Posted in poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Lest We Forget

LEST WE FORGET
Emma, 12, SA

The rain gently climbs over the bodies in turn, washing away our sorrow and misery.
We observe the world crashing and burning … I close my eyes and breathe.

Thousands of men trudge home, single file,
wondering if they are free from the horrors that haunt them I sit and watch close, though it feels like a mile …
I close my eyes and breathe.

We check our wounded and count our dead. Too few alive, too many gone from this world. Feeling Heavy with the tears unshed …
I close my eyes and breathe.

Even those I never got to know
I promise I will tell your story
I promise one day the world will know … I close my eyes and breathe

Their story is what I will live and die for Their story is what I bled and shot for
So their pain shall be known evermore … I close my eyes and breathe

Lest We Forget


You can read more of Emma’s work hereTo send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: In the Lamplight

In the Lamplight by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian SimmondsREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 12, WA

In the Lamplight by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925591224 

Matilda borrowed this book from the library. 

This is a diary-style illustrated book about World War I. It’s by the same illustrator and author of Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy.

In the Lamplight is about a girl called Rose growing up in England. She joined the hospital to help out, hoping to become a nurse one day. In her diary you see her hopes and ambitions, postcards, photographs, and letters. There are also letters from soldiers to their loved ones, and sometimes from her brother to her. The book switches between a diary and a novel format.

I liked how it shows a woman’s perspective of the war and how young some of the helpers were.

Readers who enjoyed Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy will want to read this book. I’d recommend it for 9 to 13 year olds.

Read a sample chapter at the publisher’s website.  


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Pure Beauty

PURE BEAUTY
by Sonia, 9, California, USA

Beauty is on the inside
Not on the outside

You can have pimples and warts
But still be the winner of hearts

Beauty is kindness and strength
Not fancy clothes and affluence

You can have perfect hair and be rich
But if you are vain and unkind
Your true beauty still has a glitch

An imperfect face with a kind wit
Still makes your beauty a perfect hit

That is the possession of pure, true beauty


Sonia’s poetry has been published previously at Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

TOP READS: August 2018

Here we are at the end of Book Month. We’ve been hearing about wonderful Book Week events all across the country—dress-up book parades, visiting authors & illustrators, bookish quiz events, book swaps, and so much more.

What better way to round off August than by grabbing a stack of recommended books? Members of our Top Reads team have a great selection for you this month. Try these top titles:

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month (February to November). If you’d like even more recommendations, browse all through all our Top Reads ever!

*All our Top Readers are kids aged 13 and under. No grownups allowed!

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

Book review: A Wrinkle in Time

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'EngleREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 12, WA

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Penguin Books Ltd, ISBN 9780241331163

Matilda borrowed this book from the library.

This is a science-fiction novel about a family whose dad is missing. The little brother discovers three ladies who seem to be able to travel to other dimensions, and they tell Charles Wallace that they know where his father is.

I like time-slip novels — this is sort of a dimension-slip novel. I really enjoyed it because it was so different from our world, and I liked the characters in the other world.

The copy of the book I read was a movie tie-in, and had photos from the movie in the middle pages of the book. That was annoying because I had an idea in my head of all the characters and then suddenly I came across the movie photos and they were completely different. (But I’d still like to see the movie.)

Kids who love weird fantasy adventure books will love this.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. 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 Matilda

Book review: Goldfish Boy

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson ((blue book cover showing a crowd of people and Matthew has a goldfish bowl on his head)REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 12, WA

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, Scholastic, ISBN 9781407170992

Matilda borrowed this book from the library. 

This is about a boy (Matthew) who has OCD and doesn’t like germs at all. He doesn’t like to leave the house.

Then the toddler next door goes missing, and Matthew was the last person to see him. Matthew feels he has to find out where the toddler is and starts trying to solve the mystery.

I liked that this wasn’t just a standard mystery/detective story, it had added layers because Matthew had his own problems to deal with too.

Readers aged 11 and older who like detective stories will enjoy The Goldfish Boy.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. 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 review: The adventures of Jellybean

REVIEWED BY TIRION, 9, VIC

The adventures of Jellybean by Bill Condon and Dianne Bates, UQP, ISBN 9780702260001

Book cover shows a white goat being chased by two small boys. In the background is a wooden fence on green grass and a clear blue sky.

The publisher provided a review copy of this title.

An imaginative adventure of mischief and fun! Guaranteed to make kids smile when they read about the tricks that Jellybean, a family pet goat, gets up to. I find that the authors bring alive the characters, Jellybean and her owners, Rory and Trang, by creating lots of exciting events and problems to solve. Authors Bill Condon and Dianne Bates try their best to make their readers laugh.

Will Jellybean ever stop eating what she’s not meant to?

The book keeps readers interested because Jellybean always gets caught up in a new exploit. This tale of fun and imagination is perfect for kids aged 6+ who enjoy humorous animal adventure stories. I give this book a 4 ½ star rating out of 5.


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