Browsing articles in "Kids’ Panel"

Noah Raves About Truancy

Dec 28, 2016   //   by Noah   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Noah Raves About Truancy

The Truancy series, written by Isamu Fukui when he was a 15-year-old high school student, is an extremely well-written and suspenseful dystopian series. Set in an experimental city divided into 58 different sectors and ruled by forces that value education, a group of schoolchildren, known as the Truants, wants to fight back.

Truancy by Isamu Fukui book coverIn the first book, Truancy, a boy named Tack is living the life of a schoolboy. Dealing with surprise tests and harsh learning ways, Tack is getting frustrated with the system. When he finds a school dropout his own age, alone in abandoned sector 19, Tack sees his life begin to change. Training under the boy, Umasi, Tack learns to fight with both words and swords. But when he witnesses the death of his sister by a Truant, Tack is devastated and wants to seek revenge.

After finding his way to one of the many Truant hideouts in the city, Tack is accepted into the rebel group. Gradually rising up the ranks, he eventually battles the leader of the Truancy for the chief role. He subsequently changes his name to Tackan and starts to realize exactly how hard the life of a leader can be.

The second book, Truancy Origins, shows us the early years of the two brothers, Umasi, the boy from sector 19, and Zyid, the future leader of the Truancy. In this book, we learn how Umasi and Zyid’s paths begin to separate.

The final book, Truancy City, brings us back to the city when Tackan is the leader of the Truants. The city’s long want of taking down the Truants might just have a new secret weapon – a boy, trained by Umasi, who is an amazing fighter and has few weaknesses. In a final all-out battle between the Truants and the general population of the city, the overarching leader of all of the experimental cities steps in, using her own troops to help maintain order. Attempting to evade the Government, the Truants try to seek refuge by leaving the city.

The series ends with a stunning conclusion at the top of the tallest building in the city, a 108-floor tower that overlooks all 58 sectors. The amazing ending shows that not all forces are what they seem to be.

This is a very well-written book with a lot of action, suspense and mystery. The character development is superb, and it is a very captivating series. It is fictionalized, yet provides a somewhat scary foreshadowing to what the future could hold.

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars.


Solange Flips for ‘The Next Step’

Dec 21, 2016   //   by Solange   //   Age 4-8, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Solange Flips for ‘The Next Step’

Solange loves The Next Step. In this video you’ll find out why!


The Toy That Never Gets Old: James Shares His Love for the Rubik’s Cube

Dec 14, 2016   //   by James   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on The Toy That Never Gets Old: James Shares His Love for the Rubik’s Cube

The classic Rubik’s Cube from the ’80s has been back for a while but it recently has been growing amongst many teens and tweens.

I personally have been into solving Rubik’s Cubes for almost 3 years. On average I can solve it in about 10-12 seconds. I got introduced to it by my friend, back in 2014.

I was recently on the news for the second time talking about cubing competitions! They happen about 3-4 times in Alberta a year and we have 140-220 people show up and compete! The last competition I went to I got a 13.66 3×3 average.

I think that the Rubik’s Cube is a great way to pass time as well as increase memorization and even increase your strategy skills. I recommend everyone to at least try to learn one at some time!


Joshua Makes Chapatis

Dec 7, 2016   //   by Joshua   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Joshua Makes Chapatis

In under five minutes, Joshua will show you how he makes Ugandan chapatis.


Julia is Ready to Make a Change: WE Day 2016

Nov 30, 2016   //   by Julia   //   Age 16-19, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Julia is Ready to Make a Change: WE Day 2016

This year I was lucky enough to attend WE Day 2016 in Toronto.

Now for those who may not be familiar with WE Day it is a youth empowerment event in the style of a concert that is put on by Me to We and Free the Children. It features many speakers and musical artists who all use their stories and talents to inspire 20,000 or so youth in the Air Canada Centre. With musical performances from the likes of Jason Derulo and Gord Downie as well as speeches of empowerment and awareness of Canada’s history and future, it was a concert like no other.

Here’s a video that will help describe a little more about the event:

Like the video said, you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day. It is earned through your school and the work you do to support Me to We and Free the Children.

This was not my first time attending WE Day. Back in 2010 I was fortunate enough to attended for the first time in Vancouver. I found myself so inspired and it gave me a love and connection to the organization and the work that they do. So when I was faced with the offer to go again this year, I was ecstatic. I remember being so moved the first time, that the idea of going again and getting to hear more speeches and be influenced to think about some more important topics that I hadn’t thought about before was fantastic.

On the subject of important topics I hadn’t really thought about before, there was one that really touched me deeply that made me think hard about it and continue to. There was a section of the performance that they really focused on Canadian history and the upcoming 150th anniversary of Canada, and during that part, one of the main points was about reconciliation. The section started and was led by Gord Downie and the project that he was working on called “The Secret Path.” They told us about the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young native boy who died while trying to get back to his family from the reformation school that he was being kept at. Gord did this through song, speech and video as well as bringing along Chanie’s sister Pearl Wenjack. Pearl also did a short speech before singing a song in her native language. The atmosphere at this moment was intense. The whole stadium felt moved. It definitely left an impact as it is the thing I have been telling people about since.

This is an experience that will stay with me forever. It was a life changing event that has inspired me to help change the world and I am so grateful for being able to attend. If you ever get to go I would say: take the chance to be inspired. For we all can be the change.


Emanuel and His Dad Clash Together

Nov 23, 2016   //   by Emanuel   //   Age 4-8, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Emanuel and His Dad Clash Together

Emanuel Reviews ‘Clash Royale’ – an online game he enjoys playing with his father.


Noah Finds Adventure in Shipwrecks

Nov 16, 2016   //   by Noah   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Noah Finds Adventure in Shipwrecks

The Finest Hours, by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, is a thrilling, non-fiction story that describes in detail the most daring coast guard rescue of all time. Released as a movie in 2016, this book is inspirational and has amazing character development.

Caught in a terrible storm on Feb. 18, 1952, two different oil tankers on the coast of Cape Cod split in half. Each of the four segments was left stranded. Without engine power, these tankers drifted in the 40- to 60-foot swells, in the most dangerous storm ever seen in New England.

The Finest Hours follows four different sea rescues, each one forming a different section of the story. My favourite part was the first one, involving coast guard Bernie Webber and his crew of Richard Livesey, Andy Fitzgerald, and Ervin Maske. These four men risked their lives in a 36 foot wooden lifeboat to save the seamen trapped on the S.S Pendleton’s bow.

This story is very thought provoking, and shows what a true coast guard rescue would be like. Not only did it drag me in like a boat pulled out to sea, this book captivated my attention to the very end.

Also fascinating was the book’s epilogue, which followed the life of the CG 36500, the boat Bernie Webber used in the rescue. It explains the journey it took from the backyard of a boathouse, to huge restoration projects, to its final resting place – a museum in Cape Cod. The story also tracks what happened to the men of the gold-medal crew, an honour that each man received after this daring rescue.

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars. I strongly recommend it.


Kris Explains the Beauty of Kubo

Nov 9, 2016   //   by Kris   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Kris Explains the Beauty of Kubo

Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantasy adventure film. It’s directed by Travis Knight and produced with Lanika. The film follows the adventure of young boy Kubo. He resides above a village with his mother. His mother instructs that Kubo must never stay out past sunset. When Kubo disobeyed this rule, his mother’s fractured past comes back to ruin their peaceful life. It sparks an old vendetta, and forces Kubo to leave his mother and to seek the armor, helmet and sword of his father, a legendary samurai…

Kubo and the Two Strings uses traditional stop motion, puppets, computer-generated imagery, and 3D printing to create breathtaking scenery and lively characters. This interesting process added more elements to traditional stop-motion (made it futuristic), and made the transitions flow better. An 18-foot stop-motion puppet was even created! The story has the characteristics of a folklore influenced by Japanese culture. It displays a variety of emotions, as well as coming to terms with imperfections, and being human.

In conclusion, Kubo and the Two Strings has an interesting story and unique characters. In my own opinion though, I felt the story was missing something. The scenes have been laboured over to create its wondrous appearance. It teaches new methods of stop motion and Japanese culture. I think it’s a great movie to watch. However be cautious of watching with young children, there are some deep topics. I enjoyed it immensely, 4.5/5 stars.

Behind the scenes: technology – How the studio behind ‘Kubo’ went high tech to make stop-motion look astonishing

Behind the scenes: timelapse of stop-motion – A Behind-the-Scenes Timelapse Captures the Extraordinary Physical Labor for the New Stop Motion Film ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’


Ava Joy Perfects Her Style

Nov 2, 2016   //   by Ava Joy   //   Age 4-8, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Ava Joy Perfects Her Style

Check out Ava Joy’s review of Toca Tailor!


Emanuel Finds Adventure in Super Agent Jon Le Bon

Oct 26, 2016   //   by Emanuel   //   Age 4-8, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Emanuel Finds Adventure in Super Agent Jon Le Bon
Emanuel reading a Super Agent Jon Le Bon book.

Emanuel likes the Super Agent Jon Le Bon series of graphic novels because it is funny and cool.

Check this out: the graphic novels Super Agent Jon Le Bon, books 1-5 by Alex A.

Why it’s cool? Why do you like it?

I like the Jon Le Bon series because it is funny and cool. It’s funny because Jon Le Bon does silly things, like in book 5 (Time Travel Fridge) he decides he wants to fight some giraffes who walk on two legs and some weird elephants. I think it’s cool because there’s a lot of action and excitement that happens in all 5 books, since this book is an action adventure featuring secret agent Jon Le Bon.

Is it entertaining, educational, or both?

I think this book is mostly entertaining, because it’s full of a lot of action and excitement. But if you’re looking to start your own secret agency, this book tells you how to do that since it’s all about a secret agency.



The Kids' Panel

Meet our kids' panel: a savvy group of kids with a strong point of view about the media and the culture they consume. Culturally diverse, a range of age and interests, they'll provide you with an insight into kids' media ... what works, what doesn't and why. Check back often for new reviews. We think you'll be inspired! @storyartscentre