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Teen Review - The Leveller

March 22, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Asifa, Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group member

The leveller  by julia durangoThe Leveller is a novel about a game that allows a person to play with their minds in a virtual-reality gaming world while they are asleep, or in a sleep-like state. The protagonist of the book, Nixy Bauer, is a girl whose job is to bring kids back from the virtual-reality game if they have been in it for too long. When the game’s developer (who, mind you is quite rich) finds out that his son has decided to “commit suicide” by staying in the game, he decides that Nixy should be the one to go after his son and take him out of the gaming world. Turns out, the guy is actually stuck in the game and cannot get out. It’s up to Nixy and the boy to figure out how to get out of the gaming world.

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Teen Review - The Art of Not Breathing

March 17, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Dawes Road Youth Advisory Group member Marilyn

The art of not breathing  by Sarah alexanderThe Art of Not Breathing, written beautifully by Sarah Alexander, is a lot like the Art of letting go. This book tells a story of a girl's best friend, her twin brother, in a devastating incident. Through all the challenges Elsie, the protagonist, and her family face she still tries to reach her brother and forever let go. Even after her brother was physically gone from her life, she always felt that he was right next to her at all times. Through struggles of growing up herself, Elsie starts to get used to bad habits after her brothers death. When she finds someone to show her a better passion of free- diving, her whole world changes, and she finds a way to reach her brother for one last time to say goodbye.

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Your Bookmark Here: The End of Oz

March 12, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

In 2014 Danielle Paige introduced a new chapter in the Oz mythology; well researched and true to the originals, this new novel was about how Dorothy had returned to Oz and was ruining this magical place. Three years later and 7 novellas, 2 novels and we are finally  coming to the thrilling conclusion of what will Dorothy's fate be and will Amy Gumm successfully terminate her?

0062423770Over the scope of all the previous works comes the final chapter in this series. Amy has not been as successful as he had hoped at defeating Dorothy and her team and now she is under the firm grip of the Gnome King. Also some terrifying realities have been brought to light about the relationship between Kansas and Oz and what is really behind all the nefarious activities by the tyrants in the Emerald City.

To make matters worse Amy's arch-nemesis from Kansas, Madison, has shown up in Oz and Amy has to protect her as well as saver herself and Ozma from the Gnome king, get back to Oz and help the "Order of the Wicked" to save the magic that remains. However, Dorothy is driven by rage and out for revenge and she has a few tricks up her sleeve. Will Amy's inherited magic be enough to stop her? Can Oz ever return to the mythical and magical place it was before Dorothy ever arrived?

This is a page turning, jaw dropping, heart pounding of a conclusion. And if you are at all like this avid reader and fan of the series you will finish this book and return to the first one as there is so much you may have forgotten, or subtle hints that you didn't see. "The End of Oz" is available on May 14, 2017.

Place a hold on The End of Oz here. And keep a look out for the e-book coming soon.

Joyful page turners (book clubs for youth in Toronto)

March 9, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Many times young people and their love of reading gets ignored by more traditional book clubs or by the fear that the book club will be too much like a high school English class room. But that is not to say that youth do not enjoy a good read and an interesting and in-depth discussion of that book/poem/play/manuscript, etc.

Here are a few book clubs in Toronto that young people are welcome to attend and participate in.

 

The Young Adult Book Club in High Park


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This is a unique one as it is for youth but it is also an active book club where the group meet at Keele Station and then walk about in High Park and discuss the reading materials while they ramble around the park. The book club takes about an hour and includes a pit stop at Grenadier Cafe. The next date for this book club is March 11th and the book is "The Nightmarys" by Dan Poblocki, please visit the website for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

The Spectatorial Book Club


Index.aspxThere is a certain satisfaction in finding someone who’s equally passionate about a book as you, as willing to discuss the scenes you can’t get out of your mind or offer an alternative perspective on an event in the plot. Literature moves us, and as much as it is perfect for getting alone and cozy with a book, it is equally thrilling to sit with a group of people and bring these words to life.

The Spectatorial, the University of Toronto’s only speculative journal, has created a book club with specifically this thought in mind. Together, we will create an atmosphere where fellow bibliophiles can meet twice a month to discuss a curated selection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the many wonderful sub-genres of speculative literature. Books will range from fiction to poetry, novels to manga. Together, Ben Berman Ghan, the journal’s fiction editor, and Margaryta Golovchenko, the online editor, will alternate in selecting a different book each month for the club to discuss and enjoy.

With the abundance of books out there, it’s difficult sometimes to choose what to read, either because you’re not sure what you should be focusing on that’s considered to be foundational work, or maybe you’re hoping to find a diamond in the rough, something moving and under-appreciated. The Spectatorial Book Club’s goal is to present both classics in the speculative genre as well as lesser-known wonders, each month alternating between a book from one category to one from the other, thus facilitated by a different editor. Discussion can focus on literary and thematic aspects of works, the primary goal being to create an informal and comfortable atmosphere for sharing ideas and impressions.

Our first book is: Flowers for Algernon. If you own it, great! If not, borrow it from the Toronto Public Library. Ages 16+ welcome, and feel free to join our Facebook group to get the latest on meeting dates, topics and more about The Spectatorial!

Get: Flowers for Algernon from the library.

 

The Girly Book Club


Index.aspxThis book club is for females and it exists in many cities. The premise is to create a safe space for women who are like minded and share a passion for books and want to be able to talk about them in a friendly and familiar surrounding. All the different cities read the same book and then meet up at the end of the month to discuss the title at hand. This book club is for women of all ages and it also offers a chance to meet other women with similar interests, set an agenda, and start a global conversation.  This month the title is "The Pearl that Broke its Shell" by Nadia Hashimi and you can get the title from the library here as a physical book. Or here as an eBook.

 

 

 

A Room of Your Own - An Interactive Book Club for Girls


Index.aspxA Room of Your Own is an interactive book club targeted primarily at teen girls (13-18 years of age) of all races and ethnic backgrounds. Allowing them to express their curiosity, ambitions, hopes and frustrations, A ROOM OF YOUR OWN is a forum to share fun, feelings, and opinion with their peers and with their favorite authors. This new generation book club that will be 60 minutes in length and be once a month. The book club?s chief objectives are to have fun, and give teen girls what they need (and not what adults think they want). This fully interactive book club for teenage girls will discuss all subject matters that pertain to being young and maturing into adulthood via today's standards and pressures. This unique and innovative book club will choose a teen novel every month and discuss the subject matters of the story line and the relevance to teen girls? lives. This book club will not be intimidated by any subject matter! We will have the author present along with a specialist in the particular area of field that we are discussing. The novel will be a doorway into the lives of teen girls of all backgrounds. The March book is "The Scorpion Rules" by Erin Bow and they meet on Friday March 10th at Lillian H. Smith.

Get The Scorpion Rules here or get the eBook here.

 

Book Buzz . . . the buzz about books

170px-Longwaycover01The book buzz is an online meeting space for anyone to get together and discuss books from Toronto Public Library. Although not exclusively youth, there are many youth members who comment and get involved regularly. The only difference here is that this book club is online and there are no physical meet ups. This online book club will be great for people who don't have a lot of time to get out to physical meetings, but still want to be involved in a discussion about books. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and created user name.

Teen Review - Girl Rising

March 6, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Amen, member of the Malvern Youth Advisory Group
 
Girl risingGirl Rising is a book of stories that tell about the lives of girls in underdeveloped countries such as Ethiopia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. In these stories, the girls talk about the hardship and discrimination they face almost every day. Some of the girls in the book are not able to go to school just because they are “girls.” Without proper education, these girls are subject to slavery, human trafficking, and childhood marriage. But with the help of organizations, like Girl Rising, the girls receive an education and have a brighter future in different countries.

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Digital Innovation at Malvern Library

March 2, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Malvern DIH 1One of the most exciting developments at the Malvern Public Library this year is the opening of the Digital Innovation Hub, located within the SPOT at the library. The Digital Innovation Hub opens up a whole new world for teens by giving them access to an incredible variety of tech resources. It contains two 3D Printers, several Mac laptops and iMac computers, and even more PC computers. These computers are equipped with state-of-the-art software that allows young people to experiment with photo editing, movie making, and even DJ equipment! The Hub also contains Arduino and Raspberry Pi tools that are open for anyone's use! This is an incredible addition to the library and to the Malvern community at large, because it provides open, easy-to-access interaction with some of the newest and most dynamic digital technology.

However, all of this technology may seem intimidating to a beginner who doesn't know a computer mouse from a real one...Luckily, one of the main purposes of the Digital Innovation Hub is to provide education on the use of these tools and programs. A diverse range of classes are offered weekly at the Hub on a wide range of topics. These include beginner's photo editing, Introduction to iMovie, and many more to come! Not only can here classes be taken for personal interest, but they can also be used to make school projects and presentations look professionally made. The Hub also has open house days and meet ups such as the Arduino Meetup, for people who share a love of technology and digital innovation to drop in and share ideas, trade tips, and help each other out. Finally, one of its most exciting features is the 3D Printer Certification course it offers, which will help teens develop and entirely new skill.

Malvern DIH 2In short, the opening of the newly revamped Digital Innovation Hub is a fantastic opportunity for newcomers and more experienced lovers of technology! It's an amazing resource that should definitely be taken advantage of and explored, and is hopefully only the start of exciting new programs at the Malvern Public Library!

Review by Sakeina, Malvern Branch Youth Advisory Group member.

Teen Review - The Free

February 28, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha, with thanks to Helena at TPL for providing an ARC to read and review!

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When you’re a thief, you’re also a liar. It comes with the territory.

The FreeThe Free by Lauren McLaughlin is about Isaac West, a high school teenager with a rough childhood, who landed himself in juvie for a month because he was caught stealing. We follow Isaac through his sentence and his experiences at juvie: the good, the bad and the wishes to just get out of there.

I thought I’d turn to the “Things I Liked” and “Things I Didn’t Like” list that I haven’t done in quite a while for this review.

Things I Liked:

**I really loved Isaac’s love for his sister and everything he was willing to do for her. Isaac was an alright character throughout the novel but I loved this certain aspect of him. We don’t see nearly enough siblings in YA, especially ones who have a good relationship with each other.

**I’m quite glad that there was no romance in here. I mean, there were references to sex and romantic partners but it was not a big deal throughout the novel.

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Staff Picks from our Teen Email Newsletter

February 27, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Every once in a while a group of books come along that are all very well received by the critics. These are the books that we look forward to as we have a sense that we are getting something precious, something insightful, something that we will want to read and that will have that certain substance we are looking for. Here are four titles that have been very well received:

HateugiveThe Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.
Kirkus says: "Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.This story is necessary. This story is important."

Place a hold on The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas.

 

EverythingEverything Beautiful is not Ruined, by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Then
Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.
  Now
Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.
 
Quill and Quire says: " . . . is an emotionally resonant, fabulously crafted novel about a young woman figuring out who she is and dealing with some seriously devastating events in her life. You don’t have to be 17 to empathize with Ingrid; her struggles are universal, even if her specific circumstances are not."

Place a hold on Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, by Danielle Younge-Ullman, or read the eBook.
 
 
28763485The Sun Is Also A Star, by Nicola Yoon

  51fn0k84ZAL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done, by Andrea Gonzales

Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. The book also includes bonus content to help you get started coding!

 Kirkus says: "What brought the two together for their project was a desire to combine social commentary with their coding, resulting in their successful game. The game (and networking opportunities from GWC) has brought them attention and many more opportunities, but it also took more time and energy than they had to spare. By book’s end, they find themselves evaluating their futures with technology. The psychology of self-doubt and value of persistence are well-presented—the co-authors stress that the greater the frustration, the better the payoff. Tech-centered empowerment for those who feel voiceless. (coding appendix with glossary, sample code, resources) (Memoir. 12-17)"

Place a hold on Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done, by Andrea Gonzales.

 

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Staff Picks: Kill The Boy Band

February 26, 2017 | Alice | Comments (0)

Kill the boy bandBoy Bands and their rabid avid fans hold a special place among fans, and the narrator of this novel, a devotee of 80s movie and The Ruperts, is our tour guide into a group of crazy passionate fans known as Strepurs. She and her friends have got themselves close to their beloved quartet, when something goes awry, and they sort of accidentally kidnap one of them. Now what??

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Teen Review - King's Cage

February 15, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Sohinee

*Spoilers ahead*

King's cage coverKing's Cage by Victoria Aveyard, the third book in the Red Queen series, is probably so far the best in the series. The characters have developed so much and the story is more vibrant and electric and the author's writing flows like fine ink. Mare Barrow is no longer naive 16-year-old trying to save her best friend from getting conscripted. Now she is a woman wanting to go home to be with her family, wanting to be with the man she loves, and continuing to fight for what she believes in. Evangeline is no longer a cold-hearted b****, she's a sister trying to protect her brother from Mare's wrath. She is in love with a girl she cannot be with because she is a pawn on her father's chessboard. Maven isn't a boy king who betrayed everyone to be king, no, he's a tortured soul who can't tell right from wrong. The only person who stays disappointingly the same is Cal who makes promises he can't keep. Again chooses the crown over Mare. King's Cage is a fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone... but read the first two books first!

Read the ebook!

Youth Hub Homework. My Curved Border

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