We are lucky to back up and running in our lovely refreshed library space at Raroa Intermediate. Thank you to Paul Le Roy for all his hard work at the end of the year to make this possible and thank you to The Johnsonville Club for their generous grant to help pay for the replacement blinds needed. We are brightened and watertight and after the moving blessing this morning by Wetini Herewini and Joanne Chell we are open for business. The business of reading!
The Spinoff has provided us with this great website - The Policy to help us educate ourselves about what political parties are planning to do if we vote for them. Comprehensive but accessible information that voters have an obligation to know about before exercising their electoral rights.
Having said that, let's hope that an informed public can trust politicians to do what they say they will do!
I recommend reading or rereading this wonderful story before the movie comes out late in September this year.
The first in the fantasy trilogy The Huntress by Sarah Driver, Sea is a swashbuckling fantasy adventure that is gritty and dark and not one for the landlubber.
Mouse, about to turn 13 sails on The Huntress with her Grandma captain and helps look after her little brother Sparrow. As well as being recklessly brave Mouse is able to understand the beast chatter that all animals communicate with. The first creatures we meet are attacking terrodyls, intent on sinking their ship and letting the sharks eat their remains - huge, flying, vicious monsters that sound horrifying "killdeathdiepaindrownstrikedeathscuttlekill". (Reminded me of Patrick Ness's croc's noise "flesh...feast...tooth" in The Knife of Never Letting Go).
Mouse and Sparrow's dad has gone missing but has left some mysterious clues for Mouse to follow - herein begins a dangerous quest with battles and intrigue, a nasty traitor and more monsters, a wise cracking crow and two more books in the trilogy after this one.
Recommended, especially for lovers of His Dark Materials, The Chronicles of Darkness and The Lie Tree.
Thank you to Hardie Grant for this review copy.
I noticed recently that we seemed to have rather a lot of new books that seemed to be about fish . . . or were they? On closer reading, in fact there was not a fish in sight, but some wonderful storytelling. Here's a few of them.
being able to read.
For fans of Wonder, this is a feel good novel that celebrates people's differences and is a testament to the resilience of youth and the power of a great teacher. Lynda Mullaly Hunt says this book is in some way a love letter to her own 6th grade teacher who helped her become a confident happy student in a similar way.
Highly recommended for upper primary students and would make a great read aloud at the beginning of the year, or anytime really.
He has become so worried he has trouble leaving his house and spends his time watching what goes on in the cul de sac he lives in from his room upstairs, hence the title of the book. When a toddler goes missing from next door Matthew has to decide if he is brave enough to leave his sanctuary to save the day and move towards understanding what is happening to him.
Also highly recommended for upper primary with some intense emotions dealt with with a deft hand and appropriate humour. The illustrations by Mike Lowery are fun too.
For those of you familiar with this amazing home grown New Zealand research tool you will be pleased to see the wonderful updated version that has taken much hard work to develop. It is visually attractive and much more user friendly. Many Answers is the place to search for already answered questions, especially good as a first port of call.
If you have never used AnyQuestions before I recommend it, especially as a tool to teach our students how and where to find appropriate material online. No small task these days.
For fans of great humourous stories by authors like Andy Griffiths, Jeff Kinney and David Walliams, Beaky Malone is a new character who will tickle the funny bones of readers who love slapstick and toilet humour.
Barry Hutchison has created a cheeky, fart smelling, over the top liar who entertains us by driving all those around him mad with his need to exaggerate and stretch the truth at every turn. Really stretch the truth!
So when he mysteriously ends up not being able to lie, no matter how hard he tries at first no-one believes him and then he causes as much trouble, if not more by telling too much of the truth.
A great book for reluctant readers, especially boys. Perfect for Intermediate (11-13 years) and would make a fun class read aloud if you are confident with toilet humour.
Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont publishers for our review copy.
When the NZ school library professional organisation SLANZA recently decided to make a video to promote its work and that of school librarians, Raroa Intermediate was the school chosen to represent its sector. Houghton Bay School and Wellington High School were the other two schools representing primary and secondary education.
Thank you to the students (and Kobe) who were involved in the making of the video. There was a lot of filming done and only some of it could be included due to time constraints, so don't be too disappointed if you don't feature.
Thank you also to Luke Frater, director and cameraman and Dean Zillwood, camera and lighting assistant. You made it look easy and did a very professional job. Also thank you Karen Clarke, Library Manager at St Patrick's College for making this happen.
I'm a big Kevin Brooks fan - one of the reasons I asked to review this book for Hardie Grant Publishing (thank you very much for the opportunity) - but I'm not entirely sure I'm really made of brave enough stuff to read his books!
Born Scared is not a "scary" book in the classic sense, although it is indeed a fast paced, many levelled psychological thriller about fear, (what else would you really expect from Brooks after all), but it is a story that I had to gird my loins to read. And not just because reading Brooks' 2013 book The Bunker Diary was such a traumatic experience.
Elliot is a boy who is afraid of everything, barely functioning, completely terrified all the time, with only the edge taken off by medication. He only feels safe with three people; his mother, aunt and doctor and he talks to his dead twin sister, who acts as his braver alter ego who helps him in times of terror, of which there are many. This makes him an uncomfortable protagonist to identify with - why would I like this neurotic, disturbed and friendless character? Only I did, Brooks made me care and then I was caught up in Elliot's struggle and completely hooked into the horrifying scenario that ensued, right up until the surprising conclusion, that I couldn't possibly give away!
Do I think we should have Born Scared in our Intermediate library? Absolutely! Will it challenge some of our students? Oh I hope so!
There are some great YA books about to hit (or already on) our screens - check out the trailers. I'm still not convinced that you should ever judge a book by its movie but I am willing to be entertained. Especially when it's one of my favourite ever books by Patrick Ness - "A Monster Calls".