Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bluefish - Pat Schmatz

This was recommended to me by our wonderful new librarian, Wendy Wright. So thanks to her I think we'll be ordering a class set of this, probably for Yr 10 or Yr 11 classes.

Travis has been raised by his grandfather in small town, rural America. Financial difficulties force Travis and his grandad to move into town and closer to the school Travis hates so much. At school nothing seems to make sense to Travis, learning just doesn't 'fit'. However meeting Mr McQueen and teaming up with new friends,Velveeta and Randy, opens up a new world for him.

While being incredibly well crafted in terms of it's language and structure, it is also very realistic in terms of the a teenage boy struggling to overcome a serious learning issue while trying to hide the truth about it.

Z - the story of Zelda Fitzgerald

This is my first posting in a while and it seems fitting that with the release of The Great gatsby, that I am restarting the blog with this book.

Loved it. Loved the style of writing. Loved the insights - however true or not - into the characters. Loved the fact that I knew so little about Zelda  Loved the links to Hemmingway and the Gertrude Stein crew. Loved the way it ended.

I had read 'The Paris wife' also recently a+Zelda F coming out this year...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

The recent re-discovery of 'dystopian' literature by teens, makes this a good choice for classroom study. Set in the near future, Unwind is set in a society where until the age of 16, you can be 'unwound' and your parts recycled.

Teenagers who question, challenge or are just not up to the grade, can have this 'punishment'.

Connor, Risa and Lev, challenge the system and survive - to help lead a struggle to change society...

Check out the book trailer here

Justice and utu - David Hair

The 4th book in the series, Justice and utu suggests that David Hair is onto a winning concept.

Set in modern day NZ and the mythical Aoteroa of the past, Matiu continues his battle against the dark forces of the tohunga and his servants.

As riveting and fast paced as it's predecessors, this is a book that many teens will enjoy.

Read more about this author and what inspires his writing here

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slated - Teri Terry

Imagine a world where up to the age of 18 a child's  brain can be re-programmed, any previous memories wiped and all emotions limited and controlled? What would happen when the memories of some of those who have been 'slated' begin to surface? Can you really eradicate the essence of a person?

Slated touches on these and other issues.

Kyla's mind has been wiped; she has been given to 'new' family and her life is controlled by the 'Lorders' (law and order agents). But like any society that is heavily repressed - there will be rebellion.
The first in a series of three, I enjoyed this dystopian view of our possible future.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Steel Pelicans

Des Hunt is a prolific writer of teen fiction. His latest book Steel Pelicans resonated with me as a large part of it is set in my old 'home area' of Pukekohe, Tuakau and Port Waikato!

Pelly, the main character, is a kiwi who has lived in Australia for most of his life. His best friend Dean, loves making fireworks and explosions - often getting them both into trouble. After Pelly's dad takes a job back in NZ Pelly finds it difficult adjusting to life as a day boy at the local boarding school - where bullying is a serious issue.

Pelly and his new friend Afi, stumble across a smuggling ring at the local beach spot 'the Port'. Dean's arrival for the school holidays, adds to the chaos and excitement and

Des Hunt's books always features aspects of the NZ landscape and environment. You can read more about Des and his writing here Des Hunt

Floors - Patrick Carman

Imagine living in a hotel where every room holds a secret. Where every floor is not what it seems. Where ducks are not what they seem. A hotel populated by an array of intriguing characters.

That's the Whippett Hotel of Patrick Carmen's Floors.

Leo lives in the hotel's basement with his father, the caretaker. The hotel's creator Margenza Whippett has disappeared, but left Leo a series of mysterious coloured boxes and riddles - which need to be opened and solved.

Fast paced, adventurous, mysterious and humourous. An enjoyable read.

Check out the author's website and podcasts here

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