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Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

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

Month: June 2021

COVID-19 Update: All Teen Events Postponed

Hey there folks! This is just a quick update to let you know that the remainder of our events for Out On The Shelves have been postponed in response to today’s announcement that Wellington will be entering Alert Level 2 from 6.00pm tonight. Once we have found new dates for these events, we will make the announcement here and on our social media channels. The following events are affected:

  • Wednesday 23 June, He Matapihi Library — Rainbow Zine Workshop (new date t.b.a.)
  • Friday 25 June, Arapaki Library — Youth Night Quiz: Pride Edition (new date t.b.a.)
  • Saturday 26 June, Johnsonville Library — Youth Night Quiz: Pride Edition (new date t.b.a.)

In addition, Tūhura/The HIVE at Johnsonville Library will be closed until we return to Alert Level 1 — so no weaving, 3D printing, laser cutting, or booking of the music studio for now.

Stay safe, and remember to use the NZ Covid Tracer app whenever you’re out and about.

Out on the Shelves at Your Libraries

Hello friends!

This week the Out on the Shelves Campaign Week begins, and when they say week, they really mean two weeks. This Campaign Week is a time for libraries (amongst others) to really highlight Out on the Shelves, to make some colourful displays, and to run some awesome events.

Now, I’m sure you’re getting super excited already, but you might not even know what Out on the Shelves is! Well, let me explain.

Out on the Shelves is an online reading resource created by InsideOUT to help rainbow young people find, read, and recommend positive and affirming stories with good representation in them. We’ve had enough of “Bury your Gays“, thank you very much! If you want to know a bit more, then check out this video:

If you’re looking for your next book to read, then check out the booklists. If you’ve read a wonderfully queer book recently and don’t see it on any of the Out on the Shelves booklists, then you can go ahead and make a submission!

If you’re a writer you can enter the writing competition, or if you want to try your hand at Zine making you can create a page for the 2021 Rainbow Zine.

But wait, there’s more!

Do you like books? Do you like movies? Do you like quizzes? Do you like hanging out at the library with a bunch of other Cool Kids and some extra cool (if I do say so myself) librarians? Do you remember how I said earlier that the Campaign Week is a great time for libraries to run awesome events?

If you do, you’re in luck! We’ll be running a range of events at four different libraries across the city.

Youth Movie Night: Pride Edition
To celebrate Out on the Shelves 2021, Wellington City Libraries are hosting a YA movie night. The film will be LGBT+ themed, but otherwise it is a complete secret! Venture to a late-night library screening near you for popcorn, pals and a pride-fuelled time. For ages 13-18.

Join us at 6.00pm to get settled down with some snacks, and we’ll start the movie at 6.30pm.

Rainbow Zine Workshops
Join us for the zine-making afternoons for young adults and try your hand at writing, poetry or art! Enter the Out On The Shelves writing competition, write a book review for the official 2021 Rainbow Zine, or check out our LGBTQI+ book collection.

Youth Quiz Night: Pride Edition
To celebrate Out on the Shelves 2021, Wellington City Libraries are hosting a Pride quiz extravaganza! There will be pizza, prizes, and plenty of quizzical challenges. Coming to a library near you! For ages 13-18.

Show up and grab a table with your team, or just show up and we can help you find a team!

So come along, make new friends, grab a bookmark booklist, and have fun!

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2021: YA Finalists!

Yep, it’s that time of year again — the shortlist for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults has finally been announced, and once again, it is excellent. For the books that have been nominated in the children’s categories, check out our post on our sister blog here. But over here at the Teen Blog, we only care about the YA. Read on, and click on the title of each book so you can get your mitts on a copy. Go on, you know you want to.

(Full disclosure — I am actually one of the judges for the Book Awards this year, so we won’t be able to do our traditional personal takes on the books, lest my words be taken as official rulings! Head on over to our friends at The Sapling, or of course the official Book Awards site for some insightful takes on the books featured below!)

Draw me a hero. / Ashworth, N. K

“Jane Dawson is fourteen years old, lives with her mum and older sister, loves drawing and wears an old leather flying helmet. Facing another dull term at school, Jane loses herself in her art. But when a boy, Bailey Summer, moves in three doors down, with brooding good looks and a long grey trench coat, Jane is drawn out of her introspective world. The two collaborate. He writes. She draws. Their friendship grows. Yet there is something odd about Bailey. Is he really who he says he is and why is his writing so disturbing?” (Publisher summary courtesy of Lasavia Publishing)

Fire’s caress : a Telesā world novel / Young, Lani Wendt
“She’s the brilliant sculptor taking the art world by storm, a daughter of Samoa returning home. He’s the fiery remnant of her past, who appears on what should be a night of triumph, weighted with dark secrets that could destroy them both. Can Teuila and Keahi find their way, even as a deadly threat emerges? Because there’s a new power on island, malevolent and hungry. His name is Marc Gold. His billion dollar vision of a virus-free Sanctuary in Samoa for the world’s rich and privileged, threatens to wipe out an ancient settlement of the Aitu and awakens their retribution. There is a battle coming and it is one that could destroy them all.” (Catalogue)

Spycraft / Falkner, Brian
“The astonishing journey of teenager Joseph St George (Katipo Joe) continues. Recruited by MI5, this time Joe is on a mission to infiltrate an elite group of Hitler Youth. In a world where one wrong word could bring catastrophe, he must compete with the other young people for a prize beyond his wildest dreams. But the consequences of failure are torture and death. From the war-torn skies over Germany to the heights of the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s hideaway, this is Joe’s story. Set amidst actual events, Joe’s story is a tale of incredible heroism, unlikely romance and unbearable tragedy.” (Catalogue)

The king’s nightingale / Jordan, Sherryl
“An epic fantasy set in a land of sultans and kings, sumptuous palaces… and slave markets. When Elowen and her brother are seized by pirates and sold, separately, in the slave market of a distant land, Elowen’s enduring resolve is to escape, rescue her brother and return home. Sold to a desert ruler who admires her sublime voice, Elowen is given the title of the King’s Nightingale. Honoured by the king, and loved by his scribe, Elowen lives a life of luxury, until she makes a fateful mistake and finds herself sold to a less charitable master.” (Catalogue)

The pōrangi boy / Kino, Shilo
“Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government plan to build a prison here and destroy the home of the taniwha has divided the community. Some are against it, but others see it as an opportunity. Niko is worried about the land and Taukere, but who will listen to him? He’s an ordinary boy who’s laughed at, bullied, and called pōrangi, crazy, for believing in the taniwha. But it’s Niko who has to convince the community that Taukere is real, unite whānau in protest against the prison and stand up to the bullies.” (Catalogue)

Matariki Short Story Competition with Lingogo!

You said there was a writing competition?

Yes indeed! Fancy yourself a bit of a language aficionado? Our friends at Lingogo are running a Matariki Short Story Competition for rangatahi aged 13-18 around the country. The winner gets a $500 Prezzy card, plus gets published on the Lingogo app! Your story must be on the theme of Matariki, and be less than 500 words, and may be in English or te reo Māori, but other than that, all the creative stuff is down to you!

Start writing now for your chance to win — entries close at midnight on the 30th of June, but there’s still plenty of time to get in those submissions. In their words, “you could be flying into the Māori new year as a published author with some extra moolah in your pocket!” Check out all the deets, and submit your story, here. And if you’re in the mood for inspiration, check out some of our previous posts on the topic of creative writing here!

Wait, so what is Lingogo again?

We’re glad you asked! Lingogo is a library app developed in Aotearoa that provides access to a wide range of dual-language Māori and Pacific stories with audio. It’s awesome for beginner and intermediate language learners as well as fluent speakers. You can simply tap any sentence to listen to it spoken aloud and find its English translation, so it’s super easy and intuitive to use. It’s one of the best tools out there to get clued up about indigenous story and language, so get amongst!

Get started with Lingogo by visiting our eLibrary page here, or you can find the app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. We reckon Lingogo is pretty awesome, so we’re keen for you to give it a go!

Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival 2021

Winter has arrived in Wellington, and the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival is back again, in its fourth year,  during the week of the 11th to the 21st of June, and there’re heaps of exciting events happening in the Capital!

What is the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival?

The Lōemis (pron. lew-mis) festival began in 2016 and is held annually in Wellington in the lead up to the winter solstice.

For eleven days, the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival observes the longest nights of the year with a hearty mix of feasting, theatre, music, monstrous creatures and a fiery waterfront procession, based around the winter solstice, which falls on 22 June.

For more information on what events are on, check out the Lōemis website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, why not get into the “festival” season with:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrating the southern seasons : rituals for Aotearoa.

“Provides information and insight … of the customs, symbols, stories and meanings relating to the seasonal changes from both European and Maori perspectives … contents include the meeting point: the coming together of Aotearoa New Zealand’s two dominant cultures … an overview of seasonal celebrations, guidelines on how to structure seasonal rituals … a calendar for Aotearoa New Zealand, suggested rituals for Aotearoa New Zealand today, an overview of Celtic and Maori traditions” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year of festivals : how to have the time of your life.

“Takes you around the world in pursuit of festivals in all their flamboyant color and variety. Discover music, camel races, feats of endurance, manic street parties and monumental food fights. From the sublime (Venice’s Carnevale or India’s Krishna Janmastami) to the absurd (Finland’s Wife-Carrying Championships or Australia’s Beer Can Regatta), the best of the famous and little-known alike are represented here. Organized by month and week to help you to plan a great festival experience at any time of year. Country and Festival indexes allow you to also search by the destination of your next vacation, or by the name or theme of the festival you want to experience.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 festivals to blow your mind.

“Join the world’s biggest water fight in Thailand, become a reveller on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and party at Rio’s world-famous carnival. Whatever you like to celebrate, you’ll find a gathering somewhere on the planet to suit. Lonely Planet collects the greatest, weirdest and most jaw-dropping festivals around the world to set your sights on” (Catalogue).


Also, why not join in on “the Lōemis workshop fun”,  in the comfort of your own home… or library by creating your masterpieces, (mask making, Mexican style treats, culinary goodness, puppetry and house building), with some help from the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsPowermask : the power of masks.

“Since the 1990’s, Walter Van Beirendonck has been fascinated by masks. A mask changes your identity, raises a particular atmosphere and has instant impact. Artists like André Breton, Pablo Picasso or even Breughel were inspired. Power Mask – The Power of Masks goes deeper into the different facets of masks: the link between Western art and African masks, the supernatural and the rituals around masks, masks in fashion, masks like fetish, and more” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLa Boca Loca : Mexican cooking for New Zealanders.

“Lucas Putnam and Marianne Elliott opened their Mexican restaurant, La Boca Loca in April 2011, with a clear goal: to bring the freshest flavours of Mexico to Wellington using fresh and locally available ingredients. Their customers loved the taste of their freshly prepared Mexican food and many wanted to learn to make it themselves at home, so this book makes it possible to recreate and share the taste of Lucas’s childhood.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsPuppetry : how to do it.

“A practical, accessible and inspiring guide to using puppetry in theatre — the perfect entry point for anyone looking to use puppets in their productions, to explore what puppets can do, or to develop their puppetry skills” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe econest home : designing & building a light straw clay house.

“An EcoNest is not just a home–it is a uniquely beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This complete practical guide explains how EcoNests combine light straw clay natural building techniques with the principles of Building Biology, provides fully-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for designing and building your own, and is packed with inspiring photos of completed projects” (Catalogue)


Keep warm and stay safe this winter!