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

Have Some Fantasy Escapism For the Looming Return of School!

Ah, sweet sweet education. We at the library endorse education, it is what makes us a library. Yay, learning things. Yay expanding our brain. Yes, education is indeed good.

Okay, I think that got them off my scent. This is terrible, we have to go back to schooool and wooork and uniiii and it is the worst. February is coming, which means our precious holiday time is swiftly coming to an end. For some strange reason, time does have to move forward and we do have to return to our normal lives, being productive members of society and whatnot.

But all is not lost.

The library, which yes is a source of knowledge and words and facts, has multiple facets. We’ve discovered this fantastic way to escape reality: stories. But I do not come to you bearing the moral teaching boring stories you are forced to study for school, no! I give you fantasy! What better way to deal with the crushing truths of the so called “real world” when we can engage in the amazing imaginative stories of impossible things.

So do not weep at your looming fate, simply ignore it, and focus on the cool dragons and magic and stuff. That will make everything better.


The assassination of Brangwain Spurge / Anderson, M. T
“Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom — from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them — and war for their nations. Witty mixed media illustrations show Brangwain’s furtive missives back to the elf kingdom, while Werfel’s determinedly unbiased narrative tells an entirely different story.” (Catalogue)


Alanna : the first adventure / Pierce, Tamora
“Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, a learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure.” (Catalogue)

 


Dreamhunter / Knox, Elizabeth
“A fantasy set in a Victorianesque society where a select few people have the ability to travel into The Place. The Place is a parallel world where dreams can be caught and brought back to the real world, where they are ‘performed’ for audiences. Some dreams can heal, some entertain and others are more sinister. At the centre of the story are fifteen-year-old cousins Laura and Rose, both children of famous dreamhunters, who are expected to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Suggested level: secondary.” (Catalogue)


A winter’s promise / Dabos, Christelle
“Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what’s more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.” (Catalogue)


Blood scion / Falaye, Deborah
“Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will; she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods. But under the brutal rule of the Lucis, her identity means her death. Her mother knew as much. She disappeared trying to hide Sloane’s truth. Sloane, too, has hidden her abilities, but on her fifteenth birthday, she is conscripted into the Lucis army. Once taken, Sloane must not only conceal her power but overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training. But if she can infiltrate the Lucis, she could destroy her enemies … Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely and becoming the very monster she abhors.” (Catalogue)


Spellslinger / De Castell, Sebastien
“How do you survive a mage’s duel without magic? Kellen’s about to risk everything: His family, his home, even his own life….When you’re a Jan’Tep initiate approaching your sixteenth birthday, you’d better be ready to prove your worth as a mage. Either that or have a miracle on the way. And Kellen isn’t counting on either. He knows he’ll need a few tricks up his sleeve to avoid disgracing his family and becoming a Sha’Tep servant. So when a sassy, straight-talking traveller arrives in town, Kellen is all ears. Ferius Parfax is jaded but worldly, an exile who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She can’t teach him to spark his bands and access the seven magics, but with the hand that Kellen’s been dealt, he knows he needs all the help he can get.” (Catalogue)


The novice / Matharu, Taran
“Fletcher was nothing more than a humble blacksmith’s apprentice, when a chance encounter leads to the discovery that he has the ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, he must travel with his demon to the Vocans Academy, where the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. […] Fletcher will find himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with nothing but his demon Ignatius to help him. As the pieces on the board manoeuvre for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands …” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Falling into Rarohenga / Matuku, Stephanie
“It seems like an ordinary day when Tui and Kae, sixteen-year-old twins, get home from school — until they find their mother, Maia, has disappeared and a swirling vortex has opened up in her room. They are sucked into this portal and dragged down to Rarohenga, the Māori Underworld, a place of infinite levels, changing landscapes and some untrustworthy characters. Maia has been kidnapped by their estranged father, Tema, enchanted to forget who she really is and hidden somewhere here. Tui and Kae have to find a way through this maze, outwit the characters they meet, break the spell on their mother, and escape to the World of Light before the Goddess of Shadows or Tema holds them in the underworld forever.” (Catalogue)


Seraphina / Hartman, Rachel
“In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.” (Catalogue)

 


The last dragon / Yolen, Jane
“Two hundred years after humans drove the dragons from the islands of May, the last wyrm rises anew to wreak havoc, with only a healer’s daughter and a kite-flying, reluctant hero standing in its way.” (Catalogue)


Frogkisser / Nix, Garth
“Talking dogs. Mischievous wizards. An evil stepstepfather. Loads and loads of toads. Such is the life of a Frogkisser…Princess Anya needs to see a wizard about a frog. It’s not her frog, it’s her sister’s. And it’s not a frog, it’s actually a prince. A prince who was once in love with Anya’s sister, but has now been turned into a frog by their evil stepstepfather. And Anya has made a ‘sister promise’ that she will find a way to return Prince Denholm to human form…..So begins an exciting, hilarious, irreverent quest through the Kingdom of Trallonia and out the other side, in a fantastical tale for all ages, full of laughs and danger, surprises and delights, and an immense population of frogs…” (Catalogue)


The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents / Pratchett, Terry
“A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.” (Catalogue)


A curse so dark and lonely / Kemmerer, Brigid
“Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, was cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year; he could only be saved if a girl fell for him. But at the end of each autumn he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction… and destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Washington, D.C. native Harper Lacy’s father is long gone, her mother is dying, and her brother constantly underestimates her because of her cerebral palsy. When she is sucked into Rhen’s cursed world, Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. As Rhen regains hope, they learn it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.” (Catalogue)


Wicked lovely / Marr, Melissa
“Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.” (Catalogue)


A wizard of Earthsea / Le Guin, Ursula K.
“Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.” (Catalogue)


The rithmatist / Sanderson, Brandon
“More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings – merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles. As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing; kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery – one that will change Rithmatics, and their world, forever.” (Catalogue)

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Avatar: The Last Airbender

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about the comics that continue the story of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra!

(GIF via Giphy)

What is Avatar: The Last Airbender?

Avatar: The Last Airbender (or Avatar: The Legend of Aang) takes place in a world divided into four nations, each home to people who possess the ability to control one element of either water, earth, air and fire with a martial art called ‘bending’. The Last Airbender begins after the world has been consumed in a century of war with the heavily industrialised Fire Nation, and the only hope of ending the conflict lies with the Avatar, a person with the ability to bend all four elements. Sokka and Katara, the two siblings from the Water Tribe, discover the current Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and the trio set off to train Aang in mastering all four elements and putting an end to the war.


Mid-show Avatar comics

The following series take place during the events of The Last Airbender. These are a mix of anthology series, like the Lost Adventures, and series focusing on a particular character.

Avatar, the last Airbender : the lost adventures (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : Katara and the pirate’s silver / Hicks, Faith Erin (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : Suki, alone / Hicks, Faith Erin (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : Team Avatar tales / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)


Post-show Avatar comics

Starting in 2012 (four years after the show ended its run), Dark Horse Comics began publishing a series of Avatar: The Last Airbender comics that take place after the events of the show. In chronological order, they are:

The Promise

Taking place just after the victory over the Fire Nation, Aang and company, including the newly crowned Fire Lord Zuko, try to prevent the world from descending into another war.

Avatar, the last Airbender : the promise. Part one / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the promise. Part two / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the promise. Part three / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

This series is also available to read in one volume on the eLibrary.


The Search

The Search answers one of the biggest plot threads left hanging from The Last Airbender: what happened to Zuko’s mother? Zuko and Aang set out to find her, but are impeded by Zuko’s villainous sister Azula.

Avatar, the last Airbender : the search. Part one / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the search. Part two / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the search. Part three / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

The Search is also available to read in one volume on the eLibrary.


The Rift and Toph’s Metalbending Academy

Industrial activity on sacred Airbender land awakens an ancient and violent spirit, leading Aang to reconvene with one of his past lives, the Avatar Yangchen, for help. Meanwhile, Toph starts up an academy to teach Metalbending, a specialised form of Earthbending that she invented.

Avatar, the last Airbender : the rift, Part one / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the rift. Part two / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : the rift. Part three / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

The Rift is also available to read in one volume as Avatar, the last Airbender : the rift [omnibus] (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy / Hicks, Faith Erin


Smoke and Shadow

A movement dedicated to reinstating the former Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko’s father, gains traction in the Fire Nation. Meanwhile, Aang and company have to investigate the mysterious disappearance of children being taken from the homes.

Avatar, the last Airbender : smoke and shadow. Part one / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : smoke and shadow. Part two / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : smoke and shadow. Part three / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Smoke and Shadow is also available to read in one volume in Avatar, the last Airbender : smoke and shadow (also on eLibrary)


North and South

Katara and Sokka return home to the Southern Water Tribe to find it has been modernised into a bustling city thanks to a Northern Water Tribe member. When the two Water Tribes plan to unify, a rebel Southern faction seek to stop it, leaving Katara torn between her loyalties.

Avatar, the last Airbender : north and south. Part one / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : north and south. Part two / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : north and south. Part three / Yang, Gene Luen (also on eLibrary)

North and South is also available to read in one volume in Avatar, the last airbender. [Part 1-3], North and south.


Imbalance

Aang must quell a conflict between benders and non-benders in a small industrial town.

Avatar, the last Airbender : imbalance. Part one / Hicks, Faith Erin (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : imbalance. Part two / Hicks, Faith Erin (also on eLibrary)

Avatar, the last Airbender : imbalance. Part three / Hicks, Faith Erin (also on eLibrary)


What is Avatar: The Legend of Korra?

Set 70 years after the events of The Last Airbender, the world has largely industrialised and a new Avatar appears in the form of Korra, a headstrong, athletic bender from the Southern Water Tribe. Having mastered three elements already, Korra heads to Republic City to train with Tenzin, the son of Aang and patriarch of a family of Airbenders. During her time in Republic City, Korra finds new friends, romance, and powerful enemies with bending abilities unlike anything the world has seen before.

We also have the whole series of The Legend of Korra on DVD! The comics take place after the show, so be sure to watch first if you haven’t already.

The legend of Korra. Book one, Air

The legend of Korra. Book two, Spirits

The legend of Korra. Book three, Change

The legend of Korra. Book four, Balance


Turf Wars

Korra and Asami return from their vacation to the Spirit Realm to find a gang war brewing in Republic City.

The legend of Korra : turf wars. Part one / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)

The legend of Korra : turf wars. Part two / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)

The legend of Korra : turf wars. Part three / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)


Ruins of the Empire

The Earth Kingdom is having its first ever democratic election, but Korra and company become worried when a candidate with imperial ambitions becomes popular and looks set to win.

The legend of Korra : ruins of the empire. Part one / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)

The legend of Korra : ruins of the empire. Part two / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)

The legend of Korra : ruins of the empire. Part three / DiMartino, Michael Dante (also on eLibrary)

Other Legend of Korra comics

The legend of Korra : patterns in time / Konietzko, Bryan


More Avatar Books

Writer F.C Yee has penned The Chronicles of the Avatar, a series of novels about the Avatars before Aang and Korra. There are two novels focusing on Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom Avatar who created her own island, and one about Yangchen, an Air Nomad and the previous Airbender to hold the Avatar mantle before Aang.

If you want to know how the show was made, we recommend the Avatar: The Last Airbender artbook, a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the show, featuring concept art and commentary from the creators.

The rise of Kyoshi / Yee, F. C

The shadow of Kyoshi / Yee, F. C

The dawn of Yangchen / Yee, F. C

Avatar, the last Airbender : the art of the animated series / Konietzko, Bryan (also on eLibrary)

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

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

But you are wrong.

So very wrong….

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

People making art in different forms? Strange I know.

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

It’s like I’m Listening With My Eyes!

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


The infinite noise / Shippen, Lauren

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


Monstrous creatures / Mahnke, Aaron

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


Welcome to Night Vale : a novel / Fink, Joseph

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Vox machina : kith & kin / Nijkamp, Marieke

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


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

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


The Chronicles of Exandria : the Mighty Nein

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


Explorer’s guide to Wildemount / Mercer, Matthew

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

Summer Reading Adventure: The Dragon’s Hoard Prize

Welcome, Adventurer

After unveiling the The Palace Treasury Prize and The Archmagus’ Collection Prize in December, we now reveal the Dragon’s Hoard, the final of the three grand prizes that readers could win by taking part in the Summer Reading Adventure – Teens (13-18).

The Dragon’s Hoard Grand Prize

This prize pack contains:

– Free movie vouchers for Light House Cinemas in Wellington – enough for you and a friend!
– A set of artisan gaming dice and a $30 gift voucher for Cerberus Games
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Wellington City Libraries is grateful to Cerberus Games for their generous sponsorship of this prize. 

Dragon's Hoard Prize preview

How to Play

From 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, you are invited to take part in an adventure — a Summer Reading Adventure, to be precise. In this year’s Summer Reading Adventure, teens aged 13-18 will be able to embark on the journey of a lifetime by reading books; writing, drawing or filming reviews; and completing quests to unlock an epic narrative that you are the protagonist of, one step at a time.

All Adventurers, seasoned or otherwise, need somewhere to start. Your first port of call will be to visit your local library to pick up a copy of the Adventurer’s Guide (or you could download it here):

Then, head over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to get started. You can take part in the Adventure in three different ways, depending on how far you’re willing to take your newfound powers:

  1. Log your reading — tell us how many books you’ve read and you’ll earn mysterious tickets that you can cash in to get a chance to win the Grand Prize of your choosing!
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and tell us what you thought about the books you’ve read, and you’ll go in the draw to win fabulous spot prizes as you do.
  3. Complete quests — choose your own adventure and complete up to three unique questlines, earning XP and achievements along the way.

The Story Begins…

Each time you reach a milestone in any of the above categories, you’ll unlock a fragment of a grander story — a story in which you are the protagonist — a story which begins with a call to adventure, a creaky door, a mysterious figure, and a fire in the hearth:

The heavy wooden door groans on its hinges as you step into the darkened room, squinting as your eyes adjust to the light. Someone — a sorcerer of some kind? — stands at a desk in front of you, scrolls covered in cryptic symbols and cracked leather tomes spilling from the shelves on either side.

In a dirty hearth to the rear of the room, a hearty fire casts a warm glow on the surroundings. Looking around the room, you see illuminated by the firelight other hopeful initiates huddled around scarred oaken tables, perched on benches, pacing anxiously between the stacks.

The stooped Magus in front of you clears their throat suddenly, and silence falls as dozens of ears strain to hear the fated words, words that so many have travelled so far in the hope of hearing. —Welcome— the being intones, —to the Library of Souls.— At no point does their mouth move, the words projected by some arcane method directly into your mind. —You’ve made it just in time. Now, your Adventure may begin.—

Reaping Your Reward

As with all good Adventures, these quests come with the tantalising promise of reward for your Herculean (or perhaps Sisyphean) efforts. Each quest chain you complete, or reading milestone you meet, will earn you collectible badges, digital achievements, and the chance to win awesome spot prizes, as well as tickets towards one of our three Grand Prize packs.

Prizes for this year’s Summer Reading Adventure have been generously sponsored by our friends at Ben & Jerry’s, Experience Wellington, Circa Theatre, Cerberus Games, OfficeMax NZ, Wellington Zoo, and Light House Cinema.

Check out some of our badge designs below — which ones will you collect?

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Bridget

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

Also available as an ebook.

Grace

Cinderella is dead / Bayron, Kalynn

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

Also available as an ebook.

Gus

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

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

J’shuall of Jackanapery

All summer long / Larson, Hope

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

Also available as an ebook.

Maiph

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

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

Also available as an eaudiobook and ebook.

Stephen

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

Also available as an eaudiobook and ebook.

TackyCardigan

Fat chance, Charlie Vega / Maldonado, Crystal

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

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

Also available as an ebook.

Tessa

Alex / Duder, Tessa

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

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

Summer Reading Adventure: The Palace Treasury Prize

Welcome, Adventurer

Gazing into the orb of the future foretold, we have been able to reveal a preview of The Palace Treasury, one of three grand prizes that readers could win by taking part in the Summer Reading Adventure – Teens (13-18).

The Palace Treasury Grand Prize

This prize pack contains:

– A selection of high-quality artistic stationery

– A day pass for a HIVE Makerspace VIP experience at the Waitohi Hub, including free 3D printing (PLA only), laser cutting, design consultation with our Makerspace specialists, and free access to the recording studio and any art/creation supplies available in the HIVE.

– This pass can be exchanged for equivalent value in free 3D printing and lasercutting at the HIVE at your convenience.

– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate!

Here’s a small showcase of a few items created in the HIVE!

Lasercut llama

Vlad the Inhaler

 

 

 


Dungeon Master screen cover

Check out some of our favourite 3D prints over here:

Watch | Facebook – sasuage roll 3D printing

Watch | Facebook – creating a 3D kererū statue


How to Play

Leucistic axolotl made in the HIVE

From 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, you are invited to take part in an adventure — a Summer Reading Adventure, to be precise. In this year’s Summer Reading Adventure, teens aged 13-18 will be able to embark on the journey of a lifetime by reading books; writing, drawing or filming reviews; and completing quests to unlock an epic narrative that you are the protagonist of, one step at a time.

All Adventurers, seasoned or otherwise, need somewhere to start. Your first port of call will be to visit your local library to pick up a copy of the Adventurer’s Guide (or you could download it here):

Then, head over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to get started. You can take part in the Adventure in three different ways, depending on how far you’re willing to take your newfound powers:

  1. Log your reading — tell us how many books you’ve read and you’ll earn mysterious tickets that you can cash in to get a chance to win the Grand Prize of your choosing!
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and tell us what you thought about the books you’ve read, and you’ll go in the draw to win fabulous spot prizes as you do.
  3. Complete quests — choose your own adventure and complete up to three unique questlines, earning XP and achievements along the way.

The Story Begins…

Each time you reach a milestone in any of the above categories, you’ll unlock a fragment of a grander story — a story in which you are the protagonist — a story which begins with a call to adventure, a creaky door, a mysterious figure, and a fire in the hearth:

The heavy wooden door groans on its hinges as you step into the darkened room, squinting as your eyes adjust to the light. Someone — a sorcerer of some kind? — stands at a desk in front of you, scrolls covered in cryptic symbols and cracked leather tomes spilling from the shelves on either side.

In a dirty hearth to the rear of the room, a hearty fire casts a warm glow on the surroundings. Looking around the room, you see illuminated by the firelight other hopeful initiates huddled around scarred oaken tables, perched on benches, pacing anxiously between the stacks.

The stooped Magus in front of you clears their throat suddenly, and silence falls as dozens of ears strain to hear the fated words, words that so many have travelled so far in the hope of hearing. —Welcome— the being intones, —to the Library of Souls.— At no point does their mouth move, the words projected by some arcane method directly into your mind. —You’ve made it just in time. Now, your Adventure may begin.—

Reaping Your Reward

As with all good Adventures, these quests come with the tantalising promise of reward for your Herculean (or perhaps Sisyphean) efforts. Each quest chain you complete, or reading milestone you meet, will earn you collectible badges, digital achievements, and the chance to win awesome spot prizes, as well as tickets towards one of our three Grand Prize packs.

Prizes for this year’s Summer Reading Adventure have been generously sponsored by our friends at Ben & Jerry’s, Experience Wellington, Circa Theatre, Cerberus Games, OfficeMax NZ, Wellington Zoo, and Light House Cinema.

Check out some of our badge designs below — which ones will you collect?

 

 

 

Invasion of the Interwebs! Terrifying Tales of When Books and Social Media Mix!

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you’re inside because the sun is scary. You’re in the library peacefully searching for your next read. You’ve managed to break your phone’s hold over your mind, banishing it into some far away dark place, somewhere where it can’t hurt you any more. All thoughts of tockticking, of metubing, of teetering, of bookfacing, all gone, freeing your brain to be a real human being. But then you see something that chills you to the very bone. It’s following you. Even the library, this sacred place of safety and education can not protect you. There is no escape. Sometime, somehow the internet has invaded the hallowed ground and seeped into the books and mind of the public.

So let’s explore this eldritch abomination and see how exactly the dreaded s̵̙̝̥͓͊̋̿ȏ̴̲͚̺̻̊͝c̸̭̟͖̩̑̈́i̸̗͒̐͝͠ȧ̴̱̘̙̜̽ĺ̴̠̟̗̋͗̆ ̶̙̙̊̓̚m̶̰̱̌ẻ̸̹͇̥̈d̶̻͗̊́̕į̷͕̠̟̈́͊̌́a̷͙͂͛ has amalgamated into book form.

Become a _____ Pro!

Welcome to the section I like to call “people who have no authority to tell you how to be good at thing tells you how to be good at thing.” So! Do you want the hundred percent accurate works every time definitely no trust me way to becoming an instant success on any particular social media? Yes? Well sucks to suck, you better spin that roulette wheel and pray to be lucky, because there is no sure fire way. That doesn’t stop these books from being published, and by your favourite social media sensation: random non-fiction author! Now to be fair these guides are probably at least somewhat useful to the inspiring instagrammer or tiktoker, but it’s funny when these books are called “expert’s guide” and then written by a no-name. For my fine selection I have been diligent in having approximately one guide for each format, but be assured there are many many more. Of particular note are the “For Dummies” books, which has a wide selection of internet based guides, which should be a laugh seeing these ridiculous things explained so blandly.


The quick expert’s guide to being a YouTuber / Sutherland, Adam

“This series offers a shortcut to instant expertise! Quick Expert’s Guides are aimed at teens and ‘tweens who are keen to know more about a popular topic, but who may be put off by the idea of having to read wordy or technical guides. Each title includes features that break down technical/scientific/complex aspects of the subject, inspirational case studies, activities and a final project to test the reader’s new skills. Chapter round-ups also offer tips on key words and phrases, as well as boosting self-esteem and confidence, in order to walk the walk and talk the talk of a true expert. Become a successful YouTuber! From setting up your account to creating a viral video, we show you how to master this popular platform and have your creative output seen around the globe!” (Catalogue)


The rough guide to social media for beginners : getting started with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ / Mahoney, Sean

“If you haven’t joined the social media revolution yet, don’t fret: There’s still time! But with so much out there, where to start? Something more than a text message, something less than a phone call… Not engaging in these new types of online social messaging could mean you are missing out on the action.” (Catalogue)


The ultimate guide to Tiktok

“This is the ultimate guide to TikTok, just #foryou! Packed with profiles, quizzes, fill-in fun and loads of top tips for creating your own videos” (Catalogue)

 

 


Blogging for dummies / Gardner, Susannah

“This proven bestseller is fully updated and better than ever!Now in its fourth edition, Blogging For Dummies is fully updated and more practical than ever for today’s bloggers. Whether you’re just beginning or are already a full-tilt blogging maven, you’ll find the up-to-date information you need in these friendly pages. Want to integrate your blog with social media? Jump into the fast-moving world of microblogging on Twitter or Tumblr? Choose which blogging software to use? Optimize your current blog for search? This detailed book guide covers it all, and then some. Buy the book, build a better blog, and blog about it!” (Catalogue)


Twitter power 3.0 : how to dominate your market one tweet at a time / Comm, Joel

“Tweet your company to the top of the market with a tailored approach to Twitter. This book is the best business leader’s guide to Twitter, with the most up to date information on trends in social media, branding, and competitive research. Readers will learn that viral content doesn’t happen by accident, why videos and photos are crucial to engagement, and how to measure the success of a Twitter strategy using specific and accurate metrics. This new edition contains brand new case studies, user profiles, features, and images, helping readers create a stronger overall Twitter strategy whether they’re already engaged or just wondering if Twitter’s important for their business future. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)


InstaStyle : curate your life, create stunning photos, elevate your Instagram influence / Tezza

“Gain Instagram followers, grow your personal brand, and influence others with your authentic personality, beautiful photography, and stunningly curated grid. Instagram is the place where trends break, tastes are made, and brands are launched. Plus it’s packed with insightful analytics and handy business tools to help you elevate your social media presence to the next level. Create, connect with others, and share the way you see the world! InstaStyle is a must-have guide for a booming industry, full of beautiful imagery and easily understood guides to help you achieve your Instagram goals. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Create your own podcast / Anniss, Matt

“Want to make your own podcast but don’t know where to start? Think you could be the next podcaster to get millions of downloads? This book is packed with practical tips on how to make your own podcast, from planning and preparing to actually recording, editing and launching your work. It even offers advice on the next step – vodcasting! Success stories of how famous podcasters made their mark on the industry are sure to motivate you. Go on, be a media genius!. Ages 9+” (Catalogue)


I’m Popular Online, Surely That Means I’m Destined to Write a Book, Right?

Now for the feast of this blog post, books written by ï̸̦̱n̶̗͙̥̈́̂f̵͔̈̊͐̾ͅl̶͍͛͂̆u̶̧̹̻͌͆͘͠ȅ̶̥n̵̗̝̓̀̇c̷̡̺̝͊e̴̪̼̮̜͐͠r̶̦̯̠̍s̴̙̃͒. For some reason, whenever anyone becomes famous, they all suddenly realise they dream of being authors. Could it be because it’s a relatively easy way to make money off their fame? No surely not. It’s just one of those things. That’s not to say these do not have literary merit, but it is a funny thing to point out. One of my favourites is the TikTok cookbook, the thing that set me on this journey to explore the corruption of our grand institution. It’s just fun to see such a modern and ephemeral thing locked down into print form. But it makes perfect sense, TikTok is full of food videos (or so I hear, of course, you wouldn’t see me dead on TikTok (I watch it all on Youtube Shorts, like a dork)). Most of these are memoir style, gods among mere mortals stepping down from their ivory thrones to tell you how to live. Others however mimic their content, such as Thug Notes or DanTDM’s book.


As cooked on TikTok : fan favorites and recipe exclusives from more than 40 TikTok creators / Stephenson, Emily

“Featuring both viral and brand-new recipes from many of the community’s most beloved TikTok food creators, find tried-and-tested #simplerecipes for the hottest dishes, from THE FLUFFIEST #cloudbread to THE MOST DELICIOUS #fetapasta recipe to THE BEST #bakedoats. Published in partnership with TikTok, a curated list of 45 TikTok Creators (based on highest trending food content and largest platforms) contributed recipes and food hacks to this unique cookbook as well as ‘remember that?!?’ food-adjacent content.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Make your own magic : discover the secret tricks of a TikTok magician / M, Joel

“My name is Joel Mawhinney, though I go by the name Joel M. You might know me from TikTok as @joelmagician.” (Catalogue)

 


Ninja : get good : my ultimate guide to gaming / Blevins, Tyler

“From one of the leading Fortnite players in the world comes your game plan for outclassing the rest at playing video games. This complete compendium includes everything Tyler “Ninja” Blevins wishes he had known before he got serious about gaming. Video games come and go, but Ninja’s lessons are timeless. Pay attention to them and you’ll find that you’re never really starting over when the next big game launches. Who knows– you may even beat him one day. As he says, that’s up to you.” (Catalogue)


Thug notes : a street-smart guide to classic literature / Sweets, Sparky

“Remember your high school and college literature classes. Not really? Too boring? Well, why did literature have to be analyzed so blandly? Professors are clearly intelligent, but sometimes literature needs to be translated, especially classic works, to speak to today’s audiences. Enter the one and only Sparky Sweets, PhD. Based on the hit YouTube series, Thug Notes: The Book will celebrate the most widely read (and widely assigned) works of literature. Each title will get the classic Thug Notes treatment: razor-sharp analysis, hilarious summary, and eye-catching illustrations. Readers of all stripes will be eager to see their favorite books like never before”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Ryan Higa’s How to write good / Higa, Ryan

“An unconventional, irreverent, yet heartfelt memoir by Ryan Higa, one of the top creators on YouTube.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

 


The odd 1s out : how to be cool and other things I definitely learned from growing up / Rallison, James

“Like any shy teen turned young adult, YouTube star James Rallison is used to being on the outside looking in. He wasn’t partying in high school or winning football games like his older brother. Instead, he posted comics on the Internet. Now, he’s ready to share his hard-earned advice. In this illustrated collection, Rallison tells his own stories of growing up as the “odd one out”: in art class with his twin sister (she was more talented) and what it was like in the middle scholl locker room, all the way up to one strange year of college. Filled with fan-favorite comics and never-before-seen material, this tongue-in-cheek take on some of the weirdest, funniest parts of life is perfect for anyone who’s also felt like an odd one.”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)


The odd 1s out : the first sequel / Rallison, James

“The sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Odd 1s Out, with all new and never-before-seen content featuring opinions, stories, and signature characters from YouTube phenomenon James Rallison. James Rallison has always felt like he was on the outside looking in. His YouTube videos are all about his “odd” behavior, and with over 13 million subscribers and millions more followers on social media, these animations have found their way into the hearts of fans who also feel like a bit of an odd one”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)


Dan and Phil go outside / Howell, Dan

“YouTube sensations Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) were just two awkward guys who shared their lives on the Internet…until now. Dan Howell and Phil Lester, avoiders of human contact and direct sunlight, actually went outside. Traveling around the world on tour, they have collected hundreds of exclusive, intimate, and funny photos, as well as revealing and candid side notes, to show the behind-the-scenes story of their adventure.”– From publisher.” (Catalogue)


The hidden power of f*cking up

“The Try Guys deliver their first book-an inspirational self-improvement guide that teaches you that the path to success is littered with humiliating detours, embarrassing mistakes, and unexpected failures. To be our best selves, we must become secure in our insecurities. In The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, The Try Guys reveal their philosophy of trying: how to fully embrace fear, foolishness, and embarrassment in an effort to understand how we all get paralyzed by a fear of failure. They’ll share how four shy, nerdy kids have dealt with their most poignant life struggles by attacking them head-on and reveal their – ahem – sure-fail strategies for achieving success. Through their insightful, emotional journeys and surprising, hilarious anecdotes, they’ll help you overcome your own self-doubt to become the best, most f*cked up version of yourself you can be!” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Trayaurus and the enchanted crystal / DanTDM

“From the mind of one of the most popular YouTubers of all time, DanTDM, comes a graphic novel adventure that reimagines the Minecraft-style worlds and characters he’s created like you’ve never seen them before.”–Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fin…

 

 

 

Or is it!?

Summer Reading Adventure: The Archmagus’ Collection Prize

Welcome, Adventurer

Gazing into the orb of the future foretold, we have been able to reveal a preview of the Archmagus’ Collection – one of three grand prizes that readers could win by taking part in the Summer Reading Adventure – Teens (13-18).

The Archmagus’ Collection Grand Prize

– A Unity Books voucher to the value of $80
– A day pass for a VIP experience at Wellington City Libraries’ Te Pātaka Collection Centre, where you will be given free reign to explore and borrow whatever you like from our off-site collection of over 300,000 items, with guidance and personal assistance from our expert librarians.
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Te Pātaka calls you to adventure!

The vast stacks of Te Pātaka call forth a brave adventurer!

From 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, you are invited to take part in an adventure — a Summer Reading Adventure, to be precise. In this year’s Summer Reading Adventure, teens aged 13-18 will be able to embark on the journey of a lifetime by reading books; writing, drawing or filming reviews; and completing quests to unlock an epic narrative that you are the protagonist of, one step at a time.


How to Play

All Adventurers, seasoned or otherwise, need somewhere to start. Your first port of call will be to visit your local library to pick up a copy of the Adventurer’s Guide (or you could download it here):

Then, head over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to get started. You can take part in the Adventure in three different ways, depending on how far you’re willing to take your newfound powers:

  1. Log your reading — tell us how many books you’ve read and you’ll earn mysterious tickets that you can cash in to get a chance to win the Grand Prize of your choosing!
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and tell us what you thought about the books you’ve read, and you’ll go in the draw to win fabulous spot prizes as you do.
  3. Complete quests — choose your own adventure and complete up to three unique questlines, earning XP and achievements along the way.

The Story Begins…

Each time you reach a milestone in any of the above categories, you’ll unlock a fragment of a grander story — a story in which you are the protagonist — a story which begins with a call to adventure, a creaky door, a mysterious figure, and a fire in the hearth:

The heavy wooden door groans on its hinges as you step into the darkened room, squinting as your eyes adjust to the light. Someone — a sorcerer of some kind? — stands at a desk in front of you, scrolls covered in cryptic symbols and cracked leather tomes spilling from the shelves on either side.

In a dirty hearth to the rear of the room, a hearty fire casts a warm glow on the surroundings. Looking around the room, you see illuminated by the firelight other hopeful initiates huddled around scarred oaken tables, perched on benches, pacing anxiously between the stacks.

The stooped Magus in front of you clears their throat suddenly, and silence falls as dozens of ears strain to hear the fated words, words that so many have travelled so far in the hope of hearing. —Welcome— the being intones, —to the Library of Souls.— At no point does their mouth move, the words projected by some arcane method directly into your mind. —You’ve made it just in time. Now, your Adventure may begin.—

Reaping Your Reward

As with all good Adventures, these quests come with the tantalising promise of reward for your Herculean (or perhaps Sisyphean) efforts. Each quest chain you complete, or reading milestone you meet, will earn you collectible badges, digital achievements, and the chance to win awesome spot prizes, as well as tickets towards one of our three Grand Prize packs.

Prizes for this year’s Summer Reading Adventure have been generously sponsored by our friends at Ben & Jerry’s, Experience Wellington, Circa Theatre, Cerberus Games, OfficeMax NZ, Wellington Zoo, and Light House Cinema.

Check out some of our badge designs below — which ones will you collect?

 

 

 

Christmas Cryptids & Festive Folklore: A Librarian’s Guide

Ah Christmas, that delightful season of pine-scented air fresheners, “why yes I love socks”, and Typo’s controversial range of Christmas ornaments. For most of us, Christmas is a fairly vanilla, tinselly affair. We spend time with our family and friends, we eat a wonderfully large amount of food, we exchange gifts. And don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas, but a good part of that love comes from knowing a few of the more dubious, bizarre, and (dare I say?) ooky spooky stories surrounding the festive season.

via GIPHY


Having recently realized the extent to which Santa Claus has become a symbol for Western consumerism perpetuated by a wealthy white man with a problematic labour-force, I am refusing to make a case for SC as a cryptid. HOWEVER, this just leaves more space to introduce you to a far more intriguing cast of Christmas cryptids…

For those new to the Wellington City Libraries Cryptozoological Society, a cryptid is an animal or entity whose existence hasn’t been conclusively proven (to give you an example, the prom king and queen of cryptids would definitely be Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster).

Krampus

The Anti-Santa himself, Krampus (from the German krampen, meaning ‘claw’) is a popular figure in festive European mythology. Depicted as an anthropomorphic half-goat/half-demon, Krampus decided that coal simply wasn’t enough to discourage misbehaviour, and – according to legend – punishes bad children by either a) beating them with sticks and switches, b) dragging them to hell, or c) eating them. Feel free to tag yourself.

Jólakötturinn

The Jólakötturinn (pronounced ‘yola-ka-turin’), or Yule Cat, originates from Icelandic legend, and is another rather ominous figure in the ranks of supernatural beings judging your behaviour. Unlike Krampus, however, Jólakötturinn has a very specific rhetoric for measuring naughty/nice: Have you been given new clothes this Christmas? If so, you’re safe. If not, then you risk being eaten by the house-sized Yule Cat.

In accordance with Icelandic tradition, children who finish their chores in time for Christmas are given new clothing as a reward. Jólakötturinn, peering through the windows on Christmas night and seeing new clothes, may deduce that the child is good. No new clothes = indisputable immorality of child = get eaten by an enormous supernatural cat.

The Yule Lads

First of all, a moment of appreciation for the name ‘The Yule Lads’. I did not make that up.

Originating from the same mythology as the Jólakötturinn (the Yule Lads’ parents are actually the proud owners of the Yule Cat), the Yule Lads are a group of 13 trolls, each of whom has a distinct name and personality, which refers to their favourite way of causing mischief. Special mention to Pottaskefill (Pot-Scraper) for coming to steal everyone’s left-overs. Over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas, the Yule Lads take turns visiting households, leaving candy in the shoes of good children, and rotting potatoes in the shoes of bad children.

The Fiordland Moose

I’ve discussed the Fiordland Moose previously, but I figured they deserve an honourable mention for being the closest thing Aotearoa has to a mythical reindeer. To summarise, several moose were released into Fiordland in 1910. The sporadic sightings and evidence found in the past 112 years have been enough to keep people wondering if these elusive moose are still out there. With enough public pressure, maybe we can bully the moose out of hiding and convince them to start leaving candy in our shoes at Christmas.

via GIPHY


And because this is not, in fact, just a place for me to rant about cryptids – come down to your local library to check out our collection of Christmas cryptozoology and festive folklore!

Cryptid Club / Andersen, Sarah
” Do you hate social gatherings? Dodge cameras? Enjoy staying up just a little too late at night? You might have more in common with your local cryptid than you think! Enter the world of Cryptid Club, a look inside the adventures of elusive creatures ranging from Mothman to the Loch Ness Monster. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The mystery chronicles : more real-life X-files / Nickell, Joe
“After thirty years of paranormal investigation, acclaimed author and detective Joe Nickell opens his mystery files once again to reveal the truth behind supposedly inexplicable occurrences. Continuing what his popular Real Life X-Files started, Nickell’s new casebook examines the Shroud of Turin, the Mothman enigma, crop circles, alien abductions, and numerous other perplexing mysteries.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Monsters : a bestiary of the bizarre / Dell, Christopher
“From myth to manga, an artistic visual history of the human mind through an imaginative collection of fantastical monsters from around the world.” (Catalogue)

On monsters : an unnatural history of our worst fears / Asma, Stephen T
“”A comprehensive modern-day bestiary.”–The New Yorker” (Catalogue)

Mythical monsters : mad, mischievious, mysterious creatures / Smith, Lauren
“Have you ever met a yeti, or seen Nessie hiding below the surface? There’s no proof that these creatures exist, but just in case, we’ve collected the stories of some of the biggest, baddest and oddest monsters in the world.” (Catalogue)

Unnatural creatures
“Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds […] Magical creatures from the werewolf, to the sunbird, to beings never before classified will thrill, delight, and quite possibly unnerve you in tales by E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Norse mythology / Gaiman, Neil
“Neil Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin, and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ghosts of Christmas past
“A present contains a monstrous secret. An uninvited guest haunts a Christmas party. A shadow slips across the floor by firelight. A festive entertainment ends in darkness and screams. Who knows what haunts the night at the dark point of the year? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The mothman prophecies / Keel, John A
“This true account of the aliens who invaded the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia […] For thirteen months Point Pleasant was plagued by a dark terror that culminated in a major disaster. Unearthly noises and ghostly lights in the sky gave way to mutilated animals, winged monsters, weird flying machines and worst of all, the fearsomely demonic “Bird” – the Mothman. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Chill tidings : dark tales of the Christmas season
“The gifts are unwrapped, the feast has been consumed and the fire is well fed – but the ghosts are still hungry. The ghosts are at the door. Welcome to the second new collection of dark Christmas stories in the Tales of the Weird series, ushering in a fresh host of nightmarish phantoms and otherworldly intruders bent on joining or ruining the most wonderful time of the year. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

 

 

Tūhono 2022: Last Call for Youth Poets

Prepare your inkwells, dust off your parchment, don your writing wreath and share a poem with the good people of Pōneke!

Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for youth, is now open for submissions until 14 December! We have loved reading all the wonderful poems sent into us so far!

This year, the theme is “Whakangā | Breath.” Whakangā refers to the taking in of breath, or to the process of breathing. It also calls to mind the idea of inhaling from the world; taking a breath to create calm; taking time to stop, slow down, relax, be.

Enter here!

Click this button to enter!

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets sent to us will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out previous editions of Tūhono on our catalogue here.

Here’s a few of our favourite poems from teens in 2021!

1. Not parents, old worn forms of myself — Iris

Poem example 1

Not parents, old worn forms of myself 

I am a morphed being, a recipe fulfilled  

that started with a twinkle in the eye of my mum. 

The ingredients of my hair: 

a lighter shade of my mum’s,  

a darker shade of my dad’s. 

She was red, he was blonde. 

Twirl and mix. 

 

My dad and I used to drive in the old, red Toyota, 

Blaring out David Bowie and Courtney Barnett, 

driving through the backroads of the Wairarapa. 

This made my playlists match my dad’s. 

 

I have curiously adopted my parents’ former loves: 

I enthusiastically harbour my dad’s old guitar, 

Squire strat, 1993. 

My mum’s old clothes have been  

inconspicuously slipped into my cupboard: 

vintage silk shirts that now 

hide holes in the armpits. 

 

My mum and I share the blazing rage that we harbour.  

We let it rip loudly and then slowly, quietly  

disintegrate into our guilt. 

And when she was small, her hair shone like gold  

in the Hawera sun. Just like mine. 

 

And when I look at them still, 

the folds in their faces  

disappear. 

And I am left with the grippingly surreal versions of myself. 

Iris

2.  Trees of Gold — Mika

Trees of Gold poem image

Trees of Gold

water rushes 

light bounces and wrinkles 

looking down 

an echo of overhanging trees 

in shallow pools of rippling glass 

 

swaying trees drop leaves of gold 

water carries shimmering light  

and golden leaves down rivers of past 

thoughts and reflections 

 

memories flow down 

mountains  

hills 

and valleys 

changing direction 

and bubbling back up to the surface 

 

trees of gold 

sway 

on 

and on 

— Mika

3.  Maumaharatanga — Sienna

Maumaharatanga

Maumaharatanga 

Leaning over the boat and seeing the water flying by 

The smell of the salt and the fresh air  

The sound of  

The water hitting the boat  

The bird cries in the distance 

The taste of the wind  

Swirling over the waters 

The feel of the salt dried on hair in the sun soaked afternoons 

Windows down 

Towels on seats  

The sparkling paradise of the endless ocean  

so inviting yet  

so intimidating 

 

I look out my window at those same waters 

7 years down the track. 

I look at it and i despise it 

The way it moves, 

The way it feels when the salt and the chill hits your skin. 

The wind whipping my hair into my face  

into unfixable knots anytime i get close 

I choose now to sit inside 

It’s safer  

The windows stay shut 

have not been opened in so long  

it feels unnatural to open them  

The sea stays far away, untouchable 

Washing away the maumaharatanga 

And a part of me with them. 

— Sienna

 

Introducing the Young Adult Kete!

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

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

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

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


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

Read More

A Call to Adventure: Summer Reading is Almost Here

Welcome, Adventurer

Is reading kinda your thing? How about slaying dragons? Facing off against a centuries-old archmagus in order to steal his arcane codex so you can use the magic contained therein to pull off similar heists in the future sound like a fun and standard start to your summery mornings?

From 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, you are invited to take part in an Adventure — a Summer Reading Adventure, to be precise. In this year’s Summer Reading Adventure, teens aged 13-18 will be able to embark on the journey of a lifetime by reading books; writing, drawing or filming reviews; and completing quests to unlock an epic narrative that you are the protagonist of, one step at a time.

How to Play

All Adventurers, seasoned or otherwise, need somewhere to start. Your first port of call will be to visit your local library to pick up a copy of the Adventurer’s Guide (or you could download it here):

Then, head over to our Summer Reading Adventure website to get started. You can take part in the Adventure in three different ways, depending on how far you’re willing to take your newfound powers:

  1. Log your reading — tell us how many books you’ve read and you’ll earn mysterious tickets that you can cash in to get a chance to win the Grand Prize of your choosing!
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and tell us what you thought about the books you’ve read, and you’ll go in the draw to win fabulous spot prizes as you do.
  3. Complete quests — choose your own adventure and complete up to three unique questlines, earning XP and achievements along the way.

The Story Begins…

Each time you reach a milestone in any of the above categories, you’ll unlock a fragment of a grander story — a story in which you are the protagonist — a story which begins with a call to adventure, a creaky door, a mysterious figure, and a fire in the hearth:

The heavy wooden door groans on its hinges as you step into the darkened room, squinting as your eyes adjust to the light. Someone — a sorcerer of some kind? — stands at a desk in front of you, scrolls covered in cryptic symbols and cracked leather tomes spilling from the shelves on either side.

In a dirty hearth to the rear of the room, a hearty fire casts a warm glow on the surroundings. Looking around the room, you see illuminated by the firelight other hopeful initiates huddled around scarred oaken tables, perched on benches, pacing anxiously between the stacks.

The stooped Magus in front of you clears their throat suddenly, and silence falls as dozens of ears strain to hear the fated words, words that so many have travelled so far in the hope of hearing. —Welcome— the being intones, —to the Library of Souls.— At no point does their mouth move, the words projected by some arcane method directly into your mind. —You’ve made it just in time. Now, your Adventure may begin.—

Reaping Your Reward

As with all good Adventures, these quests come with the tantalising promise of reward for your Herculean (or perhaps Sisyphean) efforts. Each quest chain you complete, or reading milestone you meet, will earn you collectible badges, digital achievements, and the chance to win awesome spot prizes, as well as tickets towards one of our four Grand Prize packs.

Prizes for this year’s Summer Reading Adventure have been generously sponsored by our friends at Ben & Jerry’s, Experience Wellington, Circa Theatre, Cerberus Games, OfficeMax NZ, Wellington Zoo, and Light House Cinema.

Check out some of our badge designs below — which ones will you collect?

The Wellington Comic Lovers’ Guide to… Black Panther

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

(Via GIHPY)


Who is the Black Panther?

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


Classic Black Panther

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

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

Black Panther : bad mutha / Hudlin, Reginald

Black Panther : the bride / Hudlin, Reginald

Civil War: Black Panther (only on Libby)

Black Panther : little green men / Hudlin, Reginald

Black Panther : back to Africa / Hudlin, Reginald

Secret invasion : Black Panther / Aaron, Jason

Black Panther : power / Maberry, Jonathan

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

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


New Avengers – Working with the Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secret wars / Hickman, Jonathan


The Ta-Nehisi Coates run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The World of Wakanda

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

Black Panther : world of Wakanda / Gay, Roxane

Rise of the Black Panther / Narcisse, Evan

Black Panther : long live the king / Okorafor, Nnedi

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

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

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

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

Black Panther vs. Deadpool / Kibblesmith, Daniel

Black Panther adventures / Parker, Jeff


John Ridley run

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

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

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


Shuri

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

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

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

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

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

Black Panther : the saga of Shuri & T’Challa

Into the heartlands / Brown, Roseanne A


Teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

wes craven vhs GIF

(via GIPHY)

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


Who is the Swamp Thing?

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

Classic Swamp Thing

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

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

Swamp Thing : the Bronze Age. Vol. 2

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


Saga of the Swamp Thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New 52 – Swamp Thing reborn

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

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

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

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

Swamp Thing. Volume 4, Seeder / Soule, Charles

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

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

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


DC Rebirth

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

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

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

A very DC Halloween

Swamp Thing : tales from the bayou / Seeley, Tim

Swamp Thing : twin branches / Stiefvater, Maggie


Infinite Frontier

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

Future state : Suicide Squad / Thompson, Robbie

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

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


Teams

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

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

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

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

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

Justice League Dark : the great wickedness / V, Ram

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

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

Black Adam GIF - Black Adam GIFs

(via GIPHY and Tenor)

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


Who is SHAZAM?

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

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

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

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

Dc Comics GIF by Shazam! Fury of the Gods

(via GIPHY)

Wait, Captain Marvel? You mean Carol Danvers?

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


Pre-Crisis – Captain Marvel

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

Shazam! : the greatest stories ever told

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


Post-Crisis – The Legend of Shazam!

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

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

Legends : 30th anniversary edition / Ostrander, John

Superman/Shazam! : first thunder / Winick, Judd

Formerly known as the Justice League / Giffen, Keith

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

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

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

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


New 52 and DC Rebirth – Captain Marvel no more

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

Shazam! : origins / Johns, Geoff

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

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

Justice League : Darkseid war : power of the gods

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

Shazam! and the seven magic lands / Johns, Geoff


Infinite Frontier

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

Shazam! : to hell and back / Sheridan, Tim

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

 


Captain Marvel/Shazam in the Multiverse

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

The Multiversity / Morrison, Grant

Convergence : infinite earths. Book two

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

Justice. Volume 1 / Krueger, Jim

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

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark


Who is Black Adam?

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

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

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


Post-Crisis

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

Black Adam/JSA : black reign / Johns, Geoff

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

52. Volume one

52. Volume two

52. Volume three

52. Volume four

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

Black Adam : the dark age / Tomasi, Peter

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


New 52 

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

Shazam! : origins / Johns, Geoff

Forever Evil / Johns, Geoff

Sinestro. Volume 3, Rising / Bunn, Cullen


DC Rebirth

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

Dark nights : metal / Snyder, Scott

Shazam! and the seven magic lands / Johns, Geoff

Doomsday clock : the complete collection / Johns, Geoff


Infinite Frontier 

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

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

Infinite frontier / Williamson, Joshua

Justice League : endless winter / Lanning, Andy

Justice League Dark : the great wickedness / V, Ram

Halloween Reads to Give You the Creeps

It’s nearly that time of year again – time to plan your costume, stock up on treats and crack open a good creepy read for Halloween.  No matter what your favourite monster or cryptid, or whether you’re into something a little creepy or downright terrifying, there’s something for everyone in our collection to have you checking under the bed before you turn out the light on Halloween.  Here are a few recent ones we like the look of…

Three kisses, one midnight : a novel / Chokshi, Roshani

“Told in interconnected stories, three witchy best friends brew a love potion on Halloween that is said to produce a love that will last forever as long as it is sealed by true love’s kiss before the stroke of midnight. The town of Moon Ridge was founded 400 years ago and everyone born and raised there knows the legend of the young woman who perished at the stroke of twelve that very same night, losing the life she was set to embark on with her dearest love. Every century since, one day a year, the Lady of Moon Ridge descends from the stars to walk among the townsfolk, conjuring an aura upon those willing to follow their hearts’ desires. This year at Moon Ridge High, a group of friends known as The Coven will weave art, science, and magic during a masquerade ball unlike any other. Onny, True, and Ash believe everything is in alignment to bring them the affection, acceptance, and healing that can only come from romance–with a little help from Onny’s grandmother’s love potion. But nothing is as simple as it first seems. And as midnight approaches, The Coven learn that it will take more than a spell to recognize those who offer their love and to embrace all the magic that follows.” (Catalogue)

Long live the Pumpkin Queen / Ernshaw, Shea

“Saddled with queenly duties after marrying her one true love, Sally Skellington wonders if she traded one captivity for another until she finds a long-hidden doorway to an ancient realm putting everything into perspective. Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams — if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. Cast into the spotlight and tasked with all sorts of queenly duties, Sally can’t help but wonder if all she’s done is trade her captivity under Dr. Finkelstein for a different cage. But when Sally and Zero accidentally uncover a long-hidden doorway to an ancient realm called Dream Town in the forest Hinterlands, she’ll unknowingly set into motion a chain of sinister events that put her future as Pumpkin Queen, and the future of Halloween Town itself, into jeopardy. Can Sally discover what it means to be true to herself and save the town she’s learned to call home, or will her future turn into her worst… well, nightmare?” (Catalogue)

In the night wood / Bailey, Dale

“American Charles Hayden came to England to forget the past. Failed father, failed husband, and failed scholar, Charles hopes to put his life back together with a biography of Caedmon Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood. But soon after settling into Hollow’s remote Yorkshire home, Charles learns that the past isn’t dead. And every morning the fringe of darkling trees presses closer …” (Catalogue)

The deathless girls / Hargrave, Kiran Millwood

“They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin. On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community. Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts. They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate.” (Catalogue)

The Rarkyn’s Familiar / Lee, Nikky

“An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fate. Lyss had heard her father’s screams, smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She witnessed his execution. And plotted her revenge. Then a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld, imbuing her with the monster’s forbidden magic – a magic that will her erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains, the Empire’s soldiers, and Lyss’ uneasy alliance with the rarkyn. But horrors await them on the road – horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with. It’s the one that’s awoken inside her. Monsters of a feather flock together.” (Catalogue)

Horror hotel / Fulton, Victoria

“Chrissy has always been able to see ghosts, and when her friend Chase realized it he turned her affliction into an internet sensation, with the help of Emmaline, the technology expert and Kiki, the presenter; now they are planning to film an episode in an infamously haunted hotel in Los Angeles, but they may be tackling something really dangerous because Chrissy is seeing the terrifying shadow man who started appearing to her when her mother was dying of cancer–and there is an internet troll who keeps sending death threats to the group.” (Catalogue)

Direwood / Yu, Catherine

“In this velvet-clad 1990s gothic horror, Aja encounters a charming vampire who wants to lure her into the woods-just like her missing sister. No one ever pays attention to sixteen-year-old Aja until her perfect older sister Fiona goes missing. In the days leading up to Fiona’s disappearance, Aja notices some extraordinary things: a strange fog rolling through their idyllic suburban town, a brief moment when the sky seems to rain blood, and a host of parasitic caterpillars burrowing their way through the trees. Aja’s father, the neighbours, and even her ex-friend Mary all play down this strange string of occurrences, claiming there must be some natural explanation. It seems everyone is willing to keep living in denial until other teens start to go missing too.” (Catalogue)

The initial insult / McGinnis, Mindy

“Tress Montor’s parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home. The entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the ‘White Trash Zoo,’ a wild animal attraction featuring a zebra, a chimpanzee, and a panther, among other things. Felicity Turnado has worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. She buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is– only that she can’t look at Tress without having a panic attack. At a Halloween costume party at an abandoned house, Tress wants either the truth– or revenge. She tries to pry the truth from Felicity by slowly sealing her former best friend into a coal chute… with a drunken party above them, and a loose panther on the prowl.” (Catalogue)

Faraway girl / Beale, Fleur

“A contemporary novel for teenagers with mysterious goings on, time travel, a curse and a strange painting. Etta is worried about her brother Jamie. The doctors can find nothing wrong with him, but he is getting weaker by the day. At breakfast one morning, he seems to have lost it completely- In a voice as pale as his face, he said, ‘I think I can see a ghost.’ However, when they all turn to look, sure enough, materialising on the window seat is a girl about Etta’s age, wearing a beautiful Victorian wedding dress. Etta has to get off to school, she has no time for this, but she is about to discover that time has a whole new significance. She and her ghost companion have no choice but to work out what is going on before Jamie is lost for ever . . .” (Catalogue)

Only a monster / Len, Vanessa

“Every family has its secrets, but the summer Joan Chang-Hunt goes to stay with her Gran in London, she learns hers is bigger than most. The Hunts are one of twelve families in London with terrifying, hidden powers. Joan is half-monster. And what’s more, her summer crush Nick isn’t just a cute boy, he’s hiding a secret as well; a secret that places Joan in terrible danger. When the monsters of London are attacked, Joan is forced on the run with the ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family who are sworn enemies of her own. Joan is drawn deeper into a world that simmers with hostilities, alliances and secrets. And her rare and dangerous power means she’s being hunted. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story, she is not the hero.” (Catalogue)

Myth & Legend in YA Novels!

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

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

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


Arthurian Legend

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

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

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

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

Ancient Greek Mythology

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

Dear reader, you have never heard such a LIE.

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

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


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


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

Fairytales

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

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


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

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Mighty Thor

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character.
This post is about the god (and mortal) who hold the hammer Mjolnir and are worthy of the power of Thor!

(via GIPHY)

Who is The Mighty Thor?

After being humbled by his father, Thor the Norse God of Thunder returns to Earth as a superhero. Using an enchanted hammer that only he is worthy to wield, he protects Midgard and fights alongside the Avengers as the Mighty Thor!

Later, when Thor becomes unworthy of using his hammer, Doctor Jane Foster takes it up in his place as her own version of Thor.


Classic Thor

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 1 (only on Libby)

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 2 (only on Libby)

Marvel-verse: Thor (a collection of stories from across Thor’s publishing history)

Thor : the mighty avenger [2] / Langridge, Roger

Secret invasion : Thor / Fraction, Matt

Thor : wolves of the north

Thor : the deviants saga / Rodi, Robert

Thor of the realms (a collection of stories set across each of the Nine Realms)


Straczynski/Fraction run (2007-2012)

The defining aspect of this run is bringing Thor and Asgard back down to Earth – literally, as the home of the Norse gods appears hovering over the ordinary town of Broxton, Oklahoma. This era ends with Norman Osborn’s invasion of this floating city in Brian Michael Bendis and Oliver Coipel’s Siege.

Thor. [Vol. 3] / Straczynski, J. Michael

Astonishing Thor / Rodi, Robert

Thor : the World Eaters / Fraction, Matt

The mighty Thor [1] / Fraction, Matt

The mighty Thor [2] / Fraction, Matt

The mighty Thor [3] / Fraction, Matt

The mighty Thor : journey into mystery : everything burns / Fraction, Matt

Siege / Bendis, Brian Michael

Avengers : prime / Bendis, Brian Michael


Marvel NOW! – Thor, God of Thunder meets the God Butcher

Beginning in 2012 with the Marvel NOW! relaunch, Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic introduces Gorr the God Butcher, a vengeful alien who wants to destroy every god across time and space. To stop him, Thor teams up with his younger self from his Viking days and an older, surlier All-Father Thor from the future.

Thor, God of Thunder [1] : the God Butcher / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor, God of Thunder [2] : Godbomb / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor, God of Thunder [1] and [2] are also collected together as Thor : the saga of Gorr the God Butcher

Thor, God of Thunder [3] : the accursed / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor, God of Thunder [4] : the last days of Midgard / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)


Jane Foster becomes Thor

During the Original Sin storyline, Thor learns a devastating truth that causes him to become unworthy of wielding Mjolnir. The hammer goes to Doctor Jane Foster, Thor’s ex-girlfriend, and she headlines a new series as The Mighty Thor. Meanwhile, Odinson wanders the cosmos trying to find a new hammer (and reason to be worthy) as The Unworthy Thor.

The reading order for this period is as follows:

Original sin : Thor & Loki : the tenth realm / Aaron, Jason

Original sin. Who shot the Watcher? / Aaron, Jason (only on Libby)

Thor : the goddess of thunder / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor [2] : who holds the hammer? / Aaron, Jason

Secret wars / Hickman, Jonathan

The mighty Thor [1] : thunder in her veins / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The mighty Thor [2] : Lords of Midgard / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor : the goddess of thunder, [2], and The mighty Thor [1] and [2] are also collected together as Jane Foster : the saga of the mighty Thor

The mighty Thor [3] : the Asgard/Shi’ar war / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The unworthy Thor / Aaron, Jason 

The mighty Thor [4] : the war Thor / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The Mighty Thor [5] : the death of the Mighty Thor / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Unworthy Thor and The Mighty Thor [4] and [5] are also collected as Thor : the complete collection. Volume 4


The War of the Realms

Jason Aaron’s last Thor series has Thor Odinson reclaim Mjolnir, while his enemies from across the Nine Realms band together to invade Midgard and take over Earth. This results in the crossover series The War of the Realms.

Thor [1] : God of Thunder reborn / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor [2] : road to war of the realms / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The war of the realms / Aaron, Jason

Thor [3] : war’s end / Aaron, Jason

King Thor / Aaron, Jason

Thor [1], [2], [3] and King Thor are also collected as Thor : Volume 5

 

Jane Foster, Valkyrie

After her tenure as Goddess of Thunder, Jane Foster gains a new weapon in Undrjarn the All-Weapon and becomes Valkyrie, leading souls to the afterlife while balancing her career as a doctor.

Valkyrie : Jane Foster [1] : the sacred and the profane / Ewing, Al (also on Libby)

Valkyrie : Jane Foster [2] : / Ewing, Al (also on Libby)

The mighty Valkyries : all Hel let loose


Donny Cates run

Venom scribe Donny Cates is the most recent Thor writer; his series so far explores Thor’s new duties as All-Father of Asgard in Odin’s absence.

Thor [1] : the devourer king / Cates, Donny

Thor [2] : prey / Cates, Donny

Thor [3] : revelations / Cates, Donny

Thor [4] : God of Hammers / Cates, Donny


Beta Ray Bill

Did you know that an alien was once worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer? Beta Ray Bill from the planet Korbin got a hold of Mjolnir while Thor was inspecting his crashed spaceship, and Bill briefly took on the role of God of Thunder. Bill became an ally to Thor, and was eventually given his own Asgardian hammer named Stormbreaker.

Thor : Ragnaroks / Oeming, Michael Avon

Beta Ray Bill : godhunter / Gillen, Kieron

Beta Ray Bill : argent star / Johnson, Daniel Warren

 

Tūhono 2022: We Want Your Poems!

Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for children and teens, are open for submissions for the next issue! Until December 14th, we will be accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. In previous years we have published more than 200 young poets in Tūhono — so this year we’ll again be splitting it into two books, one for kids and one for teens.

Click this button to enter!

Click this button to enter!

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets sent to us will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out previous editions of Tūhono on our catalogue here.

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need in order to submit a poem for inclusion in Tūhono 2022:

When?

  • Submissions are open from 1 November – 14 December 2022.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in early 2023.

Where?

Who?

  • Anyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.
  • You may submit as an individual or as a group.

What?

  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “Whakangā | Breath.” Whakangā refers to the taking in of breath, or to the process of breathing. It also calls to mind the idea of inhaling from the world; taking a breath to create calm; taking time to stop, slow down, relax, be.Exactly what you write about in relation to this theme is up to you. You could write a poem about times when you feel calm or things that help you to feel relaxed; or, you could write about things or feelings you experience when you might feel the need to whakangā.We recommend you look up the definitions of the words ‘whakangā‘ and ‘breath‘ in a dictionary to find out all the hidden meanings before you start writing. They don’t mean exactly the same thing — and that is intentional, to give you a wider range of stuff to write about. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
  • Length: Your poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.

Why?

  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published on an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the other great authors and poets represented on our shelves. Tūhono aims to be a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We consider ourselves lucky to be able to provide this platform for your creativity to take wing.

Throughout the month of November, we will be posting regular updates on this blog providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about Tūhono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

 

 

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