Archive for Friendship

Bullying Websites for Kids

Are you being bullied or know someone who is?  We’ve put together some links to great websites all about bullying and how to get help if you need it.  There are step-by-step guides to taking action and stopping bullying, and help-lines that you can call and talk to an adult who can help.

Check out the Bullying links on the Kids Internet Gateway.

If you’ve read R.J. Palacio’s amazing book, Wonder, you’ll remember one of Mr Brown’s precepts is “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”  I think it’s a great thing to remember every day, and to always treat others as you would like to be treated.  You can even go to the Choose Kind website and pledge to ‘choose kind’ every day.

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Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins.

Gregor the Overlander is about a boy named Gregor who lives in an apartment in New York with his mother, grandmother and two sisters. One day, he goes to the laundry room with his sister Boots, and they discover the Underland.  The Underland is a place hundreds of feet under New York filled with giant bats, cockroaches, rats, scorpions and strange people, who send Gregor and Boots on a quest searching for their missing father.

My favorite character is Luxa, the queen of the Underland.  She is a little arrogant but very brave.  Gregor the Overlander is the first in a five book series. I give it a 8 and a half out of 10. Gregor the Overlander is suitable for 9 to 13-year-olds; boys and girls alike.  Suzanne Collins is also the author of the best-selling trilogy The Hunger Games.

By Luka, age 11

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The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi.

If you are looking for a sensational book to read this summer, look no further. The ACB with Honora Lee is NZ author Kate De Goldi’s latest book, and tells the story of nine-year-old Perry.

Perry likes to ask questions, but she rarely gets answers. Her mother and father are very busy people, and are always working. She doesn’t have many children to play with, either; only her babysitter Nina’s son Claude. Perry is an only child, and her family is very small. There’s Perry, her mum and dad; and, of course, there’s Gran.

Gran lives at Santa Lucia, a home for the elderly. Perry and her father visit her there every Saturday. Santa Lucia is a chaotic place, full of mishaps, mysteries and peppermints. When one of Perry’s classes is cancelled, she decides to spend her Thursdays at Santa Lucia with her gran. The people at Santa Lucia are, to say the least, a wild bunch. Perry’s gran, for instance, has a habit of stealing Melvyn Broome’s peppermints. Melvyn Broome has a habit of hitting people who steal his peppermints with his walking cane. Gran, as well as most the people at Santa Lucia, has a weak memory, yet instead of being confused, she sticks to the few things she can remember about her past. Perry decides that what this unusual yet lovable family needs is something practical, reliable, and orderly; and what could be more reliable than an alphabet book?

As Perry works on her ABC book, she tries to stick to the rules, but as the people at Santa Lucia help her, the alphabet soon is an ACB; a jumbled, confused version of the alphabet. Nothing stays the same at Santa Lucia, but soon Perry begins to wonder: is it Gran, Doris and the others who don’t make sense, or is it the strict, “do-as-I-say” world outside Santa Lucia’s walls that doesn’t?

The ACB with Honora Lee is a simple yet powerful novel, and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is tinged with subtle humour and written in an almost poetic way. You will never want to put it down!

Reviewed by Tierney.

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Interview with Ivy and Bean

Saturday 13 October is International Ivy + Bean Day.  To celebrate we’re having special Ivy + Bean parties in some of our libraries.  You can bring a friend along and enjoy activities, games, giveaways and a reading of the latest Ivy + Bean story.  It’s all FREE and there is no need to make a booking, so just come along.  Here’s where the parties are on Friday 12 October:

  • Shirley Library, 10:30-11:30am
  • Upper Riccarton Library, 10:30-11:30am
  • Diamond Harbour Library, 3:00-4:00pm

I sat down with Ivy and Bean to ask them a few questions about their favourite things and what they like about each other.  Thanks for joining us Ivy and Bean!


How did the two of you meet?

Ivy: Bean was running away from home.

Bean: I had to run away from home. Because of Nancy. That’s my older sister.

Ivy: You had to run away from home because you wiggled your behind at Nancy.

Bean: But I wouldn’t have wiggled my behind at her if she hadn’t been trying to get me in trouble.

Ivy: But she wouldn’t have been trying to get you in trouble if you hadn’t taken her twenty dollars.

Bean: But I wouldn’t have taken her twenty dollars if she hadn’t been such a tightwad.

Ivy: So really, it was Nancy who helped us meet.

Bean: Sometimes Nancy’s okay.


What do you like best about your friend?

Bean: She can cross one eye without crossing the other.

Ivy: One time, Bean ate wood for a dollar.


Who is the most annoying person you know?

Ivy: There’s this girl named Nellie in the book I’m reading who’s really annoying. She says mean things about the main girl’s dog.

Bean: She’s not real. You can’t say she’s the most annoying person you know, because you don’t really know her.

Ivy: I know her. I’m reading about her.

Bean: But she’s not real. She’s in a book. You have to say someone real.

Ivy: You.

Bean: You.


What is your favourite food?

Bean: Syrup! Or doughnut holes! I love doughnut holes! I can stick four of them in my mouth at once and then I smash them flat between my tongue and the top of my mouth. It’s great!

Ivy: Chocolate mousse. I used to think it was made out of moose.


What do you want to do when you grow up?

Ivy: I’m going to be a witch.

Bean: I’m going to write the fortunes that go inside fortune cookies. Or be an arborist. I haven’t decided.


What is your most embarrassing moment?

Bean:  I don’t want to talk about it.  Sometimes, people are thinking about other stuff and aren’t paying attention every single little second and they don’t exactly see where they’re going and it’s not their fault.

Ivy: It could have happened to anyone. It probably does happen to almost everyone, but maybe not when twenty-six other kids are watching.

Bean: And their parents.

Ivy: Never mind.  They probably would have painted that part of the room over anyway.


What’s the craziest scheme you’ve ever come up with?

Ivy: Crazy?

Bean: Crazy?

Ivy: Do we do anything crazy?

Bean: Nah. He must be talking about someone else.

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Iris’s Ukulele by Kathy Taylor

Read me for NZ Book Month!

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a superstar?  Iris and her friend Sidney have.  Iris wants to be the best rapper and ukulele player in the whole of the entire universe.  Preferably with her best friend ever, and fellow Master of the Musical Universe, Sidney by her side.  Iris and Sidney have been working on their masterpiece, a rap musical about werewolves and vampires, and when they hear about the talent contest at their mall they know this is their big chance at stardom.  Then everything starts going wrong – Sidney decides he wants to write his own song, Iris doesn’t stand up for her best friend when he’s in trouble, and her mum starts ‘not exactly’ dating her ukulele teacher.  Will Iris ever become the Master of the Musical Universe?

Iris’s Ukulele is a story about friendship and reaching for your goals.  Both Iris and Sidney are unique and have their own sense of style that makes them stand out from the crowd.  Iris gets into some tricky situations but her Mum and her Gran help her out and point her in the right direction.  Her Gran is a pretty cool character and has a unique personality like Iris.  This is Kathy Taylor’s first book (she won the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a previously unpublished writer) and sometimes I thought she was trying too hard to make Iris’s voice sound right, but overall the story was interesting.  Iris’s Ukulele is a great book for anyone who likes stories about friends and family.

Recommended for 9+        3 out of 5 stars 

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The One and Only Ivan book trailer

The One and Only Ivan is a beautiful new book by Katherine Applegate, about a gorilla named Ivan and his friends Stella, Ruby, and Bob who live in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.  Reserve your copy at the library now.

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