Monday, October 14, 2013

Why Kimba saved the world By Meg Dendler ★★★★

Reviewed by Rhiannon Aged 12.

Some cats have always known who they are, some have no clue.
Some grow up with their mother, some hand raised.
Some have freedom to roam outside, while others stay inside.
But when you have to pick between freedom or your family, can one small cat change
the world?
Kimba and Hiro were brought to a strange house just days after they were born. They had a bath tub nursery and a loving family. Kimba wants to look at the rest of the house but mama won’t let her. Soon Kimba is let into the rest of the house and discovers that she and Hiro are not the only cats in the house.
One day Kimba is in the bathroom and she sees a cat behind the mirror. Kimba soon discovers that it is Regulas and he wants her to help him take over the planet. Kimba has to complete lots of tasks to please Regulas. She has to go outdoors, rub fur on her family, before she has one final task to help take over the world.
Kimba has to learn her mama’s Facebook account, give it to Regulas and take over the world. But Kimba learns that mama’s Facebook account is Kimbababy. Will this be enough to make Kimba save the world?
Why Kimba saved the world is an amazing story about a cat who must choose between her family or her freedom. This is one of my favourite books and anyone who likes cats will think that this one is a winner! My rating of the book is four out of five stars.

Our review copy of “Why Kimba Saved the World” was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair review.  She mailed a copy of her book all rhe way from the U.S.A., which was pretty nice of her.  Thanks Meg.

Release Dates:                              Available now
Purchase details ebook:             Click here
Purchase details Amazon:          Click here
The ebook of "Kimba" is only .99 on kindle through the end of the 2013 because the sequel is coming out shortly.
Author’s Website:                              Meg Endler
Facebook Author Page:       
Facebook Book Page:          
Goodreads:                                   Meg Dendler


Meg Welch Dendler is a former pre-k, elementary, and middle school teacher. For over 10 years, Meg worked as a freelance writer and has written her first book, “Why Kimba saved the world”. Meg has had over 100 articles published in newspapers, magazines and online. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nell’s Festival of Crisp Winter Glories by Glenda Millard ★★★½

Reviewed by Sophia (aged 11) Meet Sophia.

          One night a boy called Perry thinks of an idea to bring his two favourite people together, Henry Jenkins and Nell Silk. Perry decides that he will put on a dance, a proper one with a band and everything. Perry gets a lot of helpers and in the end it turns out to be a festival: The Festival of Crisp Winter Glories. But when something bad happens to Nell will she be able to dance with the one she loves and will Henry be able to dance with one he loves?

        I thought this was a very interesting book. It had a bit of romance (yuck) and a bit of mystery in it too.

Book Description
         Two of Perry Angel′s favourite people are Grandma Nell and his good friend Jenkins.
One night, while listening to Nell play the beautiful Tennessee Waltz, Perry thinks of the perfect way to bring his two favourite people together: he wants to put on a dance - a proper one with petticoats and posies and a real band.
        Perry shares his idea with his sisters, and before long the dance turns into a wonderful winter festival. But when something happens to Nell, will Perry′s wish come true?

Our review copy of Nell's Festival of Crisp winter Glories thanks to the lovely people at HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS Australia

Release Dates:
Australia & New Zealand:   April 2013
Purchase details ebook:       Click here
Purchase details:                 Click here
Author’s Website:                Glenda Millard
Sample Read:                      Click here


            Glenda Millard has won many prestigious awards for her Kingdom of Silk series, including CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers for Perry Angel′s Suitcase, and the Queensland Premier′s Children′s Book Award for Layla, Queen of Hearts. Now this stunning series about the very ′uncommon′ Silk family has its glorious finale in Nell′s Festival of Crisp Winter Glories.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Heiresses by Alison Rushby ★★★

Trust no one - especially your relatives

Reviewed by Katelyn (aged 13) Meet Katelyn.

In 1926 Thalia, Erato and Clio are summoned to London by Hestia, a long lost Aunt that none of the girls knew they had. When they arrive from their individual homes, the girls discover that they are triplets who were separated at birth. Hestia also informs them that they are heiresses to their mother's fortune which is currently under the control of their greedy half-brother, Charles. The sisters move into their Aunt Hestia's London house and begin their new lives together, while plotting to get their inheritance from the loathsome Charles.

While the girls are in London they realize something. Each of them is there for a reason:

Thalia is there to get away from her dark past.
Erato is there to achieve her dream.
Clio is there to help save the only mother she has ever known.

The girls realize that they must trust no-one; let alone each other.

The plot for this book is very good and witty. I would recommend this for thirteen year old to fifteen year old girls. 

Thank you to the kind people at Pan Macmillan for our review copy.

RELEASE Date:       May 2013
MORE information:     CLICK HERE  
READ an extract:        CLICK HERE   
AUTHOR’s Website:

Having failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she slunk sideways into studying Russian, began writing her first novel and, most importantly, joined the Chocolate Appreciation Society. Over the past ten years, she has published five books for young adult readers and five for adult readers in the women's fiction genre. She is originally from Brisbane, Australia, but spent 2011 and most of 2012 living in Cambridge, UK, where she mainly spent her days whingeing constantly about the weather.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike ★★★★


Reviewed by Katelyn (aged 13) Meet Katelyn.

          Jeff doesn't get a very good first impression of his new posh school. This impression goes from bad to worse when the drop-dead gorgeous Kimberlee Shaffer, who literally dropped dead last year  in the hallway of a Santa Monica High School, starts to pay him attention. After all, as he is the only person who can see her, he's the perfect person to help her out, willingly or not.
    Unfortunately for Jeff, Kimberlee has some unfinished business. A lot of unfinished business. When Kimberlee was alive she was a kleptomaniac and she stole everything she could. Since she’s still on Earth she thinks by returning the things she stole she will be able to move on to wherever she is to go. So with Jeff helping her it should be easy.
       Rather than be stuck with Kimberlee until he graduates, Jeff reluctantly agrees to help her. Until he discovers it’s easier to steal something than to bring it back.
       This is a great book. I thought it was interesting and a bit weird, but in a good way. If it was me, I would have just dumped all the stuff at once and got the whole thing over and done with instead of returning the items one by one.     
         However, the story is about atonement and moving on with your life, or death, as Kimberlee finds out. The way Jeff and Kimberlee interact is fun, making this a great book for 12-16 year olds.

Thank you to the kind people at Harper Collins for our review copy.
For purchasing information on this book: CLICK HERE           


Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula (labour coach). Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.
Visit Aprilynne's website here.

Epic (3D) ★★★½

Reviewed by Alex (Aged 12)  Meet Alex

Opens in Australia: July 4, 2013  USA:  24th May, 2013  UK: 22nd May 2013
Other Countries: Release Information

Epic begins with the character of Bomba, a determined professor, who studies a civilization of tiny people who he has never seen. Mary Katherine (MK) is his 17 year old daughter who one day is magically transported to this microscopic world where there is a battle going on between leaf men (good) and Boggans (evil).  
Queen Tara passes on an important mission to MK which involves bringing the “chosen pod” to Nim Galuu, a wise caterpillar who can read ancient scrolls that hold the key to MK’s quest.  
MK is joined by Nod, a rebellious teen, Ronin, a courageous and selfless leader of the leafmen warriors, and Mug and Grub, a slug and snail, who are guardians of the pods. Pods are important as they are needed to keep the forest alive.
Trouble comes when Mandrake, a fierce and mean leader of the Boggans, believes the forest belongs to the darkness. He has the power to destroy anything he touches. Only the power of the “chosen pod” can stop him which is why MK and her heroic team need to protect the pod.
The quality of the animation was impressive, especially in 3D, as it made it feel like you were in their world. The battle scenes are entertaining and action packed but some parts of the film were too slow. Bomba was my least favourite character as he annoyingly slowed the pace down with his absent mindedness.  

“Ugly says what?” “what?” “nothing...(Mug and Grub arguing). ” Mug and Grub were my favourite characters as they brought laughter to the movie. I also liked the character of Queen Tara as she had awesome powers which allowed her to control nature.
Epic holds within it a couple of messages – be respectful of the environment, and never stop believing in something just because you can’t see it.
The story-line was like the usual good versus evil scenario and I found it easy to follow. Epic has action, adventure, comedy, villains and heroes. Something for everyone.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Queen Alice’s Palaces – Juliette MacIver and Lucia Masciullo ★★★

Reviewed by Carmela Ramos Meet Carmela

          In ‘Queen Alice’s Palaces, Juliette MacIver demonstrates an imaginative creativity with her unique writing style. MacIver skilfully uses rhyme to weave a tale of the challenges Queen Alice and Sir Hugh face as each extraordinary palace is built.
          MacIver uses a four-line stanza with every line rhyming except the fourth line. The ending of the fourth line in each stanza is identical so there is a constant ‘oo’ sound pattern throughout the read.
          Lucia Masciullo’s visual portrayal of the different palaces and humorous characters, using magnificent colour and lines, brings the story alive. I’m definitely a fan of the illustrator’s work!
          Sadly, my children (aged 4, 8 and 12) didn’t love the book as they didn’t appreciate the poetry style. However, with my school teacher cap firmly in place, I would recommend this lovely book for classroom use. Its uniqueness and clever use of rhythmical words is a great example to students of creative poetry. This book is well suited for primary school children.

THANK YOU to our most regal friends at HarperCollins Publishers Australia for our review copy.
On Sale in Australia:    May 2013
 Formats:     Hardback | CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON PURCHASING     E-Book here: CLICK

  I have always enjoyed writing, since I was a child, but I never aspired to the idea of Being A Writer, as such. I did always hope to write a children’s book or two at some stage, and when I finally did, I found it to be such marvellous fun that I decided being a writer was actually a splendid idea.
I grew up in Wellington and went to Victoria University, where I completed a degree in linguistics, then a diploma in teaching English. I taught English on and off, working in-between as a cycle courier; in cafes; ushering at festivals; as a guide at the national museum; and as a travel agent (at which I was particularly hopeless). I also travelled around Thailand and Europe by myself. Finally, after a short spell in a government department, I left to become a fulltime mother of four children (who arrived in an orderly sequence, not all at once). This wonderful job has involved a vast amount of “market research” for my eventual evolution into a children’s author. Writing fits in (with a squeeze) around caring for my children, and I LOVE it to excess, so it is rather a perfect job for me.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Elvis and the underdogs by Jenny Lee ★★★★★

Illustrated by Kelly Light

Reviewed by Sophia (aged 11) Meet Sophia

Benji is a small ten-year-old boy with a weird personality. He is always sick and faints a lot.
So when Benji wakes up from a bad spell the doctor gives him two options; to wear the world’s ugliest helmet or get a therapy dog. Benji chooses the dog. But when a huge crate arrives in his house he can’t believe his eyes! There before him is a massive two-hundred-pound dog!
The amazing thing about the dog is that it can talk! He tells Benji his name is Parker Elvis Pembroke IV. But the weird thing is that only Benji understands him; everyone else hears Elvis’s speaking as a bark or a whimper.
Elvis is very bossy and sometimes tells Benji what to do! But having a bossy dog could come in handy and might just show Benji how easy it is to make new friends.
I thought this was a wonderful and magical read with lots of exciting moments and heaps of bravery!

THANK YOU to our lovely friends at HarperCollins Publishers Australia for our review copy.
On Sale in Australia:           1st May/2013
 Formats:     Hardback | E-Book
Sneak Peek available here: CLICK

           Jenny Lee is a writer and producer on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up.
She has written episodes for the shows In Case of Emergency, Samantha Who?, The Troop, and Shake It Up.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau ★★★ ½


Reviewed by Katelyn (aged 13). Meet Katelyn

After the seven stages of war, Earth is a mess. Most food is inedible, the water undrinkable and the animals mutated until they are unrecognisable. Life is a continuous struggle to survive for all inhabitants. This is the world where Cia Vale lives with her family in the isolated and desolate Five Lakes Colony.
Cia has always longed to be chosen to for the Testing and then, hopefully, University like her father did, but to be Chosen you have to be the best of the best. On her Graduation Day, Cia desperately hopes to be Chosen but sadly she is not, until the day after Graduation when a representative from the University arrives.
Cia is so happy she is one of the Chosen, until her father warns her about what he can vaguely recall of the Testing after his compulsory memory wipe. Cia is then thrown into the Testing where no one can be trusted and a wrong answer can have seriously fatal consequences.
This book is an interesting dystopian book which I quite enjoyed. It is very similar to many of the latest release YA dystopian novels in that we have a lead female character who is placed in a situation of life and death in a bleak, futuristic Earth setting. The character of Cia is one which young teenage girls could easily idolise as she displays leadership qualities and compassion even while she is fighting for her very survival. The story itself is interesting and flows quickly, however the plot is one that you shouldn’t over analyse. I would recommend it for 12 to 17 year olds.

Thank you to the kind people at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for our preview copy of The Testing


Joelle has always loved telling stories and bringing them to life on the stage. Joelle graduated from Milikin University with a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance and then continued onto DePaul University to complete her Masters Degree in Opera Performance. From there she went onto perform across the Chicagoland area in a variety of Operas, Operettas and Musicals. She also started teached acting classes and private voice lessons to pass her passion along to the next generation.
Joelle had never planned on writing a novel until one day she had an idea and started to write. She found her passion for creating characters lived on the page as well as the stage.
Visit Joelle's website here