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

Month: September 2010 Page 1 of 3

BIg Day Out 2011

The line up for next January’s Big Day Out was announced yesterday. There are usually another couple of announcements before the actual event, so while this list will be added to I thought it a good idea to highlight the artists we have in our collection to further inform the decision on whether or not to drop the $150 on a ticket before they go on sale October 8.

New Books

Carter’s Big Break, by Brent Crawford (231 pages) – This is the follow-up to Carter Finally Gets It. Will Carter has survived his freshman year at high school, and has somehow been cast in a film opposite Hollywood teen actress, Hilary Idaho.

First line: ‘On the last day of school, I’m happily strolling down the hall after Mr. Rumpford’s ridiculously hard algebra final.

Somewhere in Blue, by Gillian Cummings (334 pages) – Sandy’s father has died and she wallows in grief. Her mother seems to be coping a bit too well, and Sandy also distances herself from her best friend, who in turn has a difficult relationship with her mother. “An intense story of loss and shifting relationships.”

First line: ‘Something about the waves, something about their blue-gray depths, had been flowing down into Sandy, rushing in to fill a gaping hole.

The Selected, by Patrick Cave (405 pages) – This is a prequel/sequel to Sharp North (or is it the other way round? or both?). The setting is a futuristic Britain ruled by Great Families who keep spare clones of themselves. Climate change and a fascistic government mean life is a raw deal for everyone else.

First lines: ‘Dawn in the mountains. The first iron heat gathering, shimmering in bands across hard, thirsty slopes.

Anastasia’s Secret, by Susanne Dunlap (330 pages) – Anastasia Romanova was a daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, who, along with his family, were killed by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution. History is grim! However! There is some doubt as to their fates, and this book is “a haunting vision of the life – and imagined love story – of Russia’s last princess.”

First lines: ‘We are surrounded by guards. Not the nice ones; the ones we don’t like, who make us bow to them, make us show our identity cards and take a long time to examine them, even though they know perfectly well who we are and that we haven’t been anywhere outside of the Governer’s House in Tobolsk for months.

Stravaganza : City of Ships, by Mary Hoffman (348 pages) – The fifth book in The Stravaganza Sequence, about time travelling teens who end up in Talia, a country in a parallel world, much like 16th-century Italy. But with pirates!

First line: ‘If she raised herself slightly from the stool she sat on, Flavia could see the masts of ships in the harbour.

Radiance, by Alyson Noël (183 pages) – Riley Bloom dies in a car crash, and ffins herself in an afterlife where she gets a job as a Soul Catcher. Some spirits don’t want to move on, and her first task to to find one such spirit. Also! Her dog died with her so he’s there as well.

First line: ‘Most people think that death is the end.

I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett (249 pages) – The latest in a long line of Discworld novels. Tiffany is a witch, and isn’t finding the job too glamorous. The fightin’ Nac Mac Feegles aren’t helping either.

First line: ‘Why was it, Tiffany Aching wondered, that people liked noise so much? Why was noise so important?

Burning Mountain, by L. J. Adlington (315 pages) – Vesuvius, Pompeii, Italy during WWII and the Afghan War are all connected in this book.

First line: ‘Drenched in grey ash, grazed by a rain of rock, Gaius Justinius Aquila staggered along the beach, eyes wide at all the horrors.

Fierce September, by Fleur Beale (358 pages) – Book two of the Juno series. ‘Juno and the Taris inhabitants must leave their dying island to live on the Outside, a seemingly hostile place of pandemics and conflict. Juno enjoys the new freedoms and choices now available to her in a future New Zealand. But Taris doesn’t give up its hold so easily, and she is shocked to find the island held more secrets than any of them knew.’

The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller (410 pages) – Not a reference to vampires, thank goodness, but rather people who are reincarnated repeatedly. I think! Take a gander at the official website and watch the trailer.

First line: ‘Haven was back.

The DVDs that are the newest

Fullmetal alchemist. Collection 2, Volumes 7-13

“Edward and Alphonse Elric continue on their journey to find the Philosophers stone to restore their lost bodies. In order to do so they must come to face with many people from the past and discover the true purpose of the Homunculi. Will their journey lead them to the promised powers?” – Cover

Resident Evil : Apocalypse

“Heroine Alice is thrust back into the war against the bloodthirsty undead and the fight against the powerful Umbrella Corporation, and is pitted against a super-human super-weapon, who has been unleashed to destroy her.” – Cover

Looking for Alibrandi

“Josie Alibrandi has a lot to deal with right now. She’s 17, got the dreaded H.S.C. in front of her and the boy of her dreams seems completely out of reach. Then there’s that other problem. She’s a wog. Sure it’s where Josie comes from but it’s not where she feels she belongs. In fact, Josie doesn’t know where she belongs. With her Nonna in one ear talking about the old country and the stuck-up girls at her school telling her she’s an outsider, it’s no wonder. This year, however, everything is going to change. Josie will let loose, face her fears, uncover secrets – even discover the true identity of her father. It’s going to be a year when Josie finally finds out where she belongs” – Cover

Trials of life. Volume 1

“Life is one long struggle, a challenge for even the fittest animal. Leaving parents, searching for food, building a home, finding a mate – each day brings a new test. These programs, superbly crafted and originally presented, investigate the many amazing ways in which creatures from all parts of the globe face up to and resolve The Trials of Life.” – Cover

The private life of plants. Volume 1

“David Attenborough’s study of the world of plants, which demonstrates, with the aid of time-lapse photography, the rich and varied ways in which they flourish.” – Cover

Top Ten: Comedy DVDs

 There is a Comedy DVD display in the YA area of the Central Library at the moment, this list is an online companion piece.

  1. Cool Runnings – Not only hilarious, it’s emotional too. Someone at Teen Blog HQ admits to getting choked up at the end of this one, others just enjoy Doug E. Doug’s antics.
  2. Mean Girls – Lindsay Lohan is mean, and funny!
  3. Superbad – Unpopular kids try to find girlfriends, general ineptitude interferes and provides lulz.
  4. High School Musical – You have probably all seen this, and as such any description of plot etc. is surplus to requirements.
  5. The Mask – Jim Carrey puts on a magical green mask and turns into what pretty much amounts to a living cartoon. Visual gags aplenty.
  6. 17 Again – The dreamy Zac Efron plays a man who magically gets turned from a forty-something loser into, well, the dreamy Zac Efron. All sorts of rofl-tastic capers ensue.
  7. Legally Blonde – Reese Witherspoon plays the stereotypical blonde valley girl in a fish out of water scenario where she goes and studies law at an ivy league school. Hijinks follow.
  8. School Of Rock – Jack Black teaches kids how to be in a rock band by shouting, waving his arms around and acting manic.
  9. Dude, Where’s My Car – Ashton Kutcher wakes up after a big night out and realises his car is missing. Then he is confused for pretty much an entire day.
  10. Adventureland – A quirky rom-com set in and around a theme-park.

Moar Haiku

brandon flowers

Brandon Flowers – Flamingo

Diminutive front
man sets out alone, travels
back towards Sam’s Town

chemical bros

Chemical Brothers – Further

Nineties stad-house “bros”
borrow chillwave blueprints and
add personal touch

britannia high

Britannia High

Gary Barlow pens
tunes for what I imagine
to be UK Glee

 adam lambert

Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment (bonus tracks)

Your entertainment
is now prolonged by roughly
fifteen more minutes

Right Here, Right Now : 34 massive radio hits from the 90s

You may not recall
what the nineties sounded like,
though with this you can

Bonobo – Black Sands

Bonobos are like
chimpanzees. Black Sands is like
Sunday afternoons.

Some book (and other) news

Some random facts: 

Neuroscientists reckon reading vampire fiction helps teenage brains develop empathy. Fancy. Here’s the story (it’s from the Guardian, so it must be serious). So, if you’re after more vampire fiction go here to the catalogue, or here for related Teen Blog posts.

The popularity of ya literature is blamed for the increase in people wanting books banned, as the BBC explains. (Incidentally, Banned Books Week is from 25 September to 2 October, which is like now.)

If it came down to it, would you be Team Zombie or Team Unicorn? Zombies Versus Unicorns is a new anthology of short stories featuring some über popular YA authors, including Cassandra Clare (Zombies), Meg Cabot (Unicorns), Scott Westerfeld (Zombies) and Holly Black (surprisingly, Unicorns). This will be available soon. In the mean time, watch the cool book trailer:

CHERUB: a shadowy wave of massive popularity. Everyone being crazy for CHERUB and Shadow Wave (is this the concluding story?) means that we’ve got over 100 (that’s right) people queueing up to read it. Not to worry, we’ve got 22 copies in the library, so with an average of 3 people per day reserving it, and an average lending period of about 4 weeks, this means it will be a medium-ish wait if you reserve it today. Maths not that great, never was.

Tool is going to the Big Day Out next year. See here.

New Magazines 27/09/10

There are heaps of new magazines! That is because it’s been two weeks since the last New Mag post, mainly.

Simpsons Comics #165 – Haw haw
Entertainment Weekly #1119 – Sandra Bullock! | Ben Affleck! | A little bit about series two of The Vampire Diaries!
Seventeen November 2010 – “Look Pretty Now!” | “Have fun with your makeup!” | “Make peace with your texture” | and so on
Dolly September 2010 – “My sister thinks she’s Bella Swan” | Wear lilac (the colour) | “42 beauty tricks to get noticed!”
White Dwarf September 2010 – The Island of Blood! | Verminkin’s Horde!
Playstation September 2010 – Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood! | Dragon Age II!
Tearaway September 2010 – Tearaway‘s been gone for a couple of months, but now it’s back!

Harry Potter Part 1 Trailer Part 2

It is fitting that a book that’s become two movies should have more than one trailer for each part. Here’s another sneak peak at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. More creepy Voldemort, more foreboding skies, more special effects. Edge of your seat stuff (and it’s only 2 minutes and 28 seconds long).


About an Author: Sarah Dessen

We recently-ish did a post about a Top 100 YA fiction list, in which Sarah Dessen featured strongly. So what about Sarah Dessen then? Who is she and why is she so popular? Here’s a very brief summary.

Sarah Dessen is the writer of (currently) nine novels for young adults, all of them stand-alone (which is unusual, since it seems everyone thinks you have to write series to be popular). We have them all! She studied creative writing in college (lucky her) and her first book, That Summer, was completed while she was waitressing (good job for writers: write during the day, wait at night).

Sarah Dessen fans (wittily called dessenites) love her for her realism, her focus on interpersonal relationships (the catch-all subject for fiction), and, yes, her books are a little bit romantic. Of Just Listen, possibly her most critically well received novel, one reviewer wrote, “Annabel and Owen’s finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power”.

If you’re wanting to make a serious study of Sarah Dessen’s works then the place to go is the Literature Resource Centre. This is one of the online databases you can get at through MyGateway.info. The Literature Resource Centre is a fantastic resource: there are reviews (separated into reviews and more highbrow literary criticism), biographical articles and interviews, plus much more. Great for your NCEA reading log.

Sarah Dessen on t’internet:
Website | TwitterBlog | Facebook

Flash 6

This is the sixth collection of free games you can play on your PC or Mac or whatever. At home though, I don’t think many will work in the library. (They mightn’t all use Flash (the multimedia software), I realise, but it’s too late to rename Flash 1, Flash 2, 3, “4“, and 5).

Give Up, Robot – guide a technicolour robot through a series of obstacle courses (?). The cute little robot can swing and jump! Oh yes it can
Submachine: 32 Chambers – this won a ‘casual game’ award. It’s something you can play casually! Nice and chill.
One-Button Arthur – You only need one button to play this! (The button does a different thing on each level.) You can only click so many times in one game before you LOSE.
Colour Theory – a platformer about colour theory. That’s what I said! Colour theory!
Epic Coaster – imagine driving a roller coaster that can jump from track to track. And whenever you miss a track (lol) its passengers scream as they plummet to the ground. At last!
Super Mario Crossover – the name says it all. Enjoyable beeping music a plus, Crystal Castle fans.
Tiny Castle – another platformer, but with only one level. A massive, complex level!

That’s about all. I have enjoyed ‘researching’ this post.

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