Super Blog Sale

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Given that I need to raise some extra funds to tide us over till my new contract starts, I’m selling off books that I have reviewed recently or about to. Selling them all for $5 each – will combine postage if needed – or local pick up if wanted.

Here’s the first lot and will keep posting as available:

 

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The High Note (Girl vs Boy Band #2) – Harmony Jones

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Allen & Unwin

ISBN:9781408878279

Publisher:Bloomsbury UK

Imprint:Bloomsbury Child

May 2017

RRP: $14.99

 

Popstar fans who enjoyed the first instalment of this series will love this one even more. The Brit boys are back in California ready to rock and roll with their band Abbey Road. Following the departure of Aiden, who was just not the team player, Lark’s crush Teddy has been installed as the third member. However, this is not without some issues as Teddy is not just focused on his music but really wants to do well in school. Stylists, choreographers, publicity and the impending tour all impact on this. Lark feels for him – as the other boys are all for it, being a little older and not quite as academically minded.

Lark’s own songwriting and performing step up as she gains in confidence. Certainly her flying visit to Nashville to see her dad help with this as she is a special guest of Holly Rose and is able to share the stage at the Grand Ole Opry – plus helps out the famous Hatfields with a song lyric, reaping some useful kudos and royalties along with it.

Continuing on with the themes of loyalty, friendship, self-belief and the usual teenage anxieties, Harmony Jones presents a sweet and wholesome fun read for ‘tweens’ who are not quite ready for more mature reads.

This will definitely satisfy some readers who are fascinated with their music and their pop idols.

Recommended for girls from around ten years up.

 

 

Transitional Problems

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When you are ‘moving’ between schools/libraries after 18 months and have to pack up all your resources and ‘props’.

And the stuffed full car is unpacked and two new stacks of boxes etc in the garage – not to mention a ‘whomping willow’ which will become a Magic Faraway Tree parked next to 3 garbage bags and one tub of soft toy reading buddies in the lounge room!

 

HP’s potions bottles now relocated to the top of the kitchen cupboards – OK so any visitors may suspect some hocus pocus with their food or drink!

New School!!

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I am wildly excited to announce that I will be starting at a new school and library next term. And not only that but a school where the Principal fully supports and values the work of the library and teacher-librarian. I am stoked!! Stay posted for mega excitement!

In the meantime, I have some downtime (holidays and hopefully some relief teaching to ch-ching some $$) and hope to tackle my enormous pile of review books!!

 

Hooray for Enid!!

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This just came through on an email from School Magazine.

Ooooh, after our amazing Pottermania event I’m now imagining an EB celebration!!

Does ANYONE know when the Magic Faraway Tree movie is being released btw?

August marks the 120th birthday of children’s author Enid Blyton. Among her best-loved series are ‘The Famous Five’, ‘The Secret Seven’ and ‘The Faraway Tree’. Take a fascinating tour of Enid Blyton book cover art from the 1940s to the present day.

Watch a short video of Enid Blyton at home with her family in 1946.

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The Eureka Key (Secrets of the Seven) – Sarah L. Thomson

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Bloomsbury

Published: 04-04-2017

ISBN: 9781681190617

Imprint: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Series: Secrets of the Seven

If you’ve ever watched Nic Cage in the National Treasure movies (and who hasn’t?) I would liken this to those – except for youngsters.

While I think our Australian readers will be at a slight disadvantage not knowing a great deal if anything about the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin or Benedict Arnold, I think they will still enjoy the adventure and the tricky puzzles.

Sam Solomon is a clever boy with a penchant for all things cryptic. He also has a real talent for mischief which does not endear him to his middle school teachers. When Sam unexpectedly wins a trip exploring the breadth of the United States, including national landmarks and amazing natural wonders, he is wildly excited.

From the outset Sam is truly baffled by the experience when it turns out that it is just Sam and a very nerdy girl of the same age who were the winners. Accompanied by a strange woman, Evangeline, and an almost silent boy named Theo, the American Dream Contest seems more like a nightmare.  It turns out Sam and Martina were the only contestants capable of solving the complex puzzles of the competition and this is exactly what is required to track down the hidden historical artefacts, concealed by the Founding Fathers to protect Benjamin Franklin’s greatest invention – a powerful weapon.

Naturally it is not just the ‘good guys’ trying to locate the ‘keys’ and the children soon themselves embroiled in a dangerous treasure hunt caught between opposite ideologies.

This is an exciting read with a great pace – creative thinkers will particularly enjoy it.

Recommended for readers from around 10 upwards.

Pottermania

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Our school finishes this term at the end of next week and as the official anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone falls in our holidays, we decided that the library should celebrate for the last two weeks of term.

We wanted our displays to be as interactive as possible so created a Potions class, Charms class, Gringotts bank, SPEW – free the house elves campaign, Quibblers and Daily Prophets to read, a Guess Who game and more. I thank my amazing tech Vilma for her assistance with this (she is just as big a HP fan as I am!).  Hope you enjoy our photos from the past week.  Most popular are Charms class – with many students practising their wand movements, having their tea leaves ‘read’ (You will have veggies with your dinner tonight” “You will have a bath and put your pyjamas on” etc” and counting the gold in Gringotts Bank!

 

The World’s Worst Children #2 – David Walliams/illustrated by Tony Ross

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Harper-Collins Australia

June 2017

ISBN: 9780008259679

ISBN 10: 0008259674

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

RRP  $22.99 AUD

One thing is an absolute given in our library. David Walliams’ books are rarely re-shelved. They are snatched up from the returns trolley with the speed of a striking mongoose or tussled over in the actual returns line up.

Walliams has a legion of followers and has fast become the contemporary Roald Dahl with his knack of preposterous stories and outrageous characters.

This follow up to the first World’s Worst Children brings his readers ten more particularly horrid kids and will produce as much laughter as the previous.

Imagine having a baby so huge and so hungry that it will eat anything and everything – and by everything, I mean the cat, his parents, helicopters – yes, ANYTHING! Or perhaps you’d rather meet Gruesome Griselda who prefers to stand out from the other girls at her exclusive school, the well-groomed polite ones, by being exceedingly grubby and rude. Then there’s Cruel Clarissa who seems to be just perfect particularly with her passion for all things pink but is really a very calculating kitty tormentor.

These are but a few of the beastly children to whom readers will flock.

With super colourful illustrations jam-packed throughout and some of the most creative use of font/type I have ever seen, there is no doubt that this one is also destined never to be shelved. If I only I could be bribed. I could make a fortune for holding out for the highest bidder as the first borrower – sigh.

Highly recommended for subversive boys and girls from around 7 years old upwards.

Goodbye Mr Hitler – Jackie French

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Harper Collins – AU

May 2017

      ISBN: 9781460751299

RRP: 16.99 AUD

In a modern world that often seems to be filled with hate and prejudices and refusal to acknowledge basic human rights, we could easily fall into a despondency that could be soul-destroying. Many of us in daily contact with children will have observed that they too feel fearful about outcomes of some of the huge issues the world is facing. How can we as educators help them to overcome their fears and even perhaps hatred born of influence from media and other sources?

I believe that it is with great literature such as this that we can examine the horrors of the past and show the path to a place of peace, love and forgiveness.  We have a real duty to impart to these children that we cannot stand by and let evil happen and that if we all do that, it cannot survive.

Jackie French has continued her “Hitler” series with the story of Johannes and his doctor parents sent to concentration camps when the Nazis took over Poland, as well as following the threads from the previous two books with the fate of Heidi, believed to be Hitler’s daughter, as well as Georg, now firmly an Australian and his mother who has also survived the horror camps.

Their stories are vivid and told with Jackie’s usual painstaking historical accuracy and each resonates with the pain and suffering endured by so many. It is heart-wrenching and poignant and not for the first time we are inspired by the indomitable human spirit of truly good people. How could someone who has survived such vileness heal their hearts we might ask? And yet so many have done just that. Having witnessed truly despicable and terrible events and actions, these are the people who know that the one true way to freedom, not just of body but of mind and spirit, is through letting go of hate.

As these memorable characters find renewed hope and begin to build new lives in Australia, their various secrets, fears and sorrows begin to soften and ebb into a past.

The contemporary situation with asylum seekers and the denial of their rights should be compared to the spirit of generosity with which nations, especially Australia, welcomed displaced persons following the war.

This series is one of the most important and significant within my experience. Students particularly of Modern History and indeed Philosophy should be firmly pointed in their direction.

Find superb teaching notes here.

Highest recommendation for readers in Upper Primary onwards.

Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket – Caleb Krisp

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Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781408858721

Publisher: Bloomsbury UK

Imprint: Bloomsbury Child

May 2017

RRP $14.99

After two totally madcap and thrilling Ivy Pocket adventures, Caleb Krisp completes the trilogy with an equally exciting conclusion.

For those who have followed Ivy’s incredible and unbelievable exploits so far you may find this final instalment quite a lot darker than the first two. The many disparate threads of Ivy’s story begin to warp and weave into a flamboyant and sometimes frightening climax.

Watch the red herrings of Dumbleby, lunatic asylums, missing mothers, Locks, Miss Frost, Rebecca and Prospa all suddenly become fish in one net and combine to form the answer to Ivy’s lifelong question and her world of mental fantasies.

With a suitably vile villain – who is in fact Ivy’s grandmother (spoiler alert) – Ivy once more triumphs; this time for the final time.  Though one of the most irritating heroes of any tale, Ivy does have her endearing moments and her loyalty to those who show her kindness and love is undeniable.

With an ending that will satisfy any reader who wants justice done in their novels this can’t be missed.

In case you’ve missed out on these wild stories check them out here at Caleb Krisp’s website. The Q&A with the irrepressible Ivy is well worth the visit!

Highly recommended for Upper Primary readers of both genders.