November 25

‘Last Chance’ by Sarah Dessen

Last chanceShe is the girl who didn’t fit in and has to spend a summer in a town in the middle of nowhere with a weird aunty she has only met once. Struggling with body image Colie is thrown into the deep end of growing up with a distant, famous mother. Can she make her life her own?

The story is set in the town of Colby, a small town where everyone knows everyone and at the centre is the Last Chance Diner.

Nicole, or Colie as everyone knows her, is a 14-year-old fitness fanatic because her mum is the famous Kiki Sparks, aerobics extraordinaire. Colie has to spend the summer in Colby with her Aunt Mira, an eclectic card writer who lives by herself with her cat Norman. Mira also lives with a renter called Norman, an artist with dad problems. While in Colby, Colie befriends the waitresses of the Last Chance, Isabel and Morgan. Isabel is an opinionated free spirit and Morgan is engaged to baseball player Mark and always does everything right.

The story starts by Colie taking the train to Colby and saying goodbye to her mum at the train station. During the summer Colie gets a job at the Last Chance and experiences things she never had in regard to growing up, meeting guys and becoming comfortable in her own skin. She helps her friends go through some very rough times bringing them closer together and creating a summer they will never forget.

I liked this book because it has a relatable story line to many girls that would read the book in becoming self aware, making friends and dealing with bullies. It expresses that when you are feeling down you should talk to someone who is close to you because they may have had to deal with the same problem before and together you can get through it.

I would recommend this book to girls from the age of 10 as many at this age will be coming into contact with the struggles described in the book at this age.

Charlotte TH, Year 9


This story is about an attitude-filled teenage girl named Colie, whose mum becomes famous after releasing a fitness programme. She and Colie lose a lot of weight from what they call the ‘fat years’ where they travelled from place to place trying to survive with little money. Colie is not excited when she finds out she has to move to a new town for the summer and stay with her strange Aunt, whilst her mum is having fun on her world tour. Colie makes friends for the first time in her life and transforms as a person, with some complicated romance and mean girls along the way.

I liked this book as it was interesting and got you hooked to find out what exciting things Colie will do next. I would recommend this book to teenage girls around the age of about 13-16.

Claire year 9

May 18

‘Looking For Alaska’ by John Green

“She loved mysteries so much that she became one.”

looking-for-alaskaJohn Green is one of my favourite authors and his recent book that I have read (Looking for Alaska) is definitely one that I will be reading again.

One of the main characters in the book is Miles Halter, often referred to by his friends as Pudge, just an ordinary smart teen who has the average couple of friends and is keen on getting good marks in school. He never thought that just by meeting one girl it would change his life and his perspective on things.

Alaska is definitely not a person that you would expect to meet every day either. She’s a go-getter, keen to accomplish anything that might stand in her way. She is always getting herself and others into trouble. You could say that she doesn’t really listen to other people’s opinions and she’s not the sort of person where you’d want to be on their bad side.

Miles and Alaska have a connection through poetry and together they go through a number of different obstacles. Life for Pudge and Alaska seems to just keep on going up and down all the time.

The minute I started reading this book I felt as if I had to force myself to put it down. I read it whenever I could, in bed, during TV; I’d even try to sneak a few pages in during dinner. I have to say if there isn’t a book that I like the look of I don’t really look very far into it but John Green is an exceptional writer and poet.

I would definitely recommend this book to people the ages of 13-18 and especially if you love a little romance with a dash of laughter and a sprinkle of poetry. If you loved “The Fault In Our Stars” (By John Green) then I can guarantee you that once you get your head into this novel, you just won’t be able to put it down.

Emma H., Year 9

May 18

‘Recovery Road’ by Blake Nelson

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

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

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

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

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

Gen P, Year 9

November 27

‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green

looking-for-alaska“Sometimes I don’t get you. You never get me. That’s the whole point.”

This is a story about Miles Halter or Pudge as they call him. Miles starts out as a boy who has an obsession with last words and finding the ‘Great Perhaps’. But this is all about to change when he moves to the amazing Culver Creek.

It all starts when he moves into Chip’s dorm room a prank master. Culver Creek is anything but boring, its crazy and full of laughs, this is the place where his life becomes anything but safe. Because just around the corner is the crazy Alaska Young, who carries Miles on a ride to find the ‘Great Perhaps’.

Miles is a very dull character as he is the person telling the story. Although he is quite normal compared to the other characters you can relate to what he does. He is a bit of a geek who had no real friends at his old school making him seem like he was happy doing his own thing. Alaska is anything but boring, she is always thinking about life while dragging everyone else in with it. She is a mysterious, clever and to Miles quite gorgeous.

The story is split into a ‘before and after’ which I found very confusing. Before, it is all Miles, Colonel, Takumi, Lara and Alaska. They’re creating the pranks as well as trying to balance schoolwork. In the first few weeks of meeting Alaska, Takumi and Chip, he is involved in their usual weekday stuff. Which involves smoking, drinking and pranking the weekday warriors (rich kids of the school). One day when Alaska and Miles are together looking at a question by Simon Bolivar: “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” This took a massive part of the novel, creating a big question as to what will happen next.

I recommend this novel to teenage girls, as it is full of love, sadness and adventure. I loved this novel, as it is very moving and very surprising. This is a novel. You can’t put it down as it gets you quite involved and you can relate to it in your everyday life. I would give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5, as I couldn’t put it down.

Skie M., Year 9


“I go to seek a great perhaps.”

Meet Miles Halter, a teenager with a fascinating interest in famous last words, leaving his boring life back home to seek a great “perhaps.” This novel is based around the life of Miles and his journey at Culver Creek. Life at Culver Creek is where Miles steps out of his comfort zone and into the great “perhaps.” This novel covers major points from love to heartbreak, hitting all the controversial areas: sex, drinking, smoking and bad language. This novel definitely reveals young love and growing up as it is.

This novel is divided into two parts, before and after. This becomes a big part of the novel leaving the audience questioning what the pivot point is. Before is made up of school, coming up with pranks, hooking up, doing stupid things and talking about how to escape the labyrinth. After, things are never the same. Miles is portrayed as a dull character as the novel is told from his point of view. The audience is able to relate to Miles in the sense that they could see themselves in his character. On the other hand, Alaska is portrayed as mysterious, full of life and utterly fascinating.

I really enjoyed this award-winning novel because it is written about the life of Miles Halter from his point of view. We are exposed to every thought and moment Miles takes part in. I recommend this novel to young adults between the ages 14 and 20 who are interested in love and mystery. This novel is sure to take you on an emotional roller coaster, keeping you intrigued till the very end. I rate this novel a 4 out of 5.

Emily G., Year 9

November 20

The Outcasts (Brotherband 1), by John Flanagan

brotherband-1-the-outcastsIn medieval times in the mythical town of Skandia there was a group of boys who had a dream: the dream of being included into a BrotherBand. It is one of the highest honours in Skandia.

A BrotherBand is a group of boys who get selected in a team, and train for three months, learning to use weapons and sail a boat. Only one BrotherBand can win the race. The points are totalled up to see, which team wins.  Hals’ BrotherBand is named the “Herons.”  The first activity is to see who can build the best shelter to live in.  If they win the most points they win Skandia’s most valuable treasure.  Hal is an inventor who has designed the Herons’ boat.  They named it the Heron after their team.  He has a revolutionary new idea for the sails. If Hal’s idea works they are certain to win.  Hal is the leader of the BrotherBand, the ‘Herons’, so he drives the boat and coordinates his crew.  He tells them when to row. Hal’s best mate is Thorn. He is a Maktig, which is the champion fighter of the year.  Thorn has been the Maktig for three years in a row when he was in his prime time.  He was like a father figure to Hal.

I liked this book because of its adventurous outlook and the main idea of the book.  If it wasn’t about sailing and adventuring around the sea it wouldn’t be the book for me.  I recommend this book is for 11 to 15 year old boys who are interested in adventure and enjoy being outdoors, otherwise this is not the book for you.  This truly is the book for you, I’d rate this book ‘BotherBand The Outcasts’ 4 out of 5.

Josh, Year 9


John Flanagan, the author of the worldwide best selling series, Rangers’ Apprentice, has made a return to writing with a new fictional series, Brotherband. Flanagan has taken all of the best components, elements and interesting qualities from Rangers Apprentice and has incorporated and further developed them, to create a remarkable, stunning and truly breathtaking read.

Be prepared to sink into Flanagan’s fictional getaway, which is filled with pirate raids, challenges, and prodigious adventures that make you hold your breath. John Flanagan’s creativity and ability to explain his virtual world really has shown in this new, innovative series.

Hal is the main protagonist in the Brotherband series, whose heritage makes him an outcast among the popular boys in town. Hal faces the daily struggle of a young boy. He and his mother have enlisted the help of the old drunk, Thorn, to guide Hal and train him in the ways of a manly Skandian warrior. At the age of 16, Hal will begin Brotherband training, but without knowledge of the world, strength to defend himself and any real friends to rely on, he’s worried that he’ll be seen as an outcast for the rest of his life.

But things take a turn for the better when the selectors announce Hal as a Brotherband leader. However, the only boys left unselected by the other two Brotherbands are a group of witty, quiet, and relatively unknown boys from the town. Hal needs to give his team a real sample of what Brotherband training is going to be about, and needs to form bonds and become closer with his group if they want to even stand a chance of winning.

This story is a combination of adventure, action, fantasy and cliff-hangers that are found in every corner of the book. It was very entertaining and I felt engaged with the feeling of suspense, mystery, and the authors practicality, his attention to detail and his inventive technique that isn’t seen by many other writers. The book gave me a sense of realism, and provided an insight as to what it would have been like to live in a seaside town full of mighty warriors. Flanagan’s style of writing keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what will happen next.

I recommend this book to people who enjoy adventure, seamanship, and those who take interest in seaside affairs and are aged between 11-14. The book is very well written and the author definitely hasn’t cut any corners with his detailed style of writing. I’d rate this book a 4/5 stars as it kept me deeply interested and entertained and made me want to keep reading.
 – Owen, Year 9

November 11

‘Son of the Mob’ by Gordon Korman

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

October 23

‘Skin’ by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

 Skin    “You don’t have to be thin to feel small”.

      Donnie is a regular thirteen-year-old boy; apart from the fact that his sister, Karen is withering away into nothing and the pressures of his sister’s illness are crushing his parents’ marriage. A typical teenage trouble story, except not so typical.

     As Karen slips into the abyss of the anorexia that could claim her life at any moment, Donnie starts to feel more alone then ever. His parents don’t see him anymore; they only see Karen and Donnie starts to feel like he is walking on this Earth for no particular reason. He starts to feel like he is worth nothing and that no one will really miss him if he leaves. However, things starts looking up for Donnie when he meets some of the best friends he will probably ever have: Sheila and Rodney. Unfortunately, Donnie can’t appreciate their friendship while his sister is about to snap.

     The story is very engaging and keeps you on your toes, not knowing what will happen next. However, by reading the book, you begin to understand Donnie and think up advice for him, spending almost all of the time in his thoughts. You want to help him solve his problems as a friend would.

     The storyline is quite difficult to follow in the beginning, where the author changes the time setting quite frequently, but as the plot progresses it becomes a very effective and unique way to lay out the story. Donnie continues to struggle along and tries to pick up the pieces of his somewhat broken life and begins to realise there is not much he can do to help his sister – she is the only one who can help that.

     If you have previously enjoyed teenage drama novels you will most definitely take something meaningful away from this book. Personally, I believe it is a story that all teenage girls should read. Skin, four and a half stars.

Anna. A, Year 9.


She was dying to be thin. He was struggling to survive.

The novel Skin written by Adrienne Maria Vrettos is a story about a family that is afflicted with many problems: health, relationships and even in this case, life.

     Karen, a 16-year-old girl, has an eating disorder because she has been verbally bullied at school, being called fat. Donnie, her younger brother, who isn’t very popular at school, is struggling with the situation that Karen is in. Donnie and Karen’s parents are also struggling with not only keeping their relationship alive but also they are worrying that both their children are slowly slipping away. Can their family survive? Can Karen start eating again? Can Donnie find his true self again?

     Since the day at school where Karen was called ‘fat’, everything changed. She did anything to be thin. Every day Karen just fell apart more and more, and every day she ate less and less. She was dying not only mentally but also physically and no one could do anything about it. Donnie was really struggling with Karen’s illness. He was not only losing his big sister; he was also losing himself. He tried to do the only thing that he knew he could do and that was to try to fix things, but in the end he tried so hard to help Karen that she started to push him away. Then Donnie couldn’t even help himself. Karen got worse; she made several trips to the hospital and each day she got thinner and thinner.

     I really liked the book Skin because it relates to teenagers these days and it’s a very interesting and enjoyable read. It’s a book that once you start reading you don’t want to stop because you want to find out what’s going to happen to Karen. Skin really gets you thinking about how to treat people and it leaves us with the thought that one little word can affect somebody’s life in so many different ways. It doesn’t just affect the one person — it affects their whole family. Skin is probably most relevant to the ages of 13-19 as they are the ages when some girls or boys go through anorexia or mental illness. It’s so easy to read and I think that people should read it as it relates to quite a few people and perhaps people might learn a lesson and watch what they say. Karleigh, Year 9.


     “She was dying to be thin, he was struggling to survive”.

     Do you desire reading a book that will twist your emotions, a book that will continue to have a twist around every corner? Then it is highly recommended that “Skin” by Maria Vrettos is the book for you!

     Young 16 year old Karen had the burden of needing to feel thin, with many people telling her that she was “fat” and out of place. The novel is told from the perspective of her younger brother, Donnie. Donnie and Karen had their ups and downs in their brother and sister relationship. The tragic event of Karen’s anorexia, and the state that Donnie finds her insends Donnie into shock and takes the reader on a journey through his imagination and memories of him and his big sister.

     I enjoyed the book “Skin” by Maria Vrettos because it relates to today’s society and there is so much intensity with problems occurring throughout the book. The reader is always kept excited and the tension grows as the chapters go on. This book will keep you wanting to continue reading and never stop. With its twists and turns, “Skin” is definitely one book that will be enjoyed greatly.

     It is recommended that the book “Skin” by Maria Vrettos would be enjoyed by all readers but in particular teenagers, both boys and girls, as anorexia and self doubt are extremely common to12-19 year old girls such as Karen. These are the age groups that are told they need to fit in and these are the age groups that feel they need to be perfect to fit in. Although 12-19 would be a great age group, any ages would enjoy this edgy, traumatic and emotional true experience of the lives of two young brothers and sisters.

Ashley, 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

‘Second Star to the Right’ by Deborah Hautzig

Second star to the rightMeet Leslie Hiller. Leslie is fit 14-year-old girl, who has supportive friends and family, but despite her health and loving environment, Leslie is still convinced that her life would be absolutely perfect if she was thin. She says, ‘I want to be a skeleton- but I also want to be attractive. I want to die- but I also want to live’.


Soon, Leslie started her weight loss journey, trying to lose a few kilograms and going on a strict diet. This only gets her parents worried. Leslie maintains her routine for a little bit, but becomes too busy to eat. The next time Leslie got on the scales she has dropped down to scary numbers. Her family and friends begin to notice Leslie's thin and under weight figure. Leslie takes no notice in her appearance and keeps losing weight… It is not long before Leslie is in a critical condition in hospital.


This novel is engaging and grabbing. It portrays emotion in the most beautiful way. I would recommend this book to teenagers and young adults from the age of 13 to 18 because the age level of most of the characters is between these ages. This book would definitely suit you if you like reading books that tug on your heartstrings. So if you want to find out if Leslie can regain her lost weight before losing herself completely, then this is the book for you!

     Victoria, Year 8


Would you go to extreme, fatal lengths just to be ‘perfect’?


“I want to be a skeleton, but I also want to be attractive. I want to die, but I also want to live.”

     Leslie is a normal 14-year-old girl who is still a little unsure of herself. She has a little brother, a loving mum and dad, and a very caring best friend. One day Leslie has this urging desire to be ‘skinny’. “If I were thin, my life would be perfect”, she thinks. Through the novel Leslie battles a severe case of anorexia.       Leslie’s life dramatically changes for the worse, she is very underweight and her friends and teachers start to really be concerned about her. Convincing herself she’s fine Leslie still doesn't eat much and tries to lose weight but her body just can’t handle it.

     She goes through battles with a voice in her head telling her to keep losing weight while everyone else is  telling her to gain it. Will Leslie save herself or let the voice take over her before it’s too late?

     This is a compelling novel for girls between the ages of 12 and 18 looking for an intriguing story of fear, heart and mind, real life complications, and adventure. It is a great read and will give you a new perspective of life and what you can do to make it worth living.

     Sophie, Year 8


May 11

‘Last Chance’ by Sarah Dessen

The book Last chance wasn’t very exciting for me. The main character Colie doesn’t really face any problems along the way.  I think everything about the book like the characters and the scene was awesome but the story line let it down. I don’t think kids under the age of about 15 would be interested in this type of book.

For me, this book was about self-esteem and believing in yourself. When Colie was young she never fitted in at school because she was overweight and didn’t have many friends but even when she lost weight she was still hated. But when she is sent to live with her aunt Mira for the summer while her mum is traveling because she is a famous fitness trainer she makes real friends at the Last Chance Cafe, where she gets to work, and with Norman who lives in the basement in Mira’s house. But in this book she picks up her feet and gets back on track to try and live a better life with new friends.

I could have liked this book if the story line wasn’t as boring but everything else was wonderful like the characters – they were all different and had their own personality, so 4 stars for me.

Elizabeth, Year 8

May 9

‘Two Weeks with the Queen’ by Morris Gleitzman

I am not the type of person who reads a lot. If someone asked me to read a book, I would say no, as much as possible. I have never found a book that I really enjoyed more than Two weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman.

 The book is mainly about cancer, which attracts me more. My friends and I have all read this book and we all have different opinions that relate to the book. I particularly found this novel interesting because when Colin’s little brother ‘Luke’ gets cancer it seems to Colin that it is just another way of his little brother trying to get attention. But when Colin is sent to England and stays with his aunty and uncle he hatches a plan that will really make his mum and dad sit up and take notice. If he can just get to the Queen to ask if he can borrow the best doctor in the country then all will be well.

As you keep reading into this novel you will find a prefect combination of tragedy and comedy as Colin embraces an hilarious mission. I would highly rate this book an 8/10 and it would be suitable for younger readers ages 10 and up. It’s a really great book that you can’t put down. You could read it a thousand times and still be really into it.

Courtney L. Yr 8


Morris Gleitzman’s book “Two weeks with the queen” was quite boring and lacked description. The idea of the story and the message it was trying to give to children was great but the series of dull and boring events let the whole book down. I think it might’ve suited younger kids than me as it was about teaching the reader to be empathetic and to not give up which they need to learn at a young age.

When Colin’s little brother, Luke, is diagnosed with cancer that doesn’t have a cure, Colin strives to find the best cancer researcher and doctor there is. The message for the reader is to never give up even when things are looking down. He wanted the best for his brother so he wrote a letter to the queen and went to the most famous cancer hospital in the world.Outside of the hospital he meets a very special character, Ted, who also has a loved one dying of cancer. Throughout Colin’s journey he grows up and realises that he cannot control everything that happens in his life. He learns to accept the situation as it is and be empathetic for his brother.

The story is lovely but the author failed to provide any climaxes in the story, which bored me. The problems, and consequences seemed so unreal.There were events that no one could have done and got away with. This would make children think they can get away with such rebellious acts.

I rate this book 3 stars. Zali, Year 8


Normally when I read a book and it’s not interesting I stop reading it and move on to another book, but with this book there is just something about it that I like.

It’s interesting and I think it will get better throughout the book. This book is set in Australia in a small town. One of the main characters is Colin. Colin is a determined and quite optimistic character who is not afraid to put himself out there. This book is about a sick boy and his brother, determined to cure him so he sends a letter to the queen asking for a one of the best doctors they have. I liked this book because I think it will get better further into the book. I recommend this story to people in Year 6 and up.

Dan.    Yr. 8

May 9

‘Checkers’ by John Marsden

How would you like to be caught in your father’s inside trading? Your father is destroying your life, and no good can come from it. Can she do it? Can she get her life back on track? Can her new dog Checkers keep her mind off it? Can she get through the daily life struggles of a teenager before her mind snaps?

In the novel, ‘Checkers’ the girl is in a mental hospital, her mind has snapped, but she thinks she can get it back on track. Her father is in politics and is destroying the young girl’s life. The young girl attends a ski trip with friends but gets with the wrong people and starts drinking. She needs to get on the right track before it all ends.

I think ‘Checkers’, by John Marsden is a great read to all children between the ages of 10-15. It is a heart felt story that will touch people’s hearts. I recommend this book to everyone who is interested in reading. It is a great read, and I cannot wait for the sequel.

Kurt, Year 8.


When a girl gets caught in her dad’s business and has no real friends, can her new dog Checkers be the only one she can depend on? Will she overcome all her teenage issues and get her life back to normal.

In the novel Checkers, by John Marden, she has friend issues, her dad’s ruining her life, a dog is named Checkers and on top off all that she is in a mental hospital. The book is about a teenage girl trying to overcome all of her problems.

I think that the book is really confusing and has a slow start. Therefore I didn’t enjoy it, however I think young females would enjoy this book more than a young male.

Cooper Year 8


I found this book extremely boring as it is very monotonous. About the most interesting thing in this book is the dog. I definitely have not found it a page-turner at all. I think the reason for this is probably that I am uninterested in politics and finance, which is what the character of the dad is based on.

The book starts in the main character’s mental home. After that she flashes back to the day she got her dog, describing it as having big puffy bulges of black and white hair. She says it looks like their bathroom tiles. A development in the story that comes up next is when she flashes back to the day they get bad news about her father’s job; the Rider Foundation breaks out, telling on the news that there is a scandal. The next development is when she flashes back to the day her family went on a skiing holiday and she had a massive day of skiing before using a fake ID to go out drinking and partying.

I believe that this book is not a good book at all and would not recommend it to anyone unless I wanted to bore him or her to death. The only people this book could relate to are people I find boring and are interested in politics and finance; definitely not a good book for an excitement seeker.

I give it a 3 out of 10.

Ryan, Year 8


Could you live her life? Could you live with no one? Could you live knowing that you’re in a mental hospital until the day you die?

In the novel ‘Checkers’ the girl has got absolutely no friends and she is in a mental hospital.  Her mind has completely gone and she thinks she can control it and get it back to normal, but that’s just not a possibility for her right now. The only thing that really means something to her is her dog, Checkers. Can her new dog get her mind off things? Can she manage a new life without any problems involved?

I think ‘Checkers’ is a boring read and I disliked the whole book, however I think it would be a great read for girls that are older than myself. I give it a 5/10. Not the book for me.

Madison, Year 8


For many teenagers, life is all about love, drugs and trying to cope with changes. The girl who has no name ended up in a mental home with no friends and no family. How would you like it if you ended up like this poor girl?

In the novel, Checkers, the main character is in a mental hospital away from the world, and she has no one to lean on in times of need, but when her dog comes in to her life, it makes her world a whole heap better. But what happens next? How can she be normal like the rest of the world with family and friends? Her dad is a politician and is ruining her more and more every day, but the thing she can count on is her dog, Checkers. But what happens when she loses the one she loved and nurtured? Is it all over? Or is there another chapter in this story?

The book Checkers is a great book for those who don’t read much. It is a great book about a dog and girl who are really great friends.

Ebony. Year 8

May 8

“All I Ever Wanted” by Vikki Wakefield

This term in English I have read a book titled “All I Ever Wanted” by Vikki Wakefield. It is a very motivational book aimed at an audience of female high school students.

The book is about a girl called Mim. Her number one rule: I will not turn out like my mother. Mim wants to be anywhere but home. She has been set a job by her mother to take home a special package, but on the way Jordan Mullen Mimscrush steals the package right out of her hands and takes off. This action was a very unexpected thing from Jordan as he comes from a very well mannered, successful family. She thinks up a plan to try and get the package back. One of her ideas is to become friends with his sister. And she does. They spend a lot of time together and realise that they have a lot in common.

She meets a new girl, her neighbour, Lola. Lola has a pretty bad reputation and Mim helps support her. This is hard for her as she is trying to figure her own life out for herself. A bit longer into the book Mim was walking to the corner store to buy some milk and bread when suddenly a car pulls up next to her. She recognises who it is and he is telling her to get inside. Eventually they pull her in. They have the package. A few days after she organises to meet the man that has the package. She steals it and runs home. In the meantime, she manages to sprain her ankle. Only one more day until she turns 17. She wakes up the next day. It’s her birthday. She sees the package on the table. It’s a birthday present from her mum. She opens it. She is jumping for joy, so excited and shocked. It’s not what she thought was inside at all. This moment changes her life.

I really did love this book, even though I’m not much of a reader. The wording of the story just brought it all to life in my head. It was an edgy book that should definitely be read! I would love to read another book by Vikki Wakefield after indulging in this book.

Tyler, Year 8


“All I ever wanted” is set in a boring old town where nothing interesting ever happens and Mim is desperate to get out. Mim and her best friend Tahnee could never be more different now that Tahnee has a boyfriend. Mim has a family that is into crime and she finds herself stuck in a situation that means life or death. The beginning was packed with crime and the end with a lot of thrill. The middle of the book showed Mim’s personal battle.

I love to read and I have read a lot of books. This was a book I quite enjoyed though it has its faults. This book is more suited to teenage girls because it has a lot of complicated romance, friendship fallouts and not as much action as boys would most likely prefer. I think a lot of people I know could relate to the friendship aspect of it. This isn’t a book for younger readers because of the language and romance.

I liked this book and would read it again and again especially the thrill parts of it. If you like crime and complicated relationships this would be a book you would like to read. It encourages you to appreciate the people around you and shows you that even if you are in a bad situation there are always people in a much worse situation. One moral I really saw reflected in this book is not to judge people.

By Dita, Year 8


All I ever wanted by  Vikki Wakefeild is about a girl named Jemima ( also know as Mim) who wants to leave her home and her life as soon as possible. But Mim has a few certain rules to her life and she must obey them. The number 1 rule is” I will not turn out like my mother”.

It all started when Mim’s mum wanted Mim to get a special package. But Mim’s crush took the package away from Mim. Mim needs that package for her mum, so Mim wants to get that package back before her mother notices. Mim was going to go to extreme lengths to get it back. In a few days its Mim’s birthday and her life is going to change VERY much before her 17th birthday.

   ‘All I ever wanted’ is a good book, but has room for improvements. I would rate this book *** out of *****. I would recommend this book to teenage girls from the age of 13-16.

Ruby, year 8

November 25

‘Next Summer’ by Hailey Abbott

I am not the type of person who particularly likes to read. If someone asked me to read a book, I would procrastinate as much as possible. But I’ve never found a book that I enjoy more than Next Summer, which is a Summer Boys novel (also a wonderful book).

The book is targeted at young teenage girls, and that is exactly who it attracts. My friends and I have all read this book and we all have the same opinion – that it is extremely interesting and easy to relate to.
I particularly found this novel interesting, because there are so many aspects of it that I can relate to, such as relationships, betrayal, siblings, holidays and tricky situations, which are impossible to avoid. Most teenage girls could relate to this book in the same ways as myself.

The book’s main characters are Beth, Ella and Kelsi. Ella and Kelsi are both sisters yet are so different. Kelsi is more of a reserved girl, whereas Ella attracts the attention of every guy she walks past, as if she is some magnet. Beth’s boyfriend, George is going off to a painting school during summer break, rather than go with her to Pebble Beach.

I highly recommend this book for girls aged 14-17, as the vocabulary featured in the book is suited to the age demographic, and girls of these ages tend to face the same troubles that are featured in the book. It is a great book, filled with new problems and heartbreak, yet also brings a smile to one’s face.

By Jessie U, Year 9.

November 21

‘Solace of the Road’ by Siobhan Dowd

‘Solace of the road’ is a fairly interesting book written by Siobhan Dowd. I think that it is a type of book which fits in the category family issues and abuse.

I found that the main character of the book, Holly Hogan, is a very risky 14-year-old girl who lives in a foster care. But there are hints that Holly has been trouble in the past. The setting of the story I think does set up a bit of interest to the book to some people. The characters in the book definitely relate to what many people go through in real life, just like there are many foster carers everywhere in the world. The character that stood out the most to me in ‘Solace of the road’ was definitely Holly Hogan.

At the beginning of the story, Holly Hogan is at the foster care place and she soon finds our that her favorite worker at foster care “Miko” is leaving and that is what left Holly really upset. Holly soon then finds foster parents, whom she hated. After a while she ran away taking her foster mum’s blonde wig and changed into a complete different person trying to set a goal of finding her real mother. Along the way Holly met some people who try to help Holly find her mother but on the way many things do happen and that’s when it starts to get interesting.

I did enjoy the book although I did find that in some parts it was boring. I would recommend this book to teenagers and maybe some adults who are interested in books that have a story based on family issues and abuse. I would definitely rate ‘Solace of the road’ about 3 out of 5. Serena, Year 9

Are you keen for an adventurous road trip? If so, ‘Solace of the Road’ is the book for you! This novel takes adventurous to a whole new level. With exciting and nerve racking experiences along the way. Holly’s story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.

The foster parents of Holly Hogan aren’t as true to Holly as they should be. They seem to always comfort her with a fake approach and always talk lies. For example “everything will be okay” but no, not everything is not okay, Holly is lost without the influence and comfort of her real mother. She’s consistently thinking why, how, when.. Every day these questions are being asked. Being fed up with a life full of lies, she follows her heart and sets on a journey to find her real mother in Ireland. This young 14 year old has within an instant skipped a few years in maturity, and off she goes.

I liked this novel because it is about a story of a young teen girl who is drowning herself with questions about why her family isn’t there with her. I mean aren’t they are the people who are supposed to support you, be there for you, look after you, help you through rough times because it sure is hard growing up? You are only learning about the real world and how people can be, you get heart broken, people come and go throughout your life and sometimes there are a few who mark you as they pass through, whether it is in a good way or bad. Yeah sure we do have friends, and for Holly she does have a foster family, but real family is what a kid really does need to grow up properly. As the quote says “Blood is thicker than Water”.

I recommend this novel to teens who are going through similar situations to Holly, but also to people who have a soft spot for children who grow up without their real parents. Really it’s a story for anyone who enjoys an adventurous life story of a young teen. It really is a great read.

Rating: 4 out of 5. Ebony, year 9

Holly Hogan is a fourteen-year-old girl who yearns to have a mother by her side. She has run away from foster families and foster homes numerous times to find her birth mother. She feels as though everybody is against her and her real friends and family seem non-existent. After her favourite worker at foster care, ‘Miko’, leaves her, she finds courage deep inside her and makes a choice that will ultimately change her journey forever. With her blonde wig and an attitude of toughness, Holly Hogan now becomes ‘Solace’, a smooth walking, and sharp talking glamour girl. ‘Solace’ will search to the end of the earth to find her birth mother, some answers and some closure. Interestingly enough, she finds herself along the way too.

I found the book, ‘Solace of the Road’ an interesting and close to the heart novel. It shows a young girl who feels unwanted and isolated going through a situation with many unexpected events along the way. It is a very different situation than most teenagers will go through but this makes the book more engaging. I found the book a little difficult to follow, but after re-reading a few main pages, this book has grown on me. I feel everyone could relate to Holly Hogan’s feelings and decisions, a very enthralling read.

I think more mature readers and young adults or anyone who takes an interest in family, child or issues at home would benefit the most out of reading ‘Solace of the Road’. I give the book 3½/5 stars.

Amber, Year 9

November 21

‘Go Ask Alice’ by Anonymous

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

October 26

‘Roxy’s Baby’ by Catherine MacPhail

I like this book because it’s interesting, thrilling and exciting. Towards the end of the book, it becomes more and more interesting. The part I don’t like about the book is when we don’t find out how Ann Marie goes in her life without her baby. I think this book would suit teens the same ages as the character in the book (Roxy). You don’t hear a lot about 14 year olds falling pregnant. People my age would want to know what was going to happen to Roxy next, seeing as she has two to care for now.      Lucy, Year 9


I am really enjoying the book Roxy’s Baby. I find it interesting never knowing what this outgoing crazy girl is going to do next with her life.  Finding out Roxy was pregnant at such a young age was a shock and you would think she would stay with her family for support. But as she runs away with a family she doesn’t even know on her own is a very risky take. I can’t keep my eyes off the book. Is the situation for Roxy and her baby going to work out and be safe? Can she trust the Dyce family?

Olivia, Year 9

June 14

‘Last Chance’ by Sarah Dessen

last chanceThe story ‘Last Chance’ is about a girl named Nicole who goes to her auntie’s place for the summer while her mother goes around the world promoting her fitness DVD and products to help people live a healthier lifestyle and look healthier. Nicole gets a job at a diner called ‘Last Chance’ and she expectantly has a ‘summer love’. Maybe later in life Nicole and her ‘summer love guy’ fall in love forever. I really liked this book. I rate this book 9/10 if you like romantic/love books.
Crystal, Year 8

Dear readers, this book tells a great story.  When everything falls down for Colie she realises a lot more about herself and others.  The story is set on the North Carolina coast, where Colie is staying with her Aunty Mira and she meets some pretty interesting people along the way.
Colie is offered a job as a waitress at the Last Chance Cafe and meets two girls, Morgan and Isabel, who have very different opinions from each other.  Norman is a young teenage boy who likes to collect second hand items and turn them into art. He especially likes collecting sunglasses.  Mira, Colie’s Aunty, likes to collect second hand things as well.   She likes to write cards, is very “out there” and doesn’t care about what every one else thinks.
The story is based on a young girl and her mother who have no money and nowhere to live. Colie’s mother Kiki Sparks got work at a gym and became a fitness guru.   In the story she is traveling around the world helping women get fitter and healthier.  Meanwhile, Colie is staying with her Aunty Mira, finds new friends and gets a job as a waitress at the Last Chance.  Colie and her new friends Morgan and Isabel give her a new look and take her out to see the fireworks.  It is here she meets a boy who seems very interested in her but it turns out that he is her worst enemy’s cousin.
The rest is to be revealed when you read the book!  I like this book a lot because there is a great moral that is shared in the story.  The reader learns that you can learn from your mistakes and change things.  I like the characters in the book because they are all very different people and end up being friends.
I would recommend this book for 11-16 year olds.
Tia, Year 8