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The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Spider-Verse (Part One)

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about all the heroes that can do whatever a spider can from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!

(via GIPHY)

And stay tuned for another blog in a few weeks where we explore the comic origins of the characters from the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

What is Spider-Verse?

Spider-Verse was a 2015 Marvel Comics crossover storyline of all the Spider-Man titles. The story followed Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and other Spider-People from across the Multiverse uniting as a ‘Spider-Army’ to stop a group of aristocratic, interdimensional vampires called the Inheritors from exterminating every Spider-Man in existence.

The original Spider-Verse storyline can be read across these collections:

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : edge of Spider-Verse (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

Spider-Woman [1] : Spider-Verse / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Verse publishing line

Since the release of the film Into the Spider-Verse, Marvel has put out a Spider-Verse line of collections to give readers a primer on the heroes and villains featured in the movie.

Spider-Man, Spider-verse : amazing Spider-Man / Eliopoulos, Chris

Spider-Man. Spider-Verse: Spider-Women

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Gwen / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Miles Morales / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man Spider-Verse : fearsome foes / Lee, Stan

Who’s Who in the Spider-Verse?

Miles Morales (Earth-1610, later Earth-616)

Teenager Miles Morales was bitten by a genetically engineered spider and gained spider powers, including the new abilities of camouflage and producing an electric ‘venom shock’. Initially keeping his abilities a secret, after the death of his universe’s Peter Parker, Miles is inspired to take up the mantle of Spider-Man.

Ultimate Universe Miles Morales

Miles was originally from the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610), a world for modern updates of classic Marvel characters that had its own publishing line, Ultimate Comics, that ran from 2000 to 2015.

Ultimate Spider-Man reading order

Ultimate comics Spider-Man : death of Spider-Man fallout / Bendis, Brian Michael (Miles’ first appearance)

Miles Morales : Spider-Man / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael (crossover with The Amazing Spider-Man) (ONLY on Libby)

Miles Morales : with great power / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : great responsibility / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Miles Morales : ultimate end / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : ultimate end is also collected as Miles Morales: the ultimate Spider-Man [1] : revival / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby) and Miles Morales : the ultimate Spider-Man [2] : revelations / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Secret wars / Hickman, Jonathan

Ultimate end. Battleworld / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles also became a member of the All-New Ultimates, a team of young heroes inspired by their universe’s version of the Avengers.

All-new Ultimates [1] : power for power / Fiffe, Michel

All-new Ultimates. Vol. 2, No gods, no masters / Fiffe, Michel

Marvel Universe Miles Morales

After the destruction of the Ultimate Universe during Secret Wars, Miles was folded into the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616) and now fights crime alongside Peter Parker as a protégé. 

Miles Morales Reading Order

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [1] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [2] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen : sitting in a tree / Bendis, Brian Michael (also collected as Miles Morales : the avenging Avenger) (crossover with Spider-Gwen, also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [3] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [4] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Men II / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales [1] : straight out of Brooklyn / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. 2, Bring on the bad guys
(also on Libby)

Absolute Carnage : Miles Morales / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales. Vol. 3, Family business / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales [4] : ultimatum / Ahmed, Saladin
(also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 5, The clone saga / Ahmed, Saladin
(also on Libby)

Miles Morales [6] : all eyes on me / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 7, Beyond / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales [8] : empire of the spider / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen (Earth-65)

On Earth-65, a ‘low-super’ universe with fewer superhumans, Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider, gained spider-powers, and became Spider-Woman. Gwen struggles to balance school, her rock band, her super-heroics, all while continuing her multiversal misadventures with her fellow Spiders.

Spider-Gwen reading order

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : edge of Spider-Verse (Spider-Gwen’s first appearance) (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen [0] : most wanted / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Women / Hopeless, Dennis (crossover with Spider-Woman and Silk) 

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 1, Greater power / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen Volume 0, 1, and Spider-Gwen’s first appearance in Edge of Spider-Verse are also collected as Spider-Gwen : Gwen Stacy / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 2, Weapon of choice / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen [3] : long-distance / Latour, Jason

Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen : sitting in a tree / Bendis, Brian Michael (also collected as Miles Morales : the avenging Avenger / Bendis, Brian Michael) (crossover with Spider-Gwen, also on Libby) 

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 4, Predators / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 5, Gwenom / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen [6] : the life of Gwen Stacy / Latour, Jason

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)

Later, Gwen takes up the name Ghost-Spider and moves to Earth-616.

Spider-Gwen : Ghost-Spider. Vol. 1, Spider-geddon / McGuire, Seanan (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen : Ghost-Spider. Vol. 2, Impossible year / McGuire, Seanan

Ghost-Spider [1] : dog days are over / McGuire, Seanan

Ghost-Spider. Vol. 2, Party people / McGuire, Seanan

Spider-Gwen : Gwenverse / Seeley, Tim

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Peter Parker (Earth-616)

By the time Spider-Verse happened, Peter Parker had just recovered from having his personality overwritten by Doctor Octopus and was running his own company, Parker Industries. Once the Inheritors arrive on Earth-616, Peter is recruited into the Spider-Army because he is believed to be ‘the greatest Spider-Man’.

Spider-Verse era Amazing Spider-Man reading order

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : the Parker luck / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [4] : graveyard shift / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [5] : spiral / Conway, Gerry

If you want to catch up to Peter Parker’s current adventures, here are the volumes of the most recent Spider-Man run.

Current Amazing Spider-Man run

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 1, World without love / Wells, Zeb

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 2, The new sinister / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man. Volume 3, Hobgoblin / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

Spider-Man Noir (Earth-90214)

Spider-Man Noir hails from the Marvel Noir universe of Earth-90214, where the Marvel heroes first begin appearing in the 1920s and 1930s. Here, Peter Parker gains his powers after being bitten by a mystical spider and becomes a web-slinging, hard-boiled detective.

Spider-Man noir : the complete collection / Hine, David

Spider-Man noir : eyes without a face / Hine, David (also collected in the above complete collection)

Spider-Man noir : twilight in Babylon / Stohl, Margaret (also on Libby)

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Other titles in the Marvel Noir universe include:

Daredevil noir / Irvine, Alexander

Luke Cage noir / Benson, Mike

Wolverine noir / Moore, Stuart

Spider-Ham (Earth-8311)

Peter Porker was a spider bitten by a radioactive pig (yes, you read that right). He’s from the ‘Larval Universe’, a world populated by anthropomorphic animal versions of Marvel’s superheroes. Outside of Spider-Verse crossovers, Spider-Ham mostly appears in Marvel Comics’ humour publications.

Spider-Ham appearances

Howard the Duck : the complete collection. Vol. 4 / Mantlo, Bill

The Marvel Universe according to Hembeck / Hembeck, Fred

Spider-Verse / Costa, Mike

Secret wars, too

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 1, Electroverse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 2, Spiders vs / Costa, Mike

Spider-Ham : great power, no responsibility : an original graphic novel / Foxe, Steve (also on Children’s eLibrary)

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Peni Parker – SP//dr (Earth-14512)

Co-created by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, Peni Parker hails from a world inspired by classic manga and anime like Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Selected by a sentient radioactive spider to replace her father as the co-pilot of a giant robot suit, Peni protects New York as the wall-crawling mecha SP//dr.

SP//dr and Peni Parker appearances

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-geddon : edge of Spider-geddon

Spider-Verse : Spider-Zero / MacKay, Jed

Cindy Moon – Silk (Earth-616)

Did you know that Peter Parker wasn’t the only person bitten by the radioactive spider in his universe? His classmate Cindy Moon also got spider-powers, including the ability to create limitless webs, but she was abducted by the mysterious Spider Society before she could use her new powers. After escaping during the first Spider-Verse event, Cindy dons a costume and becomes the heroine Silk.

Silk has yet to appear in the Spider-Verse films, but is set to star in a planned spin-off movie based on the Spider-Women crossover comic.

Silk reading order

Silk. Vol. 0, The life and times of Cindy Moon / Thompson, Robbie

Silk. Vol. 1, Sinister / Thompson, Robbie

Silk Vol. 0 and 1 are collected together as Silk. Vol. 1, Out of the Spider-Verse (also on Libby)

Spider-Women / Hopeless, Dennis (crossover with Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen)

Silk. Vol. 2, The negative / Thompson, Robbie

Silk Vol. 2 and the Spider-Women crossover are collected together as Silk : out of the Spider-Verse. Vol. 2 (also on Libby)

Silk [1] : Threats and Menaces / Goo, Maurene

Silk [2] : age of the witch / Kim, Emily

Villains of the Spider-Verse

For the lowdown on all the villains who appear in Into the Spider-Verse, check out Spider-Man Spider-Verse : fearsome foes. Here, we’re only covering the main two villains from the first film, the Kingpin and the Prowler.

The Kingpin

Wilson Fisk is the Kingpin of Crime, a powerful and ruthless mob boss who has fought Spider-Man and Daredevil. Recently, in the Devil’s Reign crossover, Fisk became the mayor of New York City and employed an army of supervillains to eliminate every hero in the city.

Civil war II : Kingpin / Rosenberg, Matthew

Kingpin : born against / Rosenberg, Matthew

Devil’s reign / Zdarsky, Chip (also on Libby)

Devil’s reign : villains for hire / Chapman, Clay McLeod (also on Libby)

The Prowler

There are two Prowlers currently active in the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man’s sometime-ally Hobie Brown, and Miles Morales’ uncle Aaron Davis. Both Prowlers are inventors who use a variety of gadgets, including a gliding cape, gauntlets that shoot gas pellets, and claws that allow them to climb walls.

Hobie Brown Prowler appearances

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [1] / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The Prowler : the clone conspiracy / Ryan, Sean

Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man [2] : hostile takeovers / Taylor, Tom

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [3]

Aaron Davis Prowler appearances

Miles Morales : Spider-Man / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : with great power / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [4] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 3, Family business / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales [4] : ultimatum / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales [8] : empire of the spider / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

That’s Hot! New YA Books in the Collection

Are you looking for something fresh and new to read?  A whole new series, or just something you’ve not seen before?  Take a look at these new YA books and comics in our collection for May.

Last chance dance / Wilson, Lakita
“A high school tradition, the Last Chance Dance gives all the students one last opportunity to find love before they graduate. All Leila has to do is submit three unrequited crushes to the dance committee and if any of her crushes list her too, they’ll get matched. Presto: new relationship, just like that. To her utter amazement, Leila is matched with all three of her choices–and with someone she never expected, Tre Hillman, her chemistry partner and low-key nemesis. But as graduation and the dance approaches, and each date seems to change her mind (and her heart)–Leila must figure out what–and who–she really wants. It’s her last chance, right?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Different for boys / Ness, Patrick
“Anthony “Ant” Stevenson isn’t sure when he stopped being a virgin. Or even if he has. The rules aren’t always very clear when it comes to boys who like boys. In fact, relationships of all kinds feel complicated, even with Ant’s oldest friends. There’s Charlie, who’s both virulently homophobic and in a secret physical relationship with Ant. Then there’s drama kid Jack, who may be gay and has become the target of Charlie’s rage. And, of course, there’s big, beautiful Freddie, who wants Ant to ditch soccer, Charlie’s sport, and try out for the rugby team instead.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

As long as the lemon trees grow / Katouh, Zoulfa
“Eighteen-year-old Salama Kassab, a pharmacy student volunteering at the hospital in Homs, is desperate to find passage on a refugee boat for herself and her pregnant best friend, but first she must learn to see the events around her for what they are–not a war, but a revolution.” (Catalogue)

I’m kinda chubby and I’m your hero. Volume 1 / Nore
“Ponjirou is a rookie actor trying his best to land a breakout role. He fears that his weight stands in the way of his dreams. One day, he gets some unexpected fan mail full of sweets. The package came from Konnosuke, a local pastry chef. Ponjirou has his first fan! Someone is supporting his work and giving him new confidence to face the stage with!” (Catalogue)

Chance & Lacey / Delany, Sarah
“A boy, a girl, a boatload of nineties crazes, mayhem ensues and you end up with an unforgettable tale. You know those moments in your life, the ones you know are going to change your life in some way? Well the day I met Lacey was one of those moments for me. I knew deep in my bones my life had been changed forever. Life is a journey not a destination and meeting Lacey was definitely an experience. It was the start of an epic journey full of love, laughter, tears, sadness and all life has to offer. Inside these pages is our love story. It may not always be pretty and at times the moments may seem inconsequential but they shaped us and the world around us. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Imposter syndrome and other confessions of Alejandra Kim / Park, Patricia
“Alejandra Kim doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere. At her wealthy Manhattan high school, her super Spanish name and super Korean face do not compute to her mostly white “woke” classmates and teachers. In her Jackson Heights neighborhood, she’s not Latinx enough. Even at home, Ale feels unwelcome. And things at home have only gotten worse since Papi’s body was discovered on the subway tracks. Ale wants nothing more than to escape the city for the wide-open spaces of the prestigious Wyder University. But when a microaggression at school thrusts Ale into the spotlight–and into a discussion she didn’t ask for–Ale must discover what is means to carve out a space for yourself to belong.”(Catalogue)

Divine rivals : a novel / Ross, Rebecca
“After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again… All eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow wants to do is hold her family together. With a brother forced to fight on behalf of the Gods now missing from the frontline and a mother drowning her sorrows, Iris’s best bet is winning the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette. But when Iris’s letters to her brother fall into the wrong hands – that of the handsome but cold Roman Kitt, her rival at the paper – an unlikely magical connection forms. Expelled into the middle of a mystical war, magical typewriters in tow, can their bond withstand the fight for the fate of mankind and, most importantly, love?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Silver in the bone / Bracken, Alexandra
“Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself–and her brother, Cabell–alive. Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother….” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A venom dark and sweet / Lin, Judy I
“A great evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi. The Banished Prince has returned to seize power, his rise to the dragon throne aided by the mass poisonings that have kept the people bound in fear and distrust. Ning, a young but powerful shénnóng-shi–a wielder of magic using the ancient and delicate art of tea-making–has escorted Princess Zhen into exile. Joining them is the princess’ loyal bodyguard, Ruyi, and Ning’s newly healed sister, Shu. Together the four young women travel throughout the kingdom in search of allies to help oust the invaders and take back Zhen’s rightful throne. But the golden serpent still haunts Ning’s nightmares with visions of war and bloodshed. An evil far more ancient than the petty conflicts of men has awoken, and all the magic in the land may not be enough to stop it from consuming the world…” (Catalogue)

The do-over / Painter, Lynn
“Sixteen-year-old Emilie, stuck in a cosmic Groundhog/Valentine’s Day nightmare where she discovers her family is splitting up and her boyfriend is cheating on her, decides to embark upon The Day of No Consequences, but when her repetitive day suddenly ends, she must face the consequences of her actions.” (Catalogue)

For more new titles in the collection, go to: What’s new & Popular / May 2023 (wcl.govt.nz)

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Guardians of the Galaxy

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or team. This post is an Awesome Mix of all the comics we have about Marvel’s cosmic outlaw heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy!

(via GIPHY)

Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy?

The legendary Star-Lord. Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy. Drax the Destroyer. Rocket Raccoon. Groot, the Monster from Planet X. This rag-tag group of heroes and mercenaries team up to save the universe from certain annihilation as the Guardians of the Galaxy.

First Formation and Annihilation

The Guardians of the Galaxy first formed as a response to the Annihilation Wave, a horde of extra-dimensional insectoid aliens from the Negative Zone trying to conquer the universe. The team included Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Mantis, Nova, and Phyla-Vell, one of the many heroes to take on the name ‘Captain Marvel’.

Guardians of the Galaxy : road to annihiliation. Vol. 2 / Byrne, John

Annihilation : conquest. Book one

The Thanos imperative / Abnett, Dan

Annihilators : Earthfall / Abnett, Dan

Marvel NOW!

The Guardians of the Galaxy reform to protect the Earth and the rest of the galaxy from interstellar threats, with a team made up of Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax. During this period, the team would always be joined by one Earth-based hero; the rotation included Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Venom, Kitty Pryde, and The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

Guardians of the Galaxy [1] : Cosmic Avengers / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : Angela / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

The trial of Jean Grey / Bendis, Brian Michael (crossover with The X-Men)

Guardians of the Galaxy [3] : Guardians disassembled / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [4] : original sin / Bendis, Brian Michael

Guardians of the Galaxy [5] : through the looking glass / Bendis, Brian Michael

Guardians of Knowhere / Bendis, Brian Michael (Secret Wars miniseries)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1, Emperor Quill / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy : new guard [2] : wanted / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Civil War II / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [4] : grounded / Bendis, Brian Michael

All-New Guardians

More heavily inspired by the movies, this run sees the Guardians trying to stop a villain named Requiem from gathering the Infinity Stones.

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy [1] : communication breakdown / Duggan, Gerry

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy. Volume 2, Riders in the sky / Duggan, Gerry

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Infinity quest / Duggan, Gerry

Infinity Wars / Duggan, Gerry (also on Libby)

The Final Gauntlet

The Guardians face off against Thanos’ Black Order and a rival team of ‘Dark Guardians’ to prevent the resurrection of Thanos.

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1, The final gauntlet / Cates, Donny

Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : faithless / Cates, Donny

This run is also collected in one volume as Guardians of the Galaxy / Cates, Donny

Silver Surfer : black / Cates, Donny

“We’re Super Heroes”

The next series has the Guardians fight the Olympian gods, and later team up with the X-Men and Doctor Doom to fight ‘The Last Annihilation’. Guest members in this run include Hercules, Marvel Boy from the Young Avengers, and Power Prince, a dim-witted alien royal who accidentally swallowed the Power Stone of the Infinity Gauntlet.

Guardians of the Galaxy. 1, Then it’s us / Ewing, Al

The Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : “Here we make our stand” / Ewing, Al

The Guardians of the Galaxy [3] : “We’re super heroes” / Ewing, Al

Infinite destinies

The last annihilation / Ewing, Al

Tales of the Cosmos – miniseries

These are all the Guardians of the Galaxy miniseries; self-contained stories based around the team from the movies, separate from their main series.

Guardians of the Galaxy : tales of the Cosmos

Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians of infinity / Abnett, Dan

Guardians of the Galaxy : telltale games / Van Lente, Fred

Guardians of the Galaxy : Mother Entropy / Starlin, Jim

Monsters unleashed! : battleground

The First Guardians… from the year 3000?

Did you know that the original Guardians of the Galaxy were actually from 1000 years in the future? These Guardians were mostly humans who had evolved to survive on other planets in the solar system, and they occasionally travelled back in time to team up with the Avengers.

Guardians 3000 [1] : time after time / Abnett, Dan

Korvac saga / Abnett, Dan

Guardians Team-Up

Guardians Team-Up is a series that pairs members of the Guardians with other Marvel heroes, like the Avengers, Spider-Man, and Deadpool.

Guardians team-up [1] : Guardians assemble / Bendis, Brian Michael

Guardians team-up [2] : unlikely story / Willingham, Bill

Guardians Solo

These are the series collecting the solo adventures of every Guardian.


Star-Lord : the saga of Peter Quill / Bendis, Brian Michael

Legendary Star-Lord [1] : face it, I rule / Humphries, Sam

Legendary Star-Lord [2] : rise of the Black Vortex / Humphries, Sam

Star-Lord and Kitty Pride / Humphries, Sam

Legendary Star-Lord. Vol. 4, Out of orbit / Humphries, Sam

Star-Lord [1] : grounded / Zdarsky, Chip


Gamora : memento mori / Perlman, Nicole

Thanos : zero sanctuary / Howard, Tini

Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon [1] : a chasing tale / Young, Skottie

Rocket Raccoon [2] : storytailer / Young, Skottie

Rocket Raccoon : grounded / Rosenberg, Matthew

Rocket : the blue river score / Ewing, Al


Rocket Raccoon and Groot [0] : bite and bark

Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Vol. 1, Tricks of the trade / Young, Skottie

Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Civil War II / Kocher, Nick

I am Groot / Hastings, Chris


Yondu is actually the name of two different characters, each a member of the Centaurian race; Yondu Udonta of the Guardians from the year 3000, and his ancestor Yondu Udonta of the Ravagers.

Guardians 3000 [1] : time after time / Abnett, Dan

Yondu : my two Yondus / Thompson, Zac


When Flash Thompson possessed the alien symbiote Venom, he joined the Guardians of the Galaxy and adopted an armour-plated look as a ‘Space Knight’.

Venom, space knight [1] : agent of the cosmos / Thompson, Robbie

Venom, space knight [2] : enemies and allies / Thompson, Robbie


A Nova is a member of the space-faring police force called the Nova Corps, each gifted a helmet that allows for interstellar flight and energy projection. They are represented on Earth by Richard Rider, who first joined the Guardians in the Annihilation era, and Sam Alexander, a teenager who discovers his missing father’s Nova helmet.

Nova Reading Order

Nova. [Vol. 2], Knowhere / Abnett, Dan

Nova. [Vol. 3], Secret invasion / Abnett, Dan

Nova. [Vol. 4], Nova Corps / Abnett, Dan

Nova : the complete collection. Vol 2 / Abnett, Dan

The infinity gauntlet / Duggan, Gerry (Secret Wars miniseries)

Nova : Sam Alexander / Loeb, Jeph

Nova : the human rocket! : in afterburn / Ryan, Sean

Nova. Vol. 6, Homecoming / Duggan, Gerry

Cosmic Ghost Rider

One of the weirder members of the Guardians was Cosmic Ghost Rider (or simply ‘The Rider’), an alternate universe’s version of the Punisher who became a space-faring Spirit of Vengeance.

Cosmic Ghost Rider Reading Order

Thanos / Cates, Donny (Cosmic Ghost Rider’s first appearance)

Cosmic Ghost Rider : Baby Thanos must die / Cates, Donny

Cosmic Ghost Rider destroys Marvel history / Scheer, Paul

Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider / Hopeless, Dennis

Invasion of the Interwebs 2! Electronic Boogaloo! Revenge of the Digital Medium!

So, somehow you have managed to survive the hoards of phone wielding teens, being guided your way by the algorithms of multibillion dollar companies. They had bypassed all your defenses, the giant walls of pages and words, of knowledge and facts and all things that require effort. Books based on ș̴̗͌͋ö̶͈́͆c̴̭͐̆͜i̷̊͜a̷̤͂͝ĺ̵̰ ̷͔̂͂m̵͕̟̈́̃e̸̹̤̊d̶̮̆i̴̢̳̋á̶̩̬, disguised as normal literature, hiding among such important topics such as paint drying and car insurance. But you’re safe now, you have defeated them, surely now the library has been cleansed of the internet’s taint.

But you are wrong.

So very wrong….

Not only has social media invaded, but other aspects of internet culture. But J’Shuall, great and almighty, how can there be more to the internet than social media? And you’d be almost right, but in the deep dark depths of the internet, beyond twitter and youtube lies something else…

People making art in different forms? Strange I know.

Sometimes when people make cool things they want more people to see their cool thing, so they make it multi-media and do things like make a book. Then of course we librarians are summoned by the presence of dust and papercuts and find these books, and then like a bookwyrm on it’s hoard, collect these books. So on this episode of Invasion of the Interwebs we shall begin our exploration of these books.

It’s like I’m Listening With My Eyes!

Do you hate the convenience of being able to multitask? Do you desire to eschew the pleasures of modern life, go into the mountains and become a luddite? Are you adamant that everyone knows how erudite and cultured you are by reading books at any and every opportunity, especially in public? Yes! This is the section for you! Podcasts are a brilliant invention/format/hobby to experience literature in, you can learn about stuff, hear people talk about nothing for hours, and experience amazing new ways of storytelling. But let’s be honest, sometimes you just feel like reading a book that you don’t have to charge or detangle. A lot of very popular podcasts have been adapted into the form of books for widespread consumption, and here are a smattering of options. From supernatural stories to supernatural facts to supernaturally a family getting along well enough to run D&D (lots of supernatural stuff, not gonna lie) there’s something for everyone.

The infinite noise / Shippen, Lauren

“Caleb Michaels is a sixteen-year-old champion running back. Other than that his life is pretty normal. But when Caleb starts experiencing mood swings that are out of the ordinary for even a teenager, his life moves beyond “typical.” Caleb is an Atypical, an individual with enhanced abilities. Which sounds pretty cool except Caleb’s ability is extreme empathy-he feels the emotions of everyone around him. Being an empath in high school would be hard enough, but Caleb’s life becomes even more complicated when he keeps getting pulled into the emotional orbit of one of his classmates, Adam. As he and Adam grow closer, Caleb learns more about his ability, himself, his therapist-who seems to know a lot more than she lets on-and just how dangerous being an Atypical can be.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Monstrous creatures / Mahnke, Aaron

“They live in shadows–deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them. In this illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves …”– Amazon.com.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Welcome to Night Vale : a novel / Fink, Joseph

“From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Alice isn’t dead : a novel / Fink, Joseph

“Keisha Taylor lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country. Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system–uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.” (Catalogue)

The Adventure Zone [1] : here there be gerblins / McElroy, Clint

“Join Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior for an adventure they are poorly equipped to handle AT BEST, guided (“guided”) by their snarky DM, in a graphic novel that, like the smash-hit podcast it’s based on, will tickle your funny bone, tug your heartstrings, and probably pants you if you give it half a chance.” — Amazon.com.” (Catalogue)

A Whole Section on Ducks and Drakes, Because I am a Nerd and it’s My Post

Wow shock horror the guy with the fantasy inspired name likes dungeons and dragons, who woulda thunk. So, Critical Role, online sensation where a bunch of voice actors make funny voices and pretend to be fantasy heroes, kinda big. You can now find so many different books involving the world of Exandria, and so many different kinds. Wanna turn off your brain and see the cool action scenes? Boom! Comic! Wanna read more stories of the characters you know and love? Boom! Novel! Wanna know about behind the scenes info? Boom! History Book! Wanna see all these beautiful descriptions realised visually? Boom! Art Book! Wanna play in Exandria, in your own home game! Bam! Official source book by Wizards of the Coast!

Truly there is no better time to be a basement nerd, don’t you agree?

Critical role : Vox Machina origins [1] / Colville, Matthew

“The band of adventurers known as Vox Machina will save the world. Eventually. But even they have to start somewhere. Six would-be heroes on seemingly different jobs find their paths intertwined as they investigate shady business in the swamp town of Stilben. They’ll need to put their heads–and weapons–together to figure out what’s going on… and keep from being killed in the process. Even then, whether or not they can overcome what truly lurks at the bottom of the town’s travails remains to be seen!”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Vox machina : kith & kin / Nijkamp, Marieke

“The drama of Dungeons & Dragons has come to brilliant life via the epic stories played out live on the hit streaming show Critical Role. Now the adventures take all-new twists and turns in the first official novel based on characters from the popular series. Kith & Kin will follow a brand-new story, featuring the cunning ranger Vex’ahlia and the conning rogue Vax’ildan (and, of course, Trinket) years before they meet Vox Machina. “– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The world of Critical Role : the history behind the epic fantasy / Marsham, Liz

“A guide to the massively popular fantasy RPG livestream offers previously unreleased photos and artwork, sharing cast insights into its origins and storylines as well as the diverse array of art and cosplay that Critical Role inspires.” (Catalogue)

The Chronicles of Exandria : the Mighty Nein

“Journey through Wildemount alongside the motley group known as the Mighty Nein! Encompassing the first chapters of Critical Role’s second campaign, this tome illustrates the adventures of our unlikely heroes as they meet in Trostenwald, struggle through a heartbreaking encounter with the Iron Shepherds, and more.” (Catalogue)

Explorer’s guide to Wildemount / Mercer, Matthew

“Create a band of heroes and embark on a journey across the continent of Wildemount, the setting for Campaign 2 of the hit Dungeons & Dragons series Critical Role. Within this book, you’ll find new character options, a heroic chronicle to help you craft your character’s backstory, four different starting adventures, and everything a Dungeon Master needs to breathe life into a Wildemount-based D&D campaign?- from Amazon.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Our Best Reads of 2022: What Your Librarians Have Read This Year

2022 is (almost) at its end. It’s over and done with. We can hang it out to dry, wash our hands of it, and kick it to the curb.

Or we can cling to the last remaining hours of 2022 and look back over the year that has been. And by “the year that has been” I do of course mean “the books we have read”.

There are many librarians who work for Wellington City Libraries, and these librarians read many books, and many of these books are YA (or YA adjacent), and many of these YA books are actually very good. And people definitely like knowing what their librarians are reading, right?

So I have pestered and poked my colleagues until they have given in and sent me a review of their own personal Top YA Book of 2022. The books in this list may not all have been published in 2022, but they have been discovered by us lofty librarians over the last twelve months, and we think they are worth sharing. So read on, and judge not our reading choices lest you too be judged!


The gaps / Hall, Leanne Michelle
If you’re into psychological thrillers which are more than just psychological thrillers I recommend The Gaps! While I really wanted to know who kidnapped Yin, I also appreciated the characters of Chloe and Natalia, their interactions, and how they transform from what could just be school stereotypes into really real people.

Also available as an ebook.


Cinderella is dead / Bayron, Kalynn

Despite this book being out since 2020 I only picked it up this year, and I definitely did not regret it! In a world where the Cinderella story has become a tool of the patriarchy, women and girls are second-class citizens whose job is to be good wives and mothers. Sophia has grown up wondering why she can’t be the hero of the story, and when the sexist rules of society come between Sophia and her girlfriend Erin she is thrust down a path that will change her life. I loved the fairy-tale retelling vibe of this book because it wasn’t trapped by the original Cinderella story and instead created a captivating world in its own right. Would definitely recommend to YA readers looking for a fantasy book with queer romance, and anyone who loves to smash the patriarchy!

Also available as an ebook.


Superman, son of Kal-El. Vol. 1, The truth / Taylor, Tom

Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, must take up the mantle of Superman while his father is off on a mission in deep space. It’s a big burden to place upon a teenager, but not only is Jon up to the task, he sets out to be a better Superman than his father, one more willing to tackle today’s issues: climate change, refugee crises, journalism under threat, and the military-industrial complex. Writer Tom Taylor has a great handle on all the characters, and explores some genuinely fresh angles on Superman and his supporting cast that I’ve never considered; speaking as an emigree, I particularly loved Jon and Clark’s conversation about whether one should actively improve or simply make the best of your adopted home. Artist John Timms nails the emotional beats, particularly the landmark issue where Jon is confirmed to be bisexual and gets a new boyfriend in underground journalist Jay Nakamura, and the action scenes demanded of character who debuted in ‘Action Comics’. Superman: son of Kal-El gives us the Man of Tomorrow we need today, one who is unquestionably heroic, unapologetically queer, and always striving to improve.

J’shuall of Jackanapery

All summer long / Larson, Hope

This short little comic is just a wonderfully sweet coming of age story about how relationships and hobbies can change as you grow up. A young teen, having to deal with summer break without her best friend, becomes close to the friend’s sister over a shared love of music. It’s a very nostalgic story that can remind people of their recent past or show how you can deal with these oh so common problems. It has two sequels, about her efforts in making a band and the growing complexity of teenaged life. Great short read.

Also available as an ebook.


Firekeeper’s daughter / Boulley, Angeline
I must first admit that I did start this book under a slight misapprehension. I was browsing various queer-related subject headings on our catalogue to find some holiday reading and this book came up listed under “Lesbian teenagers Teen Fiction”. Unfortunately I did discover that there are in fact no lesbians in this book (and subsequently requested that a cataloguer remove this accidentally applied tag), but actually, I didn’t mind.

I listened to Firekeeper’s Daughter while camping with friends out of cellphone reception. At one point I had to walk half an hour along the gravel road back into reception to update my Libby app so I could continue listening. It was worth it: this is a brilliantly immersive book, and it really felt like I had to dig myself out of main-character Daunis’s world as she struggled with family tragedy, murder, Ojibwe tribal enrolment, and her precarious position as an FBI informant investigating a new drug that is harming her community. And that’s a lot to deal with! But this really is overall a heartwarming story as Daunis is a character who just embraces her identity and culture and community so fully and is in turn embraced back – that scene on the ferry with the elders and the cars? Read it and you’ll understand.

Also available as an eaudiobook and ebook.


The rest of us just live here / Ness, Patrick
Patrick Ness’s trademark poetic and slightly oblique style is really brought to bear in this YA sci-fi deconstruction to end all YA sci-fi deconstructions. What if something remarkable and improbable is happening in your town (dark and mystical forces colliding; people’s family members disappearing in the woods; extra-terrestrial beings descending from the Great Beyond to wreak terror and destruction, only to be stopped at the last minute by an ordinary teen who just happens to be the only one with the power to stand up to what may or may not be the gods of old made manifest in this realm), but you’re *not* the Chosen One? In fact, you’re just a background character. In most books like this, you’d be among the first to go, possibly before we even got to hear your tragic backstory. And frankly, you’d really like it to stay that way. You’re not trying to save the world, you’re just trying to make it through the day without embarrassing yourself too much. A fun and quick read that has more than a little heart as well, thanks to Ness’s trademark lyricism in prose. Read this book only at night, ideally while listening to Radiohead (but not, like, Kid A or anything, this is more In Rainbows fare). 8.5/10.

Also available as an eaudiobook and ebook.


Fat chance, Charlie Vega / Maldonado, Crystal

I’m always on the hunt for fiction that is relatable as well as entertaining.  Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is the story of a popular, funny, smart teenage girl who also happens to be fat.  A fact which people can’t seem to stop reminding her.  Particularly her Mum, who is constantly on her case about it, even cruel sometimes.  When her long time crush asks her to the big school dance, she’s thrilled, but it turns out he’s only trying to get at her best friend, the thin and pretty Amelia.  When Charlie finds out her friend Brian really likes her, she keeps it secret for a while, worried that everyone around her will think he’s pretending too.  Brian tries really hard to reassure Charlie that he really does like her, but when Charlie finds out he once had a crush on Amelia, Charlie isn’t able to cope, feeling like she’s a consolation prize.

Fat Chance Charlie Vega is a sweet, charming story that also holds the realities of living in a world where thinness and whiteness are held up as the ideal.  It’s a relatable story, because when you’re a young fat girl, you’re so conditioned to believing that no-one will love you as you are, that when they do, you can’t believe it’s true.  I also love that it shows how sometimes we’re so bruised by the world around us, that we take it out on the people closest to us even though we know it’s not their fault.

Also available as an ebook.


Alex / Duder, Tessa

Had I read this before? Yes. Did I know exactly what was going to happen to Alex? Yes. Did I still miss my bus stop while reading about Alex’s final race because I was so invested? Yes! Alex is about a 15-year-old swimmer working towards qualifying for the 1960 Olympic games. It’s compelling because Alex is so relatable, she’s dealing with school, boys, periods and friends all while breaking swimming records and training for hours a day. By the end of the book you’re just as desperate for her to succeed as she is because you’ve been right there beside her through all the training, hard work and struggles she’s had to deal with. 10/10 a New Zealand classic that’s worth (re)reading!

Also available as an ebook, or read the whole quartet in one volume.

Introducing the Young Adult Kete!

You! Yes you, random internet stranger! Specifically you, not the prior person to read this, but you. Do you like making decisions? No? Of course you don’t, it requires brain power and that’s hard. Especially not with books, there’s just so many of them, at least more than 9. That’s more than you can count with your fingers! But of course you actually want to read books, why else would you be on a library’s blog? So what’s the solution?

Tada! Young Adult Kete, available at a library near you* (if you happen to live in Johnsonville)!

So what is a YA Kete (as the kool kids say it)? Well, it is a collection of three books, a mix of novels, graphic novels and very occasionally non-fiction, with a theme that ties it all together. This means that you can be lured in by the pretty pictures and fancy theme and get a unique reading experience catered to you by none other than I, the great J’shuall of Jackanapery! Just pick a theme and run with it, finding new books similar to the ones you love and maybe just something that you wouldn’t have read otherwise.

Now you may be asking “deific and mighty J’shuall, wherever can I get my hands on one of these Kete of YA?” Well my good fellow, it is quite simple. At any one time we have eight different Kete available in the Young Adult section of Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Hub. They are in black bags with these fancy little pamphlet/tag thingies that tell you what the theme is, what books are inside, and how to issue them. Speaking of, once you have grabbed the appropriate goody bag of your choosing, you issue it like you would any other book, the main difference being you have to issue it all at once and return it the same way.

So! I’ve got you sold, but you’re wondering just what type of themes do these collections have. So! Let us have a gander at the current eight Kete we have available! If one piques your interest, and you’re quick on the draw, you know the deal, head to Johnsonville library and snatch it up! Elsewise just look at the cool books I’ve selected.

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The Wellington Comic Lovers’ Guide to… Black Panther

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about the king and protector of the unconquered city of Wakanda, the Black Panther!


Who is the Black Panther?

The Black Panther is a ceremonial title bestowed upon the head of the royal family line of Wakanda, a technologically advanced nation in central Africa that has remained uncolonized and is known for its store of the rare energy-absorbing metal Vibranium. After the death of King T’Chaka, the role falls to his son T’Challa, a stoic and studious young prince. Empowered by a suit of Vibranium and a heart-shaped herb that increases his strength and speed, T’Challa now defends his nation and the world as the Black Panther.

Classic Black Panther

In the years before Marvel NOW!, T’Challa married Storm of the X-Men, lead the Fantastic Four, and briefly became protector of Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil’s absence.

Black Panther : who is the Black Panther / Hudlin, Reginald
(also on Libby)

Black Panther : bad mutha / Hudlin, Reginald

Black Panther : the bride / Hudlin, Reginald

Civil War: Black Panther (only on Libby)

Black Panther : little green men / Hudlin, Reginald

Black Panther : back to Africa / Hudlin, Reginald

Secret invasion : Black Panther / Aaron, Jason

Black Panther : power / Maberry, Jonathan

Black Panther : the man without fear! : the complete collection / Liss, David

Captain America/Black Panther. Flags of our fathers / Hudlin, Reginald

New Avengers – Working with the Enemy

T’Challa discovers that Incursions (universes colliding into each other) are slowly destroying the multiverse, and he gathers the Illuminati to find a way to prevent them. However, this means working with Namor, an enemy of Wakanda since he destroyed their capital city with a tidal wave in an act of war. Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers series (and its finale Secret Wars) explores the enmity between the two kings and how far each is willing to go to protect their nations (and to spite each other).

New Avengers [1] : everything dies / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

New Avengers : Volume 2 – Infinity (only on Libby)

New Avengers [2] : other worlds / Hickman, Jonathan

New Avengers [4] : a perfect world / Hickman, Jonathan

Avengers : time runs out. Volume one / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

Avengers. Volume 2 / Time runs out / Hickman, Jonathan

Avengers : time runs out. Volume 3 / Hickman, Jonathan

Avengers : time runs out. Vol. 4 / Hickman, Jonathan

Secret wars / Hickman, Jonathan

The Ta-Nehisi Coates run

Taking place after Secret Wars, this long-running and critically acclaimed series was written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, former columnist for The Atlantic and author of Between the World and Me. Here, T’Challa faces a populist uprising in Wakanda, meets the old gods that he draws power from, and comes into conflict with a universe where Wakanda became a galaxy-spanning empire.

Black Panther : a nation under our feet. Book one / Coates, Ta-Nehisi (also on Libby)

Black Panther : a nation under our feet. Book two / Coates, Ta-Nehisi (also on Libby)

Black Panther : a nation under our feet. Book three / Coates, Ta-Nehisi (also on Libby)

Black Panther. Book 4, Avengers of the New World, part one / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
(also on Libby)

Black Panther [5] : Avengers of the new world. Part two / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
(also on Libby)

Black Panther [6] : the intergalactic empire of Wakanda. Part one, Many thousands gone / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
(also on Libby)

Black Panther [7] : the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. Part two / Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Black Panther [8] : the intergalactic empire of Wakanda. Part three / Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Black Panther. Book 9, The intergalactic empire of Wakanda : part four / Coates, Ta-Nehisi

The World of Wakanda

Coates’ run had a number of spin-off series exploring the nation of Wakanda and its citizens and history, written by such famous Black writers as Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, and Nnedi Okorafor.

Black Panther : world of Wakanda / Gay, Roxane

Rise of the Black Panther / Narcisse, Evan

Black Panther : long live the king / Okorafor, Nnedi

Black Panther : Killmonger [1] : by any means / Hill, Bryan Edward

Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda. Vol. 1, Eye of the storm / Zubkavich, Jim

Marvel action : Black Panther : stormy weather / Baker, Kyle

Marvel action : Black Panther : rise together [2] / Ayala, Vita

Black Panther vs. Deadpool / Kibblesmith, Daniel

Black Panther adventures / Parker, Jeff

John Ridley run

The current run on Black Panther is written by John Ridley (screenwriter for 12 Years a Slave and writer of I Am Batman). In this series, T’Challa is hunted by his own espionage unit after a long-buried secret comes to light, and then is tasked with fighting a wandering space rancher called ‘The Colonialist’.

Black Panther. Vol. 1, The long shadow / Ridley, John

Black Panther [2] : range wars / Ridley, John


Shuri is T’Challa’s younger sister, and next in line for the Wakandan throne. A sorceress and an accomplished scientist, she occasionally has to take over for T’Challa as ruler of Wakanda in his absence. She even became the Black Panther for a time in the late 2000s.

Black Panther : the deadliest of the species / Hudlin, Reginald

Shuri [1] : the search for Black Panther, 1 / Okorafor, Nnedi (also on Libby)

Shuri [2] : 24/7 vibranium / Ayala, Vita

These two Shuri volumes are also collected as Shuri : Wakanda forever (also available on Libby).

Black Panther : the saga of Shuri & T’Challa

Into the heartlands / Brown, Roseanne A


Black Panther has been a member of the Avengers, the Ultimates, and briefly lead The Crew, a team of Black and indigenous heroes that fight systemic injustice.

Black Panther & the Crew : we are the streets / Coates, Ta-Nehisi

The Ultimates [1] : start with the impossible / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates [2] : Civil war II / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates 2 [1] : troubleshooters / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates 2. Vol. 2, Eternity War / Ewing, Al

Avengers by Jason Aaron. Vol. 1 / Aaron, Jason

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Swamp Thing

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character.
Just in time for the spooky season, this post is about DC Comic’s premier horror character. You may know him as the twisted, vegetative mockery of a man from the deep waters of the Louisiana bayou, or the plant elemental Avatar of the Green, he is…the Swamp Thing!

wes craven vhs GIF

(via GIPHY)

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Pre-Crisis’ is everything published before 1985; ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 onwards.

Who is the Swamp Thing?

In the swamps of Louisiana, botanist Alec Holland is killed in an accident while working on a ‘bio-restorative formula’. Fusing with his formula and the vegetation of the swamp, Alec is resurrected as a shambling humanoid mass of plant matter. Together with his girlfriend, the mad scientist’s daughter Abigail Arcane, Alec protects the environment and fights supernatural threats as the Swamp Thing.

Classic Swamp Thing

First appearing in 1971 in House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing was popular enough to immediately spin off into his own title. Under the pen of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, he fought mad scientists, federal agents, and Lovecraftian horrors.

Swamp Thing : the Bronze Age. Vol. 1 / Wein, Len

Swamp Thing : the Bronze Age. Vol. 2

Swamp Thing : the bronze age. Volume 3 / Pasko, Martin

Saga of the Swamp Thing

The most famous run on Swamp Thing is by Watchmen writer Alan Moore, who introduced the idea that Swamp Thing was not some accident of science, but in fact a plant elemental who embodies and protects ‘The Green’, the collective consciousness of all plant life on Earth, answerable to the Parliament of Trees.

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book one / Moore, Alan

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book two / Moore, Alan

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book three / Moore, Alan

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book four / Moore, Alan

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book five / Moore, Alan

Saga of the Swamp Thing. Book six / Moore, Alan

New 52 – Swamp Thing reborn

In the New 52 series, Alec has returned to human form, but chooses to become the Swamp Thing again to fight The Rot, a force responsible for the natural decay of all life that had run amok. After preventing Earth from becoming a ‘Rotworld’, Alec begins to expand his suite of plant abilities to fight off a challenger to his position as Avatar of the Green, and confronts a new elemental Parliament based around artificial intelligence.

Swamp Thing. Volume 1, Raise them bones / Snyder, Scott

Swamp Thing. Volume 2, Family tree / Snyder, Scott

Swamp Thing. Volume 3, Rotworld : The Green Kingdom / Snyder, Scott

Swamp Thing. Volume 4, Seeder / Soule, Charles

Swamp Thing. Volume 5, The killing field / Soule, Charles

Swamp Thing. Volume 6, The Sureen / Soule, Charles

Swamp Thing. Volume 7, Season’s end / Soule, Charles

DC Rebirth

Swamp Thing didn’t have a series during DC Rebirth, but he appears in several miniseries, Halloween-themed specials, and a YA graphic novel called Twin Branches, which reimagines Alec Holland as a shy, scientifically-minded teenager with an outgoing twin brother, Walker.

Swamp Thing : the dead don’t sleep / Wein, Len

Swamp Thing : roots of terror : the deluxe edition / King, Tom

A very DC Halloween

Swamp Thing : tales from the bayou / Seeley, Tim

Swamp Thing : twin branches / Stiefvater, Maggie

Infinite Frontier

During Infinite Frontier, a new Swamp Thing appears in the form of Levi Kamei, an Indian man who becomes a plant elemental after returning home to India and learning his secret family history.

Future state : Suicide Squad / Thompson, Robbie

The Swamp Thing [1] : becoming / V, Ram

The Swamp Thing [2] : conduit / V, Ram

The Swamp Thing [3] : the parliament of gears / V, Ram


Swamp Thing is a regular member of the Justice League Dark, a team that takes on the supernatural threats too big for the Justice League alone to handle. Here, Swamp Thing has to contend with the Parliament of Flowers, a rival faction to the Parliament of Trees.

Justice League dark. Vol. 1, The last age of magic / Tynion, James

Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark : the witching hour / Tynion, James

Justice League Dark. Vol. 3, The witching war / Tynion, James

Justice League Dark. Volume 4, A costly trick of magic / V, Ram

Justice League Dark : the great wickedness / V, Ram

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Shazam and Black Adam

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about the two champions of the lightning, Shazam and Black Adam!

Black Adam GIF - Black Adam GIFs

(via GIPHY and Tenor)

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras which are determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, the whole continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Pre-Crisis’ is everything published before 1985; ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 onwards.

Who is SHAZAM?

Orphan teen Billy Batson descends into the subway one night and discovers a secret portal to the Rock of Eternity, a place of magic power where an ancient wizard resides. Seeing that Billy is courageous and pure of heart, the wizard grants Billy the power to transform into a superhero by saying his name “SHAZAM!”, giving him the attributes of six mythic figures:

  • The Wisdom of Solomon (a wise king from Jerusalem, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament)
  • The Strength of Hercules (the legendarily strong Greek hero who completed the Twelve Labours)
  • The Stamina of Atlas (the Greek Titan punished to hold up the sky)
  • The Power of Zeus (the Greek god of thunder and king of the Olympians)
  • The Courage of Achilles (the hero of the Trojan War and protagonist of Homer’s Iliad)
  • The Speed of Mercury (fleet-footed herald of the Roman gods)

With these powers combined, Billy fights the good fight as the World’s Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel, later known as Shazam.

Billy would also grant his powers to others, including his foster sister Mary Bromfield, who became Mary Marvel, and his friend Freddy Freeman, who became Captain Marvel Jr.

Dc Comics GIF by Shazam! Fury of the Gods

(via GIPHY)

Wait, Captain Marvel? You mean Carol Danvers?

Not quite. See, when he was first created in 1940 by Fawcett Comics, Billy Batson’s superhero identity was Captain Marvel, and Shazam was just the name of the wizard who gave him his powers and whose name he spoke to transform. When the trademark lapsed and Marvel Comics created their own Captain Marvel, DC Comics (who had bought the rights to Fawcett’s characters) couldn’t publish any comics titled ‘Captain Marvel’, though they could still refer to him by that name in the comics. For a while, any comic starring Captain Marvel was titled as Shazam or some variation, but this changed in the New 52 era, where Billy Batson’s alias became known as Shazam from then on.

Pre-Crisis – Captain Marvel

We have a couple of collections of classic Shazam stories from the period where he was Captain Marvel, which introduces all the classic elements of his mythos, including Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr, their talking tiger companion Tawky Tawny, and their enemies, the criminal scientist Dr. Sivana and the nefarious alien caterpillar Mr. Mind.

Shazam! : the greatest stories ever told

Shazam! : the golden age of the world’s mightiest mortal / Kidd, Chip

Post-Crisis – The Legend of Shazam!

Starting in the Legends miniseries, Captain Marvel joined the Justice League, and later on, the Justice Society. In Formerly Known as the Justice League, Mary Marvel joins Maxwell Lord’s ‘Super Buddies’, a low-rent version of the Justice League made up of D-list heroes operating out of a mall. Since the Marvel Family are literally children turning into adult superheroes, the running joke throughout much of this time is their relative innocence and naivete in relation to their more experienced and jaded team-mates.

In The Trials of Shazam!, Billy is made to take the Wizard’s place at the Rock of Eternity. He appoints Freddy Freeman to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel, but first, Freddy has to gain a power from each individual hero or god that makes up the SHAZAM acronym by himself.

Legends : 30th anniversary edition / Ostrander, John

Superman/Shazam! : first thunder / Winick, Judd

Formerly known as the Justice League / Giffen, Keith

The trials of Shazam! : the complete series / Winick, Judd

In the 2000s, Captain Marvel appeared in a pair of young reader-aimed miniseries, authored by Jeff Smith (Bone) and Mike Kunkel (Herobear and the Kid).

Shazam! : the monster society of evil / Smith, Jeff

Billy Batson and the magic of Shazam! : family affair / Kunkel, Mike

New 52 and DC Rebirth – Captain Marvel no more

As of 2012, during DC’s New 52 reboot, Billy’s hero persona is now called Shazam (to avoid confusion with Marvel Comics’ Carol Danvers, who had been reintroduced as Captain Marvel earlier that year). Here, Billy is retooled as a cynical foster kid who the Wizard takes a chance on to grow a conscience. Through his adventures as the hero Shazam, Billy learns to embrace his foster family, and decides share his powers with them, making a new Shazam Family. Shazam then joins the Justice League, fighting alongside them in the Darkseid War, and has an adventure with his siblings in the Seven Magic Lands, of which Billy and his foster siblings are tasked with being the protectors.

Shazam! : origins / Johns, Geoff

Justice League. Volume 6, Injustice League / Johns, Geoff

Justice League. Volume 7, Darkseid war part 1 / Johns, Geoff

Justice League : Darkseid war : power of the gods

Justice League. Volume 8, Darkseid war / Johns, Geoff

Shazam! and the seven magic lands / Johns, Geoff

Infinite Frontier

In the Infinite Frontier era, Billy finds himself unable to share his power with his siblings and must venture to the underworld to restore the Rock of Eternity. He also joins the Teen Titans Academy, a school for young superheroes.

Shazam! : to hell and back / Sheridan, Tim

Teen Titans Academy. Vol. 1, X marks the spot / Sheridan, Tim


Captain Marvel/Shazam in the Multiverse

Before being integrated into the DC Universe proper, Captain Marvel lived on a parallel earth called Earth-S (which is now Earth-5 in the current Multiverse). Earth-5 and its version of Dr. Sivana play a pivotal role in the parallel world-spanning Multiversity, as the criminal scientist tries to take over the Rock of Eternity which sits at the centre of the Multiverse. In the successor series Convergence, where characters from different universes are forced to fight each other to save their respective worlds, the Marvel Family of Earth-S are pitted against a steam-punk version of Batman and his rogues gallery.

The Multiversity / Morrison, Grant

Convergence : infinite earths. Book two

Captain Marvel/Shazam is a favourite of artist Alex Ross, appearing in his and Paul Dini’s Justice League and the Justice maxi-series (alongside the rest of the Marvel Family, Black Adam, and Dr Sivana). Billy Batson also plays a significant part in Ross’ Kingdom Come, a possible future where the Justice League have retired and new superhumans without a sense of right and wrong have taken their place.

Justice. Volume 1 / Krueger, Jim

Justice League, the world’s greatest super-heroes / Dini, Paul

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark

Who is Black Adam?

In ancient times, Teth-Adam of Khandaq was granted divine powers by the wizard Shazam, giving him the attributes of six Egyptian gods:

  • The Stamina of Shu (the god of air who holds up the sky)
  • The Swiftness of Horus (the falcon-headed god of the sky)
  • The Strength of Amon (king of the Egyptian gods)
  • The Wisdom of Zehuti (another name for Thoth, the ibis-headed god of writing and wisdom)
  • The Power of Aten (the embodiment of the sun)
  • The Courage of Mehen (a snake-god who coils around the sun to create night)

After the death of his wife and sons, Teth-Adam sought vengeance and abused his powers, leading the Wizard to imprison him in a tomb forever. Awakened in the modern day, Teth-Adam comes into conflict with the current champion of Shazam, Billy Batson, and continues to carry out his eye-for-an-eye style of justice as Black Adam!


While he has been around since the earliest days of Shazam, Black Adam only started to gain prominence in the DCU in the mid-2000s as an morally ambivalent anti-hero. After a stint in the Justice Society, he defects, takes over the nation of Khandaq, and joins the Secret Society of Super-Villains. One of his biggest storylines is in the year-long weekly miniseries 52, where Adam creates his own ‘Black Marvel Family’ and declares war on the world.

Black Adam/JSA : black reign / Johns, Geoff

Secret Six. Volume 1, Villains united / Simone, Gail

52. Volume one

52. Volume two

52. Volume three

52. Volume four

The Black Adam-centric parts of 52 have been collected in their own volume, Black Adam : rise and fall of an empire.

Black Adam : the dark age / Tomasi, Peter

Justice Society of America : Black Adam and Isis / Johns, Geoff

New 52 

In the rebooted Shazam! series, Teth-Adam is a slave in ancient Khandaq who was given the power of Shazam, which he used to seek vengeance on all those who would enslave others. Returning in the modern day, he joins Lex Luthor’s freedom fighters during the invasion from Earth-3 in Forever Evil, striking up a friendship with Sinestro in the process.

Shazam! : origins / Johns, Geoff

Forever Evil / Johns, Geoff

Sinestro. Volume 3, Rising / Bunn, Cullen

DC Rebirth

Black Adam continues to pop up in the DCU during the Rebirth era; as a member of a council of immortals in Dark Nights, pursuing Billy and his family through the Seven Magic Lands, and having a major role in Doomsday Clock, when during a worldwide superhuman arms race, he opens Khandaq’s borders to any supervillain in need of sanctuary.

Dark nights : metal / Snyder, Scott

Shazam! and the seven magic lands / Johns, Geoff

Doomsday clock : the complete collection / Johns, Geoff

Infinite Frontier 

During Infinite Frontier, Black Adam continues to gain prominence (which might have something to do with his movie coming out soon). Adam’s more heroic qualities begin to shine through, as we learn that he joined a team of ancient heroes to take on the villainous Frozen King in Justice League: endless winter.

Future state : Suicide Squad (contains the Future State: Black Adam miniseries)

Infinite frontier / Williamson, Joshua

Justice League : endless winter / Lanning, Andy

Justice League Dark : the great wickedness / V, Ram

Black Adam : the Justice Society files / Scott, Cavan (a tie-in to the Black Adam film)

Myth & Legend in YA Novels!

Throughout history, myths and legends have had a way of cropping up in the literature of the age. One of the biggest, juiciest examples of this these days is the Percy Jackson series, however have you heard of Kiersten White’s The Guinevere Deception? Or David Elliot’s Bull? Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus?

These and other myths have reappeared in literature and film for untold generations, and they do so for a reason: because they are relatable, laughable, or just entertainingly chaotic. Myths, legends, and folklore are particularly enduring because each time an ancient tale is retold, it is shaped and coloured by the context of its retelling – how cool is that??

So today seems like a perfect day for me to introduce you to some of the Arthurian, Anient Greek myth, and fairytale inspired gems in our collection (and yes, this post may have been inspired by a binge-watch of Marvel’s Moonknight over the weekend).

Arthurian Legend

Hopefully, most of you will be familiar with the legends surrounding King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table, but if you’re not, then here’s the gist of it! Good ol’ Arthur pulled a sword named Excalibur from a stone and was crowned the King of Albion (ye olde Great Britain). Alongside Queen Guinevere, he went on to establish the Order of the Round Table (a group of knights founded on the ideals of chivalry, justice, and equality). However, woe struck Camelot when Guinevere and Lancelot du Lac (one of Arthur’s finest and most trusted knights) fell in love. Things went downhill from there. Also, there was a wizard!

The wide cast of monarchs, monsters, and knights featured in the Arthurian canon means that authors have had no shortage of inspiration. Books in our collection shine a spotlight on everyone from Guinevere and Arthur themselves, to the wizard (Merlin), to the Lady of Shalott and the many knights of the round table:

The Guinevere deception / White, Kiersten
“Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. The catch? Guinevere’s real name– and her true identity– is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free. But when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself? — adapted from jacket” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Here lies Arthur / Reeve, Philip
“Gwyna is just a small girl when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard – a traveller and spinner of tales. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all – and turn the leader of a raggle-taggle war-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.” (Catalogue)
Avalon High / Cabot, Meg
“Having moved to Annapolis, Maryland, with her medievalist parents, high school junior Ellie enrolls at Avalon High School where several students may or may not be reincarnations of King Arthur and his court.” (Catalogue)
The seeing stone / Crossley-Holland, Kevin
“In late twelfth-century England, a thirteen-year-old boy named Arthur recounts how Merlin gives him a magical seeing stone which shows him images of the legendary King Arthur, the events of whose life seem to have many parallels to his own.” (Catalogue)

Ancient Greek Mythology

Have any of you ever seen Disney’s Hercules (1997)? It’s a wholesome story; the gods are sparkly and functional and family-oriented, Hercules is a kind-hearted himbo, and all is right with the world.

Dear reader, you have never heard such a LIE.

If you want to get closer to the core of Ancient Greek mythology, think Disney’s Hercules meets George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, but with a good deal more witch-vibes and homoeroticism.

As you can imagine, this means a WEALTH of inspiration, so here are a few of the top picks from our collection:

Starcrossed / Angelini, Josephine
“When shy sixteen-year-old Helen Hamilton starts having vivid dreams about three ancient, hideous women and suddenly tries to kill a new student at her Nantucket high school, she discovers that she is playing out some version of an old tale involving Helen of Troy, the Three Furies, and a mythic battle.” (Catalogue)
Bull : a novel / Elliott, David
“New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers re-evaluating one of history’s most infamous monsters. — Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lore / Bracken, Alexandra
“Every seven years there is a hunt offering mortal descendants of gods the opportunity to claim their divinity by killing any of nine immortals made mortal for one night. Lore Perseous has no desire to participate in the Agon, embittered because her family was killed by a rival who then ascended to godhood. When a childhood friend asks her to help, and a wounded god offers an alliance, Lore overlooks the steep cost of this decision in exchange for vengeance.” (Catalogue)


Characters like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have been fan-favourites since long before Disney got their greedy little paws on them, with the oldest stories dating back to the 6th century BC. While these tales were often more gruesome or disturbing than their glossy animated counterparts, there were a few lighter retellings – special mention to the story of Rhodopis, a courtesan in Ancient Egypt whose shoe is stolen by an eagle. The eagle then conveniently plops the shoe down on the lap of the Egyptian king, who – entranced by the shoe and the opportunity for a truly original meet-cute – searches until he finds Rhodopis. Marriage ensues. Should Tinder fail, I’m sure there’s a pigeon bored enough to steal one of your shoes and deliver it to your one true love.

All the great fairytales have been through countless iterations since their invention, but allow me to introduce you to the tip of the retellings iceberg:

Cinder / Meyer, Marissa
“A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl …CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The wrath & the dawn / Ahdieh, Renée
“In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan, but discovers not all is as it seems within the palace.” (Catalogue)
A spindle splintered / Harrow, Alix E
“When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no-one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
To kill a kingdom / Christo, Alexandra
“Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. When a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own, the Sea Queen transforms Lira a human as punishment. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. Hunting sirens is Prince Elian’s calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good– but can he trust her?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everything Orange!

All of us will surely know by now that we are in Orange, as we have been at this traffic light level for pretty much all of December so far. I’m sure that as avid library users you will already know all about visiting the library under Orange – wear your mask and scan your vaccine pass or exemption if you’re over twelve – but I feel there is more to be explored around the orangeness of Orange than mere alert levels.

In controversial Orange news, I have learned through this recent Spinoff article that while the Covid Traffic Light system uses the colours Red, Orange, and Green, the official colours of the literal physical traffic lights that are liberally spotted around our country are Red, Green, and Yellow.

Three traffic lights in a row. The left has a green light chosing, the centre has an orange light showing, and the right has a red light showing.

Image: Traffic Signals by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence

Look at these traffic lights! This is an instructional picture from the Waka Kotahi website accompanied by the instructional caption “A yellow signal means the lights will soon turn red”. This is very interesting since it is extremely clear that the coloured circle in the centre traffic light is so obviously orange. Like, they made the picture, if they’re calling it yellow why not make the picture yellow as well?

Anyway, while the certainty that orange is orange and yellow is yellow may be falling out from under our feet, let me return to my original subject of Orange in general.

I think Orange is an excellent colour. It’s such a happy colour, it’s the colour of the sun’s rays shining on the iconic Chelsea Golden Syrup Tin, and it’s great for hi-vis vests if you’re a cyclist, contractor, or builder.

Speaking of Golden Syrup, let me bring your attention to a rather orange book:

Edmonds cookery book.
The Edmonds cookbook is a classic, it fits right in here with that orange cover, and it contains a recipe for a Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding. What’s not to like?!

Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding is also a perfect Christmas pudding. Just saying.

In search of other Orange activities to keep you occupied over the summer, I’ve trawled through our vast selection of elibrary resources, but unfortunately not many of them really scream Orange.

We do have a fantastic language-learning service called Mango Languages, a name that just promises orangeness but in actual fact doesn’t deliver much Orange, even in the logo. Still, if you don’t let lack of actual orangeness get in the way of perceived orangeness you could give it a go!

We do have some other actually-orange things in the library that could get you excited…

…while you’re sitting back in the sun, enjoying your Golden Syrup pudding, what better thing to do than get into a good book?

Here’s a selection of books that I’ve grouped together simply based on the orange-ivity of their covers. There’s a wide range of genres here, from New Zealand fiction to romance to classic literature to adventure, but they’re all Orange! Which one are you most interested in?

Is underground / Aiken, Joan
“Bound to keep a promise to her dead uncle, Is travels to the mysterious north country to find two missing boys, one of them a prince, and to discover why so many children in London are disappearing.” (Catalogue)

Felix ever after / Callender, Kacen
“Felix Love has never been in love, painful irony that it is. He desperately wants to know why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. He is proud of his identity, but fears that he’s one marginalization too many– Black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. He didn’t count on his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

Perfect on paper / Gonzales, S.
“Seventeen-year-old Darcy Phillips, a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates, is hired by the “hot” guy at school to help him get his ex back. When Darcy is caught in the act of collecting letters from locker 89– out of which she has been running her advice service– she is blackmailed into becoming his personal dating coach. If word gets out that Darcy is behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light. What could go wrong?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Juggling with mandarins / Jones, V. M.
“Thirteen-year-old Pip finds a talent he never dreamed he had, and is determined it will remain one area of his life his domineering dad can’t touch. Somehow, Pip must find the courage to confront his father and claim the right to live his life on his own terms.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

And mandarins are basically smaller superior oranges anyway.

To kill a mockingbird / Lee, Harper
“A young girl growing up in an Alabama town in the 1930s learns of injustice and violence when her father, a widowed lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of rape.” (Catalogue)

Trash / Mulligan, Andy
“Three friends. Raphael, Gardo and Rat. Living on a heap of trash, a lifetime of sifting rubbish. One day they find something extraordinary – a deadly secret. From that moment they are hunted without mercy. With danger snatching at their heels, the boys are chased from the city’s dirty gutters to its wealthy avenues. But they can’t run for ever. They need a miracle.” (Catalogue)

Nice try, Jane Sinner / Oelke, Lianne
“Jane Sinner, a 17-year-old dropout, sets out to redefine herself through a series of schemes and stunts, including participating in a low-budget reality TV show at her local community college”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

First test / Pierce, Tamora
“Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.” (Catalogue)

A tyranny of petticoats : 15 stories of belles, bank robbers & other badass girls
“From pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago, take a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bridge of Clay / Zusak, Markus
“Upon their father’s return, the five Dunbar boys, who have raised themselves since their mother’s death, begin to learn family secrets, including that of fourth brother Clay, who will build a bridge for complex reasons, including his own redemption.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

And if you’ve made it this far, I hope that by now I’ve managed to remove or weaken the exclusive association of Orange with Covid. I’m sure that you’ll be simmering with rage over the officially-yellow traffic lights, off to bake a tasty snack, diving deep into an Orange read, or some other Orange-related activity!

Summer Reads + Things To Do With Your Friend/Crush

It’s Summer! School’s out and the world is your proverbial oyster. But maybe you’re not sure what to read over the break? Perhaps you’re feeling bored and have forgotten what to do with that mythical concept called free time? Look no further, we’ve got you covered! I’ve put together a list of some excellent books, and not only that, each book has an accompanying activity to invite your friend/crush to! Now go get some books, and have an excellent Summer break.

The way you make me feel / Goo, Maurene
“Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #1 : Take a Sunday walk down the waterfront to the Habourside Market for some food truck and dog-spotting galore!

Love & gelato / Welch, Jenna Evans
“Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, and she’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years?” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #2 : Go get some refreshing gelato/ice-cream.

Happily ever afters / Bryant, Elise
“Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing. When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Tessa needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #3 : Go for a wander around Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s many second-hand bookstores and try to find the perfect/weirdest book. 

Leah on the offbeat / Albertalli, Becky
“Leah Burke is an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom; her life is decidedly less privileged. Even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends– not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. When her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways, it’s hard for Leah to strike the right note.  If only real life was as rhythmic as her drumming…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #4 : Take inspo from our music loving protagonist Leah and go see a band at Gardens Magic. Make sure to get there early to secure a good picnic spot, and don’t miss the light installations around the gardens.

Summer of salt / Leno, Katrina
“No one on the island of By-the-Sea would call the Fernweh women what they are, but if you need the odd bit of help, such as a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight, they are the ones to ask. Georgina Fernweh waits for the tingle of magic in her fingers– magic that has already touched her twin sister, Mary. But with her eighteenth birthday looming at the end of her last summer on the island, Georgina fears her gift will never come.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #5 :  Go to the beach! The beach is great! Just remember to be safe; use plenty of sunblock and NEVER LOOK A SEAGULL DIRECTLY IN THE EYES.

Keep my heart in San Francisco / Coombs, Amelia Diane
“Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—but her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.things” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #6 : Go bowling! It’s a fun activity to do in your spare time. It might seem uncool, but personally that’s just how I roll. I wonder how many of these puns I can sneak into this blog post before Stephen asks me to spare you all from my jokes. I might be told to put a pin in it, but I will keep making puns forever until I am banned and if that happens…I will go on strike. Anyways, go bowling.

Editor’s note: Your pun quota is getting awfully close to being full, Alayne. I’m watching you. — SC

I think I love you / Desombre, Auriane
“A YA contemporary rom com about two girls who start as rivals but after a twist of events, end up falling for one another—at least they think so. A pitch perfect queer romance. Arch-nemeses Emma, a die-hard romantic, and more-practical minded Sophia find themselves competing against one another for a coveted first-prize trip to a film festival in Los Angeles . . . what happens if their rivalry turns into a romance?” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #7 : The easy offer here is that you simply go to a movie, but everyone goes to the movies. Why not have a go at making a movie? Lots of films are shot on phones these days and you can even checkout the filmmaking courses on LinkedIn Learning, free with your library card.

This time will be different / Sugiura, Misa
“Katsuyamas never quit — but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop. She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of. Then her mom decides to sell the shop — to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

IDEA #8 : Do you know about Wellington’s Hidden Gardens? Until December 15th, you can discover seven hidden gardens across Pōneke. There will be secret events happening at every garden, and each is designed to a specific theme. For more information, check out the Wellington City Council website here.

8 reasons why you should check out our updated Teen book lists! (Number 3 will shock you)

Hopefully the excitingly click-bait-y title has managed to grab your attention. Let’s get into it!

We are always in the process of updating our Teen book lists. You can find them by clicking that link I just gave you, or by clicking on the “Book lists” tab under the “Teen Blog” header. And I am here to tell you about all the exciting reasons you should go read them!

1. New booklists = new books
When we update our book lists, we make sure we include recently released titles to give you something fresh and exciting to read. Maybe you’re a romance reader who’s read their way through every YA romance published before 2018 and desperately needs to find something new. Well never fear, because in our new-and-improved Romantic fiction book list you will find titles such as The Henna Wars (published in 2020), and Love in English (published in 2021)!

2. We’ve got your genre

Whatever genre you’re into, we’ll have something for you. We have many different lists of individual titles for you, as well as a list of the all the languages other than English we have books in and which libraries you can find them at.

Whether you’re into Horror, Dystopia, or Manga, we’ve got you covered!

3. They can help with your NCEA independent reading

If you’re looking for things to read for school, we can help! Our lists will definitely have something new to you, and you’ve got a lot to choose from. Choosing a book award winner or classic novel will almost certainly impress your teacher, or you could read a Māori author or a book from around the world.

We’ve also got a list specially tailored to those of you who are new to high school which covers many different genres

4. We pay attention to what you’re looking at

Over here on the Teen Blog, we pay attention to what you’re reading (as part of our mission to overtake the Kids Blog readership numbers!). And we noticed that quite a few of you have been browsing the “New Zealand Books” tag. So you didn’t ask, but we have listened and we have created a brand new New Zealand fiction book list just for you!

Yes, you.

5. Get recommendations from the best

While it may be a little proudful to claim that we are the best, this is our job and I think we’re doing pretty well. We work with books, we read a lot of books, and we know books. If there’s a book on one of our lists there’s a high chance it has been read and loved by one of your librarians (like The long way to a small, angry planet. Ugh, so good). So you can trust us! Or at least know that we’re doing our best.

And that leads me towards the next reason which is…

6. We’ve put a lot of work into these

As I’ve said, we try our best to make these lists the best they can be. The best example here is the Books from around the world list. This list features authors who write works set in their own countries, and it is one of our longest lists because our goal is to have at least one book for every country in the world! And what’s more, we’re not just picking books willy-nilly, no, we’re making sure that each book on this list (even if it’s not in the Young Adult collection) features kids or teens in prominent places in the story!

So it’s not that I’m begging you to look at our lists, but we did a useful thing – look at it please?

7. We’re always waiting for your recommendations

While we do rely on our own knowledge and reading preferences, we love hearing from you about what you’re reading and what you think. Whether you’re chatting with the librarian at your local branch or submitting a book review for the Teen Blog, we do want to hear what you think! And maybe your recommendations will make their way onto a list…

And that’s the end of my list of reasons why you should check out our Teen book lists. Like every clickbait article, I have made sure to promise more reasons than I have actually delivered, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not number 3 shocked you.

So go forth! Investigate, issue, reserve, and read!

Books About Stuff and Other Things: New Non-fiction for Teens

Librarians spend a good deal of time scouring publication lists and trawling through horrifying numbers (like, you have no idea) of online reviews to settle on which books we should buy for our collection. Among the comics, fantasy epics, dystopian hellscapes, romantic comedies, and other fictional titles that routinely land on our desks, are analysed, and then purchased in their hundreds every month, we also seek out books about ~shock of all shocks~ reality. Stuff, things, and other such delights. Our non-fiction collections comprise books on just about every topic under the sun (and even some topics beyond the sun, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

Today, for your delectation, we are serving up some brand new books about nerdy stuff, hip-hop, jobs and careers, sex and sexuality, neurodivergence, and the environment — head down to your local library (or smash that handy and convenient “Reserve Now” button) and dig in!

Can’t stop won’t stop : a hip-hop history / Chang, Jeff
“From award-winning author Jeff Chang, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is the story of hip-hop, a generation-defining movement and the music that transformed American politics and culture forever. Hip hop is one of the most dominant and influential cultures in America, giving new voice to the younger generation. It defines a generation’s worldview. Exploring hip hop’s beginnings up to the present day, Jeff Chang and Dave “Davey D” Cook provide a provocative look into the new world that the hip hop generation has created. Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip hop’s forebears, founders, mavericks, and present day icons, this book chronicles the epic events, ideas and the music that marked the hip hop generation’s rise.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Depression : insights and tips for teenagers / Cognevich, Christie
“This book offers relatable situations and strategies to guide teens struggling with mental health–including identifying signs of struggle, recognizing stress factors, and offering strategies to escape harmful mental habits which can leave individuals feeling vulnerable, helpless, or in despair.” (Catalogue)

Queerly autistic : the ultimate guide for LGBTQIA+ teens on the spectrum / Ekins, Erin
“From coming out to friends and family through to relationships, self-care and coping with bullying, being out and about in the LGBTQIA+ community and undergoing gender transition, this book is filled with essential information, advice, support and resources to help you on your journey, and also works as a primer on all things LGBTQIA+ for non-autistic teens just figuring it all out.” (Catalogue)

Coming out : insights and tips for teenagers / Endsley, Kezia
“This book addresses the hows and whys of coming out, as well as potential concerns teenagers may have–including how to know when you’re ready to come out, who to tell first, and how to deal with unsupportive people. First-hand accounts from teenagers provide personal insight throughout.” (Catalogue)

Marvel monsters : creatures of the Marvel universe explored / Knox, Kelly
“All Super Heroes need a monster to fight, or a monstrous sidekick to help them. Some are even monsters themselves. This comprehensive field guide to Marvel flora, fauna, and beasts great and small shows off claws, teeth, tails, and wings in sumptuous, never-seen-before detail. From tyrannosaurus rexes from alternative worlds and genetically modified deinonychuses from the future, to purple cat-sized dragons and swamp monsters, the Marvel multiverse is brimming with creatures both heroic and villainous. Explore swamps and the Savage Lands and more. Discover aerial beasts, artificially created creatures, and even monster team ups. This anthology is a beautifully curated guide to the best and the worst and ensures you will never get Fin Fang Foom and Tim Boom Ba mixed up again! © 2021 MARVEL” (Catalogue)

Hothouse Earth : the climate crisis and the importance of carbon neutrality / McPherson, Stephanie Sammartino
“As hurricanes, droughts, floods, and wildfires are increasing in regularity and intensity, climate change can no longer be ignored. Melting permafrost, forest dieback, ocean acidification, and other processes are creating positive feedback loops which could, if not aggressively and quickly addressed, spiral out of control and take global warming past the point of no return. Hothouse Earth examines how science, politics, and social justice must all be part of the equation to counteract climate change.” (Catalogue)

The world of Critical Role : the history behind the epic fantasy / Marsham, Liz
“A guide to the massively popular fantasy RPG livestream offers previously unreleased photos and artwork, sharing cast insights into its origins and storylines as well as the diverse array of art and cosplay that Critical Role inspires.” (Catalogue)

Let’s talk about it : the teen’s guide to sex, relationships, and being a human / Moen, Erika
“Growing up is complicated. How do you find the answers to all the questions you have about yourself, about your identity, and about your body? Let’s Talk About It provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched graphic novel guide to everything you need to know. Covering relationships, friendships, gender, sexuality, anatomy, body image, safe sex, sexting, jealousy, rejection, sex education, and more, Let’s Talk About It is the go-to handbook for every teen, and the first in graphic novel form.” (Catalogue)

Love your career from the start : making decisions for your future – a guide for young adults / Sandford, Caroline
“This practical book for 15-25-year-olds introduces the four key stages involved in making good decisions for your future. It contains easy exercises that will help you: understand who you are and who you want to become, explore the options that are right for you, create an action plan that ensures you have what you need to realise your goals, identify the strategies your need to create the future that YOU want.” (Catalogue)

Cool Books from Booktok

Kia ora koutou!

I don’t know about you all, but during lockdown I spent a lot of hours on Tiktok. Specifically, I found myself taking a deep-dive into Booktok, the side of Tiktok where people share what books they’re reading. I am someone who always has about 20 books on reserve, a Goodreads list so long that it has probably developed its own personal anxiety disorder and an indecent amount of books TAKING UP ANY FREE SPACE IN MY ROOM THAT I CAN FIND. The last thing a person like me needs is a limitless supply of MORE RECOMMENDATIONS. Will I continue to create an irresponsibly long to-read list? Yes. Will I encourage you to do the same? Of course. 


Real footage of me every time I have to move houses and I discover just how many books I have.

If you have found yourself on Booktok, and want to read some trending books, check out this list! Here are some Booktok favs that we have at Wellington City Libraries!

Remember, reserves are free and you can request a book to be sent to any of our branches. Comment below with more books we should add to this list!

Blood heir / Zhao, Amélie Wen
“A fugitive princess with a deadly Affinity and a charismatic crime lord forge an unlikely alliance in order to save themselves, each other, and the kingdom.” (Catalogue)

A good girl’s guide to murder / Jackson, Holly
“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

House of salt and sorrows / Craig, Erin A
“In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last…and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

One of us is lying / McManus, Karen M.
“When the creator of a high school gossip app mysteriously dies in front of four high-profile students, all four become suspects. It’s up to them to solve the case” (Catalogue)

We were liars / Lockhart, E
“Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family meets on their private island. Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are a unit, especially during “summer 15,” marking their fifteenth year on Beechwood– the summer that Cady and Gat fall in love. Cady became involved in a mysterious accident, in which she sustained a blow to the head, and now suffers from debilitating migraines and memory loss. When she returns to Beechwood during summer 17 issues of guilt and blame, love and truth all come into play.” (Catalogue)

They both die at the end / Silvera, Adam
“In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day.” (Catalogue)

These violent delights / Gong, Chloe
“In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.” (Catalogue)

The Selection / Cass, Kiera
“Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The Book Was Better – You Decide!

I’m sure you have heard these words before, and maybe even said them yourself! I know I have. I have very fond memories of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. I read them all, I knew the prophetic poems in them off by heart, and I loved the way more and more complex situations, villains, and magics were introduced as the books went on. And then in 2007 they released a movie based on the books! Exciting, right?


The Seeker: The Dark is Rising was NOT as good as the book. (In my personal opinion, this is not the exclusive opinion of Wellington City Libraries!)

First of all, why make a movie of the second book in a series and completely leave out the first? Then they made Will’s family an American one who has only just moved into the small English village. Ridiculous. And there was all this extra action added, and so much left out, and Merriman acted completely different and everything just seemed oversimplified.

Humph. The book was better.

Anyway. There are many other books that have been made into movies and TV shows. Some are classics that have been out for a while, some are new TV shows that are only just starting, and some became multi-million dollar film franchises that everyone has heard of. And with so many screen adaptations of books that already exist, that are coming out, and that are in the works I just feel the need to help facilitate outraged conversations about these adaptations – the book was better! Or was it?

I won’t be writing about the big ones here. I’m sure that you’ve already discussed the nuances of Divergent, or The Hunger Games, or (dare I say it) Twilight to your heart’s content. And I will only be writing about titles that we actually have available here at Wellington City Libraries. Shadow and Bone came out this year but it ain’t on DVD so we don’t have it. Though we do of course have Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy! But that will be my only mention of it because I don’t want to tantalise your TV taste-buds with something we can’t actually provide for you to watch.

Here I present to you a carefully selected list of films and TV shows, all adapted from books, and all available to be borrowed (as both book or DVD!) right here in our libraries.

So read on friends! And I hope to inspire ferocious debate amongst you, or maybe even the need to watch a new movie or check out a new book!

Read More

From the Vaults V: Books Around the World

This next piece in our From the Vaults series, being an exploration of some of the hidden gems of the library’s vast collections, is a personal favourite of mine. Whether you’re looking for books to add to your reading list for your Connections internal in English, or are just hungering for a range of cultural perspectives and experiences to add to the pile of books waiting to be read on your bedside table, don’t worry folks — we got you. Our Books From Around the World booklist has just undergone its most comprehensive update in *checks notes* a whole decade, and our ambition is for it to contain at least one book by an author from every country in the world. No biggie.

 Just as Lisa doesn't wish to eat solely at Americatown, we don't want to read solely from Aotearoatown all the time either! (Okay yeah it's a stretch but look this is the best I've got)

So anyway, we’re gonna be straight up with you — though our ambitions are great, we haven’t yet lived up to them. There are around 40 countries (Andorra, Azerbaijan, etc.) that, despite our best research, we just can’t find books from — at least, not books that have been translated into English (if you find a book from a country we’ve missed, let us know!). But the vast majority of countries around the world have representation in our master list — from Bolivia and Uruguay, Vanuatu and Kiribati, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti, to Albania and Ukraine, Yemen and the UAE, the Philippines and Kazakhstan, Uganda and Angola; and many more besides. We’re pretty chuffed with it, if we’re being honest, and really recommend you check out the full list!

Some of the books we have tracked down are among the first books written by an author from that country to have ever been translated into English — for example, Return to the enchanted island by Johary Ravaloson from Madagascar, published in 2019. Others are part of a long-standing tradition of literary translation that dates back decades or centuries — The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (France, 1844) for example, or I am fifteen and I don’t want to die by Christine Arnothy (Hungary, 1955). Others, like Consuming Ocean Island by Katerina Martina Teaiwa (Kiribati, 2015) or Legends, traditions and tales of Nauru by Timothy Detudamo (Nauru, 2008) are collections of stories drawn from the world’s various oral traditions, written down with permission from indigenous storytellers.

‘But,’ you may ask, ‘what sets your list apart from the myriad of other such lists I can find online?’ Well, for starters, these are all books that you can actually get your mitts on from your local library — just click the title, then ‘Place Reserve,’ then choose the library closest to your house, and the book will soon be yours! But beyond that, there is something else that makes this list special — you! Not you you, but teens in general — we’ve done our best to try and make sure that every book that makes it onto our list is in some way, shape or form about the experiences and lives of teenagers and young people. Taken together, you could see this list as a pretty comprehensive repository of stories about what it means and has meant to be a young person around the world and through history. And we reckon that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite books from the list — but don’t forget to check out the whole list (currently sitting at about 250 books!) for the complete picture.

Here the whole time / Martins, Vitor
Country of origin: Brazil
Setting: Metro Brazil; contemporary
Original language: Portuguese
Format: Novel
Themes: body positivity, bullying, coming-of-age, LGBTQ+, single-parent families, school, self-esteem

Year of the rabbit / Tian
Country of origin: Cambodia
Setting: Phnom Penh, Cambodia; 1970s
Original language: French
Format: Graphic novel
Themes: family, government and society, history, political refugees, war

Aya / Abouet, Marguerite
Country: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Setting: Yopougon (Yop City), Côte d’Ivoire; 1978
Original language: French
Format: Graphic novel
Themes: adventure, community, family, friendship, neighbourhoods 

The field guide to the North American teenager / Philippe, Ben
Country of origin: Haiti/Canada
Setting: Montreal, Canada – Austin, Texas; contemporary
Original language: English
Format: Novel
Themes: coming-of-age, culture shock, friendship, moving countries, relationships, school, single-parent families

Moonstone : the boy who never was / Sjón
Country of origin: Iceland
Setting: Reykjavík, Iceland; 1918-19
Original language: Icelandic
Format: Novel
Themes: coming-of-age, epidemics, globalisation, history, LGBTQ+, masculinity

The forest of wool and steel / Miyashita, Natsu
Country of origin: Japan
Setting: Hokkaido, Japan; contemporary
Original language: Japanese
Format: Novel
Themes: careers, coming-of-age, music, small-town vs. big-city

Things fall apart / Achebe, Chinua
Country of origin: Nigeria
Setting: Àlà Ị̀gbò, Southeastern Nigeria; 1890s
Original language: English
Format: Novel
Themes: British imperialism, colonisation, government and society, history, justice, masculinity

Afakasi woman / Young, Lani Wendt
Country of origin: Samoa/New Zealand
Setting: Samoa (various)
Original language: English
Format: Short stories
Themes: community, everyday life, folklore, Pasifika culture, people and society, relationships, womanhood

It’s Seaweek!

The sea. There’s a lot of it. There are many things in it. Some things, unfortunately, should not really be in there. And there are many things lurking deep down that we only have the slightest inkling of. Which is pretty cool when you think about it!

But anyway, you may be wondering why I am writing about the deep, dark, insurmountable ocean that encircles and embraces our tiny islands down here at the bottom of the world. That’s easy to answer. It’s Seaweek!

Seaweek is an annual week-long celebration of marine science, of sustainable practices (check out our very own page on the environment), and (of course!) the sea. There are a whole lot of exciting events being run all over the country this week, and you’re encouraged to get out there and do your own thing as well.

You could go check out a marine ecology lab, organise your own beach clean-up, or just take some time out of your week to go connect with the sea.

It may now be officially autumn, but only just! I’d advise you to take advantage of what sun we have left to dive off one of the pontoons at Oriental Bay or just swim at your local beach. Or, you know, a not so local beach would do as well. And there are quite a few scattered around the Wellington coast.

Go swimming, or walk along a beach and count the seagulls, or collect a handful of seashells then realise that you have no reason to keep them and leave them behind on the sand. Take a kayak out, go sit on a rock along the south coast and watch the waves, or channel your inner artist and draw, write, or create something inspired by the ocean.

If you’d rather just sit inside away from the blustery sea-breeze (plenty of those in Wellington!) then here are some sea-themed titles to inspire you:

Children of the Sea / Daisuke Igarashi 

“Three sea-touched children are the only ones who can understand the strange message the oceans are sending.

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea that she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the ocean’s fish.” (Catalogue)

Ingo Series / Helen Dunmore  

“As they search for their missing father near their Cornwall home, Sapphy and her brother Conor learn about their family’s connection to the domains of air and of water.” (Catalogue)

Alone on a wide, wide sea / Michael Morpurgo  

“How far would you go to find yourself? When Arthur is shipped to Australia after WWII he loses his sister and his home, but he is saved by his love of the sea. Years later, Arthur’s daughter Allie has a boat her father built her that will take her back to England to search for her long-lost aunt. The lyrical, life-affirming new novel from the bestselling author of Private Peaceful.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the Drowning Deep / Mira Grant  

“Seven years ago Atagaris set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.” (Catalogue)

The Tricksters / Margaret Mahy  

“The Hamiltons look forward to their annual Christmas holiday on the New Zealand coast. Jack and Naomi, their five children and their guests are settling in to the chaotic family atmosphere at the sprawling home known as Carnival’s Hide when the world is thrown out of order by the unexpected arrival of three visitors. Charming, enigmatic and sinister, the three brothers have come to stay. Only 17-year-old Harry questions their strange ways, but even she isn’t sure what is real anymore: are they really related to Teddy Carnival, said to have drowned on that beach many years ago, or are they tricksters – conjured by her overactive imagination? This will be a Christmas to be remembered, where long-buried secrets will be revealed and no one will ever be quite the same.” (Catalogue)

Red Rocks / Rachael King  

“While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic.” (Catalogue)

New Non-fiction for People Who Care About the World

Dear readers, we understand that you are people who care about things. We are also  people who care about things — things like racism, climate change, the environment, mental health, LGBTQ+ rights, art and poetry. The absolute wizards who buy books for our collections — those to whom we humble blog administrators must show all due deference — have certainly not stopped buying the good stuff during this whole pandemic situation. Here’s a selection of recently-added non-fiction for you to really sink your teeth into.

Stamped : racism, antiracism, and you. / Reynolds, Jason
“A book about race. The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.” (Catalogue)

Stuff that’s loud : a teen’s guide to unspiralling when OCD gets noisy. / Sedley, Ben
“Do you have thoughts that seem loud? Do your worries spiral out of control and then suck you in? Do intrusive thoughts show up and make you scared of doing certain things – or not doing things – a certain way? Do you ever get a feeling like something bad might happen? Does this loud stuff make you feel alone, or worse, crazy?

First, you aren’t alone – even if it sometimes feels that way. And second, you are not crazy. But you might be struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). And while OCD can be difficult, you don’t have to let it have power over you. Instead, you can live a life full of meaning, great relationships and joy with the help of this book. Life doesn’t have to stay stuck any longer.” (Catalogue)

Pandemic : how climate, the environment, and superbugs increase the risk / Goldsmith, Connie
“How close are we to having another worldwide health crisis? Pandemic epidemiologists have identified one they believe is likely to happen in the next couple decades: the flu. Learn about factors that contribute to the spread of disease by examining past pandemics and epidemics, including the Bubonic Plague, smallpox Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and Zika. Examine case studies of potential pandemic diseases, like SARS and cholera, and find out how pathogens and antibiotics work. See how human activities such as global air travel and the disruption of animal habitats contribute to the risk of a new pandemic. And discover how scientists are striving to contain and control the spread of disease, both locally and globally.” (Catalogue)

Have pride : an inspirational history of the LGBTQ+ movement / Caldwell, S. A.
“Have Pride gives an honest, chronological account of how life has changed for LGBTQ+ people and sheds light on the people that brought about this change. The heartfelt stories of LGBTQ+ revolutionaries are better understood as you realise what a revolutionary act it was to live openly as an LGBTQ+ person. In this book there is no hiding from the dark chapters of history and the persecution people faced for being true to who they were. But like Fred Rogers’ mother suggested, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people helping”, Have Pride highlights the LGBTQ+ heroes who ‘helped’ others, pushed for change and inspire pride in ourselves and our history.” (Extract from publisher review)

Hypnopompia: the thoughts of dawning minds : Re-draft’s 19th collection of writing by New Zealand’s young adults
The 19th in the brilliant Re-Draft series, Hypnopompia brings together New Zealand’s very best young writers in yet another dazzling collection. Wake up to the new world as seen by the most talented of our post-millennial writers. The 80 young writers featured in the collection have grown up with the century and Hypnopompia is their very woke report card on its perplexities, perils, passions and never ending variety. At times funny, at times dark, always engaging, their stories and poems are never less than perceptive and open-eyed. (Publisher summary)

Imaginary borders / Martinez, Xiuhtezcatl
“Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. In this installment, Earth Guardians Youth Director and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez shows us how his music feeds his environmental activism and vice versa. Martinez visualizes a future that allows us to direct our anger, fear, and passion toward creating change. Because, at the end of the day, we all have a part to play.” (Catalogue)

Trans+ : love, sex, romance, and being you / Gonzales, Kathryn
Trans+ is a growing-up guide for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, or gender-fluid. This book explores gender identity, gender expression, gender roles, and how these all combine and play out as gender in the world. Includes chapters on medical, health, and legal issues as well as relationships, family, and sex.” (Catalogue)

Wellington Pride!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsHooray! Wellington Pride Week starts tomorrow and goes for a full two weeks. We’ve got an amazing selection of Queer YA fiction (check out our awesome display at Central) but I think the Non Fiction needs a bit more love.

Telling your own, authentic story is a central part of Queer culture. So we’re lucky to have a cool selection of memoirs: Finding Nevo : how I confused everyone by Nevo Zisin describes their own unique journey towards their understanding of their own place in the world. We also have Some assembly required : the not-so-secret life of a transgender teen by Arin Andrews with Joshua Lyon and Being Jazz : my life as a (transgender) teen by Jazz Jennings. A particular favourite is The full spectrum : a new generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities. It’s edited by David Levithan and Billy Merrell, whose names you probably recognise from their own writing.

There’s also a great collection of “big” names in Queer history, called (appropriately) Queer, there, and everywhere : 23 people who changed the world. I’d also recommend Queer: a graphic history.

Sometimes everyone needs a little bit of help and we’ve got some books that (hopefully) will help. Queer : the ultimate LGBT guide for teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke and The Trans teen survival guide by Owl and Fox Fisher are just two.

Stay safe, be kind, and have a wonderful Pride.

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