Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

TOP READS: November 2018

Welcome to the FINAL Top Reads for 2018! At the end of each month — from February to November — members of our Top Reads team recommend fantastic books.

A huge thank you to everyone on our team for this year*, we’ve loved seeing your recommendations. (Top  Reads will be back in February 2019.)

Add these titles to your Christmas wishlist or visit your local library — settle in for some great holiday reading …

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month (February to November). If you’d like even more recommendations, browse all through all our Top Reads ever!

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

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: I promise

I PROMISE
by Koko-Rose, 11, QLD

As a child I promised to pick up my toys,
Brush my hair and not kiss boys.
Growing up it was to be a good friend,
Be strong, be proud and not follow the trend.

I promise I won’t stay out late,
I will be kind and not stand up my date.
I‘ll do my best your words I’ll hear,
“Be true to yourself keep loved ones near.’’

If I marry I promise to be a good wife,
To love and not get my kids in too much strife.
I will try to be happy just like you,
The lessons you taught me will shine through.

You always kept your word you see,
I believed that would never leave me.
But there was just one promise you could not keep,
Your body, your mind slipped into eternal sleep.

You fought so hard for me, my Mum,
Cancer you could not overcome,
So I promise not to say goodbye,
For in my heart you will never die.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: How to Make a Friend

HOW TO MAKE A FRIEND: A PENGUIN’S GUIDE

by Aaron, 6, New York, USA

Pengy is a penguin for sure. He lives in the New York aquarium. He is trying to find a new friend but he can’t. He is on a different schedule to all the other penguins because he goes swimming while they eat. And when they go swimming, Pengy goes to nap and he naps for the rest of the day.  So Pengy wanted to switch his schedule so he could be with the other penguins longer.

One day, Pengy the penguin was swimming around looking for friends. They all swam and dropped their eggs in the water and Pengy went to save them. The other penguins knew that Pengy took their eggs so then they started a fight. Next, they found that the other penguins laid eggs so they also took them. Then the zoo keeper finds out that the penguins are having a fight and then they separated all the penguins so they are separate from Pengy.

So because of the fight, one of the zookeepers decided to take one of the penguins and train them to be on the same schedule as Pengy. But when Pengy and the other penguin had eggs at the same time, they had a fight because there were penguins falling in the water and they didn’t know whose was whose so they fought over them.

So they split all the penguins away from Pengy and his friend to a different enclosure while all the other eggs were hatching. Then one of the eggs started to hatch but they didn’t have any water or ice to slide on. The enclosure was warm to keep the penguin eggs warm because they didn’t have feathers yet. But once they started hatching, they were moved back to be with Pengy.

Pengy was happy because they were all on his routine so he got a lot of friends to swim with.

The end … for now.


This is Aaron’s first story for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Ballet

Ballet
by Hannah, 12, QLD

Pointe shoes made of pink satinI love Ballet class, for all the wrong reasons.
It’s like a comedy with varying seasons.
I watch Miss Lavender, all duck face
Boom 1. 2. 3. while watching dancers at fast pace.

There is perfect Darcy strutting around.
Nose in the air, toes pointing to the ground,
Sniffing competition, having beaten everyone.
Leotard sparkling and her hair in the latest bun.

Then there is Porscha running in late,
one ballet shoe on, and that is her fate.
A black jelly bean has stained her leotard.
Her tight bun has stopped Miss from frowning hard.

And Alena is the class clown, cunningly,
waiting for Miss Lavender to turn around.
Pulling faces and not a care in the world.
While putting a smile on every girl.

One time Miss caught Alena in the act,
but she made a quick recovery with tact.
“Sorry I just got something caught in my teeth!”
immediately turning to first position with her feet.

Ava is nowhere to be seen when class starts.
“Where is that child?” Miss Lavender asks.
“Hiding in the dressing room” Darcy tells.
Ava says Pointe class is like going to hell.

Kayla is a beautiful dancer but she is full of doubt.
She sneaks to the back but the teachers still shout.
Always trying her hardest, this girl is strong.
Tears always rolling, she is proving them wrong.

Of course Zoe is still off with the fairies.
“Child, do you even know what a Pas de duex is”?
“Um, er, um…and she trys, landing flat with a… no Miss.”
She always looks away and blushes while saying this.

We have such different lives, personalities and bodies.
But when we dance we come together like sisters at ease.
We compete in the Eisteddfods and win.
Blending together as one, limb within limb.


This is Hannah’s first poem for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Koala

Koala by Claire Saxby and Julie Vivas. Image: picture book with blue sky background and an illustration of a koala in the crook of a gumtree branch. REVIEWED BY CINDY, 7, VIC
Koala by Claire Saxby,
illustrated by Julie Vivas,
Walker Books,
ISBN 9781925126396

Cindy read a copy of this book in her school library.

A koala mum ignores her own little baby koala and says ‘Climb, little koala, it’s time to find your own way’.

Why can’t Koala jump back into his mother’s pouch now? Will his mother come to save him if he falls off the branches on his way to find his own home?

This book is a story about a young koala and his mother advising him about what he should be able to do as he’s growing up.

The book has the extra features of non-fiction text and a poem on each page.

I recommend this book for kids who love koalas, particularly kids who are 3-7 years old. I give this book a rating of 8 out of 10.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Amazing Australians in their Flying machines

Amazing Australians and their flying machines by Prue and Kerry Mason and Tom Jellett. Image: Picture book cover showing a green airplane with people standing in a row along the wings. REVIEWED BY LUCAS, 9, VIC

Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines by Prue & Kerry Mason, illustrations by Tom Jellett, Walker Books, ISBN 9781922244635

Lucas reviewed a copy of this book in his school library.

Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines is a book where you can see how courageous people were when flying was new, including during the world wars. You can learn about how pilots sacrificed their lives for us while testing the planes to their limits.

How did these special men and women make flying machines even better?

The illustrations are drawn with great care and detail and have been well researched.

This information book is suitable for children around 8-10 years old who are interested in history and flying.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!