Our students have just finished their first round of Literature Circles and have written books reviews on some of the books they enjoyed most. If you are looking for a new book to read on the holidays or even next term, read some of these reviews written by your peers for some ideas…..
Title Noodle Pie
By Ruth Starke
Review by Declan
Noodle Pie is set in the Year 2000, in Vietnam. It is a fun filled book with lots of funny jokes and pranks. Andy`s family have a restaurant, which Andy and his father try to make more money for. Ruth Starke is a great author, now with a great book.
Andy and his father are very nice characters who are generous because they help their family by changing their restaurants name, tables and food so there is more room and food with a name that suits the tourists, `Noodle Pie`.
Andy is my favourite character who is kind, caring, funny and full of excitement. Andy really twists up the book a lot as Andy finds a new name because of the way he eats noodles.
There is also another main character called Minh who is the youngest child and does some pretty weird things in Noodle Pie. Minh is a great character who uses the quote a lot, “Aaahhhh chicken feet a traditional snack here in Bai hoi`” as they eat it all the time. If you would like to have more fun with Noodle Pie I suggest reading it.
In my opinion I think that Noodle Pie is a great and funny book. So if you are looking for a laugh and wanting to read an exciting book, I would defiantly recommend Noodle Pie.
The Butterfly Lion
By Michael Morpurgo
Reviewed by Cara
The Butterfly Lion is a book of friendship and love set in the long, hot days of Africa.
Bertie is a young 10 year old boy who raises a white lion cub from the African veld. When he gets older he goes to a boarding school in England and the white lion cub is sold to a Frenchman who runs a circus. But Bertie promises that his friendship will never be forgotten. After boarding school Bertie goes to war and gets an injury on his left leg from a bullet, but still goes back for two men but only succeeds saving one. With this act he wins the Victorian Cross for his bravery. Later in the book he goes looking for his beloved white lion but does he ever find him? To know the real end you will have to read the book and find out!
Bertie is a very lovable character who is very determined and passionate for what he believes in. He is my favourite character because of the way he talks and acts. Bertie shows his emotions especially when the white lion cub is sold to the Frenchman, he continues to say no even if it doesn’t work.
Millie the grandma, Bertie’s wife also has a very unusual way of speaking but she speaks in grace. One of Millie’s quotes was, ‘the smell of scones wafted through the air.’ Millie makes this story very amusing.
I love The Butterfly Lion, it would be one of my favourite books. So if you like a book with a happy ending pick up this book and start reading!
Dead Man’s Cove
By Lauren St John
Review by Olivia
Dead Man’s Cove is a mysterious novel written by Lauren St John. The book is set in Cornwall where a man named Calvin Redfern lives. Laura is an orphan but then she moves to live with her Uncle Calvin Redfern and is in for the adventure she never expected.
When Laura arrives in Cornwall she meets her new best friend Tariq and they have great fun going for walks and going to the beach with Laura’s new dog Skye. But Tariq’s parents treat him like a slave so they don’t get to spend much time together after all. Laura is always watching her Uncle go for midnight walks towards Dead Man’s Cove where no one ever goes. Then one night Laura follows her Uncle and finds out a lot of information about him. Then Tariq turns back on Laura and she becomes very lonely, but then suddenly one day when she was walking to school Laura finds a bottle with a note inside it. She opened the note and it said in big bold letters “CAN I TRUST YOU?” For the next few days Laura kept getting letters and ends up finding out that it was Tariq who was giving her notes because he had been kidnapped. This is just a little bit about the book so if you would like to find out more you will have to read the book yourself.
Laura is my favourite character in the book because she is always investigating her Uncle which makes the book even more interesting. I also love it when Laura’s neighbour Mrs Crabtree says, “ All I know is that he arrived here in the dead of the night nearly a year ago,” about Laura’s Uncle which makes Laura even more interested.
Another character in Dead Man’s Cove is Calvin Redfern who is Laura’s Uncle. He is always going on midnight walks by himself towards Dead Man’s Cove where no one ever goes. He is a very mysterious man and hides a lot of secrets from Laura.
I am a very big fan of mysterious and scary books and Dead Man’s Cove is full of that. When I was reading the book I could never put it down because every sentence caught my attention and new mysteries to solve. Dead Man’s Cove is one of the best books I have ever read and I will definitely recommend it to all my friends. So if you love these sort of books you better read the book today.
The Garden of Empress Cassia
By Gabrielle Wang
Review by Michaela
The Garden of Empress Cassia by Gabrielle Wang is a different but exciting book. It made me want more every time I picked up the book. The mystery of the story made it very engaging!
Mimi is a very talented Chinese Australian girl who lives in a small town in Australia. Drawing is her passion but her Dad thinks she should focus more on her school work. Miss O’Dell (Mimi’s art teacher) is the one Mimi trusts the most.
Mimi has lots of trouble making friends. She is a nice, beautiful girl but people were not accepting of her looks and culture, even her smell. Gemma is one of those people that picks on every little thing Mimi does. “YUCK! She is eating flied rice!” Gemma would say to Mimi. Gemma is apparently popular. Then there is Josh who likes everyone. He is a very good friend to Mimi but this makes Gemma jealous. This part of the book is very easy to connect with for tweens.
Mimi continues to draw and her Dad continues to tell her off. Mimi then receives a box of beautiful pastels from Miss O’Dell. “No one is to use the pastels but you. Look at me in the eye, Mimi, and promise me now.” Mimi promised Miss O’Dell.
With the pastels Mimi drew an amazing garden and wrote some words of wisdom too. When the people read the words they entered the magical garden and overcame all their fears.
Mimi had promised Miss O’Dell that only she would use the pastels but this would be broken very soon. Mimi was getting so much publicity on her beautiful garden that Gemma got jealous. She stole the pastels and raced to Ghost Gum Park to draw the garden. She drew the garden but this time the words of wisdom were evil and when she read them Gemma slowly started to enter the evil garden Mimi just caught her in time.
The garden of Empress Cassia is an exciting and relatable book. With new twists and turns around every corner you will be sure to never put the book down. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I definitely recommend it to people who love this type of amazing story.
By Morris Gleitzman
Review by Georgia
Set in Afghanistan, Boy Overboard is an exciting adventure story written by Morris Gleitzman. The book is a thrilling adventure about Jamal and Bibi. They have one dream; to be soccer stars and lead Australia in the next world cup. But first, they must face all of the troubles in their journey to try and get to Australia.
Jamal is an eleven year old child, destined to play soccer. With his sister, Bibi, he is planning to get to Australia to play soccer together. Even though she is nine years old, Bibi has a feisty personality which can sometimes get her in trouble.
The book begins with, yep, you guessed it; Soccer. A thrilling soccer game between Jamal and his friends doesn’t end well. An eager Bibi comes out to join their game, however, girls are unable to leave the house without a parent and must be covered.
Meanwhile, her mother was running a secret school that the government didn’t know about. With their dad as a taxi driver, it is easier to transfer the children to school. However, when the government finds out about their secret school, their house is blown up. “It’s the school,” Mum said quietly. “The government has found out about the school.” As they have nowhere to live, they make plans to go to Australia.
Travelling around, jumping on hot stuffy buses and trying to survive the treacherous refugee camp, Jamal and his family make it onto a boat. The only thing is; Jamal and Bibi are not on the same boat as their parents. Although, they meet two new friends; Rashida and Omar, who they developed a great friendship with. Will they survive the boat trip and met their parents, if they get to Australia?
Loving and caring would be the best two words to describe Rashida. Although, Omar comes across as quite an annoying person. Each of them all had unique personalities but they all came together as best friends while on the boat.
Boy Overboard is a great read for someone looking for an exciting adventure. The story of Jamal and Bibi and their journey over the seas, sure gave me tingles as to what happens next; so I would definitely recommend this book. Wanting to find out about whether Jamal and Bibi make it to Australia and ever meet up with their parents? Well go and read Boy Overboard now, I’m sure you will enjoy it.
By Morris Gleitzman
Reviewed by Will
Once by Morris Gleitzman is an adventures book set during World War 2. The story is told from Felix’s point of view. Felix lives in an orphanage. One day Felix gets a full carrot in his soup, not a cut up one; he thinks that this is a sign of his parents coming back. The next day he waits and waits but they don’t come, so he escapes the orphanage to find his parents. He passes abandoned towns and goes across a lake that has blood in it.
He was running at one point and he saw a family of three lying down with dead chickens around them. The parents were dead but the little girl was still alive with a big bump on her head. Felix picked her up and ran off to find someplace to lie her down. He kept asking her what her name was but she didn’t reply, then she started saying, “I want my Mummy and Daddy. Felix found a good place. When they sat down the little girl said that her name was Zelda. Felix told his name as well. Then they lied down and went to sleep.
In the morning when they woke up they could see people walking down a path. Felix went over to have a look and when he came there was a Nazi with a machine gun pointing at Zelda. Felix said to let her go and he told them that they have to walk where everyone else was walking.
A few days past and Felix and Zelda were still in the same spot. Then a man named Barney came up to Felix and Zelda and said to follow him. They followed him to this stone house and went inside. There were about seven other kids inside. “You will be safe in here,” said Barney. A day later Zelda gets sick and Barney says that he can’t go out to get medicine, so Felix volunteers to go but it was a bad time because when he is in a room in a building he hears the Nazis coming. You have to read the rest to find out what happens.
The main charters in this book are Felix, Zelda and Barney. My favourite character was Felix because he was always looking on the good side of things and never gave up.
I would recommend this book to all my friends and people that like adventure books with scary parts in them. So if you like what you read, go to your local book store and go get Once now!
The Children of the King
By Sonya Hartnett
Reviewed by Georgia
The Children of the King is a historical fiction that was set in England at the start of World War II. Written by Sonya Hartnett this book made me feel as if I was there in the early 1940’s.
Two children, Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their Uncle Peregrine in the country, safe from the war, along with a young evacuee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding out in a nearby castle ruin, and Jeremy runs away to London to help in the war effort, the past, present and future come together to make an extraordinary adventure.
Cecily is my least favorite character in the book because she is very rude, especially to May always accusing her of things, like when she says, “It’s all your fault that Jeremy ran away.” But Cecily does make the book interesting.
May is my favorite character in the book because she is polite and gentle and also very kind. Sonya Hartnett gives a great description of May in the book. “The breeze reddened May’s white cheeks, and whitened her red lips. Her black hair shone blue, her blue eyes sparkled like sapphires.”
I was never a huge fan of war books but The Children of the King made me love war books. I would recommend this to all my friends and this book is good for both children and adults. So if you want to experience an extraordinary adventure, then read The Children of the King.