The door to our Chinguacousy branch near the parking lot is BROKEN. Please use the door on the opposite side, near the beach volleyball court and skate park, to enter the Library.

Hey teens! Tonight we will be hosting our first-ever Teen Social Justice League conversation from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on our discord channel. We will be chatting about mental health and themes from books that we have read or are currently reading. The purpose of the league is to open important conversations about social justice issues in our community. We know that teens in Brampton have so much to contribute, especially when given the right platform. We reflect back on the TeenTalk conversations the library facilitated in May when an entire panel was devoted to the subject of mental health. Think of the Teen Social Justice League as an extension of these conversations, but within a space devoted entirely to teens.

In tonight’s discussion, we welcome special guests Jiya Kaemra and Kareena Brambhatt, representatives of Miss Teenage Peel, to our discussion. The league will meet again on Tuesday, August 9 at the same time to discuss the experiences of immigrants and/or refugees. Register for the next session.

You don’t have to be a big reader to join. We can chat about these subjects generally, and we can refer to a variety of books, articles, and pamphlets that you have come across on the topic. Below you’ll find a list of resources that you might find helpful in opening the conversation about mental health.

Have your say and join the Teen Social Justice League today!

Here are some fantastic YA novels about mental health and wellness:

  1. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  2. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  3. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  4. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  5. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  6. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
  7. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
  8. On a Scale of 1 to 10 by Ceylan Scott
  9. One Way or Another by Kara J. McDowell
  10. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  11. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  12. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Here is a Review of Darius the Great is Not Okay by a Teen Summer Reading Club member:

“Darius the Great Is Not Okay, is a contemporary novel written by Adib Khorram, and was originally published on August 28, 2018. His casual and humorous style of writing brought a great connection with the main character of the book, Darius. The novel is about a young boy who deals with depression in school. Due to his mental illness, he questions his identity as his mother is Persian and his father is American, and mostly because his younger sister, Laleh, speaks better Farsi than him. He believes he is a failure to both his parents and often has feelings of isolation. He later travels to Iran with his family to meet his grandfather who is sick and creates a new long-lasting friendship with a boy named Sohrab. He feels a great connection with him as he is kind and doesn’t judge Darius due to his condition, as many of his other family members do. With him, he deepens his cultural understanding and learns to be a more confident person, which Sohrab possesses in him. 

I would recommend this book to those who are 14+ since it can cover sensitive topics of depression, isolation, and suicide. Out of 5, I would give this book a 5 because of the characters' development/personalities and setting, and the number of times it made me smile!”

Here are videos from our TeenTalks Series that speak to mental health and wellness:

Find these  films on Kanopy about inspiring local action and developing creative outlets for mental health support and community building.

  • The Boxers of Brule At 23 years old, Shaionna Grass Rope lost her best friend Cheryl Ziegler to suicide. Though facing the same struggles, Shaionna creates a boxing team for the girls following in their footsteps, determined to end trends of youth suicide within the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Da\\kota. 
  • Rap Squad — In the town of Helena-West Helena located in the Arkansas Delta, students of Central High School's RAP SQUAD — an after school music club — pen lyrics to cope with personal traumas and seek healing for themselves.

More film recommendations on Kanopy:

  • The Girl on the BridgeMental health activist Jazz Thornton takes you on a journey of her struggle to overcome a suicidal past, to help others with their struggles, and the personal cost of her advocacy. 
  • Just Like You: Anxiety and Depression — 10 brave kids, 2 Emmy award winning journalists, 1 clinical psychologist at Columbia University and 1 determined mother take on the fear and stigma plaguing the mental health community.
  • Uprooting Addiction: Healing from the Ground UpFollow six people from varying walks of life — each affected by childhood trauma — who candidly share their personal stories of addiction and recovery. These testimonies are interwoven with uplifting, up-to-the-minute accounts from an equally diverse group of activists, officials, and experts, working tirelessly on the front lines of this unrelenting public health crisis.

We’re so excited to confirm that paint nights are returning to our branches next week. Popular before the pandemic and now in partnership with Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA), Visual Arts Brampton, and the Arts, Culture, and Creative Industry Development Agency (ACCIDA), Paint the Town is a wonderful opportunity to paint, learn, and socialize with other participants.

Learn techniques for creating art using acrylic paint, watercolour, and soft chalk pastels starting next week in various Library branches and at PAMA. All materials are provided on-site, free of charge.

These artist-led sessions are designed to encourage creativity while building skills and confidence in an inclusive environment. What’s more, they aim to complement and inspire participation in our Then & Now art challenge, an element of Brampton Library’s Adult Summer Reading Club.  To enjoy a summer of reading and the chance to win prizes, register for the Adult Summer Reading Club.

Ready to paint? Register at the links below for the day, time and location of your choice. We look forward to seeing you there!


Paint the town - with Visual Arts Brampton (FULL)

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: Cyril Clark branch


Paint the town - with PAMA and Brampton Library

Date: Thursday, July 14, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: Gore Meadows branch


Paint the town - with Visual Arts Brampton (FULL)

Date: Monday, July 18, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: Chinguacousy branch


Paint the town - with PAMA and Brampton Library (FULL)

Date: Thursday, July 28, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location:  Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA) (9 Wellington St. E., Brampton ON, L6W 1Y1)


Paint the town - with Visual Arts Brampton (FULL)

Date: Monday, August 8, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: Four Corners branch


Paint the town - with Visual Arts Brampton (FULL)

Date: Monday, August 15, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: Springdale Branch

Mahak Jain writes fiction and poetry for young people and adults. She is the author of three picture books and is the winner of the South Asia Book Award in 2017 and a Kirkus Best Book of the Year for 2016. Brampton Library is very excited to host Mahak Jain as she joins us this month to talk about her latest book, “Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes” (illust. by Anu Chouhan). Sign up to join us on Saturday, June 25 at 4 p.m. for an extra special virtual storytelling session

We sat down for a virtual interview with Mahak Jain to discuss "Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes" and the importance of South Asian representation in children's books. 

Questions for Mahak Jain

  1. Why was it important for you to write “Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes?"

Many books for children feature dance, especially ballet, but I hadn’t yet seen Bharatanatyam, a South Asian classical dance, represented. I wanted to make space on the shelves for a dance form from a part of the world that I could relate to culturally.

  1. There are many scholarly theories that reveal dance to be the closest representation of culture because it involves movement, a “being” rather than a stagnant image. In other words, instead of bottling representation of culture into one still frame, dance shows culture as constantly evolving and flexing. Do you agree with this view of dance as a cultural representation? Does this appeal to dance reveal itself in your book?

I did want to capture about how art is organic and evolving. It’s complicated with Bharatanatyam because the British, when they colonized the South Asian region, banned the classical dances of the region. The dance form wasn’t allowed to evolve naturally. If we do think of dance as a being, then we can understand the harm that was done, to a people, to a culture. A lot has been lost as a result, the impact of which is still felt today. 

  1. In a recent CBC interview, you noted Bharatanatyam as being a dance of storytelling. What was it like to tell this story about storytelling?

I am not a Bharatanatyam dancer, but I connected with the dance form because of this relationship it has to storytelling. Bharatanatyam is a powerful dance form but also an intimate one—stories are told through large movements involving legs and arms but also small movements involving the fingers and eyes. Bharatanatyam has a dynamic physical language and it felt like a privilege to have the chance to find words to describe it.

  1. As a creative writing instructor, it must be your belief that some aspects of writing can be taught, or at the very least, introduced. However, do you believe that, just like with dance, there are some who have “two left feet,” as they say, when it comes to creative writing? 

I always had two left feet when it came to dancing until I met my husband. He’s a great dancer but also very easygoing. We choreographed and performed two dances for our own wedding, something I never thought I could have done but it came easily with him, because suddenly dance was about play and connection. I think people who have “two left feet” when it comes to writing need the same — to find that sense of innocence and fun. 

  1. “Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes” is a story about bridging the gaps between cultures, and in a way, blending or creating a hybrid of cultures: almost like a dance bilingualism. Out of this, a particular creativity reveals itself. Consequently, the images in the story employ contemporary and yet traditional colours particular to South Asian culture: this, too, is kind of bilingualism. What are some of the ways your words adhere to this bilingual theme?

That’s how I understand the story too. I grew up in various countries, amidst various cultures, and I aimed for the words to get across what it’s like to live at intersections, across identities.

  1. Can you tell us about some of your writing for adults that celebrates bilingualism, hybridity, or the “in-between” cultural experience?

My first book for adults is releasing in spring 2024 and it’s about this theme exactly. It’s a short story collection less about being “in between” cultures and more about the state of in-betweenness itself. The way our lives are today, there’s no sense of having ever arrived or feeling settled, or that’s how it seems to me. It seems like we are always living in a state of transition. The fluidity can be exciting but also difficult, challenging.

  1. What is it like writing for both genres? Do you prefer one over the other? Does it depend on your mood or motivation? 

I love writing for both young people and adults. Writing in different genres gives me the chance to connect with people from different backgrounds, which is amazing. It does depend on my mood and motivation which I turn to at any given point, though. I don’t consciously set out to write for one audience or another and let the writing itself guide me.

  1. On your website, you showcase a quote by Sandra Cisneros: “Writing is like sewing together what I call these 'buttons,' these bits and pieces.” What do your “buttons” look like? Do they take a certain shape or form? 

I keep that quote nearby as a reminder to myself. Sometimes I become too rigid about having a plan for what I am writing—but in my experience, the best writing has come from feeling out bits and pieces that I don’t really have a clear plan for, that surprise me by coming together into something unexpected.

  1. Finally, what advice can you provide aspiring artists in our community, whatever their craft happens to be: sewing, illustrating, writing, or dancing?

Dedication to learning about and improving your craft are important, but the main advice I would give is to play, as unselfconsciously as you can, whatever your artistic practice happens to be.

In this interview we have learned that dance is more than a movement, but rather a cultural expression and complementary artform. Mahak Jain has walked us through intersections of dance, culture, art, and writing, including the various genres she has embraced. Moving between children’s picture books, poetry, and adult short fiction, Jain reveals her versatility as an author. Brampton Library is proud to celebrate her work on June 25 with an author talk. We would like to thank Mahak Jain for speaking with us and we look forward to the upcoming event. 

Five years ago, Brampton Library launched its first Local Authors Showcase to provide new and emerging authors in Peel Region with a place in our collection as well as a platform to connect with their readers. The annual showcase of authors and their books are featured on our website and promoted on our social media pages each year. I'm pleased to report that since its inception, 361 titles have been submitted to the showcase.

The Local Authors Showcase reflects our community with a range of literary genres, including local history, poetry, mystery, romance, children's and young adult books, and personal stories of triumph and tragedy, written in multiple languages.

From 2017 to 2019, the Library hosted an in-person event to unveil each collection. Many obstacles arose as a result of the pandemic, but the value of this collection to the community and to the authors themselves, motivated us to come up with new ways to keep it going. Last year we revealed the 2021 showcase via Facebook Live and this year we look forward to sharing it both virtually and in person.

The 2022 -23 Local Authors Showcase has 68 authors who have submitted 88 titles, 35 of which can be read on our cloudLibrary ebook platform. Brampton Library cardholders will be able to borrow these titles as of June 16 through our website, in-branch, or through the cloudLibrary app. For your chance to meet the authors and learn more about their books, be sure to join us in Gage Park at the Brampton Farmers’ Market on Saturday, June 18 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

I want to thank all the authors that submitted to this year’s showcase. Your creativity, passion, and dedication to tell your story is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Selection Librarian Julia Huang and all the Collections and Marketing team members for all of their work in preparing and promoting our Local Authors Showcase and these exceptional books through the years. Brampton’s creativity shines through thanks to the efforts of our staff, the authors, and the community that supports it.


In partnership with the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ MOTIVE crime and mystery festival, Visible Fictions, and TIFA Kids, Brampton Library is pleased to present The Hidden, a free and immersive theatrical experience for mystery lovers of all ages, 12 and up.

If you’re up for an adventure, this in-branch program is one you won’t want to miss!

Part mystery, part scavenger hunt, the participants’ mission is to piece the story of a disappearance together using all the clues they can find hidden in books, written on index cards, and scribbled on the back of old photographs! Working as a team to rewrite the history books, they must be careful which path they choose to go down. 

Created by Scottish theatre troupe Visible Fictions and performed since 2017 in the UK, TIFA Kids is proud to present The Hidden’s Canadian premiere at Brampton Library. 

Performances are scheduled twice daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 2 - 5 and June 7 - 10, 2022 at Chinguacousy Branch Library, in the Brampton Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario. To learn more and reserve your spot, click here.

Make this website talk

Make this website talk
Back to Top