Archive for October, 2010

Best Books of 2010 – vote and win

What are your favourite books you’ve read this year?

We’re putting together a list of the best books of 2010 and we need your help.  We’ve picked the Top 5 Books for Older Readers and the Top 5 Books for Young Adults and we want you to vote for your favourite book in each group.

All you have to do is choose your favourite book and go to our Kids website (for Older Fiction) or Pulse (for Young Adult) to send your vote  (see the website for Terms and Conditions).

Two lucky voters will win a selection of the Top 5 books, so get voting!

This competition has now finished.

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What’s your favourite series?

Vote for your favourite series.

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Let Me Whisper You My Story by Moya Simons

This is a great new novel by Moya Simons.  Rachel is a young Jewish girl in Leipzig Germany at the time of the Second World War.  After being moved to a ghetto her family are taken away by the Nazis.  Before he leaves Rachel’s father tells her to hide and not to speak.

She is found and taken in by an Aryan family who remember her fathers kindness when he was their doctor.  This is dangerous and there is a lot of tension in the house hold.  Rachel remaining mute throughout doesn’t help.  This is a moving story of a family torn apart by war.  Rachel keeps her family close in her heart by remembering all the Sabbath meals shared with them.  The pace of the book is slow but you keep reading as Rachel’s story is so strong.  You are also hoping that she survives the war and finds her family alive.  This book would appeal to anyone who likes Holocaust stories and would be a good read for children 11+.

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Juno of Taris

Juno, one of the 500 people on the remote island of Taris wants answers, like why they must shave their heads every week, why they are not allowed to learn to read and why they have no contact with the outside world after it was demolished,but her questions bring danger.

Juno yearns to know the answers, and when she and her friends complain, they are withdrawn from.

The more she lies, complains and disagrees, the more her least favourite of all the people on Taris, Hilto, hates her and wants to kill her.

When her parents are allowed to have a baby, Juno helps them choose what embryo they want, she finds parents she likes, but her parents disagree, but when there is an earthquake that shakes their whole island, Juno does something that could get her in lots and lots of trouble or worse…….

I think this book is really good and it is full of twists that will blow your mind!

This book should be read by 11/12 year olds and up because there is minimum violence and a little bit of swearing (take no notice of it because it’s such a good book!)

This book deserves a 10 out of 10 because I cant find any thing wrong with it!

By Kezia, Age 11

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GONE by Michael Grant

What would you do if everyone fifteen or older was suddenly gone? No explosion, no green alien smoke, just … disappeared.

Sam Temple is a fourteen year old boy in school listening to his teacher boring the class. Then without any warning or sign, the teacher is gone. In no time, the class is told that all of the teachers are missing, including the principle. A riot breaks out, as some of the older kids take there being no adults to their advantage. But Sam, his friend Quinn, and a girl Astrid the Genius, go away to inspect the rest of the city. And they quickly find that every single grown up is missing.

For some kids, like Orc the school bully, this is great news. But for most children, life turns into Hell. Everyone looks to Sam for help. But he doesnt have much more of an idea what to do than them. With no help or contact from the outside world, the fate of Perdido Beach is plunged into uncertainty.

This is a really good book with lots of suspense and excitement. I rate it 10/10.

By Henry

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My favorite book this year is… Eragon

Eragon is my favorite book this year. This is because of all the action and killing and the other stuff that happens.

By Logan

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The most boring book in the world

The Project by Brian FalknerThis is not the most book in the world, it’s about the most boring book and when two boys find it and its worth 2 million dollars if found, all sorts of things could happen.

Luke, a new zealand kid who moved to america, and his spy crazy best friend tommy are about to be pushed to their limits when the find a book, the most boring book in the world in their opinion, and they discover a terrible secret hidden in it’s pages.

Will they be caught by the men who dispise their knowledge of the book and it’s secrets, or will they not be caught but the world would suffer for it.

Come into the world of  fantasy, drama and Leonardo Da Vinchi.

I think this book is sutible for 11 year olds and up and I would give it a rating of 10 out of 10

His life could change the world- His death could save it.

gsrh yllp xleow xszmtv gsv dzb ble gsrmp lu oruv, rg wrw gl nv.

If you think about it, you can work this out. (leave a comment if you know the answer.)

By Kezia, age 11

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What books to buy these summer holidays

Here are some of my favorite titles:


Maximum Ride:Fang

Dangerous Book for boys

Horrible Histories series.

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Brisingr (Briss-in-Grrrr)

Brisingr is all about Dragons and their riders. Eragon (Erh-a-gahn) Is the last ever Dragon Rider, and his Dragon is called Saphira (Suh-FEAR-ah). At the start Eragon and Saphira are traveling to a gravel mountain called Helgrind to rescue his cousin’s Girlfriend from a creature called the Ra-zac (rar-Zack).   🙂

By logan

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Give yourself a fright this Halloween

This Sunday it’s Halloween, a time when people enjoy the thrill of being scared by witches, ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night.  In America, kids go trick-or-treating, where they go around their neighbourhood and collected candy.  We don’t really celebrate Halloween in New Zealand, although some of you might still go trick-or-treating. 

We have lots of scary stories in the library to give you a fright this Halloween.  My favourites are:

To find out more about Halloween, check out our Halloween page, and to find more scary stories to read, try our If you like Ghost Stories booklist.

What’s your favourite scary story?

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Last post from Bill Nagelkerke

Thanks to Christchurch City Libraries for inviting me to be their ‘Star Author’ during October. It’s been great fun. I’m looking forward to reading the blog of next month’s Star Author.

Last week I visited the Centre for the Child in the Central Library and spoke to students from St Michael’s School as well as to some home-schooled students. I showed them a copy of the first story I had published in the School Journal, back in 1985. It was called The Magic Trick.

I’ve written several stories featuring magicians and magic tricks. I think it’s because stories aren’t that different from magic tricks, especially stories with endings that surprise.

Stories are magical in other ways, too. Stories can take you to amazing places and introduce you to some great characters, all through the transforming power of words and your own imagination.

So, keep on reading and writing, and enjoying the magic of stories.

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Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

I’ve spent my long weekend reading lots of books, but my favourite one has been Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.  It is a really magical story and I didn’t want it to end.

Noah Barleywater is 8 years old and has decided to run away from home.  Although he’s the 7th smartest person in his class he doesn’t feel like he has achieved anything and wants to go off on an adventure.  But the further he gets from home, the stranger the people and places become, until he finds himself standing in front of a toy shop in the middle of the forest.  The shop is filled with all sorts of wooden toys, but especially puppets, and is run by an old man who tells Noah his story.

This is a very special story and one that I will remember for a long time.  As soon as I’d finished I wanted to go back and read it from the start.  It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland because of the quirky characters and the strange things that they say and do.  I recommend Noah Barleywater Runs Away for anyone and everyone.  It’s a great book to read yourself or for someone to read to you.     10 out of 10

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What a terrible week!

First there was the dismal display by the Black Caps.  Then I’m on the top floor of Central Library when we had a bit of a shake.

I recover from that and then watch Canterburys game.  Held try-less by Waikato to loose 26-6.  I think we are missing our All Blacks.  The Phoneix continued their terrible away record losing 3-0 to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Never mind, there is still the Four Nations.  The Junior Kiwis lost to the Junior Kangaroos in the curtain raiser 16-24.   Thats ok  we should clean up the Poms.  Well we did, 24-10 but what huge price to pay.  Manu Vatuvei broke his arm in the 3rd minuate.  He hadn’t even had a run!  Junior Sa’u took over Manu’s wing and played well but I just love watching the Beast play.  Sam Perrett will replace Manu for the rest of the season.  He has also had a great season but doesn’t have the height or strength of the ‘The Beast’.  The Kangaroos play Papua New Guinea today at 5pm.  The curtain raiser is Tonga v Samoa.  That should be a game worth watching.  Keep an eye ouot for Ukuma Ta’ai.  He turned down the chance of a Kiwi jersey to turn out for his native Tonga.  What do you think of the Four Nations so far.  Will it be a Kangaroo Kiwi final.  I’m hoping so.

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Andy Griffiths and his Killer Koala come to town

Andy Griffiths and his Killer Koala

Andy Griffiths and his Killer Koala

The after lunch blues were as far away as Timbuktu on Monday afternoon if you were lucky enough to be at Riccarton High School.  It was an assembly that made you laugh, gave inside tips on how to be the most annoying brother, sister, class-mate or school kid in the world and gave clues on how to be a top children’s author.

Yup, Andy Griffiths was in town.

Reading excerpts from The Bad Book  and his new book (yet to be released) What Body Part is That set the hall in an uproar.  Live demos using Bananas in Pyjamas soft toys and your friendly Koala showed the audience how to make real-life events turn into gut wrenchingly funny and jaw busting laugh-out-loud stories.  The crowd loved it and was rapt for a whole hour with his wit, gross humour and a killer Koala.

Long live boys, toilets, pranks, bottoms and Killer Koalas!

By Kirsten Smith – Children and Young Adults Librarian, Upper Riccarton

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Bill Nagelkerke’s New Book

I have a new book coming out early next year. It’s called Hippo Ears and the Stargazer. This is what the cover looks like. Underneath is a description of the book, taken from the publisher’s website.

“People like stories that make them feel safe. Most of my stories do that. But sometimes I throw in a new tale that unsettles them. A tale about wandering stars for instance.”

Hipparchus and his sister Sappho live on the island of Samos in Ancient Greece. They spend their spare time listening to the ideas of their friend the Stargazer. They are enchanted by his stories about the stars, the sun and the Earth. But Hipparchus and Sappho discover that not everyone agrees with the Stargazer’s ideas, and stories can be dangerous. They must find their friend and warn him before it is too late . . .

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Writing Tip of the Week – Jackie French

This week’s writing tip comes from Jackie French, author of Diary of a Wombat, Hitler’s Daughter, A Rose for the ANZAC Boys, and Oracle.

“I think the most important thing about writing is having confidence – because if you think you can write well you write in your own voice, not copying ideas and expressions and characters from other people.”


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Bill Nagelkerke’s Old Bones

Bill Nagelkerke’s book, Old Bones, is a ghost story set in the suburb of Dallington in Christchurch.  Two students from Point England School in Auckland, Ala and Selena, made a podcast about Old Bones that you can watch on their Korero Pt. England blog.

The Korero Pt. England blog is a great place that you can visit and learn about all sorts of different books you could read.  Some of the latest podcasts are about The Killer Cat Strikes Back (by Brooke and Kayla), The Moo-my’s Curse (by Erene and Matthew) and Just Annoying (by Kobe and Unaloto).  You can even tell them what you thought of the books they read by posting a comment.

Fantastic blog Point England School!  Keep the podcasts coming.

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Thanks for your comments – the winners are…

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the blog recently.  It’s been great to see some new kids telling us what you think about books, movies, sports and lots more.

Congratulations to the following people who each win a fantastic book for adding their comments:

  • Alison
  • Natasha
  • Brendon
  • Holly
  • Kelsey
  • Keira
  • Gerorgia
  • Danika

Anyone can add their comments to the blog so join in any time.  Check out our competitions for more chances to win books and other prizes.

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Little Darlings

little darlings is such a good book! stayed up to 10.30 reading it when i went to bed at 8! i not allowed to read at night but i do with my phone or my psp light .its about two girls and this famous rock person.

i dont know what to say about it you have to read it!

its by Jacqueline Wilson

 By Neve

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Gecko Press

Gecko Press is a small publisher based in Wellington. It has published books by well-known New Zealand writers such as Margaret Mahy and Joy Cowley but what it mainly does is publish books from other countries where English is not the first language. These books have first of all to be translated into English.

I’ve translated four Dutch language books into English for Gecko Press, including this latest one called Eep! written by Joke van Leeuwen. It’s about a mysterious creature who might either be a girl or a bird . . . The book has been made into a film as well.

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