Thursday, September 30, 2010


Title: Juice
Author: Katy Watson
First Published: 2000 by Fremantle Press

Juice wants to be an Australian sprinter and she thinks she's got what it takes, the Body, the determination, support and her crazy new coach Wiz. soon though, everything is changing. Juice's head is spinning, she thought that she was just changing coaches so she'd become the best 100m sprinter around, but that was just the start. Soon she's crushing on her running partner, who seems to have issues of his own, her best friend seems to have been replaced by an alien, her Gran is moving to sydney and her family is changing completely.

this book is prequel to Mama's Trippin' , but saying that you can read them in any order because there is no necessary information in one for the other and they have different Protagonists.

there are some Big difference between how the two books are written, which i wasn't expecting. Juice is written in 1st person all from Juice's Point of view, while Mama's Trippin' is written in 3rd person from multiple points of view. Mama's Trippin' definitely had more serious themes, but both books i really liked.

my favourite thing about this book was that it was set it Perth, which is a rare treat for me, because it's my city and i knew the places they were talking about and other details just seemed so right to me.

the other thing i loved was the characters, they were so realistic. the way Juice thinks about things, especially her parents, her body and boys was, in my opinion, was really like in my own head. every character had flaws and not silly little things, but there were moments i wanted to yell "you idiot Juice, don't say that! she your best friend" i felt i knew each one.

that brings me to the first thing i didn't like. i felt that the book could have been longer, the ending wasn't rushed, but i felt it could have been stretched out a little further. i also was hoping that Von's feelings about his diabetes would be explored more, because in mama's trippin' i felt I'd like to know more and thought it would be in Juice, but i was a little disappointed, but it was explored.
my only over problem is I'm not sure how well the end of Juice over laps with the start of Mama's Trippin', I'm not sure if they match.

i really liked this book. a simple, yet great read.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Children's Book Council of Australia- 2010 Winners

the last month or so is the peek of book awards in Australia, at least in YA/children's books, which is all i know. i thought I'd do a post showing you some of the books that have won prizes. this award is only given to books by Australian authors that have been nominated by their publisher.

Older Readers
WINNER: Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen
HONOUR: The Winds of Heaven by Judith Clarke
HONOUR: A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

Younger Readers
WINNER:Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch
HONOUR:Running with the Horses by Alison Lester
HONOUR: Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy

Picture Book (meant for children aged 0-18. some books are for mature readers)
WINNER:The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers
HONOUR: Isabella's Garden by Glenda Millard
HONOUR:Fox and Fine Feathers by Narelle Oliver

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Running Man

Title: The Running Man
Author: Michael Gerard Bauer
First Published: in 2004 by scholastic

Joseph is a quiet, shy boy who lives with his mother, while his father does construction work in far away countries. this story begins when Joseph is asked to mow the Leyton's lawn. Caroline Leyton convinces him to paint a portrait of her brother tom, a reclusive Vietnam war veteran. a very special relationship forms over silkworms, books and secrets. but their can be problems of relationships built on secrets, what happens if someone else says different, who do you trust? Tom and Joseph give each other just what they've needed for a long time.

i love, Love, LOVE this book. i have no criticism, i thought it was perfect. it was perfectly paced, i was hooked from very early in and read it all one Friday night. this is quite a philosophical book, so i was very surprised to find that it was so suspenseful and interesting. most books that are about thoughts, feelings, relationships and life in general usually have a relaxing pace, but The Running Man is quite eventful.

like i said, this book is very philosophical. it talks about life, death, views on life, perspective, judgement of others and even miracles. i learnt so much from just reading it. The Running Man is the kind of book you feeling happy and hopeful after reading, it just sticks in your mind.

i feel i haven't done this book justice in my review, i highly recommend reading it. please give it a go.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Competition Time!

Cherry Banana Split is having their first competition!! (party poppers go bang now while everyone claps).
we are having a write a list like Georgia comp.

now i know you must be thinking 'what on earth does Anna mean?', but that's OK, just keep reading!

in With Lots of Love From Georgia by Brigid Lowry Georgia keeps a notebook full of funny, insightful and interesting lists. she calls herself a list-writer extraordinaire. so here at cherry banana split we are inviting you to become list-writers. it's quite fun, i now have a list notebook myself.
here is an example:

Jobs i DO NOT wish for:
dentist (who wants to look up people's noses?)
bike courier wearing disgusting Lycra outfit
filliter in a fish factory
telephones sales of any sort
Michael Jackson's surgeon
Michael Jackson's lawyer
head of complaint calls centre at the tax dept.
policewoman in hell-rough suburb
fat girl for singing telegram company

the best list wins an Australian book chosen specially for them by Stacey and myself.
all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
1 write a list about ANYTHING you want from things to call a pet zebra to reasons i hate my best friend.
2 post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments here on my other blog
3 wait and see if you win. OR if you want you can enter again.

entries close on the 30Th of September west Australian time.we will post the winning entry after that and I will leave a comment on the winners blog and get in contact from there.


Sugar Sugar

title: Sugar Sugar
Author: Carole Wilkinson
First Published: Black Dog Books in 2010

Jackie sets out for France in 1972 to try and become a famous fashion designer. she has been living a drab life in London, working for a boring fashion company as a sales girl, with a bunch on crabby part-time models who only eat salads and hard boiled eggs. she decides suddenly take a few days off and travel to Paris to show her designs to a famous designer in hope of getting a job.

somehow she ends up chasing two American girls in a vintage British cab to get back her folio. from here she continues chasing people right to Afghanistan, having the worst of luck on the way. she makes quite a few new friends, with the help of some drugs, lack of food, Dolf's guitar and Val's dice.

i quite liked this book it was very different to what i was expecting though, it wasn't your usual girl travels to Paris story.
here are some things that i liked:

-it's slow winding pace. it's very peaceful and appropriate and doesn't make the book boring

-the descriptions of the different places. i loved hearing about Yugoslavia and turkey, it showed how beauty can be all kinds of different things. i especially loved Jackie's descriptions of home, red dirt, the beach, soft green grass and eating peaches in summer.

-the characters were very realistic, they had so many faults and not token faults. one character was 'the moody one' and another 'the one who has a big mouth'. all characters made mistakes and changed and grew. i know this was true because i found myself being mad at Jackie who i quite liked, and liking Dolf something even though i thought he was annoying.

-i like the paisley pattern at the beginning of every chapter.

here are some things i didn't like:

-i felt that i didn't really know Jackie for the first half of the book. i even managed to forget her name, which isn't a good sign. i felt she was a little undeveloped at the beginning.

-there were lots of characters coming and going, and of course they all had names native to there countries. i found myself a little confused at time.

-it somehow felt a little heavy. this must be just be because i don't really know what i mean.

overall i liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes more slowly paced books. it's quite thought provoking at parts and you feel like you get to visit all the countries, while at some points it makes you wish you were traveling across Europe and Asia in a London taxi. my favourite thing about this book is how you could see the characters grow and develop.