Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Land of Stories series

The Land of Stories seriesREVIEWED BY ANYA, 12, ACT

The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, Little Brown & Co, ISBN 9780316480840

Anya reviewed her own copies of this book series. This review was shortlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

A journey into a different dimension, the truth about the Bailey Twins and their grandmother and dad is finally uncovered, which turns their whole life upside-down. Followed by lots more breathtaking adventures, Alex and Conner have experienced something that no other person in the otherworld or Earth probably has. The twins have always faced many challenges, whether it’s evil enchantresses, queens or wicked witches, they have made it through every time with their great teamwork. They have saved the fairy-tale world from many dangers that arose across time. From one book to the next, the twins’ side by side with their fairy-tale friends have never failed to impress.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Chris Colfer’s incredible series up to number 5 at this point and I have noticed he has a really good imagination when it comes to Fantasy. The incredible modern and imaginative style of writing by the author really helps you imagine the book.

Each adventure and characters’ personalities are unique and there is always something waiting to be discovered. Personally, my favourite book of the series was the 3rd, since that was where the bigger problems arose. This book definitely has some positive role models that are brave and fearless.

The way these books have been written I am sure every single person would love it, even adults! We think fairy tales are for babies, but these are not the fairy tales we know, they have been taken to a whole new level! Everything and everyone has a different story, which is what makes this series interesting.

My recommendation to kids aged 6 to 9 is that they would love the first and second book, but the length may be daunting to some. I strongly recommend the whole series to older kids aged 10+. I would recommend this book to anyone who loved fairy tales as a young child or still does. Even if you don’t prefer books in the fantasy genre, I would recommend giving the first book a try.

There are also two other great books available, too, which relate to the main series, called Queen Red’s Guide to Royalty, and Mother Goose Diaries.

Overall, I think this series is a great read and I loved reading it and will make sure to read the 6th book.


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan CrowREVIEWED BY KATE, YR 6, VIC

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734418074

Kate reviewed her own copy of this book. This review was shortlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Step boldly…

Morrigan Crow is cursed.

Morrigan Crow is a young girl who is constantly labelled as a cursed child. That is, until she is rescued by a strange and quirky man named Jupiter North, and taken to a mysterious city called Nevermoor. Morrigan finds herself navigating through the unknown, and has to face a series of challenges testing her honesty, courage, bravery and talent.

Nevermoor is an exciting and suspenseful tale, full of puzzling mysteries and entertaining twists and turns. I would recommend this book to children of all ages, especially ones who love adventure! This book should definitely be rated 11/10!


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Aussies vs England: Game on!

Aussies vs England: Game on! by Mitchell Starc and Philip BuntingREVIEWED BY LISSY, YR4, WA

Aussies vs England: Game on! by Mitchell Starc, illustrated by Philip Bunting, Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781742763194

Lissy reviewed her own copy of this book. This review was shortlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition.

Rating: 5 stars

Recommendation: I would recommend this book for kids aged between six and ten years old who enjoy the sport of cricket, since cricket is the main subject of the book.

Genre: Fiction

Books:
Mighty Mitch #1 Aussies vs England: Game On! 
Mighty Mitch #2 Howzat Heroes!
Mighty Mitch #3 Clash of the Keepers!
Mighty Mitch #4 Not Out!
Mighty Mitch #5 Day/Night Decider!

Mitch, a young player for the Wander Hill Wombats Under 10s cricket team, loves batting and wicketkeeping. His dream is to one day play for Australia and wear the baggy green. But before that can happen, he has to keep playing in the Under 10s. His bowling is not pretty; he just can’t get the hang of it! Surprise news whacks Mitch’s team into a deep panic. Mitch and his mates can’t stop talking (and worrying) about playing an England Under 10s side. At the practice game, the Wombats are wowed by the team’s impressive names and shiny cricket shoes. But Mitch has one more problem than his mates; his cricket whites have turned pink! With the big game coming up, everything is happening. Will Mitch be able to get over his bowling blues? Or will he be humiliated in front of everyone? Can it get any worse?

Find out by reading the first book in this hilarious and action-filled series created by Australian cricket superstar, Mitchell Starc!


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Awful Auntie

Awful Auntie by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony RossREVIEWED BY AMELIA, YR 5, QLD

Awful Auntie by David Williams, illustrated by Tony Ross, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780007453627

Amelia reviewed her own copy of this book. This review was shortlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ competition. 

Awful Auntie is a great book with funny pictures that, despite being black and white, are very detailed and vivid. You also get to see Saxby Hall and drawings of the characters so that you know who they are if they’re in a picture throughout the book. I loved the family tree – once I tried to copy it with my own family, but it didn’t work too well.

Awful Auntie has a touch of fantasy, a touch of nonsense, a touch of mystery, and lots of funniness. I have read it lots of times since last year when I first got it. David Walliams makes it funny and mesmerising, and you just want to read it again and again and again. I love Awful Auntie.


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Magic Beach

Magic Beach by Alison LesterREVIEWED BY KADE, 6, QLD

Magic Beach by Alison Lester, A&U Children’s, ISBN 9781741144888

Kade reviewed his own copy of the book. This was the winning book review in the Junior Category of Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition.  

I like this book, it made me feel calm.  Every grade, including the Kindy kids, at my school would like this book.

The words are exciting and the watercolour drawings are awesome. The main characters are kids playing at their beach. Belinda and James build sandcastles and find sticks, rocks and feathers. They’re pretending their beach is all different things like they found treasure, they’re sailing all over the world and they caught a shark.

I like the pictures and the family’s cute dog is found on almost every page. I liked the words on the last page “adrift on the evening tide”. There are parts of the story that are confusing and the picture didn’t help me.

4/5 stars


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by the winners and longlisters from our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Beast of Buckingham Palace

The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony RossREVIEWED BY HARPER, YEAR 5, NSW

The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross, HarperCollins Children’s Books, ISBN 9780008385644

Harper reviewed her own copy of this book, and was the Primary Category winner in our 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Imagine the year 2120, one hundred years into the future. Evil has come knocking and Britain will never be the same. With the majority of Britain under the control of evil, it will take Prince Alfred to find the good in people. But in these times, it seems you can only trust yourself. The King’s beasts will soon be controlled by the Lord Protector, including the monstrous Griffin. Will the sickly Prince Alfred, who has never seen the world outside Buckingham Palace be able to save Britain?

David Williams has a knack of transporting his readers to thrilling new places with excitement and mystery around every corner. Even the Royal Family gets a new adventure! Readers love an unexpected hero, and Prince Alfred is just that. Sickly, small and rejected by the Lord Protector, he is proven unworthy by his Father. But he shows us that by displaying courage and making sacrifices anyone can be a hero.

I love learning about the Royal Family, so this book was exciting. This was my favourite David Williams book; I couldn’t put it down! The characters had a lot of personality and the story was very eventful. The thing I love most about this book is the different fonts that were used to show how each character felt or the mood of the scene.  For example, if the character was frightened then the words the character said would be fuzzy. It was such a fun read!


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by the winners and longlisters from our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: My Place (Younger Readers Edition)

REVIEWED BY SASKIA, 10, WA

My Place (Younger Readers Edition) by Sally Morgan, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925816761

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

This book is about Sally Morgan’s life. It is an autobiography but it also has some information about her family history. It has four different people’s perspectives: Sally, Sally’s nan (Daisy Corunna), Sally’s mum (Gladys Corunna) and Sally’s great uncle (Arthur Corruna). Sally’s family history is rather secret and unknown, which makes the book very interesting. I learnt a lot about Australian history through her family’s stories.

I also like Sally’s writing style and the way that in the perspective of the other people she used their real speech instead of modifying it to fit her own style.

I would recommend this book to 6th to 9th grade children. There is also an adult version of the book.

Read a sample of My Place on the publisher’s website.

Click here for Teachers’ Notes


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