Music Monday: The Replacements

September 15, 2014 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Older hipsters everywhere nearly swallowed their beards last week when Jimmy Fallon hosted The Replacements playing on The Tonight Show. Why the collective squeeing and staying up late?

Well, The Replacements were one of those bands, back in the day. One of the bands that was well-known enough to get signed to a bigger label, but never really explode, so people heard about them, but could feel like they were still underground, still theirs, even though big alterna it-girls like Winona Ryder were talking about them in magazine interviews. The fact that she liked alternative music only made it that much cooler, in fact.

Their sound morphed over the years, too, going from sloppy garage punk to something a bit closer to mainstream, bringing in other influences that mellowed them out a bit and made them easier to adopt more widely, while still keeping their punk roots. By the time of their last album, the one I pretty much wore out, they sounded a lot like they did on Fallon the other night. Want to know what this sounded like? Check out their appearance, and below that, their final album, All Shook Down.



Kat Kruger @ Spadina Road branch! The Night Has Teeth reviewed

September 13, 2014 | Amy | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Night Has TeethAward-winning author Kat Kruger will be visiting Spadina Road branch this Thursday, September 18th at 7pm! She’ll be talking about her Magdeburg Trilogy, published by Fierce Ink Press, and reading from the final novel: The Night is Found.

The Magdeburg Trilogy begins with The Night Has Teeth, set in Paris and full of werewolves…

Connor Lewis has been a loner and an outcast since he bit a fellow student when he was in kindergarten. Now he’s 17, and he’s trying to remake his life and find himself by spending a year in Paris as an international student. There, he finally makes some friends – Madison and Josh – but his plan to fix his life doesn’t go as well as he hoped. You see, there’s a 400-year-old, genocidal, mad-scientist werewolf out for his blood. Well, for his genes. Because there’s something lurking in Connor’s DNA that’s going to change his life, maybe even the world, forever…


Continue reading "Kat Kruger @ Spadina Road branch! The Night Has Teeth reviewed" »

Awkward Times Writing Contest

September 10, 2014 | Ray | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Are you in high school, feeling both excited and scared for life afterwards? Or perhaps you're recently graduated or are in middle school, imagining what lies beyond high school? 

It's both scary and exciting. Ramsey Beyer's graphic novel, Little Fish, describes all the awkward moments of leaving old friends behind, weird attempts to make new friends, moving to a big city from a small town, and realizing what the heck she's doing at art school. Does she even belong in art school? And why is it all so confusing?

It's a great read!  You can win a hardcover copy with your own original kick-butt writing below.

Here's the contest:

In less that 400 words, in a short story, include experiences (can be from the point-of-view of a fictional person) that deal with socially awkward moments or being in a new place and learning how to adapt and/or growing up.


These questions could help you think of what to write:

Is there something about high school and life after high school that is both terrifying and exciting? What do you imagine life after high school would be like? How would you change? 


Contest details.

1. Your writing must be your own. Yes, we also know how to use google. No plagarism. Entries with plagarism will be disqualified.

2. In order to qualify to win this contest, you have to live in the city of Toronto.

3. You have to provide a valid email address - otherwise we can't contact you to let you know you've won the contest! We promise to keep your email confidential - for more information about this, see the privacy statement below.

4. Only one writing entry per person. Period.

5. You have to have submitted your entry by Wednesday, September 17th 24th at 11:59 PM.



The boring legal stuff:

Your name, your e-mail address, the books you read and your thoughts about them are your personal information. Why do we need your personal information here?  Well, we want to publish your reviews, and we need your name and e-mail address to help administer the contest.  The Public Libraries Act is the law that lets us do this.  We'll be protecting your privacy every step of the way, but if you have any questions about how we're going to do that, you can contact TPL's Privacy & Records Management Officer, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4W 2G8, 416-395-5658 or by e-mail at 

A fantastic book with comedy and awesomeness! SIDEKICKS reviewed

September 5, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover sidekicks by dan santatSidekicks by Dan Santat

Reviewed by Ashanth, age 13

This book is about Captain Amazing, a hero in Metro City and he has three pets: a dog, a cat, and a hamster and he just got a new pet which is a lizard. Captain Amazing is always fighting crime and is too busy to be with his pets. He doesn't notice the pets start to develop powers of their own except for Shifty the lizard, or Fluffy the hamster. And Fluffy decides to be a superhero and Shifty follows him through the city after Captain Amazing starts an audition for a sidekick. But Fluffy gets in trouble and is saved by Static Cat who used to be Captain Amazing's sidekick and went somewhere else. The dog, named Metal Mutt, decides to be a superhero as well. When they go to the auditions, all the superheroes were there but when one of the superheroes gets chosen to be his sidekick he turns out to be evil and starts to drain all of Captain Amazing's powers when he shakes his hands with a belt he had stolen. After breaking out of prison a few days ago leaving him powerless. And nobody had any more powers except for the pets and when the pets tried to save Captain Amazing, they couldn't because the villain had all of the superpowers and was nearly invincible. But there was one thing that Captain Amazing was scared of, but what? What was the thing that can destroy the most powerful superhero? You're going to have to read this fantastic book with comedy and awesomeness to find out.

Friends of the Merril Collection Annual Flea Market - Saturday, September 13, 10am-4pm

September 5, 2014 | Amy | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Avengers cosplayers
The Avengers salute summer goodbye. Photo by author.


Summer's over, and so are most of the Toronto fan conventions.

Unplugged Expo: Weekend of Awesome III, a gaming convention, is still to come-- it runs from September 27th-28th, 2014 in downtown Toronto-- but what else is there for those of us into gaming, manga, anime, and cosplay?


Continue reading "Friends of the Merril Collection Annual Flea Market - Saturday, September 13, 10am-4pm" »

Your Bookmark Here: Mortal Danger

September 3, 2014 | Margaret | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Mortal danger
Revenge is sweet, or so Edie Kramer thinks when she sets out on her quest to make her popular school mates at posh Blakbriar Academy pay for humiliating her.  Their cruel actions drive Edie to the brink of suicide, then a chance encounter with the mysterious Kian and a Faustian pact will change Edie's world forever.  Edie is transformed, in body and personality, but is her new life all it's cracked up to be?  Can Edie handle her newfound status and her growing attraction to Kian?  When the popular kids at Blackbriar start to get sick and die, Edie starts to understand that there is more at stake than just her plans for revenge, and she and Kian are both in... mortal danger.  This fast paced, super-natural thriller is the first book in the planned series Immortal Game by Ann Aguirre. 

Register for Young Voices Conference

September 2, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


More details will be released soon, but register now for Young Voices Conference and secure your spot.  

The conference is Saturday, October 25th at Toronto Reference Library. This year's line up will include keynote speaker Mike Yerxa and e-writer in residence (rad author) Emily Pohl-Weary.

More info to come soon!

Get some Cash to Help Change your Community

August 27, 2014 | Library Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Calling all youth! Want to make a change in your community?  Youth serving organizations have an opportunity to apply for up to $5000 to support health promotion projects through Toronto Public Health's Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative.

For more information and to start the application process, visit :

The Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative Application

Deadline to apply is Monday September 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm


(application link : )

Tearjerkers: Book to Big Screen

August 25, 2014 | Ashley | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars. Tardy to the party, I know. But, better late than never.
I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. I hate reading books when I have already seen the film. In my opinion, it robs you of the opportunity to create your own ideas of the characters and places in your mind because you just end up envisioning the movie versions.
The Fault in our Sta
I wanted to create my own Augustus and Hazel before Hollywood did it for me, and that I did.
I got lost in the novel and finished it in two sittings. I am now officially emotionally spent and all cried out. This book does not pair well with mascara. However, I loved it. While it definitely made me a bit sad, it also evoked empathy, appreciation, beauty and joy. I think that John Green is such a gifted writer. Not a word was wasted in this book, such a simple but powerful story.
The Atlantic said of The Fault in Our Stars, " This is a book that breaks your heart- not by wearing it down, but by making it bigger and bigger until it bursts."
Is this the appeal of these sorts of stories? They may make you cry, but your heart swells up in the process. Anyone who has ever read a Nicholas Sparks book, or seen a film based on one can attest to that. I challenge you to try and make it through The Notebook without shedding a tear.
Sometimes a good cry is therapeutic, and a good tearjerker story is just the ticket. Hollywood knows this, and has turned it's attention to some truly sob inducing stories.
If I Stay by: Gayle Forman
If I Stay                                                                                
A Walk to Remember by : Nicholas Sparks ( movie is also available )
A Walk to Remember
  My Sissters Keeper
Romeo and Juliet by : William Shakespeare (movie is also available)
  Romeo and Juliet
Tues with morrie
Share YOUR favourite tearjerker book or movie in the comments below.
Although they may be sentimental, nostalgic, romantic, tragic or even corny, these stories are here to stay. So, pick your poison- book or box office, then grab a box of tissues and enjoy!

Classics of Teen Urban Fiction

August 18, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Did you know that urban fiction is not just for adults? There are a whole ton of them featuring teen and young adult characters geared towards the issues that inner-city teens face.

Did you know that it is also not limited to pulp romances geared towards women? There is science fiction urban fiction, fantasy urban fiction, mystery urban fiction, the list goes on.

Did you also know that it is not new? It started to appear as a genre back in the late 80s/early 90s. Additionally, many earlier classics fall under the umbrella, such as The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. They too are set in a city, examine harsh socio-economic realities, and focus on the underside of city living. You could even say they started the genre.

Did you also know that multiple ethnicities and cultures are represented? Writers of the genre are primarily African-American, but there are also Canadians, Caribbeans, Hispanic peoples, South Asians, Caucasians, and Asians to name a few.

After much talking to teen readers I know, researching on my own, and consulting fellow staff (Cherine at Weston and Soheli at Cedarbrae) who are knowledgeable on the topic I’ve come up with a comphrensive (but by no means exhaustive) list of some classics of the genre below.

Here they are, in no particular order:Street love

When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers

Keysha’s Drama by Earl Sewell

      also available in eBook version

Boy vs. Girl by Na'íma bint Robert

Yummy by Greg NeriBoy vs girl

Tap Out by Eric Devine

      also available in eBook version

Teenage Love Affair by Ni-Ni Simone

Bad Boy by Dream Jordan

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

Playground by 50 Cent

     also available in eBook versionRikers High

Rikers High by Paul Volponi

     also available in eBook version

Sleep On, Beloved by Cecil Foster

Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper

     also available in audiobook version

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

     also available in eBook and eAudiobook versions

Bad boyMy Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

     also available in eBook version

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

     also available in eAudiobook version

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

     also available in Audiobook version

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

     also available in eBook and eAudiobook versions

Split Ends by Jacquelin ThomasRomiette and Julio

The Harem by Safia Fazlul 

Young Voices Writers Conference Information My Curved Border

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