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September 3, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Salwa, age 13

The Thief Lord book coverThere are two orphans, Prosper and Bo, which are running away from their cruel aunt and uncle. On their journey they meet the Thief Lord, and a band of street children who are ever so kind to take them in.

BORING! Who wants to read about stuff like that! Honestly. Thankfully, for school we had to read The Thief Lord, and oh boy, was I glad.

Based in Venice, Italy (who doesn’t like Italy) Prosper and Bo lead the readers through a fantastical journey to a mix of magic and hope. With never-ending twists and dark secrets behind every corner, readers are taught important lessons, and laugh at the same time. The Thief Lord is a perfect blend of serious, hilarious, clever and charming. Cornelia Funke found a way to write a story that appeals to any age, and makes readers open their eyes to a world that lives around the corner.

Read Salwa's excellent review of I WANT TO GO HOME by the inimitable Gordon Korman.

THE HEIR reviewed

September 3, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Abida, member of the Albert Campbell Youth Advisory Group

The Heir book coverThe Heir, by Kiera Cass, is the fourth book in the Selection series. One would think that Kiera Cass, the author, would want to keep writing about America Singer, the heroine of the first three books. But no, instead, the fourth book is told from a completely new perspective, the princess and future Queen of Illéa, Eadlyn Schreave.

This book follows Eadlyn through her own Selection, but there are two, small things that make this selection very unique and potentially dangerous. One, Eadlyn is the first female to have a Selection held for herself, as she is the first female heir to the throne. The second thing is that Eadlyn has absolutely no intention of settling down with a man. In Eadlyn’s mind, she is the princess, and no one is more powerful than she. This attitude of hers begins to worry her subjects, and in turn, they make her a target. Eadlyn will have to prove to her family and most importantly her people, that she truly has what it takes to be a Queen.

Summer Contest: Fan Fiction

September 3, 2015 | Helena | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

This is your chance to win a pair of headphones!

This is it!  Our last contest for the summer.  If you've ever imagined alternate tellings of your favourite book/movie/TV show, then this is the contest for you.  You can rewrite a scene or create your own. Perhaps you feel that there should have been more to a subplot or maybe the beginning should have been different.  Did one of your favourite characters get killed off?  Here's your chance to take the story into your own hands.  Edit: Please post your submission in the comments.  Thanks very much!

Here are the rules to participate:

1) Work within a word count between 750 and 1500.

2) Cite the source material at the beginning of your submission. 

3) You have to live in Toronto to win this contest. 

4) You have to provide a valid e-mail address so we can contact you if you win a prize (see privacy statement below for more information).

5) One entry per person per Fan Fiction Contest. 

6) Only original writing will be accepted – plagiarism is not permitted in any form. 

7) Your entry must be submitted by September 17th at 11:59pm to be considered to win. 

8) Winners will be announced on the following Thursday, September 24th.  

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

Summer read - An Interview with Raziel Reid.

September 3, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

When Everything Feels Like the Movies - Raziel Reid

Raziel Reid is a Canadian author who currently resides in British Columbia. "When Everything Feels Like the Movies" is his first novel and it won the 2014 Governor General's Award for Teen fiction. The book was also nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ fiction. The novel has also been met with great resistance and a petition to have all awards stripped from the novel for its straight forward treatment and analysis of a gender non-conforming gay teen who lives in a small minded small town.


Here we go with ten questions that Youth Volunteers for the library came up with for Raziel:

  1. Are people intimidated by you when they meet you?

 I hope not! I feel socially awkward most of the time, and I can be paralyzingly shy, which I’ve been told reads as aloof. I’m not a bitch I’m just dying inside, okay?

 2. If you made a lot of money, what would you buy?

 I’d give it all to the poor, and God bless America.

 3. Any ideas for the next book? (will there be a next book?)

 I write every day. My screenplay for When Everything Feels like the Movies is being developed for film, and I’m working with Little Brown to release WEFLTM in the UK in 2016. I can’t wait to hold it in hard cover for the first time!

 4. When writing the book did you anticipate such success?

Not really. You stop feeling once Satan has taken the soul.

 5. How do you feel about the censorship toward your book?

It’s amusing that there are people who actually believe youth of today are being corrupted by literature. Her name is Siri!
Ultimately, the oppression efforts incited a righteous backlash and opened an important dialogue on censorship, victim blaming, and LGBT rights. By trying to censor the content of my book, my detractors have highlighted its importance. I believe WEFLTM has reached more people as a result, and although I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m thankful for any attempted sabotage, I do appreciate that on all sides the reaction to the work has been so passionate.

 6. What is your strongest motivation to write?


 7. Chocolate or vanilla?

Both. In the same hole.

 8. Who or what inspired you to the career of creative writing?

I started writing because God needed a good editor.

 9. What are some of your favourite books and why?

Invisible Monsters because it was too fucked up to be first, American Psycho because it’s perfect, The Andy Warhol Diaries because they’re so cold and immersive, Answered Prayers because it cost him everything, Life With My Sister Madonna because I love a bitch.

 I love Chuck Palahniuk. Invisible Monsters is one of my favourite books. I’m currently re-reading Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories. A Single Man is another one of my favourites. All Haruki Murakami makes me happy. I’m also obsessed with anything by Truman Capote or Gore Vidal. I love the authors even more than their books. They’re such movie stars.

 10. If anyone could play you in the movie version of your life who would it be?

Macaulay Culkin. Didn’t he already play me in Party Monster?


Celebrity Instagam Photos of the Week

September 2, 2015 | Claire A | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

This week's Celebrity Instagram Photos include The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Rebel Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Christina Milian, and The Rock

@abelxo  @selenagomez
   @rebelwilson        @justintimberlake
@christinamilian   @therock

Summer Read - "Halt, You Villains! Unhand That Science!"

September 2, 2015 | Christine | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Nimona written & illustrated by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson Cover ImageLet me begin by saying that this graphic novel was an excellent read. This book takes aspects from a usual dungeon crawler adventure and slowly, ever-so-slightly, turns it on its head in a most delightful way.

It all starts when Lord Ballister Blackheart, the main enemy of the kingdom and all around mega-villain, acquires a new sidekick – a young woman named Nimona, who can shapeshift into anything. Well, almost anything, as she explains – “Well, I can’t turn into anything inanimate, for one. Unless I want BE inanimate, if you catch my drift. Two, I can only turn into creatures that actually exist. I can turn into any person, real or made-up, but that’s harder.” Working together as a team, with Blackheart’s science and Nimona’s magical powers, they plan on wreaking some kick-ass havoc against the kingdom’s chosen hero, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the leaders of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. Their mission? To prove that Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution are not the heroes they’ve convinced the townsfolk they are. But is this simply a case of good versus evil, or does the corruption run even deeper within the kingdom’s finest? What really happened that caused Blackheart to turn against the Institution? Does Nimona really have full control over her shapeshifting powers? And what is the Institution’s mysterious Director doing with a very deadly substance known as jaderoot?

As you can tell, nothing is exactly what it seems to be in this kingdom. This graphic novel is set in a world that kind of crosses between your regular old medieval fantasy setting with that of a type of steampunk-ish place, where robotics, computer screens, and science labs exist seamlessly alongside dragons, swords, and knights in shining armour. I thought that this worked very well with this storyline, and I really enjoyed reading the background stories of each of the main characters – or as Nimona would say, “’Course, I bet you love downer stories, don’t you?” The illustrations were full of wonderful details about this original world, and I loved reading all of the snappy dialogue between all of the characters. I also liked how the author’s development sketches for this work where included at the end of the book. It was neat to see what ideas she used and developed over time in the creation of this book. So if you enjoy reading graphic novels that deftly combine aspects of fantasy and steampunk together into an exciting story, then you should definitely check this title out.

For more about the author, click here.

Top Ten Summer Read: All The Feels

September 1, 2015 | Helena | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Fangirl's Guide To The Galaxy: A Handbook For Geek Girls by Sam Maggs

Fangirl'sGuidePotterheads.  SuperWhoLockians.  Tolkienites.  Oatku.   Trekkies.  Star Warriors.  Bookwalkers.  Marvelites.  Batgirls.  YA Book Nerds.  Whedonites.  Disnerds.  Girls Who Game.  

These are some of the popular fandoms described in Sam Magg's informative and witty handbook for anyone with a passion for so-called "geeky" pursuits and supporting women within the nerd community.

So, what is a fangirl?  What does "fangirl" mean?  There are many responses to these questions scattered throughout the book (The book is chock full of Q&As with writers, actors, and creators.) But my favourite one is this, given by author Victoria Schwab, "It's a badge of honor.  It means being passionate enough about something that not only do you want to enjoy it, and connect with others who enjoy it, but you also feel an intense need to introduce it to others."

The book is great at breaking down the what's and how's of fangirl culture, explaining slang, describing how to connect with like-minded people online and in real life, giving guidance on writing fanfic, and providing general etiquette tips on being respectful within the various fan communities. The book is also really great at talking about the feminist and activist values that underpin fangirl culture and coaches the reader on engaging with fandoms in ways that support and empower not only women but people of all backgrounds and to look critically at media. This is the best kind of handbook: it has the foundational information that the uninitiated will find useful but it also looks deeply (but concisely) at the empowering values that the culture promotes, all in an accessible and fun format.


Don't judge a book by its cover! ONE HEN reviewed

August 31, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by ACD Youth Advisory Group member Tasneem
One hen book coverat one point in my life, i was given the opportunity to read the book, One Hen by Katie Smith Milway. it was a childrens book but you know what they say, never judge a book by its cover. the book turned out to be a marvelous book. it had many lessons that i had learned from it such as people need one another to survive and how a small thing can make a huge difference. the story is about a young boy who lived with his mother in the Ashanti Region in West Africa called Kojo. his father had died when he was a young boy. since his father was the provider of the famly Kojo had to quit school to give a helping hand to his mother. they lived a troubling life. they would sometimes even go hungry for days. the villagers had a game that they played. they usually raised money and passed it on to a family. the family invests the money and pays it back while it is passed on to another family. it was Kojo's mother's turn. she sold firewood. with the money she had, she bought a cart that would help her carry more firewood and sell it to the market. one day kojo asked for change from his mother. he promised to give it back. he went and bought a hen. he was very happy for he knew that great things were on the way. the hen laid eggs and Kojo sold them at the market. he even had enough to eat. he paid for his school fees too. years passed and he decided to go to college. he went to a bank and asked for a loan but the manager disagreed. well he did not lose hope. he went to the head manager and the head manager gave him a loan. he went to college and had a degree in poultry farming. as the old men would say, "from rags to riches." that was what turned out for Kojo. as i stated earlier a small thing truly can make a huge difference and for Kojo, it all  started from one hen.

Music Video Monday - Little Boots (part 2)

August 31, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

For the first blog entry in this series please follow this link:

Little Boots has been around making awesome music since 2008. Her debut solo album rocketed into the charts and put her into fame. However, she felt her first album was overproduced and so on her second and third album she decided to have a lot more control. Our first video is from her most recent outing and it is titled: "Better in the morning":


Next we have a video from her second album entitled: "Every Night I Say A Prayer":


And our final video for this segment is taken from her 3rd album and is called: "No Pressure":


Summer Read: 'Super-Roach' to the Rescue

August 31, 2015 | Monica | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

20708754With a title like that, how could I resist this book? Evil Librarian is a quick and fun read. A Demon posing as a Librarian (Mr. Gabriel), has taken over Cynthia's high school. A war is brewing in the underworld, and in order to win, Mr. Gabriel needs to siphon as much human energy as possible, and a high school is the perfect place to do just that. Cynthia, however, has an immunity to this, and anyone with her ability to resist is known as a 'super-roach' in the underworld (super-roach= the almighty cockroach that can survive almost anything and everything). When Mr. Gabriel selects Cynthia's best friend, Annie, as his main accomplice and brain washes her into assisting him, Cynthia knows she much put a stop to it all, or risk losing her bff. With her crush, Ryan, and the odd, demon-obsessed, wanting to go live in the underworld with his demoness, Aaron, on her side, Cynthia must visit the fiery depths of hell and bring Annie back. Throw in a little one sided romance, with the kind of internal dialogue that will have you in splits, this is one entertaining book.

Also available in eBook format.


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