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August 2014

Like a projector in my head! DYING TO GO VIRAL reviewed

August 26, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (7) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover dying to go viral by sylvia mcnicollDying to go Viral by Sylvia McNicoll! 

Reviewed by Nicole

Would you believe me if I told you you had the chance to relive one week of your life after you've died?

Probably not. But Jade, a 14-year-old girl, does. After passing away from a bad skateboarding accident, she's left the world without saying goodbye to her dad, brother (Devon), and her best friend (Stephen Craig Alan Thomas Chalms a.k.a. "Scratch").

In Heaven, she meets her mother who grants Jade another week to relive her life. But Jade has a few goals she wants to achieve by the end of the week. Seven goals to be exact. But those are for you to find out within the book! 

The first sentence of the book is: "It was a perfect day to die." Not like a lot of books that might start with something else a little less pessimistic. Throughout the whole book, my interest was carried through and that made the book even more interesting to read. Cliffhangers were left here and there, leaving you to read more (obviously). I found out that I was really into this book after I read six chapters within a day. The POV of the book is Jade's -- first person. I liked how the author did that, rather than being third person omniscient. You get to learn a lot about Jade because she is the one talking throughout the whole book. 

By the first chapter, you're hooked into the book. You can't put it down because it feels like you've reached the climax, but you don't realize that there's more. There are humorous parts, some sad parts, along with some romantic parts, which makes the book 10x more awesome. I felt like the book was if you could relate to it in a way. The author didn't make something up for the people to say; it felt quite real. What Jade said in the book was something a 14-year-old girl would say in real life. I really loved how the author took the time to describe what was going on in the scene. There was like a projector in my head that was projecting everything I read on the book, somewhat into a movie. This is how well the author described the scenes. 

What really interested me to read the book was if Jade got to get her last week perfect. I wondered if she achieved the goals she wanted to finish before she had to go back to her mom. That was what caught my eye. It was also eye catching to see how the author would explain each goal and how Jade could reach it. 

So the real question is: Did Jade reach any of her goals within the week she had? Or did she fall short on time? 

Get the book and read it to find out! 

Set your Style

August 26, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Björk and the Swan Dress

Image of Bjork in Swan Dress By Cristiano Del Riccio
[CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whether walking to through the mall or down the halls at school, there’s an incredible amount of pressure to adopt particular fashion trends. Stores will push particular looks, magazines will declare certain accessories ‘must haves’ for anyone who wants to look stylish, and peer pressure can push one into taking on a group’s chosen sartorial decisions.

Its easy to go with the accepted and approved – to choose a normal wardrobe and blend in with with the people around you. Which is why those who take a risk and choose to break the mould and establish their own look are so amazing and cool.

Continue reading "Set your Style" »

A Gripping Tale of Wonder

August 26, 2014 | Christine | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick coverWhat would you do if you thought your father had gone missing? What if no one believed you? This is what happens to Laureth Peak, the 16-year-old daughter of Jack Peak, a British author who has been trying write a novel about coincidence for several years. Her mother thinks he’s obsessed, and Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. During a time when her father is supposed to be doing research in Austria, his personal notebook is found in New York City. Sensing that something is terribly wrong, Laureth tries to figure out what has happened to her father. On an impulse, she steals her mother’s credit card, and with her seven-year-old brother Benjamin in tow, takes a flight across the Atlantic to the United States. Over the next twenty-four hours, Laureth and Benjamin are reunited with the notebook, and must then try to follow the clues written inside to find their father in the bewildering streets of New York City. The siblings face many challenges and threats over the course of their journey, all of which are even more difficult for Laureth. That’s because Laureth Peak is blind.

I think that She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick is an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading this novel, and liked the challenge of trying to see the world from Laureth’s perspective. I felt that her character had a very strong presence, and that her interactions with other characters were very believable, especially those with her brother Benjamin and his toy raven Stan. I also liked the inclusion of hand-written images from the father's lost-and-found notebook. I felt that this gave a lot of depth to the story, and provided a lot of details about the different kinds of research the father had been doing for his writing about coincidences. If you are looking for an exciting and intriguing book to read this summer, I highly recommend this novel.

What do you think of She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick?

Friendship, loyalty, world-building and explosions -- IDOLS reviewed

August 25, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover idols by margaret stohlIdols, by Margaret Stohl

Reviewed by Anupya, age 15

“How do we fit together? These men who call us children yet insist we are not?”


A sequel to Icons, Idols is an action-packed, fast-paced novel written by Margaret Stohl about Doloria Maria De La Cruz, her position as an Icon Child and the responsibilities that come with it, including saving the world from destruction by the ‘Lords’. The Icon Children are humans fallen from the sky, who are immune to Icons stopping their hearts. However, one Icon Child is missing and it is their mission to find him/her. The theme of hero’s journey is highly evident as the story progresses -- there is a mentor, friends, a major death and a major transformation that Dol undergoes.

I suggest you read the first book first, since not doing so makes it very hard to keep up with the pacing of the story. Mythology plays a great part, explained with great symbolism and metaphors elevating the reading experience. One criticism I can give is that it might have been a relief for the reader if the author switched points of view. Dol’s head contains way too much doom, gloom, confusion regarding her romantic choices (yes, there is a love triangle) and angst –- it gets tiring to read her conflict, emulated multiple times in different fashions. Exploring a different character’s thoughts might have enhance the reader's enjoyment of the book. Besides, the two guys, Ro and Lucas, bicker over Dol like elementary kids. It’s annoying. Dol is better off breaking up with both of them and being alone.

The book has a major plot twist in the end, confirming your subconscious suspicions. Additional warning: major death. If you are someone who loves excitement, friendship, loyalty, world-building and explosions in every chapter, Idols is for you.

Exercises come in all shapes and sizes: Final words of encouragement from Florida

August 25, 2014 | stephen | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Link to TPL catalogHello everyone, thanks for hanging with me all summer! It's been great and I really appreciate the amount of people following my little space of the internet.

Hopefully this space has been an encouragement to you to get out there and get active. There is a world of possibilities out there and I just want to stress that you don't need to be a super athlete or a hardcore enthusiast to get into a sport or activity.

Most of you have been commenting that what I do looks super fun but it's way too hard or intimidating for you but I would encourage you by saying that it's not the case! 

Look at Tough Mudder for example. Tough Mudder was arguably the pinnacle of my summer workout schedule and I have already laid out to you in great detail how difficult it was to finish that course. 

Along the way to the finish line I met so many different people from different walks of life. Sure there were your fitness competitors, your athletes and your runners but along the way I also saw heavier people, the elderly and the generally unfit climb their way up and down that mountain.

Continue reading "Exercises come in all shapes and sizes: Final words of encouragement from Florida" »

Weekly Trivia 9: Do You Remember?

August 25, 2014 | Cathy | Comments (13) Facebook Twitter More...

  Maze runner
In the Maze Runner, the Creator wiped the boys' memories before putting them into the maze. However, Thomas still remembers someone. Who is it and what was his connection to this character?


Come up with a creative way to wipe out bad memories and restore good ones.



Some rules to follow:

1) You have to be a resident of the city of Toronto to win a prize.

2) Your answer has to be submitted by Monday (September 1) at 11:59 PM if you want to win.

3) You need to provide us with a valid email address if you want to be considered for the prize.

Winners will be contacted at the end of the week.

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

Duelling Displays - We Have A Winner!

August 24, 2014 | Thomas Krzyzanowski | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Thirteen displays entered the ring, but they knew that only one would emerge the winner.

After the dust had settled, the winner of the WORD OUT Duelling DIsplays competition was...

... (drumroll please) ....


Continue reading "Duelling Displays - We Have A Winner!" »

Fan Fiction Contest Winner

August 23, 2014 | Monica | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...


A BIG congratulations to Beatrice Perusse, for her winning fanfic Echoing Long After Us based on the animated series Evangelion.
Thank you all for you amazing entries, and all your hardword. You all are so talented, and we hope to see more of your work in the future.

Check out Beatrice's fantastic fanfic here:

Echoing Long After Us
An Evangelion Fanfiction
By Beatrice Perusse

Kaworu’s one wish in that first timeline was that he could see Shinji’s face, look at Shinji instead of the metal features of the giant robot-like being that was Evangelion unit 1, but he knew that the Eva kept Shinji safe. Kaworu trusted Yui’s presence to take care of Shinji.
Kaworu could still hear Shinji’s cries ringing in his ears and feel his own head being separated from his body and his torso being crushed to pieces as Shinji tightened the Evangelion’s grip when he decided to try again.
Kaworu had not meant to love the lilan, to love Shinji. He and his siblings, his fellow angels, were meant to wish for nothing but the humanity’s destruction. Kaworu was meant to descend upon the planet Earth and tear it apart, not love it so much he abandoned his kin. But Kaworu had been created as Tabris, as the angel of free will, so for all he knew this had been part of the plan all along.
(He somehow doubted it.)
The space in between timelines was always strange. The place in between the world he had left behind and the infinite number in front of him. It was rather unhelpful, in Kaworu’s opinion, for all it revealed was that there were new realities in front of him, and not what was in them. Of course in the beginning he did not know this, and after catching his metaphorical breath, he dove straight into the next world.
(He realized later how little thought he had really put into the whole process, and found it bitterly amusing how much damage he was causing himself for a human who had only begun to consider loving him at the time.)
The second timeline was much like the first, and he began to get familiar with the sensation of being crushed into pieces. The third and fourth and tenth worlds were much the same, though Kaworu did try his best to change his actions. It seemed that no matter what he did, history repeated itself.
Perhaps, Kaworu considered, he should change the beginning.
He did not kill the cat, did not meet Shinji in the rubble, waited longer. He thought that perhaps he could resist the call of Lilith if he changed his own actions.
He could not.
Kaworu stayed in that place in between for what could have been minutes, could have been decades. Concepts such as time were abstract in that place, a fault that was paid for in the rushed moments between when Kaworu saw Shinji in each world, and when he met his inevitable demise.
I think I may have been born to meet you
His own words haunted him, though he believed them. Perhaps he was born for this. Perhaps this was some form of punishment for what he was, for what his brothers and sisters had done.
In the timelines where Kaworu had gone to school, he had felt sick when they studied Romeo and Juliet. Those characters were such fools, and he was so like them.
With something that would have been a sigh from any other creature, Kaworu looked back on the world he had just left as it began to fall into pieces, and entered the next timeline.
This one was different. Shinji had not become an Eva pilot and the world was worse off than Kaworu had ever seen it. It did not take long for things to go wrong. He had at least two weeks to treasure each moment huddled beneath a tent in a refugee camp with Shinji, sharing body heat and giving Shinji as many rations as he could get his hands on. Then the pneumonia took hold. Shinji deteriorated quickly, his delicate human form that Kaworu so loved becoming the reason for his death. Shinji’s body was simply too weak and malnourished to fight for long, and the camp was so overrun with sickness and injury that no one could spare a bed or medicine for a boy who was obviously dying. Kaworu was confused. It had never happened like this. It was always Kaworu who died first, and Shinji got to live, that was the point. If Shinji didn’t live then what was the point of it all?
He curbed his thoughts on the last night, when Shinji’s breath came raggedly and unevenly, his skin cold and clammy. Kaworu held his hand, and spoke to Shinji about pointless things for as long as he could. It was around two in the morning when Shinji’s breathing got shallower. Kaworu, not knowing what else to do, lay down next to him, curling at his side, his arm draped around Shinji’s skinny frame, trying to will warmth back into the boy next to him.
It began to snow outside, and Kaworu sang softly, a song of love and loss and triumph and cherry blossoms, until Shinji’s breath finally stopped.
Kaworu did not cry. Some part of him was proud of that fact. He brought himself up onto his knees, laid a kiss on Shinji’s cold forehead, and whispered:
“I will see you again soon.”
He rose to his feet, and walked out into the cold. He did not want to do what he was planning where Shinji’s body lay, did not want to sully Shinji’s corpse with his blood. When he reached the edge of the camp, Kaworu drew Shinji’s knife from his pocket, and jammed it into his throat.
He floated quietly between the worlds after that. Feeling more hopeless than ever before, Kaworu took hold of the warmth that was Shinji’s soul, and let it pull him into the next world.
The timelines were never the same after that. Sometimes they were Evangelion pilots, sometimes they led lives uninterrupted by impacts or angels. Sometime Kaworu never saw Shinji at all. Sometimes Shinji loved him, sometimes hated him. Sometimes Shinji died first, but usually Kaworu did. He lost count of how many worlds he had tried to save.
Kaworu treasured the worlds that had never experienced the impact or the angels. Before each death, he held in his mind the image of Shinji doing peaceful things, wearing sweaters and reading books and going for coffee and awkwardly asking out Asuka Langley. Whether Shinji loved him or not in those worlds, Kaworu was grateful that the human was closer to being happy, even if something always went wrong, even in those peaceful timelines. One of them died, or one of their friends suffered, or there was war or disease or Yui once again died when Shinji was young, and Gendo Ikari planted the roots of misery in Shinji so deep that Kaworu could not help in time.
Kaworu almost gave up once. He had tried to stop, staying in the place between the worlds as long as he could, before he was pulled into the next timeline by Shinji’s soul, and he thought perhaps he had not given everything in vain.
Finally, Kaworu reached the world where he waited. He waited until Shinji started the new impact, until Shinji was trapped inside the Eva with what was left of the original Rei Ayanami. Kaworu played along as Seele’s puppet for as long as he needed to. (There was always Seele in the worlds where Kaworu and Shinji were Eva pilots, always that group of old men lurking in the background, pulling strings and attempting to use the power of the angels and the celestial beings for their own, always attempting to end the world and find the Dead Sea Scrolls for reasons Kaworu could not really grasp. Always being unwittingly manipulated by Gendo Ikari in the background, always at the price of Shinji’s mind.)
This world was different enough that he thought perhaps this time he might be successful in bringing Shinji the happiness he desired.
Shinji was broken and scared and alone when Kaworu finally met him again. Kaworu offered what little comfort he could to a boy who had lost everything, gave answers to Shinji about when he had done as plainly as possible. He tried to love Shinji, tried to fix a world he knew he never could.
In a mess of piano notes and tears and blood,
I really was born to meet you
This world ended like so many others did. The DSS choker went off
I’m sorry
This was not the happiness you wanted and deserved
Kaworu stopped the next impact. He smiled at Shinji as kindly as he could, each tear that fell from Shinji’s eyes pierced him, though a twisted part of himself was glad someone would mourn him.
Kaworu steadied himself in between the worlds, still rocked by the feeling of choking on blood and bursting apart, still hearing Shinji’s screams.
It was time to try again.

You can't stop reading once you start! SMELLS LIKE DOG reviewed

August 22, 2014 | Ken Sparling | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

Book cover smells like dog by suzanne selforsSmells like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

Reviewed by Ashanth, age 13

This book is about Homer Pudding who's an ordinary farm boy but he's got some big dreams and he wants to become like his Uncle Drake who is a famous treasure hunter but when he goes missing and is pronounced dead because he was eaten by a man eating tortoise, Homer then gets Uncle Drake's possessions from the lawyer who is a droopy-eyed, clumsy dog with no sense of smell with a gold coin on his collar spelling the letters L.O.S.T  and a letter saying it is his most prized possession. But later on Homer decides to go to the city which is dangerous according to his dad to search for an important map and finds out the dog has a hidden talent.

This book is full of adventure and you can't stop reading once you start. It will also keep you interested because a new question opens up when another one closes.And this book is very thrilling and has won many awards and if you want to find out what is the hidden talent then you're going to have to read the book.

Five Frames From . . . August 22nd-August 28th Edition

August 22, 2014 | Cameron | Comments (3) 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 August 28th 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