View the available speakers (aka "human books") at Cedarbrae Branch
You can book an appointment with a human book starting Saturday, Oct. 22 by visiting or calling the branch (416-396-8850).
Haille Bailey-Harris"Bullied But Not Defeated"
Haille Bailey-Harris may be only 17, but his life experiences have given him the wisdom of someone much older. Haille grew up in a small town the only black kid in his school and suffered from frequent bullying. His Mom, a sole support parent moved with him to Toronto to help him escape the racism and the low expectations of a school system that expected him to fail.
Haille struggled without a father figure in his life, but he challenged the stereotypes through a network of support and a love of books. He will share with borrowers his family's strategy that helped him cope.
Eldon Comfort"Fighting Battles as a Peacemaker"
Dr. Eldon Comfort, 98, was a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in World War II, serving in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He has also been a teacher and a politician, so he knows how to fight his battles.
This human book, however, is not about war; he's all about peacekeeping and explains in amazing detail how his experience with military conflict turned him into a peace activist.
In one of his later chapters, Eldon talks about the first time he went to Nicaragua in 1984 to satisfy a curiosity about the conflicting perceptions of that country's new socialist government. He returned each year for the next six years on a variety of humanitarian projects and in 1990, he was an official United Nations observer for the national elections there. This is just one of the incredible journeys this award-winning book will share with his borrowers.
Yasmin Hartung"Appreciating Life Even When It's Painful"
Yasmin Hartung and her brother were inseparable. She left home at 17 to join him in Switzerland where the siblings lived, worked, and travelled together. In 2004, Yasmin then joined her brother in Montreal to study at Concordia University. While in Montreal, their lives took an unexpected turn when Yasmin's brother was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia.
At 21, she became his primary caregiver and was even his stem cell donor while continuing her studies and helping her brother live as normal a life as possible. Despite their valiant efforts, Yasmin's brother died; his body had had enough, she says.
This human book will be able to share her strategy for navigating the health care system and appreciating life even when it's painful.
Heather Jopling"Modern Families"
This book defined 'modern family' long before the television sit-com became so popular, and she helps people feel more accepting and open to differences.
Heather Jopling's husband was a sperm donor for their lesbian friends and she was a surrogate for their gay friends. While pregnant as a surrogate, she began writing diversity-friendly children's stories to give reading alternatives, not only to same-sex families, but to families like her own; open-minded and eager to share inclusive ideas with their children.
"We have split families, bi-racial families and so-called 'traditional' families in our own incredible family tree," Heather says.
In 2006, she formed her own publishing company, Nickname Press. And, as if she didn't already have enough chapters, Heather has also performed Shakespeare as a clown, and written four one-woman shows, several screenplays and the libretto to a vampire rock opera.
Jenypher Lanthier's story is for anyone who feels intimidated by the unknown and wants to learn how to find the courage to take a leap of faith.
Jenypher was looking for a new adventure, something different in her life, she says. "To challenge myself, I tried my first Muay Thai class. The rest is a story about an organic progression towards personal fulfillment."
Although new territory for her, she was hooked on Muay Thai, which is a combat sport from Thailand, and decided to open up her own school - York Muay Thai Inc. - two years ago.
Jenypher looks forward to sharing with you all the challenges she encountered, not only as an entrepreneur, but also as one of the only women trying to survive in a male-dominated martial arts industry.
This human book is a textbook case for using 140 characters to get your message across.
Scott Mills has been a police officer for 21 years, from 1990-2002 with Peel Regional Police in Mississauga and Brampton, and from 2002-present with Toronto Police Service.
He has a background in all types of policing from gang investigations, to work in schools, and is widely known for his work using relationships and technology, in particular Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to help prevent and solve crime together with the community.
Borrowers will discover a new, cyber approach to law enforcement and crime prevention.
Diana Provenzano"Navigating Life's Challenges"
This human book has travelled around the world-visiting over 30 countries and filling its pages with wonderful memories.
Diana Provenzano is also a chartered accountant operating her own practice in Toronto, prepares tax returns for low income people and new immigrants pro bono, and a very active volunteer with a variety of organizations. She particularly enjoys volunteering with the Canadian Diabetes Association informing community on living healthy with diabetes.
Diana has such a full, outgoing life in spite of the fact she has lived with Type One Diabetes for the past 30 years. "Diabetes or other chronic illnesses don't have to stop you from doing anything you want with your life provided you understand the disease and manage it well," she says.
John "Ozzie" Sequeira(@OSequeira79155)
John "Ozzie" Sequeira has depended on his faith to survive advanced prostate cancer and quadruple blocks in his heart for the past dozen years. He has now made it his mission in life to educate others about early detection so people get early treatment and the best chance of survival.
Ozzie is an active volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society, working with Wendel Clark to promote awareness. His first book, "The Alpha and Omega," was published a year and a half ago.
This human book, which is available in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani and Urdu, will help you believe in miracles.
The Human Library program is sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Foundation.