Category Archive: book reviews

Sep 01

Spark Book Review: The Science of Exercise and the Brain

Changing thinking about exercise and the brain Written by bestselling author and psychiatrist John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain is a positive book that looks at how exercise can improve neuroplasticity, learning, and executive function. It suggests exercise as a helpful addition to medication, or sometimes even a replacement …

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Apr 11

Robert J. Sawyer — Quantum Night

Robert J. Sawyer book launch

Book Launch There was such a snowstorm March first for the Toronto launch of Quantum Night, that some feared attendance would be sparse, but Canadians are hardy. Returning home afterward I saw one cyclist on the road, riding through blowing snow.   Despite the blanket of flurries, Lansdowne Brewery was packed, even before the advertised start time. …

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Sep 06

Ideamancy – Ideas for Back-To-School Magic

The first week of school is over. Routines are starting to gel, kids are on their best behaviour and starting to make friends. Teachers are breathing a sigh of relief. It’s the honeymoon period for elementary teachers. This glistening doorway of opportunity, lit by September magic, will not stay open long. Invite all the kids in, …

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Aug 06

Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson

Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative with Sir Ken Robinson When you research creativity in education, it is impossible not to come across Ken Robinson’s provocative work. His book, Out of Our Minds, published in 2001, revised in 2011, is still fresh and powerful. In part a scathing critique of the factory model …

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Sep 29

Word on the Street Toronto

I visited Word on the Street this past weekend. It’s my favourite celebration of booky goodness. The weather was sunny and warm, the crowds large and cheerful. There was even some fun street theatre to compliment the books, talks, signings, sales, giveaways and concerts. I came away with too many books but why not? As vices go, …

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Sep 18

Drama Blog and Cat Detective Blog

I’m busy promoting book fair at my school and with Word on the Street Toronto coming up, this fall it’s all about the books. I’ve even started a couple of new blogs recently. This funny blog, for kids and imaginative adults, is inspired by the protagonist of my novel-in-progress. http://marmaladecatdetective.com/ As a teacher, with experience …

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Sep 04

There is no Dog — And his name is Bob

I found Meg Rosoff’s There Is No Dog in the YA section of a Chapters store. Teens should find the book funny for its irreverent philosophy but I wouldn’t expect every adolescent boy to appreciate it. The premise is that God is incompetent and apathetic because he is a teenage boy. The job is foisted on …

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Sep 28

Margaret Atwood – Live from Word on the Street

Margaret Atwood celebrated the 20th Annual Word on the Street festival with a technological twist. Known for her invention of the LongPen, a multimedia device which allows her to remotely sign autographs and talk to fans, Atwood has gone one step further on the book tour for her latest novel, The Year of the Flood. …

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Sep 23

Made to Stick

I enjoyed Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The subtitle, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, explains much of its appeal. If you want to get across a message that people will understand, remember, and act on, this is your book. A lot of the Heath brother’s advice is common sense but …

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Sep 07

Grown Up Digital

I have to recommend Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. I found it excellent preparation for back to school, both for understanding my students and giving extra insight into the group dynamics of my co-workers. It’s also a handy guide for those who wish to market to …

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