A Little Something Different
Sandy Hall
Swoonreads.com
$10.99
Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is aloof and Gabe is shy and it looks like they are never going to work things out. But something is happening between the two – everyone can see it including their teacher, the barisatas at Starbucks, the bus driver and a squirrel.
Swoon Reads is a community that allows people to post their manuscripts. Readers can vote and comment on their favourites. The top-rated manuscripts can be chosen for publication. This is the first one.
Editor’s Note: This book is written in 14 different viewpoints, including my favourites – the squirrel and the bench. Sometimes I had to look to see who I was readying about, but for the most part each character shined through. What a great read. I was cheering for these two because, like the barista and the classmate, who couldn’t help themselves, I wanted a happy ending.

Soldier Doll
Jennifer Gold
Second Story Press, http://secondstorypress.ca/books/294-soldier-doll
$11.99
When Elizabeth spots an antique doll dressed in a soldier’s uniform at a thrift sale, she thinks it might be a good birthday gift for her dad, who’s about to ship out to the Middle East. But is it more special? Could it be the very soldier doll that inspired a famous poem written during the First World War? In finding the doll, Elizabeth has become the latest link in a chain of love and loss that began in England during the First World War, when a young woman gave the doll to her fiancé before he left to join the fighting in Europe. From there to Nazi Germany in the 1930s, to a Czech concentration camp in the Second World War and on to a young American soldier in Vietnam in the 1970s, the doll has been passed from hand to hand, in moments of both hope and sadness.
Editor’s Note: What a great book. I enjoyed how the doll was linked to each story and how invvoled you got in the lives of the people you were reading about.

The Jewel
Amy Ewing
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/‎
$16.71
The Jewel means wealth and beauty, but for Violet it means servitude. Bought at the surrogacy action by the Duchess of the Lake, Violet, now known as No. 197, is thrown into royal life, which is filled with violence, manipulation and death. Violet must accept she will bear a child for the Duchess, but before she can do so she meets a boy who she falls in love with. Violet must decide what and whom she is willing to risk for her own freedom.
Editor’s Note: What a great, awful book. I got pulled into the Jewel quickly. So much colour and beauty, but so much fear, control and horror. For the first time in a long time, I feared reading the end of the book. I wanted to, but I was scared – terrified for Violet. I couldn’t handle the suspense. I wanted a happy ending for everyone.

Walking Home
Eric Walters
Ages 10 and up
Doubleday Canada, Random House Canada, http://www.randomhouse.ca
A week ago, Muchoki, 13, and his younger sister, Jata were living in a bustling Kenyan village with their close and loving family and now violence has killed their father, destroyed their home and the pair, along with their ailing mother, are living in a tent in an overcrowded refugee camp. When their mother dies, Muchoki and Jata walk hundred of kilometres to find their last remaining family.
Editor’s note: What an amazing, frightening, awful story. Despite the horrors, both Muchoki and Jata lived through, Muchoki, particularly, has hope, kindness, compassion and wisdom beyond his years. It was an amazing story and one everyone should read.

Young adult (books written by teens, teens are the characters, teen health issues, etc.)
Because I am a Girl, I can change the world
Rosemary McCarney with Jen Albaugh and Plan International
$16.95
Second Story Press, http://www.secondstorypress.ca
Meet some amazing girls from all over the world who tell stories of their lives. In Because I am a Girl, readers hear of the barriers and dangers they, and girls like them, face every day. Despite the hardship, they have great hope for the future and are willing to do what they can to make their lives, and the lives of their families and communities better. Read about Farwa, who was destined to become a child bride in Pakistan and Lucy, an orphan in Zimbabwe, who struggles to find enough food for herself and her sister.
Editor’s Note: This book was released Oct. 11, the International Day of the Girl. Each story made me appreciate that I live in Canada. I don’t have to worry about not eating because my brothers deserved food first or being forced from my family to work as servant in a rich man’s house. My heart breaks for these girls who could never be children. How does this stuff still happen?

Hate Mail
Monique Polak
Ages 10 to 14
Orca Currents, Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
$9.95
Jordie’s cousin Todd has moved back to Montreal and is atending Jordie’s high school. Todd has autism and is not welcomed at the school. Jordie distances himself from his cousin. But when Todd receives a hateful letter, Jordie starts questioning his own behavior. Inspired by real-life events.
Editor’s Note: I felt for Todd and his family, particularly his mother who was dealing with so much, and was annoyed – and angered – by Jordie’s behaviour, and the behaviour of people – both young and old – who should know better. It’s a great read for young people.

In Your Face, The Culture of Beauty and You
Shari Graydon
Ages 12 and up
Annick Press, http://www.annickpress.com
$16.95
Why do we place so much importance on looks? Who gets to decide what’s hot and what’s not? Why are there different standards for guys and girls? In today’s world, it’s harder than ever to escape the pressure of looking good. But teens also have more tools than ever to change the message of what beauty means. In Your Face is a guide to understanding the culture of beauty and putting it into perspective.
Editor’s Note: I am not a makeup, perfume wearing, hairstyling girl, but I did poke through the book with pieces of information grabbing my attention including how tall men men make more money, simply because people assume they are smarter or that 87 per cent of women have experienced foot problems from wearing ill-fitted shoes.

Lara’s Gift
Annemarie O’Brien
Random House, http://www.randomhouse.com/kids
$8.88
Young Lara is being groomed in the family tradition to take over as Count Vorontsov’s next kennel steward, breeding borzoi dogs worthy of the Tsar. But when Lara’s baby brother is born, she finds herself supplanted as her father decides to make her brother the next kennel steward. Lara has a special gift of understanding the incredible dogs – a gift her father eyes with fear and superstition. Can Lara convince him to let her fulfill her destiny with these noble dogs?
Editor’s Note: I loved Lara’s character – she is strong, dedicated, loyal and knows what she wants. I cheered for Lara throughout the book – and was grateful I was born in a time where my job is more than a bride.

Off Pointe
Leanne Lieberman
Ages 11 to 14
Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
$9.95
When Meg’s summer ballet camp is cancelled, her ballet teacher suggests she attend Camp Dance to learn new dance styles and learn to connect to her audience. Things go from bad to worse as Meg struggles to learn contemporary dance and clashes with another dancer. Unless Meg is able to push herself and find a way to collaborate, her time at the Camp Dance will be a disaster.
Editor’s Note: A great quick read for any dancer – and any person – looking to conquer her fears and improve herself.

Positive, A Memoir
By Paige Rawl, Ali Benjamin, Jay Asher
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/Positive/?isbn=9780062342515
Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth, but growing up, she never felt her illness defined her. On an unremarkable day in middle school, she disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status and within hours the bullying began. From that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Paige was never sure when or from where the next text, taunt or hateful message would come. Then one night, desperate for escape, 15-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige’s memoir calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty – and above all, to be Positive.
Editor’s Note: Wow. Just wow. One comment to one’s “best friend” and Paige’s life changes completely. She not only gets bullied by her peers, which is awful enough, but guidance counsellors and teachers allow it to continue to happen. The teachers betrayed her trust and inflicted more pain by their inactions.

Rachel’s Hope
Shelly Sanders
Second Story Press, http://www.secondstorypress.ca
$12.99
The final book in a trilogy about one girl’s journey from Russia to America, Rachel’s Hope is set in 1906 after Rachel and her family escape anti-Jewish riots in Russia, finding safety in Shanghai before arriving in California. Rachel’s friend, Sergie, remains in Russia and becomes part of a group demanding better working conditions in that country. Rachel and her family’s life in American isn’t easy as the family tries to survive the San Francisco earthquake and start fresh in a new country. The books are based on a true story.
Editor’s Note: I didn’t read the first two books – Rachel’s Secret and Rachel’s Promise – but Rachel’s Hope allowed me to dive right into the characters and their lives. I didn’t actually realize this was a trilogy until re-reading the press release. Well done Shelly Sanders for creating a book that stands alone. What a great story and a horrific one as well. People impress me by their bravery and courage.

Rookie Yearbook Three
Edited by Tavi Gevinson
http://www.rookiemag.com/author/tovabenjamin
Rookiemag.com is a website created by and for young women to make the best of the beauty, pain and awkwardness of being a teenager. When it becomes tough to appreciate such things, there is a place to go for fun and visual pleasure. When teens are sick of having to be happy all the time, the website offers a place to rant, too. The best of the best is compiled into this yearbook.
Penguin Canada, penguinrandomhouse.ca
$35
Editor’s Note: This thick book reminds of a scrapbook, filled with photos, doodles, lists and interviews including with Greta Gerwig and content by Lorde and Dakota Fanning. The first thing I turned to was a piece by Anna, “a light-skinned biracial teenager growing up in Canada.” There are five Canadian contributors to this books.

Shadows
Paula Weston
Ages 14 and up
$12.99
Tundra Books, http://www.tundrabooks.com
It’s been almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. Her body has healed, but her grief is raw. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. Then Rafa comes to town and tells her things about her brother that can’t be true. Who is Rafa? Who is the Refphaim? And who is Gaby?
Editor’s Note: Tundra Books was kind enough to send me Shadows, the first book in the series. Haze, The Rephaim: Book 2 is the second book, and the new release. But I didn’t want to read Book 2 without reading Book 1. Book 1 was a great fantasy piece. I will be reading Book 2 because I need to know what happened to Jude, and if Gaby will ever figure it out.

The Way Back
Carrie Mac
Ages 12 plus
Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
$9.95
Colby Wyatt has had a rough year. Her dad disappeared, she lives with her best friend and her grandmother and she’s addicted to meth. And now she is pregnant. Colby checks herself into rehab so she can get clean and figure out how she can keep the baby. But sometimes, no matter how hard you wish for something, it doesn’t come true.
Editor’s Note: When I first started reading this book, I didn’t think I could finish it – Colby was a drug-addicted thief. But I had to give her credit – as soon as she found out she was pregnant, she got clean and cared only about this little person growing in her. I thought the back cover was misleading and spent the last few chapters of the book in fear – and sadness.

This Star Won’t Go Out
The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl
Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl and an introduction by John Green
http://tswgo.tumblr.com/
Dutton Books, Penguin Books, http://www.penguin.com/teens
Diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 12, Esther Earl was a bright and talented teenager. She lived a hope-filled and generous life as she navigated her physical decline. A cheerful, positive and encouraging young person, Esther died in 2010 shortly after turning 16, but not before inspiring thousands of others – including author John Green who dedicated his bestseller The Fault in Our Stars to her – through her growing online presence.
Editor’s Note: My cousin gave me The Fault in Our Stars for my birthday, telling me it was her favourite book. She both laughed and cried and fell in love with the characters. When Penguin offered me a chance to read Esther’s story, I jumped at the chance. The book is a mix of Esther’s journal entries, sketches and letters to her family as well as Caring Bridge website entries as her cancer progressed. There are also entries by her friends, including remembering the young women who obviously touched so many lives, and photos. Why would you want to read a book whose ending you know, and an ending that is not a happy one? Because Esther embraced life and found joy in it. Because she accepted death and came to terms with her own mortality. Because her life, albeit short, was one well lived. But mainly so you can learn to appreciate what you have and be thankful for it.

To This Day
Shane Koyczan
Ages 11 plus
Annick Press
http://www.annickpress.com
$19.95
From acclaimed spoken word poet Shane Koyczan, this piece became a rallying cry against bullying and a viral video viewed more than a million times. Now it’s a illustrated book, featuring the work of 30 artists who illustrated each piece of the poem in their own style.
Editor’s Note: While I am not sure if I was supposed to, I did laugh out loud at the beginning of Koyczan’s piece. A massive example of poor communication. I am glad people found comfort in the poem.

The World Outside, a Novel
Eva Wiseman
Tundra Books, http://www.tundrabooks.com
$21.99
Chanie Altman, 17, lives a sheltered life as of a Lubavitcher Hasidic girl in Crown Heights, New York. She is expected to attend a seminary and marry as soon as she graduates. That is until she meets David, and he shows her another world. But in August 1991, a tragedy occurs and the Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews come under siege. What choice will Chanie make?
Editor’s note: This book made me angry, but not enough that I wanted to stop reading. It was a good book in that regard. I read it to the end, often with my mouth hanging open. And the ending! I can’t comprehend this way of life.

Other new young adult releases:
Bobbie Brown Beauty Rules, Fabulous Looks, Beauty Essentials and Life Lessons

Bobbie Brown
$23.95
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
Famed makeup artist Bobbi’s Brown’s Beauty Rules is the definite beauty bible for teens and 20-somethings.

A Dragon’s Mage
Cecilia Lietz
http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000693223/A-Dragons-Mage.aspx
Cecilia Lietz published two novels before turning 20 and currently works in horticulture, window washing and childcare in Stony Plain, Alberta.
The author’s emphasis on decisions is a main theme of A Dragon’s Mage, a companion to A Dragon’s Whisperer.
Protagonist Samson “Sam” Slayer is not your average Chicago cop. At age 20, he must choose between the mystic realm – his home – and the world of humans as the two threaten to destroy one another.

Autumn Falls
Bella Thorne
Delacorte Press, http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385744331
$21.99
With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake. When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way, is there a bigger purpose for it – and for her?

Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer
Penguin Random House, http://www.randomhouse.ca
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821376-belzhar?ac=1>
Five students at an exclusive private school are given the chance to relive their pasts through a unique journal-writing experience.

Dirk Daring, Secret Agent
Helaine Becker
Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=2020
$9.95
When Darren Dirkowitz’s evil stepbrother (code name Waldo) gets hold of Darren’s top-secret spy journal, he threatens to expose it to the entire Preston Middle School student body. Unless, that is, Darren starts doing his dirty work for him. Now Darren’s got to use the oh-so-cloak-and-daggery skills he’s honed in his secret alternate life as Dirk Daring, Secret Agent to spy on kids at school. Naturally, he also sets up a separate, sneaky surveillance program to unearth Waldo’s own secrets. As more and more ugly truths are exposed, new alliances are forged and old friendships broken. Can Darren learn to be true to himself and build real friendships for the first time in his life? Or will he retreat back into his exciting, but imaginary shadow world?

Earth & Sky
Megan Crewe
Penguin Random House, http://www.randomhouse.ca
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17875055-earth-sky?from_search=tru
Earth & Sky is a science fiction adventure story that asks the question, what if life on Earth was part of a grand experiment?

Endgame: The Calling
By James Frey,
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/Endgame-Calling/?isbn=9780062332585
Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality – until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.
The real Endgame: Written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.

Every Breath
Ellie Marney
Ages 14 plus
Tundra Books, http://www.tundrabooks.com
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects is to find is the mutilated body of Homeless ave. But Mycroft’s passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn’t right – and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

Falling into Place
Amy Zhang
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/Falling-Into-Place-Amy-Zhang/?isbn=9780062295040
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Fashion Book
DK Publishing
$16.99, http://cn.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781465422842,00.html?FASHION_BOOK_DK_Publishing
From corsets to tailoring and textiles, the Fashion Book is a sassy style guide for teenage girls who want to discover the stories behind their favourite looks, find their own style and learn what makes the fashion world tick. Through witty graphics and bright lively text, teens can go behind the scenes of the exclusive fashion world. Style icons, designers and top models all give practical tips to create stunning outfits, explain key fashion terms, discuss careers in fashion and reveal secrets of the industry. Trivia, a glossary, inspirational quotes, and more make The Fashion Book a must-have accessory for teens.

The Perfectionists
Sara Shepard
http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/The-Perfectionists-Sara-Shepard/?isbn=9780062074508
Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker are all driven to be perfect – no matter the cost. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they discover they all hate the same person: handsome womanizer Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done things to hurt each of them. They come up with the perfect plan to murder Nolan, jokingly, of course. They’d never actually go through with it. But when Nolan turns up dead in the exact way they’d discussed, the girls suddenly become prime suspects in his murder. Only, they didn’t do it. So who did? Unless they find the real killer, and soon, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.Harper Collins,

Forcing the Ace
Eric Thomas
Ages 11 to 14
Orca Currents, Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
$9.95
Alex wants to enter the Silver Stage magic competition, but he needs a sponsor. Jack, a veteran card wizard, is willing to take on the role, but only if Alex agrees to team up with Zoe, another young magician and Alex’s rival. Alex comes to see there are other ways to be a magician besides competing, and that magic is about entertaining people, not fooling them.

Hardball
Steven Barwin
Ages 10 plus
Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
Baseball season has begun for the Gulf Coast Sharks. As a senior, Griffin has college in his sights and plans to land himself a baseball scholarship. His determination causes him to turn a blind eye to the hazing of new players by the team captain, Wade. But when Griffin senses his cousin is getting the brunt of Wade’s aggression, Griffin finally stand up. Soon after, steorids are found in Carson’s locker and he’s kicked off the team. Can Griffin stop Wade’s rein of terror, prove his cousin’s innocence and stay on track with his dreams?

It’s So Amazing!, A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families
Robie H. Harris
Candlewick, http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780763668747
$15
How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies – and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers – with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies. Created by the author and illustrator of It’s Perfectly Normal, this forthright and funny book has been newly updated for its 50th anniversary.

It’s Perfectly Normal, Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
Robie H. Harris
Candlewick, http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780763668723
$15
For two decades, this universally acclaimed book on sexuality has been the most trusted and accessible resource for kids, parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else who cares about the well-being of tweens and teens. Now, in honour of its anniversary, It’s Perfectly Normal has been updated with information on subjects such as safe and savvy Internet use, gender identity, emergency contraception, and more. Providing accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and STDs, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need – now more than ever – to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.

Julian
William Bell
Random House of Canada Limited, http://www.randomhouse.ca
$19.95
Aidan, 15, has had more foster parents than he cares to remember. Careful to always keep his distance from those around him, and aided by a deep well of self-reliance, he longs for the day he’s old enough to strike out on his own. That comes sooner than he expects when he meets Mr. Bai who helps him disappear. With a new identity, he finds himself at the centre of forces he can’t begin to understand.

Popular
Maya Van Wagenen
Penguin Random House, http://www.randomhouse.ca
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667753-popular?from_search=t
Popular is a memoir by 15-year-old Maya Van Wagenen, who decided to put the popularity and style tips of a 1950s style guide to test in her small town in 2014.

Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, A Workbook for Overcoming Anxiety at Home, at School and Everywhere Else
Christopher Willard
Ages 14 and up
$19.95
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
Being a teen is hard enough without anxiety getting in the way. You are changing more than ever, not just physically, but mentally. And if you are suffering from panic attacks, chronic worry and feelings of isolation, it can be different to meet your goals and succeed. The good news is there are real, powerful ways you can take control of your anxiety and your life.

Night Sky
Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann
Ages 13 and up
$19.95
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
Skylar Reid is shaken when Sasha, the little girl she babysits, is kidnapped. Scared the weird dreams she’s been having about Sasha are real and even more afraid that Sasha is already dead. When a mysterious girl with butt-kicking abilities roars into town on a motorcycle and stalks Skylar, things get even weird. Supergirl Dana tells Sky she also has abilities – that a hormone in their blood makes them stronger, faster and smarter.

Say What You Will
Cammie McGovern
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/Say-What-You-Will-Cammie-Mcgovern/?isbn=9780062271105
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.
When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Sleeper (The Seven Sequels)
Eric Walters
Age 10 plus
Orca Book Publishers, http://www.orcabook.com
DJ jets across the Atlantic to England to follow a series of obscure clues and symbols he hopes will reveal the truth about his grandfather. Spies, guns, double agents, the Cambridge Five and a vintage E-Type Jag are a few things DJ encounters on an adventure that makes climbing Kilimanjaro look like a walk in the park.

The Art of Getting Stared
Laura Langston
Penguin Random House, http://www.randomhouse.ca
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21857092-the-art-of-getting-stared-at
A contemporary YA novel about a driven and aspiring film student who finds her plans unexpectedly derailed by an unwelcome diagnosis.

The Death of Us
Alice Kuipers
Harper Collins, http://www.harpercollins.ca/books/Death-Us-Alice-Kuipers/?isbn=9781443424103
Callie is shocked when her friend Ivy reappears after an unexplained three-year absence, but the girls pick up where they left off and suddenly Callie’s summer is full of parties, boys and fun. Beneath the surface, things aren’t what they seem, however, and when a handsome boy with a dark past gets tangled up with Ivy, the girls’ history threatens to destroy their future.

Trial by Fire
Josephine Angelini
Ages 12 to 17
$20.50
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
Lily Proctor’s life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying the experiences of others in her hometown of Salem, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party. But after a a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Likely wishes she could disappear. Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem, one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian, Lily’s other self in this alternative university. What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem.

Watched
CJ Lyons
AGes 14 to 17
$19.99
Raincoast Books, http://www.raincoast.com
Jesse seems like a normal 16 year old, but he isn’t. He’s the victim of a ruthless hacker who has been blackmailing Jesse with incriminating screen photos and videos. So far, Jesse’s given in to King’s demands to protect his family. But now King wants something that is to horrible to contemplate – and if he doesn’t get it, King will kill Jesse’s little sister.

Books about War

Bunny The Brave War Horse, based on a true story
Elizabeth MacLeod
Kis Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.ca
$18.95
Bunny, a well-trained police horse, is sent overseas at the beginning of the First World War where he endures gas attacks, the threat of enemy bullets and food shortages. Bunny proves to be every bit as courageous as the soldiers he is there to help.
Editor’s Note: A children’s story, my six year old wasn’t interested in Bunny, too much text. I found the story lovely and sad, particularly the end.

Checkpoint Kalandia
Dixiane Hallaj
S & H Publishing, Inc., books@sandhpublishing.com
Born a Refugee (published in 2010 and updated last year) and Checkpoint Kalandia (just released)
Born a Refugee tell the story of a Palestinian Refugee family living in the Kalandia Refugee Camp between Ramallah and Jerusalem. War, even undeclared as such, takes a toll on civilians that reaches far beyond actual combat. Born a Refugee begins in 1974 and follows the life of a widow and her boys. The second book, Checkpoint Kalandia, starts in 2001 and follows the next generation of same family.
Editor’s note: According to the author, the books are “independent stories and reading the first before the second only adds depth of understanding. The books are told from a Palestinian viewpoint, but are as apolitical as possible given the setting.”

Dieppe, Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II
Hugh Brewster
$10.99
Scholastic Canada, http://www.scholastic.ca
It’s been called the bloodiest nine hours in Canadian military history. On the morning of Aug. 19, 1942, a mostly Canadian force of more than 6,000 men attached the Nazi-held French port of Dieppe.
Editor’s Note: What a great book. Each page offers a look at part of the battle of Dieppe and includes timelines, information about key players, quotes, photos and more. A great way to learn about Canada’s miltary past.

From Vimy to Victory
Hugh Brewster
$19.99
Scholastic Canada, http://www.scholastic.ca
After their triumph at Vimy Ridge, Canada’s soldiers become the shock troops of the British army. In one battle after another, they led the way to victory through ferocious gunfire, poison and exploding artillery shells.
Editor’s Note: Much like Dieppe, Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II, this book offers short pieces of information of the things Canadian soldiers did to help ensure freedom.

Flight of the Griffons
Kate Inglis
Nimbus Publishing
$19.95
In Flight of the Griffons, the sequel to The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, young Missy Bullseye ventures from her pirate crew’s adopted Nova Scotian home base to begin probationary work terms along the road to union-certified junking. From the deep northern woods of Ontario and Quebec to the great western prairies, Missy wanders far on a secret mission – one that turns her against her own. Includes 15 full-page illustrations from artist Sydney Smith.

Generals Die in Bed
Charles Yale Harrison
Ages 14 plus
Annick Press, http://www.annickpress.com
$11.95
The bloody trench fighting of the First World War shattered publicly held notions of war as a glorious endeavor. Charles Yale Harrison’s landmark novel was one of the first to deliver the message. Originally published in 1930, this account offers a chilling account of life in the trenches. This celebrated work now offers a foreword by author Wade Davis.

I am Canada, Sink and Destroy, The Battle of the Atlantic
Bill O’Connell, North Atlantic, 1940
Edward Kay
$14.99
Scholastic Canada, http://www.scholastic.ca
German submarines are prowling the North Atlantic, taking a huge toll on the Allied ships. Bill and other sailors guarding the convoys are determined to protect them at all costs. The stakes are high, finding and sinking the German U-boats means the difference between winning or losing the war.

Maclean
Allan Donaldson
$16.95
Vagrant Press, Nimbus Publishing, nimbus.ca
Twenty-five years after the great war, John Maclean is still struggling to carve out a meaningful existence in his small New Brunswick hometown. One late summer day he embarks on a search for a little money, a little booze and a birthday gift for his mother. But he’s haunted by memories – of war, of his cruel father, of opportunities wasted and lost. Shell-shocked and alcoholic, Maclean is divided by a lonely present and violent past.

Stay Where you Are and Then Leave
John Boyne
Doubleday Canada, http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385681391
$19.95
The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight – but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission. Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realizes his father is in a hospital close by, a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place.

Uncivil War
Indran Amirthanayagam, indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com
TSAR Publications, http://www.tsarbooks.com
Uncivil War is a collection of unflinchingly honest poems that bear witness to the violence of the Sri Lankan civil war. The story he weaves is that of the human condition and of courage.

Wings of War
John Wilson
Doubleday Canada, http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385678308
$12.95
It’s the early 1900s and Edward Setten is growing up in the prairies fascinated by his uncle, who is one of the very first people in Canada to pilot a plane. Despite his mother’s protests, Edward learns to fly and, when war breaks out, joins the Royal Flying Corps.

This article was originally published at insidetoronto.com

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