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Your Bookmark Here: Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

December 1, 2016 | Claire | Comments (0)

TitleWhat would you do to get into your university of choice?  Study hard?  Do volunteer work?  Design an app?  If you're trying to get into Stanford like Reshma Kapoor, you know that it might take a little something more than that.  Something spectacular.  Something that will set you apart from all the other top-of-their-school applicants.  A hook--something nobody else has.

Reshma's hook?  She's going to write a teen novel while still in high school.  And get it published.  By an actual publishing house.  She actually has an agent.  What could possibly go wrong?

I kept going back and forth while I was reading this book.  There were times when I found myself caught up in Reshma's energy, determination, and dirty schemes, and other times when I found myself starting to dislike her--she's kind of like Anakin Skywalker, a lot of potential but way too open to the dark side.  The author's webpage describes the book as a cross between Gossip Girl and House of Cards.  Who could resist?

Oh, and by the way?  If you like metafiction--walk, don't run, to your library shelves.  You can't get more meta than this one. 

The Trouble with YA Dystopian Novels Today – A Throne of Glass Review

December 1, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Azeeza, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Throne of glass CoverLike many youth, my love for YA Dystopian novels took up much of my time and stopped me from exploring other genres of books. Dystopian novels were always so wonderful, why would I want anything else when I already knew what I liked? This ideology worked well for me until what I liked… wasn’t the same anymore. Dystopian novels are often advertised as belonging to the action/adventure genres. As a reader, this is what I had grown to expect and love. The thrill of your beloved characters facing deadly circumstances, the risks being taken and the uncertainty of what would happen next, never failed to capture me… until these elements fell second to one element: romance.

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Teen Review - Hamilton

November 27, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Vyshnavi, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Hamilton 1On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, I had the privilege to see hit Broadway Musical “Hamilton”. The musical, which originally started playing in New York in the Richard Rodgers Theater, is now playing in the Private Bank Theater in Chicago. Originally based on the biography “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, the musical has played in New York since August 2015, and has gained nationwide success immediately. During the past few weeks, I had been overwhelmed with the amount of school work I had been getting. I thought grade 9 was hard, but turns out grade 10 is tenfold the difficulty. I have always been a fan of the musical, to a point where it was the only thing I listened to on repeat. I also got a few of my classmates in Spanish class to listen to it, and we are currently working on translating the whole musical to Spanish. I somehow convinced my mom to take me to Chicago to see the exceptional show during my school’s November break.

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Teen Review - Heaven on Earth

November 26, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Zahin, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Heaven on earth coverA couple of days back I went to my local library and signed out the book called Heaven on Earth by LIFE Books. It is a photography book featuring beautiful images of world destinations, mainly to spark world vacation ideas. The book features colourful photography of beautiful worldwide scenes and professionally written descriptions of each destination. In my opinion, the best part of the book would have to be the rhythmic descriptions. They have a sort of flow that goes through the mind making beautiful images pop up, almost as if making your mind drool over the pictures.

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Teen Review - Red Queen

November 25, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Reviewed by Sohinee

Red Queen coverA world with two races of people: one with red blood and one with silver blood. Silvers, high class people with different abilities. Reds, lower class people slaving away their lives to live and survive Silver cruelty. Mare Barrow, a thief and a Red girl trying to make ends meet. While trying to scrounge up money for her best friend to prevent him from being shipped off to the war, Mare falls into Silver hands as they discover she, a girl with Red blood, has Silver blood. Mare becomes betrothed to Prince Maven when her powers are discovered. She becomes split between who she is and what they are forcing her to become.

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Teen Review - The Rose and the Dagger

November 24, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
Reviewed by Fariha

The rose and the dagger coverFrom the stars, to the stars.

To be quite honest, I had high expectations for the ending of this duology and not all of them were quite met. However, it was still an enjoyable ride. So, 3.5 stars for the slightly-not-as-epic-as-one-would-hope, magical, lyrical conclusion to the Wrath and the Dawn duology.

The characters were awesome, once again. I loved them and watching their character developments come to an arc made me feel like a doting mother and a proud friend. I also love how some of the secondary characters from the first book had a larger part in the book, such as Irsa, and each character has their own story that intertwines with the main plot. Makes the characters and the world seem more alive, I find.

Give me a meaningful love or a beautiful death!

We also got to explore the magical aspects of the world, which was very interesting and curious. There are some cool things that had me very excited and even though we were given some information, I wanted some more history of how some of the magic came to be.

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Everything, Everything Movie In The Works

November 22, 2016 | Helena | Comments (0)

Everything Everything

As the saying goes, anticipation is half the fun.  In that spirit, have you heard the good news that a movie is in the works for Nicola Yoon's smash hit Everything, Everything?  It's set for August of next year and will star Hunger Games actor Amandla Stenberg.  You might also want to check out Nicola's latest book The Sun Is Also A Star which, again, is a hit with readers, currently sitting at #6 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and critics alike.  Be sure to check out both books!  

Ask Vivek: Recap

November 21, 2016 | E Writer in Residence 2016 — Vivek Shraya | Comments (0)

Ask Vivek - Recap

This, sadly, is my last post as E-Writer in Residence. It’s been such a gift to connect with you in person at various libraries and events, and online through your writing. I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to read (and listen) to your words. I am immensely grateful for your trust in me. That said, my last day isn’t until Friday, November 25, so please keep sending me your writing!

When I began this position, my inspiration for the “Ask Vivek” posts was centered around you—I wanted to ensure that my posts spoke to questions you had about writing and art. I also think there can be so much mystery and solitude around writing. My hope was these posts would provide information to help making writing feel more accessible to you. I also hoped these posts would provide you a sense of support. 

For this final post, I have compiled a list of tips and highlights from my previous posts.

  1. On art making: Art is a powerful means to connect with others who have had similar, and different, experiences—others who want to share their stories.
  2. On writing prompts: Having a central question as a prompt can be challenging but can also give your writing or project a direction, as your goal then becomes answering this question.
  3. On songwriting: Spend the time in developing your own sound by writing constantly. The more songs you write, the better your songs will get.
  4. On novel writing: There might be days when you write only one sentence. This is okay. More than okay! This is part of the process. The most important thing is that you are committed to the writing and will show up again tomorrow.
  5. On comic making: “Make something that excites you—something that you would want to read! It can be good to start small. Make a one- or two-page story, where you can play around with your style and storytelling, and see if it's an idea you like enough to spend more time on.”
  6. On writing poetry: Reading works by other poets was useful as it allowed me to see how other writers were using the form and breaking “the rules.”
  7. On dealing with rejection: I remind myself that rejection isn’t personal. There are many factors as to why certain things get chosen over others and many of these factors I have no control over.
  8. On writing about the personal: When possible, I try to write ethically. I change the names of individuals and settings. I change the description of individuals’ appearances.

This past week has been a hard week. But I feel especially inspired by writers like Lawrence Hill who are speaking out about the various injustices that are taking place in the world. Please let me know what is inspiring you this week in the comments!

Red Maple and White Pine 2017 Award Nominees

November 18, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

The OLA (Ontario Library Association) has announced the nominees for the 2017 Red Maple and White Pine awards! In case you haven’t heard of them before, these two awards are part of the Forest of Reading Awards for Canadian books in various categories. In particular, Red Maple is for fiction aimed at grades 7-8 and White Pine is for fiction aimed at grades 9-12. Every year, over 250,000 readers take part in voting for the winning books.

If you want to participate and cast your vote, you need to get reading! So here are the nominated lists for this year.

Red Maple

Born With Flickers The Hill Lucky jonah MiNRS

Sea Change Shattered Glass Shooter Trouble is a Friend of Mine Unquiet Past

Born With: Erika and Gianni, by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

This is the second book in the One-to-One series by Clockwise Press.  The first book, Fragile Bones, was also a Red Maple honor book last year, and this relatively young Canadian publisher has a specific mission to publish high-quality YA and children’s books featuring themes of diversity, inclusion, and global awareness.

Flickers, by Arthur Slade (ebook)

The Hill, by Karen Bass

Lucky Jonah, by Richard Scrimger (ebook)

MiNRS, by Kevin Sylvester (ebook)

Sea Change, by Frank Viva

Frank Viva has had a wide-ranging career from genre-redefining picture books to New Yorker illustrations.  He runs a design firm, and he is currently working an adult fiction title about a typographer. Read the Globe and Mail review of Sea Change.

Shattered Glass, by Teresa Toten (ebook)

Shattered Glass and The Unquiet Past are both part of the Secrets series. The book is in the same format as the well-known Seven Sequels and Seven Prequels series.

Shooter, by Caroline Pignat (ebook)

Caroline Pignat's 2014 book Unspeakable was reviewed for our summer program Word Out and The Gospel Truth is on our historical fiction booklist. Read-alike This Is Where It Ends was a New York Times bestseller.

Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly (ebook)

Trouble is a Friend of Mine was on our 2016 TPL Teens Summer Edition (TTSE) booklist. The sequel, Trouble Makes a Comeback, is on order.

The Unquiet Past, by Kelley Armstrong (ebook)

Shattered Glass and The Unquiet Past are both part of the Secrets series. The book is in the same format as the well-known Seven Sequels and Seven Prequels series.

 

White Pine

Calvin Dan vs Nature Emperor of Any Place Exit, Pursued by a Bear Fifteen Lanes

Orange Grove Rodent Scorpion Rules Thousand Nights Worlds of Ink and Shadow

Calvin, by Martine Leavitt (ebook)

Martine Leavitt’s previous titles include the CLA Young Adult Book Award winner My Book of Life by Angel.  Calvin was also on our 2016 TTSE booklist.

Dan vs. Nature, by Don Calame (ebook)

We reviewed Dan vs. Nature in our regular Your Bookmark Here series.

The Emperor of Any Place, by Tim Wynne-Jones (ebook)

This title was one of our 2016 TTSE Top Ten Local Reads. One of the library's teens wrote a book review, and we even created an author page for Tim Wynne-Jones.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by E.K. Johnston (ebook)

E.K Johnston's previous title Prairie Fire was on our summers reads list for 2015. Prairie Fire, itself, is a sequel to Story Of Owen  E.K. Johnston is the author of Star Wars: AhsokaStar Wars: Lost Stars and Star Wars: Bloodline, both by Claudia Gray, are also in this series.

Fifteen Lanes, by S.J. Laidlaw (ebook)

The Orange Grove, by Larry Tremblay (ebook)

Rodent, by Lisa J. Lawrence

The Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow (ebook)

The Scorpion Rules is the current CLA Young Adult Book Award winner.  The sequel, Swan Riders, is now out.  Also, Erin Bow posted on the library's blog this past summer, as The Scorpion Rules was one of our 2016 TTSE Top Ten Local Reads. Her previous titles include Plain Kate and Sorrow’s Knot and are also award winners.

A Thousand Nights, by E.K. Johnston (ebook)

The follow up to A Thousand Nights is Spindle, which is now on order.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow, by Lena Coakley (ebook)

The previous book to Worlds of Ink and Shadow is Witchlanders.  Worlds of Ink and Shadow is about is about the Brontes and is considered historical fantasy. It was also on our 2016 TTSE booklist.  Other books about the Brontes are Always Emily by Michaela MacColl and World Within by Jane Eagland.

 

This award has been running for years, so check out all the amazing titles and winners of previous Red Maple and White Pine Awards. Happy Reading!

 

Post updated November 23, 2016.

Teen Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

November 17, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Fariha


The wrath and the dawn coverYou are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.

The Wrath and the Dawn is an intense, romantic and magical book that takes the reader to a palace centuries before. The book is well rounded in nearly every aspect with great characters, relatable and believable banter and relationships, atmospheric settings and lush writing. I flew through the book and all the while, my life was more focused on the story than my actual life.

The story consumed me and took over all my senses because of how vividly Ahdieh painted the pictures. Her writing is woven like a spider’s web, each word is chosen as precisely for the sentence as each strand of silk, each leaf on a tree and she somehow captures smells within words, all the while managing to keep a balance of gorgeous, flowing prose and not straying towards overcompensating, lengthy metaphors or mindless descriptions. I am in awe. She makes me want to knit words that fit together snugly and bring the reader warmth.

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