Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hello Hello

By: Matthew Cordell
Location: PIC COR
Genre: Picture book that can teach us a thing or two!!

I get really ticked off when people hang out at our place and spend all the time scanning their phones. I get really ticked off when I go out to a cafe with a mate and the phone is more important than our time together. Oh yes- technology has invaded relationships. HELLO!!! 
Something else is sad, we spend so much time attached to technology we forget to get attached to nature. Inside is controlling us so outside never features again and what we learn playing in the outside is real, and it smells and it makes noises and it communictaes with you. Inside beeps, and scrolls and demands so little of my senses invouluntarily- I can control my experiences. That makes me and us as people weaker and shallow.
So like this wonderful character in this book- who has guts and wants to reclaim what has been lost- I also want to let go of the hold of the phone and go play outside!!!

The Bakers Daughter

By: Sarah McCoy
Location: FIC MCC
Genre: Holocaust

I cant help it- this genre is my favourite- historical fiction that flicks back into a modern setting- from Texas to Nazi Germany- linked by bakeries!!! How good is this!!

In 1945, Elsie Schmidt was a naïve teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she was for her first kiss. But in the waning days of the Nazi empire, with food scarce and fears of sedition mounting, even the private yearnings of teenage girls were subject to suspicion and suppression. Elsie’s courtship by Josef Hub, a rising star in the Army of the Third Reich, has insulated her and her family from the terror and desperation overtaking her country. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door puts all she loves in danger, and yet, the boy–frail and cowering at the sounds of the Gestapo soldiers banging on her neighbors’ doors– cannot be turned away.

Sarah McCoy's THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER is a powerful story, and a delightful read. The story unfolds in two contrasting time periods, told by two very different women: young and reckless Reba, a journalist in modern-day Texas, and 1940's Elsie, navigating the complex world of WWII Germany. McCoy's writing is real. I could taste the baked goods from the bakeries in both worlds, and I felt strongly for each of the character's journeys. A powerful story, and a delightful read. Highly recommended, especially as a novel to talk about with friends. " Jennifer King-"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


By: Marie Lu
Location: FIC LU
Genre: Dystopia


It took ages for Legend to catch on here, despite its rave reviews, but now it is one hot book- this is its sequel!


By: Kristin Cashore
Location: FIC CAS
Genre: Fantasy

The very long awaited sequel to Graceling and Fire.
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.


By: Michael Grant
Location: FIC GRA
Genre: Fantasy- Dystopia

88 Hours 39 Minutes
It's all come down to this

Oh yeah- you will cry! People die, ones you know and love!!

Light, the sixth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Gone series by Michael Grant, creates a masterful, arresting conclusion to life in the FAYZ

Its been over a year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

In the time since everyperson over the age of fourteen disap-peared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana's malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ghosts of Parihaka

By: David Hair
Location: FIC HAI
Genre: New Zealand Fantasy

Ghosts of Parihaka is book 5 in David Hair’s popular Aotearoa series, and it’s the penultimate instalment.

This is New Zealands story, it is our Mandela, it is our Ghandi, it is our place of greatest shame and deepest pride. Parihaka is a place all New Zealanders should know about and thankfully now David Hair has written a story for everyone to learn why Parihaka matters. It is not a huge epic like Season of the Jew- it is youth fiction that makes the story alive- and somehow he uses Larnach castle as a base- maybe it has something to do with the ghosts of Larnachs past. The story circles around a ghostly theft of our founding document- the Treaty of Waitangi.
This is one David Hair book I am really keen to get stuck into, it tells the story of Waitangi, of Parihaka and Larnachs castle, it even has a go at telling us about Richard Pearce- it tells our story!

Helga's Dairy

By: Helga Weiss
Location: NF 920 WEI
Genre: Holocaust

Justin Beiber has done it again- the headlines. But I am not sure if the Media have this one right. Beiber goes to Anne Frank’s place in Amsterdam and writes in the guest book and declares his admiration for her and hopes that if she had been alive today she would have been a Beliber.
Maybe it was a humble statement, Justin wanting Anne to respect him and being honoured to have someone with courage, integrity, the ability not to annoy neighbours or be noticed everywhere or anywhere she went. Maybe he wants to be like her and can't, and wants so much for someone of her qualities to like him, when recently he is lacking in those. Maybe it was a genuine comment from a lad who has forgotten who he really is.
This book is similar to Anne Frank’s Diary except Helga lived to tell the story and with it comes her art. I went to the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and at that time they had an art gallery of kid’s art drawn in the concentration camps- it was the most haunting thing of the whole museum.  Art speaks! This story tells of deportment, Auschwitz and survival after the war was over – she was one of 100 who survived out of 15,000 children. This story is reconstructed from her original notebooks, which were rediscovered in her flat behind a brick wall after her uncle had hidden them there.
The last part of the book is an interview with Helga- she married after the war, had two children, three grandchildren and lives in the flat she was originally deported from. This book is dedicated to all young people that they may never have to experience what she had to at 8 years of age.
It is a great read , a shuddering read and reminder to never forget!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

WARP: The reluctant Assassin

By: Eoin Colfer
Location: FIC COL
Genre: Artemis Fowl redone with FBI time travel!

I will let the book trailer do this review for you- but never forget- he who wrote Artemis Fowl and hooked heaps of people into reading has done it again. I loved Artemis Fowl, I listened to it in the car on a road trip and we got to the destination before the story was finished- so we sat in the car and listened until it was finished !  Different tack- same great writer!


By: Cheryl Strayed
Location: NF 920 STR
Genre: Misery Memoir

I know- it is a bit harsh putting that genre on this book, but it is about bad stuff happening to you, it is about getting down about that stuff and then trying to redeem it in some way. Cheryl's Mum died of cancer, her marriage broke up and so she decided to walk 1100 miles from one side of the USA via the Pacific Crest Trail- to the other  to try and figure out who she was. Not that there is a whole lot in the book about the trail and nature, it is more about her own personal 'wild' ride. This book has really polarised people- what is someone with no hiking experience doing risking her life, making stupid decisions and engaging in the wilderness raw and ignorant. How is becoming "lost and found" based on immoral whims and how can she be "found" again if her life is about free sex and drug usage- to me that speaks of continued lostness. Many say the story is a self indulgent pity party and the hike  was dangerous and stupid. Others say - it was a reaction to a deep grief and they could connect with it in a powerful way as it helped them overcome the pain they felt.
It was a New York Times Best Seller, Oprah loved it- let me know if you do??

Time Riders: The Pirate kings

By: Alex Scarrow
Location: FIC SCA
Genre: Time travel- History
Series: Time Riders

I love books that combine history with fiction. London's fire and Piracy spiced up into a riveting novel that informs while it entrances- how good is that!! Go the TimeRider series!!!

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
 Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
 Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.
But all three have been given a second chance - to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history...Relocated to Victorian London, the TimeRiders joy-ride back to 1666 to witness the Great Fire of London. In the ensuing chaos, Liam and their newest recruit, Rashim, find themselves trapped between the fire and the Thames. They escape on board a river boat, only to be confronted by an unscrupulous captain with his heart set on treasures of the high seas -
can Liam and Rashim survive the bloodthirsty and barbaric age of piracy long enough to be rescued?

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Sweet Life in paris

By: David Lebovitz
Location: NF 641.59 LEB
Genre: Paris and Food

Paris- oh yummy, strawberry jam and croissaints, pomme de frits, mussles and garlic butter, hotdog in a roll with mustard and tomatoe sauce, tarte aux fraises- strawberry custard tarts!  Tartare- raw minced beef- I had that, was surprisingly yummy.
Anyway this book is all about life and food in Paris, it has stories, it has recipes, it makes you think of the movie Amelie and focuses on the three stable diet foods- chocolate, cheese and wine. But it also gives helpful hints on Paris social life like the mysteries of mens footwear, the rules of waiting in line and other vital survival tips for the City of Light. It is a New York Times Bestseller because it is good!!!


By: David Abrams
Location: FIC ABR
Genre: War- Iraq

Fobbit \’fä-bit\, noun. Definition: A U.S. soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by remaining at the base, esp. during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011). Pejorative.
In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield – where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like a desk job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy.
Darkly humorous and based on the author's own experiences in Iraq, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that shows us a behind-the-scenes portrait of the real Iraq war. ( From Amazon.Com review)
Fobbit is a searing view of life on a Forward Operating Base in Iraq and the constant contradictions faced by U.S. soldiers who are told to kick down a door one minute and win ‘hearts and minds’ the next. Funny and evocative, with great glimpses of soldier-speak and deployment day to day life, each laugh in the novel is accompanied with a troubling insight into the different types of battles that our soldiers encounter on a non-traditional battlefield.”—Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to build your own spaceship

By: Piers Bizony
Location: NF 629.45 BIZ
Genre: Outer Space and getting there.

I think I would need a travel guide, I mean where would I go. Mars has potential- there might be water and the views are good. Neptune would not work- far to cold. Venus to hot- a mere 450 degrees Celsius - and it is gassy, pretty nice to look at from here on earth, but to build a rocket and visit- no thanks. Uranus has heaps of radiation and I could die of cancer. Maybe I will my build my rocket to visit The Moon-  even though it scared me as a kid, it really is the best place to go. if only there was a Lonely Moon travel guide to tell me what I need to see.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


By: Tammara Webber
Location: FIC WEB
Genre: Relationships
This is a love story, a story of relationships that hurt, of the power of sexual abuse, but also the power of unconditional loves healing. It is the story of a young man cut with guilt and the story of a girl victimised by sexual bullies. It is not an easy read, it is to raw, it is to real. As both are damaged by sexual torment, both learn mechanisms of defence- emotionally and physically- and as they met and journey together, they become whole and start a journey where love and trust dissolve the hurts of the past. Will I recommend this book to our juniors- NO- they dont need to read this stuff, but for our senior students, read and learn about the power of hurt you can possess but greater still, the power of love to bring healing.

The Dark Knight- Cat Commander

By: Bright and Vecchio
Location EAS BRI
Genre: nananananananana Batman

This caped crusader is not a rugby player. Holy Scrum no- he is the protector of Gotham City.
CATWOMAN has stolen an ancient flute that calls all of GOTHAM CITY'S cats to her command. When BATMAN swoops in to stop the kitty kidnapper, he s overwhelmed by hundreds of cross cats under CATWOMAN'S command! Meeeoooww Holy Kittycat!!

Have to say I love old Batman and old Robin with the cartoon  'kapoooow" and "Thud" and the old in your dream computers... sometimes old is best!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Guinea Moon

By: Kate Constable
Location: FIC CON
Genre: Youth fiction, coming of age and cultural stuff- nice mix.

Real nice mix actually- I have seen what cultural exposure of a shocking type can do to a 16 year old. It is easy to hide and cover up who we are, or how we cope in our safe lives as we build known garrisons around us to protect ourselves from the unknown. But when you are dropped kicked into the third world, to cultures based on relationship- not accumulations, to cultures where being fulfilled is about having food, clothes and good shelter- not fulfilling your materialistic bucket list of extravagant dreams. Yep being 16 and thrown into Papua New Guinea, will do something to you.
Julie has grown up not knowing her father, with just the occasional Christmas card and the knowledge that he flies planes for a charter company in New Guinea. When she comes to stay with him one long summer, she learns to appreciate not only her long-lost father and his love of flying, but also New Guinea itself and the people she meets
'Engaging and hard to put down' - Hannah, 15
'Captivating...the unexpected twists kept me on my toes' - Georgia, 15

Stick Figure

By: Lori Gottlieb
Location: NF 920 GOT
Genre: Eating Disorders

Maybe I could write a book like this, not from a 1st person point of view, but from an aunt that has seen the destructive power that an eating disorder has. Entertainment Weekly calls this book- Funny - I know nothing funny about anorexia, nothing joyful, nothing positive. It takes the carrier on a journey of a train wreck and the family who are passengers are traumtaised by the ride. I know- Ive been a passenger. This story is told by Lori, it is her story, her journey, told in her voice, and unlike so many- it is redemptive and hopeful.
This book will not be fun to read, but if you want to get inside the head of a girl who has ridden the train of an eating disorder and has disembarked safely- then have a read.
To my students at Cambridge High- if you read this book because this is your journey and you need someone to talk to who understands- dont forget Ive been a passenger!

To Brave the Seas: A boy at war.

By: David McRobbie:
Location: FIC MCR
Genre: War

ANZAC day is coming up- I always make my Grans ANZAC recipe on that day- my way to remember- just wish I could brew them like she used too. So over the next couple of weeks I will blog a few war stories so we can all remember that great young talented men loaded with potential were killed on foreign soil so I can enjoy tramping in my country and my sons are free to flourish.
Least we ever forget the cost!!
This book is set in the Navy in 1940, 15 year old Adam- yes 15- joins the British Merchant Navy. he discovers seasickness, submarines, shipwreck, torpedos and the challenge of realising your enemy's could be your friends. It is about a 15 year old becoming a man through the trauma and the power of war.

Monday, April 8, 2013

God save the Queen

By: Kate Locke
Genre: Fantasy
Location: FIC LOC

I have read a few books about the Queen this year, Mrs Queen takes the Train and The Uncommon Reader- just my way of celebrating her 50 years as a leader. I can't though think why we say the old God Save the Queen thing- dont we all need saving- why just her!  Anyway this book it slightly different- actually really different. It is about Queen Victoria, it is steampunk, and the Aristoracy are either zombies or vampires, werewolves or goblins.
It's 2012 and Queen Victoria still rules England with an iron fist due to the mix of disease and genetics that creates vampires. Only aristocrats can be vampires, half-vampires, or goblins due to their genetics and experience extremely long lives, a stronger constitution, inhuman strength and sense, an abhorrence to light, the list goes on. Xandra Vardan is a halvie and a member of the prestigious Royal Guard. She has set records in her schooling using her exceptional strength and speed and believes wholeheartedly that the aristocrats need their protection against the treacherous, vermin-like humans. Then her sister dies, but she knows that her sister has really gone missing. Her quest to find her sister plunges her into a plot that will turn her world upside down.

Tramping in new Zealand: 40 Great tramping trips

By: Shaun Barnett
Location: NF 796.51 BAR
Genre: The Great Outdoors

I love New Zealand, I love discovering the nooks and crannies that make up our nation. Whether it is the glistening sparkles of Lake Waikaremoana, the wild beaches of the west, the still calm air of the mountains,the gushing tirade of waters spilling out of mossy rock walls or the sock infested smell of a content hut- I am happy to discover these places, and this book will help. It has 40 amazing tramps- many we know about- Waikaremoana, Queen Charlotte, Abel Tasman- but also new ones that are sitting in this book waiting for me to make them come alive. There is nothing like looking at a map and saying to yourself- " I did that"- but looking at the map of hike not yet tramped- its like having a box of chocolates your Mum would not let you eat when you were a kid- want it- cant have it- but I know its going to be good.
The maps and information in this book are great, hmmm school holidays- where shall we go.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Warm Bodies

By: Isacc Marion
Location: FIC MAR
Genre: Zombies

Please someone tell me why? Why are zombies cool? How can a dead dude be fallen in love with? How bad are the real guys if a chick has to fall for a long dead soulless person? And why- why do boys have intricate zombie plans that involve chainsaws and diggers- though my sons zombie plan was way cool!
Questions? Do zombies smell bad- if they do, cause they should- surely girls would be totally disgusted with them? Can zombies feel anything, emotionally- if they have no soul? I mean why would you date a lifeless nothing? Why do zombies have cute bodies and evil eyes? Please someone tell me why???

Against my better judgement I have got this book in the library for all you zombie fans, this zombie  called "R" does not want to eat his girlfriend which is nice of him- he wants to protect her, he wants to breath, he wants to live and no doubt he wants to kiss.
Enjoy- cause I wont be reading this one!!!


By: Nick Harkaway
Location: FIC HAR
Genre: Fantasy

"Pure, unhinged delight. What a splendid ride" The Guardian
" Brilliant" Sunday Times.
 The comments on are all about this being a fun book to read, I have never read so many reviews about a books being fun, enjoyable or engagung. Peter summarises what other says well.
I loved this book. A fantasy, gangster, espionage novel, rollicking and rambunctious, rich in it’s language, ambitious in it’s scope; it must have been great fun to write, because it certainly was great fun to read.
"Angelmaker is a chimera of a novel. The core of the story is a spy thriller, with homages to the golden era of James Bond and daring international espionage on behalf of queen and country. It’s a race against time to prevent a megalomaniacal supervillain from destroying not just the world but life everywhere in the universe! Yet rather than playing it straight, Nick Harkaway injects that sort of dry, very British humour that isn’t afraid to verge upon—and venture into—the absurd. " Ben Babock

Thursday, April 4, 2013


By: Hugh Howey
Genre: Dystopia
Location: FIC HOW

I bought this book for my son for Christmas and he said you all had to read it. Then Mr Mannins donated it to the library because he agrees with my son. Hunger Games steps up for the literally minded !

They live beneath the earth in a prison of their own making. There is a view of the outside world, a spoiled and rotten world, their forefathers left behind. But this view fades over time, ruined by the toxic airs that kill any who brave them.

So they leave it to the criminals, those who break the rules, and who are sent to cleaning. Why do they do it, these people condemned to death? Sheriff Holston has always wondered. Now he is about to find out

Sweet Evil

By: Wendy Higgins
Location: FIC HIG
Genre: Angels and stuff

I believe in Angels- guardian ones. I reckon they hang about and look after you and keep guard. I have heard amazing stories- not the urban myth types but real ones, from a guy I know who has had angel stuff happen to him. I reckon there is real truth in believing in stuff we cannot see- there is far more out there than what we will ever know. So it makes sense stories are written about this stuff, even if it is in fiction form, maybe it reflects more of the real than we think. So whether the angels are fallen- baddies or guardian goodies- it matters that we perhaps read these books and take heed.
In this book Anna needs to decide if her angelic heritage is for Halo or Horns? I guess that depends on cute Kaiden Rowe!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

By: Jennifer Smith
Location: FIC SMI
Genre: Love

I love the cover of this book- shallow I know, but it might suit the book.
 I have to confess I think- if I am truly honest, that perhaps I am a statistical probability, I met a guy, dated on the first night, never broke up with him and married the dude.
Was it destiny, fate, the hand of God, or just life.
Hadley in this book missed her flight, was stuck at New York airport,  there she met Oliver and he was cute... and so it began and maybe like us, it will continue. True Love it what bring us together...


By: Roland Smith
Location: FIC SMI
Genre: Adventure

"I have climbed my mountain, but I still must go back and live my life."----Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest

Life is more than adventures- though over Easter those in our household did a few- kayaking, mountain biking, canyoning, rock climbing and caving. The power of the Outdoors to make you reflect on your life and its journey is amazing. I read in the paper that for every $1.00 invested in Outdoor youth programmes in NZ, there is a $7.00 return.
Going into the outdoors is both disempowering as you set yourself against nature, but equally really powerful in determining who you are and why you are.  I get to see this, both my son and husband work in the outdoors.
In this book Peak is in trouble with the law and is sent to live with his Dad in Thailand- his Dad though wants Peak to summit Everest, the youngest person ever to do so. Will it change the course of Peaks destiny...