Posts tagged friends

Iris’s Ukulele by Kathy Taylor

Read me for NZ Book Month!

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a superstar?  Iris and her friend Sidney have.  Iris wants to be the best rapper and ukulele player in the whole of the entire universe.  Preferably with her best friend ever, and fellow Master of the Musical Universe, Sidney by her side.  Iris and Sidney have been working on their masterpiece, a rap musical about werewolves and vampires, and when they hear about the talent contest at their mall they know this is their big chance at stardom.  Then everything starts going wrong – Sidney decides he wants to write his own song, Iris doesn’t stand up for her best friend when he’s in trouble, and her mum starts ‘not exactly’ dating her ukulele teacher.  Will Iris ever become the Master of the Musical Universe?

Iris’s Ukulele is a story about friendship and reaching for your goals.  Both Iris and Sidney are unique and have their own sense of style that makes them stand out from the crowd.  Iris gets into some tricky situations but her Mum and her Gran help her out and point her in the right direction.  Her Gran is a pretty cool character and has a unique personality like Iris.  This is Kathy Taylor’s first book (she won the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a previously unpublished writer) and sometimes I thought she was trying too hard to make Iris’s voice sound right, but overall the story was interesting.  Iris’s Ukulele is a great book for anyone who likes stories about friends and family.

Recommended for 9+        3 out of 5 stars 

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What’s your school survival tip?

I’m sure some of you don’t want to be reminded that school starts back next week (or maybe the week after).  It’s the start of a new year, with a new teacher, a new classroom, and possibly a new school.  I was one of those weird kids that got bored after a couple of weeks of holidays and was dying to go back to school.  For some of you though school might be one of those things that you just want to survive, and your favourite part of the day is either lunch time or 3 o’clock.

We want to know what is your best school survival tip?  What helps you get through the school year?  Leave a comment on this post and let us know.

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Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Elise never really knew her parents.  Her mum died after her birth and her dad got sick and died of cancer a few years later.  Her Uncle Hugh and Aunt Bessie promised to look after her and she has lived with them ever since.  She’s been best friends with Franklin for years and they’ve always loved playing games like Knights together.  When they start middle school Elise starts to get embarrassed by Franklin and doesn’t want to hang around with him anymore.  Then there’s her locker buddy, Amanda who nicknames her Scabula and squashes her lunch every morning.  Elise starts to hate school and is afraid to go because of Amanda’s bullying.  Just when she needs it a special surprise comes along.  Her father leaves her a mystery to unlock and with each discovery a new key arrives.

Eight Keys is about a girl discovering who she is and learning about the parents she didn’t know.  When Elise is feeling lost and worried, the mystery that her father left for her comes along and helps her choose who she wants to be.  It helps her see who her mum and dad were and how much they loved her, even before she was born.  You see a real change in Elise, from the worried, confused girl at the start to the confident, happy girl at the end.  I really liked the character of Franklin because he’s funny, loyal and will do anything to help his friend.  Eight Keys is the perfect book for girls who like Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy.  It will make you laugh and cry, but leave a smile on your face.   Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10


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Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile is a graphic novel about an eleven-year-old girl called Raina, who trips over one night after Girl Scouts, and knocks out her front teeth.  She gets a cast to help them mend, but her teeth just get pushed up further than the rest, resulting in Raina looking like a vampire. After that, Raina sees numerous dentists, orthodontists, and other dentists that she had never even heard of, and gets a heap of casts, braces, retainers, and embarrassing headgear. As if that wasn’t enough, Raina has to endure not-so friendly friends, confusing boys, high school horrors, and a major earthquake! Eventually, Raina makes a whole heap of friends, and discovers her inner artist, but will she be able to smile again? I found it very interesting, reading about Raina being in a huge earthquake. It was very accurate! I thought that the pictures were very good, and that the book was very funny. My favourite part is when Raina gets her ears pierced, and I also like the bit where she has the sleepover. This is definitely a book for girls, from about 10 to 13.  I usually don’t like graphic novels, but Smile is a huge exception.

By Tierney, 11.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

If you have not read this book I think you should read this as it is a really funny book.  It is about a wimpy kid that has a wimpy life.  His name is Greg.  His mum gave him a diary for him to write his feelings in it.  His family treats him like a baby except for his brother Rodrick.   He pulls all sorts of pranks on him and then Greg will pull the pranks on his friend Rowley.  If you want to learn more get a book and read it for yourself.

From Emile

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Hollie Chips by Anna Gowan.

Hollie Chips has always been different, even as a baby.  For one thing, she can never tell even the tiniest lie- it makes her tongue burn like fire.  She is also very inquisitive  so when she and her mother move to Puriti Road, Hollie is full of questions, such as  “What does Barry Buckscud want?”, “Why is he sizing up Puriti Road, and talking about a dog food factory?”, and the most important, “How am I going to stop him?”  She makes it her quest to be friendly to her neighbours, and make them so happy at Puriti Road that they will refuse to leave. But then Barry Buckscud tells a huge lie to her and her neighbours, and only Hollie knows the truth. It is now up to her to save Puriti Road from Barry- before it’s too late!

When I first saw this book, I have to say that I was the smallest bit discouraged by the cover.  Because of this I was very surprised to find out how well-written it was.  It was only after the first 2-3 pages that I realised how wrong I had been. This book is currently a finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, and I am definitely going to vote for this book.  Girls would probably like this more, but boys would as well if they read it.  Again, never judge a book by its cover! My favourite character was probably Ethel Bainbridge, who is Hollie’s neighbour. She generally hates all children, but by the end she’s a little softer.  I enjoyed the use of dialogue in the book, I thought that it was very life-like, like something that someone would really say. Children from about 8 to 12 would like this book, and I give it an 8 out of 10.


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Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari

Artichoke hearts is a book to make you cry.  With laughter as well as sadness.  It is Sita’s first book and it is brilliant.  Mira is entering her teens and is dealing with the usual growing up problems, boys, best mates and periods.  There is also a bit of bullying chucked in.  She is dealing with so many changes but on top of that her beloved nana Josie is dying.

Nana Josie is a great character.  She is strong, wise, funny and fiesty. Mira and her are really close although sometimes she is a little outspoken for the quiet Mira. She’s an artist with a wide group of friends who used to go on political demonstrations.  Josie has a love of nature which she has passed on to her granddaughter.

Mira’s family life is chaotic.  Mum and dad are always busy, little brother Krish is a pain and there is baby Laila to add to the mix.  There are bullies at school but she does have her best friend Millie.  So why has she started to keep secrets from her?  She’s discovering boys and is somehow drawn to Jide, a boy who has secrets of his own.

This is a beautiful story.  It feels very true to life and except for the fact that it is set in London it could be a family we know.  The pace and mood of the characters change so much through the book as they come to terms with more than the fact that Nana Josie is dying.  It is an emotional roller coaster ride but a pleasurable one as we get to know Mira better.

The book has just won Waterstones Books childrens fiction award which I think it highly deserves.  It’s going on my list of best of 2011. Find a comfortable spot and curl up with this wonderful book and get to know the Levenson family, especially Mira.

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Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson

This book is about this girl named Violet. She has a brother named Will. Will is adopted, and  he only found out lately.

Violet is inspired by Casper Dream because he writes and draws about fairies. She once wrote to Casper Dream and he replied. But when she wrote to him again it said there is no such address. So she wrote to him every day and kept in a silver box hidden in the back of the cupboard.

Violet has no proper friends at all. At the moment she is friends with two bossy know-it-all-Marnie and Terry. But one day at school a new girl named Jasmin joined the school. Can Violet be friends with this new kid?


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Dork Diaries

Dork Diaries is about a girl called Nikki Maxwell

She is a girl that everyone thinks is a artist!!!

But her greatest rival yet is Mackenzie

And you have to watch out!!!

So read Dork Diaries now!!!

By Rachel Renee  Russell!!!!

So go find this book in stores or libraries!!!

By Alison

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Little Darlings

little darlings is such a good book! stayed up to 10.30 reading it when i went to bed at 8! i not allowed to read at night but i do with my phone or my psp light .its about two girls and this famous rock person.

i dont know what to say about it you have to read it!

its by Jacqueline Wilson

 By Neve

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Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Mandy has been picked on at school for as long she can remember. Thats why she is delighted when cheeky daring full-of-fun Tanya picks her as a friend. Mandy’s mum is not happy. She thinks that Tanya’s a bad girl and a bad influence. But Mandy’s sure Tanya will keep her out of trouble. But will she?

read Bad Girls

By Neve

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