Title: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
Author: J.K.Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (original story), Jack Thorne (play)
Publisher: Little, Brown
About the book: Written as a script, this book carries on from the original Harry Potter stories, but 19 years later. Albus Potter, Harry Potter’s son, is struggling, as is Harry.
Albus has found that he cannot do much magic and is finding it difficult to live up to his father’s legacy. While Harry tries to deal with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, both father and son will learn the truth, that darkness comes from unexpected places.
What I thought: This book has not failed to live up to the Harry Potter legacy and is as intriguing and captivating as the original series. I found that even though the book was a script it was not hard to follow.
I thought that the characters were nearly as good as the original trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione – although, during some parts of the book, I was left wondering how they would manage to do this as a stage production!
I think that kids will probably love the story and the format is not too difficult to understand. I recommend this book for ages 12+, but only if you’ve read the Harry Potter series first. It does contain some dark, scary scenes.
Buy Harry Potter And The Cursed Child here.
Title: The Other Christy
Author: Oliver Phommavanh
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
About the book: Christy is in a class with another girl called Christie. Christy doesn’t get noticed much whereas the other Christie is popular … and mean. Christy would like for just once to be noticed, and to have a real friend.
What I thought: This book was touching, funny and well written – it touches on themes of friendship, understanding and inclusion. I have read some of the author’s other books and thoroughly enjoyed them, mostly because of the humour and the themes of the story.
This book was similar, but written from the perspective of a girl, which gave it a different feel and would have been hard to do, given the author is male.
I would recommend this book for girls and boys, ages 9+.
Buy The Other Christy here.
Title: Steve Jobs: Insanely Great
Author + Illustrator: Jessie Hartland
Publisher: Random House
About the book: This graphic novel is about the life of the creator of Apple technology, Steve Jobs. I thought that it was really clever putting it into graphic novel format because it makes it easier to understand and it makes a biography fun.
What I thought: I loved all the little illustrations in the book and how it was set out in different chapters for each few years of his life. I learnt a lot that I didn’t know about Steve Jobs and I found the information very easy to understand.
I would recommend this book for ages 11+ as there are references to adult themes. I think that kids who are interested in electronics and the history behind computers would really like this book.
I found Steve Jobs to be an interesting and even inspirational person.
Buy Steve Jobs: Insanely Great here.
Title: The Turners
Author: Mick Elliott
Publisher: Lothian Books
I’m handing over to Book Boy Junior (aged 9) for this review.
About the book: Leo Lennox has an epic problem. You’d think that growing a tail in the middle of the school library would be the worst thing that could happen to you, but Leo is about to discover that things can always get worse and a whole lot weirder… (in a really funny way).
What I thought: Leo is funny – he’s not crazy, in fact, he’s sensible (kind of), but the way he thinks is funny. He’s surprised when a family secret comes out on his birthday, and the story is really adventurous.
I thought this book was really exciting because there were always shape-shifters and different surprises just around the corner.
Mick Elliott has a great imagination and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
I recommend this book for kids aged 8-11.
Buy The Turners here.
Title: The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
Publisher: Puffin Modern Classics
About the book: The Socs are the rich kids, the Greasers are from the poor side of town. The Socs’s idea of having a good time is beating up greasers like Ponyboy, who lives with his two brothers. Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends, but one night things go too far.
What I thought: Even though this book was written in 1967, it is still a great book that I would recommend to everyone. It’s about gangs in the 1960s and I could really connect to the characters because they felt so real.
I really liked how well it was written and how even in the darkest of scenes there was still humour. I was surprised to learn that S.E. Hinton was only 17 when this book was published.
I would recommend this book for kids 12+ because it has some grown-up themes, violence, some coarse language and sad scenes.
Buy The Outsiders here.
Title: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan
Author: John Flanagan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
About the book: This book is a prequel to the very popular Ranger’s Apprentice series. It is about Crowley as a young ranger who is trying to thwart the plans of the evil Lord Morgarath. He is accompanied by Halt, a gruff Hibernian, and picks up other rangers along the way.
What I thought: I thought this book was really good. It keeps the same qualities of the other Ranger’s Apprentice books – adventure, good vocabulary, humour and a good story. I have often been disappointed by prequels, but this one really stood out. I really liked finding out more about Halt before he became a Ranger. You could start the series with this book, or you could read it after you’ve read all the others.
I would recommend it for good readers of 8+ and, really, anyone who enjoys a good fantasy adventure would love this book.
Buy Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan here.
Title: Countdown to Danger: Shockwave
Author: Jack Heath
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the book: This is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, part of the Countdown to Danger series. The story begins in a surf camp, and the reader has decisions to make at the end of each chapter. The book is written in second person, making the reader the main character of the story.
What I thought: The book is written well (I think books like this would be hard to write!) and I read it several times for different storylines. I thought that some of the decisions you had to make were quite difficult and it was a fun book – almost like playing a game.
I would recommend the book for ages 7+ – I think boys would enjoy these storylines the most. Kids who like adventure and making up their own stories will really like this book.
Buy Countdown To Danger: Shockwave here.
Title: The Impossible Quest series
Escape from Wolfhaven Castle
Wolves of Witchwood
The Beast of Blackmoor Bog
The Drowned Kingdom
Battle Of The Heroes
Author: Kate Forsyth
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the books: ‘The Impossible Quest’ is a series of books about four children, Tom, Elanor, Quinn and Sebastian, who must go on an impossible quest to save their people from the wicked bog-men. They must find four items: a unicorn’s horn, a griffin’s feather, a dragons tooth and a sea-serpents scale, to awaken the heroes that will save them.
What I thought: I thought that this was a really adventurous series that had me on the edge of my seat at every page. I loved how descriptive and interesting the books were, and the touches of humour. I liked the series so much I went as one of the characters (Tom) for Book Week last year!
I really loved the books and would recommend the series for ages 8+.
Buy The Impossible Quest series.
Title: Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar
Author: Tim Cahill
When I received this book to review, I realised straight away that it would be perfect for my nine-year-old brother – he’s a soccer player and he likes funny books. So I asked him (let’s call him Book Boy Junior aka BBJ) to read it, and this is what he thought of Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar.
“I thought this book was really exciting. Being a soccer player and lover I really enjoyed how Timmy was always improving his game, and I liked the descriptions of the game. The book was easy to read and really well set out.
“The book was also funny – one example was when Timmy was the orange boy and he was walking down the street with the bag of oranges but there was a hole in the bag. As he walked, a dog came behind him and ate all of the oranges!
“I read a lot of the book aloud to my mum, and she thought it was good, too.
“I would recommend this book for 7-9 year olds who like soccer.”
Thank you BBJ!
Buy Tiny Timmy Soccer Superstar.
Title: Weirdo 3 (Extra Weird!)
Author: Anh Do
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Weir Do is back and this time he is weirder than ever! This time his dad is working on cool dance moves for the local talent quest while Weir is trying out for the school soccer team. As usual, everything is funny!
I thought this was a really good book aimed at ages 6+. It was funny and well-written for a book of this type. I’ve read the other two books in this series and they’ve all been really good. Weirdo 3 is an easy read with an easy-to-follow storyline. The books are really all about the jokes and #3 constantly kept me laughing.
I think you would like this book if you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Captain Underpants and Eric Vale: Epic Fail.
Buy Weird do: Extra Weird.