Archive for May, 2012

Skellig by David Almond


Michael was looking forward to moving house. It was all going to be wonderful. But now his baby sister is ill. His parents are frantic and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage…

What is this thing beneath the spiders webs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never seen before? The only person Michael can confinde in is Mina. Together they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael’s world changes forever…

My Review

My favourite part was when Mina took Michael into the old house she inherited from her grandfather, up to the attic to show him the family of Tawny Owls living there. I thought this part was awesome because I think it’s amazing to see such graceful and wise creatures flying. I look up at birds and I envy them. To see Tawny Owls flying over a darkened city would be amazing. My favourite character would probably be Mina. She is smart and has a real sense of the world that I think no one else has.

I liked the way David Almond writes. His style is different from other authors and that shows clearly in his books. That is what makes Skelling so good. I enjoyed it how when you started the book, it seemed pretty regluar, until the unique twist came along soon after you started, which envolves **cough, cough** Skellig.

I LOVED absolutely everything! This book is awesome. The way David Almond wrote this puts a new perspective on the world. And that’s what I love about the book – this book is for anyone who wants a new perspective of the world.

The age-level would probably be 10+, seeing as younger kids might not understand. I would give this book a 9/10. But, BEFORE you read it, read the first book, My Name Is Mina.

By Ginnie from the Queenspark School Noses in Books group

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The 13th Horseman Launch Party

On Friday at Shirley Library we hosted the New Zealand launch of Barry Hutchison’s The 13th Horseman.  We had some giveaways, a feast fit for a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and some special launch videos from Barry in Scotland.

If you weren’t able to get to the launch on Friday you can still join in the fun here and find out about this awesome book.  Barry made 3 videos especially for his readers in NZ, in which he introduces The 13th Horseman, reads from the book, and answers some questions.  Come on in and join the party!

Barry introduces The 13th Horseman

Barry reads an excerpt from The 13th Horseman

Barry answers some questions about The 13th Horseman

Thanks so much for the great videos Barry!

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Meet Christopher Paolini in Christchurch

If you’re a huge fan of the Eragon series you’ll probably be jumping up and down with excitement right now. Christopher Paolini, author of the Eragon series, is touring New Zealand in June.  Christopher will be in Christchurch on Saturday 30 June and you can meet him in person at the Armageddon Expo at Addington Raceway. 

If you’ve never been to the Armageddon Expo before it’s two days of  movie screenings, animation screenings, eating challenges, Dragonball Z contests, autograph signings and much more.  For more information check out the Armageddon Expo website –

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The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison

Drake is surprised to find three Horsemen of the Apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed.  Even more surprisingly, they’re missing a Horseman and think that Drake is the boy for the job.  Drake is reluctant to join them, but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?

From the wastelands of oblivion to the desolate plains of Limbo – join the Horsemen of the Apocalypse on a wild and hilarious ride…

The 13th Horseman is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.  The laughs don’t come from toilet humour, but from the actions (or inaction) of the three long serving Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  There’s Pestilence who’s dressed like a doctor with a white coat and rubber gloves (to protect the humans, not himself), the red-haired giant, War, with a temper to match his stature, and my favourite, Famine, who is absolutely huge, with massive rolls of fat all over his body (which provide great places to store food for later).  When Drake first meets them, they’ve been playing board games for thousands of years and are completely bored.  They all seem to be totally incompetent and can’t even organise themselves to do the job they’re there for – usher in the Apocalypse.  They all have a horse to ride across the sky, apart from Famine who has a mobility scooter (so that he doesn’t squash a horse).  Each of the Horsemen has their own quirks but my favourite is definitely Famine, because no matter when you look at him, he’s always eating something.

Thankfully, The 13th Horseman is only the first book in the Afterworlds series and the sequel, The Lost Book of Everything is due out in 2013.  If you haven’t read any of Barry Hutchison’s books yet, The 13th Horseman is a good place to start.

Recommended for 10+       5 out of 5 stars

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The 13th Horseman Book Launch

Come along to Shirley Library this Friday (25 May) from 4pm and celebrate the launch of a a cool new book, called The 13th Horseman by UK author Barry Hutchison.   Barry is also the author of the incredibly creepy Invisible Fiends series, including Mr Mumbles and Raggy Maggie.  Hear Barry talk about his hilarious new book and enjoy drinks and snacks fit for a Horseman of the Apocalypse.  We have 3 copies of The 13th Horseman to give away and everyone gets a signed bookplate.

The event is free and suitable for ages 10 years and up.

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2012 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Winners

The 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards were announced last week.  Congratulations to all the winners!

Picture Book WinnerRāhui (Te reo Māori edition)  by Chris Szekely; nā Malcolm Ross ngā pikitia; nā Brian Morris i whakamāori and Rāhui (English edition) Chris Szekely; illustrated by Malcolm Ross

Non-fiction WinnerNice day for a war: adventures of a Kiwi soldier in World War I by Matt Elliott; illustrated by Chris Slane

Junior FictionSuper Finn by Leonie Agnew

Young AdultCalling the gods  by Jack Lasenby

Book of the Year – Nice day for a war Matt Elliot; illustrated by Chris Sloane (Non Fiction category winner)

Children’s Choice – The cat’s pyjamas by Catherine Foreman

Best First Book – Super Finn by Leonie Agnew

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Who will win the 2012 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards?

The winners of the 2012 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards will be announced next Wednesday night at the awards ceremony in Wellington.  There were lots of great books in the awards this year and I’ve really enjoyed reading them.  Here are my favourites in each category:

Which finalists are your favourites?

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Aussie author saying hi!

Hi there poeple – it’s very exciting to be here and chatting (well, kind of!) to you all. I’m fired up and ready to… to…well, to blog! I’ll hopefully be coming to New Zealand in June and am really keen to get to a rugby game. I think you guys have one of the most powerful teams on the planet in the All Blacks – I hide behind the couch when they’re doing the haka! That is one fearsome chant. One time I turned the sound down on the TV and put on a song that went something like… ‘Here we go gathering nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May, here we go gathering nuts in May, on a cold and fro – o – sty morning…’ But then I hid behind the couch again because I thought someone from New Zealand might have heard my silly song and got cross! ANYWAY…. I do love sport – Aussie Rules and cricket are probably my favourite two. Do you get to watch Aussie Rules in New Zealand? If you’re not sure who to barrack for and want a bit of a tip on an awesome team, then look no further than the MIGHT CATS! They are THE ALLBLACKS of the AFL – except our jumpers are blue and white hoops. I live in Geelong and have barracked for the Cats all my life. We’ve been in 4 of the last 5 grand finals and won 3 of them so I’m a very happy puppy at the moment. We’re not going so well this year. We’re just inside the top 8! My first 20 odd books are sporty. I’ll tell you about some of them in my next blog. Hope to hear from you… AND you… super soon! Byeeee, Michael

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The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow Book Trailer

The Serpent’s Shadow, the final book in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles is out now.  You can reserve your copy at the library.  If you haven’t read this amazing series, featuring Egyptian gods and monsters, get the first book The Red Pyramid.

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May Star Author – Michael Panckridge

Our magnificent May Star Author is Australian author, Michael Panckridge.  Inspired by his passion for sport and desire to get reluctant readers engaged in books, Michael Panckridge put his mind to finding out what it is kids want to read.

Ten years later he finds himself the author of over 30 books– his work ranging from the best selling Legends and Anniversary Legends series, the Toby Jones series (a rich blend of cricket and fantasy), The League of Legends series – rugby league action, through to his latest novels including The Cursed, The Vanishings and The Immortal – adventure books with elements of mystery and intrigue that keep the reader guessing. His latest series is The Book of Gabrielle – a sinister tale about a girl without a past and an extraordinary ability to see things others can’t.

Michael will be visiting Christchurch in July to talk about his writing and take some writing workshops.  Stay tuned to find out more.

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