Free music, movies, magazines and more -- find out what you're missing!

March 2, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ever wonder how other teens in Toronto feel about the library and its services?

Hi we are Alex and Theresa, the Teen Advisors to the Toronto Public Library Board, and we want to tell you about the results of a survey we conducted last May asking teens across the city what they knew about library resources, and what new resources and services they wanted to see. Some of the results were pretty surprising: for instance, many of the teens surveyed did not know that they can access databases with all the information they need for school project or download free music and movies from Hoopla.


The survey highlights were presented to the Toronto Public Library Board at their September 2014 meeting.

So we started thinking –- Hey, if teens don’t know what the library has to offer, they don’t know what they are missing! Great stuff like: more database resources than you can get at school, downloadable movies and music, ebooks, and a diversity of reading temptations.  

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re in the 36% of teens surveyed who know about the TPL Teens blog.

Think you know everything about the Toronto Public Library?

Take a look around the entire website. Tell us if you find something new, something useful or just something fun. Take advantage of all the services the Toronto Public Library has to offer for you!

Like what you see here?

Help us spread the word about this great site, tell your friends! Connect with TPL teens:

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Music Video Mondays - Kathleen Hanna

March 2, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Kathleen Hanna is awesome, pure and simple. She has been on the feminist punk rock movement called the "Riot Grrrl" scene for years and has been a part of some pretty political and sophisticated punk bands such as Bikini Kill and Riot Girls. She also created a new musical genre by mixing punk rock with electronica. Such as with the band Le Tigre.


She also is part of another band called The Julie Ruin where it is a bit more rock and roll, but still quite political and feminist.


And our final Kathleen Hanna video is also from Le Tigre and the song Hot Topic where they discuss all their influences.


Five Frames From . . . February 28th edition

February 28, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie are these images from?






Young Voices is old!

February 28, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Young Voices Cover from December 1965Young Voices magazine turns 50 this year!!

The first issue came out in December of 1965 and was introduced by a note "From the Editor to the Contributors" that began:

"Young Voices" is a young people's magazine published by North York Public Library. All contributions are by students of high school or junior high school age... Over 60 contributions were received, some of outstanding quality, but all of great interest or originality.

Young Voices has grown over the years -- for the 2014 issue of the magazine we received over 650 submissions -- but the goal of the magazine remains the same: to publish great writing and visual art created by teens living in Toronto.

Jack Burman, who was 16 years old in 1965 and attended Downsview Secondary School, had his story "The Funeral" published in the first issue of Young Voices.

Jack went on to become a professional photographer, who, according to the CBC in their review of Jack's book The Dead, "brings to his photographs a strong literary sensibility."

Jack was kind enough to provide TPL teens with one of his photos, which he describes as "a kind of shaman's mask from a 19th century Kongo-region tribe. The idea of the mask -- in particular the mirrored/coated eyes -- was to enable vision into the next world, the world of the Ancestors and Spirits/Gods." Adds Jack, in reference to his Young Voices story, "I haven't managed to get too far in 50 years from the crossing represented by a funeral!"

Death mask photo by Jack Burman
A shaman's death mask, photo by Jack Burman

Here's Jack's story from Young Voices 1965:

The Funeral

A mid-April morning; out of a house stepped a young boy, who was greeted by a raw, gusting wind that made his clothes, apparently warm and heavy, feel thin and  insufficient. On this day he was quite generous with his attention, and now gave it freely to the sky, which seemed decidedly unnatural. Rows of clouds spread neatly to the horizon, a horizon pricked by the odd thread-thin column of smoke, and the not-so-odd office or apartment building. The clouds were uniformly shadowed by the brush of an unimaginative painter, so that their grey darkened very gradually down towards their bottoms. Their positioning was particularly singular; a stiff regimentation, like pupils of some austere master. But, inevitably, the sky's oddity was soon forgotten, and the boy's mind returned to the event at hand: a funeral.

Continue reading "Young Voices is old! " »

A fantastic book -- BETTER THAN PERFECT reviewed

February 27, 2015 | Teen Review | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Maria bunny 2+Review by Teen Bunny (with a little help from Maria of the Editorial Youth Advisory Group)

The book is called Better than Perfect, written by Melissa Kantor. The story is about a seventeen-year-old girl whose name is Juliet Newman, and she has the most perfect life... The perfect family, perfect grades, perfect boyfriend and a perfect plan for her future. However, when her father moves out and her mom is sent to the hospital, she starts to question if the life that she is living in is actually “perfect”. Things that were at one time important to her suddenly change, as she figures out that going to Harvard and getting good grades on her SAT are not what she wants. On the worst night of her life, she meets Declan -- a guy from her AP English class. This my second Melissa Kantor book. The first one was Maybe One Day. which I thought was a great book. That’s why I asked to review Better Than Perfect.

I'm glad I asked, because I absolutely love Better Than Perfect. The personalities of the characters are amazing. What I want to say is, the main character, Juliet, is extremely exquisitely developed. I do understand her problems... the effort she puts into her study, her desire to be the one that everyone expects her to be... never having time to enjoy her life or the things that she is really interested in.

Maria bunny 3I understand Juliet because I am also an overachiever in my high school... I want make everyone happy for me and be the favourite of my teacher... get the highest grade, and do well so I can go to university. Just like Juliet, I never have time to do the things that I like. That’s why I feel the connection between me and Juliet. One thing I don’t like about her is she cheats on her boyfriend with a guy that she just met! Even she feels upset, she can still find another way to express her feelings. Overall, it’s still a fantastic book, I highly recommend this one.

Volunteer fair features Luminato, Jane's Walk and more

February 27, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Volunteer_300x200Interested in new and exciting volunteer opportunities in Toronto? Learn how to volunteer for organizations in the culture sector including:


        Hot Docs
        Toronto Fringe Festival
        Jane’s Walk Toronto
        Inside Out!

Event includes presentations and a volunteer marketplace, plus attendees can stay for a FREE screening!

Date: Saturday, March 14
Location: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)
Doors Open: 10:30 AM
Event: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Please let the folks at Hot Docs know if you are planning to attend!

What People Don't Want You To Read

February 25, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

You may or may not have heard - it's Freedom To Read Week!

That may not seem important on the surface - I mean, there are lots of books, right? So what if you can't read that one? What's the big deal?

The big deal? Think about this quotation from Martin Niemoller, who survived World War II:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The same thing applies to books. Requests to have books removed from library collections (we call these "challenges") chip away at everyone's right to have access to information and to have their points of view represented. 

So you want a look at some of the things that people have complained about?

This list of thirty titles challenged over the last while is downloadable, and full of good, classic stuff.

This post talks about movies that people have objected to, including a head-scratching objection to the tornado in the Muppets version of The Wizard of Oz. 

Does it make you a little upset, that people want to tell you what you can and can't read? It should. And to illustrate why, I give you this quite excellent video made by teens in Calgary:



Happy Freedom To Read Week - celebrate by reading whatever you like because you have that right!


Book Review: The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

February 24, 2015 | rlam | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The latest title from Shaun David Hutchinson is an excellent read for those looking for a thoughtful novel. It will likely resonate with those who have dealt with loss, love or both.


Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

Andrew Brawley has a secret, a secret he is reluctant to share with anyone. He blames himself for the death of his parents and sister. He hides in an unfinished wing of the hospital, hoping no one will notice. During the day, he works in the hospital cafeteria, after his shifts he visits his friends who are in the hospital.


When Andrew roams the halls looking for his friends, he tries his best to avoid Death. Death is more commonly known as Ms. Michelle, an employee at the hospital. In Andrew’s eyes, Death roams the halls looking for her next victim. One day, a man is rushed to the hospital with burns over his body. His agonizing screams echo through the hospital. Curious, Andrew does some investigating and learns that his name is Rusty. Andrew is afraid that Rusty will be Death's next victim.They bond during Andrew's regular readings of Frankenstein and soon they share their personal experiences with each other. In a run in with Death, Andrew discovers that Rusty's story doesn't add up.

Unfortunate circumstances brought them together, but can their budding relationship survive?

Music Video Mondays - Little Boots

February 23, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Little Boots is the stage name for singer/songwriter/musician Victoria Heskwith. She burst onto the scene in 2009 with her incredibly catchy tune "Remedy" from her album Hands.


The next video is a tribute to being one's own self no matter where you are. If you are at a club at the music is bad, just dance to your own music - "Headphones":


And our final video is from 2014 and it is from Little Boots kickstarter funded E.P. entitled Business/Pleasure. Here is "Taste it":


Teen Reviews- The Geography of You and Me and Masque of the Red Death

February 22, 2015 | Ashley | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

These reviews are from Kriya P., from the Youth Advisory Group at the Malvern Branch.




The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith was a great read.

It is not very adventure filled so I don't recommend it for those who read for a rush. Though it is a great comfort book. This is the kind of  book you could read on a lazy Sunday with some hot chocolate and a blanket.

It is very cute with an interesting and modern love story.  It also shows what problems can come with love or should I say... a summer fling ;) 

I found some parts of it a bit boring because it didn't have much of a plot. No climax no part where you're like "No, no, no that can't be happening" it is more of a "Oh, oh ok". The book is a bit rushed and not a lot happens in this period of time. The story is stretched a bit too long. But again its a matter of preference so I highly recommend it for people who liked cute romantic novels that don't go too fast.


Place a hold on The Geography of You and Me.


The Geography of You and Me is also available as an eBook.





The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin is AMAZING.

This is a dystopian fiction book but not one in which has a happy sort of ending but one with a surprise. That's what makes this book different. It's not like any other dystopian book I've read. It intrigued me.

I found it was unbearable not to just skip to the end and just know what happened.

Masque of the Red Death hooked me from the first word right until the last one. I highly recommend it for people into dystopian books and books involving fights again society type of events. It has a great plot. Although it has a couple of holes in it, it is still an incredible book.


Place a hold on Masque of the Red Death


Masque of the Red Death is also available as an eBook.





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