Librarians reading from the Young Adult collection

Tēnā koutou kātoa

Best picks, reader advisory, book recommendations, what’s hot, whatever you like to call it, sometimes the best reads come from someone else’s sharing.

Young adults' booksLuckily there are librarians with a passion for the Young Adult (YA) collections in our libraries. We spend our spare time engrossed in books that we love to share with our rangatahi and teenagers to encourage a lifelong love of reading. “Young Adult” in library speak defines collections aimed at around 13-19, BUT, I challenge you NOT to let that dissuade you from venturing forth.

Anyone who loves a great read and is open to alternatives, a change, and a specialised writing style should have a browse and see how often you go WOW!  I say ‘specialised’ because I would suggest that good YA writers have nailed the need to hook our young adults in with powerful writing skills, great story lines and immediate attention grabbing techniques.

Therefore, with all this in mind, at a recent meeting with colleagues who have this passion and carry some responsibility in their libraries around the YA collection, we all shared what we had been reading recently. This is a very diverse list and we hope you find something that will encourage you to give a YA title a go or will provide some help when you are being your teenager’s personal librarian.

The following titles are found in our Young Adults’ collections in your library; some are available as free downloadable e-books and audio-books as well.

As with life, books are difficult to put in specific boxes: these titles are from the ‘adult’ collections, but may well appeal to older teenagers.

Cover of Razorhurst Cover of The Boy's Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew Cover of The Facades Cover of Everybody Sees the Ants Cover of Only Ever Yours Cover of The Child Thief

So, whether you are up for a challenge or are tearing your hair out to get your offspring to read, there is something for everyone in the Young Adult collections in our libraries.

Let us know how many times you went WOW!

Matariki – the many stories of the Maori New Year

Tēnā ngā kanohi kua tīkona e Matariki

Matariki will keep you awake

About MatarikiThe constellation of Matariki rises in the dawn sky on Saturday 28th Piripi (June).  To see this return you will need to up before the sun rises, at the beach and looking slightly northeast.

Māori New Year, which is heralded by Matariki gracing our skies again, is a time of celebration and rememberance. There is no better time than as the winter solstice comes around to gather together and do some celebrating and remembering with the ones you love.

Matariki events

IMG_4675There are some Matariki events that you could add to your list of celebrations and new things happening in the library this month. They are free of charge:

A Tane me ngā Whetu – Tane and the Stars

Join us at Upper Riccarton Library on Wednesday 25th June from 6.15 – 7.30pm for stories around Matariki. Come with the tamariki or just yourself, dress code PJs and blankie.

Te Kura Takurua – Winter Seminar Series

Joseph Hullen will be at Linwood Library (upstairs at Eastgate Mall) on Thursday 26th June from 6.00 – 7.50pm and talking about “The Sharing of Rongoā” traditional Māori healing with a focus on Te Taiao (the environment).

Whānau Fun Day at Rehua Marae 

Join the library and much more at Rehua Marae, 79 Springfield Road, St Albans on Saturday 28th June 10am-4pm.

More Matariki ideas

A time for planning the year ahead : for kai/food and the planting of crops, winter is a great time to be getting your planting and mahi/work schedule sorted. Aiming to do something this next year that you have never done before? Now is a good time to really get yourself committed.

A time for reflection and celebrating the world around us: – have you made contact with whānau and friends that you have not seen or heard from for a while? Break the ice and send a Matariki postcard available from your local library. Better still get the whole whānau to write a family postcard (or 6!)

Learn something new: While you are flicking through the winter’s TV offerings wondering how better to spend your evenings as the weather and darkness desends – try a new craft/hobby; learn Te Reo Māori, teach your tamariki/mokopuna some good old fashioned games or come up with a whānau winter ritual.

Have a Matariki feast – get to know your neighbours, invite the whānau and your friends to celebrate Matariki. Theme your hākari around winter, stars, stories, favourate whānau food through the generations (that may be enlightening). A simple afternoon tea with warming hot chocolate and star shaped biscuits is manageable for most of us.

Light up your whare – do not be shy – those fairy lights that glisten and twinkle just like the constellation of Matariki look their very best in the cold dark of winter nights.

Whaka-whānaungātanga and Manaaki – two beautiful Te Reo Māori words that encompass the feelings and actions around caring for others, welcoming, sharing, hospitality, and the building of relationships to assist with a sense of belonging and togetherness. Have you experienced Manaakitanga or whānaungātanga?

Kōrero Paki – telling stories – invite friends and whānau to have a story themed event whereby everyone has the oppurtunity to share a story that the rest of the whānau may not know or a favourite of course. A great way to keep oral traditions healthy and family ‘grapevines’ going.

Learn about Matariki, Te Ao Māori and Tātai Arorangi (Māori Astronomy)  Take the time to go beyond the seven star constellation and learn about Māori cosmology and see how it differs or is similar to other cultures.

Cover of Tatai ArorangiRead Work of the Gods by Kay Leather and Richard Hall  explores Tātai Arorangi,  Māori Astronomy and star lore. There are some great stories to share in this little gem of a book.

Explore our resources

So, what are you doing for Matariki? Is Matariki keeping you awake?  Let us know.


Matariki hunga nui 

This whakataukī can be translated as

Matariki has many admirers.

Matariki brochure
Download our Matariki brochure 2.7MB PDF

Māori New Year is here. We have come to the time of the year again when the constellation of stars known as Matariki reappears in our pre-dawn winter sky.  The rising of Matariki this year is on Piripi/June 28th.

Matariki refers to the small yet distinctive constellation of stars and the name itself is often translated as meaning “tiny eyes”, or “the eyes of God”.

This constellation of stars is celebrated and admired throughout the world and is called many different things: Subaru (Japan), Pleiades (Greece), Seven Sisters (Indigenous Peoples of the Americas), Mataliki (Tongan) and Mataali’i (Samoan) to name a few.

Matariki is celebrated and recognised in Christchurch City Libraries in many ways: special Matariki Wā Kōrero (Storytimes) are held, and community art activities, educational seminars and displays highlighting libraries’ resources are featured in all libraries.

This year , Christchurch City Libraries are focusing on Te Taiao ( the environment) and Rongoā Māori (traditional medicines). Visit your local library to learn about native plants and trees, their Te Reo Māori name and some traditional and contemporary uses of these plants.

The tukutuku panels which feature on our Matariki brochures this year demonstrate traditional and contemporary use of plant material for art, whakapapa and wānanga.  Find more information on this tukutuku project.
Matariki at the library

Matariki is all about:

  Whakapapa, Whānau,

Kai and Hākari,

Wānanga, Te Reo Māori

and Whakawhanaungatanga.

Kōrero Paki Mā Ngā Tamariki – Stories for Children. Same book, two languages

It is great to see more  children’s books being published in Te Reo Māori.

Cover of Te Anuhe Tino HiakaiWhether they are ‘tried and true’ favourites (Going on a Bear Hunt and The Very Hungry Caterpillar) having been translated to meet a growing customer market or completely new titles that are published in Te Reo Māori at the same time as their English counterparts – this is a true bicultural approach – no second thoughts here!

As Te Reo Māori is now part of our education curriculum throughout preschool and junior school, these are invaluable resources for our teachers as well as for parents, te Reo learners and anyone involved in the world of story and reading. Tamariki who are fluent in or who are learning Te Reo Māori are able to read alongside  English readers and that partnership is one to be nurtured.

Photo of Kirsten holding Maori and English versions of Taniwha Taniwha
Kirsten with Te Reo and English versions of Taniwha Taniwha

As Christchurch City Libraries actively persues the tikanga/values of our bicultural plan – Te Ara Tika – these ngā pukapuka/books are vital to fulfilling our objectives. Talented storytellers in the library network are beginning to expand their wings and are presenting preschool sessions with increasing amounts of Te Reo Māori.

Here is a very small selection of new titles available in both Te Reo Māori and English at our libraries.

Taniwha, Taniwha, Nā Robyn Kahukiwa

An adventure story with Supa Heroes,  Māui, Hina and a taniwha. Art work is by Robyn Kahukiwa too. Written for her mokopuna.

I Toro Haere māua ko Pāpā / Adventures with Daddy Nā Cathy Kearse

“Today’s a big day for Daddy and me. There’s so much to do and so much to see.” In this humorous book, a fun day out with Daddy is explored through the eyes of a small child.

Cover of I Toro Haere māua ko Pāpā           Cover of Adventures with Daddy

He kurī kino koe Flash / Bad Dog Flash, Nā Ruth Paul

Flash is an energetic puppy who is told off for chasing  cats, breaking windows, chewing shoes, ripping clothes – but also knows that he is still loved.

Cover of He kurī kino koe, Flash!           Cover of Bad Dog Flash

Cover of Te Tanguruhau/ the Gruffalo by Julia DonaldsonThe latest one I have discovered is Te Tanguruhau, the Te Reo Māori version of Julia Donaldson’s well-loved The Gruffalo, where a clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to have to outwit that creature as well.

One of the great things that I find with the publication in both English and Te Reo Māori is that I can practice my Te Reo. Being able to read the English version  first helps determine the best way to read these stories out loud so that the meaning, humour, punch lines and ‘feel’ of the story are not lost in my te Reo reading.

They also make great gifts for my two young great-nieces who attend Kohanga Reo in Murihiku/Invercargill and will soon be streaks ahead of their mother with their Te Reo – so they will be reading to her.

Other children’s titles in Te Reo Māori you may like to try :

So, have a go at Te Reo Māori picture books, for yourself, your kids, your mokopuna. Who knows what adventure you may find yourself in!