Teen Review: Unbreakable

September 19, 2014 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

This review is from Jonathan R., from the YAG at Northern District branch.

Unbreakable, by Kami Garcia

UnbreakableProtagonist Kennedy Waters seems to be living a normal life, when suddenly her life is turned upside down by ghosts. She embarks on a journey to discover the legacy her family left behind, and to save the world from powerful demons and ghosts. The story is set in a world that is familiar to us all, the modern world. It is fairly simple, but what is interesting about it is that it takes very ordinary things and gives them a unique spin and instills a fear of ghosts into the reader. Things like salt, water and anything made of iron are turned into valued and important items. The story is packed with emotion, humour and action and is easy to follow, making it the backbone for all the other elements.

The characters are a big part of the novel. There is romance, suffering, joy and so much emotion felt by the characters that is then passed on to the reader. One critique I could give is that I felt there was not enough character development, partially due to how fast paced the story was. The plot moved along at a fast pace (which I felt was to the novel’s detriment, but that’s just preference), the characters were given little character development and the romance felt a bit forced.

Overall, the novel was a good and fun read. It was imaginative, action-packed and keeps the reader engaged.

Also available as an ebook.

Friday's Faves: Islands of Decolonial Love

September 19, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Decolonialloce
It's the best, most moving, poetry-ish story collection I've read all year. This collection of poetic short stories in Islands of Decolonial Love is searing, earnest, and moving. The author, Leanne Simpson, has an incredible ear for rhythm and sound - and multiplicitous meaning.  Her stories delve into experiences of racism and colonialism, many of which are subtle and woven from this country's histories into everyday realities.  The past is present.  Her poetic stories also touch on tender, familial relationships, too.

I absolutely am going to buy a copy for myself - it's one of those books you borrow from the library and then realize that you'll reread it many times in years to come.  

What's pretty cool too is that recordings of the author reading her own stories with backup music are available on the publisher's website.  So you can follow the poetic stories with the author's own voice.  And have a much richer experience. Cool. 

Throwback Thursdays: Grunge Fashion

September 18, 2014 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

This week's Music Monday had me reminiscing about the 1990s, but when I passed the window of Urban Outiftters just now, I thought maybe I was having full-on flashbacks because it looked like it WAS the 90s!

Yeah, I hear you going, "Whut?!" and telling me it's totally different and brand new. But here's the thing - fashion cycles back on itself all the time. Not directly, but in taking pieces and reinterpreting them a bit differently, updating them for a new era, but keeping the essentials. Not convinced? Okay. Let's take a walk down the 90s block of memory lane...

Flannel plaid via flickrPlaid shirts: I saw 5 girls on the subway last week, each with a different plaid shirt tied around her waist, each with artfully ripped jeans and some form of combat boots. HELLO, GRUNGE. 

Stompy Boots: More like engineer boots or motorcycle boots than combat boots this time around, but stompy boots with everything are on sale everywhere, including your local Gap. Pairing them with overalls, short cutoffs, and dresses puts them square into 90s retread territory.

Tattoo chokerTattoo Chokers: saw one of these recently at a mall accessories store and wow, I'd nearly forgotten about how popular these were, and now they are back!

Overall Shorts/Skirts/Anything: This summer, UO had overall bibs attached to skirts, as well as overall shorts, which I saw on several teens around midtown. The fit is a little different now, way less baggy than they were way back when, but still, overall shorts. For a 90s vibe, you'd want to pair them with a stripey baby T and big baubles in your hair to get that kindergarten chic that was big.

Courtney's tweet

 

Floral Dresses: Droopy rayon floral dresses were everywhere, though at that point, preferably with some combat boots. Also lace dresses, as long as they were short and baby-dollish. This was Courtney Love's look, if you mess your hair up a little.

As the lady said herself, the look was back at fashion week last year, and now it's in the windows... (See that tweet? heh.)

 

 

Aaaand since every walk down memory land needs a soundtrack? Try this Best of the 90s playlist from VH1. Featuring, of course, this perfect little capsule of grunge:

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Civic Engagement Fair: Turnout Toronto at Fairview

September 17, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 

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“Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

You've got ideas on what needs to change. Be part of making it happen.

Turnout Toronto is a civic engagement fair where a variety of local advocacy and civically engaged groups come out and represent their organization. The purpose is to educate the public on opportunities to get involved in their city. Please stop by and learn how you can make a difference in the city. This program is in partnership with the Centre for Social Innovation. Please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/554260458019498/ or Turnout Toronto Fairview.

 

Tuesday September 30th

4:00-7:00pm

Fairview Public Library

35 Fairview Mall Drive (Behind Don Mills subway station)

 

Check out the event flyer for more details

 

What's On Wednesdays

September 17, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

What's On Wednesdays highlights upcoming Toronto Public Library events for teens

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Highlights include:

Award-winning werewolves and supernatural author Kat Kruger

  • Thurday, September 18th
  • 7:00pm
  •  Spadina Road Branch

 

Learn to write creative non-fiction

  • Friday Sept. 19
  • 6:30-8pm
  • Maria A Shchuka

 

Teen Fibre Arts Club

  • Saturday Sept 20th
  • 1pm
  • Thorncliffe

 

Decked out! Learn how to design and ride a skateboard

  • Ongoing, starts Tuesday September 23 4-7pm
  • To register, follow link above
  • 9am-2pm
  • Maria A Shchuka

 

Your Bookmark Here: Love Letters to the Dead

September 16, 2014 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Love letters tot he deadI rarely enjoy books written in verse or letters or emails rather than just a straightforward narrative. They tend to feel less organic to me, like it's a sort of fake, gimmicky device that loses its charm for me before the story is done. So when I recommend something that is written that way? It's managed to keep me as a reader despite this structure, and that's some good, compelling writing, right there.

Ava Dellaira's debut novel, Love Letters To The Dead, is this way. Laurel is asked by the English teacher in her new school to write a letter to a dead person. She does start this, but once she starts, she just keeps going, filling a whole notebook over the school year as she finds her way through grieving for her sister, moving into a new school, learning to forgive herself and her family, and mostly, letting people in and talking about what's going on with her. Along the way, she finds friends, meets, loses, and maybe regains a boyfriend, and learns to see the adults in her life differently. It's a year of growing up in every way, and she talks a lot about learning who she is as she has to find her own path now, without her sister to idolize and follow.

It's heart-wrenching in some places, entirely relateable in others, and full of lovely little turns of phrase that had me dog-earing pages so I could go back and find them, something I rarely do unless a line really strikes me. Can I just tell you this book is practically mangled now from this? And as much as this book contains some difficult topics, Laurel's slow process of facing them makes it easier, and the sheer beauty of the writing make it an amazing read, one I quoted at people for the whole time I was reading, and I can't help but leave one little bit here for you with an image about change and growth that I really liked:

We didn't kiss or anything else. We just lay together like that, breathing. I felt something between us shifting, like the hidden plates of the earth. You think you know someone, but that person always changes, and you keep changing, too. I understood it suddenly, how that's what being alive means. Our own invisible plates shifting inside our bodies, beginning to align into the people we are going to become.

 

Decked Out! FREE Skateboard and Free Lessons @ Maria A. Shchuka

September 16, 2014 | iLibrary | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

DeckedOutEgOak copy

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 (6) 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? 

Littlefish_cover_highres_272
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? 

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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.

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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 gnettlefold@torontopubliclibrary.ca 

Young Voices Writers Conference Information My Curved Border

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