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Photo by Rheal Doucette.

Teen readers show no mercy in library’s Battle of the Books

By Apartment613 on July 6, 2016


Post by Laura Li. Li is a West Carleton High School student and member of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library Teen Advisory Group. She has also blogged on the Ottawa Public Library website as Teen Blogger in Residence.

After a year’s worth of waiting, the moment has finally come: School’s out, exams are nothing but a memory, sun’s shining, and students all across Ottawa just can’t seem to get away quick enough from the horrors of pencils and paper. With adventure lying around every corner, it’s hard not to get caught up in the thrills of the outdoors. Of course, once the excitement wears off, you will most likely find the typical teen lounging indoors with a bowl of chips in one hand and the TV remote in the other.

“There isn’t anything to do.”

“It’s too hot.”

“It’s summer; can’t I just relax for a bit?”

Colour-Logo Battle Books TeensWe’ve all heard the excuses and know the impeccable truth: Teens get bored easily. There is, however, a way for anyone to be whisked away on an adventure whilst never putting even a toe outside. From rebelling against corrupt hierarchies to travelling the world on the dragon, the possibilities are endless with books. That’s why the Ottawa Public Library is challenging all teens in Ottawa to go on as many adventures as possible all within the safety of their homes.

Every year, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) holds Teen Summer Reading – a contest starting back on June 17th and spanning over the course of ten weeks for teens ages 13-18. The rules are quite simple: Teens sign up on the Teen Summer Reading website and write reviews or comments for any item available in the library catalogue. These items in the OPL catalogue, include print books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and digital content such as eBooks, audiobooks and streamed movies. Members will also have the opportunity to create book quizzes/lists, personalize their profile avatar, and set summer reading goals for themselves. Every week, a draw will take place with names of everyone who had written a comment. The winner of each draw will receive a $25 gift card for Chapters.

This year, a new addition to the program is being introduced: The Battle of the Books. Starting on July 11th, teens can participate in voting for their favourite books. Teens can choose between four books in either the French or English category.

So which books are going head to head for the first week?


Red_QueenNever Never, by Brianna R. Shrum: “James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up. When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly.”

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard: “Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood — those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities.”

The 5th Wave, by Richard 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”

The Beast of Cretacea, by Todd Strasser: “Aboard the Pequod, seventeen-year-old Ishmael arrives on the planet Cretacea to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth.”


product_9782070663576_244x0Les petites reines, par Clémentine Beauvais: “Pour la troisième année consécutive, Mireille, 15 ans, est nommée au palmarès Facebook des Boudins (ou moches) de l’année, organisé par Malo, jeune collégien.”

Le soleil est pour toi, par Jandy Nelson: “Noah et Jude vivent en Californie. Les jumeaux sont très proches bien que différents : Noah, le solitaire, dessine à longueur de temps et Jude, l’effrontée, est passionnée par la sculpture. Mais les premiers troubles de l’amour et du désir bouleversent leur relation et leurs chemins se séparent.”

Casting: Charlotte, par Chloé Varin

Casting: Victoria, par Stéphanie Lapointe

Casting: Victor, par Simon Boulerice

“Une série de romans invitant à arpenter les coulisses du cinéma par le biais des journaux intimes tenus par trois jeunes acteurs.”

Ma vie autour d’une tasse John Deere, par Émilie Rivard: “Étienne commence sa dernière année du secondaire à la polyvalente les Hêtres. C’est un adolescent bien dans sa peau, heureux d’entrer tout doucement dans le monde adulte. Bien qu’il ne cache pas son homosexualité à ses amis et camarades d’école, il n’est pas encore sorti du placard en ce qui concerne sa grand-mère adorée qui habite la résidence Beauséjour.”

More books will come in later weeks to compete from various genres. Who knows? Some may enjoy more action-packed books such as The 5th Wave, while others may prefer a classic LGBTQ+ story such as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The program will last throughout the summer until one sole book is crowned the overall victor.

With books, it’s nearly impossible not to get caught up in an exhilarating experience. Sign up for Teen Summer Reading today!

For more information, visit