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Teen Review: The Alchemist

July 5, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

AlchemistReview by Lian, age 15. 

The first book I would like to review would be Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

The novel is written quite a long time ago in the year of 1988. I don’t think I would have picked up this book if it were not a mandatory read for my English class.The plot is simple as it follows a shepherd boy, as he chases after a treasure which he had seen in his recurring dream. On the journey, he meets friends, the love of his life, and challenges such as a robbery. The places he travels to can be mapped out on an actual map, but the events he encounters throughout his journey gives the book a fantasy and light feeling as if we were with him through the whole trip.

This book may often be mistaken as a sole adventure story, however it holds a lot more than a basic plot. The author tries to communicate his thoughts on how we should pursue our dreams through the simple stories of the boy’s encounters with the world. Each line may seem simple at first, but they are actually filled with depth if one tries to interpret it. Even though the book is thin, it may take a while to get to the end, with all the decoding. Nevertheless it is a very motivating piece of work as it maintains a positive outlook throughout. It may also introduce you to a whole different outlook on everyday things happening in your life.

Over the past few years, my teacher told me that she had received mixed reviews about the book. Some straight out refused to flip another page, while others say "this book has changed my life"! No jokes, they were the exact words! Overall, I really liked the book, and it for sure made me want to pursue my dreams, just like the protagonist did in this novel!

This book is also available in a variety of formats: 

It is also available in a variety of languages. To find these, search by Paulo Coelho and then limit by language, or ask a librarian for help! 

Teen Review: Home Court

July 5, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Home courtReview by AJ, age 13. 
This review is about the book I am reading called Home Court (from the series STAT: Standing Tall And Talented). The author is Amar'e Stoudemire.
In my mind the book is great, and it's a 4 out of 5.
The book about the NBA star's childhood. When facing bullies at school and having alot of hobbies like skateboarding, baseball, and basketball, Amar'e, along with his friend Mike and Deuce, faces a disrespectful kid on their HOME COURT.
Better grap a copy and read to find out how Amar'e used his athleticism and brilliancy to retain their HOME COURT.

Summer Read: Who Do You Think You Are?

July 5, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

None of the aboveNone of the Above, by I.W. Gregorio

Like Etta in Not Otherwise SpecifiedKristin finds herself in circumstances where she questions and clings to who she is, and where her closest friends have abandoned her, so she faces that difficult stuff without their support. 

Kristin is on top of the world. Sports star, pretty, popular, hot boyfriend, even crowned homecoming queen, though that's not really her thing. She decides that the night of prom is the night for her and her boyfriend - and things don't turn out at all as expected. Instead of romantic sexy times, she ends up at the doctor finding out that her body holds some big surprises, things that not even she would have guessed. 

It turns out that Kristin has one of the unusual combinations of genetic and physical characteristics that are known as "intersex." She's struggling to figure out what this means, and tells one of her best friends. Next thing she knows, the whole school knows the partial truth, and she is bullied and shamed ruthlessly. Her friends ditch her, her boyfriend breaks up with her and reacts with disgust. It's a nightmare of people uninformed, knee-jerk reactions, her own struggle to understand what this all means, and her deep sense of betrayal, which was exceptionally well-portrayed and true to life.

Ultimately, Kristin finds support in her father's attempts to fight things with information, her visits to a college campus, and talking to some other intersex people who show her that life goes on and you can make of it what you will. She is able to find the strength to make some decisions, face down some questions around her future, and finally, confront her former best friends.

She still has some things she wishes people knew, though, because the reactions she has faced are pretty crappy. It's something that a lot of LGBTQ+ people face, the prejudices, outmoded attitudes, ignorant beliefs about who they are, and horrible comments. It's something a lot of people with disabilities face. And people from other cultures or ethnicities. And people who just look different because of choices about hair colour, body decoration, or clothing. And... well, I bet lots of people have things they wish people knew so they didn't have to face the sorts of comments and questions and assumptions that they get all the time. 

Are there things you wish you could teach the world more about? 

None of the Above is also available as an ebook

Teen Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

July 4, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Winter soldierReview by AJ, age 13. 
I'm reading a Marvel book called Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
This is great book that does still have room for improvement like having better chapter names.
To start off with, the book is about the superhero named Captain America and his fight to destroy the shadowy figure that almost killed a S.H.I.E.L.D agent. With the guidance of Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D tries to put in place a project called INSIGHT. But the Cap was mad at the project and Fury.
Find out how the action went down and read the book.
This is also available as an ebook. Love Cap? The entire collection of Winter Soldier comics is available in one book. And, of course, Marvel made this into a really great movie, too! 

Teen Review: The Kite Runner

July 4, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Kite runnerReview by Fatima, age 16. 

A book I have recently read is The Kite Runner. Let me tell you this book is very tragic and I suggest that you keep a tissue box near you.

The story follows an egocentric boy named Amir who is often overindulged in his father’s wealth, and perceives himself to be superior compared to his friend Hassan; a Hazara in account of their distinct states in society. Amir narrates his story of how he transitioned into a selfish boy to a humble young man. He goes through many obstacles to clean the mess he made when he younger. The author successfully develops a picture in the reader’s eye about the life of the people in Afghanistan and their difficulties.

I’m amazed as to how each incident that took place in the beginning stages of Amir’s life appeared towards the end; giving Amir a chance to redeem himself.  Also, I love how the author gave a subtle ending, leaving the reader to theorize the gist of the last chapter.

I will give this novel a 10/10 because of the staggering plot and how the story was brilliantly constructed. 

The Kite Runner is available in several different formats:

It has also been adapted into a movie

Summer Read: If Sherlock were played by Johnny Depp and ghosts were real

July 4, 2015 | stephen | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Jackaby coverHello ladies and gentlemen of the internet, we are back! My first book of the summer is this amazing tale of Mystery/Fantasy by William Ritter.

Jackaby (also available as an e-book) follows the story of young Abigail Rook as she finds her self in the employ of an unusual paranormal investigator known as Jackaby.

The story is captivating and written with that classic Sherlock vibe. 

Story aside however, what really drives the book in my opinion is the quality of the characters.

Jackaby is quite an eccentric personality. The Chicago Tribune labeled it "a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer". 

Personally I'm more inclined to label it a cross between Sherlock, Willie Wonka, and every other role played by Johnny Depp.

Jackaby comes across as this quirky, odd character that you can't help but love. 

That being said I just wanted to ask:

Is there a character from a book or movie that you thought could not have been written or portrayed any more perfectly? 

Let us know in the comments! 

Teen Review: Prodigy & Champion

July 3, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Reviews by Zarah, age 15. 

Prodigy, the sequel to Legend, screams dystopian fiction and is a perfect representation of a cinematic adventure.

I personally hated this book for bringing me to tears but I fell in love with it for the same reason. Marie Lu, the author, never fails to grab the reader’s attention and have them sit at the edge of their roller coaster seat for a harmony of plot twists and the progress of Day and June’s relationship. Prodigy follows the two main characters, Day and June, on an adventure around the remains of a republic-torn American government and how they attempt to, and possibly do, fix the wreckage that it became. While trying to keep themselves alive, Day and June make decisions that set in motion some of the biggest events of their lives, plan complicated strategies and just in time, they begin to realize who the real enemy is and who they should trust.

The end of the novel leaves your heart begging for the author to fix the twist that leaves the reader wondering if this is the last of Day and June’s relationship. Overall, I promise you that you will not find a de-escalation of the storyline in this fast-paced, nerve-wrenching novel. 

Prodigy is also available as an audiobook on CD, an ebook, or an eAudiobook


ChampionChampion is the final book in the Legend Trilogy. 

I’ve never really appreciated learning about history. I found it boring and its ancient stories never seemed to spark any fire in my eyes. Until reading Champion. Now I’ve really begun to see the colours that history has, especially for the legend, Day Wing, and the prodigy, June Iparis.

This book started off on a slow and straight trail, meaning that you could predict what was going to happen next, and that left me disappointed, but just at the right time, Marie Lu seemed to effortlessly leave your heart beating wild as she illustrates a ball of energy that rubs between the Republic and the Colonies. She introduces the Antarticans and how their involvement possibly mends the borders with peace or brakes them apart by letting the Republic fix its own problems, with no pity.

In this book, she introduces a new virus that seems to cause friction between the opposing forces while the characters we love, start to fall weak. Day is literally clinging on to the last string of life while he does everything he can to save the people he loves. While reading this burning and breathing novel, I was literally gripping on to each page as I read with hunger for the events that would follow next. All the tragic, yet impactful, events that left tears streaming down my face from the beginning of the series to this last book, seemed to create this wound in the history of the Republic, and the characters: June and Day.

The ending of this book, seamlessly leaves you satisfied but you can’t help and notice the melancholy in June’s thoughts and what she says after she moves on. Even after the characters leave to live their own lives, either literally and metaphorically, their stories still reviberate in your mind because you know so much about their passions, that it hurts to see them travel parallel, yet seperate roads. The series’ history, has so much to offer, and without it we would have never known how these characters evolved into these living and breathing works of art.  

Champion is also available as an ebook, an eAudiobook, or an audiobook on CD

Teen Review: Jeremy's War 1812

July 3, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Mahin, age 13. 1812
The story is set in the year 1812 in Upper Canada during the War of 1812. To start off, the overall plot was very interesting showing how Jeremy, a boy who originally wanted to became a fur trader after the death of his mother, eventually became the batman of General Isaac Brock, the commander of all British troops in Upper Canada. The plot was full of suspense, action and emotion between the characters, especially between Jeremy and General Brock.
Speaking of General Brock, I really liked how the book showed a more kinder and human side of him than the Saviour-of-Upper Canada side of him, just as Jeremy thought of him. He remembers General Brock as the man who taught him how to make a roast beef sandwich and the man who jumped out of a boat in dark waters to push it off a rock. Most importantly, he set aside an amount of money for Jeremy’s education. I am touched by General Brock’s generosity. Furthermore, I found it very interesting on how the book tried to explain the brilliant mind of General Brock as Upper Canada was at war against the Americans.
This novel is an excellent and fun way to learn about the War of 1812 and life in Upper Canada. Additionally, it teaches everybody how important perseverance is as Jeremy was at a low point in his life after his uncle stole his farm from him but instead of just feeling sorry for himself and doing nothing, he joined the army and persevered and in the end, the army taught him many important skills that he could apply in the real world. However, one thing that I disliked about this book is that Jeremy’s uncle never got punished for what he did to Jeremy. Overall though, this book is excellent historical fiction and I would recommend it to anybody aged 10-14 who wants to learn about the War of 1812 and it would make an excellent novel for a class project! I give this book a 4 out of 5.
Jeremy's War 1812 is also available as an ebook

Summer Fun at Sanderson branch!

July 3, 2015 | Amy | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Sanderson branch (327 Bathurst St at Dundas St W) is gearing up for a fun summer of teen workshops!

The Paper SwordAuthor Robert Priest will be leading a Fantasy Writing Second KissWorkshop at 4pm on Thursday, July 16th. This is a great opportunity to learn some new writing techniques and find out how to create your own unique world.  You’ll also be able to meet other teens that write fantasy stories! There’s still time to check out Robert’s books The Paper Sword and Second Kiss prior to the workshop.




There is also going to be a Beat Box Workshop with aka Subliminal at 3:30pm on Monday, July 20th. This will be a fun and interactive workshop for all would-be beat boxers! It is just one of the many great programs happening this summer in the Sanderson Youth Hub.

Megan KearneyFor all comics lovers, come join us for a Comics Workshop with cartoonist Megan Kearney! Whether you love superheroes, manga or graphic novels, this is the place for you. No art skills are necessary! This workshop will be held on Thursday August 6th, 3:30pm!


All programs require registration. Please call the Sanderson branch at 416-393-7653 to register.

Five Frames From . . . July 4th, 2015 edition

July 3, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie are these images from? If you get the answer right you get a prize!!!!!!






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Personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the Public Libraries Act, s.20 (a) and (d) and will be used to administer the Library's TPL Teens contest. Questions about the collection or management of personal information should be directed to library manager Jayne Delbeek-Eksteins- 416-396-8858.

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