‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio

This book’s about a 10 year old boy called August who has a facial deformity. He has had to have lots and lots of operations on his face since he was a baby and so his Mum home schooled him. When he is ten his Mum thinks it’s time for him to go to school, and he’s not sure about it. The book is about how hard it is for a new kid to start a new school and it’s even harder when your seen as different to all the other kids. The story is from different peoples’ sides – switching between characters. When he starts school, some kids see his face and make fun of him. He meets loads of different people, including Mr Tushman the Principal, Ms G (the Secretary), Summer, a very nice girl he sits across from at lunch, a very mean boy called Julian and his best friend Jack Will. The story is kind of about what it is like to be bullied though it has lots of other stuff in it. The book shows what it is like to experience life through the eyes of August. August is a lovely boy and I liked him; he wins an award at school for being good. I think he realises he has to be himself and learn that other kids’ reactions to him are not his fault. It is quite a long book, but it’s so good you don’t mind. You don’t want it to end! I would recommend it to ages 9+. On Wikipedia it says August suffered from a medical condition like ‘Treacher Collins Syndrome’ and also says this condition is very rare, occurring in only 1 in 50,000 kids.

Review by Éanna Buck aged 10.


‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

This is a brilliant, action-packed, fantasy book. Derek Landy pulls you in and traps you in this book’s claws. I recommend it to kids who like magic, action and danger, as this book is full of these. The book has great characters and it is even quite funny for what is. Well, the story is about a 12 year old girl called Stephanie Edgly. She is a bit bored with her life, then her Uncle Gordon dies. She inherits his big house and everything in it. But an old friend of Gordon’s turns up at the funeral – his name is Skulduggery Pleasant. He saves her life while she’s home alone at her uncle’s house and somebody (a mystery man!) tries to kill her. She finds out Skulduggery is a skeleton and that there is a whole world of magic out there. Soon she is tied up in that world. There people have to take a name to stop other people from controlling them, so Stephanie becomes Valkyrie Cain. Here’s the plot. A man, Nefarian Serpine, has taken the Sceptre of the Ancients, which has extraordinary power – it can kill gods (the Faceless Ones), making him almost unstoppable. Valkyrie and Skulduggery are the only ones who can stop him from controlling the world (with a little help from friends in small places). They also want to solve her Uncle’s murder. I don’t want to spoil the rest of it for you. This is the first in a series of books (there are ten at the moment). I recommend them all; I’d read them again!

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck


‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl

This is a cool book. It’s a smaller book than some of Roald Dahl’s books like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It’s about a boy called George who has a horrible Grandma. He hates her being horrible to him and he wants to get her back. He looks at her medicine bottle and has an idea. The next bit of the book is very funny. George puts absolutely everything (I mean EVERYTHING) in a big saucepan and starts cooking magic medicine. He puts in shampoo, toothpaste, face cream, floor polish, car oil, pills and brown paint to make it the colour of medicine – it sounds so horrible. He cooks it up. It smells terrible. He gives the medicine to his Grandma and she grows and grows until she is bigger than the house. I don’t like it when George’s Dad comes home because he just wants to make more and more of this medicine to give to their animals to make the, grow. I got a bit bored reading about them trying to make the same medicine again and again. The last medicine makes things small and when they give it to Grandma she shrinks then disappears. I didn’t feel bad for her as she was grumpy and horrible. This book is full of funny words and I liked imagining what was happening. There are pictures of the characters and what’s going on – I like these. Scary things happen but in a funny way. It is an east to read book. My favourite character was George. I like how he was naughty and got away with it!


Review by Lara Buck aged 8.








‘Pippi Longstocking’ by Astrid Lindgren

I like this book. It is about Pippi’s life as a 9 year old girl in a house called ‘Villa Villekulla’ in Sweden. Pippi doesn’t have a Mum, Dad or any other relatives – I don’t know why. She lives  in her house by  herself, but she also has a pet monkey (Mr Nilsson). Her next door neighbours have two children and Pippi makes friends with them (their names are Tommy and Annika). They go to the circus, the park and other places like a hollow tree. Pippi is very strong and can lift up her horse – this is a bit silly. Pippi always wears two odd socks for some reason and has big black shoes (she wiggles her toes in them!). Her hair is always in two plaits. She is a bit like the girl ‘Annie’ from the movie. Pippi doesn’t go to school, so she doesn’t know how adults think kids should behave. She knows how to do lots of things though and she has a really good imagination and tells stories. She has been to lots of countries and cool places. Pippi loves being a kid. I think this is a book for girls, not for boys. It’s an easy book to read except for some words. I’d have liked this book to be read to me at bedtime. It’s a funny book and made me smile. It’s a bit big (202 pages!). I think this is an old book because there is a page at the back about Astrid Lindgren – with a photo of her – and it says the first book was published in 1945! The version I have is new though with pictures by Lauren Child (I’ve read lots of the ‘Charlie and Lola’ books!) – the pictures are great.

Review by Lara Buck aged 8.


‘Amelia Jane Gets into Trouble’ by Enid Blyton

This book is too simple for me – I’m 8. It’s the story that’s simple. There are some pictures in the book but it’s not a picture book. Some of the words are hard. I didn’t really like it. Amelia Jane is a bad doll and bullies the other toys and dolls. They all talk to each other. She does things like putting green paint on a doll, she cuts the tail off a rabbit and squirts water on a toy soldier. The other toys don’t like it and try to stop Amelia Jane, but it all seems a bit silly. Toys playing tricks on each other should be funnier. This book didn’t make me laugh. I think it is meant to be a bit like ‘Toy Story’ but it’s just a bit boring – the things they do are not worth reading. I think maybe the book is written for more girlie girls than me. It might be ok as a book to read very young kids (maybe 5 or 6). I wouldn’t read more of these books. My Dad says it is an old book – inside the book it says it is from 1954! Maybe this book was good for its time.

Review by Lara Buck aged 8.




‘My Brother is a Superhero’ by David Solomons

This book is based on a weird idea; this doesn’t stop it being absolutely hilarious, with a crazy storyline of superhero madness. The way David Solomons has set it up the storyline is so amazingly good. The story is about a boy called Luke from a town called Bromley. Luke and his older brother Zack were sitting up in their tree house one day, Luke goes for a pee. He’s thinking what could happen in the time he is gone to the toilet, well, a lot. He comes back and his brother has super powers (what?!). Luke thinks he doesn’t deserve these powers because he has never ever read a superhero comic! Well, his brother is now the world famous Star-Lad, a superhero who draws his power from the sky and stars. Then they find out a meteor with the power to destroy Earth is approaching fast. The world needs Star-Lad, but he  has been kidnapped by the scientific genius Christopher Talbot. Talbot is a villain who is planning to use Star-Lad to harness the power of the meteor to give himself unstoppable power. Luke and his friends can’t just stand on the side-line watching, they have to help defeat Christopher Talbot. Does Luke manage to free Star-Lad and defeat Talbot? Read the rest yourself … I’m not giving any more away. This is an easy to read book. It’s funny and holds your interest. I have read other books by David Solomons and I’ll read more. I’d recommend the book for under 13s. Any older and I think you might think it’s a bit silly!

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.



‘StormBreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

I think this book series is incredible, fizz-banging good. I recommend it to kids who like mystery and spy books. The book is well written and full to the brim with twists and turns. The story is about 14 year old Alex Rider whose parents died a few years before. He is just your normal schoolboy (who is a black belt in karate …!) until his Uncle (his guardian and an MI6 agent) dies in a car crash. He is left with Jack, his housekeeper, who, for your information, is an American girl. What Alex doesn’t know is that by training him in everything a spy needs, such as karate, sports and extreme sports, his uncle had been preparing him for MI6. MI6 now approach him as they want him to go on a mission for them. He refuses. Then they threaten to take away Jack’s visa so he agrees. Then he finds himself in a SAS training centre, where he goes through two weeks of gruelling training. After the training, he is sent on a mission to the power plant of Herod Sayle, the man behind StormBreaker, an incredibly powerful computer. Sayle is giving these computers free to  every secondary school in England. There’s something not right about these computers and Alex must find out and stop Sayle’s plot. This plot is what got Alex’s uncle killed.  Alex poses as the winner of a contest which sees him invited him to see the first StormBreaker computer in operation. I won’t tell you how, but Alex finds out what it was that got his Uncle killed and what he must do. Alex is now the only one who can stop Herod. I’m not telling you anymore – read it yourself! This is a cracking read and Anthony is an amazingly good writer who bends the words to his will.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.



‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’ by David Walliams


This book is very funny. It is a bit big (mine as about 450 pages!). I didn’t mind as it is easy to read and good. It’s a comedy adventure with lots of funny bits. It is set in England. It has drawings of all the characters and of the town where they live, this helps me to imagine what’s going on. Like David Walliams’ other books, it uses small words, big words, sideways words and lots of different looking words – this helps to make the reading fun and there are also pictures on lots of the pages. It is all about Jack and his Grandpa. Many years ago, his Grandpa was a World War 2 flying ace, but he is sent to Twilight Towers old folks home because he gets a thing called Alzheimer’s (he can’t remember stuff). This place is run by Matron Swine, a very mean lady. When his Grandson Jack finds out the people in the nursing home are evil, he goes to rescue him! The rescue is my favourite bit. There are three men dressed as nurses and lots of things happen. Jack’s Mum works by making cheese so she always smells like cheese and Jack’s Dad is an accountant. There are loads of characters. Jack loves collecting aeroplanes. His favourite plane is the Spitfire since his Grandpa flew that plane when he was in the air force. I love the David Walliams books because they are very funny. They are all a bit the same in how they look and read but I don’t mind. It also reads a bit like a true story. I would highly recommend it to ages 7-12 years.

Review by Éanna Buck aged 10.




‘The Witch’s Kitten (Magic Molly)’ by Holly Webb

I like this book. It’s about the right length for me. Not too short or long. I don’t like most animal books, but I liked this book because it is about a girl called Molly who can talk to animals. In this book there’s a really nice witch (“old lady”) who can talk to her kitten (she wears bright clothes, not black ones like a normal witch). The kitten is called Sparkle. Sparkle gets lost in the woods after chasing a butterfly. A grown up called Sarah finds Sparkle and brings her home with her. Molly has a dream Sparkle is outside her window and wakes up to find her there. She had gotten out of Sarah’s cat flap. Molly talks to Sparkle and helps her find the witch. Molly hides Sparkle in her bag when her family go for a picnic in the woods. Molly says she is going looking for bunnies. Molly and Sparkle talk to each other and work out how to get back to the witch. Molly talks to the witch who is happy to get Sparkle back. The witch gives Molly a necklace shaped in a cat’s face as a thank you. Molly goes back to her family. The stars of this book are Molly and Sparkle – I like how they talk to each other. It’s kind of a fun book. I am not sure if I’d read another Magic Molly book though. I would recommend it to ages 5 to 10 year olds.

Review by Lara Buck aged 8.


‘Danger is still everywhere’ by David O’ Doherty

I love this book. It is all about Docter (not Doctor!) Noel Zone. In case you are wondering, he is not a Doctor of medicine, he’s a Docter of Dangerology. He wants to make the world very safe, as in, bikes are way to dangerous. But he has made up really cool animals like the page 9 scorpion, so when you open page 9, the scorpion leaps out at you, so to keep you safe he has hidden page 9 at the end of the book. When the pet show comes to his town, he decides to enter his pet rock Dennis, but you don’t really enter rocks in pet shows. He then has to mind his sister’s troublesome dog Napkin. This book is very funny and I would highly recommend it to ages 8-12. It’s full of pictures – probably more pictures than words. It’s easy to pick up and read a few pages. I’m going to read the first book in the series as soon as I can!

Review by Éanna Buck aged 10.