Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cross-stitch Stocking Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Rod
who won the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library's Christmas
Cross-stitch Stocking Raffle.
Along with the beautiful handmade stocking, Rod took home many gifts graciously donated by local Sylvan Lake merchants.
Total value of the prize was $500.

This years raffle raised $424. Thank you for your support.
All proceeds from this fundraiser help support Library initiatives.

Special thanks to the following sponsors:
Rainy Daze Medi Spa, Fancy Fingers, Oasis by the Lake, Avon, Beyond Hair, Salon Chateau, Sylvan Lake Business Solutions, Quiznos, Cities Gastro Pub, Sugar and Spice Hair and Beauty Boutique, 52st Hair & Esthetics, Benjamin's Pizza and Subs, Pier 7 Restaurant and Lounge, Canadian Pizza Unlimited, Boston Pizza, Gentle Touch Dog Grooming, Woofs and Purrs, Chef Francisco on the Lake, Dragon House Chinese Buffet, Domino's Pizza, Lee Garden Restaurant and Lounge, Cobb's Clothing, Eclectica Fashions, YogaDive, Shopper's Drug Mart, Sylvan Lake Barber Shop, Janet & James Medspa & Hair Studio, The Paint Stop Inc.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Stocking Raffle

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library

Cross-stitch Stocking

Beautiful handmade stocking
by local Artisan
Kay Johanson.
Stuffed with gifts from local businesses.
Winner will have the name of their choice
stitched on the stocking.

Tickets on sale now at the Library.
Tickets cost: $2 each OR 3 for $5
Draw Date: Friday, December 14
Stocking and contents valued at $500

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Canadian Children's Literature Award Winners 2012

The Canadian Children's Literature Awards were presented on November 21st.  They exemplify the best work of Canadian authors and illustrators.  The winners were:

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award was won by Trilby Kent for Stones For My Father

View full imageCorlie Roux's farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers. But Corlie's world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps. Will Corlie's resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had….

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award was won by Geniève Côté for Without You

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In this delightful companion book to the acclaimed Me and You, two friends discover the joy of togetherness. Award-winning author-illustrator Genevi've C't? returns with another endearing story featuring two very different friends. After falling out over a spilled wagon of toys, a fussy bunny and an exuberant piggy explore all the things they can do without each other ? and gradually realize that life is much sweeter when it's shared with one another. This gently humorous, charmingly illustrated look at the ups and downs of friendship is a book you won't want to do without.

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction was won by Susan Vande Griek for Loon

View full imageThe haunting call of a loon is quintessential summertime for many people. These majestically beautiful birds breed on northern lakes during the spring and summer, and when fall arrives, they migrate to open coastal waters. Young loons stay on the ocean for three or four years until they mature and their gray feathers molt, turning to the beautiful black-and-white patterned feathers by which they are known. At this point they return to an inland lake to find a mate and have their young. This gorgeously illustrated prose poem follows two baby chicks through this cycle. We witness their birth, and how they learn to swim, find food and avoid predators such as snapping turtles and big bass, and the possible danger of boaters. In the fall they imitate their parents as they learn to fly and are eventually large and strong enough to make their own migration to the coast. An afterword supplies other interesting facts about the common loon, which some scientists believe has inhabited lakes and oceans for millions of years. It describes these birds' amazing diving ability, their four different calls, and the different factors that threaten them, such as loss of habitat due to human proximity and environmental problems (acid rain, deadly toxins in lakes, oil spills and global warming), suggesting different ways that we might help to protect them.

Geoffrey Bilson Award Historical Fiction for Young People was won by Kate Cayley for The Hangman in the Mirror

View full imageA strong-willed 16-year-old girl fights for survival in 18th-century North America. Françoise Laurent has never had an easy life. The only surviving child of a destitute washerwoman and wayward soldier, she must rely only on herself to get by. When her parents die suddenly from the smallpox ravishing New France, Françoise sees it as a chance to escape the life she thought she was trapped in. Seizing her newfound opportunity, Françoise takes a job as an aide to the wife of a wealthy fur trader. The poverty-ridden world she knew transforms into a strange new world full of privilege and fine things -- and of never having to beg for food. But Françoise's relationships with the other servants in Madame Pommereau's house are tenuous, and Madame Pommereau isn't an easy woman to work for. When Françoise is caught stealing a pair of her mistress's beautiful gloves, she faces a future even worse than she could have imagined: thrown in jail, she is sentenced to death by hanging. Once again, Françoise is left to her own devices to survive . . . Is she cunning enough to convince the prisoner in the cell beside her to become the hangman and marry her, which, by law, is the only thing that could save her life? Based on an actual story and filled with illuminating historical detail, The Hangman in the Mirror transports readers to the harsh landscape of a new land that is filled with even harsher class divisions and injustices.

John Spray Mystery Award was won by Rob Mills for Charlie's Key

View full image"When Charlie Sykes wakes up in hospital in St. John's, he learns that he and his father have been in a car accident and that his father is dying. Charlie inherits little more than the brass key that his father pressed into his hand before he passed away. As far as Charlie knows, he has no family in Newfoundland. But then Uncle Nick shows up and is keen to meet his nephew--not because of who Charlie is, but rather because of what Charlie has: the key. That key will unlock a treasure Uncle Nick began searching for more than thirty years earlier. And he would have found it all those years ago if he hadn't been arrested and sent away for murder. But Charlie isn't convinced he should give up the key. He leads Uncle Nick on a wild chase through old St. John's, across Signal Hill and out to the coast. There, high above the rugged Atlantic, Charlie finally comes face-to-face with Uncle Nick, the treasure, and a family history that will leave him with a new understanding of where he comes from and where he's going."

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy was won by P.J. Sarah Collins for What Happened to Serenity?

View full imageKatherine lives in a post-apocalyptic community completely cut off from the rest of the world. Her town is austere, run by utopians that have created a paternalistic order. Knowledge and the search for truth are not popular tenets. When her best friend's sister Serenity suddenly disappears, Katherine starts to question what she has been told...and nothing is as she was told. Will she have the courage to seek the truth no matter where it leads her? This haunting story about growing up and searching for the truth will challenge young readers' notions about knowledge, the search for truth, and the fight for freedom.

More information about the awards and the shortlist of nominees can be found at The Canadian Children's Book Centre

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brain On Fire

There was an interesting book on CBC Radio 1 yesterday, Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.

View full imageFrom her website:


One day, I woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to my bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. My medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which I have no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier I had been a healthy twenty-four year old, six months into my first serious relationship and beginning a career as a cub reporter at the New York Post.
My memoir Brain on Fire chronicles the swift path of my illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving my life. As weeks ticked by and I moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit me to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning me to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar—nicknamed Dr. House—joined my team. He asked me to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing me with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which my body was attacking my brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

National Book Award Winners 2012

The National Book Awards, an American institution that awards American writers for exceptional books and promotes reading in general, has announced the 2012 winners.

Fiction- Louise Erdrich for The Round House
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 One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together,The Round Houseis a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

Nonfiction- Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

View full imageFrom Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter - Annawadi's "most-everything girl" - will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call "the full enjoy." But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths,the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Poetry- David Ferry for Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations

2012 NBA Poetry Finalists

Young People's Literature- William Alexander for Goblin Secrets
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A boy joins a theatrical troupe of goblins to find his missing brother. In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around--much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie's only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared. Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan--because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river. This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Governor General's Literary Award Winners 2012

The Governor General's Literary Awards have announced the 2012 winners:

Fiction- Linda Spalding for The Purchase
In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, a young Quaker father and widower, leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagonful of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever, and sets in motion a chain of events that lead to two murders and the family's strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett. Stripped down and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding's writing is nothing short of stunning, as it instantly envelops the reader in the world and time of the novel, and follows the lives of unforgettable characters. Inspired by stories of the author's own ancestors

Poetry- Julie Bruck for Monkey Ranch
Julie Bruck

Drama- Catherine Banks for It is Solved by Walking
Catherine Banks

Nonfiction- Ross King for Leonardo and the Last Supper
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Leonardo da Vinci's transcendent painting The Last Supper defined the master artist. Until now, no one has told the full story behind its creation. Political events weighed on da Vinci and all of Italy during the time of the painting's conception and creation, as his patron, the Duke of Sforza, unleashed forces leading to a decades-long series of tragedies known as the Italian Wars. Sforza was overthrown by French forces in 1499, forcing da Vinci to flee Milan with the paint on The Last Supper barely dry. The Last Supper ensured Leonardo's universal renown as a visionary master of the arts

 Children's Text- Susin Nielsen for The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
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A third novel from award-winning author and screenwriter, Susin Nielsen. A darker novel than her previous novels, Susin returns to familiar turf with a cast of fabulous characters, dark humour, and a lovable, difficult protagonist struggling to come to terms with the horrible crime his brother has committed.

Children's Illustration- Isabelle Arsenault for Virginia Wolf

 Isabelle Arsenault

Translation- Nigel Spencer for Mai at the Predators' Ball

Nigel Spencer

The winners for the French language section can be found at the Governor General's Literary Awards

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize Winner for Nonfiction 2012

The Hilary Weston Writers' Trust has announced the Nonfiction prize winner for 2012 is:

Candace Savage for A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape
View Item Details
When Candace Savage and her partner buy a house in the romantic little town of Eastend, she has no idea what awaits her. At first she enjoys exploring the area around their new home, including the boyhood haunts of the celebrated American writer Wallace Stegner, the backroads of the Cypress Hills, the dinosaur skeletons at the T.Rex Discovery Centre, the fossils to be found in the dust-dry hills. She also revels in her encounters with the wild inhabitants of this mysterious land -- two coyotes in a ditch at night, their eyes glinting in the dark; a deer at the window; a cougar pussy-footing it through a gully a few minutes' walk from town. But as Savage explores further, she uncovers a darker reality -- a story of cruelty and survival set in the still-recent past -- and finds that she must reassess the story she grew up with as the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of prairie homesteaders. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and imbued with Savage's passion for this place, A Geography of Blood offers both a shocking new version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the windswept, shining country of the Cypress Hills, a holy place that helps us remember.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rogers Trust Winner 2012

The winner of the Rogers Writers' Trust Award 2012 is:
Siege 13,  Tamas Dobozy 
Thomas Allen Publishers
Siege 13

This novel is not yet available in the Parkland Regional System. Check back or ask your 
library if they will buy this book for their collection.

From the Rogers Writers Trust website (November, 2012):

Jury Citation

"From the dark cityscapes of besieged Hungary to the émigré cafés of contemporary North America, Siege 13 spans continents and decades, and in doing so illustrates once again that old maxim: the short story can be both as broad and as deep as a novel. At times gently humorous, at times quietly wise, Dobozy’s thirteen stories dazzle with their psychological nuance and brilliant attention to detail. These stories are never less than breathtaking."

About the Book

Thirteen linked stories surround the siege of Budapest, recounting one of the fiercest and longest battles of the Second World War. The collection documents episodes of awful carnage showing how Hungarians endured the horror of that 46-day conflict and how the haunting trauma shadows over the lives’ of survivors. Like the tale of Heléna, a Hungarian-Canadian immigrant who diplomatically tries to mend the relationship between László and Jenő, members of her family whose true identities were confused and transformed by the siege. A terrible time in human history, the ripple effects of the siege transcend generations raising emotional questions in these stories about war, family, loyalty, redemption, and a legacy of silence.

About the Author

Tamas Dobozy was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and is currently an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. His short story “The Restoration of the Villa Where Tibor Kalman Once Lived” won The O. Henry Award in 2011 and appears in this collection.

Tamas Dobozy on Siege 13 Rogers Writers' Trust Winner 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Congratulations to the winners of our
Canadian Library Month Contest.

Sylvan Lake Film Society Season Pass Winners
One Year Library Membership Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Man Booker Prize Winner 2012

Hilary Mantel is the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012 for her novel Bring Up the Bodies

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, and its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a truth that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days. In Bring Up the Bodies, sequel to the Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

Bring up the Bodies is the sequel to the award winning Wolf Hall, there is one more book left in this trilogy. More award winners to come perhaps?
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Bullying Awareness - You're Not Alone

In the aftermath of the tragedy that was Amanda Todd, there is a void. We all have questions, we all want to know how something like this could have happened. The sad truth is, it happens every day, all over the world.

For those of you who don't know, Amanda Todd was a young girl who was bullied relentlessly until she finally took her own life. Her cries for help went unanswered; she was surrounded by so much cruelty and hate, until finally she could take it no longer.

You can find Amanda's story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BgYGfSzIi0

While it is too late for us to help Amanda, there are still countless young girls and boys who are struggling with being bullied every day. They need a voice. They need to know there are people they can talk to, help they can find. They need to know about people who have been bullied, who have survived. They even need to know about the ones who didn't make it.

At any time, youth can call the Kids Help Line, a 24/7 hot-line for ages 20 and under: 1-800-668-6868

For real-life stories, and information on how to stand up to bullies, go to the Canadian Red Cross site: Stand Up to Bullying http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=24739&tid=108

Another helpful site is Bullying Canada: http://bullyingcanada.ca/index.php

The Sylvan Lake Library won't be silent about this epidemic that is sweeping across our youth. Bullying is not something natural, it is not something that just happens. Bullying is not something that kids should have to "deal with". We can do something to help. It is our responsibility.

Here are some of the resources we have available at the library. If you or someone you know is being bullied, battling anxiety and depression, or having suicidal thoughts, these materials may be of use.

"Speak", by Laurie Halse Anderson: "Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth." - Farrar Straus Giroux

"By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead", by Julie Anne Peters: "Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www. through-the-light.com.

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?" - Hyperion

"Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories", by Megan Kelley Hall, Carrie Jones, and more: "Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the "funny guy" into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today's top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal." - HarperTeen

"It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living", by Dan Savage: "Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, making them feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted - even tortured - simply for being themselves.

After a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students who were bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for LGBT youth facing harassment. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. With over 6,000 videos posted and over 20 million views in the first three months alone, the world has embraced the opportunity to provide personal, honest and heartfelt support for LGBT youth everywhere.

It Gets Better is a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better." - Dutton Adult
"Odd Girl Out: the Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls", by Rachel Simmons: "When boys act out, get into fights, or become physically aggressive, we can't avoid noticing their bad behavior. But it is easy to miss the subtle signs of aggression in girls--the dirty looks, the taunting notes, or the exclusion from the group-that send girls home crying.
In Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons focuses on these interactions and provides language for the indirect aggression that runs through the lives and friendships of girls. These exchanges take place within intimate circles--the importance of friends and the fear of losing them is key. Without the cultural consent to express their anger or to resolve their conflicts, girls express their aggression in covert but damaging ways. Every generation of women can tell stories of being bullied, but Odd Girl Out explores and explains these experiences for the first time. Journalist Rachel Simmons sheds light on destructive patterns that need our attention. With advice for girls, parents, teachers, and even school administrators, Odd Girl Out is a groundbreaking work that every woman will agree is long overdue." - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Why Do People Bully", by Adam Hibbert: "Forever a common problem in all sectors of life, this book takes a look at what bullying is and why some people become bullies. The book describes how bullies operate and provides some useful practical tips and techniques on coping with bullying. It also includes case studies and quotes from people with experience of bullying." - Hodder Wayland Childrens

"My Time as Caz Hazard", by Tanya Lloyd Kyi: "Caz thinks she has a pretty good reason when she punches her boyfriend in the face, but she gets expelled anyway. Moving to a new school, she is told she is dyslexic and sent to special education classes. Caz tries to fit in and get by while suffering the taunts and abuse that others throw at the students in her class. Her friendship with Amanda leads her into new territory -- shoplifting and skipping school. Coupled with her parents' impending separation, her life is spiraling out of control." - Orca Book Publishers Canada

"Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia", by T.E.A.C.H.: "A project of Planned Parenthood of Toronto, this collection of personal accounts of sexual self-discovery by volunteers in the organization's peer-based T.E.A.C.H. program (Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia) is remarkable for the diversity of social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds represented. The 20 stories included demonstrate the wide spectrum of gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, transsexual, and questioning young-adult experiences. The settings may be Canadian, but the well-written accounts show the universality of the experience, including the dangers associated with being different and the widespread failure of schools to protect young people from homophobia and transphobia. An important and emotionally powerful collection that is sure to encourage thought and discussion." - American Library Association

"Fat Kid Rules the World", by K.L. Going: "His name is Troy, but to the world--and in his internal dialogues--he is the Fat Kid. Really Fat. Almost 300 pounds of sweating, unhappy insecurity. Then out of a moment of despair comes magic. As Troy considers whether to splatter himself on a subway track, Curt MacCrae, a charismatic punk rocker/homeless kid/dropout, comes along and stops him. For the price of a meal, Curt befriends Troy, and he sees something under all those layers: a potential musician, a friend, and someone with the ability to see through life's bull. First-time novelist Going has put together an amazing assortment of characters. Troy is the ultimate fat kid, the kind whose every move, every thought is predicated on what it is like to wear a coat of blubber. Curt, as thin as Troy is fat, is a combination of Kurt Cobain, Ratso Rizzo, and a fairy godfather. He sprinkles Troy with the dirt and grime of punk rock and brings out the prince hiding inside the weight (to the book's credit, Troy doesn't get any thinner). Equally well drawn are the lesser characters, including Troy's father, a former Marine with an innate sense of what kids need. The narrative could have been tighter in places, but this is an impressive debut that offers hope for all kids--dross transmuted into gold." - American Library Association

Bullying can be almost impossible to escape. At times, it can seem like there is no end in sight. At the end of the day, all we can do is find someone to confide in, someone to share your story with. There are people out there who want to help, the trick is finding them.
The Sylvan Lake Library wants to help in any way we can. We have services and materials available for any age group. We want to break the silence. We want Amanda Todd, and the millions of teens like her, to know that we support you. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month. To celebrate we are having a contest.

How many famous first lines from novels can you identify? Pick up your ballot at the library.

We will draw six winners on Wed, October 31.

You could win one of three one-year family Library memberships or one of three Sylvan Lake Film Society passes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012 Governor General's Literary Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for the Governor General's Literary Awards has been announced.
The five finalists for English language fiction are:
Siege 13

Tamas Dobozy for Seige 13
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
Dr. Brinkley's Tower
Robert Hough for Dr. Brinkley's Tower
When a rich American doctor decides to build a gargantuan new radio tower in a tiny Mexico border town, fortunes change overnight. Yet not all for the good - word of the new prosperity spreads, and Corazon is overrun by the impoverished, the desperate, and the criminal-minded.
The Headmaster's Wage
Vincent Lam for The Headmaster's Wager
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant , a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
The Juliet Stories
Carrie Snyder for The Juliet Stories
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
The Purchase
Linda Spalding for The Purchase
In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, a young Quaker father and widower, leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagonful of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever, and sets in motion a chain of events that lead to two murders and the family's strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett. Stripped down and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding's writing is nothing short of stunning, as it instantly envelops the reader in the world and time of the novel, and follows the lives of unforgettable characters. Inspired by stories of the author's own ancestors, The Purchase is a resonant, powerful and timeless novel.

The five finalists for English language non-fiction are:
A Thousand Farewells
In 1976, Nahlah Ayed¿s family gave up their comfortable life in Winnipeg for the squalor of a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. The transition was jarring, but it was from this uncomfortable situation that Ayed first observed the people whose heritage she shared. The family returned to Canada when she was thirteen, and Ayed ignored the Middle East for many years. But the First Gulf War and the events of 9/11 reignited her interest. Soon she was reporting from the region full-time, trying to make sense of the wars and upheavals that have affected its people and sent so many of them seeking a better life elsewhere. In A Thousand Farewells, Ayed describes with sympathy and insight the myriad ways in which the Arab people have fought against oppression and loss as seen from her own early days witnessing protests in Amman, and the wars, crackdowns, and uprisings she has reported on in countries across the region.
The Pursuit of Perfection
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
Into the Silence
Wade Davis, for INTO THE SILENCE
A magnificent work of history, biography and adventure. If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war. Of the twenty-six British climbers who, on three expedtions (1921-24), walked 400 miles off the map to find and assault the highest mountain on Earth, twenty had seen the worst of the fighting. Six had been severely wounded, two others nearly died of disease at the Front, one was hospitalized twice with shell shock. Three as army surgeons dealt for the duration with the agonies of the dying. Two lost brothers, killed in action. All had endured the slaughter, the coughing of the guns, the bones and barbed wire, the white faces of the dead. In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: "The price of life is death." Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but "a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day." As climbers they accepted a degree of risk unimaginable before the war. They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger. They had seen so much of it that it had no hold on them. What mattered was how one lived, the moments of being alive. For all of them Everest had become an exalted radiance, a sentinel in the sky, a symbol of hope in a world gone mad.
Leonardo and the Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci's transcendent painting The Last Supper defined the master artist. Until now, no one has told the full story behind its creation. Political events weighed on da Vinci and all of Italy during the time of the painting's conception and creation, as his patron, the Duke of Sforza, unleashed forces leading to a decades-long series of tragedies known as the Italian Wars. Sforza was overthrown by French forces in 1499, forcing da Vinci to flee Milan with the paint on The Last Supper barely dry. The Last Supper ensured Leonardo's universal renown as a visionary master of the arts.
What We Talk About When We Talk About War
The longstanding Canadian self-image as a country of cooperation, compromise, and peace has come under direct challenge in the early years of the 21st century by a right-wing party seeking a more robust sense of national destiny; a challenge reflected in the Conservative government's rapprochement with the United States and Israel and rejection of more multilateral stances in foreign policy, as well as rejecting the traditional values of "discussion, negotiation and compromise" domestically. Displeased with these developments, activist and journalist Richler reflects on the transformation of Canada's self-image through an analysis of the narratives that "Canada has used in order to talk itself into, through and out of the war in Afghanistan."

The five finalists for poetry are:
Monkey Ranch
Julie Bruck, for MONKEY RANCH
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Li'l Bastard
David McGimpsey,  for LI’L BASTARD
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
The New Measures
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Any Bright Horse
Lisa Pasold, for ANY BRIGHT HORSE
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Sailing to Babylon
James Pollock, for SAILING TO BABYLON
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.

Further categories are Drama, Translation, Children's Literature (text), Children's Literature (illustration), French Language Fiction, French Language Non-Fiction, French Language Poetry, French Language Drama, French Language Translation, French Language Children's Literature (text), and French Language Children's Literature (illustration). The finalists for these categories can be found at The Governor General's Literary Awards site.

The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 13. 

"The Canada Council has partnered with Indigo Books & Music and CBC/Radio-Canada to celebrate the GGs. Indigo’s loyalty programs, plum rewards and iRewards, are offering the chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Governor General’s Literary Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall November 28th. Details of the contest will soon be available on Indigo Books & Music’s website. CBC/Radio-Canada invites book lovers to participate in an online quiz about the English language finalists on CBC Books and about the French language finalists on Radio-Canada’s Zone d’écriture to win 2012 GG books and a Sony Digital Book reader." GGBooks,canadacouncil.ca