Friday, 27 December 2013

Crash Dive by John Townsend

This is the first Barney Jones book I have read, and definitely won't be the last. After reading the blurb on the back of the book I immediately thought 'oh, another Alex Rider-style teenage hero', but Barney is a far more interesting character. Intelligent, funny and a real pain in the neck to most of the adults that he encounters!

As his parents have separated, Barney spends the majority of his weekends with his dad in Edinburgh and regularly flies there on his own. Passing through Edinburgh airport at the end of a flight, he manages to get himself caught up in a terrorist plot organised by the sinister Korova organisation. Barney desperately turns to different adults for help and support but, because of his reputation and challenging personality, nobody will take him seriously. The only person who believes him and offers to help is his best friend, Laura. Together they travel across the country, lurching from one disaster to the next, and just when it seems that things can't possibly get any worse, they do!

This is not a book that wastes any time hanging around and having dull conversations, it really is action-packed and moves at a wonderful pace. It's easy to read and has some very sinister moments. Most of the characters add depth to the story, in particular Barney's gran, who is probably the most interesting. The only slight disappointment for me was that the leader of Korova is a little bit nondescript. Luckily, the other members of the mysterious organisation more than make up for this!

I genuinely enjoyed reading Crash Dive and am looking forward to reading more of Barney's escapades. Hopefully John Townsend has got a couple of stories in the pipeline. You can learn more about Barney and read quite an amusing interview with him at

If you enjoyed Alex Rider, Jimmy Coates and Young Bond, I think you'll love this. Suitable for ages 10 and up. Definitely recommended.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Queendom (The Portal Series) by Dee Kirkby

This is my first review for our book blog and I am reviewing a good book. I think that adults and children would love this story because there are some really funny parts. It is about a brother and sister called Max and Laura. They behave just like a brother and sister like when Laura goes "Ewww Max, you're wearing the same shorts as yesterday." But the fact is that through the story they do help each other and care about each other.

When they go through the portal it's really magical when the toy crab Oscar grows real. Max is so dependable on his toy. The creatures they meet all have really strange names like joops and sluggers. The sluggers are not very nice at all as they want the cloud apples. One of my favourite bits is when Max and Laura get trained up to fight by the Commander of Peace.

This book is lots of fun to read and your imagination comes alive. I haven't read the other two books yet which are called Realand and Raffie Island but I will now. I would know more then about the magic portal. I think in the next book maybe Max and Laura's dad is going to go through the portal. The writer finished the story on a really good cliffhanger. I think that she has a crazy imagination and it's a bit like the Narnia books. The front cover has a picture of Oscar the crab but I would like to see Max and Laura too.

Probably if you are 8 or more you would really like to read this but I think you should Realand first.

Oliver W.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Young Werewolf by Cornelia Funke

I am reviewing this great new book. Young Werewolf is awesome and really fun to read. It is about a boy called Matt and a girl called Lisa who is his best friend. They have just come out of the cinema and seen a scary tunnel. When they go through the tunnel they see a street lamp. Under the lamp is a werewolf but they don't know it's a werewolf. Matt walks past and accidentally kicks a can which makes a rattle. When he comes out of the tunnel he notices that there is a bite mark...

If you want to find out more I am afraid you are going to have to read this book. I would rate this book 10/10 for everything. I loved this book. I loved the cover because there's a full moon with Matt turning into a werewolf. I also like the words used because they are adventurous. This is probably my favourite book ever so why don't you give it a try? I hope you liked my review.

Jersie Leigh Moore

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

I love Diary of a Wimpy Kids books because they are so funny and cheerful. They are great books because they can cheer you up when you are feeling sad. My favourite character is Manny because he makes silly noises and comes up with lots of silly names for the dog. I would recommend these books because they are awesome books to read when you are bored. Kids will love them. I've finished the second book and I'm now going to read all the others. They're my favourite books ever. I just love these books.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Illustrated Stories from Dickens

Usborne Illustrated Stories From Dickens 

Read this book by Charles Dickens, it is brilliant! It's got lots of stories such as David Copperfield, Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale Of Two Cities.There are some characters in the stories that I know such as Lady Dedlock, Abel Magwich, David Copperfield, Miss Havisham, Estella and Oliver Twist. This is a mixture of characters and stories all in one book.

So get on your feet for a wonderful surprise in the Dickens book. If you haven't read it, then read it because I think you will definitely agree with what I'm saying.

By Megan       

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Meet Ada Goth. She lives with her father (Lord Goth) in an enormous creepy house called Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Her father has lots of servants running round the house and there are at least half a dozen GHOSTS!!!! But poor Ada has no friends to explore her house with. Then one night every thing changes when Ada meets a ghost mouse called Ishmael. They explore her house together.

The good luck doesn't end there for Ada because at breakfast she meets two people called Emily and William Cabbage. They say that their father Charles Cabbage is building a calculating machine in the Chinese drawing room. William tells Ada about the Attic Club. She goes there and makes a lot more new friends.

When Ada and Emily go exploring in the Back of Beyond Garden (Unfinished) they come upon a door that says "The Secret Garden". They wander through the door and come across another that says "The Even More Secret Garden" but the door is locked and they can't get through it. Suddenly they see Maltravers coming towards them. They quickly scramble up a large tree and luckily aren't seen. What was Maltravers doing there on his day off???

To find out more you should definitely read this book!!!!!!

By Jessica Peel

Friday, 22 November 2013

Demon Dentist book review


A few days ago I finished an EPIC book which is called DEMON DENTIST by David Walliams.

This book is GREAT because there is a new Dentist called Miss Root who is a DEMON. She is a demon because she gives out loads and loads of sweets to all of the children.

The next day all the children from school are holding their jaws in pain as they all have very bad toothache. The demon dentist called Alfie up to look at his teeth. She then gave Alfie a toothbrush and toothpaste called Mummy's. Alfie squirted the toothpaste on a rock and it burnt right through it! Then he threw it in the river and it killed all the fish!

At Alfie's house they have a caretaker called Winnie. She's fat, round and wears multi-coloured clothes and can't drink coffee. Alfie was supposed to go to the dentist during school, but he hid everywhere he could think of as he was terrified of going back to see the demon dentist. When your teeth fall out and you put them under your pillow for the tooth fairy, terrible things start happening.

If you want to find out more then read this book. I guarantee that whether you are old or young, you will enjoy reading this book.


by Tyler Peel.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Why we love reading at West Earlham Junior School

When I read, I feel like the world is mine. I read because it makes me feel happy and sometimes sad, but in a nice way. A book is like jumping into a completely different world or having a day at the park with your family. I like to read at night, at school, after school or even on holiday.

I love reading because nothing can distract me and it builds up my memories. Reading can calm me down and make me feel relaxed. I love any books, especially ones about magic cats.

I like reading because I have lots of fun. Reading inspires me. I always get my head stuck in a book.

Reading makes me happy. I like books about motorbikes and I like scary books.

When I read, I'm in my own world. Sometimes I feel relieved at the end of a book, sometimes I feel sad. I read in my room so nobody can disturb me. It's nice not to have anyone moan at me. When I get a new book, I just feel so lucky to have books.

I love reading in a cold bath because reading warms me up. Reading makes me feel strange, sometimes it makes me hungry. Reading makes me feel happy and sad.

I read every day, even when I'm really busy. I read wherever I am. I love reading, it makes me feel really excited.

When I read, I learn how to look after people. I love reading because I like to be inside the book and solve problems. I am always curious when I read because you just don't know what will happen. Reading is fun, so I read lots.

When I read, I am the main character in the story. Sometimes I read too much and I am tired in the morning. I love meeting new characters in stories. When I close my eyes and read, it makes the story a hundred times more exciting.

Reading makes me feel alive. Reading at night is my favourite because it feels so real. I just love getting new books.

Fiction books are so joyful to read. I like non-fiction books too because they tell you different facts about animals and ships. Also, whenever I read a book it gives me ideas. I love reading at home because I can read as long as I want. It makes me happy and smart. Reading gives me a good attitude.

I like reading because I like adventures. Books can make you sad and joyful.

I read under my covers at night with my torch. I get so excited when it's a new book. I love reading because, well, I love it. I can get angry, happy or sad when I read. I have learned lots of new words. My favourite one is 'assignment'.

When I read sad books, I have mostly sad emotions. I read books at school or at home in my bedroom. I like to read scary books and exciting books. When I get a new book, I just think WOW!

I love reading because it's always an adventure. I just can't wait to read a new books, it's so exciting. I can't wait to get stuck into it. You can learn new words, sentences and stuff.

Reading makes me feel good, happy or sometimes sad. I love reading at my house because I have loads of books to choose from which are funny and scary.

Reading just makes me feel happy really.

Reading is just magical. My favourite part of a book is usually the middle. I love reading because when I read I feel awesome. I read in my bedroom and I am happy. I put effort in my reading.

I like reading because it is fun. I normally read on the sofa.

A book makes me feel very relaxed and quite clever. I love books because they get my imagination going and make me want to be creative. I love to be in another world and place. When I read stories with no words in, I always try and think about what the author wanted to write.

Sometimes when I read, I feel like I am in a completely different place and like I'm meeting the characters in real life. I love to read under my duvet  with a torch, even more if it's a scary book. What I heard about reading is that if you read you get intelligent. If you want to be a teacher when you are older, you must teach that to the children.

I love reading. It's a time when you can settle down and read a book. I normally like to read with the light on.

My favourite book is Nuddy Ned. It is so funny!

If you don't like reading, then you should. It is a fun thing to do and you can go on an adventure.

I like reading everywhere. It makes you really peaceful, no one can disturb you and you can have an adventure. If you read information books, then you will know more. I like books that are scary.

A book is something special, amazing, fantastic, incredible. I like reading anywhere. I will never stop reading. I like reading battle books and adventure books, I like a book with good characters.

I like books because they are fun and when my teacher read Billionaire Boy it was awesome.

I love reading because some books are funny and some books are happy and some books are sad and some books are great. I read my books in bed at night and I like reading to my family. I really like picture books. I like being a reader.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

First and Second World War books

Next year, it will be exactly 100 years since the start of the First World War, and lots of fantastic books are already being published in recognition of this important anniversary. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be writing a few short reviews of some that I've found particularly interesting.

The Secret Message by John Townsend
This is another book in the fantastic Cold Fusion series, published by Ransom. It tells the heartbreaking story of two long lost brothers, who are eventually reunited and go off to fight together in the trenches of Belgium during the darkest days of the First World War. As always with the Cold Fusion series, the reader is made to work hard to get maximum enjoyment from the book. There are several puzzles and codes throughout the story which need to be solved. One of the decoded messages reveals a shocking twist and from that moment on, you know there is no way that the story can end happily. In fact, without wanting to give too much away the ending is truly tragic (but also strangely inspiring).

One of the features that I like most about this series is the extra information that is provided in the appendices at the end of the books, which give you a real insight in to how and why they were written. I also like the fact that they are short and pacy, being readable in a couple of sessions.

John Townsend is a thoughtful writer and has high expectations of his readers. With The Secret Message, he has written yet another extremely enjoyable story.

Recommended for Years Five, Six and Seven.

Poems from the First World War, selected by Gaby Morgan
This is the first anthology of First World War poems that I've ever read. Before reading it, I only knew of the most famous war poets, such as Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. Not only does this book contain work by them, it also contains the work of many other incredible poets. There are so many poems here that I absolutely love, including The Deserter by Winifred Letts, Perhaps by Vera Brittain and In Memorian by E.A. Mackintosh. For obvious reasons, a lot of them are extremely melancholy and moving, particularly those written about individual soldiers (many are published with extra information about the subject of the poem, including how they died). The wonderful cover just adds to this beautiful book.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon 
Tony Robinson's Weird World Of Wonders-World War One
The books in Tony Robinson's Weird World of Wonders series have been a great addition to our school library over the last couple of years. The books cover different periods in history and are extremely well researched. Rather than just give a list of facts and dates, they give a much more personal view of history. In fact, one of the saddest parts of this book is when Tony Robinson talks about his own grandfather's return from the First World War. He simply took off his uniform, threw it in the fire and never the war again.
The major turning points of the war are listed. Did you know that towards the end of the war the British and American army had over 5000 tanks and the Germans had only 20? There is also a huge amount of information about the misery of life in the trenches. However bad you imagine it to have been, the reality was much, much worse!
For children with an interest in military history, this book is a perfect introduction to the horrors of the First World War.
Recommended for Year Five and Six.
A Horse Called Hero by Sam Angus
Two young children, Dodo and her brother Wolfie, are evacuated from London in 1940. They find settling in to their new life in the West Country  difficult, especially when they find out that their father has been arrested for being a deserter (someone who runs away from the army). If no witnesses can be found to support his story, he may even be executed. When Wolfie is out exploring the countryside, he fstumbles across a newborn foal whose mother has just died. He names the young horse Hero and begins to raise him. Just when it seems that life is finally starting to improve for Dodo, Wolfie and their father, Hero suddenly disappears...
I loved this story, absolutely loved it! It reminded me very much of some of Michael Morpurgo's best animal books. Without wanting to give too much away about the rest of the story, there are some scenes which are extremely moving, in particular one involving a drowning horse. If you enjoyed Shadow or A Medal For Leroy, two of Michael Morpurgo's more recent books, then I'm confident that you'll enjoy this too. Sam Angus has also written another book, Soldier Dog, which I am now going to hunt out and add to our classroom library.
Recommended for Year Five upwards.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Young Werewolf by Cornelia Funke

My teacher asked me to review this book as I read it first in our class. It is a spooky story about a boy and he gets bitten. He then turns into a werewolf. His teacher knows a lot about weird creatures and starts to follow him about so his friend tries to help him. Her name is Lisa and the boy's name is Matt. The teacher's name is Mr Foulweather which is a good name for him.

I liked reading this book. It wasn't too scary for me and it was lots of fun to read. I am in Year 4 and I think other children who are in Year 4 too would like to read it. Especially people that like stories about werewolves but not really scary ones.

The cover is really nice and quite shiny. The writer of this book always uses good words like squinted so well done to her. I will read more books from her soon and I am pleased I read it first.

Here is the cover.

From Thomas.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

4JB's Top Ten Books

Today we all voted on what our favourite books are. Here are the top ten:

1. Billionaire Boy by David Walliams
2. Demon Dentist by David Walliams
3. Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
4. Stinkbomb & Ketchup Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
7. The Gizmo by Paul Jennings
8. Doctor Who (various authors)
9. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
10. Mr Gum by Andy Stanton

Almost in the top ten:

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Stitch Head by Guy Bass
Tin Tin by Herge
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Anything else by Paul Jennings
Anything else by John Dougherty
Anything else by Roald Dahl

How many of these great books have you read? Do you agree with the list? What other books do you think should be on there?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Author quiz

Do you know the name of the author who wrote each of these books? List your answers below. You can use the local library or the internet to help you! There will be a fantastic prize for the winning entry.

1. Zeus On The Loose

2. The Longest Whale Song

3. A Medal For Leroy

4. You're A Bad Man, Mr Gum!

5. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

6. The Iron Man

7. Young Werewolf

8. Bill's New Frock

9. The Grunts All At Sea

10. Angela Sprocket's Pockets

11. Demon Dentist

12. My Uncle Is A Hunkle, Says Clarice Bean

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Home Sweet Horror by James Preller

Unfortunately I got this just too late to read to my class for Halloween, but it's a wonderfully spooky story which we'll definitely enjoy together on a dark and wintery afternoon. It's similar in style to Nick Shadow's Midnight Library books, which I also enjoy reading whenever I get a spare minute.

Liam, Kelly and their dad have just moved into a run-down and empty old house. As they pull up to the front door, Liam immediately realises that there is something creepy about the place as he notices that all the lights are flickering on and off. The next day, their father calls several local workmen to try and get them to come and help repair the house. Very few of them even return his call, and those who do all offer him the same advice; leave the house now before it's too late! As the days pass, Liam and Kelly start to hear menacing noises and voices from within the house's walls. Kelly's best friend, Mitali, comes to stay for a weekend visit and suggests that they try and summon up the ghost of the house. Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be an absolutely terrible idea, and things go very wrong, very quickly.

This creepy book can easily be read in under an hour as it has a simple plot which moves along at a great pace. There are spooky illustrations all the way through which help add to the atmosphere that the author creates. Of the hundreds of books published which tell the story of a family moving in to a haunted house, this is probably one of the best. Highly recommended for Year Five and Year Six.

Definitely read this if you enjoy creepy ghost stories (Horowitz Horror, Midnight Library, Chris Priestley's Tales of Terror).

Definitely DON'T read this if you are easily scared!

I'm now trying Home Sweet Horror with some of our braver Year Six book reviewers. I'll let you know what they think.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Cool Addiction- a poem

I found this great poem about reading today. Read it and let me know what you think. If you enjoyed it, you can read more of Neal's poems at

Cool Addiction by Neal Zetter

My head is stuck inside this book
I only meant to take a look
Till I saw what had been written
Instantly my mind was smitten
In a land of fascination
Sparking my imagination
Passions burning like a flame
Pictures dancing in my brain

My head is stuck inside this book
Just one page was all it took
I was focused and engaged
Thrilled, enthralled and entertained
Title, cover - so inviting
Words speak to me - so exciting
Such adventure, such intrigue
In a world of make believe

My head is stuck inside this book
Superglued, completely hooked
Unaware of all around me
Once this magic story found me
Characters feel like my friends
Plot unfolding till the end
Whether fact or whether fiction
Reading is a cool addiction

The Treasure House

Hello, Mrs Smith here, finally taking some time out from reading to review one of our new books in the library!
   The Treasure House by Linda Newbery caught my attention because of the unusual front cover, then when I read the blurb I thought it seemed even more mysterious....and I wasn't disappointed.
   The whole story is about the strange disappearance of the main characters mother, and her attempts to work out where she is, (and why she left). Along the way we meet many of her friends and family who are quite quirky and good fun.
   I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mystery, as it has a great twist at the end. In addition I think the family and friends relationships in the story would appeal to Jacqueline Wilson fans too.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Patron of Reading display

Thank you Mrs Smith for putting up a great John Dougherty display in the library! We are all getting very excited about his next visit in January. The coloured sticky notes are already filling up quickly with books that we think he should read.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Book character quiz- Year 3 and 4

Can you work out who each of these book characters are? Write your entries in the comments box below. There will be a prize for the person who gets the most right. Good luck!