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Teen Blog

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

Month: June 2009 Page 1 of 4


Grimm embedded the trailer to the Avatar film (The Last Airbender) last week, and as I liked it I decided to get out the award-winning and highly-rated Avatar : The Legend of Aang DVDs to watch a couple of episodes. I ended up watching sixteen episodes over two days – it’s that good. So very, very good. If you like Studio Ghibli films you will like Avatar (obviously inspired by Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and so on). There are three series in total, but only the first series is available on DVD; the final two have only been released in the US, unfortunately, so it will be a while before we can watch them.

In the meantime you can visit the official website, which has games, clips, weekly comics, and so forth. The UK site has some similar content, but some of it is different. There’s an Avatar wiki. There is a browser-based MMO called Avatar : Legends of the Arena that is free-to-play.

The film, The Last Airbender, has a fansite (the official site is here).

Penguin’s YA Central

YA Central is the name of Penguin publishing’s online content for teens and readers of YA fiction. They have interviews with authors (videos, no less) such as Laurie Halse Anderson (and here), John Green, and Lauren Myracle. Access to other author interview videos, book trailers and behind-the-scene footage is promised. It’s part of The Publisher’s Office, Penguin’s online periodical, which is full of all kinds of stuff – web 2.0 at its most literary.

A Book Review

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, or seen the movie then be warned!

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne

This story tells the tale of the unlikely friendship of two boys. It is set in Germany during the war and gives an insight into the circumstances of the holocaust. Bruno’s father is one of Hitler’s high ranking officials, but Bruno is unaware of exactly what his father’s job entails. He accidentally comes across a prisoner of war compound and befriends a Jewish boy. Eventually he makes a plan to sneak in under the fence to help his new friend look for his father, who seems to have mysteriously disappeared somewhere within the ‘camp’. During the course of his search Bruno and his friend find themselves herded into a giant shed along with hundreds of other people. The big steel doors clang shut. Outside, Bruno’s parents discover he is missing. They see the plumes of smoke rise from the tall chimneys at the compound and the terrible realisation of what has happened hits them…

~ Lynda

If you’ve read a good book recently you can send us a review.

Some More Quick News From the Newsdesk

Fans of the Avatar DVDs will be very pleased to hear about the movie The Last Airbender, directed by M Night Shyamalan (who sees dead people, for example, in The Sixth Sense). The cast has many interesting people, for example Dev Patel (Skins, Slumdog Millionnaire), Jackson Rathbone (he of the pained-looking Jasper in Twilight),  and the great Cliff Curtis. The official site is here, the IMDB page here, and then here’s the trailer:


Speaking of Twilight, as with Twilight and Twilight, there’s going to be a new New Moon book cover to tie in with the Twilight: New Moon movie. It’ll make Team Jacob happy – here’s a link.

More on Cassandra Clare and web2.0-ness: her publisher is promoting City of Glass with the aid of a widget that you can grab from their site (here) and stick on your blog and share for example (from thebookseller.com).

Shaun Tan fan? Have a look at this interview in the School Library Journal. [Shaun Tan and Pixar? I thought. Well, he was a concept artist on Wall-E. Fun.]

Twitterature is hot; but  who needs 140 characters when you can do it in 17 syllables? (I feel a competition coming on.)

It’s less than a month to Harry Potter number 6. Then, finally, Coraline on the 6th of August, in glorious 3D.

Karori Pool Party

Looking for some friday night fun? Head along to Karori Pool on Friday 26th June from 7pm for a pool party. Only $8! Sold!

Free sausage sizzle, a DJ, inflatable, a bomb competition, and zorb action. Like it says on the poster —>

Louise Rennison Interview

Louise Rennison, author of the Georgia Nicholson books, was interviewed on Nat Radio’s Nine to Noon programme this morning. She’s a comedian as well as an author and is very entertaining to listen to. She discusses the recent film adaption of Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (we have the DVD and all ten books in the series).

Listen to the .mp3 here, or else browse RNZ’s podcasts here.

Cook Up a Storm and Win a Book!

Think you know how to cook? Or are you just keen to give it a go and get creative? Book CoverCreate a sumptuous recipe for us and the best entry will win Sam Stern’s cookbook Cooking up a Storm: The teen survival cookbook.

Entries close 5pm on August 7 2009 (you must be aged between 13 and 18 and have a Wellington City Libraries card to enter).

Entries have closed! Thanks.


  1. Create a recipe! Choose 5 ingredients of your own and at least 2 ingredients from our pantry (you can use as many pantry ingredients as you like, but it might not taste great if you include them all!)
  2. Give your recipe a name (if it’s impressive that might make your food taste better)
  3. Tell us how you’re going to throw it all together in the method box
  4. Fill in your personal details and send!

Pantry Contents
(Remember to use at least two of these)

Salt, Pepper, Sugar, Cooking oil, Butter, Flour, Water, Soup Mix, Weetbix, Marmite, Lemon juice, A can with no label (with food in it), Sultanas, Curry powder, Chilli flakes, Maple syrup


Competition rules

Entries close 5pm, July 22nd 2009
To be eligible for the prizes, entrants must be:
– Aged 13-18 years
– A member of Wellington City Libraries (Not a member? Go to your local library to join up!)
The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Acceptance of prize gives permission to Wellington City Libraries to display winner’s details in the libraries or any media. No payment will be made in any such case.
Your information will be kept confidential by Wellington City Council and not disclosed or sold to any other party.

Pig!Want to discover how to cook something tasty and perhaps even stylish (that doesn’t cost the earth) and other important food-related things? Check out Food Glorious Food on July 23rd 4-5pm, the first seminar in the Urban Survival Series at the Wellington Central Library. Find out about the rest next week! Oh look, the pig.

Dazzling porcelain god

Buffy vs Edward (Twilight Remixed) is an incredibly well-done and amusing mashup of Twilight and Buffy : The Vampire Slayer to form an ‘example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward’s character and generally creepy behavior’. Which is another way to say, “Edward’s a bit stalkerish, isn’t he?”

So Many CDs

12 new CDs this week, so here is a marathon post and a marathon playlist. Phew. empire-of-the-sun

If you’re a fan of MGMT and their work, have a listen to Empire Of The Sun’s really ace Walking On A Dream. Also they wear really silly costumes, which is always a nice bonus. the-rakes

The Rakes’ third album Klang is here. If you enjoy Interpol, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and all that sort of thing, then The Rakes are right up your alley. plain-white-ts

Punk Popsters Plain White T’s Big Bad World has arrived. I think they have a new one coming shortly, so get caught up with this beforehand… If you want to that is. pink-floyd

Released in 1973 Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon is one of those albums that always pops up in top 100 all time lists. Come get it from here if you can’t find it amongst your parents collection.

More CDs and playlist after the jump…


Read More

Hyperactive pop culture metabolism in the rye

The Catcher in the Rye‘s Holden Caulfield may be losing his grip on the kids, suggests the New York Times in this here article. Apparently his primary concerns – about phoniness and so on – have dated and aren’t quite as relevant to teens as they once were. 

(Read a related post here.)

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