Undead by Kirsty McKay

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Undead

by Kirsty McKay

Funny, scary, contemporary, believable… words from the readers of Ruawai Library.

Bobby (short for Roberta) has moved back to the UK after living for 8 years in the USA and is trying to fit in at school.  The class is off for a ski trip and the bus is a minefield of teenage dilemmas.  They stop for a meal break and Bobby stays in the bus along with the driver and Smitty who is not allowed to go.  It starts to snow and time passes, finally people start making their way back from the cafe, but something isn’t right.

Actually something is very wrong, they are all coming back as zombies!

Now Bobby and Smitty must find a way to stay alive and get out of there.  The phones aren’t working and there is no one around, except for the prima-donna popular girl.

There are lots of humor and a few frights, pitched perfectly for a Year 7+ reader (11+).  I highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

Barnaby floats, he can’t keep his feet on the ground for more than a few seconds. His parents don’t like it, they just want a ‘normal’ life. They decide that they must let Barnably go and the Mum takes him for a walk and ‘loses’ him along the way. This is where Barnaby’ s adventures start. While this could spell disaster, Barnaby has some luck, meets some kind people, learns about other people who aren’t ‘normal’, gets helped, helps others and runs into an old friend. Over time Barnaby starts to wonder what is ‘normal’ and is it really such a good thing to aspire to.

ImageEven knowing what his mother did he wants to get home, he misses his brother and sister. The family pet Captain W E Johns hasn’t been the same since Barnaby left, he knows what happened on the ‘walk’. Barnaby is a thoughtful and forgiving boy, he faces his challenges bravely and learns character along the way.

I liked this book and think readers 10+ will enjoy Barnaby’s story. It’s message is simple and rings true- it’s okay to be different. Author John Boyne who also wrote “The Boy With Striped Pajamas” takes a light hearted look at society and we all can learn from Barnaby’s story.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew GreenImage

5 stars for Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green.

Narrated by Max’s imaginary friend Budo. Max is different from other kids, he keeps everything inside himself.  His parents want him to be like other kids, but are also considering sending Max to a special school.  Max would rather everything stay the same, he doesn’t like change.

Budo has troubles of his own.  He can only live if Max imagines him and he knows he has lasted longer than other imaginary friends.  Not only Max can see Budo, other imaginary friends can see and communicate with each other.  Max tries to help Budo along the way, worrying what will happen to him when Budo moves on.

This is an adventure tale with a kidnapping,  trustworthy teachers and a dastardly teacher aid. Will Budo be able to help Max this time?  How much longer will Max need Budo in his life? Once you don’t need an imaginary friend where do they go?

A heartening tale for readers age 10 – 100, good lessons for all ages. 

Life of Pi – Book 9

SAM_8555Life of Pi

From Goodreads-

Piscine Molitor Patel, nicknamed Pi, lives in Pondicherry, India, where his family runs a zoo. Little Pi is a great reader. He devours books on Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and to the surprise of his secular parents, becomes devoted to all three religions. When the parents decide to emigrate to Canada, the family boards a cargo ship with many of the animals that are going to new zoological homes in North America, and bravely sets sail for the New World.

Alas, the ship sinks. A solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the surface of the wild blue Pacific. In it are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

With intelligence, daring and inexpressible fear, Pi manages to keep his wits about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the foodchain; it is the tiger, Richard Parker, with whom he must develop an inviolable understanding.

Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a transformative novel: a book to delight in, to talk about and treasure. It will convince the most jaded among us—and remind the rest—that something grander is afoot in our lives than we may have realized.

Mrs Salter’s review-

This is a must read, although I can’t convince everyone to read or finish.  It’s an odd book, starting with a boy whose dad works taking care of the animals in a zoo.  In these chapters I learned about keeping animals in zoos which was interesting on it’s own.  Then the family go on a voyage with zoo animals taking them to another country.  Disaster strikes and and now Pi must survive a very long, dangerous journey in a life raft.  He is not alone at first.

I don’t want to give the story away but I will say this, the ending of this book was so unexpected that to me it was like being hit.  I couldn’t comprehend the turn of events and yet now I can not imagine another ending.

I recommend this book to ANYONE over the age of 16 and encourage you to share your reading experience with me.  This is a book that I will never bore with talking about. 

*** movie coming out December 2012, check it out here at  http://screenrant.com/life-of-pi-movie-images-ang-lee-sandy-167270/

Book 1 of the June Blog Challenge- The Book Thief by Marcus Zusac

The challenge is to blog every day for a month.  While this blog is about the books, not the writer I think the idea will help make it more relevant, if there are more books on it to tempt the reader.  So I’ll start today and highlight the top 31 book in the library in no particular order and why I think so.  Starting with two today because it is the second!

The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak  For ages 14+
From Goodreads.com:
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

From Mrs Salter-  I loved this book and it rarely fails to please my customers.  I have a much better understanding about how it must be to live in a country where you do not agree with your government but to stay alive you must appear to.  The hero’s in this book are people who protect others at risk of their own death and those who try to give children a childhood in a time of death and destruction.  I always wondered how life could go on for you if you are living in a war zone, in this book they are and they do it bravely and ordinarily, with no fanfare. 
This is a rare, compassionate book with the unusual twist of being narrated by death’s agent the grim reaper who amazingly is portrayed with a conscience and thoughtful, even commenting on being overworked during war.