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

Book review: The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean by Armin GrederREVIEWED BY RACHEL, 9, VIC

The Mediterranean by Armin Greder, Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9781760630959

****NB: The publisher recommends this book for readers aged 12 to 16.*****

Rachel reviewed a school copy of this book. 

Armid Greder found it necessary to write a historical fiction about the plight of refugees. The Mediterranean is the sea between Libya and Sicily. Over twenty years ago, three hundred Pakistani and Sri Lankan refugees tried to make it across. They were all trying to get away from the war, a tough time for all.

This story is emotive with only seventeen words and pictures that tell it all! Even though this is a picture book I totally recommend it for twelve years and above because of the powerful and confronting topic and illustrations. We saw only parts of the book with our teacher, it was very sad but when we learn about the past we can learn from it for the future.


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: Cicada

Cicada by Shaun TanREVIEWED BY CINDY (8) and WEYLEN (9), VIC

Cicada by Shaun TanHachette Australia,
ISBN 9780734418630

Cindy and Weylen reviewed a school copy of this book. 

This riveting story by award winning author, Shaun Tan is about an office worker as a cicada, wearing a business suit! This makes the reader feel a little puzzled and surprised. A cicada in real life is an insect that goes unnoticed for two to seventeen years when it burrows underground and actively feeds on roots below. It comes out only when it decides to change into an adult and fly away.

It is set in a big city with offices where some workers don’t feel they are getting treated fairly like everyone else. They work tirelessly. It’s only until retirement that they can relax and start fresh with freedom to do what they want, whenever they want! Tok. Tok. Tok.

This book is for 6-year-olds to adults. It’s a must-read because the detailed pictures tell about how Cicada feels. We felt heart-warmed by this spectacular book.


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: Girl on Wire

Girl on Wire by Lucy Estela and Elise HurstREVIEWED BY JONATHAN (9) &
OLIVIA (9), VIC

Girl on Wire by Lucy Estela, illustrated by Elise Hurst, Penguin Books Australia,
ISBN 9780143787167

Jonathan & Olivia reviewed a school copy of this book. 

Girl on Wire, written by Lucy Estela and illustrated by Elise Hurst, is a simple but encouraging story. It’s about a troubled girl that has obstacles before her. The tension builds and her fear grows and grows in her mind. She is urged to move forward and to be courageous on her own. Will she make it?

The illustrations are beautiful and expressive. Look closer at the vibrant paintings for they have hidden images that add a deeper meaning. A must-read for anybody who thinks they need courage and can’t do things. Age appropriate for 6-year-olds and above.


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: The All New Must Have Orange 430

The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael SpeechleyREVIEWED BY ELVIN, 9, VIC

The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley, Penguin Books Australia, ISBN 9780143788973

Elvin reviewed a school copy of this book.

Yes! It’s finally here! This is a story about Harvey, like every other boy and girl, that wanted the all new Orange 430. Unfortunately, when he tore open the box, he realises that it was actually USELESS. He was ripped off!

A message for children out there to be very careful of what you buy and why you buy it. The illustrations are packed with humour and it’s hard to see everything when you first read it. Recommended for 7+.

Make sure you don’t miss reading this book.


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: Chalk Boy

Chalk Boy by Margaret Wild and Mandy OrdREVIEWED BY CHARLIE, 9, VIC

Chalk Boy by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Mandy Ord, A&U Children’s,
ISBN 9781760630683

Charlie reviewed a school copy of this book. 

Barnaby, a pavement artist from the streets of Melbourne, started to draw Chalk Boy. He told him how, when it rains he will be no longer! Chalk Boy decides not to be sad and to have fun while he can. Does Barnaby save Chalk Boy when it begins to rain?

This book shows the characters having courage, compassion and kindness. I recommend it for 5+ year olds. Read and see the street art as the story unfolds.


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 Hannah, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Maddie in the Middle

Maddie in the Middle by Julia LawrinsonREVIEWED BY HANNAH, 13, QLD

Maddie in the Middle by Julia Lawrinson,
Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925815931

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

Maddie Lee is in year six, and she feels ordinary and dull. Her best and oldest friend Katy is Head School Counsellor and aiming at an Academic Scholarship. Maddie doesn’t have anything that is hers or anything that is special. Enter a mysterious new girl, Samara.

Maddie in the Middle, the new novel written by Julia Lawrinson, brings together the many aspects and difficulties of life as a young girl, transitioning into high school, to create an enthralling story that will keep you hooked until the very end.

I found that it was so easy to get captivated in the plot, with each chapter ending in a cliff hanger and I was wanting more and more with every word. I just could not put this book down; in fact I ended up reading the whole novel in one night! I found myself feeling the inner emotions of every character and also relating to them, rocking with anticipation as I longed for the conflict to be resolved.

This book moves at quite a fast pace, adding to the suspension and overall feels of the storyline. I think that the author has executed the characters absolutely beautifully. They are relatable and loveable while still being able to construct the main conflicts.

I would recommend this book to ages 12+ as some of the themes are quite emotionally demanding. This would be a great book to read with your children to help them understand some of the main aspects (e.g. divorce, poverty, conflict in friendships).

This would make for a fantastic movie. I would even go as far as to say it is the best psychological thriller I have read this year. I can’t wait to read her next book.


Hannah is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews hereIf YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Australia Survival Guide

THE AUSTRALIA SURVIVAL GUIDE by George IvanoffREVIEWED BY RORY, 7, WA

The Australia Survival Guide by George Ivanoff, Penguin Australia Pty Ltd,
ISBN 9780143796572

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

The Australia Survival Guide is a nonfiction book about how to survive in the outback. I liked the book because it has lots of fact boxes about different animals. I think this book would suit both boys or girls aged 7 to 11.

My favourite thing about the book is that there is the guide, called Avatar.  Avatar says things to you like,

“So, the Sydney Opera House isn’t really dangerous. Not unless you try to do something really stupid … like climb its roof and fall off.”

I think you should buy this book because I think it would help you survive outdoors in the bush. Three words to describe it are:

  • helpful
  • cool
  • funny

This is Rory’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!