Students take a happy stroll through the Forest of Reading

Meeting author Cherie Dimaline (right)

Since January, a group of Trinity College School students have been taking part in the White Pine program, part of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading. The program challenges people to read as many books as possible from the 10 selections within their age group.

Each group within the forest – from the Blue Spruce for preschoolers to the Evergreen for adults – includes lists of Canadian fiction and/or non-fiction works, and there are also selections for adults learning to read, English language learners, French readers and more. More than 250,000 people take part each year, reading and then voting on their favourite selection from their group.

In the White Pine group, geared to high school readers, this year’s nominees were as varied as Cherie Dimaline’s dystopian thriller The Marrow Thieves; Susin Nielsen’s dramatic Optimists Die First; Exo, the first in a new series by science fiction writer Fonda Lee; and Susan Juby’s teen comedy The Fashion Committee.

To wrap up the program, the students travelled with Senior School librarian Shelagh Straughan and library assistant Holly Barclay to Toronto on May 15th, to take part in the Festival of Trees. This event welcomes hundreds of people to Harbourfront Centre at Queen’s Quay for author workshops, book signings and the presentation of awards.

Students enjoyed meeting authors including Cherie Dimaline, Fonda Lee and Susin Nielsen. They also watched as Danielle Younge-Ullman won the White Pine award for Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined.

Congratulations to the students who took on the White Pine challenge for reminding us all of the rewards of reading. And if you are looking for some great options for your own “to be read” shelf, see the full list of nominees in each category on the Forest of Reading website.