Toronto Public Library Homepage

THE FLASH reviewed

November 29, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Sharoon, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The flash posterThe TV show The Flash began in 2014 and it is now airing its second season. The series follows the life of a man named Barry Allen who is a forensic scientist. After an explosion with a particle accelerator, Barry slips into a coma. He later wakes up and finds out that he can run at super-speed. He chooses to become a superhero because he wants to find out who killed his mother. He encounters various foes and allies and does the best to protect the city. This series is truly one of the best superhero shows going on now. Filled with a lot of action and drama, this show engages many viewers. Now in season 2, this show has taken a further step in plot development and it has not disappointed viewers. This show has a very good storyline and I encourage people to watch it in their spare time.

Check out Flash books at the library!

Haiku to Win!

November 27, 2015 | E Writer in Residence 2015 — Eve Silver | Comments (9) Facebook Twitter More...

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry.

  • A Haiku is three lines long.
  • It has seventeen syllables.
  • The syllable count is 5/7/5.
  • Haiku often depicts nature and stresses simplicity, elegance, and clarity.
  • It is traditionally written in the present tense.
  • Modern Haiku often breaks the 5/7/5 rule and moves to topics outside nature.
  • Whether you approach the Haiku from a traditional or modern perspective, the goal is brevity and evocative imagery (which my example below lacks).


Like this:

Haiku three lines long

with seventeen syllables

five/seven/five count 


20662728Want to win a copy of Clariel by Garth Nix?

Just leave your Haiku in the comments below! One lucky commenter will win!

Need a Haiku topic idea? How about brushing your teeth, walking in a crowd, walking alone at night, being at a party but not feeling like part of the crowd, being at a party and having an awesome time, standing on a cliff overlooking a calm lake, kayaking in white water, or anything else that catches your writer's eye.




1. To enter, just leave your Haiku in the comments. 

2. You must live in Toronto to win this contest. 

3. You must provide a valid e-mail address so you can be contacted if you win a prize, and you must be able to come to a TPL branch to pick up your prize (see privacy statement below for more information).

4. One entry per person per Contest - you can leave more than one comment, but only your first comment will count as a contest entry. 

5. Contest ends Thursday December 3, 2015 at 11:59 pm. 

6. Winner will be contacted on the following Friday.

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.


Thinking of submitting your work to me for feedback? Contact info and details here.



Five Frames From . . . November 27th, 2015 Edition

November 27, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie are these images from? First to get it right gets a prize.

Cd1 Cd2 Cd3 Cd4 Cd5



All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.

Images can be viewed in larger format by clicking on them.


November 26, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Mandy, age 18

Cover of dramacon book 1Christie plans on debuting her manga that she made with her boyfriend at her first anime convention. Once there, she experiences the shock of seeing cosplayers, meeting a famous manga author, and her boyfriend ditching her! Angry, she runs away and meets a mysterious man named Matt and spends time with him and his friends. But what will happen to her manga? Her boyfriend? And the mysterious man who lives on the other side of the country? 

This is a great read that is full of emotions. It's never a dull moment at a convention with so much to see and do. This three part book is a great way to experience a con without leaving your chair.

Check Dramcon: Volume One out now!

Find other books by Svetlana Chmakova!

Writing Prompt #3

November 25, 2015 | E Writer in Residence 2015 — Eve Silver | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Missed the Flash Fiction post, Writing Prompt #1 and Writing Prompt #2? Check them out now!


Today I'm offering a few writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.


  • Is the person you present online different than the person you are in real life? In what ways does the real you differ from the online you? Why are they different?


  • What's the greatest responsibility you've ever undertaken? Was the responsibility something you volunteered for or something that was placed on you externally (e.g. did your parents or a teacher or friend place that responsibility on your shoulders?) How did you feel about it?


  • How do you feel about group projects and tasks that must be accomplished in teams? Are you a team player or a lone wolf? Do you resent group projects or love them? Why? If you could choose a sport, would it be one that you play as a sole sports enthusiast (e.g. tennis) or one that requires a group (e.g. football)?


  • Do you believe friendship is forever, or do you believe that people can outgrow/drift away from friends? Are you still friends with the people you grew up with? Have you established a new group of friends in recent months/years? Why?


I'd love to read what these prompts encourage you to write. Post in the comments or send me your words (either those spurred by these prompts or those you've already created. Contact info and submission requirements here.)



Justin Bieber's PURPOSE reviewed

November 23, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review by Belinda, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Purpose album coverAs most of you may know, Justin Bieber released his newest album Purpose on November 13 and it has since been a huge hit. A few of its singles, such as ‘Sorry’ and ‘What Do You Mean?’ were available to the public before the album release, as a header for the album drop. The album has been somewhat controversial, as some listeners believe it to be the best album he has made to date while others believe the music is not suited to his young fans, since it was made as a representation of his transition into adulthood and maturity.

Continue reading "Justin Bieber's PURPOSE reviewed" »

Music Video Monday - Julie Brown

November 23, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Julie Brown is an American singer, songwriter, comedian, actress, writer and director. She was most prevalent in the 1980's and 1990's where she had several comedy albums and also was featured in many mainstream movies. Her music is meant to parody the life of valley girls and the "Hardships" that they face. Her first big hit was "Homecoming Queen's got a Gun":


Continue reading "Music Video Monday - Julie Brown " »

The Industry—Part 2: What's a query letter?

November 20, 2015 | E Writer in Residence 2015 — Eve Silver | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Missed The Industry—Part 1: How do I find an Agent? Check it out here. 


A query letter is an introduction: you're introducing both yourself and your manuscript to an agent or editor. The letter needs to grab the reader's attention, make her sit up and take notice. So what do you include in a query letter? 


Before you even start your query letter, there's one essential step to complete: Finish the project! Finish the book before you start sending out query letters.


Essential Components of a Query Letter


1. Target a specific agent.

Many writers target more than one agent at once, sending their query letter to a slew of different agencies at the same time. There's nothing wrong with approaching a number of agents, but there is something wrong with addressing the letter to the wrong person. Check and double check the name. Make sure that you aren't addressing your letter "Dear Mr. Smith" when the agent you're sending this version of the letter to is Miss Jones.


2. The opening lines.

The agent/editor you are approaching with your query gets a ton of them every day. So you need to make yours stand out from the crowd. If you've met the agent at a conference, say so right up front. If you haven't met the agent, mention a reason you are contacting him/her.

If you don't want to lead with an introduction, another option is to lead with a hook. 

In this paragraph you might say something along the lines: In my 90,000 word young adult science fiction manuscript, Rush, a girl who just wants to be normal finds out she's anything but when her alien DNA sees her dragged into a video game where she must hunt aliens or be hunted by them.

That sentence tells the agent how long the manuscript is, what genre it fits into in the marketplace, and what the book is about.


3. The body of the letter.

This is the point that you tell the agent what your book is about. It should be one paragraph (two at most). This is a teaser for the story. Tell the agent who your character is, what obstacles they face, what the stakes are. Entice the reader to want to know more. This isn't the place to give a step by step description of your story from beginning to end.


4. A little about you.

This isn't the place to tell the agent about your pet turtle. But it is the place to claim your bragging rights. Have you been published in the Young Voices magazine? This is where you include that info. Have you been published anywhere else? Brag about it here. Have you won any prizes for your writing? Again, take this opportunity to toot your own horn. This is the place to mention anything writing/publishing related. 


5. Sign off.

Here's where you let the agent know that you have a complete manuscript ready for submission, and be sure to thank them for their time.


Want to know more about query letters?


Check out this blog post on query letters by author Jeannie Reusch. is a free database of literary agents. Check out the post there on How To Write A Query Letter.

Agent Kristin Nelson has a ton of great info about query letters and samples of successful queries on her blog, Pub Rants.


Want to WIN a copy of Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider or 99 Days by Katie Cotugno. Head over to the post on What Does Writing Mean to You? and enter to win!


Got questions about query letters? Leave them in the comments and I'll either answer there or include my replies in the next industry post.




Five Frames From . . . November 20th, 2015 Edition

November 20, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie are these images from? First to get it right gets a prize.

Lc1 Lc2 Lc3 Lc4 Lc5



All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed. 

Images can be viewed in larger format by clicking on them.

Your Bookmark Here: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

November 18, 2015 | Claire | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...



 When brilliant young visual and performing artist Addison Stone falls to her death while installing a new art project over a bridge at night,  everyone has lots of questions.  Was she killed by one of her two boyfriends?  Did she jump on purpose?  Was it an accident?  To answer these questions, writer Adele Griffin (who slyly makes herself a character in her own novel) interviews Addison's friends, teachers and family members, and discovers that the most compelling thing about Addison is not how she died but how she lived her tumultuous, flamboyant, glamorous, and somewhat ungrounded life. 

Adele has spoken to Parade magazine about some of her many inspirations for this story, among them Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Rolling Stone interviews, and model  Giza LaGarce, who posed for  photographs of the fictional Addison  (that's her in the paint-covered shirt up above).

What I love about Addison's story is how the interviews, faux news articles, and snapshots keep building up a richer and richer portrait of this artist/celebrity. I especially love how the book is illustrated throughout with "Addison's" artwork (mostly portraits of the people we meet in this book). This is actually the work of four different artists, each clustered together to evoke a sense of Addison's evolving style. They add a real punch to Addison's story, and they're often striking in their own right.  The later ones are quite mature, which is funny, because I never got the sense in the interviews that Addison had totally grown up.  All in all, a great read whether you're into art, celebrity or both!


Self-Portrait by Addison Stone, one of many portraits in The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone.  



Young Voice Electronic Writer in Residence. My Curved Border

Sign up for our
teen email newsletter