Weekly Book Review ~22nd. June, 2018 ~ The Button War, By Avi

The Button War,

By Avi


Renowned, award-winning author Avi pens a stark, unflinching tale of ordinary boys living in wartime as tensions — and desperations — mount among them.

Twelve-year-old Patryk knows little of the world beyond his tiny Polish village; the Russians have occupied the land for as long as anyone can remember, but otherwise life is unremarkable. Patryk and his friends entertain themselves by coming up with dares — some more harmful than others — until the Germans drop a bomb on the schoolhouse and the Great War comes crashing in. As control of the village falls from one nation to another, Jurek, the ringleader of these friends, devises the best dare yet: whichever boy steals the finest military button will be king. But as sneaking buttons from uniforms hanging to dry progresses to looting the bodies of dead soldiers — and as Jurek’s obsession with being king escalates — Patryk begins to wonder whether their “button war” is still just a game. When devastation reaches their doorstep, the lines between the button war and the real war blur, especially for the increasingly callous Jurek. Master of historical fiction Avi delivers a fierce account of the boys of one war-torn village who are determined to prove themselves with a simple dare that spins disastrously out of control. Renowned, award-winning author Avi pens a stark, unflinching tale of ordinary boys living in wartime as tensions — and desperations — mount among them.
Twelve-year-old Patryk knows little of the world…

This Book is about looking at war through the eyes of a child, the Button War is set in a small Polish village where the Great War is about to have a devastating impact.

This is the story of twelve-year-old Patryk and his friends who have lived under Russian occupation for all their lives, but one tragic day, the excitement of seeing their first airplane turns to terror when it bombs their village. Soon the Russians flee the oncoming German army, and one set of occupiers is traded for another. While a war that will shake the world is taking place on their doorstep, the boys are deep in a war of their own, a hunt for military buttons, with the boy who finds the brightest and best becoming “king” of the gang. When one war bleeds into the other, the consequences are tragic.

This is a forceful and moving book, the writing style is easy enough for a middle grade reader, but the story being told will appeal to the more mature reader too. The author has done, a really great job of setting the scene, and shining a light on the stark reality of the war.

The characters are well rounded, and the communication between them is believable. As the book moves forwards to its conclusion there is a real sense of impending doom that really kept me interested until I finished the book.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Publishers for the opportunity to review this great book.

Available from: www.kobo.com, www.amazon.ca
www.amazon.com, www.indigo.ca and other fine bookstores.


About the author ~ Avi





Weekly Book Review ~ 16th. June, 2018 ~ Parallel Destiny by Simon Rose

Parallel Destiny

by Simon Rose
Series ~ A Flashback Novel #3

This is another great book written by Simon Rose one of Professor Owl’s favourite authors. We have been honoured to review several of his books which we have always found to be an entertaining read. This was certainly another great read.
Max is haunted by a girl with green eyes. He ignores the odd visions, but then he meets the girl face to face. Her name is Julia, and she and Max knew each other once, in another world…and now she needs his help.
The borders between realities are thinning, and Alastair Hammond’s experiments into the existence of parallel universes are dangerous and destructive.
Marooned within a bewildering series of alternate timelines, Max and Julia are forced to fight for their own survival and to save the very fabric of reality from Hammond’s deadly scheme.
This is an excellent book for teenagers and will appeal to both boys and girls. I used to find books that involved time travel confusing and too farfetched. Flashback series is the exception. Simon Rose manages to keep it simple enough that the reader doesn’t need to get caught up in the details. They simply get to enjoy a good story.

Available from: www.kobo.com, www.amazon.ca
www.amazon.com, www.indigo.ca and other fine bookstores.

Other books in this series:
Flashback (A Flashback Novel Book 1)

Flashback (A Flashback Novel Book 1)Mar 25, 2015

by Simon Rose

Twisted Fate (A Flashback Novel Book 2)

Twisted Fate (A Flashback Novel Book 2)Apr 25, 2017

by Simon Rose

About the Author

Flashback, Future Imperfect, Twisted Fate, Parallel Destiny, and the Shadowzone series. He is also the author of The Children’s Writer’s Guide, The Working Writer’s Guide, The Social Media Writer’s Guide, The Time Traveler’s Guide, a contributor to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction and has written many non-fiction books with Weigl Publishers and Capstone.


Professor Owl’s Weekly Book Review ~ 9th. June, 2018

Battledoors: The Golden Slate

By Brian Wilkinson

Life constantly seems to be wavering between really good and really bad for Owen, a lonely sixteen-year-old still reeling from the unexpected death of his mother and a fresh move to Toronto. After ducking into an old bookstore to escape high school bullies, Owen discovers that he can travel to a parallel, twisted version of the city with a magical tablet called a Battledoor, where he encounters new allies, bizarre creatures, and the ultimate antagonist who will stop at nothing to procure the magical Golden Slate for himself.

Forced to work together with friends and enemies in order to return home, Owen is faced with a series of choices that will prompt him to find courage he never knew he had, explore the possibility of romance, and try to find a way to let go of his painful past and move on. But is Owen ready to finally take control, and become the protagonist of his own story?

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written with a great plot and lots of action that pulls you in, and keeps you hooked.

I would like to thank NetGalley for the copy to review ~ another great read.

Available from:   Fine book stores, Public and School Libraries.







Professor Owls Book Corner: Newsletter ~ June 2018 Edition



Welcome to the June Edition of Professor Owl’s Newsletter! This month we’ll be highlighting some great books, offering some tips on how to get the most from your reading and…we would also like to encourage you to take Professor Owl’s Reading challenge, and if you would like to send us your reviews on the weekly books,  we would love to include them in our books of the week.  mail them to professorowl@outlook.com

Next month we are taking a break but check back with us throughout the summer for some awesome book reviews and events that will be happening with our favourite organizations every Saturday.

On August 20th we will be back with our back-to-school edition!

Hope everyone has a very happy and safe summer! 🙂


Water  Safety.

Make Family safety a priority: 9 Water Safety Suggestions..

Summer time is such a wonderful time of year, with this new season comes many outdoor fun.  One of the adventurous activities we all can participate in is swimming.  No matter what stage of life you are in this is one of the universal sports we can all enjoy.  As with any sport, there are some rules and precautions that everyone should consider and keep in mind.

  1. First and foremost, no matter what you do, you should always watch younger children when they are in or near the pool definitely no fooling around.
  2. As a precaution, get together with adults t0 setup the safety tips and rules that will help facilitate a safe environment.
  3. Teach by your example to younger children the  safety rules around the pool.
  4. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings.
  5. Have a phone close by at all times.
  6. If child is missing, always look in pool or spa first.
  7. Ensure everyone in the family knows how to swim. Learn CPR
  8. Share safety tips with family and friends who visit.
  9. Update your skills regularly Understand basic life-saving skills

Teaching younger children basic water safety skills is essential.  These rules would apply if you are at a lake as well as a home pool ~ Remember Safety First!


“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 –  mail to:  professorowl@outlook.com


How to Teach Yourself How to Read

With YouTube and Professor Owl



Wolf Spy

by Bruce H. Markuson (Author)

There are plans for a coup in the Russian Federation. The conspirators had obtained the Russian nuclear codes. The C.I.A. has stolen that information and dead dropped it inside a whiskey flask in the middle of Siberia.

They need someone who could “Go fetch” the item among hordes of Russian soldiers, mind fields, snipers, helicopters, hunters and attack dogs.

They need someone who could survive the harsh Russian wilderness.

They need someone who could traverse the vast expanse of Siberia faster than anyone.

Above all else, they need someone who could be so covert that they could not give away any evidence of American involvement.

They send a wolf.

I found this book had a great storyline  with terrific characters, one is drawn into the story on the very first page.  Many times I found the book  so interesting I could not put it down until it was finished.

I look forward to reading more of this author’s books.

About Author

Bruce H. Markuson

Website: http://brucemarkuson.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  WolfSpyNovel

Genre: Young Adult, Crime, Ebooks

URL:    https://www.goodreads.com/Bruce_Markuson

Bruce H. Markuson lives with his wife and two children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has had a number short stories published. Markuson is also working on a new book series. He enjoys writing and often finds himself with writer’s obsession. He prefers to write the ending first, then work backwards.

I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, it was a great read.

Available from www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.kobo.com and other fine bookstores  and Libraries.

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them
To: professorowl@outlook.com


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!

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” ~ Ansel Adams

For many of us, summer is here and it’s time for adventure. What are you planning to do this summer? Are you going away or staying home? Do you have any places you plan to visit, books you want to read, friends you want to meet with? Write about all the adventures you’d like to have this summer.

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

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

Sunny day by the lake

Write about your favourite summer getaway…

Keeping Summer Memories Alive

Travelling this summer or planning to have a staycation right in your hometown? The best way to keep your memories alive is to keep a travel journal.  There is no right or wrong way to keep one, just do what comes naturally to you.

Personally, I like to write about specific outings and create little sketches of the places I visit. I usually pack a pencil, small watercolour palette and a black pen.  The drawings are nowhere near perfect but just a quick impression of what I saw.  Not into sketching? How about using polaroids or printing off photos when you get home. The great thing about smartphones is that they are usually always on hand and ready to capture the perfect moment.  Write a note or two in your notebook, describe the place using your senses, what do you see, what sounds surround you, do you feel a cool breeze, did you try a new food, how did it taste? Once you get your photos, you can insert them into your journal alongside to reinforce your memories.

I also like to include little things like postcards, ticket stubs or pressed flowers, anything I can to keep that memory fresh when I look back in the colder months. All you need to start is a notebook of some sort, a pen, art supplies (if desired) a keen eye and a sense of adventure and you’re on your way!



Variety Village

 Variety Village2

Events for June 2018.


Also be sure to join us for at Family Pride Day for activities, demonstrations and showcases of the great work that Variety Village does! There will be wheelchair basketball, arts and crafts, and lots of outdoor family fun as we celebrate with the Pride community.

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
Time: 10am-5pm
Location: Church Street Junior Public School – 83 Alexander Street, Toronto

Join us at the 19th Annual Fitness Friends Celebration!


This fun and FREE one-day event welcomes all Fitness Friends participants to enjoy fun, inclusive games and activities.

This is a great opportunity to try new activities, connect with other students and educators, promote enthusiasm for your school’s commitment to inclusive participation and enjoy the benefits of being active! Students from across Durham, Peterborough, North Humberland and Courtice are welcome.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
10:00am – 1:00pm
Iroquois Park Sports Complex, Whitby

Register today to coordinate your transportation needs by contacting us:

  • Michelle Meraw, Durham District Catholic School Board – michelle.meraw@dcdsb.ca
  • Randi-Lea Micklewright, Durham District School Board – randilea.micklewrith@ddsb.ca
  • Laura Carson, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board – lauracarson@pvnccdsb.on.ca
  • Vicki Caume, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board – vicki_caume@kprdsb.caArchie Allison, Director, Outreach & Educationaallison@varietyvillage.on.ca
  • Please include the following information:
  • 416-699-7167 ext. 236
  • Please RSVP to:
  • School name and contact;
  • Number of students attending;
  • Number of staff and support staff attending;
  • Number of wheelchair spaces required for transportation purposes (information will be shared with BOW representatives for booking requests). A PLAYWRITE BY THE VARIETY DRAMA CO.The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Brought to you by Variety’s very own adult day program participants.  June 15 & 16, 2018 | 10:00am – 5:00pm | Variety VillageParticipate in seminars on a wide range of educational topics and learn more about accessible and inclusive options that are available for you. DANCE ABLEDance-Able 2018 is about bringing families, businesses, and the greater local community together to create a world that is inclusive and accessible and where people with disabilities are recognized and appreciated.DanceAble-2018 PosterCabana Pool Bar  11 Polson St. Toronto, ON  |  AGES 10+RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETMAKE A DONATION!At the 2nd Annual Dance-Able, guests will experience an evening of music, inclusive dancing and some special surprise performances. “This is also a great opportunity to create awareness for Variety Village and highlight our important and vital programs, along with the great work of our staff.” says Karen Stintz, President and CEO, Variety Village.
  • “Our goal is to create an open event to celebrate people with disabilities in our community. It is our hope that this amazing event will make memories to last a lifetime,”
  • Donate to empower people with a disability to dance like there’s no tomorrow!
  • FREE Admission, non-alcoholic beverages, Pizza Nova slices!

Variety Village and Help by Helping are excited to announce they are hosting the 2nd annual all-inclusive FREE dance party, DANCE-ABLE. This will be an unparalleled night of entertainment in celebration of all those within the disabled community on June 26, 2018 at Cabana Pool Bar from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

  • Don’t miss the Opening Ceremony at 10am on Friday, June 15 in the main lobby of Variety Village!
  • Come out to this FREE exhibition featuring the top disability-related companies and organizations with products and information on services they provide. There will also be a one-day-only Career Fair on Friday, June 15 and include some of the biggest and best companies in Canada who want to hire YOU.
  • Canada’s largest disability exhibition is coming to Variety Village!
  • Form more information:
    Peter Smith
    Variety Village
  • WHEN
    June 9, 2018
    Cafeteria, Variety Village
    AFTERNOON: 12:00 noon $10
    EVENING:  7:30pm $15/Dinner + Show

We offer the opportunity for parents and campers to meet the Head Instructor of their program before summer camp starts. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please mark this date down on your calendars:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The Barall room, Variety Village

Head instructors will be able to answer questions regarding programming, scheduling, what to expect, etc. Unfortunately, there will be no opportunity to reschedule or make up this date.




June 9, 2018
Cafeteria, Variety Village
AFTERNOON: 12:00 noon $10
EVENING:  7:30pm $15/Dinner + Show

The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Brought to you by Variety’s very own adult day program participants.

Form more information:
Peter Smith
Variety Village

For more information on these events or Summer Camps and Programs, please contact/ www.varietyvillage.ca

March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities http://www.marchofdimes.ca

EVENTS ~  June, 2018

Youth Week

Sunday June 24 to Friday June 29, 2018

YMCA Geneva Park, Orillia

Youth Leadership Development Retreat 2015


Introduced in 2012, the Youth Week Retreat is a one-week, co-ed program offered in partnership with Camp Awakening for young adults with physical disabilities 19-24 years of age.

The Youth Week Retreat is focused on supporting and encouraging young adults with physical disabilities to enjoy outdoor recreational activities; live healthy, active lifestyles; and improve social skill development. Each year the Youth Week schedule adapts to the interests of the participants and allows participants to create their own week long adventure!

The Youth Week Retreat currently operates out of the YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre in Orillia, ON.  Accommodation is in a 2-person shared hotel-style room where participants are paired with another participant of the same gender.  Support Staff are housed separately, but can be reached by phone at all times.

When:  Sunday June 24 to Friday June 29, 2018

Where:  YMCA Geneva Park, 6604 Rama Rd. Orillia, Ontario

Who:  Youth with Physical Disabilities and/or Acquired Brain Injuries

Ages:  19-24

Cost:  $900.00 (fee covers cost of accommodation, meals, attendant care and accessible bus transportation from Toronto)

Recreational Activities Include:

  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Bocce Ball
  • Special Arts & Crafts
  • Evening Programs (Campfires, Karaoke etc.)
  • mportant Dates:
  • Application Deadline: Friday February 16, 2018
  • ** Space is Limited – Register Early! Registration may close sooner when capacity is reached.
  • Download Youth Week Application Form
  • View the Youth Week Retreat Packing List
  • For more information please contact:
  • March of Dimes Canada
  • 10 Overlea Blvd Toronto, ON M4Y 1A4
  • Phone: 416-425-3463 Ext. 7288
  • Fax: 416-425-1920
  • recreation@marchofdimes.ca
Summer Recreation Program Geneva Park ON 
June 24 – August 17, 2018


Join the March of Dimes recreation department for our
week long recreation and holiday program at the
beautiful Geneva Park in Orillia Ontario

For: Adults (18 years +) living with a disability

Cost: $3,000 per person. Subsidies available based on eligibility criteria. Please inquire for more details.

Program Includes:

    • Meals and accommodation for six days and five nights, equipment/activities, and attendant services
  • Daily activities including archery, rock climbing, trail walks, bonfires, fishing, arts and crafts, various water sport activities and lots more.
  • Transportation is not included.

How to Apply:

Camp Geneva Park Summer Recreation Program 2018 Application (PDF)

Application deadline: February 16, 2018 

Many participants tell us that their holiday at Geneva Park is the highlight of their year!

“I had a blast. I sailed for the first time. I kayaked, canoed, fished, played botchy ball, enjoyed the beach and scavenger hunts and even met the guy from cash cab! I really think it increases mobility in people. It also allows people who do not necessarily socialize that often to be a part of the community.”

Brian Dawood

“My goal before the trip was to socialize more and participate in activities that I had previously perceived as being incapable of doing. I had a fantastic week at camp and achieved all my goals!” 

Linda Woodhams

Space is Limited – Register Now!

For more information please contact:

Rubby Nwaluka


416-425-3463 ext. 7212

Keith Rashid


1-800-263-3463 ext. 7213

March of Dimes Canada – Recreation Program

10 Overlea Boulevard

Toronto, ON M4H 1A4


For more information on the March of Dimes events please contact http://www.marchofdimes.ca


Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review ~ 26th. May, 2018


First in The Flying Ponies series

By L.M. Ransom


For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Flynn, moving into the heart of the Michigan woods with her family is the biggest adventure she’s ever had. A self-proclaimed geek girl with a penchant for Sherlock Holmes, she wonders if she’ll ever have an exciting quest of her own.

But when she discovers an antique carousel tucked into the woods near her new home, her life soon spins out of control. For the ponies are so much more than their faded paint portrays. Filled with primal magic, the ponies are alive, and they have been waiting for her for a long time.

With the help of a young carousel caretaker named Black, Charlotte soon discovers that the Flying Ponies are in danger from others who want to possess them and their magic. Drawn into a battle for the carousel and ultimately the entire world while navigating her first true romance, Charlotte may have more adventure than she ever bargained for . . .

“This is a great read for young adult readers’. It’s a charming read told through the eyes of the modern geek-girl teen. There are references to all the favorites — Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter — but Ransom does a fine job of relating to each of these without trying to be any of them.

I found the book an exciting read, full of adventure, magic, love and fantasy! If you like C.S. Lewis, you’ll love this book. This is the first installment of The Flying Ponies Trilogy and I can’t wait for book 2!

Available from www.kobo.com, www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, other fine book stores , School’s and Community Libraries.

About Author

L.M. Ransom
Goodreads Author
Born in Shelby, The United States

L. M. Ransom lives in West Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She also shares her home with two crazy Dachshunds, and her heart with two naughty ponies. L.M. is a librarian by trade, and an author by passion. She draws from her lifelong love and obsession with all things equine to spin tales about nefarious carousel horses.
A self-professed geek girl, L.M.’s fandoms span the galaxy from Tatooine to Gallifrey, and back down to the seedy streets of Gotham City. As a Christian, she feels a calling to tell clean, intriguing stories for readers to escape into. You can find L. M. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and lmransom.com.





Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review~ 19th. May, 2018

The Namarielle
(The Chronicles of Lashai ~ Book 1)

By Julien Jamar


Hollis studied her face in the light of the campfire. “So, how does a shepherd girl find herself in the Forest of Fondair, heading to the Kiatri to lead a crusade against the Fontre?”

Cassai had untied her braid and was unraveling it. The curls tangled themselves around her small fingers. “Not a crusade, war. Lashai belongs to us. We were a free, peaceful people under the Namarielle. The land flourished, and the people had plenty. The Fontre took everything: our herds, our crops, our money, they even burned down our churches. Why would they do that?”

Her gaze had fallen into the darkness between the trees, and Hollis assumed this was a rhetorical question. “So, we’re going to fight them; our small band of Keepers and anyone else we can find to join us will fight for our Lashai. And if no one else joins, I’ll fight them alone. I just can’t live as their slave. I won’t.”

A really well written and captivating book. I’m really looking forward to the next in the series. The storyline and the characters are really well rounded, neither all good nor all bad, with a lot of depth.  Once I started reading the book it was hard to put it down. I will certainly keep a lookout for this author’s works in future.

I would like to thank  NetGalley for the opportunity to  review this great book.

About Author

Julien Jamar

Born ~ The United States

Website ~ https://www.julienjamar.com

Twitter  ~  julienjamar

Genre ~ Fantasy, Young Adult

Julien was born in 1980 and spent the first few years of her life traveling through America with her family. She was raised in Dallas, TX. Her father, a prolific novelist and poet, taught her to write as a very small child. She writes dark, thrilling, fantastic tales of mortal battles and daring exploits. She also writes a helpful little blog designed to inspire a lighthearted approach to life’s trials and everyday tasks. She lives with her husband and five children in Marble Falls, TX. https://www.julienjamar.com


Available from www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com, www.kobo.com and other fine books stores and Libraries.

Professor Owl’s Bookcorner ~ Weekly Book Review ~May 5th, 2018

American Panda

by Gloria Chao

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.
But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
From debut author, Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

American Panda was an uplifting, emotional, and eye-opening read. It was certainly one of the most enjoyable reads I have had lately and a little different from the ones I have reviewed. I highly recommend this book to readers ranging from their teens, into their adult years, those who enjoy reading contemporary, as well as readers who might be wanting to dip their toes into contemporary YA for the first time!
I would like to thank NetGalley for the chance to read it.

Sweepingly funny.” —The Wall Street Journal
• “Delightful.” —Buzzfeed

“Charmed my socks off.” —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquito land

Available from www.kobo.com, www.kobo.ca, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.com other fine bookstores, Local and School Libraries

Professor Owls Book Corner: Newsletter ~ May, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the May 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.

Rising concerns over literacy rates in Canada

Most of us often take reading for granted as an everyday practice for most families but according to the latest statistics from First Book Canada a quarter of Canadian households don’t even own a single book.

There are a number of reasons and barriers for kids that just don’t get that kind of day-to-day exposure to books.”

On Sept. 8, Canada marked International Literacy Day. The day highlights the need of getting children to read and the importance of getting them access to books inside the classroom and at home.

Recent statistics show:

  • 25 %, is a big number and it has nothing to do with the digital revolution. It has to the with the inability of parents to be able to afford books,” Tom Best from First Books Canada told Global News.
  • Figures also show around 30 % of Grade 3 students lack basic literacy skills.
  • According to Statistics Canada, 29 per cent of individuals with low literacy levels are from low-income households compared to eight per cent of individuals who are ranked in the highest two categories of literacy.
  • In May 2018, First Books Canada partnered up with McDonald’s Canada to distribute over two million books with Happy Meals across the country to help give kids access to books.
  • Little free library helps build a sense of community
  • “That’s a fantastic opportunity for parents to sit down, read at McDonald’s or back at home, and to sit down and read with kids because that is really what is missing,” Best said.

For those who follow Professor Owl will have noticed that we have tried to give the message that all children and young adults need to be encouraged to read and the best place to learn is at home while they are still young. Parents introduce them to books on the sports they play or crafts or activities they enjoy.

The books we show in our book corner can also be found in the School or Community Libraries as well as bookstores..

If you would like to see more on the interview between Angie Seth and Tom Best, follow the link below:


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


“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 –  mail to:  professorowl@outlook.com



How to Teach Yourself How to Read

With YouTube and Professor Owl




True Storm

By L.E. Sterling


Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her—but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself torn between three men with secrets of their own.

Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But DNA isn’t the only thing they want from Lucy…or her sister.

As they say in Dominion, rogue genes can never have a happy ending…

True Storm’ is the third and final book in the ‘True Born’ dystopian trilogy. ‘True Born’ does an excellent job introducing readers to the characters, their societal hierarchy and history, and the overarching plot of the series. Excellent storytelling, non-stop action, gripping conclusion which is full of plot twists and surprises for Lucy and for readers.

The True Born series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 True Born
Book #2 True North
Book #3 True Storm

I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, it was a great read.

Available from www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, www.kobo.com and other fine bookstores  and Libraries.

We would love to hear about your favourite books and your views on the ones we recommend here… send them
To: professorowl@outlook.com


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!

Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brainCheap paper is less perishable than grey matter. And lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.

~Jack London

I love to journal and find when I have no idea what to write about I turn to quotes. Do you have a favourite quote or saying that resonates with you?  Take your quote, write about how it applies to your life and what it means to you.  Don’t have one? Check out websites such as http://www.brainyquote.com/ or http://www.thinkexist.com/ and find one that speaks to you!

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

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

Macro Tulip II

Spring is here and so are new beginnings! What new beginning do you want?

Creating A Creativity Corner!

Whether you journal with pen and paper or use a computer or tablet, journaling is an excellent way to express yourself. Journal about anything that matters to you, it can be anything from real-life, about your life, your hopes and dreams, drawings, doodles, collages or a fictional story you make up. But to do this often it helps to have a small little corner that you keep just for journaling, reading and being creative.

Make sure you try to make a time to journal every day. Perhaps after school before dinner or before you go to school in the morning so choose a place that won’t interfere with other family members and a place where can sit and just be creative. Turn on music if you like or keep it silent, whatever works for you and helps you make this time special.

Set up your workspace. Choose a space which feels comfortable and where you won’t have to move your stuff all the time. Using bright index cards or post-its and write different affirmations or inspirational sayings and post them in your workspace.  Place inspirational pictures, your favourite books, plants or objects to motivate you. Keep all of your supplies so that they are easily within reach. If you choose to use pen and paper, a trip to the local dollar store can help you find some nice journals, pens, markers, washi tape or scrapbooking materials to decorate it and make it unique.  Try to make this area yours!

May 2018



Variety Village

 Variety Village2

upcoming events

 for May,2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
While supplies last.
Limit 2 per customer.
Not valid with specials or coupons.

Tag us in your PIZZA SELFIES!

Twitter Facebook Instagram Youtube


KYRA , Age 6
Variety Member Since age 3. Loves to dance & read. Fave colour is red!

Pierce , Age 5
Variety Member for over a year. Fave sport: Hockey!

Pizza Nova’s association with Variety Village spans over 30 years.
This association has resulted in more than $1 million for our organization via the Pizza Nova That’s Amore Pizza for Kids Day which started in 1999.

The professionalism and passion that staff and volunteers display for children with physical and mental challenges sustains the ongoing partnership between Pizza Nova and Variety Village. It goes hand-in-hand with Pizza Nova’s passion for its product, its employees and its community.

36th Annual Toronto Police Children’s Games

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2018

Join us for the 36th Annual Toronto Police Children’s Games here at Variety Village! Participants with disabilities and their siblings are invited to join us for this fun day of inclusive sports and games.  This invitation will welcome 200 registrants to join teams lead by Toronto Police volunteers.


9:00-9:30am – Registration (Fieldhouse)
9:30-10:00am – Welcome (South Side – Fieldhouse)
10:00am – Opening Ceremonies
10:30am-12:30pm – Activities (Sports and Games)
12:30pm – Closing Ceremonies and Awards

For more information on these events or Summer Camps and Programs, please contact/ www.varietyvillage.ca

March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy charity for people with physical disabilities http://www.marchofdimes.ca

EVENTS ~  May, 2018

Don’t miss Opening Doors for Accessibility in Barrie!

If you are an individual living with a disability, health professional, service provider, caregiver /partner or family member, you should attend this FREE COMMUNITY RESOURCE SHOWCASE.  

Opening Doors for Accessibility Barrie​



Date:  Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location:   Liberty North
100 Caplan Avenue, Barrie, Ontario
Cost:  Free
(Donations to March of Dimes Canada are welcome)

Sessions Include :

  • Home Modifications​
  • Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt
    Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul endorsed
    Author | International Keynote Speaker |
    Paralympic Trialist | Accessibility Advocate |
    Award Winning Humanitarian​
  • Caregiver Strategies
  • Adaptive Cooking
  • Inspirational Talk by Aaron Lillie
  • Aging in Place** Event will include lunch and networking opportunities.     RSVP by May 11, 2018 at 1-800-263-3463 or by email at ezimmermann@marchofdimes.ca.RSVP** In the subject line, please be sure to identify the city where you wish to attend. 
  •  Please RSVP at 1-800-263-3463 or by email at ezimmermann@marchofdimes.ca. / RSVP au 1-800-263-3463 ou par courriel à ezimmermann@marchofdimes.ca. ​
  •  * Every attendee will receive a certificate of attendance.

For more information on the March of Dimes and their events please visit >www.marchofdimes.ca


 www.laubachliteracy.ca ~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.
www.homeworkcentral.com ~ Register with this site and you get information on: Online tutoring, words and vocabulary, homework help and much more.
www.funbrain.com ~ Lots of fun and challenging activities for you and your family.





Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review ~ 28th. April, 2018

The Mars Room: A Novel

by Rachel Kushner (Author)

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.

Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Rachel Kushner’s writing. It is daring and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in The New Yorker, her fiction “succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them brilliantly alive.”

Absolutely stunning. Kushner gets better and better with each book. The Flamethrowers was excellent, but this story fits together even more and challenges the reader’s view at every turn. The style is stunning. Rachel has a distinctive feel for the rhythms of language and uses it perfectly in this book.

For me, this book was a great read which kept me hooked right through to the end of story.  I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

 About the author

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner is the author of the bestselling novel The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Folio Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and was chosen as one of the five best novels of the year by the New York Times. A book of early short fictions, The Strange Case of Rachel K, was published by New Directions in 2015. Her debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was reviewed on the cover of the NY Times Book Review and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. Kushner’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and the Paris Review. She is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, and 2016 winner of the Howard D. Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Available from:  https://www.kobo.com,   https://www.amazon.cahttps://www.amazon.com,  and other fine bookstores.


Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Weekly Book Review ~ 21st. April, 2018


by Caryn Lix
series A Sanctuary Novel


Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.
Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways, and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

This story was well written with a great storyline, the characters were also amazing. Once I picked up the book, I could not put it down until it was finished. Looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book it was a great read.

Available at http://www.kobo.comhttp://www.amazon.ca, and http://www.amazon.com


Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.