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Where did word out go?

July 21, 2015 | Cameron | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

If you are looking for Word Out 2015 it is here. We have just changed names and locations on the web. The Word Out program is now TPLTeens Summer Edition and you can find us at:



Your Bookmark Here: Through the Woods

December 23, 2014 | Amanda | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Review of Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a graphic novel filled with short stories that follow fairy tale like themes. This graphic novel is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The short stories are filled with wonderful images and eerie tales of love, loss, and death. Carroll weaves all of these short stories magically together, forcing the reader to want to keep turning the pages for more. The book captures the reader and beckons them to take part in the story, to watch the characters come to life, and to read on to allow the story to unfold. The book is wonderfully creepy and captures perfectly just how sinister the unknown can be and what may lurk behind the shadows in the cold dark woods.


The book begins by introducing the reader to the unknown through Carroll’s use of language: “What if I reached out… and something waiting there, grabbed me…” The images focus on a young person reading quietly in a dark, desolate room with a single light shining brightly over her book. Carroll immediately takes the reader into the dark place that the character imagines, by introducing the first of five short stories…

Our Neighbor’s House:

This is a story about three young sisters who await their father’s return from a hunting trip. Needless to say, Dad never comes home and strange things start to happen to each sister one-by-one. Father warns the girls to leave and head to their neighbors house if he does not return by the third night. The subdued color palate and the eerily dark images help to bring this story to life. A great start to a truly scary compilation…..

  Through the woods table of contents
A Lady’s Hands are Cold

This is a love story about a woman and a man and their enormously large home and the man’s dead fiancé. The woman marries the man and they live together in the man’s home. Each night they break bread together and the woman is waited on hand and foot by her loyal servants. One night, she begins to hear strange noises coming from the walls and the floor boards. In the dead of the night is when the sounds are truly horrifying. This story is one that will stay with the reader long after the tale is complete. As you read on, you discover that the noises are coming from different parts of the home and over the course of the story, the fiancés body parts being to show up one-by-one. Read this story to find out what happens.


The Nesting Place:

This was truly the most frightening of all the stories. This story begins with Bell and her mother. Bell’s mother would always tell her stories of monsters. She would say that the worst kind of monster was the burrowing kind… “The sort that crawled into you and made a home there… the sort you couldn’t name, and the sort you couldn’t see… the monster that ate you alive from the inside out.” This is a frightening story about a young girl who is forced to live with her older brother and his fiancé. Little does Bell know what lurks in the forest near their home or what secrets Rebecca (bro’s fiancé) is hiding. I don’t want to tell you too much about this story because I really think you should read this book.


All in all, this is a great read and I cannot recommend it enough. For more information on Emily Carroll, check out her blog and her art at:

 For more titles like this one, check out these great reads:

Lost Boy by Greg Ruth

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes



Weekly Trivia 9: Do You Remember? WINNER

September 3, 2014 | Ray | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Congrats to Barney Wei for the first factual answer.  And congrats to Monidipa for the creative answer to "Come up with a creative way to wipe out bad memories and restore good ones."

Here's her creative answer:

A creative way would be to find a rare kind of scientist who can make a special gooey, green fourmula that knocks you out for three hours. You are given this formula to drink because removing memories, especially bad ones are rather painful for the subject. Next, the scientist performs a sacred ritual in which he takes a piece of your soul and mixes it in with the blood from an Inland Taipan (the deadliest snake in the world). Once that is mixed together, the scientist puts it in a peculiar cylinder which turns the mixture into sparkling powder. Next, he sprinkles the poweder over your body and black smoke comes out of your heart. If you had directly put the Inland Taipan's blood on your body, you would have died but since you mixed it with something pure, it is an antibiotic to evil. When you are awake, you realize that you can't remember anything bad in your life. But the scientist never told you the side effects- if you undergo the procedure, then you will become a child again emotionally, trusting everyone and everything. After all, you've never felt pain, right?

Whoh. Wondering what the Inland Taipan is? I sure was.  Here's the wikipedia page for Inland Taipan.

A very deadly inland taipan [wikipedia]

Both winners will be contacted and receive a rad read sent to their local library branch.

Young Voices Conference 2014

September 2, 2014 | Cameron | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...


In saying good bye to all of your lovely readers and writers, I just wanted to remind you that we have our annual young writers conference this year on October 25th.

If you follow the link it will take you to the registration page which has way more information than I have the energy to type here:


Until Next Year...

September 2, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Crying Rabbit

Its hard to believe, but its September already, which means its time to wrap up WORD OUT for another year.

To all the amazing WORD OUT participants in 2014 : You guys rock. Whether reviewing books, submitting creative writing, or just stopping by to see what other teens had to say, it was great to have you participate in our program this year.

Continue reading "Until Next Year..." »

Collector Card Contest - We have a Winner!

September 1, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (5) Facebook Twitter More...

Collector Card ImageThus summer, we threw a contest. We asked you to find some cards, put them together like a puzzle, and be inspired by the image they created to do something creative. And you, WORD OUT folks, you came through with some amazing art.

We had essays and short stories, poems and songs, drawings and collages and even a bizzare quasi-mystery. It was really hard to choose the one we liked best, but after careful deliberation, we decided that the winning WORD OUTer was....

Continue reading "Collector Card Contest - We have a Winner!" »

Something that everyone should read -- UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan

August 30, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover uninvited by sophie JordanUninvited by Sophie Jordan

reviewed by Michelle

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to identify every killer, every monster? Even before they come out of the darkness? Even before they hurt and kill? Wouldn't it be nice?

It's not possible in our world. But it is for the world in Sophie's Jordan's amazing book, Uninvited. An amazing book in which there is a gene, the killer's gene. Everyone gets tested for it, at some point in their lives. As was Davy Hamilton, popular, beautiful, smart talented, musical prodigy, with a loving boyfriend.

Someone who couldn't possibly be a carrier of the gene.
Someone who couldn't possibly ever be a killer.
But her results came back positive.

And that changes everything. But you'll need to read the book to find out what happens next. The writing is amazing, as is the voice. The story is told from Davy's perspective, however there are a few things in the story that are not. Such as radio broadcasts, conversations between other carriers, conversations between the people who used to be a part of a her life. But they don't distract or disrupt the story.

They add to it, they provide us with other perspectives, other facts. Not many authors can handle that well but Sophie Jordan does. Not only that, but the characters are real and fleshed out. The world is real and it could be possible. In our future, there may very well be something that could clearly identify killers.

And yes, on the surface, it'd be nice.
For the ones who aren't killers, it'd be nice.

But this book doesn't just talk about the surface, it goes deeper. It is not only well written, well paced, but it makes the reader think. It made me think.

It is something that everyone should read.

Five Frames From . . . final word out 2014 edition

August 29, 2014 | Cameron | Comments (13) Facebook Twitter More...

What movie based on a book are these images from?

1-You have to live in Toronto to win the contest

2-You have to provide a valid email address so we can contact you if you win a prize (see privacy statement for more info)

3-Your entry must be submitted by Thursday September 4th at 11:59 PM if you want to be considered to win.





Boring legal stuff:

Your name, your e-mail address, the books you read and your thoughts about them are your personal information. Why do we need your personal information here?  Well, we want to publish your reviews, and we need your name and e-mail address to help administer the contest.  The Public Libraries Act is the law that lets us do this.  We'll be protecting your privacy every step of the way, but if you have any questions about how we're going to do that, you can contact TPL's Privacy & Records Management Officer, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4W 2G8, 416-395-5658 or by e-mail at [email protected] 

Remember That Time When...

August 29, 2014 | Alice | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

There are those times, those rare occasions that seem to bubble with a sense of limitless possibility, like you could do just about anything. Maybe it's a special night, a trip, doing something you've always wanted to. Or maybe you didn't even see it coming until you were in it and found yourself suddenly riding a wave of excitement, ready for something - anything - to happen. It seems... like magic. Like it's changed you. Like things will never be quite the same again.

Breakfast-Club-movie-posterThere are movies that capture this perfectly - 80s teen movie master John Hughes was a master of this lightning-in-a-bottle feeling. It's exactly what made Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off into instant favourites of countless people. Sometimes the movies are goofier, heavier on comedy, but still create that bonding moment - think Hot Tub Time Machine, for example, or pretty much any road trip movie ever made.

I had the same feeling from a couple of books I was reading for this summer - like the one that landed on the list to exemplify this, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life. It's one night, and it's supposed to be amazing. Mary has a vision of how it should go in her head, and a fantasy of how triumphing over a school rival is going to feel soooooo good, it will change everything. Things of course don't quite go according to this plan of hers because, life. Still, even as things fall apart, other things come together, and by the end of the night, Mary has had a night to remember, it just wasn't the one that she expected. And most of all, she's been forced to examine some of her hopes for that night, and whether they really meant what she thought they did in the first place.

Tag alongTag Along is kind of like this, too - and also happens at the end of the school year, when everyone is celebrating and summer feels ripe with possibility. In this case, though, three kids whose prom plans fell through and one who is just out on her own meet up and spend time in various different combinations over the course of the night, forging unlikely friendships, pushing boundaries, learning about each other and themselves, and in the end, turning a total disappointing disaster of a night into something they'll remember for years.

Nick + noraI think my very favourite example of this, though, has to be the fantastic Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. A night that started out not that exciting, not that important, turned into a series of adventures, up and downs, and steps toward falling in love in a way that is bound to change both Nick and Norah. Romantic, music-filled, and beating with the rhythm of New York's Village, it's a great read. They even managed to make a movie of it that does a surprisingly good job of keeping the same spirit, despite my real worries about them ruining it!

I think it's no accident that these are often set in and around summer, as summer can feel like just the sort of little golden bubble of time that incubates otherwise impossible things. I hope you enjoyed your summer here with us, and that maybe it's transformed you a little, made you think a bit, or given you a little something special to consider as you go back to real life, back to the rhythms of school. I know I've had a fun time writing and sharing conversation in comments, so I hope you all have, too. Thanks for coming around and being part of Word Out this summer, everyone, and I hope your school year is a great one!

"Unlike anything else I've ever read" -- ALMOST PERFECT reviewed

August 28, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover almost perfect by brian katcherAlmost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Reviewed by Michelle

This book was unlike anything else I've ever read.

In fact, even though I already read it, I would like a copy of my own. Just so I could hug it and look at its gorgeous cover and read it multiple times. It was a flawless book with realistic characters like:

Logan, a boy who was still wounded after discovering his girlfriend -- now, ex -- had cheated on him. And Sage, a new student and a new friend who seemed perfect. Husky voice. Beautiful curls. Beautiful face. Tall. Interesting. But she had secrets. Like why she had been homeschooled for several years and why her parents wouldn't let her date anyone. Why her parents treated her differently from her sister. Why she wouldn't tell Logan all of these whys. 

But that didn't stop Logan from being in love with her and...kissing her one day. And she finally tells him her biggest secret of all. She's a boy. 

Hooked yet? I was. I was captivated from beginning to end. There were times when I didn't like Logan, when I wished he acted differently, acted better and was a better person. But his reactions made sense. He acted like an actual human being, dealing with something he didn't know how to. And it made me wonder how I would have acted in his situation. Or in Sage's. This book, this story, wasn't just a brilliant one but an eye opener. Something that made me think and long after I read the book. 

The characters weren't just characters. They were real. They were people. And not only were Logan and Sage fleshed out but also their relationships with their families and others: Logan's mother and sister, Sage's sister and parents. It was a story set in a small town but it was anything but small. 

There are books that you just have to read. That will make you think. That will make you better after reading. And I believe that Almost Perfect is one of them.