REVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 9780007492930
Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book.
Two girls that are friends are kidnapped at a certain time of their lives to find that one learns cruelty and evil while the other learns loyalty and good. In the end, the result is least expected because the two friends turn out to be great enemies.
Agatha was fine living in her town, Gavaldon and her friend Sophie. One night she was staying awake until she saw something black going towards Sophie’s house, she rushes over to find that they are both in a worse situation than she had planned. Then they are both kidnapped and taken to their true home. Agatha is surprised to see the location she is in because she had never known that fairy tales were real. She finds that she starts to like this new life that a black shadow of some sort has driven her in to. After that she finds that trying to be with her best friend Sophie was going to be impossible because a princess can never be friends with a witch. After an attempt to change clothes with each other, they find it not accomplishable to do.
My favourite part about this fantastic book is that this book always keeps you wondering what is going to happen, like when Agatha and Sophie both get kidnapped and Agatha tries to use matches, but it still doesn’t stop the shadow from pulling them on to a tree and a bird made from bones taking them to their rightful schools. You wonder which school are they going to go to and what they’ll learn and do in their school. I also like that it always seems that Sophie and Agatha are going to somehow die or at least be in great danger, but they always seem to avoid it, like when Agatha was hanging on the School of Evil’s roof and there was a gargoyle ready to breathe fire at her or eat her.
Kobe is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews here. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!
REVIEWED BY AZUKI, 10, NSW
Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Kerascoet Kerascoet, Little Brown & Co, ISBN 9780316262491
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!
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Collins Modern Classics, ISBN 0007155026
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!