Friday, 15 June 2012


By Andy Mulligan

His book is about Raphael, Gardo and Rat, three dumpsite boys in Behala. They spend their days sifting through rubbish, and one day come across a small leather bag stuffed full of money. The bag changes their life forever. Inside is money and clues. Clues that lead them on a trail that puts them in grave danger, but helps them find out about a dead man’s mission to right a terrible wrong.

This was the second time I have read this book, so I didn’t enjoy it as much the second time as I knew what was going to happen. It was still good, just not as good. I thought the plot was very clever, everything linking up well. I liked the way the boys were very fast thinking, and I also liked the fact that throughout the book not everything went as the characters planned, it was more realistic.

Mulligan captured the feelings of the boys really well, explaining their backgrounds clearly. I liked how the book was told from different people’s perspectives, and not just Raphael, Gardo and Rat. This added a different feel to it, and showed exactly what happened. The boy’s feelings were clearly showed in their certain chapters.

I really liked this book. It was a good read, and very exciting and unpredictable.

By Emily B, Year 8

The Midnight Zoo

By Sonya Hartnett

This book is about two brothers, Andej and Tomas, and there baby sister, Wilma discovering a zoo, where the animals talk at night. Andre, Tomas flee from danger in the war without their parents. They have to live off things left from bombed villages, as they only took a few bits from where they were staying before their parents were taken and they escaped. They take shelter in a zoo in a bombed out town, and start talking to the animals, both telling their tales and their wish for freedom.

At first I really didn’t like this book- I thought it was really unrealistic, and I thought that it was maybe a bit childish. But, as I continued reading I found it wasn’t as such about the actual talking animals it was about the animals stories and that their wishes were incredibly similar to Andrej and Tomas’.

I loved how the boys feelings were described, especially the one who was more the ‘leader’ of the two. He acted very responsibly, always thinking of his brother and sister, and it made me sad that a boy that age had to think like that, acting like an adult.

I loved the animal’s stories of how the zoo had got there and their desperation for food and company. The descriptions really helped me picture the scene, it was cleverly written. I think once the boys got to the zoo it was a lot more interesting because you found out a lot more about the boys and the boys family, and you found out why they were in the situation they were in.

I think this book was really good; you just have to persevere at the beginning!

By Emily B, Year 8

Between Shades of Gray

By Ruta Sepetys

This book is about Lina, a normal Lithuanian girl who loves art. One night in 1941 Soviet guards haul Lina and her family from their home. Her mother, brother and herself are separated from her Father and taken away. They are forced to work and live in cruel conditions, but Lina doesn’t give up hope. She continues drawing clues to pass on, in the hope that her Father will see them and find her.

I really enjoyed this book from the start. I think it really showed the feelings a normal teenage girl would feel about this happening to her and her family, and it was a great example of the suffering going on during this time. It was interesting to read, as I have never read a book about Stalin in world war 2.

 I loved the characters, especially how Sepetys described them, pointing out different things as the story progressed. My favourite character was Lina’s brother, Jonas, as I thought his character was brave, doing things to help his family that put himself at risk; I definitely wouldn’t have had the courage to do that! I also liked the fact that Lina always believed, she never gave up hope that her Father was still alive and that her life would go back to like it was before.

Overall I thought this book was very good, some interesting turns that I never expected! I would definitely recommend this to anyone- girls and boys! Everyone would enjoy it!

By Emily B, Year 8

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Small Change for Stuart

By Lissa Evans
Small Change for Stuart is about an unusually small boy called Stuart, whose great uncle was a famous magician who mysteriously disappeared many years ago.  When his family move to the town where his uncle was born and lived, Stuart discovers a note left for his dad many years ago. He follows an intricate trail of clues to discover the truth of his great uncle’s disappearance, with a determined businesswoman and a hopeless magician out to stop him.
It was a strange book, and a lot of the things that happened seemed to be mostly of coincidence, but I really enjoyed it. It was written very well, and I don’t get bored once!
My favourite character was Leonara, because she helped Stuart even though she was blind and didn’t really know who he was. She rescued him, protected him from Jeannie, and freed Clifford. She was a really kind, generous person. It was a shame you didn’t find more about what happened to her at the end, but you do know she is happy.
I really like this type of book, and this is a perfect example why.9/10!
Molly Taylor (Year 8)