Kids’ Club Review by Laura: Spooky weird

Spooky weirdSpooky weird, Anh Do ; illustrated by Jules Faber

I thought that this book was interesting and funny. I didn’t want to put it down! If you like Tom Gates, Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries then this is the book for you.

4 stars

Reviewed by Laura from Miramar and Seatoun School , 10 years old

Ghosts, monsters, and naughty gods: All you need to know about Halloween!

To many of us, Halloween is not much more than an excuse to wear a spooky costume, listen to some scary stories and maybe carve up a pumpkin, all while hoovering up more lollies than is probably wise. However, to find out more about why people the world over celebrate this holiday, we have to step back in time to visit the ancient Celts, with quick stopovers in 7th-century Rome and 16th-century Germany along the way.

Let’s go for a spooky ride through time.

The brainy people who study such things generally agree that Halloween finds its roots in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sa-win). Samhain was traditionally held on November 1, and it marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “dark half” of the year. Ancient Celts believed that during Samhain the world of the gods became visible to ordinary people, and the gods delighted in frightening and playing tricks on their worshippers. Sometimes they appeared as monsters in the dead of night. Sound familiar?

When the Romans conquered Britain in the 1st century CE, they merged Samhain with their own festival of the dead, Feralia. Now the frightening monsters and delicious treats of the harvest were joined by ghosts and restless spirits. The traditions that make up modern Halloween were starting to take form.

Fastforward to Rome, 7th century CE. Pope Boniface IV brought in All Saints’ Day, originally celebrated on May 13 — within a century, the date was changed to November 1, perhaps in an attempt to replace the pagan Samhain festival with a Christian equivalent. The day before All Saints’ Day was considered holy, or ‘hallowed.’ This is where the word ‘Halloween’ comes from — it is the Hallowed Eve.

Zoom forwards in time again to Germany, 16th century CE. The Protestant Reformation, led by people like Martin Luther and John Calvin, put a stop to the still pagan-influenced Halloween festival in most Protestant countries. However, in Britain and Ireland, the festival remained in place as a secular (non-religious) holiday, and the tradition followed English-speaking settlers to the United States, where it is still a hugely important part of the festive calendar. Many of the traditions introduced in the dark and mysterious woods and cairns of ancient Celtia live on to this day in the form of the modern Halloween festival.

Interested in learning more about this fascinating and era-spanning festival, and the people who celebrated it? Why not check out some of these books at your local library:

Celts by Sonya Newland
“The Celts were fearsome warriors, but they also developed trade routes across Europe and made beautiful jewellery. Find out about Celtic tribes, how Boudicca rebelled against the Romans, and how the Celts celebrated with feasts and festivals.” (Catalogue)


Prehistoric Britain by Alex Frith
“From the age of dinosaurs to the Roman invasion, this book tells the story of this vast and exciting period of British history. It describes when and how people first came to Britain, and includes information on the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Celts and the mysteries of Stonehenge. Full of facts, illustrations, photographs, maps and timelines.” (Catalogue)


Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman
“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)


Traditional celebrations by Ian Rohr
“This interesting book is part of a series written for young students that focuses on a wide variety of celebrations and festivals held for special occasions throughout the world. It focuses on traditional celebrations.” (Catalogue)

Kids’ Club Review by Tulip: Spooky Winnie

Spooky Winnie, by Laura Owen and Korky Paul

I liked this book quite a lot. In this book are 4 different stories. One of the stories I personaly liked was called ‘Spooky Winnie’. it is when Winnie the Witch and Wilbur the Cat, get invited to a haloween party. Winnie makes a disgusting dish to take with her. She also made a bat bunting decoration. Do you want to know what her outfit was for the party? Do you want to know what the ther stories were about? Read the book.

4 stars

Reviewed by Tulip from Newtown, 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Jennifer: Greenwitch

Greenwitch, by Susan Cooper

I loved reading it it was nice how jane only wanted the green witch to be happy and it got even better when the green witch asked jane what she wanted and jane said the grail so the green witch gave it to her then jane gave the green witch something else that coud be her treasure

5 stars

Reviewed by jennifer from Brooklyn, 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabelle: Ned’s Circus of Marvels

Ned's Circus of MarvelsNed’s Circus of Marvels, by Justin Fisher

It was confusing in some bits because the world was kind of wierd and I could only imagine the place that the scene was in and the backround was just white mist and it made it kind of hard to understand what was going on. in it ned thought he was just an ordinary kid until he has to run away from these evil clowns and his dad gets captured by them so he goes to the circus like his dad told him to and meets magical people and gets powers and has an adventures. I think it would be good for people 8 or 9 plus

4 stars

Reviewed by Isabelle from Karori, 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabelle: Night of the living dummy

Night of the living dummyNight of the living dummy, by R. L. Stine

this book is good in some bit it is not the most action-packed of R.L Stine’s books but the bit where lindy and kris fight with a ventriloquists dummy is interesting and some bits are kind of scary but other bits are kind of hard to follow I would recommend it for 8 plus becuse little bits are scary.

4 stars

Reviewed by Isabelle from Karori, 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabelle: One day at HorrorLand

One day at HorrorLandOne day at HorrorLand, by R. L. Stine

this book seems like a dream because it is sooooo imaginative it is one of those books you can think about for ages afterwards. it’s about how lizzie, her parents, her brother luke and his friend clay get lost while driving to the zoo gardens theme park but find another one called horror land and they go inside and go on all these really scary rides it is a awesome book I recommend it for 7 or 8 plus

5 stars

Reviewed by Isabelle from Karori, 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabelle: The haunted mask

The haunted maskThe haunted mask, by R. L. Stine

I liked it because the girl is really pretty and she is alwas getting scared by her friends and everyone thinks it’s hilarious even her best friends so on halloween she decideds to get revenge and scare them to death. this is not the scariest of the goosebumps books but it’s still kind of scary so I recommend 8 or 9 plus

4 stars

Reviewed by Isabelle from Karori, 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Julius: Slappy birthday to you Goosebumps

Slappy birthday to you Goosebumps, by Rl Stine

This is a book about having birthdays. Like when Mr Barker had his birthday and they celebrated it. Then Ian’s birthday comes up then he gets a doll named Slappy. Then another birthday comes up to a girl who also gets a doll and then she named it Abigail and her Dad liked the sound of the name. I mostly find the story descriptive. Goosebumps is one of my most favourite books and I can say it’s a good book for me and I recommend it to my friends.

5 stars

Reviewed by Julius from Tawa, 9 years old