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The Funny Kid series

By Matt Stanton

Reviewed by Pia Macdonald, aged 8.

I started reading this series when I was six years old. Both boys and girls will enjoy the series. You do not need to read the books in order. Because the books are all about a different subject (unlike Harry Potter).

I have read every book in the Matt Stanton Funny Kid series three times, I love them. My favourite is Funny Kid – prank wars.

Funny Kid – for President

Max is running for class President. However, Mr Armstrong is trying to stop him. Mr Armstrong does not like Max, because Max is not a sporty kid. Max and his circle of weird friends work together to stop Mr Armstrong.  Max’s arch nemesis – Abby Purcell even help’s Max. Do you think Max can stop Mr Armstrong, or will Mr Armstrong kick Max out for not being sporty?

Funny Kid – stand up

Max now is back to being enemies with Abby Purcell. He has entered the local talent contest. He is focused to win.  But Tumbles the clown is also trying to win the talent contest. On a side note Max’s grandpa has gone missing which is distracting everyone from the talent contest. Max is raging with rage.

Funny Kid – prank wars

Max and his circle of weird friends are off on a school camp. Max is focused on tyring to get to know Pip better and get even with her twin brother Tyson. The pranks are rolling thick and fast between Max and Tyson. Who will win the prank war? Beware of the Gunker Dragons are they lurking in the lake or in the shadows. Or are they just a myth?

Note -read chapter 7 – to really understand Abby Purcell, she shines in this chapter (added by the scribe aka Mum)

Funny Kid – get licked

It is time for Miss Sweet’s class fundraiser. The fundraiser is a class competition, who can raise the most money for endangered animals in a week. Max needs to win the competition because he just has to. That is Max for you. There are puppies, A-dog, P-dog, H-dog, T-dog and M dog, who have a staring role. Abby is focused on her vegetarian canteen and she is fighting Max the top spot. Abby is also in a war with old Doris (school tuckshop), healthy food versus unhealthy food. Max is light on details, substance and cash. However, he manages to rope Hugo and his Dad into his big pandemonium. Do you think Max will win the competition?

Note – read chapter 6, to understand Max and his negotiating skills with his parents we have all been there (added by the scribe, aka Mum)

Funny kid – slapstick

Miss Sweet’s punishment for Abby, Pip, Tyson, Hugo and Max, is hocky class. Apparently, they need to learn teamwork skills. Mr Armstrong is the coach. There is a match looming in the distance, and they are working to get match ready. Max is vying to be a sporting god. Mr Armstrong doesn’t quite see it that way. Do you think Max will become a hocky sporting god, or do you think he will get slammed by the Redhill Rhino’s?

Note – read chapter 6, it is so funny. It is a chapter for all the teachers out there or anyone who has ever tried to teach a kid to spell.(This has been added by the scribe, aka Mum).

Funny kid – kicks butt

Max wants the staring role in a movie being shot locally. Max ‘s plan is to be Captain Kick Butt, a superhero. However, the Captain Kick butt role has been filled by another kid. Much to Max’s distress. Meanwhile the jewellery store has been robbed. Max is torn between being a film star or an actual superhero and solving the jewellery store robbery.

Note read chapter 3, to appreciate how working with children can be challenging – Max is auditioning. This is funny. (This has been added by the scribe, aka Mum).

Funny Kid – peeking duck

Max and Abby are in a long-running war to decide who is the bravest kid. They set their sights on going to ‘Adventure Park’. However, Duck (yes a real duck), has other plans. Now they have to find Duck and determined who is the bravest. On the way they meet, Rhonda who works in the reject shop, a police officer and finally a motorbike gang. Do you think Max is going to ride the Tower of Dying Deathly Doom and find Duck? Well ,that question will be answered if you read the book. The tension between Max and Abby goes from boiling to lava.

League of Llamas 1 – The Golden Llama

By Aleesah Darlison

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine

Are you looking for something fun and new for your beginner reader? Fancy having a laugh yourself? Fortunately, this brand new series has just popped onto the scene. Aimed for children roughly from 6 – 9 yrs of age, The League of Llamas – The Golden Llama touts a laugh-out-loud experience.

My daughter and I can certainly attest to that. This series WILL make your kids giggle and it has to be said, it’s the connections like these that instil and foster the love for reading in our little ones.

In a nutshell these books are a hilarious parody of Llamas, James Bond, Get Smart and I dare say a dash of Austin Powers, skilfully woven into one.

In the first instalment of the series, The Golden Llama, we meet our lead protagonist, Agent Phillipe Llamar. Phillipe is as flamboyant and daring as his name suggests and his partner Lloyd Llamanator has an insatiable appetite. Together they attempt to thwart the evil plans of a very ill-tempered badger named General Bottomburp. The Llamas Republic’s most prized possession, the Golden Llama has been stolen and it’s up to Phillipe and Lloyd to recover it safely and return it home. Does General Bottomburp have anything to do with it? If so, why?

One thing is for certain, readers will certainly enjoy finding out!

What’s even better is that you don’t have to wait to read more – ALL of the titles in the League of Llamas series are all available right now!

  • League of Llamas: Llama Impossible
  • League of Llamas: Undercover Llama
  • League of Llamas: Rogue Llama

The Golden Llama is such a fun read and I can’t recommend it enough for younger readers. When I read it aloud to my daughter of 5, she loved it especially the sound effects! She can’t wait to learn to read it and sometimes she pretends to anyway. We can’t wait to read more!

Pirate Boy of Sydney Town

By Jackie French

Reviewed by Leila, aged 14

At the age of 12, Ben Huntsmore can’t imagine life any different to the friends and rolling golden fields of Badger’s Hill. But when his distant, greedy father loses the manor through gambling, Ben is forced to join him in the dangerous business of pirating. Now, he will have to dodge swords, trust only a convict and Indigenous sailor and survive the rough seas.

This book showed the true colours of early Australian colonies and the English ‘privateers’ roaming the seas. It was educational as well as exciting, and a great read overall. My rating: 3.5/5

Malamander

By Thomas Taylor

Reviewed by Leila, aged 14

Herbert Lemon is the young Lost and Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. He lives a quiet life and stays away from trouble until he meets the mysterious Violet Parma! Then, everything turns upside down. Now, the girl is set on finding her parents, dangerous men follow them through the shadows and an elusive creature is surfacing from the water.

Could the mysterious Malamander actually be real? This eerie book was hard to put down, I couldn’t wait to discover the secret of the Malamander! My rating: 4/5

A Map Of Days

By Ransom Riggs

Reviewed by Izzy, aged 15

This novel is another successful and spectacular addition to the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series.

In this novel, Jacob Portman and Miss Peregrine’s wards formulate new plans and routines in order to rebuild Peculiardom. Along the way, Jacob discovers a secret of his grandfather’s and follows the clues he left behind. More mysteries, secrets and shocking truths are revealed, leaving the children in double the danger and conflicted as to whether an authority should be brought in to assist. New obstacles and risks stand in the way of the children as they embark on their latest adventure.

Highly recommended for readers of all ages and will not disappoint the many fans of this series! My rating: 4/5

My Brother’s Name is Jessica

By John Boyne

Reviewed by Izzy, aged 15

My Brother’s Name is Jessica,is a marvellous story of a young boy’s struggles, as he tries to understand and cope with his older brother’s ‘coming out’.

Sam is practically invisible to his parents and idolises his older brother Jason, but when Jason shares a secret that threatens to tear their family apart, Sam must learn to accept the change, and his parents must progress from denial.

John Boyne has highlighted some of the key problems faced during the ‘coming out’ phase of a transgender teen and has successfully united fact with fiction, engaging the reader from the beginning. The author uses the style of diary/journal entries to share each character’s views and beliefs as the family members navigate their way through this emotionally-charged story.

My Brother’s Name is Jessica, is sure to win the hearts of all readers, as this highly-acclaimed author has yet again succeeded spreading his love of literature through inspiring stories.

Recommended for readers who enjoy realistic fiction. My rating: 3/5

Hive: The Vault Book 1

By A.J. Betts

Reviewed by Izzy, aged 15

A.J. Betts has produced a masterpiece!

Hayley is young and naïve, suitable for someone whose life is controlled from birth to death. Knowing nothing but her world – the confinement of society’s walls; six hexagonal houses connected to a common room by corridors – Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules while keeping secrets of her own. But when strange occurrences take place, and there are suddenly too many questions posed and left unanswered, Hayley begins to contemplate possibilities that threaten her position in her community.

Hive is the first novel in a two-book series about a society who live and only know what is in their world. With mysteries unravelling and old secrets coming to light, Hayley takes the reader on a journey to uncover what lies beneath the façade of the world she knows, whilst establishing that indeed, “God works in mysterious ways”, as reiterated throughout the novel by the elders.

Any readers who decide to embrace their interest in the novel’s visual appeal or storyline …. beware! You will be holding your breath the entire duration of the novel and be on tenterhooks to read the sequel, Rogue.

Highly recommended for readers aged 13+ who enjoy dystopian novels and science fiction. My rating: 4/5

The List

By Patricia Forde

Reviewed by Izzy, aged 15

An intriguing novel based in a possible future, where the city of Ark is one of the only safe places known to have survived the Melting. Young Letta is the Wordsmith’s apprentice, but when strange happenings occur in Ark, Letta finds herself in trouble and faced with many difficult decisions.

Patricia Forde has twisted and exaggerated some global issues faced today and has produced a novel riddled with mystery, secrets and the continuous strain of tested loyalty and friendship.

This novel is an easy read and would suit young readers aged 10 – 14. Recommended for those who enjoy fiction. My rating: 3/5

Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt

By Rhiannon Williams

Reviewed by Leila, aged 14

When her brother mysteriously disappears, Ottilie discovers a mysterious organisation which is kidnapping young boys. To find her brother, Ottilie must disguise herself as a boy and travel to the Narroway, a place no one has ever heard of. She soon learns just how much danger she’s gotten herself into, as she discovers the true reason the boys have been taken. They are being trained to hunt monsters.

Now, keeping her true identity hidden isn’t her only problem. Ottilie needs to learn to hunt the monstrous dredretches and prepare for her trials. Meanwhile, will she ever be able to find a way home?

An adventurous tale of bravery and friendship, I really enjoyed this book!

What I Like About Me

By Jenna Guillaume

Reviewed by Matisse, aged 12

This a fabulously detailed and empowering story of a plus-sized girl who struggles through living in the shadow of her sister and finding her true love over her summer holidays.

This story sends an empowering and inspirational message about body image and normalising plus size women. Around the world, thousands of women are objectified and judged for being plus size, and having a book which encourages young women to be confident with their body is stepping in the right direction towards an equal society.

The plots are intriguing and relatable for young girls who are struggling to find love over their summer holidays. When Maisie meets new friends and has difficulties keeping bonds with her old friends she is unsure of what to do. This is a perfect example of what many people, especially teenagers, face every day. This type of writing can create a relation between the reader and the book, which results in the reader becoming interested in the book and encouraged to read more.

The romantic spectrum of the book, whilst remaining prevalent, doesn’t overshadow the main events in a similar way that other books might. It is common for authors to be swept away making the book all romantic and all about love, but Jenna has maintained the perfect ratio of main plots to romance. In doing this, she has created a second theme for the book while also not veering too far away from the main events.

This book is a fascinating read which would be suitable for a myriad of avid young readers. I would recommend this book to children aged 13+, as there is the use of some coarse language.

My overall rating for this book is 4.5/5. I hope that you choose to read this book and share your thoughts as well.