Archive for July, 2011

Announcing the winner: Make a monster competition

Takeshita_Demons_coverHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

July is almost over, so it’s time to announce the winner of our Make a Monster competition! We had some incredibly creative and spooky and funny entries, so THANK YOU!

Our winners will recieve…

…a copy of Takeshita Demons, the first book in my series of spooky adventures featuring Japanese demons.

What is Takeshita Demons about?

Miku Takeshita knows she’s in trouble when her relief teacher turns out to be a nukekubi cut-throat demon – a bloodthirsty creature who can turn into a flying head and whose favourite snack is children.

That night, in a raging snowstorm, Miku’s little brother Kazu is kidnapped by the demons, and then it’s up to Miku and her friend Cait to get him back.

The friends must break into their snow-locked school, confront the dragon-like Woman of the Wet, and outwit the faceless Noppera-bo. At last, they come face to face with the Nukekubi itself – but will they be in time to save Kazu?

And so who won????

Well, the competition was a really close one. Everyone’s entry was creative and funny and many were incredibly gross as well (thanks!). You all produced demons to be proud of: what crazy, wonderful creatures! I hope you can use your creations in your own spooky stories and I look forward to reading your stories one day…perhaps on this blog?

But, in the end, we had to choose just one winner (well, in fact we could choose two winners)…

…and strangely, both of our winners are called Sophie!

So congratulations to Sophie (and the HobbleGobble demon), and to Sophie Yeoman (and the Oglesmock demon). Your demons were terrifically funny and scary at the same time: we loved them! Zac from the blog will get in touch with you about your prize very soon.

So that’s it from me and the month of July. WELL DONE to everyone who entered the make-a-monster competition… Your demons ROCKED and you do too!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt

Mr. Green desperately needs to find a new nanny for his children. In the four weeks  since their last nanny left, he has found himself actually having to talk to them, provide  them with meals and pay attention to them himself!! And all this has to stop.

Nanny  Piggins is a most unusual nanny. She is a pig. … Not just any ordinary pig though, Nanny  Piggins has run away from the circus, where she was the circus’ famous flying pig! Mr  Green’s three children Derrick, Samantha and Michael think they are incredibly lucky to have her.

Join Nanny Piggins on a series of wonderful adventures, read them all! There are 3 or 4 books in the series so far. (Is that right Zac?)

My favourite chapter was Nanny Piggins and the ‘sherbet lemon that saved the day’, because it seemed that Nanny Piggins had no idea whatsoever that the man who had got in the car was the one of the town’s most wanted criminals.

This book was recommended to me by my best friend Grace and also by my sister Eibhlin, so I would recommend this to ages 7+ because Eibhlin read it when she was 7.

I rate The Adventures of Nanny Piggins 10/10 because it was very funny; there is a one page disclaimer at the front of Nanny Piggins warning that Nanny Piggins’ diet (which consists of chocolate, cake, lollies, icecream and more) is not one to be followed unless you are a pig.

🙂 🙂

Saoirse,11

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The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker

This book is about Emma (Emeralda) and she is a princess. But this princess is not ordinary – she doesn’t like the boring princes her mother likes, she is very clumsy and she has a laugh like a donkey braying! Emma finds her mother annoying and thinks she doesn’t understand her. Emma has an Aunt Grisena who is a witch who does magic and she loves her very much.

Emma loves her castle, in particular the swamp where she goes to get away from her mother. When we first meet Emma she is on her way to the swamp to get away from her mother AND the yucky Prince Jorje.  When she arrives she meets [you guessed it!] … a frog! Is the frog really a prince in disguise? Will a kiss solve this spell? This is a very unexpected story so fasten your seatbelt!!!

I give this book a 10 out of  10 and this is a wonderful book. It is for reading age 10 and up but I had it read to me so I was fine.

READ IT!!!

Eibhlin, age 8

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret movie trailer

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is a very special book that is told through both words and pictures.  It’s just been made into a movie, called Hugo, that looks fantastic and it will be coming out in New Zealand later this year.  While you wait for the movie you can borrow The Invention of Hugo Cabret from your library.

What did Saoirse think of the book? Find out in her review here on the blog.

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New Zealand’s ‘devils of the night’ – the giant weta

cristy burne and headsHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

July is nearly over, so don’t forget to enter our Make a Monster competition and win a copy of Takeshita Demons! We’ve had some awesome entries so far!

As some of you already know, I love writing about monsters and crazy, spooky things.

Well, some of the craziest, spookiest things are not imagined in books or stories. They’re real!

A great example — and a spooky creature I  love — is New Zealand’s giant weta.

What a weta!

Giant weta have been around for about 190 million years, and they look like it too. The giant weta on Little Barrier Island, off the coast of New Zealand, are known as ‘devils of the night’.

Their Maori name, ‘Wetapunga’, translates to ‘god of ugly things’.

Here are some cool facts about weta:

– Giant weta are orthopteran insects of the family Anostostomatidae. They look like wingless, leggy grasshoppers, and their bodies alone can reach around 8cm in length.

– They can weigh more than 70 grams, or about three times the weight of a house mouse.

– Many giant weta are not really so giant, and smaller species such as the Nelson Alpine Weta tip the scales at a not-very-scary average of 7 grams.

– Wetas are more likely to dine on treetop leaves than small children. They’re too heavy to jump, have no wings, and are slow to get around, making vegetarian cuisine the more affordable menu option.

– In a fight, wetas are sadly ill equipped, with only their spiky back legs and devastating bad looks for defence. Some will even roll over and play dead in an attempt to trick would-be predators.

– New Zealand’s new predators — the rats, cats, stoats and hedgehogs — often find that giant wetas make a decent-sized snack. This means giant weta populations are dwindling, and where Wetapunga were once common in the north of the North Island, they are now found only on Little Barrier Island, off the coast of Auckland.

– One weta species, the Mahoenui, returned from mainland extinction when it was discovered in 1962 hiding out in some gorse bushes in the North Island; the spikes of the introduced gorse had kept hungry hunters at bay. This weta weed patch has since been declared a protected area, and more than 200 endangered weta have been relocated to Mahurangi Island, in the hope of baby wetas on the way.



Aren’t weta awesome?

I find when I am having trouble thinking of something to write about, I can find inspiration in real life and amazing science. There are always strange things happening in the real world.

Where do you get your writing inspiration?

Anyone ever written a story about a giant weta?

If you want extra weta inspiration, you can get more weta-riffic facts from NZ’s Department of Conservation.

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Who is the best movie villain?

Winter is the best time of year to sit inside and watch movies.  We have heaps of different types of movie in the library for you to borrow, from fantasy to adventure, and science fiction to western.  Every movie or TV show that you watch has a villain – they could be a witch, a pirate, an evil step-mother or a sinister uncle who is trying to steal his niece and nephew’s inheritance.

Here are my top 5 movie villains:

  1. The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  2. The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  3. The Fratelli family from The Goonies
  4. Darth Vader from Star Wars
  5. Magneto from X-Men

Who are your favourite movie villains?

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The Phoenix Files: Contact by Chris Morphew

Contact jumps straight back into the story of Jordan, Luke and Peter, three of the inhabitants (or prisoners) of the town of Phoenix.  It starts off right where the first book, Arrival ended with Luke, Peter and Jordan hearing the ring of a phone and running off to find out who the phone belongs to.  You learn in the first book that the phones and internet don’t work in Phoenix so it’s strange to hear a phone ringing.  This mysterious phone sets off a string of events that Luke, Peter and Jordan get caught up in.  The people who are in charge of Phoenix discover that the three of them are snooping around, so their principal gives them tasks to keep them busy.  This doesn’t stop them investigating the plans of the Shackleton Cooperative to bring about the end of the world, and as they uncover more secrets they find themselves fighting to save themselves and the ones they love.

Contact is fast-paced and so suspenseful that I found I was racing to finish the book.  Luke, Peter and Jordan get themselves into some really tight situations in this book and you wonder if they are going to get out of them alive.  The part when they are in Ketterley’s office really had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that they didn’t get caught.  One of the things I liked best about Contact is that Chris Morphew told the story from a different character’s perspective.  We see things from Peter’s point of view, which is quite different from Luke’s in the first book.  Hopefully the third book, Mutation will be told from Jordan’s perspective.  I’m going to get started on Mutation straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Recommended for 12+.   10 out of 10

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Not Bad for a Bad Lad by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book is about a boy who is always getting into trouble.  Everyone is always telling him he’s a bad lad.  He gets caught playing on bomb sites, banging rubbish bin lids and stealing tomatoes and even a car.  He gets arrested and sentenced to a year in Borstal, which was a prison for young offenders where they could learn a trade like carpentry, painting or bricklaying.  The judge sends him there to think things over and learn his lesson.  The first few months are tough and the boys are worked hard, ‘laying bricks for hours on end in all weathers, making bread in the kitchens, weeding in the vegetable garden.’  Every morning the boys have to go on a two-mile run and the bad lad likes running past the stables.  One morning, as he goes past the stables the old man who looks after the horses calls him over and offers him an amazing opportunity to help out in the stables. This opportunity helps him to turn his life around and make his family proud of him.

Not Bad for a Bad Lad is another amazing story from Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman, the author and illustrator of War Horse, Kaspar: Prince of Cats and Billy the KidMichael Morpurgo often writes stories about an older person telling a child about their interesting life, and this is one of those stories.  The story is inspirational and Michael Foreman’s illustrations add perfectly to the story.  Don’t get put off by the picture of the horse on the front cover because this isn’t just a story about a horse.  This is a must-read for all Michael Morpurgo fans, but a great book to delve into if you haven’t read any of his books yet.  

Recommended for 9+    10 out of 10

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Sophie and the Shadow Woods by Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly

Meet Sophie, the one girl who will save the world.  Sophie is different from the other girls in her class at school who like to play games about fairies or giggle about girls.  Her favourite things are action films, taekwondo, sports, adventures, bikes, and skateboards, and when she grows up she wants to be a stuntwoman.

Sophie has just turned 10 and her taekwondo skills are going to come in very handy, because she has become the new Guardian of a magic gateway in the mysterious Shadow Woods.  Her mission is to stop the mischievous creatures that live there, including trolls, goblins, and gnomes entering our world.  The only problem is that Sophie has lost the key to the Shadow Realm and if the goblins get their hands on one of the shadow gems, Sophie’s world will be in danger.  Will Sophie be able to find the gem first and defeat the goblins?  Find out in the first book of the series, The Goblin King.

Sophie and the Shadow Woods is a cool new series by Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly.  Sophie is an adventurous girl who kicks butt and she isn’t afraid to stand up to a goblin.  If you’re a girl who would rather read a Beast Quest book than a Rainbow Magic Fairies book, then this series is perfect for you.  We have the first two books, The Goblin King and The Swamp Boggles, in the library now and there are more to come soon.     Recommended for 7+       8 out of 10

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Monster Matsuri cover art….revealed!! What do you think?

Hi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

This week has been an exciting one in the world of Takeshita Demons

Why? Because the cover for Book 3, Takeshita Demons – Monster Matsuri, has been revealed!!! Woo hoo! What do you think?

Takeshita Demons: Monster Matsuri coverMore demon stuff to do…

Read the first page of Monster Matsuri at my blog

– Read an interview about writing the Takeshita Demons books here on the My Favourite Books blog

– Try this quick quiz: IS YOUR PERSIMMON HAUNTED?

Check out some demon-themed activities for the holidays or the classroom (make a papier mache Daruma; try a hiragana word search; test your memory with a demonic game, and MORE!)

– And a Japanese language question: Does anyone know what “matsuri” means in Japanese? What do you think a monster matsuri might be?

– Enter the Make a Monster competition and win a copy of Takeshita Demons! We’ve had some awesome entries so far!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle comes to an end

First there was Eragon, then Eldest, Brisingr, and now the series comes to an end with Inheritance.  It’s released on 9 November 2011 and you can reserve your copy at the library now.  While you wait you could read the first three books in the series.

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The BEST school holiday ideas

Summer readingYay – holidays! The only problem with the holidays is figuring out what to do, so we’re here to help fight boredom with the BIGGEST list of ideas.  You can help us add to the list as well by telling us what you’re doing.

So…

  1. Go to the library.  You can get books to read when you’re wrapped up warm inside, DVDs to watch on a rainy day, audiobooks to listen to in the car, plus heaps more.  Find out about the libraries that are open.
  2. Enter our Make-a-monster, invent-a-demon Star Author Competition here on the blog.
  3. Walk around the Botanic Gardens and have fun in amongst the trees.  There are lots of great places to hide or you could have a leaf fight.
  4. Go to your local park and play on the playground or have a game with your friends.  Take a ball or a frisbee and use up all your energy.
  5. Go swimming at one of the Christchurch City Council pools –  Pioneer Leisure Centre and Jellie Park are still open.
  6. Go and see some of the cool movies on these holidays.  There’s the last Harry Potter movie, Deathly Hallows Part 2, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, or Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  7. Play some board games or card games with your friends and family.  You can even make your own and challenge your friends.
  8. Make your own book trailer for your favourite book.  All you need is PowerPoint, Movie Maker and a bit of creativity.  Here are some instructions to get you started.
  9. Write a story or a poem and send it through to us and we could publish it on the blog.
  10. Bake something yummy like a cake or some biscuits.  Check out our books on baking.
  11. Learn a new skill like  magic tricks, juggling, skateboarding or knitting.
  12. Go to a KidsFest activity.  There are heaps on around the city and we have some great FREE events in the library, including Pandemonium at the Library and The Adventures of Tintin story readings.

If you have any other cool ideas, especially ones that are free, add a comment and let us know.

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Check out the new Central South City Library

The Children's area at the new Central South City Library

If you need something to do this weekend or during the holidays, why not come down and check out the new Central South City Library.  While the Central Library in Gloucester Street is still closed we’ve set up a new mini library in South City Mall, right outside New World supermarket and across from Paperplus.  There is a really cool Children’s area down in the back corner with palm trees and monkeys climbing up the wall, and there are heaps of nice, new, shiny books and DVDs for you to take home.  The Young Adult’s area is also chock-full of books and there are lots of graphic novels to choose from.   I went and checked it out last weekend and came away with a pile of books to read, including a great new graphic novel called Ghostopolis.

Next time your parents need to go and do the grocery shopping, tell them to come to South City so you can come to the Central South City Library.  There are plenty of books and DVDs for them to choose from too.  The hours are:

  • Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm,
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am – 5:00pm.

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Star Guest: Kelly Gardiner talks about Act of Faith

Hi and thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.

I thought I’d tell you a bit about my new book, Act of Faith.

It’s an adventure story set in Europe in the 17th century, when everyone seemed to be at war with one another, lots of books banned, and people were put on trial and even killed for their ideas.

It’s the story of a girl, Isabella Hawkins, who lives in England as the Civil War breaks out – she and her father are forced to flee the country and she ends up in Europe working in a printing house run by Master de Aquila and his apprentice Willem.  In those days, girls often weren’t educated, and printing was a relatively new technology that people used to spread ideas and question authority.

Act of Faith is about Master de Aquila’s campaign to change the world, one book at a time, and how that gets him into terrible trouble – and what Isabella and Willem do to try to save him.

It’s a bit different from my other novels, which were about pirates (the Swashbuckler trilogy, which you can also borrow from your wonderful library).  But they have a lot in common too, because they are adventure tales about freedom, and friendship, and they are set in very turbulent times in history.

The other thing they have in common is that they all take a long time to write, because I have to do an awful lot of research before I even start to write.  I have to know everything about people’s lives, in different countries, hundreds of years ago. I need to know, for example, what they ate, what clothes and shoes they wore, what kinds of houses they lived in. Did they ride horses or travel in carriages or boats? What did they learn at school? What did they read, sing, smell like? What would they see around them – which trees and flowers, what kinds of people or shops?

It’s like the world’s biggest school project. So I spend many months looking things up in books and on the web, visiting museums and libraries, looking at maps and paintings, and sometimes even doing the things that my characters do.  When I wrote the Swashbuckler books, for example, I went sailing on lots of ships, learned how to tie sailors’ knots, and visited Malta so I could walk in the footsteps of all my fictional characters.

Sometimes I think it would be much easier if I could just make everything up.

But doing all the research is fun in its own way, even if much of what I learn doesn’t even end up in a book. I just have to know what’s right, so that I don’t write anything wrong – if you know what I mean.

So I hope you enjoy reading about Isabella and her adventures in Act of Faith, or about my pirate crews in the Swashbuckler books.

In fact, I hope you enjoy reading almost anything.

My websites:

www.kellygardiner.com

www.swashbuckler.co.nz (all about pirates)

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Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

I went to the very cool new Central South City Library last weekend and amongst the shiny new books that I borrowed was a fantastic new graphic novel called Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel.  It’s about a boy called Garth Hale who gets accidentally zapped into the ghost world by Frank Gallows, an agent for the Supernatural Immigration Task Force.  Frank has messed up big time and gets fired from his job, but he promises Garth’s mum that he’ll find him in the ghost world and bring him home.  Meanwhile, in the ghost world Garth makes friends with Skinny, a skeleton horse, and a ghost boy who just happens to be his grandpa.   They meet all of the groups that inhabit Ghostopolis, including the Mummies, the Wisps, the Specters, the Zombies, the Boogeymen and the Bone People.  Soon they’re on the run from Vaugner the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who wants to use Garth’s newly discovered abilities to increase his control of the spirit world.  Will Garth find a way home and will Frank Gallows keep his promise?  Find out in Ghostopolis.

Ghostopolis is a spooky, adventure-filled story with plenty of laughs thrown in.  I really liked Doug TenNapel’s style of illustration because it’s colourful and the panels are not overcrowded with detail.  I particularly like how Doug has presented his characters (Frank Gallows looks worried alot of the time, Vaugner just looks plain evil with his blank eyes and spiky hair, and Garth just looks like an ordinary kid).  If you like graphic novels like Tintin, Asterix or The Rainbow Orchid and want something a little different, you’ll love Ghostopolis.

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BEWARE: 8 spooky Japanese proverbs – Cristy Burne

A great place to find superstition is in proverbs. Here are a few you may recognise:

Step on a crack, marry a rat
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Cross my heart and hope to die
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

Let’s check out some awesome Japanese proverbs.
(and don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!)

1) If you give a boy’s name to a girl, or a girl’s name to a boy, they will grow up healthy and strong
You may wonder why your parents gave you such a weird name. Well, maybe this is the reason? Switching boys’ and girls’ names is a way to confuse (and hopefully avoid) the demons who bring disease and bad luck.

Lined sole fish

Do you want to look like this?

2) If you scowl at your parents, you will turn into a sole.
You know the old saying “If you make a face, the wind will change and you’ll be stuck that way”? Well, this is the Japanese equivalent. Basically, it’s a warning to be nice to your mum and dad. Because if you don’t, you’ll turn into a flat fish with both eyes on one side of your face. (Don’t worry: you will still taste good served with chips!)

3) When a weasel cuts across your path, he will bewitch you if you don’t throw a stone at him.
In Japanese culture, animals like weasels, foxes and badgers are known to have magical powers over humans, including the ability to shape-change, and they love to trick you out of your money. Throwing a stone is a quick, easy way to make sure you stay safe.

4) If you put spit in your eyebrows, the fox will not bewitch you.
Here’s another simple way to stay safe from demon foxes: simply spit into your own eyebrows and mix well. (This belief comes from the idea that saliva is powerful and can help your eyes to see the truth behind magical  spells)

5) If you kill a cat, it will haunt you and your family for seven generations.
Yikes! Better be nice to your cat! In Japan, cats who grow very fat and very old are also thought to turn into giant, man-eating cat demons. So your only hope for survival is to own a dog instead. 🙂

6) If your sandal strap breaks, evil is heading your way
This is a great reason to check your shoes and shoelaces before you head out on a dangerous mission. (If you’ve read The Filth Licker, you now know the secret double meaning behind Cait’s broken shoelace…)

7) If you pick up a comb, you will pick up suffering.
This superstition comes about because the Japanese word for comb is “kushi”, which is made up of two sounds: “ku” (the Japanese word for “suffering”), and “shi” (the Japanese word for “death”). So, instead of bending straight down to pick up your dropped comb, it’s better to stand on it first. Standing on the dropped comb drives out any evil spirits that are in it, making it safe to pick up. Phew!

8 ) A person who uses red things will only suffer a light case of smallpox

Takeshita Demons cover

Carry this lovely RED book at all times, if you want to stay safe!

This proverb was around before the smallpox disease was eradicated thanks to vaccination, but it shows clearly that red was a colour of protection in Japan. Why red? It’s the colour of flushed, healthy cheeks. It’s the colour of warmth and cheerfulness. And it’s also the colour that many sick people wore in old Japan, to protect themselves from disease. (Red is also the colour of the first Takeshita Demons book…no coincidence there! Miku needs all the help she can get!)

What do you think?
Do you know any spooky or strange proverbs or superstitions?
Would you walk under a ladder?
Go out on Friday 13?

What would you do with a 4-leaf clover?
Do you believe in superstitions?

Let me know in the comments (and watch out for shape-changing foxes and cats!)
And….don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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What’s the fart danger today?

Check out the brand new super-stinky T-Wreck-asaurus trailer for my new series coming out in August.

Kyle Mewburn

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The Phoenix Files: Arrival by Chris Morphew

What would you do if you found out there were only 100 days until the end of the world?

When Luke and his mum move to the town of Phoenix, out in the middle of nowhere, Luke knows straight away that something isn’t quite right about the place.  There are no cars, no phones and no internet.  All the houses look the same and the only way to get around the town is to walk or bike.  The town was especially built by the Shackleton Cooperative, the mysterious company that offered Luke’s mum a job, and their security officers roam the streets.  A coded message brings Luke together with Peter and Jordan, and when they decipher the message they realise they’re in serious danger.  Someone is plotting to wipe out the human race in 100 days and Phoenix suddenly becomes the safest and most dangerous place on earth.  When Luke discovers a note in his backpack inviting them to a secret meeting at the Phoenix Airport, they hope that they’ll get some answers.  However, their meeting at the airport gives them more questions than answers and as they hunt for information about Phoenix and the deadly plans, the more dangerous it becomes for them in the town.

Arrival is the first book in the action-packed, heart-stopping Phoenix Files series.  It’s one of those books that you just have to keep reading to find out what happens.  It grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.  You’re left with lots of unanswered questions about Phoenix and the Shackleton Cooperative, but this just makes you want to go and pick up the next book straight away.  Luckily there are 4 books already released (and in the library) of this 6 book series so I can read them all before Fallout gets released next year.  The Phoenix Files are perfect for those who like mystery, adventure and suspense, or books about secret agencies and the end of the world.  If you like Michael Grant’s Gone series, then you’ll love The Phoenix FilesRecommended for 12+    10 out of 10

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The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

This is the first full-length trailer for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn movie, directed by Steven Spielberg.  The movie isn’t due out until December 26th 2011, but you can borrow all the Tintin graphic novels from your library.

If you’re a Tintin fan like me you could also go to The Adventures of Tintin story readings on Thursday, July 21, 2011, from 10 – 10:45am at New Brighton Library.  Check out the Christchurch City Libraries website for more information.

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My Story: Sabotage by Sharon Holt.

Rowan lives with her mother, and her best friend Alex is really into Greenpeace. She begins to write to her new pen friend Lisette, who lives in France, and finds out that her brother, Rene, is coming to Auckland! When he arrives, he seems to the world a charming young man, but Rowan and Alex become suspicious when he is seen with a French lady in the street, who hands him a parcel. Soon, the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, is bombed, and a man dies. Rowan begins to wonder- did Rene do this? Was it my fault? And, if it was Rene, how am I going to stop him?
Sabotage is one of my favourite My Story books, because it sounds like a real girl, in a real background. I thought that lots of it was very sad, but that just makes it more real. I love how My Story books are always based on a certain historical event. Sabotage is about the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and No Survivors, another excellent book by Sharon Holt, is based on the Erebus crash. Knowing that it really happened makes it more interesting, and the more realistic something is, the better a picture I get in my head. That’s why I love historical fiction. Sabotage is best for both boys and girls, and I think that children aged from 9 to 14 would love it.

By Tierney, 11.

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