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Back to school means back to 20 minutes reading per night for primary school-aged children. LSJ online's resident 11 year old book reviewer Audrey shares two recent releases that will help make that time a breeze.

Two Can Play That Game

By Leanne Yong
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Two Can Play That Game is a book about a young adult named Sam Khoo and her love of making and playing indie video games. But when her dreams for the future are snatched up by Jay Chua (or, as she calls him in the book, Jerky McJerkface), she is determined to win them back. How? By playing video games.

18-year-old Sam has a simple goal in life: to make cool indie video games. Determined to acquire a super rare ticket to a workshop with her favourite developers to show off a game she’s working on, Sam plans to have them fall in love with her game and immediately start working on it with her. However when her ticket is snatched away by rival developer Jaysen, she will do anything to get it back. So she challenges him to a one-on-one video game challenge. Five games, five rounds and only one winner.

As soon as I saw the cover of this book I knew I was going to enjoy it. I play a lot of video games, so I could really connect with the characters, and it’s also long enough so that it has some substance to the story.

It is really well written and I would definitely read it again.

I recommend this book to people aged 13-18 as it has has a few swear-words in it, and some themes that might be unsuitable for younger readers. This book was amazing, and so fun to read. I love the characters and the plot line – I’m so glad I read this book.

5 Stars


The Lorikeet Tree

By Paul Jennings
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

The Lorikeet Tree tells the story of a girl named Emily and her family. When her father is diagnosed with a terminal disease, Emily and her brother learn how to cope without him.

Emily is a 15 year-old girl, with a twin brother Alex who live in the Australian countryside, in a property that has a tall tree filled with rainbow lorikeets. Emily and Alex live with their father who we discover early in the book, is terminally ill with brain cancer. This book follows their struggles, triumphs and arguments, with each twin dealing with the reality of their situation differently.

I found this book to be well written but maybe a little short. It is a heartfelt story, written in such a way that conveyed the themes and emotions of the characters really well.

I recommend this book to ages 10 – 13 as it has themes that might be a bit mature for younger children (superstition, terminal illness) but it is a shorter book and good for a quick pick up, put down reading sessions.

4 Stars