Toronto District School Board

TDSB Reader's Choice

Check out the Reader’s Choice selections below to see what titles TDSB students are reading and to get ideas of what to read next.

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TDSB Reader’s Choice — January 2017

* Blue links lead to the TDSB Library catalogue.
* Green links lead to the Toronto Public Library catalogue.


I Like Bugs by Margaret Wise Brown
Submitted by Shaurya at Claireville Junior School
I like the part where the bug is in the glass. I like the green bug. I like black bugs.

Snow Dog, Marley by Susan Hill
Submitted by Brianna at Gulfstream Public School
This story was good because I like dogs. Marley helped to pull the sled in the snow like a snow dog.

First Grade

Mrs. Lily is Silly by Dan Gutman
Submitted by Jessica at Bridlewood Junior Public School
You should read this book. This book is about a 3rd grade class that made one thousand newspapers with funny facts.

Where’s My Hockey Sweater by Gilles Tibo
Submitted by Sienna at Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy
TDSB readers should read this book because it is really funny. One of the funny parts is when they were about to leave and the main character’s mom lost her car KEYS!!!!!!!!

The BFG by Roald Dahl
Submitted by Cora at Shirley Street Junior Public School
You should read this book because it's really funny and awesome! There's a huge giant and it is super funny because he's trying to save the little girl from the other mean people-eating giants.

Second Grade

Nicholas at the Library by Hazel Hutchins
Submitted by Amishi at Arbor Glen Public School
Other TDSB students should read this book because it teaches that you can find adventures in a library.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! by Ben Clanton
Submitted by Lauren at Park Lawn Junior Middle School
This is a very good book and it tells you that you can make any kind of book you want. My friend was inspired by the book so she made her own book.

Boy vs. Beast by Mac Park
Submitted by Avery at Roselands Junior Public School
This is an amazing series about a boy named Kai and a dog. They battle beasts. If you like Beast Quest you will like this series. The author of Boy vs. Beast is Mac Park. They are the best books ever. I loved Boy vs. Beast and you will too. It is so good that it will implode your mind.

Third Grade

It’s Not Fair by Roderick Hunt
Submitted by Evangelos at Chine Drive Public School
This is a good book because it tells you that boys and girls can do the same things even if they are different. It also tells you to be fair and nice to everyone and not to laugh at people who are bad at something.

Magic Animal Friends by Daisy Meadows
Submitted by Eiman at Elmlea Junior School
I love this book. I got this from my library. I love it so much that I used it for my book report. We had to get a bag and put six items inside the bag that show what the book is about. Thanks to my teacher Mrs. Larson for making a book report that was fun. I can’t wait to read the whole Magic Animal Friends series.

Jon le Bon: Prophecy of Four by Alex A.
Submitted by Isaac at F.H. Miller Junior Public School
I like this author. He is from Montreal. He came to visit our school. I like how he drew the characters, especially the scientist. This book makes you laugh out loud.

Fourth Grade

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
Submitted by Faaiz at Chester Le Junior Public School
This is a very funny and hilarious book. This book could cheer you up when you are feeling sad. This is the latest book in the series that came out and it is a fun book to read with friends and family. I think this book is good for both boys and girls. This is one of the best books I have ever read and I hope you like it too!

Katie, Batter Up! by Coco Simon
Submitted by Lexi at King George Junior Public School
This is a great read and it teaches you a lesson. Even if you have never been good at something, you should try it again anyways!

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
Submitted by Kate at Ryerson Community School
This book is very interesting. It has friendship, family, craziness, and rudeness. I recommend you read this book because it is so good. You could be outside in the cold reading it and you would not even realize that it’s cold because you’re trapped in the book. Read this book and you will get so lost in it that you will forget everything else.

Fifth Grade

Frindle by Andrew Clements
Submitted by Elizabeth at Iroquois Junior Public School
I'm recommending this book to other TDSB readers. This book is humorous and a huge page turner. Nick Allen creates a new word “frindle,” which means pen. He always tries to be different and this is his new way of doing it. The story around this new word is hysterical! Nick goes on an epic adventure, learning what a ripple effect really is. If you're into funny books, or if you don't like reading a lot, or if you like to read but just want a light book, this is for you! Laugh out loud, relax and follow along with Nick Allen, creator of new word, “frindle.” Just read it!

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Submitted by Cassiopeia at Three Valleys Public School
This is a great book with a lot of adventure. It makes you really start to love the characters (even if the main character is also the antagonist). It was a magical read (pun intended) and I recommend this book to all TDSB readers.

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
Submitted by Ariana at Samuel Hearne Middle School
You have to read this tremendous book about a disease that spreads! It’s emotional and humorous with a lot of suspense. This book is about bullying and what to do if you encounter it. Hope you enjoy.

Sixth Grade

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Submitted by Hagia at Albion Heights Junior Middle School
This book has adventure and stories of survival. When you read it, you will feel like you are really in the book. This book is not that long and anyone can read it.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Submitted by Madelyne at Adam Beck Junior Public School
This book is from the best-selling author of The Thief Lord and Inkheart. If you enjoyed those books then you will love Dragon Rider. If you want to read it, check to see that it’s in your library.

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Submitted by Florence at Walter Perry Junior Public School
I recommend this book to every good reader out there who loves to read. Once I started reading, the book couldn't be put down until it was read. It had so many funny and exciting parts. I think that every awesome reader should read this awesome book.

Seventh Grade

The Nightsiders: Vault of Shadows by Jonathan Maberry
Submitted by Anitra at Churchill Heights Public School
This book by Jonathan Maberry is amazing. It is about a boy named Milo Silk who has to defend against an invading alien force on Earth. He uses his friends, his club and the Earth Alliance (EA) to fight against them. He meets the Nightsiders, a magical group that helps Milo. This is really entertaining and page-turning.

Dark Energy by Robison E. Wells
Submitted by Nashia at Dovercourt Public School
Other TDSB readers should read this book because it is amazing. At first I didn't really quite understand what the book was about but as I kept reading I started to understand more about what was happening. This book is about a girl whose father works with NASA and a spaceship lands in their hometown. It is all over the news and they think that the people inside the ship are aliens who are going to destroy the world. This book is great because it has many different genres in it: there is action, a little bit of romance and more. After I told my friends about this book they wanted to read it and one of my friends is actually reading this book right now. It is very unique because it contains some things that are real but it also has things that are not. I have not read anything like it before. I hope other TDSB readers will read it because it is truly one of a kind and is very worthwhile to read. I also learned a valuable lesson while reading this book: never put down a book halfway through because you might never know what's on the other side. I hope other TDSB readers read this book after reading my response and have an adventure that they will never forget.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Submitted by Sharn at Jack Miner Senior Public School
Challenger Deep is a captivating novel dealing with mental illness. The story describes Caden Bosch, a young teen struggling to cope with mental illness. Caden believes he is on a ship to Challenger Deep, the deepest point in Mariana's Trench. Dealing with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he is torn between two worlds. Is he on a ship to Challenger Deep? Or is he just a normal teen, dealing with school. Challenger Deep describes the pain and sorrow of Caden’s family and friends as well as Caden’s confusion dealing with his illness. In fact, the author Neal's son suffers from mental illness as well, making the story very realistic. Beautifully written with emotion throughout, Challenger Deep is sure to keep you up all night, and is perfect for young adults. Definitely Neal Shusterman’s masterpiece, Challenger Deep is a work of art.

Eighth Grade

Queen Victoria and the British Empire by Nancy Whitelaw
Submitted by Yvonne at Sir Ernest MacMillan Senior Public School
Queen Victoria, known as the grandmother of Europe, became the Queen of the Great British Empire at the age of 18. There are many things that I was curious to know about this ruler. This biography will tell you about the history of the Empire, Queen Victoria’s political career, and also other things that you might not have imagined, including the Queen's opinion on the women activists who fought for equal rights.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Submitted by Tina at Gulfstream Public School
This an amazing book. It isn't a fantasy where everyone lives happily ever after. It's set in a period of time where life was completely dreadful for a certain group of people. It features a young German boy who was curious and sheltered from what his dad and the rest of the Germans were doing. He makes friends with a Jewish boy behind the fence next to his house and in the end he learns what it is really like being in striped pajamas.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Submitted by Elizabeth at Valley Park Middle School
I recommend this book for (TDSB) readers because I think it is interesting. It explores themes of racism and homelessness. It follows the story of an orphan boy looking for a home in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Two Mills.

High School

Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Submitted by Sadia at Marc Garneau
Liar is a book that keeps you on your feet. The narrator, Micah is a liar. She's unreliable and you never know what parts of the book you should believe. The story is centered on the murder of a boy named Zach and you're constantly questioning the facts you're given. I really enjoyed reading this and even though it could be very frustrating at times, I could never put it down!

Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill
Submitted by Subhana at Weston Collegiate Institute
I was introduced to this book through the Art Club and I read it because -- why not? Plus, it was a play. I really enjoyed this because it's different from what I usually read. It's just dialogue. And dialogue not only from the living characters in the play, but also from the animals and the couch. At some points in the story there was rapid dialogue, the kind that emphasizes what's happening to make you listen in closer and get every word coming out of their mouths, except to get the effect you had to mentally read it rapidly. The short sentences forced you to read faster and, wow, I really, really enjoyed that. The ending was also amazing. Because this play was different, it was a little difficult getting used to. The dialogue-only thing made a few parts hard to imagine. Despite this, I would suggest this play to others. It's confusing at first because of the format, as most people are not used to reading plays. But trying new things like this can't hurt. In fact, it can be cool!

Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet by Jennifer Ringer
Submitted by Kendra at Windfields Junior High School
I have a lot of respect for Jenifer Ringer after reading this. It was a very eye opening and honest book. The pressure to look and behave a certain way as a classical dancer can be limiting. Jenifer Ringer explains in detail the struggles she faced with eating disorders in her dance career. This book allows you to laugh and cry at the same time. I loved it!

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Submitted by Asia at Etobicoke School of the Arts
This was a phenomenal read; I could not put it down. This is one of the few psychological thrillers I have read, but it truly captured my attention. The description and motives of the characters (specifically Jodi) made me think twice. You could understand exactly where the characters were coming from, even if their thoughts were things you wouldn't even consider in your lifetime. This novel takes a very twisted path. It manages to take a relatively common situation and turn it into a scenario you couldn't even picture if you tried. Overall, the characters were outstanding, the description and small details really added to the appeal, the plot caught you at every twist, and it really made me think. I would definitely read it again, and I recommend it to everyone who loves a novel that gets you thinking.


The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Submitted by Ms. Nanfara-Grande at Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy
In term 1, I read this Newberry Award winning novel with my grade 5 students. It is a fantastic novel study choice as it has complex vocabulary and it is written very descriptively. Students love reading about the very brave mouse Despereaux who falls in love with a princess, and sets out to rescue her from a dungeon full of rats, despite his small size. The characters in this novel are complex, and each main character has a back story that helps readers understand their current characteristics and motivations. I would highly recommend this book for a guided novel study in grade 5.

Some more reviews of The Tale of Despereaux from Kate’s students:
Submitted by Arushi
I think this book was amazing. This book is recommended for everyone. It has action, romance, sensitivity, adventure and it is cute. This book isn’t a comic book and it’s not written to make you laugh, but not all books need to be funny to be great.

Submitted by Hakaran
I think this book is exciting and descriptive. If you are into adventure, love, romance and drama you should read this book. This book has a lot of descriptive writing and made me want to keep reading it because it was so interesting. This book also had a lot of difficult words that I did not know but I looked them up and I know the meanings now. This is why you should read this book.

Mr. Klutz is Nutz by Dan Gutman
Submitted by Ms. Ling at Williamson Road Junior Public School
This was a fun read-aloud for the class purely for pleasure. This book is written from the point of view of A.J., a second grader at Ella Mentry School. A.J. is quite literal and the book has several expressions that A.J. doesn't quite understand. We had a lot of fun discussions about expressions and figurative writing like "pulling my leg" and "the last straw." The students loved this book and it elicited laughter at every chapter. It also prompted a whole wave of readers of the Weird and Weirder School series.

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Submitted by Ms. Tanga at Highfield Junior School
This is an incredible book about survival. Students are exposed to what life could be like in war-torn Afghanistan through the eyes of an 11 year girl. They learn about the challenges she has to face in order to help her family survive, and the struggles they endure daily. This book opens up a window for discussion on various topics such as genderism, education, rights and freedoms and the responsibilities of children. This book is written by a Canadian author who has also written 2 additional books for this particular trilogy series.

* Blue links lead to the TDSB Library catalogue.
* Green links lead to the Toronto Public Library catalogue.

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