Posts tagged Northwood

Best Books of 2011

Thanks to everyone who voted in our Best Books of 2011 Competition.  The votes have been counted and we can now announce the winners.  The best Kids book of 2011 is Northwood by Brian Falkner and the best Young Adult book of 2011 is Plague by Michael Grant.  You can see how many votes each book got in the polls below.

Everyone who entered went into the draw to win the Top 5 books and the winners are:

  • Kids – Annahlise Hall
  • Young Adult – Rebecca Deakins

       

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Guest Post: Brian Falkner on 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Northwood

Brian Falkner’s new book, Northwood is one of the best books I’ve read lately. I always enjoy his books because they’re really unique.  I asked Brian if could tell us a little bit about Northwood, so here are 10 things you didn’t know about Northwood.

1. Northwood, Lake Rosedale, Brookfield, and many of the other place names in the book are real places in Albany where I used to live.

2. When it says at the beginning “usually at this stage of a story the person telling it has some idea of how it will end, but I can tell you quite honestly that I have no idea at all” … that was true! I wrote the first chapter without any idea what would come next. The story just grew naturally and I found out what was going on one chapter at a time!

3. To some extent Northwood was inspired by my favourite Roald Dahl book: Matilda. I wanted to write a book like that about a girl with a special ability.

4. The very last sentence in the book is based a quotation from Bhudda that I found intriguing. I actually used this quote also in Brainjack, but it got removed in the final edit.

5. As a kid I loved Enid Blyton books, full of mystery and secret passageways. I always wanted to include a secret passageway in one of my books, and finally I did, in Northwood!

6. The story of Princess Annachanel of Storm was originally going to be a book by itself. The idea sat around for a long time and I never managed to turn it into a book, so I decided to include it as part of Northwood. I thought it worked well and added a sense of history to Castle Storm.

7. Jana, who comes from the Bahamas, originally spoke in “Broken English” which is a version of English spoken in the Bahamas. However it was a bit hard to understand, so we changed it to English, with just of tint of the Bahamanian style of talking.

8. I once had to spell rhododendron at a Trivia night, and failed.

9. Mr Jingles,who owns the safari park in Northwood, was the name of the mouse in a Stephen King story called “The Green Mile”.

10. My favourite line in Northwood is when Cecilia tries to explain to the twins where pizza comes from. I won’t explain it, you have to read it.

I hope you enjoy reading Northwood as much as I enjoyed writing it!

See ya

Brian

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Northwood by Brian Falkner

The best books grip you from the first few sentences and you want to keep reading until you get to the end.  Northwood  by Brian Falkner is one of those books.  Here are the opening sentences:

“This is the strange story of Miss Cecilia Undergarment and the black lions of Northwood.  It is probably not true, but who really knows for sure.”

Straight away, you want to know all about Cecilia Undergarment (like why does she have such a funny name?), why the story is so strange, and what are black lions?  So now you’re sucked into the story and want to find out what happens to Cecilia.

Cecilia Undergarment lives with her extraordinary family in her extraordinary house, which is shaped like a huge bunch of balloons (to find out why you’ll have to read the book).  Wouldn’t it be great to live in a house made of balloons!  One day while looking out her window she sees a sad and neglected dog trying to escape from the house next door.  She rescues the dog, but the dog’s mean owner destroys her home and sends her balloon room floating away, until it lands in the dark forest of  Northwood.  The forest is home to the ferocious black lions and anyone who has entered Northwood has never returned.  Cecilia and the dog, Rocky find refuge in Northwood at Castle Storm, which is ruled by the horrible King Harry.  Cecilia is determined to find a way out of Northwood, but King Harry will do anything to stop the people leaving.

Brian Falkner has created an amazing world.  When I started reading I was transported into the world of Northwood and felt like I was right there with Cecilia on her adventure.  I could picture the dark tarblood trees of the forest and the dusty rooms of Castle Storm, smell the damp forest, and hear the low rumble of the black lions.  Cecilia is a really cool character and someone who you would want to be friends with.   I also really loved Donovan Bixley’s illustrations, especially the way he portrays King Harry, and the cool cover that really stands out.

Recommended for 9+     10 out of 10

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