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We are two girls who are dedicated to the worlds in which authors create for us. We are extremely enthusiastic about both YA and adult paranormal fiction. This is a place that we can share our thoughts on the books that we read. We love feed back and you can e-mail us at any time bookjunkies@hotmail.com


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Forest of Reading: Festival of Trees 2011

This past week I volunteered at the 2011 Festival of Trees hosted by the Ontario Library Association! It was a lot of fun and I wanted to share with you all what it is all about. :) The Festival of Trees is a celebration of the larger umbrella that is the Forest of Reading program. This initiative is made up of "seven programs designated to cultivate a love of reading for people of all ages" (AccessOla.com). Each year a committee narrows down a long list to only 10 books which are nominated for each award. These books are then voted on by none other than the readers who love them!

The Festival of Trees gives the Forest of Reading readers the opportunity to meet with their favourite authors at signings and workshops, and to attend the ceremony for each award. There are 7 categories in total for the entire program but because we are mainly a teen blog we have only covered the winnerd for Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, Red Maple and White Pine below.

Blue Spruce Award - Ages 4-7
My Think-a-ma-jink
Dave Whamond

 It's Jack’s sixth birthday, and he’s bored. Bored! Model airplanes, stuffed dinosaurs, not even a talking robot can free him of his festering funk. Then, a mysterious box arrives. Within is a think-a-ma-jink, a bizarre contraption that bends the very laws of time and space, with which no idea is too fantastic to be realized. A wild new universe of possibilities beckons. Cotton-candy-breathing dragons! Caramel rivers! Space-traveling hot-air balloons! But as he and his sister Marie engage in a boisterous, shape-shifting struggle, the future of the think-a-ma-jink hangs in the balance. Is Jack doomed to boredom . . . or is he on the verge of an amazing discovery?

Silver Birch Awards - Ages 7-11
Neil Flamber and the Marco Polo Murders
Kevin Sylvester

Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders is a hilarious, fast-paced murder mystery with a culinary twist! Neil is a 14-year-old wunderchef. He can cook anything, and he brags that he can cook it better than anyone else. He's cocky, but he may also be right. Patrons pay top dollar and wait months for reservations at his tiny boutique restaurant. What many of Neil’s patrons don’t know, however, is that he’s also a budding detective—code-named “The Nose” by Vancouver’s police force. It all started when he used his knowledge of cooking and his incredible sense of smell to acquit his mother’s client of murder. Ever since, Police Inspector Sean Nakamura has relied on Neil to help him crack case after case. Now, however, the city’s crime scene has taken a turn for the personal.
How to Build Your Own Country
Valerie Wyatt and Fred Rix

How to Build Your Own Country is an interactive and totally original learning experience that shows kids how to build their very own country from scratch. This book, the only one of its kind, offers children the expertise and advice they'll need to plant their flag in the backyard, in the bedroom or online. Kids will be amazed to discover that anyone can do it. Nation-building advice is peppered with examples of events that have shaped countries throughout history, teaching young readers about government, elections, geography and global issues.
Binky the Space Cat
Ashley Spires

Binky is a space cat - at least in his own mind. He's really a house cat who has never left the family "space station." Unlike other house cats, Binky has a mission: to blast off into outer space (outside), explore unknown places (the backyard) and battle aliens (bugs). Binky must undergo rigorous training so he can repel the alien attacks that threaten his humans. As he builds his spaceship, he must be extremely careful with his blueprints - the enemy is always watching. Soon Binky is ready to voyage into outer space. His humans go out there every day and he's sure they need a certified space cat to protect them. But just as he's about to blast off with his co-pilot, Ted (stuffed mousie), Binky realizes that he's left something very important behind—and it's not the zero-gravity kitty litter. In the first book in the Binky Adventure series, graphic-novel readers will delight in watching where this lovable and quirky cat's imagination takes him.

Red Maple Awards - Ages 11-15
Not Suitable for Family Viewing
Vicki Grant

Robin has everything a girl could want. Thanks to her mother—the internationally beloved talk show host Mimi Schwartz—Robin’s got the money, the means and the connections to make even her wildest dreams come true. so why, then, does she choose to sit alone in a dark room watching endless reruns of you, you and Mimi? Don’t ask Robin. She doesn’t know—not, at least, until the bizarre discovery of an old high-school ring propels her to ditch New York for a tiny Nova scotian fishing village. In her quest to solve the mystery behind the ring’s origin, Robin finds more than a renewed joie de vivre. she discovers love, the truth of her own background— and the shocking secret that helped make her mother a star.

The Bite of the Mango
Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands.
Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown.

White Pine Award - Grades 9-12
The Monkeyface Chronicles
Richard Scarsbrook

Philip’s aphorism-toting grandfather used to say “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect,” and Philip is about to embark on a life journey of payback that has everything to do with cause in effect. Philip’s journey takes him through the most unusual family circumstances, where no one was really who they seemed to be, whether it was his reclusive scientist father, or his Citizen Kane-like grandfather.

Congratulations to all of the winners! The Forest of Reading is such a wonderful program and I am so happy that I got to be a part of the celebration! :) For more information on the program, festival, categories, nominees and winners, please visit www.accessola.com/reading!



  1. You're so lucky you got to go!! Wish I could've attended but my school board decided not to go this year. Sucks, right? We did have a celebration though where all the schools in the board got together at one school and had workshops by Natale Ghent, Courtney Summers and Richard Scarsbrook. It was fun! I'll definitely be going next year though!

  2. That's so cool how you helped volunteer at the Festival of Trees event Christie! I'm so glad the weather cooperated for you and that you had tons of fun that day :)


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