Beaconsfield Primary School, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Mary’s Australia


Mary's Australia

Mary’s Australia: How Mary MacKillop changed Australia by Pamela Freeman, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781922077905

This non-fiction story is a true story of Mary MacKillop who is a teacher who educated children in the late 1800s. Mary was born in 1842 and died in 1909 of a stroke. Mary watched Australia grow from WA, NSW, SA and Van Diemen’s Land to what we know today — a nation, Australia.

Mary wanted to become a nun. So in 1866 she and her two sisters Lexie and Annie set up a school in an old stable. Her brother fixed the roof up so it wouldn’t leak. They got permission from a bishop to begin the order of nuns known as the institute of St Joseph of Sacred Heart. A nun is a person who goes to orphanages to teach them.

I would recommend this book to people who are interested in non-fiction books and Australia’s history. I would recommend this book to year 5s and above and maybe some year 4s because it would be too hard to read it in year 3, year 4 and younger.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 because it is what I am interested in reading and tells you about Australia’s history as well.

This is Ellis’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary students, you can click on ‘Beaconsfield Primary School’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Lennie the Legend

Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony by Stephanie Owen Reeder, NLA Publishing, ISBN 9780642278654

Lennie the Legend (cover)


A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

This is about a nine-year-old boy in 1932 who has a dream to ride his pony to Sydney for the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (He lived in Victoria.)

This book is based on a true story and when I heard about the book I thought it sounded adventurous. I also wondered why Lennie would want to do that? Because when I was nine, I wouldn’t want to be away from my parents and I would have been homesick. No nine year olds I’ve ever known could have done this spectacular feat. He was obviously a brave person with a goal he was determined to achieve.

For people who want to know about Australian history, it gives information that’s not normally known by Australian kids. Lennie the Legend has a glossary, photos of old-fashioned flyers and advertisements and certificates and things, old photos of places and people, maps and newspaper articles from the time. I didn’t think it was as good as some other historical books I’ve read — like Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer. Because in Light Horse Boy I felt more like I was there at the time watching everything happen but Lennie the Legend isn’t like that, it’s a different style of book.

Lennie the Legend is a real piece of history. This book would suit kids Lennie’s age and up.

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