Favourite books in 2015

New books Term 2 2015The library has stocked a large number of new books from award-winning to best-sellers and most popular on Goodreads and LibraryThing and it is a good idea to reserve one of these if you want to read them as they are usually out. Yet the most popular in 2015 are not new.

Top Twenty

  • Paul Jenning‘s “Uncanny” and “Don’t look now” are both in the top 20 as they are great humorous stories.
  • The Last Thirteen series is next. It is a fast-paced thriller with short chapters.
  • Popular as ever Jacqueline Wilson‘s books in particular “Lily alone” and “Queenie”
  • 5 books of the Robert Muchamore Cherub series are in the top twenty. There are 46 books by this author in the library and usually very few on the shelves… Ask the librarian to reserve the book you need.
  • Night Vision is 5th and has a long reserve list.  So if you are having one of the 3 copies, please read it fast and return it promptly!
  • Tom Gates has rocketed up the list, now in 6th Position. It’s funny, it’s easy, go for it!
  • Bear Grylls adventures (with real survival details!) are riding up.
  • Brilliant, the 3rd in Rachel Vail series, great for girls year 9 – 10 as other books by Sarah Dessen, Ann Brashares or Louise Rennison.
  • Where she went, by Gayle Forman is successful in the wake of the film as other books (and films) by John Green (The Fault in our Stars) or Lauren Oliver (Panic).
  • And twentieth on our most popular list this year is War Horse by hugely popular author Michael Morpurgo, one of the many novels about World War One.


Top Tens

I recently found a good list of Top Ten Books for teens on The Guardian website. Written by famous authors of the genres, they give a good overview. The library has many of the books listed and can get them on demand.


MACLIC Top Ten in 2014 are:

  • The Recruit by Robert Muchamore,
  • The Hunger games by Suzanne Collins,
  • Geek girl by Holly Smale
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Maximum security by Robert Muchamore,
  • Then by Morris Gleitzman,
  • Lily alone by Jacqueline Wilson,
  • Best friends by Jacqueline Wilson,
  • Catching fire by Suzanne Collins,
  • Running wild by Michael Morpurgo.

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!

Cherub read-alike

What to read after Cherub series (or while you wait for the next book in the series to be returned!):

 Other spy series

    • Young Bond series, by Charlie Higson (in fiction HIG)
    • Alex Rider series, by A. Horowitz  (HOR)
    • Spy High series, by A.J. Butcher  (BUT)  
    • Alpha Force series, by Chris Ryan  (RYA)
    • Gallagher Girls, by Ally Carter  (CAR)  
    • Henderson Boys, by Robert Muchamore  (MUC)

Special schools series

    • H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education, by Mark Walden (WAL)
    • Shapeshifter series, by Ali Sparkes (SPA)    Special gifts
    • Harry Potter series, by J.K.Rowling (ROW)   Magic/sorcery
    • VampireAcademy, by R. Mead (MEA)    Vampires (for Girls)
    • House of night series, by P. C. & Kristin Cast (CAS) Vampires (for Girls)

Fast-paced punchy stories

  • Cirque du Freak then Darren Shan Saga, by D. Shan (SHA) Vampire, thriller
  • Maximum Ride Series, by J. Patterson, (PAT) Adventure, fantasy-realism
  • The Darksmith Legacy (Doctor Who), by R. Dungworth,  (DUN) Sci-fi crime buster
  • Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins   (COL)  TV reality show
  • Boy Soldier series, by Andy McNab     (MCN) War, Spy
  • Ice Station, Contest and other by Matthew Reilly  (REI)  SAS

 Special Gifts series

  • Evil Genius series, by Catherine Jinks (JIN)   Computer hacking
  • Ranger’s Apprentice series, by John Flanagan (FLA)   Knighthood, sorcery
  • Artemis Fowl Series, by Eoin Colfer (COL)    Magical Realism

Overcoming the “summer slide”

Studies have been carried out about the “summer slide”, the decline in reading achievement children suffer just from being away from school and formal literacy instruction. Sadly it is often the students who can least afford to lose the reading gains they’ve achieved during the school year who fall the furthest behind when they return to school after a summer break. It’s characterized as “the Harry Potter divide”, and the effects are cumulative and long-term.

Even just 10 minutes reading a day by or to children will maintain & develop the children’s reading skills, habit and enthusiasm. It is important that the parents support their children, to reap the powerful benefits of reading.

An easy way to do it is to offer books for Christmas. Cherub, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Hunger Games series are all winners. Children will love owning their own book. Book shop sellers would be able to make further recommendations.

If you choose to shop online, I recommend Wheelers website because their range of books is huge (6.7 million books!), it is well organised and easy to use and the prices are very competitive. Plus, this will raise funds for the college’s library. Click here to learn more…

Some teachers will give some “good reads” lists to their students and there are many more book lists on this blog.

Another great and simple way to encourage reading is to visit the Town Library. There is a well-stocked children and separate Young Adult section. Every summer, a “Reading challenge” is organised with lots of prices, so check it out. Children need a parental consent to get their free card, so parents need to accompany them, at least the first time, and could grab a book for themselves too, to enjoy and to be a role model!

Book and art display at MACLIC

Spy displayOur bookclub members offer you a new book display Spy: Undercover, for all of you who enjoy Alex Rider and The Cherub series. Extend your SPY book experience by borrowing a book from the display, you never know what is undercover!

The library is the lucky host of Y9 Art models. Come to MACLIC and have a look. Which is your favourite?

Library Week II @ MACLIC

poster sample

Activities and competitions are prolonged at MACLIC until Friday 21st August 09 .

My Favourite Book Poster Competition

To Win: iceblock vouchers for each valid entry, a TWILIGHT book and a CHERUB book to win for the best ones! Come to the library any time during two weeks. See details below.

Interactive display

Contribute to our colourful interactive display. Choose a genre form, write your favourite book title on it and choose a place to paste it on the library window.

book character Mufti day

 Friday 21th August: Your Favourite Book Character
$1 if you are dressed up ~ $2 if not

Also check out  www.libraryweek.org.nz 

MACLIC Book club recommends "The Recruit", first book of the CHERUB serie by Robert Muchamore

Put on the melody of “Mission impossible” in your head, and read on… We recommend this book to all medium level readers, who like adventure and spies stories.

What we really liked in “The Recruit”:
  • The hero does not know where he goes, nor what happens when CHERUB recruits him
  • The story could be real
  • It is quite deep
  • It is sometimes funny too
  • The illegal activities of the Mum are surprising

The down points of the book:

  • There was no strong climax
  • We are disturbed by the fact that the hero is not bad, not good, does he become good?
We should read the second book! We would like to find out:
  • What does Cherub stand for
  • The hero gets to use his computer skills, his maths abilities
  • What happened to his Mum, to him in the past

There could be a film or a video game made from the book.