2017 is going to be an interesting year for everyone. The teen blog team will be still bringing you news about upcoming books, recommendations and other cool stuff. Keep watching this space: hopefully there’ll be some new and interesting content as well.
Hey there, as a crafts and YA fan, I’ve started to put both universes together using hand lettering. Every now and again I’ll publish a Book Quote of the Day.
This is the first one in the series.
Wide Awake, by David Levithan (eBook)
“In the not-too-impossible-to-imagine future, a gay Jewish man has been elected president of the United States. Until the governor of one state decides that some election results in his state are invalid, awarding crucial votes to the other candidate, and his fellow party member. Thus is the inspiration for couple Jimmy and Duncan to lend their support to their candidate by deciding to take part in the rallies and protests. Along the way comes an exploration of their relationship, their politics, and their country, and sometimes, as they learn, it’s more about the journey than it is about reaching the destination. Only David Levithan could so masterfully and creatively weave together a plot that’s both parts political action and reaction, as well as a touching and insightfully-drawn teen love story.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Stand Still, Stay Silent is probably one of my favourite webcomics ever – which is surprising, since I only started it on Friday. I read it through in one sitting, and I keep going back – there’s stuff you miss on the first reading. This summary is taken from its website:
“It’s been 90 years after the end of the old world. Most of the surviving population of the Known world live in Iceland, the largest safe area in existence, while the safe settlements in the other Nordic countries; Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, are small and scarce. Countless mysterious and unspoken dangers lurk outside the safe areas, the Silent world, and hunters, mages and cleansers will spend their lives defending the settlements against the terrifying beings. Because of a great fear towards everything in the Silent world no official attempts to explore the ruins of the old have been made, and most of the information about it has turned into ancient lore, known by few. But now, at last, it is time to send out an research crew into the great unknown! A poorly funded and terribly unqualified crew, but a crew nonetheless.”
The title comes from a piece of advice for dealing with the strange beasts that lurk in the Silent World, which neatly sums up the comic’s creepy atmosphere.
“If you come across a Beast, a Troll or a Giant do not run or call for help, but stand still and stay silent. It might go away.”
There’s an awful lot of weight in that might, hmm?
Despite the grim sounding premise, the author also describes the comic this way: “(this) is a lighthearted, Nordic postapocalyptic adventure with a lot of friendship, some magic and a little bit of horror and drama.”
There’s a large amount of humour in this comic, as the various team members try to work past cultural differences and language barriers, their own inexperience and the fact that some of them are just plain weird, to accomplish their mission, or at the very least, survive. The Beasts, Trolls and Giants are truly terrifying, but luckily they have mages, a kitten and an Icelandic shepherd. You’ll have to read the comic to work out that last sentence. It’s also great to see fiction based in the Nordic countries – something that is rare and intriguing, since the author skillfully weaves Nordic mythology through the comic.
And the art. The art is stunning – lush, beautifully coloured, unique – a style which manages to convey both the humour and the horror of the setting. It’s clearly a labour of love, and the love of the characters and setting is obvious.
The other thing to love about this webcomic is its regular update schedule – every day, although obviously time zones come into play. It’s a small thing, but it means you won’t be left hanging around waiting for the next installment.
Whisper to me, Nick Lake
Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely. Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all. (Goodreads).
First lines: These are the things you need to know:
1. I hear voices.
2. I miss you.
3. I wish I could take back what I did to you.
Riverkeep, Martin Stewart
The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over. Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under—and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too. When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected—but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.(Goodreads).
First lines: “Your hands are shaking, Wulliam.”
Wull shrugged and shifted his grip on the mug.
In another life, Laura Jarrat
American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace. Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of Jenny’s friends and acquaintances, she realises that her sister is up to her neck in something – and the mysterious text messages she’s receiving bear this out. She is particularly drawn to Harry and, against her better judgement, begins to fall in love.(Goodreads).
First lines: Your text is where this story starts, Jenny.
I need you. Please come.
And so here I am: coming.
How to disappear, Ann Redisch Stampler
Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear. Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price. As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.(Goodreads).
First lines: There is a body in the woods. The flash of an electric yellow blanket in the moonlight, unfurling as it’s dragged along. A glimpse of nylon binding at the edges, sweeping the ground at the corner where the arm has fallen out.
End game, Alan Gibbons
There are not many things Nick Mallory knows for sure. He knows there was a car crash. He knows he is in hospital. And he knows he feels furious with his father. What he doesn’t know is why.
As his memories start to return, Nick finds himself caught in a net of secrets and lies – where truth and perception collide and heroes and villains are not easy to tell apart.(Goodreads).
First lines: He was here again last night, the man with the dead eyes. He was in my room. He was in head. I don’t have a name for him yet. I don’t have names for many things since it happened. What I have is a jumble.
How it feels to fly, Kathryn Holmes
The movement is all that matters. For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her? (Goodreads).
First lines: I focus on the movement. My arms extending away from my shoulders. My back curving and arching. My knees bending and straightening. My feet pressing into the floor. I focus on all that, and for just a moment, I’m able to forget that I’m in a cozy meeting room, not a dance studio.
Bad apple, Matt Whyman
Like all good law-abiding citizens, sixteen-year-old Maurice no longer considers going off the rails as just a teenage phase. It can only mean the mark of a troll…But these trolls aren’t confined to causing trouble online: now they’re in our homes, on our streets and have ruined life as we know it. As a rule Maurice tries to avoid trouble – until the day he crosses paths with Wretch, a very bad apple indeed. And with tensions rising, can these two teens put their differences aside in order to survive? (Goodreads).
First lines: “Why can’t they just go back where they came from?” The man addressed the television as if he expected a direct answer. “There should be laws!”
On the screen, the reporter stood before a crater. It spanned the complete width of a freeway, sixty kilometres south of Dallas according to the sliding news ticker. Judging by the way several vehicles teetered over the edge, a catastrophic event had occurred without warning.
Ivory and bone, Julie Eshbaugh
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives. As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along. (Goodreads).
First lines: The darkness in this cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
“I think your wound has opened up again.”
“No, it’s fine.” Your words echo against the close walls. Even so, your voice sounds small. “I ran my fingers over it. It’s dry.”
Downriver, Will Hobbs
No adults, no permit, no river map. Just some “borrowed” gear from Discovery Unlimited, the outdoor education program Jessie and her new companions have just ditched. Jessie and the others are having the time of their lives floating beneath sheer red walls, exploring unknown caves and dangerous waterfalls, and plunging through the Grand Canyon’s roaring rapids. No one, including Troy, who emerges as the group’s magnetic and ultimately frightening leader, can forsee the challenges and conflicts. (Goodreads).
First lines: I stumbled on a rock that was barely sticking up, my legs were that tired. Flailing for balance, with the pack working against me, I slipped in the mud and almost went down. I still Couldn’t believe this was really happening. I couldn’t believe my dad had done this to me.
Terry Pratchett was one of the best loved and most prolific authors of all time. He’s best known for his Discworld series, as well as his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and then died on March 12, aged 66. This is a brief summary, of course: there will be longer obituaries that do real justice to this warm, funny man who advocated for environmental issues, freedom of speech and the right to die. He leaves behind his loving family and many friends. But I don’t feel qualified to write about his life, really, but I do know I can talk about his books. I’ve read them avidly since I was 12 and was still avidly reading them 14 years later, eagerly anticipating each new title. It’s hard to believe there’ll be no more – they’ve been such a fixture of mine and many other people’s lives for so many years. But the books that he left are so utterly brilliant that we could have had half their number and still been blessed with one of the funniest, wisest and most true series of books that have ever been written.
The Discworld series were, for me, the height of the comedic fantasy genre. But they weren’t just funny. They were clever. The Discworld series showed a fantasy world that changed: what happens, he asked, when a fantasy world develops the printing press? The Mail System gets reformed? The invention of paper money? The characters changed too: Tough-as-nails copper Sam Vimes fought dragons and other such odd antagonists until he found himself (much to his discomfort) a Duke. Susan, the granddaughter of Death went from being an orphaned schoolgirl to helping save existence. Then there was Tiffany Aching, an eleven year old girl who wanted to be a witch and became one. I’m sure there are many of you who grew up with her. Or how about Moist Von Lipwig, a small time hustler to (semi) reputable government official? This is leaving aside the Lancre Witches and the rest of the Anhk-Morepork City Watch, of course. Everyone grew. Everyone changed. This was not an immaculate fantasy world but one that lived and breathed and was absolutely recognisable even despite the trolls and dwarves and dragons. The Discworld series never felt anything less than inhabited, as if even the bit-players could wander off the page and live their own complete lives, far away from the main storyline.
There was so much heart in the stories of these people. They struggled through their fights with the big bads, yes, but the books never wandered from that sense of playful absurdity. But they never felt less realistic for it. It seemed perfectly feasible that a world that contained an orang-utan librarian at a university could also contain some of the best literary depictions of the poor, the sad, and the truly evil. Evil was not ever separate, either: Pratchett depicted it in all its forms, from external supernatural horror to, even worse, the evil that ordinary people are capable of when they can. He shone a harsh light on the ignorant and the greedy. But this was balanced out by a sense of hope – sometimes people can be better than the sum of their parts. Sometimes people can be noble, good, brave or kind. Sometimes all four at once. And sometimes that was all that was needed to win the battle, if not the war.
It seems that I’m leaving the most important bit until last: these books were laugh-out-loud funny.
So reading The Shepherd’s Crown, the final Discworld book, was a heart-rending experience. Not just because the book is, in itself, very sad, but because also I know there’ll be no more. It’s a bittersweet end; we’re all leaving the Discworld for good. But what Terry Pratchett left us was a wealth of books, an enduring legacy, a world that you can discover anew every time you open one of his books. Not only that, but Terry Pratchett the man left his mark on philanthropic works, such as Alzheimer’s Research UK, and was a Orangutan Foundation Trustee.
The tributes have flowed thick and fast, and this is just one of the many. But they are well deserved.
“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
Ko wai ngā toa o te Māwhai Tuhituhi? He roa rawa koutou e tatari mai, heoi anō, ko te toa o ngā toa e rima … ko Lizzie.
Tēnei te mihi ki a Lizzie, nāu te pakiwaitara i whakakapi, nāu te paparorohiko!
Nā tōu kura te ‘haki pukapuka’ hoki.
Ko te kura kaha ki te tautoko te whakataetae Māwahi Tuhituhi ko ‘Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Hou’
Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou te whānau o te kura nei. Nā koutou tētahi atu ‘haki pukapuka’.
Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou katoa i uru mai ki te whakataetae nei.
Ka mihi mātou o ‘Te Matapihi Ki te Ao Nui’, arā, ko mātou o ngā wharepukapuka o Poneke ki a koutou ngā kaituhituhi o te motu nei. He pai ngā ariā katoa katoa.
A te Rāhina ka whakapāhotia ngā ingoa o ngā whakaihuwaka matua o te Māwhai Tuhituhi.
Kia ora anō koutou mā
Ko tēnei te rā whakamutunga o Māwhai Tuhituhi. Ki a koutou ngā kaituhituhi kei te mihi, kei te mihi.
Me pēhea te whakakapi i te pakiwaitara nei?
He whakataetae te Māwhai Tuhituhi. Kua oti kē ngā whiti e rima, kei a koe te ariā o te whiti whakamutunga. Āpiti atu tō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, mō ngā rā 21-25 o Hūrae.
Mēnā ka hiahia koe ki te uru ki te whakataetae haere ki te whārangi o te māwhai tuhituhi, pāngia te pikitia “māwhai tuhi” ki runga rā , āpiti tō tuhi ki te wahanga tuhi ki raro nei rānei.
Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā hei wini i te taonga o te rā, ki te wikitoria i te taonga nunui pea, ā, ki te hono ki te pakiwaitara mo te whiti o te rā.
Karawhiua!!! Tuku mai tāu tuhituhi, māu te whiti tuarima pea?
Ānei te pakiwaitara ……
Kua horoia ngā rīhi, ka paoho mai te pouaka whakaata, “I tēnei wā ka huri ki ngā matapae huarere mō āpōpō, tērā te whakatūpato a Te Ratonga Tirorangi, he āwhā, he hau āwhiwhio …” Kātahi ka weto te pouaka whakaata! Ka weto ngā raiti o te whare! Kua pō uriuri.
Ngaro hirea ana nga tangi o te ao. Matapiko ana te hau awhiowhio i waho, ka tau. PAKO! Keko ana te tiro a Pita i te aro pena o te hitawe. Ka taka te mahana o te whare, kui ana te hau o roto. Pakaru ana tana hamuti i te kitenga o te atarangi a tana Kuia.
E kui, kaua koe e whakapupuni atu i ngā kokonga o te whare, i whakaaro au ko koe tētahi tangata kōhuru, tata au ki te tioro. Ka kata pai te kuia, ānei te rama e Makere, tērā pea mēnā ka kite koe i tētahi tangata kōhuru, karanga mai, mā tāua ia e whakarau!
I roto i te matapihi i kitea i tetahi tangata kohuru pera ki nga korero ta kui, “E KUI, E KUI, HAERE MAI!!” I ohorere te tangata engari i haere tonu ki roto i te matapihi ki te tikina i ahau engari ara a kui e patua ana i te tane me tona peke, ka tangohia ia i tona huna kanohi a ka ki ia “Nau tenei whare?” ka whaka utu a kui “ae haere atu kaore koe ka noho ki konei inaeanei!!” ka tiro te tane ki ahau,a, ka patai ia ” He aha tou ingoa e tama?” Kaore ahau ka taea te whakautu, kaore toku waha ka whakae moku ki te whakaputa toku ingoa ki tenei tane.
“Makere, tiki i taku waea pukoro, waea atu ki te pirihimana. Māku teēnei tangata e wepua… INAIANEI HAERE!”
Ka oma atu a Makere. Ka hikoi taumaha mai tēnei tangata nui, weriweri ki ahau….”Auē e tama, me pēhea koe e taieritanga i ahau”
Ka hikina ia i ahau ma taku korokoro…”HA HA HAAAAA, KUA ROA TE WA I TATARI AHAU MO TENEI WA TONU. KUA MATE KATOA TOKU WHANAU, ATU I A KOE….PITA!
“K – Ko wai koe, p-pehea koe mohio a-ai I ahau?’’ te pakaru haere o toku reo
“E Pita, ko koe taku tama, ko au….to Papa!”
“PITA PITA, KARE TE WAEA E KA ANA, KARE TONA HIKO….”
…….ka aha ināianei?