Sunday, September 21, 2008

Margriet Ruurs Featured Speaker in September

Join us on September 22nd to hear award winning author, Margriet Ruurs.

Margriet writes children's and educational materials. She has a Master's Degree in Education from Simon Fraser University and has studied the use of technology in teaching reading and writing to children. "I love to use my imagination and to dream up stories" says this creator of many books for children.

Margriet particularly enjoys speaking with school children, teaching them writing and suggesting good books. She has written more than 20 books and had two of her picture books included in the Read Now BC literacy initiative that provides a picture book for every kindergarten student in the province. Her titles include: Animal Alphabet, Big Little Dog, Emma and the Coyote, Emma at the Fair, Emma’s Cold Day, Emma’s Eggs, In My Backyard, Logan’s Lake, Me and Martha Black, Ms Bee’s Magical Bookcase, A Mountain Alphabet, My Librarian is a Camel, No Dogs Allowed, On the Write Track, A Pacific Alphabet, The Power of Poems, Spectacular Spiders,Virtual Maniac, Wake Up, Henry Rooster! When We Go Camping, Wild Babies.

Books will be available for sale during the evening.

Our program begins at 7:30 pm, but come early so you have lots of time to browse.

*Note that our meetings will now be held a the Nellie McClung Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library (3950 Cedar Hill Rd.)

Winners of the 2008 BC Book Prizes

BCLA’s Sheila A. Egoff Literature Prize
The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane by Polly Horvath

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
A Sea Wishing Day
by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

More Children’s Literary Winners …

Chocolate Lily Award
The Chocolate Lily is a book award for British Columbia authors and illustrators, chosen by children. Every year, children in grades K to 8 from across the province are invited to read books from the nominated list of BC picture books and chapter books/novels, and vote for their favourite.
Stanley’s Wild Ride by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Bill Slavin (2008 Picture Book)
Chasing the Moon by Penny Chamberlain (2008 Chapter Book/Novel)

Arthur Ellis Best Juvenile Crime
The Arthur Ellis Awards are chosen annually by the Crime Writers of Canada.
Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

Upcoming Events

  • Word on the Street – Sunday, September 28, Library Square, Vancouver
  • Sylvia Panaleo - October 20th, *Nellie McClung Branch Library* (Cedar Hill & McKenzie), for our Roundtable meeting next month –meeting begins at 7:30 pm, but doors open at 7 pm to browse for books.
    Sylvia is an Associate Professor in UVic’s Faculty of Education and her topic will be “Multiplicity of the Post Modern Picture Book”. The Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable will be hosting
  • Shaun Tan at their Illustrator’s Breakfast – October 25th at Vancouver’s University Golf Club (Registration flyer available in [PDF] or [DOC] format).
  • TD Canadian Children’s Book Week – Nov 15-22
    As part of Canadiann Children’s Book Week, the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable is hoping to host popular sports author Eric Zweig for our meeting on November 17th. Zweig is a hockey aficionado and has written several books on the topic: Hockey Trivia for Kids and Hockey Trivia for Kids 2; Crazy Canucks: the Uphill Battle of Canada's Downhill Ski Team; Star Power: the Legend and Lore of Cyclone Taylor; Long Shot; How the Winnipeg Falcons won the First Olympic Hockey Gold; A Century of Hockey Heroes; Goals; Saves
  • During November, grade 1 students across Canada will be receiving a copy of Too Many Books by Giles Tibo and illustrated by Bruno St-Aubin
Great Reads

Red Glass by Laura Resau
The author of What the Moon Saw has written another superb book that is largely set in a remote area of Mexico. Living near the Mexican border in Arizona, Sophie's family rescue 6 yr old Pedro after his parents have died of dehydration while trying to cross the border. Reluctant to adopt Pedro without the consent of his Mexican relatives, Sophie ends up making a challenging and life-changing road trip to Mexico with a recently acquainted Serbian aunt, her aunt's Guatemalan boyfriend, and his son. There is romance, adventure and suspense in this book that ends up taking Sophie all the way to Guatemala. Reviewed by Jennifer Rowan.

Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Late 1960’s suburban Long Island is the setting for Holling Hoodhood’s grade seven year. While the rest of his class spends Wednesday afternoons at Catholic lessons or the Jewish synagogue, Holling and his seemingly strict and uptight teacher, Mrs Baker, study Shakespeare. In this beautifully written coming-of-age story, readers are transported to a time when Vietnam was in the news, middle class kids were free from over scheduled lives and teachers weren’t scared to get involved in their student’s lives. Newbery Honor Book, 2008. Reviewed by Jennifer Rowan.

Teens at the Greater Victoria Public Library

We are just wrapping up another great Teen Summer Reading Club at GVPL. 89 Victoria teenagers participated in the online book club where they posted book reviews, participated in discussions about books and reading, and chatted to Canadian authors. Throughout the summer, teens attended programs at various Greater Victoria Public Library locations, including a writing workshop with local author Robin Stevenson, a workshop on drawing and writing graphic novels, and a Teen Council of youth contributed their point of view to library services.
The online Teen Summer Reading Club is part of Canada’s Teen Reading Club (, a library-based initiative that includes almost 3,000 teenagers in seven provinces and two territories (so far!). TeenSRC is run by the British Columbia Library Association with the generous support of the British Columbia Ministry of Education, and the Greater Victoria Public Library. It was developed by library folks for teens interested in reading and connecting with other teen readers across the country.

This summer, Teen SRC included the opportunity to chat online with some of Canada’s leading authors for youth: Martha Brooks, Carrie Mac, Shyam Selvadurai, Polly Horvath, Susan Juby, Arthur Slade and Ann Walsh. Teens all over Canada could log on and interact with these writers. The writers gave lots of great information about how to become a writer, and the teens enjoyed an opportunity to “meet” a real author.

Teen Summer Reading Club appears as TRC, Teens’ Reading Club, throughout the school year. Please email if you would like more information about the program and how to promote it with the book-loving teens you know!

Submitted by Kirsten Andersen, GVPL

Canadian YA Fiction: Honouring Diversity

Teachers working to encourage diversity will find a range of award-winning Canadian YA fiction that encourages teens to look more critically at homophobia in the high school.

Well-constructed, fast-moving sports stories offer good entry points for sports and action-oriented readers. In Diane Wieler’s Bad Boy, the protocols and practices of hockey structure the narrative, but the conflict hinges on A.J.’s appalled discovery that his best friend is gay. A.J.’s homophobic shock and confusion are played out in violence, on and off the ice, before the narrative is resolved.

Susan Juby’s (yes, she of the hilarious Alice trilogy) Another Kind of Cowboy, with its details of training for competitive dressage, will appeal to equine enthusiasts. It is a given that Alex is gay (“Real cowboys dreamed of girls with big hair and tight jeans…His dreams ran more to other cowboys”), but Alex’s real obsession is with his dressage ambitions. The adults in this well-plotted novel, are mainly, (as in the Alice books), feckless and foolish, which will delight the teen reader.

Sometimes gay parents are central. Martha Brooks’ Travelling On Into the Light follows an angry teen’s rapprochement with her gay father. Initially determined to dislike, sulk, and punish, the daughter finds herself won over by the new partner. And by the end, “ I was struck, all of a sudden, by my father’s courage. There is no other word for it.”

Nancy Belgue’s Soames On the Range provides a more lighthearted if sardonic tale. Cisco, the sensible 15-year-old son of flower-child parents, is odd-man-out when his father, the school guidance counselor, announces he is gay and moves in with his new partner.
In Glen Huser’s Stitches, Travis’ courage, talent, humour, and integrity illuminate the lives of his dysfunctional trailer park family and of his best friend, Chantelle, an equally talented girl with physical disabilities. But Travis’ gifts do not protect him from bullying that escalates to almost lethal levels in the unforgivingly macho school culture.

Sixteen-year-old Dylan, the likeable narrator of Beth Goobie’s Hello Groin has friends, a large affectionate family, and a faithful and attractive boyfriend. But her body’s insistent message is that it is her best friend who attracts her. This sensitive, courageous, forthright book conveys the sexual pressures on adolescents who find themselves outside accepted gender norms of the high school world.

Paul Yee’s short stories, each with a different first-person narrator, include the cultural and parental tensions, the struggles with language, sexuality, and sexual orientation experienced by Chinese-Canadian teens. And Shyam Selvadurai sets Swimming in the Monsoon Sea in the Sri Lanka of his youth. Fourteen-year-old Amrith longs to appear in his school’s production of Othello. When he falls in love with his visiting Canadian cousin, the theme of disastrous jealously links art and life, and highlights “the capacities for racism, homophobia, sexism, and other injustices and hatreds present at all levels within a society.”
Written by Wendy Donawa, PhD

Did you know…

Effective October 2008, International School Library Day will be replaced with International School Library Month. Teacher-librarians will then be encouraged to select a day in October that works best for them.


Esso Imperial Oil Foundation will once again be sponsoring a writing contest for students in Grades 2-6. In honour of the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables, children are encouraged to submit an original story or poem, written during the current school year, for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice. Deadline is Dec. 15, 2008. For a copy of the flyer and entry form, check out the website at

Do you love stories?
The Victoria Storytellers Guild meets at 7:15 pm monthly at 1831 Fern Street.
All storytellers, would-be storytellers and listeners are welcome.
Suggested donation: $3.00

Susan Juby - Coming to a Library Near You!

The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) and Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) are pleased to announce Susan Juby as their Writer in Residence for 2008/2009. This is a first Writer in Residence for these library systems and a wonderful opportunity for aspiring writers to learn more about the craft of writing.

Juby is an award-winning local writer recognized as one of the rising stars of Canadian young-adult writing. Her "Alice" trilogy: Alice, I Think, Miss Smithers, Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last are known around the world.

Juby started a degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto and finished it at the University of British Columbia. She is an experienced writing teacher, and has most recently been teaching novel writing workshops at the University of British Columbia, UBC Writing Centre.

She will begin her term in September 2008 when the Vancouver Island Regional Library will host her for a three-month residency. In January 2009 she will begin her three-month residency at the Greater Victoria Public Library.

The Writer in Residence is a community resource and literacy advocate. Juby will act as a mentor to writers in the community, reviewing manuscripts and providing criticism and advice about publishing. The program is supported through grant funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and additional funding from the Friends of the Library (VIRL and GVPL) and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.

We are always looking for news and reviews relating to children’s books and publishing. If you would like to submit an interview, review, or article, please send your query to:
Jennifer Rowan:

Authors, publishers, and publicists should send review copies and media releases to:
Editor - Roundtable News,340 Chester Ave,Victoria, BC V8V 4B6
For Roundt