Posts tagged children

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Book

Bruno is a nine year old boy who lives in Berlin with his family during the second world war. One day, he comes home to find Maria – the maid – packing all of his things. His mother explains to him that they are moving to the countryside because of his father’s job. Even though Bruno never knew what his fathers job was, he understood because his parents always told him he was a very important man.

When Bruno arrives at his new house, he immediately wants to go back, finding that Out-With (the house’s name) has many downsides. Firstly, it only has three floors when his home in Berlin had five.
Secondly, it had no places to explore, no secret rooms or hiding places, when his old house was full of nooks and old rooms.
And Lastly, it was in the middle of nowhere. It lay in a field of a few small trees and the house. Since it was in the middle of nowhere, there would be no school, which meant no friends to play with. And he couldnt possibly play with his sister Gretal, because she was a hopeless case.

His room was on the highest floor. It was dull and had a strange but interesting view out of the window. In the distance, beyond a high fence, was a group of a thousand or more people. They all wore striped pyjamas and lived in huts. Sometimes soldiers would yell at them or worse.

One day, curiosity got the better of Bruno and he took a long walk towards the fence. Some time later, when he finally reached the fence. He noticed a small boy about his age, sitting on the opposite side of the fence wearing striped pyjamas and looking at the dirt. Bruno talked with he boy. His name was Shmuel. Everyday Bruno and Shmuel met at the fence and talked. They were best friends in no time. But would this friendship be good for their lives, as they were completely diferent and that Bruno’s father had sometimes been seen on the other side of the fence, punishing people in striped pyjamas?

This is a very good, detailed book. Even though I dont like war stories very much, this has to be one of my top ten favourite books. It has a great storyline and an exiting twist in the last few pages. I know the kids blog is for children 8-12, I think this book should be 11+. I give it 9\10.

By Henry

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Story Ideas

A lot of kids ask me where I get my story ideas.

Ideas for stories are all around you, all the time. What story writers do is to look around us and use our imagination.

All you have to do is to say “What if…”

What if my sister could fly…?
What if I found a million dollar note…?
What if my dog started talking to me…?
What if my best friend moved to Alaska…?
What if the sun went out…?

If you want an idea for a story, and you are really stuck, you could try my random story idea generator.

Just click on “Find an Idea” and keep clicking through the randomly generated ideas until you get one you like.



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Michael Morpurgo has An Elephant in the Garden

Michael Morpurgo is one of my favourite authors.  I’ve read nearly all of his books and when a new one comes out I rush out to get it.  He is a fantastic storyteller and has written hundreds of stories about all sorts of things including World War 1 and 2, the legends of King Arthur, sailing around the world, cats on the Titanic, and whales swimming up the river Thames in London.  His stories draw you in and you really care about his characters, whether they are humans or animals.

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book is called An Elephant in the Garden and if I had to tell you what it’s about in one sentence I’d say it’s a story of survival.  Elizabeth, now an old woman, tells Karl and his mother of her escape from Dresden, in Germany, when it was bombed during World War 2.  They escape thanks to the elephant from her mother’s zoo who has been living in their garden.  Their journey is tough through the snow-covered landscape, especially with an elephant.  Will they make it to safety?  You’ll have to read this fantastic book to find out.

If you like books set during war-time, books about animals, or survival stories then this book is for you.  10 out of 10.  For readers 9+.

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A Tardis, a Sonic Screwdriver and the Doctor

Doctor WhoAnother one of my favourite TV shows is Doctor Who.  I’ve watched the last 4 seasons, seen 2 different Doctors, 3 companions and lots of weird planets and monsters along the way.  Season 5 has just started on Sunday nights with a new Doctor, a new companion, and even weirder stories.  I’m still not sure if I like the new Doctor (played by Matt Smith) as much as the last Doctor (played by David Tennant) but the stories are interesting and the monsters are pretty creepy.  One of my favourite monsters, the Weeping Angels, made an appearance at the start of the season, along with the Daleks, and I’m sure we’ll see others returning to wreak havoc on the world.

The Doctor has some interesting gadgets to help him in his travels including his Sonic Screwdriver, Psychic Paper, and his trusty Tardis to help him travel through time and space.  He can travel back in time, forwards in time or even to other dimensions, and he’s been to Pompeii, Victorian England, Venice and right to the end of time.

Have a look at all the Doctor Who books, magazines and DVDs we have in the library for you to borrow.

If you had your very own Tardis where would you go?

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2010 NZ Post Book Award winners

Here’s a list of the 2010 NZ Post Book Award winners.  Did you pick the winners?  Click on the title or author of the book to see if we have a copy in your library .

Picture Book  and Book of the Year – Old Huhu by Kyle Mewburn & Rachel Driscoll

Nonfiction – E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt

Junior Fiction – The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe

Young Adult – Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager

Children’s Choice Award – The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley

Children’s Choice Nonfiction – Dear Alison by Simon Pollard (editor)

Children’s Choice Junior Fiction – Friends: Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop

Children’s Choice Young Adult – Brainjack by Brian Falkner

Honour Award – The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy and David Elliot, edited by Tessa Duder

Best First Book Award – The Bone Tiki by David Hair

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