Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han.
Some summers are just destined to be pretty
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
About Pride TorontoPride Toronto is one of the largest Pride celebrations in North America and has become a major Canadian arts and cultural event. Pride Toronto started in 1981, and since then it has evolved into an incredibly lively celebration in the city that continues to attract loads of party enthusiasts from near and far. Everything culminates to the annual Toronto Pride Parade which is said to attract around 1.2 million spectators each year.
THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI
BY SABINA KHAN (JANUARY 29, 2019, FROM SCHOLASTIC PRESS)
Rukhsana Ali thought living up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations was hard before she was caught kissing a girl—but after? That’s another story, entirely. She’s suddenly whisked away to Bangladesh to stay with family. But where does Rukhsana fit in in a world of tradition and arranged marriages? And yet help and perspective come in the most surprising of places—like her grandmother’s old diary and her unexpectedly supportive extended family.
HOW NOT TO ASK A BOY TO PROM
BY S.J. GOSLEE (APRIL 23, 2019, FROM ROARING BROOK PRESS)
When Nolan Grant’s big sister stages an elaborate promposal to help him ask his crush to prom, he freezes. Instead of dying from embarrassment, he somehow winds up fake-dating bad boy Bern, who wants to pretend to date Nolan for his own reasons. It seems like the perfect plan to get his sister off his back and spend the rest of senior year in peace—if Bern’s ex-girlfriend doesn’t kill him first.
THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL
BY ASHLEY POSTON (APRIL 2, 2019, FROM QUIRK BOOKS)
This companion novel to Geekerella follows Jessica Stone, movie star and reluctant con attendee. Jess never expected to be typecast as a space princess and can’t wait until her contract is up so she never has to play Princess Amara again. Then there’s Imogene, Princess Amara superfan determined to see her princess return for the sequel. And, yes, she’s aware that she looks uncannily like Amara actress Jessica Stone, except for her bright pink pixie cut. What neither of them expects is for Imogen to be mistakenly put on a panel as Jessica Stone—or that they’ll both enjoy the role reversal so much that they decide to continue it. Jess is enjoying a break from the limelight—especially when she gets to sit next to gorgeous girl selling fanart next to her. And Imogen is living for the chance to be a star—until a paparazzi snafu shows her that fame isn’t all fun and games.
THE PAST AND OTHER THINGS THAT SHOULD STAY BURIED
BY SHAUN DAVID HUTCHINSON (FEBRUARY 19, 2019, FROM SIMON PULSE)When your parents run a funeral home, you get pretty used to death. But when Dino’s ex-best friend, July, dies and comes back to life, well, that’s definitely a new experience. Now Dino and July have to confront how things ended as they try to figure out what on Earth—or beyond—is actually going on. Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of great novels like We Are the Ants, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, and At the Edge of the Universe, so it’s easy to assume this one will be another heartbreaking hit.
THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS
BY BILL KONINGSBERG (JANUARY 29, 2019, FROM ARTHUR A. LEVINE BOOKS)
Max and Jordan seem like total opposites. Max is the epitome of chill, a video gamer totally at ease with his sexuality. Then there’s poet Jordan. Totally not chill and fairly sure even Mr. Right—if he ever finds him—would get tired of him. Throw them together for one summer in Mesa, Arizona where the temp hits 114 degrees easy, and these two opposites will have to decide what they’re willing to risk to get everything they ever wanted.
THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN
BY ISABEL STERLING (MAY 28, 2019, FROM RAZORBILL)Being a witch in Salem may seem corny, but Hannah’s the real deal. She’s an elemental with the ability to control water, fire, earth, and air. But she spends most of her time selling candles and crystals to tourists at the Fly by Night Cauldron, spending time with her best friend, and avoiding her ex-girlfriend, Veronica. When a dangerous blood ritual interrupts the end of year bonfire, Hannah knows it’s the work of the Blood Witch—but no one in her coven believes her. Now, Hannah has to team up with the only person who believes her—and the last person she wants to work with: Veronica. Throw in a crush on the new ballerina in town and the possible fate of Salem in their hands and that’s a whole lot of supernatural pressure for one teen girl to handle.
TDSB Celebrates National Indigenous History This Month
TDSB Celebrates Italian Heritage
The holy month of Ramadan is underway. One of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan marks an important time for millions of observing Muslims around the world.
Explore the Marvel Comic site to see all the cool comic stuff it has to offer (from new releases to older classics). It even offers free versions of some comics to read online. Click on the pics below to read some of them here.
American Jewish illustrators to be theme of Jewish American Heritage Month
Famous Jewish illustrators have included the late Stan Lee, Ezra Jack Keats and Rube Goldberg; currently, they include Roz Chast, Maira Kalman and Liana Finck.
What is a Jewish Book?
Canadian Jewish Literary Award Juror Andrea Knight spoke at Tikkun Leil Shavout, May 19, 2018, at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre about what exactly makes a book Jewish:
"What I’ve learned — and I speak only for myself, not for the whole jury — is that is it possible for a Jewish author to bring a je ne sais quoi, what I would call a Jewish sensibility to her or his writing, regardless of the quantifiable Jewish content. It might be the rhythms of the language, a smattering of Yiddish or Yiddish syntax, a certain sense of humour."
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament of the Bible, the event is said to have occurred three days after Jesus was crucified by the Romans and died in roughly 30 A.D. The holiday concludes the “Passion of Christ,” a series of events and holidays that begins with Lent—a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and sacrifice—and ends with Holy Week, which includes Holy Thursday (the celebration of Jesus’ Last Supper with his 12 Apostles), Good Friday (on which Jesus’ crucifixion is observed), and Easter Sunday. Although a holiday of high religious significance in the Christian faith, many traditions associated with Easter date back to pre-Christian, pagan times. For more, checkout the videos below or the following link posted by The History Channel
Here it is - the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete summary of what Catholics around the world commonly believe. The Catechism draws on the Bible, the Mass, the Sacraments, Church tradition and teaching, and the lives of saints. It comes with a complete index, footnotes and cross-references for a fuller understanding of every subject. The word catechism means "instruction" - this book will serve as the standard for all future catechisms.
Using the tradition of explaining what the Church believes (the Creed), what she celebrates (the Sacraments), what she lives (the Commandments), and what she prays (the Lord's Prayer), the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers challenges for believers and answers for all those interested in learning about the mystery of the Catholic faith.
Fun Fiction Featuring Bunnies & Chocolate...
*all images from (and synopses available on) amazon.ca
For a Darker Semi-Sweet Bite...
What is the Day of Pink?
April 10, 2019 marks the International Day of Pink. It is a day where communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying.
The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying.
The message was clear: anyone can bully, any can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.
Each year on the second Wednesday of April, millions of people wear pink and take a stand. The Day of Pink is a symbol, a spark, that empowers and inspires youth across Canada to create amazing social change!
Latin America: Geography, Culture, and Literary Classics
All images are from National Geographic Travel. Explore links below for more stunning content and photographs that capture the beauty of Latin America.
The Most Beautiful Poem in Ancient Literature (an excerpt)
Published 21 March 2013
For many connoisseurs and lovers of Latin literature, Virgil is the first poet due to his epic poem the "Aeneid". The second poet would be the lyrical Horace.
For some of these people the best poem written in Latin is precisely the Oda number 7 from the book IV by Horace. Naturally, about the likes, nothing is written; after all any artistic assessment is just a personal judgement because it is not only affected by the cold rational assessment.
In any case, English poet Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), extraordinary professor of Latin at Cambridge from 1911 to 1936, considered this the most beautiful poem of old literature.
It is the Epicurean thought that encourages this composition. In this poem the return of spring, already heralded with irresistible force, and the succession of the seasons, warn us that everything passes; but as the years are renewed cyclically, this doesn’t happen to men; when our sunset comes (we don’t know when) we do not return to life, we are only dust (in the urn) and shadow (in the afterlife), not even the gods can resurrect men; so that we have to seize the moment.
The snow is fled: the trees their leaves put on,
The fields their green:
Earth owns the change, and rivers lessening run
Their banks between.
Naked the Nymphs and Graces in the meads
The dance essay:
“No 'scaping death” proclaims the year, that speeds
This sweet spring day.
Frosts yield to zephyrs; Summer drives out Spring,
To vanish, when
Rich Autumn sheds his fruits; round wheels the ring,--
Yet the swift moons repair Heaven's detriment:
We, soon as thrust
Where good Aeneas, Tullus, Ancus went,
What are we? dust.
Can Hope assure you one more day to live
From powers above?
You rescue from your heir whate'er you give
The self you love.
When life is o'er, and Minos has rehearsed
The grand last doom,
Not birth, nor eloquence, nor worth, shall burst
Not Dian's self can chaste Hippolytus
To life recall,
Nor Theseus free his loved Pirithous
From Lethe's thrall.
Horace. The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace. John Conington. trans. London. (George Bell and Sons. 1882.)
The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende (Goodreads Author)
In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.
The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez,
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
One of the twentieth century’s most beloved and acclaimed novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as "magical realism."
by Paulo Coelho (Goodreads Author)
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
* All book images and synopsis from Amazon.ca (or Goodreads where indicated).
Studies in Sikhism
Walking with Nanak:Travels in his Footsteps by Haroon Khalid
Haroon Khalid's lifelong fascination with Guru Nanak was reignited when he came upon Babur Bani, a poem written by the saint. This, and the discovery that Guru Nanak spent a large part of his life in Pakistan, inspired Khalid to undertake a journey that he hoped would help him learn more about the revered founder of Sikhism. In this wonderful paean to Guru Nanak, Khalid describes his travels across the length and breadth of Pakistan as he visits the many gurdwaras and other locales associated with the saint, delving into their history and musing about their place and significance in a Muslim country. But this book is not merely a story about gurdwaras, it is also a re-telling of the story of Nanak the son, the poet, the wanderer, the father, the friend. Sifting through the stories of his miracles and poetry, we emerge with a picture of Nanak, the man.
Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat:
Reflections on a Land and its People by Khushwant Singh
Punjab, Punjabis & Punjabiyat brings together Khushwant Singh’s best writings on Punjab, Punjabis and the Sikhs. Divided into three parts, the book deals with various aspects of the region—its geography, climate, history, culture, religion, politics, language and literature. Part I of the book delves into Punjab’s history, culture, language and Sikhism. Part II covers the burning issues that affected the state during Khushwant Singh’s lifetime, including the pains of Partition, the Khalistan movement, Operation Blue Star, the anti-Sikh riots, and more. Part III is a collection of profiles of well-known Punjabis—poets, politicians, activists, friends and family.
In Pursuit of Empire: Treasures from the Toor Collection of Sikh Art
by Davinder Toor (Author, Contributor)
The story of the meteoric expansion of the Sikh Empire in the late 18th century and its devastating collapse half a century later told through a stunning assemblage of 100 rare and beautiful objects from the world's finest private collection of Sikh art.
Through the remarkable achievements of one collector, who pursued his passion to create the world's finest private collection of Sikh art, In Pursuit of Empire reveals the lasting legacy of the Sikh Empire.
* All book cover images and synopses from amazon.ca
"When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. " -amazon.com
What is the OSSLT?
The OSSLT is a provincial test of literacy (reading and writing) skills students have acquired by Grade 10. It is based on the literacy skills expected in The Ontario Curriculum across all subject areas up to the end of Grade 9.
Basic Test Details:
Test Format & What to Expect: