WORD NERD by Susin Nielsen
Tundra Books 2008 978-0-88776-875-0 IL: 5+
When twelve-year-old Ambrose is almost killed by bullies at school his life changes forever and not necessarily for the better. His overprotective mom refuses to let him leave the apartment and his new upstairs ex-con of a neighbor, Cosmo, soon becomes his only ticket to finding some fun; scrabble. This unlikely duo joins a scrabble club. One has hopes of winning a scrabble championship and the other has hopes of impressing a girl, all of which much happen on the fly from Ambrose’s mom.
DOG LOST by Ingrid Lee
Chicken House, Scholastic 2008 978-0-545-08578-6 IL: 5+
One night twelve-year-old Mackenzie was woken up by his Dad tossing something onto his bed…it was a puppy. From that moment on Mackenzie and Cash were inseparable, except for at school of course. They went to the park, played in the snow and chased squirrels. Other than the city’s possible it bull ban everything was perfect until Mackenzie’s Dad got mad and took Cash away. Waiting for Mackenzie was all Cash could think to do, and wait and wait she did, or at least until she couldn’t wait any longer.
THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY by Victoria Forester
Feiwel and Friends 2008 978-0312-374623 IL: 5+
Piper McCloud is a nine-year-old girl who can fly, and in the rural mid-West that makes her mighty suspect! When the National Press hears about her ability, her parents’ farm is overrun with journalists, and a “really nice” woman offers to take Piper into her boarding school for children with unusual talents. Their talents are unusual all right, but is the school really where they should be?
AFTER by Hazel Hutchins Smith
Bonappeti & Son 2008 978-1-897118-42-9 IL: 6+
A random shooting has grade 9 students Sam and Kate desperately coping with the changes to their own lives caused by this violent act. Kate is the victim’s sister, Sam the brother of the shooter. The courage each displays in dealing with this tragedy is inspiring and keeps readers enthralled right up to the unexpected twist at the end.
THE ANCIENT OCEAN BLUES by Jack Mitchell
Tundra Books 2008 978-0-88776-823-3 IL: 5+
Marcus Opius Sabinas is a young teenager sent to work for his cousin in Ancient Rome. He is sent to Athens on the Star of Carthage which is destroyed in a furious storm. Then the adventure begins! This well researched story is a fund read.
BREATHING SOCCER by Debbie Spring
Thistledown Press 2008 978-1-897235-42-3 IL: 5+
Twelve-year-old Lisa has an epi-pen for allergic reactions, an asthmatic inhaler and an unstoppable passion for playing soccer. Taking chances with her adventurous spirit on and off the soccer field can lead to serious medical consequences and do result in a stigma from her friends and overprotective family. Perseverance with doctors about her asthma condition and courage from an Olympic athlete give Lisa a hopeful determination to be the best she can in life and soccer.
CHILD OF DANDELIONS by Shenaaz Nanji
Second Stor Press 2008 978-1-897187-50-0 IL: 6+
Privileged fifteen-year-old Sabine’s life inevitably changed when military President, General Idi Amin declares “all Indians will be weeded out” of Uganda in ninety days. As Ugandan citizens of Indian origin, Sabine’s family thinks they are safe. But, as the countdown relentlessly continues and violence escalates, the anger of the Ugandan population forces Sabine to confront her family’s privileged status in a country of poverty and inequality. When even Sabine’s closest friend turns from her, Sabine’s sense of disbelief and shock give way to the brutal necessity of escaping from the country she had thought was her home.
DEATH IN THE AIR by Shane Peacock
Tundra Books 2008 0-88776-851-2 IL: 5+
To avenge his mother’s death, young Sherlock Holmes vowed to devote himself to becoming “a crime-solving machine.” Upon witnessing a trapeze artist plunge to the ground, the keenly observant Sherlock ascertains within seconds that the fall was no accident. He must penetrate the world of circus entertainers and consort once again with the criminal element of Victorian London if he is to discover who is responsible and solve this, his second case.
GREENER GRASS by Caroline Pignat
Red Deer Press 2008 978-0-88995-402-1 IL: 5+
Set in Ireland during the Irish Famine of the late-1840s, this book is told from the first person perspective of 14-year-old Kathleen “Kit” Byrne. Kit and her family endure hunger and suffering as the ravages of the Famine spread across their country. As if their suffering is not enough, Lord Fraser’s hard-hearted middleman, Mr. Lynch, threatens the Byrne family with eviction from their home. Desperate times require desperate actions and Kit will do whatever she can to sustain her family.
LIBERTAD by Alma Fullerton
Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2008 978-1-55455-106-4 IL: 5+
Twelve-year-old Libertad and his seven-year-old brother Julio, tragically find themselves suddenly alone and forced to find a way to survive in Guatemala City. The boys begin a dangerous adventure that forces them to confront poverty, child labour, and drug abuse as they struggle with their own self-discovery. Written in free verse, this fast-paced novel about two brothers’ love and support for each other is a page-turner that covers many social issues while the boys undertake a treacherous journey in the hopes of finding their father.
RES JUDICATA by Vicki Grant
Orca Book Publishers 2008 1-551439-40-2 IL: 6+
Atlantic sea lice, a blond bombshell widow and home-cooked meals entangle fifteen-year-old Cyril MacIntyre in another of his Mom’s underdog legal escapades. The death of a prominent scientist changes from accidental to manslaughter, prompting Cyril’s dating, single parent to build a case for the accused, leaving Cyril’s to fend for himself. Avoiding red herrings and anchovies brings Cyril closer to the actual truth, helping him solve the crime and save the day.
THE SÉANCE by Iain Lawrence
Delacorte Press 2008 978-0-385-73375-5 IL: 5+
During the 1920’s, thirteen-year-old Scooter King is a fan of illusions and he helps his mother conduct séances right out of their home. He soon becomes entangled in a murder mystery involving Harry Houdini. As Scooter sets out to find the murderer, the worlds of magic and mediums are exposed.
THE SHADOW OF MALABRON by Thomas Wharton
Doubleday Canada 2008 978-0-385-66457-8 IL: 6+
This is the first volume in the Perilous Realm series. Will’s trip into the “perilous realm” brings him into a world that is “peopled” by stories. There are battles with dragons, goblins, and ghosts as Will seeks to find his way home. This is a fast moving battle between good and evil.
TWEAKED by Katherine Holubitsky
Orca Publishers 2008 978-1-55143-851-1 IL: 6+
This is a powerful story about the effects of drug addiction on an individual and the family. Sixteen-year-old Gordie’s older brother, Chase, is addicted to crystal meth. Gordie has watched his brother succeed in school only to become a junkie on the street. Eventually Chase’s addiction catches up to him and he commits a terrifying act of violence. Will Chase eventually turn himself into police and get help, or will his powerful drug addiction send him over the edge?
WAR BROTHERS by Sharon E. McKay
Puffin Canada 2008 978-0-670-06784-8 IL: 7+
Fourteen-year-old Jacob and fifteen-year-old Okeda’s lives are forever changed by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Africa. Fighting on opposite sides in a war, both boys learn to survive under horrible life-threatening conditions while protecting those captured, abused or even brainwashed by the army. Told through both the child soldier’s and the captives’ experiences, it is easy to see that the lines of right and wrong are often blurred in a war, both boys learn to survive under horrible life-threatening conditions while protecting those captured, abused or even brainwashed by the army. Told through both the child soldier’s and the captives’ experiences, it is easy to see that the lines of right and wrong are often blurred in a war. This is a story of hope in the time of a country’s desperate upheaval.
WHAT WORLD IS LEFT by Monique Polak
Orca 2008 978-1-55143+847-4 IL: 6+
Together, with her Jewish family, in 1943, 14-year-old Anneke Van Raalte, is forcibly removed from her home outside of Amsterdam and relocated to the Nazi concentration camp at Theresienstadt. The Nazi soldiers’ brutality toward the Jews makes life almost unbearable for Anneke. Anneke cannot understand why her father uses his artistic talent to promote Nazi propaganda. So long as her father is useful, however, the Van Raalte family’s lives may be spread.
WITHERSHINS by Susan Rocan
Great Plains Publications 2008 978-1-894283-75-5 IL: 6+
Sixteen-year-old Michelle thought that her history project partners were being silly when they suggested returning to St. Andrews-on-the-Red at midnight, not to continue their afternoon’s research among the gravestones, but to try out “the withershin”. This involved running counterclockwise around the church three times, but when she fell on the third round knocking herself out, she came to to find the church beside her still under construction.
WOULD YOU by Marthe Jocelyn
Tundra Books 2008 978-0-88776-816-3 IL: 7+
Its summer and sixteen-year-old Natalie has big plans – summer job, pool-hopping with friends, possible romance with Zack and spending time with her older sister Claire before she heads off to college. But life, it seems, has plans of its own. When a tragic car accident leaves Claire in a coma, Natalie and her family must face the unthinkable. Will Claire be okay? What will happen to their family is she isn’t?