Ms Farrell’s Year 9 English Book Review Competition Winner

Spix’s Maxaw : The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Birds by Tony Juniper

9781841156514Spix’s Macaw : The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Birds is a novel which highlights the struggle of a bird that was previously thought extinct in this world.  Written by Tony Juniper, the novel holds almost three hundred pages of gripping accounts of how this species nearly died out, and then it’s comeback.

The novel was written for people who are interested in what exactly happened to these animals.  The plot is very interesting, as it shows how Spix’s Macaw nearly became extinct, to how it “rose from the ashes” and grew it’s species to nearly one hundred numbers, and growing larger everyday.  The book is set in South America, where many undocumented birds were found in the 19th century.  As you read, you find yourself immersed in this novel and you can “see” how an adventurer would’ve seen the landscape a hundred years ago.  The main highlight in this book would be the point where another bird is found, so the species together can be rebuilt to what it once was.  There are no real weak parts of this novel, as the whole story keeps you on your feet, wondering what happened next.  I enjoyed this book immensely, and would love other books in this genre.  I was always reading instead of watching TV or using the computer, and I never let it go until I finished it.

I definitely recommend this books to anyone who enjoys recounts of historical moments, as it always keeps you guessing.  Online, the novel is rated four and a half stars out of five.  I loved this book and so should you.

Reviewed by Angus and Jake

Ms Farrell’s Year 9 English Book Review Competition Winner

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

9780575081406The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is about a fantasy world where an anarchist called Kvothe the Kingslayer lived.  The story begins with Kvothe as an innkeeper on the outskirts of a town.  Kvothe has renamed himself to Kote, so not to be recognised as the almighty Kvothe because Kvothe faked his death.  However, one person called Chronicler recognised Kvothe because of his fiery red hair.  Chronicler is a scribe and wants to know the truth about Kvothe because while some people called him a hero, other people called him an assassin.  Kvothe agrees to tell his life story to this young man.  Throughout the novel, you learn about Kvothe’s frightening past and how he becomes the man he is today.

The Name of the Wind is part of a trilogy of books called the Kingkiller Chronicle.  The second book is called The Wise Man’s Fear and the third book, yet to be released, is called Doors of Stone.  The Name of the Wind is written from a third person perspective, except it is in first person when Kvothe is retelling his life story.  The writing is dense and full of details, and explains the world and characters brilliantly.  The writing helps the story become believable in this fantasy world.  The characters are very well explained and realistic, because the characters aren’t perfect – they have flaws and make mistakes, especially Kvothe.  Kvothe is also a character you can relate to, you can understand what is going through his head and why he made those decisions.  The story is amazing, you are never bored reading it.  There is always an interesting event taking place.  Even the blurb tells you what Kvothe has done and you want to understand how this happens.  You always have unanswered questions throughout the novel and that is one of the things that compels you to keep on reading.

The only problem in this novel is very minor, and it is that it starts quite slow and takes about 50 pages for Kvothe to start telling his story.  The 50 pages are vital for the story to explain the setting and characters.  This book is not for someone looking for a short read.  I recommend this book to everybody that loves fantasy and a great story.  I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed by Eleni

CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2014

Last Friday, the Children’s Book Council of Australia announced their awards for 2014.  The following are the winners and honourable mentions in their categories.

Older Readers

         Winner                                   Honour Books                         

9781742612317 wildegirlsTheSkySoHeavy

Younger Readers

          Winner                                  Honour Books


Other categories…..

Early Childhood

Winner : The Swap by Jan Ormerod

Honour Books : I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian ; Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson

Picture Book

Winner : Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Honour Books : King Pig by Nick Bland ; Silver Buttons by Bob Graham

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Winner : Jeremy by Christopher Faille

Honour Books : Welcome To My Country by Laklak Burarrwanga and Family ; Ice, Wind, Rock by Peter Gouldthorpe

Student Reader of the Month for August

Katerina. . . . . yr 11

What book are you reading now?

 “Paradise Lost”  by John Milton    


What was the last book you read?

     “Red Rising”   by Pierce Brown   



Why do you think reading is important or why do you like reading?

 “ I like reading because it’s a way to travel to exciting places and  experience things without ever  leaving your chair. Reading is important because it exercises your imagination and can also provide you with lots of information and other people’s points of view. It’s also just fun  to read about thrilling adventures and fascinating characters”










Staff Reader of the Month for August

 Jackson St George . . . . . .  English & SOSE Teacher from 2014

 What was the last book you read?

    “ The Name of the Wind ”  by Patrick Rothfuss     


       I cannot recommend this novel enough for  any lovers of

 epic fantasy. I believe this book will go down in history next to the likes

of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and Lewis’ “Narnia”.


What book/s are you reading now?

“ We”    by Yevgeny Zamyatin


           It was one of the main inspirations for Orwell’s 1984

            and fascinatingly was not published in Russia until 1988.

Why do you like reading and /or why do you think it’s important?

“ There are 3 things that I think it is important to consider about reading.

Firstly I think it is of note that I only began to read  when I  was in grade 7, and it was the Harry Potter  series (I didn’t even finish the fifth book… it took too long to get to Hogwarts and I got bored with it). I think there is this false belief in many people that you are either born a reader, or you are not. But my experience contradicts this. I was not born a reader, I was in remedial English throughout Primary School, but now I have a degree in English Literature. This shows that you are not born a reader, you become a reader, you are made a reader, and you do this through the act of reading. And this is one reason I love reading, it is an act which you constantly get better at by doing, and the more you read  the more you see in other books and the more enjoyable they get.  

Secondly, I love reading because there is always something to suit my mood. I do delve into the philosophical tomes from time to time, but I am not always in the mood for the hard slog reading that is dense academic literature. Sometimes I read much simpler books and comics. I read South Korean vampire web-comics like “Noblesse”, the Japanese historical-fiction manga of “Vagabond”, and the humorous-fantasy romps which is Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series. That these books have less value to me and the world because they are easier to read is a falsehood which I believe we as a culture must dispel. There is an elitism around the more complex novels in our society, people attempting to feel superior to others because they can read the more complex novels. The joy and happiness I get from my web-comics rivals the enlightenment I receive from the philosophical treatise I read. This is another reason I love books, the value of a book is in the eye of the reader.

Thirdly, I love that books exist for many reasons. There are books to read when you want to escape from the monotony of life. There are books to read when you want to be amazed at the possibilities of life, to be inspired to “seize the day”. There are books to read when you simply want to feel joy and happiness. There are books to read when you simply want to feel, whether the feelings be good or bad. There are books to read when you want to learn. And there are books to read when you want to be enlightened. These are the reasons I read and love reading.        

Because no one is born a reader, we are all made readers through the act.

Because the value of a book is in the eye of the reader.

                Because there is a book for every reason.





Poetry Week in the Library

In August, the Library hosted it’s first Poetry Week Morning Tea.  It was an opportunity to share loved poems and read a selection of poems written by our very talented Year 9 English students.

Poetry 1

Poetry 4

Going on the feedback we received from our wonderful staff, this little Morning Tea has proved to be quite a success and one we think can be repeated again next year for Poetry Week 2015. Thank You to everyone who attended! 

Poetry 2


Poetry 3