Category Archives: News

New Fiction







All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Judith can’t speak. But when her close-knit community of Roswell Station is attacked by enemies, Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world’s population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.

Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

When Alex discovers that Rule is not a sanctuary, she must battle to survive against conniving adults, distrusting survivors, and the Changed, who would eat her alive.

Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick

Alex and Tom’s future is uncertain as they continue the struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, and their lives are threatened by the Changed and other human survivors

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King

Astrid Jones copes with her small town’s gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she’s sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they’ll know what to do with it. Her mother doesn’t want it, her father’s always stoned, her perfect sister’s too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There’s no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she’s trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love–and asking the right questions–will affect the passengers’ lives, and her own, for the better







Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

In China in 1898 bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough: harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers–commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”

Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Vibiana, an unwanted fourth child, finds her name and identity in Christianity, but with the Boxer Rebellion in full swing and Chinese Christians facing death, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her religion or her country.

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence. Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit– fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof. After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild– and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crisis. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up following a party in the aftermath of a violent vampire attack, she travels to Coldtown, a quarantined Massachusetts city full of vampires, with her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire boy in tow.

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.







Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

In 1940, Jacob and his new friends escape from Miss Peregrine’s island and travel to London where they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Seventeen-year-old Amy, her father, and her stepmother become hostages when Somalian pirates seize their yacht, but although she builds a bond with one of her captors it becomes brutally clear that the price of life and its value are two very different things.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Sparks fly when American good girl Allyson encounters laid-back Dutch actor Willem, so she follows him on a whirlwind trip to Paris, upending her life in just one day and prompting a year of self-discovery and the search for true love.

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

After spending an amazing day and night with a nameless girl in Paris, Willem embarks on his own transformative journey to find her once again.

Takedown by Allison Van Diepen

After years in “juvie,” Darren cooperates with the police to infiltrate a drug ring to settle a vendetta, but sweet, innocent Jessica is now in his life so when a deadly turf war erupts, Darren must protect not only his own life, but Jessica’s as well.


New Books

A few new books arrived in the mail during the holidays! Be sure to check them out.

Note: all descriptions are from unless otherwise stated.


Guinness World Records 2014

Contains thousands of records that span every field of human and non-human endeavors, including science and technology, animals, sports, geography, arts and entertainment, education, hobbies and pastimes, unusual rituals, and many others. Guinness World Records 2014 is crammed with new and updated records, and never-before-seen photography.

Legend by Marie Lu

In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-old Day–a famous criminal, and prodigy June–the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

June and Day make their way to Las Vegas where they join the rebel Patriot group and become involved in an assassination plot against the Elector in hopes of saving the Republic.

Champion by Marie Lu

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic–and each other–and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities.

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

Charlie is the laid-back captain of the basketball team. Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. Their unlikely friendship nearly bites the dust when Nate declares war on the cheerleaders and they retaliate by making Charlie their figurehead in the ugliest class election campaign the school has ever seen. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms– but not both. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving? Nothing can possibly go wrong.

New Books

The first order of new books has arrived! If you want to borrow one (or more) for Christmas, see me today or Thursday.

Note: All descriptions are from unless otherwise stated.







The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. But will she be prepared to face impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love?

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Star athelete and prom king Ezra Faulkner’s life is irreparably transformed by a tragic accident and the arrival of eccentric new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

When seventeen-year-old orphaned shapechanger Tessa Gray is kidnapped by the villainous Mortmain in his final bid for power, the London Institute rallies to save her, but is beset by danger and betrayal at every turn.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.






Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning A wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her fragile father.  (Description from Halifax Public Libraries)

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

When Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and the expectations of society at large.

Game by Barry Lyga

After solving a deadly case in the small town of Lobo’s Nod, seventeen-year-old Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial murderer, travels to New York City to help the police track down the Hat-Dog Killer.







The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

During her last summer at home before leaving for college, Emaline begins a whirlwind romance with Theo, an assistant documentary filmmaker who is in town to make a movie.

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Special Edition 2014

A collection of bizarre facts, stories, and photographs featuring strange creatures, people, places, and adventures from around the world.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

After the death of her abusive father and loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn runs away, desperately seeking peace, as her younger sister, a sophomore in high school, also tries to put the pieces of her life back together.


What to write a novel in November? Check out NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.

What is it?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual writing event in which participants are challenged to write a novel in 30 days. The adult program has a word-count goal of 50,000, but students who are 17 and under can set their own goal. Your word count doesn’t have to be 50,000, but it does have to be challenging.

Some high-profile published novels that have been written as part of NaNoWriMo include Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (coming soon to PDHS Library).

When does it take place?

November 1 – November 30

How do I participate?

Sign up with NaNoWriMo to create an account, keep track of your word count, receive pep talks from famous authors, and connect with other teen writers in the forum.

How do I find out more?

Check out the NaNoWrimo Young Writers Program frequently asked questions for more details.

Book Club

Image by Jennerally.

The PDHS Library weekly book clubs start this week. If you love to read fiction, nonfiction, comics or manga, you are welcome to join! This is not a traditional book club where we all read the same book (unless we want to). We simply meet every week  to discuss whatever we are reading. If interested, bring your lunch and opinions to the library at the times listed below:

Junior book club (grades 7-9): Tuesdays 11:55 – 12:25
Senior book club (grades 10-12) : Thursdays 12:25 – 12:55

SYNC YA Literature into Your Earphones


2 Free Audiobook Downloads Each Week

May 30 – August 15, 2013

Teens and other readers of young adult literature will have the opportunity to listen to bestselling titles and classics this summer.   Each week  from May 30 – August 15, 2013, SYNC will offer two free audiobook downloads.

The audiobook pairings will include a popular young adult (YA) title and a classic that connects with the YA title’s theme and is likely to show up on a student’s summer reading lists.  For example, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys (Scholastic Audiobooks), the first book in a bestselling series about a group of teenagers search for the supernatural ley lines, will be paired with the Latino classic of magical realism, Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (Recorded Books).

To find out when you can download titles to listen to on the run this summer, visit

 SYNC Titles

Summer 2013

May 30 – June 5, 2013

  • Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, read by Rebecca Gibel (AudioGO)
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

June 6 – June 12, 2013

  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren (HarperAudio)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Audio) 

June 13 – June 19, 2013

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton (Scholastic Audiobooks)
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, read by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)

 June 20 – June 26, 2013

  • Once by Morris Gleitzman, read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio)
  • Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Dion Graham (christianaudio)

 June 27 – July 3, 2013

  • Rotters by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Jim Weiss (Listening Library)

July 4 – July 10, 2013

  • Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
  • She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

 July 11 – July 17, 2013

  • The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio)
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

 July 18 – July 24, 2013

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 25 – July 31, 2013

  • The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, read by Charlie McWade (Scholastic Audiobooks)
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, read by Steve West (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2013

  • Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, read by Dan Weyman (Macmillan Audio)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)

 Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2013

  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, read by Katherine Kellgren (Brilliance Audio)
  • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio)

Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2013

  • Sold by Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre (Tantor Audio)
  • Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie, read by Tavia Gilbert (Blackstone Audio)

CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award Winner

DivergentYou voted and the results are in! 927 votes were castand the winner of the 2013 Teen Reader’s Choice Award is Divergent by Veronica Roth with 22% of the votes. To see how the rest of the Top 10 books ranked, check out the award blog.

I want to thank staff for their support and students for their participation in this program. A short award ceremony will be held in the PDHS library at 12:15 on Thursday, May 23 and is open to all students who voted!

Online Video Library – NS Department of Education

Looking for a video to use as part of a project or to show in class? The NS Department of Education provides students, teachers, education support staff, and parents with access to educational videos online through the Online Video Library, which includes more than 9,000 P-12 videos from Learn360, documentaries from the CBC, and other educational titles from Canadian and local producers.

Students and parents:

  • You can access the Online Video Library via the Learn360 website, where you can do searches and watch videos online.

Teachers and education support staff:

  • You can access the Online Video Library via EduPortal, where you can search, create playlists, and stream and download videos.

Like EBSCO databases, the Online Video Library is a valuable research tool for students and teachers alike. For further details and login information, please see me in the library.

Writing on Fire

In March and April, Grade 8 and 9 students from PDHS (and five other schools along the North Shore) participated in Writing on Fire, a pilot project organized by Read by the Sea to encourage and inspire young writers. It had three components:

1) In early March, members of the Writing on Fire committee (me and Norene Smiley from Pugwash) visited Grade 8 and 9 ELA classes to promote the program and “spark” student writing. During these half-hour presentations, students were provided with postcards on which to write flash fiction. These fantastic poems and short stories displayed on the first floor of PDHS. 


2) On Friday, April 5, the same Grade 8 and 9 students were visited by Sue Goyette, an award-winning Halifax poet and novelist. During her hour-long presentations, Ms. Goyette shared writing tips, hilarious stories, and had students write short poetry. It was an entertaining and inspiring visit.

3) Writing on Fire culminated in a full-day writer’s workshop held at River John School on Saturday, March 6. Six Maritime authors – Don Aker, Sheree Fitch, Sue Goyette, Kathleen Martin, Philip Moscovitch, Steve Vernon – delivered workshops on writing fiction, nonfiction, comics, poetry, and more. The fifty students who attended – including three from PDHS – not only learned many great writing tips from authors, but they also had a chance to meet other young writers from along the North Shore. It was an incredible experience for all involved. For more details and to see photos from the day, search Facebook for “Writing on Fire.”

Teen Reader’s Choice Award – Update

Banner2013Attention PDHS students!

Voting for the second CCRSB Teen Reader’s Choice Award will begin two weeks from today (April 22nd). You will be able to vote online and in the library. If you haven’t read one of the Top 10 books, you have until the end of the voting period (May 3rd) to do so. That means there are four weeks left to participate. So come to the library, borrow a nominated book, and share your opinions with other students on the award website!