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Category: new stuff (ooh, shiny!) Page 1 of 17

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… X-Men: The Krakoa Era

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about Marvel’s most recent reboot of their merry band of mutants, the Krakoa Era of the X-Men!

[Video via the Marvel Entertainment Youtube channel]


Who are the X-Men?

In the Marvel Universe, ‘mutants’ are people born with superhuman powers, granting them anything from control over electromagnetism to teleportation to growing wings. Dubbed ‘homo superior’, mutants have faced hostile prejudice from ordinary people, due to their abilities, appearance, and the fear that they are ‘replacing’ humankind in the evolutionary ladder. Factions of mutants have gathered together over the years to protect themselves, the most famous of which is a team lead by educator and mutant telepath Professor Charles Xavier, aka Professor X. Together, they use their extraordinary powers to fight for a world that hates and fears them…they are the X-Men!


What is The Krakoa Era?

In 2019, writer Johnathan Hickman relaunched the X-Men line of comics with the twin series House of X and Powers of X (that’s X as in the Roman numeral for the latter, so it’s ‘powers of ten’).

To protect themselves from a future threat to mutantkind, the X-Men and their enemies join together to form a nation for all mutants, run by a government of prominent mutants such as Magento, Professor X, and Apocalypse, and founded on the living island of Krakoa (which first appeared in the landmark issue Giant-Size X-Men #1, the book that similarly reinvigorated the X-Men back in the 1970s).

Newly created mutant technology allows Krakoa’s citizenry to be resurrected in the event of death, making all mutants living there functionally immortal. Professor X also brokers deals with the world’s governments to provide them with miraculous mutant-derived medicine in exchange for Krakoa’s recognition as a sovereign nation and the placement of portal gates around the globe that can teleport mutants to Krakoa’s shores.

However, the creation of Krakoa reinvigorates anti-mutant causes, beginning with the Sentinel-building black-ops organisation Orchis. Internally, Krakoa also faces the growing pains of any developing nation, such as creating laws, diplomacy, and national security, as well as the ambitions of its less scrupulous citizens wanting to use Krakoa for their own ends.

The Krakoan era lasted five years and helped revitalize the X-Men franchise with an exciting new status quo, spawning dozens of new comics that celebrated the decades-long history of the series, all created by superstar artists and writers from Marvel Comics.


How do I read The Krakoa Era?

The Krakoa era kicks off with House of X and Powers of X, which are collected together in one volume. After that, you can read the entire era in chronological publishing order with the Dawn/Reign/Trials of X collections, or read the individual team books listed below.

X-Men Krakoa Era Reading Order

House of X ; Powers of X / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X

Dawn of X. Volume 01 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 02 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 03 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 04 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 05 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 06 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 07 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 08 / Duggan, Gerry

Dawn of X. Volume 09 / Brisson, Ed

Dawn of X. Volume 10 / Percy, Benjamin

Dawn of X. Volume 11 / Brisson, Ed

Dawn of X. Volume 12 / Wells, Zeb

Dawn of X. Volume 13 / Duggan, Gerry

Dawn of X. Volume 14 / Ayala, Vita

Dawn of X. Volume 15 / Williams, Leah

Dawn of X. Volume 16 / Hickman, Jonathan

X of swords / Hickman, Jonathan

Reign of X

Reign of X. Volume 1 / Ewing, Al

Reign of X. Volume 2 / Ayala, Vita

Reign of X. Volume 3 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 4 / Percy, Benjamin

Reign of X. Volume 5 / Howard, Tini

Reign of X. Volume 6 / Ewing, Al

Reign of X. Volume 7 / Percy, Benjamin

Reign of X. Volume 8 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 9 / Wells, Zeb

Reign of X. Volume 10 / Williams, Leah

Reign of X. Volume 11 / Spurrier, Simon

Reign of X. Volume 12 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 13 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 14 / Williams, Leah

Trials of X

Trials of X. Volume 01 / Williams, Leah

Trials of X. Volume 02 / Ewing, Al

Trials of X. Volume 03 / Percy, Benjamin

Trials of X. Volume 04 / Wells, Zeb

Trials of X. Volume 05 / Spurrier, Simon

Trials of X. Volume 06 / Howard, Tini

Trials of X. Volume 07 / Duggan, Gerry

Trials of X. Volume 08 / Howard, Tini

Trials of X. Volume 09 / Ewing, Al

Trials of X. Volume 10 / Wells, Zeb

Trials of X. Vol. 11 / Duggan, Gerry

Trials of X. Volume 12 / Duggan, Gerry


Main Krakoa Era X-Men series

In the Krakoa era, classic X-Men teams get rebooted and recontextualized to fit the roles needed for their new nation.

X-Men

Handpicked by Cyclops, these X-Men are Krakoa’s public-facing super-team that defend mutantkind from a world that hates and fears them. A new team is elected annually and announced at the Hellfire Gala, a yearly ball held on Krakoa’s shores.

Krakoa X-Men reading order

X-Men. Vol. 1 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men. Vol. 2 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men by Jonathan Hickman. Vol. 3 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men : Hellfire gala / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men by Gerry Duggan. Volume 2 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men. Vol. 3 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men. Vol. 4 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men : Hellfire Gala : immortal / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men : Hellfire Gala : fall of X

X-Force

X-Force is the national security and special operations group for Krakoa, a ‘mutant CIA’. Previous X-Force members like Domino, Colossus, and Wolverine return, as well as new members Marvel Girl, Kid Omega, and Beast, who slowly begins to repurpose the team for his own malicious ends.

X-Force. Vol. 1 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 2 / Percy, Benjamin (also on Libby)

X-Force. Vol. 3 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 4 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 5 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 6 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 7 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Factor

Even though mutants can now be resurrected in the event of  their demise, the circumstances of their deaths still need investigating. That’s where Krakoa’s detective force X-Factor comes in, made up of an elite team of telepathic and tracking mutants.

X-Factor by Leah Williams. Vol. 1 / Williams, Leah (also on Libby)

X-Factor. Vol. 2 / Williams, Leah

Excalibur/Knights of X

Lead by Betsy Braddock (the former Psylocke, now Captain Britain) and Apocalypse, Excalibur deals with the supernatural side of mutantkind and its ties with the magical dimension Otherworld.

Excalibur. Vol. 1 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 2 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 3 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 4 / Howard, Tini

Knights of X / Howard, Tini

New Mutants

The original team of New Mutants, including Sunspot, Cannonball, Cypher, Dani Moonstar, and Magik, team up once more for adventures in Krakoa and beyond.

Krakoa era New Mutants reading order

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Hickman, Jonathan

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Brisson, Ed

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Ayala, Vita

New Mutants. Vol. 2 / Ayala, Vita

New mutants : lethal legion / Anders, Charlie Jane

Marauders

Led by Kitty Pryde, this pirate team of X-Men sail the seven seas to rescue mutants being held against their will in their native countries. Later, the team is retooled as a personal strike force for Emma Frost, the telepathic White Queen.

Marauders. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 2 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 3 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 4 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 1 / Orlando, Steve

Marauders. Vol. 2 / Orlando, Steve

Fallen Angels and Hellions

These series deal with the mutants who either oppose or have difficulty assimilating into Krakoa’s new society, led by frequent X-Men villain turned tenuous ally Mister Sinister.

Fallen Angels. Vol. 1 / Hill, Bryan Edward

Hellions. Vol. 1 / Wells, Zeb

Hellions. Vol. 2 / Wells, Zeb

Hellions. Vol. 3 / Wells, Zeb

Way of X and Legion of X

Believing that the blessing of immortality might change mutant nature for the worst, Nightcrawler tries to create a new system of justice and ethics for Krakoa with the help of Professor X’s wayward son, the multi-powered mutant Legion.

Way of X. Vol. 1 / Spurrier, Simon

Legion of X. Vol. 1 / Spurrier, Simon

Legion of X. Vol. 2 / Spurrier, Simon

S.W.O.R.D and X-Men Red

S.W.O.R.D is the former extraterrestrial arm of S.H.I.E.L.D, now rebranded as the Krakoan space program. In the sequel series X-Men Red, the X-Men terraform the planet Mars with the aid of a newly discovered society of mutants from the living island of Arrako.

S.W.O.R.D. Vol. 1 / Ewing, Al

S.W.O.R.D. Vol. 2 / Ewing, Al

X-men : Red / Ewing, Al

X-Men red. Vol. 2 / Ewing, Al

X-Men red. Vol. 3 / Ewing, Al

Immortal X-Men

This series follows the Quiet Council of Krakoa, the island nation’s ruling body made up of prominent mutants such as Emma Frost, Apocalypse, Magneto, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler.

Immortal X-Men. Vol. 1 / Gillen, Kieron

Immortal X-Men. Vol. 2 / Gillen, Kieron

Immortal X-Men. Volume 3 / Gillen, Kieron

X-Cellent

‘The X-Statix’, a team of celebrity mutants from the 2000s, get resurrected for the Krakoa era and return to the Hollywood spotlight, struggling to adapt to the 2020s style of fame.

The X-Cellent. [Vol. 1], New blood, new world / Milligan, Peter

The X-Cellent. Vol. 2, Unsocial media / Milligan, Peter


Krakoa Era Miniseries

Giant-Size X-Men

An anthology series spotlighting specific mutant’s early adventures in Krakoa.

Giant-size X-Men. Volume 1 / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

Children of the Atom

A group of human high-schoolers try to pass themselves off as the X-Men’s sidekicks.

Children of the atom. Vol. 1 / Ayala, Vita

 

Children of the Vault

A group of human zealots artificially evolved into superhumans opposes Krakoa, offering their technology to the world to advance humankind to their level, whether people want it or not.

Children of the Vault / Camp, Deniz

X-Terminators

A comedy series that sees Dazzler, Boom Boom, Jubilee, and Wolverine (Laura Kinney, the former X-23) team up to get revenge on Dazzler’s vampire ex-boyfriend and his clan of bloodsuckers.

X-Terminators / Williams, Leah

 

X-Corp

Angel and Monet run the corporate side of Krakoa, applying their business acumen and mutant abilities to both the boardroom and the battlefield.

X-Corp. Vol. 1 / Howard, Tini

 

Bishop: War College

Time-travelling mutant Bishop trains a defense force of young mutants to protect Krakoa.

Bishop : war college / Holtham, Jason

 

 

X-Men ’92: House of XCII

This series imagines the Krakoa era if it happened during the time of the 1992 X-Men animated series (recently revived as X-Men ’97).

X-Men ’92 : House of XCII / Foxe, Steve


Krakoa Era Events

These series cover the major events in the Krakoa era.

X of swords / Hickman, Jonathan – The X-Men discover a rival mutant society on the living island of Arrako.

X-Men : Hellfire gala / Hickman, Jonathan – Come for the election of the new X-Men team, stay for the fashion!

X-Men : the trial of Magneto / Williams, Leah – A murder occurs on Krakoa, and all signs point to Magneto as the culprit. But what happens when the victim resurrects herself?

Inferno / Hickman, Jonathan – An unfulfilled promise to Mystique may spell the end of Krakoa.

X lives of Wolverine ; X deaths of Wolverine / Percy, Benjamin – Wolverine goes back to his past to stop a time-travelling assassin who could end the Krakoa era before it even began.


Crossovers

These are the X-Men centric series that tie into the yearly Marvel summer crossover events during the Krakoa era, or crossover with other Marvel characters like the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.

X-Men/Fantastic Four. the world has changed / 4X / Zdarsky, Chip – Franklin Richards, the son of Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is invited to Krakoa due to his X-Gene, but his family have other ideas.

Empyre : X-Men / Hickman, Jonathan – The X-Men have to fight a zombie uprising on Krakoa at the same time that Earth is invaded by an empire of plant-like aliens.

Avengers / X-Men / Eternals : Judgment Day / Gillen, Kieron – The Eternals are tasked with destroying Krakoa, leading the Avengers to step in and stop a conflict between the two ‘chosen species’ of Earth.

Devil’s reign : X-Men / Duggan, Gerry – As Mayor Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin) launches his attack on New York’s superheroes, his secret ties to the X-Men are revealed.

Dark Web / Wells, Zeb – The X-Men team up with Spider-Man and Venom to stop their villains, the Goblin Queen and Chasm, from unleashing demons on New York.

Ghost Rider/Wolverine : weapons of vengeance / Percy, Benjamin – A mysterious string of killings crosses the Ghost Rider’s path with that of Wolverine.


Character-specific Krakoa Era series

Wolverine

What does mutantkind’s fiercest protector do when no mutant can die? Retire quietly? But Logan’s newfound peace on Krakoa can’t last forever, and soon enough, he’s back to doing what he does best.

Wolverine. Vol. 1 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 2 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 3 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 4 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 5 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 6 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 7 / Percy, Benjamin

X lives of Wolverine ; X deaths of Wolverine / Percy, Benjamin

Ghost Rider/Wolverine : weapons of vengeance / Percy, Benjamin

Deadpool

Everyone’s favourite Merc with a Mouth (and mutant on a technicality) joins Krakoa’s X-Force, while also auditioning to join a top assassin guild and dealing with an alien life form growing inside him.

Deadpool Vol. 1 / Wong, Alyssa

Deadpool. Vol. 2 / Wong, Alyssa

Cable

Cable, the time-travelling future son of Cyclops and Phoenix, returns as a fellow defender of Krakoa (albeit reborn as a teenage mutant rather than a grizzled elder veteran) tasked with investigating the disappearance of multiple mutant children.

Cable. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

Cable. Vol. 2 / Duggan, Gerry

Sabretooth

Victor Creed is Sabretooth, an animalistic killer mutant and archnemesis of Wolverine. While most mutants are given amnesty for their crimes committed prior to Krakoa’s founding, the Quiet Council make an exception for Victor, casting him into ‘The Pit of Exile’. Later, Sabretooth bands together with other Exiles to attack Krakoa from within.

Sabretooth : the adversary / LaValle, Victor

Sabretooth & the exiles / LaValle, Victor

More X-Men members

Beloved X-Men writers return to the classic characters for all new miniseries that celebrate the histories of Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue, Gambit and more.

Jean Grey : flames of fear / Simonson, Louise

Rogue & Gambit : power play / Phillips, Stephanie

Gambit : thick as thieves / Claremont, Chris

Magneto : Magneto was right / DeMatteis, J. M

Storm [1] : blowback / Nocenti, Ann

Juggernaut : no stopping now / Nicieza, Fabian

X-23 : deadly regenesis / Schultz, Erica

Common Themes, Many Perspectives: New Teen Books in the Collection

No matter where we come from, young people face many of the same challenges and worries in life.  As different as we are around the world, we all still struggle growing up with the themes of justice, sexuality, ambition, love, identity, and self-esteem among others.  This month’s selection of new titles for teens in the collection highlights these common life themes through many different perspectives.  Whoever or wherever you are, there are other people who are feeling the same things you do.

Comics

I run to make my heart beat / Khan, Rachel
“Nina is 18 in the mid-1990s. She’s trying to find her place in a world constantly throwing her differences back at her face. Nina was born in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic family: her father is black Muslim of Gambian origins and her mother is of Polish-Jewish descent. But Nina will turn her differences into strength as she embraces track and field. She runs, not to escape reality, but to be the champion of her own life.” (Catalogue

I escaped a Chinese internment camp
“Zumrat Dawut is a mother of three in the Xinjiang autonomous region in China, who was arrested and sent to a detention facility for simply being a Muslim. There she endured brutal living conditions, torture, interrogations, anti-Muslim propaganda, and sterilization. But that was just the beginning of Zumrat’s troubles, who with her husband would soon hatch a plan to escape to America.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hungry ghost / Ying, Victoria
“Valerie Chu is quiet, studious, and above all, thin. No one, not even her best friend Jordan, knows that she has been binging and purging for years. But when tragedy strikes, Val finds herself taking a good, hard look at her priorities, her choices, and her own body. The path to happiness may lead her away from her hometown and her mother’s toxic projections, but first she will have to find the strength to seek help.” (Catalogue)

The marble queen / Kopp, Anna
“A sapphic YA graphic novel with sword fighting, political intrigue and magic where the princess needs a marriage alliance for the welfare of her kingdom, but she unknowingly accepts a proposal from a mysterious country, having come not from the prince, but his sister.” (Catalogue)

Static : shadows of Dakota / Draper-Ivey, Nikolas
“Though Virgil and his friends might have been able to stop the government’s off-the-books prison operations in Dakota, a powerful new threat lurks in the shadows. The mysterious Ebon is cutting a bloody swath through the underworld on a single-minded quest to find his brother. Against this backdrop of exploding violence, innocent people are finding themselves in the crossfire.” (Catalogue)

Freshman year / Mai, Sarah
“Chronicles the constant angst, hilarity, and self-doubt enmeshed in the experience of going away to college – all through the eyes of an eighteen-year-old burgeoning comics artist.” (Catalogue)

Fiction

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood moment / Avachat, Arushi
“As her sister’s wedding approaches, high school senior Arya must navigate fraught family dynamics, the fallout of her two best friends breaking up, and a tense partnership with her rival, the frustratingly attractive student council president.” (Catalogue)

Invisible son / Johnson, Kim
“Andre Jackson is determined to reclaim his identity. But returning from juvie doesn’t feel like coming home. His Portland, Oregon, neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying, and COVID-19 shuts down school before he can return. And Andre’s suspicions about his arrest for a crime he didn’t commit even taint his friendships. It’s as if his whole life has been erased.  But in a world where power is held by a few and Andre is nearly invisible, searching for the truth is a dangerous game.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rules for rule breaking / Tucker, Talia
“Winter Park and Bobby Bae are Korean American high school juniors whose families have been friends since the kids were making crayon art. They, however, are repulsed by each other. When Winter’s and Bobby’s parents insist that they go on a northeast college campus tour together, both teens find reasons to accept even though the idea of being stuck in a car together for 700 miles sounds unbearable. What awaits them is a journey of self-discovery, and the only rule on their road trip is to break all the rules.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The last bloodcarver / Le, Vanessa
“Nhika is a bloodcarver. In the industrial city of Theumas, Nhika is seen not as a healer, but a monster that kills for pleasure.  When Nhika is finally caught by the infamous Butchers, she’s forced to heal the last witness to a high-profile murder. Her only chance to survive lies in a terrible choice–become the dreaded monster the city fears, or risk jeopardizing the future of her kind.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A drop of venom / Patel, Sajni
“Sixteen-year-old Manisha is no stranger to monsters–she’s been running from them for years, from beasts who roam the jungle to the King’s army, who forced her people, the naga, to scatter to the ends of the earth. Seventeen-year-old Pratyush is a famed slayer of monsters, one of the King’s most prized warriors and a frequent visitor to the floating temples. When Pratyush and Manisha meet, each sees in the other the possibility to chart a new path.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Enter the body / McCullough, Joy
“Enter the Body gives voice to a cast of the young women who die in Shakespeare’s most iconic plays. Focusing on the stories of Juliet, Ophelia, and Cordelia, …McCullough brilliantly weaves retellings of Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear into a larger story of young women reclaiming their stories in the aftermath of trauma.” (Catalogue)

For more new books in the collection, go to: What’s new / May 2024 (wcl.govt.nz)

Love and Paranormal Entities: New Teen Books in the Collection

We’ve got lots of fresh, new stories amongst our new books in the collection this month.  From ghost stories and social media, to rebound relationships and dealing with racism, there are a lot of new themes to explore.  Take a look at this selection from our new books below…

Comics

Ghost roast / Gibbs, Shawnelle
“Fifteen-year-old Chelsea, daughter of a paranormal specialist, risks her hard-won popularity and more when she is drawn into a paranormal romance after discovering her own ability to communicate with ghosts.” (Catalogue)

In utero / Gooch, Chris
“Twelve years after a disastrous explosion, young Hailey is dropped off by her mum at a holiday camp in a dilapidated shopping mall. Alienated from the other kids, she connects with an eerie older teen named Jen… but soon dark horrors awaken, and the two new friends are caught up in a cataclysmic battle between two terrifying creatures who have been lying dormant all this time.” (Catalogue)

Voyage de gourmet / Tobin, Paul
“Layne Green is a social media sensation of a cook. He’s selected to compete on a reality TV show called Voyage de Gourmet – a globe-trotting foodie adventure. However, his partner is his former best friend, Jiang-Mi Pipper, someone that he really wronged with some of his posts. Can the two find forgiveness, flavor, and themselves on this journey?” (Catalogue)

A condition called love. 1 / Morino, Megumi
“Hotaru is a 16-year-old high school first year who has always been ambivalent about love, preferring instead to have a lively life with her family and friends. So when she sees her schoolmate, Hananoi-kun, sitting in the snow after a messy, public breakup, she thinks nothing of offering to share her umbrella. But when he asks her out in the middle of her classroom the next day, she can’t help but feel that her life is about to change in a big way…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fiction

Artifacts of an ex / Chen, Jennifer
“When Chloe Chang gets dumped via USPS after moving across the county from NYC to LA, she doesn’t throw her box of memories in the garbage. Instead, she starts buying other teenagers’ break-up boxes to create an art exhibit, Heartifacts. On opening night she spots Daniel Kwak illicitly filming his best friend’s reaction to his ex’s box. They spark, but Daniel is dead set on not being another rebound. Five times he’s been the guy who makes the girls he’s dating realize they want to get back with their ex, and he believes Chloe isn’t ready for a new relationship.” (Catalogue)

Twelve bones / Talbot, Rosie
“The thing about death is … it sneaks up on you. Seventeen-year-old seer Charlie and his new boyfriend, Sam, know that the dead can’t hurt the living. It’s ghosts who need protection from dangerous soul catchers – and the boys have promised to keep them safe. But when a powerful force interferes with their defences, and a brutal attack leaves them questioning everything they know, the boys realize there is more at stake than they ever imagined.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Shut up, this is serious / Ixta, Carolina
“Belen Dolores Itzel del Toro wants the normal stuff: to experience love or maybe have a boyfriend or at least just lose her virginity. But nothing is normal in East Oakland. Her father left her family. She’s at risk of not graduating. And Leti, her super-Catholic, nerdy-ass best friend, is pregnant–by the boyfriend she hasn’t told her parents about because he’s Black and her parents are racist.” (Catalogue)

Caught in a bad fauxmance / Rose, Elle Gonzalez
“From debut author Elle Gonzalez Rose comes a fresh, fun contemporary rom-com about an aspiring artist who agrees to fake date one of his family’s longtime enemies, in the hopes of gathering intel strong enough to take down their rivals and keep the family cabin they gambled in a risky bet.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Non-Fiction

The art of being a brilliant teenager / Cope, Andrew
The Art of Being A Brilliant Teenager teaches you how to become your very best self–and how to figure out who that is, exactly. Stay cool under all the pressures you’re facing, and plot a map for the future that takes you wherever it is you want to go. Become proactive, determined, successful and most importantly: happy! The bottom line is this: it’s easy to be the average version of yourself, but is that really all you want?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For more new items in the collection, go to: What’s new / March 2024 (wcl.govt.nz)

Brooms, Break-Ups and Bizarre Murders: New Teen Books in the Collection

It’s February and we’ve got another fine selection of new books in the Young Adult collection.  And what a diverse lot!  From alternative fiction about broom racing and bigotry, to help with finding your voice in a difficult and changing world, and a wild new story about a serial killer with a menstrual obsession, there’s a lot to explore.  Check out this selection of just some of the titles that have hit our shelves this month…

Comics

Brooms / Walls, Jasmine
“It’s 1930s Mississippi. Magic is permitted only in certain circumstances, and by certain people. Unsanctioned broom racing is banned. But for those who need the money, or the thrills… it’s there to be found. Brooms is a queer, witchy Fast and the Furious that shines light on history not often told – it’s everything you’d ever want to read in a graphic novel.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1, Grootfall / Kelly, Collin
“One year ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy were torn apart – their optimistic future shattered by the betrayal of one of their own. Now they ride the space lanes of a lawless corner of the galaxy, trying to outrun their tragedy. Caught in the middle of a civil war, those who were once Guardians face a battle that was lost from the start. Because they’re about to find themselves face-to-face with their old ally Groot – and he’s not the friend they remember! Where Groot goes, Rocket won’t be far behind – but he’s not happy to see the Guardians!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

If you’ll have me / Eunnie
“Momo Gardner is the kind of friend who’s always ready to lend a helping hand. She’s introverted, sensitive, and maybe a little too trusting, but she likes to believe the best in people. PG, on the other hand, is a bit of a lone wolf, despite her reputation for being a flirt and a player. An unexpected meet-cute brings the two together, kicking off the beginning of an awkward yet endearing courtship–but with their drastically different personalities, Momo’s overprotective friend, and PG’s past coming back to haunt her, Momo and PG’s romance is put to the test.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Static : up all night / Giles, Lamar
“After Virgil Hawkins reveals his secret identity as Static to his girlfriend, Daisy, she breaks up with him, leaving him free to go to a big music festival with his best friend Richie Foley (also known as superhero Gear), but they soon run into girls who each have secret identities of their own.” (Catalogue)

Fiction

Thin air / Parker, Kellie M.
“Seventeen-year-old boarding school student Emily Walters is selected for an opportunity of a lifetime–she’ll compete abroad for a cash prize that will cover not only tuition to the college of her choice, but will lift her mother and her out of poverty. But almost from the moment she and 11 other contestants board a private jet to Europe, Emily realizes somebody is willing to do anything to win. As loyalties shift and secrets are revealed, Emily must figure out who to trust, and who’s trying to kill them all, before she becomes the next victim.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Murtagh / Paolini, Christopher
“The world is no longer safe for the Dragon Rider Murtagh and his dragon, Thorn. An evil king has been toppled, and they are left to face the consequences of the reluctant role they played in his reign of terror. Now they are hated and alone, exiled to the outskirts of society. So begins an epic journey into lands both familiar and untraveled, where Murtagh and Thorn must use every weapon in their arsenal, from brains to brawn, to find and outwit a mysterious witch. A witch who is much more than she seems.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Murder on a school night / Weston, Kate
“All Kerry wants to do is stay at home with her rom-coms and strict retainer schedule. Instead, her BFF Annie has roped her into going to their first sixth-form party to investigate who’s cyberbullying Heather, the most popular girl in school. On the cusp of kissing her dreamy crush, Scott, Kerry discovers the body of Heather’s second in command – suffocated with a menstrual cup. Within days, another student turns up dead, this time with a sanitary pad across the eyes. Now Annie and Kerry are officially on the case to stop the menstrual murderer… period.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Gwen & Art are not in love / Croucher, Lex
“Gwen, the quick-witted Princess of England, and Arthur, future lord and general gadabout, have been betrothed since birth. Unfortunately, the only thing they can agree on is that they hate each other. When Gwen catches Art kissing a boy and Art discovers where Gwen hides her diary (complete with racy entries about Bridget Leclair, the kingdom’s only female knight), they become reluctant allies. By pretending to fall for each other, their mutual protection will be assured. But how long can they keep up the ruse? With Gwen growing closer to Bridget, and Art becoming unaccountably fond of Gabriel, Gwen’s infuriatingly serious, bookish brother, the path to true love is looking far from straight” (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction

Louder! : a guide to finding your voice and changing the world / Asquith, Kate
“”If you want to use words to change the world, keep reading. This book is your guide to making a difference, explore the power (and pitfalls) of language, investigate media bias, spot fake news, and discover different types of activism.” (Catalogue)

Mental health and me / Maldonado, Salvador
“Mental Health and Me brings together seven stories of teenage struggles, from body image issues to drug abuse, as experienced by real-life teenagers. This book will help young people to better understand mental health issues, empathise with those who are struggling and possibly even see their own experiences reflected, making them feel more supported and less alone.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What the fact / Yasmin, Seema
“Tracing the spread of misinformation and disinformation through our fast-moving media landscape, a journalist, scientist, medical professional, and professor gives readers the skills to identify and counter poorly sourced clickbait and misleading headlines.” (Catalogue)

Fever knights : role-playing game / Ellis, Adam
“You were once a normal, everyday teenager on the verge of adulthood. But after a mystical experience, you developed unusual powers and became something far greater—a protector of humanity and guardian against evil—a Fever Knight! Fever Knights Role-Playing Game transports you into a retro world that never was. This is a place where the 90’s vibes are still alive: from latchkey kids to Super Nintendo gaming, to cassette players and Saturday morning cartoons, and from urban legends to adventures in the woods. Designed for first-time and veteran gamers, this book contains a lightweight ruleset.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For more new books in the collection, go to: What’s new / February 2024 (wcl.govt.nz)

Love, Libraries and Lives Lost – New Teen Books in the Collection

Do you need something fresh to read over the school holidays?  We’ve got a great selection of new books rolling into our collection this month as always.  We’ve selected a handful below to get you started!

Comics

Mall Goth / Leth, Kate
“Liv Holme is not exactly thrilled to be moving to a new town with her mother. After all, high school can be brutal, even more so when you’re a fifteen-year-old, bisexual goth. But Liv is determined to be who she is, bullies or not. Thankfully, she’s found the perfect escape: the mall. Under its fluorescent lights, Liv feels far away from her parents’ strained marriage and the peers who don’t understand her. Amid the bright storefronts, food court smell, and anonymous shoppers, Liv is safely one of the crowd and can enjoy the feeling of calling the shots in her own life for once.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The infinity particle / Xu, Wendy
“Clementine Chang moves from Earth to Mars for a new start and is lucky enough to land her dream job with Dr. Marcella Lin, an Artificial Intelligence pioneer. On her first day of work, Clem meets Dr. Lin’s assistant, a humanoid AI named Kye. Clem is no stranger to robots–she built herself a cute moth-shaped companion named SENA. Still, there’s something about Kye that feels almost too human. When Clem and Kye begin to collaborate, their chemistry sets off sparks. The only downside? Dr. Lin is enraged by Kye’s growing independence and won’t allow him more freedom. Plus, their relationship throws into question everything Clem thought she knew about AI. After all, if Kye is sentient enough to have feelings, shouldn’t he be able to control his own actions? Where is the line between AI and human?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass : the graphic novel / Vargas, Mel Valentine
“It’s the beginning of sophomore year, and Piedad “Piddy” Sanchez is having a hard time adjusting to her new high school. Things don’t get any easier when Piddy learns that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off from those who care about her – or running away? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fiction

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 on the frontline 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?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook, and an eBook on both Libby and Borrowbox.

Ryan and Avery / Levithan, David
“When Ryan and Avery met at a queer prom, they felt an instant connection. This is the story of their first 10 dates: the tender hopes, the skittish fears, the difficulty of introducing someone into your pre-existing life. There is always the possibility of heartbreak– and the chance that maybe, just maybe, you’ve found the right person to love.” (Catalogue)

Where he can’t find you / Coates, Darcy
“Abby Ward lives in a town haunted by disappearances. People vanish, and when they’re found, their bodies have been dismembered and sewn back together in unnatural ways. But is it the work of a human killer . . . or something far darker? She and her younger sister live by a strict set of rules designed to keep them safe–which is why it’s such a shock when Hope is taken. With every hour precious, Abby and her friends are caught in a desperate game of cat and mouse. They have to get Hope back. Quickly. Before too much of her is cut away. And before everything they care about is swallowed up by the darkness waiting in the tunnels beneath the home they thought they knew.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What stalks among us / Hollowell, Sarah
“The last thing they expect to come across is a giant, abandoned corn maze. But with a whole day of playing hooky unspooling before them, they make their second mistake. Or perhaps their third? Maybe even their fourth. Because Sadie and Logan have definitely entered this maze before. And again before that. They quickly realize they’ve not only entered this maze before, they’ve died in it too. A lot…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The space between here & now / Suk, Sarah
“Seventeen-year-old Aimee Roh has Sensory Time Warp Syndrome, a rare condition that causes her to time travel to a moment in her life when she smells something linked to that memory. Her dad is convinced she’ll simply grow out of it if she tries hard enough, but Aimee’s fear of vanishing at random has kept her from living a normal life. Desperate for answers, Aimee travels to Korea, where she unravels the mystery of her memories, the truth about her mother, and the reason she keeps returning to certain moments in her life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The library of broken worlds / Johnson, Alaya Dawn
“In the winding underground tunnels of the Library, the great celestial peacekeeper of the three systems, a terrible secret lies buried. The daughter of a Library god, Freida has spent her whole life exploring the Library’s ever-changing tunnels and communing with the gods. When she meets Joshua, a mortal boy desperate to save his people, and Nergüi, a Disciple from a persecuted religious minority, Freida is compelled to break ranks with the gods and help them. To do so she will have to venture deeper into the Library– and she discovers the atrocities of the past, the truth of her origins, and the impossibility of her future.” (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction

Lads : a guide to respect and consent – step up, speak out and create positive change / Bissett, Alan
“In a world full of negative influences, LADS is a toolkit for teenage boys on respect and consent, helping them call out bad behaviour and giving them the confidence to be their best selves. Have you ever been in a situation where there’s a loud guy making dodgy comments, cracking jokes that only he thinks are funny or leering at the girls in the room? You can feel the tension, right? That Guy is the worst, but no one is saying anything, because the whole situation is intimidating and awkward. This toolkit will help you call out bad behaviour and understand the serious issues facing girls today. And it will make you feel confident navigating relationships, so that everyone feels happy, heard and respected, while being the best version of yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

For more new books in the catalogue, go to: What’s new / December 2023 (wcl.govt.nz)

Memoirs, Mysteries, Memes and Murder: New Books for Teens in the Collection

Those summer holidays are going to be here soon, and it’s the perfect time to get stuck into some new books.  I mean, have you considered the Summer Reading Adventure yet?  We have a fresh crop of new books to add to your reading list, whether your into comics, fiction or non-fiction… or maybe all three?

Comics

Mexikid : a graphic memoir / Martin, Pedro
“Pedro Martin’s grown up in the U.S. hearing stories about his legendary abuelito, but during a family road trip to Mexico, he connects with his grandfather and learns more about his own Mexican identity in this moving and hilarious graphic memoir.” (Catalogue)

The Calvin and Hobbes portable compendium. Book 1 / Watterson, Bill
“Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger first appeared in 1985 and could be read in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All the lovely bad ones : a ghost story graphic novel / Peterson, Scott
“Travis and his sister, Corey, can’t resist a good trick. When they learn that their grandmother’s quiet Vermont inn, where they’re spending the summer, has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little ‘haunting’ of their own. Before long, their supernatural pranks have tourists flocking to Fox Hill Inn, and business booms. But Travis and Corey soon find out that theirs aren’t the only ghosts at Fox Hill. Their thoughtless games have awakened something dangerous, something that should have stayed asleep. Can these siblings lay to rest the troubled spirits they’ve disturbed?” (Catalogue)

Fiction

Broken hearts and zombie parts / Hussey, William
“A savagely funny gay YA romance about body image, self-acceptance and falling in love. Jesse Spark has a broken heart and in a few short weeks he’ll require major surgery to repair it – which means he only has a month to accomplish two almost-impossible tasks. 1) Shoot his epic zombie movie on a shoestring budget if he has any hope of getting into film school. 2) Fall in love before this surgery lands him with a huge scar – because how will anyone ever fancy him after that?” (Catalogue)

How to find a missing girl / Wlosok, Victoria
“Seventeen-year-old amateur sleuth Iris and her sapphic detective agency investigate the disappearance of Iris’s cheerleader ex-girlfriend, who also happens to be the creator of a notorious true-crime podcast about Iris’s missing older sister.” (Catalogue)

The scarlet veil / Mahurin, Shelby
“Six months have passed since Célie took her sacred vows and joined the ranks of the Chasseurs as their first huntswoman. With her fiancé, Jean Luc, as captain, she is determined to find her foothold in her new role and help protect Belterra. But whispers from her past still haunt her, and a new evil is rising–one that Célie herself must vanquish, unless she falls prey to the darkness.” (Catalogue)

09If you tell anyone, you’re next / Heath, Jack
“Jayden Jones is missing. Everyone thinks he ran away. His best friend, Zoe Ross, knows they’re wrong. Zoe’s search leads her to the 17-a secret group chat, used by anonymous teens to blackmail the powerless. To join, you have to put on a mask and record yourself completing a challenge. The challenges are always illegal. Sometimes dangerous. Maybe deadly. Who are the 17? What have they done to Jayden? And what will they do to silence Zoe?” (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction

Accountable : the true story of a racist social media account and the teenagers whose lives it changed / Slater, Dashka
“When a high school student started a private Instagram account that used racist and sexist memes to make his friends laugh, he thought of it as “edgy” humor. Over time, the edge got sharper. Then a few other kids found out about the account. Pretty soon, everyone knew. Ultimately no one in the small town of Albany, California, was safe from the repercussions of the account’s discovery. Not the girls targeted by the posts. Not the boy who created the account. Not the group of kids who followed it. Not the adults–educators and parents–whose attempts to fix things too often made them worse. In the end, no one was laughing. And everyone was left asking: Where does accountability end for online speech that harms? And what does accountability even mean?” (Catalogue)

Video game of the year : a year-by-year guide to the best, boldest, and most bizarre games from every year since 1977 / Minor, Jordan
“For each of the 40 years of video game history, there is a defining game, a game that captured the zeitgeist and left a legacy for all games that followed. Through a series of entertaining, informative, and opinionated critical essays, author and tech journalist Jordan Minor investigates, in chronological order, the innovative, genre-bending, and earth-shattering games from 1977 through 2022. Minor explores development stories, critical reception, and legacy, and also looks at how gaming intersects with and eventually influences society at large while reveling in how uniquely and delightfully bizarre even the most famous games tend to be”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

For more new books for teens in the collection, go to: https://wcl.govt.nz/whatsnew/#teens

Big Library Read – Artie and the Wolf Moon

The Big Library Read is now underway!

Big Library Read is like a worldwide digital version of a book club! Big Library Read is an opportunity for library users around the whole world to read the same ebook at the same time without any reserves queue!

This year, from 2 until 16th November 2023, the selected title is Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens.

Click here to borrow the book on Libby now!

After sneaking out against her mother’s wishes, Artie Irvin spots a massive wolf—then watches it don a bathrobe and transform into her mom. Thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves, Artie asks her mom to share everything—including the story of Artie’s late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her own wolflike abilities, her mom recruits some old family friends. Artie thrives in her new community and even develops a crush on her new friend Maya. But as she learns the history of werewolves and her own parents’ past, she’ll find that wolves aren’t the scariest thing in the woods—vampires are.

– Blurb

Just like a book club, you can contribute to discussion here: https://biglibraryread.com/join-the-discussion/.

Check out a letter from the author, and a discussion guide, over on Big Library Read’s current title page.

If you haven’t already, you can always download Libby on your smartphone as your one-stop-shop eLibrary! eLibrary Help – Getting started (wcl.govt.nz)

Happy reading folks!

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… One Piece

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the story of a kid who wants to be King of the Pirates and sets out find the world’s greatest treasure: One Piece!

The Straw Hats’ ship, the Thousand Sunny, sails off into the horizon (via GIPHY)


What is One Piece?

Luffy (centre) and the Straw Hats (clockwise from top left) Nami, Zoro, Brook, Franky, Usopp, Sanji, Robin, and Chopper (via GIPHY)

One Piece is a weekly manga published by the anthology manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump. Written and drawn by mangaka (manga artist) Eiichirō Oda, it’s the longest-running manga in the magazine’s history, running for over 26 years, and has been adapted into movies, video games, a long-running anime, and a live-action TV series on Netflix.

The story of One Piece takes place following the capture of notorious pirate Gol D. Roger, who proclaims before his execution that he hid a fabulous treasure named ‘The One Piece’ at the end of the world’s most perilous ocean, the Grand Line. This inspires a generation of pirates to seek out the treasure, including Monkey D. Luffy, a boy with the power of the Gum-Gum Fruit, which allows him to stretch his body like rubber at the cost of being able to swim.

Luffy gathers a loyal crew (named the ‘Straw Hat Pirates’ after his signature lid) including ace swordsman Zoro, sassy cat burglar Nami, cowardly sharpshooter Usopp, and chivalrous chef Sanji, and they set off to find the One Piece, battling rival pirates, crime lords, sea monsters, corrupt governments, and despotic rulers, while gathering new crew members along the way.


How do I start reading One Piece?

Start at Volume 1! You can reserve it here or start reading here on our eLibrary app Libby. We have the first four volumes on the eLibrary, and the first 99 volumes of the series in tankōbon (manga collection). In fact, the most recent tankōbon in our collection has the series milestone 1000th chapter in it, which sets up the series’ final arc. So now has never been a better time to get caught up!

That’s the how explained, but the more important question is why should you start reading One Piece? A series this long is a big commitment, but as someone who is currently up to date with the manga (all 1091 chapters as of this writing), I can tell you from experience that it is well worth the journey. Come aboard, and let us count the ways…

Luffy and the Straw Hats in the order they joined the crew (via GIPHY)


The Story

Come aboard and bring along all your hopes and dreams! (via GIPHY)

While One Piece‘s overall story is literally just the world’s biggest treasure hunt, it’s the journey that matters, as the Straw Hat crew travel from island to island encountering rivals and obstacles to their quest. The series is divided into discrete arcs, which vary in length and build in complexity as more characters are introduced and the world gets further fleshed out.

My personal favourite One Piece arcs are:

Baroque Works (vol 13-24) – The Straw Hats help a princess disguised as a bounty hunter save her desert kingdom of Arabasta from Crocodile, a crime lord with the power of the Sand-Sand Fruit. The first major arc of the series which sets the template for the rest of One Piece’s storylines.

Skypiea (vol 25-33) – Arguably the most imaginative setting in One Piece, here the crew ascends up a giant geyser to a civilization in the sky, where ships can sail on clouds and an indigenous population protects their land from the ‘Sky People’ and the self-proclaimed lightning god Eneru.

Enies Lobby (vol 39-45) – After fighting through a train that rides over the ocean, the Straw Hats must rescue a member of the crew from a government stronghold guarded by highly trained secret agents. This arc sees the crew come face-to-face with the oppressive World Government, the major governing body of the One Piece world that silences or imprisons anyone who threatens their power.

Impel Down (vol 55-57) – To save his brother Ace from execution, Luffy teams up with a number of the series’ previous villains to break him out of the titular prison island, which is inspired by the circles of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. This story also sets up the Marineford arc, a major turning point in the One Piece narrative and the halfway point of the manga’s overall story.

Whole Cake Island (80-90) – Luffy and half of the Straw Hat crew venture to a chain of fairy tale-inspired islands to save Sanji from an arranged marriage. Despite the island’s (literally) sugar-coated surface, the lands of Whole Cake are ruled with an iron fist by the villainous ‘Big Mom’, a giantess pirate and member of the series most powerful villains, the Four Emperors.


The Fights

Luffy performs his Gum-Gum Jet Gatling attack (via GIPHY)

It wouldn’t be a shōnen manga if the fights weren’t top-notch, and in that respect One Piece does not disappoint. In addition to a litany of sword-wielders, martial artists, cyborgs, and mythical creatures like giants and fishmen that inhabit the Grand Line, we have the signature superpowers of One Piece that come from the mysterious Devil Fruits. When eaten, these fruits grant their user supernatural abilities, ranging from ‘growing extra limbs at will’ to ‘turning into a dinosaur’ to ‘being able to manipulate biscuits’, making the fights incredibly imaginative depending on each character’s particular skillset.

Nico Robin has the Flower-Flower Fruit, allowing her to grow copies of her limbs onto anything or anyone (via GIPHY)

Every One Piece arc has an act dedicated just to Luffy and the Straw Hats going mano-a-mano with the antagonists of that storyline. Over the course of the series, we’ve seen such hits as:

  • The Crew Fights a Pirate Circus, Led by a Clown Who Can Split His Body into Pieces!
  • Who Can Sword More: The Crew’s Swordsman, or A Literal Man Made of Swords?
  • Usopp and Chopper Fight a Mole-Woman and a Guy Whose Dog is a Bazooka!
  • Zoro and Usopp Fight a Sword-Wielding Giraffe-Man… While Handcuffed Together!
  • How Many Biscuit Soldiers Can Luffy Eat in One Battle? The Answer May Surprise You!
  • Sanji Abandons His Noodle Stand and Embraces His Power Ranger Heritage to Beat Up a Spinosaurus-Man!

While those all sound ridiculous, every fight is written with an emphasis on showing growth through conflict, and drawn to showcase action and exaggerate the impact of each blow (it helps when your main character can squash and stretch like a Looney Tune). Some of the best moments in One Piece are when a character overcomes a limitation or sees their motivation in a new light while mid-conflict. It’s classic shōnen manga stuff, but filtered through One Piece‘s signature brand of wackiness, it’ll make you laugh and cheer (and sometimes cry).

Zoro always gets the final cut (via GIPHY)


The Art

The art style of One Piece is unlike a lot of other manga, which in the 90s tended to favour sharper designs and large, expressive eyes. Though Oda was inspired by earlier Japanese mangaka like Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), his style also takes influence from Western comics and animation, giving his characters a more noodley, ‘cartoonish’ quality.

When your characters are mostly leg, they gotta know how to use them (via GIPHY)

In contrast, every background in One Piece is drawn with the utmost attention to detail, thanks to Oda and his team of tireless art assistants that maintain the manga’s quality week after week. Because of this unique blend of dense worldbuilding and cartoony characters, the series can shift tones from goofy to serious on a dime, but still never break your immersion in the story.

Yes, the joke is Chopper doesn’t know how to hide, but can we take a second to notice someone had to draw ALL those bricks? (via GIPHY)

Oda is a notorious fiend for research and he puts all on the One Piece page, pulling inspiration from mythology, animation, history (including, naturally, the Golden Age of Piracy), architecture, cinema, even professional wrestling. It keeps the Grand Line interesting, and it only gets better as Oda keeps adding new ideas to the story and grows more confident in his draftsmanship, cramming immense amounts of detail into each page.

Over the course of the series, the Straw Hat crew have visited such imaginative locales as:

  • Baratie, a giant floating restaurant for pirates in the middle of the ocean (I do not envy who had to draw all those floorboards…)
  • Skypiea, a civilization in the clouds built on floating islands, full of dense jungles and ancient temples
  • Water Seven, a massive canal city that puts Venice to shame, with multi-tiered, interconnected river roads
  • Fishman Island, a colourful kingdom of fishmen located deep under the ocean, which can only be accessed by covering your ship in an airtight bubble of a special tree sap and sinking straight down
  • Zou, a society of humanoid animals called ‘Minks’ that live on the back of a colossal, centuries-old talking elephant who walks through the ocean
  • Thriller Bark, a Tim Burton-inspired island full of zombies and Frankensteined animals that’s basically just ‘The Straw Hats go to Nightmare Before Christmas

Five minutes in Thriller Bark and Luffy is already sick of it (via GIPHY)

Oda clearly never wants the series to grow stagnant by staying in one setting for too long, and that promise of novelty is what keeps every One Piece fan coming back to the series week after week.


The Writing

One Piece Quote Analysis #1 | Anime Amino

‘Warlord of the Sea’ Doflamingo explains the ‘justice’ of the Grand Line (GIF via Anime Amino)

A world as dense and diverse as the Grand Line needs to be populated with characters that believably inhabit that world. Every character in One Piece, from the Straw Hat crew to the villains to the incidental villagers, have motivations, habits, beliefs, even specific laughs. But where the manga really shines in terms of character writing is when you get to see how a character became the way they are, and some of One Piece‘s most affecting moments are when a character’s ambition comes into harsh conflict with the unfair world around them.

This comes to a head in the series’ halfway point, the Summit War, a massive battle between the authoritarian World Government and a united army of pirates. The tension in the story comes from not from who will win, but how the winning side will determine what justice in the world gets to be. Pirates are defined against the laws and norms of their society, branded as criminals by the governmental and economic powers of their era. This makes One Piece uniquely suited to explore themes of justice, inequality, and resistance against entrenched power structures. English teachers, take note!

Storylines like Arlong Park and Fishman Island not only examine systemic racism experienced by the series’ unique aquatic peoples, but also their disagreements on how they respond to their oppression. Characters like Nico Robin and Luffy’s brother Ace are targeted for their ties to historical events that the World Government has tried to cover up, touching on ideas of “history being written by the victors” and whether any one person is a criminal simply for existing.

The people of Skypeia fly into battle (via GIPHY)

And in my opinion, the Skypiea arc is one of the best fictional interpretations I’ve seen of indigenous resistance to colonisation, written in a way that is both broad yet specific, and one that immediately made me think of Aotearoa’s own history. Probably helped by the fact that it literally takes place on a land of long white cloud.


The Journey

15 Best anime quotes images | Anime, One piece quotes, Dbz memes

Will Monkey D. Luffy be the one to challenge the world? (via Pinterest)

At over 1000 chapters and counting, One Piece is a truly monumental feat of serialised storytelling for any medium. Unlike American comics, where writers and artists change hands on a title regularly, Eiichirō Oda has been the sole creator of One Piece since it began in July 1997, which gives the series a consistent level of quality. It’s exceedingly rare to read something still being published today that is written and drawn by the same person, where everything that excites, fascinates, and concerns them has been filtered into one work of art over two and a half decades.

With recent buzz that the manga is heading into its finale, all eyes are on One Piece to stick the landing, especially as it’s grown more popular worldwide in recent years. But it would go against the series’ goals to recommend it solely on how it might end. After all, it’s the journey that matters.

Recommending One Piece is like talking about your best overseas trip: you can explain all the specifics of what you did, who you met or how you got there, but you really just have to experience it for yourself. And the more people you can share that experience with, the better it becomes.

Set sail for One Piece! (via GIPHY)

New Dyslexia-Friendly Books in the Collection

The mystical, arcane beings who dwell at the very core of the book-mines of Te Pātaka (you may know them as ‘cataloguers’) were overjoyed to have received a fresh offering last week — a beautiful box of brand-new dyslexia-friendly books for teens. They were so gosh-darn purdy we just had to share them with you:

A pile of YA fiction books sits on top of the cataloguer's desk

Don’t they look so enticing?!

What makes a book dyslexia-friendly, you may be wondering? Well, it’s a combination of a few different factors:

  • Use of a dyslexia-friendly font like OpenDyslexic
  • Generous line spacing (usually at least 1.5x spacing) to prevent pages from becoming too cluttered
  • Printed on off-white, heavier paper, usually with a tint of a warm colour like yellow or orange — evidence suggests this reduces visual stress for some readers

You can find these books on the shelf at your local library by looking for the red spot on the spine, like in the photo above. Or, you can find a list on our catalogue here.

If eBooks are more your thing, you can switch your books over to a dyslexia-friendly font using the Libby app — nifty! Check out our Teen Reading Room on Libby to get started.

Whether you have dyslexia or not, these gorgeous books are bound to tickle your fancy, just as they tickled ours! Check out a list of some of our favourite red-spotted books below, and don’t forget to check out our lists of comics and graphic novels and manga while you’re at it.

Because of you / Ainsworth, Eve
“Poppy’s having a nightmare at home. Her parents have split up and her mum’s new boyfriend is moving in. Dad is the one who’s always been there for Poppy, but now he’s drifting further and further away. It seems like things can’t get any worse until it all goes wrong at school as well and Poppy finds herself being targeted by spiteful bullies. As the vicious online comments keep coming, who can Poppy turn to for help?” (Catalogue)

The Battle of Cable Street / Landman, Tanya
“Life has always been tough on the streets of Stepney, where Elsie and her brother Mikey are growing up in a vermin-infested slum nicknamed “Paradise”. But the rise of anti-Semitic fascist Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts in the 1930s stirs up trouble between families who have lived closely together for years, and Elsie sees friendships torn apart. When Elsie and Mikey attend a Mosley rally, intending to heckle and cause trouble, they soon see how dangerous the situation has become, but out in the streets the fascists find that people will stand and fight against them and against hatred in what becomes the dramatic Battle of Cable Street.” (Catalogue)

Passing for white / Landman, Tanya
“It’s 1848 in the Deep South of America. Rosa is a slave but her owner is also her father and her fair skin means she can ‘pass for white’. With the help of her husband Benjamin, she disguises herself as a young southern gentleman – and Benjamin’s master. In this guise, the couple flee the South, explaining away their lack of literacy, avoiding those they have encountered before and holding their nerve over a thousand miles to freedom. Inspired by the amazing true story of Ellen Craft who escaped a life of slavery through a daring disguise and won freedom for herself and her husband.” (Catalogue)

The family tree / Peet, Mal
“When a man returns to his childhood home and visits the derelict tree house in which his father once chose to live, he recalls the past unravelling of his family, the unspoken strangeness of their lives, and the impact on his own adult life. Beautiful, sparse and insightful storytelling.” (Catalogue)

The harder they fall / Rai, Bali
“Cal’s family are proud to live in an ‘analogue’ world – no wifi in their house , just an ancient black-and-white TV. At school, Cal has no choice but to live in the 21st century, coping with a range of bullies and chancers on a daily basis. When Cal’s mum decides to ‘rebalance’ the family with a stint as volunteers at a local foodbank, Cal inadvertently discovers new kid Jacob’s secret, and Jacob flips.” (Catalogue)

Wrath / Sedgwick, Marcus
“Cassie Cotton has always been unusual, a bit different — but this only makes her more intriguing to her school friend Fitz. Cassie can hear a noise that no one else can, and she believes it’s a sound that shows the Earth is in distress, damaged by human activity that is causing climate change. When this belief leads to her being ridiculed and bullied at school, Cassie disappears. Fitz is determined to find her, but he has no idea where to start looking, or if he’ll be in time to help her”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

The surprising power of a good dumpling / Chim, Wai
“Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen. But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other. A nourishing tale about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family, and the surprising power of a good dumpling.” (Catalogue)

Indigo moon / Merriman, Eileen
“Both Rigel and Indigo are Offspring, born to virally optimised parents. With dire warnings about the possible consequences of time travel, they have been forbidden from even thinking about it. But Indigo is bored – what could really go wrong? She longs for excitement, which she might just find with the mysterious stranger Billy Raven. Meanwhile, Rigel has an odd feeling that he can’t shake off. Is it because his dad, Johnno (aka Phoenix), is off on another dangerous mission? Or is it because of what the Foundation did to his mum, Violet? Or is something else going on? Only time will tell”–Publisher information.

M is for Monster: New Young Adult Books in the Collection

August is here and with it yet another bunch of awesome new books in the collection.  We’ve got comics based on Frankenstein and from the perspective of a survivor of a school shooting; novels with dark mystery and swoon-worthy romance; and even a fantastic cookbook for teens, and so much more.  Take a look at the titles below and then click on through to the rest of the new items to explore more.


Comics

M is for monster / Dutton, Talia
“When Doctor Frances Ai’s younger sister Maura died in a tragic accident six months ago, Frances swore she would bring her back to life. However, the creature that rises from the slab is clearly not Maura. This girl, who chooses the name M, doesn’t remember anything about Maura’s life and just wants to be her own person. However, Frances expects M to pursue the same path that Maura had been on – applying to college to become a scientist – and continue the plans she and Maura shared. In order to face the future, both Frances and M need to learn to listen and let go of Maura once and for all.” (Adapted fromCatalogue)

Welcome to St. Hell : my trans teen misadventure / Hancox, Lewis
“Lewis has a few things to say to his younger teen self. He knows she hates her body. He knows she’s confused about who to snog. He knows she’s really a he and will ultimately realize this. But she’s going to go through a whole lot of mess (some of it funny, some of it not funny at all) to get to that point. Lewis is trying to tell her this … but she can’t quite hear him yet.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Knee deep. Book one / Flood, Joe
“Two hundred years in the future, refugees from an environmental cataclysm have fled underground. They are sewerfolk, their home, the bowels of a utopian city that was never completed. Life is hard enough, but an overzealous mining company, PERCH wants to get their claws on this new underground frontier and they don’t mind bulldozing any sewerfolk that get in their way. Caught in the middle is a young girl, Cricket. She’s in a desperate search to find her family that fled underground.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Numb to this : memoir of a mass shooting / Neely, Kindra
“Kindra Neely never expected it to happen to her. No one does. Over the span of a few minutes, on October 1, 2015, eight students and a professor lost their lives. And suddenly, Kindra became a survivor. This empathetic and ultimately hopeful graphic memoir recounts Kindra’s journey forward from those few minutes that changed everything. It wasn’t easy. Every time Kindra took a step toward peace and wholeness, a new mass shooting devastated her again. Las Vegas. Parkland. She was hopeless at times, feeling as if no one was listening. Not even at the worldwide demonstration March for Our Lives. But finally, Kindra learned that – for her – the path toward hope wound through art, helping others, and sharing her story.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Family style : memories of an American from Vietnam / Pham, Thien
“Thien’s first memory isn’t a sight or a sound. It’s the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of fish. It’s the taste of the foods he ate while adrift at sea as his family fled Vietnam. After the Pham family arrives at a refugee camp in Thailand, they struggle to survive. Things don’t get much easier once they resettle in California. And through each chapter of their lives, food takes on a new meaning. And for Thien Pham, that story is about a search… for belonging, for happiness, for the American dream.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Fiction

Someone is always watching / Armstrong, Kelley
“When their friend Gabrielle is found covered in blood in front of their dead principal, with no recollection of what happened, Blythe, Tucker, and Tanya soon discover their lives are a lie as the walls built around their real memories come crashing down.” (Catalogue)

Girl, goddess, queen / Fitzgerald, Bea
“Thousands of years ago, the gods told a lie: how Persephone was a pawn in the politics of other gods. How Hades kidnapped Persephone to be his bride. How her mother, Demeter, was so distraught she caused the Earth to start dying. The real story is much more interesting. Persephone wasn’t taken to hell: she jumped. There was no way she was going to be married off to some smug god more in love with himself than her. Now all she has to do is convince the Underworld’s annoyingly sexy, arrogant and frankly rude ruler, Hades, to fall in line with her plan. A plan that will shake Mount Olympus to its very core. But consequences can be deadly, especially when you’re already in hell . . .” (Catalogue)

We Didn’t Think It Through / Lonesborough, Gary
“The justice system characterises Jamie Langton as a ‘danger to society’, but he’s just an Aboriginal kid, trying to find his way through adolescence. He spends his downtime hanging out with his mates, Dally and Lenny. Mark Cassidy and his white mates – the Footy Heads – take every opportunity they can to bully Jamie and his friends. On Lenny’s last night in town before moving to Sydney, after another episode of racist harassment, Jamie, Dally and Lenny decide to retaliate by vandalising Mark Cassidy’s car. And when they discover the keys are in the ignition… Dally changes the plan. But it’s a bad plan. And as a consequence, Jamie ends up in the youth justice system where he must find a way to mend his relationships with himself, his friends, his family and his future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Painted devils / Owen, Margaret
“When misfortune strikes, the ‘reformed’ jewel thief Vanja manipulates a remote village for help and in turn, accidentally starts a cult around a Low God, the Scarlet Maiden. Soon after, her nemesis-turned-suitor Emeric and a supervising prefect arrive to investigate the claim of godhood, and she realizes how in over her head she must be. But the Scarlet Maiden does reveal herself…only to claim Emeric as her virgin sacrifice. With vengeful apparitions, supernatural fraud, and ravenous hellhounds, readers will not be able to put down this Bavarian-themed YA fantasy, the thrilling sequel to Little Thieves.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lose you to find me / Brown, Erik J
“Tommy Dees is in the weeds–restaurant speak for beyond overwhelmed. He’s been working as a server at Sunset Estates retirement community to get the experience he needs to attend one of the best culinary schools in the world. And to make his application shine, he also needs a letter of recommendation from his sadistic manager. But in exchange for the letter, Tommy has to meet three conditions–including training the new hire. What he doesn’t expect is for the newbie to be an old crush: Gabe, with the dimples and kind heart, who Tommy fell for during summer camp at age ten and then never saw again.  The training proves distracting as old feelings resurface, and the universe seems to be conspiring against them. With the application deadline looming and Gabe on his mind, Tommy is determined to keep it all together–but what if life isn’t meant to follow a recipe?” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Non-Fiction

Fantastic vegan recipes for the teen cook : 60 incredible recipes you need to try for good health and a better planet / Skiadas, Elaine
“Elaine’s recipes help the modern teen cook be more environmentally-conscious and develop healthy habits while also proving that easy vegan cooking doesn’t need to be bland or boring. With just a few simple techniques and a handful of quality ingredients, it’s easy as can be to whip up a restaurant-quality meal for your family and friends.” (Catalogue)


For more new YA books in the collection, go to:  What’s new / August 2023 (wcl.govt.nz)

Influential: New Young Adult Titles in the Collection

Right now the nights are long and the temperatures are chilly, perfect weather for curling up with a good book and getting cosy.  If you’re looking for something new to settle in and escape into, try some of these new books in the collection:

Influential / Sage, Amara
“Almond Brown has no friends in real life but 3.5 million followers online. A heart-felt, whip-smart deep dive into what it would really be like to be internet famous at 17: a cautionary tale for our time from a writer who has grown up with social media. Almond is forced into the spotlight when she was just a perfectly filtered bump: her mum has been documenting their family through social media since before she was born. When the darkest side of the internet begins to haunt her, Almond feels like she’s going to lose everything.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Belle of the ball / Costa, Mari
“High-school senior and notorious wallflower Hawkins finally works up the courage to remove her mascot mask and ask out her longtime crush: Regina Moreno, head cheerleader, academic overachiever, and all-around popular girl. There’s only one teensy little problem: Regina is already dating Chloe Kitagawa, athletic all-star… and middling English student.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood debts / Benton-Walker, Terry J
“Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen. On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau–the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family–are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick–she’s cursed…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fighting in a world on fire : the next generation’s guide to protecting the climate and saving our future / Malm, Andreas
“An argument for bold action to stop climate change and a guide to successful activism, adapted for young people from climate expert Andreas Malm’s best-selling book How to Blow Up a Pipeline.” (Catalogue)

Lally’s game / Cawthon, Scott
“A forbidden artifact from her fiancé’s past beckons to Selena. Jessica leads a double-life from her friends and coworkers in the children’s wing of a hospital. Maya can’t resist the temptation to explore an off-limits area of Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex. But in the world of Five Nights at Freddy’s, everything comes with a price to pay.” (Catalogue)

Blue Lock. 1 / Kaneshiro, Muneyuki
“After a disastrous defeat at the World Cup, Japan’s team struggles to regroup. But what’s missing? An absolute ace striker. The Football Union is hell-bent on creating a striker who hungers for goals and thirsts for victory, so Blue Lock – a rigorous training ground for 300 of Japan’s best and brightest youth players – is created. To survive this battle royale, the last striker standing will have to out-muscle and out-ego everyone who stands in his way!” (Catalogue)

Monochrome / Costello, Jamie
“… the whole of society is in the grip of the Monochrome Effect, or ‘greyout’, which eliminates the ability of humans and animals to see colour. The greyout moves from person to person, but it isn’t a transmissible disease: the effect on the optic nerve can be traced from microplastics in the ocean, the result of unchecked pollution, now in all water systems. When Grace starts to experience intermittent ‘colour episodes’, she is asked to join a government-run study with other teens who have seen flashes of colour since the Monochrome Effect began. But the reality is much more sinister, complex and dangerous than she could ever have imagined – colour vision is now currency, and to those in power, worth the ultimate price…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Queen bee : an anti-historical Regency romp / Howard, Amalie
“Lady Ela Dalvi knows the exact moment her life was forever changed–when her best friend, Poppy, betrayed her without qualm over a boy, the son of a duke. She was sent away in disgrace, her reputation ruined. Nearly three years later, eighteen-year-old Ela is consumed with bitterness and a desire for . . . revenge. But when Ela reunites with the only boy she’s ever loved, she begins to question whether vengeance is still her greatest desire. In this complicated game of real-life chess, Ela must choose her next move: Finally bring down the queen or capture the king’s heart?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Nova : Sam Alexander / Loeb, Jeph
“Sam Alexander is a kid bound by the gravity of a small town – and a father whose ridiculous fairy tales about a ‘Nova Corps’ are just another heavy burden. But lucky for Sam, his troubles will soon be a billion miles away! A hand-me-down helmet has unlocked Sam Alexander’s heroic legacy – and even as the Guardians of the Galaxy try to train him, the helmet will soon lead the newest Nova into a massive intergalactic conflict!” (Catalogue)

All my rage / Tahir, Sabaa
“A family extending from Pakistan to California, deals with generations of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness.  From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness–one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The quiet and the loud / Fox, Helena
“On the water, with everything hushed above and below, George is steady, silent. Then her estranged dad says he needs to talk, and George’s past begins to wake up, looping around her ankles, trying to drag her under. George’s best friend, Tess, is about to become a teen mom; her friend Laz is in despair about the climate crisis; her gramps would literally misplace his teeth if not for her, and her moms fill the house with fuss and chatter. When her father tells her his news, George turns to Calliope. Here she would stay, if she could. But the past just will not stay put.” (Catalogue)

Danger and other unknown risks / North, Ryan
“Follows Marguerite de Pruitt and her canine pal, Daisy, as they embark on a journey to save the world. Here’s the deal – on midnight of January 1st, 2000, the world ended. But it wasn’t technology that killed it: It was magic. Now, years later, the Earth has transformed. Magic works (sort of). People are happy (sort of). But this new world isn’t stable, and unless Marguerite de Pruitt and her canine pal, Daisy, do something about it, it’ll tilt into deadly chaos. Good thing they’ve been training their whole lives for this and are destined to succeed. Or so they think.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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

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

Read More

From India to Poland, to Strange New Worlds and Back Home Again: New YA Titles in the Collection

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a new book.  That shiny new cover, those crisp pages, they’re wonderful.  Or maybe you’re just looking for something new and interesting that you haven’t come across before.  Well, we got you, have a look at this selection of new YA titles in our collection…

The karma map : a novel / Sharma, Nisha
“Born and raised in the US, Tara Bajaj hides her family secrets. With beautiful clothes, a popular social media presence, and a spot on the Rutgers High Bollywood dance team, she does it well–until her carefully cultivated image shatters. Silas D’Souza-Gupta is an aspiring photojournalist retracing the journey his two mothers took when they fell in love. As Tara and Silas embark on remote pilgrimage sites from Punjab through the Himalayas, they discover what it means to be a child in the Indian diaspora, the significance of karma, and the healing power of love.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Nightbirds / Armstrong, Kate J
“The Nightbirds are Simta’s best kept secret. Magic–especially the magic of women–is outlawed and the city’s religious sects would see them burned if discovered. But protected by the Great Houses, the Nightbirds are safe well-guarded treasures. As this Season’s Nightbirds, Matilde, Aesa, and Sayer spend their nights bestowing their unique brands of magic to well-paying clients. They know their lives as Nightbirds aren’t just temporary, but a complete lie and yearn for something more. When they discover that there are other girls like them and that their magic is more than they were ever told, they see the carefully crafted Nightbird system for what it is: a way to keep them in their place, first as daughters and then as wives. Now they must make a choice–to stay in their gilded cage or to remake the city that put them there in the first place.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The stranded / Daniels, Sarah
“Welcome to the Arcadia. Once a luxurious cruise ship, it became a refugee camp after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. For forty years, residents of the Arcadia have been prohibited from making landfall. Esther is a loyal citizen, working flat-out to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land. Nik is a rebel, planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all. When events throw them both together, their lives, and the lives of everyone on the ship, will change forever.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Protest! : shaping Aotearoa / Hager, Mandy
“A look at protest in New Zealand: what was it about, who did it and were they successful? Starting with Hone Heke and encompassing Parehaka to the land march, votes for women and the nuclear test ban. Culminating in the climate change marches. Mandy Hager looks at the background, the structure of the protest and how it affected attitudes. Includes a brief look at the Pacific Islands claims for independence.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A tale of two princes / Geron, Eric
“Edward Dinnissen leads a charmed life. He’s the Crown Prince of Canada, gets the royal treatment at his exclusive private school, and resides in a ritzy mansion. But this closeted Crown Prince has just one tiny problem: he’s unsure how to tell his parents, his beloved country, and his adoring fans that he’s gay. Billy Boone should be happy with the simple life. His family’s ranch is his favorite place in the world, he loves his small town, and his boyfriend is the cutest guy at Little Timber High. So why does it feel like something’s still missing? When Edward and Billy meet by chance in New York City, they discover that they are long-lost twins, and their lives are forever changed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Project Nought / Furedi, Chelsey
“Ren Mittal’s last memory in the year 1996 is getting on a bus to visit his mystery pen pal Georgia. When he wakes up in 2122, he thinks he might be hallucinating… he’s not! Tech conglomerate Chronotech sponsors a time-travel program to help students in 2122 learn what history was really like…from real-life subjects who’ve been transported into the future… and Ren is one of them. On top of it all, he learns that his memory will be wiped of all things 2122 before he’s sent back to the ’90s.  And when he crosses paths with the absolute last person he expected to see in the future, he has a bigger problem on his hands: What if Chronotech isn’t the benevolent organization they claim to be, and he and his fellow subjects are in great danger?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Spice road / Ibrahim, Maiya
“In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice–a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission. Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes–and in her own heart–but will she find her brother?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The awesome autistic guide for trans teens / Purkis, Yenn
“Calling all awesome autistic trans teens! Yenn Purkis and Sam Rose want you to live your best authentic life – and this handy book will show you how! With helpful explanations, tips and activities, plus examples of famous trans and gender divergent people on the autism spectrum, this user-friendly guide will help you to navigate the world as an awesome autistic trans teen. Covering a huge range of topics including coming out, masking, different gender identities, changing your name, common issues trans and gender divergent people face and ways to help overcome them, building a sense of pride and much, much more, it will empower you to value yourself and thrive exactly as you are.” (Catalogue)

28 days : a novel of resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto / Safier, David
“In Warsaw, Poland, in 1942, Mira faces impossible decisions after learning that the Warsaw ghetto is to be “liquidated,” but a group of young people are planning an uprising against their Nazi captors. Sixteen-year old Mira smuggles food into the Ghetto to keep herself and her family alive. When she discovers that the entire Ghetto is to be “liquidated”–killed or “resettled” to concentration camps–she desperately tries to find a way to save her family. She meets a group of young people who are planning the unthinkable: an uprising against the occupying forces. Mira joins the resistance fighters who, with minimal supplies and weapons, end up holding out for twenty-eight days, longer than anyone had thought possible.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Six times we almost kissed (and one time we did) / Sharpe, Tess
“Six fun facts about PENNY and TATE: 1. They’ve known each other their whole lives; 2. Their moms are best friends; 3. They are DEFINITELY NOT friends; 4. They keep almost kissing; 5. They don’t talk about it; 6. Thanks to their moms, they’re moving in together … But when an almost-kiss goes from almost to I am now wearing your lip gloss, Penny and Tate have no choice but to finally face the music … right?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

She is a haunting / Tran, Trang Thanh
“When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam to visit her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised. But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves cryptic warnings: Don’t eat. Neither Ba nor her sweet sister, Lily, believe anything strange is happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade tries to expose the house’s rotten appetite. A home, after all, is only as powerful as those who breathe new life into its bones. And this one is determined never to be abandoned again…” (Catalogue)

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

Big Library Read 2022: A Snake Falls to Earth

The Big Library Read is now underway!

Big Library Read is like a worldwide digital version of a book club! Big Library Read is an opportunity for library users around the whole world to read the same ebook at the same time without any wait lists or holds.

This year, from 2 until 16th November, the selected title is A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger.

A Snake Falls To Earth Libby button

Click here to go straight to this book on Libby!

Over 2022, in Wellington, our copies of A Snake Falls to Earth on Libby have been really popular! Big Library Read is your chance to get hold of this book straight away without having to wait in a reserve queue!

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She’s always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he’s been cast from home. He’s found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

– Blurb

Just like a book club, you can contribute to discussion here: https://biglibraryread.com/join-the-discussion/

Keep a look out for a letter with the author, and a discussion guide, coming soon to Big Library Read’s current title page.

If you haven’t already, you can always download Libby on your smartphone as your one-stop-shop eLibrary! eLibrary Help – Getting started (wcl.govt.nz)

Happy reading folks!

Te Reo Māori Comes to the Marvel Universe: New Comics and Graphic Novels

If there’s one thing we love here at the library, it’s a good comic book or two (or three). Luckily, our hard-working librarians have been breaking a sweat down in the book-mines (otherwise known as our offsite collection storage facility) to make sure that we have lots of new comics to fill the shelves and keep you, our beloved readers, in good reading spirits.

Here are just a few of our favourite recent additions to our comics and graphic novel collection. Hopefully you’ve seen a few of these gracing the shelves at a library near you — if not, click the titles below to get reserving!

Te pakanga a Ngāti Rānaki me Te Ranga-Tipua
“Ngāti Rānaki me Te Ranga-Tipua – mai anō i te wehenga of Rangi rāua ko Papa ko rāua tonu ngā tauā tuahangata rongonui katoa – ka wera te umu pokapoka o te ao tukupū i tēnei pakanga turaki aorangi… He kohinga nō ngā pakiwaituhi hirahira katoa i tēnei tekau tau kua hori – e huihui mai ai a Tua Rino, a Kāpene Amerika, a Toa, a Kaiora, a Katipō, a Tama-Werewere, a Matihao, a Whatupihi, a Rangipō, a Te Autō me te huhua noa atu i tēnei pūrākau e rerekē katoa nei ō rātou āhua ā muri ake nei. A compilation of 13 graphic novels describing the battle between the Avengers and the X-Men, a battle that has continued since the separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. The universe is ablaze from a battle that destroys entire planets. Features: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, and Magnet.” (Catalogue)

Oksi / Ahokoivu, Mari
“Poorling is a little bear. She’s a bit different from her brothers. Mother keeps their family safe. For the Forest is full of dangers. It is there that Mana lives, with her Shadow children. And above them all, Emuu, the great Grandma in the Sky. From the heart of Finnish folklore comes a breathtaking tale of mothers, daughters, stars and legends, and the old gods and the new.” (Catalogue)

Jujutsu kaisen. 10, Evening festival / Akutami, Gege
“In order to regain use of his crippled body, Kokichi Muta, otherwise known as Mechamaru, has been acting as an informant for the cursed spirits. He’s prepared for the betrayal when he’s thrust into a battle to the death against Mahito, but is knowing his enemy enough against a cursed spirit whose powers keep growing exponentially?” (Catalogue)

Nerdy librarians’ note: this volume heralds the beginning of the infamous Shibuya arc (explored further in volumes  11, 12, 13, and 14) — to be covered in the next season of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime. If you haven’t started reading Jujutsu Kaisen yet, you should absolutely not start here: find Volume 1 at your local library instead!


Friday. Book one, The first day of Christmas / Brubaker, Ed
“Friday Fitzhugh spent her childhood solving crimes and digging up occult secrets with her best friend Lancelot Jones, the smartest boy in the world. But that was the past, now she’s in college, starting a new life on her own. Except when Friday comes home for the holidays, she’s immediately pulled back into Lance’s orbit and finds that something very strange and dangerous is happening in their little New England town.” (Catalogue)

A-Okay / Greene, Jarad
“A-Okay by Jarad Greene is a vulnerable and heartfelt semi-autobiographical middle grade graphic novel about acne, identity, and finding your place.” (Catalogue)

Whistle : a new Gotham City hero / Lockhart, E
“Sixteen-year-old Willow Zimmerman reconnects with estranged family friend and real estate tycoon E. Nigma, but after he helps her earn enough for medical treatments for her mom she is attacked by the monstrous Killer Croc and upon waking after the fight she gains powers and insight she will need to make the right choices.” (Catalogue)

Tiny dancer / Siegel, Siena Cherson
“Siena Cherson Siegel dreamed of being a ballerina. Her love of movement and dedication to the craft earned her a spot at the School of American Ballet. Siena has worked hard her whole life to be a professional ballet dancer, then makes the difficult decision to quit dancing and tries to figure out what comes next. But what do you do when you have spent your entire life working toward a goal, having that shape your identity, and then decide it’s time to move on? How do you figure out what to do with your life? And how do you figure out who you are?” (Catalogue)

I am not Starfire / Tamaki, Mariko
“Seventeen-year-old Mandy, who dyes her hair black and hates almost everyone, is not like her mother, the tall, sparkly alien superhero Starfire, so when someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice about who she is and if she should risk everything to save her mom.” (Catalogue)

Asadora! Volume 1 / Urasawa, Naoki
“A deadly typhoon, a mysterious creature and a girl who won’t quit. In 2020, a large creature rampages through Tokyo, destroying everything in its path. In 1959, Asa Asada, a spunky young girl from a huge family in Nagoya, is kidnapped for ransom – and not a soul notices. When a typhoon hits Nagoya, Asa and her kidnapper must work together to survive. But there’s more to her kidnapper and this storm than meets the eye. When Asa’s mother goes into labor yet again, Asa runs off to find a doctor. But no one bats an eye when she doesn’t return – not even as a storm approaches Nagoya. Forgotten yet again, Asa runs into a burglar and tries to stop him on her own, a decision that leads to an unlikely alliance.” (Catalogue)

Stars in their eyes / Walton, Jessica
“Pop culture-obsessed Maisie can’t wait to get to her first Fancon. But being a queer, disabled teenager with chronic pain comes with challenges. Can Maisie make it through the day without falling over, falling in love or accidentally inspiring anyone? Maisie has always dreamed of meeting her hero, Kara Bufano, an amputee actor who plays a kick-arse amputee character in her favourite show. Fancon is big and exciting and exhausting. Then she meets Ollie, a cute volunteer who she has a lot in common with. Could this be the start of something, or will her mum, who doesn’t seem to know what boundaries are, embarrass her before she and Ollie have a chance?” (Catalogue)

New Manga Series Hitting the Shelves Soon!

Manga readers — this one’s for you. The mysterious and powerful beings that dwell deep within the library’s core — yes, the very ones whose mystical and arcane energies power the growth of our collection — have turned their attention once again to manga, and are purchasing new titles and series at an unprecedented rate.

Below is a small selection of the new series currently on order — get in quick to reserve the first copies when they arrive! And don’t forget, you can find a list of all of the manga series and standalones we hold right here. Get in touch if there’s something super important you think we’re missing!

Jujutsu Kaisen / Akutami, Gege
This phenomenon of a manga probably needs no introduction. Its rise to prominence following the incredible popularity of the stunning MAPPA anime (seriously, check it out on Crunchyroll if you haven’t already) during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of legendary. Now, at long last, the gorgeously-illustrated manga is entering our collection. Do yourself a favour and reserve it quickly — we can guarantee it won’t stay on the shelves for long!

Boruto : Naruto next generations / Kodachi, Ukyo
The first seven volumes of this highly-anticipated follow-up to the golden child of shōnen manga are available now on the library catalogue. Borrow and read to your heart’s content — and decide for yourselves if it’s a pale imitation of the original, or if it’s The Real Deal. As for myself, while I think  for the most part Boruto : Naruto Next Generations avoids some of the awkward filler and pacing issues that plagued the Naruto manga, and really comes into its own as a story the further you read.

Komi Can’t Communicate / Oda, Tomohito
This gem of a manga explores some issues that I’m sure will resonate with readers everywhere — social anxiety, friendship, how to bridge that gap between perception and reality. What I dig most about Komi Can’t Communicate is how the inner lives of the loveably awkward Komi and Tadano are given really full explorations on the page. We have the first 12 volumes on order for your enjoyment!

Fangirl : the manga / Rowell, Rainbow
Here’s one that I’m particularly interested in checking out when it arrives: the manga adaptation of Fangirl, a sweet coming-of-age tale of family, fanfiction, and (yes) first love from bestselling author Rainbow Rowell. I’m not familiar with the work of Sam Maggs and Gabi Nam, the team responsible for this adaptation, but at first glance it certainly seems like the premise of the novel is perfect for the manga treatment! Definitely check this out if you’re into Rowell’s work in the expanded universe of Simon Snow.

The way of the househusband / Oono, Kousuke
Regardless of your opinion on the hotly-anticipated-but-ultimately-controversial anime adaptation (streaming now on Netflix), The way of the househusband is definitely one of the more interesting manga series to have broken into the mainstream recently. The premise is simple, if a little wacky — feared Yakuza boss Tatsu (known as ‘The Immortal Dragon’ by his associates and rivals alike) retires from his life of hard-boiled crime to become a stay-at-home househusband to support his career-driven wife. The comedy potential is only too real. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more new additions to the manga collection in the coming weeks. We’ll keep it coming as long as you keep reading it!

New Books on a Shelf Near You!

Now that some of our libraries are back open to the world, the new books are flowing back onto the shelves as our cataloguers, hidden away in the deepest recesses of the library, work their way through their backlog. Here are some of my favourite highlights among the recent additions to our YA collections:

19 love songs / Levithan, David
{LGBTQ+, romance, short stories, verse}
A collection of funny, warm and heartfelt stories exploring queer love and identity from award-winning YA author David Levithan. A resentful member of a high school Quiz Bowl team with an unrequited crush. A Valentine’s Day in the life of Every Day‘s protagonist “A.” A return to the characters of Two Boys Kissing. Born from Levithan’s tradition of writing a story for his friends each Valentine’s Day, this collection brings all of them to his readers for the first time. With fiction, nonfiction, and a story in verse, there’s something for every reader here. Witty, romantic, and honest, teens (and adults) will come to this collection not only on Valentine’s Day, but all year round. (Catalogue)

Beware the night / Fleck, Jessika
{dystopian, religion, politics, science fiction}
On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits. Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island. But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night–and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life. (Catalogue)

The deceivers / Simmons, Kristen
{drama, intrigue, politics, school}
Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists. When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances. At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials–because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark–a senator’s son–and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head. (Catalogue)

The electric heir / Lee, Victoria
{dystopian, LGBTQ+, pandemics, science fiction}
Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget — that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia. Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control — and that Noam is plotting against him — Noam’s dead. Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (Catalogue)

Every other weekend / Johnson, Abigail
{grief, realistic fiction, romance}
Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most. Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves–not the happy ones anyway. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for. Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed (Catalogue)

Harley in the sky / Bowman, Akemi Dawn
{coming-of-age, drama, family}
Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her heart and soul that she would be up there herself one day. After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family, and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Myst re. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion, and collaboration. At the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past–and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams. (Catalogue)

Infinity son / Silvera, Adam
{brothers, fantasy, LGBTQ+, superheroes}
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures. Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day. Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed. (Author Summary)

The midnight lie / Rutkoski, Marie
{fantasy, LGBTQ+, romance}
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down, and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away, who whispers rumors that the High Kith possess magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted. (Catalogue)

Amazing new books on order

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsGhosts of the Shadow Market, Cassandra Clare

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks, and vampires. There, the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters’ world. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is a sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. And Jem is searching through the Shadow Markets, in many different cities over long years, for a relic from his past. Follow Jem and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festival, Anna Lightwood’s doomed romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin, and Tessa Gray as she is plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThese divided shores, Sara Raasch

A thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves–full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution–from Sara Raasch, the New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Leigh Bardugo, and Marissa Meyer. As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: He’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible–unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben–and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates–and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts…or lose their futures forever. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDaughter of lies and ruin, Jo Spurrier

There’s something strange brewing in this tinder-dry forest – a girl with a sword and a secret, a troupe of vicious bandits vanished without a trace, beasts that don’t belong and a witch with a macabre plan. Elodie hasn’t been learning witchcraft for long, but she knows enough to be worried, and the fact that her mentor Aleida wants to pack up and leave in short order isn’t helping to settle her nerves. Elodie just hopes to get everyone out of this mess unharmed, but it’s looking more unlikely with every passing hour. And when the strange witch’s ire falls on her, Aleida’s wrath sparks a fire that threatens to scorch the earth itself …(Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCall down the hawk, Maggie Stiefvater

The dreamers walk among us…and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die. And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality. Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer…and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed…(Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, Shaun David Hutchinson

Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth. This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place. As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all–that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAmerican royals, Katharine McGee

Romance, glamour, ambition and power…meet the Washingtons – the most scandalous royal family ever! HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She’s the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties. It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She’s demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first – no matter what her heart might really want. But they’re not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be ‘newly noble’ but she won Prince Jefferson’s heart once, and she’ll do anything to get back into the court’s favour – and his bed. If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody – plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king’s secretary. Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. They’ll either be crowned in glory – or end up as shockingly royal disasters. (Publisher summary)

New books

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsOpposite of always, Justin A. Reynolds

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling–hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSiege, Chris Ryan

Tough enough? Smart enough? Max will require all his skills just to stay alive as a Special Forces Cadet…A top-secret government programme needs a crack team of undercover military operators. They must have awesome levels of determination, endurance and fitness. They must be able to think on their feet. The recruits undergo the most rigorous and testing selection process the modern military can devise. And in order to operate in circumstances where adult forces would be compromised, the recruits must be under sixteen. Only a few are tough enough and smart enough to make it…And once out in the field, they will require all their skills just to stay alive. Which is what happens when Max Silver, Abby Asher, Lukas Channing and Sami Hakim are sent into an armed siege in an inner-city school…(Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCourting darkness, Robin LaFevers

When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago. Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands. As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsInvisibly breathing, Eileen Merriman

‘I wish I wasn’t the weirdest sixteen-year-old guy in the universe.’ Felix would love to have been a number. Numbers have superpowers and they’re safe, any problem they might throw up can be solved. ‘If I were a five, I’d be shaped like a pentagon…there’d be magic in my walls, safety in my angles.’ People are so much harder to cope with. At least that’s how it seems until Bailey Hunter arrives at school. Bailey has a stutter, but he can make friends and he’s good at judo. And Bailey seems to have noticed Felix: ‘Felix keeps to himself mostly, but there’s something about him that keeps drawing me in.’ Both boys find they’re living in a world where they can’t trust anyone, but might they be able to trust each other, with their secrets, their differences, themselves? (Publisher Summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLies you never told me, Jennifer Donaldson

Quiet, shy Elyse is cast as the lead in her Portland high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet– and is having an affair with a teacher twice her age. Gabe broke up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend– and now she’s stalking him, spreading rumors… and worse. Both students fell for the wrong person. Now they’re finding out how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences– and sometimes not everyone will survive. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBlack enough : stories of being young & black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi

A collection of short stories explore what it is like to be young and black, centering on the experiences of black teenagers and emphasizing that one person’s experiences, reality, and personal identity are different than someone else. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSorcery of thorns, Margaret Rogerson

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery–magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power. Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them. As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught–about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsVoyages in the underworld of Orpheus Black, Marcus Sedgwick

A lyrical and dreamlike story of two brothers in conflict amidst the devastation of WWII London. Harry Black wakes in hospital to learn that his brother Ellis has almost certainly been killed by a V2 rocket falling during a German air raid on London. In a state of wounded delirium, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of the war-torn city, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry discharges himself from hospital and begins a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld…(Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsI hold your heart, Karen Gregory

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’ When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about. But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control? Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like. (Publisher summary)

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