June 16

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Fiona Wood

Six impossible thingsIn ‘Six impossible things’ by Fiona Wood, courage is the main emotion that fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill ( the main character ) expresses. He is the biggest sweet heart who has six things that he has to do to set himself right for life.

The story is mainly set at home with Dan, his mum and Estelle, but it is also set at school. Dan is a smiley boy and not much seems to make him annoyed or worries him except the girl of his dreams, Estelle. He makes her out to be one of the most beautiful things on earth. He is going through a tough time in his life finding out that his dad is gay and that is tough on a teenager or anyone. Estelle? Well, she lives next door to Dan . She usually fights with her mum, and is trying not to believe that Dan has the biggest crush on her in the whole world. Dan’s mum doesn’t really seem to be coping with the whole ‘husband is now gay’ thing and keeps telling Dan stories about when times were good.

Dan’s mum decides to move away to try and hide the pain. They end up finding a house that an old lady they knew passed away in. Dan is being constantly bullied by this group of teenagers at school whilst he is falling madly in love with Estelle, of which Estelle has no idea of at all.

I liked this book a lot because it was interesting and very appealing to me and it is something that I would read. It was a bit romantic and all about Dan and what he wanted for his life which made me want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school, boy or girl. It is a very good book that mainly girls would enjoy.

Madison M.

November 30

‘Don’t Call me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer

Don't call me ishmaelDon’t Call me Ishmael is a book written by the amazing author Michael Gerard Bauer. It is about a boy who is starting his first year of high school and does not even have one mate in his class.

On his very first high school day, a mean boy called Barry Bagsley, the bully in his grade, bullied Ishmael. At the end of Grade Eight Ishmael was more known as Le Sewer. When Grade Eight finished, Ishmael was thankful to not have any more school because he wouldn’t get bullied or picked on any more. The next year of school, Ishmael again continued getting his daily bullying and he struggled with school.

The book is set in a normal, average area. Ishmael does not like his name. He has his two parents and a sister who is thirteen years old. Ishmael is a shy fourteen-year-old boy. Ishmael doesn’t like his parents’ decision to name him after a name in a book. He loathes the novel that his parents frequently bring up and talk about. This book is about him trying to fit in with other people. The novel is quite long and it makes you think in more depth about bullying and how it affects people that we know and even people we don’t.

This book is best suited to boys and girls because it helps them think about the consequences of bullying and how big an impact it can make on people. The book also makes us think about what we can do to make these people’s lives better.

Sam T., Year 9

November 26

‘Chinese Cinderella’ by Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese Cinderella“If you had not been born, Mama would still be alive. She died because of you. You are bad luck.”

Yen Jun-ling was born into the life of an unwanted, unloved child. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her siblings constantly blame her for this. Her father barely even knows her name, and her new stepmother Niang dislikes her stepchildren from the second she enters their lives. Yet, there is hope for Yen Jun-ling in the form of her academic prowess.

In a struggle to gain her father’s attention, and please the family members who still dearly love her, Yen strives for utmost perfection in her work and constantly works on her homework. Despite the cruel tricks of her brothers and sisters, and the harsh favouritism Niang gives to her own children, Yen pulls through the struggles and continues to excel in her work. Yet, her friends at school never know what she hides behind her cheerful smiles. They know nothing of the uncaring family she visits at home every day, who force her to walk home during typhoon-like weather without a second thought. Her hope in life, being strong in front of others and being untouched by the cruelties of life is soon displayed in her hobby – writing.

This true story tells of a girl who was once portrayed as a demonic witch of bad luck, who strives to her limits to prove that she is more than just a waste of space. Her willpower and hope is ever inspiring and astounding to read. The reader will smile when she smiles, cry when she cries, and feel the same emotions of pain, anger and discomfort when she does. Just when everything seems to be fine, another tormenting turmoil crashes into her life, yet she lives to tell the tale.

Chinese Cinderella is perhaps the best book I’ve read that retells a true story. The losses and victories of a small girl born with many burdens shows how anyone can pull through in the toughest of times. A motivating story like this is recommended for teenagers and adults alike, but females would perhaps relate to the story more than males.

Demetra P., Year 9

July 17

‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palaccio

wonder“Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a boy by his face.”

In an ordinary suburb lives an ordinary family and an ordinary boy named August. August does normal everyday things that any 10 year old boy would do. He rides his bike and eats ice cream and plays in the playground. But, unlike other 10 year old boys, August was born with a terrible deformity on his face that makes him stand out in the crowd.

August has been home schooled all his life but now it is time for him to face the fears of school. After meeting his funny new principal, Mr Tushman, August is not reassured as he knows what he will encounter at school will not be pleasant. He faces many difficulties fitting in and others find it difficult to accept him as a normal boy.

On the other hand, his older sister Olivia struggles with her own challenges. It’s tough when everyone knows you’re the girl with the strange little brother, but now Olivia gets to start fresh in High School.

I really liked the book Wonder because it gave a detailed insight on everyone’s point of view. There are even chapters from the eyes of August’s new classmates! I also enjoyed the way the author captured just what it would be like to be August with all of his difficulties and challenges. I would recommend the book Wonder to people who like soft and heart felt stories that make you cry and laugh all at the same time. The book suits kids and teens, boy or girl, from the age of 11-14. I have rated this book 4 out of 5 stars because the story line was magnificent, funny and sad with a hint of adventure in it too.

Leila A T, Year 8

November 12

‘Eighth grade Bites’ by Heather Brewer

eighth grade bites“The world is full of monsters with friendly faces.”

      If you like books that get you on the edge of your seat  wanting to read more and more then Eighth Grade Bites is a book for you.

      Eighth Grade Bites was set in a small little town, with a small little family, but this wasn’t an ordinary family. It was a vampire family.

    The main character in this book is Vladimir Tod. Vlad’s dad is a vampire that married a non-vampire. At the start of the book, Vlad’s parents got caught in a house fire and died. So Vlad’s mother’s best friend Nelly looked after him ever since the fire. She looked after him as if he was her own son. Nelly works in a hospital, and this is how Vlad retrieves his food, which is blood, because otherwise Vlad will have to kill people to retrieve his food. Vlad is a typical eighth grader; tall, thin, black hair, pale, and many would describe him as ‘goth’. At school Vlad would get bullied because of the way he looked. No one really liked him except for his English teacher Mr Craig and his best friend Henry.

      This book was a good read. It grabbed my attention because at the start it went straight into a fighting scene. I also liked this fantasy book because it was an easy book to read. I would probably recommend this book for ages 12 to 15 years of age because it is based in the eighth grade and it’s an easy book to read and it’s full of fantasy and thrills.

Max, Year 8


   Life is not easy for Vladimir Tod. His mother was a human and his father was a vampire, and they were both killed in a fire. The school bullies harass Vlad and he struggles to get the girl he’s had a crush on since second grade. Vlad’s thirst for blood is satisfied when his Aunt Nelly brings him outdated blood bags from the hospital where she works.

      The book takes place in a small town named Bathory. Vlad’s Aunt Nelly is raising him, and she understands his problems and helps him to hide the fact that he is a vampire. Vlad’s best friend, Henry, is the only other person who knows his secret. Vladimir’s favorite teacher has disappeared and no one knows where he is. Vlad and Henry are determined to find out what happened to him, but the substitute teacher begins to question Vlad too closely, and there is just something strange about Mr. Otis. What will Vlad do? What does Mr. Otis want?

      This book was a great read and grabbed from the start of the first chapter. I would recommend it to anyone aged 13 to 16 years of age that enjoys a good book about vampires.

Dylan B, Year 9.

October 28

‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio

wonder“I know I am not an ordinary 10 –year- old boy, but I know for sure ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming.”

Things are not the same for Auggie Pullman. Everyone sees him as different.


 After being homeschooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade at a public school. But Auggie is a little bit worried; he doesn’t know how he will fit into middle- school life when he looks so different from his peers. How will they treat him? This is a question that keeps constantly running though Auggie Pullman’s head.

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial problems since he was born. But his face has earned him some terrible nicknames: freaking man, lizard boy and gross-out boy. His main features have been melted away as some kids describe it, “ like the drippings on candles.” He always dreamed that he would make it in the world as a normal 10-year-old boy and with some great friends, he might be able to succeed. But that all changes as his world turns upside down.


The main characters in the story are August Pullman, Via Pullman (sister), Summer, Jack, Justin (Via’s boyfriend), Miranda, Julian and Mum and Dad.


I have really enjoyed the book Wonder because it’s a story about a 10 year old boy who has so much bravery and compassion which he shows towards his family and his peers. In the book Wonder Auggie Pullman needs to learn to accept himself for who he is and not try to compare himself to everyone else. After reading the first page I was so touched by how this boy feels. Imagine going to school every day and being tortured about your face; it really is terrible. But this little boy has a strong heart which has helped him make his way though middle school. This kept me reading throughout the book.


R.J Palacio has put some excellent descriptions and details in Wonder, which have helped me portray different images in my head. The language in the book has helped me concentrate and give my full attention to every line I read.


The ending was so enjoyable and has made me realize that no one in the world should feel the need to bully someone, or for someone to experience being bullied.


I recommend this book to teens and young adults between 10-20 years of age who are interested in heart and mind books, who enjoy reading about the love and sacrifice that some human beings are capable of. This book is a truly wonderful read. I guarantee you’ll cry after reading the first page. I’d rate the book Wonder a 5 out of 5.

Maddison. L, Year 9


“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”


Wonder, written by R.J Palacio, is an inspiring novel about the everyday struggles of a 10 year-old boy with a horrific facial deformity. August “Auggie” Pullman wants to be normal but no matter how hard he tries, a visit to the playground, going out for ice cream or even walking down the street becomes a show, a freak show, with him centre stage as the main attraction.

Just as August is becoming comfortable with his life, his parents announce that he will be starting school. For August, he feels like “a lamb to the slaughter”. All of Auggie’s life, people have stared and children have run away in fright. What will happen when he faces a school full of strangers for the first time? What will August have to go through to show his classmates he is no different from them? In this heart-felt novel, Auggie’s new adventure makes the reader laugh, cry and most importantly make the reader think about the things we take for granted and the challenges that others have to overcome.


Wonder isn’t just about Auggie and his facial deformity. R.J Palacio has portrayed many issues throughout the novel, such as young love, coping with the death of a loved one, bullying, sibling rivalry, peer pressure and the importance of friendship. Wonder also teaches that, “Heroes are made by the paths we choose, not the powers we are graced with.”

Brodi Ashton, novelist.


I loved Wonder and my rating would be 4 out of 5 stars. R.J Palacio’s use of clever language, fantastic writing techniques and emotion-packed sentences, keeps the reader interested at all times. I recommend this book for people aged 10 and up who are looking for an inspiring, uplifting and warm story that will have readers laughing one minute and crying the next.


Katie R, Year 9


“Mummy, why does that boy’s face look all weird?”


      Have you ever been asked this? No? Well, August Pullman has.

      Auggie, as his friends call him, wants to be an ordinary boy. He does ordinary things, he’s friends with ordinary people and he is an ordinary boy but only on the inside. Auggie was born with a facial deformation, the kind that scares little kids and attracts the unwanted attention of many.

      Star Wars obsessed Auggie was home-schooled for the first ten years of his life due to the surgeries he needed. Now that he doesn’t need another surgery for a while, his mother has decided it was time for Auggie to go to school. He’s been shielded from most of the negativity and brutality of the outside world. Auggie is going to be thrown head first into a school full of kids that don’t care what they say and he’s not looking forward to it. Auggie wants nothing more than to be accepted by his peers for the way he is, I mean, is that so much to ask for?

     “Wonder” is a phenomenal book written by R.J. Palacio. It was captivating and immensely powerful. It’s such an easy to relate to book, even if you don’t have a massive face deformation, in a way that it makes you understand how Auggie feels, which makes it even more compelling. This book teaches you so many lessons such as never to judge someone by the way they look. Society today is willing to throw someone under the bus for being different. R.J. Palacio has written this book in such a direct and unpretentious manner that it’s not difficult to understand. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while.

      ‘Wonder’ is a powerful and well-written story that I would recommend to anyone between the ages of 11-16. No matter what genre you prefer, this book will capture your heart and make you want to read it again and again.


– Dita.L, Year 9


“What’s the deal with your face?”

August Pullman does not have an easy life, getting weird looks from everyone around him and from all the surgeries he has had. But after all the years August has been home-schooled, August is going to school for the first time.

August is starting school at Breecher Prep for 5th grade, just like everyone else. But the problem is that no one wants to be around August because of his looks. August is worried about how other people may treat him. He knows what people say behind his back: ‘Freak’, ‘Monster’, ‘Lizard boy’. But August finds some friends, Jack and Summer. But after one day, the friendship starts to break apart.

Even though he has had 27 surgeries, all August has ever wanted is to be normal and to be treated like an ordinary 10-year-old boy.

‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio is a perfect example of how people get bullied, and how the victim gets treated. It shows how people think about each other and how they want to fit in. Wonder also shows what other people think of August and what happens to the people closest to August, like his sister, Via. It shows how her life is affected by August. Wonder shows how not only August got bullied, but how Jack and Summer start to get judged and bullied by other people in the school.

R.J. Palacio created a magnificent book that shows love, loneliness, sadness and judgment. He creates a perfect example of what a child’s life could be.

Reading ‘Wonder’ made me happy and I wanted to read on. Wonder is a heart and mind book and I would recommend this book to anyone of any age because it is perfect. I would rate this book 5/5 star.

Ruby, Year 9

October 22

‘Being Bindy’ by Alyssa Brugman


beingbindy       Teenagers live their life one rumour at a time. They’re picky with friends, judgmental and irresponsible. They hold grudges. They don’t let go easily. They’re overdramatic, selfless and backstabbing. Add peer pressure and bullying to the equation and you have yourself the definition of a teenager’s lifestyle. If you don’t feel sympathy of those going through the stages of the teenage years, you will after you read ‘Being Bindy.’


      Living in a small town, Bindy is a teenager going through the struggles of life with her best friend Janey. But between people giving her the cold shoulder and fallouts between her and her parents, can Bindy really trust anyone? With new friends, mean girls at school and embarrassment on the horizon, Bindy may just learn the true meaning of forgive and let go.


      This book is not for everyone as it is quite fast paced and does not hold tension, but for those who have a short attention span it will intrigue you from the start. Though the book may be predictable at times it engages the reader and takes you into the mind of Bindy and her complicated life. The book itself is a good read for those who are just beginning to read novels with it being for those who are at an average reading level. I recommend that this book would be of interest to girls who are in their late years of primary school and early years of high school as it may relate to what they are going through at the time. It would appeal to people who have an interest in young adult fiction.  With this book pleasing many people it is understandable why it is popular and even though it did not please me it will certainly capture your attention.

     Simone S, Year 9.



     Being Bindy is written by Alyssa Brugman in 2004.

     “The Very Bad thing happened just as I was moving out of the Lotus Posture and into the Side Bow. All my muscles felt stretched and relaxed. I had my leg in the air; released the stretch, and-oops! Released something else.”

     Being Bindy is a novel about a girl called Bindy, who used to be best friends with Janey, until Janey’s personality changed, meaning she wanted to be popular. Janey’s new best friend became Hannah (their childhood enemy). Hannah didn’t want Bindy to sit with them, because she would wreck their reputation, so Janey sent her away.

     “I’d never sat on my own in the schoolyard before. Everywhere I looked I saw smirking faces, people whispering to each other or whistling.” 

     A couple of weeks later, after Janey and Bindy’s breakup, their parents decided to get together, meaning they had to try and get along. Janey threatened to become Bindy’s sister (which she didn’t want happening), so they decided to make a breakup plan. Will the plan work? Or even better, will they become best friends again? You will never know until you read it.

     I enjoyed Being Bindy, because it is an hilarious novel based on a young teenage girl’s life, with all the struggles you usually wouldn’t face. I recommend this novel to young teenage girls from about eleven to fifteen years of age. Will Bindy make it through the tough challenges she faces?


Natasha A, Year 9


‘It’s not me Janey. And that’s not you, either. It might be Hannah but it’s not us.’

      The story is set in a small town where Bindy lives with her dad and brother Kyle. Janey has been Bindy’s best friend forever but lately Janey has been acting differently, dressing differently and hanging out with Hannah who thinks she is absolutely superior to everyone else.

      Janey and Hannah make the decision to ditch Bindy after an incident at yoga. This leaves Bindy with some tough decisions to make, such as making new friends, how to overcome teasing and much more. Danger strikes as Janey threatens to become Bindy’s new sister and neither of them wants that. They are prepared to do anything to sabotage their parents’ happiness.

      What I enjoyed most about this book is that Bindy is faced with real life problems that most of us in teenage life may have to face. These include losing friends and making new ones, bullying, embarrassment, loneliness, isolation, dealing with divorced/ separated parents, coping with change and conflict.

      Personally I would recommend this book to a female teen audience who enjoy heart and mind novels. I would rate this book a four out of ten because although it deals with teen issues, personally I would have enjoyed more suspense to keep my attention.


Indiia M, Year 9

June 11

‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ by Pat Flynn

alex jackson grommet     Meet Alex Jackson, a thirteen year old skateboarder who wants to ‘date’ a girl his age. But will he get what he asked for? Is there a secret hiding between them?… Does this sound like the type of book you’s like to read? If so then the book ‘Alex Jackson: GROMMET’ is for you.

      Life to Alex was quite simple in St Joseph’s but now that he’s in high school he has a truckload to learn. This book takes place in Logan City. In the book the main characters are Jimmy Homan, Sarah Sceney, Billy Johnstone, Adrian Dorry, Becky Tonella and Alex Jackson himself. Throughout the first term for Year 8 Alex had to face challenges. He also had one unusual problem he thought he’d never have. The person Alex has a crush on had come between him and his skateboard.

      When I read this book I was very disappointed with the structure of the book but on the other hand the storyline went well. What made the structure disappointing was that there was unnecessary information in the book and when I was near the end of the book I had realized that the unnecessary information was scattered and spread out in the book. Although the storyline would have been mysterious, they had ruined it with the information. At the ending of the book I wasn’t interested with any of the scenes.

      I would recommend this book to teens from the ages 13-15 who like drama. The book wasn’t to my expectations and I was disappointed. I would rate this book 2 of 5 stars. Jay V D B, Grade 8.


    Meet Alex Jackson, a 13-year-old skateboarder. Alex can do things on his board that kids his age thought were only possible in movies, but when it comes to girls and fitting in he has taken some pretty heavy spills. If skateboarding, adventure and girls are what you’re in to, then I think “Alex Jackson: GROMMET” is for you.

     Things are not the same since Alex has moved to St. Joseph’s High School. For Alex and his friends Becky, Jimmy, Zane and Sarah school is a place of bullies, mean teachers and popularity contests, but when Alex shreds the skate park no one can stop him. With the help of Becky and his friends, will Alex finally fit in and will he become better friends with Becky?

     I really enjoyed this book ‘Alex Jackson: GROMMET’ because it is about a teenaged boy who is trying to fit in at school, but what people don’t know is that he is actually a very talented skateboarder. I thought this book was well structured and the story line flowed nicely. I felt that the book kept me guessing on what was going to come next. A school fight? A trip to the hospital? Or even a move that could leave Alex and his friendship with Becky hanging on the line? In the end the book was summed up extremely well and has made me want to continue to read the saga of the ‘Alex Jackson’ books.


I recommend this book to young teenagers or older children between the ages of 11 to 14 that enjoy a book with heaps of relatable moments, but also to a person who likes jam-packed action at a skate park. This book is a great read if you are looking for an easy novel for a relaxing day of reading. I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, enjoy… ‘Jayden S, Year 8    





May 31

‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer

Don't call me ishmael     Do you like to be enticed into a novel whose story sends you into another world, imaging thoughts you never knew you could think of? Then this is a book you will absolutely love. The novel Don’t call me Ishmael is wonderful book that takes you through the world of Ishmael, where he’s hounded by a regiment of menacing bullies and quite literately struck in the face by his phobia of girls. This book is mainly about him explaining his life because he thinks he has ‘Ishmael Leseur Syndrome’.

     This novel is a novel that kept me wondering and pondering all night. It kept me reading for two and half hours until I read the whole thing. For me there is no better accomplishment than finishing a book before I have finished all my cookies. This book has descriptive sentences that give you a wide range of imaginative experiences and to top it off the author includes a squirt of comedy here and there. This book is for people who like comic writing and a story they can relate to.

     Lawrence, Year 8


Do you like a laugh?

If you do,

‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’

Is the book for you!


     ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ is the funniest book by far of all the books I’ve read. It makes all books seem like trash.

     ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ is an exciting and hilarious book that will take your mind through the amazing life of Ishmael. This book tells you about Ishmael’s hard going days at school, also his phobia of females. This book is mainly trying to explain his life at school because he strangely thinks he has ‘Ishmael Leseur Syndrome’.

     This book kept me on the edge of my seat. It keeps me wondering as I slept. It constantly made me drawl as I thought about it.Everyday I would leave a space in my day so I could just read my book, I would never put the book down unless I have finished two or more chapters. This book is the most funny and exciting book your mind will ever grasp. If you have not read this book you must go get it!  

George, Year 8


Description: Macintosh HD:Users:187036:Desktop:180px-Don't_Call_Me_Ishmael_cover.jpg     Do you like stories that involve schoolyard dramas? If you do then ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer is the book for you.

     This book is an hilarious story with great comedy and humor that will definitely make you laugh.

     Ishmael is in Grade 9 at St Daniel’s Boys College and he gets bullied by a small group of boys. Ishmael really dislikes getting bullied and he hates his name. He is always getting called names that rhyme with Ishmael Leseur.

     This novel encouraged me to want to read more.

     I enjoyed every second of it and read as much as I could in my spare time. It was one of the first books that actually kept me interested and helped me to enjoy reading more.

     This book is a quick read and is aimed at younger teenagers.

     I encourage you to read this book so you too can enjoy what I did.

Liam M, Year 8




May 20

‘Thai-riffic!’ by Oliver Phommavanh

Thai-riffic!Meet Albert’s Family or you could call him Lengy for short from his last name. Albert (Lengy) Lengviriyakul, is fed up with being Thai. His parents own a Thai restaurant with a really cheesy name of Thai-riffic! and Lengy is sick of being his father’s curry guinea pig, longing to just eat pizza! At school he is a bit of a troublemaker, going to any lengths to hide his background. But when his best friend decides to become Thai for a day for a school project, Lengy thinks about it and comes to the realisation that there may just be some pretty cool things about his culture.

Kids from 9 to 14 of age will mostly enjoy this book. It is mainly for children because of the corny jokes the author talks about. High school is quite hard when you think about it. Lengy might be Aussie, but he definitely smells like Thai food. This book can remind people how frustrating high school is, with all the work and frustrating teachers. You can see what Lengy goes through when people are calling him ‘Bow-Thai’… and everybody thinks he comes from Planet Mars. When everybody is getting junk food and little sweets, Lengy gets stuck with his homemade rice and curry chicken. But when Lengy makes a new best friend and he has an interest in the Thai culture, Lengy starts to think about his family and see how great life is.

I personally think that people would love this book, obviously because it tells us how relationships, jokes, and many more things can reflect on people’s lives and even on your own. I would rate this book an 8/10. It might not be a 10/10 but you can have a ‘Thai-Riffic’ time reading this book. So come join in with Albert (Lengy) and have a great time with his wonderful adventure enjoying the young life of a teenager.

By Cristian, Year 8


Do you like reading about people embarrassing themselves? Well this is the book for you. Thai-riffic is about a boy who has incredibly embarrassing parents plus one of the most annoying brothers in the world, plus he is just starting high school and is already feeling scared.


I highly recommend this book to the under 10s because the humour in this book just isn’t enough to make me laugh. I recommend this book to the more experienced novel readers.


Clay, Year 8

November 5

‘Don’t Call me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer

Don’t call me Ishmael! is a book written by Michael Gerard Bauer about a boy who had just moved to high school and doesn’t have any friends in his class. On the first day of high school Ishmael was picked on a boy named Barry Bagsley, the school bully for Grade 8. By the end of Grade 8 Ishmael was better known as Le Sewer. When Grade 8 finished, Ishmael was relieved to have no more school because he wouldn’t get picked on any more. The next year continues with his daily bullying and he struggles with school. The story is set in a suburban middle class area.

Ishmael hates his name. He has a mum, dad and also a 13 year old sister. Ishmael is a shy 14 year old boy. Ishmael hates his parents because they chose his name out of a book. He despises the book that his parents often talk about. The novel deals in depth with him trying to fit in with other people. This book is long and it makes you think about bullying and how it affects people. This book is suited for boys and girls because it makes them think about what they can do to other people through bullying.

By Tyler, Year 9



Don’t call me Ishmael is a terrific book, which outlines the life of a young boy called Ishmael who gets bullied about having the name “Ishmael Leseur”. This book is funny and contains a lot of issues, which relate to teenagers. This novel takes place at a school called St. Daniels and goes through the year explaining what happens and how a boy called Barry Bagsley bullies Ishmael. This book did not interest me because it doesn’t relate to me but I would recommend this book to teenagers who are struggling in their lives now because of issues like bullying.

Lochie, year 9


Don’t call me Ishmael! The story is about a boy named Ishmael Lesur who just recently moved to a new high school, St Daniel’s College, where he hasn’t made any friends. Ishmael Lesur is a 14 year old boy who hates his name so much he gave it a syndrome – the Ishmael Lesur Syndrome – talking about how much he hates his name that his parents gave him. Barry Bagsley is the schoolyard bully who bullies Ishmael mostly because of his name, which also makes Ishmael hate it even more. Ishmael’s mother and father Carol and Ron both like talking about their son to other people, which Ishmael also hates.

The story is about bullying and a lot of real life issues in real life situations which relate to young teenagers around the same age as Ishmael. I liked this book because it is funny and rather interesting. I would recommend this book to young teenagers who are dealing with the same issues in life as Ishmael.

Brad, Year 9

October 15

‘Six Impossible Things’ by Fiona Wood

“Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not relatively coping with a reversal of family fortune, a mother with a failing wedding-cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His entire life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things.”(Fiona Wood. Six impossible things)

The story is mainly set at home, with Dan, his mum and Estelle, but it is also set at school.

Dan is a simple boy. Nothing much worries him, except the girl of his dreams, Estelle. Dan is going through a tough time in his life with his dad coming clean about being gay and then moving out. It’s a lot to take in for a teenager, especially a boy.

Estelle is the girl of Dan’s dreams. She’s the nice one, but she is constantly being stalked and ‘freaked’ out by Dan. I don’t think she wants to believe that Dan has a massive crush on her, but she is going to have to soon. She lives next door and always fights with her mum, over stupid stuff really. But what she doesn’t know is that Dan has been secretly going up into her attic and searching through her stuff, trying to get some more information about her. Creepy, right?

Dan’s mum is the one who doesn’t seem to be coping at all with her husband’s sudden ‘I’m gay’ announcement. Luckily she has Dan, but Dan is getting tired of looking after her and putting up with her random stories about her and her husband when they were younger, or as she calls it ‘when times were good’.

Dan has just found out that his dad is gay, a lot to handle right? So he and his mum decide to move away and try and hide the pain, but of course it never goes away. They find this house that an old lady they knew of died in. Weird, right? Anyway, the lady left a dog that soon became part of the house. Meanwhile at school, Dan is getting bullied by this group of know-it-all teenagers that pay him out about his last name. How pathetic. Also at school, Estelle has somehow captured Dan’s heart and she doesn’t even know. Dan is falling for Estelle, whilst Estelle actually has no idea of how much Dan is in love with her. To cut a long story short, you should read the book.

I liked this book so much because it outlines the important issues and themes that occur in a teenager’s life. This book has humour, love, and everything in between.

I would recommend this story mainly to anyone who is in high school or going through a tough stage in his or her life. This book is sure one to brighten up your day, no matter how it’s going.

Tayla, Year 9


Six Impossible Things” by Fiona Wood 

“There’s this girl I know. I know her by heart. I know her in every way but one: actuality. Her name is Estelle. I yearn for her. ” (Six impossible Things, Page 1)
Dan Cereill is an awkward young man, and at the age of fourteen he has already found his one true love. The only problem is, he has NEVER met her. 

Dan just recently moved out of his house after finding out some terrible news: his Dad was gay, the family business was going into receivership, his family was broke, he and his mother had to move, he has to go to a new school and he has an impossible crush on the girl next door. His life is an absolute mess but he just has to pull thorough it. He is an interesting young boy and a nerd and constantly gets bullied at school. He writes a diary about six things he believes is impossible and will never happen as long as he lives. 

Estelle is one of the few main characters in this book. Dan constantly tries to talk to Estelle, the love of his life, but becomes too nervous and decides not to. Dan shares an attic with Estelle as they are neighbours and he accidentally finds her diary and decides to read it. Estelle ends up finding out about Dan reading her diary and never speaks to him again. This was his only chance and he blew it. Estelle officially thinks that Dan is a weirdo. Dan’s mum is another main character and she has a failing cake business called “I do cakes”. She goes through a lot of ups and downs throughout the book. The main characters in this book are Dan, Estelle, Frank (Dan’s best friend), Janie (Estelle’s best friend), Harold (Dan’s dog) and Dan’s Mum.

I really enjoyed the book “Six impossible things” as it is a love story about Dan who tries so hard to get a girl to like him but constantly fails. Also he get into a lot of sticky situations. He tries to keep a low profile at school and not respond to ‘dick head’,  faints in front of a girl he likes, snoops through Estelle’s things and organizes a big event. Fiona Wood described the characters well and created a book of hope and love. Dan really hopes he can fulfill his “Six Impossible Things” and becomes loved one day. The way Fiona Wood described the book made it easy for me to see the scenes in my head. Six Impossible Things constantly builds up suspense and is a true love story. It is really sweet and kept my full attention. This book was really good as the story was very captivating. 

I would recommend this book for teenagers as this book is about them and how they deal with things in their life. Dan handled the changes in his life in the most unpredictable manner and he is really funny. This is a very good book to read and it’s really funny and a very touching book. “Six Impossible Things”,  is recommended for anyone who loves silly love stories. 

Georgia, Year 9

‘Guys, please, one life-changing shock at a time!’ (Six impossible things, p.4)

For some, life changing actions and decisions are not taken lightly. Dan Cereill, a modern day fourteen-year old boy is struggling with too many bumpy roads along the pathway to happiness. His life is hanging by a thread, never mind his heart. The story begins with Dan’s family, as well as their daily lives falling to pieces without any warning. It all starts with the family business becoming bankrupt and his father announcing that he was gay and abandoning Dan and his mother. Without any money, Dan and his mother were forced to sell the house and live out of several boxes in his dead aunty’s home that she had recently left for them. This of course is not ideal. The house stinks like cat pee and it is drowned in cob webs and on top of this Dan is forced to move schools, away from his friends.

In this heart-stopping book Dan has identified ‘Six impossible things’ that he believes will never end up happening, or so it would seem. They are based around providing for the family and making new friends, however despite this, Dan is able to fit one self indulgent wish into this list. To kiss Estelle. Dan is desperate to meet and impress this mysterious girl who lives next door. This takes his mind off things and effectively causes him to want to find out more about her. Never would you imagine what happens next. I’ll give you a hint: it involves an attic and a very personal diary written by Estelle. From there on in, even though Dan’s home life is crashing into the ground with his mother’s cake business failing, Dan’s friendship with Estelle is just taking off! Dan, knowing all Estelle’s interests and dislikes, is working it to his advantage. But what happens when the girl of your dreams takes advantage of you? Would you take the risk in disappointing your mother, who has just lost her house, husband and all leisures? As Dan falls further in love with Estelle, the guilt of reading one’s diary is continuously on his mind. Would he risk a perfect relationship just because a stupid decision or will Dan face the facts and own up and confess?

I loved this heart-stopping, thrilling book and would recommend it to teenage girls due to the fact that it teaches us about hardship and one’s emotions and feelings. Take a journey into the life of Dan and decide for yourselves. ‘Six impossible things’, by Fiona Wood.

 By Mikaela (year 9) 


 Six impossible things is a novel written by Fiona Wood. It is based on the world of Dan Cereill falling apart around him.

The novel is set in an average suburban area, dealing with issues about Dan and his broken family. Dan has identified six things that are highly unlikely to happen and result in a happy ending. The main character is Dan, who is fourteen years of age, but he has a few friends who are there for him along the way. Dan Cereill is a fourteen-year-old boy whose family has gone bankrupt and has to move into his late great-aunt Adelaide’s house. With a new house also comes a new school, and with a new school comes new bullies. Topping it all off he has a crush on his new neighbour. The novel’s storyline starts off with Dan losing his house to pay off his gay dad’s debts. He moves into his recently deceased great aunt Adelaide’s house and falls in love with the girl next door, but with his life failing he needs to pick himself back up before asking anyone out.

I would recommend this book for both genders between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, because it deals with the issues that most often occur around the time of early teenage years. I enjoyed this novel because of the way that it always seems to include humour into the depressing issues Dan deals with throughout the novel and I think it’s rather illegal how Dan learns so much about his neighbour. But to finish on a lighter note, I find the way Dan reacts to his first meeting with the school bullies extremely hilarious, since he fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Jayden, year nine

May 8

‘Alex Jackson: GROMMET’ by Pat Flynn

Alex had the best evidence that there was a god since he had been at St Joseph’s: there is a god because he and Becky Tonella were assigned to sit next to each other. I would admit that Alex Jackson: Grommet was one of the optimal books I have ever read, and I do not particularly enjoy reading but when I started reading this book I could not stop!

The story is set between St Josephs and the Skate Bowl. The main characters are Alex, Jimmy and Becky. Billy and Jimmy are best friends and they both met in Grade 3 in Primary school. It’s about Alex, who is one of the kids at St Joseph’s and he is finding it hard to become popular. But eventually he does one of his best skateboard tricks in class for a speech and successfully pulls it off. He became more popular later when he fought one of the toughest and largest kid in the grade, Billy Johnston. He came off first, so everyone in his class was trying to be best friends with him.

I loved this book because it wasn’t just one of those books where you have to just read it for school with no choice whatsoever but because it had something to the book which made me not want to stop reading it and gave me giggle or laugh every now and then.

I highly recommend this book for people (mainly boys) between the ages of 12-15.  Some boys go through the same trouble as Alex Jackson goes through.

By Reece B, year 8.


I am not the type of person that likes to read. If someone asked me to read a book, I would try and not read it as much as possible. I had never found a book that I have enjoyed, but then I found this book with love and thrills. The book is called Alex Jackson Grommet, which is a fiction book.

I think that this book made me feel like it was a really good book and so when I read the first couple of pages I thought it was a great book and that it was an amazing book. The feelings the book made me feel was love and thrill.

The book would be for people about 12 to 18 because this book has lots of thrill and love that everyone likes and so I would recommend this book for children cause it a funny book and a really good book so that’s why you should read this book.

Tyrone, Year 8


The book I am reviewing is Alex Jackson: Grommet, by Pat Flynn.

The book is about a boy in high school who loves to skate but has a crush on a girl at school.

My reactions to the start of the book were that it was a relaxed type of book, then once Alex started skating the tempo of the book picked right up. I thought that the start could be more like for example Alex at the skate park attempting a really hard trick on his board.

The part of the book that was key to me was when Alex and Jimmy created a fake email just so they could talk to Becky. The thing about the book I enjoyed most was the style of the book and also the characters because of the different types. I would rate the book 5 stars because you never know what’s going to happen next.

Ryan. K Year 8.

May 8

‘Don’t call me Ishmael’ by Michael Gerard Bauer

I don’t really like to read much. If I get asked to read I moan and try to get out of it. But I have never enjoyed a book as much as Don’t call me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer. It is a good book and it is a good book to read.

 The book is about a boy that had the same name as his disability and he got bullied at school. The bully’s name was Barry Bagsley. Barry had friends that help him bully  Ishmael Leseur. They would call him names like ‘fish tail’, ‘le sewer’ and ‘le spewer’. I found this book sad and a bit funny.

I highly recommend this book for boys and girls aged between 10-14, because the book is really good and I think it teaches us not to bully and to accept people for who they are. This book is also tempting to keep reading because you don’t know what will happen next. I really liked this book and I hope if you read it you will like it as much as I did .

By Ben F, Year 8


“The ‘thing’ slid lower down my thigh. It was hard and cigar-shaped. I twisted my leg further around till I was balancing on one foot. Whatever was down there was dropping…….dropping……              

At the last moment I made a desperate lunge and clamped my hands on my shorts.
But it was too late. A blurred object shot from my pants, bounced off the toe of my shoe and skidded across the tiles.
I held my breath. My heart stopped.
I abandoned what I was about to say.
One of the Beatles had just fallen from my pants.
I was pretty sure it was Ringo.”

Hmmmm…. Feeling interested yet? Cause I sure was! If you read this book you will travel through many of Ishmael’s crazy experiences with him. You can really relate to Ishmael’s problems, and Ishmael certainly has a lot.

This book is targeted at young teenagers, and has possibly some of the most important lessons to learn at that age.
Ishmael is just going into his second year at high school and doesn’t really have much confidence. As you read this book you learn about Ishmael’s life and how he hates it. As the book travels on Ishmael finds new friends and maybe even the confidence he’s missing!
Don’t Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer is certainly a great book and if you are looking for a quick read and a few laughs this is the book you should read.

By Octavia G., Year 8


I’m not usually one for books, as I don’t like reading, and “Don’t call me Ishmael” by Michael Gerard Bauer wasn’t an exception. I felt the book didn’t relate to girls, so that is why it didn’t appeal to me.

Although Michael Gerard Bauer’s writing skills are exceptional, the book in my opinion was not exciting.

The book follows Ishmael Leseur, a boy in year 9 who has Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome. The novel takes place in St. Daniel’s All Boys High School. He is trying to fit in but is finding it hard to as his personality is very shy. He also get picked on for his name. Then Ishmael fears the new boy James Scobie, as he looks like a target to the school bullies. Barry realizes that “Scobie” has no fear so he doesn’t mess with him. To get Ishmael’s confidence boosted James decided to sign Ishmael up for debating and that’s how he meets Kelly. Ishmael realized that his life isn’t as bad now as it once was.

The book covers such topics as bullying, friendship, love and fitting in. So the book’s general audience would be boys around the age of 12-14, as the writing of the novel is complex.

As a group we read the book, and the majority of my group enjoyed the book as the topics were relevant. We rated the book ★★★ (Three Stars). The book was quite funny in places and those were the bits that we enjoyed the most.

My overall opinion was the book would have been better if read by a  12-14, but all in all it was a nice book with a good story line, but it just wasn’t enjoyable to read.

Gemma T, Year 8.


This book is a great book and a fabulous story about a fourteen-year-old boy who doesn’t have the best school life. I love the language in this book. It made me laugh quite a few times and also it was very clever.
I think the best part of this book was that it focuses on one of the main problems in schools today: bullying. In this book it explains how Barry Bagsley and his mates like to pick on other student but mostly Ishmael Leseur. This name comes from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a book about a whale. Their teacher at school (Miss Tarango) points this story out as she thought she was standing up for Ishmael but it only provided Barry with more names to call Ishmael, as he had a way with words. Ishmael became:




And not to mention his poor last name, Leseur, (actually pronounced Le-sir) became
Le sewer

Le spewer
Le pooer
& manure
So he didn’t have the best time at St Daniel’s all boys College.

He soon realised he had to avoid Barry but it was hard to do considering he had a lot of classes with him.
I would recommend this for older readers as it would be harder to read for young ones. Also it is more of a boys’ book than a girls’ because it would be more understandable for boys, behaviour and language wise.

Overall I would rate this book 3 stars as it was funny and a great story but personally I got a bit bored in parts, but other than that I liked this book.

Britney, Year 8

May 4

‘The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites’ by Heather Brewer

I normally don’t like reading that much if the book I’m reading isn’t that good, because I can’t get stuck into it. The chronicles of Vladimir Tod is the kind of book I’m talking about. It started off being very weird and I didn’t like it, but then when I kept reading it started to grow in me. I think this book attracts readers who like unusual and gothic books. Vladimir, the male character, is a boy who has just entered high school. He is trying really hard to control the vampire within him by bringing in blood capsule sandwiches to satisfy his needs. In my opinion I liked the ending more than any other part of the book because many problems arise in Vlad’s life at home and at school. Imagine having your own teacher tempting to reveal the biggest secret of your life.

“I can’t wait to hear your oral presentation,” Mr Otis says. Mr Otis has assigned an assignment describing what a “werewolf” is but when the letters on the paper change into “vampire” a whole world of pain arises for Vlad. This is a good book and I think you should give it a try.

Sebastian, Year 8


I hate reading. I almost never read, but fortunately I was forced to read “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. It is a vampire story, filled with a lot of twists and turns in the story. I recommend this book to 12-15 year olds who enjoy reading fantasy books such as Christopher Paolini’s series “Eragon” or J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings”

The main character Vladimir Tod is very intriguing because nothing is known about vampires.  Vladimir and his best friend, Henry find themselves in the middle of a mystery when they discover Vlad’s fathers journal. The journal contains many secrets to Vladimir’s secrets and history. Unknown to Vlad, he is being hunted by another mysterious character.
By Jordan, Year 8


I am not the type of person that likes to read. If someone ever asked me to read I book, I’d try and make excuses to get out of reading the book.  But when I started reading The Chronicles Of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer, I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop or put it down.

This book is mainly for boys and girls that are different. It’s basically about a boy named Vladimir who isn’t popular at school just because he’s different.  He ignores all the bad comments that everyone has to say about him. He just lives life no matter what anyone says.

It helps all children realize that you don’t have to be perfect to live life. You can be whatever you want to be whenever you want.

I highly recommend this book to boys and girls from an age of 12-15 as when you older, people seem to believe popularity is the most important thing. This book is filled with friendship problems and school problems and helps you solve them and it often brings a smile to one’s face.

By Alana S, Year 8.


My book Blog The chronicles of Vladimir Tod

Vampire and his Victim. Usually I don’t really like to read books because I don’t find them that interesting. At first when I was given the book The chronicles of Vladimir Tod I didn’t think that I would like it because I usually like books that are sporty ones, so when I got one about a vampire I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like. I think that this book is probably more for boy teens because I find that the girls won’t really like what’s in there compared to the boys. None of my friends that I know have read this book so I had to start it not knowing at all what it would be like. I find that this book is a bit harder to relate to because it’s about a vampire called Vladimir Tod and I haven’t met anyone who is a vampire before. Although at first when I started reading the book I found it hard to get into, when I read on I found the book to be very interesting. I found it interesting because it is about a boy at the beginning who is a vampire and he likes a girl but can’t find the guts in him to actually talk to her. The two main characters in this this book are Vladimir and his friend Henry. Vladimir is a vampire and likes to drink glasses of blood in the morning. Henry is Vladimir’s best friend. All the girls at school have a crush on Henry. There is also Vladimir’s mum’s friend Nelly who has looked after Vladimir since his parents died three years ago. She is a fully qualified nurse and tries to sneak some blood from the hospital to take home to Vladimir so he can drink it. Vladimir and Nelly are not family but Vladimir said that he would consider her as family after all she has done for him in his life. If I had to recommend this book to any age I would say for 11-15 because it is sort of a mystery but not too serious and also has some romance in it which people of that age would be able to relate to from their life.

Taine Year 8

May 13

‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ by Pat Flynn

alex jackson grommetPat Flynn wrote ‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ and it was published by University of Queensland Press 2001. Pat Flynn was recently a teacher at Siena College Queensland. He used to be a professional tennis player coach travelling the world. The story begins with Alex Jackson at Trinity College, Beenleigh and he just doesn’t fit in with anyone. He has only just started high school and he has already been in trouble and not only that, he doesn’t care. Alex had an interest in skateboarding. He just shows off a lot and no one cares about that. It is set in our modern age and it feels like a true story. It was written in 2001. Pat Flynn has written the book obviously to help others feel welcome. The characters seem to be real and they act with a purpose to make the story as it is. I have enjoyed the book so far; it has a very interesting story line that we can relate to very easily. Kaitlyn, Year 8

‘Alex Jackson Grommet’ is about a boy named Alex Jackson who loves skating. He’s an ordinary school boy who loves sport and likes running, until one day he finds a girl named Becky Tonella and well you might say he experiences love at first sight. He suddenly can’t skate, can’t answer questions right in class and can’t stop thinking about that one girl named Becky Tonella. ‘Alex Jackson Grommet’ was an easy book to read. It is a book that can give you a thrill and you just don’t want to put it down. I enjoyed reading ‘Alex Jackson Grommet’. I think that it is a good book. I recommend it for the mature reader aged 13 to 14. Britta, Year 8.

May 16

‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ by Pat Flynn

alex jackson grommetI think that the book, “Alex Jackson, Grommet” is funny and interesting. I don’t really like reading, but the book was really good and I finished it easily. I think that the book would be even better if there was more drama. Overall I really liked the book and I think that it can relate to a lot of young readers. Amber, Year 8

I really enjoyed the book ‘Alex Jackson, Grommet’ as it was funny interesting and it really showed the personality of Alex Jackson. I’m not much of a reader but I really enjoyed this book. The book could have a bit more action and drama. I loved the story because it was a love story which most girls would like, Action which boys would like and Drama which anyone would really like. Overall I think the story was really great and I would recommend it to anyone. Kalani, Year 8

I enjoyed reading the book ‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ written by Pat Flynn. This book is about a 13 year old boy called Alex Jackson and he has just started high school in Beeton. Alex can pull moves on a board that other kids only dream of. But when it comes to popularity he doesn’t really fit into that category. Alex also has to learn how to stand up to the school bully, and learn how to get the girls. Alex might be in for a bit of trouble but he’s going to do what he does best and ride along the whole way. By Tayla year 8   

I am always curious about people that keep to themselves and Becky fitted that charactor perfectly. From the start I knew something was up; she was always keeping to herself and seemed to be consistently sad. She was diffrent from the other characters…she had a secret. However even after she was ‘going out’ with Alex Jackson she still did not share it, but in fact , he already knew it. Once I started reading ‘Alex Jackson: Grommet’ I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. I enjoyed this book, epecially because it was written about young people so I could relate it to my own life. I would recommend this fast paced, easy read to any one aged 12-14 years. by Mythra, year 8