Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Jacky Ha Ha

REVIEWED BY AZUKI, 10, NSW

Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Kerascoet Kerascoet, Little Brown & Co, ISBN 9780316262491

Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Jacky is known for her pranks, jokes and her stutter. Ever since she introduced herself as “My name is Jacky Ha-ha-hart,” in primary school, people made fun of her. She always played along, but middle school is a whole new area of trouble. She starts off with twenty detentions and is left with two options: get a double detention at home or go into a school play directed by a new teacher. But Jacky has another problem. Her loving mother is in Saudi Arabia because of war!

My favourite scene was the food fight at McDonalds. It started off as a rhyming competition and the loser was supposed to pay for all of the milkshakes. But in the end, everyone starts throwing pepper packets, squirting ketchup and mustard … even spraying Coke everywhere!

I also love the bit where Jacky and the people in the play put on a show for Jacky’s unwell Nona (her Italian grandmother) and the people in the old folks’ home. It is so heart-warming because her Nona is happy after the show. She couldn’t wipe the smile off her face.

The message of the book is that it’s ok to be yourself. Don’t let people mould you like some kind of clay. Cherish your personality because it doesn’t matter if other people don’t like it. I also learnt to not let the little things seem big. You have to let it go and just flip the page.


Azuki has had work published at Alphabet Soup before — you can read it 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: Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Collins Modern Classics, ISBN 0007155026

harriet the spy (cover)

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

Matilda borrowed a copy of this book from her local library.

Harriet is 11 and she likes to know everything about people, so she watches them without them knowing (and writes all about them in her notebook). Her best friends are Sport (whose name is really Simon) and Janie.

One day Harriet is playing chasey with her classmates — they run around knocking books out of each other’s arms. One of her books is her notebook and a classmate picks it up and starts reading it. (Harriet hasn’t only written good things. This is a disaster.)

There were some interesting old-fashioned things in this book, like a dumbwaiter.

I liked how Harriet never gives up. Some of the book was funny, like the school play and the way Harriet’s dad talked (and sometimes how Harriet copies him) and when her dad joins Harriet in trying to act like an onion.

I like this book because Harriet wasn’t like anyone else I’ve met.

People aged 9 to 14 will like this book because it’s about kids at school, friendship and how writing mean things can break a friendship.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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