Wednesday, 21 January 2009

BLUESKIN BAY LIBRARY (column)

BLUESKIN BAY LIBRARY

High summer. Sand between your toes. Deep green leaves moving slowly
above your head. Have you got a book?

Winner of our competition to design the cover of our 2008 poetry book.
And the winner is … RUBY HARRIS!

Our competition for the 2008 cover drew some delightful entries, but
Ruby's kereru on its nest won our hearts. You too can admire this
serious-minded bird, when 'Blueskin Poets 2008' is launched and
becomes available for sale. Ruby will receive her prize at the launch.
Congratulations Ruby, and thank you to all who entered. Be planning
your entry for the cover of 'Blueskin Poets 2009'.

'Blueskin Poets 2008'

This has turned into an impressive volume. As well as some amazing
poems, this year we have illustrations for some of the work. It will
be launched on February 20, at 4pm in the Waitati Hall. At this stage
we are unsure of the price, but we will sell copies at cost.
Complementary copies will be given to the Library, and to Waitati and
Warrington schools, who always give great support to this project.

Summer Reading Prize Giving

This too will be on February 20, 4pm in the Hall. We will have a guest
speaker, yet to be named, and prizes and certificates will be awarded
to all of the children who reached their reading goals over the summer
holidays. Usually, this is almost everyone. Hands will be raw from
clapping. It's a great celebration of reading and of what our children
achieve.

Our book recommendations

'The Magician of Hoad' by Margaret Mahy.

Margaret Mahy has a soaring imagination, and it's in full flight in
this novel. Heriot Tarbas is a farm boy, born with strange abilities.
Against his will he is taken to be magician to the King of Hoad, to
create fantastic entertainments for the King's guests, but especially
to read the minds of those who come to court, to assess their
truthfulness. The King, a remote, but well meaning figure, is trying
to create a lasting peace in his warrior society, and has many enemies
in this. It's an exciting tale, complex, and surprising. The blurb
calls it 'cerebral' and it can be read as a fantasy for young adults,
or as a sophisticated exploration of a journey towards wholeness, for
many of the characters, and for the society as a whole. I found it
engrossing.

-- Carolyn

'Contact' by Carl Sagan.

Though I enjoy science fiction, I'd never read any of the fiction
written by this respected man of science before. I intend to find
more of his work. As a leading US astronomer, Sagan worked on the
SETI project, scanning the skies for signs of extraterrestrial
intelligence, and this novel is about a fictional character, Ellie,
who holds a similar position. But on Ellie's watch, such
intelligence is not only found, but comes streaming in from some point
near the star Vega. This story is exciting, surprising and
insightful, and it also includes clear explanations of the astronomy
and physics involved, woven into the story.

-- Carolyn

'Cholas in Bowlers, Journey to Bolivia' by Jane Mundy.

In Bolivia, the Cholas, or indigenous women wear bowler hats. This
image of women in funny hats was almost all that the author knew about
Bolivia, before she set off with a man she had known for only 6
months, to seek adventure in this fascinating country. A good
bedtime read, ideal for summer.

-- Louise

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