White Pine Spotlight

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

  • Ken Oppel brings us a smart, literate, fresh take on the contemporary western, mixed in with just the right romantic appeal for teens.
  • Great writing, wonderful imagery, and a fast paced narrative – based on solid historical research – make for a compelling read.
  • At heart, this book is about charting your own course in the world, about not being bound by convention or expectation, addressing broad socio-political issues of discrimination and sexism.
  • The science and the exploration and the journey into the uncharted – literally! – territory will keep you reading.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.


  • Learn more about the Forest of Reading here.
  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors (link is to last year).  We look forward to their return. When they do, we will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA.
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

The Hate You Give banned by Texas school district

This just in from BookRiot about Angie Thomas’s stunning debut novel The Hate U Give (of course if I actually ‘followed’ my social media feeds I’d have known about this when it happened):

Angie Thomas, author of the critically acclaimed Young Adult novel The Hate U Give, announced on Twitter that a Texas school district banned her book. The thread turned up details from one Twitter user who wrote that the superintendent pulled the books due to parent complaints about “inappropriate language,” bypassing the normal review process. Authors, librarians, teachers, and fans have been showing their support, pledging to read, recommend, and distribute The Hate U Give in response to the district’s ban.

READ this book!

This book is so phenomenal that this is all I posted on my blurb about it on GoodReads:  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Must read – for all.  Nothing more need be said.  Read this book!!!!!!

  • I am proud to say that we have 10 copies in the ESA Library and this title is on our Grade 9 Reading Circle book list.
  • And the students in the ENG3/4C English class decided that this was their book of choice as their class read and I – the ESA Library – purchased individual copies for every student in that class to have for themselves.

Spread the word.  Read this book!  Resist censorship.

Stay tuned for details about our Freedom to Read Week activities in February 2018.

We are delighted to announce that our once very own PJ Carefoote will be joining us this year along with his colleagues from The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the UofT.

White Pine 2018 Reading Club

Plan to join us at lunch next Monday, December 4th, for the official launch of our 2018 WHITE PINE reading season.

  • Additional details to follow once we’ve launched.

Drop by the Library to sign up in advance… or fill out this online form.


The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program! This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers eight reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 250,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Ontarians/Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

Goals of the Forest of Reading

  • Love of reading: Create a meaningful experience for your readers and create exciting opportunities for reluctant readers to create lifelong readers.
  • A proven head start: The results are in! Children who read for fun have higher literacy scores, have more success in science and math, and are more socially and civically engaged (Reading for Joy, P4E, 2011).
  • Libraries at centre stage: With fun activities, prizes and more, the Forest of Reading puts libraries at the heart of the action!
  • Reading Canadian: Help support and celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators by taking advantage of the Forest’s curated, all-Canadian reading lists for all ages and levels.





Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

This is an incredibly sad, dark – nay, bleak – tragi-comedy. Through so much of it you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. The writing is sharp, fast paced, and the author has a real knack for hitting home, punching you in the gut – especially with her characters and her dialogue. Eden Robinson spares nothing and no-one in this book. Her characters – and the situations they find themselves in – are raw and gritty, consumed with, and by, their situation in life.

The real artistry in this book is the way in which it simultaneously operates on so many different levels.

On the surface it is foul and profane, reinforcing all of the negative stereotypes anyone has about indigenous people… facts which will not endear it to many. Indeed, I can hear the calls for book banning even after only just the first few pages!

Dig deeper though and it’s all about the contemporary political economy: the massive job losses that hit the Kitimat region during the last economic recession (which of course become the reason for many to jump on the bandwagon that was the push for the Kitimat terminus to the, thankfully now dead in the water, Northern Gateway pipeline); the historic legacies of abuse and attempts to destroy Indigenous culture (i.e. outlawing the Potlatch); and the movement – literally, as in Idle No More, which sprung from the fight over the Northern Gateway project – to reclaim sovereignty and fight against the neo-colonial ‘tendencies’ of the modern world.

Shortlisted for the Giller Prize.

Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island

Read, Listen, Tell brings together an extraordinary range of Indigenous stories from across Turtle Island (North America). From short fiction to as-told-to narratives, from illustrated stories to personal essays, these stories celebrate the strength of heritage and the liveliness of innovation. Ranging in tone from humorous to defiant to triumphant, the stories explore core concepts in Indigenous literary expression, such as the relations between land, language, and community, the variety of narrative forms, and the continuities between oral and written forms of expression. Rich in insight and bold in execution, the stories proclaim the diversity, vitality, and depth of Indigenous writing.

Will I See? by David Alexander Robertson

May, a young teenage girl, traverses the city streets, finding keepsakes in different places along her journey. When May and her kookum make these keepsakes into a necklace, it opens a world of danger and fantasy. While May fights against a terrible reality, she learns that there is strength in the spirit of those that have passed. But will that strength be able to save her?

A story of tragedy and beauty, Will I See illuminates the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.


Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law

In Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law, Cheryl Suzack explores Indigenous women’s writing in the post-civil rights period through close-reading analysis of major texts by Leslie Marmon Silko, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, Louise Erdrich, and Winona LaDuke.

Working within a transnational framework that compares multiple tribal national contexts and U.S.-Canadian settler colonialism, Suzack sheds light on how these Indigenous writers use storytelling to engage in social justice activism by contesting discriminatory tribal membership codes, critiquing the dispossession of Indigenous women from their children, challenging dehumanizing blood quantum codes, and protesting colonial forms of land dispossession. Each chapter in this volume aligns a court case with a literary text to show how literature contributes to self-determination struggles. Situated at the intersections of critical race, Indigenous feminist, and social justice theories, Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law crafts an Indigenous-feminist literary model in order to demonstrate how Indigenous women respond to the narrow vision of law by recuperating other relationships–to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation.