November 25

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

I AM NUMBER FOURThree are dead. Six remain. John Smith is number four, therefore he will be the next to be hunted down by the vicious Mogadorians.

The story is set in Ohio, one of the many places John has lived with his guardian Henri. Since John and Henri are always on the run hiding from the Mogadorians, they need to change identities and live in completely different states or cities.

John is also known on Lorien as a Garde, which means he develops powers which can help him defeat the Mogadorians but it’s taking time for him to get them. He isn’t meant to stay attached to people but that was until he got himself a girlfriend.

Henri is John’s Cepan (guardian). He stays with John for the rest of his life helping him control his powers and keeping him out of trouble and harm.

Sarah is John’s new girlfriend from the rural town John now lives in. She is the daughter of the real-estate agent that sold John and Henri their new house. Sarah also loves photography.

Sam is obsessed with aliens. This was because of his dad also liking them but then disappearing without a trace. Sam is bullied at school and is lonely until he becomes John’s best friend.

Mark is the school bully and Sarah’s ex-boyfriend. He loves football and his two dogs. He hates John for liking Sarah because even though they broke up he still wants to be with her.

There were nine Lorien kids. Three are dead and John Smith is number four. There is a charm where the alien children must die in a certain number sequence. John has been training so that he can fight the Mogadorians with his new found legacies (powers) in order to save their planet and go home. John wants to learn everything about his past, about when his planet was invaded and his parents died, but everything comes and goes in bits and pieces from dreams and when he’s training to get his legacies (powers), John was told not to get too attached to places or people because he needs to be able to leave at any moment but instead he gets a girlfriend, a best friend and a very strange dog.

There is romance, suspense and drama to enjoy in this great book therefore I would recommend this story for boys but mainly girls in their teen years because the book is long and has violence and science fiction themes.

Lachlan P. Year 9


Number Four isn’t from here. He’s a Garde from a planet called Lorien, a planet that was destroyed by a wicked alien race called the Mogdorians, who ruined their own planet through their ignorance and lack of care. Nine children and nine guardians escaped the planet during the destruction, Number Four being one of them, in the hope that they will eventually be able to return to their planet and fight the Mogdorians.

I must admit that normally I don’t read alien-themed books. However, I Am Number Four had me hooked from the blurb, which is really rather impressive, as I tend not to like judging books by their covers. What I really loved, though, was the alien races and what we learnt about them. The Mogdorians were horrible, obviously, but the Loriens were awesome: from the way they cared for their planet and all on it, to the way they love – one partner forever, one true soul mate. Amazing world building!

I saw some of the twists coming, but there were lots I couldn’t predict. If I’d had the time, I would have been more than happy to just sit and devour the three-hundred-and-sixty-odd paged book all in one go. I think this is a must-read for anyone who loves to be hooked from the word go, even if you aren’t necessarily a sci-fi fan, like myself. The movie was amazing and really lived up to the novel, if you ask me. I am hoping more than anything that The Power of Six will be made into a film too, because it will be even better!

Patrick C., Year 9


Are you bored and want a book that you just can’t get enough of? Something with adventure, romance and action? I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, (the pseudonym  of James Frey and Jobie Hughes), is the right book for you!

This novel for teens draws readers into a high-paced adventure story, written in first person by a literally ‘out of this world’ boy, Number Four or John, and his guardian Henri who, with eighteen others, has escaped their home planet after it was devastated by another alien race, the Mongadorians , and escaped to earth. However the Mongadorians followed, but luckily nine of the children have been blessed with a charm where they can only die in order (1,2,3 etc.) which is foretold by the scars placed on their ankles. As Number Four has now turned sixteen, he has been given a new and third scar, meaning that he is next to die.

Personally, when I was reading this book, I just couldn’t stop, as much of this language was suited to my taste. The suspense and thrilling action made me sit on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this novel to an audience of 12 to16-year-olds of both genders as the plot would be too advanced for young children to understand., and too simple for adults. However, it is perfect for teens, as it engages us with the characters and story.

So, for many teens like myself, this is a ‘must read’ novel, especially for those who enjoy adventure and action, so I would give this book a rating of 4¾ out of 5 stars.

Kim, Year 9

November 20

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker“You’re never too young to die.”

The novel Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz has won many awards, and has sold more than nine million copies worldwide. From this, it has become very successful since its publication in 2000. Now there is a series that contains 10 books, but Stormbreaker being the first has become very popular with teens.

The story takes place in London, England. It is about a fourteen year-old teenager, Alex Rider, whose parents were killed in a plane crash when he was an infant. Since then Alex has lived with his uncle, who has just died. As Alex tries to figure out who killed his uncle, he realizes there was more to his uncle than what he thought. Alex’s world gets turned upside down as he goes from a schoolboy to superspy within days. He was recruited into MI6, and now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle’s mission.

Stormbreaker is easy to read and hard to put down. I would recommend it to ages 12+. Both girls and boys would enjoy this novel as it is filled with lots of twists and turns. It has a thrilling and adventurous storyline. Many people can relate and look up to the character Alex plays, as he comes across as brave and courageous.

Stormbreaker was an enjoyable book because it really kept you wanting to continue to read and find out what happens next. But what I didn’t like about it is that it seemed unrealistic and I prefer books with realism. If you love spy books then Stormbreaker is the one for you. I would rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Michaela P, year 9

November 13

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

Skulduggery“There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for.” Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant is the first in a series of nine books, with two extra books positioned outside the main story. It’s a tale about a wise cracking detective who wields the powers of elemental magic, those being Water, Fire, Air and Earth. Along with his partner, Valkyrie Cain, these two have to save the world from a madman attempting to bring back a race of ancient gods. To accomplish this they must attain the help of a master swordswoman, a tailor who is also a boxer, and an information broker nobody can trust. Along the way, Skulduggery and Valkyrie must solve the murder of Valkyrie’s uncle, author Gordon Edgely, who was killed for something he owns, a weapon powerful enough to kill a god.

The book Skulduggery Pleasant is categorised in action, mystery and thriller genres, and themes included are fantasy and horror. It can be a challenging read for younger audiences especially as later in the series the books have over 500 pages, but if you like lengthy books, then the series by Derek Landy, including his other works, will be a great read for anyone enjoying other novels in the same genres. Many of the stories end in cliffhangers that keep you asking questions, only to be revealed in the later books in the series. The books contain many twists in the plot and then when you expect something to happen, the books throw in a series of unforeseeable events.

This novel was published in 2007, but is still a great book to read. I would recommend this book as a more advanced read for an audience ranging from 12 to 16 years of age. Once you finish this book I would advise you to continue on with the series, as the other books are just as great as this one. I would rate this book an 8.5/10 as it is a fairly long book, but leaves so many questions about the characters.

Lachlann, Year 9


“Doors are for people with no imagination.” Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a thrilling tale of adventure, mystery and foreshadowed events, developing relatable characters and well placed witty humour. This book is suitable for most young adults who like action, mystery and thriller novels.

Derek Landy weaves the tale of a twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie Edgely, who lives with her mother and father in Haggard, a small coastal town near Dublin in Ireland. She live a relatively ordinary life as an only child until she meets a strange man at her uncle’s will reading. His name is Skulduggery Pleasant. No one know what he looks like underneath his large hat, dark over-sized sunglasses, heavy trench coat and long scarf, but the secrets that lie beneath are much bigger than his appearance. After this, Stephanie’s life becomes a little more adventurous, now that she knows magic exists and that the end of the world is fast approaching, and the only people who can prevent it are Stephanie and her new friends.

This story is a thrilling ride of twists and turns and unforeseeable events that jump out at you with no warning. The way Derek Landy describes and develops his characters, it makes you feel like you are standing right there with them experiencing and feeling what they are through the book. As soon as I finished this novel I craved more because I didn’t want the story to end and the characters to fade while there were still so many questions to be answered.

To conclude, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy is without a doubt an amazing book. It has everything – witty humour and all. But this novel is only the first in a series of nine marvellous tales each with another problem to solve, bigger and more dangerous than the last. I rate this book a 9/10.

“Every solution to every problem is simple. It’s the distance between the two where the mystery lies.” Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant

Jack Year 9


Did you ever think that someone could live while being dead? Well…Meet Skulduggery Pleasant, a wise cracking detective, powerful magician, and sworn enemy of evil. Oh, I almost forgot, he’s a skeleton. Stephanie Edgley is a 12-year-old girl who is sick of living a boring normal life. This ends one day with the sudden death of Stephanie’s uncle, Gordon Edgley. Skulduggery and Stephanie must partner up and uncover the secrets that lie beneath the so-called ‘accident’. Stephanie is introduced to the world of magic and realises that what she got into is a lot bigger than she thought.

One night after Stephanie inherited the house from Gordon’s will, a man tries to kill her. Skulduggery came to the rescue and saved her. This is when Stephanie finds out that her uncle was living a more powerful and dangerous life owning a weapon that could kill a god. With the help of a tailor, a librarian and a swordswoman, Skulduggery and Stephanie must defeat the evil Serpine.

I really like this book, as it is a book that I didn’t want to put down. I wanted to know what happened next as Stephanie and Skulduggery continue to solve the mystery. It has a fantastic plot and every page keeps you one the edge of your seat. I would recommend this book for teenagers around 12-17 years of age. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Jemma D, Year 9

June 23

‘Legend’ by Marie Lu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christopher O (Yr 8)

June 23

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

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

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

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

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

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

Hannah R, Year 8


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

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

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

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

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

Lili S., Year 8


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

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

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

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

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

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

Serayna N, Year 8


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

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

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

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

Savannah F Year 8

June 19

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

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

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

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

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

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

Griffin P, Year 8

June 17

‘Point Blanc’ by Anthony Horowitz

Point blanc“Very soon, we’ll have Alex here at the academy. And then, at last, the Gemini project will be complete.” (In British accent)

One of the protagonists, Mr Blunt, has discovered a young spy in London. His mission is to go under cover in a school for troubled schoolboys who have very rich parents. Mr Blunt and MI6 have a feeling that there is something going on in there. The kids’ parents are being killed and whoever is doing it makes it look like an accident. MI6 thinks it may have something to do with the headmaster Mr Grief (Antagonist). The spy will have a new identity with the name of Alex Friend, son of Mr Friend, a rich business man, very well known to one of the characters. This boy recently undertook a last mission (Stormbreaker) with good results. He is highly trained in mountain climbing, he has a black belt in martial arts and he is a good guns man. He is the nephew of Ian Rider (deceased uncle and old spy). You may know him as ALEX RIDER!!!!! (protagonist). Is this the type for story for you? Then it is the type of book for you!! Bam!

The book Point Blanc is a really good book for all ages. It has many qualities for different audiences. The reason why I liked it is because the main character is a young schoolboy such as myself so I had some connections. I recommend this book for young audiences such as thirteen to seventeen as it is a good strong read. For example the book might be good for an older audience because of the drugs and the murders, but it is not suited for readers under the age of twelve because it is a big book with over two hundred pages. Also it has murders, drug use and gore, so watch out! This is an ‘in your face’ book. It will keep you up till midnight. I know it did for me.

Kiefer L., Year 8


The novel Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz starts off with millionaire Michael J. Roscoe’s death. Alex Rider gets in trouble with the police for damaging the new police headquarters. Alex is assigned by M16 to investigate the death of Michael J. Roscoe. Alex’s cover is as the son of a supermarket magnate. Alex has to spend a week as a member of a friend’s family and has to remember as much detail as he can. He arrives in Paris and he has to take his clothes off to be photographed and examined. Michael J. Roscoe starts off as the main character. Continuing on, Alex is introduced and as the story goes on he meets Dr Grief, Paul and James. Arriving at Point Blanc, Alex meets Dr Grief and a student whose name is James Sprints. Alex thinks something’s wrong with the academy because of the other boys. James reveals to Alex his plan to escape the academy after sneaking out of his room.

I liked this story because it had a lot of action and it taught me to take more challenges and be more confident. I’d recommend this book to boys ages 12-16 although some girls that are looking for a good adventurous book to read will also enjoy it.

Paul J, Year 8

May 19

‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card

enders gameThey thought his brother was the one, but he failed. His sister did not make the cut either. Instead, he was the chosen one. Ender is his name.

Does this intrigue you a little? If so ‘Ender’s Game’ is the book for you? Not only is this a New York Times Best Seller, but it has also been made into a movie.

Ender’s journey is set in many places. He starts off at The Battle School where he battles many bullies, then his journey takes him into space to The Lake House where he goes on to battle many teams. Being so successful in defeating all teams, Ender is then promoted to Command School. While at Command School the adults manipulate Ender into thinking he was playing a game but really they where setting him up for battle to defeat the species called the Buggers.

Throughout Andrew Wiggins’ (Ender) mission you get to meet many characters, from his ruthless, power driven and deceiving brother Peter, to his lovely intelligent and caring sister Valentine. While in Battle School Ender becomes friends with Alai, Bean and Petra.

I really enjoyed the story of ‘Ender’s Game’, because I found the story to be very interesting. It’s about a boy who lives in a game and shows the trickery of adults to get young people to do their dirty deeds in the games. I found the battle scenes to be very tense and physical. The scenes were described by Orson Scott Card in great detail and it made you feel as though you were there.

I would recommend this novel for the range of teenagers to young adults or maybe even the young at heart Sci Fi followers. I really enjoyed this book and I would rate the book ‘Ender’s Game’ 4 out of 5 stars.

Zac.C , Year 9.

May 18

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

BrotherbandThe Brotherband series, written by John Flanagan, is a five-part series of books about a group of eight outcasts and their journey to retrieve a holy item that was taken from their village.

This book is set in the times of the Vikings and is about a group of boys who come from the country of Skandia where, in order to become known as a warrior, you must face three months of training in groups called brotherbands. This book follows the adventure of Hal and Stig, two boys turning 16 and their journey through three months of weapon training, battle skills and ship handling, along with their six companions. These eight were all outcasts because they were regarded as different.

During their training, they are under the watchful eye of the ex-drunk Thorn, who is Hal’s guardian by the request of Hal’s father, Mikel, who died in battle. Thorn was also regarded as an outcast because of his right arm being lost the same day as Mikel lost his life.

This novel also partially follows the pirate Zavac, who captains the raven, a large black war ship. Zavac, along with his 50-man crew, attacks traders for their gold and wares. During the months of training, Hal’s brotherband, the Herons, raise to the top of the challenges to become the victors, only to have their victory ruined by an attack from raiders, seeking the mysterious amber artefact, the Andomal.

I quite enjoyed this book and have enjoyed what I have read of the rest of the series. I would recommend this book to a teen audience and rate it 4½ out of 5 stars.

Lachlann N Year 9


Blood spilling, waves crashing and swords slashing. In Brotherband The Outcasts, you will find all this and more. In this book you will see the tales of an old sailor by the name of Hal, being set to the challenge of making a Brotherband out of five outcasts: Thorn, Ulf, Wulf, Jesper and Edvin.

The story is set in an old town by the name of Skandian. It’s an island where young boys are chosen to be apart of a Brotherband and fight in wars.

Hal is an old sailor who saw is dad die when he was still a young child. People think of him as a drunk living on the streets. Thorn and his misfit friends have all been declined from a Brotherband. One day Thorn gets a job as a craftsman building boats. Halfway through a build, the man paying for the ship dies. Thorn pays the rest of the money so he may have the boat. He makes a brotherband out of himself and his friends with the leader being Hal.

The book has an amazing storyline that hooks you straight away. If you like action you’ll like this book. This book combines fighting, sailing and a good story all in one.

The novel would be good for teenage boys who like action, fantasy, a good story, hardship and friendship. Nicholas L., Year 8


Do you like adventure? Do you like action? Well this is the book for you! Will Hal and Stig survive the Brotherband training?

Set in the Viking times, this story happens to be twelve years after Mikkel, Hal’s father’s death. Erak, captain of the ship, called for an attack so when they reached their destination, he sent his two best warriors to invade and inspect first: Mikkel and Thorn. Mikkel was a taller and skinnier man and Thorn was a shorter more solid man. Best friends, these two went in for attack. Out of the blue, they were seen. A spear was thrown, hitting Mikkel in the heart, a nightmare, witnessed for Thorn. He fell over and as he died, Thorn promised him that he would take care of his family (his ten-year-old son and his wife). He rushed back to the ship and they had to leave immediately before they were attacked. On the way back home things weren’t too good either. There was a massive storm with heavy rain and thunder. This caused a big stress on the ship. Thorn’s right arm got tangled in rope and then it snapped and ripped off. This made Thorn even more depressed. He couldn’t fight, attack or do any of his daily tasks.

Six years after this incident Thorn became a drunk. Every night he tried to drink his depression away until Mikkel’s wife told him to deliver what he had promised to Mikkel, to look after his wife and son which he was way off doing. She let him work around the house for a minimum wage.

Another six years later he had become what he’d used to be. Hal had got a job with Anders, the local ship builder. Anders had a ship that he wanted to sell so Hal bought it. He later named his ship the Heron. He had to get ready for Brotherband training. During Brotherband training in Skandia, sixteen-year-old boys are taught the basics of ship navigation and fighting. A total of twenty-eight boys are divided into three for each Brotherband: the Herons, the Sharks and the Wolves. Hal, finding himself the unready leader of the Herons, must push and challenge his team to the limits to survive the Brotherband training.

I liked this book because it’s interesting and intriguing because it’s adventurous and set in the Viking times. I would recommend this story for 12 – 17 years boys to read.

By Jake B., Year 8


A bunch of misfits trying to be warriors… What do you think they will do? To achieve their goal of becoming a warrior they must be chosen and placed in a particular team and complete a hard course that goes for months. It targets their skills in seamanship and fighting.

This is a fantasy and action based book that is set in the Viking age, which means there are frequent wars that come and go. It is hard to make money, so Thorn and his colleagues work at a boat shop where they make boats and sell them to the public. One day Thorn and his colleagues were coming back from a raid and the sea got very rough. The boat started it sink but Thorn, being the brave person everyone knows him as, tried to save the boat and a bit of vine got caught around his arm and ripped his hand straight off his arm. Twelve years after Mickle’s death, his son Hal has been training and a person who builds what he wants to with the help of his good friend Stig. But he also has another friend he hangs out with called Anderson a local ship builder. A while after helping Anderson, Hal buys a ship and names it Heron. He learned to sail it and after training he chose to beach the Heron and start training for the brotherband. The young men aged 16 were put into a group, The Herons, alongside The Wolves and The Sharks. Hal found him the leader of the Herons, which was made up of a group of outcasts who were friends.

This book was a good read but in my opinion this book is more for older kids from 12 to 19 to really understand it. In conclusion, the book is a great book but the younger kids wouldn’t understand most of it and would probably get bored very quickly.

By Lochie, Year 8


Will he be chosen or not? In Skandia, there is only one way to become a fierce warrior. Only the brave and threatening men can be chosen for the Brotherband. The men are chosen for teams called Brotherband and must be trained for months and months of hard and terrifying training. The hard men train with sharp and frightening weapons and battle with tactics. Hal Mikkelson is the leader of the Brotherband.

There are two brothers Thorn and Mikkel who are the most frightening warriors. All of a sudden Mikkel gets a spear thrown right through his back, going through his heart out the front of his chest. That day Mikkel dies being a brave and fierce warrior saving the people in need. After that Thorn was heart broken. He didn’t know what to do in his life. Thorn was not in good shape. He turned into an alcoholic. Mikkel’s wife was heartbroken because of what happened to Mikkel but still stayed strong. She wanted Thorn to teach some kids how to battle so he could get back into shape. Mickel’s wife convinced Thorn to do it. After all Thorn’s experiences with battling and training hard he would have had to be an amazing trainer. Thorn trained Mikkel’s son for him to protect his mother seeing she has no one else.

After sailing the Heron, Hal beaches the ship and gets ready for Brotherband training. During Brotherband training boys who are 16 in Skandia are taught the basics of fighting and ship navigation. While Brotherband training continues, a Skandian fleet is attacked. The leader of the pirates, Zavac, demands to know about the secret treasure of Skandia. The leader of the trading fleet vows not to tell until he sees that one of the pirates had grabbed his nephew. Knowing that his nephew shouldn’t die for his mistakes, the head of the trading fleet begins to tell about the treasure, the abnormal, knowing that it is well guarded. As he talks he remembers that one night every year it is not so well protected.

I liked this book because there was lots of action and there was always something going on that wasn’t boring. I would recommend this book to males aged from 12 to 16.

By Seth W., Year 8


November 17

‘Tick Tock’ ~by James Patterson~

ticktockLooking for a gun-in-hand, action-packed thriller with a deep plot and shocking story? Then James Patterson’s Tick Tock is the book for you. Michael Benet is an accomplished and well known detective from New York, but when an out of control terrorist starts detonating bombs in crowded areas, Michael is forced to abandon the satisfaction and bonding he was hoping to achieve with his family on their vacation, and pursue an investigation into what seems like a random string of bombings.

As time continues to run out, Michael starts to conclude that an ‘Evil Mastermind’ who is hoping to recreate the events of a long forgotten bombing spree is conducting these acts of terrorism. As the terrorist continues to toy with Benet, hundreds of people are dying, and it is up to him and the rest of the detective agency to stop this terrorist before he ends his spree. While Benet is occupied with leading the main investigation into these bombing sprees, he is forced to cope with their own neighborhood ‘terrorist’, a nearby ex-mafia family who are beating down on Michael’s kids and vandalizing their property.

If you enjoy a storyline in which character development and story line are clearly evident and very fulfilling, and a plot that is ever changing due to dynamic, action packed scenes, then Tick Tock is without a doubt the book for you. To conclude, I would give this book an 8 out of 10, as it is able to stay strong to the Patterson franchise, and clearly does not disappoint, nor does it stray from the original flow of his detective novels.

Jessy, Year 9


Action, murder and a whole lot of romance! Sound like your kind of book? Then Tick Tock by James Patterson is for you.

Tick Tock is a fast paced mystery murder, action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Once you get caught, there’s no escape. The only thing you can do is read on in anticipation. James Patterson has really outdone himself with this novel.

The story is set in the big apple, New York City. Just as renowned detective Michael Bennett starts his holiday with his family, he is called back to work when a crazy serial killer named Berger starts terrorising the city. This villain gives new meaning to the name Copycat as he recreates the crimes of notorious New York criminals. NYPD goes into panic mode as the Berger starts to grow bolder with every attack.

If Michael doesn’t have enough on his hands already, his family has now become the target of the Flaherty gang, a band of rough ex criminals with a knack for harassing people. In the chaos of it all, he still has to juggle his prosperous love life. Does Michael have what it takes to protect his family and save the people of New York from the crazy Copycat? You should find out!

I personally liked this book. It had all the qualities a great book should have: action, crime and romance. It was very hard to put the book down. Every chapter left you hanging and wanting to read more. The suspense was amazing.

I would recommend this book to you if you enjoyed Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods, Afraid of the dark by James Grippando or A heartbeat away by Michael Palmer.

Get Tick Tock! Be quick though because time is running out…

Levi, Year 9

November 17

‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ by Rick Riordan

Percy JacksonHave you ever been chased by a Minotaur? Meet Percy Jackson, the newest kid to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. To make matters worse, he is also a child of the big three gods. If you enjoy action-adventure books that leave you wondering what will happen at every turn, then this is the book for you!

Percy Jackson has had a rude awakening. He had been living a normal life for twelve years before his first attack. It seemed like an ordinary excursion, until his maths teacher grew wings and turned into a monster. Percy is the prime suspect, and if he doesn’t return the lightning bolt to Zeus, then the Olympians will be at war. Percy Jackson has been issued a prophecy,

“You shall go west, and face the god who has turned,

You shall find what was stolen, and see it safely returned,

You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a friend,

And you shall fail to save what matters most, in the end.”

Prophecies are required to go on a quest and this prophecy is about to send Percy Jackson and his friends, a satyr and a daughter of Athena, on their first ever quest. The Greek gods of myth and legend are still very much alive, and there is about to be a war.

I would recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20. I really enjoyed the book ‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ because it is a fast paced book for action seeking readers. It does an excellent job at combining mythology with the modern day so that the stories seem realistic. I would rate the book 5 out of 5 stars as the book grabs you by the first chapter and doesn’t let go.

Lachlan C., Year 9


On face value, Percy Jackson appears a normal twelve-year old school student studying in New York. Percy, like other students at his school, is troubled, bullied and drowning in homework. Percy suffers from dyslexia. But what Percy doesn’t know is that his dyslexia is a sign of great power. Percy is a demi-god, the earthly offspring of a Greek god, consequently granting him superhuman powers, powers only ever described in Greek mythology. Through his power, Percy soon learns that he is the final and deciding hope in preserving a race that has stood for thousands of years: humanity.

In the novel, Percy is wrongly accused of the theft of a lethal weapon that could alter the course of history. This theft has sparked outrage from its owner, Zeus, and if not returned within a time limit, Zeus has proposed that he will end the existence of Earth. This accusation leads to Percy’s mother being kidnapped as ransom by Hades, in order for Percy to be lured into the realm of the Underworld, where Hades awaits. Percy soon finds himself on a dangerous odyssey to rescue his mother. By doing so, he will ultimately ensure that the world survives. Grover, a young satyr, and Annabeth, the daughter of warfare goddess Athena, have both been summoned to protect Percy from imminent danger, to ultimately ensure he successfully completes his quest. But will Percy be able to survive the ominous wrath of Hades that lies beneath the Earth’s surface, let alone be able to ensure that all humanity is protected?

What I greatly enjoyed about this novel is its overall fast-paced plot and storyline, containing enough suspense and unexpected twists and ever-changing scenarios and settings to keep me glued to the book. The breakneck speed storyline is supported by the author’s effective use of descriptive language, providing me with vivid images, and allowing me to become immersed in the story. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed the unique themes of the book. One of which was Greek mythology, with its detailed references and explanations providing both excitement and education. Through its inclusion, it was easy to draw parallels between ancient societies and today. On a negative note, I believe that the introduction of the novel could have been developed in a different way, as it is rather slow to kick off with, which can initially detract the attention of the reader.

To conclude, I would recommend this story to those in the age bracket of twelve to sixteen who thoroughly enjoy unique, action-packed reads within the themes of fantasy and adventure, and additionally want to gain insightful knowledge of ancient Greek history and mythology. Overall, I would rate Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief four out of five stars. – Jacob B, Year 9


Percy Jackson is a ’12vie’ in his prime after being kicked out of several schools. He has dyslexia and ADHD and always runs into trouble. Trying not to break any records for most school expulsions he is doing his best not to be kicked out of Yancy Academy. But one day on a field trip to an art museum, his Maths teacher turned into a monster and attacks Percy and his friend Grover. Percy destroys his Maths teacher but afterwards thinks he is hallucinating after finding out no one remembers his Maths teacher.

After this Percy finds out he is a half blood half human half-god son to Poseidon. He and his friend Grover, who turns out to be a satyr, go to the safest place possible: Camp Halfblood, a summer camp for kids like Percy. At Camp Halfblood, all these children of the gods are learning how to use their powers in activities likes racing sword fighting and capture the flag games. Then when everything is starting to look better, trouble yet again finds Percy Jackson when Zeus’s master bolt is stolen. Percy is the main suspect because he is the son of Poseidon, and Zeus and Poseidon are currently fighting. So Percy, Grover and their new friend Annabeth set out on a quest to find and return the lightning bolt to Mount Olympus.  On this journey, Percy will need to come to terms with who he is and discover his new powers.

This book is well done. The plot is intriguing, the characters are interesting and not at all one dimensional and overall it is a good read. I give this book an 8/10 and would suggest it for kids 10 and up who like fantasy adventure stories.  -Tommy B., Year 9


November 14

‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship breakerWhat will Nailor choose? The wealth that he dreamed about throughout his whole life and live with guilt that will haunt him for the rest of his life or save this mysterious person and reunite her with her family and risk his own life?

The plot behind this thrilling book is based in a post apocalyptic world where polar ice caps have melted causing flooding in multiple cities. This story is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Nailor, who lost his mother when he was young and was left to live with his drug addicted and alcoholic father (Richard Lopez) who constantly beats him. These characters live in a post- apocalyptic world where “Oil is Scarce, but friendships more scarce” causing everyone to live in poverty, which left Nailor and his father to work as ship breakers and live on the beach in huts. But one day Nailor’s luck changes when he and Pima, his best friend and co-worker, stumble across a beached clipper. What they find on that ship could change his life emotionally, physically and financially. Nailor has to make a life changing decision by either killing a girl named Nita and stealing her gold or helping her on her journey. Nita grew up in a wealthy family; she is introduced into the story when Nalior and Pima stumble across her beached Clipper.

I personally enjoyed this book, because it has an addictive and thrilling plot that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It used its themes perfectly by combining post apocalyptic with adventure, love and action; and because of its relatable characters. The character that I was personally able to relate to was Pima. Pima was loved by both of her parents until her father passed away. She was a passionate believer in preferring loyalty to wealth. The characters that have been selected for this book are perfectly used to fit into the plot of this novel.

I would recommend this to both males and females, because it has many themes suited for both genders, such as love, adventure, action and sci-fi. This book is also directed at teenagers due to its themes and its plot that will keep the reader occupied. It is a short novel, which may help keep teenagers interested. I think this book is amazing due to its use of characters, themes and its plot. This is why I think everyone should read it. Even if you never read, you should read this book at least once this year or in your lifetime.

Mason F, Year 9


Nailer is in a crew that breaks up wrecked ships. Because he is small he is able to access tighter places in the ship. As he works with his crew member Sloth, he falls into a silo of oil. Sloth decides to leave him to die and Nailer ultimately finds his way out and falls into the ocean. He doesn’t get away unharmed because has some metal fragment stuck in his shoulder.

When he reunites with his crew Sloth has to face the penalties of her betrayal and she is thrown off the light crew. That night Nailer and the rest of the crew celebrate his luck and chat about the options they have and the penalties of what Sloth has done. When Nailer returns to his shack to a father high on drugs threatens him so Nailer gives him the rest of the alcohol he had been sharing with his crew on the beach. Eventually they both fall asleep.

In the morning Nailer is woken up by a major storm that has started. Nailer considers leaving his abusive father behind as he escapes to seek higher ground but his conscience gets the better of him.

The book “Ship Breaker” is based in a surreal realm where kids strip down old oil ships taking copper wire and sheets of metal to make money. The main character is Nailer. Nailer finds a sailboat after a enormous storm hits where he lives but what he finds in the boat changes his life forever.

“Ship Breaker” is an electrifying Sci-Fi novel for teenagers aged about 13 – 18. Teenagers can read this novel but the boys would find it more interesting. Paolo Bacigalupi labels these characters and the plot in a way that makes it feel like you are witnessing the plot happen with your own eyes. This novel was immensely different to other novels I have read and this makes it an “out there” book which makes it interesting. I would rate it 9/10 stars because it was a remarkable read and I haven’t read a story like it.

Jack, Year 9


(Welcome to a World Where Oil is Scarce, but Loyalty is Scarcer.)

 Nailer is running out of time. He is getting too big for his work, and once he is sent off the crew he will be on his own, left with his drug driven, violent father in a beach shack with no food or supplies. One day a deadly hurricane hits the coast killing three of Nailer’s crew, but did this hurricane also wash up the ‘lucky strike’ he was wishing for?

Are you the kind of reader who takes interest in action-packed, fantasy sagas with a bit of romance? Does this teaser make your reading senses tingle? If so… you must read this compelling story!

The novel is set in a dystopian future (on the Gulf Coast of New Orleans), where oil is a scarce saleable commodity, and stripping grounded oil tankers is the common form of work. 15 year old, Nailer Lopez and his ‘Ship Breaking’ crew work endless, hard hours to make quota, all in the hope of living another day. Long tiring work and little pay mean Nailer and his friends struggle to survive. Due to Nailer’s size, he is tasked with the dangerous job of stripping copper wire from the wrecked ship’s vents. Nailer knows he will soon be too big for his job and his only hope of survival is hitting a lucky strike. When a devastating hurricane leads him to discover an exquisite clipper ship, and its only survivor a young and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he continue stripping ships (yet for how much longer?) or save the mysterious girl, Nita, at a great personal risk, yet with the opportunity to live a life of adventure and wealth.

I really enjoyed the story ‘Ship Breaker’, because of its engaging and bizarre plot, mysterious characters, and Paolo’s brilliant way of describing and expressing the character’s deepest thoughts. After a confusing and intense beginning, the story and its characters started to evolve. This thrilling fantasy novel quickly became impossible to put down. With suspense carried from page to page, each answer brought two new questions. This book also effectively tackles themes that teenagers struggle with each day, such as loyalty, family, violence and greed, which makes it easy for readers my age to relate to.

I would recommend this book to capable readers from the ages of 12 to 20 who are interested in action-packed Sci-Fi, romantic, and mysterious novels. I truly enjoyed reading this story and it’s easy to see why it was a 2010 National Book Award Finalist. I rate ‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi – five out of five stars.

Thomas, Year 9


Where will you be when the world draws to a close? Living in a luxury mansion with five-star housing, famous, rich? Or will you be like Nailer, who spends his life crawling through passages and gaps in old ships and tankers to try and feed his team so they can survive another day? Why does he do this, and who is exactly is Nailer? Find out all your answers to this book here.

Meet your main character Nailer Lopez. Nailer’s job is to climb and crawl around and through old, dead tankers and ships. He does this to find old copper wire, and they use this copper wire to fill up their allowance so they can get the money to eat and survive another day on this world. Nailer has had to collect copper wire since he was twelve years old. Nailer and his team are set in south-eastern United States. The wire Nailer and his team collect go toward a large company that controls commerce around the world. Nailer lives a very hard life; his father Richard Lopez is a dangerous drug abuser. He hasn’t been the greatest father to Nailer. Even though his father viciously beats him, Nailer still respects him and loves him.

Nailer’s biggest dream is to work on a large clipper ship which sails the ocean, and coincidentally, a huge storm hits their area and one of these large clipper ships ends up beached. Nailer takes advantage of this and gets his crew member Pima to go and scavenge the boat before someone else beats them to it. But not only do they find what they are looking for, there is something, far far bigger on that boat, and it could cost them life or death. This something changes your perspective on this book. What could this something be?

I really enjoyed reading Ship Breaker. This is because of the genre of the book. This book is an action packed, gory, violent kind of book, but it also holds quite a deep background to it as well, which is why I enjoy it, and it is quite a popular book from this because a back-story to a book makes it more interesting.

I would recommend this book to girls and boys that are into quite a deep, and dark book, one that has interesting perks but is also quite violent. Boys and girls, ages 12-16, I highly recommend this book to.

Oskar W, Year 9.

November 13

‘Hell Island’ by Matthew Reilly

Hell-IslandWhat they first thought was a harmless place that doesn’t appear on the world map and was used for scientific experiments, would soon be their worst nightmare. A living hell on Earth, a dark secretive place, an unknown part of our world you could say until it makes it’s discovery. Expect the unexpected as Schofield’s team cannot prepare themselves for what they are about to experience.

Matthew Reilly delivers a brilliant action filled book with unpredictable scenes throughout. This novel will not only keep you wanting to know more but will leave your mind blown and shocked at the discoveries that will be made on Hell Island.

This gruesome novel is about marine forces called Delta Force, Seals, USS Nimitz and 82nd Airborne who have come to Hell Island on a task to discover what its surroundings have to offer. As time goes by, they soon realize this island was created as testing for an elite force. These marines find their way around the island uncovering unknown mysteries that lie within Hell Island. This book brings jaw-dropping moments that will take your breath away at the most shocking bits.

It’s hard to resist not reading this novel as it’s so different in its own ways. I liked this book as it delivered an insanely twisted plot that made me wish this book was longer. I had so many questions during the entire time I was reading ‘Hell Island’ as I was so fascinated with the situations the squads were in. I recommend this book for those who prefer a challenge with reading vocabulary as ‘Hell island’ is filled with detailed words that help you picture every scene perfectly. I also recommend this book for teenagers who love reading the greatest action books that you wouldn’t get tired of reading.  Stephanie T, Year 9.


Do you like action packed stories that have a mysterious twist? If so, then I think Hell Island might be the book for you. Full of mysterious twists, this is definitely the book you’ve been looking for.

Hell Island is a remote Pacific Island in use by the USA Government for scientific experiments. It was originally used as a Japanese airfield during World War II, but was attacked by a force of more than 500 Marines. Dr Knox, the scientist that is in charge of this project, tells Schofield, the second scientist, that they are the sole survivors of a ground test for the apes, which has so far killed six hundred Marines and two Special Forces groups.

Dr Knox congratulates Schofield on his success with this mission, before instructing the Delta team leader to execute them. The leader of the whole squad jams the radio signals controlling the apes, releasing them to murder their creators (the scientists). The Delta team is distracted and Schofield’s team fires them and kills them, leaving only Broyles. Schofield opens a sea door, flooding the tunnels and drowning the apes along with the ‘Buccaneer’.

This book is all about mysteries and special twists. So if you’re a teenage boy looking for an exciting book with lots of action and mysteries, then this book is defiantly for you.

Charli, Year 9

November 12

‘Skeleton Key’ by Anthony Horowitz

Skeleton KeyAlex Rider is not your normal teenager living in England. He works as a secret agent for the British Secret Service that is called the MI6.

This book is an adventure just to read. If you like to read and are interested in an action packed, fast paced book, then I would definitely recommend that you read this.

In the story, teenage boy Alex Rider goes undercover along with two adult American secret agents from the Central Intelligence Agency. They must pretend to be a family as parents and son and go on a family holiday, but their mission is to locate and intercept the selling and use of nuclear bombs and weapons. They have discovered the location of the nuclear weapons, which is in an underwater cave. The two CIA agents have snorkeled down into the cave to find and retrieve the nukes. The two CIA agents were down in the water for a long period of time and Alex starts to worry if something has happened. What will Alex do? Should he go down to find the agents or is he already out of time?

Jack, Year 9

November 10

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

Stormbreaker“When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.”

The novel Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz is a very surprising and creative novel. This novel literally takes the words out of my mouth and puts them onto the paper.

Alex Rider, the main character, is just an ordinary teenager who faces the same challenges as any other typical teen. He lost his beloved uncle right after the most tragic event of losing both of his parents. Who does he have now? Where will he go? How lonely he was, until soon he finds himself in an elaborate plan to become the perfect super spy.

This novel takes place in an imaginary area that was created for Sayle Enterprises. The dominant criminal Herod Sayle is the character that interests me the most due to his outrageous and unpredictable personality. The main character Alex Rider is a very cool and courageous character who definitely plays the role of a hero in this novel.

I rate the novel Stormbreaker 4 out of 5 stars. This is because it is immensely action packed and exceedingly captivating.

I recommend this novel to any gender and preferably teenagers due to the language and themes. This novel is definitely written for people who enjoy action and adventure. Although this book is based on an action packed lifestyle, it includes lots of mystery as well.

This novel contains many concepts that may attract boys like the feeling of full on events and a brilliant story plot. Even though this novel would mainly attract boys, I believe that there are many concepts that may interest girls too. I think every girl can relate to the main character Alex Rider, as he is a charming boy who is capable of more than you might think.

Maddison, Year 9


“When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, its never good news.”

Alex Rider, a fourteen year old, well-built schoolboy received news that his guardian, better known to him as his uncle, had died in a car accident. For all Alex knew, his uncle, Ian Rider, was a banker, however he soon discovers it was all a cover as his true occupation was a secret agent for the organisation of MI6. Alex is recruited by the chief executive of the special operations division, Alan Blunt, to complete his uncle’s mission, which he had not successfully completed. Alex is required to go through specific training before he is sent undercover to Cornwall to investigate and shut down a computer system created by Harod Sayle called Stormbreaker containing a deadly virus. Will Alex Rider shut down the computer system before Harod Sayle discovers his true identity?

I rather enjoyed this action-packed novel, as the plot was very creative. The descriptive language used in this book allows readers to be taken inside the novel as if the scenes were really occurring. The story progressed smoothly with few unexpected twists and turns, holding my attention until the very end.

This novel would best suit a teenager aged 12+ of any gender who has a liking for adventurous storylines. I’d rate the novel ‘Stormbreaker’ a 5 out of 5 stars purely based on the unique plot and expressive language used throughout the story.

Kiara T. Year 9

November 10

‘Tomorrow, When The War Began’ by John Marsden

Tomorrow when the war began‘ The air didn’t seem as clear, as pure. There was a new atmosphere. Coldness had been replaced by a new humidity. I could smell jet fuel. We’d thought that we were among the first humans to invade the basin, but humans had invaded everything everywhere.’ -John Marsden

            Warrawee, NSW. The small, peaceful town filled with farmland, small industries and bush land seems like the place to live. The citizens are always friendly and happy and nothing ever goes wrong.  Little did they know that this would change forever.

It’s school holidays and Ellie, a great thinker, who is strong and powerful, not only for herself but for her friends and family, also appointed leader of her group of friends, and her best friend Corrie, a plump red head who lacks in confidence and is quite the shy type, have decided to get a group of boys and girls together for a fun camping trip to fill in time during the holidays.

After days of planning Homer, the troublemaking loud mouth, Fiona, the typical stereotype girl who is unassertive, pampered, with no real knowledge of camping or the bush, Lee, the loving, caring, mature boy, Robyn, the cool, quiet but aggressive girl that loves to win, and Kevin, the athletic boy with an aggressive attitude as well as Corrie and Ellie set off into the bush for seven days.

As the jets flew overhead on their last night, everything changed forever. When they came back from their camping trip all the dogs were dead and all of their families had gone. They soon realized that something horrible had happened. Soon after they find out that their country has been invaded and the captors are holding all those who attended their annual Commemoration Day prisoner. Ellie and her friends find themselves in dangerous situations as they try to figure out their next move and stay alive.

I really enjoyed the book ‘Tomorrow, When The War Began’, because it shows all different characteristics of average teenagers and what happens when they all work together. The descriptive language used made the novel easy to understand and formed picture images in my head. The story was filled with suspense and action, which kept my full attention and made my want to read more. The ending was captivating and I now can’t wait to read the rest of the ‘Tomorrow’ series.

I would recommend this book to teens between the ages of 13 – 17 who are interested in adventure and thriller genres and those who enjoy reading action packed, and romantic novels. This book was good but definitely not one of my favourites, therefore I’d rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. Emma, Year 9


Imagine coming back from a camping trip and finding out that your very home has been taken over by a foreign force. The events that take place in this book are in the general area of a farming/rural town on the east coast of Australia. Ironically, the main place that the teenagers usually find themselves in is Hell, which is, ironically, a beautiful site in the book where a hermit had once lived and also where the characters had been camping out before tragedy had struck. The main characters of this book are mainly people that are hardened by the Australian outback, and oddball city folk. The main character of the book, Ellie, hails from a farm and is no stranger to anything in her rural area.  Another primary character of the book is Homer, who is quite experienced with hitting the invaders hard, as he is basically a juvenile delinquent himself.

The book also focuses on some of the relationships that begin to spark within the group, and how this affects some of the decisions that are made for the group’s own survival. The story also focuses mainly on what the teenagers had done to hit back at this new enemy so they can get their country back from this invading force.

I particularly enjoyed this book as it focuses on what guerrilla warfare would be like if it were to occur in Australia and some of the challenges that are faced by the teenagers and the relationships that are formed in the group. I would mainly recommend this story to young adolescence and also young adults, as it is a very ‘down to earth’ book dealing with some of the challenges that teenagers have to face.

Ryan M, Year 9.


They were just normal teens out on a casual camping trip, when suddenly hundreds of army aircraft flew over with their lights switched off. Notwithstanding a lack of food, everything on their trip goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses blank. Tomorrow When the War Began is an action packed romantic thriller book, which is certainly a breath-taking novel for teens because of the romance and violence. Before long, the teens understand that the town has been invaded, and the whole town has been imprisoned along with their families and friends. Ellie and her friends face a dreadful decision: they can hide in the mountains, surrender or fight.

Subsequently, it’s an exploration story, which is always going to attract bookworms and non-readers. Ellie, the main character is an amazing female character who is brave but kind beneath.

The scene is based in outback Australia that is a good environment for a war book because the teens are able to hide within Australia’s outback. Ellie’s controlling narration also made readers first seriously consider the morals and beliefs of war. She’s a country girl whose world has been crushed overnight, who has to trial her own ideas of right and wrong, of good and evil.

I actually enjoyed the book ‘ Tomorrow When The War Began’ because it showed the best in everyone if they worked together as teenagers. Throughout the whole book there were cliffhangers and confusion, which made me want to keep on reading. The language used throughout the book made it easy to read.

Scott, Year 9


‘We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.’

Wirrawee is a small town where nothing special happens except for the Commemoration Day Annual Show. So when Ellie and her friends go camping for a few nights out in the bush to escape the celebrations, they expect nothing to have changed by the time they return home. They could not have been more wrong. They return home to find the power is cut, the phone lines disconnected and the people gone. They immediately take caution from this point on, suspecting that something is not right. When the group sneak into town to take a look around, they discover to their horror that their town has been invaded by an unknown enemy. How will the group handle their sudden situation? How will they tell the difference between good and bad when they are thrown into war? Who will survive?

The story is extremely well written from the perspective of one of the main characters, Ellie Linton. She explains in the novel that she is writing everything down as the group feels they wish to be remembered, and for people to know the actions that they took.

From the first planes to the last bullet, ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ is filled with love, action and friendship. It teaches about the importance of sticking with your friends when the times get tough, and fighting for what you think is right. From the first chapter to the last word, I just did not want to stop reading. The book is amazing at grabbing your attention and getting you emotionally involved with the characters.

I believe both girls and boys would enjoy this book, as it is both a romance and an action adventure novel. This book would appeal to people from the age of 13 to 20, as the adventure would appeal to younger people and the older age range would more likely understand the underlying themes. For those that enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, this book would be most enjoyable. I would rate the book ‘Tomorrow when the war began’ 4 out of 5 stars for its originality and creativeness, as well as the amazing captivation it gives throughout the entire story. I believe that ‘Tomorrow when the war began’ is a well-written, intriguing story about war, love and the fight for freedom.

Maddi. P., Year 9


Do you enjoy thrilling and exciting books that deal with grown up topics like pregnancy? Then you should consider reading ‘Roxy’s Baby’ by Catherine Macphail.

The story starts with a 14-year-old girl called Roxy. Roxy is an uncontrollable, stubborn child who recently has turned into a rebel due to the passing of her dad. Now she’s stuck with her goody–two–shoes sister, her mum and new step dad. She was full of hatred after her mum remarried shortly after her dad’s death. Because of this, she started hanging around with the wrong group of people. This led her to do really stupid things. After a party one night, Roxy found herself pregnant. She could not, would not think of telling her parents so she decides to run away to the big city ‘London’. Roxy then joins a house that helps runaway girls like her. She then befriends a girl she was paired with as roommates. She felt like she didn’t fit right in. All the girls looked as if they were older. Roxy realized they weren’t girls they were women. After being told she was too young and that she had to go home or else they would call the police to return her home, she seeks help from her roommate that she befriended earlier.  That friend introduced her to Mr. and Mrs. Dyce and she is offered a place to stay. She then finds herself in a strange mansion full of pregnant girls. Roxy is overcome with suspicion when she sees no babies present in the mansion. Where are all the babies? What is going on? What has Roxy got herself into?

Roxy’s Baby by Catherine Macphail is a captivating story. It kept me entertained until the end. It had an interesting story line that was I found very relevant to people who have to face this problem everyday. I would recommend this book to older readers because the story tackles hard-hitting topics like pregnancy. I give this book a rating of 4 out 5.

Julia – Year 9

November 19

‘Hell Island’ by Matthew Reilly

Hell-Island“Hey, what was that…? Holy-” Gunfire rang out. Sustained automatic gunfire. Both from the SEALs and from an unknown enemy force. The SEALs’ silenced  MP-5SNs made a chilling slit-slit-slit-slit-slit-slit when they fired.


Matthew Reilly captures the reader’s attention from the word go. This brilliant action-packed novel was an intense read and kept the reader hooked and interested throughout the entirety of the novel.


This novel is about a squad of marines that are given a task on a remote island so small that it is unnoticeable on the world map. Plunging from a cargo plane tens of thousands of metres above the ground through heavy rain and howling winds, the four different assault teams plummet to the ground not knowing what they will encounter. What they encounter is not quite what they expected. Scarecrow and his small team are in for an adventure, but not with the outcome that they expected. This novel goes from action to even more action.


Scarecrow has faced many missions as a marine but none as tough as this one; Hell Island is the definition of this man’s hell. Scarecrow is a veteran recently returned from emotional leave after the heaviest battle he had faced, his younger crew don’t know whether he is up to the task but his old friend Mother, the only woman in their team (but that is not the reason for her nickname), has got his back and will vouch for him. Mother has followed Scarecrow into almost every battle she has been in and Scarecrow is the best leader she has ever had. Scarecrow shows how he has survived all that he has been through and how he can pull through almost any situation.


Matthew Reilly has created an astounding novel which readers will thoroughly enjoy and want more. This novel was so well written that you had no idea what was going to happen next and had you sitting on the edge of your seat. The only problem with this book was its length: it wasn’t long enough! I just wanted more. I felt that the story could have been longer.


Overall this book was an excellent one and I would highly recommend it to boys ages 14 and up. It had minimal faults, it was an easy read and held lots of action. I would give it four and a half stars out of ten.


Nick, Year 9

November 19

‘Skeleton Key’ by Anthony Horowitz

Skeleton Key      School boy by day, secret agent by night, action packed adventure, this novel has got it all. If you like the sound of this, then Skeleton Key is the book for you. This is the third and most dangerous mission of Alex’s short career. Who would have thought that a 15 year old boy could be the perfect spy?

      Alex is a 15-year-old boy who is a part of a spy organization MI6 although he really doesn’t want to be there. He is a skilled agentwho discovers that strange things are happening at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. As a result of this discovery a triad gang want revenge on him so he escapes to Cuba with two agents who pretend to be his mum and dad. He then feels responsible for trying to save the world from a Russian general after the two agents are killed. How will Alex survive and conquer the dangers that he will face along his journey?

       The story is first set in London, England and then Alex continues his spy mission in other countries around the world such as America and Russia.  

       I would recommend this book to teenage boys and girls but mainly boys of all ages who enjoy action or exciting adventure stories. I give it a four out five star rating because it was surprising and exciting not knowing what was going to happen along the way. It gives useful insights into human behaviour.

      Liam, Year 9


November 8

‘The Secret Hour’ (Midnighters #1) by Scott Westerfeld

the-secret-hour-midnighters-book-1‘This will keep you reading way past midnight.’


      Jessica Day has moved to a small town called Bixby, Oklahoma, a quiet town where everything seems fine, but Jessica is bound to get more than she bargained for with the mystery of the secret hour.


      The town of Bixby is normal for other people but not for people born at the stroke of midnight.  These people have an extra hour where they have special powers and the rest of Bixby is frozen.  Jessica is a very lucky person thinking she has this mysterious place all to herself but there are other midnighters.  Dess, Rex, Melissa and Jonathan were also born at midnight and also have secret powers. These kids are not a threat, however there are creatures of the dark that lurk in the shadows waiting for their next meal to devour.  The creatures include slithers, flying slithers and the infamous darklings.


The main problem is trying to stop the creatures of the dark, and getting to know Jessica’s power.  Jonathan does not like Rex or Melissa.  This makes it hard for Jonathan to use his power to help fight the evil monsters, when he doesn’t trust the other kids other than Jessica and Dess. 


What I liked about this book is how it didn’t have a slow start to get into the interesting parts, also how it shows you the time of day at the start of the chapter.  Another part that I enjoyed was how it wasn’t too easy to read or too hard to read which made me read on.  The recommendations for readers that would like this book are the thrills, the adventure and the creepiness of the dark.  I would rate this book  8 out of 10, with10 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.  Truly a great read!


Texas C., Year 9       


    ‘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 happen in Bixby, Oklahoma, although in this town there is something special. In this town there is always one extra hour at the dead of night. Jessica Day is new in Bixby and discovers that, in this extra hour, she is awake and can travel around. During this time everything is frozen and nobody moves and although this may seem fun, Jessica is not alone. They call themselves ‘midnighters’. Jessica begins to enjoy the extra hour she has received until she discovers that the town belongs to the evil creatures called darklings. Here they lurk in the shadows and threaten the town throughout this extra hour. The midnighters all have special powers that they can only use during the hour. The main midnighters are Rex, Melissa and Dess and they realise that Jessica is new to the extra hour and find out that the darklings are stalking her. Why are the darklings doing this? To find out, you’ll have to read the book!
I fell in love with this book from the start because I was so captured by the descriptive language which gave a clear picture. Scott Westerfeld made it very easy for me to create a visual image and made it feel like I was in the book; also how he described the characters’ powers, all so unique. It kind of felt old fashioned because of how computers were ordinary and phones were not real. This book would be recommended for teens and young adults. I think it would fit readers aged between 14-20. It would engage both male and female readers because it includes fantasy/sci Fi, mystery, thrill and a bit of action.

Reece, Year 9


November 5

‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

Skulduggery“Gordon Edgley’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone.”

This was the starting line of this in depth, fantasy/sci-fi thriller. The story is set in a suburban area, and then moved into the city and countryside during the novel. Skullduggery Pleasant is like no average human. He has no muscle or flesh; all he has is bone. Skullduggery is just a skeleton. He was defeated by evil and turned into a skeleton but he has magical powers. Will he use those powers for good?


Stephanie Edgley was a normal girl until she found out who killed her uncle and why. She decides to follow on with what her uncle did and that was follow and help Skullduggery. Will she last or will she suffer a death just like her uncle’s?


 Stephanie would have never thought that the death of her Uncle Gordon Edgley would be the start of something completely amazing in her life. She met Skullduggery, and found out what her Uncle did, and ever since that moment she wanted to continue what her uncle was doing, fighting evil with magic.


I enjoyed reading this novel because it was the type of sci-fi/fantasy that I enjoyed. It also kept me on the edge of my seat. Even though the story did drag on at times, there was enough action in the novel to keep me wanting to read more. The characters in this novel were not too boring but also were not too loud and annoying. For me this was a perfect novel.


I recommend the novel Skulduggery Pleasant to mostly boys between the age of 13 and 17 that are interested in Action, Sci-fi and fantasy novels. I also recommend this novel to any reader that has an interest in magic.


Max H, Year 9.