Book reviews by kids

Book review: Cicada Summer

Cicada Summer by Kate Constable, Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781741758283

cicada summer


Cicada Summer by Kate Constable falls into my ‘Best Book Ever’ category. It is about a girl called Eloise, who never speaks, and her dad, who are both moving to the country, near where Eloise’s grandma lives. Before going to see her grandma, they stop at an old house her dad wants to turn into something else. Eloise walks into the house and suddenly hears a girl a bit younger than her calling, “I’m coming!” Then this little girl runs down the stairs and at the sight of her Eloise runs out of the house. This is where the story really begins.

After staying at her grandma’s for a while, Eloise finally goes back to the creepy old house again on her bike. She notices a summerhouse and walks in with her eyes shut. Some cicadas that were singing suddenly stop, and Eloise opens her eyes in confusion. She’s in another time, in another place.

She soon meets Anna, who looked just like the girl in the creepy house. But when Eloise meets her, she is confused. Two years ago her mother died, and her name was Anna. Because of this, Eloise thinks she has gone back in time.

But when her dad finds his new girlfriend Lorelei Swan, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Can Eloise fix everything? Will she ever talk again and find out what was really happening with the summerhouse?

I reckon this book is quite amazing and everyone should have a go at reading it. The questions above are what kept me going. I loved the mystery and the intrigue of the book and just couldn’t put it down until I had finished! The language is fairly easy, and I bet you’ll fall in love with it by the first sentence.

This is Jemivieve’s first book review for Alphabet Soup (thanks, Jemivieve!). If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: A Misunderstanding

A Misunderstanding

by Jemivieve, 11, Victoria

I frowned at Sophie and pulled on my mask. We were about to do sword fighting (only with fake, plastic swords, of course) at our summer camp.

“Bring it on, Dumb Darcy,” Sophie said. I hated how she called me that.

“Fine, bring it on, then, Stupid Sophie.” I shot back. Everyone knew how much we hated each other.

“Three, two, one, go!” the lady announced.

With our plastic swords we fought. We ran a long way and eventually came to the edge of a cliff. The others had stayed behind. I gasped as I slipped and fell. I heard Sophie scream too, as I had accidently hit her with my sword and bumped her off the cliff. I hopped up, as soon as possible, and ran to her in fright.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

“Yeah — I think,” she called, clutching a branch that stuck out of the cliff with her hands.

“Hold on — I’ll help you up.”

I lay down on the muddy grass and reached my arm out to her. I held my other hand on my sword I had dug deep into the ground. But before I could even start to pull she pulled me off the cliff and down with her. I screamed, fell and cried out in pain as I bruised my leg.

“Oops,” Sophie said sarcastically.

“Hey! I was only trying to help you! Listen, I’m sorry that we’ve fought for so long, and I’m really sorry for all the things we’ve done to each other — but please forgive me, because the only way we can get back up is by helping each other.”

She smiled at me for the first time. “So, you’re saying that if I help you, the war is over?”

“Yes.” We smiled at each other and I heaved Sophie up onto the ground, and she then pulled me up.

“Thanks,” I began. “Hey, you know, if we really hated each other, then we wouldn’t have helped each other up — right?”

“Oh yeah,” Sophie looked guilty. “In fact, I’ve been so busy worrying about hating you that I’ve forgotten to make friends, but it would be nice to have one.”

“Yeah, same here. You know, we might have a lot in common — why don’t we try to be friends?”

“Okay.”  Holding hands we made our way back to the others.

“Did you hate me, all that time?” I asked.

“Only because I thought you hated me.”

“Really? I hated you for that same reason!” We laughed. We had spent so long hating each other — all because of a little misunderstanding.