Archive for October, 2011

Dinosaur Rescue: Velocitchy-raptor

Velocitchy-raptor, book 3 in the hilarious Dinosaur Rescue series by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley, sees Arg trying to escape the clutches of a hungry Quetzalcoatlus (pronounced Kwet-zal-ca-AT-lus).  Arg is trying to keep himself dry in a storm using his dried devil frog when a Quetzalcoatlus swoops down and snatches the frog, with Arg still attached.  He’s taken to the dinosaur’s nest where he meets a baby velociraptor.  They escape from the nest and Arg takes the baby home to hide it safely in his cave.  Unfortunately Arg seems to be allergic to velociraptors and breaks out in itchy sores.  If that wasn’t bad enough, his sister would have the velociraptor for dinner if she found it.  Can Arg get the baby to safety?

Velocitchy-raptor is another hilarious and disgusting addition to the Dinosaur Rescue series.  Kyle and Donovan once again introduce us to snippets of prehistoric life, from the bizarre leisure time activities of Arg’s family and how to talk to stone age people, to the not-very-useful guide to dinosaur names and the many uses of Old Drik’s toenail goo.  Velocitchy-raptor will leave you with a sore stomach from laughing or a very sick stomach from this snot and pus-filled adventure.   Recommended for 7+   9 out of 10

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I Am Grimalkin book trailer

I Am Grimalkin is the latest book in the Spook’s Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney.  Watch this seriously spooky book trailer and reserve your copy at the library now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Seriously Spooky Month here on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  Thanks to our seriously spooky authors, Joseph Delaney and Barry Hutchison for joining us on the blog.

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Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Elise never really knew her parents.  Her mum died after her birth and her dad got sick and died of cancer a few years later.  Her Uncle Hugh and Aunt Bessie promised to look after her and she has lived with them ever since.  She’s been best friends with Franklin for years and they’ve always loved playing games like Knights together.  When they start middle school Elise starts to get embarrassed by Franklin and doesn’t want to hang around with him anymore.  Then there’s her locker buddy, Amanda who nicknames her Scabula and squashes her lunch every morning.  Elise starts to hate school and is afraid to go because of Amanda’s bullying.  Just when she needs it a special surprise comes along.  Her father leaves her a mystery to unlock and with each discovery a new key arrives.

Eight Keys is about a girl discovering who she is and learning about the parents she didn’t know.  When Elise is feeling lost and worried, the mystery that her father left for her comes along and helps her choose who she wants to be.  It helps her see who her mum and dad were and how much they loved her, even before she was born.  You see a real change in Elise, from the worried, confused girl at the start to the confident, happy girl at the end.  I really liked the character of Franklin because he’s funny, loyal and will do anything to help his friend.  Eight Keys is the perfect book for girls who like Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy.  It will make you laugh and cry, but leave a smile on your face.   Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10

 

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Grammar is a Buzz

When writing fiction it’s often better to ‘show’ the reader what is happening, than ‘tell’ the reader everything. For example, you can tell the reader, ‘Ziggy was sweaty’, but I’d rather show the reader with ‘Sweat trickled down Ziggy’s neck.’ Adding sensory detail helps to show what is happening – it helps the reader to picture what a character is experiencing.
One way to make sure you’re not ‘telling’ too much is to use verbs (eg. trickled) rather than adjectives (eg. sweaty). For example I might write, ‘Florian was angry’ (adjective) but ‘Florian smashed (verb) his fist into the wall’ is stronger.  And  Sting is a better title than ‘Sharp thing’. If you have to use adjectives then one adjective per noun is enough; and you don’t need many adverbs either (eg. not needed in: Florian angrily smashed his fist’)

This is my last post. Thank you Zac and the Christchurch libraries, it’s been fun.

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Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher

If you were to meet the characters from your favourite books who would they be?  Would you want to meet Harry Potter, Matilda, or Percy Jackson? You certainly wouldn’t want to bump into Count Olaf, Captain Hook, or Voldemort.  In Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher, Cat finds herself face to face with some of the heroes and villains of classic adventure stories.

Cat and her grandfather, Victor made a pact that one day, just for fun of it, they’d take the subway and stay on it until the very end of the line, at a place called Far Rockaway.  They never get to make this trip together because, while crossing the street in Manhattan, Cat and Victor are knocked down by a speeding fire truck.  Cat wakes up in a world made from all the books her grandfather used to read to her, and filled with the most memorable characters from classic adventure stories, including The Last of the Mohicans and Treasure Island.  Cat needs their help to find the mythic castle of Far Rockaway, and get herself and her grandfather home alive.

Far Rockaway is part fantasy, part adventure and full of pirates, indians, and zombies.  I really like the way that Charlie Fletcher has weaved Cat’s story in with three completely different stories.  If you know the characters from the classic adventure stories you’ll see what a fantastic job Charlie has done of transferring them to another story.  There were a couple of characters I didn’t know but this has made me want to go and read those stories and discover who they were.  Cat is a great character, who’s brave, loyal and kicks butt when she needs to.  I like what she says about girls in stories,

“Why do the guys get to do all the rescuing? I mean I loved all the stories you gave me and read me, but one thing: where were the real girls? Half the books, they weren’t there at all, and the other half they’re wimped-out girly-girls getting all weepy and falling in love with the mysterious complicated dude or waiting for the right guy to save them.”

If you want a swash-buckling adventure story about the magic of stories then join Cat on the journey of a lifetime in Far RockawayRecommended for 10+     9 out of 10

You can read our review with Charlie Fletcher here on the blog too.

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Organ Music by Margaret Mahy

Reading Organ Music by Margaret Mahy is like being stuck in a really weird, creepy dream.  I had chills running down my spine and the whole time I was trying to figure out what was going on.  All these things combine to make a thrilling story.

As Harley and David make their way home one night, through a dodgy part of town, they come across a battered old car parked on the side of the road with the keys in the ignition but nobody else about.  They get in the car and drive off, but when they try to stop they realize the car is actually driving itself.  The car eventually stops in the middle of a forest at a place called the Willesden Experimental Station, but what sinister secret does this place hide?

One thing I really liked about this book is its brilliant cover that is illustrated by Gavin Bishop.  It really tells you a lot about the story.

If you like creepy, scary stories about ghosts and secret experiments then you should read Organ Music by Margaret Mahy.

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Win Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer

This week on the blog we’re going to have an interview with the seriously spooky author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Derek Landy.  You’ll find out how Derek comes up with his character’s names, whether Derek would like to see a Skulduggery Pleasant movie, why he wanted to be a writer and what books and movies inspire him.

We have a copy of the latest Skulduggery Pleasant book, Death Bringer to give away this week.  To get in the draw, all you have to do is tell us: Who is your favourite character in the Skulduggery Pleasant series and why?  Leave a comment on this post with your answer, your name and email address (so that we can contact you if you win).  Competition closes Friday 28 October.

See below for terms and conditions        Read the rest of this entry »

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