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

Find a new book: what to try next

I thought I might try something a bit different this week. Sometimes it’s hard to find your next read, so I’ve made a list of related books – if you like the first one, you might like the second one.

Find a new book: what to read next | bookboy.com.au - a 13yo book blogger - has some suggested reads for you

I’ve linked to reviews where I have them, or the link on each title will take you to Booktopia for more information and to buy if you’re interested.

If you likeThe Outsiders by S.E.Hinton The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton, reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of The Outsiders

 

 

TryBro by Helen Chebattebook review Bro by Helen Chebatte, reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of Bro

 

 

If you like… The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan The Rangers Apprentice prequel Tournament at Gorlan reviewed by a kid book blogger.

Review of The Ranger’s Apprentice (prequel)

 

 

TryBrotherband by John Flanagan Brotherband series by John Flanagan, great read for kids

 

 

 

If you like… The Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton The 78-storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of The 78-Storey Treehouse

 

 

Try… Danny Best by Jen Storer and Mitch Vane Review of Danny Best: Never Wrong by Jen Storer, by a kid book blogger

Review of Danny Best Never Wrong

 

 

Or… Artie and The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh 

Book Boy, a kid book blogger, reviews Artie and The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh

Review of Artie and The Grime Wave

 

 

 

Or… the My Life series by Tristan Bancks and Gus Gordon My Life And Other Massive Mistakes by Tristan Bancks reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of My Life And Other Massive Mistakes

 

 

Or… the Weirdo series by Anh Do and Jules Faber Review of Weirdo 3: Extra Weird by Anh Do and Jules Faber, by a kid book blogger

Review of Weirdo 3: Extra Weird

 

 

If you like… Friday Barnes by R.A. Spratt Friday Barnes Girl Detective reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of Friday Barnes Girl Detective

 

 

Try… Encyclopaedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective is still loved by kids today, according to this kid book blogger

 

 

 

If you likeThe Maze Runner by  James Dashner The Maze Runner by James Dashner reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of The Maze Runner

 

 

Try… Gone by Michael Grant The Gone series by Michael Grant, reviewed by a kid book blogger

Review of Gone

 

 

What are you reading at the moment? What do you plan to read next?

Review: Bear Grylls Adventures (The Desert Challenge)

Bear Grylls adventure books for kids reviewed by a kid book bloggerThis week’s review is brought to you by my brother Book Boy Junior (aged 10).

Title: Bear Grylls Adventures (The Desert Challenge)

Author: Bear Grylls

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

About the book: This book is about a girl named Sophie who finds a mysterious compass that transports her to a desert where Bear Grylls is waiting to guide her back to safety. It’s good because it teaches you some survival skills that might not know.

What I thought: I thought this book was a page-turner. I read it in a couple of nights – it felt as though it went really quickly, and left me with a taste for more. I really liked the things that I learnt about the desert and the things I learnt about surviving.

Did you know, for instance, that if you’re in a desert and you find a dry lake or river, it can flash flood? So if you dig down, you’ll probably find a good supply of water buried under the surface!

I would recommend the book for kids aged 6+, and I think girls would enjoy it as much as boys because the main character is a girl. If you like a short, fast-paced book, this one is for you, and I look forward to reading others in the series. BBJ

Buy Bear Grylls Adventures (The Desert Challenge) here.

Review: Thirst

Thirst by Lizzie Wilcock reviewed by a kid book bloggerTitle: Thirst

Author: Lizzie Wilcock

Publisher: Scholastic

About the book: Fourteen-year-old Karanda Hooke is on her way to her sixth foster home when a crash leaves her stranded in the Central Australian desert with a backpack, a bottle of water and an old picture of her mother.

She realises that this could be her escape from the foster system, but there is one slight problem. Eight-year-old Solomon wants to tag along.

What I thought: I thought this book was really well-written, because it kept me interested, unlike most ‘wandering through the desert’ books. I hesitated before picking it up, because I thought it might be long and boring. But I was hooked before I knew it because the writing was so good.

I particularly liked the character of Solomon, with his knack for survival and vast knowledge of plants and animals.

I would recommend this book for ages 10+ as some themes in it might upset younger children.

Buy Thirst.

Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, reviewed by a kid book blogger.Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart

Publisher: The Chicken House

About the book: Four children with unusual gifts and talents are called in to do a top-secret mission after completing an elaborate and difficult test, set by the mysterious Mr Benedict.

They must infiltrate a prestigious and secluded school to find out why secret messages are being sent out.

What I thought: This book was full of twists and turns and had me engaged right from the start. It kept me interested throughout the whole book and there were no dull bits – I couldn’t wait to get home from school and read it in bed.

I liked all of the characters, even though they are very different. The book was easy to read, but had sublte undertones of more serious themes. It’s shelved under junior fiction, but it feels more grown up than that.

I would recommend this book for ages 11+ because I feel that younger readers may not stick with the long book of nearly 500 pages.

Buy The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Review: Escape From Mr Lemoncello’s Library

Escape From Mr Lemoncello's Library, reviewed by a kidTitle: Escape From Mr Lemoncello’s Library

Author: Chris Grabenstein

Publisher: Yearling (Random House)

About the book: Kyle has never loved libraries, but he has always loved boardgames. When he discovers that the world’s most famous game maker has designed the town’s new library, and the winners of an essay contest will get to stay overnight in the library on opening night, he is determined to win.

During the lock-in, he will need all of his smarts, courage and determination to escape from Mr Lemoncello’s library.

What I thought: This book had me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what would happen next and how the clues fit together. It’s a mystery and an adventure all wrapped up together. I particularly liked the character of Mr Lemoncello because he reminded me a bit of Willy Wonka.

I also liked the literary references scattered throughout the book. Let’s just say, the book was so interesting that I struggled to put it down and read it very quickly.

I would recommend this book for ages 11+. If you like mystery stories, adventure stories and puzzles, you will love this book.

Buy Escape From Mr Lemoncello’s Library.

6 books on my Christmas wishlist

6 books on my Christmas wishlist (12yo book blogger)With Christmas fast-approaching, it won’t surprise anyone to know that I’m hoping for books this year. Lots of books.

As I do every year.

These are the six books at the top of my wishlist this year – and, yes, it was hard to narrow it down to just six!

• The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I saw the movie Hugo, which is based on this book, and would like to see if the book is as good as the movie. I think The Marvels by the same author also looks great.

• The Fever Code by James Dashner

I read the rest of The Maze Runner series and really enjoyed them, so I would like this prequel.

• Brotherband #6: The Ghostfaces

John Flanagan’s writing style is so engaging and I would like to see where this next book takes Hal and the gang.

• Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

I read The Cursed Child, a script based on a story by J.K. Rowling, and now would like to read a screenplay actually written by her.

• Adam Spencer’s World Of Numbers

Adam Spencer’s Big Book Of Numbers is my favourite non-fiction book, so I would like to add to my collection.

• The Amateurs by Sara Shepherd

I don’t know much about this one, but the description is so intriguing that I cannot pass it up! And it’s book #1 of a new series, which is always good!

Title links will take you to Booktopia (see ‘About This Site’ for details).

6 books I would give my little brother for Christmas

Books I would give my little brother for Christmas bookboy.com.auWith Christmas coming, I thought it might be helpful to share some books I think would be good to give as gifts. Book Boy Junior is my nine-year-old brother, and these are some books I think would be good for him, or any other nine-year-old boy.

Click the title link to read more about the book at Booktopia.

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela. My blogging friend Jazzy reviewed this one and it sounds really good.

Danny Best: Never Wrong by Jen Storer and Mitch Vane. I’m actually not going to give him this one because he’s already reading it to review for the blog, but he’s liking it so I think that other little brothers would also like it.

The Turners: Camp Freakout by Mick Elliott. Book Boy Junior loved the first book in this series (his review is here), and this is the second.

Space Demons by Gillian Rubenstein. I read about this book on Children’s Books Daily, which is a website where I sometimes review books. Lily, who reviewed the book, made it sound really interesting, so I think I would give it to Book Boy Junior so I could read it myself.

Adam Spencer’s Number Crunchers by Adam Spencer. If you read my review of Adam Spencer’s Big Book Of Numbers, you would know how much I like this author. This new book has lots of games and puzzles in it and I think Book Boy Junior would really like it.

The Unforgettable What’s His Name by Paul Jennings. I thought that this book would be perfect for my brother because it is funny, clever and imaginative, much like all of Paul Jennings’s other books.

Other books that little brothers might like that we have already reviewed (click links for reviews):

Artie and The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh

The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan

My Life And Other Massive Mistakes by Tristan Bancks and Gus Gordon

Countdown To Danger: Shockwave by Jack Heath

The Impossible Quest by Kate Forsyth

Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar by Tim Cahill

Weirdo 3: Extra Weird by Anh Do (and Jules Faber)

Review: The 5th Wave

the 5th wave reviewed by a kid book bloggerTitle: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Penguin Books

About the book: Sixteen-year-old Cassie is living through an alien invasion. So far there have been four waves of attacks, killing over four billion people. Now she’s on her own, and facing the fifth wave.

What I thought: This book sucked me in from the first page. It’s a fast-paced thriller that’s also thought-provoking. The plot unfolds cleverly as you read, making you want to read on and on.

I liked the character of Cassie because she likes books, to the point of making room in her survival kit for them. I also liked the first-person narration because it feels very immediate, like you’re experiencing the danger with her.

I recommend this book for ages 14+ because it has adult themes, violence, science fiction elements and it can be scary in places.

Buy The 5th Wave here.