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Closing early 5 June

Kids, want a free pizza?

pizza sliceHey kids!  Do you like pizza?  Tararua District Library is running a really cool reading challenge from now until the end of November 2015.  Just by reading a few books, you can earn a free pizza!

How does it work? There are 3 age groups:  age 5 – 7 years ; age 8 – 12 years ; age 13 – 18 years. Depending on your age group, you get a booklet (there are three booklets, each designed for a different age group). Inside the booklet are seven challenges.  To do some of the challenges, you’ll need to look at the LIANZA 2015 Children & Young Adult Book Awards finalist books.  Other challenges can be done using any Tararua District Lbrary book.  All the instructions are in the booklets.

When you have completed the whole booklet, hand it in to your local library in exchange for a specially clipped and stamped Pizza Wheel Voucher. Take the voucher to your nearest Hell’s Pizza shop, and you can get a free healthy 333 kids pizza!    The Hell’s Pizza Caravan will be in Tararua sometime during the Term 3 school holidays, and the vouchers can also be redeemed there.

After you’ve completed one booklet, you can begin another if you like.  Think how many free pizza’s you could earn by December!

Booklets are available at Dannevirke Library, Woodville Library & Service Centre, Pahiatua Library, and Eketahuna Library & Service Centre.  Or if you can’t get into a library, email us at and we can send you a pdf booklet to print out  (tell us your name and age please).

If you aren’t a member of the library yet, you’ll need to get a library card to be able to finish your booklet.  It’s really easy – just bring your Mum or Dad or other adult over 18 years old along with you,library card to fill out a form.  The adult will show us their ID (like a driving license) and also some mail to prove they live in the Tararua (like a phone bill), and then your card will be ready to use.  It only takes about 10 minutes!   If you don’t have an adult to help you get a card, come and see us anyway, let us know that and we’ll see what we can do to help.


Want to be scared?

Nick Cutter’s previous book ‘The Troop’ “scared the hell” out of author Stephen King. And his second novel, ‘The Deep’ is also not for the faint-hearted.  It reminded me very much of King’s earlier work actually.

A plague has struck humankind. Known as “The ‘Gets”, it causes humans to forget things, usually over several years … beginning with small things like where you left your keys, and ending with forgetting how to eat and breathe.

challenger-deep-smallBut then a fishing trawler accidentally hauled up a lantern fish in the Mariana Trench.  Normally only capable of surviving at extreme depths, a marine biologist on board recognized the inconceivability of it being found, and was astonished to discover the reason was that a substance now named ambrosia had inhabited the fish.  Other scientists thought that ambrosia may be the cure to The ‘Gets, and an international project was instigated to develop an underwater station that could function at the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench, where the ambrosia was likely to be found.

Three scientists were selected to take up residence in that station, the Trieste, to experiment on the ambrosia. Some time later, communication with the station is lost and then the escape submarine surfaces, containing the badly scarred corpse of one of the scientists.    Unable to contact the other two, an emergency trip down is planned, with Dr Luke Nelson, the brother of one of the scientists. The authorities hope that he will be able to convince his brother to let them in, and find out what is going on.

When Luke, and sub pilot Alice arrive, they are alarmed to find both scientists acting very strangely.  One has locked himself in his lab, convinced everyone else has been infected by ambrosia, and the other (Luke’s brother) is intent on his experiments to the exclusion even of finding a cure.

It seems that this ambrosia is actually sentient, and possibly not of this world.  It has lain dormant 8 miles beneath the sea for a very long time, and there is an insinuation that the plague has been engineered to cause these events to unfold, allowing the substance to escape into the wider world.

As the story unfolds, the chills increase.  Much is left to your imagination, but the author does a very fine job of exacerbating childhood fears and building tension. There are a few gory sequences, but worse is the idea of what causes these events.  To me, it was reminiscent of Stephen King’s “It” although the ending was more satisfying.

If you like horrors, you’ll like this.

– Natalie

Thrilled to ‘Die Again’

tess dieIn ‘Die Again’, internationally bestselling author, Doctor Tess Gerritsen is once again at the top of her form and I really enjoyed this book.  There were actually two storylines – one plotline following a group of people on safari in Africa, and how they got stranded and only one of them made it out of the bush alive. This event occurred six years previously to the second story line, which has Rizzoli and Isles investigating the murder of a big game hunter/taxidermist and his dead son’s girlfriend.  Turns out that the dead son was on that safari in Africa, and the two stories become intertwined as it becomes evident that the deaths of those in Africa and in Boston are linked.  

Tess has written many novels so far, some featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Medical Examiner Maura Isles, and some not.  Personally, I prefer the Rizzoli and Isles novels as they have a little more edge.

Highly recommended.  Find Tess Gerritsen books on our catalogue.

– Natalie


Is it a sign?

nzsignGive a thought this week to the thousands of people who have to use their hands to speak.  May 4 – 10 2015 is New Zealand Sign Language Week.  Learn more here

As one of the three official languages of New Zealand, there is always plenty of interest in learning sign.  It’s a great skill to have

During Youth Week, on May 27, Dannevirke and Pahiatua Libraries will be hosting sign language workshops for youth in Years 7 to 13 at school.  See the flyer NZ Sign Language Workshop for Youth May 2015   Please let us know if you are interested in coming.

We also have books about signing, and often the local REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) offers courses.




Princess Elizabeth, assistant sleuth?

reilly You may have read something by Australian author Matthew Reilly since he has written 14 action thriller novels and has achieved over 7 million book sales to date.  “The Tournament” has plenty of action as well as sex and murder, but is also a first-rate thriller with a historical background.

The tournament concerned is one of chess, a challenge laid down to representatives of European power in the 16th century by the Sultan of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. King Henry VIII sends a chess champion accompanied by the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her teacher-mentor Roger Ascham. Before very long, the Sultan has asked Ascham to investigate a murder in the Topkapi Palace of Constantinople. Ascham is the hero of this tale seen through the eyes of the young Princess and during this adventure she learns many lessons which will influence her as she becomes the Virgin Queen, good Queen Bess.  Incidentally, you don’t need to have played chess to enjoy this story, it is simply a clever core around which a series of murders are committed. Princess Elizabeth helps her very astute teacher to solve the mystery though the tournament itself is only the scene of the crimes.

Mr Reilly writes a fast paced thriller with interesting details as to the Islamic way of life, Catholic clergy shenanigans and the many characters who actually lived at this time including a young Ivan the Terrible, Michelangelo, Suleiman the Magnificent and St. Ignatius.

The author warns the reader at the onset that his novel contains some explicit sex scenes so beware! The Tournament is an original history-mystery, attractively packaged and presented and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

– Larry Gordon


Find Reilly books in our catalogue


Now you see me …

Sharon Bolton

Sharon Bolton

I have discovered a new awesome author!  S. J. Bolton (Sandra) writes thrillers that twist and turn so much that even if you are naughty like me and you read the last page before you finish the book, you will never see the end coming.

Her latest heroine, Lacey Flint, is a new police detective who stumbles across a dead woman near her car. As the investigation unfolds, it appears that the murderer has a fixation on both Flint and Jack the Ripper. Bolton has written four books featuring Lacey Flint and “Now you see me” is the first. Unfortunately I started reading these books in the wrong order and read this one third. Silly me, I should have listened to my own rules.  But all of Bolton’s books stand alone and there are enough teasers to fill you in with the basics of the story line, but to truly appreciate it I feel you need to read them in order. Having read the second and third already, so much made sense when I read this book.

Lacey is a feisty and deeply troubled character with a lot of baggage from her youth, her relationships with those around her are complicated and never seem to run smoothly but she is very likeable and I am looking forward to more books in this series.

So far I have read four of Bolton’s books and they all were brilliant. Her other character, Evi Oliver, is in the book ‘Blood Sacrifice’ and is mentioned in the Lacey Flint book ‘Dead Scared’ as well. I cannot recommend these books enough for anyone who likes a really good thriller with believable characters and lots of twists. Just don’t expect to do much else until you’ve finished it.

– Corinna


Anzac Day : 100th anniversary : 25 April 2015

ww100 logoWhy do we mark Anzac Day?  Why is it so important to Australian’s and New Zealander’s?

25 April 1915 was the date when ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops first landed at Anzac Cove during the Turkey Campaign of World War I.  It was a baptism of blood for these troops, fresh from training.  The campaign was a disaster but unfortunately dragged on for 260 days until December 1915, when defeat was accepted and the allied forces secretly retreated.

There were many nations affected by the Gallipoli campaign :

  • 14,000 New Zealanders participated. Of these,  2,779 New Zealanders died and 4,852 were wounded.
  • Australia suffered 26,000 casualties, including 8,709 dead.
  • 33,072 British Empire forces died, and 120,000 were wounded.
  • About 10,000 French forces died, and 27,000 were wounded.
  • In defending itself from invasion, Turkey lost 87,000 lives out of an estimated 250,000 casualties.

25 April is a date that has reverberated down through history, because this event was essentially when we discovered our Nationhood. Previous to this, as a colony of the British Empire, New Zealanders didn’t really consider themselves as distinct or particularly separate from those “at Home” (England).  The Gallipoli campaign showcased colonial attitudes and attributes that helped New Zealand define itself as a nation. Kiwis, whether of European or Maori ancestry, became proud of their distinct identity, and the mutual respect earned during the fighting formed the basis of the close ties with Australia that continue today.  New Zealand also has a favourable relationship with Turkey, born out of the respect between opposing forces.

In my opinion, Gallipoli (and following campaigns) encouraged our soldiers and nurses to change their attitude about the British Empire, and they found the courage and fortitude to cope with the War, in serving not for the freedom of the British Empire but for their own countries.  This attitude gradually permeated civilians at home too.

Anzac Day is when we remember those who fought and died, out of respect for their sacrifice (not just in World War I but all wars), and it also commemorates the real birth of our Nations.

We shall remember them.

anzac poem

Interested in learning more about the war or your relatives who fought?  Useful sites:

Ancestry genealogical database is available at each of our libraries, on our free Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa computers.

New Zealand History online here

Tararua Kete – List of names on local memorial cenotaphs

NZ Memorials Register  here

Auckland museum online cenotaph here  Lay a virtual poppy

Commonwealth War Graves commission here

New Zealand WW100 homepage

And of course we have many books in our collection (see non-fiction shelves 940.3 through 940.4)

lest we forget banner

Best women’s fiction of 2015

Formerly called the Orange Prize after the previous sponsor, the finalists for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction were announced recently.

Launched in 1996, the Prize is awarded annually and celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives a cheque for £30,000 (NZ$58, 400) and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

The 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist is:

Rachel Cusk – Outline

Laline Paull – The Bees

Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone

Ali Smith – How To Be Both

Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread

Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests


We’re closing…

Make you look?  Don’t worry, we’re not closing down for good, but we do have some unusual temporary closures coming up.  closed sign


Thursday 23 April 2015 : All Tararua District Libraries (Dannevirke, Woodville, Pahiatua & Eketahuna) will be closed until 12pm (noon)

Thursday 23 April and Friday 24 April 2015: Eketahuna Library & Service Centre will be closed, re-opening on Tuesday 28 April.

Saturday 25 April 2015: Dannevirke & Pahiatua Libraries will be closed in recognition of the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day*

Monday 27 April 2015: All Tararua District Libraries will be closed, as this is a public holiday.


*In future, our libraries will only be closed on the designated public holiday for ANZAC Day


A man you can bank on!

hansenAuthor Derek Hansen was born in England, spent his youth in New Zealand, went back to London (where he became a very successful writer in the advertising world) and finally settled in Australia where he began writing fiction.

Best known for his novels ‘Lunch with the generals’ and ‘Lunch with Mussolini’, he has also written several others plus three collections of short stories, Derek Hansen has now come up with something in a slightly different style. There are thousands of thrillers out there but cleverly comic thrillers – I mean comic in the sense of funny, not graphic- are few and far between.

A man you can bank on’ is both a fast paced crime story and a funny take on modern outback Australia. On the cover it says “the cops want to arrest him, the crims want to kill him and the town wants to name a dog after him”. The story is set in the very small town of Munni-Munni where a retired bank manager uses a large stash of stolen money to keep his town alive during a time of recession and drought. The trouble is, the gang that stole the money have been released from jail and want it back. The only policeman in town is an honest cop and he has to cope with the mob plus an insurance investigator and two truly frightful hit men.

This is a delightful read, unexpected from a writer whose previous novels were neither off centre nor funny. It would make a great movie. If you haven’t come across the author before, may I suggest you check him out.

– Larry Gordon

Author website

ANZAC girls

anzac girls“The Other Anzacs” by Peter Rees (also published as Anzac Girls) is a phenomenal read.  And that’s coming from someone who is not a fan of non-fiction.  The only reason I read this 2008 book is because I watched the mini-series Anzac Girls, based on it, and was inspired to find out more about the nurses.

The Other Anzacs is mainly about the first Australian and New Zealand nurses who nursed during World War I.  Whether it was via the Australia Army Nursing Service, the New Zealand Army Nursing Service, the Imperial Military Nursing Service or the Australian Red Cross ‘Bluebirds’.

Not only is it well written and easy to follow, it is impeccably researched, and includes additional information beyond the mini-series such as what happened to the nurses after the war, and quite a lot of information about the battles waged other anzacsand military politics of the day.  There was also a riveting chapter on the sinking of the Marquette transport ship in 1915, in which 10 New Zealand nurses died, with first-hand accounts of this tragic event.

This book does not shrink from criticising some of what went on during World War I, in particular detailing what some of the nurses went through, both professionally and personally, which almost beggars belief.  So if you enjoyed the mini-series (which we also have available on DVD), you will probably find this title as fascinating as I did.

– Natalie

Book Sale!

During April 2015, Dannevirke Library foyer will be filled with lots of lovely second-hand books for sale.  Nothing over 50c.  What a bargain! A mix of all kinds of books, from all genres and for all levels.

First in, first served, however, we do replenish the sale with more stock as space allows, so keep looking all month long!

Book sale


Finalists: 2015 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards

LIANZA logo best

The Library & Information Association of Aotearoa New Zealand is delighted to announce these incredible finalists for our LIANZA Children’s Book Awards:

These are books that have been voted on by librarians throughout New Zealand, and the winners will be announced 15 June 2015.  If you would like to know more about the Awards, such as past winners, please see here.

Most are available for loan from our libraries.


Russell Clark Illustration Award Finalists

Marmaduke Duck on the wide blue seas / Sarah Davis  see more

Jim’s letters / Jenny Cooper  see more

Have you seen a monster? / Raymond McGrath  see more

So many wonderfuls / Tina Matthews  see more

Mrs Mo’s monster / Paul Beavis see more


LIANZA Young Adult (Novel) Finalists

I am Rebecca / Fleur Beale   see more

The red suitcase / Jill Harris  see more

Singing home the whale / Mandy Hager  see more

Recon Team Angel: Vengeance / Brian Falkner  see more

Night vision / Ella West  see more


Elsie Locke Nonfiction Finalists

The book of hat / Harriet Rowland  see more

A New Zealand nature journal / Sandra Morris  see more

Maori art for kids / Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke  see more

Motiti Blue and the oil spill: a story from the Rena disaster / Debbie McCauley  see more

New Zealand sports hall of fame: 25 Kiwi champions / Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic  see more


Esther Glen Junior Fiction Finalists

Monkey boy / Donovan Bixley  see more

The volume of possible endings (a tale of Fontania) / Barbara Else  see more

Conrad Cooper’s last stand / Leonie Agnew  see more

Trouble in time / Adele Broadbent  see more

Letterbox cat / Paula Green  see more


Te Kura Pounamu (Te Reo Maori) finalists

Nga Ki / Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan and Kawata Teepa   see more

Hui E! / various authors

Tutewehi / Fred Te Maro

Kimihia / Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson

An early Te Reo reading book series / Carolyn Collis  see more

Could you get away with murder?

I’ve always found that every so-called “scary” novel can be topped by a way better non-fiction book and that is the case here.  “Body in question: exploring the cutting edge in forensic science” by Brian Innes is a book for those of us who enjoy learning about forensic science (and there are lots of us out there) but it has more value than just information on dead people.
body in question

This book gives a brilliant feel to the history on this subject.  All sciences have a start somewhere and this book shows us where all that fun stuff came from, that we learn about on those really cool but not so accurate forensic television programmes. Yet don’t worry people, this is not a “how-to-murder” book but a “you will always can be caught” book, so forget all those ‘accidents’ involving people with wills, it is not worth it!

Now, not everything is perfect, and this book does have a quirk that does it let it down a little. The print layout can be distracting as you try to find out where the last sentence ends and the next starts (kind of like this review), but in saying that, if you take your time then it starts to make sense.  I enjoyed it and hope you do too.

– Darren

See catalogue for forensic science books




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