Monday, 28 November 2011

Marrying Ameera

A moving and emotional story of a young Pakistani girl raised in Australia that brings to light the issue of forced marriages and the bonds between family and cultural traditions.

Marrying Ameera follows the story of 17 year-old Ameera Hassan who's just finished high school and finds herself struggling with the rules her father imposes on her, especially when she finds herself attracted to Tariq, a Christian Pakistani.
But Ameera's father quickly discovers her secret crush and his solution is to send Ameera to Pakistan. Ameera believes she's going to see her cousin's wedding but soon discovers the daunting truth - it is her own wedding!

The story thickens with suspense as Ameera, alone in a country she no longer calls home, has to deal with many obstacles and make a scary decision: be the dutiful daughter her father wants her to be or fight for her freedom?

Warning note: please be aware that this book contains adult themes

Happy reading!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Next Gen Media Summer School 2012

If you can see yourself working in media, then check out this great opportunity. You'll have to be quick, because places are limited and applications need to be in as soon as possible.
Are you 16-25 years old?
Do you want to learn media skills?
We are seeking 15 to 20 motivated young people to learn leadership and radio broadcasting skills, and have their voices heard in the media. This training is open to any young person aged 16–25 from a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker background.

With the support of professional journalists, the Next Generation Media training includes the chance to broadcast a show on SYN Media (February–mid April).

Training is free & can be used towards a Certificate II in Creative Industries.

For more information, including Information Session details and application forms, check out the Centre for Multicultural Youth website on Next Generation Media.

Good luck!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Hunger Games

Here's the trailer for The Hunger Games movie based on the book by Suzanne Collins, due for release in 2012. Press Comment to tell us what you think about the trailer - what do you think of the actors chosen to play Katniss and Peeta-are they what you imagined when reading the book?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fateful: a doomed voyage, a love written in the stars.

Tess Davies: a servant with big plans for her future
Alec Munrow: Rich kid…turned werewolf with dangerous enemies
It’s 1912 and the Titanic is about to set sail for its maiden voyage.
Tess and Alec think they know their future…
But fate has other plans for them!!!

Tess Davies has been in servitude since she was 13 years of age and she’s had enough of the spiteful family she serves. Her plans have been set and a trip on the maiden voyage of the Titanic will see Tess begin a new life…one she has planned for herself. But fate has other plans for Tess and its not long before the handsome first class passenger Alec crosses her path and Tess’ plans for a brighter future get turned upside down. Alec has a secret…a secret that could lead to disastrous consequences for Tess.

What can I say Claudia Gray is back…better than ever. After the massive success of her first series Evernight (read if you haven’t already do so) Gray this time is tackling werewolves and historical fiction. Normally I’m not one to read historically fiction, I find it difficult to relate to the characters, but Gray’s talented writing and passion (saw her speak in Melbourne last year) convinced me to give this book a go…and am I glad I did. Gray is fast becoming one of my favorite authors her stories are captivating, her characters engaging and her settings so vivid. While many may shy away from another werewolf novel and think the premise is a bit odd (I certainly did) Fateful is one book not to be missed. It’s more than just another werewolf story, Gray uses werewolves as a crutch to tell the real story of a boy and a girl both trying to find their identity in a world tha dictates who and what they are. There is a bit of romance, some adventure and suspense and the themes are beautifully intermingled. While one may think you know the story of Titanic and werewolves Gray will still have you on the edge of your seats frantically page turning till the very end.
An unmissable new novel from the genius that is Claudia Gray…do read J

Courtney :)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Interview - Margo Lanagan

Margo Lanagan has published four collections of short stories, White Time, Black Juice, Red Spikes and Yellowcake, and a novel, Tender Morsels. She is a four-time World Fantasy Award winner (for best collection, short story, novel and novella), and has won and been shortlisted for many other awards.
What authors/books did you read as a child? When did you first discover your love of books?

I was the third of four children, so I had two readers going ahead of me. There wasn’t a time when books weren’t part of my life. My mum read to us at bedtime all through our childhood. I read, and continue to read, all over the place in a very undisciplined way. As a child I remember enjoying fairly white-bread books from the US (Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy family series, Eleanor Estes’ Moffatt books) and the UK (Noel Streatfeild), and perhaps slightly-less-white-bread Australian books (Patricia Wrightson, Nan Chauncy). Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, the Narnia chronicles and Alan Garner’s books were favourites.

When did you first realise you were a writer? 

I started writing (poetry) for my own interest when I was about 14. I don’t think I thought of myself as a writer, though, for another decade or so, after which I’d published a dozen or so poems and received a Literature Board grant and residency at the Nancy Keesing Studio in Paris. Even then, being a writer wasn’t something I ‘realised I was’ as much as it was a goal that I set myself.
What do you hope your readers will take away with them from reading your books?

A strong emotional impression; an atmosphere they can’t shake off for a while. Curiosity about what I might try next.

Do you find it difficult to read purely for pleasure? Does everything you read come under your ‘writer’ microscope?

I don’t have a problem finding books that are pleasurable to read. Sometimes it’s difficult to pick up a novel and read for pleasure after a day of reading grant applications or Vogel entries, but that’s more burnout than writerly-microscope problems. I certainly have lower tolerance for sloppy or inexpert writing than I used to.

Do you have to avoid reading certain types of fiction while writing your own? Does what you read while writing have an effect on what you write? In what way?

Undoubtedly what I read affects what I write. Sometimes there’s a kind of stain across my own writing that I can identify as the influence of my reading at the time; it can be removed during revision, though, and I don’t swear off particular styles of writing if I’m enjoying them. The effect of other writers’ work can just as often be positive as negative, adding a different energy to a story I’m working on. It tends to be more at the idea-generation level than an echo of their writing style, though.

Name five authors or books that have influenced or inspired your own writing in some way?

Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker and Greer Gilman’s Cloud and Ashes show me how far you can push language and still retain sense and story. Anne Tyler and Ursula Dubosarsky are great at creating characters I get attached to. Tove Jansson in both her children’s and her adult books is a wonderful inhabitant of the worlds she creates, and her fine, serious, pared-back style is an inspiration.

If you were travelling and were told you could only take one book with you, what book would it be and why?

I’d take the latest issue of The Lifted Brow magazine, because it’s always jam-packed with so much good and interesting material, it’d last a while and would provide something for whatever mood I found myself in.

What makes a book ‘too good to put down’?

Characters whose fate I care about and whose company I enjoy (and I can enjoy thoroughly nasty characters just as much as amiable ones); a strong plot; a setting that the author has clearly spent a lot of love constructing; confident, correct, flexible use of language and good control of shades of meaning.

What makes you put down a book without finishing it?

The opposites of the above, all of which can be summed up in a word: boredom.

Do you have a favourite author? Who is it and what is it about their writing that draws you to them?

I don’t really have a favourite author, or even a favourite genre; within the constraints of what’s ‘too good to put down’ I like to roam widely from literary to all the different kinds of speculative fiction, and also take in some crime, non-fiction and poetry.

What was your 2010 ‘best read’? What was it that made it number one?

John Crowley’s Little, Big. The worldbuilding was so complex, yet he made it seem so effortless; there was a wonderful array of characters; the mood of it was so dreamy and magical, but kept cutting back to real-world details that anchored the story in modern times. I just thoroughly enjoyed inhabiting that book.

What do you think of the non-traditional publishing methods – eBooks etc? Do you think the new technology will encourage more people to read? Do you think there’s a future for print books?

I welcome ebooks and look forward to the difference they’ll make to my cabin baggage and my daypack. I don’t think new technologies can help but attract new segments of the population to reading who found print books too cumbersome. But I don’t think we’re going to get rid of print books any time soon, and I think they’ll happily co-exist for a long while yet. Children’s picture books, for example, don’t translate easily into electronic forms, and I’m pretty sure children brought up on print picture books will always have an attachment to print formats.

Margo grew up in the Hunter Valley and Melbourne, and now lives in Sydney and works as a technical writer. Her latest (as yet unreleased) novel Sea Hearts is about selkies and based on her award-winning novella of the same name.

- Lisa

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children

'Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children' by Ransom Riggs is a superb read for teenagers. It is quite an individual book; thrilling as well as quirky.
Take the front and back cover of the novel, for instance, depicting black and white photos of children posing for the camera, looking as if they are part of a fancy dress or circus environment.
The story unfolds with sixteen year old Jacob finding the body of his beloved grandfather in the woods. The official cause of death-wild dogs. But Jacob is not so sure.
Abe (Jacob's grandfather) has always been a complete handful for the family. A holocaust survivor, Abe was sent as a child to an isolated island around Wales to escape the Nazis. Throughout his life his constant talk of being chased by monsters is thought to be delusional.
Jacob, a somewhat tricky adolescent, starts to uncover more and more details about his grandfather's life. Maybe he and his grandfather have a lot more in common than Jacob ever realised.
At the suggestion of Jacob's psychiatrist, Jacob and his father travel to Wales to find some closure for Jacob. But the more Jacob learns, the more danger he places himself in...


Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Silvermay is the first in James Moloney's exciting new fantasy series and has just won the Gold Inky award for 2011 see

Silvermay is a 16 year old girl from a rural village. The story begins when Tamlyn and Neigold come to her village seeking refuge. They have a new baby, Lucien, and Nerigold is sick from his birth. While Silvermay's mother nurses Nerigold, Silvermay is often left to mind Lucien. Not only does Silvermay become attached to the child, but she starts developing feelings for the good looking Tamlyn. Silvermay is confused when Tamlyn appears to return her feelings, despite being bonded with Nerigold. When dark forces start to close-in on Tamlyn and Nerigold, they take to the road, with Silvermay accompanying them. An interesting element of the story are the Wyrdborn, a breed of wizards who are extremely powerful, corrupt, ambitious and temperamental. The Wyrdborn are often solitary as they are intensely distrustful of others Wyrdborn, they are often manipulated by lords or kings to do their bidding. Unfortunately for Silvermay, some Wyrdborn are after Tmalyn, Nerigold and the baby Lucien.

This story is a fantasy novel about prophesy, free will and fate. Silvermay is a strong character who offers a candid narrative voice. She is a likable character who always tries to do the right thing, despite sometimes struggling with her conscience. I recommend this book to lovers of supernatural or fantasy fiction.

As soon as I finished Silvermay, I rushed to James Maloney's website to discover the second book in the series, Tamlyn, will be released in June, 2012 and the third book, Lucien, the year after. I can't wait. Jess @ Endeavour Hills and Doveton Libraries

Bring Me The Horizon

Suicide Season CD by Bring Me The Horizon
Suicide season is one of Bring Me the Horizon's CDs, and the songs on there are The Comedown, Chelsea Smile, It was written in Blood, Death Breath, Football Season is Over, Sleep with one eye open, Diamonds aren't forever, The sadness will never end, No need for introductions I've read about girls like you on the back of toilet doors, and Suicide Season. BMTH are a heavy metal band, and I think it's best that you get your parents permission before you listen to them, cos they swear in their songs. Yeah.

What do you rate the CD out of 10?: 10

Age: 11

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


CROW COUNTRY - Kate Constable

Sadie is upset when her mother drags her from the city and all she knows to the small country town of Boort. She eventually makes friends with two very different boys, Walter who is strongly attached to the land and Lachie whose father wants to destroy it.

When Sadie finds herself travelling back in time, she soon learns that the past does not always stay in the past. With the help of Walter and Lachie, and the ever present crows, Sadie tries to right a very old wrong. Hoping that this will appease the spirits and change what she knows as history.

I liked how the novel wove the folklore of Waa the crow with the present, and how it makes us realise that the past always affects the present.

Vicki @ Pak.

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