Book reviews by kids

Book review: Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again

Image shows the cover of a children's novel, Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again by Kathryn Lefroy. The cover illustration shows a girl with long black hair waving in the wind. She's holding a tiny black box up above her head and there appears to be a glow about the box. In the other arm she cradles a small plant in a black pot. Surrounding her and looking on are four alpacas, one black, one brown, one beige and one white. Above them is a stormy dark sky with two forks of lightning.

REVIEWED BY MIA, 10, WA

Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again by Kathryn Lefroy, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781760991739

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again is a terrific novel written by Kathryn Lefroy. It is the second in a series of two books.

My favourite chapter was chapter 32, the last chapter, because it tells me what the alpacas will going to do with their lives next. And it wrapped up the story in an incredible way! (but I won’t give that away!)

I liked the book because it had so many twists in it and so many discoveries. It kept me reading until the very end.

In my opinion, the funniest chapter was chapter 31 because when Alex’s mum walked in, Griffin was struggling to say anything in front of her, and straight away I knew that Griffin had a crush on her!

I would recommend this book to anyone ages 9 to 13 as it has some difficult words in the novel. I would also recommend this book to anyone who is fussy with their books, because this one will surely keep you reading until the very end!   

Read an excerpt from the book at the publisher’s website!


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

Book reviews by kids

Book review: John Long, Fossil Hunter

Image shows the cover of a children's biography: John Long, Fossil Hunter by Danielle Clode. The cover is predominantly brown. There's a hand-drawn illustration of John Long, a fair haired man wearing a brown hat, black spectacles and holding a pick and a fossil in each hand. Around this drawing of him are doodle-style illustrations of a fish skeleton, a spade, a paintbrush and an ancient looking fish, as well as a lightbulb lit up in yellow.

REVIEWED BY BELLA, 10, WA

John Long, Fossil Hunter, story told by Danielle Clode, Wild Dingo Press, ISBN 9781925893687

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

This book in the Aussie Stem Stars series features John Long, the inspiring fossil hunter. The story is told by Danielle Clode.

I recommend this book for ages eight and up.

The chapter I found hilarious was “karate kid”, when suddenly John fell in love with karate. He first had a passion for karate when he saw Bruce Lee do karate!

I learned many facts about fossils in this wonderful book, that I didn’t know before. I also had never heard about John Long before, until I read the first few chapters of the book.

My favourite chapter was ‘Camping Chaos’, because I like how the author described the the event, which made me feel as though I was in a different world, right there stuck in the terrific story!

If I could star rate this book, I would probably give it a 4.5 out of 5! That is my opinion on how the book is really good.

I really enjoyed John Long, and learning about his experience with fossils.

Take a peek inside the book at the publisher’s website!


This is Bella’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR book review, check out 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 kids, Book reviews by Saskia

Book review: The Rat-catcher’s Apprentice

Image shows the cover of a children's novel: The Rat-Catcher's Apprentice by Maggie Jankuloska. The cover illustration shows a silhouette of a girl in a skirt going into a rounded hollow in what looks like a dark forest. The centre of the hollow she's walking towards is pale blue. In the bottom right of the illustration is the silhouette of a small rat. The title is in large gold letters.

REVIEWED BY SASKIA, 12, WA

The Rat-catcher’s Apprentice by Maggie Jankuloska, MidnightSun Publishing, ISBN 9781925227949

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The Rat Catcher’s Apprentice (by Maggie Jankuloska) is a gripping novel about a young girl, Marie, sent to catch rats during the Middle Ages, where the plague was always near.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it shed a light on what children would have to deal with during an epidemic in a time where beliefs and technology were so different from today. I also think this book is very relevant to today and was easy to relate to because we are dealing with a similar problem as Marie.

I think this book would be suitable for 10 to 14 year olds, but could be enjoyed by older people too. Out of five stars, I would give this book a four.


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

Book reviews by Anwen, Book reviews by kids

Book review: What Snail Knows

Image shows the cover of a children's verse novel: What Snail Knows by Kathryn Apel and illustrations by Mandy Foot. The cover illustration shows a small girl in a blue pinafore dress over a yellow tshirt. She's sitting on a swing, holding up a tiny snail in her left hand. She has messy hair pulled back into a loose ponytail. There's a flowerbed underneath the swing.

REVIEWED BY ANWEN, 8, WA

What Snail Knows by Kathryn Apel, illustrated by Mandy Foot, UQP, ISBN 9780702265464

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it for 7 and older. It is a chapter book and has the loveliest illustrations. The artworks are beautiful and detailed. It is a verse novel which means it is a novel but it is like a poem. The words are sometimes in shapes. 

Lucy is the main character. She is kind, calm and lonely. Lucy only has her dad and moves to different places a lot. Lucy asks questions about her family, but her dad doesn’t like to talk about it. Her mum, grandparents and other family are a mystery to her.

Snail is Lucy`s pet and only friend. He means a lot to Lucy. Snail lives in a box in Lucy`s caravan. Lucy only has Snail and her dad until she meets Tahnee. She finally finds a place she likes. But the question is will she stay?

Read our interview with the author of What Snail Knows


Anwen is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: HiLo

Image shows the cover of a children's book: HiLo, The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick. The cover illustration shows a boy with yellow hair, a red shirt with a letter H on it, blue jeans and sneakers. He's holding his hands up in the air and each hand is in a fist, circled with yellow glow. Behind him is a boy with short black hair and a girl with brown skin and a pink shirt. They are all standing on a road.

REVIEWED BY EZRA, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

HiLo by Judd Winick, Penguin UK, ISBN 9780141376929

Ezra read his school’s copy of this book.

Have you ever read a graphic novel with a funny robot? Well then HiLo is the book for you. I think you should read it because there are portals and powers/magic.

In the story, HiLo and Izzy came from a planet of powers/magic. And they are both robots. Their best friends are DJ and Gina. DJ is funny and is a normal person. Gina, on the other hand, is also a normal person but she learns crazy good magic from their friend, Polly. Polly is a cat that can talk and he came from the same planet as RAZORWARK. RAZORWARK was a good robot to protect the earth. But then someone changed his orders.

One reason I like this book is because I like robots. In the story HiLo is a robot and he shoots coins out of his bellybutton! Another reason I like this book is because HiLo and Izzy are hilarious. For example HiLo and Izzy poop out pencils! And that is my favourite part of HiLo. The third reason why I like this book is that in the story Polly makes up the funniest jokes EVER!

I hope you can read this book right away. I recommend this book for kids ages 6 and up. I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Dragon Masters series

Image shows the cover of a children's book: Dragon Masters, Rise of the Earth Dragon. The cover illustration shows an orange dragon shaped like a snake with bat wings on a green grassy mountain smiling at a boy in a yellow tunic and brown trousers. Behind them are snow covered mountains with an icy blue look to them.

REVIEWED BY TEDDY, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Dragon Masters series by Tracey West and Graham Howells, Scholastic, Book 1 ISBN 9780545646239

Teddy read his school’s copies of books in this series.

Do you like fantasy, mystery, and dragons? Then Dragon Masters is the series for you! I like this series because it is funny and mysterious with dragons you could never even think of!

In Book One Drake (the main character) gets pulled away by castle guards to the castle where he becomes a dragon master and works with a dragon! One reason that I like this book is because it is cool when Worm (Drake’s dragon) makes rocks float with his mind! Another reason I like this series is because there are lots of powerful dragons! For example in book 17 Drake meets a stone dragon and it has the power to turn things to stone! A third reason I like this book is because there are lots of good wizards and bad wizards. For instance Diego and Griffith are nice, but wizards like Maldred and Astrid are not. These are some reasons why you should read this series.

If you want to learn more about this book, visit your local library. I recommend this book for ages 5-80. I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Gabriel, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Last Light Horse

The image shows the cover of a non fiction book: The Last light Horse by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian Simmonds. The cover is predominantly purple and includes a sepia photographic style illustration at the centre of the cover with a soldier from WWI leaning against a brown horse with a white spot on its forehead.

REVIEWED BY GABRIEL, 11, NSW

The Last Light Horse by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781760991302

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

This exceptional book by Dianne Wolfer is about the only horse survivor from the First World War – Sandy. Sandy was only one out of 136,000 horses sent from Australia to aid the British and Australian officers. The horses were in a new climate and weren’t used to the war. How would Sandy cope with all the fighting?  

The book takes you on a journey going back to WWI to show you what happened in those days. It also has different newspaper clips from that time and pictures to help you visualize the text. The newspaper clips also tell the opinions that were circulating around in Australia concerning the war such as the Declaration of War which was reported on  Friday 7 August 1914 and the deaths of important generals.

I rated this book five stars out of five because it shows Australia’s perspective of the war and has beautiful illustrations. It should be for people interested in history to read.

Read an excerpt from book.

Listen to the author Dianne Wolfer reading from the book.


Gabriel is a regular book reviewer at Alphabet Soup. You can read more of his reviews here. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Lord of the Fleas

Image shows the cover of a children's graphic novel: Dog Man, Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey. The cover illustration shows a cartoon-style illustration of a dog in a blue shirt and trousers standing in front of a giant cat-head cave, holding the hand of a small kitten.

REVIEWED BY NATE, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey, Graphix, ISBN 9781338741070

Have you ever read a book that’s hilarious? Then I think you should read Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas because it is so hilarious. It started when Lil Petey and 80-HD were working and making a clubhouse and Dogman came downstairs. Lil Petey is a kitten and 80-HD is a robot. Dogman is a dog who is half man. Lil Petey told Dogman that they were going to be in a club. Lil Petey said, “We will call ourselves the Super Buddies.”

One reason I like this book is because Lil Petey is so funny. In the story Lil Petey says, “Hi, bad guys.” Two of the bad guys say, “Hi” and the boss of the bad guys does not. Another reason I like this book is because Dogman and Lil Petey work together. For example when Dogman is huge, Lil Petey wakes him up. A third reason I like this book is because Petey is sneaky. In the story the guard asks Petey if he was building a giant robot. Petey said, “no” when he actually was. These are some of the reasons why you should read this book.

I hope you get this book and read it right away! Do you want to find out more about this book? Visit your local library.

I recommend this book for kids ages 5 and up. I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Back to School, Splat!

Image shows the cover of a children's book: Splat the Cat, Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton. The cover illustration shows a black cat with a pink tummy. He's wearing scuba goggles, a snorkel, a colander for a hat, and carrying a soccer ball, & a wooden sword. There is a small grey mouse sitting atop the ball. Behind him is a small white cat in a pink top and wearing a pink bow on her head.

REVIEWED BY CALLIE, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton, HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 9780061978517

Callie reviewed her school’s copy of this book.

Do you like books with cats that act like humans? Then I think you should read Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! In this book, Splat the Cat goes to school looking happy and comes back from school looking sad because he already has homework.

I think you should read this book because Splat the Cat is so funny. In this story he has homework on the first day of school and his tail dragged behind him as he walked home. The second reason you should read this book is because his little sister is so sweet and cute, for example she gives him a new soccer ball and gives him cupcakes. The third reason you should read this book is because he goes to CAT SCHOOL! These are some of the reasons you should read this book.

I hope you read this book right away. Do you want to find out more about this book? Visit your local library. I recommend this book for kids ages 7, 8 and 9. I give this book 8 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!