Anzac Reads for Kids & Young Adults

With ANZAC day right around the corner, we have picked out our top suggestions for must-read ANZAC themed books.

Non-Fiction

This book exposes the rich history behind Anzac Day; seeking to answer the many questions children often ask their parents and teachers around the 25th of April every year. It covers all aspects of Anzac Day, from the Gallipoli Campaign and the Great War, right through to the format of the commemorative services held annually throughout the country.

The fascinating true tales of the mascots and working animals that helped Anzac soldiers, sailors, pilots and medics do their jobs in wartime.

Fiction

Billy, a 17-year-old shepherd working on a farm in the Manawatu, lies about his age and enlists in the army. We follow his and his mate Jack's journey in the Mounted Rifles from their Awapuni training camp, to Egypt before being shipped out - without their horses - to Gallipoli. There they discover that war isn't the big adventure they thought it would be.  It is the first book in the series that tracks each year in World War 1, each focusing on different aspects of the war. 

It's 1915 and sixteen-year-old Flora Wentworth’s comfortable life is turned upside down when visiting Cairo with her archaeologist father. She watches with growing alarm as first a trickle and then a flood of wounded soldiers are shipped into the city from Gallipoli. She is soon transporting injured soldiers and helping out exhausted nurses and managing to fall in love along the way.

Evan travels with his father to the Dardenelles to aid the Allied soldiers when they are captured by the Turks. They are launched into an epic journey, living on their wits and the kindness of strangers as they escape. The gripping story of an incredible journey behind enemy lines told in diary form that is an eye-opening adventure story that cleverly explores both sides of the war.

For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly, the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.

Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy ... and his dad. In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine, to Gallipoli, then the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank's story grows out of some key moments in Australia's history. This is the powerful story of a young man's journey towards his own kind of bravery.

Picture Books

Maybe, somewhere, on the other side of the world, a child remembered not just the thunder of gunfire but the sound of a soldier softly playing a violin; the story of a rescued violin and an extraordinary musician Otago’s Alexander Aitken.

This picture book takes children through an ANZAC Day dawn service, placing images of the service alongside images of the soldiers at war. A gentle, simple, yet powerful introduction to the bittersweet memorial.

"War is stupid," mumbled Tyson as he slammed the last photo album shut. He pushed it roughly back into the box and slapped the lid down, hard. There was no way he was going to the Dawn Parade with Mum and Poppa tomorrow. Why celebrate something so terrible? But after listening to the stories about the soldiers in his family Tyson feels differently and goes to the parade.

Love these recommendations? Then be sure to pop into the Library and check one out today! But not on ANZAC day, we will be closed.

Ockham Book Awards finalists: described in five words or less!

The Ockham Book Awards celebrate New Zealand's finest literary fiction and non-fiction each year, over three categories. To celebrate the announcement of the shortlist nominations, we asked our staff to describe each nominee in five words or less.

Acorn Foundation
Fiction Prize Nominees

Intriguing, strange, tense, and fun!

Historical novel with vivid and intense details.

Compelling, thought-provoking and moving.

Intense and disturbing tale about Millennials

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award Nominees

Worlds collide, travel and encounters

Essays exploring Walters' "New Vision"

Tōtara in Aotearoa including Southland

Nature and wildlife in Otago

Royal Society Te Apārangi
General Non-Fiction Award Nominees

Evolving relationship between Māori and Pākehā

Life of a journalist and cartoonist

Early Encounters between Māori and Europeans

Obsessive search for wartime dad

Poetry Award Nominees

Stimulating, thoughtful, pleasurable and distinctive

Transformative poetry about the natural world

Poetry that paints a picture

Engaging poetry with great imagery

If you are interested in reading one of these books, be sure to place a hold on them online, or pop in and grab one. For more information on the books and awards visit the Ockham Awards webpage.

Books to read this Heritage Month

Take a look at Southland’s rich heritage during March - walk through our historic buildings, find out more about your street and sample our history and culture with these titles.

Heritage buildings, people and stories are all combined in this highly illustrated history of Invercargill.  The format is easy to read with many photographs of early Invercargill that he inherited from his father, Frederick Hall-Jones.

Place a hold on Old Invercargill

Southland has a rich industrial heritage covering many early industries- flax, timber, flour milling, ship and bridge building, agriculture and mining. This book covers the whole of New Zealand with a few references to some local heritage sites. Illustrated throughout with photographs and section diagrams.  Reference only.

From traditional Maori dwellings and early European houses through to villas, bungalows and the introduction of the state house are all covered in this comprehensive history and style book on old New Zealand houses. A great source book if you are wanting to restore your old villa to its original style.

Place a hold on Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940

 A fascinating look at the origin of the street and  suburb names of Invercargill and the surrounding area, ”What’s In a Name” also tells you how Invercargill got its name and which streets have had a change of name. There are lots of pictures and maps showing how the city used to look, and when and why boundaries have changed.

Place a hold on Whats in a Name?

This book is an account of the life of Robert Duncan Yule, a pioneer settler of Invercargill, and his family. It also chronicles the restoration of their family home by the Troopers Memorial Corner Charitable Trust. Their home in Ness Street is now the oldest registered wooden building in Invercargill and has been named “Yule House”.

Place a hold on The Yule family of "Yule House"

The foreword says “the cookery book was compiled during the progress of the most terrible war the world has seen.”  The funds from the sale of the cookery book went to the Southland Provincial patriotic Fund to be used for the benefit of the soldiers. Reference only.

This book contains information and photographs on the history of trams in Invercargill.  Reference only.

Heritage Month runs Southland-wide this March. Visit the Heritage South Facebook Page for details on this year's Heritage Month events.

Not your usual love story. Romance films that don’t always end with a Happy Ever After.

Romance doesn’t always end with “and they all lived happily ever after.”   But it’s the romantic journey from beginning to end that keeps us entertained.   We decided to share some romantic movies that might scare you, make you laugh, make you cry, maybe even make you wish you were single again.

When Lily, a shy fast-food restaurant cashier and hopeless romantic, and Jarrod, another forsaken eccentric, connect at a 'come as your favourite animal' party, it's a match seemingly made in outcast heaven.

Place a hold on Eagle vs Shark

'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is different from his fellow Dead. Then he meets Julie. She's the opposite of everything he knows: warm, bright - and very much alive. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Place a hold on Warm Bodies

Alex is a handsome school teacher in his mid thirties and his parents want him to marry a good Greek girl. But Alex falls hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Eve, a lawyer, whose parents are Lebanese Muslim. Like oil and water, the two should never mix, only how can they stop themselves from falling in love?

Place a hold on Alex & Eve

Ex-maid of honor Eloise, having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the 'random' table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers.

Place a hold on Table 19

Five years after losing the love of her life, one moment suddenly changes Nikki forever... at first sight and with one glimpse, she falls in love again. The object of her affection, Tom, is the man of her dreams - a handsome art teacher with a big heart, kind smile and zest for life. And he just happens to look exactly like Nikki's deceased husband, Garrett. Seduced by the chance to re-live her first true love, Nikki spirals into a fantasy world of life with Tom as Garrett.

Place a hold on The Face of Love

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band, the 22-year-old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues' gallery from her past. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

Place a hold on Scott Pilgrim vs The World

It's William Shakespeare's epic and searing tale of love. An ageless story from the world's most renowned author is re-imagined for the 21st Century. This adaptation is told in the lush traditional setting it was written, but gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend.

Place a hold on Romeo and Juliet

The road to true love is never easy and never smooth . It’s not a Mills and Boon world out there and sometimes being a little bit out of the ordinary can make a difference. Be different, take a risk, hug a Zombie… maybe!

The ultimate guide to podcasts about books, by readers, for readers!

A podcast is like a downloadable radio episode you can listen to anytime that comes out periodically. There are heaps out there and it can be overwhelming to sort through the good from the bad.

So to help you out, we have created this list of book themed podcasts for you to enjoy.

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books

Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide.

 Plus, they always recommend some books they're reading and really enjoying. 

Recommended for: Those who love to read romance novels

Crime Time Podcast

Crime Time is a weekly book podcast talking mystery, thriller, sci-fi, horror & crime fiction. Hosted by two Aussie women: Lee and Eddie.  It's like listening in on a conversation between two friends.  

Recommended for: Those who like darker reads.

Book Club for Masochists

Book Club for Masochists

A podcast run by a group of Canadian and American librarians. Their slogan is 'Becoming better library staff by reading books we hate'.

Every month they read books from a new, randomly picked genre then  discuss their reading choices, experiences, opinions, appeal factors, and other related topics as friends and library workers.

Recommended for: All book lovers

MuggleCast

MuggleCast is the most-listened to Harry Potter podcast online, and the only one to release on a regular and timely schedule. Pioneering the Harry Potter podcast phenomenon in August 2005, MuggleCast has continued to bring its listeners the most entertaining and thought-provoking discussions. "With each new episode we discuss everything Harry Potter: the latest news, the Potter books, Fantastic Beasts, The Cursed Child, and more!"

Recommended for: Harry Potter fans

Book Riot

Book Riot is a great book-related website with lots of interesting articles and fun lists and stuff.

They host a few different podcasts, including All the books! Which talks about new releases, and Recommended which is a new podcast which has “interesting people talking about their favourite books”

Recommended for: All book lovers

The Nerd Factor: a Library Podcast

The Nerd Factor: a Library Podcast is an hour long weekly podcast from the Madison County Public Library in Kentucky, USA. Hosts April, Brandon, and CC are nerds who also happen to be librarians and each bring their own signature flavour to the show. Additionally, each episode can surely be "tied in" with one of the many library services provided at MCPL. "The episodes include many things:  fun, casual, thought-provoking, topical, and every so often contain a few all-out hilarious moments that we hope our audience will enjoy!" 

Recommended for: All book lovers

A Stab in the Dark

Best-selling author and comic Mark Billingham presents a brand new crime fiction podcast series bringing together the very best super-sleuths from literature and television. Each episode of A Stab in the Dark sees a set of two brand new guests from the worlds of TV and books assemble to discuss the inner workings of crime fiction.

Recommended for: Those who love crime fiction

The world of podcasts is huge – if there’s a topic there’s likely a podcast dedicated to it.  Give it a go yourself, and if you have a podcast you'd love to recommend to us then be sure to let us know on our Facebook Page.