Archive for February, 2011

Stay safe Christchurch

I hope everyone out there in Christchurch is staying safe after the huge earthquake.  If you are reading this and would like to share your experiences please leave a comment and let us know.

You can follow Civil Defence for information on what to do.

Further information is available from http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/ and www.getthru.govt.nz.

Akaroa,  Bishopdale and South libraries are now open, but please don’t return any items to any of our libraries yet.

Your issued items are not due until 1 May 2011.

Thanks everyone and stay safe.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The original Mr Cook?

I was having a discussion the other day about surnames and how most of them originated years or even centuries ago when times were vastly different to what they are now.

A quick search on GOOGLE revealed that old English surnames can be divided into several groups. For instance Small, Long, Large, Young, Fairchild and Armstrong would have been descriptive of the person’s physical appearance. Peterson and Stevenson literally mean ‘son of Peter’ and ‘son of Steven’. This also applies to Johnson and Jacobson.

There are some names that are descriptive of where the person was from eg Hill, Hampshire, Forrester and Woods. (I found out that my own surname Thorpe means ‘small hamlet or village’

And then there are names that referred to a person’s occupation. These include Taylor, Hunter, Smith, Fletcher, Cook, Baker, Fisher, Butler, Knight and Skinner.

Then I got to thinking that there are no newly-created surnames that reflect the jobs and modern occupations of the twenty-first century.

Why do you think that is?

It’s a shame, because we’ll probably never get to shake the hands of such people as Levi Postie, Sophie Hairdresser, Joshua Struggling-Actor, Amy Cleaner, Tyrone Geek or Tyler Astronaut.

What other awesome ‘modern’ surnames can you think up?

PS: Does anyone know what a ‘Fletcher’ is?

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Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari

Artichoke hearts is a book to make you cry.  With laughter as well as sadness.  It is Sita’s first book and it is brilliant.  Mira is entering her teens and is dealing with the usual growing up problems, boys, best mates and periods.  There is also a bit of bullying chucked in.  She is dealing with so many changes but on top of that her beloved nana Josie is dying.

Nana Josie is a great character.  She is strong, wise, funny and fiesty. Mira and her are really close although sometimes she is a little outspoken for the quiet Mira. She’s an artist with a wide group of friends who used to go on political demonstrations.  Josie has a love of nature which she has passed on to her granddaughter.

Mira’s family life is chaotic.  Mum and dad are always busy, little brother Krish is a pain and there is baby Laila to add to the mix.  There are bullies at school but she does have her best friend Millie.  So why has she started to keep secrets from her?  She’s discovering boys and is somehow drawn to Jide, a boy who has secrets of his own.

This is a beautiful story.  It feels very true to life and except for the fact that it is set in London it could be a family we know.  The pace and mood of the characters change so much through the book as they come to terms with more than the fact that Nana Josie is dying.  It is an emotional roller coaster ride but a pleasurable one as we get to know Mira better.

The book has just won Waterstones Books childrens fiction award which I think it highly deserves.  It’s going on my list of best of 2011. Find a comfortable spot and curl up with this wonderful book and get to know the Levenson family, especially Mira.

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The witch’s dog at the school of spells by Frank Rodgers

This is a story about a witch’s dog called Wilf. His owner, Weenie, loves to help other people. She gets a letter saying that she is the best witch in town and could she come and teach in the School of Spells! Weenie is very excited and Wilf is very proud because now they can help more people.

Wilf decides to go to the school to learn some magic spells too. But two of his class mates, Sly Cat and Tricky Toad, have a plan. Their plan is to change Wilf’s spells in his jotter … and disaster happens …! My favourite character was actually Sly Cat as he was a funny ‘evil’ cat and in the end realised what he did was wrong after he got into trouble. The rest of the characters are unfailingly positive and nice so Sly Cat made it a better story.

I would recommend this book to anyone 6+ and it is very easy and quick to read. I give this book 8 out of 10 because it was funny.

Eibhlin, aged 8

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Scare yourself silly with the Invisible Fiends

Did you have an invisible friend when you were younger?  If you did you probably can’t remember what they looked like now.  Kyle had an invisible friend when he was younger whose name was Mr Mumbles.  Mr Mumbles lived in the loft and would come and tap on Kyle’s bedroom window when he wanted to play.  Kyle had completely forgotten about him until, one night, Kyle hears the tapping on his window.  This time though, Mr Mumbles doesn’t want to play, he wants to kill Kyle and he’ll stop at nothing to do so.  With the help of a mysterious girl called Ameena, Kyle races to escape his invisible fiend.  Kyle realizes that the only way to defeat Mr Mumbles is to use the thing that created him – his imagination.

Mr Mumbles is the first in the series of Invisible Fiends books by Barry Hutchison.  The second book, Raggy Maggie is also out, with the third book due soon.  These books are great for anyone who likes creepy horror stories, especially fans of Skulduggery Pleasant.  They’re creepy, gruesome, suspenseful and action-packed.  Invisible Fiends is definitely my new favourite series!   Recommended for 9+ DON’T READ AFTER DARK! 10 out of 10

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Finnigan & the pirates by Sherryl Jordan

My mum, (who is the best librarian in the world – sorry Zac!) chose this book as a read aloud. I’m really glad she did.

This book is about Captain Wildbloode the Wicked and her nephew Finnigan. Captain Wildbloode is said to be “the most ferocious pirate in all the seven seas.” So much so that she wants Finnigan to carry on all the glory, fame and fortune that she has created.

But Finnigan has his heart set on a slightly different desire. He LOVES to dance and his dream is to attend ballet school, on land. But in order to get there he must work out a fiendishly clever plan to get his aunt on land, never to return to sea again. But that has its own problems when plans include sea monsters, storms, fire and cannibals!

My favourite character was Finnigan because his obvious joy when he dances and Captain Wildbloode’s obvious joy at mayhem, murder, pillaging and plundering is entertaining when side by side. I liked the cunning nature of Finnigan’s plans and the funny side of the ending.

I would recommend this for 8+ years because Eibhlin, (my sister and another blogger) thought it was exquisite and she is 8 years old. Definitely a great book … READ THIS BOOK!

Saoirse, 10

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The Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky.

Soren is an owlet, growing up in the Forest of Tyto, listening to stories about the Guardians of Ga’Hoole: a band of legendary owls, knights who rid the land of evil.  Then one day Soren is kidnapped, and taken to St. Aegolius Acadamy of Orphaned Owls.  There he meet Gylfie, an Elf Owl, who was also swept from the nest. It doesn’t take the friends long to realise that things aren’t right at St. Aegolius… evil is the air. Soon after witnessing a murder at the school, they decide to escape the prison-like place and attempt to fly for the very first time.  But will they make it?  Will they ever escape the villanous clutches of the owls at St. Aegolius?  You would have to read the book to find out.

My favourite character is Twilight, who, even though he is very boastful, is clever and strong.  I liked the idea of owls being warriors.  I think that this book is best for both boys and girls, and I give it a 8 out of 10.

By Tierney.

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