Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Puberty Blues

'Puberty Blues' became something of a teen Aussie cult classic when it was first published in the 1970's. It is based on the lives of the authors, Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, who grew up in the Sydney suburbs.
The main protagonists in the story are two thirteen year olds-Debbie and Sue-who are desperate to become part of the in-crowd. And the 'in' thing to do is surf-if you are a male that is-and so life for the girls consists of hanging out at the beach and hopefully becoming noticed by the surfies.

While the boys (who all seem to be blonde) ride the waves, the girls watch on the beach...for hours...and hours. When the guys finish surfing, the girls immediately leap into action; they flirt, fawn and buy food for them.

Peer pressure plays an overwhelming part in the lives of the teens in this book, and parents seem to have little if any role in guiding their offspring. The teens smoke, drink, have under-age sex, and take drugs. They sneak out of bedrooms and into panel vans of boys waiting around the corner. Their greatest fear seems to be boredom, or being uncool.

'Puberty Blues' is honest and gutsy. It is also crass and can make you cringe. It is by no means a comfortable read. As an adolescent growing up in rural Victoria in the seventies, the sexism and peer pressure within the book did strike a chord with my own upbringing.

'Puberty Blues' is now being screened as a mini-series on television. The main characters and themes are true to the original novel, though much more detail has been given to the backgrounds of the teens-their parents and siblings play a greater role in the series than in the novel. This is positive as it does add an amount of depth to the storyline.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


WITHER  by Lauren DeStefano – first novel in The Chemical Garden Trilogy

What if you knew that at sixteen you only had four years left to live?

Imagine a future where genetic engineering has removed all disease and illness. Where scientists have created a perfect generation.  Yet there is a flaw. Through their manipulation they have also created a virus that attacks this generation’s children.  And their children.

Men live to the age of 25, women to 20.  Girls are stolen and forced into polygamous marriages in an attempt to keep the population alive.

When 16-year-old Rhine is abducted by Gatherers, and sold as a bride, her only thought is of escape. She wants nothing more than to return to her twin brother, to return to her old life.

However she finds it not as easy to hate her husband Linden as she had thought.  He showers her with affection and shows her a lifestyle she had never dreamt possible.  But Linden’s father, a doctor intent on finding an antidote, is experimenting on corpses and is not to be trusted.

With Gabriel, one of Linden’s servants, Rhine attempts to escape.  While she still has time.

This novel was a good fast paced read. The thought of knowing exactly how long a person has to live is a haunting one and I’m eager to read the next book in the series. 

Vicki @ Pak.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Most people are familiar with the tragic true story of Anne Frank, read through The Diary of a Young Girl. (If you have not read it, you should!) Anne and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam during world war two. They lived in a secret annex for two years, with another family, the van Pels, before they were captured and sent to concentration camps by the Nazis.

[Cover]Annexed is the story of Anne Frank, told through the eyes of Peter van Pels, the boy who was trapped with her. In this fictionalized account, Sharon Dogar explores what it must have been like for Peter, to hate Anne, and then start to fall in love with her.

Throughout the story Peter questions his religion, his beliefs and tries to make sense about what is happening around him. Where The Diary of a Young Girl ends on August 4th 1944, when the group were betrayed and captured, Peter's story takes us on, into the Nazi death camps. The accuracy, reality and compassion expressed in the pages of the novel are a testament to the research and writing skills of Dogar.

I reccomend this book to anyone with an interest in the story of Anne Frank, the second World War or the Holocaust. Really though, everyone should read this book. It is emotional, devastating, provocative and brings history to life.

Jess :-)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Randa Abdel-Fattah at Hampton Park

The Hampton Park  Library is excited to host a FREE talk by award winning author Randa Abdel-Fattah in the school holidays.

 Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Sydney-born Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She knew she wanted to be a writer when, aged ten, she wrote her first book: a rip-off of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Since then she's found her own voice and has written eight books for young adults and children and now her first novel for adults - No Sex in the City. Her  first novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? won  the Australian Book Industry Award Book of the Year for Older Children in 2006.   No Sex in the City is an adult fiction novel that explores a young Muslim girl’s search for Mr Right.

Friday 28 September 2012
10:30am – 11:30am
Book online at www.tinyurl.com/cclcevents  or phone 9702 9744

Friday, 7 September 2012

Doctor Who Season 7

If you didn't catch the early release of Doctor Who season 7's première on ABC iview last weekend then catch it this Saturday 8 September at 7.30pm on ABC1. Check out this sneak peek of Asylum of the Daleks. And don't forget to watch Pond Life first!  Join  Amy, Rory and the Doctor in the 5 new mini-adventures that leads us into Asylum of the Daleks. You can check all 5 one minute episodes on the BBC website.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sea Hearts

'Sea Hearts' by Margo Lanagan is an eerie, unusual and brilliantly evocative novel for upper teens.

The setting for Sea Hearts is Roll Rock Island; a harsh, wind swept place.

The story follows the progress of Misskaella. From an early age it is clear that Misskaella is different from her siblings. Her abrasive grandmother says 'I don't like the look of her. She's a bit slanted, a bit mixed.'...'She harks back, I tell you.'

As the story continues, Misskaella's gift becomes clear. She has a special affinity with seals and has the ability to 'magic' a woman from a seal.

These beautiful and docile sea-women become wives for the men of the island...for a price. And as a result, Misskaella holds incredible power and becomes wealthier and wealthier.

Always an outsider, Misskaella becomes vengeful, realising that there will be ramifications and repercussions of an island inhabited by seal-women and their descendants.

Sea Hearts draws on legends of the selkies from Scotland and Ireland.

Lanagan's writing is extroardinary and vivid.

Halloween for teens

Face Painting Workshop on Thursday Sept 13, 4.00-6.00pm and a Halloween Party on Wednesday 31 Oct, 6.30-7.30pm

Join us for a Face painting workshop with Hayley Baylis from Fancy Faces.

  • how you can create the most frightening Halloween make-up
  • tips on where to find your materials
  • how to apply your make-up for Halloween!
Thursday 13 September
4.00- 6.00pm
Pakenham Library

Cnr John and Henry Streets
Ph. 5941 2036

NO COST, but Bookings essential.  Phone the library or see below to book online.

A Halloween Party!
  • Come dressed to scare!
  • Show off what you learnt in the workshop!
  • Prizes for best dressed and best make-up.

Thursday 31 October

Pakenham Library
Cnr John and Henry Streets
Ph: 5941 2036
NO COST, but Bookings essential. Phone the library or see below to book online.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Inky Awards 2012 - Vote Now!

The Inky Awards are Australia’s teen-choice awards as voted for online by the readers of insideadog.com.au. It recognises home grown writing talent with the Gold Inky, and titles from across the ocean with the Silver Inky.

The Inky Awards Shortlist

Gold Inky (Australian books)
Silver Inky (International books)
Shift by Em Bailey
BZRK by Michael Grant
Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
The  Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Act of Faith by Kelly Gardiner
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Queen of the Night by Leanne Hall
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams

The judging panel consisted of four teenagers from around Australia; author and 2011 Gold Inky Award winner James Moloney; and industry expert Danielle Binks.  Together they whittled down the 2012 Inky Awards Longlist to five Australian titles (Gold Inky), and five international titles (Silver Inky), for the 2012 Inky Awards Shortlist.

The Inky Awards – Vote Now!

Voting is now open on insideadog.com.au/vote.

If you include your Inside A Dog username while voting, you will go in to the draw to win the entire shortlisted books!
*Register free at insideadog.com.au.

Voting is open to ages 12-20. Voting closes on the 14 October 2012.

Winners will be announced at The Inky Awards event on the 23rd of October. Find out more about the event on the State Library of Victoria’s What’s On page.

Follow the Inky Awards experience via -
Twitter: @insideadog #Inkys                                         Facebook: Inside A Dog\

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