Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pig the Pug

By: Aaron Blabey
Location: Picture Books BLA
Genre: Animals, friendship

Pig was a pug
and I'm very sorry to say,
he was greedy and selfish
in most every way...

This is such a cute picture book by the much-loved, award-winning Aaron Blabey.

This books helps us to learn about friendship and sharing our lives (and things) with other people.

Fergus and I have been enjoying this book these holidays.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Chosen Queen

By: Joanna Courtney
Location: FIC COU
Genre: Historical fiction, medieval, 11th century

This is the first book in 'The Queens of the Conquest' trilogy- a new series by Joanna Courtney.

1066: A date that changed the course of history; a date that changed her life forever

Love should be free - that is what Edyth Alfgarsdottir has always believed. As a young girl she witnessed Earl Harold standing barefoot in his handfast marriage to the beautiful Lady Svana and has yearned for her own love match ever since.

Amongst England's royal court, marriages are not often chosen for love and political matches are rife while King Edward is still without an heir. When her family are exiled to the wild Welsh court, Edyth unexpectedly finds herself falling for the charismatic Griffin - first King of all of Wales. Becoming his Queen catapults Edyth onto the opposing side of a bitter feud between England and Wales. She has to grow up fast but has the support and encouragement of her closest friend, Lady Svana.

Years later, Edyth is in line to take the crown of England. This time the lines of love and duty are far more blurred. As 1066 dawns, Edyth and Svana will be asked to make an even greater sacrifice, perhaps the greatest of all. In the midst of war, can love - and freedom - survive?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Silencer

By: Andy McNab
Location: FIC MCN
Genre: thriller, adventure, war, series

This book is #15 in the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab and switches back and forth between 1993 and 2012.

In 1993: Under deep cover, Nick Stone and a specialist surveillance team have spent weeks in the jungles and city streets of Colombia. Their mission: to locate the boss of the world's most murderous drugs cartel - and terminate him with extreme prejudice. 

Now they can strike. But to get close enough to fire the fatal shot, Nick must reveal his face. It's a risk he's willing to take - since only the man who is about to die will see him. Or so he thinks...

2012: Nick is in Moscow; semi-retired; semi-married to Anna; very much the devoted father of their newborn son. But when the boy falls dangerously ill and the doctor who saves him comes under threat, Nick finds himself back in the firing line. To stop his cover being terminally blown, he must follow a trail that begins in Triad-controlled Hong Kong and propels him back into the even more brutal world he thought he'd left behind.

The forces ranged against him have guns, helicopters, private armies and a terrified population in their vice-like grip. Nick Stone has two decades of operational skills that may no longer be deniable - and a fierce desire to protect a woman and a child who now mean more to him than life itself.

This book is currently scoring a 3.96/5 on Goodreads.com

Oragami

By: Florence Sakade
Location: 736 SAK
Genre: Paper craft, cute things, use your hands.

Learning the art of oragami is definitely on my to-do list and this book really helps to make it look simple and fun. 

This book by Florence Sakade features over 50 oragami creations you can make, including a sailboat, flowers, chairs, and a huge variety of animals. Each creation has step by step instructions with pictures to help you to create something you can be proud of. 

With beautiful pictures and instructions all you need is to organise your oragmi paper and fold!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Taking

By: Kimberly Derting
Location: FIC DER
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, are memories all they are cracked up to be? 

This is book one in a new series (also entitled 'The Taking').

Kyra is 16 and wakes up behind a pile of rubbish at a petrol station really confused and with no idea at all about how she got there. Upon arriving home she finds a strange man there and things are not right. She finally finds out that while she thinks she is missing only one night's worth of memories she has actually been missing for five years. What is even stranger is that she looks no different to she did five years ago!

Kyra's life is very different to before- her parents are divorced and her mum is remarried, she was an only child and she now has a brother, her boyfriend is now dating the girl who was her best friend...

Kyra turns to her old boyfriend's younger brother, Tyler, and together they retrace her steps from the night she disappeared. They discover strange phenomena that no one can explain. In fact, there are others who have been taken... and returned much later. Kyra tries to figure out an explanation and get back the life she used to have, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Vivian Versus the Apocalypse

By: Katie Coyle
Location: FIC COY
Genre: Dystopian, frienship, mystery, tips for surviving the 'Rapture', journey, young adult, coming-of-age

This book is also published under 'Vivian Apple at the End of the World' and it is part of a new series by Katie Coyle. Rolling Stone named this book one of the best 40 YA books of all time.  Big call!

This book is about Vivian ( a really fab female protagonist) whose parents are part of the Church of America. Of course Vivian does not believe in the 'Rapture'... until she wakes in a New World and her parents are gone, leaving two empty spaces behind. All of the Believers have been taken... and well... Vivian and the other
Non-Believers are left behind. The world is a lonely and desolate place for Vivian, so luckily she has her friend Harp there to help.

Harp and Vivian travel across America to try and find any family and friends that have remained. They suffer through fog, heat waves, floods, and other trials and tribulations. This journey becomes an epic coming-of-age trip and we learn so much about Vivian.

If you are put off by the religion aspect of the novel (whether you are pro or con) be aware that this does not take over the novel -  rather it provides a context and a beginning focus for the apocalypse to take place.

This was a really interesting read! I am looking forward to the second in the series.

Monday, September 21, 2015

One

By: Sarah Crossan
Location: FIC CRO
Genre: life connected to your sister, family, drama, poetry, realisitc fiction

Grace and Tippi are twins, in fact they are conjoined twins. They have been homeschooled for a large portion of their lives, but now it is time for them to venture into the real world, or reality.

We all know the real world is full of judging people, of those people who stare and snigger, so how will two girls who are physically (and emotionally) dependent on each other cope? Can they find real friends? And what about love?

In the end they learn some nice, and some not so nice, truths about the world, and have to make one of (if not the) biggest decisions of their lives.

This is another book by the author of 'Apple and Rain' and once again she writes so beautifully and shares the truth of the world in a way that really made me think.
Mrs Bichan reviewed 'Apple and Rain' here http://camhigh.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=apple+and+rain

This novel was so intriguing because it was divided into months of the year and written entirely in poetry. Does that make is a novel or an anthology of poetry...? Some of the poems are short, and others are long. All of the poems have a meaningful title and they all help to beautifully propel Grace and Tippi's story/stories along.

This novel is currently rated as 4.36/5 on Goodreads.com

Legacy of Kings

By: Eleanor Herman
Location: FIC HER
Genre: History brought alive, fantasy, mythology, romance, murder, magic, multiple POVs

This is book one in a new series entitled 'Blood of Gods and Royals' and is Herman's first fictional story.

From the blurb:
"Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman re-imagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series."

There are four main characters in this story who all play a huge role. They are:
Alexander: a 16 year old teenager who is getting ready to conquer the known world but then discovers a newcomer to the realm (queue the romance!)
Katerina: the love interest who is actually on a mission to kill the queen.
Jacob: HE wants Katerina and will do what it takes to win her.
Zofia: Alexander's unmet fiancee (awkward) and a Persian princess. 

The character Alexander is based on Alexander the Great and this story is told through multiple points of views, with eventually the characters' stories intermingling. 

They are my thoughts, here are Alison's (from Goodreads.com):

"This book was so much more than I was expecting, and I absolutely loved it for that. The first in the new series titled Blood of Gods and Royals (I mean, how fantastic is that), this is a wonderful blend of Ancient Greek history and fantasy. 

As a multiple POV novel, I absolutely loved that there were more female leads than male leads, and that all of them were significant, cunning, and completely dynamic, as well as morally grey. 

From the moment I picked this up, I was drawn to the absolute mastery of the setting and the characters. To top it all off, the writing brings in all of the characters so fluidly that it's almost unnoticeable. 

Can't wait to see where this series takes us!"

The Accident Season

By: Moira Fowley-Doyle
Location: FIC FOW
Genre: Accident-prone, magic realism, teenagers

Cara is seventeen and every October experiences the accident season. This is basically a time where what might seem as little things are in fact huge and crazy- tripping over a step... break your leg. Wash the dishes... cut your arm. Strange.
Cara's family is very accident-prone. It's almost as if they are cursed.

This novel is currently scored 3.84/5 on Goodreads. There are so many mixed reviews on the internet about it. It's really a novel you just need to try for yourself and see what you think.

I liked learning about the relationships between all of the characters, realising that I am not the only one who is crazily-accident prone and clumsy in the world, and expanding my reading into the fantasy realm.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Supernatural Enhancements

By: Edgar Cantero
Location: FIC CAN
Genre: Modern Gothic Literature, Epistolary Novel (a novel written as a series of documents), Mystery

You know by now that I love books that look interesting on the page, and this epistolary novel by Edgar Cantero did not disappoint.

This is a modern Gothic horror and it integrates so many intriguing factors that it was hard to put down.
I loved:

  • The documents throughout the novel (letters, cipher puzzles, notes between characters, postcards, video recording dictations, diary entries...)
  • The fact that the protagonist's main sidekick is mute 
  • Mystery + whodunnit
  • The protagonist A and his personality

This is a Gothic ghost story mixed with a modern treasure hunt and is really enjoyable to read. 

23 year old A. appears to randomly inherit a huge big estate (Axton House) after the death of a second cousin. His second cousin had committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window (at the same age and spot his father had)...

A. and Niamh (mute friend and sidekick) realise that there is so much more to the story and the house as they become aware the house is haunted and there are many secrets buried. Everything is figured out through the puzzles, diary entries, notes between Niamh and A., postcards, letters, and traditional creative writing.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see if Cantero creates another one in a similar style.  


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

By: Stephanie Oakes
Location: FIC OAK
Genre: Mystery thriller, cult-life, lies vs reality 


"I am a blood-soaked girl." The first lines of the novel gripped me.

Minnow Bly was taken to live in a cult with her family when she was a child. The cult's leader, the Prophet, had created a religion to suit him, and everyone in the cult community went along with it. No one questioned the Prophet's stories and intentions until Minnow.
For this she had her hands chopped off.
Minnow hated life in the cult (especially after her hands were cut off!) and planned to leave.
The opportunity arose when the Prophet died- so she ran.

What happens next is we find out about the stories Minnow shares with a friend Angel, stories within her head, and with an FBI psychologist.

This story was a riveting read and the whole way through I was working out what the truth was.

This is Stephanie Oake's debut novel and I am very impressed.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

By: Morgan Matson
Location: FIC MAT
Genre: Youth Fiction, Finding Yourself While Road-Tripping Across America

Mrs Bichan wrote about this novel on August 27 http://www.camhigh.blogspot.co.nz/2015/08/amy-and-rogers-epic-detour.html but I have finished it now and really wanted to tell you about it too.

I absolutely love reading books that look aesthetically pleasing on the page - they resonate with me and I feel compelled to turn to the next page and see what is there.
I was lucky enough to attend a three day writer's course with author David Hill a few years back, and he emphasized how important it was to consider what the words on the page look like. Budding writers - that is a tip for you (and you didn't have to pay around $600).

Morgan Matson has created an interactive book for your eyes and mind. Some pages are your traditional normal words on the page, and others are handwritten, straight out of Amy's travel journal. There are also playlists (of real songs) that Amy and Roger listened to while travelling from the East to West Coast of America. There are illustrations dotted throughout the novel of various things. Overall, this book looks great and really made me want to pick it up.

What actually happens in it? Well Amy's dad has passed away and her mum decides they have to move across the country. She can't drive (you find out why) and so a family friend of the same age (Roger) is set up to drive her across America to where her mum has now relocated. Amy and Roger are in their late teens and the trip becomes very much about them finding out who they are and how they fit into the world.

343 beautifully designed pages of teenagers figuring out who they are - I would say this is a fab book to have as my first review!




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mrs Bichan is going away...

Author: Amy Featonby
Genre: English Teacher
Location: Enjoying thoughts in my head

Mrs Bichan is going to Africa to build a library - such fun! I will be writing the blog when she is away.

Who am I?
I'm Mrs Featonby and I'm an English teacher in D4. I live with my husband who is a Chemist, our three-year old son Fergus, and two cats (Jeffrey and George). I also feed the school cat called Stephen (shhhh!).
I have so many favourite books and am enjoying reading new ones that are arriving in the library - I will post about them soon.

Fergus and Me

Wild Boy

By: Brando Yelanvich
Location: NF 920 YEL
Genre: Messed up lad gets life back on track by going
on an epic adventure!

What happens when you get a person with ADD and Dyslexia- first school is real hard for them, their brain and muscles are working real hard- just not in the way they are boxed and hounded to be in a school environment- it is tough. They have the energy, they have the smarts, they have drive but they don't fit the rigid mould. It is no wonder they ping! School is like a daily visit to the dentist! It is a daily fail, a daily never meeting the expectations, a daily stuffing it up!

Brando pinged, he hit the road of rebellion, booze, drugs and travelling the road of having dreams that could not be attained. This led to him becoming messed up and having skirmishes with the law.
What I love about this guy is his guts and courage to bust out of that mould, he decided not to stay in that place, instead he decided to walk around the coast on New Zealand. ADD/ Dyslexics are visionaries, they dream and do the dream, they are world changers, they rock rattle and roll and I am so thankful for them!  I know- my son is one of them! He too is a lover of the outdoors in NZ and works in this field for his work as an instructor for youth at risk. These two should met!

So this  plucky 20-year-old from Auckland's North Shore, decided he needed to change his life. He needed a mission. He was going to walk around New Zealand.

Brando reached Cape Reinga on 23 August 2014 after a gruelling journey of over 8000 kilometres, traversed almost completely on foot over 600 days – the first time it had ever been done.

It was an outlandish odyssey of physical and mental fortitude. He slept under the stars and lived off the land. He almost drowned on several occasions and experienced near-hypothermia. He gained 20 kilograms. But the transformation ran much deeper, it changed him.

A friend just bowled into the library and said she heard Brando speak she said he was amazing, a real inspiration. It proves if you want too, if you are determined and intentional you can change your life around and there is no better place to do that than in the mighty outdoors! It is a great story written by a courageous and gusty young man who is gifted with a combo of abilities called ADD/Dyslexia and he will rock and roll his world. You Go!!


Friday, September 11, 2015

The Epic Book of Epicness

By: Adam Frost
Location: NF 030.2 FRO
Genre: Interesting and Disgusting Facts


The boys are drawling over this book in my office quoting hideous information to each other about how much drawl we swallow and how many insects I will eat in my life time. Boys- why do you like this stuff???

Have to say I loved finding out that Japanese pigs say Boo Boo not Oink Oink!

This is EPIC knowledge about the weirdest, silliest, funniest, scariest and most worrisome things in the whole world, ever!
Its also dead scary. If all the dead people on earth came back to like as Zombies there would be 101 billion Zombies in the world.
And in the UK there are 50 million pet fish! There you have it, an awesome book of epic epicness!
Its a good Friday book and is sure to make your family gag and laugh and be amazed at this world we live in and just perhaps give it a little more respect for being the awesome earth that it is!

5th Wave : The Movie


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Make Me

By: Lee Child

Location: In the Top Corridor and then in the PE office and then finally it will find its way back to the library! I have been told this Reacher story- is dark, very dark! But good- if you are into that!


Carol said this about it
"This was one of the darkest, most grim Reacher novels ever. I liked the slow build up and the tight mystery that kept me baffled yet engaged for most of the book but near the end things get really gloomy."

Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.



If I Fall, I Die

By: Michael Christie
Location: FIC CHR
Genre: Young Adult- Family- Coming of age


I  love being outside, it is the biggest downfall of my job as a librarian- stuck inside. I love blue sky, and birds and sun and wind and adventures. I could never be agrophobic- ever!

"If I Fall, If I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age"

“Being brave is never easy. That's why it's good for you.” 
― Michael ChristieIf I Fall, If I Die


Diane and Will Cardiel are a mother and her young son living in Thunder Bay, Michigan. Diane is an intense agoraphobe, who started feeling afraid of the “Outside” when Will was just a baby. Family tragedies made her feel the need to protect Will from everything that could possibly happen. “Wordlessly she’d taught him that the Outside was built of danger, of slicing edges and crushing weights, of piercing needle-points and pummeling drop-offs, of an unrelenting potential for suffocation, electrocution, mayhem, and harm.” Will has never been outside and wears a helmet at all times. 

One day Will ventures Outside and finds a whole new world. He meets a few friends like Marcus who tells him, “There’s nothing to be scared of out here,” and Jonah who teaches him how to skateboard and navigate the confusing outside world. As Will grows up and becomes more involved with the outside world he becomes braver while his mother becomes more scared. The alternating points of view make the story interesting. 

The book deals with issues of mental health, relationships between mothers and sons, testing limits and becoming independent. 

The boy stepped Outside, and he did not die. 

He was not riddled with arrows, his hair did not spring into flame, and his breath did not crush his lungs like spent grocery bags. His eyeballs did not sizzle in their sockets, and his heart’s pistons did not seize. No barbarian lopped his head into a blood-soggy wicker basket, and no glinting ninja stars were zinged into his throat. 

Actually, incredibly; nothing happened – no immolation, no bloodbath, no spontaneous asphyxiation, no tide of shivery

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Exile

By: Kevin Emerson
Location: FIC EME
Genre: Rock

Not who I am.
Not where I am going.
But Ill meet you there.

PITCH PERFECT...  IN A BOOK

" This engaging read steeped in music, romance and mystery opens a promising trilogy" Kirkus

Kevin Emerson’s EXILE is a witty and passionate ode to love, rock and roll, and the freedom that comes in the moment when somebody believes in you, even if you’re not quite ready to believe in yourself.

"...all together, it's doing that thing, he's doing that thing that a song can do. Do you know it? When a song inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will?"

Catherine Summer Carlson lives a double life. At home, she's Catherine, giving her parents the illusion of striving to meet their traditional expectations for her life. At school, she's Summer, breathing rock and roll, expertly spotting especially talented bands and working tirelessly to manage them into successful careers. Her high school, with its unique music program, has no shortage of talent.

Exile begins at the start of a new school year, when anything is possible. As 18-year-old Summer tries to move on from the band, boyfriend, and betrayal of her junior year, she meets Caleb, who is also struggling to come to terms with the past and move forward. This is where the romance, mystery, and rock ensue.


Monday, September 7, 2015

What you left behind

By:Jessica Verdi
Location: FIC VER
Genre: Cancer, death and single Dads!

This reminds of of All the Bright Places x Fault in our Stars!

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

Hate it or love it... or somewhere in the middle, Jessica Verdi packs in big issues worth looking at...
Teenage Pregnancy
Teenage cancer
Teenage cancer with pregnancy
To abort or not to abort
Birth control .... The truth that nobody is talking about
Lies .....The lies that nobody is talking about 
Under age parenting
Single -underage dad 
Parents and grandparents... What's their responsibility -- their role?
......and how might grandparents from both sides of the child, interact? Be of support? Does an underage dead girl's parents have any responsibility towards a baby who died by her before she was born? If so... I sure as hell didn't see anyone step forward. 
Financial concerns, work, education, household chores, food prep, hobbies, sports, friendships, 'love interests' ....[how do all these things help raise a child].... 
What the to do when you are being pull in a zillion different directions? 
AND... 
Still yet to come: is another hidden secret which may be 'most' important topic to talk 
about...(but to say, would be too big of a spoiler). 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Zero World

By: Jason M Hough
Location: FIC HOU
Genre: 007 x Sci Fi

 A THRILLING ACTION RAMPAGE

This book combines the adrenaline of a high-octane James Bond adventure with mind-blowing sci-fi !

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike anything he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the very fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that appears to be Earth’s twin.
 
Peter quickly discovers that this mirrored world is indeed very different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But nothing can prepare him for what awaits on the planet’s surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.


Zero World is an entertaining thriller with the added bonus of a few questions worth musing over. Peter’s entire lifestyle hinges upon his lack of accountability. Because he can forget everything, he feels responsible for nothing--after all, he’s not the man who completed the mission. But does freedom from memory really mean freedom from accountability?

“This will be the most interesting mission you’ll ever forget.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jerome Kaino- My Story

By: Jerome Kaino
Location: NF 920 KAI
Genre: Growing up in South Auckland and playing rugby!


"Through adversity came strength"

I started to read this book, in the part about growing up in South Auckland, it was a bit like A Fault in our Stars. I sat and read that for 45 minutes without moving- before it became famous. This book got me, the yarn, the stories of New Zealand childhood, I learnt some stuff , I remembered some stuff. It is compelling... and then there is some rugby stories as well!


The revealing autobiography of New Zealand rugby legend Jerome Kaino.

At just 21 years old Jerome Kaino was touted as the next big thing in world rugby. In his first year of professional rugby, he made spectacular debuts for Auckland, the Blues and the All Blacks. It was a dream beginning for this quiet Samoan kid from South Auckland. But just as quickly as it all began, his career took a sharp turn for the worse, his life spiralling out of control.

With over 50 All Black caps, 100 matches for the Blues and a Rugby World Cup victory to his name, Jerome Kaino is one of New Zealand's true sporting heroes. Now for the very first time, Kaino lays bare his greatest triumphs and adversities, with rare insights ahead of perhaps his greatest test of all - winning back-to-back world cups for New Zealand


The Girl at Midnight

By: Melissa Grey
Location: FIC GRE
Genre: Urban Fantasy with dragons

“The young always think they’re invincible, right until the moment they learn otherwise. Usually, the hard way.”

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.


“He was sickeningly handsome, verging on beautiful... his eyes were the kind of green that would make emeralds weep with envy.”