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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. Vivek will invite you to send her your stories and poems and 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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Volunteer Opportunity

September 15, 2016 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Planned Parenthood Toronto

 Are you between the ages of 16-19 years old? Do you like to talk/write about sex? Then you should apply to be a peer volunteer with Teen Programming! Teen Programming volunteers run Teen Health Source, an information service for GTA youth with questions about sexual and reproductive health. At Teen Health Source, peer volunteers provide information to clients by phone, text, chat, and email. Volunteers also have a hand in creating new articles and content for the Teen Health Source website! Supported by PPT staff, all volunteers accepted into this program participate in a comprehensive training course, which will increase their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and give them the necessary skills to help clients accessing Teen Health Source. In order to volunteer with this program, you must be able to commit to a minimum of three hours per week for one year.

 How can I apply?

For more details and to apply, please download the volunteer application from and e-mail it to: or fax it to: (416) 961-2512, or mail it to: Andrew Townsend, 36B Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1A9. The deadline to apply is midnight on Sunday October 9th, 2016.

Check the following link for more information on Teen Health Source

Contest Winner: Creative Places

September 14, 2016 | Monica | Comments (0)

I want to start off by thanking everyone for the amazing submissions, and for taking the time to enter. 

From this wonderful drawing by A.C., depicting herself looking out over the city:

Creative Contest- A.C










To this amazing shot of the city by Aloysius:

Creative Contest- Aloysius W











And of course, this beautiful painting by Grace:

Creative Contest- Grace T








With such amazing submissions, it was not easy to choose just one, and it was a very close call. But in the end, the winner is this very creative video submitted by Anita, who finds inspiration everywhere. Congratulations Anita!!

  Creative Contest- Anita P.

We hope you've had a great summer, and a great first few weeks back at school.  

Also, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this summer's program, so please take a moment to fill out this short survey for us. Thank you!

Contest Winner: #Bookface

September 10, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

We had some fun entries for this contest, which asked you to use a book cover to change your identity. (You can see more details here). Let's start with a few of my favourites, before I announce the big winner.

This one from Angela is a fun little play on gender performance:

Angela bookface 1

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September 9, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha

The_Hero_of_Ages_-_Book_Three_of_MistbornWell this trilogy has totally messed me up. I love it so much. This trilogy might be my favourite trilogy ever. Ever! If you haven’t read Mistborn, just read it. Read it. It’s incredible and scientifically proven to be impossible to dislike. READ IT. This trilogy reminded me of the reasons why I am madly in love with High Fantasy. The action, the plotting, the magic, the intricate world-building, ahhhh!! Speechless

The different point of views were great once again. It’s one of my favourite things about the novels because they make me feel so much closer to the cast of characters. True, not everybody could pull off multiple 3rd person POVs but Sanderson seamlessly weaves the different POVs together to create the masterpiece.

This was an incredible ending to an incredible trilogy and I’m very happy with it. Admittedly, it did not wrap up everything with a bow nor did everyone go on to live happily ever after and I did shed some tears but I was also blown away.

One of my favourite things is how many details and events from the first and seconds books, no matter how small and insignificant it may have seemed like at the time, played huge roles and revealed secrets in this novel. This shows how carefully planned the story arcs and worldbuilding is.

As of now, I only have two complaints about the trilogy. Firstly the writing style. It is not bad by any means and it more than gets the job done but it doesn’t feel like magic. I like my fantasy to have a certain type of prose, as if I myself am reading magic itself but the novels read in a more Sci-Fi Dystopia way. This isn’t necessarily bad and it’s just a personal preference but it sometimes threw me off.

Secondly, I would’ve liked a couple more female characters. True, we had Vin, Tindwyl, Ariellene and Beldre. However, only Vin felt like she was one of the main characters (the only female one) and Tindwyl was only in one of the three novels. The others, while pretty clever or just alright, weren’t as badass as either Vin or Tindwyl and I wanted Vin to have a girlfriend or two with whom she could seek company. Yet, most main characters were male and the women, while kinda important, were seen more as so-and-so’s girlfriend/wife/lover. That really frustrated me at times.

If you have yet to read this trilogy for some insane reason, do pick it up. This is now one of my all time favourites because of its worldbuilding, characters and character development, the humor, the adventure, the politics and how Brandon Sanderson does not cower away from anything. The amount of times things have seemed hopeless in these novels are uncountable, yet the characters pulled through by being clever and using their wits and talents. This is definitely a must-read for Fantasy fans.

Read Fariha's reviews of the first two books in the series:

The Well of Ascension

The Final Empire


Your Bookmark Here: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Volume 1, BFF

September 6, 2016 | Claire | Comments (0)


Moon Girl's Motto

MoonMoon Girl is a 10 year old girl genius who's a little obsessive about science.   Devil Dinosaur is a bright red T-Rex from an alternative dimension who finds himself unexpectedly on earth.  How do they become Best Friends Forever?  Well, it's kind of a funny story....

The character Devil Dinosaur not one I was familiar with, but he is apparently part of the Marvel canon, having been created by Jack Kirby in 1978 and appearing very occasionally (think every ten years or so) in supporting roles since then.  In his original adventure, Devil Dinosaur teamed up with Moon Boy against the Killer Folk (primitive humans) who inhabit Dinosaur World.  

 Moon Girl, aka Lunella LaFayette, is a new Marvel creation.  She has no superpowers as such, but she does have Inhuman DNA, which can potentially be triggered by the Terrigen Mist which keeps popping up and transforming people into either superheroes or monsters.  So rather than pay attention in school, she obsesses over alien technology and ends up accidentally opening a dimensional portal....well, you can guess the rest.  

BTW, I'd never heard of the Totally Awesome Hulk, aka Amadeus Cho,  before (I'm a big fan of classic Hulk, aka Bruce Banner), but he makes a guest appearance in Moon Girl's story.  At first I was all like "What is going on?" but he is actually very very funny.   Worth a look!


 Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur won the 2016 Glyph Comics Award for Best Female Character.  The Glyph awards highlight "the best comics made by, for and about people of color, showcasing diverse voices across the comics industry."  


Blast from the Past:  The original Devil Dinosaur

  Coming out in 2017 is Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Volume 2:  Cosmic Cooties.  Great name, huh?


 What girl-power comics have you been enjoying lately?








ROBOTS reviewed

September 6, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Anita, age 16

Robots crop
The past century brought to us one of the best advancements known to human civilization: animated movies. In an inspiring era of brilliant movies paved by studios like Disney and Pixar, all generations are guaranteed to have their heartstrings plucked by these inspirational and often tear-jerking movies. 

But hidden between the timeless classics of Lion King or Bambi, later smash hits like Frozen, and other beautiful films including Up, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and more, are many amazing and greatly undervalued films. 

One such movie is the 2005 film Robots from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox. It's a frequently overlooked feature set in a dystopian world of humanoid robots. It follows the adventures of Rodney Copperbottom, an adolescent robot who dreams of becoming an inventor and making the world a better place. The plot sounds fairly generic when described like that, but in reality, Robots is an extremely well made movie set in a fantastically sculpted universe with a great comedic plot. It also stars Robin Williams, the genius behind Genie in the Aladdin films, as the voice of Fender, a loveable red robot who just keeps falling apart. 

Past the jokes and well-played action also lies a deeper meaning of self-discovery and self-acceptance, beautifully portrayed in a movie that tells you: yeah life is pretty dang hard, but honestly, just follow your dreams, because otherwise, you're wasting it. 

And I completely agree with this message because seriously, what's the point of you being alive if you spend life being miserable? And there are no excuses, because dying while trying to accomplish your dreams is incomparably better than living a long, pointless life. 

But let's put aside my philosophical musings for another day. 

Robots is a funny, entertaining, and heartwarming film worthy of any animated film or Disney fanatic, and perfect for people of all ages who are looking for a genuinely good movie to watch. It's also capable of causing some strong feelings (I may have shed a few tears) so if you enjoy a good, hearty cry, that's another reason to watch this movie. 

If you haven't seen this movie yet, what are you waiting for? Go on!

Teen Game Review : Overcooked

September 3, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Review by Chelsea, age 12
  Overcooked by Ghost Town Games Poster Image

Overcooked by Ghost Town Games is a fun, cooperative game for your and your friends! It involves a great amount of teamwork, quick thinking, and of course, cooking. Can you master the art of cooking and save your city by feeding the meatball beast?

The pros of the game are:

  • it will improve your communication and teamwork skills
  • you could learn some new cooking recipes
  • you'll have fun!

The cons of the game are:

  • it's not fun if you don't have a friend around
  • you should be prepared for lots of yelling and impatience at the beginning of the game

My friends and I spent hours playing this game! It's a difficult challenge: you have to make a selected amount of recipes within a period of time! In the beginning (or tutorial), a monster appears, and it's hungry. You and your friend(s) work hard to create many salads for the monster! When you're finally finished, the monster is still not satisfied. So, the man that you are with opens a time portal and all of you escape! He brings you back in time to learn the ancient art of cooking, so you can save the city when you're ready! Are you up to the challenge?

Write a review and get a free book. My Curved Border

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