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. <;.

Canada- be proud such a poignant book can be celebrated


Thursday saw the final day of debates for this year’s Canada Reads, and it certainly did not disappoint. With Kristin Kreuk, Craig Kielburger, and Martha Wainwright entering the final show as free-agents, Lainey Lui and Cameron Bailey made their final pitches to sway their fellow panellists in the deciding vote.
When it came time to cast the ballots, however, the decision was almost unanimous. Despite a fierce performance by Lainey, Raziel Reid’s YA novel When Everything Feels like the Movies was voted off. This meas that, Ru, Kim Thúy’s poetic novel about immigrating to Canada as a child has won Canada Reads 2015.(CBC)


“Canada Reads: Watch The Finale! | CBC Books | CBC Radio.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 20 Mar. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2015. <;.

Thy, Kim. Ru. Thorndike, 2013. Print.

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. <;.

Some discounted and free ebooks at BOOKBUB

BookBub, the site that offers awesome daily deals on ebooks and one of your favorite book recommendation services, now lets you add and follow your favorite authors. If any of their books go up for sale at BookBub, you’ll get a notification so you can snag a deal.


“My Favourite day”, said Pooh…


The Tao of Pooh

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.”

– (A.A.Milne )


Hoff, Benjamin. The Tao of Pooh. New York, NY: Penguin, 1983. Print.

Liddell, S. “MorgueFile Free Photo.” Lone_tree_on_heath.jpg. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. .

‘Winnie the Pooh, frieze’. C 1927. Reproduction. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian, Web. Jan 13. 2015. .

New: movie Selma – history drama truth? King was just a man after all

More than ever, people need stronger content filtering tools to find some meaningful and credible understanding. We don’t mean ‘filtering’ as in software blocking or firewalls but rather information ‘filtering’ inside one’s brain. It takes skills and practice- ‘ Crap detention’ if you like. Some information published or broadcast, especially Hollywood movies, is created with entertainment or shock value not integrity. Finding credible content demands critical assessing and curating multiple sources through inquiry. We love historical fiction and biofliks but gather up some non-fiction facts beforehand makes the experience even more enjoyable. Hollywood and even many ‘news’ sources are often just historical fiction on screen. Belief in aliens, axis of evil, Illuminati, or apricots cure cancer but Martin Luther King Jr. was just a man after all. 🙂 enjoy the show. – Al Smith, teacher-librarian.

“Black activism, the White House, David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey.
All four are shared components of the movie Selma and last year’s Lee Daniels-helmed historical weeper The Butler…”(King)

“…. DuVernay has done a great service with Selma. Not only has she made one of the most powerful films of the year, she’s given us a necessary reminder of what King did for this country… and how much is left to be done…”( King)

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly Selma is an important history lesson that never feels like a lecture. Once school is back in session, every junior high school class in America should take a field trip to see this movie.
Be grateful Selma director Ava DuVernay never lets her movie descend to the history-as-soap-opera histrionics of Daniels’ film.
Selma focuses intensely on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mission to mount a 1965 protest march smack in the middle of America’s racist heart of darkness: Alabama.
This scrutiny allows an intimate portrait of King as a flesh-and-blood human being and not a postcard saint….
( Winnipeg Free Press)

READ MORE ABOUT DR.KING AND 60s civil rights on display in the library now. Also read biography on our library’s Facts on File here>

King, Randall. “Powerful Portrait Focuses on King’s Non-violent Goals in 1965 Alabama March.” Online. Winnipeg Free Press, 9 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 Jan. 2015. . Movie: Selma

‘Martin Luther King Jr.’ Encyclopedia Facts on File. Web. Issues and Controversies. nd. Jan 9 2015.

Dog lovers – our 2015 Reading Picks

Love ’em or hate ’em, dogs can generate themes for some compelling stories. Here is a recommended list of fiction. We have these titles in the KSS Library. If you have other ‘dog eared’ titles to share, jot a comment below.
Visit for links to reviews and suggestions from our list.

House Broken
by Sonja Yoerg (Goodreads Author)
4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 · rating details · 87 ratings · 55 reviews
In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…
For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2015 by NAL Trade
ISBN0451472136 (ISBN13: 9780451472137)
other editions. None found (GoodReads, Literateowl)


The Story of Edward Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 · rating details · 66,157 ratings · 11,916 reviews
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Ecco (first published January 1st 2008)
original titleThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle
ISBN0061374229 (ISBN13: 9780061374227)
edition languageEnglish
charactersEdgar Sawtelle, Gar Sawtelle, Trudy Sawtelle, Claude Sawtelle, John Sawtelle, Mary Sawtelle, Almondine, Essay
settingMellen (United States)
Wisconsin (United States)
Pusan , 1952 (Korea, Republic of)
literary awardsJohn Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize (2008), Sakura Medal Nominee for High School Book (2010), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Author Discovery (2009), Puddly Award for Fiction (2009), Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Nominee (2008)


Marley and Me
by John Grogan
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 · rating details · 275,637 ratings · 12,018 reviews
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same. Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through … (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published 2005 by William Morrow; 1ST edition
original titleMarley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
ISBN0739461192 (ISBN13: 9780739461198)
edition languageEnglish
charactersJohn, Jenny, Patrick Grogan, Marley, Conor Grogan
settingUnited States
literary awardsPuddly Award for Nonfiction (2007)


Adult Fiction a Narrated by a Dog:

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 · rating details · 251,615 ratings · 25,812 reviews
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2008)
original titleThe Art of Racing in the Rain
ISBN1554681723 (ISBN13: 9781554681723)
edition languageEnglish
charactersEve, Enzo, Denny Swift, Zoë
settingSeattle, Washington (United States)


by Virginia Woolf, Trekkie Ritchie (Introduction)
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 · rating details · 1,833 ratings · 164 reviews
This story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, Flush, enchants right from the opening pages. Although Flush has adventures of his own with bullying dogs, horrid maids, and robbers, he also provides the reader with a glimpse into Browning’s life. Introduction by Trekkie Ritchie. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 4th 1976 by Mariner Books (first published 1933)
original titleFlush: A Biography
ISBN0156319527 (ISBN13: 9780156319522)
edition languageEnglish
charactersRobert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, Flush, Miss Mitford
settingEngland , 1842 (United Kingdom)


Merle’s Door- free thinking dog.
by Ted Kerasote
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 · rating details · 12,354 ratings · 1,415 reviews
While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog—a Labrador mix—who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published July 2nd 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
original titleMerle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
ISBN0151012709 (ISBN13: 9780151012701)
edition languageEnglish
charactersMerle, Ted Fielding


Classics not to be forgotten

James Herriot’s Dog Stories
by James Herriot, Victor G. Ambrus (Illustrations)
4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 · rating details · 4,234 ratings · 194 reviews
James Herriot is one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. The warm and joyful memoirs of his life as a country vet in Yorkshire have endeared him to countless readers around the world, and many of his most memorable tales featured man’s best friend.
Here are the complete dog stories from his much-beloved memoirs: a handsome collection of tales, available for the first time in trade paperback, that will warm the hearts of dog lovers around the world. Featuring a special introduction by the author and his own accompanying notes to each specially illustrated story, this tribute from man to dog is a volume no Herriot fan will want to be without. ((GoodReads, Literateowl)


Call of the Wild
by Jack London
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 · rating details · 12,666 ratings · 199 reviews
Of all Jack London’s fictions none has been as popular as his dog stories. In addition to The Call of the Wild, the epic tale of a Californian dog’s adventures during the Klondike gold rush, this edition includes White Fang, and five famous short stories – B tard, Moon-Face, Brown Wolf, That Spot, and To Build a Fire. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 20th 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1906)
original titleThe Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories
ISBN0192835149 (ISBN13: 9780192835147)
edition languageEnglish
charactersBuck, Spitz, John Thornton, White Fang, Bâtard
settingAlaska (United States)


Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard, Carl Pfeuffer (Illustrator)
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 · rating details · 12,977 ratings · 131 reviews
From the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him. Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side. Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart. Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home. But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will come from an enemy more cunning than any they’ve known before–a bear who is the undisputed king of the wilderness, a savage killer called Old Majesty. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Yearling (first published 1945)
original titleBig Red
ISBN0553154346 (ISBN13: 9780553154344)
edition languageEnglish
seriesBig Red #1


*****And for the little ones, you have to read…
by Norman Bridwell (Illustrations)
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 · rating details · 46,823 ratings · 364 reviews
Emily Elizabeth describes the activities she enjoys with her very big red dog and how they take care of each other. (GoodReads, Literateowl)
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Cartwheel (first published 1963)
original titleAn Itchy Day
ISBN 059044297X (ISBN13: 9780590442978)
edition languageEnglish
seriesClifford the Big Red Dog
other editions (32)



Christmas in the Library

Planning our 13th Annual winter Staff Reception. A social event hosted by the Library to give admin, faculty and staff a chance to browse new resources, reading selections and select some vacation reading; in a social setting.
Alice Munro Commons

Alice Munro Commons

  • Book Displays and reading lists
  • Light Lunch
  • Draw Prizes
  • Share/browse
  • Tips and prizes
  • Signout
  • Chat
  • Relax or Read

A little history lesson of BC schooling by C Killian

Interesting. As a BC educated professional I was unaware of this history lesson by the esteemed mr Killian. Thank you!

Tension between teachers and government isn’t new: it took a half-century for all to learn their roles. First of two.

By Crawford Kilian, 6 Oct 2011,

How is Depression-era Premier Simon Fraser Tolmie mixed up in today’s provincial education spats? Just study the history.


“….According to historian Ian D. Parker, in 1931 the Tory government of Simon Fraser Tolmie got an ultimatum from the Vancouver business community: set up a business-named committee to find ways to improve the province’s finances in the face of the Depression. Tolmie agreed, and Vancouver accountant George Kidd chaired the committee. Like the Very Serious Persons in today’s recession, Kidd thought sharp cuts in government spending were the key to renewed prosperity: 25 per cent across the board, with special attention to education.

Kidd wanted to cut teacher salaries by 25 per cent, and abolish B.C. school boards (all 800 of them). He thought most students should leave school after Grade 6 and find jobs. Students aged 14 to 16 should pay half the costs of their education. Those over 16 could pay for it all.

Likewise for teachers, who would have to pay the whole cost of their training. Kidd also wanted to shut UBC down altogether, with scholarships for bright students at schools “elsewhere in the Dominion.”

This was in part a reaction to the Depression, but also to the “progressive” ideas that schools had adopted in the 1920s — ideas like vocational training. Progressives wanted more kids to have more education and a better chance for social mobility. Conservatives like Kidd regarded education as a way to identify a few bright kids who could go on to professional careers. The rest could go straight into the labour pool….” ( Killian)

More… Read :

Al Smith @literateowl

Best of Q, Hemingway joins Jian- mental health

Airing, studying and speaking about mental health issues mediates the power of the negative. See also vid doc  trailer ‘Running from Crazy’

Mariel Hemingway is open about the demons she has battled — some her own, many inherited from family members. Her grandfather, the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, took his own life. So did her supermodel sister, Margaux, in 1996.

In an interview from the Best of Q, Hemingway joins Jian for an open-hearted chat about her struggle with depression, her family’s often-violent, alcohol-fuelled rages, and why she felt it was important to document their collective challenges in the Barbara Kopple film, Running From Crazy.

“I think there’s always somebody who’s the one in the family that decides, ‘I don’t want to carry on this legacy anymore,'” she says( Ghomeshi, CBC)

Everyone shouts, few listen…

“Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.”

– Clifford Stoll 1989

Clifford Stoll is an American astronomer and author. He is best known for his pursuit of hacker Markus Hess in 1986 and the subsequent 1989 book, The Cuckoo’s Egg, which details his investigation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, “Cain’s well researched book emphatically provides examples of how we have evolved to devalue the contemplative well thought out expressions.”, our education culture these days has become confused with pace. (Smith 11.15.2012) We live with so much urgency, timetables, bells, deadlines…  Our solution is to give retests! No deadlines. No zeros. No lettergrades.  It’s confusing if not absurd. Education, or public schooling anyway, needs to slow down and let learning take a more natural course. It needs to embrace the introversion side of our brains. It needs more Zen.

Laughingly, last fall, a visiting speaker said to methat our library was very ‘feng shui’.  I had to laugh because despite my best efforts to make the space welcoming and a scholarly tone- mellow it is not.  I should bring on the green tea and work on more Feng Shui. Ban all testosterone, remove some plastic chairs, and acquire some kilim cushions. 😉 Maybe I should rewrite my Library Mission statement to read the “Tao of the Learning Commons” 😉

All joking aside… there is some truth to the intention. Where there is intention there is opportunity.  Without intention there is no progress. If we want to develop high functioning cost effective personalized learning communities- we need to listen better. Listen with our attitude and practices as much as our ears. We need to ‘stop talking’.



Works Cited
“Clifford Stoll.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Biography in Context. Web. 23 Dec. 2013.

Smith, A. “Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”. KSSreads. Web. Nov. 15 2012. < >

Stoll, Clifford. The cuckoo’s egg: tracking a spy through the maze of computer espionage. New York: Doubleday, 1989. Print.

Talisin. “Okpathways”. Morguefile. Image. Nov. 2005.


Read- the KSS CensorTHIS launched online

Our own Journalism and Media students are launching CensorTHIS online Friday. Plenty of great reading and good video too. Check it out now.

Fellow KSS Students, As technology plays a monumental role in our social, academic and everyday lives the Censor This! journalism program is taking the jump to an online format. The online platform will allow KSS students the opportunity to inform themselves on everyday happenings, instead of the paper based format in which students were only receiving information on a monthly basis. (Renee Berger & Callum Barbour) – See more at:

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