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Spotlight on Asian Heritage

September 30, 2016 | stephen | Comments (0)

Our Summer Reads booklist is full of wild adventures. Take a trip inspired by the far east with some of these amazing titles

Emperor of any place Strange lightMs marvelMerit birdsSamurai rising


Halloween: Start Now!

September 26, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Alissa, Runnymede Branch Youth Advisory Group member    

Halloween-959049_640 (2)

    Halloween is a great time of the year where you get to dress up and pretend to be someone else, plus you even get candy. But the amount of time I personally spend scrambling to come up with costumes before the big day arrives is outstanding. So I have a solution - start now!

Continue reading "Halloween: Start Now!" »

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 (1)

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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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?

Teen Review : The Book Thief

September 3, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Review by Maryann, age 17

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Book Cover ImageThis story takes place during World War 2 in Germany, and is centered around a ten-year-old girl named Liesel. In this novel, the story is narrated by Death who describes the events that happen during this period of time, focusing on the life of Liesel and her new foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Throughout the story, we follow Liesel as she learns about the Nazi regime and the way it affects innocent lives. Although the Nazi regime claims that Jewish people should be cast out as they are the enemy, she learns that this is far from true, as she finds peace and comfort despite the loss of her parents and the trauma of war when she befriends Max, a Jewish man whom her foster parents hide in their basement. Their love for literature and words bring them closer together, and they form a special bond.

This is also available in eBook, eAudiobook, and Audiobook CD formats.

Four Teen Reviews by Tiffany

September 3, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Reviews by Tiffany, age 18


A story about hope in an enchanting world with a unique protagonist – it will leave you breathless.

Atlantia by Ally Condie Cover ImageAlly Condie’s Atlantia left me in pieces. I was literally brimming with emotions by the time I put this book down at 2:30 in the morning. The novel teaches us about the consequences of prejudice and stigma through the divide between humans and “sirens,” both of whom are living in an underwater world, a place they call “Below.” These “sirens” aren’t mythological sirens, but are actually a rare group of people with the ability to control “normal” people with their voices. Instead of revering the sirens’ power, people shunned them for it. This resulted in some sirens being placed under the watchful eye of Below’s leaders and other sirens hiding their powers, such as the protagonist, Rio. She and others like her know that others will fear them just because of the powers with which they were born. And, needless to say, throughout this novel, we’re taught that sirens aren’t just monsters. They are humans, too. Different, as Rio mentions, but still humans.

The characters in the novel are wonderfully unique and realistic. Rio, for example, isn’t super trusting of others, but she isn’t hostile to them either. She’s quiet and isn’t loud-mouthed, but at the same time, she isn’t meek or a pushover. She’s got dimensions to her, rather than having just a single dominating trait to her.

Continue reading "Four Teen Reviews by Tiffany" »

Teen Review : On the Fence

September 3, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Review by Chelsea, age 12

On The Fence by Kasie West Cover ImageDo you love sports? Do you have three older brothers who also love sports? Maybe you don't, but Charlotte Reynolds does. As a sixteen-year-old, being raised by a single father and being surrounded by athletics friends has its perks. You could outscore every boy you know, but you couldn't blend your eyeshadow for your life. Even worse, what if you have to pay off a speeding ticket by working at a girly clothing boutique? What is this "BeDazzler" you speak of? How do you dress a mannequin? On top of that, Charlotte couldn't help but realize that she was falling for her long-time neighbour and honorary (fourth) brother, Braden. How could someone cope with all this stress, you might ask? Find out by reading this romance filled book: On The Fence by Kasie West.

I like this book because it's very unique. It has some romance, but it's not all mushy and gushy like a fried cake. I've never read a book where the main character is a tomboy who would never wear a skirt! Even if you're someone who's obsessed with Harry Potter (*raises a hand*) or if you've fallen in love with comedy books, you'll love On The Fence for sure.


This book is also available as an eBook.

What to Do with Your Last Days of Summer Break

August 31, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Alissa, Runnymede Branch Youth Advisory Group member

photo credit: Great Beyond on a CC license


     It is no secret to anyone at this point that school is coming. In fact, school is coming fast! The final days before school should be savoured, enjoyed, and it's a time to get creative. Do something new each year. Below, I have composed a list of ways to spend these last days. 

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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: The Vegetarian Myth

August 28, 2016 | Alice | Comments (2)

51w3alQAXmLReview by Snehan

Do you eat food? Are you concerned about the environmental state of our planet? Do you want to be your best by striving for perfect health? What are you doing about it? Most of us are clueless about two of the most  important issues we face; the health of ourselves and the health of our planet.

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Weekly Program Roundup August 29 - September 3

August 28, 2016 | stephen | Comments (0)

Time to spice up our last week of summer programming with some music and dancing! Check out what's on this week at the library:


Zumba for Teens

Tuesday August 30, 2016 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Malvern

Funky Latin rhythms mixed with easy to follow moves create a dynamic dance program that will blow you away. Teens will learn the basics of zumba in this introductory class. Drop-in. Ages 13-19.

Continue reading "Weekly Program Roundup August 29 - September 3" »

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 Darkest Minds

August 27, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

The Darkest MindsReview by Jamia, age 12

The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken, is a book about a disease roaming around in the United States causing death rates to increase alarmingly. Children in the United States are getting powers because of this disease. The story is about a girl by the name of Ruby Daly going on an adventure and understanding her powers on the way.

I feel that the Darkest Minds is a great book for anyone who loves a good dystopian and/or loves X-men. This book is quite long but you'll enjoy every chapter. Good thing this book is in a series, because it made me want tor read more about Ruby and the hardships she has to go through. The Darkest Minds is a unique book that I'm sure many will love.

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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Teen Review: I'm Salty

August 26, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Salt to the SeaReview by Faith, age 17

"Guilt is a hunter. Fate is a hunter. Shame is a hunter. Fear is a hunter."

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is one of those books that coerces this Faith into delivering one of those rare and (somewhat) thoughtfully serious reviews. This is the sort of paradoxical book that is a timeless historical work of fiction.

Grief. If you do not feel grief post-reading this book, then perhaps you’re not completely sane. Possibly for the first time, I am feeling appropriately salty. Evidently, reading this book will make you upset… but it's in a good way?

Continue reading "Teen Review: I'm Salty" »

Teen Review: The Hunger Games

August 26, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Hunger GamesCoverReview by Mishaal, age 13

The Hunger Games has been very famous among teens lately, everybody kept recommending it to me, so I finally decided to check it out. Believe it or not, this book (along with the others in the trilogy) are now right at the top of my list of favorites! Suzanne Collins (the author) wrote this story with the perfect blend of thrilling action, mystery, adventure, suspense and even a little bit of romance! The story unfolds in the country of Panem, which stands where a place called "North America"  used to be. Every year, the wealthy and powerful Capitol of Panem holds the "Hunger Games" to remind the rest of the twelve poor and struggling districts of Panem, that they are indeed, under the complete power of the Capitol.
What are the Hunger games, you ask?

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Teen Review: Between the Assassinations

August 26, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Between the assassinationsReview by Farees, age 19

Between The Assassinations (a collection of short stories) by Aravind Adiga is something excruciatingly short of a masterpiece. The book was crisp, a very well written satire with sarcasm that’s so funny yet dark, it makes one feel guilty for finding it amusing. 

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Teen Review: Finding Audrey

August 25, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Finding-Audrey-Cover-JpegReview by Fariha F.

Most people underestimate eyes. They're infinite. You look someone straight in the eye and your whole soul can be sucked out in a nanosecond. Other people's eyes are limitless and that's what scares me.

Let me just start the review by saying that this book is hilarious. Truly. It had me smiling and laughing on every other page and just being generally happy. After reading a whole lot of Fantasy for the last month, the humorous contemporary is a much-appreciated break from gore, monsters and killing. (Though I do miss magical powers a little bit)

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Teen Review: City of Bones

August 25, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

City of bonesReview by Zainab

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is easily the best fantasy book I have read. Most people find it crazy when I say I hate fantasy. I hate it and I can put up a fight because of it. City of Bones has been a life changer for me, I am not joking.

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Two Teen Reviews from Farin

August 25, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

Pretty little liarsTV Show: Pretty Little Liars

Currently in the midst of its seventh season, Pretty Little Liars is a drama that has attracted millions of viewers. Four best friends, Spencer (played by Troian Bellasario), Aria (played by Lucy Hale), Hanna (played by Ashley Benson), and Emily (played by Shay Mitchell) are reunited after the leader of the group, Alison (played by Sasha Pieterse), is allegedly murdered. When they begin receiving messages from a mysterious villain named "A" who threatens and tortures them for the mistakes they've made before and after Alison was alive, how far will they go to bury their secrets?  

Continue reading "Two Teen Reviews from Farin" »

Teen Review: The Outside Circle

August 24, 2016 | YAG Facilitator | Comments (0)

Outside Circle CDNreview by Maeesha

Re: Book Review Submission: The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane Benson

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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!

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Creative Places Contest (August 22 – September 2)

August 22, 2016 | Monica | Comments (18)

Where in Toronto do you feel most creative? Is there a spot where you feel inspired to draw and paint and build and make plans for even more drawings, paintings and designs?

To enter this contest for a chance to win a pair of B&O Beoplay H6 Headphones, use any form of visual art to depict the place in Toronto where you feel most creative. You can express yourself using photography, drawing, comics, ceramic, sculpture or other forms of visual art. Add an image of your creation to the comments section using any picture file format.

  1. You have to live, work or go to school in Toronto to win this contest.
  2. You have to provide a valid e-mail address so we can contact you if you win. (See privacy statement below for more information.)
  3. One entry per person for the Creative Places Contest.
  4. Only original art work will be accepted.
  5. Your entry must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on September 2 to be considered to win.
  6. Winners will be announced during the week of September 5th.

For a more detailed set of rules for Toronto Public Library contests, see our Rules for Online Contest page.

Toronto Public Library is committed to the protection of your privacy and will never sell, rent, trade, or disclose your personal information, including your email address, to a third party without your consent or where not explicitly authorized by the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.M.56.


Youth Survey. My Curved Border

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