Monday, 28 December 2009

The Poison Throne

The Poison Throne is the first book in the Moorehawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan. The story follows a talented fifteen year-old female apprentice, Wynter Moorehawke and her friends, Razi, the King's illegitimate son, and his wild, tomcat friend Christopher.

After five years of exile, Wynter and her father return to the Kingdom to find it changed from the peaceful place they once knew where ghosts roamed freely with the living and talkative cats were respected. But King Jonathon has changed, people are forbidden from talking to ghosts and cats and the heir to the throne has disappeared. A battle is underway, with the mysterious weapon, the "Blood Machine" at its centre.

This is a great read for sci-fi lovers. It has the perfect combination of suspense, romance, political intrigue and adventure all while taking you into another world. Kiernan is a fantastic writer and is particularly good at keeping the reader in suspense; I was glued to the book. My only disappointment was that Wynter never gets to display her talents in this book but Book 2 sounds promising!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Paper Bead Art

Crafting beads for jewellery from paper has been around since the Victorian era but it was a first for us at Hampton Park library.

Young adults gathered with staff as a pre Christmas activity to learn about the method of making these elegant and unique pieces of art. Who would have thought it was so easy.

Once shown the basics, they proceeded to put their own imaginative and creative touches to the task and left with plenty of ideas to try at home.

As you can use left over paper including gift wrapping, magazine and newspapers, it’s not only an eco friendly activity but involves using materials easily found around the home.

The process is quite simple. Triangles are ruled, cut out of coloured paper and rolled onto a bamboo skewer using a glue stick to adhere. Different shaped beads are achieved by using triangles of different lengths and widths. Leaving each bead on the skewer as you go, they are then sprayed with a gloss varnish. When dry they can be threaded onto elastic or leather to create a necklace, earrings or bracelet. Our group also used other beads provided from old necklaces to separate the paper beads and add to the look of their creations. It was amazing that something so simple could be so effective and the group were very pleased with the results.

Kim and Moira @ Hampton Park Library

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Anthony Horowitz

For all lovers of Alex Rider I found this clip of Anthony Horowitz talking about Crocodile Tears. Wait until the end of the clip as it's worth seeing the way into Anthony's office!
Anthony will be talking at State Library Victoria in May as part of their schools program so tell your teachers to check out the website

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Crocodile Tears

Anthony Horowitz's new novel 'Crocodile Tears' is hot off the presses!

Alex Rider is done with spying for M16. Back to the life a normal 15 year old should have; school, friends, homework. For the last year he has missed these things while traveling the world as Britain's youngest spy. But for no longer.
At least, that's the plan. But when a fame hungry journalist threatens to reveal Alex's secret life to the rest of the world, Alex is forced to make a deal with M16, the only people who can protect his secret.
Alex finds himself snooping in restricted areas, stealing clues and dodging bullets once again, in a quest to uncover a lethal plot set to destroy the population of Africa.
I loved this book, as I have all the other Alex Rider novels. Anthony Horowitz is a master of suspense and intrigue, and keeps the pages turning until the very end.
5/5 stars if you like adventure/spy/action/mystery reads!


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

If you're six, or fifteen, or forty three years old my bet is you'll enjoy this gorgeous story, written by David Benedictus.

'Return to the Hundred Acre Wood' is a sequel to 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'The House at Pooh Corner', the oustanding children's books written in the 1920's by A.A. Milne.

All the original characters are here - Christopher Robin, Pooh Bear (who has put on weight since the last series), Piglet, Kanga, Roo, a depressed Eeyore, Rabbit and his friends and relations, Owl, the bouncing Tigger, and Henry Rush.

And there is a newcomer to the forest - Lottie the otter.

'Oh la', she says, 'See my fine fur coat, and see my golden eyes, and long tail. And beware my red tongue and sharp white teeth.'

The sequel is just as charming as the original books. The author is highly respectful of the tone, setting and characters of the A.A. Milne novels.

Piglet is still in deep fear of heffalumps.

Pooh completes his daily exercises - two push ups, two pull ups and a lie-down, and is chased by a swarm of bees.

Wise Owl (who spells his name W-O-L) attempts to write some family memoirs, with hilarious results.

Various adventures include a cricket match between the two-legged and the four-legged creatures, and the creation of a forest school with Eeyore in charge.

Borrow this book for your baby sister or brother and read it yourself, preferably under the sheets by torchlight.


Thursday, 3 December 2009

Inky Awards 2009

And the award goes to.....................

The Inky Awards for 2009 have just been awarded.

From the host, Inside a dog:
The Inkys are international awards for teenage literature, voted for online by teh readers of There are three awards: the Golden Inky for an Australian book, the Silver Inky for an international book, and the Creative Reading Prize, won by a young person for a creative response to a book they love, in any format they choose.

So you voted for them and the winners are:

Golden Inky
Where the Streets Had a Name
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Silver Inky
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Check these out from your library or check out the other titles that made the 2009 Inkys longlist and let us know what you think.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Twilight at the End of the Tunnel

New Moon was the "twilight at the end of the tunnel" for me due to it opening the day after I finished my year twelve exams. It was something I eagerly awaited...though possibly for the wrong reasons. See, I went to mock. My expectations were very low and went in expecting it to be a comedy (although it's meant to be drama). All this had arisen from the first movie and my revelation that really, Twilight, is trash.

So, a new director, a bigger budget, a buffer Taylor Lautner and a lot of expectations from squealing tweenies. Did it make a difference? Yes it definately did. The direction was fantastic compared to Catherine Hardwicke's attempts and I particularly loved the chase scene between Victoria and wolves with Death Cab playing in the background. Consequently, the acting improved considerably although perhaps this had to do with the fact that Robert Pattinson wasn't in most of it. Kristen Stewart pretty much carried the movie herself with some assistance from Taylor Lautner and she did not do too bad of a job. And that 30 pounds of extra muscle on Taylor had (much to my disgust) girls screaming and gasping in the cinema.

It stayed fairly close to the book, with minor changes; one I didn't like was Bella actually getting on the bike with the bikies on her 'shopping' spree with Jessica. But ultimately the moral of the story remains in tact; that you can only get over a guy with another guy (pardon my cynicism) comes across strong. The special effects aren't too shabby either, the wolf transformation are quite impressive.

All in all, the cast and crew have done pretty well with the characters, storyline and script that they're dealing with and quite frankly, even if it was awful, the tweenies would be satisfied. Not as many mockable moments as anticipated (though there were still a few; Alice's premonition at the end anyone??) but a fair good effort.

I enjoyed it, despite my heavy criticisms but that's because it's Twilight and I can accept it as trash and not a great literary or filmic work. Besides, we all need trash every now and then to indulge in.

New Moon: I'd give it maybe 3 out of 5. Fans will be pleased. And perhaps the funniest moment was looking at all the 'I kissed a vampire and I liked it' and 'Team Jacob' 'Team Edward' t shirts as we entered and left the cinema. Priceless.

You might like this if you also like...: Vampire Diaries, Twilight books, any vampire related texts or just a break from reality...


Aged 18 years

Thanks for your review Bec. I took the liberty of editing a word but the context is still there. All you New Moon lovers feel free to comment and give your opinion!!! Cen

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Hijab Fashion 101!

Does my head look big in this? by Randa Abdel-Fattah was a very interesting read indeed. Not being religious, I almost stopped listening to the book after the first disc, but I am very glad I persevered and was able to enjoy the book for what is was – a discovery into someone’s own faith and what it means to them.

Amal Abdel-Hakim is a seventeen year old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim, who has decided to go full time after the school holidays. But full time is not work, oh no, it is much more to Amal, full time means wearing the hijab everywhere, and this includes school.
Her friends support her decision, although they have different problems of their own. Amal’s journey is one of understanding, empathy, self discovery and the gaining of wisdom.
Well read by Rebecca Macauley and a great book for all ages and religions.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Get Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen is a must-see for any Jane Austen fan that has fantasised about living in the world of Pride and Prejudice and being swooned by Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Lost in Austen is a playful and witty twist of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Its protagonist is Amanda Price, played by Jemima Rooper, a modern day girl dissatisfied with her life but who always finds solace in reading Pride and Prejudice. But one night, Amanda discovers a magical doorway linking our modern world to Austen’s when Elizabeth Bennett appears in her bathroom. The girls end up swapping places but Amanda’s presence in Longbourn sets off a series of disasters, altering the events of Pride and Prejudice. Without Elizabeth, Amanda finds herself struggling to restore the balance, especially under the critical attention and smoldering stares of Mr. Darcy, played to perfection by Elliot Cowan.

I'm not usually a fan of deviations to Pride and Prejudice, but I absolutely loved Lost in Austen. All of the actors did a fantastic job of being faithful to their characters while the disastrous events revealed more depth and fascinating twists to the characters. The combination of romance, comedy and period drama is well-balanced and you can't help but empathise with Amanda's struggles. Highly recommended! Here's a short preview below:


Monday, 16 November 2009

Fill out this application and wait over there

Fill out this application and wait over there is fun, light reading by Ruth Starke. Be warned, however, it may put you off a career in a supermarket!

Teenage Hailee wants to escape her boring suburban existence and travel to Asia. One problem - she has only $129.65 in her account. Hailee needs a job.

What continues is a humourous romp as she fills in job applications listing her mother and best friend as referees, and supplies a photo of herself in a hockey uniform to show that she is a 'team player'.

Surprisingly, Hailee is successful. So begins Hailee's career as a check-out chick.

Her first day is memorable. Her hands are bright orange after a late-night episode applying fake tan to her legs. She wears her new strappy Mollini shoes (which no one can see anyway) but before long her feet begin to ache, and she has to invest in a pair of sensible, supportive black shoes. The customers are irritating and the boys in the meat department ogle her.

How will she last?

An enjoyable novel to read as we head into summer.


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Killing God

Hey guys!
Once again it's been ages since I've posted, but hopefully this book review was worth the wait.

Killing God is an interesting young adult novel written by Kevin Brooks. Dawn Bundy, the main character, is a conflicted fifteen year old, who tells this story with the help of song lyrics from her favourite band, The Jesus and Mary Chain. She listens to them on her iPod every day, and has even named her two daschunds after them; Jesus and Mary.
She lives with her mother, has little in the way of friends, apart from Jesus and Mary, and she has clearly had a rough time in the moments before the start of the book.
Dawn starts to question everything she once knew when Mel and Taylor, the two 'IT' girls at her school start talking to her, and she starts to notice that she's not who she once thought she was.

Killing God draws to a massive climax in the final chapters, and I'd highly recommend it, as it takes you deep into Dawn's mind, and the story unravels bit by bit in a fantastically suspenseful way.

Hope you enjoy it!
Catch ya round :]

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Disappearance of Katharina Linden

This wonderful book by Helen Grant begins on an alarming note - Pia's granny explodes. I won't tell you all the details, but it involves a lot of hairspray, a box of matches and an Advent Crown.
Instead of getting support from her school friends, eleven year old Pia becomes ostracized as her former school mates think the 'exploding granny' situation could be catching.
Pia lives in a seemingly charming German town called Bad Munstereiffel and town life is vividly and sharply conveyed. However. things are not as they seem when one girl, then another disappear from Pia's school.
Pia and her new found friend, nicknamed Stink Stefan, try to solve the mystery.
There is much suspense and drama in this teenage novel, especially towards the end, but there is also great humour.
Take Pia's relationship with her English cousins, for instance. The misunderstandings they have with the nuances of the German and English language are a joy to read.
There is so much to like about this novel; I was captivated by the character of Pia and didn't want the book to end.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Quicksand wins Marketing Award!

At the recent LibMark "Digital Marketing and Libraries" seminar, Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation received an Award for Marketing and Promotion for our Quicksand blog.
The award was given to Quicksand for being an "Outstanding Library Campaign and Promotion". The award comprises the certificate and a cash prize which is to be used for library marketing purposes.
Congratulations to the Quicksand team and to our many blog readers and contributors who made winning this award possible.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Have you got the vibe?

At a loss for titles to read post Twilight, I read a blurb about Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan in a mag and thought it was worth a read, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Kristi is not altogether your normal teen. She attends an alternative school called Journeys, makes her clothes from materials she finds in various places and is psychic. Reading minds comes with its good and bad points. You always know what people think of you and the coolest, most gorgeous guy in school thinks sick every time he see’s you.

With her father saving Africans from Typhoid, her cat hidden in her bedroom, a mother she can’t stand and her best friend imagining her ginormous boobs in various stats of undress, the last thing Kristi needs is a tortuous assignment with the guy who thinks she’s sick. Or is it?


Monday, 19 October 2009

The Arrival

This review in from Riannon - enjoy!

The arrival by Shaun Tan

This is an amazing picture book that shows the journey of a migrant who travels to a strange land to settle and to help his family to migrate. The pictures are done like a story board or an old sepia photo album and are drawn with pencil. In true Shaun Tan style the detail in each drawing is incredible. The beauty of this story is that it could be the tale of any migrant, who has journeyed to any strange land, as both the front and back covers show the many faces that make up 'the migrant.' It makes you consider what people are escaping from and how hard the culture shock can be. Heart wrenching, poignant and cannot be fully described in words.

You might like this if you also like...: Shaun Tan - The Lost Thing - The Red Tree and John Marsden - The Rabbits

Thanks Riannon!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Cathy:Her own story

Shehani, who won a double pass to the movie Mao's Last Dancer in our recent competition, wrote how she is inspired by athlete Cathy Freeman.
You too can read the stirring autobiography, Cathy:Her own story
Simply click on the title (above) to reserve your copy now! Or next time you're in, cruise the shelves in our Biographies section for other inspirational stories.
Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to all 5 winners.

Monday, 12 October 2009


Maurice Gee is a well-known teenage fiction writer from New Zealand. One of his most recent novels is 'Salt'. 'Salt' is the first book in a trilogy, and is the winner of the NZ Post Book Award for young adult fiction.

A fantasy adventure that hooks you from page one, 'Salt' tells of a world where the 'Company' are brutal rulers.

People are forced to live underground in burrows, and it is from here the elderly Tarl is kidnapped by company officials to work in Deep Salt. No one returns from Deep Salt and he is not expected to be seen again.

However, his tough and fearless son, Hari, has other ideas.

Hari has an unusual gift that enables him to communicate with other creatures. This can be of assistance, or can equally lead him into more danger.

After Hari's initial unsuccessful efforts to free his father, he escapes in to the wilderness and meets two females who are also fleeing.

All three are suspicious of one another but they are more afraid of the 'Company' who are following them.

If you enjoy 'Salt' stay tuned for the next book in the series, 'Gool'.

Friday, 2 October 2009


In conjunction with Roadshow Films, Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation [CCLC] is offering FIVE DOUBLE PASSES to the screening of the outstanding film adaptation of Li Cunxin's bestselling autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer.
Simply borrow any biography from your local CCLC Library,
tell us which one you borrowed and in 25 words or less, let us know WHO INSPIRES YOU. Download your entry form HERE:
Hurry, competition closes Thursday October 8, 2009.
Drop your entry into your local CCLC Library and you could be one of five winners. Good Luck!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Books to Help You Pass Exams!

It may be the second week of holidays but exams are coming up in a month's time. If you haven't started studying for exams yet DO NOT FREAK OUT. When it comes to studying it's quality over quantity. So I've decided to read through a few exam help books and pick out some bits that will hopefully help you study!

Surviving Year 12 by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

This is one of my favourite books that I relied on during year 12. If you’re a serious procrastinator (like me most of the time), Dr Carr-Gregg has some methods for overcoming this. Firstly, break things down! If you need to study for Legal Studies, break the topics down and down again. Eg. Legal Studies -> Courts -> Federal Courts and State Courts. Try studying one specific topic, for fifteen minutes, take a break for half an hour, and then get back to studying for another fifteen minutes. Alternatively, try working with a partner or in a group. He also recommends challenging the negative self-talk of “I don’t feel like doing this right now” to get motivated. Give it a try!

How To Pass Exams by Dominic O’Brien

This book has heaps of little shortcuts to remembering subject information, such as remembering historical dates, providing mathematical shortcuts and tips to remembering chemistry terms and elements.

For example, to remember what elements make up alcohol (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen), O'Brien suggests using a memorable sentences using the first letter of each element - for alchohol he says to just think alcohol Causes Hang-Overs.

The Student’s Guide to Exam Success by Eileen Tracy

A tip for optimum revision: "Revise the day after learning something. Revise again a week later. Revise one month later. Revise a few days before exam".

Highlighting is a a very passive form of studying. Instead:

- Use a a mindmap to relate topics and ideas to each other,
- Write comments or notes about the text: it can even be something personal such as "I really despise this character because he is very pigheaded" to help make ideas and characters more memorable.
- Repeat out loud what you've learnt or talk about it with someone else, like a sibling,
- And I think most importantly, practice past exams!

How to Study for Success by Beverly Ann Chin

This book got me excited about studying – weird as it sounds. Chin recommends using the SQ3Rs system (apparently used for teaching army trainees). It stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

SURVEY: The aim is to a sense of what the assignment is or what you have to study. Read any text that are bold or in italics and look at graphs and diagrams. Read the final paragraph at the end of a chapter.

QUESTION: Look at the topics in boldface or italic and come up with a question(s) that begin with who, what, where, when or why using the topic in the question. Tick off questions as you come across them.

READ: Concentrate on main ideas as you do a quick read through the text. Write down key points.

RECITE: Read aloud the answers to the questions. Paraphrase answer in your own words. Then give yourself a quick quiz on what you’ve learnt – take note of any points you have trouble revising.

REVIEW: With the topics you have trouble understanding, try rereading the section more thoroughly and take time to work out how they relate to each other.

And if any of you guys have your own study tips to share, please do so!

Good Luck!

Monday, 28 September 2009

For fantasy lovers

The Shadow Queen
By Anne Bishop

When you reluctantly close the cover, knowing that’s the end, but wanting and needing to know more about the lives of the characters, you know it was a good read.

I feel lonely now that I have finished Cassidy’s story, like I have lost a good friend. The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop takes place approximately two years after the end of The Black Jewels trilogy.

Dena Nehele is desperate for a Queen; a strong, beautiful, charasmatic queen. But the only ones left after the rule of Dorothea and the great cleansing of the blood, are too old or young for the job.

Theran, last of the Grayhaven line, calls in a favour. One that he hopes will result in a Queen for the land and not his death. You can't be at all certain when the person you are asking is Daemon Sadi, brother of Lucivar and son of Saetan, High Lord of Hell.

Cassidy is the queen they get, rejected by her own first circle and not conventaionally beautiful. Theran is sorely dissappointed, but too afraid and desperate to refuse. Can he hide his bitterness enough to support her…..

The story explores themes of self-discovery & awareness, honour, love, and just for good measure includes a hunt for hidden treasure.

It is not necessary to have read the Black Jewels Trilogy previously, but it does help.
Rating MA15+


Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz.

The new Alex rider novel is on it's way - due for release early November 2009.

With his past under threat of exposure and a hitman on his trail, Alex Rider turns to MI6. But in return they send him on a mission at a GM crop factory to spy on Desmond McCain - a crooked high profile charity organiser. Alex is kidnapped and ends up in Africa and learns about a plot that will kill millions!!!

This is the eighth novel in the series with a further two books yet to be published making a total of ten.

Get in early and place your hold so you are one of the first to get the novel - after me of course!!!

Looking forward to hearing what you think.

Cheers julie @ pakenham.

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Other Side Of The Island

Imagine a future where climate change has led to a world which is a series of islands. A future which is run by a Corporation that make enclosures that can control weather. A future where it is forbidden to watch the ocean or feel the sand.

Allegra Goodman has created such a world in The Other Side of the Island.

Ten year old Honor and her parents recently arrived on Island 365, after having lived as fugitives. Her parents, however, are free - thinking and rebellious, and the reader soon discovers that her parents are treading a dangerous path and putting everyone's lives at risk by ignoring the rules of the Corporation.

Then her parents disappear....

Gripping reading.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Youth Decide

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and World Vision Australia have partnered to hold a national youth vote on climate change: Youth Decide ’09. It's a chance for 4.8 million young Australians to have their voice heard on climate change and on government action that will shape our future.

Chris Judd, Carlton FC Captain and Visy Environmental Ambassador
"Footy isn't the only thing happening this September. Youth Decide is a fantastic opportunity for our generation to demonstrate our desire for a sustainable future. Lets make sustainability an every day choice by continuing to recycle which is key tool to address climate change."
So have your say and vote today!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


If you have been down to the Pakenham Library recently you might have found it very quiet and deserted - that's because we have MOVED!!!

The smaller temporary library is now futher down John Street towards the Princes Highway - in front of the outdoor swimming pool. The entrance and carpark is still in John Street (opposite nos 24-26).

We still have all our great services - free internets, free WIFI (wireless internet access), colour printing and copying and much, much more. Our opening hours and phone number are the same. For more contact details and a map check out our library home page under branches.

The old Pakenham Library building will be demolished and a big brand new library and community hall will be built which should take about 18 months.

Come and visit us in our temporary 'new' home. We look forward to showing you around.

julie @ pakenham.


Not too many years in the future, Marcus Yallow is a seventeen year old high school student. Tech-savvy and inventive, Marcus gets his kicks hacking his school's security system and playing Harajuku Fun Madness, an Alternate Reality Game (ARG), like a pop-culture scavenger hunt on the streets of his city.

While Marcus and his team are ARGing in the urban jungle, a terrorist attack is launched on California. In a post-September 11 world the government will take no chances. Marcus finds himself arrested for a typical case of wrong-place-wrong-time, and when he refuses to comply with the military he is branded a terrorist. The entire state comes under military control and surveillance, with every civilian under suspicion.

But Marcus isn't the type to take such injustice lying down. He plans to fight back against his own government, and not get caught...

Little Brother is a modern novel written by Cory Doctorow. Anyone who likes technology, politics, pop culture, action-packed stories (actually. anyone who knows how to read) will enjoy this book. Definitely one of my favourite books for the year so far.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Vampire Diaries

For lovers of Twilight and True Blood keep a look out for the Vampire Diaries. Starting in September in the US and on Channel Nine's new digital channel GO! later in the year, The Vampire Diaries is based on the books by L.J. Smith.
The story centers around Elena Gilbert, a high school girl torn between two vampire brothers. The Vampire Diaries (tv series) is set in the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia at the start of the new school year. The show centers around Elena, a 17-year-old high school student who has lost her parents in a car accident. Elena struggles with grief as she tries to help herself and her younger brother Jeremy move on with their lives.

Trying to live among humans, Stefan, a mysterious new kid who has recently enrolled at Elena's high school but is really a centuries-old vampire, is immediately drawn to Elena. But trouble begins when Stefan’s brother Damon, a brutal and violent vampire , tracks him down.
Check out the clip below for a sneak peek at the series or get a head start on reading the series Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith.

Friday, 28 August 2009


The Inky Awards Longlist has just been announced. So, who knows what the Inky Awards are? The Inkys are the brainchild of the Centre for Youth Literature. Teenagers vote for their favourite teenage books. The Inky Awards are divided into three categories - a Golden Inky for an Australian book, a Silver Inky for an international book, and the Creative Reading prize for a creative response to a book you love.

The longlist includes many novels that have been reviewed on Quicksand, such as Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen, World Shaker by Richard Harland, The Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie and Screw Loose by Chris Wheat.

You can find the longlist at Other features of the website include a regular writer-in-residence programme, and competitions ('win stuff!').


Monday, 24 August 2009

User survey

Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation provides content to our users via our website and five blogs, of which this is one.

We know how many people subscribe to each blog and how often they are visited each month, but don't know how the information is accessed or used.

To help us find this out, could you please fill out our survey. It is anonymous and should take no longer than 5 minutes.

The results will help us to continue improving our service to you and will be reported here in a few weeks.

Click Here to take survey

We appreciate your input.


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hey followers!

Hope you're enjoying our posts! This one is about a book that is almost a piece of art in itself. Brian Selznick's 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' is about a young orphan named Hugo, who lives with his uncle in the walls of a big train station. He has no money and steals whatever he can to survive, while he helps his uncle maintain and sevice the many clocks in the train station. He also steals small mechanical parts from the toy stand in the train station, to mend a grand machine that his father was fixing before he died. Once fixed, the 'automaton' as it is called, will write out a message, one that Hugo hopes is from his now dead father.
Hugo's world suddenly becomes exciting with the introduction of a young girl named Isabelle, who at first seems like an enemy. Her grandfather owns the toy shop and he catches Hugo stealing one day. As Hugo works more and more on the automaton, more mysteries are uncovered and more secrets are to be found.

The most amazing thing about this book is that it is partly told through text, and partly through beautiful drawings, which fill whole pages and set out the ornate scenes. If you love illustrations, then this book is for you. I found the story to be a bit young for me, but the book's design is totally worth the time taken to read it.


Siggy and Amber

Fergus and his friend Siggy have a strange hobby-browsing for kitchen products on Amazon. An intriguing sidebar captures their attention-'Stuff the Queen.' But when Fergus clicks on it, he discovers the full sentence-'Stuff the Queen would love to own,' listing pots, pans and utensils. The boys are impressed, and bookmark a hollow handle pie-server.

Siggy and Gergus are slightly nerdish fourteen year olds who lurch through summer determined to find girlfriends and improve their lives. Things are off to a good start when Siggy meets Amber. However, they soon take a turn for the worse when Siggy drinks too much, vomiting on Amber's shoe.

The accent of Fergus' Scottish father is also hilariously conveyed-'Yooooo and Ferrrrrrrrrgus beheft lak a pairrr o' stewwwwwpt idjits las' neet.'

This is a great novel written by Australian author, Doug MacLeod. It is filled with bright and funny conversations.

Recommended reading for teenagers.


Sunday, 9 August 2009


21st – 23rd August at the Melbourne Showgrounds
Yes, the Melbourne Anime Festival is here again – Three full days of fun for diehard Anime fans. Now in its tenth year and with a much bigger venue, this year’s festival is sure to be huge.
Events & competitions include – Art shows, Anime music videos, Karaoke, and Video game tournaments. Of all the events on offer, Cosplay is a firm favourite among festival goers. The majority of those attending don a costume of some sort, dressing up as characters from anime and manga, or based on Japanese popular culture, such as Kimono or Gothic Lotita.
The festival also proves to be a shopping extravaganza. The Trader’s Hall is packed with anime/manga related merchandise, including fan traders selling their own original art.
Buy your tickets online or on the day.
Go to
Lisa & Shannon

From the Festival Directors – “For the first time ever Manifest is running a full day for the Friday and since it falls during the school term we are offering the opportunity for schools to attend as a class field trip. There are going to be many activities set aside for school only access with an educational and/or Japanese cultured theme. Manifest offers a great opportunity for students to further develop their interests in aspects of the Japanese culture, be it the language, or traditional cultural events to the more modern drawings, animations and video games.”

Monday, 3 August 2009


'We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck'.
So begins 'Feed', a brilliantly imaginative futuristic novel by M.T. Anderson.
Internet implants are directly linked into the brains of humans. Information is accessed via the implants, called the 'feed'. Huge advertising organisations use the 'feed' to promote their wares, and consumers are totally addicted.

Amidst this new world Titus meets Violet...on the moon. Their relationship flourishes, but her anarchic views and upbringing are vastly different to that of Titus and his friends.

Violet comes from a poor family, and her 'feed' is installed late and is of an outdated model. Her health deteriorates and she reaches out to Titus for comfort.

The 'feed', is not a world wide phenomonen. however, and there is a growing resistance movement.

An amazing, thought-provoking novel that reminded me of classics such as 'Animal Farm' and '1984' by George Orwell, and 'The Chrysalids' and 'Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham.


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I recently went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But first, I have a confession to make: I have not read the Harry Potter books. Once you've recovered from your initial shock I hope that you might continue to read my review.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince begins with Harry's return to Hogwarts after facing a terrifying experience with Voldemort in the previous movie. Upon his return to school, Harry discovers a potions book that belongs to the mysterious "Half-Blood Prince" and also takes up a quest with Dumbledore to delve deeper in Voldemort's past to uncover a secret that could defeat Voldemort.

While my Harry Potter friends (who haven't completely shunned me) always tell me about how much the movies leave out, this definitely seemed to be the case with this movie. While the movie began on an exciting high, I felt that the story lacked coherence. I also didn't enjoy how it failed to address how and why the Death Eaters had entered the Muggles world. Still, the movie was somewhat enjoyable, if a little jumbled, with rollercoaster romances and Ron always managing to bring some comic relief to the sombre movie.

However perhaps some of you Harry Potter readers found the movie more enjoyable than myself? I'd like to know what you guys think.



Friday, 24 July 2009

Tunes for Winter Rockin'

Hey guys,

Sorry I've been away so long!!! I haven't read anything lately that I wanted to write a review on. I've been reading the Thursday Next series that Riannon reviewed for us a while back (and I would also recommend), so don't think I haven't been reading!

I happened to notice about 5 minutes ago that two of my favourite albums of the moment are now in our catalogue and ready to borrow, so i'll tell you about each!

Karnivool - Sound Awake
This is the second album from Aussie band Karnivool, and it's a damn good effort I think! It has a good mix of melodic rock and really good head banging stuff too, my personal favourite is track 3, entitled 'New Day'. If you like their stuff you might also like Birds of Tokyo, which are lead by the same frontman as Karnivool, Ian Kenny.

Placebo are one of my favourite bands EVER, so I pre-ordered the special edition pack when I heard about their new album. The sound is slightly different from their past albums, a little bit more electronic, and a little faster paced on the whole, but still fantastic! They sound like no one else, and the songs are instantly recognisable as Placebo thanks to Brian Molko's unique voice.

Definitely check these ones out guys, I highly recommend!

Thursday, 23 July 2009


I had never heard of Christine Hinwood until now, but after reading her debut novel, 'Bloodflower' I hope to hear and read much more from and about her!

'Bloodflower' is set in a medieval-type society. In the opening pages a family are on a snail hunt. Pin's two brothers face each other, nose to nose, daring each other to eat a snail. Chomp!

But the central character within the story is Cam, Pin's older brother. Cam has just returned from the war where the Downlanders are fighting the people of the north (the Uplanders).

Cam is the only one to return home from his village, and suspicion follows him, especially when he rides an Uplander horse and seems conflicted in his allegiances.

Nothing is black and white and Cam is a complex personality. He finds it hard to fit back into village and country life. Although he is betrothed to a village girl this betrothal is revoked by her father and Cam chooses his own path - a path that is difficult and unexpected.

Great characterisation, action and plot.

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Casey Idol

Casey Idol is back, bigger and better than ever for 2009!

Casey Mayor Geoff Ablett is encouraging "singers, dancers, comedians, musicians, bands and magicians" to audition for the right to hold the coveted title for 2009.

There are 3 performance categories:

  • Primary School Age
  • Secondary School Age
  • Open
Auditions will be held on Friday 31st July, Saturday 1st August and Monday 3rd August at the Casey Civic Centre at Fountain Gate (next door to Narre Warren Library).
The finals will be held on August 29th at the Arthur Wren Hall in Hampton Park (next door to the Hampton Park Library)

Entry fee is $10 per act. Audiences are welcome and encouraged to make a gold coin donation. All proceeds will go to the Mayoral Charity Fund.

So polish up your act, practicing and get your act submission in. More details and all the paperwork are available from the City of Casey.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Fortunes of Indigo Skye

Have you ever thought about what you would do with a million dollars? How about 2.5 million dollars? Personally, I would delight in the predicament of receiving such a windfall. I can see it already: huge shopping sprees and long exotic holidays where I can laze by a pool and sip refreshing cocktails all day long! Ah, that’s the life!

In Deb Caletti’s new novel, ‘The Fortunes of Indigo Skye’, this is the very situation faced by eighteen-year old waitress Indigo after a customer leaves her a whooping 2.5 million dollar tip. As could be expected, receiving such a large amount of money is life changing for Indigo, however unexpectedly, in ways that are not always for the best. Caletti’s novel explores Indigo’s journey as she struggles to come to terms with her sudden affluence. Relationships with friends and family are tested as Indigo’s perspective of the world and her place in it has been altered immeasurably.

So, is it true that money can’t buy you happiness? Give this novel a read and find out!


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Calling all young authors and poets

Do you enjoy writing short stories or poetry? If you do, here is a chance to share your creations with an appreciative audience and possibly win a cash prize.

The Friends of Doveton Library Inc are proud to present the 09 Young Writers Short Story and Poetry Competition. Entries are open to two age categories: 8-11 years and 12-15 years. For each group the limits are:

  • 8-11 years Short Stories: 50-250 words long
  • 8-11 years Poetry: Up to 20 lines
  • 12-15 years Short Stories: 250-750 words
  • 12-15 years Poetry: Up to 40 lines
Competition entries must be accompanied by a signed entry form available from the library website and must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 9th October 2009.

So get those pens and creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Jarvis 24

David Metzenthen's writing just gets better and better.

Jarvis 24 is set in contemporary suburbia, unlike several of his earlier historical novels.

Life is seen through the eyes of Marc E. Jarvis.

Marc is a typical teenager. He regularly loses his belongings. He is fixated with girls.

And he has a week to come up with a place to do his work experience.

When he spots a fantastic looking female coming out of a used car dealership he knows where he'll be trying out for work experience!

Life opens up for Marc and his friends in unexpected ways.

They are on the cusp of adulthood, and new friendships are made and built upon.

A very enjoyable read, with moments of hilarity but also moments of thoughtfulness and insight.


Monday, 13 July 2009

Buttonology at Hampton Park

During the school holidays 15 teens attended a buttonology craft activity at the Hampton Park Library.

Who would have thought that buttons could be worked into such amazing pieces of wall art. Letting their imagination guide them, the girls transformed their blank canvas into unique and funky mosaic pieces.

If anyone is interested in following up with this creative work, you can search the internet with “button art” and see what comes up. REALLY AMAZING.

The art work is on display at the Hampton Park Library until the end of July.

Kim and Carol

Monday, 6 July 2009

Community Service at Cranbourne Library

A busy week at Cranbourne Library for Community Service student Kate who offers this day-by-day description of her time helping out at the Library...

Day 1:
I started off putting magazines on shelves and then put books on shelves. I weeded (got rid of the bad ones) books and withdrew them. I then helped find Storytime activities.
Day 2:
Shelved books. Then helped pick out books and nursery rhymes for Tinies' Time (for babies and small toddlers). In the afternoon I read a story called The Most Perfect Spot, in the picnic-themed Storytime (for ages about 3-6).
In the afternoon I went down to Casey Fields for the launch of the Read Like a Demon literacy program that the library was doing with the Melbourne Football Club. Since I was there on community service I was asked to help out and do the football club a favor, by dressing up as Ronald Deeman, the Melbourne mascot for them…. Yes, I spent my Tuesday afternoon in a demon costume….if only the Winchester boys had been there.
I met Felice Arena (author of Specky McGee) and two Melbourne players whom I didn’t technically meet - Stefan Martin and Lynden Dunn.
Day 3:
Boxed books. Shelved books. I spent all afternoon making a display for the school holiday program's, Shaggles Magic Circus World (now sitting in the Cranbourne library foyer). It’s very colourful, you’ve been warned.
Day 4:
Shelved. Got asked where things were. Finished display (I drew a clown with googly eyes and pompom buttons and an elephant). Weeded some more. Junior Fiction section this time though. Alphabetized some magazines with the intent of shelving them but got called to come to Doveton library where I am now sitting writing this….

I’m tired now, and am 10 minutes away from having completed 32 and ½ hours of community service. Don’t worry, this community service isn’t in lieu of jail, who am I?! Chris Brown?! Nope. It’s for school.

THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By Kate.
aged 15

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Boat that Rocked

The Boat that Rocked, Movie soundtrack, like the movie, takes you back to the swinging 60’s. It completely comprises of artists’ from the 60’s and way back when, with the exception of Duffy, on the first disk of the soundtrack, doing a cover of Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me Baby”. It also features The Who (the same people from which the CSI theme songs came), The Kinks, The Turtles, David Bowie, The Supremes, The Easybeats, Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, The Moody Blues, Dusty Springfield and Lorraine Ellison. And that’s not all of them.

It’s a two disk soundtrack with 18 songs on each and a killer selection.

The movie itself is about Radio Rock, a pirate radio station in the middle pf the ocean, and the lives of those aboard. Set in the 60’s; starring the strangely attractive Bill Nighy (Pirates Of The Caribbean, as Davy Jones and Love Actually) as Quinton, Phillip Seymore Hoffman (Doubt) as ‘The Count’, Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) as ‘Doctor’ Dave, Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) as the racy Gavin, Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) as Angus, and Tom Sturridge (Vanity Fair) as Carl are just some of the crew members aboard Radio Rock; and made by the creators of Love Actually (some of the cast of LA making cameo appearances in The Boat that Rocked, like Emma Thomson).

The Boat that Rocked is a great movie (and soundtrack) about sex, drugs and Rock and Roll and living life to the fullest!

Kate(Age 15)
(Community Service Student at Cranbourne Library.)

World Shaker

Teenage Col lives a cocooned and pampered existence aboard the juggernaut 'World Shaker', a huge ship that has been sailing since 1845. He is part of an elite set who live on the top decks on the ship, and will one day become Supreme Commander.

Col knows and understands little about the 'Filthies' who are slaves and live on the lower decks. One night, however, he discovers a female Filthy hiding underneath his bed. Everything he has been taught is turned on its head as he listens to Riff, the slave girl. How can he continue to live his pampered existence with this new knowledge?

You won't be able to put down this terrific new novel (described as a 'steam punk fantasy!') by Richard Harland.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

A New Kind of Dreaming by Anthony Eaton

Honestly, A New Kind of Dreaming is not really a book I would look at and pick up myself, I read this as one of my school assignments, but once read it, I found it worthwhile.

Ok, so first off there’s Jamie, your typical trouble maker that can’t swallow his pride. His mother and father are out of the picture, due to the fact that his mother died when he was very young and his father has a full time job as a drunk and so for a while it was just Jamie and his older brother, Eddie. Then Eddie gets locked up and Jamie is sent to Port Barren, an isolated desert area. During his stay he meets Cameron and also the town’s top cop, Butcher. The town has a lot of buried secrets that Butcher would like to have stayed buried, so when Jamie starts nosing around, Butcher has no other choice but to take care of the problem. Right?
The author’s use of detail really captures your attention and it makes it hard to put the book down. From the very start you get an inside look at Jamie’s life leading up to the present day. Along with a look at how alcohol abuse is brought on, the book explores the trouble with not speaking up due to feeling overpowered and isolated, the ways refugees are transported, and the effects of unregulated power. Rated 3 ½ out of 5, I found it an intriguing read.

Thanks for reading, Meagan.

- Meagan is doing work experience at Hampton Park Library this week. Thanks for that review Meagan!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Veronica Mars - DVD rated M. Seasons 1, 2, & 3.

Move over Nancy Drew here comes Veronica Mars.
Set in the town of Neptune at the local high school, Veronica is a nosey, no-holds-barred, but likeable teenage super-sleuth. It does help that her Dad was previously the town sherriff and now has a P.I. business.

This American TV series has all the drama, scandal and 'hotties' of a decent American soap.

Another great DVD feast (6 disks per season) or if you are laid up with the flu.

julie @ pakenham library.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Great New Titles!

Last week I attended a conference called 'Reading Matters' and listened to some terrific young adult authors. I would like to tell you about some of these authors and their novels.

John Green is a lively and humourous author from USA. I loved his second novel, 'An Abundance of Katherines', a zany story about a teenager called Colin who has dated 19 girls named Katherine.

His latest novel, 'Paper Towns' is also a winner, in which Quentin and his next door neighbour Margo set off on a crazy night of adventure, filled with dead fish, blue spray paint, blackmail and breaking into Sea World.

If you are fantasy lovers or would like to try some fantasy authors, Alison Goodman and Isobelle Carmody may be right up your alley. Alison has written 'Two Pearls of Wisdom' and Isobelle the 'Obernewtyn Chronicles', beginning when she was 14 years of age.

If you haven't read any of Chris Wheat's books I think you should! Chris is a Melbourne writer who has written the outstanding 'Loose Lips', followed (many years later!) by 'Screw Loose'. Both novels are hilarious. One-liners include 'I can catch tennis balls in my mouth', 'She's cute in a bunny wabbit on speed kind of a way', and 'I do own an elephant'.

Amongst the many outstanding teenage books I've read recently I can also recommend 'Boofheads' by Mo Johnson. I loved the fake vomiting scene - when in a tight corner, pretend to vomit...then run.

For a gritty read by a debut local novelist you may like to try Broken Glass by Adrian Stirling, set amongst the wheat crops and mallee scrub of a farming community. I couldn't put this book down either!

From the conference my 'to read' list includes 'A brief history of Montmaray' by Michelle Cooper, 'Octavian Nothing' by M. T. Anderson, 'Angel Cake' by Cathy Cassidy, and 'Genesis' by Bernard Beckett.

Happy winter reading!


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Battle of the Bands

Bands Wanted!
Are you part of a Band?
Do you live, go to school or hang out in the Cardinia Shire?
Are you aged between 14 and 21 years of age?
Are you looking for the opportunity to win huge prizes and increase your fan base?

The winners of Push Start have the chance to play at the regional finals, where
the chosen winner will then go on to compete at ‘Push Over’ festival in 2010.
For more information regarding the 2009 Push Start Battle of the Bands
contact Cardinia Council’s Youth Services on 1300 787 624.
Application forms can be downloaded from
The battle will be held on Friday 7 August 2009.
Send your application, demo and bio to Youth Services, Battle of the Bands,
PO Box 7, Pakenham, 3810. Applications close Friday 19 June.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New Moon Official Trailer

Twilight fans check out the exclusive New Moon trailer and let us know what you think! I'm already super psyched about it! Although I do have one qualm and that is I expected the wolves to be larger and scarier, but overall I'm pretty impressed.

Oh and a warning about the video: after watching the trailer some of you might be converted to Team Jacob, like some of my friends.

Go Team Edward!


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Coraline - Neil Gaiman

Hi readers!

Hope you've all still been tuning in here on Quicksand, there's been a lot of great posts in the last few months!
Last night I finished reading Neil Gaiman's 'Coraline', which I discovered after reading his latest book, The Graveyard Book (see review Jan 7th '09).

Coraline is a young girl who lives with her busy parents in a big old house, the type that has been separated into 4 or 5 smaller units. She is bored. School isn't due to go back yet, and her parents are too busy to entertain her. Mrs Spink and Miss Forcible, the two retired actors who live in the house below don't have enough entertaining stories to keep a young girl occupied. The crazy old man upstairs is preoccupied with his Mouse Circus, and also...well he IS crazy.
Then, Coraline discovers a hidden world behind the locked door in the drawing room. A strange, and eerily similar world to her own, and in that world are another set of her parents. However, nothing in this world is quite right, and she soon finds out that her 'other mother' wants to keep her forever in the strange world behind the locked door.

Coraline is a strange story, at first I thought it was a bit basic, maybe a bit too young for me, but after you get past the first couple of chapters, the real intrigue begins!
Definitely worth a read, and available in graphic novel, or novel formats!


Monday, 18 May 2009

How to ditch your fairy

'How to ditch your fairy' by Justine Larbalestier is a witty and magical novel that I can highly recommend to teenage readers.

The setting is New Avalon, where nearly everyone has a personal (and invisible) fairy.

Fourteen year old Charlie, however, is not satisfied with her annoying parking fairy. Charlie is constantly pestered by those around her to travel with them purely so they can find a parking spot. She longs for a more desireable fairy, such as a boy-attracting fairy for instance.

Charlie attends New Avalon Sports High; a bizarre school for elite sportsmen and women.

Demerits are awarded at the drop of a hat for seemingly nonsensical misdemeanours, and Charlie racks up an alarming number which she has to work off by completing public service at the local cemetery.

A humourous type of slang exists in new Avalon that adds to the cleverness of the dialogue. For instance, the book begins with Charlie discussing her 'spoffs'. To find out what she's talking about you'll have to read the book!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Star Trek 11 and the Trekker.

Ok Kate so you've had your it's the "old" Trekkers turn.

So I admit I've always loved Star Trek. In fact I even used to buy Star trek novels and I'm not talking about Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager or Enterprise - I'm talking the original series. Yes the series that premiered in the United States on September 8, 1966. The series that even though it only lasted 3 seasons has managed to lead on to 4 follow on series and 11 movies. The original series that became more popular in reruns and lead to a huge cult following.

So when I saw the new movie I was a little bit nervous...Would they muck it up? Would the characters be true to the original? Would it have the same humour as the original? Would I like it?
Well the answers are No! Yes! Yes!and definitely Yes! I loved Star Trek 11. I loved the actors, I loved the characters, I loved the humour and I loved the action. I loved the noise and the clever use of silences. I loved the everything ties together - the old and the new. I loved the shiver down my spine at the end. I won't give the end away...but old fans will love it!

So I guess you get that i loved the new Star Trek movie. Be good...take your parents for a blast from the past that you can all enjoy!
If you want to see how special effects have changed check out clip below...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Star Trek 11

Star Trek::::::: from a non trekker perspective::
Space. The Final Frontier.

Amazing special effects, music, story and hot guys to boot! Romance, comedy, action, lotsa stuff blowing up (i love that!) this movie has it all! Whether you're a trekker (a Star Trek fan, like of the other movies) or not you can be sure to be amazed by the eleventh movie/prequel in a series of equally amazing films. Chris Pine does well as a young Captain James T. Kirk,and Zachary Quinto (Sylar,from Heroes, and don't worry, no brain eating here) as Spock. Their performances should make William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy ( who also has a role in the movie) proud. With an all star cast (with the likes of Winona Ryder, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana, John Cho, and even House's Jennifer Morrison and Home and Away's Chris Hemsworth making appearances) this does the other movies justice. The movie is great for everyone! and Chris Pine takes his shirt off, so that was a highlight for me.....
Age 15

Thanks Kate. As a Trekker myself i might wait a day or two to give my opinion. is there anyone out there who might want to tell Kate what you thought???
Here's Kate's choice - a clip from Saturday Night Live with the stars of the new Star Trek and a surprise!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Guantanamo Boy

Khalid is a fifteen year old boy living in England. He is a typical teenager - generally bored with school, likes hanging out with his friends in the park, and is embarassed by his 'uncool' father.

Khalid's life turns upside down when he and his family travels to Karachi to visit their relations. Due to a terrible misunderstanding, Khalid is accused of being a terrorist. His life becomes a living hell.

Guantanamo Boy is a gripping first novel by Anna Perera.

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