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Teen SRC 2021 – Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Permanent Record : Snowden, Edward: Amazon.ca: Books

Permanent Record is a book about the life of Edward Snowden, beginning from his childhood where he “hacked” his house’s time by setting back every single clock in the house so he could stay home longer. Eventually, he went into the government to work and created “The Heartbeat” This document would scan for any unique documents that may have useful information in and store it. This let him learn a lot about the government that wasn’t normally seen by the public. He found out that the government was doing mass surveillance on the public and was storing all this information as part of a permanent record. Snowden eventually blew the whistle and had to seek refuge in other countries to avoid being taken by the government.

The book was fairly interesting, and pretty easy to understand. Although there were some more technical terms, they were all still pretty simple. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the collection of information on the internet more and also how it works.

Teen SRC 2021 – The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition): Machiavelli, Niccolo, Parks,  Tim, Parks, Tim: 9780143105862: Ethics: Amazon Canada

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli is a meticulous and methodical commentary regarding the roles and responsibilities of how an efficient leader should conduct their own affairs relating to the state. The pragmatic nature of Machiavelli’s psyche is emboldened throughout the book as The Prince seeks to elaborate that the aspects of survival justify the actions of a ruler in achieving glory and establishing a secure nation.

The Prince was originally dedicated to the ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici, as a straightforward and logical guide concerning the duplicitous nature of a nation’s subjects, political assertiveness/etiquette, and the desired conduct of a leader during war efforts. Machiavelli also focuses on the personal virtues a successful ruler should uphold, in which specific virtues can be favoured for their merit, but to conform to them would be damaging to the rest of the state. The Prince often uses numerous real-life examples to illustrate the effectiveness of certain forms of government and the strategies they employed to maintain power and the goodwill of the people.

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Teen Book Review – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Depending on your view, this book will have one of two effects. Either make you feel like a failure who’s been living an underwhelming and lazy lifestyle, or it will inspire you to achieve greater and greater things in life. The book is really a story about Chris Hadfield’s career and how we became the household name and Icon in Canadian and Aeronautics we know him to be today. When he was young he never had the goal to be an astronaut, but he took every opportunity that came his way and made the most out of all of them. Chris writes more about the journey rather than the goal and even if he became a commercial airline pilot the story would still be the same. It would still follow his choices and how they impacted his career path. Overall this novel is really about life rather than the life of an astronaut.I think this book is a must read book that emphasises the importance of striving to achieve. I would rate this book a 10/10

Teen SRC 2020 – Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Trevor was born from a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time where that could be punishable by law for five years in prison. As he was living evidence of his parents “crime”, he was kept indoors most of his childhood. His mother hid him as well as she could as the government could take him away at any time. Finally when that era ended, did Trevor and his mother able to live freely. And it was then that he had to set foot into the ocean of possibility only made possible have a long struggle. The book takes you through a journey about a imp child who turns into a man in a environment where he wasn’t suppose to even exist. He is accompanied by his fearless, passionately religious mother, who is determined to keep her son safe from the cycle of poverty, cruelty, and brutality of the world.

This book was so beautiful and humorous. I have watched his shows before with my family online and its focused on race, police brutality, prejudice, hate speech, and many other important topics that needs to be discussed. He really brought the book to life and the audio book was even better. There is so much dark humor in there and he manages to talk about those topics that usually makes us feel uneasy. And I have to say, I love his mother. She is hilarious as well, strong minded, and basically amazing. She taught him many important lessons and guided him gently along the way through his dark and daunting life.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Debt Free Graduate by Murray Baker

The Debt Free Graduate by Murray Baker

The Debt-Free Grad

This book is a book that teaches you how to leave college or university with as little of a debt as possible, because debt and interest are painful; unless people owe it to you.

This book covers scholarships, how to apply, jobs, furnishing, credit cards, and so much more. This book is immensely helpful for me because it gives me an idea of what college will actually be like. I recommend this book to people who are grade 9 and up.

Teen SRC 2020 – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

(TL;DR at the end.)

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is a fantastic book! I read it in grade eight, and I’ve been rereading it ever since. It’s continually fascinating– I think I learn something new every time I read it.

Premise: Blink dissects our snap judgements, dealing with subjects such as police shootings, speed dating, museums, divorce, war strategy, and why we like the fruit jams we like. It’s about the thousands of split second decisions we make every day, and what goes on in our subconscious minds when we make them. Most importantly, Blink is NOT BORING! One might expect a book that covers a multitude of subjects like this with psychology to be dry and stretched too thin, but that’s absolutely not the case. Gladwell is incredibly easy to read: he breaks concepts down so that us normal people can understand them, but it never feels like he’s talking down to you at all.

Blink is a non-fiction book. This does not detract from the quality of it at all. This is one of those books where the truth is just as interesting as fiction, especially in terms of the stories told.

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Teen SRC 2019 – Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

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Algorithms to Live By is a fascinating nonfiction read. As the title goes, authors Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths explore a selection of famous algorithms and procedures from computer science and apply them to aspects of our everyday lives. These aspects range from things such as scheduling your day, to knowing how long to search through a list for a best choice (which happens to be after you’ve gone through precisely 37% of the options).

As someone quite involved in computer science, this book was both familiar and new to me at the same time. The familiar nature of the book came from some of the algorithms the authors mentioned, which I had previously explored in academic studies and personal learning. However, one doesn’t need to have already known the computational concepts present to understand the book as the authors go over them in detail. What was new for me was their application, which provided a new perspective on computer science. Most of my computer programs are utilities, less concerned with being concepts that I could follow outside the field. Reading this book has shown me that computer science has much greater applications and usefulness to the world, not just in coding helpful applications but also being a guide for making better decisions in life.

I recommend this book to anyone looking to explore this new perspective, as well as to anyone interested in aspects of computer science.

Teen SRC 2019 – Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter

Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter

So… summer school has really picked up the pace and I haven’t been able to fully finish a book in AGES. Seriously, there are piles of books with bookmarks on my table as I write this… So sorry if this is the only review I get out in a while but that’s the best I can do for now; hopefully I finish one or two more stories this week!

I figure many of us have thought of writing a book much like the ones we immerse ourselves in and that’s exactly why this book caught my eye. This is an informative non-fiction book written by YA author Ally Carter about the process of writing a book. It’s geared towards aspiring young authors starting to discover their love of writing with many, many unanswered questions. Ally talks about writer’s block, persevering through the bad days, finding an agent/publisher and MANY other related topics, basically covering everything you need to know to begin your story. In addition to her own tips, she also adds advice from her many writer friends, authors we all know and love. To name a few: Cassandra Clare, Marie Lu, Soman Chainani, Marissa Meyer, the list just goes onnnn. This gives the book a lot more perspective and insight, especially on topics such as co-writing or genres Ally hasn’t touched on herself.

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Teen SRC 2019 – Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

Every Falling Star - Lee, Sungju

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee is the true story of how a boy escaped North Korea.

Sungju was living a comfortable and happy life when everything he had ever known was taken away from him. They were going on a ‘vacation’ but the tiny house in Gyeong-seong doesn’t seem like a holiday place. Amidst the beggars, public executions, and mass famines, Sungju is horrified by his new home. At first, he refuses to believe anything his classmates tell him, but little by little, he realizes they are telling the truth; his parents have been kicked out of Pyeongyang and he has been lied to his entire life. Soon, the little food and money his father had managed to bring with them is finished and his father tries to smuggle himself into China in order to find food. He promises to return, but when he doesn’t, and all they have had to eat for days is salt and water, Sungju’s mother decides to leave and find her way to Sungju’s aunt. She doesn’t dare bring him with her for fear of being caught and executed. At twelve years old, Sungju is left to find for himself.

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Teen SRC 2018- Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges

The official book behind the film, The Imitation Game, this is a dramatic portrayal of the life and work of Alan Turing, one of Britain’s most extraordinary unsung heroes, and one of the world’s greatest innovators.
This is the official story that has inspired the British film, The Imitation Game, a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing, the pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code, and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement of apology in 2009 on behalf of the British government for the “appalling” treatment of Turing for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

This book may seem boring to many teenagers (there is a lot of pages), and I know it is not the usual fictional love/fantasy stories most girls/guys seem to gravitate towards during summer, but I promise you that this is the most hard-hitting, and beautiful book I have ever picked up. Alan Turing is a historical icon, and this book just made me know the man behind the machine.  This book is completely non-fiction but written in a way a character would be. I actually grew really close to Alan’s personality and felt his pain. This book is totally underrated, and I hope more people get the honour of reading his biography and see him in a different light.