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Teen Review: Scott Pilgrim

June 2, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Matthew, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'MalleyIn the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim is just living his precious little life. He’s in a rock band, “between jobs”, and dating a cute high school girl. Everything is fantastic until he comes across the girl of his dreams (literally), Ramona Flowers. He wants Ramona, but the path to her isn’t covered in rose petals. She has seven evil ex-boyfriends, and they will challenge Scott one by one for the right to date her. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without having to turn his precious little life upside down?

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400 Comic Creators Coming to Toronto this Weekend for TCAF

May 9, 2017 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0)

Jeff Lemire TCAF2017 poster 1200px
Poster by Jeff Lemire

More than 400 creators from over 20 countries are headed for Toronto this weekend to participate in the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 13 and 14 at Toronto Reference Library.

Pénélope Bagieu, Guy Delisle, Jeff Lemire, Gengoroh Tagame, Jillian Tamaki, Marcelino Truong are among the featured guests. Comics x Games, presented by the Hand Eye Society, is back for the sixth year, fostering collaboration between indie game and comic communities, and featuring dozens of playable games onsite. And the Wowee Zonk Small Press Showcase for 2017 will highlight some of the most exciting comic and zine work by indie publishers.

The weekend of comic book creativity begins Friday, May 12 with the official TCAF 2017 Kick-Off Event in the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon. Help Celebrate 25 Years of Image Comics with a rollicking discussion among some of this premiere publisher's most celebrated cartoonists – including Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Sana Takeda (Monstress), Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and the Divine) and others!

And don't forget to drop by the Toronto Public Library table at TCAF, in front of the Digital Innovation Hub, to find out about digital comics and other online goodies you can get for free with your Toronto Public Library card!

Join us at TCAF!

Toronto Comic Arts Festival
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

TCAF 2017 Kick-Off: 25 Years of Image Comics!
Fri, May 12, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Toronto Comic Arts Festival - Day 1
Sat, May 13, 9 am - 5 pm

Toronto Comic Arts Festival - Day 2
Sun, May 14, 10 am - 5 pm

Get all the details at

Ask Vivek: Recap

November 21, 2016 | E Writer in Residence 2016 — Vivek Shraya | Comments (0)

Ask Vivek - Recap

This, sadly, is my last post as E-Writer in Residence. It’s been such a gift to connect with you in person at various libraries and events, and online through your writing. I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to read (and listen) to your words. I am immensely grateful for your trust in me. That said, my last day isn’t until Friday, November 25, so please keep sending me your writing!

When I began this position, my inspiration for the “Ask Vivek” posts was centered around you—I wanted to ensure that my posts spoke to questions you had about writing and art. I also think there can be so much mystery and solitude around writing. My hope was these posts would provide information to help making writing feel more accessible to you. I also hoped these posts would provide you a sense of support. 

For this final post, I have compiled a list of tips and highlights from my previous posts.

  1. On art making: Art is a powerful means to connect with others who have had similar, and different, experiences—others who want to share their stories.
  2. On writing prompts: Having a central question as a prompt can be challenging but can also give your writing or project a direction, as your goal then becomes answering this question.
  3. On songwriting: Spend the time in developing your own sound by writing constantly. The more songs you write, the better your songs will get.
  4. On novel writing: There might be days when you write only one sentence. This is okay. More than okay! This is part of the process. The most important thing is that you are committed to the writing and will show up again tomorrow.
  5. On comic making: “Make something that excites you—something that you would want to read! It can be good to start small. Make a one- or two-page story, where you can play around with your style and storytelling, and see if it's an idea you like enough to spend more time on.”
  6. On writing poetry: Reading works by other poets was useful as it allowed me to see how other writers were using the form and breaking “the rules.”
  7. On dealing with rejection: I remind myself that rejection isn’t personal. There are many factors as to why certain things get chosen over others and many of these factors I have no control over.
  8. On writing about the personal: When possible, I try to write ethically. I change the names of individuals and settings. I change the description of individuals’ appearances.

This past week has been a hard week. But I feel especially inspired by writers like Lawrence Hill who are speaking out about the various injustices that are taking place in the world. Please let me know what is inspiring you this week in the comments!

DOCTOR STRANGE - movie review

November 12, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Sohinee

Doctor Strange Poster*Spoiler ahead* (If you haven’t watched Doctor Strange why are reading this review?) All aboard the Marvel Cinematic Universe train, because there is no stopping it. The MCU released its 14th superhero movie on November 4. The movie starred Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikleson just to name a few.

This is the first time Doctor Strange came to the big screen and the director and cast blew it away! Benedict Cumberbatch played the egotistical, anti-social, Tony Stark persona, Doctor Stephen Strange, a brilliant neurosurgeon who loses his hands because of a car accident. Strange spends the last dregs of his money to buy a one-way ticket to Kathmandu, Nepal, where an alleged healer, healed a paraplegic man. There Strange meets the Ancient One and dives into the world of magic and mystics.

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Ask Vivek: How do I make comics?

October 24, 2016 | E Writer in Residence 2016 — Vivek Shraya | Comments (0)

How do I make comics

This week’s question was about comics. I don’t have any experience making comics, so I thought I would interview two comic artists that I really admire: Michael DeForge and Eric Kostiuk Williams. Michael has created several comic books and zines and recently worked on Adventure Time. Eric has created a fantastic comic series called Hungry Bottom Comics and his debut book, Condo Heartbreak Disco, is out next year!

When did you make your first comic? What drew you to the medium of comic making?

Michael: I've wanted to draw comics for as long as I can remember. I learned to read and draw with the comic strip collections my family had. I made my first physical, finished comic when I was around 11 or 12. It was a 12-page horror anthology and the stories were all sports-themed. I wasn't a sporty kid, so all the comics were about, like, soccer teams kicking around severed heads, ghosts haunting the deep end of swimming pools, stuff like that.

Eric: In Grade 5, we had an assignment that involved creating a superhero character whose story related to saving the environment. This was probably one of the coolest and most random things I got to do in school! I called my superhero T.O.L.G. ("The Ozone Layer Guardian"). Once the assignment was over, I was still really attached to the character and ended up creating more comics on my own time, featuring him, and a cast of other characters.

I've always seen comics as such a powerful medium, because you're creating a fully realized world from scratch. If you think of a comic as a movie, you're actually the writer, director, set designer, casting director, costume designer, cinematographer, etc. This can feel very intimidating sometimes, but if it's an idea you're passionate about, it feels exciting to be so involved in its creation. The combination of words and images is a direct way to get your ideas across. Although the process of making a comic is pretty solitary, being able to then share your story with folks, and have them respond to it, is a feeling unlike anything else.

I also love making comics because they can be about anything! My early comics were focussed on superheroes, but since then, I've made science fiction comics, autobiographical comics, abstract comics... the sky's the limit.

Can you describe your process? Do you start with an idea or story first, or an illustration?

Michael: It changes a lot from story to story. Sometimes it starts as a loose idea or a character I want to run with, but other times a story will spring out of an image from my sketchbook. I work in my sketchbook a lot.

Once the ball starts rolling, I tend to improvise my stories as I go. I try to be very open to little accidents, or veering off course when I need to. I'm usually not writing very far ahead of what I'm drawing. I'll rough out a page in the morning with some noodley drawings and dialogue, then chip away at the finished version until the day is over.

Eric: Hmm, a bit of both, I'd say! Sometimes I'll draw characters in my sketchbook, and then I'll try to find a story for them to live in. Other times a story or theme will take shape in my head, and the drawings are a way of fleshing out those first ideas.

What advice would you give to someone starting to explore making comics?

Eric: If you're thinking of making a comic, make something that excites you—something that you would want to read! It can be good to start small. Make a one or two-page story, where you can play around with your style and storytelling, and see if it's an idea you like enough to spend more time on. You wouldn't want to find yourself in the middle of making a 30-page comic when you realize you're not into your story anymore! That's happened to me, and it's terrible! I would also say to do it in whatever way feels most comfortable. Some comics are mostly text, with less emphasis on the drawings, some comics are all illustrations, with no text! Sometimes a writer will team up with an illustrator and make a comic together, which can take a bit of the pressure off being responsible for the whole thing. There's no one right way, and that's my favourite thing about comics.

Michael: Self-publish, either online or in print. Make a cruddy zine, throw some strips up on Tumblr, whatever. I learned a lot from self-publishing, and comics have a particularly low barrier to entry. It's can be challenging to make the time to actually draw them, but once you do, they're dirt cheap. I can print the entire run of a mini-comic for the same price I pay to rent three hours of practice space for my band, for instance.


Thank you again for your question. Please keep sending me questions and I will keep answering them here!

Lastly, Michael DeForge’s Big Kids is one of the best comic book I have read and is definitely worth checking out! What are your favourite comics? Let me know in the comments!

DeMarre Carroll Promotes Comic and Gives Advice

September 29, 2016 | Debbie | Comments (0)

DeMarre Carroll Guardians of the Galaxy

This month teens were on hand to hear financial tips from the Toronto Raptors' DeMarre Carroll and receive a free copy of the new Marvel comic, Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, provided by Visa. The comic combines Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes with Visa’s financial literacy expertise on important money management concepts. The story has tips about managing money, a topic that DeMarre Carroll really cares about. He believes in hard work, both on the court and in the community. At the event, he had this tip for being successful:

"In order to get what you want to get in life, do what you want to do in life, and become who you want to be in life, finance is the biggest thing, so learning at an early age is very, very important."

The earlier you can learn the skills of being successful with money and figure out how to put these skills into practice, the better. But there are so many things to learn. How do you know what you really need? What about getting a job, living on a budget and saving your money? Where can you go to for good advice? If you have questions like these, you're not alone and that's why the library offers finance programs just for youth. It's just the kind of thing DeMarre says would have helped him:

"I wish when I was younger I would have had somebody speaking to me, telling me to save my money and get ready for the real world of finance. I wouldn't have made some of the boneheaded mistakes I made when I first got in the NBA."

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming library programs geared toward helping you be successful in life and smart with your money. In the mean time, head over to your local library to get your hands on a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket’s Powerful Plan, free to borrow with your library card, and check out some of the recommended reads we've pulled together below to get you started.

How Not To Move Back Saving for School Index Card




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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The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage

August 31, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Thrilling Adventures of L&B coverCharles Babbage created plans for a calculating machine. Ada Lovelace read them and added notes that included the first glimmers of computing. Computers were nowhere in sight and were still a century away... but what if they weren't? What if these two teamed up and created this machines, turning it to problems of all kinds, including crime-solving? This is the starting place for this fun romp in graphic form that also gives real historical context in footnotes that will satisfy even the most curious historian. Originally a webcomic series, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage makes for a hefty book all collected together, but it also means it can be read in episodes that keep it nicely paced. 

Teen Review: Death Note

August 28, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Cover of death noteReview by Yasir, age 15

Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, is an action, mystery manga (in which many people die so I advise that don’t read it unless you are 14 or above). The word death note is based on the note book in which if a person name is written he/she will die. A shinigami (god of death) named Ruyk “accidently” dropped his death note on the earth realm and according to the few rule if a death note touches the earth it will be a part of the earth realm forever until the owner of the death note is dead (the person that touches the death note is the owner) or he/she forfeits the ownership of the death note.

The notebook was found by a student called Light Yagami.

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Teen Review: The Mystery Boxes

August 27, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Explorer-mystery-boxesReview by Syeda, age 14
'A book about mysterious boxes? YESS!' That's what I thought when I saw this book and it sure didn't disappoint me. This is a graphic novel that's made up of 7 different stories with the same main concept; mysterious boxes. Each one is a different story with its own illustration style and genre. I love how the book is based on giving different artist-authors the same main concept, and letting them create whatever the want out of it.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

August 24, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Squirrel Girl cover Marvel's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl may not be as well known as the Avengers or the X-Men, but she's the only one who's beaten all the biggest and toughest - Wolverine? Check. Deapool? Yup. Doctor Doom AND Thanos? Got the better of both of them. Sometimes, cute and resourceful is totally better than raw power, and Doreen Green is proof. Read all about her adventures with Tippy Toe this summer! 

10 Questions with Author Ryan North

August 23, 2016 | Claire A | Comments (0)

The Maria A. Shchuka Youth Advisory Group recently had the opportunity to ask some questions to Ryan North, author of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

RN      Book                                                       

1. Which of your characters are your favourite?

My favourite character is T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics: he's the first character I really came up with, and I'm still writing him today, and while we have a lot in common there's also a lot of differences that make him really fun to explore.

2. What inspired you to create graphic novels?

I think comics is the most fun medium there is!  Like, if you show someone an open COMIC book and an open REGULAR book and ask them which one looks more fun, the comic will win every time.  There's something inherently interesting about words and pictures combined, and I wanted to play with that.

3. What series of books was your favourite to work on?

Right now The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is my favourite, because I get to play with all the characters that Marvel has.  Usually whatever I'm working on is my favourite!

4. Which author did you love to read as a child?

I loved to read Louis Sachar's “Wayside School” books.  What I loved was each chapter covered a different class or person, so they were all these really weird short stories that all fit together.  I was (and am) still big into it!

Continue reading "10 Questions with Author Ryan North" »


August 10, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Awkward coverAwkward is an aptly titled chronicle of social awkwardness, misunderstandings, and the clash of different groups of middle schoolers. Peppi is endearing but makes a mess of things with Jaime, and soon finds her art group at war with his science group, and she wonders if she can ever make things right so everyone can enjoy their year without all the drama. We all feel like Peppi sometimes, making this one a fun, relateable read for summer. 

YA Literature & Retellings Inspired by Classic Stories

August 2, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

I have always enjoyed reading fairy tales and other classic stories from many different places. I like to see where they come from, what were the ideas behind them, and how they can change depending on who was telling them. Some of my favourite books are based on retellings of these stories, like The Fables: Legends in ExileRomeo and/or Juliet, and The Eyre Affair. In each of these books, the authors have taken their inspirations from familiar tales, and have shaped them into something wonderfully original that I have really enjoyed reading. And so, if you're looking for some really interesting reads based on some great classic and traditional stories from around the world, then check out the following nine books from our 100 Summer Reads list at the library this summer.

Every Word by Ellie Marney Cover Image1. Every Word by Ellie Marney-- James Mycroft has just left for London to investigate a car accident similar to the one that killed his parents ... without saying goodbye to Rachel Watts, his 'partner in crime'. Rachel is furious and worried about his strange behavior - not that Mycroft's ever exactly normal, but London is the scene of so many of his nightmares. So Rachel jumps on a plane to follow him ... and lands straight in a whole storm of trouble. The theft of a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, the possible murder of a rare books conservator, and the deaths of Mycroft's parents.... Can Watts help Mycroft make sense of the three events - or will she lose him forever? This is also available as an eBook.


Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola Cover Image2. Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola -- Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga's house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell Cover Image3. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell – Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to  be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home. Then, on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools, hidden there – and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules, - be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last. This is also available as an eBook


This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee Cover Image4. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee -- In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead. But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever. This is also available as an eBook.

Song For Ella Grey by David Almond Cover Image5. A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond -- Claire and Ella and their friends are bound by ties so strong they seem unbreakable. Then the strange and handsome Orpheus strolls onto the beach, and he sings them all into an astonishing new understanding of themselves. Ella is caught the hardest, fastest, deepest—and Claire is left with the pain of looking on. Raw, emotional, lyrical, funny, and true, A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of the joys, troubles, and desires of modern teens. It takes place in the ordinary streets of Tyneside and on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland. It’s a story of first love, a love song that draws on ancient mythical forces. A love that leads Ella, Orpheus, and Claire to the gates of Death and beyond. This is also available as an eBook.


Strange Light Afar by Rui Umezawa Cover Image

6. Strange Light Afar: Tales of the Supernatural from Old Japan by Rui Umezawa – From horror movies to manga, anime and video games, Japanese stories are  built on a long tradition of folk tales that celebrate the strange, the violent, and the beautiful. In this stunning new collection, Rui Umezawa revisits eight well-known traditional tales, exploring the psychological motivations of the characters – motivations that draw on the deepest human emotions of greed, rage, desire and fear. Sometimes laced with ironic humour, sometimes truly horrifying, these stories will appeal to all fans of the strange and the supernatural. This is also available as an eBook.


A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston Cover Image7. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston -- Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, so when she is taken to the king's dangerous court she believes death will soon follow. But night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awakened by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong. With each tale she tells, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster. This is also available as an eBook.

Worlds of Ink and Shadows by Lena Coakley Cover Image

8. Worlds of Ink and Shadows by Lena Coakley – Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontës have always been inseparable. After all,  nothing can bond  four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to descend into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters – the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna – refuse to let them go. This is also available as an eBook.

Yellow Brick War by Danielle Page Cover Image9. Yellow Brick War by Danielle Page – In this third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, new girl from Kansas Amy Gumm is caught between her home—and Oz. “My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because—just like Dorothy—I got swept away on one too. I landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling: Assassin. The way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it. But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened. And if I don’t find a way to close it? Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again. Now it’s up to me to: join the Witches, fight for Oz, save Kansas, and stop Dorothy once and for all.” This is also available in Audiobook and eAudiobook formats.

Happy reading!


July 28, 2016 | Monica | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Naailah at Cedarbrae

"The pain will go away, but the regret won't. Not even in 10 years." 

Continue reading "Orange: REVIEWED" »

Happening This Week: July 18-24

July 17, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Dance. Draw. Act. Beatbox. Learn. 

We have a lot going on this week! 

SharpiesTwo weeks of hip hop dance with Scarborough dance crew Bucc N Flvr kick off this week at Maria A. Shchuka branch July 19. 

Michael Brown uncaps some sharpies for an art programme at Don Mills on July 19.

Top Ten author Ryan North teaches you a bit about comic creation at Centennial this week on July 19.

Can you make a play in one day? Young People's Theatre is leading a workshop on Collective Creation on July 20 at Lillian H. Smith.

If you've ever wanted to see what's behind the scenes in the reference library's gallery and amazing special collections, this week we have your chance to find out! Join us for a special insider's look on July 20.

MicAlways wanted to beatbox or learn the art of graffiti? You can still join in our summer-long series with Unity!  

Beatboxing happens on Saturdays at Parliament branch until August 27 - you can come for one or all of the sessions.

Thursday nights are alright for graffiti at Parkdale branch all summer until August 25. See you there maybe? 

YA Literature & Strong Women

July 8, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Who do admire in your life? Is it someone you know personally? Maybe someone famous from the past? Or is it a character from a book that you love to read from cover to cover every chance you get?

I really enjoy reading about people with lots of personal strength, especially strong female protagonists, and have always admired characters like Jo March, Nimona, and Laureth.  These characters seem able to exist beyond the confines of their stories, and are the types who go off into their respective worlds with such passion that their personalities just leap off of each and every page. They are the kinds of people that I would love to meet in the real world, and believe that everyone should try to be just as daring and as brave as they are. So, if you are looking for some other strong women to admire, both real and fictional, then be sure to check out the following seven books from our 100 Summer Reads list at the library this summer.

Lumberjanes created by Noelle Stevenson Cover Image1. Lumberjanes created by Noelle Stevenson -- Friendship to the max! At Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hardcore lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together-- and they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! This entire comic book series is also available online as eBooks.

Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson Cover Image2. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson -- Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City -- until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York! 

Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz Cover Image3. Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz -- Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet-but instead of "A is for Apple", A is for Angela-as in Angela Davis , the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King , who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett , who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta , who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker , who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement. And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson Cover Image4. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson -- For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl. This graphic novel is also available as an eBook.

  Rookie Yearbook Four edited by Tavi Gevinson Cover Image
5. Rookie Yearbook Four edited by Tavi Gevinson -- Rookie Yearbook Four takes a good look at topics such as friendship, crushes, speaking out, taking action, and learning about yourself. Our senior year is full of beautiful art and photographs, playlists, DIY tutorials, advice ranging from how to get over trauma to how to write a college admissions essay.

 Step Aside Pops by Kate Beaton Cover Image6. Step Aside, Pops: a Hark, a Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton -- Ida B. Wells, the Black Prince, and Benito Juárez burst off the pages of Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, armed with modern-sounding quips and amusingly on-point repartee. Kate Beaton's second Drawn+Quarterly book brings her hysterically funny gaze to bear on these and even more historical, literary, and contemporary figures. Irreverently funny and carefully researched, no target is safe from Beaton's incisive wit in these satirical strips. 

This Side of Home by Renee Watson Cover Image

7. This Side of Home by Renee Watson -- Twins Nikki and Maya Younger always agreed on most things, but as they head into their senior year they react differently to the gentrification of their Portland, Oregon, neighborhood and the new--white--family that moves in after their best friend and her mother are evicted. This book is also available as an eBook.

Spotlight On: Manga

July 6, 2016 | Alice | Comments (2)

Our Summer Reads booklist is all books, but not all novels!

Take a look in a graphic book with one of these manga titles we've picked for you:

Assassination classroomBatmanga jiro kuwata 1Havent' you heard sakamotoMy neighbor sekiOnePunchMan_manga_cover

A Silent Voice Volume 1: REVIEWED

June 20, 2016 | stephen | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Naiilah at Cedarbrae

A Silent Voice CoverFor fans of Your Lie in April, Orange, and Inio Asano's works, A Silent Voice is a slice of life manga that is unlike any other. A Silent Voice is 7 volumes long and all of the volumes are translated and available in both English and French in Canada. 


Continue reading "A Silent Voice Volume 1: REVIEWED" »

Your Bookmark Here - Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey

March 12, 2016 | Amanda | Comments (0)

Dare to Disappoint is a graphic memoir that tells the tale of Ozge and her journey from young childhood to young adulthood. Ozge grows up with a father who longs for her to go to school and become an engineer – like her older sister but, Ozge yearns for more… she has conversations with Jacques Cousteau about her future, attends two universities at once, to appease her father and to fulfill her dreams and contemplates her place in her family, her school, her circle of friends, and within her country.   Dare to Disappoint

Writing her memoir in graphic novel format allowed Samanci to weave a provocative tale true to the art of a strong storyteller. She does a superb job in her memoir which is both extremely personal and highly informative.

The book is layered with rich images of Ozge’s life, through cartoon drawings and mixed media collage. Often humorous and ever engaging – the book tells the story of a young woman’s journey to be true and to stay true to herself, no matter who or what other people have to say.   


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A Game of Swallows


A Game of Swallows


NIMONA reviewed

March 3, 2016 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Nimona coverReview by Asma, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

is a sci-fi graphic novel based on the webcomic series of the same name. It centers around a funny, brash, mysterious young girl who teams up with a notorious evil villain as her sidekick.

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December 10, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Kimi Ni Todoke Vol 1 cover imageHere we have Sawako “ Sadako” Kuronuma , an extremely shy girl who wants nothing more than the best for people. At school however,the students are scared of her and mock her because she resembles the main character “ Sadako “ for the japanese adaption of “ The ring” and she is dubbed “Sadako” by her peers and has no friends.During the summer she meets the ever ambitious, outgoing and extremly friendly Shota Kazehaya.For the first time, Sawako experiences a mutual feeling called friendship and becuase of that she is ever so grateful to Kazehaya.It also turns out Kazehaya is the most popular guy at school so being friends with Kazehaya turns out to be harder than she thought becuase people start to hate her even more. Slowly but surely she begins opening up and finds herself with new experiences, friends and maybe even love? Read Kimi ni Todoke to find more about Sawako’s experiences alongside Kazehaya and her new found friends.

A Manga review By Zainab A.


November 5, 2015 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Mandy, age 18
Sword art onlineThe future of gaming is here! Sword Art Online is the new Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game that lets players fully experience an online world with the help of a system called NerveGear. You can feel your sword cross with an opponents and even smell fish. But you're not allowed to leave until someone beats floor 100. If your health points hit 0, you die, for real.

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BLANKETS and HABIBI author Craig Thompson brings new graphic novel to Palmerston Oct. 28

October 19, 2015 | Ken Sparling | Comments (0)

Space dumplins coverDon't miss your chance to meet graphic novelist Craig Thompson, who in his early days used to do kind of silly writing for Nickelodeon Magazine, but then got more serious with his multi-award winning Blankets and the controversial Habibi.

Now he's back to some doing some goofier (but no less amazing) stuff, with the all-ages graphic novel Space Dumplins!

Meet Craig and get him to make you a sketch and sign your books:

Wednesday, October 28, 6 pm
Palmerston Library Theatre


Red Maple and White Pine 2016 Award Nominees Announced!

October 15, 2015 | Amy | Comments (4)


Check out our new post for the 2017 Red Maple and White Pine Award Nominees!



RushThe OLA (Ontario Library Association) has announced the nominees for the 2016 Red Maple and White Pine awards!  In case you haven’t heard of them before, these two awards are part of the Forest of Reading Awards for Canadian books in various categories. In particular, Red Maple is for fiction aimed at grades 7-8 and White Pine is for fiction aimed at grades 9-12. Every year, over 250,000 readers take part in voting for the winning books.

Many, many excellent books make the list. In fact, the current e-Writer in Residence, Eve Silver, won the 2015 White Pine award for Rush!

(Back when I was voting for the Red Maple winner, my favourite book was Dahling, if you Luv Me, Won’t You Please, Please Smile? by Rukhsana Khan. Bonus points to anyone who figures out which year that was nominated!)


If you want to participate and cast your vote, you need to get reading! So here are the nominated lists for this year:

Red Maple

 White Pine

All the rageSo far I've read The Dogs, All the Rage, and Fragile Bones. I would highly recommend all three. Next on the list, I think I’ll be reading The Troops. Nothing like a good horror book for Halloweentober! If you're unsure for where to start, try reading one of the reviews above! You can also find more teen reviews and staff reviews on our blog. Want to submit your own reviews for these books? You can do that too!

Does your school take part in the Forest of Reading voting? Which books from this year's list have you read? Which ones are you excited to read? Tell us in the comments!


This post was updated November, 2016.

The Red Maple Awards were announced and Alan Stratton won for The Dogs. Awesome! Read a list of all of the Red Maple nominees and winners over the years.

For the White Pine, the 2016 winner was The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts. Amazing! Here's a list of all of the White Pine nominees and winners to date.

Youth Survey. My Curved Border

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