“Eliza Boom My Explosive Adventure” by Emily Gale

Eliza Boom

Barnaby Book Club’s second book of the year was “Eliza Boom My Explosive Adventure” by Emily Gale. We caught the bus after school and went to the Brunswick Library.

We were very fortunate to receive the most interesting letter you could imagine from the author Emily Gale. It was jam packed and bursting with ideas for discussion topics and activities! Yay!

We also had activities and colouring pages from the Eliza Boom website.


At first, the boys screwed up their faces at the Eliza Boom books and made groaning noises as if their tummies hurt. However, all of the boys enjoyed the book so much that they all went on to read Eliza’s next adventure, “Eliza Boom: My Super-Spy Diary”.


Our first activity was a mind map. We drew a circle and wrote “Eliza” inside and discussed words that best described her. Here are some of the pages:

cropped worksheet1 IMG_4558 IMG_4559Our words were: Creative! Persistent! Optimistic! Inventive! Thoughtful! Intelligent! Cheeky! Friendly! Lucky! Happy! Angry!

It was Ingrid who said “optimistic” and everyone else went “what does that mean?” so we talked about optimism and all agreed that Eliza Boom is indeed optimistic.

Then we discussed what those words mean – what is optimism? What is persistent? When have we demonstrated these qualities in our lives?


Next we talked about mistakes. We all make mistakes. Grownups make mistakes. The author Emily Gale had even told us about an embarrassing mistake SHE made which made us all laugh. All the adults there told the kids some of their mistakes. Julianne, Pepper and Wanda’s mum,  could have gone on all afternoon. She has made a lot of mistakes. It made us laugh too.

Emily’s letter told us that there can be good outcomes from a mistake – you might fall over on the ground and hurt your knee but find a dollar! We talked about good outcomes from seemingly disastrous events. If you hurt yourself your mum or dad might come home earlyfrom work. Wanda hit her head and cut her forehead but it has given her a cool scar which makes her look different to her identical twin sister Pepper.


This lead us into Unfortunately Fortunately stories. This is from Emily’s letter:

One way of writing a story is called “Fortunately / Unfortunately”. Here’s how it works: you start out with something positive (e.g. a great invention), then you make something bad happen, then your character finds a way to turn their fortune around (another invention!), then something bad happens again, and finally your character solves that problem too, with a final, brilliant invention!”

We all wrote stories. Even one of our teachers at school did this with the whole class. Here is one of our stories. It’s a bit crazy:

Fortunately it was Barnaby Book Club afternoon. Unfortunately it was raining, cold and the wind was fierce. Fortunately we sheltered in a café and ordered hot chocolates and anzac biscuits. Unfortunately the café had run out of marshmallows. Fortunately they gave us chocolate frogs instead! Unfortunately there was a big hole in the roof and it was raining! But Fortunately it rained lollypops. Unfortunately there was a giant eagle swooping them all up. Fortunately the eagle listened when we told it to scram. But while we were looking up, unfortunately the eagle ate our anzacs.


Bullies. Bullies, bullies, bullies. There is a mean girl in Eliza Boom. Her name is Zoe Wakefield. Whne Zoe throws Eliza’s Star in the Jar gift in the bin Eliza feels like she has been scrunched up and thrown in the bin. Eliza also feels angry – llike her eyeballs will pop out of her face! We talked about how bullies make us feel.

“like I want to die”

“like I am going to catch on fire”

“Like my blood is going to boil!”

“like I’m a sausage sizzling in a pan.”

“like no one likes you or will ever like you”

“cross” “sad” “troubled” “anxious” “annoyed”

“like there are bees inside you”

“like you’re an orange being juiced”

“like you want to stick your head inside the bin”.

But Eliza manages to stay positive through this – partly thanks to making a new friend, Amy. We discussed:

What does Amy do to show Eliza she wants to be friends?

How does Eliza show her friendship?

How do we show friendship?

We had THE BEST fun reading and talking about this book! We got intructions from the website for making an Eliza Boom original invention, the “SpyScope”! Some of us made this at home.


We even got an author signed copy of the book for the club! That’s two out of two for author signed copies! We hope one day we will meet Emily Gale.

Here is Julianne’s review of Eliza Boom My Explosive Adventure

Barnaby Book Club highly recommends reading the Eliza Boom Books!


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