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December 2011

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  • Library Serf, Reviews

    Best of 2011: Ada’s Pick

    16.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2011: Ada’s Pick

    Beyond the dark journey: short stories and poems by young refugees in New Zealand

    Eight young people from Burma, Aghanistan and the Sudan write about their journey to Aotearoa and coping with settling in. I especially liked the poetry and would like to share this verse with you:

    I packed my bags throwing
    My life into my suitcase
    Not knowing where I was going.
    Here I’m in windy wild Wellington.
    Cold
    Depressing
    Alone
    Quiet
    Isolated
    A neglected human ~ Sonia Azizi

    I was priviliged to meet the young authors and after reading this book it has given me a better understanding about our courageous refugee community. A great read.

    ~ Ada

    Read about the evolution of the book here.


  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    16.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Fashion Friday

    The fear of makeup – WAH!
    Syndetics book coverPretty the Nylon book of beauty / text by Fiorella Valdesolo ; design by Josh Gurrie.

    Fear no longer ladies – I’m taking this issue in hand.  Now it’s the time of year for parties – end of year, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, you name it – it’s time to dress up (which I love), and time to be glam with the makeup (which I have NO IDEA about).  Yes, I admit it – I’m a makeup novice.
    Of course, there is this cool book by Nylon mag to help, which offers simple, step-by-step beauty and makeup advice.   But actually watching someone else really helps!
    So, if Youtube’s good for anything it’s makeup tutorials – they have a plethora of them.  Here’s a couple of really easy, really workable looks I found.

    You know I love pink lipstick!

    Pretty, pretty, pretty!

    And for the more experienced and truly brave – try this out!


  • Lauren, Reviews

    Best of 2011: Lauren’s Pick

    15.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2011: Lauren’s Pick

    Love is the Higher Law, David Levithan

    “Three New York City teenagers struggle to come of age amid the chaos and aftermath of September 11. Peter’s, Claire’s, and Jasper’s lives weave together as they come to terms with a new reality. A welcome addition to any YA fiction collection where there are few examples on the topic.” (Library Journal)

    Love is the Higher Law showed another side of the events of 9/11 – what teens actually went through in NY, where they were when the planes hit the world trade centre and the events that followed.

    ~ Lauren


  • Library Serf, Reviews

    Best of 2011: Katie’s Other Pick

    14.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2011: Katie’s Other Pick

    Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

    If you loved the Vampire Academy series, then this is the book for you. Bloodlines is the first book in the spin-off series of the Vampire Academy series narrated by Sydney Sage, a teenage Alchemist, a human bound to protect other humans from vampires, whether they’re the comparatively normal Moroi or the pure-evil Strigoi vampires and who is in hot water with the other alchemists for helping Rose (the original narrator of the Vampire Academy series …). However Sydney is called back into service when Jill Dragomir, Queen Lissa Dragomir’s half-sister, is in danger of being killed and the best way to keep Jill safe is to put her in a human boarding school, with Sydney posing as her older sister, despite the objections of Keith, a slimy Alchemist with a personal vendetta against her.

    Despite not having the original Vampire Academy series, I enjoyed it. Full of suspense, danger, drama, vampires being murdered, a little forbidden love thrown in… and even ‘illegal drug operations’… Can’t wait to read The Golden Lily.

    ~ Katie


  • Library Serf, Reviews

    Best of 2011: Sarina’s Picks

    12.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2011: Sarina’s Picks

    Half Brother, by Kenneth Oppel

    “On Ben’s thirteenth birthday, his parents introduce him to his new sibling: a hairy, swaddled baby chimp that will be raised as part of the family in an experiment run by Ben’s father, a behavioral psychologist. At first, Ben resists calling Zan his brother, but as he begins to communicate with Zan through sign language, he develops a true, loving connection with the little chimp, even as he realizes that his father views Zan as just a scientific specimen. What will happen to Zan when the experiment is over? … A moving, original novel that readers will want to ponder and discuss” (Booklist review)

    Also great:


  • Grimm, New

    Some New Books

    11.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Some New Books

    Cupcake, Rachel Cohn (310 pages) – if you’ve read Shrimp and Gingerbread then you need to read this! CC has moved to New York, leaving behind Shrimp. She’s on a mission to find the best job, the best coffee, the best cupcake (we hear you), and a new love. But then, oops, Shrimp shows up, and CC must decide whether to continue the New York dream, or follow the surf with Shrimp.

    First sentence: A cappucino cost me my life.

    Frost, Wendy Delsol (376 pages) – the sequel to Stork. Katla is adjusting to life being a Stork and her mystical abilities, and to snowy Minnesota. The attentions of Jack help, however when a snowstorm brings environmental scientist Brigid to town, Katla finds there’s competition for Jack’s attentions. Worse, on a trip with Brigid to Greenland, Jack goes missing, and Katla knows she’s the only one who can find him.

    First sentence: There was one thing, and one thing only, that could coax me into striped red tights, a fur vest, and an elf cap: Jack Snjosson.

    Dust & Decay, Jonathan Maberry (519 pages) – the sequel to Rot & Ruin. Benny and his friends are ready to leave in search of a better future (on a road trip!), but this is not so easy! Zombies, wild animals, murderers, and the rebuilt Gamelands are in their way, plus also possibly Charlie Pink-eye (who is supposed to be safely dead!).

    First sentence: Benny Imura was appalled to learn that the Apocalypse came with homework.

    My Life Undecided, Jessica Brody (299 pages) – Brooklyn can’t make decisions, so she blogs in the hopes that her readers will make up her mind for her. But things get messy when love gets involved.

    First sentence: The sirens are louder than I anticipated.

    Audition, Stasia Ward Kehoe (458 pages) – Sara moves to a new city and joins the prestigious Jersey Ballet. As she struggles to adapt she spends time with Remington, a choreographer on the rise, becoming his muse and creating gossip and scandal that may make it all seem not worth it. A novel in verse.

    First sentence: When you are a dancer / you learn the beginning / is first position.

    This Dark Endeavor, Kenneth Oppel (298 pages) – subtitled The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein and therefore the prequel to Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. Sixteen year old Victor’s twin, Konrad, falls ill, and Victor is desperate to save him. He enlists the help of some friends in creating the Elixir of Life, but in the process pushes the boundaries of “nature, science and love”.

    First sentence: We found the monster on a rocky ledge high above the lake.

    Dead End in Norvelt, Jack Gantos (341 pages) – Over to the rather good catalogue description: “In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.”

    First sentence: School was finally out and I was standing on a picnic table in our backyard getting ready for a great summer vacation when my mother walked up to me and ruined it.

    A Need So Beautiful, Suzanne Young (267 pages) – Charlotte is a Forgotten, an earth-bound angel compelled to help someone. She’d rather spend her life with her boyfriend, so she must make the difficult, wrenching choice between her destiny and her love.

    First sentence: I sit on the front steps of St. Vincent’s Cathedral and pick at the moss nestled in the cracks of the concrete.


  • Books, Grimm, Music, Top 10

    Top 10: books and CDs from 1991

    10.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Top 10: books and CDs from 1991

    It is the central library’s 20th birthday today.  To celebrate, we thought a Top 10 list was in order, so here are five books and five CDs that first appeared in 1991. You might not have realised they were so vintage.

    1. The Juniper Game, Sherryl Jordan (New Zealand) – “Juniper, a fifteen-year-old girl with telepathic powers, convinces her best friend Dylan to experiment with her powers.” (catalogue description)
    2. Out Walked Mel, Paula Boock (New Zealand) – “Mel never knows when to keep her mouth shut and when she storms out of school she sees it as an escape – from a past and present too messy to deal with. But running to her self-centered father or her boyfriend aren’t easy answers either.” (Syndetics summary)
    3. The River (the sequel to Hatchet), Gary Paulsen – “Because of his success surviving alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days, fifteen-year-old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival.” (catalogue)
    4. The Awakening (the first Vampire Diaries book), L J Smith – yes, way before Twilight there were the Vampire Diaries. The Awakening is the one in which Elena first meets Stefan, while the town of Fells Church is the repeated victim of vicious animal attacks.
    5. Letters from the Inside, John Marsden – “Two teenage girls become penpals and over a period of time seem to get to know each other – but do they?” (catalogue)
    6. Nevermind, Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ — ‘Come as You Are’ — ‘Lithium’ — ‘In Bloom’ etc etc etc. Pretty brilliant.
    7. Gish, Smashing Pumpkins – this was the Pumpkins’ debut album.
    8. Blue Lines, Massive Attack – possibly best known for ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ which was a rather large hit.
    9. Metallica, Metallica – the tracks on Metallica average out to be about 5.1 minutes each, Metallica being fans of the long song.
    10. Ten, Pearl Jam (adult CD – we ran out!) – Another dirty great long list of classic tracks. I like ‘Release’ the best.


  • Facebook, Internet, Isn't that cool?, Jack

    A look back at the year through Facebook tinted glasses…

    09.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on A look back at the year through Facebook tinted glasses…

    … or something. The Facebook Data Team recently compiled a bunch of data from Facebook (what else would they do?) that eventually spat out Memology 2011. Points of interest include the top ten ranking topics of the year, the top ten status trends of the year and the fact that somehow Rebecca Black managed to stay off all of the lists. Pop over and have a look to see if anything you “like” or talked about charted this year. While you’re on Facebook, make sure you “like” us on our official Teen Blog page and maybe we’ll be a noteworthy meme in 2012.


  • Library Serf, Reviews

    Best of 2011: Nancy’s Pick

    09.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Best of 2011: Nancy’s Pick

    Kill All Enemies, Melvin Burgess

    “This tells the story of three teens with troubled backgrounds, one the daughter of an alcoholic, one who has an abusive stepdad, and one who is at odds with his middle-class upbringing. Here’s a review from the Guardian.” (teen blog!)

    It’s a bit dark and gloomy but has really excellent inner monologues and the story is told very well from a variety of kids’ perspectives.

    ~ Nancy


  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    09.12.11 | Permalink | Comments Off on Fashion Friday

    Yay it’s christmas time!  Time to start planning your Christmas party frocks, Christmas Day outfits and Christmas holiday swimwear  – or is that just me?  Maybe you want to be more selfless and actually be thinking of others and giving gifts – spending the lead up to the big day shopping for other people?  OK.

    This hilarious little clip allows you to relive the awkward experience of shopping in a store that’s a bit toooo swanky/pricey/classy for YOU.   Suffer and giggle in equal measures!

    SHOPGIRL from SRSLY. on Vimeo.


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