Professor Owls Book Corner ~ April 2020

Welcome to the April 2020 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.

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.

It seems that since our March newsletter so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all living with fear and uncertainty and our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.

Professor Owl’s Book Corner is aware of the fact also that many of you are confined to your own homes and unable to visit and play with your friends. no hockey no basketball, in fact, most of you, are bored and just do not know what to do, we hope to give you some ideas.


Covid 19 ~ Social Distancing

In this months newsletter, we will continue to bring you some great things to try and who knows perhaps you may also find a new skill.

Have a Netflix party online without having something like this to look forward to can pick a movie a day or two beforehand so you can get excited about it. Make it over the top with a treat buffet, a big introduction to the movie, and a discussion about the plot, themes, and characters afterwards. Or plan an online party with friends!

Free Online Courses

There are lots of places for free online classes. If you want something specific, learn how to code or music/painting basics or take a quick google to find something your teens are specifically interested in!

Virtual Museum Tours

Most museums are closed to help contain the virus, but you can still check them out from the comfort of your home! Check out the Louvre, The British Museum, or The Smithsonian. The Google Arts and Culture site is full of amazing artworks, artists, and history to discover.

Learn Cooking Basics

Ask a parent to teach you some basic cooking skills. Start with some easy baking essentials like cookies or cupcakes. For something practical, learn how to properly boil pasta, make a basic homemade sauce, and some meatballs. Already past that? There are always more complex and interesting things to learn in the kitchen. Check this link for some inspiration.

Yard Work

It is the season. As the snow melts, it’s time to bring out the shovels to spread it out, clean up any garbage that got buried, rake up the leaves and spruce up the lawn. Spring is a great time to learn just how much work goes into proper lawn maintenance.

Start Indoor Seeds for a Summer Garden

It’s a great time to start thinking about getting those herbs and vegetables started indoors. Teach them all about the best time of year to plant what, proper care for each individual plant, and how to handle seeds to ensure a full, luscious garden this summer. This will help you to look forward to warmer, brighter, and easier times.

Board Game Night

Back to basics: no videos, no controllers, just good old fashioned board games. Try one that might take a few tries to get the hang of, and make a tally board in your house to keep track of who’s got the most wins. Dust off the old Monopoly set, pull out Risk or order something new off Amazon. Try Codenames, Pandemic (if you can handle it), or Telestrations for some higher-level thought games that won’t get boring.

Learn a New Instrument

Have a dusty old guitar you said you’d learn to play but never did? Still, have that sax from your parents’ high school days? Maybe there’s some DJ software on your computer? If not, you can still shop online for instruments! This is a great time to set aside just a half-hour of practice a day and watch as the skill sets grow and expand your minds.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Something that has been said again and again is that a practice of gratitude, especially in trying times, can lead to a happier and calmer day-to-day life. Start every day, or end every day, by writing 3 things you’re grateful for, and then write about how you’re feeling. Learning how to deal with emotions through writing can make things much clearer and easier to manage.


Wise Picks

Three of Seven Books Introducing Characters

With Dyslexia or ADHD


“My Name Is Brain Brian,”

by Jeanne Betancourt.

The book tells a story about a boy named Brian who has dyslexia but does not know it. The other children at Brian’s school make fun of him because he makes many mistakes when reading aloud and while writing on the board. He thinks of himself as being dumb. His parents believe that he is just lazy. It turns out that caring teacher recognizes that he is neither. The teacher recognizes the symptoms of dyslexia and sets out to get Brian the help he needs. Brian is embarrassed that he needs the extra help in school. After Brian’s teacher begins to explain dyslexia more to him, he begins to understand that he needs the extra help not because he is dumb, but because his brain learns differently. The story offers hope; Brian is really smart he just learns differently. I strongly recommend this as a book to be shared by parents and their children



by Sara Pennypacker.

Clementine is lovingly quirky. For example, she states that the most beautiful names are on the labels on things in the bathroom; thus, naming her cats Fluoride, Mascara, and Laxative! There are many examples of such cleverness throughout the story. Examples include describing her Mom, who is angry, as “saying things I have never heard a TV mother say”; claiming that all the good food is round; or, stating her grown-up plans to smoke cigars, own a gorilla, and to not get married. Clearly her Dad and Mom are partly responsible for this quirkiness. Her Mom is an artist and her Dad, who is the manager of the apartment complex where they live, demonstrates his own ingenuity and imagination around the Great Pigeon Wars – in which Clementine plays a key role in bringing the peace.

Threaded throughout the story is the theme of friendship – – that is, how to deal with friendship issues, how to be a good friend, and how to accept our friends for who they are. While there are plenty of examples of funny moments in the book, this really is a story about friendship. Clementine demonstrated typical 8-year-old feelings and thoughts around friendship issues: wanting to help a friend, feelings of jealousy, being angry with a friend, and finally making amends with a friend. I thought the author did a great job of developing a hugely likeable main character in Clementine (I dare you not to fall in love with her) and providing an entertaining story about the ups and downs of friendship.

“Playing Tyler,”

Playing Tyler

by T.L. Costa

When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.


Judas Kiss:

Murphy’s Law, Book Two

Judas Kiss

by K.A. Fox (Author)

Delaney Murphy is learning what it really means to be the daughter of the Devil and that not everyone appreciates her father’s kinder, gentler side. When tragedy strikes and upsets the fragile balancing act of her life, Delaney will have to choose between the world she’s sworn to protect and the father who has changed the whole of Hell just for her.
As betrayals around her mount, she begins to question herself and those closest to her.

Cut off from her magic, Laney’s tie to humanity is fraying. She’s slipping closer and closer to giving in to the overwhelming darkness growing inside her.

Ultimately, she’ll have to confront her demons or risk losing herself entirely.

This was a great story to read. This is book number two in this series written by a new author for me to read.

Wish I had read book one however, I still really enjoyed the story, the characters and the plot, really kept me reading until it was finished. It was really well written, and I cannot wait to see what this author will write about next. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about magic and fantasy.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review

All books shown in this newsletter are available from,, and other fine book stores.

About the Author


I’m a speculative fiction author with so many more stories to share. Thank you to every reader who has supported and encouraged these writing dreams – you’re the reason they came true. Keep sharing your thoughts and most of all, keep reading. Love to each of you. I promise you more worlds, more characters and more magic to get lost in very soon.


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

Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN!

It seems that since our March newsletter so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all living with fear and uncertainty and our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.
Often when I face something scary I find a way to use it to inspire creativity. This month’s writing prompt hopefully will do the same for you.
Your mission should you choose to accept it…

Make COVID-19 a villain in a story, give him/her/it a form, big and scary or inconspicuously prowling the streets among us. Use your imagination! What I do ask is that you end the story with the villain being defeated! I do want you to describe the superhero in this story, how did they come to be, how, when, where and what was the weapon used to stop COVID in its place…

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~ George R.R. Martin

What is the last book you read? Write about what happens when you switch places with the protagonist (the main character). How would you navigate the story you just read? Would you follow the same path? What would you do differently? How would the story end with you as the main character?

Book and tea

Get creative, write and most of all, have fun! 🙂


Attention all aspiring authors:


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!

Community Boards

See you soon! Due to Covid 19 Variety Village will be closed until further notice ~ Check back for updates.

Variety Village is a family-friendly fitness, sports and life skills facility in Toronto.

There are programs for all ages and skill levels, join today!


Variety Village is pleased to host exciting special events throughout the year. Our goal is to connect with our community and raise funds to support Variety Village by creating mutually beneficial events that support healthy, active lifestyles in an inclusive environment.

We’ll periodically send you news and updates regarding special events, facility closures & alerts, and other important information

Events · Restrictions & Closures · Variety Village in Toronto

Local Events | Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Discover ability-enhancing products and services, play adaptive sports and attend informative workshops. Register for free today! This inaugural year will showcase programs and services promoting: accessibility, inclusion, healthcare, sport, fitness, and healthy living at a premier accessible facility – Variety Village in Scarborough, Ontario.

Home | Variety Ontario

How we help. Variety programming empowers children with disabilities to be seen, participate, and feel included. We bring accessible facilities to life with sports, fitness, activities, summer camps, skills training, and coaching for competitive and Paralympic athletes.

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario



Events for April 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – What you need to know

We are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are taking action to ensure health and safety throughout our operations. Our response plan is informed by the latest information from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Whether you receive services from MODC, or are a partner or supporter, View MODC’s latest COVID-19 updates

Cliquez ici pour voir nos dernières mises à jour au sujet du COVID-


Dodging for Dimes Vancouver

Sunday, March 1, 2020

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC
Get your corporate team or a team of friends together for this fast and fun charity tournament on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, and help raise money for people with physical disabilities through March of Dimes Canada.
Each player is asked to raise a minimum of $75 in pledges and there is a team registration fee of $100.

No training, no practice, just loads of fun but with big impact for 129,000 Canadians living with physical disabilities.

Benefitting Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia
an affiliate of March of Dimes Canada

For more information contact:
Berat Barzanjee
Fund Development Assistant
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1A4
Phone:(416) 425-3463 ext. 7305

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