The Wide World – New Nonfiction

1001 inventions and awesome facts from Muslim Civilisation

The Muslim faith is in the news a lot these days; this book will give a different perspective on what Muslims have contributed to the world civilisation  . While much of Europe was still in the Dark Ages, Muslims had started making great leaps in medicine, astronomy, cartography and the decorative arts.  For example, the first atlas was completed by Al-Idrisi in 1154. It showed most of North Africa, Asia and Europe. A 10th century Muslim surgeon, Al-Zahrawi, is considered to be “the father of modern surgery.” He completed a book called  Kitab al-Tasrif in the year 1000, which was a major influence on the development of medicine all over the world. The first example of female surgeons was found in a later Muslim book on medicine.  This is an extremely interesting book that has something to teach everyone.



What’s for lunch?How schoolchildren eat around the world

Not every kid in the world goes to school with vegemite sammies and a packet of crisps! This book not only shows what different cultures feed kids at lunch (the French meal looks particularly yummy!) but contains important information about the social context and ecological cost of what they’re eating.  It also talks about different movements in the world to make sure that everyone gets enough healthy food to eat.  It’s also a valuable eye opener for those who think that ham sandwiches are the worst thing you can get in your lunch box.




Crafts from the past

This is a great series of books that looks at the crafts of different ancient cultures. But they will also teach you how the Romans, the Greeks, the Ancient Indians, the Aztecs and the Ancient Egyptians worked, played, ate, what they believed in and how they entertained themselves.  They’re more than simple craft books (although the projects are really interesting and relatively simple to make) they are excellent resources for your history project on the ancient world. Or just to enjoy learning something new about the different cultures of the past.




World atlas of dinosaurs

Taking step further back into the world’s history, this book will guide you through which dinosaurs lived where and in what sort of habitat. New Zealand, for example, has more marine fossils, because large parts of it were still underwater during the time of the dinosaurs.  It also discusses significant sites where many dinosaur fossils have been found. It’s not a dry or boring book; there’s lots of awesome illustrations and fascinating facts to keep you reading.




How to change the world with a ball of string

“History makes it look as though everyone knew what they were doing all along. In fact, it wasn’t like that at all. Stuff happened by accident or had the opposite result from what was intended…” This is a great book for those who like history but may not like the gore of the horrible histories books. It’s just as interesting, as it talks about all the odd connections or coincidences or actions that may seem improbable but had an enormous effect on civilisation.  For example, did you know that the Black Death made life a lot better for the surviving peasants? There were so few left that Lords had to pay them to work in the fields. Wages and the standard of living got a little better, but this event shaped the modern economic system.  Other intriguing sections include “Lose an empire…over a cup of tea,” and my personal favourite, “Base a philosophy on beans.” This is definitely worth a read if you’re interested in history.



I wonder why Columbus crossed the Ocean

This is a great book for younger readers on the same subject: the whys and whats and hows of the history of exploration. From the earliest explorers to the space race, this book will give you a good basic understanding of how people explored the world around them.  It’s not just about Western explorers, either: people mentioned include the Arab traveller, Ibin Battuta who’s journey lasted 24 years and the amazing Chinese explorer Zheng He.


Top 10 for December

Here are the ten most wanted and reserved books for December.

1. Diary of a wimpy kid: the third wheel by Jeff Kinney

4th month in a row this book is on the Top 10 list.

2. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

6 months on the Top 10 list – the most popular book this year maybe?

3. LEGO Ninjago: masters of Spinjitzu: character encyclopedia by Claire Sipi

1st time on the Top 10 and straight to number 3 on the list – wow!

4. Captain Underpants and the revolting revenge of the radioactive robo-boxers by Dav. Pilkey

2nd month on the Top 10 list for the latest book in the popular Capatin Underpants series.

5. Big Nate flips out by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate has gone up 2 places on the last this month; it was in 7th place last time.

6. Trust no one by Linda Sue Park

The latest book in the 39 Clues series. This was 9th on last month’s list, and 6th this month. Where will it be on the January list…?

7. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Read the book before seeing the movie- it’s much better that way!

8. Olympic games and world records book by Keir Radnedge

This was on the Top 10 list in October, and now it’s back in December.

9. Vigrash the clawed eagle by Adam Blade

Beast Quest lovers – one of the newest books in the series (the 70th book in the Beast Quest series), and new to the Top 10 list.

10. Mirka the ice horse by Adam Blade

Another Beast Quest book (number 71 in the series) and also new to the Top 10 list.



New Non-Fiction: Music, Myths and Fashion

The History of Modern Music.

Interested in having a career in the music industry, then this is the book for you! Part of the series: The Music Scene, this book explores the changes in modern music though the post-war decades from rock n roll (Elvis Presley) and folk music (Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel) through to punk (The Sex Pistols), Indie pop (Green Day)and the enormous changes in technology today that have transformed the music world today. Also check out other book in the series: The Music Industry, Music, Fashion and Style and Performing Live.






Also check out


King Arthur.

King Arthur is the ultimate English hero. King of Camelot, Head of the Knights of the Round Table and wielder of the magic sword, Excalibur! Richard Brassey explores the history, the mystery and the legendary figures that populate the myths about King Arthur, including Morgan La Fay, Merlin and the evil Mordred. Richard Brassey’s unique gift for extracting truth from myth in a concise and insightful way makes this book the perfect introduction to King Arthur for young readers – and confused tourists!


 Learn to Speak Fashion.

Learn to Speak Fashion is about the ideas, skills and the fun behind thinking creatively about what you and others choose to wear. This book is the perfect guide to find tips on creating fashion from top designers, models and stylists. Also if you think you got what it takes to be a fashion designer? Then have a read of The Young Entrepreneurs Club: Fashion. All the information you need to becoming the next big thing in the fashion industry is in this exciting new read from the series: Young Entrepreneurs’ Club.


Basketball:  From tip-off to slam dunk – the essential guide.

A comprehensive guide on how to play basketball. You find in this exciting new read everything you need to know about how to get started, improve your playing style and hints and tips to help you master the sport.






Fairy Things to Stitch and Sew.

Love fairies? Love sewing?  Love arts and crafts? Then this is the book for you!, especially if you’re looking for ideas this year for Christmas gifts.  This enchanting book from the Usborne series is teeming with delightful projects which includes making fairy collages, bags, cards and pillows.



Exploring new borders: New non-fiction

What is contemporary art?

Read this book and parents dragging you along to an art gallery will never be boring again. In fact, if you read this book, you might end up knowing more than your olds! This book takes you through different types of contemporary artist and what they use, which is everything from crushed cars to rocks to eggshells. Of course, painting is also featured but not in any way you might have seen before. It goes without saying that this book has great pictures of all the art works, and next time you go to an art gallery, you’ll look at things in a whole new way.




Great Britain: everything you ever wanted to know

Despite it’s title, this book doesn’t cover the great battles, powerful monarchs or mighty castles of British history. Instead it covers all the ‘cool’ bits of British culture; tea, James Bond and Nessie. It’s also got great information on mainstays of life and history in Britain, such as the ‘great’ schools such as Eton and Harrow, eccentric aristocrats and the Beatles.  This is not your average history book, but a fun read if you happen to be  interested in what makes Old Blighty so unique. There library also has two other books in this series, on China and on Australia.



The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

This book is an excellent reference for those interested in history. It covers human history from 4000 BCE to the present, and at almost 500 pages, you wouldn’t want to read it all at once! Instead, use it as a ‘jumping off’ point for when you’ve got a homework assignment on the Thirty Years War or The Boxer Rebellion. You’ll learn who, what, where, why and how…and then use these references to find more information! Despite being crammed full of facts, this book is hardly dry reading. There are plenty of interesting photographs and illustrations to go along with the text.




My cookbook of Cakes

Want to bake delicious cakes but too scared? This book is perfect. Its recipes are simple but delicious, and there are plenty of cakes to choose from. Whether you prefer rose petal cupcakes, a zesty orange drizzle cake or berry and vanilla cheesecake, you’ll find all your tastes catered for. And don’t worry, chocoholics, there’s plenty of recipes for you, too. Every step is illustrated with cool pictures, so this is a great book for beginner bakers.





Ninjago masters of Spinjitzu : character encyclopedia

Lego fan? Check out this cool new character encyclopedia about the heroes and villains of the Lego series Ninjago, which features four young ninjas training hard to defeat various monsters. It will tell you all about each character and the changes they go through as the series progresses. It also goes into great detail about the figures themselves; how they change from series to series, in both appearance and personality. This is a must read for any Ninjago or Lego Fan!




Five minute faces and Wild faces

If you’ve got a Christmas party coming up, and are looking for costume ideas, these books are a great resource. They’ll teach you all the basic skills of face painting, how to run a stall and how to create basic accessories to improve your costume.  The first book, Five Minute Faces, has a whole range of different faces; Miss Muppet, pirate, joker, skull and jester to name a few. The faces in the second book, Wild Faces, focuses more on animal faces and the make up’s more complex.  But if you want to win first place with your tiger costume, this is the book for you!




Make an animation

If you want to be the next Walt Disney, this is the book for you! It talks about the different types of animation, such as traditional hand-drawn animation to stop-motion animation made from ‘found’ objects. It will also show you how to make storyboards and shoot your own masterpieces.

Top 10 for November

Looking for something good to get stuck into? Here are the ten most popular children’s books for November.  The top 5 books are so popular they’ve been on the Top 10 list for many months. But there are loads of new books on this month’s list too!

1. Diary of a wimpy kid : the third wheel by Jeff Kinney

It’s almost here! Make sure your name is on the reserve list. This is the third month in a row this title has been on the Top 10 list, and up from the number 2 position on last month’s list.


2. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The wait is over! This brand new book has finally arrived after 5 months in the Top 10 list. Will is still be in the Top 10 next month?


3. Yellowfang’s Secret by Erin Hunter

It’s been a long wait, but this book has finally arrived in the libraries after 4 months on this Top 10 list.


4. Big Book of Billy B. Brown by Sally Rippin

This new book is not quite in the library yet, make sure your name is on the reserve list. 5 months on the Top 10 list -Wow! Up from 7th place on last month’s list.


5. Captain Underpants and the revolting revenge of the radioactive robo-boxers by Dav Pilkey

NEW! Another brand new book in the Captain Underpants series and a new entry on the Top 10 list. Put your name on the reserve list now.


6. Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson

NEW! Another new book on the Top 10 list and another by Jacqueline Wilson.


7. Big Nate Flips Out by Lincoln Pierce

NEW book by Lincoln Pierce in the ‘Big Nate’ series. Get your name on the reserve list today!


8. Diplo-Dizzydocus by Kyle Mewburn

NEW book by one of New Zealand’s favourite authors.


9. The 39 Clues. Cahills vs Vespers: Trust Noone by Linda Sue Park

NEW! You’ve been waiting for it, and here it is! the latest book in the 39 Clues: Cahills vs Vespers series. It’s just been added to our catalogue -reserve it now!


10. Solak Scourge of the Sea by Adam Blade

NEW! The newest Beast Quest book, with a terrifying cover! (The cover pic isn’t on the catalogue yet, but I googled it, and it’s scary!)





Special mention: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is also very popular at the moment because the movie is being released very soon. Read the book (or comic or audiobook) to find out what all the hype is about.

Food for thought: New non-fiction

Junior Gourmet: amazing recipes from around the world

Imaging impressing your friends and Mum and Dad with dishes like vegetable moussaka or crepes with strawberries! Ok, you might need some help with the cooking and chopping, but the recipes themselves are pretty straightforward. It’s full of amazing pictures of mouthwatering food, divided into recipes by country.  You learn a little bit about the country and its food and then you can get straight on to cooking! It’s probably not the book for you if you’ve never cooked anything before, but if you’ve got more experience, this book will taking your kitchen skills and your tastebuds to the next level.



Cooking for kids with allergies

If you’re gluten intolerant, dairy free or allergic to nuts (or all of the above) don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you! This cookbook is filled with delicious things to eat that won’t trigger your allergies.  A lot of the recipes can be served to those with more than one allergy; for example, the lemon tarts are both nut-free and gluten-free! Everything looks tasty and healthy, and there’s some good information about how to deal with your allergies.




Joe-Joe the Wizard brews up solids, liquids and gasses

Joe-Joe the wizard is brewing up something quite different in this science book. When he tries to turn his homework into chocolate (and fails) his science teacher uses this to teach him about different states of matter. A cross between a picture book and a science book, this would be useful to explain basic scientific concepts to younger readers .




Island: A story of the Galápagos Islands

This is another book that’s part picture book , part non-fiction book. It tells the story of the Galápagos Islands, from six million years ago, when a volcano erupted,  starting off the environmental changes which would make the Galápagos  Islands such a unique place full of amazing creatures.  It also talks clearly about the process of evolution; over the generations finches, for example, end up changing to suit the harsh environment of the Islands. The illustrations are beautiful and all the information is set out clearly.  Another book that’s great for you if you’re just starting to learn about science.



Super Nature

This is a big book that will help you out if you ever need to know what the smallest carnivorous mammal  is  (Least Weasel) or the heaviest insect (our own Little Barrier Giant Weta.) It also has information about more obscure  if no less awesome creatures, such as the Bombardier Beetle, which defends itself by spraying its attacker with boiling liquid projected from its rear end. This book is all about the extremes in the animal world.




 You are Stardust

“You are stardust,” this book begins, “Every tiny atom in your body came from a star that exploded long before you were born.” This beautiful book is part science, part philosophy and part story. It’s told in simple language, but that doesn’t mean its message is any less powerful.

New Back to School Non Fiction.

Guinness World Records 2013.

Who is smaller – the new shortest man or the heaviest newborn baby? What weighs more – the largest donkey or the heaviest hot dog? The latest Guinness World records is now available with the answers to those questions  and contains lots more of amazing facts and world records. You can also download the FREE Augmented Reality app to see records come to life in amazing 3D. Guinness World Records 2013 is truly a fantastic read.





Train your Brain to be a Maths Genius.

This book is great for anyone who finds Maths a struggle. This book is full of problems, puzzles and fun activites that will boost your brain cells and improve your Maths skills. As a bonus, you will also find information on some of the greatest maths minds in history, from Greek Gods, such as Archimedes, to world War II code-breaker Alan Turning.






The Weird Series by Erin Frankel and Paula Heaphy:









If you are being bullied, know someone who is being bullied or if YOU are the bully, these are the books to read. The WEIRD series consists of three books called WEIRDDARE and TOUGH which are stories of bullying told from all perspectives: the target, the bystander and the child doing the bullying. The weird series is part of Bully Free Kids – Free Spirit Publishing’s bullying prevention resources just for kids.  An excellent resource for children, parents and teachers with information on how to recognize the signs of bullying, how to prevent bullying and positive messages to build your confidence.


 Weird Science Mad Marvels from the Way-Out World! by Matt Lake and Randy Fairbanks.

Ever wanted to know what’s WEIRD about science? Ever wanted information on two-headed cows, animals with ears on their knees, frogs falling from the sky and scientists from planet Venus? You will find all the answers and more in this amazing book that takes kids on a scientific ride to the wacky side. From Zany Zoology to Medical Mishaps, the creators of Weird U.S., scout out wonders, but mostly of the astonishing or gross out sort facts from all scientific fields. You will also learn find out all about Crazy Chemistry, Freaky Physics, Mysterious Phenomena and much, much more.



What would you do if you were a billionaire?

To celebrate the release of The Crystal Code, book four in Richard Newsome’s award-winning Billionaire series, Text Publishing is running a writing competition for students aged 10–13 years.

The winner’s school will receive a $1,000 credit voucher and the winning writer a $100 credit voucher to spend in one Australian or New Zealand bookshop, courtesy of Text Publishing.

To be part of the competition, you must write a story of no more than 500 words about what would happen if you inherited billions of dollars.

The competition opened 1 October 2012. A completed entry form must accompany each story, and entries must be received at Text Publishing by Friday 9 November 2012. You can download the entry form from their website.

Richard Newsome is a New Zealander who is living in Australia. He grew up in Wanganui.


Check out the other books in this awesome series:

fiction, Fiction or … FICTION !!!

Holidays are  over, but I am sure you will still have plenty of time to enjoy these new books. Look here for some good new books to share with your mates at school!

Check this out…

Infinity RING, a Mutiny in time by James Dashner

When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the key to time travel – a handheld device known as the Infinity Ring – they’re swept up in a centuries old war for the fate of humankind. Recruited by a secret society named the Hystorians, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. Now it’s up to Dark, Sera, and young Hystorian Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks.

Fix the past and save the future.. This first book of the “Infinity Ring” series will lead you into a tremendous adventure !

The book includes an all-new, top secret Hystorian’s Guide to unlock the next episode…

8 years old and +


 Jade at the Champs by Amy Brown

In the second of the Pony Tales series, Jade Lennox faces a new challenge. Now that her dad is out of prison and has a job in Flaxton, she can prepare her beloved pony, Pip, for the national Pony Club Champs. She has made the junior team, and her coach is Olympic gold medallist, Michaela Lewis. But when Pip develops laminitis, Jade must ride Dorian, the exquisite but temperamental grey. Can they become a partnership in time? Will Pip ever recover? And will saving another abused pony jeopardize her own chances of winning the championship?

This book is the volume 2 of the Pony Tales series. Perfect for all horse and pony lovers !

9 years old and +


Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones

The people of Holand are being crushed by their evil ruler, so when the Freedom Fighters come up with a plot to kill him, Mitt is keen to play a part. But this is not just any part, it’s the star role – the assassin.

But when the plot goes terribly wrong Mitt finds himself alone and on the run in a dangerous place, full of enemies…

This is the second book by the best-selling author Diana Wynne Jones. This book will appeal to all fantasy audiences !

10 years old and +


Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Penny Packer

Stella loves living with Great aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom “finds herself”, Stella fantasizes that someday she’ll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn’t be less like her name – she tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other.

But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined.

A surprising novel of friendship and family which will make you think about who you belong to…

10 years old and +


Judy Moody and Stink, the Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald

Judy Moody is making a list and checking it twice, but all Stink really wants this year is snow. It hasn’t snowed on christmas in Virginia in more than one hundred years, however, so what are the chances that that will change? But who is this new mail man who looks like a jolly old elf and seems to know a lot about weather patterns?


Curl up with the newest comedy about Stink and Judy Moody, you will already feel like it’s Christmas time!

6 years old and +

New cook book for Kids

Nick’s Cook Book: Tasty recipes for kids who love to cook! byNicholas Brockelbank

Like to eat? of course you do! How about trying some cooking then?

Nic self-published his first cook book when he was just 8 years old! He then wrote another and set up his own website to sell his recipes and artwork to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund and the True Colours Charitable Trust. He is also donating 50% of his (and Scholastic’s) royalties from the sales of this book to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

You will find scrumptious recipes such as savoury bacon and egg pies, summer rice paper rolls, salmon sushi, tomato and mushroom risotto plus other handy meals. For the sweet-tooth he has chocolate cookie and cream ice cream cake, chocolate slice, golf balls (chocolate balls) and raspberry lamingtons (getting hungry yet?). At the front he demonstrates basic cooking terms, explains measurement terms, and throughout the book are handy tips, facts and yummy mouth-watering photographs.

This book is so new that it’s not on the shelves yet. But you can put your name on the waiting list through our catalogue.

Do you like to cook? Comment below to tell us what your favourite recipe is.