medicine he ends up on the street with Metias who pulls out his gun, but Day throws his knife and kills him. He manages to escape but once June finds out she has sworn to have revenge.

I liked this book because it was so full of twists and had a whole set of adventure, action, mystery, bit of romance and 100% mind blowing.

I recommend this book to 12+ because it has some parts that only older people would understand.

Christopher O (Yr 8)

June 23

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

I AM NUMBER FOURIn the beginning there were nine, they found the others, now they are coming for me…… I AM NUMBER FOUR.

I am number four is an action packed book that still fits in a little bit of romance, set in Paradise, Ohio. John Smith and Henri are in hiding. They are hiding from the Mogadorians, the hunters of their kind, moving to another town every couple of months, a new town, a new identity, a new life, any records or any trace that they were there, gone.

John Smith aka number four is a teenage boy who is living pretty much on the run from the Mogadorians, a race of aliens who are trying to kill him. After number three was killed, he moves to Paradise Ohio where he meets Sam who becomes his best friend and Sarah who he falls deeply in love with. John and Henri appear to be the perfect father and son but not everything is as it seems, as they aren’t even father and son and they aren’t even from Earth. With the Mogadorians tracking them, Henri and John must be cautious of their surroundings and Henri must train John to use his “special abilities.” This book is a mix of Action, fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

I liked this book so much because it related to real life teenagers in that John and Sam were being bullied at high school by the popular boys. This book was also appealing because every time you turned the page there was more action, more excitement and more drama. Every new chapter brought something more interesting into the story, something extra about what happened to Lorien and the Loric people. Throughout the book it would give little bits of information so you had to keep reading to find out the rest of the information, for example the book mentions a second ship early in the book but you have to keep reading to find out what was on the second ship.

I would definitely recommend this book to both genders and any age from 12yrs to 16yrs. Most people over the age of 16 will probably find this book boring and most under the age of 12 will highly likely find this book too hard to read or not understand what is happening. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I rate “I am number four” by Pittacus Lore 4 out of 5 stars.

Hannah R, Year 8


Imagine being unable to recognise the few people you had to leave behind. It wouldn’t be good, would it?

The novel ‘I am number four’ was just like this and was written by Pittacus Lore. It was very interesting because it had the element of surprise in it a lot which was thrilling. The first chapter of the novel was going straight into the action so it started with a hook which caught my attention.

The genre in this book is adventure and action but it also has a bit of romance. It is not based on a true story so therefore it’s fictional. This novel is about a guy called John Smith, that can’t live a normal life. His home planet (Lorien) was destroyed by aliens called Mogadorians. These destructive aliens took away everything he had and loved. He was sent away with others to a safe planet called Earth, well it was safe then but not now. John found a stranger called Sarah who could be his love interest but that may not last long.

John will go through pain, hurt and many obstacles on the way to find out who he really is. John Smith has gone through many things but he’s always had a helping hand from his mentor Henri. Henri has always been a father figure for him because he wasn’t able to meet his parents. There are nine chosen kids that have a special gift that is used to save their plant and earth from extinction but has all hope been lost when he is faced with someone that took everything away from himself or will he not see the light of day again?

This novel is really fascinating and really hooks the reader, which I love. It’s is a good length book and won’t take long to read unless you decide it’s not something you’re interested in. The novel  reaches out to teens aged 12-15 years. I would not recommend this to any person higher or lower than this age because it will not interest them or hook them.  ‘I am number four’ is truly a great book that is a part of a series so you can continue to read them to see what happens next.

Lili S., Year 8


John Smith is not a normal teenager. He can’t run forever. But why is he running in the first place?

The novel ‘I am number four’ by Pittacus Lore grabs you from the first chapter, as it gets straight into the action. The story is set in modern day, in Paradise Ohio, a small town where everybody knows everybody. Maybe it’s a great place for an alien to hide away and live a ‘normal’ life.

John Smith aka Number Four is the main character of this book. He was chosen as one of nine kids to escape from the war that was happening in his home planet, Lorien. He is next in line to be hunted and killed by the Mogadorians (the aliens who started the war and intend on continuing it). As he is being chased, he decides to settle in Paradise Ohio. His guardian, Henri, finds out about some mistakes John has made and tries to make them leave, but as John’s legacies/powers grow he gets stronger and learns how to stand up for himself. Along the way John meets a girl with blonde hair, named Sarah. She is kind-hearted, similar to John in many different ways (except for the fact they come from different planets).

I really enjoyed this book because of the diversity that the pages of the book has in store. Also the action: it’s really grabbing and it’s too graphic yet still gives you a clear picture of what is happening. In the more peaceful times, the author uses very explanatory language, although leaving some details up to the reader, which it’s really great because everyone has a different look for Sam, John and even the heartless Mogadorians.

The genre of this book is definitely action and adventure, although it has some romance. I would recommend this book for girls and boys ages 12 – 15, as it is quite a diverse book that everyone would enjoy. With aliens, fire-resistance, relationships, and a tag-along dog Bernie Kosar, this book is enjoyable for both genders.

Will John learn to trust another person besides himself and Henri or will he block out everyone that comes close to finding out his secret?

Serayna N, Year 8


Have you been waiting for superpowers so that you can escape from evil aliens and save all your friends as well?

All of his life, 15-year-old John Smith has moved from place to place, never staying in the one area too long in fear that the Mogadorians will find him. They could kill him. John is protected by a magical spell that was placed on nine children from the planet Lorien, John’s home planet. An elder of the planet placed a spell on them that gave each child a number, and the only way the Mogadorians can kill them is to kill them in order from one to nine. Henri, John’s Cêpan or guardian, starts to get very worried when the first three have all been killed because John is number four. The Mogadorians will be after John next so they decide to move to Paradise, Ohio, a small town that they hope the Mogadorians wouldn’t look in, but when John moves to Paradise, Ohio, he wants things to change. John is sick of not being allowed to make friends and settle into a place so this time he’s going to act a bit differently. John meets the beautiful Sarah Hart and he’s awestruck. Suddenly John is very glad that they moved to the small town of Paradise, Ohio.

I really liked this book because it was such a good combination of adventure and fantasy with heart filled moments that show what true friendship is.

This story is most suited to boys but girls will also enjoy it and it is directed at ages 12-15 who like action, sci-fi. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, who would like this book.

Savannah F Year 8

June 19

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

white foxIt’s 2057 and America is at war with the Confederation of Consolidated Republics (CCR) who are trying to take over America. Cody Pierce, age 14, is held in one of the CCR prison camps. He breaks out of prison with his friend Luther, with a captured air force recruit named Toni McLaughlin. The trio ventures across the desert fighting for their survival.

The Main characters in this book are Cody Pierce, Major Toni McLaughlin, and Sidoron (leader of Cody’s camp) and Rachel, a young girl Cody meets half way through the story. Cody Pierce is the main character. The CCR gave him the nickname White Fox because of his long white hair. Major Toni was captured at the start of the story and both the Major and Cody built a relationship and they escape together from the prison. Rachel is Cody’s friend and she ends up helping Cody when they were out in the hot empty desert desperate for water and about to die.

There are three parts to this book starting at Cody’s time at the prison camp and his escape, to the parts when he was desperate for water in the desert and was about to die, and the final part when they found the rebels’ base and returned to the camp to free all the other inmates and innocent children.

I really enjoyed this book, as it is full of action and all about their adventure. I was really addicted to this book and was always reading it and really enjoyed. I hardly ever read books but I read every single word in this book. It was really fun to read.

I would recommend this book to ages 13-14 or people who just like action/adventure books. The story was very interesting and I was hooked into this book from the very first sentence.

Griffin P, Year 8

June 12

‘Tuck Everlasting’ by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck EverlastingDon’t be afraid of death, be afraid of an unlived live. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

In the book “Tuck Everlasting” there is a family that drank from a spring and they lived forever. The family found a girl watching their son drink the water and his brother took her away. The girl’s family was so scared because they could not find their daughter. Then the Tuck family asked her if she would like to drink from the spring but she didn’t drink the water.

The book is set in 1881. It is set in the middle woods and the Tuck family who own the woods call it Treegap Wood. The main characters in the book are the Tuck family and Winnie Foster. The Tuck family (Mae Tuck, Mile Tuck, Angus Tuck and Jesse Tuck) are a nice, kind family that look after their family and others around them. Winnie Foster is a quiet girl mainly because she lives with a rich family and her mum tells her what to do all the time and she can never live freely.

Briefly, the book is about Winnie Foster who gets taken by the Tuck family and Winnie lives with them for most of her life. Her parents try looking for her then eventually find her and the Tuck family get in trouble.

I enjoyed all the action and romance in the book. There was a lot happening because there were people looking around trying to find the spring that had the water to drink that made you live forever because everyone wants to live forever. The romance was good because Winnie and Miles loved each other and books that have romance make people more interested in the book and they want to keep reading. I recommend this book for teenage girls or boys because it is a great book to read. There is a lot of mystery and everyone will enjoy the book.

Taylah J Year 8


“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

It was the first week of August 1881, and unlike other children Winnie Foster spent her first week of summer behind her locked gate. Winnie’s family run a tight ship, their home is always clean and polished, unlike the Tuck family.

Winnie is a ten year old girl, who is sick of her family watching over her like a hawk. She has a dream to one day escape to a place where she can be free and do whatever she wants. One morning everything changed. Winnie finally had the guts to run away and become free.

We all know what it feels like to be independent and do our own thing, but has Winnie really made the right decision? When Winnie is kidnapped by the Tuck family, she is in for quite a change. Winnie goes from a young ten year old girl who has no independence, to kid who needs to hurry and grow up quick.

Winnie’s life is completed transformed when she falls in love with Jesse Tuck. Winnie had gone from having no idea what being in love felt like to hardly being able to stand on her feet while looking at Jesse Tuck.

On top of being in love, Winnie even played the role of adult among the Tucks. She is always there to comfort the Tucks when they’re down and stick up for them when they’re in trouble.

When the Tucks tell Winnie their story, it was one of the strangest stories she had ever heard. Winnie suspected that she was the first person the Tuck’s had ever told their story to, as they would gather around her like children and interrupt each other while talking.

What’s more is Winnie has to keep everything a secret and as soon as Winnie moves back in with her family everyone knows something has changed. Winnie had always dreamt of doing something interesting and after spending time with the Tuck family it seems like her wish has been granted.

Millie, Year 8

August 12

‘Ship breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

Set at a future time when oil is a rare saleable commodity, grounded oil tankers are taken apart by groups of workers who struggle to survive. Nailer, a teenage boy, works with one such crew searching for copper wiring. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. In fact, parts of this story could also be read as though it was happening right now on the South-west coast of India, where ship breaking is prevalent. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she’ll lead him to a better life.
An excellent dystopian read for YA, ‘Ship breaker’ deals with themes of survival, family and kinship, and how a truly selfless loyalty can transcend everything else. Highly recommended. Mrs O.
To reserve ‘Ship breaker’, click here.

October 28

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

‘The Hunger Games’ is a fantastic book and I didn’t want to put it down. The suspense, sensations and thrills send shivers down your spine. What the children are put through, in order to be crowned the winner of the hunger games is horrendous. This book is an amazing book that I highly recommend reading. Hannah Year 9

Suzanne Collins has created a very good book. The United States is gone, North America has become Panem, a TV-dominated dictatorship run from a city called the Capitol. The rest of Panem is divided into 12 Districts. The thirteenth had tried to revolt and was destroyed. The yearly highlight in this unpredictable world is the Hunger Games, a violent reality TV show in which 24 teenagers chosen by lottery, two from each District, fight each other in an isolated environment called “the ‘arena.” The winner gets a life of ease; the losers get death. When Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen for the hunger games, despite the very slim chances that she would be chosen, Katniss steps up and takes her place as the contestant alongside her district’s other contestant, Peeta Mellark. Aleks, Year 9

‘The Hunger Games’ is set in an unspecified future time when things have gone pretty spectacularly badly for humanity. The world, or the bit of it we can see, is dominated by a ruling caste that live in luxury in a city called the Capitol. The rest of us live like peasants in 12 districts that are strictly cordoned off from the Capitol and one another. Life in the districts sucks: it’s mostly hard labour–mining coal and farming and working in factories–in dismal conditions.  To make things even harder, once a year each district is required to give up two of its children, chosen by lottery, and enter them in the Hunger Games. The kids are dropped into an enormous arena strewn with traps and hazards, with a heap of weapons and supplies in the middle. The last child alive wins a lifetime of luxury and celebrity. The action is filmed and broadcast to the entire world. Michael, Year 9

Katiniss, “the girl on fire”, portrays a strong poised personality who fights for what she believes is right.  With her wise words people hold a certain admiration for her, which the Capitol does not appreciate. With Cinna as their stylist designing the flamed costume, Peeta and Katiniss instantly become the crowd’s favourite as they make their entrance at the parade. Before the games even begin each contestant is sent into the practice room where he or she can get a feeling of what weapons they will be using in the arena area. To not grab the other opponent’s attention as a target they both hang low practicing tying ropes and camouflaging. Every single move Katiniss or Peeta take is being televised for every district to assess and judge so with the help of their drunk mentor Haymitch (previous winner from District 12) Katiniss and Peeta learn to play their cards right. Throughout ‘The Hunger Games’ Katiniss and Peeta are left fighting for survival and every day, hour, minute someone in the arena is dead or a target. Amber, Year 9

The book I am reading at the moment is ‘The Hunger Games’. At first I didn’t exactly get what they were trying to say, but after reading over it I understood it. I’m really enjoying the book. It’s different and I love how they explain in great detail how the characters are feeling at certain times, for example how Prim and Katniss were feeling about the morning of the reaping. The book is set in the nation of Panem. The main character in the book is Katniss. Ever since her father died she has provided for her family, which consists of her mother and her sister Prim. She would do anything for them. She even went out of their district where she mustn’t go, but she is determined and stubborn and that’s what she has to do for her family to live. But when Katness at 16 years of age she steps forward for her sister in the reaping. She comes close to death, but this wouldn’t be the first time. She either has to kill or be killed.  I likes this story because it’s different, and I enjoy action movies and books. I would highly recommend this book to teenagers and young adults that enjoy action. Kalani, Year 9.

October 28

‘The Wind Singer’ by William Nicholson

So far in ‘The Wind Singer’ I have figured out that the brother is a very emotional person who feels what other people are feeling, whether it is fear, sadness, happiness or if the person is scared. He is very protective over his little sister Pinpin who is taking the test. The test elaborates basically how far you go in life. Pinpin does not know what is going on because she is only 3 years old. I personally feel Bowman’s pain – the brother- because you’d be so nervous for your little sister, you would want her to do well and exceptional so she can go far in life. If not, there’s nothing to become. Natalie Year 9

This book’s genre is both mystery and fantasy. It is about a girl who hates school and the way students are rated. One day she says that she has had enough of school and its dumb rules. She decides to do something that most of the city people are too afraid to do. So she gets sent to a “special help school” until she escapes and meets the Emperor, a man everyone thinks is not real. He tells her that she must go and find the Wind Singer’s voice to save the city from all the horrible rules. She sets off with her twin brother and her friend Mumpo to retrieve the wind singer’s voice from Manth. They are saved from sinking into the mud by some mudpeople then they set off to see the Old Queen to get out from under lake. Emilene Yr 9

October 25

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

The main character of this book is Jenna Fox. She has just woken up from a coma and she doesn’t remember anything. She cannot remember who her parents or her best friends are. Jenna receives these videos from her mother before the big accident and she slowly starts to remember who she is. What was the big accident? How did it happen? I really like this book. You find out one discovery after another. While you are reading the book, just as you think Jenna’s life can’t get any worse, you find out what else happened to her from the accident. You really start to feel sorry for Jenna. Katarina Year 9

When I first picked up this book it made me wonder what it was about, I sort of looked at the front cover and thought that it might be boring, but as I started reading, it seemed very unusual, as if Jenna Fox was not real? Or that she had long term memory loss? But I read on and it seemed much more interesting. And so that is what made me read on about the mystery on ‘Jenna Fox.’ I am only half-way through the book but it does make me want to read on, and to find out more on the 16 year old girl. And now this book has made me realize that you can’t just judge a book by its cover, you actually have to read the book to understand. Taylor Year 9

You’re in a coma for a year.. when you wake up, you have no memory of who you are. The people you call mum and dad are hiding something from you. You’re trying to restart your life when you are told something unbelievable. This is the story of Jenna Fox. When I first started reading this book, I thought that it was another boring random life story but as I read it, I started to think; what is this secret? Who or what is JennaFox? What will happen to her love story? This is a book with a lot of mystery, and problems referring to who you are. Once I started reading this book, I wasn’t able to get it out of my head. Yuko Year 9

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is an interesting book that is full of teenage and personal issues. It tells the story of 17-year-old girl, Jenna Fox, who awoke from a coma she was in for over a year. Her memory is lost and she is in a whirlwind of secrets and lies. This book shows the true meanings of love, family and friendship. This is a good book, but very irritating and annoying because it takes so long to get into the book and to understand what’s going on. If you are patient, this is the book for you. By Ebony, Year 9

October 25

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

White Fox’ is an action packed thriller and gets you in right from the very start of the book. Cody is a young boy who has been imprisoned in a Military camp by a group called the Confederation of Consolidated Republics or the CCR. Cody got the nickname White Fox because of his blonde hair tied up with a headband. White Fox is a master of locks and he can pick a lock with almost anything. He is trying to win the respect of the CCR so he can plan an escape with a friend. I recommend this book for ages 12-16. Will White Fox be able to escape the prison or will he be caught?  Thomas Year 9

 I have been reading the book ‘White Fox’ and can I tell you that it is one of the most action-packed, engaging books that I have ever read. I think that this book would be suitable for teenage boys who like books all about the army and shooting guns. I have had fun reading the book ‘White Fox’ and I hope that you can read it some day too. Josh Year 9

“White Fox” is about a young teenager named Cody Pierce who has been captured from CCR – The Confederation of Consolidated Republics. His parents have both died a tragic death, and he is now a prisoner at the camp. As he meets new people he is very interested in a pilot named Major Toni McLaughlin whose plane got shot down by the army. They have captured her and have brought her to a prisoner’s cell. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 because it’s an interesting book, although there are a lot of characters in the book, which makes it difficult. I think that at the end Cody will try to save Toni and he will die, because the soldiers will catch him. John, Year 9

‘White Fox’ is a good book. It is full of action and it can be a bit gruesome in some areas of the book, so that is why I would recommend this book to 11 years old and upwards. Cody was a young kid captured by the CCR – Confederation of Consolidated Republics. He was in camp trying to escape, planning to get to the rebel base. Will he make it to the rebel base before the CCR recapture him? Blake, Year 9

October 22

‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ by John Marsden

It’s a normal day of the school holidays, and Ellie and her friends decide to go on a camping trip together before they finish school. Bags packed, they get into the car and disappear into the bush together for a week. Isolated from the outside world, they have no idea what is happening around them. One cold, silent night, Ellie wakes up to the sound of hundreds of jet planes above her. When they return to their homes, their families are gone and animals are staving to death. What has happened while they were gone? Should they expect the worst? All they are sure of is that its time to go to war. I am only half way through this book but I have really enjoyed it.  It shows the true courage they have to save the ones they love, and even though I don’t know what happens in the end, the bravery they have already shown pretty much describes that they will fight with all they have and won’t give up.  Stevie Year 9

‘Tomorrow When The War Began’ is an exciting and intriguing story about seven teenagers who go camping in Hell, and come back… to Hell. At the beginning of the book, they venture into an unvisited area known as Hell. It is a beautiful jungle with creeks, wild animals and a mysterious footbridge. Their holiday is so incredibly relaxing that they completely forget about the outside world and their families. Before long, they run low on supplies and decide to return home, only to find that nobody is around. Their homes are deserted, and panic starts to strike. They soon realise that their country has been invaded, and everyone’s lives are at stake. Their quest to rescues their families takes them on an exciting and frightening adventure. The writer does his job very well in that he makes the camping trip seem like a relaxed daze, and the realisation of a war brings them back down to Earth. Aiden Year 9

What really enticed me to read this book was none other than the fact that it had been turned into a movie… even if I hadn’t seen it. But, like many people, I seem to think along the lines of, “If it has been turned into a movie, it must be good,”  and my first reactions to the book seemed to confirm my thoughts. The book starts out with a teenage girl called Ellie who decides to take some of her best mates for a camping trip in a mountainous range know as “Hell”. They stay there for 3 days and do completely nothing except sleep, eat and talk, like all camping trips. But there is something different about this trip. During the night, everyone is woken to the sound of hundreds of jets flying overhead, without lights, without reason. But none the less, the planes are completely forgotten about. Or so you think, until they pack up and go home. It is only then, after they find their houses abandoned and pets dead on the ground, that the pieces fall together and they discover that from tomorrow onwards, the war will begin. By Mathew, Year 9

Seven friends decide to go travel to Tailor’s Stitch in search of a campsite for the week. They set off down Hell’s Steps and find a secret campsite, untouched by the outside world. One night hundreds of planes flying at a low altitude pass overhead. The group is suspicious but then agree that the planes must have been the Air Force on Commemoration Day. The group makes their way back up the steps of Hell to the Landrover. They return home and pull into Ellie’s driveway, where they find that the dogs are dead, and the family has disappeared. After much discussion they agree that they have been invaded. They split into small groups and try to find enemies.  Ellie, Steven and Corrie are spotted by soldiers and fired at. They hide until the soldiers move on. I can’t wait to continue reading this book as it enthralls and captivates me. Dylan, Year 9

John Marsden’s, ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ is a tale about seven unlikely teenagers living in the outskirts of Australia,who go camping on the annual celebration day. They pack all that they need and leave for an isolated place that few people know about, a beautiful place called ‘Hell’. They camp in Hell for a week and everything goes smoothly until they come home to find that the town is deserted. They soon begin to realize that their country has been invaded by mysterious foreigners and their families have all been taken captive. The teenagers then go on a mission to save their families, run the invaders out of Australia and save their country. Joanne, Year 9

This touching story of seven teenagers is filledwith action packed war scenes, cute moments shared between loving couples,amazing mental scenery, tears, laughs and thoughts that made me smile andcringe at the same time. There were bits that made me gasp and scenes that hadmy hairs stand on end. I couldn’t put the book down and I would definitely havea go at reading the sequels.

May 5

Letter from John Marsden about ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’

John MarsdenHi to all the Aquinas readers!

Ms Kirkland has asked me to say a few words about ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’. So here are my few words. When I was growing up I read a lot of stuff about World War II, and kept wondering what would have happened if Japan had invaded Australia. For one thing, I probably would never have been born, but I did wonder how I would cope if someone invaded us. In real life, probably not very well, but my fantasies were a different story. That’s the whole point of having fantasies of course!

I was also interested in writing a story set in the bush and on farms, as those settings seemed to have disappeared from books in recent years. And I was interested in writing a book that showed teenagers as (I think) they really are, instead of the unpleasant ways they are usually depicted in tabloids and on those boring current affairs television shows.

Once I started really caught up in the action, but also in the development of the characters. I never knew what was going to happen next, and it was fun trying to find solutions for the problems and traps I had created for Ellie and her friends. I realised more and more as I wrote the books that the essence of all novels is that they pose problems and then attempt to solve them. And of course neat slick solutions are never satisfactory, because in real life there are no neat slick solutions…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading the book, and even some of its sequels perhaps.

All the very best,

John Marsden

April 19

‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ by John Marsden

TomorrowGoing on an idyllic holiday with your friends? Sounds great, but what if you came back and everyone was gone? No parents, friends…the world is at war. This is the scenario for John Marsden’s best-selling ‘Tomorrow’ series, which has just been made into a film, soon to be released. It’s directed by Stuart Beattie (think ‘G.I. Joe’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’). Why not read the series before the film comes out. Here’s a trailer so you know the action/adventure you’re getting yourself into. Mrs O.      http://www.yourmovies.com.au/news/?i=183173&action=news

Check out more about John Marsden and his books at:  http://www.johnmarsden.com.au/home.html

July 20

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

hunger-games“The Hunger Games” is the best book I have ever read. It makes you keep guessing what is about to happen and how Katniss is going to survive. I could not believe what happens in the end. There is a twist no one could have thought it would happen. Once you pick the book up and start to read you can’t put it down. But I have to admit the first couple of chapters are boring but at chapter 4 it starts to get exciting. If you want to read this book you better be ready for some violence and blood. This is a descriptive book and is very creative. When this book becomes a movie I will be the first to see it.

The back cover of the book says: ‘Winning will make you famous but losing means certain death. In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the hunger games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before.    For her, survival is second nature. Alana, Year 8

This is a book filled with constant twists and turns that will leave you wondering what will happen next. ‘The Hunger Games’ will not disappoint as you follow the story of a girl thrown from a life of starvation to the glamour of the Capitol. How will she survive in a world she knows so little about? Follow Katniss as she struggles to overcome a force that has ruled for as long as anyone can remember. With surprises being thrown at the reader with every new page, ‘The Hunger Games’ is a force to be reckoned with. Suzanne Collins has done a fantastic job with this frightening view of the future where a game show can make or break you. The future is a scary place and Katniss is lost in her own world, but she is a girl on fire! http://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/ Chelsea, Year 10

Suzanne Collins paints a gripping portrait of a not so far fetched future. With simple words she creates a master peice of work that entralls and enchants the reader as they are plummeted through the winding road full of absorbing characters and gripping adventures that is the Hunger Games. T.J., Year 11

This is a book about a teenage girl who is forced to compete in the Hunger Games which is a fight for your life, literally. Two dozen contestants called ‘tributes’ are forced into a landscape that changes every year to fight to the death over a period of seven weeks. Ryan, Year 8
At first, this book wasn’t very interesting at all. It was a struggle to get a hold of the plot, but as soon as the main story kicked in, I WAS HOOKED. The story starts with a girl named Katniss. She hunts for food for her family, when an unfortunate turn of events start and she ends up fighting for her life. The plot to the story had many twists and turns, and it kept you on edge, waiting to see what happens next. There is a second book in the series, and I can’t wait to start reading it. 5/5 By Max Year 8
June 23

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

adoration-of-jenna-foxWhat if your parents loved you so much that they couldn’t let you go…even when they should? Jenna wakes from a coma with no memory of her life or of who she is. When she does learn more, the truth is horrifying, leaving her with lots of questions: “When is a cell finally too small to hold our essence?” “What about a soul, Father?…where in all this groundbreaking technology did you insert my soul?” This novel had me glued from beginning to end! It raises lots of questions about what it means to be human, about our rights over our own bodies, and about loving someone enough to let them go. The movie rights to this book have been sold. Check out the book trailer here: http://www.whoisjennafox.com/ Mary Pearson also talks about the film deal in her blog: http://marypearson.livejournal.com/56971.html Mrs K

‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ by Mary E. Pearson is about a teenage girl named Jenna Fox. At least that’s what everyone says her name is. Jenna wakes up after spending one year in coma and can’t remember a thing from her old life. So she decides to start a new one. After a few weeks of watching videos of herself before the accident Jenna decides that she is different to the girl in the videos, although she looks exactly the same, except for a single scar on her chin that she sees the girl in the video has. Jenna doesn’t have a scar on her chin anymore, do scars heal over time? She sometimes doesn’t know what a word means, not complex words but simple words like ‘jump’, ‘hot’ or ‘apple’. Even the word ‘time’. Her father tells her that time heals; she doesn’t tell him that she doesn’t know what time is. And why can she remember the details of the French revolution, but can’t remember whether she had a best friend? Her parents are keeping a secret. Now all she has to do is find out what the secret is, let alone who she is.

The book pulled me in from the very beginning, and tested my imagination, how is Jenna still alive? And what’s this secret her parents are keeping? I would suggest this book to anyone who loves drama and a little mystery; it’s a truly compelling read for all. It pulls you in from the very first sentence ‘I used to be someone, someone named Jenna Fox’ and keeps you turning the pages well into the night up to the final page. Courtenay, Year 8.

‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ is the story of a seventeen year old girl who mysteriously wakes from a coma after she was already considered gone. The problem is she can’t remember a single detail of her life. This book caught my attention right when my eyes hit the cover and although that interest faded slightly as I started reading, when I turned that all important page and found out what really happened to Jenna Fox I couldn’t put it down. ‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ is gripping, interesting and well written.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. Laura, Year 8

I have read about half of The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I enjoyed the beginning of it. It was very slow for me for the first 10 or so chapters but then it started to kick into action. I am not much of a fan of the sci-fi style of book but I can handle a bit of it. I would most definitely recommend this book to a person with a feminine side, most-likely a female because it is a very touching book with a lot of emotion and feeling within it. I would also recommend it to someone who likes the use their imagination while reading, because you are going to need to use your imagination in this book. I rate this book a two out of ten but I am guessing a lot of people would disagree with me. Clay, Year 8 

The adoration of Jenna Fox is a book that challenges the brain in many ways. The book delivers suspense, excitement and exhilaration all wrapped tightly in a package lined with mystery and emotional thread. Throughout the story, the package is slowly unwrapped and an explosion of emotion is released to the unsuspecting reader. I loved this book even though I am a boy and this book is aimed at older girls. 4.5 stars. Zane, Year 8