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

Book review: Pharaoh, the boy who conquered the Nile

Pharaoh, the Boy Who Conquered the Nile by Jackie French, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780207200823

Pharaoh cover

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 12, WA

Celine reviewed her own copy of this book.

Narmer is 12 years old, and is often referred to as ‘The Golden One’, by the people of his town because they believe that he has potential to be a ruler, to follow the footsteps of his father, the king. Although he is the second-born child, he is preferred by his father and was therefore chosen to be the heir to the throne. His older brother Hawk, is a pleasant and kind brother, and always treats Narmer with care. But as the days pass by, and Narmer becomes more worthy of the throne, Hawk may not want to be the gentle, caring brother anymore.

After an awful incident with a crocodile, Narmer finds that he has been left with scars and wounds that may disable him forever. He may not have the strength to lead his people anymore. When a foreign trader arrives from another town to offer goods for gold, Narmer discovers his gift for trading. He decides to become one of the trader’s apprentices, and learns from the trader’s ways, as the trader and his travelling group continue to journey across the Nile. Will Narmer be able to survive this journey? What will become of his future?

I admire Narmer because when times were tough, Narmer was resilient. He was daring, even as a little boy. This book is suitable for children aged 11 to 14 who enjoy historical fiction. If I were part of the Children’s Reading Council, I would award this book with the highest commendations. It is a must read for everyone!

Celine is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  My Life as an Alphabet. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book review: My Life as an Alphabet

My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg, Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9781743310977

My Life as an Alphabet

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 12, WA

Celine reviewed her own copy of this book

Candice Phee has led an extraordinary life, and her family has gone through much sadness: the loss of her younger sister’s life, her mother’s breast cancer, and her father’s fight with his brother. Candice herself has no friends, and many of her classmates think of her as someone who has ‘special needs’, even though she is perfectly normal. She desperately wants her family and herself to become normal, and happy as they used to be. When Douglas Benson, the new kid in class becomes friends with Candice, things start to change. Candice decides that she will make everyone happy, and so, with the help of Uncle Brian and the advice of Earth-Pig-Fish, Candice strives to make her world a better place. Will her plan work?

This book is recommended to girls who love stories about relationships with a twist of science fiction. It was a marvellous story, and although some of it was hard to believe, I would give this book a rating of 10/10.

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

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

Book review: The Broken Sun

The Broken Sun by Darrell Pitt (A Jack Mason adventure: Book 3), ………ISBN 9781922182166, Text Publishing.

the broken sun

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 12, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Jack and his friends witness a ghastly robbery of a priceless item from the museum. This crime is soon followed by yet another, of The Broken Sun, an ancient relic that apparently leads to New Atlantis. Mr Doyle, a detective who is training Jack and his friend Scarlet, is shocked by the news that Phillip his son, who had been thought to be deceased for so long, could still be alive.

When Gloria, Mr Doyle’s receptionist, is pricked by a mysterious thorn that results in an almost fatal coma, Jack and his friends feel that they must find New Atlantis with the help of the Broken Sun to find a cure for her. Will they survive this risky journey, and who is so desperate to find the Broken Sun that they are willing to murder?

The Broken Sun is a thrilling book, with historic and futuristic elements in it. I particularly enjoyed chasing the enemy in Jack’s shoes.

This book is recommended to boys aged 11 and up, who like a twist of mystery and eccentric girls who like to read boyish books. I would give it a rating of 8/10.

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

Book review: The Secret Abyss

The Secret Abyss by Darrell Pitt, ISBN 9781922147967, Text Publishing

The Secret Abyss

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 11, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Imagine living in a world where an infamous villain could be around the corner. One of your long lost friends comes bleeding and gives you a message but because he is dying the messages are shuffled. Jack Mason and his allies are on a mission to capture the Chameleon, a dangerous assassin, who has escaped from prison. Somebody else, however, is involved in the case. Charles Ashgrove, who is apparently linked to an infamous terrorist group, helped the Chameleon escape to achieve numerous crimes. The first on their list is to kill the president. They have already captured an ingenious inventor to build their deadly weapon “The Whip of Fire”.

Will Jack and his allies be able to save the president? Can they catch the Chameleon and punish Charles Ashgrove in time?

Second in the series to The Firebird Mystery, The Secret Abyss was an enjoyable book with hilarious jokes, and scary villains. I was tied to the book from start to finish, experiencing the same story as the characters.

I would recommend this book to hungry bookworms who love a twist of dare and mystery. This book ended surprisingly, and I was both sad for the characters, yet happy for them as well. I would rate it a perfect score: 10/10.

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

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

Book Review: Shadow Sister

Dragonkeeper5: Shadow Sister by Carole Wilkinson, ISBN 978922179579, Black Dog Books

Dragonkeeper 5: Shadow Sister

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 11, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Young Tao has been roaming the mountains in search of a cure of dragons’ weakness: iron, when he stumbles across his old colleague/enemy Fo Tu Deng, along with a gang of nomads. When Tao and his dragon Kai finally escape these savages, he is stuck in a dark passage with unknown ghosts prodding him and breathing cold breath on him. After they escape these ghosts, Tao and Kai are turned upon a seven-headed snake monster, whose bite is deadly, and fatal.

When Tao returns to his deserted home, at night, when the moon shines, a ghost appears. Who is this mysterious ghost? What does she seek from Tao?

All is not as it seems. When battle arrives, will Tao and his new-sought allies actually survive? Can Tao find his qi to defeat the opposition? Will Tao and Pema survive?

Full of action and adventure, Shadow Sister is impossible to put down. Reading Shadow Sister was an adventure in itself, I felt like I was Tao being pursued, haunted, and questioned. I recommend it to ages 10 upwards, but it is not suitable to sensitive children (I was haunted by the ghost and couldn’t sleep one night).

This is the best book of the series, but since I am quite sensitive, I thought this book was a little on the scary side.

In all, I rate it 99.9999999999999999%.

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

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

Book Review: The Firebird Mystery

The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt, ISBN 9781922147752,
Text Publishing

The Firebird (cover)

Reviewed by Celine, 11, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

14-year-old Jack Mason is orphaned when his parents die in a circus. One day, a detective Ignatius Doyle is looking for an assistant, and the head of the orphanage asks Jack if he’d like to be the assistant. The acrobatic Jack accepts, and is straight away launched into a full-on adventure. Scarlet Bell, a 15-year-old girl comes to Mr. Doyle, and tells him that her father has been missing. They search Scarlet’s house and find one of Leonardo da Vinci’s original paintings that had gone missing, only with a firebird above it. What does this mean? Leonardo certainly didn’t paint a firebird into his painting. This was immediately followed by another case, when Professor M, a criminal mastermind gets hold of an atomic bomb that the ingenious Phoenix Society had created accidently. This atomic bomb can reduce London into rubble, killing thousands of millions of people in the process. Will they get out of this alive?

A thrilling book that contains adventurous characters that are willing to risk their lives. I would rate this book 4 ½ stars. Recommended to girls and boys 10 and above who love crime and mystery solving.

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

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

Book Review: The Apothecary

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy, ISBN 9781921758171, Text Publishing

Reviewed by Celine, 11, WA

The apothecary (cover)

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

14-year-old Janie lives in a world where war is very common. Her parents are communists, which means they are on a different side to most people. To avoid being put in prison, Janie and her parents have to leave America and move to London. When she arrives, a boy called Benjamin befriends her. However, being friends with Benjamin wasn’t a very smart move. Benjamin’s father is the apothecary, and owns a shop with potions. One day, while Benjamin and Janie were in the apothecary’s shop, the Russian spies turned up, and the apothecary thrusts them a magical book (the Pharmacopeia) and hides them in the cellar. When they go back upstairs, the shop has been ransacked and Benjamin’s father had disappeared. Will Benjamin ever find his father, the apothecary? Can Janie and Benjamin hide from the Russian spies? Is anyone trustworthy?

This was a spellbinding novel, with irresistible characters. Although the cover wasn’t very captivating, I was enthralled from the very first paragraph. I would highly recommend this book to children from ages 10–14, with a vast imagination. This novel receives 110% approval from me.

Celine is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of The 26-Storey Treehouse. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!