Saskatoon + teens = Saskateen
Teen book review of The Fault in our Stars by John Green
The Fault in our Stars- not the usual teenage love story. John Green was very smart by including the cancer twist, not only because there are not enough books dedicated to cancer diagnosed people, but adding cancer as the problem really makes it an UNoverated love story(unlike Twilight, which was absolutely pointless). Most people say they cried while reading this, but my honest answer is I found it well-written, but not emotionally triggering for some reason. But I am quite sincere when I say Green is a very sophisticated writer and “The Fault in our Stars” is one of the best love stories I have read. And one of the first love stories where there is not a love triangle, but the ticking cancer clock. However, it ended a bit abruptly for my liking. — Anonymous

Teen book review of The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars- not the usual teenage love story. John Green was very smart by including the cancer twist, not only because there are not enough books dedicated to cancer diagnosed people, but adding cancer as the problem really makes it an UNoverated love story(unlike Twilight, which was absolutely pointless). Most people say they cried while reading this, but my honest answer is I found it well-written, but not emotionally triggering for some reason. But I am quite sincere when I say Green is a very sophisticated writer and “The Fault in our Stars” is one of the best love stories I have read. And one of the first love stories where there is not a love triangle, but the ticking cancer clock. However, it ended a bit abruptly for my liking. — Anonymous

Teen book review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This was an intriguing book that captivated my mind. It is a story about oppression and how two girls overcome it. I think it is a good book that inspires people, specially girls who are not able to reach their potential due to others around them. It opened my mind to the horrific things that are happening all around us and it has inspired me to help people who are oppressed. There are lots of important pieces of advice that are delivered through this book that help readers realize their full potential. Khaled Hosseini uses strong diction that keeps readers wanting more. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a wonderful book stocked to the brim with tragedy, comedy, and happiness.  — Aimen

Teen book review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This was an intriguing book that captivated my mind. It is a story about oppression and how two girls overcome it. I think it is a good book that inspires people, specially girls who are not able to reach their potential due to others around them. It opened my mind to the horrific things that are happening all around us and it has inspired me to help people who are oppressed. There are lots of important pieces of advice that are delivered through this book that help readers realize their full potential. Khaled Hosseini uses strong diction that keeps readers wanting more. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a wonderful book stocked to the brim with tragedy, comedy, and happiness. — Aimen
Teen book review of Warriors Dawn of the Clans: First Battle
Ffrom a long series, this book is one of the newest additions. A prequel of the first Warriors series, it outlines how the warrior clans came about. For some reason, even though these books are not even that full of adventure, I find them super addicting. I have no idea why I am so drawn to them, maybe just how beautifully illustrated the front covers are, but I nave been reading them since grade 4. “The First Battle” has some adventure, mellow romance(it is about cats after all), and lots of suspenseful scenes. But seriously, I love this series for some reason, maybe if you tried them, you would understand. Or maybe it is just me. But awesome book. — Anonymous

Teen book review of Warriors Dawn of the Clans: First Battle

Ffrom a long series, this book is one of the newest additions. A prequel of the first Warriors series, it outlines how the warrior clans came about. For some reason, even though these books are not even that full of adventure, I find them super addicting. I have no idea why I am so drawn to them, maybe just how beautifully illustrated the front covers are, but I nave been reading them since grade 4. “The First Battle” has some adventure, mellow romance(it is about cats after all), and lots of suspenseful scenes. But seriously, I love this series for some reason, maybe if you tried them, you would understand. Or maybe it is just me. But awesome book. — Anonymous

Teen book review of Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton
Boys Don’t Knit is one of Tom Easton’s many works, having written over a dozen books spanning several genres. In this realistic fiction novel, we see life from Ben Fletcher’s point of view, a typical teenage boy. He narrates the happenings in his life, whether they are humiliating, hilarious, or anything in between. 
Most of the troubles in Ben’s life are just like any other teenager’s. His parents are embarrassing and inappropriate in public, he has a crush on an attractive teacher with a boyfriend, and his friends are a little too pressuring. But one day, his friends Gex, Joz and Freddie abandon him at the supermarket when their shoplifting attempt for alcohol goes wrong. Ben has to suffer the consequences and gets placed on probation.
Once on the “Probation Journey,” as the West Meon Probation Services calls it, Ben must participate in an extracurricular activity at Hampton Community College. He is displeased with the options of Microsoft Office for beginners, car maintenance, pottery, and knitting, although the last course is being taught by his teacher crush, Miss Swallow. In the end, Ben signs up for knitting, and then finds out that the teachers for knitting and pottery were accidently switched. A bit discouraged but not completely disappointed (as his actual knitting teacher is not bad-looking), Ben continues taking the course.
To his surprise, he discovers that he has a talent for it, and takes on more challenging knitting projects. Eventually, Ben takes part in a knitting championship, all while trying to conceal his “feminine” hobby from his friends, father and Miss Swallow.  It doesn’t help that Megan Hooper from his school and Natasha from his knitting class both like him. It is up to Ben to decide what choices to make and when to tell his friends and family about his passion for knitting. — Bingyi

Teen book review of Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

Boys Don’t Knit is one of Tom Easton’s many works, having written over a dozen books spanning several genres. In this realistic fiction novel, we see life from Ben Fletcher’s point of view, a typical teenage boy. He narrates the happenings in his life, whether they are humiliating, hilarious, or anything in between. 

Most of the troubles in Ben’s life are just like any other teenager’s. His parents are embarrassing and inappropriate in public, he has a crush on an attractive teacher with a boyfriend, and his friends are a little too pressuring. But one day, his friends Gex, Joz and Freddie abandon him at the supermarket when their shoplifting attempt for alcohol goes wrong. Ben has to suffer the consequences and gets placed on probation.

Once on the “Probation Journey,” as the West Meon Probation Services calls it, Ben must participate in an extracurricular activity at Hampton Community College. He is displeased with the options of Microsoft Office for beginners, car maintenance, pottery, and knitting, although the last course is being taught by his teacher crush, Miss Swallow. In the end, Ben signs up for knitting, and then finds out that the teachers for knitting and pottery were accidently switched. A bit discouraged but not completely disappointed (as his actual knitting teacher is not bad-looking), Ben continues taking the course.

To his surprise, he discovers that he has a talent for it, and takes on more challenging knitting projects. Eventually, Ben takes part in a knitting championship, all while trying to conceal his “feminine” hobby from his friends, father and Miss Swallow.  It doesn’t help that Megan Hooper from his school and Natasha from his knitting class both like him. It is up to Ben to decide what choices to make and when to tell his friends and family about his passion for knitting. — Bingyi

Teen book review of Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
I thought this book is so different compared to “The Giver”. I think Lowry specifically designed these books to counter each other, so we can see the contrasting points in each society, and the problem the protagonists face. I like GB better than TG because I found the story a bit more interesting and suspenseful, with more varying personalities, and I think Kira(main character in GB) just had a more dept than Jonas. I also think it was smart for Lowry to have kept the theme of Kira constantly trying to obtain the colour blue throughout the book, and that made the book flow nicely…  - Anonymous

Teen book review of Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

I thought this book is so different compared to “The Giver”. I think Lowry specifically designed these books to counter each other, so we can see the contrasting points in each society, and the problem the protagonists face. I like GB better than TG because I found the story a bit more interesting and suspenseful, with more varying personalities, and I think Kira(main character in GB) just had a more dept than Jonas. I also think it was smart for Lowry to have kept the theme of Kira constantly trying to obtain the colour blue throughout the book, and that made the book flow nicely…  - Anonymous

Some of our fav books for fans of The Fault in Our Stars.

Zac and Mia by AJ Betts

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The After Girls by Leah Konen

Before I Die  by Jenny Downham

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Teens from two of our Teen Advisory Councils took the show on the road, bringing their Random Acts of Poetry to several locations around town this past weekend. So fun!!

Two new Canadian books that look pretty great!

Rabbit Ears, by Maggie de Vries

Maggie de Vries, niece to beloved Canadian children’s author Jean Little, lost her sister to Vancouver’s downtown eastside. (Her sister’s DNA was eventually found on Robert Pickton’s farm).

This book is a fictionalized account of a young woman falling prey to the seductive anonymity of Vancouver’s most notorious neighbourhood. Kaya, determined to outrun a painful secret, finds solace and friendship in this most unlikely of places, but she is soon taken under Sarah’s wing — Sarah, a heroin-addicted sex worker, is determined to protect her young friend from a new threat targeting women on the streets…

Skraelings: Artic Moon Magick Book One, by Rachel and Sean Qitsalik-Tinsley

Kannujaq is a young Inuit hunter who is travelling the tundra alone when he finds a village under siege, attacked by “murderous, pale, bearded strangers who have arrived on a huge boat shaped like a loon.”

What will Kannujaq due to save his new friends? This 78 page book looks fun and appealing to a wide range of readers.

Be on the lookout for Random Acts of Poetry staged by these or other Saskateens…

Be on the lookout for Random Acts of Poetry staged by these or other Saskateens…

Read and loved The Fault in Our Stars and looking for more funny/sad books about teens facing their own mortality? Here are some of our recent faves:

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Jeffrey’s cancer is in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left him with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and “find himself.” Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he’s cute.

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Ben Wolf had big things planned for his senior year. Now all he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world. Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on. Living with a secret isn’t easy, though, and Ben’s resolve begins to crumble … especially when he realizes that he isn’t the only person in town with secrets.

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts
The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming. 

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles her To Do Before I Die list. In her final weeks, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

The F—- It List by Julie Halpern
Not only did Alex’s father just die, but her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend the night of the funeral. But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer. So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend — you do it.

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
When Zoe and Olivia are cut from the ballet company, their future plan of living in New York as Prima Ballerinas evaporate, and everything seems hopeless. But it gets worse when Olivia gets really, really sick, and Zoe, usually the dark, broody friend has to step up and make everything better. Her only motivation is knowing that Olivia is going to be okay. I mean, she has to be… 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
Dying of cancer in a hospice, seventeen-year-old prankster Richard has big plans for his final days.