White Pine Spotlight

 Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

  • A lovely quiet little book.
  • Clearly the author is inspired by Flannery O’Connor… and that can’t be bad!
  • There is nothing easy about this book, and some will take exception to treating such subject matter with such light-heartedness. I just found it so refreshing.
  • Nielsen writes with natural ease, taking the art of imagery to the level of mastery.
  • The relationships in the book are genuine and supportive – including positive family dynamics – and help to move the characters past the various degrees of guilt they each feel about their individual situations.
  • The book is chock full of humour and touchstone cultural references (music, film, literature) and is quintessentially Canadian in it’s setting, amounting to a love letter to Vancouver.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

***************************************************************************

  • Learn more about the Forest of Reading here.
  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors (link is to last year).  We look forward to their return. When they do, we will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA.
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Canada Reads 2018: Last Call to Order Books

All members of the ESA Community are invited to join us for this year’s Canada Reads 2018!

If you would like us to order in one – or more – of the books for you, orders must be placed by the end of day on Monday February 5th.

Throwback Thursdays

Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘Throwback Thursdays @ ESA‘… where we feature, each week, one ‘classic’ recording from the ESA Performance Archives.

This week we feature a ‘documentary’ recording a 1997 Community Engagement Project.

  • Visual Art students from ESA worked collaboratively to create and install an outdoor mural at Humber Valley Village JMS.

Access the video clip here at the ESA Library YouTube Channel.

Canada Reads 2018! Join us…

It’s time!… Time to choose which book to defend in our own ESA Canada Reads 2018!… and to prepare for our debate.

New members are always welcome to join us at our ESA’s Own Book Club meetings…

Follow these three steps to get yourself ready… and take part in the action.

 

STEP ONE

STEP TWO

  • Read the Rules of the Debate
  • This document outlines how we will conduct our debate on Wednesday March 7th.
  • This document also includes the ‘Guiding Questions’ which will inform our debate.  Keep these in mind as you are reading your book.

STEP THREE

 

White Pine Spotlight

 The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Young People’s Literature.

  • Powerful words and messages for a troubled time.
  • It’s so Canadian right down to the Hudson’s Bay blankets… how ironic!
  • Great promise of going somewhere brilliant when you start off with quotes from  William S  Burroughs and Cormac McCarthy.  And the promise is fulfilled.  What a brilliant concept.
  • Sickness = sadness = stop dreaming… The author brings in Camus – The Plague – to ponder on the nature of humanity and inhumanity, on what makes people tick, on what makes people change.
  • I love the structure of the book: the personal ‘coming-to stories’ interwoven with the story of the group and also the story of indigenous history and mythologies. All of the pieces build nicely on each other to fill in gaps.  The book also – despite being in print – celebrates the oral storytelling traditions.
  • The book takes no prisoners…  a total no holds barred approach. It takes aim at everything: Colonialism; Treaties; Pandemics; Residential schools; Political ignorance; Failure to heed traditional wisdom about stewardship of the land and water…. Water diversion projects, Industrial pollution, Industrial agriculture (dead food), Oil pipelines; Pharmaculture; Reserves; Indigenous Incarceration rates; Cultural appropriation; History repeating itself (looking to indigenous wisdom but then wanting to ‘own’ it (p88)); and, I’ve probably missed some…
  • All this with a wry sense of humour… especially the ‘Apocalyptic Boy Scouts’ and ‘Hunting and Homestead’ duties in the travelling camp.
  • I love the characters: French/Francis; Miig; Rose; Minerva (her self sacrifice… her dreams… her song… she brings it all down… the power of the generations, of the stories, of the elders)
  • And last, but not least, I especially love the environmental message which comes across loud and clear, particularly in the latter part of the book.  Nearer the ending we get this message of faith and hope… When we heal our land, we are healed also… We’ll get there.  Maybe not soon, but eventually (p193).

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

Winner, Governor General’s Award for Young People’s Literature.

Winner, Kirkus Prize for Young Reader’s Literature.

***************************************************************************

  • Learn more about the Forest of Reading here.
  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors (link is to last year).  We look forward to their return. When they do, we will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA.
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Students Writing Exams in the Library…

… are reminded to bring a mug with you when you come… the tea will be on throughout the exam period.

  • One of the perks of writing in the Library is a little pampering to help you keep your stress levels down.

Throwback Thursday’s

Welcome back to ‘Throwback Thursdays @ ESA‘… where we will feature, each week, one ‘classic’ recording from the ESA Performance Archives.

This week we feature Dance Night 2003, a production of Madame Butterfly.

  • Sadly I have not yet come across a programme or other information detailing cast and crew.
  • If anyone has anything like that, I’d be delighted if you c/would share.

Access the video clip here at the ESA Library YouTube Channel.

Wednesday morning in the Library… Late Start Day

Reminder that tomorrow is a late start day – Wednesday January 24th

The Library will only be available to students until 8:20am tomorrow morning.  Mind…

  • There are no tables available on the main floor area of the lower level… and limited access to the computers on the lower level.
  • We are set-up for our Staff Meeting – during which our friends from Tools for All Teens will be leading us through some mindfulness exercises and talking us through strategies and tips and tricks for keeping stress levels reduced in our classroom environments.

Any Staff members who might be reading this… you are reminded that we will begin our morning Staff Meeting a little earlier than usual.

  • Please arrive in time for us to get started promptly at 8:30am.
  • Dress comfy… and bring your mug for tea… No coffee service tomorrow morning, just tea!

Stress Relief Strategies from the Library

As we head into exams later this week… don’t forget to drop by the Library to pick up a good book to keep on hand for de-stressing.

  • Research has shown that ‘losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation‘… and that as little as six (6) minutes with a good book can reduce your stress levels more than any other single activity – more even than listening to music, having a cup of tea or taking a walk.
  • Lots of great titles on offer for all readers.

And stop worrying about those overdue books you have.

  • ‘Bring it back’ this week prior to exams… and choose a new title to get reading.
  • Not sure the status of the books you have out?
  • Check your TDSB student e-mail for your weekly automatic overdue notification reminder… or… LOGIN to your library account via the online catalogue at the ESA Virtual Library.

White Pine Spotlight

 Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

    • Love this book!  Fast paced.  Sparse writing.  Snappy dialogue. Authentic voices.
    • The writing is beautiful. The imagery captivates right from the start.  The author excels at writing complex scenes loaded with multiple meanings…
    • And then there is family and friend drama… it’s not all peace, love and happiness… this book will also break your heart!
    • This book illuminates – for all cis-gendered folk – just what it is like to live life outside the binary… what the majority population take for granted that, especially, bi and trans folk can’t and don’t.
    • Open, honest, realistic, positive and human(e) this book will equally appeal to the quiet nerdy types who love video games and gaming.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.

***************************************************************************

  • Learn more about the Forest of Reading here.
  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors (link is to last year).  We look forward to their return. When they do, we will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Throwback Thursday’s

Welcome back to ‘Throwback Thursdays @ ESA‘… where we will feature, each week, one ‘classic’ recording from the ESA Performance Archives.

This week we feature a Play Review of Noises Off by Michael Frayn, written, filmed and produced by Cooper Sanborn and Peter Kuplowsky.

Access the video clip here at the ESA Library YouTube Channel.

An ESA Canada Reads Contest

The Canada Reads 2018 Longlist was announced mid-week last week.  we hope you saw the posting at ESAInfo… if not use this link to follow through to it.

This year the theme is One Book to Open Your Eyes.

  • It is all about life in our diverse world… and truly opening your eyes to the experiences of others.
  • Many of the titles are heart-breaking, gut-wrenching reads… but they did make sure to get some light-hearted takes in there as well.

We are delighted to announce something new to our Canada Reads experience this year (not at all sure why we didn’t think of this before, but better late than never)…

A CONTEST to GUESS the SHORTLIST!

ALSO, be sure to check your calendars and JOIN US on our FIELD TRIP to the final day of taping of this year’s Canada Reads, on Thursday March 29th.

  • Fill out this Google Form to advise of your intent to join us so that we may book the appropriate number of tickets as soon as ticketing open on Jan 30th.
ESA