Author Archive

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

8 October 2010

Image courtesy of CityTalk

One movie that you may have had a chance to see over the holidays is Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.  It is the new animated movie that is directed by Zack Snyder and production took place in Australia with the same people that did the movie Happy Feet.

I have not had a chance to see this movie yet but would like to as I love owls and I think the animation and special effects would be great to see. The movie is based on the series of books Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky.  The books are available in the library :

1.  The Capture

2.  The Journey

3.  The Rescue

4.  The Siege

5.  The Shattering

6.  The Burning

7.  The Hatchling

8.   The Outcast

9.   The First Collier

10. The Coming of Hoole

11. To Be a King

12. The Golden Tree

13. The River of Wind

14. Exile

15. The War of the Ember

The movie is based on the first three books in the series. 

Has anyone seen this movie yet? What did you think?


Friday Five: Great blogs for teens

18 June 2010

Are you interested in writing and talking to other teens who are interested in writing or creating?  There are some great creative places online that you can go to share your ideas and contribute to online writing communities.

Even if you are not wanting to submit online, there are wonderful stories and ideas that you can read, along with book and website reviews.

Here are five great blogs for teens that I have come across.

1.  Teens writing for teens

2.  inkpop

3.  Teen Ink

4.  Teen Voices

5.  Teens Now Talk

Do you have any good blogs or websites you would recommend to check out?

Friday Five: Quick Supernatural Picks

26 February 2010


In the spirit of vampires, supernatural and the like I decided to do five quick reviews of some YP books I have recently read.

1.  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

I read a review for the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia a few months ago on Amazon and it sounded really good.  After checking to see if the Gold Coast City Council Library Services had it, which they didn’t, I put in a recommend to purchase request through the online catalogue.  I was pleased that they purchased the book and put me on hold for it.  I enjoyed this book.  It is a modern fantasy type story about a teenage boy called Ethan, who lives in a small town where nothing ever happens.   When Lena Duchannes moves into town, she is quite strange and unusal things start to happen when she is around.  Beautiful Creatures is an interesting read and has a lot of history too which is a little bit different.  You can order your own copy of Beautiful Creatures here.

2.  Fallen by Lauren Kate

This book has the supernatural elements of a young girl Luce being sent to reform school after a mysterious fire occurred and her ‘boyfriend’ was killed.   We follow the story of her meeting and making some friends at reform school and there are some mysterious male characters, Daniel and Cam who you spend the book trying to figure out if they are good or bad.  I liked this book just for the fact that it had the supernatural element, but it was not vampires!! Wondering what they are? Check out this book here.

3.  Immortal by Gillian Shields

Another newbie that passed across my desk and I confess I thought the cover looked interesting and took it home to read it.  This is another book where the main character, Evie Johnson is sent to boarding school at Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies after her grandmother is taken ill and her dad is sent away with the military.  Evie is very lonely at the school and doesn’t fit in.   She meets a young man called Sebastian whilst she is at school and they start hanging out together, but Evie feels he is keeping secrets from her.  This book has romance, suspense and keeps you guessing what is going to happen. You can get your hands on a copy here.

4.  The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

This book revolves around the paranormal.  Chole is put into a group home and is diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Although we later learn that she actually has the ability to see dead people and other youth in the home also have supernatural abilities.   When Chloe’s roomate is taken away for special treatment, they begin to suspect something terible is going on at Lyle House.  This book is a great read and makes you look forward to the next book to find out what happens.  See if you can find a copy on the library catalogue.

5.  Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan is the first book in the series Sweep (also known as the Wicca series).  This was recommended to me by a collegue and I am really enjoying it.  The books are not too long which is great if you want something light and they are addictive.  I have read a couple and I am going to order some more.  If you haven’t realised by the series title, these books are about witches and wicca. You can find Book of Shadows here.

These are my five quick picks, anyone got any suggestions for what I should read next?

Friday Five: Five Library Cats

22 January 2010

Recently Nerang Branch Library had a visit from the Animal Welfare League QLD for a school holiday special event on Pet Welfare.  We were lucky enough to have two special visitors that came with them, a kitten and a gorgeous golden retriever!  It would have been nice to just be able to keep the little kitten, Auburn who was looking for a new home. Perhaps we could have made her a library cat!

1.  Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world

You may have heard of a famous library cat called “Dewey” who was the resident library cat at a small-town library in Midwestern USA.  He has a book written about him which you can check out here.  Dewy died in 2006 at the age of 19 and his obituary was in hundreds of newspapers and also on the evening news.  Spencer Library in Iowa, USA has a new library cat called “Page Turner” and you can read about him and Dewey here.

2.  Browser, Pine River Public Library, Minnesota USA

Browser is a busy public library cat. He has his own newspaper column in the local paper and his own blog which you can check out here.

3.  Nyx, Meadowdale Library, Richmond, Virginia USA

I think Nyx is a pretty cool cat.  She is a blind library cat who was born without eyes but enchants anyone that meets her.  She also has her own blog which you can see here and Nyx also tweets.

4.  Jennie,  Jennie Trent Dew Library, Goldthwaite, Texas USA

Jennie is also a popular cat in the town of Goldthwaite.  Like Browser, Jennie also writes for the local newspaper, as well as having her own blog which you can find here.

5.  Tober, Thorntown Public Library, Thorntown, Indiana USA

Last but not least is my favourite, Tober the cheeky, adventurous ginger cat from Indiana.  He writes about his escapades in the library on his blog and has lots of photos. You can find him here on his blog.

These are just five of the funny and fabulous library cats out there.  I am sure there are many more.  You can read about some other literary felines in February 2010 edition of Cat Fancy.

Do you know any library cats? Or any shop cats?

Friday Five: Lazy Summer Days

11 December 2009

Summer is well and truly upon us.  The hot long days, the hazy weather, the school holidays, Christmas, summer fruits….the list could go on!  These days I don’t seem to have as much time as I once did but nevertheless I really enjoy this time of year with lazy summer days.

Here are my favourite ways to spend a lazy summer day:

1.  In the water

This can be any form of water! Swimming pools, beach, river or even a cool bubble bath is great on a hot summers day.

2.  Somewhere cool

Lets face it, living in Queensland the summers can get pretty hot and often the best thing to do on one of those stinking hot days is head somewhere cool.  So for me that is somewhere with airconditioning! I might go to a shopping centre and meet up with friends, catch a movie or visit the library.

3.  Eating  some  ice cream/frozen yogurt/gelato

When it’s hot what better way to cool down than eating something cool like a ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt.  I am quite partial to frozen yogurt at the moment, so I think that will be my cool desert of choice for this summer.

4.  Summer BBQs

Summer is a great time of the year to be outdoors and catching up with family and friends.  I love summer bbqs.  The warmth, the good food, great company and the relaxed atmosphere of those summer nights around the pool!

5. Curling up with a good book

In summer I enjoy lazying about with a good book and catching up on reading. This can be by the pool or somewhere cool ie. parked on a comfortable couch under the airconditioning!

How do you spend your lazy summer days?

Friday Five: My Christmas Wish List

20 November 2009

Yes, it is that time of year again when we are asked for our wishlists in the countdown to Christmas.  I am one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones who happen to have their birthday in December as well.  So this means that I have a ‘present famine’ for the whole year and then have to think of what I want for my birthday and Christmas.  For those other December or even January birthday people you know the drill, more often than not you will get a ‘combined’ birthday or Christmas present or one or the other….how unfair is this!!  So you would understand the pressure when making your wishlists to ensure you don’t miss out for the whole year!

At the moment my wishlist looks like this, although it tends to change on a weekly basis!

1.   Mix Master

I would love a new mix master. My old one is just not cutting it and is getting a workout from all these cupcakes. Of course my dream mix master is the way too expensive Kitchenaid one, but I would settle for a beautiful new coloured one just the same.

2.  Babushka Doll

 I have always loved babushka dolls and they seem to be around everywhere at the moment (great it you love them like me, not so great if you don’t…).  I would love a babushka doll to put on the shelf in my study.

 3.  Digital Camera

The screen on my digital camera broke, so I would love a new one! I am not fussy on what type or brand, just one with enough megapixels and at least 3x zoom!

4.  Pampering

Pampering is always a favourite.  Something nice to relax and get you in the Christmas mood.  Hmmm…how about a pedicure? I don’t think I could go wrong with a pedicure.

 5.  Puppy

 Ok this is the one total ‘wish’ I have on my wishlist. I would love to get a puppy for Christmas. How cool would that be! I blame my hairdresser for this. Her dogs have just had puppies and everytime I go there they wiggle their little puppy bodies at me and snuggle on my lap.  Although I don’t think my ragdoll cat Memphis would be too impressed if I really got a puppy for Christmas.

 So what’s on your wishlist for Christmas?

Friday Five: Top Five Scary Rides

16 October 2009


I admit I tend to be a bit of wimp sometimes with scary rides at theme parks.  Recently I have travelled overseas in the USA which is full of crazy rides, so I made sure I forced myself to go on just about everything! I admit it, although I screamed and closed my eyes for parts of the ride I had a  lot of fun.

So here is my list of my favourite scary rides…

1.  Rock and Roll Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios Disney World

This roller coaster was so much fun – yes I did scream, but it was fast, in the dark and to the tunes of Aeorsmith!  Definately recommend going on this one if you ever get to go to Disneyworld!

Rock & Roll Coaster Disneyworld

2.  Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Disney World

 I was devastated when on my recent visit to Disney World that Space Mountain was closed for refurbishment! I went on this ride when I was 15 years old and it was so scary and also in the dark (seems to be a recurring theme here for my favourties…roller coasters in the dark!).  Must do if you visit Disneyworld/Disneyland!

Space Mountain Rollercoast

3.  Scooby Doo Roller Coaster at Movieworld

I thought I should also put some of my favourite Australian rollercoasters so you could try them out as well.  I only just went on the Scooby Doo Roller Coaster at Movieworld the other day and I was pleasantly surprised at how scary this one was, after being tricked into thinking it was a bit of a ‘kiddy’ ride! Make sure you check it out next visit to Movieworld!

Scooby Doo Roller Coaster

 4.   Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster at Dreamworld

Ok, I confess I haven’t actually ridden on this one, but I have it on good authority that it is fast and fun.  And of course boys (and girls) love it! Come on, who wouldn’t love a motorcycle roller coaster!

Motocoaster at Dreamworld

5. Roller Coast on top of the Stratosphere hotel in Las Vegas USA

Yes, you heard right there is a roller coaster on top of a tower in a hotel in Vegas.  There is no way that Scooby Doo Roller CoasterScooby Doo Roller CoasterScooby Doo roller coasterI was going to go on it.  My father-in-law who was travelling with us did (he is a scary roller coaster fan!) and he was scared!!! This roller coaster shoots you up into the sky over the side of the building! So definately not for the faint hearted!

 Stratospher coaster

There you have it. My top five favourite scary roller coasters!! Have you tried any of these ones? What are your favourites?

Friday Five: Top School Holiday Flicks

18 September 2009

School holidays is almost here again and you are probably wondering what movies are out and what you might go see these holidays with your friends or family.

Here are the top five school holiday flicks for your viewing pleasure.

1.  3D UP

This new Disney Pixar movie sounds like a ‘must see’ school holiday flick.  If you liked Wall-E and other Disney  Pixar movies, chances are you are going to like this one.  It is packed with action, comedy, special visual effects and alot of heart.  I am definately going to check this one out!

2.  Aliens in the Attic

Action packed adventure story with aliens attacking whilst a family is away on holidays.  This is the funny tale of a battle between kids and aliens and the whole time their parents don’t even realise they have unwelcome visitors! Good for a laugh!

3.  G-Force

Who would have ever come up with the idea of a squad of top secret guinea pig agents? This movie looks hilarous with these outrageous spy guinea pigs trying to save the world from an evil billionaire!

4.  Imagine That

Imagine That stars the comedian Eddie Murphy who is a busy executive who doesn’t have much time for anything, including his 7 year old daughter.   This story takes a twist when Evan (Eddie Murphy) finds himself seeking advice from his daughter’s imaginary friends!

5.  Shorts

This is a tall tale of adventure from Robert Rodriguez, director of “Spy Kids” about 11 year old Toe Thompson and his discovery of a wish-granting rock that is causing dramas in his town of Black Falls.  Kids and adults alike will do anything to get their hands on it.  What will Toe do?

What is your favourite holiday movie?

Friday Five: Fab 4 Ingredient Afternoon Snacks

24 August 2009


Hands up if you get home from school, sport or work  feel like a quick afternoon snack?  I don’t know many people that would say no. And imagine if all these snacks could be made from 4 ingredients?!

Two fabulous authors, Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham have written several cookbooks with recipes using 4 or less ingredients.  The recipes are really easy and make it fun to whip up a tasty afternoon treat!

 Here are my top five:

1. Mini Pizzas

2. Coconut Macaroons

3. Peanut Butter Cookies

4. Fruit Kebabs

5. Honey & Cornflake Cookies

You can find the recipes for all of these treats in the 4 ingredients books which we have available in the library.

4 Ingredients: over 340 quick, easy & delicious recipes using 4 or less ingredients


4 Ingredients. 2: over 400 fast, fabulous & flavoursome recipes using 4 or fewer ingredients


4 Ingredients: gluten free

If you like these recipes why don’t you come along with mum or dad to see Kim and Rachael in person on Thursday 3rd September 2009 at the Nerang Bicentennial Centre Community Hall at 10am. Just call Nerang Branch Library to book on 5581 7180.

Friday Five: Five reasons I love and loathe long distance plane flights

31 July 2009


Having recently gone on long and lovely 2 month holiday with my family (including my 3 year old daughter!) we went on a lot of flights, some long and some not so long.  There were some good flights and some bad flights which got me thinking about the things I love and what I loathe about being cooped up on a plane for long distances.

My five loves of plane travel

1. Sense of Adventure

I love this feeling of excitement you get when you board the plane as you have the slight unknown factor of where you are going and what you will be seeing.  This includes taking off and landing because you are never quite sure what you are going to get!

2.  Inflight Entertainment

These days planes have the best inflight entertainment of the electronic kind and often it is on short flights as well.  My recent long haul flight to the USA had brand new inflight entertainment with games, chat, movies and tv.  These all contribute to make your flight go just a little bit faster.

3.  Plane Food

Call me crazy, but I secretly like getting food on the plane.  Well, admittedly I don’t always like everything that you get, but overall the food can be pretty good considering.  I like waiting to see what you get and getting to open up all the little packages. I especially enjoyed the delight of my 3 years old daughters face as she ate her first “kids meal”!

4.  People

You met lots of people flying on planes, from friendly (well most of the time!) flight attendents to the people you meet around you on the flights.  It is usually always interesting the people you meet on your travels.

5.  Getting off the plane

I love getting off the plane.  You know that feeling when you have just had enough of being cooped up and are dying to get out and stretch your legs properly.  The joyful feeling you get when your plane touches down and you finally get off, makes that annoying queue as you wait to exit so worth it.

My five loathes of plane travel

1.  Landing

I admit it,  I am not a big fan of the plane landing.  This is especially true if if has been a bumpy turbulent flight.  I always feel much better when we have landed and the plane has pulled up safely.

2.  Time on the plane

Long haul flights are the killer.  Short flights and flights under 5 hours are a piece of cake. When you get up to the 8 hours to 16 hours, I am over it.  Multiply this by five when you have a three year old in tow!

 3.  Being trapped in a steel tube with a three year old

This leads to my next loath of being trapped in what is essentially a steel tube in the air, trying desperately to keep a three year old entertained for long lengths of time.  Don’t get me wrong, kids are kids but there is always that sneaky fear that your kid is going to be the one that plays up on the plane and you will be under the wrath of the other travellers!

4.  People again

Hands up if you have ever been trapped on a plane with a weirdo sitting next to you. I know my hand is up.  You know when you are squashed in the window seat with the person in question on the other side of you.  That person either makes a huge fuss if you a) want to move (in other words getting out to use the rest room or getting your dinner from the flight attendent b)want to turn your light on to read or watch inflight entertainment.  The other extreme you get is the person who just will not be quiet, they want to tell you their WHOLE life story for the ENTIRE flight.

5.  The bathrooms

Uggh.  I loath airplane bathrooms.  Enough said.