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 kids, Book reviews by Saskia

Book review: The Fire Star

REVIEWED BY SASKIA, 11, WA

The Fire Star by AL Tait

The Fire Star: A Maven and Reeve mystery by AL Tait, Penguin, ISBN 9781760897079

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The Fire Star was an interesting book, though it was hard to get into at the start. Maven is a servant to Lady Cassandra and Reeve is a squire for Sir Garrick. The plot is about how a precious stone, which is the foundation of Sir Garrick and Lady Cassandra’s marriage, gets stolen. This causes a lot of accusations and uncovered secrets. The book is filled with lots of plot twists and great descriptive language. The only downside is that the plot is rather complicated and so are the characters. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to ages 11+. I give it seven out of ten.

Read the first chapter on the publisher’s website

Read our interview with Allison Tait about writing The Fire Star


This is Saskia’s second review for Alphabet Soup. Read her review of My Place (Younger readers edition) by Sally Morgan.

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Saskia

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!