Skip to main content

May 2015

Cicada Summer (Kate Constable)

I stumbled across Cicada Summer in a very "professional" attempt to increase my general knowledge of junior fiction. I had heard of Kate Constable, most recently through her acclaimed novel Crow Country, which won the 2012 CBCA Young Readers Book of the Year (haven't read it yet - should do soon!)  Cicada Summer wasn't quite what I expected, mainly because I totally judged the book by it's cover and didn't read the blurb at all.  Regardless though, I found it to be quite an engaging story, and surprisingly atmospheric for a junior fiction novel.

Eloise doesn't speak much.  Actually, she doesn't say anything at all, and hasn't really spoken since her mother passed on a wee while back.  Instead, Eloise speaks through her art, as she is quite a talented artist.

Eloise's father, who is an "entrepreneur" and forever chasing his next big bucks breakthrough, has just been given a beautiful, but decaying art deco mansion in the country, courtesy of his sharp-witted and somewhat recalcitrant mother, Mo.  Mo may have a lot of sass, but she also has agoraphobia - and doesn't leave the house.  Whilst Eloise's father heads to the city to chase down investors in the mansion, he leaves Eloise with her grandmother, who then leaves Eloise to her own devices.  And so Eloise begins to explore her new surroundings, and it's from here that things take a change for the spooky and strange...

This is a sweet story that manages to touch on a wee bit of everything.  Grief, family relationships, immigrant families, mental illness, ghosts, time travel (yes, time travel), and art.  If that sounds like a weird mix, well, it is.  But Kate Constable manages to bring it all together in a quite engaging and (as I mentioned previously) atmospheric story.  Definitely one for the girls, I would recommend Cicada Summer for ages 8-12.


Popular posts from this blog

Using librarian skills to uncover a network of dodgy shopping sites!

In all my posts over the years I'm not sure if I ever mentioned I am an avid steampunker.  Like many of my quirky fellow librarians, I love a good dress up and recently found myself searching for a great pair of boots to go with the Steampunk Aviator Superhero costume I'm assembling (trust me, it will work!).

One evening whilst idly thumbing through Pinterest I found a picture of these undeniably AWESOME combat-boot style boots.  I followed the link to the website ( and although it didn't look dodgy and offered PayPal, I am a cautious online shopper and always check the customer reviews first.  They were 1000% abysmal.  Like the kind of reviews that say SCAM, THEFT and CAN I LEAVE 0 STARS.  So despite loving the shoes, I was definitely not parting with my money on this occasion.

Fast forward a couple of months and I see an ad for Victorian-style cosplay boots in my Insta feed.  Did I mention that I am an avid steampunker?  Because seriously, these shoes…

It only takes a second (ment)

What the hell is a secondment?
Some people I have chatted to have no idea what I'm talking about (and I also discovered that some spell-check utilities don't even recognise the word) so I thought I would clear the confusion by ripping a definition straight from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of secondmentplural-s

: the detachment of a person (such as a military officer) from his or her regular organization for temporary assignment elsewhere.

So if you just substitute "library services officer" for "military officer" you have an explanation of my situation!

Being a qualified Librarian can take you in so many different directions. One of the reasons I chose the tag "Ambidextrous Librarian" was because I honestly had no idea which direction my career would go. I have worked in school libraries and the kids and teachers are absolutely fantastic, but the pay, conditions and options for career development aren't all that varied. I tri…

A Somewhat Risky Business

Working in a public library means I am surrounded all day by books (duh).  Books are such pretty things - there is a reason why publishers spend big bucks on cover design, and that's because we pretty much ignore the old "don't judge a book by its cover" and happily judegy-judge away.  We can't help it, bright and shiny things attract us!

So as I was standing at the circ desk the other day having a bit of a rest between patrons, I found my eyes drawn yet again to a book that was on display.  I had been gazing at it on and off all day, and I couldn't really make out the title but it was the dress that caught me, and the shiny peach converse trainers, and the pose, and the luxurious hair.  I decided that the universe was telling me I had to borrow it, even if I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  I took it home without even reading the blurb.

The book was titled "This is just my face; try not to stare" by Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who starr…