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Never Forget. Jo Bailey
This non fiction book recounts the inspiring stories of six New Zealanders and their experiences during World War II. In one story Bram, talks about the hardship he suffered as a child living in the Dutch East Indies when it was under Japanese control. He also recall the horrors experienced by his father who was a prisoner of war working on the Pekanbaru Death Railway. When the war ended he and his family moved to New Zealand as refugees to begin a new life.
Another story outlines the experiences of Naylor, an airforce navigator who took part in top secret wartime activities. In fact the secrecy surrounding his missions meant that Naylor did not feel free to discuss his experiences until 2015 as he neared his 100th birthday.
The six stirring, thought provoking stories recorded in this book serve as a reminder of the personal cost of war.
Lyla. Fleur Beale
This is 14-year-old Lyla’s personal story of living through the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Her world has crumbled around her, but she puts her energy into helping the people in her neighbourhood, distracting the terrified young boys from next door, shoveling liquefaction, inviting people over for barbeques and offering floor space for people to sleep. Her childhood tormentor, rugby-mad Matt Nagel, becomes her unlikely supporter in keeping neighbourhood morale up. But with many of her close friends leaving Christchurch to live in more solid cities, Lyla finds the challenge of facing so much change is getting on top of her. You can only be a hero for so long, and Lyla is desperate for a safe place to be.
Bookshop Girl. Chloe Coles
Bennetts Bookstore is going to be closed down. But how can this be allowed to happen? It is the only bookshop left open in the High Street. Part time bookseller, Paige Turner, makes it her mission to save the store. Along the way she meets heart throb Blaine Henderson but will he help or hinder her efforts to save the shop? A fun, easy read.
And the Ocean was our Sky. Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai
I was excited to hear of this new book by Patrick Ness whose trilogy Chaos Walking still resonates with me. This book is a parallel story to Moby , but from a whale’s point of view. Everything is upside down in this book. For the whales the sky is the ocean (or abyss), and the abyss the sky. The whales are hunters of men, smashing their ships and stripping down their corpses to commodify. Whale and man hunt each other, each as ruthless as the other. But not everyone sees glory in the hunt. The man Demetrius, and also the whale Bathsheba, see the despair and suffering the hunt causes. Throughout the tale the spectre of Toby Wick looms. Is he man, monster or myth? Whatever, or whoever he is, Bathsheba knows she is destined to meet him…
This book is beautifully illustrated by Rovina Cai adding to the other-worldly feel of the book.
Trouble Never Sleeps. Stephanie Tromly
Following on from a hair raising adventure in a previous book in this series, Zoe and Digby are finally ready to admit that they are wanting to be more than just friends. But, before they can test their newly revealed feelings for each other, they find themselves catapalted into another chaotic escapade.
Digby has been searching for his missing sister, Sally, for over 9 years and everyone believes she is dead. However Digby does not accept this is true and as he continues his search for Sally the couple find themselves confronting dangerous kidnappers and drug dealers.
Be prepared for an action packed read.
Thieves. Ella West
Nicky’s freaky ability to disappear at will – literally - draws the attention of a mysterious organisation, The Project, who whisk her away from her boarding school to their headquarters in the desert. There she is trained to use teleportation to carry out highly dangerous and secret thieving missions. At first she is intrigued by the Project, then she becomes more suspicious when she learns her parents have died in an unlikely car accident. Finally, she is angry at her loss of freedom and she and her team mates plan to escape. The book’s exciting conclusion left me wanting to read more. Fortunately, there are two further books to the series …