My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. 
(Edith Sitwell: 1887 – 1964)

Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary. (Peter Minard)

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. 
(Martin Luther King Jr.: 1929 – 1968)

If you try to solve a dispute by discussion, it is noise that will win.

It is futile to speak with people who believe that a change of mind is a sign of weakness.

It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence.
(Seneca: 5 BC – 65 AD)

Laozi (6th c. BCE, Tao Te Ching)

Those who would take over the Earth
And shape it to their will
Never, I notice, succeed.

For the Earth is like a vessel so sacred
That at the merest touch of the profane—
It is marred,
And when they reach out their hands to grasp it—
It is gone.

For a time some force themselves ahead
And some are left behind,
For a time some make a great noise
And some are held silent,
For a time some are puffed fat
And some are kept hungry,
For a time some are held up
And some are destroyed.

But at no time will a man who is sane:
Over-reach himself,
Over-spend himself,
Over-rate himself.

Susan Cain. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.
Crown, 2012.
George Prochnik. In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise.
Doubleday, 2010.

Douglas Wood. A Quiet Place. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002.

M.T. Anderson. Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. Candlewick Press, 2005.

Kevin Henkes. All Alone. Greenwillow Books, 1981.

International Women’s Day

March 8th: International Women’s Day

Read a book with a strong female protagonist in honour of
International Women’s Day!


Abeel, Samantha. My Thirteenth Winter. Orchard Books, 2003.

Al-Windawi, Thura. Thura’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Diary in War-Torn Baghdad. Puffin, 2004.

Halilbegovich, Nadja. My Childhood Under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary. Kids Can Press, 2006.

Jiang, Ji Li. The Red Scarf Girl.  HarperCollins, 1997.

Kamara, Mariatu. The Bite of the Mango. Annick Press, 2008. [For mature readers only.]

Little, Jean. The Stars Come Out Within. Penguin, 1990.

Lobel, Anita. No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War. Greenwillow Books, 1998.

Love, D. Anne. Of Numbers and Stars. Holiday House, 2006.

MacLeod, Elizabeth. Helen Keller: A Determined Life. Kids Can Press, 2004.

Myers, Walter Dean. At Her Majesty’s Request: An African Princess in Victorian England.  Scholastic Press, 1999.

Napoli, Jo. Mama Mita. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010.

Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008.

Wallner, Alexandra. Lucy Maud Montgomery.  Holiday House, 2006.

Winter, Jeannette. Nazreen’s Secret School: A Story from Afghanistan. Beach Lane Books, 2009.

Winter, Jeanette. The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. Schwartz and Wade, 2011.

Ye, Tian-Xing. My Name is Number Four. Canada Seal Books (Random House), 2008.

Picture Books

Bridges, Shirin Yim. Ruby’s Wish. Chronicle Books, 2002.

Bunting, Eve. Walking to School. Clarion Books, 2008.

Campbell, Nicola I.  Shi-shi-etko. Groundwood Books, 2005.

Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. Viking Press, 1982.

Hoban, Russell. A Bargain for Frances. HarperCollins, 1992, c1970.

Khalsa, Daul Kaur. Tales of a Gambling Grandma. Tundra Books, 1986.

 Napoli, Donna Jo. The Earth Shook: A Persian Tale. Hyperion Books, 2009.

Recorvits, Helen. My Name is Yoon. Frances Foster Books, 2003.

Steig, William. Brave Irene. Collins, 1986.

Wells, Rosemary. Streets of Gold. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1999.

Williams, Vera B. A Chair for My Mother. Greenwillow Books, 1982.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005.

Yee, Paul. Roses Sing on New Snow. Groundwood Books, 1991.


Avi. The Secret School. Harcourt, 2003.

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks. Knopf, 2005.
Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.

Blos, Joan W. A Gathering of Days. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1990.

Bresdorff, Bodil. The Crow-girl. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1987.

Carter, Anne. The Shepherd’s Granddaughter. Groundwood Books, 2008.

Cleary, Beverly. Beezus and Ramona. HarperFestival, 2010, c1955.

Cleaver, Vera. Hazel Rye.

Cleaver, Vera and Bill. Where the Lilies Bloom.  J. B. Lippincott, 1969.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Press, 2008.
Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. Scholastic Press, 2009.
Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. Scholastic Press, 2010.

Creech, Sharon. Granny Torelli Makes Soup. HarperTrophy, 2005, c2003.

Cushman, Karen. The Midwife’s Apprentice. HarperTrophy, 1996, c1995.

Dahlburg, Maurine F. Play to the Angel. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2000.

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Dovey Coe. Aladdin, 2000.

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Shooting the Moon. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008.

Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner Trilogy. Groundwood Books, 2009.

Enright, Elizabeth. Gone-Away Lake. Harcourt, Inc. 2000, c1957.
Enright, Elizabeth. Return to Gone-Away. Harcourt, 2000, c1961.

Fletcher, Susan. Walk Across the Sea. Atheneum, 2003.
Fritz, Jean. Homesick: My Own Story. Puffin, 2007.

Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart. Scholastic, 2003.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Nory Ryan’s Song. Delacorte Press, c2000.

Hayes, Rosemary. Payback. Frances Lincoln Children’s, c2009.

Hesse, Karen. Aleutian Sparrow. Aladdin Paperbacks, 2003.

Hesse, Karen. Letters from Rivka.

Holm, Jennifer L. Our Only May Amelia.  HarperCollinsPublishers, 1999.

Horvath, Polly. The Canning Season. Groundwood Books, 2003.

Horvath, Polly. My One Hundred Adventures. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008.

Horvath, Polly. Northward to the Moon. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010.

Ibbotson, Eva. Journey to the River Sea. Dutton Children’s Books, 2001.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret Countess. Young Picador, 2007.

Jocelyn, Marthe. Mable Riley. Tundra Books, 2004.

Kessler, Cristina. Our Secret, Siri Aang. Philomel Books, 2004.

Khan, Rukhsana. Wanting Mor. Groundwood Books, 2009.

Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. Delacorte Press, 2006.

Laird, Elizabeth. Oranges in No Man’s Land. London: Macmillan Children’s Books, 2006.

Lindgren, Astrid. Pippi Longstocking. Viking, 2007.

Little, Jean. From Anna. HarperTrophy, 1973, c1972.

Little, Jean. Kate. Harper & Row, 1971.

Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. Dell Publishing, 1990, c1989.

 MacColl, Michaela. Promise the Night. Chronicle Books, 2011.
Young Beryl, abandoned by her mother and living with her father on a farm in Kenya, is determined to be independent. She is determined not to become a dignified young lady despite all the attempts made by the new housekeeper her father brings into their home and by the headmistress of the boarding school she is forced to attend. Based on the stories and diaries of Beryl Markham, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west, this novel set in the early 20th century will appeal to readers 10-14 years old.  [Africa; Markham, Beryl; Kenya; Friendship; Loneliness; Determination (Personality trait); air pilots; Historical fiction]

MacLachlan, Patricia. The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt.

MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. HarperTrophy, 2004, c1985.

Mah, Adeline Yen. Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society. HarperCollins, 2005.

Mankell, Henning. Secrets in the Fire. Annick Press, 2003.

Martel, Susanne. The King’s Daughter. Groundwood, 1994.

Matas, Carol. Lisa. Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1989.

McMullan, Margaret. Sources of Light. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.

Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Green Gables. Tundra Books, 2000.

Naidoo, Beverly. Journey to Jo’burg. Lippincott, 1985.

Naidoo, Beverley. The Other Side of Truth. HarperCollins, 2001, c2000.

Namioka, Lensey. An Ocean Apart, a World Away. Delacorte Press, 2002.
Yanyan, hoping to become a doctor, leaves her family in China to attend Cornell University in New York State during the 1920s where she discovers prejudice, friendship and the difference between attraction and love. [Historical fiction; China; New York (State); Dating (Social customs); Prejudice; Racism; Courage; Individualism; Adventure and adventurers; Sex role]

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Starting with Alice. Aladdin Paperbacks, 2004, c2002.

Nesbit, E. The Railway Children. Tantor Media, p2005.

Paterson, Katherine. The Day of the Pelican. Sandpiper, 2009.

Paterson, Katherine. Flip-Flop Girl. Puffin Books, 1994.

Paterson, Katherine. The Great Gilly Hopkins. HarperTrophy, 2004, c1978.

Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie. Dutton, 1991.

Patron, Susan. The Higher Power of Lucky. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Patron, Susan. Lucky Breaks. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Pearson, Kit. Perfect, Gentle Knight. Puffin Canada, 2007.

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine, Friend of the Week. Disney-Hyperion Books, 2010.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life as We Knew It. Harcourt, 2006.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. This World We Live In. Harcourt, 2010.

Porter, Pamela. The Crazy Man. Groundwood Books, 2005.

Riordan, James. The Sniper. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2008.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Becoming Naomi Leon. Scholastic, 2004.

Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. Orchard Books, 1992.

Smelcer, John. The Great Death. Henry Holt and Co., 2009.

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Shabanu. Dell Laurel-Leaf, 2003, c1989.

Stratton, Allan. Chanda’s Wars. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008.

Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. HarperTrophy, 2005, c2004.

Whelan, Gloria. Chu Ju’s House. Scholastic, 2005.

Whelan, Gloria. The Disappeared. Dial Books, 2008.

Whelan, Gloria. Listening for Lions. HarperCollins, 2005.

Whelan, Gloria. The Locked Garden. HarperCollins, 2009.

Whelan, Gloria. Small Acts of Amazing Courage. Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Ye, Ting-Xing. White Lily. Seal Books, 2003, c2000.

More novels HERE.