Archive for April, 2013

Andy Griffiths Writing Challenge #2

Andy Griffiths, the author of Just Crazy, Just Tricking, Zombie Bums from Uranus and The 13-storey Treehouse, has just released his book about writing, called Once Upon a Slime.  In this very cool book he gives lots of tips about writing and some activities to help you become a better writer.  You’re probably looking for something to do in the holidays so why not try an Andy Griffiths writing challenge.

In the box below there is a writing challenge from Andy’s book, Once Upon a Slime.  Why not try it out and post your writing here on the blog.  Just post your piece of writing as a comment at the end of this post, along with your name and email address.  At the end of the week we’ll choose our favourite piece of writing and the author will win a prize pack of goodies from Typo.

Twelve Doors

Imagine that you are standing in front of twelve doors.  Behind one there is a fabulous treasure.  Behind the others are eleven of the most dangerous things in the world. Describe what lies behind each one.

For more great writing ideas check out Andy Griffiths’ new book, Once Upon a Slime.

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Andy Griffiths Writing Challenge #1

Want something to do these holidays? Enter the Andy Griffiths writing challenge and you could win a Typo prize pack.

Andy Griffiths, the author of Just Crazy, Just Tricking, Zombie Bums from Uranus and The 13-storey Treehouse, has just released his book about writing, called Once Upon a Slime.  In this very cool book he gives lots of tips about writing and some activities to help you become a better writer.  You’re probably looking for something to do in the holidays so why not try an Andy Griffiths writing challenge.

In the box below there is a writing challenge from Andy’s book, Once Upon a Slime.  Why not try it out and post your writing here on the blog.  Just post your piece of writing as a comment at the end of this post, along with your name and email address.  At the end of the week we’ll choose our favourite piece of writing and the author will win a prize pack of goodies from Typo.

Write a story starring YOU!

You don’t have to be able to make up imaginary characters or exotic settings to tell a good story.  A fast way to create fun, believable-sounding stories is to start with the character you know best in the whole world (YOU!).  Choose one of the following scenarios and describe what you would do and what happens next.

  • You wake to discover that you can no longer speak – you can only bark like a dog.
  • You are in class.  It’s a hot day.  Your friend starts taking off their clothes…their shirt…their shoes…their socks…their pants!
  • You have a strong suspicion that your teacher is a vampire and, worse still, you suspect that they know you have discovered their secret.

So get writing and see what you can come up with!

 

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Who should be in the NZ Sports Hall of Fame?

New Zealand author, Maria Gill, has written some fantastic non-fiction books for kids.  One of her most recent books is the New Zealand Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwis, which was recently named a 2013 Storylines Notable Book.

Maria needs your help.  She wants to know which sports person would you want to see in her new book, the New Zealand Hall of Fame: Sports Edition.  All you need to do is vote for your favourite option in the poll below and this will help Maria decide who to put in the book. Get voting!

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David Hill – Author Blog 4

I’ve spent quite a lot of time this week working on TWO novels. Does that sound impressive??

First, I’ve been going over the page proofs of a novel that’s coming out in June, called Brave Company. It’s about a teenage NZ seaman, who is on a NZ frigate during battles in the Korean War of the 1950s. Page Proofs are the final stage before the novel is actually published. Everything is set out exactly as it will be on the pages of the book, numbers and illustrations and all, and the author has to go – very carefully – through them, seeing if any mistakes have been made. There hardly ever are any; editors are a very efficient lot. But a final check is always a good idea.

The page proofs come after a series of stages in the making of a book. First, the author writes it. (Easy! Simple!) Then, if the publisher likes it and agrees to publish – and this often doesn’t happen; please don’t think that everything I write gets published – the editor will make suggestions on how to improve the book (add details here; cut bits out there; stop describing so much; stop the feeble jokes, etc) and author/editor work on these till they agree. This part can take weeks. After that, the designers make suggestions about cover, set-out, illsutrations / maps / diagrams, etc. And then come the page proofs.

The second book I’ve been working on is one I wrote over the winter / spring / summer. It’s about a NZ teenager in the 1970s who somehow gets involved in French nuclear tests in the Pacific. How? You’ll have to read the book – if it ever gets published. If that does happen, it won’t be till next year. I researched it, I wrote the first draft. I wrote the second draft. I wrote the third…..   And now I’m going over and over it, taking out a sentence on Monday, putting half of it back on Tuesday, getting the book as good as I can before I submit it.

So that’s what the author’s life can be like. It can also be full of pleasure. When you write anything – a book, a story, a poem, a letter – you make something that never existed in the world before. It’s special. It’s unique. And that’s something that nobody can ever take away from you. So the very best of luck with your own writing and reading.

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Kids’ Books: picks from our latest newsletter

Here are some great picks from our April Kids’ Books newsletter:

Cover: Twelve Dancing PrincessesCover: Where's the Meerkat?Cover: If the Shoe FitsCover: JinxCover: Inside the TitanicCover: TitanicCover: Story of the TitanicCover: All Stations! Distress!Cover: It's Our Garden

Did you know that you can subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight to your inbox? It’s easy and you get to be first to see our new goodies!

For more great reads, check out our Fun to Read page – it links you to reading lists, if you likes, interactive quizzes and lots more.

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David Hill – Author Blog 3

I took a day off during the week. Yes, authors are allowed to take time off, especially when they’re as lazy as I am. My wife Beth and I (I write about my dear wife a lot in my short stories for adults; I also write about my kids and grandkids in my children’s stories – but I always change details so they don’t recognise themselves and beat me up.)

I’ve lost track of where that paragraph was going……Yes, my wife and I rode a golf-cart along a railway line for 120 km. You know those funny little motorised carts that you sometimes see golfers trundling around golf courses in? A tourism business in Taranaki where I live has converted some so they run – very slowly – on railway lines, clattering along past farms and through tunnels. We rode in one from Stratford to Whangamomona and back. Isn’t “Whangamomona” a brilliant name? It’s right in the middle of inland Taranaki; it has no shops; one hotel, a population of about 20 people, 200 dogs and 2000 sheep. I may write a travel article about it.

I’ve also been trying to write a story about when I was learning to ride a bike for the first time, years and years (and more years) ago.

I’m a great fan of writing about your embarrassments and disasters and mistakes. Other people always enjoy reading about them, and you always feel much better after you’ve turned them into a story or poem or play. So I’m writing about how I could never stay upright on the bike; how I’d manage to pedal for a few metres only, then I’d start wobbling or leaning over to one side till I fell off. I just couldn’t seem to learn how to keep moving and stay on the seat. To make it worse, there was a guy who lived along the road from us, who was really good at sports and anything that involved being fit and confident. He could ride a bike and do no-hands tricks on it, and stuff like that. Every time he saw me trying to ride, he’d sneer and yell sarcastic comments.

Then one day I could ride. Just like that. My Dad had taken me down to a rugby field where nobody was playing, and he’d walked along beside me, holding the bike while I tried to pedal. Suddenly his voice sounded distant, and I realised he WASN’T holding the bike any longer. I was riding by myself.

I still fell off a few times, but I’d learned the trick. And a couple of days later I was riding (very carefully) along our street and met that other guy. I’ll never forget the amazed look he gave me. So that’s what I’m trying to write a short story about, and I think that in the story, I’ll make him so amazed that he falls off his bike into a hedge. That’s another thing I sometimes enjoy writing about: getting revenge on people…..

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The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz

 

The Daring Book for Girls is a manual for anyone with a sense of adventure! It has 280 pages packed with facts, activities, ideas and tricks. You can learn how to make a ring out of a peach pit, make a scooter, pull diabolical pranks and much, much more.

You’ll never be bored again after reading this book. It is full of useful tips and fun games. It has information on bird-watching, first aid, pirates and spies. Despite it’s title, boys will love this book too (and there is another book in the series called the Dangerous Book for Boys that they will like as well).

It will appeal to children of all ages; there are games and crafts for everyone. Whether you love sport, are a bookworm or enjoy making crafts, it’s guaranteed that you will like this book. You will finish it with a head full of new facts and words, ready to play a game of basketball, make a tree swing or build a campfire.

The Daring Book for Girls is based on the ways that children had fun before the Internet, phones, XBoxes and CDs. However, this book is far from old-fashioned, and certainly not dull- it will bring you much more fun than any video game!

If you want a good game to play at a sleepover, to know the best way to fold a paper plane or a just plain bored, pick up The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz. Do you dare to learn something new? Do you dare to have an adventure?

Reviewed by Tierney.

 

 

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