Author Archives: winnipegpublibrary

A Tourist at Home

Call me an optimist, but I truly feel Manitoba is one of the best places in the world. Where else can you find the awe inspiring flatness, breathtaking beaches, deserts, white water rafting – don’t even get me started on the food! Allow me take you on a day of touring Manitoba.  If you are not convinced, do yourself a favour and take a look at HomeFree: Exploring Manitoba by Adam Kelly! So, bring along your sun screen, comfortable shoes, and a full cooler for a BBQ dinner.

When you wake up, stop for a great coffee at any one of our many local coffee shops.  Start your day with a 5 km walk around the historic Forks beginning at Fort Garry Gate, walk towards the Forks, down Tache, then return to Fort Garry Gate.  You can find this walk among others in Prairie Pathfinders Winnipeg Walks.

A short drive from Winnipeg, along the scenic River Road, you will reach Gimli.  From the lake front views, the film festival, and museums, you can get lost in Gimli, but today we only have time for lunch in one of the local fresh fish and chip shops.  Gimli Harbor and Fishery: An Illustrated History by local author and Professor Andy Blicq is about the history of this fascinating town – he can fill you in on the rest.

An hour north from Gimli is the beautiful Hecla Island.  Be sure to say hello to Lundi Moose in Riverton, one of Manitoba’s giant town statues. In Hecla you will find self-guided and interpreter-led hikes. One 5 km hike starting from the Gull Harbour Boat House  is perfect for all skill levels.  Prairie Pathfinders also have Manitoba Walks: Your Adventure Guide to Day Hikes & Town Walking Tours where you can find many other hikes throughout Manitoba.

To end our day we will be driving to Lundar Manitoba, about an hour and a half from Hecla.   The sunset views over Lake Manitoba are absolutely beautiful.  There is a provincial park here where you can lay your head, start a fire, and cook your dinner over an open flame. Try a perfect BBQ recipe from Winnipeg Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City’s Top Chefs by Robin Summerfield. I recommend the Chicken Burgers with Zucchini Relish on page 28.

For many more daytrips check out A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province.  You might be amazed at what you can find!


Happy trails!




In 1942, Irena Sendlerowa, an employee of the Social Welfare Department, was working as a volunteer. Under the pretext of conducting sanitary inspections, Irena has been bringing clothes, food and medication to the ghetto. But after witnessing the Nazis inhuman treatment of the Jews she decides that she has to do more. Irena organizes her colleagues, family, and friends and together they begin to rescue children from the ghetto.

Irena is a French bande dessinée (BD) that follows the exploits of Irena Sendlerowa, a social worker who worked as a volunteer in the Warsaw ghetto. I had never heard of Ms. Sendlerowa, as I’m more familiar with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt – men whose names are remembered because of their role in the Second World War. But there are thousands of men and women who contributed to fighting against the Axis, and Irena Sendlerowa is such a heroine.

The BD’s art reminded me of a child’s comic, it’s cartoonish style similar to Charlie Brown, and everyone who’s read Peanuts knows that nothing bad ever happens to Chuck, except missing the occasional football and falling down. But the artwork did not diminish the story it intensified it. The innocence of the artwork evaporates when you see children dressed in rags, or an elderly couple pushing a cart containing their possessions and dead bodies.

As the story unfolds you learn about Warsaw and its transformation under the Nazis. Laws are passed to strip the Jews of their money and legal rights. Eventually more than three hundred thousand were forcibly relocated to the ghetto before it was closed off from the rest of the world. In this climate of despair we see ordinary people helping one another to survive. Ordinary Polish citizens, many of whom have grown frustrated with the Nazi occupation, assist Irena in her mission. Despite the risks of being imprisoned or killed they put aside their fear and engage in an act of defiance in order to help their fellow human being.

The series jumps from the past, present and future – taking the reader along for an emotional ride. As a student of history I understand the importance of the holocaust but that does not make it any easier to read about mass murder. The Warsaw Ghetto is one of the darkest chapters of the Second World War and discovering a heroine who worked within the ghetto, then decided to risk everything in order to save the lives of thousands was unexpected and wonderful. The story is sad but it also has a lot of heart. Although you might shed a few tears reading Irena you will also find yourself smiling at the courageous acts of an incredible, resilient woman.

We have more books and films about Irena, if you’re interested in learning more about her.








  • Daniel Bohémier

A good library will…


A good library will bend your heart almost to breaking and then put you back together again.

It’s time for another snapshot of what’s new on our non-fiction shelves. Almost 1,400 new titles were added over January and February–this blog post could have had you scrolling forever!

I love putting these posts together. I head on over to our New Titles lists and then, click, click, click. I skip from page 1 of the results to page 58, 36, 17, 42… new, new, new. In this post I traveled to the body, considered possible joy in being really bad at something–like, seriously sucking–veered into the world of “alternative facts”, was inspired by community organizing, dreamt of summer months in tallgrass prairie, considered the power of patience, spent time with the reclusive Harper Lee and took in the impossibly colourful wingspan of a tropical bird (a perfect salve for late winter).

I think lots of people are feeling a little tired and worn down this time of year. This librarian’s prescription? Come browse the shelves. You never know just what will put you back together again.

Gush: Menstrual manifestos for our times
Co-edited by Rosanna Deerchild, Ariel Gordon, and Tanis MacDonald, GUSH offers menstrual manifestos for our time that question the cultural value and social language of monthly blood loss, with rage, humour, ferocity, and grief, and propose that the ‘menstrual moment’ is as individualized, subjective, personal, political, and vital as the ‘feminist click’. With work from emerging and established writers in poetry, cartoons, flash fiction, personal essays, lyric confessions, and experimental forms, this anthology features the voices of Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, rural writers and urban writers, representing four generations of menstruators: writers who call down their bloodiest muses.


It’s Great to Suck at Something : The exceptional benefits of being unexceptional
(It’s Great to) Suck at Something reveals that the key to a richer, more fulfilling life is finding something to suck at. Drawing on her personal experience sucking at surfing (a sport she’s dedicated nearly two decades of her life to doing without ever coming close to getting good at it) along with philosophy, literature, and the latest science, Rinaldi explores sucking as a lost art we must reclaim for our health and our sanity and helps us find the way to our own riotous suck-ability. She draws from sources as diverse as Anthony Bourdain and surfing luminary Jaimal Yogis, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others, and explains the marvelous things that happen to our mammalian brains when we try something new, all to discover what she’s learned firsthand: it is great to suck at something.


Truth in Our Times : Inside the fight for press freedom in the age of alternative facts
In Truth in Our Times, McCraw recounts the hard legal decisions behind the most impactful stories of the last decade with candor and style. The book is simultaneously a rare peek behind the curtain of the celebrated organization, a love letter to freedom of the press, and a decisive rebuttal of Trump’s fake news slur through a series of hard cases.



Fighting for Space: How a group of drug users transformed one city’s struggle with addiction
It tells the story of a grassroots group of addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who waged a political street fight for two decades to transform how the city treats its most marginalized citizens. Over the past twenty-five years, this group of residents from Canada’s poorest neighborhood organized themselves in response to the growing number of overdose deaths and demanded that addicts be given the same rights as any other citizen; against all odds, they eventually won.But just as their battle came to an end, fentanyl arrived and opioid deaths across North America reached an all-time high. The “genocide” in Vancouver finally sparked government action. Twenty years later, as the same pattern plays out in other cities, there is much that advocates for reform can learn from Vancouver’s experience.


The Tallgrass Prairie: An introduction
Like a walking tour with a literate friend and expert, Cindy Crosby’s Tallgrass Prairie prepares travelers and armchair travelers for an adventure in the tallgrass. Crosby’s engaging gateway assumes no prior knowledge of tallgrass landscapes, and she acquaints readers with the native plants they’ll discover there.




Late Bloomers: The power of patience in a world obsessed with early achievement
Based on several years of research, personal experience, and interviews with neuroscientists and psychologists, and countless people at different stages of their careers, Late Bloomers reveals how and when we achieve our full potential – and why today’s focus on early success is so misguided, and even harmful.



Furious Hours: Harper Lee and an unfinished story of race, religion, and murder in the deep South
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.


Parrots of the Wild: A natural history of the world’s most captivating birds
Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing.


Baume au cœur

Vous savez quoi? On me répète toujours qu’il y a des livres pour nourrir son esprit critique et des livres pour cultiver le plaisir du cœur. Le roman de Julien Sandrel, La Chambre des merveilles, c’est un peu des deux. Laissez-moi vous mettre l’eau à la bouche.

Cette histoire, elle est à deux voix, celle de Thelma, maman solo, carriériste, qui prend un appel professionnel, un samedi matin, alors qu’elle se rend chez sa mère et celle de Louis, son fils de 12 ans, quand l’impensable se produit. Frappé de plein fouet par un véhicule, il se retrouve plongé dans un coma. Face à un monde médical pessimiste quant au sort du jeune garçon, Thelma décide de prendre le taureau par les cornes et de le ramener à la vie. Je ne vous dirai pas pourquoi ni comment, mais vous êtes sur le point d’embarquer dans une histoire rocambolesque qui ne vous laissera pas indifférent.

Parsemé des rappels que la vie nous lance, ce récit s’articule finalement sur un point essentiel : il faut profiter du moment présent, des gens qui en font partie et fermer la porte à ce mode de vie qui nous demande d’être disponible 24 h sur 24, de vivre à 100 000 à l’heure. Il faut aussi colmater les brèches dans lesquelles le temps et l’aigreur se sont engouffrés, éloignant de nous les gens pour des différends souvent ô combien futiles, comme entre Thelma et sa mère. Ne pas le faire, c’est ne pas vivre. Plus facile à dire qu’à faire, me direz-vous. Mais confrontés à la mort possible d’un enfant, de son enfant, on remet les pendules à l’heure.

Bref, ce roman, même quelque peu prévisible, dans toutes ses pages, m’a rappelé de respirer, de ralentir, d’être à l’écoute des personnes qui m’entourent, de prendre le temps d’aimer les gens qui comptent dans ma vie et de continuer à poursuivre mes rêves. Et surtout, surtout, que l’amour que l’on a pour les autres fera tomber n’importe quelle barrière qui se posera devant nous. Roman à l’eau de rose diront certains. Peut-être. Mais baume au cœur, absolument.

– Sylvie

In the Spotlight: Osborne Library, Millennium Library – Youth Services, Harvey Smith Library

In the Spotlight – where we share what’s happening at your library branches! This In the Spotlight focuses on the Osborne, Millennium, and Harvey Smith Libraries.

Osborne Seed Library at the Osborne Library 

The second year of the Osborne Seed Library is coming to a close, with approximately 300 packs of seeds having been “checked out” so far. The Seed Library is a free program to encourage gardening and local food production. By saving seeds we are preserving heirloom varieties and protecting biodiversity in our food crops. Just like the books you borrow from us, seeds also have a story to tell – from new immigrants bringing seeds from their home countries to re-discovering ancient squash seeds, like this huge Gete-Okosomin squash, grown in the People Garden this summer.

Carole, Branch Head of the Osborne Library, holding a Gete-Okosomin squash! This squash can grow to be 18 pounds. It’s a delicious squash too – sweet with hints of melon.


Every gardener we know loves to talk about their garden and what they are planting, and each season is filled with new discoveries. Winnipeg Public Library is also offering several gardening programs throughout March and April to help get you growing. Check out page 6 of the March/April At The Library Guide.

Thanks to all the gardeners who contributed seeds back in November. We hope you have great success with the seeds from our library, and don’t forget to set a few aside for us again in the fall!

Thanks to everyone who donated seeds for this year’s Seed Library. Don’t forget about us this fall when harvesting your seeds. We’ll be accepting donations!

You still have a few days to pick up some seeds –  we still have tomato, lettuce, squash (including the Gete-Okosomin), pumpkin, bean and cilantro seeds available.


Millennium Library – Youth Services

The Youth Services department is made up of 8 staff who are passionate about providing quality programming. You can find many of us running Baby Rhyme Time, Time for Twos, or Family Story Time on any given day in the program room. Plus, we love to get creative! When you visit our section on the main floor of Millennium Library be sure to look around at the myriad of displays that celebrate literature and community!

Prairie Sky getting everything started by introducing the readers. 

Prairie Sky getting everything started by introducing the readers.

One of our newer programs is called Read by Queens. This story time has  invited guest readers from the Sunshine Bunch of local organization Sunshine House. This year it was a part of the very popular Take Your Child to the Library Day and we went ALL OUT with glitter beards, unicorn masks and drag queen colouring sheets, decorative scarves, and a puppet theatre.

With the help of some librarians the royalty thoughtfully selected these stories to read:

Kate, a Youth Advisory Council volunteer, helped everyone making a glitter beard.

Kate, a Youth Advisory Council volunteer, helped everyone making a glitter beard.

Queens Starra, Feather and Moxie

Queens Starra, Feather and Moxie.

If you and your family want to attend this program you can look for it in the spring where we will be back with new stories. In the meantime, come visit us at the Youth Services section on the main floor of Millennium Library.


The WELL Program at Harvey Smith Library

Tucked in the Harvey Smith Library is a bright and inviting little classroom that houses the WELL program. A passerby can’t help but notice the activity – books, binders and laptops mix with papers, mugs of coffee… and laughter. There’s always a good time to be had in learning.

The WELL (West End Literacy and Learning) program is a certified adult literacy program funded in part by the Government of Manitoba. Up to 12 adult learners at a time are in the program, improving their basic writing, reading, numeracy and other skills. Some are preparing to enter mature student diploma programs. Others are working towards skills for employment. “I want to get better with my reading and writing to go to a higher program in the future”, says one student. “I like coming here because it’s welcoming”, says another. “We learn about Canadian history, math, spelling and we also learn about our nouns.”

Volunteer tutors provide one-on-one help under the lead of the instructor, Shannon. Classroom shelves are stocked with level-appropriate readers, dictionaries and numeracy games. Every day starts with journaling – Shannon then makes corrections and writes back to the learners after class. On Mondays, extra time is given to math. The laptops come out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for online spelling and vocabulary – as well as writing short presentations and letters. Thursdays are a mix of activities and catching up on the week’s work.

Shannon with students in the WELL Program.

The program welcomes new learners year-round with continuous enrollment. Learn more about the WELL Program including volunteers or scheduling an intake interview!


Somebody That I Used To Know

It’s been argued that there are no original ideas anymore, and when you consider the number of retellings of classic or well known tales, you might be inclined to agree. However, sometimes you come across a version of a story that manages to remind you of what you liked  about the original while still presenting you with something new and exciting. Here are a few books that might have you thinking, hey, that reminds me of somebody that I used to know!

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay, AKA Romeo and Juliet

Juliet, after being murdered by Romeo to ensure his own immortality, has spent 700 years fighting her fickle husband for the souls of true lovers. Their battle continues until the day Juliet meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

The Splintered Series by A.G. Howard, AKA Alice in Wonderland

This trilogy is a ghoulish take on the weirdness that is Wonderland, and although I never cared much for the original, this series captured my attention. It had one of the first scenes I can remember unsettling me so much I had to put a book down and walk away from it. Main character Alyssa is a descendant of the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland who must  pass a series of tests to fix Alice’s mistakes if she wants to save her family from their curse.

If the idea of a Dark Wonderland appeals to you, it’s well worth checking out A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney, along with its sequel, A Dream So Dark. This Alice is trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland, yet still has to contend with curfew, an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA.

Brightly burning

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne, AKA Jane Eyre (but in space!)

This retelling manages to keep enough of the gothic romance elements that characterize Charlotte Bronte’s novel that you recognize it, and maybe even know where it’s going, but while still bringing in new elements to keep the reader from getting bored.

Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on the private ship, the Rochester. Unfortunately, no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.

The Ravenspire Series by C.J. Redwine, AKA fairy tales

Specifically, books 1 – The Shadow Queen (Snow White) and book 4 – The Blood Spell (Cinderella). These folkloric classics become dark epic fantasies in Redwine’s hands,

shadow queen

In The Shadow Queen, Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. In the neighboring kingdom, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed, the second-born is suddenly responsible for saving his kingdom. But, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

The Blood Spell  follows Blue de la Cour. When her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her–and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata. Kellan must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal–but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.

Hazel wood

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert has much of the same ruthlessness that the original tales collected by the Brothers Grimm possessed. When Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

So many books, so little time. What do you prefer, the classics in their original form, a fresh take on a beloved tale, or something entirely new?

Happy reading,


It’s the month to jam with FAWM!

ideaMILL sound booth

I recently discovered that February is FAWM, or February Album Writing Month. Musicians from all over the world are challenged to write 14 songs in 28 days. Whether you’re an established professional with multiple albums under your belt, or a beginner who’s hammering out your very first song, musicians of all abilities are welcome to join. Members join online for free and upload their tracks as they go. In case you’re wondering, no – nothing bad happens if you don’t reach 14, and no – there isn’t any prize for writing more than 14 either! It’s the challenge itself that’s the reward. The FAWM website acts as a supportive online arts community, with musicians listening to each other’s tracks while offering feedback, friendly criticism and encouragement.

As a musician myself I was eager to join FAWM this month. My grand scheme was to write this blog about my experience writing the many songs I would have uploaded by now…except it’s mid-way through the month and I have yet to upload a single one. Yup. Writer’s Block. Or Laziness? Could be both or either! Whichever it is, I need a kick in the butt to get started on my songwriting.

Although the online FAWM community is great to share your finished tracks with, sometimes all you need to get an idea out of your head and onto paper is a real, live person to jam with. At the ideaMILL we are offering two ‘FAWM Collaborathons’ for musicians who are participating in FAWM. Participants can collaborate on songs together by jamming out chord progressions and fine tuning lyrics. The event is free and participants are welcome to drop in – no registration necessary.

Maybe you’re not involved with FAWM, but you’re ready to take the next step of recording your music? Lucky for you, the ideaMILL has two Whisper Rooms that are available to book. One booth is larger, wheelchair accessible, and can fit up to 3 people, while the other booth is meant for a solo artist. We have recording software on our laptops such as FL Studio, Reaper, Tracktion and Audacity. Microphones, headphones and midi keyboards are also available to book. Visit our online booking system to see all of the products that you can book at the ideaMILL.

Maybe you’re into music but you’re not into songwriting? Then perhaps Make Music Mondays is the group for you. This free, drop in program occurs every Monday at the ideaMILL from 6:30-8pm. Musicians of all abilities are welcome to join and share original songs, or jam out to covers. We’ve had everyone from experienced professionals to people who have never held an instrument before. And if you just want to sit in and sing along with us, you’re more than welcome to do that too!

If music isn’t your thing, and you’re curious to explore what creative ideas are rolling around in the ole’ noggin, head on down to the ideaMILL anyway! Come discover something that may spark your creativity.

~ Brittany



Hé ho!

As you may have heard, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Festival du voyageur! This annual winter celebration of Franco-manitobain language and culture starts today – Friday, February 15 – and this year, the Winnipeg Public Library is taking part for four days (February 16, 17, 18 and 23).

You’ll find our bibliothèque éphémère (pop-up library) in the Forest Tent at Voyageur Park complete with a station de bricolage (craft station), and heures du conte (story times).

Plus all the usual Festival fun will be going on, of course, from pancake breakfasts to fiddling contests, dogsled rides, and snow sculptures. Bon festival!

And if you can’t make it out to join us, here are a few titles appropriate for Festival and Louis Riel Day…

Canoeing the Churchill: a practical guide to the historic voyageur highway

Louis Riel and the creation of modern Canada


Louis Riel: a comic strip biography

Making the voyageur world / Les voyageurs et leur monde

My first Métis lobstick

My true and complete adventures as a wannabe voyageur

Festival du voyageur HEHO!


Merry adventures and the spirit of rebellion – Robin Hood

I would say it is highly indicative that when a story has survived about 700 years, it must be pretty good. One of the most well-known English folktales, the story of Robin Hood has managed to resonate with people over hundreds of years and is as popular as ever today. I’ve always loved the adventure and spirit of rebellion it carries, and having tried many different versions over the years, rarely have I been disappointed. From ballads and poems to TV shows and movies, you can find a Robin Hood to suit any preferences. The genres span from aged classics, science fiction, romance, modern mysteries and stories suited for any age range.

Though the legend may have survived, almost all of the details have been tweaked and added to by storytellers over the years. The earliest written versions of Robin Hood, from 1450 on, portray an outright ‘bad guy’. At best, he was a self-interested outlaw with some inkling of sympathy for the poor. His raison d’être (taking from the rich to give to the poor) is nowhere to be found until many centuries later. Robin really only became the hero we know him as today with a few texts from the 1800s, in particular The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle and Ivanhoe by Walter Scott – both very entertaining and enlightening reads.

The more recent versions have changed characters and plot lines in major ways. You can find traditional characters like Will Scarlet, Alan-a-Dale, Little John, Much the Miller, Friar Tuck and Maid Marion in many different variations or not at all.

So where to begin? You can always start with a classic, and there are many adaptations that stick pretty close to older versions of the legend. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley is one of my personal favourites that has a good mix of old and new. The library has so many different versions of Robin Hood, there really is something for everyone.

Book cover - Stephen Lawhead's book "Hood"

If you’d like a gritty, darker Robin then you can try Steve Lawhead’s King Raven series (beginning with Hood), Angus Donald’s Outlaw Chronicles, or try a paranormal spin on the tale with Debbie Viguié’s Mark of the Black Arrow. Tim Hall’s Shadow of the Wolf is a good option for YA readers who also enjoy a supernatural and dark spin.

The Forest Queen book cover

Where you have adventure, there’s usually a spot of romance. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and Lady of Sherwood each have a good balance of both, as do their YA cohorts, The Forest Queen, A Daring Sacrifice and Scarlet.

Legend of Hong Kil Dong book cover

There are many graphic novel versions, including DC Comic’s Red Hood and the Outlaws, Outlaw by Tony Lee and for younger readers, Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest. One of my favourites was The Legend of Hong Kil Dong, a Korean addition aimed at younger readers.

Kids and tweens have tons of options to choose from. Will in Scarlet and The Band of Merry Kids are both historical fiction with a similar feel. If you prefer female main characters, then Hawksmaid, Shadows of Sherwood and Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street will be right up your alley. Younger readers will enjoy Robin Hood adapted by Annie Ingle. It also makes the perfect read-aloud for these cold winter days!

When talking Robin Hood (at the office water cooler, for example) you’d be remiss not to mention some of the wonderful films. Most enter the ‘hood’ with Disney’s Robin Hood (1973), but Prince of Thieves and Men in Tights are also popular editions. The Adventures of Robin Hood is a fan favourite from 1938 and definitely wins the best wardrobe award. On my to-do list are the BBC series Robin Hood, which seems to fit into that darker, grittier category, as well as the most recent (put your hold on it now!) Robin Hood fresh out of theatres.

Happy reading!


What I Love to Read

Bibliophile: (n) A lover of books; someone who finds joy and peace of mind while holding a quality book.

Being passionate about your work is one of the greatest gifts that you can have in this life, and I’m so fortunate that my job allows me not only to indulge in my passion for reading but also to share it with others. Since February is also I Love to Read month I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some of my most current favourite books. I’m fickle about my favourites, so this list changes often, but these are the books that are currently on the list.


penguin in love

Penguin in Love by Selina Yoon

You can never go wrong with a penguin story, and this story not only has penguins, it has knitting and (almost) unrequited love.



ruinous sweep

The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones

Donovan Turner has lost his memory and has no idea what he’s doing on a dark, deserted stretch of road in the middle of the night, after being tossed out of a moving car. Then things really start to get interesting. This book kept me guessing from beginning to end, and my first impulse after finishing it was to read it again, to really be able to savour the intricate twists and turns in the plot.



Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda

In contrast to The Ruinous Sweep, which I read quickly (both times, and there will likely be a third reading in the near future) Gmorning, Gnight! is best read only a page at a time, preferably once in the morning and once before you go to bed. Lin-Manuel’s upbeat and inspiring words, coupled with Jonny Sun’s incomparable illustrations are the best way to start and end your day.


synchro boy

Synchro Boy by Shannon McFerran

I loved this story of a teen competitive racing swimmer being brave enough to try synchronized swimming. Bart’s journey of self-discovery is centred around the swimming pool, where he finds a way to be true to himself, despite the pressures and perceptions of those around him.

To my way of thinking, the only thing that’s better than reading a great book is telling someone about it. So what’s on your list?