27 November 2020
When meeting someone, we use first impressions to decide how we feel about them, at least until we know them better. That is a pretty well recognised fact. But first impressions are rather important when choosing books, too. Even if we don’t admit it, we often choose a book with an interesting cover (although we try not to judge a book because of its cover.) The looks hook people in, but the blurb brings it home (literally, I always leave bookshops with a lot of books.)
Neands. A picture of an apeish creature on the cover. Read more
16 November 2020
Eileen Merriman’s third YA novel, Invisibly Breathing follows the story of the social outcast, Felix Catalan, and the unknown new kid, Bailey Hunter, in a journey of self acceptance and love that could have the potential to create something neither boy could have imagined.
After an encounter with Bailey in first his Physics class and then when he joined the judo club, Felix finds himself being more and more drawn toward Bailey and he can’t seem to figure out why. Bailey catches himself watching Felix out of the corner of his eye when he thinks nobody is watching him. Read more
The Nature Activity Book
Written by Rachel Hayden and illustrated by Pippa Keel
Te Papa Press,
10 November 2020
As I flick through the fresh thick pages of The Nature Activity Book, I know this is the book for me. This one-of-a-kind book published in August 2020 is a brand new book with a whopping 176 pages of 99 amazing ideas for activities. What are the activities you say? Well, I am glad you asked my dear reader!
There are a variety of activities; some are about using your senses, others get you to be more active and some even test your abilities on making different creations. Read more
Old Asian, New Asian
K. Emma Ng
Bridget Williams Books
03 November 2020
Old Asian, New Asian by K. Emma Ng is written from the perspective of a New Zealander with Asian heritage. It gives a new perspective on an old topic: the racism and prejudice towards those with Asian features in New Zealand. When I began reading this, I had only a small realisation of the racism and prejudice displayed towards those in New Zealand considered ‘Asian’ – whether they considered themselves Asian or not. It describes in intensity the attitude towards those with different features to the ‘non-Asian’ ones of ‘normal’ New Zealanders. Read more
Pieces of You
21 October 2020
“It was one of those books where you had to read one more chapter, then one more.”
Pieces of You, Eileen Merriman’s first published novel, is exactly as Rebecca McQuilten puts it when talking about one of the books in her extensive collection. After reading one of her other novels, Catch Me When You Fall, I had high expectations for Pieces of You that Merriman did not fail to meet. Easily my favourite book by Eileen Merriman, Pieces of You deserves all of the praise it receives; it is a beautifully told, undeniably raw, and extremely emotional read. Read more
Bad Oil and the Animals
L P Hansen
21 October 2020
Bad Oil and the Animals is an astounding novel/novella with themes of global warming, the environment and self-discovery. Centered around sixteen-year-old Heidi and her new-found friends, it explores the horrific effects of palm oil.
Palm oil is something that sure has a bad reputation now, with everyone now alert and aware of global warming. Harvested mostly from the African Oil Palm, palm oil is in everything, food, cosmetics and even chocolate!
Although we might not see the effects of palm oil firsthand in New Zealand, we can still educate ourselves on the topic. Read more
Sally Astridge and Arne Norlin
14 October 2020
When Tamati’s grandfather tells him about the magic of your time twin and how you can magically travel to the person who was born on the exact same day, exact same hour, exact same minute and exact same second as you, he finds himself eager to find out more about his own twin. When he ‘travels’ to visit his, he finds himself in a young girl’s bedroom in a large city.
As Tamati and Astrid get to know each other they develop a close bond. As they talk, this bond grows stronger and stronger. Read more
The Fire Keeper’s Girls
L P Hansen
13 October 2020
The Fire Keeper’s Girls is an intriguing coming of age story by L P Hansen that explores the lives of teenage cousins Gemma and Alice as they embark on a journey to understand themselves and their place in the world.
Forced by their parents to spend the summer on an isolated beach with a mysterious woman named Samantha, both girls become players in what is known as The Game, meeting and learning about inspirational women, understanding the social pressures that affect this present generation of women and acquiring the determination to fight their own battles in their troubled lives back home. Read more
Catch Me When You Fall
13 October 2020
“‘Promise me you won’t try to die,’ I said. ‘Ever.’
‘Promise me you won’t either,’ he countered.
‘It’s not really something I can control.’”
Catch Me When You Fall, the second novel written by Eileen Merriman, is an extremely emotional read. Though the novel may have a classic, clichéd storyline of two young teens finding love for the first time, Eileen Merriman succeeds in hooking the reader with a plot twist of two common, severe diseases that have the opportunity to interfere with the young and irrational love between the teens. Read more
The Mapmakers Race
29 September 2020
Brilliant. Mystical. Absolutely fabulous. These three things describe The Mapmaker’s Race perfectly. This book takes the reader on a brilliant adventure, as it recounts the fantastical journey of the Santander kids.
This book is about a race – a race to see who can find the best route to Grand Prospect. The Santander team intended on entering with their expert mapmaker mother, but she’s gone missing! They have no choice but to enter the race; four kids, alone, against a bunch of unfair, cheating adults. It is on this journey that they need to stick together, play by the rules, and most importantly, work as a team. Read more