Book reviews by Gabriel, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Jammer

Image shows the cover of a children's book with a girl wearing shirt and shorts, helmet, long socks, knee pads and roller skates. She's crouching and looks serious.


The Jammer by Nova Weetman, University of Queensland Press, ISBN 9780702265426

The publisher provided a review copy of this title.

Being someone who others would consider nomadic is the norm for Fred, the main character. But in her life, there were always two constants – family and roller derby – until there weren’t anymore. This foundation crumbles to rubble in the first chapter.

After arriving in Melbourne, where her mum grew up, Fred soon discovers that everyone she meets knew a different side to her mum. 

How does Fred get used to this unwanted new life? Does she go back to roller derby or are the memories too much? How does Fred sew up the gaping hole of loss that she feels?

I recommend this book for readers who like roller derby and also those aged eight to thirteen, especially if they have lost loved ones unexpectedly. I like this book due to the way Nova Weetman puts this fantastic idea into words.

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

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

Book reviews by kids

Book review: Pearl Verses the World

Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy, ill. Heather Potter, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781921150937

"Pearl Verses the World"


Matilda reviewed her own copy of this book.

I saw this on the bookshelves at our house — I’ve met the author and I also really like Roses are Blue and The Floatingest Frog by Sally Murphy, so I read the first few pages of this book and I didn’t stop.

This book is about three people: Pearl, her mother and her grandmother. And that’s how it’s always been. But suddenly Pearl’s life changes. Her grandmother is ill and her mother is thinking they will have to send her grandmother to a nursing home.

This is a sad book. I liked the characters Mitchell Mason and Prudence Jones because they were very interesting people. Pearl Verses the World is a verse novel and I liked it even more than Roses Are Blue, which is also a verse novel.

I would recommend this book to kids 7+ because it’s about school and it might be too sad for younger kids.

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