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Children's Book Reviews

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Our reviewers have been busy reading and enjoying a selection of new books just published by O'Brien Press. A big thank you to all of our young reviewers for all of their hard work and to O'Brien Press for supplying review copies.

If you would like to review a book please let us know! Or perhaps you have written reviews in school and would like to share them with others. For more information on how to submit reviews or become a reviewer please send your details to info@giftedkids.ie.

The Demonata by Darren Shan

Darren ShanThe thrilling series by Darren Shan is full of action, fighting and gore. I would recommend this book for over 11, gore-loving, children. This bone-chilling horror involves many heroes that were dragged out of their normal lives to live a terrible, miserable life of magic and flesh-eating demons. The demons live on different universes that are being created all the time and a team called the Disciples are narrowly holding out the demons from Earth using magic. I was surprised I was not scared and strictly advise not to read this book at night. The main characters are Grubbs Grady, Kernel Fleck and a powerful sorceress, Bec. Join these heroes on their epic quest to save Earth in The Demonata by Darren Shan.

Please enjoy. Conor, Age 9

Review of  "Alice to the Rescue" by Judi Curtin.

Alice to the Rescue ReviewThe book is called “Alice to the Rescue!”  It is written by Judi Curtin who is an Irish author who lives in Limerick. It is the seventh book in her series about the fictional characters Alice & Megan. The story is set in an ordinary neighbourhood like mine. It is about two best friends, a lost cat, a wedding, an essay competition and a trip to France!  

Alice is a confident young girl in her first year of secondary school .Megan is Alice’s best friend. She is quite shy and she owns a cat called Domino. Both girls have entered an essay competition for a fabulous prize of four months in France. Megan doesn’t really like the idea of being away from Alice for so long and wishes that  neither essay wins.

Meanwhile Megan’s family are preparing for Auntie Linda’s wedding. Megan’s mother is catering but she’s not a very good cook!  This leads to some funny moments! In the middle of all this fuss Domino the kitten disappears upsetting everyone .

I think the story has a good plot and kept me interested all the way! I don’t think the characters are described very well, but as it is the seventh book in the series I suppose they are better depicted in her earlier novels. The ending is unexpected but happy for everyone in the story!

I really enjoyed reading “Alice to the Rescue” and my favourite part was the ending! However as I prefer adventure and mystery stories myself I probably wouldn’t read any more of that series. I would recommend it for girls aged eight to ten.

I rate this book 8 out of 10!  Izzy, aged 10 years

Review of "The Secret of Kells" from the new film by Tomm Moore, illustrated by the Cartoon Saloon.

The Secret of Kells Picture Book"I loved it! The pictures were great. I especially liked Ashling, she was very interesting because she was more a rough and tumble kind of girl who thought that dolls were boring, a bit like me. It was really fun reading it. I would say that every 7 or 8 year old girl should read it. Here is my picture of Ashling." Hannah, aged 8


Secret of Kells

Review of "The Secret of Kells" Novel by Eithne Massey

The Secret of Kells Novel"Okay, O’Brien Press, firstly, I’d like to thank you first for releasing some pretty awesome books, and thanks for letting me review this book fairly early. Now, I understand that The Secret of Kells is a tie-in for an upcoming movie, so I can’t wait to see Brendan walking about in all his Cartoon Saloon awesomeness. Now what I think of this book is this. Firstly, I like how it explains about each picture of the Book of Kells. For example Brendan basing St Mark’s lion on brother Assoua’s description was fairly clever. Secondly, it’s an amazing idea to combine Christian and pagan faiths. You know, making a Christian boy monk meet a fairy girl and pitting him against a serpent death god, Crom Cruach. Also putting in the first Irish magnifying glass, Brendan’s Eye. To round things off, the illustrations are fantastic as usual."  Sam, aged 11

Léirmheas ar an leabhar "Daifní Dineasár" le hÁine Ní Ghlinn
 World Book Day Alfie Green Book
 "I mo thuairim bhí an leabhar go hiontach. Bhí sé greannmhar agus bríomhar. Bhain mé an-taitneamh as. Is scéal faoi bheirt bhuachaillí, Mamaí, leanbh beag agus dineasár é. Ag tosach an scéil deir Niall agus Conall go bhfuil ollphéist fhíochmhar amuigh sa ghairdín. Tógann Mamaí scian mhór amach agus féachann sí timpeall an ghairdín. Níl aon rud ann. "Amadán Aibreáin" arsa Niall agus Conall. Tosaíonn Mamaí ag gáire. Ansin imríonn siad cleas eile uirthi. Tá Mamaí ag eirí tuirseach díobh. Bíonn eagla an-domhain ar Niall agus ar Chonall nuair a itheann fíordhineasár an bia go léir sa teach agus nuair a thiteann sí ina codladh ina leaba. Cad a cheapann tú? Beidh miongháire leathan ar d'aghaidh tar éis an leabhar seo a léamh. Is údar den scoth í Áine Ní Ghlinn." Ainm: Síobhra Ní Fhlaithbheartaigh  Aois: 10                  
"I mo thuairim cheap mé go raibh an leabhar "Daifní Dineasár" an-mhaith mar bhí an scéal suimiúil agus é  scríofa i nGaeilge shimplí.Bhí sé éasca é a léamh ach fós le Gaeilge mhaith. B'é an píosa ab fhearr liomsa ná nuair nár chreid Mamaí go raibh dineasár thuas staighre mar gheall ar na cleasa a d'imir na buachaillí uirthi. Mar sin táim chun a rá arís go raibh an scéal an-mhaith. Maith thú, a Áine Ní Ghlinn." Ainm: Odhrán Ó Flaithbheartaigh  Aois:10   

Review of "Alfie Green and the Monkey Puzzler" by Joe O' Brien
"This book was excellent. It's telling you never to trust anyone or anything especially if something is free. There wasn't ever a dull moment in the story. It's about a guy called Monty and Monty owns lots and lots of monkeys so he decides to make up a circus full of monkeys. He visits a little village and tells everyone that there was going to be a circus show the following day and if they signed the back of the vouchers he had given out admission would be free. But that night when everyone from the village was at the circus Monty and some of his monkeys sneaked out and robbed all the houses. Fortunately Alfie and his friend Fitzer left the show early and saw him. Want to know the rest? Well, just buy the book. You won't regret it."
Síobhra Ní Fhlaithbheartaigh, aged 10
"In my opinion I thought that Alfie Green and the Monkey Puzzler was a brilliant book.  It was full of surprises. I would never have thought that the Monkey Circus was so full of criminals. It also had a mystery which made it ever more exciting. In some parts I felt as if I was in the book . It was very well written and very interesting. It had pretty much everything to make the perfect story."
Odhrán Ó Flaithbheartaigh, aged 10

Review of "See If I Care" by Judi Curtin and Roisin Meaney

See I Care by Judi CurtainThis is one if those books that’s absolutely brilliant but I don’t know why! It’s very addictive and once you pick it up, you can’t put it down. When Luke and Elma are assigned as each other’s pen friends, they lie to impress each other. However, in the end, guilt gets the better of them which reveals that their lives are actually quite similar. Without even noticing, they help each other with their family problems. I recommend this book for ages 9 and up.
Rachel, aged 12

Review of "Demon from the Deep End" by James Allison

Demon from The Deep EndI enjoyed the Demon from the Deep End because it was very amusing at the end, and when I reached the middle of the book it felt like I was in the story.  Evan Crogan, his sister Sophie and Liam Brodie are offered a free trip to Spain and from the minute they arrive strange things start to happen in their hotel.  They must try to defeat a monster, which is made of slime, before he tries to eat people.  Unfortunately Evan’s sister never believes anything the two boys say to her, but she is a great Kung Fu fighter and without her help the boys might never defeat the Blobster.  My favourite character was Evan because he is really funny and, at one point in the story, he is a bit weird. If you like a bit of science fiction this book would be for you.  I think the book would be most enjoyable for 3rd and 4th class, and good readers of 2nd class.  If you want to find out what happens in the end, and if they defeat the monster … go and buy the book!
Niamh Ní Challanáin Ní Chianáin

Léirmheas Leabhar ar: Scuab Fiacla Danny
Scuab Fiacla Danny Tá Maimeó ag teacht ar cuairt chuig teach Danny. Sula dtagann sí, ritheann Danny in airde staighre agus loiteann sé a scuab fiacla. Nuair a thagann Maimeó, bíonn bronntanas speisialta aici do Danny. Tá Danny an-sásta… go dtí go bhfaigheann sé an bronntanas. Loit Danny a scuab fiacla mar bhí sé braon bailithe de   ghlanadh a chuid fíacla.  An bronntanas? Scuab fiacla atá ann. Bhuel, déanann sé a dhícheall an ceann nua a  bhriseadh.

  •  Buaileann sé é ar an staighreé
  • Déanann sé iarracht é a chur síos an leithreas
  • Téann sé amach, agus cuireann sé é sa lochán gránna glas
  • Glanann sé an madra gránna, Keeno, leis
  •  Imríonn sé “Fetch” leis, agus tagann Keeno ar ais leis an scuab ina bhéal aige.
  • Tagann an bulaí agus glanann sé a bhróg leis.

Ar deireadh, tagann Mamaí Danny agus deir sí go mbeidh air é a chur  ina bhéal! Scór as a deich: 8; bhí sé go maith ach beagán gearr. Léaifá arís é. Tá sé suimiúil. Is leabhar maith é.
Conor Ó Ceallaigh Aois: 9

Review of The Adventures of Shamrock Sean by Brian Gogarty

The Adventures of Shamrock SeanI’d have to say that it’s brilliant in every Irish way,
I’d give it a five star rating and I’ll read it every day!

I love the way it’s animated and Sean is cute and small,
I can’t tell what age he is because I don’t know if he’s bald!

My favourite story has to be the best one of them all,
Shamrock Sean and The Wishing Well, I read it and had a ball!

 Hannah aged 9


Disclaimer: This is not an expert site, it is run on a voluntary basis and as such is based on opinion and experience but we hope that it acts as a signpost for educational resources and other support services for Irish families with exceptionally able children. By using this website you accept that any dependence by you on such information, opinion or advice is at your own risk.

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