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

Book review: Plenty

Plenty by Ananda Braxton-Smith, ISBN 9781742032429, Black Dog Books

Plenty

REVIEWED BY PIPPA, 12, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

10-year-old Maddy has always lived on Jermyn Street, but now her mum and dad are making her move to a town called Plenty. She has to leave behind her best friend Sophie-Rose, her school, and the fairy wall in her house.

At the new school everything is different and she has no friends. The teachers are called by their first names. No-one understands how Maddy feels. Grace Wek (a refugee) seems to be different from everyone else though — could she and Maddy have something in common?

I enjoyed this book because it explored Maddy’s sense of identity and what it means to call a place ‘home’. When I read it, it reminded me of my own experience moving house and schools a few years ago.

I think this book is aimed at a younger audience than me, and 9 to 12 year olds would enjoy reading Plenty. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Pippa is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one!) was Crooked Leg Road.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: Crooked Leg Road

Crooked Leg Road by Jennifer Walsh, ISBN 9781743316931, Allen & Unwin

crooked leg road

REVIEWED BY PIPPA, 12, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Andrea, Kitty, Martin and David are a group of friends but then David disappears. Strange men have been spotted and Andrea, Kitty and Martin all think David has been kidnapped. And there’s a new boy at school and he and his family have been acting suspiciously …

Will Andrea, Kitty and Martin ever find David?

This is the second book about these four friends but you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this one.

Crooked Leg Road is great for readers who like thrillers and adventure books. I was surprised at the ending and it made me see the story in a different way and want to re-read it.

I recommend it to readers aged 10 to 14.

Pippa is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one!) was Verity Sparks, Lost & Found.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

Verity Sparks, Lost and Found by Susan Green, ISBN 9781921977886, Walker Books Australia

Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

REVIEWED BY PIPPA, 12, WA

Pippa borrowed a copy of this book from the library.

Melbourne, 1879

Verity Sparks-Savinov has moved to a new country, with a new father and a brand-new mystery to solve. She has taken a new name, and made new friends. But she has lost her gift, her ability to find lost objects.

Her father is eager for her to start at a select school for young ladies, but Verity isn’t so keen. She is more interested in the Ecclethorpe mystery, which seems to be leading them to dead ends. She meets a new friend, Poppy, and tries to find out who Lavinia O’Day is and why she is so sickly and frail.

When her father is missing off a sunken ship in Queensland, will she find her gift before it is too late?

I think this book is as good as the first book (The Truth about Verity Sparks), but you need to read that first. I rate it 9/10.

Pippa is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one!) was The Truth about Verity Sparks.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: The Truth about Verity Sparks

The Truth about Verity Sparks by Susan Green, ISBN 9781921720277, Walker Books Australia

The Truth about Verity Sparks

REVIEWED BY PIPPA, 12, WA

Pippa borrowed a copy of this book from the library.

London, 1878

Verity Sparks has itchy fingers. And those fingers have led her into a whole load of trouble. For Verity has a gift. She can find lost objects.

Accused of stealing an expensive jewel, she is forced to leave her job as a milliner’s apprentice and go back to her drunken uncle and her frail aunt. Her parents passed away of disease when she was quite small, and all they have left her was a wedding ring, a small coin and a rug.

When her aunt and uncle refuse to take her in, it looks like she has no hope.

She finds new friends and enemies, not to mention the toasting fork, and starts the quest to find out the truth about herself.

I really enjoyed the mysteries of this book, and I really liked the pictures it paints in your mind. I rate it 9/10. I would recommend it for ages 11–14 who like mystery books.

Pippa is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one!) was Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book Review: Alex, The Dog and the Unopenable Door

Alex, The Dog and the Unopenable Door by Ross Montgomery, ISBN 9780571294619, Faber and Faber

Review by Philippa, 12, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Alex, the dog and the unopenable door (cover)

Alex lives near The Cusp, a border around the Forbidden Land which prevents humans from going in. Alex father has made it to the magical centre of the Forbidden Land but when he comes back he starts digging holes in the back garden, and trying to run back to the centre of the Forbidden Land. Then Alex is captured by the head of expeditions-to-the-centre. Can he escape and find out the truth about his father?

This is a fantasy-thriller. The story is gripping and it is not like any other book I’ve read before. Do not read it 5 minutes before bedtime! (You’ll want to stay up all night reading it.)

I think the title doesn’t match the story. There is a lot going on in the book but the title makes it sound like a light read and for younger readers than I think will enjoy it, and the title doesn’t tell you it’s a fantasy book. I thought a better title might be something like The Secret of The Cusp.

I recommend this book for ages 10 to Adult. (I gave it to my Nana to read, and she couldn’t put it down either.)

Alex, The Dog and the Unopenable Door is in my Top Ten reads for this year.

Philippa is one of Alphabet Soup’s Junior Reviewers. If you are aged 12 or under, you can email us your book reviews, too — check out our submission guidelines. You can also read Philippa’s most recent reviewLiar & Spy
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Pippa

Book Review: Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, ISBN 9781921922947, The Text Publishing Company

Reviewed by Philippa, 11, WA

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher)

liar and spy

Georges has just moved house. His mum has gone away to the hospital and his dad is keen for him to ‘meet friends his age’. Then a notice for a Spy Club meeting appears and Georges meets Candy and Safer and is recruited to the Spy Club. He starts tracking the comings and goings of Mr X, a mysterious man in the building.

But the Spy Club’s activities start becoming dangerous and Georges has to decide — how far will he go for his new best friend?

I really liked that you never knew what was going to happen next in this book. The author gave you jigsaw pieces of the story and the plot had twists and turns. This story was set in the USA and usually I prefer books that are set in Australia because I like it when the school-settings and the places are familiar … but I couldn’t put this book down.

This is a great book for 11 to 14 year olds.

Philippa is one of Alphabet Soup’s Junior Reviewers. If you are aged 12 or under, you can email us your book reviews, too — check out our submission guidelines!
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Pippa

Book review: The Amazing Spencer Gray

The Amazing Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick, ISBN 9781922089328, Fremantle Press

Reviewed by Philippa, 11 (A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)

The Amazing Spencer Gray (cover)

Spencer Gray, his mum and dad, and his younger sister Pippa live in the country, near Perth. Spencer’s dad loves to fly in a glider over the mountains and Spencer is finally old enough to join him. His mum is not so sure about him going, and then one rainy night Spencer and his dad don’t come back after a flight. It seems that no-one knows where they are or if they are hurt …

I like the pictures this story paints in your mind and the excitement and fear of Spencer’s flights in the glider. You may have read part of this book serialised in the West Australian — and I can recommend reading this longer book version. I think The Amazing Spencer Gray is suitable for 9 to 12 year olds who like a bit of adventure.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Pippa

Book Review – Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper, by Maggie Alderson, ill. Claire Fletcher, ISBN 9780670075355, Viking (Penguin Group Australia).

Reviewed by Philippa, age 9 ½ .*

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper's HelperEvangeline the toy elephant lives a life under the bed of her child, who now no longer plays with her. Evangeline only comes out when she is pushed out by the lady who comes to clean and vacuum every week.  But when she is transported Upstairs, she experiences a whole new life, meets lots of new friends and is even selected to help the wish keeper directly to grant wishes. One by one, the toys all get selected for a special job helping to keep the hope in wishes, until Evangeline is the only one left. Will Evangeline’s wish be granted?

This is a chapter book. The writer paints the pictures in your head, and when you turn a page to a colourful illustration, they are just right!

Children aged 7 to 12 would love this amazing story.

*Philippa is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper was provided by the publisher.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Pippa, Christmas

Book review: Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Here’s a review from one of our Undercover Readers—just in time for Christmas!

Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, ill. by Quentin Blake. ISBN 9781843651215, Anova Books.

"Quentin Blake's A Christmas Carol (cover)"Reviewed by Philippa, 9, WA.*

In this book, a crotchety old man, Ebenezer Scrooge discovered the true meaning of Christmas. But only after he is haunted by three ghosts!

It is written in an old-fashioned style but I like it, it’s a really good story. I especially love the illustrations. Quentin Blake is a great illustrator. My favourite illustration is the Ghost of Christmas Present because he looks a bit like Santa Claus.

I think that 9 to 99 year olds would like this book.

 

 

"Undercover Readers Club logo"*Philippa is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. The book reviewed here is Philippa’s own.