June 12

‘The Girl with all the Gifts’ by M.R. Carey.

This was the first book written by this author. The title was very interesting and very eye catching. It’s a good but very long novel.

The novel is a sci-fi mystery/thriller and the depth of characters and story line was intriguing. The early chapters were hard to follow as the author tries to explain very clearly what’s happening. Melanie, a 10-year-old girl, is one of the main characters. She is very intelligent, seems sweet and innocent, but has an infectious disease that has taken over the world.  However, the children are infected differently to adults, and are no threat to humans. Melanie is sent to a military base where the adult humans perform tests on her and a lot of other children. Something goes wrong, and Melanie eats human flesh for the first time. It is then a child psychologist and doctor try to help her, as Melanie can provide protection and lead them away from the ‘hungries’ (adult flesh eating humans). The story leads to an ending of survival as the second generation of hungries – ones who are infected by the virus but retain their mental and human behaviour can help rebuild the world.

This sci fi novel has a mixture of themes – good and evil, monsters, mixed with superpowers and thrilling end of world scenarios. The use of these themes created a lot of suspense. The author is inferring that humans can be loving and compassionate people especially to those who are different and that mankind still has hope for survival after disasters.  This can be compared to present day institutions and hospitals which treat people who have an illness or disease.

People would enjoy this book because it was full of suspense.  The highlight of the story was how they got locked up in their rooms and they can’t see anybody else except in class but they can’t talk. When interacting with people the children are locked in their chairs and they only get a shower once a week on Sundays. They do this as the infected pose a threat to healthy humans.

This book would be recommended for children as young as 11 years and for adults who are interested in zombies, thrillers, shooting etc. It is suitable for both males and females. It would be rated a 4 because it’s not the ‘perfect’ book, but it is intriguing and has a good story line to it.

Tegan H., Year 8


Huge zombie herds, mysterious rooms and suspicious people all pulled together into one book. This is The Girl With all The Gifts.

The Girl With all The Gifts is a mysterious yet hugely intriguing novel to read. The book is written with on point words describing how the character feels, and as you continue to read on, you begin to feel the character’s emotions too.

The Girl with All The Gifts is a novel based on a virus, that spreads throughout the entire world, and there are only a small majority left who are not affected by the virus. But there is one special girl who has the power to remain human, but still be infected at the same time. This “gift” that she has helps her throughout her whole journey, from the dirty cells where she lived every day curious about the outside world to the rotting, decaying buildings that once formed a beautiful city.

This novel is insanely entertaining and is a book you can just never seem to put down. Not only is it exciting, but it really does touch the hearts of the readers. The author, M. R. Carey, describes the exact emotions of the character so it almost feels real. Melanie, the lead character in this novel, would most likely be the most interesting character. The fact that she knows what she is, and has the power and the strength to contain it, really stands out, especially in a world full of war and viruses.

I highly recommend this novel to people who take an interest in mysterious rooms, spine-tingling moments, viruses and jaw-dropping action. The highlight of the story from my perspective is when Melanie comes in contact with humans who are mistreating the person she loves most, her teacher, and uses her infection to save her. Over all, this book gives great description of the character’s emotions and is extremely entertaining. In regard to it being such a good novel, I rate this book a 8/10 would recommend to everyone.

By Emily S., Year 8

July 13

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

boy soldierFergus Watts. Supposed traitor to the SAS, but is he really guilty?

Do you like books that excite you and keep you guessing as to what will happen next? Then Boy Soldier is the book for you, an action-packed novel filled with mystery and suspense that will keep you questioning throughout the whole book. An ex-SAS hero Fergus Watts is captured because he is considered a traitor to the SAS and to his country. His grandson Danny, rejected from the army because of what his granddad did, is determined to find him and bring him to justice, but there is another person he must watch out for, a person is watching him, but who? Read Boy Soldier and find out!

I absolutely loved this book because of the fast-paced action and slow plot development all rolled in to one book. I love how Andy McNab and Robert Rigby have used real S.A.S code words and abbreviations to provide a military style setting to the book to bring the book to life a little bit more. I like how this book always kept me guessing and it only gave me the answers I needed at the end, but even then, I had to piece everything together and figure out what happened. I was glued to the book the whole way through and loved every moment of reading it because of the intense scenes and cliffhangers.

I would recommend this book for 12 – 17-year-old boys who like fast paced action books, and if you have read and liked The Hunger Games, Divergent or any other action fighting style books with thrills, twists and turns, then Boy Soldier is definitely the book that I recommend for you.

Joe S. and Nic P., Year 8

July 11

‘Nine Letters Long’ by J.C. Burke

Nine letters longThe novel “Nine letters long” is the sequel to “The red cardigan” by J.C. Burke, which I personally have not read. In my opinion I strongly believe that you should definitely read The red cardigan first because in the the second book, it doesn’t really refer back to the first book. It also brings minor characters back into the story, but talking as though they are the main characters, which confuses me a lot. The novel is a paranormal thriller based on the story of a girl named Evie, who has “developing psychic abilities.”  Evie’s last paranormal experiences leaves her fearful (from The Red Cardigan. ) Evie is contacted by a spirit named Caz and Evie and her friends try to understand some coded messages from “the other side.”

I really enjoyed this paranormal thriller as I’m sure I would have done to the first. It has a great plot throughout most of the book and I would recommend it to young adults.

Antonia D., Year 8

June 6

‘Mission: Survival’ by Chris Ryan

Survival     Are you ready to sink into an action–packed adventure story about five teenagers Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber who are on a sailing boat which gets taken out to sea? The five teenagers get stranded on a deserted island and while they’re there they become friends, find out what each other can do and how creative each one is. They also have to face their fears and in doing so become stronger and survive wonderful adventures such as fighting great white sharks, komodo dragons and pirates. It is only by combing their knowledge and skills they realise that they have the ability and strength to stay alive.

     I liked this book because it was full of action and adventure and it made me want to keep reading. I recommend this book to children aged 13 and up but no younger readers because some parts are scary and not really suitable for younger children to read.

     By Olivia, Year 8


June 5

‘Catching Fire’ (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

 Catching fire“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”

     District 12 is celebrating the return of brave Katniss Everdeen and fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark, victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games. But, the celebration rings dead for Katniss who knows her last act of rebellion in the field has made her a target of the Capitol. Conflict is stirring within the districts, relationships are shifting, tension is mounting, and vengeance is threatening.

     If you enjoy a book filled with constant suspense and thrilling adventure, ‘Catching fire’, the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy, is the prefect book for you. It will keep you reading all night on the edge of your seat.

     President Snow has captured Peeta and is torturing him to try to get through to Katniss. She is now underground in District 13, which was destroyed by the Capitol on the surface. Nobody knew it even existed. If Katniss wants to succeed she has to keep her feelings concealed, stay strong and lead the rebellion to victory.

    To sum it up, I think that it was a great read and I recommend it to kids at the age of 10 and over. I thought it deserved 4 out of 5 stars.

Julia, Year 8


May 30

‘Conspiracy 365: January’ by Gabrielle Lord

january     Conspiracy 365: January is one of those books that gets you hooked from the very first sentence.

It was the wild, billowing black cloak, the streaming behind the menacing figure, that first caught my eye.”

     Congratulations, Gabrielle Lord, not only did you manage to accurately explain what captured the main character’s eye with great description but you also managed to capture my attention, put it in a jar and ship it around the school for everyone to see how excellent this book is.

     The main character in this novel is Callum Ormond, a 15-year-old teenage boy who lost his father a few months back to a mysterious virus that no one has really explained to him. That’s because, supposedly, the Ormond Singularity, which threatens to kill Cal as well if he doesn’t stay out of sight until midnight of December 31st next year, killed his father. This is all explained to Cal in the first few pages of the book by a crazy loon of a man, who caught his eye in the first line of the book. Cal thinks nothing of this at first but soon he starts to feel and see the effects of being exposed when his boat sinks, leaving him stranded at sea. Callum is rescued and recovers some drawings that his father left him when he was in hospital with the “Virus” which left him mute.

     Conspiracy 365: January is a the first in the series of many books which I am sure to read, based on the fact that the novel is one big mystery and when Cal works out a piece of the puzzle or you do yourself, you feel a sense of achievement knowing that you could be the next Sherlock Holmes, mystery solver.

 Oskar L. Year 8


     Do you like action books that you can’t put down, mysteries that will make you go to the shops at the middle of the night and buy the next part?  Then this is the book for you.  “Conspiracy 365” is a novel by Gabrielle Lord about a boy whose father has a big secret that people would kill to know about.

     On New Years Eve Callum Ormond was followed by a mysterious man with a warning: “They killed your father. They will kill you. You have to survive the next 365 days.”

     Callum Ormond has a life on the run. Everyone is looking for him – deadly criminals, the police, and the only person he can trust is his best friend Boges.

     This would have to be one of my favorite books. I was mesmerized and couldn’t put it down. I would definitely give this book a 9/10. It is just one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole story and is described so well by Gabrielle Lord that you believe that you are there. Overall this is a great book which you would enjoy, so why don’t you go buy one now! What are you waiting for!

Brody, Year 8


May 30

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

white fox     The story takes place in 2017, in America under the control of the CCR, the leaders of America. There are CCR prison camps, where Cody is held in prison. He breaks free with his friend Luther, with a captured air force recruit named Toni McLaughlin, and wanders across the desert eager for survival.

     The main characters throughout the book are Cody Pierce, Major Toni McLaughlin, Sidoron (the leader of Cody’s camp) and Rachel, a young girl he meets half way through the story. Cody, a fourteen-year-old boy, is the main character. The CRR gave Cody the name ‘White Fox’ because of his white hair. Major Toni was captured by the CCR and escaped with Cody to the rebel camp. Sidoron is the leader of the CCR prison camp that Cody escaped from. Rachel is Cody’s friend and she saved his life when they were out in the desert about to die.

      There are three parts to this book. Each story follows the journey of Cody from his time in prison and his adventures looking to recruit others so then he could return back to the prison camp to free the children.

      I enjoyed reading this book because it is full of action. It gave me thrilling moments and I couldn’t put it down. The twists and turns of the plot are awesome. It encourages me that a fourteen-year-old boy like myself could show such strength and courage. I never used to read books other than car magazines but this book has changed my viewpoint on books.

      I would recommend the book to boys aged thirteen to fourteen, who like lots of action and adventure and like a good fast moving story.

Cameron, Year 8


November 2

‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigulupi

“Nailer’s time is running out. He’s getting too big for his work [stripping copper wire from old oil tankers and once he is off the crew he is on his own, stuck in a shack on the beach with no food, money or earning his keep. He has one last change. The thing all crew members dream about, a lucky strike, has hit the shape of a clipper ship beached during the last freak storm. If he could hold off the scavengers long enough for him to get the oil out, he might be rich. But wait! He finds something else in there which could possibly change his life forever.” ‘Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigulupi (Blurb)

The book Ship Breaker is based in an unreal world where young kids break apart old oil tankers pulling out copper wire and sheets of metal to earn money to survive. They live on the edge of society. The main characters are Nailer, Nita and Pima. Nailer finds a clipper ship after a massive storm and what he finds in there changes his life forever.

Ship Breaker is a thrilling fantasy novel for young teenagers aged around 13 – 16. Boys and girls can read this book but boys would like it more. It is hard to understand at the start of the book but once you start reading you just get sucked into the book and you can’t put it down.  Paolo Bacigalupi describes these characters and the story in such a way that it feels like you are there with them. This novel was very different to any other novel I have read and this is why I enjoyed it. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars because it was a great read but I think the author could have made it from the main character’s point of view.

By Joel, Year 9


Meet Nailer, a young boy stuck in a different world, in which he must strip copper wires from old oil tankers located and beached on land. He must meet the requirements of copper each day to gain enough money to barely stay alive. But what will happen when Nailer’s luck increases and his decisions will mean the most for his future? If you are intrigued about this story, like I was, than the story ‘Ship Breaker’ is for you!

Ship Breaker, a book by Paolo Bacigalupi, tells the story of a small boy named Nailer. He lives on a beach with the ‘light crew’ and other various groups, yet has nothing but a small shack with enough water and food to stay alive. But what will Nailer find after the tremendous storm, which will change his life forever? What will happen when Nailer gets too big for the ‘light crew’ and he must compete for the heavy crew? How will Nailer react in a near-death experience? Will Nailer’s luck and fortune be incomprehensible like the famous ‘Lucky Strike?’

Ship Breaker was a fantastic story with many decisions and choice making that a teenager could relate to. It includes many adventures and discoveries that a young adult would enjoy. I was fascinated by the way the writer had described each situation and section in a different way. I was also captivated by the way that Paolo Bacigalupi had kept the scenes suspenseful but not dragged out in any particular way.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel ‘Ship Breaker’ because of its relation to real life circumstances and events. I recommend this book for people interested in the adventure genre, aged from 12 onwards.

Jack, Year 9


Nailer and his crew are part of a business that involves stripping ships for copper and other valuables. Nailer is always dreaming of getting a lucky strike until one day a wild storm hits. What will the storm wash up that could change Nailer’s life forever?

The story is set on the edge of civilisation cut off from the outside world. Nailer and all the other crews live out there doing the same old thing every day. The ships are set on a abandoned beach where they are left for the crews to strip them down to the bare metal. In this story the main character is Nailer. The events are related through his eyes and what he sees. There is also Pima who is the leader of Nailer’s crew. She is friends with Nailer and always sticks up for him. The story is about Nailer and the crew’s adventures in and out of the ships. Nailer has always wondered what it would be like to have a lucky strike, but when he gets stuck in an oil tank that’s the last thing that comes to mind. The reason why I liked the story is because it has a well planned out plot and there is always something going on.

Jackson, Year 9


Why why why why oh why does Nailer have to be put in this situation with the choice of wealth or the death of a girl! Nailer is a small teenager living out amongst a group of wrecked ships. He is part of a crew that goes searching for and collecting items in ships, extracting valuable resources. Nailer’s job is extracting copper wiring. Once Nailer gets too big he won’t be able to fit in the small ducts of the ship anymore so he is afraid. If he can’t fit through small ducts on the ship he has to find other work, or starve. Besides his job, he is mainly scared of his abusive, alcoholic father.

After a large storm, Nailer works on one of these large vessels, sailing the oceans. It has been beached and Nailer and Pima go out to scavenge it before everyone else gets there and takes the good stuff. The book would be really depressing if Nailer left the girl to die and got rich off the salvage. I thought it was pretty obvious he’s going to try and save the girl. But this is when Ship Breaker was really good. That decision; at the point in the story where Nailer is making that choice and is fighting in his head about what he should do. The actions and motivations were quite and tough. It was those choices that the characters made and consequences that really helped this book shine. This book was so different compared to our present lives at the moment.

The book was set in a fantasy world and it plunged readers into a foreign and bewildering culture. Bacigulupi has come closer to home for Ship Breaker, setting the novel along the Gulf Coast, in a tiny village dedicated to salvaging ancient shipwrecks. Ship Breaker follows three main characters, all of them teenagers.

The main characters are Nailer, Pima and Richard Lopez. Nailer and Pima are trapped in an existence of unimaginable poverty. But the strongest must be the abusive, alcoholic Richard Lopez, a scary person who stretches over the entire novel.

I recommend this book would best suit teenagers from 11 years to 16 years of age because I believe that that age group will find this book the most enjoyable, adventurous and edgy to read. This book is probably best for boys cause it contains a bit of violence.

The book was a long book to read but it was enjoyable to read for a group assignment, with characters and situations that made the characters so different that it’s hard to identify the good from the bad.

Adam, Year 9

November 2

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

If you love action and adventure you will love the book StormbreakerStormbreaker is a book written by author Anthony Horowitz.  The story is based in London, England.  It is about a 14-year-old boy called Alex Rider whose uncle, Ian Rider, has been killed.  Alex is sent of on adventure across the world.  He transforms from a schoolboy to a secret agent.  Armed with special gadgets and secret weapons, Alex has been sent out to stop the world-class very famous Stormbreaker and the multi millionaire Harold Sayle.  Alex soon finds out that he is caught up in trouble; the company and the military are after him.  Will Alex stop Harold Sayle and the famous Stormbreaker before time runs out?  And will Alex find out who had killed his uncle, Ian Rider.

I found this book very exciting to read because it is kind of based of the series “James Bond”.  I stayed up till about midnight reading this book.  I could not put it down.                 Jack, Year 9


Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. This book is an action adventure, but nothing prepares Alex for the news that the uncle he always thought he knew was really a spy for MI6 – Britain’s top-secret intelligence agency.

Alex is a fourteen year old boy who was living with his uncle who was suddenly killed. Alex ventures off and tries to find out what happened and who killed him.

I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 12 to 20 years old who are interested in adventure books and stories. This book is packed with thrilling stunts and mysteries. This book is truly a great read. I rate this 4 out of 10 stars because I did not enjoy it. Stephanie, year 9


November 1

‘The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp’ by Rick Yancey

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp is a slow going and long book about a boy called Alfred Kropp who is a normal high school student. The trouble starts when his uncle talks him into a get rich quick scheme to steal the legendary sword of King Arthur, Excalibur. As the fight between good and evil begins, he falls in love with a girl, finds out who he really is and that the world is not what he thought it was.

At the beginning of the book the story line is slow and the plot goes nowhere until Chapter 3 where the story line speeds up and becomes less boring. Once the adventure begins it becomes an OK book because it goes over every day things that teenagers go through like bullying, fitting in and that little bit of love story in the book.

In my opinion the book is still boring and overall I still didn’t like the book. But it reminded me of the Da Vinci code: a little adventure, history and a little bit of conspiracy. I would recommend this book to people that like a bit of adventure, romance, history and some conspiracy elements. If you do, this book is for you. Dakota, Year 9


The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp is an action/adventure book written by Rick Yancey.

The book’s plot is about the title character, the eponymous hero of the novel: Alfred Kropp. The plot involves Alfred retrieving the ancient sword, Excalibur, from the hands of his enemy, Mogat, who wishes to do evil with the sword.

Immediately, the book throws down most of their character’s personalities and the stereotypes that come with them. The book’s titular character echoes stereotypes from books such as Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, for example: Both Harry and Alfred are 11 year old boys with some “special” ability and both are orphans living with their uncle. The book uses these techniques to quickly and effectively identify with its target audience.

Alfred is called upon to retrieve a stolen item from his uncle’s Boss, where monks attack him. However, Alfred defend himself against them and manages to escape from the building, where his uncle is shot and killed by his employer Mogat and the sword is taken from him.

Alfred moves into the home of a foster family, where he is bored and spends a lot of his time in the city, often alone, dealing with common issues of kids and teenagers of not fitting in. Eventually, he is found and put on another quest to retrieve the sword from Mogat who wishes to do evil with it.

The pacing of the book is poor. The book begins excitedly, but then lowers down and is often a chore to read in the middle of the book, but it excitedly picks up again.

The book itself has a lot of laughs and a lot of action, but older readers will most likely not find the more simple humour and action of this book funny or exciting. It uses less descriptive language and is blunt and concise in its descriptions.

In conclusion, the book knows who its target audience is and writes solely to them. Despite the number of plot clichés and stereotypes as well as the poor prose and pacing of the book, the book could be a lot of fun for younger readers. I recommend the book only to kids from the age of 9-13 who will get the book’s humour and be able to overlook the many weaknesses of the book. Camilo, Year 9


If you have ever wondered what a modern day knight would look like, this book has the answers.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp starts off with a teenager named Alfred Kropp living with his Uncle Farrell, who works as a security guard. Alfred attends high school, just like any other teenager, but finds it difficult to fit in. Alfred and his Uncle Farrell live a normal life, but not for much longer. Suddenly, a man named Arthur Myers calls Uncle Farrell, offering him one million dollars for the return of a sword, which was stolen by Uncle Farrell’s boss. The quest is handed over to Alfred, meaning that it’s now his job to steal the sword back. The story is now set and from then involves many twists that will leave you not wanting to put the book down, with a teenage boy saving the world with characters like knights and monks.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp is a fun, humorous fantasy book that I enjoyed but wouldn’t pick up to read again. I would recommend this book to a 12+ teenage boy who loves fantasy and enjoys reading a lot. Although the book has some great twists, the introduction was slow and should’ve started off with a bang. Lucky enough towards the end of the book it became more interesting and edgy. Overall I would rate the book a 7 out of 10, this is because I think the book should have started off as good as the end. The reason I recommend it to the age group of 12+ is because of the situations that wouldn’t be suitable for any age group below like the brutal deaths throughout the book. James, Year 9


This book is well written and includes several twists to keep you guessing what is going to happen next, however this isn’t necessarily a good thing. The length of the book means that by the end you are getting frustrated at how nothing seems to happen how you expect.

It has plenty of action and adventure, however people who like that sort of book usually enjoy a short easy to follow read. This book was anything but. I found myself forcing myself to read it to the end which is not enjoyable.

Despite its faults, I did enjoy when it replaced something stereotypical with something better such as when Alfred stole the sword he was attacked by monks instead of armed guards. I found it amusing as well as leaving me wanting to read on and find out why monks were guarding the sword.

Overall, this book would be enjoyable for people who like long, hard to follow actions, however most of this book did not appeal to me at all. Jake, Year 9

November 1

‘Thieves Like Us’ by Stephen Cole

Jonah, Con, Tye, Motti and Patch. By themselves they’re outsiders either abandoned by their parents or locked up in juvie, living lonely lives. But together they are a top-notch group of teenage thieves… If you like mystery and action packed books this is the book for you…

Jonah is the main character of this book. He is a lonely computer nerd that is locked up in juvie for hacking his foster parents’ bank account. He was a very skilled boy that said “I want to work somewhere with computers” (page 8). While Jonah is in Juvie he tries to kill time by going to classes and helping other inmates learn to read. Even though he did all these extra activities there was still so much time on his hands, which was the worst part of all. But little did Jonah know there was a special team assigned to release him from jail. When Jonah is released he and the others – Con, Tye, Motti and Patch – are all set to do missions for a man that goes by the name Coldhart.

I really enjoyed this book ‘Thieves like us’ because it is about a teenage boy who is a computer hacking whiz who is joined up with four other exceptionally talented teenage thieves.

I would recommend this book to any persons from the age of 12 to 17 who enjoy a mysterious and action packed book and for people who generally love to read. I rate ‘Thieves like us’ 3 out of 5 stars. Nicholas, Year 9


In the novel “Thieves Like Us,” Jonah Wish is broken out of jail by a team of talented criminals and asked to join them. They value his computer skills, although Jonah is unsure that a life of crime is what he wants for himself. He soon bonds with the other team members: Motti, the security expert; Con, the fighter; Tye, the human lie detector and Patch, a gifted thief with one eye.  All are employed by a mysterious benefactor called Nathanial Coldhardt.

Coldhardt sends the five teens on a mission involving stealing priceless artefacts and formulas for eternal life. They break into buildings and crack open an ancient tomb. Flying around Europe and the Middle East they witness high-speed car chases, fights, kidnapping and supernatural sects.

This book is fast paced with plenty of action. It  would appeal to all ages, especially those teenagers who enjoy the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson. The book also deals with a child’s need to feel loved and secure. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books by Stephen Cole. Brandon, Year 9


Are you into teenagers with incredible skills or the secret to everlasting life? If so “Thieves like us” is definitely the book for you.

After Jonah Wish, a brilliant computer hacker, is broken free from a juvenile detention centre by two teenagers, the excitement begins as Jonah and his team set off on a journey to discover ancient Egyptian artefacts. They will have to travel to exotic places all around the world and all under the watchful eye of their mysterious benefactor “Nathanial Coldhardt”. The main characters in this story are Jonah, Con, Patch, Tye, Coldhardt and Motti.

By Corey, Year 9

October 29

‘In it up to here’ by Jim Schembri

Two teenagers, who love to play videos games and ignore their parents’ curfew, go to drag races and get involved with the police and doing illegal trades. Does this sound like the type of book you would like to read every night? Well then. In it up to here is defiantly the book for you.

Things started off as usual, the lives of two teenage boys playing video games. Alex and Nigel were at the arcade playing video games and got so caught up playing that they forgot their curfew. They rushed to the train and headed back to Riversdale.  They both went their separate ways after they got off the train. Alex normally got home to the lecture of his mother and father yelling at him for being late again. But they weren’t up this time. He went inside and jumped flat on the bed. Alex had always told his parents that he wanted a CD-ROM but they said that it was too expensive and he had to earn the money to pay for it himself.  And from that point on it leads to illegal drag races, the illegal selling/dealing of CD-ROMs.

I really enjoyed the book because of the characters and how the writer set the scene. That is what made me so engaged with the book. The main characters were the two boys Alex and Nigel. The scenes and characters were set out nicely and were easy to understand throughout the book. I recommend this book for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 – 19. This book would be great for people who are into thrill and action books. I would rate the book ‘In it up to here’ 3 out of 5 stars. Jarrod, Year 9


This book is terrible. Kids, crime and video games. This book is a complete exaggeration and it has no gripping storyline whatsoever. The two main characters are Alex and Nigel. Alex is a leader and does things in more detail and with care, while Nigel is more reckless and doesn’t really care. The boys stay up late playing video games at arcades. The two boys live in Riversdale.

The start of the book begins with the boys staying up late at night playing video games in an arcade. The boys pass their curfew and rush to get their train. The boys started walking home and Alex was scared of his parents getting angry at him for getting home after curfew. They continued getting up to rebellious events and also getting in trouble with police. I would recommend this book to teens  between the ages of 10-15 that like corny books.

By Sam Yr9


This book ‘In it up to here‘ is about two very rebellious teenagers who get into a lot of action involving drag racing and illegal trades of video games with the police and many more. It’s a very exiting book once you get into all the action.

The book is set in many different places because the two boys travel around all the time to play video games. They are really into games and are willing to go anywhere and do anything to try out the new ones.

The two boys named Nigel and Alex are the main characters. They go around disobeying everything and everyone including their parents. They just do whatever they want even if it includes breaking the law.

I liked this book because once you read a couple of paragraphs what the boys do gets interesting and fun to read. I recommend this story to mainly the generation that were teenagers in the 1990s because it is an older book that uses slang words but once you get into it any generation could enjoy it.

Mikey Year 9

May 9

‘Shark Attack’ by Anthony Masters

Shark Attack is a very adventurous book at the start but then falls down and get boring.

The novel has a very good start but it gets more interesting the more you get into the book. There are four main characters: Tom, Mum, Dave and Carnie. What would you be thinking if your boat capsized, the skipper gets eaten alive in front of you and you also have no sense of direction. They have no food or water. After nearly three days at days at sea, they find a deserted island and Tom gets a severe cut to the foot and needs urgent medical help and they all have no idea if they will get out alive.

At the end, the novel makes you read more and more. It is suited for adolescent readers and you have to be persistent and keep reading it. I give it a 6/10.

Jordan, Year 8


Shark Attack by Anthony Masters


I really don’t like books in fact there have been a times when my mum had to bribe me. Shark attack by Anthony Masters had a good story line and I did read it


Shark Attack begins with a family on a holiday taking a day trip out at sea in the hope of seeing a few whales. However, when the weather deteriorates all hell brakes loose. As the story continues the family finds itself lost at sea experiencing a number of life threating events before being rescued. Finally this broken family is coming together.


For people between the age of 9 and 15 years who enjoys reading novels I would recommend this book although it was a good story I would like to see this in a movie.


What would you do if a shark attacked you?  Don’t know? Then read Shark Attack by Anthony Masters.

Manuel, Jack and Carrie go on a whale-watching trip and while they’re on it a giant storm comes and everyone starts panicking. The boat starts to tip over and Manuel falls out. Manuel can’t do anything and gets eaten by a 3-metre great white shark.

I think this book would suit young 11 – 15 year old males. I give this book a rating 8 out of 10.  I really enjoyed this book.  I enjoy learning about sharks so this book was really interesting.

Brodie  Year 8


Shark Attack by Anthony Masters

I really don’t like books in fact there have been a times when my mum had to bribe me. Shark attack by Anthony Masters had a good story line and I did read it

Shark Attack begins with a family on a holiday taking a day trip out at sea in the hope of seeing a few whales. However, when the weather deteriorates, all hell breaks loose. As the story continues the family finds itself lost at sea experiencing a number of life threating events before being rescued. Finally this broken family is coming together.

For people between the ages of 9 and 15 years who enjoys reading novels I would recommend this book. Although it was a good story I would like to see this in a movie.

Dominic, Year 8


How would you like to be stuck in the middle of the ocean on a little dinghy with no food or water? Your stepfather is crazy and drinks all your water and doesn’t share. Could you survive? Can they get back to Ensenada? Who will get eaten by a shark?

In the novel, ‘Shark Attack’ a family boat called the Mexican eagle has capsized in a storm and they are stranded in a little dinghy that has no food or water. There are four main characters: Tom, Mum, Dave and Carnie. What would you be thinking if your boat capsized? The skipper gets eaten alive in front of you and you also have no sense of direction. After three days they eventually find a deserted island. Tom gets a bad cut and needs medical attention. Will they get out alive?

I’m not a big reader but this book really wanted me to keep reading it. I really want there to be a part 2. I recommend this book to teenagers and young adults.

Liam, Year 8

May 9

‘Conspiracy 365: January’ by Gabrielle Lord

 “They killed your father. They’ll kill you! You must survive the next 365 days!”

I’m not a big reader. I don’t like reading a lot but when I’m reading a good book that hooks me I want to read until I’m at the end of the book and Conspiracy 365: January is one of these books. Conspiracy 365 is a series, with a new book every month. This review is about the first book “January”.

Callum Ormond is the main character in this book and he is a 15 year old boy with a normal life…. so far. The story starts off with a random man running up to Callum saying “Stay low until midnight December 31st of next year!” Straight away you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. It’s all got to do with the Ormond Singularity and the sketches that his dad had drawn just before he died of an unknown disease! After this there is action, action, action as Callum is chased by gangsters and police and you don’t know why. The book ends in an exciting way making you want to read the next book.

The book is pretty creative how the page numbers count down to the end of the month and the chapters tell you how many days to go until he is safe at the end of the year. I recommend this book for boys ONLY, aged around 12-14 and looking for something with lots of action and thrills.

This review is by Aidan V, Year 8


May 8

‘Midnighters: The Secret Hour’ by Scott Westerfeld

Meet the Midnighters. By day, they’re outsiders: teenagers with black coats and bad attitudes. By night, they might just be our last hope… Does this sound like the type of book you love to read and will it keep you reading past midnight? Then “The Secret Hour” is the book for you!

Things are not the same in Bixby, Oklahoma, well not for Jessica Day. Every day at the stroke of midnight, for exactly one hour, time freezes and nobody moves. What should Jessica do with this extra hour? But she is not alone during this ‘secret hour’. A small group of people are also able to live and move about in this time. They call themselves the ‘Midnighters’. But there are also more foul things that live in the secret hour: ‘Darklings’ and ‘Slithers’ haunt the shadows. Each ‘Midnighter’ has a special ‘gift’ that they can only use during the midnight. Together they go off and begin to discover what Jessica’s special ‘gift’ is. The main characters in the story are Jessica Day, Rex, Dess and Melissa.

I really enjoyed the book, ‘The Secret Hour’ because it is a story about a 15 year old girl who had just recently moved into a new home in a new state and discovered with the help of four of her friends that her life would never be the same again. I was engaged and glued to the book by the way that Scott Westerfeld described the characters and scenes throughout the book. The descriptive language made it very easy for me to imagine the scenes in my head. The story progressed almost perfectly with enough suspense and twists to always keep my full attention. The ending was very satisfying and it has made me want to read the rest of the trilogy.

I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20 who are interested in fantasy Sci-Fi and enjoy reading action packed, thrilling and mysterious novels. This book truly is a great read. I rate the book ‘The Secret Hour’ 4 out of 5 stars.

 Jamie, Year 8


The Secret Hour’ by Scott Westerfeld

Ancient powers, hidden secrets and a dark source of evil. Meet the midnighters! By day, they’re outsiders; teenagers with black coats and bad attitudes. By night, they might just be our last hope …..

Strange things occur at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves, and dark creatures lurk. For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt and threaten the town in the shadows. Only a small group of people called the midnighters know about the secret hour- only these people are free to move about the midnight time.

The new girl, Jessica Day is an outsider like the other midnighters and main characters Rex, Dess and Melissa. Jessica acts perfectly normal in every way.

The problem is there are different powers each midnighter has but they haven’t discovered Jessica’s power. The other midnighters are curious, could Jessica have the same power as them?  Could she have  a different power that can save them all ?

Midnighters mixes mystery, sci-fi, action and drama. If you like these kinds of categories this book is for you!

I would rate this fantastic book 4/5 because this book is thrilling and once you take a peek at the next chapter you just have to keep going. This book kept me reading way past midnight.

James, Year 8


The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld is great mystery triller book. I believe that it is a very compelling story that makes you read until your eyes just can’t take it. It literally kept me up to some very late times just reading and trying to find out what will happen next.

The story is about Jessica Day who has just moved to a new town called Bixby, and there are a couple of strange people who seem to know all about what is happening to her. At midnight for an hour everyone stays still frozen. But there are some that can stay awake during this time like Jessica. One night Jessica goes outside following a moving creature but she soon finds out that it isn’t just a dream and their monsters creeping around the place and all of the towns legions  start coming true. She also realises that her life is in danger.

This is one of the best mystery books that I have ever read. Every chapter gives you a new mystery and makes you just want to read more. I would rate this book 8 out of 10 and I would highly recommend it to teenagers from the ages 13 to adult. The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld is a great book and if you ever get the chance you should read it.

Edward, Year 8

May 4

‘The Billionaire’s Curse’ by Richard Newsome

Once you enter the book, the mystery will begin. The book ‘The Billionaires Curse’ by Richard Newsome is a really good book to read; one that I could not put down!

The only criticism that I would have about this book is that it is a bit predictable and a little obvious what was going to happen in the next page or chapter.

This book was really interesting. Most of this story is set in a museum in London. The main character in the book is Gerald and he is on a trip to London because his great aunt has died. He inherits something that is worth millions of money.

His parents leave him and he is stuck in London. So he goes on an adventure to find the missing crystal! When people start to recognize him, he becomes more endangered and he sometimes needs help. Sam and Ruby help him through his quest!

I liked that there was a mystery and some surprising twists as well. I find that once I started to read this book I lost track of time and I felt like I was actually in the book with the characters. If I read this book in a bad mood it would bring my happiness up to its full potential.

I would recommend the book as more suitable for 10-14 year olds; any younger and they would want pictures and wouldn’t understand the plot, any older and the reader would find it a little boring and lose interest.      By Morgan B, Year 8


I don’t usually like to read because I find it boring, but when I started to read this book I found it very interesting and hard to stop reading.

The Billionaire’s Curse by Richard Newsome, is novel about a thirteen-year-old boy called Gerald who is in London on a holiday but soon realises that he is actually there because his great aunt Geraldine has just died and he has inherited all of her money.

Throughout the book Gerald finds out that his great aunt was actually murdered. Gerald also makes new friends with Sam and Ruby who are twins and help him to find out who stole the diamond and killed his great aunt Geraldine.

I liked this book because it is a mystery and it was very interesting to read.

The Billionaire’s Curse is a book for children aged 10-14. I think this age barrier is suitable because this book is a mystery and when children are younger they like to read short books that are fun and easy. When children get older then fourteen they start to read thriller books or books of the movies they have seen.  Georgia, Year 8


The Billionaire’s Curse is a fun book for a lot of people. It was adventurous, fun and action packed. There was a beast as well, which made it interesting. The book reminds me of the iPhone game Temple Run and the book of Indiana Jones. The book is suitable for ages 8 to 11. It was a fun and adventurous book. It was funny in a few parts. The character of the constable was funny and adventurous but then a bit lazy!

Overall I think this book is pretty good.  Although as much as I hate to say this but the book was a bit boring in some parts which is why I would rate it 3 and a half stars. So it is a book for both boys and girls and it would be a bit like the book Indiana Jones. It is a very fun book.

People who are interested in adventure and action will most likely enjoy this book. So summing up, this book for me is a very… and I mean very good book.

Tom, Year 8


The Billionaires Curse is a book full of adventures. A 14-year-old boy named Gerald has travelled to London to visit his family for his great aunt Geraldine’s funeral. Gerald was named after his great aunt. But what Gerald doesn’t know is that he was named after one of the only billionaires in the world. But a villain named Green has stolen one of his aunt’s 100 million pound crystals. Gerald has met a few friends along the way. But will Gerald, Sam and Ruby catch Green before it is too late?

Earlier in the book, Green tried to snatch Gerald at the airport. But three paparazzis came to Gerald’s rescue. The first day Gerald was in London, he went to the British Museum to investigate about his great aunt’s diamond that got stolen. Paparazzi came to try and get a newspaper article on him but Gerald got away. But while the paparazzi were chasing Gerald, Green got hold of Gerald and kidnapped him. Along the way Gerald meets some new friends. The boy’s name was Sam and the girl’s name was Ruby.

The Billionaire’s Curse is a very interesting and adventurous book. I think it is aimed at about the 10-14 age group, but I would recommended it for all ages. I think this book is a great book for all ages (but mainly 10-14). This should be in every library on the Gold Coast!

Jack C., Year 8

May 4

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

I am not much of a big reader myself, but after reading this book I took a bigger interest in reading. Skulduggery Pleasant is a thrilling book to read. This book takes place in Ireland near the city of Dublin. The main characters in Skulduggery Pleasant are Stephanie Edgley (Valkyrie Cain), Skulduggery Pleasant and Nefarian Serpine. Stephanie Edgley is a bored girl at the age of 16, just waiting for some excitement to come along in her life. Skulduggery Pleasant is human, until he dies a tragic death and comes back to life as something very strange. Nefarian Serpine is Skulduggery’s biggest enemy. He is evil and has no skin on one of his arms. He tortures and kills innocent people. When Stephanie’s Uncle Gordon Edgley dies, he leaves her his house and possessions. When she goes to the house a stranger asking for ‘the key’ attacks her. Whilst she is being attacked Skulduggery Pleasant saves her life in a very peculiar way. When Stephanie finds out what Skulduggery is she is very surprised and wants to join him in his work. They have to work together to stop Nefarian Serpine from getting what he wants so he doesn’t take over and gain power. I liked this story so much because you never know what’s going to happen next or who is going to do what. I also like it because it is action packed and I would recommend this book for teenagers because it is a thrilling, funny and action packed book. By Jed E, Year 8


Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

“With his sunglasses gone there was no denying the fact that he had no face. All he had was a skull for a head.”
The story takes place at Stephanie’s uncle’s funeral when Stephanie first sees Skulduggery and he enters her life. Everything is quite straight forward; she is a single child going to her uncle’s funeral in respect. She isn’t that upset about the fact he is dead either; they weren’t really that close. Everything changes though when Skulduggery accidentally drops his disguise in front of Stephanie. Skulduggery is a very weird, funny and bold character. He is a detective trying to sort out the death of his friend. Meanwhile, he lives in this world with people who own magic and he is a skeleton.
Stephanie and Skulduggery set out to discover what really happened to Stephanie’s uncle. They already know he is murdered but who did it and why?

This book was good because it was unpredictable. Also, Skulduggery added a tinge of humour into the story. It was a better book then I thought.

I’d mostly recommend this story for 9-11 year old boys. I don’t think girls would enjoy this story because it’s about a man who is a skeleton. This type of story line would also interest boys.
Kyoko, 13.


When I picked up  ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ I started reading and I was immediately sucked into this book.  It was an exciting start, with the first sentence:

‘Gordon Edgely’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone- not least himself.’

And from that sentence I was interested throughout the whole book. With twists and turns, you could never predict anything. I think this book is in the thrill and wonder category. The plot is thrilling, and interesting.

I think this book is aimed at really anyone who enjoys a good mystery book but mostly teens. Derek Landy wrote this book. If you enjoyed The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, Haunted or other Derek Landy books you will surely enjoy this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.
I rate this book 3 out of 5.
Georgia, Year 8

May 4

‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ by John Marsden

Tomorrow When the War Began is an action packed, very exciting book. The author is John Marsden. He is a brilliant writer for writing this serries. He has also written other books. Tomorrow when the war began is about six teenagers who went to a place by the name of Hell to go camping but after they go camping they end up in a war fighting for survival. They realise that other people used to be less fortunate than them, just like they are now. Read this book please! It will knock your brains out. By Sam Year 8     


Tomorrow, When the War Began is an action packed thriller with a small amount of romance and it is great for all ages above 10. This book is about seven teenagers: Ellie, Homer, Fi, Lee, Robyn, Corrie and Kelvin. When they got home after a week out camping there was no sign of their families, no people, no nothing, the place was completely deserted! But there is a festival on for no apparent reason that has been going on for too long. Then they start to realise the true danger they’re in.

You could cut the tension with a knife. I will also guarantee you that it will make chills run down your spine and curiosity will take over you!

I enjoyed every bit of this book. I have recommended this book to all of my friends and their friends and most of them have finished it and have been inspired to read the whole series! John Marsden has nailed this book and has made me amazed at his ability to express the characters’ emotion on pages of a book.

My usual routine is to read half a book, put it down and leave it on a dusty old shelf for years but the curiosity really did take over me so I just had to keep reading. I couldn’t put it down. My suggestion to you is to go straight to your local library and borrow it out, then get the rest of the series.

Kahnie, Year 8

November 25

‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones is an amazingly detailed action, mystery and thriller book. The story is based in New York.

At the beginning of the story Clary Fray, the main character of the book, is in an all ages nightclub. She begins to see people that no one else can see. When she goes in to see what is going on, she watches as the supposing invisible person she is watching get stabbed to death. The plot continues spinning into a series of events, included losing her mother, being attacked by a ravage beast and waking up in many mysterious places. Clary learns about a lot of things that normal people believe never existed.

This is a fantastic book for all ages but it would be a good read for someone in high school or someone at a younger age who wants a challenge.

Daniel, Year 9

November 24

‘Hades’ by Alexandra Adornetto


Will she make a deal with the devil?

And what will happen to an Angel in hell?

Hades is a captivating book about love, deception and what you would do to keep the people you love safe. It is the sequel to the enchanting book Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. Every page will have you wanting to read more. You will not want to put the book down. The book begins at school when the bell sounds to go home for the weekend. It is Halloween and they are planning a Halloween party. Little did they know, this party would release Jake Thorn and his demons. Xavier and Bethany settle down to try and resume a normal life (well as normal a life as you can have when one of you is an angel) when a childish prank goes wrong and Bethany finds herself dragged down to Hell. When Jake plays dirty, Bethany must make the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep Xavier alive.

What would you do to save the people you love?

Chloe, Year 9