Posts tagged family

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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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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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Hi Guys.  I have just finished the brand spanking new Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever book.  This book is about Greg Heffley wanting to get money to play net kritterz, but along the way he gets into all sorts of mischief.  Now the police are looking for him and then it starts to snow.  The snow gets up to 2-3 feet high and Greg decides to make a new paper for the holiday bazaar while there is no power all because of Manny!!!!

Highly recommended A++++++++++++.  I was glued to this book. It has 217 pages with awesome pictures.  It took me a day and a half-2 days to read  this awesome book.  Recommended for ages 8- any age.  Now I am so sad the book is finished=( !

By Erin

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Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Imagine living in a world where the sun hasn’t shone for many months.  Because there is no sun, the colour has gone out of the world so everything is grey and gloomy, plants and trees have withered and everyone is miserable.  There is still magic in the world though and this magic has the power to change everything.

Liesl hasn’t left her house in several months.  After her father died, her cruel stepmother locked her in the tiny bedroom in the attic and she’s never allowed out.  Her only friends are the shadows and the mice, until one night a ghost appears.  His name is Po and he comes from a place called the Other Side. Will is an alchemist’s apprentice, helping his mean master gather the ingredients for his strange magical experiments.  One night Will makes a dangerous mistake when he accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing Liesl’s father’s ashes. Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws them together on an extraordinary journey.

Liesl and Po is one of the most unique and magical books I’ve read. Lauren Oliver’s writing is amazing and she transports you to this weird and wonderful world where the sun hasn’t shone for years and the colour has gone out of the world.  She writes in such a way that it makes you think she must have gone through the whole story picking out the perfect words to describe her characters and the world they live in.  Here’s her description of Will,

“He was wearing a large lumpy coat that came that came well past his knees and had, in fact, most recently belonged to someone twice his age and size.  He carried a wooden box – about the size of a loaf of bread – under one arm, and his hair was sticking up from his head at various odd angles and had in it the remains of hay and dried leaves…”

Lauren Oliver says in the authors note that she wrote Liesl and Po after the death of her best friend, so it is a bit dark in places.  She wrote it in two months and didn’t think it would be published, but I’m certainly glad it was.  If you like Kate DiCamillo’s books, like The Magician’s Elephant and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, you’ll love Liesl and Po.

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Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Elise never really knew her parents.  Her mum died after her birth and her dad got sick and died of cancer a few years later.  Her Uncle Hugh and Aunt Bessie promised to look after her and she has lived with them ever since.  She’s been best friends with Franklin for years and they’ve always loved playing games like Knights together.  When they start middle school Elise starts to get embarrassed by Franklin and doesn’t want to hang around with him anymore.  Then there’s her locker buddy, Amanda who nicknames her Scabula and squashes her lunch every morning.  Elise starts to hate school and is afraid to go because of Amanda’s bullying.  Just when she needs it a special surprise comes along.  Her father leaves her a mystery to unlock and with each discovery a new key arrives.

Eight Keys is about a girl discovering who she is and learning about the parents she didn’t know.  When Elise is feeling lost and worried, the mystery that her father left for her comes along and helps her choose who she wants to be.  It helps her see who her mum and dad were and how much they loved her, even before she was born.  You see a real change in Elise, from the worried, confused girl at the start to the confident, happy girl at the end.  I really liked the character of Franklin because he’s funny, loyal and will do anything to help his friend.  Eight Keys is the perfect book for girls who like Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy.  It will make you laugh and cry, but leave a smile on your face.   Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10


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I enjoyed the book Cookie by Jacqueline Wilson.

It’s about a girl called Beauty who lives with her mum and dad. Beauty gets bullied at school and her father bullies her and says that she is ugly!!

Unlike her father ,her mother is really kind she doesn’t get mad at her or hits her or even say that she is ugly. Beauty gets called ugly at her school and she doesn’t have any friends although there is a girl called Rhona who likes her but Rhona is a friend of the girl that bullies Beauty (Skye)and Skye will make fun of Rhona if she hangs out with Beauty.

And her father has silly rules like she’s not allowed to get a pet or spill anything on the floor or accidentally brake the mirror.

When Beauty’s birthday comes up her father spoils her. He asks her what she wants and she says that she wants a bunny, of course   because she watches a show called Sam and Lilly and she is obsessed with Lilly (the bunny).  After that her dad gets very angry because she told him that she wants to get a pet !! So in the morning when its Beauty’s birthday her dad wakes her up with a big horrible beast and it seemed to be a big purple rabbit !! But I’m not going to tell you the whole story you have to read it .

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Cathy Cassidy

The book i am reading at the moment is a really good book called ScarlettScarlett is always getting in trouble with her teachers at school and gets sent to her nana’s.  Her nana got sick of her and so she had to go stay with her uncle who is well. He got annoyed with her and sent her back to her mum. Her mum said it was for the best and so far she is staying with her dad.

What’s going to happen next…

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Not Bad for a Bad Lad by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book is about a boy who is always getting into trouble.  Everyone is always telling him he’s a bad lad.  He gets caught playing on bomb sites, banging rubbish bin lids and stealing tomatoes and even a car.  He gets arrested and sentenced to a year in Borstal, which was a prison for young offenders where they could learn a trade like carpentry, painting or bricklaying.  The judge sends him there to think things over and learn his lesson.  The first few months are tough and the boys are worked hard, ‘laying bricks for hours on end in all weathers, making bread in the kitchens, weeding in the vegetable garden.’  Every morning the boys have to go on a two-mile run and the bad lad likes running past the stables.  One morning, as he goes past the stables the old man who looks after the horses calls him over and offers him an amazing opportunity to help out in the stables. This opportunity helps him to turn his life around and make his family proud of him.

Not Bad for a Bad Lad is another amazing story from Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman, the author and illustrator of War Horse, Kaspar: Prince of Cats and Billy the KidMichael Morpurgo often writes stories about an older person telling a child about their interesting life, and this is one of those stories.  The story is inspirational and Michael Foreman’s illustrations add perfectly to the story.  Don’t get put off by the picture of the horse on the front cover because this isn’t just a story about a horse.  This is a must-read for all Michael Morpurgo fans, but a great book to delve into if you haven’t read any of his books yet.  

Recommended for 9+    10 out of 10

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My sister Jody by Jacqueline Wilson

My sister Jodie  is about two sisters called Pearl and Jodie whose parents get a new job and have to move schools.  Pearl used to have no friends at all but here she has got a few. Jodie used to have lots of friends but now has none and everyone teases her by her red hair and three earrings on her ears. One day they have a thing that’s like a party with fireworks and everything Jodie goes to a tower and tries to scare people like she’s a ghost but Jodie  falls a long fall and breaks alot of bones and sadly….I dont want to spoil to much of it. But will pearl be able to do it?

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Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson

Lola Rose is a great book about two kids- Jayni and Kenny. They are forced to move away from their father. They have to change their names so Jayni becomes the new glamorous Lola Rose!

They find their Auntie Barbara and she helps them. But things change when their mother has to go to hospital.

Find out in the book of Lola Rose!

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

If you have not read this book I think you should read this as it is a really funny book.  It is about a wimpy kid that has a wimpy life.  His name is Greg.  His mum gave him a diary for him to write his feelings in it.  His family treats him like a baby except for his brother Rodrick.   He pulls all sorts of pranks on him and then Greg will pull the pranks on his friend Rowley.  If you want to learn more get a book and read it for yourself.

From Emile

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Spelling B and the Missing of the Magic by Lexi Connor

I think this book is interesting because I like stories with secrets.  It’s about a girl called B who is a witch and can’t find her magic.  B goes to a normal school with her friend George. Her family has magic and use it all the time especially her mum who cooks and cleans with her magic. Throughout the book it was really exciting how B figures out what happened to her magic and what type of magic she has.

By Lily

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Chinatown girl by Eva Wong Ng

This book is about Silvey who lives in New Zealand.  Silvey has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. She hears that Japan is invading lots of counties like Hawaii, China and America.  Will New Zealand be next?  What do you think?

If you what to know more go get the book because I think it’s great.

By Nina

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A Ghost In My Suitcase By Gabrielle Wang

When 12yr old Celeste visits her grandma in China she sees for her first time the girl her grandma adopted, Ting Ting. Ting Ting turns out to be nasty, unwelcoming and jealous that Celeste is grandma’s real grandchild. Though Ting Ting is not grandma’s own she has lived with her for a long time and is determined not to let Celeste into grandma and her’s big secret even though Ting Ting knows that Celeste was born to do it.

By Anne

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Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson

Lily is eleven years old, and lives with her mum and siblings, Bliss, Baxter and Pixie. One day her mum is invited to Spain for a holiday by her new boyfriend Gordon, and accepts, leaving the four children home alone. Lily tries her best to care for her brother and sisters, feeding them whatever is in the cupboard- in other words, ice cream, biscuits and more ice cream. It isn’t long until someone finds out that they are alone and not at school, and Lily and her siblings have to escape to the park, where they sleep in a hollow tree. At one point they can’t find their tree, and have to eat scraps from a cafe until they find it again. Just when Lily does have things under control, an accident occurs, and soon, everyone knows…

One thing that I didn’t like about this book is the mother. Before she leaves for Spain, she takes the children on a shopping trip, and she uses a credit card that she doesn’t own. And when she does return, she goes to court, and the children think that she hasn’t done anything wrong. I did enjoy the dialogue, and the way that the author makes the characters come alive. My favourite character is Lily, because she is so sensible. What I mean is, she is more sensible than her mum. I think that girls would like this book more, and I give it a 6 out of 10.


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The best book ever invented

My favourite book is Clean Break by Jaqueline Wilson, because the title makes the story sound interesting

It’s a very wonderful book for girls ecspecially girls aged seven to eleven (well thats what the book said).

It’s an amazing life story about 3 girls and 2 boys,  how their dad broke up with their mum on Christmas day and then their whole family gets miserable until next christmas when everyone turns their frowns upside down all just because of a little single knock at the door.

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My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is about a boy called Jamie and his family, who are still trying to cope with the loss of his sister’s twin, Rose who was blown up by a terrorist bomb in London five years ago.  Jamie, his dad and sister, Jas decide to move to the Lake District for a ‘fresh start.’  Jamie’s parents are still grieving – his dad has turned to drink and his mum has run off with the support worker.  His sister Jasmine turns to dying her hair, piercing and stops eating.  Jamie however doesn’t really remember his sister and he hasn’t cried at all.  Jamie is more interested in his cat, Roger, his Superman t-shirt, and keeping his new friend Sunya a secret.  Sunya is Muslim and Jamie’s dad keeps reminding him that ‘Muslim’s killed your sister,’ so he must never find out about her.  Jamie’s one wish is that his mum will come back to them and he’ll wear his Superman t-shirt until the day that she does.  When he sees an ad for a TV talent show, he comes up with a plan that he is sure will get his family back together again.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is one of those books that can make you laugh one minute and cry the next.  Jamie is a lovable character that everyone can relate to.  Even with everything that is going in his family, Jamie holds onto the hope that he can fix things and get things back to the way they were.  He has a mind of his own and stands up for what he believes is right and wrong.  If you like stories that are more about the characters than fast-paced action sequences then My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is for you.     Recommended for 10+       10 out of 10

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Jacqueline Wilson’s Lily Alone book trailer

Lily Alone is Jacqueline Wilson’s new book and you can get it now from the library.  Place a hold on Lily Alone at one of our libraries that are open or online using your library card number and PIN. If you don’t have a PIN, phone us on 941-7923.

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Hollie Chips by Anna Gowan.

Hollie Chips has always been different, even as a baby.  For one thing, she can never tell even the tiniest lie- it makes her tongue burn like fire.  She is also very inquisitive  so when she and her mother move to Puriti Road, Hollie is full of questions, such as  “What does Barry Buckscud want?”, “Why is he sizing up Puriti Road, and talking about a dog food factory?”, and the most important, “How am I going to stop him?”  She makes it her quest to be friendly to her neighbours, and make them so happy at Puriti Road that they will refuse to leave. But then Barry Buckscud tells a huge lie to her and her neighbours, and only Hollie knows the truth. It is now up to her to save Puriti Road from Barry- before it’s too late!

When I first saw this book, I have to say that I was the smallest bit discouraged by the cover.  Because of this I was very surprised to find out how well-written it was.  It was only after the first 2-3 pages that I realised how wrong I had been. This book is currently a finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, and I am definitely going to vote for this book.  Girls would probably like this more, but boys would as well if they read it.  Again, never judge a book by its cover! My favourite character was probably Ethel Bainbridge, who is Hollie’s neighbour. She generally hates all children, but by the end she’s a little softer.  I enjoyed the use of dialogue in the book, I thought that it was very life-like, like something that someone would really say. Children from about 8 to 12 would like this book, and I give it an 8 out of 10.


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Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson

This book is about this girl named Violet. She has a brother named Will. Will is adopted, and  he only found out lately.

Violet is inspired by Casper Dream because he writes and draws about fairies. She once wrote to Casper Dream and he replied. But when she wrote to him again it said there is no such address. So she wrote to him every day and kept in a silver box hidden in the back of the cupboard.

Violet has no proper friends at all. At the moment she is friends with two bossy know-it-all-Marnie and Terry. But one day at school a new girl named Jasmin joined the school. Can Violet be friends with this new kid?


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