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Celebrate With Us!

Midland Public Library is excited to celebrate Ontario Public Library Week, October 19-23, with special online events, projects to take home and enjoy with family, and our Food For Fines forgiveness program.

Between October 19-23, bring in a non-perishable food item to receive $1 in fine forgiveness (up to $10). Throughout the week, while supplies last, families can register for a free cookie decorating box for an MPL Bake Off (decorate your cookies as your favourite book & share photos with us!) and pick up Mo Willems Take & Make crafts and activities, to correspond with new videos from MPL.

On Monday October 19 at 2 pm, we’ll be hosting a free online screening and discussion of two short documentaries from the National Film Board: Ladies and Gentlemen, Leonard Cohen and Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page. Call Faith at 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or email [email protected] to get the online meeting link.

On Tuesday October 20 at 7pm teens can watch the book-to-film adaptation of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven on NetFlix and live tweet about it from home! Hosted by Adult & Teen Services Coordinator, Jenn. Tweet along: @Midland_Library

The Library is thrilled to host international bestselling historical fiction author, Jennifer Robson for a virtual author visit on Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm. Jennifer is author of six novels set during and after the two world wars, including her most recent Canadian bestseller The Gown, a novel of the Royal Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II. Jennifer will be doing a brief reading from The Gown, followed by an interview with MPL Adult & Teen Services Coordinator, Jennifer Paquette. Patrons can register to receive the online meeting information by emailing Jennifer Paquette at [email protected]. This presentation is made possible with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada.

On Thursday, October 22 at 6:30pm the Midland Makers are having a special virtual How-To in 10 event. Follow along with experienced Makers as they show us fun maker projects that you can do at home in 10 minutes or less. Also, stop in to MPL starting Monday Oct. 19 and grab your very own LED Throwies Take and Make Kit. Then tune in to the Maker meeting for a live LED Throwies tutorial! Email [email protected] for the online meeting details.

MPL is proud to celebrate the work of public libraries and library staff across the province, and pleased to share these exciting events with our community. Thanks for loving your library!

Celebrate PRIDE!

June is Pride Month, when members of the LGBTQIA+ community around the world come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves and to achieve equal opportunity for members of the community.

Making sure that voices from the LGBTQIA+ community are heard is a great way to celebrate Pride.

Usually, Pride is celebrated all month long with gatherings such as parades and festivals. As with many things, this year is different, so we’ve compiled a list of books in the MPL collection that will help you celebrate Pride at home!

Happy Pride!

Books for Young Readers

Board Books

Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson

Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a caregiver to a child. The message of this colourful board book is that you are free to be whoever you want to be, and you will always be loved!

Mommy, Mama and Me by Leslea Newman and Carol Thompson

This book is about the loving bond between a same-sex couple and their child. In Mommy, Mama and Me a toddler spends the day with their two moms, showing that there is no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Picture Books

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita

When Aidan was born everyone thought he was a girl. After realizing that he was a transgender boy, Aidan’s parents helped him change the parts of his life that didn’t fit anymore. Now he is going to be a brother and he wants to make sure everything is perfect! When Aidan Became a Brother is a perfect book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure a child becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.

A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. But everything changes when Pops has a fall. Then comes the terrible news that Pops will need a wheel chair for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to come up with a plan! A Plan for Pops is a story about intergenerational relationships and community!

For Ages 9-12

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Street by Gayle Pitman

This book is about a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. The riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The Stonewall Riots helps readers understand the legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.  

The Mighty Heart of Sunny Saint James by Ashley Herring Blake  

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all.

Books for Teens

When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan & Robin Stevenson  

When their grandfather dies unexpectedly, cousins Mark and Talia travel from opposite sides of the country to help clean out the family cottage in Ontario. However, they would much rather be celebrating Pride in Toronto than dealing with family drama. When a series of complications throws everything up in the air, Mark and Talia – with Mark’s little sister Paige in tow- hit the road. A contemporary road trip novel full of family secrets and friendships, perfect for fans of David Levithan and Becky Albertalli.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations. But, when she’s caught kissing her girlfriend, Rukhsana is uprooted to Bangladesh and thrown into a world of tradition and arranged marriages. Will she find the courage to choose her own path?  This novel is full of humor, heart, and high-stakes drama.

Books for Adults

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote

In this collection of personal essays, Coyote takes a “look back over thirty queer years” as a trans, nonbinary writer and spoken word performer. Coyote shares their journey with readers, including experiencing such indignities as not having access to a gender neutral bathroom, and meeting their “queer” heroes, all with a message of resilience, inclusion and hope.

High School by Tegan & Sara

This is the revelatory and unique story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. Told in alternating chapters from both Tegan’s point of view and Sara’s, the book is a raw account of their grappling with their identity and sexuality and their coming of age.

10 Books to Help Your Family Prepare for Kindergarten

Marley Lauro, Children’s Services Coordinator

We know starting school can be scary! Get prepared by checking out our upcoming Get Ready for Kindergarten video series, and by requesting some of these great books!

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

It’s the first day of school in the forest, but Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go. He begs Mrs. Raccoon to let him stay home — school is just too scary! But Mrs. Raccoon comforts Chester and shares a special family secret with him: the kissing hand. With the love of his mom and the power of the kissing hand, Chester feels brave enough to face his first day of school. This sweet modern classic is the perfect antidote to your little one’s worries about missing home.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns too much? Will the Pigeon be convinced that going to school is a good idea?

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing

It’s the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!

The Teacher’s Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi

When their class tadpoles are big enough, Mr. Stricter tells his students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn’t stay that way for long. Soon, he’s grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: he eats desks, he farts for show-and-tell, and he sneezes slime all over everything! With Mr. Stricter blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.

Monstrous Manners: Manners at School by Bridget Heos

A young monster with no manners goes to a new school and learns the manners she should use from another student. This book is perfect for teaching your child about manners and classroom schedules.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all.

First Day of School by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is a bit nervous about starting school today. There’s a lot to be done before he can even get on the bus—he has to pick out his clothes, find his backpack, pack the perfect lunch, and say good-bye to Mom. Join Little Critter as he gets ready for this exciting day. Lift the flaps and find out what surprises are in store for Little Critter on his first day of school!

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten by Candice Ransom

Amanda Panda has BIG ideas for her first day of school. But when things don’t go according to plan, and when a pesky girl in a pink bow decides to be her best friend, she walks out on kindergarten and joins her brother in second grade. It takes an unlikely partner to fix Amanda’s terrible day—and to teach her about friendship, tolerance, and how to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. “Worry, worry, worry,” her family said. “Too much worry.” And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!

Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube

As Mae’s first day of school approaches she decides she IS. NOT. GOING. School is scary! What if the other kids don’t like her? Or what if she’s the only one who doesn’t know how to write? Or what if she misses her mom? Mae’s anxiety only builds as she walks to school. But then she meets Rosie and Ms. Pearl. Will making new friends show her that they can conquer their fears together?

Powerful Books About Anti-Black Discrimination and Structural Racism

Jenn Paquette, Adult & Teen Services Coordinator

We recognize the importance of educating ourselves and of holding space for, listening to, and learning from people who have been targeted for oppression.

Check out some of our favourite books to spark conversation about anti-Black discrimination and structural racism for a variety of readers – available here at your library.

Books for Young Readers:

Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison – This book may be small, but it’s packed with big dreams to inspire young readers. Harrison profiles eighteen trailblazing Black women from history who all took a stand against a world that didn’t accept them!

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel – This picture book reclaims a charged phrase as part of a Black girl’s everyday life–hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five–before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march.

My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera – Mackenzie is teased at school for her unruly hair, until her wise and comforting neighbour Miss Tille teaches her that natural Black hair is beautiful.

Books for Ages 9-12:

Blended by Sharon M. Draper – Eleven year-old Isabella struggles to feel whole; she’s constantly switching between her divorced parents’ houses. With a Black father and white mother, Isabella also feels like she’s constantly shifting identities. Will she ever feel whole if she’s only seen as half of this and half of that? It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together – until Isabella and her brother Darren are stopped by police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun and shots are fired.

It’s Trevor Noah : Born a Crime : Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, tells the story of growing up half Black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this young readers’ adaptation of his bestselling adult memoir.

Hidden Figures : The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly – This book celebrates the pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to the American space program, including how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their successes.

Books for Teens:  

Dear Martin by Nic Stone – Justyce McAllister is at the top of his class at his predominantly white prep school, but he’s becoming increasingly aware of the microaggressions of his classmates. When Justyce and his classmate attract the attention of an off-duty cop, and shots are fired, Justyce finds himself at the centre of a racial profiling case.

Black Enough : Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Aanu Zoboi – Zoboi edits this anthology of stories by some of our favourite authors for teens, including Jason Reynolds, Renee Watson, and more. The variety in their work lets us know there are innumerable ways to be “Black enough”.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Sixteen-year-old Starr finds herself in two worlds: the poor (mostly Black) neighbourhood where she lives with her family and the fancy (mostly white) prep school she attends. The balance between her two worlds shatters when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Starr is the only one who can speak the truth about what happened that night, but what she has to say (or doesn’t say) has serious consequences.

Books for Adults:

The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole – Cole writes with intimate knowledge of the systematic inequality in our country, and more specifically in law enforcement. Cole tackles Canada’s “smugness and naïve assumptions of a post-racial nation” by chronicling a single year, 2017, in the struggle against racism in this country.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo– Not sure where to start? Oluo offers readers a user’s guide to starting and navigating conversations about race. She addresses issues like privilege, police brutality, micro-aggressions and the Black Lives Matter movement head-on and with a rare ability to be straightforward and funny at the same time.

 No Ashes in the Fire : Coming of Age Black & Free in America by Darnell Moore – a deeply personal memoir from journalist and activist Darnell Moore about growing up subjected to racism and homophobia in Camden, N.J., in the 1980s and ’90s. While Moore shows the brutality that many young, queer Black people face, his book offers hope for building a world where “those who survive on society’s edges can thrive”.

You’ll find more great reads on these lists:

Ibram X. Kendi: An Antiracist Reading List

10 Recent Books on Racism in Canada and the US

NPR: This List…is a Start, Not a Panacea

From our Bookshelves to Yours

Library staff are hard at work providing virtual services and programs, sharing information and building community connection. On our own time, we’re turning to stories that comfort and engage us. Here are some of our recent favourites. You can find most of them as downloadable books by getting the free Libby app or going to

Michael is “re-reading The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, my favourite Marvel Superhero. She solves problems not with her fists, but through understanding and comedy! A highly recommended series, and family friendly.”

Nicole has been exploring our e-book collection, and just found The Last Affair by Margot Hunt. She loved it!

Betty says that she recently read that it’s been 100 years since Agatha Christie published her first Hercule Poirot novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  “Reading that line encouraged me to re-explore the mysteries of Agatha Christie. I was thrilled to be able to download this title on Libby. The edition available is a collection of the first three Hercule Poirot stories. There are twenty-six titles by Dame Christie you can access on-line.”

Kim read Mercy House, by Alena Dillon. “An unexpected and moving story with some unlikely heroines! Fierce & funny!”

Jenn’s been listening to lots of downloadable audiobooks, and one of her recent favourites has been Steven Rowley’s Lily & The Octopus. It’s “a heartwarming and heartbreaking read, but it is funny! The narrator is perfect at delivering Ted’s sarcastic and deadpan humour AND Lily’s urgent enthusiasm.”

Faith found a favourite, Richard Wagamese’s Medicine Walk, available as an e-book. If you read 2019’s Starlight, Wagamese’s last book, Medicine Walk shows us the same characters decades earlier. Fans of his thoughtful, poetic writing and heartfelt characterization will love Medicine Walk.

What are you reading these days?

Find updates, and links to lots of great shared resources, here and on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. We hope you’re staying happy, and healthy, and that we’ll see you again soon!

This is the Place – Online!

The Library may be closed right now, but we still have a lot of ways to satisfy your reading & learning needs – at home, online, for free, using just your library card!

Get the free Overdrive app on your phone or tablet, or use your computer or e-reader, to check out our ebooks and e-audiobooks. At any time, there are tens of thousands of books available to you, by great authors including James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Mary Balogh, and more. Check them out on your schedule, without leaving home.

We’ve got ebooks for kids – picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, and exciting non-fiction reads. Find them in our Tumblebook Library, in lots of different formats – readalongs and videos included – along with other amazing content like math stories, French stories, and puzzles and games. Explore Tumblebooks in the Kids’ section at

You also have access to magazines like Chatelaine, GQ, Forbes, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, Vogue, and many more, through our Flipster subscription! Take a look at is part of our online collection. With thousands of courses taught by industry professionals in everything from design, business, photography, to learning to play musical instruments, these videos, learning paths, and certifications can help you meet your personal and professional goals. All it takes is your library card and an internet connection.

We also have lots of other great online resources. Teen Health and Wellness can answer your questions in an age appropriate way. Auto Repair Source and the Small Engine Repair Center can help you save money by showing you how to make fixes yourself. If you’re wanting to learn a new language, log in to Mango Languages – there are over 70 languages to choose from! You can find all our offerings at

Find updates, and links to lots of great shared resources, at and on our social media pages. We hope you’re staying happy, and healthy, and that we’ll see you again soon!

Home Children in Fiction & Family

Kim McLaughlin

One of my recent reads has been The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham.

This is historical fiction, following the journey of a young girl named Winny,  in England in 1936. She becomes a ward of Dr. Bernardo’s Home Children Society. Ultimately, Winny is sent to Canada, with hundreds of thousands of other young wards, to an unknown future. Her tale is a one of triumph over harrowing tragedy. Certainly a page turner!

I cried at her heartbreak, was outraged by the injustices she faced, and laughed at her candor and sense of humour. In the end I was encouraged by Winny’s resilience and fortitude.

If you like The Forgotten Home Child you might also like Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate.

Did you know that 12% of Canadians are descended from Home Children?

While researching my own family history using MPL’s fantastic resources, I discovered my own paternal grandfather was a Home Child who was adopted through the Salvation Army!

Email me at [email protected] to set up a one on one appointment to find out about your ancestors!

Thrillers to distract you!

By Sandy T.

If you love a good thriller, here are a few great reads that will take your mind off things. No matter what’s going on in the world, a good book can provide comfort and an escape. These books are available in e-book or e-audio book format, found on Libby/Overdrive.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Alicia is a famous painter living a seemingly perfect life, married to an in-demand fashion photographer.  When her husband returns home late from work one night, Alicia kills him, and never speaks again!  While serving her sentence at an institution, her psychotherapist tries to discover the truth by getting her to talk. Instead he is sucked into the mystery.  This book will keep you thrilled with unexpected twists until the last page.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. This is her debut novel and she nailed it! You will not be able to put this down. After a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille is faced with a disturbing assignment:  she is to cover the murders of two preteen girls. She is fighting to confront her psychological demons, while staying with her neurotic, hypochondriac mother and 13 year old beautiful, spoiled half-sister, whom she hasn’t spoken to in years.  This story is full of complex characters. She must unravel her own psychological puzzles to find the truth of these young girls’ murders.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Jessica Farris is a struggling freelance makeup artist in New York City who joins a well-paid psychological study of morality and ethics. After completing the questionnaire she works with the cunning and manipulative Dr. Field. A book full of lies and deceit, it is hard to know whom or what to believe.  A psychological study on morality turns into a game of cat and mouse.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter. What if someone you know and love turns out to be someone entirely different?  Andrea’s mother, Laura, is not who she thinks she is. Laura’s real identity is exposed after a horrific act of violence. For thirty years Laura has been hiding from her previous identity.  Andrea needs to piece together this mystery, following a trail through her mother’s past, or there will be no future for them.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. Three siblings who have been out of touch for many years struggle with their unsettling childhoods. Twenty-five year old Libby inherits her family home. Twenty-five years ago police were called to this address, finding three dead bodies in the kitchen, and the four other children that lived there were gone. Libby must unravel this “can’t look away story” of three families with dark secrets living under the same roof.

Five books to read when you finish binge-watching The Tiger King

Jenn Paquette, Adult / Teen Services Coordinator

The Tiger King series on Netflix has provided some much needed distraction for those of us at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Finished binge-watching? Still craving the absurd? Check out this list of book recommendations for Tiger King fans – all available in e-book or e-audio book format via Libby/Overdrive!

A book with unusual characters:

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell – If Tiger King taught us anything, it’s that the world of animal entertainment attracts eccentrics!  The Bigtree family in Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! doesn’t disappoint! Set at an island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades, this character-driven novel follows thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree and her other oddball family members who are plunged into chaos after her mother, the star of the family’s gator-wrestling show, dies of cancer and her grandfather is sent to a nursing home.

A book about crime at the zoo:

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips – Murdered husbands, arson, assassination plots – it seems that the people who hang around zoos are just as dangerous as the animals! Gin Phillips’ heart-pumping thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. For Joan, what started out as a simple afternoon at the zoo with her son turns into a terrifying fight for survival with an active shooter on the loose.

A book about a big cat:

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Many people who appeared in Tiger King developed a strong bond with the tigers they cared for. But can we co-exist with these dangerous wild animals? In Martel’s Man Booker prize-winning novel, Pi Patel, son of a zookeeper, lives with Richard Parker – a 450-pound Bengal tiger – on a lifeboat for 227 days. Or did he?

A book about political pursuits:

The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis – Joe Exotic was unsuccessful in his run for President of the United States despite the hard work and dedication of his campaign manager Joshua. Terry Fallis’ Best Laid Plans also features an unlikely candidate and a young political aide, but this story ends with very different results. We hear the third book in this series is on its way!

A book about bizarre true crime:

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that changed America by Erik Larson – Fact is stranger than fiction; just ask Eric Goode, director and producer of Tiger King. Like Goode, Larson has a keen eye for the devil in the details and reveals that things aren’t always what they seem. Larson’s acclaimed historical true crime book tells the tale of a cunning serial killer who used the 1893 World’s Fair to lure his victims to their death.

Join us in the MPL MakerPlace!

I’m Michael Rogowski, Midland Public Library’s new MakerPlace Coordinator. Within my first week, I’m feeling very at home in the MakerPlace. I’ve always been passionate about my work, and I’ve never been more excited to start. It blends two deep interests of mine: connecting people with the tools and resources they need, and innovative technologies.

The space brings together new tech, such as the laser cutter and 3D printer, with classic tech, such as sewing machines and button makers. As much as I love emerging technologies, my thought process has always been about applicability. Blending those technologies that have been around for decades with the shiny new gadgets will create something really special.

With a background in audio visual technologies, it’s no surprise how excited I am to help the community with their audio visual tech needs. With all the resources and tools available in the Media Lab, the possibilities are nearly endless. Whether you’re interested in launching your own podcast or YouTube page, recording that song you’ve had in your head forever, or converting an old vinyl record to digital, there is something in this space for everyone to experience.

I love the cyclical nature of the space we have and its technologies. It’s meant to spark people’s imaginations, which in turn will broaden minds and help create tomorrow’s projects. I’ve already seen this with some of the ideas from our patrons who have come into the MakerPlace. The love and wonder you bring into the space is infectious, and I hope to emulate this passion.

As with any piece of technology, collaboration is key. This is what makes it so fun and exciting. There’s nothing more exhilarating than showing off something you’ve just created, and inspiring someone else to try it themselves. Working together, we can help you create new and exciting projects, and make those big ideas a reality. That’s really what I’m most excited about.

Michael Rogowski is the new MakerPlace Coordinator at the Midland Public Library. Find out more at

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