Wellington City Libraries

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Teen Blog

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

Month: June 2010 Page 2 of 3

A simple question (or two)…

Just curious…

Answer these two questions by commenting on this post.

  • What’s inside your perfect library?
  •  …and what does this library (and the librarians inside it) do for you?

New Magazines 17/06/10

Transworld Skateboarding June 2010 – Ollie over to frontside bluntside | Bump to frontside boardside | Switch backside lipside | Frontside feeble grind | Pop shove-it five-O
Australian Mad Magazine #457
Creme July 2010 – Smile! The Happiness Issue | Fashion and beauty tips for girls, mainly
Playstation Magazine June 2010 – World exclusive of Star Wars II : The Force Unleashed | ’10 things you can see in videogames that don’t actually exist (anymore)’
Entertainment Weekly #1104 – Lots of stuff about Glee! | Lots of other stuff! | Stuff
Simpsons Comics #162
White Dwarf June 2010

TC 2010

The Teen Choice Awards 2010 nominees have been announced, and you can vote for your favourite (so long as you’re a teen living in the US,  but don’t let that stop you) daily on the official website. There are like a million categories to vote in! Maybe we should run our own, Wellington-only version?

Incredibly G.I. Joe : Rise of Cobra has five nominations, which frankly boggles the mind.

Read a massive list of the more interesting nominees by clicking on ‘more’ below.

Read More

New Books! New DVDs!

There are only a handful of new books this week. There’s a stack of DVDs though! Quite exciting for anime fans!

Here are the books.

Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is, by Heather Henson (270 pages) – The remarkably named Junebug wants to be an actress, but at the age of thirteen she’s still a stagehand at her parents’ playhouse. She feels like she’s becoming the perfect stagehand – this isn’t necessarily good, as it means she feels invisible!

First line: ‘Here’s how I see it: everything is going to be okay, just like Dad said.

Ship Breaker : A Novel, by Paolo Bacigalupi (326 pages) – In the grim, grim future (teens like dystopian novels!) Nailer, a teenaged boy, strips beached oil tankers for their copper. He stumbles across an ‘exquisite’ clipper ship beached in a hurrican and must decide between stripping it for parts or helping out the sole survivor (she is rich and beautiful!)

First line: ‘Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me : A Novel, by Kristen Chandler (371 pages) – KJ lives in Montana, near Yellowstone park, where introduced wolves are splitting the community. Is she for them or against them? Do I mean the wolves, or the community? Yes to both!

First lines: ‘Wolves don’t actually howl at the moon. Mostly they howl at each other. I’m a girl, so I get that.

The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell (389 pages) – Carrie Bradshaw is the main character in the Sex And The City TV series and films. This book is her ‘diary’ from when she was a teen in Connecticut in the early ’80s, and before she went to New York.  

First lines: ‘They say a lot can happen in a summer. Or not.

My Worst Best Friend, by Dyan Sheldon (303 pages) – Grace and Savanna are besties! Even soul sisters. But sometimes friendships can turn sour.

First line: ‘The way I saw it when I was in high school, even though there were still millioins of different life forms left on the planet, there were basically only two kinds of girls: Those Girls and everyone else.

Out of Shadows, by Jason Wallace (277 pages) – This is set in Zimbabwe, in the early ’80s, just after independence. Robert is new to the country, and finds that some of his classmates are keen for the country to return to the old, white-led past, at any cost.

First line: ‘Go ahead, shoot, I thought, because I was thirteen and deperate and anything, absolutely anything, was better than the fate to which my parents were leading me.

Here are the new DVDs! We have added the newest Bleach DVDs (volumes 16 to 20), and we’ve also got the first Bleach film, Bleach : Memories of Nobody. (There’s talk of a live-action Bleach film, btw.) We have added a couple of Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex DVDs to the YA collection, and the entire first series of Tsubasa in one, six-disc boxed set. Boxed sets of shounen-ai classic Gravitation  and FLCL (pronounced ‘fooly-cooly’) are also in. As well as! Death Note  : Relight 2 (highly recommended), the first three Bakugan DVDs, a couple more Dragonball Z movies, the 2001 OVA of Spirit of Wonder, and the complete series of the French-Japanese animation, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (which came out in 1982, when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school).

Go To The World Cup! Sort Of

The Football World Cup kicks off tomorrow morning, most of us won’t be in attendance because South Africa is a long way away. But thanks to technology you can travel to the stadiums the games will be played in from the comfort of your own home by following this link. Sure, you could just watch the games on TV, but these virtual tours are in 3D thanks to Google Earth and therefore cooler.

Piles Of Music. Piles!

dead weatherJack White’s second side project gets a second album. Number two for Dead Weather is Sea Of Cowards. They’re fast workers, it’s been less than a year since the band debuted and they’ve gotten through their fair share of touring too. Luckily a busy schedule fits Dead Weather’s jam band style and with the amount of playing together it just means they sound tighter and more assured.

b.o.b.B.o.B is, as far as I know at least, the only rapper ever to have guest spots from Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Eminem on the same album. If that sounds like a baffling mix, it’s because it is. Listen to The adventures of Bobby Ray, though and you’ll come to the realisation that it’s a fair reflection on B.o.B.’s eclectic, energetic style.

A pair of Hot Chip albums; The Warning, from 2006, and Made In The Dark, from 2008. Quirky indie-electro from the UK, it’s dance music for headphones and pop for the fringes. Made In The Dark is the introspective one and The Warning is the awkward dance party. Recommended.

bat for lashesPakistan born, English raised, Bat For Lashes released her second album, Two Suns last year to rave reviews. Cute indie-pop with a pleasing depth to it – there’s a lot going on underneath the catchy surface to reward repeated listenings. If the Cat Powers and the PJ Harveys get heavy rotation on your stereo, this should too.

metronomyNights Out by Metronomy is yet more party focussed electro for our shelves. Slick, exciting and modern, it’s an hour-long soundtrack for a, well, night out. They toured here a few months ago and Teen Blog sources reported a fun, sweaty experience.

justiceParisian electro duo Justice picked up the torch where Daft Punk left off with their debut, Cross. Released in 2007 it reinvigorated the dance genre with it’s anything goes approach and devil may care attitude. Due to the sample heavy nature it sounds like dance music for the rock kids and rock music for the dance kids. Recommended.

Glee in print

In August the first book (of a series of five) based on Glee will come out. They’re for young readers, which is presumably teens! So will we get them? Probably. August is only a couple of months away, too, so hopefully they will be available shortly afterwards. August is also just ahead of the premier of the next series.

There will be other merchandise tie-ins, though who knows what they might be. Besides t-shirts of course.

Top 10: Girls and Glass Ceilings

suffragetteA while ago we had an enquiry about fiction that explores sexual discrimination. We scratched our heads for a long time. Perhaps people aren’t writing about it any more? we thought. After a bit of digging around, here’s a list of some pretty respectable (mostly historical) stories in which female characters find themselves faced with glass ceilings, have to make difficult choices that go against the social norm, or shake things up a bit. (See also the list of strong female characters here.)

  1. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray. The Gemma Doyle books are all about girl power (although they might end up hitting you over the head with it a little bit). Gemma, like others listed below, must choose between exercising her not inconsiderable magical (and other) power, or marriage in high society late Victorian England. Magic and feminism have a close relationship here, an interesting topic to explore (possibly for an NCEA reading list, if your teacher agrees the books are up to scratch?).
  2. A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly. In A Northern Light (note: also called A Gathering Light) there are really two female characters faced with difficult choices: one is Mattie, a sixteen year old farm girl who has a heart of words; the other is Grace Brown, found drowned in the lake (true story) whose letters (that Mattie has) reveal the nature of her difficult decision and how it has led to her death. Mattie, meanwhile, struggles between a desire to write, a desire to be a good daughter and sister, and a desire for Royal Loomis, who has a heart for corn seed.
  3. A Voice of Her Own, Barbara Dana. The story of a youthful Emily Dickinson, admired by Mattie in A Northern Light (Mattie suspects she slid down the banisters and hung from the chandeliers when no one was looking). “When something is most important to me and I do not want to lose it, I gather it into a poem. It is said that women must employ the needle and not the pen. But I will be a Poet! That’s who I am!” (from the book description)
  4. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott. Jo is a determined tomboy with a passion for writing. The March sisters are brought up to have strong social consciences thanks to Marmee, the girls’ mother, who has sole charge of the household while her husband is away fighting in the civil war. Jo, like others here, must consider very carefully a rather appealing proposal of marriage.
  5. The Bride’s Farewell, Meg Rosoff. Pell makes a decision very similar to the one Mattie faces, but quite early on in the piece (like, on the first page), when, on her wedding day, she hits the road with her horse, Jack, and her brother, Bean, who doesn’t talk. Set in mid-19th century England, this story is muddy, cold, frosty and bleak, but quite beautiful.
  6. Flygirl, Sherri L Smith. Ida Mae Jones has two strikes against her: she is African American and she’s a she. It is 1941 and America has just joined the Second World War, and Ida Mae is determined to crack the male-dominated world of flying.
  7. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E Lockhart. Frankie’s ire is stirred when the boys of The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds won’t let her join them (rather, she should be merely a pretty girlfriend). What better revenge, then, than controlling said Bassets, and masterminding their most memorable pranks, such as the Night of a Thousand Dogs, and the abduction of the Guppy? Life’s complicated though, and revenge isn’t always sweet.
  8. Dairy Queen, Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Sport. Should a girl be able to play on the school (American) football team? And if she shouldn’t, is that because she might get hurt? (And if she might get hurt, the boys might too, right?) If it’s not because she might get hurt, then is it because she might make the boys look bad because she’s as good as them?
  9. Princess Ben, Catherine Gilbert Murdock again. Ben (short for Benevolence) learns a lot on her trip to becoming suitable queen material, not the least being that marrying the man of your dreams isn’t the be all and end all: “… the girl who reads such fiction dreaming her troubles will end ere she departs the altar is well advised to seek at once a rational woman to set her straight,” she writes on page 338. Yes, okay, so she does marry the dreamy man (this isn’t really a spoiler), but it’s all about choice.
  10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre was originally published under the pseudonym “Currer Bell” in 1847, and is considered a notable feminist piece, with its depiction of Jane’s struggles in a patriarchal society. In popular entertainment it’s more noted for Mr Rochester. I remember it mostly for Mrs Rochester, mad and in the attic.

The Seventeen Magazine Project

As you perhaps know, we carry Seventeen magazine. We usually have two copies of each issue! I think they send us an extra copy? Anyway, an eighteen-year-old named Jamie Keiles is heroically attempting to “spend one month living according to the gospel of Seventeen Magazine”. It’s a difficult task, but she’s doing it so you and I don’t have to. Read her blog, The Seventeen Magazine Project, here.

Some penguins playing football

Someone points out that we (i.e., NZ) should do it with Kiwis.

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