Youth Picks – August 2019

Each month, librarians will bring you a choice selection of stuff for Christchurch youth -  books, events, exhibitions, and more.



Re-Draft is a nationally acclaimed collection of teenagers' writing, published each year by Clerestory Press. Any New Zealand teenager can enter their work using the form found in the back of the current edition of Re-Draft. Entries can be any creative writing genre and will be judged by award winning New Zealand writers. Read the guidelines.

Service Stations and Other Liminal Spaces contains 101 pieces of surprising, quirky writing (including our first Graphic Fiction) by 70 of NZ’s top teenage writers. It also contains the entry form for this year’s competition.

Entries are open until 1 September 2019. Find out more: Re-Draft.

Metro Poems on buses

Feeling like Shakespeare? How about writing a sonnet?
Poems on Buses is back again, with great prizes up for grabs!

Open sections: Adult & Te Reo Māori
High School sections: Years 9-10 & Years 11-13
Primary School sections: Years 0-6 & Years 7-8

The competition will be live at Thursday 1 August 2019.

Tearaway Mavericks

Do you have dreams of working in print or digital media? Do you take awesome photos, or write a hilarious blog? ...

Posted by Tearaway Magazine on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

So you want to be a TEARAWAY Maverick? Mavericks, opens a new window are getting a head-start in the media industry by creating their own magazine, learning and honing skills as they go. Mavericks are involved in all areas of TEARAWAY, from creating the content and designing the look of the site, to uploading, marketing and social media. The team has regular brainstorming sessions within a supportive online environment and are encouraged to pitch ideas at any time. Find out more about being a Tearaway Maverick.

Paint n’ Pen – Let Christchurch street art inspire you to write

Celebrate Christchurch’s rich street art scene by writing a poem, some lyrics or a short story inspired by it. The Commuting Book presents Paint n’ Pen, a creative writing programme open to all ages, to residents and visitors from New Zealand and overseas. Submit your work as an individual or as a family group and in your own language. All submissions will be reviewed by a multi-lingual panel and they will select the works that fit the criteria and show skill. The selected pieces will be part of the Commuting Book Scan & Read projects, they'll be published in the Stories catalogue and the best ones will have the chance to be featured on the Watch This Space map, the Augmented Reality street art app Plain Sight and in the summer exhibitions at Tūranga and New Brighton Libraries.


  • Explore and discover Christchurch’s street art with family and friends or by yourself by creating your own itinerary using the interactive Watch This Space map and the upcoming Plain Sight app or book a guided tour and have an expert tell you everything about it.
  • Once you find an inspiring mural, note down the exact location and take a picture of you in front of it (you will need to send this picture when submitting your work) and start writing!
  • You can also sign up for Creative Writing Workshops to be held at Tūranga and New Brighton Library. They are free but bookings are essential. Phone 9417923 to book a spot:
    • Sunday 4 August 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga
    • Sunday 1 September 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūranga
    • Sunday 15 September 12.30pm to 3.30pm at New Brighton Library
    • Sunday 13 October 12.30pm to 3.30pm at Tūrangaopens a new window
    • Sunday 20 October 12.30pm to 3.30pm at New Brighton Library
  • Submit your work when ready. Submissions open on 1 July 2019 and close 28 February 2020. Find out more about Paint n' Pen.

Fantastic Feasts Poetry Competition - Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities (Monday 12 August to Friday 27 September)

The Teece Museum invites young writers to take part in our biennial poetry competition. We are looking for creative and interesting poems written in response to our current exhibition Fantastic Feasts, or in response to an object from our collection. Poems will be accepted by authors in two age groups: age 11-14, and age 15-18 years. There will be prizes for the best entries in each age group, and the winning poems will be published on the Teece Museum website.

How to enter:
Entries open 9am 12 August 2019 and close 5pm 27 September 2019. Winners will be announced 14 October 2019. Find out more.


CYC Amazing Race - Sunday 4 August

The Christchurch Youth Council (CYC) are holding a fun amazing race event around central Christchurch on Sunday 4th August. This event is open to all young and old, get your friends together and enter a team! The event will start and finish at the Youth Space 122 Lichfield St (Corner of Manchester St and Lichfield St), and your team will have three hours to collect as many checkpoints as you can. Checkpoints will be scattered around the central city, some requiring you to answer a question, take or photo and there will be a few special mystery challenge checkpoints with an activity for you to complete for bonus points. Find out more about the CYC Amazing Race.

Christchurch Arts Festival - Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August

The biennial Christchurch Arts Festival brings a mix of performances to Ōtautahi. The 2019 Christchurch Arts Festival runs from Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August.

Nebula 2019 - Emerging Canterbury artists (Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August)

This collection of evocative paintings and sculptures from emerging Canterbury artists is the 7th group exhibition since the series inception in 2012. 26 and 27 July: 12pm to 9pm, 28 July to 4 August: 12pm to 7pm above the Permit Room, 110 Armagh Street.  Find out more about Nebula.

Manaaki: Ngāi Tahu Art exhibition - Matapopore (Thursday 1 August, Friday 2 August, and Saturday 3 August)

Matapopore Charitable Trust partners with The Christchurch Arts Festival to present karanga, waiata, kapa haka, art, kai, storytelling and rongoā to showcase the cultural narratives and values Matapopore has been working to embed within the rebuild of our city. This exhibition will feature artworks of 10 Ngāi Tahu artists who have been involved with Christchurch rebuild projects since 2013. Situated in the rear of the Town Hall foyer, the artworks will include raranga, jewellery, paintings, carving, prints and sculpture. Find out more about Manaaki: Ngāi Tahu art exhibition.

Visit our page about the Christchurch Arts Festival.

Winter Wanders - pop-up arts festival - Saturday 3 to Sunday 11 August

Glitterbox Pursuits is proud to present a pop-up arts festival in the Central City, with the support of the Christchurch City Council and Christchurch Central Business Association. A variety of shops in and around Cashel Mall will be hosting art works, installations and more! Vacant spaces will come to life with temporary art installations, artworks in shops and a series of lunchtime sketch clubs – there’ll be plenty for you to feast your eyes on. Find out more.

If you’ve been wandering the city this weekend you might have seen some fun new things! This gorgeous installation by...

Posted by Glitterbox Pursuits on Saturday, July 27, 2019

New Zealand International Film Festival (Thursday 8 August to Sunday 25 August)

Tearaway mag for NZ youth has picked ten faves at the upcoming NZ International Film Festival.

Fiksate Studio and Gallery

Lucy McLauchlan - There are Voices to be Heard (on until Saturday 3 August)

Fiksate is excited to showcase works from UK street artist Lucy McLauchlan, in a solo show titled, THERE ARE VOICES TO BE HEARD. Find out more.

Chimp - Aliases - Opening 5:30pm Friday 9 August (on until Saturday 7 September)

Fiksate proudly presents ALIASES, a solo show by Wellington based urban artist CHIMP. Find out more.

TedX Youth @ Christchurch - Saturday 24 August 1pm to 6pm

TEDxYouth@Christchurch is on Saturday 24 August. This event is specifically produced for youth, by youth. If you'll be 25 or younger on 24 August, grab your ticket and get ready to be inspired, intrigued, and challenged by the stunning speaker lineup the team has carefully curated over the past year. It's brought to you by the same team who brought you TEDxYouth@AvonRiver event last year, and features a half-day event at the James Hay Theatre. Get tickets.

The event is also being livestreamed at Tūranga.

View this post on Instagram
, opens a new window

“My tūrangawaewae is Market Square” - Joseph What is your tūrangawaewae? What is your place of belonging? Tell us your tūrangawaewae and be in to win 2 tickets to either event! Here’s how to enter: ? Follow @tedxchristchurch and @tedxyouthchristchurch accounts, then: 1. Share a picture of your place of belonging (even better if you’re actually IN the photo ?) and tell us why it’s your tūrangawaewae! 2. Make sure you tag your photo with #tedxchch so we can find it and count your entry! ? 3. For an extra entry, head over to our Facebook page and comment on the contest post there with the same photo Entries close at 5pm on Sunday 11 August and winners will be announced on Monday, 12 August. ALREADY HAVE A TICKET? No problem! You can still enter. If you win the draw, we’ll refund your ticket(s) ? Secure your seat now—don’t wait! (ticket link in bio) #tedxchch [each participant agrees to a complete release of Instagram and acknowledges that this giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Instagram], opens a new window

A post shared by TEDxYouth@Christchurch, opens a new window (@tedxyouthchristchurch) on


Things a bright girl can do by Sally Nicholls (Ky's pick)

Here in New Zealand, women got the vote in 1893, so we’re used to women being ‘more equal’ here than they were in other parts of the world. Things a bright girl can do by Sally Nicholls, is set in England before and during World War I, when British women (and some men) still couldn’t vote! It’s a story about the types of characters who might have been involved in fighting for the vote, or in fighting against the Germans during the war. It’s a good story, and I learnt quite a bit that I didn’t know before about this part of history. And, for bonus points, there’s some LGBTQI* representation in the story. I’d give it a good, solid 4 out of 5.

Things A Bright Girl Can Do

The eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder

CoverClaire reports on The Eyes Of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder:

What it's about:

The sun is a scourge, killing when at its peak. People live underground in the city of Zirdai. The lower the level, the more power you have. Shyla lives as an archaeologist on level three, what some consider uninhabitable. She is sun-kissed, and would have been left to the mercy of the sun the day she was born, had she not been taken in by the monks that live outside the city. But Shyla can’t, no, won’t become a monk. She has something to prove.

What I thought:

I gasped, I laughed, I cried, and I cringed in misery at what was happening to Shyla, another plucky protagonist who inadvertently has to save the world while valiantly trying to keep her friends alive. She’s smart, she’s resourceful, and she’s focussed, and earnt my seal of approval within the first couple of pages. 

Read more.

New book by Malorie Blackman!

Book number 5 in the Noughts and crosses series is published this month.


After school stuff at libraries

VR Gaming

Experience Virtual Reality with the latest Sony PS4 VR games, including Gran Turismo, Battle Zone and Eagle Flight. Free, but bookings may be required on the day. Ages 12 years plus.

Tūranga Wāhi Rangatahi / Youth Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Thursdays 4pm to 6pm.
See the listings in our events calendar.

YA Creative Time

Get creative with the awesome new equipment on Auahatanga, the fourth floor of the new library. Fridays are your time to drop in and use a variety of technologies for making your ideas a reality, including sewing machines, 3D printers, craft and vinyl cutters, design software, and electronics. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm, imagination, and a desire to be creative. Specialist staff will be on hand if you need help. This is your chance to hang out with other creative youth, learn from and support each other, and make really cool stuff. Ages 13 plus.

Tūranga Taupuni Waihanga / Production Studio, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4, Fridays 4pm to 6pm (not available in the school holidays from 6 to 21 July 2019)
See the listings in our events calendar.

YA Studio Time

The new library has a new audio and video studio! And every Friday is open time for teens to come in and play around. No experience necessary, just enthusiasm. This is your opportunity to hang out in the studio, ask our specialist staff questions and meet like-minded new friends. Ages 13 plus.

Tūranga Taupuni Oro/Ataata / Audio/Video Studio, Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4, Fridays 4 to 6pm
See the listings in our events calendar.

TV and movies

Ann B's Netflix picks

Sex Education (for ages 16 plus)

The series centres around socially awkward teenager Otis Milburn who lives with his sex therapist mother played brilliantly by Gillian Anderson.  His best friend has his own problems, trying to find ways to come out to his conservative Nigerian family. When his classmates find out about his mother’s career he teems up with school bad girl and social outcast Maeve Wiley to run an underground clinic, charging for advice. At times laugh out loud funny and also tug on the heart strings sad.
Highly recommend this series. Season 2 is coming soon

Atypical (for ages 13 plus)

Another coming of age series on Netflix, this time centred around Sam, an 18 year old boy on the autism spectrum looking for love. In order to start dating he must learn to become more independent, which sends his mother on her own life changing path, she and the rest of Sam’s family including a feisty sister and his father looking to understand and bond with his son.

A heartfelt comedy written with humour and sensitivity.

My last pick is the dark and moody Danish dystopian series The Rain (for ages 13 plus)

The world has come to and end due to a rain carried virus killing nearly everybody in Scandinavia. The series follows Danish brother and sister, Simone and Rasmus who have been safe in a bunker for the last 6 years, put there by their scientist parents. They join up with other survivors, seeking a safe place, hoping to find the rumoured scientists working on a cure.

Bonus: Pickle Darling's new video for Bicycle Weather, filmed at Space Academy!


We can help your find your next great read.

  • Hot off the shelf: explore the latest titles for teens.
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  • Our blog: Teens News and reviews of young adult literature from library staff.
  • Teen booklists We've compiled lists of great books and resources on a bunch of different themes and topics including some aimed at NCEA reading.