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By Zalika Reid-Benta. 2019
Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle -- of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a…"true" Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother's rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too "faas" or too "quiet" or too "bold" or too "soft." Set in "Little Jamaica," Toronto's Eglinton West neighbourhood, Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these twelve interconnected stories. We see her on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig's head in her great aunt's freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother's house, trying to cope with the ongoing battles between her unyielding grandparents. A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker. In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominately white society.
By Laura E. Weymouth. 2019
Dark, gripping, and utterly unique, this atmospheric historical fantasy from critically acclaimed author Laura E. Weymouth is perfect for fans…of The Hazel Wood and Caraval. Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh's magic kept both the countryside and Violet happy. That is, until her father's treason destroyed everything. Now she's been given a chance to return home. But Burleigh isn't what she remembered. Wild with grief, Burleigh's very soul is crying out in pain. As its tormented magic ravages the countryside, Vi must decide how far she's willing to go to save her house-before her house destroys everything she's ever known. A house left unchecked will lead to ruin. But I will not let it ruin me.
By Edeet Ravel. 2019
In 1941, life in Natt’s small town of Zastavna is comfortable and familiar, even if the grownups are acting strange,…and his parents treat him like a baby. Natt knows there’s a war on, of course, but he’s glad their family didn’t emigrate to Canada when they had a chance. His mother didn’t want to leave their home, and neither did he. He especially wouldn’t want to leave his best friend, Max. Max is the ideas guy, and he hears what’s going on in the world from his older sisters. Together the boys are two brave musketeers.Then one day Natt goes home and finds his family huddled around the radio. The Russians are taking over. The churches and synagogues will close, Hebrew school will be held in secret, and there are tanks and soldiers in the street. But it’s exciting, too. Natt wants to become a Young Pioneer, to show outstanding revolutionary spirit and make their new leader, Comrade Stalin, proud.But life under the Russians is hard. The soldiers are poor. They eat up all the food and they even take over Natt’s house. Then Natt’s father is arrested, and even Natt is detained and questioned. He feels like a nomad, sleeping at other people’s houses while his mother works to free his father. As the adults try to protect him from the reality of their situation, and local authorities begin to round up deportees bound for Siberia, Natt is filled with a sense of guilt and grief.Why wasn’t he brave enough to look up at the prison window when his mother took him to see his father for what might be the last time? Or can just getting through war be a heroic act in itself? Winner of the 2020 Notable Middle Grade Sydney Taylor Book Award. Winner of the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Children and Youth.
By Terry Lynn Johnson. 2019
From the author of Ice Dogs, comes a riveting adventure about a musher who sets out to prove her impaired…vision won't hold her back from competing in a rigorous sled race through the Canadian wilderness. Perfect for fans of Gary Paulsen. McKenna Barney is trying to hide her worsening eyesight and has been isolating herself for the last year. But at the request of her little sister, she signs up for a commemorative mail run race in the Canadian wilderness-a race she doesn't know if she can even see to run. Winning would mean getting her disease-and her sister's-national media coverage, but it would also pit McKenna and her team of eight sled dogs against racers from across the globe for three days of shifting lake ice, sudden owl attacks, snow squalls, and bitterly cold nights. A page-turning adventure about living with disability and surviving the wilderness, Dog Driven is the story of one girl's self-determination and the courage it takes to trust in others.
By Kyo Maclear. 2019
Gyo Fujikawa's iconic children's books are beloved all over the world. Now it's time for Gyo's story to be told…-- a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules or expectations.Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo's career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family's internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting -- for herself, her vision, her family and her readers -- and later wrote and illustrated the first children's book to feature children of different races interacting together.This luminous new book beautifully and openly touches on Gyo's difficult experiences and growth. Through Julie Morstad's exquisite illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-white linework and lush colour, and Kyo Maclear's artful and accessible writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.
By Eric Walters, Kathy Kacer. 2019
A violin and a middle-school musical unleash a dark family secret in this moving story by an award-winning author duo.…For fans of The Devil's Arithmetic and Hana's Suitcase.It's 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers -- and the death of her beloved grandmother -- Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she's been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her "husband" is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school. Deciding to throw herself into the role, she rummages in her grandfather's attic for some props. There, she discovers an old violin in the corner -- strange, since her Zayde has never seemed to like music, never even going to any of her recitals. Showing it to her grandfather unleashes an anger in him she has never seen before, and while she is frightened of what it might mean, Shirli keeps trying to connect with her Zayde and discover the awful reason behind his anger. A long-kept family secret spills out, and Shirli learns the true power of music, both terrible and wonderful.
By Kenneth Oppel. 2020
The first book in bestselling author Kenneth Oppel’s explosive new trilogyIt was just rain.But after the downpour, odd black plants…begin to shoot up.Suddenly—They. Are. Everywhere.They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen—and feed.Strangely, three Salt Spring Island teens seem immune. Anaya, Petra and Seth. What’s their connection? What’s their secret? A week ago, they wouldn’t have thought they had one. But they’d better figure it out fast—the invasion has already begun.
Beloved science commentator Bob McDonald takes us on a tour of our galaxy, unraveling the mysteries of the universe and…helping us navigate our place among the stars. How big is our galaxy? Is there life on those distant planets? Are we really made of star dust? And where do stars even come from? In An Earthling's Guide to Outer Space, we finally have the answers to all those questions and more. With clarity, wisdom, and a great deal of enthusiasm, McDonald explores the curiosities of the big blue planet we call home as well as our galactic neighbors-from Martian caves to storm clouds on Jupiter to the nebulae at the far end of the universe. So if you're pondering how to become an astronaut, or what dark matter really is, or how an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, look no further. Through a captivating mix of stories and experiments, McDonald walks us through space exploration past and present, and reveals what we can look forward to in the future.
By Christina Kilbourne. 2019
As crazy as her father’s plan sounds, sticking to it is easy for Harbour — until it isn’t. Fourteen-year-old Harbour…is living in a tent in a Toronto ravine with her dog, a two-month supply of canned tuna, and an unconventional reading list. She’s not homeless, she tells herself. She’s merely waiting for her home — a thirty-six-foot sailboat — to arrive with her father at the helm. Why should she worry when the clouds give her signs that assure her that she’s safe and protected? When her credit card gets declined, phone contact from her father stops, and summer slips into a frosty fall, Harbour is forced to face reality and accept the help of a homeless teen named Lise to survive on the streets. Lise shows Harbour how to panhandle and navigate the shelter system while trying to unravel Harbour's mysterious past. But if Harbour tells her anything, the consequences could be catastrophic.
By Anna Priemaza. 2019
Sometimes before you can build something up, you have to burn it down. <P><P>Fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Jennifer…Mathieu’s Moxie will fall in love with this fiercely crafted YA novel about followers, fame, and fighting for what’s right. <P><P>Lainey wouldn’t mind lugging a camera around a video game convention for her mega-famous brother, aka YouTube streamer Codemeister, except for one big problem. He’s funny and charming online, but behind closed doors, Cody is a sexist jerk. <P><P>SamTheBrave came to this year’s con with one mission: meeting Codemeister—because getting his idol’s attention could be the big break Sam needs. <P><P>ShadowWillow is already a successful streamer. But when her fans start shipping her with Code, Shadow concocts a plan to turn the rumors to her advantage. <P><P>The three teens’ paths collide when Lainey records one of Cody’s hateful rants on video and decides to spill the truth to her brother’s fans—even if that means putting Sam and Shadow in the crosshairs. <P><P>Told through three relatable voices, this contemporary YA novel from the author of the widely praised Kat and Meg Conquer the World skillfully balances feminism, accountability, and doing the right thing—even when it hurts.
Beloved science commentator Bob McDonald takes us on a tour of our galaxy, unraveling the mysteries of the universe and…helping us navigate our place among the stars.How big is our galaxy? Is there life on those distant planets? Are we really made of star dust? And where do stars even come from? In An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space, we finally have the answers to all those questions and more. With clarity, wisdom, and a great deal of enthusiasm, McDonald explores the curiosities of the big blue planet we call home as well as our galactic neighbours—from Martian caves to storm clouds on Jupiter to the nebulae at the far end of the universe. So if you’re pondering how to become an astronaut, or what dark matter really is, or how an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, look no further. Through a captivating mix of stories, experiments, and illustrations, McDonald walks us through space exploration past and present, and reveals what we can look forward to in the future. An Earthling’s Guide to Outer Space is sure to satisfy science readers of all ages, and to remind us earthbound terrestrials just how special our place in the universe truly is.
By Isabelle Groc. 2019
Gone Is Gone looks at why species become endangered, how scientists are learning about endangered wildlife, what people are doing…to conserve species and ways young people can help. The book is richly illustrated with unique photos that the author has taken over many years of observing endangered species in the field alongside the people who work to conserve them. Throughout the book the author shares enchanting encounters and personal field stories: watching narwhals socialize in the Canadian Arctic, ,getting close to a Laysan albatross raising chicks in a remote Hawaiian island, spotting a rhinoceros on safari, and even swimming with giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands. Gone Is Gone will inform, intrigue and inspire readers to take small steps toward big changes for endangered species around the world.
By Laura E Weymouth. 2019
Dark, gripping, and utterly unique, this atmospheric historical fantasy from critically acclaimed author Laura E. Weymouth is perfect for fans…of The Hazel Wood and Caraval.Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic kept both the countryside and Violet happy. That is, until her father’s treason destroyed everything. Now she’s been given a chance to return home. But Burleigh isn’t what she remembered. Wild with grief, Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. As its tormented magic ravages the countryside, Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.A house left unchecked will lead to ruin.But I will not let it ruin me.
By Kim Smith. 2019
New York Times–bestselling illustrator Kim Smith’s author-illustrator debutNothing’s better than building with boxes!Meg is a brilliant and creative boxitect. She…loves building extraordinary things out of ordinary cardboard boxes and impressing her classmates with what she creates. But then a new kid comes to Maker School: Simone. Simone is good at everything. Worst of all, she’s a boxitect too! Will Meg and Simone find a way to push past their rivalry and join creative forces?
By Sara Cassidy. 2020
On her annual trip in her father’s 18-wheeler, eight-year-old Jolene is headed to Los Angeles on a six-day road trip…to deliver some newsprint with her dad. Just like last year, they tell each other stories and listen to music. They also keep up their favorite tradition: critiquing one type of food at every stop. This time it’s onion rings. But this year is also different. Unlike last year, Jolene’s parents are no longer together. They split up when her father came out as gay. These are big changes for Jolene, but she is spunky and smart and has a good heart. She’s ready for new adventures and to stand up for what’s right—both on and off the road.
By Anuradha Rao. 2020
One Earth profiles Black, Indigenous and People of Color who live and work as environmental defenders. Through their individual stories,…the book shows that the intersection of environment and ethnicity is an asset to achieving environmental goals. The twenty short biographies introduce readers to diverse activists from all around the world, who are of all ages and ethnicities. From saving ancient trees on the West Coast of Canada, to protecting the Irrawaddy dolphins of India, to uncovering racial inequalities in the food system in the United States, these environmental heroes are celebrated by author and biologist Anuradha Rao, who outlines how they went from being kids who cared about the environment to community leaders in their field. One Earth is full of environmental role models waiting to be found.
By Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane. 2020
★ “Clearly organized and educational—an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries.” —School Library Journal, starred review Powwow…is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
By Danielle Younge-Ullman. 2020
An authentic, angry, and surprisingly funny and romantic novel about sexual harassment, from the award-winning author of Everything Beautiful Is…Not Ruined.Libby's having a rough senior year. Her older brother absconded with his college money and is bartending on a Greek island. Her dad just told her she's got to pay for college herself, and he's evicting her when she graduates so he can AirBnB her room. A drunken hook-up with her coworker Kyle has left her upset and confused. So when Perry Ackerman, serial harasser and the most handsy customer at The Goat where she waitresses, pushes her over the edge, she can hardly be blamed for dumping a pitcher of sangria on his head. Unfortunately, Perry is a local industry hero, the restaurant's most important customer and Libby's mom's boss. Now Libby has to navigate the fallout of her outburst, find an apartment and deal with her increasing rage at the guys who've screwed up her life-- and her increasing crush on the one guy who truly gets her. As timely as it is timeless, He Must Like You is a story about consent, rage, and revenge, and the potential we all have to be better people.
By David A. Robertson. 2020
Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author…David Robertson.Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.
By Ben Philippe. 2020
Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE…academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University. <p><p> There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself. Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . . . <p> This is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves.