June 21

‘Liar’ by Justine Larbalestier

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

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

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

Jessica V., Year 8

November 20

‘A Pocketful of Eyes” by Lili Wilkinson

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

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

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

“Gus is dead.”

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

Beth H. Year 9

May 18

‘Liar’ by Justine Larbalestier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashleigh D, Year 9.

November 19

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

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


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

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

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

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

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


June 12

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abrahams

DownRabbitHole     How far should one go to discover the truth about someone’s death?


     Ingrid is a normal girl living a normal 13-year-old’s life. In Echo Falls many secrets are kept, and Ingrid is eager to discover a secret that gets quite dangerous the more and more she unravels it. Down the Rabbit Hole has a very clever plot that makes you never want to put the story down!

     The story begins when Ingrid is trying to find her way to soccer practice but she somehow finds herself lost, in the house of the town’s crazy lady, Katie. People call her ‘Crazy Katie’. After a bit of a chat with her, Ingrid gets in a taxi and drives away, thinking that that would be the last of any Crazy Katie drama.    But, the following day in the newspaper she finds that Crazy Katie has been murdered, and soon Ingrid realizes that she left her red soccer shoes at Crazy Katie’s house the day before. She has to get them back, unnoticed before they find out they’re her shoes. Soon, Ingrid finds herself discovering the mystery of Crazy Katie’s death. Follow Ingrid on her exciting journey as she discovers the truth and on the way finds strong friendships.

     Famous author, Stephen King, says that Down the Rabbit Hole was “One walloping good suspense yarn…” He couldn’t put it down!

     Ingrid slowly starts putting the pieces together and you will never guess what she finds!

     I would definitely recommend this book for 10-15 year olds that love mysteries and suspense. I thought that Down the Rabbit Hole had an exciting plot that has great suspense. The book is full of exciting twists, turns and game changes. Ingrid is a fun, entertaining young girl that loves a bit of a mystery and I definitely recommend it.

Isabelle, Year 8


     Meet Ingrid Levin-hill, an ordinary 13 year old living an ordinary life, until one day she runs into the town crazy lady, known as ‘Crazy Katie’. One day Ingrid finds refuge in Katie’s home, and when Ingrid has to leave, she leaves her soccer boots, which she had with her, behind. A series of unfortunate events happen afterwards when Ingrid’s boots are simply left in the wrong place in the wrong time and getting them back means getting involved in a murder investigation.

     This book is a great story full of mystery, surprise and suspense. Follow Ingrid on her journey down the rabbit hole, as things just become curiouser and curiouser and to unlock the mysteries of Echo Falls. I think that the book displays great surprise and suspense. It is a book for the ages from 12-20 in my opinion.

Jeannie, Year 8


Have you ever read a book that got you so intrigued that you couldn’t put it down and loved reading it? Then here is the book for you. It is an amazing mystery/ crime novel that anyone could love.


Ingrid Levin-Hill is a thirteen-year-old girl who loves her sport and acting. She is brought into a big mystery of Echo-Falls after leaving her red soccer boots at the crime scene. After seeing that the local police are completely off track with the murder investigation, Ingrid decides to conduct her own investigation.


I think that the book ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abraham is a great read full of excitement and mystery. The book’s author Peter Abraham did an excellent job at keeping people guessing right down to the last second.


I recommend this book for girls aged 12-15 years old who enjoy a good mystery. This book is a good read and I rate it 3½ stars out of 5.

Connor, Year 8


June 11

‘Mission: Rat-Catcher’ by Chris Ryan

Rat catcherA.L.P.H.A FORCE



“He opened the compartment in the dashboard and took out dull, black, snub-nosed pistol with a silencer screwed onto the end of the barrel.” –  Rat Catcher by Chris Ryan.

     Do you like books that get you on the edge of your seat? If so, this may just be the book you’ve been waiting for. The book ‘Rat Catcher’ is set in the great marvelous city of Quito. The city Quito is amazing as a city but has major poverty problems especially with street kids.

     But now street kids have to deal with more than just hunger. They have to deal with a man known as the rat catcher. The rat catcher is an evil mad man who believes street kids are rats and have no right to live but not only is he the rat catcher he’s also someone alpha force trusts and someone who is their nemesis.

     Alpha force is a professional team made of some of the most intelligent kids on earth; these members are Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber. Together they are the alpha force. Alex is the one with great leadership skills. Li is fearless and determined. This is shown very well when Paulo goes missing. Paulo is the one who goes out solo. Hex is the hacker for alpha force. Amber’s the one who keeps the team together because alpha force is all she cares about after her parents died.  Together the alpha force goes on a terrifying mission to catch the evil drug baron but then they find out the rat catcher is linked to this.

Overall this book was fantastic and it would be hard to find another action packed thrill that’s better than this so I’m giving this book five stars.


Reporting in Daniel D., Aquinas student    


‘Five kids form an elite team of youngsters brought together to battle injustices in the world. Together they join a covert SAS operation in south america, fighting to catch an evil drugs baron. And together they infiltrate a tight-knit community of street kids to gain information, then head up into the isolated mountains where a terrifying and twisted hunt is to test their individual skills to the max. The team is in action…’ – (Blurb of ‘Rat-Catcher’ book.)        

     Join Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber as they fight an evil drugs baron that kidnaps children. When the capital city of Ecuador, Quito is threatened, the ALPHA force decides to step in and save the city. Their own special skills will be put to the challenge as they spy on street kids to find out who the rat catcher and the drugs baron really are. The rat catcher is a dangerous killer, and must be stopped before he annihilates all the street kids in the large city of Quito. These youngsters must grow up fast if they want to stop the drugs baron from kidnapping street kids, or put a stop to the ‘rat catcher’ that kills street kids without a second thought of what he might be doing. The ALPHA force must use each of their special abilities if they wish to stay alive during the mission, let alone complete it. The question is – will they make it without the help of an adult?

     This epic book by Chris Ryan is one of his best so far. And, like all his other great books, has the awesome thrill all through the book. I recommend this book to children and teens of 10 to 18 years old who like thrilling, action packed books. This was a great book. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
– Rod Oliver, year 8

October 15

‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ by Lili Wilkinson

“‘Don’t you know?’ he said. ‘Gus is dead.’”

In the National History Museum in Melbourne, Australia, Bee is going to another normal day of work in her normal life. That is until she sees an unfamiliar face in the Department of Preparation. And it’s a boy. There are no boys in her department. Except for Gus, of course, but Gus has been there since the beginning.

Beatrice May Ross, a Year 12 student, is in her element in the taxidermy department. Since she was a little girl, Bee has been obsessed with detective novels – Miss Marple and Nancy Drew. And then she has her own mystery thrown her way. Along with Toby – a walking encyclopaedia, who is getting extra credit for university, or so he says  – and the new guy in the lab, Bee goes on her own detective adventure, solving the case of Gus’s presumed suicide. Bee and Toby think it’s murder, though. Together the real life Sherlock and John, go around town collecting clues and evidence to prove that Gus was murdered.

I really liked this book because I love detectives and mysteries, and the way that Lili writes is really interesting and the story line is fantastic. I would recommend this book to anyone that has read the ‘Gallagher Girl’ series by Ally Carter. Ally writes like Lili and the Gallagher Girl series is all about young spies and detectives so these books are fairly similar.

Tiana M, Year 9.

This is the publisher’s book trailer for the novel:

Lili Wilkinson talks about writing:

“A Pocketful of Eyes” by Lili Wilkinson

A mysterious silhouetted figure, a sudden slam of the door and dead silence in the darkness.

It’s the summer holidays and it’s an opportunity to be refreshed, ready for Year 12. Well, that’s what Bee thinks anyway. Beatrice May Ross is working in the Taxidermy department at the Melbourne Natural History Museum and the last thing she expects is that the Head Taxidermist, Gus, will die. It is believed that he committed suicide but Bee thinks that there is something else behind this tragedy. A second-year med student from university begins work at the museum and helps Bee to solve this mystery. While they both work hard to find out what really happened, Bee encounters some bizarre but interesting conversations about animal mating habits with this cute boy, Toby. They try to work out the clues and unravel the bits and pieces towards finding out what happened to Gus. Could Gus really have been killed? Or is Bee trying to solve a mystery that never really happened?

Lili Wilkinson’s novel, “A Pocketful of Eyes” is more like a pocketful of puzzle pieces. Each clue that is given leads to several conclusions and allows the reader to be able to have a chance at being the detective, as the book doesn’t give away so much information at once. This is why I really love the book. You get to be a part of the story, gathering information, thinking about who the suspects could be and taking notice of every detail. It all adds up to become one great story full of adventure, mystery and suspense. I recommend this story to people aged from 13 and onwards, who are interested in thrilling, mystery novels.

                                                                                                Rose, Year 9


A pocketful of Eyes – Lili Wilkinson

“Don’t you know”, he said, “Gus is Dead”

The story is set at the Melbourne Natural History Museum where Bee works as an intern in the taxidermy labs with her boss, Gus. She is quite comfortable at her job when, one day, Toby, a new mysterious uni student obsessed with animal mating habits comes into work and Bee starts to develop possible feelings for him. The next day, she comes into work to find out that Gus has committed suicide on the Museum floor. Bee and Toby try and prove that his death was in fact a murder.

I enjoyed reading this fast-paced, unexpected book. The mystery about it kept me turning the next page. Once you pick up this book it is quite difficult to put it down. I would rate this book 3 and ½ stars out of 5 for the reason that it was exciting and full of mystery. I would recommend this book to teenagers because the main characters are that age so it is easy to relate to them. Enjoy Reading. Harley – Year 9


What would you do if your boss had been murdered and the police won’t listen?

A Pocketful of Eyes is an original novel that takes you on a journey through intriguing events, that leaves you hooked and left in suspense right from the word go.
A taxidermist-in-training, Bee works at the Natural History Museum during her holidays to find that her boss has died to an apparent suicide… she doesn’t fall for it.

It is a story that entails a young girl on a mission to find her boss’s killer. It involves her story and her feelings that are carried on from the moment that she started to investigate, her personal emotions, relationships and her mother living with a Celestial Badger.

The main character’s name is Bee, and on her quest aspiring to be more like Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew, she realised that life is not always like the movies in her quest to find a killer.  Once the cute and confident new assistant, Toby, arrives on the scene, she has a partner to help her in with the mission, and soon realises as the story goes on that there are some things that she cannot control. Toby helps her on the journey, and when all the suspects’ stories and alibis don’t match, they are forced to revaluate all their situations and look at the circumstances from a different angle, making them turn to each other.

Full with plot twists and successfully blended elements of a traditional mystery with a contemporary Australian setting, I highly recommend this book to teens and young adults of both genders, ages varying from 13-19 for a light-hearted mystery with pinches of sarcasm and humour that adds to the addiction of this wonderful novel.

With my rating of 4 out of 5 stars, if you are looking for a novel that holds fast action-packed moments with thrilling mystery, slight romance, excellent cast of characters, and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat right from the first page, A Pocketful of Eyes is the book for you.

By Savannah, Grade 9


When you imagine a summer job at a taxidermy lab in a museum, the first words that spring to mind aren’t exactly “murder” “suicide” “hot guy”. But then again this book is full of surprises. Bee, a taxidermist in training, works in the Natural History Museum. Boring right? Wrong. She arrives to work on a normal day to find her boss and mentor dead in the Red Rotunda room, apparently a suicide. Bee doesn’t believe it. In fact, she thinks it was a murder. She goes to great lengths to find what really happened, or if she is overreacting, maybe even she’s just dealing with the grief a different way?

This book is immediately engaging, very entertaining and has a cast of great characters, suspects, accomplices and sidekicks alike. It keeps you second-guessing the whole way through and is very unpredictable. This is a perfect book for the girls (and boys) who like their fiction to have a little of an edge to it (alongside some romance). I would recommend this book to readers of 13+ as I found there was quite sophisticated vocabulary but a very well written book.

Tayla, Year 9


May 8

“Point Blanc” by Anthony Horowitz

Point Blanc is an action packed book that I would most recommend for a male to enjoy this book most… not that I didn’t though.

In this book ‘Point Blanc’ Alex Rider, one of the members of the secret agent/ undercover FBI family, discovers a journey coming his way. Now this book is an action packed book most guys would like to read. Just because I’m saying it’s a book that mainly guys would enjoy doesn’t mean that girls won’t enjoy it too. I read this book and I loved it and I’ll tell you why…

In Point Blanc I was always wondering what was going to happen next, but to be really honest before anything else, when I first started reading the book I wasn’t too sure about it because I thought it was just going to be a plain old boring book but that was only cause I had looked at the cover and the cover only and didn’t exactly get the big WOW factor from it. I’m not the kind of person that likes reading all that much but I really started to get into this book as I got further into the story because I was always saying and asking myself,

“OH MAH GOSH! I wonder what’s going to happen now or next and questions like…

Why has he done this?

No! Don’t do that!

WHAT! No way now what’s going to happen?

Well what will he or she do now!

And why is he doing all of this?” Etc. etc.

If you go by the library at any time and you have just nothing to do or you are/have been give a task to complete and need to pick out a book don’t walk past Point Blanc. Look at it and get it. I loved it and so will you!

Briana, Year 8


Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz

“I had to choose whether to save her or to go home. I had to save her so I went back into the tunnel. I was yelling “Fiona, Fiona” and I heard her yell back “I’m here” I look down and there she is on the dark floor of the train rails. I could only see her shadow but I knew that it was her. I tried to lift her onto the horse but then I felt the rails shake. The TRAIN! I was trying frantically to lift her onto the horse but I couldn’t. If I run for it the horse will hit the train. I could see the train approaching and the train barricades where lowering. What will I do?”

Put yourself in a spot where you think that everyone might kill you, constantly being aware and trying to keep crime under control while not being caught by anyone. Explosions, shootings, drugs. Point Blanc is a very action packed book about a young spy named Alex Rider. He is put into many missions and some of them nearly get him killed. He finds drug plants, pretends to be a rich family’s son and even goes to a very strict academy.

Alex is 14 year of age and works with a secret organisation called M16. He has a will of adventure and won’t give up a mission once it starts. Alex had one mission in this book: to find Michael J. Roscoe’s killer. He had to pretend that he was a son to a very wealthy family. His goal was to get into the school Point Blanc because M16 believes that the killer is linked with the school.

I liked the book Point Blanc because it is a very action packed story and that is what I and most other people, mainly boys would enjoy.

Liam, Year 8.


Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz is a good book with an interesting plot and interesting characters. Alex Rider is the main character. He is a high school boy turned spy. Go with Alex on an adventure as he fights Dr Grief and his second in command Mrs Stellenbosch.

Alex doesn’t have any parents so his uncle took him in when he was just a baby. After his uncle was killed, Alex was forced to be a spy. As a little boy, Alex was taught how to fight in martial arts. He was also taught several languages including French, German and Spanish. Alex can only speak a few phrases in Italian

Alex is the main character in this book. Point Blanc is directed at 12-14 year old boys who enjoy sci-fi and thrill seeking adventure. Point Blanc starts with an exciting scene where an unknown assassin named the Gentleman murders Blunt’s friend.

All of Horowitz’s books start with an exciting scene that you come to expect from Horowitz.

Ashley, Year 8

May 2

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abrahams

Echo Falls, a place where nothing unusual happens, is turning into a nightmare with a mysterious murder investigation taking place and everything’s just getting worse!

Set in a society where no major tragic events generally occur, Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams is a thrilling, adventure packed book targeted at middle school students of both genders.

Ingrid Levin Hill stumbles into an uncommon, mysterious murder after getting lost while on her way to soccer training. After realising that she has left her prized red puma soccer boots at the victim’s house, she must attempt to retrieve her soccer boots unnoticed and cover up any evidence of her presence.

I particularly enjoyed this book, as it was filled with adventure and mystery with fun and quirky characters as well as containing a unique plot.

I would highly recommend this book to students aged 12-16 as it contains significant themes and issues relevant to this age group. It’s a great book that is difficult to put down and I could read it again and again!

By Ruby Y, Year 8


I’m definitely not a reader! It’s almost impossible for me to complete a book and actually enjoy it. I have never experienced reading a book like ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ before. For once, I actually wanted to keep on reading and not stop.

This book is mainly aimed at Middle school (ages 12-14). I found this so interesting myself because it was so mysterious, action-packed and it felt like there was something new, suspicious and crazy always happening.

The book’s main character is Ingrid, who is a strange but wild person. She is very outgoing, and tends to cause trouble and she likes to solve any mysteries.

I highly recommend this book for 12-14 year olds because of the vocabulary and the storyline. This is a great book, with many tragic mysteries, which will leave you hanging right on the edge of your seat.

Ashley, Year 8


What would you do if someone was murdered in your town?  Would you panic, would you move or would you begin investigating? This very thing happens to 13-year-old Ingrid Levin- Hill and she gets into a bit of a sticky situation involving a murder, a play and a pair of red soccer boots.

If you enjoy light murder, mystery and a really good story, Down the Rabbit Hole is definitely the book for you. This book is aimed at young teenagers both male and female. It certainly is entertaining and easy to read despite the medium size that would put most people off.

The story is basically of a girl named Ingrid who lives in a town called Echo Falls. She is on her way to soccer practice but somehow loses her way and gets lost and stumbles into ‘Crazy Katie’ as the kids call her. They start chatting and Ingrid eventually after going inside leaves to go home. A few days later Crazy Katie has been found murdered! Ingrid realises she has left her soccer boot at Katie’s house and realises she has to get it back and the story begins!

The main character in this book Is Ingrid, she is 13 years old and is a quiet, smart girl. She is very interesting and she makes you want to keep reading.

The reason I liked this book so much is the fact that it makes you want to keep reading and the fact that it is really easy to read. I also love the story line. It is so exciting and eventful.

Olivia, Year 8


In Echo Falls there has been a murder…. a murder that you had witnessed or perhaps been apart of.  The police are after the murderer, whilst you are trying to solve the mystery that is on everybody’s lips, which leaves you no choice but to go back to where you started.

Down the rabbit hole’ is a mystery that the reader must solve, also a thrilling, action-packed book that I guarantee you won’t be able to put down. I think that this book is aimed at middle school students, both boys and girls. It’s a great book to read with a few challenging words throughout the book. Whether you like reading or not ‘Down the rabbit hole’ is a book, like I said, you won’t be able to put down. I guarantee you will love this book.

Bronte, Year 8



October 24

‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ by Lili Wilkinson

I must admit, being a person who doesn’t read very many books and doesn’t enjoy reading, I found myself very intrigued by the book ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’, written by Lili Wilkinson. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy a sort of sexy but mystery read. When I began reading ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ my first impression was that it was exciting and curious. After every chapter something new would happen and would make me want to read more. ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ is a about a Year 12 student called ‘Bee’. Bee had volunteered to work in the Natural History Museum for a summer job. While working in the taxidermy lab Bee discovers that training as a taxidermist isn’t as normal as she thought it would be. Over the summer holidays Bee experiences mysteries like no other teenager would face, but Bee was prepared, as she had only dreamed of a moment like this to come alive from her childhood fascinations; but Bee found it difficult to concentrate, when a young attractive boy called ‘Toby’ caught her attention. Overall I found this book a wonderful read and would rate ‘A Pocketful of Eyes’ ★★★★ (four stars out of 5).   Jasmin, Year 9

May 23

‘Point Blanc’ by Anthony Horowitz

Point BlancHorowitz pulls you into the book with fast-paced action. You just can’t put this sort of book down. It twists and turns when you least expect it. The sequel to ‘Stormbreaker’, ‘Point Blanc’ takes you to the French Alps and at first Alex (main character) is here to spy on suspects of two recent deaths when all of a sudden it turns into a rapid paced action thriller, only getting faster and faster. It turns into a warfare of spy on spy and can’t be ignored. “You nearly had me killed”, is how extreme this book really is. Nathan, Year 8

“An alarm bell exploded behind him. Lights came on throughout the academy. Alex pushed forward and set off, picking up speed with every second. The decision had been made for him.”

The story of Point Blanc is set up high in the French Alps where there is a school for super rich kids. Alex Rider is the main character. Alex Rider is 14 years old and a London schoolboy but secretly he is a spy working for British Intelligence, MI6. The story starts when Alex is at school watching his past friend buy drugs from a drug dealer in a white car. Alex follows the car away then gets in trouble. He is then arrested by the police then taken away to MI6 where he is being assigned to a recon mission. He then has to go undercover as a billionaire’s secret son to go to the Academy of Point Blanc to see if there is any connection between the owners of the Academy and two deaths of billionaires. Alex soon discovers the secret truth of the Academy and now his life is at risk. I liked this book because at every page you want to know more, because of the style of Anthony Horowitz. I strongly recommend this story to early teenagers who like mystery and action. Bryan year8

‘Point Blanc’ is an action book written by Anthony Horowitz, but not the type of action book where everything blows up randomly and there are heaps of guns. It actually has a bit of science in it. This creates a lot of mystery in the book and it keeps you wanting to read it at times, but sometimes it gets a little weird and I mean weird in the chapter “Room 13”. But that’s for you to find out. The story of ‘Point Blanc’ is mainly set in the school of “Point Blanc” in the French mountains but also spends some time in London. The main character of the story is Alex Rider, a 14 year-old MI6 agent, and the typical bad guy is called Dr Hugo Grief. He is the headmaster of the school. The story is that Alex Rider goes into Point Blanc and his mission is to explore the school and discover anything unusual that may help MI6. The reason MI6 want Alex to go and discover Point Blanc is because MI6 believe that they have discovered a link between the deaths of world leaders and their sons going to Point Blanc. This book is written quite simply and this means most people can read, it is easy to understand and you also never get lost in the story. People from the age 11 to 17 or even older can read this book and you shouldn’t get too bored with what I think is a cross between an adult and a kids’ book. To me this book had a bit of science and not enough guns and gadgets. When I read an action book I want guns, explosions, gadgets, excitement and fun! To me this book lost that essence half way through reading it and I found it slightly boring at times. I know that many people say it’s a great book and they say, “you’ll never want to put the book down”, but I didn’t get that once I had read deeper into the book. I would recommend this book to people who like a bit of science, spy work and can handle a little boredom at times. I would give this book a 6 out 10 stars.

By Joseph, Year 9

Point Blanc is a story written by Anthony Horowitz, in which the main character is a 14 year old boy called Alex Rider. He may look like a normal kid but he is actually a secret agent working for a top secret organization, MI6. But of course, nobody knows about this. The story starts when Alex follows a drug dealer back after seeing him selling drugs to a former friend. He then gets caught and thrown into jail after catching the thieves but doing a lot of damage. MI6 then contacts him and tells Alex that he has to go undercover to a school for problem boys, as his boss suspects something is not quite right. This book, I thought, was one of those books that you just have to find out what’s going to happen next while sitting on the edge of your seat. It is very full on with action, so I recommend this book to 13-16 year people who likes spies and action in the one book and I would rate this book an eight out of ten stars.

Toby, Year 9

October 29

‘In it up to Here’ by Jim Schembri

‘In it up to Here’ is a great action book with a bit of drama as well. When I first read about this book I didn’t think it was going to be very good but I was actually surprised about it and it is now one of my favourite books! The first chapter was great – full of action and excitement. I found it was a bit boring for the next few chapters but it has picked itself up and is now filled with action, mystery and excitement and is very fast. I highly recommend this book especially for readers who like an action-packed mystery. Nathan Year 9

‘In it up in Here’ is a great story for teenage boys to read. It captures the reader’s attention straight away when the boys are on the rooftop trying to stop a terrorist attack. The way the words are laid out is quite suspenseful which keeps the reader aware that something is going to happen. Jacob Year 9

May 12

‘Point Blanc’ by Anthony Horowitz

Point blancI really enjoyed reading the book ‘Point Blanc’, written by Anthony Horowitz. This book is about a fourteen year old boy, named Alex Rider. In his last book Alex Rider’s uncle worked for MI6 and unfortunately got killed on a mission. In ‘Point Blanc’, Alex is forced to take his uncle’s place and work for MI6. Two deaths occurred of the world’s most powerful men and their sons both went to Point Blanc, so MI6 have sent Alex on another mission to pretend he is a student at Point Blanc, but really he is trying to figure out who killed those two men, and if their deaths have anything to do with each other. Jasmin, Year 8 

Alex Rider, the 14 year old MI6 spy, has been sent on his second big mission. MI6 believes that something suspicious is happening at the school Point Blanc.  But you see, not just anyone gets sent to Point Blanc. Only seven troubled teenage boys are sent to Point Blanc each year. But here is the catch… all seven of these children’s parents are billionaires. People say the headmaster at Point Blanc is a crazy lunatic. Two of the rich fathers have been killed but why are they disappearing? You’ll have to read it and find out. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys things like James bond or Zac Power. I would probably switch places with Alex because his whole life is filled with heaps of excitement. The perfect set music for this book would be the original James Bond soundtrack. If I could ask the author three questions about his book they would be: What gave you the idea for a 14 year old spy agent? Did you visualize your story before you made it or did you make it up as you went along? How long did it take for you to write this book? I would rate this book 7/10. Jake, Year 8 

‘Point Blanc’ was very interesting and I enjoyed it but I didn’t want to stop reading the book once I got past the first page. Alex Rider was the main character. He was young and only fourteen and had been asked to go on a mission to Point Blanc and find out who killed the two guys. I never thought it would be so interesting at the start but it was, and I don’t really find investigations interesting because it stresses me out but this was a really good investigation. And I hope they make a lot more books based on ‘Point Blanc’. Serena Year 8

‘Point Blanc’ is a very interesting story, as the lead character, Alex Rider, is an undercover investigator. When two men are dealing drugs to Alex’s school he starts to investigate further, and there are two boys that have been killed. Alex Rider goes to investigate Point Blanc to find out who killed who? As much as I hate investigation stories this book had me intrigued. I did not know what was going to happen next, or if there was going to have a twist at the end or at the part I was going to read next. ‘Point Blanc’ was a book I could hardly put down. I really enjoyed it. Tara, Year 8

Alex Rider is an ordinary fourteen year old boy, at an ordinary school in an ordinary West London comprehensive. But that was soon to change. Alex had found out that his uncle, Ian Rider had been a secret spy working for MI6. Sadly Ian Rider had been murdered and Alex had been forced by MI6 to take his place. Alex is then sent off to Point Blanc Academy to find out and foil the plans of the sinister Dr. Grief. Point Blanc is a very interesting book similar to the famous James Bond series. It was a very good book because Alex Rider did not just march up and save the day, he had to endure boring days at school and build up the courage to save the day, which in my opinion is not easy. The breathless pace and witty dialogue, together with a cast of unforgettable characters, makes this a hugely enjoyable read.  By Asser, Year 8 

‘Point Blanc’ is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. It is a great book full of action, adventure and mystery. ‘Point Blanc’ is a book about a kid who is a secret agent who works for a secret government organization called MI6. There are deaths of some rich people, thought to be an accident, but MI6 wants to look further into the deaths of these people so they send Alex to Point Blanc, the academy where the two rich men’s kids went, where Alex discovers a big secret. What is the secret? What will MI6 do about it? Wade, Year 8   http://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/


May 10

‘Devil’s Island’ by David Harris

devils islandLuke Weston is kayaking when a large wave wrecks his kayak and he becomes stranded on Devil’s Island. Three scientists went to Devil’s Island for their studies and never returned. Luke has found many clues leading to the disappearances but all of a sudden the source is sitting right under his nose. Who or what is the killer? Will Luke survive what lurks on Devil’s Island? I believe ‘Devil’s Island’ by Davis Harris would belong in the action and mystery genre. That is because there is the mystery of who or what is the murderer. I would recommend this book to children of ages 9-13. I hope you all enjoy this book. I rate this book an 8 out of 10 . Ben, Year 8
‘Devil’s Island’ is a fast paced and adventurous book. The story of the main character ”LUKE” starts because Luke has had a nightmare of a corpse on Devil’s Island since a young age. It has been taunting him to go to Devil’s Island to confront his fear of the corpse. Luke hasn’t been answering the call of the island until now…  soon after, Luke decides to go to Devil’s Island only to find he is trapped on the island… a short time later Luke find a doctor who seems to be mysterious and strange… all those who have been to Devil’s Island have never returned. No bodies have ever been found so…Should Luke trust the doctor? How will Luke get rescued? Why is the doctor at the island?
Read the thrilling book ‘DEVIL’S ISLAND’ to find out. written by Jushon, Year 8
April 28

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ by Peter Abrahams

Down the rabbit hole

Ingrid Levin-Hill is a striving soccer player and actress. She dislikes her Maths teacher and has received the lead role for Echo Falls’ upcoming theatre production- ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Ingrid also happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. She finds her self attempting to unravel a murder case, before she becomes a suspect.  This book is a great read, full of suspense and adventure. It does include some moderate violence eg. murder, attempted murder, therefore I would recommend this book for ages 10 and up.  Amanda, Year 8

Down the rabbit hole is a thrilling, on edge book with danger and mystery on every page. I have only reached Chapter 24 but I am eager and also dreading reaching the end of the book. I would recommend this book to everyone who likes a bit of mystery. This book is one of the best novels I have ever read. I would definitely read this book again and again.   Courtney, Year 8

Ingrid Levin Hill is just like any ordinary thirteen year old girl, and being at the scene of a murder doesn’t change that, right?   As if it wasn’t bad enough already, things get worse when she discovers she’s left her all time favourite soccer boots at the scene and to get them back will be an ultimate test of bravery, courage and secrecy. A moderate read, although this book does require some piecing together to understand. I would recommend it to any reader who loves a good suspense story. Monika, Year 8  http://www.peterabrahams.com/

“Down the Rabbit Hole” is about a girl named Ingrid who finds herself in the middle of an unsolved murder. She makes the decision to go back to the scene of the crime and remove the evidence that could falsely accuse her of the murder. While she is there, something occurs that could help the police find the killer. But how can she tell them without being accused of breaking and entering or even the murder itself? This book is suspenseful and thrilling. The essence of mystery brings you to think about everything in a different way. The author cleverly pieces all the evidence together in the end in a way that you don’t expect. A must read for all. Maddy, Year 8

April 28

‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ by Lian Hearn

Across the nightingale floor2‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ is about a boy called Takeo, who comes home to his village one day to discover that he has lost his family in a massacre. He is the last survivor in his village. In this book, in every chapter the characters change. The first chapter is about Takeo, the second about a girl called Kaede, and then back to Takeo. Sometimes it becomes unclear which character the story is talking about. There are also Japanese names in the book that appear hard to pronounce, therefore it is hard to remember who is who. Having read only half of the book, and thinking it has been a bit hard to follow, I’m guessing that the two characters and their stories will meet up somehow in the end. I would recommend this book for students in older grades of high school. If I could ask the author, Lian Hearn, any question it would be “What inspiration did you get to write this book?”  It would be interesting to see how they got the idea for this fast-paced novel. http://www.lianhearn.com/ Ruby, Year 8

I have nearly finished the book “Across The Nightingale Floor” and it has been a very different story to what I was expecting. The chapters in this book are very long and can be quite confusing especially because in each chapter the main characters change. There are also a lot of other characters with confusing names in this book which can be hard to remember and also make it difficult to keep track of what is going on. This book is a heart felt novel with unexpected turns along the way. I felt upset for Takeo at the start of the book when he lost everyone he loved in a massive destruction by Lord Iida. I can’t wait to finish so I can see if Takeo ends up with his secret lover. If I could ask the author anything, I would ask him how he came up with the idea for this book. Because there are two different stories in the same book it becomes a fast-paced read which older students will enjoy.  Hayley, Year 8

Even though I love two worlds in a story, this one is just confusing. One part is about a boy, Tomasu, who is left without a family and home after his tribe and land are destroyed by the country’s leader, Iida. Tomasu, being the only survivor, is spotted and chased into the forest where Lord Otori Shigeru saves him. The other part is about a girl, Kaede, who is traded into slavery at the age of seven to secure an alliance between her family and the Noguchi’s. Kaede experiences many troubles but always seems to avoid consequence with the help of her friend Lord Arai. I believe these two characters will cross paths and the stories will link. This book is for slightly advanced readers, as it requires thinking skills and a very good memory.  Brodie, Year 8

This book is very confusing to read. There are two stories in the book and at some stage, they collide. Before the stories began to connect, I found it very complicated to understand which character the book was talking about. But as you get further into the book, it becomes much easier to know the story line. The first story is about a boy who loses his family and tries to begin his life again. The other story is about a girl who is troubled and having a hard time living her life. I have not yet completed reading this book but have absolutely no idea how it will end as there are many possible scenarios. At the end of each chapter you need to examine the hidden messages, e.g. what was the main part in the chapter, what helped you understand more about the book etc. This book is for quite mature readers as it uses a very descriptive writing technique. If you like challenges then this book is DEFINITELY for you! Ashlee, Year 8.

This book follows two people in ancient Japan. The first is a girl named Kaede, who has lived in the Noguchi castle for eight years, since she was seven. She only leaves the castle when Lady Maruyama takes her away. Takeo, the second person, is adopted; when he went back to his town he was shocked at what he saw. This book confuses me because it is constantly jumping between the two story lines without warning. This book is for more advanced readers because the traditional Japanese names can distract people from what they are actually reading. This book also talks about different clans and regions that can also perplex the reader. “Across the Nightingale Floor” is a well-written book but I tend to shy away from books when the narration swaps between characters. I thought this book was extremely eloquent and very descriptive but it didn’t really interest me. Susannah Year 8.

August 5

‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo

godfather‘The Godfather’ is a novel about a Sicilian mafia family, led by Don Vito Corleone and based in New York City. The story mainly revolves around the life of Michael and Sonny Corleone as they fight to keep their father’s empire alive. It tells of the challenges and struggles the family goes through to protect the Don and become the dominant crime family of New York. ‘The Godfather’ is an exciting, action-packed book with crime and mafia based themes.

My favourite part of ‘The Godfather’ is the chapter where Michael meets the Turk Sollozzo and corrupt policeman Captain Mcluskey in a small Italian restaurant in the Bronx and pulls the trigger on them both. Then he makes a daring escape to Sicily by boat. If I was to give the book an alternative title, it would be ‘The Corleone Commitment’. http://www.mariopuzo.com/ Greg, Year 9

August 4

‘Teacher’s Dead’ by Benjamin Zephaniah

Teacher's deadJackson Jones is a boy at school who witnessed two other students killing Mr Joseph with a knife during lunchtime. Jackson tries to find out the real truth about Mr Joseph was killed. Jackson also gets bullied along the way by Terry Stock and his gang.  This book is exciting, filled with lots of action, suspense and mystery. The characters that are in the book are interesting. I enjoyed finding out about Lionel and Ramzi’s lives. If I were to give the book another title, it would be ‘Stabbing Sir’. Ryan, Year 9 http://www.benjaminzephaniah.com/content/index.php