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Little Ears Story Time – Term 3, 2020

Please note NEW TIME for Pahiatua Library – Tuesdays 9.15 to 9.45 am.


YOLO Kids Book Club 2020 – Term 3

Have you ever read a book that was so GOOD you told all your friends they had to read it? Or a book that was so AWFUL you can’t stop talking about how bad it was?

Come and share stories about books – good and bad. Fun activities. For kids aged 8-12 years. All welcome – join anytime.

When and where?

Dannevirke Library : 4.00 to 5.00pm; Monday 20 July (1), 10 August (2), 31 August (3) , 21 September (4).

Pahiatua Library : 3.30 to 4.30pm; Monday 20 July (1), 10 August (2), 31 August (3) , 21 September (4).

Woodville Library : 3.15 to 4pm; Thursday 23 July (1), 13 August (2), 3 September (3), 24 September (4).

Eketahuna Library : 3.15 to 4pm; Thursday 23 July (1), 13 August (2), 3 September (3), 24 September (4).

THEMES:  each session has its own theme that will be discussed at that session so please be prepared beforehand:    (1) sports ;  (2) young detectives ; (3) fantasy ; (4) choose for a friend.


Pahiatua Yolo

Woodville Book Club – a selection of reviews June 2020

The Overstory is a 2018 novel by established American novelist, Richard Powers, who says that he wrote it because of a powerful encounter he had with a giant redwood tree. Powers describes this as a “religious conversation”, and you can truly feel this in the book. The book won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of and paean to the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’ twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. – Narita

Finding Fish (non-fiction) by Antwone Fisher.  Baby Boy Fisher was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single mother. His father had been shot by a girlfriend. Antwone ultimately came to live with a foster family, where he endured near-constant verbal and physical abuse. In his mid-teens he escaped and enlisted in the navy, where he became a man of the world, raised by the family he created for himself. Finding Fish shows how, out of this unlikely mix of deprivation and hope, an artist was born — first as the child who painted the feelings his words dared not speak, then as a poet and storyteller who would eventually become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after screenwriters. A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher’s gritty yet melodic literary voice, Finding Fish is an unforgettable reading experience.  Later, Fisher became a security guard at Sony Pictures Studios, where his story inspired producer Todd Black to make a film, Antwone Fisher, based on his story. – Jenny

The Lavender Lady by Faith Martin is about newly-widowed Effie James is asked by her old friend Duncan, a psychology professor, to help him with his latest book. Her task is to join the C-Fits, a paranormal investigation team, on their ghost-watching vigils and report back to Duncan. Corwin Fielding, the attractive and erudite leader of the paranormal researchers has no objections to an ‘impartial’ observer on his team, and the others in the group are a friendly and welcoming bunch. – Brenda

Cape Cold to Cape Hot by Richard Pape, is an epic story of sheer resolution and achievement. In 1955, at the age of 39, Richard Pape made world history when, in an ordinary British car (Austin A90) he became the first man alive to drive from Latitude 71 degrees North, 600 miles above the Arctic Circle, across two-thirds of the world’s surface to the southern tip of Africa. – Gayle

Poirot & Me by David Suchet.  In the summer of 2013 David Suchet filmed his final scenes as Hercule Poirot. After 24 years in the role, he will have played the character in every story that Agatha Christie wrote about him (bar one, deemed unfilmable) and he bid adieu to a role and a character that has changed his life. David Suchet tells the story of how he secured the part, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s daughter, and set himself the task of presenting the most authentic Poirot that had ever been filmed. Suchet is uniquely placed to write the ultimate companion to one of the world’s longest running television series. Peppered with anecdotes about filming, including many tales of the guest stars who have appeared over the years, the book is essential reading for Poirot fans all over the world. – Harold

The Silver Moon, Reflections on Life, Death and Writing  by Bryce Courtney
Each of us has a place to return to in our minds, a place of clarity and peace, a place to think, to create, to dream. For Bryce Courtenay this place was a waterhole in Africa where he used to escape to as a boy, in search of solitude. One evening, while lingering there, he witnessed the tallest of the great beasts drinking from the waterhole in the moonlight, and was spellbound. Ever since, he drew inspiration from this moment.
The Silver Moon gathers together some of the most personal and sustaining life-lessons from Australia’s favourite storyteller. In short stories and insights, many written in his final months, Bryce reflects on living and dying, and how through determination, respect for others and taking pleasure in small moments of joy, he lived life to the fullest. From practical advice on how to write a bestseller to general inspiration on how to realise your dreams, The Silver Moon celebrates Bryce Courtenay’s lifelong passion for storytelling, language and the creative process, and brings us closer to the man behind the bestsellers. In the book he talks about his foray into writing and how his research showed that you had to write four books before you could be published. His first book was The Power of One and it acted as a doorstop for many years until a friend sent it to a publisher where it sold for six figures. The Power of One was Bryce Courtney’s best-selling book was translated into 18 languages, sold 15 million copies and was made into a Hollywood film. Courtney wrote 21 books in 23 years. – Leone

Review: Replay by Ken Grimwood

Jeff Winston is a business executive, enduring an unrewarding job and an unhappy marriage. Then one day, at the age of forty-three, he suddenly dies from a massive heart attack. But, he wakes up again back in 1963, aged eighteen!  And with all his memories from his last life intact. When he finally grasps what is going on, he uses his memories to win big in gambling and set himself up in a life of luxury and influence. He even attempts to prevent the assassination of JFK by getting Lee Harvey Oswald arrested – but someone else just takes his place, and the event still occurs. Finally, aged 43, he dies again. And wakes up aged 18 again, but a little later in 1963. This time, he makes different choices – he still uses his knowledge to make money, but he doesn’t bring attention to himself, he marries his college sweetheart, he lives happy and healthy, even checking himself into hospital the week he is to turn 43 – but nothing helps, he dies again. And wakes up again….

And so it goes, each life giving him a lesson. Then, during a life when he has elected to become a virtual hermit, he hears of the movie ‘Starsea’ that never existed before in any of his lives. This movie is a masterpiece, and when he meets its creator, he discovers she too is a life repeater.  Thus begins a love affair with Pamela Phillips, who died at the age of fourteen, and woke up again. During this life, she has tried to use the power of Hollywood to influence the world and bring people to peace.  They have differing views on certain things as they meet in each subsequent life, but they always manage to keep the flame of love going.  Eventually though, Pam and Jeff realise that every time they repeat, they are losing time. They re-awake initially just a few days, then a few months, then a few years later, each time.  Surely there must be a reason this is happening to them?   They decide to go public and engage the power of the media to try and tempt the world’s scientists to help them.  But things go terribly wrong…

This book was actually very good. Sure, it’s got a science fiction premise, but the drama of each life is beautifully told, and the character development is great.  It’s not a long book, only 270 pages, but it has a big impact.  I thoroughly recommend it.


Review: The glovemaker by Anne Weisgarber

This historical fiction novel wasn’t what I expected from the Orange Prize Longlisted author of ‘The personal history of Rachel Dupree’. Reading the blurb, I expected a love story, and I suppose it was, of sorts.  But more so, it was the story of Deborah Tyler, a glove maker and resident of the pioneer town of Junction in Utah, 1888. Her husband, Samuel, is a wheelwright and spends at least six weeks a year traveling the territory, fixing wagon wheels.  She expected him back by 1 December, but he hasn’t returned. His best friend, Nels (who is a widower), goes to look for him and finds a rockfall blocking the mountain pass. He assumes that Samuel has turned back to use the long way around, and will be back by mid-January.

In the meantime, Deborah is looking after the house and orchard alone, although her brother-in-law and sister do live nearby.   One evening, a stranger knocks on the door … but he’s not a total stranger, because he identifies himself as a Saint. A brother from the Church of Latter-Day Saints, on the run from the law after being charged as a polygamist. He knows that people in Junction can direct him to the hideout of Floral Ranch. And thus, Deborah is drawn into a situation which results in the death of a man, and puts the entire community at risk.

Nels Johnson

Nels was a founding settler of Junction, a small settlement where the rules of Mormonism aren’t followed to the letter.  Samuel and Deborah followed soon after.  As the weeks turn into months and Samuel still doesn’t return, Nels ventures back out into the harsh Utah wilderness to try and find him.

This novel is a beautifully written study in human nature, the effect of religion, and relationships between people. It brought a tear to my eye, at the end. But to find out why, you’ll have to read it yourself!

I was intrigued to discover that Junction was a real place, now called Fruta, in the Capital Reef National Park of USA. The orchards remain as part of the campground, and some buildings from Floral Ranch. Certain events referenced in the novel were also real, such as the Massacre at Mountain Meadows 1857.


Woodville Library Bookclub Reviews: February 2020

Woodville Library Bookclub welcomes new members anytime – just bring along a title or DVD that you’d like to discuss, last Tuesday of every month at 2pm. Below are a few reviews of books the members enjoyed, from the February 2020 meeting:

‘The Winchester Mystery House’ Christopher MacGowan

In 1886 an eccentric woman named Sarah Winchester traveled from New Haven, Connecticut, to San Jose, California, to start a new life. She purchased a small eight-room farmhouse and started a small renovation project that would take 36 years and $5.5 million (in the money of the time), only stopping when she passed away in 1922.

By the time she was done, the Winchester Mansion was a modern marvel with indoor plumbing, multiple elevators, a hot shower, and central heating. It had over 160 rooms and 40 bedrooms, 10,000 windows, and even 2 basements. Of course, that’s not all that’s unique about the house. Not all the 2,000 doors can be walked through—one leads to an 8-foot drop to a kitchen sink, another to a 15-foot drop into bushes in the garden below. Staircases lead straight to ceilings, expensive Tiffany stained-glass windows were installed in places where they would get no light, and there are more secret passages than Narnia. A particularly odd delight is a cabinet that, when opened, extends through 30 rooms of the house.

No one is quite sure why Mrs. Winchester demanded constant changes to her very large house. Of course, there are stories. The most prevalent is that Mrs. Winchester was being haunted by the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle, which her late husband’s company had invented. After her husband passed away, a psychic told her that to evade the spirits, she would have to move out west, buy a home, and build nonstop. Some theories say she believed that as soon as construction was complete, she would die, while other theories suggest she built the house like a maze in order to keep her paranormal tormentors at bay and lost in the many intricacies of the building. As the theory goes, to avoid them she would sleep in a different bedroom every night and take labyrinthine paths through her own home.



Casting with a Fragile Thread’ a story of sisters of Africa by Wendy Kann

One Sunday morning in her suburban home in Connecticut, Wendy Kann received a phone call: her youngest sister, Lauren, had been killed on a lonely road in southern Africa. With that news, Kann is summoned back to the territory of her youth in what is now Zimbabwe. The girls’ privileged colonial childhood, a rural life of mansions and servants, is devastated by their father’s premature death, their mother’s insanity, and the onset of civil war. Kann soon leaves Africa, marries an American, and has finally settled into the dry sophistication of life in the States when her sister’s death calls her back. With honesty and compassion, Kann pieces together her sister’s life, explores the heartbreak of loss and the struggle to belong, and finally discovers a new, more complicated meaning of home. This book bought back memories of my early years in Zimbabwe.



‘The Other Bennet Sister’ Janice Harlow

This novel explores the predicament of Mary, the overlooked middle daughter of the Bennet household in Pride and Prejudice. Mary doesn’t have a story of her own in Austen’s novel – she’s there to serve as a foil to her sisters’ charm, and a temporary obstacle to their happiness. Bookish and gauche, Mary is the one who can be relied on to give an ill-judged performance on the pianoforte or deliver a sententious comment at exactly the wrong moment. By the end of the novel her circumstances have changed, but she has not; she’s still just as plain and awkward as she ever was, but with her sisters variously settled elsewhere, she is at least “no longer mortified by comparisons between her sisters’ beauty and her own”.




‘Daughter of Mine’ Fiona Lowe

When your world falls apart the only person you can depend on is your sister. The three Chirnwell sisters are descended from the privileged squattocracy in Victoria’s Western District — but could a long-held secret threaten their family?

Harriett Chirnwell has a perfect life — a husband who loves her, a successful career and a daughter who is destined to become a doctor just like her.  Xara has always lived in Harriet’s shadow; her chaotic life with her family on their sheep farm falls far short of her older sister’s standards of perfection and prestige.  Georgie, the youngest sister and a passionate teacher, is the only one of the three to have left Billawarre. But is her life in Melbourne happy?

Despite all three sisters having a different and sometimes strained bond with their mother, Edwina, they come together to organise a party for her milestone birthday — the first since their father’s death. But when Edwina arrives at her party on the arm of another man, the tumult is like a dam finally breaking. Suddenly the lives of the Chirnwell sisters are flooded by scandal. Criminal accusations, a daughter in crisis, and a secret over fifty years in the making start to crack the perfect façade of the prominent pastoral family.

A thought provoking novel about family expectations, secrets and lies.



Review: Nine / Zach Hines

In an alternate Earth, humans have nine lives.  Each human has to attain a certain life number by a certain age. Each time you end a life (burn it), you wake up again in a nearby lake where you are fished out and processed at a facility – records are kept for everyone, and your Life number is tattooed onto your neck. The last few minutes of your previous life are lost to your memory, but otherwise you are the same – except you get a physical and mental upgrade. The state also rewards you financially too, so the higher your Life number, the better your life gets.

Screenwriter and Author Zach Hines

Julian is a One and he’s been in high school for a while. In fact, he’s the only One in the school and therefore shunned by most.  His best friend Molly is about to become a Three. In his school, “burning” a life has become a cause for parties and celebration. The more shocking and macabre your death, the better. Of course, Julian has a different view because he’s seen what happened to his mother when she reached Nine.  By that time, she couldn’t even remember him, because of the glitches that occurred with each upgrade.  She was found drowned … permadeath. No more lives left.  This experience has left Julian determined to make each life last as long as possible.

But now his Father is pleading with him to become a Three, because they are about to lose their house. They need the State credits to save their lifestyle. Left with no choice, Julian is convinced to partake in the most shocking “burn” to date by joining the “Burner’s Club”. But it’s during this time that he discovers that all is not as it seems. There are people out there that do not burn at all!  And the way his mother died is not what he thought either. It seems that she actually worked at the Lake facility, and had been threatening to expose some secrets shortly before her permadeath.  Then Molly vanishes. With the help of his friends, Julian begins to unravel a conspiracy that will turn their world upside down.

A riveting and highly original young adult story, “9” was great fun to read and would be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.


Tararua District Library Annual Trivia Quiz 2020 : Life’s a Circus!

Calling all Trivia buffs – our 11th annual Trivia Quiz is on

Thursday 23 July 2020, 6.30 pm start.

Team “The Four Horsemen of the Potato Chips” (Dannevirke) are the defending champions. Can a team from another town wrest the title from them?

The 4 Horsemen of the Potato Chips

Even if you’re not competitive, it’s a whole lot of fun!  We deserve it, don’t we?


The (optional) fancy dress theme is “Life’s a Circus”


Prizes for:

Overall District Champion’

Best team fancy dress outfit

Highest score per town

Spot prizes

Light refreshments provided.  Join in the fun!

Register your team by 5 pm Friday 17th July 2020

Teams can consist of up to four members, aged over 18 years.

Entry fee $25 per team.

Collect entry form at your local library or PRINT it :  Library Adult Trivia Quiz Registration Form 2020


Hey kids, it’s pizza time! Hell Reading Challenge 2020

Hell Pizza is excited to again support the HELL Reading Challenge.

For the seventh year, Hell Pizza wants to reward New Zealand children who read with free pizza. Children complete a pizza wheel by reading seven books, then go to any Hell Pizza store and redeem the wheel for a free pizza.  It’s that simple!  The Challenge runs from now until 29 January 2021.

How it works:

Each cardboard pizza wheel has 7 slices. Each slice represents one library book read.  When you’ve finished reading a  book, bring the book and your wheel to the librarian* to have it signed off on your wheel.  Once you’ve completed an entire pizza wheel, you can begin a new pizza wheel if you want to – there is no limit to the number of wheels you can complete.  How many can you do?

*Note: if you’re participating in Chill Out & Read 2020 through your school, you will earn an entire pizza wheel by completing that. 


What are the rules?

  1. The Hell Reading Challenge is open to students Years 1-8 (primary) including home schooled.
  2. Children participating must have their own library card*, or may use their parents card with permission.
  3. There is no limit on the number of wheels a student can fill up, provided they are stamped and authenticated by a librarian
  4. Get the wheel stamped by handing your wheel and the library book you’ve read to a librarian to have it signed off.
  5. The student must redeem their free pizza in person before the expiry date of 31 January 2021. Each pizza wheel features a serial number that can be traced back to your library.

*During our Chill Out & Read programme in July/August, any students participating with their school classes do not need to be library members. Pizza wheels will be awarded to students who complete the programme.

How to redeem your completed pizza voucher:

  • Each pizza wheel is good for one 333 kids’ pizza from any HELL pizza store nationwide.
  • Each wheel must be signed by a librarian and stamped with an official library stamp.
  • The child must redeem their wheel in person, in-store only.  One pizza per visit per child.
  • Offer expires and wheels must be redeemed before 31 January 2021.
  • Wheels are non-transferable for money.
  • HELL stores have the right to refuse this offer in cases of suspected fraud.

Kids!  Come along to one of our branches now to collect your pizza wheel, and start reading!


Adult Winter Reading Challenge 2020

Our Adult Reading Challenge is back, from 6th July to 7th September 2020. There are nine challenges to encourage you to read through these cold and wintry nights. Pop into your local library to register for free and pick up a challenge card. Weekly prize draws, for those who completed a challenge in that week, plus a Grand Prize draw for those who have completed seven challenges. Exciting!

How to play:

  • You must be a library member … it’s free to join (if you’re local) or out of district people can join for a small feeJoin Here
  • Collect a challenge card from your local library (or print it out here Adult Reading Challenge Card 2020 )
  • Take your challenge card to the library when you want a librarian to log completed challenges.
  • If you’re a winner, we’ll ask your permission to take a photograph to share your good fortune.

Weekly Draw:  6 July to 7 September:

  • Every time a librarian logs your completed challenge, your name goes in the draw for a weekly prize ($20 New World voucher + coffee voucher).  E.g. if you complete three challenges in a week, your name goes in the draw three times ; if you complete one challenge that week, it goes in one time.


  • Week 1 winner – Allison McNicol (Dannevirke)
  • Week 2 winner –
  • Week 3 winner –
  • Week 4 winner –
  • Week 5 winner –
  • Week 6 winner –
  • Week 7 winner –
  • Week 8 winner –
  • Week 9 winner –
  • Grand Prize winner –

Grand Prize Draw:

  • If you complete a total of seven challenges overall, or more, you’ll go in the draw to win a $150 meal voucher from the Black Stump Cafe & Harrows Restaurant, Pahiatua. Plus a cinema experience for two at the Regent Pahiatua, and a gorgeous winter pamper hamper filled with goodies!


Black Stump, Pahiatua


Regent Cinema


Little Ears Story Time – Term 2 2020

Parents or caregivers, we’d love you to bring your under five-year-old’s along to our free story time, ‘Little Ears’. It’s a great opportunity to meet other parents and children, while enjoying the library space, and introducing the children to the joys of reading. All welcome!

Each session is themed, in case you might want to continue activities on that topic at home.LE T2 Eke 2020

YOLO Kids Book Club 2020 – Term 2

Have you ever read a book that was so GOOD you told all your friends they had to read it? Or a book that was so AWFUL you can’t stop talking about how bad it was?

Come and share stories about books – good and bad. Fun activities. For kids aged 8-12 years. All welcome – join anytime.

When and where?

Dannevirke Library : 4.00 to 5.00pm; Monday 15 June (1), 29 June (2).

Pahiatua Library : 3.30 to 4.30pm; Monday 15 June (1), 29 June (2)

Woodville Library : 3.15 to 4pm; Tuesday 16 June (1), 30 June (2)

Eketahuna Library : 3.15 to 4pm; Thursday 18 June (1), 2 July (2)

THEMES:  each session has its own theme that will be discussed at that session so please be prepared beforehand:    (1) Action and adventure  (2) General non-fiction.


Pahiatua Yolo

Reviews from Woodville Bookclub – March 2020

Because of Covid-19 lock down, the book club meeting was not held in person, and members shared their book review for the month by email.

‘Tears of the Dragon’ by Jean Moran

One sultry evening in Kowloon, Dr Rowena Rossiter and Sister Alice Huntley are off-duty and in search of fun – little knowing that their world is on the brink of collapse. That night, Rowena will meet two men who will fight for her heart for the next four years.  Connor O’Connor, the rebellious Irish soldier, who will woo and then lose her, and Kim Pheloung.  Immensely rich and the most beautiful man Rowena has ever seen, he is also the most ruthless, with a sinister need possess and control.

When the Japanese invasion leaves this previously strong and independent woman raped and broken, who will succeed in claiming Rowena’s body and soul? And will she ever learn to love the child born of that terrible Christmas Day? – by Jenny


‘Life as a Casketeer’ by Francis Tipene

We watched the series on the TV and were fascinated, both by the characters and what they portrayed, all done in a tasteful and often humorous way. If you did watch the programme you got to know the family and their staff, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book.

It mainly featured Francis Tipene and his wife, going through their childhoods being brought up in rural Northland in isolated communities without amenities in the home, but being focused around their marae.  The book doesn’t pull any punches about life as it was then. When he met his future wife, Kaiora, it caused trouble in their families as he was a strict catholic and she was a Mormon, however when she became pregnant Francis converted to a Mormon, which his family eventually accepted.  They ended up with five sons!  Plus another son he fathered while still at school to another girl before meeting Kaiora. From being young he had helped out at tangis, and was no stranger to dead bodies so he developed an interest in becoming a funeral director.  The firm he eventually opened in Auckland specialised in Maori and pacific island funerals.

During the programme he came across as such a gentle soul; I just hope that all funeral directors give as much courtesy and care to the people they deal with. The latter half of the book deals with questions readers may have, and going through the arrangements we will end up needing. A wonderful read, not gruesome at all as the subject matter is so sensitively dealt with. – by Brenda


White Coolies by Betty Jeffrey

My cousin died as a Japanese POW just before the camp was liberated. There are quite a few books written about the experience of women prisoners and last year even more horrific details came to light about the indignities suffered before many (+ children) were herded into the sea and shot.  Tenko, the tv series was based on books like The White Coolies, out of print now, as well as the film Paradise Road.

Betty Jeffrey was an Australian nurse aboard one of the many ships carrying evacuees from Singapore to Australia in 1942. 53 survived, 21 were murdered on Radji Beach and 32, including Betty, were imprisoned. The book is “an amazing story of survival amidst deprivation and the harshest of conditions. The women’s ingenious and entertaining attempts to make their lot more tolerable, and their comradeship as they suffered so much anguish, display their incredible endurance and strength in the face of adversity.”

My cousin is mentioned in this book and in others like ‘Quiet Heroines, Nurses of the Second World War’ and it was through reading these that I discovered a whole part of my extended family I’d known nothing about. As we approach ANZAC Day on 25 April, I like to revisit these and other books around my family’s war experiences to keep their stories alive. – by Merril


‘Saving the Last Rhino – the life of a frontline conservationist’ by Graham Spence and Grant Fowlds

Brilliant book, excellent read! What would drive a man to ‘smuggle’ rhino horn back into Africa at great risk to himself? This is just one of the situations Grant Fowlds has put himself in as part of his ongoing fight against poaching, in order to prove a link between southern Africa and the illicit, lucrative trade in rhino horn in Vietnam.

Shavings of rhino horn are sold as a snake-oil ‘cure’ for colds or impotence, but a rhino’s horn has no magical, medicinal properties.  It is for this that rhinoceroses are being killed at an escalating rate that puts the survival of the species in jeopardy. This corrupt, illegal war on wildlife has brought an iconic animal to the brink of extinction.

Growing up on a farm in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Grant developed a deep love of nature, turning his back on hunting to focus on saving wildlife of all kinds and the environment that sustains both them and us.  He is a passionate conservationist who puts himself on the front line of protecting rhinos in the wild – right now, against armed poachers; but in the longer term, too, through his work with schoolchildren, communities and policymakers. – by Leilani


‘Te Apiti, Manawatu Gorge = Te au-rere-a-te-ronga : a history’ compiled by Michele Frey

This book was compiled by Michele Frey with articles by many others.  There are two copies in our libraries and one in the reference section.  It is a wonderful history of our Gorge, covering rocks, earth, Maori history, first Europeans, settler history, moving through the Gorge which of course includes road and rail, making an income and recreation, birds, animals, native bush etc.  I was amused by the toll keeper who was unsure what to charge a motor vehicle- presumably one of the first to drive through so Mr Henning passed through without paying as the keeper was spellbound by a vehicle with no horse!  In April 1926 the speed limit was increased from 15 to 25 miles per hour.  Hundreds helped build the railway track and one of the first passenger trains through in March 1891 carried 1500 passengers in 18 double carriages.  This was after the official opening on March 9th. – by Narita

Review: “The only plane in the sky, the oral history of 9/11” by Garrett M. Graff

Drawing on new and archived interviews, transcripts, and declassified documents, author Garrett M. Graff has collated the story of the attacks on America on 11 September 2001 in chronological order. Therefore, the timeline is easy to follow and the skillful way he’s woven the information together, allows one to understand what was going on across the nation simultaneously.

There is some information here that I haven’t come across before. For example, details of what was occurring on Airforce One that day, the President’s movements and actions. Also, lots of detail about the attack on the Pentagon, including interviews with survivors and rescuers, the effect on the building and the response of the Generals.

Overall, a very well done book, and certainly important for history. If you have an interest in 9/11, I would suggest this is essential reading.


Review: A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Author Joshilyn Jackson

Forty-five-year-old Ginny has had a hard life. Pregnant at 15, a single mother to Liza, rejected by her family. Then her daughter Liza fell pregnant at 15, and vanished for two years, reappearing as a haggard meth addict with her toddler daughter, Mosey, in tow and begging for help.  Ginny helps Liza get clean, and lets them live with her. Her granddaughter Mosey is 15 now, and Ginny is determined she will not follow in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps. No boys!

But Liza has had a massive stroke, and Ginny is distracted trying to rehabilitate her alone because she can’t afford medical help. Ginny decides to have the willow tree in the backyard dug up, to make way for a pool, which is one of the few things that helps Liza.  Surprisingly, the bones of a little baby are found buried among the roots. From Liza’s reaction, Ginny deduces that these bones are those of her baby. So who exactly is Mosey then?  Meanwhile, Mosey has reached the same conclusion and is conducting her own investigation with her friends.

A clever mystery, a vivid portrayal of a family, a drama with light moments of humour. This books draws you into life in the Deep South of the USA, and leaves you feeling like you are part of the family. Recommended if you like drama or even sagas.    Find Joshilyn Jackson books in our catalogue.