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By Michelle Harrison. 2020
A spellbinding middle grade fantasy about three sisters—adventurous Betty, curious Charlie, and proper Fliss—who go on a quest to break…the curse that&’s haunted their family for generations. All Betty Widdershins wants is an adventure—one that takes her far away from Crowstone, the gloomy island where she&’s always lived. But instead of an adventure, Betty and her sisters, Fliss and Charlie, are given of a set of magical objects, each with its own powers: a scruffy carpet bag, a set of wooden nesting dolls, and a gilt-framed mirror. And these magical objects come with their own terrible secret: the sisters&’ family is haunted by a generations-long curse that prevents them from ever leaving their island—at the cost of death. The sisters set out to break the curse and free their family forever. But after stumbling upon a mysterious prisoner who claims to be able to help them, they find themselves in great danger. And in order to break the curse—and stay alive—they must unravel a mystery that goes back centuries, one that involves shipwrecks, smugglers, and sorcery of the most perilous kind.
By Chad Lucas. 2021
Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to…get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn't know if things will ever be "normal" again . . . Ezra's always been popular. He's friends with most of the kids on his basketball team--even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he's too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him . . .But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no choice but to take the leap and reach out. Both boys have to decide if they're willing to risk sharing parts of themselves they'd rather hide. But if they can be brave, they might just find the best in themselves--and each other.
By Pamela Porter. 2011
Shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize In a small prairie town like Argue, Saskatchewan, everyone knows everybody…else’s business. Everyone knows that the Loney family has been barely hanging on -- the father, George, reduced to drink and despair since the loss of his farm and the death of his wife, Margaret. That the four Loney children do not get along with George’s second wife, the pious, bitter Effie. Then George dies in a drunken stupor -- locked out, it seems, by Effie to freeze to death on his own doorstep. Effie takes off with a traveling Bible salesman, and it looks as though the children are done for. Who’s to save them when everyone is coping with their own problems -- the lingering depression and the loss of the town’s young men to the Second World War. Yet somehow the children find a way, under the watchful eye of their ghostly parents and through the small kindnesses of a few neighbors, but mostly by dint of their own determination and ingenuity. This is an extremely powerful novel about children at risk because of adult hypocrisy, indifference, self-interest and outright immorality, all cloaked in a self-righteous exterior. In the end they redeem their own lives by drawing good people to them and by rising to the occasion themselves. And when they at last are able to leave Argue, they do so together, as a family looking ahead to a future of promise and hope.
By Maureen Garvie, Mary Beaty. 2002
George's cloistered life in New York changes as the War for American Independence looms and he must struggle with what…it means to be half Mohawk. Young George Johnson lives in an extraordinary family in extraordinary times. His father is Sir William Johnson, one of the richest and most powerful men in colonial New York. His mother is Molly Brant, stepdaughter of a Mohawk chief and sister of Iroquois leader Joseph Brant. George spends his early years in a grand mansion called Johnson Hall, but his cloistered life changes as the War for American Independence looms. As the rebel forces gradually take over the valley, George and his family are forced to flee their home and seek refuge with Molly's friends and relatives. George longs to follow his brother's footsteps into battle. Instead, Molly sends him to boarding school in Montreal, where he spends three miserable years waiting for Peter's return. Finally, at the age of thirteen, he persuades his mother to allow him to join in a last raid on the valley where he grew up. In a riveting climax, he experiences first-hand the inglorious brutality and futility of the war, and struggles with what it means to be half Mohawk. And at last he learns the hard truth about the fate of his beloved brother. Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
By Sarah Withrow. 1998
Terence isn't cool like his best friend, Tom, but at least he's not a weirdo like Lucy, who sees life…upside-down and thinks she's a bat. Yet Lucy knows things that other people don't -- about the gaps in life, and seeing things more clearly with your eyes closed, and how you have to learn to fly on your own if you want to survive. Sarah Withrow has penned a startling novel about extraordinary Lucy, who believes she's a bat, and ordinary Terence, who believes in believing.
By Mary Razzell. 2013
While the rest of the world anticipates a victorious end to the Second World War, sixteen-year-old Sheila Brary finds life…in a remote British Columbia outport suffocating and isolating. A household full of brothers, a philandering father and, most of all, Sheila's embittered mother all stand in the way of a bright, beautiful teenager with ambitions and dreams -- to continue her schooling and become a nurse. The mother-daughter relationship that lies at the heart of this haunting novel is both timeless and complex, and the two strong, rebellious women are more alike than they care to admit. One has succumbed to the demands of a sexist age with resentment, while the other struggles to break away. In the end, Sheila defies her mother by pursuing a romance with Nels, a handsome local carpenter. But when she becomes pregnant, she turns to her father for help, with devastating results.
By Deborah Ellis. 2006
Winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is a prison…in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of the government's war on drugs and were mistakenly convicted of drug possession. Diego's parents are locked up, but he can come and go: to school, to the market to sell his mother's handknitted goods, and to work as a "taxi," running errands for other prisoners. But then his little sister temporarily runs off while under his watch, earning his mother a heavy fine. The debt and dawning realization of his hopeless situation make him vulnerable to his friend Mando's plan to make big money, fast. Soon, Diego is deep in the jungle, working as a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine operation. As his situation becomes more and more dangerous, he knows he must take a terrible risk if he ever wants to see his family again. Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.6Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
By Deborah Ellis. 2003
The third book in the internationally bestselling series that includes The Breadwinner, Parvana’s Journey and My Name Is Parvana.Parvana’s best friend, Shauzia, has escaped…the misery of her life in Kabul, only to end up in a refugee camp in Pakistan. But she still dreams of seeing the ocean and eventually making a new life in France.This is the dream that has sustained her through the terrible years in Kabul. It is the dream for which she has forsaken family and friends.But it is hard to imagine herself in a field of purple lavender when she is living in the Widows’ Compound of a muddy, crowded refugee camp outside Peshawar. Even worse, the compound is run by Mrs. Weera, Shauzia’s bossy phys ed teacher from Kabul, who insists that Shauzia be useful and make the best of a dismal situation.Shauzia finally decides to leave the camp and try her luck on the streets. She is determined to earn money to buy her passage out of the country. Peshawar is dangerous and full of desperately poor and wandering children like herself, but she has Jasper, the dog who followed her down from a shepherds’ camp in the mountains. And she knows how to masquerade as a boy and comb the streets for jobs. She figures she knows how to survive.But life as a street kid is dangerous and terrifying, and even with the advantages of a strong will, brave spirit and good luck, Shauzia soon discovers that the old choices are not so easy any more. This is a powerful and very human story of a feisty, driven girl who tries to take control of her own life.The reissue includes a new cover and map, and an updated author’s note and glossary to provide young readers with background and context. Royalties from the sale of this book will go to Street Kids International.
By Tim Wynne-Jones. 2009
Commended, Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books: Historical Fiction It's September 1963 when Rex is blindsided by some unexpected news. His…family is moving again -- just to the other side of the city, as it turns out, but it might as well be the other side of the moon as far as Rex is concerned. In desperation, he secretly starts taking public transit back to his old school -- a plan that works just fine until he runs out of money. When his sister Annie catches him stealing change from his mum's purse, sisterly blackmail becomes another problem. Not only that, but Rex has got on the bad side of Spew, the hockey thug bully from his old school, and Spew and his sidekicks Puke and Dribble are out to get Rex -- and they know where he lives. Rex ends up using his wits and lively imagination to get himself out of his pickle, with some sobering and surprising consequences.
By Deborah Ellis. 2000
Parvana tiene 11 años y vive en Afganistán bajo el mandato de los talibanes. Cuando detienen a su padre buscará…una solución desesperada: convertirse en un chico. Parvana es una chica de once años que vive en Kabul, Afganistán, durante la época del gobierno de los talibanes. Cuando su padre es detenido, su familia –sin recursos para poder vivir-, buscará una solución desesperada: Parvana, que por ser mujer tiene prohibido ganar dinero, deberá transformarse en un chico. El pan de la guerra es un libro duro y realista que habla, con humanidad y fuerza, de la supervivencia, la familia, la amistad, la intolerancia y la guerra.
By Kevin Major. 2004
Faced with instability on many sides, and living in an outport community in Newfoundland, fifteen-year-old Chris gropes for direction in…a family broken apart by unemployment. Even his easy-going, humorous attitude fails to steady him as he stumbles through the summer after grade ten. He's failed his year, he can't find a summer job, and he's incredibly bored. So the first thing he heads for is trouble -- trouble that ends in a confrontation with the law. Work as a counselor at a summer camp offers the challenge of a fresh start, but it is here, amid new responsibilities, that he encounters his toughest test as a young man. Winner of the first Canadian Young Adult Book Award and named a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal, Far from Shore was hailed as a unique and innovative novel when it was first published. As he has done throughout his career, Kevin Major broke new ground by tackling a multinarrative structure in a young adult novel -- an approach much imitated since but never more convincingly.
By Brian Doyle. 2001
Winner of the IODE National Chapter Award, and a Horn Book Fanfare Top Ten List selection In this brillant and poetic…novel, Brian Doyle returns to the Gatineau River near Ottawa, the world of his novels Up to Low and Uncle Ronald. Mary Ann Alice McCrank was named for the pretty church bell in the steeple of St. Martin's Church in the Martindale. She has the soul of a poet and Mickey McGuire Jr. is in love with her. Mary Ann Alice is passionately interested in many things, especially the geology of her part of the world. Her teacher, the wonderful Patchy Drizzle, shares her passion for rocks and fossils, many of which can be found along the river and in caves under the famous Paugan Falls. But a new project to dam the river at Low places rocks, fossils, falls as well as many farms in danger. The dam must go ahead. And, as with much technological change, it brings both benefits and tragedies to the community.
By Deborah Ellis. 2007
USBBY Oustanding International Books selection After he finally manages to escape from being a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine…operation, Diego is taken in by the Ricardo family -- poor coca farmers who provide a safe haven while he recovers from his ordeal in the jungle. But even that brief respite comes to an end when the army moves in and destroys the family's coca crop -- and their livelihood. Diego eventually joins the cocaleros as they protest the destruction of their crops by barricading the roads, confronting the army head on. As tension between the cocaleros builds to a dramatic standoff, the wonders whether he will ever find a way to return to his family.
By Richard Swift. 2011
A Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) Honor Book Street gangs have exploded worldwide. Tattoos,…baggy pants, tagging, gangsta style, the unspoken threat -- it's all just around the corner in most of the world's major cities. From the streets of Los Angeles to the shantytowns of Cape Town, hundreds of thousands of "at risk" youth are deciding whether they should join their local gang. Violence, guns, the drug trade, racism, poverty, families under pressure and ever-widening slums all provide a witch's brew in which the youth gang tempts young males and females with a sense of identity and belonging that their world has denied them. Gangs exposes the roots of the problem as it moves from the banlieues of France to the favelas of Brazil. It offers a startling analysis of the complicity of the official adult world and some controversial ideas for reforms that might just undermine the appeal of gang life. For many of the world's young -- especially those who are poor -- joining a gang is a real career choice. It is a choice that can be as deadly for young gangsters as for their victims. Richard Swift shows us that we fail to understand gangs at our peril.
By James Laxer. 2006
A fascinating look at empires and imperialism, and the new kind of empire the United States has become. An excellent…introduction for young adults. The United States presides over the most far-flung imperial system ever established. Empire compares the American Empire to those of the past, finding that much can be learned from the fates of the British, Roman, Chinese, Incan, and Aztec empires. James Laxer draws ominous parallels with the British who discovered too late that empire building ultimately threatens the health of democracy at home. Documenting how the American Empire works and what it means to the rest of the world, Empire asks: Does the American Empire bring stability to a troubled world? Or, like its imperial predecessors, does it impose inequality and oppression on humanity? And what happens when an empire stumbles? "[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." -- Globe and Mail Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
By Christopher Keene. 2021
Noah promised himself he would never play the world&’s most popular MMORPG—the Dream State. He&’d already lost too many friends…to the addictive virtual world. But after a devastating car crash leaves Noah paralyzed, he&’s forced inside the game. The Dream State not only provides a connection with the outside world but also keeps his brain awake long enough for his body to heal. Dying in the game, however, could send Noah into a coma forever. To stay safe, he must remain in the lower levels, far away from the most dangerous monsters and players. Meanwhile, doctors grow concerned when Noah&’s girlfriend, Sue—who also sustained serious injuries in the crash—seemingly fails to connect to the game. When a mysterious avatar suggests to Noah that the last remnants of Sue&’s consciousness are being held prisoner in the highest level, Noah decides to risk everything to save her. Leaving the safety of the lower levels, Noah rises through the ranks and enters the most dangerous part of the game, allying with high-level players and unearthing clues to a sinister plot along the way. Now top players from across the world are hunting him. With his life on the line, can Noah save Sue and uncover the mystery?
By Meja Mwangi. 2005
Winner, Children's Africana Book Award - Best Book for Older Readers For young Kariuki, life in a small village in…central Kenya is one great adventure. And when he meets Nigel life becomes even more interesting. Nigel is from England and he has come to visit his great grandfather, the fearsome Bwana Ruin who owns the farm where all the villagers work. The villagers call Nigel the mzungu boy, and they view him with suspicion and fear. Nevertheless, Kariuki becomes friends with Nigel and the two spend happy days exploring the forest together. Then one day the two boys decide to hunt down Old Moses, the biggest, ugliest, oldest and meanest warthog in the forest. The hunt takes them deeper into the jungle than Kariuki has ever gone, and his beloved forest becomes a frightening place, filled with dangerous creatures, including the Mau-mau, the mysterious men who have guns and are plotting against Bwana Ruin and the white soldiers. And when Nigel suddenly disappears, Kariuki realizes that it is up to him to save his friend.
By Wayne Grady. 2010
A sweeping history of technology’s advance that raises the crucial question of whether we are in control of technology, or…whether technology controls us. An excellent introduction to technology for young adults.There is no doubt that we have come to rely on technology, not only for our comfort and convenience, but for our very survival as a species. A hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Darwin noted wryly that if the human species were returned to the wild without the advantage of technology, we would become extinct in six weeks.Since that time, technology has proliferated to the extent that we can no longer conceive of life without it. As this book shows, technology is more than the sum of the tools we use, whether they are primitive ploughs or space shuttles. It is a way of seeing the world, the way we determine how the world works -- technology is a way of thinking.We see this in the way technology has invaded our language: we speak of the education system, the cultural industry. Since the 18th century, we have tended to describe the universe as a giant clockwork, the body as a machine, and, more recently, the mind as a computer. These are all aspects of the degree to which we have come to live in a technological age."[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." — Globe and Mail
By Archie Superstars. 2021
BRAND NEW STORY: “Waterparked!” Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead are excited because they are going to a waterpark for the…day. Unfortunately when they get there the park is overcrowded and the lines are endless! Will their day at the waterpark be a big splash or will their idea of fun leave them all wet?
By Fanny Britt. 2016
A stunning graphic novel from the award-winning creators of Jane, the Fox and Me.In this powerful new graphic novel from…Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, we meet Louis, a young boy who shuttles between his alcoholic dad and his worried mom, and who, with the help of his best friend, tries to summon up the courage to speak to his true love, Billie.Louis’s dad cries — Louis knows this because he spies on him. His dad misses the happy times when their family was together, just as Louis does. But as it is, he and his little brother, Truffle, have to travel back and forth between their dad’s country house and their mom’s city apartment, where she tries to hide her own tears.Thankfully, Louis has Truffle for company. Truffle loves James Brown lyrics, and when he isn’t singing, he’s asking endless questions. Louis also has his friend Boris, with whom he spots ghost cop cars and spies on the “silent queen,” the love of his life, Billie.When Louis and Truffle go to their dad’s for two weeks during the summer, their father seems to have stopped drinking. And when Truffle has a close call from a bee sting, their mother turns up and the reunited foursome spend several wonderful days in New York — until they reach the end of the road, again.A beautifully illustrated, true-to-life portrayal of just how complex family relationships can be, seen through the eyes of a wise, sensitive boy who manages to find his own way forward.Key Text Featuresspeech bubblesCorrelates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.3Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.