Our Forest of Reading® Picks!

Last week, our young readers gathered to vote on their favourite books in Forest of Reading®. They’ve been reading books in their categories since December, and the time finally arrived to choose the winners.

We had students reading in Blue Spruce™, Silver Birch Express™, Silver Birch Fiction™ & Non-Fiction™, and Red Maple. It was an exciting night!

And the winners were:

In the Blue Spruce category for Kindergarten to Grade 2:

THE GOOD LITTLE BOOK by Kyo Maclear, and HARRY AND WALTER by Kathy Stinson.

In the Silver Birch Express category for Grades 3 & 4, it was a tie:

MYLES AND THE MONSTER OUTSIDE by Philippa Dowding, and THE ENCHANTED EGG by Callie George.

In the Silver Birch Fiction category, for Grades 5 & 6: THE NEST by Kenneth Oppel (see photo above).

And in the Silver Birch Non-Fiction category for Grades 5 & 6:


And last but not least, our Red Maple Fiction winner for Grades 7 & 8 was another tie:

MINRS by Kevin Sylvester, and TROUBLE IS A FRIEND OF MINE by Stephanie Tromly.

Congratulations to all of the wonderful Canadian authors and illustrators who were nominated. Now, our votes will be added to those from across Ontario, and the “official” winners will be announced in Toronto in mid-May.

We can’t wait until next year!


Tonight, HULU debuts “The Handmaid’s Tale” in a ten-episode run. Based on the book by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, this series has had a lot of promotion, and promises to be equally creepy and time-appropriate.

The Handmaid’s Tale follows Offred, a young, fertile woman who is forced in her world to conceive against her will. But worse than that, she is terrified to resist. Offred is both afraid and strong, and her bravery trying to escape this role is eye-opening. The trailer looks scary enough…I’m not sure I’ll even make it through the first episode.

If you grew up in Canada, you probably had to read Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE for English class in high school. While for most of us, it was the first introduction to Atwood’s strange and often confusing worlds, this book probably stuck with many of us. It will be interesting to see how HULU plays out the idea over the course of 10 weeks.

Will you watch?

Women Who Work

It looks like they rewrote the rules for Ivanka’s release. WOMEN WHO WORK : REWRITING THE RULES FOR SUCCESS by Ivanka Trump was set to release in March. But her publishers pushed the date back to May, citing the upheaval in her personal life, moving into a new city, and getting her children settled into new schools. They wanted to make it easier for her to promote the book once she was firmly into her new position in her father’s government.

But now Ivanka has decided that she isn’t going to promote her book after all. She is worried that her position might influence the promotional tour, so she will simply rely on sales of the book through traditional methods.

Will her publishers be happy with this? No doubt they aren’t the least bit worried about how well this book will sell, considering many people will pick it up hoping for some inside tidbits into the election and her famous family. Ivanka had quite a large advance for the book, and will donate the profits to charities of her choice, so any sales over the advance will be gravy for her charities. Let’s hope for their sake it sells leaps and bounds above that.

Will you be interested in this book? Let us know!

Spring Cleaning

I’m working on some spring cleaning/re-envisioning my home. As I hit each room, my goal is to get rid of things sitting around in boxes, drawers, on floors, in closets etc., and to make each space cozier and more useful. It isn’t easy.

But I heard an interesting idea the other day about cleaning/throwing things away that really got me thinking: ask yourself, would you buy this now?

Would you buy this now? Often, that’s a question that doesn’t even come into play. We’re so attached to things from our pasts that make us feel something or remember something, and we completely ignore the fact that we haven’t even thought about this item for years. If you threw it out, you probably won’t think about it past the first few days either. But most of us never even make it that far.

Asking yourself if it is something you would buy now totally changes the way you’ll look at the object. And for the most part, I bet the answer would be “no”. So…off it goes. I’m going to try this a little bit more with my work-in-progress and see how it goes.

If you’re working on spring cleaning, you might want to try Marie Kondo’s book THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP: THE JAPANESE ART OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING. It might change your life, or at least how you look at the objects you’re holding onto.


While this title is appealing to many of us after a long week at work, THE CORK DORK by Bianca Bosker is getting some attention, especially from libraries. It is being compared to chef Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and debuted on he New York Times non-fiction list at #5.

THE CORK DORK: A WINE-FULED ADVENTURE AMONG THE OBSESSIVE SOMMELIERS, BIG BOTTLE HUNTERS, AND ROGUE SCIENTISTS WHO TAUGHT ME TO LIVE FOR TASTE, is a no-holds-barred account of the real lives of sommeliers who take their jobs super seriously, from licking stones so that they know how slate tastes, to avoiding brushing their teeth in the morning so as not to spoil their work. (Honestly, it sounds like these people Bosker writes about are not the most hygienic. If you’re thinking about taking this up full time, you might want to reconsider.)

Bosker is making the rounds now doing podcasts and interviews, so if you have a wine-lover in your midst, you might want to pick this up, hopefully signed, to give as a gift in the near future. Pair it with a bottle of wine, and you have a winner!

Forest of Reading®

Tomorrow is our Forest of Reading® voting night at the library. Young readers from kindergarten through Grade 8 have been reading books in their category since December, and tomorrow, they finally get to pick the books they think are the clear winners!

Voting starts at 6pm, and it will be followed by a “quick” party. Readers who have read all 10 books in the Blue Spruce category, or at least 8 books in all other categories are eligible to vote, stay for the party, and celebrate with all of the readers! It’s going to be a fun night, and we can’t wait to see what books they pick!

The Radium Girls

THE RADIUM GIRLS: THE DARK STORY OF AMERICA’S SHINING WOMEN by Kate Moore is slated to be the next big non-fiction read. This is the fascinating story about hundreds of young women who painted watch faces and clock dials with a lethal paint that included radium. Not only were they exposed to this paint, they were required to do something called “lip pointing” their brushes—which was essentially licking the tip of the paintbrush to keep it from separating while they painted. After they began to develop horrible symptoms, including disfigurement and great pain, their employers refused to take responsibility. This book tells the tale in all of the devastating truth.

It sure will make you think twice about your watch after reading this. We have this book on order at our library. Make sure to get your name on the holds list early.