March 31st is Trans Day of Visibility which is a day dedicated to celebrating trans people and raising awareness to the discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. For more information about how you can be a better LGBTQ2IA+ ally check out this pdf: Guide-to-Being-an-Ally-to-Transgender-and-Nonbinary-Youth.
The guide includes:
The difference between sex and gender
Basics of gender — identity, expression, and perception
Forms of address that show respect (names, pronouns, honorifics)
Today is International Women’s Day- a global celebration dedicated to uplifting women and honoring their achievements. Below are 5 book recommendations if you’re looking to read some powerful female authors who write strong female characters.
Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Kamala Khan is a Muslim teen growing up in Jersey City, idolizing Captain Marvel Carol Danvers and the Avengers. Getting superpowers like Captain Marvel does not diminish her fandom but makes her have to grapple with her newfound duty to help and to her family and culture. This has been the unofficial breakout hit of Marvel’s slate of comics and it deserves all the attention.
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis. Diverse campers at a Girl Scout-esque summer camp who whose exclamations – Sweet Bessie Coleman! – reflect feminism and girl power? If you haven’t been reading this in issues, check out the trade paperback. It’s fun, powerful, and all about friendship.
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark. Centering on three characters, one a transwoman and another a questioning boy wondering about gender fluidity, this novel in verse breaks stereotypes all over the place. It’s a good reminder to many of us that remembrances such as International Women’s Day and Women’s HIstory Month need to include transgender women as well as cisgender women.
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. This moving, timely book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement follows Starr Carter as she deals with the aftermath of being the sole witness to her best friend Khalil’s shooting death by police. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. And Starr is the only person alive who can tell everyone what really happened that night.
Dumplin by Julie Murphy. Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson has always been at home in her own skin. Until she finds herself liking Bo, a hot former jock. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her new relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant.
November 20th is Trans Remembrance Day, a day that remembers and honours trans and gender diverse people whose lives have been taken by transphobic violence. To bring awareness to this important day, the GSA has created a vigil in the Library Learning Commons window. There is also a display of books in the library with trans and gender non-conforming characters, as well as books that generally provide information on Pride and LGBTQ2IA+ topics.Come by to check them out!
Starting Monday, Alpha’s annual murder mystery is back. Come by the library to try to solve The Curious Case of the Clockwork Cleaner. A murder has been committed and there are four suspects. We will need your detective skills to solve this whodunnit. WHO? committed the crime, WHY? and HOW? Come on by to see if you can figure it out.
I hope that everyone had a productive day on September 30th and that each one of you took some time to reflect on the horrors inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of Canada both in the past and present. If you feel like you have more learning to do, please come by the library to check out a book about the Residential School System, The Indian Act, or just a book by an Indigenous author.
If you are simply in need of a moment to reflect and be present, a great place to start is with the Coast Salish Anthem below, also known as Chief Dan George’s Prayer Song. Words from the author are below.
This arrangement of Chief Dan George’s beautiful prayer song features Gordon Dick (Tchilaqs7tchila) of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation drumming and singing. Gordon taught the Coast Salish Anthem to Seycove’s choir students in December 2019 and has graciously shared it with many other schools in North Vancouver. We look forward to acknowledging and honouring the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples – the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations on whose land we live and learn by singing it as a choir, as a school, and as a district.
How long have I known you, Oh Canada? A hundred years? Yes, a hundred years. And many, many seelanum more. And today, when you celebrate your hundred years, Oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.
For I have known you when your forests were mine; when they gave me my meat and my clothing. I have known you in your streams and rivers where your fish flashed and danced in the sun, where the waters said ‘come, come and eat of my abundance.’ I have known you in the freedom of the winds. And my spirit, like the winds, once roamed your good lands.
But in the long hundred years since the white man came, I have seen my freedom disappear like the salmon going mysteriously out to sea. The white man’s strange customs, which I could not understand, pressed down upon me until I could no longer breathe.
When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed his way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority.
My nation was ignored in your history textbooks – they were little more important in the history of Canada than the buffalo that ranged the plains. I was ridiculed in your plays and motion pictures, and when I drank your fire-water, I got drunk – very, very drunk. And I forgot.
Oh Canada, how can I celebrate with you this Centenary, this hundred years? Shall I thank you for the reserves that are left to me of my beautiful forests? For the canned fish of my rivers? For the loss of my pride and authority, even among my own people? For the lack of my will to fight back? No! I must forget what’s past and gone.
Oh God in heaven! Give me back the courage of the olden chiefs. Let me wrestle with my surroundings. Let me again, as in the days of old, dominate my environment. Let me humbly accept this new culture and through it rise up and go on. Oh God! Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success – his education, his skills – and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society.
Before I follow the great chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass. I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land.
So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.
Drawing Villains and Monsters! Wednesday, October 13. 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Draw with us and create a creepy villain or monster! Comic artist Janice Liu will lead this online workshop will share approaches for drawing creepy creatures. This workshop is open to teens, ages 13-19.
Register here: https://bpl.bc.ca/events/drawing-villains-and-monsters
Introduction to Astrology for Teens! Wednesday, October 20. 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Have you ever wondered how your astrology sign is determined? Do you want to know the difference between your moon sign and your sun sign? Learn the answers to all of this and more! Join Brooke, the Cosmic Creative, and discover insights into astrology.
Register here: https://bpl.bc.ca/events/introduction-to-astrology
Halloween-inspired Drag Makeup Tutorial! Thursday, October 21. 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Join local Drag Artist Jaylene Tyme in this online workshop on how to create a Halloween-inspired Drag persona! Jaylene Tyme will demonstrate drag makeup tips and techniques and share insights about the cultural and creative aspects of Drag. If you admire Drag artistry or have questions about Drag as a career or hobby, this fun workshop provides the opportunity to ask questions from and consult with an experienced Drag performer. This workshop is open to teens, ages 13-19 and to young adults, ages 20 – 30.
Register here: https://bpl.bc.ca/events/halloween-inspired-drag-makeup
Halloween Inking Workshop! Wednesday, October 27. 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Join comic artist Janice Liu for this online workshop that explores the art of brush inking. Use paintbrushes and professional artists’ ink to create Halloween-inspired drawings and art.
Register here: https://bpl.bc.ca/events/halloween-inking-workshop
Introduction to Tarot for Teens! Thursday, October 28. 6:00 – 7:30pm.
Learn to identify the different Tarot cards and tell fortunes for yourself and others with Tarot Reader Sharon! Whether you have your own deck, are looking to get one, or you’re happy to stick to the free digital decks available online, you will still be able to participate fully in this hour of mystical fun. There are as many ways to use Tarot as there are readers.
Register here: https://bpl.bc.ca/events/introduction-to-tarot
Orange Shirt Day is on September 30th, which also coincides with this year’s Truth and Reconciliation Day. To bring focus to this important day, the library is featuring books on Residential Schools and books by indigenous authors. We believe that this week it is important to learn about Canada’s negative history, but to also uplift indigenous voices. Below is a gallery of some of the excellent books you can come check out of the library if you’d like to learn more about Residential Schools and/or Orange Shirt Day.
Welcome back to Alpha! To start the year off, we are holding a bookmark design contest. The theme is reading, so you can create any type of original artwork for your entry that has to do with books. The template for your design is available in the library and all entries are due October 15th. The winners will be announced the following week and will have their bookmarks printed for Alpha students to use. The top 2 designs will also win a gift certificate to Chapters.
‘When you ask people what happened to Andie Bell, they’ll tell you without hesitation:
“She was murdered by Salil Singh.”
No “might have”
No “most likely.”
He did it, they say. Sal killed Andie.
But I’m not so sure.”
Seventeen-year-old Pippa ‘Pip’ Fitz-Amobi is your ideal high school student. An overachiever, workaholic, clean record, good student. So, it’s a big surprise when she decides to solve a murder that occurred 5 years ago for her senior capstone project.
Pip starts to delve deeper into the past, uncovering the secrets and the real players behind the murders of Sal and Andie that someone wants to desperately keep hidden. And if the real murderer is out there, still alive, how far will they go to quiet Pip and let their secrets die with them?
I originally picked up this book atthe Alpha school library because of the cover. ‘Red string, white paper and an ominous title? Seems like the read for me!’ I was attracted to the title, the description and the cover art.
Shallow, I know.
And so, I curled up in the corner of my bed, picked up the book and started to read, with ‘Throne of Glass’ beside me as a backup in case the book ended up being a dud. But as I burned through the pages, and started to read see the mystery unfold, I was wholly, undoubtedly,
The character arcs and design themselves are magnificent. It’s obvious that the author hasn’t used any cookie-cutter templates or created any Mary Sues-they’re all beautifully original.
But the plot. Oh, the plot is a piece of art! Chef’s kiss! Fantastique! The plot is well-developed and interesting-lots of plot twists and scares. The mystery that is embedded into the book is cleverly made, that one could only say that is immaculate.
Even after rereading it multiple times, I can say confidently that I cannot find any faults in this book. Everything, from the plot to the characters, to the mystery is so intricate and perfect that there cannot be any faults.
I rate this book a 10/10 and whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone, whether it be fantasy fans, sci-fi, fans, romance fans, but especially mystery and drama fans.Actually, scratch that, any YA reader, PLEASE read this book.
Content warning: Has mentions of sex, drugs, rape/sexual assault and other topics that may trigger trauma or panic attacks. Please read mindfully.