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  • Books, Grimm

    Goodreads Best of 2014

    03.12.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on Goodreads Best of 2014

    Another virtual award announcement for the year, this time from goodreads.com. The good readers have voted for Best Young Adult Fiction and Best Young Adult Fantasy, and there were runaway winners in both categories, yay:

    Young Adult Fiction

    We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

    The other finalists are here.

    Young Adult Fantasy

    City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare

    The other finalists are here.

    Over the next while we’ll be letting you know what our favourites were this year too, so keep an eye out for our recommendations also!


  • Books, Grimm, New Zealand

    New Zealand Post Book Awards

    19.04.14 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Zealand Post Book Awards

    The nominees are:

    Young Adult Fiction

    A Necklace of Souls, by R L Stedman – “In a hidden kingdom a mysterious Guardian protects her people with the help of a magical necklace. But evil forces are also seeking the power of the necklace, and as the Guardian grows weaker these forces threaten to destroy the kingdom. With the help of her best friend, Will, and the enigmatic N’tombe, Dana, the rightful heir, must claim the power of the necklace and save her people. But the necklace takes a terrible toll on whoever wears it – a toll that Dana may not be prepared to face” – Publisher information.

    Bugs, by Whiti Hereaka – “Bugs is about the unfolding lives of three young people in their last year of school in small-town New Zealand. Life is slow, and it seems not much happens in town or in Jez and Bugs’s lives. But when Stone Cold arrives, the three come to different conclusions about how to deal with being trapped in a small town and at the bottom of the heap” – Publisher information.

    Mortal Fire, by Elizabeth Knox – “When sixteen-year-old Canny of the Pacific island, Southland, sets out on a trip with her stepbrother and his girlfriend, she finds herself drawn into enchanting Zarene Valley where the mysterious but dark seventeen-year-old Ghislain helps her to figure out her origins” – Publisher information.

    Speed Freak, by Fleur Beale – “Fifteen-year-old Archie is a top kart driver, aiming to win the Challenge series and its prize of racing in Europe. He loves the speed, the roar of the engine, the tactics and the thrill of driving to the limits. Craig is his main rival, and there’s also Silver, who drives like she’s got a demon inside. Archie knows he’ll need all his skill and focus to win. But sometimes, too, you need plain old luck. Can Archie overcome the odds and win?” – Back cover.

    When We Wake, by Karen Healey – In 2027, sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl–playing the guitar, falling in love, and protesting the wrongs of the world with her friends. But then Tegan dies, waking up 100 years in the future as the unknowing first government guinea pig to be cryogenically frozen and successfully revived. Appalling secrets about her new world come to light, and Tegan must choose to either keep her head down or fight for a better future. (catalogue summary)

    Congratulations to these fab New Zealand authors, and all the best!


  • Books, Library Serf, News

    New Zealand Post Book Awards

    28.06.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Zealand Post Book Awards

    This week the winners of the New Zealand Post Book Awards were announced, and a YA book took out the main prize. Well done that book!

    Winner of the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award, and the Best Young Adult Fiction Award:

    Into the River, Ted Dawe. “When Te Arepa Santos is dragged into the river by a giant eel, something happens that will change the course of his whole life. The boy who struggles to the bank is not the same one who plunged in, moments earlier. He has brushed against the spirit world, and there is a price to be paid; an utu to be exacted. Years later, far from the protection of whanau and ancestral land he finds new enemies. This time, with on-one to save him, there is a decision to be made.. he can wait on the bank, or leap forward into the river.” (goodreads.com)


  • Books, Library Serf

    Some Book Award News

    22.03.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on Some Book Award News

    Ketchup Clouds, the second novel by Annabel Pitcher has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for 2013. In Ketchup Clouds, Zoe deals with a secret (and enormous guilt) by sharing it with a prisoner on death row in America.

    Other contenders in the teen category included Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas: the complete list is here or here.


  • Books, Grimm, News

    And the Printz for 2013 goes to

    29.01.13 | Permalink | Comments Off on And the Printz for 2013 goes to

    In darkness, Nick Lake. Shorty is a gangster in the slums of Site Soleil in Haiti, and he’s caught in the rubble of a hospital in the 2010 earthquake. As he lies there trapped, he thinks on his life so far, and his story is woven betwixt and between that of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the slave who led Haiti to freedom against the French in the 18th century.

    There were also four Printz honours given:

    Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz. “Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.” (goodreads.com)

    Code name Verity, Elizabeth Wein. We reviewed this book last year (here), and it’s featured on so many Best Of lists we’re hardly surprised the good Printz people also agreed.

    Dodger, Terry Pratchett. Dodger is a street urchin living in Victorian London. When he sees a girl jump out of a carriage he helps her escape her captors, thereby earning the interest of Charles Dickens, who reports him as a hero (the Artful Dodger, perhaps?), changing Dodger’s life profoundly. Encounters with the Queen, Benjamin Disraeli, and Sweeney Todd follow.

    The white bicycle, Beverley Brenna, which we don’t have (yet). The story is a first-person account of Taylor Jane’s summer trip to the South of France, where she babysits for a family, which is challenging for a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome.

    For more information about the Printz Award visit the American Library Association website here.

    Meanwhile, the Alex Awards – for general fiction with teen appeal – were also announced, and here are the ten winners:

    Caring is Creepy, by David Zimmerman

    Girlchild, by Tupelo Hassman

    Juvenile in Justice, by Richard Ross

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

    My Friend Dahmer, by Derf Backderf

    One Shot at Forever, by Chris Ballard

    Pure, by Julianna Baggott

    The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple


  • Comics, Graphic Novels, Grimm

    Award Winning Graphic Novels

    20.08.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Award Winning Graphic Novels

    The annual Eisner Awards (sometimes called the Oscars of the comic industry according to Wikipedia) were held in July at the annual Comic-Con in San Diego, with some interesting winners announced:

    Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol won the Young Adult category. “Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part… Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.” (goodreads.com)

    Battlepug by Mike Norton won the Best Digital Comic category. We’ve just got this one in recently. It’s a pug (the cute little dogs with the punched-in noses), but it’s a battlepug. You can find out more on the website, or the battlepug is also on Twitter.


  • Books, Library Serf, News

    Horror Thriller Wins an Award!

    07.08.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Horror Thriller Wins an Award!

    Pyre of Queens by David Hair has won the Young Adult category of the LIANZA Book Awards, announced last night. “Mandore, India, 769 AD: An evil sorcerer king has devised a deadly secret ritual: he and his seven queens will burn on his funeral pyre and he will rise again with the powers of the demon king, Ravana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of the court poet.

    “Jodhphur, India, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, four teenagers meet and realise that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries and fight an ancient battle… one more time.” (catalogue description)

    This is the first in the Return of Ravana series. Here’s the book trailer:

    Congratulations to all winners! More information is on the LIANZA website here.


  • Books, Grimm

    The 2012 LIANZA Book Awards

    07.06.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on The 2012 LIANZA Book Awards

    LIANZA is the professional association of people working in library and information-related fields in New Zealand. Each year they give awards for excellence in New Zealand literature, including a young adult section. This year the YA finalists are all about thrillers, suspense, action, and a bit of horror.

    The Shattering, Karen Healey – “Summerton is perfect: gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, cute out-of-towners to meet. But sharp-tongued Keri has been left shattered with grief by her older brother’s suicide. She discovers her other frineds have also lost brothers in suspicious circumstances. Does Summerton hold dark secrets?” (catalogue)

    Read more about The Shattering on the author’s website.

    Pyre of Queens, David Hair – “Mandore, India, 769 AD: An evil sorcerer king has devised a deadly secret ritual: he and his seven queens will burn on his funeral pyre and he will rise again with the powers of the demon king, Ravana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of the court poet. Jodhphur, India, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, four teenagers meet and realise that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries and fight an ancient battle… one more time.” (catalogue)

    This is the first book in the Return of Ravana series, from the author of The Bone Tiki.

    Dirt Bomb, Fleur Beale – “Jake’s life is sweet and he wouldn’t change a thing. He’s got no money and doesn’t have a mobile, but he’s got two best mates; Buzz and Robbie. Buzz is generous and doesn’t mind buying stuff for his mates. Robbie has the idea of rescuing an old wreck from a ditch and making it into a paddock basher. Buzz, however, puts a spanner in the works by saying he’s not paying for it all, it’s even stevens or no deal. Robbie gets a job, but Jake refuses. It’s just not his style to work for a boss. But he desperately wants to drive that car, and the others are going to go ahead without him.” (catalogue)

    Fleur Beale won the Young Adult award last year for Fierce September, and is the author of the New Zealand young adult classic I Am Not Esther.

    The Bridge, Jane Higgins – “The city is at war. Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation. They’re hungry to cross the river. Cityside, ISIS is in charge, the brains behind the war. Its job—keep the hostiles at bay. ISIS only recruits the best for its elite command. Nik is smart. Very smart. So why does ISIS reject him? Before he can find out, his school is bombed. The hostiles take the bridges, and they’ve kidnapped Fyffe’s brother Sol. Now Nik is on the run. And Fyffe is going with him. Across the bridge.” (author’s website)

    There’s more information about the book (including a map) at the author’s website.

    Recon Team Angel: Assault, Brian Falkner – “It is 2030, and the world is at war with an alien race. The Bzadians. The battleground: Earth. Recon Team Angel, made up of teenagers from around the world, has been training for years. They have learned Bzadian languages. Learned how to operate their weapons. How to work, eat, and think like them. Now it is time to act. Six recon soldiers must slip behind enemy lines, right into the top-secret alien facility inside Uluru/Ayers Rock. But what they discover will shock not just them, but all of humanity.” (author’s website)

    Brian Falkner is the author of the hugely popular Brainjack.


  • Books, Library Serf, News

    Jack Lasenby Wins an Award

    17.05.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Jack Lasenby Wins an Award

    Wellington writer Jack Lasenby has won the Young Adult category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards, announced last night.

    Calling the Gods is a futuristicky, action-packed story of survival: “Banishment is the cruellest punishment, and Selene is being driven out unjustly by her own people. A story of violence, love and courage, of leadership and betrayal, a tale of a young woman’s heroic persistence against impossible odds.” (catalogue)

    Read a review of Calling the Gods at the National Library’s Create Readers Blog.

    The Bridge by Jane Higgins received the Honour Award.

    Congratulations to everyone!


  • Books, Library Serf, News

    New Zealand Post Book Awards Finalists

    01.03.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on New Zealand Post Book Awards Finalists

    The finalists for the young adult category of this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards have been announced! Congratulations to the authors! Take one (or more) out and read it today! Then you can vote for your favourite and go into the draw to win $500 of book tokens for yourself and $500 for your school.

    The Bridge, Jane Higgins – “The city is at war. Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation. They’re hungry to cross the river. Cityside, ISIS is in charge, the brains behind the war. Its job—keep the hostiles at bay. ISIS only recruits the best for its elite command. Nik is smart. Very smart. So why does ISIS reject him? Before he can find out, his school is bombed. The hostiles take the bridges, and they’ve kidnapped Fyffe’s brother Sol. Now Nik is on the run. And Fyffe is going with him. Across the bridge.” (author’s website)

    Calling the Gods, Jack Lasenby – “Banishment is the cruellest punishment, and Selene is being driven out unjustly by her own people. A story of violence, love and courage, of leadership and betrayal, a tale of a young woman’s heroic persistence against impossible odds. First person recount.” (catalogue)

    Dirt Bomb, Fleur Beale – “Jake’s life is sweet and he wouldn’t change a thing. He’s got no money and doesn’t have a mobile, but he’s got two best mates; Buzz and Robbie. Buzz is generous and doesn’t mind buying stuff for his mates. Robbie has the idea of rescuing an old wreck from a ditch and making it into a paddock basher. Buzz, however, puts a spanner in the works by saying he’s not paying for it all, it’s even stevens or no deal. Robbie gets a job, but Jake refuses. It’s just not his style to work for a boss. But he desperately wants to drive that car, and the others are going to go ahead without him.” (catalogue)

    Sacrifice, Joanna Orwin – “Several generations after volcanic eruptions and tsunamis caused the onset of the Dark, descendants of the few survivors struggle to maintain their communities in the swamplands at the far north of New Zealand. Every five years, youths are selected to venture south to search for any remaining food sources. Taka is determined to be one of those chosen, but he is unaware of the daunting new challenges and the sacrifices which may be required of this group of Travellers if their people are to survive.” (catalogue)

    Yes, Deborah Burnside – “Marty knows that when his mate Luke attempts to involve him in another crazy venture, it’s futile to resist. This time it’s the Young Enterprise Scheme. Luke believes it will make them rich and popular, and along the way will capture the heart of his elusive love. Reluctantly Marty says yes. And what comes next is a whole lot bigger and weirder than he could ever have imagined.” (catalogue)


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