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.

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