What I’m reading this school holidays

School holiday reads for teens and tweensThe school holidays are finally here and I can’t wait to get some reading in! I’m going to take a break for the next few weeks, but thought I would leave you with a list of what’s on my To Be Read pile in the holidays. As you will see below, I jump around a bit with my reading so I’ve already started some of these.

 

School Holiday Reads for Tweens and TeensBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology (Edited by Danielle Binks)

I really like short stories, and some of my favourite Australian YA authors have written stories for this book. I’m looking forward to bringing you a review next term.

School Holiday Reads for Tweens and TeensEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I’ve just started this one and I am really liking it! It’s my current ‘bus read’ – which is fitting, given it’s about two misfits in America in the 1980s who meet on the school bus.

School Holiday Reads for Teens and TweensThe Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

I am a real Sherlock Holmes fan and recently started reading this one, which is the story of 15-year-old Mary Russell who stumbles across the retired Sherlock Holmes in 1915 and works with him to solve a crime. So far, it’s great!

School Holiday Reads for Teens and TweensYoung Sherlock Holmes (Death Cloud) by Andrew Lane 

I can’t wait to get into this one, which is the first book in a series! Sherlock Holmes is 14 and is sent to live with his aunt and uncle, where he uncovers his first murder…

School Holiday Reading for Tweens and TeensAll The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I am about halfway through this at the moment and I am really looking forward to having some time to get it finished. It’s a big book, but the story is really interesting and I’m enjoying it. The language is beautiful.

School holiday reads for Teens and TweensWreck by Fleur Ferris

I recently won this in a Twitter competition and it’s been getting great reviews so I’m looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about!

Happy school holidays – see you next term!

Click the titles to see more about each book and to buy at Booktopia.

My top 10 book reviews in my first year of blogging

The top 10 book reviews from the first year of bookboy.com.auIn just a few weeks I will celebrate my blog’s first birthday! (I hope there will be cake…)

I thought I might turn it into a mini festival by mixing up my regular posts with a few lists from my first year of blogging.

Today, I’m sharing the top 10 most popular reviews on bookboy.com.au from the past 12 months – from number 10 down to my most popular review of all! Some are by me and some are by my minion brother Book Boy Junior.

Click on each link to read the full review for each book.

10. Bro by Helen Chebatte*

9. The Turners by Mick Elliott*

8. The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub*

7. Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

6. Artie And The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh*

5. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

4. Pax by Sara Pennypacker

3. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey*

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

And the winner of most popular review goes to…

1. The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton*

*Australian author

Review: Pixel Raiders #1 (Dig World)

Pixel Raiders #1 Dig World reviewed by a kidBook Boy Junior is back this week with a review of a new book series that gamers will love!

Title: Pixel Raiders #1: Dig World

Author: Bajo & Hex (ill, Chris Kennett)

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

About the book: Pixel Raiders #1 is about a young boy named Rip and a young girl named Mei. They are sent to a gaming contest for school, and the winners get to play a new game that hasn’t yet been released. Rip and Mei are so eager to beat each other that they don’t realise that others are beating them, and they lose the competition.

When a mysterious parcel arrives, containing the new game and a VR headset, they put it on and don’t realise that they are trapped in the game, called Dig World.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book a lot! It might be scary for younger readers, with the realisation that Rip and Mei are trapped in the game, but it’s also very exciting. I liked how the story reminded me of Minecraft and those sorts of games, and I never wanted to stop reading because I wanted to find out what would happen. Because I read at night, it left me lying in bed wondering what would happen next.

My favourite character was Rip because he was always so brave, no matter what was happening.

I would recommend this book for ages 9+ as it can be a bit scary at times. If you like playing games, or the show Good Game (the authors are the presenters of that show), you would like this book.

I already have the second book in the Pixel Raiders series (Dragon Land) and can’t wait to read it!

Buy Pixel Raiders #1: Dig World at Booktopia

Two great writing books I read this week

Two great books about writing, reviewed by a kid book bloggerRecently I’ve been writing a bit more of my own stuff, mostly short stories. When I found these books on my mum’s shelf, I decided to have a look at them to see if they could help me, and, unsurprisingly, they did!

• On Writing by Stephen King

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

This is the first book about writing I’ve ever read (except for Once Upon A Slime by Andy Griffiths, which I loved when I was about 10). I really liked Stephen King’s voice and how the book was part-memoir, part-book about writing. I found the memoir bit very inspiring, particularly when he talked about his childhood – I would love to make a magazine like Stephen King did!

As for the actual writing section, I learnt a lot about writing and, particularly, editing my short stories and how unnecessary information can just distract from the story itself.

My favourite tip from On Writing is that the second draft of a story is your first draft minus 10 per cent.

I would recommend this book for ages 14+ because some of the wording and language may be difficult for younger children and it involves drug use and coarse language.

Buy On Writing at Booktopia

• Letters To A Young Writer by Colum McCann

Publisher: Bloomsbury (Allen & Unwin)

This was the second writing book that I read and I found it less in-depth but still very good and practical. Much less dense, the book presents the information in short chapters or snippets, so you can dip in and out of it easily.

I liked how each chapter began with a quote from a famous author or figure in literature. I also really liked the aesthetic of the hardback book – it’s nice to look at and feels good to hold. It is the kind of book that would make a nice gift.

My favourite tip from this book was to use your writing like a camera – to describe the surroundings with the colour and clarity of a picture.

I would recommend this book for ages 12+ because, again, some kids may not get their heads around the writing and it does contain some mild coarse language.

Buy Letters To A Young Writer from Booktopia.