REVIEW Refuge New Zealand: A Nation’s Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

May 20, 2017
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REVIEW Refuge New Zealand: A Nation’s Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The topic of this book may seem a little dry but is actually interesting reading. Ann Beaglehole is a refugee immigrant herself (Hungary 1956), and here examines our country’s response to refugees and asylum seekers since 1840. She looks at why particular groups have been chosen over others and how policies have changed over...

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REVIEW The Taming of the Tights

February 20, 2017
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REVIEW The Taming of the Tights

This completes a trilogy about the narrator Tallulah Casey, following Withering Tights and A Midsummer Tights Dream. Lullah attends some sort of drama school in the small village of Heckmondwike near Skipley in Yorkshire. I’m not sure about the significance of the name of the school, Dother Hall, but it does sound rather Dickensian....

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REVIEW Enon

February 19, 2017
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REVIEW Enon

This was the second novel for Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding, and was published near the end of 2104. His debut novel is called Tinkers and, if this story is anything to go by, it is not surprising that it’s an award-winner. The praise for it includes such words as wonderful, remarkable, captivating, hypnotic ....

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Recommended reading for dealing with kids

June 19, 2016
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Recommended reading for dealing with kids

Raising Stress-Proof Kids; Parenting Today’s Children for Tomorrow’s World, by Shelley Davidow MsEd (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30): This is a must-read parenting guide by Australian author, teacher and expert in restorative practice, Shelley Davidow. Her award-winning books deal with a wide range of social issues. This book explains the importance of minimising stress for our...

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Giving teens tools to deal with anger

April 19, 2016
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Giving teens tools to deal with anger

I Just Get So . . . Angry! Dealing with anger and other strong emotions for teenagers, by Timothy Bowden and Sandra Bowden (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30): This is an amazing little graphic novel written to help teenagers combat anger and build resilience. The author and the illustrator are a husband and wife team...

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Poetic insight to the world of autism

January 20, 2016
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Poetic insight to the world of autism

Cloudboy, by Siobhan Harvey (Otago University Press, RRP $25): Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page, selected by Siobhan Harvey, Harry Ricketts and James Norcliffe (Godwit, RRP $45): Siobhan Harvey is an internationally recognised poet who has been critically acclaimed through receiving or being shortlisted for many awards. She won the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award...

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Not a page-turner but good enough

November 23, 2015
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Not a page-turner but good enough

All Change, by Elizabeth Jane Howard (Pan Macmillan, RRP $30): The fact that this is No 5 in family saga The Cazalet Chronicles probably speaks for itself. In fact, Elizabeth Jane Howard was awarded a CBE in 2002, the same year her autobiography was published, and is the author of 14 highly acclaimed novels....

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Light-hearted love story a good read

October 19, 2015
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Light-hearted love story a good read

The Perfect Match, by Katie Fforde (Random House, RRP $37): This is Katie Fforde’s 20th novel and is a Sunday Times bestseller. One doesn’t have to read too many pages to discover why. It’s basically a light-hearted love story with 20-something real estate agent, Bella, as the protagonist. She’s been with Nevil for three...

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Bookmarks: short fiction reviews

August 30, 2015
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Bookmarks: short fiction reviews

A roundup of short general fiction reviews: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce (Black Swan, RRP $35): This novel comes with a healthy critical reputation and is by an award-winning, internationally best-selling author. If you’ve read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, then you will most positively enjoy this. Otherwise you’ll enjoy it...

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Climate debate heats up

March 19, 2015
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Climate debate heats up

Living in a Warmer World: How a changing climate will affect our lives, edited by Jim Salinger (Bateman, RRP $40): Eighteen essays by chiefly Australian and Kiwi scientists detail what is happening as our planet gets warmer and examine both political and ethical issues. It is certainly an eye-opening read as there are impacts...

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