Youth activities and services

Click on the tabs below to see information for teenagers at Kiama Library!

  • Reviews of young adult books by local kids and Kiama Library staff
  • Links to our HSC resources to assist local Year 12 students
  • Information on events for teenagers


This is a general spoiler warning! You have been warned. The reviews in this section are for books that are a mix of children's and youth fiction - we would recommend that parents have a look at the books first if they have and concerns about the book being unsuitable for younger readers.

 “Yellow” By Megan Jacobson

This book features content that would not be appropriate for younger teens

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now then it doesn't bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She'll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he makes her popular, gets her parents back together, and he promises not to haunt her. Things aren't so simple, however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one. This is a awesome book. So far, I think this should win the category. The main character is endearing and highly individualistic. The plotline is in some ways quite predictable - we are introduced to the 'weird' character with the blinking sign above their head saying 'this person will soon be your friend, not the popular crowd you currently hang with.' Then, the plotline does 90 degree turns, 10s, 360s, and spirals to amazing places that are familiar and predictable yet tackled with an energy and portrayed hauntingly. The side characters have depth and really fleshes out the protagonist. In many ways this book has a simple storyline, yet after reading it you will have a new appeciation of how an author can take familiar elements and shape them into something amazing.

VERDICT: A must read for all teens.

Reviewed by Valentine (library staff review)

 "One Would Think the Deep" by Claire Zorn

This book features content that would not be approriate for younger teens

Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she's dead, it's worse than ever. With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty. Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim. Author Claire Zorn has had a novel on the short list 3 times now, and is building a impressive resume of works. This review is going to be more of an overview of all three:

Claire's first novel 'Sky So Heavy' is an apocalypse teen drama about 2 brothers in Sydney who have to survive after they are basically abandoned by their parents - it had weird pacing, but was quite enjoyable. This latest novel is a teen growing/up relationship novel that I found somewhat similar to her last novel, 'The Protected,' in that it involves a death in the family, the ensuing drama, and emerging secrets. I much preferred 'The Protected' however, as that book had an excellent air of poignancy about it. 'One...' has a main character who I found very un-engaging. He is annoying in his immaturity and his decision-making; we find out why he is like this as the story continues, but this did not make him any more relatable - I found that I had such a strong dislike for him that I didn't 'forgive' him.

The novel is set in South Coast/Wollongong which will make it very relatable to our local readers, but thinking back it didn't really add anything to the story, or if it did it was just to contrast the fact that it is 'outside Sydney.' Surfing and music plays a central theme in this book, so they are some hooks that may get you to read it.

VERDICT: If your reading material has to have a male protagonist, read it. Otherwise, I would prioritise reading 'The Protected.'

Reviewed by Valentine (library staff review)

The Truth About Verity Sparks by Susan Green

The year is 1878 and our heroine Verity, an orphan, is only thirteen years old. As the story begins, Verity has already been working as an apprentice for two years to Madame Louisette, the hat maker. When Verity is falsely accused of theft, she loses her job and it seems that Verity might end up on the street until an unlikely rescuer appears who changes Verity’s life forever. This delightful and well written book is hard to put down.

Book review by Sharon (library staff member)

Ship Kings: The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan

Dow Amber’s home is the small village of Yellow Bank, nestled at the foot of the Great Plateau and far from the ocean.  Dow’s destiny was to be like his father, a timber cutter, but Dow’s dream was to be something much greater.  One autumn, Dow accompanies his father to cut timber on the high plateau and it is on this trip that he sees the ocean for the very first time. This exciting and fast paced book follows Dow as he overcomes many obstacles to fulfil his dream of becoming a sailor, his ultimate battle with The Maelstrom and his encounters with the Ship Kings.

Book review by Sharon (library staff member)


Have a look at our flickr page to see some of the events Kiama Library has held in the past.

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