Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: The Four Seasons

cherry blossom branch

THE FOUR SEASONS
by Monica, 7, VIC

In Summer rabbits hop around,
Bees are buzzing near the ground.

In Autumn leaves turn red, orange and brown,
My feet in the leaves make a rustling sound.

Winter’s good for playing in the snow,
Sometimes snowflakes land on your nose.

In Spring flowers start to bloom,
The buds on the trees will turn to leaves soon.

All the seasons are full of fun,
Which season is your favourite one?


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

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Missing Shoes

MISSING SHOES
Story and artwork by Joshua, 9, NSW

A sneaker with a red flame along the side

I couldn’t wait for this weekend! I was going to play against the Eagles in soccer! Dad bought me a new pair of sneakers for the game. Mum and dad chose the closest seats in the stadium that they could get.

At training, I practiced dribbling, passing, dodging, shooting and defending. I was sure we were going to win the trophy.

On Saturday, I rushed out to soccer. I did push-ups, sit-ups, dribbling, passing, dodging, shooting and defending. I was a right-mid-centre in the game.

Coach asked, “Are you ready, Josh?”
“No, I can’t find my new sneakers in my locker,” I replied, poking my head out.
“You’ll have to wear your old sneakers,” teased Fred as he walked by. He always teased me.
“Yes,” I groaned. I couldn’t let my team down, just because I couldn’t find my new sneakers.

Later in the game, the Eagles were leading by 4 to 3. We needed two or more goals to win the trophy.

“This is a dumb game,” shouted Fred as he kicked off his sneakers and stomped off to a bench. Fred, as well as being a teaser, was also a sore loser.

I turned around to look. When I read the label of the sneakers, it said, “Josh.” Fred must have stolen my sneakers when I wasn’t looking!

I put them on. Then I heard a shout, “Josh!”

It was Timmy! I got up and kicked the ball into the goal! It was a side kick.

Then I walked over to Fred and I asked, “Fred, why did you take my sneakers?”
Fred answered, “I thought your sneakers looked nice.”
“Fred, what do you think if you put your old sneakers back on and join the game as well?” I asked.
“My sneakers are worn out. The soles have fallen out and I don’t want to let my team down, but I had to …” Fred murmured.
“You can wear my old sneakers,” I replied.

Fred hesitated but soon he and I were back in the game. The game went on. We kicked, passed, kicked, tackled and dribbled, until Timmy passed it to me. I was clear, but soon an Eagle blocked the goal. I looked around. I saw Fred. He was clear. No one noticed him. I passed the ball to Fred. Fred kicked it into the goal. The whistle blew. We had won the trophy just in time.

Now Fred doesn’t tease me anymore, but we are best friends.


You can read some of Joshua’s earlier 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 poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Lest We Forget

LEST WE FORGET
Emma, 12, SA

The rain gently climbs over the bodies in turn, washing away our sorrow and misery.
We observe the world crashing and burning … I close my eyes and breathe.

Thousands of men trudge home, single file,
wondering if they are free from the horrors that haunt them I sit and watch close, though it feels like a mile …
I close my eyes and breathe.

We check our wounded and count our dead. Too few alive, too many gone from this world. Feeling Heavy with the tears unshed …
I close my eyes and breathe.

Even those I never got to know
I promise I will tell your story
I promise one day the world will know … I close my eyes and breathe

Their story is what I will live and die for Their story is what I bled and shot for
So their pain shall be known evermore … I close my eyes and breathe

Lest We Forget


You can read more of Emma’s work hereTo send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: In the Lamplight

In the Lamplight by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian SimmondsREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 12, WA

In the Lamplight by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925591224 

Matilda borrowed this book from the library. 

This is a diary-style illustrated book about World War I. It’s by the same illustrator and author of Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy.

In the Lamplight is about a girl called Rose growing up in England. She joined the hospital to help out, hoping to become a nurse one day. In her diary you see her hopes and ambitions, postcards, photographs, and letters. There are also letters from soldiers to their loved ones, and sometimes from her brother to her. The book switches between a diary and a novel format.

I liked how it shows a woman’s perspective of the war and how young some of the helpers were.

Readers who enjoyed Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy will want to read this book. I’d recommend it for 9 to 13 year olds.

Read a sample chapter at the publisher’s website.  


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 Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Pure Beauty

PURE BEAUTY
by Sonia, 9, California, USA

Beauty is on the inside
Not on the outside

You can have pimples and warts
But still be the winner of hearts

Beauty is kindness and strength
Not fancy clothes and affluence

You can have perfect hair and be rich
But if you are vain and unkind
Your true beauty still has a glitch

An imperfect face with a kind wit
Still makes your beauty a perfect hit

That is the possession of pure, true beauty


Sonia’s poetry has been published previously at Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

TOP READS: August 2018

Here we are at the end of Book Month. We’ve been hearing about wonderful Book Week events all across the country—dress-up book parades, visiting authors & illustrators, bookish quiz events, book swaps, and so much more.

What better way to round off August than by grabbing a stack of recommended books? Members of our Top Reads team have a great selection for you this month. Try these top titles:

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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Matilda

Book review: A Wrinkle in Time

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'EngleREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 12, WA

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Penguin Books Ltd, ISBN 9780241331163

Matilda borrowed this book from the library.

This is a science-fiction novel about a family whose dad is missing. The little brother discovers three ladies who seem to be able to travel to other dimensions, and they tell Charles Wallace that they know where his father is.

I like time-slip novels — this is sort of a dimension-slip novel. I really enjoyed it because it was so different from our world, and I liked the characters in the other world.

The copy of the book I read was a movie tie-in, and had photos from the movie in the middle pages of the book. That was annoying because I had an idea in my head of all the characters and then suddenly I came across the movie photos and they were completely different. (But I’d still like to see the movie.)

Kids who love weird fantasy adventure books will love this.


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!