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

Month: October 2010 Page 1 of 3


BreakOut is a database of “scholarships for school, polytechnic or travel grants; sports and arts schemes; personal grants; personal development funds; and academic and non-academic funding” (that covers everything I guess!) for New Zealanders, young and old. You can access it (and loads of other databases) through mygateway.info, provided you have a library card.

Upcoming additions: new fiction

Hello! Revisionings of Jane Eyre and The Phantom of the Opera, a 1920s series from the author of The Luxe, a new book from style doyenne Lauren Conrad, another winning collaboration from David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (as in the writers of Nick and Norah): just some of the titles we’ve just ordered for the young adult fiction collection.

Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld – the next book in the series where the clankers and their mechs are pitted against the Darwinists and their beasties, with Alek and Deryn stuck in the middle. If you haven’t already, read Leviathan first, which is where it all starts. They’ve also got cool illustrations by Keith Thompson.

Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly – from the author of A Gathering Light, which we rather like. The intertwining stories of two girls, one in present day Brooklyn (New York) and the other in revolutionary Paris. Here’s a book trailer (where the author talks about the inspiration for the story):


Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – Lily writes a book of dares designed to entice exactly the right guy for her and leaves it in a beguiling place (a shelf in her favourite bookshop). Dash finds it and is intrigued and game, but is he indeed exactly the right guy?

Jane, April Lindner –  yay, a modern retelling of Jane Eyre, where Jane is a nanny for Nico Rathburn (actually his kids, not him), a rock star on his way back to greatness. Since it’s Jane Eyre-ish there will no doubt also be creeping mysteriousness and (I hope!) a mad woman in the attic (I will be a little disappointed if not). Also, Nico better make a good Mr Rochester.

Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen – Luxe fans (and Gossip Girl fans)! Look here! The gorgeous elite of Manhattan in the 1920s, intrigue among the flappers, with a focus on three girls in particular: Letty and Cordelia (new to the big city) and Astrid. Anna Godbersen also helpfully has put together a playlist (it’s here – mind the html).

Jumbee, Pamela Keyes – one of those books that just sounds intriguing when you summarise: the Phantom of the Opera in the Caribbean! Esti and her mother move to a Caribbean island after the death of her father, a famous Shakespearean actor, where a spectral, mysterious friend (Alan) helps her unlock her thespian potential.

Sugar and Spice, Lauren Conrad – more from L A Candy land.

The Duff, Kody Keplinger – DUFF is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend, sadly. The story of Bianca, a seventeen year old nicknamed Duffy with a razor sharp wit and beautiful friends, who (I think) decides to even things up a bit. Don’t want to spoil things too much. Good for older teens. This is also available as a downloadable audiobook.

Swoon, Nina Malkin – a paranormal romance set in Swoon, Connecticut, with ghosts and demons, bad boys and lurve.

New Magazines 27/10/10

Entertainment Weekly #1123 – Justin Timberlake on why he’s choosing acting over music. Why, Justin? Why?
Playstation October 2010 – So many games, so little time.
Simpsons Classics #23 – “lol”
Official Australia and New Zealand XBox 360 Magazine #60 – A new, more inclusive title for this, the “5th Birthday Collectors’ Edition”
Seventeen November 2010 – ‘Get Pretty Faster (So You Can Sleep Later)’ | AMAZING HAIR | Animal prints 🙁
White Dwarf October 2010 – The Island of Blood Mega Battle

Beiberbio II

Last week? Two weeks ago? I pointed out that Justin Beiber’s autobiography is due. Well! Good news. You can hear excerpts being read below.

We’re Back

Hello again! We’re back from our hiatus. It was fun. Now it’s business as usual, with a few changes you might like to note:

1) Check your library card online. When you log in to your card you’ll notice it all looks a bit different (font, mainly). Some enhancements include:

  • You can see where you got that book. Huzzah. In the expanded view of what you’ve got out look at “loaned at”. So now you’ll never have to wonder again.
  • Again, in the expanded view you will see book covers. So you’ll know exactly what that book you can’t find looks like, which is a good starting point. Look under the couch.
  • All the fees and lost stuff is lumped together under “charges, fees and lost material”. If you’ve had something for really rather ages it won’t appear in the “loaned” list, it’ll be in the don’t really want to go there but should if I want to use my library card list. Easy
  • In the reserves you can see how many available copies the library has. Number 37 in the queue doesn’t look so bad if there are 20 copies, for example.

2) Normal common or garden variety catalogue searching. A couple of things to note on the Classic Catalogue: for some titles you will be able to read the first chapter. Also, don’t forget to read the catalogue searching help file if you want to do advanced Boolean search type things, or if you just want to know which search type best suits your needs.

Cool and useful trivia for the day: proximity searching

When searching, you can specify how close you want the words you’re looking for to be together. You can also use (w)  and (n) to retrieve results with your words in a specific order and a specific number of words apart.

(w) specifies how many words apart and in what order. Insert a number to specify that you want the words to appear no more than that number apart (anywhere from 1 to 99).  So something like Lady (3w) Grey will give you Lady Grey or Lady Jane Grey, for example, but not Grey Lady.

(n) just specifies how many words apart. Therefore green (4n) ham will give you results for green ham, and also green eggs and ham, but not recipe books involving green beans lightly drizzled with olive oil covered in ham, with a mention of a recipe for scrambled eggs at the bottom of the page.

[I learned this by reading the informative catalogue help page mentioned above.]

Teen Blog Hiatus

The library’s computer system is getting upgraded over Labour Weekend. After today the library’s blogs will no longer update until the upgrade is complete. It is all to do with computers, somehow. So you won’t be hearing from us for the next ten days or so. In the meantime read lots of books (it’s Teen Read Week 2010 next week after all) and maybe go through our archives and re-read some favourite posts.

Until next time, goodnight from us all at Teen Blog Towers.

New Books! And Magazines!

Hi! Here are some new books.

Bait, by Alex Sanchez (239 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Diego is in trouble with the law, and has a deeply troubled past. His probabation officer, Mr. Vidas, is able to bust through Diego’s shell and help him out and ‘navigate his rocky passage to maturity.’

First line: ‘“This is Mr. Vodas,” explained Diego’s court-appointed attorney as they headed into juvenile court.

Wolf Squadron : Special Operations, by Craig Simpson (318 pages) – Secret agents Finn, Loki, and Freya must head into enemy territory to rescue downed aircrew, Wolf Squadron, and a British double agent. Finn & Co. have escaped from Nazi-occupied Norway and now work for Special Operations, a secret agency led by old Winston Churchill himself.

First line: ‘“Stop it! Leave hinm be, you two. Can’t you see you’re frightening him?” Freya reached out and grasped my arm.

Wayfarer, by R. J. Anderson (296 pages) – Linden is a teenaged faerie whose people – the Faeries of the Oak – are endangered. She has the last of her people’s magic, and with human Timothy, must save the humans and the faeries from a potent and ancient eeeeevil.

First lines: ‘The Queen is dying. The knowledge sat in Linden’s belly like a cold stone as she hunched over the tub of greasy water, scrubbing her thirty-ninth plate.

Other, by Karen Kincy (326 pages) – Gwen is an ‘Other’, in that she belongs to the barely-tolerated group of vampires, centaurs, and other mythical creatures. In her small town, however, Others are not tolerated at all, and when they start turning up dead she – and a sexy guy/Japanese fox spirit – must find the killer.

First lines: ‘I can’t last much longer. It’s been on week, three days, and I forget how many hours.

Leftovers, by Heather Waldorf (198 pages) – When Sarah’s abusive father choked to death on a piece of steak, it was the best day of her life. Shortly afterwards, after a brush with the law, she ends up doing community service at a camp for shelter dogs. There she meets Judy (a dog) and Sullivan (a human).

First lines: ‘Ah, summer. Lazy mornings in bed, flipping through back issues of People and munching on chocolate chip waffles.

Marrying Ameera, by Rosanne Hawke (292 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Ameera Hassan is falling for her best friend’s brother, Tariq. Her traditionalist father learns of this and send her to Pakistan, to get married to some guy she’s not met. Desperate to leave, she makes a bid for freedom.

First line: ‘“Ameera!” I head my name and then the single toot; Riaz was in his car already.

Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley (264 pages) – Lucy is desperate to find the graffiti artist, Shadow, whose secretive nature means no one know who he is (a la Banksy). Some guy named Ed, who Lucy doesn’t want to see, says that he knows where to find him, and he takes her on ‘an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

First lines: ‘I pedal fast. Down Rose Drive where houses swim in pools of orange streetlight.

Split, by Stefan Petrucha (257 pages) – After his mother’s death, Wade can not decide whether to become a musician or a scholar. So he splits his mind into two and becomes both. But soon these two worlds begin to collide, and Wade will need to ‘save himself’.

First line: ‘I’m staring at Mom’s face, a face I’ve seen at least as often as the sun or the moon, only something’s gone from it now.

Witch Breed, by Alan Gibbons (311 pages) – Book four in the aptly titled Hell’s Underground series, about the demonic entity under London. In this volume, Paul travels to the 1700s when it was an especially rough time for women accused of witchcraft.

First lines: ‘‘Tell me you will never forget me.’ The quill pen falters on the page.

Moment of Truth : The Laws of Magic Book 5, by Michael Pryor (442 pages) – I will quote a comment from Gill when we wrote about the fourth book in this series: ‘Laws of Magic is a wild steampunk fantasy adventure with nice touches of humour and even romance. It’s a world like ours just before WW1 but with magic. Lots of spying and plots and assassinations and misunderstandings. The main characters, Aubrey Fitzwilliam, is the son of the prime minister and he’s also sort of dead thanks to a magical experiment gone wrong. He’s involved with his friends in adventures. Great books!’

First lines: ‘Aubrey Fitzwilliam was on a mission. Determined, unwavering, purposeful, he would not be diverted from his goal, especially since spring was in the air.

Operation Ocean Emerald : A Luke Baron Adventure, by Ilkka Remes (307 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Luke Baron sneaks aboard the luxurious cruise ship, The Ocean Emerald, and encounters a criminal gang who have captured the ship. Only he can escape and save everyone.  The cover (ominously!) features an exploding cruise liner!

First line: ‘Luke was looking at the computer games and didn’t notice a thing when Toni slipped the DVD into his shoulder bag.

And this week’s magazines:

Transworld Skateboarding October 2010 – Skateboarding | skateboarding | skateboarding! | skateboarding? | shoes
Dolly October 2010 – What to do when your friends ditch you | Bonus! Quiz book inside | Denim again, but with polka dots?!
Entertainment Weekly #1122 – Modern Family | Reviews, and more


Justin Bieber has written an autobiography! Is there nothing he can’t turn his hand to? We will get it at the library, but it might be a while. (System upgrade, you see.)

More DVDs Than I Could Carry!

There are an awful lot of new DVDs, which is good news for fans of watching things.

Hating Alison Ashley
“14-year-old Erika Yurken (Yuk) is a melodramatic teenager living in a chaotic house with an unconvential family. At least at school Yuk feels she is shining. That is– until the arrival of miss perfect, Alison Ashley ruins all her plans. Alison is beautiful and rich and to top it all off, she is smart.”
– Cover

Sister Act 2 : Back In The Habit
The lounge singer turned Nun, Deloris Van Cartier, returns to the habit to help her fellow sisters run an inner city school full of rowdy teenagers.” – Cover

Hulk : 2 Disc Special Edition
Scientist Bruce Banner has anger management issues. His quiet life as a brilliant scientist working with his ex-girlfriend conceals a painful past. A freak lab accident reveals his heroic impulses but also unleashes his inner demons. He becomes the most powerful being on earth, a super-hero and a monster.” – Cover

Material Girls
“As ‘celebutantes’ who have inherited their father’s multi-million-dollar cosmetics empire, life for Ava and Tanzie Marchetta is a rollercoaster ride of fun parties, gorgeous guys and designer clothes. But when they are implicated in an awful scandal, they are suddenly stripped of their money and possessions! Now, Ava and Tanzie are going to have to learn to live in the real world– and discover what they’re really made of.”
– Cover

Fantastic 4
“After exposure to cosmic radiation, four astronauts become the most remarkable, if dysfunctional, superheroes of all time. The media loves them, the world loves them, but unfortunately not everyone’s a fan,as they quickly learn when the sponsor of the mission that created them reveals his own tranformation… into the world’s most lethal super villain!”
– Cover

Lord Of The Rings : The Fellowship Of The Rings
“With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary One Ring. Hunting Frodo are servants of the Dark Lord, Sauron, the Ring’s evil creator. If Sauron reclaims the Ring, Middle-Earth is doomed.”
– Cover

Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers
“The fellowship has broken, but the quest to destroy the One Ring continues. Frodo and Sam must entrust their lives to Gollum if they are to find their way to Mordor. As Saruman’s army approaches, the surviving members of the Fellowship, along with people and creatures of Middle-earth, prepare for battle. The war of the ring has begun.”
– Cover

Lord Of The Rings : The Return Of The King
“The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growling power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest.”
– Cover

The O.C. : The Complete First Season
“Money and beauty are the key values of this Southern California coastal enclave. But from the moment troubled outside Ryan Atwood moves in with the Cohens, all statuses aren’t quo. Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan and Adam Brody play the Cohens, a family willing to give a newcomer a chance. Ryan’s arrival triggers a Newport wave of peer pressure, love triangles, generational conflicts and more.”
– Cover

Gossip Girl : The Complete Third Season
“Our beloved Upper East Siders, all grown up. Though high school may be behind most of them, you can be sure a future of love, scandal, and, of course, secrets awaits. Told through the eyes of an all-knowing blogger, Gossip Girl, who, via constant, avidly read text messages, is determined to uncover and fuel every scandal possible on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where gossip rules and affluent young people find themselves with the money, access, and appetite to explore.”
– Cover

Avatar, The Legend Of Aang : Book 2: Earth, Volume 2
“Now a master Waterbender, Aang leaves the Northern Water Tribe to continue his quest to master the next element, Earth. Along with Katara and Sokka, they visit new Earth Nation cities, encounter a slew of different Earth Kingdom citizens, and even reunite with a crazy old king!”
– Cover

Avatar, The Last Airbender : Book 3: Fire, Volume 1
“The kids enter the Fire Nation with the goal of covertly moving from island to island to the Royal Palace, where they will eventually confront and defeat the Firelord. Along the way, they discover the people of the Fire Nation are not all that different in their needs and desires from the other peoples of the world.”
– Cover

The Oh Yay It’s Almost Exam Time Blog Post

KitKatNearly time to study for exams? Never fear, here are some links and stuff that will help you:

Rather than shutting yourself in your room to study, you could also consider the library as a venue: we’ve got copies of NCEA study guides, and some past exam papers (or you could download from the NZQA site at the library), tables, chairs, and ambience.

If you’re needing to procrastinate take a small micropause, here are some non-study related links that may interest you:

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