Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by kids

Book review: How to be Prime Minister and Survive Grade Five

Image shows the cover of a children's novel: How to be Prime Minister and Survive Grade Five by Carla Fitzgerald. The cover is predominantly light blue and shows a wall with framed photographs of australian Prime Ministers hanging up, and the main character of this book (a girl with brown hair, pale skin and a navy blazer and red tie) holding a frame up around her face as if she is also one of the prime ministers.

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 10, WA

How to be Prime Minister and Survive Grade Five by Carla Fitzgerald, University of Queensland Press, ISBN 9780702265587

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

How to be Prime Minister and Survive Grade Five by Carla Fitzgerald is a humorous fiction book about a girl called Harper, her sister Lottie, and her friends.

The problems begin when Harper’s dad saves two children (and a labradoodle) from a shark! Harper’s  dad is then invited to be Prime Minister! But being Prime Minister isn’t that fun and all the pressure piles on Harper’s dad, when suddenly he decides to run away, leaving Harper to find a way to run the country, not get humiliated in her class and figure out which policy should become law – all without her dad.

I found this book fun and entertaining with bucket loads of humour. The message it teaches you is that when things are tough, you should stay strong and work through the problem. Another lesson that spoke loudly from this book was that working as a team always helps.

This book is probably going to be enjoyed by fans of Keeping up with the Dachshunds, which is also written by Carla Fitzgerald, as the same humour is used.

All ages from 6+ would enjoy this book.  I rate this an outstanding five out of five.


Emily is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read more reviews by Emily here. To send us YOUR book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Calling of Jackdaw Hollow

The image shows the cover of a children's novel: The Calling of Jackdaw Hollow by Kate Gordon. The cover illustration is hand drawn and shows a close up of a boy's head and shoulders. He has pale skin, short dark hair and he's smiling without showing his teeth. He wears a white neckerchief and a blue shirt. Around him are branches and wildflowers and way behind him is a white cottage style house with the silhouettes of two birds flying above it and forked lightning.

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 10, WA

The Calling of Jackdaw Hollow by Kate Gordon, University of Queensland Press, ISBN 9780702263484

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The Calling of Jackdaw Hollow is a thrilling adventure book about a boy called Jackdaw Hollow who gets orphaned after his parents and he go outside during a thunderstorm, but Jackdaw miraculously survives. A lady named Mrs Celeste Beekman decides to take him in and be his foster mother while also being the headmistress of Direleafe hall – a school for girls. Jackdaw Hollow has always wanted to find his calling and when an opportunity presents itself he gladly accepts it. He meets several people like ghosts, strange girls and an evil lady and all to try and find his calling.

I really enjoyed this book because it not only teaches people about friendship but is also a thrilling adventure book. Another sensational feature about this book is that it tells you that you should not go too far and lose yourself to try and find your calling.

This book would be suitable for ages 6–12 but can be enjoyed by older or younger people. I would give this book five out of five stars because I like how it can teach others about the meaning of friendship and not to take things too far.


Emily is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read more reviews by Emily here. To send us YOUR book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Red Pyramid

Image shows the cover of a children's novel, book 1 in The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. The cover illustration shows a boy and a girl in silhouette facing a dangerous looking sphinx like creature which is glowing red and yellow.

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 10, WA

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, Penguin UK, ISBN 9780141325507

Emily reviewed her own copy of this book.

The Kane chronicles: The Red Pyramid Is a thrilling adventure book by Rick Riordan. It is about  siblings Carter and Sadie that look nothing alike. They must go on an action-packed adventure to save the world from the Egyptian God of Chaos, Set, before he takes over the world. It takes place throughout the world including the underworld, the Duat.

I really enjoyed these books because it taught me so many new things about Egyptian gods and pharaohs. I also think that this book is amazing because of all the adventure that takes place.

I think that this book would be suitable for ages 11-15 but could also be enjoyed by people older then 15 or younger than 11. If I had to rate this book I would give it 5 out of 5 stars because I like how in the first book Sadie and Carter have a massive adventure just to save their dad.


Emily is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read Emily’s other reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Julia and the Shark

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 9, WA

Image shows the cover of a children's novel: Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston. The cover illustration shows a black and white whirlpool of birds and a shark and at the centre is child in a yellow coat with yellow hood and yellow shoes walking with arms outstretched.

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston, Hachette Children’s Books, ISBN 9781510107786

Emily reviewed her own copy of this book.

Julia and the Shark is about a girl called Julia, whose mum is a marine biologist. Julia and her mum and dad move to Shetland, Scotland for 6 months. They all get along really well, but things are about to change.

 True adventure begins when Julia’s mum gives her best shot to find an ancient shark. Julia finds Kin, they quickly become best friends. Can Julia help find the shark, bring back her best friend and find the mum and dad she knows? But this isn’t all …

“Did you know that turtles breath through their bottoms!” This was one of the many Marine facts that I enjoyed. While some parts were amusing other parts gave off waves of sorrow.

This book was like a journey through Julia’s heart, full of joy and anguish. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, friendship and a bit of ocean facts. Overall I rate this book a 10 out of 10.


Emily is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read Emily’s other reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by Iona Presentation College, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Wednesday Weeks and the Crown of Destiny

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 9, WA (IONA PRESENTATION COLLEGE)

Image shows the cover of a children's novel: Wednesday Weeks and the Crown of Destiny by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne. The cover illustration shows a girl in a yellow polo shirt, with brown hair with a blue streak in it, a punk looking human-sized fairy with yellow wings and wearing a jumpsuit, a boy with dark skin and short hair wearing a white collared shirt and tie and carrying a sword, and a floating disembodied skull that looks cheerful. In the background are many steps leading up to what looks like giant concrete ice crystals.

Wednesday Weeks and the Crown of Destiny by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734420213

Emily received a review copy of this book.

When Gorgomoth steals an oh-so-important crown he unleashes power that only the crown holds. Then, wanting revenge, he turns Wednesday’s Grandpa into a frog. However, this was only the beginning … 

I liked the fact that Adaline, who had been really helpful, got a good title as the summer princess and that everything went well in the end. I also liked how I had to keep on guessing what would happen and it certainly kept me on the edge of my bed. 

I recommend this book to anyone who likes magic and evil (stinky) sorcerers, regardless of your age.

Overall I rate this book as a 10 out of 10.

Wednesday Weeks and the Crown of Destiny is Book 2 in a series! Take a sneak peek inside the book.

Read Emily’s review of Book 1 here.


Emily is a member of Iona Presentation College’s student reviewers’ team. This is her second review for Alphabet Soup. Check out her earlier review of Book 1 in this series. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Emily, Book reviews by Iona Presentation College, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows

REVIEWED BY EMILY, 9, WA (IONA PRESENTATION COLLEGE)

Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne

Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734420190

Alphabet Soup provided a review copy of this book.

I found Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows to be a fascinating fantasy fiction adventure, but it is missing the absence of surprise when Wednesday made the portal back home. When Wednesday and Alfie fight off the laundry monster I imagined it wearing Alfie’s hat and I almost laughed so hard!

I enjoyed this story because of its detail and how each character showed perseverance and resilience to help family and friends. When I read Wednesday Weeks I had to notice its similarity to Scarlet and Ivy because both books try to help family and are about magic! I liked the skull, Bruce, because he was funny and helped Wednesday and Alfie.

I rate this book a full 5 stars!

Read a sample chapter of Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows!


Emily is a member of Iona Presentation College’s student reviewers’ team. This is her first review for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!