Monday, November 30, 2015


By: Amie Kaufman and jay Kristoff
Location: FIC KAU
Genre: Sci Fi, a dystopic fantasy with romance, creative and very unique!

Visually, Illuminae is an extremely fun and unique kind of book. It's a romantic space opera told through a collection of interview transcripts, diary entries, emails and gorgeous space images .

The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra's planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all-consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy; and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realises that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it's too late

"This book is incredible! Definitely the most unique reading experience i've never had. It felt like you were in a video game, or watching a sci-fi movie. I absolutely love the way it was written and all the cool page designs and the way that the world is established is very immersive and you feel like you're a hacker reading into life on this spaceship" Whitney-

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Monsters Call- The Movie

  Guess what is coming to the big screen!!!!
This is going to be amazing and this book was always going to be a movie. As always read it first!

The Death's Head Chess Club

By:John Donoghue
Location: FIC DON
Genre: Historical, WWII, Brilliant read

I was taught chess by my Dad in our lounge, by the fire on cold winters nights in the heart of Canterbury. Chess has warm memories, and as I now use it in the library to teach and challenge some of our young men, I have grown to value its power to give ability to self determine the plays you make in life. I tell the boys that the queen is the AK47, they like that! I am also so proud my Dad taught me this game as well as my brothers, it is something I have reflected on a bit lately, the things my Dad did to give me a chance to flourish. Like Chess in this book, but it was about survival!

Chess is the centre article to this story about guilt, forgiveness and redemption.This is the story  mainly of three men, the 'watchmaker' and Jew Emil Clement, former SS officer and now priest Paul Meissner and Willi Schweninger who worked in the Propaganda Ministry during WWII.
Going back and forth in time between 1943-44 and 1962, the three men are at a Chess Tournament in Amsterdam when their paths cross. Was it fate that they should meet or divine intervention?
As they share drinks and meals together, over time, they start to tell their stories, and we realise how they are all linked. Their stories started slowly, but gradually we learn what happened at Auschwitz as Emil was the 'unbeatable' chess player who's games became, literally, a matter of life or death.

SS Obersturmf├╝hrer Paul Meissner arrives in Auschwitz from the Russian front. After being badly wounded he is fit only for administrative duty and his first and most pressing task is to improve flagging camp morale. He sets up a chess club which thrives, as the officers and enlisted men are allowed to gamble on the results of the games. However, when Meissner learns from a chance remark that chess is also played by the prisoners he hears of a Jewish watchmaker who is 'unbeatable'. Meissner sets out to discover the truth behind this rumor and what he finds will haunt him to his death..

This is a story of hatred, unlikely friendship, unspeakable cruelty, forgiveness, healing, redemption, guilt and, of course, chess. A deeply moving novel about an impossible friendship, The Death's Head Chess Club challenges us to consider what might be the very limits of forgiveness and what might be the cost of a lifetime of bitterness.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


By: Julie Murphy
Location: FIC MUR
Genre: Romance, YA, Your body is yours- be proud if it

Working in a high school I see so many students who feel self-conscious, people who make snide comments about someone's appearance without thinking, and moments of people doubting themselves for whatever reason.

This novel is about Willow (full name Willowdean) who is called 'Dumplin' ' by her mum. Why? Because her mum is an ex beauty queen who basically sees people for who they are based on their exterior. Sound familiar?

Willow rocks. She breaks out against this cruel nickname and even decides to enter a beauty competition that her mum is running! Queue the outrage... *now*...

Yep- she shocks her friend, her mum, and she even gets the hot boy.

Oh and do you want to know Willow's tip for how to get a bikini body? It is nearly summer after all-

Step One- take one body. Your body will do.

Step Two- put a bikini on it.

Done that? Now you have yourself a bikini body.

This was a great novel and I really enjoyed it. Sign up for the summer reading programme and you can even take this one home! Permission slips are in the library, or ask Mrs Bichan or Mrs Mannell.

Legion- Skin Deep

By: Brandon Sanderson
Location: FIC SAN
Genre: Sanderson- thats all!

“Well, when the fear of death seizes you—when the dark thoughts come—you stare the darkness right back, and you tell it, ‘I will not listen to you, for I am infinite Batmans.”

I loved Legion and this is not a genre or author I normally read, but I respect Sanderson big time, he has a huge following with many of our students but most of all my son! This was the series by him I read to find out why he was so popular. I was not disappointed! I was sucked in, I laughed, I was desperate to be in with the crowd that solved the mystery... it was a great read!
Legion I reckon must be named after the dude in the Bible who has many inhabitants, or "aspects".  One man- many personalities with superpowers! This is book number two...

Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there’s a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous…

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. Legion: Skin Deep is speculative fiction at it most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most intelligent—and unpredictable—voices.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Extraordinary Means

By: Robyn Schneider
Location: FIC SCH
Genre: Break your heart- Youth Fiction with illness and some loving!

A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.

Tuberculosis is a disease I have seen close up overseas. Most of us in NZ over a certain older age have tattooed scars on our shoulder that informs us we are immunized from TB. New Zealand is now basically clear of this scourge. But back in the day we had plenty of it and as I look out my office window I see a local landmark called Sanatorium Hill  or perhaps correctly now known as Mangakawa. This is where sufferers went to get clean air to rid there bodies of the TB disease. I wonder what it would be like if all the people in that sanatorium were teenagers, suffering, loving, surviving and hoping together.  Extraordinary Means will tell us this story -Robyn Schneider has created a fictional form of tuberculosis that is drug resistant and the story is set in a sanatorium full of teenagers that have contracted it.
Told in Lane's and Sadie's perspectives, we are told how the two first met, how both suffered from a prank then later came together as they shared this awful illness. As they suffer, they both start learning from one another. As the days go by, these two begin a romance, one they didn't see to last forever.

It is interesting to see how one can take different paths when told they have a limited time to live. Unlike many people, Lane took one that many do not take. He took the one that tries to prepare for the future that was not promised. He studied hard and became involved in many school activities. His ambition and goal is to attend Stanford. Yet, he never allows himself to enjoy the little time he has left. Then, we met Sadie. She is completely different from Lane. She loves trouble. Loves to lack school. What is the point? There is no future for her. As they get intimate, they learn that life is worth hoping but most of all it is important to take risk and enjoy the ride. 

“That's all you can do in this world, no matter how strong the current beats against you, or how heavy your burden, or how tragic your love story. You keep going.” 
― Robyn SchneiderExtraordinary Means

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


By: Tom Leveen
Location: FIC LEV
Genre:  YA -  Cyber Bullying

Huge topics are covered in this moving and all to realistic book; cyber bullying, youth suicide, understanding sexuality, and the power of teenagers who hurt other so badly only to protect themselves. It is about being swept up in meanness.

" This is a novel better made for thinking, rather than enjoying--Random is a novel that I'll think about for a while in a way I hadn't anticipated.This novel, is sitting with me--it's taken refuge in my brain."  Jazman- Goodreads

Tori is known as one of the Canyon Seven, a group of teens whose malicious online comments has caused  of one of their classmates to commit suicide. It is the night before her trial begins, and she is busy hating everything about her life. She hates her parents who removed the computer from her room and took away her iPhone, leaving her with a crappy, old flip phone. She hates her brother who stopped talking to her when she was arrested. She hates the reporters who keep pounding on the door wanting her to make a statement.

Her phone rings and Tori assumes it is someone calling to harass her about the trial. Great, a crank call, just when all she wants to do is sleep until this whole thing is over.

Tori doesn't recognize the voice at the other end of the line. When the male voice identifies itself as someone named Andy, Tori still doesn't have a clue who he is. It turns out this Andy fellow has punched in her number at random. At least that's what he tells her. He then tells her he is planning to commit suicide. He describes how he is in his car parked at the top of a mountain road, and unless she can convince him that life is worth living, he plans to drive his car off the cliff.

Can Tori convince Andy not to end his life? Will talking to him help her make sense of the mess she is in and the potentially life-changing trial she faces in a few short hours? 

With all the attention on bullying and the connection to social media, RANDOM strikes just the right tone and its message will resonate loudly! -Sally Kruger

Monday, November 16, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See

By: Anthony Doeer
Location: FIC DOE
Genre: WWII in beauty,in pain,  in heart and in soul

How so apt that on my first day back on the blog I have chosen this PULITZER PRIZE winner. This book is set in Paris, the city of light. Twice in its history it has been shut down, curfew-ed, darkened. Once in WWII when this story is written and the other this weekend when raging militants terminated the lives of innocents in heartless gore. 
This story is one I read on my  recent journeys and as I traveled the story traveled with me. It is beautifully written, it is about about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
It is about how enemy's exist and in mutual respect for humanity they fight for life, they fight for meaning in an arena of death and hate. They fight for a world where  innate reason plays a stronger tune than bitterness and mindless command.
It is about snails, and diamonds, the sea, music, curiosity of learning, the power of art, St Malo, the inquisitive desperation of science, it is about keys and mystery, it is about love and it is about death.
This story is beautiful and in the darkness of today's Paris we all know that there is light shining, glimmering, and maybe today it is not seen, but it will be there, in the stories of  today's' Marie Laure  and Werners. Light always conquers dark, always!

“What the war did to dreamers.” 
― Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See

" Anthony Doerr writes beautifully about the mythic and the intimate, about snails on beaches and armies on the move, about fate and love and history and those breathless, unbearable moments when they all come crashing together" 
Jess Walter- author of Beautiful Ruins.

I'm Back!

By: Mrs Bichan
Location: In the Library
Genre:  Be the change...

What a journey I  have had. Four different nations in six weeks. Each different, each unique, each one with its own powerful story to tell. Each nation I reckon can be defined by what you eat in it and what you read there. Australia I had an amazing steak, cooked on my own on the restaurants BBQ, self sufficient, hardy and just like Bryce Courtney s characters in The Potato Factory. 
South Africa on the other hand is another story. The range of food is amazing but the seafood is the best, it is beautifully cooked, flavorsome and tender. Nothing in my mind beats a Pamela Joost novel, it is well crafted, tender and leaves you wanting more. 
Tanzania- the food is not great, these people live in tough places and the staple diet is Ugali, a stiff dough made from cassava flour.  It is tasteless. I did not find any books written by Tanzanian authors, I hope one day there will be some as sweet as the local ndizi- banana's, So we made and gifted  two libraries so there diet of literature could be improved and the the flavor of learning and knowledge  enhanced. We have sprinkled the spice of words through books in Magugu and Arusha, and we hope that the libraries we have left behind creates a deep appetite for the love of reading.
India, the spices, the curries, the tastes, the smells. I even think I will get India takeaways tonight- I just want more of that food! The problem is that in New Zealand our spices are old and stale and the food just does not have the vibrancy of the real deal. I reckon Indian writing is becoming as spicy and deep as its food, the huge increase in authors churning our meaningful literature there is amazing and nothing beats the Indian Times. That newspaper is so eloquent, so intensely written, brash, humerus, and leaves you wanting more.. just like curry! Here is an extract
If you are watching computer-generated mayhem in the latest action film or scrolling rapidly on your smartphone, you may start to feel a little off. Maybe it is a dull headache or dizziness or creeping nausea. And no, it is not something you ate. 
A peculiar side effect of the 21st century is something called digital motion sickness or cybersickness. Increasingly common, according to medical and media experts, it causes a person to feel woozy, as if on a boat in a churning sea, from viewing moving digital content.
Cool isnt it...

Anyway here are a few photos of the libraries from start to finish!