Author Q&A: Raziel Reid

January 30, 2015 | Helena | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

WhenEverythingFeels

Raziel Reid is the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award winner for children’s literature (in the text category) for his debut novel When Everything Feels Like The Movies, and he is the youngest winner in the award’s history.  When Everything Feels Like The Movies is a moving and skillfully told story about a gay teen named Jude who counters the bullying and isolation he experiences in his daily life with an alternate imaginative life in which he is the glamourous star of his own Hollywood production. 

In addition to winning the Governor General’s Award, When Everything Feels Like The Movies is one of the five finalists in this year’s CBC Canada Reads program and, worth noting, the first YA book ever to be a finalist.  At the same time, there is now a petition to revoke Raziel’s Governor General’s Award which calls the book vulgar.  I believe Jude’s voice is intentionally provocative, and it is key to understanding his coming-of-age.  His voice is distinctive, vivid, and authentically youthful and will resonate with teens.

Raziel graciously participated in a short Q&A in which he answered questions about his book and gave writing advice.

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You Guys! Insurgent Trailer!

January 29, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Yup, it's here, and very, very full of things shattering into fragments. 

It's just the sort of preview trailer for the Superbowl, so it will still be interested to see what the full trailer looks like, but meanwhile, this: 

 

What's on Wednesday: January 28 to February 4

January 28, 2015 | Amy | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

What's On Wednesday is our guide to some of the Toronto Public Library programs for teens happening in the next seven days. Here are this week's highlights:

Black-history-month
February marks the start of Black History Month! 
Here's the complete list of programs going on in February to celebrate!

Wednesday January 28th

          • Tech Day at the Library @ Barbara Frum branch, 12-2pm. Did you know that you can download eBooks and eMagazines for free at the library? Learn about eReaders, eBooks, eMagazines, online resources and much more! All are welcome.

 

Friday January 30th

Saturday January 31st

  • 3D Printer Certification @ Toronto Reference Library, 10-11am. Staff members show participants how to use the 3D printer at the Digital Innovation Hub - including: How to prepare a 3D design file for print; How to use the equipment properly and safely; Reviewing the rules and guidelines to using the 3D printer.
  • Sprouts and Microgreens @ Long Branch, 1-3pm. Grow your own food anywhere, anytime. This introductory workshop is co-sponsored with The Healing Muse.

Monday February 1st

Wednesday February 4th

  • The International Inventors Museum: The Real McCoy @ Mount Dennis branch, 10am-4pm. The travelling museum display features a range of inventions including everyday items such as the window cleaner, the eggbeater, lawn mower, space shuttle retrieval and more. Drop in for a visit!
  • Meet author Velvet Haney @ Bloor/Gladstone branch, 7-8pm. Author and former model Velvet Haney reads from her debut graphic memoir, "The Mousehouse Years," the turbulent story of a dysfunctional romance, a single mother raising six children and a childhood filled with adversity and adventure, set primarily in the slums of 1960's Toronto.
  • 1st Birthday Party: New 3D printer & printer scan demo @ Toronto Reference Library. Come celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Digital Innovation Hub at Toronto Reference Library. Get a first look and demo of our new Kossel Express 3D printer. Sign up for a 3D scanning demo (1st come, 1st serve)! Also: All day long on February 4, 2015, drop by the Hub at the Reference Library to enter a draw to win your own 3D scan. The lucky winner will also get a free 3D print of their 3D selfie.

Ongoing programs

  • Pan Am Poetry Slams - various times and branches. The Pan Am Poetry Slam Initiative a.k.a. Poetry Saved Our Lives (PSOL) is a major poetry slam competition for youth 13-19. The workshop series and open mics provide mentorship and artistic development opportunities and will run from October 2014 to August 2015. Youth can collect community hours while showcasing their artistic poetic talent, while developing their leadership skills. Come out and work with some of the finest young poets the city has to offer, and showcase your talent. This is definitely an opportunity not to be missed!

So You're Looking for a Job This Summer...

January 27, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

No surprise that a lot of teens and young adults are looking for summer work every year. It can fit neatly between school years, earn you some full-time money for a few months to help pay for the next year, and keep you busy (and your parents happy) while you're not swamped with homework and classes. Sweet! 

But... how do you go about finding that summer job you want? 

There are a few agencies around town that specialize in youth employment, which means a stronger understanding of youth needs, employers who have the right kind of work, including summer seasonal work, and how to market limited experience on a resume. 

It's definitely worth getting help from these people, who are helpful and total pros in what youth need. Here are few good contacts and resources to know about: 

Youth Employment Services

YES could be your best friend in terms of getting you ready to find work. They have resume help, interview prep, and job search boards at your disposal, and because they work with youth, they really know how to figure out where your skills lie even without much official work experience to draw on. They also offer support for entrepreneurs & training or internships, so even if you have your own idea, they are good people to talk to. Book an appointment, check out their workshop schedule, or scope out their job board

Ontario Government

Ontario not only gives incentives to employers to hire youth during the summer, they also have a job searching service. To get some information, check out their site, which also has links to job placements, including summer work, on a page just for youth. They note there that the hiring dates vary by employer, but often begin in early April, so again, worth starting to get soem advice on preparing yourself now, while you've got plenty of time! 

AYCE

AYCE, part of Tropicana, is geared toward youth employment, and offers lots of help online and in person. Their website offers resources, job boards,and a calendar of their events and workshops on job search skills. They also offer resume and letter critiques and mock interview sessions by appointment, which can be very useful in polishing your self-presentation. 

TDSB

The TDSB website's Focus on Youth page includes a list of resources for students looking for employment, which has some great links on it to other job sites including some summer job partners, as well as information about their own hiring. TDSB hires about 500 youth each summer for its summer programmes, so it's a good source of emplyment, as well as information. Their hiring calls happens at the beginning of April, so it's definitely worth being prepared and getting applications in early in March, if this interests you. 

 

Music Monday: Songs for the Invisible Girl

January 26, 2015 | Winona | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

If I could be a super hero I think I'd be the Invisible Girl. You may say invisibility is a lame superpower but I say never underestimate the people and things that go unnoticed.

Imagine being able to make yourself, or someone else, vanish whenever you wanted. An uncomfortable social situation you don't want to be in? Poof! You're gone. Someone or something in your life you're sick of? Again, poof, gone! Just think of the places you could go, the things you could see and hear, without being detected. How great it would be for all those times when you really don't want to be seen.

Of course, there are other times when feeling invisible - feeling like you're unnoticed or unloved - is no fun at all. Those are the times to take solace in the knowledge that invisiblity is a superpower, after all.

Sue_storm
Cover for Marvel Knights 4 #5 featuring the Invisible Woman. Art by Steve McNiven. Image from Marvel.com, reproduced under Fair Use.

Invisible Girl (also known as Sue Storm and Invisible Woman) was Marvel's first female superhero and is one of the Fantastic Four. She got her superpowers after being exposed to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space along with her brother Johnny Storm (who became the hot-headed Human Torch), Reed Richards (who became the super-stretchy Mister Fantastic), and Ben Grimm (who became the stony strongman Thing).

Before her transformation, Sue Storm was extremely shy. Afterwards, that shyness morphed into the power of invisibility. Invisible Girl can make herself invisible by bending rays of light with her mind. She can also make other people and things invisible, as well as create force fields of invisible energy.

Here are a few songs for the Invisible Girl, and for any girl or guy who sometimes feels a bit invisible.

 

She's Not There - The Zombies 

"Please don't bother trying to find her / She's not there."

 

 

Invisible Touch - Genesis

"She seems to have an invisible touch / She reaches in and grabs right hold of your heart / She seems to have an invisible touch / It takes control and slowly tears you apart."

  

 

Ray of Light - Madonna

"Quicker than a ray of light she's flying / Quicker than a ray of light I'm flying."

  

 

Prince Johnny - St. Vincent

"Saw you pray to all to make you a real boy ... So I pray to all to make me a real girl "

 

 

Storms - Fleetwood Mac

"Every night you do not come / Your softness fades away / Did I ever really care that much? / Is there anything left to say?"

  

 

Fade Into You - Mazzy Star

"You live your life, you go in shadows / You'll come apart and you'll go blind / Some kind of night into your darkness / Colours your eyes with what's not there."

 

 

Space Oddity - Langley Schools Music Project

"For here / Am I sitting in a tin can / Far above the world / Planet Earth is blue / And there's nothing I can do."

 

 

Cosmic Love -  Florence + the Machine

 "And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat / I tried to find the sound / But then it stopped, and I was in the darkness / So darkness I became."

 

 

Typical Girls - The Slits 

"Don't create / Don't rebel / Have intuition / Can't decide / Typical girls try to be / Typical girls very well."

 

 

Erase You - ESG

"Erase you! Just like a drawing / Erase you! Flush you like my toilet / Erase you! Show you I'm a woman / Erase you! this is what I feel like."

 

 

Dancing on My Own - Robyn

"I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her / I'm right over here, why can't you see me? / I'm giving it my all, but I'm not the girl you're taking home / I keep dancing on my own."

 

 

You Won't See Me - Anne Murray

"I don't have much to say / But I can't turn away / And you won't see me / You won't see me."

  

 

Look For Me (I'll Be Around) by Neko Case

"When you tire of all the bright lights / Haste that's killing and you're willing to stay home nights / When your feet are back on the solid ground / Look for me, I'll be around."

 

 

She's Not There - Neko Case and Nick Cave 

"Please don't bother trying to find her / She's not there."

 

Music Video Mondays - OK GO

January 26, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

OK GO is an American alternative rock band who are quite famous for their music videos which generally tend to go viral due to their quirky content. Formed in Chicago the foursome is now L.A. based. We will start off with their most recent video for "I Won't Let You Down".

 

Next is the video for their song "white knuckles" which features a lot of dogs.

 

And the final video for the band is their grammy award winning video for "Here it goes"

 

Your Bookmark Goes Here: All Fall Down: An Embassy Row novel

January 24, 2015 | Naomi | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Ally Carter's new Embassy Row Series is out and book #1 is AMAZING!  Ally Carter, for those of you who are not familiar with her, also wrote the "Heist Society" series and "Gallagher Girls" series.  All her books feature strong female heros with lots of action set in differenct coutries.

Read alike: I would compare Embasy Row to e. lockhart's, "We Were Liars" - it's that good - I don't want to say more. 

I was on Ally's webiste and she has some pretty great FAQs. Check that out and find out all about her and the characters she creates. 

 Get your hands on this book fast, you won't need long to read it because you won't be able to put it down.

Here is the description from Carter's site: 

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her–so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace–no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do.

Her past has come back to hunt her . . .  and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Click here to read the first two chapter. 

Secrets Can Make Friends? -- COLD CALLS reviewed

January 24, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Cold Calls by Charles Benoit

Reviewed by Joseelyn S., Eatonville Youth Advisory Group member

Book cover cold calls by charles benoit Cold Calls by Charles Benoit was a thrill-filled ride that was in fact a lot better than I initially expected. This book, like the back says, is very Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club. It’s about three targetted schoolmates named Eric, Shelly and Fatima having to smooth out the consequences of having their secrets hovered over their heads by a mysterious caller. The three first meet at an anti-bullying club, which is where, after sharing their stories, they all realize that they have quite possibly fallen victim to the same bully. This mystery caller is blackmailing each one of the students into bullying specific people from their schools for their own enjoyment. And, although you want to know what big secrets they all are hiding so closely under guard, it’s not until you continue reading that all the clues seem to come together, which is nice because it keeps you guessing in all its twisted glory.

One of the things I found especially pleasing about this book was the diversity in the characters in terms of their interests and ethnicities. Not to mention, Benoit also, to a small degree, included their cultures very slightly in the book, which I found most notable in the character Fatima. This book was very suspense filled and although I tend to have a habit of being able to predict where a storyline is headed, I was still very impressed with how he executed his writing skills to keep me interested. Speaking of his writing, I was very surprised to see that it was written in third person, but I was more surprised with the fact that it was not entirely bad at all. I was half expecting this book to be set in first person because of the amount of emotion I expected the characters to feel and how much it could have played out in the story if we were in their heads, but Benoit definitely did not skimp on his writing and expressed every little thing with his great writing style. In contrast I feel this book would have suited a much younger audience better than it did me (I'm 15). Nonetheless, it was a very quick read that shouldn’t take more than a few days to finish and was quite enjoyable. The ending I’m sure was supposed to make me feel stuck but instead it was exactly as I was expecting from this book; and that is not necessarily a bad thing, although it is not an exactly a good thing either.

In conclusion, this book was enjoyable while it lasted, but it did not exactly leave me breathless. Despite my thoughts, I still have no doubts that Charles Benoit is good at storytelling and this book definitely makes me want to check out some of his other works. Out of 5 stars I would give it a solid 3.7!

Five Frames From . . . January 24th edition

January 24, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie are these images from?

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Hiring for Summer Starts Now!

January 23, 2015 | Alice | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Summer seems a long way off, especially when it's really still the chilly depths of winter, but don't let that fool you, employers are preparing for summer already, and some are starting their hiring now! If you don't want to miss out on a chance at a job this summer, you are going to need to get started, too, and we are here to help. 

Kicking it off, a an important source of upcoming hiring going on: 


City_of_Toronto_LogoToronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation

Toronto's recreation programmes are a major source of youth employment in the city, particular in the summer, when camp counsellors are hired, as well as lifeguards and other programme leaders. 

Toronto now has online job listings and an online application process, making it easier to apply for positions you'd be interested in. 

The deadline for this comes early - February 3rd! If you're looking for summer work, especially if you don't mind working with children and want some leadership experience for future resumes, it's definitely worth going to get started now, so you have a couple of weeks to find positions you want to apply for and get your application shaped up and ready. 

As you're preparing, it's also worth taking a look at the city's suggestions on what to expect in their hiring process, preparing for an interview, and their accessibility commitments and information

Young Voices Writers Conference Information My Curved Border

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