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!

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

Book review: The Simple Things

The Simple Things by Bill Condon, ill. Beth Norling, ISBN 9781743317242, Allen and Unwin

The Simple Things (cover)

REVIEWED BY JOSEPH, 11, WA

Joseph reviewed his own copy of this book.

The Simple Things is about a boy named Stephen who’s never met his great aunt Lola before. His only connection with her is the birthday and Christmas cards she sends to him with $10 inside. His family goes to stay with his great aunt because they haven’t seen her in over 10 years and they’re her only relatives left. Stephen thinks there will be nothing to do and Aunty Lola seems very stubborn — she overreacts to everything.

I enjoyed this book because I liked how the characters were reacting to their situation. The illustrations at the start of every chapter are comic-like and black and white. They suit the characters and the story, and give a bit of a hint about what’s going to happen in each chapter without entirely giving everything away.

I thought the choice of cover illustration didn’t suit the book the best. I think the picture that was at the start of chapter 4 would have been better for the cover because the whole book isn’t about Stephen going fishing (and he’s alone on the cover, but he’s almost never alone in the book.)

This is a book about unusual friendships. It was an easy, quick read for me so I think ages 8 to 12 would enjoy it.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Lennie the Legend. 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: Toppling

Toppling by Sally Murphy, ill. Rhian Nest James, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781921529429

Toppling (cover)

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 12, WA

Celine reviewed her own copy of this book.

I attended a Literature Centre session last term where Sally Murphy was teaching us how to write poetry. She showed us some of her books she had written, and this was one of them, so when they announced that they were selling some of Sally’s books, I jumped at the chance to buy my very own copy of Toppling.

John loves to play with dominoes; they are his passion. He plays with them in his spare time, and when his mother is not looking. Coincidentally, his best friend’s name is Dominic, which sounds a lot like domino. Dominic and John and have a group of friends, which consist of Joseph, Christian and Tran. They hang out together at school all the time, so when Dominic is suddenly sick, John, Joseph, Christian and Tran become very worried. Dominic has to go to hospital, and John and his friends have not seen him for quite a while. They hope he won’t pass away. Will John, Joseph, Christian and Tran ever see Dominic again?

This was a unique book, where the whole story was in verse. It is not rhyming poetry, but it was very entertaining, telling the story of a group of friends, and how they coped with their friend’s absence. I absolutely adored this book, and I felt so sorry for John, Dominic and their friends. I really hoped Dominic would get better soon.

I would rate this book 105%, and it is recommended to a very wide audience, especially people who have had a sick friend or family member.

Celine is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Pharaoh, the boy who conquered the Nile. 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, Book reviews by Matilda

Book review: Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion

Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion by Anna Branford, ill. Sarah Davis, ISBN 9781 922244369, Walker Books Australia

Violet Mackerel's Helpful suggestion

 

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

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

Do you know Rose from Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend and Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest? Rose is going to go to Japan for six weeks. Violet is excited as well as Rose but it’s a particular sort of excited. Violet has a bad feeling. What if Rose forgets about her?

I think this is a very good book to lead on from Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest. I learned some Japanese words and at the back the activity is ‘How to make your own set of flashcards’ and I think I might try to do that for my spelling words.

My favourite part about this book is that Violet learns the Japanese word for smile (egau) and then she uses the Japanese word instead of the English word when she is talking about smiles after that.

I really like the illustrations in the Violet Mackerel books because I like the style of drawing. There was one thing I was thinking about: it is interesting how on the front cover Violet looks older than she does in the illustrations inside the book.

This book is recommended by me for ages 6 to 9.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Our Australian Girl: Meet Ruby. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!