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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The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric My rating: 4 of 5 stars Transported me in time and space to an unfamiliar world where brothers are very very mean to sisters. In this patriarchal place, the female protagonist has to do her utmost to survive her brother’s bizarre tastes. This book is kind of […]

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Triptych by J.M. Frey My rating: 5 of 5 stars Triptych’s exploration of heteronormativity touched me in places that I didn’t even know existed. The characters and their relationships make the sci fi problems Frey creates, very real and very relevant to the human reader. It is a very brave first novel, and I found […]

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Under My Skin by Charles de Lint My rating: 3 of 5 stars This Young Adult fantasy begins in Santa Feliz, California in present day. The story unfolds through two voices, Josh and Marina, who are best friends. In this school year, each character has become a Wildling, a shapeshifter from human to animal form. […]

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Darkest Light by Hiromi Goto My rating: 5 of 5 stars This Young Adult fantasy is a sequel to Goto’s Half World, which was nominated for numerous awards in young adult fantasy. Half World is a kind of purgatory where people go who haven’t resolved events in their lives. The first book introduced one such […]

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