Phelps Homes Family Literacy Day 2019: See pics from the event!

family literacy day cover photo

Wow, what an amazing afternoon at the Grimsby Public Library! Last Sunday, January 27, on a cold and snowy afternoon, we invited the community to our 6th annual Phelps Homes Family Literacy Day. Thanks to all the families who bundled up the kids and visited us for this celebration of literacy and all things reading, we had a blast! Kids got to try our obstacle course, tape track, balloon animals, face painting, GIANT board games, play dough fun and so much more. (Try some of these play-based literacy activities at home; they use words and actions to help kids exercise their brains and their muscles.) Check out photos from the event below:

Event photos

We were so excited to have some of our community friends come too: Therapy Tails, Niagara Children’s Centre, Smoke Free Movies, Tutor Doctor, Grimsby’s FUN School of Music, and the Grimsby Fire Department all shared their own special activities to encourage reading and learning at home. We also had gravity-defying performances by the amazing Spirit Athletics cheer team who let visitors try out different cheers and gymnastic feats.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended, volunteered their time and skills and contributed to this wonderful community event, we had so much fun with all of you! We’d like to express our great gratitude as well to Phelps Homes Ltd. for their continued support of literacy events at the Library, we couldn’t do it all without you!

At the Library with Debbie Travis: A Grimsby Author Series event


We couldn’t think of a better way to close out 2018 than with the fabulous Grimsby Author Series event we had last Friday with Debbie Travis. Debbie was at the library to speak to a packed house of fans about her newest book Design Your Next Chapter. It was nice to gather together inside on such a cold and wintery night, and see the crowd warm up with yummy snacks and samples of delicious Pinot Grigio from Pillitteri‘s Debbie Travis Fine Wine Collection. There was a definite buzz of excitement in the room, too, as friends met up with friends to chat with each other before Debbie took the stage.

It was such an honour to have decorating and lifestyle author, TV presenter and internationally celebrated entrepreneur Debbie Travis to speak here at the Grimsby Library last Friday night. Her new book Design Your Next Chapter, is full of inspiring anecdotes and wisdom gained from her extensive and varied career, as well as ones from the many other amazing women she has met throughout her life. It is a book for anyone that is looking for the motivation to start over and follow their passion. In her talk with us, Debbie had the crowd laughing and left us inspired with her quick wit, wonderfully engaging style, and incredible life story. It was truly a treat to hear her speak and hear more about her latest projects and future plans as well.

After the talk Debbie fielded many questions from the audience and our Chief Librarian Kathryn Drury, before graciously sitting down to sign books and take pictures with a huge line of fans. We’d like to thank Debbie so much for coming to the Grimsby Author Series and for sharing her wonderful book with us. A huge thanks as well to all of the wonderful sponsors, benefactors and volunteers for making this night such a huge success!

Did you enjoy this event? Attend more quality events by getting tickets to the Spring 2019 season of the Grimsby Author Series! Perfect as a gift this holiday season for the book-lover in your life, this season we are welcoming an amazing roster of Canadian literary talent. You’ll see the bestselling and critically acclaimed authors Iain Reid, Anna Porter, Andrew Pyper, and Shelley Wood, as well as a special presentation for the last night of series, a sit down conversation with 2018 Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan. This is one season you won’t want to miss! Buy your tickets online or at the library, $75 for 3 amazing events.


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Dave Williams and Beverley McLachlin at the Grimsby Author Series


Last Monday we welcomed Grimsby Author Series goers back to the Casablanca Winery Inn for the last evening of the regular fall 2018 season. We can’t believe it’s already come to an end, but we couldn’t think of a better way to close it out than with a visit from our two esteemed and distinguished authors, Dr. Dave Williams and Justice Beverley McLachlin. It was so nice to gather once again with friends, enjoy a glass of wine, and listen to these wonderful speakers. To warm our bellies on the cold November night, Trius Winery brought along a bold Cabernet Franc and a crisp Sauvingnon Blanc for us to try, what a perfect way to kick off a fantastic night out on the town.


Beverley McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 2000-2017, is the author of the new legal-thriller hit Full Disclosure. At her first Grimsby Author Series appearance, she started the night off with clearing the air. Her book, while having the same title as another popular book that has just come out, by one Stormy Daniels, has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Admittedly, while the characters in that book are also embroiled in their own legal woes, Beverley McLachlin’s Full Disclosure is something rather more sophisticated.

One could argue that writing good judgments and writing good novels are two completely separate talents. One requires clarity, sober accuracy of fact and little creativity, while the other requires an author’s particular perspective, imagination and writing acumen. Based on her bestselling new book and her illustrious career, Justice McLachlin has mastered both skills. Her prose activates every sense in the reader, creating fully realized scenes and magnetic characters right before our eyes. However she uses her years of experience as a lawyer and a judge to flesh out the plot of her story, providing it with a tangible authenticity.

It was truly an honour to have Justice McLachlin take our stage as she sets out on this exciting new career path as an author. Hopefully we will see her back soon, as she revealed that a memoir and possible sequel to Full Disclosure is on the horizon…


Dave Williams

Dr. Dave Williams was up next. Who better than an astronaut, doctor, scientist, teacher, children’s book author, and now non-fiction author, to close out the first half of the season? We were so delighted to welcome him to the Grimsby Author Series for the first time last Monday night. Gregarious, funny and a compelling natural story teller, it was a true pleasure to hear him speak about his new memoir, Defying Limits, and to share some of the anecdotes found within.

This book is at once heartfelt, inspiring, and honest. A memoir of an extraordinary and passionate life, always on the edge of adventure and discovery. A life lived by a man who paid no heed to the word “impossible”, and who squeezed a valuable lesson from every experience. He is now dedicated to sharing those lessons with us, so we can learn from them, too. In Defying Limits, this “curious kid from Saskatchewan” shows us that we can live our lives to our own version of the fullest, and that doing great things is within everyone’s grasp.

We were so privileged to have Dr. Williams with us at the Grimsby Author Series, and so grateful he decided to add “author” to his long list of accomplishments. We hope that it is an experience he repeats in the future, so we can have him back again!


After both talks were done, the authors answered a lot of questions from the audience, and stayed after the raffles were drawn to sign copies of their books for a long lineup of fans. We’d like to say big thank you to both Dave and Beverley for attending the fall 2018 season with us, and for a wonderful and inspiring night. Time flies when you’re having fun, and we have definitely felt it this season!

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. Shout out to Epic Books of Hamilton as well, who sold books by our featured authors this season, we loved having you!

Stay tuned to all of the Grimsby Public Library’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for information about spring ticket sales coming soon. We’re hoping to have them on sale before Christmas!


Joanna Goodman and Eden Robinson at the Grimsby Author Series


We are officially halfway through the fall 2018 season of the Grimsby Author Series! Last Monday we welcomed award-winning and bestselling authors Joanna Goodman and Eden Robinson to the stage to speak about their latest works. It was lovely to gather with friends once again on this chilly fall evening to enjoy a delicious wine tasting from Cave Springs, and hear engaging talks from these wonderful fiction writers. A bright and crisp white and a spicy and fruity Gamay were on the menu, and after picking up a complimentary glass, we settled into our seats for another fantastic night.

Joanna Goodman

It was Joanna Goodman‘s first time at the Grimsby Author Series, and we were thrilled that her inaugural experience was to speak about The Home for Unwanted GirlsThis latest book has been making bestseller and book club lists across the country, and has been a favourite of Grimsby Library patrons. It is no wonder, as it is a beautifully crafted and powerful story that reveals a shocking and horrific moment in Canadian history that few people are aware of. Through the story of the fictional Elodie, we experience the outrageous human rights violations carried out by the Quebec government in the 1950’s at the hands of their premier, Maurice Duplessis. In a move that displayed an unimaginable kind of greed, he, along with the Catholic church, decided to re-brand the province’s orphanages as insane asylums in order to receive more money from the federal government. The treatment of the inmates that ensued after this decision was made went unchecked for years, and remains to this day relatively unacknowledged by the people responsible.

This book has shone a bright spotlight onto a story that no one was talking about, and has sparked a national conversation. At once a poignant history lesson, and heart wrenching tale of identities lost to a corrupt system, we were so privileged to have the author come to read a passage, and hear her speak about what drove her to write it.


Eden Robinson

We were so delighted to have Eden Robinson take the stage on Monday night to speak about the second book in her critically acclaimed Trickster series. The first book, Son of a Trickster, was short-listed for the Giller prize (along with her first novel Monkey Beach) and Eden is the winner of the Writers Trust Engel/Findley Award. How wonderful to have this accomplished and talented author come to Grimsby to share her work with us.

Trickster Drift continues the story of Jared, a teen with a whole world of problems; some completely common to someone his age… and some decidedly not. Dealing with drinking, smoking, drugs, getting your grades up and finding a job – totally relatable, right? Having a witch for a mother, a mythical creature for a father, and being accosted by supernatural forces on a daily basis… Not so much. In a story that is at once enchanting, magical, hilarious and provocative, we follow Jared as he attempts to regain control over his life. He soon discovers that when push comes to shove, the only way forward is to embrace who he is, and what he is going to become.

Eden’s characters are vivid, the way they speak and interact with each other is described with such powerful authenticity and wit that it brings them totally to life before the reader’s eyes. It was a treat to hear Eden read us an excerpt and hear the words spoken through the author’s voice. We can’t wait until the next book comes out, and hopefully see her back in Grimsby to hear that wonderful laugh of hers fill the room again.


After both talks were done, the authors answered questions from the audience, and stayed after the raffles were drawn to sign copies of their books for a long lineup of fans. We’d like to send out a huge thank you to both Joanna and Eden for attending the fall 2018 season with us!

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Malivoire Wine Company for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. Shout out to Epic Books of Hamilton as well, who sold books by our featured authors, great to have you back for your second night with us!


Wayne Grady and Nathan Ripley at the Fall 2018 Grimsby Author Series


Welcome back to the Grimsby Author Series! We are so excited to bring you another season of fantastic books, excellent authors and more great nights out in the Town of Grimsby. We’ve got an amazing line up of Canadian literary talent on the fall 2018 roster, and we had two outstanding authors kick it off last Monday night. GAS veteran Wayne Grady and debut thriller writer Nathan Ripley read from their brand new novels to a full house at the Casablanca Winery Inn. Wine tastings were provided by our friends at Malivoire Wine Company who had two lovely VQA selections for the audience to try, including a crisp and fruity Riesling-Sauvignon Blanc and a medium bodied Red with stone fruit notes.

A formula for a wonderful night! See pictures and reviews below:


Nathan Ripley

We were delighted to welcome Nathan Ripley to the Grimsby Author Series for the first time to read from his debut novel Find You in the Dark. A riveting thriller that has been catching the attention of mystery readers all over the country, this is a book that takes readers on a journey of murder and investigation through the eyes of one man’s obsession. His name is Martin, and to all outward appearances, he’s a normal guy with a wife he loves, a nice home, and a special relationship with a beloved daughter. But Martin is hiding a dark secret, a hobby that sees him bribing cops for serial killer case files, digging up the graves of missing victims, and getting on the wrong side of local law enforcement.

Find You in the Dark, although set in the world of serial killers, does not get wrapped up in gore or sensationalizing heinous crimes. It is more about the psychology of someone who has a twisted view of himself, and what it means to do the right thing. Nathan has a talent for getting into the head of his characters. He tells their stories, expresses their points of view and reveals their motivations with an unapologetic and authentic voice. The chilling excerpt he read to us on Monday night displayed this talent perfectly. We listened as Nathan gave us a peek into the thoughts of a man as he goes to work, in a graveyard, and the moment he is faced with the consequences of going too far… A fantastic reading to start off the fall 2018 season.



Wayne Grady

Wayne Grady visited the Grimsby Author Series in 2013 when his award-winning and critically acclaimed first novel Emancipation Day was released. We could not have been more thrilled to have him back last Monday night to speak about his follow up book, Up From Freedom. It is a book about race and identity, human relationships and guilt, slavery and freedom. Through the complex inner world of the main character, Virgil Moody and his relationship with Annie, a slave he has freed from the grip of his father, we are confronted with the questions: How can you be a good person in an evil system? Can you be redeemed if you have participated in it? Wayne delves into these questions through Virgil, as he struggles to come to grips with who he is, who he wants to become, and what he stands for.

The themes explored in both Emancipation Day and Up From Freedom were born out of a discovery Wayne made back in 1995: His father was African-Canadian and had passed as white his whole life. The branch of his family tree he thought was Irish, turned out to be made up of people who experienced slavery in the American south. Researching the lives of his ancestors and the lives of others affected by slavery, white and black, he began writing these books as a way to explore the complex ways people identify and navigate right and wrong. Wayne is a unique storyteller. His writing is elegant, but is delivered in a down to earth way that totally engrosses the reader. It was a true pleasure to hear him read Monday night.


Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Malivoire Wine Company for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. We’d like to welcome Epic Books of Hamilton as well, as they join the Grimsby Author Series team to sell books at our events this season!

After both talks were done, the authors answered questions from the audience, and stayed after the raffles were drawn to sign copies of their books for a long lineup of fans. We’d like to send out a huge thank you to both Wayne and Nathan for attending and kicking off the fall 2018 season with us!


Last but certainly not least we would like to thank everyone who attended, and all of our awesome volunteers, sponsors and benefactors. We could not do it without you, and are so appreciative of all of your support. We’ll see you all in October for our next event with Eden Robinson and Joanna Goodman!


Book Reviews from the Grimsby Library’s Summer Reading Raffle


We received tons of thoughtful book reviews this summer on the ballots of our Summer Reading Raffles. We thought we would share some so everyone can benefit from the literary insights, and maybe even get some recommendations for fall reading lists (or ones to avoid). Check out the reviews from your fellow library-goers below:

A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
“Smiley and others are sued by children of Cold War spies who were killed in action.” – V.W.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
“A woman’s life of her troubled marriage, different relationships, and with lots of different twits (very good).” – J.S.

The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
“A story about a woman carver in the early/mid 1900s, who helped carve the Vimy Monument.” – M.B.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elon Mastai
“Sci-fi, time travel, and consequences.” – V.W.

The Child by Fiona Barton
“Emma, Angela, and Kate are all connected to a dead baby that was found buried in their town. Kate is a reporter who’s determined to get to the bottom of the crime.” – A.G.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
“This is almost a ‘twin’ story of a concierge and a preteen girl living in the same building in Paris. Both are very intelligent and form a friendship. Lovely reading.” – C.W.

Kickback by Ace Atkins
“Robert B. Porker’s ‘Spenser’ investigates corrupt judges sentencing kids to corporate prisons in a pay-for-pay scheme.” – J.M.

First Snow Last Light by Wayne Johnston
“A fascinating family story in NFL, involving a mysterious disappearance of a couple and their car. Their son never gives up looking for them.” – C.W.

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Johansson
“The character of the 100 year old man engrossed in his black tablet had me laughing out loud thinking of my own father (who is nowhere close to a 100) but has many of the same tendencies. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.” – J. J.

Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
“This was the final book in a trilogy and it didn’t disappoint. The characters are complex and human. The story is written with great attention to detail. Greg Iles is a master with the pen. He is a phenomenal storyteller. This series leaves nothing out: murder, action, history, romance, corruption…you name it, this story has it. A very real ending to a great trilogy.” – R. V.

The Visitors by Catherine Burns
“This book reminds me of the book The Room – I like this book a lot I would have liked to learn more about the girls. The author told us a little but would have liked a little more. I did enjoy the twist at the end did not really see that coming that switched who I thought was the one doing all the “accidents”” – K. E.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
“Girl meets boy on a plane. He’s going to a funeral, she’s going to a wedding. They don’t exchange contact information. They eventually find each other.” – V.H.

The Whiskey King by Trevor Cole
“Bootlegging in Hamilton area, 1920–30s.” – V.W.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
“China, 1940s, 1980s, and 2016. Three generations of a family.” – V.W.

True Betrayals by Nora Roberts
“After being told her mother is dead, a woman finds out her mother is alive and they slowly build a mother/daughter relationship.” – H.K.

Bake with Anna Olson by Ann Olson
“Great tips with each recipe. The essential section is an essential read.” – G.V.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
“Mia Warren and daughter Pearl arrive in Shaker Heights, Cleveland. She is an artist with secrets. They rent a house from the Richardson’s and become entangled in their lives.” – V.W.

Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
“Father tries to pit three daughters against each other for his estate in his Will, but there is an unknown brother who feels cheated.” – H.K.

One Drawing A Day by Veronica Lauslor
“Great ideas for painting and drawing.” – C.B.

Be Ready For the Lightening by Grace O’Connell
“This novel had some interesting turns during the plot, as the beginning was explosive and the ending unpredictable. The middle of the novel ran a little dry at times, but overall was a good read. I liked the Canadian references and how this influenced the main character’s actions.” – J. J.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
“It is a turning pages book. End of the book has really surprised find. Rachel is a strong character even though she is an alcoholic.” – F.A.

Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin
“Good to the very last word.” – V.W.

Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon
“Time travel, Scottish setting, and historic fiction. Read read!” – M.B.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
“Loved it!” – C.B.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
“Returns to her hometown for work, but more unfolds.” – L.S.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
“WWII, France. Two sisters. The French Resistance. Lots of tears.” – M.B.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
“Loved all the information about elephants. Storyline was good, too.” – R.D.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyer
“Story about a simple girl, who is taking care of Will, a quadriplegic, and started loving him.” – J.S.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
“So well written and an astonishing, gut-wrenching story.” – H. P.

The Widow by Fiona Barton
“Jean’s husband was accused of killing a little girl, but she couldn’t believe that and stood by him. After he dies, she finally finds out the truth and tells the press.” – A.G.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
“A girl’s aunt passed away, but she left 13 envelopes with instructions to go on a little treasure hunt adventure around the world to experience different cultures, etc. Great book.” –J.A.

The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus
“Great love story.” – C.B.

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
“Teen car accident on Nantucket, how it effects the families, and some of their secrets.” – M.H.

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat
“Funny.” – C.B.

Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath
“Dr. Cat Lupis’ husband has been lying to her from day one. He has another child, Ruby Winter, which turns up on her doorstep one night and tears her whole life apart.” – A.G.

Maggie May by Lyn Andrews
“Daughter who was mistreated by her parents tries to make a better life for herself and her brother.” – H.K.

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
“Her account of events/facts that led to losing 2016 Presidential election.” – J.F.

A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
“A very interesting memoir by ex-FBI Director, James Comey. What an interesting life!” – S.D.

That Summer by Lauren Willig
“I just picked up this book for something to read while camping and could not put it down. A tale of current day and 1800s and a house that links it all together. I’ve already picked up other books by this author.” – L. Z.

The Woman in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware
“A fantastic thriller involving a small group of adults on a private yacht. Someone goes missing and the group determines who did it.” – M.L.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
“A great story about life and love!” – S.H.

Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
“An extremely heartwarming story. Taught me a lot about how we should give everyone a chance and not be quick to judge. This title is amazing and I highly recommend it!” – N.J.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopalo
“Love, loss, fate, or freewill. All combined to make a beautifully written heart aching novel.” – T.T.

Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery
“Patience still loves her first love, Justice, but this time she is not sure to love him again.” – J.S.

The Switch by Joseph Finder
“Mild-mannered businessman swaps laptops at TSA with a Senator’s laptop, secrets she will kill to get back. Action ensues.” – J.M.

The Bell Between Worlds by Ian Johnstone
“Sylas discovers he is able to travel to another world.” – K.B.

Love You More by Lisa Gardner
“An interesting look at a local police force and how far one of their own will take their oath. Hard to distinguish between what are lies and what is truth.” – C.W.

The Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
“Captivating, my favourite so far. So well written!” – D.D.


See photos from the Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair at the Grimsby Library

Building Literacy 2018 widget

Families played and learned together at the Grimsby Library’s 6th annual Building Literacy Fair sponsored by Phelps Homes Ltd. There was seed planting, balloon animals, yummy freezies, crafts, green screen photoshoots, sidewalk chalk, fun literacy games & activities, plus so much more.

Guests included Fun School of Music, Speech Services NiagaraWaste Management of Niagara, Therapy Tails and Parka the Parks Canada Beaver. All of our friends had TONS of fun and educational things for kids to try. We were so excited to have Play Project Parkour course here for the first time, too, as part of the Power Off and Play initiative with Healthy Kids Community Challenge. What a way to kick off summer in Grimsby!

Check out photos below:


Here are some photos from the Green Screen too!