He Must Like You by Danielle Younge-Ullman My rating: 3 of 5 stars Caution spoilers ahead! I realize that last year’s Danielle Younge-Ullman book Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined was stellar….like I gave it 10 out of 10 and it was in my top 3 of the year. So I had high hopes for He […]

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Sadie by Courtney Summers My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’m part of the White Pine Steering Committee this year for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading. Part of my role was to read Sadie, and develop teaching resources for it. I enjoyed it on so many levels.  Did you ever see that episode […]

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The Orange Grove: A Novel by Larry Tremblay My rating: 4 of 5 stars This little book (just 157 pages) is not for the faint of heart and is not a light read. It spans the life of Amed, who makes the horrible choice to swap places with his brother as a child, rather than […]

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Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book is a light read but darker than Don Calame‘s previous works. Dan and his Mom’s fiance venture into the wilderness with a motley crue of tag-alongs. Dan is intent on breaking the fiance until he starts to really struggle with the […]

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A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee My rating: 4 of 5 stars Mary Quinn finds herself in a bit of a Nikita situation….as she reforms her life, she is given a proposal to give up her traditional woman’s destiny and become part of The Agency. The really interesting part happens though when Mary […]

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Delusion Road by Don Aker My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book is nominated this year for an Ontario Library Association White Pine award and It is hopping off the shelves in my secondary school library. At first I found the book to feel very abrupt as the chapters interchange between the two essential […]

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Rush by Eve Silver My rating: 4 of 5 stars Eve Silver‘s book Rush is a sure fire winner with the strong young adult readers in my secondary school library. It begins with the life of an otherwise ordinary girl who gets pulled through dimensions into a ‘game’ but it turns out that she actually […]

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Trillium by Jeff Lemire My rating: 5 of 5 stars Jeff Lemire ‘s graphic novel reminds me of this version of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. As Nika and William come together through time and space and then are separated again, Lemire presents this as happening on two separate planes of […]

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Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith My rating: 3 of 5 stars Andrew Smith ‘s book Grasshopper Jungle came highly recommended to me as a secondary school teacher-librarian as something that would connect with those elusive, hard-to-read teens. Scientifically it checks a number of those ‘should-I-buy-it’ boxes: involves issues of gender-identity, bullying, marginalized characters, and it’s […]

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars As much as I wanted to get into this book about a Cyborg with way more problems than Cinderella (who the book loosely resembles), I had trouble with the world-building and the flow of unfolding the politics of this fantastic setting. I had trouble understanding […]

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The Bear by Claire Cameron My rating: 4 of 5 stars The UGDSB has just chosen this book as our board-wide novel for secondary students and author Ms. Cameron will be visiting schools in May 2015. After reading this terrifying novel, I am nervous about the problematic areas in Cameron’s choices. As a parent, I […]

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My White Pine book club is growing stale. The same few students join every year (which is awesome) but I’m not reaching as far as I’d like to in my secondary school of 1200 students. So I’m trying an additional book club this year in a different format. The book I’ve chosen is “This Dark […]

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous. You’ve got to really like dragons (and luckily I do) but Rachel Hartman will have a fan in me forever after this. I hope she’s busy writing a sequel as after I was done I immediately looked for the next one. This is […]

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Drama by Raina Telgemeier My rating: 5 of 5 stars I am so thrilled that there is a female protagonist who loves theatre and isn’t dying to be onstage. Callie is a great role model for pre-teens and teens alike as she is the master of her own learning of stagecraft in order to help […]

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Nightschool: The Weirn Books, Vol. 1 by Svetlana Chmakova My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have to admit that this is the first Manga I’ve ever read, although I’m an emerging fan of the graphic novel format. The artwork varies with the characters’ emotions from mysterious and flirtatious, to outraged and scary. The colour […]

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