The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Please see the 2019 schedule below!
For readers of The Devil in the White City and The Massey Murder, the incredible story of Norman “Red” Ryan—“the Jesse James of Canada” and the “Kardashian” of the 1920s and ’30s
Dubbed “the Jesse James of Canada,” Norman “Red” Ryan was infamous in the 1920s and ’30s until he was gunned down in an attempted robbery in Sarnia, Ontario. Ernest Hemingway wrote about Ryan’s escape from Kingston Penitentiary for the Toronto Star, Morley Callaghan based a novel on him and stories of Ryan and his crimes filled newspapers and airwaves. One of the first Canadians to be granted parole, he was held up by Prime Minister R. B. Bennett as a model of rehabilitation and became a regular guest at Toronto police picnics. All the while, however, Ryan was continuing a crime spree on the side.
Jim Brown, filmmaker and CBC Radio host, tells the incredible true story of “Red” Ryan, a larger-than-life criminal whose fame and legend were much encouraged by the media—he was the “Kardashian” of the time—and whose story endures.
Jim Brown has been a journalist for more than 30 years. He is best known for his work on CBC Radio, most recently as host of the weekly current affairs program The 180. Prior to joining the CBC, Jim worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. His first film, Radiant City, won the Genie Award for best documentary in 2008 and was named one of the 10 best films of the year at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Golden Boy of Crime is his first book.
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali has always been fascinated by the universe around her and the laws of physics that keep everything in order. But her life at home isn’t so absolute.
Unable to come out to her conservative Muslim parents, she keeps that part of her identity hidden. And that means keeping her girlfriend, Ariana, a secret from them too. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life at home and a fresh start at Caltech in the fall. But when Rukhsana’s mom catches her and Ariana together, her future begins to collapse around her.
Devastated and confused, Rukhsana’s parents whisk her off to stay with their extended family in Bangladesh where, along with the loving arms of her grandmother and cousins, she is met with a world of arranged marriages, religious tradition, and intolerance. Fortunately, Rukhsana finds allies along the way and, through reading her grandmother’s old diary, finds the courage to take control of her future and fight for her love.
A gritty novel that doesn’t shy away from the darkest corners of ourselves, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali provides a timely and achingly honest portrait of what it’s like to grow up feeling unwelcome in your own culture and proves that love, above all else, has the power to change the world.
Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. Visit her online at sabina-khan.com.
Megabat was looking forward to Christmas morning: presents, playing toys, smooshfruit and watching Star Wars. But then Daniel opened his last, most special present.
Daniel thinks this might be the best Christmas present yet: a beautiful cat named Priscilla! He’s always wanted a pet.
Megabat is not sure he likes this cat. She tastes most hairy.
Daniel loves his new cat! She’s fun to play with, and she’s so soft and fluffy.
Megabat is not soft OR fluffy. He’s not purebred and he doesn’t have a big, beautiful swishy tail. What if Daniel loves Priscilla more than Megabat? This is truly a disturbance in the Force. Megabat and Birdgirl must find a way to get rid of this trubble cat once and for all!
Calamity ensues as Megabat and Birdgirl try to come up with ways to get rid of Priscilla. But is there more than meets the eye with this furry menace? Kass Reich’s adorable illustrations paired with Anna Humphrey’s hilarious text make for another unforgettable Megabat adventure.
Anna Humphrey has worked in marketing for a poetry organization, in communications for the Girl Guides of Canada, as an editor for a webzine, as an intern at a decorating magazine and for the government. None of those was quite right, so she started her own freelance writing and editing business on top of writing for kids and teens. She lives in a big, old brick house in Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband and two kids and no bats. Yet.