Posts tagged young adult

School for Good and Evil book trailer

Every four years, two girls are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it these lost children are sent to the School for Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they become fairytale heroes or villains. Sophie, the most beautiful girl in town, has always dreamed of her place at the School for Good while her friend Agatha, with her dark disposition seems destined for the School for Evil. But when the two are kidnapped they find their fortunes reversed

Reserve your copy of The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani at your library now

Comments (1) »


Lee Murray smallWhat a great sun-filled weekend here in the Bay of Plenty!

One weekend last year, I attended a talk by one of my favourite authors, Anna Mackenzie, who hails from that other well-known New Zealand bay – the Hawkes Bay. Many of you will know Anna as the author of books like High Tide, Out on the Edge, Shadow of the Mountain, The Sea-wreck Stranger, Ebony Hill, and Finder’s Shore. (Wonderful stories – and more ideas for your New Zealand Book Month reading list.) Anna told our group how she’d been passionate about writing from a young age – she even showed us an exercise book full of stories written while she was at primary school, all beautifully illustrated in colour pencil. What struck me was that very early on, Anna had cottoned on to the idea that for a story to be successful it needs conflict. This was made very clear, because in her now-tatty exercise book of handwritten stories, little Anna had spelled out the word BUT in bold capital letters. Already, Anna had realised that there is no story without BUT, no story without conflict.

Take a look at the following story ideas. Can you see that it’s not until we reach the word BUT, when the conflict is introduced, that they start to get interesting…

  • Tara and Mikey head off to the beach with Dad BUT the car breaks down outside a creepy farmhouse…
  • Aroha leaves her potato bread in the laundry to rise BUT when she comes back, something else has grown instead…
  • Jonathan goes to footie practice BUT he’s had to bring his gear in his little sister Gemma’s pink backpack and now the guys on the team are laughing at him…Cattra's LegacyYou’ll be pleased to know that Anna has a brand new book coming out in just a few week’s time. Called Cattra’s Legacy, it’s the story of 13-year old Risha, whose father dies suddenly, leaving her an outcast in the mountain village where up until now she’s lived a simple life. BUT Risha disguises herself as a boy, leaving the village with traders on a quest to discover the truth about her mother, Cattra, and her heritage. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m going to pop into the library and reserve a copy…

Comments off

The 13th Horseman Book Launch

Come along to Shirley Library this Friday (25 May) from 4pm and celebrate the launch of a a cool new book, called The 13th Horseman by UK author Barry Hutchison.   Barry is also the author of the incredibly creepy Invisible Fiends series, including Mr Mumbles and Raggy Maggie.  Hear Barry talk about his hilarious new book and enjoy drinks and snacks fit for a Horseman of the Apocalypse.  We have 3 copies of The 13th Horseman to give away and everyone gets a signed bookplate.

The event is free and suitable for ages 10 years and up.

Comments off

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy, set in a place in the middle of what used to be North America, called Panem. Panem consists of twelve districts, that surround a city called the Capitol. The Capitol is cruel, and has complete control over those who live in the districts.  They keep them from starting a rebellion by forcing each district to provide a boy and a girl from 12 to 18, who are all sent to the Capitol to take part in the Hunger Games, which is a fight to the death in a huge arena. The person who is left alive wins, and lives in glory, fame, and riches from then on. The others all die. The worst part? The districts are forced to celebrate it, and it is made into a television show.  Katniss Everdeen is sent to the Capitol from District 12, taking her sisters place in the games to protect her. She has escaped death before, and is skilled with a bow and arrow, but each of the 24 contestants are all fighting to survive. She will have to make hard decisions to live through the games.

The concept behind the Hunger Games was so original, and I turned the pages especially fast during the middle, when the Hunger Games were actually happening. The description was simple and brief, but the action and dialogue made up for that entirely.
My favourite character was probably Katniss, but I found that by the end of the book, to my greatest surprise, I had become rather fond of Haymitch, who is Katniss’s drunken mentor. I thought that Peeta, who is the boy from District 12, was a little weak, and Katniss was always protecting him, so in a way, he was a bit wimpy.

I am excited to find out what happens next, because by the end of the book Katniss is in quite a bit of trouble. I’m not telling you what happens, though, you’ll have to find that out yourself!

I think that kids from 12 to 15 would like this book the most (although my dad loves the book just as much as I do!). The Hunger Games is also being turned into what is going to be an epic movie.

By Tierney, age 12.

Comments (1) »

Beastly by Alix Flinn

I AM A BEAST. A BEAST! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.  You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever-ruined-unless i can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly……..BEASTLY.”

This book is a modern version of “Beauty and the beast” It is a romantic book and is much better than the movie (Like most books/movies) It tells you a good lesson too. Someone’s inside is more important than the outside. Three things that I liked about it were … the good lesson, that it is a modern take on a classic Disney movie, and that it is nicely paced. Its a very good book that I recommend for year 8 up girls, that love romantic stories.


Emma C. from the Queenspark Noses In Books group 🙂

Comments (1) »

Time Freeze

Science fiction grabbed me as a teenager. I was an impatient reader and loved short sci-fi stories packed with ideas. They had cool surprise endings too, like Arthur C Clarke’s All the Time in the World about a man who freezes time; and Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder where an insect changes history. I still treasure my copy of Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun – cost me 65c new in 1970; about an hour’s raspberry picking then.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was also great with it’s spiritual physics and the ending when the disembodied alien brain is defeated. It’s the inspiration for a sci-fi novel I’m working on. I like what L’Engle said about writing too:

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.

I loved sci-fi movies too, like Planet of the Apes (1968, final shot pictured), and movies where scientists battled giant insects – the stop-motion animation so endearing. The monsters often attacked Tokyo so I made this the setting for my latest novel Wings, about bees battling giant hornets.

That’s all for now about the stories that made me. Tune in next blog for some writing tips.

Comments (4) »

The Phoenix Files: Contact by Chris Morphew

Contact jumps straight back into the story of Jordan, Luke and Peter, three of the inhabitants (or prisoners) of the town of Phoenix.  It starts off right where the first book, Arrival ended with Luke, Peter and Jordan hearing the ring of a phone and running off to find out who the phone belongs to.  You learn in the first book that the phones and internet don’t work in Phoenix so it’s strange to hear a phone ringing.  This mysterious phone sets off a string of events that Luke, Peter and Jordan get caught up in.  The people who are in charge of Phoenix discover that the three of them are snooping around, so their principal gives them tasks to keep them busy.  This doesn’t stop them investigating the plans of the Shackleton Cooperative to bring about the end of the world, and as they uncover more secrets they find themselves fighting to save themselves and the ones they love.

Contact is fast-paced and so suspenseful that I found I was racing to finish the book.  Luke, Peter and Jordan get themselves into some really tight situations in this book and you wonder if they are going to get out of them alive.  The part when they are in Ketterley’s office really had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that they didn’t get caught.  One of the things I liked best about Contact is that Chris Morphew told the story from a different character’s perspective.  We see things from Peter’s point of view, which is quite different from Luke’s in the first book.  Hopefully the third book, Mutation will be told from Jordan’s perspective.  I’m going to get started on Mutation straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Recommended for 12+.   10 out of 10

Comments (2) »

%d bloggers like this: