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Archive for the ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ Category

REVIEWED BY JAMIE, 11, WA

Tea and sugar Christmas (cover)

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly, ill. Robert Ingpen, NLA Publishing, ISBN 9780642278630

This book was written by Jane Jolly and illustrated by Robert Ingpen — an Australian award-winning illustrator, who I think draws the most amazing pictures I have ever seen. This picture book has around 16 pages with black and white illustrations, along with some coloured ones too.

This fictional short story based on true life events tells the story of a young aboriginal girl named Kathleen. She is waiting with so much excitement for the Thursday weekly supply train, which serviced the remote communities from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie for 81 years. However this train is a special train as it is the first Thursday of December, which means Father Christmas will be visiting.

I especially liked how at the end of this book, it has a few pages with factual information and real pictures of the supply train. It tells how these isolated people relied on the train for groceries, household goods and even medical advice.

This is Jamie’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ 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!

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REVIEWED BY MILLIE, 11, WA

Withering by Sea (cover)

Withering-By-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, by Judith Rossell, ABC Children’s Books, ISBN 9780733333002

The Children’s Book Council of Australia didn’t make a wrong move when they chose Judith Rossell’s first book in the Stella Montgomery series for a shortlisted book award 2015. Jen Storer, an award winning author for children’s books, said, “I was hooked from the first page.” I was hooked as well, with the excellent start, but it isn’t just the start, the whole book was fabulous!

Withering-by-Sea is a small town on the coast of an island. Stella Montgomery lives with her aunts in Hotel Majestic, a hotel that stood right on the end of the cliffs. Every day, Stella escapes from her mean aunts, into the conservatory. She there reads her atlas, the only book that she owns, hidden in the ferns. Whilst reading the atlas, Stella sees something she shouldn’t have, and accidentally makes a promise. This promise quickly turns into a tale full of old magic, mysteries and friendship. With the greedy professor on her back, who can Stella trust, and can she solve the one big mystery nagging her?

The main character, Stella, was very brave. She persevered, and kept on fighting, hiding, and never gave up, despite the urge to break the promise to live happily and safely. Stella was trustworthy, never breaking the promise. She always choose the right choice, whatever the price. I think that people should try to make the right decisions more often, whatever the price, like Stella Montgomery.

In this fantastic novel, the theme is old magic. Everything is about old magic, and sometimes can be unbelievable. The author wants to make this book seem like it was real, all the magic and everything else that normal people don’t believe in. To do this, the author and the publisher tried to make this book old fashioned. They printed all the writing, titles and subtitles in a lovely dark-blue colour, making it feel that no-one had opened the book for a long time, and it had been written long ago. The story had been edited to a font that made the writing old-fashioned. Judith Rossell drew amazing pictures to accompany her amazing story. Imagine, being able to write wonderfully, and draw amazingly, too! Her pictures were detailed as can be, and were printed in the same lovely dark-blue colour as the writing. All of these factors made up an old (and maybe classic) effect, helping you believe in the magic, tales and other things in the book.

Judith Rossell must be a very creative person, because of her very creative story plot. Just when you’re about to predict that something will happen, something unexpected will happen, throwing your predictions in the water. Although things can be a little bit confusing, the confusing parts will explain themselves along the way. Besides, it makes the story even more mysterious and exciting.

I recommend this very exciting novel to ages ten (10) upwards. I would also recommend this book for eager and mature readers looking for an adventurous, exciting and thrilling story to read. The genre definitely would be drama, friendship and mystery. After all, it is a story of friendship, resilience and trust. After reading this wonderful and creative story, I realised immediately why the Children’s Book Council of Australia awarded this fantastic novel!

This is Millie’s second book review for Alphabet Soup. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  The White Ship. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ 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!

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REVIEWED BY ANNALIESE, 11, WA

Emu (cover)

Emu by Claire Saxby, ill. Graham Byrne, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781922179708

The book Emu is a great book, it is a story about an emu and its eggs and some great information about emus e.g. its features such as height, weight and its defences. The story Emu is based on Emu and how his eggs grow up: like where, when, the setting and life with Emu.

Mostly the story is on the left and the information is on the right, therefore it is a very organised and a well set out story. I recommend this book for any 9 to 12 year old children that are interested in the book. It has great illustrations that definitely suit the text.

I liked how the book was something you could use as research, you could pull it out of the bookshelf and read it to know, learn or use the information for an assignment. It’s got heaps of great information.

The book is a different book but it has better features than others. The illustrations work really well with the text.

This is Annaliese’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ 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!

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REVIEWED BY GEORGIE, 11, WA

Figgy in the World (cover)

Figgy in the World by Tamsin Janu, Omnibus Books, ISBN 9781742990453

Tamsin Janu is a fantastic writer! The book Figgy in the World is about how Figgy needs to find medicine for her Grandma Ama because she has an illness that she won’t tell her about. When you start to read the book Figgy in the World you will find that you can’t put it down!

The story-line of this novel is that Figgy lives in a village in Ghana (Africa) and needs to quickly save her Grandma Ama before she dies. In order to find the medicine for her Grandma, Figgy has to travel all the way to America and then back, with the medicine to save her Grandma before she dies. Alongside her is her goat Kwame who is more like her best friend. However on the journey she meets Nana who becomes her best friend.

Figgy met Nana after he had ran away from his papa. Figgy saw him sitting on the side of the road in the Volta Reigns. He was living in a village with his ‘family’ but none of them were biologically related to him. When Figgy saw Nana she didn’t really know what Nana was doing but then he said, “Would you like to buy some peanuts?”. Figgy had dropped all her money down a drain already so she said, “Sorry, I can’t, I just dropped all my money down the drain and I need to get to America before my Grandma Ama dies.” Nana then wanted to help Figgy, so he ran away from his village without anyone seeing him go. He had only just started his journey with Figgy.

I have never read a book as imaginative as this one. Tamsin Janu uses outstanding abilities to describe scenes in this book that makes you feel like you are there with Figgy and Nana. The fabulous thing about this book is how Tamsin Janu describes the towns and places that Figgy and Nana visit, especially the Orphanage. Nana used to live in this Orphanage when he ran away from his Papa, and when they returned all the children were so delighted to see them it made me want to cry.

I would recommend Figgy in the World for ages 10+, or children slightly younger who can really have an imagination and link the descriptive words to envisaging the scenes Tamsin Janu is writing about. The genre would be drama, and maybe some death too. This book was outstanding and I would definitely read it again! I will surely be reading more of Tamsin Janu’s books. With normal life themes such as friendship, love and death encompassed in this book, I thought it was outstanding and I look forward to reading more of Tamsin Janu’s books in the future.

This is Georgie’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ 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!

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REVIEWED BY ELLIS, 10 WA

Mary's Australia

Mary’s Australia: How Mary MacKillop changed Australia by Pamela Freeman, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781922077905

This non-fiction story is a true story of Mary MacKillop who is a teacher who educated children in the late 1800s. Mary was born in 1842 and died in 1909 of a stroke. Mary watched Australia grow from WA, NSW, SA and Van Diemen’s Land to what we know today — a nation, Australia.

Mary wanted to become a nun. So in 1866 she and her two sisters Lexie and Annie set up a school in an old stable. Her brother fixed the roof up so it wouldn’t leak. They got permission from a bishop to begin the order of nuns known as the institute of St Joseph of Sacred Heart. A nun is a person who goes to orphanages to teach them.

I would recommend this book to people who are interested in non-fiction books and Australia’s history. I would recommend this book to year 5s and above and maybe some year 4s because it would be too hard to read it in year 3, year 4 and younger.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 because it is what I am interested in reading and tells you about Australia’s history as well.

This is Ellis’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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The White Ship by Jackie French, Harper Collins Australia, ISBN 9780207197987

The White Ship (cover)

REVIEWED BY MIKAELA, 11, WA

 The White Ship is an interesting book written about one of the difficult times in France. It was published in 2002 by HarperCollins Publishing and written by Jackie French. Jackie also is the author of Hitler’s Daughter, which, like The White Ship, is historical fiction.

The White Ship tells the story of Michel, a young French boy who lives on an island of the coast of France. The story is set in the period of Queen Catherine who announced the execution of all Protestants in France. When Michel and his island are threatened, he and the rest of the children embark on the White Ship, to find a new country where they can be safe. The days are long and repetitive. When the Captain continually sails past the same island that no one except himself and Michel can see, Michel realizes there is something strange going on.

The White Ship was well written, though it started off dull. Jackie French describes well and brings Michel’s journey to life. By the middle of the story it urges readers to read on and solve the mysteries hidden in its pages. One could tell by reading the story that the writer had done good research and knew her topic. The start of the story was slightly gruesome, as it describes the executions, so I would recommend it for years eight and above. Overall the story was an intriguing one and I was impressed by Jackie French’s good writing, though the story takes a while to really grab the reader’s attention. I was disappointed with the aforesaid slow beginning; I believe that for a writer as talented as Jackie French she would have understood that grabbing readers’ attention is an important aspect of story writing.

I think that The White Ship is an interesting piece of work. Jackie French explained problems that occur in modern day Australia and old issues from the 16th century, France. I was pleased with her descriptive language and research. Overall the book was impressive though some parts were disappointing for an author such as Jackie French.

This is Mikaela’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. (You can read another review of this book earlier on the blog.)

If YOU would like to send us a book review of your chosen book, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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The White Ship by Jackie French, Harper Collins Australia, ISBN 9780207197987 The White Ship (cover)

REVIEWED BY MILLIE, 11, WA

The all time favourite writer is back again with another wonderful story. The White Ship, by Jackie French, focuses on a story about a religion, friendship, and fairness, but more than anything, freedom. This book reflects on how we should behave today. The book faces us with real life challenges that we should handle the right way. Once you start reading this book, it will become impossible to put the book down.

The story-line of this novel is the desperation of a search for a place to call home. Michel lives off the coast of France. Rachel lives on an island too, off the coast of Australia. Forced to flee, with the the threat of murder, Michel and the other children of the Island escape on the White Ship, in search for a place to call home. As they sail, Michel realises something. the gentle blue-green waves of the sea are not what they’re sailing on. The White Ship is sailing on time itself. Through countless dreams, Rachel and Michel uncover a special bond, friendship. Over time, the bond becomes stronger; so strong that it could convince the White Ship to come ashore, and live in Australia. After all, Australia is a free country, right?

As you can guess, Michel and the other children and crew of the White Ship are refugees. But they are not the only refugees seeking a home in Australia. In fact, a couple of thousand refugees come into Australia every year! With numbers like these, the Australian government sends the refugees to detention camps, where they are kept, until they’re dealt with. After a long and tough journey, like Michel’s, the refugees deserve a better greeting. This book makes us realise this in such a way, it feels like you’re in the situation.

Rachel is definitely not a city person. Although Rachel boards at Sydney, she isn’t sucked into the latest technology. She can’t wait to get home, to the island, full of nature. People shouldn’t be so addicted to technology these days, but be addicted to nature. Michel lives on an island, and cares for his family more than anything. People, today, should care a lot more about other things.

What makes this book so special is its unique features. Out of all the books I’ve ever read, there has never been a plot as creative and imaginative as in this novel. Jackie French uses her stunning ability to describe scenes and events throughout the story. It is amazing how the words of the story created pictures in your mind as you read this thrilling book. It really feels like you’re there. Another unique feature of this book is the way Jackie French wrote; she has written the story from different views. Sometimes the way the characters say things, it can be hard to understand what they mean, but after a while you will get the hang of things. If you don’t, the other qualities of this book will make up for it!

I would recommend The White Ship for ages 10+, or people who can deal with emotions and death. The genre would be drama, and maybe some murder, adventure and mystery, too. This novel is definitely an award winning book.

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

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