Thursday, June 25, 2009


Author: Susanne Gervay Publication Date: 2000 What's it all about?

Jack lives in a flat with his mum, little sister Samantha and their extremely photogenic cat, Puss. Jack is full of great ideas and experiments (like his potato/onion "Jack's Ponto"). Since his dad isn't around he fixes things around the house "Without me we'd be living in the dark with a flood of water sloshing through the lounge room". Jack loves photography and telling jokes. However what Jack doesn't like is going to school, school means huge lava burp headaches, school means George Hamel and his cronies will be there, school means he is 'Bum Head' and nobody can save him.

I loved this story, it was hilarious and heart-warming at the same time as tackling the huge issue of bullying and what it feels like to experience that as a young person. I would definitely recommend this to parents or children as both would find this an easy and enjoyable read with issues and humour that we can all relate to.

There is a very powerful and positive message in the resolution of this story, a message that I hope will inspire and encourage those who have been bullied or those with the power to help to stand up and make a change.

Publisher: Angus & Robertson

Find out about Susanne Gervay's author visits to our library

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gatsby's Girl

Author: Caroline Preston Publication Date: 2006 Category: Fiction Who'll want to read it? People interested in F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and inspirations. Classic line: Page 4 : How could I have ever guessed that the Princeton boy who wrote silly songs and poems would turn into a famous author? What's it all about? Ginevra King is known to be the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, as well as other characters in other books. This novel is inspired by Ginevra and Scott's brief romance. It follows Ginevra Perry (Page 10: "My father named me after a woman in a painting by Leonardo da Vinci he saw in some old book. He seemed to think she was pretty.") from an uppity sixteen year old school girl, when she first meets Fitzgerald, to a lady with three children, the youngest thirteen, meeting with Fitzgerald's grown daughter. Ginevra keeps tabs on Scott throughout his life, mostly through the media, squirreling away news clippings in an accordion file, and reading his novels, searching for traces of herself within them. Her life is an ordinary one, with marriage, children, and financial concerns the main focus, and Fitzgerald a fine thread that interweaves it all. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith Publication Date: 2009 Category: Fiction Who'll want to read it? Any Austen fan with a sense of humour or a love a zombies. Point of no return: The first line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than in the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead." Classic line: There are so many!
Page 14: "She meant to follow this proud Mr. Darcy outside and open his throat."
Page 80: "' I don't suppose,' said Darcy, 'that you would give me the honour of dispensing of this unhappy business alone. I should never forgive myself if your gown were soiled.'"
Page 204: "'It is impossible that he should still love me, unless, by kicking him into the mantelpiece during our battle at Hunsford, I affected some severe change in his countenance.'"
What's it all about? It is the classic "Pride and Prejudice" story, with the extra added bonus of zombies! Elizabeth and her sisters are "servants of His Majesty, protectors of Hertfordshire, beholders of the secrets of Shaolin, and brides of death" (page 317), and as such, are responsible for sending the hordes of unmentionables back to hell, where they belong. They still manage to find time to attend balls, detest people's manners, fall in love, and there may be a marriage or four. Die hard Austen fans will notice a few quirky sentences that perhaps should have been included in the original. Not to be read without a sense of humour.
Publisher: Quirk Books
If you like zombies, see our Mammoth Book of Zombies review.
If you liked this book, see also Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wallsend District Library's Manga Drawing Competition

As part of MANGA MANIA Wallsend District Library held a Manga Drawing Competition asking participants to create their own manga style character/creature.
Congratulations to our fabulous winner...13 year old Wendy Park! (See photo above)
Thank you to all who entered our competition, we received some truly amazing artwork. MANGA MANIA was a great success and we hope to hold many more manga events in the future!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pete the Sheep

Author: Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Publication Date: 2005

Category: Picture book

Who'll want to read it? Anyone with kids, or an interest in shearing.

What's it all about? Shaun the shearer and Pete, his sheep-sheep, do things a little differently, and aren't welcomed by the traditional shearers and their sheepdogs. They decide to approach shearing in an entirely different way, and everyone is extremely happy with the results.
Publisher: Clarion Books
Read about our Pete the Sheep event!