New Historical Fiction

In the current context of international tensions, isn’t it a good time to pick some good new fiction that will make you think, understand and reflect on important issues such as war, refugee and society crisis?

Alexander Altmann A10567, by Suzy Zail Image courtesy of Syndetics

Fourteen-year-old Alexander Altmann doesn’t need to look at the number tattooed on his arm. A10567: he knows it by heart. He also knows that to survive Auschwitz, he has to toughen up.

When he is given the job of breaking in the commander’s new horse, their survival becomes intertwined.

Alexander knows the animal is scared and damaged, but he must win its trust. If he fails, they will both be killed.

Age 10 and +

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsMy brother’s secret, by Dan Smith

Twelve-year-old Karl is a good German boy. He wants his country to win the war – after all, his father has gone away to fight.

But when tragedy strikes and his older brother Stefan gets into trouble, he begins to lose his faith in Hitler. Before long, he’s caught up in a deadly rebellion.

Age 10 and +

 

 

Image courtesy of Syndetics

Refuge, by Jackie French

When a boat carrying a group of asylum seekers is sunk by a freak wave, Faris wakes from the shipwreck in an Australia he’s always dreamed of. There are kangaroos grazing under orange trees and the sky is always blue. On a nearby beach, Faris meets a group of young people who have come from far different times and places.

They are also seeking refuge, and each has their own story of why they had to leave their country to make a new life for themselves. It is only when Faris chooses to return to “real life” and find his father in Australia that he learns the extraordinary truth about the friends he made on the golden beach.

Age 10 and +

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsValentine Joe, by Rebecca Stevens

Rose goes to Ypres in Belgium to visit the graves of those who died in the Great war. There, the name of one boy stays in her mind: fifteen-year-old Valentine Joe.

That night, Rose hears marching and when she looks out of her window, she sees a young soldier…

Age 10 and +

Top 10 Non Fiction for May

Favoured fashionable facts

1.  Star Wars character encyclopedia by Simon Beecroft

2.  Ripley’s believe it or not! edited by Alexander, Rosie.

3.  Guinness world records 2014 edited by Craig Glenday

4.  The LEGO book by Daniel Lipkowitz

5.  Treasury of Egyptian mythology  by Donna Jo Napoli

6.  Moshi Monsters by Steve Cleverley

7.  The LEGO movie by Hannah Dolan

8.  See inside the First World War by Rob Lloyd Jones

9.  Art detective by Doris Kutschbach

10. Big book of papercraft by Fiona Watt

 

New Non Fiction: Celebrating Mothers, Artists, Animal Heroes and 100 inventions that has shaped and changed the world forever.

Amazing Babes.

Amazing Babes was originally written as a gift from a mother to her son. This is a great picture book that celebrates inspirational women from around the world and across generations. All the women in this book had the ideas, determination, and creativity to bring about change in the world, and in learning about their stories we honour their achievements. Overall a fantastic read with striking pictures and simple text that celebrates the achievements of inspirational women such as Gloria Steinman, pioneer of the American women’s movement and Malala Yousafzai, a passionate advocate of worldwide access to education. A great book to celebrate International Women’s day. You may also like Of thee I sing : a letter to my daughters by American president, Barack Obama, where he  writes  a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation in the form of a beautiful letter to his daughters.

 

 

 

Mummy & Me Cook and Craft.

Great books to read and use for  gift ideas for Mum on Mother’s day, like whipping up a yummy pancake  breakfast to serve Mum in bed or making up a bead necklace as a gift. Either way or something that you and Mum can do together. Mummy & Me Cook serves as a great introduction to cooking for kids with its blend of over 20 healthy recipes and fun activities as well as fabulous food facts about everyday ingredients. While Mummy and Me Craft introduces kids  to the wonderful world of crafting. Great was for you and Mum to spend quality time together.

 

 

The noisy paint box : the colors and sounds of Kandinsky’s abstract art.

If you have a project which involves studying a famous artist and abstract art, this biography on Kandinsky is a great resource to use. A fantastic picture book biography that explores how one ordinary little boy named Vansa Kandinsky became one of the most (and first) accomplished painters in abstract art and describes how Vasya Kandinsky’s creative life was profoundly shaped by a neurological condition called synesthesia which caused him to experienced colors as sounds and sounds as colors. A biography, art and music book rolled into one.

 

 

 

 

100 inventions that made history : brilliant breakthroughs that shaped our world.

The wheel, the light bulb, the telephone, the toilet, antibiotics,  denim jeans… This book holds information about 100 inventions that has shaped and changed the world forever. This book is a great resource to use if you are doing a project on inventions.

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Bravery in Wartime.

Read this book and find out all about the brave animals from horses on cavalry charges to messenger dogs and carriers, that helped and risked their lives to help humans in frightening and dangerous situations during the war.The first page of this book opens with the sentence, “Although much is made of human bravery in warfare, the role of animals has been neglected.” I couldn’t agree more.

 

 

 

 

Midnight: The Story of a light horse.

‘A foal is born at midnight, on the homestead side of the river. Coal black. Star ablaze. Moonlight in her eyes.’ On October 31, 1917, the 4th and 12th Regiments of the Australian Light Horse took part in one of the last great cavalry charges in history. Among the first to leap the enemy trenches was Lieutenant Guy Haydon riding his beloved mare, Midnight. This is their story.’

We all know the epic story of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo , but are you ready to read the true story of a real-life war horse? This book tells the story of Midnight, an Australian light horse who took part of one of the great cavalry charges on October 31st 1917 during World War I. Prepare to have tissues on stand by when reading this story.

 

New Non Fiction: This Means War.

Angry Birds Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…a group of desperate rebel birds faced off against the galactic menace: the Empire’s Evil Pigtroopers! Yep, the Angry Birds are back and now you can join them on an epic adventure in the legendary Star Wars Universe by reading this new character encyclopedia. Learn about cool characters like Red Skywalker, Peckme Amidla, Lard Vader and get the full low down on those dastardly pigs and very angry birds! Overall a great book to read if you are a fan of Angry Birds.

You might also like The World of Angry Birds Official Guide and Angry Birds Playground Animals.

 

 

 

Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: World War I.

In the mood for more weird worlds of wonders? Rest assured, you can always count on Tony Robinson to deliver. Read his latest book on World War I and find out all the action-packed facts like how to build a trench, what dogs were good messengers, how plastic surgery was invented and why you needed a gas mask.  As always, Tony Robinson takes you on a headlong gallop through time, pointing out all the most important, funny, strange, amazing, entertaining, smelly and disgusting bits.  This is the book that makes World War I history fun to read about.

 

 

 

 

The Story of the First World War.

Need information on World War I for a homework project? Check out The Story of the First World War by Paul Dowswell. Contains eye-witness accounts of some of World War One’s most important events, including how the war started, the strange Christmas truce of 1914, the epic naval battle of Jutland Stories and when the war ended in 1918. This book also comes complete with maps and line drawings and there are notes on sources and ideas for further reading. Gripping and engaging for readers who prefer real life to fiction.

Top 10 non-fiction for May

Looking for some cool non-fiction to get your hands on? Here are the top 10 most favourite non-fiction books for May 2013:

1. Star Wars series by david Reynolds West

2. Star Wars character encyclopedia by Simon Beecroft

3. The horrible history of the world by Terry Deary

4. Ripley’s believe it or not by Rosie Alexander

5. Pokemon Ultimate Handbook by Cris Silvestri

6. The wimpy kid movie diary by Jef Kinney

7. Guinness world records 2013 by Craig Glenday

8. Beastly Best Bits by Terry Deary

9. Big book of paper craft by Fiona Watt

10. World War 1 by Simon Adams

 

New non-fiction: History

Avoid being Sir Isaac Newtown!

Sir Isaac Newtown was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. But he didn’t have it easy; he survived plague, civil war and poverty to become a Professor of Mathematics at 26!  He went on to live an amazing life and make many important discoveries that changed science forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Adventures at the Smithsonian

This is the official guide to the Smithsonian Institution, which is not just one but a collection of museums mostly located in Washington D.C.  There are exhibitions on everything, from human flight (The National Air and Space Museum) to the origins of human life (  National Museum of Natural History.) While this would be a great book to take on a trip to the U.S.A, it’s really interesting to read in its own right.

 

 

 

 

ANZAC Day The New Zealand story : what it is and why it matters

This is an important book about New Zealand’s role in World War I. Although it does talk about Gallipoli, it also mentions other places that New Zealanders fought, such as the Western front.  The Maori and Pacific Island soldiers who fought are also discussed. The book also looks at what happened after the war; what life for the soldiers who came back was like, how the dead were memorialised and the first ANZAC day services.

 

 

 

 

Dogs: a very peculiar history

This is a great little book will tell you all about the history of dogs,  from the wild dogs that our ancestors domesticated to the pampered pooches of today’s top celebrities. Not only will this book tell you the history of dogs, it also explains their doggy behaviors and quirks.  Also included are stories about heroic dogs, fictional dogs and movie star dogs! Basically this is a great book for you canine lovers. However, if you’re more of a cat person, there’s also Cats: A very peculiar history. 

 

 

The Book of Blood

A lot less gruesome than its name suggests, this book will tell you everything you need or want to know about blood. As well as looking at the science of blood, this book also takes a look at what people in the past thought about blood (and how it worked) and how that changed over time.  There’s also some really interesting sections on bloodsuckers, from the real ones, like mosquitoes to the fictional, like vampires.  It’s a well written book with great pictures and lots of interesting information.

 

 

 

 

The Arab-Israeli conflict

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the most contentious issues of our time and sometimes it’s hard to know what to think. This book lays out the history of the conflict and how it’s shaped international relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicine through the Ages: Modern, Renaissance, Medieval and Industrial Age

These are some really fantastic books about how medicine changed and developed over time.  They’re extremely informative, and filled with great (if gory!) illustrations.  They’re a bit more serious than books like the Horrible Histories, but they’re still very interesting and worth a read.

 

Top 10 non-fiction for April

Here are your favourite non-fiction books for April. Grab them from your library today.

1. Star Wars by David Reynolds West

2. Frontier of dreams the story of New Zealand by John Parker

3. The horrible history of the world by Terry Deary

4. The LEGO book by Daniel Lipkowi
5. Ripley’s believe it or not by Rosie Alexandertz

6. Cat by Juliet Clutton-Brock

7. World War 1 by Simon Adams

8. Usborne little book of Easter activities by Rebecca Gilpin

9. Pokemon Visual Guide by Cris Silvestri

10. Big book of paper craft by Fiona Watt

 

What’s on Today? Thursday 2nd May.

It’s almost the end of the school holidays, hasn’t it gone quickly? We’ve got some great events happening today for end-of-the-holidays fun. Come along and check it out.

Special Event: Celebrate the ANZACS

Central Library, 11am: What do ANZAC biscuits have to do with ANZAC day? What’s it like being a soldier away from home, missing your family, friends (and favourite food)? Explore the great ANZAC biscuit and its place in history through fun stories and activities.

Free event, bookings not required. Suitable for ages 5+

 

Special Event: SPCA Storytime

Island Bay Library, 10.30am: meet some furry creatures at Island Bay’s storytime this morning. The SPCA will be visiting to introduce you to their animals and tell you all about how to care for them and protect them. Come along for stories, songs, and cute animals.

Baby Rock & Rhyme: Perfect for parents and bubs aged 0-2yrs old.

Karori Library, 9.30am

Johnsonville Library, 10.30am

 

Storytimes: fun stories and songs for toddlers, preschoolers and their families. Older siblings are welcome.

Island Bay, 10.30am

Miramar Library, 10.15am

 

Find out what’s on at the Kids’ Events page.

 

 

Libraries are closed, so… Download a book instead!

ANZAC Day is a special day for us to remember and say thank you to many New Zealand soldiers, sailors and airmen and women who have served New Zealand so that we can be a safe country. Many of these people died while fighting, not only to keep New Zealand safe, but to keep other countries safe too.

 

You may wish to go to an ANZAC day service. These will be happening across Wellington city from dawn into the afternoon. Go to the Returned and Services Association website (RSA) to find a service near you.

 

You won’t be able to visit the libraries to hang out or borrow books, because we will be closed on ANZAC day. But don’t panic! We have books on out website that you can download for free. You can borrow an e-book or an audio book and download them straight onto your computer, laptop, MP3 player, e-reader and more. Go to our Downloads page to find out more.