Register for Young Voices Conference

September 2, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

YV-web-banner

More details will be released soon, but register now for Young Voices Conference and secure your spot.  

The conference is Saturday, October 25th at Toronto Reference Library. This year's line up will include keynote speaker Mike Yerxa and e-writer in residence (rad author) Emily Pohl-Weary.

More info to come soon!

Get some Cash to Help Change your Community

August 27, 2014 | Library Thomas | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

NYCL2009YoungVoicesWritConf_mg_3244

Calling all youth! Want to make a change in your community?  Youth serving organizations have an opportunity to apply for up to $5000 to support health promotion projects through Toronto Public Health's Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative.

For more information and to start the application process, visit :

The Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative Application

Deadline to apply is Monday September 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

 

(application link : http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=6790f46358922410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD )

Tearjerkers: Book to Big Screen

August 25, 2014 | Ashley | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars. Tardy to the party, I know. But, better late than never.
 
I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. I hate reading books when I have already seen the film. In my opinion, it robs you of the opportunity to create your own ideas of the characters and places in your mind because you just end up envisioning the movie versions.
 
The Fault in our Sta
 
I wanted to create my own Augustus and Hazel before Hollywood did it for me, and that I did.
 
I got lost in the novel and finished it in two sittings. I am now officially emotionally spent and all cried out. This book does not pair well with mascara. However, I loved it. While it definitely made me a bit sad, it also evoked empathy, appreciation, beauty and joy. I think that John Green is such a gifted writer. Not a word was wasted in this book, such a simple but powerful story.
 
The Atlantic said of The Fault in Our Stars, " This is a book that breaks your heart- not by wearing it down, but by making it bigger and bigger until it bursts."
 
Is this the appeal of these sorts of stories? They may make you cry, but your heart swells up in the process. Anyone who has ever read a Nicholas Sparks book, or seen a film based on one can attest to that. I challenge you to try and make it through The Notebook without shedding a tear.
 
Sometimes a good cry is therapeutic, and a good tearjerker story is just the ticket. Hollywood knows this, and has turned it's attention to some truly sob inducing stories.
 
If I Stay by: Gayle Forman
If I Stay                                                                                
 
 
A Walk to Remember by : Nicholas Sparks ( movie is also available )
 
A Walk to Remember
                                                                                     
                                                                                    
  
 
  My Sissters Keeper
 
 
                                                                   
 
Romeo and Juliet by : William Shakespeare (movie is also available)
  Romeo and Juliet
 
                                                                                      
 
 
 
Tues with morrie
 
                                                                                  
Share YOUR favourite tearjerker book or movie in the comments below.
 
Although they may be sentimental, nostalgic, romantic, tragic or even corny, these stories are here to stay. So, pick your poison- book or box office, then grab a box of tissues and enjoy!
 
 

Classics of Teen Urban Fiction

August 18, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Did you know that urban fiction is not just for adults? There are a whole ton of them featuring teen and young adult characters geared towards the issues that inner-city teens face.

Did you know that it is also not limited to pulp romances geared towards women? There is science fiction urban fiction, fantasy urban fiction, mystery urban fiction, the list goes on.

Did you also know that it is not new? It started to appear as a genre back in the late 80s/early 90s. Additionally, many earlier classics fall under the umbrella, such as The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. They too are set in a city, examine harsh socio-economic realities, and focus on the underside of city living. You could even say they started the genre.

Did you also know that multiple ethnicities and cultures are represented? Writers of the genre are primarily African-American, but there are also Canadians, Caribbeans, Hispanic peoples, South Asians, Caucasians, and Asians to name a few.

After much talking to teen readers I know, researching on my own, and consulting fellow staff (Cherine at Weston and Soheli at Cedarbrae) who are knowledgeable on the topic I’ve come up with a comphrensive (but by no means exhaustive) list of some classics of the genre below.

Here they are, in no particular order:Street love

When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

Street Love by Walter Dean Myers

Keysha’s Drama by Earl Sewell

      also available in eBook version

Boy vs. Girl by Na'íma bint Robert

Yummy by Greg NeriBoy vs girl

Tap Out by Eric Devine

      also available in eBook version

Teenage Love Affair by Ni-Ni Simone

Bad Boy by Dream Jordan

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes

Playground by 50 Cent

     also available in eBook versionRikers High

Rikers High by Paul Volponi

     also available in eBook version

Sleep On, Beloved by Cecil Foster

Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper

     also available in audiobook version

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

     also available in eBook and eAudiobook versions

Bad boyMy Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

     also available in eBook version

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

     also available in eAudiobook version

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

     also available in Audiobook version

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

     also available in eBook and eAudiobook versions

Split Ends by Jacquelin ThomasRomiette and Julio

The Harem by Safia Fazlul 

Your Bookmark Here: The Girl From the Well

August 17, 2014 | Margaret | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

GirlFromtheWell

Usually, I'm not a fan of gory, blood-soaked horror books - they keep me up at night and give me nightmares (sad but true).  However, I am a fan of this new psychological horror book, The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco.  It was advertised by the publisher as "The Ring" meets "The Exorcist" (sounds good) -- and features Japanese culture and landscapes, plus Shinto doll rituals and exorcisms (love it). I'm so glad I picked up this book, nightmares notwithstanding!

Tark (short for Tarquin) has problems.  He has just moved to a new town and started a new high school.  He is considered a freak because of the strange symbols tattooed on his arms that sometimes seem to move on their own.  He is also dealing with a distant father, a mother who currently resides in a mental institution because she tried to kill Tark, oh and there is a creepy, rotting dead woman dressed in black that follows him around all the time wherever he goes.  Then there is Okiku.  Also dead....and seeking revenge.

This will not disappoint if you are a fan of creepy, disturbing books and Japanese horror movies such as The Ring or Ju On: The Grudge

 

Your Bookmark Here: "Ripper" by Stefan Petrucha

July 27, 2014 | iLibrary | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ripper

 I loved this book for a number of reasons:

1. It is about Jack the Ripper, the world's first serial killer and the Pinkerton Detective Agency (I love Historical Fiction)

2. It features impossible gadgets & underground subways

3. It had many short chapters so I could fit them into my busy life easily. 

Carver Young is an orphan who is about to be turned out into the street, so when a crochety but famous Pinkerton detective takes him in, Carver is excited at the prospect of becoming a detective himself. But Jack the Ripper has arrived in New York and soon their lives will collide.  This is a fast paced exciting ride through the New York city of the 19th century.  Check out the book trailer for a taste of this page turning mystery.  

 

Your Bookmark Here: Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life

July 20, 2014 | iLibrary | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

What?! A Word Out bookclub featuring an amazing graphic novel set in our very own Toronto? I know, I know, you want the details right...

Scott

Brian Lee O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life" is #1 of a series of 6 graphic novels. Set in Toronto, Scott even visits TPLs Wychwood Branch and the Reference Library.  He also spends a lot of time at Sneaky Dee's, an awesome divey sort of restaurant/bar that serves amazing nachoes at the corner of College and Bathurst.  But enough about nachoes... So Scott is this guy, early 20s and he's in a band, loves hanging out with his friends and has a girlfriend, 17 yr. old Knives (who is awesome). Along comes the mysterious and equally awesome Ramona Flowers for whom Scott falls deeply.  But there is a catch - in order to be with her, he has to battle her 7 evil ex-boyfriends.  Is he up for the challenge?  You have to read all 6 to find out!

Or, you could watch the 2010 Blockbuster, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, starring our very own local Bramptonian, Michael Cera. 

Read them on your own and submit a review to the Word Out website to win a prize OR, join me at Maria A. Shchuka in August to discuss the book and watch the film. Call 416-394-1001 to register. 

Novels worthy of reading on Mandela Day

July 18, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Today is the late Nelson Mandela's birthday. In 2010 July 18 was officially "Mandela Day" by the United Nations.

Today is a day to reflect on the legacy of a great man who fought for the end of apartheid in South Africa and supported similar struggles against oppression and prejudice around the world.

Here are some great recently published novels that I think Nelson would be proud of. The characters in these stories are all struggling to deal with oppression or prejudice in one form or another. Some have happy endings, some are dark, but in all cases the characters can be said to triumph through their will to change the society they live in.

 

Cy in Chains cover art

Cy In Chains

In the post-Civil War South, a seventeen-year-old African American boy, accused of a crime, is living in a labor camp where brutality, near starvation, humiliation, and rape are commonplace.

 

 

 

 

No Crystal Stair No Crystal Stair cover art

A documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because "Negroes don't read," Lewis took five books and one-hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from Muhammad Ali to Malcolm X.

 

 


Alligator bayou cover artAlligator Bayou

To 14-year-old Calogero, newly arrived from Italy, Tallulah is a lush world full of contradictions, hidden rules, and tension between the black and white communities. He’s startled and thrilled by the danger of a ’gator hunt in the midnight bayou, and by his powerful feelings for Patricia, a sharpwitted, sweet-natured black girl. Some people welcome the Italians. Most do not. Calogero’s family is caught in the middle: the whites don’t see them as equal, but befriending "Negroes" is dangerous. Every day brings Calogero and his family closer to a a terrifying, violent confrontation.

 

Having Faith In The Polar Girls' Prison Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison cover art

Against the stark and haunting landscape of Canada's Far North, fifteen-year-old Trista chronicles the events of her life from her room in the Polar Girls' Prison. Caught in the decline of sexual abuse, drunkenness, and failed motherhood, Trista tries to make sense of her past, especially the events that led her to jail.

 

 

 

 

A Matter of Souls cover of bookA Matter of Souls

 A series of vignettes reveal life in the Deep South for African Americans as they experience discrimination in a doctor's office, lynching, and other forms of oppression, especially during the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

Darius & Twig Darius & Twig cover art

Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that life in Harlem throws at them. The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they'll be stuck in the same place forever.

 

 

Rachel's Promise Rachel's Promise cover art

It is late 1903, and Rachel and her family are leaving Russia to escape the murderous riots against Jews. China offers refuge, but life for them there is difficult and strange. The opportunity to write for a Jewish newspaper may help Rachel ensure her family's survival while not giving up her dreams for her future. Still in Russia, Rachel's friend Sergei leaves home for a factory job in St. Petersburg, soon joining the rebelling workers, but realizing he has traded one source of danger for another. Separated by so much, the two teenagers try to make their way in the turbulent political times of the early twentieth century--their only connection the letters they write, and their fierce hope for the future.

 

Beneath my mother's feet cover art

Beneath My Mother's Feet

When her father is injured, fourteen-year-old Nazia is pulled away from school, her friends, and her preparations for an arranged marriage, to help her mother clean houses in a wealthy part of Karachi, Pakistan, where she finally rebels against the destiny that is planned for her.

Your Bookmark Here: We Were Liars

July 13, 2014 | Margaret | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

We Were Liars
I consider myself well read in quite a few different genres: I devour sci-fi, fantasy, horror and romance novels equally.  My favourites, however, are suspense and mystery novels. I'm always on the look out for a great new read. Quite honestly, it takes a lot for me to be really surprised by a book, to be shocked and delighted and scratch my head after I've read it.  It's a great feeling, and this is why I loved reading e. lockhart's We Were Liars so much!  I was literally thinking "what the heck just happened here?" at the end of the book.  So much so, that I had to go back and re-read it with my new found knowledge.  You may see this twist coming, but I sure didn't! 

The Sinclair family is an established New England family: rich, dysfunctional, entitled.  Cousins Johnny, Mirren and narrator Cadence, plus outsider Gat Patil (collectively know as 'the Liars')  spend each summer on the family's secluded island paradise relaxing and having fun. Years pass, the cousins get older, their parents and grandparents drift further apart and then a tragedy happens.  Something horrible, that Cadence has blocked from her memory enirely. As the final summer at the Sinclair Island unfolds, Cadence slowly starts to piece things together, with the help of the Liars.  Reminiscent of the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear, and brining in Fairy Tale elements, E. Lockhart has created a truly spell-binding, suspenseful stand-alone read.  Great for kicking back on the beach or in the lounge chair on a sunny afternoon, We Were Liars will keep you riveted!

Also available as an e-book!

 

Your Bookmark Here: Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories

July 10, 2014 | Claire | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Doctor

If you're a fan of the Doctor, like I am, you'll know that the BBC celebrated the 50th anniversary of his landmark show very recently.  11 Doctors, 11 Stories was created especially to mark this milestone.  As the title suggests, each one of the eleven stories stars a different incarnation of the Doctor, along with the appropiate companions and some very imaginative secondary characters.  I had a few personal favourites, including Marcus Sedgwick's The Spear of Destiny, which gets seriously into some Norse mythology, and the very spooky Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman, where an ancient enemy of the Time Lord race almost takes over the world.  Some of the most stellar writers working in teen fiction today are included in this collection:  think Charlie Higson, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, and Eoin Colfer, among others.   Did you ever wonder what the Doctor was doing in the few minutes between when he asked Rose to travel with him and when he came back to get her?  Ever wonder what classic villain in children's literature was inspired by the Doctor?  You'll find it all here--literary fanfiction, Doctor Who style!  

 

Dr_who_book_44083
 

 

Word Out, Teen Summer Reading

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