Thursday, August 11, 2016

Australia! Story Country

Book Week 2016 is upon us, and the theme for this year is Australia! Story Country. With lots of fabulous books to explore in the Short List, Newcastle Region Library has also found time to bring you some exciting activities!

Some book lovers with Wallsend District Library's Book Week display
Digital Story Making 
Create your own picture book using the Storybird app. Local author Katrina McKelvey will be there to help create amazing stories.
Suitable for children 8-12 years.
Free event, bookings required.
To book, click on the appropriate link:
Monday 22 August 4:00-5:30pm @ Wallsend District Library
Tuesday 23 August 4:00-5:30pm @ City Library
Wednesday 24 August 4:00-5:30pm @ New Lambton Library

Children's Book Week: Special Storytime
Join us for special storytimes featuring short listed Book Week books. Enjoy stories, songs and craft.
Perfect for children aged 3 - 5 years.
Free event. Bookings not required, just drop in!
Tuesday 23 August 10:30-11:15am @ Hamilton Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ City Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ Mayfield Library
Wednesday 24 August 10:30-11:15am @ Wallsend District Library
Thursday 25 August 10:30-11:15am @ Stockton Library

Australia! Story Country The Play - Family Session
Our talented library team present a selection of Book Week picture books using drama, humour, stories and song. Enjoy our Book Week play, and come dressed in your favourite costume.
Perfect for K - 2 students.
Free entry. Bookings essential.
Wednesday 24 August 4:00-5:00pm @ Wallsend District Library.
Book tickets to family session.

School Sessions also available, at various branches.
Book tickets to school sessions.

To find out what else is on, where our branches are located, and to place a hold on some of those short listed books, visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Withering-by-Sea: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell

Eleven year old Stella Montgomery resides at the Hotel Majestic in Withering-by-Sea with her three terrible Aunts. Set in Victorian times, the Aunts are 'taking the waters' and  partaking of other water treatments designed to increase health and vitality, and attempting to teach Stella correct deportment, manners and other accomplishments suitable for young ladies in between these treatments.

One night, as Stella is sneaking out of her room to recover her Atlas (of which the Aunts definitely would not approve!), she witnesses something terrible, and is plunged head first into an adventure (which includes singing cats, magicians and dancing girls, among other things).

Judith Rossell's fascination with the Victorian era is evident in this extremely well-researched novel. Lots of lovely references to candles, oil lamps, new indoor plumbing...

Be warned - this is the first of a series, the second is in the process of being written, and you WILL want to know what happens next! Don't let that put you off though. The next one, Wormwood Mire, is due out in October!

Winner of the 2015 Indie Book of the Year Children's & YA
Winner of the 2015 ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children
Winner of the 2015 Davitt (Best Children's Crime Novel) Award
Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers 
Shortlisted for the 2014 Aurealis Award

Category: Junior fiction

Who'll want to read it? Aimed at children aged 9+, fans of Lemony Snicket, the Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis,  and Tensy Farlow by Jen Storer will really enjoy this.

Publisher: ABC Books

Available as a hardcover book, or as an eBook.
Find it now, at Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pokémon Go at Newcastle Region Library

If you've visited the Civic precinct in Newcastle over the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed an unusual number of people wandering and staring at their phones. That's because Pokémon Go fever has hit Newcastle! Hundreds of people have been converging on Civic Park and the surrounding area to take part in this latest cultural phenomenon, that allows players to catch, collect, evolve, train and battle their favourite pocket monsters. Although playing Pokémon is generally considered the domain of kids, plenty of adults are having fun reliving their childhood and trying to collect all 151 Pokémon.

A Doduo jumping out at a patron at Hamilton Library.

Many branches of Newcastle Region Library have become hotspots of Pokémon activity. Hamilton, New Lambton, Wallsend and Adamstown branches are all pokéstops, where you can load up on useful items such as pokéballs for catching new Pokémon, and various potions for treating Pokémon wounded in battle. Lambton Library is even a pokégym, where players train up or battle their creatures against other teams. Plenty of Pokémon have also been located hiding in the shelves at City branch - a Nidorino has been eluding staff in the Adventure & Travel section over the last few days. Come in and see if you can catch it before we can!

A Nidorino in the Adventure & Travel section at City Library. Still not caught! 

The app utilises augmented reality technology which takes a computer-generated image - in this case, a Pokémon - and superimposes it on the user's smartphone camera to make it look like the creature is right in front of them in the real world. It is not the first time this technology has been utilised. Previously, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and Melbourne implemented the Disney Fairies Trail app, which allowed visitors to use their smartphones to seek fairies whilst exploring different areas of the Gardens. Retail stores are also experimenting with the idea to set up virtual fitting rooms for their customers.

Load up on pokeballs, potions and razz berries at Hamilton Library. 

The Pokémon franchise itself is nothing new. It was created in 1996 and was popularised in Australia through a trading card game. The creation of Japanese video game designer, Satoshi Tajiri, Pokémon was directly inspired by his childhood hobbies of collecting bugs and playing video games. Considered reclusive and eccentric by his peers, Tajiri was dubbed 'Mr Bug' for his seemingly obsessive behaviour. Tajiri has recently confirmed he has Asperger's Syndrome and is a great example of someone who has found a passion in their life and used it to build a successful career.

Choose a team and battle it out at the pokegym at Lambton Library.

If you're having fun playing the app and would like to check out more Pokémon related media, you can access a range of books, graphic novels and DVDs through Newcastle Region Library's catalogue, including the original Pokémon movie and a number of different guides to the world of Pokémon.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Newcastle Library know's every kid in Australia has the ability to code so we are encouraging all our youngest patrons to give it a go! Code Club Australia is getting little Australians ready for tomorrow, Wednesday 20th of July to set a world record of getting the most number of children coding at once during the night of a full moon!

There will be two activities to chose from: one in Scratch and one in Python. Jump on over to and sign up. Keep an the Library's Whats On calendar for future coding programs.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

True Australian Stories

Australians are renowned for great storytelling, reflected in the plethora of true stories released in recent times by Aussie authors. The Book Chook has been busy collecting the best of these and making them available in the Newcastle Region Library collection. The topics are as diverse as the authors themselves - from an irreverent dissection of Tony Abbott's tenure as Prime Minister by journalist Andrew P. Street, to a compelling account of a young Muslim woman's experience working on a remote oil and gas rig. There is sure to be something in The Book Chook's list to take your fancy.

Yassmin's Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Written by a former Young Australian Muslin of the Year and Young Queenslander of the Year, Yassmin's Story tells how a young Australian Muslim woman went from working on a remote Queensland oil and gas rig to founding Youth Without Borders, an organisation helping young people work for positive change in their communities.

A Mother's Story by Rosie Batty
also available as an e-book

 A moving account of Rosie Batty's relationship with her ex-partner, who would one day murder their son. It details the emotional abuse inflicted on her by Greg Anderson and culminates in her worst nightmare when he kills their 11 year old son, Luke Batty, at cricket training.

Warrior: A Legendary Leader's Dramatic Life and Violent Death on the Colonial Frontier by Libby Connors
also available as an e-book

An historical account of a group of Aboriginal warriors fighting back against the European settlers invading their traditional lands. Libby Connors details the struggle of legendary warrior Dundalli and his willingness to die to protect his country.

Aussie Grit by Mark Webber
also available as an e-book

Mark Webber reveals the behind-the-scenes struggles of being a Formula One legend and the true Aussie grit needed to win the pinnacle prize of the F1 circuit, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Other Aussie true stories recommended by The Book Chook...

Enemy by Ruth Clare
Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull by Annabel Crabb^
Thicker Than Water: A Memoir of Family, Secrets, Guilt and History by Cal Flyn
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover*^
Talking To My Country by Stan Grant*
Avalanche by Julia Leigh
The Convict's Daughter: The Scandal That Shocked a Colony by Kiera Lindsey
The Long Run by Catriona Menzies-Pike*
Allegedly by Sarah Monahan
Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara
Chasing Asylum by Eva Orner
Hello Beautiful! Scenes From a Life by Hannie Rayson
Bad Hair Year: Beating a Brain Tumour, Breast Cancer and Healing a Broken Heart by Bambi Smyth
The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott by Andrew P. Street*
Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski^
The Ice Age: A Journey Into Crystal-meth Addiction by Luke Williams

*also available as an e-book
^also available as an e-audiobook
Visit our eLibrary for access