Friday, August 18, 2017

The Man Who Loved Libraries

Owlkids released The Man Who Loved Libraries this week. That man was Andrew Carnegie. Owlkids put together an awesome fact sheet on Carnegie.

Did you know that:
• Canada was awarded grants for 125 Carnegie libraries. Of those, 63 are still used as libraries today. • 111 were in Ontario, four in Manitoba, three in each of Alberta and British Columbia, two in Saskatchewan, and one each in New Brunswick and the Yukon. 
• In all, Carnegie donated $2.5 million to fund Canadian libraries. 

Very cool!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Imagine Peace

September 21st is the International Day of Peace – and what anthem celebrates peace more than John Lennon’s “Imagine”? With the help of illustrator Jean Jullien, Lennon’s words have been translated into a beautiful picture book, published in partnership with Amnesty International. Celebrate the International Day of Peace with these fantastic “Imagine Day” activity kits, available here

For more details on the International Day of Peace, and Imagine, head over to this beautiful website featuring Lennon's music video, and user written messages of peace from around the world. Be sure to leave your own!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sex, Drugs, and YA Literature

Decades have been spent trying to get boys to read – but trying to get teenage boys to read? Forget it. Proposing the question ‘What are teenage boys interested in?’ will typically be answered with nothing more than a roll of the eyes, but Daniel Handler’s newest novel All the Dirty Parts focuses on exactly that. Described by the author in a recent New York Times article, the novel “portrays a young boy’s emotional, hetroflexible sex life”. Instead of censoring out the sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Handler writes head on about a young adult’s burgeoning sexuality and tells it like it is. As Handler puts it: “Let’s not smirk at their interests. Let’s give them books that might engage them."

Handler is also known by his pen name, Lemony Snicket

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Wrinkle in Time Takes Hollywood

55 years after its publication, Madeline L’Engle’s 1963 sci-fi masterpiece hits the screen! Exploding through social media since the release of its first teaser trailer, and with a dynamic cast featuring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon, A Wrinkle in Time is poised to exceed its much deserved hype. Continuously printed since 1963, A Wrinkle in Time has been awarded the Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. The film adaptation is due for release March 9th, 2018. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

"This Is That" - Friday Funny!

Did you know that the City of Brandon, Manitoba is closed from July 12 to August 19? Or that tipping your server in Swift Current is offensive? Well then, you’d better pick up this brand-new travel guide from CBC Radio’s award winning satirical comedy team – the This is That Travel Guide to Canada! This faux travel guide included all sorts of goofy travel tips to navigating Canada. Check out some of their latest work in the video above! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Do You Know Books in Canada?

Robertson Davies or Margaret Atwood? Wayne Gretzky or Wendel Clarke? Who sold more? Who sold first? Put your knowledge of the Canada’s book marketplace to the test with this Canada 150 quiz by BookNet Canada! These 21 uniquely Canadian questions will push your book skills to the edge, as BookNet Canada keeps Canada 150 rolling. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Be Inconvenient

One Decade ago, Vice President Al Gore brought climate change to the forefront of world issues. Today, ten years later, his message has only increased in importance. An Inconvenient Sequel has Gore exposing Humanity’s role in the degrading climate of our planet, presenting around the world, his stories of change, progress, and the real action that can be taken to reverse the damage. An Inconvenient Sequel is out July 25, 2017, with the feature film in theatres July 28, 2017. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Chronicle Turns 50

Pretty much the coolest publisher EVER, Chronicle Books is celebrating their 50th b-day this year! They started in 1967 (aka the Summer of Love) and have been rocking it ever since. PW did a great piece on their history. From Griffin and Sabine to Press Here to the Beatles Anthology, they have produce some of the most memorable and innovative books of all time. I ❤ Chronicle!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada 150: One-Hundred-Fifty Bestselling Canadian Titles!


BookNet Canada is celebrating the Nation’s sesquicentennial the best way any book-lover would! From Robert Munsch to Margaret Atwood to Alice Munro, BNC has complied a list (and fantastic looking poster!), of 150 Canadian-authored bestsellers from the last 10 years. Canadian icons, literary legends, and timeless stories, make up this awesome, interactive, clickable list- Check it out here.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Harry Potter 20!

Feel old yet? June 26th Marked the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter! Quill and Quire asked booksellers all across Canada to reflect on the impact and importance of J.K. Rowling’s revolutionary saga since its release two decades ago. From inspiring new readers, then and now, to some crediting Rowling with the revival of an industry, check out the memories Canadian Booksellers shared here

Friday, June 23, 2017

“Silent Spring”: The Continuing Fight of Environmentalism

It’s been fifty-five years since the release of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and as the challenges of the Earth and climate change continue to grow, the work that jump-started the American Environmentalist Movement is as important as ever. Here, The New Yorker brings you Carson’s ground-breaking piece in its entirety, along with recent pieces on the Deepwater Horizon Oil-spill disaster, and Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Meet a Traveller"- Prime Minister Edition!

Prime Minister, father, avid traveller! Justin Trudeau recently sat down with LonelyPlanet to talk everything wanderlust- His experiences across the nation, abroad, and all the places he’ll explore in the future. Lonely Planets latest “Meet a Traveller” interview gives insight into the travelling mindset of Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, and some great advice on travel destinations for Canada’s Sesquicentennial while they’re at it! Check out the full interview here.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Deborah Ellis to the Screen!

Revisit Deborah Ellis’ critically acclaimed and award winning The Breadwinner as the story of Parvana takes to the screen! Published in 39 editions since 2000, the film adaptation is due for release later this year. Directed by Nora Twomey, written by Anita Doran and Deborah Ellis, and produced by a team featuring Angelina Jolie- Check out the newly released trailer here!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"How Real Books Trumped E-books"- The Guardian's Alex Preston Explores the Decade Long Debate

Digitalization is an unavoidable reality in today’s technologically obsessive world. But as more and more becomes paperless, books have entered a type of renaissance. From gorgeous covers and beautifully designed books, the Guardian’s Alex Preston explores how physical books and their publishers not only learned from history to stay relevant in the face of surging popularity in e-books, but now thrive in the aftermath of that decade long debate. Read Preston’s full article, “How Real Books Have Trumped E-books” Here

Friday, June 9, 2017

Canada 150!

This month is all about Canada`s 150th! From a buddy picture book to an illustrated atlas, Canadian publishers are marking the occasion proudly. This collection of children`s books capture both the physical and metaphysical image of Canada, and remind us all of why we should be proud of the great white north. Check out the full article here


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Inside the World of Publishing-University of Regina Press


The University of Regina Press (URP) is not afraid to do things differently. From producing music videos, to inspiring a skateboarding company, as well as developing a new line of books to help revitalize Indigenous languages, URP has been pushing ahead in new and exciting ways. Now, URP continues to engage audiences in both entertainment and education with their new podcast `How Books Happen`. Hosted by Press Director Bruce Walsh, the podcast will offer listeners an inside perspective on the joys and challenges of publishing books, featuring interviews from authors, readers and publishers from across the globe. `How Books Happen`is available now on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, Tune In, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. Find it here

Thursday, June 1, 2017

75 years of Wonder Woman

June 3rd 2017 is Wonder Woman Day! Celebrate 75 years of the queen of the Amazons at your local participating comic shop, bookstore, or library. Get ready for fun events, great deals, and everything Amazonian. Also available now is Wonder Woman- the Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior, lauded as the perfect celebration of the superhero’s history. Check out all the ways to plan out your Wonder Woman Day here.  

Monday, May 29, 2017

Storytelling, Circles, and Identity Politics

As the barriers of identity politics seem more and more prominent in today’s world, Elif Shafek’s The Politics of Fiction explores the power of fiction to transcend these divisive and marginalizing practices. With her newest piece Three Daughters of Eve set to release, listen as Shafek demonstrates through her own experience that individuals and the stories they tell are so much more then the identity placed on them by society. Three Daughters of Eve is available December 5th 2017.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Free Skype Sessions with Terry Lynn Johnson

Ontario author Terry Lynn Johnson is offering free 30-35 minute long Skype sessions in your classroom or library! This year Terry Lynn is releasing the first book in her Survivor Diaries series, and to celebrate the launch of this series she's offering the opportunity to have a lively discussion about anything from her writing process to her real-life survival tips. If you're interesting in having an exciting speaker visit your classroom virtually, contact Fernanda at fernanda@raincoast.com.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Scholastic Canada's Inaugural Canadian Reading Report

Ever wondered how, what, and whether Canadian families read? Wonder no more! Scholastic Canada has published the first ever Kids and Family Reading Report: Canadian Edition. It's an exciting collection of data presented in a colourful and easily-digestible way. Take a peek and see how you fit in!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ryerson University Library receives record donation

Almost fifty years after the original Ryerson Press was sold in a controversial deal to McGraw-Hill Education, much of the original collection is finally returning to Toronto. The donation of 3,000 books and 2,000 archival materials to the Ryerson University Library's Archives and Special Collection is worth nearly one million dollars, and includes first editions of the works of many landmark Canadian authors. An exciting contribution to the archives!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Katrina Onstad wants you to reclaim your weekend

As summer breaks upon us, the weekends are more treasured than ever, but all too often we get up on Saturday only to begin working through the list of errands that accumulated throughout the week. Katrina Onstad's new book, The Weekend Effect, will have you making the most of your two-day break, and just in time for the sunny months! Listen to this short clip from her CBC interview to preview the kind of advice she'll deliver in this much-needed guide to relaxation and seizing the moment. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reading Books You Hate

Every reader has at least one book they hate, despise, loathe, abhor, detest, and scorn without forgiveness. Often there is an author or an entire genre that we avoid. These books, argues Pamela Paul of the New York Times, are the ones that will make us better readers, and the ones which we should read (however painstakingly) cover to cover. Does this fly, or is time spent reading something you dislike is time wasted? Read her piece and, if you're convinced, pick up a book that makes you shudder and challenge yourself to find out why.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grab your paper bag and stand up to a dragon

As new waves of feminism emerge, new movements develop, and more people march for equality every day, some stories continue to inspire and influence year after year. The Robert Munsch classic The Paper Bag Princess was published a whopping thirty-seven years ago, but the lessons, as Francesca Segal writes in her piece "Stand Up to Dragons", are timeless. The dragons may look different these days, but they still require bravery and fortitude to overcome if we're to dance off into the sunset in our proverbial paper-bag beauty. Segal writes about why generations to come will be reading this slim volume to their children, and why the lessons will never fade.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"

Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, played a significant part in the making of a PBS documentary on the Vietnam War set to premiere this fall. This is a true indicator of the timeless nature of his knowledge and writingfrom his own time spent fighting in Vietnam in 1969, to the original publication of The Things They Carried in 1990, to this 1995 interview with CBC's Writers and Company, to his contributions to the PBS documentary. The Things They Carried, reissued in a beautiful new edition in 2009, is a collection of short stories centered around a platoon of American soldiers in Vietnam, and is worth a read for those interested in history and humanity.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Munsch on the stage!

Robert Munsch has illuminated the imaginations of Canadian children for years, and now he's alive not only on the page, but also on the stage! Munschtime, playing at the Toronto Young People's Theatre until May 14th, brings to life many of Munsch's classic titles in an exciting new format. Castmembers spoke to Tom Power on Q about the charm of Munsch's stories and the fun of the new production. This is a wonderful new way for kids and adults alike to revel in the magic of Munsch!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Reading Without Walls Challenge

Ask any bookworm why they read, and one of their primary reasons will be that books allow you to go outside the walls of your everyday life. The "Reading Without Walls" challenge taps into that, encouraging readers to read subjects and formats that they don't normally experience. It's currently being championed by the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, who points out that this challenge is great for getting everyone out of their comfort zones, and can be a fun promotional tool for teachers, librarians and booksellers!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Who's Your Favourite PM?

Whether or not you have a t-shirt emblazoned with shirtless Justin Trudeau riding a moose (this really exists), there's no denying that he's an interesting prime minister. Of course, there are varying opinions about him, as there are about each of Canada's twenty-three PM's. So who is Canada's favourite? This summer, DK is publishing a book called Our Great Prime Ministers, and before it comes out they want to know who is Canada's number one choice. Vote by poll here and see if you share the opinions of the majority of Canadians!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Travel Photography Competition!

Rough Guides is hosting a competition to find images for their upcoming travel photography book, and they're offering not only publication but some other amazing prizes that could enable you to take that trip you've been planning! If you're passionate about travel photography (or happened to snap a really cool photo on your last vacation), check out the contest page for specifics, and send your photos over by Monday the 24th of April for a chance to win some seriously cool prizes and have your photos featured in an exciting upcoming book.

Friday, April 14, 2017

To Photoshop, or Not to Photoshop?

If you, like most of Canada, hold Anne of Green Gables near and dear to your heart, then you've probably given the new CBC/Netflix adaptation a try. While it's generally been welcomed with open arms, there is already some gentle controversy brewing in relation to Netflix's treatment of our beloved redhead in their promotional posters aimed at American audiences. While CBC's posters emit a more somber tone and reflects the freckly, day-dreamy, wistful orphan we know and love, Netflix has cast a golden light on Anne that not only doesn't really reflect the lonely feel of the show, but has magically dulled her freckles, changed the shape of her face, and reduced the slight blueness under her eyes. Read what Tirzah Price of Bookriot had to say about this interesting approach to the latest adaptation of PEI's sweetheart.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nan Talese in the Spotlight

Female publishing icon Nan Talese has been profiled in a Vanity Fair article, and it's a fascinating read. Veteran of Random House, Simon & Schuster and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and current Senior Vice President of Doubleday, Nan's life is examined on both a personal and professional level. Her power within her marriage and the office are discussed equally and gracefully. A great reason to take a afternoon coffee break!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Advance praise rolls in for Doudna and Sternberg

Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg are riding high on a wave of advanced praise for their upcoming book, A Crack in Creation, which looks at the scientific and ethical dilemmas and adventures that are arising with the development of gene-editing technology. From Nobel Prize-winning scientists and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors to George Lucas, everyone is eagerly chiming in with praise. Read up on the technology and the international patent competition here, take a peek at the starred Kirkus review here, and keep an eye on this book (due to be released on June 13th)!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

James Rhodes Hits the Right Notes

James Rhodes spoke on q about his new book, Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music, and how music helped him through some dark passages in his life. The reviews of Instrumental are overwhelming in their praise of his honest and insightful writing, and it sounds like Rhodes' story of trial and survival is striking a chord with many readers. Worth a listen and a look!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fish Girl Swims into the Spotlight

Middle-grade veteran Donna Jo Napoli and award-winning illustrator David Wiesner are the talk of the town with their latest book, Fish Girl. They were featured in a glowing review in the New York Times Book Review, applauding their strong messages for young girls (and boys). Get ready to dive into this empowering story!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lisa Brown and American Chickens

Lisa Brown and Lemony Snicket will be coming out with a new picture book Goldfish Ghost this May. While researching the book (which is heeelarious) I cam across Brown's website American Chickens which is a treasure trove of delights. There are fun interviews and and a look at some of her other work.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New Louise Penny!

I am so excited! Glass Houses is coming August 29th 2017.
From Louise’s Facebook post regarding the launch of the site:
“Today, leading up to the August 29th publication of Glass Houses, we’re starting a new feature on Gamache and Three Pines. This was prompted by many of you mentioning that while the books are very much crime novels, the most important elements have little to do with the actual crime. There’s a whole lot more going on, beneath the surface. So we thought it would be interesting to explore that. We’re taking each book and examining the major cultural inspirations behind it. The art, the literature, the music. Things and themes that reverberate through that novel, and through the characters, through the series. And where else would we start but where it all began: ‘Still Life’.”

This feature is awesome! I do love the mysteries; however I think I love the characters, town, side stories even more. The first post is on Still Life and is entitled Surprised By Joy...be forewarned you may need a hanky.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bloomsbury reveals front cover of HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN ILLUSTRATED EDITION

Get Excited!!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Burgess Shale by Margaret Atwood


This year's Kreisel Lecture Series was given by Margaret Atwood. In it she discusses the Canadian literary landscape of the 1960's and is pretty funny to boot!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Herve Tullet Art Explosion

One of the most original children's book creators of the past year has to be Herve Tullet, author of Press Here. Recently he was in Pittsburgh, opening a new exhibit at the children's museum.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

TPL Rocks!...but we knew that :)

OverDrive announced  that 30 standalone public library systems and 19 library consortia in the U.S. and two other countries have set a new record for lending more than one million digital books in 2016. These 49 systems each achieved significant year over year circulation growth, and together surpassed the 32 systems that accomplished the feat in 2015. Toronto Public Library was number one on the list.

Friday, February 3, 2017

16 Canadian authors recommend books for Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day was on January 27th. To celebrate, the CBC asked some of Canada's fave authors to come up with some great reads for the family. Here is the list.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Science Experiments with Professor Robert Winston

Robert Winston is an amazing scientist who has done oodles of books for DK. He was on the Late Show with James Corden, promoting his latest books. The results are hilarious...I have to tell you, I was a bit stressed out watching the experiments...DON'T TRY THESE AT HOME! Or maybe do ;)

Friday, January 27, 2017

President Obama's Reading List

In his last week of office, President Obama met with some amazing writer's to discuss the writing life. Here is a list of some of his favorite books.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

PW's Top Library Stories of 2016

PW did a review of 2016 and the big library news stories of the year. In it they discuss Carla Hayden's appointment as the librarian of Congress, the first African American woman to the post. They als touch on ebooks, Orlando and a whole bunch more.

Friday, January 20, 2017

40 Years of the Canadian Children's Book Centre!

2016 was the Canadian Children's Book Centre 40th anniversary. In their magazine they did a brilliant piece on the history of the centre...and what a history! From Phyllis Yaffe to Chickadee Magazine to Robert Munsch, the Centre has been at the heart of Canadian children's publishing for over 40 years. To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How Cool is This!!!

The Dragon Brothers is a new trilogy from James Russell and Link Choi. The characters Flynn and Paddy discover a hidden magic on their island.  The much-loved maps on the end papers of each book now have augmented reality content. Rather than me trying to explain it, take a look at the video below. If you're keen to try it out, download 'AR Reads' from the App Store or Google Play (it's free) and try it out for yourself!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Best Middle Grade Books of the Year


Lot's of Dewey picks on here...just sayin!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Every Book Lover's Fantasy Hotel!!!

This hostel starring books is Kyoto.  I want to go to there...


Friday, December 16, 2016

How to get a great blurb for your novel

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sarah Klassen from Mosaic Books


As the Buyer for Kelowna's Mosaic Books, in BC's Okanagan valley, there's no better way for me to spend a weekend than with a glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other. This year I've read a couple brilliant DEBUT novels by YOUNG, women novelists. 

First, Winnipeg author Katherina Vermette previously won a Governor General's Award for her poetry collection, North End Love Songs. The Break is her fiction debut and was also nominated for both the GG's and Rogers Writers' Trust awards -
The Break - Katherina Vermette
The Break is a narrow field between two rows of houses in Winnipeg's North End where 13 yr old Metis youth, Emily is sexually assaulted on a freezing winter night. But she and her friends, mother, aunties and Kookum (Grandmother) do not break. They share and rage and heal each other. No one person can speak for an entire group but through telling these womens' story, author Katherina Vermette gives a face to the urgent crisis of violence against urban indigenous women. The women, and some of the men, are strong and wise and unflinchingly honest. They are so damn brave, facing unthinkable challenges with chins out, ready to take on the world. I don't know whether you have to have experienced trauma to be that strong, but I rather believe so. The novel is intense but there are moments of lightness and humour. This is such an impressive debut novel - best Canadian fiction I've read this year. If you liked Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach, you'll love The Break.

Yaa Gyasi is a Ghanaian born American. This is her debut novel.
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
300 years in 300 pages. Epic. Stunning. 26 yr old (yes, 26!) Yaa Gyasi follows the family lineage of two sisters - Esi is sent to America and Effia remains in Ghana. The early chapters are brutal. The family tree at the beginning of the book is invaluable since each chapter jumps forward a generation and alternates between continents.

Both sides experience trauma as a direct result of the legacy of the slave trade. "When someone does wrong, whether it is you or me, whether it is mother or father, whether it is the Gold Coast man or the white man, it is like a fisherman casting a net into the water. He keeps only the one or two fish that he needs to feed himself and puts the rest in the water, thinking that their lives will go back to normal. No one forgets that they were once captive, even if they are now free".

That being said, Gyasi doesn't portray her characters as victims and doesn't let them off the hook. What she does, brilliantly, is she gives each one a voice to tell their story. "We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you've figured that out, you must find that story".