Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Celine

Book Review: Rotters and Squatters

Fair Dinkum Histories: Rotters and Squatters (1820 – 1850), by Jackie French, ill. Peter Sheehan, ISBN 978741693157, Scholastic Australia

Reviewed by Celine, 9,  Yidarra Catholic Primary School*, WA

Rotters and Squatters (cover)

Rotters and Squatters is the third book of the series ‘Fair Dinkum Histories’ written by Jackie French. No one wants to read a boring history book but this is not just about Australian history. Rotters and Squatters includes funny jokes and illustrations. I’ll quote a few:

‘Are you idle?’

‘No, I’m Sebastian.’

‘How do you make an apple crumble?’

‘Torture it for 10 minutes.’

‘It’s the votes that should count not the Counts that should vote!’

Who ever knew Australia was full of deserts and almost impossible not to perish on the journey through the Great Australian Bight? Guess who completed the journey? Have you heard of Edward Eyre?

Learn about Yagan the Noongar man from Western Australia and how he was decapitated and taken back to England for display. It was offensive and it is history.

My opinion about this book is that it is intriguing yet fun to read. The book is suitable for Year 4s and up. I will give it a rating of 7/10.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"* Yidarra Catholic Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. The book reviewed here was Celine’s own copy.

Posted in book reviews

Book Review: Totally Twins Musical Mayhem

Totally Twins: Musical Mayhem, by Aleesah Darlison,                                   ill. Serena Geddes, ISBN 9781921042348, New Frontier Publishing

Reviewed by Melissa, 10, WA

Musical Mayhem (cover)

This book is actually Persephone Pinchgut’s diary! She is a nearly eleven year old girl with a twin sister, Portia. They’re exactly the same, but the only differences are Persephone likes her hair in a ponytail and she also has a tear drop birthmark near her eye. On the other hand, Portia likes her hair down and she doesn’t have the birthmark. Their mum is divorced, very busy and a health freak.

The school musical is coming up but the only problem is Persephone can’t sing and Mrs Tamarind wants everyone in the musical. Portia is certain she will get the main part. Portia, Jolie and Caitlin (the gang) start acting mean about the fact that Persephone can’t sing! Will Portia get the main part? Will Caitlin and Jolie stop teasing? Will Persephone get through with this?

I really enjoyed this book, it was really funny. I rate it 9/10!

"Undercover Readers Club logo"* Melissa is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Musical Mayhem was provided by the publisher.


Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Pippa

Book Review – Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper, by Maggie Alderson, ill. Claire Fletcher, ISBN 9780670075355, Viking (Penguin Group Australia).

Reviewed by Philippa, age 9 ½ .*

Evangeline: The Wish Keeper's HelperEvangeline the toy elephant lives a life under the bed of her child, who now no longer plays with her. Evangeline only comes out when she is pushed out by the lady who comes to clean and vacuum every week.  But when she is transported Upstairs, she experiences a whole new life, meets lots of new friends and is even selected to help the wish keeper directly to grant wishes. One by one, the toys all get selected for a special job helping to keep the hope in wishes, until Evangeline is the only one left. Will Evangeline’s wish be granted?

This is a chapter book. The writer paints the pictures in your head, and when you turn a page to a colourful illustration, they are just right!

Children aged 7 to 12 would love this amazing story.

*Philippa is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Evangeline: The Wish Keeper’s Helper was provided by the publisher.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"

Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School students (Part III)

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Harry, age 11, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)This book is great if you love stories which are based on Black Saturday’s bushfires and even still it’s great for adventure lovers.

Luke and Sarah have arrived at a small town called Edenville. Luke has already had a fight with someone, which isn’t surprising because he’s had fights before at other places. Luke’s friend Tiny had lived in a small town in Russia which had been invaded by Russian troops, so he went to live somewhere else. Tiny has a big heart and predicted that a fire will happen but no-one believed him.

This is such an emotional book it just brings you in. Every chapter makes you want to read more because it leaves a question waiting to be answered. The characters are good because you’ve got all variety like: mean people like Brian, kind-hearted people like Tiny, and just ordinary people like Luke.

I recommend Where There’s Smoke for any gender and for people over nine years of age. I personally rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"

Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School (Part II)

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Tyler, age 11, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)Recently my class read a book called Where There’s Smoke. This book is written by John Heffernan and shows you all the qualities you need to live a happy life.

Where There’s Smoke tells the story of a family living in a small town called Edenville where they are on the run from their father and husband. Luke is a regular boy, about twelve years of age, who has a friend named Tiny who is really tall and has a heart as strong as a tiger. Tiny pretends to be Nina’s—Luke’s mum’s—boyfriend so that Nina’s ex husband doesn’t follow or hurt them. When everything seemd to be cruising around well Tiny, who is Russian, gets a bit worried about a bushfire coming. The fire came and it didn’t want to leave. Some people left and some people stayed and fought. Tiny saved a boy and got third degree burns. When everything seemed to be a disaster Luke finally got something he’d waited for, a call.

This book is great and each chapter gives you a thrill of adrenalin and wants you to read more. It is emotional and very descriptive using metaphors and similes that would blow your mind. I hope to be reading more from Mr Heffernan soon.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"

Posted in Beaconsfield Primary School, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Where There’s Smoke: book reviews by Beaconsfield Primary School students

Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan, ISBN 9781862918665, Omibus Books.

Reviewed by Alexandra, age 10, Beaconsfield Primary School.*

Where There's Smoke (cover)For the last few weeks, our class has been reading Where There’s Smoke, by John Heffernan. All or most of the class really enjoyed it.

Where There’s Smoke is about a boy called Luke and his mum, Nina. They had been running away from Luke’s dad until a friend of Nina’s (Tiny Cob) told them about Edenville, the place that becomes their new, safe home. In Edenville Luke makes friends with Sarah and develops a very close friendship with Tiny Cob. But when a bushfire comes, how can Luke help the town of Edenville? The place that he now calls his home.

This book was a great book that I really enjoyed. I think it made me understand things like: The house is the place that people live in, the home is the people that live in it. Where There’s Smoke also is an adventurous story as well as the type of book that helps you learn things.

All together I think that Where There’s Smoke is a wonderful book for all ages, out of ten I would rate it nine and my standard is very high. I would like to read another one of John Heffernan’s books one day.

*Beaconsfield Primary School is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Where There’s Smoke was provided by the publisher.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"

Posted in book reviews, teachers' resources

Book Review: Brain Drain

"Brain Drain by Christine Harris"Brain Drain by Christine Harris, ill. by Gus Gordon. Published by Hodder Headline Australia, ISBN 9780733612763

Reviewed by Elliana*, 9, WA

Brain Drain is about a young boy called Hamish. Hamish has a sister called Lucy. One day Hamish had too much time on the computer playing silly games when he got brain drained and the computer swapped brains with him. Lucy told her parents but they didn’t believe her. How can Lucy get old Hamish back and not acting like a computer anymore?

I think this book is suitable for girls and boys aged 9+ because they might find this book a bit confusing. I give this book 3/5. I liked the book because it was funny and silly.

[Brain Drain is out of print but your local library may have a copy.]

"Undercover Readers Club logo"*Elliana is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of Brain Drain was provided by the author.