Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Library Website

Boroondara Library Service has launched its new website. Now you can access library news, events and book reviews, all in the one place.

Unfortunately, this means this blog is no longer active. 

In order to keep hearing about fantastic junior and teen events and recommended reads, sign up on the website for Library News.

Happy reading!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant (originally published as Scepter of the Ancients) is the first book in the Skulduggery series.

Stephanie’s wealthy, eccentric, famous author uncle has just died - at his desk of natural causes… or has he? Sophie isn’t so sure - not after she meets Skulduggery Pleasant anyway. Meeting a “living” skeleton that can control the elements while making sassy comments would cause anyone to reevaluate what they thought they knew. Soon, Sophie is meeting all sorts of magic people and learns that a secret war is brewing between good and evil - and that her Uncle had been right in the middle of it - as he had uncovered the long lost Sceptre of the Ancients - which, if used would tip the world into darkness.

With the final book in the series being published last year - I can read these without the pesky year long wait between books. I can wait to see what adventurous mess Stephanie and Skulduggery find themselves in next. 

Review: Sharni @ Balwyn

What now?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Having a chat with Sherryl Clark

How did you get started as a writer?

I have always read a lot, and I used to write long letters to my dad when I travelled overseas. Then I started going to a writing class, where I wrote stories and my first real poems, and that turned into a workshop group, and things went from there. Going to classes helped, as did the writing group.

Who were your favourite children’s authors when you were young?

C.S. Lewis ("The Magician's Nephew" was the first book I ever owned), Arthur Ransome, Enid Blyton, and an adventure/mystery writer called Malcolm Saville. I wrote him a letter once - the only time I ever wrote to an author - and I got a reply all the way from England!
Who’s your favourite author or book character?

I have lots of favourite authors, but at the moment I am still in awe of Phillip Pullman and his Northern Lights trilogy. I also love Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. I read a lot of crime and mystery fiction.

Any words of advice for aspiring young writers?

Read widely - not just the one genre of book - and try to read "as a writer" now and then. Think about how a writer draws you into their story, and how they write the bits you love the most! And write lots - writing is not much different from most other things people want to be good at - you have to practise. Have fun. Write for yourself. Give yourself time to write stories and think about them - let them grow inside you!

What now?

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Naturals: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Following on from ‘The Naturals’ where a team of kids with unconventional abilities work for the FBI on cold cases. Events take a sinister turn when a young girl is murdered and displayed at a college campus. For Dean, a profiler with the Naturals, it brings back horrific memories - as the murder echoes the pattern set by his father - an infamous serial killer, now in prison.

While the gang - Cassie, Lia, Michael, Dean & Sloane are not technically supposed to aware of the details of active cases - it seems inevitable that they will become involved, especially when Dean’s father refuses to talk to anyone except for Dean. With time running out, with more girls being murdered - will they be able to put together the pieces before the murderer strikes again or that their FBI handler works out what they are doing?

This is a fast paced read - with lots of danger, I was never sure if my favourite characters were going to survive to the end of the book. Can’t wait for the next one. 

Reviewer: Sharni @ Balwyn 

What now?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Board of board books?

Lisa @ Ashburton Library has put together a fantastic list of first picture books. Bright pictures and simple text. And best of all, fun to read together.

Ten little fingers and ten little toes - M Fox
Charlie chick - N Denchfield
Ten terrible dinosaurs - P Stickland
I spy under the sea - E Gibbs
One bear, one bedtime - M Inkpen
I went walking - S Machin
Kisses for daddy - F Watts
Say boo to the animals - I Whybrow
Baby parade - R O’Connell
My first 1, 2, 3 - P Allen
Teddy bears, teddy bears - T Winburn
Whose baby - J Rowe
In Wibbly’s garden - M Inkpen
What colour are your knickers - S Lloyd
I’m not scary - R Cambell
Mr Gumpy’s outing - J Burningham
The very hungry caterpillar - E Carle
Guess how much I love you -S  McBratney
Each peach pear plum - A Ahlberg
Can’t you sleep little bear - M Waddell

What now?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Little Hawk is a Pokanoket boy who must go into the wilderness and survive alone for three long winter months, to complete his initiation into the tribe.  He is eleven years old and is allowed to take only some very basic implements.  The thought of his family and everything he holds dear helps him to cope with the many challenges he faces.  But when he returns home he finds that the village has suffered a shocking blow from the white man’s disease, and he is alone again.  As he grows to accept his loss and rebuild his life in a new village community, Little Hawk finds himself curious about the foreigners and befriends a young British boy called John.  The bond between the boys, which grows in spite of the animosity and suspicion between their two peoples, is heartwarming.  But can it survive the biggest challenge of all?

Review by Philippa @ Balwyn

What now?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Inky Awards 2015

Did you know that the Inky Awards are the only teen voted book award in Australia? The shortlist has been fought out by a panel of teen judges and now it's time to vote!

So if you are aged between 12 and 20, head to Inside a Dog and vote now.

Extra fun fact: the Gold Shortlist (Australian Titles) are all female authors. Go girls!

What now?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Zines at Kew Library

Learn how to self publish your own personal magazine. Hosted by the fantastic team at
A Zine Thing.

Monday 21 September
Kew Library

Aimed at ages 12+ but all ages welcome.

What now?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Minecraft Madness!

The Minecraft addiction has not escaped us here at the Library. Those of you who attended our Mad About Minecraft event earlier this year would have witnessed the Minecraft love.

We had over 100 enthusiastic kids talking about their Minecraft creations and adventures, borrowing our Minecraft fan fiction and playing our real world Minecraft games.

We had a lot of fun defining a Kronkiwongi and building it out of lego; creating a 3D tnt cube; participating in a construction challenge, making the tallest tower we could using 6 pieces of paper and tape only. 

It was amazing to see the kids take on our open ended challenges (challenges the adults didn't even have the answer to) and more than exceed our expectations. 

If you want to hear about the learning benefits of Minecraft, here are a couple of articles:

Our next Mad About session will be held at Kew Library with a ghouly Halloween theme!
October 27, 4:30-5:30. No need to book, just turn up.

What now?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Listen, slowly by Thanhha Lai

All Mai wants to do during her summer vacation is hang out at the beach with friends. Instead she is sent to Vietnam with her grandmother. Meeting her extended family for the first time is overwhelming. As Mai begins to understand the importance, for her grandmother, of finding the truth about her grandfather’s disappearance during the Vietnam War, she also comes to appreciate family ties.

Reviewer: Rita @ Hawthorn

What now?