Archive for April, 2010

Word of the Day – lurch

lurch (noun)

Pronunciation: LERTCH

What does it mean?

: a sudden swaying or tipping movement; also : a staggering gait

How do you use it?: During the parade, the huge and menacing dragon balloon moved toward us with a lurch, and we quickly jumped back out of its way.

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Writing Tip of the Week – J.K. Rowling

This week’s writing tip comes from the creator of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. “The best way to learn about style, characterisation and plot is to read as much as you possibly can. You will probably find that you start to imitate your favourite authors, but this is a good learning process and your own style will come eventually.”

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Word of the Day – acrid

acrid (adjective)

Pronunciation: ACK-rid

What does it mean?

1 : biting or bitter in taste or odor

2 : bitterly irritating to the feelings

How do you use it?: “You will never escape my trap,” said the Baron, blowing his acrid cigarette smoke in my face.

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Word of the Day – response

response (verb)

Pronunciation: rih/SPONCE

What does it mean?

1 : an act or instance of replying : answer

2 : words said or sung by the people or choir in a religious service

3 : a reaction of a living thing to a stimulus

How do you use it?: “He considered fainting. He deemed it the only reasonable response to the situation in which he found himself, …” (Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux)

 

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Word of the Day – snoop

snoop (verb)

Pronunciation: SNOOP

What does it mean? : to look or search, especially in a sneaking or meddlesome manner.

How do you use it?:  Even though she knew her birthday present was hidden there, Josie resisted the urge to snoop in her parents’ bedroom closet.

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April Book Buzz

Want to know what great new books we’ve got in the library?  Every month we’ll tell you about some new and exciting books that we get so that you can catch up on the latest book in a series that you read or discover a new author.  You can click on any of the titles mentioned to see if we have copies in your library or to reserve them for when they come back in.

Cover imagePercy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide by Rick Riordan

This is the perfect book for all those Percy Jackson fans out there.  It looks like a secret journal and has heaps of interesting information inside.  There’s information on Percy Jackson himself, as well as facts about the Gods and Spirits, the beasts and monsters, and some of the settings from the books like the Labyrinth, the Underworld and the Storehouse of the Gods.  This book has everything you ever wanted to know about the world of Percy Jackson.

The Floods: Who wants to be a Billionaire? by Colin Thompson

That weird and wacky family, The Floods, are back again.  The world is in a recession and millions of people have lost millions of dollars. And just when things are about to get even worse, the Floods set up Summer School in New York and take control. Hooray, help is at hand – but as they say, charity begins at home. So millions of people will probably lose millions more dollars, but it will all work out fine in the end. Well, for the Floods anyway. Hey, come on. They”re witches and wizards, not some sort of charity.

Safe-cracking for Students by Terry Deary

This is the latest book in the Master Crook’s Crime Academy series by the author of the Horrible Histories books.  Wildpool’s filthy rich are delighted – with a new bank in town, at last their money will be safe from thieving hands. But they haven’t banked on the wit, skill and genius of the Crime Academy students, who are preparing for the greatest bank robbery of all time.  If you like books with a bit of history and a lot of laughs, this is for you.

The Boy Who Climbed Into the Moon by David Almond

Paul believes that the moon is not the moon, but is a great hole in the sky. It’s one of many strange ideas that he’s never told anyone (at school he was told that he had no ideas at all), until he meets Molly, his irrepressible neighbour, who begins to convince him that his theory might just change the world. Helped by a very long ladder, some highly irregular characters, two rather worried parents and a great deal of community spirit, Paul takes to the sky. But his astonishing discovery there can’t keep him away for long – what is waiting for him back at home is turning out to be better than he’d ever imagined.

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Word of the Day – snug

snug (adjective)

Pronunciation: SNUG

What does it mean?
1 : warm, secure, and comfortable
2 : fitting closely

How do you use it?: In Winter I like to wrap myself up in my snug mink blanket and read my book, while I listen to the rain on the roof.

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If you like Zac Power, you’ll love Battle Boy

Cover imageCode name: Battle Boy BB005

Real name: Napoleon Augustus Smythe

Duty: Operate as a Human Data-Collecting Device (HD-CD)

Directive: Spy on the past.

Battle Boy is a new series of books, written by Charlie Carter, about BB005 who gets sent back in time to spy on some of the greatest battles in history.  Equipped with some cool gadgets and top-secret information, Napoleon must go back in time and set the record straight.  If you like spy stories, history stories or adventure stories these books are for you.  They’re also great if you’ve read all of the Zac Power books and you’re looking for something else to read.

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Remember the fallen on ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is celebrated on 25 April every year in New Zealand and Australia to remember all the members of the armed forces who served in the two World Wars and other major conflicts, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars.  You can learn some interesting facts about ANZAC Day and some of the wars that our troops fought in by:

There are also lots of dawn parades and memorials around Christchurch and Canterbury that you could go along to to remember those that died fighting for their country.

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The Eyeball Collector

Cover imageThe Eyeball Collector is the latest gripping book from F. E. Higgins, author of The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician.  Hector is a boy who leads a good life with a father who is rich and powerful, but when his father is blackmailed, Hector seeks vengeance and leaves the city in pursuit of a fiendish villain with a glass eye.  Hector finds himself mixed-up in mysterious deeds more evil than he could have imagined, but every twist and turn brings him closer to his revenge.  It’s a fantastically creepy setting with lots of interesting characters and a plot that keeps you guessing.

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The magic of Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo has cast her spell on me once again with her magical new story, The Magician’s Elephant.   In her other books we’ve met Despereaux the little mouse with the big heart, Edward Tullane the china rabbit who learns what love is, and this time we meet Peter Augustus Duchene.

The story starts with Peter consulting a fortune-teller to find out what has happened to his sister who he was parted from many years ago.  The fortune-teller says to him that “You must follow the elephant. She will lead you there.”  Peter is confused but realises that his sister must still be alive.  It is on that same night in a theatre in the town that the magician conjures an enormous elephant, which crashes through the ceiling, crushing the legs of a noblewoman in the audience.  As the story progresses, the lives of each of the characters intersect and they all have important parts to play.  The Magician’s Elephant is a magical tale with lots of interesting characters, with an ending that will leave you smiling.

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Get lost in The Maze Runner

the-maze-runnerThere is really only one word needed to describe James Dashner’s The Maze Runner - Wow!  Imagine that you wake up in a strange place knowing nothing but your name.  Your memory has been wiped and you have no idea what happened to you before you woke up in the pitch black of an elevator that opens to reveal a walled-off area and a bunch of boys staring at you.  The leader of the group tells you that you are in the middle of a maze, in a place called The Glade where these boys all live, carving out an existence.  Nobody knows why the maze is there or why they are all trapped inside with no way out that they have discovered in the past two years.  As well as trying to solve the maze they must survive the attacks of sinister blob-type creatures called Grievers.  The story follows Thomas and the other ‘Gladers’ who strive against the odds to escape the maze alive.

The story is heart-stopping and the plot races along.  It’s one of those books that you just don’t want to end and I was excited to discover that The Maze Runner is the first book in a trilogy.  Now I just have to wait patiently for James Dashner to write the sequel, Scorch Trials that comes out later this year.  If you loved Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games you’re sure to love The Maze Runner.

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Is your teacher an alien?

Do your teachers speak in a really weird language when they think you’re not looking? Do they wear a brass wrist band that they use to communicate with someone in another galaxy? Do their eyes flash blue when you annoy them? If you answered yes to all of these questions it is very likely that your teachers are aliens from another planet and you should get as far away from them as possible.

In Mark Haddon’s new book, Boom!, Jim and Charlie do exactly the opposite when they discover something weird is going on. When Jim overhears a conversation between his teachers, he believes that they are trying to get him sent to a new school and so with the help of his best friend Charlie, they bug the staff room. However, what they actually hear is two of their teachers speaking in a strange language and so they set out to find some answers to these strange goings-on.

This story has everything – action, adventure, aliens, mysterious men in gray suits, cool alien technology, a strange language and lots of laughs.  It’s an out-of-this-world read!

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Word of the Day – betray

betray (verb)

Pronunciation: bih-TRAY

What does it mean?: 
1 : to give over to an enemy by treachery
2 : to be unfaithful to
3 : to reveal without meaning to
4 : to tell in violation of a trust

How do you use it?: “I didn’t tell him your secret!” she cried. “I would never betray you!”

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Word of the Day – abrupt

abrupt (adjective)

Pronunciation: uh-BRUPT

What does it mean?
1: sudden
2: rudely brief 
3: curt

How do you use it?: James ran home as fast as he could but came to an abrupt stop when he saw the huge black dog blocking the footpath.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Roald Dahl

This week’s writing tip comes from Roald Dahl, the man who brought you such wacky characters as Willy Wonka, The BFG, and The Twits.

“You must be a perfectionist – you must never be satisfied with what you have written until you have written it again and again and again, making it as good as you possibly can.”

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Word of the Day – ominous

Do you love words?  Do you like learning new words so that you can impress your friends and family?  Well you’ve come to the right place.  Here on the Christchurch Kids blog we’ll be giving you a new word every weekday so that you can learn some interesting words that you could use in your writing or just drop them into a conversation. 

Today’s word:

ominous (adjective)

Pronounced: AH-muh-nus

What does it mean?: being or showing a sign of evil or misfortune to come.

How do you use it?:  The end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is very ominous.

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Welcome

Welcome to the Christchurch Kids blog … we’re here to talk about books and other stuff, and we want to hear from you too.

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