Archive for the ‘Book reviews by Kailani’ Category


The Spectacular Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick

The Spectacular Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925164671

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

Spencer Gray is just an ordinary kid, he lives in a family of four, goes to school at his local high school, hangs out with his mates and plays football at break time. But one day, while retrieving a football from the bush behind the oval he sees a man run off, almost like he had been disturbed and then the sound of a motorbike. Spencer is suspicious so he decides to figure out what is going on.

From that day on, Spencer’s life changes — secret rescue missions, midnight bike rides and dangerous situations. All to save one of Australia’s most endangered marsupials.

I don’t normally read books with strong male characters, but this book was different. It combined the element of adventure with the Australian bush and caring for animals and nature. I also really liked the vivid description that the author used in the book, it really painted a picture in my mind of every scene, helped to build the tension and made me want to read on.

I recommend this book for boys and girls aged 10–14, especially if you enjoy mystery, adventure and looking after Australian wildlife.

[You can read a sample chapter from the book via the publisher.]

We are pleased to welcome Kailani back as a reviewer at Alphabet Soup. Check out Kailani’s earlier reviews here. Kailani also has her own blog!

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


The Amazing Spencer Gray (cover)Read a review of the first book in the series — The Amazing Spencer Gray — in a post from 2013.









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Audrey of the Outback by Christine Harris, ill. Ann James, Little Hare, ISBN 9781742977959

audrey of the outback



Kailani borrowed this book from the local library.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in the outback?

Audrey lives with her dad, her mum, her little brother Douglas, her older brother Price and her special friend in the south Australian desert. Audrey’s dad spends most of his life away from home on the back of a camel. Audrey’s mum stays at home looking after the kids and doing cooking. Audrey is 8 years old and is always asking questions and has lots of clever ideas. Douglas is 3 and likes pretending to be a bird. Price is 12 and takes on the “Dad’s role” when Dad is away. And Audrey’s special friend? You will need to read the book to find out about him.

Lots of swaggies set up camp near Audrey’s house and will often ask for supplies in trade for doing some jobs. One day an unusual swaggie comes to their door and the next morning Audrey sets out to find out about him. After a talk with the swaggie Audrey comes up with the first of many ideas …

I really liked this book, Audrey is very clever and light-hearted. My favourite part of the book was when Audrey and Price blow up the dunny!!! Audrey of the Outback is suitable for any ages especially kids 5 to 11 years.

If you have ever wondered what it is like to live in the desert, meet a swaggie and blow up a dunny, you will really like this book.

Kailani lives on K’gari (Fraser Island) in QLD. She really likes reading books, especially about horses, girls’ adventures, nature, the environment and some historical fiction. In 2014 her family travelled around Australia and now Kailani is writing her own blog called Kailani’s Island Life.

Kailani’s most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of The Quicksand Pony. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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The Quicksand Pony by Alison Lester, ISBN 9781742378008, Allen & Unwin

the quicksand pony


This book was a gift from Kailani’s Auntie Emma.

Biddy is ten years old and lives on a cattle farm near the headland with her Mum, Dad and Grandpa. Biddy wants to go on the cattle muster this year with her parents.

One day at school Biddy tells her friend, Irene about going on the muster and Irene tells her about the disappearance of her Auntie Joycie and her cousin Joe nine years ago.

Does Biddy get to go on the muster?

What will happen on the muster?

Will Jocyie and Joe be found?

To find out you will need to read this book.

I recommend this book for kids 4–14 (4–7 year olds might need someone to read it to them) and I rate this book 9 ½ out of 10.

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

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