9 New “action packed” Non Fiction to curb the winter blues.

Hey Kids! Welcome to the latest Junior Non Fiction blog post!

July and winter has finally hit and there will days where you want nothing more than to stay inside and hibernate with a hot cup of cocoa and a library book. (Hmmm, sounds like heaven to me!)

Once again, Wellington City Libraries has new “action packed” non fiction bursting through our shelves for your viewing and reading pleasure for boys and girls of all ages.

There are books where the world of Greek mythology, the world of Greek gods and goddesses and… superheroes collides. Not to mention the odd Greek word here and there; Superheroes are featured that boys and girls can look up to; there are books for girls  in the sporting, dancing  and superhero world, hmmm I think I detect a bit of a girl power theme going on and finally books that will help you find the right word for any given situation.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsHow cities work : explore the city inside, outside and underground.

Lonely Planet kids has done it again with “How Cities Work.” This book allows kids the opportunity to explore the city inside, outside and underground, with lots of cool flaps to lift to see inside buildings, not to mention unfold pages to find out what is going on above your head and udder your feet. Overall a fantastic book that gives a full in depth account to city life as you have never seen it before, and already a popular book amongst kids, which is currently hot on the reserve list.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe right word : Roget and his thesaurus.

Lost for words? You can certainly find the right words in this book. “The Right Word” tells the story of Peter Mark Roget, a brilliant man who took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought, who went on the be the creator of Roget’s Thesaurus, one of the most widely used reference books ever published. A biography and a thesaurus all in one, who could ask for more!

DID YOU KNOW: The word “Thesaurus” means “treasure house” in Greek.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Gods and Goddesses of Olympus.

This book briefly recounts the stories of members of the Greek pantheon. Overall a great read and a fantastic introduction to the Greek Gods and Goddesses.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBatman character encyclopaedia.

Brace yourself, Batman and DC Comics fanatics, the latest Batman Character Encyclopaedia has made its way to the shelves at your local library. Discover all the powerful, strange and crazy characters from the world of Batman. Meet your favorite Super Heroes and learn all about the most fearsome super-villains.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to The Amazon Warrior.

“Keep faith. Trust  to love. Fight with honor. But fight to win.” – Wonder Woman.

This is a motto worth remembering.

Finally a superhero that young girls can look up to! A guide to the world of  demigoddess, Wonder Woman includes seventy-five years of iconic characters, major story arcs, and key issues, along with information on locations, enemies, and allies. This is a must have read for every comic fanatic and a great companion alongside The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus!

Also check the following trailers to Wonder Woman, which has just been released in theatres and Justice League, which won’t be released until sometime in 2018, down below.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Beginner’s Guide to Netball.

Maria Tuta’ia, New Zealand international netball player takes you on journey to help you become or improve your skills in playing netball and perhaps ensure your career as a future silver fern, heehee. You will learn skills such as how to shoot goals under pressure, master passing accuracy and pull off the perfect dodge.  “Features the basic skills every netballer should be familiar with, no matter what their position. Read about the story of netball as well as Maria’s own journey to becoming an international netball superstar”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndetics
The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories.

This book hold beautiful retellings of six of the world’s greatest ballet stories are accompanied by two story CDs read by Juliet Stevenson that is bound to enrich library collections and inspire young dancers. This book is in a word… GORGEOUS! A must have read for the budding ballerina and dance enthusiast.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsLots : the diversity of life on Earth.

One, two, three …lots!  Find out in this beautiful and brilliant book how all living things – including us – are part of a big, beautiful pattern and depend on each other for survival. With beautiful words from Nicola Davies and exquisite illustrations by Emily Sutton, this groundbreaking book is certain to enchant and inspire children. Overall a fantastic read that that is suitable for young children and serves as an educational resource on biodiversity and conservation.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe ultimate unofficial encyclopedia for Minecrafters : multiplayer mode : exploring hidden games and secret worlds.

Calling all Minecrafters! Looking for a new challenge? Minecraft strikes again! This book presents information on the world of Minecraft, including how and where to play safely online, playing in creative and survival modes, and server plugins for advanced players.

 

Kids’ Club Review by Malia: Count me in

Count me inCount me in, by Bernadette Hellard

I thought that netball gems was a good story. It was about a girl called sahar that was starting a netball team and found it hard to fit in. my favorite part was when sahar had her first netball game she was really good and got lots of intersepts . I thought that was very unexpected.

4 stars

Reviewed by Malia from Tawa and , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Alice: Go with the flow

Go with the flowGo with the flow, by Bernadette Hellard

When I found this book I was immediately hooked in. This book is about a girl called Prani who loves to play netball. She never takes netball too seriously and just has fun playing any position. I love netball as much as Prani and enjoyed reading this book.

5 stars

Reviewed by Alice from Kilbirnie and St Patrick’s School , 11 years old

Summer-time reading starts with a visit to your local Library! Try these new children’s fiction…

Looking forward to long hot summer days where you can relax with a book? Well, the weather is still a bit patchy at the moment, but you can always get in a bit of practice by trying these new fiction books.

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsA Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee

Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother disappears, she’s put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly un-ladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks. Swept up in an urgent quest, Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn’t take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.

 

 

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy StrangeImage courtesy of Syndetics

1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees – or thinks she sees – in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden. One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world…

 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsAn Elephantasy by Maria Elena Walsh

What would you do if you woke up one morning and found a huge and lonely elephant at your door? An elephant with a letter hanging from its ear, saying: “My name is Dailan Kifki, and I beg you not to be alarmed at the fact that I’m an elephant…”? Well, you would probably adopt him too, wouldn’t you? But when Dailan Kifki falls ill and ends up at the top of a tree, only the fire brigade can get him down. Unfortunately, the fireman who arrives seems more interested in flying away with the elephant than bringing him back to earth.

 

 

Crimson Poison by Susan MooreImage courtesy of Syndetics

Nat Walker is the orphan heiress to her parents’ games empire. While the mystery behind their deaths remains unsolved, Nat must fend off the unwelcome and avaricious attentions of her aunt, who is keen to “adopt” her and her millions. When her guardian, Jamuka, is called back to Mongolia by a clan emergency, Nat discovers vital information about the poison that is killing his people. She decides to follow him, and in doing so, becomes drawn into the deadly game of revenge, corruption and world domination that is playing out against the snowy white Steppes.

 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsMagic Feet by Sherryl Clark

“Soccer season is here! Ellyse can’t wait to pull on her boots and start dribbling. Unlike club cricket, where she’s the ONLY girl on the team, her best friends Charlie and Jazz also play soccer and it’s so much fun! But things don’t go according to plan right from the start. Ellyse finds herself the ONLY girl on her club team AGAIN and, to make matters worse, there’s a new player on the field – and he has attitude. *Sigh*. Ellyse decides to take charge. If she wants more girls on her team, why not start a soccer team at school? Problem solved… right? Wrong. Ellyse soon realises that there’s more involved in recreuiting new players than she ever imagined. Plus, there’s a bully to contend with… Has Ellyse bitten off more than she can chew this time around?”–Back cover.

The Modern Olympics

You might think the Olympics are over, but the countdown to the Paralympics has only just begun. These games, for athletes with impaired physical abilities, start on 7th September in the same place as the Olympics – Rio De Janerio.

 

While we wait, here is some cool info on the Modern Olympics. You can read our post about the Ancient History of the Olympics to catch up.

 

The ancient Olympic games officially began in 776 BC in Greece and occurred every four years, or Olympiads, ending in 393 AD (after about 1000 years) because they were considered a pagan practice.

Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, believed in the importance of physical education, and in international competition. Coubertin helped to revive the idea of the olympic games in the 1890s and was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.

The modern olympic games began with the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Olympic_ringA couple of well known symbols that are used to promote the games are the olympic flag and the olympic flame. The rings on the Olympic flag represent the five parts of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

 

 

The number of sports that are played in the current olympics are much higher and more diverse than at the ancient olympic games; they include archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

And that’s just the summer olympics! The winter olympics are held every four years as well, the next one will be in 2018 in PyeongChang, Korea. The sports at the winter olympics are all done in snow or ice; skiing, bobsleigh, curling, skating, ice hockey, luge, ski jumping, and snowboarding.

 

Check out this Enyclopaedia Britannica article about the history of the Olympic games! (You’ll need your library card to login)

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe story of the Olympics : the wacky facts about the Olympics and Olympic champions down the centuries! by Richard Brassey
“Records and reputations, cheats and champs, victors and venues – here’s the lowdown on the modern Olympic games, from bestselling author and illustrator, Richard Brassey. From the games of ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, and with individual tales of heroes and heroines, this is a lively, witty and entertaining guide for young readers everywhere. As always with Richard Brassey’s popular books, this is packed with comic strips, fact boxes, hilarious captions and speech bubbles, plus amazing information and entertaining insight.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverThe Olympics : ancient and modern by Joe Fullman
The Olympics Ancient to Modern is a fascinating look at the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the first events in Ancient Greece right the way up to London 2012 and Sochi 2014. It focusses on when and where each Games has been held, and some key stats, such as how much it cost, how many athletes competed, and how many spectators came to watch.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverModern Olympic Games by Haydn Middleton
“‘The Olympics’ tells you all about the world’s greatest sporting festival. From ancient Greece to the 21st century, you will read about the winners, losers, triumphs, and tragedies of the Olympic Games.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

 

Overdrive book coverThe Olympics by Graham Douglas (eBook)
“The Olympic Games: a major international amateur sporting competition that brings together hundreds of nations and thousands of athletes. This book is a collection of fun, facts and figures about the Games (from ancient to modern times) for sports lovers all over the world. ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well’ Pierre de Coubertin.” (Syndetics summary)

The ancient history of the Olympics

Syndetics book cover

The Olympic games began in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC (that’s almost 3000 years ago!). It was a sporting competition to celebrate excellence and honour the god Zeus.

The first few olympics just had a running race and only lasted one day, but more events got added on later and it became a five day event. Because ancient Greece would often have conflicts going on between city-states there would be a sacred truce (Ekecheiria) during the games so that athletes and spectators could travel to and from Olympia safely.

 

 

 

Competitors from all over Greece and sometimes beyond would compete in sporting events including foot-races (running), the pentathlon (running, long jump, discus, javelin and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, the pankration, and equestrian races (horse and chariot). Pankration is a combination of boxing and wresting and was a particularly brutal event.

Fun Fact: the participants would also compete naked! In fact the Greek word for nude was gymnós which is where our word for gymnasiums comes from.

The ancient olympics also did not allow women to compete in the events, and only unmarried women were allowed to be spectators. Despite this, in 396 BC Kyniska of Sparta became the first female Olympic victor for the chariot race, because the owners of the horses were considered the winners of the race, not the riders.

Instead of receiving gold, silver and bronze medals, there was only one victor in each of the events and they were rewarded with a wreath (wild olive leaf crown), and of course the glory and honour of being an olympic victor (in other words – bragging rights!)

In 393 AD the new Roman emperor and Christian, Theodosius, banned the olympic games because he considered them a pagan practice. So ended 1,000 years of tradition, during which 293 olympics games were held. That is until Pierre de Coubertin, a French academic and historian, pushed to resurrect them and so began the modern olympic games in 1896 Athens, Greece.

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe first Olympics of ancient Greece by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

“In ancient Greece different city-states often fought one another in deadly battles. But every four years the Greeks set aside their differences to honor the gods and compete peacefully in the Olympic Games. Learn all about the athletes, competitions, and religious ceremonies of the ancient Olympics.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Syndetics book coverOlympics by Richard Platt
“‘In the same spirit as the previous Through Time titles, this book explores the evolution of the Olympic Games, from its ancient origins to modern times. The chronological format allows the reader to experience life in many diverse cities and cultures during different historical periods. Through Time: The Olympic Games tells the complete story of history’s most famous, and most international, sporting competition. The narrative runs from city to city, exploring the impact of the Games on each host nation as well as the key social, political and cultural events of the time. Woven into this narrative are all the major sporting highlights, facts and record-breakers.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Flaming Olympics by Michael Coleman

This hilarious guide tells readers everything they need to know, from the torture of Olympic training, to some of the best performances dating back as far as 776 BC.

 

Rowing at the Olympics

Want to find out about Olympic sports? Here’s some cool info about Rowing; a sport that New Zealand is very good at.

 

Rowing is a boating sport, contested by both men and women at the Olympics. There are two types of rowing events, sculling where the athletes use an oar in each hand and sweep rowing where athletes use both hands to hold one oar. All races are over a distance of 2000 metres.

Rowing is a sport that requires both endurance and coordination. Races usually feature a sprint over the first 500 metres and another over the final 500 metres where stroke rates can be around 47 per minutes. Wow, that sounds exhausting.

 

Rowing first gained popularity as a sport in England in the early 1700s. By the 1800s it had spread throughout Europe and the United States and often features teams from the finest schools and universities. Oxford and Cambridge became traditional rivals in England and Yale and Harvard became rivals in the United States.

Rowing made its Olympic debut as a men’s sport in the 1900 and has remained on the programme ever since. Women’s rowing events were introduced in 1976.

 

It is a very exciting time for Rowing New Zealand as we have qualified the largest ever team to compete in this years Olympics and for the first time ever we have a women’s eight and men’s lightweight four competing. In previous Olympics New Zealand has won 9 Gold, 2 Silver and 10 Bronze medals and we hope that we will add to this number during these games.

Some of the stars of our New Zealand team are Eric Murray and Hamish Bond in the men’s pair and Mahe Drysdale in the men’s single scull but you can check out all the athletes from the rowing team here.

Go New Zealand!!

New Zealand’s Olympic Heroes

New Zealand’s Olympic story began in 1908 and over the years Kiwi athletes have given us many memorable moments and have earned New Zealand the reputation for punching above its weight.

Our first Olympians competed as part of an ‘Australasian’ team in 1908 where Harry Kerr from Taranaki won our first medal with a bronze in the 3500m walk.

Our first official New Zealand team was in 1920 which included only four athletes. Darcy Hadfield was part of this team and he won a bronze medal in the single sculls.

New Zealand’s first individual gold medal winner was won by Ted Morgan in boxing at Amsterdam in 1928. And Yvette William became our first women gold medal winner in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki games.

 

New Zealand has excelled in a variety of sports at different times. In the 1960s our runners did well. In the late 1960s and 1970s rowing became very successful. The 1980s saw a rise in New Zealand water sports such as canoeing, swimming and sailing. The 1980s and 1990s was a great time for our equestrians and in the 1990s our cyclist began to make their mark.

Some of our more notable Olympic medal winners include Peter Snell. He won three Olympic gold medals in track & field and in 2000 he was voted New Zealand Athlete of the Century. John Walker was our great miler, winning gold in the 1500m race (often consider the glamour event of the track & field) at the 1976 Montreal Olympic.

Then there is Ian Ferguson our canoeing great. Few New Zealanders have competed in more Olympic Games and no one has won as many medals or as many golds.

 

Lets not forget our current gold medal winners that are competing at the Rio Olympics now. Greats such at Valerie Adams, Lisa Carrington, Mahe Drysdale, and Mark Todd

If you would like to learn more about our great medal winning athletes as well as all our other athletes competing at the Rio games then click here.

Go New Zealand!!!

7 new back to school children’s non-fiction you must get your hands on!

The holidays may be over, but have no fear, Wellington City Libraries always has fantastic new books in stock for your viewing and reading pleasure. Come on down to your local library and check out what’s new in our junior non fiction collection, especially some must have new reads about the Olympics, which you should get your hands on before the games officially start:

 

image courtesy of syndetics

Travel the world Atlas.

Take a trip around the world and back again where you can  expand your geographical knowledge and stimulate  curiosity with this delightful map book.  Filled with fascinating, bite-sized facts about the landscape and the culture of each geographical region. Great for children over 6 years old.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsSuperbug.

Grab hold of this book and read all about the biggest, fastest, deadliest creepy crawlies on the planet.

 

 

 

IMAGE COURTESY OF SYNDETICSMy Little Book Tractors.

Packed full of cool photos and fascinating facts about tractors. Perfect for reluctant readers and young children interested in tractors and automobiles

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPokemon visual companion.

Pokemon madness has taken over the library, especially with the release of this fantastic Pokemon guide. Here is your chance to really catch all the Pokémon you can find, as uncover amazing artwork, fascinating facts and comical anecdotes. This is truly a must have reference for every Pokemon fan!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOlympic Sport: The Whole Muscle-Flexing Story.

From running a marathon to beating your friends at basketball or being the bendiest gymnast around, find out everything you ever wanted to know about sports and games and what it is that makes athletes the best at what they do. A must have read to have in time for the Olympics.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOlympic Expert.

Read this book and discover record breaking sprints of 100m legend Usain Bolt, Gymnast Nadia Comenaeci’s perfect ten, Bob Beamon’s amazing long jump and David Weir’w wheelchair racing heroics and much, much more! This book is also crammed full of facts and statistics, quotes, trivia and lots of other essential information for every Olympic fan. Grab it quick before someone else does.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft : the survivors’ book of secrets.

The latest instalment of Minecraft as arrived in the form of  Minecraft : the survivors’ book of secrets. This Official Minecraft book contains collective knowledge of the Survivors – an underground group of Minecraft experts who’ve been around since the early days of alpha. Out in the field you’ll learn how to stalk your enemies, how to master the art of practical munitions and how to crush any opponent in hand-to-hand combat.

5 new children’s non fiction to read in term 3.

Here is your chance to discover a hidden world beneath the surface of things. Whether it is what goes on deep within the bowels of a city, what is really going on inside the human body. Or even what is going on right outside your backyard.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPeeking under the city.

Tall building and bright lights. Honking  and cool water fountains. This is what a city looks like above ground. But what wonders lie beneath? Let’s go below the streets and take a peek.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPeeking under your skin.

Arms, leg and a big smile. Waving hands and dancing feet. This is what a person looks like from the outside. But what wonders lie inside? Let’s go below your skin and take a peek!

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPeeking Underground.

Leafy trees and green grass. Chirping birds and children playing games. This is what the earth looks like above ground.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsEgyptian Mummy: The Embalmer’s Handbook.

Prepared to be dazzled and spellbound the glorious mysteries of ancient Egypt. Read this and discover a civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and discover how they embalmed their dead. Contains beautiful illustrations, a guide to Egyptian coffins, ‘true or false’ quizzes, and a spectacular gatefold image of the River Nile.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe beginners guide to netball.

Willing to bring out your inner Silver Fern? This check out this fantastic beginners guide to netball. This book features the basic skills every netballer should be familiar with, no matter what their position. Read about the story of netball as well as Maria’s own journey to becoming an international netball superstar.