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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We’re going on a word hunt

We’re going on a word hunt, (we’re going on a word hunt,) We’re going to find some big ones, (we’re going to find some big ones,) I’m not afraid! (I’m not afraid!) This song puts me in mind of summer nights around the campfire after the final s’more has been eaten, when it’s time for scary stories and songs. But we have a twist on it for you today, instead of a bear hunt, we’re going on a word hunt!! We hope this exercise gets kids reading, and gets them to have fun while they’re […]






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Author Feature: Monique Polak

Bullies Rule by Monique Polak

Daniel Abel is surprised when, instead of being punished for “pantsing” another eighth-grader, he is invited to become an ambassador of Mountview High at the school’s upcoming open house. What he doesn’t realize is that he is part of a social experiment on bullying being conducted by the local university. He is a little nervous to learn he will be working with Jeff Kover, a tenth-grader with a reputation for being the biggest bully in the school. Daniel has never thought of himself as a bully. He just likes kidding around. But hanging out with […]






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#BellLet’sTalk About Mental Health

Bell Let's Talk

Bell Let’s Talk, taking place on January 25, is designed to remove stigmas around mental health and break the silence and barriers that so often surrounds them. We have a list of books to spark conversation in your family and give children protagonists they can relate to. Chick: Lister by Alex Van Tol Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Chick is a popular fourteen-year-old who is essentially on this earth to live up to his father’s impossible expectations—or, at least, that’s how he feels. This pressure is a grinding source of anxiety for him, which he copes with by […]






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Author Feature: Melanie Jackson

Death Drop by Melanie Jackson

#TuesdayTalk with Melanie Jackson. Her novel, Death Drop, is on shelves now! Tell us a bit about your book. The title of my new novel, Death Drop, is the name of Vancouver’s new thrill ride based on the mythical Persephone’s fall into the underworld. Protagonist Zeke, waiting for baseball practice, lines up for the fiery, faster-than-gravity drop only to land in a devilish situation. A little girl he tries to help disappears—and Death Drop’s staff deny ever seeing her! Gabriel Rossetti’s famous painting Proserpina adds to the baffling brushstrokes of the mystery confronting Zeke. What […]






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Woman with a pomegranate: the story behind Rossetti’s portrait

dante_gabriel_rossetti_-_proserpine_-_google_art_project

Author Melanie Jackson talks about her new novel, Death Drop: In his famous portrait of Persephone, Dante Gabriel Rossetti shows the young woman of myth having just taken a bite out of a pomegranate. Persephone’s gloomy, brooding expression conveys that she knows quite well she should have left the delicious red fruit alone. After all, she had been warned the fruit had a spell on it. Now there will be—well, Hades to pay. She’ll have to go live with the god of the underworld. But hey, maybe it was a hot day. And bittersweet pomegranates […]






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