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A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

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Book Cover Sugar and Snails

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Books for Young Readers Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Amazing picture books, early-readers and middle grade, and YA titles that will delight readers of all ages.

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Book Cover Up Home

Picture Books for Black History Month

By [Kerry Clare]

A perfect opportunity to highlight these excellent books which celebrate Black heroes and Black culture. 

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Book Cover I Am Josephine

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Animal Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Great nonfiction titles to introduce "Animal Classifications," the Grade 2 science unit. 

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Book Cover Love Me True

Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

By [Kerry Clare]

An excerpt from a new book of essays, Love Me True, which delves deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

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Logo Growing Room Festival

Your 2018 Spring Literary Festival Guide

By [Kerry Clare]

Mark your calendars, everybody! Across the country, incredible festival volunteers have been conspiring to pull off amaz …

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The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

By [Trevor Corkum]

Today on The Chat, a conversation with Canisia Lubrin, author of the superb debut collection of poems, Voodoo Hypothesis …

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Book Cover Happinesswise

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Our Spring Preview continues with poetry, exciting debuts, new books by award-winners, and books by your favourites. 

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The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

By [Trevor Corkum]

This week on The Chat, we speak to Jordan Tannahill, interdisciplinary artist and author of the much-anticipated debut n …

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Book Cover The Red Word

A #MeToo Reading List

By [Kerry Clare]

15 books to make you think more deeply about the #MeToo movement.

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The Recommend: February 2018

The Recommend: February 2018

By [Kiley Turner]

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Carrianne Leung (That Time I Loved You), Sharon Butala (Zara's Dead), Di …

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Virtual Voyages: A Reading List by Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill

My favourite definition of creative nonfiction comes from Canadian journalist Deborah Campbell, who quotes the late Ryszard Kapuscinski, an undeniable master of the form: “Sometimes, in describing what I do, I resort to the Latin phrase silva rerum: the forest of things. That’s my subject: the forest of things, as I've seen it, living and travelling in it.” There’s a bit of silva rerum in all these books on this list, which is by no means an exhaustive collection. Some are travel books, and some explorations stick close to home. But all these stories took me on journeys. When I closed the covers I felt as if I’d been transported.

Book Cover The Golden Spruce

1. The Golden Spruce, John Vaillant: Perhaps it took a native New Englander to see the magical, mythic potential of a true story set in Haida Gwaii. The book takes place in the temperate rainforest, and it’s a mystery on the surface. Vaillant introduces us to Grant Hadwin, the crazy ex-logger who felled an ancient albino spruce and then disappeared from the face of the earth, seemingly without a trace. Underneath the …

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Owling: Guest Post by Kristen den Hartog

Book Cover Owl Moon

In our house, my husband, my seven-year-old daughter N and I are flying through the Harry Potter series, now nearly finished the sixth book, and reading each day at breakfast and again after dinner. The colourful characters (red-eyed Lord Voldemort, massive Hagrid in his hair suit) and the thrilling plotlines have us reading more than ever, so that books sometimes interfere with piano practice and dish-doing and hair-washing and bedtime.

One more page! Pleeeease, just one more page!

But long before we went Potty, stories—whether “from your mouth,” as N calls them, or from a book—played a prominent role in our family life. N’s dad is a wonderful storyteller, and often recounts his “Lost in the Woods” tale, about the year he was five and wandered into the forest with his little brother and was unable to find his way home. N’s eyes go wide as he tells of crossing an icy creek with his brother on his back; of braving the bitter wind and trudging through the bush, with its winter-night sounds of animals scurrying and owls hooting.

This homemade story often leads them to Owl Moon, Jane Yolen’s picture book about a father-daughter adventure. “It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling. There was no wind. The trees stood …

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"A triumph of imagination..."

Cover Plain Kate

The winners of the 2011 Canadian Children's Book Awards were announced on Tuesday October 4 at a gala event in Toronto. Erin Bow took the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Plain Kate, a novel about a girl whose wood-carving skills mark her as a witch, and which the judges proclaimed "a triumph of imagination."

Book Cover I Know Here

The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award went to I Know Here by Laurel Crozer and Matt James, (and which was one of the books that Andrew Larsen read on his summer vacation). Of I Know Here, the judges noted: "The centre of this child’s universe is a trailer camp in the northern wilderness, rendered in all its details with brilliant harmony between Croza’s affecting, naturalistic words and James's evocative, childlike paintings."

Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science was winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Ca …

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Malcolm Mills on the youth appeal of his YA novel Beyond the Shickshock Mountains

Thank you to Asteroid Publishing for submitting this interview with Malcolm Mills, author of the young adult novel Beyond the Shickshock Mountains: A Canadian Talon Saga.

malcolm-mills-author-photo

Asteroid Publishing: Told in three parts, your historical novel occurs in the late 18th century, during the Seven Years War between France and Britain and focuses mainly on the lands that would become Canada. Why do you think this period will be of interest to young adults?

Malcolm Mills: War years produce change and young adults have traditionally been interested in change. Conflict and the resolution of conflict pique natural curiosity. Young and old are also interested in their great, great grandfather having been a hero or a mountain man. Curiosity is inherent especially about family. Just ask Ancestor.com.

The politics of Canada is unique and multilingual. The melding of four major social structures—for let’s not forget the aboriginal population and the American Loyalists—gave birth to what our youth are today, a harmonious blend of democratic buds blossoming from the roots of a well grounded, multi-grafted rootstock. Young Canadians who have had little to date to inspire them into examining their vivid and vibrant past may be inspired to do so now and where better to begin then the era th …

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Face-to-Face, Cheek- to- Cheek/ Skype Me Now, Before I Sleep: Guest Post by Sheree Fitch

Mable Murple skied on purple

Image of Mabel Murple skiing

Sydney Smith, from Mabel Murple

She skied on purple snow

She wore a pair of purple goggles

And shouted: “Yee-Haw! Here I go!”

She jumpled purple moguls

She slid on purple ice

Then she asked a ski instructor

For professional advice

(He said:” Sloooow Down!” )

When it comes to technology,I’m poised somewhere between the let-it-rip exuberance of Mabel’s "yee-haw, here I go," and the knowledge that (for me) slowing down is the only sane way to proceed. A few years ago, I attended a discussion and book signing by scientific journalist Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution. In the book, Garreau outlined four possible future scenarios: heaven, hell and prevail. Heaven is the land of perfect: think designer babies. Hell? We implode. A kind of Kaput. Prevail and Transend-- they speak for themselves. We proceed with necessary caution. This is oversimplifying, but Radical Evolution is a book I keep re-reading and recommending to anyone who will listen. Garreau is a superb storyteller who could make complicated science accessible to a labradoodle without dumbing the content down. At some point in the question and answer period Garreau said something I’ll never forget. “I …

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