a good girl’s guide to murder


Surrey Teens Read has once again come up with an incredible list of titles for students to enjoy. This week we look at a good girl’s guide to murder by Holly Jackson.



This is the debut novel of Holly Jackson, a young writer from England.

Come down to the School Library to see a good girl’s guide to murder and the other nine nominated titles for this school year’s version of Surrey Teens Read.

Find out more at surreyteensread.weebly.com

Concrete Rose


Surrey Teens Read has once again come up with an incredible list of titles for students to enjoy. This week we look at Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas.



Concrete Rose is a prequel, going back 17 years before the events of The Hate U Give, the debut novel of Thomas and an international sensation. This latest novel looks at the early life of Maverick Carter, who would become the father of Starr Carter, the protagonist of The Hate U Give.

Come down to the School Library to see Concrete Rose and the other nine nominated titles for this school year’s version of Surrey Teens Read.

Find out more at surreyteensread.weebly.com

2021 Teen Summer Adventure: Time Travel Edition

From Surrey Libraries:

Sign up for the 2021 Teen Summer Adventure (TSR).

Combat summer brain drain with our All-Access Passport to summer fun!

Need some inspiration for how to spend the summer?

Get ready to go back in time with Surrey Libraries’ Teen Summer Adventure 2021, Time Travel Edition (Ages 12-18)

Combat summer brain drain with our All-Access Passport to summer fun! Our All-Access Passport is filled with time travel themed challenges and activities you can do all summer long. Complete activities to earn tickets that go toward 8 weekly prizes and 3 summer-end grand prize draws!

Sign up by July 10 to be eligible for all 8 weekly prizes!

Go to Surrey Libraries to find out more.

Award Winners

Come down to the School Library to see our display of recent “Award Winners.”

The Printz Award and the Alex Awards are significant honours to consider when adding title to a secondary school library collection. The Printz Award is given for excellence in young adult literature, while the Alex Awards are given to books written for adults but that have special appeal to young adults and teens.

The Printz Award is “for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” (ALA) The 2021 Printz Award was given to Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri. In this autobiographical novel, middle-schooler Daniel, formerly Khosrou, tells his unimpressed and at times cruel classmates about his experience as an Iranian refugee.



Printz Honors were awarded to Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth; Dragon Hoops created by Gene Luen Yang; Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh; and We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.

The Alex Awards “are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” (ALA) This year the Alex Awards were presented to the following titles:

· Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

· The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

· The Impossible First by Colin O’Brady

· Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf

· The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony

· The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

· Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth

· Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

· Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

· We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel by Quan Barry


Find out more about all the other books and authors that were honoured with these very prestigious awards in the world of youth and children’s literature: ALA Youth Media Awards.

Freedom to Read; Obligation to Read

As Freedom to Read Week comes to an end, it bears considering that the freedom to read means nothing if citizens don’t exercise that that freedom.

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Source: Unknown*

The rights and freedoms of Canadians include the right to read what you want to read. Such rights and freedoms are fundamental to democracy. Yet there are forces at work in our society that seek power by attaching your rights, including attempts to censor or limit your freedom to read.

Authoritarian forces and totalitarian states know that uneducated and illiterate citizens are easier to control and oppress. Such forces can only celebrate that the work is much simpler when significant portions of the population choose not to read. Censorship becomes less pressing when “aliteracy” becomes prevalent.

A true democracy guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms to its citizens. But to work effectively, indeed, to survive, democracy requires that citizens exercise those rights. In particular, democracy breaks down if citizens aren’t educated, informed and active.

The rise of powerful new information technology in the last few decades has made it more important than ever that citizens are highly “information literate.” Citizens must not only have access to information, they must have the tools required to wade through increasingly destructive levels of misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and outright lies. Citizens need to have access to information that is credible, accurate and trustworthy.

The rise of anti-intellectualism and anti-science movements, perhaps most recently represented by anti-vax conspiracies, are part of the wider breakdown of democratic institutions. There is little doubt that attacks on public education over many years have reaped some these results and are integral to the rise of authoritarianism.

It is not enough to celebrate the Freedom to Read. As citizens of democratic societies, we have an obligation to exercise our Freedom to Read, in part so that we are equipped to defend our democratic rights and freedoms.

It is clear that democracy is under attack, throughout the world, and in our back yard. We must act.



Note* The above quote, or variations on it, are often popularly attributed to Mark Twain. However the original source of this quote, or its variations, remains unclear.

Freedom to Read Week

Freedom to Read Week celebrates your freedom to read what you choose to read.

These books have all been challenged.

These books have been challenged in Canada


A challenge means that at some point in Canada, someone or some group has said that you shouldn’t be reading these books in school, or borrowing them from libraries, or in some cases, even buying them from stores.



These books have all been challenged.


So have these books

Freedom to Read Week is a chance to celebrate your freedom to read what you choose to read. It is also a time to reflect on the ongoing battle to protect that freedom. What better way to celebrate Freedom to Read Week, and to exercise your rights and freedoms, than to read a book– maybe even one of these.

Find out more about books that have been challenged in Canada:


Freedom to Read Week

Your Freedom to Read is protected by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Your Freedom to Read is also in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



Find out more:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


School Library FAQ 2

In last week’s “School Library FAQ” we asked, “What is fiction? What is nonfiction?” Those are complex ideas and are most certainly “Frequently Asked Questions” that we have dealt with many times. Use the site menu or click here to go to our site FAQ page to see one answer that we came up with.

This week’s School Library FAQ: “How do I borrow a book? Where do I go and what do I need?”


Take some time to think about it. Click on “Leave a Comment” below to share your answer. Check back for a future School Library FAQ. We will also have a new question or two for you.