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?

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!

Library Week Day 2

Two classes have filled in their Book Hook. With the book hook in hand, one class had a very lively speed booking session. Many students now know what they want to read next, following their peers recommendations.

Book hooks have been pasted on the library window, for every one to be inspired and for decoration.

Book fishing is so popular that I don’t want to advertise it, as it does require work to wrap the books and add a string. The happiness of children fishing and their pleasure when they unwrap the book is the reward though! 

Library week is also the occasion to redecorate the library, removing faded signs and posters and putting up new ones instead. Getting a fresh spring look!

Book talks

All students in Year 7, 8 and 9 have had the pleasure to be presented a dozen books for their age, by Bob Docherty.

Bob Docherty is a professional book reviewer who travels from Cape Reinga to Bluff to talk to kids about the books he prefers. His aim is to motivate you to read, as he says: “The best thing you can do for yourself is READ, READ, READ.”

Check out his blog for great books reviews:

And judging by the looooooong reserves lists I got, he succeeded! 

Here are the titles he recommended, in order he talked about them:

Year 7

Title Author
Emerald Atlas John Stephens
Trash Andy Mulligan
Running Wild Michael Morpurgo
Lily Alone Jacqueline Wilson
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
Noah Barley Water runs away John Boyne
No such thing as a dragon Philip Reeve
Prairie Whispers Frances Harrington
Z Rex Steve Cole
Bone Tiki David Hair


Year 8

The Emerald Atlas John Stephens
Trash Andy Mulligan
Billionaire Boy David Walliams
Lily Alone Jacqueline Wilson
Prairie Whispers Frances Harrington
To die for Mark Szendson
Running Wild Michael Morpurgo
Loblolly Boy and the sorcerer James Norcliffe
Z Rex Steve Cole
Lawn Boy Gary Paulsen
No such thing as a dragon Philip Reeve
Monster republic Ben Horton
Funny business Guys Read  


Year 9

Boys don’t cry Malorie Blackman
Warm Bodies Marion Isaac
Bone Tiki David Hair
You against Me Jenny Downham
MonsterRepublic Ben Horton
Bride’s farewell Meg Rosoff
Rich and Mad William Nicholson
To Die For Mark Svendson
Funny business Guys Read  
Dark Planet Philip Carman
Medusa Project Sophie McKenzie
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove Lauren Kate
Mice Gordon Reece

 Most of these books are now in the library, often several copies but there are waiting lists. So if you want to read one of them, come to the library to reserve it and be patient.

If you are lucky to have one of the library copies, please read and return promptly so that the next student can enjoy it.