Shortest fiction on the shortest day: National Flash Fiction Day – Wednesday 22 June

Flash fiction is an experimental literary form that links together many traditional forms of narrative while also pushing on boundaries of poetry and dialogue. Here’s a chance to enjoy and celebrate it! The National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD) Christchurch event, Flash in the Pan, will be held at Space Academy, 371 St Asaph Street on Wednesday 22 June 2016 from 6 to 8pm. All welcome. NFFD events are occuring simultaneously in Auckland and Wellington.

James Norcliffe is one of the judges and he’ll announce the 2016 winners. The 2015 NFFD first and third place winner, Frankie McMillan will also be present, along with other writers. The compere is literary reviewer and PlainsFM Bookenz co-host Morrin Rout.

Canterbury is well-represented. 7 of the 10 writers on the 2016 short list for the NFFD writing competition are Christchurch-based!

Flash Fiction

More Flash Fiction

YA reviews: Cosmic, Fault line, and Thicker than water

Want the skinny on books? Check out what the Cashmere High School Read and Review Team have to say.

Cover of CosmicCosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

This book is so good. So this boy is like 13 but is like so tall and has a moustache so he fakes being a girl’s dad and wins a father and daughter trip to space. He goes to space and has an awesome adventure. Get this book and read it because it is way too good for earth!

Rating: Infinity stars

-H.M. Year 10

Fault line by C. Desir

This book is strictly senior fiction. It is about a relationship between a boy and a girl. At a party, something terrible happens to the girl and the rest of the story is about how she deals with the aftermath of the event. The writing of the book was sensational it had me feeling the tears rolling down my face before I had known they had fallen. It told a heart wrenching story that touched on many themes that few people seem to want to talk about. A very good book, well worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

-Grace Y11

Cover of Thicker than waterThicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

A crime story. A story of loss and finding love. A paranormal thriller. What’s to love about this book? Everything.

Thomas Bellweather’s mother, the only person who truly cared about him, the only true family he really had, is dead. Murdered, to be precise. The doors were all locked, there were no signs of forced entry and only Thomas and his mother were in the house. He is now the only suspect. But Thomas would never knowingly hurt someone he loved … so who was it? A brand new house in a brand new town means that no one trusts Thomas. Even his cop stepdad can’t help him from police and town ridicule. Only one person believes Thomas is innocent and she is a sister to three protective cops; Charlotte knows the police are missing something, and is determined to help Thomas in uncovering the truth.

I simply loved everything about this book. The story was well-paced and engaging, the premise was original and thought-provoking and the author created characters who were relatable and displayed a good sense of humour and irony. Brigid Kemmerer has mastered changing both voice and writing style between chapters so that Thomas and Charlotte have distinctive voices that are shown well when they take turns narrating the story. I also enjoyed the different levels and themes this book had, and came away with the distinct impression that this story wasn’t about Thomas at all; it was about Charlotte. As with any love story, the characters learn more about themselves as they learn more about each other, and through this, they grow and develop. This development is shown most prominently through Charlotte’s character.

The underlying theme of feminism was the aspect that earns Thicker than Water a place on my must-read list. I mentioned previously that I found the story to be more about Charlotte than about Thomas; so here’s my rationale. Charlotte is presented as a vulnerable girl (through her illness) who would look much more at home playing a 1950s housewife. Her mother and grandmother insist she knows how to cook, and expects her to clear and wash the dishes for the whole family while her father and three older brothers relax and do not contribute. Charlotte’s grandmother appears to be still caught up in the gender norms set for girls in her youth and openly disapproves of Charlotte’s decisions towards something as simple as clothing choices (e.g. a skirt above knee-height). However, in helping Thomas find his mother’s killer, she ends up finding out that the way she is treated at home is very different from the outside world, and I believe falling in love with someone like Thomas, someone who doesn’t expect her to do housework or clean, was probably the best thing for her to do.

I rate Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer ten out of ten.

By Saoirse (Year 11)

Give your family Goosebumps

Cover of Classic Goosebumps CollectionI was a big fan of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine when I was a kid. There weren’t a lot of scary, horror stories for kids around at that stage so Goosebumps were the go-to books if you wanted to scare yourself a little. There were always plenty to choose from and they were pretty quick reads. A search of the library catalogue tells me that we have 97 Goosebumps items in our libraries, which includes paper books, eBooks, and DVDs. That’s enough Goosebumps to keep you going for quite some time!

Earlier this year there was a Goosebumps movie released in cinemas which looked really good. My family and I didn’t get a chance to see it then but I hoped that we might get it in the library eventually. While perusing the catalogue last week I discovered we did have it on order and promptly reserved it. In our house, every Saturday night is Family Movie Night, where we choose a movie that we can all enjoy. Last week it was the Goosebumps movie and it was excellent!

Cover of Revenge of the Lawn GnomesThe movie follows a kid called Zach who moves to a small town and moves in next door to R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps books, and his daughter Hannah. When Zach hears screaming coming from next door one night he thinks that something horrible has happened to Hannah. He breaks in to try and rescue her but unwittingly unleashes the creatures from the Goosebumps books. The monsters that R.L. Stine made famous are real, and he protects his readers by keeping them locked in their manuscripts. One of R.L. Stine’s most evil creations, Slappy, releases the monsters one by one, and now it’s up to Zach and his friends to trap them back in their books where they belong. Jack Black plays R.L. Stine which is a perfect role for him as he’s a mix of manic and slightly crazy. The movie is the perfect mixture of funny and creepy so it’s ideal for both young and old Goosebumps fans.

Reserve the Goosebumps movie at the library now for your own family movie night. You can also check out all the other Goosebumps books and the Goosebumps TV series too.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Noho (sit)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kupu (word)

noho
sit

Kia tika te noho, e te tau.
Sit properly, my darling.

Whāngahia te Reo