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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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I really enjoyed the tone of Satrapi’s writing….a combination of harsh truth and the quirky humour of a young teenager.  Whether Satrapi has written this memoir as a young woman or older, she remembers accurately what it was like to appear fundamentalist in her public life but to be a rebellious teenager in her personal […]

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Skim by Mariko Tamaki My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was actually first turned on to Mariko and Jillian Tamaki when I read Hiromi Goto’s young adult novel Half World, which was nominated in Ontario for a White Pine award. I just can’t get enough of Tamaki’s style of elegance and simplicity in her […]

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“>Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks My rating: 4 of 5 stars I think my favourite thing about the main character, Maggie, is that her personality is so well-developed. Before the ghost is even introduced we find out that: she’s the only girl with 3 brothers, her Dad has a new job, and her […]

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Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s not surprising to me that Vera Brosgol, author/illustrator of Anya’s Ghost, has chosen Neil Gaiman’s critique to highlight on her front cover of this graphic novel. I can make a direct comparison between Gaiman’s character Coraline and Brosgol’s Anya who are both ordinary […]

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare My rating: 4 of 5 stars I can totally see why this is a young adult hit….female protagonist who is struggling with identity as she discovers some deep dark family secrets all the while learning that she has some new magical powers. I will definitely put it in my […]

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The Taming by Teresa Toten My rating: 3 of 5 stars I expect high things from anything that Eric Walters puts his name on. After the Ontario Library Association nominated this as one of the best Canadian young adult fiction of the year, I expected even more. Until halfway through I thought I had found […]

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A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Penny Kittle speak about reading and how complex it is for intermediate/senior teachers to teach.  Kittle estimates that in 1st year college/university that the average pages a student reads is 500.  She proposed that the #1 reason that students drop out after first year […]

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Eragon by Christopher Paolini My rating: 3 of 5 stars It’s a solid first novel …. lots of world-building and the dragons are introduced well. Paolini’s writing style is juvenile …. self-indulgent in terms of cryptic vocabulary use, and the plot is predictable. The best part about this book is …the dragon. View all my […]

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The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb My rating: 4 of 5 stars I rate Wally Lamb’s other two books as some of my all-time favourites. The Hour I First Believed has his usual depth into emotional hell (which I love!) but it was not something that I could read all in one sitting. […]

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Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m not sure why I never read this book when it first came out, but I just found it this year. It is an incredibly moving story of what it was like to attend a residential school. More importantly, it made […]

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