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

Book review: SICK BAY

 

Sick Bay by Nova WeetmanREVIEWED BY HANNAH, 12, QLD

Sick Bay by Nova Weetman, UQP,
ISBN 9780702260322

Hannah received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Meg uses the Sick Bay to hide from other kids. New girl Riley is a type 1 diabetic with an over-protective mother. They think they’ve worked each other out, but what if they’ve got it all wrong?

Sick Bay by Nova Weetman enfolds you into the world of Meg and Riley who are both working out and living through their own issues and yet somehow they are helping each other out even more.

Riley runs with the ‘popular’ clique. She’s well respected, praised even, although her peers don’t understand her diabetes. Her friends think that it’s something that they can just wish away or make fit into their life. Her mother is manic and controlling. Riley just wishes that she could be a normal teenager with a normal body, a normal mother and a normal life.

Meg is completely different. Her current best friend is a tattered, brown, paper bag that she keeps in her front pocket. She hides in sick bay to avoid other kids and PE. Her father died six months ago and ever since this tragic event, her life has changed dramatically. Meg wears slippers to school and begs for food from the office lady Sarah. There is a rumour going around about how poor she is.

They both meet in sick bay one day, and are oblivious as to how much their lives are going to change as a result.

Nova Weetman has kept the action moving and exciting while still managing to keep the storyline relaxing. She executed the emotions of the characters beautifully and I found myself siding with them and feeling their sorrow as well as their excitement.

I would recommend this book to ages 10 to 14. If you enjoyed The Endsister by Penni Russon or Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham, you are sure to love this one as well!


Hannah is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews hereIf 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: Missing Shoes

MISSING SHOES
Story and artwork by Joshua, 9, NSW

A sneaker with a red flame along the side

I couldn’t wait for this weekend! I was going to play against the Eagles in soccer! Dad bought me a new pair of sneakers for the game. Mum and dad chose the closest seats in the stadium that they could get.

At training, I practiced dribbling, passing, dodging, shooting and defending. I was sure we were going to win the trophy.

On Saturday, I rushed out to soccer. I did push-ups, sit-ups, dribbling, passing, dodging, shooting and defending. I was a right-mid-centre in the game.

Coach asked, “Are you ready, Josh?”
“No, I can’t find my new sneakers in my locker,” I replied, poking my head out.
“You’ll have to wear your old sneakers,” teased Fred as he walked by. He always teased me.
“Yes,” I groaned. I couldn’t let my team down, just because I couldn’t find my new sneakers.

Later in the game, the Eagles were leading by 4 to 3. We needed two or more goals to win the trophy.

“This is a dumb game,” shouted Fred as he kicked off his sneakers and stomped off to a bench. Fred, as well as being a teaser, was also a sore loser.

I turned around to look. When I read the label of the sneakers, it said, “Josh.” Fred must have stolen my sneakers when I wasn’t looking!

I put them on. Then I heard a shout, “Josh!”

It was Timmy! I got up and kicked the ball into the goal! It was a side kick.

Then I walked over to Fred and I asked, “Fred, why did you take my sneakers?”
Fred answered, “I thought your sneakers looked nice.”
“Fred, what do you think if you put your old sneakers back on and join the game as well?” I asked.
“My sneakers are worn out. The soles have fallen out and I don’t want to let my team down, but I had to …” Fred murmured.
“You can wear my old sneakers,” I replied.

Fred hesitated but soon he and I were back in the game. The game went on. We kicked, passed, kicked, tackled and dribbled, until Timmy passed it to me. I was clear, but soon an Eagle blocked the goal. I looked around. I saw Fred. He was clear. No one noticed him. I passed the ball to Fred. Fred kicked it into the goal. The whistle blew. We had won the trophy just in time.

Now Fred doesn’t tease me anymore, but we are best friends.


You can read some of Joshua’s earlier work here.  If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!
Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Friendship Tree

FRIENDSHIP TREE
by Gabriel, 7, NSW

A hand holding two green seeds. Photo courtesy of pexels.comDan found a seed and planted it in his family garden.

He wondered to himself, “What type of seed is it? An acorn or a pineapple or a …”

Every day, he watered the seed. He waited and waited. Every day, he checked the seed to see if it was growing.

One day, he saw a tiny green point. Dan still watered the plant as he did every day.

Ten days later, it was one metre tall. Every day, it grew ten centimetres taller which was very quick for a plant.

He saw some apples on it the same day, so he thought it was an apple tree.

Thirty days later it was three metres tall! He said to himself, “This tree is growing quick.” Then he saw it was growing apples, mangoes and acorns which were all fresh.

Another month later it was five metres tall! And this time it was growing five different types of fruit. He thought, “I could pick some fruit and make a fruit salad.” When he picked the fruit in the same place, the fruit grew back!

When he came indoors it was time for afternoon tea. He gave his mum some of the fruit and said, “This is some fruit that I picked off my tree. This fruit is for a fruit salad for afternoon tea.”

Then he went to set the table for afternoon tea. He thought afternoon tea will be tasty with the fruit salad and with the little muffins and cupcakes.  When he tasted the fruit salad, it was very sweet, but not too sweet.

When Dan had finished afternoon tea, he went to play fetch with his dog, Tom.

While Tom was coming back, he got out his note book and wrote:

Plan: I want to build a treehouse in my tree, enjoy the fruit in the tree, climb to the very top of the tree, have picnics under the tree and a swing.

Dan wanted a friend to play with, but most kids went to school.

Five days later, Dan started to build his new tree-house. When he was nailing his third piece of wood, he broke a branch off and it fell into Sam’s farm. (Sam was the neighbour.) He was resting out in his garden when he saw that some of his strawberry plants were crushed.

Then Sam told Dan, “I will tell your Mum and Dad to chop down that tree.” After Dan heard this, he was sad.

Sam had a little girl and her name was Sally. When Sam went to get the garden hose to water the farm, Sally came out. When Sally saw the treehouse that Dan was making, she wanted to be friends with Dan so that Dan would maybe let her go into the treehouse.

Sally went to Dan’s garden and then said, “Could you and me be friends?”

Dan answered, “Yes, we can be friends.”

Sally said, “Could I help you in building the treehouse?”

“OK,” said Dan.

So Sally and Dan set to work. CRASH! BANG! CRASH! BANG! The sound of the nailing was so loud that Sam came out and shouted, “Stop that noise!”

Then he saw it was Dan and Sally that were making the noise. And he saw their happy faces. He thought, “I should not tell Dan’s parents to chop down that tree. Or else their happy faces will became sad faces and now Sally has got a friend and I don’t want Dan to be sad because he might not want to be Sally’s friend.”

In the end, Dan became Sally’s best friend. And together the parents and children happily built the treehouse and the swing.


Gabriel is a regular contributer to Alphabet Soup. You can read some of his earlier work here. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: FRIENDS FOREVER

Friends Forever
by Anishka, 7, QLD

 On a nice winter afternoon, I was running down my school path and suddenly I stopped! I saw someone that I liked. She had black hair, brown skin, brown eyes, red lips and a bandage on her arm.

I asked what her name was, she looked back at me and said, “My name is Rida”.

She asked my name and I answered “Anishka”, then we wore a great big smile on our faces.

Surprisingly, she was living near to our suburb. We started carpooling. I went in her car in the morning and my dad picked us up in the afternoon, and we never missed a single day. We had great fun. We started going to each others houses during weekends and we enjoyed each other’s company a lot. In Grade 1, we were in same class. Rida and I were best friends.

One day, she told me that she was going to leave her house and school because her father got a job which is at the other end of the town. It was four more days and she will be going to her new house. I felt sorry but the lucky thing was, it wasn’t today. In our class, we had a farewell party for Rida and it was a free dress day. This is how the party started. Everybody were hiding under their desks. When Rida and I came to the class, everyone shouted surprise and me and Rida got surprised.

I knew it was fun but finally she left the school and moved to her new house. She was telling me, she will have fun in her new school. Now, I am going to school alone. When I am at the drop off zone at my school, I have no friends to talk with me and I feel very lonely and sad. I was playing alone in the playground. I wish Rida would come back soon but it is not possible. I hope Rida will get a new friend in her new school, but still we are best friends.


Anishka has been published at Alphabet Soup many times — you can read all her earlier work here.

If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

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

Book review: Raymie Nightingale

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, Walker Hardback, ISBN 9781406363135

Matilda borrowed this book from her local library.

Raymie’s father has run away with a dental hygienist. Raymie can think of only one way to get him back … she has to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition so he can see her picture in the paper. She thinks that will make him come home. To win the competition she has to learn to twirl a baton, and she has to do good deeds.

Now she has a problem — how can she complete these good deeds? And her new friends Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski are also entering the competition. Louisiana really wants to win. And Beverly is planning to sabotage the competition.

Louisiana’s grandma is my favourite character, and I love the part where she yells, ‘Quick, get in the car, Marsha Jean is hot on our trail!’

This is the third book of Kate DiCamillo’s that I have read — I also enjoyed Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Tale of Despereaux. I recommend Raymie Nightingale for ages 8+. It shows that to have a good friendship you need to be a good friend.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Lily in the Mirror. 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, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Snail and Turtle are Friends

REVIEWED BY CHARLOTTE, 9, VIC

Snail and Turtle are friends (cover)

Snail and Turtle are Friends by Stephen Michael King, Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781743620236

Charlotte read a copy of this book in her school library.

Snail and Turtle are Friends opens with the greeting:

Good morning Snail, Good morning Turtle.

Set outside in both the garden and open space, this story shows us that friends can be different, but still have fun.

The cover illustration is colourful. It caught my interest and made me wonder. This book is for ages 3+ because it is short, easy to read and very colourful.

Charlotte attends Oxley Christian College and this is her first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Max

REVIEWED BY CHARLIE, 9, VIC

Max (cover)

 

Max by Marc Marten, Penguin Books Australia, ISBN 9780670077434

Charlie read a copy of this book in his school library.

Bob, a fish and chip shop owner, is best friends with Max the seagull.

One day, Max comes to the shop but Bob is not there.

He waits, but when Bob doesn’t come, he flies high into the sky. Eventually, a salty and familiar smell comes over the air and he flies towards it. Does he find Bob?

I recommend this book for 6 year olds because the story is simple and fun to read.

I like it because it’s based on the reality that friends sometimes move away, but still like to reconnect and do what they did before when they meet up. Like Bob, I wouldn’t want my friend going away from me to live somewhere else.

Charlie attends Oxley Christian College and this is his first book review for Alphabet Soup. If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!