Category: Books

Stellar Books for the Look UP! Explore our Universe reading challenge

We’re journeying through space in our latest reading challenge: Look UP! Explore our Universe. Celebrating International Space Week 2022 with NASA @ My Library, we’re encouraging tamariki children to explore and read about the universe at their own pace or with a friend or family member. Here’s some great book choices, curated by librarian Kay.

Non-Fiction


Behind the scenes at the Space Station: experience life in space by Giles Sparrow

Defy gravity with an access-all-areas pass to the spectacular International Space Station with this behind-the-scenes guide to life in space.

Find it in the library.


Encyclopedia of starfighters and other vehicles by Landry Walker

Learn about more than 200 of your favourite Star Wars vehicles, from the A-wing to the Y-wing. From the swamps of Kashyyyk to the deserts of Jakku, from inner-city Coruscant to the vastness of hyperspace, Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles will show you the right craft for the job.

Find it in the library.


How to survive on Mars by Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway

Get ready for lift-off on a Martian adventure! Have you ever imagined living on another planet? What about Mars? With not enough air to breathe, sunlight to keep us warm, or any available food and water, life on Mars would be a challenge… but it just might be possible!

Find it in the library.


My book of stars and planets by Parshati Patel

Discover mysterious planets and distant galaxies on an amazing journey across the Universe. Find out about the history and future of space exploration.

Find it in the Library.

Planetarium, illustrated by Christopher Wormell

Inside the pages of this beautiful book you’ll discover galleries of galactic matter, expertly curated to bring you the experience of a fascinating museum exhibition from the comfort of your own home. Planetarium features all aspects of space, from the Sun and our Solar System, to the lives of stars, the Milky Way and the Universe beyond.

Find it in the Library.


Space, by Richard Spilsbury

Find out all about the wonders of space, from Earth and the Moon, to the solar system, Milky Way and beyond! Discover how rockets overcome gravity to blast into space, how space suits protect astronauts on space walks and how rovers and probes explore planets that are many light years from Earth.

Find it in the Library.


Space: a book of extraordinary facts by Carole Stott

Explore the stars, meteorites, and planets, take a tour on a space station, and examine a space rocket in detail. Learn surprising facts in this lively and fascinating picture book all about space.

Find it in the Library.


Space number crunch : figures, facts, and out of this world stats you need to know by Kevin Pettman

This book about space gives kids all the facts, figures, and amazing information they want to know. It’s bursting with colorful infographics and high-impact artwork. Includes Space Record Breakers, Astronauts, Galaxies, Telescopes, Space Technology, the Sun, and a Number Crunch quiz.

Find it in the Library.


Space : the facts about our Solar system edited by Lauren Smith

Zoom into space with this guide to the universe. You’ll learn everything there is to know about our Solar System, discover what it takes to become an astronaut and imagine what the future of space exploration might look like. Get your spacesuit on and prepare for lift off!

Find it in the Library.

Star Wars: complete vehicles by Kerrie Dougherty

Explore the epic Star Wars saga through incredible cross-sections. More than 100 magnificent artworks bring the vehicles of Star Wars to life. New cross-sections, amazing detail, and comprehensive text make this the ultimate reference to the craft of a galaxy far, far away.

Find it in the Library.


Super space by Clive Gifford

Bursting with fascinating facts and the latest breathtaking images, this space book brings the wonders of the Solar System to life.

Find it in the Library.

Graphic Novels & Fiction

Sardine in outer space. Vol. 5 by Emmanuel Guibert

More adventures of the mischievous girl pirate named Sardine, as she and the crew of the spaceship “Huckleberry” foil the plans of evildoers Supermuscleman and Doc Krok.

Find it in the Library.

A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L’Engle

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers during a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Find it in the Library.


Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Min, a thirteen-year-old girl with fox-magic, stows away on a battle cruiser and impersonates a cadet in order to solve the mystery of what happened to her older brother in the Thousand World Space Forces.

Find it in the Library.

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of space by Katie Tsang

I’m Sam Wu and I am not afraid of anything! And definely not space, with all its black holes, meteors and imploding stars . . So when I went to Space Camp with my friends this summer, I knew we had to: 1) be seen as the bravest space explorers and 2) win the Space Camp Challenge trophy! Easy as landing on the moon, right?

Find it in the Library.


Star Wars : 5-minute stories strike back

Collects twelve short stories from the cinematic world of Star Wars, including two tales from “Star Wars: the Last Jedi”.

Stories include: Short negotiations by Calliope Class Adventure in the arena, by S.T. Bende. The duel for peace, by Rebecca Schmidt. A journey begins, by Rebecca Schmidt. Trapped in the Death Star by Meredith Rusu and more.

Find it in the Library.

Picture books

A trip to the Moon

Blast off to the moon with Peppa and her friends! Prepare for take-off! George and his friend Edmond love pretending to be astronauts. But what will happen when they go on a trip to the moon?

Find it in the Library.


I am the universe by Vasanti Unka

It’s a starlit journey through space, from glittering galaxies to busy city streets, taking you on a tour around the universe.

Find it in the Library.

When Dad showed me the universe by Ulf Stark

A father takes his son on an evening walk to show him the entire universe. Translated from the Swedish.

Find it in the Library.

We hope this selection has you excited and ready to ocket into space! If you haven’t joind yet, it’s not too late! You can find out more and sign up here.

It’s time to get cosy!

Cosy mysteries are crime stories where the murder occurs ‘off the page’. (ie. the gory bits are not written down.) They are perfect for those who enjoy trying to figure out whodunnit, but in a setting that’s not too gritty.

Often cosies are set in small towns or villages (how many people are left in Brokenwood to kill off, we wonder?) and the protagonist is usually an amateur sleuth.

This is just a general guide, as the precise definition of a cosy mystery can be the matter of some debate.

Examples are: Midsomer Murders, Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody, or MC Beaton’s Agatha Raisin.

Cosies have been around for a long time, often seen as beginning with Agatha Christie when her first Poirot book The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920. Christie’s Miss Marple followed in 1930.

These days it is becoming common convention to have a pun in the title, though it’s not mandatory.

In recent years there’s been boom, and now you have cosies set in: libraries; cupcake shops; bookstores; even a guitar shop in New Zealand! (Dead Man’s Axe by Bing Turkby).

That’s right, a cosy doesn’t have to be set in the UK. We now have series like No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith set in Botswana, Inspector Singh Investigates by Shamini Flint set in Singapore, and Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries by Mia P Manansala, a Filipino American culinary series.

There are paranormal cosies like the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries by Alexia Gordon, tea cosies (ha!) like the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs, and even a series where the investigator is Queen Elizabeth II (Her Majesty The Queen Investigates by S. J. Bennett).

Anthony Horowitz’ Magpie Murders was recently made into a TV series. And his children’s series The Diamond Brothers has some of the best book titles in the genre: The Falcon’s Malteser, The French Confection, and Where Seagulls Dare.

Whether you’re looking for something fairly realistic or absolutely escapist, there’s probably a cosy mystery for you!

Māori books for Pakeke Adults

It’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and we dived into the library catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you immerse yourself in te ao Māori – this week and beyond. Even if you can’t yet speak te Reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te Reo Māori.

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori)

Witi Ihimaera : his best stories

A definitive collection by one of New Zealand’s best loved Māori authors, Witi Ihimaera.  Rua tekau mā whā stories,  spanning more than toru tekau mā rima years.

Find it in the library.

Wars without end / Ngā pakanga whenua o mua New Zealand’s land wars: a Māori perspective by Danny Keenan.

From the earliest days of European settlement in New Zealand, Māori have struggled to hold on to their land. Tensions began early, arising from disputed land sales. When open conflict between Māori and Imperial forces broke out in the 1840s and 1860s, the struggles only intensified. For both sides, land was at the heart of the conflict, one that casts a long shadow over race relations in modern-day New Zealand. ‘Wars without end’ is the first book to approach this subject from a Māori point of view.

Find it in the library.

Māori oral tradition is the rich, poetic record of the past handed down by voice over generations through whakapapa, whakataukī, kōrero and waiata. Jane McRae reveals some of this in Māori Oral Tradition: He Kōrero nō te Ao Tawhito.

Find it in the library.

FFor thousands of years, Māori tohunga passed closely guarded knowledge to new generations of tohunga, using only an orally coded system. Rua rau years ago, they started recording that knowledge into secret manuscripts. These secret manuscripts are revealed here.

These secret manuscripts are revealed in Mariko B. Ryan’s Infinite threads: 100 indigenous insights from old Māori manuscripts.

Find it in the library.

Discover traditional Māori philosophy through 52 whakataukī – simple, powerful life lessons, one for every week. With Aroha: Māori Wisdom for a Contented Life Lived in Harmony With Our Planet, by Hinemoa Elder.

Find it in the library.

Learning te Reo

We have resources suitable for all ages, to support you on your te Reo learning journey.  We recommend learning in person for the best experience and introduction, and books can help support that.

Scotty Morrison’s Māori Made Easy Workbooks/Kete are for everyday learners of the Māori language. The 8 workbooks, each one building on the former. We have plenty of copies available in both the City and Community libraries, or online through BorrowBox. You just need to log in with BorrowBox using your library card number and pin, and you’re away!

Find them in the library.

A Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo by Hēmi Kelly is a simple, effective and fun Maori dictionary for all New Zealanders.

It offers an easy, instant and motivating entry point into the Maori language. We have four physical editions and availability on Borrowbox and as an Adobe e-pub. Find them in the library.

First thousand words in Māori is a great way for anyone of any age to build their vocabulary. If you’re a very visual learner, you’ll love the colourful graphics featured in this fun dictionary.

Find it in the library.

For more book suggestions, check out our suggestions for tamariki/ children and rangatahi/ youth. Ka kite anō!

Māori content for Rangatahi Youth

This Te Wiki o te Reo Māori we dug into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you immerse yourself in te ao Māori. Even if you can’t yet speak te reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te Reo Māori.

We also have some great Aotearoa New Zealand books encompassing te ao Māori into the storylines, and even in te reo Māori. Here’s some of our team’s picks for rangatahi to check out.

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori)

Aotearoa New Zealand stories

The Pōrangi Boy ko Shilo Kino

Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government plan to build a prison here and destroy the home of the taniwha, which has has divided the community. Some are against it, but others see it as an opportunity. Niko is worried about the land and Taukere, but who will listen to him? He’s an ordinary boy who’s laughed at, bullied, and called pōrangi, crazy, for believing in the taniwha.

Find it in the library.

Bugs ko Whiti Hereaka

Meet Bugs: smart, sarcastic, sixteen and stuck in a small town without a driver’s licence. Bugs has been best mates with Jez forever; they’ve always been Jez and Bugs, Bugs and Jez. That is until Stone Cold, the new girl, arrives in town. The year was already going to be a challenge without adding spoilt, bitchy Stone Cold to the mix. Why would anyone want to be mates with her? But things are never as they seem on the surface – not the picture-perfect postcard views of Taupō, not the drama-queen antics of Stone Cold, not the quiet brooding of Jez. Not even Bugs. Now, as the future closes in, each will struggle with expectations: either trying to live up to them or trying to live them down.

Find it in the Library.

Huia short stories : Contemporary Māori fiction

Diverting, beautiful, strong: these stories could come from no other country. Selected to highlight new fiction from accomplished Maori writers.

Search all of the Huia collection.

Cuz ko Liz Van der Laarse

River is offered the chance to crew on his uncle’s trawler — a coastal trip to get a new engine. He finds his cousin Huia annoying — she’s all about Māoritanga while he can’t even speak the language. When an accident leaves the two cousins stranded on the coast of Fiordland they must work together to save themselves.

Find it in the library.

Kia kaha : a storybook of Māori who changed the world ko Stacey Morrison

A collection of true stories about amazing Māori who have achieved incredible things. Each of them blazed a trail in their own way, and this pukapuka was written to show that with your kura huna, your special gifts, you can make a difference too.

Find it in the library.

Wāhine toa : omniscient Māori women

The creation myths of the Māori are profoundly beautiful. They speak to us directly about birth and death, and about love – between man and woman, mother and child. In this remarkable body of work depicting the eight principal female protagonists in the myths – from Te Pō, the darkness before the world and all being, to Hinenuitepō, the goddess of death who claimed Māui as she claims the least daring of man.

Find it in the library.

Stories in te reo Māori

Tūtewehi, ko Fred Maro

“Arā tētahi patupaiarehe rerekē rawa atu. Ko Tūtewehi tōna ingoa. He hautipua, he whakahīhī hoki. Arā kē atu a Matakairangi. He patupaiarehe anō. He hoa rānei, he hoariri rānei ki a Tūtewehi? Ehara te ao patupaiarehe mō te tokorua rā. Kotahi noa iho o rāua ka toa, ka ora. Engari ko te pātai ia, ko Matakairangi rānei? Ko Tūtewehi rānei?

Find it in the Library.

Te kaieke tohorā/ The Whale Rider ko Witi Ihimaera

The whale rider was Kahutia Te Rangi, Ancestor of the people of Te Tai Rāwhiti. Then there was Kahu. The first great-grandchild of the whānau, she was loved by all her relatives except the one whose love she needed most – her great-grandfather.

Available in te reo Māori and English.

Graphic Novels


Wars in the Whitecloud : Wairau, 1843 ko M. H. McKinley

In a small clearing of land nestled within the Wairau valley two peoples met; the recently established settlers of Nelson, and the governing tribe of that region – the renowned Ngati-Toa. When they marched, both sides were prepared for confrontation… yet they weren’t expecting that their actions would drastically alter the future of the nation.

Find it in the Library.

Arohanui : revenge of the fey ko Andrew Burdan

A story of two hostile tribes: one thriving, the other starving and forced to enter into a hard bargain to survive. In the midst of the conflict, two lovers from opposing tribes, Kahu and Kuratawhiti, plan to bring their warring tribes together through their marriage. But tragedy looms as Kahu defends his beloved Kuratawhiti against his treasured sister, Mira, who unleashes a lifetime of rage on Kuratawhiti and her people

Available in English and te reo Māori.

Māori content for Tamariki Children

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori) – Tamariki/ Children

This Te Wiki o te reo Māori we dug into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you and your whānau immerse yourselves in te ao Māori. Even if you can’t yet speak te reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te reo Māori. We dived into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions for tamariki and beginning (to intermediate) learners of te reo and for reading skills. Research shows that reading and listening is an important part of acquiring a new language, so reinforcing what you learn with a book will help you in the long term. You can even make it a family activity to practice reading and listening with a story time habit of reading a book in te reo Māori!

Here’s a few fun book ideas to get you started:

First words


The Māori picture dictionary : Papakupu whakaahua ko Margaret Sinclair

Contains illustrations for over 1400 of the most common words used in daily life. Find it in the Library.

Also see Peppa’s first 100 Māori words and First thousand words in Māori

For early readers

Tere Rawa/ So Fast by Pam Holden

Kei te pai koe ki te haere tere rawa?

He aha ka haere tere rawa?

Tirohia ēnei mea e haere tere rawa.

Do you like going fast?

What can go very fast?

Look at these things going fast.

Kei Te Hiakai Koe? Are You Hungry by Pam Holden

Ke te haikai koe? Rocket Readers

E pai ana koe ki ngā kai tino reka?

Te namunamua!

Do you like delicious food?

Yum!

There are 12 editions of the Red Rocket Readers storybooks in Te Reo Māori, available online with the Libby app for free using your library card.


Ki te moe Aotearoa, ko Donovan Bixley

An engaging story of bedtime for all the animals around New Zealand being put to bed by their parents.

Find it in the Library.


Ko tōku māmā te kuini o te rori ko Jennifer Beck

This is the te reo Māori edition of My Mum is Queen of the Road. Ari and Isabella play with trucks and diggers, making roads in a sandpit. Ari tells Isabella that his mother is a roadworker who works the Stop/Go sign and is called Queen of the Road. Isabella tries to work out why she is a queen. Does she wear diamonds? Does she sit on a throne? Does she have a corgi?

Find it in the Library.

Arewhana Hunahuna ko David Barrow

A te reo Māori edition of this internationally bestselling picture book.

Kei te hia hunahuna a Arewhana. Nau mai, whakapiri mai! Otirā kia kaha koe – ka KINO tana pai!

A small boy and his elephant play an absurd game of hide and seek in this beautifully illustrated picture book that will have young readers shouting out loud in delight, and adults laughing too, as Elephant hides, in full view.

Find it in the Library.

He wheke wai mamangu au, ko Stephanie Thatcher

Join good friends, Inky and Jellyfish, as they play a spirited game of tag amongst the creatures and plants of the ocean.

Available in English and te reo Māori

For intermediate readers

Atua : Māori gods and heroes ko Gavin Bishop

Before the beginning there was nothing. No sound, no air, no colour: nothing. TE KORE, NOTHING. No one knows how long this nothing lasted because there was no time. However, in this great nothing there was a sense of waiting. Something was about to happen. Meet the gods, demigods and heroes of the Māori world, and explore Aotearoa’s exciting legends from the Creation to the Migration.

Find it in the Library.

Mokopuna Matatini, ko Pania Tahau-Hodges

It’s national kapa haka competition time again, and this Māori performing arts festival is a big event! It needs planning, tactics and dedication – and that’s just for the people watching! Nan’s a hardcore kapa haka follower, and she shows her mokopuna all the tricks to get the best seats, find the choicest pāua and whitebait fritters, hunt out the coolest poi and pounamu, and meet the star performers. And all along, Nan’s keeping a big secret!

Find it in the Library.

The Astromancer : the rising of Matariki, ko Witi Ihimaera

The Astromancer is looking for four new apprentices to learn about Matariki and the Maramataka calendar. She chooses three boys and an orphan girl, Aria, who will come only if she can bring her smelly dog. Aria, though, is bored by the lessons, and she doesn’t want to be told what to do. But these are dangerous times, and Ruatapu the Ravenous is about to threaten the safety of the whole tribe. Will Aria step up to save them?

Available in both English and te reo Māori.

Te rātaka a tama hūngoingoi : te hautaka a Greg Heffley, ko Jeff Kinney

Being a kid can really stink. And no one knows this better than Greg Heffley. In this brilliant translation of Jeff Kinney’s bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Heni Jacob, twelve year old hero Geoff Heffley is the Tama Hūngoingoi (Wimpy Kid) of the title. He tells us all about his life in te reo Māori.

Find it in the Library.

Hewa, ko Darryn Joseph

Hewa is about a boy who wants to help protect his family and friends. It involves American military software, a futuristic battleship called the USS Barack Obama, and artificial intelligences gaining sentience and self determination. Told in te reo Māori.

Find it in the Library.

Battle at the Gate: the story of the Battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga, New Zealand. by Jenny Jenkins.

A historical fiction for primary age children, Battle at the Gate tells a story of a young Māori woman who tended the British soldiers wounded at the battle of Gate Pā.

Find it in the Library.

Kia kaha : a storybook of Māori who changed the world ko Stacey Morrison

Kia Kaha is a collection of true stories about amazing Māori who have achieved incredible things. Each of them blazed a trail in their own way, and this pukapuka was written to show that with your kura huna, your special gifts, you can make a difference too.

Find it in the Library.


I waho, i te moana ko Yvonne Morrison

Out in the moana, underneath the sparkling sun, lived a mother sea lion and her little pup. A playful retelling of the much-loved traditional story, Over in the Meadow.

Available in English and te reo Māori.

This is just a selection of content available to borrow at Palmerston North City Library. Pay us a visit and chat with our friendly team to discover a range of books to suit your learning needs – regardless of age.

3 Burning Questions – Crime After Crime

We are thrilled to host Crime After Crime: the world’s finest crime writers come to Palmerston North on 13 September. We expect a criminally good night!

Val McDermid is considered to be crime-writing royaly. Over 18 million copies of her books have sold to date, and there have been several TV adaptions. Her latest book, 1989 is the second book in the Allie Burns series.

Michael Robotham is Australia’s hottest crime writer; his Joseph O’Loughlin series was a worldwide bestseller and is currently being adapted for the screen. He’s also well known for his bestseller The Secrets She Keeps, now an award-winning TV drama with Season 2 streaming now on TVNZ+. His latest book is Lying Beside You.

Rotorua-born J.P. Pomare’s debut novel Call Me Evie won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel, and his second book In the Clearing will soon grace our screens via Disney+. His fifth book, The Wrong Woman, is out now.

To get our interrogation started, we sent 3 burning questions to the authors. Here’s what they had to say for themselves.

What’s the weirdest thing in your (writing-related) search history?

J.P.POMARE: The one thing I think that has put me on a watchlist (If I am on one) was ‘How to drown a child’ which I searched for In The Clearing

VAL MCDERMID: It would have to be a toss-up between ‘home-made bomb 1994’ and ‘how to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Sgurr Alasdair.’ And lots of searching for accurate names for characters of different nationalities. ‘Most common Lithuania surnames,’ that sort of thing.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: When I was writing Bombproof, I had to research how to make a homemade bomb known as the ‘Mother of Satan’. I was convinced that the security services were going to pick up on trigger words and come storming into my house to arrest me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you know how the book will end when you start writing?

J.P.POMARE: I know how the book is going to end, but I’m still a pantser when it comes to the writing. I view the end of the story as a point on the compass and will generally head in that direction but won’t follow a map, or have a plan as to what is going to happen. I just like to be surprised as I write.

VAL MCDERMID: I used to be a plotter. When I started out, I thought plotting was my weakest area, so I worked hard on getting the story coherently laid out on file cards before I started. Then that suddenly stopped working for me mid-book. Now, I know the broad brush strokes of the story, the ending I’m aiming for and a couple of crucial turning points along the way. Writing is a process, and we don’t always control what works for us!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: I’m definitely a pantser. When I was writing LYING BESIDE YOU, I was three quarters the way through and still didn’t know who the villain was going to be.

One of the benefits is that I make each of the suspects equally credible, because I don’t know who I’m going to choose. I think sometimes when you know too early, you can make the villain either too obvious, or tried to hide them too well and not give the reader a chance to guess the ending. I figure, that if I don’t see the twists coming – neither will the reader.

What pseudonym would you use if you had to go on the run after a – hopefully non-lethal – crime?
J.P.POMARE: Paul Gilbert — it might be a little obvious, and I’m sure Reid would figure it out in ten seconds but it’s my middle name and my Grand Mothers Maiden name.

VAL MCDERMID: Something really bland and common. Emma Taylor, Sarah Robertson, Jane Brown. That sort of thing. And if I dyed my hair its original colour, nobody would recognise me!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: Inspector Endeavour Morse. (Nobody would ever suspect me of anything).

Tickets are now sold out.

Check out the winners!

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults champion and honour New Zealand’s literature for tamariki and rangatahi. The winners were announced on Wednesday August 10, and now’s your chance to check them out.

The awards are a celebration of New Zealand’s children’s authors and illustrators, and the contribution they make to building our national identity and heritage. So without further ado, here’s the winners of 2022! We’re including a link to the book in our collection, so you can see if it’s available. If it’s not, place a reservation

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year, Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction and Russell Clark Award For Illustration

Atua: Māori Gods and Heroes, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

 “Before the beginning there was nothing. No sound, no air, no colour: nothing. TE KORE, NOTHING. No one knows how long this nothing lasted because there was no time. However, in this great nothing there was a sense of waiting. Something was about to happen.

Find it in the library.

Picture Book Category Winner

Lion guards the cake, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

“Lion is full of pride when it comes to guarding his home and when the birthday cake has been made for the next day’s celebrations, he goes where he is needed most … to guard the cake. But in the morning, the household awakes to a chaotic scene. What happened when Lion was guarding the cake?”

Find it in the Library.

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

The Memory Thief, written by Leonie Agnew

Seth has been trapped behind the iron bars of the public gardens for as long as he can remember. By day he’s frozen as a statue of a shepherd boy, but as soon as the sun sets he roams the park, ravenously hungry. He is a troll, and the food he seeks is human memories. Then he meets Stella.

Find it in the library.

Young Adult Fiction Award

Learning to Love Blue, written by Saradha Koirala

With Vox Pop and high school behind her, 18-year-old Paige arrives in Melbourne with her suitcase and bass guitar; a copy of Bob Dylan’s Chronicles and Joni Mitchell’s Blue – a gift from her estranged mother that she’s still learning to love. Following in the footsteps of her musical heroes, all of whom left home to make it in 1960s New York, Paige knows Melbourne’s the new rock and roll capital of the world: if she can’t make it here, she can’t make it anywhere.

Find it in the Library.

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

I Waho, i te Moana, written by Yvonne Morrison, illustrated by Jenny Cooper and translated by Pānia Papa

Out in the moana, underneath the sparkling sun, lived a mother sea lion and her little pup one. A playful retelling of the much-loved traditional story, Over in the Meadow.

Find it in the library.

NZSA Best First Book Award

Spark Hunter, written by Sonya Wilson

Over a million hectares of wild bush-clad land and one young hunter… Nissa Marshall knows that something is hiding deep in the forests of Fiordland National Park – she’s seen their lights in the trees. But what are they, and why does no one else seem to notice them?

Find it in the library.

Congratulations to the winners! You can see the full shortlist at the New Zealand Book Awards Trust website – it’s a great starting point for some of the newest and best stories for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (youth).

Book recommendation: ‘A Fatal Winter’ by G.M Malliet.

Thanks to one of our library members from the Awapuni Library for the following book recommendation.

G. M. Malliet intrigued readers with Wicked Autumnthe first mystery featuring her captivating lead character, Max Tudor, and the little English village of Nether Monkslip.

In A Fatal Winter, Max – Anglican priest, former MI5 agent and village heartthrob – investigates two unusual deaths at Chedrow Castle. His investigation is complicated by the arrival of a rather ghastly group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder. With a fast-paced plot, vividly written characters and a good-looking priest doing the sleuthing, the books in this series are likely to become instant classics for those who enjoy the murder-mystery genre.

Selector’s Picks #3

From Our Non-Fiction Shelves

In the media this week are two titles that have captured our attention already –

The first, Blue Blood: the inside story of the National Party in crisis by Andrea Vance, is a book for people of all political persuasions. It gives a blow by blow description of the key moments over the two years National Party lost its mojo,  and exposes what really went on behind the scenes. Entertaining, factual and well-written by political journalist with 20 years in the industry (from publishers blurb).  Jack Tame spoke with Andrea Vance about her book.

The Cereal Entrepreneur: a story of grit, courage and crunchy goodness by Kaz Staples is a story of survival. In 1997 with bills to pay the author decided to make Christmas cakes out of her home kitchen to sell at the local markets. Twenty-two years later, she sold the highly successful and sought-after cereal and snack brand, Puredelish.  Not so much a “how to” book this is a  story of ups & downs, the highs and lows, and in Kaz’s own words “… life is a miracle – there’s dark and light – you CAN survive it all and thrive through it all BUT you can’t have it all”. Listen to the full RNZ Nine to Noon interview.

What I’m reading

On a different note here are a few books I’ve enjoyed recently and a couple of new ones too that I’m looking forward to reading (they’re due out next month).

I’ve enjoyed reading Ruth Shaw’s book The Bookseller at the end of the world – it’s about a long life well  lived, about the value of leaving and then returning home, about finding the strength to survive the toughest times, and then the resilience to help others through theirs. And the importance through it all of books and reading – and Ruth’s desire to share that joy with community. I think if you read this book, you’ll be inspired and like me maybe you’ll soon be planning a trip to Lake Manapouri to visit Ruth’s wee bookshops. At times a tough read, but ultimately magical. (note: bookshops are open from late September until mid April,  so plan your trip accordingly!).

I’ve always loved Juliet Batten’s writing specifically her connection to spirit through nature. Her new book The Pomegranate Journal doesn’t disappoint. Now in her mid 70’s and facing physical decline she’s written this journal to “chart the way into her new life”.  Written in the form of journal entries some of the gems include – “pain is a symptom of transformation”; a moment of “gladness” in nature (the first dusky crimson blossoms of the pūriri tree) has the power to lift us out of a day of struggle; & the thought that coming back into the world of the young (when you’re old) is really to come full circle & it’s achievable if you stay upbeat, and engaged and make the effort to use language that breaches the age divide. This one warrants a second reading – and just maybe I’ve bought my own copy!!

Lastly, Nici Wickes’ A Quiet Kitchen is a real comfort read. Part journal/diary part recipe book the author shares her love of cooking and her experience of living solo – a consequence of lockdown (she loved it!) but also of her own life choices (Nici is happily single). She lives in Port Waikato and her book is infused with a wonderful sense of kiwiana, of the spirit of community and oh yes includes easy delicious recipes. I loved reading about Nici’s own midlife health challenges and how the love of home, cooking good food, a daily ocean swim (year round!), and being surrounded by a supportive community has nurtured her and is now allowing her to live her best most authentic life.

AND Coming Up!

There are two new titles from local authors being launched at the Central Library next month. A collection of poems and a family history. I’m excited to read them both.

Award winning local poet Tim Upperton is publishing his 3rd collection of poetry called  A Riderless Horse . It’ll be launched on Friday 12 August at 6:30pm in the Central Library. Sam Neill is a fan (say no more!) … very Palmy! 

In her first memoir My Italian destiny  Lynn Kirkland introduced the reader to the link with the Italian family who saved her father during the war. Our Italian Legacy tells of the unbroken connection of two families on opposite sides of the world and which now spans five generations. It’ll be launched at the City Library on Wednesday 17 August.

Central Library book group is back!

Do you enjoy reading and exploring new genres and different authors? Would you like to meet interesting people, talk about books, and discover some of your library’s hidden treasures? The Library Book Group offers all that and more!

The Central Library Book Group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6pm in the Non Fiction area. We also have book groups at some of the other library locations.

There’s a different theme each month, rather than a set text. Group members can choose their own reading material, share old favourites with the group, or introduce us to new discoveries. Some examples of themes include:

  • books set in a small village or town
  • Lucky Dip – anything that jumps out at you as you’re browsing your shelves or the library’s collections.

All welcome! Come and indulge your love of books in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere.

If you have any questions, contact Nora: nora.kilpin@pncc.govt.nz