Graphic Novels – and MORE

On my last trip to Sydney I decided to focus on tracking down books I thought our Stage 2 and 3 boys would enjoy. I spent many hours in Kinokuniya asking everyone, from shop assistants to 10 year old boys shopping for books, what they thought 8 – 12 year old boys would enjoy in the way of graphic novels.

Bone came back a winner, as did Adventure Time. I’ve added the first in each series to test the waters.

Bone is a very popular work, highly regarded by those who love graphic novels. In fact, in 2005, Time called BONE one of the ten greatest graphic novels of all time. High praise!


The other graphic novel I bought is Adventure Time. It is based on a tv cartoon of the same name and is incredibly popular.


I also bought two books from new series that have recently been released. The first is Predator Cities – Mortal Engines. In these books, giant cities on wheels hunt and destroy other cities. In the first book London is on the move, hunting smaller cities to canbibalise for parts and people to turn into slaves. The books are dark and gritty, set in a distant future. They are well written.

mortal engines

The last book is Spooks Apprentice, a well-told fantasy. It centres around the constant battles to defeat “spooks” – ghosts, goblins, witches and boggarts – and keep the County safe. Only one person is left to stand up to them, but even he isn’t sure he’s up to the challenge!


They’ll be appearing on shelves soon!

Books we’ve loved lately

Today I’d like to share some sensational books we’ve read over the past few weeks.

Let me start with the book I’ve been working on and reading to 5/6. It’s called House Held Up By Trees and is written by US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. It examines issues of abandonment, the urge of nature to reclaim what it owns and dealing with the loss of family. It is a beautiful, carefully written and sensitively illustrated picture book for older readers. It certainly has sparked some conversation about visual literacy in the 5/6 room.

The second book I have been reading to a class is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, I was unaware of this book until I heard Margot Lindgren, owner of the wonderful blog Momo Time to Read talk about it. I’m  reading this book to 4/5 and we are enjoying the rich imagery contained in it. It is a book that examines the thought: what if you could live forever? A great book, first published in the 70s.

do you have any recommendations? We love reading!

Your Favourite Book

Have you ever loved a book so much you think about it  long after you’ve finished it? That you have read, re-read and re-re-read  until the cover falls off and  pages start to flutter out of it when you open it?

What makes a great book? What makes a special book?

What is YOUR desert island book?

The children’s book from my own childhood  that has stayed with me long after I read the last page is Children of Green Knowe by LM Boston. I loved the world it created: a world very different from mine growing up in the Australian country.

When I was a bit older (okay a LOT) older and buying books for my own children my favourite was the wonderful wonderful Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I loved the way he played with language and words and made jokes and puns about English.

The book I have most enjoyed reading recently has been a toss up between Keeper by Mal Peet (yes, 5/6 I DID cry at the end) and Andrew McGahan’s The Ship Kings.

But what would I take on that desert island now? Ask me, I’ll tell you.

What about YOU? Leave me a reply. I’d love to know.

Premier’s Reading Challenge 2013


All students are registered automatically as our school takes part in this great activity. Last year we were among the 235,000 people who completed the Challenge – well done Timbumburi!

Next time you are in the Library, look for the Premier’s  Reading Challenge books, so you can count them towards your reading tally. Students can complete their own reading log online, or have a parent help them. Students use their DEC Portal user name and password to access their reading log on the Premier’s Reading Challenge Website

If your child does not know their user name and password please ask their teacher who will be able to give you that information. We are currently compiling username/password cards for all K-2 students which will be laminated and sent home for your information.

The following information is from the PRC website:

“The Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten-Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools. Participation by schools and students is voluntary.The Challenge aims to encourage in students a love of reading for leisure and pleasure, and to enable students to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is an initiative of the NSW State government with Dymocks Children’s Charities (principal sponsor) and Sun-Herald (media partner).

Each year, the Challenge runs from 1 March to 1 September.

When the Challenge finishes in September, students should be encouraged to continue reading and enjoying books they find on the PRC booklists and from other sources. From September to March, they can explore more books from their favourite category e.g. fantasy or by authors they discovered when they were doing the Challenge. Students can also make lists of books they would like for presents or start their own book club and share books with friends.

Students are also encouraged to take part in their local public library’s Holiday Reading Program, while waiting for the next school year.

To qualify for the Challenge, the required number of books read must be entered electronically. Online reading records are available in March and books can be entered via any computer with internet access at school, in a public library or at home.

Students use individual usernames and passwords to access their own record.

The school’s PRC coordinator validates the student reading records by selecting the ‘validate’ button. Certificates and the Honour Roll can then be generated.”

New books from overseas!

While I was overseas I bought some books for the library.

While in Memphis I bought a book on the struggle for civil rights in America’s South in the 1960s. It is called Freedom on the Menu. It centres around the story of Connie and her family who live in the segregated town of Greensboro NC as they work towards equal rights for white and black.


In New Orleans I went into a museum called the Cabildo. It had a great book store and I bought a Cajun book called Petite Rouge – A Cajun Red Riding Hood. In the words of the blurb:

“When her grand-mère comes down wit’ de flu, this Cajun Little Red knows what she has to do.  With her witty cat, TeJean, she sets off in a pirogue to bring Grand-mère some gumbo.  Who should she meet upon the way, but that big ol’ swamp gator, Claude!”

There is an interesting article about the artist’s process of illustrating the book.

Jim Harris’s illustrations

They will be available for borrowing in Term 2.

I also bought two colouring in books in San Antonio, Texas. They are called Cowboys and Cowgirls. I like them!