Professor Owl’s Bookcorner ~ Book Reviews of the week ~ 31st March, 2018


Defiant Souls

by Kathleen Chadwick (Author)

When Kyle Chase accepted his Aunt Cindy’s invitation to spend his summer vacation with her, he thought they would be exploring old caves, looking for arrow heads, and honing his skills as a young Archeologist. He never dreamed the fate of the world would rest on his small shoulders. Kyle, his aunt and a small group of travelers have been imprisoned by a mad-man.

Man’s arrogance has opened a doorway of evil and it’s up to Kyle to close it. He will need to trust in his sixth sense, strength, and intellect to escape and find the one man who can help him destroy the evil that holds them captive.

Excellent story well written with characters interaction and the plot flowed very well. In all It love the whole concept of the book was just great. I had a hard time putting it down before I had finished reading it. I would highly recommend this book.


Book of the Week  for our younger Readers’.
Take the Bullying by the Horns

by Hunter Dan (Author), Pam Hodgdon (Illustrator)

The author created this story for children who are just reaching school age. He believed in teaching children before they enter first grade what bullying is and teaching them that it is unacceptable behavior and how to end it regardless of what the bully says to them. He thought this to be the best time in a child’s life to introduce to them what it is before they experience it for real.

This book shows bullying in action by telling a story how one child could stop their own torment by stepping up. It may sound simple to an adult, but for a child, seeing this displayed in the book can be very easy to understand.
Describing the effects of bullying from the victim’s point of view and then telling them by demonstrating the actions that can be taken by everyone for a resolution.

This book can address fears about what a child may think adults will or won’t do when confronted with bullying. It is also a good book to start the discussion with your child about what to do in a hypothetical situation. I appreciate that it is not too long and allows parents and caregivers many different potential actions they can take as well.

All books available at and and other good bookstores.



The Great Big Story ~ Defying the Odds at any Age.#WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.

The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are

Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, Eric Lahti and Belinda Witzenhausen
For more information or to join our #WATWB please click here!

The following quote to me speaks to many stories about the young people at Variety Village, who strive to be the best they can be, despite any health challenge they may have…continuing to excel and follow their dream.

“When the world says give up ~ Hope says try one more time!”

Defying the Odds at any Age.

The video below tells the story of five more young people who have definitely shown that they too defied the odds.

Professor Owls Book Corner: Newsletter ~April, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the April issue of  Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter where in addition to supporting those with special needs and learning challenges, we are also committed to being more focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy.  We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

We will also be encouraging young writers and artists with tips, writing exercises and will still be updating our Community News Boards with the latest news from Variety Village and The March of Dimes.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner hopes you enjoy this month’s edition! Please feel free to give us your feedback on our new issue, also send us any ideas you may have to help Professor Owl’s Book Corner be all that it can be.  We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.

Positioning the adult literacy rate in context

An international adult literacy survey results dispelled the old notion that
Individuals are either literate or illiterate.
There are no uniformed standards distinguishing whether adults do have skills or not. Instead, skills use the information to function in society.

Adult surveys showed a strong link between literacy and a country’s economic potential

For most, this is the IALS survey, but for Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.S., the results are from the ALLS survey.
Three categories of literacy were tested:

1. Prose literacy: the ability to understand and use information from texts such as editorials, news stories, poems, and fiction.

2. Document literacy: the ability to locate and use information from documents such as job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables, and graphs.

3. Quantitative literacy: the ability to perform arithmetic functions such as balancing a cheque book, calculating a tip, or completing an order form.
An average of the results from these three literacy categories is used in the Conference Board’s ranking system.

Participants’ skills were rated on a continuous scale from level 1 to level 5.

Those at levels 1 and 2 literacy had low literacy skills. The easiest task in level 1 asked the participant to look at a medicine label and determine the “maximum number of days you should take this medicine.” The participant had to go to the label and locate the phrase “no longer than 7 days.”

Level 2 participants could deal only with material that was simple and clearly laid out; they may have adapted their lower literacy skills to everyday life but would have difficulty learning new job skills requiring a higher level of literacy.


“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
~ Dr. Seuss

If you would like to tell us about your goals, ask for assistance or information ~ Just drop Professor Owl a note at


Make sure you turn your sound on: Then click the link to learn your words for this month

Adolescent and adult reluctant reader

English Language and Literature:
Queen’s University Library provides subject, course, and how to guides to help you connect with the best tools, resources, and strategies for research.
The liaison librarian for English Language and Literature is available for research consultation and can help you design research strategies, access key databases, effectively use the information resources of Queen’s University Library and beyond and stay current in your field. Tailored research skill instruction can be provided for specific classes. We also evaluate, purchase, and make available teaching and research materials, including books, journals, and databases to support the discipline.

Publication Date: 2011-09-01

The Terry Fox Story

By Terry Barber

Terry Fox is specifically written to meet the needs of adolescents and adults who are reluctant readers. The photographs, maps, and illustrations reflect the text, making the words easy to decode. This high-interest, low-vocabulary biography is ideal for English as a Second Language or adult basic education students. Terry Fox (1958-1981) was an active teenager involved in many sports. He was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His right leg was amputated 15 centimeters’ (six inches) above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He called his journey the Marathon of Hope. It was a journey that Canadians never forgot.

Books for reluctant teen readers ~




Blue Window Kindle Edition

by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (Author)

Five siblings fall through time and space into a strange, unkind world — their arrival mysteriously foretold — and land in the center of an epic civil struggle in a country where many citizens have given themselves over to their primal fears and animal passions at the urging of a power-hungry demagogue.
When siblings Susan, Max, Nell, Kate, and Jean stumble one by one through a glowing cobalt window, they find themselves outside their cozy home — and in a totally unfamiliar world where everything looks wrong and nothing makes sense. Soon, an ancient prophecy leads them into battle with mysterious forces that threaten to break the siblings apart even as they try desperately to remain united and find their way home. Thirteen-year-old twins Max and Susan and their younger siblings take turns narrating the events of their story in unique perspectives as each of the children tries to comprehend their stunning predicament — and their extraordinary new powers — in his or her own way. From acclaimed author, Adina Rishe Gewirtz comes a riveting novel in the vein of C. S. Lewis and E. Nesbit, full of nuanced questions about morality, family, and the meaning of home

The story is told in interchanging points of view about five siblings discovering a new world where nothing is what it seems. A magical book with relatable characters. I found the book a little vague around the building of the world. However, the concept of magic was unique and there were times I found it hard to put the book down. It did have an enjoyable ending.  The book was very much like the stories, I read in my teens,  it is the type of book that is very popular these days with the young adult reader.

Available from,, and other fine bookstores.

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them


Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just be honest, be creative and use your imagination!

“So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”

~Henri Frederic Amiel

Spring usually signifies new beginnings and renewal.  In what area of your life would you like to “start-over”?

Reflect and write!

Get creative, write but most importantly…have fun!!

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Pink Gerber Daisy

Spring is in the air…..write about something coming back to life!

Attention all aspiring authors: 

APRIL 1st, 2018



Are you 13 years old or older? Have you heard of Every November thousands participate in an online writing event to complete 50,000 words in just 30 days. Now they’ve made it even better… is a virtual writer’s camp, designed to inspire you and keep you motivated while you work on your masterpiece. Camp runs twice a year in April and July and unlike NaNoWriMo welcomes word-count goals of 30,000 and up.

Writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revisions, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

So sign up today!  See you at camp!

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” ~William Faulkner



Variety Village

Everyone has the right to live a fit and healthy life and
Variety Village2at Variety Village in Toronto, they believe that fitness facilities should be available for everyone regardless of their ability level, age, or financial situation. With this in mind, they created a welcoming fitness facility that was designed to welcome everyone in the community with an ideal set up designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles.

Fitness club memberships are very affordable. Special rates for seniors and financial subsidies for those that qualify are also available. They strive to keep their facility up-to-date with ongoing improvements. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Variety Village is located at 3701 Danforth Avenue in Scarborough. For more information, please visit their website, call 416-699-7167 or send an email. You can also follow Variety Village on Facebook.

EVENTS ~ April 2018

Join the movement! Join us for Variety Village’s Annual Active Aging Fundraiser. This two-hour event challenges and tones your whole body and is safe for any fitness level.
Active Aging members help raise funds for Aquatics programming by collecting pledges offline or by creating their own personal fundraising page online and encouraging friends and family to make a contribution.

Top Fundraiser wins a 2-month free Active Aging Membership!

DATE: Thursday, April 5, 2018
TIME: 1:00-3:00pm
Refreshments: Barall Centre, 3:00-4:00pm
Registration (member’s only): $25.00

For more information contact:
Tara Colby
416 699 7167 x268
Carly Cookman
416 699 7167 x254

DATE: April 15th.2018


Don’t miss this opportunity to cheer on the Toronto Marlies and skate at the Ricoh Coliseum!
Bring the family out and cheer on the Marlies hockey team as they play against the Belleville Senators on Sunday, April 15 at 4pm. Once the game is done, you and your family will have the chance to skate on Ricoh Coliseum ice with some of the Marlies’ players!
Sunday, April 15, 2018 – 4pm
Ricoh Coliseum
45 Manitoba Drive, Toronto, ON
Ticket Price Includes:
– Tickets to the Marlies vs. Senators game
– Post-game skate with members of the Marlies


DATE: April 26th,2018



Please join us as we toast our past successes and our bright future.

Variety’s In The Spotlight Cocktail Reception is a dedicated event that recognizes outstanding community service which has contributed to the success of people with disabilities. These contributions ensure the delivery of vital community services and the promotion of a healthier tomorrow for children with disabilities and their families.

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Variety Village
3701 Danforth Avenue, Scarborough
Dress: Business
Parking on-site
TICKETS: $40 Individual | $75 Couples
NOTE: Tickets are open to Variety members and their guests only.

In the Spotlight Award Recipient

Rick Mercer is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist, author and advocate for people with disabilities, including our Paralympic athletes. He is best known for his work on the CBC Television comedy shows This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report.
MORE INFORMATION: Zoe Pagazani, Events Coordinator

Watch Rick Mercer’s Report at Variety

Rick spends a day checking out our programming and state-of-the-art equipment at our facility dedicated to people of all abilities.

March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities
EVENTS ~ April  2018
An American In Paris by Mirvish

Wednesday April 4, 2018
Join March of Dimes Canada Recreation department at the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.
For: Adults (18 yrs+) living with a disability
When: Wednesday April 4, 2018
Time: 1.30 pm
Location: The Princess of Wales Theatre 300 King Street West, Toronto ON M5V 1J2
Price: $75.00 per person (for seats in the dress circle) OR $ 55.00 per person (for seats in the balcony)
*Includes ticket to An American in Paris show, accessible and non-accessible seating available

Transportation details:
Transportation is not available for this trip

Space is Limited – Register Early!
(Registration may close earlier if event capacity is reached)

A non-refundable payment of $75.00 or $55.00 must be included with the application form.
Application forms can be submitted via email, fax or mail.

Email :
Fax: 416-425-1920
Mail: Attention MODC Recreation
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto ON M4H 1A4

For more information or to purchase a ticket with a credit card please contact:

Rubby Nwaluka Keith Rashid
416-425-3463 ext. 7212 416-425-3463 ext. 7213
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7212 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7213

April 24th

Legends in Concert
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Join March of Dimes Canada recreation as we experience a stunning performance at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. With incredible costumes and award-winning performers, discover the unbelievable tributes to Roy Orbison, Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, George Michael and Frank Sinatra. A truly legendary experience!
For: Adults (18 yrs+) living with a disability
When: Wednesday April 25, 2018
Time: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Location: Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort 6380 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7X5
Price: $125.00 per person
*Includes ticket to Legends in concert show, lunch at a local eatery, accessible and companion seating available.

Transportation details:
Round trip transportation included on our wheelchair accessible bus: Departure from 10 Overlea Blvd March of Dimes Canada at 9.00 am Return to 26 Overlea Blvd Toronto (Tim Hortons/Wendy’s) at 8.00 pm

Space is Limited – Register Early!
(Registration may close earlier if event capacity is reached)

A non-refundable payment of $125.00 must be included with the application form.
Application forms can be submitted via email, fax or mail.

Email :
Fax: 416-425-1920
Mail: Attention MODC Recreation
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto ON M4H 1A4

For more information or to purchase a ticket with a credit card please contact:

Rubby Nwaluka Keith Rashid
416-425-3463 ext. 7212 416-425-3463 ext. 7213
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7212 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7213

We look forward to seeing you!

For more information on the March of Dimes and their events please visit > ~Lauback website, resources for Tutors and Student.

www.alphca aplus .ca ~ In these pages you will find resources and information to enrich your learning experience. ~ Register with this site and you get information on: Online tutoring, words and vocabulary, homework help and much more. ~ Lots of fun and challenging activities for you and your family.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review ~ March 21, 2018

The Tukor’s Journey

By Jeannine Kellogg (Author)

Siblings Mitch, Tony, and Jovi discover that mysterious creatures called Grezniks are close to achieving their mission: blowing up Earth and shattering Life to bits. Over the centuries, Grezniks have nearly succeeded many times. But each time, their efforts have been foiled by Tukors and their allies. Now, Grezniks are closer than ever before, and no one knows if any Tukors are left in the world to stop them. The Tukor’s Journey is an epic action adventure. Chock-full of faraway lands. Volcanoes. Mountains. Tundra. Tropical forests. Raging rivers. Steamy geysers. Farms. Big cities. Tractors flying at the speed of sound. Blue stones that defy the laws of physics. And lots of real-life creatures. And Grezniks. Vicious. Deadly. Unfathomable strength and speed. Seeping through the world unseen slippery, crawly, swift. Soon they’ll be ready to blow up Earth into tiny pieces. Three children are unexpectedly invited to help defeat the Grezniks, but will they have the courage to join the battle?
An outstanding read, that takes you to actual places around the world and introduces you to rare animals, while you journey with three children and some scary mythological beings.’
The story twists and turns and you get absorbed in the journey. This a book that when you start reading is hard to put down until one has finished it.


Publish Date: March 20, 2018, ~ Available from, and other good bookstores.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ March 2018 ~ Help Variety Village welcome the Paralympic team back home.

Help Variety Village welcome the Paralympic team back home.

Variety Village is looking for kids with or without disabilities to represent Variety Village in welcoming our Paralympians home from the 2018 Paralympic Games.

Their  Sledge Hockey team will arrive at Pearson Airport on Tuesday, March 20 at 4:50pm and they would like some kids to be there to cheer them on and let them know how important Team Canada Paralympic Athletes are to Canada!

If they can have at least 15 kids (with a parent/guardian) interested, they may be able to charter a bus from Variety Village. The bus would depart Variety Village at approximately 3:30pm.
Please note that media will be present on site and we cannot control what they do and do not capture.

If you are interested in participating, please RSVP by contacting:

Lynda Elmy
416-699-7167 x249

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review ~ Wednesday, March 7th. 2018


The Legacy Builder
(The Chronicles Of Lincoln Hart Book 1)
By Ember Lane.

Barakdor, a virtual fantasyland packed with elves, dwarves, gnomes, and trolls.
Barakdor, a world sliding helplessly to war.

Lincoln wanted to be a warrior, a rogue or a mage, but he’d made a promise to himself, so he chose a builder. He wasn’t supposed to play the game on his own, but now he wanted to build a legacy for Joan, a sanctuary in a virtual world.

It was supposed to be a place where folk could come to get away from the terrors that the land held, a utopia he would create with his bare hands. It was supposed to be Joan’s legacy. But as the growling thunderheads of war gather, he begins to think it might be the last refuge. He begins to think it might be the land’s only hope.

I found this book to be well written with great characters and story structure. With lots of action that made it hard to put the book down until I finished reading it. Since this is book one I feel there will be a sequel. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Available from and