TCAF came to ESA…

With thanks to our friends from The Beguiling for making this opportunity available to us…

Two wonderful workshops with Jen Wang in the morning, and then a lunch get-together before she had to head off to the airport for her flight back to L.A.


Win Free Books for Your Class

Win Free Books For Your Class!

  • CBC Toronto is giving away Canada Reads books!
  • If you’re a high school student in the GTA, all you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of a Canada Reads panellist for a chance to win copies of the 2018 books for you and your classmates.

How To Enter

Send a one-minute pitch about a Canadian book you think everyone should read to Metro Morning or Here & Now for a chance to win.

  • Maybe you loved one of the Canada Reads contenders, or perhaps there’s another title you prefer.
  • Tell us why in 60 seconds or less and your whole class could enjoy some brand new reads, thanks to you.

Who: High school students in the GTA

What: A chance to win copies of the Canada Reads books for you and your classmates

How: By submitting your own one-minute defence for a book of your choosing — Canada Reads style!

  • You can email a recording (audio or video) of your defence to or
  • You can also leave a recording of your defence on the Metro Morning VoxBox by calling 416-205-5807.
  • All submissions will be randomly entered for a chance to win a classroom set of Canada Reads books.

Black History Month Spotlight

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

From the publisher’s website:

  • New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.
  • With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.  

Read the reviews at:

White Pine Spotlight

The Pain Eaters by Beth Goobie

  • This book needs to be read by everyone – male and female alike.
  • This book is about the knowledge – the deep and profound sadness – that all women carry with(in) them. Whether it be the result of an individual violation – like Maddy’s rape in this book – or a ‘group’ violation – like the Montreal Massacre – every woman carries the fear of this violence inside them.
  • That this is no different than 40 years ago, when I was Maddy’s age, is perhaps the greatest failure of our social contract.  The war on women is a civil emergency (Charlotte Bunch in After the Montreal Massacre) but no one is treating it as such.
  • And then there is the telling – having to relive the experience – to validate what happened to oneself, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The victim being victimised again… that there is no safe place for Maddy, or any woman.
  • The things to like about this book include: the literary quality (the imagery, concept, motifs, the intensity of the writing (and of Maddy’s experiences)); the authenticity of Maddy’s reactions to her rapists and the depth of her pain; relevance to the treatment of victims; relevance to the secrets everybody knows but doesn’t talk about (taking on a whole new significance in the wake of Harvey Weinstein et al)
  • The author also makes fabulous use of literary and cultural references, and draws on indigenous wisdom throughout.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.



  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy  in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.

Black History: Spotlight

 Today’s featured title is Steal Away Home: One Woman’s Epic Flight to Freedom – and her Long Road Back to the South.

  • This is the latest work of literary non-fiction from Governor General’s Award winning author Karolyn Smardz Frost.
  • Steal Away Home tells the story of Cecilia Reynolds, who, after escaping slavery as a fifteen year old girl, later returns to her childhood home as a free woman.
  • A vibrant and compelling journey through the Civil War era and Cecilia’s struggle for freedom.


White Pine Spotlight

  Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

  • A lovely quiet little book.
  • Clearly the author is inspired by Flannery O’Connor… and that can’t be bad!
  • There is nothing easy about this book, and some will take exception to treating such subject matter with such light-heartedness. I just found it so refreshing.
  • Nielsen writes with natural ease, taking the art of imagery to the level of mastery.
  • The relationships in the book are genuine and supportive – including positive family dynamics – and help to move the characters past the various degrees of guilt they each feel about their individual situations.
  • The book is chock full of humour and touchstone cultural references (music, film, literature) and is quintessentially Canadian in it’s setting, amounting to a love letter to Vancouver.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.



  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 15th should see Ms. Wray or Ms. Kennedy in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.