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Ultimate Reading Challenge: Tales of King Arthur

In September, I wrote a post about the R.M.S. Titanic because I was going through a disasters-at-sea reading phase. In October, I wrote a post about The Three Musketeers and proceeded to ask for two YA adaptations of the classic story as Christmas presents because I was going through a Musketeers phase. Therefore it’s no…

Ultimate Reading Challenge: 100 Days That Changed Canada

Maybe this is just a me thing, but I’m definitely a book procrastinator. I get distracted by shiny things at the bookstore, buy more books than I anticipated, and end up piling the ones I haven’t read yet wherever I can find room. Since I can’t read all of my new purchases simultaneously, I pick…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: The Three Musketeers

I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to say that one of the biggest influences on my early development was the Barbie film series. My first-ever (and by default favourite) Barbie movie was Barbie and the Three Musketeers, which I discovered when I was about 3-and-a-half. Watching a scene from Barbie and the Three…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: Ghost Liners

Have you ever gone through reading phases where you end up reading the same type of book over and over until you’ve gotten your fill for the rest of the year? Well, I’ve been reading a lot of books about disasters at sea lately. First it was A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice by…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: Billy Boyle

When brainstorming ideas for upcoming Ultimate Reading Challenge tasks, one of the toughest to figure out was “Read a never-before-read genre”. I like to think that I’m pretty adventurous with my reading choices, which is normally a good thing. But when I have to figure out a new genre to test drive? There aren’t too…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: The Royals Next Door

There’s nothing better than reading outside on a summer day. Stretching out in the sun, basking in the breeze, a cool beverage within easy reach. I love relaxing this way with a lighthearted romance and getting lost in the pages. When I discovered that one of the tasks of the Ultimate Reading Challenge required me…

Lower The Voting Age

I’ve been interested in voting since I was four years old. Because I was young, I didn’t really understand what it meant to vote. I thought that each member of my family should vote for a different colour so that our support would be divided fairly and no one would feel left out. As I…

The Kingdoms

I’m taking a short break from The Ultimate Reading Challenge post series to talk about the incredible book I just finished reading, The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley. I first heard of The Kingdoms through an extensive Goodreads list which compiled some of their users’ top-rated alternative history (a genre which imagines different endings to historical…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: Pumpkinheads

I’ll admit right off the bat that the second challenge I attempted for the Ultimate Reading Challenge threw me for a loop. The challenge involved a story-telling medium I had frequently used in my youth, but which I had then abandoned and hesitated to pick up ever since. My challenge was to read a graphic…

The Ultimate Reading Challenge: Bluebird

One of the worst habits I’ve gotten into throughout the two years I’ve been running this blog is abandoning drafts. Maybe I’m fighting with the words, or maybe I start second-guessing whether anyone would actually want to read what I’ve written. Several times I’ve simply forgotten to type a draft up in the first place.…

Sea of Ice: The Discovery of the Endurance

Photo credit: CBC.ca You know you’re a history nerd when a shipwreck’s discovery elicits an “Oh my God!” instead of an “Oh, cool.” I was ecstatic to learn yesterday that the wreckage of the Endurance, the vessel commanded by Sir Ernest Shackleton in his 1915 attempted expedition to the South Pole, had been discovered -…

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mother and I reading a book- the same book, just as it so happens- circa 2013 or earlier. I’ve missed books this past month. My courseloads have been heavy since day one, and up until now finishing my schoolwork has taken up almost all of my free time. Having the freedom to once again…

The War That Saved My Life

When we think of war, it’s difficult to frame it in a positive light. What good could possibly come of mass death and destruction? If pressed, we may offer technological advances developed during wartime, or the heroic actions of someone involved in the conflict. Think even smaller. Perhaps a family was able to better themselves…

The House In The Cerulean Sea

Have you ever read a book you enjoyed so much that you smile even thinking about it? For me, that book is The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. I discovered it while scrolling through Goodreads: a website which, among other things, suggests books you may like based off of the ones you’ve…

The Best Laid Plans

To most of us, Canadian politics are confusing and/or infuriating. What’s the big deal about the Throne speech? Why did our riding’s MP vote against a pro-choice bill? Do any of these politicians really know what they’re talking about? I generally share your views. With the exception of two months in Grade 7 when I…

The Coming Storm

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a book for the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival “celebrates the power of words- whether written, spoken, or signed- to ignite our imaginations and reveal worlds and ideas beyond our experiences. ” While the festival’s programming has been moved online this year due to…

Have A Little Respect

(Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeting supporters during his visit to my town, August 2021.) Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to my hometown. I was excited: he’s the Prime Minister! I didn’t have a concrete plan to go down for his visit though, and as a local news site had reported…

YA Summer Reads: 2021

A “Summer Read” is defined as a piece of literature that is lighthearted and relaxing to read. They’re the kind of thing you’d bring with you to a beach or cottage; if you wouldn’t bring it there, it doesn’t qualify as a “Summer Read”. For example, American Royals by Katharine McGee is a “Summer Read”.…

Hollywood Of The North

If you asked someone where “Hollywood of the North” is located, they might guess New York City, Vancouver, or any other major North American city above the Mason-Dixon line. They’d be wrong. While no longer operating in the same capacity as it once was, “Hollywood of the North” was actually a moniker given to a…

Of Love And Death In Toronto

It was a cool summer night in Annapolis Royal, NS. A group of people 50-strong walked down the street in twos and threes, each carrying a lantern. The procession wound their way through a moonlit park, stopping in front of a weathered tombstone. The year was 2019, and these people were about to learn the…

The Princess Diaries

When my sister was younger, one of her favourite movies was Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Based off of Meg Cabot’s bestselling Princess Diaries book series, the film follows Princess Mia of (fictional) Genovia as she prepares for a hasty wedding in order to keep her throne. It employs multiple rom-com tropes (“person leaves fiance…

Slides

(Grandpa Slim reading me a story, circa 2009-2010) I don’t remember much about my great-grandfather, Grandpa Slim. What I do is random and unspecific: the old-fashioned wooden calendar that hung in his apartment, the balcony there that I loved but he never used, and he, my mom and I watching a tv show about a…

9:04 A.M

At 9:04 a.m AST(Atlantic Standard Time) today, you, like me, were probably asleep. Ah, the blessing of a weekend sleep-in! For a moment, though, I want you to imagine that today had been a weekday instead. 9:04 a.m AST, which is 8:04 EST for my fellow Eastern Ontarians, is when I would normally be getting…

Dear Soldier

Winter Break, early January 2020: Ding-Dong! The faint sound of the doorbell reaches me in the basement, momentarily shattering the silence around me. For the past half-hour or so, I’ve been working on an upcycled picture frame for a school project. With Mom upstairs doing dishes, Sophie doing who knows what in her room, and…

It’s Freakin’ Snowing

I love the first snow of the season. The white flakes drifting silently to the ground, landing in your hair and soaking your shoes. It’s the calm majesty of winter that comes before the storms of December- onward. But apparently not everyone enjoys it as much as I do. “I can’t believe it’s freakin’ snowing!”…

Timbits

50 Timbits. 10 deserving girls. The rest of the class, hoping their friends will take pity on them and give them a free handout. This is the scene that plays out in my classroom on a dreary Thursday afternoon. As I sit here typing this on my cellphone, timbit-less, students are milling in the hallways…

The Only Plane In The Sky

Recently, on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, my dad wrote a review of a book called The Only Plane In The Sky, written by Garret M. Graff. This book tells an oral history of the events leading up to, during, and after September 11th, 2001, and draws from hundreds of transcripts of…

Sophie’s Picks: A Tween Book List

When you’re a writer, a story or blog post doesn’t come easily. With such benefits as cramped hands, frustration, and procrastination, something you love doing can also become a real pain at times. That’s how I’ve been feeling this past month. I knew I wanted to write about something, but I didn’t have any ideas…

Comfort Books

Is there a book in your life that you’ve read too many times to count? One that you turn to in times of strife, or when you need a break from a heavier topic, to cheer you up, or calm you down? A book that might not necessarily have won any awards, but is still…

June 6th, 2020

Today is a day like any other. Summer temperatures are setting in, so people are taking full advantage of the beautiful weather to ride their bikes, have socially distant visits with friends, and go for walks. Everywhere you look, children are playing, and the sky above is a bright blue, dotted with puffy white clouds.…

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

Way back in June of last year, I was casually browsing the web when I discovered something that made my inner fangirl scream with joy. Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games series, was going to release a prequel novel in May 2020!!! Understandably, as a huge Hunger Games fan, I was stoked. But, since…

The RMS Titanic And I

Today, April 15th, 2020, marks the 108th anniversary of the sinking of one of the greatest ships to ever sail the sea: the RMS Titanic. Her tragic story has captivated millions, so much so that the liner is still talked about in the news to this day. She may lie roughly 12, 500 feet below…

How To Turn That History Frown Upside-Down

You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”? Well, today I’m going to make some quality figurative lemonade. Before March Break, one of the projects I was working on at school was a presentation on a topic of my choice. But since it looks like I won’t be heading back to school…

24 Days At Home: How My Family Is Trying To Survive The Coronavirus Outbreak

No doubt by now you’ve heard something about the global coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic. At first you, like me, may have dismissed it as silly, something that people were overreacting about. But now, in the midst of the major sports leagues like the NHL postponing their seasons indefinitely, all of Italy being in lockdown, and COVID-19 deaths…

I Read Canadian Day

I live in Canada. While we do have lots of books, tv shows, bands, etc that are recognized globally, majority of the media content that we come across on a daily basis is from our neighbours to the south. Because of this, many of our great entertainers, inventions, and stories are often overshadowed by things…

What If? Some Of The Best Alternate History Books For Teens

Non-fiction books all tell the same story of an event, just with different narratives or focus points. When you’re reading for the thousandth time about how the Titanic sunk after colliding with an iceberg, do you ever let yourself wonder what might have happened if that iceberg had never been there in the first place?…

The Christmas Truce

A Canadian soldier in the trenches of World War One takes part in a historic Christmas event.

A Never Failing Spring In The Desert

Libraries are pretty great. You can borrow the latest books, magazines, and movies, attend lots of interesting programs and presentations, and have access to technology, among many other things. Most offer similar services, but vary quite differently in size, design, age, and location. This is a list of three cool lending libraries I’ve visited that…

The Forest of Reading: Red Maple

One of the best programs run by the Ontario Library Association is the Forest of Reading. Every year, the OLA selects 10 books written by Canadian authors for each school division(e.g Primary, Junior, Intermediate) to read. Then, once students have read all or most of the ten, they can vote for their favourite. When all…

The Halifax Explosion

December 6th is a somber day for my family. As well as it being the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, it also marks the anniversary of a disaster that aligned the stars so we could be born- the Halifax Explosion. During the First World War, Halifax, Nova Scotia, became a…

Save Anne With An E!

I am sorry to have to interrupt my scheduled Red Maple post from my three-part Forest Of Reading Series, but this post that I am putting up today contains time-sensitive content. Recently, I have discovered that one of my favourite shows, Anne With An E, was cancelled. The show, which features Amybeth McNulty, Lucas Jade…

The Forest Of Reading: Silver Birch Fiction

One of the best programs run by the Ontario Library Association is the Forest of Reading. Every year, the OLA selects 10 books by Canadian authors for each school division(e.g Primary, Junior, Intermediate) to read. Then, once students have read all or most of the ten, they can vote for their favourites. When all of…

The Forest Of Reading: Blue Spruce

One of the best programs run by the Ontario Library Association is the Forest of Reading. Every year, the OLA chooses ten books for each school division(e.g Primary, Junior, Intermediate) to read. Then, once the kids have read all or most of the ten, they can vote for their favourites. When all of the votes…

The RMS Titanic

It’s one of the most famous tales of all time. A ship is on its maiden voyage, carrying everyone from millionaires to immigrants. But a collision with an iceberg dooms the ship, and about 2/3 of the passengers and crew perish due to a lack of lifeboats. By now, some of you may have guessed…

Spooky Reads

Halloween is almost here! But as we get older, going trick-or-treating becomes less and less appealing than it used to be. Instead, we now turn to scary movies, haunted houses, and ghost stories. I do enjoy a good ghost story, but not all the time. Is it wrong to want to be able to sleep…

The Spanish Flu Strikes Again!

A Cli-fi story about a girl who’s managed to survive a series of natural disasters, just to find out that a Spanish Flu(H1N1) virus has escaped. Now, the entire weakened population of North America is at risk of becoming infected.

Time for a read-aloud.

October 5th is, among other things, World Teachers Day. I’ve been very lucky to have had such wonderful teachers growing up, but for their privacy I will not be naming them. This is a tribute post to some influential people in my life- and the books they introduced to me during read-aloud time. The One…

Climate Fiction

Our planet is dying. That’s it, the complete and utter truth. If we do nothing about the rising oceans, melting glaciers, intense forest fires, and the disappearing ozone layer, humanity is going to pay the price. For years and years, people have been trying to get the world to listen. But so many people just…

The Fungus Plague.

This is a story I wrote for school. It’s about a Carpenter ant and his friend, Bill. Bill has been infected by a zombie fungus! Hope you enjoy!

September 11th, 2001

As you are aware, today, September 11th, 2019, is a very somber day. It’s the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of thousands of First Responders, Military personnel, and civilians. These attacks spurred the United States into declaring war. Although I was not alive when this happened, I do have…


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