Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Rebecca

Book Review – Ghost Club: A Transylvanian Tale

Ghost Club: A Transylvanian Tale by Deborah Abela, ISBN 9781742758534, Random House Australia

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher

A Transylvanian Tale (cover)

Edgar, Angeline and Dylan are ghost catchers and they are off to Transylvania for the annual Ghost Club Convention. This is the third book in the Ghost Club series — and Dylan is still anxious about his role as a ghost catcher. He’s terrified of … well … just about everything. He’s doing his best to be brave but his efforts to impress Angeline tend to end badly. Besides, Angeline is distracted by the celebrity Ghost Catcher Ripley Granger. In fact, everyone but Dylan seems to be distracted by Ripley. Only Dylan senses that something at the convention is not quite right — he has a feeling that something terrible is about to happen.

This is a spooky adventure story full to the brim with ghosts, vampires and kid ghost-hunters with cool gadgets (plus a touch of romance and humour.)

Read chapter one (for free!) on the publisher’s website.

© April 2013 “Review of Ghost Club: A Transylvanian Tale” by Rebecca Newman (https://soupblog.wordpress.com)
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Eric Vale Epic Fail

Eric Vale Epic Fail by Michael Gerard Bauer, illustrated by Joe Bauer, ISBN 9781862919221, Scholastic Australia

Reviewed by Dalong Xing, 9, NSW*

Eric Vale Epic Fail (cover)

This book is a comedy fiction book. It is about a boy called Eric Vale who got a nickname—Eric Vale Epic Fail. He got it because he was always doing things wrong. Then one day a new girl named Aasha Alsufi from Africa came to Eric’s class. But the new girl wouldn’t talk to people, so the whole class tried to make her talk or laugh. The class was so excited about the new girl that they all forgot about Eric’s nickname.
Then one day they had a  swimming carnival and Eric wanted to beat Martin Fassbender so he could get a nickname called Eric Vale Epic Win but instead he made it worse. At last someone made the new girl speak and guess who that is?
I liked the whole book because it was funny and long. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book. My favourite part was when Eric got a nickname. I liked all the pictures because they were very interesting. I think the book would suit mostly boys because there might be some rude parts. It will suit ages 7 to 12 and my friends will like it.
"Undercover Readers Club logo"* Dalong Xing is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. (Download information about the club on the magazine’s website.) A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. 
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Pippa

Book Review – Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper, by Maggie Alderson, ill. Claire Fletcher, ISBN 9780670075355, Viking (Penguin Group Australia).

Reviewed by Philippa, age 9 ½ .*

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper's HelperEvangeline the toy elephant lives a life under the bed of her child, who now no longer plays with her. Evangeline only comes out when she is pushed out by the lady who comes to clean and vacuum every week.  But when she is transported Upstairs, she experiences a whole new life, meets lots of new friends and is even selected to help the wish keeper directly to grant wishes. One by one, the toys all get selected for a special job helping to keep the hope in wishes, until Evangeline is the only one left. Will Evangeline’s wish be granted?

This is a chapter book. The writer paints the pictures in your head, and when you turn a page to a colourful illustration, they are just right!

Children aged 7 to 12 would love this amazing story.

*Philippa is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper was provided by the publisher.

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Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School students (Part III)

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Harry, age 11, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)This book is great if you love stories which are based on Black Saturday’s bushfires and even still it’s great for adventure lovers.

Luke and Sarah have arrived at a small town called Edenville. Luke has already had a fight with someone, which isn’t surprising because he’s had fights before at other places. Luke’s friend Tiny had lived in a small town in Russia which had been invaded by Russian troops, so he went to live somewhere else. Tiny has a big heart and predicted that a fire will happen but no-one believed him.

This is such an emotional book it just brings you in. Every chapter makes you want to read more because it leaves a question waiting to be answered. The characters are good because you’ve got all variety like: mean people like Brian, kind-hearted people like Tiny, and just ordinary people like Luke.

I recommend Where There’s Smoke for any gender and for people over nine years of age. I personally rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

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Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School (Part II)

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Tyler, age 11, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)Recently my class read a book called Where There’s Smoke. This book is written by John Heffernan and shows you all the qualities you need to live a happy life.

Where There’s Smoke tells the story of a family living in a small town called Edenville where they are on the run from their father and husband. Luke is a regular boy, about twelve years of age, who has a friend named Tiny who is really tall and has a heart as strong as a tiger. Tiny pretends to be Nina’s—Luke’s mum’s—boyfriend so that Nina’s ex husband doesn’t follow or hurt them. When everything seemd to be cruising around well Tiny, who is Russian, gets a bit worried about a bushfire coming. The fire came and it didn’t want to leave. Some people left and some people stayed and fought. Tiny saved a boy and got third degree burns. When everything seemed to be a disaster Luke finally got something he’d waited for, a call.

This book is great and each chapter gives you a thrill of adrenalin and wants you to read more. It is emotional and very descriptive using metaphors and similes that would blow your mind. I hope to be reading more from Mr Heffernan soon.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

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Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School students

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Alexandra, age 10, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)For the last few weeks, our class has been reading Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan. All or most of the class really enjoyed it.

Where There’s Smoke is about a boy called Luke and his mum, Nina. They had been running away from Luke’s dad until a friend of Nina’s (Tiny Cob) told them about Edenville, the place that becomes their new, safe home. In Edenville Luke makes friends with Sarah and develops a very close friendship with Tiny Cob. But when a bushfire comes, how can Luke help the town of Edenville? The place that he now calls his home.

This book was a great book that I really enjoyed. I think it made me understand things like: The house is the place that people live in, the home is the people that live in it. Where There’s Smoke also is an adventurous story as well as the type of book that helps you learn things.

All together I think that Where There’s Smoke is a wonderful book for all ages, out of ten I would rate it nine and my standard is very high. I would like to read another one of John Heffernan’s books one day.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

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Posted in info, teachers' resources

Issue 7 out May 17!

Inside the winter 2010 issue of Alphabet Soup:

  • Meet Sandy Fussell, author of the Samurai Kids series, Polar Boy, and Jaguar Warrior
  • stories and poems by adults and children
  • inside a hotel made of ice
  • writing tips for kids, from The Book Chook
  • book reviews
  • writing competition – win a $20 book voucher!

We’ll also have details of the 2010 design-a-cover competition. The winner will have their artwork featured on the cover of our summer 2010 issue (out in November 2010). For details, check inside issue 7, or visit the competitions page on the Alphabet Soup website on Monday 17 May 2010.

Are you a subscriber? Subscribers are entered into a draw every season – this season’s winner receives a $200 book pack from Walker Books! (Books may differ from those pictured.)

Visit the Alphabet Soup website to subscribe online.