New hit series

DashnerMaze Runner series, by James Dashner (DAS)

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. A young-adult post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy that fans of Hunger Games will love.

MedusaThe Medusa Project series, by Sophie McKenzie (MCK)

Fourteen years ago, scientist William Fox implanted four babies with the Medusa gene – a gene for psychic abilities. Fox’s experiment left a legacy: four teenagers, each with their own distinct and special skill. These four teens were originally brought together to form crime-fighting force, The Medusa Project.

UnleashedUnleashed, by Ali Sparkes  

Being a COLA is an incredible thing. It stands for Child Of Limitless Ability and for Dax Jones and his friends at a super secret college run by the government’s COLA Project, it’s the Limitless bit that’s the problem. Each book in the Unleashed series tells the adventures of different characters with their amazing special powers.

GameGame, Buzz, Bubble, by Anders de la Motte (MOT) 13+

When Henrik HP Petterson HP picks up a mobile phone on a Stockholm train one morning, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. The phone invites him to play a game… an Alternate Reality Game that takes place right in the middle of the naive and unsuspecting Swedish society. But is it still a game when it is real?

LoreI am Number 4, Power of 6, Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore (LOR)

Nine alien teenagers are hiding on Earth waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, they will need to fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.. Three are dead. Number Four is next.

WoolWool, Shift, Dust, by Hugh Howey (HOW)

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

HaloHalo, Hades, Heaven series, by Alexandra Adornetto (ADO)

Three angels, Ivy, Bethany and Gabriel are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness. They work hard to conceal their true identity and – most of all – their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls for the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods…


Check out posters in the library for more series ideas.

Book your Holiday Reading Pack!

How about you give a kick to your reading habits during the holidays?

Register below for a Reading Holiday Pack by Wednesday 2nd July.

The librarian will selects 10 books specially for you, to extend your reading level while nurturing your pleasure for reading and deliver them to you in class on the last day of the term.



Holiday reading packs

Following the SHRIMP programme  created by Pam Garry, Librarian at John Mc Glashan College and Slanza award recipient, MACLIC presents the MAC Holiday Reading Pack.

Holiday packEach pack will contain:

  • 10 books chosen by the librarian based on the student’s reading history and information provided in the form below,
  • The list of  books read by the student in the past year to share with parents and prompt discussions,
  •  and a surprise!

The pack will be delivered in class on the last day of the term. The bag must be returned with the books in the first week of term 2.

SORRY, TOO LATE TO ENROL NOW but the service will be re-offered before next holidays.

Bob presents lots of great books


Last Thursday, Bob Docherty came to our school and presented lots of excellent books to a dozen of junior classes. He kept the crowd focused and entertained. 

Here are the lists of books he presented:

Come to the library to reserve one or several of them.

Check out Bob’s blog for lots of books recommendations.

Book lists for summer reading

What to read this summer? Which book to offer to please for sure? Here are lists to help you decide.

Click here for information on where to get them.

Number 1 !

MAC Favourite

Here are Mount Aspiring College most read books per year level. These lists are a bit rough as they are simply reports from the database, sorry, but they definitely reflect the most popular reads. They are not all good literature and some content is debatable… that’s why kids love them!

Librarian’s choice

Librarian’s choice lists are a mix of classic must-read books, award-winning or unforgettable stories.

Other Top books lists

Leave a comment below to recommend your favourite book!

Where to get these books

  • From the town library, it’s free! Here is their online catalogue.
  • From the local shop. You can phone to check if they have the book or order it.Wheelers_promo
  • From Wheelers, our main online book provider, who offer book credits to our school when you order (choose Mt Aspiring College at the checkout).
  • From Whitcoulls, who provided the excellent list above, have shops in Queenstown and also offer online sales.
  • Amazon of course have all the books of the creation, new and used, but the freight is often doubling the price of the book and it only says it at the checkout. Be careful! Amazon also offers the widest range of ebooks, but here again be aware that they cannot be read by many ereaders  (Kobo, Sony, Laser), only by Kindle ereaders. They can however be read on any Ipad or computer-like tablet or computer, using a Kindle App or reading on the cloud.
  • Finally, Book Depository established in tax-free Guernsey Island has unbeatable prices on new books and freight is free!

Offer a book for Christmas!

Year 8 Favourite Book Genre

Favourite Year 8 genres

A Year 8 student has found out what is the favourite book genre for Year 8 boys and girls.

Boys prefer by far Adventure stories, followed by Spy books (Cherub influence) then Horror, Humour and Fantasy genres close together.
Girls prefer Animal stories, followed by Adventure and Fantasy, then Spy, Mystery, Thriller genres close together.

Thank you Max for your interesting study. I promise to buy more books in these genres for our library.

Hungry for more Hunger Games?

I’ve read in the papers last month how public libraries were trying to cope with the demand for the Hunger Games trilogy with 136 books in circulation in Otago and 331 reserves, meaning you have to wait easily two months to get your copy. Here are MACLIC figures, showing that the waiting times are roughly the same:

Number of copiesHeld in MACLIC How many times it has been borrowed Number of reserves on the 10th June
Hunger Games




Catching Fire








So, if you are lucky to be issued one of them, please read it steadily and return it quickly, by courtesy for those waiting. If you have one held for you (your whanau teacher will give you a blue slip), then come promptly to issue it.

While you wait or if you have finished the series and want more, here is a selection of books with a similar appeal:

TV reality books and series

  • The Real Real, by Emma McLaughlin, MCL : Meet Jesse O’Rourke, coffee barista, high school senior, and unwilling reality TV star. Enjoyed by senior girls.
  • Down to the wire, by Bernard Ashley, ASH: Ben Maddox is the top on-the-road reporter at Zephon TV.  He breaks the news -and sometimes he makes it… Explosive!
  • The transformation of Minna Hargreaves, by Fleur Beale, BEA : Minna’s has to follow her family on an off-shore island for a year, cut off friends and phones! Worse, the whole venture is to be made into a reality TV series… Award-winner.
  • Katie Milk solves reality TV crimes, by Annie Caulfield, CAU. When reality-TV crew arrive at Katie’s boarding school, it could be her big chance to star on TV! (junior girls)
  • Tiggie Tompson Show series, by Tessa Duder, DUD. Trilogy set in the glamorous world of television.
  • The Fifth Quest, by Debra Oswald, OSW: Rosie is about to be catapulted into a high-powered world of TV making, special effects, TV stars and fame that will test herself and her friendships. 

Contests books

  • Contest, by Matthew Reilly, REI. The rules are simple. Seven contestant will enter, only one will leave and live…
  • Alpha Force Series, by Chris Ryan, RYA : Alpha Force – an – elite five-member squad of young people with special skills and training – sent in various hostile environment to compete in survival contests.
  • A view from Saturday, by E.L. Konigsburg, KON : 4 students and a paraplegic teacher embark for an Academic Bowl championship… Multi-award winning book.
  • Which Witch, by Eva Ibbotson, IBB : Arriman, the handsome wizard, hosts a black magic contest to find a wife. Junior
  • Slumdog millionaire, by Vikas Swarup, SWA: a poor and abused Indian boy enters a TV quiz…

Dystopian books

  • Juno of Taris, by Fleur Beale, BEA: On Taris, there are many rules governing appearance, behaviour and even procreation. Juno is different, her questions and her reluctance to conform have made her an outsider. Senior
  • Little brother, by Cory Doctorov, DOC: Markus vows to use his formidable technical skills to network teenagers and fight back against the government’s increasingly frightening surveillance system.
  • Neuromancer, by William Gibson GIB: Case is a gifted computer hacker and his skills are hired to save the world from a great danger. Sci-fi in the cyberspace.
  • Declaration series, by Gemma Maley, MAL: set in a world where there is no aging, and no death, new children are a “surplus”, an abomination. And human values take another angle…
  • Chaos Walking series, by Patrick Ness NES: In Todd’s space colony, everyone’s thoughts are heard by everyone… A bleak unputdownable series.

Other thrilling action packed books and series

  • The Medusa Project, by Sophie McKenzie, MCK. Thirteen years ago, Professor William Fox discovered DR6124 – a gene for psychic abilities and managed to implant it in a series of embryos. Now they are teenagers…
  • The Bridge, by Jane Higgins, HIG. There seem to be one world, at war. Is there another world beyond the bridge? Senior
  • Erebos, Ursula Poznanski, POZ :  Nick is given a brilliant computer game called Erebos. The game is highly addictive but asks its players to carry out actions in the real world in order to keep playing online…
Or leave a comment to suggest any other similar book or series that you think should be in this list.

Future Fiction

It is not Sci-Fi, yet it is fiction with a future focus. It is fiction that expresses what could happen with the global change our world is experiencing, in various ways and perspectives. The genre “eco-thriller” is on the rise and it is as exciting as crime, adventure or detective stories. Plus, it could turn out true!

Teenage reads

Carbon Diaries, Sacy Lloyd

2015. Britain governement implements a carbon card to ration it. You take a car? You use up some of your monthly allowance. You light up your fan? You use up more carbon points, and they disappear far quicker than you would expect. Laura is a normal urban teenager who loves music and tries to live a normal life. Everybody will adapt differently to this new situation. Then disaster strikes… Laura tells about it all in her diary, in a realistic and witty style. Award-winning series.

Empty, by Susan Weyn

In a town in the US, the coming prom is all that matters to these high school students. Being rich and popular or different… But when electricity runs out, and petrol stations close one after the other, nothing is easy anymore. And the coming cyclone transforms all life in survival mode… But solutions exists, if you can shift your mind to them…

On thin ice, by Jamie Bastedo

Set in a small Artic town nowadays and following the talented Ashley, this book opens to a rarely described culture, where reality and myths merge. Impacts of climate change are central to the plot although never sermonic. A rich, suspenseful, true-like novel. Multi-award winner.

More Adult reads

Solar, by Ian McEwan

Beard surfs the wave of fame he won with his physics Nobel price . When he “inherits” the plans for creating artificial photosynthesis power stations, he tries to save the world from climate change and save himself too…

Island of shattered dreams, by Chantal Spitz

Meet several generations of a family living on a remote atoll, their loves, their connection to their land, and their struggles when French engineers come to install a nuclear test plant on their island… This book opens to the Pacific Islanders ways of viewing the world, which is quite wide and profound, like the ocean that surrounds them. Beautiful, moving, unforgettable.

Children reads

The Lorax, by Dr Seuss, “who speaks for the trees”… and more popular than ever before…
The Paperbag prince, by Colin Thompson, about this old man who lives happily in a bus on a dump;
George saves the world by lunchtime, by Jo Readman and Ley Roberts, to discover how everyday actions can affect the world around.

And many others

  • J. R. R. Tolkien, deep connection with nature in the Middle-earth underlying his books.
  • Carl Hiassen with lots of humour (Flush, Paradise Screwed…);
  • Ursula Le Guin creating a world of literate people in a subsistence age (the Earthsea series);
  • Margaret Mahy, denouncing coastal subdivisions in Kaitangata Twitch…

Do you know of any good one that I would add to my reading list?

High-interest Easy-to-read Books for Boys Year 9 / Year 10

So you do not like to read yet? Surely there are good books you will enjoy in the library.

How to find a book for you with the library catalogue:

What are YOU interested in? Hunting? Skateboarding? Dating? Humorous or Scary? Extreme? Type one word in the library catalogue. Or try to type the words “reluctant” or “easy”.

Scroll the list of results to find a book that you may like, open the record details and read the Subjects, Notes and keywords to decide if you will like it. 

How to find a book for you in the shelves:

Find narrow books, or book published by Barrington Stoke.

Look for large fonts and short chapters.

Read the blurb on the back of the book. Open the book. Read one paragraph. If there are more than two words you do not read or know, then find an easier book.

Browse the Graphic Novels and Breezy reads (picture books area).

Or pick a book from the lists below or ask your librarian 🙂

When you have chosen, always record your book at the issue desk.

Good Books

Title Author Description Location
A.N.T.I.D.O.T.E. Malorie Blackman Elliot’s Mum is arrested for breaking into a giant pharmaceutical company… BLA
The Last Boy June Colbert When Ben emerges from his hiding place, he is the last person on Earth… COL
The wish list Eoin Colfer Meg dies perfectly balanced between good and evil… Can she save her soul? COL
Fifteen Love Robert Corbet Told from two perspectives, about daily life and a burgeoning relationship COR
Shelf Life Robert Corbet Short stories of people in charge of different supermarket aisles COR
A Good Keen Man Barry Crump NZ yarn CRU
Bruises: Boys don’t cry Archie Fusillo Hard hitting novel dealing with teen culture in schools FUS
Touch Me James Moloney Boy/girl relationship MOL
Trash Andy Mulligan Kids survive on a dump, until they find a purse… MUL
Holes Louis Sachar Stanley Yelnats is sent to a detention centre for a crime he did not commit… SAC
Milkweek Jerry Spinelli Street children innocently surviving the Holocaust. Poignant! SPI
To Die For Mark Svendsen A thrilling fishing story SVE
The Underdog Marcus Zusak ‘Boys are like dogs – ready to bite, bark, and beg to be given a chance to show their value.’ (Back cover) ZUC

Good Authors

Title Author Description Location
2Much4u, Boyznbikes Vince Ford Funny, real life stories FOR
Boy Overboard, Once… Morris Gleitzman Great easy to read war stories GLE
Burnt, Groosham Grange… Horowitz Quick reads – Horror, creepy stories HOR
Uncanny (and others) Paul Jennings Humour JEN
Hatchet, and sequels: the Return, the River… Gary Paulsen Brian, stranded alone in a crash in the wilderness, survives with just a hatchet… PAU
Rani & Sukh, Dream on Bali Rai Real life stories, of street kids, family, soccer… RAI

Good Series

Series Author Description Location
Cherub Robert Muchamore  Kids are trained to spy and survive in dangerous missions MUC
Hunger Games Suzanne Collins TV reality game, to death… COL
HIVE Higher Institute of Villainous Education Mark Walden Full of baddies, action and lashing of humour WAL
Animorphs K. A. Applegate Friends are given the power to morph… APP
My Story             Examples:
Blitz (CRO)
The Mine’s Afire (BAT)
Sitting on the Fence (NAG)
Various authors Based on true stories, a young person writes a diary of the time or event…  
Saga of Darren Shan Darren Shan Plenty of horror and macabre… SHA
World of Adventure Gary Paulsen Action-packed, danger, excitement in those Breezy reads PAU/B
Alex Rider Anthony Horowitz Perfect spy and action hero chasing all criminals and surviving the worst situations HOR
Tomorrow series John Marsden When Australian teenagers see the war coming… MAR

Good Knowledge books

Theme Examples Location
Personal Life issues Chicken soup for the teenage soul
A child called It
Relationship issues The courage to be strong 302.5
War stories The secret agent and other spy kids
War torn
Sport stories Legs on Everest 796.52
Hunting stories Deer were their lives 799.2
Biographies : real person’s lives Willie Apiata, the reluctant hero 92 API
History stories True stories of D-Day 940.54

Books for everyone for Christmas

Giving a book for Christmas is easy, nice and useful. Our local book store has a little brochure “Give a book, it’s the perfect gift!” with plenty of suggestions to please everyone.

If you prefer buying online, I recommend Wheelers because they have a large selection, an easy to use website and often the best prices. Besides, 10% of your purchase is recredited to our College Library, when you click on the Apple at the check-out… Wheelers has an end-of-year sale which ends 16th December.

  • Offering a book to your children will show you value reading and literacy, which is linked to their success at school.
  • Offering a book to your parents can be a way to convey a message or could be very useful (for example, a chocolate desserts book!).
  • Offering a book to your siblings will keep them quiet for a while AND you can then read it too!

Think of non-fiction books. What is s/he interested in? From mountain bike, fishing or facebook to yoga, drawing or travel, there are books to deepen knowledge in everything. Type these words in the Search box and choose!

Here are a few sure-to-please suggestions:

For Boys and Girls: any Cherub book. Cherub Agents are aged between ten and seventeen. They live in the real world, slipping under adult radars and getting information that sends criminals and terrorists to jail. Punchy, easy to read, they are the most popular books at the moment. If you suspect s/he has already read them, get “People’s Republic” as it is the latest. Click here to see what we already said about Cherub books on the library blog.

Another extremely popular series for both Boys and Girls is the Hunger Games series. Again, s/he might well have already read the first book so go for the second, Catching Fire, or the third book, Mockingjay. They will be so proud of having their own copy and so grateful for not having to wait to read it, as there are long waiting lists for these…

I think it is a good time to offer and read the Hobbit, if you have not done it yet, it is a truly great story.

More suggestions for Girls: Jacqueline Wilson’s latest book “Lily alone” is a favourite, and for older girls, I’d suggest the powerful and well written “Blood and Chocolate“, by Annette Curtis Klause. A “Child Called It”, by Dave Pelzer is a real, moving story that older girls enjoy.

And For Boys: Younger boys will enjoy the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, while older readers crave the Matthew Reilly books, like Hover Car Racer. I would also recommend The Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, as every person who has read it has been enthralled with this poignant, wise and funny story.

Useful books recommendations:

  • The Courage to be yourself : True Stories by Teens About Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure
  • Wise Highs : how to thrill, chill, & get away from it all without alcohol or other drugs
  • Go ask Alice : The true diary of a 15-year-old drug addict

For Parents (to offer and read together)

And if you really do not know which book to choose, you can get $5-up book tokens for them so they can choose their own books.

Always remember to read during the holidays to overcome the “Summer slide”.

Happy Reading! Happy Holidays!