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!