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THE MAZE RUNNER reviewed

August 2, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Dakota, age 15

Maze runner coverJames Dashner’s young adult science fiction novel is the first in the Maze Runner Trilogy. It combines familiar elements from Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games where a group of boys trapped in a foreign setting figure out a way of order while the Creators control the environment they are trying to survive in. That is to say, all the mystery and action that encompasses this book, from the beginning to the end, will keep the reader up all night.

When Thomas is dropped into the Glade by a box, all he can remember is his first name. But even so, he is not the only one. A group of boys do not exactly give Thomas a warm welcome into the Glade, which is camp in the middle of the dreadful maze. No one remembers where they are from or how they ended up in the maze. All they know for sure is that every morning, when the maze doors open, the boys must risk their lives hoping and searching for a way to escape. The day after Thomas arrives, the routine of a new boy arriving every month is broken as a new girl arrives. Consequently, this triggers dreadful and unsettling things to take place. Now, it is a matter of life or death.

Dashner is able to accomplish admirable characterization, action that is elaborated in detail, and a novel that is rich with events. Throughout the course of the novel, there is not a single moment of downtime as we follow the adventures of the characters in the maze. Everything happens so quickly, surprises and unexpected events are lined up one after the other, and with each new event, we discover something new about the world in which the characters of the novel exist. The Maze Runner will appeal to lovers of action, adventure, and dystopia. There is even more to expect as you carry on further into the series.

Check out the movie!

ABHORSEN reviewed

August 2, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Leon

Abhorsen trilogy

 

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix consists of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen and is one of the most creative and adventurous stories that I've ever read. Although it might be rather old compared to the current generation, that does not take away from the story. It's full of magic and mystery in a world where Necromancers exist, there were many exhilarating and heart warming moments that could captivate your attention for an entire afternoon. I'd recommend this to any fantasy genre lovers out there from the ages of 11-13.

THE WINNER'S CURSE reviewed

August 1, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Reviewed by Geneva, age 15

The winners curse coverThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski is frankly one of the best books I have read this year.

It is a young adult novel with a feel of both a historical or fantasy setting, but does not neatly fit under either category. The prose is beautiful, the romance is believable, and as I was reading, the world felt tangible and real.

The book centers around seventeen-year-old Kestrel, the daughter of the empire's general. Her empire enslaves those it conquers, and basks in its wartime success. In this sovereignty, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military, or she can get married.

However, she has other intentions. One day, Kestrel impusively buys a young slave during an auction. She is oblivious to the backlash and the unitended consequences that will follow. But when secrets arise and Kestrel's love for the slave begins to grow, she becomes aware of the high price she had paid in exchange for a slave's life.

What I enjoyed most about this book was its political intrigue. I have never read a book with such layers and complexity within its world. I was interested in each characters' role in their sovereignty, and how their decisions could impact more than just their surroundings. They were beyond citizens of an empire; they were pieces in a game of life or death.

In short, I thoroughly loved this book. The Winner's Curse features all my favourite aspects of a book – believable characters, poetic writing, and a setting that you cannot help but to feel you are in. I highly recommend!

Summer Read: Good old fashioned space western!

August 1, 2015 | stephen | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

PolariscoverPolaris

by Mindee Arnett

This one is a bit of a change of pace from the rest of my list but I love sci-fi just as much as I love fantasy.

Polaris (also available as an e-book) is book 2 of the Avalon series so if you haven't read Avalon, I highly recommend you do so. 

It's a great read filled with space battles, smugglers and all kinds of action. 

With the new Star Wars movie coming out on December, why not get started on the space theme early? 

Also if you are a fan of the Firefly/Serenity franchise, Polaris is a must read! 

This week's question has to do with space travel. The premise behind most science fiction stories is the idea of space travel and being able to easily fly to other planets

If you could visit anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why? 

 

Play-Alongs: Venn Diagrams

August 1, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Venn diagrams: not just for school anymore. Instead, people are using them to make biting points and hilarious observations all over the place. 

Not sure what a Venn diagram is? Think two groups of things represented by circles, and where they overlap, you put things that fit in both groups at once. Here, tell you what, let's let Seth Meyers explain: 

They are just as fun in print. Take this for example: 

  Platypus

This one, for sci-fi series fans:

Nerd venn
 

Or, say this pointed commentary: 

Venn of emotions

So now it's your turn. You even have choices here!

You can tell me what you think the solutions for the one below are, or make up your own. GO! 

Popular-Movie-Characters-Venn-diagram1

 

Coming Soon: Get Set, Summer Readers!

July 31, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Required-reading
Here are the books we're talking about for the next couple of weeks! 

August 3-8

Monday  - The Family Romanov, a non-fiction book about a fascinating Russian dynasty

Tuesday - Supermutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki (we love her!) - a webcomic in a book

Wednesday - Glory O'Brien's History of the Future - this sounds dark and fascinating, about a girl seeing visions of the future

Thursday - Freedom Summer Murders - timely non-fiction book about a horrific event - the lynching of civil rights workers trying to register African-Americans to vote. 

Friday - The Shadow Hero - a graphic novel about the the first Asian superhero, a great origin story

Saturday - The Sin-Eater's Daughter - a novel about a girl who kills with her touch. Creepy? But also lovely. 

August 10-15

Monday - Pride and Prejudice - yes that one, but in manga/graphic novel form! 

Tuesday - Clouded Sky - the second book in Megan Crewe's alien trilogy. The third comes out this fall! 

Wednesday - I Will Always Write Back - an interesting memoir of a friendship by mail

Thursday - Liars, Inc. - Cameron's on this novel, so you know he will have an opinion

Friday - Fig - a girl looking after her mother, who has mental health issues, who is also wrestling with her own 

Saturday - Legends, Rebels, and Icons - non-fiction look at music legends. I can't wait to read this one! 

So if you want to read along and contribute comments, now you know when to shoot for! 

See you there… (if your face isn't covered by a book, that is.)

THE GAME SERIES reviewed

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

Review by Sara, age 15

The game series book covers
I’m doing a review on the series The Game Trilogy by Eve Silver that I recently read as part of the 2015 White Pine awards. This is an amazing trilogy made up of the three books Rush, Push, and Crash. This series is a mix of sci-fi, dystopian, and romance. These books are a thrilling take on an alien invasion, putting into question who the bad guy really is. A group of teens are constantly ripped from reality and brought to an alternate dimension to fight off creatures they’ve been told are their enemy by a mysterious “committee.” The “game” starts to seep into their real lives as the line between reality and this other dimension begins to blur. Their missions quickly go from fighting for the fate of their planet, to fighting against their will for survival. These books are action packed and always leave you wanting more right up until the end.

Book Dominoes!

July 31, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The things you do with all that free time you have in the summer... 

Five Frames From . . . July 31st, 2015 edition

July 31, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

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

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All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.

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.

Summer Read: Art School Confidential

July 31, 2015 | Helena | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

TruthCommission

Green Pastures is a Nanaimo, B.C. arts school founded by a farmer who achieved late-in-life success as a painter of country life.  It is pretty much a perfect school where the students are engaged (they're there because they want be), the teachers are supportive, and everyone is very open-minded and tolerant.  

It is in this somewhat rarefied environment that Normandy Pale and her two best friends Neil Sutton and Dusk (real name: Dawn) Weintraub-Lee begin a social movement of sorts.  They start asking their fellow students and a staff member pointed questions designed to make them talk about that *one* thing that is bugging them and then hopefully experience a cathartic release.  

At various times, they justify their probing with the old adage that the Truth Will Set You Free. Normandy, however, isn't as convinced of the higher good of their "truth commission" as Neil and Dusk.  Sometimes, she wonders if it isn't all just gossiping ultimately.  And she's on to something.  Because while Aimee Danes, the first person they confront, might feel great immediately after she confesses that she got some plastic surgery over the summer (with an eye to a career in broadcasting), she does have her ups and downs later on.  And so it goes with everyone else they ask.  But, as Normandy finds out on the most personal level, the truth might be painful sometimes, and things might feel wobbly for a while, but, in the end, the truth is worth it.  

Normandy's truth has to do with her older sister Keira, the most special of special snowflakes, who, as a teen, published a blockbuster fantasy graphic novel series called The Diana Chronicles that bowled over critics and readers alike with its incredible illustrations and its imaginative stories, stories that are based on Normandy, herself, and their parents.  In the Diana Chronicles, Normandy and her parents are portrayed as gormless and petty.  Normandy's character, Flounder, is actually described as "dim-witted," "charmless," and "barely house-trained."  The strange thing is Normandy and her parents have done nothing but support Keira.  While she was living at home before she left for art college, they never had people over and spoke in hushed tones, and generally tiptoed around the remote and ethereal Keira - all so that she could have a quiet and peaceful environment to work on her art.  But as Normandy's involvement in the "truth commission" grows, it becomes clear to her that the truth-seeking needs to start closer to home and that she needs to confront the truth about herself and her family.  

By the way, I hereby nominate Keira Pale for top ten worst literary sister.  Are there any characters from books you are not a big fan of?  And why?  Dudley Dursley anyone?  

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