Archive for January, 2011

The Peco Incident by Des Hunt

CoverTake two cousins Danny and Nick, eco tourists Brio and Roost, Harriet the Parriet, Albatross and Penguins colonies and what do you have?  The latest page turner by Des Hunt – The Peco Incident.

Danny lives on the Otago Peninsula and is dreading his cousin Nick coming to stay.  He’s ok if he takes his Ritalin but guess what he forgot to pack.  The boys become involved with an outbreak of bird flu which threatens the birds of Taiaroa Head.  Did the outbreak come from the Peco chicken farm or are Brio and Roost more sinister than they seem?

Des has written a great read.  As you’re reading you can imagine the wild rugged landscape of the Peninsula.  The relationship between the boys allows for some wonderful humour throughout the book.  There is also plenty of  adventure as it becomes a race against time among the cliff tops of Taiaroa Heads to save the rare birds.

‘Maybe we should check her out on the web,’ suggested Nick. ‘She might be one of those eco-terrorists.’

It was a good suggestion.  That was the thing about Nick.  He could be real dumb at times, but he was actually quite intelligent.  The problem was recognizing the clever bits in amongst all the rubbish.

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Best Mate by Michael Morpurgo

Best Mate (also published as Born to Run) is a book about a greyhound dog called Best Mate who starts a journey of a lifetime when he is abandoned as a puppy and rescued by a boy named Patrick. He loves his life with Patrick until two animals smugglers come and capture Best Mate and take him away to be raced against other greyhounds. The racer’s daughter Becky soon learns ugly truth and runs away with Best Mate, whom she calls Brighteyes. But life in the streets is a horrible nightmare. Brighteyes and Becky have some trouble (I won’t spoil it with details) and Brighteyes must start yet another life …

Great book! My favourite part was when Patrick risked his own safety rescuing Best Mate and his siblings from the disgusting canal water. It was very heroic! The best thing about this book is the satisfying, but unsatisfying, ending. And the ending made me think about things from each of the main characters’ point of view: Patrick’s, Joe’s, and Best Mate’s etc..

I also liked that every few chapters we got to hear the thoughts and feelings of Best Mate himself and this added an extra element to the story to be able to see what both the person and the dog were thinking about the same situation. I thought that the way Michael Morpurgo writes his words make you feel like he is bursting with ideas and words and ways to describe things. He uses great language and clear uncluttered ideas.

This book is for animal lovers and kids who like a bit of adventure. It would be best for kids 8+. I give it a 11 out of 10.

Best Mate proves that it is not just cats that can have more than one life.

Saoirse, 10

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Faith Hope and Ivy June

Ivy June Mosley lives with her Grandparents in the rural townof  Thunder Creek where Ivy June’s family don’t have an indoor bathroom or electricity.  When Ivy June gets chosen to go  on a student exchange program with a girl from Lexington called Catherine she starts to worry what her simple life will look like from a rich girl’s view. On the program both girls learn not to judge people by stereotypes. Even though Catherine is rich she and Ivy June become good friends.  I found this book very interesting. I would rate this book 9 out of 10

By Emma age 11

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Just disgusting by Andy Griffiths

This book, Just Disgusting,  is really funny and really DISGUSTING!!!!

My favourite character was Andy (of course!). My favourite part of the book was when the two brown blobs  were chasing him round the bath – he didn’t know what they were … but I did!!!

I recommend this book to people who like funny books and I give it a 10 out of 10.

Eibhlin, 8

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Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Ramona  is a very cute girl with straight  brown hair c ut in a bob.  She can be naughty, but not on purpose.  This book is about Ramona’s year kindergarten.  She wants to be loved  by her teacher Miss Binney, who she has a crush on, but she sometimes feels the teacher does not love her.    Ramona gets into trouble, because she longs to boing Susan’s curls, chases Davy around the playground trying to kiss him, and wants to be the naptime fairy. 

One day she gets her new shiny red gumboots stuck in a mud puddle.  Miss Binney has to ask Henry Huggins to pull her out of the mud and to go back for her new red boots. She decides she wants to marry him.                                                                         

I think this book is extremely funny; the things Ramona do make me laugh my head off.  I rate it 10 out of 10

by Sophie  Age 8

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The Undrowned Child book trailer

If you like your fantasy with a touch of history, you’ll love The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric, and the sequel, The Mourning Emporium.

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A Long Walk To Water

Linda Sue Park has weaved two stories into one in this great book.  Nya has to walk for two hours each way to get water for her family.  She does this twice a day every day.  Eight hours a day!

Salva is also walking.  Away from his war torn homeland.  His journey across Africa from his homeland Sudan to Ethiopia and Kenya is a journey that will take many years.  Along the way he encounters many dangers.

This book is a novel but it is based on a true story.  It is based around the Second Sudanese Civil War which started in 1983.  Millions of people were displaced often unable to return to their homes.  Among the displaced there were large groups of boys who becam known as the Lost Boys.  This is the story of one of those boys.

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