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Ongoing Kids Events at Grant Park

by Lynn Popham - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 11:43am

Click the "Read More" link for further information on our story times and book clubs.

Categories: Ongoing Kids Events in Winnipeg


Us Kids Know by JJ Strong (from a Two Thumbs Up reviewer)

by McNally Robinson - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 5:55pm

Siblings Bri and Ray O'Dell are lost. Ray—bullied at his Catholic school —wants to be someone people respect. Meanwhile, Bri knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. When Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O'Dell siblings, everything changes. Bri and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn't know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of crime, while Bri quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman. As Bri and Ray become more and more entwined with Cullen's antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous.

I didn't find this book very impressive, particularly because of the motives that drove each of the characters. They're unrealistic, making almost all of them hard to connect with. It also starts out really slow, which does make it even harder to read. Also it's Cullen stalking Bri for like the first forty pages, which is portrayed as romantic when really it's just creepy. Maybe the only thing I like about this book was the struggles involving mental health. They were honest, and often authors try to sugar coat it instead of talking about it.

- Chloé, a Two Thumbs Up reviewer

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up

Spliced by Jon McGoran (from a Two Thumbs Up reviewer)

by McNally Robinson - Monday, Oct 30, 2017 at 6:58pm

Spliced takes place in the somewhat-near future where (mostly) teens pay back-alley geneticists to illegally 'splice' animal genes into their own. The story follows Jimi, a sixteen-year-old girl who's desperately trying to find her best friend, Del, who went missing the night he supposedly got 'spliced.'

This book was great--until the climax/ near-ending. Some books are just meant to be on their own, and this proves to be the case. This doesn't need a sequel, or worse, drag itself into a trilogy. The climax wrapped itself up nicely and I could've seen a good suspenseful closure to this story up ahead--until the author had to write in a cliffhanger, which then opened up way too many plot-holes to just leave it at that. As for my general thoughts, I thought it was a pretty decent book. There's nothing spectacular about the writing nor dialogue, but it was still enjoyable. The whole idea was pretty fun too, it was something that I haven't seen before. But what really shone through was definitely the social problem represented in the book. Getting spliced comes at a price, and that is: some people don't consider you 'human' anymore. People who do get spliced (chimeras) are looked down upon society and riots are continuously happening to pass the law that declares chimeras as really, non-human. I thought it was tackled perfectly and I loved how the author dug deeper in the topic of minorities and fitting in.

As for every book, I always have some issues with certain aspects, and with Spliced it was first: the pacing. It was weird, since it the book takes place in such a short period of time yet it was lacking the urgency and high stakes of the situation. The author would sometimes drag out the scene to unnecessary length and add filler dialogue/description that was flat out pointless. Also what really drove me off the bridge of sanity was the horrible romance/love triangle. This to me was the most unnecessary thing of the whole book and the most cringey.  First off, this was such a cliche and horrible love triangle that it manages to completely ruin the characters for me. Instead of a quick-ass, smart, and witty main character, it redeems Jimi to an unlikable, shallow, and silly teenager with running hormones.  Now, we all know that love triangles are predictable and cliche--but this one, my god, this one is the cliche-ist of the cliches. We have the boy-next-door best friend (literally) and the dark, brooding, male-grunting bad boy as competitors to win the heart of this special, special girl. Ugh. This is Twilight all over again. With that being said (sorry for the mini rant), those are my overall thoughts towards Spliced. I give this a 7.5/10 and would recommend it to someone with a strong passion for activism and social problems happening in our world today.

- Yen Anh, a Two Thumbs Up reviewer

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up

The Border by Steve Schafer (from a Two Thumbs Up reviewer)

by McNally Robinson - Saturday, Oct 28, 2017 at 10:43am

One moment changed their lives forever. A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them. Crack. Crack. Crack. Not fireworks—gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them. Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape.

The Border was a good book, but it got a little slow in the middle. It is a book about 4 kids adventures crossing the Mexican border. The story line was good and interesting, but there were a few times where I thought the book dragged on a bit. The characters were well thought out. All together I would rate this book a 7.5/10. I suggest this book to people who like reading books about adventure and tragedy.

- Elia, a Two Thumbs Up reviewer

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up

The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (from a Two Thumbs Up reviewer)

by McNally Robinson - Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 6:51pm

16 year old Violet is the daughter of the President of New Earth and is not having the life most President's daughters would have. For starters, instead of living in a mansion with delicious food and expensive electronics, she has to live in an apartment (albeit a large one). She has small ordinary meals and is treated exactly the same way as everyone else by the general public. Then, there's the Intercept, her father's greatest invention. The Intercept is a giant computer that, through small computer chips inserted in peoples arm, can collect their emotions and save them in the Intercept's memory. Every time you feel a strong emotion, the Intercept will record it and save it in its enormous memory bank. It will also record the situation that made you feel that way. The police use it to catch criminals by replaying an extremely sad memory in lawbreakers mind. It's an effective weapon, but people are turning against it. They don't want the government to control their emotions. They want to be able to keep their private moments private and not share it with the government. Various attacks start to happen on the important people of New Earth, and a rebellion is rising. Now the rebels claim that they can block the Intercept. With the primary way of stopping criminals under threat of being useless, criminals will be unstoppable. Can Violet and the rest of the police stop the rebels and catch a traitor to the police? Or will the rebels take out the intercept and leave new earth vulnerable? Read The Dark Intercept to find out!

- Max, a Two Thumbs Up reviewer

The Dark Intercept will be available October 31.

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up
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