Thursday, September 19, 2019

Heretics Anonymous

By: Katie Henry
Location: FIC HEN
Image result for 9780062698889Genre:   Contemporary,  Beliefs, Young Adult

* Amazon Best Book of the Month August 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 *

Put an atheist in a strict Catholic school? Expect comedy, chaos, and an Inquisition. The Breakfast Club meets Saved! in debut author Katie Henry’s hilarious novel about a band of misfits who set out to challenge their school, one nun at a time. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Robyn Schneider.

When Michael walks through the doors of Catholic school, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow atheist at that. Only this girl, Lucy, isn’t just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism.

Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies one stunt at a time. But when Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

"Heretics Anonymous follows quite religious themes without infringing on the freedom of it’s characters AND readers. The main message of this story is tolerance. Despite their differences, these friends from all different forms of belief can come together for one purpose and achieve it. There is no “conversion” story. There is no push to follow one belief system. It is about the beauty of coexisting with one another and following what you personally believe in.

I would recommend Heretics Anonymous to absolutely anyone. Whether you want to explore different perspectives of organized religion. Whether you want a story following a strong friendship. Or you just want a reason to laugh. I would highly recommend picking up this immensely unique debut and observing how it changes you." Emma

Swing

By: Kwame Alexander
Image result for 9780310761938Location: FIC 
Genre: Novel Verse, Young Adult, Sport, Realistic stuff!


  • Is written by New York Times bestselling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award-winner Kwame Alexander
  • Is a young adult fiction novel told through Kwame’s one-of-a-kind free-verse poetry
  • Is ripe with themes of hope, courage, and love
  • Masterfully combines jazz, art, baseball, friendship, and love into what many are calling “Kwame’s best book yet”
  • Tackles some of the most painful social issues of today, including racial prejudice


New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell this lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that speaks to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice. And the surprise ending shines a spotlight on the issues related to our current social divide, challenging perspectives and inspiring everyone to make their voice heard.

When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find cool.

Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt’s Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt’s “Hug Life” mentality. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out?

At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.

As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Songs of a War Boy

By: Deng Thial Adut
Image result for 9780734419620Location: NF 920 
Genre:Non Fiction war Memoir

"I loved the voice in this book. I loved the fact it was straight forward. I loved that it gave an insight into details about what this man witnessed and lived through as a child. The fact that he is still alive is a miracle, if you believe in this kind of stuff.

It IS a VERY GOOD read.

The last part of the story contains is a journey into philosophy. I loved it, probably because I can relate to many parts of what Deng says and he says it well. There are parts that contain great wisdom and emotion and is really a must-read. Whether or not a person who has never been deprived, smelt death or the closeness of death - or felt the sting of dis-assimilation will ever understand them. They are worth reading - and knowing about." Mohammed


The true story of Deng Adut - Sudanese child soldier, refugee, man of hope - for readers aged 12+.


Deng Adut's family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. At the age most Australian children are starting school, Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He began a harsh, relentless military training that saw this young boy trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle. He lost the right to be a child. He lost the right to learn.
The things Deng saw over those years will stay with him forever. He suffered from cholera, malaria and numerous other debilitating illnesses but still he had to fight. A child soldier is expected to kill or be killed and Deng almost died a number of times. He survived being shot in the back. The desperation and loneliness was overwhelming. He thought he was all alone.
But Deng was rescued from war by his brother John. Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee.
Despite physical injuries and mental trauma he grabbed the chance to make a new life. He worked in a local service station and learnt English watching The Wiggles. He taught himself to read and started studying at TAFE. In 2005 he enrolled in a Bachelor of Law at Western Sydney University. He became the first person in his family to graduate from university.
This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney. It is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to fleeing war, persecution and trauma.

Crown of Coral and Pearl

By: Mara Rutherford
Image result for 9781489282712Location: FIC RUT
Genre: Fantasy  

STEAL THE CROWN. SAVE THE KINGDOM

"Sorrow is good for the soul, Father had said after the incident, when I had recovered from the pain and sickness but had still not grown used to the feel of the torn flesh on my otherwise flawless skin. "Those who have never known pain or adversity are as shallow as the waves lapping on the shore."

"And what is wrong with being shallow?" I'd asked him.

"What lies beneath the surface of shallow waters? Nothing. It's only when you go deeper that the ocean comes alive. The deeper you go, the more mysteries and surprises await."


Impetuous and outspoken, seventeen-year-old Nor is used to living in her identical twin sister’s shadow. As the most beautiful girl in Lakana, Zadie is destined to marry the prince of Ilara, heir to all the ocean realms. Though free from her mother’s strict constraints, Nor still feels trapped. Just once, she longs to see Ilara’s glittering towers and encounter its dashing prince…

But when Zadie is injured, Nor is chosen to replace her. And she soon finds Prince Ceren is as forbidding and cold as llara, a realm carved into a mountain and devoid of light. Ceren’s plans would strip Lakana of its most precious resources—a decree Nor will risk anything to stop. And through Ceren’s half brother, Talin, she pursues an even darker mystery rooted in the failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen—and Ilara’s sinister secret history.

Now Nor must negotiate the treacherous protocols and insidious deceptions of a dazzling court where lies reign and obsession rules. And discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Lakana and Zadie.
 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cross Fire

By: Malorie Blackman
Image result for 9780241388440Location: FIC BLA
Genre: Noughts and Crosses #5   

"This is the fifth addition to the brilliant Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, the latest book echoes and reverberates with the chilling and turbulent state of the world today, particularly that of the US, Britain and Europe"


Years have passed since the love between Sephy - a Cross - and Callum - a Nought - destroyed their world and changed their families and society forever.

Society appears to be very different now. For the first time ever, a Nought Prime Minister - Tobey Durbridge - is in power. Race and class don't divide people anymore. But things are never really that easy.

Because Tobey's just been framed for murder, and the only way to free himself is to turn to his oldest friend - Callie-Rose.

Their families divisions run deep, and when two young people are kidnapped, their lives and everything they've fought for are put in the firing line.

And when you're playing a game as dangerous as this one, it won't be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire...

Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman's ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series.

"This is the fifth addition to the brilliant Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, the latest book echoes and reverberates with the chilling and turbulent state of the world today, particularly that of the US, Britain and Europe. We are thrown back into the lives of familiar characters such as the lawyer Callie and the political ascent of the ambitious Tobey Durbridge, and new characters in the shape of the latest generation with the young teens, Libby, with her troubled and impoverished background and the more wealthy Troy, and their conflict ridden history. In a narrative that takes place amidst a background of Brexit, the Windrush scandal, Immigration, the rise of the far right, fake news, and a media that is more interested in churning out opinions rather than reporting real news, and giving equal time and space to opposing views, the story goes back and forth in time to reveal the nature of the relationship that evolves between Libby and Troy and the older Callie and Tobey.

Libby and Troy are forced to put their enmities aside as they find themselves in desperate straits and must work together. Tobey finds himself facing the most serious of charges and wants Callie to defend him in the forthcoming court trial. In a fast paced book with a strong feeling of a thriller, it all culminates in my least favourite way to conclude a novel, with a cliffhanger with so little resolved until the next book comes out. Blackman could not have written a more relevant book, of family, race, class, power, political machinations, and prejudice. There is skilful character development of older characters, and the introduction of great new characters as we await to see how events will unfold in the future. This is an intense, tense, and entertaining read, and a real joy to return to the Nought and Crosses world for the latest engaging installment. Many thanks to Penguin Random House Childrens for an ARC." Promjat did this review on Goodreads

American Royals

Image result for 9780241365953By: Katherine McGee
Location: FIC MCG
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

How would the USA look today if we had a monarchy reigning? Well I guess there would be no Trump so they missed the boat on that one didn't they. King Trump- he would like that!

What would have happened if George Washington had accepted the offer to become America's king? As our history books state, he said no, and the Presidency was created. But what if...
Come for the concept, stay for the drama. This was a near-perfect blend of Gossip Girl, modern day royalty vibes, and YA drama.- Amy

Meet the Washingtons - the most scandalous royal family ever!

HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She's the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties.

It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She's demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first - no matter what her heart might really want.

But they're not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be 'newly noble' but she won Prince Jefferson's heart once, and she'll do anything to get back into the court's favour - and his bed.

If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody - plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king's secretary.

Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. There's everything to play for - but there can only be one queen.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

American Panda

Image result for 9781481499118
By: Gloria Chao
Location: FIC CHA
Genre: Romance- Fiction

What a lovely, lovely surprise. American Panda is ownvoices contemporary fic about a Taiwanese-American girl struggling with her strict parents and with trying to carve her own path. And holy crap. It’s awesome.- Elise, Goodreads

“Weepingly funny.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Delightful.” —BuzzFeed
“Charmed my socks off.” —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland


Four starred reviews for this incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how, unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

“And right now I had no idea where I ended and my parents began.” 

Wilder Girls

Image result for 9781529021288By: Rory Power
Location: FIC POW
Genre: Feminist Horror and LGBGT 

A modern day, female Lord of the Flies - count me in!

 I am no fan of horror so I stock this and get it ready for those of you are brave enough!

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

"I can see why Rory Power's debut novel Wilder Girls is getting serious buzz; it's not just a pretty cover, as it contains an excellent writing style that wavers between flowery prose and captivating horror. In terms of idea and compulsive page-turning, this book deserves all of the stars," Chelsea

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Severance

Image result for 9781250214997By: Ling Ma
Location: FIC MA
Genre: SciFi - Dystopia 


"A quirky, cynical, yet important read that has made me think a lot about what matters most in my life"- Thomas

"I loved this book. It’s sharp and wry and contemporary -" Jessica

This book must be good, it has won a few awards. And has anyone noticed pink covres are now a thing!!!

Locus Award Nominee for First Novel (2019)Kirkus Prize for Fiction (2018)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2018)Aspen Words Literary Prize Nominee for Longlist (2019)Neukom Literary Arts Award Nominee for Debut Speculative Fiction (2019)

“To live in a city is to live the life that it was built for, to adapt to its schedule and rhythms, to move within the transit layout made for you during the morning and evening rush, winding through the crowds of fellow commuters. To live in a city is to consume its offerings. To eat at its restaurants. To drink at its bars. To shop at its stores. To pay its sales taxes. To give a dollar to its homeless. 
To live in a city is to take part in and to propagate its impossible systems. To wake up. To go to work in the morning. It is also to take pleasure in those systems because, otherwise, who could repeat the same routines, year in, year out? "-  Page 290


Maybe it's the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma's offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance.

Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she's had her fill of uncertainty. She's content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend.

So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost.

Candace won't be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They're traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers?

A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma's Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it's a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.

Storm and Fury

Image result for 9781489282668By: Jenifer L. Armentrout
Location: FIC ARM
Genre:  Fantasy, Paranorma, Romance
Series: The Harbinger #1

WHAT SECREETS HIDE BENEATH THE SKIN?

Gargoyle Protectors
Rising Demons
and One Girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
 

“What are you going to do if it does get worse?” he asked.
“Maybe I’ll get myself a seeing-eye gargoyle.”
Zayne chuckled. “I can be that for you.”
“Uh, yeah, I feel like you’d grow very bored of that.”
“I don’t think so.” His fingers curled around my chin, bringing my gaze back to his. Air hitched in my throat. “I don’t think…there’s ever a boring second around you.”
 

A Contract with God

Image result for 9780393328042By: Will Eisner
Location: GRA EIS
Genre: Graphic Novel

Through a quartet of four interwoven stories, A Contract With Godexpress the joy, exuberance, tragedy, and drama of life on the mythical Dropsie Avenue in the Bronx. This is the legendary book that launched a new art form and reaffirmed Will Eisner as one of the great pioneers of American graphics.

Julia: This is not a book to aid in the Christian perspective. If anything, it's existential and nihilistic. It is a book that looks at disillusionment, frustration, loneliness, sex and violence in a mixed culture sharing a community of poverty. It's powerful, gritty and real. But don't look to it for faith or spiritual inspiration.

"This book is based on the memories that Will Eisner has about his own and his contemporaries’ experiences while growing up in New York. The book presents a selection of four stories, which are interconnected and based on a fictional tenement situated in 55 Dropsie Avenue, the Bronx, New York and narrates the personal and intimate memories that the author have about a bunch of characters from his past. 

The tenement was built around 1920 when the flow of immigrants afterWorld War I to New York was like a flood. By the 30s low paid city employees, laborers and their families thrived in these tenements, which became home to a whole first generation of Americans born to their foreign parents. There was no privacy within these apartment buildings and these stories that Will Eisner narrate in the graphic medium is based on the life as it was in these tenements during “the dirty 30s”. You can detect the dynamics of relationships, the culture, the depression and state of economy and everything that prevailed in the 30s within these frames". Pramod Nor

"I'm not quite sure what I just read. The title story is must clear cut, and heart breaking. The other stories tend to be on that line of rape and sexual power that make you feel a bit icky. There is also sucide and animal death.

Yet, the stories are extremely powerful. It is worth the read." Christine

The Thirteenth Tale

By: Diane Setterfield
Location: FIC SET
Image result for 9780743298032Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Gothic

 I love this cover:)

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long.

Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness—featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

Lisa said this on Goodreads about this book

"The book jacket describes The Thirteenth Tale by stating,

"It is a tale of Gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden, and a devastating fire."

In reality, it’s that and much more. This book lead me to wonder about identity, love, and the meaning of family. I have a feeling these characters will indeed be in the fiber of my clothes for quite some time."

Monday, August 26, 2019

My Secret Youtube Life

Image result for 9781529002034
By: Charlotte Seager
Location: FIC SEA
Genre: Youth Fiction- Social Media

What if your favourite YouTuber’s life was a lie?
What if you were the one to expose it?

YouTuber LilyLoves has an amazing life: a rockstar boyfriend, a totally Insta-worthy London flat and a collection of beauty products that seems to grow daily (thanks, PO Box).

Sixteen-year-old Melissa’s life is way less amazing – LilyLoves is the only thing getting her through it. She’s Lily’s biggest fan and spends hours each night watching her videos and liking her posts. Melissa wants that life for herself – or at least to look like she has it . . .

As Melissa starts to grow in confidence – and followers - she discovers a crushing secret about Lily – the ultimate YouTube lie. Does she share Lily’s secret and crush her fame? Or will they both continue to live a lie – both online and off?

My [Secret] YouTube Life is the addictive debut novel from Charlotte Seager.


Jules read this and reckons the most important  thing she got from this book which she thinks is especially important  is to remind the younger generations to: Stay true to yourself and keep in touch with reality.

A Girl Like That

By: Tanaz Bhathena
Image result for 9781250294586Location: FIC BHA
Genre: Contemporary Ficture, Culture

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

“Fascinating and disturbing.” —Jodi Picoult,

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers; tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion; and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.


"Bhathena makes an impressive debut with this eye-opening novel about a free-spirited girl in present-day Saudi Arabia. . . . Bhathena’s novel should spur heated discussions about sexist double standards and the ways societies restrict, control, and punish women and girls." —Publishers Weekly

"A powerful debut." —School Library Journal


"A Girl Like That completely broke my heart in a million ways, some expected and others not. I was not prepared for the sheer beauty of this writing, which—coupled with the plot—tore me to pieces yet also left me with a profound sense of hope. Every sentence is so carefully constructed, but at the same time, everything feels effortless and smooth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Tanaz’s writing is of the most elegant I’ve ever read in YA. 

You will love some of these characters. You will hate some of these characters. But above all, you will form an unbreakable attachment to their complexity and realness. The book begins with a terrible road accident, narrated by two teenagers who are newly dead. You know this from the beginning, and yet Tanaz’s writing is so unbelievably special that I couldn’t help but bond with them, even when I knew their eventual fate. 

This is an important book, and it’s also a difficult one: difficult in that it exposes the reader to a variety of topics (rape culture, religious expectations, domestic abuse) that other writers may not tackle so openly, so courageously, and with such grace. It is shocking and eye opening and honest and so very needed. It’s also an #ownvoices novel, which I especially appreciate. 

I recommend A Girl Like That without hesitation for any reader who wants to dive head first into a complex tale of love, religion, and culture." Carlie- Goodreads review

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Census

By: Jesse Ball
Image result for 9781783783779Location:FIC BAL
Genre: Literay Fiction, Dystopia

"A very moving and inventive novel about love and loss, the bonds of family, human capacity for both good and evil, and fathers and sons." Matthew 

Jesse Ball tells us in the introduction: 

“It occurred to me last month that I would like to write a book about my brother. I felt, and feel that people with Down syndrome are not really understood. What is in my heart when I consider him and his life is something so tremendous, so full of light, that I thought I must write a book that helps people see what it is like to know and to love a Down syndrome boy or girl. It is not like what you would expect, and it is not like it is ordinarily portrayed and explained. It is something else, different than that.”



When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn’t have long left to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son—a son whom he fiercely loves, a boy with Down syndrome. With no recourse in mind, and with a desire to see the country on one last trip, the man signs up as a census taker for a mysterious governmental bureau and leaves town with his son. 

Traveling into the country, through towns named only by ascending letters of the alphabet, the man and his son encounter a wide range of human experience. While some townspeople welcome them into their homes, others who bear the physical brand of past censuses on their ribs are wary of their presence. When they press toward the edges of civilization, the landscape grows wilder, and the towns grow farther apart and more blighted by industrial decay. As they approach “Z,” the man must confront a series of questions: What is the purpose of the census? Is he complicit in its mission? And just how will he learn to say good-bye to his son? 

Mysterious and evocative, Census is a novel about free will, grief, the power of memory, and the ferocity of parental love, from one of our most captivating young writers.

Listen to your Heart

Image result for 9781338210064By: Kasie West
Location: FIC WES
Genre: Romance 

“I wondered if life was about facing fears. Sometimes we overcame them and sometimes they overcame us. On the days we won, we had every right to celebrate.”


Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.


Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend . . . until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

We See Everything

Image result for 9781408890189By: William Sutcliffe
Location:FIC SUT
Genre: Dystopia 


 " Brilliantly written- thrilling, frightening asnd all too real and relevant. I urge you to read it " Sarah Crossan

Lex lives on The Strip – the overcrowded, closed-off, bombed-out shell of London. He’s used to the watchful enemy drones that buzz in the air above him. 

Alan’s talent as a gamer has landed him the job of his dreams. At a military base in a secret location, he is about to start work as a drone pilot. 

These two young men will never meet, but their lives are destined to collide. Because Alan has just been assigned a high-profile target. Alan knows him only as #K622. But Lex calls him Dad.

Bridget  Schurmann reviewed this book on Goodreads and if she likes it- we all like it. This is her review

This is a cracking good read. And so topical. There are parallel stories. Firstly Lex who is the son of one of the major movers and shakers in an underground movement in the resistance movement. Plotting against the power of the American Army who patrol their section of London stalking the perceived troublemakers with drones. Drones watch everyone and everything. A section which has been separated off from the rest of the city. It is surrounded by fences, there is a no go area between the houses and the fence and in the opening chapter of the book Lex is in this area, risking death to pick some berries which he wants to sell to get some cash. Should he get spotted by a drone he will be shot on sight. 

Watching Lex is a young American soldier, his job is to watch, to follow and to pass on anything he thinks is suspicious to his superior officers. He is a young man full of conflicting thoughts, his Mum hates what he does, she thinks it is immoral. He is proud to work for his country, to protect the American ideals to enforce the rules. But as he spends time following his target he becomes even more conflicted. This reaches a peak when he is required to make the decision to kill his target. 

This book tackles huge issues. Drones and their ability to kill remotely. The guilt that soldiers feel, how it feels to be spied on, to have your every move documented. Privacy and power and control. Love, family and consent. There is plenty to think about in this book. I was talking about it to one of the staff at school and he, as a member of the Army Reserves was telling me about experiences he had heard about which concerned drone pilots. I think this book is a fantastic and sharp novel and I will be recommending it often.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Dolphins Down Under

By: Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson
Image result for 9781877578380Location: NF 599.53 
Genre: Dolphins

As a kid I spent a lot of time at Goosebay which is near Kaikoura. We did heaps of fishing in our boat - Kotare. That was the first Maori word I learnt. While we were out on the briny fishing for Hapuka , Kaiwhai and  Soldier Fish the dolphins would come and play. It is a memory of childhood delight, so bouncey , happy and smiley. I could watch them all day. I just hope my grandchildren have the opportunity for the same experience.
This book will help us understand them more and by understanding comes knowledge and knowledge protects.


New Zealand dolphins, also known as Hector’s dolphins, are fascinating and beautiful animals. Found only in New Zealand waters, their numbers are now under constant threat—especially from human fishing activities. This book introduces the dolphin to readers of all ages. The authors have devoted the last 30 years—more than a dolphin lifespan—to intensive study of the dolphin’s distribution, behavior, biology, reproduction and communication, using photography as their principal research tool. They have identified over 100 individuals and recorded their life events.

This review is by Tui Allen from Goodreads.com and it is stunning! If you are a teacher- read this review!

The first paragraph states, “New Zealand dolphins, also known as Hector’s dolphins, are absolutely remarkable animals. Found only in New Zealand, they are as ‘kiwi’ as the kiwi. They are rare, fascinating and beautiful.”
From there on, everything that needs to be said on this heart-wrenching and controversial topic, is said concisely and accurately in an easy conversational style that is clear, user-friendly and tight. The authors have left all the scientific jargon and endless but sometimes necessary detail, where it belongs in their voluminous scientific papers. Here they bring the topic to life in a slim handy volume which will be easily usable by children in secondary schools and to anyone of any age from there up. 
Beginning with the delicious cover image of two dolphins clearly displaying their perfection of form for their special wild environment, the photographs throughout bring everything to life, both the beauties and the hard truths that need to be faced. 
The book is the perfect tool we need to circulate nationally and internationally, everything that needs to be known about NZ dolphins. It could help to save animals that can contribute so much to our nation’s prestige, should we save them from their imminent demise and which could also be the cause of the country’s eternal shame should we fail them, in which case NZ’s clean green image will take a serious knock. There are people all over the world watching carefully to see how this country treats these dolphins and many of them care far more for their fate, than that of our flightless birds. 
If these dolphins become extinct, New Zealand will go down in history as the nation that was the first to cause the extinction of a marine dolphin. The research here described by these committed and professional scientists will leave you in no doubt that the major threats to their continued existence are human ones. The book showed clearly what a treasure we have right here on our doorstep and how important it is that we learn to value these animals as they deserve.
There are chapters about the dolphins’ behaviour, communications and biology, as well as one called Conservation Problems and Solutions, and another which describes a typical day of the field research work. There is also a section describing ways individuals can help the dolphins.

It could become a useful secondary school text and ought to be required reading for every politician who has anything to do with conservation and protecting this nation's tourism image and biodiversity. How marine conservationists will wish for the scientific research methods described here to be adopted by the so-called “researchers” from Japan who kill their cetacean research subjects and sell the meat as food. 
While it is obviously an objective and factual text, this has not stopped the authors from occasionally exhibiting a humour that the dolphins themselves might approve. An example of this is their description of the "Milo Method" of attracting dolphins to approach your boat of their own accord. It made me laugh out loud and did not detract from the seriousness of the topic at all.
I thought I knew everything I needed to know about the conservation of our special dolphins but I learned much of value from this book. I will be keeping it in pride of place, re-reading whenever possible and never lending it to my friends.(They have to buy their own copy)
This book is a treasure, as are the New Zealand dolphins. 


Fish

Image result for 9781444792805By: Stephen C, Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen  
Location: NF 658.3 LUN
Genre: Self Help, Leadership

I'm on a Non Fiction roll today. This book was requested for us to buy from our Acting Principal last year, Mr McDonnell. 
When he asks for a book -I get it in.


This is an international bestseller with inspirational stories and new resources to transform your life. Imagine a workplace where everyone chooses to bring energy, passion and a positive attitude to the job every day. In this engrossing parable, a fictional manager has the responsibility of turning a chronically unenthusiastic and unhelpful department into an effective team. Seattle's pike place fish is a world famous market that is wildly successful thanks to its fun, bustling, joyful atmosphere and great customer service. By applying ingeniously simple lessons learned from the pike place, our manager discovers how to energise and transform her workplace. Addressing today's most pressing work issues with an engaging metaphor and an appealing message, fish! offers wisdom that is easy to grasp, instantly applicable, and profound.

"This was required reading for a staff meeting at work, but I'm glad I read it and found it to be mostly enjoyable. It was quick and easy reading with a good message. There was also a fictional storyline presenting the lessons which made it more interesting and engaging. I enjoyed the story aspect and thought it was kind of cute. All in all, the book was a little cheesy and I don't think it will change my life, but it was worth the little bit of time it took me to read. I'd love to see these ideas implemented and can see the positive impact it would have. " Stephanie

Dealing with Depression

Image result for 9781925335934By: Jan Marsh 
Location: NF 616.85
Genre: Real life stuff 


It is good to highlight these books that we get into our library, depression is real and for many of you it impacts your life, it could be a family member, a friend or even yourself. This book gives great tips on how to get your life back and how to help and support others too as well.

Dealing with Depression offers a simple, easy to follow, non-judgmental and, above all, effective exploration of depression and how to manage it. A range of strategies is outlined, including the physiological fundamentals of sleep, healthy diet and exercise as well as ideas from positive psychology that help us to take care of ourselves. Learning to regulate emotions and show compassion to ourselves and others not only reduces the impact of depression but also improves life and relationships, building resilience and decreasing the likelihood of recurring depressive episodes.

Part One provides the essential background information for understanding depression. It demystifies depression and aims to remove any sense of shame about it. Instead it explains depression as a process that follows the laws of nature and is no more shameful than catching the flu.

Part Two gives specific tips to improve well-being in body, mind and spirit. This prescription for physical, mental and spiritual fitness can go a long way towards both curing and preventing depression. Good self-care can improve connections to the world and to other people, creating resilience for facing the ups and downs of life. Case studies follow six people who suffered from depression for a variety of reasons and who have used the strategies outlined here to successfully deal with their depression and get their lives back.

Monday, August 19, 2019

PLAGUE World

By: Alex Scarrow
Image result for 9781509811267Location: FIC 
Genre: Horror
Series: ReMade #3  

"Scarrow's devastated landscape and the terrifying entity that has taken it over are vividly rendered . . . Adrenaline-laced post-apocalyptic fun" Kirkus

This has our country in it!!!!
It happened within a week. Survival was just the start of it. It has a plan . . .
Leon is stuck in England. Grace is on her way to New Zealand and Freya to the 'New United States' in Cuba. The virus has assimilated all of humanity except for these three communities and now it is prepared to talk with them.
How they each choose to respond to the virus, will ultimately decide their fate in Plague World, the apocalyptic finale to the Remade trilogy from bestselling author of the TimeRiders series, Alex Scarrow.
A superb doomsday thriller for children - this is Stephen King suitably toned down for younger readers - edge of your seat stuff, brilliantly written.  
Books Monthly