Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman has received the top prize for children's literature: the Newbery Medal. The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children's Books (A Children's edition was published in the UK with illustrations by Chris Riddell).

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard?

Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod is an unusual boy who lives in an unusual place - he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him – after all, he is the last remaining member of the family.

A wonderful original novel constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod’s life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

"A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising," said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. Treviño.

"I am so wonderfully befuddled," the best-selling author said Monday after winning the 88th annual Newbery for "The Graveyard Book," a spooky, but (he says) family friendly story about a boy raised by a vampire, a werewolf and a witch.

"I never really thought of myself as a Newbery winner. It's such a very establishment kind of award, in the right kind of way, with the world of librarians pointing at the book saying, `This is worthy of the ages.' And I'm so very used to working in, and enjoying working in, essentially the gutter."

Check out Neil Gaiman reading the first chapter of The Graveyard Book below!


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fford

A tale to spin you too and fro
in our world you'll not yet know
similar or so it seems
until you meet supernatural fiends.
Martin Chuzzlewit has been attacked and Jane Eyre is next in line. Will Thursday save them? Will it be just in time?
Take a chance on the detective who isn't always right because heaven knows it'll give you good reading tonight.

Similar: The Fourth Bear
Place to read this book: is next to someone who doesn't mind you laughing out loud
rating: Fantastic

age: 19

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z
by Akira Toriyama

On the distant Planet Namek, the seven magic Dragon Balls have been brought together and the dragon Porunga summoned. Now, Goku and the Z-fighters are all that stand between the evil Frieza and his wish for immortality! Having survived their encounters with Frieza's dreaded minions, Goku and his friends are now left to contend with the ruthless tyrant himself. Despite their recent victories, however, the Z-fighters are ill prepared to defeat this semmingly invincible foe.

Age 16 years

Thanks for your review Raza. The CCLC Libraries have Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT graphic novels. Also check out the range of Dragonball Z DVD's.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Iron & Wine, Muse and Skins


So, I am proud to say that the Twilight soundtrack is fantastic and anyone who saw the movie would agree with me. I was almost more excited listening to the music throughout the film rather than watching it as many of my much loved bands were in it. Instead of reviewing the soundtrack however I'm going to review some of the albums that the songs come from. 
First of all we'll start with The Shepherd's Dog by Iron and Wine. Their song in the film was Flightless Bird, American Mouth which played during the prom scene at the end. This album is fantastic to do homework to. It's soft and has a dreamlike quality. To fully appreciate this album you need to listen to it more than once because each song is so diverse and brilliant you'll have only recovered from the genius of the last song halfway through the next. My favourite song would have to be Boy with a Coin. This CD isn't available at the library yet, but hopefully soon will be. Next we have Black Holes and Revelations by Muse; Supermassive Black Hole being the song in Twilight which played during the baseball game. I have to admit it took me a couple of listens to get into this album. Now however it's my exercise album. The beat and tempo are great to run to. The final song, Knights of Cydonia came first in the Triple J Hottest 100 last year and Supermassive Black Hole came in 18th in the 2006 poll. The album is very different from Muse's others but I think it's a good change. The lead singer Matthew Bellamy described the album as 'part dance, part rock, something we haven't done before'. Whatever it is, it's great and the library has it! And now, nothing to do with Twilight but just because I love this album at the moment I'm going to chuck in the Skins soundtrack. Starting with the fantastically diverse theme song, this album begins great and doesn't stop being great. The tracklist compiles the likes of the Gossip, Bloc Party, Adam and the Ants, The Fall and even Sid's version of Wild World from the very end of the first season if you can remember, just after Tony's accident when he's singing from the middle of the road?? Anyway, I have to admit I don't like every song on the album but the genius of soundtracks is they introduce you to some great bands like The OC soundtracks did for me; Death Cab, Interpol, Futureheads and I'm hoping Twilight will do for you, if you haven't already discovered these bands.  Anywho, I'm off to listen to more great music. Enjoy!
Bec (Age 17)

type: music
similar: Death Cab for Cutie, Angus and Julia Stone, Interpol etc and so
place: anywhere, anytime
rating: Fantastic

Thursday, 22 January 2009


In Boofheads, the focus is three teenage boys. Major angst. Casey wonders if he should drop his girlfriend as his friends convince him she's put on weight lately. Tommo describes Amy Jones as the 'most up herself chick' he knows, but admits she has nice hair and hands. And Ed 'the Edster' comes up with the bright idea for an 'undies run' around the school yard.

There is a serious side to their lives, though.

See how they cope with family separation, an alcohol and drug fuelled party, sport and school life.

Recommended teen fiction by Australian author Mo Johnson.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Breaking Dawn

Wow I have finished Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. It was FANTASTIC. So often sequels aren’t worth the time it takes to read them. I’m very happy to say –Not this time. All the usual suspects are there: Bella Swan, Edward and the Cullens, Jacob Black and the werewolves, the Volturi. I want to tell you what happens, but it really would spoil it. Stephenie weaves a great story and neatly ties up loose ends without making it all just too twee. If you are still waiting for a copy to read – hang in there – its worth the wait.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Goodbye Jamie Boyd

Hi all! Nick's back on the blog! Hoping all your Christmases and New Years were fun and relaxing :P

The blog topic today is a new book from Melbourne's own Elizabeth Fensham, entitled 'Goodbye Jamie Boyd'.
This book is very small on the outside (I read it in an hour), but the inside is filled with so much to think about.
Firstly the book is written in verse:
It doesn't rhyme,
But poems dont,
Have to.
Am I right?!

The story is about a girl called Anna who lives in country Victoria with her family. Her relationship with her older brother and best friend, Jamie Boyd, is what forms this compelling story. It's rocky and complex, and the twist that comes half way through the story had my jaw on the ground. They do everything together and she becomes isolated from the rest of her family and school friends because of his influence.

I won't say more, except that this book left me looking at life differently, from issues of peer pressure, to drug use, to mental health. You HAVE to read this book. It's short, it won't take long, and I guarantee that you'll have your eyes opened by Fensham.

5 stars!!

Catch you on the flipside!

Monday, 12 January 2009

JINX by Meg Cabot

For those of you waiting around for Twilight to become available, here's one light-hearted book that you can enjoy in the meantime!

Okay, so there are no vampires and no Edward or Bella, but hear me out.

Meet Jinx. Her real name is Jean Honeychurch but she suffers from a serious case of bad luck. Hence her name. She is the goody-goody daughter of a Reverend and her family has sent her off to live with relatives in the New York.

In New York, Jinx must adjust to city life, a new school, new friends, new enemies. On her first night, Jinx discovers that her cousin, Tory, has dramatically changed, and not in a good way. Meanwhile Tory is convinced that Jinx is like her; a witch. But when Tory offers her the opportunity to join her coven, Jinx refuses as she already knows the penalty of messing around with magic.

Things turn wild as Tory's growing dislike for Jinx becomes much more sinister (especially after the gorgeous Zack befriends Jinx) but Jinx must learn to accept herself and her bad luck to stop Tory and her black magic.

Although you can sort of guess what's going to happen along the way, it's still a very enjoyable journey.

Hope you guys agree!


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