Winner of the 2016 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award, and the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction. ANZAC Heroes by Maria Gill brings to life the triumphs and tragedies experienced by NZ and Australian soldiers and nurses during WW1 and WW2. ANZAC Heroes provides a brilliant overview of the two World Wars, detailed maps, timelines and charts, as well as historical wartime photographs and lifelike illustrations. A very informative book for children and adults on WW1 and WW2. -Margaret.
Set in the future, after the Allbreaking, an event that destroyed the world as we know it, this dystopian novel features a new order that has arisen. One based in music, as the written word no longer exists, and neither does memory. People fight to remember who they are so that they don't become one of the memorylost. I found this initially hard to get into, but it was worth persevering, as I couldn't put it down once I did. Definitely one for fans of The handmaiden's Tale - Kelly.
Set in Ireland in the 1600s, this book is about the white slave trade that went happened on the Barbary Coast. Well researched, and done with Jordan's usual stunning characters. Took a bit to get into, and not my favourite Jordan book, but a good read for those who love history, adventure and grit. Robyn
This book is a Frances Mary Hodgkins’ biography by Alexa Johnston. Frances was a painter and was born in New Zealand, but spent most of her working life in Britain. I could visualise her life through this book as her photos and paintings have been well arranged by years. It was great to learn about New Zealand's famous painter’s work, lifestyles and the history behind it. Rosa
I studied Hamlet in high school, and enjoyed this take on the story through the eyes of a significant female character. Ophelia, motherless from an early age, is independent and intelligent. She and Hamlet fall in love, but Hamlet is prince of Denmark and their love is forbidden. When Hamlet's father dies, Hamlet sees his ghost, and their lives are thrown into turmoil. An unconventional ending keeps the reader guessing. -Joanne
This book is a simplified retelling of an orphan boy in nineteenth-century London. This poor kid escapes after being sold to apprenticeship with an undertaker and later a gang of thieves takes him in and teaches him how to steal. It is sad, creepy and ends with happy ending. This book is easy to read with big type, stacks of pictures and easy wordings but it still manages to express the mood and excitement of the original. Rosa
Retelling of Cinderella - magic, romance and political intrigue, Selena is a moon sister, who must keep her magic secret from the powerful Mancers, as revealing her magical powers would mean sudden death. With the help of a magical hazel twig she is able to attend the ball, met the Prince and his friend Max. Selena escapes from prison, and takes a perilous journey, where she rights the wrongs that the moon sisters have suffered at the hands of the Mancers. Similar author Marissa Meyer…
Although Mansfield’s heroines still carry the gender expectations of Victorian values, they inquire into the realities/illusions of love, long for connectedness in relationships, and are resilient to bear the challenges of being a single working woman in a gender-biased society, whilst keeping hopes of a more dignified and fulfilling romantic relationship. Favourite story was “A Dill Pickle” - Lucy
'The Way it was, stories from New Zealand' is an eclectic compilation of interesting narratives. Historian Colin Townsend lets us discover about old-time New Zealand murders, the death of women in a train carriage, and fires, among other things. I like the abundance of historic photographs throughout. A read-alike would be 'The Best of NZ Memories' - Joanne