Students’ and my take—make that double-take—on the doppelgänger

Author, teacher, school visit

  The following post is written by Melanie Jackson, author of Death Drop.   Everyone has one. That not-quite-double, that other self. A nicer other self, or a more sinister one. Possibly a deadly one. I’ve been exploring the idea of the doppelgänger with three classes of Grade 8 Creative Writing students at Vancouver’s Lord Byng Secondary. It’s part of a mystery unit I’m delighted to be teaching, with the help, advice, brilliant comments and unwavering cup-of-tea support of Byng teacher and English Department head Amy Hughes. We’re studying the doppelgänger as portrayed in a […]






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The Unnatural Selections Drawing Game

Unnatural Selections Blog Collage 2

Have you ever seen a Hawkodile? Or a Toraffe? What about a Cowaconda? All of these creatures (and more) can be found roaming through the imaginative universe of Unnatural Selections, a picture book by artist Wallace Edwards. To create this book, Professor I.B. Doodling, a traveling artist, took suggestions from schoolchildren to create fantastical hybrid animals. The result is a collection of magnificent beasts that are sure to inspire the imagination. Since your students or children will be full of creative energy after reading Unnatural Selections, here is a simple drawing activity that pairs perfectly […]






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“Where did you get the idea for your book?”

Dominion, Science Fiction, Sci-fi, Strong female character, fantasy, spirits

The following post is written by Shane Arbuthnott, author of Dominion.   “Where did you get the idea for your book?” This seems to be a common question for authors. My debut novel, Dominion, only came out at the end of February, but I’ve already heard it a dozen times. I usually rattle off something about themes and worldbuilding. But my answer is always incomplete, because a book takes more than one idea. So I thought maybe I might try to answer that question properly here. This might take a while. For most of my […]






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Lucy’s Granola Bars

Lucy's granola bars

As the weather gets warmer, it’s time for outdoor play and sports–Lucy is outside playing soccer, her favorite summer sport! The Lucy Tries Sports series encourages young readers to try new things, get outside and be active. In Lucy Tries Soccer, Lucy and her friends meet at the soccer field for their first game of three-on-three! Thanks to Coach Nick, Team Blue learns some new skills as they prepare to face Team Red. Lucy discovers how much fun it is to play on a team and learns why soccer is the world’s most popular game. […]






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Author Feature: Alison Hughes

Basketball, Shakespeare, sports, couch, announcer, middle grade novel

When the Gladiators basketball team’s nasty coach finally gets turfed midseason, things couldn’t possibly get worse. The team hasn’t won a game yet, and morale is at rock bottom. Sameer, who announces the games and keeps score, and Vijay, the team mascot, have their hands full keeping the team’s spirits up. When they get promoted to assistant coach and manager, can they help a small, unathletic, Shakespeare-quoting drama teacher coach the team to victory, or at least to dignity? Or will the courtside drama eclipse even the school play? What image/scene/character did you start Kings […]






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Author Interview: Leanne Lieberman

Desire, YA novel, Novel, Sex, Vagina Monologues, Depression, Anxiety, Mental Illness

Sixteen-year-old Sydney hates to talk (or even think) about sex. She’s also fighting a secret battle against depression, and she’s sure she’ll never have a boyfriend. When her classmate Paul starts texting and sending her nature photos, she is caught off guard by his interest. Always uncomfortable with any talk about sex, Sydney is shocked when her extroverted sister, Abby, announces that she is going to put on The Vagina Monologues at school. Despite her discomfort, Sydney starts to reexamine her relationship with her body, and with Paul. But her depression worsens, and with the […]






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