Book reviews by Gabriel, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Time Out!

Photo shows the cover of a children's novel: Time Out! by Eddie Woo and Jess Black and illustrated by Mitch Vane. The cover illustration features a giant question mark, and a boy in a red shirt holding a magnifying glass up to his eye.


Time Out! by Eddie Woo and Jess Black, illustrated by Mitch Vane, Pan Macmillan Australia, ISBN 9781760982997

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Searching for a new book to dive into over the holidays or when you are bored? Or figure you are a bit of a detective? Time Out! is a mystery novel by Eddie Woo & Jess Black. It is part of the Whodunnit? series currently containing two novels, the other one being Team Trouble. The main protagonist of the book is young Eddie Woo, a super sleuth and maths whizz. Together with his friends, Rusty and DT, they accidentally stumble across a treasure hunt created by Henry Cedric James in the 1880s. Even though their suburb of Red Hill is small there can still be an action-packed adventure. 

Henry was the founder of Red Hill and hand-built many public buildings like the Council school, lighthouse, old cathedrals, parks and many homes. In some of these locations he left hints and ciphers to where the next clue might be. It is rumoured that Henry worked at the Ballarat Goldfields before founding the new suburb. When he passed away, he left most of his gold hidden, rumoured to be at the end of the treasure hunt. But every good story needs an antagonist so, someone is going to take drastic measures to ensure Eddie doesn’t reach the end!

This is an awesome book including maths and instrumental talents. I rate this book 5 stars out of 5 as it has a good climax, resolution and includes maths to explain things.

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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: The Lost Twin (Scarlet & Ivy Book 1)

Scarlet & Ivy The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly


Scarlet & Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780007589180

Matilda borrowed this book from her local library. 

Ivy was always the quiet twin, the mirror image, so when Scarlet disappears, Ivy really misses her. When Miss Fox (the principal of Scarlet’s school) turns up at Ivy’s front door, things start to get suspicious …

Why should Ivy have to pretend to be Scarlet?

I really loved this book, as there were so many twists in the plot. One moment you thought they were nearly at the end of the mystery, and the next moment something happens to change your mind. I would definitely recommend this book for readers who love mystery, and readers who love the St Clare’s and Malory Towers books [by Enid Blyton].

Readers aged 9 to 14 would enjoy this series. 4.5 stars!

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Island of Dr Libris


The Island of Dr Libris

The Island of Dr Libris by Chris Grabenstein, Random House Children’s Books, ISBN 9780553538434

Joseph borrowed this book from his public library.

I really enjoyed Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library (another book by the same author) so I was excited to find this book at the library. Although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t as good as Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library, which was my favourite book this year.

In this book: In the holidays Billy has to go to a boring cabin with his mum instead of staying at the apartment with his dad. Billy’s mum rented the cabin from Dr Libris, her university professor, for a very good price and she’s going to sit and work on her dissertation all holidays. Billy has to entertain himself, so when he smashes his iPhone and there is no other technology he has to amuse himself by reading books from Dr Libris’ giant collection. But as he starts reading he can hear strange sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life. Together with Walter — a boy he met around the cabins — he goes to investigate what’s happening on the island.

This is a fantasy adventure I would recommended for ages 10+ because it has quite a lot going on in the book and you need to be able to follow it. You’ll appreciate it best if you already know about well-known characters from classic literature like Robin Hood, Tom Sawyer and others.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!