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REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

THE REMARKABLE SECRET OF AURELIE BONHOFFEN by Deborah Abela.

The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen by Deborah Abela, Random House Australia, ISBN 9781741660951

Matilda borrowed this book from her school library.

This story is set at a pier where Aurelie’s family owns and runs a ghost train. But the pier is now becoming broken down and old and the family can’t afford to fix it up. Someone is trying to pressure them into selling the pier — but they really don’t want to sell their beloved home because it’s been in the family for generations …

On the cover Aurelie is wearing strange clothes so I expected she would be a strange girl. I liked her because she was honest and proud of being different. I like books with lots of adventure and excitement and The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen was a fast moving story and also had mystery, ghosts, family, friendship and hope. You will have to read the book yourself to find out what the remarkable secret is.

Readers aged 9+ will enjoy this book — especially readers who like fantasy elements in their books.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Song Bird Superhero. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Song Bird Superhero

Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrell, Digital Future Press, ISBN 9780994302168

Matilda received a review copy of this book from the author.

This book is about a girl called Rosella Ava Bird whose big dream is to fly. In her nightmares she is trying to save people while she’s flying and in those nightmares she always fails. She also lives next door to Frank Furter the school bully. Rosella’s singing shatters windows, she can’t fly, and she has been banned from the science fair. What can she do?

When I started reading Song Bird Superhero I thought it would be an adventure story. It turned out not to be my style of book but readers who love science fiction and fantasy might enjoy this book. The overall theme is friendship and family and finding what you are good at. It would suit 6 to 11 year olds best.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Steve Goes to Carnival. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Snowing Everywhere

by Anishka, 6, QLD

The snow is white,
the air is quiet.
The snowflakes are dazzling,
the snowman is singing.
The snow covers paths, streams, parks and markets
like a blanket.
The sun comes up to take winter,
the snowman melted and became water.


Anishka has been published on Alphabet Soup previously — you can read her earlier work here and here.

If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

THE WOLF GIRL

by Ella, 10, VIC

Mia is a girl who has been raised by wolves, the only family she remembers. She has learnt many things from her wolf family, such as hunting, climbing, stalking and pouncing. In her spare time, Mia collects stars to help with her fear of the dark. Mia enjoyed her life with the wolves, until one day, the unthinkable happened. While Mia was out sailing to catch fish for her and the wolves to eat, a boat sailed alongside her. The man on board was tall. Mia was terrified, but was alone and had nowhere to run.

The man grabbed her arm.
“ What are you doing?!” shrieked Mia.

The man didn’t answer her, but instead said,
“ Ya comin with me little girl!”
“I belong here!” screamed Mia.
“ Pfft!” said the old man, “so ya live in the woods, do ya?”
“For as long as I can remember!’ cried Mia.

The man didn’t care, and continued to pull Mia onto his boat.

For two years the man and his wife held her captive. Dirty and dressed in rags, she was taught how to make medicines to sell at the local town nearby. She was their slave. Every night Mia would cry and clutch her one star she still had from years ago, longing for her wolf family. Mia spent everyday making medicine, and waiting on the humans. Her lunch was nothing more than dry bread and curdled milk, while they feasted on salad and fresh fish that Mia caught. They would yell at Mia to hurry to the market in and sell the medicine. When she returned they would snatch the money, leaving Mia with nothing.

Meanwhile, in the woods, the wolves had never forgotten their Mia. Although they believed Mia had run away for another life, they never stopped searching for her. Finally, their search had come to an end. One night, as exhausted Mia lay sleeping, the wolves gently took her from her bed, and carried her onto their boat. Mia woke confused and dazed. She didn’t know what was going on. Had she been taken prisoner again?

The wolves were also confused and hurt, thinking that Mia had abandoned them all those years ago.

‘Why are you angry with me?’ shouted Mia.
‘You left us,’ growled the sad and angry wolf, slamming the door behind him.

Mia thought long and hard, and then it all began to make sense. She pieced it together in her mind. The day Mia was taken, the wolves believed she had run away. They didn’t understand she was taken from them, her canine family.

“ I was captured!” screamed Mia through the closed door.

The wolf returned, ready to listen.

“ I wouldn’t swap you guys for the world!” cried Mia.

The wolves embraced Mia and vowed to always protect her. Mia no longer felt scared of the dark. The pack remained on guard and hoped the evil humans would never return. Guess what …

THEY NEVER DID!


This is Ella’s first story published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVED DOWN THE STREET

by Caitlin, 11, VIC

The little girl who lives down the street
My sister says she’s a creep
Mum says don’t go near
I reckon she thinks I fear
I wish I could explain why
But all my father does is sigh
One night I go down the street
I make sure that I creep
I see the little girl who lives down the street in a car
I can’t see why she’s looking so far,
Until I see a shooting star
The little girl who lived down the street
Maybe she isn’t such a creep


This is Caitlin’s first poem published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

August is our favourite month at Alphabet Soup. August means Children’s Book Week in Australia and that means celebrations of authors, illustrators and children’s books! (And often a Book Week dress-up parade — which our editor really adores.)

Meanwhile, our Top Reads team has been reading as if reading is a new Olympic event — so it’s time for some book recommendations. Go team!

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month (February to November). If you missed last month’s, don’t forget to check out the July Top Reads.

*All our Top Readers are kids aged 13 and under. No grownups allowed!

Summer
by Tanishkaa, 8, NSW

Travelling to different beaches
Eating ice cream and peaches
Renting a holiday house
Finding a new pet mouse
Exploring an enormous cave
Surfing on the largest wave
Flying the most colourful kite
Chasing a lorikeet in its flight
The endless joys of summer
Certainly break the winter slumber.


This is Tanishkaa’s first poem published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!