Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in 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!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: The Dragonet Prophecy

Image shows the cover of a children's book, Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T Sutherland. The cover illustration shows a brown coloured dragon flying over the sea.

REVIEWED BY KJ, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T Sutherland, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9780545349239

KJ reviewed the school’s copy of this book.

Do you like books with dragons and adventure? Well, I’ve got the right book for you. It’s called Wings of Fire. It’s about fire and water and changing color dragons.

I think you should read this book because it has adventures. Clay and his mom are dragons who have training on how to fight an evil dragon named Queen Scarlet who kidnapped all of Clay’s friends. Tsunami can fight anything and will fight anything. She can see in the dark and breathe underwater.

One reason I like this book is because Clay and his friends are always kind to other dragons. The second reason I like the book is because it has lots of detail. For example, the dragons have lots of detail. The third reason that I like this book is because my favourite part is when they meet a bunch of dragons. It’s my favourite part because the dragons all become friends. These are some reasons why you should read this book.

I recommend this book for ages 6 to 12. 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!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Action Presidents series

Image shows the cover of a children's book: Action Presidents by Fred Van Lente and Stan Dunlavey. The cover shows a comic-book-style illustration of George Washington with short white hair, a square jaw and a blue jacket with gold buttons and shoulder epaulettes. George Washington is holding a fist up close to the viewer and gazing off into the distance. Behind him is a sun glow.

REVIEWED BY NATHAN, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Action Presidents series by Fred Van Lente Ryan Dunlavey, HarperCollins Publishers, Book 1 ISBN 9780062891181

Nathan read his school’s copies of this series.

Do you like books with true history and fake jokes? Well, you are going to like the Action Presidents series. My name is Nathan and I live in the USA. I think you should read Action Presidents because they have PT boats, and on PT 109 – Kennedy and his crew sank in Japanese-held territory.

It’s got cool presidents, true history and fake jokes such as in the fourth book when Kennedy says, “Never mind about Laos, what did Caroline do today?”

One reason you should read about Action Presidents is because the presidents are very good decision makers. Another reason that I like this book is because the pictures are very cool.They are the coolest comic pictures I have ever seen. The last reason I like this book is because it tells which presidents are some kind of Christian.

These are some of the reasons why you should read this book. I recommend this book for ages 7 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!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: The Bad Guys

Image shows the cover of a children's graphic novel: The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey. The cover's background is bright orange. At the bottom of the book's cover are cartoon illustrations in black and white and grey showing a snake, a wolf wearing a suit and tie, a shark wearing a suit and tie and a piranha.

REVIEWED BY CHIAGOZIEM, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9780545912402

Chiagoziem reviewed the school’s copy of this book.

Do you like books with talking animals? Then you should read The Bad Guys! because it is silly and funny. The characters’ names are Mr Wolf, Mr Shark, Mr Piranha, and Mr Snake. Mr Shark and Mr Piranha don’t need water to survive. Also Mr Piranha is Hispanic. There is a Guinea pig named Marmalade. Marmalade has a mum and dad.

One reason I like this book is because of the silly parts. For example, one time Mr Shark dressed up as an old lady. The bad guys aren’t bad, they’re good guys, in fact. The second reason I like this book is because sometimes what they say is funny. For example, Mr Piranha always says “Chico’s”. A third reason I like this book is because the characters are hilarious. In the story, they act like they’re mad all the time.

I think you should read this book because it has funny characters. I recommend this book for kids aged eight. I’ll 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!