Posted in Book reviews by Ayaan, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Neverseen

REVIEWED BY AYAAN, 10, VIC

The image shows the cover of a children's fantasy novel: Neverseen by Shannon Messenger. The cover illustation shows three children in cloaks and with wind-blown hair rushing along a wooden bridge while a huge wave splashes up behind them.

Neverseen by Shannon Messenger, Simon & Schuster Ltd, ISBN 9781471189449

Ayaan reviewed his own copy of this book.

Neverseen is the fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, written by Shannon Messenger. The three books that precede it are, in order, Keeper of the Lost Cities, Exile and Everblaze.

Sophie Foster and her friends must go into hiding. And who better to keep them safe, than the Black Swan. They all have mixed feelings about meeting Sophie’s creators. With stowaways, species-threatening plagues, bizarre disguises, after curfew meetings and traitors, can they make it through and finally defeat the Neverseen?

When they meet with the Black Swan’s ruling order, they see bizarre disguises. Who are these mysterious people? Who is Squall, Granite, Blur, Wraith and Mr Forkle? When will they find out?

I would rate this book ten out of ten. I especially love the plot twist at the end when the traitor is finally revealed.


Ayaan is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read more of his book reviews here. To send us YOUR book review, read our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by kids

Book review: A Wind in the Door

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

REVIEWED BY JON, 10, CALIFORNIA, USA

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle, St Martins Press, ISBN 9780312368548

Jon reviewed his own copy of this book.

This is an adventure-fantasy novel where a child named Charles Wallace is sick, because he is infected with the Echthroi, who are the antagonists of the book. The Echthroi are evil beings trying to erase creation. A teacher by the name of Blajeny comes to Meg and Calvin. Meg is the main character and Calvin is her best friend. The teacher says that Meg’s brother Charles Wallace is sick and that Meg, Calvin, and Progo will try to save him. The book has the adventure you would want to read because they travel to other dimensions.

I like adventure-fantasy novels. I enjoyed the book because the impossible was real. I liked that the book had no pictures so the reader can imagine the characters. I wonder if they will make a movie?

Kids who love adventure fantasy will love this book. 

Visit the publisher’s website to read an excerpt from A Wind in the Door


This is Jon’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by Fergus, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Shadowghast

REVIEWED BY FERGUS, 12, WA

Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor

Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor, Walker Books Ltd, ISBN 9781406386301

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Get ready to join Herbie and Violet on another nail-biting adventure in the mysterious sea side town of Eerie-on-Sea. Shadowghast is the third book in the Eerie-on-Sea mysteries series by Thomas Taylor. With Autumn coming round, and the annual Shadowghast festival coming up, everyone is tense. So, no one really pays attention to the performers arriving for the festival. And still, no one notices when people start disappearing. Herbie and Violet are arguing but can they put their differences aside in time to solve what might be the most dangerous mystery yet?

            Shadowghast is the amazing sequel to Malamander and Gargantis. It is, I think, my favourite yet. Thomas Taylor has, like usual, created a fantastic story with lots of mystery and suspense. The plot and characters are great there are many great twists that no one would suspect. Shadowghast kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book. I would recommend this to anyone 9+ and I would rate it 10 out of 10.

I am sorry if I have left you hanging off a cliff but if you want to find out more then read it yourself and who knows … Maybe you recognise the flickering neon lights or the theatre on the end of the pier.    

Shadowghast is out now! Ask for it at your favourite bookshop or local library.


Fergus is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read read his earlier reviews of Malamander (Book 1 in this series) and Gargantis (Book 2 in this series). If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by Ayaan, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Bad Beginning

REVIEWED BY AYAAN, 10, VIC

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 9780064407663

Ayaan reviewed his own copy of this book.

This is a book written by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler).

The Bad Beginning is the first book in the series: A Series of Unfortunate Events. The series, unsurprisingly, has thirteen books, and the thirteenth book ends on the thirteenth chapter! These books are about the misfortune of the Baudelaire children. 

This first book in the series is the start of the Baudlaire children’s misfortune and misery. The Baudelaire children are orphans after a fire that wiped out their parents. Violet, who is the oldest and a girl of fourteen, loves inventing. Klaus, a boy of twelve, is an avid reader. Sunny, an infant, has four sharp teeth and loves to bite things. Violet is to inherit the Baudelaire fortune when she is of age.

They are adopted by Count Olaf who is horrid and mean. But is he just mean or is something sinister going on? When they come over for dinner, his acting troupe look a bit suspicious. When the children are invited to perform in Count Olaf’s play, something seems amiss. What are Count Olaf and his troupe planning?

I would rate this book five stars as it is mysteriously interesting. This book is good for people who like mystery and are aged 9+.

Oh, by the way, the book is written in a way that not many books are written. Just something you ought to know.

(Take a sneak peek inside the book!)


This is Ayaan’s first review for Alphabet Soup. To 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 Kobe

Book review: The Poison Jungle

THE POISON JUNGLE by Tui T SutherlandREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle by Tui T Sutherland, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9781743835241

Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book.

This month I review a really funny book by Tui T. Sutherland, the New York Times best-selling author and famous writer of the Wings of Fire series. This book may look a bit too fat for young children to read! But NO, this book is completely fine for keen readers like me to read. Also, by the way, this book doesn’t contain loads of violence or anything, so it’s completely OK!

I smartly chose this outstanding book because the characters are all extremely hilarious like the little HiveWing dragonet, Bumblebee, who always shouts “SNUDOO!” Instead of “SUNDEW!” who is a LeafWing that lives in the only bit of trees on the lost continent Pantala, The Poison Jungle. The SilkWing, Blue is a flamesilk, which means he produces silk from his silk glands, but it produces silk to look like flame, like his sister Luna. Cricket, the HiveWing, is like me and always tries to ask lots and lots of questions.

I really hope you’ll take my word and read this magical adventure and be sucked in with the characters and fight the evil of Pantala off the surface of this mysterious lost continent, join the Chrysalis, a group of SilkWings who want to stop the evil HiveWing queen, Queen Wasp from taking over and remember that the power of Wings of Fire is always with you no matter what.

Now come on! Lets go into that book and go save the fantastic world!


Kobe is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews hereTo send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!