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Teen Blog

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

Tag: Environment Page 2 of 3

New Books

August, Bernard Beckett (204 pages, New Zealand author) – Tristan and Grace are in a car wreck, waiting for rescue (if it happens!). As they wait, as one does, they review their very different lives and philosophies. “A compelling novel about will, freedom and what it means to live” (cover).

First sentence: For a moment the balance was uncertain.

Scorpia Rising, Anthony Horowitz (402 pages) – the final mission, the cover declares! No! Alex must put Scorpia out of business, once and for all, but is this the mission to end all missions, and to end Alex? We hope not!

First sentence: The man in the black cashmere coat climbed down the steps of his private, six-seater Learjet 40 and stood for a moment, his breath frosting in the chill morning air.

Where She Went, Gayle Forman (260 pages) – the follow up to the über popular If I Stay. Three years after Mia ended it with Adam they’re back together for one night in New York City, a chance to put things to rest (or to respark something?).

First sentence: Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: it’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.

Plague, Michael Grant (526 pages) – the fourth in the Gone series. Quelle horreur, this one sounds ghastly. There is a plague threatening Perdido Beach (one that is described in graphic detail on the back cover! Guts! Being eaten away from the inside out!), and there’s still the grim reality of what happens to you at fifteen.

First sentence: He stood poised on the edge of a sheet of glass.

Invincible, Sherrilyn Kenyon (420 pages) – The second on the Chronicles of Nick series. Poor Nick is once again challenged by the presence of all manner of horrific supernatural creatures, affecting his life in so many ways, from the inconvenient (his principal thinks he’s gone to the bad, making school a problematic place) to the downright deadly; he must figure out how to raise the dead or he might find himself counted as one of them.

First sentence: They say when you’re about to die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes.

The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen (332 pages) – Puts one’s own annoying, minor running injuries into perspective. Jessica is a runner, until she’s involved in a terrible accident and loses a leg. A story of coming to terms with a significant loss, reestablishing your identity and your place, and overcoming odds.

First sentence: My life is over.

All You Get is Me, Yvonne Prinz (279 pages) – Roar’s father goes all green on her, installing  them on an organic farm, where she must spend the summer adjusting  from her city sensibilities, coping with falling in love, the fact that her mother is gone, and with the fallout from her father’s crusade against the bad working conditions of Mexican farm workers.

First sentence: My mom always promised me she would keep me safe, and then she disappeared.

As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth, Lynne Rae Perkins (352 pages) – Ry’s train strands him in the middle of seriously nowhere and he’s got to get to somewhere, a journey that is peppered by a series of scrapes, mishaps and “comedic calamities” (catalogue).

First sentences: Wait a minute. Was the – had the train just moved?

The Floating Islands, Rachel Neumeier (388 pages) – “The adventures of two teenaged cousins who live in a place called The Floating Islands, one of whom is studying to become a mage and the other one of the legendary island flyers” (library catalogue).

First sentence: Trei was fourteen the first time he saw the Floating Islands.

The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Eileen Cook (256 pages) – Hailey is the perfect girl who never does anything wrong, until one night, together with a secret accomplice, she does something quite wrong and gets into a rather lot of trouble, which her secret accomplice escapes. Now her friends don’t want to know her, her teachers don’t trust her, everything’s a mess, and she’s keeping quiet about the identity of said secret accomplice. Is it worth it?

First sentence: There was a matter of life and death to deal with, and instead we were wasting our time discussing Mandy Gallaway’s crotch.

New Books

Subject Seven, James A Moore (327 pages) – Subject Seven is an as-yet not activated lethal assassin in the body of a teenager. When he escapes from his lab intent on finding others of his kind and destroying their creators action ensues! And lots of it!

First sentence: The quiet of the compound was complete.

Enticed, Jessica Shrivington (413 pages) – the sequel to Embrace, with Emblaze coming soon. In which Violet Eden, Grigori, must protect humans from exiled angels, a quest that takes her to the Sacred Mountains of Jordan in search of “the one thing that could forever tilt the balance of power” (back cover).

First sentence: The angel had been ordered to make his choice.

Running in Heels, Helen Bailey (312 pages) –  A riches-to-rags story in which Daisy finds her life takes a dive after her father is sent to jail for corruption – now she lives above a kebab shop and is getting a hard time from the school bully. We’re rooting for you Daisy!

First sentence: Even if I hadn’t woken up this morning to find fourteen missed calls, seven Where the hell are you when I need you? texts and one tearful voice mail on my iPhone saying something totally terrible had happened and to get my bony butt into town, like, yesterday, as I hurry along the pavement at our Starbucks rendezvous I can immediately tell from Mia’s body language she’s super-stressed.

The Freak Observer, Blythe Woolston (201 pages) – Loa’s life is turned upside down by the death of her younger sister. “A starling debut about death, life, astrophysics, and finding beauty in chaos” (book cover – the picture does appear to be a heart)

First sentence: Your beloved physics teacher, Mr Banacek, likes to sleep on a bed of nails.

Dark Goddess, Sarwat Chadda (371 pages) – the sequel to Devil’s Kiss. Billi SanGreal, Knight Templar, rescues a girl from a werewolf attack, to discover she is no ordinary girl. Not only are the werewolves after her, the Dark Goddess also wants her as a sacrifice, to harness her powers. Can Billi protect the girl and save the world?

First sentence: The Rottweiler’s head lay in a bush, just off the snow-sprinkled path.

Trickster’s Girl, Hilari Bell (281 pages) – a novel in the paranormal romance/thriller genre, but with an environmental twist. The world is dying, and Kelsa must help Raven (gorgeous, but maybe crazy? or maybe he is a mythological creature, as he says) pull it back from the brink, even if this means endangering herself.

First sentence: Raven had spent too long on the hunt.

Some New Books

Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly (472 pages) – Andi, musical genius, New Yorker, sullen pillar of her falling apart family, unwillingly goes to Paris to get her educational life back together. While researching a relatively obscure 18th century French composer for guitar (like, you know, I hadn’t heard of him) she stumbles across the diary of Alexandrine, who may have been the companion of Louis-Charles (son of Marie Antoinette) in his last days, with whom she has a strange connection. Music students and fans may particularly get something out of this, as will people who like Courtney Summers.

First sentences: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, deejay.

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group, Catherine Jinks (380 pages) – to think that five years ago nobody knew that “lycanthrope” was a word. This must surely be a companion to the popular Reformed Vampire Support Group? Toby discovers he has a rare and dangerous condition, and is adopted by an oddball group of people, keen to help him.

First sentences: You’ve probably heard of me. I’m the guy they found in a dingo pen at Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Extraordinary, Nancy Werlin (390 pages) – the follow up to Impossible. Phoebe is drawn to the mysterious Mallory and her brother Ryland, which may be a very bad thing for Phoebe, as they expect her to pay an “age old debt”.

First sentence: Phoebe Gutle Rothschild met Mallory Tolliver in seventh grade, during the second week of the new school year, in homeroom.

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots, Abby McDonald (293 pages) – Jenna is an urban environmentalist who has the opportunity to spend the summer with her hippie godmother in rural parts, where her urban environmentalism comes up against the locals’ pragmatic ruralism. Plus there’s romance maybe.

First sentences: “Re-use! Re-duce! Re-cycle!”

Everlasting, Angie Frazier (329 pages) – In the 19th century Camille must choose between marrying rich and securing her and her father’s future, or the high seas on her father’s ship, even if this means a storm in the Tasman (!) Sea (bad) and Oscar, a “handsome young sailor” (good). But wait, there’s more: a quest through the Australian outback for an enchanted stone, murder, lies and intrigue. Action-packed adventure.

First sentence: Camille clicked the latches down on her trunk and glanced out her bedroom window.

Life, After, Sarah Darer Littman (278 pages) – Dani’s life in Argentina is blown to bits after a terrorist attack kills her aunt. Moving to the United States means a fresh start, although also troubles like speaking a different language, being a stranger, until she meets some new friends that help her pick up the pieces.

First sentence: Normal kids were happy when the bell rang at the end of the school day.

Love Drugged, James Klise (304 pages) – Jamie is semi-outed at school and does all he can to push the rabbit back into the hat, including taking drugs that will “cure” him and dating the most beautiful girl in school. But is it possible to live a life that’s basically a whole bunch of lies (and side-effects)?

First sentence: Judging by the angry mail we get, a lot of people consider me to be the villain of this story.

The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice, Ann Finnin (353 pages) – set in 15th Century France, Michael de Lorraine is rescued from execution and given refuge at a Benedictine monastery which, he discovers, contains “renegade monk-sorcerers” (how fab is that?) and a secret that could spell the end for the Abbot who rescued him. Oh, and the church (but not the renegade monk-sorcerers) still wants him dead.

First sentences: I was only an apprentice. I swear it.

13 to Life, Shannon Delany (308 pages) – Small time life has changed irrevocably for Jessie after the death of her mother, and then there’s the hot new stranger with the cool accent and a teeny little dangerous secret which the Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data, like, totally gives away (don’t read the copyright info).

First sentence: Rio stiffened beneath my touch, striking a glossy hoof against the floor.

Boys Don’t Cry, Malorie Blackman (302 pages) – When the doorbell rings Dante expects the postie with his university exam results, not his ex-girlfriend with his baby.

First sentences: Good luck today. Hope you get what you want and need. 🙂

Paranormalcy, Kiersten White (335 pages) – Evie lives in a world populated with every supernatural being you can imagine, and she can see through their glamours. Trouble is, she can also dream prophetic dreams, and she fears she’s responsible for the recent spate of unexplained paranormal deaths.

First sentence: “Wait – did you – you just yawned!”

The Space Between Trees, Katie Williams (274 pages) – Evie (again! – different Evie) is in the wrong place at the wrong time when the body of her childhood playmate is discovered, which leads to lies, a hunt for the killer, and danger. Cool cover.

First sentence: I’m in Hokepe Woods this morning, like I am every Sunday, delivering papers and keeping an eye out for Jonah Luks.

How They Met and Other Stories, David Levithan (244 pages) – Love in all its guises is explored in 18 stories by bestselling author (Boy Meets Boy, Nick and Norah…) and much successful editor, David Levithan.

First sentence (‘Starbucks Boy’) – It was my aunt who pimped me out.

Unhooking the Moon, Gregory Hughes (374 pages) – This book won the Booktrust Teenage Prize this year. This is what the Guardian said (which I like): “Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes is an extraordinary story of two orphaned siblings, the precocious, fascinating and infuriating 10-year-old Rat and her older brother Bob, who take a road trip from Canada to New York to look for their uncle on the strength of knowing his name and that he is a ‘drug dealer’.”

First sentence: Marymount Manhattan is a small cosy college on the East Side of New York.

My Name is Mina, David Almond (300 pages) – the prequel to the classic Skellig, in which you are privy to Mina’s journal, before she meets Skellig and Michael. Marcus Sedgwick (My Swordhand is Singing) loved it. Indeed, in the Guardian (again) he said,  “My Name Is Mina is a wonderful book in its own right, perhaps an even better one than Skellig. It is joyous. Thank you, David Almond; I cannot remember when a book last filled me with such claminosity.” Claminosity sounds like fun.

First sentence: My name is Mina and I love the night.

Also some continued series:

The Chamber of Shadows, Justin Richards (419 pages) – more from Eddie, George, Liz and Sir William in another horror murder mystery (so much more horrific when set in 19th Century London).

Possession, Chris Humphreys (360 pages) – book three in the Runestone saga.

New Books! New DVDs!

There are only a handful of new books this week. There’s a stack of DVDs though! Quite exciting for anime fans!

Here are the books.

Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is, by Heather Henson (270 pages) – The remarkably named Junebug wants to be an actress, but at the age of thirteen she’s still a stagehand at her parents’ playhouse. She feels like she’s becoming the perfect stagehand – this isn’t necessarily good, as it means she feels invisible!

First line: ‘Here’s how I see it: everything is going to be okay, just like Dad said.

Ship Breaker : A Novel, by Paolo Bacigalupi (326 pages) – In the grim, grim future (teens like dystopian novels!) Nailer, a teenaged boy, strips beached oil tankers for their copper. He stumbles across an ‘exquisite’ clipper ship beached in a hurrican and must decide between stripping it for parts or helping out the sole survivor (she is rich and beautiful!)

First line: ‘Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me : A Novel, by Kristen Chandler (371 pages) – KJ lives in Montana, near Yellowstone park, where introduced wolves are splitting the community. Is she for them or against them? Do I mean the wolves, or the community? Yes to both!

First lines: ‘Wolves don’t actually howl at the moon. Mostly they howl at each other. I’m a girl, so I get that.

The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell (389 pages) – Carrie Bradshaw is the main character in the Sex And The City TV series and films. This book is her ‘diary’ from when she was a teen in Connecticut in the early ’80s, and before she went to New York.  

First lines: ‘They say a lot can happen in a summer. Or not.

My Worst Best Friend, by Dyan Sheldon (303 pages) – Grace and Savanna are besties! Even soul sisters. But sometimes friendships can turn sour.

First line: ‘The way I saw it when I was in high school, even though there were still millioins of different life forms left on the planet, there were basically only two kinds of girls: Those Girls and everyone else.

Out of Shadows, by Jason Wallace (277 pages) – This is set in Zimbabwe, in the early ’80s, just after independence. Robert is new to the country, and finds that some of his classmates are keen for the country to return to the old, white-led past, at any cost.

First line: ‘Go ahead, shoot, I thought, because I was thirteen and deperate and anything, absolutely anything, was better than the fate to which my parents were leading me.

Here are the new DVDs! We have added the newest Bleach DVDs (volumes 16 to 20), and we’ve also got the first Bleach film, Bleach : Memories of Nobody. (There’s talk of a live-action Bleach film, btw.) We have added a couple of Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex DVDs to the YA collection, and the entire first series of Tsubasa in one, six-disc boxed set. Boxed sets of shounen-ai classic Gravitation  and FLCL (pronounced ‘fooly-cooly’) are also in. As well as! Death Note  : Relight 2 (highly recommended), the first three Bakugan DVDs, a couple more Dragonball Z movies, the 2001 OVA of Spirit of Wonder, and the complete series of the French-Japanese animation, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (which came out in 1982, when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school).

Read These New Books

Once again, here’s a large selection of new books, from fairies to vampires to werewolves to survivalists to society’s elite (pirates and witches).

Rapture of the Deep, L A Meyer (454 pages) – for lovers of the Bloody Jack adventures, here’s the next. Jacky thinks she’s getting married, but actually she’s being kidnapped by British Naval Intelligence and made to dive for treasure near Havana, which isn’t necessarily such a terrible thing when you’re the piratical spy type.

First sentence: “Ah, and it’s a bonny, bonny bride ye shall be, Jacky.”
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Re-Gifters, Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel (graphic novel) – Dixie is a soon-to-be maybe champion of hapkido (a martial art), but her life gets complicated when she meets and falls for surfery boy Adam. Winning her championship and also Adam could be tricky: there are lessons to be learned for Dixie.

Tallow, Karen Brooks (404 pages) – The Curse of the Bond Riders Book 1. Tallow is rescued as a child by a candlemaker. As he grows up, his mysterious and deadly talents are revealed, and all manner of ominous people – both enemies and allies – become interested in him. A fantasy story based on historical Italy with excellent reviews!

First sentence: “I know you’re out there.”
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Splendor, Anna Godbersen (394 pages) – the last of the Luxe novels, or at least I think it is. Will Diana and Henry find a way to be together without having Manhattan’s society up in arms?

First sentence: Fifty years ago every American girl wanted to be a European princess.
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Battleground, Chris Ryan (305 pages) – the SAS supremo writer is back again, this time with the story of 14 year old Ben who finds himself kidnapped in Afghanistan. Which sounds bad, but worse is the fact that he discovers they’ve got a nuclear weapon on them.

First sentence: “Ambush!”
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X Isle, Steve Augarde (477 pages) – see what he’s doing with the title? X Isle is the only way out after the floods come and devastate the globe. Sounds like a grim disaster novel (Adrienne might like it!).

First sentence: The steady chug of the diesel engine drew closer, and eventually the salvage boat emerged from the mist, a blank grey shape steering a middle course between the ghostly lines of chimney stacks that rose from the water.
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Destiny’s Path, Frewin Jones (329 pages) – book two in the Warrior Princess series, good news if you’ve already read the first one. Branwen is still uncomfortable with the idea of being the Chosen One, but then she’s shown a vision of life if she abandons her destiny, and it’s pretty bleak.

First sentence: Branwen Ap Griffith pulled back on the reins and her weary horse gradually came to a halt, snorting softly and shaking its mane.
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Ash, Malinda Lo (264 pages) – A fairy tale; Ash, recovering from the death of her father, dreams that the fairies will “steal her away” then meets Sidhean (a fairy). Because stories need a complication to work (truly they do), she also meets Kaisa (not a fairy) who teaches her to hunt and with whom she becomes friends. The result? A literary tug of war.

First sentence: Aisling’s mother died at midsummer.
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We Were Here, Matt de la Pena (356 pages) – Miguel is sent to juvi, then escapes with Rondell and Mong (great names, together), hoofing it to Mexico where he hopes he’ll have a chance to start over. A story of self-discovery and learning to forgive yourself (among other things).

First sentence: Here’s the thing: I was probably gonna write a book when I got older anyways.
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Taken, Nora McClintock (165 pages) – stress extreme. As mentioned in this post, Stephanie is captured by a serial killer then escapes (good for her) and must survive in the middle of nowhere (bad for her).

First sentence: My stomach clenched as the bus rumbled across the county line.
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Once a Witch, Carolyn MacCullough (292 pages) – Tamsin pretends to be her talented witchy older sister, which might seem like a good idea at the time, but one thing leads to another… this book contains it all; fantasy, romance, witchcraft and time travel.

First sentence: I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper thin adn when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.
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Ghost Town, Richard Jennings (165 pages) – I’ve filched this from the catalogue because it’s way to complex for me to explain: “Thirteen-year-old Spencer Honesty and his imaginary friend, an Indian called Chief Leopard Frog, improbably achieve fame and riches in the abandoned town of Paisley, Kansas, when Spencer begins taking photographs with his deceased father’s ancient camera and Chief Leopard Frog has his poems published by a shady businessman in the Cayman Islands.”

First sentence: “Well, I guess that makes it official,” I said to Chief Leopard Frog.
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Destroy All Cars, Blake Nelson (205 pages, plus appendices) – James Hoff is into the environment – he wants to, as the title suggests, destroy all cars. His ex-girlfriend, Sadie, is also into the environment, but James thinks she’s soft, merely wanting to build cycleways. Naturally there’s going to be some sort of romantic showdown that may well be a bit messy.

First sentence (sort of): We stand at the edge.
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Suicide Notes, Michael Thomas Ford (295 pages) – Jeff’s in a psychiatric ward, recovering from a suicide attempt, and learning valuable lessons from the “crazies” around him. “Compelling, witty and refreshingly real.”

First sentence: I read somewhere that when astronauts come back to Earth after floating around in space they get sick to their stomachs because of the air here smells like rotting meat to them.
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My Vicksburg, Ann Rinaldi (149 pages) – set during the American civil war. Claire Louise is forced to make a difficult choice between saving a friend’s life and being loyal to family (and state).

First sentence: The only reason we came back to town, and stayed during that terrible nightmare of a time, those forty-seven days of confusion and heartbreak that made up the siege of Vicksburg, was because of Sammy the cat.
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I Lost My Mobile at the Mall: Teenager on the Edge of  Technological Breakdown, Wendy Harmer (319 pages) – the mobile in question even has a photo of Elly’s friend standing next to Hugh Jackman, no less, so it really is a big deal!

First sentences: My name is Elly Pickering. I’ve lost my mobile phone at the mall and am now facing certain death.
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Changeling: Dark Moon, Steve Feasey (325 pages) – Trey Laporte is back, which is just as well since Lucien is lying in a coma and Trey can save him. The back of the book says it so much better: “… to succeed he must face his biggest challenge yet: a portal to the Netherworld, an Icelandic zombie, an evil sorceress, and Trey’s nemesis, the dark vampire Caliban.” All zombies should be Icelandic.

First sentence: The vampire Lucien Charron lay motionless on a high-sided bed in his Docklands apartment.
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Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical (199 pages plus a small graphic short story) – Some famous YA authors contribute to this collection, including Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate), Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels), David Almond (Skellig) and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize).

First sentence (Aimee Bender): Mom bought me the razor when I was thirteen.
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Nothing Like You, Lauren Strasnick (209 pages) – update: now that I’ve had a read I can summarise. Holly is nearly finished high school and gets herself into really messy relationship issues. This is a well-written book about figuring out the important things in life, learning from mistakes, and love (kind of reminds me a little bit of Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr). A good example of a realistic, non-romantic first person narrator.

Very briefly:

Avalon High: Coronation: Volume 3: Hunter’s Moon, Meg Cabot (graphic novel)

Fill your trunk with your junk

Heard of e-day? No?

e-day image for blog

E-day gives you the chance to dump your electronic waste for free so it can be recycled and doesn’t end up in landfills. E-day 2008 was a massive success with 946 tonnes of e-waste collected around the country. 122 tonnes were collected in Wellington alone.

The next e-day is soon – on September 12th at Westpac Stadium – so start gathering your junk.

Check out the e-day website for all the info (you can even sign up to be a volunteer on the day), make sure you find out what you can and can’t take to be recycled.

Earth Day

VOTE EARTHOn Saturday the 28th of March is Earth Hour. To take part in this global event, all you need to do is to switch off your lights at 8.30pm for an hour. Which is pretty easy! There is more about Wellington’s efforts for the day here.

(I initially said that it was this Saturday, which is wrong, although you could still turn your lights off for an hour if you wanted to.)

Read about Earth Hour here, or watch some of the Youtube clips below.

The High Life

When I was a child my dad made me a treehouse. It was very basic; a sheet of plywood cut to fit between a fork in the trunk of the tree. It was a great place from where to pelt my brother with oranges, but not a place to stay when it rained. Unlike some of these treehouses, which “range from functional to fanciful, sustainable to strange and affordable to incredibly expensive.” I guess we can’t all start living in Wellington’s town belt – maybe now would be a good time to plant a native, so in several decades you could retire to the treetops?

Green is the New Black

On 5th June 2008 Wellington will be hosting the United Nations World Environment Day in an effort “to raise awareness and promote action on national environment issues.”

Wellington City Libraries has a wonderful collection of resources for readers who are passionate about saving the environment and reducing their carbon footprint, including a selection of books which focus on the environmental and ethical aspects of clothing trade:

For more information visit these blogs: Wellington City Libraries Eco News and Green is the New Black.

Have yourself a whale of a time, all expenses paid…

Get yourself down to Te Papa and tohora for free!  No, tohora is not really a verb but the Maori word for whale.  Wellington City Council is paying for residents of Wellington to see  ‘Whale: Tohora’, an exciting cetacean exhibition at Te Papa.  This one day offer is only available May 8, 10.00am – 9.00pm.  You will need to prove that you live in Wellington, so dive into your wallets and make sure you have your library card handy (Of course you do! You use it all the time to access our amazing services) before heading out.

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