Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Bored???

OK so now Christmas is over and you are looking ahead to the New Year and a long hot Summer. Visit the library for books, CD's, DVD's magazines and Graphic Novels. Come and book time on an X Box 360 or Playstation 3 at Endeavour Hills, Cranbourne and Narre Warren Libraries. Check out this slide show for a peek at what's available.

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Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Greetings!



On behalf of the Quicksand team we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New Year. Enjoy the Holidays! We hope you have time to read, relax and catch up with friends. Keep out of mischief everyone!!


Cen, Ann, Rafah, Nick and Julie and all the team at CCLC.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Your Enter Score Is Not The End

So Year 12 is finally over and you've finally got your Enter Score. You're either very happy with what you got or, like many others, you might be disappointed and upset.

Now you've got until 12pm on Monday 22nd December to change your preferences if you wish to.

I'm no expert, but Going to Uni is really helpful and has a list of alternative ways of getting into the uni course you want. Here are just a few:

  • Wait to see if you're offered a place in the following second or third round offers
  • Change your preferences - if you've missed out on the course you want then try applying for a similar course Eg. If you didn't get into Medicine, you could apply for Biomedical Science.
  • Apply to a regional institution - they tend to have lower enter scores compared to city institutions
  • Look into TAFE courses and see if there's a similar course to what you want, you can apply for a transfer into a university course, if possible.
I know I was very disappointed when I'd just missed out on a place for a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science. My enter score was just below the clearly-in mark. But I got an offer for an Arts degree and decided to take it but I still wanted to do an Arts/Science degree. So I took a science subject to make sure I'd still meet the prerequisite and then I applied for a transfer the following year and got into the course I wanted. This is only one example of how you can get into the course you want.

Here's a list of other helpful websites:

For general information on what to now that you've finished school visit www.year12whatnext.gov.au

For more information about uni courses and other ways of getting into uni go to www.goingtouni.gov.au

For information about going to TAFE visit www.skills.vic.gov.au

Just remember, whatever enter score you got, it is not the end of the world (although it might feel like it)!

Best of luck!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Town by James Roy

In Town, Marty and his best friend, Reece, saunter into the school grounds on their first day of the new school year. Within minutes their cigarettes and lighter have been confiscated by one of the teachers. Undeterred, Marty spies an attractive female who is one of the new arrivals at the school. He confidently begins to talk with her, only realizing at school assembly that 'the new girl' is actually the new teacher.

This is the first of 13 interlinking short stories about a group of teenagers. The stories are shown from different perspectives, so you gain different insights as to the personalities of the teenagers, depending on who is telling the story!

Wonderful reading - some stories are hilarious , some sad, some have you on the edge of your seat with suspense, but all are engrossing and cleverly written.

-Ann

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A Different Perspective


Hi guys,
Hope you've been enjoying the posts here on Quicksand!

I'm reviewing a book that I stumbled upon during a recent reading frenzy I had, and the book is called Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. It's a book that shows a different perspective to high school life, which makes it very interesting!

The story is told by Russell Middlebrook, a 16 year old guy who is gay, but in the closet. He introduces himself, and explains about the social structure of the students at his school and where everyone fits. He figures he must be the only gay teenager at his school. But then suddenly he begins to realise he isn't, when he meets up with someone anonymously over the net and it turns out to be the school baseball jock. Then when he comes out to his best friend Min, she in turn comes out to him!
They decide to form a club to discuss their feelings and to give each other support. To keep themselves a secret they name themselves the geography club, and more students join. They face difficulties both within their new group, as not everyone gets along, and also within the school population, as they try to remain a secret.

Brent Hartinger accurately shows the different social status levels that exist within schools and the way in which high school students interact and behave.
It is definitely worth a read; for the humour, the emotion and the insight it provides.
I really enjoyed the book and almost didn't want it to end, to bad there's no sequel!

Nicko

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Twilight

For those of you who haven't read the book or know what it's about (I'm sure there isn't many of you) I would recommend trying this website http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ which is the official website of Stephanie Meyer and the Twilight series. For the movie website go here: http://www.twilightthemovie.com/
I am a big reader and I read the Twilight series - all 4 books - in 1 week. I couldn't put it down and everytime I had to stop reading it, it was all I could think about and every minute of my spare time went to reading and finding out more information on the books. Needless to say I was obsessed and with good reason. A romantic vampire fiction entwined around a modern setting and danger threatens at every corner, who would want to miss that?
The story unfolds where two people from different worlds collide into a intense romance that not even fate can dismantle. Edward Cullen and Isabella "Bella" Swan can't help what they feel and are drawn together as though it was meant to be, lest their hearts break asunder at their parting....... OK that was dramatic, but that is the way the story unfolds and you can't help but be swept away with their story. Even when danger and predatory foes threaten Bellas' life Edwards family, the Cullens (animal blood drinkers), band together to save her and destroy James(a human blood drinker) who would threaten their very existence.
Everytime I think of Twilight I can't help but be reminded of Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet. A very similar story line about 2 star crossed lovers who would defy even death to stay together.
When I was reading the book I was listening to the Twilight Soundtrack and I tried to think what song would fit into what part of the book. I'm pleased to say that when I saw the movie on Sunday 7th December at an advanced screening session, I guessed where most of the songs would be played at certain points of the story. Major fan, who me? I can also safely announce that the movie did the book justice. No main parts from the book were cut out and it was just as I had picture it. A very entertaining movie even for those who haven't read the book yet.
The movie captured the awkwardness perfectly at the start of Edward and Bellas relationship and portrayed each character as they should have been in the book. There were moments in the movie that were funny and you couldn't help but laugh or giggle at something. Jasper Cullen is just as weird as you'd think in the movie too.
And Jacob is just as cute as all the girls say, just so you know. Even when Bella opened the door to the truck and he walked into it by accident, he was still cute and it was just as funny.
I'm extremely excited about the sequels. Books 2 and 3 "New Moon" and "Eclipse" have been confirmed to be made into movies that follows on from Twilight where it ends at the Prom (Victoria makes an appearnce at the end of the movie too). Keep up to date with the news by linking to the websites mentioned above.
If you need something to read now that you've read the series, don't forget to try out the "Beyond Twilight" Reading List, which our clever Librarians have put together just for us who love this series, and this genre, way too much.
Cheers,
Laura


Absolutely True Diary ...

Once you start reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, I guarantee you will find it very hard to put the book down.

The main character is Junior, an American Indian boy living on a reservation. The reservation is depicted as a desperate place in which to live. Alcohol fuelled violence is commonplace, as is poverty. Junior has other worries too - he has been born with brain damage and is regularly taunted and attacked by members of the community.
After a discussion with his teacher, Junior decides to transfer schools and attend the all-white junior high school at Reardon, 22 kilometres from the reservation.

The odds are stacked against him..

This is a very well-written book, full of hope and humour amidst the difficult circumstances of Junior's upbringing and surroundings.

Recommended reading for teenagers, and winner of the USA National Book Award for 2007.

-Ann

Monday, 8 December 2008

Trek Against Trafficking - Bec's Report



WELL, I'm back from Trek everybody and man, was it amazing! It all began back last Sunday week and went through til Thursday night. It was officially launched by the one and only Tim Costello who gave an inspiring speech with a analogy of us, youths, being the wind and the politicians following wherever it blows hardest. We then had some workshops, first with Susu, an international reknowned expert on trafficking in order to determine what trafficking really is. Basically, the transport of people for manual labour through exploitative means. It's a bit more complicated but that's the simplified version. A guy from Fairtrade Labelling Ltd then came to speak about the Fairtrade label and gave us a bit of info on that. We then went LOBBYING round Canberra. Some people visited federal MPs whilst others visited local Canberra cafes urging them to turn fairtrade. Wednesday was our big day, protests on Parliament lawn. It was extremely organised and soon to be on Youtube apparently. We dressed as slaves, had the Cadbury gorilla playing drums and caused a big commotion for a good cause.

Overall, it was fantastic and we learnt ways to campaign in our local areas. We can:
- Visit and write to MPs, urging them to support the campaign -Lobby local cafes to become fairtrade -Ring supermarkets such as Coles and Safeways urging for more fairtrade stocking. We have heard that if they get enough calls it will happen.
-Create a Vision Group (basically a group of people who work together to combat this issue on a grassroots scale; can be through school, uni, church etc

There's a Stir session being run by VGEN (youth movement of World Vision) on December 10th from 6-8.30 at CrossCulture Church of Christ (cnr of Lonsdale and Swanston St). December 10th s the International Day for Human Rights and basically is an update on the campaign, stories of success, a celebration of acheivements and some vocal genius from Tim Costello, Chris Varney and Amy Shand. Come along. FACEBOOK TOO, there's a VGEN facebook you can join.

Right, I'm seriously off now. There's a great 'Bubbles for nothing' video on Youtube that would greatly compliment this piece (nudge, nudge, wink, wink Cenza)

Hey hey ho ho slavery has got to go,
ciao,
Bec

Thanks Bec for sharing your experience with us. Quicksand is all about News, reviews and stuff of interest to teens. So teens who believe in social justice and making a difference in our world is great. Sorry but I used a different Youtube clip. Check out Bec's suggestion "Bubbles for Nothing" on http://www.youtube.com

Cen

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Movies Galore!

Hey everyone, hope you all did well on your exams, and congratulations to everyone who's finally finished VCE! I've recently finished my uni exams and have been enjoying my holidays, and I hope you guys are enjoying your holidays too!

Anyway, a lot of my friends are going away for the summer, but if you're stuck at home like me then don't worry, there's plenty of great DVDs at the library to keep you entertained Here's just a few I found:


High School Musical 2



There's only a week left till High School Musical 3 comes out and if you haven't caught up with the hype, then now's your chance!


We've got copies of both High School Musical and High School Musical 2. Even if you have watched them, you might want to watch them again before catching the new movie!




Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Feeling like an action-packed adventure movie? Then Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will not disappoint.

The movie is set in the Cold War in the year 1957 and Indiana finds himself on a mission, in a race against the Soviets, with the rebellious Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) to find the Crystal Skull of Akator, claimed to have unlimited power.

Shia LaBeouf is awesome in this, and it's good to see the old Indiana Jones funny ways haven't changed.



Full Metal Panic!

I gotta confess I'm not a huge anime fan, but Full Metal Panic! is pretty good. It's about a military agent, Sergeant Sousuke Sargara, who has to go undercover to protect the young and beautiful high school girl, Kaname Chidori, believed to be one of the "Whispered," who are people that have the knowledge and power to create deadly weapons.

I've only watched mission one so far, but the Japanese series looks promising. It's got a combination of action, comedy and romance. It's very funny watching Milo fail miserably at trying to blend in as a high school student.




27 Dresses

This is a great romantic comedy about a girl who's living her life for other people, where she is "always the bridesmaid, never the bride."

The story revolves around a hopeless romantic, Jane Nichols (played by Katherine Heigl), who's secretly in love with her boss. But Jane's life suddenly takes a dramatic turn when her boss falls in love with Jane's younger sister! And to make Jane's life even crazier is the cynical, but handsome, Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) who continually hassles Jane and forces her to reassess her life and what she wants.

This romantic comedy is great for a girls' night in.


There's also plenty of more DVDs to choose from, you can either type in DVD in the online catalogue or just type in the title of the movie you want if you have a particular movie in mind,
Rafah

Monday, 24 November 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas

Here's another upcoming event from our friends at Cardinia.



presents
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Held on Friday 12 December, 6.30pm–11pm, at the Pakenham Hall,
corner of John and Henry streets, Pakenham (Mel Ref E8).

City Escape
Ashley's Affair
Decembers Fallen
Summer of Betrayal
Living Nightmare

$5 with pass or flyer
$10 without pass or flyer

prizes to be won

For more information or discount pass contact
Youth Services on 1300 787 624 or email youth@cardinia.vic.gov.au

For young people aged 13 years and over. A fully supervised, drug, alcohol and smoke-free
event. No pass outs. Organisers reserve the right to refuse entry. People affected by drugs
or alcohol will not be permitted on the premises.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Enter a Living Hell...

Last week Catherine Jinks took me on an adventure through space in her latest novel, 'Living Hell'. I picked this book up and immediately was engrossed. Living Hell is the story of the remaining humans, who inhabit a space station of sorts, the 'ark ship' called Plexus.

The story is told by Cheney, a 16 year old who lives on Plexus with his family and friends. Life on Plexus is regulated and structured, down to food dispensers and laundry carts. However, life is thrown into Chaos when the Plexus approaches a radiation field, which cannot be avoided. The entire ship braces for impact, and everyone is surprised when it appears nothing has happened: no impact or damage, no injuries.

But that's when things start to get scary. The walls start to resemble plant membranes. The floor turns soft, and spongy.
No one knows what's happening. And the worst is yet to come...
The humans realise they are under attack from their own home!!

It really is an action packed read, filled with emotion and humour.
One of my favourite books this year!

Back soon...
Nick

Monday, 17 November 2008

Don't Trade Lives



Hey all,

As a part of World Vision's 'Don't Trade Lives' campaign, I will be going to Canberra with 149 other young Australians as a part of Vision Generation's 'Trek Against Trafficking'. This trip is mainly about learning strategies to campaign in our own communities and raise awareness of the serious issue that human trafficking is. SO, I thought what better way to raise awareness then to do a little spiel on here for you all. I would put some pictures in but I don't know how, anyone care to enlighten me? And I'm not sure if a 'review' is the right place to put this in or what...I'm not tech savvy.

Anyway, most of you probably haven't heard of the 'Don't Trade Lives' campaign and what it's all about. Basically, World Vision is campaigning against human (particularly child) trafficking and exploitation in the a number of industries (cocoa is first and now, then it'll be the sex trade and the fashion industry.
Now, trafficking in the cocoa industry, I hear you say with possible doubt and scepticism. I admit I didn't know much about it myself til recently however it has been a prominent issue. 70% of the worlds cocoa (used in both chocolate and coffee) comes from West Africa, primarily Ghana and the Ivory Coast. This industry enslaves over 200,000 young children, often trafficked and sold by their parents so they can afford to eat. They work in ridiculously poor conditions; they're exposed to hazardous chemicals, work up to 100 hours a week, use machetes and receive little or no pay.

But what can we do? I hear you scream in anguish. We can, as consumers, hold the chocolate manufacturers accountable. This is what the 'Trek Against Trafficking' is all about. We (the 150 people) will travel to Canberra at the end of November taking with us 15000 petitioned postcards (we each have 100 to get signed) that call on the CMA (Chocolate Manufacturers of Australia) to create and commit to a plan to combat this slavery and make their chocolate fair trade. It's called the December 1 deadline.

Many people argue this will raise the price of chocolate as it will cost the CMA. However, in reality it would only cost <1%.>

http://www.donttradelives.com.au/dtl/issues/bigchocolate/Petition.aspx

and sign the petition. Rally your friends and family; raising awareness is the first step. Buy fair trade chocolate if you can (I must admit Lindt is hard to resist though). And sign the postcard if you are asked to.

Thanks for listening,
Bec (Age 17)

Thanks Bec...quite a coincidence that my cousin works at World Vision and has worked on this campaign. Thanks for spreading the message. I've added the video for you. Keep contributing to Quicksand and leave the tech savvy to me!
Cen

Friday, 7 November 2008

'SCREW LOOSE'


Finally-a sequel to Chris Wheat's 'Loose Lips'. In Screw Loose, all the usual characters are back. There's Chelsea Dean, described by one of her male friends as 'cute in a bunny wabbit on speed kind of way.' Then there is compulsive cleaner Zeynep, who witnesses an unfortunate throwing incident involving her macho football playing boyfriend, her father, and a baklava. And there's Craig, whose father (to Chelsea's horror) starts dating Chelsea's mother. Where will it all end? Zany and hilarious novel by Melbourne author, Chris Wheat.
-Ann

Armageddon!


For lovers of cartooning, anime, wrestling and sci fi, last weekend was the annual Armageddon multi media expo. An interesting combination? Well imagine standing waiting for an autograph from David Hewlett from Stargate Atlantis, to see people dressed as anime characters or Star Wars Storm Troopers. I listened to a panel with the cartoonists from Wildstorm talking about their work and their inspirations. The famous Jim Lee had a huge autograph queue of fans wanting a signature on his works like All Star Batman and Robin, X Men, and Fantastic Four. The constant thumping heard in the background was a wrestler, like the Sandman, hitting the mat!

Highlights for my daughters and I were meeting the "guys" from Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis: David Hewlett, Gary Jones, Ande Frizzell and Kavan Smith, the wonderful Doug Jones (Hellboy, Hocus Pocus, Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four, and Pan's Labyrinth), and for my blast from the past Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), and William Katt (The Greatest American Hero). If you don't know who they are ask your parents!! We had autographs and photos taken with the celebrities, and sat in on "panels" or talks where these guys talked about their acting experiences! Doug Jones even recited a scene from Hocus Pocus for my 10 year old daughter. Remember Billy Butcherson's first words "Witch! Trollop! You buck toothed, mop riding, firefly from hell!"

For lovers of anime the guests included Crispin Freeman, who provided voices for Hellsing and Melancholy of Haruhi Suzamiya, Johnny Bosch whose work includes Ichigo in Bleach and he is also in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzamiya. Dave Wittenberg from Naruto, and Please Teacher. Grey Delisle provided voices in Scooby Doo, Clone Wars, and Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy to name a few.

So when you add Cosplay competitions and ice cream eating competitions you really have something for everyone! I'm looking forward to next year!

Cen (yeh! yeh! I know! I'm a nerd!)

Monday, 3 November 2008

And He's the Good Guy!

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT by Derek Landy.


I found out about the Skulduggery Pleasant series from Jake, a teenage borrower at Pakenham who wanted to order the second book. I get alot of people recommending books but after I saw the cover (yes, I do judge a book by its cover) and read the blurb, I had to read it.

Stephanie's uncle wrote horror fiction - at least that's what she thought until he died and left her his estate. And from then on she is plunged into a terrifying world full of vampires, Hollow Men and magic. With the help from the remarkable Skulduggery Pleasant - a wise-cracking detective and powerful magician they wage war against evil and try to solve her uncle's muder.

It's easy to read, laced with intrigue, great characters and a fascinating story.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series - Playing with Fire.




Friday, 31 October 2008

The Butterfly Effect Rocks Hallam Hotel

Last Wednesday night, Hallam was brought to life by Australian rockers, The Butterfly Effect, as part of their, 'Old Faces, Old Places, New Stories' tour. Performing to a massive crowd of locals, the setlist included many of the band's new songs from their 'Final Conversation of Kings' album, which was released this October (I pre-ordered my SIGNED copy and it was delivered to me!!!).
They didn't disappoint at all, they were just as epic as they were when I saw them at Hi-Fi Bar in August '06.



Clint Boge (vocals) wowed us once again with his amazingly angelic voice, who says artists these days aren't talented?!??!

Of course, they played some of the old favourites too, and I've gotta say, the mosh went OFF when they played One Second Of Insanity!! I was there, right in the front against the barrier only a meter away from one of my favourite bands! Best night ever!!

If you guys haven't listened to their music, or haven't even heard of them, then check them out RIGHT now!!
We have both their latest album 'Final Conversation Of Kings',and previously released album 'Imago' available to reserve and borrow from your local Casey Cardinia Library.


Thanks for reading,
Nicko.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Art geeks and prom queens

This is a well-set, close to reality type of novel about what a lot of teenage girls want to be-popular. What happens when someone unpopular like Rio Jones gets a chance at it? As her reputation builds higher and higher, there's one thing she didn't realise: there can only be ONE queen.
I recommend this books to teenage girls around the age of 13-18 because this book covers across pretty much everything girls are curious about: popularity, fashion, love, drugs, reputations, friendship, peer pressure and going further in relationships.
By Elena

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Closer to the Truth


I spent an interesting morning at the State Library of Victoria last week. The Centre for Youth Literature had organised 3 fantastic authors to talk about the topic "Closer to the Truth". Melina Marchetta, John Heffernan and Randa Abdel-Fattah discussed their individual approaches to writing, and finding inspiration in the reality of world events. Each author talk was preceded by dramatisation of a short section of the author's book. This was a great way to introduce the books.


Randa talked about her new book Where The Streets Had A Name. This book tells the story of thirteen year old Hayaat who is on a mission for her dying Grandmother. Hayatt believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her grandmother's life. The only problem is the wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the check points, the curfews, the permit system and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is mainly interested in football and the latest elimination on X-Factor, but always manages to attract trouble.
Randa gave us an overview of the division of Palestine after World War Two and the struggles of Palestinians separated from loved ones and their homeland. This helps us to relate to Hayaat's journey which although short in distance is fraught with danger.





John Heffernan talked about his book Marty's Shadow. John gave us insight into the main character of Marty, a troubled sixteen year old who cares for his younger brother while his father is away. Marty has recurring nightmares and visions which are memories of something terrible that has happened in his past. Marty has to piece these snippets together to solve the mystery and discover what he has blocked from his mind, and face the reality of his past.





Melina introduced us to her new book Finnikin of the Rock which is a fantasy book set in a world of turmoil where an impostor king has taken the throne after the slaughter of the royal family. A curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps. It tells the story of Finnikin and Evanjalin and their journey to return to Lumatere.

Although a fantasy novel Melina compares this book to her other books Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, and On Jellicoe Road. She describes the mutual themes of a sense of belonging to a community and the search for identity as themes that are identifiable in all her books.


Question time brought out some interesting differences in the authors and their writing style. John clearly plans out his stories from beginning to end on whiteboards, however Randa and Melina write without plans and let their characters come to life during the writing process. This means that characters often travel in a direction that may be unexpected even to the writer.

It was a great morning. Look out for the Australian Centre for Youth Literature's program in 2009.
http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/about/centreforyouthliterature/youthlit.html

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Mighty Boosh

The Mighty Boosh
starring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding

Come on a journey through time and space to the world of the Mighty Boosh...
so begins the kookiest television series I've seen but also one of the most refreshing, original and funny ones. The Mighty Boosh has been a cult hit for a while, gently swept under the rug of commercialism adored by few, such as myself. However, recently the third series was shown on SBS and more people have been tuning into this genius. Each series is based in a different environment. The first had the two title characters, Vince Noir and Howard Moon (played by comedians Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt which such frightening sincerity), working at Bob Fossil's Zooniverse. The second, they are living with the shamen Naboo and his gorilla familiar Bollo. The third and most recent sees them all working at the Nabootique.

The plot of the Mighty Boosh is hard to explain but basically each episode sees Vince and Howard embark on an epic adventure to all corners of the earth, with some songs chucked in along the way. There is no recurring plot line (although characters do re-emerge in multiple episodes) but each is as funny as the last. I must admit it is not your usual humour and I know many people who don't like it because it's too weird and they don't get it but that's because they're thinking too hard. If you're up for a bit of obscurity and witty one liners then the boosh is definitely for you.

So sit back and strap yourself in cos the boosh is loose and its coming at ya like a flannel.

Bec
Age: 17




Rated M. Moderate coarse language, drug references, sexual references, violence and crude humour.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Hey Hey, It's Esther Blueburger


Hey guys, told you it wouldn't be so long until my next post!

So I watched Hey Hey It's Esther (pronounced Ester) Blueburger, and I've got to say, I was surprised!
I don't really know what I expected, but I guess I was thinking 'standard, lame, teenage girl send you to sleep-vie'. But this film really has everything, from absolutely random humour, to heartfelt emotion, and it has the power to appeal to a wide age group.

Main character Esther (played by Danielle Catanzariti) struggles to deal with her Jewish family, and at school, she is an outcast who is teased by all of the popular girls. She wants so badly to be different, to be better than just 'normal', but she also wants to fit in. She meets a girl called Sunni, who is the coolest kid in town without even trying. Sunni takes Esther on a a rollercoaster ride/quest to become cool and different, and noticed.

Like I said, along the way there are many laughs, and just as many surprises. It is easy to see why this film was selected for three different film festivals worldwide.

Take a chance of Blueburger, I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
Order a copy at your closest library now!

Nicko.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Rocktober in Movember

Here's the latest news from our friends at Cardinia. Thanks Carrolyn!!



Here's a chance to check out some great bands in a safe, supervised setting. Check out The Rose Line, Common Thread, The Invitation, Picture Perfect Skys, and Click on Colour. For Ages 13+

Friday 7 November 2008
6.30pm–11pm

Pakenham Hall
Corner John and Henry streets
Pakenham (Melway ref: 317 E8)

Cost: $8 with pass; $10 without pass

For more information or discount pass contact Youth Services 1300 787 624
or email youth@cardinia.vic.gov.au

For young people aged 13 years and over. A fully supervised drug, alcohol and smoke-free event.
No passouts. Organisers reserve the right to refuse entry. People affected by drugs or alcohol will not be permitted on the premises.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

New Music at Your Library!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I've been away for so long, but I've been busy listening to heaaaaaaps of brand new CDs that I borrowed from the library!
Here's my top 3 for October, bring on summer!!


3. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust


Yes, I know the name's a bit weird, It's Icelandic actually, as that's where the band is from. Sigur Ros are different, let me say that now! Listening to them is almost like listening to the Original Score from a movie like Lord Of The Rings. Some of the tunes are really emotional, and most are very hummable, and because they aren't in English, it doesn't matter if you don't know the words!! Very soothing, great to listen to while prepping for exams!



2. Death Cab For Cutie -Narrow Stairs


Now Death Cab are a cool, indie style group, with some really mellow tunes! I find them great to chill out to on a hot day, when the sun is creating haze over the horizon. They're great at creating atmosphere. Personal favourites on this album are 'Cath' and 'I Will Possess Your Heart'. If you like this, check out another of their albums 'The Photo Album'.



1. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Motion Picture Soundtrack)




...and finally #1!! This CD is heavy. So don't think that you'll be relaxing to this baby! This disc includes a variety of numbers by various 'metal/goth/whatever you want to call them' bands. It also features 'Nemo', a song by Nightwish, that has been my sister's message alert tone on her phone for TOO LONG! Hahaha. It's a great song though, and I find that these CDs are a great way of discovering new bands that are in a similar style to others.



All of these CDs and many many more are available to order and borrow at your closest library today, or if you like you can even put one on hold over the internet by yourself!

Hope you guys enjoy, and I'll be back with another post before too long!
Nick

Friday, 10 October 2008

The Host




Leaving vampires behind, Stephenie Meyer has released a novel that is more Sci fi than fantasy. The Host is described as "blending science fiction and romance." I've included the publishers blurb to suck you all in. If you've read the book please add your comments. I'd love to hear from you!

"Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love."



Check out this clip from YouTube as Stephenie talks about The Host. This clip is from www.amazon.com.


Friday, 3 October 2008

A BOOK ABOUT BOOKS



"Right Book, Right Time: 500 Great Reads For Teenagers" By Agnes Nieuwenhuizen.


A great book, full of must reads recommended by Agnes Niewenhuizen - formerly of the State Library of Victoria and well known in library land.

It's separated into interesting themes, such as 'been and gone', 'extreme and edgy' and 'in praise of pink books' by Lili Wilkinson of 'Inside a Dog' fame and author of 'Scatterheart'.
Each entry not only has a title and author of course, but also reading levels, Y - younger readers, YA - young adult and A - adult, a substantial sized review and a picture of the cover which I think is really useful. There are other extra tidbits as well throughout the book.

Well worth picking up and having a look. It's a must-have guide to what to read next.

:) julie@pakenham.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Dirt Action Review!


Dirt Action is a truly wonderful magazine. The team, headed by Scott Bishop and Stephen Tuff provide the readers with a comical but honest review of motorbikes, parts and accessories. the team also manages to squeeze in updates on recent events and reviews of some of the biggest motorbike meetings in Australia.

Personally I believe Dirt Action to be one of the most informative dirt bike magazines around today. I really like their tech tips because they help me overcome things that are troubling my motorbike. I enjoy coming to the library on my holidays to borrow a stack of their Dirt Action magazines which I will often read more than once.

Well there you have it, a short but sharp review of the magazine Dirt Action. I hope all you dirt bike fans out there pick up one of their magazines... if you can read, but if not still pick one up because it is an awesome picture book with great action photo's and some awesome bikes.

Reviewed By:
Jac Sibrava.
16 and counting...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging' is a fun teenage film which is currently being screened in local cinemas.
The film is based on a series of books written by Louise Renisson.
'Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal-Snogging' and It's OK, I'm wearing really big Knickers' are two popular books within the series that are available from CCLC libraries.
The action is seen through the eyes of Georgia Nicolsen. Georgia lives with her parents, younger sister, and a monstrous half-feral cat called Angus.
She has a close circle of friends. When 'sex-God' Robbie and his brother, Tom, move to Georgia's town, the girls dream up ways in which they can 'accidentally' bump into them.
Eventually, Georgia's best friend Jas starts dating Tom. But Robbie starts going out with Georgia's arch-rival Lindsay.
On top of this, Georgia's Dad has been offered a job in New Zealand and her mother seems to be getting extremely cosy with their new interior decorator.
Can things get better for Georgia?

Ann

Monday, 22 September 2008

More VCE study tips!




VCE is a stressful time. SACS, tests, essays, exams.....and of course more SACS - it can get pretty crazy! I've already gone through VCE so I know how stressful it can be, but the holidays are here so I hope you're having fun and relaxing!

I've added some hopefully helpful hints (some from my own experience) when you get back to studying.

1. Breathe. It may sound pretty obvious but sometimes you really need to take a deep breath. It's really easy to start having a panic attack when you have an assignment that's due next week that you haven't started yet. As well as a test at the end of the week. Oh, and also another SAC for English.

2. Get yourself a calendar! Hang it up on your wall, or in your cupboard, and write down when all your major assignments and exams are due! This way you can never be caught off guard about an assignment or exam. Also include the time of the exam.

3. Find a quiet place to study. Make sure it's also not cluttered. With siblings, this can be a bit hard. I often went to my local library to study.

4. Break things down. Just thinking about a major assignment is scary but if you break it down to little tasks, like "Step 1. highlight key words of essay, Step 2. Brainstorm main points for essay" and work from there then it's a little less scary.

5. Make a timetable. After school I'd always go home and make a timetable of what I needed to work on that night.
Eg. Monday 4.40 - 6.00pm Study the periodic table for chemistry: 6.10 - 7.30pm Practice maths questions. Use the ten minute break in between to destress.

6. Always remember to reward yourself! At the end of the day or week, reward yourself for studying or finishing a project. Like buying a new top, going to see a movie, or even reading a book!

7. Don't be afraid to ask teachers for help! Teachers are there to help you learn and understand, if you're having any troubles, ask a teacher or a friend.

8. Look for past exam papers - your school library should have some. These are extremely helpful!

9. What's your learning style? According to this "Learning Style" quiz created by the University of Melbourne I'm also a visual Learner. Click here to discover what kind of learner you are and how to best study!

10. Always try to keep notes and papers organised. I bought study cards (plain white cardboard cards about the size of a hand) and wrote down all the equations, examples and notes I needed to remember and took them with me everywhere. Whenever I got bored (like traveling on the bus to school) I'd just take them out and read them. I found if I kept doing this over time then I remembered and learned everything I needed to memorise.

11. Try doing some or ANY exercise - even if it means just doing a few sit ups during the ad breaks of The Simpsons.

12. Instead of staying up late to study, go to bed at a regular time and then wake up earlier.

13. Read the newspaper at school or the bulletin board - the newspaper, especially The Age's Education section (Thursdays) is always full of helpful information about study guides, study skill tips and exam tips.

14. I was very stressed with high school at times and I'm sure a lot of you doing VCE now (or going to) are stressed too. Talking to a friend always helps. I found it helped to talk about it with one of my friends, cause i discovered that she was also struggling and you feel better knowing you're not alone!

15. Once again Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg's book "Surviving Year 12" is really helpful - i still even have the notes! If you want more helpful hints on how to deal with surviving year 12 then I'd strongly recommend this book!

Don't worry if you don't do too well first semester, it just means you have to work a little harder next semester. I got 67% on a chemistry exam for my first semester. Even though I was upset by this, all it really meant was that I needed to focus more - and i got 87% at the end of the year!

Even if you don't know what you want to do, just try your best. And more important remember it's not the end of the world if you don't get the enter score you want or the course you want!

I'll be discussing the different ways of how to you what you want in my next post, so keep a lookout! Hope these tips helped, and be sure to add any of your own study tips in your comments!
Rafah

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Low by David Bowie




Low, released in 1977, is an album by David Bowie. It was his eleventh studio album and it's commonly regarded as one of his best. Low is part one in a three part series known as the Berlin trilogy, the other two being Heroes and Lodger, and as good as those two albums are, this one is the best part of the series. Low went in a very different direction from his previous albums, because where previous albums concentrated almost entirely upon different styles of rock, Low was more electronic and ambient. Also, this album doesn't have many vocals, as the entire second half, and some of the first, is taken up by instrumentals.
Low opens with Speed of Life, with is an art rock instrumental. It's a great way to open the album. Next is Breaking Glass, which is the most rocking song on the album. Next is What in the World, which although is probably the weakest song on the album, is also great. That's followed by Sound and Vision, which was one of the singles from this album; it's a great song. Always Crashing the Same Car follows. It's about making the same mistake over and over; it's my favourite vocal tracks from Low. The last vocal track is Be My Wife, which is also great. So now the first half ends with A New Career in a New Town, which is also an art rock instrumental; I'd put it on par with Speed of Life.
For me, the second half is where the album shines most. The first song is Warszawa, a six minute ambient song that's meant to be about the desolation of Warsaw when Bowie went there. The following two songs, Art Decade and Weeping Wall, are also ambient instrumentals. They're excellent. The last track is Subterraneans, which is meant to invoke the misery of those in East Berlin during the Cold War. Towards the middle of this song, some sax comes in (played by Bowie). The sax adds a lot to this song and it's an excellent way to end the album.
This is my favourite Bowie album, with Ziggy Stardust a small step behind. BUY IT!




Christopher


Aged 16 years



similar: Kid A by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and anything ambient.
Best place to listen to it: Anywhere. Best listened to loud with nothing to distract you., though.
rating: Fantastic


(I've ordered all 3 CD's in the trilogy and The Berlin Trilogy DVD, so ask at any CCLC Library to place a reserve!)

Monday, 15 September 2008


The Australian Centre for Youth Literature (ACYL) has released its shortlist for the 2008 Inky Award. This shortlist of 6 books (3 Australian and 3 international) was chosen from a longlist of 10 Australian books and 10 International books selected by the ACYL. The longlist was then read by a panel of six judges, who have wittled down that list to 6 titles. Voting has now commenced via the website http://www.insideadog.com.au/inkys/index.html and via SMS. The winners will be announced on Thursday 6 November. The winning Australian book will receive the Golden Inky and a cash prize, and the International winner will receive the Silver Inky.

VOTING
Young people can vote either by SMS or online at http://www.insideadog.com.au/.
You don’t need to register or ‘join’ in order to vote, but you do need to submit a valid email address.
You can only vote twice – once for the Golden Inky and once for the Silver Inky. Every attempt will be made to prevent multiple votes.
The INKYS are a choice award for teenagers (12-18 year olds)


So here goes...


The Shortlist 2008



Town by James Roy

Everyone has a story.In Town, James Roy turns his hand to the short story, using it to explore the lives of the young residents of an Australian town. Love and loss, grief, humour and passion. Hope and hopelessness. Thirteen linked short stories, spanning a year in the lives of thirteen young people, from a town near you.









Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree, reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight.




A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a castle on the tiny, barren island of Montmaray, along with her little sister Henry, her intellectual cousin Veronica, and her mad uncle, King John. It’s hard to imagine that anything from the outside world could ever intrude into their little kingdom, but it’s 1936 and the world is changing. When two strangers appear on the island, Sophie suddenly has to reassess everything she ever thought she knew, and her simple, uncomplicated life spirals out of control into a nailbiting adventure.



Genesis by Bernard Beckett
It’s 2075. Anaximander is a young Academy student, and she being examined. Her special subject is the life of Adam Forde. Through Anaximander’s answers, we start to learn more about the world we’re in. After a great war, a man named Plato fled to a tiny island and set up The Republic – sealed off from the rest of the world with a fence, mines, and sentry guards, two per tower. The first guard’s job is to shoot any approaching refugees on sight. The second guard is there to shoot the first, should he hesitate to carry out his task. One such guard was Adam Forde.This incredible book is about what it means to be human.



Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Five years ago, Josh's life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town - seems like the world - thinks they understand. But they don't - they can't.
And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there's Rachel, the girl he thought he'd lost years ago. She's back, and she's determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.
Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.
And then there's Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh's past. It's time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.
If only he knew what the truth was.


Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.


Remember to READ and VOTE!!
Cen

Movie Review



My First Wedding

Starring Rachael Leigh Cook

'My First Wedding' is PG-13, about a woman Vanessa (Rachael Leigh Cook) who is engaged, but as her wedding day approaches everytime she sees a man she gets attracted to them... she goes to the church and confesses to who she thinks is a priest (who is actually just a carpenter).... the carpenter quickly becomes attracted to this young woman and continues to pretend that he is a priest hoping to have a meaningful relationship with her... he tries to stop the wedding thinking that Vanessa would fall for him... what do you think would happen next??


If you want to know a little bit about me then here it is... my name is Rachel and I am doing work experience here in Hampton Park Library... well mainly my hobbies are singing, reading and hanging out with friends... my favourite subject in school would probably be maths though because i am quite good at it LOL anyway thats all really...

bye,

Rachel
age: 15 years

Similar movie to She's all That and License to Wed
Rating: Fantastic

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Need Help with VCE?


Are you in year 11 or 12 and struggling with SACS and assignments? Freaking out about exams? Stressing about getting a good enter score? Year 11 and 12 are two of the hardest years of high school (okay, so year 7 is pretty scary) but we've got lots of stuff to help you survive it!

One of the best books that helped me get through year 12 (and stay sane!) was Michael Carr-Gregg's Surviving Year 12 - a sanity kit for students and their parents - it's got lots of info and tips on how to deal with stress, how to organise and prepare for exams and study effectively.

We've also got heaps of study guides and checkpoint books for different subjects including Legal Studies, Maths Methods, Chemistry, Economics, Health and Human Development, Business Management, Psychology, History and LOTS more!!
Just click here for the list of all the checkpoints: Checkpoints

If you need some more help with other subjects, these are some good sites to visit.
Sparknotes - this site is great if you're looking for summary notes, character and theme analysis for english.
Cliffnotes - this site has lots of study guides on pretty much every subject including chemistry, accounting, maths and psychology.
VCE Help - this site is all about dealing with VCE and it's got great tips for students, with plenty of information on what to do and what not to do!

I've also got a list of some other books to help you. We have all of these books available in our catalogue - and if they're not on shelf then you can just place them on reserve!
- How to pass exams
- How to study and learn: your practical guide to effective study skills
- Essay Writing for English Tests
- Stressed Out

You can also get help from an online tutor that's available through our website at http://www.cclc.vic.gov.au/
The online tutor allows to chat with a tutor about any homework troubles you have! But remember this service is only available Mondays to Fridays between 4pm - 8pm.

So you see, there's plenty of resources to help you out and I hope I've helped a little!
Best of luck!
Rafah

Monday, 1 September 2008

Meet Nick!


Hey guys, Nick here! I am one of the many contributors to this awesome blog we've got going here, and everything that we do is for you guys, the young guns of Casey and Cardinia.
Now a little bit about me, I'm not that exciting so this won't take too long :P

For starters, I've worked for the library for about 4 years now, I started as a shelver at good ol' Endeavour Hills Library. I knew I wanted to keep working for the library so I applied to be a J-LO, yes that's right....(Junior Library Officer), and for the past 18 months or so I've been checking out your books and finding your holds and helping you with school projects, AND LOVING IT!! I'm also on a committee now that is investigating some snazzy new signs for our libraries so that everything is as user friendly as can be.

I love working at the library because it means I get to interact with a huge range of people; all ages, all nationalities, all types of young people (goths, emos, muzzas, bookworms, high school drama queens and alike) LOL. I also get to see all of our newest books, music, and movies as they come in, so as you can imagine, i'm pretty lucky :P

As for me, I love cars and I love music (Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, AFI, Placebo - the list goes on), and I love reading and drawing portraits! I'm currently looking forward to seeing the Butterfly Effect play at the Hallam Pub in October, can't wait mate!

Friday, 29 August 2008

James Moloney

We were lucky enough to host the author James Moloney at our Endeavour Hills and Narre Warren Libraries during Book Week. James spoke to over 100 secondary students about his books and the writing process. Pictured is Kate, a huge fan of James' book The Book of Lies and his latest release Kill the Possum.

Cen

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Meet Julie @ Pakenham Library




Hi, my name is Julie and I work at the Pakenham Library. I'm a single mum with 2 teenagers in high school so our house is always buzzing with people. I've worked for the library for ages and in that time I have mainly worked with children who come to storytime, class visits, book clubs and holiday programs.


The hardest question that I have been asked as a librarian is "Who is your favourite author or favourite book?" I read heaps of stuff - both kids, teens and adult books and it all depends what I have just read! With that said I am partial to a good murder/mystery, most titles by Sonya Hartnett and anything illustrated by Bruce Whatley or Craig Smith.

I love my peace and quiet so it's great when my kids go to their mates and I'm left at home with my two pug dogs to read, garden and watch DVD's alone.
:)julie@pakenham

 
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