June 16

‘Earth Fall: The Battle Starts Here’ by Mark Walden

‘Earth Fall: The Battle Starts Here’ is the main book in the new Earth Fall series by Mark Walden.

The story begins with little information about the hero who endeavours to take a living among the remnants of a post-outsider intrusion Earth. Whether this attack is limited or worldwide is a secret, just like the presence of some other free survivors. We are quickly acquainted with ‘automatons’— the outsider animals/makes who watch the city searching for any survivors—and ‘walkers’— local earthlings who have fallen under the spell of a puzzling outsider flag and are currently close to zombie-like labourers for the trespassers.

After some narrow escapes, including one where our hero is “stung” by one of the outsider automatons and spared by the opportune intercession of obvious officer Rachel, he is at long last presented as Sam Riley. Sam and Rachel escape the end swarms of outsiders and after some tight situations, get back to make it to Rachel’s HQ where we are acquainted with whatever is left of the survivors, all bar two of whom are youngsters like Sam and Rachel.

The special cases are one Dr Stirling, who drives the gathering and makes “missions” against the trespassers and seems to know an exasperating lot about the outsiders and Jackson, possibly a previous regal marine who prepares every one of the teenagers to be fight prepared.

What takes place after is a progression of heightening clashes and missions as the survivors endeavour to disturb the outsider building works and supplies while endeavouring to find out how their flag controls most of the human populace; how, on the off chance that it is conceivable to break this impact and why Sam isn’t yet dead from his sting.

By Jake L., Year 8

November 19

‘Loyal Creatures’ By Morris Gleitzman

loyal creaturesHave you ever wanted to hear a story about a boy who went to WW1 with the Light horse? Me too! Time to hop right into the report.

Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the Light Horse and do his bit in the war effort. So Frank fakes his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy … and his dad. In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted to know about the exciting war, and a few things he wasn’t expecting. Sad moments, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life. From being at Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story tells a lot about WW1 and grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history.

The main character is called Frank who is a fifteen-year-old boy who had his mum pass away and has a crush on the girl who works at the pharmacy.

The other main character is named “Dad” and he is mostly known for not wanting for his son to go to war, and later on meeting up with his son in war.

He also has a horse named Daisy who goes to war with him. As the story develops, so does their friendship and their bond as a boy and his horse.

I enjoyed reading this book because of the emotional roller coaster that it takes you on while reading this book; they can make you feel a range of different emotions, which is why I found this book very enjoyable.

I would recommend this book to an age demographic of 12 and above because of its disturbing scenes when going to war. It is also a good read for anyone who fancies a book about true friendship and bonding.

-Robbie W, Year 9


November 16

‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

Boyinthestripedpyjamas“…Despite the mayhem that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go.”

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas will have you on the edge of your seat with its thrilling content and interesting characters. Bruno and his family have just moved to Auschwitz, but Bruno knows that something weird is going on in his father’s office. When Bruno and his sister were looking through the window one day they saw something unusual. To them it just looked like a farm with some people wandering around, but little did they know it was more that… much more than that. Later, after listening to his father’s lecture on not going near the “farm”, Bruno decides to take an adventure. As he gets closer to the so what “farm” he sees a large fence that goes the whole way round the farm. He realizes that the people there are men and boys wearing striped pajamas. One day he came across a little boy about his age. Shmuel and Bruno became friends separated by the fence. Bruno had no idea what was going on on the other side of the fence but neither did Shmuel. They both thought it was some sort of family camp but they did not realize what was coming their way.

I really enjoyed The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. I found myself glued to the book, as the plot got so thrilling. I loved how the author left me on the edge of my seat, wanting me to keep reading.

I would recommend this book to 14-20 year olds who are interested in plots based on real life stories. I would rate this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

Macy G, Year 9


Think about your life at the moment; think about your friends and family. Now imagine if you and your family had to leave all your relatives and close friends to live in a secluded area that you had never even heard of! For ten-year-old Bruno this was exactly the case!      Bruno was only young and his father was a very high up figure in the German army during WW2. Bruno didn’t like his new life, but eventually he came to terms with it. Due to the young boy’s innocence, he knew nothing of the terrible things that went on in the death camps that lay only a few meters away from his new home.

Bruno couldn’t stand his boredom, so one day he decided to go exploring, and discovered a boy named Shmuel who was on the opposite side of a big fence. He could never understand why, but one thing he did know was that everyone on the other side of the fence wore ‘striped pyjamas’. The two boys became best friends and their friendship grew stronger. The boys would talk almost every day and both enjoyed discovering new things. Their curiosity and need for adventure ended up with heart-breaking consequences.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas written by John Boyne is thrilling, emotional and full of adventure. The characters, storyline and themes associated with this book will keep you on the edge of your seat! The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas relates to many different readers. I was instantly captivated with the way the author wrote about such an important time in our history. This story was one of the best that I have ever read, as the author plays on so many emotions.

I recommend this book to people 13 years and over of any gender because the concepts are more relevant to this age group. I would give this book a 5 star rating, as I loved everything about.

Alannah A., Year 9

November 16

‘White Fox’ by Gary Paulsen

white foxAmerica has been taken over by the Confederation of Consolidated Republics, which is an evil corporation locking up everyone they see, even kids! Would you want your family to be locked away? The story takes place in 2017. Cody Pierce is a 14 year old boy being held captive in one of the many CCR prisons set up all over America and after seeing the tragic death of his parents Cody has no intentions of staying there. Cody is scheming of a way to escape, and with his friends Luther and McLaughlin they work together to find a way to escape. Throughout the book as they meet new people and new challenges they must all work together to find a way to survive because if they fail it means death.

The main characters of the book are Cody Pierce, Toni McLaughlin, Rachael and Sidoron who is the leader of Cody’s CCR prison camp. Throughout the book Cody, Rachael and Toni all develop relationships throughout the book and as times get tougher their relationships will be tested. Cody Pierce got the nickname ‘White Fox’ from the CCR because of his iconic white coloured hair. He is a strong willed teenager who has lived a very traumatic life. Major Toni McLaughlin was captured by the CCR and escaped with Cody and is now fighting as hard as he can to get back to the other American soldiers. Rachael is Cody’s friend and as they start to develop a special bond this becomes essential, as they need each other to survive. Sidoron is the leader of Cody’s CCR prison camp and is a very cruel man but at times he can show some weakness.

I loved this book. It was one of the most action packed books I have ever read and had everything a book needed in it. There are relationships that go well and some that go bad. There are lives on the line in death-defying situations and a non stop quest for Cody Pierce to go back to save his fellow kids.

I would recommend this book to boys over the age of ten all the way up to their twenties who love action and adventure filled books and an entertaining fast moving story. I give this book a rating of 8 stars out of 10.

Reece, Year 9


White Fox is a book about a 14-year-old boy named Cody Pierce who struggles to get through life living in a prison camp held by the C.C.R. (Confederation of Consolidated Republicans) The plot of the book is the C.C.R. and the USA are going into an all out war over each other. The year is 2017. In my opinion I believe that the age groups suited for this book are ages 10-15.

The book White Fox is called that because Cody Pierce, the main character in the book, was nicknamed ‘White Fox’ because of how Cody would wear a headband over his blonde hair. White fox Cody Pierce as a character in the book is very heroic. Cody shows his heroic ways as he tries to escape from the prison.

In the book Cody Pierce goes through major issues in life, such as he has to go through life, day by day, knowing that he is never going to see his parents again. This is because they both had died. Also in the book Cody goes through life meeting new people on his journey such as a Pilot named Major Toni McLaughlin. Major Toni McLaughlin is a very experienced pilot when all went wrong on one day when the army shot down his plane but he just survived.

I recommend this book to all ages of 10-15; this book is one of my favourites that I have read. I believe that both boys and girls of these ages will love this book. This book provides thrill, adventure, and anxiety. This book will be great for you if you like action as well.

James B., Year 9

June 11

‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ by John Marsden

Tomorrow when the war began“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”

Wirrawee. A small, rural town on the East Coast of Australia surrounded by farmland, small industry, bush lands and friendly citizens. Not your typical war zone.

Ellie, an innocent rural teenager, and her friends head out on one last camping trip before school goes back; seven teenagers filling in time over the school holidays. They expect nothing to have changed by the time they return home, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a camping trip they will never forget. They return home to find that Ellie’s dogs are dead, the power’s been cut, phone lines disconnected and people missing. Have they been invaded? Their world is about to change forever, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made. Would you fight? Would you give up everything, including life itself? Tomorrow When The War Began will ask the biggest question you will ever have to answer.

Tomorrow When The War Began is by far one of the best books I have ever read. It was filled with suspense, action, romance, friendship and love. It teaches you about the importance of sticking together when times get tough and fighting for what you believe is right. From the first page to the very last word, I didn’t want to put the book down. This book is written perfectly. It held my full attention and left me on the edge of my seat all the way through.

I believe both girls and boys would enjoy this book as it both an action pack adventure and romantic novel. This would appeal to people from the ages 12-20, as this age group can relate to most of the story line. For the people that enjoyed the Hunger Games, Divergent and the Ellie Chronicles series, this book would be most enjoyable. I would rate Tomorrow When The War Began 5 out of 5 stars for its captivating story line, creativity and originality. I believe that Tomorrow When The War Began is a very well-written story about love, friendship, war, romance and the fight for freedom.

Shakya F, Year 8


One morning Ellie and her friends wave goodbye to their parents. Will this be the last time they ever see their parents again? Tomorrow When The War Began is about Ellie, a country teen who decides to go camping with her friends. The story is fictional and is based in Wirrawee, a small country town in Australia. Ellie and her friends go camping at Tailors Stitch also known in the book as Hell.

Ellie is a natural leader who has courage, strength and is one of the bravest teens in the group. Homer is a troublemaker and problem but when it comes to saving his town he is a great planner, leader and thinker. Fiona is a pampered princess with no knowledge of camping whatsoever, however when her town is in trouble she is a true hero. No one really knew Lee. He was the misfit but he is also one of the most interesting characters. Robyn is the smart one of the group. She always thinks strategically. Corrie is Ellie’s best mate. They’ve know each other forever. She is also very brave. Kevin is considered one of the most rural in the group and he would do anything to save Corrie’s life.

During their trip they see military aircraft flying overhead. Little did they know their town and country were being invaded. When they return home the find out that they are at war. With no training, they come together to fight the enemy.

I would recommend this book to teenagers from 12 years to 16 years. This book could also be for other age groups like young adults. I liked Tomorrow When The War Began so much because it was different to anything else I have ever read. It was really entertaining and it was filled with action. The book was also very descriptive. I also liked the book because it was written from the characters’ eyes as well.

By Olivia, Year 8


In “Tomorrow When the war Began”, a group of teenage kids went camping for one last trip before going back to school. After having a great time, they came back only to find no one was home. They soon found out that there has been an invasion from a foreign country. They now have to fight for their lives and make sacrifices to win this war.

In the start of the novel, the setting is Wirrawee, a small town with not much to do. The kids decide to go camping in a place called “Hell”. “Hell” is a beautiful place with its dangers. The Main Character, Ellie, is very brave and independent and the group leader. There is also Corrie, Ellie’s best friend and a typical teenage girl. Then we have Fi, a very big girly girl and a drama queen. Next is Robyn, a very religious Catholic girl who won’t do anything that she’s not supposed to. There is also Kevin, who can sometime be selfish and entitled to his own opinion. Then there is Lee, not your typical teen boy. He is unique and thinks deeply. Last we have Homer, who doesn’t care about rules and finds himself in the police station quite a lot but he has a bad sense of humour.

Ellie, Corrie, Robyn, Fi, Kevin, Lee and Homer decide to go on a camping trip to “Hell” before school starts again. So they all pack up the Land Rover and head off to “Hell”. After coming back from a lovely, eventful trip, they come back only to find that their lives will change forever. They will have to work together and fight for their country as one.

Marni L., Year 8


How did this happen so quickly?

Ellie and her friends go out to the bush to explore and get to a place called ‘Hell’ so they can camp there. During the night there they see a large amount of planes pass through without any lights. The next morning they discuss it, and they end up thinking that they are military planes coming back from a demonstration. When they return back to their hometown of Wirrawee, they find it deserted. No one is at home. All the animals were either dead or dying. What’s going on? Where is everyone?

The main characters in the story are Ellie Linton, Homer Yannos, Lee Takkam, Kevin Holmes, Corrie Mackenzie, Robyn Mathers and Fiona Maxwell.

If you enjoy a book with action and adventure, then ‘Tomorrow when the war began is definitely the book for you! I was really intrigued by the book. There was lots going on. The author, John Marsden, had described the characters amazingly. The plot was so well written that it was easy to picture in my mind what was going on every time I read a new sentence. The story kept going on and on with a smooth like rhythm. Everything fitted perfectly with each other. There was an even amount of action, adventure and suspense that kept me amused and had my full attention.

Ending the book made me want to read the rest of the series, to know what’s going on. I would also agree with other people that the book is definitely better than the movie. Everything was all in the book. Nothing was cut out of it like they would do in the movies.

I would recommend this book for teens and adults who would like to read an action adventure novel. This book is amazing and kept me entertained the whole time reading it. I’d rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. Simran P, Year 8.  


Why did people call it Hell?” I wondered….No place was Hell, no place could be Hell. It’s the people calling it Hell, that’s the only thing that made it so. People just sticking names on places, so that no one could see those places properly anymore...

Ellie was bored on a typical day in the school holidays. She lived in Warrawee, NSW. After pleading her parents, they finally agreed to her going on a camping trip with some of her friends. They were all very excited, but little did they know the challenges ahead of them. It was the last night of their adventurous journey, when Ellie and a few others heard and saw jets flying across the sky. It was their last peaceful night. As soon as they returned they found most of their dogs dead and families missing. They knew something had gone terribly wrong. They later found out that their country had been invaded and everyone had been captured and put at the Australia Day celebration stadium. From there onwards it was a fight for survival.

The main characters have different personalities and perspectives. Ellie is very determined and out-going girl. She looks forward to adventures and is very brave. She’s known as the leader of the group. Her best friend, Corrie, is not a very confident girl and is more on the shy side. Her other friend, Homer, lives quite near Ellie. He is a troublemaker and strong type guy. Robyn is a very religious and straightforward girl who would never dare to think ill of someone. Fiona is a very pampered and spoiled girl who mainly thinks about her hair and makeup. It would have been one of her last thoughts to come on a camping trip. Lee is a very nice guy who isn’t as close and friendly with the others. Kevin is Corrie’s boyfriend who turns out to be a deceiver and a big coward.

In my opinion, this book is very thrilling and exciting. There was always a fear of what’s going to happen next. I love the way they show how people can change in different circumstances. The author showed how when it comes to war, every type of person fights and gains courage to defeat the evil. There was a lot of suspense in this book, which made it more engaging for the reader. The book doesn’t finish with a win and attracts me to read the rest of the books in the series.

I certainly recommend this book for people who love thrill and suspense. It is suitable for everyone over the age of 12. I would rate it around a 4/5 because it was very captivating and engaging.

Vereta, 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.

June 6

‘Once’ by Morris Gleitzman

once     Meet Felix. He’s a Jewish boy who escaped from an orphanage during WW2 to find his parents. Are you the type of person that desperately wants a book that is action packed and is so interesting that even if you were starving and about to have pizza for dinner you would rather read this book? If so, then “Once” is the best book for you.

      A boy named Felix is living in an orphanage in the mountains hiding from the Nazis. He receives a carrot in his bowl of soup and that meant that his parents are coming back to get him. He set off on a dangerous quest to find his parents. He had traveled day and night trying to keep himself away from Nazi trucks and patrol units. He saved a girl named Zelda in a house fire and they set off to the city. He then grouped up with a group of other Jewish kids. They were forced on a train to be taken to the countryside and be killed. Felix and Zelda jumped out of the train and escaped. They then started a new life in the countryside.

     I really found this book interesting and enjoyable. Some of the books that I have read never have new events occurring in the storyline. It is just the same throughout the whole book, but this book had so much action, always something new happening and a very catchy storyline. I could not put the book down. I felt like I was paralyzed and I just had to keep reading the book. I was really impressed with the descriptive language that Morris Gleitzman used to write this book. The scenes just kept popping up in my head. The main characters in the book were Felix and Zelda. The book was so enjoyable to read that I have decided to read some other books by Morris Gleitzman.

I recommend this book to teenagers, between the ages of 13 to 20 who are interested in a true and adventurous book. This book is truly satisfying and is a great read. I would rate this book 5 stars.

Mak B., Year 8


     Felix was just an ordinary boy that lived in an orphanage until he found an entire carrot in his soup and now he is a young boy running for his life from the Nazis.

     If you are interested in suspenseful action books that will grab your attention at any moment, books inspired by real events like the Holocaust then “Once” is just the book for you!


When Felix gets a whole carrot in his soup at the orphanage he thinks it is a sign from his parents that they are coming to get him out of the orphanage. After days of waiting and disappointment he packs his things and leaves to go and find his parents but a lot has happened while he has been in the orphanage and there are many dangers.


     Throughout Felix’s adventure to find his parents, he finds some companions to help him on his way to find his parents. These people include Zelda, Chaya, Barny and some other friends he finds on his way. This story is set in the time period of World War II when Adolf Hitler was the most powerful and feared man of that time. It was during the time when Hitler was killing or destroying anything Jewish. The two main characters in this book are both very courageous but have different traits. Felix is a young boy who is nervous at times but is good at making decisions and Zelda is a girl who is very courageous and much like Felix.


I would recommend this book for kids around the age of 13-16 because it is a very good book but is short and easy to read. I would rate the book “Once” by Morris Gleitzman 4 out of 5 stars because of its good story but it’s a little short. Seth M. Year 8


‘Once I was living in an orphanage in the mountains and I shouldn’t have been and I almost cause a riot…it was because of the carrot…”

     Does this sound like the crazy and interesting book that you might want to read yourself? Then the book “Once” is the book for you

     The story is set in 1942 when Adolf Hitler was holding reign across the country, Felix is a nice, and wondrous young boy looking for adventure and his parents, The life for Felix is nothing but wondering where his parents are. All his life he has dreamed about his mum and dad being with him but now he has to make that dream come true. This journey is full of adventure

     I enjoyed the book “Once” a lot because I thought the story gave us a very good idea of what real life was like for an orphan boy in 1942 when Adolf Hitler ruled, and It summed up how any orphan would feel knowing that their mum and or dad may still be alive and maybe even looking for them as well. I was glued to the story as soon as I started reading it because I thought that the book was quirky and a bit unusual, just like me, so I enjoyed reading the funny parts of the book, the serious parts and even the sad parts, and I have enjoyed the little adventures along the way to finding Felix’s parents.

      I would recommend the book “Once” by Morris Gleitzman to kids of around 10 to 12 years of age and of any gender, boy or girl. I think the boys and the girls all over the world who are funny, crazy, and quirky and sometimes a bit weird would love this serious, funny, and also sad book. This novel is great for the whole family.

     I would rate this book probably a 7 out of 10 stars.

-Ryan C, Year 8


     A little Jewish boy called Felix, who has lived in an orphanage for three years and eight months, escapes the orphanage and risks his life to try and find his parents. Felix was no ordinary boy. He lived in an orphanage but Felix’s parents weren’t dead. They were still alive. So one morning while everyone was eating breakfast he escaped from the orphanage to try and find his parents but for that to happen he would have to risk his own life.

      On the way, Felix has risks that he has to take to get to the city where his parents are. On the way to the city Felix sees some smoke in the distance so he runs over and tries to see if anyone was in there. When he got there he saw a man and a woman next to some dead chickens with bullet holes in them and after Felix rolled across the lawn to get the fire off his clothes, his face was next to a little girl that was laying on her side. When he moves the little girl he finds a big bruise on her forehead. Then Felix hears a loud noise in the distance and he looked down the road and it was two black cars. Felix quickly grabs the little girl and carries her through the smoke towards the fence. As Felix tried to get to the cabbage patch he burns his arm on the hot wire but he pushed through the pain and got the poor little girl hidden safely in the cabbages. Once the cars have driven past Felix tried to ask what her name was but no response. He tried to carry the little girl to safety but he couldn’t carry her for much longer. His body was in pain then in the distance he saw a haystack. Then when Felix wrapped her in the haystack she said, “ Where’s my Mummy and Daddy?” Felix tried to keep the little girl quiet so the Nazi officers wouldn’t hear her.

     I recommend this book for kids and teens around the ages of 8-14. If you are interested in thrillers, crave adventure and like Morris Gleitzman books you would love this book and I would rate this book a 4/5.

 Kamii M, Year 8


Once is an intense and heart-racing book that really works with your emotions, in a good way. Morris Gleitzman, the book’s author, really connected with me when I was reading it. He used the best emotive language I have ever seen. Once is the best book I have ever read!

The book is based around the life of a 10 year old Jewish boy living in a Catholic orphanage where his parents sent him while ‘they got their struggling business back up and running’. They lie to him. They are really hiding him from the advancing German Army. He escapes the orphanage and goes on a wild quest to find his parents, who have disappeared from town. On the way he finds a friend who will help guide him along this crazy path.

I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil the book but the end is intense.  Felix’s world will change forever. Once is the book, I would recommend to any level of reader.

Lachlan, Year 8


October 9

‘Never Fall Down’ by Patricia McCormick

What sort of book do you pick up at an airport bookshop?

Fortunately for me, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I chose ‘Never fall Down’ by Patricia McCormick, the story of Arn Chorn-Pond, who today is a peace activist and motivational speaker. McCormick narrates Arn’s story when, as a young Cambodian boy soldier, he is forced to leave his home, to witness horrifying events and make excruciatingly difficult decisions as he firstly flees from the Khmer Rouge, survives by learning to play a musical instrument, and later joins the Khmer as a soldier.

Although the text looks suitable for Upper Primary, the story contains graphic and unflinching details of wartime atrocities, however the violence portrayed is never gratuitous. The complexity of war and the personal choices facing everyday citizens are well portrayed in this unforgettable story – a tiny glimpse into the genocide of two million people in Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’ through the eyes of one boy.

Suitable for Secondary readers and adults.

October 19

‘The boy in the striped pyjamas ‘ by John Boyne

Would you be able to risk your child’s life, if it meant getting ahead in your career? The story of the Boy in the Striped Pajamas is set around 1942, during World War II. A large majority of the book is set at the family’s new house in Auschwitz, Poland, at the Nazi death camp. Bruno, the main character in this novel, is just an ordinary ten year old boy who wants to experience some fun and adventure. Moving away from his hometown in Berlin, his friends and family is a bit overwhelming, however he is able to come to terms with it when he becomes friends with a boy who is on the wrong side of the fence.

The young boy that Bruno befriended, Shmuel, was just one of many people who was treated inhumanely only because he was Jewish. Would you give your life, if it meant helping out a new friend? Ralf, Bruno’s father, who runs the Nazi camp, has got everybody bluffed. They are all under the impression the camp is something it’s not. Will it take something dramatic and awful for him to wake up and realise that what he is doing is wrong, or will it be too late? I personally have a soft spot for sad but real life issues like ‘The Boy in The Striped Pajamas.’ I see this as being the reason why this book, out of very few, was one I was able to read and really enjoy. I would recommend this, for both genders and for any age. A really great read.

   Alana, Year 9

‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ is a story about a 9 year old boy who lives in Germany during the war when the Germans were killing all the Jews. His father is high up in the German army and they move out to the country to live next to the concentration camp. The boy, Bruno, is very innocent and knows nothing about the terrible things that are going on over his back fence. In fact, even his mother does not know what is going on. His father is a horrible man but Bruno does not think so as he knows nothing about what he is doing. He befriends one of the Jewish kids, Schmuel, and they spend a lot of time talking through the fence. Eventually Bruno goes under the fence into the camp in some borrowed striped pyjamas (actually a prison camp uniform) to help Schmuel find his Dad. He has no idea of the terrible place it is in the camp. It goes horribly wrong and Bruno is accidentally gassed with the Jews. It is quite a sad story. 

Danielle, Year 9

‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne is a really intriguing, adventurous and sad book, but as I don’t read many books, this has really become a great read. The book is about a little boy named Bruno, who is the main character. He lives with his sister Gretel, his father Rulf, his mother, his maid and his butler. They are settled in their house, but Bruno’s father Rulf has been given a new job. For him to carry out this work, they need to move. What Bruno doesn’t know is what his father actually does for a living, and this is kept secret from Bruno by his family.

When they move to their new house, Bruno makes friends with Shmuel, but the twist is that Shmuel is inside a detention camp, which Bruno’s father runs. Sadly, Bruno doesn’t understand what Shmuel is doing inside the camp. He also doesn’t know what the camp is used for. Bruno gets himself into a lot of mischief, which causes great harm to himself and Shmuel.

The book is full of twists and puts you on the edge of your seat. I recommend this book for both genders. It can be read by people aged 13 and up to truly understand the meaning of this book.

Mae, Year 9

I really enjoyed The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The lead character is a boy nine-year-old boy called Bruno, who is the son of a very powerful man. The family is forced to move home out of town because of the father’s work.

Bruno loves to explore. One day on his adventures away from home he comes across a fence. This particular fence that Bruno discovered exists all over the world. At this fence Bruno meets a very confused, sad and lonely boy. Because of Bruno’s helping and genuine personality this little boy leads Bruno into a lot of trouble; life-threatening trouble. These kinds of fences everyone hopes to never ever come across.

I would recommend The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to anyone from the ages 12 and over that have an imaginative mind and like books that are about real day troubles and explain another point of view of how others are struggling and we should be thankful for what we have.    Aimie, Year 9

I enjoyed the book ‘Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. The main character is a nine-year-old boy called Bruno, who is the son of a very respected man. The family is forced to move homes out of town because of the father’s work. Bruno loves exploring. One day exploring away from home he comes across a fence. On the other side of the fence Bruno meets a very lonely, confused and distressed little boy around the same age of Bruno. Because of Bruno’s helping and personality this little boy leads Bruno into a lot of trouble.

I would recommend ‘The Boy in striped pyjamas’ to anyone about 13 and over that like books that are really creative and really sad and the book message is that we have to respect what we have and be grateful. And don’t judge people before you know them. Naythen, Year 9

I really liked reading ‘The boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. It was a book for me filled with secrets and wonder of what is going to happen next. I would rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book is based on a little boy called Bruno who one day goes exploring into the backyard where his mother has told him not go to. He goes through the forest and finds a gate and a little boy in the striped pyjamas. Bruno gets to know this little boy, but what happens so bad that it affects the whole family?

This book is great for people from the ages of 13-elderly age.  This book is filled with adventure and excitement. It will affect any reader I believe. I loved this book and just the trill of reading it. Bridget, year 9

The Boy In Striped Pyjamas is both enjoyable and emotionally distorted at the same time. The protagonist, Bruno, moved away from his home in Berlin to a small house in the countryside so his father could run a concentration camp for Hitler in the 1930s. At the new residence, Bruno finds a boundary gate to the camp and meets a new friend who he plays with everyday. One day he enters the camp and, along with his friend is taken to the gas chamber.

The boy in striped pyjamas is an extremely emotional book filled with amazing stories of survival, and eventually a devastating truth. The novel is a life-changing story of friendship through gutting mistreatment of the Jewish population. The hardship endured by the boys is truly one that nobody should ever experience in a lifetime.

The book is an amazing story told from the point of view of a young boy who doesn’t know exactly what is happening around him. It is enjoyable for an older more mature audience who understand the seriousness of the holocaust in its entirety. It has a very emotional ending, which sums up the book and leaves no loose ends, but is quite upsetting. I recommend the book very highly as it is well written and reminds the audience to appreciate what we are lucky enough to have, rather than what we do not have.

Oliver, Year 9

August 12

‘Lighthouse girl’ by Dianne Wolfer

Fay, a teenage girl, lives a lonely existence on an isolated island where her father is the lighthouse keeper. She has many chores to do looking after her father and the house, with a donkey as her only company. The outbreak of the First World War is greeted with excitement, as ships full of troops pass by the island. Kay is swept up in the nationalistic fervour, conveying messages to soldiers’ loved ones at home via signals sent from the ships. She even receives a personal message for herself from one of the departing soldiers, and we follow her friendship with Charlie through the story.
Beautifully illustrated by Brian Simmonds and enhanced by documents in many different genres, notes, diary entries and photographs, there’s an authentic historical feel to this novel. This realism is enhanced by the acknowledgment at the end of the book of the true life story on which its story is based.
Most striking for adolescents, I think, is the vast difference between Fay’s life and their own. Technology is very obviously missing. Fay must help hunt for food, amuse herself and must be grown up beyond her years to survive in such an isolated place. This would be very worthwhile as extended reading for a WWI unit of work, suitable for upper primary to mid secondary, rich in its view of the times through the eyes of one teenager. Mrs O.
Click here to reserve ‘Lighthouse Girl’.