Thursday, December 5, 2013

What was the hot books for 2013

Title: Summer Holiday
Genre: Reading, the beach, some India and Ukulele playing
Location: The Beach, The E-Reader, The Plane, The Himalaya's and my deck!!!
By: My Family and Friends

Well the school year ends here in New Zealand and with it this blog until February. Thanks to all of you who have followed it this year and we will be back in 2014. I have loved doing this blog, it has introduced to me some amazing books. My favourite book in 2013 was the Unusual Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but I also loved Fault in our Stars, I remember reviewing it for the blog and before I knew it my day had been lost in a book. It was a good day!
Another good day was when the Year 13s wrapped the library, I was rapt too!

The Top 15 Books at Cambridge High this year are as follows:

  1. Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  2. City of Bones- Cassandra Clare
  3. City of Ashes- Clare
  4. Catching Fire- Collins
  5. Mockingjay- Collins
  6. Tomorrow when the War Began- John Marsden
  7. Between the Lines -Jodi Picoult
  8. Assassins Creed- Forsaken- Oliver Bowden
  9. City of Glass- Clare
  10. The Killing- Robert Muchamore 
  11. Skulduggery Pleasant- Derek Landy
  12. City of Fallen Angels- Clare
  13. Divergent- Veronica Roth
  14. Insurgent- Roth
  15. Looking for Alaska- John Green.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


By: R J Palacio
Location FIC PAL 
Genre: pull ya heart out, stand, yell and cheer the dude on!!!

This book has been the surprise of the year in the library, loved by all who read it, students, adults and friend alike. So to honour that here is the trailer.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncellos Library

By: Chris Grabenstaein
Location: FIC GRA
Genre: Like Willy Wonka!!!
Kim from, says it just as I would...
I know what you are thinking- she works in a library so of course she is going to love this book. You would be correct! It is wonderful and I can't wait to show it to all our patrons! Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric board game inventor who has donated a public library in his small hometown. This is the ultimate in technology, fun and creativity and a select few will get to spend the night in it before it opens to the public. What quirky Mr. Lemoncello doesn't share with the lucky winners is that they will have to solve a series of puzzles to escape. It is Jeopardy! mixed with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory mixed with The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler and the game of Clue! Full of action and wonderful challenging puzzles- author Chris Grabenstein knows how to grab the attention of middle schoolers since he is the co-author of the popular series with James Patterson. This is a wonderful trip down memory lane for the parents, one all night Trivial Pursuit game and everyone in the family will enjoy rhe read.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Hunt Killers

By: Barry Lyga
Location: FIC LYG
Genre: A dark psychological thriller

"I Hunt Killers is an out-of-control hearse with one busted headlight, blood on the grille, a madman at the wheel and laughter pouring out of the open windows. Climb in, buckle up and go for a ride."
Joe Hill

My father is America's most notoriuos serial killer. My biggest fear is that they think Im like him.
My second biggest fear is that I am...

I wont be reading this book- it is too gory, and scary, but some of you might want too!! I like me sleep to much, and it seems a bit real...

This book is based around the eternal arguement of nature vs nurture. Can you be different to how you are raised, or are the role models that shape you in your early years so infusive that you become what they create you to be.
This is Jazz's question, and this book makes him discover the answer!
Notorious serial killer Billy Dent,is  responsible for over 100 brutal murders, he knows his life will never be normal. Dear Old Dad educated his son in the ways of killers, and even though Billy is in prison now, he’s still always there in Jazz’s head, whispering. That’s why when new bodies begin turning up in his home town that are eerily similar to Billy’s kills, Jazz has to clear his name early – and what better way than to catch the copycat killer himself? With his friends’ help, and with the reluctant cooperation of the selfsame detective that caught his father, Jazz investigates the murders in order to prove his innocence. If only he felt as innocent as he appears . . . "Crowinator"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Darth Vader and son

By: Jeffrey Brown
Location: Probably all over the library
Genre: Star wars

I love StarWars, my sons made me watch it. Tell me- what is cuter than an Ewok, or wiser than Yoda, this tell me, I know not.
Jabberthehut is one of a kind and what kid did not want to be Luke Skywalker.. but would you want Darth for Dad, I mean really- I bet he snored real bad.
This book is fantastic, it is so good, I am smuggling it home cause my big boys are home this weekend and I want them to know I am a force still to be reckoned with!

Orphan Train

By: Christina Baker Kline
Location: FIC KLI
Genre: Family- or lack of it!

NewYork Times Best Seller:

I read Angela's Ashes- a story of hideous childhood poverty in Ireland, it was a book designed to wrench your guts out and buy any kid a pair of shoes that you saw down town that had none on!
I get the feeling this one is going to do the same- hope it is not as bad as Bridge across my Sorrows  that was a tissue box grabber and far to much liquid escaping my face!
But I think this book has more connection with Tomorrow their will be Apricots than any others. Both are about a relationship between  two woman who hurt, whose pasts have scarred them and together they journey for mutual healing and hope.

Vivian, has survived almost unimaginable losses over her life. Orphaned at age nine, she is given over to the Children's Aid Society in New York, and sent to the Midwest on a train with other orphaned and abandoned children, with the intention of finding adoptive families for them. What follows for Vivian is a less-than-perfect childhood, and an eventual life with a caring, but distant, couple.

Her life story is related as a flashback, told to a seventeen-year-old girl, Molly, who is helping Vivian clean out her attic as part of community service hours to avoid detention for having stolen a book from the library. Come on- at least she uses the library!
 Molly has spent many years in foster care, and the two women find in each other a kindred spirit of both loss and survival. As they work together in the attic, they each share parts of their story that have never been told before, and develop a trust and affection that only comes from shared understanding.
While much of this book is tragic, it is impossible to deny the joy and admiration felt for both Vivian and Molly as they draw upon each other's strength and experience.  The book has its roots in actual events: orphan trains were a reality for thousands of children in America for over 50 years.   This is about how experiences can result in a resilience that only comes from adversity greater than most of us will ever know.  Claire-

Friday, November 15, 2013

Assassins Creed, BLACK FLAG

By: Oliver Bowden
Location: FIC BOW
Genre: Game into book based on  real history.

I love Assassins Creed, I love the fact that books based on games based on history are getting you fellas to read and as you do- you are getting sucked into reading. It is so cool, so subtle and cunning, it makes me chuckle. Sucked in and perfect!
So what is this little tempter got in store for you then, it is number 6 in the series and it is all about pirates arrr.
As for me no pirate will ever be better than the Dread Pirate Roberts - why, because beneath his bravado, amazing sword swashbuckling skills, ability to kill rodents of unusual size- he was really a cute romantic- sold out on looove- as you wish!
Lets see if Edward Kenway, the pirate in this novel- topples him. Bet not, it would be inconceivable.

It's the Golden Age of Piracy - a time when greed, ambition and corruption overcome all loyalties - and a brash young captain, Edward Kenway, is making his name known for being one of the greatest pirates of his day. In the brilliant new novel, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, discover the story of how Edward, a young privateer, became one of the world's most deadly pirates and was drawn into the centuries-old battle between the Templars and the Assassins.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rules of summer

By: Shaun Tan
Location: Picture Book
Genre: Use your imagination and think!

What are the rules of summer?
  • No blokes are allowed to wear speedo's
  • Icecreams need to be double scooped
  • Books are to be read and stolen by no-one else
  • The beach is for swimming in and  not just sitting on
  • All food is prepared by all people all day, I am reading or swimming!
  • Steak and fish should be eaten, with nice salads. The steak should be medium rear, burning the steak breaks the rules. Strawberries need icing sugar.
  • Music should be loud and happy
  • A new adventure of unknown outcomes should be embarked apon
  • Work shall not enter your mind, other things matter more
  • Lastly- sun loving is acceptable, those who have a morbid fear of the sun should immigrate to Iceland or Scotland or the Yukon!
Shaun Tan has his "Rules of Summer"- different to mine and very 'Tan"- did you like that!!!
But one thing they have in common with mine- sharing summer with a good mate is what matters most!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

By: Jenny Wingfield
Location: FIC WIN
Genre: Family Drama's

A PK. It means "Preachers Kid." That is something close to my world. Its a tough job being a PK. That is what Swan is, she is the daughter of Samuel Lake a fiery Methodist preacher from the south of the USA. Think -"The Help", think  - "Fried Green Tomatoes", - think "To Kill a Mockingbird". High praise- but that is what this book is getting!
This family loved God, but when someone close commits suicide, you are found jobless, your father-in-law runs a pub called "Moses never Closes" and Swan meets a lad who is abused and afraid,  the jealousy's, loves and hates of a close knit rural community, then what you think  about God is put to the test.
Is fiery preaching livable in action, does being a PK mean you cant explore the pain of a broken world for yourself?
Funny thing really, I grew up is a very Christian rural part of New Zealand, and we had a family enter our community that was not Christian, was not rural and was not  'one of us'. As a 10 year old girl, I also like Swan fought for the justice and acceptance of John, the outsider boy the same age as me. Maybe there is more of Swan in me than I dare to think- maybe that is a good thing!
This book is full of love, it is also smeared by hate. It is full of good ol southern drawl and a few well placed 'Amens'!

Set in rural Arkansas in the 1950s it is the story of one large extended family, the Moses/Lake clan. As the book opens the family has come together for their annual reunion at the homestead in Arkansas. Preacher Samuel Lake and his wife Willadee come with their three children, bullied Noble, rowdy Swan and bookish Bienville. In the middle of the reunion tragedy strikes. But it is just the first in a string of horrors that befall the family and which encompass joblessness, homelessness, murder, rape and child abuse. Set in a small community and tackling the subjects of poverty, faith, family dynamics and the fight between good and evil it is a great story ( Andrea from

Here it comes- Catching Fire

If it is a competetion- who will win. Hobbit- desolution of Smaug OR Hunger Games- Catching Fire!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Grim Company

By: Luke Scull
Genre: Fantasy
Location: FIC SCU

The world is desperately in need of heroes. But what they get instead are a ragtag band of old warriors, a crippled Halfmage, two orphans and an oddly capable manservant: the Grim Company...

Yes the world needs heros', what is a hero?  Is is a knight in shining armour who welds his swords and disposes of evilness that permits to root itself in society? Is a hero a whistle blower that reveals to the world all the deeds of corruption that undermine a safe secure world? Is a hero a sportsman who scores points in the dying stages of a gladiatorial game that determines national identity. Is a hero a soldier that rips open gunfire on men and woman to take precious land in the defence of liberty?
What is a hero?
The blab on this book says the world needs them because, The Gods are dead. The Magelord Salazar and his magically enhanced troops, the Augmentors, crush any dissent they find in the minds of the populace. On the other side of the Broken Sea, the White Lady plots the liberation of Dorminia, with her spymistresses, the Pale Women. Demons and abominations plague the Highlands. This sounds like a setup for hero's- The Grim Company.
Maybe this bunch of misfits can define what a hero is and does. Maybe what our world needs now are heroes like this- the news tells me it is a sad enough world for a few good heroes!

Of course, battles and adventures abound. There is horror with zombies, tentacled killers, and horrible dragons. There is mining magic from the corpses of the gods. There are old scores settled among highlanders. Feasts, looting and treachery abound.
This is stuff of the Game of Thrones, and Tolkien and what a name for a fantasy author- Scull!
I reckon this trilogy will run hot in 2014, so come and get in first!

Friday, November 8, 2013


By: Brandon Sanderson
Location: FIC SAN
Genre: Sanderson

Never has an author caused so much dispute in the library. Students fighting over books as they come in, vicious rock, paper, scissors competitions. After school meetings to discuss Sanderson's worlds with expert sons coming in to facilitate, students begging on knees to take it before it has been processed. Students from the  Chiefs- Waikato country pledging eternal allegiance to the Crusaders from Canterbury. Love that!
This book had them going and anything with the name Sanderson in it, a now automatic purchase!
Steelheart is his latest, only complaint from those who have vied to get this book is that it was too short- just like me!

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Playing TYLER- When a game is not a game!

By: T L Costa
Location: FIC COS
Genre: Gaming turned into fiction

Ok I confess, it was the name on the cover that got me. I know a Tyler and boy they sound similar!
 So many reviews of this book say Tyler has "a huge heart" , "endearing"  " a likeable character", "virtous", "high intelligence and a kind heart makes him a lovely soul", "smart and caring", " a fighter", ... and he  has ADHD and Dyslexia.
Hmmm!! Some of you will know where I am going with this!
This book has a hero in it called Tyler, the Tyler I know is also a  genuine hero to me for several of the same reasons- but not all of them, his mum has not checked out mentally, not last time I noticed anyway!

When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am Malala

By: Malala Yousafzai and Christina lamb
Location: NF 920 YOU
Genre: Heroines of the world who did real stuff with guts and courage!

Ok this blog will get me going.. It is about education and it is about the power of education that changes lives and worlds, it is about the threat of education and knowing that knowledge empowers, and that empowering then can minimise the control forced over us by the powerful.
Education destroys regimes and the regime knows it.
Then- along comes a girl, a courageous young woman called Malala, who refused to allow to her her right to education be stopped by the Taliban, she stood tall, and she refused to be made to submit- she knew education and knowledge were the keys to her freedom, her creativity, and her future ability to provide for herself. She knew education allowed her to think, to ponder, to learn, to then use that to reach her potential, she knew education was a gift that would help her change her world.  She paid the ultimate price, the taliban shot her in the head at point blank range while on the bus riding home from school.
Malala did not die, she fought back, and with her fight comes this story.
This story is how a young woman from a remote Pakistani village is the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, loved by her parents fiercely in a world that prizes only sons, and it will make you believe in the Power of One, to truly make a difference.
I have seen with my own eyes in the third world, the power and passion of education, the extremes to which people go to sacrifice so their children can learn, I have seen the depth in the eyes of a man talking, determined to make sure his children will be educated, Malala has helped them- she has added voice to their, she has legitimised their determinations in a global way.
Malala- if I had a dinner party and I could invite 4 guests, you would be on my list, I want to hear your story and what it is in your heart and mind that drives you- in the mean time this book will suffice!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Hobbit

Ohhh can't wait!!!
I know the book is the always the winner , and I was not allowed to marry until I had read The Hobbit. I know my imagination of what Smaug is like is my own wee minds version, and I know that I have painted Bilbo in the canvas of my mind and so why let a movie minimise the power of the word?
Because it is going to be sooo good and if anyone can translate this classic to the big screen, then Peter Jackson can. The only problem I have being a New Zealander is reminding myself that the scenery is not where I went on holiday in 1995- but then again maybe it was...
Bring this movie on- shatter my preconcieved ideas and let me fly with new ones!
If you arent convinced check out this lattest trailer- and oh- read the book first!!!

Our Year 13's have pranked the library!

It has been a great year with our Year 13's and I have to say I am a proud they chose the library as their prank for the year! You did a great job.
As you know I am really intentional about this blog being about books- but for this, I will break the rules and share with my blogging world your awesomeness!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rose Under Fire

By: Elizabeth Wein
Location: FIC WEI
Genre: War and Poetry!

“Five years of destruction and mayhem, lives lost everywhere, shortages of food and fuel and clothing - and the insane mind behind it just urges us all on and on to more destruction. And we all keep playing.”

'Hope is the most treacherous thing in the world. It lifts you and lets you plummet. But as long as you're being lifted, you don't worry about plummeting."

I like to write, I find writing  something that allows my being to figure out what I am, and what I think and what I am discovering. It kind of settles me, and discovers me. When I travel to places where I see stories in front of me, stories that hurt, stories I cant control- then it is writing that helps me make sense, or forever not make sense of what i feel and observe. Writing are the glasses into my soul.
If I had to go to war- it would be the power of writing that would help me unravel the journey enforced on me. Rose had to go to war, and she had to stop writing! That is a double killer!
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Unholy Night

By: Seth Grahame-Smith
Location: Under the Christmas Tree FIC SMI
Genre: Lets mock Christmas but tell the story in a weird  but maybe authentic way anyway.

Game of Thrones based in the Gosple of Luke

The three wise men, who were they. I was one once, school play. I am not a man and I am not wise- never figured how that happened and I always wanted to be Mary- but never was!
I also went to Cologne Cathedral once- they say in there is the bones of the Three Wise men in a fancy box, that is not so wise I dont reckon. Did you know in the Bible they give no number- who said it was three,  there could of been six...

It’s one of the most iconic images in history: three men on camelback, arriving at a manger, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. A moment of serenity and grace. A holy night.

But who were the Three Wise Men? What if they were murderous thieves on the run, escaping through Judea under cover of night? In Seth Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are led by the murderous Balthazar—the infamous “Antioch Ghost.” After escaping from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the firstborn in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt. Thus begins a dark and savage tale that will see them cross paths with biblical figures such as Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist, as the magic of old times gives way to the vicious empires of man.

Ya know being a wise man actually is pretty cool! Perhaps my navitiy role was not so bad after all!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Divergent- Movie

The movie is coming, we have the first two books in our library, Allegiant is on order! So read them before this movies busts out in 2014!!! Books are always better than the movie!!!

But please read the books first!!!


By: Terry Pratchett
Location: FIC PRA
Genre:  Sir Pratchett- he is his own!

My nephew has a hero to beat all heros'- Pratchett! So in honour of my nephew and of the ultra incredibleness of Sir Terry Pratchett, I buy all books with his name on the front. This one- is as good as Nation- which  I liked the best!

Dodger is a tosher - a sewer scavenger living in the squalor of Dickensian London. Everyone who is nobody knows Dodger. Anyone who is anybody doesn't. But when he rescues a young girl from a beating, suddenly everybody wants to know him. And Dodger's tale of skulduggery, dark plans and even darker deeds begins...

So continues the legacy of Pratchett, this book was published in 2012 and was in a list of the top 25 Youth Fiction books your library must have.

Jeanette from Goodreads sums it up this way..
I say that Terry Pratchett has written a wonderful romp through early-Victorian London. Our hero, Dodger, teams up with Charlie Dickens and John Mayhew, both men who worked hard to improve the lot of London’s poor, to help a young lady caught in a difficult situation. Along the way, Dodger encounters, and rubs elbows with, many notables of the period, including Robert Peel, Mr. Disraeli, and Angela Burdett-Coutts. They are all united in unravelling the mystery surrounding this abused girl, and bringing her to safety and justice. Terry Pratchett is back in top form here, with his usual scathing take on politics, news reporting, the police force, and life on the bottom and top rungs of society. He gives us a hero that we fall in love with, root for, and applaud as he solves the mystery, and finds out a lot about himself along the way.

Friday, October 25, 2013


By: Amy Tintera
Location: FIC TIN
Genre: Post Apocalyptic


After a month a way in Africa, it seems kind of a weird cultural shift to be reviewing a book about zombies and with a killer heroine. Actually as an aside have you ever seen giraffes fight, I tell you they put zombies to shame- Google it if you don't believe me!
Anyway this book is huge, Lucy who is 17 reckons it far surpasses The Hunger Games,
Hannah who is 15 said it latches onto you by the throat and pulls you through till the end!
I think Id prefer a giraffe fight,  but I know some of you will love this. Check out the trailer!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Let the blogging continue...

Back from Tanzania and Ghana. This library is in a "container" and after sending the books over last year, we managed this year to create a system for Joyce the librarian to sort and stack her books. Working in a 'container" in over 30 degrees heat and high humidity has its challenges, but watching teachers and kids to able to easily locate and use books was worth every bit of the sweat we chucked into it.
So from tomorrow, I am back into a few good reviews with the pile of new books stacked on my desk waiting to enter our collection back in Cambridge High School Library, just want to say that our students are so blessed to have the range of books that they do! I hope that they know that!
Maybe if anyone complains I will get them to count the number of taps in their house and then tell them how many Joyce has!
Lastly we are planning a couple of new libraries in Tanzania, but what freaks me out about that is how do we locate the snakes in the shelves before they find us!!! Now that is something we don't have to worry about here in little NZ is it??
Also just want to say that we have had officially over 50,000 hits onto this blog- so thanks to all of you who have been part of this blog so far!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogs Away

By: Glenys Bichan
Location: Africa
Genre: Educational Aid

Well folks this blog will be quiet for a month, until October 21st in fact. I am a bit sad as we have had 49,973 hits on this blog- was hoping to crack the 50,000 before I left.
 I am heading to Tanzania and Ghana with RATA. This is an organisation that helps those teachers who have not had the previledge of formal training  to be trained by a team of New Zealand teachers in numeracy, literacy, classroom management and of course books!
This is an annual thing for me and you can  check out our organisation on
It is a real joy to be part of something that makes a difference, that empowers teachers so kids get a better chance.
Sure the showers- actually what showers? the buckets of water might be cold and the heat might be really hot- but it is worth it. I wont suffer to much though, the people make up for the discomfort.

I also have my E-Reader loaded ready to go. Perfect by Rebecca Joyce, the Story Teller by Picoult, and Bandaid for a Broken Leg- should keep me humming!

Never Go Back

By: Lee Child
Location: with all the others:)
Genre: Jack Reacher

" Its said that a Jack Reacher novel is bought every four seconds somewhere in the world . Lee Child's genius has been to create a tough guy hero that men will envy and woman adore"
Daily Express

The Daily Telegraph says
"A hero with universal appeal. In a confusing world we all want to be Jack Reacher!"

Well I am going to check that out- in Africa next week! Will this book be on sale there?  Will men envy him in Africa and woman adore him- I think not! Do people in Africa want to be Jack Reacher and what PE teacher will run over here first to get this book out?
Big questions for a confused world!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Academy: Game on

By: Monica Seles
Location: FIC SEL
Genre: Sport Fiction

Drama in sports- really! The America's Cup that our nation should win tomorrow has drama, it has scandel, it has cheats, it takes buckets loads of money and yet despite that Team New Zealand will win it fair and square. Tennis is another sport that has big money and big headlines. Monica Seles was a world number one- so who better to write a story on the drama of tennis!

Young tennis star Maya's dreams have finally come true when she earns a scholarship to The Academy. Plucked from her small town, Maya moves to the sports training facility and boarding school to  start the beginning of her pro tennis career. But Maya's fantasy of The Academy doesn't quite match the reality. Because where there are hot, talented teens, there's a lot of drama. Meet the players:
Cleo: Maya's rebel/punk roommate who is nearing the top of the golf world.
Renee: The gorgeous swimmer with enough money to buy her way into The Academy.
Nicole: A tennis star who feels threatened by Maya (but she'd never admit it).
Travis: The son of The Academy owner--perfectly groomed to be the next NFL star.
Jake: Travis' younger brother--the bad boy to his brother's good.

The Beginners Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand

By: Paul Adamson
Location: NF 799.0093 ADA
Genre: Hunting

How do you stalk an animal?
How do you skin a rabbit?
How does a bullet work?

This book will answer those questions and heaps more.  New Zealand is an outdoors kind off place, and given the chance many people will be playing in the outdoors over the weekend trying to kill some food to feed the whanau.
They could be rabbiting, duck shooting, possum hunting, large game hunting, fishing from boats, fishing from the beach, white baiting, eeling......
Last night I went out for dinner with my husband, son and his girlfriend to a place that cooks hunted food- it was so good to eat. We ate duck, salmon, lamb and deer. YUM!!
Hunters are good- they bring home the bacon and I am very happy to cook it.
Read this book boys!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


By: Erin Lange
Location: FIC LAN
Genre: Youth Bullying

Bullying- it is never OK- never. I was bullied at school- new kid on the block, out of towner, short, put in a class of kids who were deciding that failure was the only option- but it certainly was not one of mine- months of harassment, decent black eye- no bullying is never OK! It damages and scars.

Sometimes people, especially teenagers act in a way to give themselves legitimate bullying, to soften the blow. They kind of behave in a manner that purposefully draws negative attention and so they can blame the behaviour rather than the physical defect, or family name, or disability.
This story is about one of those guys.
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?

With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You don't even know

By:Sue Lawson
Location: FIC LAW
Genre: A story of love, loss and forgiveness.

Oh dear, this book is one of those! When you skim it in the library office small droplets of water escape from your eye's. Maybe because in our town, we have had a similar story-it feels close to home.
This story is about a normal family, large, full of family stuff, brothers fighting, cute little sister and a pushy Dad that favours one son over the other- with Mum trying to hold it all together.
Then it happens...   cute little sister Mia drowns on her brothers watch. Then he has an "accident" that sends him to Neurosurgery High Dependency for a long painful recovery- all the time blaming himself for Mia's death and fighting in his mind the truth about his brother's actions on that day.
Alex Hudson is a good guy. He plays water polo. He has a part-time job. He s doing okay at school. Then those things that anchors Alex are ripped away and his life seems pointless. How can he make anyone else understand how he feels, when he doesn't even know?
I heard a stat the other day 80% of marriages dissolve after a child dies. It is a hard hard journey.
Can Alex fix the shattered family, when they blame him? How can he tell the truth about his brother when his Dad would never believe him?

Who is the hero in this often sad book- Mum, she holds it all together, she alone loves all the same and I really feel her pain and her fears as her family destroys itself- can she fight for each of them hard enough to hold it all together.
Only the truth can heal- but will it ever be told?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ready Player One

By: Ernest Cline
Location: FIC CLI
Genre: Sci Fi- old school

"Enchanting. WILLY WONKA meets THE MATRIX" USA Today

Pacman- I was good at that, I would go to Wellington airport early for my flights just so I could play. The 80's was the birth of gaming, and Pacman was the king. I was better though at Pheonix- even got a high score. This book is based in this world, the 1980's pop culture.

A wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Imagine the WORLD AT STAKE
An EPIC STRUGGLE between good and evil.
The GREATEST QUEST in history.
The FATE OF HUMANITY resting in your hands.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tomorrow there will be Apricots

By: Jessica Soffer
Location: FIC SOF
Genre: Family and food

This is the story of lost love, of love trying to be found, rediscovered and made right. It is about hope and even if some relationships are so damaged, there are others that can flourish. It is about the power of the elderly to inspire the young! And what joins it all together- food!

The story begins with a school suspension for 14-year-old Lorca. Lorca is a good kid with a very disturbing habit: cutting. The suspension forces her mother to make a difficult decision and send Lorca to a boarding school.

Before Lorca is shipped off to a new school, she is determined to change her mother’s mind. What better way to change a chef’s mind than with food?

In her quest to cook the perfect dish for her mother, Lorca searches for the recipe that her mother admires—masgouf, a traditional Iraqi dish. Lorca enlists the help of newly widowed Victoria, former proprietor of the restaurant that served the perfect dish, at least according to her mother.

Victoria, is a Jewish immigrant from Baghdad,  who never dealt with adopting their only child. In the wake of her husbands death, Victoria becomes determined to find their daughter and make amends. Her neighbor, Dottie, cons her into hosting a cooking class, to which only one person shows up: Lorca. The two of them strike up a friendship and when Victoria learns that Lorca’s mother was adopted, she begins to hope that Lorca is her family.

Thanks to Natalie and Jeanne from for there help on this one:) Its Friday afternoon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


By: Mira Grant
Location: FIC GRA
Genre: Zombies
Series: #1  Newsflesh

 Zombies- why, someone tell me why???
I am forever scarred by my sons zombie plans and now I cant help it-  I dream a few up myself- like the new cycling velodrome in Cambridge would be a great refuge. My boys have made me weird!
This is a zombie book but it has redeeming features-  it's more of a novel about journalism, the right to information and free speech, and the personal and political ramifications of a wide-spreading disease. This book has zombies in it, but to call it a zombie or horror novel does it a disservice. There are some awesome action sequences, but no gratuitous feeding scenes, screaming teenagers, or B-horror movie cliches or gore.

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Death of Bees

By: Lisa O'Donnell
Location: FIC ODO
Genre: Family Survival, Coming of Age.

Whenever a book is written about surviving abuse, one thing will always be sure- it wont be an easy read. This book isn't. It is dark. Two sisters sick of the abuse they suffer at the hands of their father ensure he exists no more- the mother who has watched this abuse decides for herself she can no longer escape. The two girls then have a problem- how do you dispose of two dead bodies- well you bury them in your own back yard and carry on as if nothing has happened. But it has- lots has.
Marnie who is 15 spirals out of normalcy leading a life of drugs use, drinking and under age sex. Nelly her sister escapes by speaking the Queens English and pouring coke on her cornflakes each morning. Lennie the old guy- he lives next door and figures something is up and he starts to get nosey, and caring...
Can he help bring healing and hope, or is he another sexual pervert in the wings?
It is not often we "Senior Fiction" a book and we have this one- its type set and design make it look like a great read for all students- but to be honest the themes dealt with in a real and unwavering way, its bluntness make this compassionate yet raw book not something for all to read... just yet!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


By: China Mieville
Location: FIC MIE
Genre: Steampunk x Dystopia x Moby Dick

This book comes with rave reviews. It is Moby Dick story revisited in a dystopian world where steampunk rules.
It has pirates, scavengers and hunters in a post modern world- and people talk about it being like Earthsea Quartet, or The Hobbit, or Lemony Snickett....
It was described best by Darren from Goodreads this way:

 Waving a flag of piratical abandon, Mieville sets sail on a saga of Weird Adventure that's as good as any I've read. Harpoon-wielding mole-hunters ride the rails of this (post-apocalyptic? post-capitalist? post-satirical?) world, tracking their blind, bewhiskered, be-fanged philosophies and dodging the attentions of wreckers, train-pirates and a host of over-sized beasties intent on their ruin.
Into this world a young lad ventures and it's largely through his eyes (save for the odd diversion or switch-back) that we learn about the Railsea and, ultimately, come to learn just how the world came to be covered with the miles and acres and oceans of railway tracks.
 Mieville has created a rip-roaring yarn worthy of any of the great tale-spinners of the last two centuries. Put your feet up, put the kettle on and let Mieville build up a head of narrative steam that will carry you through the pages with ease

Monday, September 9, 2013


By:Tom Gauld
Location: Gra Gau
Genre: Goliath- in a graphic novel

There are some stories that are forever stories. Little David, last son of a large family, a unnoticed shepherd boy who is made to look after a few sheep. In his spare time he plays with a sling, kills a few bears, and deals to a lion, but really a kid brother who no-one worries much about.
That is until his big mouth declares he can fight a giant- his brothers must of cringed. It would be like a wee puny Yr 9 declaring he could be the half back for the 1st XVI- imagine what his Yr 13 brothers would be thinking?
The thing is David did it- he slayed the giant and hacked off his head- now that is a story.
I love this graphic version, it is understated. it is clever and it plays with Goliath and Davids relationship.
It is well done!

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

by: Ransom Riggs
Location: FIC RIG
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror/Fantasy

‘I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.’

People call this book....

This book is a combo of a novel enhanced and enlarged by amazing photo's.The visual and the words collide to create a really different approach to story telling.

‘Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children’ is the story of sixteen-year-old Jacob who has grown up listening to his grandfather’s tales of his younger years living in an orphanage with ‘Peculiar Children’ on an island off the coast of Wales. Jacob and his grandfather are close, they have a strong bond that grandparents who care can create.
  However Jacob stopped believing his grandfather many years ago, but when his grandfather is attacked and dies mysteriously Jacob begins to wonder if his stories weren’t true after all. His grandfather’s dying words cause him to go in search of this mysterious island and to find the abandoned orphanage even though those children can’t still be alive… or can they?
It depends if you believe in time travel I guess..

Friday, September 6, 2013

Manga Mutiny

By: Ryo Azumi
Location; GRA Azu
Genre: Manga

Yes I have succumbed to Manga, this is the first of a new collection. Have to say this one impressed- hope the others are as good.
So what is Manga?- tell us

Manga loosely refers to a style of cartoons originating in Japan. They usually are published in installments, and depending on their form, can be up to several hundred pages long. Many different genres are available, so they are popular with people of all ages and backgrounds. Known for their in-depth plots and characters, these well-respected works have been drawn for hundreds of years, although the modern version developed starting in the mid-20th century.

What surprised me about Manga Mutiny was that it tells the story of the original Ancient Texts- the Bible. It is really well done.
The overlord has been rejected...
The new world is in chaos...
Who on earth will be master...
Who will be slave....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind

By: Jojo Moyes
Location: FIC MOY
Gemre: WWI - Today. A generational love war story.

I loved Me before You. Actually I hated it- it made me think, I could see it, feel it and responded to it. I was in Tanzania and was reading it on my E Book. I didn't need a late night- we had heaps of hard travelling to do, but I stayed up and read til the end- mosquito's biting and all. The nose ran and I reflected for days. So I am excited that Jojo Moyes has written another book for me to put on my E Reader for the next trip in a couple of weeks.

Zarina on Good reads has me  worried though that the same thing will happen to me as last time..
The Girl You Left Behind has a dual time-frame narrative; the first part is seen through the eyes of a woman in occupied France in 1916, the second through one living in modern day London. I'm not generally a fan of historical literature, particularly one with a war setting, so I was slightly reluctant at the start of this novel. However, any doubts I had were washed away mere minutes after picking up the novel as the story within was so gripping that I could barely manage to put it down at all.
 So here I go again....
The story: France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision. Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Steppin with Benji Marshall

By: David Riley
Location: NF 920 RIL
Genre: Kiwi Sportsman

" As a young Maori boy from a small town. My life shows that anything is possible.
If I can do it- then so can YOU!
Dreams do come true"
Benji Marshall.

I have met Benji Marshall, I took some of our students down for a signing of his book- he was such a gentleman, kind and he had time for our boys! He was no show pony, but a guy who was chatting to some of our students as equals! They came back to school buzzing and the guitar Benji signed- a cherished family relic.
This book is to inspire you, that you can achieve your dreams, even if you face struggles in life, you can do it.
Benji was born in the small town of Whakatane, he grew up with no Dad and his Mum was 16 years old when he was born, his foster dad died of cancer, some of his challenges were huge. However he became an NRL premiership winner, a world champion, the face of rugby league and one of the best players in the world.
This book tells you how Benji did it and how you can achieve your dreams as well.

Divergent - Movie Time!!

By: Veronica Roth

So here come the movies- Divergent and the same casts star in The Fault in our Stars movie due out 2014. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort- soon these names will be huge- two big movies! I just hope they do it well and in my mind I dont get the plots confused. A dystopian love story, with personality control and cancer, all mixed up- actually hang on- that could be a great plot- join the two of them up!!!
Enjoy this trailer and may it make you read the book first!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Noble Conflict

By:Malorie Blackman
Location: FIC BLA
Genre; Dystopia

No Bullets.
No Knives.
No Questions.

OH this book has "ass kicking librarians with purple hair in it"- I love this book!!!!

But can you have a noble conflict. I mean can any war be noble, can any conflict be honourable.

This book reckons so...

Set in a world where the Alliance is a peaceful, prosperous society, defending themselves against the unprovoked attacks of the Insurgency in the least violent way possible - who wouldn't fight for that noble cause?

Thus Kaspar becomes a Guardian, a keeper of the peace whose only weapon is a stun gun that incapacitates, not kills, the enemy. When captured, the Insurgency members are given medical treatment and then questioned, before being humanely imprisoned.

But when Kaspar is involved in an action that sees his best friend die, he meets one of the enemy who not only refuses to kill him, but also rescues him from certain death. He begins to question everything he's ever been told - and he brings those questions to Mackenzie, a young librarian who's a whizz with data mining... Corina-

Gripping, intriguing and fast paced

Monday, September 2, 2013

By Any Other Name

By: Laura Jarratt
Location: FIC JAR
Genre: Youth Fiction - Drama

If I could have any other name - I wonder what I would choose?
Maybe I might become a " Thirza" or a "Joelle" Be kind of fun to rename yourself. Unless of course you had too, because you were a witness for a major crime and you had to shift location, change your name and re-invent yourself- then maybe it might not be so good.
That is what Lou- now Holly had to do in this story. It is about discovering who you really are , it is about your true identity. This book deals with autism, bullying, war and witness protection.
I shifted home when I was 14- all in good circumstances and that was hard enough- but imagine poor Holly shifting having to forget her entire past life, re-inventing herself, protecting her autistic sister and re-becoming who she is.
The other thing about this book which is getting noticed by reviewers is how the author is brilliant at layering and creating characters- so you know them, and then they become deeper and you know them some more.
By the end of this book- you will know Holly well, you will know Jo- her new boyfriend and her sister Katie- she will become your friend!

Pieces of Me

By: Darlene Ryan
Location: FIC RYA
Genre: Heartbreaker

I have seen homelessness, I have watched people try and live on the streets, from a close distance and that was far enough. I have seen the hunt for shelter, the search for food, the need of cleanliness and the want of dignity. I have become friends with these people, laughed with them, sung with them, given to them, supported their journey into wholeness, but the one thing I can never come to grips with- it is children who are homeless. It is wrong!
I have a little friend who is 8 months old, and she lives in a shack- that is bad enough, but she has a gift- a loving mum.
In this story we have the homeless Maddie, trying to survive on the streets, and she is joined by Q- a friendship she is wary of, but needs. They are joined by a  abandoned young boy called Dylan. Together on the streets this makeshift family is trying to redeem all this has been stolen and lost.
The question this book asks is "How far would you go to keep someone safe"? Maddie has to answer that question- but sometimes- we should too!

Friday, August 30, 2013

You don't know me

By: Sophia Bennett
Location: FIC BEN
Genre: Chic Lit

Pitch Perfect in a book.
It has it all- the  music comp, the "fat girl" - though her name is not Amy- or Patricia for that matter  ( it is actually Rose), it has the bullying and the attempt at redemption. If you loved Pitch Perfect- then this book is for you. What it also does is have a cold hard look at the power of social media, and cyber bullying- what it does and who it can destroy. This is our world and so often we use the tools we have to destroy others - you see it is easier to mock on a phone, than to a face.
Yet through it all- the theme of friendship prevails, of girlfriends doing there thing, staying tight and together dealing with the cyber bully.
Kinda makes me really feel for those people who have gone through X Factor  and the like with all the issues they face- being public is not licence enough to destroy you on line for your looks, voice or what you say- aren't we bigger than that- nope- afraid not!
Oh- and in this story- there is the Pitch Perfect love story too!!
Great Chic Lit with real themes dealt with, but leaving you smiling, with a few tears!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chasing the Dark

By: Sam Hepburn
Location: FIC HEP
Genre: Adevnture/Mystery

"Mum's gone. Killed in a hit and run car crash.
Her last words a message for someone I've never heard of.
What happened that night? All I've got is a trail of secrets and lies, but am I just chasing the dark?"

The first in a pulse- pounding crime mystery series starring Joe Slattery, a boy left with nothing, who must uncover the truth of his hidden inheritance.

I wonder what I would say as a last message to my kids-  maybe " Eat with your mouth shut" or  "Wipe the bench down". Hopefully it would be a bit more meaningful like  " Never lose your integrity" or  "be the change..." but what I can tell you for sure- it will have nothing to do with an inheritance- sorry kids- love you anyway!!!

In the Shadow of the Banyan

By: Vaddey Ratner
Location: FIC RAT
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Killing Fields- the movie that made me weep beyond control- has a new story, a new voice- this story will leave you in the same state as the movie did me!!! Any story of tryanny and genocide makes me writh in powerlessness, the feeling that we humans can become so base, so cruel, so heartless. I am afraid this story- based on the authors own journey will make me experience those emotions all over again. Yet it is written so beautifully and written with hope- the brutality does not destroy  the beauty.

"The horrors committed by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, as experienced by one extremely resilient girl. A brutal novel, lyrically told." Oprah Magazine

 "There will remain only so many of us as rest in the shadow of the banyan tree."

"Ratner's  first novel describes her family's story during the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the late 1970s. Despite the  effects of childhood polio, 7-year-old Raami is living a charmed existence. Her father is a minor royal prince and a sensitive, even saintly, poet, a member of the wealthy intelligentsia. Raami and her baby sister, Radana, are cared for by their beautiful young mother and a household of kindly, devoted servants in an atmosphere of privilege and also spiritual grace. Then comes the government overthrow. At first Raami's father is hopeful that the new leaders will solve the injustice, but soon the new government's true nature reveals itself. Like most of the city's residents, Raami's extended family, including aunts, uncle, cousins and grandmother, are soon ordered out of Phnom Penh. They seek refuge at their weekend house but are driven from there as well. Part of the mass exodus, they try not to draw attention to their royal background, but Raami's father is recognized and taken away, never to be seen again. Raami, her mother and Radana end up in a rural community staying in the primitive shack of a kindly, childless couple. There is little food and the work is backbreaking. During monsoon season, Radana perishes from malaria, and Raami blames herself because she did not protect her adequately from the mosquitoes. Raami and her mother are ordered to another community. For four years, one terrible event follows another, with small moments of hope followed by cruelty and despair. But her mother never stops protecting Raami, and although both grieve deeply for their lost loved ones, both find untapped stores of resilience". Kirkus Review.
In the Shadow of the Banyan is one of the most extraordinary and beautiful acts of storytelling I have ever encountered. . . . This book pulls off the unsettling feat of being—at the same time—utterly heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful. There are some moments in this story that are among the most powerful in literature. This is a masterpiece that takes us to the highs and lows of what human beings can do in this life, and it leaves us, correspondingly, both humbled and ennobled.—
Chris Cleave (author of The other Hand )

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tom Gates

By  L. Pichon
Location: FIC PIC
Genre: Is it a book, or is it a graphic novel- or is it both?

This book is a story, made with words, doodles and and a stack of different fonts. It will suck you in as Tom Gates tells his daft stories in a nonconformist way! These books have won heaps of awards, and it tells the story of every 14 year old .- but lets the You Tube do the talking.
( But do you know who the real Tom Gates is... Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr. was United States Secretary of Defense from 1959 to 1961 - scary!!!)