Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

A new kid-friendly podcast

There was considerable excitement at the Alphabet Soup office on Wednesday, when we tuned in to a new podcast called One More Page. It’s a fortnightly podcast and features interviews, book reviews of children’s books, the occasional fart joke … and the latest episode (episode 3) also features some of our 2017 Top Reads team members.

Woohoo — famous!

One more page episode 3

Nat Amoore from One More Page talked to Anishka (age 8, QLD), Xavier (age 9, NT), Albie (age 6, NSW), and Matilda (age 11¾, WA) about books, books, and more books.

You can hear their interviews at around the 26:35 mark of the podcast, but we think you’ll want to listen to the whole of episode 3 because the theme is


— and you just can’t beat that theme.

PS One More Page is offering a book pack prize for Episode 3. Check out the details here.

Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

TOP READS for February 2018

It’s the last day of February — and that means it’s time for our first TOP READS post for 2018!

On the last day of every month — from February to November — our team of young readers recommends their favourite reads from the month. You can read about this year’s Top Reads team members in an earlier post.

Grab your library card or dig up that forgotten Christmas book voucher at the back of your sock drawer … and check out these stories!


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 Top Reads

Introducing the 2018 TOP READS team!

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the 2018 Top Reads team.

What is the Top Reads team? Members of this team are keen readers who stop by each month to recommend a favourite read for the month, and they’re all kids like you!


Vivaan, 9, VIC
Vivaan enjoys non-fiction and fiction books with lots of action, as they are intriguing. When he’s not reading, Vivaan plays cricket with his dad and badminton. He likes discovering interesting new words using the Rocket Speller app on his iPad.

Matilda, 9, NT
Matilda likes to spend her time reading, writing, drawing and swimming.  When she’s not doing her other hobbies she likes to have adventures and spend time with family and friends.

Xavier, 9, NT
When he’s not reading, Xavier enjoys riding his bike, swimming and playing soccer and touch rugby. He is also obsessed with video games! When he grows up Xavier wants to be a scientist.

Lewis, 9, WA
Lewis loves reading, particularly entertaining/funny books and adventure stories. When he isn’t reading he loves soccer, swimming, music, star wars, Lego and playing with his younger brother.

Tirion, 8, VIC
Tirion’s hobbies are gymnastics, singing and dancing. Her mum started reading chapter books to her when she was 2 years old.  Tirion remembers Enid Blyton books like the Famous Five series and The Magic Faraway Tree. Spy and adventure novels are her current favourites. Tirion loves reading because it helps her wonder.

Céití, 8, WA
Céití loves spending time with her chocolate labrador Flynn. She enjoys all sorts of reading and writing, playing her violin, cooking and playing water polo. Her favourite series at the moment is Harry Potter.

Anishka, 8, QLD
Anishka loves writing poems. She started composing her own poems when she was 4 years old. She loves to play with her friends. She is also involved in raising funds for Heart Research and Foundation through ‘Jump Rope for Heart’.

Albie May, 6, NSW
Albie May loves funny books — like Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas (which is about a vegetarian piranha) as well as books with made up words in them.

Look out for the first book recommendations for 2018 on the last day of February!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: The World

A photo of trees, viewed by someone standing beneath the tree canopy and looking up. Photo courtesy of

by Siddh, 7, QLD

Who made the sun shine so bright?
Who made dust extra light?
Who made the trees so tall and green and who made the mighty raging sea?
Who made the world spin so fast and who made the desert so long and vast?
Well God’s the one who made it all
so thank God every morning when you hear the angels call.

Siddh has had poetry published with us before. You can read more of his work here.  

If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Kailani, Book reviews by kids

Book review: DRAWN ONWARD


Drawn Onward by Meg McKinlay and Andrew FrazerDrawn Onward by Meg McKinlay, ill. Andrew Frazer, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925164848

Kailani received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

DRAWN ONWARD is a palindrome, meaning it can be read from the start or the end and still make sense. One way you read this book, the character starts by being sad and depressed but ends up hopeful and happy, but if you read the book from the other direction the character starts happy and hopeful, but then something changes their perspective and they are sad and depressed.

Meg McKinlay and Andrew Frazer have been very clever when writing this book, making it a very enjoyable story. The font and illustrations are very decorative making the book interesting to look at.

I would recommend this book to 9–13 year old boys and girls.

See some sample pages on the publisher’s website.

Kailani regularly reviews books for Alphabet Soup. Check out all of Kailani’s book reviews. Kailani also has her own blog!

If YOU would like to send us a book review, refer to our submission guidelines. Happy reading …

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Matilda

Book review: The Book of Secrets


The Book of Secrets by AL TaitThe Book of Secrets (The Ateban Cipher book #1) by A.L. Tait, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734417671

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

The Book of Secrets is the first in The Ateban Cipher series. It’s about a young monk who has been living in the abbey all his life, and has never been outside the abbey walls. Then he finds Brother Benedict bleeding and maybe dying, and Brother Benedict hands him a book. What is the secret of the book? Why is it in a code he can’t distinguish? And who is this Aidan he has to take it to?

I loved this book because at first it seems magical and absurd … but it could actually happen. My favourite character is Gwendolyn, because she is determined and independent, and does everything to help other people. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the series.

I would recommend this book for readers aged 9 and older who love fantasy and adventure.


Read the first chapter!

Teachers notes, available at the publisher’s website.

Read an interview with the author.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

Top reads: November 2017

This is the LAST Top Reads for 2017 (and it’s only a tiny bit late — sorry — our editor has been off sick).

At the end of each month (from February to November) members of our Top Reads team recommend fantastic books. This year the list has included audiobooks, graphic novels, novels, joke books, picture books, and nonfiction titles.

A big thank you to everyone on our team for this year*, we’ve loved seeing your recommendations. (Keep an eye out in February when we’ll be introducing our 2018 team.)

Add these to your Christmas wishlist or visit your local library — get set 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 February seems too far away, you can check out all the Top Reads posts ever.

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