SA MIND – new issue now available to KSSreads. it’s a dog’s breakfast…


An overactive immune response can cause depression.
By the time she visited her doctor, Anne, a 28-year-old graduate student, had felt listless for months. Plagued by headaches, dizziness, anxiety and visual disturbances, she was struggling in her seminars and failed two exams. She also quit hobbies she enjoyed and stopped socializing. Her doctor diagnosed burnout, a depressive reaction to ongoing stress. He prescribed antidepressants and referred her to me for psychotherapy. Neither helped.(

Tapping the Expertise of Patients

Peer counselors are playing a growing role in guiding newcomers to mental health care
On a February day 15 years ago Paul Bradford took himself to a local emergency room. Bradford felt agitated and confused; he and his wife thought he needed professional help. To his surprise, two large men came into the waiting room, grabbed him by the arms and hustled him into a treatment room….

Scientific American MIND Explores the Psychology Behind Keeping Pets

Science helps us understand why we keep animal companions and how they became so prominent in our daily lives
In 1961 a child psychologist proposed a radical idea to the American Psychological Association: What if dogs could help therapists connect to troubled patients? Perhaps the animals would help soothe anxiety and help people open up. When Boris Levinson of Yeshiva University presented this idea, many of his colleagues thought it was laughable. Yet the idea that humans might derive therapeutic effects from animals would go on to capture the attention of many future researchers….

How to Be a Better Sleeper

Expert advice on lighting, timing and hacking your dreams
Everyone in my family is sleep-deprived. My wife, who usually writes this column, is so overtaxed this month that she asked me to fill in for her. It’s tempting to blame our sleep deprivation on nightly interruptions by our nine-month-old or our toddler. But it’s my own fault, too: like 30 percent of my fellow Americans, my sleep habits are fairly wretched. Instead of treating my sleep as a valuable resource, I approach bedtime like folding the laundry: as a regular obligation that I’ll get to, eventually….(Pavlus)

Kasten, Eric. “Can Infection Give You the Blues?” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., May-June 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <;.

Pavlus, J. “How to Be a Better Sleeper.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., May-June 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <;.

“Scientific American MIND Explores the Psychology Behind Keeping Pets.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., May-June 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <;.

Weintraub, Karen. “Tapping the Expertise of Patients.” Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., May-June 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <;.

Summer wellness to my tired and amazing colleagues.


From Positivity Big…
Thanks! Enjoy! Rest!


1. Just watch the clouds go by.
Do only that, savor the moments of summer and feel how the inner tensions flow out of your mind and body.

2. Go phone- and internet-free for a time..
I recommend trying this one out, especially if you tend to spend a lot of time at work or in school with being online or talking on the phone.
Start with just staying away from your email and phone for maybe 24 hours. Then check them.

3. Appreciate what you did between New Year’s Eve and the start of this summer.
Half of 2014 has now gone by.
And there might have been some worries. Perhaps you were angry with yourself more than a few times during these 6 months. Or disappointed in what you did, didn’t do or what happened in your life.
When the stress…

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Kite Runner suspended after a complaint- removes freedom to read;

As a librarian, it is always concerning to read about books being banned. The larger implications created when we narrow the opportunities to read, think, share and learn, are trouble for society. Diversity in our culture builds understanding. The diversity of ideas in books should be a reflection of our reality. Constricting access to ideas and authorship doesn’t protect our children but rather put them at risk. Loss of empathy, hate or radicalization  is a likely result. The current discord and misinformation about race and theology in the Muslem community is an example. We need more knowledge and empathy not less. Books, especially well crafted literature, like Hussein’s Kite Runner, provide potential for discourse and freedom of expression. 

Many classrooms around the world use the Kite Runner or provide copies in their libraries. Most schools use this title with Grade 12s. Like many situations, one needs to know your students, parent expectations and teaching context. Just banning books is an inferior way to handle content. 

Forcing every student in the class requires extra vigilance and planning. Like all literature? Parent opt-out seems a prudent option. A concern is that selections and management of interests and permissions could become a handicap. Small group reading and study certainly assists in the effort. Teacher due diligence and planning usually can manage concerns.

Book themes and storytelling have literary and student development merits. In the hands of professionals, like the classroom teacher and collaboration with the teacher-librarian, books provide powerful learning opportunities at any age.  When sensitive or somewhat disturbing content arises, hiding behind banning, only degrades empathy, insight and language skills. 

Using age appropriate material however troubling the content may appear, is just good teaching practice. People take children to movies that may be inappropriate. We trust parents judgement. We force students into textbooks, curriculum and programs, trusting the professionals to engage material wisely. Literature should be know different. 

-Smith, teacher-librarian

Walrus magazine- now on display

the KSS Learning Commons



Time for Bed

Your kids aren’t sleeping enough—and neither are you

by Katherine Ashenburg

Emily Carr’s British Columbia

An unsettling journey through the archives

Visual Essay
by Sarah Milroy


In 1884, the ban on the potlatch ceremony struck an additional blow, crippling an important mechanism for the consolidation of community and identity, and for the transmission of knowledge, property, and clan entitlements. Finally, as the twentieth century dawned, the landscape was increasingly ravaged by industrial logging practices. No longer was the natural world honoured as the seat of identity and spiritual connection, as it had been for millennia. Rather, it was aggressively reframed as a commodity, with Indigenous people struggling to find an equitable footing within the new economy. That struggle continues today.( Milroy)

When Elizabeth was three, social and emotional lags became apparent. “Alarm bells were starting to go off,” says Claire. She…

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five YA you have to read- NYPL

Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read

It has come to my attention that not everyone has read these books. I don’t care what you normally read. Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, romance, non-fiction, or whatever, these are books that you seriously need to read… right now. No excuses. Open up a new browser window, place it right beside this one, and get ready to add things to your hold list. Go ahead. I’ll wait.(Birdoff)



Birdoff, Ariel. “Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read.” Five YA Books You Seriously Need to Read. NYPL, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. <;.

Geography AP Reading Project 2…Non-Fiction

Our Geography AP class is embarking on another reading project.  This unit is focusing on a non-fiction selection. Students will select a title and research as needed to write various analytical criteria of the human geography curriculum- economic, social, political and nature of place. ASK-a-Librarian 24/7 for questions or suggestions…

Reading List formal Bibliography >

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed Vaillant, John
The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating Smith, Alisa
Infidel Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
The David Suzuki Reader, 2nd Edition: A Lifetime of Ideas from a Leading Activist and Thinker Suzuki, David
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda Dallaire, Romeo
Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa Lewis, Stephen
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World Weiner, Eric
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism Klein, Naomi
World is Flat, The: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Friedman, Thomas
Guns Germs and Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies Diamond, Jared

AP Geo Longlist

Unit Overview:

The project is designed so student’s written reflections address the five themes of Geography (Movement, Region, Location, Interaction with the Environment and Nature of Place).  By it’s natural genre, he NON-FICTION reading titles have more explicit references to each concept. Your outline points should now be more analytical and less descriptive.

Even historical inquiry demands the inclusion of “geographic eyes” to build deeper understanding.  An exemplary book report should include some interpretation of the geographic elements that proves your analysis and understanding.

Book Review/Resource Links to assist in your selection and analysis. Questions? contact me anytime.

KSS Novelist reviews:






Stephen Lewis. lecture on Race Against Time, Massey Lectures. frank, articulate, intelligent essay on AIDS, Africa and foreign policy.

“I have spent the last four years watching people die.” With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 Massey Lectures. Lewis’s determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider’s perspective on our ongoing failure to help.(CBC)


Hayes, Marques. “Geography, More Than You Think.” Geoawesomeness. 13 Aug. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

“Al’s Geography AP.” Mosaicbooks. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

Klein, Naomi. “Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 1 of 6.” YouTube. Policy Alternatives, 2007. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <;.

Lewis, Stephen. “The 2005 CBC Massey Lectures, “Race Against Time” – Home | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio.” CBCnews. Ed. Kennedy. CBC/Radio Canada, 07 Nov. 2005. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <;.


What is the one book to break barriers?  That’s the question host Wab Kinew will be asking for the 14th edition of CBC’s battle of the books…. Try one for Spring Break.

Follow : web, TV, Radio or Social Media. 

The tradition and literary integrity of this nation wide program is the envy of the world. In Canada, millions follow the reading list, debates and events each year. Where else is there a community book club? 🙂 KSSreads celebrates the event each year.

Past winners and nominees>

If you have read any of the contenders, please post a reply below with a comment or mini review.  Thanks.

Canada Reads encourages critical thinking… 

It’s another CanadaReads season. The roots of ‘KSSreads’, our school library blog, can be found in the pioneer years of CanadaReads. Some of our Lit a Circle projects in our classrooms borrow elements of the CanadaReads model. 

Celebrate literature, critical thinking and the book club by visiting one of the program’s platforms. The web site has previews, author bios, celebrity defenders pieces , previous nominees and winners and more… The concept of people across a huge nation like Canada, sharing a dialogue about good books is such a testimony to a healthy culture. Radio, TV, Web, social media all at once, Canadians are talking books… Browse and consider reading one of the titles and join the conversation. 🙂 Thank you CBC for sponsoring. The world is watching in shock. 🙂 Crazy Canucks! 

What is the one book to break barriers? That’s the question host Wab Kinew will be asking for the 14th edition of CBC’s battle of the books.

Canada Reads 2015 is all about books that can change perspectives, challenge stereotypes and illuminate issues. The debates take place March 16-19.(CBC)

Canada Reads takes place March 16-19, 2015. Here’s how you can tune in:


10 a.m. ET. video livesteam on
On-demand video will be available each afternoon

11 a.m. local time (11:30 a.m. in NFLD) on CBC Radio One
8 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. in NFLD) on CBC Radio One
A podcast will be available to download each afternoon

4 p.m. local time on CBC Television
7 p.m. ET on documentary Channel
9 p.m. PT on documentary Channel

Happy birthday Dr. Seuss. Pioneer for children and reading… 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go. ( BrainyQuote)

Dr. Seuss was a storyteller in the grandest sense of the word. Not only did he tell fantastical tales of far-away places but he also gave us a unique visual language that carried his stories to new heights of artistic expression. Surrealism provided the foundation from which he built his career, but like a launch pad sitting idle just before liftoff, surrealism was soon to be engulfed in the flames of ridiculous fun and its launch tower thrown to the ground with each new editorial cartoonmagazine coverpainting, or children’s book
It was that explosive energy that thrust Ted’s works into otherworldly places, taking young and old alike on a ride that would become a critical reference point for most children from 1937 on, as well as for the adults who raised them. Nearly everyone has a significant Dr. Seuss memory. Many of today’s top visual artists, poets, filmmakers, and authors cite Ted as one of their greatest influences. Indeed, what Walt Disney was to entertainment, Theodor Seuss Geisel was to art and literature.( Drseussart)

  1. March 2, 1904
    Dr. Seuss, Date of birth


     “Dr. Seuss Quote.” BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 27 Feb. 2015. <;. 

     “Introduction Dr.Seuss.” The Art of Dr. Seuss. DrSeussArt. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. <;.