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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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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Author Feature: Melodie Campbell

The Bootlegger's Goddaughter by Melodie Campbell

As Gina gets ready for her Christmas wedding, all is quiet in Steeltown. Then she’s robbed, cousin Jimmy has a heart attack, and someone in the city has hijacked a transport truck full of booze. But who? And why? Gina knows bootlegging used to be a family business, but they stopped that in the ’30s. Didn’t they? Gina and Nico work feverishly to keep the latest bungled family matter under wraps, but the police are closing in. And, once again, everything points to the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home. The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter is the fifth book […]






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Author Feature: Laura Langston

In Plain Sight by Laura Langston

Fifteen-year-old Megan “Cause Queen” Caliente is president of the political science club and likes to make her voice heard. But after the protest she organized on the Las Vegas Strip takes an unexpected turn, she is suddenly wishing she could disappear. When her mother comes to pick her up at the police station, Megan learns, to her horror, that her whole life has been a lie. Her father is a convicted terrorist, responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred people, and her mother has been living under an assumed name for fifteen years. […]






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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Cookies

        It’s Valentine’s Day! So let’s celebrate love. Here’s some books to help with that.   Love You More by Susan Musgrave and illustrated by Experanca Melo I love you more than the stars so high Winking and dancing in the January sky. Spanning one full calendar year, this rhyming board book celebrates the deep love between parent and child. Rendered in couplets, the verses weave expressions of affection with vivid imagery from the natural world, making it ideal for teaching young ones about the seasons and the beauty of nature. With […]






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