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Showing posts from 2015

What is Mrs Featonby reading these holidays?

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Happy holidays everyone! I thought I would try to post a picture of all the books I read these school holidays. I will also say if they are from the school library, town library, or my own bookshelf. From the school library FIC SUG. A good light read- girl meets boys and voila! From the school library FIC TRE. Novel about family, a mystery when one of the twins dies, and living on a secluded island. Not a young adult, so good for more mature readers. From the school library FIC VAN A great little dystopian novel- every one is dying from a terrible disease, but Joy appears to be immune! This one is from the town library. Basically there is a virus so the fancy pants people by a condo/apartment in a silo underground to wait it out. People get killed, relationships are strained... what's going on?! This one is also from the town library. A nice little piece of fiction about Kevin who is socially awkward and attends trivia quiz ni

Signing out for the year

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Well that was 2015 and for six weeks this blog will remain silent as I sit on the beach and read books, enjoy family and soak up some sun. It has been a grand year with a record number of books issued out from our school, with a 41% increase in fiction. Who said paper books are obsolete.. not here they arent! Our top reads in the school for this year The Maze Runner Looking for Alaska Divergent Gone All the bright places Slated Divine Madness Class A The recruit The Secret Crusade Our top reader issued 197 books!  This blog has been hit now 92000 times, not bad for a little New Zealand School. Have a great holidays, be back in February with reviews on my summer reads! Miss Featonby may post in the holidays- she is good like that! Here is my favourites for 2015!

Jungle Book

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  Oh this is going to be so good.. Jungle Book that is not cartooned but the real deal. Perhaps over the holidays I actually need to read the original story by Rudyard Kipling, never done that and a classic is always good to chuck in the mix.

A Snow Garden

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By: Rachel Joyce Location: FIC JOY Genre: Short Stories of Christmas "Joyce has an unerring ability to convey profound emotions" GUARDIAN “We are at the centre of our own stories. And sometimes it is hard to believe that we are not at the centre of other people’s.”  This will be my first holiday read, because of Harold Fry and his pilgrimage and I loved Miss Hennessys garden. This book will be a great starter for the holidays, 7 short stores all based around Christmas, I can lay back before Christmas and warm my reading taste buds up with a short read that makes my mind meander into Christmas cheer with some depth and meaning! Ananada from Goodreads.com says  this about this collection: ‘A Snow Garden and Short Stories’ is definitely a festive must read. It’s so unlike any other Christmas books I’ve ever read. There are seven stories included and each and one of them is so special and magical and nothing like the festive stories I’ve read so far. Unlike most Ch

Dan Carter: My Story

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By: Dan and Duncan Grieve Location: NF 796.333CAR Genre: The Best First Five- ever! The next few days I am going to blog my summer reading list. First of the rank is Dan Carters story. Dan and I have a few things in common- how can that be you ask- I am a female aging( Na kidding about that bit...) librarian from Cambridge. What could possibly have in common- 5 things! First he is a Cantabrian who grew up on a farm like I did. There are so many cultural attachments to being a farmers kid, I bet he went out in the snow and rescued lambs in September! Second- he knows about hockey Third- He thinks Red and Black is a stunning colour combination Fourth- he is loyal to his province, I so respect that!  and Fifth- he celebrated like a maniac when we defended the Rugby World Cup. I cant wait to read this book and learn more about  this humble , modest and understated man  who is not only a legendary rugby player but a darn good man. This book is a personal account of a New Zealan

Assassin's Creed - Underworld

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By: Oliver Bowden Location: FIC OLI Genre:  Fantasy Historic with intrigue, twisted plots that transfer into the Syndicate game!  Series: Assassin's Creed #8 A disgraced Assassin. A deep-cover agent. A quest for redemption.   This week in the library we have had two days for the staff only. They come and eat amazing food, lounge on the beanbags, drink good coffee and select books to read for summer. Our long suffering students have to watch from the outside desperate to get there hands on the mellow-puffs and strawberries! What did the staff go for and demand! Assassin's Creed books- and when they saw this new one, we nearly had an assassination in the library!!! In fact I cant remember who dibs it first, let me know if you read this! So what is it all about..  1862, and with London in the grip of the Industrial Revolution, the world's first underground railway is under construction. When a body is discovered at the dig, it sparks the beginning of the latest dea

Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither

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By: Sara Baume Location: FIC BAU Genre: Road trip and pilgrimage with a man and his dog! “Life never misses an opportunity to upscuttle us, I think. Life likes to tell us it told us so.” I am excited by this book, a journey about a man and his dog, both broken, both needing redemption and hope.  Dogs have a power, the power to draw out of a man or woman depth of being, whether it be love or anger, joy or sorrow. Our dog Rex did this for most of our family members and this story eloquently written in stunning prose retells another version of a man and his dog set  in the dales of Ireland. A moving tale of a misfit man who adopts a misfit dog, and how despite what society thinks, for them two wrongs make a right. Narrated by our unnamed misfit man, we piece together the past as we roll through the seasons of the present. The man has always been an outcast, with developmental disabilities, raised by his father after his mother died when he was baby. When he cries, his father aban

The 5th Wave

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Yep another great book is being morphed into a movie. It better be good. Its coming very soon in early 2016.  As always read the books first! Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. Director:   J Blakeson Writers:   Susannah Grant  (screenplay),  Akiva Goldsman (screenplay),  2 more credits  » Stars:   ChloĆ« Grace Moretz ,  Nick Robinson , Liev Schreibe

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

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By: Patrick Ness Location: FIC NES Genre: Urban fantasy, paranormal, LGBT,  satirical contemporary- everything Patrick Ness I suppose "They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it." There's a lot of fiction out there these days about extraordinary situations that threaten the world—usually it's an attack by aliens, monsters, or vampires, or otherwise the country is in danger because of war, dystopia, or political manipulation. It usually falls to one person, or a group of people, to save the world and solve the problems facing it. Patrick Ness' terrific  The Rest of Us Just Live Here  turns that concept on its head according to Larry from goodreads.com "The Rest of Us Just Live Here" is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable. What if you aren t the Chosen One? The one who s supposed to fig

Illuminae

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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

A Monsters Call- The Movie

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  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

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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

Dumplin'

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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

Legion- Skin Deep

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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 L egion 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 character

Extraordinary Means

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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 -

Random

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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 brai n."   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 a

All the Light We Cannot See

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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.  Darkened. Paris. 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 a bout 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,

I'm Back!

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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- banan

The Complete Roman Legions

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By: Nigel Pollard and Joanne Berry Location: 937 POL Genre: History,  Roman Empire takes over the world (a long time ago, don't worry) The legions of Rome were apparently among the most awesome fighting forces in history. This book made me realise that. I became very, very impressed with the legions and the history behind all 45 legions ranging from 31 BC to the third century AD. This book covers all 45 legions and we learn about their own individual wins and losses as they fought for the empire and enlarged its borders.  The book is divided into three sections and has lovely pictures and diagrams to help explain what was going on and when. Pollard and Berry have compiled a great book sharing a lot of factual information , but told in an interesting day. 

Paperweight

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By: Meg Haston Location: FIC HAS Genre: Mental health, YA Another example of a book with a beautiful cover! Stevie is 17 years old and she is trapped. She is trapped in her body and in a treatment center for eating disorders situated in a desert. It isn't pleasant in the treatment centre. There are so many rules and regulations and Stevie is watched all the time - when she eats, when she goes to the bathroom, whenever she goes anywhere. Obviously we, the readers, know that she needs to be watched and helped, but Stevie certainly doesn't see it that way. Stevie isn't planning on staying the 60 days that her dad signed her up for. She plans to escape in 27 days on the anniversary of her brother's death. This book is about tough topics. It's a tale about a girl with an eating disorder and depression suffering grief over the death of her brother. It was an emotional book about relationships and the inside of a teenage girl's mind.

See You At Harry's

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By: Jo Knowles Location: FIC KNO Genre: GLBT, Coming of Age, Young Adult Fern is 12 years old and she feels as though no-one see her; she is invisible. Her family all have better things to do -  her mum is obsessed with meditating, and also helps Fern's dad run the family restaurant, her brother (Holden) and sister (Sarah) are getting on with their lives. Oh, and there is also 'surprise' baby Charlie who is only three. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, "All will be well," is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.   Review inspired by Goodreads, where this book is currently 4.1/5! 

Mosquitoland- Second Review

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By: David Arnold Location: FIC ARN Genre: Road trip, Young Adult, Coming of Age Sorry for my absence. Mr three-year old Fergus broke his leg last Tuesday and things have been crazy! I love the muted colours on the cover of this book. Mrs Bichan always tells me off, but I do judge a book by its cover (!). This is a road trip novel about Mim Malone finding herself as she travels across America. Her family collapses and changes and she is forced to go and live with her dad and new step-mom. Once she arrives she learns her mom is sick... back in Cleveland. Mim hops on a bus and goes. Along the way she meets some very crazy and quirky people. Best of all though, is that we get to learn more about Mim as she confronts her own demons, figure out what love really is, and actually what it means to be a sane person. I love these type of road trip novels where we learn so much about the protagonist along the way. Currently this book is 3.98 on Goodreads. Oops, turns out Mrs Bich

Laughing All The Way To The Mosque

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By: Zarqa Nawaz Location: 920 NAW Genre: Memoir, humour, religion I have been reading a lot of non-fiction recently as I found myself always heading to the left when I entered our school library. What would I find on the shelves to the right? I have already posted some other non-fiction reviews such as 'Human Universe' ( http://camhigh.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/human-universe.html ) and 'Guinness World Records 2016' ( http://camhigh.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/guinness-world-records-2016.html ). This time I chose a book about being a practicing Muslim in a Westen society and the trials and tribulations that come along with that. This book is written by Zarqa Nawaz and details her experiences in living her religion (and trying to explain it) in a Western World. She shares all of these moments with wonderful humour, and I learnt a lot about both groups of people!

Black Eyed Susans

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By: Julia Heaberlin Location: FIC HEA Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime I really enjoyed this novel. This is about Tessa. When Tessa was 17 she was named 'Black-Eyed Susan' as she became infamous for being the surviving victim of a vicious serial killer attack. She helped to put a famous criminal in jail. Or did she? Many years later why are black-eyed susans planted outside her bedroom window and carefully tended for? They seem to be a creepy message from the killer. But shouldn't they be safely locked away for good? What happens next is Tessa agrees to help with the re-opened investigation. She is haunted with bits and pieces of memories from the night. Tess a becomes increasingly worried for the safety of her teenage daughter. It becomes a race - can she figure out who the killer really is before they get to her?