May 262014



David Metzenthen

ISBN 978-0143568421
Format Paperback
Publisher Penguin Books
Published 29 January 2014

From best-selling and award-winning author David Metzenthen comes a powerful new novel.

Better in here, they think. Safe and sound. No shocks and no surprises.

Twenty-one degrees Celsius all year round. Ryan Lanyon lives in the shadows of a shopping centre on the far side of the city.

But outside Sky Point Mall, no one is safe.

His brother is a bouncer. His best mate owns weapons. Ariel works in a surf-shop and has never seen the sea.

And the tragedies of the past will poison the future – unless someone has the guts to cross the line.

Buy the book



Mar 162013

Pushy parents who spend a small fortune lavishing books on their young children in the hope of giving them a head start before primary school may be wasting their time and money, according to experts.

In reality, as every child knows, the business of helping pre-school children learn their first words is surprisingly simple – repetition and familiarity. A favourite book read over and over again trumps the mini-library of children’s books found in some British households. As the saying goes, less is more. =>

Jul 262010

Glenn Dakin (Author)

Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .
But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’s “illness” and change his life forever.
Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.

Jun 242010
Download Bookclub Notes
Miles Franklin Award Winner 2008 Man Booker Prize winner 2007 Bestseller Just released
Fishing for Stars ~ Bryce Courtenay The Time We Have Taken

~Steven Carroll

The Gathering

~ Anne Enright

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

~ Stieg Larsson

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5)

~ Richelle Mead

Get all the details at the Pivotal Book club

Dec 052009

The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) ~ Michael Scott

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • Published May 26, 2009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385735292
  • Reading level: Young Adult

The third book in Michael Scott’s “Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series, The Sorceress, kicks the action up to a whole new level. Adding to the series’ menagerie of immortal humans (“humani”) and mythological beasts, the book picks up where The Magician left off: the immortal Nicholas Flamel (of The Alchemyst) and the twins, Sophie and Josh, have just arrived at St. Pancras international train station in London. Almost immediately, they’re confronted with a demonic bounty hunter that immortal magician John Dee has sent their way. At the same time, Dee’s occasional cohort, Niccolo Machiavelli, decides to focus his energy on Perenelle Flamel, the Alchemyst’s wife, who has been imprisoned at Alcatraz since the beginning of the series. In this book, Perenelle gets a chance to show off her sorcery and resourcefulness, fighting and forging alliances with ghosts, beasts, and the occasional Elder to try and find a way out of her predicament and back to Flamel. Scott is as playful as ever, introducing new immortals–famous figures from history who (surprise!) are still alive. He also adds to the roster of fantastical beasts, which already includes such intriguing foes as Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess, and the Morrigan, or Crow Goddess. Raising the stakes with each installment, Scott deftly manages multiple story lines and keeps everything moving pretty quickly, making this third book a real page-turner. More than just another piece in the puzzle of the whole series, The Sorceress is an adventure in its own right, and will certainly leave series fans wanting more.

Feb 222009

The winners of the 2008-9 Cybils (The Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards) have been announced. They include The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale in Graphic Novels, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart in YA Fiction. For a list of all 11 winners, visit the Cybils blog.

Feb 152009



by Nick Bruel

Kindergarten-Grade 3


Ostensibly about a cat that turns bad when her family runs out of her favorite food, this is really a clever alphabet book for kids old enough to appreciate the way words work. It will appeal to youngsters who like their stories more naughty than nice.

… more (including activities and lesson plans)

Feb 112009

Blair Lent, who illustrated many books for children over his long career, died on January 27 at the age of 79. He won the Caldecott Medal in 1973, for The Funny Little Woman, and also won three Caldecott Honors. Lent was perhaps best known for his illustrations for Tikki Tikki Tembo, a Chinese folktale retold by Arlene Mosel and published in 1968. See more here

Feb 062009


Winner: Guardian Children’s fiction


 by Patrick Ness

A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard — and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

 ”Guard your heart – it will swell with compassion, it will be broken and it will pound with excitement and anticipation when you are done. ”
 ”Patrick Ness is a first rate storyteller with a vivid imagination and he is a powerful literary talent that deserves paying attention to. For readers of all ages, this non-stop thriller will take you places you’ve never dreamed possible.”

… more

Feb 052009

The Evolution of Katherine Lasky’s One Beetle Too Many

The work on One Beetle Too Many (Candlewick, 2009) began more than 24 years ago, according to author Kathryn Lasky. “It’s amazing that I haven’t evolved into another creature,” the author states, referring to the process of bringing her picture-book biography of Charles Darwin to fruition. In this title Lasky takes a complex theory—the theory of natural selection—and a complicated man, and makes both accessible to young readers. In many ways, the book’s seeds were planted while she was working on her very first title, Traces of Life: The Origins of Humankind (Morrow, 1989), illustrated by Whitney Powell. But the release of Beetle in 2009 was perfectly timed, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species. Here Lasky discusses her career-long fascination with the naturalist.

Can you talk a bit about how this project evolved, if you’ll forgive a pun?

When my daughter was two years old, I thought, “I’ve got to get out of the house.” I live in Cambridge, right near Harvard. I hired a babysitter, and started auditing Steven Jay Gould’s course, “The History of the Earth,” and David Pilbeam’s class on human evolution. The first book I wrote was Traces of Life, about human evolution. In some ways it was easier than thinking about Charles Darwin and trying to squish his whole life into a book. more » » »