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Happy Death Day, William Shakespeare!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Well, that was certainly the case during William Shakespeare’s life. This year marks Shakespeare’s, or the Bard of Avon, (assumed) 457th birthday on the 26th of April and 405th death anniversary on the 23rd April.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And pray tell, who was William Shakespeare?

Well, he was an English poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. People all over the world have come to recognise the image of William Shakespeare and would heard of his plays, but what do we know about the man himself, or even what went on behind the scenes during the performance of his plays, or even who his plays were being performed for?

How dost thou celebrate?

In addition to the traditional birthday party, cake and presents, why not read all about his life, from his early and humble beginnings in Stratford upon Avon, England to conquering the stage in Queen Elizabeth’s court and the Globe Theatre.

image courtesy of syndetics30-second Shakespeare : 50 key aspects of his works, life and legacy, each explained in half a minute.

’30-second Shakespeare’ features 50 of the key moments, works and lasting influences of the Bard, all explained clearly and without the clutter. Each entry is summarized in just 3 seconds – using nothing more than two pages, 300 words and one picture. Leading Shakespeare scholars present an expert guide to his life and works.

image courtesy of syndeticsWill in the world : how Shakespeare became Shakespeare.

Read all about the real-world sources of Shakespeare’s language – of his fantasies, passions, fears, and desires – lie outside the scope of these earlier books. Will in the World will set out to recover the links between Shakespeare and his world and with them to construct a full and vital portrait of the man.


image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare : the world as stage.

Bill Bryson explores the life and work of Shakespeare as a travelogue of sorts, narrating his quest for the Bard: his conversations with Shakespearean actors, with the curator of Shakespeare’s birthplace, with academics who have dedicated their lives to studying the plays and poems, and of course, reporting on his own exploits in Stratford-upon-Avon.

image courtesy of syndeticsA year in the life of William Shakespeare.

In 1599, an epochal year for Shakespeare and England, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays while Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, and gambled on a fledgling East India Company. Shapiro brings together the news and the intrigue of the times in this gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

Also search our catalogue for more biographies about Shakespeare and his remarkable life.


Read Shakespeare’s plays… and novels based on Shakespeare’s plays!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe plays of Shakespeare : a thematic guide.

Read and relive your favourite Shakespeare plays. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of plays and teen novels adapted from Shakespeare’s plays. Identifies the core topics of Shakespeare’s plays and allows students to compare and contrast the thematic connections that recur throughout the canon.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe complete works by William Shakespeare.

A compact edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare. It combines impeccable scholarship with beautifully written editorial material and a user-friendly layout of the text. Also included is a foreword, list of contents, general introduction, essay on language, contemporary allusions to Shakespeare, glossary, consolidated bibliography and index of first lines of Sonnets.

Plays from the Royal Shakespeare Company

This Shakespeare series has titles such as Much ado about Nothing, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to excite Shakespearian fans of all ages. This exciting series, produced in partnership with the RSC, is designed to introduce students to Shakespeare’s plays. Using trusted and established RSC approaches and vibrant RSC performance photographs, the series brings Shakespeare’s plays to life in the classroom and establishes a deeper understanding and lasting appreciation of his work.
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics

Plays from the Cambridge School Shakespeare

image courtesy of syndeticsHamlet.

A new edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in accordance with the work of the Shakespeare and Schools Project and the national curriculum for English.

image courtesy of syndeticsRomeo and Juliet.

A new edition of Romeo and Juliet in the Cambridge School Shakepeare series.

image courtesy of syndeticsOthello.

A prose retelling of Shakespeare’s play in which a jealous general is duped into thinking that his wife has been unfaithful, with tragic consequences.

Novels adapted from Shakespeare’s Plays

image courtesy of syndeticsThe diary of William Shakespeare, gentleman.

Part comedy, part love story, this book threads together Shakespeare’s life drawn from his plays. Could the world’s greatest writer truly put down his pen forever to become a gentleman? Based on new documentary evidence, as well as textual examination of his plays, this fascinating book gives a tantalising glimpse at what might have been: the other hands that helped craft those plays, the secrets that must ever be hidden but – just possibly – may now be told.

image courtesy of syndeticsHamlet.

This wonderful book, by one of Australia’s most loved and most read writers, takes Shakespeare’s famous play and makes it into a moving and full-blooded novel. John Marsden follows the contours of the original but powerfully re-imagines its characters and story lines, rather as Shakespeare treated his sources. We are aware not only of the strength of Marsden’s own writing but the sensitivity of his insight into Shakespeare. Hamlet, A Novel will be adored by adults whether young or old.

image courtesy of syndeticsThird Witch.

A searing story of passion, betrayal, battles and love, this is Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ stripped of superstition, and its power and beauty refined into fewer words where good balances the evil and there is a happy ending – for some. Following on from OPHELIA, QUEEN OF DENMARK and I AM JULIET, this is the third title in the series for young people that focuses on the reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s classic and enduring plays.

image courtesy of syndeticsThese Violent Delights.

A retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1926 Shanghai, China. Eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city.– Provided by Publisher.

OMG Shakespeare!

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics


Also search our catalogue for more plays.


Ace your exams and homework!

Read the CliffsNotes on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets that will help ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Check out the following CliffNotes which includes As You Like it, Hamlet, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet:

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics


You can search our catalogue for more CliffNotes. Also, check out more Shakespeare on the CliffNotes website.


Watch movies inspired by Shakespeare’s plays:

A midsummer night’s dream.

image courtesy of amazon.com

When two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a feuding pair of supernatural sprites and a love potion gone awry all come together in an enchanted moonlit forest, the result is a delightful mix of merriment and magic. Shakespeare’s romantic comedy is brought to life.

Hamlet.

image courtesy of amazon.com

In this first-ever full-text film of William Shakespeare’s work, the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Love Labour’s Lost.

image courtesy of amazon.com

The King of Navarre (Alessandro Nivola) and his friends think that they cannot love again. When the Princess of France (Alicia Silverstone) and her attendants arrive for a visit, their plans are completely turned upside down in this 1930s-musical-style version of Shakespeare’s comedy featuring Berlin, Gershwin, Kern, and Porter song numbers.

Double dose of Much ado about Nothing (1993) and Much ado about Nothing (2013).

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.com

Two different retellings of  Shakespeare’s classic comedy about the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a sensual, tragic and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.

image courtesy of amazon.com image courtesy of amazon.com

Double dose of Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Romeo and Juliet (1996) .

Two different retellings of Shakespeare’s classic of star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The 1996 version staring a very young and impressionable Leonardo Dicaprio is a modern adaptation of the classic love story, moved to the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona Beach.

Also search our catalogue for more DVDs adapted from Shakespeare’s plays. 


Where to find more information?

NCEA Time!

Good luck to all senior secondary students currently sitting NCEA exams.

Here are a few links to help you out:

 

Study Stop

The all important exam timetable and info about the exam rules and etiquette

Past exam papers and exemplars from NZQA (click on a subject to find the papers and what’s required to pass). Study Time also has these.

Study tips and advice can be found on Study It, NZQA, Study Time (filmed in the Central Library!).

Subject help can be found on Study It.

Cliffs Notes is where you’ll find literature guides for those novels you’ve read this year.

Find lots of subject info in our selection of databases. Encyclopaedia Britannica is a good place to start.

Need a break? Procrastinate here with these awesome links.

 

You are welcome to study in our libraries. They are warm, dry, have wifi, and you can bring in your coffee and a nibble. The librarians will help you find any info you need.

Good luck!

 

Avoid A Study Apocalypse: An NCEA Survival Kit

The 2013 NCEA exams are looming. For some that means late nights and long hours of cramming – for any day walker it’s a fast-track recipe for becoming a zombie. No one wants a zombie apocalypse to happen so we’ve slapped this survival kit together. It puts all the useful links on the interweb together in one spot so you don’t have to waste your precious time finding them.

Firstly, do you have the exam timetable? Print it out and put it everywhere! If you know when your exams are you can prioritise your study order.

Here’s the NZQA subject resource page; inside you will find useful resources like past examination papers. If you need access to a printer our librarians will gladly help you. Ask them to visit this page and print the exam papers off for you.

AnyQuestions and ManyAnswers are great resources, run by real kiwi librarians. The AQ service will connect you to a real librarian online between 1 & 6pm Monday to Friday, they’re like an internet tour guide and will help you find quality information to answer your sticky questions. Many Answers is like a FAQ page filled with tips for finding information on hundreds of topics.

Studyit for NCEA students is an online learning environment for NCEA science, maths, and English students. The site has been designed with input from secondary students, and content has been written by subject specialists and checked by student editors, to keep it student focused.

This post on Stuff.co.nz will give you top-secret tips from exam markers across a wide range of subjects.

Our mates at Christchurch City Libraries compiled this page with every imaginable study link needed.

Then there’s us – we have 12 libraries ready and waiting to accomodate your study needs with computer facilities, books, study space, and of course real-life librarians. There’s also the magic 13th branch that’s open 24/7 – WCL online will guide you to a variety of eResources and let you search the shelves and order texts from home.

We really don’t recommend it but it’s a given that 21st century study involves a certain amount of online procrastination too – we’ll be delivering respite and tips on our social media platforms throughout and beyond exam season. Facebook & Twitter

Good luck!

Exams: don’t panic!

It’s exam time again, but never fear! Come to the library to study. Also, here’s some useful stuff:

Past Exam Papers. You can download these off the NZQA website here (you can print exam papers out at the library – printing costs 20c for an A4 black and white page).

The 2012 Exam Timetable. Here’s a link to the timetable (PDF).

NCEA Study Guides. You can borrow these from the library (for one week). If someone’s got the one you want, there are reference copies at the central library. Just bring your library card to the children’s enquiries desk.

Forum for students. Ask advice and talk to teachers and other students at studyit.

Revision tools for NCEA Science. At No Brain Too Small.

Exam tips from the good people at NZQA here.

Online Databases. The library’s got a wealth of information available through MyGateway. The Study and Homework page has got a collection of all-round useful websites and databases, but also have a look at Science, History, or Books & Reading, for example.

Exam Info Alerts. Find out the latest information from NZQA via Twitter.

Studystop Pages. Useful links and hints are here.

WCL Teens at Facebook. While you’re on a study break, like us on Facebook to waste some time.

The teen blog wishes you all the best for your exams!

Exams: the final hurdle

Tis the season. If you’ve got exams coming up, don’t worry! Come to the library to study. Also, here’s some useful stuff:

Past Exam Papers. You can download these off the NZQA website here (you can print exam papers out at the library – printing costs 20c for an A4 black and white page).

NCEA Study Guides. You can borrow these from the library (for one week). If someone’s got the one you want, there are reference copies at the central library. Just bring your library card to the children’s enquiries desk.

Forum for students. Ask advice and talk to teachers and other students at studyit.

Online Databases. The library’s got a wealth of information available through MyGateway. The Study and Homework page has got a collection of all-round useful websites and databases, but also have a look at Science, History, or Books & Reading, for example.

Exam Info Alerts. Find out the latest information from NZQA via Twitter.

Studystop Pages. Useful links and hints are here.

WCL Teens at Facebook. While you’re on a study break, like us on Facebook (we have a timewasting tab).

Spiderrzz. Because it’s almost exam time, and Halloween in fact, it’s time once again to point you towards a horribly realistic virtual spider.

NCEA results online today

Yes, it’s true, you can find out your NCEA results right now. Teen Blog wishes everyone the best of luck.

For those of you who are now finished with your secondary education, congratulations! Everyone else going back to school later on this year should note that the YA section of your local library has all the relevant study guides and that the Central Library has past exam papers. Note that down in your diaries for the next study period, or get a ridiculously large jump start on it now.

GOOD LUCK

Yup, it’s that time.

We can’t sit your exams (and you probably wouldn’t want my French mark) but we would like to help, so:

We have old exam papers, if you would like to use them in your study. Just ask one of the librarians at the desk. (In Central ask at the children’s desk or on the second floor.)

We’ve collected some tips and sites that might help you here

When you need a break, you might like our facebook page which has some fine ways to use your time.

And lastly if any old people are being too noisy and disturbing you,  please ask a librarian to shush them. It’s only fair.

Good Luck!

The Oh Yay It’s Almost Exam Time Blog Post

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

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

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

About an Author: Sarah Dessen

We recently-ish did a post about a Top 100 YA fiction list, in which Sarah Dessen featured strongly. So what about Sarah Dessen then? Who is she and why is she so popular? Here’s a very brief summary.

Sarah Dessen is the writer of (currently) nine novels for young adults, all of them stand-alone (which is unusual, since it seems everyone thinks you have to write series to be popular). We have them all! She studied creative writing in college (lucky her) and her first book, That Summer, was completed while she was waitressing (good job for writers: write during the day, wait at night).

Sarah Dessen fans (wittily called dessenites) love her for her realism, her focus on interpersonal relationships (the catch-all subject for fiction), and, yes, her books are a little bit romantic. Of Just Listen, possibly her most critically well received novel, one reviewer wrote, “Annabel and Owen’s finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power”.

If you’re wanting to make a serious study of Sarah Dessen’s works then the place to go is the Literature Resource Centre. This is one of the online databases you can get at through MyGateway.info. The Literature Resource Centre is a fantastic resource: there are reviews (separated into reviews and more highbrow literary criticism), biographical articles and interviews, plus much more. Great for your NCEA reading log.

Sarah Dessen on t’internet:
Website | TwitterBlog | Facebook

New Book List: Award Winners

Hello,

To help with your NCEA reading requirements, we’ve produced a list of award winning books (24 in all, mostly young adult books but also a small handful from the general collection). It’s an impressive looking line up, so have a look!

Also, have a look at some of our other lists; there’s classic books (with haiku summaries), Maori writers, and books from around the world, for example.

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