Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Don't let the cute picture of a small bird held in what look like loving hands on the cover fool you, there is a psychopath lurking within this book.  Her name is Rosa and she is Che's sister.  Che and his family have moved from place to place all through his childhood, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, lots of places, they have come to New York and have just arrived in town when the story opens.  Che's parents have come to start up a new company with their oldest friends who have kids about the same age as Che and Rosa, it is all very exciting and although starting again is not great, New York has potential for excitement and friendship.  However nobody seems to believe that Rosa is as bad as Che knows she is, she is so little and cute looking, how could she be harmful, she is just a kid?  But Rosa is a terror, she has no empathy, she just doesn't get feelings of any kind.  Che has plenty of stuff going on himself, he has met a great girl, he is finally getting a social life, dealing with his annoying skin which is one of the other banes of his existence, but he wants his parents to take responsibility, to be at home, to listen and to most of all sort out Rosa.

This is a great thriller, the characters are well written and you get completely drawn into the story as it rolls along. Rosa is - well, she is a monster.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Maps - Travel the globe without leaving your living room

We have a variety of 'treat' books in the library and a new crop has just arrived.  One of these lovely things is the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. It is a large book, a book which has lovely feeling pages and it is a book to pour over and explore.  Maps with lots of details, with small drawings alongside the things you normally find in a map like rivers and mountains, but also the things you would find uniquely in the countries you explore. You can find out about the famous people of each country, what the people eat, what they wear and little snippets of history about the places in the maps.

It has the feel of a book you can look at over and over again, and every time you would find new things of interest.  Here is a for instance: Did you know that the world's largest sand dune is called The Great Dune of Pyla and it is on the coast of France near the city of Acquitaine?  Did you know that the coral reef in the Gulf of Aqaba is popular with divers?  Did you know that in South Africa they eat Bunny Chow, It is meat or vegetables with curry sauce in hollowed-out bread?  Lots and lots of little bits of interesting information in one large and fantastic to look at book.

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