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Staff Picks: Honestly Ben

April 23, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

BenIn the follow up/companion novel to "Openly Straight" Bill Konigsberg takes us back into the world of Ben Carver. Ben's life is back to normal and he has put the difficult relationship with Rafe behind him and he is doing very well. He is captain of the baseball team, has won a full scholarship to go to college and he kind of has a crush on this new girl Hannah. However, as Ben begins to mature and develop more he is beginning to notice things that did not capture his attention before.

His mother seems oddly removed from her own life, school feels much harder than it has in the past - especially with the pressure of maintaining high grades to keep his scholarship. Rafe is already dating someone else and Ben worries that he could be the normal that he needs right now. Also why is Ben's father so distant and yet so demanding?

"Honestly Ben" is a funny and impeccable read for fans of David Levithan, Andrew Smith and John Green. This book will appeal to anyone who at one point in their life has tried to just honestly be themselves.

Get the physical book here. No e-book at the moment but keep checking. 

Staff Picks: City of Saints and Thieves

April 16, 2017 | Alice | Comments (0)

City of saints and thievesIf there is one thing Tiny Girl knows, it's her plan for revenge: first Dirt, then Money, then Blood. She's been living and breathing it for years as she builds skills as a master thief for the Goondas and prepares herself. And now that it's time, she finds that the one thing she didn't prepare herself for was questioning her own mission and confronting the past that led her here. 

Tina is a Congolese refugee, invisible in the streets of Kenya's Sangui City, and hellbent on avenging her mother's death. She decides to take down the rich, powerful white man who took in her and her mother before her mom was murdered in his home. When she is compelled to investigate, she discovers a twisted path of corruption, brutality, and attempts at salvation that try to survive the hell of an ongoing war.

This book is a tense, taut thriller that urges you forward at the same time that it exposes the costs and casualties of wars fueled by gold in places we rarely hear about. Brilliantly written, it had me on the edge of my seat and deeply invested in Tiny's story and safety as she defies the Goonda boss to pursue the truth of her past. It's a rare combination of compelling and utterly new, and I've been recommending it to anyone who likes some meat in their mystery.

Read City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson, read the ebook, or listen to the eaudiobook.

words and music by . . .

April 10, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

IndexAre you a music aficionado? A absent minded radio listener? Perhaps you're a musician/performer yourself. The library has a few resources that will most likely appeal to many music lovers and musicians.

Make Some Noise:
Is an after hours concert series of live bands playing in branches of the Toronto Public Library (by after hours we mean after the library closes at either 5:00 or 8:30 pm). The next upcoming performance is the duo Tasseomancy and Castle If who will be performing at the Yorkville branch on April 29th with the program commencing at 7:00 pm and the doors opening at 6:30.

The Local Music Collection:
This is a physical collection of compact discs from musicians across Canada. The CD's are located in 20 branches of the library and can be access on line and placed on hold. Those musicians who have made their music available through streaming can be accessed online through the libraries portal tpl.ca/downloads. (you have to have an up-to-date library card to access the streaming collection). The collection has a focus on Toronto artists but also looks nation wide for new music and talent. There is also a reference collection of this music (a lot of it on vinyl) at the reference library.

Sheet Music:
You can also access sheet music from the libraries collections. The variety of the sheet music varies greatly but runs the gamut from classical to contemporary music. These scores are generally reference but much of it does circulate so you can take the sheets home to learn and practice.

Instrument Lending Library:
The Parkdale branch has a collection of instruments that can be borrowed to take home with a library card. This collection includes string instruments, brass, drums, keyboards, and classic and acoustic guitars. Follow this link to find out more about this esoteric collection.

 

Staff Picks: The Hate U Give

April 9, 2017 | Elsa | Comments (0)

  32075671On the drive home, 16 year-old Starr Carter and her childhood friend, Khalil, are pulled over. Khalil, unarmed, is fatally shot by the police officer and Starr is the sole witness to her friend's murder. In the months that follow, Starr struggles with the pressure of testifying before a grand jury and the responsibility of speaking out in Khalil's memory. To fit in with the different cultures of her elite private school and her violence-filled neighbourhood, Starr code switches and readers experience the hilarity and difficulties of her double life. The Hate U Give lays out the systemic racism in more ways then one in an honest, and unflinching way. More than just an excellent and timely young adult novel, it is also a compelling and hilarious family drama filled with characters that readers will love and identify deeply with. There is a hopeful message at the end and I cannot recommend the book enough.

The Hate U Give has received a lot of press and critical acclaim and movie rights have already been sold.  

Place a hold on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, read the ebook or listen to the eaudiobook.

Teen Review - Room

March 31, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

review by Naomi, member of Cedarbrae Library's Youth Advisory Group


Room  by Emma DonoghueRoom, a novel by Emma Donoghue, is an award winning, thrilling, inspiring, and powerful story about the love between a mother and her five-year-old son. The back-story is about a Woman who had been kidnapped in her twenties and kept inside a shed for seven years. In that eleven by eleven foot space she gave birth to a son named Jack and raised him. Soon she grew impatient and Jack began to become curious about the outside world. This story is about how they devise a plan to escape from the kidnapper and the tiny shed and how they try to adjust to the world they had been kept away from for almost a decade. The novel is has been made into an Oscar-winning movie.

Continue reading "Teen Review - Room" »

Teen Review - The Orange Grove

March 27, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Kisanth, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The orange grove  by larry tremblayThe novel, The Orange Grove written by Larry Tremblay, revolves around twins named Amed and Aziz who are living in a small town in the Middle East, where bombings are a daily occurrence. A tragedy strikes the family when the twin’s grandparents die in bombings. The family decides to take revenge for the death. They come to a decision that one of the twins will train to be a suicide bomber and bomb the other side of the mountain from where the bombs have been thrown at them. Since Aziz is sick and cannot be cured, he cannot be the chosen one. Instead, Amed becomes the chosen one. Aziz didn't want go because he has a fear of death and his mother, Tamara, too does not want him to go either. Tamara plants an idea in Amed that will be life changing for both him and Aziz.

Continue reading "Teen Review - The Orange Grove" »

Teen Review - The Leveller

March 22, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Asifa, Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group member

The leveller  by julia durangoThe Leveller is a novel about a game that allows a person to play with their minds in a virtual-reality gaming world while they are asleep, or in a sleep-like state. The protagonist of the book, Nixy Bauer, is a girl whose job is to bring kids back from the virtual-reality game if they have been in it for too long. When the game’s developer (who, mind you is quite rich) finds out that his son has decided to “commit suicide” by staying in the game, he decides that Nixy should be the one to go after his son and take him out of the gaming world. Turns out, the guy is actually stuck in the game and cannot get out. It’s up to Nixy and the boy to figure out how to get out of the gaming world.

Continue reading "Teen Review - The Leveller" »

Teen Review - The Art of Not Breathing

March 17, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Dawes Road Youth Advisory Group member Marilyn

The art of not breathing  by Sarah alexanderThe Art of Not Breathing, written beautifully by Sarah Alexander, is a lot like the Art of letting go. This book tells a story of a girl's best friend, her twin brother, in a devastating incident. Through all the challenges Elsie, the protagonist, and her family face she still tries to reach her brother and forever let go. Even after her brother was physically gone from her life, she always felt that he was right next to her at all times. Through struggles of growing up herself, Elsie starts to get used to bad habits after her brothers death. When she finds someone to show her a better passion of free- diving, her whole world changes, and she finds a way to reach her brother for one last time to say goodbye.

Continue reading "Teen Review - The Art of Not Breathing" »

Your Bookmark Here: The End of Oz

March 12, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

In 2014 Danielle Paige introduced a new chapter in the Oz mythology; well researched and true to the originals, this new novel was about how Dorothy had returned to Oz and was ruining this magical place. Three years later and 7 novellas, 2 novels and we are finally  coming to the thrilling conclusion of what will Dorothy's fate be and will Amy Gumm successfully terminate her?

0062423770Over the scope of all the previous works comes the final chapter in this series. Amy has not been as successful as he had hoped at defeating Dorothy and her team and now she is under the firm grip of the Gnome King. Also some terrifying realities have been brought to light about the relationship between Kansas and Oz and what is really behind all the nefarious activities by the tyrants in the Emerald City.

To make matters worse Amy's arch-nemesis from Kansas, Madison, has shown up in Oz and Amy has to protect her as well as saver herself and Ozma from the Gnome king, get back to Oz and help the "Order of the Wicked" to save the magic that remains. However, Dorothy is driven by rage and out for revenge and she has a few tricks up her sleeve. Will Amy's inherited magic be enough to stop her? Can Oz ever return to the mythical and magical place it was before Dorothy ever arrived?

This is a page turning, jaw dropping, heart pounding of a conclusion. And if you are at all like this avid reader and fan of the series you will finish this book and return to the first one as there is so much you may have forgotten, or subtle hints that you didn't see. "The End of Oz" is available on May 14, 2017.

Place a hold on The End of Oz here. And keep a look out for the e-book coming soon.

Joyful page turners (book clubs for youth in Toronto)

March 9, 2017 | Cameron | Comments (0)

Many times young people and their love of reading gets ignored by more traditional book clubs or by the fear that the book club will be too much like a high school English class room. But that is not to say that youth do not enjoy a good read and an interesting and in-depth discussion of that book/poem/play/manuscript, etc.

Here are a few book clubs in Toronto that young people are welcome to attend and participate in.

 

The Young Adult Book Club in High Park


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This is a unique one as it is for youth but it is also an active book club where the group meet at Keele Station and then walk about in High Park and discuss the reading materials while they ramble around the park. The book club takes about an hour and includes a pit stop at Grenadier Cafe. The next date for this book club is March 11th and the book is "The Nightmarys" by Dan Poblocki, please visit the website for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

The Spectatorial Book Club


Index.aspxThere is a certain satisfaction in finding someone who’s equally passionate about a book as you, as willing to discuss the scenes you can’t get out of your mind or offer an alternative perspective on an event in the plot. Literature moves us, and as much as it is perfect for getting alone and cozy with a book, it is equally thrilling to sit with a group of people and bring these words to life.

The Spectatorial, the University of Toronto’s only speculative journal, has created a book club with specifically this thought in mind. Together, we will create an atmosphere where fellow bibliophiles can meet twice a month to discuss a curated selection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and the many wonderful sub-genres of speculative literature. Books will range from fiction to poetry, novels to manga. Together, Ben Berman Ghan, the journal’s fiction editor, and Margaryta Golovchenko, the online editor, will alternate in selecting a different book each month for the club to discuss and enjoy.

With the abundance of books out there, it’s difficult sometimes to choose what to read, either because you’re not sure what you should be focusing on that’s considered to be foundational work, or maybe you’re hoping to find a diamond in the rough, something moving and under-appreciated. The Spectatorial Book Club’s goal is to present both classics in the speculative genre as well as lesser-known wonders, each month alternating between a book from one category to one from the other, thus facilitated by a different editor. Discussion can focus on literary and thematic aspects of works, the primary goal being to create an informal and comfortable atmosphere for sharing ideas and impressions.

Our first book is: Flowers for Algernon. If you own it, great! If not, borrow it from the Toronto Public Library. Ages 16+ welcome, and feel free to join our Facebook group to get the latest on meeting dates, topics and more about The Spectatorial!

Get: Flowers for Algernon from the library.

 

The Girly Book Club


Index.aspxThis book club is for females and it exists in many cities. The premise is to create a safe space for women who are like minded and share a passion for books and want to be able to talk about them in a friendly and familiar surrounding. All the different cities read the same book and then meet up at the end of the month to discuss the title at hand. This book club is for women of all ages and it also offers a chance to meet other women with similar interests, set an agenda, and start a global conversation.  This month the title is "The Pearl that Broke its Shell" by Nadia Hashimi and you can get the title from the library here as a physical book. Or here as an eBook.

 

 

 

A Room of Your Own - An Interactive Book Club for Girls


Index.aspxA Room of Your Own is an interactive book club targeted primarily at teen girls (13-18 years of age) of all races and ethnic backgrounds. Allowing them to express their curiosity, ambitions, hopes and frustrations, A ROOM OF YOUR OWN is a forum to share fun, feelings, and opinion with their peers and with their favorite authors. This new generation book club that will be 60 minutes in length and be once a month. The book club?s chief objectives are to have fun, and give teen girls what they need (and not what adults think they want). This fully interactive book club for teenage girls will discuss all subject matters that pertain to being young and maturing into adulthood via today's standards and pressures. This unique and innovative book club will choose a teen novel every month and discuss the subject matters of the story line and the relevance to teen girls? lives. This book club will not be intimidated by any subject matter! We will have the author present along with a specialist in the particular area of field that we are discussing. The novel will be a doorway into the lives of teen girls of all backgrounds. The March book is "The Scorpion Rules" by Erin Bow and they meet on Friday March 10th at Lillian H. Smith.

Get The Scorpion Rules here or get the eBook here.

 

Book Buzz . . . the buzz about books

170px-Longwaycover01The book buzz is an online meeting space for anyone to get together and discuss books from Toronto Public Library. Although not exclusively youth, there are many youth members who comment and get involved regularly. The only difference here is that this book club is online and there are no physical meet ups. This online book club will be great for people who don't have a lot of time to get out to physical meetings, but still want to be involved in a discussion about books. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and created user name.

Youth Hub Homework. My Curved Border

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