When Louise goes for her first horse ride in the country, she is enchanted to come across a group of brumbies. However, when she discovers that theirWhen Louise goes for her first horse ride in the country, she is enchanted to come across a group of brumbies. However, when she discovers that their numbers will be reduced and some brumbies will be sold for pet food, she and her new friend Ben are determined to undertake a muster and save their favourites. But despite the backing of Ben’s family and the park ranger, nothing seems to go to plan.
I came across this book when I was alerted that it was free on Amazon – I’m really glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m probably going to be purchasing the sequels! Horse books were never my thing as a child – although I once rode a horse at my friend’s property and many of my friends were horse riders (I did grow up in a rural town), I was a small kid and always a little scared of the big horses. Plus I had a tonne of ballet books (and Baby-Sitters Club books) to read.
I really enjoyed this look at horses though – the way horses were treated by the main characters and the way they were described through the book. It reminded of the respect given to horses in the Ranger’s Apprentice series and the old Trixie Belden books I read.
The book had a rather lovely old fashioned feel to it – in a really good way. The characters are teenagers, but there’s no romance, just good developing friendship. The risks are there and real (a possible bushfire, getting caught unprepared in the bush) but they never feel over the top – they’re handled very practically. And the writing style reminded me a lot of some of the older, calmer books I read when I was younger. I’m finding that a lot of YA and kids books I’m reading a bit frantic at the moment, so this calmer pace was very welcome.
This is also a great book to hand to those more advanced readers who are looking for a challenge, but aren’t ready for more adult themes in their books – a group of readers who are often looking for recommendations. The story line is a little more mature than early readers or earlier middle grade books, but there’s nothing which would be too old for the 7-9 yr old age group. It would also make a nice read-aloud book, probably prompting some interesting discussions about how introduced animals are dealt with in Australian parks and the moral issues raised through some of the events in the story.
This is the fourth book in the second CHERUB series, but the first one not connected to the Aramov clan. Instead this one, which concentrated on drugThis is the fourth book in the second CHERUB series, but the first one not connected to the Aramov clan. Instead this one, which concentrated on drug dealers, served as a bit of a cleanser after the intensity of the first three. It also served as an introduction to James Adams: Mission Controller.
James as a mission controller works for me - he's younger (I believe) than other ones we've seen, but there's an element of his behaviour which makes me think of Zara or Ewart from the early books. Some of the reminders about his past as a CHERUB agent were a little over-laboured in the writing - even those who haven't read the first series would be able to pick that up before the last couple of chapters when we're reminded of it, yet again.
I still don't feel like Ryan has been completely fleshed out the way characters were in the first series. Maybe because I haven't reread them as much, but he often just feels like James v.2 - which is kind of boring since a) we've read those books and b) James is right there. Ning is a much more fascinating character, but this was a plot heavy book rather than a character development one, so we didn't see a huge amount of that.
The plot was downright fun. It's hard not to compare it to Class A, but this felt like it was amped up to a higher level. It feels like Muchamore is happier to hurt his characters now, and they seem to engage in riskier behaviour.
All in all, a good engaging read - I can see it being popular amongst YA readers....more
I absolutely loved this book. Rose is a pampered, but overly restricted girl living in Melbourne in 1900. Her mother insists on governesses, corsets aI absolutely loved this book. Rose is a pampered, but overly restricted girl living in Melbourne in 1900. Her mother insists on governesses, corsets and becoming a ‘proper lady’. Rose is not allowed to play cricket with her brother, not allowed to read exciting books or learn about geography or history and certainly not allowed to catch a tram or explore the more exciting stores of Melbourne.
That is, until her exciting Aunt Alice – a teacher – comes to stay. Alice had exciting ideas such as women being allowed to vote, being more involved in society and being able to use their brains. She takes Rose out on an adventure to a restaurant her mother (a member of the Temperance League) would never approve of, and a magical visit to Coles Arcade – to the disapproval of her mother. But will she ever be able to break free from the restrains that her mother places on her?
I adore this time period, so this book was always going to appeal. There were such big things going on in Australia at this time, with Federation looming and women beginning to gain power across the country (and in New Zealand). Rose is trying her best to break free of her mother’s restrictions, but with Alice’s arrival it really looks like there might be possibility of a change. I am really looking forward to reading more of this one and finding out what happens next!
This was probably my least favourite out of the four introductory books in the Our Australian Girl series, but it was still an enjoyable read. Letty’sThis was probably my least favourite out of the four introductory books in the Our Australian Girl series, but it was still an enjoyable read. Letty’s sister, Lavinia is heading out to start a new life in New South Wales, when Letty finds herself accidentally on the ship as well! The book mostly looks at the difficult journey to New South Wales, as well as introducing the odious Jemima and the helpful Abner who befriend Letty on the journey.
I think one of the reasons I didn’t like this one as much is that I really didn’t like a lot of the supporting characters and I found Letty to be pretty silly at times, like when she gave away her sister’s good pillow case, knowing how expensive it was, just to keep a friend. It also feels like bad things keep happening to Letty and her sister, and it begins to feel a bit overwrought at times, though hopefully, some of the complications would be resolved in later books.
This is probably a more unspoken story than the familiar convict tales that children learn about. The idea of packing up a whole life and sailing a difficult journey around the world to start a new life is a concept which fascinates me. Again, this would be a brilliant book for the classroom and would probably be appealing to a lot of boys as well as girls.