Reader's Review Competition

This year the Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge Reader's Review competition opened to primary and secondary school students!

This year's winners of the Premiers' Reading Challenge Readers Review competition are Year 5 Brighton Primary School student, Harini and Year 9 Brookside College P-9 student, Neerja.

As the lucky winners, they will receive a pack of Penguin books, a virtual visit from an Australian author for their whole class, and we will publish their winning reviews.

Winning book reviews

This year’s winners of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers Review competition are Year 5 Brighton Primary School student, Harini and Year 9 Brookside College P-9 student, Neerja. 

As the lucky winners, they will receive a pack of Penguin books, a virtual visit from an Australian author for their whole class, and we will publish their winning reviews. 

Death in the spotlight by Robin Stevens

Review by Harini (Year 5, Brighton Primary School)

Death in the spotlight is a fantastic novel from Robin Stevens about two girls who come across the murder of an actress whose body turned out to be the theatre’s dresser's. This book absorbs you into a romantic, mysterious, and very intriguing story.

Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

Review by Neerja (Year 9, Brookside P-9)

Differences in treatment…. As a student, you are surrounded with inequality, students are divided; each person is treated differently, this treatment relies on many factors. 

Alyssa Sheinmel’s Faceless, represents this difference in treatment. Maisie, a runner, someone part of a ‘popular’ group, a daughter; who kept her apart family together, a girlfriend - a girl with a smooth road life. Suddenly, her life meets an unexpected turn…. 

During her daily morning runs, she is struck by lightning. ‘Luckily’, she gets a face transplant. She can’t recognize herself anymore, her parent’s relationships weakens even more, her friends start to treat her differently, people avoid her, her boyfriend shows a different side of himself, looking at herself in the mirror and the reflection seems like a stranger to her; she is surrounded with many challenges. 

People call her ‘lucky’, she hates it, however, later on she discovers the meaning of luck, to her. The novel is beautifully written, it grips you, and it showers you with questions about our society. 

It shows how challenges can bring evolution to our consciousness of the true sides of people, it makes us question whether how people are treated is fair and what should determine this treatment?

Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle

Review by Neerja (Year 9, Brookside P-9)

A rip current: tough, challenging and capturing suddenly pulls Lucy in; changing her life forever, underwater, not knowing whether things will get better, the rip keeps pulling her back into the ocean. But, as she swims against the rip, she finds herself free, stronger or even a better person. 

Trinity Doyle’s Pieces of Sky; a novel showing the journey of Lucy (the protagonist), in which, Lucy’s smooth road life, meets an unexpected turn. Cam, her older brother, commits suicide, however was it actually suicide or was it an accident? 

This pulls Lucy into an emotional current, with questions of the cause of Cam’s death, the trauma, the distress and her teared apart family - Lucy sets off for a different journey; a different motive to live. 

Throughout this journey, she reflects and understands who the right friends are for her and forms a balance with swimming and her relationships, simultaneously strengthening her relationships. 

Pieces of Sky, is a beautifully written, captivating and expressive novel which demonstrates that we all go through different challenges in life which are out of our control, but what is in our control is whether they defeat or strengthen us but overall they shape us.

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Contact us

If you have any questions please email readingchallenge@education.vic.gov.au