Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: New City

New City by Deborah Abela, ISBN 9781742758558,
Random House Australia

New city


A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

New City is the sequel to Grimsdon, but you don’t need to read the first book to appreciate New City.

The book is set after the events of Grimsdon, when Isabella, adult friend Jeremiah, and her other friends, who survived together in the first book, are taken from the flooded Grimsdon to the beautiful New City. They are treated like heroes and live in luxury. But is it such a wonderful place, or do darker secrets lie beneath?

The kids have faced sea monsters and evil lords, but now they have new threats to face.

New City shows how the people can make change happen, and how just one person can make a change in the world. I like how Deborah has used real events from our times for her own story, and she has made her characters likeable and believable. They have developed over the course of the story and you can see their friendship with each other.

Deborah’s writing is is simple and sweet. But I do believe that some of Deborah’s ideas are unrealistic.

As this is set in the future, all sorts of new inventions have been invented, like invisible wings called Ornithopters. They have cameras everywhere, and hi-tech technology is a solid part of the people’s lives. Yet, they still use eagles as messenger birds, when technology would’ve normally replaced them.

Deborah has brought out a unique story that will be enjoyable for children of ages 9 and up. If you enjoy adventures in worlds that are both like and unlike our own, then this book is worth a try. In my opinion, this is an improvement on Grimsdon. Deborah has explored new ideas and has presented them well. I rate New City 4 stars out of 5.

Do you think you’d enjoy this book? You can read a sample of New City on the publisher’s website.

Veronica is a member of our Top Reads Team, and this is her first book review on Alphabet Soup’s blog. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in competitions, poetry

Spring Writing Comp winners (2012)

We read some outstanding poems in our spring writing competition and we’re thrilled to be sharing these winning poems with you. Congratulations to the three winners!

UNDER 7s WINNER—Leith Bradbury


Hungry hungry black crow,
High up in a hollow tree,
Glides down to the bottom of the hill
And grabs worm from happy crow.
Happy crow is now angry,
Scratching and pecking,
Biting and tugging,
Screeching and chewing,
All day long.
Then angry crow has an idea.
He nips the worm in half and gobbles his half.
He gives the other half to black crow.
They become friends.

[Inspired by the painting Fighting Crows, by Shaun Tan]

UNDER 9s WINNER—Veronica Hester


In the Northern Suburbs,
On a light green field,
Two crows get in a fight.
Black bodies twist and twirl,
Feathers fly to the sky.
A crow falls to the ground.
No mercy for the wounded crow,
He dives and flies away,
Leaving the crow to cry his anger to the sky.
Another crow watches the scene inscrutably,
On a quiet afternoon in the Northern Suburbs.
Where the black billowing shapes of trees,
Shadowed from the sun,
Have the colour of the Fighting Crows.

[Inspired by the painting Fighting Crows, by Shaun Tan]

UNDER 12s WINNER: Sophia O’Brien


A Young Child

A street bathed in afternoon shadow.
The grass is yellow green.
Time is unchanging and he sees the whole world at once.
The clouds can be touched by the hand.
Trees are poles with clouds on top.

Ten Years Later

Same old street that never changes.
Grass and trees, houses and clouds.
He wants to go to more exciting places, see more exciting things.
He wants to see something more than that suburban street with its straight path and quiet houses.

[Inspired by the painting Footpath, Fifth Avenue, by Shaun Tan]

Well done Leith, Veronica and Sophia!

If you’d like to enter our summer writing competition, keep an eye on the competitions page on our website. Good luck!