Books, Translated

vegetarianWhile we don’t often talk about books that are written in another language and then translated, at the library we come across this on occasion when talking about French books for children. Many popular English books are translated into French and then released for French readers, but sometimes, the translation leaves something to be desired. So much so, in fact, we’ve had requests from Francophone parents who have asked us to only purchase books by French authors. The art of translation is a tricky one, even at the picture book or chapter book level, so you can imagine how difficult it must be for adult fiction to be translated well.

It gets even more mind-numbing when you think that there is a literary award given to books that have been translated from some other language into English. The Man Booker International Prize for 2016 was just awarded to Han Kang for her book THE VEGETARIAN, translated from Korean into English by 28-year-old Deborah Smith who only started learning Korean at the age of 21. Wow. The translation must not only be accurate, but also portray the beauty of the author’s prose and their original intention.

Kang has won a variety of literary awards in Korea for her novels and teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute for the Arts, but this was her first book translated into English. It is a novel in three parts, telling the tale of a dutiful Korean wife who one day decides to become a vegetarian. Along the way, the act of giving up meat also leads her to give up other things in her life, and eventually, leads to her discard the whole premise of humanity, causing her life to spiral. You can read more about this author and the award right here.

What an amazing accomplishment!


Our Winners!

Last Thursday, our young readers who had participated in Forest of Reading® from December to April, came and voted on their favourite books. They had to read at least 8 books in most of the categories in order to be able to vote, so we feel confident they picked the best ones of the lot.

And the winners were:

Blue Spruce™

Cardinal-and-the-Crow-WebSilver Birch Express™ —a three-way tie!

express.jpgSilver Birch Fiction™—a two-way tie!

fictionSilver Birch Non-Fiction™—another two-way tie!

nonficAll of the winners we picked were tabulated and sent off to Toronto to join in all of the libraries and schools who also participated. Once all of the votes are in, “official” winners will be announced, and the Canadian authors and illustrators who were chosen will win one of the coveted prizes.  We can’t wait to see how we did! Check back here in May for all the details.

We’re Voting!

It’s Forest of Reading® Voting Night at the library, and we’re excited! We have the polling stations ready, pencils sharpened, and ballots ready to cast. Who knows what books we’ll be picking as the winners tonight?

20160414_112710If your young reader finished all of the required books in their category, they are eligible to come and vote starting at 6pm.  If they did not finish enough books to vote, they can still come and enjoy the party from 6-7pm.  At the end of the session, we’ll announce the winning books, and get our votes all sent off to Toronto for the final tabulations.

This is an exciting night, so if you’re at the library, expect to hear kids having fun talking about books!

Oscar Time!

It’s almost that time of year again—Oscar time! Yes, at the end of this month, the Academy Awards will be given to the most outstanding movies of the year. And if you haven’t seen all of the movies nominated for Best Picture, we’ve got them at the library! Sure, you might have to wait until after the winners are announced, but it can still be fun to get caught up and see if they picked the right one.

And the nominees for Best Picture are:

moviesA lot of these movies were books first, so it will also be interesting to see which ones have a surge in popularity over the next few weeks. If you’ve read any of these, or seen the movies, do you have a favourite pick? Let us know! And cross your fingers on February 28th. We can’t wait to see who wins!

Canada Reads 2016

The Canada Reads contenders have been announced, and it looks like they’re gearing up for a great debate! This year, the theme is “starting over”, and all of the books feature transformation or second chances, something I think we can all relate to in some way.

All of the books will be defended during the Canada Reads debates, which will take place from March 21-24, 2016. Each book is defended by a famous Canadian who will strive to make “their” book feel the most relevant, in order to earn votes. As well this year, there will be a social media panelist who will read the books and lead the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This year, the books–and the celebrities defending them–are:


Adam Copeland defending MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO by Michael Winter.


Bruce Poon Tip defends BIRDIE by Tracey Lindberg


Clara Hughes will be defending THE ILLEGAL by Lawrence Hill


Farah Mohamed will defend BONE & BREAD by Saleema Nawaz

vinay-heoswalk-620And Vinay Virmani will defend THE HERO’S WALK by Anita Rau Badami.

You can find out more about Canada Reads, the authors, and the defenders at the Canada Reads website right here. It’s going to be an exciting event!


The William C. Morris Prize

ConvictionIn October, our Nerd Herd Teen Book Club read CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert, and then were excited to be able to participate in a live Google Hangout with the author to discuss the book. It was a great afternoon, and we were thrilled that she took the time to talk with all of us. You can read more about our experience here.

And now, we’d thrilled that Ms. Loy’s book has been nominated for the prestigious William C. Morris Debut Award, given through the American Library Association celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature. Hers is one of five amazing debut books in 2015, including:

finalistsBECAUSE YOU’LL NEVER MEET ME, by Leah Thomas




CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert

The award winners will be announced in 2016, so stay tuned!  This is going to be a tough race to the finish line. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Forest of Reading Begins!

Forest-of-Reading-LogoIt’s hard to believe, but it’s Forest of Reading® time again at the library! This is a wonderful reading program for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6, and it runs from now through the end of April 2016.

Forest of Reading® is a fantastic reading program that celebrates Canadian books. And the best part is that only children participate, read, and then vote for their favourites, allowing those Canadian authors and illustrators to win a coveted award for their work.


Children can register at the front desk and we’ll get them started. We’ll be visiting schools in the New Year to talk about the program, but we like to start in December to allow everyone to get a head start over the holidays. Some of the books in the higher grade levels take longer to read, so we want to give everyone enough time.


Each category is different, with books ranging in scale to accommodate weaker and stronger readers. At the first level, Blue Spruce™, there are only picture books to allow children in Kindergarten to Grade 2 a challenge. In this category, students must read all ten books, and usually they are quite simple to finish in the allotted time.

For the other categories we’re running this year (Silver Birch Express™, Silver Birch Fiction™, and Silver Birch Non-Fiction™), readers must complete only EIGHT books out of ten in order to be eligible to vote for their favourites.


At our library, we ask that readers in Blue Spruce™ read all ten books, and everyone else must read eight out of ten books in the higher categories in order to be eligible to vote. Since the program runs for several months, there is adequate time to read everything. Readers can take out one book at a time, but closer to the end of the program, we might allow more than one book per person in order for someone to finish up.

If a reader cannot finish all of the required books, they can still come to the party, which will also be our voting night. Voting takes place on April 21st, and we’ll have a fun evening talking about the books, and announcing the winners our readers chose.

To find out more about the Forest of Reading® program, please visit the site here.

You can also click on this infographic below to see more about how this program works, and who participates. Enjoy!