Archive for Holiday Reading

The Best and Worst Children’s Books of 2014

Cover of the song of the kauriThe end of the year is approaching and that means it’s time to evaluate the best and worst of 2014’s crop of children’s books. Hosted by Christchurch City Libraries, in conjunction with the Canterbury Literacy Association, the Best and Worst Evening is a Christchurch literary tradition. 2013’s event was so popular the event has been moved to the larger venue of Upper Riccarton Library.

Speakers include Bob Docherty (children’s book guru and renowned promoter of reading and literacy for kids), Kirsten Smith (Kaitakawaenga – Ngā Ratonga Māori at Christchurch City Libraries) and a kids-eye-view from Briana.

Our annual Holiday Reading list will also be officially announced on the night. Holiday Reading is a recommended selection of new titles added to Christchurch City Libraries in 2014 and includes picture books, chapter books, young adult and non-fiction titles.

Come along this Wednesday night (19 November) to Upper Riccarton Library, 7pm. Bring a gold coin for refreshments and early Christmas raffles.

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Need Something To Read?

I’ve just read a good book and I’d like to share it with you.

2wolvesTwo Wolves by Tristan Bancks

An old man tells his grandson that there is a battle raging inside him, inside all of us. A terrible battle between two wolves. One wolf is bad – pride, jealousy, greed. The other wolf is good – kindness, hope, truth. The child asks, ‘Who will win?’ The grandfather answers simply, ‘The one you feed.’

One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver’s front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they’re going on a holiday. But are they?

This book races at such a breakneck speed, I was hanging on for dear life! Midnight came and went, then 1am, then 2am. Still I kept reading, because I just had to know how it would end, and which wolf 13-year-old Ben Silver would choose to feed.

James Patterson (a famous author) said that when he writes a book he makes sure to leave all the boring bits out, and I think Tristan Bancks does the same. There are no boring bits in this book, which makes it an especially good choice for any reluctant reader.

I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thrilling book that will keep you reading long after you should have turned out the light!

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Getting Dark Earlier = More Time To Read!

Happy end of daylight savings everyone!  Colder weather is coming, which is the perfect excuse to sneak into bed a little earlier and snuggle up with a good book.  There’s nothing I like better!

I’d love to get some book tips from you, so please tell me in the comments what you’re reading and whether you’re enjoying it. Or what your favourite book is.

Here’s what’s on my bedside table right now:

wonder

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

Because of the way he looks, Auggie Pullman’s never been to school. He just wants to be treated like everyone else, but how can that happen when he looks so different?

This is a story that will both make you laugh and break your heart. It’s unusual in that different chapters are in the point of view of different characters. The reader not only gets to know Auggie, but the people around him as well.

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I highly recommend it.

My favourite quote from Wonder:

“Hey, if they want to give me a medal for being me, that’s okay. I’ll take it. I didn’t destroy a Death Star or anything like that, but I did just get through the fifth grade. And that’s not easy, even if you’re not me.”

lookingforalaska

Looking For Alaska

By John Green

John Green is one of my favourite writers.  I can’t wait for The Fault In Our Stars to come out as a movie, and I really hope it’s even half as awesome as the book.

Looking For Alaska is not your typical boy-meets-girl story. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s off to boarding school and in search of the ‘Great Perhaps’. He finds Alaska Young, a human hurricane who swirls him into her world, snatches his heart, then tears him apart. It’s a wild ride of a book that made me giggle uncontrollably and wipe away tears.

This one’s for older readers. If you’re a teenager looking for a book that pulls no punches, give it a try.

My favourite quote from Looking For Alaska:

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

holes

Holes

By Louis Sachar

Sentenced to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn’t commit, Stanley Yelnats is forced to spend all day digging holes in a dry lake under a punishing sun. Stanley blames the family curse for his bad luck and tries to make the best of things. But he soon discovers that there’s a reason the cruel warden has them digging holes.  

This is a very clever book, and I loved the way all the connections were slowly revealed. How is a centuries-old curse connected to a pair of shoes falling from the sky, connected to Kissing Kate Barlow, an outlaw of the Wild West?  Read Holes to find out!

My favourite quote from Holes:

“It was all because of his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather!”

daughterofsmoke

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

This is the first book of a series of three. I read and enjoyed the first two, and the third one (Dreams of Gods and Monsters) has just come out and I can’t wait to read it!

If you’re a teenager looking for an exceptional fantasy series and great characters to sigh over, get into this one and you won’t be sorry.  Now I’ve got to run, I’ve got a book to read…

My favourite quotes from Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

“Loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve—like the soul’s version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable.”

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”

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Join the Great Summer Reading Adventure!

Our annual Summertime Reading programme is about to get underway again for kids between 5 and 12 years old.  Pick up your Summertime Reading Club map from your local library or Paper Plus store from December and be in to win some great prizes!

Read six books of your choice between 20th December 2013 and 24th January 2014, then take your map back into the library to receive your sticker and a $5 Paper Plus voucher. The librarian will also enter you online for the prize draw and the major prize this year is an iPad mini.

For a further challenge, you can complete the Science Alive Reading Adventure by reading four different books and spotting the science feature in each of those books. Take the map back into the library and the librarian will enter you into the draw for some more great prizes.

We’ll also have a weekly Summertime Reading Challenge here on the Kids Blog that you can enter to win PaperPlus vouchers.

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Free online fun at the library these holidays

Now that you are free from school what plans do you have for the summer holidays that stretch before you? (I am so jealous!) I have a few suggestions that you may want to try if you start to get a bit bored. They are free, enjoyable and all for you!

  • BusyThings: Fun games and activities for 3 to 7 year olds that include creating music and art.
  • TumbleBook Library: Animated books which include games, quizzes, videos and puzzles.
  • Literacy Planet: Create characters and earn rewards in return for completing fun tasks.
  • OverDrive: Over 1200 children’s fiction and non fiction e-books and downloadable audiobooks for your enjoyment!

Far be it from us to encourage you to play online more, but there will be wet days when playing outside will not be an option. This is where we can help. All you need to access any of these online resources is an imagination and a  library card number and password / PIN.

Oh and don’t forget to come and visit us  at your local library this summer!

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Best Books of 2013!

Every year, all the staff at Christchurch City Libraries work out the best kids books published in 2013. It’s called our “Holiday Reading” list and there are about 200 awesome books in there! You can get a copy for free from our Libraries, or you can check it out online right now.

Some of the coolest ones are:

LEGO man in space by Mara Shaughnessy
A TRUE story about how two boys launched a LEGO man 80,000 feet into space using a weather balloon, a homemade parachute, and a video camera!

The Killer Cat runs away by Anne Fine
Tuffy doesn’t feel wanted at home any more. His owners just don’t appreciate him. So what if he broke the new TV? Got fur on all Dad’s clean clothes? Ate Tinkerbell the kitten’s special kitten-food? All accidents! But they’re making such a fuss! So Tuffy decides to make a break for it.

Demon dentist by David Walliams
Darkness had come to the town. Strange things were happening in the dead of night. Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find… a dead slug; a live spider; hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow. Evil was at work. But who or what was behind it…?

Once you’ve found some awesome books to read, you can take part in our Summertime Reading Competition. It starts on Friday 20th December and you can win some great prizes including an iPad mini and Paper Plus vouchers!

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