It’s Book Week! Saturday 16 to Friday 22 August

CBCAThe Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced this year’s Children’s Books of the Year.

rules of summerPicture Book of the Year:
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan – A story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of ‘rules’ that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside…

the-swapEarly Childhood Book of the Year:
The Swap by Jan Ormerod – Caroline Crocodile’s baby brother dribbles. But all Mama crocodile Ever says is how Gorgeous he is. Caroline is very jealous. So she goes to the Baby shop and tries to swap her dribbly brother for a new baby. The trouble is, there’s just something not quite right with any of them…

very unusual pursuitYounger Readers Book of the Year:
City of Orphans: A very unusual pursuit by Catherine Jinks –  Monsters have been infesting London’s dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That’s why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs. One  day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Both of them threaten the only life Birdie’s ever known.

wildifeOlder Readers Book of the Year:
Wildlife by Fiona Wood – In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened. A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. And I kissed Ben Capaldi… Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

jeremyEve Pownall Award for Information Books:
Jeremy by Christopher Faille - A tiny kookaburra, only a few days old, falls out of his nest and is brought home by the family cat; the family name him “Jeremy”. Luckily, Jeremy is a fighter and as the weeks go by he grows stronger and stronger, until the time comes when he must say goodbye.

All of the CBCA winners are available from the Library, you can find them on our catalogue.






Even more books-to-film 2014

To follow on from last week’s post about books making the transition to film in late 2014 here’s a few further titles coming to the big screen.

Mockingjay-Bird1The Hunger Games has become a phenomena (and money spinner), based on Suzanne Collins’ saga set in the dystopian future of totalitarian Panem. Katniss Everdeen is now the reluctant hero of the revolution against the Capital. The film’s production team have followed the style of Harry Potter and Twilight franchises by splitting the final novel into two films. Mockingjay Part 1 is due for release November 20, with the second film slated for release in late 2015.


paddingtonThere’s a couple for the kids coming too. Paddington,  the ageless classic series by Michael Bond, featuring the Peruvian teddy bear lost in urban London will hit screens in a CGI & live action film on December 11. It stars the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, with Paddington’s voice supplied by Ben Whishaw. Judith Viort’s Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day has been produced by Disney and starring Steve Carrell. Alexander’s bad day begins with gum in his hair, and progressively gets worse by the time he gets to bed he’s fed up and wants to move to Timbuktu. Look out for this one in mid October.


maze runnerThe Maze Runner, by James Dashner is another 2009 novel, this time a young adult sci-fi about Thomas who wakes up in ‘The Glade’ with no memory and must find his way through a maze picking up clues along the way. The book spawned two sequels and a prequel.  The film is released on September 18.




Finally the infamous graphic novel series by Frank Miller,  Sin City will see a sequel to 2005’s film released called Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Loosely based on some of the Sin City stories, this film reunites Marv, Hartigan, Nancy and crew for another artistic noir outing which is sure to become a cult classic.


There are loads more books being made into film this year and the list for 2015 is already pretty long. What are you most looking forward to, or what titles do you think I should have included in this list?

Myth confirmed – book friction!

In celebration of the Mythbusters tour of Australia this week, we thought we’d put to the test one of the simple experiments featured on the show. Back in 2008 the Mythbusters team demonstrated the power of friction using a couple of phone books. We set up our own version with a pair of debited books.

1. We grabbed a pair of debited books destined for recycling, enabling them to contribute to library science one more time prior to retirement.Book friction 1
2. Placing them next to each other, we interfiled the pages by fanning, similar to shuffling a deck of cards. book friction 2

3. We ensured every page, or close to every page, was interfiled. Book friction 3

4. The books are totally interfiled. You can already feel the power of science radiating from them.Book friction 5

5. Benjamin and Hannah each grabbed a book by the spine.Book friction 6

6. Check out the tug-of-war that ensues:


So what’s actually happening here?

Pages of books are not perfectly smooth, like all surfaces there are minute imperfections. Rubbing two surfaces together produces friction due to these tiny imperfections. In this case we are demonstrating static friction, which causes two bodies resistant to sliding past each other. A pair of single pages will not generate much friction at all, however the combined total of hundreds of pages interlocked will create huge amounts of friction. The books are impossible to pull apart!
If you want to see the Mythbusters version they used two phone books, which produced so much friction they could tow a car with it!

Community History: 1969 The new St. Agnes Shopping Centre

Looking back through Messenger newspaper for this time in 1969, one may have expected to come across some stories about the Moon Landing, but it appears that the brand new St Agnes Shopping Centre was the highlight for our area! Featuring a special 40 page lift-out advertising Adelaide’s Newest Fully Air Conditioned Shopping Centre. The Centre was described as a New concept in local shopping housing a large Coles New World supermarket, post office, newsagent, dentist, doctor’s office, Commonwealth Bank, men’s hair dresser and 25 specialty shops and the exterior was complete with a special ‘rocket’ motif that represented the progress of the 1960s.

Now, 45 years later the St Agnes Shopping Centre is about to undergo a major renovation. It is interesting to note that Coles, the post office, Commonwealth Bank, newsagent, hairdresser, and even the ‘buff coloured terrazzo floor’ are still there. Alas, the rocket has long gone.

Coles New World rocket

The North East Leader, St. Agnes Shopping Centre supplement Tuesday July 15, 1969

The Local Hisotry Service has a copy of every Leader Messenger released, look out for future past stories to surface in Off The Shelf.

More books-to-film 2014

2014 is shaping up to be a huge year for books that have transitioned to film. In January I wrote about a few that were due early in the piece, most have since been released, but there’s still over 20 more that are scheduled for the next few months.

The-Hobbit-The-Battle-Of-The-Five-Armies-Movie-Poster-Wallpaper-1024x768[1]Arguably the most popularly awaited is the final installment of the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, titled The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.  Acclaimed director Peter Jackson’s expanded story is bound to culminate in some fantastic imagery and character fun, it’s grown much larger and somewhat darker than the children’s book upon which it was based. It’ll be interesting to see if any further fan service occurs in the form of LOTR characters who appear who are not actually present in the book. The changes made by Jackson and his crew usually do add value however, and it should be an action packed and emotional finale. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies is due for release on December 26.

dark-places-book-coverGillian Flynn has had a massive year, with both of her popular books Dark Places (2009) and Gone Girl (2012) due for release in coming months. Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks star in Dark Places, the 1980’s set story about the survivor of a massacre in a small US rural town, thought to be perpetrated by a Satanic cult. The bestseller Gone Girl, about a dysfunctional family, narrated by unreliable accounts is due for release on October 2 starring Ben Affleck and Rosamunde Pike.

If-I-StayAnother 2009 novel to hit the big screen is Gaye Forman’s If I Stay, a young adult novel that deals with some difficult themes. The main character Mia, played by Chloe Grace Mortiz (a significant change from her previous character of Hit Girl!) is comatose after a near fatal accident, reliving her life and possible future life depending on whether she chooses to live or to let go. If I Stay is due out in a couple of weeks on August 28.

Stay tuned for more books-to-film next week!


Win a Mini iPad – just by reading a book!

To be in the running to win one of two new iPad Minis, simply take a pic of yourself of reading with your child (under 12) during The Reading Hour on Tuesday 19 August 6-7pm and post it on the Libraries SA Facebook page for a chance to win!

The Reading Hour kicks off Tuesday August 19th 6pm-7pm when people from all over Australia will simultaneously read with their children.

The Reading Hour kicks off Tuesday August 19th 6pm-7pm when people from all over Australia will simultaneously read with their children.

To enter the competition to win one of two iPad Minis, follow the THREE steps below:

1) Take a photo of yourself reading with your child (aged under 12) on Tuesday August 19th 2014 between 6pm-7pm

2) Visit and upload your photo to this Facebook page. To do this, look for the words ‘Write post’ (using a mobile device) or ‘Write something’ (using a PC). See image below to help guide you. Your photo must be submitted by 10am Tuesday August 26th 2014

3) Provide your contact details via this link: We only need these details and you will be contacted if you are a winner.

A photo album will be created of all entries submitted and Facebook users will be asked to vote on their favourite photos.

For the full list of terms and conditions, please follow the link below:

Adelaide Parklands: a social history

parklands1A new hardcover copy of The Adelaide Parklands: a social history came across my desk this week,  a Wakefield Press title, written by 2013 SA’s Historian of the year Patricia Sumerling.

This is a glorious book, full of rich social history, and fabulous photographs of the parklands throughout the past century. It traces the early days from Colonel Light’s initial plan in 1837 to the present day.

From the Wakefield Press synopsis: Where crowds once thronged for a public execution, or to see Blondin, the tightrope walker of Niagara Falls fame, now thousands gather for car races and cultural festivals. Adelaideans play sport in the Park Lands, get married, enjoy picnics, and meet for secret assignations. Many simply seek tranquil retreat in the Park Lands – although, as Patricia Sumerling shows, controversy has been never far away.

Sumerling talks about the political influences upon their development, the various festivals and celebrations the parklands have seen and some of the complaints from citizens about these uses. One that stood out from the early 1900’s was a complaint that the parklands on weekends and evenings were full of  ‘loose behaviour of hundreds of couples lying about in all directions..,’ and I think ostrich harness racing probably wins the weird event prize.

Patricia Sumerling will be speaking at the Library about her book and a history of the Parklands in late October so watch this space for details.