Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lethal Deliveries by Ken Benn, Penguin NZ
This story is aimed squarely at a young adult audience – it’s gritty and challenging. The blurb says, “Rochelle has her hopes set on one day playing in the National Women’s Inline Hockey team. Her goal seems to slip from her reach as she gets sucked into her brother’s world of gangs and drug dealing.” Be prepared for a tough urban setting, a variety of character viewpoints (some of them are not at all likeable), and plenty of delving into an underworld of drugs and crime.
ISBN 978 0 14 330547 7 RRP $25
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman
Telling tales: A life in writing by William Taylor, Harper Collins

When I was seven years old I saw Jesus in our garden at Roslyn Road, Levin. It was something of a surprise, because we didn't get many visitors...

A great start to the warm and witty memoir of William Taylor. William meanders through his life, the books he has written, the different turns his life his taken, and the people who have influenced him - and find their way into his books. He remarks that he likes to put in snippets from different time frames; preferring not to write in a linear fashion - and this is the style he has adopted for this book. It is not an American bare-all type of book - thank goodness - New Zealand is too small a country to divulge too much. Instead you get a sense of what a remarkable teacher William was. His love and understanding of children encouraged him to write about subjects that were considered taboo - hundreds of teenagers wrote to him thanking him for broaching those themes. You also come away feeling - how did he simultaneously and single-handedly raise two boys, be Principal of a country school and Mayor of Ohakune, and own half a restaurant all at the same time - it puts our busy lives into pale insignificance. (I'll also never say that men cannot do more than one thing at a time again.) A book for High school aged children and adults upwards - an enjoyable read. (Note, the size of text is bigger than the norm - enabling the 40+ to read without having to hold the book at arm's length.)

ISBN: 978-1-86950-837-1 RRP $39.95
Reviewed by Maria Gill

No comments: