Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: April 2008

Times are a changin'

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back by an hour this Sunday, and treat yourself to an extra hour’s lie-in!  

How do you like your gossip?

book coverKymberly, librarian and avid reader of young adult literature, tells me The Luxe by Anna Godbersen is a “nineteenth century version of the Gossip Girl“. Intriguing, I thought: gossip can’t be a 20th Century invention then (previously known as the exchange of vital personal information of a third party, I thought). The inside cover tells me the book contains “pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn” and “irresistible boys with sly smiles and dangerous intentions” and (this is where the Gossip Girl bit really comes in) “white lies, dark secrets and scandalous hookups”. Very intriguing indeed.

So if you like your gossip historical as well as extraordinarily up to date, check it out.

Top 10: sneaky books

There’s not that much stuff about spies and espionage for teens. I’m thinking it’s a growing genre though (everybody wants to know what everybody else is up to, after all), so keep checking out the teen blog for more pointers. Here are some goodies:

  1. Almost anything by John le Carre (adults fiction), for example The Constant Gardener (as in the movie).
  2. James Bond books by Ian Fleming (adults fiction). Mr Bond is perhaps the most famous spy of all. Aside: Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Random.
  3. book coverSpy High series by A J Butcher.
  4. Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Alex has been made into a movie and various comics as well… there’s no stopping the guy.
  5. Robert Muchamore, CHERUB series – these books are so popular they’re like hen’s teeth. You’ll have to reserve them, but they’re worth the wait (according to spy aficionados).
  6. I’d tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you by Ally Carter. A spy book for girls. “As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.” Also check out:
  7. book coverCross my heart and hope to spy (boom boom!) by Ally Carter. This one’s the latest Cammie Morgan book: “Cammie Morgan is a CIA legacy and attends the premier school in the world…for spies. The school hosts some mysterious guests with the code name Blackthorne. When Cammie is blamed for a security breach that threatens to expose the school’s top secret status, she and her friends face danger to clear Cammie’s name and learn the truth about Blackthorne.”
  8. The gadget by Paul Zindel. A World War II espionage story. “In 1945, having joined his father at Los Alamos, where he and other scientists are working on a secret project to end World War II, thirteen-year-old Stephen becomes caught in a web of secrecy and intrigue.”
  9. Fight game by Kate Wild. “Fifteen-year-old Freedom Smith is a fighter, just like all of his relatives who have the “Hercules gene,” which leads him to a choice between being jailed for attempted murder or working with a covert law enforcement agency to break up a mysterious, illegal fight ring.”
  10. book coverSpyBoy by Peter David (graphic novel). For those of you who like your spies in comic form.

Stop press! The Sleepwalker, the latest CHERUB book by Robert Muchamore, has arrived and is being read all over Wellington as I type. You should reserve it right now… there’s already a queue of about 50 so you’ll have to be a bit patient, but not as patient as you’ll have to be if you hesitate.

Happy spying.

Queen of Babble in the Big City

Popular YA author Meg Cabot is well known for her bestselling Princess Diaries series but you may not be aware that she also writes adult fiction too.  Queen of Babble in the Big City is the second installment in Cabot’s Queen of Babble series, an adult fiction trilogy.  It’s a light-hearted novel written in chick-lit style with likeable characters, and plenty of humour and romance.

The story centres on Lizzie Nichols, a sweet and naive young woman who moves to New York City with dreams of opening her own bridal boutique – and tying the knot with her commitment-phobic boyfriend Luke.  But things don’t always go according to plan for Lizzie, and her “notoriously big mouth begins to get her into trouble at work and at home almost at once.”

This was my first Meg Cabot novel, but it wont be my last.  I enjoyed it so much I’ll definately be reading Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, the final book in the series.

For more information visit Meg Cabot’s website (and be sure to check out her blog, it’s great!)

I do (not) like it.

The Guardian reports on the reading preferences of young adults in the UK. According to a survey, the most popular read for teens is Heat Magazine (which we don’t have in the library), followed by Bliss magazine (which we do!). Anne Frank’s diary, Anthony Horowitz, and the Harry Potter books are favourites as well. The least favourite reads include Facebook, homework, and, surprisingly, magazine articles about skinny celebrities.

What do you like reading? What do you dislike reading? Leave a comment!

Some New Books

We get lots of new books. We are a library after all. Here are some that may interest you!

The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray (819 pages!) This book will be very popular, since it is the third and final book in the popular trilogy; A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels are the first two books. The author has a glass eye, which is pretty cool. The books are about four girls in a Victorian boarding school. They play with magic and epic adventure ensues.

Extras, by Scott Westerfeld (417 pages). This is the fourth book in the series that began with the popular Uglies, about a future where everyone is beautified at the age of 16 by extreme cosmetic surgery. Extras is set in Japan, where everyone is ranked by popularity. Sort of like Facebook but without scrabble.

Respect my authority

Aotearoa Youth Voices is seeking advocates for the Provoke Network. Advocates will

  • be able to participate in fun and creative workshops to brainstorm projects and strategies
  • receive monthly email newsletters with information and opportunities in youth participation in decision making
  • get email updates on hot youth topics
  • be able to get your voice heard and discuss with other young people important youth issues through online discussion forums
  • have the opportunity to have your say and give input to Government decision making.

You can join up here.

Sweet Valley High Strikes Back

The Sweet Valley High series is to be reprinted and – since it originally came out in the 80s – it will be updated to reflect changes in things like technology and fashion. So instead of the girls writing diaries, phoning one another and wearing pastel leg-warmers, they will write blogs, IM and text, and wear footless tights.

(We still have many of the original SVH books in the library, if you’re keen.) 

Page 3 of 3