June 15

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, by author Suzanne Collins, is an interesting science fiction novel created in a dystopian world. This novel shows the life of a fictional society where young teens must fight until the death in the yearly repetition of The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is run by a wealthy city called Panem, which is surrounded by 12 districts. Each district is to put forward one female and one male aged 12 to 18 to compete in the game which is aired on every television over Panem. Katniss Everdeen aged sixteen willingly chose to volunteer to participate in The Hunger Games instead of her younger sister Prim (aged 12) who was chosen to be the 23rd member of the 74th annual hunger games. Katniss instead becomes the female tribute for District 12 along with Peeta Mellark also aged 16, who is the male tribute. Katniss promises Prim she will win after taking her place.

Katniss is against hurting or killing anyone but is pushed to fight for her life once the games start. Only one will win. Things get complicated when Katniss starts to catch feelings for a boy from her district who is also competing and she teams up with a little girl from District 11. Will Katniss kill the ones she loves to fight for her life? Or will she let someone else win so they don’t have to be killed. For Katniss to survive, she must kill.

I have read the first book to The Hunger Games three times, and the other books many times as well. I think they are all such thrilling and terrific novels it is hard to put them down. The series won many awards since the book was released in September 2008 such as “Best books of the year, Publishers’ Weekly 2008,” “New York Times Best Seller,” “The California Young Reader Medal”. The Hunger Games series has also been turned into a film series winning many awards also.

I personally think this book is one of my favourites and I hope that they continue to make more.  I liked it because it was different to most novels I have read, with good detail and interesting plot twists. I could picture it as if I was there in Panem when I read this book. I think this book is good for any gender, and from ages 12 and up as it can be quite graphic.

Millah P., Year 8

July 13

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

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

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

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

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

Joe S. and Nic P., Year 8

June 17

‘Loyal Creatures’ by Morris Gleitzeman

loyal creatures“The Turks had got Dad. They’d got Otton and Bosworth and Lesney.”

‘Loyal Creatures’, by Morris Gleitzman, is an exciting, action and adventure book about a 16 year old boy who goes to war in Egypt along with his father and their two horses.

The story is set in Australia where they depart from Sydney to go to war in Egypt and fight the Turkish. The two men will stay in a war camp in Egypt whilst waiting for the fighting to start.

Frank, the younger man in this story, was excited about the war and he wanted to fight in it. His father did not want to go to war with his son as he had already lost his wife and his son’s mother. He had made a promise to his wife that they would never go to war but their time had come to serve for their country. The two men embarked on a journey across seas and oceans with their two horses to help fight in the war. The men would find new friends along the journey and fight alongside them.

Frank and his father’s role in the army was to find water for all of the troops because Frank’s horse, Daisy, could sense where the water was underground. This continues until Frank’s father receives ‘the white feather’ and is sent to a different location, leaving Frank by himself with the other men who are much older than him. Frank does his job in the water department of the army until the sergeant allows him to fight.

Frank and all of the troops in his  area were very successful in their first days of fighting until Frank is informed that his father has been KIA ( Killed In Action). After Frank received the information, he was having second thoughts about fighting. This story was very enjoyable as it was very exciting and it was filled with lots of action-packed fighting scenes. This book would be very enjoyable for a person who likes action type books and also you don’t have to be an amazing reader to get the full story.

Jay T.H., Year 8


Loyal Creatures is a great book telling all ages about war. It may be a book that could strengthen people because if you’re a sensitive person this book would be great for you. It will make you not as afraid about the bad and will help you later in life because bad things may happen and you may have to be strong about it if you have lost a family member.

This book is about a man’s son wanting to go off into war and his father is saying otherwise not to go off into war, saying if you go there’s a small chance of coming back because you’re fighting for your peace and country. This is a major event in life and all people in the world should learn about World War I and World War II. These significant events tell a lot about how they lived in the olden days and tells what guns and houses and how work was done, as well as awesome stories that would be interesting for all ages between 9 to old as anything.

This book is about a significant event in life for all kids and parents. Teachers all over the world should know about this event because it involved every country. The book is a very good interesting book and you may learn new things because not all books talk about the same thing. You may learn new words and more interesting events in life that happened around 1900. The book is written by a very famous book writer as it says above the title of the book, so I say it must be a alright book for all people if it’s made by Morris Gleitzman.

Lee S., Year 8

June 9

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

brotherband-1-the-outcastsWelcome to the brotherband. They’re outcasts, but with ingenuity and courage on their side they might just surprise everyone. If you like the sound of that and you like ‘Rangers Apprentice’, ‘Brotherband’ is the book for you.

To become a warrior in Skandia you must go through brotherband training. When Hal Mikellson finds himself the leader of a brotherband he must use his brains to help them win. He must overcome bullies, be challenged and tested to the limit, undergoing team rivalries, all so that these unwilling teenagers can come out with the title of the winning brotherband. He meets a mentor, Thorn, who teaches him how to overcome mental challenges and physical challenges. The main characters in this book are Hal, Stig, Thorn and Tursgud.

I enjoyed the book ‘Brotherband’ because it was relevant in ways to today’s society. With the theme of overcoming mental challenges, it had a lot of action in warrior fighting and combat. I was glued to it because even in the less action-packed parts of the book, the author John Flanagan still made it interesting and the descriptive language made it easier to imagine the setting and the appearance of the characters which made it much more enjoyable. The ending was easy to understand and linked well with the next book in the Brotherband series “The Invaders”

I recommend this book to young teens and and adults between 12 and 25 who are interested in warriors and combat and enjoy tactics and action. This book is a very satisfying read. I’d rate the book 4 out of 5.

Thomas H., Year 8

November 24

‘The Wrong Boy’ by Suzy Zail

wrong boy“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

Set amid the gruesome horror of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, World War II, The Wrong Boy tells the story of a forbidden and secret love between a young Jewish girl, Hanna, and the German son of a Nazi commander, Karl.

Hanna Mendel is a very talented teenage pianist from Budapest, Hungary who dreamed of becoming a famous concert pianist. Being a Jew, she had been living in a ghetto until her family was rounded up and sent to the concentration camp. Her father was separated from them upon arrival, which caused her mother to become mentally ill. Her mother was later also taken away. Hanna’s sister became sick, refusing to eat the food. An opportunity arises for Hanna when she has the chance to play the piano for the camp commander. She jumps at the opportunity.

Whilst Hanna is playing for the commander, she meets his son, Karl. Initially she doesn’t like Karl however over time she realises he is not the person she initially thought he was. They develop feelings for each other against all odds.

I really enjoyed this book because it felt real. This story could have really happened and I felt sympathetic to the characters’ situations. The book was accurate in its historical accounts of World War II and living conditions in the concentration camps. Young adults of my age haven’t really read many books that are set in this era so it was educational as well as an entertaining read.

I would recommend this book to anybody young or old who enjoys a love story or story of times of war. It was an easy read and moved along at an easy pace.

Tasmin C., Year 9


The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail is a story about a teenage girl named Hanna who lived in a poor town with her older sister Erika and their parents. During World War II the Nazis decided to displace all Budapest Jews from their homes and send them to another place called Auschwitz.

When Hanna, Erika and their mother were collected from their home, their father is also separated from them. A short while after, Hanna’s mother begins to go mentally insane and is taken away from Hannah and Erika, leaving both the girls to slowly starve to death, until Hanna receives an opportunity to become the commander’s pianist, which then helps to keep Hanna and Erika alive, as food is given to Hanna. As Erika is becoming more ill everyday, Hanna becomes more and more desperate to achieve her goal. When Hanna gets chosen to become the commander’s pianist she begins to gain extra food for her sister and herself until she begins to notice the commander’s son Karl.

Karl is a handsome boy who is completely unaware of anything around him including Hanna’s existence. Hanna is disgusted at Karl as she begins to think to herself that Karl is a lazy, good for nothing young boy who doesn’t care about the Jews his father is killing. Karl starts to notice Hanna as he sits and draws while Hannah plays the piano. As Hanna spends more time in the commander’s house she begins to notice more things, not only about the house but about Karl too. Before Hanna realises, she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.

I would recommend this book to young teenagers as it is a love story with historical events in it and would it relates to a younger audience.

I would rate this book a 4/5 stars as it is filled with detail and depth which is shown through the characters, story line and setting of the novel. This novel will leave you wanting to know more and more as you keep on reading, making it an exciting story.

Tahlia, Year 9


“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

Hanna, a 15 year old talented pianist, lived in a small middle class ghetto with her mother, father and older sister, Erika. All of the Budapest Jews are collected and sent away to Auschwitz, separating Hanna, Erika and their mother from their father. The Nazis begin to strip the Jews of everything, causing their mother to go mentally ill to the state where they had to take her away from her daughters. With Hanna’s older sister, Erika, slowly starving to death, Hanna gets given the opportunity to audition to become the commander’s pianist to score some extra food to keep her sister alive. Hanna is more than desperate to be chosen, with her sister becoming more and more sick every day and the loss of both of her parents.

When she finally gets picked to play piano for the commander, Hannah is ordered to arrive at his headquarters to sit and wait quietly until he feels like listening to music. It was more than she expected, not in a good way either. She began to get extra food for herself and her sister secretly, and all seemed to finally become slightly bearable until Hanna begins to notice the commander’s son, Karl, living with his father. Karl is a handsome young boy who seems to be completely disinterested in Hanna’s existence and all of his surroundings. Hanna then develops a burning hatred for the boy who just sits there and does nothing. He does nothing to help, nothing to help the people that his father is killing. Karl just sketches on his expensive note pad with an expensive pen as he listens to Hanna cautiously playing on the piano.

The more time that Hanna spends in that house, the more things she notices. More secret things. Is Karl just more than just a pretty face? Is he more than what she thinks he is? Before Hanna knows it, she had fallen in love. Fallen in love with the wrong boy.

I recommend this book to teenagers aged 12+ since the moral and the wording of this story would be hard to understand and to relate to with a younger audience.

I’d rate the book a 4 out of 5 stars. It is a brilliantly worded piece. It has a lot of detail in the characters and the theme/setting of the book. It’s definitely one to draw you in and make you come back for more.

By Isabella N. Year 9

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


June 19

‘Boy Soldier’ by Andy McNab and Robert Rigby

boy soldierIs Fergus Watts a traitor or a hero?

This book is an action filled, thrilling adventure about an ex SAS hero that does something very bad, so is turned down and is then looked at as a traitor and his orphaned grandson Danny who gets mixed up in a crazy mess! Danny is a 17 year old orphan who had a dream to join the army. Danny is a smart boy, about to join the Sandhurst Military Academy, when everything went upside down because of what his long lost grandfather had done!

Danny set off on a journey, determined to find his grandfather, Fergus Watts and to see why Fergus was called a traitor and to find out why he couldn’t join the army. On his journey he thought he was alone not knowing someone else was following him, also wanting to put a end to Fergus Watts’ life. This book is set in many places because when Danny caught up with his grandfather they had to keep running away from everyone.

I really liked this book because it has a great story line and is an action filled adventure that makes you feel like you are on the journey with them. I really like all the characters stories and how they featured in the book. My favourite character was Fergus because he was strong and a really good fighter and even though he was much older than everyone, he still beat them in a fight.

I would mainly recommend this book to boys, but if you like action and adventure, then you will enjoy this book. I think this book would be suitable for teens between 12 and 16 years. It may be a little bit confusing and rude for under 12 year olds. This book has many interesting but sometimes difficult abbreviations and different types of military jargon to decipher. Over all I give this book a 7 out of 10.

If you want to find out if he was a traitor or a hero, then you need to read this book!

Jake H, Year 8


A high octane fuelled adventure awaits within the pages of “Boy Soldier”, a novel filled with suspense, action, and heart warming moments.

McNab pulls us into the world of military-based action as 16-year-old Danny Watts is searching for his long lost grandfather, Fergus Watts. An SAS explosives specialist turned traitor, Fergus was framed for supplying information to Columbian drug lords, forced to live his life in secrecy in his own country.

As Danny tracks his grandfather down through a intricate network of phone lines, Fergus’s home is besieged by a team of agents and is forced to flee his home with Danny. A cross-country pursuit follows as the same agency Fergus had once worked for, is now trying to kill him.

What I found great about this particular book was McNab’s detail to SAS tactics and acronyms to bring a real military feel to the book. Another is the man’s talent to simulate fast pace and suspenseful moments and shortly afterwards settle the reader’s tension by describing how Danny or Fergus are feeling, as well as his writing about what regular people such as Danny find comfort and safety in.

I would recommend this book to teen boys who find interest in the subject of the military and enjoy fast pace scenes with little description and transitioning chapters between settings of the book where emotional and heartfelt moments reside.

Written By Samuel B. Year Eight.


Will he be shot dead or captured alive? Find out in Boy Soldier. A series of breathtaking events occur that will leave you clueless. This book takes place in many different areas like the dense bush jungle and the endless city.

One of the main characters, Dannie, is trying to clear up his future as his Grandfather Fergus Watts was a drug dealer. Dannie is a young boy soldier trying to survive from a mole trying to kill him. His world is flipped upside down when he finally finds out Mole is trying to kill him who was from the FARC. Read this spy novel to find out what happens to Dannie and Fergus.

I loved this book as whenever you put it down you were wondering what was going to happen next and there were so many different possible outcomes from the storyline. I would recommend this book to a 10 – 16 year old audience as it is exciting and the book is never at a halt. This book is exciting and takes adventure and excitement to the next level. This book gives you an experience that will have you on the edge of your seat for the whole book. You won’t be able to stop reading and put the book down. You will be anxiously waiting for the next book in the series to come out. I definitely would recommend reading this book.

Jacob B, Year 8


Fergus Watts has many secrets; too many actually. But his biggest secret is about the SAS and if he were to share it he would be hunted down.

Boy Soldier is an explosive fast-moving action-packed thrilling adventure. Boy Soldier is set in a small town, Foxcroft. Danny is being watched by the F.I.R.M but lucky his special ops trained grandfather who is retired helps move constantly through England so they cannot be caught. Fergus Watts is an SAS veteran. Fergus joined as a boy soldier before being promoted into the SAS. He is a highly trained military spy and was framed for betraying his country.

Danny Watts is 17 years old and has lived his life wanting to be in the army. Danny finally has the chance but is told he cannot join because of what his grandfather did in the past. In anger he looks everywhere for his grandfather and wants to hear the full story. He finally finds his grandfather Fergus, and he was being followed by spies called MI6.

I really liked Boy Soldier because it is an action-packed book which is what I prefer. I also like it because the majority of the book is based on military manoeuvres and fighting, such as Danny and Fergus hiding and running from the F.I.R.M who want them dead. The F.I.R.M catch up Danny and Fergus many times but luckily Fergus is trained and knows how to get out of bad situations.

I recommend this book for people aged 12- 13 year old males and for people who like action packed thrilling adventure and military themed stories. Another reason the book is so good is because the action never stops so the story never goes boring.

Jacob K., 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 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

‘Gone’ by Michael Grant

gone‘We didn’t make this world; we’re just the poor fools who are living in it.

In ‘Gone’, kids over the age of 15 disappear from Perdido Beach and kids under that are left alone without adults. What is left in this situation is fear and chaos. The area has a sphere barrier around it and is nicknamed the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone).

The three main characters of this novel are Sam Temple, Astrid Ellison and Quinn Gaither, all 14 years old turning 15. Sam, also known as ‘School Bus Sam’, is seen as a hero by the little kids in town and there is an expectation that he will take charge of the FAYZ. Astrid is a genius who knows a lot of things. She often and helps Sam out, and Quinn is a surfer and Sam’s best friend.

Briefly, the book goes through deaths and major injuries and things that you can’t scientifically prove. Kids in the FAYZ start to be able to use supernatural powers and some bullies try to use it for fighting and killing. During the story, Sam and his friends run away from the bullies so they take charge of the FAYZ. But while running away they realise the secret of the FAYZ and choose to fight the bullies before their fifteenth birthday. But he needs to hurry, as he has only 13 days left.

I liked this book because it showed clearly what would happen if adults in this world disappear. It showed how kids could go mentally crazy and out of touch. I believe it also shows true leadership and bravery from Sam as he chooses to fight the bullies in town to stop deaths and killings happening. I recommend this book to teenager boys or girls because the characters’ ages are pretty close to the reader and could have some things that you could relate to. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 because it changes characters sometimes and it’s hard to recognise that.

Paulette I, Year 9

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.

November 20

‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

boy in striped pyjamasMeet Bruno, a young nine-year-old boy from Berlin. His father is a very important individual of ‘The Fury’ (Adolf Hitler). When the family moves closer to their father’s job, Bruno’s life takes a huge twist forcing Bruno to find new friends. The main characters in the book are Bruno and Schmuel. Bruno is the son of a Fury commander who is moving from Berlin closer to the concentration camps. Schmuel is the young Jewish boy who has been placed in the concentration camp with his father. When these two boys meet by the dividing fence their friendship takes off putting both their lives in great danger. The story follows the two boys as they become unlikely friends and try to help each other through tough situations life throws at them.

I really enjoyed this book, “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas” because it gives the reader a good understanding of what life was like in World War II and also has a beautiful storyline with an interesting view on life in that era. I was engaged throughout the book with clever use of dialogue and a great verbal description of the events taking place. The book was full of twists and turns and the ending was the perfect eye opener to what times were like through war. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a beautiful book and is mature enough to understand the history behind the novel. This book is honestly a fantastic book and is one of the best books I have ever read.

Tate B, Year 9


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a story with the unlikeliest friendships between Bruno and Shmuel. Written by John Boyne and published in 2006, this is a top selling book.

Bruno, only nine years old ,is a boy living in Berlin when his family has to move closer to their father’s job. Bruno’s life changes in a blink of a an eye and takes a twist when he meets up with another young boy by the name of Schmuel dressed in striped pyjamas and they are divided by a fence. These two boys, Bruno and Schmuel, are the main characters. Bruno’s dad was a Nazi commander and he moved closer to the concentration camps, where Schmuel was living with his father. When Bruno and Schmuel became friends this put both of their lives in serious danger.  The novel is about difficult situations these boys face and then overcome each other’s challenges.

This book is great because you have an understanding what it was like in World War II. Boy in the striped pyjamas has a good storyline throughout which I really enjoyed. It would be really enjoyable to read for all ages, the young and old. I was engaged with the thrill and adventure. Also the use of words the writer put in was very catching, with some parts boring and others parts with a lot of twist and turns. This book made me read to the end and I really enjoyed every page. I would recommend this book to those 12 years old and older as it has a more serious side. This book was great to read. I had a lot of fun reading it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I would rate this 3 out of 5 stars.

By Josh, Year 9


Would you change your view on a person just because of the colour of their skin or their beliefs?

The novel ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne kicks off in the mist of WWII and begins with a 9 year old German boy named Bruno who comes home to find his maid packing his things because his family is moving from their luxurious house to a ‘smaller’ one. Bruno’s father’s job is very demanding as he is a commandant in ‘the Fury’s’ ranks.

Having grown up in the war, Bruno has been brainwashed into thinking that Germany is the master race and that they can do anything without consequence. While exploring the new house, Bruno discovers a large barbed fence and find huts of people in striped pyjamas. What he doesn’t know is that this is a concentration camp for the Jews that the Fury has taken as prisoners.

Along the way Bruno meets many interesting characters such as Shmuel, a little Jewish boy that he met while exploring along the fence. Shmuel is bruised and very skinny and Bruno is clueless and doesn’t know what he goes through on the other side of the fence.

This novel was an interesting read and showed there is no limit to how cruel humans can be. I recommend this novel for young adults and up from the ages of 14 to 40 as this novel is very mature and is not for the young. This book is for those who enjoy fable or history novels, as it may not be true but focuses on a real event in history and teaches a true lesson about racial discrimination. This novel was an interesting read but it wasn’t the greatest as it takes a long time to get interesting. The ending was very sad and left a large impact and changed my perspective on mankind. I’d rate this novel ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’ 2 out of 5 stars.

Harry, Year 9


No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor

The boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2006 novel by John Boyne. It is a gripping and touching fable based on a very sad fictional event that we know now as the Holocaust. It is viewed through the eyes of a young boy named Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant who has formed a very odd friendship with Shmuel, a Jewish boy captured by Nazi soldiers. By focusing on Bruno’s innocent and confused idea of his Father’s job it gives a whole new perspective on how the everyday Germans experienced this event. The tragic but exciting journey that they partake provides resourceful insights on the consequences of WW2.

Bruno, a ten-year-old German boy ,lives in a five-storey house with his mother, father and his older sister, Gretel. His father’s job is “very important” which requires their family to leave the life they have in Berlin. Not long after, they manage to find themselves at a place called “Out With”. Here Bruno finds a very dull looking house with soldiers patrolling everywhere and nothing for him to do. However, from Bruno’s bedroom window he manages to spot, what seems to look like a town, where everyone is wearing blue and white striped pyjamas. Soon after Bruno’s discovery his curiosity and boredom got the best of him, so he decided to go investigate this “town”. He followed the wired fence, which surrounded the area where the people lived. To Bruno’s excitement he saw a figure in the distance that turned out to be a Jewish boy named Shmuel. These two boys manage to form an unbreakable friendship that unfortunately ends in tragedy.

I quite enjoyed reading this book as I like reading novels relating to real life events but this story isn’t suitable for everyone. The story has very serious themes and will require some maturity to fully understand the devastation of war. In saying this, I would recommend the book to anyone aged 13 and above who enjoys reading fictional novels. I believe this age group will have the maturity required to fully understand and appreciate the story. The novel, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” is a gripping and touching fable. I felt that it did have a very slow beginning and quite a sad ending. Therefore, I would rate these book 3 out of 5 stars.

Kye, Year 9


Irish writer John Boyne’s fourth novel, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,’ is a fictional and touching story about an odd friendship between two boys in awful circumstances and a reminder of man’s capacity for inhumanity. Bruno is a nine-year-old boy growing up in Berlin during World War II. He and his family move from their comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a deserted area where there is nothing to do. When Bruno gets to their new home he is immediately homesick after leaving his school, his three best friends, his house, and his grandparents. His new home is smaller, full of soldiers and there is no one to play with, however, from his bedroom window he notices a town of people dressed in striped pajamas separated from him by a wire fence. He spots a dot in the distance and as he gets closer, he sees it’s a boy. Thrilled by the possibility of a friend, Bruno introduces himself and the boy also introduces himself. He is a Jewish boy named Shmuel who lives a strange but similar life on the other side of the connecting wire fence who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pajamas. Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel grows stronger over time and they become very close. Almost every day, they meet at the same spot and talk. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, Bruno decides to climb under the fence and explore Shmuel’s world.

The storyline is very intriguing and dramatic, which makes the novel more interesting to read. Although the main character is only 9 years old, I recommend this book to older teens and adults who are interested in dramatic novels. This book is truly a great read. I’d rate the book, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ 5 out of 5 stars as the storyline is intense and intriguing.

Grace, Year 9

November 20

‘The Wrong Boy’ by Suzy Zail

wrong boyHanna is the girl who fell in love with ‘the wrong boy’ who made her feel like the only girl in the world yet there is so much behind that smile on his face that pulls her in so tightly.

Does this sound like a book for you? Are you into love stories that are backed up with a bit of thrill? Well if you are, then this is a book for you.

The girl behind this love story lives in a place named the Ghetto but six weeks after living there Hanna and her family are forced to move out. Hanna gets played and soon realizes that love can play an awful amount of games with your head and that love isn’t always what it is like on the movies. Erika, who is Hanna’s little sister, doesn’t just sit back and watch them kick her family out, she fights back and sticks up for what she believes in. Erika is known to be bold and take leadership when needed. She loves to be honored and to have attention. Hanna’s mum is a quiet, polite woman who sits back and watches her life flash before her. She doesn’t stand up for what she wants or thinks is right. She believes that everyone should get what they want before her and that they all mean so much more than what she is worth. Hanna’s dad isn’t the typical muscly ‘stand up for his family’ kind of dad. He is slim with an edge of petrifying feeling going through his body when his family gets kicked out of the Ghetto.

This book was very interesting and exciting to read because of the thrilling yet very romantic scenes in it. It described the way that a girl falls in love yet can fall in love the wrong way and with the wrong boy. This book is very suitable for ages from 11-20 depending on what kind of person you are. If you are into romance and mild thrill then you will love this book because it has a lot of romance in it yet the romance in this book is very twisted and the thrill can only be imagined by one person with great imagination that can read between the lines of a book. I would definitely read this book again if I got asked to.

Tay-lah, Year 9

November 20

‘Amaryllis’ By Craig Crist-Evans

Amaryllis‘Dear Mr and Mrs Staples, your son, Frank, did not return from a mission in Southeast Asia and is presumed Missing In Action.’ (Quote from the Book Amaryllis).

Amaryllis is the story of the Staples family, specifically the bond shared between Frank and Jimmy. It is set during the Vietnam War, and it is told from the point of view of Jimmy, Frank’s younger brother.

Frank leaves home in events preceding the book. Although Jimmy is disappointed at Frank’s departure, he understands why Frank did what he did. Frank had had problems with his father since a young age, and once he had his 18th birthday, his father was too much for him to live with, so he surprisingly joined the army to ‘escape’ from his life in California. Frank is then shipped off to Vietnam, to take part in a war that he doesn’t believe in.

Throughout this book, the strong bond that Jimmy and Frank share is very prominent, especially in the letters they sent each other after Frank left home. Jimmy misses Frank greatly, as when he was back home they spent a lot of time together, especially surfing, Without Frank at home, Jimmy feels burdened with having to deal with his father all by himself.

Frank and Jimmy were always the best of mates growing up together, but due to their father’s behaviour Frank is driven out of the home he grew up in. Once he leaves home, He and Frank keep in touch through letters, and these letters depict what Frank is going through in Vietnam. These letters from Frank often are not positive, and quite often he tells Frank of the horrors of war, or the drug problem he is suffering from.

“I remembered how the salt water dried in my hair, how the wet suit felt like a second skin against my body. I remembered everything Jimmy, but all I could think about was the smack in my pocket.”

Whilst all of this is going on in Vietnam, Jimmy is also struggling to deal with life with his alcoholic father back in California.

This book was such an interesting read for me because throughout the entire book I was drawn in to Frank’s depiction of the war. Throughout the book I felt enthralled by the letters, and it encouraged me to keep reading to find out what would happen to Frank.

I would recommend this book to any teenager, as it has some coarse language and drug references, but it appeals to those of that age when reading about the struggles of Jimmy, of whatever type they may be.

By Daniel D., Year 9

October 29

‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card

It’s not hard to see why Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a classic science fiction/dystopian novel. Complete with plays within plays, it keeps the reader second guessing games played by characters on other characters. It’s a fantastic read for gaming boys particularly. For me, the battle scenes were just a little drawn out – otherwise I’d give it 5 stars.
A must for sci-fi lovers, this novel has stood the test of time and has not aged one little bit!  4 1/2 stars Mrs O.


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 4

‘The Wrong Boy’ by Suzy Zail

wrong boy“Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do crazy things.”

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail was set in 1944 in a concentration camp in Poland. The main character, Hanna Mendel, is a 16 year old pianist  sent to concentration camp and is forced to leave everything she loves behind, including her piano and home. She is a naïve girl and doesn’t quite understand what is going on at the camp, but she cannot pass up an opportunity of becoming the commander’s pianist. When she wins the auditions she is over the moon. She uses her privileges to help her sister Erica stay alive but at times it just wasn’t enough. When Hanna realizes that she has feelings for the Commander’s son Karl, she is left in awe as he reciprocates his feelings but they are star-crossed lovers destined not to be together.

I enjoyed this book as the descriptive language makes the scenes easily play out in my head. Suzy related the book to modern issues of young people with love and heartbreak, as they are not able to be together. This book was a tearjerker at times and I found myself in awe in the end.


I’d recommend this story to girls 12-16 who enjoy a romance and drama story, I found myself really stuck into this book after reading the first few chapters.


I give The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail 4 out of 5 stars as the storyline was good but the ending was a little weak.


Gemma T, Year 9


Meet Hannah Mendel. a 15 year old Jewish pianist. Little did she know in just eight days she would be swept off across the country and be playing for the Camp Commander and his son Karl. If you are interested in thrilling World War II and young love books, this is the book for you!


This story starts in Hungary, in the street where Hanna, her mother, father and sister all live now turned into a ghetto. The action then moves to a camp in Poland – Auschwitz.

The main character is Hanna. The book follows her life throughout a terrible three months. The secondary characters are Hanna’s family, the Camp Commander Captain Jager and his son Karl.


I believe that I enjoyed the book so much because it is unpredictable and quite a different book to what I would read. It is a great book, however I wish to know more about what happens after the ending.


I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 13-20 who are interested in World War II, music and young love/romance. This novel is an easy and great book to read.


Kira N. Year 9


‘Being kissed by Karl Jagger was devastating. And beautiful. War makes you do dangerous things.’


Fifteen-year-old Hanna Mendel planned on being a concert pianist like her idol Clara Wieck. She planned on her life being normal. But no life for a Jewish girl in World War II can be normal. Leaving behind her life, her piano, her school and her dreams, Hanna is forced to face the reality of World War II. When she spends her sixteenth birthday in Auschwitz, her street is turned into a ghetto, she’s thrown into wooden barracks with two hundred other prisoners and forced into cattle trucks, where she is taken away.


Now she is just like any other Jew, forced into camps, shaven and given a number. Hanna is sure she’slost everything.

That’s until she meets Karl Jagger, the commandant’s son and fell in love with the wrong boy.


I found this book fascinating and an adorable read, perfect for teenage girls who enjoy the thrill of World War II novels and sweet romance stories. The World War II theme gave the novel, the worn boy, as sense of fear for the characters and fascination towards the reality of their situation. In the romance side of the story, it dealt with forbidden love and left readers wondering what would happen to the characters next. It was all of this that made me fall in love with the novel, therefore I rate ‘The Wrong Boy’ 4 stars out of 5.


Kyoko Y, Year 9.


‘Being kissed by Karl Jager was devastating and beautiful. War makes you do dangerous things.’

      For Hanna Mendel, life was hard, being thrown into a Jewish prison and forced to do things that she doesn’t want to do. In the end, maybe being put here was a good thing as she would find true love but did it turn out the way she imagined?

      The book ‘The Wrong Boy’ is about a young girl, Hanna Mendel. Hanna is a very talented player of the piano. Hanna and her family live in a place called ‘The Ghetto’ along with many other Jews. Towards the end of World War ll the Jews in The Ghetto were forced to leave the Ghetto and go to one of the most notorious 

German concentration camps in history, Auschwitz. When they got there all the Jews are put through a selection process. Hanna lies about her age so that she can stay with her mother and sister but her father is taken away along with all the other men. Hanna’s mother quickly becomes very mentally ill due to the separation from her husband and being in the camp. She is later taken away and killed. Hanna and her sister are now left to fend for themselves. Erika usually refuses the terrible food that they get and slowly starts to starve to death.

       Now the only one left is Hanna, a 15 year old girl, but when an audtion to play piano for the commander pops up, she goes for it as she doesn’t really have anything left to lose. The commander sees the talent that Hanna has and chooses her for the role. Everyday Hanna is escorted by guards to the commanders house, and must stand outside waiting all day incase he wishes to have some music played for him.  

       Also living in the house is the commander’s son, Karl. Karl is a very good looking young man, about the same age as Hanna but he seems to be blind to what is going on outside his house and in his country. At first Hanna hates Karl just because of who his father is, but the more she goes to the house the more she realizes that Karl is different and not who she first thought he was. She soon falls in love with Karl but is he the wrong boy?

       I liked the story so much because it kept me curious and I found myself wanting to read more. The storyline was very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this book to teens around 15 to 20 as the storyline at times requires maturity to understand what is being told. People who like love stories would also really like this book.

      Jack B-M, year 9.

October 24

‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ by John Boyne

BoyinthestripedpyjamasWould you wear your pajamas all day, every day? There is a young boy who sits at the end of a fence, day by day. A boy with no hair who wears striped pajamas. If you saw someone as weird as this boy, would you dare to speak to him?

“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is a thrilling book that makes you want to keep on reading until you finish. If you like reading books that make you wonder what’s going to happen next, then “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is the book for you!


Things aren’t the same as they used to be for 9 year old Bruno. He is a young boy who used to live in Berlin, but is forced to move to a place called ‘Out With’. His family moves to ‘Out With’ because of Bruno’s dad’s job. He is involved with ‘the fury’. As you read the book, you will go with Bruno on his Journey to ‘Out with’ and sooner or later, you will arrive with Bruno at a mysterious fence. As you get to the fence, the plot thickens. Bruno travels down to the fence and confronts a little boy sitting next to the fence with crossed legs. This boy is not the same as every other kid that Bruno has seen. The first thing Bruno notices about this kid is that he has no hair, and seems to be wearing a really old pair of striped pajamas. Pajamas? In the middle of the day? As the reader, I did not know what was going to happen next, this strange little boy made me want to keep reading.


As the days went by, Bruno kept going down to the fence. The same boy was always sitting there, wearing the same clothes every day. Eventually Bruno started talking to this boy. His name was Schmuel. Bruno told Schmuel to climb over the fence to play, but this fence was way too high to climb. There are all different types of fences all over the world, but I have never seen one that is too high to climb. I’m not going to tell you what happens next, but I hope you never have to experience a fence like this.


I really enjoyed this book because I can relate to Bruno. When I was 9, I also liked to explore new things and go on adventures, nothing as bad as what Bruno encountered though. Honestly, I am not much of a reader, but I could not stop reading “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. I was engaged enough to keep on reading this book because it is so interesting and it just glues your eyes to the book. This book uses a lot of descriptive language, so when you read through the book, it almost feels like you’re with Bruno going along his journey with him. This book is very thrilling and intriguing. I’d rate the book “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” a 4 out of 5 stars.


Nick, Year 9, 2013.

June 7

‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

Boyinthestripedpyjamas     This is the story of Bruno, the son of a German soldier during World War II, who forms an unlikely friendship with Schmuel, a young Jewish captive… Does this sound like the type of book you enjoy reading? If so, then ‘The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas’ is the book for you!
For Bruno, life is about to dramatically change. One day Bruno arrives home, he walks into his room and finds Maria, his maid, cleaning out his room. Apparently, because his father’s job is so very important, he and his family are being shipped off to a camp by the name of ‘Out With’ in Poland. It’s a boring and lonely place and, for a while , Bruno has nothing at all to do. This is until he spots the thousands of people in the striped pyjamas surrounding the fence of his home and, one day, decides to go on an adventure to find out who they are. This is where he meets Schmuel at the border of the fence. Schmuel is a young Jew who is being held captive by the Germans. This gives Bruno doubts about his father and causes stress in the family. During the book Bruno and Schmuel grow close and everything is fine until one day Schmuel’s father goes missing…
I enjoyed the book, ‘The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas’ because it is a story about an unlikely friendship between two completely opposite young boys. The book was written very well and I could not put it down. The language John Boyne used in the book made it very easy to imagine the scenes and also to get a sense of the characters. Though the book was at times a little boring, it still provided enough twists and turns for me to want to read right through to the end.
I would recommend this book to teenagers and young adults between 12 and 20 who are interested in realistic and heartwarming novels. The book is a good read and I would rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Chelsea, Year 8.


     How would you feel if you had to move away from everything you know and love?

     When Bruno had to move away from his friends, school and basically everything he loved for his father’s work, things went from good to bad. For starters, the house he’s moving to is called ‘Out-With’ and it’s in the middle of nowhere.As soon as Bruno gets there he immediately feels homesick. He misses everything he left behind. His new home is full of strange soldiers and there are no children to play with other than his sister Gretel. But who wants to play with a 12 year old girl who’s into collecting freaky looking dolls?

     But when Bruno notices strange and unusual people dressed in striped pajamas from his window, he’s looking across the wired fence that separates his house from the people. One day Bruno becomes so curious that he just has to investigate.

     When Bruno gets closer to the fence he notices something in the distance and to his discovery it’s a boy! Bruno excitedly introduces himself and this strange Jewish boy’s name is Shmuel. Every day they meet at the same spot to talk. But one day Bruno climbs over the fence to explore Shmuel’s world, even though he’s forbidden to. Schmuel’s and Bruno’s friendship becomes stronger with every day they go through together.

     John Boyne’s ‘The Boy In The Striped Pajamas’ is a book for ages 12 and up. If you’re looking for a book that’s about friendship this book is for you. I enjoyed this book along with all its twists and I hope people who read this will like it too.

Tara, Year 8


     Do you like discovering new things and adventures like Bruno? If you do, then “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” is the book for you. During this book you go on an adventure with Bruno, to a fence and you meet a boy called Shmuel.

     The two boys could almost pass as twins. They were both born on the same day, April the 15th. This book is based around the time of World War II in Germany. The story begins when Bruno comes home from school one day to find his maid, Maria, packing all of his belongings into boxes. Within days Bruno and his family moves to ‘Outwith’ for his father’s work. His Father’s work is very important as he is a German soldier.

     One day, Bruno was looking out his bedroom window. He noticed a large group of people in striped pajamas on the other side of the fence. Bruno wondered why so many people were wearing striped pyjamas. A few days later his curiosity had finally got the better of him and he decided to go on an adventure to see what was happening on the other side of the fence.

     When Bruno arrived at the fence he came across a boy, called Shmuel. Shmuel was a Jewish captive who had been put into a concentration camp by the Germans. Bruno sneaked out of his house every day to visit Shmuel and they become close friends. One day, Bruno sneaked into the other side of the fence, the side the people in striped pyjamas are on, Shmuel’s side.

     I enjoyed this book because it was a good story about friendship and adventures. I would recommend this book for girls and boys aged 12+.

Leisel- Year 8


June 5

‘Brind and the Dogs of War’ by John Russell

BrindImagine having to live with dogs, sleep with them, eat with them, bath with them. Who would do such a thing?

That’s what Brind, an orphan boy, has to do. But he doesn’t mind, he actually likes it. The dogs are like family to him. He would do anything for them. War starts and soldiers take him and the dogs to fight in the war and his life is thrown into chaos. The dogs are used to strike fear into the enemy and tear through small infantry. Brind’s job is to train the dogs and get them ready for battle as well as looking after them and making sure they stay alive. Brind doesn’t fit into the army and is shocked by the horrors and the destruction of war. Soon he finds friends along the lines of infantry and the people that are affected badly by the war. Brind and his friends must survive amongst the ranks of the army and deal with rogue soldiers, mad villagers and prisoners of war. Can Brind and the dogs make it through the war?

I would rate this book a 2 out of 5 stars only because it had a good storyline but it wasn’t executed well. Most of the book was a bit boring and dull. It didn’t have much emotion in it. I didn’t feel excited, happy or sad when I thought I should be. It had some good war and battle scenes but that was it. I really thought this book could have been a good war/adventure book because it had a good layout of the war and had good information about the war. It had so much more potential than to be a boring read. I suggest you still give it a try if you like a normal adventure book but if you are a hardcore reader who likes thick books with juicy storylines then this isn’t the book for you.

Joseph, Year 8