What Happens When A Loved One Dies? Our FIrst Talk about Death by Dr. Jillian Roberts (Orca books, $19.95) uses questions posed in a child’s voice, with answers that start simply and become more in-depth, allowing adults to guide the conversation to a natural and reassuring conclusion. Additional questions at the back of the book allow for further discussion. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts designed the Just Enough series to empower parents/caregivers to start conversations with young ones about difficult or challenging subject matter. What Happens When a Loved One Dies? is the second book in the series. For more information, visit http://www.justenoughseries.com
Orca Books offered me the opportunity to speak with Roberts about her new book as well as talking about death to children.

Q. Why did you include this book in the series, which also includes Where do Babies Come From (October release), Why Do Families Change (spring release) and What Makes us Unique (fall release)?
A. As our world becomes more complicated, it has become more challenging to teach and parent our children. I have seen this change first hand as a practicing child psychologist. The series was developed to give parents and teachers tools to talk about difficult and complicated subjects with their young children. The most recent book, “What Happens When A Loved One Dies?” was written to help children understand and cope with death. I am particularly concerned about children who have witnessed violence and terrorism.

Q. The book series is aimed at children three to six. Why is this a good age to discuss these topics? Should it be earlier? Is there such a thing as too much information? How do know if the information is age specific?
A. I am a big proponent of early intervention. Helping to address difficult concepts early in a wholesome way, allows parents and teachers to set the foundation for wholesome values in life.

Q. Why do you think people find it difficult to discuss these natural topics with their children, death in particular?
A. I think that these topics are difficult for young and older alike. It is especially hard to talk about difficult topics with children, when you are struggling to process these topics yourself. As a child psychologist, I have a great deal of experience talking to children about difficult topics and I hoped to share what I have learned. I have written these books to provide parents and teachers with a kind of script to help these conversations unfold.

Q. How old were your children (and how old are they now) when you discussed where babies came from or death with them?
A. I have three children, two daughters and a son. My children are 15, 13 and three years old. I tried to talk with my children about all of these topics from as early an age as possible. I wanted them to know that no topic was taboo in our house. Many of our most meaningful conversations happened in the car on the way to school and during summer vacations.

Q. What is the goal of the What Happens When A Loved One Dies book?
A. The goal is to help children understand the concept of death. I wanted the book to be appropriate for children from a wide range of backgrounds. I wanted the book to be culturally sensitive. And, I wanted to promote and encourage children to ask questions.

Q. How did you decide what questions to ask in this book.
A. The questions in this book, and also in the others, are inspired by real discussions I have had with children over the years. I think the books have been so well received because they reflect the real and authentic questions children have.

Q. If the idea of the books is to provide enough information for people to start the conversation with their children, what do you hope the follow up conversation would go like? What do you hope to hear? What questions could parents ask after reading the book (or conversely, what questions may kids ask of their parents after reading this book)?
A. I imagine that many parents would be reading this book to their children because the children have been asking about death. Perhaps children have experienced loss first hand. I hope that parents can use the book as a way of helping children to open up about their own thoughts and questions. I also hope that the book fosters opportunities for parents and children to explore their own unique cultural values around death.

Q. Of all the questions asked in this book, what is the most important one in your view?
A. I think the most important question is “What happens when someone dies?”  I have found that most children will have this question.
Editor’s Note: I am not sure why people are afraid of exposing their children to the topic death; it seems like such a natural thing and one most people have to deal with at some point. My grandmother died several years ago, so my son, who is now seven, and I have talked about death, and what happens when someone dies, since then so this book was not our first step into the topic. I wasn’t a fan of the book. I suppose I was expecting more of a story, rather than questions with answers. I found it was just information being thrown at you, and it really didn’t open up more questions or discussions.

Book News
Scholastic publishes screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
Scholastic will publish the screenplay of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Nov. 19.
Scholastic released news April 26.
Returning to her wizarding world, the all-new adventure film, which will release Nov. 18, 2016, marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books.
The published screenplay will be a hardcover and cost $29.99. The ebook edition of the screenplay will be published by Pottermore, the global digital publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, simultaneously with the print edition in collaboration with Scholastic in the U.S. and Canada and Little, Brown Book Group in the U.K.
In late March, Scholastic, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, announced late March a global licensed publishing deal for children’s books based on the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films, as well as the Harry Potter movie franchise. Launching in September, the licensing deal includes world all language rights for children’s movie tie-in books in multiple formats for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie and its sequels, as well as tie-in books based on the original eight Harry Potter films.

Have you checked out the HarperClassroom yet?
HarperClassroom offers easily downloadable activities and reading guides, targeted book lists and information about things like author and costume visits.

Kids Can Press announces young adult imprint
Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press announced in April a new imprint, KCP Loft, which will focus entirely on young adult (YA) fiction and non-fiction.
Geared to readers 14 and up with crossover appeal to adult readers, KCP Loft explores the first loves and deep friendships, the heartbreak and life-altering crossroads on the road to adulthood. Engrossing, shareable, contemporary and smart, these are the must-haves for readers hungry for the next world to get lost in.
KCP Loft will release four novels in 2017, including Zenn Diagram from debut, Chicago-area novelist Wendy Brant; Textrovert, based on Lindsey Summers’s wildly popular Wattpad novel; Just a Normal Tuesday by Daytime Emmy Award–winning writer and producer Kim Turrisi; and Keeping the Beat, originally published as Drummer Girl to critical acclaim in the UK, from screenwriter and journalist Bridget Tyler and Canadian author and producer Jeff Norton.

Klutz Jr.
Klutz, the creator of activity kits for kids, announced in late March plans to launch Klutz Jr., a book and craft kit product line for kids ages four and up.
Celebrating 40 years in 2017, Klutz Jr. will launch with four kits beginning January, with four more planned for fall 2017 and four planned per year thereafter.
KLUTZ JR. 2017 launch list:
My Clay Critters; My Egg Carton Animals; My Twinkly Tiaras; and My Hand Art.

An Armadillo in New York

Julie Kraulis
Tundra Books, penguinrandomhouse.ca
Arlo is an armadillo who is always up for adventure. His grandfather, Augustin, loved adventure too. When Arlo was born, Augustin wrote travel journals about his favorite places for Arlo to use when he was old enough to go exploring on his own. When Arlo reads about New York and the mysterious Lady Liberty, he decides it’s time for his next adventure. He travels to New York and, guided by Augustin’s journal, discovers the joys of the city: gazing at the vast skyline, visiting the Guggenheim, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, meeting Lady Liberty..but who is she? Each spread has a clue about her identity, and kids will see hints of her scattered throughout the pages.
Editor’s Note: My seven year old and I both love An Armadillo in Paris so when Julie Kraulis’ latest arrived, my son was excited. We read twice in a row. You could use this one, and the Paris book, as a guide to those cities. We liked the hints and the information about Liberty Lady at the back of the book.

A Tattle-Tell Tale, A story about Getting Help
Kathryn Cole
Second Story Press, http://www.secondstorypress.com
Starting on Monday and working through all the days of the week, Joseph tries to deal with a lunchroom bully until he realizes he can’t do it alone. A trip to the principal’s office makes Friday the best day, after the principal explains that tattling and telling in order to get help are two different things and steps in to help.
Editor’s Note: This is one of a number of books in a series that teaches kids a number of great lesson. My son loves that each book features the same children. While he liked this book, and we’ll read it again, his favourite in the latest three is Sign Up Here, a Story about Friendship. (It seems like every kid in Dee-Dee’s class has joined a club but her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to join a club, it’s that no one will let her! Because of her disability, she doesn’t walk fast enough for the walking club and the Strong-Arm Wrestling Club became the All-Boys Strong-Arm Wrestling Club when she beat Joseph in easy-peasy in a match. Dee-Dee knows that friends shouldn’t leave you out and that she is a very good friend. So she and her teacher come up with a plan to show what good friends are and how they should treat each other.)
My son brought this book to school because they were talking about kindness in class. His teacher read it to all his classmates and my son said four people thanked him for bringing it in. Also in this new series is That Uh-Oh Feeling, A Story about Touch, (No matter how hard she tries, Claire can’t kick the soccer ball in a straight line. Her coach tries to encourage her by placing his hand on her shoulder and telling her she’s too pretty to wear a frown. When he tickles her later and asks her to keep it a secret, Claire doesn’t know exactly what’s wrong, but something just feels “weird.” Too much flattery and too much contact give her that weird, uh-oh feeling. She turns to her friends for help and learns that adults shouldn’t ask kids to keep secrets about touch, so Claire tells her mother. By seeking help from others and talking about her feelings, the situation is resolved happily).
I liked this book because the touch, while not innocent or right, could be construed as ‘harmless’ but Claire listened to her feelings and spoke to it about her friends, who confirmed to her what she already knew – to listen to her feelings and tell someone she can trust. As always, all these books offered great lessons, but wrapped into stories that are enjoyable and don’t sound preachy.

Beach Baby (board book)
Laurie Elmquist
Orca Books, orcabooks.com
A gentle, poetic lullaby for baby, filled with memories from a perfect day playing on the beach. Castles, sand dollars, seals peering out of the waves and the beat of the ocean become sweet reminders of all the magical things that await baby tomorrow. A lyrical celebration of natural beauty and a soft, reassuring reminder for little ones being tucked into bed that fun and adventure will return with a new day.
Editor’s Note: There is something about water that I find completely relaxing and this book takes you right there. It’s one you wouldn’t mind reading over and over.

Being Me, A Rosie the Red Book
Rosemary McCarney
Second Story Press, secondstorypress.com
Rosie is wearing her red cape, sitting up in her thinking tree wondering what she’ll be when she grows up. People are always asking her that question, but she doesn’t have an answer. She’s not old enough to be a pilot, or a paramedic, or a dog groomer. But she does believe that she can still do lots of terrific things right now. So when she goes for a walk with her dad and they pass a food bank, Rosie knows that she can do something pro-active while she’s still a kid. She can tell this is a special place and when she is there she feels useful and special too. But when Rosie bumps into a friend who seems embarrassed to be there with his family, she must figure out a way to make him feel better.  Rosie tilts her head this way and that to look at the situation from the perspective of someone needing to use the food bank and comes up with a plan to help her friend. The next day at school, Rosie waits until art class to bring up the idea of starting a canned food drive that everyone can help out with – including Sam. Since Sam is the most talented drawer in the class Rosie asks him to make the posters for the food drive, lifting his spirits and showing him that everyone can contribute in their own way.
Editor’s Note: My seven-year-old son thinks this book is a keeper; I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the fact that Rosie thought that just because someone asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up made her feel like she was unimportant, useless. Why would anyone say that? If I had of read the book first, I would have edited out that part. I don’t think little people are useless or unimportant, and what a terrible idea to put into a child’s head. As for walking into a food bank and starting to volunteer immediately? I wonder if that is possible or is there a whole bunch of paperwork you need to do first?

Creature Close-up Ocean Animals
Silver Dolphin Books, Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, silverdolphins.com
Editor’s Note: The only thing I don’t like about this book is how much space it takes up. The book is about two inches thick, but the book itself is about a quarter of an inch. The rest holds a magnifying glass, a sea turtle, some stickers, a foldout pearl oyster and a dolphin model to assemble. It could be much smaller. Throughout the book, a magnifying glass appears so you can take a closeup look at the creature that has been highlighted. There are lots of animals and creatures in the book but with little bits of information. The anglerfish is highlighted, one of my favourite creatures.

Julie Pearson
Pajama Press, pajamapress.ca
Elliot’s parents love him very much, but all is not well. When he cries, they do not understand why. When he yells, they do not know what to do. When he misbehaves, they do not know how to react. One day a social worker named Thomas comes to visit, and Elliot’s world turns upside-down.
Editor’s Note: I forgot what this book was about when I started to read it to my seven year old. In hindsight, I would haven’t read it to him, but once I started, he wanted me to continue. It upset him greatly, and I understand. It upsets me as well. But we talked about how families are different and how this sort of thing happens. I reassured him he is not going anywhere and I used a line from Elliot – “I love you forever, FOREVER.” I asked my son if he wanted to keep the book and he said no, but I noticed he moved it from the get rid of it pile to the keeper pile.

Fluffy Strikes Back
Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/fluffy-strikes-back
Fluffy Vandermere, the cat sergeant in charge of P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), works tirelessly to protect the world from alien (aka bug) domination. It’s a big job. “The whole planet is Fluffy’s space station. All the people in the world are his humans. And every space pet out there is his responsibility.” Now, suddenly and without warning, Fluffy discovers P.U.R.S.T. headquarters, the most secure building in the world, is under attack by an angry swarm of insects, and they’re armed with every cat’s worst nightmare – spray bottles! Warding off this level of terrifying invasion will require cunning, skill, ingenuity and the ability to move quickly. Fluffy’s been out of the field and at his desk job for quite some time now – is he up to this massive challenge? You bet he is! This graphic novel by artist Ashley Spires is a spin-off from her successful Binky Adventure series (Binky is a member of P.U.R.S.T.).
Editor’s Note: While I have bought Binky books for cousins, my seven year old and I have never read it ourselves. It was a fun read and one we’ll read again. My seven year old liked that we got to see the cats poop.

Joey Visits Grandpa
Patricia Nichvolodoff
Trford Publishing
This story is about a loving relationship between Joey and his grandpa. Joey visits his grandpa and they do many fun things together. But soon afterward, Joey’s grandpa discovers he has a problem and not just one problem. Discover how Joey solves the problems and finds a solution at the end of the story. This imaginative story will captivate both children and adults and will delight the reader with its lighthearted humour
Editor’s Note: It’s nice to have a grandpa and grandchild story; it’s usually grandma and grandchild. I couldn’t have few less problems, but otherwise a cute read.

Manners are Not For Monkeys!
Healther Tekavec
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/manners-are-not-monkeys
The old zookeeper has no idea how much trouble it will cause when she moves the monkeys into a cage near the picnic and play areas. Now the monkeys can watch the children up close, and they find the children so fascinating that before long, they start behaving just like them! Mother Monkey is not amused. When she sees her little monkeys chewing with their mouths closed, she demands to know what’s going on. “We are using good manners,” they say. “Manners are not for monkeys,” Mother tells them. But it’s no use. In fact, her little monkeys won’t do any monkey things anymore — no more swinging all at once from the branches, screeching or tossing their banana peels on the ground. Is there anything Mother Monkey can do to get them to behave like “good little monkeys” again?
Editor’s Note: The ending of this book is pretty fantastic, and I am sure many people would like to see it happen.

Mahak Jain
OwlKids, owlkidbooks.com
When a city goes dark, one little girl must dig deep to find the light inside.
Editor’s Note: What a beautiful book. I love the story and I love the illustrations. My seven-year-old son took one look at the front cover and said he didn’t want to read it. I looked that the front cover and knew I wanted to. I suspect my niece will love it too. Hmm!

Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me
Danielle Marcotte
OwlKids, owlkidsbooks.com
Reading takes many forms. Some of us read novels, while others read cookbooks, sheet music, tarot cards, or even the stars in the sky. We read clocks, train schedules, and facial expressions. In this ode to reading, each form is celebrated. Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me follows a young boy and those around him – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbours – as they all read, immersed in what moves them.
Editor’s Note: I like how everyone reads – including the dad and the uncle, you reads recipes. A book to celebrate reading. You can’t go wrong with that.

Our Love Grows
Anna Pignataro
In the deep green forest, Pip asked, “Mama, when will I be big?”
Editor’s Note: I, too, remember the day when my son’s blanket used to fit him. What a beautiful book of a mother panda and her cub, and how much he has grown. One more thing has grown as well.

Peregrine Falcons in the Concrete Kingdom
Jon Triffo
Upon a Star Books Inc.
In 1986 in Regina, Saskatchewan, when invited to assist with experimental urban peregrine falcon introduction, Jon passionately accepted the intriguing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Editor’s Note: I love raptors and have cheered for the increase in numbers of the peregrine falcon. Beautiful pictures and small bits of information. My son laughed hysterically at the lesson’s page: Lesson 1: ‘Here comes a pigeon,’ Lesson 2: ‘There goes the pigeon’; Lesson 3: Go get the pigeon, with pictures to match.

Ruth Ohi
Circle loves to roll –  around and around. Solid Square likes to sit still and strong.  Triangle can celebrate all her good points, and always knows which direction to go. But when Scribble suddenly dashes through their ordered world – all messy lines and energy – Circle, Square and Triangle don’t know what to think. But turns out just a zig zag here and a wavy line there are all that’s needed to stir imaginations, and soon the shapes find themselves working as a team, on a course for adventure!
Editor’s Note: My seven year old quite likes this story and how the shapes found themselves on an adventure when they worked together.

Toshi’s Little Treasures
Nadine Robert
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com
In this appealing search-and-find informational picture book, readers join a little boy named Toshi as he and his grandmother explore six of their favorite places – the riverbank, the town, the forest, the country, the park and the beach. At each location, Toshi finds treasures to add to his collection, from a dragonfly wing to a glittery rock to a guitar pick. Best of all, his grandmother always knows what everything is! Each scene is featured in a full-spread illustration, with lots of potential treasures labeled. Following that is an activity in which readers help Toshi identify his found treasures from each place by matching them to related items (for example, pink peony petals matching the peony plant, and a coin matching the coin purse). Answers at the back of the book reveal interesting facts about them all, adding context. The animals that Toshi and his grandmother encounter are also shown at the back of the book.
Editor’s Note: There is a lot of information and so much to see in each page of this book. Once you look for all the things Toshi finds with his walk, then you find the match. It’s a pretty neat book.

The Animals Ark
Marianne Dubuc
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/animals-ark
Marianne Dubuc retells the biblical story of the ark voyage from the animals’ perspective. It begins with a light rain in the animal kingdom that turns heavier and steadier until all the land is flooded. The animals are huddled together atop a hill, the only dry spot left, when they spy a boat coming toward them. Rescue! The smiling captain, Mr. Noah, invites them to board, two by two. At first, the animals enjoy settling in and finding ways to amuse themselves – the sheep play leapfrog, the ladybugs play dominoes, a chameleon plays hide-and-seek. But as it continues to rain, and rain and rain, things grow testy below deck. The animals are getting on one another’s nerves. And all of them are wondering, will the rain ever stop?
Editor’s Note: My seven year old said “now that was a weird story” and I had to agree. But a funny telling of a biblical story whose purpose I can’t remember. Funny moments in the story include a cat who sharpens its claws in the wrong places.

The Grumps, A Love Story
Paula Hillick
Balboa Press
Raising children and helping them to manage themselves emotionally is a challenging and complex task. Understanding our “grumps” and fostering positive perspectives is imperative to developing compassionate life skills and developing a strong moral character. This book helps parents, teachers, and caregivers empower children by showing them that they control their thoughts, words, emotions, and actions through their choices.
Editor’s Note: The Grumps is a wonderful story, which shows how The Grumps, nasty little monsters that make people do and say awful things to each other, grow and multiple if you let them. However, if you be kind to others, those Grumps will turn into Loving Hearts, which also multiply. This is a wonderful little book with a great moral, however, there is one giant flaw that I can’t get past – the Grumps makes an adult kick a child (in the back no less while the little boy is looking at butterfly). This is unacceptable to me. Why would anyone include that? It is never OK for an adult to strike a child. Why wouldn’t they have had an adult attempting to push another adult?

The Storm
Akiko Miyakoshi
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/creators/akiko-miyakoshi/846
As this evocative picture book begins, a little boy is excited about a trip to the beach with his parents planned for the following day. But a bad storm is coming, and he has started to worry they won’t be able to go. He watches as the sky grows darker through the afternoon. His mother and father close the shutters and bring the potted plants indoors. Then the storm arrives. “All through dinner, the rain beats hard against the shutters. The wind howls and blows,” the boy says. “I try not to be scared.” At bedtime, he thinks, “I wish I had a ship with big propellers that would spin stronger winds to drive the storm away.” While asleep, his wish becomes his dream, and he manages to blow away the dark clouds with his imaginary vessel. Then, to his delight, when he awakens, he finds his dream of clear blue skies has come true.
Editor’s Note: I have to say Akiko Miyakoshi is one of my favourite children’s authors. My seven year old and I love The Tea Party, and I was so excited to hear she was creating another book. Like The Tea Party, this one is completely black and white, done in charcoal apparently, with a splash of colour at the end. It makes for a stunning book, and the story is wonderful as well.

The Whisper
Pamela Zagarenski
Hougton Mifflin Harcourt, hmhco.com
Step inside the pages of a little girl’s magical book as she discovers the profound and inspiring notion that we each bring something different to the same story.
Editor’s Note: That is not the message (description) I got from the story, although I liked it all the same. My son wondered why each story never ended, that each story the child was telling ended in mid-thought and didn’t continue on the next page. I would of have liked it to continue as well. I suggested my seven year old finish the story. Beautiful pictures as well. A truly magical book.

Willow’s Smile
Lana Button
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/willows-smile
Sometimes Willow smiled without even trying. But sometimes when she wished she could and knew she should, her smile slipped straight off her face. So when her teacher tells the class that Picture Day is coming, shy Willow starts to worry. What if she isn’t able to smile for the camera? How can she have her picture taken without smiling? But then on Picture Day, Willow gets the opportunity to watch the other children being photographed. She sees that all of her friends’ expressions are unique, and perfect in their own way. And by the time it’s her turn, she’s realized that she doesn’t need to worry about smiling for her picture. She just needs to be herself
Editor’s Note: It’s very hard to smile on command, which Willow, the main character, understands. My seven year old and I loved how Willow, and Mr. Corbett made others smile, and laughed out loud on how Willow smiled.

Middle school to young adult

Kwame Alexander
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books, http://www.hmhco.com
Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this followup to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love and friendship, take center stage as 12-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!
Editor’s Note: I didn’t realize this was a follow to The Crossover and you certainly didn’t need to read that book to understand this one. Poetry is not my thing, but I loved this book because of it. The characters are fabulous – all of them, particularly the mom and The Mac, and Nick himself. I love that Nick’s dad linguistics professor and author Kwame Alexander uses the words in his verses, adding an astriks. At the bottom of the page, the word’s meaning is added, along with comments from Nick.

Burn Baby Burn Baby
Kevin Craig
Curiosity Quill Pres, curiosityquills.com
Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley – the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.
Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.
Editor’s Note: There was too much swearing and too much teenaged boy in this book for my liking, but a good read in a horrific story. I would hope the sort of bullying Francis had to endure doesn’t actually happen these days. I can’t imagine harassing someone for something so awful, but I suppose a bully without morals is a person without morals.

Camp Disaster
Frieda Wishinsky
Orca Currents
Charlotte Summers is sure that summer camp is going to be a disaster. And she’s right. But it’s not as disastrous for her as it is for her counselor, Marla. Marla has no control over the girls in her charge. The control is held by the cabin’s mean girl. Charlotte realizes that she could tip the balance of power and unseat the bully, but does she have the courage to go for it?
Editor’s Note: I understand these books are supposed to be a quick read (and I am certainly not the demographic the author is targeting); it took me a half a hour to read the 113-page book, but I found the whole thing rather annoying. I hate awful people, and most of the girls in this book fall into that category. Saying that, the book kept reading to find out why Madison was such a terrible person. While the ending is how it should be, I didn’t like how quickly it came and the situation was resolved. Apparently I would hold a grudge longer than Charlotte Summers.

Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell
Liane Shaw
Second Story Press, secondstorypress.com
Sixteen-year-old Frederick has a lot of rules for himself. Like if someone calls him Freddy he doesn’t have to respond; he only wears shirts with buttons and he hates getting dirty. His odd behavior makes him an easy target for the “Despisers” at school, but he’s gotten used to eating lunch alone in the Reject Room.
Angel, in tenth grade but already at her sixth school, has always had a hard time making friends because her family moves around so much. Frederick is different from the other kids she’s met – he’s annoyingly smart, but refreshingly honest – and since he’s never had a real friend before, she decides to teach him all her rules of friendship. But after Angel makes a rash decision and disappears, Frederick is called in for questioning by the police and is torn between telling the truth and keeping his friend’s secret. Her warning to him – don’t tell, don’t tell, don’t tell – might have done more harm than good.
Editor’s Note: Wow, what a great book. I am not certain if Frederick is good representation of someone with Asperger’s syndrome, but if he is, wow again. I went between being in awe of how Frederick thinks to understanding why people would be frustrated by the way he was. It was a fascinating look into someone else’s mind, and Frederick’s way of thinking gave me things to think about. The end. It was amazing.

Epic Game
William Kowalski
Orca Books, http://www.rapid-reads.com
Kat is a tough, independent woman who makes her living as a professional poker player. She is single, childless and happy about it. But when her best friend, Josie, commits suicide, she names Kat as the temporary guardian of her ten-year-old son, David, until his father can come for him. In the few weeks that David is with her, Kat finds herself changed in ways she had never thought imaginable. With the old poker adage “bet with your head, not your heart” ringing in her head like a warning bell, Kat nevertheless finds that all the money and success in the world don’t mean a thing unless you have someone to share it with.and that maybe there is more to life than winning after all.
Editor’s Note: This book is part of the reluctant readers series by Orca Books. For me it was a quick read; it took a couple of hours but in that time I loved the characters and was so happy with the ending.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear
E.K. Johnston
Penguin Random House, penguinrandomhouse.com
Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At Palermo Heights, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team — the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black. In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.
Editor’s Note: In the editor’s note, author E.K. Johnston said she intitally wrote this book when she was angry at a local politician, but doesn’t say why she was angry. I picked up this book knowing I would be angry, but also so sad and so sick. And disgusted. What would make a boy, a male, think that slipping something into a girl’s drink and raping her is OK? How does that happen? How do we prevent it from happening? Heriomone is a wonderful, strong character, and I like the people she surrounds herself with. I also like it’s by a Canadian author.

Cecelia Ahern
Feiwel and Friends, us.macmillan.com/publishers/feiwel-and-friends
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life- changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.
Editor’s Note: What a fantastic book. Flawed was a page turner that kept me up way past my bedtime, then awake even longer as I was so mad about the injustice of the flawed system in general and in particular what happens to the main character. You know when you are almost done a book and realize it will not be wrapped up by the end? Yes, that happened in this book and I want to read the sequel now.

Hanna: My Holocaust Story
Goldie Alexander
Scholastic Canada, http://www.scholastic.ca/
Hanna Kaminsky loves gymnastics, her best friend Eva, Elza’s chicken soup with dumplings and reading. But in September 1939 the happy life that Hanna has always known disappears. The Nazis have invaded Poland and are herding all Jews into ghettos in the cities. Hanna’s family are forced into hiding in the countryside. For a while it seems they are safe. But hiding from the Germans means trusting others. Rounded up by the SS, Hanna and her family are sent to the Warsaw Ghetto where they must use whatever skills they have to survive.
Editor’s Note: I have read many Holocaust stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and I think main character Hanna Kaminsky’s father’s explanation as to why Hitler blamed Jewish people for German’s ills was the best explanation I have read. I learned a lot from this book – about what life might have been like in the ghetto, how kindness was shown and evil, and not just from the Nazis. Heartbreaking, sad, awful (stuck in my head awful), but so important to read.

Jennifer Dance
Dundurn, https://www.dundurn.com/
Hawk, a First Nations teen from northern Alberta, is a cross-country runner who aims to win gold in an upcoming competition between all the schools in Fort McMurray. But when Hawk discovers he has leukemia, his identity as a star athlete is stripped away, along with his muscles and energy. When he finds an osprey, “a fish hawk,” mired in a pond of toxic residue from the oil sands industry, he sees his life-or-death struggle echoed by the young bird. Slipping in and out of consciousness, Hawk has visions of the osprey and other animals that shared his childhood home: woodland caribou, wolves and wood buffalo. They are all helpless and vulnerable, their forest and muskeg habitat vanishing. Hawk sees in these tragedies parallels with his own fragile life, and wants to forge a new identity — one that involves standing up for the voiceless creatures that share his world. But he needs to survive long enough to do it.
Editor’s Note: I found this to be a heartbreaking and depressing read, but one that needs to be read by everyone. I was left feeling much like Hawk – how is one person suppose to stop the destruction of our environment? How do you weed out correct information from propananda from both sides? Why are we allowing this destruction and poison to happen? What can we do? My favourite parts of the book, although also completely sad and sickening, was the story of the fish hawks (also known as osprey, beautiful creatures) White Chest and Three Talons told at the beginning of almost all chapters. As author Jennifer Dance noted at the end of her book. as the fish-eating raptors are at the top of the aquatic food chain, they are sensitive to toxins that build up in the bodies of fish. They are like are canaries in the coal mine.

Jasper John Dooley Public Library Enemy No. 1
Caroline Adderson
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/jasper-john-dooley-public-library-enemy-1
All Jasper John Dooley was trying to do was practice his reading skills. He wanted to be ready for his turn to sit in the big, comfy chair at the library on Wednesday and read to Molly the Dog. But even though Jasper was being so so so careful, the wonderful library book about toilet-paper-tube crafts accidentally falls into his bathwater and drowns. After that, he and his dad only make things worse by setting the book on fire and then shooting it with the fire extinguisher. “We’re Book Killers,” Jasper says gravely. He knows he’s going to have to pay for the ruined book, or they’ll never let him back in the library again. Except, from what Jasper can tell, the price printed on the book says $2,500. How can Jasper possibly find a way to raise that much money? And before Wednesday? He’ll need his best friend Ori’s help now more than ever.
Editor’s Note: This is the sixth book featuring Jasper John Dooley, his family and friends. The latest has made us laugh out loud, particularly in Chapter 4. Jasper John’s dad will never borrow one of my books.

Once Was A Time
Leila Sales
Chronicle Books, http://www.chroniclekids.com
In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte (Lottie) Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend.
Editor’s Note: Another great middle grade book I plan to keep. What a great story, although I was saddened about one of the choices Lottie makes, and it made reading the middle hard. But I loved the ending.

Sara Pennypacker
HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins.ca
Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house, 300 miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be – with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own.
Editor’s Note: I really wanted read this book because it sounded amazing, but I put off reading it because I thought it would be heartbreaking. It was both. The first chapter brings heartbreak, with heartbreak throughout, but the story is well worth it. An amazing read.

Prisoner of Warren
Andreas Oertel
Nimbus Publishing, nimbus.ca
When his dad decides to hire a German prisoner of war to help out on their New Brunswick farm, 13-year-old Warren Webb is pretty sure the family is doomed. Who invites a Nazi to sleep under their roof? But Martin is not the German Warren expected. After his early attempts to get rid of Martin fail, Warren takes his dead brother Pete’s advice and finds himself learning more from his enemy than he ever expected. Soon Martin, a promising track-and-field athlete before the war, is coaching Warren for his provincial Summer Games race. And when a trio of local bullies threatens their lives, Warren and Martin are forced to rely on each other like never before.
Editor’s Note: It was interesting to read what it was like in Canada during the Second World War, and how the propaganda about the enemy, in this case all Germans were Nazis, who didn’t look “normal” and who wanted Hitler to win, was fed to Canadians. In his acknowledgement, author Andreas Oertel thanked Nimbus Publishing for believing Warren’s story as much as he did, but I think Martin’s story was equal important. What a great book and an easy read.

Caroline Pignat
RazorBill, penguinrandomhouse.ca/imprints/razorbill
A lockdown catches five Grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys’ washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they’ve heard over the years. Stuck here with them, could anything be worse? There’s Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah. Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life.  Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future. Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.
Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals and homework assignments, each student reveals pieces of their true story as they wait for the drill to end. But this modern-day Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school! Suddenly, the bathroom doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized.
Editor’s Note: I was quite curious when Shooter by Caroline Pignat crossed my desk. I read This is where It ends by Marieke Nijkamp and it sounded basically like the same book. It had the same premise, a story told by different characters, through text messages, prose and more. But I was only a couple of chapters in when I forgot about Nijkamp’s book and simple enjoyed – and loved Pignat’s. A great read, with unique characters with their own stories to tell and a different ending. I also like that this book is set in Canada by an Ottawa-based author.

The Ghastly McNasty’s Fright in the Night

Lyn Gardner
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/ghastly-mcnastys-lost-treasure-little-snoring
The McNasty pirate twins, Captain Gruesome and his brother, Captain Grisly, are determined to get their grubby hands on the treasure buried in the sleepy seaside village of Little Snoring. But the McNastys discover that two clever young friends, Tat and Hetty, are equally determined to find the treasure, and soon they are all embroiled in a rollicking test of wits to see which pair will prevail. Faced with the excessive mucus running from the nose of the pirates’ second mate, Mrs. Slime; the Big, Scary, Very Dark, Dense Forest Where No One In Their Right Mind Would Want To Go and a walk on the plank of the pirate ship The Rotten Apple, do the children stand a chance?
Editor’s Note: We didn’t even get a chapter into this book when my seven year old told me he hated it. I am actually surprised because I thought he would think it’s funny seeing how it started off so well: “Chapter 342. (Don’t be utterly ridiculous. You cannot begin a book with Chapter 342, as this would be very confusing with everyone and like starting the alphabet with N or eating pizza or strawberry ice cream for breakfast.) But we are saving it for when he is older.

The Secret Language of Sisters
Luanne Rice
Scholastic Canada, Scholastic.com
When 16-year-old Ruth Ann (Roo) McCabe responds to a text message while she’s driving, her life as she knows it ends. The car flips, and Roo winds up in a hospital bed, paralyzed and silent. Everyone thinks she’s in a coma, but Roo has locked-in syndrome; she can see and hear and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. She’s trapped inside her own body, screaming to be heard. Mathilda (Tilly) is Roo’s 14-year-old sister and best friend. She was the one who texted Roo and inadvertently caused the accident. Now, Tilly must grapple with her overwhelming guilt and her growing feelings for Roo’s boyfriend, Newton, the only other person who seems to get what Tilly is going through. But Tilly might be the only person who can solve the mystery of her sister’s condition, who can see through Roo’s silence to the truth underneath. Somehow, through medicine or miracles, will both sisters find a way to heal?
Editor’s Note: There was a point in this book where I wanted to stop reading it, not that I wasn’t enjoying it, but I felt sick about the fact that Roo was responding and no one knew. I also wanted a happy ending and I was pretty sure the book wasn’t going to have Roo become unparalysed and walk out of the hospital. There was also a point I was mad – basically at everyone including Roo and Tilly’s mother and particularly, Roo’s best friend. But I read on and found some truly amazing characters and a beautiful story. I would really love to read Martha’s story. She seems like a wonderful character who has many stories to tell.

DK Farm Animals

Full of fun facts and activities
Looking for fun on the farm? Then Farm Animals is the perfect book for you. There’s lots to learn and just as much fun to do.
Editor’s Note: Following the same format as DK’s Bugs, Bees, Farm Animals has some amazingly cute crafts that I plan to do with my seven year old like fluffy sheep and Hatching a Chick. The recipes look pretty good, too, and really, can you go wrong with adorable animal pictures?

DK My First Zoo (tabbed board book)
Packed with colourful pictures and activities, your toddler will love discovering all about zoo animals with this tactile board book. Read it together and help them turn the pages using the easy-grip picture tabs. Bright photographic pictures will take your toddler to the zoo as they discover all the zoo animals, from rabbits and pony to tigers and lions while fun-filled questions and word games on every page support early learning.
Editor’s Note: From Australian animals to Creepy Crawlies and the petting zoo, for a little book it has a lot of animals/creatures packed on every page.

DK Smithsonian Everything You Need to know about Birds
Have you ever wondered how birds fly or what’s inside an egg? You can find out the answers to these questions and more in Everything You Need to Know About Birds! From the nocturnal owls to the flightless penguins, learn about the different evolution and habitats of birds from around the world. Discover how almost everything about a bird’s anatomy is designed for flight, yet how its skeleton is also similar to that of a human.
Editor’s Note: What a fantastic book. Lots of beautiful pictures and information that makes me love birds even more than I already do. From defense mechanisms (cassowaries have a huge claw on their middle toe that has been known to kill a man) to big brains (carrion crows drop nuts on the road to have them cracked by cars) to really cool info about eggs (domestic chickens are bred to lay infertile eggs), this is a book that keeps you reading long into the night.

DK Smithsonian Super Bug Encyclopedia
Super Bug Encyclopedia zooms right into the hidden world of insects to show you some of the most remarkable creatures on our planet.
Editor’s Note: Zooms in is correct – you get up close with many bugs I don’t want to think about, never mind see, including what looks like a giant yellow jacket (I am guessing) on the front. Bugs may be remarkable, but they are creepy. Despite this, I couldn’t help but look through the pages and reading up on some of these creatures including the Kissing bug, which we apparently have in North America (I am certain I have seen these creatures), which bites you in the night, sucking your blood. It has the possibility of passing along Chagas disease, which can kill you. House flies are disgusting creatures, but you should see them up close – nightmares. I read, I was disgusted, I kept reading. Yuck. I can’t help myself. I need to read more.

Lifetime, The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
Lola M. Schaefer
Chronicle Kids, chroniclekids.com
In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies. Count each one and many more while learning about the wondrous things that can happen in just one lifetime. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else – and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes, all 1,000 baby seahorses in its illustrations.
Editor’s Note: I had four new children’s books sitting on my seven-year-old son’s bed and it was the one that was full of numbers that caught his attention and he asked me to read first. I am glad to read that all 1,000 sea horses were actually drawn within its page – I really didn’t want to count them or have my guy count them before bed. My only complaint – not enough examples. We wanted to read more.

Wing & Claw Forest of Wonders
Linda Sue Park
HarperCollins, HarperCollins.com
Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic. When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences. Raffa’s experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him question whether exciting botanical inventions—including his own — might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect.
The first book in an enchanting trilogy, Forest of Wonders richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home.
Editor’s Note: What a wonderful book. The characters – including, perhaps especially, the animals – were fantastic. Perhaps because it is written for children in grades 3 to 7, I found the book really descriptive – I could picture everything that was happening. I also liked how the uses of plants were described so you could see why Raffa choose the plants for his work. This is one of those books were I am grateful for a sequel or two. I want to read more. I would also like to see it made into movie. I think it would be beautiful.

Other animals
Hamster Princess of Mice and Magic

Ursula Vernon
Penguin Random House, penguinrandomhouse.com
Princess Harriet has absolutely no interest in brushing her hair, singing duets with woodland animals, or any other typical princess activities. So when a fairy tells a very bored Harriet about twelve mice princesses who are cursed to dance all night long, she happily accepts the quest and sets off with a poncho of invisibility and her trusty battle quail. But when she arrives at the Mouse Kingdom, she discovers there’s more to the curse than meets the eye, and trying to help is dangerous business . . . even for a tough princess like Harriet.

The Power of Pets
Mary Beth Haines
Why can the death of a pet often feel as painful as if it were a family member or friend? How can you grieve and heal from the loss of your beloved animal companion? The Power of Pets empowers people to take the necessary steps to transform grief into healing. Our pets are our family and friends. We feel the loss so strongly because of the emotional connection and unconditional love we receive from them. In this book, you will learn ways to promote personal growth and daily practices to help you become more connected after the loss of your pet.  This translates to not only a more heartfelt experience, but greater understanding, and a more focused approach in healing from pet loss

New Releases
Food, Sex & You

Stacey Gorlicky
Dundurn, https://www.dundurn.com/
In a personal exploration of body image, sexuality and addiction, mental health advocate Stacey Gorlicky announces the launch of her first book, Food, Sex & You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World.

Daniel Perry
Thistledown Press, http://www.thistledownpress.com
The stories in Daniel Perry’s debut collection skew and capture contemporary trends and events in entertaining fashion. Perry’s fiction explores contemporary life in settings such as Toronto’s urban centres, the roads of California, the canals of Venice and the villages of Nicaragua. The pieces range from dark satirical perspectives to situational ironies and explore a variety of themes like poverty, family life, travel, urban fear, dating, and disenfranchisement. Motifs of urban fiction run through images of struggle, fatigue, and loss, and move the people who populate them into decisions that offer tense moments of hope and beauty. The stories frequently set in motion a paradox or unresolved event with which the reader is left to grapple.

Policing and Social Media
Christopher J. Schneider
Lexington Books, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498533720/Policing-and-Social-Media-Social-Control-in-an-Era-of-New-Media#
Policing and Social Media investigates various public aspects of the management, use and control of social media by police agencies in Canada. This book aims to illustrate the process by which new information technology — namely, social media — and related changes in communication formats have affected the public face of policing and police work.
Editor’s Note: Author Christopher J. Schneider told insidetoronto.com you can receive a 30 per cent off when purchasing this book online by entering the promo code: LEX30AUTH16

Other books
Any Fin is Possible: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

Mo O’Hara
Feiwel and Friends, us.macmillan.com/publishers/feiwel-and-friends
When Tom rescued Frankie the goldfish from his older brother’s evil science experiment by zapping him back to life with a battery, he never expected his pet to become a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with incredible hypnotic powers…but he has to admit it’s helpful, especially when they are thwarting his big brother’s evil plans. Tom and Pradeep are about to find out the truth behind the ancient Egyptian Curse of the Cat King, when their evil big brothers crash their overnight stay at the history museum. Dodging booby traps, avoiding evil, possibly mummified kittens…it’s all in a night’s work for a zombie goldfish!

Away Running
David Wright
Orca Books, orcabook.com
Matt, a white quarterback from Montreal, Quebec, flies to France (without his parents’ permission) to play football and escape family pressure. Freeman, a black football player from San Antonio, Texas, is in Paris on a school trip when he hears about a team playing American football in a rough, low-income suburb called Villeneuve-La-Grande. Matt and Free join the Diables Rouges and make friends with the other players, who come from many different ethnic groups. Racial tension erupts into riots in Villeneuve when some of their Muslim teammates get in trouble with the police, and Matt and Free have to decide whether to get involved and face the very real risk of arrest and violence.

Behind the Canvas
Alexander Vance
Feiwel and Friends, mackids.com
Claudia Miravista loves art but only sees what is on the surface―until the Dutch boy Pim appears in the painting in her room. Pim has been trapped in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a power-hungry witch, and he now believes that Claudia is his only hope for escape. Fueled by the help of an ancient artist and some microwaveable magic, Claudia enters the wondrous and terrifying world behind the canvas, intent on destroying the witch’s most cherished possession and setting her new friend free. But in that world nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Not even friendship.

Bucky F*cking Dent A Novel
David Duchovny
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, us.macmillan.com/fsg
Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery- operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel, and spends the waning malaise-filled days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent. When Ted hears the news that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of lung cancer, he immediately moves back into his childhood home, where a whirlwind of revelations ensues. The browbeating absentee father of his youth is living to make up for lost time, but his health dips drastically whenever his beloved Red Sox lose. And so, with help from a crew of neighborhood old- timers and the lovely Mariana – Marty’s Nuyorican grief counselor – Ted orchestrates the illusion of a Sox winning streak, enabling Marty and the Red Sox to reverse the Curse of the Bambino and cruise their way to World Series victory.

Bunny Dreams
Peter McCarty
Henry Holt and Company, mackids.com
In bunny dreams, anything can happen. A bunny might know the ABCs, or count by 1-2-3s. A bunny might find the perfect carrot. A bunny might hop, hop, hop . . . or even fly! But every bunny needs a cozy place to rest. This is the perfect bedtime book for bunnies everywhere.

Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shillings

Tony Cliff
First Second, firstsecondbooks.com
Globetrotting troublemaker Delilah Dirk and her loyal friend Selim are just minding their own business, peacefully raiding castles and and traipsing across enemy lines, when they attract the unwanted attention of the English Army. Before they know it, Delilah and Selim have gotten themselves accused of espionage against the British crown! Delilah will do whatever it takes to clear her good name, be it sneaking, skirmishing, or even sword fighting… But can she bring herself to wear a pretty dress and have a nice cup of tea with her mother? Delilah Dirk may be defeated at last. By tulle.

Loving on Me!: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Mess to Message
Katrina McGhee
Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Balboa Press
Many women are unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives, and yearn for change. While the path to self-acceptance and contentment often appears treacherous, it is possible to release the guilt of the past and seize the opportunities in the present. In “Loving on Me!: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Mess to Message,” author Katrina McGhee chronicles her journey from life-interrupted to living a life of abundance through practical examples from her own life and the lives of other women.
Visit http://lovingonme.com

Meaghan McIssac
Tundra Books, penguinrandomhouse.ca
For most people, the future is an unknown. But not to Movers like Pat. Movers are born with a mental connection to their Shadows: strangers living years in the future. Some Movers can even bring their Shadows through time to the present, an action that is strictly prohibited and an offence that results in a terrible punishment. Movers are second-class citizens–closely monitored and despised by society; people blame Movers and their Shadows for the world’s overpopulated cities and strange new weather patterns. But although people in the present are just beginning to feel the pressure of limited resources, people in the future are desperate. War, disease, drought and famine have taken their toll, and the future is not a happy place. When a ruthless Shadow arrives intent on changing the present at any cost, Pat and his little sister are caught in the crossfire. They are in a race against time, and Pat has to turn to some unlikely sources for help. But will it be too late?

Pride Celebrating Diversity & Community
Robin Stevenson
Orca Books, orcabook.com
For gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters, June is a month of pride and celebration, and the high point of that month is the Pride Day Parade. Pride Day is a spectacular and colorful event. But there is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. So what exactly are we celebrating on Pride Day? How did this event come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it?

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl, Book 2
Paige McKenzie, based on a YouTube Web series phemonmeon
Weinstein Books, weinsteinbooks.com
Sunshine’s Luiseach powers have been fully awakened. For months now, Sunshine has felt spirits everywhere. She hears their voices; feels their emotions. It’s intense and sometimes overwhelming. She tries to ignore them, but it’s impossible. Hoping to get her powers under control (and hoping for answers to her never-ending questions) she agrees to start training with her Luiseach mentor, leaving her family – and her friend Nolan – behind. But Sunshine’s mentor doesn’t understand her attachment to the humans in her life; and she can’t forgive his abandonment of her so many years ago. The only thing getting Sunshine through the terrifying and creepy training is her new, distractingly attractive, friend – another young Luiseach. Though Sunshine’s mentor is reluctant to answer her many questions, she finally learns the truth about her lineage, as well as the rift that threatens the future of Luiseach and the human race  and the crucial part she has to play in repairing it.

The Dark Island
Scott Chantler
Kids Can Press, http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/dark-island
In this thrilling sixth installment of Scott Chantler’s popular Three Thieves graphic novel series, the separate adventures of twins Dessa and Jared play out simultaneously and seem poised to intersect as the book ends. Dessa, along with Topper and Fisk, has managed a daring landing onto the flying island of Astaroth, where she hopes to find her long-lost brother. Instead, they discover a bizarre world where three children are being held by a mysterious and rarely seen man they call the Toymaker. Certain the Toymaker is Greyfalcon, Jared’s kidnapper, Dessa is determined to track him down and confront him about her brother’s location. Meanwhile, Captain Drake has unintentionally stumbled upon Jared himself and decides to hold the boy as bait to lure Dessa to him. But as he learns from Jared the particulars about the boy’s abduction nine years ago, Drake is troubled. Why would such powerful people want to abduct a small peasant boy? The answer to that question is about to shock Drake – and Jared!

The 52-Story Treehouse
Andy Griffiths
Feiwel and Friends, us.macmillan.com/publishers/feiwel-and-friends
Andy and Terry live in a 52-storey treehouse. (It used to be a 39-storey treehouse, but they keep expanding.) It has a chainsaw-juggling level, a make-your-own-pizza parlor, a rocket-powered carrot-launcher, a life-size snakes and ladders game, a remembering booth, a Ninja Snail Training Academy and a high- tech detective agency, with all the latest high-tech detective technology, including the Disguise-o-Matic 5000! Something that is sure to come in handy as they try to solve the mystery of: What happened to Mr. Big Nose? After all, it’s hard to turn in your next book when your publisher has vanished!

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos A Novel
Dominic Smith
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, us.macmillan.com/fsg
In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain – a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.

This is the Story of You
Beth Kephart
Chronicle Books, chroniclebooks.com/teen
On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future.

The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner
Penguin Random House
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life — at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace. He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the smalltown culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy. Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

Weekends with Max and His Dad
Linda Urban
Houghton Min Harcourt Books, hmhco.com
Max and his dad love their weekends together. Weekends mean pancakes, pizza, spy games, dog-walking, school projects, and surprising neighbors! Every weekend presents a small adventure as Max gets to know his dad’s new neighborhood—and learns some new ways of thinking about home.

This article was originally published at insidetoronto.com