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Royal Fashion in London England

September 30, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

thanks to Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group member Ravicha

Strange history of buckingham palace book coverThis summer vacation, I had an opportunity to visit London, England. One of the must do’s if you are staying in London other than going to the Big Ben, London Eye, and Westminster Abbey is obviously going to Buckingham Palace! During my time in this city, I was able to visit the Buckingham Palace while the Queen’s Fashion Exhibition, Fashioning a Reign, was taking place. This exhibition shows off around 90 years of styles and fashion trends straight from the queen’s wardrobe. Being a great lover of fashion, especially in different times and cultures, this­ exhibition was really eye opening. They displayed a variety of different things, from the queen’s ball gowns to her iconic hats, as well as a picture of the queen in the displayed outfit hanging right behind each exhibit.

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FREE Escape Room - Culture Days, Saturday October 1, 2016

September 29, 2016 | Naomi | Comments (0)

Culture days

DeMarre Carroll Promotes Comic and Gives Advice

September 29, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

DeMarre Carroll Guardians of the Galaxy

This month teens were on hand to hear financial tips from the Toronto Raptors' DeMarre Carroll and receive a free copy of the new Marvel comic, Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, provided by Visa. The comic combines Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes with Visa’s financial literacy expertise on important money management concepts. The story has tips about managing money, a topic that DeMarre Carroll really cares about. He believes in hard work, both on the court and in the community. At the event, he had this tip for being successful:

"In order to get what you want to get in life, do what you want to do in life, and become who you want to be in life, finance is the biggest thing, so learning at an early age is very, very important."

The earlier you can learn the skills of being successful with money and figure out how to put these skills into practice, the better. But there are so many things to learn. How do you know what you really need? What about getting a job, living on a budget and saving your money? Where can you go to for good advice? If you have questions like these, you're not alone and that's why the library offers finance programs just for youth. It's just the kind of thing DeMarre says would have helped him:

"I wish when I was younger I would have had somebody speaking to me, telling me to save my money and get ready for the real world of finance. I wouldn't have made some of the boneheaded mistakes I made when I first got in the NBA."

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming library programs geared toward helping you be successful in life and smart with your money. In the mean time, head over to your local library to get your hands on a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, free to borrow with your library card, and check out some of the recommended reads we've pulled together below to get you started.

How Not To Move Back Saving for School Index Card




THE CROWN reviewed

September 29, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group member Shree crownThe Crown, the last installment of the Selection series by Kiera Kass has been one of the most anticipated books of this year. The journey that began with America Singer and Prince Maxon, continued by their daughter Eadlyn, ended with this book. And it was a lot to take; unlike the first three books of the series which had been about the selection of Prince Maxon. The Heir was something else, it introduced us to a new character, Eadlyn Schreave – the queen to be, who won the race by seven minutes. Her selection story became complex in the fourth book and left us with such eagerness that only the Crown could end.

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Your Bookmark Here: The Thousandth Floor

September 28, 2016 | Claire A | Comments (0)

The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee

Thousandth floorIts New York City, 100 years in the future.  Manhattan has a thousand story tower that rises in the sky.  The higher you live the richer you are. 

Eris is beautiful and lives the perfect life, until a family crisis rips her to pieces.

Leda hides her secrets from everyone - she's a drug addict in love with her best friends brother

Rylin lives at the bottom of the tower but works as a maid on one of the top floors.

Watt is tech genius - he spies on everyone through a computer embedded in his brain.  When Leda hires him to spy on the boy she loves, he gets swept away into the fabulous life of the rich. 

And then of course there is Avery who lives on the thousandth floor.  She's rich and beautiful and was designed to be perfect.  But she also hides a secret from everyone - she's in love with her adoptive brother.

The book starts off with someone falling from the top floor of the tower.   Following the characters through their twists and turns, it isn't revealed till the very end who it is.  Did she jump?  Was she pushed?  All remains a mystery throughout.  If you love Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars then this is definitely the book for you.  Once I started it, I couldn't put it down.  A must read.

Meet Vivek -- New E-Writer in Residence for Teens

September 26, 2016 | E Writer in Residence 2016 — Vivek Shraya | Comments (2)


As far back as I can remember, I have always been creative. I remember making imaginary (and delicious) foods next to my mom while she cooked, and performing puppet shows with my younger brother. The art form I was most drawn to was singing. I sang in the shower, in the classroom, and at my religious organization. Singing was how I made friends, annoyed my teachers and pleased my mom. Most importantly, singing allowed me to express my feelings. For every emotion I felt — alienation from my classmates, desperation for popularity, rage at my brother — I could release it through melody.

In Grade 7, I learned about poetry and this is when I began to write feverishly. It eventually occurred to me that I could sing these poems, make songs out of my words. I wrote my first “official” song when I was 13. From then on, I wrote songs all the time. But when I needed to take a break from songwriting in my late twenties, I returned to creative writing. I also began to explore other art mediums like photography and short film. I learned that art was not just a powerful means of release. Making art about my various identities — trans, queer, person of colour — and their intersections, has been healing. Art has also been a means to connect with others who have had similar, and different, experiences — others who want to share their stories.

Once again, art has brought me to this job, the new E-Writer in Residence at Toronto Public Library, where I hope to connect with YOU. One of my first jobs as a teenager was working at the Edmonton Public Library as a student page, so this feels a bit like a homecoming of sorts. I am very much looking forward to reading your writing, and providing feedback and support. As I have a multi-disciplinary background, I also invite you to ask for supports with other art forms you are exploring, outside of creative writing, including songwriting. I will be running a regular “Ask Vivek” column here, so please do send me any questions you might have that you would like answered. Please email your writing or art, and column suggestions to

Lastly, I will be facilitating a couple of in-library writing workshops, including at the upcoming Young Voices Conference. This will offer me another opportunity to connect with you.


Vivek Shraya

P.S. I will be ending all my posts with a link, thought or book that has inspired me. Feel free to share what is inspiring you in the comments below! My favorite summer read was Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng). This is a beautifully written exploration of family and otherness from many perspectives. Check it out!

Halloween: Start Now!

September 26, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Alissa, Runnymede Branch Youth Advisory Group member    

Halloween-959049_640 (2)

    Halloween is a great time of the year where you get to dress up and pretend to be someone else, plus you even get candy. But the amount of time I personally spend scrambling to come up with costumes before the big day arrives is outstanding. So I have a solution - start now!

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Your Bookmark Here: Messy Business of Art and Revenge

September 20, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Original Fake, by Kirstin Cronn-Mills and E. Eero Johnson

ORIGINAL-FAKE A closet artist in a family full of sparkly stage presences, Frankie has come to hate his sister just as much as he worships street art hero Uncle Epic, his town's answer to Banksy.Things collide when he gets perfect blackmail material on his sister, and knows just how he wants to express it...

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September 19, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Fariha 

Library Of SoulsWell, that was extremely disappointing.

I finally picked Library of Souls (by Ransom Riggs) after I read Miss Peregrine’s and Hollow City two years ago. I’m extremely pumped to watch the movie at the end of this month and so had to finish the trilogy first (because I’m not watching the movie before I’m done the series, okay, no way, nada).

I remembered my love for Miss Peregrine’s and the excitement in Hollow City and was completely baffled to flip open Library of Soul and be… bored.

Some parts were just quite unrealistic and that is saying something since I read mostly about fantastical worlds. Some scenes just seemed a bit like a self-indulgent-fanfiction to me and I didn’t like that at all.

The characters were easy to ignore and I ceased to care about what happened to them. Emma and Jacob were wondering and anxious about their relationship? I couldn’t feel it. They had to save others ASAP before the world as they knew it ceased to exist? I couldn’t feel the urgency. Unexpected, heart-wrenching betrayal? I skimmed the aftermath. The only character I loved was the dog and sometimes Sharon because they both were funny. Other than that, I couldn’t care less if they all burned.

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Vivek Shraya - E-Writer in Residence for Teens

September 18, 2016 | Susan | Comments (0)

VivekshrayaWe are so lucky that the multi-talented Vivek Shraya is the E-Writer in Residence for 2016. She is a writer, musician and filmmaker and will share advice and ideas for young artists on this blog during October and November. 

And if you've ever wished for someone smart, kind and encouraging to give you feedback on your writing, here's your chance. Send Vivek an email now at with your stories or poems or songs, and she'll get back to you with insight and suggestions.

You can also attend a writing workshop led by Vivek Shraya at the Young Voices Writers' Conference on October 22. (Get a free ticket to the Conference here.)

If you haven't heard of Vivek, here's a bit about her:

Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. Her first novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014. Her debut collection of poetry, even this page is white, was released inn 2016. Vivek has read and performed inter­nationally, including sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached.

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